I've De-De-Converted....

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I've De-De-Converted....

Been a while... I have some bad (or good news depending on how you look at it)...

I've de-de-converted.... Sorry if this comes as a shock... call me irrational or whatever.. just thought I'd let you guys know.

I've following in the footsteps of others, I suppose: Flew, McGrath, Lewis, Collins, among others...

 

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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Yeah this is weird Ubuntu

 

 

Why? What was the motivating factor in your pirouette? 

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Mostly pragmatism. C.S.

Mostly pragmatism. C.S. Lewis said something that expresses the nature of how I think, but not necessarily about Christianity...

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."

I looked at the arguments from expectation and the arguments from superdominance put forward by Pascal and basically followed it through to the conclusion. If there is no evidence, then I fall back to a prudence-based reasoning for belief. At the end of the day, insofar as I can tell, this does not leave room of agnosticism. But this is qualified, in that it only works when superdominace comes in to play. But at the same time, the particular brand of theism is secondary issue.

edit: I might add that I don't want to be nor am I antagonistic toward atheism or atheists as I still have a healthy respect for much of what I learned from atheism.

 

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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So no actual evidence

 

required then. I guess this is a philosophical position. When you say it's a pragmatic position, you must be suggesting that it's a safe position from the point of view of your long term future. Mmmmm. It seems a rational cop-out to me but if you feel more comfortable like this, and I guess you must, then what the hey. One thing that's of interest is the devotional side in terms of your subjective brand of christianity. Given your belief is primarily a hedge, do you do the whole BFF thing with Sufjan Jesus or are you more of a deist? 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:Been a

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Been a while... I have some bad (or good news depending on how you look at it)...

I've de-de-converted.... Sorry if this comes as a shock... call me irrational or whatever.. just thought I'd let you guys know.

I've following in the footsteps of others, I suppose: Flew, McGrath, Lewis, Collins, among others...

Understood, and sometimes all it takes is a "good" role model to convince you to go in another direction.

The role models I have here work for the time being, even if I am tempted to deconstruct everything they say... there is so much to catch up on.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:Mostly

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Mostly pragmatism. C.S. Lewis said something that expresses the nature of how I think, but not necessarily about Christianity...

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."

I looked at the arguments from expectation and the arguments from superdominance put forward by Pascal and basically followed it through to the conclusion. If there is no evidence, then I fall back to a prudence-based reasoning for belief. At the end of the day, insofar as I can tell, this does not leave room of agnosticism. But this is qualified, in that it only works when superdominace comes in to play. But at the same time, the particular brand of theism is secondary issue.

edit: I might add that I don't want to be nor am I antagonistic toward atheism or atheists as I still have a healthy respect for much of what I learned from atheism.

 

This makes zero sense.

When you were atheist, what were your best reasons for being an atheist? What has changed that has made your best reasons for being atheist no longer good reasons? What new evidence have you uncovered?

What do you know now that you didn't know before, that shows that a god does exist. And how do you know it?

If you followed a path of reason to god belief, then you should have good reasons for now believing in a god. To be good reasons, you should be able to communicate them to other atheists, and they, by following good reasoning, should be able to follow the same path you've followed. So, I hereby ask you, what are your good reasons to believe in a god? Why should I, as one who values believing things with good reason, believe in a god?

If you don't have a good reason to believe in a god, then why do you believe in a god? For bad reasons?


I am guessing that this is a put on. Such as following through on a challenge from someone to pretend to be a theist here, to prove some point or other. It has happened a few times in the past already. Wouldn't be surprised if this is another example.

Either that, or, like Antony Flew, you're experiencing some mental health issue, in which case, sorry to hear it. Hope you can find help. If you want to talk about it, I'm open to it.

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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

required then. I guess this is a philosophical position. When you say it's a pragmatic position, you must be suggesting that it's a safe position from the point of view of your long term future. Mmmmm. It seems a rational cop-out to me but if you feel more comfortable like this, and I guess you must, then what the hey. One thing that's of interest is the devotional side in terms of your subjective brand of christianity. Given your belief is primarily a hedge, do you do the whole BFF thing with Sufjan Jesus or are you more of a deist?  

Like I said, the particular brand of theism ((X-anity, diesm, pantheism, paentheism, Norse Mythology, Islam, Rastafarianism, Pastafarianism, etc.) is up for grabs... And I'm not necessarily out shopping for one at the same time.

I don' see it as a "rational cop-out"... rather a rational opt-in... If all things considered on primary modes of justification (that is evidence-based reason) end up zero-sum, then what else should I do?

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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ubuntuAnyone

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

required then. I guess this is a philosophical position. When you say it's a pragmatic position, you must be suggesting that it's a safe position from the point of view of your long term future. Mmmmm. It seems a rational cop-out to me but if you feel more comfortable like this, and I guess you must, then what the hey. One thing that's of interest is the devotional side in terms of your subjective brand of christianity. Given your belief is primarily a hedge, do you do the whole BFF thing with Sufjan Jesus or are you more of a deist?  

Like I said, the particular brand of theism ((X-anity, diesm, pantheism, paentheism, Norse Mythology, Islam, Rastafarianism, Pastafarianism, etc.) is up for grabs... And I'm not necessarily out shopping for one at the same time.

I don' see it as a "rational cop-out"... rather a rational opt-in... If all things considered on primary modes of justification (that is evidence-based reason) end up zero-sum, then what else should I do?

Simple: Occam's Razor

To the tune of "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair": I'm gonna slice that god right out of my head.

Believing in an unspecified 'god' gets you nothing, and costs you an extra useless belief that can only muddy your other thoughts.

It is a thoroughly unpragmatic thing to believe something with no good reason or evidence to support it.

If your belief in god has no practical effect, it is, by definition, useless, and fails the test of pragmatism.

Occam's Razor, on the other hand, is a very useful principle for pruning out the cluttered underbrush of belief, clearing the mind for more focused thought, saving time and energy that would otherwise be spent on maintaining nonsense belief(s).

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natural wrote:This makes

natural wrote:

This makes zero sense.

When you were atheist, what were your best reasons for being an atheist? What has changed that has made your best reasons for being atheist no longer good reasons? What new evidence have you uncovered?

Atheism covers a swath of positions... heck, even Shintos could be considered atheists because they don't have beliefs in deities.

Before hand, I basically considered myself an agnostic of sort... There was not enough compelling reason to persuade me one way or another so I withheld belief. I probably would consider myself still an agnostic on these matters.

natural wrote:

What do you know now that you didn't know before, that shows that a god does exist. And how do you know it?

I know nothing more now than I knew before... I just considered the possibility and made a decision based on that... like I said, it was pragmatic.

natural wrote:

If you followed a path of reason to god belief, then you should have good reasons for now believing in a god. To be good reasons, you should be able to communicate them to other atheists, and they, by following good reasoning, should be able to follow the

same path you've followed. So, I hereby ask you, what are your good reasons to believe in a god? Why should I, as one who values believing things with good reason, believe in a god?

If you don't have a good reason to believe in a god, then why do you believe in a god? For bad reasons?

You say it doesn't make sense... Either I'm not explaining it well or your not understanding it well...

natural wrote:

I am guessing that this is a put on. Such as following through on a challenge from someone to pretend to be a theist here, to prove some point or other. It has happened a few times in the past already. Wouldn't be surprised if this is another example.

Either that, or, like Antony Flew, you're experiencing some mental health issue, in which case, sorry to hear it. Hope you can find help. If you want to talk about it, I'm open to it.

I'm not trying to prove anything... I'm just confessing my dirty little sin of de-de-converting.

I'm don't think I'm experiencing mental health issues... I volunteered to MMPI about 2 years ago and the analyst said I was normal. 

I'd be reluctant to talk to a person who thinks of theism or any kind as some sort of mental issue... are you one of these types?

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natural wrote:I don' see it

natural wrote:

I don' see it as a "rational cop-out"... rather a rational opt-in... If all things considered on primary modes of justification (that is evidence-based reason) end up zero-sum, then what else should I do?

Simple: Occam's Razor

It is of little use when one is considering something when all things are equally probable (that is when evidence-based reasoning ends up being zero-sum).

natural wrote:

Believing in an unspecified 'god' gets you nothing, and costs you an extra useless belief that can only muddy your other thoughts.

Obviously, I believe in something that rewards belief and all that it entails....

natural wrote:

It is a thoroughly unpragmatic thing to believe something with no good reason or evidence to support it.

I think this is a prudential reason to believe something... This is post-evidence-based reasoning, not in place of evidence-based reasoning

natural wrote:

If your belief in god has no practical effect, it is, by definition, useless, and fails the test of pragmatism.

The usefulness is the consequence of belief vs nonbeleif. Insofar as that is concerned, it passes the test of pragmatism...

natural wrote:

Occam's Razor, on the other hand, is a very useful principle for pruning out the cluttered underbrush of belief, clearing the mind for more focused thought, saving time and energy that would otherwise be spent on maintaining nonsense belief(s).

Occam's Razor does not do is guarantee that what it is "pruning" is not indeed the truth... This is the problem with pragmatic modes of justification and why I think they are always secondary, as I stated from the start...

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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 Ubuntu, sorry to hear

 Ubuntu, sorry to hear that.  I gave you the theist tag because I didn't know what it felt like to remove an atheist tag and put a theist one on someone.  First time for that.

 

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I hope you find happiness in

I hope you find happiness in whatever it is you now believe. As long as you don't start denying people rights based on any religous belief I am happy for you.

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Tapey wrote:I hope you find

Tapey wrote:

I hope you find happiness in whatever it is you now believe. As long as you don't start denying people rights based on any religous belief I am happy for you.

Hell no dude...If you don't want to believe, then that's fine by me... You have just as much right to not believe as I do to believe...

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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What I mean is that

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

required then. I guess this is a philosophical position. When you say it's a pragmatic position, you must be suggesting that it's a safe position from the point of view of your long term future. Mmmmm. It seems a rational cop-out to me but if you feel more comfortable like this, and I guess you must, then what the hey. One thing that's of interest is the devotional side in terms of your subjective brand of christianity. Given your belief is primarily a hedge, do you do the whole BFF thing with Sufjan Jesus or are you more of a deist?  

Like I said, the particular brand of theism ((X-anity, diesm, pantheism, paentheism, Norse Mythology, Islam, Rastafarianism, Pastafarianism, etc.) is up for grabs... And I'm not necessarily out shopping for one at the same time.

I don' see it as a "rational cop-out"... rather a rational opt-in... If all things considered on primary modes of justification (that is evidence-based reason) end up zero-sum, then what else should I do?

 

there is one way to understand the nature of the universe and that's the scientific process. Flawed, messy, incomplete - sure. Honest enough to admit it's wrong, open to re-evaluating evidence, capable of a total reverse - definitely.

I can see why you might say that zero-sum seems the ultimate answer to the biggest questions at present but we cannot know this will always be true. To me, one method of data gathering is generally consistent and has proven its value over time. The other is built on assertions, assumptions, appeals to complexity, ignorance. To me the honest thing is to be confused, to be troubled, to search for answers. This is the human condition. It takes bravery and it entails fear.

And I think there are many more answers coming. Our age of reason is only a couple of hundred years old. I was reading today about stray human cells that roam freely around the body, doing jobs, tidying up. No one knows how or why. One thing appears certain and that's that the arguable truth about us, about matter, non matter, life and the nature of biochemistry, will prove to be very strange indeed. But it will be comprehensible and underpinned by things that can be repeatedly shown to be true. 

It will not be supernatural. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:there

Atheistextremist wrote:

there is one way to understand the nature of the universe and that's the scientific process. Flawed, messy, incomplete - sure. Honest enough to admit it's wrong, open to re-evaluating evidence, capable of a total reverse - definitely.

I can see why you might say that zero-sum seems the ultimate answer to the biggest questions at present but we cannot know this will always be true. To me, one method of data gathering is generally consistent and has proven its value over time. The other is built on assertions, assumptions, appeals to complexity, ignorance. To me the honest thing is to be confused, to be troubled, to search for answers. This is the human condition. It takes bravery and it entails fear.

I'm not fed up with science... science isn't the problem. Empirical, evidence-based reasoning is wonderful at explaining any number of things. It is the arguments for and against belief that I feel are zero-sum. I certainly like to think that I give credit where credit is do -- many atheists and theists substantiate there claims with evidence from science, but the arguments they are making, IMHO, are not scientific arguments...

Atheistextremist wrote:

And I think there are many more answers coming. Our age of reason is only a couple of hundred years old. I was reading today about stray human cells that roam freely around the body, doing jobs, tidying up. No one knows how or why. One thing appears certain and that's that the arguable truth about us, about matter, non matter, life and the nature of biochemistry, will prove to be very strange indeed. But it will be comprehensible and underpinned by things that can be repeatedly shown to be true. 

It will not be supernatural.

I'd certainly agree that anything science uncovers will not be supernatural. Smiling

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i don't get how this is

i don't get how this is pragmatic.  as far as the abrahamic god goes, a vague belief in the existence of "something" will not cut it: according to both mainstream christianity and islam, you're still on the road to hell.  theism doesn't get you into heaven--accepting their creeds does.  as far as judaism goes, it's up in the air, but according to most schools of thought your vague belief is no more of an asset than it is a liability.  ditto with most other religions.  in fact, in the view of the indian contemplative religions, your atheism may very well have been helping you, depending on a lot of factors. 

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The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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ubuntuAnyone wrote:Mostly

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Mostly pragmatism. C.S. Lewis said something that expresses the nature of how I think, but not necessarily about Christianity...

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."

I looked at the arguments from expectation and the arguments from superdominance put forward by Pascal and basically followed it through to the conclusion. If there is no evidence, then I fall back to a prudence-based reasoning for belief. At the end of the day, insofar as I can tell, this does not leave room of agnosticism. But this is qualified, in that it only works when superdominace comes in to play. But at the same time, the particular brand of theism is secondary issue.

edit: I might add that I don't want to be nor am I antagonistic toward atheism or atheists as I still have a healthy respect for much of what I learned from atheism.

 

Luis was a billion years ago and used the same common fallacies people still use today. Flew's book was done by a ghost writer without his permission while he was sick which physically affected his brain. And Pascal? Really?

Bottom line, there is NO evidence of a non material magical super brain with magical super powers.

Smart and elaborate dont equal right. Newton was a smart man but the alchemy he once postulated was bunk.

No you don't "respet" the position of atheist otherwise you wouldn't have gone back.

I hate the word "respect', I like to use the word "value". I value what can be proven. I don't "respect" claims. Claims don't deserve respect. Claims should be thrashed over and over and over. If they come out the other side as universal, then I value them. But merely making a claim is nothing.

You know that a hurricane is not caused by an ocean god, but non cognitive conditions, a process. So why would evolution OR the universe need a cognition?

 

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This reminds me of my former

This reminds me of my former deism so there's hope to get over it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:Tapey

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Tapey wrote:

I hope you find happiness in whatever it is you now believe. As long as you don't start denying people rights based on any religous belief I am happy for you.

