A basic argument challenged [Kill Em With Kindness]

gottheflu
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A basic argument challenged [Kill Em With Kindness]

I'd like to begin a discussion by challenging a fundamental idea behind this site:  that belief in God is
irrational (or perhaps "non-rational," if there's a difference?)  For sake of disclosure, I'll mention that
I'm a Christian.  I'm starting things off arguing for belief in God (not necessarily the Christian God) as being properly basic; a person is within his epistemic rights to believe in God.  Such talk does not necessarily prove that any God exists, nor does it prove that God has any particular attribute (besides his existence, if that's actually an "attribute?&quotEye-wink.  Nevertheless, it goes too far to say that theistic belief, properly understood, is irrational, therefore the Rational Resonse Squad should give it all up and play backgammon instead.  Anybody want to jump in here?


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gottheflu wrote:I'm starting

gottheflu wrote:
I'm starting things off arguing for belief in God (not necessarily the Christian God) as being properly basic; a person is within his epistemic rights to believe in God.

K. Except that you can't produce a god. I'll even give you points if you can produce secondary evidence (like fossils for evolution) of a god.

Gods tend to be immeasurable, and believing in the immeasurable tends to be irrational.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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You are an atheist with

You are an atheist with respect to every other God there has been other than the Christian God, when you see the reasons why you don't find belief in Zeus, Apollo, Thor, and Wotan realistically compelling, you will see why we don't find belief in your God rational, and your own atheism will be complete. You are perfectly free to believe in whatever you want. No one can disprove 100% the existence of Yahweh, just as you can't disprove the existence of fairies, unicorns, and leprechauns. The existence of these creatures is just as likely as the existence of an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent being. If evidence presents itself that points in the way of fairies, or Yahweh, I think everyone here would listen to it and take it on its merits. The existence of a God is a scientific question, that is...either a God exists or he doesn't. To find a God that can reanimate people, cause animals to speak human languages, allow people to live hundreds of years at a time, and can create universes....would be the most amazing discovery of all time. The only evidence we have is the lack of evidence, and right now that points in the direction of no such God, or fairy, or unicorn etc. existing. Hence...an irrational proposal to base one's life around.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


gottheflu
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Thanks for helping us get

Thanks for helping us get things started with the string, Will.

Since I'm arguing that theistic belief is properly basic, it therefore does not require the secondary evidence you demand. Your thoughts here lend to this.  Fossils proving the (one time?) existence of God are lying right between some that prove the existence of beauty . . . and others that prove that I'm am presently cold.

My above (sarcastic) examples are incorrigible, unprovable, and yet extremely real, and I'm afraid I'll have to continue to believe in them.

No, there are countless immeasurable things that are rational to believe in.  For example, I could convince my wife of my love for her by saying that I have ten megatons of love for here.  But that would be ridiculous.  She tends to prefer that I just say that my love for her is immeasurable.  She knows what I mean, appreciates it, and thinks it quite rational.

 

 

 


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gottheflu wrote:Thanks for

gottheflu wrote:

Thanks for helping us get things started with the string, Will.

Since I'm arguing that theistic belief is properly basic, it therefore does not require the secondary evidence you demand. Your thoughts here lend to this.  Fossils proving the (one time?) existence of God are lying right between some that prove the existence of beauty . . . and others that prove that I'm am presently cold.

My above (sarcastic) examples are incorrigible, unprovable, and yet extremely real, and I'm afraid I'll have to continue to believe in them.

No, there are countless immeasurable things that are rational to believe in.  For example, I could convince my wife of my love for her by saying that I have ten megatons of love for here.  But that would be ridiculous.  She tends to prefer that I just say that my love for her is immeasurable.  She knows what I mean, appreciates it, and thinks it quite rational.

 

 

 

Not sure where you're going here.

If the belief in god is "properly basic" (natural?), then it stands to reason that god is a human construct as opposed to the pre-existent, spernatural being you follow.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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gottheflu wrote:My

gottheflu wrote:

My above (sarcastic) examples are incorrigible, unprovable, and yet extremely real, and I'm afraid I'll have to continue to believe in them.

I am afraid for your sake as well that you have to literally force yourself to believe in incorrigible, unprovable ideas that you tacitly assign an "extremely real" status based on nothing. Obviously you failed to respond to my argument with anything, because you have no response to that. Your newest response is basically the same as me saying cold exists. Perception of varying amounts molecular motion exists in our minds as either cold or hot, they are worthless terms outside the perceiver's arena. The existence of God should be independent of any perceiver, ie you, but I doubt this argument is any more compelling to you than that of any other. Since you have already stated your willingness to stick with your preconceived illusions regardless of the evidence against them, or the lack of evidence to support them, I must ask you...is believing in unicorns irrational? If so, why? and why is it any different than God?

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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I don't play backgammon

     You state  "...it goes too far to say theistic belief, properly understood,  is irrational...."   No it is not. 

    Your theistic beliefs are based on imaginary beings,   the dogma comes from power mongering humans. If you wish to buy into this you are welcome to it,  I like the real world and I like real answers to how this world works.  Otherwise I may has well pray to Cinderella and obey the Brothers Grimm.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

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Hey Zeus,Thanks for the

Hey Zeus,

Thanks for the reply.

You're riding the horse right past my argument at hand, so slow down a minute.  Actually, I think believing in Zeus, fairies, and unicorns should be deemed rational in certain times and places (just not our own particular times and places, unless you just teleported yourself from ancient Greece or something.)  Those beliefs, at times and places, have been rational; it's just that I don't think that it's true that those things ever existed.

In our own time and place, we rightly lock people away when they claim to believe in unicorns.  However, if, in our own time and place, we began somehow to build a large and growing depository of claims and (circumstantial?) evidences that people had prayed to unicorns and that the unicorns somehow answered their prayers, and if more and more people today claimed to have an innate sense of "unicorn-ness" in their hearts when they prayed or walked in the wilderness, or if a large growing populace of diseased and hurting began to pray to unicorns and they then experienced some form of healing . . . if this were to happen . . . one would be rationally justified to start believing in the existence of unicorns (even though, of course, whether they really existed is another question.)

Well, for our own place and time (and other places and times), such an endless depository of claims pertains practically nil to unicorns, but pertains greatly to God.  And honestly, it applies today to God of the non-Zeus variety.

Therefore, it really is crazy to believe in unicorns in western society today.  Not so about God.  Theistic belief is quite rational, although possibly untrue.  So any analogy between unicorns and God actually is NOT analogous and is therefore unconvincing.

 


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Hi there Gadfly,God as a

Hi there Gadfly,

God as a human construct could still be a rational construct.  To illustrate: the belief that "people really can make the world a better place" might be just a human construct and an optimistic waste of time, but it's not irrational.


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gottheflu

gottheflu wrote:

Hey Zeus,

Thanks for the reply.

You're riding the horse right past my argument at hand, so slow down a minute.  Actually, I think believing in Zeus, fairies, and unicorns should be deemed rational in certain times and places (just not our own particular times and places, unless you just teleported yourself from ancient Greece or something.)  Those beliefs, at times and places, have been rational; it's just that I don't think that it's true that those things ever existed.

In our own time and place, we rightly lock people away when they claim to believe in unicorns.  However, if, in our own time and place, we began somehow to build a large and growing depository of claims and (circumstantial?) evidences that people had prayed to unicorns and that the unicorns somehow answered their prayers, and if more and more people today claimed to have an innate sense of "unicorn-ness" in their hearts when they prayed or walked in the wilderness, or if a large growing populace of diseased and hurting began to pray to unicorns and they then experienced some form of healing . . . if this were to happen . . . one would be rationally justified to start believing in the existence of unicorns (even though, of course, whether they really existed is another question.)

Well, for our own place and time (and other places and times), such an endless depository of claims pertains practically nil to unicorns, but pertains greatly to God.  And honestly, it applies today to God of the non-Zeus variety.

Therefore, it really is crazy to believe in unicorns in western society today.  Not so about God.  Theistic belief is quite rational, although possibly untrue.  So any analogy between unicorns and God actually is NOT analogous and is therefore unconvincing.

 

   You are on the right track  gottheflu; now just invert the words "unicorn" with the word "God" in the above post and you are all the way there,   "An Athiest"!!!!!!

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


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Hi Jeffrick.  Thanks for

Hi Jeffrick.  Thanks for the reply.

Are theistic beliefs imaginary?  You're begging the question.  No, my belief in God was seeded by a simple lady from the countryside who never cared nothin' 'bout mongerin' narry bit of power.  And the depository of her belief was passed on by many people like her.  (Can't speak for theists who DO monger for power....was Mother Theresa one of those?).

Your Cinderella and Brothers Grimm analogies are analogous to Hey Zeus's analogy of unicorns and God (in another reply to this string), and, like his analogy, your analogy is equally non-analogous.

 


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Yes, that's the idea,

Yes, that's the idea, Zeus....to invert the words.  The point is that if there were an equal amount of testimony today for unicorn belief as there is for theistic belief, unicorn belief would actually be justifiable, significantly less crazy to adopt, and yet (probably) inconclusive.  The whole idea to ponder, Zeus, is the "rationality," not the "ontological truth value" of theistic belief.  Do you buy this or not?


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analogy

gottheflu wrote:

Hi Jeffrick.  Thanks for the reply.

Are theistic beliefs imaginary?  You're begging the question.  No, my belief in God was seeded by a simple lady from the countryside who never cared nothin' 'bout mongerin' narry bit of power.  And the depository of her belief was passed on by many people like her.  (Can't speak for theists who DO monger for power....was Mother Theresa one of those?).

Your Cinderella and Brothers Grimm analogies are analogous to Hey Zeus's analogy of unicorns and God (in another reply to this string), and, like his analogy, your analogy is equally non-analogous.

 

    Theistic beliefs are BASED on imaginary beings!!  God is not real, Cinderella is not real, Zues, Anne of Green Gables, Thor, Perry Mason, Ptah, and Huckleberry Finn are not real;  yet volumes have been written  on and about them.  Also movies and TV shows,  they still aren't real.     The simple lady from the countryside did not invent her theology, nor yours, she passed on what others had told her.  Mongering refers to "Making you believe what I believe"  that she did, as you admit.  Power mongering is what the writers of the original theological dogmas did.     Mother Theresa may well be guilty of power mongering,  although prestige enhancing may be a better description. from her personal writtings it turns out she was an ATHIEST. Think how surprised I was by that.  

.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


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more with Zeus. . .(Unicorn

more with Zeus. . .

(Unicorn answer in separate entry.)

As for "hot" and "cold," you're in line with the meaning of incorrigibility when you say their meaning is locked within the perceiver's own arena.  Therefore, when you tell me that you are cold, and I respond by saying, "NO, you're not cold," I am the one being ridiculous, and you have a right to stick to your incorrigible belief in your coldness without having to present any evidence whatsoever.  I (and others) argue that that is analogous to theistic belief; belief in God (of some kind or another) is incorrigible.

Your statement that the existence of God should be independent of any perceiver is actually a theological postulate.  Our Buddhist and Hegelian friends would differ with you on that postulate.  I think Buddhism and Hegelianism contain certain degrees of rationality . . . I also think they are wrong.  This pertains to my point of "rationality" vs. "the way things really are."

And rationally speaking, the following statements do NOT logically contradict one another:

1- God's existence should be independent of any perceiver . . . and

2- God is perceived.


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Back to Jeffrick

Wow...I must have been doped up when I thought I saw with my own eyes TV interviews with Mother Theresa when she kept praisin' Jesus!  Or, if what you're saying is right, she really had us fooled.

Anyway, yes, some theistic beliefs are surely based on imaginary beings (or, at best, come from eating undercooked potatoes).  You've got quite a lot of work to do, however, to prove that ALL theistic beliefs stem just from imagination.  Remember, in any assignment of proving that ALL theistic beliefs are based on imaginary beings, you cannot just make assumptions based on analogy, leaping from one culture to the next with no proven connections. You actually need to prove CAUSAL CONNECTIONS between what different human cultures imagine in their heads and what they practice religiously.  Actually, this is an impossible task, I think.  But if you can do this successfully, I'd make you scholar of the century.

Your point about the lady (who's actually Mom!)....Nope, she really did not make me believe what I believed at all.  I will strictly say that she modeled what she believed and taught me by example.  But she really went out of her way to make sure I adopted the faith on my own two feet.  I can safely assume my story reflects millions of others.

You say the original theological writers were actually mongering power?  Does this intellectual power mongering only pertain to those who make positive theological assertions? Or are you non-theists exempt from ever mongering power?  If so, how in the world do ya do it!!??


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gottheflu wrote:more with

gottheflu wrote:

more with Zeus. . .

(Unicorn answer in separate entry.)

As for "hot" and "cold," you're in line with the meaning of incorrigibility when you say their meaning is locked within the perceiver's own arena.  Therefore, when you tell me that you are cold, and I respond by saying, "NO, you're not cold," I am the one being ridiculous, and you have a right to stick to your incorrigible belief in your coldness without having to present any evidence whatsoever.  I (and others) argue that that is analogous to theistic belief; belief in God (of some kind or another) is incorrigible.

First I would read this post as it explains some of the logical fallacies you are currently employing.

hot and cold+evil

As for your blatant mischaracterization or fundamental misunderstanding of my cold example, allow me to retort. Here is what I said, "Your newest response is basically the same as me saying cold exists. Perception of varying amounts molecular motion exists in our minds as either cold or hot, they are worthless terms outside the perceiver's arena. The existence of God should be independent of any perceiver, ie you, but I doubt this argument is any more compelling to you than that of any other. Since you have already stated your willingness to stick with your preconceived illusions regardless of the evidence against them, or the lack of evidence to support them"

Here is an excerpt from the above-mentioned post that elucidates the idea of secondary qualities, and explains the situation quite well.

Student: Is there such thing as heat?"
Professor: Yes, the professor replies.
Student: "Is there such a thing as cold?"
Professor: "Yes, there's cold too."
Student: "No, there isn't"

The professor doesn't grin or frown or react with any emotion other than curiosity. After all, he's heard bad arguments like this for more years than the student has been alive. (The desire to see the professors 'smug smile wiped off his face' is just another projection of the feelings of inadequecy found in theists who aren't able to argue their own points well...)

The student continues. You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold, otherwise we would be able to go colder than 458. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, just the absence of it"

Professor: (Nodding his head in dismay, and working out how many times he's heard this bad logic by now. 100 times?). Do you remember the section in your workbook on semantic fallacies?

Student: ( gives a confused look a dog might make)

Professor: Let me give you a quick review. Both 'heat' and 'cold' are subjective terms... They are what the philosopher John Locke properly called "secondary qualities". The secondary qualities refer to how we humans experience a very real phenomena: the movement of atomic particles. The terms 'heat' and 'cold' refer to an interaction between human nervous systems and various speeds of atomic particles in their environment. So what we 'really' have is temperature.... the terms 'heat' and "cold' are merely subjective terms we use to denote our relative experience of temperature.

So your entire argument is specious. You have not 'proven' that 'cold' does not exist, or that 'cold' somehow exists without any ontological status, what you have done is shown that 'cold' is a subjective term. Take away the subjective concept, and the 'thing in itself', the temperature we are denoting as 'cold', still exists. Removing the term we use to reference the phenomena does not eradicate the phenomena.

 

Okay...got that, cold exists in the mind of the perceiver...it is a secondary quality of the measurable phenomenon temperature.

gottheflu wrote:

Your statement that the existence of God should be independent of any perceiver is actually a theological postulate.  Our Buddhist and Hegelian friends would differ with you on that postulate.  I think Buddhism and Hegelianism contain certain degrees of rationality . . . I also think they are wrong.  This pertains to my point of "rationality" vs. "the way things really are."

And rationally speaking, the following statements do NOT logically contradict one another:

1- God's existence should be independent of any perceiver . . . and

2- God is perceived.

A theological postulate eh...so the fact that a unicorn should exist outside the mind of the being to be considered physically real, that is, being independent of a mere idea in someone's head, is using theist logic....I see. Saying some people would differ from me(buddhists and Hegelians), then not explaining their argument, but asserting your confidence in your own argument, without justification, is a bit lazy, but that wasn't really the main point here.

As for your other point about perception and being perceived...let me take it a bit farther

1- Santa Clause's(God's) existence should be independent of any perceiver . . . and

2- Santa Clause(God) is perceived.

optional

3.-Therefore, Santa Exists

(classic theist logic)

gottheflu wrote:

You're riding the horse right past my argument at hand, so slow down a minute.  Actually, I think believing in Zeus, fairies, and unicorns should be deemed rational in certain times and places (just not our own particular times and places, unless you just teleported yourself from ancient Greece or something.)  Those beliefs, at times and places, have been rational; it's just that I don't think that it's true that those things ever existed.

In our own time and place, we rightly lock people away when they claim to believe in unicorns.  However, if, in our own time and place, we began somehow to build a large and growing depository of claims and (circumstantial?) evidences that people had prayed to unicorns and that the unicorns somehow answered their prayers, and if more and more people today claimed to have an innate sense of "unicorn-ness" in their hearts when they prayed or walked in the wilderness, or if a large growing populace of diseased and hurting began to pray to unicorns and they then experienced some form of healing . . . if this were to happen . . . one would be rationally justified to start believing in the existence of unicorns (even though, of course, whether they really existed is another question.)

Well, for our own place and time (and other places and times), such an endless depository of claims pertains practically nil to unicorns, but pertains greatly to God.  And honestly, it applies today to God of the non-Zeus variety.

Therefore, it really is crazy to believe in unicorns in western society today.  Not so about God.  Theistic belief is quite rational, although possibly untrue.  So any analogy between unicorns and God actually is NOT analogous and is therefore unconvincing.

This is an excellent example of a fallacious argumentum ad populum or argument that concludes if many find it acceptable, it is acceptable. While this argument you are using might be a signal of your own ignorance(an argumentum ad ignorantium), and this I don't mean as an insult, but rather from a real lack of understanding the fallacy of the claim you are making, and the sheer lack of being compelling in any sense. Please read up here.

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

Robert Pirsig has an excellent quote that intimates exactly why using this logic is so profound. "When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion."

You have described the mass delusion of irrational ideas that people have subscribed to since the dawn of history and basically exclaim that it is rational to believe in something if many people at one time, and place in history, believe it true be true. Then the belief is rational, even if it may be untrue. While it might be an accepted belief, and a popular belief, and even radical to believe anything other than that belief....it does not mean that to believe in say "Yahweh" in this day and age is "rational."

What you are doing is conflating the idea of a belief being "acceptable in society because of tradition and pervasiveness" with the idea of a belief being "rational." While I can see how you could make this logical error, as it is somewhat semantic, I must point out the error in question. Here is a dictionary definition of "rational"=proceeding or derived from reason or based on reasoning: a rational explanation. having or exercising reason, sound judgment, or good sense.

To understand rational one must understand reason, "reason"=to think or argue in a logical manner, to form conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts or premises.

If you think rationally, you support your beliefs with facts and conclusions conceived through logical reasoning. Believing in Zeus, or Yahweh, or Unicorns is simply irrational in any time or place, regardless if 99% of the population believed in them, and all said that they could feel them in their hearts, and if they prayed to them, they had their prayers answered(and what about all of the prayers that didn't go answered and were completely forgotten about?). Is this sinking in?

So to recap

1. Belief in GOD...though commonplace, and perfectly acceptable in most societies, from the dawn of written language(and probably before), is irrational without compelling falsifiable evidence(which has never surfaced)

2. Ad populum fallacies aren't valid reasons to believe things, they are merely convenient excuses

3. Secondary Qualities are subjective perceptions of measurable phenomena

I hope that helped, and your next attempt at debunking the debunkers will go more smoothly now that you have a few new tools for your mental arsenal.

 

 

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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gottheflu wrote:Since I'm

gottheflu wrote:

Since I'm arguing that theistic belief is properly basic, it therefore does not require the secondary evidence you demand. Your thoughts here lend to this.  Fossils proving the (one time?) existence of God are lying right between some that prove the existence of beauty . . . and others that prove that I'm am presently cold.

That's confusing. Weren't we discussing your belief in a god? If you mean you believe in an abstract concept, uh, okay. But that puts gods on par with leprechans. 

gottheflu wrote:
My above (sarcastic) examples are incorrigible, unprovable, and yet extremely real, and I'm afraid I'll have to continue to believe in them.

What part was "extremely real"? The part where you felt cold, or "beauty"?

gottheflu wrote:
No, there are countless immeasurable things that are rational to believe in.  For example, I could convince my wife of my love for her by saying that I have ten megatons of love for here.  But that would be ridiculous.

It's actually a great line. 

gottheflu wrote:
She tends to prefer that I just say that my love for her is immeasurable.  She knows what I mean, appreciates it, and thinks it quite rational.

You're probably mixing up "not insane" with "rational". There's some confusion there. You're not a rabid madman to suggest immeasurable love. In fact, since love isn't measurable, it's a rational thing to say. But what you mean is that your love is so infinitely large that it defies any possible measurement. (Conveniently for you, there's no measurement for love).

Here's where it breaks down: I've seen love before. I've seen the set of behaviours that represent love, and thus have evidence for love. There are quite a number of different kinds of love, and they manifest themselves in different ways. The word expresses something abstract, but the evidence for it is sometimes very concrete.

Gods ... not so much.

 

 

 

 

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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gottheflu wrote:You're

gottheflu wrote:

You're riding the horse right past my argument at hand, so slow down a minute.  Actually, I think believing in Zeus, fairies, and unicorns should be deemed rational in certain times and places (just not our own particular times and places, unless you just teleported yourself from ancient Greece or something.)  Those beliefs, at times and places, have been rational; it's just that I don't think that it's true that those things ever existed.

[...]

Therefore, it really is crazy to believe in unicorns in western society today.  Not so about God.  Theistic belief is quite rational, although possibly untrue.  So any analogy between unicorns and God actually is NOT analogous and is therefore unconvincing.

Now I think you might be mixing up "rational" with "socially acceptable".

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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gottheflu wrote:As for "hot"

gottheflu wrote:

As for "hot" and "cold," you're in line with the meaning of incorrigibility when you say their meaning is locked within the perceiver's own arena.  Therefore, when you tell me that you are cold, and I respond by saying, "NO, you're not cold," I am the one being ridiculous, and you have a right to stick to your incorrigible belief in your coldness without having to present any evidence whatsoever.  I (and others) argue that that is analogous to theistic belief; belief in God (of some kind or another) is incorrigible.

But feeling cold isn't rational. I mean that it's not a rational process. You don't arrive at the conclusion of cold, you feel it. I can't imagine anyone asking you to prove a feeling, since it's a feeling. But making statements about the natural concrete world like "it IS cold" require a little more effort. A thermometer would help in that circumstance.

gottheflu wrote:
And rationally speaking, the following statements do NOT logically contradict one another:

1- God's existence should be independent of any perceiver . . . and

2- God is perceived.

But logically speaking, the following statements don't contradict each other either:

1 - Rutabegas are good at math

2 - Rutabegas enjoy math in their spare time

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gottheflu wrote:You say the

gottheflu wrote:

You say the original theological writers were actually mongering power?  Does this intellectual power mongering only pertain to those who make positive theological assertions? Or are you non-theists exempt from ever mongering power?  If so, how in the world do ya do it!!??

Nobody's exempt. We're all people, and we all have that interest in power and control in varying degrees. But people who make positive theological assertions are attempting to invoke magic to acheive that goal.

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more for Will

Wow! Lots to deal with here. I’ll start by responding to the kinder and gentler Will.

God does not have to be an abstract concept, but he/it CAN be, as "it" was with Aristotle. Yet it’s perfectly okay to say that, in my case, a not-so-abstract, personal God, has common properties with totally abstract concepts like beauty and love. In this case, God shares with beauty and love the property of "being immanently known in some way or another by people."

Okay, saying that anything is "extremely" real is awkward. I’ll just say that beauty is real and demands no evidential defense. I’ll also say that "I’m am cold" (="I am feeling cold&quotEye-wink is also real and demands no evidential defense. The incorrigibility of "I am feeling cold" has little to do with Hey Zeus’s explanation of the physical relativity of heat and cold. I am and always shall be within my epistemic rights to assert "I am feeling cold" with no need to present evidence. All I’m required to do is through a blanket over my lap.

The argument I (and others) want to advance is that "I am cold" and "I perceive God" are analogous in that they are incorrigible and require no secondary evidence to be rational. Whether "coldness" or "God" really exist with ontological status or metaphysical defensibility is a different argument that I’ll leave with other people who deem it necessary to lay out some evidential defense of their faith.

As for your comments on love, you could replace the word "love" with "God-ness." To do so might be far from convincing of God’s existence, but at least such comments would be rational. No, when I tell my wife that I love her immeasurably, I’m really being something more than just "not insane." I’m also being "rational" with her in my conversation.  I am still within my epistemic rights to believe that my immeasurable love for my wife is real.  Whether it is actually TRUE that I love her immeasurably will be proven or defeated by the private investigator she just hired to follow me around, collecting evidence.

Back with more on your other sections later . . .


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looks like the page cut off

looks like the page cut off part of my posting


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or maybe not.  I guess it's

or maybe not.  I guess it's there??


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gottheflu

    Early or original theological writers did want you  to believe has they believed, from gods to the rituals in praise of the god, otherwise why did they write of such things; That is power mongering.  Athiest also monger, but I am not aware of any church or cathedral buildt by an athiest sect. 

   Did I mention Mother Teresa's personal writings, letters diarys etc. have been published in the past year. The results surprised a lot of people. My favorite quote is  "I don't know why I go down to pray when I know there is nothing there to hear it"  Those are the sentiments of an athiest.  She was not a commen nun who could easily leave her convent and return to the real world.  She was world famous,  prestigious a founder of and Mother Superior to her own convent, she didn't know how to come out of the closet and said so meny times in her letters.

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I'm starting things off

Quote:

I'm starting things off arguing for belief in God (not necessarily the Christian God) as being properly basic; a person is within his epistemic rights to believe in God.

Ah, but you are forgetting that the idea that belief in God is properly basic is hotly contested. It is important to recognize that for most people, belief in God is not properly basic. It is not incorrigible in the same way that "I think therefore I am is incorrigible" nor is it based on subjective introspection the same way that "I believe I am cold" is. Instead, in the manner that most people believe it, it is given doxastic justification, and treated as would any other objective statement about reality like "the Earth revolves around the sun". This alone qualifies the belief as not being properly basic. Instead, it is based upon a set of other beliefs, which in turn are not properly basic either, such as "My parents told me" or "this Holy Book tells me".  This means we can decide whether such beliefs are irrational if we can in turn evaluate the beliefs they are based on. These other beliefs might be poor justification for the belief we are looking at, or they in turn might be poorly founded beliefs. This would hold true for evaluating whether an ancient Grecian would be rational in believing in Zeus, or someone in a unicorn-worshipping society would be in believing in unicorns. This means that while the rationality of a belief may vary with time periods, it also holds that such a belief might be equally irrational. An ancient Grecian who justified his belief in Zeus on basis that everyone else believed and that the elders and his parents told him so, would no more be operating within their epistemic rights than would a Christian today who said that they believed in God because their parents/Bible told them so. As such, given that many people use these sorts of justifications, you would be hard pressed to argue that belief in Zeus is more rational for a Grecian than belief in Yahweh is for a Jew. For most people, it seems unlikely that their God belief is either introspective or incorrigible. It is simply a belief about reality as opposed to one's subjective experience such as that one is cold. Instead, "God exists" is treated as an objective statement like "atoms have protons, neutrons and electrons". This qualifies it as not being properly basic, not being introspective, and, if using the justification above, not being rational. Of course, you could argue then that there are no rational beliefs except pure axioms since we can never justify that our senses are reliable, but that is a different matter, which leads to my next point.

Furthermore, you seem to be making a fallacy of equivocation with the word irrational. Presumably, when we say "Belief in the reliability of the senses is irrational because it can never be justified" we mean something quite different from "I believe that if I blow myself up I will earn the company of a flock of virgins when I die because my Holy Book says so" is irrational. This distinguishing is important, because the latter is the one which the RRS operates under. We may mean the former is irrational in the sense that we hold it and operate under it despite the fact that by definition we could never reliably prove it, and the latter irrational in the sense that those who hold such beliefs hold them uncritically.

It seems to me you have moved from the premises "I don't have to prove that I am experiencing the emotion of love" or "I don't need to prove that I cold" to "I hold that there exists an entity called God and I do not have to prove this".

"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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deludedgod wrote:Quote:I'm

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

I'm starting things off arguing for belief in God (not necessarily the Christian God) as being properly basic; a person is within his epistemic rights to believe in God.

Ah, but you are forgetting that the idea that belief in God is properly basic is hotly contested. It is important to recognize that for most people, belief in God is not properly basic. It is not incorrigible in the same way that "I think therefore I am is incorrigible" nor is it based on subjective introspection the same way that "I believe I am cold" is. Instead, in the manner that most people believe it, it is given doxastic justification, and treated as would any other objective statement about reality like "the Earth revolves around the sun". This alone qualifies the belief as not being properly basic. Instead, it is based upon a set of other beliefs, which in turn are not properly basic either, such as "My parents told me" or "this Holy Book tells me".  This means we can decide whether such beliefs are irrational if we can in turn evaluate the beliefs they are based on. These other beliefs might be poor justification for the belief we are looking at, or they in turn might be poorly founded beliefs. This would hold true for evaluating whether an ancient Grecian would be rational in believing in Zeus, or someone in a unicorn-worshipping society would be in believing in unicorns. This means that while the rationality of a belief may vary with time periods, it also holds that such a belief might be equally irrational. An ancient Grecian who justified his belief in Zeus on basis that everyone else believed and that the elders and his parents told him so, would no more be operating within their epistemic rights than would a Christian today who said that they believed in God because their parents/Bible told them so. As such, given that many people use these sorts of justifications, you would be hard pressed to argue that belief in Zeus is more rational for a Grecian than belief in Yahweh is for a Jew. For most people, it seems unlikely that their God belief is either introspective or incorrigible. It is simply a belief about reality as opposed to one's subjective experience such as that one is cold. Instead, "God exists" is treated as an objective statement like "atoms have protons, neutrons and electrons". This qualifies it as not being properly basic, not being introspective, and, if using the justification above, not being rational. Of course, you could argue then that there are no rational beliefs except pure axioms since we can never justify that our senses are reliable, but that is a different matter, which leads to my next point.

Furthermore, you seem to be making a fallacy of equivocation with the word irrational. Presumably, when we say "Belief in the reliability of the senses is irrational because it can never be justified" we mean something quite different from "I believe that if I blow myself up I will earn the company of a flock of virgins when I die because my Holy Book says so" is irrational. This distinguishing is important, because the latter is the one which the RRS operates under.

 

Just sayin...

 


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gottheflu wrote:I’ll

gottheflu wrote:

I’ll also say that "I’m am cold" (="I am feeling cold&quotEye-wink is also real and demands no evidential defense. The incorrigibility of "I am feeling cold" has little to do with Hey Zeus’s explanation of the physical relativity of heat and cold. I am and always shall be within my epistemic rights to assert "I am feeling cold" with no need to present evidence. All I’m required to do is through a blanket over my lap.

The argument I (and others) want to advance is that "I am cold" and "I perceive God" are analogous in that they are incorrigible and require no secondary evidence to be rational. Whether "coldness" or "God" really exist with ontological status or metaphysical defensibility is a different argument that I’ll leave with other people who deem it necessary to lay out some evidential defense of their faith.

Gottheflu, please respond to the points that I have made, seriously. I am beginning to wonder whether you read my post at all, as you seem to have misunderstood or blatantly misrepresented the argument presented....again. Feeling cold is a very real subjective perception of a real and measurable phenomenon...temperature. If you are feeling cold it is a response to your environment, ie either the temperature is low enough to make your body recognize you need to counteract it through external heat sources or thermoregulation.

As for feeling cold, and perceiving God, these are not analagous in the slightest. One is a feeling based on the actual, physical variation of temperature, which can be falsifiably observed, and the other is an attribution of a myriad of feelings to a nonexistent, unfalsifiable human construct. Please understand, that I am not saying you can't experience feeling cold...you obviously can. Feeling cold is rational. Perceiving God being analagous to feeling cold is a complete non sequitir. Saying that belief in God is rational, is completely turning a blind eye to the definition of what "rational" is. This is a situation where a word has a very distinct meaning, and you are using that word to mean something that it actually doesn't. Whether this is done willfully or accidentally is immaterial, but understanding the difference of a belief being "rational" and a belief being "socially acceptable through tradition and pervasiveness in a given culture" is really what underlies your original question. That is "I'm starting things off arguing for belief in God (not necessarily the Christian God) as being properly basic; a person is within his epistemic rights to believe in God. "

If a person has researched what constitutes rational thought, and uses rational thought along with logically deduced epistemilogical conclusions, belief in God is not rational. That is to say, your position that a person is within their epistemic rights to believe in God, is a flawed and erroneous premise. A person is within their rights of free speech to say almost anything, that doesn't mean it is rational or true or whatever. And with that, as well as DeludedGod's and Will's responses, I think your argument has been thoroughly refuted.

I am not trying to sound smug, or be mean, actually that really isn't my intent at all. My only intent has been to show you that it was probably an accident due to a misunderstanding of what rational means,  when you stated belief in God was rational. That was my sole intent. Also, showing people logical fallacies that they employ in their thinking really does lead to better future debates. I wasn't trying to come off high and mighty, although my previous post did appear a smidge condescending. I hope that settles it.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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Well no post from Gottheflu,

Well no post from Gottheflu, so I assume the argument to be settled. I look forward to hearing some new arguments from you Gottheflu.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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He's probably using the IE

He's probably using the IE browser.

I think RRS should have a Big Please read this Message in the home page etc explaining a few things .... Summary of site purpose,  a simple definition of god (meaning myth), and that Firefox is required to properly use this sight, or page cut off and overlaps etc will occur  ..... and that Firefox won't change your PC etc, and include the Firefox download button ......

  Anyway, all god of abe folks, and the like, are nutty, needing to be healed  .... So sad it is .... and "atheist" Jesus/Buddha wept ....   Keep helping to end this bummer of separation and superstition .... for G A W E D sakes !  

 


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gottheflu wrote:The argument

gottheflu wrote:
The argument I (and others) want to advance is that "I am cold" and "I perceive God" are analogous in that they are incorrigible and require no secondary evidence to be rational. Whether "coldness" or "God" really exist with ontological status or metaphysical defensibility is a different argument that I’ll leave with other people who deem it necessary to lay out some evidential defense of their faith.

The difficulty here is that feeling cold is universal. Even dogs can be seen shivering when it's cold outside and they've been out too long. It's fair to say that barring some rare neurological condition, "feeling cold" is something many warm-blooded creatures experience. The God feeling seems to be limited to certain demographics and geographics. What's with that?

gottheflu wrote:
As for your comments on love, you could replace the word "love" with "God-ness." To do so might be far from convincing of God’s existence, but at least such comments would be rational.

As would my signature's "funkstification" (which Hamby deserves credit for). "Wife, I funkstify you" is fine. If I were to say "Godness" every time I meant "love", that's just switching up words. "I Godness you", therefore, would be simple transposition. The fact is, however, that "God" does not mean "love". "God" means a character mentioned in the Bible.

gottheflu wrote:
No, when I tell my wife that I love her immeasurably, I’m really being something more than just "not insane." I’m also being "rational" with her in my conversation.  I am still within my epistemic rights to believe that my immeasurable love for my wife is real.

Absolutely. Both your feelings and your wife are real. (Presumably your wife is real, and you have feelings.) Can't argue with that. The object in the case of God, though, is questionable.

 

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"God" means a character

"God" means a character mentioned in the Bible(s). "

  Well mostly yes it does, in the west and mideast. Not so true in the east. God also means cosmos .... A universal non superstitious god definition I try to promote, to derail the religious ones. Seems important to me. Like saying "keep the awe, loose the dogma" ..... Damn religion and it's dogma definitions  ..... 

 


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delayed

Actually, Zeus, the reason for the delays in even coming back to the sight could be:

A- Your arguments are so overwhelmingly brilliant and compelling that I've spent the whole day considering converting to Zeus worship.

B- I actually have a life and had to go to two Memorial Day BBQs and have coffee with a friend in from college.

C- I actually have a job (actually a few) and had to work.

D- All of the above.

E- None of the above.


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directed to Will

I'm addressing this housekeeping question to Wil:

Hi Will,

Before I continue chatting with you, do you find any of Zeus's arguments strong or compelling?  If so, I'll try to address any of them.

More relating to your own comments on the way . . .


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Gottheflu...fail. Now you

Gottheflu...fail. Now you are using an "appealing to authority" logical fallacy by asking Will if they are compelling. Obviously your inability to logically refute any of my arguments means they are pretty compelling. Seriously, its called compartmentalization and pride, you don't want to admit that your position could be wrong(pride), and put the things(God) that contradict reality as you know it, into a separate part of your brain, so that you can make sense of the two incompatible beliefs.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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Oh yes, I forget to mention,

Oh yes, I forget to mention, you might also want to address Deluded God's comment as well, as he has also refuted your reasons as well as I have.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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rational vs. socially acceptable

Something can be both rational and socially acceptable at the same time.  And sometimes something can be rational largely because it is socially acceptable (though based on deception or falsity). It is both rational and socially acceptable to open the door for the snotty old man I can't stand.  Doing so would be insincere, or you could even say based on decepton, nevertheless it'd be both rational and socially acceptable.

Believing in unicorns in some place and time has been both rational, socially acceptable, and based on false (though warranted) beliefs all at the same time.  To do so today in our own place and time would rarely be rational, rarely socially acceptable, and, of course, also based on falsity.  We prove it false today based on evidence that folks were not priveleged to have at another place and time.

Believing in God today is rational largely (though not totally) because of the social element behind it.  The social dynamic that has created the overwhelming depository of testimony for theism (as opposed to the comparatively small depository testifying for atheism) makes theism socially acceptable, and allows warrant for one to think his theistic belief rational (though not necessarily true).  With this in mind, I think there are cases where ARGUMENTUM AD POPULUM is okay.  The appeal isn't just to the crowd . . . it also has a lot to do with who the crowd is and whether the crowd is proven to be significantly trustworthy.


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gottheflu wrote:Believing in

gottheflu wrote:

Believing in God today is rational largely (though not totally) because of the social element behind it.  The social dynamic that has created the overwhelming depository of testimony for theism (as opposed to the comparatively small depository testifying for atheism) makes theism socially acceptable, and allows warrant for one to think his theistic belief rational (though not necessarily true).  With this in mind, I think there are cases where ARGUMENTUM AD POPULUM is okay.  The appeal isn't just to the crowd . . . it also has a lot to do with who the crowd is and whether the crowd is proven to be significantly trustworthy.

Thanks for responding to at least the main argument. I will take your response that "there are cases where ARGUMENTUM AD POPULUM is okay.  The appeal isn't just to the crowd . . . it also has a lot to do with who the crowd is and whether the crowd is proven to be significantly trustworthy." to be an admission of using a fallacious argument to support an untenable position. The second part, highlighted in bold is another appeal to authority, with the incredible(and unproven) implication that Christians are somehow more trustworthy than nonChristians. Logical fallacies compiled on top of logical fallacies! At least you have admitted you will remain undeterred in your implicit use of logically fallacious statements to further your arguments. If you are willing to lie to yourself and to me in order to prove a point then this discussion is basically moot, as it will have become a willful piece of illogical, irrational propaganda to rationalize one's incompatible beliefs. But I digress...so that I may tend to your other points.

gottheflu wrote:

Something can be both rational and socially acceptable at the same time.  And sometimes something can be rational largely because it is socially acceptable (though based on deception or falsity).

This almost the exact same argument that I have refuted previously in your first few posts. It is a non sequitir argument ...another logical fallacy. I will not rehash this again, as you clearly have decided not to listen to my previous post regarding the distinctions between the definitions of rational and socially acceptable. It does not follow(non sequitir) that something can be rational BECAUSE it is socially acceptable. It follows...that one is more likely to believe something, because the idea is very socially acceptable and pervades a large percent of the society. This does not say anything about the belief's inherent rationality....all this can justifiably say is that "something(God belief) can be acceptable to believe largely because it is socially acceptable." Thats it, thats all that can be derived from widespread belief. Social acceptability does not equal rationality. This conflation of definitions is the root of the problem. If you choose to acknowledge that fact, then we won't have to keep arguing with one another over this.

 

 

 

 

 

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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to will--believing I am feeling cold

Will,

The point is that "I am feeling cold" is a warranted belief that one could be having at a particular time.  That BELIEF can be (and usually is) rational, warranted, justified, and evidentially indefensible (despite the weather, thermostadt, or any other physical state of affairs).  My main argument is that "I am perceiving God-ness" is an analogous warranted belief that is equally indefensible yet requires no proof to presumptuous skeptics.

Other such warranted, though evidentially indefensible beliefs might include:

-- I believe that I am feeling angry.

-- I believe that I am not a brain in a mad scientist's vat.

-- I believe that all of my life's memories are real and were not downloaded into my head five minutes ago.

-- I believe that people ought to do good and ought not do evil.

-- I believe that when I see the sunlight hit the clouds in a certain way I will always perceive beauty.

 


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to zeus--appeal to authority

Zeus,

Yes, I'm appealing to authority in addressing Wil.  I am attributing authority to him in this forum string because he has an acceptable online demeanor and you . . . . . . . . .don't.


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magic, will?

Magic, Will?  Was T. Aquinas a magician?  Augustine?  Even the hardest skeptics must think of them as (mistaken?) logicians long before they accuse them of believing in magic.  And magic, supernaturalism, metaphysics, and mythology, etc. must be understood with their own distinctions (and similarities).


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gottheflu wrote:Zeus,Yes,

gottheflu wrote:

Zeus,

Yes, I'm appealing to authority in addressing Wil.  I am attributing authority to him in this forum string because he has an acceptable online demeanor and you . . . . . . . . .don't.

Hahaha! This is equal to saying....I won't....or can't address your arguments because you're a meany and I don't play with meanys. Obviously you haven't been around the internets much, because the way in which I have dressed down your arguments and treated you has not been "unacceptable online demeanor" rather it has been direct and honest critiques of fallacious reasoning concerning willful untruths and mischaracterizations you have perpetuated in my name.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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gottheflu wrote:Something

gottheflu wrote:
Something can be both rational and socially acceptable at the same time.

Yes, certainly.

gottheflu wrote:
Believing in unicorns in some place and time has been both rational, socially acceptable, and based on false (though warranted) beliefs all at the same time.

Okay, here is (I think) our miscommunication. I would say that the belief in something which likely does not exist (like unicorns) is not rational (or at least was not arrived at via rational means). What I'm saying by that is that one would not go through a process like:

"Hmm, I found this horse-like skeleton, except it has a single horn protruding from its skull. How odd."

No, I think your assertion is that circumstance directs public belief (that is, the beliefs that people will publicly espouse to be "reasonable" given their historical context). In that, we agree. I simply wouldn't call it rational. Let's not confuse "rational" with "superawesome" as seems to be done occasionally on this site. "Rationality" is just the end result of a rational process, not some kind of perfection.

gottheflu wrote:
To do so today in our own place and time would rarely be rational, rarely socially acceptable, and, of course, also based on falsity.  We prove it false today based on evidence that folks were not priveleged to have at another place and time.

In this kind of sparring, you've left a rather large opening: more information makes more and more fantasy creatures less likely. Keep your hands up. You can't be giving me that one.

gottheflu wrote:
Believing in God today is rational largely (though not totally) because of the social element behind it. The social dynamic that has created the overwhelming depository of testimony for theism (as opposed to the comparatively small depository testifying for atheism) makes theism socially acceptable, and allows warrant for one to think his theistic belief rational (though not necessarily true).

I like where you're going with this, since you're aware of that it's ad populum. Daring is better than boring, in my humble opinion. I agree that you have an argument for a common psychological (or sociological) mechanism, and that the populus has a depository of testimony for theism. But again, I think we're just dealing with a simple miscommunication. Whereas my definition of rational stems from a coldly thought out process, you seem to be using the word as a kind of colloquial "reasonable", like "be reasonable". It certainly is, in that usage, "reasonable", it's just not rationally warranted.  

gottheflu wrote:
With this in mind, I think there are cases where ARGUMENTUM AD POPULUM is okay.  The appeal isn't just to the crowd . . . it also has a lot to do with who the crowd is and whether the crowd is proven to be significantly trustworthy.

It certainly identifies the market bias. But as you say above, "not necessarily true".

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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gottheflu wrote:Before I

gottheflu wrote:

Before I continue chatting with you, do you find any of Zeus's arguments strong or compelling?  If so, I'll try to address any of them.

I'll have to read them again. Certainly the idea of being an atheist with regard to other gods, yes. I find that people who have one god often do not believe in other people's gods. But let me take a look. I read the same arguments on both sides often, so I can't remember which he used. We really need some sort of short hand.

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HisWillness
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gottheflu wrote:The point is

gottheflu wrote:
The point is that "I am feeling cold" is a warranted belief that one could be having at a particular time.  That BELIEF can be (and usually is) rational, warranted, justified, and evidentially indefensible (despite the weather, thermostadt, or any other physical state of affairs).

I definitely understand what you mean. The only problem here is one of precision. You don't have to believe you feel cold. You can just feel cold. You can believe you are cold, etc, but that's not a rational belief. That's a feeling. Please note again that feelings are not rational. That doesn't mean they're not valid, they're just not rational. Maybe you're thinking of "valid" when you say "rational". Or "okay" or a simple positive "reasonable behaviour".

gottheflu wrote:
My main argument is that "I am perceiving God-ness" is an analogous warranted belief that is equally indefensible yet requires no proof to presumptuous skeptics.

Except that unlike cold, or even the cluster of symptoms brought on by love, there's nothing to compare your feeling with. "Is it cold in here? I feel cold." Is valid, in the sense that there's no reason to argue the statement, but it's not rational. That is, it wasn't rationally constructed. Someone reading a thermometer and telling you it's 10 degrees out could give you an idea of how perceptive you are, but it wouldn't make the feeling rational. Further, such comparisons aren't available for supernatural entities like God. Why would that be?

gottheflu wrote:
Other such warranted, though evidentially indefensible beliefs might include:

-- I believe that I am feeling angry.

-- I believe that I am not a brain in a mad scientist's vat.

-- I believe that all of my life's memories are real and were not downloaded into my head five minutes ago.

-- I believe that people ought to do good and ought not do evil.

-- I believe that when I see the sunlight hit the clouds in a certain way I will always perceive beauty.

Here, you've given "believe" a few different meanings, so while I know what you're driving at, you're not necessarily arguing for it. The second and third points, where you disbelieve a couple of ideas of your universe, is the the closest to the kind of belief we're discussing, so let's stick to that.

Thankfully, we have ways of separating fact from fantasy! I know you'll groan, but the scientific method is great at this. The brain in a mad scientist's vat one isn't so difficult. There's little (if any) evidence for that one, I imagine. At least, I've never heard of such a thing. Animated brains and all. It seems unlikely is what I'm saying. Equally unlikely is the third point. If that were possible, I'd know kung fu, I guess. Actually I wouldn't, but Keanu Reeves would, for sure. It's just unlikely.

But I see where you're going with it. To me, however, it matters if what I believe is true. It matters to me quite a lot. So much so that I think in terms of probability. Is there a Santa Claus? Unlikely. Kind of like that.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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gottheflu wrote:Magic,

gottheflu wrote:
Magic, Will?  Was T. Aquinas a magician?  Augustine?  Even the hardest skeptics must think of them as (mistaken?) logicians long before they accuse them of believing in magic.
 

Yes. But they believed in a supernatural, which is magic to me. Maybe that helps you to know what I mean by magic.

gottheflu wrote:
And magic, supernaturalism, metaphysics, and mythology, etc. must be understood with their own distinctions (and similarities).

It's possible. I'd say they're hues of the same colour.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
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to deluded

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Deluded.

You say that, for most people, belief in God is not properly basic.  Upon what data is this interpreted? The same for "most people" with theistic belief giving it doxastic justification and basing it on objective reality?  Is your statement based on data or a hunch?  Your critique of theistic believers seems to be based largely on your intuitive reaction to weak deductions by theists, and less on your own analytical reasoning (even though I would not accuse you of being a poor analytic or logician.)  As you can probably tell by my arguments from Reformed epistemology, I'm not often concerned about narrow and specious theological evidences in most foundational arguments given.  So I'll say you're building a straw man.  And there's a significant difference between a believer's basic perception of God and how he (rightly or wrongly) accounts for it.  What initially caused me to believe "I perceive God-ness" as a child is very different from how I sometimes (rightly or wrongly) offer evidences today.

I respectfully ask you to defend the assumption that, given a tabula rasa (with no influences of dogmatic mothers and no holy books lying around), the default pristine state of one's beliefs would be non-theistic.

I assert that the ancient Grecian was within his epistemic rights to believe in Zeus (falsely) UNTIL he perceived sufficient evidence that would demand that he reevaluate and change course ("repent&quotEye-wink, whatever that "sufficient evidence" might consist of.  Whether he should believe in Zeus and sacrifice children to him is another story; my argument deals with theism proper for now.  The same holds for children whose parents/Bible/church raised them with Christian dogma.  They are within their epistemic rights to believe in God.  Whether the same kids should believe in God and slay all the Philistines, again, is a different story.  These kids, of course, should re-evaluate the legitimacy of theistic belief proper as they grow and encounter evidence that there is no God.  The real issue for yourself, though, is that for THIS kid (myself), your depository of evidences, though worthy of consideration, is insufficient at this time.  However, whether you are on the way to convincing "most people" is an area I fear to tread.  This being said, in response to your last paragraph, I didn't intend necessarily to use the first two statements as premises and the last a conclusion.  I do intend to make the first two analogous to the third.

For clarity, I think that the last statement could be "Plantinga-fied" and I'd be satisfied:  My theistic belief is warranted, because my belief comes from my cognitive faculties operating in an epistemic environment for which they were created.  Well, of course, such re-statement can bring anything BUT clarity and opens up many more cans of worms.  Nevertheless, it's rational (although perhaps correctable).  And, to avoid any future fallacy of equivocation, this is a kind of rationalism that you don't seem to take into account when you try to "fix" theists within the confines of mere evidentialism.


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one more time, zeus

Yes, Zeus, you're a meany.  And we hold this truth to be self-evident:  You're the only person in this forum who is annoying.  (so far)


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gottheflu wrote:Yes, Zeus,

gottheflu wrote:

Yes, Zeus, you're a meany.  And we hold this truth to be self-evident:  You're the only person in this forum who is annoying.  (so far)

Okay, clearly you haven't taken criticism of your beliefs that much if you think I am being mean to you. I have attacked your ideas, and when you have been dishonest, I have pointed it out. Calling a spade a spade, is not mean, it is being bluntly honest. As for saying "I am annoying" and that is a self evident truth, rather than being a personal opinion, is like using your straw man representation of my "cold" argument. I am thinking you can't logically refute my claims, so instead you call me mean, and dismiss my claims as not worth refuting. Your responses to Will and DG are using regurgitated arguments that have been refuted before. Although, I will concede that Will's patience for such tactics exceeds my own. Good night.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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gottheflu- Hear this my

gottheflu- Hear this my brother, I care, and I do not lie when I tell you now, your god is my enemy ....

I tell you this because I care, I bring a SWORD of division from your GOD, to end all worship of your god of separation idol worship.

Jesus said to Peter "Get behind Me, Satan. You are an offense to Me. Because you do not think the things of God, but of men."

   simply meaning,   All is ONE

        What is NOT god ?

 


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gottheflu wrote:I assert

gottheflu wrote:

I assert that the ancient Grecian was within his epistemic rights to believe in Zeus (falsely) UNTIL he perceived sufficient evidence that would demand that he reevaluate and change course ("repent" ), whatever that "sufficient evidence" might consist of.  Whether he should believe in Zeus and sacrifice children to him is another story; my argument deals with theism proper for now.  The same holds for children whose parents/Bible/church raised them with Christian dogma.  They are within their epistemic rights to believe in God.  Whether the same kids should believe in God and slay all the Philistines, again, is a different story.  These kids, of course, should re-evaluate the legitimacy of theistic belief proper as they grow and encounter evidence that there is no God.  The real issue for yourself, though, is that for THIS kid (myself), your depository of evidences, though worthy of consideration, is insufficient at this time.  However, whether you are on the way to convincing "most people" is an area I fear to tread.  This being said, in response to your last paragraph, I didn't intend necessarily to use the first two statements as premises and the last a conclusion.  I do intend to make the first two analogous to the third.

For clarity, I think that the last statement could be "Plantinga-fied" and I'd be satisfied:  My theistic belief is warranted, because my belief comes from my cognitive faculties operating in an epistemic environment for which they were created.  Well, of course, such re-statement can bring anything BUT clarity and opens up many more cans of worms.  Nevertheless, it's rational (although perhaps correctable).  And, to avoid any future fallacy of equivocation, this is a kind of rationalism that you don't seem to take into account when you try to "fix" theists within the confines of mere evidentialism.

I may be confused, but it seems as if you are equating one aspect of "rationality" with "socially expedient." That is, it seems you suggest that believing in non-existent entities is not only acceptable, but rational. The form of the entity may be determined by society, which is a function of time and location, but the belief in these socially-accepted myths is rational.

As a survival mechanism, I certainly won't quibble. It's much easier being a Christian in today's US society than it would be to be an atheist, for instance.

Hypothetical question: in a thousand years, will people look back on the Christian God as you look back on Zeus, or unicorns? You said the Greeks believed in Zeus "falsely." Is your belief in the Christian God substantially different from their belief in Zeus?

What is an "epistemic right?" How is it different from a standard-issue liberty? Do you mean simply that the belief is drawn from the socially-accepted ontology -- that it is part of the culture? Or am I misunderstanding?

Finally, what is your epistemology?

Sorry for so many questions all at once. They are all part-and-parcel of a central thought, though, which is one of the foundations of rationality. I'm just seeking a bit of clarity on your own position before I dive in too far.

One thing I should say, though, to give you a clearer picture of my position: I am a logical positivist. To me, rationality can be founded only on a verified and coherent ontology, one that is congruent with observed reality. As I see it, there is only one epistemology that has been 100% successful at building such an ontology -- the scientific method.

From what I understand of the discussion so far, you are basing your rationality on an ontology built from a theistic epistemology, and many of the others here are basing their rationality on the current scientific ontology. I think you touched on the problem in your last paragraph:

"My theistic belief is warranted, because my belief comes from my cognitive faculties operating in an epistemic environment for which they were created.  Well, of course, such re-statement can bring anything BUT clarity and opens up many more cans of worms.  Nevertheless, it's rational . . ."

This leaves me, at least, at a disadvantage, as I don't know your epistemology, nor the salient parts the resulting ontology. This makes your use of the words "rational" and "rationality" ambiguous, and certainly non-congruent with my use of them. So, though I hate to tip over one of those cans of worms you opened up, I think I'm gonna have to, before I can understand your position.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


HisWillness
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nigelTheBold wrote:I may be

nigelTheBold wrote:
I may be confused, but it seems as if you are equating one aspect of "rationality" with "socially expedient."

That's what I meant to say! "Socially expedient" was the exact phrase I was searching for. It was driving me sane.

 

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence