Evidence and the Supernatural

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Evidence and the Supernatural

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

The topic of this conversation is very simple. 

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

- evidence for the existence of a "soul."

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

etc.

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

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

I hope I have made this clear.

 

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


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caposkia wrote:Though I

caposkia wrote:

Though I don't doubt that person's following, I would have to disagree with their conclusion.   Jesus never said they were decoy stories to deter them from the truth.  He explained that the stories were said in parables for a few reasons.  They would not accept the clear truth if it was told to them anyway and they were not suppose to fully understand it at the time according to OT prophesies.

Ah. So there's something to understand, then? I was led to believe that those unworthy of Saving (with a capital "S", no less) were the intended targets of the parables. You're softening it slightly to say that the audience wasn't going to understand anyway. But is there something to understand, or are they specifically meant to confuse?

caposkia wrote:
If I'm being silly, why should I be specific.  I think I'm being logical in my conclusion.  Do you disagree?

Yes! You're comparing a measurable force with something that has never been measured! If there was a "God force" that we could measure, I wouldn't even be arguing with you.

caposkia wrote:
I understand that there are equasions explaining what gravity "does".  I was not disputing that.  What i was disputing is the description of what gravity "is".  It's just as physically explainable (as far as what it "is" not "does&quotEye-wink as the spiritual is.

That's not true at all. Gravity is a force, and it's also a property of mass in space-time. The whole point of General Relativity is to describe what gravity IS.

caposkia wrote:
There are many examples in the Bible of how the spiritual has "affected" the physical.  Those examples are specific too.

But those examples are not repeatable. I can show you the behaviour of gravity over and over again whenever you want. Any time. Now? How about now? Gravity still works. You have examples of one time that the spiritual is said to have affected the physical, and you can't repeat it. 

That's why I say the comparison between the two is silly. If I told you I had psychic powers, and that I demonstrated them when you weren't around, and that I won't ever demonstrate them while you're around, but you should believe me anyway, would you believe me? I wouldn't. It's a ridiculous claim to make.

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HisWillness wrote:Ah. So

HisWillness wrote:

Ah. So there's something to understand, then? I was led to believe that those unworthy of Saving (with a capital "S", no less) were the intended targets of the parables. You're softening it slightly to say that the audience wasn't going to understand anyway. But is there something to understand, or are they specifically meant to confuse?

The situation in the stories from what I understand is that the information Jesus had to share was in a way dangerous to him.  If the people imediately understood it, it's my understanding that he would have been crucified much sooner than he was.  No one was suppose to teach the way he was teaching and with the authority he taught with.  It was better for people not to understand it right away because he knew he needed more time before he was crucified. 

However, the Bible said Jesus died for the WORLD, not for the special people or the chosen ones.  To say that he died for the world would imply literally every human being.  The idea that the stories were for those who were "unworthy of Saving" doesn't coenside with Jesus' teachings and purpose.  If that were the case, then you'd have to logically conclude that for Jesus to even tell stories in parables to them was a waste of time and completely pointless. 

There is something to understand in those stories.  Some of them are explained. 

HisWillness wrote:

Yes! You're comparing a measurable force with something that has never been measured! If there was a "God force" that we could measure, I wouldn't even be arguing with you.

technically... there is.  However, it's difficult to measure because it's not a constant effect like gravity.  God chooses when and how to use his power and when not to, therefore, there'd really be no way to:

1. predict when it was going to happen

2. know what it was going to do

and understanding the God of the Bible as described in the Bible, his power would be beyond our comprehension, therefore:

3.  It would max out any means of measurement we would be able to construct to measure it. 

HisWillness wrote:

That's not true at all. Gravity is a force, and it's also a property of mass in space-time. The whole point of General Relativity is to describe what gravity IS.

ok, God is a force. 

But what IS it?  I'll ask you the same questions everyone asked me about God.

What does it look like?

What's it made of?

HisWillness wrote:

But those examples are not repeatable. I can show you the behaviour of gravity over and over again whenever you want. Any time. Now? How about now? Gravity still works. You have examples of one time that the spiritual is said to have affected the physical, and you can't repeat it. 

That's because the effects of gravity are constant.  It is so because gravity doesn't have an intelligence to decide to stop or start.

The only way of "measuring" God's power or studying it is the same way we do with Earthquakes.  Wait till after it happens, then gather the information.  You look at the history of "God sightings" as some would call it and peice the information together.  The effects of God's work seems to be consistent.  The focuses of constants are a wide range.

HisWillness wrote:

That's why I say the comparison between the two is silly. If I told you I had psychic powers, and that I demonstrated them when you weren't around, and that I won't ever demonstrate them while you're around, but you should believe me anyway, would you believe me? I wouldn't. It's a ridiculous claim to make.

Why would you assume that God will only show his power when you're not around?  It's my understanding that you've witnessed the effects of God.  You just haven't either noticed it yet, or understood it yet.   Same as when I used wind as an example.  Just because you didn't feel it doesn't mean it didn't happen or that there was no wind.


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I see you are still

I see you are still referring to that really stupid example of the wind, caposkia.

If we cannot feel the wind it means it is having negligible effect. So if you want to argue an analogy with God, it means you are saying that the reason we cannot perceive him is because he is having no perceivable effect. Therefore there is no reason to suppose he exists.

We certainly see nothing which unambigously could only be a manifestation of God. It is such a contrast with events described in the Bible, which if they occurred today as described there, before a wide audience, would be very significant occurrences. But they don't. The best you can do is point to reports of things which at best are mildly unusual, but not inherently and fundamentally inexplicable within a natural context.

Exactly what one would expect of handed-down stories which have a tendency to be elaborated when passed on, even without conscious intention to deceive, which is why the more spectacular reported manifestations of 'God' tend be in the distant past.

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caposkia wrote:HisWillness

caposkia wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Yes! You're comparing a measurable force with something that has never been measured! If there was a "God force" that we could measure, I wouldn't even be arguing with you.

technically... there is.

Technically, there are four observable forces, and "God" isn't one of them.

caposkia wrote:
However, it's difficult to measure because it's not a constant effect like gravity.  God chooses when and how to use his power and when not to, therefore, there'd really be no way to:

1. predict when it was going to happen

2. know what it was going to do

and understanding the God of the Bible as described in the Bible, his power would be beyond our comprehension, therefore:

3.  It would max out any means of measurement we would be able to construct to measure it.

My exact problem with the God Force hypothesis is that it is unfalsifiable. That is, we could never show any statement about it to be false. Real things, about which one can form reasonable hypotheses, are subject to falsifiability. For instance.

caposkia wrote:
But what IS [gravity]?

I told you - it's a force. A force is a physical thing. A measurable, physical thing.

caposkia wrote:
What does it look like?

It's invisible.

caposkia wrote:
What's it made of?

Gravitons.

caposkia wrote:
That's because the effects of gravity are constant.  It is so because gravity doesn't have an intelligence to decide to stop or start.

Does the God Force avoid scientists on purpose? If so, why?

caposkia wrote:
The only way of "measuring" God's power or studying it is the same way we do with Earthquakes.  Wait till after it happens, then gather the information.

Help me out, here. With an earthquake, we're measuring the movement of the earth. What are we measuring with the God Force?

caposkia wrote:
You look at the history of "God sightings" as some would call it and peice the information together.

But we'd have to have a hypothesis about those pieces of information. What's more likely, that we have an unmeasurable force, or that people are hallucinating? First of all, we have no reason to believe that there's a force to measure, because unlike the other forces, the God Force has never presented itself to one of the world's scientists for 400 years. Second, people hallucinate and lie all the time. They also experience false memories, remember things incorrectly, and are sometimes crazy. That's not so much a source of data.

caposkia wrote:
The effects of God's work seems to be consistent.

Where? I can't see how you can make a statement about something that has never been measured.

caposkia wrote:
Why would you assume that God will only show his power when you're not around?

Because this God Force has never shown up when anyone was measuring!

caposkia wrote:
It's my understanding that you've witnessed the effects of God.  You just haven't either noticed it yet, or understood it yet.

What I've noticed is irrelevant. When we model our universe, the math turns out pretty well without another force, so why is it that you think this God Force hides on purpose from scientists?

caposkia wrote:
Same as when I used wind as an example.  Just because you didn't feel it doesn't mean it didn't happen or that there was no wind.

Yeah, but I was breathing, and I didn't die. That's pretty good evidence for terrestrially composed wind or air. That's measurable.

 

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BobSpence1 wrote:I see you

BobSpence1 wrote:

I see you are still referring to that really stupid example of the wind, caposkia.

If we cannot feel the wind it means it is having negligible effect. So if you want to argue an analogy with God, it means you are saying that the reason we cannot perceive him is because he is having no perceivable effect. Therefore there is no reason to suppose he exists.

Or, it's so minimal at the time you just don't notice, but if you were pointed to the effect, you would notice. 

Also, many times when people don't want to experience something or want to believe it was something else, they can easily do that to.  Usually those are to more noticeable affects. 

It's a psychological thing.  Look it up.

BobSpence1 wrote:

We certainly see nothing which unambigously could only be a manifestation of God. It is such a contrast with events described in the Bible, which if they occurred today as described there, before a wide audience, would be very significant occurrences. But they don't. The best you can do is point to reports of things which at best are mildly unusual, but not inherently and fundamentally inexplicable within a natural context.

Technically you're wrong here.  I of course have not investigated the occurances myself, but there are reports around the world of Chrisitians spiritually healing people and doing all the things that the Bible described that the followers would be able to do.  According to reports, the "acts" are plausible.  Read "The Next Christiandom"

It tends not to happen in the Northern Americas as much.  The faith according to the book is growing much more in the South.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Exactly what one would expect of handed-down stories which have a tendency to be elaborated when passed on, even without conscious intention to deceive, which is why the more spectacular reported manifestations of 'God' tend be in the distant past.

If you research the history of the scriptures, the people who told the stories were just as careful as the translators today as to not add their own "adjenda" or opinions to the stories.  They would carefully say it as it was.  I'm sure a few words changed here or there, but it's understood that nothing significant had been manipulated.

It's best understood by the fact that the stories all had individual authors and that if they were manipulated as you say, they would not flow with each other.  There would be a ton of outlying information.  That would at least be the... logical approach.


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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

Technically, there are four observable forces, and "God" isn't one of them.

Could it be because the "God" force as you call it has a choice?  If you want to measure my power... and I say, 'Uh... no', explain how you're going to measure it.

God wants you to build a relationship in him, not believe in him just because....

HisWillness wrote:

My exact problem with the God Force hypothesis is that it is unfalsifiable. That is, we could never show any statement about it to be false. Real things, about which one can form reasonable hypotheses, are subject to falsifiability. For instance.

caposkia wrote:
But what IS [gravity]?

I told you - it's a force. A force is a physical thing. A measurable, physical thing.

caposkia wrote:
What does it look like?

It's invisible.

caposkia wrote:
What's it made of?

Gravitons.


 

heheh... ok, if I used that approach with you guys on God, I'd have been laughed off the site.

wait... you know.. lemme try it.

What is God?

I told you, He's a spirit.  His power has been experienced by many, but his force is beyond our comprehension and is not a constant therefore, is immeasureable, but experiencible. 

eh... ok, slightly not ok to the physical sciences.

how about... what does he look like?

he's invisible

ok, what is he made of?

Spiritual energy

I don't know... I feel like that's not going to fly with the citizens of RRS. 

I'll give you credit though, you definitely pulled hard on that one to bring out a hypothetical as an example.  Unless of course you can show me a graviton.  I mean, that's what many people want me to do to prove to them God actually exists.  That is Spirit DNA of sorts. 

I like your conclusion as well above.  Because God is "unfalsifiable", that must mean he's not real.....wwwhich... would make him ultimately falsifiable by unfalsifiable standards... Which I don't think flies in the scientific world. 

HisWillness wrote:

Does the God Force avoid scientists on purpose? If so, why?

One reason could be the Bible verse, "you should not tempt the Lord your God"

beyond that, he wants to build a relationship with you, not just say *poof* here I am.  Part of building that relationship would be to persue Him. 

HisWillness wrote:

Help me out, here. With an earthquake, we're measuring the movement of the earth. What are we measuring with the God Force?

Could be any number of things.  Probably focusing on statistical happenings and commonalities as well as what would coenside with the personality of God. 

HisWillness wrote:

But we'd have to have a hypothesis about those pieces of information. What's more likely, that we have an unmeasurable force, or that people are hallucinating? First of all, we have no reason to believe that there's a force to measure, because unlike the other forces, the God Force has never presented itself to one of the world's scientists for 400 years. Second, people hallucinate and lie all the time. They also experience false memories, remember things incorrectly, and are sometimes crazy. That's not so much a source of data.

Interesting statistics be it that there are many scientists... 45% to be more precise that actually believe in God.  A few discovered God through their studies.  This would lead me to believe that "the God Force" Has in fact presented itself to many of the world's scientists in the last 400 years. 

Also, sure people lie and hallucinate all the time.  Ask any cop, there are tell tale signs and inconsistencies with a liar's story. 

Also, hallucinations are either medically caused or can be detected in some way.  That knocks those people out of the way.  What of the ones that don't have the "right conditions" for hallucinations?  How about group hallucinations with no drugs or medical contingencies?   What about hallucinations around the world that strangely enough seem to have the same outcome and description?  I'm sure you'll find something to explain them away, but it still doesn't hold water as far as outcome and consistencies from what I understand.  (just critiquing)

As far as false memories, etc.  I just finished reading a book called Phantoms in the Brain.  It was interesting read and I would suggest it.

HisWillness wrote:

Where? I can't see how you can make a statement about something that has never been measured.

testimonies would be a good place to start for that one.  I guess that leads into truth or lie, however, people's lives and the changes that occur can't stay hidden. 

HisWillness wrote:

Because this God Force has never shown up when anyone was measuring!

Why would he?

HisWillness wrote:

What I've noticed is irrelevant. When we model our universe, the math turns out pretty well without another force, so why is it that you think this God Force hides on purpose from scientists?

What you've noticed is irrelevant!!!  If so, then we need not go further. 

moving on..

I think as far as the God Force hiding on scientists, I've already clarified. 

HisWillness wrote:

Yeah, but I was breathing, and I didn't die. That's pretty good evidence for terrestrially composed wind or air. That's measurable.

I didn't say that the wind was not measurable.  I said you didn't notice.  That was the point. 


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caposkia wrote:Could it be

caposkia wrote:
Could it be because the "God" force as you call it has a choice?  If you want to measure my power... and I say, 'Uh... no', explain how you're going to measure it.

So God chooses to never, ever be measurable. Ever. In 400 years of measuring (including Newton's desperate attempts). That's more like a policy than a choice.

caposkia wrote:
God wants you to build a relationship in him, not believe in him just because....

Presumably God told you that.

caposkia wrote:
heheh... ok, if I used that approach with you guys on God, I'd have been laughed off the site.

No you wouldn't, because gravity is measurable. How many times do I have to say it?

caposkia wrote:
I don't know... I feel like that's not going to fly with the citizens of RRS.

That's because "spiritual energy" isn't measurable.

caposkia wrote:
I'll give you credit though, you definitely pulled hard on that one to bring out a hypothetical as an example.  Unless of course you can show me a graviton.  I mean, that's what many people want me to do to prove to them God actually exists.

I can't show you an electron, either. You figure those don't exist? We just want evidence. Evidence is measurable.

caposkia wrote:
I like your conclusion as well above.  Because God is "unfalsifiable", that must mean he's not real.....wwwhich... would make him ultimately falsifiable by unfalsifiable standards... Which I don't think flies in the scientific world.

No. The assertion that God is real is unfalsifiable, because God defies description, and is unmeasurable.

caposkia wrote:
HisWillness wrote:
Because this God Force has never shown up when anyone was measuring!

Why would he?

I don't know! I've never pretended to know anything about a magical creature before!

caposkia wrote:
I didn't say that the wind was not measurable.  I said you didn't notice.  That was the point.

Okay, so the nature of this mystical subjective happening that I'd have to go through to sense God (and not Vishnu or Ba'al, I suppose) defies measurement and depends entirely on my field of attention? I have to be noticing the workings of an otherwise unmeasurable ... something?

How does that differ from someone who has just convinced themselves of something, and are wrong? For instance, if someone experiences a connection with Vishnu.

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HisWillness wrote:So God

HisWillness wrote:

So God chooses to never, ever be measurable. Ever. In 400 years of measuring (including Newton's desperate attempts). That's more like a policy than a choice.

God usually has sound reason for doing stuff.  What would be the reason for him to "flex his muscles" just so that a skeptical scientist can measure it?

HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:
God wants you to build a relationship in him, not believe in him just because....

Presumably God told you that.

It's in the Bible.

HisWillness wrote:

No you wouldn't, because gravity is measurable. How many times do I have to say it?

Proabably the same amount of times I have to tell you it's only measureable because its' a constant and cannot choose to stop.

HisWillness wrote:

 

That's because "spiritual energy" isn't measurable.

Or we don't have the means to measure it.  There's a difference.

HisWillness wrote:

I can't show you an electron, either. You figure those don't exist? We just want evidence. Evidence is measurable.

All I did here was ask of you exactly what everyone was asking of me.  Basically you're telling be because I can't show you a graviton or an electron, they can't possibly exist... but the force that those non-existant entities create is measureable.  I never said God couldn't be measured, it's most likely beyond our means AND He can choose when to use His energy and how much of it to use.  Which would logically make measuring His energy virtually impossible.  Be it that God is understood to be powerful enough to create everything we know, it would also be logical to conclude that we'd never have the means to even begin to measure such power.  You cannot logically conclude from lack of means that God is immeasureable and thus does not exist.

Also, another issue that keeps arising is all of our measurement is based on the physical.  In order to measure gravity, you'd need to use the physical... probably a physical object to measure it's weight which in turn gives us an understanding of the pull gravity has on the object.   What if I asked you to measure the power of a single graviton... could you do it?  If so, what is that measurement and how did you conclude that?

HisWillness wrote:

No. The assertion that God is real is unfalsifiable, because God defies description, and is unmeasurable.

I will add... "by our own means."

caposkia wrote:
HisWillness wrote:
Because this God Force has never shown up when anyone was measuring!

Why would he?

HisWillness wrote:

I don't know! I've never pretended to know anything about a magical creature before!

Therefore, you cannot conclude logically anything about God at this point.  You've even already concluded that he's magical when really it could be just that you don't understand His power.

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, so the nature of this mystical subjective happening that I'd have to go through to sense God (and not Vishnu or Ba'al, I suppose) defies measurement and depends entirely on my field of attention? I have to be noticing the workings of an otherwise unmeasurable ... something?

How does that differ from someone who has just convinced themselves of something, and are wrong? For instance, if someone experiences a connection with Vishnu.

That starts really diving into the spiritual realm and how that all works.  It is entirely possible that someone experienced a connection with a spiritual being and either assumed it was Vishnu or it could have claimed to be such.  Worship of "false gods" doesn't mean those spirits don't exist. 


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Since I noticed something

Since I noticed something that hadn't been concluded properly....

caposkia wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

So God chooses to never, ever be measurable. Ever. In 400 years of measuring (including Newton's desperate attempts). That's more like a policy than a choice.

God usually has sound reason for doing stuff.  What would be the reason for him to "flex his muscles" just so that a skeptical scientist can measure it?

How about granting the scientist the ability to determine whether or not to follow the gods precepts? Allowing the scientist to measure gods "muscles" would allow the scientist to believe in gods existance, granting the scientist the "free will" to choose whether to follow god or not to.

caposkia wrote:
HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:
God wants you to build a relationship in him, not believe in him just because....

Presumably God told you that.

It's in the Bible.

Which was compiled and written by man.

caposkia wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

No you wouldn't, because gravity is measurable. How many times do I have to say it?

Proabably the same amount of times I have to tell you it's only measureable because its' a constant and cannot choose to stop.

By your own argument, it's only a constant because god chooses it to be. God could microscopically change that constant, thereby changing all of physics, and proving his existance, without making enough of an impact to adversely affect his creation.

caposkia wrote:
HisWillness wrote:

 

That's because "spiritual energy" isn't measurable.

Or we don't have the means to measure it.  There's a difference.

Only if it exists. There is nothing to suggest that it does, and everything to suggest that it doesn't.

I didn't see any new material in the remainder of the post to deal with, so I leave it here.

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Might as well add that we

Might as well add that we most definitely DO measure stuff that varies, all the time, even earthquakes. Many, many instruments not ony record continuously any phenomenon that is at all measureable or observable, we have instruments that measure the rate of change.

We have Terabytes, nay petabytes of more-or-less continuous recordings of many phenomena of interest. So the claim we can only measure something that doesn't vary is absurd, even for caposkia. It really demonstrates he has no understanding of anything worth a pile of dog-shit.

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caposkia wrote:God usually

caposkia wrote:
God usually has sound reason for doing stuff.

You're illustrating my problem, here. You know about God, despite the fact that we have no way to construct actual knowledge about Him.

caposkia wrote:
Be it that God is understood to be powerful enough to create everything we know, it would also be logical to conclude that we'd never have the means to even begin to measure such power.  You cannot logically conclude from lack of means that God is immeasureable and thus does not exist.

That's not how I conclude that God probably does not exist. The way I conclude that God does not probably exist is that God is one possible construct of the unknown, which could be constructed an infinite number of ways, given that it is unknown. (For instance, God could live in a stone castle in one version, and a crystal palace in another). Since an infinite number of possibilities exist for these scenarios, the odds of your specific version being true approach zero.

I would never say that God does not exist, full stop. I would also never say that about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

caposkia wrote:
Also, another issue that keeps arising is all of our measurement is based on the physical.  In order to measure gravity, you'd need to use the physical... probably a physical object to measure it's weight which in turn gives us an understanding of the pull gravity has on the object.   What if I asked you to measure the power of a single graviton... could you do it?  If so, what is that measurement and how did you conclude that?

That's probably a bad example you've chosen, considering a graviton is a mathematical construct. How would we involve the non-physical in our discussion? What do we know about the non-physical?

caposkia wrote:
HisWillness wrote:

No. The assertion that God is real is unfalsifiable, because God defies description, and is unmeasurable.

I will add... "by our own means."

Yes, by our own means, God is unmeasurable. God is still unfalsifiable by His vague presentation, however. It is impossible given any means to falsify the hypothesis that God exists. That's a pretty good indication that you're dealing with something that has a shaky ontology. If you can't define what you mean to say exists, then it's difficult to talk about its existence in any reasonable way.

caposkia wrote:
Therefore, you cannot conclude logically anything about God at this point.  You've even already concluded that he's magical when really it could be just that you don't understand His power.

I said "magical" because you claim He subverts the laws of physics whenever He wants, but only when nobody's looking. It's a claim of magic. It's also comedic in its implication. (Since He only seems to do it when nobody's looking, I mean.)

I don't even know why we need logic for this conversation anyway. It's not like you could "prove" that God was male, despite that continuing assumption.

caposkia wrote:

That starts really diving into the spiritual realm and how that all works.  It is entirely possible that someone experienced a connection with a spiritual being and either assumed it was Vishnu or it could have claimed to be such.  Worship of "false gods" doesn't mean those spirits don't exist. 

But what evidence do you have that convinces you of that possibility? Why would you consider it reasonable that a spirit exists? Because someone told you? Because it just is?

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Vastet wrote:How about

Vastet wrote:

How about granting the scientist the ability to determine whether or not to follow the gods precepts? Allowing the scientist to measure gods "muscles" would allow the scientist to believe in gods existance, granting the scientist the "free will" to choose whether to follow god or not to.

God wants you to build a relationship in him, not believe in him just because...

Vastet wrote:

It's in the Bible.

Quote:

Which was compiled and written by man.
 

through eye-witness or personal accounts just as the rest of history was portrayed to us.

Vastet wrote:

By your own argument, it's only a constant because god chooses it to be. God could microscopically change that constant, thereby changing all of physics, and proving his existance, without making enough of an impact to adversely affect his creation.

God wants to build a relationship with you, not make you believe in him just because...

Vastet wrote:

Only if it exists. There is nothing to suggest that it does, and everything to suggest that it doesn't.

So you have evidence that it does not exist?  Yes that's proving a negative, but by your own words, you're claiming it.

 


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BobSpence1 wrote:Might as

BobSpence1 wrote:

Might as well add that we most definitely DO measure stuff that varies, all the time, even earthquakes. Many, many instruments not ony record continuously any phenomenon that is at all measureable or observable, we have instruments that measure the rate of change.

We have Terabytes, nay petabytes of more-or-less continuous recordings of many phenomena of interest. So the claim we can only measure something that doesn't vary is absurd, even for caposkia. It really demonstrates he has no understanding of anything worth a pile of dog-shit.

Are you kidding me?  If you really read the topic, you'd notice that the reference was focused on gravity, which is a constant.  Gravity was being used in comparison because we cannot see it, we cannot hear it, we have no way of holding it or looking at it, yet it exists and we know it exists because it affects us. 

for your response however...

This is because we know the physical source... and the source is physical.  Do we know the source of God's power?  or where God is for that matter?  Do we know that he's going to affect us from within the Earth, or from the sky? 

 


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caposkia wrote:Vastet

caposkia wrote:

Vastet wrote:

How about granting the scientist the ability to determine whether or not to follow the gods precepts? Allowing the scientist to measure gods "muscles" would allow the scientist to believe in gods existance, granting the scientist the "free will" to choose whether to follow god or not to.

God wants you to build a relationship in him, not believe in him just because...

Vastet wrote:

It's in the Bible.

Which was compiled and written by man.
 

through eye-witness or personal accounts just as the rest of history was portrayed to us.

Vastet wrote:

By your own argument, it's only a constant because god chooses it to be. God could microscopically change that constant, thereby changing all of physics, and proving his existance, without making enough of an impact to adversely affect his creation.

God wants to build a relationship with you, not make you believe in him just because...

Vastet wrote:

Only if it exists. There is nothing to suggest that it does, and everything to suggest that it doesn't.

So you have evidence that it does not exist?  Yes that's proving a negative, but by your own words, you're claiming it.

Eyewitness and personal accounts that they put off writing for years until Paul wrote his epistles. Were they building a backstory for his Christ or correcting his errors?

Interesting thing about God's relationship with man - Man had to provide both sides.

"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."
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HisWillness wrote:You're

HisWillness wrote:

You're illustrating my problem, here. You know about God, despite the fact that we have no way to construct actual knowledge about Him.

really, in that case then, scientists know about gravity, yet they can't construct actual knowlege about it... or can they? 

I guess what's not making sense to me with that response is what do you mean by "construct actual knowlege about Him"? 

HisWillness wrote:

That's not how I conclude that God probably does not exist. The way I conclude that God does not probably exist is that God is one possible construct of the unknown, which could be constructed an infinite number of ways, given that it is unknown. (For instance, God could live in a stone castle in one version, and a crystal palace in another). Since an infinite number of possibilities exist for these scenarios, the odds of your specific version being true approach zero.

I would never say that God does not exist, full stop. I would also never say that about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

I'd say that's a logical conclusion.  However, your example of infinite number of ways God could exist automatically implements a physical place for Him to dwell.  That's Christian Mythology.  For all of you who would imediately question the difference between Christian Mythology and a belief in God should read up on it.  You may be surprised at how many of the "fairy tale" stories you hear about God are from that.  This would be in reference to many extra-Biblical writings or theories.  Many of which I have seen referenced on this site as actual legit belief and reason why many don't follow Christ. 

HisWillness wrote:

That's probably a bad example you've chosen, considering a graviton is a mathematical construct. How would we involve the non-physical in our discussion? What do we know about the non-physical?

well, this would have to take into consideration whether you feel gravity is actually physical or not.  Is it physical only because it affects the physical, or can you actually grab me a sample of it?

HisWillness wrote:

Yes, by our own means, God is unmeasurable. God is still unfalsifiable by His vague presentation, however. It is impossible given any means to falsify the hypothesis that God exists. That's a pretty good indication that you're dealing with something that has a shaky ontology. If you can't define what you mean to say exists, then it's difficult to talk about its existence in any reasonable way.

I can describe His existance to the best of my knowlege.  Due to the fact that it won't reference to any phyisical location or physical characteristics and that God as far as we know has always been, (as much as we know the universe has) I know it would all sound quite bogus to you all.  It's very apparent nothing beyond the physical is a conceivable concept to most of you. 

HisWillness wrote:

I said "magical" because you claim He subverts the laws of physics whenever He wants, but only when nobody's looking. It's a claim of magic. It's also comedic in its implication. (Since He only seems to do it when nobody's looking, I mean.)

I'm sorry if I actually claimed he subverts the laws of physics, but only when no one is looking.  I should correct myself then.  He has the ability to subvert the laws of physics... why?  He created them from what we understand.  However, if you look at my Science vs. Religion Forum, you will see many logical references to God implementing his power in cooperation with the scientific laws.

HisWillness wrote:

I don't even know why we need logic for this conversation anyway. It's not like you could "prove" that God was male, despite that continuing assumption.

oooh, now we're getting into a whole new topic.  I never "claimed" He was male.  Yes, we use "He" generally speaking.  I know Christians who call reference to God as She.  "He" is from many many years that come to the idea that only a male could be a leader, most Christians just subconsiously reference to God that way.  God is also known as our creator, thus our Father, but there is scripture referencing to God as a mother.  (I don't remember the verses right now)

If you want to get to the bare bone of whether God is male or female, He..... or She is neither. 

If you look at the Hebrew and Coyne' Greek, both languages reference to God in the neuter.  This basically means there is no gender reference to God.  Our language has no way of expressing God in the neuter, therefore, we substitute either He or She, 90% of the people would say He.  5% of Christians actually reference to God as "it" understanding the neuter.  (the percentages referenced are my own estimates and could be a little off, though I believe they are pretty close to the actual stats)

Is that sufficient reasoning for the use of logic? 

caposkia wrote:

But what evidence do you have that convinces you of that possibility? Why would you consider it reasonable that a spirit exists? Because someone told you? Because it just is?

I've had personal experiences that leave no other explanation... also, I have reliable sources that claim spiritual encounters that coenside with other encounters that they aren't aware of.    I also have a relationship with God and have seen His work in my life.  I've seen God's work in others lives.


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caposkia wrote:really, in

caposkia wrote:
really, in that case then, scientists know about gravity, yet they can't construct actual knowlege about it... or can they? 

I guess what's not making sense to me with that response is what do you mean by "construct actual knowlege about Him"?

Maybe I'm not being clear. We can measure, describe and predict the effects of gravity. The "effects" of God are completely unpredictable, unmeasurable, and totally subjective. In fact, they have more in common with a figment of someone's imagination than a force.

caposkia wrote:
I'd say that's a logical conclusion.  However, your example of infinite number of ways God could exist automatically implements a physical place for Him to dwell.

If you're implying that there is a non-physical place, then you have yet to demonstrate how such a place is possible, given that physical is all we know. If you're speculating that should a non-physical place exist, that it will be populated by only one god, and it's the one you're thinking of, then your odds are still reduced to exactly zero, from the infinite ways in which you can be wrong about a domain you know nothing about.

But that's mental acrobatics, let's be honest. The important part is that you should be aware that you're postulating something outlandish in a non-physical domain that defies description. Of course, there's nothing wrong with outlandish theories. The only reason String Theory gets a pass is because they've at least done the math, and for the most part, they're discussing physical reality. But it's still on the wacky side.

caposkia wrote:
well, this would have to take into consideration whether you feel gravity is actually physical or not.  Is it physical only because it affects the physical, or can you actually grab me a sample of it?

Don't be puerile. You're obviously smarter than that statement. No, I can't get you a jar of gravity, and yes, you know as well as I do that gravity is physical. It affects the physical, and is a force that acts upon mass.

caposkia wrote:
I can describe His existance to the best of my knowlege.  Due to the fact that it won't reference to any phyisical location or physical characteristics and that God as far as we know has always been, (as much as we know the universe has) I know it would all sound quite bogus to you all.  It's very apparent nothing beyond the physical is a conceivable concept to most of you.

Oh, we get the concept. You learned it from Aquinas, who learned it from Augustine, who learned it from Plotinus, who learned it from Plato. "Beyond the physical" is an unfortunate remnant of Platonic thought that filters through the centuries to cause problems for those of us who actually want to know what's going on. It's frankly impossible to demonstrate anything "beyond the physical", and it's equally impossible to know anything about those things "beyond the physical".

caposkia wrote:
I'm sorry if I actually claimed he subverts the laws of physics, but only when no one is looking.  I should correct myself then.  He has the ability to subvert the laws of physics... why?  He created them from what we understand.  However, if you look at my Science vs. Religion Forum, you will see many logical references to God implementing his power in cooperation with the scientific laws.

I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean about your "Science vs. Religion Forum". Also, why would an omniscient being subvert laws that otherwise remain constant? It's confusing on several levels, not to mention inconsistent with reality.

caposkia wrote:
oooh, now we're getting into a whole new topic.  I never "claimed" He was male.

No problem, consider it dropped. But you can't bring up classical languages without getting into a bit of trouble:

caposkia wrote:
If you look at the Hebrew and Coyne' Greek, both languages reference to God in the neuter.

Um, I think you mean "male or female" in the case of Greek, since both show up in ancient and Koine Greek. There is no neuter form. But the biblical ὁ θεός is (obviously) masculine.

caposkia wrote:
Is that sufficient reasoning for the use of logic?

?

caposkia wrote:
I've had personal experiences that leave no other explanation...

Oh, c'mon. Are you saying that you have exhaustive knowledge of all available explanations, and you have the capacity to judge exactly which one is applicable without any external validation? That sounds more like you're claiming that you're the god.

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HisWillness wrote:Maybe I'm

HisWillness wrote:

Maybe I'm not being clear. We can measure, describe and predict the effects of gravity. The "effects" of God are completely unpredictable, unmeasurable, and totally subjective. In fact, they have more in common with a figment of someone's imagination than a force.

Let's bring in the reasons on why gravity is predictable and God is not:

1.  Gravity is a constant. 

     a.  God is not.

2. Gravity can't change it's mind or choose when to have an effect on something... why?  it doesn't think for itself... 

    a.  God can think for Himself.

3.  Gravity has one function.

    a. God has many functions

4.  The power of gravity is within our realm of comprehension.

    a.  The power of God is beyond our realm of comprehension.  (not unrealized, just not understood.)

5.  We understand the source of the power of gravity.

    a.  we don't for God. 

HisWillness wrote:

If you're implying that there is a non-physical place, then you have yet to demonstrate how such a place is possible, given that physical is all we know. If you're speculating that should a non-physical place exist, that it will be populated by only one god, and it's the one you're thinking of, then your odds are still reduced to exactly zero, from the infinite ways in which you can be wrong about a domain you know nothing about.

But that's mental acrobatics, let's be honest. The important part is that you should be aware that you're postulating something outlandish in a non-physical domain that defies description. Of course, there's nothing wrong with outlandish theories. The only reason String Theory gets a pass is because they've at least done the math, and for the most part, they're discussing physical reality. But it's still on the wacky side.

How would I demonstrate to you... someone who would only accept a physical outcome a non-physical place? 

Work has been done.  Historical discoveries have been tied to Biblical claims etc.  Depends really on where you're looking.  There are a lot of people out there who have "done the math" if you will on God.  I don't have an imediate reference to any of them, but I'm sure a theological library or a library with a theological seciton would have a lot of sources.

HisWillness wrote:

Don't be puerile. You're obviously smarter than that statement. No, I can't get you a jar of gravity, and yes, you know as well as I do that gravity is physical. It affects the physical, and is a force that acts upon mass.

I asked that because I actually got an explanation one time that gravity must be physical... the reason... purely because it affects the physical.  They proceeded to ask me then if God was physical.  According to their explanation... He would have to be even though we know He's spiritual.  God affects the physical too... pph.  I mean  He created it!

HisWillness wrote:

Oh, we get the concept. You learned it from Aquinas, who learned it from Augustine, who learned it from Plotinus, who learned it from Plato. "Beyond the physical" is an unfortunate remnant of Platonic thought that filters through the centuries to cause problems for those of us who actually want to know what's going on. It's frankly impossible to demonstrate anything "beyond the physical", and it's equally impossible to know anything about those things "beyond the physical".

yet, the God belief goes on before them.... interesting that the idea was founded... after the fact.

HisWillness wrote:

I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean about your "Science vs. Religion Forum". Also, why would an omniscient being subvert laws that otherwise remain constant? It's confusing on several levels, not to mention inconsistent with reality.

you know, I dont' know the answer to that.  You're the one that suggested the idea.  I never claimed... as far as I remember... that God subverted any laws. 

hey!  here's a concept!  Why would a police officer... one who upholds the law... or even a lawmaker... who created the law...break the law???  

There you're asking me to speak for someone else.  Why did so and so kill that other person?  In most cases, I will say "i dont' know" why?  I'm not them and I most likely wouldn't have made the same decision if faced with the same scenario. 

I don't know how to make a link to another forum on here.  I never sat down to figure it out.  If you do a search on RSS for "science vs. religion" it should come up.

HisWillness wrote:

No problem, consider it dropped. But you can't bring up classical languages without getting into a bit of trouble:

caposkia wrote:
If you look at the Hebrew and Coyne' Greek, both languages reference to God in the neuter.

Um, I think you mean "male or female" in the case of Greek, since both show up in ancient and Koine Greek. There is no neuter form. But the biblical ὁ θεός is (obviously) masculine.

I was mistaken about the Hebrew.  Greek has neuter, Hebrew does not.  God's name, not Theos (which is "god" not יַהְוֶה 'hebrew lettering' which is understood to be neither masculine or femenine.)  Theos can be in reference to any god who is being addressed as "god". 

You're right for both of us.  You can't bring up the classical languages without getting into a bit of trouble.  It's fun isnt' it Smiling

HisWillness wrote:

Oh, c'mon. Are you saying that you have exhaustive knowledge of all available explanations, and you have the capacity to judge exactly which one is applicable without any external validation? That sounds more like you're claiming that you're the god.

let's just say, I'm waiting for a better explanation than "your delusional" or "you're believing in a fairytale".  So far, that's been the best defense against my belief. 

Maybe there are explanations for "God sightings", but inteligent minds that are recognized as such in the world hold to their experiences as well.  They're most likely better able to back up their experiences better than I can through what they understand.


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1a. God isn't a constant? So

1a. God isn't a constant? So that "the same yesterday, today and forever" from Hebrews 13:8 is bull?

1b. For a being that thinks for himself he is certainly reactionary. Wouldn't he be better without such a reptilian nature?

1c. Are there other functions? Please name one - we know from the Bible that he can kill and enjoys it.

1d/1e. Love that special pleading.

2a. If one starts with the conclusion they want, it doesn't take a lot to find evidence supporting it.

2b. Your logic can also be used to say Spider-Man is real because it's set in New York City.

3. Belief in gods has been around for eons before Christianity - what makes yours unique?

4. You don't believe God subverted any laws? Never mind his rampant killings to basically show off his package.  Actually, it makes sense - the ones who enforce the laws often feel they are above them.

 

 

 

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This is a little bit of a

This is a little bit of a repeat of what I posted in another thread, but I think it is certainly applicable here:

 

Butter, your quest for evidence of the spiritual carries with it the assumption that the "spiritual" can be measured/quantified using the tools of the physical.  I think that's an ENORMOUS assumption. 


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If it can't, it can't be

If it can't, it can't be measured or quantified, period.

Wherever we as a species look, we see the physical world. We can quantify and measure these things because they *exist,* because they affect things, or are things, or have relations to things that really exist.

Supernatural claims, especially if you're going to pull the 'we can't know it' are self-defeating. It says 'we can't measure it, therefore it exists.' It's bunk- at best it's begging the question to begin with; at worst, its theological special pleading.

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Bootie wrote:This is a

Bootie wrote:

This is a little bit of a repeat of what I posted in another thread, but I think it is certainly applicable here:

Butter, your quest for evidence of the spiritual carries with it the assumption that the "spiritual" can be measured/quantified using the tools of the physical.  I think that's an ENORMOUS assumption. 

Anything that can be recorded and analyzed, from brain activity to personal testimony, with people under various actual or artificial scenarios, can and has been be used in   investigating the nature of 'claims' of spiritual experience., as well as many other subjective experiences.

Only claims that involve no consistent impact on behavior or on any independently observable event would be mostly excluded from scientific investigation.

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

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caposkia wrote:Let's bring

caposkia wrote:

Let's bring in the reasons on why gravity is predictable and God is not:

1.  Gravity is a constant. 

     a.  God is not.

Gravity isn't a constant, it's the curvature of space-time that coincides with mass.

caposkia wrote:
2. Gravity can't change it's mind or choose when to have an effect on something... why?  it doesn't think for itself... 

    a.  God can think for Himself.

I have to ask again: how do you know so much about something you can't interrogate, even indirectly?

caposkia wrote:
3.  Gravity has one function.

    a. God has many functions

That's nonsensical even from a theological standpoint. Let's ignore what the "function" of gravity might be. God has functions? What?

caposkia wrote:
4.  The power of gravity is within our realm of comprehension.

    a.  The power of God is beyond our realm of comprehension.  (not unrealized, just not understood.)

So you understand enough about God to know that His power is incomprehensible. I'm guessing you believe that it's somewhat comprehensible, or you wouldn't be able to make statements about it like "[it] is beyond our realm of comprehension."

caposkia wrote:
How would I demonstrate to you... someone who would only accept a physical outcome a non-physical place?

Here's the problem that I have: practically speaking, God doesn't exist like, say, shoes exist. With shoes, we just say, "yes, these shoes exist." There's no difficulty with that, and no reasonably disagreement. So why is it so difficult with God?

caposkia wrote:
Work has been done.  Historical discoveries have been tied to Biblical claims etc.

If you know of any of these historical discoveries, they would count as the evidence that so far has not been supplied.

caposkia wrote:
There are a lot of people out there who have "done the math" if you will on God.

There is no math on God. I know you were being figurative, but since I can produce a mathematical proof for the zero probability of God, it's safe to say the math doesn't argue for your side.

caposkia wrote:
I asked that because I actually got an explanation one time that gravity must be physical... the reason... purely because it affects the physical.  They proceeded to ask me then if God was physical.  According to their explanation... He would have to be even though we know He's spiritual.  God affects the physical too... pph.  I mean  He created it!

That's IF God affects the physical. IF. It's a big IF, because as we've shown, getting God to demonstrate His power to bend the rules of physics has been tried for 250 years, and not a single hit.

caposkia wrote:
yet, the God belief goes on before them.... interesting that the idea was founded... after the fact.

Are you making a case for pre-Biblical gods, now?

you know, I dont' know the answer to that.  You're the one that suggested the idea.  I never claimed... as far as I remember... that God subverted any laws. 

hey!  here's a concept!  Why would a police officer... one who upholds the law... or even a lawmaker... who created the law...break the law???  

There you're asking me to speak for someone else.  Why did so and so kill that other person?  In most cases, I will say "i dont' know" why?  I'm not them and I most likely wouldn't have made the same decision if faced with the same scenario. 

I don't know how to make a link to another forum on here.  I never sat down to figure it out.  If you do a search on RSS for "science vs. religion" it should come up.

caposkia wrote:
I was mistaken about the Hebrew.  Greek has neuter, Hebrew does not.  God's name, not Theos (which is "god" not 

יַהְוֶה 'hebrew lettering' which is understood to be neither masculine or femenine.)  Theos can be in reference to any god who is being addressed as "god". 

You're right for both of us.  You can't bring up the classical languages without getting into a bit of trouble.  It's fun isnt' it Smiling

Of course I think it's fun, it's my major. But I can't say you're finding any trouble for me by confusing genders. God is masculine in the Greek of the New Testament, and obviously so. Not that it's surprising, but you can't have it both ways. Either God is a boy, because the Bible need be trusted (why or how much is up to you) or God is a genderless something because you think so.

To be fair, women have only been thought important enough to feature in the political process for less than 100 years, so obviously God is going to be a boy. But that says more about the human bias that went into writing the Bible than anything.

caposkia wrote:
let's just say, I'm waiting for a better explanation than "your delusional" or "you're believing in a fairytale".  So far, that's been the best defense against my belief.

No it isn't. See above with the different standards of reality. God isn't real in the same sense that a table and chairs are real. I think anyone can see that. But how do we bend our minds so that God is real, if He's not real like a table and chairs? What kind of real must we invent in order for God to fit into it?

 

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crazymonkie wrote:If it

crazymonkie wrote:

If it can't, it can't be measured or quantified, period.

Wherever we as a species look, we see the physical world. We can quantify and measure these things because they *exist,* because they affect things, or are things, or have relations to things that really exist.

Supernatural claims, especially if you're going to pull the 'we can't know it' are self-defeating. It says 'we can't measure it, therefore it exists.' It's bunk- at best it's begging the question to begin with; at worst, its theological special pleading.

No, it does not say, "we can't measure it, therefore it exists."  That suggests that its existence is contingent specifically on NOT being able to be measured.  I don't know where you came up with that.  But it also does not rule it out simply because it cannot be measured.  Your logic seems to suggest that, if something cannot be measured, it cannot exist.  Is that correct?


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Bootie wrote:crazymonkie

Bootie wrote:

crazymonkie wrote:

If it can't, it can't be measured or quantified, period.

Wherever we as a species look, we see the physical world. We can quantify and measure these things because they *exist,* because they affect things, or are things, or have relations to things that really exist.

Supernatural claims, especially if you're going to pull the 'we can't know it' are self-defeating. It says 'we can't measure it, therefore it exists.' It's bunk- at best it's begging the question to begin with; at worst, its theological special pleading.

No, it does not say, "we can't measure it, therefore it exists."  That suggests that its existence is contingent specifically on NOT being able to be measured.  I don't know where you came up with that.  But it also does not rule it out simply because it cannot be measured.  Your logic seems to suggest that, if something cannot be measured, it cannot exist.  Is that correct?

No, it says "God is beyond our understanding! Isn't it awsome that God is beyond our understanding? I don't ever want to understand anything about God because that would just wreck his awesomeness!"

I had that particular string of words brought to me in a Bible study - it'd be funny if it wasn't so sad.

"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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If some mental experience

If some mental experience seems to suggest the existence of something outside the mind, then unless we can independently observe evidence for its existence, there is no reason to assume that it is more than just a thought. The mental experience itself exists, simply recording the person's testimony is reasonable evidence for that. We can get further evidence as to the general nature of the experience from brain scans if we want.

But the content of that experience is not, by itself, evidence that any thing or event imagined to exist in reality actually does exist outside the persons imagination, no matter how convincing the experience of contact with something 'real' is. The conviction of the reality of the imagined external contact is, without some form of independent verification, just another feeling.

Independent verification does not have to involve actual physical measurement, although that would be good.

If independent people report similar experiences, and there is no possibility that we can see that they communicated with each other or got the information from some common source, then there may be something interesting to explain. It may indicate some form of unconventional contact between their minds, perhaps even 'telepathy', or just that they all ate or drank some psycho-active chemical that triggered similar experiences. There has to be some aspect of the experience that cannot be explained away like this, otherwise we would be obliged to accept the possible reality all kinds of bizarre stuff that various people become convinced of, many of which are mutually inconsistent, ie they can't all be true.

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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jcgadfly wrote:Bootie

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

crazymonkie wrote:

If it can't, it can't be measured or quantified, period.

Wherever we as a species look, we see the physical world. We can quantify and measure these things because they *exist,* because they affect things, or are things, or have relations to things that really exist.

Supernatural claims, especially if you're going to pull the 'we can't know it' are self-defeating. It says 'we can't measure it, therefore it exists.' It's bunk- at best it's begging the question to begin with; at worst, its theological special pleading.

No, it does not say, "we can't measure it, therefore it exists."  That suggests that its existence is contingent specifically on NOT being able to be measured.  I don't know where you came up with that.  But it also does not rule it out simply because it cannot be measured.  Your logic seems to suggest that, if something cannot be measured, it cannot exist.  Is that correct?

No, it says "God is beyond our understanding! Isn't it awsome that God is beyond our understanding? I don't ever want to understand anything about God because that would just wreck his awesomeness!"

I had that particular string of words brought to me in a Bible study - it'd be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Perhaps some person said that to you about their view of the supernatural, but that's nothing close to what crazymonkie or myself was saying about the supernatural. 


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Bootie wrote:jcgadfly

Bootie wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

crazymonkie wrote:

If it can't, it can't be measured or quantified, period.

Wherever we as a species look, we see the physical world. We can quantify and measure these things because they *exist,* because they affect things, or are things, or have relations to things that really exist.

Supernatural claims, especially if you're going to pull the 'we can't know it' are self-defeating. It says 'we can't measure it, therefore it exists.' It's bunk- at best it's begging the question to begin with; at worst, its theological special pleading.

No, it does not say, "we can't measure it, therefore it exists."  That suggests that its existence is contingent specifically on NOT being able to be measured.  I don't know where you came up with that.  But it also does not rule it out simply because it cannot be measured.  Your logic seems to suggest that, if something cannot be measured, it cannot exist.  Is that correct?

No, it says "God is beyond our understanding! Isn't it awesome that God is beyond our understanding? I don't ever want to understand anything about God because that would just wreck his awesomeness!"

I had that particular string of words brought to me in a Bible study - it'd be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Perhaps some person said that to you about their view of the supernatural, but that's nothing close to what crazymonkie or myself was saying about the supernatural. 

What are you saying, then? I'm getting:

1. God/supernatural things can't be known or understood by human beings.

2. God/supernatural things can't be quantified or measured.

3. The effect God/supernatural things has on other things can't be observed.

4. Despite 1-3, God/supernatural things exists.

"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:Bootie

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

crazymonkie wrote:

If it can't, it can't be measured or quantified, period.

Wherever we as a species look, we see the physical world. We can quantify and measure these things because they *exist,* because they affect things, or are things, or have relations to things that really exist.

Supernatural claims, especially if you're going to pull the 'we can't know it' are self-defeating. It says 'we can't measure it, therefore it exists.' It's bunk- at best it's begging the question to begin with; at worst, its theological special pleading.

No, it does not say, "we can't measure it, therefore it exists."  That suggests that its existence is contingent specifically on NOT being able to be measured.  I don't know where you came up with that.  But it also does not rule it out simply because it cannot be measured.  Your logic seems to suggest that, if something cannot be measured, it cannot exist.  Is that correct?

No, it says "God is beyond our understanding! Isn't it awesome that God is beyond our understanding? I don't ever want to understand anything about God because that would just wreck his awesomeness!"

I had that particular string of words brought to me in a Bible study - it'd be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Perhaps some person said that to you about their view of the supernatural, but that's nothing close to what crazymonkie or myself was saying about the supernatural. 

What are you saying, then? I'm getting:

1. God/supernatural things can't be known or understood by human beings.

2. God/supernatural things can't be quantified or measured.

3. The effect God/supernatural things has on other things can't be observed.

4. Despite 1-3, God/supernatural things exists.

 

My revisions:

1.  God/supernatural things can't be fully understood by humans.  There is plenty of room in that statement left for those who feel the connection with the spiritual yet may never understand it.

2.  God/supernatural can't be quantified or measured using the tools of the physical.  Again, still plenty of room there for those who feel it even though it cannot be measured.

3.  Perhaps the effect God/supernatural things has on other things can be observed - perhaps we see them every day and mistake them for the physical.  Have you ever seen the effects of Love?  Perhaps it's Life itself.  Perhaps it's something else.  Perhaps it cannot be observed at all.  Regardless, if something is felt, it doesn't need to be observed.  The Love between two people is the great example of that.  To someone who feels a connection to the spiritual, observation is irrelevant.

My suggestion is that the spiritual cannot be measured by the physical.  If the spiritual exists, that seems a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why any attempt to test and measure it would fail.  Put Love to the same tests and you'll find the exact same failure to prove its existence.  But that doesn't mean it isn't there, and those who feel it aren't caught up in trying to prove whether or not it can stand up to some stupid physical test.  You are caught up in the idea that if something cannot be measured by physical tests then it cannot exist at all.


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Bootie wrote:jcgadfly

Bootie wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

crazymonkie wrote:

If it can't, it can't be measured or quantified, period.

Wherever we as a species look, we see the physical world. We can quantify and measure these things because they *exist,* because they affect things, or are things, or have relations to things that really exist.

Supernatural claims, especially if you're going to pull the 'we can't know it' are self-defeating. It says 'we can't measure it, therefore it exists.' It's bunk- at best it's begging the question to begin with; at worst, its theological special pleading.

No, it does not say, "we can't measure it, therefore it exists."  That suggests that its existence is contingent specifically on NOT being able to be measured.  I don't know where you came up with that.  But it also does not rule it out simply because it cannot be measured.  Your logic seems to suggest that, if something cannot be measured, it cannot exist.  Is that correct?

No, it says "God is beyond our understanding! Isn't it awesome that God is beyond our understanding? I don't ever want to understand anything about God because that would just wreck his awesomeness!"

I had that particular string of words brought to me in a Bible study - it'd be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Perhaps some person said that to you about their view of the supernatural, but that's nothing close to what crazymonkie or myself was saying about the supernatural. 

What are you saying, then? I'm getting:

1. God/supernatural things can't be known or understood by human beings.

2. God/supernatural things can't be quantified or measured.

3. The effect God/supernatural things has on other things can't be observed.

4. Despite 1-3, God/supernatural things exists.

 

My revisions:

1.  God/supernatural things can't be fully understood by humans.  There is plenty of room in that statement left for those who feel the connection with the spiritual yet may never understand it.

2.  God/supernatural can't be quantified or measured using the tools of the physical.  Again, still plenty of room there for those who feel it even though it cannot be measured.

3.  Perhaps the effect God/supernatural things has on other things can be observed - perhaps we see them every day and mistake them for the physical.  Have you ever seen the effects of Love?  Perhaps it's Life itself.  Perhaps it's something else.  Perhaps it cannot be observed at all.  Regardless, if something is felt, it doesn't need to be observed.  The Love between two people is the great example of that.  To someone who feels a connection to the spiritual, observation is irrelevant.

My suggestion is that the spiritual cannot be measured by the physical.  If the spiritual exists, that seems a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why any attempt to test and measure it would fail.  Put Love to the same tests and you'll find the exact same failure to prove its existence.  But that doesn't mean it isn't there, and those who feel it aren't caught up in trying to prove whether or not it can stand up to some stupid physical test.  You are caught up in the idea that if something cannot be measured by physical tests then it cannot exist at all.

So the supernatural comes down to human emotions/feelings? Well, in that case it can be measured physically.

Love can be measure by changes in brain chemistry and measuring other physical responses as can other emotions.

I fear your suggestion is moot.

"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:Bootie

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

crazymonkie wrote:

If it can't, it can't be measured or quantified, period.

Wherever we as a species look, we see the physical world. We can quantify and measure these things because they *exist,* because they affect things, or are things, or have relations to things that really exist.

Supernatural claims, especially if you're going to pull the 'we can't know it' are self-defeating. It says 'we can't measure it, therefore it exists.' It's bunk- at best it's begging the question to begin with; at worst, its theological special pleading.

No, it does not say, "we can't measure it, therefore it exists."  That suggests that its existence is contingent specifically on NOT being able to be measured.  I don't know where you came up with that.  But it also does not rule it out simply because it cannot be measured.  Your logic seems to suggest that, if something cannot be measured, it cannot exist.  Is that correct?

No, it says "God is beyond our understanding! Isn't it awesome that God is beyond our understanding? I don't ever want to understand anything about God because that would just wreck his awesomeness!"

I had that particular string of words brought to me in a Bible study - it'd be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Perhaps some person said that to you about their view of the supernatural, but that's nothing close to what crazymonkie or myself was saying about the supernatural. 

What are you saying, then? I'm getting:

1. God/supernatural things can't be known or understood by human beings.

2. God/supernatural things can't be quantified or measured.

3. The effect God/supernatural things has on other things can't be observed.

4. Despite 1-3, God/supernatural things exists.

 

My revisions:

1.  God/supernatural things can't be fully understood by humans.  There is plenty of room in that statement left for those who feel the connection with the spiritual yet may never understand it.

2.  God/supernatural can't be quantified or measured using the tools of the physical.  Again, still plenty of room there for those who feel it even though it cannot be measured.

3.  Perhaps the effect God/supernatural things has on other things can be observed - perhaps we see them every day and mistake them for the physical.  Have you ever seen the effects of Love?  Perhaps it's Life itself.  Perhaps it's something else.  Perhaps it cannot be observed at all.  Regardless, if something is felt, it doesn't need to be observed.  The Love between two people is the great example of that.  To someone who feels a connection to the spiritual, observation is irrelevant.

My suggestion is that the spiritual cannot be measured by the physical.  If the spiritual exists, that seems a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why any attempt to test and measure it would fail.  Put Love to the same tests and you'll find the exact same failure to prove its existence.  But that doesn't mean it isn't there, and those who feel it aren't caught up in trying to prove whether or not it can stand up to some stupid physical test.  You are caught up in the idea that if something cannot be measured by physical tests then it cannot exist at all.

So the supernatural comes down to human emotions/feelings?

No, I didn't say that, and only someone who is determined to make their argument regardless of facts would have come up with that nonsense.  I made a comparison between the characteristics of the supernatural and the characteristics of Love.  Neither can be measured.  Sure, you can measure the physical brainwaves and activity, but can you honestly tell me that information on paper is an accurate measurement/representation of what you FEEL when you feel that Love?  No, you cannot.  Here's where you are trying to measure something with physical tools which isn't measurable by physical tools.  You can measure the physical responses to Love, but you cannot measure the Love.  You think Love is nothing more than physiological?  Can you also measure for me the creativity behind Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling painting?  Can you measure what a person feels when they see it in person?  Again, you can measure the physical response, but you cannot measure the emotion.  That is not to say that God/supernatural is emotion.  That is to say that God/supernatural is as immeasurable by our physical tools as things like Love, creativity, beauty, grief, etc...

 


BobSpence
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You are correct.God is a

You are correct.

God is a abstract idea, or concept, with strong emotional content, or a label on some combination of such things, just like the items you listed.

The idea of an actual reality of super creator-of-the-universe entity, outside the imagination of the believer, is demonstrable nonsense.

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

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

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

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


jcgadfly
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Bootie wrote:jcgadfly

Bootie wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Bootie wrote:

crazymonkie wrote:

If it can't, it can't be measured or quantified, period.

Wherever we as a species look, we see the physical world. We can quantify and measure these things because they *exist,* because they affect things, or are things, or have relations to things that really exist.

Supernatural claims, especially if you're going to pull the 'we can't know it' are self-defeating. It says 'we can't measure it, therefore it exists.' It's bunk- at best it's begging the question to begin with; at worst, its theological special pleading.

No, it does not say, "we can't measure it, therefore it exists."  That suggests that its existence is contingent specifically on NOT being able to be measured.  I don't know where you came up with that.  But it also does not rule it out simply because it cannot be measured.  Your logic seems to suggest that, if something cannot be measured, it cannot exist.  Is that correct?

No, it says "God is beyond our understanding! Isn't it awesome that God is beyond our understanding? I don't ever want to understand anything about God because that would just wreck his awesomeness!"

I had that particular string of words brought to me in a Bible study - it'd be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Perhaps some person said that to you about their view of the supernatural, but that's nothing close to what crazymonkie or myself was saying about the supernatural. 

What are you saying, then? I'm getting:

1. God/supernatural things can't be known or understood by human beings.

2. God/supernatural things can't be quantified or measured.

3. The effect God/supernatural things has on other things can't be observed.

4. Despite 1-3, God/supernatural things exists.

 

My revisions:

1.  God/supernatural things can't be fully understood by humans.  There is plenty of room in that statement left for those who feel the connection with the spiritual yet may never understand it.

2.  God/supernatural can't be quantified or measured using the tools of the physical.  Again, still plenty of room there for those who feel it even though it cannot be measured.

3.  Perhaps the effect God/supernatural things has on other things can be observed - perhaps we see them every day and mistake them for the physical.  Have you ever seen the effects of Love?  Perhaps it's Life itself.  Perhaps it's something else.  Perhaps it cannot be observed at all.  Regardless, if something is felt, it doesn't need to be observed.  The Love between two people is the great example of that.  To someone who feels a connection to the spiritual, observation is irrelevant.

My suggestion is that the spiritual cannot be measured by the physical.  If the spiritual exists, that seems a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why any attempt to test and measure it would fail.  Put Love to the same tests and you'll find the exact same failure to prove its existence.  But that doesn't mean it isn't there, and those who feel it aren't caught up in trying to prove whether or not it can stand up to some stupid physical test.  You are caught up in the idea that if something cannot be measured by physical tests then it cannot exist at all.

So the supernatural comes down to human emotions/feelings?

No, I didn't say that, and only someone who is determined to make their argument regardless of facts would have come up with that nonsense.  I made a comparison between the characteristics of the supernatural and the characteristics of Love.  Neither can be measured.  Sure, you can measure the physical brainwaves and activity, but can you honestly tell me that information on paper is an accurate measurement/representation of what you FEEL when you feel that Love?  No, you cannot.  Here's where you are trying to measure something with physical tools which isn't measurable by physical tools.  You can measure the physical responses to Love, but you cannot measure the Love.  You think Love is nothing more than physiological?  Can you also measure for me the creativity behind Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling painting?  Can you measure what a person feels when they see it in person?  Again, you can measure the physical response, but you cannot measure the emotion.  That is not to say that God/supernatural is emotion.  That is to say that God/supernatural is as immeasurable by our physical tools as things like Love, creativity, beauty, grief, etc...

 

You sure write a lot to merely repeat yourself.

You said that the supernatural can't be measured but can be felt and used love as an example. I said the biochemical and other reactions accompanying emotions can be measured physically and ask if you are reducing the supernatural to human feelings ("This feels good/bad/weird. It must be God/Satan/a ghost.&quotEye-wink. You say no and claim that I'm not paying attention to facts. You then say that while the responses to love and emotions can be measured the emotions themselves can only be felt aka repeating yourself.

Did you ever think that the physical responses trigger the feelings? Strong response=strong emotion. With the strong belief in magic that you seem to have from your posts, I doubt 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:HisWillness

caposkia wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

So God chooses to never, ever be measurable. Ever. In 400 years of measuring (including Newton's desperate attempts). That's more like a policy than a choice.

God usually has sound reason for doing stuff.  What would be the reason for him to "flex his muscles" just so that a skeptical scientist can measure it?

I'm currently hell-bound and nothing short of "God flexing his muscles" in a measurable and pre-agreed upon manner is going to sway me. Is my salvation not reason enough for my loving creator to save me from his everlasting torture?

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

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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caposkia wrote: Let's bring

caposkia wrote:

Let's bring in the reasons on why gravity is predictable and God is not:

1.  Gravity is a constant. 

     a.  God is not.

2. Gravity can't change it's mind or choose when to have an effect on something... why?  it doesn't think for itself... 

    a.  God can think for Himself.

3.  Gravity has one function.

    a. God has many functions

4.  The power of gravity is within our realm of comprehension.

    a.  The power of God is beyond our realm of comprehension.  (not unrealized, just not understood.)

5.  We understand the source of the power of gravity.

    a.  we don't for God.

I was going to correct you on this but jcgadfly beet me to it.

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

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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 Seems to me that the

 Seems to me that the social aspect surrounding this issue really strangles out any rational judgement of whether there is or is not another *something*. Personally I'd say there is, based on my own research and my own sightings. That said... there's little chance that you reading this (assuming you're sceptic) is going to believe that. I find it interesting that a sighting of something mundane like blue car will go unchallenged yet for something supernatural... or spiritual (whatever tickles your pickle) faces major (and IMO irrational) scrutiny.

I believe there is a particular state of mind that a person can take towards an issue where they can simply justify the denial of anything... for whatever purpose. I can show you a photo and you will say it's photoshopped... videos are faked... sightings are lies... or just hallucinations. What left is there? Are you really considering the existence of such things. Because if you are I doubt you'll find the answer on a rational responders forum...