Definitions, by golly!

Hambydammit
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Definitions, by golly!

I'm officially damn tired of the redefinition defense.

This is the theist defense of a contradiction in which a "new" definition for a word is posited, and then not given.

SO...

Here are some words.  I want positive definitions, theists!  Don't tell me what they aren't.  Tell me in clear, definable language, what they ARE.

"Emotions" (God's) Human emotions are reactions.  If god knows everything, including what he will do in response to a situation he knows will happen, he cannot experience emotions the way humans do.  Theists, please define "Emotion" as it applies to god, using positive characteristics.  If you start by saying "It's not like X," you'll just get laughed at.

"Faith"  If it's not "Belief despite evidence to the contrary" or "Belief despite a complete lack of evidence," what is it?

"Unconditional"

"All-Powerful"

********

Atheists, feel free to chime in with some words that theists like to use multiple definitions for.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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The way they use the word

The way they use the word theory (for when arguing against evolution)

Theory has 2 meanings

TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC: A possible explanation

TO THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY: An explanation that has been verified by a scientifically evaluated and experimented hypothesis 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Hambydammit
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excellent. Gravity and

excellent.

Gravity and Evolution are theories, and you don't see many people saying gravity doesn't exist.  

It also has something to do with a general misunderstanding of the way scientists establish causal relationships across great spans of time.  I think a lot of people just don't understand the sheer volume of corroborating evidence for many geological/biological theories.

 

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Hambydammit wrote: This is

Hambydammit wrote:

This is the theist defense of a contradiction in which a "new" definition for a word is posited, and then not given.

How can it be posited and then not given? Posited would be the action of stating explicitly the definition in use.

Now.. if you  meant that they use the word as it is not objectively defined.. or under some "common" understanding.

Thats a different issue.. I run into that all the time.

Emotion: 1.) A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling.
2.) A state of mental agitation or disturbance.
 
Yet I agree with one part, somewhat, in that God does not necessarily experience emotion the way humans do.

Faith: 1.)     Confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2.) Belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.

Unconditional: 1.) Not limited by conditions; absolute

All-Powerful: 1.) Having or exercising exclusive and unlimited authority; omnipotent.

Alright.. there you go.

I got my definitions from dictionary.com-- where'd you get yours?


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I accept gravity exists. 

I accept gravity exists.  This is not to say that I think Scientist have a complete understanding of it.

 I would say the same thing for evolution.


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I would agree with you on

I would agree with you on that Rhad. I was just saying that the argument "evolution is just a theory" is fallacious. I dont think gravity is a good example, perhaps thermionic emission or electromagenetic induction would be a better example of irrefutable scientific theory. The reason I dont think gravity is a good example is because of the uncomfortable fact that we have no idea what it is. Some scientists now even think that the universe is holographic ad gravity is an illusion. However, if someone uses "evolution is just a theory" as an argument, then such physics is obviously completely beyond their tiny understanding.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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It's always nice to have

It's always nice to have someone agree.. even if the point is small. Smiling

I get kind of tired of being the odd man out on everything.

Heh.

Um.. just to clarify.. and perhaps play the devils advocate of some inidividual who says "evolution is just a theory".

Yes.. I agree they may be belittling the work involved in making a theory.. but I still believe them to be technically correct.

Science is a (let me be metaphorical for a moment) constant state of questioning.  Nothing is more than a theory or a law.  We do have things which science consider "fact" such as.. here is a rock, here is a fossil, here is a (fill in the blank).  Facts are limited to a definition of what is observed.

Fact: apple moves from point A to point B. ("Falls&quotEye-wink.

Fact: (x) changes over (y) time.

In the case of evolution this would be:

(x): What we describe as genetic makeup changes over (a certain amount of time).

But more than just this statement of observable fact is included within the "theory of evolution"-- for instance.. why it changes, why certain qualities are favored over others, what implications this has, and so on.

 Granted.. this is only my understanding of the process.  Of course.. I was educated by teachers.. who knows what those people were feeding me!

I could be mis-knowledged. Smiling 


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Rhad, believe it or not, I

Rhad, believe it or not, I come really close to agreeing with you on many of your posts, and then you take a sharp turn on me.

For the record, to be precise, I should have said that theists posit the existence of another definition, and then don't give the definition.

Also for the record, you did the same thing I was getting grumpy about, which is to say that god experiences emotions differently, and then not say how god experiences emotions.

That's the "defense by redefinition."

When it is impossible to reconcile a thing, theists simply say that it's different, and then don't say how it's different.

Since I already know that you accept a great deal more, um, vaguery, in um... a-logic... I assume that won't bother you as much as it bothers me, but anyway...

I had to interrupt that sentence because a girl called, and I pretty much will always take the company of a girl over a debate about symbols and language.

 

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RhadTheGizmo
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a-logic? Heh.

a-logic? Heh.

I'm not a-logical.. I'm very logical, or at least try to be.

On a particular point.. I did NOT say that God feels emotions differently then us (as you said I did)... I said he doesn't necessarily feel them the same way as we do.

This type of statement is meant to imply that I will debate the issue as if he does feel them the same way as we do, yet I leave open the option that the understanding may be imcomplete.

I have done this many times. People say God cannot feel X or Y.. I say yes he can.. this is how I reason he can. At the end of writing my position.. I always say.. "But, in anycase, I don't feel that he necessarily feels emotion in the same way we do. In the same way humans progect feelings onto other things.. so we progect feelings onto God. It might be accurate.. or might be just partially accurate."

It would seem that people always try to argue that God could not feel emotion because a.) emotion is a reaction and God is all knowing.

I address this two ways. First.. by questioning their definition.. because that is not the definition I know of. And secondly, I might ask them to show an instance in the bible of an emotion that explicitly states a reaction that requires non-knowledge.. such as "suprised" or "mistakened".

People like to use "reaction" as if it necessarily means a "action in response to something unexpected."

That is not the definition of "reaction."

Reaction: 3.) Action in response to some influence, event, etc.

People try to say "disappointed" or "grieved".. these might be emotions of reaction.. but not in the position the person wishes to argue from.  Mainly.. that "these are a emotions of reaction to something unexpected, and how can something be unexpected?"

People just try to make this argument more simple then it actually is.  A strawman argument if you will.  Have the theist accept that emotions are reactive by nature, and that reactive inherently implies non-expectation.

All emotions are not "reactions" in the sense that, I believe, you are defining it as.

Emotions are merely "spontaneously arrising mental states without cognitive thought." Now.. on the other hand.. if we cannot perceive God to be spontaneous.. or if, in fact, he cannot be spontaneous.. then this would imply that he is not omnipotent, or, that we have a seriously problem of perception. (theists I mean.)

On a sidenote: Yah.. good choice. Conversations should always come secondary to a girl. Heh.


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A-logic.  I like it. It's

A-logic.  I like it.

It's very close to Jutter's "para-correct" word. 


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Yeah, Susan. I gotta

Yeah, Susan. I gotta remember to use para-correct more often. A-logic is now in my vocabulary as well.

Rhad, even though I dismiss your arguments out of hand, I do think you're being honest and genuine, and I imagine we'd probably get along ok over a beer.

Nevertheless, your arguments have taken one of two forms, or a hybrid of the two, since you joined the board.

1) You've taken a somewhat unique stance on the "Defense by Redefinition" in which you admit to conflicting definitions, and then go ahead with using the definitions interchangably, the whole time using the caveat, "I could be wrong."

This is very clever, because it appears to be open minded, but it's really the exact same theist argument with a nice coat of varnish to make it look pretty.

The fact is, for definitions to be any good, they have to exist. For you to talk about how god experiences emotions, you either have to positively define "emotion" with respect to god (emphasis on positive... telling us what it is not is not defining it.) or use the existing definition. Instead, you just say, "Ok, it's not like the existing definition. It's like god's definition." Well, without god's definition, you might as well call it a three headed chia pet named Abner, because we're talking about nonsense.

Here's where your second flaw comes in.

2) When this is pointed out to you, you invariably switch to the "Uncertainty Defense" where you come back with your arms wide and say, "I never said those things you said I said, because I said I could be wrong, and was only arguing from one possible side." The thing is, rhad, you are a slippery eel in arguments. You'll argue one side until it is refuted, then you'll slip into the defense that without being one hundred percent certain of the rightness of the opposing position, it's still valid for you to argue your position, since it's possible.

The inherent error in this, of course, is that things that are equally possible are not equally likely. In fact, many things that are technically possible are so unlikely that we can say scientifically that they are impossible.

Ok... illustrations:

Quote:
On a particular point.. I did NOT say that God feels emotions differently then us (as you said I did)... I said he doesn't necessarily feel them the same way as we do.

Ok, fine... Defense by uncertainty. So either define "god-emotion" positively or stop talking about the possibility that undefined things exist. We could be here for centuries talking about all the things we can't talk about that don't have any definitions.

Quote:
I have done this many times. People say God cannot feel X or Y.. I say yes he can.. this is how I reason he can. At the end of writing my position.. I always say.. "But, in anycase, I don't feel that he necessarily feels emotion in the same way we do. In the same way humans progect feelings onto other things.. so we progect feelings onto God. It might be accurate.. or might be just partially accurate."

So, let's be honest, rhad. All that boils down to "I don't know, and I don't have a workable definition." So, why are you arguing the point?

Ok. Here's an example of the slippery eel tactic:

Quote:

People like to use "reaction" as if it necessarily means a "action in response to something unexpected."

That is not the definition of "reaction."

Reaction: 3.) Action in response to some influence, event, etc.

People try to say "disappointed" or "grieved".. these might be emotions of reaction.. but not in the position the person wishes to argue from. Mainly.. that "these are a emotions of reaction to something unexpected, and how can something be unexpected?"

The thing is, you're technically correct insofar as the dictionary definition of reaction. This, however, does not give your argument validity. By invoking the exact wording of the dictionary, you're trying to invalidate something that you and I and everyone else here knows... that emotions are reactionary. The dilemma still exists.

So, why is it that in the one case, you skirt around definitions, and in the other, you insist on attacking an argument based on a particular, precise definition, even though the argument is still valid, and just poorly worded?

Emotion:

  1. A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, reverence, hate, and love.

Spontaneous:

coming or resulting from a natural impulse or tendency; without effort or premeditation; natural and unconstrained; unplanned: a spontaneous burst of applause.

I give you these definitions to show you that the argument is still valid, but it's not the point.

The point is that you use defintions from both sides of the fence to try to maintain an indefensible position.

If you're going to be a stickler for every single definition that atheists employ, what gives you the right to employ an argument using both soft and hard definitions?

The answer, rhad, is nothing. Your arguments are inconsistent and invalid, no matter how much you try to slip and slide around the objections.

 

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Quote:

Quote:
Rhad, even though I dismiss your arguments out of hand, I do think you're being honest and genuine, and I imagine we'd probably get along ok over a beer.

Would be fascinating. I believe you to be sincere as well.. we just have some fundamental difference of opinions that must be address in order to understand each other-- if that is what is purposed by this place.

Surely it is not to prove or disprove the existence of God or gods.. for this would surely be an arduous task. But.. perhaps it is. I try to keep my mind open. Yet fundamental understandings of words and the world are difficult to change by a person whose fundamental understandings of words and the world are similarly different-- and vise versa.

That's why there they are fundamental.

My brother use to say something to me.. on those little round-table discussion we use to have with my Dad.

"If a catholic and a muslim got together to talk about God, they will be talking about nothing at all. Not because God does not exist, but because their understandings of "God" are fundamentally different. Yes, the conversation may last for hours and days.. yet this does not change the fact that unless this fundamental difference is address, and from that point the conversation assessed, then the conversation means nothing."

Quote:
1) You've taken a somewhat unique stance on the "Defense by Redefinition" in which you admit to conflicting definitions, and then go ahead with using the definitions interchangably, the whole time using the caveat, "I could be wrong."

This is very clever, because it appears to be open minded, but it's really the exact same theist argument with a nice coat of varnish to make it look pretty.

The fact is, for definitions to be any good, they have to exist. For you to talk about how god experiences emotions, you either have to positively define "emotion" with respect to god (emphasis on positive... telling us what it is not is not defining it.) or use the existing definition. Instead, you just say, "Ok, it's not like the existing definition. It's like god's definition." Well, without god's definition, you might as well call it a three headed chia pet named Abner, because we're talking about nonsense.

I realize that my mindset may be misunderstood because of the many qualifications I give in my statements. So, let me try to clarify what I have been doing here.

I try to balance my concepts of the "limits of human knowledge" coupled with the "limiting nature of human knowledge".

I have come to realize this through massive conversations with different people here. It has not been that my mind has changed, merely that I have come to realize my mind.

When I say "A" does not necessarily mean "a", but even if it does I will address objection "X" using definition "a". Furthermore however, either "A" or "a" are not necessitated by a belief in "God".

For instance. Emotion.

I say.. God does not necessarily need to feel emotion in the same way that we understand emotion. Yet, since we have attributed God with emotion, through the construct of the Bible, than there must be some partial truth to the concept of God and emotion. What that partial truth, incomplete picture, entails cannot be known, yet nonetheless I will address the objection on the grounds that God feels emotions in the same way as we do.

I then go about to define emotion, objectively. And address the objection that 'emotion' as defined, cannot coexist with 'God'. Something I do not agree with...

Thats a lot of qualifications. But I think all are necessary. For, at least within christian theology, we are dealing with a concept of a limitless, omnipotent being. These however are just words, without applicable meaning within the context of a conversation. Tod rightly points this out.. without limits one cannot speak of it as existing at all.

So therefore we speak of him in limited terms. Not because these terms necessarily are a complete picture of him (for that would be to say that "he" in-fact, is limited) but that this is our understanding of him, how we view him.

In much the same way as concepts of gravity do not fully portray the complexities of "gravity".

(see. concept of dark-matter)

Quote:
Here's where your second flaw comes in.

2) When this is pointed out to you, you invariably switch to the "Uncertainty Defense" where you come back with your arms wide and say, "I never said those things you said I said, because I said I could be wrong, and was only arguing from one possible side." The thing is, rhad, you are a slippery eel in arguments. You'll argue one side until it is refuted, then you'll slip into the defense that without being one hundred percent certain of the rightness of the opposing position, it's still valid for you to argue your position, since it's possible.

The inherent error in this, of course, is that things that are equally possible are not equally likely. In fact, many things that are technically possible are so unlikely that we can say scientifically that they are impossible.

See above. "I could be wrong" is definitely a qualification because, obviously my perception is limited of all things. I think it to be a rather humble approach to any particular thing. It is... afterall, very scientific. You address issues on the basis of defined understandings.. but you should never be "surprised" when one of those understandings is challenged.. merely, work off from that new understanding.

As for calling me a slippery eel.. heh.

I merely seek to avoid being deemed a theist. Something I have avoided quite commendably. I do not seek to prove one side or the other as 'right', merely as 'reasonably valid'. I argue (as I have at times on the forum) that some atheist are 'reasonably valid' in their perceptions.. even as I would argue that some theist are 'reasonably valid'.

I do not argue "rightness" of "fact".. merely "rightness" of argument.

Quote:
Ok, fine... Defense by uncertainty. So either define "god-emotion" positively or stop talking about the possibility that undefined things exist. We could be here for centuries talking about all the things we can't talk about that don't have any definitions.

I think you're misunderstanding my intention as well as use of the word "necessarily".

"Necessarily" refers to the logical construct that if the that which is "necessary" did not exist.. then that which is "sufficient" (in this case Christian God) would not exist as well.

So.. when I statement my statement I was merely stating that the existence of God is not dependent on his feeling of emotions in the same way as humans feel emotions.

It was such a small point though.. because I did address God feeling "emotions".. as defined by humans. I was just putting the qualification out there again.

Quote:
So, let's be honest, rhad. All that boils down to "I don't know, and I don't have a workable definition." So, why are you arguing the point?

No.. merely qualify my addressing the point. To me it seems like a trivial point to address (from my person understanding of a Christian God).. yet I address it all the same for the sake of understanding.

Quote:
Ok. Here's an example of the slippery eel tactic:

You old goat.

Quote:
The thing is, you're technically correct insofar as the dictionary definition of reaction. This, however, does not give your argument validity. By invoking the exact wording of the dictionary, you're trying to invalidate something that you and I and everyone else here knows... that emotions are reactionary. The dilemma still exists.

I further go on to define reactionary. Reactionary does not mean "in response to something unforeseen".. in which case the definition of reactionary, when applied to emotion, and emotion applied to God, would directly contradict the concept of an all knowing God.

I do not mean to "invalidate" something.. merely clearly define.

And to say that "clearly defining" something is somehow not warranted because "everyone agrees" on something else-- is nonesense. The dictionary is defined as commonly agreed upon definitions. Without referencing that.. we are all just using words on the basis of our own "perception" of "definition".

But in anycase.. a side point.

Emotion=reaction=response to something. (Nowhere within the definition does it mention "unforeseen" circumstances.. or imply any other concept of "lack of knowledge".) (this could probably do with some further qualification.. but I do not have the time as of now, a thousand apologies.)

And now.. to address directly the point at hand.. hopefully I won't appear to be slippery again.. yet its hard-- I have those tendencies.

Quote:
So, why is it that in the one case, you skirt around definitions, and in the other, you insist on attacking an argument based on a particular, precise definition, even though the argument is still valid, and just poorly worded?

Emotion:

1. A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, reverence, hate, and love.

Spontaneous:

coming or resulting from a natural impulse or tendency; without effort or premeditation; natural and unconstrained; unplanned: a spontaneous burst of applause.

To say that God cannot have or do "unplanned" actions would be to limit him in an unwarranted manner. I believe God's omniscience (as I have defined before) to be a function of his all powerfullness, not the other way around.

As such.. God does not "plan" everything.. but he can "plan" everything that he wants perfectly.

Does this mean that at any particular point and time God cannot do something that was not premeditated? Say.. perhaps.. clap? jump?

Gods "omniscience" need only to apply to those things which he wishes to apply it to.

If I have ever been slippery it has been on this concept.. for the very reason that atheist object to it.. to say that God "must be omniscient", and by that I mean in every single imaginary aspect of everything imaginary and real aspect, is to say that God cannot be spontaneous.... how boring.

That is why.. in times past, and now.. I define omniscience merely as God's capacity, or ability, to know all things which he wants to.

Quote:
I give you these definitions to show you that the argument is still valid, but it's not the point.

The point is that you use defintions from both sides of the fence to try to maintain an indefensible position.

If you're going to be a stickler for every single definition that atheists employ, what gives you the right to employ an argument using both soft and hard definitions?

The answer, rhad, is nothing. Your arguments are inconsistent and invalid, no matter how much you try to slip and slide around the objections.

Once again... in my understanding of God (and I am indeed a theist.. and my theism I believe to be one of rational construction) does not require an unspontaneous God in all respects.. yet it does require that God cannot be surprised by unwanted, and unforeseen circumstances.

The existence of emotion is not defined by reaction to "unforeseen circumstances".. nor is it further defined (as it would need be so) by "unwanted, unforeseen circumstances."

Anyways.. my computers out of batteries and I need to get on a plane.

Nice posting again.. even though I'm sure I won't do so again-- a lapse of judgement this is.


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I thought this was a valid

I thought this was a valid response.  I would like to know that you at least understand me better Hammy.. or perhaps I still come off as the slippery eel.  In which case.. I apologize.

I read a post.. during my hiatus.. regarding someones belief.  I think it might of you speaking of your roommate? In anycase.. I found it fascinating.. and while I may not be completely in agreement.. perhaps I can learn something from him.

Perhaps this is all just academics.. in which case.. hm. 


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Quote: Here are some

Quote:

Here are some words.  I want positive definitions, theists!  Don't tell me what they aren't.  Tell me in clear, definable language, what they ARE.

"Emotions" (God's) Human emotions are reactions.  If god knows everything, including what he will do in response to a situation he knows will happen, he cannot experience emotions the way humans do.  Theists, please define "Emotion" as it applies to god, using positive characteristics.  If you start by saying "It's not like X," you'll just get laughed at.

Asking a Christian (and I'm sorry, Christianity is the only religion I can comment on) to explain God's emotions is like asking a 5-year-old to explain an orgasm.  We haven't felt what God feels any more than anyone else.

"The map appears more real to us than the land." - Lawrence


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Hey, rhad. Glad to see

Hey, rhad.

Glad to see you're still around.  Sorry for not responding directly to your last post.  While I try to directly address everybody who posts a response to me, I don't always get to, and sometimes I just kind of wander away from debates when they're obviously not getting anywhere.

As far as the specific points you raise, suffice it to say that you've made the same errors again, with a slightly different color varnish, and I doubt that a detailed response to them would change your mind, so unless pressed, I'm not going to do that.

The bottom line remains:  For any theist argument to "work" it has to use multiple definitions.  This is a logical fallacy. Defining illogic into logic simply is not a valid way of getting around it being a logical fallacy, either, and is yet another example of the same mistake.

 

 

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Hambydammit
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Quote: Asking a Christian

Quote:
Asking a Christian (and I'm sorry, Christianity is the only religion I can comment on) to explain God's emotions is like asking a 5-year-old to explain an orgasm. We haven't felt what God feels any more than anyone else.

Sorry, JHenson, but that's not what it's like at all. Remember, just because you put two things in the form of an analogy, it doesn't make them analagous.

Orgasms are physiological phenomena caused by specific chemicals being released, which in turn creates physical sensation in muscles, nerves, etc.

Emotions are also physiological phenomena, and they also have very specific causes.

Five year olds can be told what orgasms are in simple language. They may or may not understand. Some five year olds are quite precotious. If they understand, they can repeat that knowledge back and explain an orgasm. Even if they don't understand, it's not because orgasms are not definable.

God's emotions are meaningless because the very nature of god, as defined by christians, makes it impossible for him to experience them.

In order to form a valid analogy, you will have to come up with something that humans experience that cannot be defined or described, but instead, has to be defined only by describing what it is not. Can you think of anything? I didn't think so. That's because we don't define things negatively. We can't. Theists just mistakenly think it's possible.

 

 

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Quote:

I'm happy to be around as well.  Glad to see you're still around-- doing well I hope.

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As far as the specific points you raise, suffice it to say that you've made the same errors again, with a slightly different color varnish, and I doubt that a detailed response to them would change your mind, so unless pressed, I'm not going to do that.

I'm afraid I must push. The purpose was merely to clarify myself.. not convince you of God, that God *does* feel emotion, etc. So.. with regards to my last post.. consider it under that sphere. How is the construct of belief irrational? This is not the same question as: How does this 'arguement' fails to be convincing?

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Defining illogic into logic simply is not a valid way of getting around it being a logical fallacy, either, and is yet another example of the same mistake.

Logical fallacies have to do with 'proving' something. Your question doesn't ask me to prove something.. only make a valid argument (valid being logical-- not its ability to convince you). As for the 'illogic' into 'logic'.. I can only assume that you mean I am trying to explain the 'illogical' 'logically'. For this.. I may conceed a bit, for 'God', being perceived now as 'supernatural'.. is inherently an irrational concept.

This does not mean I cannot hold the belief that this irrational concept has some sort beneficial application in my own life.

This belief does not make me, in and of itself, inherently irrational.. otherwise some mathematicians in their practice of calculus would be considered irrational as well.


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Well, rhad, if it's ok with

Well, rhad, if it's ok with you, I'll address this most recent post, since I think it's much more concise and easy to respond to. If you want me to go point by point through the longer previous one, I will, but you might have to give me a day or two to get to it.

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The purpose was merely to clarify myself.. not convince you of God, that God *does* feel emotion, etc.

So noted. However, I wonder why you don't make posts trying not to convince people that it's possible that the Lord of the Rings story might actually have happened, and that Middle Earth really existed. Sorry if that seems like a non-sequiter, but I'll get back to it in a minute, and hopefully show you that it's a decent point to make.

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How is the construct of belief irrational?

It is irrational because it requires denial of reason. It requires making ad hoc explanations for things that either already have perfectly reasonable explanations, or simply are not answered as yet. To believe in the supernatural, you must deduce, infer, extrapolate, etc. These are logical processes. To even put forth the question of whether something is irrational, you must use logic. As you've pointed out before, something can be logical without being true. While I'm perfectly happy to concede the point -- it's obvious, and logical! -- we are not talking about logical theory here. We're talking about real life. If someone prays to their turnip plant each morning before breakfast, and then hangs bunches of garlic above their refrigerator to keep out gremlins, we don't think too hard about whether or not that person's thought processes contained logically valid conclusions. We skip right to "That person is irrational." Well, we might say they're crazy, but for the sake of the discussion...

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This is not the same question as: How does this 'arguement' fails to be convincing?

exactly. This is what I'm talking about. Theist arguments ARE unconvincing much of the time. The problem is that they still convince a lot of people. Why? Because, as you astutely point out, logical doesn't always coincide with rational, and rational doesn't always coincide with convincing.

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Logical fallacies have to do with 'proving' something. Your question doesn't ask me to prove something.. only make a valid argument (valid being logical-- not its ability to convince you).

Here's where you make a mistaken assumption. I'm not interested in esoteric debate. I dare say most of the atheists on this board have a very real goal -- to diminish the power of religion in people's lives. My question is meant to point out the absurdity of certain religious ideas. My rebuttals are meant to demonstrate further that religious belief is inescapably irrational.

I'm perfectly happy to let you dance around the definitions of words like "logical," "rational," "irrational," etc. In fact, if I use one incorrectly, I rather appreciate being corrected. However, I'm not interested in whether or not you can make a semantic case for using a specific word to describe a believer. I'm interested in whether or not their beliefs correspond with reality.

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As for the 'illogic' into 'logic'.. I can only assume that you mean I am trying to explain the 'illogical' 'logically'. For this.. I may conceed a bit, for 'God', being perceived now as 'supernatural'.. is inherently an irrational concept.

Concession accepted.

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This does not mean I cannot hold the belief that this irrational concept has some sort beneficial application in my own life.

Quite correct again. Go ahead and believe anything irrational you want. I don't think it's very practical, but then, you're the one living your life, not me.

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This belief does not make me, in and of itself, inherently irrational..

No, but in the same way that a green lapel pin on your coat doesn't make you green. The pin's still green, and your belief is still irrational.

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otherwise some mathematicians in their practice of calculus would be considered irrational as well.

The only thing inherently irrational about calculus is that I spent three semesters working out equations back in college when I could have been drinking and flirting with women. Three semesters completely wasted.... how irrational of me.

(sorry... I'll take my tongue out of my cheek now. I'm not going to get into responding to this point because I'm not qualified. I hated calculus and did my best to forget as much as I could.)

Anyway, back to the Lord of the Rings. It's irrational to go around talking about how the LoTR really happened, and hobbits used to exist, and there were dragons and balrogs in Middle Earth. Why? You'd have to deny voluminous evidence that no such place existed, and that such beings are fiction! Not only that, but there's not one scrap of evidence that contradicts the notion that they never existed. So why does religion get so much credit? There's exactly as much empirical evidence for god as for balrogs. Is it AS irrational to believe in god as balrogs? No. It isn't, and I'll gladly concede the point. Your parents probably told you that god is real, and santa is not. Believing your parents when you're a child is rational. Some very smart people have been deluded into believing in god. Lots of them, in fact. It is difficult to look at Western Civilization, with its two millenia of religious domination, and feel comfortable with the thought that so many people were completely wrong. Yet, they were. It is understandable why so many people believe in god, but it's still ultimately irrational, because the facts are out there, and if you're presented with them, and still believe, you are being irrational.

 

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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RhadTheGizmo
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Hambydammit wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

Well, rhad, if it's ok with you, I'll address this most recent post, since I think it's much more concise and easy to respond to. If you want me to go point by point through the longer previous one, I will, but you might have to give me a day or two to get to it.

Of course its okay.

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The purpose was merely to clarify myself.. not convince you of God, that God *does* feel emotion, etc.


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So noted. However, I wonder why you don't make posts trying not to convince people that it's possible that the Lord of the Rings story might actually have happened, and that Middle Earth really existed. Sorry if that seems like a non-sequiter, but I'll get back to it in a minute, and hopefully show you that it's a decent point to make.

For the same reason you don't try "not to convince" or "convince that it's possible" that hinduism pantheon is possible.. because you don't hold those beliefs.  I know this isn't you're whole point.. I'll address the later later.

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How is the construct of belief irrational?


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It is irrational because it requires denial of reason.


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It requires making ad hoc explanations for things that either already have perfectly reasonable explanations, or simply are not answered as yet.

This line requires a two part response.  If the first.. then how very unscientific.  I do not believe my belief to be the be all to truth.  At one time a earth-centric model was a "perfectly reasonable explanation". Would you consider those people trying to give an alternative view to be denying reason? Of course.. I realize the difference here.. in that they would probably be bring about scientific data or theory in order to support their explanations-- and so, with this statement I mean only to point out that an explanation is not made more or less reasonable, nor the person more or less rational, by merely the existent of "perfectly reasonable explanations."  Furthermore, "simply are not answered" would be likewise weak support for such rationalization..

Ad hoc pertains to the construction and purpose of something, in this case an explanation.. it does not speak to it's validity as an explanation or to the nature of the person holding such a construct.

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To believe in the supernatural, you must deduce, infer, extrapolate, etc. These are logical processes. To even put forth the question of whether something is irrational, you must use logic. As you've pointed out before, something can be logical without being true. While I'm perfectly happy to concede the point -- it's obvious, and logical! -- we are not talking about logical theory here. We're talking about real life.

Indeed.

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If someone prays to their turnip plant each morning before breakfast, and then hangs bunches of garlic above their refrigerator to keep out gremlins, we don't think too hard about whether or not that person's thought processes contained logically valid conclusions. We skip right to "That person is irrational."

While we might be speaking of "real life".. that is not to say that within the context of this conversation we should not be using some sort of concrete definition to the word irrational and deduce from evidence and assumptions whether a person can accurately be labeled with that word.

The fact that many people would use a word in a particular case does not correct that word make.  Many people use words like 'race', 'ethnicity', 'sex', and 'gender', with equally liberal fancy.  This does not mean that these words change their objective meaning just because many people would use it in a certain case.  We are speak now.. within the context of a debate or conversation concerning 'rationality' and 'theism'.. anecdotal evidence is not valid.

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This is not the same question as: How does this 'arguement' fails to be convincing?


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exactly. This is what I'm talking about. Theist arguments ARE unconvincing much of the time.

I have no doubt.  Yes unconvincing does not equal irrational.  Just wanted to make sure that was clear..

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The problem is that they still convince a lot of people. Why? Because, as you astutely point out, logical doesn't always coincide with rational, and rational doesn't always coincide with convincing.

I believe these two things are unrelated.  To turn it around it seems that you are saying:

"Because logic does not always coincide with reason, and reason doesn't always coincide with convincing, they still convince a lot of people."

This is how I read the statement.  I don't understand how it is an answer to "Why?"  Technically this isn't a question we were originally address.. so feel free not to address now-- I was just conveying my confusion in this case.

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Logical fallacies have to do with 'proving' something. Your question doesn't ask me to prove something.. only make a valid argument (valid being logical-- not its ability to convince you).


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Here's where you make a mistaken assumption. I'm not interested in esoteric debate. I dare say most of the atheists on this board have a very real goal -- to diminish the power of religion in people's lives.

This brings about an interesting point...

By, what seems to be, the very nature of this board the debate is esoteric.  While you may have "real goals".. this does not take away that, from what I can gather, many individuals, you included, use reasoning which is very esoteric.  I would venture to say that the majority of individuals who you are addressing do not know that meanings and applications of many of the fallacies, latin phrases, and logical constructs that many people use on this board.  So while fine.. your "real goals" could be enacted at the tip of a sword, yet, this does not mean that the debate, itself, as been constructed in an esoteric way.  Or would consider the majority of theists to fully understand the vocabulary and rational of Todangst? or you?

We are speaking of the rationality of beliefs.. not the  "goals" we have.

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My question is meant to point out the absurdity of certain religious ideas.

Your question of definitions?

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My rebuttals are meant to demonstrate further that religious belief is inescapably irrational.


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I'm perfectly happy to let you dance around the definitions of words like "logical," "rational," "irrational," etc. In fact, if I use one incorrectly, I rather appreciate being corrected. However, I'm not interested in whether or not you can make a semantic case for using a specific word to describe a believer. I'm interested in whether or not their beliefs correspond with reality.

Well.. here is where I believe we may have a fundamental difference of opinions.  For me there is no way other than through the exposition of words that one can speak of reality.  If we are not making a semantical case.. what kind of case are we making? Of course... there are the observation and experiential type.. but the moment you state a word to 'explain' a particular observation or experience.. you are falling into the realm of semantics.

If you had said nothing.. I would not be debating, yet, through use of words to make your argument.. you using words, therefore what other way could I counter but through semantics? I could try and use observational/experiential type evidence but somehow I do not believe you would accept these things if I claimed I did have them.

I am arguing, fully in all threads, whether the use of a particular word, 'irrational', can rightly be applied to 'theism' in all cases.  I do not see what the problem is with accepted that theism can be rational, and that people can rationally hold the idea.  This does not take away from the idea that 'atheism' may be a substantially better way in which to live ones life.

I do not claim that the belief in a theistic God is more rational than a the non-belief.. I do not even claim that the belief in a theistic God will bring about a substantially better experience in life.  It is merely what I believe, rationally held, benefit-ially applicable to my life-- and if someone might inquire or I think that a particular circumstance might benefit from the exposition of my belief, then so be it.

This I believe to be a big difference between the mentality of some on RSS and others.

IF, by chance, some on RSS equate theistic system to militant nazism, then so be it.. in which both, one might believe, inherently hold a belief of forced subjection through violence-- I would have to agree if I was in their point of view, I would hope I would do the same.  Yet, for me, I do not hold these equal.. I would attempt to stop someone causing or threatening physical harm on another.  I would attempt to stop someone causing or threatening mental harm on another.  I would not go so far as to extend these actions to the beliefs of the one causing the harm just because they are held by a person causing harm.  There must be more to it.  Otherwise, "let us wipe out ____________ because (X) amount of people did (X)" would be the logical construct.. a very dangerous one at that.

Then again.. perhaps you do feel them to be the same.  But if that be the case.. then me, to you, am perceived to be the same as a militant nazi?  I just don't believe this to be the case.  If you say.. "just you belief".. I do not believe this would hold true.  Or would you treat a militant nazi with the same cordiality you address me?

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As for the 'illogic' into 'logic'.. I can only assume that you mean I am trying to explain the 'illogical' 'logically'. For this.. I may conceed a bit, for 'God', being perceived now as 'supernatural'.. is inherently an irrational concept.


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Concession accepted.

Heh.. thanks.

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This does not mean I cannot hold the belief that this irrational concept has some sort beneficial application in my own life.


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Quite correct again. Go ahead and believe anything irrational you want. I don't think it's very practical, but then, you're the one living your life, not me.

"Belief in an irrational concept" and "Irrational belief" are two completely different things.  The former can speak to mathematical axioms.. as well as religious ones as well.. the latter relates to the nature of the belief as a whole.

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This belief does not make me, in and of itself, inherently irrational..


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No, but in the same way that a green lapel pin on your coat doesn't make you green. The pin's still green, and your belief is still irrational.

Once again.. I never conceeded that my belief was irrational.. I conceded that it contains an irrational concept, 'God'.

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otherwise some mathematicians in their practice of calculus would be considered irrational as well.


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The only thing inherently irrational about calculus is that I spent three semesters working out equations back in college when I could have been drinking and flirting with women. Three semesters completely wasted.... how irrational of me.

Hah. Indeed.  Yet.. I was trying to point out.. as people sometimes forget.. that mathematics, calculus for one, use 'irrational' numbers in order to solve a problem.  Infinity, pie, etc. These irrational things are used in the most rational of methodologies.. and the people who use such methodologies are considered no more or less rational because of it.

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Anyway, back to the Lord of the Rings. It's irrational to go around talking about how the LoTR really happened, and hobbits used to exist, and there were dragons and balrogs in Middle Earth. Why? You'd have to deny voluminous evidence that no such place existed, and that such beings are fiction!

Furthermore, because LoTR mythology contains a host of things that would, definitively through their 'natural' nature, have left a host of scientific evidence.  Bones, buildings, cities, etc.  

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Not only that, but there's not one scrap of evidence that contradicts the notion that they never existed. So why does religion get so much credit?

You mean in general? or for me? In general I cannot speak.. for me.. I point to above.  I would not consider the things of LoTR to be probable to have happened on earth because, if they did, some sort of evidence of their existence would have been revealed.  For all intense and purpose, LoTR was presented in such a manner that all the rules of our existence were applicable to theirs as well.  Carbon based lifeforms, lived, died, humans, humanoids, etc etc etc.  Biblical theism is not necessarily the same thing, and while, as atheist admit, there is some truth in the Bible, the most central parts to it are untestable and, as we are now, unobservable (the existence of God himself, of which there is only one).

Would you consider the most central parts of LoTR to be untestable as well?

I would state.. that it's possible that a like-character mentioned in LoTR might have existed at one time. I would not believe that worldwide civilizations could have existed without a shred of evidence.  Then again.. I welcome some believer to point some out. Smiling

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There's exactly as much empirical evidence for god as for balrogs.

Empirical pertains to experiential as well as observational.  Experience can be applied as liberally as one defines experience.  Are you trying to say that, in the same way I have no experiential basis (also known as evidence) in a balrog, that I have no experiential basis for God?

[qoute]Your parents probably told you that god is real, and santa is not.

I don't believe they told me either.  Santa was santa.  I knew my parents brought me presents.. they didn't need to tell me that Santa was not real.. they just never mentioned him. When I would see him on TV, I would equate him to Donald Duck.  At least this is how I remember things.. (bad memory, indeed).

As for God.  Same would be true.. I saw them pray.. we went to church, etc etc etc.  As I grew up I asked questions, more question, etc etc.

Yet at the end of the day I accepted the belief because I wanted to believe it, for all the benefits I perceived it to have.

In the same way that I accepted "be nice", "don't lie", "study hard", as beliefs to hold as well.  My parents tried to live this way.. and I perceived them to be 'more fulfilled' because of it.

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It is understandable why so many people believe in god, but it's still ultimately irrational, because the facts are out there, and if you're presented with them, and still believe, you are being irrational.

This-- "a"-- is a letter.  You are using the internet.  Your computer runs on electricity.  Evolution occurs.  The ocean is made of water.

These are facts.  They are facts because we have defined these words in such a manner that they have certain, definitive, relationship with other things.  There is no *fact* that "belief in god" is "ultimately irrationally", there is.. however, an argument for it.


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Hambydammit wrote: I'm

Hambydammit wrote:
I'm officially damn tired of the redefinition defense.

This is the theist defense of a contradiction in which a "new" definition for a word is posited, and then not given.

So in other words you're sick of bodhitharta?  That is exactly why I stopped paying any attention to him anyway.  He either redefines words, uses circular arguments, arguments based on an assumption of god and when all that is finished ... he does the exact same thing with a different word. 

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Rhad, I mean this as a

Rhad, I mean this as a sincere compliment.  I wish you were on our side.  You're very smart, and I wish you could see past the very sophisticated equivocation dance you do.

I've had exactly two too many beers to respond adequately to your post, so it's probably going to have to wait a couple of days until I have more time.  Don't think I'm abandoning you.  It's just that your errors are very subtle, and I need a completely clear head to be able to do justice to your post.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I'll definitely take it as

I'll definitely take it as a compliment.

Yah.. no problem on the time thing--always happy to wait.  As long as its not longer than two months--which, would then just be out of hand. Heh.


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Ok. Let me dig into this a

Ok. Let me dig into this a bit. First, just to make sure we're still on the same page, my original contention and the theme around which our current disagreement is revolving are not quite the same, but are definitely related.

Essentially, it seems to me that what we're on about is this: What is "rational?" What is "irrational?" What are "logic" and "illogic" and how do they relate to "rational" and "irrational?" Hopefully, in reading the following points, you can see how I'm tying everything in to the point of the thread -- namely, can theism exist without the error of double definitions?

Quote:

This line requires a two part response. If the first.. then how very unscientific. I do not believe my belief to be the be all to truth. At one time a earth-centric model was a "perfectly reasonable explanation". Would you consider those people trying to give an alternative view to be denying reason? Of course.. I realize the difference here.. in that they would probably be bring about scientific data or theory in order to support their explanations-- and so, with this statement I mean only to point out that an explanation is not made more or less reasonable, nor the person more or less rational, by merely the existent of "perfectly reasonable explanations." Furthermore, "simply are not answered" would be likewise weak support for such rationalization..

Ad hoc pertains to the construction and purpose of something, in this case an explanation.. it does not speak to it's validity as an explanation or to the nature of the person holding such a construct.

This is a theme you've consistently returned to. You are correct that science has, at its base, uncertainty. The goal of science is to be proven wrong, in fact! I hope I've done enough to convince you that I have no issue with you here.

The next point in your line of reasoning, however, seems to be that without certainty, we cannot affix the label "rational" or "irrational" to a belief. This is not true. Whether or not a theory (belief) turns out to be inaccurate in the future, people who deny overwhelming current scientific evidence can be labeled "irrational." Your point is well taken that people who believed the earth was flat were not inherently irrational. I believe we've discussed this before. It would be irrational to believe such a thing today.

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The fact that many people would use a word in a particular case does not correct that word make. Many people use words like 'race', 'ethnicity', 'sex', and 'gender', with equally liberal fancy. This does not mean that these words change their objective meaning just because many people would use it in a certain case. We are speak now.. within the context of a debate or conversation concerning 'rationality' and 'theism'.. anecdotal evidence is not valid.

I don't want to dwell on this for too long, but actually words can change objective meaning based on context, and this is where I have a problem with theism! If you and I decide that for the rest of this conversation, the word "bunny" will mean "believer in a paradigm that runs contrary to current accepted scientific theory," then when I say that razorphreak is a bunny, you won't think I'm saying he's a furry little critter. You'll know I mean he's a raging theist! Laughing

You get my point, right? Forgive me for a little light hearted humor. This is exactly where theists convolute their arguments. They use words that, according to the dictionary, have a certain meaning. Then, when you corner them with the definition, they tell you that you didn't read it in the right context, that they actually meant some other meaning. Then, when you ask them for that meaning, they give you a negative definition, which is, of course, meaningless!

Language and symbols are, of course, ultimately flawed as conveyors of absolute concepts, so again, I must protest the attempt to invalidate my point because of a textbook loophole in the definition of the word "irrational." I honestly don't care what word we use. The end point is that belief in the supernatural is, by definition, irrational, because rationality deals with natural phenomena, and "supernatural phenomena" is a nonsense phrase with no inherent meaning.

Quote:

I believe these two things are unrelated. To turn it around it seems that you are saying:

"Because logic does not always coincide with reason, and reason doesn't always coincide with convincing, they still convince a lot of people."

I don't think you got my point, then. Belief in the supernatural is irrational. Yet, many people do believe in it. They believe because they are convinced by arguments that are not rational. So, some irrational arguments are obviously quite convincing. Truth and believability are not inherently linked.

You're correct that this is not directly related to the original topic, but I pointed it out since you seem intent on avoiding the label of irrational on people who believe convincing irrational arguments. I don't see where you've demonstrated that your objection has merit.

Quote:

This brings about an interesting point...

By, what seems to be, the very nature of this board the debate is esoteric. While you may have "real goals".. this does not take away that, from what I can gather, many individuals, you included, use reasoning which is very esoteric. I would venture to say that the majority of individuals who you are addressing do not know that meanings and applications of many of the fallacies, latin phrases, and logical constructs that many people use on this board. So while fine.. your "real goals" could be enacted at the tip of a sword, yet, this does not mean that the debate, itself, as been constructed in an esoteric way. Or would consider the majority of theists to fully understand the vocabulary and rational of Todangst? or you?

Rhad, this is a very good point, and I'm actually sorry neither of us got around to addressing it much earlier. I don't think a majority of the readers here understand the nuances of logic. I was taught logic in high school and college, and, unlike a lot of my friends, I realized that logic is not, in fact, esoteric! It's mundane, and we use it in rather advanced forms every day, thousands of times. The thing is, most people just don't recognize what they're doing, or if they do, they don't know what to call it.

Actually, not to put too fine a point on it, but people use illogic almost as much as they use logic. Logical fallacies happen when we order lunch, when we decide whether to stay with our girlfriend or break up, when we decide which route to take to work, or whether to hit the snooze bar one more time.

The next question, of course, is "Would people be better off knowing more about logic?" I think the answer is a resounding yes, and so, rather than invent a new language for describing errors in logic, I use the ones I was taught -- the ones which will be recognized by people who have had any formal training. If it sounds esoteric to some, this is a problem of education, not of the nature of the discussion. Most of the errors I point out on these boards are very, very simple errors.

I suppose we could spend time arguing about whether or not using logic tends to make someone's life better. I'm not really interested in doing that on this thread. I think it's a bit too far off topic to be useful. If it's something you're interested in, we could start a new thread for it.

Quote:

Quote:
My question is meant to point out the absurdity of certain religious ideas.

Your question of definitions?

Yes. When a theist must use multiple definitions for a point to seem to make sense, the point is actually absurd. By the very nature of a statement, it only has meaning when the meaning is understood. By using multiple definitions interchangably, a theist is rendering his whole point meaningless. (This is not to say that the listener doesn't perceive meaning! This is an important distinction.) More importantly, he's practicing rhetoric and using deceptive tactics to try to convince someone to believe something irrational. Whether the deception is intentional, or he's self-deluded is unimportant. Multiple definitions deceive the reader/listener into thinking there is real meaning in a sentence that actually has none.

Quote:
through use of words to make your argument.. you using words, therefore what other way could I counter but through semantics?

Of course.

But here, you're actually doing what I'm talking about. You're using "semantics" in two ways. The statement I just quoted is perfectly reasonable, of course. However, you have consistently used a fuzzy form of semantic argument to try to discredit my point that certain beliefs are irrational. If you can find a "loophole" in the definition, then you claim that I am refuted, when in reality, all you have done is find a way to use a word differently than me to try to invalidate my point.

Example:

Me: Belief in the supernatural is irrational. (I mean, of course, that the concept of "supernatural" is meaningless, since it cannot be positively described. Since believing in a thing that cannot be described involves creating a description, there is an internal contradiction. Internal contradictions are, by definition, irrational.)

You: While a person may hold a belief that is, by definition, irrational, it doesn't mean that they are irrational, or that their belief is irrational. They may have come to this belief rationally. (While your statement is correct, you have changed meanings on me. True, a person can use logic to reach irrationality. True, this does not necessarily mean that a person can be described as "irrational." This use of the word irrational would mean "prone to consistent displays of illogical thought processes" or something similar. It is not what I was talking about, but the reader could very well think that you have invalidated my point. You haven't. You've merely redirected the argument so that you don't have to commit to the fact that theism and theists are irrational.

You see? You're doing the very thing I'm talking about -- again. You must, or you would have to admit that any theism is irrational.

Quote:
I am arguing, fully in all threads, whether the use of a particular word, 'irrational', can rightly be applied to 'theism' in all cases. I do not see what the problem is with accepted that theism can be rational, and that people can rationally hold the idea. This does not take away from the idea that 'atheism' may be a substantially better way in which to live ones life.

Yeah, I get what you're arguing, and I've demonstrated that you need to use multiple definitions to make the argument.

Theism = belief in the supernatural.

Supernatural = irrational

Therefore, Theism = irrational.

If you want to say that some very rational people believe in theism, I'll agree with you. However, that does not invalidate the point that theism is, in all cases, irrational. It's too bad we don't have different words for the different uses of irrational. Maybe another language would be easier for this discussion, but I'm stuck with English.

Just to make sure I've made my point clearly:

People can be rational and believe in theism. People can live lives in which they normally make rational decisions, and can be said to be characteristically logical. People with this description can believe in theism.

People who believe in the supernatural are irrational with regard to this belief because the belief is inherently and unavoidably irrational (without logical meaning). This belief in theism and its accompanying dogma leads theists to make irrational decisions because they use irrational beliefs as steps in logic. While the logic may be valid (making them rational, in one sense of the word), the conclusions are often irrational, objectively (Making them irrational in the intended sense of the word.)
Quote:
I do not claim that the belief in a theistic God is more rational than a the non-belief.. I do not even claim that the belief in a theistic God will bring about a substantially better experience in life. It is merely what I believe, rationally held, benefit-ially applicable to my life-- and if someone might inquire or I think that a particular circumstance might benefit from the exposition of my belief, then so be it.
(By the way, sorry for the sudden italics. I cannot seem to un-italicize, no matter what I do, and I definitely don't feel like re-writing all of this.)
But, Rhad, you're contradicting yourself. You've said in as many words that supernatural is an irrational concept, then you say that you have a rationally held belief in the supernatural. In order to do this, you must use different definitions!
Yes, you are generally a rational person. No, your belief in god is not rational. You are irrational for believing that, despite your qualifications as a rational person. Can't you see the different uses of the word holding your argument up?
Rhad, I'm going to finish in another post, because this italics is pissing me off.

 

 

 

 

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Hambydammit
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Quote: IF, by chance, some

Quote:

IF, by chance, some on RSS equate theistic system to militant nazism, then so be it.. in which both, one might believe, inherently hold a belief of forced subjection through violence-- I would have to agree if I was in their point of view, I would hope I would do the same. Yet, for me, I do not hold these equal.. I would attempt to stop someone causing or threatening physical harm on another. I would attempt to stop someone causing or threatening mental harm on another. I would not go so far as to extend these actions to the beliefs of the one causing the harm just because they are held by a person causing harm. There must be more to it. Otherwise, "let us wipe out ____________ because (X) amount of people did (X)" would be the logical construct.. a very dangerous one at that.

Then again.. perhaps you do feel them to be the same. But if that be the case.. then me, to you, am perceived to be the same as a militant nazi? I just don't believe this to be the case. If you say.. "just you belief".. I do not believe this would hold true. Or would you treat a militant nazi with the same cordiality you address me?

I almost hope you're saying all of this tongue in cheek, but I think you might be serious. Several important points:

* Naziism is quite dangerous because it holds to several dogmatic and irrational beliefs.

* I'm sure there were plenty of Nazis who were quite nice and didn't kill anybody.

* If I met a Nazi, I would do my best to distance myself from his beliefs, and would probably treat him with suspicion, since I know what great harm Nazis can cause when they rally behind their beliefs.

Rhad, it's either naive or disingenuous to try to use the Nazi argument. I'd bet that 99.8% of atheists in the world are fully aware that there are many theists -- probably a majority -- who try to be good people, and try to use religion constructively to make their lives better. This argument has no relevance to the truth of their beliefs.

Quote:
"Belief in an irrational concept" and "Irrational belief" are two completely different things. The former can speak to mathematical axioms.. as well as religious ones as well.. the latter relates to the nature of the belief as a whole.

Fine. I've already admitted that people can use logic and arrive at irrational conclusions. I'm not going to let you wriggle off the line, though. "Belief in an irrational concept" is what theism is. Are all theists irrational people? No. Are most? I don't know. Probably not. Some atheists are irrational people. The point is, you've been trying to justify your beliefs by skirting between the two definitions you just gave!

I don't care how you arrived at your beliefs. They're irrational because you believe in a supernatural deity.

Quote:
Once again.. I never conceeded that my belief was irrational.. I conceded that it contains an irrational concept, 'God'.

I'm sorry you don't comprehend that you conceded, but you did. The belief is irrational. Maybe you used logic to get to it. If you did, either 1) one of your premises was flawed, or 2) a step in your logic was flawed.

Any belief that contains an admittedly irrational concept is irrefutably irrational, regardless of whether or not it can (or does) lead to otherwise rational conclusions.

Quote:
Hah. Indeed. Yet.. I was trying to point out.. as people sometimes forget.. that mathematics, calculus for one, use 'irrational' numbers in order to solve a problem. Infinity, pie, etc. These irrational things are used in the most rational of methodologies.. and the people who use such methodologies are considered no more or less rational because of it.

Speaking of multiple definitions!! Rhad, I'm ashamed of you, but I'll just pass by this and we shall never have to speak of irrational numbers again, since we both can see that this use of the word has nothing to do with anything we're talking about.

Shame!

Quote:
Furthermore, because LoTR mythology contains a host of things that would, definitively through their 'natural' nature, have left a host of scientific evidence. Bones, buildings, cities, etc.

Yep. You're missing the point though. I'll let you miss it in your own words...

Quote:
For all intense and purpose, LoTR was presented in such a manner that all the rules of our existence were applicable to theirs as well. Carbon based lifeforms, lived, died, humans, humanoids, etc etc etc. Biblical theism is not necessarily the same thing, and while, as atheist admit, there is some truth in the Bible, the most central parts to it are untestable and, as we are now, unobservable (the existence of God himself, of which there is only one).

Aha! But, rhad, what if I wanted to try to convince you of the objective reality of the LoTR? How would I go about doing it? The only way would be to invent some kind of irraional concept, because rationally, I couldn't do it. There's no evidence. Maybe I could invent some kind of irrational being who could create LoTR world, and then, maybe he could make it disappear, so that there would be no evidence. Since you can't disprove the existence of LoTR god, you can't objectively say he doesn't exist, so I wouldn't be irrational for postulating such a thing!

Or would I?

Quote:
I would state.. that it's possible that a like-character mentioned in LoTR might have existed at one time. I would not believe that worldwide civilizations could have existed without a shred of evidence. Then again.. I welcome some believer to point some out. Smiling

That's very rational of you. You'd make a good atheist.

Quote:
Empirical pertains to experiential as well as observational. Experience can be applied as liberally as one defines experience. Are you trying to say that, in the same way I have no experiential basis (also known as evidence) in a balrog, that I have no experiential basis for God?

Rhad, I would assume that you believe you have some experiential basis for believing in god. Since there's no testable scientific evidence, it's about all that's left, right? Since god is an irrational concept, I also would assume that you have mistakenly ascribed some experience to the existence of god when in fact, it was something natural that you mistook for evidence of god's existence.

Quote:
I don't believe they told me either. Santa was santa. I knew my parents brought me presents.. they didn't need to tell me that Santa was not real.. they just never mentioned him. When I would see him on TV, I would equate him to Donald Duck. At least this is how I remember things.. (bad memory, indeed).

fair enough. Many kids do believe in Santa, though, and their parents admit that he's not real when they grow up a little bit. Most parents don't offer them the same disclaimer about god. In fact, they reassure children that Santa is fake and god is real.

Quote:

As for God. Same would be true.. I saw them pray.. we went to church, etc etc etc. As I grew up I asked questions, more question, etc etc.

Yet at the end of the day I accepted the belief because I wanted to believe it, for all the benefits I perceived it to have.

Precisely, rhad!

You were under the assumption that god was real from the beginning because you saw your parents belief. You began from a biased position. There are a lot of benefits to believing in your parents' religion. Just ask me how close I am with my family since rejecting their religion! This does not, however, contribute anything to the reality of whether or not god exists.

Quote:
In the same way that I accepted "be nice", "don't lie", "study hard", as beliefs to hold as well. My parents tried to live this way.. and I perceived them to be 'more fulfilled' because of it.

And perhaps they did feel fulfilled. Still, there is no god.

Quote:
These are facts. They are facts because we have defined these words in such a manner that they have certain, definitive, relationship with other things. There is no *fact* that "belief in god" is "ultimately irrationally", there is.. however, an argument for it.

"Supernatural" is irrational, by your own admission.

"God" is supernatural, by definition.

Therefore, the concept of "god" is irrational.

Rationality is the use of reason (logic).

Irrationality is the use of poor logic, or illogic.

Since the concept of god is illogical, belief in god is illogical.

I mean, rhad, it's right there in front of you. Perhaps you are an otherwise rational person. I suspect you are. Nevertheless, your continued attempts to use fuzzy definitions to make it possible for belief in god to be rational does not make it so.

Like I said before, I'm perfectly fine with making general statements like, "That theist is a pretty rational person." or "That atheist is kind of irrational" or even "That person's belief, though irrational, was arrived at through the use of reason."

However, I will not agree to ascribing the label "rational" to the belief in anything supernatural.

 

 

 

 

 

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Alright.. I've read the

Alright.. I've read the first post-- and I will get around to the second one in due time.  There are many places that I will agree.. some places I might not.  But before I get to all of that (might be slightly delayed) I want to ask a question, one that will, based on your argument, prompt me to change my beliefs or just, at the very least, understand you better. Here is your quote:

Quote:

Theism = belief in the supernatural.

Supernatural = irrational

Therefore, Theism = irrational.

Here is my question.  What makes this logical conclusion any different then this one.

circumference = pie*d

pie = irrational number

Therefore, circumference = irrational.

 


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because, as I said in my

because, as I said in my second post, "irrational number" is a mathematical concept, and is unrelated to the definition we're working with.  Without getting bogged down in the details, I think 9 out of 9 mathematicians would agree that without the very rational concept of irrational numbers, the discipline of mathematics would not get very far past two apples in the basket.

Shame on you for trying to use two definitions to invalidate my point!

 

 

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Alright.. I'm back from my

Alright.. I'm back from my errand. Forgive me for focusing on this point again, it has just become increasingly interesting.. so.. next question.

Hambydammit wrote:

because, as I said in my second post, "irrational number" is a mathematical concept, and is unrelated to the definition we're working with.

Quote:
Without getting bogged down in the details, I think 9 out of 9 mathematicians would agree that without the very rational concept of irrational numbers, the discipline of mathematics would not get very far past two apples in the basket.

And what seperates this logic from this statement: I think 9 out of 9 theist would agree that without the very rational concept of irrational natural, the discipline of theism would not get very far past 'God'.

Within this aforementioned sentences I am assuming that, irrational natural = supernatural even as irrational number = pie.  I'm just using this particular wording to make my question clearer.

Quote:
Shame on you for trying to use two definitions to invalidate my point!

Smiling

Oh.. one further thing.. don't dismiss my question out of hand please, there is a very real thought process I'm moving off of, and I'm just trying to figure out how, if, it falls apart.


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BTW, let me assure you that

BTW, let me assure you that I will be getting back to the individual points of your two big posts.. there is a lot I want to address. Smiling

A little more clarification for the above post so that you don't think I'm dumb.

The question is posited because I do not perceive a consistant rationale for your application your statement.

Mathematicians can define what is a "rational concept" for the sake of addressing questions of their own creation, yet-- theist cannot?

9 out of 9 mathematicians agree that 'pie' is an 'irrational number' yet is still a 'rational concept'.

9 out of 9 theists agree that 'God' is an 'irrational natural' yet is still a 'rational concept'.

Hmm... I need to read some of my own stuff. Perhaps I have just come to a realization.

Later: Here is the realization.  I have conceeded something that perhaps is a bit misleading.  I have stated that 'God' is an irrational concept... when perhaps I should have said that 'supernatural' is an irrational concept, 'God' can be, yet is not necessarily so.

This realization was lead through your reasoning.  Ignore it for now unless you feel the need to address it: for the most part it is just using clearer language, something I failed to do earlier.

'God' is what people define as 'God'. For instance.. some people say that 'God' is the FSM, Allah, Zeus, or further.  'Supernatural', on the otherhand, is clearly defined as 'unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.'

The latter is irrational, I believe, by definition.  The former isn't.

To give an example: 'God' is 'Everything'.

I can make that statement correctly.  Does this mean that 'everything' is fundamently irrational? I don't believe so.

Anyways.. perhaps I'm wrong in this new realization-- it is something new afterall to me. Smiling I'll keep thinking on it. 


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Rhad, I'm not going to

Rhad, I'm not going to comment for a while, because I want to let you think things out for yourself.

Having said that, I think if you examine the mathematical definition of "irrational" and the logical definition, you will see that they are two different words.

As for God vs. Supernatural, I will leave you to your own thoughts.

It heartens and encourages me that you are willing to rethink your own positions.  This is the mark of a good atheist.  Maybe one day you can join us.

 

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I will definitely continue

I will definitely continue to think, as well as address other points in your posts when I have more time. Yet.. let me just point out one more time, that my previous questions stand. 'Irrational', in the mathematical sense, was defined by mathematicians, correct? In the mathematical sense it is a number that cannot be fully written out, and so, mathematicians have chosen to limit it and give it a symbol which they can then use in 'rational math'.

1 = 1

2 = 2

3.14235343692827523850983546094243...... = pie

But all these things are defined by mathematicians. It seems as if you're saying that they are rational even though A) they use numbers which cannot be defined because B) they say that they can and C) if they could not then math wouldn't mean a lick.

And so I'm curious as to what allows them to continue to be considered rational, by you, and not theist?

loving, omnipotent, ----->? = God

This is how, a theist, me in particular, would define God. A certain set of variables is 'known' by me.. yet a very large amount of variables is 'unknown'.

By definition of supernatural, (like irrational number), it cannot be defined to any sort of certainity; yet, I use my concept 'God' in a rational way to address issues of theism.

Now.. if a mathematician can create a problem then call himself rational in solving the problem even though he uses something that he himseld admits cannot be fully defined, why can't a theist do the same?

Perhaps you are misunderstanding my definition of irrational. As I stated in my earlier posts.. it refers to an inability to fully define. God is supernatural, or at least, perceived to be; yet there are 'givens' (only 'given' in the sense that a theist says it is a 'given&#39Eye-wink that a theist could put on him for the sake of study.

...and perhaps that is all it is, but, I still don't see a difference between the two cases, and why one should apply 'irrational' to the lot of mathematicians and 'theists' differently.

Anyways.. I've been neglecting some work. Perhaps I should try to actually focus on that today. Heh.


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Rhad, it's possible I've

Rhad, it's possible I've got you figured out now!

Irrational doesn't refer to an inabililty to define... it refers to a defined word, argument, or statement that is either self-contradictory, nonsensical, or otherwise illogical.

There are many things that science has not yet been able to describe precisely. Sub-atomic particles appear to act quite randomly in many instances. (Einstein was wrong about this... go Born!) (Oh jeez, I did that from my head... I hope I'm not remembering wrong... I'm going to leave it even though I didn't check my sources.... ugh...) Anyway, we can't describe with 100% accuracy the motion of subatomic particles. This does not make them irrational. It makes them somewhat undescribed. There's a big difference.

With math, it is a completely different term. I'm not a mathematician, and it's been many years since college. I wish Pikachu was still hanging around the boards. She could explain it much better than me. In any case, maybe someone else can help me here, but an irrational number is not irrational in the sense that it is a not a logical fallacy. "Irrational" has separate uses for math and logic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irrational_number

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationality

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irrationality

Please note in the last link, belief in the supernatural without evidence

The problem with theism is not a lack of a definition, it's that any and all definitions with regard to the supernatural are internally contradictory or nonsensical!

That blank you leave after loving, omnipotent... it can only be filled by a word that doesn't make logical sense with the others -- if you're going to have it lead to god.

Anyway, I'll let you work. Suffice it to say, I think I finally found the flaw in your definition of "irrational."

 

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;) Heh.  I'll give it a

Eye-wink Heh.  I'll give it a look.  It's possible that you have.


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Rhad, you're such a

Rhad, you're such a tease!

I'm going to be more disappointed than when that hot Japanese girl wouldn't give me her phone number last night.

 

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However.. quickly.. off the

However.. quickly.. off the top of my head:

Quote:
Irrational doesn't refer to an inabililty to define... it refers to a defined word, argument, or statement that is either self-contradictory, nonsensical, or otherwise illogical.

To say that pie is 3.14325234235245355......... yet use 3.14 for the sake of mathematics, is not self-contradictory? I believe this is why they call it an irrational number.

I believe, and I may be wrong.. I'll have to look over previous posts when I'm doing more reading.. that a problem of definition and self-contradictory go hand in hand. If something cannot be defined, then it cannot be used-- one must define in order to use or talk about (Tod was kind enough to be instrumental in this sort of understanding).

If one uses it at the same time saying that 'this is what it is'-- then this is self contradictory. If one uses it at the same time saying that 'this is adequate enough for our purposes'-- then this is not necessarily so.

The latter is what mathematicians do, as well as some theist.

I say 'supernatural' is irrational by definition. When I speak of 'God', whatever words I use to describe him will be through definitively 'natural' concepts-- yet, still, I admit there might be more than what I perceive and can define-- even as mathematicians do with pie.

In anycase... I'll get to your post in time. I may come to a better understanding of your position through that. At the moment however, I'm suppose to be transcribing flash cards onto my computer. Beh.

Quote:

Rhad, you're such a tease!

I'm going to be more disappointed than when that hot Japanese girl wouldn't give me her phone number last night.

Hah. No comment. 

 


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Clearly, pi is not 3.14. 

Clearly, pi is not 3.14.  We use an approximation of 3.14 for estimation.  This is different from inventing a concept that is self-contradictory to explain a being that is naturally impossible.

Irrational numbers exist in mathematics.  They are called irrational, but they are not self-contradictory nor non-sensical. 

Theism relies on impossible definitions.  This is logically irrational.

Apples and oranges.

 

 

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Alright.. let's see if I

Alright.. let's see if I can get to all of these posts tonight, starting with the one above. I have a certain amount of batteries-- once they run out I'm done.

So here it goes.

Quote:
Irrational numbers exist in mathematics. They are called irrational, but they are not self-contradictory nor non-sensical.

Theism relies on impossible definitions. This is logically irrational.

Ironic.. that since this thread started from the concept of negative definitions.

Could you please give a positive definition for the word "irrational" when used for "irrational numbers" and then the word "irrational" when used for in "irrational concept" (which is what you state when refering to 'God&#39Eye-wink.

You have given a positive definition for "irrational" in the sense of "irrational concept"-- (in your quote you state it is "self-contradictory&quotEye-wink but you have not given a definition for "irrational" in the sense of "irrational number".

Anyways.. that would help me in seeing the difference between the two uses.. because to me, I view them as the same.

Pie is an "irrational number" because a finite thing, (pie symbol), is used instead of the possibly infinite number pie can be.

Likewise.. supernatural is an "irrational concept" because a finite thing, ('God'-- which, by definition, must be limited in order to talk about), is used instead of the possibly infinite concept 'supernatural' can be.

...anyways. That's my question. Without the definition, I'm not sure I can probably address it.

Hope your weekends going well Hammy.

[edit] Oh yah.. and I realize that you left links to he wiki site which will give me a 20 page explanation of what an irrational number-- but.. thats kind of lot to ask for me to infer from the 20 pages what you understand the word to me when coupled with number.. and also when coupled with concept.

[edit 2] Regarding the wikipage on "irrationality"-- this explanation of the word is pretty liberal:

Quote:
Usually pejorative, the term is used to describe thinking and actions which are, or appear to be, less useful or logical than the rational alternatives.

..according to this definition it can accurately be applied to an thinking or action which is "less useful" or "less logical". Since it gives to indication of what is sufficiently "less".. then.. what? Furthermore.. it does not indicate what "less" applies to. Psychologically? Pragmatically? Economically? Spiritually? Hmm.. anyways.. thats my thoughts.

[edit 3] Furthermore! The fact that the wikipage has "belief in the supernatural without evidence" as irrational has to be taken with a grain of salt because .. as everything should from wikipedia.. because.. well.. wikipedia is user-edited.. I could edit it to say something else.

Yet, I may even conceed this statement-- the problem is that "evidence".. as defined can be anything-- it doesn't have to be "objectively apparent".

I can say that my "evidence" is that I "saw the supernatural".. the fact that you don't accept my "evidence" has no bearing on the fact that it is "evidece" according to the objective definition.

BTW.. heh, don't take this as a personal claim. Eye-wink

[edit 4]

Quote:
The problem with theism is not a lack of a definition, it's that any and all definitions with regard to the supernatural are internally contradictory or nonsensical!

Any definitions regarding the "supernatural" aspect of God would, indeed be, contradictory and nonsensical since everything we know and experience would not be "supernatural" by definition.

This is not to say that God does not have some "natural" characteristics which one could define without being, by definition, contradictory.

(Natural has something like 38 definition.. believe me.. I think that arguing this above point might lead to a horribly long conversation-- when, I really feel we might be able to agree on this.)

Quote:
That blank you leave after loving, omnipotent... it can only be filled by a word that doesn't make logical sense with the others -- if you're going to have it lead to god.

How can you say that when I have put no word there? Besides.. if I put a word there to describe it.. by its nature of being a descriptive word.. would most likely be "natural" by nature.

That is why I do not put a word there.. for it is unknown to me even as the 100th google digit of pie is unknown.

(Furthermore, let me just state, that I do not believe that some of those characteristics that might be indescrible now.. might not be in the future.. even as the 100th google digit of pie might be known.

Will there still be some undescrible nature of God? perceived as "supernatural"? Perhaps.)

Anyways... on.

[edit 5] Time out.. to pick up at a later time. 


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I've noticed that we

I've noticed that we continuously resort to the pi comparison for irrationality.

pi works for every circle ergo it is a rational concept. The number is considered irrational because it cannot be represented by any fraction of two integers and it has (allegedly) an infinite number of non repeating digits.

To express 'god' as a rational concept then one would have to prove that it worked for everything that it was used to define. Since 'god' does not work in every situation that it is applied to then it is not a usable rational concept.

 

rational (adj)

http://www.answers.com/rational&r=67

concept (noun)

http://www.answers.com/concept

Using definition 3 of rational and definition 1 or 2 of concept gives us:

Consistent with or based on reason general idea, thought, or notion derived from specific instances or occurences.

Since the concept of 'god' fails in consistency(prayer failure) and isn't based upon reason but rather 'faith' and there are no specific instances where this concept of god can be consistently applied(tangibility, locus or loci, effectuality) then god fails as a rational concept ergo it is an irrational concept.

 

 

My latest favorite theist word: 'pneumatocentric' lol. Try finding an actual definition for that which isn't written by an apologist or soteriologist(I made up that one based upon soteriology. lol.)

Anyway, I enjoy reading this discussion believe it or not.

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Alright.. I'm going to get a

Alright.. I'm going to get a bit distracted on this one since Darth Josh is jumping in. So.. who know where this thing is going to take off to. I will try and not to neglect addressing the "really old" posts now.. heh. Alright.. so here I go.

Quote:
I've noticed that we continuously resort to the pi comparison for irrationality.

No, this would be an incorrect interpretation of the conversation-- or at least my point in it. To be specific (meaning.. the point now in contention), my point has been to contend that theism is not 'definitively' irrational by the mere concession that a concept within it's belief is.

..and so I will continue to try and contend this point here through the asking of questions. For the past few posts I have tried to do this by paralleling mathematics and theism, this is how (keep in mind, I am no longer speaking from any particular theistic viewpoint.. just, seeing where my logic falls apart, since I seem to be only applying inferences from what you and hammy are saying):

Quote:
pi works for every circle ergo it is a rational concept.

Pi is a mathematical term. A circle is a mathematical concept. Pi works for every circle (or, in other words, a mathematical term works for every mathematical concept it is meant to work for) ergo, it is a rational concept.

Supernatural is a X term. 'God' is a X concept. Supernatural works for every 'God' (or, in other words, a X term works for every X concept it is meant to work for) ergo, it is a rational concept.

Whatever word I place in for 'X' does not matter. The purpose of the paralleling statements is to ask this question:

You are using the logic of statement A, why do you hold statement B any different? They are both creating terms to define and aid in the answers that *they themselves* define.

So.. what makes them difference?

The logic you two have begun to use seems to be leading down this road that A) group of people can use words however they want as long as they use those concepts consistently then they are rational. (i.e. mathematicians can say something is irrational, but they are rational because the number works for all problems they define and apply it to.)

Anyways.. that's my concern.

Although.. I would agree... but I don't think you would.. for.. well.. if you did.. you might see what sort of applications can be made.

Quote:
The number is considered irrational because it cannot be represented by any fraction of two integers and it has (allegedly) an infinite number of non repeating digits.

"It cannot be represented by any fraction of two integers *because* it has (allegedly) an infinite number of non-repeating digits."

A mathematical definition, conceded. If you believe that the mathematical definition and the 'common usage' definition have absolutely nothing in common, then I would say 'fine'.. and we would move on. But are you really trying to say that the word irrational in the mathematical usage and irrational in common usage are mutually exclusive definitions?

For me.. they do indeed have a relationship.. it is that relationship which I have been trying to apply in my argument.

If you believe they are mutually exclusive then.. well then..

"Irrational". Def, Metaphysics. a.) (of a thing) not capable of being expressed exactly in rational terms.

Now that I have given "irrational" a different definition can I say that applying an 'irrational concept', 'God', and still be considered rational myself?

(Once again.. not taking a position.. just using what appears to be implications of your logic. Smiling

Quote:
To express 'god' as a rational concept then one would have to prove that it worked for everything that it was used to define.

'Prove' in whatever sense one might define the 'ability to prove.' Or would you say that Pi can be 'proven' using 'non-mathematically accepted concepts'? Self-sustaining.

Quote:
Since 'god' does not work in every situation that it is applied to then it is not a usable rational concept.

You are assuming that you know how 'god' 'should work' in everyones perception of 'god'. This is the only way you could make this concept.. it is an assertion.. you do not say a "Christian God" or a "Hindu God" or an "Omnimax God".. you merely say 'god'-- therefore, I can only assume you believe there to be only a finite amount of ways 'god' 'should work'.

Unless you assuming I believe something about 'God'... but.. as far as I know.. I've only said he was 'omnipotent' and 'loving' and 'chooses to act in a logical manner'. If you wish to argue that these three things imply something about 'god's actions.. and that he 'does not' work as he should.. then fine.

But.. I promise you.. that is a logical argument.. one that will go on for more than a 133+ more posts.

I'm just trying to understand square 1 (something Tod has pulled me into).. mainly, whether a person can perceive a 'supernatural', limit him to 'God', and apply that concept while continuing to be considered rational.

Quote:
Consistent with or based on reason, general idea, thought, or notion derived from specific instances or occurences.

If this is the ONLY defintion you wish to use.. then I can take.

"Consistent with or based on reason derived from specific instances or occurences."

From this (once again, only using what appears to be logic from your post) I can state that the only limitations are 'reason' and 'specific instances'.

'Specific instances' is not qualified with 'testable', 'experimentally falsifiable', or otherwise.. just.. 'specific instances'. The broadness of this term allows me to state that 'indigestion' is the 'specific instance'.

'Reason' is the other limitation. 'Reason' is only limited by logic. Logic is nothing without assumptions. Since 'reason' is not qualified with 'testable', 'scientific', 'experimentally falsifiable', or otherwise.. just.. 'reason', then I can make any assumptions I want. The broadness of this term allows me to make the assumption 'If indigestion then God.'

Therefore.

Using ONLY your definition I can say this is a "rational concept":

I've felt indigestion and therefore there is God.

IF, I have assumed that "Indigestion then God" (reason/logic) and I have had "indigestion" ('specific instance&#39Eye-wink.

THIS.. is an accurate logical deconstruction and reapplication of your post (I believe).

Quote:
Since the concept of 'god' fails in consistency(prayer failure) and isn't based upon reason but rather 'faith' and there are no specific instances where this concept of god can be consistently applied(tangibility, locus or loci, effectuality) then god fails as a rational concept ergo it is an irrational concept.

Once again.. you are assuming that 'god' should act consistently (or at all) when it comes to prayers.

Further more.. 'faith' is not the absence of 'reason', it is the absence of need for being "based of proof'. There is a big difference between "based of proof" and" reason"-- you seem to be using them as if they are mutually exclusive.

Quote:
no specific instances where this concept of god can be consistently applied

Once again.. you are assuming that only certain relationships between 'specific instances' and 'the concept of god' can be 'consistently applied. The definition you gave does not make these limitations.... and is *everso* broad.

So, why are you making them? Fine.. you can. This is afterall the power of language, but know that you are using language descriptively as opposed to prescriptively.

Quote:
My latest favorite theist word: 'pneumatocentric' lol. Try finding an actual definition for that which isn't written by an apologist or soteriologist(I made up that one based upon soteriology. lol.)

Heh.. weird. I like creating words. Smiling But I've tried not to in this discussion.

If you have taken anything in this post to be rude or disrespectful.. believe me, that is not my purpose.. its just, I've realized, perhaps, that I might need to stop making so qualifications in my statements.

..I'm not much the blunt person-- but within debates, perhaps it is necessary.

In anycase.. I am still trying to keep a certain amount of humility in my conversation-- I don't pretend to know everything, just, trying to work things out.

...wow, my eyes hurt. I think I might go to sleep now.

[edit] Oh.. and glad you've enjoyed reading over the conversation.  I enjoy reading over it as well.. it's always fascinating to see how peoples minds work, mine included.

..sometimes you don't realize it until you have it written down. Heh.. funny how that works. 


darth_josh
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Oh I was just offering my

Oh I was just offering my best definition of a rational concept and irrational concept. It does break into semantics rather than hard line definitions. I understand.

I suppose that the other pieces of rational concept that 'god' does not seem to fulfill is tangibility, locus, and effectuality. You skipped those, but I understand that you are tired.

I'll let you two go back to playing. I enjoy reading more than posting. 

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Quote: I'll let you two go

Quote:
I'll let you two go back to playing. I enjoy reading more than posting.

You go back to playing!!!

Smiling

Joking.  Heh.  But.. I still have an interest in voicing my contention:

 

Quote:
I suppose that the other pieces of rational concept that 'god' does not seem to fulfill is tangibility, locus, and effectuality. You skipped those, but I understand that you are tired.

I skipped them because they were not existent in your formal definition of 'rational concept'.  You added them later on in your post, or explanation, if I remember correctly.   Granted.. I could try and address them, the problem is, if you have no evidence that the definition has any standing apart from you, then it is merely your definition.. and not prescriptive langauge.

Granted.. it is perfectly reasonable to define a word, use a word, apply a word.. as long as one makes sure to define the word within the context of a debate.

For instance.  Rational, for the sake of this next statement, means 'anything that moves.' Therefore, my mouse is rational.

You are, in essence, doing the same thing if you have no objective source for the definition.

It is possible that I have misread, or misinterpreted, the definitions of both rational and concept (according to the dictionary).. but I do not believe this to be the case.  I am, however, open to be proven wrong on this point.  Anyways.. take care Mr. Josh.


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

excellent.

Gravity and Evolution are theories, and you don't see many people saying gravity doesn't exist. 

I'm studying music theory and I'm pretty sure I can prove music exists. 

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RhadTheGizmo
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That's a bit off-topic.

That's a bit off-topic... perhaps I should say behind. Heh... but, in the interest of staying focused I will not take the time to prove that music does NOT, in fact, exist.

Smiling

(Jest Sticking out tongue


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
I've noticed that we continuously resort to the pi comparison for irrationality.

No, this would be an incorrect interpretation of the conversation-- or at least my point in it. To be specific (meaning.. the point now in contention), my point has been to contend that theism is not 'definitively' irrational by the mere concession that a concept within it's belief is.

..and so I will continue to try and contend this point here through the asking of questions. For the past few posts I have tried to do this by paralleling mathematics and theism, this is how (keep in mind, I am no longer speaking from any particular theistic viewpoint.. just, seeing where my logic falls apart, since I seem to be only applying inferences from what you and hammy are saying):

Quote:
pi works for every circle ergo it is a rational concept.

Pi is a mathematical term. A circle is a mathematical concept. Pi works for every circle (or, in other words, a mathematical term works for every mathematical concept it is meant to work for) ergo, it is a rational concept.

Supernatural is a X term. 'God' is a X concept. Supernatural works for every 'God' (or, in other words, a X term works for every X concept it is meant to work for) ergo, it is a rational concept.

Whatever word I place in for 'X' does not matter. The purpose of the paralleling statements is to ask this question:

You are using the logic of statement A, why do you hold statement B any different? They are both creating terms to define and aid in the answers that *they themselves* define.

So.. what makes them difference?

The logic you two have begun to use seems to be leading down this road that A) group of people can use words however they want as long as they use those concepts consistently then they are rational. (i.e. mathematicians can say something is irrational, but they are rational because the number works for all problems they define and apply it to.)

Anyways.. that's my concern.

Although.. I would agree... but I don't think you would.. for.. well.. if you did.. you might see what sort of applications can be made.

Quote:
The number is considered irrational because it cannot be represented by any fraction of two integers and it has (allegedly) an infinite number of non repeating digits.

"It cannot be represented by any fraction of two integers *because* it has (allegedly) an infinite number of non-repeating digits."

A mathematical definition, conceded. If you believe that the mathematical definition and the 'common usage' definition have absolutely nothing in common, then I would say 'fine'.. and we would move on. But are you really trying to say that the word irrational in the mathematical usage and irrational in common usage are mutually exclusive definitions?

Mutually exclusive? I guess that depends on your view. In every-day life, I'm confronted with an enormous number of rational numbers. If I eat 34 french-fries at lunch, that's a rational number of fries. If I take a bite out of one fry, I've eaten some rational quantity of that fry. The real world only exists in rational quantities; You can't have an amount of something which consists of a non-terminating non-repeating decimal. The very idea that you could divide up say, an apple, into sections whose decimal representations continue forever without repeating is, you guessed it, irrational.

 

Quote:

For me.. they do indeed have a relationship.. it is that relationship which I have been trying to apply in my argument.

If you believe they are mutually exclusive then.. well then..

"Irrational". Def, Metaphysics. a.) (of a thing) not capable of being expressed exactly in rational terms.

Now that I have given "irrational" a different definition can I say that applying an 'irrational concept', 'God', and still be considered rational myself?

No. I can define pi. I can define 2^1/2. I can't have 2^1/2 of something.

 

 

Quote:
To express 'god' as a rational concept then one would have to prove that it worked for everything that it was used to define.

'Prove' in whatever sense one might define the 'ability to prove.' Or would you say that Pi can be 'proven' using 'non-mathematically accepted concepts'? Self-sustaining.

The point is that when someone uses 3.14 as "pi", they're not wrong in the same sense that someone using 2 as "pi" would be wrong. I can prove this, if you care to sit through a page or two of mathematical proofs(they're boring, trust me). You, on the other hand, cannot prove that your "representative" description of god is anything like an estimation for pi; You cannot demonstrate that your answers are more correct than another "value" taken for god. If you could, it would be fair to equate your lacking definition of god with a lacking definition of pi. You can't.

 

Quote:
Since 'god' does not work in every situation that it is applied to then it is not a usable rational concept.

You are assuming that you know how 'god' 'should work' in everyones perception of 'god'. This is the only way you could make this concept.. it is an assertion.. you do not say a "Christian God" or a "Hindu God" or an "Omnimax God".. you merely say 'god'-- therefore, I can only assume you believe there to be only a finite amount of ways 'god' 'should work'.

Unless you assuming I believe something about 'God'... but.. as far as I know.. I've only said he was 'omnipotent' and 'loving' and 'chooses to act in a logical manner'. If you wish to argue that these three things imply something about 'god's actions.. and that he 'does not' work as he should.. then fine.

But.. I promise you.. that is a logical argument.. one that will go on for more than a 133+ more posts.

I'm just trying to understand square 1 (something Tod has pulled me into).. mainly, whether a person can perceive a 'supernatural', limit him to 'God', and apply that concept while continuing to be considered rational.

 

I cannot judge the absolute truth of anything. I will say, however, that such a belief is no more rational under any particular guise than another. IE; The flying-spaghetti monster is no more rational a belief than the christian god, or brahman, etc.


1Corithians214
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Hambydammit wrote: I'm

Hambydammit wrote:

I'm officially damn tired of the redefinition defense.

This is the theist defense of a contradiction in which a "new" definition for a word is posited, and then not given.

SO...

Here are some words.  I want positive definitions, theists!  Don't tell me what they aren't.  Tell me in clear, definable language, what they ARE.

"Emotions" (God's) Human emotions are reactions.  If god knows everything, including what he will do in response to a situation he knows will happen, he cannot experience emotions the way humans do.  Theists, please define "Emotion" as it applies to god, using positive characteristics.  If you start by saying "It's not like X," you'll just get laughed at.

 

 

 

First, if you are an atheist... you contradict yourself... you have to let go of your atheism by saying this.. "Theists, please define "Emotion" as it applies to god."

Now, since you have given up your so-called "atheism" ... I'll try to explain to you something that your hostile mind can't comprehend... The bible was inspired by God but written in human language. God cannot have the same emotions as humans. God wouldn't be God if he was suprised by every act humans make. God knows all... from eternity past to eternity future.

Daniel Chapter 4

 

34"But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;
         For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
         And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
    35"All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
         But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
         And among the inhabitants of earth;
         And no one can ward off His hand
         Or say to Him, 'What have You done?'


Noor
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Not another troll...

Not another troll...


MattShizzle
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And another one full of

And another one full of bullshit.


1Corithians214
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Again... another child-like

Again... another child-like mind. Calling me names? Don't you have anything better to do?


Noor
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2Corinthians214

2Corinthians214 wrote:
First, if you are an atheist... you contradict yourself... you have to let go of your atheism by saying this.. "Theists, please define "Emotion" as it applies to god."

"No god exists."

Did I just disprove god?


MattShizzle
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Where's a mod so we can get

Where's a mod so we can get this asshat banned?


1Corithians214
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noor

noor wrote:

2Corinthians214 wrote:
First, if you are an atheist... you contradict yourself... you have to let go of your atheism by saying this.. "Theists, please define "Emotion" as it applies to god."

"No god exists."

Did I just disprove god?

Umm... no. Sorry. He stated "as it applies to god". Well, you have to first believe in a god to apply something to him. If you don't believe in a god, then there is no argument.


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1Corithians214 wrote: noor

1Corithians214 wrote:
noor wrote:

2Corinthians214 wrote:
First, if you are an atheist... you contradict yourself... you have to let go of your atheism by saying this.. "Theists, please define "Emotion" as it applies to god."

"No god exists."

Did I just disprove god?

Umm... no. Sorry. He stated "as it applies to god". Well, you have to first believe in a god to apply something to him. If you don't believe in a god, then there is no argument.

So when you talk about the Easter Bunny are you actually affirming his existence?