Hell no dude...If you don't want to believe, then that's fine by me... You have just as much right to not believe as I do to believe...

No one here is arguing over your human right that SHOULD be protected by government. But claims do not deserve taboo status. You HAVE the right to believe what you want, and others have the right to challenge your claims,

 

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 I understand completely -

 I understand completely - I've bounced back and forth several times in my life.

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As long as you don't start

As long as you don't start trying to bring bibles into classrooms and/or organise/join a pre-existing anti-educational theism I won't kick yer ass. Sticking out tongue

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ubuntuAnyone wrote:Mostly

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Mostly pragmatism. C.S. Lewis said something that expresses the nature of how I think, but not necessarily about Christianity...

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."

I looked at the arguments from expectation and the arguments from superdominance put forward by Pascal and basically followed it through to the conclusion. If there is no evidence, then I fall back to a prudence-based reasoning for belief. At the end of the day, insofar as I can tell, this does not leave room of agnosticism. But this is qualified, in that it only works when superdominace comes in to play. But at the same time, the particular brand of theism is secondary issue. 

Wow, what a surprise. I would like to understand why you de-deconverted. So far it sounds just like the good old fallacy of Pascal's wager.

And anyway, aside of this false dichotomy, things aren't always important according to their truthfulness. For example, a propaganda of some movement can be false, but the organization or tradition itself is a force in lives of people to be reckoned with. So I believe is the case of Christianity. 

I have read C. S. Lewis' biography and a couple of his short books (the letters from the devil or something) but these probably weren't the apologetic ones. I think he always had a relationship to Christianity. A love/hate relationship. When he was in the hate phase, he called himself an atheist. But he never lost that non-rational attachment to it (indoctrination) and was ready to embrace it again. Furthermore, he mentions observing some nefarious occult phenomena, which he AFAIK refused to describe closer. That might be what kept him from becoming a true atheist. By being an atheist, he would have no protection from the supernatural?
So does this have any resemblance to your situation?

I hope you'll live well with your choice, only I have a hard time understanding why. Are you aware, that Christianity can be easily proven being morally and intellectually bankrupt ideology? Of course it doesn't mean you are, but that would be a deal killer for me. (see this pamphlet, for example) Why not something you can defend? Even I can defend my esotericism. 

I would not be surprised if you would have serious personal reasons you're not telling, more than mere philosophy. If you just converted and aren't sure why (so it seems) or how long will it last, are you ready to announce it so soon online and be challenged? 

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Ah, for pete's sake.  What

Ah, for pete's sake.  What a bunch of hokey.

So you got lonely for an invisible friend.  That would be a better reason than Pascal's Wager.  Must we revisit all the reasons to toss out ol' Pascal?  What if it isn't the judaic god?  What if you picked wrong and it is allah?  Zeus?  Vishnu?  Just where would that put you?  Most of them are jealous gods and if you choose wrong, you are history anyway.  And then all the waste of time and energy on said non-existant deity.  Bleh.

My store of patience runs shorter as the term progresses.  So far I am making As but at the cost of my good (hah!) nature.

I'm heating up that tea water.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Brian37 wrote:Bottom line,

Brian37 wrote:

Bottom line, there is NO evidence of a non material magical super brain with magical super powers.

If there is no evidence, then what I said about evidenced based reasoning is true -- it's zero-sum, and thus why I went to secondary modes of justification. I think if one is honest, it isn't that there is no evidence, rather that there is no evidence that you find compelling or convincing... Even as an atheist I would grant that.

Brian37 wrote:

Smart and elaborate dont equal right. Newton was a smart man but the alchemy he once postulated was bunk.

No one is disagreeing with you on this, so why bring it it up?

Brian37 wrote:

No you don't "respet" the position of atheist otherwise you wouldn't have gone back.

I hate the word "respect', I like to use the word "value". I value what can be proven. I don't "respect" claims. Claims don't deserve respect. Claims should be thrashed over and over and over. If they come out the other side as universal, then I value them. But merely making a claim is nothing.

If you want to split hairs over something that is remotely tangential to what I said, that's fine. But it does not change what I said about respecting what I learned from atheism...

Brian37 wrote:

You know that a hurricane is not caused by an ocean god, but non cognitive conditions, a process. So why would evolution OR the universe need a cognition?

Who said anything about evolution, the universe, or hurricanes? Are you trying to pigeon hole me as something I'm not? Being a theist has no necessary implications on these things...

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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iwbiek wrote:i don't get how

iwbiek wrote:

i don't get how this is pragmatic.  as far as the abrahamic god goes, a vague belief in the existence of "something" will not cut it: according to both mainstream christianity and islam, you're still on the road to hell.  theism doesn't get you into heaven--accepting their creeds does.  as far as judaism goes, it's up in the air, but according to most schools of thought your vague belief is no more of an asset than it is a liability.  ditto with most other religions.  in fact, in the view of the indian contemplative religions, your atheism may very well have been helping you, depending on a lot of factors. 

Like I said, the particular "brand" of theism is up for grabs. To me, this is a secondary issue... Even so, accepting atheism in light of the particular Hindo variety still requires me to do what I have done. I do think there is a pragmatic rubric for wading through this though.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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cj wrote:So you got lonely

cj wrote:
So you got lonely for an invisible friend.  That would be a better reason than Pascal's Wager.  Must we revisit all the reasons to toss out ol' Pascal?  What if it isn't the judaic god?  What if you picked wrong and it is allah?  Zeus?  Vishnu?  Just where would that put you?  Most of them are jealous gods and if you choose wrong, you are history anyway.  And then all the waste of time and energy on said non-existant deity.  Bleh.

Pascal may have been shortsighted in his  application of the wager, but that does not mean one has to through the baby out with the bath water... one can look at gods categorically and still come up with the same sort of conclusion...

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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Hey Ubuntu

 

 

what was your upbringing? Was it religious? Yes - I'm trying to understand what your bios-level perspective on this is. You obviously feel there is a potential material benefit in believing. What's that core belief based on?

By the way, welcome back. Good to see you around. I've always enjoyed your posts here. 

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Luminon wrote:And anyway,

Luminon wrote:

And anyway, aside of this false dichotomy, things aren't always important according to their truthfulness. For example, a propaganda of some movement can be false, but the organization or tradition itself is a force in lives of people to be reckoned with. So I believe is the case of Christianity.

-

-

-

 

I would not be surprised if you would have serious personal reasons you're not telling, more than mere philosophy. If you just converted and aren't sure why (so it seems) or how long will it last, are you ready to announce it so soon online and be challenged? 

Your tirade about Christianity is noted, but I'm not defending Christian theism etc...

I do find some of the ideas put forward by particular Christian thinkers are meritorious. The more emotive reasons come from Kierkegaard's writings.

Pascal's Wager wasn't the deciding factor, but rather two ideas that Pascal put forward -- the argument from expectation and argument from superdominance and then the mashup of these two.

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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:
 

what was your upbringing? Was it religious? Yes - I'm trying to understand what your bios-level perspective on this is. You obviously feel there is a potential material benefit in believing. What's that core belief based on?

By the way, welcome back. Good to see you around. I've always enjoyed your posts here. 

Thanks for the welcome...

My upbringing --- without too much detail, a poor, broken home, raised by a single parent... We went to church occasionally-- no denomination in particular.

By the time I was a teenager, there was no time for religion because I was working all the time.

I like reading philosophy... something I discovered in my adult life. The "core" of it I think stems from a Keirkegaard's existentialism Keierkegaard sought to live "authentically".

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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So you only have emotional

So you only have emotional reasons for your position. If you are not applying empirical, scientific evidence, that is all you have.

Science is actually quite applicable to your stance - the science of psychology, and, to an extent, neuroscience.

It certainly has nothing to do with Truth.

The 'arguments for and against belief' --- that certainly sounds closely related  to "Pascal's Wager", and really makes as little sense, except as psychology, ie which belief makes you feel more comfortable, an entirely separate issue to which belief has most evidential justification.

Once you are prepared to take seriously the illogical nonsense inherent in any God concept to which that argument could meaningfully apply, your choice, if honestly appraised, is amongst an infinite variety of ideas, which is what makes Pascal's Wager so futile and pointless.

Any 'being' of the nature of a God', would be intrinsically incomprehensible, unknowable, along with its attributes and motives, so 'accepting' any such being is as likely to lead to your ultimate torment and destruction as to any kind of reward. Which means the 'safer' choice in the PW scenario is rejection of any such belief system, and base your life on what can be established with at least some degree of confidence, rather that the total uncertainty implied by a belief in a Deity, which can only be made 'workable' in your life by accepting one of the many purely human-devised pre-packaged philosophies based on the naked assumption of some specific kind of Deity. Which is what you may be doing.

Atheism is not just another choice along the belief spectrum of belief in some form of 'higher power' or whatever it is you conceive as your Deity, it is in a different category, and in itself it is not a belief system, not a system of thought of any kind. It is an attribute of a wide variety of world-views, of systems of thought, as you yourself noted. So you cannot 'learn' anything from Atheism, but you may from one of the many world-views which are atheistic.

And why not, as a serious thinker, concerned with approaching as accurate an understanding of Reality as possible (AKA 'Truth', capitalized), would you not say, 'none of the above', and seek a path without paying so much heed to the many ancient, purely intuition-based fantasies originating in ignorance of what we now understand of the realities of the Universe, Life, and Humanity itself.

I also had an early fascination with Philosophy. Then I grew up.

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

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BobSpence wrote:So you only

BobSpence wrote:

So you only have emotional reasons for your position. If you are not applying empirical, scientific evidence, that is all you have.

Science is actually quite applicable to your stance - the science of psychology, and, to an extent, neuroscience.

It certainly has nothing to do with Truth.

Science is applicable in psychology and in neuroscience... and it is quite applicable to your stance as well...

And what I'm talking about is, as I've said, because science evidence-based reasoning is zero-sum... The arguments for and against belief in a god are shored up by evidence from science on both sides, but to say that these arguments are scientific I think is overstating science....

BobSpence wrote:
The 'arguments for and against belief' --- that certainly sounds closely related  to "Pascal's Wager", and really makes as little sense, except as psychology, ie which belief makes you feel more comfortable, an entirely separate issue to which belief has most evidential justification.
Are you talking about the psychology of religion -- because it makes one "feel comfortable". At best, I think any attempt to discredit belief of any kind on these grounds is a circumstantial ad hominem fallacy.

BobSpence wrote:

Once you are prepared to take seriously the illogical nonsense inherent in any God concept to which that argument could meaningfully apply, your choice, if honestly appraised, is amongst an infinite variety of ideas, which is what makes Pascal's Wager so futile and pointless.

I'm not committing to Pascal's Wager... rather ideas put forward by Pascal.... I think people throw out the baby with the bath water when it comes to Pascalian thinking...

BobSpence wrote:

Any 'being' of the nature of a God', would be intrinsically incomprehensible, unknowable, along with its attributes and motives, so 'accepting' any such being is as likely to lead to your ultimate torment and destruction as to any kind of reward. Which means the 'safer' choice in the PW scenario is rejection of any such belief system, and base your life on what can be established with at least some degree of confidence, rather that the total uncertainty implied by a belief in a Deity, which can only be made 'workable' in your life by accepting one of the many purely human-devised pre-packaged philosophies based on the naked assumption of some specific kind of Deity. Which is what you may be doing.

You're claiming to know a lot about my future... Maybe you should be a a prophet for those religions. I hear they cane make lots of money.

The future for me is unknown... who knows what will come about. I think it is presumptuous on your part to say that I'm doomed to a delusional death spiral because I have even entertained belief in a god....

And the quote "purely human-devised pre-packaged philosophies based on the naked assumption of some specific kind of Deity" is  not necessarily what I'm after anyways. I'm not out shopping for religion as the particular brand of theism is largely secondary to the issue at hand... these have to be evaluated on their own merit. Besides, this is a hasty generalization in any case.

BobSpence wrote:

Atheism is not just another choice along the belief spectrum of belief in some form of 'higher power' or whatever it is you conceive as your Deity, it is in a different category, and in itself it is not a belief system, not a system of thought of any kind. It is an attribute of a wide variety of world-views, of systems of thought, as you yourself noted. So you cannot 'learn' anything from Atheism, but you may from one of the many world-views which are atheistic.

Atheism is simply without belief in a god. There are lots of religious people who don't believe in a god, so that makes them atheists. I qualified my former atheism earlier as being agnostic on the matter the nature of evidence-based reasons for belief as being zero-sum.

BobSpence wrote:
And why not, as a serious thinker, concerned with approaching as accurate an understanding of Reality as possible (AKA 'Truth', capitalized), would you not say, 'none of the above', and seek a path without paying so much heed to the many ancient, purely intuition-based fantasies originating in ignorance of what we now understand of the realities of the Universe, Life, and Humanity itself.

You seem to be limiting the options to classical religions... Does it have to be that way? And who says that I'm going to commit to any particular religion, or grace a religious site, etc.? I don't know what the future holds...but you seem to have it all figured out for me.

BobSpence wrote:
I also had an early fascination with Philosophy. Then I grew up.

Are you talking about the classical study of it or the actual application of it?

What seems to be the case is you "grew up" when you bought into or created a particular philosophy and stopped looking.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:cj

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

cj wrote:
So you got lonely for an invisible friend.  That would be a better reason than Pascal's Wager.  Must we revisit all the reasons to toss out ol' Pascal?  What if it isn't the judaic god?  What if you picked wrong and it is allah?  Zeus?  Vishnu?  Just where would that put you?  Most of them are jealous gods and if you choose wrong, you are history anyway.  And then all the waste of time and energy on said non-existant deity.  Bleh.

Pascal may have been shortsighted in his  application of the wager, but that does not mean one has to through the baby out with the bath water... one can look at gods categorically and still come up with the same sort of conclusion...

 

Maybe you haven't read all of the posts since you haven't posted last.  Wouldn't blame you, we can be a chatty bunch.

In the thread about what would you change about your life if you found out you were wrong ----

I said, and I stand by what I said, I would turn my back on any god/s/dess who dared to show their face to me.  Accept 5 year old girls being raped and strangled in order to pay mom's drug debt?  For what?  Some vague plan?  Some desire of said god/s/dess for the child's presence?  What, so they could rape her again?  No.  If s/he/it/they wanted her so bad, they could have quickly stopped her heart in the night.  There was no need to torture the baby.  Unless their ultimate goal was to piss me off royally, they missed the mark.

Am I angry?  You bet.  There is no sort of reason, rhyme, or cause that justifies that kind of cruelty.  I don't care if my mind is puny compared to Big Daddy's and I just don't comprehend.  I don't care that it might be for someone's or some society's future "good".  I'd rather be in hell than associate with that kind of sadistic murderous thug.  And then there is all the televangelists you would have to share sucking on god/s/dess toes with.  No.  Fry me.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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cj wrote:Am I angry?  You

cj wrote:

Am I angry?  You bet.  There is no sort of reason, rhyme, or cause that justifies that kind of cruelty. 

That's enough to piss me off too. It doesn't necessarily make me pissed off at a deity, rather the bastard that raped the 5 year-old and the crack-addict mom who allowed it to happen. Then I ask, what am I doing as a person to  (a) help the victims and (b) to make the world a place where such BS doesn't happen.

In short, If I asked "God, why did you let that happen to that little girl?", I'm afraid he'd ask me the same thing...

 

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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In your defence

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

cj wrote:

Am I angry?  You bet.  There is no sort of reason, rhyme, or cause that justifies that kind of cruelty. 

That's enough to piss me off too. It doesn't necessarily make me pissed off at a deity, rather the bastard that raped the 5 year-old and the crack-addict mom who allowed it to happen. Then I ask, what am I doing as a person to  (a) help the victims and (b) to make the world a place where such BS doesn't happen.

In short, If I asked "God, why did you let that happen to that little girl?", I'm afraid he'd ask me the same thing...

 

 

Ubuntu, you are not all seeing, all knowing and all powerful. If bad shit happened in front of you, there's no question as to whether or not you would know what to do. The god concept on the other hand; knows, is empowered to act, does not act. 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:BobSpence

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

BobSpence wrote:

So you only have emotional reasons for your position. If you are not applying empirical, scientific evidence, that is all you have.

Science is actually quite applicable to your stance - the science of psychology, and, to an extent, neuroscience.

It certainly has nothing to do with Truth.

Science is applicable in psychology and in neuroscience... and it is quite applicable to your stance as well...

Of course. I would not deny it. Your initial statement is a little confused - psychology and neuroscience are science - they are applicable to how and why we believe.

Quote:

And what I'm talking about is, as I've said, because science evidence-based reasoning is zero-sum... The arguments for and against belief in a god are shored up by evidence from science on both sides, but to say that these arguments are scientific I think is overstating science....

The arguments for and against a belief, as a belief, are psychological, social, could be based on assessments of how that belief affects the ability of the individual to cope with life in their situation.

The arguments for and against the truth of any assumptions, claims, making up a belief are a separate issue.

What would you seriously consider empirical, tested or at least testable observational or experimental data for a God? I am not aware of any. There is plenty which undermines many claims for what the existence of various postulated Gods would imply about reality. Basically a total lack of evidence for any indication of events which are both non-random and non-deterministic and having some apparent direction, which are not traceable to existing living creatures.

Quote:

BobSpence wrote:
The 'arguments for and against belief' --- that certainly sounds closely related  to "Pascal's Wager", and really makes as little sense, except as psychology, ie which belief makes you feel more comfortable, an entirely separate issue to which belief has most evidential justification.
Are you talking about the psychology of religion -- because it makes one "feel comfortable". At best, I think any attempt to discredit belief of any kind on these grounds is a circumstantial ad hominem fallacy.

I am not trying to discredit belief on that basis, merely explain why people might adopt a belief which has no objective evidence to justify it. This seems to be applicable pretty generally to why people adopt such beliefs. I am discrediting the frequent attempts to justify belief which, on examination, boil down to such feelings - that is the fallacy here. Not that it is necessarily directly applicable to your position.

Quote:

BobSpence wrote:

Once you are prepared to take seriously the illogical nonsense inherent in any God concept to which that argument could meaningfully apply, your choice, if honestly appraised, is amongst an infinite variety of ideas, which is what makes Pascal's Wager so futile and pointless.

I'm not committing to Pascal's Wager... rather ideas put forward by Pascal.... I think people throw out the baby with the bath water when it comes to Pascalian thinking...

Having listened to a series on famous philosophers from the BBC, I recall Pascal as someone unlikely to come up with any propositions or ideas worthy of consideration.

IOW, I doubt there was any 'baby' there. The Wager itself deserves nothing but laughter.

Quote:

BobSpence wrote:

Any 'being' of the nature of a God', would be intrinsically incomprehensible, unknowable, along with its attributes and motives, so 'accepting' any such being is as likely to lead to your ultimate torment and destruction as to any kind of reward. Which means the 'safer' choice in the PW scenario is rejection of any such belief system, and base your life on what can be established with at least some degree of confidence, rather that the total uncertainty implied by a belief in a Deity, which can only be made 'workable' in your life by accepting one of the many purely human-devised pre-packaged philosophies based on the naked assumption of some specific kind of Deity. Which is what you may be doing.

You're claiming to know a lot about my future... Maybe you should be a a prophet for those religions. I hear they cane make lots of money.

I am not claiming any such thing, just applying a more thorough analysis to the implications of the PW scenario than you appear to have.

Quote:

The future for me is unknown... who knows what will come about. I think it is presumptuous on your part to say that I'm doomed to a delusional death spiral because I have even entertained belief in a god....

That is an even more gross misreading of what I am saying. (Memories of our earlier encounters... ).

I am asserting nothing whatever about your future. Just about the lack of coherence and clear thinking about the implications and 'justification' for what you may believe, insofar as I can deduce it from what you have said up to this point.

But 'entertaining' a belief in God is still pretty pathetic for anyone with a decent knowledge and understanding of 'Life, the Universe, and Everything'. IMHO.

Quote:

And the quote "purely human-devised pre-packaged philosophies based on the naked assumption of some specific kind of Deity" is  not necessarily what I'm after anyways. I'm not out shopping for religion as the particular brand of theism is largely secondary to the issue at hand... these have to be evaluated on their own merit. Besides, this is a hasty generalization in any case.

OK, I may have not made sufficiently clear that I really did not assume you were considering only existing deity-based narratives. They are all purely subjective since there is no way to ascertain anything with any condfidence about the actual nature and motives of any deity.

Quote:

BobSpence wrote:

Atheism is not just another choice along the belief spectrum of belief in some form of 'higher power' or whatever it is you conceive as your Deity, it is in a different category, and in itself it is not a belief system, not a system of thought of any kind. It is an attribute of a wide variety of world-views, of systems of thought, as you yourself noted. So you cannot 'learn' anything from Atheism, but you may from one of the many world-views which are atheistic.

Atheism is simply without belief in a god. There are lots of religious people who don't believe in a god, so that makes them atheists. I qualified my former atheism earlier as being agnostic on the matter the nature of evidence-based reasons for belief as being zero-sum.

It is your claim of 'zero-sum' which I question.

Quote:

BobSpence wrote:
And why not, as a serious thinker, concerned with approaching as accurate an understanding of Reality as possible (AKA 'Truth', capitalized), would you not say, 'none of the above', and seek a path without paying so much heed to the many ancient, purely intuition-based fantasies originating in ignorance of what we now understand of the realities of the Universe, Life, and Humanity itself.

You seem to be limiting the options to classical religions... Does it have to be that way? And who says that I'm going to commit to any particular religion, or grace a religious site, etc.? I don't know what the future holds...but you seem to have it all figured out for me.

No I am not. But once you really free yourself from those existing systems, God belief of any kind is just one tiny part of the 'possibilities' of any view trying to speculate beyond established knowledge, so I am basing some assumptions on your language, which still seems to dance around something vaguely mapping to the ideas of Pascal, which do assume something like a 'classic' God.

Quote:

BobSpence wrote:
I also had an early fascination with Philosophy. Then I grew up.

Are you talking about the classical study of it or the actual application of it?

What seems to be the case is you "grew up" when you bought into or created a particular philosophy and stopped looking.

Neither, really.

