Do you believe in evidence?

Larty
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Do you believe in evidence?

When I was a Theist, I thought that paranormal things such as ghosts, ESP, heaven, hell and God didn't need to be proven scientifically for them to be real. I didn't know about scientific research as much as I do now, so I didn't think that everything has to be proven for it to exist.

Because of this I used to think that Atheists were stupid, because I didn't think science or evidence had any effect on God. I just thought that it's a question of personal faith and nothing more.

So this is a question to Atheists and (especially) Theists alike: Does evidence matter? Do you think God has to be proven for him to exist? How do you react when there's something else that people believe in, despite of evidence to the contrary?

Here are my answers to the questions: Evindence does matter more than faith, tradition or anything else. I refuse to believe in God unless some hard evidence is found to prove him. If people believe in something despite of evidence to the contrary, they are delusional.

What is your answer?

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I agree. The only exception

I agree. The only exception would be non-rational beliefs (such as a certain thing is beautiful, or something tastes good, etc.) By non-rational  mean those things that have nothing to do with rationality, not the same as irrational.

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Uh... I guess it depends on

Uh... I guess it depends on what the issue is.

For me, evidence is fine and dandy. But my belief in my God is not a rational one, so evidence is not required.


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Larty wrote: So this is a

Larty wrote:

So this is a question to Atheists and (especially) Theists alike: Does evidence matter?

Yes. I wouldn't be able to begin to comprehend how it could not.

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Do you think God has to be proven for him to exist?

No, but it has to be proven for me to acknowledge he exists.

Quote:
How do you react when there's something else that people believe in, despite of evidence to the contrary?

I think those people are ignorant, stubborn and/or scared.

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


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Well the nice thing about

Well the nice thing about evidence is it doesn't really matter whether or not you believe in it. 

Evidence can be used for things like building bridges or curing diseases whether anyone has faith in its validity or not.  Evidence doesn't require anybody's agreement to reflect the way things actually work.  So you can remove a lot of subjectivity and opinion about the answers to questions by using evidence.

Something like the existence of God, in contrast, can never move beyond being a matter of opinion since there is no evidence. 

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Interesting question: Does

Interesting question: Does there have to be proof that a god exists for it to exist?

It depends on what you mean by a "god." It is philosophically conceivable that a non-detectable entity could exist. You could call it "god." There would be no evidence for this entity.

There could be an entity that is as yet undetected but which might be detected in the future. You could call that entity "god." After all, for most of human history radio waves were undetected, and there was no "evidence" for them. But then we found them.

Still, at this point, I would suggest that there is no convincing evidence of the existence of a "god." If any of the "gods" available on the open market exist, it is a matter of extremely unlikely coincidence. I would suggest that the existence of most of the gods available on the open market is not only unsupported by any evidence, but is contradicted by substantial and reliable evidence. The Jehovah hypothesis, for instance, being that a god, Jehovah, as described in the Bible, exists and acted as described in that book, is inconsistent with a converging set of findings coming from many disciplines. For example, both of the creation stories in Genesis are false. The Tower of Babel informs us that Jehovah was afraid that men would build a tower to heaven. A better informed deity would not have worried.

Could there be some other kind of "god" not described in anyone's holy book? I see no reason why not, but I find it improbable. I have no particular reason to believe that there is such a thing.

On the other hand, some describe "god" as the totality of the universe. In that case, I do believe in "god." I believe that there is sufficient empirical evidence to conclude that the universe exists. If we redefine "god" to be the universe, then I would provisionally accept that the universe, hence god, exists.

We should remember to distinguish "no credible evidence" from "no evidence." We should also remember to distinguish the situation in which there is no evidence regarding the proposition from situations in which there is evidence to the contrary of the proposition. I would say that there is no evidence of a "generic god." I would say there is evidence to the contrary of the existence of Zeus, Jehovah or Allah, for example.

Thandarr


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Larty wrote: When I was a

Larty wrote:

When I was a Theist, I thought that paranormal things such as ghosts, ESP, heaven, hell and God didn't need to be proven scientifically for them to be real. I didn't know about scientific research as much as I do now, so I didn't think that everything has to be proven for it to exist.

Because of this I used to think that Atheists were stupid, because I didn't think science or evidence had any effect on God. I just thought that it's a question of personal faith and nothing more.

So this is a question to Atheists and (especially) Theists alike: Does evidence matter? Do you think God has to be proven for him to exist? How do you react when there's something else that people believe in, despite of evidence to the contrary?

Here are my answers to the questions: Evindence does matter more than faith, tradition or anything else. I refuse to believe in God unless some hard evidence is found to prove him. If people believe in something despite of evidence to the contrary, they are delusional.

What is your answer?

Most atheists I know would readly admit to a (GOD/god/diety/disimbodied being) if evidence presented itself.

HOWEVER, all one has to do is look at the source of a given claim and one finds out quickly that the claim is not rooted in 1+1=2. It is rooted in " Boy do I feel good (incert incantation, prayer, diety, Loc Ness, ouiji board, rigor mortis surviving, milk and wine heaven, 72 virgin loving, WISHFULL THINKING.)

Do atheists have all the answers? By no means. But what can prevent a "false positive" or "wishfull thinking" is a background of testing, questioning and falsification.

"My purple snarfwidget makes kegs of beer for me on Sunday during football season" So because the color purple is real and because kegs are real and because the NFL is real then my purper snarfwidget by default is real.

Absurd to say the least.


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I would say not only is

I would say not only is evidence more relevant to life than faith, but a hell of a lot more interesting. Just look at the evidence that led us to quantum computing (something I've been meaning to explain in understandable terms, maybe I'll do that today). A lot of phenomena is so counterintuitive that, when I started to learn about it, it seemed like magic. It's absolutely amazing what research into the nature and origins of the universe has led to.


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Larty wrote: When I was a

Larty wrote:

When I was a Theist, I thought that paranormal things such as ghosts, ESP, heaven, hell and God didn't need to be proven scientifically for them to be real. I didn't know about scientific research as much as I do now, so I didn't think that everything has to be proven for it to exist.

Because of this I used to think that Atheists were stupid, because I didn't think science or evidence had any effect on God. I just thought that it's a question of personal faith and nothing more.

So this is a question to Atheists and (especially) Theists alike: Does evidence matter? Do you think God has to be proven for him to exist? How do you react when there's something else that people believe in, despite of evidence to the contrary?

Here are my answers to the questions: Evindence does matter more than faith, tradition or anything else. I refuse to believe in God unless some hard evidence is found to prove him. If people believe in something despite of evidence to the contrary, they are delusional.

What is your answer?

I know I probably sound like a broken record sometimes, but I believe that while logic and rationality are very important parts of acquiring/synthesizing truth and meaning, they are not the be-all end-all windows through which we should interpret the whole of human experience.  

 

I've acknowledged from my very first post that my belief in God is indeed irrational.  On certain levels, that is.  On other levels, it's very rational, at least in my opinion.  It is irrational because we can't empirically experience him, but it's rational (to me at least) because a) I've had personal, mystical experiences that lead me personally to belief in him, and b) science offers no explanation for the origins of matter and energy, and just saying that they were "always there" doesn't satisfy me.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not content in simply saying that "it was God" and just leaving it at that either.  At any rate, I feel as though it's far more complex than "it was always there" OR "it was God".  Don't worry, I'm  not going to pull the whole Way of the Master thing on you either.  Those guys are idiots.  


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So a mystic has a vision and

So a mystic has a vision and says this is evidence of god. But someone else might say that it is evidence of psychosis. Evidence is not enough. You must also have a framework for interpreting the evidence. This is one of the primary difficulties with conversations between atheists and theists - especially fundmentalists. Even when the evidence is the same, the framework for interpretation is so different that the conclusions almost never match.


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wavefreak wrote: So a

wavefreak wrote:
So a mystic has a vision and says this is evidence of god. But someone else might say that it is evidence of psychosis. Evidence is not enough. You must also have a framework for interpreting the evidence. This is one of the primary difficulties with conversations between atheists and theists - especially fundmentalists. Even when the evidence is the same, the framework for interpretation is so different that the conclusions almost never match.

No, the problem is that what you think is evidence is not evidence.  Evidence is tangible, provable, testable.  There is no evidence for god, but theists believe anyway.  

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Quote: Even when the

Quote:
Even when the evidence is the same, the framework for interpretation is so different that the conclusions almost never match.

Even fundamentalists can learn how to drive.

 I see far more cases of evidence being obfuscated by theists...rather than appreciated...when dealing with unwelcome insights into the integrity of their chosen idol.

The problem with evidence is it is very hard to go halfway.

I do not contend this to be over the existence of God but this is certainly the case with some of religions more ridiculously held principles. Numerous beliefs that embellish (our) significance for example.

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:

wavefreak wrote:
So a mystic has a vision and says this is evidence of god. But someone else might say that it is evidence of psychosis. Evidence is not enough. You must also have a framework for interpreting the evidence. This is one of the primary difficulties with conversations between atheists and theists - especially fundmentalists. Even when the evidence is the same, the framework for interpretation is so different that the conclusions almost never match.

No, the problem is that what you think is evidence is not evidence. Evidence is tangible, provable, testable. There is no evidence for god, but theists believe anyway.

 

Only scientific evidence is required to be tangible, provable and testable.  A mystic's "visiond" are tangible, if only to that mystic. And to that mystic it is sufficient. And even in a court of law, "beyond a resonable doubt" is all that is required. The conflict between atheism and theism is that atheism is demanding the level of proof required by science when theists have a different standard. 


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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:

wavefreak wrote:
So a mystic has a vision and says this is evidence of god. But someone else might say that it is evidence of psychosis. Evidence is not enough. You must also have a framework for interpreting the evidence. This is one of the primary difficulties with conversations between atheists and theists - especially fundmentalists. Even when the evidence is the same, the framework for interpretation is so different that the conclusions almost never match.

No, the problem is that what you think is evidence is not evidence. Evidence is tangible, provable, testable. There is no evidence for god, but theists believe anyway.

An excellent method of proving his point. 


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One of the reasons I made

One of the reasons I made the 'drive' comment was to allow you to see that you are giving dileberation over piety soft ground. 

You state 'beyond reasonable doubt' Why is it courts of law must use such a term?

Are we to infer that deities are essentially vague? Yet most religions insist on certain behaviour...this is surely unfair when one must admit that the conclusions are drawn from hopeful assumptions or through unsubstantiated personal experience.

Moreover I think many atheists would happily convert to theism if the evidence for was sufficient to hold up in an impartial court. 

Believe what you will but why condone the major religious organistions to enlist. Do you?

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


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Cernunnos wrote: One of

Cernunnos wrote:

One of the reasons I made the 'drive' comment was to allow you to see that you are giving dileberation over piety soft ground.

You state 'beyond reasonable doubt' Why is it courts of law must use such a term?

Are we to infer that deities are essentially vague? Yet most religions insist on certain behaviour...this is surely unfair when one must admit that the conclusions are drawn from hopeful assumptions or through unsubstantiated personal experience.

Moreover I think many atheists would happily convert to theism if the evidence for was sufficient to hold up in an impartial court.

Believe what you will but why condone the major religious organistions to enlist. Do you?

 

What does pointing out differences in the way theists think have to do with condoning their ideas? You can't attack my argument so you attack my sense of propriety? Don't you ever wonder why taking to some theists is like beating your head against a brick wall? It's because you talk but don't communicate. Atheists and theists speak different languages, even if they both use English. They end up talking AT each other instead of TO each other. 


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Ever since wavefreak

Ever since wavefreak responded this thread, I have been very confused.


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Larty wrote: Ever since

Larty wrote:
Ever since wavefreak responded this thread, I have been very confused.

 I'll try to clear it up. What have I said unclearly?


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wavefreak wrote:   Only

wavefreak wrote:

 

Only scientific evidence is required to be tangible, provable and testable. A mystic's "visiond" are tangible, if only to that mystic. And to that mystic it is sufficient. And even in a court of law, "beyond a resonable doubt" is all that is required. The conflict between atheism and theism is that atheism is demanding the level of proof required by science when theists have a different standard.

Woah, what are they teaching these days about use of evidence? That's not how it's supposed to work.

Where I work we teach that all evidence is not created equal--there's good evidence and poor evidence. A mystic's visions are evidence, but a reasonable person should be able to see that it's poor-quality, subjective evidence.

Even non-scientific arguments can have good evidence and sound deductive structures that lead to conclusions that must be true.  The study of how to figure out the quality of evidence and arguments used to be called "rhetoric," but now the buzzword is "information literacy."  

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Textom wrote:

Textom wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

 

Only scientific evidence is required to be tangible, provable and testable. A mystic's "visiond" are tangible, if only to that mystic. And to that mystic it is sufficient. And even in a court of law, "beyond a resonable doubt" is all that is required. The conflict between atheism and theism is that atheism is demanding the level of proof required by science when theists have a different standard.

Quote:

Woah, what are they teaching these days about use of evidence? That's not how it's supposed to work.

Huh? Where did I say that a mystic's evidence of god was correct use of evidence? My point, and ONLY point is that evidence can mean vastly different things to atheists and theists

Quote:

Where I work we teach that all evidence is not created equal--there's good evidence and poor evidence. A mystic's visions are evidence, but a reasonable person should be able to see that it's poor-quality, subjective evidence.

Duh. Again, I am talking about a difference in perceptions between atheism and theism.

 

Quote:

Even non-scientific arguments can have good evidence and sound deductive structures that lead to conclusions that must be true. The study of how to figure out the quality of evidence and arguments used to be called "rhetoric," but now the buzzword is "information literacy."

 

Again, duh.

 

For a place that prizes clarity I am continously surprised how people here jump to conclusions and assume things that are never said. It must be a side affect of the "all theists are stupid" conjecture.


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Wavefreak, this has

Wavefreak, this has happened before so I'm going to call you on it.  It seems to me like you tend to assume that I assume that you're a stupid theist.  I know you have your own view of stuff, and I'm going completely off of things that you actually write, not assumptions about what you write.

For example, when you write,

wavefreak wrote:
atheism is demanding the level of proof required by science when theists have a different standard.

Then is it unreasonable for me to conclude that you mean atheists demand a scientific level of proof (scientific meaning statistical analysis and significant differences and peer review) and that you're painting all atheists with the same brush? 

Does it make sense how the statement quoted above is not the same as "evidence can mean vastly different things to atheists and theists?"

I don't want to get into an "I said--you said" argument.  I hate those.  But please either (1) be more precise with what you say, or (2) clarify misunderstandings without all the accusations and recriminations.

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Textom wrote: Wavefreak,

Textom wrote:

Wavefreak, this has happened before so I'm going to call you on it. It seems to me like you tend to assume that I assume that you're a stupid theist. I know you have your own view of stuff, and I'm going completely off of things that you actually write, not assumptions about what you write.

For example, when you write,

wavefreak wrote:
atheism is demanding the level of proof required by science when theists have a different standard.

Then is it unreasonable for me to conclude that you mean atheists demand a scientific level of proof (scientific meaning statistical analysis and significant differences and peer review) and that you're painting all atheists with the same brush?

 

No. It is not unreasonable. But it is part of the reason that there is such difficulty in communicating with some theists. Where did I place a value judgment on evidence? I ONLY said that there are differences in what people said constitutes evidence.

Quote:

Does it make sense how the statement quoted above is not the same as "evidence can mean vastly different things to atheists and theists?"

 

It is not the same. It is an EXAMPLE of one of the differences.

 

Quote:

I don't want to get into an "I said--you said" argument. I hate those. But please either (1) be more precise with what you say, or (2) clarify misunderstandings without all the accusations and recriminations.

 

I said exactly what I meant to say. No where was any value judgment placed on the differentials of evidentiary processing between theists and athiests. Where is there anything to that effect in what I wrote?

 

It seems that there is an assumption around here that somebody with a theist tag is by default hostile to the thinking of atheists and that anything that draws a comparison between theists and atheists is by default an attack on atheism.

 


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Larty wrote: When I was a

Larty wrote:

When I was a Theist, I thought that paranormal things such as ghosts, ESP, heaven, hell and God didn't need to be proven scientifically for them to be real. I didn't know about scientific research as much as I do now, so I didn't think that everything has to be proven for it to exist.

Perhaps this is nitpicking, but there is no necessary relationship between existence and proof of existence.  Something can exist whether or not there is any proof for its existence - it happens all the time! Smiling

Quote:
So this is a question to Atheists and (especially) Theists alike: Does evidence matter? Do you think God has to be proven for him to exist? How do you react when there's something else that people believe in, despite of evidence to the contrary?

Now *there's* a loaded question! Eye-wink

In one sense I don't think it matters, because I don't think people are (in general) theists because they have seen evidence per se for the existence of the diety in question.

Do I think God has to be proven to exist?  Nope, just like I don't think anything at all has to be proven in order for it to exist.

If I see that there is evidence that is contrary to the existence of some *thing*, my reaction would vary depending on how big a deal I thought it was.

Quote:

Here are my answers to the questions: Evindence does matter more than faith, tradition or anything else. I refuse to believe in God unless some hard evidence is found to prove him. If people believe in something despite of evidence to the contrary, they are delusional.

What is your answer?

My answer is that it is important to understand the relationship between "faith" and evidence.  While it is possible to have faith in something where there is evidence to the contrary, it is not possible to make use of evidence to draw a conclusion without first having faith of sorts.
I don't mean "religious" faith per se, just a certain core set of beliefs that this evidence is evaluated in light of (in fact, that determines what does and does not constitute evidence in the first place).
A parallel to this is the fact that what one person sees as proof, another may not (i.e. the distinction between proof and persuasion).  That doesn't mean that proof itself is subjective, just that people's conclusions are.


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wavefreak wrote: So a

wavefreak wrote:
So a mystic has a vision and says this is evidence of god. But someone else might say that it is evidence of psychosis. Evidence is not enough. You must also have a framework for interpreting the evidence. This is one of the primary difficulties with conversations between atheists and theists - especially fundmentalists. Even when the evidence is the same, the framework for interpretation is so different that the conclusions almost never match.

Excellent point!  Same evidence, two different frameworks, two (or more) different conclusions.


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wavefreak wrote: It seems

wavefreak wrote:

It seems that there is an assumption around here that somebody with a theist tag is by default hostile to the thinking of atheists and that anything that draws a comparison between theists and atheists is by default an attack on atheism.

 

I disagree. Granted, there are more than a few bad eggs around here (I won't mention any names, for the sake of "civility&quotEye-wink, but the majority of the people here are quite capable of discerning the "good" witches from the "bad" ones. I think, like Strafio talked about in one of his threads, that atheists' and theists' misconceptions of eachother boil down to playing diferrent word games.


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LosingStreak06

LosingStreak06 wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

It seems that there is an assumption around here that somebody with a theist tag is by default hostile to the thinking of atheists and that anything that draws a comparison between theists and atheists is by default an attack on atheism.

 

I disagree. Granted, there are more than a few bad eggs around here (I won't mention any names, for the sake of "civility&quotEye-wink, but the majority of the people here are quite capable of discerning the "good" witches from the "bad" ones. I think, like Strafio talked about in one of his threads, that atheists' and theists' misconceptions of eachother boil down to playing diferrent word games.

 

I liked that post of Strafio's.  It actually bolsters what I'm trying to point out in my apparantly opaque manner. It does seem that I'm playing a game that nobody else is.  


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Textom wrote: Wavefreak,

Textom wrote:

Wavefreak, this has happened before so I'm going to call you on it. It seems to me like you tend to assume that I assume that you're a stupid theist. I know you have your own view of stuff, and I'm going completely off of things that you actually write, not assumptions about what you write.

For example, when you write,

wavefreak wrote:
atheism is demanding the level of proof required by science when theists have a different standard.

Then is it unreasonable for me to conclude that you mean atheists demand a scientific level of proof (scientific meaning statistical analysis and significant differences and peer review) and that you're painting all atheists with the same brush?

Does it make sense how the statement quoted above is not the same as "evidence can mean vastly different things to atheists and theists?"

I don't want to get into an "I said--you said" argument. I hate those. But please either (1) be more precise with what you say, or (2) clarify misunderstandings without all the accusations and recriminations.

Textom has a point.  

I respond to what you say, wavefreak, whether or not you believe it.  We're not supposed to question what you say because you may or may not believe what you just said?  That's fucked up, dude. It's too convoluted to say, "Yeah, I know you may or may not believe what you just said, but..."  

And yes, you've pulled this move more than once: "Geez, why does everyone still think I'm a fundy?  Don't you have a sense of humor?  I guess sarcasm is beyond you."  

You want to have your cake and eat it, too.  In your sig line, you complain you get it from both sides.  Well, gee, I wonder why?    

You come across as playing the martyr and I'm sick of it.

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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Textom has a point.  

I respond to what you say, wavefreak, whether or not you believe it.  We're not supposed to question what you say because you may or may not believe what you just said?  That's fucked up, dude. It's too convoluted to say, "Yeah, I know you may or may not believe what you just said, but..."  

And yes, you've pulled this move more than once: "Geez, why does everyone still think I'm a fundy?  Don't you have a sense of humor?  I guess sarcasm is beyond you."  

You want to have your cake and eat it, too.  In your sig line, you complain you get it from both sides.  Well, gee, I wonder why?    

You come across as playing the martyr and I'm sick of it.

 

What's fucked up is that it seems few here have the capacity to argue both sides of an issue. And it seems that few here can look at a few sentences and see what those sentences mean without dragging in a bunch of irrelevant crap. Point out to me the flaws in my logic related to what I posted here in this thread.  I can count on one hand the atheists at this site that really know how to present an argument. Show me that I should include you in that count.


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wavefreak wrote:   What's

wavefreak wrote:
 

What's fucked up is that it seems few here have the capacity to argue both sides of an issue. And it seems that few here can look at a few sentences and see what those sentences mean without dragging in a bunch of irrelevant crap. Point out to me the flaws in my logic related to what I posted here in this thread. I can count on one hand the atheists at this site that really know how to present an argument. Show me that I should include you in that count.

Again, as I said before, I refuse to get drawn into an "I said--you said" argument.  You can have the last word on this one, Wavefreak. 

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


wavefreak
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Textom wrote: wavefreak

Textom wrote:
wavefreak wrote:
 

What's fucked up is that it seems few here have the capacity to argue both sides of an issue. And it seems that few here can look at a few sentences and see what those sentences mean without dragging in a bunch of irrelevant crap. Point out to me the flaws in my logic related to what I posted here in this thread. I can count on one hand the atheists at this site that really know how to present an argument. Show me that I should include you in that count.

Again, as I said before, I refuse to get drawn into an "I said--you said" argument.  You can have the last word on this one, Wavefreak. 

 You might find it surprising that these minor donnybrooks are a little distressing to me. I really don't like appearing the way it seems that I come across to some. It seems that I am speaking a different language sometimes and I end up thinking WTF was that all about.


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Larty wrote:

Larty wrote:

When I was a Theist, I thought that paranormal things such as ghosts, ESP, heaven, hell and God didn't need to be proven scientifically for them to be real. I didn't know about scientific research as much as I do now, so I didn't think that everything has to be proven for it to exist.

Because of this I used to think that Atheists were stupid, because I didn't think science or evidence had any effect on God. I just thought that it's a question of personal faith and nothing more.

So this is a question to Atheists and (especially) Theists alike: Does evidence matter? Do you think God has to be proven for him to exist? How do you react when there's something else that people believe in, despite of evidence to the contrary?

Here are my answers to the questions: Evindence does matter more than faith, tradition or anything else. I refuse to believe in God unless some hard evidence is found to prove him. If people believe in something despite of evidence to the contrary, they are delusional.

What is your answer?

So let's see if I can get this right. You are demanding that a naturalistic process (that by default excludes the supernatural) be used to prove the existance of a supernatural being... Uh.. ooooooooooohk..

 

 


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One thing I notice is that

One thing I notice is that theists tend to accpt as "evidence" for God that atheists don't and even theists would never accept as evidence for anything else.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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WillieBop wrote: So let's

WillieBop wrote:

So let's see if I can get this right. You are demanding that a naturalistic process (that by default excludes the supernatural) be used to prove the existance of a supernatural being... Uh.. ooooooooooohk.


You know, I asked essentially the same question on the "Officlal RRS beats the Way of the Master" thread.  I asked specifically why scientiic evidence was required for the existence of God.
If naturalistic presuppositions are in use [i.e. "if we don't find a natural answer to a question, we keep looking for one"], how is it logically possible to provide any evidence that could be interpreted in a supernatual way to give the conclusion "therefore, God exists"?
It seems to me that the nature of the framework in question logically precludes a proof of God ever being offered and accepted, even if God exists.


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ok..i'll try to flesh out

ok..i'll try to flesh out some of what i said for you wavefreak. Please tell me where you don't agree or where you feel I have made poor conclusions. 

I said....

Quote:
Even fundamentalists can learn how to drive.

When I find out that a person belongs to a theistic group I do not think that they interpret the mundane (world) differently to me. This framework of interpretation you suggest is limited to religious discussion (or wishy-washy). Their views do not stop them or enable them to do stuff...things like driving a car requires considerable interpretation of evidence and reflection upon it.

Some people have strange phobias they behave in a normal manner and can suddenly lose control. This shocks us.....unless we share the same phobia.

 I think we all have pretty much the same framework for interpreting evidence. Therefore you should look at why somebody chooses to explain something differently. Personal experience (including visions) does provide a reason for somebody to believe in something irrational. Also a lack of knowledge can make something seem different than it really is. However there are also the concepts of: protecting what you have decided to believe....fear of change....reluctance to accept being wrong (these concepts deal with philosophy, politics and observations on the frontier of science as much as religion). It took the catholic church until 1992 to admit putting Galileo Galilei on trial as a mistake. 

 

 There are fundamental parts of the human mental picture that to get by we all have to construe in virtually the same way. ie sound, light, momentum. Belief in the supernatural is not one of them. 

Quote:
Believe what you will but why condone the major religious organistions to enlist. Do you?

If somebody chooses to believe in a God through their own personal experience this is fine. However, when a God is not defined wholly - as limited and unreliable evidence is all that exists for it - is it fair to allow an organisation to decide, without dispute, the standards for its followers?

I am lost why you find this offensive or irrelevant. I see this notion as a consequence of admitted absence of solid evidence. (why evidence is important)

Maybe I should be thinking about belief in a book rather than belief in a God. However when following this route the same problems occur. (evidence for its divinity/contradictions within the text/not actually living by the text).

 Evidence matters a huge amount when anything big rests upon it...if an organisation actively propagates a belief that has an enormous effect on its followers lives it better have some solid evidence to back up its proposals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


Jacob Cordingley
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I don't thing there has to

I don't thing there has to be evidence in order for something to be true. There is no evidence of many things which do exist in the universe. There is so much that science is yet to explore. Epistemologically though, evidence is important in working out what we know already and what is myth. If there is evidence of something we know of its existence. If there is no evidence of something we can induce that it is most likely myth until such evidence is presented. There is no evidence of the supernatural, God, Jesus (as Son of God), Bigfoot or the Abominable Snowman (although the latter two may be more likely than the former two since they do not demand that much on the laws of nature, but are simply said to be other examples of primates).

Scientifically we must always start with the evidence and then come to conclusions. For this reason Creation "Science" and Intelligent Design are not scientific because they start off with the conclusion, i.e. God created the Earth and the Heavens, and try to find the evidence that fits this conclusion. For the same reason, in order for the beliefs we hold in our lives to be closest to the truth, the same epistemology is needed. If I thought for example that someone was cheating me, I would have two choices:

a) Jump straight from that thought to the conclusion with the risk of being wrong, and thus risking embarrassing myself and falsely accusing this person.

b) Start with this as a hypothesis, and sneak around trying to find evidence of this person activities that may be against my own, and thus being less likely to falsely accuse this person.

For this reason the scientific epistemology based on evidence is not only good for determining scientific truths, but also as a life skill.