Evidence and the Supernatural

butterbattle
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Evidence and the Supernatural

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

The topic of this conversation is very simple. 

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

- evidence for the existence of a "soul."

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

etc.

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

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

I hope I have made this clear.

 

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


caposkia
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BMcD wrote:Other than the

BMcD wrote:

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?

I know that many on here have come from a background of belief one way or another.  This is why I've said it's a personal journey.  I've also breifly mentioned to a few that I"d be willing to work with them on that journey if they were actually inclinded to try it.

Maybe I should have emphasized the reasoning.  Every person is different and has a different following and background.  Therefore, different reasons for not believing.  Some may be as simple as, I learned something and made me realize that God can't be real or as complicated as something dramatic happening that sent their world in a spin, through trials in life they came to believe that God wasn't there for them therefore couldn't be real. 

It's individual.  Not one thing is going to work for everyone and not everyone will have one thing that will work for them.  It would need to be a personal journey.  I can help you better understand what approach to take.  It is my belief that there was possibly some dispensationalism involved or maybe a personal trial. 


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jcgadfly wrote:You mean they

jcgadfly wrote:

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 doubt it, though if you've got the evidence...

what made up definitons would you be referring to?


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caposkia wrote:HisWillness

caposkia wrote:

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.

1. If "yom" means "an indeterminate period of time" why divide it into evening and morning?

2. Well, you could simply show somwone a duck-billed platypus as they actually exist.

3. Doesn't something have to be observable before the SM can be applied?

4.Strange how your God can only be observed by those who have been thoroughly indoctrinated in the belief in him, is it not?

5. Allah and Yahweh are the same God? Then how can Christians claim that Jews and Muslims are going to hell? Oh, never mind, they don't buy into the demigod that was created later - my bad. Oh and the people believed that they were acting under direct orders from their God.

6. Yep - forget all that biochemistry claptrap - You say memories don't exist so it must be so.

7. For your sake, I hope there's much more than the Bible - it hasn't been helping you.

8. I'm reasonably sure his reason for believeing in leprechauns (if he did) would come down to your reason for believing in God. It makes you feel good and you've chosen to look at those things that back up your belief system as proof.

"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


jcgadfly
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caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

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 doubt it, though if you've got the evidence...

what made up definitons would you be referring to?

I have more evidence for that conclusion that you have for yours. See, I have my belief and your posts. All you have is your belief.

Get snarky with friends of mine - don't expect me to throw a bouquet in your direction.

"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


BobSpence
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caposkia wrote:BobSpence1

caposkia wrote:

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. 

Final comment - the common statement about the wind is "Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there" not what you said. Which makes more sense as a metaphorical statement involving the wind.

Whereas what you said could apply to virtually anything below the threshold of the senses.

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.

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

OK:

Quote:

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 found one article that sounds like it refers to that study, or something very similar. The increase occurred in the part of the brain concerned with "the control and regulation of attention". Since controlling their attention was precisely what they were aiming to do, this is exactly what neuroscience would predict.

In a sub-group of very experienced practitioners, after a brief increase in activity in that center, it settled back close to baseline levels, which is consistent with the effect of extensive mental training, leading to it requiring much less effort to maintain the state once achieved.

Nothing about this is evidence for a non-physical aspect of spirituality. And it also confirms that you tend not to read or report these accounts accurately or comprehensively enough, rather you pick up on the fragments which seem to support your expectation. This is the very common way we (unconsciously) respond to such things, unless we make a specific effort to guard against such selective reading.

There is not enough information available about the wild-fires example to be remotely conclusive, as discussed before. Would you be confident that they were the only people who prayed in a comparable level of fervour under such conditions - seems extremely unlikely. That would have resulted in many similar 'miraculous' escapes, which I assume was not the case, otherwise that would have been even more prominently reported than this one case. Which makes it much more likely to be a local, natural effect, which certainly is possible. Bearing in mind the high percentage of believers in the population, even in California, every burnt house is likely to be counter evidence.

You will have to far better than this to start to build a case...

Quote:

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.

Even if such a scenario resulted in 'converting', this would 'prove' nothing more than what we already know, that religious 'memes' have naturally evolved to engage our innate propensities to seek comfort and rationalize things in ways that address our anxieties. Even dramatic changes of behaviour prove nothing here. Which is why we really need something effecting a natural phenomenon, ie something which is not vulnerable to the power of suggestion, etc, IOW something that doesn't have a mind capable of understanding religion...

Quote:

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.   

Still waiting for something that counts as evidence.... the inability of his friends and aquaintances to understand is perfectly normal. People express similar astonishment at far less dramatic changes in their friends, simply because they don't have as much real insight into the workings of the human mind, and the variations from one to another, as simple introspection and those 'mirror' neurons lead us to assume we have.

If these things are representative of the best you can offer, then you have nothing new.

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

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

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

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


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caposkia wrote: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?

Yes, sadly, I have a better comprehension of how just how limited and shallow you are in your insight and understanding, how the commitment to your belief warps your judgement and clouds your reasoning. Obviously, by definition, you will not be conscious of this yourself. A glaring example of how the power and respect the Religious/Faith that the meme has acquired allows a person to justify the most glaring lapses of logic. Getting this from analogy from other people is exactly how such superficially attractive but logically empty phrases become wide-spread.

Your inability to comprehend my arguments here is consistent with the blindness you show, the inability to grasp what I (and others here) are getting at, in so many other responses. Its just that this particular 'analogy' shows the fundamental shallowness of your position so well from a rational/logical perspective, as distinct prom the  emotional side, which may well be quite complex. It also makes the logic fallacies clearer, without the distraction of religious or even direct supernatural allusions.

I hold out little hope for you to come to comprehend this.

You argue that it is I how doesn't get it, and I accept that is honestly how you perceive it, but in so many cases the failure in logic is just so glaring on your part, that it can be shown objectively that you are the one whose position is weakest. I have tried to allow for mis-communication, less than ideal expression of what you are trying to get across, but when I try to clarify what could be such a case, you rarely concede this as even a possibility.

"Just because you can't feel God, doesn't mean he isn't there", but it does suggest that 'He' is a far smaller and less consequential entity than commonly suggested, of no more significance that the tiniest puff of air movement caused when I slowly raise my finger...

So maybe you are more accurate than I thought

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

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

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

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


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some brainstorming

I'll put this up, then I'll go back and respond to individual posts. 

I've been doing a lot of thinking and brainstorming on the questions and information requested and presented.  I'm going to try to further those ideas.

First.  Jcgadfly asked me something a while back. "What is it?" refering to the non-physical or spiritual. 

Thinking hard on how to explain that to you in words, I've come to one way I've heard the attempt.  This is not my defense or solution to all our problems, this is just an attempt to better answer your question or further the possibility of answering it.

The best word I can come up with for what is the non-physical is "Energy".  yea, I know this word is refering to a physical form be it that energy that we know has its physical properties, but remember i explained that we don't have descriptive words that describe anything that's not physical.  Even the non-physical "emotion and memory" has its physical explanations of what it is. 

Does Energy bring any more questions to your mind or possibility of furthering your questioning on what it is?  If not, then I'll keep thinking, just let me know. 

 

#2.  It seems it always comes back to how I can explain to you the spiritual world or God as if any verbal explanation is going to be enough to convince you that I'm right and you're wrong. 

I'm just going to put this out there and see if you can help me explain things through it.  This again is not my defense or a solution to all our problems, this is just another approach to see if we can figure out how to better clarify the questions that are difficult to clarify. 

What ball lightning?  I figure most on here would agree that Ball Lightning does in fact happen, but here's my approach.

I've never seen ball lightning, and like you with the Christians, I've only heard accounts of people experiencing it.  I think there's even less documentation of ball lightning than that of God. 

Can you show me evidence or explain to me why I should believe that Ball Lightning actually happens? 

 

It seems to me that the explanation of Ball Lightning and the explanation of the spiritual world may coenside or hold similar grounds.  I could be wrong.  It's just another approach. I see it as, any explanation you present to me must be an explanation you'd accept yourself.  Therefore, I may try to use it to further our conversations and better understand what might work for you. 


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jcgadfly wrote:1. If "yom"

jcgadfly wrote:

1. If "yom" means "an indeterminate period of time" why divide it into evening and morning?

it has been a while since I've looked it up, but I remember the separation of morning and evening and the reference of the creation "days" were 2 different words.  I just breifly looked them up in the Greek and the Greek uses different words for each.

The other understanding is that a day to God is not the same as a day to us.  There is an explanation somewhere in scripture saying that.  I don't remember where.

jcgadfly wrote:

2. Well, you could simply show somwone a duck-billed platypus as they actually exist.

I don't have one on hand.  With the technology today, someone could easily say I doctored the picture up.  Remember the duck gator thing?

jcgadfly wrote:

3. Doesn't something have to be observable before the SM can be applied?

SM is simply a process of conclusion.  It does have to be observable, but that doesn't necessarily mean visually. 

jcgadfly wrote:

4.Strange how your God can only be observed by those who have been thoroughly indoctrinated in the belief in him, is it not?

You mean through churches?  What's my explanation then?  Granted I grew up in the catholic church, but if you remember I had discovered that they were not teaching according to scripture and therefore stopped believing in their ways.

jcgadfly wrote:

5. Allah and Yahweh are the same God? Then how can Christians claim that Jews and Muslims are going to hell? Oh, never mind, they don't buy into the demigod that was created later - my bad. Oh and the people believed that they were acting under direct orders from their God.

I don't actually believe it's our right to say they're going to hell.  We understand it as we are saved through Christ.  Therefore, anyone who doesn't accept the gift that Christ has given them would be under God's judgement not ours. 

Just so no one can say that I"m saying do it my way or go to hell, there are many Christ following Jews and Muslims.  Therefore that statement that they're going to hell actually goes against the teachings of the Bible. 

jcgadfly wrote:

6. Yep - forget all that biochemistry claptrap - You say memories don't exist so it must be so.

is that what you believe I"m saying?  Is that what you believe?

physical explanation to something that's not physical.  You cannot see, hear, touch, taste, smell memories, therefore, according to your definiton and others on here, they must not exist.

though.... we know they happen because we have them.  We can observe the process of memory storage... therefore...

eh... naw, they don't exist...

jcgadfly wrote:

7. For your sake, I hope there's much more than the Bible - it hasn't been helping you.

I thought that had been clarified way back at the beginning of this forum...  The Bible is something that others have been asking questions about, therefore I've been answering the questions as best i can.  I think you know the answer to your own statement

jcgadfly wrote:

8. I'm reasonably sure his reason for believeing in leprechauns (if he did) would come down to your reason for believing in God. It makes you feel good and you've chosen to look at those things that back up your belief system as proof.

if it really comes down to "feeling good" then explain the martyrs.   I've never been tortured for God's name, but I'm assuming it doesn't feel very good.  If that's all it was really about, why not just deny God when confronted with such opposition?