I refer to the ideas which the various philosophers described and developed.

I lost interest in the ideas of philosophers as it became increasing apparent that they were/are mired in many way-outdated ideas. I would hear in many cases a specifically 'philosophical' discussion, and then a specifically science-based discussion addressing basically the same area, including much speculation about the implications of the latest studies. The contrast between the two, in terms of the depth and detail and coherence was breath-taking. The philosophers seemed to be talking in a medieval or earlier knowledge context, showing little or no awareness of how their topics had become open to scientific study, which rendered many of their ideas utterly null and void.

I very much continue the pursuit of knowledge, in which philosophy, or any non-empirical based reasoning, has become almost entirely irrelevant. Mainly because the scientifically revealed  subtlety and complexity of reality has now so vastly exceeded the capacity of a single human mind to grasp. We have to rely on contributions from many areas of study, requiring the participation of many individuals, and advanced mathematics and computer assistance to analyse and model the latest ideas.

The calculations involved in science have log surpassed the ability of the non-expert to follow, but the practical implications, the explanation of many previously mysterious phenomena, at least at a broad level that one's mind can grasp in outline form is so fascinating to me.

I follow many science-oriented podcasts, and the ideas brought up, inspired by, the deep empirical study of reality continue to startle and amaze, way beyond the very finite resources and capabilities of the unassisted human imagination.

The increasing connections between disparate aspects of reality being uncovered, are the final thing which intoxicates my mind as I contemplate these things.

Science is revealing a Reality so utterly more mysterious and wondrous and complex than any of the primitive, limited ideas of religion and 'pure' philosophy (ie not thoroughly anchored in the best current science).

 

In this context, any idea of any form of 'God' seems so damn childish.

 

 

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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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Ubuntu, you are not all seeing, all knowing and all powerful. If bad shit happened in front of you, there's no question as to whether or not you would know what to do. The god concept on the other hand; knows, is empowered to act, does not act. 

Why should the a god act? What requires such a being to do any thing at all?

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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cj wrote:Am I angry?  You

cj wrote:

Am I angry?  You bet.  There is no sort of reason, rhyme, or cause that justifies that kind of cruelty.  I don't care if my mind is puny compared to Big Daddy's and I just don't comprehend.  I don't care that it might be for someone's or some society's future "good".  I'd rather be in hell than associate with that kind of sadistic murderous thug.  And then there is all the televangelists you would have to share sucking on god/s/dess toes with.  No.  Fry me.

 

Isn't it god that is sucking the televangelists "big toe" and not the other way around? 

- even god has to serve somebody, hmmm...

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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ubuntuAnyone

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Ubuntu, you are not all seeing, all knowing and all powerful. If bad shit happened in front of you, there's no question as to whether or not you would know what to do. The god concept on the other hand; knows, is empowered to act, does not act. 

Why should the a god act? What requires such a being to do any thing at all?

 

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

  Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing?

  Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?

  Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?

  Then why call him God?

- Epicurus

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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BobSpence wrote:The

BobSpence wrote:

The arguments for and against a belief, as a belief, are psychological, social, could be based on assessments of how that belief affects the ability of the individual to cope with life in their situation.

But no argument from these actually deals with the veracity of the content of one's belief, and why any such attempts to discredit a belief on such grounds results in a circumstantial ad hominem fallacy.

BobSpence wrote:

The arguments for and against the truth of any assumptions, claims, making up a belief are a separate issue.

What would you seriously consider empirical, tested or at least testable observational or experimental data for a God? I am not aware of any. There is plenty which undermines many claims for what the existence of various postulated Gods would imply about reality. Basically a total lack of evidence for any indication of events which are both non-random and non-deterministic and having some apparent direction, which are not traceable to existing living creatures.

Lack of evidence could mean that my system for ascertaining said evidence is limited in scope. And if there is no such test, then god cannot be confirmed or denied on scientific grounds.... That's precisely why I withheld beleif to begin with and precisely why I think such attempts otherwise are zero-sum...

BobSpence wrote:

I am not trying to discredit belief on that basis, merely explain why people might adopt a belief which has no objective evidence to justify it. This seems to be applicable pretty generally to why people adopt such beliefs. I am discrediting the frequent attempts to justify belief which, on examination, boil down to such feelings - that is the fallacy here. Not that it is necessarily directly applicable to your position.

If it is not universally applicable, then cannot apply a general statement about beleif to all who believe then nor can you make any such assumption about said individuals either. You have to take it people on a case-by-case basis.

BobSpence wrote:

Having listened to a series on famous philosophers from the BBC, I recall Pascal as someone unlikely to come up with any propositions or ideas worthy of consideration.

IOW, I doubt there was any 'baby' there. The Wager itself deserves nothing but laughter.

I'm not comitting to Pascal's Wager... Pascal's Wager is not a single idea, but a set of many ideas working together. The only objection that I've seen so far is the many-gods objection which does not even apply to what I'm talking about within Pascal's Wager.

But even so, without citing what the famous philosophers on BBC program said, it does no good to bring it up and gives no reason to laugh at it. All I have is a vague reference to a program that made you laugh...the jokes not on Pascal then.

BobSpence wrote:

I am asserting nothing whatever about your future. Just about the lack of coherence and clear thinking about the implications and 'justification' for what you may believe, insofar as I can deduce it from what you have said up to this point.

But 'entertaining' a belief in God is still pretty pathetic for anyone with a decent knowledge and understanding of 'Life, the Universe, and Everything'. IMHO.

Given what I know about your and your radical commitment to naturalism, I don't find this sort of statement surprising. It seems that anything that does not agree with your worldview you relegate to the trash heap without further consideration.

BobSpence wrote:

They are all purely subjective since there is no way to ascertain anything with any condfidence about the actual nature and motives of any deity.

What would it take in your opinion to know "with any condfidence about the actual nature and motives of any deity"?

BobSpence wrote:

It is your claim of 'zero-sum' which I question.

See above...

BobSpence wrote:

No I am not. But once you really free yourself from those existing systems, God belief of any kind is just one tiny part of the 'possibilities' of any view trying to speculate beyond established knowledge, so I am basing some assumptions on your language, which still seems to dance around something vaguely mapping to the ideas of Pascal, which do assume something like a 'classic' God.

My conception of "god" is not al that well defined at the point. I'm not dancing around anything. I'm stating what I believe at this point.

BobSpence wrote:

I refer to the ideas which the various philosophers described and developed.

I lost interest in the ideas of philosophers as it became increasing apparent that they were/are mired in many way-outdated ideas. I would hear in many cases a specifically 'philosophical' discussion, and then a specifically science-based discussion addressing basically the same area, including much speculation about the implications of the latest studies. The contrast between the two, in terms of the depth and detail and coherence was breath-taking. The philosophers seemed to be talking in a medieval or earlier knowledge context, showing little or no awareness of how their topics had become open to scientific study, which rendered many of their ideas utterly null and void.

I very much continue the pursuit of knowledge, in which philosophy, or any non-empirical based reasoning, has become almost entirely irrelevant. Mainly because the scientifically revealed  subtlety and complexity of reality has now so vastly exceeded the capacity of a single human mind to grasp. We have to rely on contributions from many areas of study, requiring the participation of many individuals, and advanced mathematics and computer assistance to analyse and model the latest ideas.

The calculations involved in science have log surpassed the ability of the non-expert to follow, but the practical implications, the explanation of many previously mysterious phenomena, at least at a broad level that one's mind can grasp in outline form is so fascinating to me.

I follow many science-oriented podcasts, and the ideas brought up, inspired by, the deep empirical study of reality continue to startle and amaze, way beyond the very finite resources and capabilities of the unassisted human imagination.

The increasing connections between disparate aspects of reality being uncovered, are the final thing which intoxicates my mind as I contemplate these things.

Science is revealing a Reality so utterly more mysterious and wondrous and complex than any of the primitive, limited ideas of religion and 'pure' philosophy (ie not thoroughly anchored in the best current science).

In this context, any idea of any form of 'God' seems so damn childish.

So you did comit to something then.  But rejecting something because it is "outdated" is fallacious. I've said that to you before on a number of occasions if I recall.

Second science does not preclude god's existence. But other philosophies do. It is good to follow science via science really is not the exclusive those who do not believe in god.  

Third, I think you're making a fallacious comparison between the utility of science with other philosophy.

Given your context, I can see The notion of "god" may seem childish to you, but think your reasons for doing so are fallacious.

--------------------------------

I'm trying to challenge what I believe at every turn and ascertain knowledge by the best means that I know how rather than assuming assuming I've made the right decisions on my epistemic commitments and going and only pursuing  knowledge according to that system and rejecting anything that does not agree with it.

Given the past experience I've had in dealing with you, you'll probably write me off as beyond help. But I'm okay with that. Besides... I am a "theist" after all... wow... that sounds weird now....

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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ubuntuAnyone wrote: Lack of

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
Lack of evidence could mean that my system for ascertaining said evidence is limited in scope. And if there is no such test..

There is a system to determine if god exists. It's called dying.  

Why can't you wait and see if there's one, like many of us can?

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
...then god cannot be confirmed or denied on scientific grounds...

Wrong. According to the theory, God is waiting till you're dead to give you the necessary evidence of his existence to 'believe' in him. This will take form in 1 of 2 ways. Either you can hang out with him minus your free will, or he can torture you. Both will last for eternity.

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
That's precisely why I withheld beleif to begin with and precisely why I think such attempts otherwise are zero-sum...

I think you need a dictionary. 'zero-sum' doesn't mean what you think it means.

I think what you're mostly meaning to say when you say 'zero-sum' is that you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain if you believe instead of being skeptical of notions of the supernatural.

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
I'm not comitting to Pascal's Wager...

Then what's missing in your life that a belief in god will provide you?

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
Why should the a god act?

For those who want to believe he's a perfect and loving god with all the omni attributes, then he should be more 'loving' and 'forgiving' than mere mortals.

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
What requires such a being to do any thing at all?

Nothing. Which is why we don't see evidence that he does.

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
But rejecting something because it is "outdated" is fallacious. 

Strawman.

Rejecting an argument from antiquity isn't a fallacious reasoning.

 

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
Second science does not preclude god's existence.

Science has provided us with a myriad of evidences to know that naturalistic explanations are possible for every single claim of the 'supernatural'.

 

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
 Third, I think you're making a fallacious comparison between the utility of science with other philosophy.

Philosophy is the intellectually poor man's substitute for accurate knowledge and understanding. It tests understandings against understandings. Science tests reality.

No competition.

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
 Given your context, I can see The notion of "god" may seem childish to you, but think your reasons for doing so are fallacious.

1- You've strawmanned his positions.

2- You're wrong.

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
 I'm trying to challenge what I believe at every turn and ascertain knowledge by the best means that I know how rather than assuming assuming I've made the right decisions on my epistemic commitments and going and only pursuing  knowledge according to that system and rejecting anything that does not agree with it.

Then you're not trying hard enough.

But you and Caposkia could probably become good friends since you have so much in common.

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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redneF wrote:There is a

redneF wrote:
There is a system to determine if god exists. It's called dying.  

Why can't you wait and see if there's one, like many of us can?

Wrong. According to the theory, God is waiting till you're dead to give you the necessary evidence of his existence to 'believe' in him. This will take form in 1 of 2 ways. Either you can hang out with him minus your free will, or he can torture you. Both will last for eternity.

Well... in any case, we'll both find out one day. If it is all the same, then I rather be on the winning side than the losing... eh?

redneF wrote:

I think you need a dictionary. 'zero-sum' doesn't mean what you think it means.

I think what you're mostly meaning to say when you say 'zero-sum' is that you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain if you believe instead of being skeptical of notions of the supernatural.

I'm pretty sure I know what it means. Whatever is gained is lost resulting in no net gain... this is problem I have with evidence-based reasoning that attempts to approach god. If you so care as so supply another defintion, by all means do. Until then, you have taught me nothing.

redneF wrote:

Nothing. Which is why we don't see evidence that he does.

That's like getting mad at a scarecrow then. But at the same time, if nothing obligates the being to act, then you have no grounds for grievances either...

redneF wrote:

Strawman.

Rejecting an argument from antiquity isn't a fallacious reasoning.

Lookup appeal to novelty...

redneF wrote:

Philosophy is the intellectually poor man's substitute for accurate knowledge and understanding. It tests understandings against understandings. Science tests reality.

No competition.

Whether you like it or not, science is philosophy....

 

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:If it is

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

If it is all the same, then I rather be on the winning side than the losing... eh?

there are those of us who would rather be on the "losing" side.  "winning" doesn't mean "right," and just as you have a semblance of faith in god, i have faith in a social contract, and that faith tells me that if god is anything like the majority of the revealed traditions say he is, then god is wrong, god is morally reprehensible, god is a sociopath.  to paraphrase elie wiesel, god is not good, god is only strong.

just like those antifascist partisans who met their fates at the hands of the gestapo, or those old bolsheviks like bukharin who stood defiantly against the farce of stalin's show trials, i would gladly weather a petulant god's wrath, even for eternity, to tell him he is wrong.

if, however, he's like the feel-good god of joel osteen or deepak chopra, he'll accept me one way or the other, won't he?

and if he's like the god of the deists, well, he's pretty fucking useless and won't give 2 shits if i acknowledge him or not.

so i'm at peace, because, regardless of any possibility of objective existence, as far as i'm concerned, he's not there. 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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ubuntu,once you have left

ubuntu,

once you have left the realm of the natural, addressable by science and empirical investigation, you have no grounds for making any conclusions whatever about what may or may exist in such a realm, or drawing any conclusions about its nature.

You in a world of pure, untestable speculation, so asserting you have got any grounds for confidence in your conclusions is total ignorant fantasy.

'Challenging' your ideas about such a realm is purely subjective and meaningless in respect to establishing truth, or even likelihood.

I have a far broader perspective than you display. You are discounting the infinite number of other 'possibilities' that would have to be considered in any serious examination of your belief options. The likelihood of a positive 'reward' in any sense in a PW context of any sort is undeterminable, but would have to start no better than 50/50. So better to make no decision, and stay with the ONLY honest position with regard to the unknown, even more so with the unknowable (the supernatural), which is "I DON'T KNOW"...

BTW, if what I learnt about Pascal makes me laugh, the Joke is still on him, regardless of how much detail I passed on to you. Another logical fallacy from you, one of many.

My world-view is based on the application of logic and math and general critical thinking to what we find from ever deeper study of whatever reality we have access to, with absolute minimal initial assumptions. And the concept of rigorously assessing probabilities for any conclusions, using such tools as Bayes Theorem.

Any other position deserves to be thrown on the trash-heap - I make no apologies.

You have lost whatever respect I retained for your intelligence, I'm sorry, and I obviously am not even slightly concerned about any opinions you have on my position, since your total misunderstanding of just about everything means your judgement is worthless.

I am always a little sad, whenever I see someone who showed some signs of rationality succumbing to nonsense.

EDIT: I noticed in your response to redneF you came out with that old canard 'Science is Philosophy". No, Science originated, arguably, as a branch of Philosophy, "Natural Philosophy, but has way outgrown that, and now we have a sub-branch of Philosophy, called the Philosophy of Science. 

You might as well be saying modern Chemistry is Alchemy.

 

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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BobSpence wrote:ubuntu,once

BobSpence wrote:

ubuntu,

once you have left the realm of the natural, addressable by science and empirical investigation, you have no grounds for making any conclusions whatever about what may or may exist in such a realm, or drawing any conclusions about its nature.

You in a world of pure, untestable speculation, so asserting you have got any grounds for confidence in your conclusions is total ignorant fantasy.

'Challenging' your ideas about such a realm is purely subjective and meaningless in respect to establishing truth, or even likelihood.

Unless there is some way to ascertain knowledge about that which does not belong in the realm of the natural. But in any case, I don't think science, a discipline that capitalizes on explaining the natural is equipped to do so or can do so. Any attempt otherwise would be an abuse of science. Likewise, and radical commitment to a science-only paradigm precludes the possibility of anything that is not explanable by science. But is not the problem with science, rather a problem with the aforementioned commitment to science only. I think this is called scienctism.

The meaningless I think you are appealing to is because it does not fit into your self-imposed limitations. By way of analogy, if all one speaks is English, then Chinese is meaningless. But the problem may not be that such is meaningless. But so long as your refuse to learn Chinese or even have someone translate it for you, it will remain meaningless. It may be that you lack the abilities or the rubric to understand such things. And unless you're open to such possibilities everything that you write off as meaningless will be so to you, but that does not make it necessarily the case. Until you can loosen the shackles you've placed on your self, you will continue to throw things away and in the process of doing so may miss something important.

BobSpence wrote:
I have a far broader perspective than you display. You are discounting the infinite number of other 'possibilities' that would have to be considered in any serious examination of your belief options. The likelihood of a positive 'reward' in any sense in a PW context of any sort is undeterminable, but would have to start no better than 50/50. So better to make no decision, and stay with the ONLY honest position with regard to the unknown, even more so with the unknowable (the supernatural), which is "I DON'T KNOW"...

The reason I resort to secondary modes of justification is because I don't know. I agree that "I don't know" is a good position to have unless there is a superdominance factor involved. In such a case, one cannot simply remain agnostic on the matter considering what is at stake. This is not an epistemic debate, rather a choice based on what is wise and unwise.

BobSpence wrote:
BTW, if what I learnt about Pascal makes me laugh, the Joke is still on him, regardless of how much detail I passed on to you. Another logical fallacy from you, one of many.

What did you learn about Pascal that made you laugh?

BobSpence wrote:
My world-view is based on the application of logic and math and general critical thinking to what we find from ever deeper study of whatever reality we have access to, with absolute minimal initial assumptions. And the concept of rigorously assessing probabilities for any conclusions, using such tools as Bayes Theorem.

Any other position deserves to be thrown on the trash-heap - I make no apologies.

I have the same sort of things in my worldview too. And I use them insofar as their applications works. Furthermore, these aren't the exclusive property of those who don't believe in a god nor do the necessarily lead one to reject belief in a God.

BobSpence wrote:
You have lost whatever respect I retained for your intelligence, I'm sorry, and I obviously am not even slightly concerned about any opinions you have on my position, since your total misunderstanding of just about everything means your judgement is worthless.

I am always a little sad, whenever I see someone who showed some signs of rationality succumbing to nonsense.

I wasn't trying to win your respect for my intelligence. By virtue that I came out as a theist here on this board that I was going to relegate myself to the irrational category in the minds many here. In fact I was expecting it from you. It would shocked the hell out of me if you had said otherwise... But anyways, the reason I even came out was an act of confirmation to myself. A commitment to authenticity in the Keirkegaardian sense.

I gave my reasons for why I think your reasoning was fallacious, but you pretty much ignored that. Insofar as I can tell, you probably just heaped that on your trash pile without considering them at all.  It seems your mind is a closed steel trap... It doesn't matter what  I say unless it agrees with your worldview you toss it.

BobSpence wrote:
EDIT: I noticed in your response to redneF you came out with that old canard 'Science is Philosophy". No, Science originated, arguably, as a branch of Philosophy, "Natural Philosophy, but has way outgrown that, and now we have a sub-branch of Philosophy, called the Philosophy of Science. 

You might as well be saying modern Chemistry is Alchemy.

I care not to debate whether science is philosophy with you unless you are open minded about such things... but so far, the prospects are looking pretty dim....

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:Well...

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Well... in any case, we'll both find out one day. If it is all the same, then I rather be on the winning side than the losing... eh?

 

 

 I understand, when God holds a knife to your throat you naturally want to cooperate with him.  Self preservation. It makes perfect sense but there's certainly nothing noble or high minded about it.  You are a hostage.

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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ex-minister wrote:Is God

ex-minister wrote:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

  Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing?

  Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?

  Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?

  Then why call him God?

- Epicurus

 

What about not acting makes a god malevolent?

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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ubuntuAnyone

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

ex-minister wrote:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

  Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing?

  Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?

  Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?

  Then why call him God?

- Epicurus

 

What about not acting makes a god malevolent?

You want your cake and eat it too? You fault limited humans for not responding to suffering, then give god a pass who apparently is powerful enough to create a universe but not powerful enough to stop a little girl from being raped. Or do you considered this not malevolent? Does your god have morals? Is there anything that would stir your god to action? Does he give a shit? Is he limited or imcompetent?

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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ex-minister wrote:You want

ex-minister wrote:
You want your cake and eat it too? You fault limited humans for not responding to suffering, then give god a pass who apparently is powerful enough to create a universe but not powerful enough to stop a little girl from being raped. Or do you considered this not malevolent? Does your god have morals? Is there anything that would stir your god to action? Does he give a shit? Is he limited or imcompetent?

I don't fault humans for not responding... Where did I do that?

I am asking questions about obligations etc... that's a different issue altogether. But this issue isn't being addressed at all...

I am asking myself questions about what I am doing about suffering and evil. Regardless of whatever pent up anger you have towards a deity I think you should do the same...

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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If you adhere to the

If you adhere to the Christian brand of religion scripture speaks of this.

To accept god from a supposedly logical viewpoint makes you a lukewarm christian.   One with no passion.

Scripture says he will spit you from his mouth.   To be factual I think I remember the exact word as being "spew".   He prefers you to either be hot (die hard emotionally invested Christian) or cold (detached atheist).

He dislikes your kind even more than our kind.

Good luck with Pascal's wager.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:What

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

What about not acting makes a god malevolent?

What?   We have good-samaritan laws in the US of A.

Ever heard of those?

If you watch someone rape a tiny child, and you have the power to stop the rape, but don't, that makes you evil.   I don't know anyone that would not agree that lack of action as being evil.

This imaginary god does it every day.   Children, little precious toddlers are raped and/or killed every day by sick humans.

There's only two conclusions you have to logically come to.

God isn't good or doesn't give a crap.   Or.   God doesn't exist.

 

Or jump into mental gymnastics with the thought process that this life doesn't matter, its all for the glory of god, he moves in mysterious ways, and everything will be ok in the afterlife.  Good guys are rewarded bad guys are punished.   Whatever.   Mind control.   Everything will be great after you become a corpse.   So don't worry about it.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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 No one here will probably

 No one here will probably agree with you including me but I believe you should do what you think is right in this situation. What consequences are you trying to avoid?

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft