Belief in God is NOT Irrational

jeffreyalex
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Belief in God is NOT Irrational

 

I will argue that belief in God is not irrational. 

To show that belief in God is not irrational, I must show that there are reasons to believe in God. 

(I would like to suggest, before moving on, that I am not required to definitively prove the existence of God. I need only show that belief is not irrational—that is, not without plausible reason.)

 

I will now present what will amount to a Cosmological Argument. I know you've all heard it, but bear with me.

 

             Until recent cosmology suggested a beginning to time and space in the Big Bang, many people held that the universe was simply infinitely old. Suppose the state of the universe today is called S5. S5 could be explained in terms of the state of the universe yesterday, S4, and the laws of nature that acted on it. In turn, S4 could be explained by a previous state, S3, and so on. In an infinitely old universe there would be no first cause, so to speak, and so the very existence of the universe would be unexplained, as every cause is also an effect and there is no cause outside the set of effects. It's existence and the existence of the apparent laws of nature (physical laws) could be taken as a "brute fact". 

             However, it does not seem obvious that an actual infinity is possible. In fact, actual infinities lead to some very strange contradictions. If actual infinities do not exist in the world then the the series of states of the universe (S99, ..., S57, S56, ...) is not endless back in time, and there would be a first state—a state without a cause. And modern science does suggest the universe began to exist approximately 15 billion years ago.

 

The two points above are meant to demonstrate that it is not irrational to hold that the physical universe did, in fact, have a beginning. The alternative hypothesis—that it never had a beginning—is weaker, and possibly demonstrably false. And so, it is actually more rational to believe that the universe began. 

 

             Next, it is reasonable to wonder: if it began, why? Did it pop into existence from nothing? What caused it? 

             If you hold that it is impossible or unlikely that a universe would appear from the profoundest no-thing, you could reason as following:

             The cause could not be a physical thing, because it created physical things. It created time, so the cause is non-temporal. It seems to have tremendous power and knowledge, and a will, and it cannot be mechanical, or comprised of parts. It would appear, then, that this cause is some sort of mind.

 

We are therefore above asked to consider two options: the universe just began without explanation or reason, or the universe began with explanation and reason. It is at least not more reasonable to assert that it simply began, from nothing and by nothing. That would run contrary to every single observation and experience of the world and the universe that any individual or science as a whole has or ever could make. So it is at least as reasonable to hold that time and space were created—and, if so, by a being that is non-spatial and non-temporal. 

 

1) I think that I have shown that a) it is perfectly reason to believe the universe began and b) it is also reasonable to hold that a universe cannot appear from nothing. 

2) I think that I have also shown that given a) and b) it is reasonable to figure that the cause of the universe is non-temporal and non-spatial.

 

From here, I recognize that there is room to discuss the coherence of the idea of a non-spatial, non-temporal mind, and of the nature of causality and time at or "before" the Big Bang, etc.

Those are complex issues that must be rigorously treated, with intricate arguments on both sides, and I will not treat them here, nor do I have to for my purpose. 

 


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I completely agree with you.

I completely agree with you. Belief in God most definitely can be absurd, when that God is given all sorts of characteristics like living on a mountain, throwing lightening bolts, etc.

 

The God I'm suggesting, the one I think it is NOT absurd to believe exists, is a God as first cause.


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Jeff

Jeff,

You argue via probabilty which is interesting since probabilty is the sum over the object of means.

Also, as I have pointed out before, in order for probablity to work, there needs to be a value

judgement of the probablity in relation to the ratio of error from truth.

 

The $64,000 thousand dollor question is how do we come up with that ratio?

Meaning, how do we know the ratio of truth vs. error via the probablity in reference

to the subject we are discussing.

 

After we do this, we need to conclude the differential means of what is truth and erorr.

Meaning, if the probability that pigs fly is 99% error over truth, then would this mean that pigs don't fly?

How does one evalute this ratio regarding the flying of pigs? Would this be according to the

consitency of epistemolog only or would there be other factors? And finally, how do we know the

percentage of the probablity ratio?

 

So not only do we need to come up with the measurements of ratio within

each probabililty claim, we need to come up with the factor of cause

via the meansurement that corresponds to a universal.

This has to be consistent within the epistemologically means of choice.

 

I would argue that is absolutely impossible. To simply say things are probable is an

empty assertion with no meat behind it.

 

So please answer these questions in regads to cars or planets or even that H20 is water instead

of it being a Pizza from Greenland before we address the issue of God via this principle.

 

Thank you.

 

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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Jean,I'm not exactly sure

Jean,

I'm not exactly sure what you're asking. Could you ask more concisely? Maybe then I'll better be able to respond.

 

In the meantime, let me say what I can. In the argument that any theory is improbable, regardless of specific values, we know the denominator is non-zero. And again, regardless of specific values, we know that P(T) is zero. Since that is a factor in the numerator the numerator must be zero—any value multiplied by zero is zero. Zero over any number equals zero.

 

But, I assume you're talking about my question of whether it is more probable that the universe exists as a brute fact or that a creator God exists as a brute fact. Am I understanding you correctly? You want me to explain how we might consider the probability of one versus the other, right?

 


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jeffreyalex wrote: Thanks

jeffreyalex wrote:

 Thanks for the welcome. 

I hope you will muster the strength, for the fact that I am very enthusiastic to hear all challenges.

I don't care if you're enthusiastic. I care if you're open-minded. 

Quote:
Where will I find the time?

That's probably a lie. You probably have too much free time. That's why you're here, and you can write a million responses.

Quote:
I don't know this, because I'm new, but I suspect that there is at least something unique about this thread.

No. You're not special.

Quote:
I am merely trying to suggest that it is not so grossly irrational to suspect that there may be a God.

Oh yeah, we've never had this discussion before. Holy guacamole!

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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Well shit, butterbattle.  

Well shit, butterbattle.   No need to be rude.


Jean Chauvin
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OP

OP,

If probablity is the means that there is a God let along that there is a sky or that the probable means that Ducks swim,

You need to evaluate the probability via the ratio truth vs. error and the way you do this is by making

value judgements in relation to measurements. These measurements need to correspond consistency to

your worldview of science.

 

So then, how do you determine the ratio of your probability and what or who is the God you

are arguing to?

 

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3),

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


jeffreyalex
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If you want to participate

If you want to participate in a discussion, then do so. If you don't, then don't.

The only thing you achieve by being rude and disrespectful is to demonstrate that you have a trashbag personality. Noted.

 

As far as having heard this or that argument before, let me just ask: what are you doing here, then?

It seems you've made up your mind and arrogantly believe you've heard it all. If so, you're either here purely for the mental masturbation, or simply to be a little turd. If you're mental wanking advances the conversation, then fine. If you just want to be an ass, save it. I don't want to hear it, and I don't think anyone else does either.

 

If you would like me to read other similar discussions, feel free to link me.

 

But if you continue to speak the way you've spoken in that post, I do not plan to respond. I will simply ignore you, as you deserve to be ignored, whether or not I have hours and hours to respond.

 

 


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butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

 Thanks for the welcome. 

I hope you will muster the strength, for the fact that I am very enthusiastic to hear all challenges.

I don't care if you're enthusiastic. I care if you're open-minded. 

Quote:
Where will I find the time?

That's probably a lie. You probably have too much free time. That's why you're here, and you can write a million responses.

Quote:
I don't know this, because I'm new, but I suspect that there is at least something unique about this thread.

No. You're not special.

Quote:
I am merely trying to suggest that it is not so grossly irrational to suspect that there may be a God.

Oh yeah, we've never had this discussion before. Holy guacamole!

 

In addition to my response to you above, I want to say I'm surprised to see that you're a moderator. Also, I'm surprised that open-mindedness is important to you, given that you clearly believe you've heard it all and arrived at the right answer beyond any doubt. You aren't here to be open-minded, you're here to dismiss any challenge outright and belittle. In my opinion, your moderator privilege should be revoked.


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jeffreyalex wrote: In

jeffreyalex wrote:
 

In addition to my response to you above, I want to say I'm surprised to see that you're a moderator. Also, I'm surprised that open-mindedness is important to you, given that you clearly believe you've heard it all and arrived at the right answer beyond any doubt. You aren't here to be open-minded, you're here to dismiss any challenge outright and belittle. In my opinion, your moderator privilege should be revoked.

We're an informal bunch here.   I used to be a mod as well until I took a hiatus and asked to be removed.

I will grant that we fall into a default position of thinking anything a theist says about a god or supernatural anything is BS.   And that's where we take off from on habit.

However, the majority of us are atheists because we were raised theists but having an open mind and questioning our foregone conclusions is what allowed us to become atheists.

So, no.   You can say anything and we won't ban you.    Mod or no.   Call us every dirty name in the book, insult our entire families, curse and revile us, and we won't ban you.   That's a pretty cool forum.   I don't know of another forum anywhere where you have this much freedom.  Butter's mod status isn't going to count for anything in any discussion you make here.  We'll nail him to the wall for any illogical slip he makes.   Just like we all do to each other.   No one gets a free pass.

We'll listen, we'll be open minded.   But if you come out with the same refrain we've encountered a thousand times before, forgive us if we are a little short and somewhat rude in our responses.

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


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jeffreyalex wrote:   In

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

 

In addition to my response to you above, I want to say I'm surprised to see that you're a moderator. Also, I'm surprised that open-mindedness is important to you, given that you clearly believe you've heard it all and arrived at the right answer beyond any doubt. You aren't here to be open-minded, you're here to dismiss any challenge outright and belittle. In my opinion, your moderator privilege should be revoked.

There is a more laidback forum on here called the Kill'em with Kindness forum that some people prefer, as things do not get as heated and inflammatory remarks are not allowed. 

However, I would like to also point out again, that there have been some particularly rough discussions that involved Atheist vs. Atheist on political matters and such. Yet, we do tend to usually get along. Trust me, I have had some discussions that got a little overboard on politics a couple of times. BUT, I have also had really civil disagreements. A guy on here that I like, ex-minister, and I had a strong debate about Alcoholics Anonymous. I maintained that it was a religious cult and he held a different view. However, THAT discussion was quite civil and polite. It was a simply a disagreement. 

I would like to add, you might want to ignore Jean ( or not). Those of us that have been on here a while can personally attest that he just enjoys trying to spread alot of nonsense with people. Some are annoyed, some like me, are simply amused. 

As another poster often points out, Jean tried to claim that Earthquake in Japan that killed all of those innocent people was because of "sin".  He has stopped telling me that I am going to hell lately. I guess he figures that it doesn't carry the effect anymore. Just like he had to always reply to me with an insult about sportster motorcycles. I guess he thought it was actually going to get under my skin, but I just find it funny. 

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


jeffreyalex
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Watcher wrote:jeffreyalex

Watcher wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
 

In addition to my response to you above, I want to say I'm surprised to see that you're a moderator. Also, I'm surprised that open-mindedness is important to you, given that you clearly believe you've heard it all and arrived at the right answer beyond any doubt. You aren't here to be open-minded, you're here to dismiss any challenge outright and belittle. In my opinion, your moderator privilege should be revoked.

We're an informal bunch here.   I used to be a mod as well until I took a hiatus and asked to be removed.

I will grant that we fall into a default position of thinking anything a theist says about a god or supernatural anything is BS.   And that's where we take off from on habit.

However, the majority of us are atheists because we were raised theists but having an open mind and questioning our foregone conclusions is what allowed us to become atheists.

So, no.   You can say anything and we won't ban you.    Mod or no.   Call us every dirty name in the book, insult our entire families, curse and revile us, and we won't ban you.   That's a pretty cool forum.   I don't know of another forum anywhere where you have this much freedom.  Butter's mod status isn't going to count for anything in any discussion you make here.  We'll nail him to the wall for any illogical slip he makes.   Just like we all do to each other.   No one gets a free pass.

We'll listen, we'll be open minded.   But if you come out with the same refrain we've encountered a thousand times before, forgive us if we are a little short and somewhat rude in our responses.

I was raised without a religion, I found that I believed in God at around the age of twelve. At approximately sixteen or seventeen I began to doubt religious claims, and finally, after beginning to read Flew and Mackie decided it would be most accurate to call myself an atheist. Then The End of Faith came out, The God Delusion, The Failed Hypothesis, God is Not Great, and those were the nails in the coffin of theism, for me. I was relatively militant about it, calling out religion at every chance. Then I just forgot about the issue, it stopped being constantly on my mind. When the new atheism gained a lot of steam, I was interested and reconsidered my positions. I realized I had heard the arguments Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris had to make, but I had not heard the other side. Obviously, I heard the "other side" as those authors above set it up—in a way, as it turns out, that is easy to undermine. I began reading analytic theist philosophers such as Richard Swinburne, for example. In reading papers I realized the story isn't so cut and dry. Anyone who thinks they are holding a reasoned position after reading one chapter of the God Delusion is seriously mistaken. Then I read Anthony Flew's There Is A God. At this point, I felt it was most honest to admit that I was agnostic. Agnostic in the sense that I genuinely don't know and in the sense that I am not certain it is possible to know. I have changed my mind before, and I may change it again. I'm interested in where the argument leads, and I'm sick of the arrogance of super-swift write-offs such as "we've heard this before". Yes, I know that. And I know what the objections are. But I can recognize that to some those objections seem to be final end-alls and to others they do not. There are responses to them presented rationally by rational people.

 


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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

 

In addition to my response to you above, I want to say I'm surprised to see that you're a moderator. Also, I'm surprised that open-mindedness is important to you, given that you clearly believe you've heard it all and arrived at the right answer beyond any doubt. You aren't here to be open-minded, you're here to dismiss any challenge outright and belittle. In my opinion, your moderator privilege should be revoked.

There is a more laidback forum on here called the Kill'em with Kindness forum that some people prefer, as things do not get as heated and inflammatory remarks are not allowed. 

However, I would like to also point out again, that there have been some particularly rough discussions that involved Atheist vs. Atheist on political matters and such. Yet, we do tend to usually get along. Trust me, I have had some discussions that got a little overboard on politics a couple of times. BUT, I have also had really civil disagreements. A guy on here that I like, ex-minister, and I had a strong debate about Alcoholics Anonymous. I maintained that it was a religious cult and he held a different view. However, THAT discussion was quite civil and polite. It was a simply a disagreement. 

I would like to add, you might want to ignore Jean ( or not). Those of us that have been on here a while can personally attest that he just enjoys trying to spread alot of nonsense with people. Some are annoyed, some like me, are simply amused. 

As another poster often points out, Jean tried to claim that Earthquake in Japan that killed all of those innocent people was because of "sin".  He has stopped telling me that I am going to hell lately. I guess he figures that it doesn't carry the effect anymore. Just like he had to always reply to me with an insult about sportster motorcycles. I guess he thought it was actually going to get under my skin, but I just find it funny. 

 

I gotcha. Thanks for the heads up on Jean. I thought he was just...you know, French, or something. I started the conversation and feel responsible for responding to people, but gosh, I just couldn't understand exactly what he was after.


harleysportster
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jeffreyalex wrote: I

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

I gotcha. Thanks for the heads up on Jean. I thought he was just...you know, French, or something. I started the conversation and feel responsible for responding to people, but gosh, I just couldn't understand exactly what he was after.

 

There are alot of theists and those of a more agnostic type, like Teralek, Luminon and Eloise (although I have not heard much from her lately) that get on quite well with most of us Atheists. Eloise described herself as a Panentheist, but her education level was so high  and her ideas were so complex that I never was quite certain what her actual position was/is. I have often thought about googling Panentheism, but have never gotten around to it. There's a few people on here that claim that title, but if you asked me to define it in a few simple sentences, I would not be able to do so. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Jean Chauvin
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Hello

Hello,

There issue with me is that they don't like my consistency and the fact that I punch them so hard, they are all like a bunch of old ladies who have fallen and can't get up.

Regarding Japan, I was presenting the consistent Christian position in relation to Amos 3:6 among other places.

What I was asking you (OP) is this. You said that you do believe that there is a God and you beliee this

via a probablity, you said this in your first post. So your attempts at believing in God are probable, right?

 

We need to than justify this probablity. In each probable means of what is, there is a ratio of true and false.

It is probable not the case that pigs fly. We then need to ask ourselves what that ratio of probility of

wheather pigs fly or don't find. We need a way to measure this improbable/probable means.

 

The Sky is Blue. Probable means.

 

Since You do not have a way to measure the ratio of probablity from what is true, vs. what is false

you cannot be sure what you probable think you "know" is measured as. Is God probabliy true

70% true/ 30% error?

 

You need to justify your probablity. You and most do not do this, thus they make a

naked assertion and make a leap, a kind of blind faith.

 

Since you are starting your belief within the probable, you must then present the evidence in the probable as well.

 

2 questions.

 

1) What God/god/gods/it are you arguing to

2) What is the probability of this God's existence via the ratio of true and false.

 

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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jeffreyalex wrote:I gotcha.

jeffreyalex wrote:

I gotcha. Thanks for the heads up on Jean. I thought he was just...you know, French, or something.

LOL

That's the most hilarious statement I've encountered in months.

You rock.

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


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Watcher wrote:jeffreyalex

Watcher wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

I gotcha. Thanks for the heads up on Jean. I thought he was just...you know, French, or something.

LOL

That's the most hilarious statement I've encountered in months.

You rock.

 

Lmao, with his name, you know, it's an easy mistake to make.

By the way, I was wondering why I hadn't heard back from you. I just realized, though, my intended response to yours never actually posted. So I'll try to reproduce it here.

 

Your correction to 13.7 billion years is noted. I meant to write approx. 14 billion, but wrote "15", instead. Regarding the question of whether it began or simply began to expand, I have some articles and some conversations to go on here, but I'm not a physics Ph.D. as of yet.

As it's been explained to me, we can "follow" the laws of physics backward and, as we know them now, they predict a point of infinite density, called a singularity. As this physicist explained it to me, a singularity is not to suggest that physicists simply accept that, yes, there was a point that had infinite mass. That seems to be an impossibility, and so the singularity suggested by the laws as we know them is more of a sign that those laws break down. Beyond that point is a giant question mark. Did matter exist in an extraordinarily dense state? It's unclear, for matter to exist seems to imply that the matter takes up space, and taking GR seriously, what takes up space is in time. New dimensions can be postulated, etcetera, but I was reminded that this is math on paper, and is, admittedly, conceptually very puzzling stuff. I was reassured to hear that much. But, nonetheless, I can't speak to all that.

 

The cosmological argument I see as strongest is one which claims that the very existence of the universe, through chaos, infinite time, or finite time, is beyond scientific explanation. Scientific explanation relies on a substances-powers-liabilities account of reality. However, the existence of matter time and laws cannot be explained in terms of matter time and laws. Those are the very things that need the explaining. So I want to know if we should take the existence of the universe, whether eternal or not, as a brute fact? Or should we doubt that a universe should exist as a brute fact and instead reasonably (though perhaps not correctly) suspect a creator God, which would then be the brute fact that must be accepted.

Of course I know the standard line: If we're accepting a brute fact, let's accept the universe instead of postulating a God. I've seen in my reading good arguments (inductive arguments) for the higher probability of a God being the brute fact than of a universe being the brute fact. For example, that's the argument Swinburne makes in his book, The Existence of God. Mackie responded to Swinburne in The Miracle of Theism, in my opinion unpersuasively, and Swinburne replied in turn.

 

So here I'm saying belief is not irrational, period. A rational person can (rationally, even if mistakenly) hold that a God exists.

 

 

 

 


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In my opinion what

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I have shown that the truth of the claim "all minds are and must be tied to a body" is just as probable as the truth of the claim "not all minds are or need to be tied to a body". I further claim that it is not inherently impossible that the latter is true, unless you beg the question by defining mind as something that must be tied to a body.

 

 

your argument shows is that it's not possible to disprove a thing that is not coherently defined and is asserted to exist outside the bounds of empiricism and outside the material universe. 

Of course, we agree that actual knowledge of things that exist outside this space time is impossible?

Your argument rests entirely on what is not defined and cannot be known. 

 

 

 

 

 

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


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Jean Chauvin

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hello,

There issue with me is that they don't like my consistency and the fact that I punch them so hard, they are all like a bunch of old ladies who have fallen and can't get up.

Regarding Japan, I was presenting the consistent Christian position in relation to Amos 3:6 among other places.

What I was asking you (OP) is this. You said that you do believe that there is a God and you beliee this

via a probablity, you said this in your first post. So your attempts at believing in God are probable, right?

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

 

And this just proves my point quite nicely.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Jean Chauvin wrote:  Since

Jean Chauvin wrote:

 

 

Since You do not have a way to measure the ratio of probablity from what is true, vs. what is false

you cannot be sure what you probable think you "know" is measured as. Is God probabliy true

70% true/ 30% error?

 

 

 

You can't measure a statistical probability of something that isn't there or has no evidence of it. That's VERY CONSISTENT. LMAO. 

Respectfully,

       Harley 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I have shown that the truth of the claim "all minds are and must be tied to a body" is just as probable as the truth of the claim "not all minds are or need to be tied to a body". I further claim that it is not inherently impossible that the latter is true, unless you beg the question by defining mind as something that must be tied to a body.

 

 

your argument shows is that it's not possible to disprove a thing that is not coherently defined and is asserted to exist outside the bounds of empiricism and outside the material universe. 

Of course, we agree that actual knowledge of things that exist outside this space time is impossible?

Your argument rests entirely on what is not defined and cannot be known. 

The only experience we have of mind is of our own mind. We can easily imagine that mind, our "I", disembodied. For example, I can imagine being a ghost. It is not impossible in the way a square circle is impossible, unless we presume a mind must be attached to a body, which we are not entitled to do. It is not a question of unclear definition. "Mind" is unclearly defined, admitted. It's that sort of thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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harleysportster wrote:Jean

harleysportster wrote:

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hello,

There issue with me is that they don't like my consistency and the fact that I punch them so hard, they are all like a bunch of old ladies who have fallen and can't get up.

Regarding Japan, I was presenting the consistent Christian position in relation to Amos 3:6 among other places.

What I was asking you (OP) is this. You said that you do believe that there is a God and you beliee this

via a probablity, you said this in your first post. So your attempts at believing in God are probable, right?

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

 

And this just proves my point quite nicely.

 

Lol, nonetheless, I'll try to respond. I did not claim that I believe in God. I claimed it is not necessarily outright irrational to believe in God.

I argued that the universe's existence throughout time, whether chaotic, eternal, or finite, is a brute fact that cannot have a scientific explanation. Then I wondered whether we might be not irrational to propose a non-scientific explanation, so to speak.
Given that the only something that seems non-physical in our experience is our own mind, we would not be bananas to suggest that the cause is something like a "person".

Then I wondered which is more probable: that the universe's existence is a brute fact, or that the universe was created by a non-physical omnipotent "person" who/that is the brute fact.


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Jeffery

 

Jefferyalex wrote:
So here I'm saying belief is not irrational, period. A rational person can (rationally, even if mistakenly) hold that a God exists

 

You're coming dangerously close to circular reasoning here, but I get what you are trying to say.

Look at the meaning of that statement when you put it in a different context.   It's kinda like saying even smart people are stupid sometimes, and just because you're being stupid doesn't make you wrong. That's a fail. Or maybe I'm just missing your point.

Regardless, now matter how sincere the believer is doesn't make him rational.

By the way, welcome.  I'm a recovered christian. I've been watching this thread and was almost the first to reply to it, but it looked like Extreme had a grasp on things. He's a smart fellow.

And don't mind Jean, he just gets bitter when nobody will play with him and his imaginary friend Jesus.

"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia


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tonyjeffers wrote:You're

tonyjeffers wrote:

You're coming dangerously close to circular reasoning here, but I get what you are trying to say.

Look at the meaning of that statement when you put it in a different context.   It's kinda like saying even smart people are stupid sometimes, and just because you're being stupid doesn't make you wrong. That's a fail. Or maybe I'm just missing your point.

Regardless, now matter how sincere the believer is doesn't make him rational.

By the way, welcome.  I'm a recovered christian. I've been watching this thread and was almost the first to reply to it, but it looked like Extreme had a grasp on things. He's a smart fellow.

And don't mind Jean, he just gets bitter when nobody will play with him and his imaginary friend Jesus.

 Thanks for the welcome. I'm not sure we're on the same page. I'm saying that I think a rational thought process could lead to a belief in God, without any blatantly irrational steps. I think there would be some steps in the logical chain that could be sites of contention, but in those cases I think it may well be rational to hold the position on either side.


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tonyjeffers

tonyjeffers wrote:

 

Jefferyalex wrote:
So here I'm saying belief is not irrational, period. A rational person can (rationally, even if mistakenly) hold that a God exists

 

You're coming dangerously close to circular reasoning here, but I get what you are trying to say.

Look at the meaning of that statement when you put it in a different context.   It's kinda like saying even smart people are stupid sometimes, and just because you're being stupid doesn't make you wrong. That's a fail. Or maybe I'm just missing your point.

Regardless, now matter how sincere the believer is doesn't make him rational.

By the way, welcome.  I'm a recovered christian. I've been watching this thread and was almost the first to reply to it, but it looked like Extreme had a grasp on things. He's a smart fellow.

And don't mind Jean, he just gets bitter when nobody will play with him and his imaginary friend Jesus.

 

As a matter of curiosity, what would you say of Einstein, Shrodinger, Heisenberg, Planck, or Newton, none of whom were atheists? Would you say they were irrational? Or would you say they were holding their beliefs irrationally?


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I would say the latter.  As

I would say the latter.  As I said, I used to be a christian and I don't think any one has ever accused me of being an irrational person. But i've held to a very irrational belief.  I'm no Einstein of course, but none of those guys had all the answers.

Some people just cannot let go of god, no matter what. And it should not be surprising that some of those were our best minds.  A genius would likely find it very hard to accept that he cannot find all the answers or solve any riddle.

Thru deduction, you had to go wrong somewhere to have faith. Even if that wrong step was simply proceeding blindly instead of halting until you could see to take another step.

"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia


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tonyjeffers wrote:I would

tonyjeffers wrote:

I would say the latter.  As I said, I used to be a christian and I don't think any one has ever accused me of being an irrational person. But i've held to a very irrational belief.  I'm no Einstein of course, but none of those guys had all the answers.

Some people just cannot let go of god, no matter what. And it should not be surprising that some of those were our best minds.  A genius would likely find it very hard to accept that he cannot find all the answers or solve any riddle.

Thru deduction, you had to go wrong somewhere to have faith. Even if that wrong step was simply proceeding blindly instead of halting until you could see to take another step.

   I think it remains to be seen whether there is or will be a good, or maybe good, deductive argument to belief in God. There could definitely be some very good inductive arguments.

 

   For example, imagine (hypothetically) that science tells us it appears, to the best of our knowledge (following the laws of physics backwards in time), that at some point in the past all matter simply exterminates itself, is gone, all equations yield 0's. No energy, no time, no matter, no space.

That would lend support to the claim that the universe simply began from the most profound nothingness.

We would either have to accept that this universe and the mathematical order it exhibits and the conscious life that occupies it simply began for no reason and from nothing, or we would have to ask, what could have caused it. It is reasonable to say that the cause of a physical universe is non-physical, and yet can act, for otherwise it could not create a universe. Which explanation is more plausible? I don't think the answer is clear. For both sides, the weighing of arguments and evidence would be incredibly subjective, and there would be no clear deductive win for either side. I think that that's what many of those great minds experienced. Faced with the question of what is the brute fact—the ordered universe or a Divine Mind—they chose. And I don't think they chose irrationally.

 

This discussion has been very helpful. I definitely know which areas I want to read up on next. What I want to say, and am probably not entitled to say being a youngin' and all and lacking in life experience and things like that which bring wisdom, is that I wish people wouldn't come to these discussions thinking something like "atheism is right", or "theism is right", and "I must defend it to the death". I think we would be better off seeking out both sides' strongest arguments and responses, and being more open to following evidence where it leads. To the degree that we've decided we have the undoubted truth, we stop being able to genuinely follow an argument where it leads.

Whether he came to the right conclusion or not, I admire Anthony Flew when he wrote (declaring that he changed his mind after fifty years and now believes there is a God) that his had been a pilgrimage of reason, not of faith.

 


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Watcher wrote:Well shit,

Watcher wrote:

Well shit, butterbattle.   No need to be rude.

Ugh...

You're right. What I just did was equivalent to ridiculing the entire discussion and participating in it at the same time. I don't think anything I said was incorrect, but we should try to treat people with a certain level of respect. I apologize.

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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So, you are sure I do, in

So, you are sure I do, in fact, have "too much time" (which I'm reading as no life, job, school, or other responsibilities), but you're sorry you said so openly, and you apologize. And you do think the entire thread is tired nonsense, but again, you're sorry you said so openly, and you apologize. That's a funny apology, but whatever.

 

Do me a favor, though. Point me in the direction of the cutting-edge non-beat discussions?


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Perhaps in the next stage of this discussion

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I have shown that the truth of the claim "all minds are and must be tied to a body" is just as probable as the truth of the claim "not all minds are or need to be tied to a body".

 

We should discuss the underpinnings of probability and consider whether or not probability, as it relates to the conclusions of observed data, is the same thing as the concept of probability that attempts to materialise the degree of belief we feel in the possibility of any given event we can imagine. These are not the same things. In the context of this discussion then, what is probability?

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


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Experience of mind

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

The only experience we have of mind is of our own mind.

 

But we can compare our concepts of mind with those of the other 7 billion humans on the planet, as well as by comparing ourselves with the creative thoughts of humans in the past, expressed as writing, art, sculpture, architecture. Mind concepts seem to be associated with humans. 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

We can easily imagine that mind, our "I", disembodied. For example, I can imagine being a ghost. It is not impossible in the way a square circle is impossible, unless we presume a mind must be attached to a body, which we are not entitled to do. It is not a question of unclear definition.

 

Yeah, I can't imagine not being inside my head. My mind is not just my mind but is associated with my body, skin and all. Music makes my hair stand up, I feel awe in my stomach. My mind is connected to my body. I can't think otherwise without eliminating some part of my self-hood. 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

"Mind" is unclearly defined, admitted. It's that sort of thing.

 

 

Yeah - it's a good one to play with. 

 

 

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


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I have shown that the truth of the claim "all minds are and must be tied to a body" is just as probable as the truth of the claim "not all minds are or need to be tied to a body".

 

We should discuss the underpinnings of probability and consider whether or not probability, as it relates to the conclusions of observed data, is the same thing as the concept of probability that attempts to materialise the degree of belief we feel in the possibility of any given event we can imagine. These are not the same things. In the context of this discussion then, what is probability?

 

I desperately want to avoid a discussion of what probability really is, because there is such a large and dense literature on it, and I am not well-versed in it. I would rather rephrase without bringing in probability.

If I observe 25 white swans, I cannot deduce that all swans are white.

If I observe 25 instances of minds paired with brains, I cannot deduce that all minds are paired with brains. I can make an inference, but that is not a valid way to reason.

That is to say, that I have observed that "x" has always been the case so far, does not mean that "x" is or must always be the case.

Now, I would not go off postulating that there is a mind floating around here and there and over there, etc. But I am saying that a creator God would have to exhibit traits that are mind-like, for it could not be mechanical, it would be rational, and it would be capable of intention. And that this mind is not physically embodied is not contradicting what we know about mind because we do not know that minds must be embodied, and we cannot know that.

 

 


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Our experience has been that

Our experience has been that minds are associated with humans, but that is not necessarily so. Actually, and I don't want to argue this, I'm just bringing it up as a strange 5:07 a.m.-and-I-haven't-slept thought: isn't there even a kind of selection bias? If the only kind of mind we are capable of experiencing is one in a body, of course all the minds we experience are in bodies.

 

Anyway, I want to continue this discussion and we can, but I have to say, the right thing for me to do would be to explore more in the philosophy of mind, do some reading, explore responses, etc. As I wrote in a previous post, I'm interested in seeing the big picture, both sides best arguments, and so  I can't in good faith let one discussion make up my "mind" (oy) on this matter. Though, no doubt, the discussion may, and I think is, proving fruitful, at least to me. Perhaps in a post after I get some zzz's I'll share my own problems with the position I'm putting forward, God knows I have some problems with it, no pun intended.


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I would suggest the

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I can't in good faith let one discussion make up my "mind" (oy) on this matter. 

 

position of intellectual integrity is never to absolutely make up your mind about these sorts of questions. I would be wary of any person or any dogma that insists you do. 

Personally, I've always thought we get closer to unbiased truth in the frission between opposing sides of a debate - at the point argument forces you to re-examine your ideas you begin learning. 

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


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jeffreyalex wrote:Our

jeffreyalex wrote:

Our experience has been that minds are associated with humans, but that is not necessarily so. Actually, and I don't want to argue this, I'm just bringing it up as a strange 5:07 a.m.-and-I-haven't-slept thought: isn't there even a kind of selection bias? If the only kind of mind we are capable of experiencing is one in a body, of course all the minds we experience are in bodies.

 

Anyway, I want to continue this discussion and we can, but I have to say, the right thing for me to do would be to explore more in the philosophy of mind, do some reading, explore responses, etc. As I wrote in a previous post, I'm interested in seeing the big picture, both sides best arguments, and so  I can't in good faith let one discussion make up my "mind" (oy) on this matter. Though, no doubt, the discussion may, and I think is, proving fruitful, at least to me. Perhaps in a post after I get some zzz's I'll share my own problems with the position I'm putting forward, God knows I have some problems with it, no pun intended.

Some of the lesser known books that helped me along the way were "Religion Explained" By Pascal Boyer. "The God Part of the Brain" By Mathew Alper and "Why God Won't Go Away,". by Neuberg. 

I don't agree with all of the materials in these works ( Especially Why God Won't Go Away). But I did find them very interesting. Especially "Religion Explained". These are not necessarily Atheist works. Religion Explained is written from an anthropological point of view and merely explores the different customs, different systems and how some memes seem to catch on while others do not. I highly reccomend it. 

My problem is finding time to read as much as I would like. I have got such a backed up reading list right now that it is unbelievable. I wish I could have a whole month off of my life, to do nothing but read and research. 

I am not the most educated man on the forums, most of what I have read and learned thus far is simply scratching the surface of all the knowledge that is out there. Daniel Dennett really blew my mind when I first started reading him. But some of his work was difficult for me to get through. I needed a notebook and a dictionary and Google, to figure some of his stuff out. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

Our experience has been that minds are associated with humans, but that is not necessarily so. Actually, and I don't want to argue this, I'm just bringing it up as a strange 5:07 a.m.-and-I-haven't-slept thought: isn't there even a kind of selection bias? If the only kind of mind we are capable of experiencing is one in a body, of course all the minds we experience are in bodies.

 

Anyway, I want to continue this discussion and we can, but I have to say, the right thing for me to do would be to explore more in the philosophy of mind, do some reading, explore responses, etc. As I wrote in a previous post, I'm interested in seeing the big picture, both sides best arguments, and so  I can't in good faith let one discussion make up my "mind" (oy) on this matter. Though, no doubt, the discussion may, and I think is, proving fruitful, at least to me. Perhaps in a post after I get some zzz's I'll share my own problems with the position I'm putting forward, God knows I have some problems with it, no pun intended.

Some of the lesser known books that helped me along the way were "Religion Explained" By Pascal Boyer. "The God Part of the Brain" By Mathew Alper and "Why God Won't Go Away,". by Neuberg. 

I don't agree with all of the materials in these works ( Especially Why God Won't Go Away). But I did find them very interesting. Especially "Religion Explained". These are not necessarily Atheist works. Religion Explained is written from an anthropological point of view and merely explores the different customs, different systems and how some memes seem to catch on while others do not. I highly reccomend it. 

My problem is finding time to read as much as I would like. I have got such a backed up reading list right now that it is unbelievable. I wish I could have a whole month off of my life, to do nothing but read and research. 

I am not the most educated man on the forums, most of what I have read and learned thus far is simply scratching the surface of all the knowledge that is out there. Daniel Dennett really blew my mind when I first started reading him. But some of his work was difficult for me to get through. I needed a notebook and a dictionary and Google, to figure some of his stuff out. 

Thanks for those recommendations, I'll check out the library when I'm at school tomorrow.

 

You know, though, I was majorly unimpressed by Dennett. As far as the functionalist program goes, I think it's been responded to, by John Searle, for example. I have to agree with John Searle's response—and I believe he added something to the effect of "If you are tempted to functionalism, I believe you do not need refutation, you need help.”

 

As far as Dennett's responses to the standard natural theological arguments, I was thoroughly unconvinced.

And I'm very interested in the anthropological side, so I hope I can find that. But, of course, showing how a belief came about does not show that belief to be false.

 

Let me ask you, have you read any books from the other side? I would definitely recommend Swinburne's The Existence of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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jeffreyalex wrote:Thanks for

jeffreyalex wrote:

Thanks for those recommendations, I'll check out the library when I'm at school tomorrow.

 

You know, though, I was majorly unimpressed by Dennett. As far as the functionalist program goes, I think it's been responded to, by John Searle, for example. I have to agree with John Searle's response—and I believe he added something to the effect of "If you are tempted to functionalism, I believe you do not need refutation, you need help.”

 

As far as Dennett's responses to the standard natural theological arguments, I was thoroughly unconvinced.

And I'm very interested in the anthropological side, so I hope I can find that. But, of course, showing how a belief came about does not show that belief to be false.

 

Let me ask you, have you read any books from the other side? I would definitely recommend Swinburne's The Existence of God.

These books do not necessarily set out to prove or disprove anything. The title "Why God Won't Go Away" hints at such, but I found it to be unfairly biased towards the end. It makes an assertion that religious people and believers live more productive and happy lives. I disagree. The neuroscience sections of it WERE interesting to me though.

Same thing with the God Part of the Brain. While Alper's conclusion hints towards an Atheist viewpoint and while I disagreed with some of his ideas, he ultimately leaves it up to the reader to draw their own conclusions. 

For instance, while "Why God Won't Go Away" talks about brain activity during such things as meditation or religious ritual, it neither seeks to prove or disprove a deity. Theists would argue that god put that in our brains and Atheists like me, would argue that it is just a hard-wiring in our genetics that causes us to gravitate towards that feeling. 

I guess I have wandered off topic somewhat. 

The original post was whether or not belief was rational. 

I would go so far as to say, based on the reading material above, that belief is somewhat natural to human beings ( whether it was acquired through centuries of biological evolution, simple fear of our own mortality, or a number of other things is anyone's guess). 

I desperately clung to belief for a long time after I had stopped believing inside. 

As far as rational goes, that is a question that I don't think could ever be fully answered with a resounding yes or no. 

There is the issues of nature, nurture, social structures that we are raised in, environments and interactions that all play a key role as to how we perceive things. 

I personally do not view god/creator/ force or whatever one may wish to call he/she/it rational. But that does not make me the ultimate authority. It just means that after years of being religious, then being non-religious and my own personal opinions, I simply do not believe in god.  Whereas, the religious people in my family have been known to ask me on many occasions : "How could a sane and rational person say there is no god,". 

 I don't believe in god because I simply do not see evidence for one. Am I rational or irrational ? That would largely depend on who you ask. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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You do understand that

You do understand that Flew's book where he allegedly changed, was done during his physical and mental decline and the writer of that book did so WITHOUT his permission.

If tomorrow I claimed to be Napoleon, because I am lucid now would make me Napoleon tomorrow  because I was once lucid?

And "mind" is a stupid fucking word. I hate when it is used. We are our brains, nothing more. What we call our personalities is nothing more than what speed is to a car. The "speed" is merely an observation of the material process of the car going faster. When our brain dies we die, nothing that is "us" lives beyond that. Our expressions are merely that, expressions of physical and chemical actions based on BIOLOGY AND EVOLUTION and the input we take within the contexts of our lives. We are  not the product of  some stupid made up fictional sky daddy.

 

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Your first board ?????

  Your first board ?????

 

Quote:
"I've never been on a forum before .."

 

  

 
  If you are so inexperienced, you may find a level of resistance 'to your initial remarks', you may not have teased out.   As much as  I appreciate and love the board; I would think it was rather foolish to walk into an advocacy board  the way you did and to do what you did.   I doubt your age has allowed you to develop a skill set with negotiating in general, to want to take on an entire board.  If you have the time  I would get on about two other boards. Other boards will help you in this one a great deal.  The reason is you have get a feel for the back and forth.  People are only so polite  on  any  board.  This is an advocacy board . . . Perhaps witnessing the uglier side  on  the other two boards , it might help you.  Whatever the believe, your type of approach could become a situation spiraling out of control.  Both sides eventually becoming very rude.  I hope you realize that.  I doubt  you would understand.

 


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Yeah, I have heard the

Yeah, I have heard the allegations you've made with regard to Flew's book. First, you're misrepresenting what the article claimed. It did not claim that anything took place without Flew's permission. Second, I found the accusations baseless. The whole affair seemed like two sides, bitter at each other, and throwing mud. That's unfortunately what the state of the debate is today. Thirdly, I edited my post and removed the recommendation in order to not get involved in this exact conversation. Fourth, the book could have been written by a fourth grader, for all I care. If it presents something to consider, then that's cool, regardless of who wrote it.

 

The rest of your post is begging the question. There is no justification to holding the belief "all minds are nothing more than a brain" or however you might like to phrase it.


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danatemporary wrote:  Your

danatemporary wrote:

  Your first board ?????

 

Quote:
"I've never been on a forum before .."

 

  

 
  If you are so inexperienced, you may find a level of resistance 'to your initial remarks', you may not have teased out.   As much as  I appreciate and love the board; I would think it was rather foolish to walk into an advocacy board  the way you did and to do what you did.   I doubt your age has allowed you to develop a skill set with negotiating in general, to want to take on an entire board.  If you have the time  I would get on about two other boards. Other boards will help you in this one a great deal.  The reason is you have get a feel for the back and forth.  People are only so polite  on  any  board.  This is an advocacy board . . . Perhaps witnessing the uglier side  on  the other two boards , it might help you.  Whatever the believe, your type of approach could become a situation spiraling out of control.  Both sides eventually becoming very rude.  I hope you realize that.  I doubt  you would understand.

 

Whether my move was "foolish" would depend on what I was trying to accomplish. What I wanted to discover is where the average (militant) atheist sees the case for God as blatantly irrational. So to that end, I actually think I've succeed. I've heard some wonderful responses that have raised questions about What is probability, Is a mind necessarily embodied, Is the concept of God coherent, etc.

 

My age is 23, so make of that what you will. To be fair, most people twice or three times my age couldn't negotiate their way out of a paper bag. And if I'm being honest—I've browsed many other threads, the caliber of the majority of arguments isn't exactly world-class.

Perhaps I don't understand. Should I find that I'd like to stick around here, I will not continue discussions with people who are rude or feel the discussion is somehow beneath them. Not because I'm afraid to—I'm not, it matters little to me if an argument I make is decisively proved wrong—but because I could have the debate with someone else who is civil. It seems that simple to me.

 

Nonetheless, I appreciate you taking your time to share some advice.


ex-minister
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Watcher wrote:I don't like

Watcher wrote:

I don't like the term "big bang" because nothing really banged.  It ranks right up there with "global warming" as a really unfortunate name that confuses too many people.

If I hear one more person say, "Global warming, huh?  It's snowing in the summer in France!" or something like that I'm going to start kicking everyone in the nuts.

I haven't heard this before. Exactly what is wrong with the phrase "global warming"? What would you call it and why?

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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Call it "climate

Call it "climate disturbance", for example. Why? Because the phenomena we've been calling "global warming" does not only produce a warming trend. It also produces greater fluctuations in world weather.

 

I had this talk with my stepmom:

 

Me: Why do you watch Fox News? It's filled with sociopaths, fundamentalists, and global warming deniers.

Her: Global warming? It's the coldest winter in a hundred years, and last June it snowed.

Me: *facepalm*

 

(Those extremes people take as evidence that nothing is "warming" are part of the climate disturbance.)


ex-minister
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I say from my experience

I say from my experience believing in a god is irrational. As a young man I would get on my knees and beg attention from a being I had never met. I would call out asking for direction and none came. I at times would be frightened that I was not doing it right. I would read and re-read volumes of books of people who said they heard and saw this god. I would forgo my own gut feeling and do what they say. I learned to pretend and put on facades. I was learning to not be me but be what I and others thought this god wanted me to be. Ever vigilent, never content, ever concerned I would displease this invisible all knowing, all powerful being. I made decisions in this stressful state. Always needing answers outside myself. I didn't get to choose. It is irrational. I was taught to not trust my reason. Reason is treason. Meanwhile I became a minister and with all this crazy foundation I was to be their answer and concern myself with their eternal salvation.
Once I left religion I found myself. I learned to trust what I thought and felt. I even came to like who I am. I didn't need to have any answers but my own. Just one of 7 billion people. No imaginary being in the sky who saw everything I did andbeing all knowing would judge me.
Being godless was a great gift. I have never been happier in my life.

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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jeffreyalex wrote: Whether

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

Whether my move was "foolish" would depend on what I was trying to accomplish. What I wanted to discover is where the average (militant) atheist sees the case for God as blatantly irrational. So to that end, I actually think I've succeed.

 

Define  exactly what you mean by the term "average militant atheist".  

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Atheistextremist
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More particularly

jeffreyalex wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I have shown that the truth of the claim "all minds are and must be tied to a body" is just as probable as the truth of the claim "not all minds are or need to be tied to a body".

 

We should discuss the underpinnings of probability and consider whether or not probability, as it relates to the conclusions of observed data, is the same thing as the concept of probability that attempts to materialise the degree of belief we feel in the possibility of any given event we can imagine. These are not the same things. In the context of this discussion then, what is probability?

 

I desperately want to avoid a discussion of what probability really is, because there is such a large and dense literature on it, and I am not well-versed in it. I would rather rephrase without bringing in probability.

If I observe 25 white swans, I cannot deduce that all swans are white.

If I observe 25 instances of minds paired with brains, I cannot deduce that all minds are paired with brains. I can make an inference, but that is not a valid way to reason.

That is to say, that I have observed that "x" has always been the case so far, does not mean that "x" is or must always be the case.

Now, I would not go off postulating that there is a mind floating around here and there and over there, etc. But I am saying that a creator God would have to exhibit traits that are mind-like, for it could not be mechanical, it would be rational, and it would be capable of intention. And that this mind is not physically embodied is not contradicting what we know about mind because we do not know that minds must be embodied, and we cannot know that.

 

 

 

I would argue that the considerations we give to probability outside the universe seem to be shaped by the empiricism that guides our rationality inside the universe. We can’t fairly compare the probability of rain tomorrow (we have 150 years of data for the month of May on which we can base our observations), with the probability of something existing outside the universe, in the absence of time, which is the cause of the universe and for which no data exists.

When we insist there must be a cause (god) for some measureable effect (the universe) we are applying the rules that govern molecular components inside this universe to a place it is argued there is no time and no matter. How can we posit our universe’s generally empirical conception of what is probable, to what is probable outside the governance of space time? And most particularly, does probability function in the absence of time? For instance, what is the probability of something happening over no period of time?

 

 

 

 

 

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


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ex-minister wrote:I say from

ex-minister wrote:
I say from my experience believing in a god is irrational. As a young man I would get on my knees and beg attention from a being I had never met. I would call out asking for direction and none came. I at times would be frightened that I was not doing it right. I would read and re-read volumes of books of people who said they heard and saw this god. I would forgo my own gut feeling and do what they say. I learned to pretend and put on facades. I was learning to not be me but be what I and others thought this god wanted me to be. Ever vigilent, never content, ever concerned I would displease this invisible all knowing, all powerful being. I made decisions in this stressful state. Always needing answers outside myself. I didn't get to choose. It is irrational. I was taught to not trust my reason. Reason is treason. Meanwhile I became a minister and with all this crazy foundation I was to be their answer and concern myself with their eternal salvation. Once I left religion I found myself. I learned to trust what I thought and felt. I even came to like who I am. I didn't need to have any answers but my own. Just one of 7 billion people. No imaginary being in the sky who saw everything I did andbeing all knowing would judge me. Being godless was a great gift. I have never been happier in my life.

 

Amen brother.  I never had the title of minister, but I went thru and did all the same facades.  People ask me why do I take the offensive toward christianity and not just let it slide.  One of the many reasons is I feel sorry for people living under that yoke.

I wish someone would have woke me up much earlier.  And how much damage did I do by spreading these lies and injecting this poison into people? I feel I owe it to the world.

What fools we were.  In a sense we are freed slaves.

 

 

"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia


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Jeffrey

Jeffreyalex wrote:
And if I'm being honest—I've browsed many other threads, the caliber of the majority of arguments isn't exactly world-class

 

Don't let the recent threads deter you. It's been a liittle stale around here lately. Alot of people reaching for something to spark some interest.

Another tip for you-  if you click on a certain person's name in the recent posts list, it wiil bring you to a new window with a "track" option that will show posts from only that person.

It's also hard to judge a thread by it's title or number of responses.  Subjects can change very quickly within a thread and have absolutely nothing to do with the original post.

"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia


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Again, I'm not someone who

Again, I'm not someone who could talk in a very sophisticated way about probability. The rain example may seem to be reliant on the frequency interpretation of probability, in that we could say "on x out of y May 29th's, it rains/ has rained; therefore, there is a x/y chance it will rain". Or it could be seem as an example of subjective probability, which is no more than just a report of how likely you think it is that it will rain, given our predisposition to infer that the future will be like the past, which, as Hume, Popper, Thaggard, and many others have shown, is not a valid assumption. It is almost certainly not any sort of objective interpretation of probability. Probability is weird, which is why I want to avoid talking about it. And I believe that's possible.

 

Where it would come in, though, would not be in assigning a numerical probability value, it would not be in a mathematical sense. It would be useful in saying only what is more probable: the existence of the universe as a brute fact, or the existence of the universe given a creator god. Swinburne explains how such probability calculations would work in a very clear and simple way at the beginning of his book, which I have mentioned previously, The Existence of God.

 

But would you agree here, at this point, that for us to say to a theist (or deist, I suppose, as far as my arguments go) "you're beliefs are utterly irrational" and be justified in making that claim, we would have to be familiar with a lot more than a few chapters of The God Delusion?


 

 


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tonyjeffers

tonyjeffers wrote:

ex-minister wrote:
I say from my experience believing in a god is irrational. As a young man I would get on my knees and beg attention from a being I had never met. I would call out asking for direction and none came. I at times would be frightened that I was not doing it right. I would read and re-read volumes of books of people who said they heard and saw this god. I would forgo my own gut feeling and do what they say. I learned to pretend and put on facades. I was learning to not be me but be what I and others thought this god wanted me to be. Ever vigilent, never content, ever concerned I would displease this invisible all knowing, all powerful being. I made decisions in this stressful state. Always needing answers outside myself. I didn't get to choose. It is irrational. I was taught to not trust my reason. Reason is treason. Meanwhile I became a minister and with all this crazy foundation I was to be their answer and concern myself with their eternal salvation. Once I left religion I found myself. I learned to trust what I thought and felt. I even came to like who I am. I didn't need to have any answers but my own. Just one of 7 billion people. No imaginary being in the sky who saw everything I did andbeing all knowing would judge me. Being godless was a great gift. I have never been happier in my life.

 

Amen brother.  I never had the title of minister, but I went thru and did all the same facades.  People ask me why do I take the offensive toward christianity and not just let it slide.  One of the many reasons is I feel sorry for people living under that yoke.

I wish someone would have woke me up much earlier.  And how much damage did I do by spreading these lies and injecting this poison into people? I feel I owe it to the world.

What fools we were.  In a sense we are freed slaves.

 

 

 

I'd be thrilled to be free of a God like that, too.

I have to say, I'm inclined to agree with much of this. Being a homo, I often get pissed off by certain Christians and their beliefs. Not only that, but I tend to disdain those Christians who "embrace" gay people, too. This is one point which I think Hitchens really nailed on the head: when you pick and choose out only the good parts of God's alleged word as the true relevant parts, you give license to those who have the courage of their conviction and follow the whole damned baseless thing. Dawkins advice to those folks is great: if you're going to choose the good-hearted kind parts, then admit in the first place that you're using your own moral sense. If you can do that, perhaps you don't need an antique book telling you how to live in the first place.

 

But, to make a simple analogy that should be clear: If I left my watermelon on the table, and came back to find it in the toilet, I would be reasonable to say to my friend, "Somebody must have moved my melons!". I would not be reasonable to say, "Somebody moved my melons, and I suspected her name was Rothilda, and she only wears floral prints".


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Thanks for the tip Tony. Now

Thanks for the tip Tony. Now I can read all of Jean's posts?! Excellllllenttt.