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jcgadfly wrote:I have more

jcgadfly wrote:

I have more evidence for that conclusion that you have for yours. See, I have my belief and your posts. All you have is your belief.

Get snarky with friends of mine - don't expect me to throw a bouquet in your direction.

Huh?  I asked you to present evidence, nothing more than you've asked me.   Then I asked you a simple question of reference.  What's wrong with that?


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BobSpence1 wrote:Final

BobSpence1 wrote:

Final comment - the common statement about the wind is "Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there" not what you said. Which makes more sense as a metaphorical statement involving the wind.

Whereas what you said could apply to virtually anything below the threshold of the senses.

by george I think he's got it!!!

BobSpence1 wrote:

I found one article that sounds like it refers to that study, or something very similar. The increase occurred in the part of the brain concerned with "the control and regulation of attention". Since controlling their attention was precisely what they were aiming to do, this is exactly what neuroscience would predict.

In a sub-group of very experienced practitioners, after a brief increase in activity in that center, it settled back close to baseline levels, which is consistent with the effect of extensive mental training, leading to it requiring much less effort to maintain the state once achieved.

Nothing about this is evidence for a non-physical aspect of spirituality. And it also confirms that you tend not to read or report these accounts accurately or comprehensively enough, rather you pick up on the fragments which seem to support your expectation. This is the very common way we (unconsciously) respond to such things, unless we make a specific effort to guard against such selective reading.

There is not enough information available about the wild-fires example to be remotely conclusive, as discussed before. Would you be confident that they were the only people who prayed in a comparable level of fervour under such conditions - seems extremely unlikely. That would have resulted in many similar 'miraculous' escapes, which I assume was not the case, otherwise that would have been even more prominently reported than this one case. Which makes it much more likely to be a local, natural effect, which certainly is possible. Bearing in mind the high percentage of believers in the population, even in California, every burnt house is likely to be counter evidence.

You will have to far better than this to start to build a case...

The simple point was that physical observations are not going to proove the spiritual.  I think you further clarified my point above.  I'm trying to get people off the need for "physical" evidence and possibly try some SM.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Even if such a scenario resulted in 'converting', this would 'prove' nothing more than what we already know, that religious 'memes' have naturally evolved to engage our innate propensities to seek comfort and rationalize things in ways that address our anxieties. Even dramatic changes of behaviour prove nothing here. Which is why we really need something effecting a natural phenomenon, ie something which is not vulnerable to the power of suggestion, etc, IOW something that doesn't have a mind capable of understanding religion...

present the idea and we'll try and work with it.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Still waiting for something that counts as evidence.... the inability of his friends and aquaintances to understand is perfectly normal. People express similar astonishment at far less dramatic changes in their friends, simply because they don't have as much real insight into the workings of the human mind, and the variations from one to another, as simple introspection and those 'mirror' neurons lead us to assume we have.

If these things are representative of the best you can offer, then you have nothing new.

ok, I'll take a different approach with that then.

What is your explanation of an extremely violent individual, being so for over 20 years just suddenly and randomly completely changing his ways and becoming 'non-violent' and threatening to someone who is probably one of the most loving personalities you'd ever meet. 

I'm considering the idea of your explanation further clarifying to me what would work for you as far as an explanation of my following goes.


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BobSpence1 wrote:Yes, sadly,

BobSpence1 wrote:

Yes, sadly, I have a better comprehension of how just how limited and shallow you are in your insight and understanding, how the commitment to your belief warps your judgement and clouds your reasoning. Obviously, by definition, you will not be conscious of this yourself. A glaring example of how the power and respect the Religious/Faith that the meme has acquired allows a person to justify the most glaring lapses of logic. Getting this from analogy from other people is exactly how such superficially attractive but logically empty phrases become wide-spread.

It's strange you conclude that be it that there was no "religious organization" that formed the beleifs I now hold.  How do you explain my understanding?  and don't give me that fuzzy feeling crap because that's not it.  (just sarcasm not anger)

BobSpence1 wrote:

Your inability to comprehend my arguments here is consistent with the blindness you show, the inability to grasp what I (and others here) are getting at, in so many other responses. Its just that this particular 'analogy' shows the fundamental shallowness of your position so well from a rational/logical perspective, as distinct prom the  emotional side, which may well be quite complex. It also makes the logic fallacies clearer, without the distraction of religious or even direct supernatural allusions.

I understand your arguements.  instead of dwelling on something that obviously wouldn't work for you, I try different approaches. 

It seems clear to me that you're not looking for God, you're just here trying to prove to me that my following is wrong.  Im' here trying to conclude either way, but at least looking for common ground. 

I'm asking you to challenge what I know, so far all you've given me is, "I don't see that as evidence".  All that tells me is, that idea is not going to work for you at this point.

There are people on this site that have come to a mutual agreement with me that our conversation cannot progress simply because they were unable to look beyond the physical or some other aspect that was needed to better understand my following. 

They never concluded that I was wrong.  I never concluded that they were wrong.  They would admit they were stuck on an idea and had trouble getting past it, therefore we were unable to continue.  Are you at this point?  Or do you have something specific that you're actually looking for that might be relevent to the research of the spiritual world. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

I hold out little hope for you to come to comprehend this.

You argue that it is I how doesn't get it, and I accept that is honestly how you perceive it, but in so many cases the failure in logic is just so glaring on your part, that it can be shown objectively that you are the one whose position is weakest. I have tried to allow for mis-communication, less than ideal expression of what you are trying to get across, but when I try to clarify what could be such a case, you rarely concede this as even a possibility.

"Just because you can't feel God, doesn't mean he isn't there", but it does suggest that 'He' is a far smaller and less consequential entity than commonly suggested, of no more significance that the tiniest puff of air movement caused when I slowly raise my finger...

So maybe you are more accurate than I thought

You may be surprised at how well I understand where you're coming from.  I've been there.  All the questions you've all asked me, I've asked before myself.  The difference is, I was willing to use a process to come to a conclusion and would not accept just an explanation of what to believe. 

It seems to me that you're still looking for that explanation of what to believe.  Is that the case?  This of course assuming that you're not just here to prove my following wrong. 


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to be continuous

Just to keep with the flow of what this forum was intended to be.  I'll present one more idea.

just an idea, but what about taking into consideration the personality and behavior of a larger group of people, say a group of true followers (not of churchianity) vs. a group (any group) outside that following..  Just another idea for a possible "tangeble" evidence. 

acceptable?


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caposkia wrote:Just to keep

caposkia wrote:

Just to keep with the flow of what this forum was intended to be.  I'll present one more idea.

just an idea, but what about taking into consideration the personality and behavior of a larger group of people, say a group of true followers (not of churchianity) vs. a group (any group) outside that following..  Just another idea for a possible "tangeble" evidence. 

acceptable?

It seems there'd be a huge selection bias there, as you'd be able to say that "true followers" must exhibit trait A, where A is what you're trying to prove.

That'd be my concern.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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caposkia wrote:I'll put this

caposkia wrote:

I'll put this up, then I'll go back and respond to individual posts. 

I've been doing a lot of thinking and brainstorming on the questions and information requested and presented.  I'm going to try to further those ideas.

First.  Jcgadfly asked me something a while back. "What is it?" refering to the non-physical or spiritual. 

Thinking hard on how to explain that to you in words, I've come to one way I've heard the attempt.  This is not my defense or solution to all our problems, this is just an attempt to better answer your question or further the possibility of answering it.

The best word I can come up with for what is the non-physical is "Energy".  yea, I know this word is refering to a physical form be it that energy that we know has its physical properties, but remember i explained that we don't have descriptive words that describe anything that's not physical.  Even the non-physical "emotion and memory" has its physical explanations of what it is. 

Does Energy bring any more questions to your mind or possibility of furthering your questioning on what it is?  If not, then I'll keep thinking, just let me know. 

 

#2.  It seems it always comes back to how I can explain to you the spiritual world or God as if any verbal explanation is going to be enough to convince you that I'm right and you're wrong. 

I'm just going to put this out there and see if you can help me explain things through it.  This again is not my defense or a solution to all our problems, this is just another approach to see if we can figure out how to better clarify the questions that are difficult to clarify. 

What ball lightning?  I figure most on here would agree that Ball Lightning does in fact happen, but here's my approach.

I've never seen ball lightning, and like you with the Christians, I've only heard accounts of people experiencing it.  I think there's even less documentation of ball lightning than that of God. 

Can you show me evidence or explain to me why I should believe that Ball Lightning actually happens? 

 

It seems to me that the explanation of Ball Lightning and the explanation of the spiritual world may coenside or hold similar grounds.  I could be wrong.  It's just another approach. I see it as, any explanation you present to me must be an explanation you'd accept yourself.  Therefore, I may try to use it to further our conversations and better understand what might work for you. 

So your God is energy?

Why did the writers need to anthropormorphize it?

The explanation might be similarly grounded except that I don't have to belong to the Church of Ball Lightning or wholly believe in the book that was written by people who claimed to be inspired by ball lightning in order to see 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


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caposkia wrote:BobSpence1

caposkia wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Yes, sadly, I have a better comprehension of how just how limited and shallow you are in your insight and understanding, how the commitment to your belief warps your judgement and clouds your reasoning. Obviously, by definition, you will not be conscious of this yourself. A glaring example of how the power and respect the Religious/Faith that the meme has acquired allows a person to justify the most glaring lapses of logic. Getting this from analogy from other people is exactly how such superficially attractive but logically empty phrases become wide-spread.

It's strange you conclude that be it that there was no "religious organization" that formed the beleifs I now hold.  How do you explain my understanding?  and don't give me that fuzzy feeling crap because that's not it.  (just sarcasm not anger)

Where did I say anything about concluding anything of the sort - that first sentence does not seem to relate to anything I said. I certainly never referred to "religious organization" - a search on this page shows that you were the last person to use that phrase.

I can't "explain [your] understanding" as such, but nothing that you have recounted is outside the range of normal human thought. Again, I'm not quite sure what you mean here.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Your inability to comprehend my arguments here is consistent with the blindness you show, the inability to grasp what I (and others here) are getting at, in so many other responses. Its just that this particular 'analogy' shows the fundamental shallowness of your position so well from a rational/logical perspective, as distinct prom the  emotional side, which may well be quite complex. It also makes the logic fallacies clearer, without the distraction of religious or even direct supernatural allusions.

I understand your arguements.  instead of dwelling on something that obviously wouldn't work for you, I try different approaches. 

It seems clear to me that you're not looking for God, you're just here trying to prove to me that my following is wrong.  Im' here trying to conclude either way, but at least looking for common ground. 

I'm asking you to challenge what I know, so far all you've given me is, "I don't see that as evidence".  All that tells me is, that idea is not going to work for you at this point.

There are people on this site that have come to a mutual agreement with me that our conversation cannot progress simply because they were unable to look beyond the physical or some other aspect that was needed to better understand my following. 

They never concluded that I was wrong.  I never concluded that they were wrong.  They would admit they were stuck on an idea and had trouble getting past it, therefore we were unable to continue.  Are you at this point?  Or do you have something specific that you're actually looking for that might be relevent to the research of the spiritual world. 

Based on what you have presented so far, you have nothing in your examples of some sort of 'physical' manifestation (the fire and the scans of the meditating brains) that really points to anything beyond the natural (I prefer this to the 'physical' which at least implies a more reductionist position than I actually hold).

The example of personal testimony and changes of personality and behaviour you recount also do not point to anything beyond our current understanding of psychology.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

I hold out little hope for you to come to comprehend this.

You argue that it is I how doesn't get it, and I accept that is honestly how you perceive it, but in so many cases the failure in logic is just so glaring on your part, that it can be shown objectively that you are the one whose position is weakest. I have tried to allow for mis-communication, less than ideal expression of what you are trying to get across, but when I try to clarify what could be such a case, you rarely concede this as even a possibility.

"Just because you can't feel God, doesn't mean he isn't there", but it does suggest that 'He' is a far smaller and less consequential entity than commonly suggested, of no more significance that the tiniest puff of air movement caused when I slowly raise my finger...

So maybe you are more accurate than I thought

You may be surprised at how well I understand where you're coming from.  I've been there.  All the questions you've all asked me, I've asked before myself.  The difference is, I was willing to use a process to come to a conclusion and would not accept just an explanation of what to believe. 

It seems to me that you're still looking for that explanation of what to believe.  Is that the case?  This of course assuming that you're not just here to prove my following wrong. 

No I am looking for your explanation of what you believe. That comment reveals how little you actually understand where I'm 'coming from'. I definitely did not just "accept an explanation of what to believe" - I am more concerned about justifications for accepting any particular belief or set of beliefs. It is about the apparently very different process you employed from the one I use.

It does look like we aren't going to make any more progress here.

And if you actually believe in the literal truth of Genesis, I don't have to prove that at least some of your beliefs are wrong, that has already been established way beyond reasonable doubt.

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

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

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caposkia wrote:Nowhere in

caposkia wrote:

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. 

I'm sorry, it's just not relevant. My point was obviously poorly worded. The Bible provides no way to determine the age of the earth, does it? No, it doesn't. It takes science for that. Science has to discover all sorts of things about the radioactive decay of various elements, and then we can date the earth. It doesn't matter if the Bible matches that in the vaguest possible way ("seven periods of time" doesn't help anybody), because no matter what age was found, you'd say, "right, that's seven periods of time".

caposkia wrote:
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?

Sure, without evidence I'd think you were having me on. But there are plenty of pictures, eggs, bones, fossils, and even living specimens. Not so with God.

caposkia wrote:
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.

It can be used with anything measurable, yes.

caposkia wrote:
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.

There are many people who have had an acid trip and have seen lots of things. Even people with a mild fever can hallucinate. People really, really want to believe in magic, so sometimes they do. It's called "confirmation bias", and it's a well-known human behaviour.

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

I'm going to take a wild guess that he didn't barge in while you were having dinner and talked to you.

caposkia wrote:
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?

Yes, it's a story to me. Whether the story is true or not is as debatable as any ancient history.

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

Physical presence. I understand that God will never have physical presence, but that's another reason for the unlikeliness of gods in general (not just God).

caposkia wrote:
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.

Right. But God did change, which was my point. God is not immutable. Or is it your opinion that God's plan is fixed, and He had this planned the whole time?

caposkia wrote:
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.

And when Jesus suggests plucking out your own eye, do you not take that as a kind of an "expression", and not a literal command? It's not even good advice! (i.e. If you're having trouble keeping the rules of the Old Testament, then beat yourself up about it.)

caposkia wrote:
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.

Well, you accept that you don't have to actually pluck your eye out, so it looks like there's some lee-way for everyone, wouldn't you think? Your right eye has probably offended you, and yet it probably remains in your head. Either you're being disobedient to Christ, or you're just sensible enough to know not to take that as a literal message. Now what else in holy books could we decide to not take literally?

caposkia wrote:
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.

So your idea of God is more of an invisible creature that does not interfere in the lives of people? And will never interfere? How is God even relevant then? Oh, the after-life, right?

caposkia wrote:
therefore memories do not exist.

In the absence of electrical impulses through your brain, memories do not exist. In the event of damage to the frontal lobes, memories may be permanently erased. That's still physical.

caposkia wrote:
I've been saying there's much more than the Bible. I still want to stick on the first topic just to clarify what i believe and what you understand to be true.

What I believe is easy: testable things are real. We often have difficult metaphysical discussions with people who visit here, because they're not aware that metaphysics (as NigelTheBold will often remind us) requires an epistemology. Science is the most wonderful direction towards an epistemology ever created by man, so if we're going to ask ourselves what "real" is, and get heavy about it, then to a scientific mind, it's an easy answer: testable things are real.

caposkia wrote:
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.

Well that's my point. I would have more than just stories. I would probably have some evidence, math, or a testable hypothesis. I know of this creature called a Platypus, and it's funny-lookin', and ... wait, you don't have to take my word for it, there are tons of pictures that other people have taken, and physical specimens in zoos, and skeletons in museums, etc, etc.

I do want you to believe what is true. I don't know anything about ultimate-super-complete-absolute Truth, but I can do better than subjective experience.

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caposkia wrote:just an idea,

caposkia wrote:

just an idea, but what about taking into consideration the personality and behavior of a larger group of people, say a group of true followers (not of churchianity) vs. a group (any group) outside that following..  Just another idea for a possible "tangeble" evidence. 

No. Consensus really isn't what tangible evidence is about. Physical evidence is really important to the scientific method. That can be something intangible, too, like magnetic fields. But magnetic fields are still measurable. 

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How about an appeal to

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Love...

I love all of you on here.  I love reading all the different thoughts people have on here.  It makes me proud that we live in a country where we can openly discuss our different thoughts and ideas.

That being said... Love is an emotion, with MRI's and brain scanning and what not, we have proof that different chemicals in our brains spell out love.  But how is it possible to explain love?  How is possible to tell someone who has never been in love what it feels like?  Would you say, "It's when the oxytocin, vasopressin, testosterone, estrogen, etc. flood your nervous system."  Probably not.  It would be like me asking anyone on here to tell a blind person, who has never seen in their life, what the color blue looks like.  Just because the blind person can't see blue, does that mean it doesn't exist...?  In their world it essentially doesn't exist because it has no bearing on their life.  It doesn't matter to them.  It's all about our perceptions.  So really to an atheist, what does it matter if God exists or not, it has no bearing on their personal lives?  (I admit we live in a Christianity based society, i.e. our form of morals and universal truths about how we treat others and such, our Constitution, Bill of Rights and amendments and such, which are based on Christian ideals... does have an influence.  I can admit to that, but it seems that these truths and morals, atheists tend to live by.)  Why try and denounce something that has no bearing on your own personal life?  Why try and prove other people wrong who do believe?  Why waste the time if it doesn't matter and we just die in the end?  I was attracted to this website because of a banner that said "Believe in God?  We can fix that?".  I laughed.  Why in this world would you chose to waste your time as such?  If life really is so short, and after we die, it's just over... why waste your time trying to get others to turn away from their illogical, unintelligent, and supposedly jaded thinking?  Wouldn't you rather be exploring and researching and seeing what makes this world go, if not from some divine creator's love?  The whole thought of atheists trying to denounce Christians is so illogical.  Why?  Life is too short.

Now prove that I don't love each of you... you can't.  Our experience, our life, is based completely upon our own perceptions.  So where does this go, if there were beyond a doubt any scientific research and/or evidence that supported a creator, this forum and this website would not be needed.  This forum was created in order to find someone who would put themselves on the line with scientific evidence that would be shot down anyways because it would not be deemed good enough or sufficient enough. 

Scientific proof:  If love is proven to exist... and God is love... He exists.  (You can say that I'm making irrational conclusions that are not really related to each other.  That is your perception.  But what have we already proven; it's all based on our own perceptions.  And yes, this is a "fuzzy" feeling.  Just as love is...)

The Atheist Conversation

Atheist:  Why do you believe in God?

Me:  Cause I can feel His love.

Atheist:  Prove it.

Me:  Do you love your mother?

Atheist:  Yes.

Me:  Prove it.

 


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djsaunde wrote:I love all of

djsaunde wrote:

I love all of you on here.  I love reading all the different thoughts people have on here.  It makes me proud that we live in a country where we can openly discuss our different thoughts and ideas.

That being said... Love is an emotion, with MRI's and brain scanning and what not, we have proof that different chemicals in our brains spell out love.  But how is it possible to explain love?  How is possible to tell someone who has never been in love what it feels like?  Would you say, "It's when the oxytocin, vasopressin, testosterone, estrogen, etc. flood your nervous system."  Probably not.  It would be like me asking anyone on here to tell a blind person, who has never seen in their life, what the color blue looks like.  Just because the blind person can't see blue, does that mean it doesn't exist...?  In their world it essentially doesn't exist because it has no bearing on their life.  It doesn't matter to them.  It's all about our perceptions.  So really to an atheist, what does it matter if God exists or not, it has no bearing on their personal lives?  (I admit we live in a Christianity based society, i.e. our form of morals and universal truths about how we treat others and such, our Constitution, Bill of Rights and amendments and such, which are based on Christian ideals... does have an influence.  I can admit to that, but it seems that these truths and morals, atheists tend to live by.)  Why try and denounce something that has no bearing on your own personal life?  Why try and prove other people wrong who do believe?  Why waste the time if it doesn't matter and we just die in the end?  I was attracted to this website because of a banner that said "Believe in God?  We can fix that?".  I laughed.  Why in this world would you chose to waste your time as such?  If life really is so short, and after we die, it's just over... why waste your time trying to get others to turn away from their illogical, unintelligent, and supposedly jaded thinking?  Wouldn't you rather be exploring and researching and seeing what makes this world go, if not from some divine creator's love?  The whole thought of atheists trying to denounce Christians is so illogical.  Why?  Life is too short.

Now prove that I don't love each of you... you can't.  Our experience, our life, is based completely upon our own perceptions.  So where does this go, if there were beyond a doubt any scientific research and/or evidence that supported a creator, this forum and this website would not be needed.  This forum was created in order to find someone who would put themselves on the line with scientific evidence that would be shot down anyways because it would not be deemed good enough or sufficient enough. 

Scientific proof:  If love is proven to exist... and God is love... He exists.  (You can say that I'm making irrational conclusions that are not really related to each other.  That is your perception.  But what have we already proven; it's all based on our own perceptions.  And yes, this is a "fuzzy" feeling.  Just as love is...)

The Atheist Conversation

Atheist:  Why do you believe in God?

Me:  Cause I can feel His love.

Atheist:  Prove it.

Me:  Do you love your mother?

Atheist:  Yes.

Me:  Prove it.

 

 

Damn, this is where we need Matt and his cat


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djsaunde wrote:I love all of

djsaunde wrote:

I love all of you on here.  I love reading all the different thoughts people have on here.  It makes me proud that we live in a country where we can openly discuss our different thoughts and ideas.

That being said... Love is an emotion, with MRI's and brain scanning and what not, we have proof that different chemicals in our brains spell out love.  But how is it possible to explain love?  How is possible to tell someone who has never been in love what it feels like?  Would you say, "It's when the oxytocin, vasopressin, testosterone, estrogen, etc. flood your nervous system."  Probably not.  It would be like me asking anyone on here to tell a blind person, who has never seen in their life, what the color blue looks like.  Just because the blind person can't see blue, does that mean it doesn't exist...?  In their world it essentially doesn't exist because it has no bearing on their life.  It doesn't matter to them.  It's all about our perceptions.  So really to an atheist, what does it matter if God exists or not, it has no bearing on their personal lives?  (I admit we live in a Christianity based society, i.e. our form of morals and universal truths about how we treat others and such, our Constitution, Bill of Rights and amendments and such, which are based on Christian ideals... does have an influence.  I can admit to that, but it seems that these truths and morals, atheists tend to live by.)  Why try and denounce something that has no bearing on your own personal life?  Why try and prove other people wrong who do believe?  Why waste the time if it doesn't matter and we just die in the end?  I was attracted to this website because of a banner that said "Believe in God?  We can fix that?".  I laughed.  Why in this world would you chose to waste your time as such?  If life really is so short, and after we die, it's just over... why waste your time trying to get others to turn away from their illogical, unintelligent, and supposedly jaded thinking?  Wouldn't you rather be exploring and researching and seeing what makes this world go, if not from some divine creator's love?  The whole thought of atheists trying to denounce Christians is so illogical.  Why?  Life is too short.

Now prove that I don't love each of you... you can't.  Our experience, our life, is based completely upon our own perceptions.  So where does this go, if there were beyond a doubt any scientific research and/or evidence that supported a creator, this forum and this website would not be needed.  This forum was created in order to find someone who would put themselves on the line with scientific evidence that would be shot down anyways because it would not be deemed good enough or sufficient enough. 

Scientific proof:  If love is proven to exist... and God is love... He exists.  (You can say that I'm making irrational conclusions that are not really related to each other.  That is your perception.  But what have we already proven; it's all based on our own perceptions.  And yes, this is a "fuzzy" feeling.  Just as love is...)

The Atheist Conversation

Atheist:  Why do you believe in God?

Me:  Cause I can feel His love.

Atheist:  Prove it.

Me:  Do you love your mother?

Atheist:  Yes.

Me:  Prove it.

 

Me (as the atheist): We do benefical, observable things for each other. What has God done for you that we can all see?

"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


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djsaunde wrote:That being

djsaunde wrote:

That being said... Love is an emotion, with MRI's and brain scanning and what not, we have proof that different chemicals in our brains spell out love.  But how is it possible to explain love?  How is possible to tell someone who has never been in love what it feels like?  Would you say, "It's when the oxytocin, vasopressin, testosterone, estrogen, etc. flood your nervous system."  Probably not.

I think you've missed the point, and in the most flamboyant way possible. If I were trying to explain to someone what it felt like to experience the joy of God's heavenly love, I could explain it in feelings. But if I wanted to describe to them what was actually happening, I could use the chemical names. We're discussing the issue of what's actually happening. "Is God real?" is a factual question. Do you believe that feelings confirm truth? Probably not.

djsaunde wrote:
So really to an atheist, what does it matter if God exists or not, it has no bearing on their personal lives?  (I admit we live in a Christianity based society, i.e. our form of morals and universal truths about how we treat others and such, our Constitution, Bill of Rights and amendments and such, which are based on Christian ideals... does have an influence.

Just answered your own question. Well done.

djsaunde wrote:
Why try and prove other people wrong who do believe?

Don't you care if what you believe is true?

djsaunde wrote:
Why waste the time if it doesn't matter and we just die in the end?

Because before we die, we live.

djsaunde wrote:
Wouldn't you rather be exploring and researching and seeing what makes this world go, if not from some divine creator's love?  The whole thought of atheists trying to denounce Christians is so illogical.

Skiing is illogical, by that frame of reference. You go up the hill just to go down it. Why? What's the point? Actually, there is a point: the people who run our lives are very influenced by nonsense. It has a real impact on all of our lives. Stamping out that kind of thinking will have a positive effect (in the views of many on this site).

djsaunde wrote:
Now prove that I don't love each of you... you can't.

You're right! I can't! Wait, what was your point?

Okay, you're missing out on some science, and I blame your educational system for that, not you. You can obviously form strong sentences, so intelligence isn't a problem. You may want to check out the basics of the scientific method and how it's all carried out. Particularly the "double blind" part of it that removes bias. It's a very handy process for determining what is fact, and what is fantasy.

djsaunde wrote:
Scientific proof:  If love is proven to exist... and God is love... He exists.  (You can say that I'm making irrational conclusions that are not really related to each other.  That is your perception.  But what have we already proven; it's all based on our own perceptions.  And yes, this is a "fuzzy" feeling.  Just as love is...)

But that says nothing of truth. If I can make statements like that and just assume they are true, then ... I am God, and you are made of Spam. I'm sure you see the problem with that. If everybody's perception is equal, then there's no reason to put people in insane asylums. But there is a compelling reason to put people in insane asylums: their personal perception is wrong.

Let's try your Atheist Conversation again:

Atheist:  Why do you believe in God?

You:  Cause I can feel His love.

Atheist:  Don't you want to know if God is really there, and not just a comforting figment of your imagination?

You: Not important. Busy feeling His love.

Atheist: Okay. Do me a favour, though: don't go into politics. I like my life, and I don't want you to throw it away just to hasten The Rapture.

 

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


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djsaunde wrote:I love all of

djsaunde wrote:

I love all of you on here.  I love reading all the different thoughts people have on here.  It makes me proud that we live in a country where we can openly discuss our different thoughts and ideas.

That being said... Love is an emotion, with MRI's and brain scanning and what not, we have proof that different chemicals in our brains spell out love.  But how is it possible to explain love?  How is possible to tell someone who has never been in love what it feels like?  Would you say, "It's when the oxytocin, vasopressin, testosterone, estrogen, etc. flood your nervous system."  Probably not.  It would be like me asking anyone on here to tell a blind person, who has never seen in their life, what the color blue looks like.  Just because the blind person can't see blue, does that mean it doesn't exist...?  In their world it essentially doesn't exist because it has no bearing on their life.  It doesn't matter to them.  It's all about our perceptions.  So really to an atheist, what does it matter if God exists or not, it has no bearing on their personal lives?  (I admit we live in a Christianity based society, i.e. our form of morals and universal truths about how we treat others and such, our Constitution, Bill of Rights and amendments and such, which are based on Christian ideals... does have an influence.  I can admit to that, but it seems that these truths and morals, atheists tend to live by.)  Why try and denounce something that has no bearing on your own personal life?  Why try and prove other people wrong who do believe?  Why waste the time if it doesn't matter and we just die in the end?

Religious people, true believers in god, interfere in my life every day. There are states that bar me from holding public office. Even more states disallow me from marrying the person I love.

One aspect of the problem shows up in what you just wrote: Saying that the US is based on Christian ideals is grotesquely incorrect. That view is used to push christian ideals down the throats of people who are not christian. Please read other threads on this forum: This has been discussed to death.

djsaunde wrote:
  I was attracted to this website because of a banner that said "Believe in God?  We can fix that?".  I laughed.  Why in this world would you chose to waste your time as such?  If life really is so short, and after we die, it's just over... why waste your time trying to get others to turn away from their illogical, unintelligent, and supposedly jaded thinking?  Wouldn't you rather be exploring and researching and seeing what makes this world go, if not from some divine creator's love?  The whole thought of atheists trying to denounce Christians is so illogical.  Why?  Life is too short.

Now prove that I don't love each of you... you can't.  Our experience, our life, is based completely upon our own perceptions.  So where does this go, if there were beyond a doubt any scientific research and/or evidence that supported a creator, this forum and this website would not be needed.  This forum was created in order to find someone who would put themselves on the line with scientific evidence that would be shot down anyways because it would not be deemed good enough or sufficient enough. 

Scientific proof:  If love is proven to exist... and God is love... He exists.  (You can say that I'm making irrational conclusions that are not really related to each other.  That is your perception.  But what have we already proven; it's all based on our own perceptions.  And yes, this is a "fuzzy" feeling.  Just as love is...)

Well done! God is the result of the brain, just like love.

djsaunde wrote:
The Atheist Conversation

Atheist:  Why do you believe in God?

Me:  Cause I can feel His love.

Atheist:  Prove it.

Me:  Do you love your mother?

Atheist:  Yes.

Me:  Prove it.

The problem with this is, it is possible to prove one loves one's mother. This is because:

  1. One can prove the existence of one's mother.
  2. One can prove love via FMRI and behavior.

Where no matter how strongly you feel god's love, you still can't produce evidence for that god.

 

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


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caposkia wrote:The simple

caposkia wrote:

The simple point was that physical observations are not going to proove the spiritual.  I think you further clarified my point above.  I'm trying to get people off the need for "physical" evidence and possibly try some SM.

That's almost exactly what my sister-in-law says when I challenge her on her beliefs. I ask, "You keep putting tiny bowls of milk out for the faeries[1]. Why? It's never gone in the morning."

She says, "Oh, they don't physically drink it."

True story. Absolutely fucking true. And even more mind-boggling in real life.

My neice reported that this Christmas, she put out three small stockings, one each for the angels, the faeries, and for the first time, the dragons. Little tiny helpful dragons that protect her.

They have changed her life dramatically, for the better. She used to be a crystal meth fiend.

 

[1] Her spelling, not mine.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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caposkia wrote:The simple

caposkia wrote:

The simple point was that physical observations are not going to proove the spiritual.  I think you further clarified my point above.  I'm trying to get people off the need for "physical" evidence and possibly try some SM.

--------

Do I really have to try sadomasochism to see the spiritual? Smiling

How can one use the scientific method on what isn't observable/measurable/testable (either by itself or by its action on other things)? If you've answered that I've missed it.

It seems like the only way that the spiritual wodrl exists is if you believe really hard. Perhaps you have a belief in belief as opposesd to an actuality?

"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


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Is it just in you head?

djsaunde wrote:
I love all of you on here.  I love reading all the different thoughts people have on here.  It makes me proud that we live in a country where we can openly discuss our different thoughts and ideas.
I assume you mean America, right?  Usually when some one says something like this it turns out they’re talking about America.  You realize not everyone here is American don’t you?  America doesn’t own the internet.
djsaunde wrote:
That being said... Love is an emotion, with MRI's and brain scanning and what not, we have proof that different chemicals in our brains spell out love.  But how is it possible to explain love?
We have proof that the brain and its various chemicals reaction cause love, and everything else we experience.  Although I assume you don’t believe this. 


That said you don’t usually explain a sensation.  You experience a sensation.  You assume that other people experience sensations the same way that you do.  For instance the color blue, do I experience the color blue in exactly the same way that you do.  What about love?  Is my love exactly the same as your love?  Is your god exactly the same as other people’s god, even your fellow Christian’s god?

djsaunde wrote:
How is possible to tell someone who has never been in love what it feels like?  Would you say, "It's when the oxytocin, vasopressin, testosterone, estrogen, etc. flood your nervous system."  Probably not.
No, you can’t explain a sensation to someone who hasn’t experienced it.  Well you can explain it, but you can’t make them experience it.  Language works threw mutual understanding.  I have an understand for the word ‘love’ you have an understanding  for the word ‘love’ that is why we can talk about love together, and hopefully understand what the other person means.  It isn’t necessarily true that your ‘love’ and my ‘love’ are exactly the same.  Because people view things differently, and have different understandings of words.  Language is an imperfect tool for conveying meaning, but it is still the only tool we currently have(other the art and music of course).
djsaunde wrote:
Would you say, "It's when the oxytocin, vasopressin, testosterone, estrogen, etc. flood your nervous system."  Probably not.
It would only be necessary to explain love in this way to someone who has decided that their love has taken on a life outside the confines of their mind.
djsaunde wrote:
It would be like me asking anyone on here to tell a blind person, who has never seen in their life, what the color blue looks like.  Just because the blind person can't see blue, does that mean it doesn't exist...?
Blue only exists in people who experience it.   Experiences only exist in people minds. 
djsaunde wrote:
In their world it essentially doesn't exist because it has no bearing on their life.
It literally does not exist for them.  I repeat Experiences only exist in the minds of the people who experience them.  If the world was only populated by the blind the color blue would not exist. 


Let me past something I wrote in another thread.

RatDog wrote:
If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound?  Weather or not anyone else is around has no effect one what happens, and yet if no one is around there is no sound and there is no tree.  Even if someone is around there is still no sound and still no tree outside of that persons mind.  The words ‘sound’ and the ‘tree’ are part of a language we use to help us interpret reality. They are not a reality in and of themselves.  If all the people in the world suddenly die there would no longer be trees and there would no longer be sound yet reality would remain unchanged.

djsaunde wrote:
It doesn't matter to them.
Just because they don’t expertise something personally doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by people who do.
djsaunde wrote:
It's all about our perceptions.
Reality and perception are not always the same.  If there is a difference between them perception is the one that need to change in order to bring the two together. 
djsaunde wrote:
So really to an atheist, what does it matter if God exists or not, it has no bearing on their personal lives?
Religion has lots of bearing on people’s personal life weather or not they believe.
djsaunde wrote:
(I admit we live in a Christianity based society, i.e. our form of morals and universal truths about how we treat others and such, our Constitution, Bill of Rights and amendments and such, which are based on Christian ideals... does have an influence.  I can admit to that, but it seems that these truths and morals, atheists tend to live by.)
Christians feel they own our society. They feel that they are responsible for everything good in it.  They feel that they own all morels and that other people just use them some times. In essence Christians are arrogant.  If you wish to claim credit for something you need to offer some kind of proof, because not everyone believes our country(America) was founded on your religion. 


Also, what Ideals are even Christian anyway?  Not every church has the same ideals.  Not every Christian within the same a church has he same ideals.  Not every time frame has Christians with the same ideals(we no longer burn people to death for witchcraft).  What even makes something a Christian ideal?  Not everything found in the bible is currently a Christian ideal (some of it was meant as a metaphor right?).  Not everything that is a current Christian Ideal can be directly found in the bible(were exactly does the bible talk about gay marriage?).  My point is that it isn’t always obvious what a Christian ideal even is.


Not all ideas that people call Christian are even desirable.  For instance Christian’s obsession with other people sexual desires often produce undesirable results.  Ok, I'm done ranting now.

djsaunde wrote:
Why try and denounce something that has no bearing on your own personal life?
If you look on this site you will find plenty of stories of how Christianity has had very real effects on non-Christians personal lives.
djsaunde wrote:
Why try and prove other people wrong who do believe?
Have you considered that I might actually thing the world would be a better place without your religion?
djsaunde wrote:
Why waste the time if it doesn't matter and we just die in the end?
Why give to charity, why recycle, why do anything to make the world a better place?  Were all just going to die right?
djsaunde wrote:
I was attracted to this website because of a banner that said "Believe in God?  We can fix that?".  I laughed.  Why in this world would you chose to waste your time as such?  If life really is so short, and after we die, it's just over... why waste your time trying to get others to turn away from their illogical, unintelligent, and supposedly jaded thinking?
The world without irrational beliefs that I picture is a beautiful world.  It is a world that is worth my time.  
 


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nigelTheBold wrote:It seems

nigelTheBold wrote:

It seems there'd be a huge selection bias there, as you'd be able to say that "true followers" must exhibit trait A, where A is what you're trying to prove.

That'd be my concern.

I see your concern.  I guess that would depend on what you're considering A to be.  In order to represent something, there would have to be expected or assumed behaviors within that representation no?


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caposkia wrote:nigelTheBold

caposkia wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

It seems there'd be a huge selection bias there, as you'd be able to say that "true followers" must exhibit trait A, where A is what you're trying to prove.

That'd be my concern.

I see your concern.  I guess that would depend on what you're considering A to be.  In order to represent something, there would have to be expected or assumed behaviors within that representation no?

As you would be the sole arbiter of what property A would be it comes down to "True christians agree with me and believe exactly as I do".

Very denominational of you.

"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


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jcgadfly wrote:So your God

jcgadfly wrote:

So your God is energy?

As far as verbally explaining what he is, sure.

jcgadfly wrote:

Why did the writers need to anthropormorphize it?

How would you explain Him? Other than with fairydust involved.

jcgadfly wrote:

The explanation might be similarly grounded except that I don't have to belong to the Church of Ball Lightning or wholly believe in the book that was written by people who claimed to be inspired by ball lightning in order to see it.

Who said you had to belong to a church to believe? 

Many people who first build a relationship with Christ and start following him are very ignorant of the Bible, therefore I would say that "wholly believing" in the Bible isn't necessary for believing in the existence of God and possibly starting to follow him. 

Assuming the stories are true, it is said that Satan believes in God because he knows he's real, but doesn't of course accept the Bible's teachings. 


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caposkia wrote:nigelTheBold

caposkia wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

It seems there'd be a huge selection bias there, as you'd be able to say that "true followers" must exhibit trait A, where A is what you're trying to prove.

That'd be my concern.

I see your concern.  I guess that would depend on what you're considering A to be.  In order to represent something, there would have to be expected or assumed behaviors within that representation no?

Exactly.

And here, if "true followers" are defined as those that give 90% of their money to charity, and you are trying to prove the selfless nature of true followers, your definition automatically "proves" the hypothesis.

So, you'd need some definition of "true followers" that doesn't assume the proposition.

That's one of the problems with many sociological studies; selection or definition bias often distorts either the meaning of the results, or the results themselves.

Anyway, that's my only concern. Just something of which to be aware.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

So your God is energy?

As far as verbally explaining what he is, sure.

jcgadfly wrote:

Why did the writers need to anthropormorphize it?

How would you explain Him? Other than with fairydust involved.

jcgadfly wrote:

The explanation might be similarly grounded except that I don't have to belong to the Church of Ball Lightning or wholly believe in the book that was written by people who claimed to be inspired by ball lightning in order to see it.

Who said you had to belong to a church to believe? 

Many people who first build a relationship with Christ and start following him are very ignorant of the Bible, therefore I would say that "wholly believing" in the Bible isn't necessary for believing in the existence of God and possibly starting to follow him. 

Assuming the stories are true, it is said that Satan believes in God because he knows he's real, but doesn't of course accept the Bible's teachings. 

First, as I doubt the existence of any gods, I would feel no need to anthropomorphize anything. I'm not going to say that I know all about energy - but we don't need to deify it anymore.

I used the church example to show the foolishness of "My church is the only one that's right". Why did I use the book analogy? For those who believe the only way to know God is through the Bible (or another holy book).

As for Satan, he is as God is - a creation of those who wrote the Bible. "Assuming the stories are true" is one major assumption..

"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


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Bobspence1 wrote:Yes, sadly,

Bobspence1 wrote:

Yes, sadly, I have a better comprehension of how just how limited and shallow you are in your insight and understanding, how the commitment to your belief warps your judgement and clouds your reasoning. Obviously, by definition, you will not be conscious of this yourself. A glaring example of how the power and respect the Religious/Faith that the meme has acquired allows a person to justify the most glaring lapses of logic. Getting this from analogy from other people is exactly how such superficially attractive but logically empty phrases become wide-spread.

It's strange you conclude that be it that there was no "religious organization" that formed the beleifs I now hold.  How do you explain my understanding?  and don't give me that fuzzy feeling crap because that's not it.  (just sarcasm not anger)

Bobspence1 wrote:

Where did I say anything about concluding anything of the sort - that first sentence does not seem to relate to anything I said. I certainly never referred to "religious organization" - a search on this page shows that you were the last person to use that phrase.

Sorry for not being clearer.  Your statement above implies a "religious organization".  I quoted it because it's cliche. 

"A glaring example of how the power and respect the Religious/Faith..." implies religious organization.  I'm sorry I misunderstood your intentions. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

Your inability to comprehend my arguments here is consistent with the blindness you show, the inability to grasp what I (and others here) are getting at, in so many other responses. Its just that this particular 'analogy' shows the fundamental shallowness of your position so well from a rational/logical perspective, as distinct prom the  emotional side, which may well be quite complex. It also makes the logic fallacies clearer, without the distraction of religious or even direct supernatural allusions.

I could change a token few words in the above paragraph to apply to you as well.  Do you really want to make progress with this conversation?

BobSpence1 wrote:

Based on what you have presented so far, you have nothing in your examples of some sort of 'physical' manifestation (the fire and the scans of the meditating brains) that really points to anything beyond the natural (I prefer this to the 'physical' which at least implies a more reductionist position than I actually hold).

The example of personal testimony and changes of personality and behaviour you recount also do not point to anything beyond our current understanding of psychology.

We can discuss phsychology and trends if you'd like.  that may make progress and it may not.  I think it could clarify some skepticism maybe. 

Either way, it's clear you need to fart a car out of your butt (gift from God) in order to believe.  Is there anything beyond that that might make progress in our conversation? 

This could include something you could present to me that might challenge my beliefs.  So far, nothing has, I'm open to anything.

BobSpence1 wrote:

No I am looking for your explanation of what you believe. That comment reveals how little you actually understand where I'm 'coming from'. I definitely did not just "accept an explanation of what to believe" - I am more concerned about justifications for accepting any particular belief or set of beliefs. It is about the apparently very different process you employed from the one I use.

It does look like we aren't going to make any more progress here.

And if you actually believe in the literal truth of Genesis, I don't have to prove that at least some of your beliefs are wrong, that has already been established way beyond reasonable doubt.

Are you talking about a 10,000 year old Earth?  I accept the scientific estimate of Earths age if that's what you're implying.... 

It's easier for you to present to me why you don't believe than it is for me to present why I do.  The reason is because there's so much information.  Just in the little bit I've presented, I come on today to see 14 responses.  Imagine if I've put more up.  I'm trying to stay focused.  I'm trying to figure out what you and others are looking for.  It's pointless to present information if you're just going to shoot it down because you can't accept its possibility. 

I mean even the historical information that I've mentioned you can research apparently isn't for you, so what would work beyond farting a car as Brian would need? 


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HisWillness wrote:I'm sorry,

HisWillness wrote:

I'm sorry, it's just not relevant. My point was obviously poorly worded. The Bible provides no way to determine the age of the earth, does it? No, it doesn't. It takes science for that. Science has to discover all sorts of things about the radioactive decay of various elements, and then we can date the earth. It doesn't matter if the Bible matches that in the vaguest possible way ("seven periods of time" doesn't help anybody), because no matter what age was found, you'd say, "right, that's seven periods of time".

This is where focus of importance comes into play.  The Bible never put any more information in than necessary.  Does it really matter that the 7 periods of time represents 1 million years 1 thousand years or 1 billion years?  The point is, no one cares, the story's not about how old the Earth is, that's why it's not specified.  It's like looking at the story "little house on the hill" and being concerned at when it was built and who the contractor was.  As far as that story's concerned, no one cares and it doesn't matter. 

HisWillness wrote:

Sure, without evidence I'd think you were having me on. But there are plenty of pictures, eggs, bones, fossils, and even living specimens. Not so with God.

why would there be fossil records of God, or pictures for that matter? 

you can't research the fossil history of the Earth using electromagnetism as your basis for study.

HisWillness wrote:

Yes, it's a story to me. Whether the story is true or not is as debatable as any ancient history.

Ok, that's understandable.

HisWillness wrote:

Physical presence. I understand that God will never have physical presence, but that's another reason for the unlikeliness of gods in general (not just God).

why does a spiritual being not having physical presense support reasoning for the unlikliness of God? or gods in general.

HisWillness wrote:

Right. But God did change, which was my point. God is not immutable. Or is it your opinion that God's plan is fixed, and He had this planned the whole time?

So, progressing on the same path and doing something new is just the same as changing? 

HisWillness wrote:

And when Jesus suggests plucking out your own eye, do you not take that as a kind of an "expression", and not a literal command? It's not even good advice! (i.e. If you're having trouble keeping the rules of the Old Testament, then beat yourself up about it.)

When your grandma told you to go play in traffic, did you take that literally? 

Take the story as a whole and understand his point that it's better to get rid of the thing that's holding you down. 

HisWillness wrote:

So your idea of God is more of an invisible creature that does not interfere in the lives of people? And will never interfere? How is God even relevant then? Oh, the after-life, right?

This goes back to the free will discussion.  Just because God does not affect free will does not mean he doesn't interfere in some ways.  He just won't control you.  If you want to fly a plane into a building, that's your choice.  He may protect others from your choice. 

HisWillness wrote:

In the absence of electrical impulses through your brain, memories do not exist. In the event of damage to the frontal lobes, memories may be permanently erased. That's still physical.

right.  But then there are cases of unexplained regeneration of old memories which according to the science you reference above, should not happen.  Then of course you've got the people that lose all their memory completely and have to start over from scratch including walking and talking and yet still held onto the personality traits they've had.  This of course comparing what they've had vs. what they've learned as far as traits go. 

Let's not tangent too much on this.  I think you get the comparison right?

HisWillness wrote:

What I believe is easy: testable things are real. We often have difficult metaphysical discussions with people who visit here, because they're not aware that metaphysics (as NigelTheBold will often remind us) requires an epistemology. Science is the most wonderful direction towards an epistemology ever created by man, so if we're going to ask ourselves what "real" is, and get heavy about it, then to a scientific mind, it's an easy answer: testable things are real.

which is why I emphasize SM. 

HisWillness wrote:

Well that's my point. I would have more than just stories. I would probably have some evidence, math, or a testable hypothesis. I know of this creature called a Platypus, and it's funny-lookin', and ... wait, you don't have to take my word for it, there are tons of pictures that other people have taken, and physical specimens in zoos, and skeletons in museums, etc, etc.

Be it that all the evidence you'd provide for a platypus is physical, I can say with the same assertion that there are just as many "experiences" that you could experience yourself if you will that other people have had and can attest to.  

HisWillness wrote:

I do want you to believe what is true. I don't know anything about ultimate-super-complete-absolute Truth, but I can do better than subjective experience.

This truth is just truth.  none of this your truth isn't my truth.  It's what is real whether you believe it now or not. 

You have something that's beyond a fossil record or other physical sciences? 

Though I acutally have seen some pictures of some things.  Though most would explain their way out of it.  like an angel at a particular concert.  i tried to explain my way out of that one myself. 

 


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HisWillness wrote:Let's try

HisWillness wrote:

Let's try your Atheist Conversation again:

Atheist:  Why do you believe in God?

You:  Cause I can feel His love.

Atheist:  Don't you want to know if God is really there, and not just a comforting figment of your imagination?

You: Not important. Busy feeling His love.

Atheist: Okay. Do me a favour, though: don't go into politics. I like my life, and I don't want you to throw it away just to hasten The Rapture.

your rewording failed.

Not important, busy feeling his love.... wait.  the love of the non-existant God?  If they're "feeling his love" doesn't that confirm knowing God is really there and is more than a figment???

Who said you had to "hasten the Rapture".  Bible says no one knows the time... therefore, don't waste your time "hastening the rapture". 

Don't fret. I get your attempt.  It was just poor.  Sorry.


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nigelTheBold wrote:That's

nigelTheBold wrote:

That's almost exactly what my sister-in-law says when I challenge her on her beliefs. I ask, "You keep putting tiny bowls of milk out for the faeries[1]. Why? It's never gone in the morning."

She says, "Oh, they don't physically drink it."

True story. Absolutely fucking true. And even more mind-boggling in real life.

My neice reported that this Christmas, she put out three small stockings, one each for the angels, the faeries, and for the first time, the dragons. Little tiny helpful dragons that protect her.

They have changed her life dramatically, for the better. She used to be a crystal meth fiend.

 

[1] Her spelling, not mine.

What are her sources and reasoning? 


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jcgadfly wrote:Do I really

jcgadfly wrote:

Do I really have to try sadomasochism to see the spiritual? Smiling

if that's your thing Sticking out tongue

jcgadfly wrote:

How can one use the scientific method on what isn't observable/measurable/testable (either by itself or by its action on other things)? If you've answered that I've missed it.

It seems like the only way that the spiritual wodrl exists is if you believe really hard. Perhaps you have a belief in belief as opposesd to an actuality?

I suggest Scientific Method because there are testable processes to find God, (testable being that you can try what others have tried to come to the same conclusion) there are observable outcomes to building a relationship with God and also finding him.  It is measurable to the point of the progress of change depending on your progress in the relationship.

this has little to do with going to a church.

 

 


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jcgadfly wrote:As you would

jcgadfly wrote:

As you would be the sole arbiter of what property A would be it comes down to "True christians agree with me and believe exactly as I do".

Very denominational of you.

yes indeed it is... unless of course I'm not the one that told others to believe as I do. 

I just explain what I understand.  I don't tell people believe this way or else.  In fact, I'm open to correction if anyone would like to. Denominations (in general) know they have it right and will not accept another way. 


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nigelTheBold wrote:That's

nigelTheBold wrote:

That's one of the problems with many sociological studies; selection or definition bias often distorts either the meaning of the results, or the results themselves.

Anyway, that's my only concern. Just something of which to be aware.

I appreciate it.  if that topic goes anywhere, I will try to keep that in mind. 


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jcgadfly wrote:As for Satan,

jcgadfly wrote:

As for Satan, he is as God is - a creation of those who wrote the Bible. "Assuming the stories are true" is one major assumption..

Fair enough.  to add to it then, there are many people who accept belief in God as we understand it, but do not accept Biblical truths as far as understanding God. 

How do we know they accept the same God then?  It's their conclusion that it's the same God. 


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caposkia wrote:What are her

caposkia wrote:

What are her sources and reasoning? 

She gets most of it from the faeries. They're the ones that told her the dragons were there now, too. At least, that's my understanding. And she's "seen" them protect her. And she feels their presence. She's read a few books on the subject, which is what got her started on this in he first place.

There is, after all, a long history of belief in all three of these things. She's just got a particularly wackaloon version.

I'm just saying, appealing to the non-physical is a non-argument. That's all.

And I thought you might enjoy the faeries no physically drinking the milk. I'm not even sure I know what that means.

The faeries used to physically drink the milk, but stopped once the cat died. They were sad.

 

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

As you would be the sole arbiter of what property A would be it comes down to "True christians agree with me and believe exactly as I do".

Very denominational of you.

yes indeed it is... unless of course I'm not the one that told others to believe as I do. 

I just explain what I understand.  I don't tell people believe this way or else.  In fact, I'm open to correction if anyone would like to. Denominations (in general) know they have it right and will not accept another way. 

Your definition has nothing to do with whether you told them or not. You have "true Christian" defined as "a person who believes as I do and agrees with my views". It doesn't matter how they got to that conclusion. It also implies that anyone who has Biblically based beliefs but sees things differently from you are "false Christians".

I'm happy to read that you say you're open to correction - still waiting for you to show that. I guess you have to believe there is a possibility of your being wrong first, eh?

"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


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caposkia wrote:Bobspence1

caposkia wrote:

Bobspence1 wrote:

Yes, sadly, I have a better comprehension of how just how limited and shallow you are in your insight and understanding, how the commitment to your belief warps your judgement and clouds your reasoning. Obviously, by definition, you will not be conscious of this yourself. A glaring example of how the power and respect the Religious/Faith that the meme has acquired allows a person to justify the most glaring lapses of logic. Getting this from analogy from other people is exactly how such superficially attractive but logically empty phrases become wide-spread.

It's strange you conclude that be it that there was no "religious organization" that formed the beleifs I now hold.  How do you explain my understanding?  and don't give me that fuzzy feeling crap because that's not it.  (just sarcasm not anger)

Bobspence1 wrote:

Where did I say anything about concluding anything of the sort - that first sentence does not seem to relate to anything I said. I certainly never referred to "religious organization" - a search on this page shows that you were the last person to use that phrase.

Sorry for not being clearer.  Your statement above implies a "religious organization".  I quoted it because it's cliche. 

"A glaring example of how the power and respect the Religious/Faith..." implies religious organization.  I'm sorry I misunderstood your intentions. 

My statement did not imply "religious organization", You inferred it, wrongly, as it turns out.  By "Religious/Faith ... meme" I was referring to the ideas(s) that are being referred to when we describe anything as "religious" or "inspired by religious thoughts or beliefs, or the closely related idea of (religious) faith.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Your inability to comprehend my arguments here is consistent with the blindness you show, the inability to grasp what I (and others here) are getting at, in so many other responses. Its just that this particular 'analogy' shows the fundamental shallowness of your position so well from a rational/logical perspective, as distinct prom the  emotional side, which may well be quite complex. It also makes the logic fallacies clearer, without the distraction of religious or even direct supernatural allusions.

I could change a token few words in the above paragraph to apply to you as well.  Do you really want to make progress with this conversation?

So what are my glaring logical fallacies or poor analogies? I would honestly like to know, because that is the sort of thing which can in principle be resolved.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Based on what you have presented so far, you have nothing in your examples of some sort of 'physical' manifestation (the fire and the scans of the meditating brains) that really points to anything beyond the natural (I prefer this to the 'physical' which at least implies a more reductionist position than I actually hold).

The example of personal testimony and changes of personality and behaviour you recount also do not point to anything beyond our current understanding of psychology.

We can discuss phsychology and trends if you'd like.  that may make progress and it may not.  I think it could clarify some skepticism maybe. 

I honestly doubt it. There is really nothing in what you described which is remotely challenging to current understanding of human behaviour, let alone to the extent of suggesting any sort of 'divine intervention'.

Quote:

Either way, it's clear you need to fart a car out of your butt (gift from God) in order to believe.  Is there anything beyond that that might make progress in our conversation? 

This could include something you could present to me that might challenge my beliefs.  So far, nothing has, I'm open to anything.

From your responses, I doubt I could present anything to challenge your beliefs. It really is getting into the area of proving a negative. Your approach allows you to come up with an answer to every objection, which satisfies you, no matter how tenuous the analogies and assumptions required.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

No I am looking for your explanation of what you believe. That comment reveals how little you actually understand where I'm 'coming from'. I definitely did not just "accept an explanation of what to believe" - I am more concerned about justifications for accepting any particular belief or set of beliefs. It is about the apparently very different process you employed from the one I use.

It does look like we aren't going to make any more progress here.

And if you actually believe in the literal truth of Genesis, I don't have to prove that at least some of your beliefs are wrong, that has already been established way beyond reasonable doubt.

Are you talking about a 10,000 year old Earth?  I accept the scientific estimate of Earths age if that's what you're implying.... 

Not that one - I had already picked up that you accepted an old earth.

I was not thinking of one specific thing, rather all the many things which are explicitly inconsistent with scientific evidence. Why would you assume I was just focussing on that?

So long as you accept a 4.5 billion year old earth and Universe in excess of 13 billion years, that Adam and Eve and the G of E was purely metaphorical, that Adam and Eve were not the ancestors of af all mankind, that Noah and the Flood is similarly metaphorical, and so on, then thats OK.

Quote:

It's easier for you to present to me why you don't believe than it is for me to present why I do.  The reason is because there's so much information.  Just in the little bit I've presented, I come on today to see 14 responses.  Imagine if I've put more up.  I'm trying to stay focused.  I'm trying to figure out what you and others are looking for.  It's pointless to present information if you're just going to shoot it down because you can't accept its possibility. 

I mean even the historical information that I've mentioned you can research apparently isn't for you, so what would work beyond farting a car as Brian would need? 

Dunno, that's up to you. Personal testimony won't work, based on the examples you gave. If your physical evidence is no more conclusive than the fires thing, that seems to be out.

What else have you got?

So far the most plausible explanation is that you your logic and reasoning is flawed - I have showed already shown your errors in logic, which you simply are unable or unwilling to grasp, your persistent mis-reading of my words which seems to go beyond inadequacies in my phrasing. All of this makes it easy to understand how you are able to follow your belief so confidently.

But the 'there is no god, I am mistaken' explanation is obniously the one highly plausible possibility you do not appear to be seriously considering. You will always be able to find a way of interpreting events and scripture to be consistent with your belief, at least to your personal satisfaction, so we it is unlikely I can disprove it to you.

Now you are no doubt going to turn this argument back on me, so it is in turn up to you to point out the logical fallacies and false analogies and other errors which you see in my arguments.

That's how it works. My lack of acceptance of a God is due in large part to my not having encounted a valid argument or evidence for its existence, so I asked for what you based your belief on. You have failed to produce anything any better than, or really any different in kind from, what I have already encountered. You may have a lot more of such accounts, but unless they are of significantly different kind, they will not help.

So there we are - you have an approach which seems intrinsically unfalsifiable. I ask for evidence which unambigously points to God - note I did not say proves, it merely must be difficult to provide plausible alternative explanations.

If god actually produced at least one example of the sort of major demonstrations reported in the Bible, that would be a start. Wouldn't prove he wasn't part of an incredibly advanced alien civilization of course, which would a much more plausible explanation.

So as I have already hinted, seems unlikely we will progress.

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caposkia wrote:your

caposkia wrote:
your rewording failed.

On the contrary, apparently, because ...

caposkia wrote:
If they're "feeling his love" doesn't that confirm knowing God is really there and is more than a figment???

If that's your test for the truth of things (a feeling like something's there), then every stalker of every celebrity is right. The object of their affection really does love them. Of course, celebrities are real people, so it almost makes it weirder to stalk someone invisible.

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caposkia wrote:It's like

caposkia wrote:
It's like looking at the story "little house on the hill" and being concerned at when it was built and who the contractor was.  As far as that story's concerned, no one cares and it doesn't matter.

An excellent point. Of course, the Bible has more sway in people's minds than Little House on the Hill, so when people start to take it at its word that homosexuals should be punished simply for being homosexual, I start wondering "who the contractor was".

My point was not that the Bible should have contained more information, it's that the information in the Bible doesn't help us find out anything. Period.

caposkia wrote:
why would there be fossil records of God, or pictures for that matter?

Well there wouldn't be fossil records or pictures of God. God has that in common with all literary figures - no physical presence.

caposkia wrote:
why does a spiritual being not having physical presense support reasoning for the unlikliness of God? or gods in general.

You've careened past the point. The possibility that there are spiritual beings of any kind is equally unlikely. The unlikeliness of a plane of existence that has yet to reveal itself as having any influence on our present plane of existence approaches infinity.

Try this: test something on the "spiritual plane". Measure a "spiritual being". Observe a spiritual being. Can you? Probably not. You can't because you know absolutely nothing about the spiritual plane. If that's the case, how is it that you know it is inhabited?

caposkia wrote:
When your grandma told you to go play in traffic, did you take that literally?

No, but then my grandmother wouldn't say that. She also wasn't representing the word of an invisible (yet supremely powerful) ruler. You don't think that changes the tone just a little?

caposkia wrote:
Take the story as a whole and understand his point that it's better to get rid of the thing that's holding you down.

Of course. That's what I mean. You don't take it literally. There's no point in doing so.

caposkia wrote:
This goes back to the free will discussion.  Just because God does not affect free will does not mean he doesn't interfere in some ways.  He just won't control you.  If you want to fly a plane into a building, that's your choice.  He may protect others from your choice.

You're unbelievable. God won't control people, but he interferes, but he doesn't interfere, but he does. So he affects the world without having a physical presence. I just can't believe you. The things that you say remain unconfirmed to say the least.

caposkia wrote:
right.  But then there are cases of unexplained regeneration of old memories which according to the science you reference above, should not happen.

That's not the least bit true. With what we know of neuroscience, unexpected things like that happen all the time. My point was that there is no separating the brain from the mind. Without the brain, there is no mind. 

caposkia wrote:
which is why I emphasize SM.

No, you don't. You emphasize what you believe to be the scientific method. The scientific method is much more rigorous, and continues to narrow the gap into which people have aimed to put gods for years. Personal experiences are influenced by "bias" in the scientific realm, and as such, need not apply.

caposkia wrote:
Be it that all the evidence you'd provide for a platypus is physical, I can say with the same assertion that there are just as many "experiences" that you could experience yourself if you will that other people have had and can attest to. 

See above.

caposkia wrote:
This truth is just truth.

Oh, look who's the expert now! So naturally, you can tell fact from fiction, and determine whether something may or may not be true.

caposkia wrote:
It's what is real whether you believe it now or not.

Congratulations. That's step one. That's the attempt to eliminate bias. In your attempt to eliminate bias, you may have to consider many explanations that don't coincide with what the Bible says. Until you can consider other explanations, you may be suffering from bias.

caposkia wrote:
You have something that's beyond a fossil record or other physical sciences?

Gee, no I don't. Do you?

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HisWillness wrote:caposkia

HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:
your rewording failed.

On the contrary, apparently, because ...

caposkia wrote:
If they're "feeling his love" doesn't that confirm knowing God is really there and is more than a figment???

If that's your test for the truth of things (a feeling like something's there), then every stalker of every celebrity is right. The object of their affection really does love them. Of course, celebrities are real people, so it almost makes it weirder to stalk someone invisible.

Wow, I missed that response of cap's. If he truly thinks that that feeling comes remotely close to 'proving' God is real...

*face-palm*

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nigelTheBold wrote:She gets

nigelTheBold wrote:

She gets most of it from the faeries. They're the ones that told her the dragons were there now, too. At least, that's my understanding. And she's "seen" them protect her. And she feels their presence. She's read a few books on the subject, which is what got her started on this in he first place.

There is, after all, a long history of belief in all three of these things. She's just got a particularly wackaloon version.

I'm just saying, appealing to the non-physical is a non-argument. That's all.

And I thought you might enjoy the faeries no physically drinking the milk. I'm not even sure I know what that means.

The faeries used to physically drink the milk, but stopped once the cat died. They were sad.

Ah, ok.  so the comparison is that my faith runs along the same lines.  yea, I read a historical book that gives me some information on it.  I didn't have faries to tell me anything.  Maybe I should consider fairyanism.  and dragons are sweet!

but... I also have history to back up my belief that's outside the one book that's suppose to explain my belief....

oh uh... there are archeologist that confirm Biblical histories to be true....

er... scientists who discover my God through their studies...

oh... man.... wait, the parallel is getting further and futher away.

but i love dragons!!!

(I am not in any way making fun of her for anyone who might take this out of context.  I'm just mocking the comparison to my belief)


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jcgadfly wrote:Your

jcgadfly wrote:

Your definition has nothing to do with whether you told them or not. You have "true Christian" defined as "a person who believes as I do and agrees with my views". It doesn't matter how they got to that conclusion. It also implies that anyone who has Biblically based beliefs but sees things differently from you are "false Christians".

I'm happy to read that you say you're open to correction - still waiting for you to show that. I guess you have to believe there is a possibility of your being wrong first, eh?

Alright, I'll reclarify what I was saying.  I'm sorry for miswording it.  True Christians are defined as...

A person who follows the Biblical teachings as they are and back them up with real world understanding without the manipulation of a church or religion on those undertsandings.

It just happens that I've conculded the same as others.  It has nothing to do with people who disagree with ME are wrong.  I'm sure I misunderstand a lot of what I think I know.  It's one reason why I repeatedly tell people on here to please show me how I'm wrong.  Though after all this time, I'm starting to lose hope in this site.


caposkia
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BobSpence1 wrote:My

BobSpence1 wrote:

My statement did not imply "religious organization", You inferred it, wrongly, as it turns out.  By "Religious/Faith ... meme" I was referring to the ideas(s) that are being referred to when we describe anything as "religious" or "inspired by religious thoughts or beliefs, or the closely related idea of (religious) faith.

ok, my apologies

BobSpence1 wrote:

Your inability to comprehend my arguments here is consistent with the blindness you show, the inability to grasp what I (and others here) are getting at, in so many other responses. Its just that this particular 'analogy' shows the fundamental shallowness of your position so well from a rational/logical perspective, as distinct prom the  emotional side, which may well be quite complex. It also makes the logic fallacies clearer, without the distraction of religious or even direct supernatural allusions.

caposkia wrote:

I could change a token few words in the above paragraph to apply to you as well.  Do you really want to make progress with this conversation?

So what are my glaring logical fallacies or poor analogies? I would honestly like to know, because that is the sort of thing which can in principle be resolved.

I'm not sure if I get what you're looking for.  Basically what I was saying is that statement you made above could just as easily have been said by me without manipulating the intent behind it. 

simply put, it holds little or no ground for your defense and brings no progress to the topic of conversation. 

I can't specify logical fallacies or poor analogies due to the fact that in that statement there were none mainly because I could claim the same about you.  It was an opinionated statement because it came from your understanding.  It brings no progress or understanding. 

To further clarify, that response was directly referred to that statement.

Let's put it this way, if you meant in general, I'm here with a very open mind.  I'm responding to you and questioning you in the same manner I'd hope your questioning me.  If you're going to claim something about my belief.  I expect you to present me something that will help me understand why I should accept your view. 

So far, I've presented many different directions for discussion.  I haven't really seen much from you other than skeptisism (which does not help me understand your views).  If you really want to show me how i"m wrong, then show me, stop telling me I'm wrong because you know that wouldn't work for you. 

(all above was said with all intended respect and professionalism)

BobSpence1 wrote:

From your responses, I doubt I could present anything to challenge your beliefs. It really is getting into the area of proving a negative. Your approach allows you to come up with an answer to every objection, which satisfies you, no matter how tenuous the analogies and assumptions required.

You think it satisfies me.  Your conclusion here holds just as much water as your past conclusions.

I give you answers because I'm trying to find a ground that you can possibly grasp onto by asking more questions in regard.  I'm still struggling to find where you actually might want to go with all of this. 

There is much more information I could present, but if you look back on this forum so far, even the far fetched stuff that has happened has been dismissed and forgotten because no one wants to consider it.

you also say it proves a negative.  It's only a negative because you don't know it.  If it exists at all, then it's not a negative is it. 

What is it you're looking for?  This is what I need to know, otherwise, we're just going to go back and forth explaining to each other that our claims hold no ground.  People have been doing that for centuries.  Why continue on that path?

BobSpence1 wrote:

Not that one - I had already picked up that you accepted an old earth.

I was not thinking of one specific thing, rather all the many things which are explicitly inconsistent with scientific evidence. Why would you assume I was just focussing on that?

So long as you accept a 4.5 billion year old earth and Universe in excess of 13 billion years, that Adam and Eve and the G of E was purely metaphorical, that Adam and Eve were not the ancestors of af all mankind, that Noah and the Flood is similarly metaphorical, and so on, then thats OK.

I have not found any inconsistent scientific evidence.  Maybe this is where you and I need to go.  Please present to me your inconsistent science.  Though before you do, please check out Science Vs. Religion on this website to make sure we're not going to repeat an old tired out topic. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

Dunno, that's up to you. Personal testimony won't work, based on the examples you gave. If your physical evidence is no more conclusive than the fires thing, that seems to be out.

What else have you got?

Well, there is archeology.  a few names listed on the ptm site might give you reference.  http://www.ptm.org.  you do a search for specific information and see what comes up.

There is science and the understanding many credible scientists have come to due to the complexity of their discoveries. 

Are you familiar with Lee Strobel?  He is a Christian Author.  However a few of his books including "the Case for Faith" was his attempt as an atheist to disprove God.  Through the research he had done, he ultimately came to following Christ as opposed to his original goal of disproving it. 

These are just a few more.  let's just try to stay focused.  If any of those topics interest you, let me know.

BobSpence1 wrote:

That's how it works. My lack of acceptance of a God is due in large part to my not having encounted a valid argument or evidence for its existence, so I asked for what you based your belief on. You have failed to produce anything any better than, or really any different in kind from, what I have already encountered. You may have a lot more of such accounts, but unless they are of significantly different kind, they will not help.

So there we are - you have an approach which seems intrinsically unfalsifiable. I ask for evidence which unambigously points to God - note I did not say proves, it merely must be difficult to provide plausible alternative explanations.

If god actually produced at least one example of the sort of major demonstrations reported in the Bible, that would be a start. Wouldn't prove he wasn't part of an incredibly advanced alien civilization of course, which would a much more plausible explanation.

So as I have already hinted, seems unlikely we will progress.

As the first paragraph I have included states, I feel the same way about my belief.  As there has not been a valid arguement against my belief, I still have no reason not to believe.  I've also seen and learned of many things that support my following.

I'm trying to take it one step at a time.  I did present more possibilities to you above.  Please consider if you're willing to continue.  Obviously a fire miraculously missing a house though there was no logical reason it should have isn't even evidence, so are you sure farting a car isn't in line for your satisfaction? 


caposkia
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HisWillness wrote:caposkia

HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:
your rewording failed.

On the contrary, apparently, because ...

caposkia wrote:
If they're "feeling his love" doesn't that confirm knowing God is really there and is more than a figment???

If that's your test for the truth of things (a feeling like something's there), then every stalker of every celebrity is right. The object of their affection really does love them. Of course, celebrities are real people, so it almost makes it weirder to stalk someone invisible.

I'm starting to lose confidence in your belief. 

I think you know better than that weak statement.  Just reread some of the forum if you forgot.


nigelTheBold
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caposkia wrote:Ah, ok.  so

caposkia wrote:

Ah, ok.  so the comparison is that my faith runs along the same lines.  yea, I read a historical book that gives me some information on it.  I didn't have faries to tell me anything.  Maybe I should consider fairyanism.  and dragons are sweet!

but... I also have history to back up my belief that's outside the one book that's suppose to explain my belief....

oh uh... there are archeologist that confirm Biblical histories to be true....

er... scientists who discover my God through their studies...

oh... man.... wait, the parallel is getting further and futher away.

but i love dragons!!!

(I am not in any way making fun of her for anyone who might take this out of context.  I'm just mocking the comparison to my belief)

I wasn't really comparing her belief to yours; I was responding to this one quote:

caposkia wrote:

The simple point was that physical observations are not going to proove the spiritual.  I think you further clarified my point above.  I'm trying to get people off the need for "physical" evidence and possibly try some SM.

The only comparison is that she also asked me to go beyond physical observation to accept her beliefs. I just used her as the most ludicrous example of people saying the lack of physical evidence isn't a flaw.

As for the books to back up the history of the Bible: I read this really great by by Timothy Powers called Declare. It was a spy thriller that tells the story of a man who fought djinn during both WWII, and the height of the cold war in 1963. It included several historic people, many historic events, and very real historic places.

Because there is historic evidence supporting the book, does that mean that djinn are real? Or that the Soviet Union chained one, and (spoiler alert!) collapsed only on its death in the 1980s?

(I really enjoyed the book. If you are into books that take nine or ten genres and mix them in a blender until quite smooth, this is a great boook.)

Anyway, my quibble was mostly your appeal to forego physical evidence.

I too like dragons. Even tiny, invisible, completely-ineffective dragons.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers