What Kind Of Evidence?

jeffreyalex
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What Kind Of Evidence?

So, my question is What would you make of it if the following happened to you?

 

I had a roommate a few years ago. He was a rather militant atheist as was I, at the time. He had the following experiences, which I know to be true. 

He was 20 at the time. He had been in a relationship with a boy named James for just over two years. They had met only twice, and he lived in Texas, whereas we lived in NYC. Nonetheless, they spoke everyday, wrote letters, etc. James was a couple years younger and when his parents found out he was a homo they took away his phone, computer, cut his hair, and sent him to a Christian school. Soon, after a short while of communicating with my friend Allen via mutual friends, James called it off, and then had somewhat of a breakdown. Allen was upset, naturally. At this same time I was gifted a CD called Messages From Spirit. It was a guided meditation that leads you in asking "Spirit" for guidance. Then you just have to keep your eyes peeled for 'messages' or symbols, things that stick out in your daily life. It came with a booklet/dictionary of symbols that would help you interpret what they meant. I gave it to Allen and he actually listened to it. His questions were, of course, 'does James still love me' and 'what should I do next' (because from the way the breakup went James gave the impression that he was now going to be straight and said that he hated Allen and wished he'd just disappear). 

I had endless fun making fun of this ridiculousness. The next morning, I dragged moping Allen to jog on the beach with me, something I did most days. After running two sections (sections are what we call the strips separated by jetties) we saw rose petals all over the shore and floating on the water, pink and white, easily thousands. They covered the water from jetty to jetty, about 150 feet wide, and out to about 70 feet off the shore. Allen noted that this must be a sign. I admitted that I at least, in five years of running by every morning and some evenings, had never seen anything like that. We kept going and ran across a big pile of organized shells. Again, Allen noted it must be a sign. I commented, exact words, "And what pray tell dear Allen are scallop shells a sign of, exactly?" He didn't respond except to say that we would consult the booklet upon returning home. On the run back I pointed out a ship offshore, which Allen noted as another sign. Again, I was suspicious that a ship was a sign of anything relevant to the situation. However, it was true that large ships rarely passed where we saw it pass.

Upon getting back to the apartment, we consulted the booklet. White roses are the sign for divine love, pink roses are the sign of romantic love. Okay, iffy, but okay, relevant. Shells were not listed in the booklet, so I googled "scallop shell"... otherwise known, it turns out, as the Shell of Saint James (thank you Wiki). And finally, a ship indicates a trip. I reminded that we were going to take a trip to Florida in two weeks, to stay with my Dad and little brothers. Allen thought it might mean he should go to Texas. 

I said it was interesting and left the room, to go to my own room. Allen came into my room and sat on the bed saying "it's a little weird, huh?" I said, "I guess". He got up to leave and on his way out knocked down three books I had on my shelf by the door, two written be James Merrill and one by James Joyce. 

At this point, I wasn't convinced of anything. But fast-forward two weeks and we're in Florida at my dad's house on Valentines day. 

We were sitting upstairs when Allen got a text from Courtney, a mutual friend of ours and James' saying that he, James, had been really a mess lately. I suggested, half-jokingly, that Allen do the Messages meditation again, which he did. Right after, we went downstairs to the backyard for the BBQ we were having. My brother Daniel who was 7 at the time comes up to Allen and starts singing a song which goes "Fifty, nifty, United States, fromt he thirteen original cooolonieesss...". Allen starts crying and goes inside. James once sang that same song to Allen and then Allen would insist that James sing it on a frequent basis. It was a big point of contention between them whether the song was popular or not. Allen had never heard it, he ran it by me more than a year ago at that point, and I'd never heard it. 

At that point, I heard the doorbell and went to the door. It was UPS with an Amazon delivery. I had ordered a book. I opened the packaged only to find that it was not the book I'd ordered but a book of PostSecret cards. Disappointed, I went to find Allen. I went up to the guest room where he was doing the Message meditation yet again. I asked what the question was. It was 'Does James love me?' Not a minute later does a helium balloon alight on our balcony with the words I Love You written on it. Admittedly, I'd tied the balloon to the chair I was sitting in write beneath those windows, but still. Allen looked at me and said, "Maybe I should go to Texas? What's in your hand?" I told him it was a book but not the one I ordered, and handed it over. Allen said out loud, "Should I go to Texas?" and then, as if he knew it would be there, opened the book I'd just mistakenly received to a random middle page with a facsimile of a PostSecret that read 'Take that trip you're thinking of. It'll be good.' He looked at me and said. "At this point I'm waiting for a burning bush to talk to me or for the clouds to just open up". And I understood what he meant. 

As it turned out, it was good. Allen would go to Texas for four months but he wouldn't see James. However, a long while after he'd returned to New York, James finally came around and told Allen it meant the world to him that he'd gone to be there, and they're still best friends. Happy ending. 

 

 

 


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jeffreyalex wrote: As I've

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

As I've mentioned in other posts, over the last several weeks, I've begun to lean toward the theist side....

 

                                                     What an unexpected turn of events !

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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jeffreyalex

jeffreyalex wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
And whether my example is great or not, that doesn't change the fact that God may well not respond clearly for reasons you just don't know. 

 

 

                         You are sooo not a deist.   God "responding" ?      

 

      

 

As I've mentioned in other posts, over the last several weeks, I've begun to lean toward the theist side. Even so, there is such a thing as taking a position just for the sake of discussion. There's an ironic term for it: 'Playing the Devil's advocate'.

Really? you will become a theist because, in your opinion, we have no good arguments against it? You have culminated your theistic inclination to this forum?  I for one feel flattered and I feel you are rather easily influenced. Smiling 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

how can we believe any of this actually happened? Balloons on the balcony, petals, the song, etc. Maybe they are a device of argument. 

These purported events fail to objectively prove the existence of a higher power existing outside space time. They are all very possible events in the context of human experience and they suggest a human predilection for reification. 

I wonder what other signs were not seen and were not interpreted as having relevance to the continuation of the love of James? If these things happened to me, I'd think them odd coincidences - nothing more. 

Personally, I imagine I fail to see inumerable 'signs' on a daily basis simply through lack of attention and a failure to make deliberate mental connection. 

 

 

 

I don't expect you to believe any of it happened. When I think about it, I still go over every detail asking myself if it really happened. You're disbelief indicates that you'd admit the coincidences are rather uncanny, beyond something like simply running into a friend at an airport layover. The question is IF it had happened to you, would you easily brush it off?

I don't think they are all 'very possible'. They are physically possible, but highly unlikely. I challenge you to blindly choose a book off your shelves, ask "Should I go on this trip?" then open the book and plop down a finger. If your finger lands on "Go on that trip" more than half the time, then I'll say it's very possible. 

Further, there isn't any subjective interpretation that has to be read into it. It's plain English. And actually it is a similar case with the rose petals. On their own, we could read them to mean a few different things. But the commitment was made to use a particular booklet, in the above example. And again, thousands of petals is not a sign the way Allen seeing a train advertisement for Jameson whiskey would be a sign. Although there were those Jameson ads all over the trains at the time, and the boys full name was, in fact, Jameson, I held that that was too easy and trivial to be a sign, alone. Thousands of petals strangely covering the ocean and the beach shore isn't a tiny little thing one would only notice if one was looking very hard. 

Does it objectively and definitively prove something? Maybe not. How likely is it that this was just a series of coincidences? The chances are probably very small. 

 

Just what do these coincidental events prove, in your opinion?

 

 

 

It doesn't prove anything. What I'm saying is that I can understand why he had a hard time being a hardcore atheist afterwards, and I see that as reasonable. 


Atheistextremist
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Chuckles to self

jeffreyalex wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

how can we believe any of this actually happened? Balloons on the balcony, petals, the song, etc. Maybe they are a device of argument. 

These purported events fail to objectively prove the existence of a higher power existing outside space time. They are all very possible events in the context of human experience and they suggest a human predilection for reification. 

I wonder what other signs were not seen and were not interpreted as having relevance to the continuation of the love of James? If these things happened to me, I'd think them odd coincidences - nothing more. 

Personally, I imagine I fail to see inumerable 'signs' on a daily basis simply through lack of attention and a failure to make deliberate mental connection. 

 

 

 

I don't expect you to believe any of it happened. When I think about it, I still go over every detail asking myself if it really happened. You're disbelief indicates that you'd admit the coincidences are rather uncanny, beyond something like simply running into a friend at an airport layover. The question is IF it had happened to you, would you easily brush it off?

I don't think they are all 'very possible'. They are physically possible, but highly unlikely. I challenge you to blindly choose a book off your shelves, ask "Should I go on this trip?" then open the book and plop down a finger. If your finger lands on "Go on that trip" more than half the time, then I'll say it's very possible. 

Further, there isn't any subjective interpretation that has to be read into it. It's plain English. And actually it is a similar case with the rose petals. On their own, we could read them to mean a few different things. But the commitment was made to use a particular booklet, in the above example. And again, thousands of petals is not a sign the way Allen seeing a train advertisement for Jameson whiskey would be a sign. Although there were those Jameson ads all over the trains at the time, and the boys full name was, in fact, Jameson, I held that that was too easy and trivial to be a sign, alone. Thousands of petals strangely covering the ocean and the beach shore isn't a tiny little thing one would only notice if one was looking very hard. 

Does it objectively and definitively prove something? Maybe not. How likely is it that this was just a series of coincidences? The chances are probably very small. 

 

Just what do these coincidental events prove, in your opinion?

 

 

 

It doesn't prove anything. What I'm saying is that I can understand why he had a hard time being a hardcore atheist afterwards, and I see that as reasonable. 

 

How could any of these events ever lead one to assume a god dabbling away in one's personal life without god running headlong into the problem of evil? What was god doing messing around with your friend's broken heart when tens of thousands of children were starving in the horn of Africa? The interventionist god concept is more trouble that it is worth from the theist perspective. I would not be too eager to defend it, were I you. 

Ed: Really, Jeff. How 'militant' an atheist could this chap have been? He must have been a non-thinking atheist whose limbic system dominated his neocortex. How can it be reasonable to derive proof of the unknowable god concept you have proposed elsewhere on the boards from these everyday events, which could just as well have been signs to other self-obsessed people. The balloon escaped from some amorous secretary's desk, the petals the remnant of a Japanese beach wedding, the song more widely spread by bit torrent than one could ever imagine...  

 

 

 

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


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Ktulu wrote:jeffreyalex

Ktulu wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
And whether my example is great or not, that doesn't change the fact that God may well not respond clearly for reasons you just don't know. 

 

 

                         You are sooo not a deist.   God "responding" ?      

 

      

 

As I've mentioned in other posts, over the last several weeks, I've begun to lean toward the theist side. Even so, there is such a thing as taking a position just for the sake of discussion. There's an ironic term for it: 'Playing the Devil's advocate'.

Really? you will become a theist because, in your opinion, we have no good arguments against it? You have culminated your theistic inclination to this forum?  I for one feel flattered and I feel you are rather easily influenced. Smiling 

 

It's just begun to seem to me that it's necessary to jump through more hoops to be a firm atheist. When I say "lean toward" I'm probably using the wrong words. I don't mean I've toppled over into the theist garden, I just mean I have more sympathy for the theist view than I did before. 

 

 


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jeffreyalex wrote:Ktulu

jeffreyalex wrote:

Ktulu wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
And whether my example is great or not, that doesn't change the fact that God may well not respond clearly for reasons you just don't know. 

 

 

                         You are sooo not a deist.   God "responding" ?      

 

      

 

As I've mentioned in other posts, over the last several weeks, I've begun to lean toward the theist side. Even so, there is such a thing as taking a position just for the sake of discussion. There's an ironic term for it: 'Playing the Devil's advocate'.

Really? you will become a theist because, in your opinion, we have no good arguments against it? You have culminated your theistic inclination to this forum?  I for one feel flattered and I feel you are rather easily influenced. Smiling 

 

It's just begun to seem to me that it's necessary to jump through more hoops to be a firm atheist. When I say "lean toward" I'm probably using the wrong words. I don't mean I've toppled over into the theist garden, I just mean I have more sympathy for the theist view than I did before. 

 

 

 

When you said "' He looked at me and said. "At this point I'm waiting for a burning bush to talk to me or for the clouds to just open up". And I understood what he meant. " 

This is clear implication of the god of Abraham in the book of Exodus.  How far are you from naming this god now?

"...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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Boy, oh boy.

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

It's just begun to seem to me that it's necessary to jump through more hoops to be a firm atheist. 

 

Again, there are no firm atheists, or camo-wearing militant atheists, or new atheists. There are just some people who see no evidence for supernatural gods and who, as a result of their general embrace of the modifiable hypothesis as an expression of the primacy of empiricism, cannot insist it is impossible for a god to exist outside the knowable universe. It's so simple I can't believe how often we have to repeat it. 

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


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jeffreyalex wrote:Ktulu

jeffreyalex wrote:

Ktulu wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
And whether my example is great or not, that doesn't change the fact that God may well not respond clearly for reasons you just don't know. 

 

 

                         You are sooo not a deist.   God "responding" ?      

 

      

 

As I've mentioned in other posts, over the last several weeks, I've begun to lean toward the theist side. Even so, there is such a thing as taking a position just for the sake of discussion. There's an ironic term for it: 'Playing the Devil's advocate'.

Really? you will become a theist because, in your opinion, we have no good arguments against it? You have culminated your theistic inclination to this forum?  I for one feel flattered and I feel you are rather easily influenced. Smiling 

 

It's just begun to seem to me that it's necessary to jump through more hoops to be a firm atheist. When I say "lean toward" I'm probably using the wrong words. I don't mean I've toppled over into the theist garden, I just mean I have more sympathy for the theist view than I did before. 

 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong here please. You're describing a sequence of events that are connected, but have no earthly way of causing each-other. It makes these coincidences seem like there is more to them, therefore, you suggest something supernatural.

At the same time, you claim to indeed not be a theist, but have started threads such as "Atheism IS irrational belief" "Belief in God is NOT irrational" and now this thread. I have to say based on this that you're not being honest here about your beliefs. Is it a coincidence that you registered here just around the same time you began to lean toward the theist side?

On your hoops point, the only reason you have to jump through ANY hoops to be an atheist, is because many people are born inside a dense circle of hoops. The second you even suggest there is a god that does some of the things you seem to suggest in this thread god does, then you truly have to question god's priorities. I had 2 friends die young this year.To isolate your story, it would be touching if an intervening god were manufacturing coincidences to help people. Once you look at the entire body of work, starting by factoring in what I just said (because it's a bit tough to include everything ever), you have to admit that god at MINIMUM was apathetic about these people dying young (and in a great deal of pain in the case of one). In this scenario, the nicest thing you could say is god frankly didn't give a crap to do anything. The worst you can say is that god directly caused these deaths.

So who has more hoops to jump through? The atheist view is that all is explainable in the natural world, and so far, 100% of the things EVER that have had good explanations indeed fall into that category. You suggest that there is an intervening supernatural power that helped your friend in an emotional crisis, and let two of mine die young. If you ask any religious person why, you get the same recycled answers. God works in mysterious ways, God takes the good ones early, we live in a fallen creation. That's about all it is, and all of these arguments are as weak as it gets. 

Theists - If your god is omnipotent, remember the following: He (or she) has the cure for cancer, but won't tell us what it is.


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

It's just begun to seem to me that it's necessary to jump through more hoops to be a firm atheist. 

 

Again, there are no firm atheists, or camo-wearing militant atheists, or new atheists. There are just some people who see no evidence for supernatural gods and who, as a result of their general embrace of the modifiable hypothesis as an expression of the primacy of empiricism, cannot insist it is impossible for a god to exist outside the knowable universe. It's so simple I can't believe how often we have to repeat it. 

 

Who's "we"? You're repeating it. I understand you're position. It doesn't seem to be, for example, Vastet's position. And what is your point? I'm expressing an opinion about firm atheism, not you. There are firm atheists in the world, you know. I've seen them with my very own eyes.

And empiricism isn't capable of resolving the question of God, because God is not an empirically testable thing. It's like you want to fix a T.V. by applying a stick of butter. 

 


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He's oh so close, yet so

He's oh so close, yet so damn far away. Sad

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Jabberwocky

Jabberwocky wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

Ktulu wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
And whether my example is great or not, that doesn't change the fact that God may well not respond clearly for reasons you just don't know. 

 

 

                         You are sooo not a deist.   God "responding" ?      

 

      

 

As I've mentioned in other posts, over the last several weeks, I've begun to lean toward the theist side. Even so, there is such a thing as taking a position just for the sake of discussion. There's an ironic term for it: 'Playing the Devil's advocate'.

Really? you will become a theist because, in your opinion, we have no good arguments against it? You have culminated your theistic inclination to this forum?  I for one feel flattered and I feel you are rather easily influenced. Smiling 

 

It's just begun to seem to me that it's necessary to jump through more hoops to be a firm atheist. When I say "lean toward" I'm probably using the wrong words. I don't mean I've toppled over into the theist garden, I just mean I have more sympathy for the theist view than I did before. 

 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong here please. You're describing a sequence of events that are connected, but have no earthly way of causing each-other. It makes these coincidences seem like there is more to them, therefore, you suggest something supernatural.

At the same time, you claim to indeed not be a theist, but have started threads such as "Atheism IS irrational belief" "Belief in God is NOT irrational" and now this thread. I have to say based on this that you're not being honest here about your beliefs. Is it a coincidence that you registered here just around the same time you began to lean toward the theist side?

On your hoops point, the only reason you have to jump through ANY hoops to be an atheist, is because many people are born inside a dense circle of hoops. The second you even suggest there is a god that does some of the things you seem to suggest in this thread god does, then you truly have to question god's priorities. I had 2 friends die young this year.To isolate your story, it would be touching if an intervening god were manufacturing coincidences to help people. Once you look at the entire body of work, starting by factoring in what I just said (because it's a bit tough to include everything ever), you have to admit that god at MINIMUM was apathetic about these people dying young (and in a great deal of pain in the case of one). In this scenario, the nicest thing you could say is god frankly didn't give a crap to do anything. The worst you can say is that god directly caused these deaths.

So who has more hoops to jump through? The atheist view is that all is explainable in the natural world, and so far, 100% of the things EVER that have had good explanations indeed fall into that category. You suggest that there is an intervening supernatural power that helped your friend in an emotional crisis, and let two of mine die young. If you ask any religious person why, you get the same recycled answers. God works in mysterious ways, God takes the good ones early, we live in a fallen creation. That's about all it is, and all of these arguments are as weak as it gets. 

 

I'm very sorry to hear about your friends.

I understand your points and your position. I think you're reasonable to hold those positions. My point in the last several weeks has been that it is also reasonable to hold other positions. We live in and are capable of experiencing the physical world through our few senses. There is no reason to believe that is all there is.

I'm not suggesting God Almighty helped my friend. I'm relating events and asking if you would think something was up if they'd happened to you. I've had to take sides which are for me a stretch, but I've taken them because people have responded and I'm interested in seeing their defense of their points. 

 

So far I've gotten "only empirical evidence is valid". I've gotten some really questionable responses to the cosmological and teleological arguments. I can see how people would find those unconvincing but I also see how people would find them very convincing, reasonably so. 

I've gotten the argument from evil—you've in effect given one in this post: How could God let these young people perish this way? I don't know. I can imagine some responses but it's pointless to give them because ultimately I don't know. I don't believe, however, that anyone has shown that the existence of what we perceive as suffering and sickness is incompatible with God. 

 


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jeffreyalex wrote:So far

jeffreyalex wrote:

So far I've gotten "only empirical evidence is valid". I've gotten some really questionable responses to the cosmological and teleological arguments. I can see how people would find those unconvincing but I also see how people would find them very convincing, reasonably so. 

Well as Christopher Hitchens has said, We are not entirely rational beings and as long as we fear death, fear the dark and each other there will always be religion.

I suppose this series of coincidences does lead people to want more and thus the rise of psychics. Jefferyalex have you ever been to one? They have been trained to read the messages. My mother with her friends went to one years ago. The first thing the psychic said to them was I see A, B, C. They were shocked. My mother said yes, thats the first letter of our names, Alice, Betty and Carole. But she had really nothing of interest after that.

I dated someone years ago who was big into going to them. She told me to go to one who was very good. Perhaps I "needed to believe". I had watched the Wizard Of Oz enough to pay attention to their tricks (they do need to make a living). The probability of stumbling upon something is like winning the lottery, slim, but it happens. The probability of a series of coincidences happening where the human watching it pieces it together in a satisfying way to them is also like winning the lottery. It just sometimes happens and if you track enough websites that are into that you will have a winner now and again. Is there a god doing it? He certainly hides very well. Is it we just have some super 6th sense that we have lost once our brain got too big for its britches. Our brains evolved looking for patterns and that is why we are so easily convinced. Primitive man saw thunder and earthquakes as expression of the gods and some body put it together that if they kill a goat as an offering the bad stuff goes away for awhile. My mother also was quite superstitious. "Bread and Butter". Knives crossed means there will be an argument. Hanging something on a door knob...ACK...I got smacked for that one. She rarely speaks of what it means, but it means someone will die. After I grew up and went out on my own it took me years before I could hang something on a door knob. I had to do it deliberately to "test the theory". So coincidences happen but they also can be signs and curses and positive things well. There is one I forget that brings money to the door. Something about something on the floor, money to the door. 

Humans want to believe there is more to life that is the reason so many people want to believe in a god of some sort or possess some superpower like a 6th sense.

For me the evidence for God is only the shadow cast by those who need to believe.

 

 

"In reality, the most astonishingly incredible coincidence imaginable would be the complete absence of all coincidences."

- Mathematician John Allen Paulos

 

By the way it has been an interesting conversation and your view of the world I haven't seen often. 

 

 

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:  I

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

 

I understand your points and your position. I think you're reasonable to hold those positions. My point in the last several weeks has been that it is also reasonable to hold other positions.

 

   Other positions ?   The only position you have cared to investigate on this forum is the one relating to your newly created amorphic, deistic god who can't decide whether it's a non-interventionist voyeur or a paternalistic Abrahamic style god who "responds" and creates objective morality™ in the form of a paradigm

 

 

 

jefferyalex wrote:
We live in and are capable of experiencing the physical world through our few senses. There is no reason to believe that is all there is.

 

   You are so right....except for that annoying lack of evidence.

 

 

jefferytalex wrote:
I'm not suggesting God Almighty helped my friend.

 

     Really ?

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
I'm relating events and asking if you would think something was up if they'd happened to you. I've had to take sides which are for me a stretch, but I've taken them because people have responded and I'm interested in seeing their defense of their points.

 

  Well, you seem firmly committed to a supernatural explanation.  That seems to satisfy you.  Why not just admit what is plainly obvious to your opponents here ?  You have already passed the confirmation point and are presently kneeling before your shape-shifting God / god.

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
So far I've gotten "only empirical evidence is valid".

 

   That's because, when it comes to reality empirical evidence is all we have.  Don't blame atheists if you don't like that answer.  

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
I've gotten some really questionable responses to the cosmological and teleological arguments. I can see how people would find those unconvincing but I also see how people would find them very convincing, reasonably so.

 

     Double speak.

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
I've gotten the argument from evil—you've in effect given one in this post: How could God let these young people perish this way? I don't know. I can imagine some responses but it's pointless to give them because ultimately I don't know.

 

  You don't know very much do you ?  Apparently the God / god you advocate for has a problem with communicating effectively.

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
I don't believe, however, that anyone has shown that the existence of what we perceive as suffering and sickness is incompatible with God. 

 

 

   Perhaps not.  Maybe your God / god is more like a passing motorist who when they come upon a burning car wreck prefers to stand by the side of the road and watch the victims trapped inside burn to death rather than offer to help them. 

 

 

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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ex-minister

ex-minister wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

So far I've gotten "only empirical evidence is valid". I've gotten some really questionable responses to the cosmological and teleological arguments. I can see how people would find those unconvincing but I also see how people would find them very convincing, reasonably so. 

Well as Christopher Hitchens has said, We are not entirely rational beings and as long as we fear death, fear the dark and each other there will always be religion.

I suppose this series of coincidences does lead people to want more and thus the rise of psychics. Jefferyalex have you ever been to one? They have been trained to read the messages. My mother with her friends went to one years ago. The first thing the psychic said to them was I see A, B, C. They were shocked. My mother said yes, thats the first letter of our names, Alice, Betty and Carole. But she had really nothing of interest after that.

I dated someone years ago who was big into going to them. She told me to go to one who was very good. Perhaps I "needed to believe". I had watched the Wizard Of Oz enough to pay attention to their tricks (they do need to make a living). The probability of stumbling upon something is like winning the lottery, slim, but it happens. The probability of a series of coincidences happening where the human watching it pieces it together in a satisfying way to them is also like winning the lottery. It just sometimes happens and if you track enough websites that are into that you will have a winner now and again. Is there a god doing it? He certainly hides very well. Is it we just have some super 6th sense that we have lost once our brain got too big for its britches. Our brains evolved looking for patterns and that is why we are so easily convinced. Primitive man saw thunder and earthquakes as expression of the gods and some body put it together that if they kill a goat as an offering the bad stuff goes away for awhile. My mother also was quite superstitious. "Bread and Butter". Knives crossed means there will be an argument. Hanging something on a door knob...ACK...I got smacked for that one. She rarely speaks of what it means, but it means someone will die. After I grew up and went out on my own it took me years before I could hang something on a door knob. I had to do it deliberately to "test the theory". So coincidences happen but they also can be signs and curses and positive things well. There is one I forget that brings money to the door. Something about something on the floor, money to the door. 

Humans want to believe there is more to life that is the reason so many people want to believe in a god of some sort or possess some superpower like a 6th sense.

For me the evidence for God is only the shadow cast by those who need to believe.

 

 

"In reality, the most astonishingly incredible coincidence imaginable would be the complete absence of all coincidences."

- Mathematician John Allen Paulos

 

By the way it has been an interesting conversation and your view of the world I haven't seen often. 

 

 

 

I've had four interesting experiences with psychics, actually. I'm very reluctant to share them because I know the responses I'm going to get here, but heck, it's just the internet, so I'll tell you.

1) I knew a woman, not very well as we'd only spoken once and long before this incident, who was a psychic. One day I ran into her and she asked me if my papers were in order, if my passport was up to date, cause I'd need it soon for I'd be having a surprise trip. My passport was lost, and I wasn't expecting any international trips. I was a 21 year old student. 

A week later my dad called and told me he's sending me to Latvia in a few days. His close friend had invited me to learn about steel and steel-packing, a kind of short term job translating some Russian documents to English. I had to pay $$$ to have my passport expedited. 

 

2) I went with a friend to a psychic and I sat by quietly for the fun. At the end of her session he looked at me and asked if I'm going to Florida in the next couple weeks, which was true. I was going to visit my dad.

 

3) I won a "psychic boot-camp" adventure to Sedona. I spent a week learning some visualization techniques and whatnot, and then had the chance to read somebody myself. 

I was paired with a guy our group had lunch with right before. He was living in Sedona, seemed very New Age-y and peaceful, clean cut. We settled down for the reading, it was four of us boot-campers reading him. We closed our eyes, focused, etc. when I began to feel sick and saw in my head an image of a group of naked people including him in a jail-cell with white powder all in the air. I got up and went outside after feeling compelled to scribble him a note which read "you can't stay in Sedona forever". 

Debra, the woman who was the teacher, came out and asked me if I saw, by any chance, something related to sex or drugs or violence. It had been all of the above. She told me that he'd been involved in a gang, had a drug problem, back in San Antonio where he was originally from, and that he occasionally goes back. He came to Sedona to get away from it. 

I was very shaken by that experience. 

 

4) A few months later I took a Reiki training class with a friend. I was paired with a woman I didn't know expect for how she introduced herself. She was a business woman, family, plain old stuff, nice suit. When I was practicing on her I felt something weird, I wanted to tell her to start painting again. I felt it was dumb and didn't say anything for a while but I finally asked something like Why don't you start painting again? It turned out she'd went to an art college and wanted to paint. She stopped after her career got busier (not in the art field) and to support her family better, you know. She said she still loves it but can never find the time. 

 

None of those experiences convinced me of anything, oddly enough. I know they happened, but at the same time I don't believe they happened... I just reread them asking myself Did this really happen this way? Yeah, I'm afraid it did. You tell me, ex-minister, what would you believe?


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jeffreyalex wrote: I'm very

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

I'm very sorry to hear about your friends.

Thank you for the sympathy. I certainly personally have enough faith in humanity (see? I DO have some faith!) that even without knowing someone personally, they can truly connect with them and relate. 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I understand your points and your position. I think you're reasonable to hold those positions. My point in the last several weeks has been that it is also reasonable to hold other positions. We live in and are capable of experiencing the physical world through our few senses. There is no reason to believe that is all there is.

Well, my reason to believe that is that 100% of things ever observed have occurred in the natural world. You can freely believe that there is something else at play, but since it's outside of the physical world, our physical senses are incapable of experiencing it, which truly makes it not matter. 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I'm not suggesting God Almighty helped my friend. I'm relating events and asking if you would think something was up if they'd happened to you. I've had to take sides which are for me a stretch, but I've taken them because people have responded and I'm interested in seeing their defense of their points. 

I may think a person in the know is trying to line things up, but if that were impossible in the situation I would chalk it up to coincidence. The events may be more likely than you think as well, and AtheistExtremist covered that quite well. Postulating anything supernatural has the exact same weight as me saying that my cat lined up those events in your friend's life (and that my cat may or may not speak Esperanto on Thursdays).

jeffreyalex wrote:

So far I've gotten "only empirical evidence is valid". I've gotten some really questionable responses to the cosmological and teleological arguments. I can see how people would find those unconvincing but I also see how people would find them very convincing, reasonably so. 

We discussed those in another thread, so don't try to change the subject please. This thread was started with an anecdote of seemingly connected events that you present as evidence, unless you wanted to start a thread asking "What kind of evidence would convince you?", and then tell a completely unrelated story. I don't think that's what you were doing. 

jeffreyalex wrote:

I've gotten the argument from evil—you've in effect given one in this post: How could God let these young people perish this way? I don't know. I can imagine some responses but it's pointless to give them because ultimately I don't know. I don't believe, however, that anyone has shown that the existence of what we perceive as suffering and sickness is incompatible with God. 

The argument for evil is one of the best there is, because when you break it down, you'd have to concede that either god doesn't intervene (so your friend was not helped by god) or he does (which means he was at LEAST apathetic about mine dying, if not directly involved). The reason you have no explanation here and simply don't know, is because there is no third scenario here. It does leave the possibility open for a deistic god, but that's all. The reason you say "I don't know" (the most common answer, popular wording "god works in mysterious ways&quotEye-wink, is because you seem like a decent person, and it would be completely disrespectful to suggest that there is an intervening supernatural force that cares about us, and would bother meddling in someone's social life (Not to discount the importance of your friend's relationship), while letting other good people die young.

It's wholly disrespectful to even SAY, so what would you say about an omnipotent force that chooses to act this way?

 

Theists - If your god is omnipotent, remember the following: He (or she) has the cure for cancer, but won't tell us what it is.


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If there are any firm atheists in this thread

jeffreyalex wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

It's just begun to seem to me that it's necessary to jump through more hoops to be a firm atheist. 

 

Again, there are no firm atheists, or camo-wearing militant atheists, or new atheists. There are just some people who see no evidence for supernatural gods and who, as a result of their general embrace of the modifiable hypothesis as an expression of the primacy of empiricism, cannot insist it is impossible for a god to exist outside the knowable universe. It's so simple I can't believe how often we have to repeat it. 

 

Who's "we"? You're repeating it. I understand you're position. It doesn't seem to be, for example, Vastet's position. And what is your point? I'm expressing an opinion about firm atheism, not you. There are firm atheists in the world, you know. I've seen them with my very own eyes.

And empiricism isn't capable of resolving the question of God, because God is not an empirically testable thing. It's like you want to fix a T.V. by applying a stick of butter. 

 

 

some folks who believe that it is absolutely and utterly true that there is no 'god' or mystery prime mover of some sort, please put your hands up. 

And if there are folks who don't believe that empiricism as expressed by the scientific method should be given primacy as a mechanism for knowing at least part of the truth (given evolution has equipped us over billions of years with senses that allow us to survive in this reality), please put your hands up.

I agree empiricism cannot, at this point, say things about what lies outside space time, etc, etc. I was not saying that it could, but explaining that we all generally grant empiricism primacy over other methods when it comes to understanding reality. I would argue that within the universe it remains the sharpest tool in the shed to establish reasonable belief, when combined with rationalism and skepticism and there is no reason it should not apply externally, if such a 'place' exists. 

It's a side street I know, but what other things apart from the existence of god does Swinburne-style speculation prove? Just give me one other thing....

 

 

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


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Somewhere in the world out there . . . .

 

brother from another mother wrote:

   Other positions ?   The only position you have cared to investigate on this forum is the one relating to your newly created amorphic, deistic god who can't decide whether it's a non-interventionist voyeur or a paternalistic Abrahamic style god who "responds" and creates objective morality™ in the form of a paradigm

   Something told me not to come over.  Now I see why. I am confused. I cannot hide it, now I am plain confused about these many faces you've shown. I feel embarrassed at having to admit to my confusion.

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

3) I won a "psychic boot-camp" adventure to Sedona. I spent a week learning some visualization techniques and whatnot, and then had the chance to read somebody myself. 

I was paired with a guy our group had lunch with right before. He was living in Sedona, seemed very New Age-y and peaceful, clean cut. We settled down for the reading, it was four of us boot-campers reading him. We closed our eyes, focused, etc. when I began to feel sick and saw in my head an image of a group of naked people including him in a jail-cell with white powder all in the air. I got up and went outside after feeling compelled to scribble him a note which read "you can't stay in Sedona forever". 

Debra, the woman who was the teacher, came out and asked me if I saw, by any chance, something related to sex or drugs or violence. It had been all of the above. She told me that he'd been involved in a gang, had a drug problem, back in San Antonio where he was originally from, and that he occasionally goes back. He came to Sedona to get away from it. 

I was very shaken by that experience. 

 

4) A few months later I took a .. She stopped after her career got busier (not in the art field) and to support her family better, you know. She said she still loves it but can never find the time. 

 

None of those experiences convinced me of anything, oddly enough. I know they happened, but at the same time I don't believe they happened... I just reread them asking myself Did this really happen this way? Yeah, I'm afraid it did. You tell me, ex-minister, what would you believe?

 

  This adventurous spirit can lead to trouble.  The guy who works on my computers would not get off the cruise ship he was on about six months ago, to venture into Mexico . Dont develop an attitude you can go anywhere. In Papua New Guinea we have small populations where cannibalism  yet survives in living memory. Dont ever become too adventurous. I shutter at the thought of some native, wanting to get in touch with his roots, munching of the amino acid chains of your still beating heart or something.

 

 


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 Yeah, meditating, asking a

 Yeah, meditating, asking a higher power for guidance and then watching for synchronicities (signs) is a fairly standard technique. After all, much of the universe is invisible and we can't presume that our small visible tip of reality will move the rest of the proverbial iceberg, the opposite must be true. Maybe we live in a world of effects, not causes. Though we can sure try to commune with the world of causes. 

If you need to poke into it, I recommend the Law of Seriality by German mathemathician Paul Kammerer. 

He postulated that all events are connected by waves of seriality. These unknown forces would cause what we would perceive as just the peaks, or groupings and coincidences. Kammerer was known to, for example, make notes in public parks of what numbers of people were passing by, how many carried umbrellas etc. Albert Einstein called the idea of Seriality "interesting, and by no means absurd", while Carl Jung drew upon Kammerer's work in his essay Synchronicity. Koestler reported that, when researching for his biography about Kammerer, he himself was subjected to "a meteor shower" of coincidences - as if Kammerer's ghost were grinning down at him saying, "I told you so!"[6]

 

And when you find the links that ridicule the idea, please post them here too!

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

how can we believe any of this actually happened? Balloons on the balcony, petals, the song, etc. Maybe they are a device of argument. 

These purported events fail to objectively prove the existence of a higher power existing outside space time. They are all very possible events in the context of human experience and they suggest a human predilection for reification. 

I wonder what other signs were not seen and were not interpreted as having relevance to the continuation of the love of James? If these things happened to me, I'd think them odd coincidences - nothing more. 

Personally, I imagine I fail to see inumerable 'signs' on a daily basis simply through lack of attention and a failure to make deliberate mental connection. 

 

 

 

I don't expect you to believe any of it happened. When I think about it, I still go over every detail asking myself if it really happened. You're disbelief indicates that you'd admit the coincidences are rather uncanny, beyond something like simply running into a friend at an airport layover. The question is IF it had happened to you, would you easily brush it off?

I don't think they are all 'very possible'. They are physically possible, but highly unlikely. I challenge you to blindly choose a book off your shelves, ask "Should I go on this trip?" then open the book and plop down a finger. If your finger lands on "Go on that trip" more than half the time, then I'll say it's very possible. 

Further, there isn't any subjective interpretation that has to be read into it. It's plain English. And actually it is a similar case with the rose petals. On their own, we could read them to mean a few different things. But the commitment was made to use a particular booklet, in the above example. And again, thousands of petals is not a sign the way Allen seeing a train advertisement for Jameson whiskey would be a sign. Although there were those Jameson ads all over the trains at the time, and the boys full name was, in fact, Jameson, I held that that was too easy and trivial to be a sign, alone. Thousands of petals strangely covering the ocean and the beach shore isn't a tiny little thing one would only notice if one was looking very hard. 

Does it objectively and definitively prove something? Maybe not. How likely is it that this was just a series of coincidences? The chances are probably very small. 

 

Just what do these coincidental events prove, in your opinion?

 

 

 

It doesn't prove anything. What I'm saying is that I can understand why he had a hard time being a hardcore atheist afterwards, and I see that as reasonable. 

 

How could any of these events ever lead one to assume a god dabbling away in one's personal life without god running headlong into the problem of evil? What was god doing messing around with your friend's broken heart when tens of thousands of children were starving in the horn of Africa? The interventionist god concept is more trouble that it is worth from the theist perspective. I would not be too eager to defend it, were I you. 

Ed: Really, Jeff. How 'militant' an atheist could this chap have been? He must have been a non-thinking atheist whose limbic system dominated his neocortex. How can it be reasonable to derive proof of the unknowable god concept you have proposed elsewhere on the boards from these everyday events, which could just as well have been signs to other self-obsessed people. The balloon escaped from some amorous secretary's desk, the petals the remnant of a Japanese beach wedding, the song more widely spread by bit torrent than one could ever imagine...  

 

 

The balloon escaped from downstairs, it was my balloon. I tied it to a chair in the yard below. 

Japanese weddings, I don't know. I live in Coney Island/ Brighton Beach. No one's having any sort of beach wedding around here. I don't think any of those occurrences on their own are impossible. I think they're all very unlikely on their own and more unlikely several in a row.

Yes, that raises the question of Why would god bother with that? I don't know. God wants to know creation and wants creation to know It, maybe. 

 

As an argument, I think the problem of evil would have to show that the presence of suffering is not compatible with the idea of an interventionist God, which it does not do.

 

 

 

 


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jeffreyalex

jeffreyalex wrote:

ex-minister wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

So far I've gotten "only empirical evidence is valid". I've gotten some really questionable responses to the cosmological and teleological arguments. I can see how people would find those unconvincing but I also see how people would find them very convincing, reasonably so. 

Well as Christopher Hitchens has said, We are not entirely rational beings and as long as we fear death, fear the dark and each other there will always be religion.

I suppose this series of coincidences does lead people to want more and thus the rise of psychics. Jefferyalex have you ever been to one? They have been trained to read the messages. My mother with her friends went to one years ago. The first thing the psychic said to them was I see A, B, C. They were shocked. My mother said yes, thats the first letter of our names, Alice, Betty and Carole. But she had really nothing of interest after that.

I dated someone years ago who was big into going to them. She told me to go to one who was very good. Perhaps I "needed to believe". I had watched the Wizard Of Oz enough to pay attention to their tricks (they do need to make a living). The probability of stumbling upon something is like winning the lottery, slim, but it happens. The probability of a series of coincidences happening where the human watching it pieces it together in a satisfying way to them is also like winning the lottery. It just sometimes happens and if you track enough websites that are into that you will have a winner now and again. Is there a god doing it? He certainly hides very well. Is it we just have some super 6th sense that we have lost once our brain got too big for its britches. Our brains evolved looking for patterns and that is why we are so easily convinced. Primitive man saw thunder and earthquakes as expression of the gods and some body put it together that if they kill a goat as an offering the bad stuff goes away for awhile. My mother also was quite superstitious. "Bread and Butter". Knives crossed means there will be an argument. Hanging something on a door knob...ACK...I got smacked for that one. She rarely speaks of what it means, but it means someone will die. After I grew up and went out on my own it took me years before I could hang something on a door knob. I had to do it deliberately to "test the theory". So coincidences happen but they also can be signs and curses and positive things well. There is one I forget that brings money to the door. Something about something on the floor, money to the door. 

Humans want to believe there is more to life that is the reason so many people want to believe in a god of some sort or possess some superpower like a 6th sense.

For me the evidence for God is only the shadow cast by those who need to believe.

 

 

"In reality, the most astonishingly incredible coincidence imaginable would be the complete absence of all coincidences."

- Mathematician John Allen Paulos

 

By the way it has been an interesting conversation and your view of the world I haven't seen often. 

 

 

 

I've had four interesting experiences with psychics, actually. I'm very reluctant to share them because I know the responses I'm going to get here, but heck, it's just the internet, so I'll tell you.

1) I knew a woman, not very well as we'd only spoken once and long before this incident, who was a psychic. One day I ran into her and she asked me if my papers were in order, if my passport was up to date, cause I'd need it soon for I'd be having a surprise trip. My passport was lost, and I wasn't expecting any international trips. I was a 21 year old student. 

A week later my dad called and told me he's sending me to Latvia in a few days. His close friend had invited me to learn about steel and steel-packing, a kind of short term job translating some Russian documents to English. I had to pay $$$ to have my passport expedited. 

 

2) I went with a friend to a psychic and I sat by quietly for the fun. At the end of her session he looked at me and asked if I'm going to Florida in the next couple weeks, which was true. I was going to visit my dad.

 

3) I won a "psychic boot-camp" adventure to Sedona. I spent a week learning some visualization techniques and whatnot, and then had the chance to read somebody myself. 

I was paired with a guy our group had lunch with right before. He was living in Sedona, seemed very New Age-y and peaceful, clean cut. We settled down for the reading, it was four of us boot-campers reading him. We closed our eyes, focused, etc. when I began to feel sick and saw in my head an image of a group of naked people including him in a jail-cell with white powder all in the air. I got up and went outside after feeling compelled to scribble him a note which read "you can't stay in Sedona forever". 

Debra, the woman who was the teacher, came out and asked me if I saw, by any chance, something related to sex or drugs or violence. It had been all of the above. She told me that he'd been involved in a gang, had a drug problem, back in San Antonio where he was originally from, and that he occasionally goes back. He came to Sedona to get away from it. 

I was very shaken by that experience. 

 

4) A few months later I took a Reiki training class with a friend. I was paired with a woman I didn't know expect for how she introduced herself. She was a business woman, family, plain old stuff, nice suit. When I was practicing on her I felt something weird, I wanted to tell her to start painting again. I felt it was dumb and didn't say anything for a while but I finally asked something like Why don't you start painting again? It turned out she'd went to an art college and wanted to paint. She stopped after her career got busier (not in the art field) and to support her family better, you know. She said she still loves it but can never find the time. 

 

None of those experiences convinced me of anything, oddly enough. I know they happened, but at the same time I don't believe they happened... I just reread them asking myself Did this really happen this way? Yeah, I'm afraid it did. You tell me, ex-minister, what would you believe?

I have never had any unusual experiences so I cannot relate. But I do believe some people are more intuitive than others and in some circumstances. I can talk to my older daughter and know some things about her immediately without her telling me. One time she called me and in less than a minute I said to her you're pregnant aren't you? She said she was. I find I can predict behaviors of nearby drivers on the road very well. I have a friend who is very good at understanding others and can make predictions about what they will do. I think humans possess qualities we don't understand. Sometimes we just know stuff. But I don't look at this as supernatural, just perceptive. The mind has to process a lot of info and can make giant leaps such that we cannot "show our work". I do entertain myself with knowingly predicting something and watch it fail far more than succeed. I think more people should do that and it certainly would put it all in perspective.

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.

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How about compatibility with a

 

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

As an argument, I think the problem of evil would have to show that the presence of suffering is not compatible with the idea of an interventionist God, which it does not do.

 

 

perfect, loving, interventionist god?

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


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jeffreyalex wrote: One day

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

One day Jung went to visit Sigmund Freud. As they were talking Freud observed that Jung was visibly uncomfortable, when suddenly a glass cracked. Jung said he knew something like that was going to happen, but of course Freud ridiculed him for being silly. Jung responded that he knew it would happen again in just another minute. Freud continued to tell him that it was just a coincidence and he was being foolish when, after no more than a minute, another glass did, in fact, as Jung said, break. Freud dismissed it. 

In this case, Jung entertained the idea that something might be behind this, whereas Freud simply dismissed what didn't fit in with his already decided views. And I think Jung was right here.

 

 

I did some digging around on this and this is what I came up with :

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/untangling-lifes-complexities/201109/jungs-explosive-visit-freud

 There were a few other links, but they pretty much reiterate this one. It seems that both men gave conflicting accounts as to what might have happened and what happened later. 

It is not clear cut enough for me to make a decision based on this. 

If such a thing were to happen to me, I admit that it would have shaken me up a bit. Would I have searched for a rational explanation ( as Freud claims to have done and later found ) ? Sure. If I could not have found one, I would have no other choice but to shrug my shoulders and say that I have no clue what might have caused this incident. 

But it wasn't a cracked glass, it was a loud gunshot sound from a bookcase. Hmm, interesting read and analysis from this article link above. Check it out if you have the time and let me know what you think it might have been. 

 

 

 

 

“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:

 

As an argument, I think the problem of evil would have to show that the presence of suffering is not compatible with the idea of an interventionist God, which it does not do.

 

 

perfect, loving, interventionist god?

The presence of suffering and evil actions are compatible with a good god, yes.

 


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jeffreyalex wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
Atheistextremist wrote:

of random signs, including cracks of thunder, flocks of geese, piles of shells and stray rose petals as being relevant to entirely unassociated aspects of one's personal life falls under the headings of 'motivated reasoning' and 'cognitive bias'. Seeing 'signs' reflects the human tendendency towards the anthropocentric.

Within a twenty minute period:

Q: Is it time to give up? 

And ten minutes later my little brother, for no reason, sings the guy a song he'd only ever heard James, the guy the question was about, sing. 

Q: Does he still love me?

And a balloon that says 'I love you' lands on the balcony.

Q: Should I go to Texas?

And he opens I book that was sent to me by mistake right open to a picture of a postcard that reads 'Take the trip you're thinking of'.

That's not the interpretation of thunder or geese. Somehow, I don't see that there was much of a stretch in interpretation here. 

The kid asked for a sign, and he got it in plain English. I, personally, understand why that was the end of his strong atheism. 

Karl Jung, Synchronicity, google it. Be sure to read the links which ridicule the idea also.

One day Jung went to visit Sigmund Freud. As they were talking Freud observed that Jung was visibly uncomfortable, when suddenly a glass cracked. Jung said he knew something like that was going to happen, but of course Freud ridiculed him for being silly. Jung responded that he knew it would happen again in just another minute. Freud continued to tell him that it was just a coincidence and he was being foolish when, after no more than a minute, another glass did, in fact, as Jung said, break. Freud dismissed it. 

In this case, Jung entertained the idea that something might be behind this, whereas Freud simply dismissed what didn't fit in with his already decided views. And I think Jung was right here.

Despte the still current penchant for talking your way to mental health they were both crooks and con artists, Freud perhaps the worse of the two. The number of people in asylums remained the same before and after their methods, i.e. their ideas did not work. They never cured anyone. As MDs it is not credible they were unaware they were curing no one yet they kept pushing the same nonsense. Their greatest imitator was L. Ron Hubbard. None of their ideas have been found to have any validity as any look into research today shows very clearly.

All progress has been due to drugs.

Quote:
By the way, I'm surprised you'd refer to Jung.

Notice the part about ridiculing the idea. I brought him up simply to show the idea was nothing new AND that a preconceived "christian god is the answer" is not the only idea which can arise from the obervation of a connection between otherwise unrelated events.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

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jeffreyalex wrote:The

jeffreyalex wrote:

The presence of suffering and evil actions are compatible with a good god, yes.

 

A good interventionist god who isn't lazy? I'd like to see a good explanation here. Maybe I'm just closed-minded, but I don't think there is one. 

Theists - If your god is omnipotent, remember the following: He (or she) has the cure for cancer, but won't tell us what it is.


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Quote:   This adventurous

Quote:

 

  This adventurous spirit can lead to trouble.  The guy who works on my computers would not get off the cruise ship he was on about six months ago, to venture into Mexico . Dont develop an attitude you can go anywhere. In Papua New Guinea we have small populations where cannibalism  yet survives in living memory. Dont ever become too adventurous. I shutter at the thought of some native, wanting to get in touch with his roots, munching of the amino acid chains of your still beating heart or something. 

 

Ever hear the one about the three missionaries and the warlike natives who's offer was, "You want death or Rebunga?!"

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


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Jabberwocky

Jabberwocky wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

The presence of suffering and evil actions are compatible with a good god, yes.

 

A good interventionist god who isn't lazy? I'd like to see a good explanation here. Maybe I'm just closed-minded, but I don't think there is one. 

 

Moral goodness may (and I think obviously does) require a choice. To illustrate the point, if someone is forced at gunpoint to give ten dollars to charity that person has not made any noble moral choice—he's made a necessary (if he doesn't want to get popped) choice. Given the ability to choose, man has many times chosen to do bad. 

If a god intervened in cases where man has done bad then man would never see and understand the consequences of actions. Do you know children's cartoons where the bad guy can try to kill the protagonist all he wants, but he always fails in some comedic way? In that cartoon universe, without real suffering and without death or the possibility of real horror, the villains immoral choices mean nothing, and we manage to find the villain just another fun and lovable character in the show. 

So, it seems plausible and likely that a moral world is necessarily one where immorality is possible. And if man is to be genuinely responsible for his actions then his actions must lead to their consequences. 

 


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.

jeffreyalex wrote:
Moral goodness may (and I think obviously does) require a choice. To illustrate the point, if someone is forced at gunpoint to give ten dollars to charity that person has not made any noble moral choice—he's made a necessary (if he doesn't want to get popped) choice. Given the ability to choose, man has many times chosen to do bad.

In what way does a gun to the head differ from go to hell? If salvation is via faith and works then charity is a work and a gun to the head. Therefore it has no more value than a gun to the head.

Quote:
If a god intervened in cases where man has done bad then man would never see and understand the consequences of actions. Do you know children's cartoons where the bad guy can try to kill the protagonist all he wants, but he always fails in some comedic way? In that cartoon universe, without real suffering and without death or the possibility of real horror, the villains immoral choices mean nothing, and we manage to find the villain just another fun and lovable character in the show. 

So, it seems plausible and likely that a moral world is necessarily one where immorality is possible. And if man is to be genuinely responsible for his actions then his actions must lead to their consequences.

But the consequences must be in this life to learn. AND doing the morally correct thing must always lead to beneficial consequences to learn doing them is a good thing.

However this world for humans cannot be distinguished from the general rules for any social species. Members must help each other be then ants, bees, cattle, chimps, or humans. The differences among them are rather easily attributed to the nature of the species. You can throw human ideas around any of the behaviors to make them sound different but in the end a human army and warriors ants do the same thing.

There are necessary functions members of social species must perform. They are the definition of a social species.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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A_Nony_Mouse

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
Moral goodness may (and I think obviously does) require a choice. To illustrate the point, if someone is forced at gunpoint to give ten dollars to charity that person has not made any noble moral choice—he's made a necessary (if he doesn't want to get popped) choice. Given the ability to choose, man has many times chosen to do bad.

In what way does a gun to the head differ from go to hell? If salvation is via faith and works then charity is a work and a gun to the head. Therefore it has no more value than a gun to the head.

Quote:
If a god intervened in cases where man has done bad then man would never see and understand the consequences of actions. Do you know children's cartoons where the bad guy can try to kill the protagonist all he wants, but he always fails in some comedic way? In that cartoon universe, without real suffering and without death or the possibility of real horror, the villains immoral choices mean nothing, and we manage to find the villain just another fun and lovable character in the show. 

So, it seems plausible and likely that a moral world is necessarily one where immorality is possible. And if man is to be genuinely responsible for his actions then his actions must lead to their consequences.

But the consequences must be in this life to learn. AND doing the morally correct thing must always lead to beneficial consequences to learn doing them is a good thing.

However this world for humans cannot be distinguished from the general rules for any social species. Members must help each other be then ants, bees, cattle, chimps, or humans. The differences among them are rather easily attributed to the nature of the species. You can throw human ideas around any of the behaviors to make them sound different but in the end a human army and warriors ants do the same thing.

There are necessary functions members of social species must perform. They are the definition of a social species.

 

 

I don't subscribe to any idea regarding "salvation".

 

 


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jeffreyalex wrote:  Given

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

 Given the ability to choose, man has many times chosen to do bad....So, it seems plausible and likely that a moral world is necessarily one where immorality is possible. 

 

 

 

                             Your God / god can obviously make choices.  Does that imply that it can "choose to do bad" as well ?

                          

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

 Given the ability to choose, man has many times chosen to do bad....So, it seems plausible and likely that a moral world is necessarily one where immorality is possible. 

 

 

 

                             Your God / god can obviously make choices.  Does that imply that it can "choose to do bad" as well ?

                          

 

 

I don't know if God can "choose to do bad". 

 


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                             Your God / god can obviously make choices.  Does that imply that it can "choose to do bad" as well ?

                          

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
I don't know if God can "choose to do bad". 

 

 

     You've been on this forum for weeks making inferences regarding your God / god's characteristics as it relates to the physical universe ( fine tuning ) as well as it's ethical sensibilities ( Objective Morality Paradigm™ ) and without a shred of evidence with regard to this same God / god you also claim not to believe in salvation or hell    .....and now suddenly your at a loss for words ? 

 

 

 

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

 

                             Your God / god can obviously make choices.  Does that imply that it can "choose to do bad" as well ?

                          

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
I don't know if God can "choose to do bad". 

 

 

     You've been on this forum for weeks making inferences regarding your God / god's characteristics as it relates to the physical universe ( fine tuning ) as well as it's ethical sensibilities ( Objective Morality Paradigm™ ) and without a shred of evidence with regard to this same God / god you also claim not to believe in salvation or hell    .....and now suddenly your at a loss for words ? 

 

 

 

 

A god may not be morally good—a god may be morally indifferent. However, the existence of suffering is compatible with the existence of a good god. 

 

 


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jeffreyalex

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

 

 

                          

    A god may not be morally good—a god may be morally indifferent. However, the existence of suffering is compatible with the existence of a good god. 

 

 

 

 

                How do you know what a god may be ?  How did you determine the inclinations of a god you've never met much less communicated with ?

 

 

 

 

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

                          

    A god may not be morally good—a god may be morally indifferent. However, the existence of suffering is compatible with the existence of a good god. 

 

                 How do you know what a god may be ?  How did you determine the inclinations of a god you've never met much less communicated with ?

 

 

Well, God could be good, God could be evil, or God could be neither or both. That covers all the bases. Similarly, if I got a car for my birthday but didn't know what color it was (not having seen it, yet), I could say "my car may be dark blue". It's a logical possibility. If you showed that there is no longer a drop of dark blue paint in existence, then it would be a logical impossibility. 

'God may be good' is a proposition. If you can show that God absolutely cannot be good then go for it, otherwise it is a logical possibility that God may be good. 

 


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jeffreyalex wrote: Well,

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

Well, God could be good, God could be evil, or God could be neither or both. That covers all the bases.

 

All that means is that God / god could be anything.   How you've managed to narrow down such an open ended proposition to then asserting this God / god has established an objective moral paradigm or that it is almost assuredly interested in your friend's well-being and indicated it by arranging rose petals and how books fall to the floor etc, is quite an unsubstantiated leap. 

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
'God may be good' is a proposition. If you can show that God absolutely cannot be good then go for it, otherwise it is a logical possibility that God may be good. 

 

 

  That's the problem, you can't actually show anything.   X= a proposition about God / god ?  What if I propose that God / god is actually collection of various little gods with vastly different temperments who are all struggling with one another to assert individual control over their jointly created universe.  When bad things happen that's simply because one of the malicious little gods has been able to temporarily assert control and when good things happen that's only because one of the compassionate little gods was able to temporarily assert its will and produce a beneficial outcome. 

 

If you can show that this is not the truth behind reality then go for it , otherwise it is a logical possibility that many gods struggle with one another to control the outcome in any given circumstance.

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

Well, God could be good, God could be evil, or God could be neither or both. That covers all the bases.

 

All that means is that God / god could be anything.   How you've managed to narrow down such an open ended proposition to then asserting this God / god has established an objective moral paradigm or that it is almost assuredly interested in your friend's well-being and indicated it by arranging rose petals and how books fall to the floor etc, is quite an unsubstantiated leap. 

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
'God may be good' is a proposition. If you can show that God absolutely cannot be good then go for it, otherwise it is a logical possibility that God may be good. 

 

 

  That's the problem, you can't actually show anything.   X= a proposition about God / god ?  What if I propose that God / god is actually collection of various little gods with vastly different temperments who are all struggling with one another to assert individual control over their jointly created universe.  When bad things happen that's simply because one of the malicious little gods has been able to temporarily assert control and when good things happen that's only because one of the compassionate little gods was able to temporarily assert its will and produce a beneficial outcome. 

 

If you can show that this is not the truth behind reality then go for it , otherwise it is a logical possibility that many gods struggle with one another to control the outcome in any given circumstance.

 

But you've only made my point: it IS, in fact, a logical possibility that many gods struggle with one another...etc.

That proposition is totally ad hoc, and I don't believe it. Not only is it ad hoc to the extreme, but it is needlessly more complicated than it has to be, and is therefore far more unlikely than a simpler explanation. 

 

And again, keep your focus on the issue at hand. Someone up in the thread claimed that a good god is incompatible with suffering and I am responding. I am not arguing "a good God exists". I am arguing "suffering is not incompatible with a good God".

 

 


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jeffreyalex wrote:   But

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

 

 

But you've only made my point: it IS, in fact, a logical possibility that many gods struggle with one another...etc.

 

  It is possible, but based upon a lack of evidence, still highly improbable

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
That proposition is totally ad hoc, and I don't believe it.

 

I don't believe in your God / god and for the same reasons.

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
Not only is it ad hoc to the extreme, but it is needlessly more complicated than it has to be, and is therefore far more unlikely than a simpler explanation.

 

 Who says simplicity is a necessary attribute for a diety to exist ?  Again, how the hell would you know ? 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
And again, keep your focus on the issue at hand. Someone up in the thread claimed that a good god is incompatible with suffering and I am responding. I am not arguing "a good God exists". I am arguing "suffering is not incompatible with a good God".

 

 

 

  You don't even know that this God / god exists, much less if it expresses itself to humanity.  You are simply throwing out your own unsubstantiated speculation over and over again.

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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jeffreyalex

jeffreyalex wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

                          

    A god may not be morally good—a god may be morally indifferent. However, the existence of suffering is compatible with the existence of a good god. 

 

                 How do you know what a god may be ?  How did you determine the inclinations of a god you've never met much less communicated with ?

 

 

Well, God could be good, God could be evil, or God could be neither or both. That covers all the bases. Similarly, if I got a car for my birthday but didn't know what color it was (not having seen it, yet), I could say "my car may be dark blue". It's a logical possibility. If you showed that there is no longer a drop of dark blue paint in existence, then it would be a logical impossibility. 

'God may be good' is a proposition. If you can show that God absolutely cannot be good then go for it, otherwise it is a logical possibility that God may be good. 

 

Jeffrey. I'm sorry to interrupt a good conversation here, but I've been meaning to ask you-   Do you  pray?  If so would you be so kind as to tell us in what manner. - do you address him/it by name "God" or " a god" etc. ?

 If you don't pray, then please tell us why you don't.

I think this would bring to light and maybe help nail down your "beliefs" or the theme or your philosophies.  If you wouldn't mind? Just wondering?

"...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

tonyjeffers wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

                          

    A god may not be morally good—a god may be morally indifferent. However, the existence of suffering is compatible with the existence of a good god. 

 

                 How do you know what a god may be ?  How did you determine the inclinations of a god you've never met much less communicated with ?

 

 

Well, God could be good, God could be evil, or God could be neither or both. That covers all the bases. Similarly, if I got a car for my birthday but didn't know what color it was (not having seen it, yet), I could say "my car may be dark blue". It's a logical possibility. If you showed that there is no longer a drop of dark blue paint in existence, then it would be a logical impossibility. 

'God may be good' is a proposition. If you can show that God absolutely cannot be good then go for it, otherwise it is a logical possibility that God may be good. 

 

Jeffrey. I'm sorry to interrupt a good conversation here, but I've been meaning to ask you-   Do you  pray?  If so would you be so kind as to tell us in what manner. - do you address him/it by name "God" or " a god" etc. ?

 If you don't pray, then please tell us why you don't.

I think this would bring to light and maybe help nail down your "beliefs" or the theme or your philosophies.  If you wouldn't mind? Just wondering?

 

Sure. That's a good question and I'm happy to answer it. 

I don't pray on a regular basis. When I have prayed it's always been a very similar prayer. 

First, I don't know what to address. I think "God", "Spirit", "Universe", "Whatever is out there", then I qualify it in my head with an "...if you exist." After that I say I'm sorry IF I've fallen short in some way. Then I ask to be led to truth, to see clearly. At that point, I recognize that as a kind of silly request: If there is something which would grant such a request, then the truth must be that there is such a thing. If there is no such thing, then there is nothing which would lead me to truth versus confusion. I end with a sense of gratefulness and an expression of love for God and for creation, in general. 

So if you can call that prayer, then yes, I sometimes pray. If it's relevant, when I do pray I do it on my knees with my head down to the ground. 


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

 

 

But you've only made my point: it IS, in fact, a logical possibility that many gods struggle with one another...etc.

 

  It is possible, but based upon a lack of evidence, still highly improbable

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
That proposition is totally ad hoc, and I don't believe it.

 

I don't believe in your God / god and for the same reasons.

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
Not only is it ad hoc to the extreme, but it is needlessly more complicated than it has to be, and is therefore far more unlikely than a simpler explanation.

 

 Who says simplicity is a necessary attribute for a diety to exist ?  Again, how the hell would you know ? 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
And again, keep your focus on the issue at hand. Someone up in the thread claimed that a good god is incompatible with suffering and I am responding. I am not arguing "a good God exists". I am arguing "suffering is not incompatible with a good God".

 

 

 

  You don't even know that this God / god exists, much less if it expresses itself to humanity.  You are simply throwing out your own unsubstantiated speculation over and over again.

 

I believe the cosmological argument suggests a Creator God with tremendous power.

That God caused the physical universe suggests that God itself is not a physical being.

The order and design of the universe suggest the creator is rational and infinitely intelligent.

That creation includes individuals, minds, with moral intuitions and experiences, suggests that God is morally good and an agent, a sort of mind. 

That's not ad hoc.

 

If I were to add that I believe God wears a pink cardigan, that would be ad hoc. 

 

Your example postulates more than is necessary and every additional detail you add is one more detail you could have wrong. So, your example is both ad hoc and baseless from the start, and it is made worse and less likely true by its unwarranted complexity. 

 


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jeffreyalex wrote:  I

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

 

I believe the cosmological argument suggests a Creator God with tremendous power.

That God caused the physical universe suggests that God itself is not a physical being.

 

  My ad hoc scenario only differs from your ad hoc scenario by the number of gods ...not much else

Even orthodox Christians flirt with multiple gods with their admittedly ad hoc solution and their trinitarian doctrine  (  which is amusing as your own evolving God / god concept seems to be continually creeping toward their omni-max, interventionist god the longer you post here. )

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
The order and design of the universe suggest the creator is rational and infinitely intelligent.

 

  High levels of rationality and intelligence are traits often found among sociopaths and criminals.  Maybe your god is something to be feared, not admired ?

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
That creation includes individuals, minds, with moral intuitions and experiences, suggests that God is morally good and an agent, a sort of mind. 

That's not ad hoc.

 

  > Since you currently reject the curse of sin™ as a reason for the bad things that occur then such things as cancer, birth defects, famines, etc must have been willfully and with forethought created by your God / god as well. 

 

 >  If not to punish sin, then for what other purpose then would your "Creator God" permit and even facilitate the possibilities for such human suffering?   

 

 > ...oh, you previously rationalized that such occurrences don't conflict with your morally sensitive god's willful decision to allow suffering and instead should be accepted as a teaching experience !    

 

  That means your God is like a man who passively watches a group of thugs rape and beat a young woman and then tells her "I didn't intervene and help you because I wanted you to learn to value your sexual sanctity and physical health.  You're WELCOME ! "

 

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
Your example postulates more than is necessary and every additional detail you add is one more detail you could have wrong.

 

  I can think of one additional detail that you have added  that you could quite easily have wrong.  Care to guess what that is ?

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
So, your example is both ad hoc and baseless from the start...

 

 As is yours.

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

 

I believe the cosmological argument suggests a Creator God with tremendous power.

That God caused the physical universe suggests that God itself is not a physical being.

 

  My ad hoc scenario only differs from your ad hoc scenario by the number of gods ...not much else

Even orthodox Christians flirt with multiple gods with their admittedly ad hoc solution and their trinitarian doctrine  (  which is amusing as your own evolving God / god concept seems to be continually creeping toward their omni-max, interventionist god the longer you post here. )

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
The order and design of the universe suggest the creator is rational and infinitely intelligent.

 

 

  High levels of rationality and intelligence are traits often found among sociopaths and criminals.  Maybe your god is something to be feared, not admired ?

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
That creation includes individuals, minds, with moral intuitions and experiences, suggests that God is morally good and an agent, a sort of mind. 

That's not ad hoc.

 

  > Since you currently reject the curse of sin™ as a reason for the bad things that occur then such things as cancer, birth defects, famines, etc must have been willfully and with forethought created by your God / god as well. 

 

 >  If not to punish sin, then for what other purpose then would your "Creator God" permit and even facilitate the possibilities for such human suffering?   

 

 > ...oh, you previously rationalized that such occurrences don't conflict with your morally sensitive god's willful decision to allow suffering and instead should be accepted as a teaching experience !    

 

  That means your God is like a man who passively watches a group of thugs rape and beat a young woman and then tells her "I didn't intervene and help you because I wanted you to learn to value your sexual sanctity and physical health.  You're WELCOME ! "

 

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
Your example postulates more than is necessary and every additional detail you add is one more detail you could have wrong.

 

  I can think of one additional detail that you have added  that you could quite easily have wrong.  Care to guess what that is ?

 

 

jeffreyalex wrote:
So, your example is both ad hoc and baseless from the start...

 

 As is yours.

 

Except mine isn't ad hoc and baseless. 


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jeffreyalex wrote: Except

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

Except mine isn't ad hoc and baseless. 

                 Get in line.   Every theist believes the same thing about their own particular god.

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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             PS,

 

 

           PS, are you just too lazy to use the quote function and address individual facets in these exchanges ? 

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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jeffreyalex wrote: Except

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

Except mine isn't ad hoc and baseless. 

 

        By the way, Ad Hoc would make a great name for your god..... 

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

 

           PS, are you just too lazy to use the quote function and address individual facets in these exchanges ? 

Yes. Usually I'm notified of a response on my iPad, and it's just too much of a hassle to format on it. 

I do, however, address arguments. Sometimes I don't see a point in responding to something and I'll ignore it: for example, you said all theists like to think their God is not ad hoc. As I see it, that's no point and the response is obvious:

A God that can create a mathematically ordered physical universe is immensely powerful and 'intelligent', and is not physical Itself. Those are not randomly invented attributes. 

"God wears a Rolex and a striped tuxedo and flies on a broomstick" IS completely invented with no logic or reason. 

"There are 8,936 Gods, and they all struggle with each other" IS completely invented with no logic or reason. 

 

 

 


ProzacDeathWish
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jeffreyalex wrote: A God

jeffreyalex wrote:

 

A God that can create a mathematically ordered physical universe is immensely powerful and 'intelligent', and is not physical Itself. Those are not randomly invented attributes. 

 

 

                                        

 

  In light of that statement, how can you possibly continue calling yourself an agnostic ?  You've already crossed over.   End of debate.  Enjoy worshipping your new Friend.

 

 

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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jeffreyalex wrote:I don't

jeffreyalex wrote:

I don't pray on a regular basis. When I have prayed it's always been a very similar prayer. 

First, I don't know what to address. I think "God", "Spirit", "Universe", "Whatever is out there", then I qualify it in my head with an "...if you exist." After that I say I'm sorry IF I've fallen short in some way. Then I ask to be led to truth, to see clearly. At that point, I recognize that as a kind of silly request: If there is something which would grant such a request, then the truth must be that there is such a thing. If there is no such thing, then there is nothing which would lead me to truth versus confusion. I end with a sense of gratefulness and an expression of love for God and for creation, in general. 

So if you can call that prayer, then yes, I sometimes pray. If it's relevant, when I do pray I do it on my knees with my head down to the ground. 

 

                          

jeffreyalex wrote:
  And fourth, I am now and have been an agnostic.  I do not know whether God exists and at this time I do not think that knowledge is possible.

 

 

 

          So you're a self proclaimed agnostic who claims to "not know whether God exists" but nevertheless you still pray "on my knees with my head down to the ground".   

 

                                      Kind of like "I'm not sure that I'm a homosexual but I still have sex with other men."

 

 

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

I don't pray on a regular basis. When I have prayed it's always been a very similar prayer. 

First, I don't know what to address. I think "God", "Spirit", "Universe", "Whatever is out there", then I qualify it in my head with an "...if you exist." After that I say I'm sorry IF I've fallen short in some way. Then I ask to be led to truth, to see clearly. At that point, I recognize that as a kind of silly request: If there is something which would grant such a request, then the truth must be that there is such a thing. If there is no such thing, then there is nothing which would lead me to truth versus confusion. I end with a sense of gratefulness and an expression of love for God and for creation, in general. 

So if you can call that prayer, then yes, I sometimes pray. If it's relevant, when I do pray I do it on my knees with my head down to the ground. 

 

                          

jeffreyalex wrote:
  And fourth, I am now and have been an agnostic.  I do not know whether God exists and at this time I do not think that knowledge is possible.

 

 

 

                             So you're a self proclaimed agnostic who claims to "not know whether God exists" but you still pray "on my knees with my head to the ground".   

 

                                      Kind of like "I don't feel that I'm a homosexual but I still have sex with other men."

 

 

 

If you're stuck under a rock but you see no one around you holler "Help! Can anyone hear me?!" You well know there might just not be anyone there.

And as far as "on my knees", that's for two reasons: 1) the person I'm "hollering" to in prayer would be the greatest conceivable being before whom it would be appropriate to be a bit humble and 2) it's just the most natural position, it seems.