How do atheists explain miracles? [Kill Em With Kindness]

DadaMungo
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How do atheists explain miracles? [Kill Em With Kindness]

The first first thing I probably need to do here is state that I am not picking a fight here. This is a sincere request for atheist thinking on the topic of miracles. I carry no pitchfork nor flaming torch! =) I ask that all responses be framed with the impartiality and courtesy with which I also seek to express myself in this post.

Okay, the second first thing I have to do when posing this question is define what I mean by the word miracle.

Let me start by saying I am not talking about the kind of "miracle" of seeing the "face of Jesus" in a cloud formation (as if anyone would know what He looked like), or seeing an statue of Mary weeping ('thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven images, nor bow down to them'). I think we can safely agree that those accounts contain more wishful thinking and self-delusion than anything else.

So what constitutes a miracle? For the sake of my question, I only need give examples of miracles that I would be interested to read an unbeliever viewpoint on. The examples given below cannot be ruled out by explanations of self-delusion, mass hysteria or so forth.

  1. People are genuinely healed of basically untreatable conditions. For example, blind people being made to see, the lame to walk, broken bones being healed on the spot, and so forth. If it makes it easier, we can discount accounts of remarkable recoveries, e.g. my own father's recovery from cancer surgery was considered by doctors as little short of miraculous, but maybe my father just happened to be eating his greens more than usual.
  2. People speaking in tongues. Let's be clear: I'm not talking about some poor soul babbling away in gibberish which none can understand - that's just sad. I'm talking about people speaking in languages they do not know and have not heard, and speaking fluently, without error, as attested by a crowd of native speakers who are present.
  3. I accept that many unfortunate people hear voices which tell them to do all kinds of crazy stuff, but I think it careless to whitewash all such instances as insanity, delusion or some such. One example of what I would consider a possible candidate, though you may feel to dismiss it as coincidence, would be again my own father being warned (when alone) to tighten his seatbelt while driving, only to be have his car hit from the side by another moments after, and coming out unscathed (and also a little shaken) in what might easily have turned out to be a rather unpleasant ending. Okay, my Dad was alone, so I only have his word, but I for one do no think he was lying.

These will suffice. I cannot think of any rational explanation for these that do not involve some "divine intervention" if you will permit the term, and am wondering if you would like to share your views. For the sake of honesty and sincerity, I have to say that I have not personally experienced any of the above (at least, my personal experience of miracles would not fall into the category of needing a pretty impressive rational explanation), but then I've never been to Australia either - does that mean that place doesn't exist? I think you get my point.

Okay, the floor is yours. And thanks in advance.

PS. I made a search of the site for the term "miracle", to check if this topic has already been addressed, as I am sure it would have been. I didn't find anything quite what I was after, so felt it reasonable to pose the question. If anyone wishes to point me in the direction of any prior discussion on this point, then I'll be obliged.


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A clarification that may

A clarification that may help:

An atheist has no belief in a god or gods. That's all it means. Your question is probably better aimed at "skeptics". (I find the majority of atheists are also skeptics.)

So, from a skeptical point of view:

for item 1: There are thus far no recorded instances of such healings. There are, in fact, far more recorded instances of such healings being simulated for the sake of fooling an audience.

Cancer is odd stuff, being a complex relationship between external influence and internal systemic dysfunction. Science doesn't work in absolutes when discussing systems, because the universe is too complex for that. It sounds like the odds were very much against your father surviving the cancer. In the end, he beat those slim odds. It happens now and again, and needs no additional entities to explain the recovery. (That's Occam's Razor: Do not multiply entities unnecessarily.)

Item 2: As with the first item: There are no records of such an event. There are, however, many records of such an event simulated to fool an audience.

Item 3: I don't think your father was lying, either. It is more likely that his memory of the event was filled in and polished by already established beliefs. Human memory is not reliable, and far less reliable when it comes to traumatic events. The mind "fills in" gaps and inconsistencies with established ideas.

It's not a matter of "proving it does not exist" here. Because such proofs are effectively impossible. What a skeptic looks for instead is evidence enough to bother to accept an idea. Skeptics reject anecdotal evidence for a variety of reasons: People can lie, can misinterpret/misperceive what they see, have "confirmation bias", etc. Skeptics prefer evidence that can be reproduced independently. The problem with "miracles" is that they never come with repeatable results, and typically with only anecdotes to suggest they ever happened.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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Jill pretty much covered

Jill pretty much covered it.

Con artistry, stage magic, the body doing amazing things, coincidence.

All proven and more feasible than God.

 

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As an Atheist I do not

As an Atheist I do not explain miracles.  I do not need to explain miracles; there is no independently verifiable and reproducible evidence that miracles even occur.  The burden of proof for proving miracles even occur rests on those who say they do, not those who do not accept their existence.  The matter of explaining miracles cannot even be addressed until miracles are proved to occur.

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"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Jill covered points 1 and 2

Jill covered points 1 and 2 perfectly.  Bring us actual evidence and proof that these things happened, allow some actual doctors and scientists to study it and then maybe we'll begin to even think about giving any credence to the claims that these things happened.  Until then, they're just fictional stories.

As for 3, what about all those times your father had the thought "tighten your seatbelt" and then ... absolutely nothing what so ever happened?  It's called cherry picking, theists are kings of doing it. 

Get back to us what we request for points 1 and 2, and then we'll continue this conversation.  Until then, I suggest you visit Why Does God Hate Amputees.

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pauljohntheskeptic
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DadaMungo wrote:PS. I made a

DadaMungo wrote:

PS. I made a search of the site for the term "miracle", to check if this topic has already been addressed, as I am sure it would have been. I didn't find anything quite what I was after, so felt it reasonable to pose the question. If anyone wishes to point me in the direction of any prior discussion on this point, then I'll be obliged.

This has been previously discussed in the following thread:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13254

I suggest you check it out.

As my name suggests I am also a skeptic and I have never seen proof of:

1)Sudden healing of bones, blind people, etc. If you have scientific and medical proof of such occurrences please produce otherwise as far as I'm concerned it is nothing but urban legend and rumors.

2)Actually I have researched the topic of glossolalia, speaking in tongues, in the past. It seems that this is a learned technique where the person experiencing the behavior activates the speech organs by turning off cortical control of speech. A connection is established to a sub cortical structure which produces the speech. It is really sub-conscious control and can be triggered by learned code words. In Acts 2:1-40 the Pentecost event has reported glossolalia where the claim is made in verse 6. On the other hand many heard only what they considered to be drunk gibberish as in verse 13. This whole account is suspicious anyway as the Disciples already had received the Holy Spirit supposedly as in John 20:22, "And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." So Either Acts is fiction or John is or both to pretty up the legends.

3)I have a sister that sees ghosts and angels or so she claims. She is also clearly a religious fundamentalist. Her visions thus far have provided no insight or provable occurrences. In other words it has no basis in the world we call reality. Perhaps she has a form of mental illness or delusion. We both grew up in a fundamentalist environment. If I won't believe my own sister why would I accept your father's word by way of your word. We all have our own internal voices that tell us, are you sure there are no cars coming from the right?

 

 

 

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How does an atheist explain

How does an atheist explain a miracle? Well, where does a theist demonstrate one?

The inherent flaw in your question. To explain a phenomena would mean detailing the facts in sequence. But, if this is done, the phenomena excludes itself from the definition of miracle. A miracle is a phenomena not explained, but without an explanation taking a specific position (i.e. that it must be a miracle) is fallacious: an argument from ignorance. So one is either forced to demonstrate the phenomenology in support of a deliberate agency in greater detail (i.e. a deity) to show that mechanisms aren't always necessary and the laws of physics can be suspended on a whim, or just lump it that the e-mail forward from Mable in Human Resources doesn't prove anything.


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thingy wrote:Jill covered

thingy wrote:
Jill covered points 1 and 2 perfectly.  Bring us actual evidence and proof that these things happened, allow some actual doctors and scientists to study it and then maybe we'll begin to even think about giving any credence to the claims that these things happened.  Until then, they're just fictional stories.

As for 3, what about all those times your father had the thought "tighten your seatbelt" and then ... absolutely nothing what so ever happened?  It's called cherry picking, theists are kings of doing it. 

Get back to us what we request for points 1 and 2, and then we'll continue this conversation.  Until then, I suggest you visit Why Does God Hate Amputees.

Ah yeah. I forgot to mention that one: It's also called "confirmation bias", where a person remembers the "hits" and forgets the "misses".

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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Hello Dada and welcome to

Hello Dada and welcome to the RRS forums.

 

Looks like many of our home run hitters have already batted

and I noted all of them went out of the park so I don't have

anything to add except....

 

gee, I hate batting in the number 8 slot.


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when my bone and spinal cord

when my bone and spinal cord regenerates and i start walking again i'll convert.  i'm not holding my breath though...


DadaMungo
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Quote:There are thus far no

Quote:
There are thus far no recorded instances of such healings.

I think this is where the clinching difference between believers and skeptics comes in. Skeptics will demand proofs that can be demonstrated and reproduced in the laboratory. Believers will resist by saying that's a no-can-do because (a) that's not how it works and (b) they were as surprised as anyone to experience what they did - it's not as if they could turn on the miracle like a tap (=faucet). The scriptures teach that 'signs follow them that believe'. I know in skeptics' ears that must sound like a colossal cop-out, but if that is the way it works, then skeptics will never get to reproduce and experiment in the way to which they are accustomed. It seems that a prerequisite is faith, as is more than suggested in many instances in scripture (and elsewhere).

There are recorded instances of such miracles (of all types) occurring, but I suppose that because they lie outside the comfort zone of the skeptic and scientist, then they are dismissed as hearsay, fable or outright lie. I will not contest the fact that there certainly are a legion of charlatans out there preying upon the gullibility of the naive, so finding the needle in the haystack probably requires more patience and diligence than skeptics are willing to commit to something they would consider as pretty silly in the first place. Furthermore, I think it may well be a case of the conclusion having been made and dismissing the evidence that doesn't fit, which is not uncommon, even in the scientific world.

I appreciate your comments about my father's experiences, and accept them as highly plausible. That is why they didn't take the front row of my examples. To be honest, I could classify myself as a skeptical believer (which may be why my report of miracles relies too much on second-hand accounts ), meaning that I look for the more plausible solution before thinking any divine intervention was involved (beyond normal levels, as it were). I don't go around with pixie dust in my eyes, but my mind is open for things which would challenge conventional thinking...

Quote:
I find the majority of atheists are also skeptics

You're going to have to help me on this one. I figured that the one implied the other. Forgive my ignorance, but is it not so? How does a non-skeptic atheist view the world? I had understood (or maybe assumed) that one doesn't arrive at atheism without first being a skeptic.


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DadaMungo wrote:I think this

DadaMungo wrote:
I think this is where the clinching difference between believers and skeptics comes in. Skeptics will demand proofs that can be demonstrated and reproduced in the laboratory. Believers will resist by saying that's a no-can-do because (a) that's not how it works and (b) they were as surprised as anyone to experience what they did - it's not as if they could turn on the miracle like a tap (=faucet). The scriptures teach that 'signs follow them that believe'. I know in skeptics' ears that must sound like a colossal cop-out, but if that is the way it works, then skeptics will never get to reproduce and experiment in the way to which they are accustomed. It seems that a prerequisite is faith, as is more than suggested in many instances in scripture (and elsewhere).

There are recorded instances of such miracles (of all types) occurring, but I suppose that because they lie outside the comfort zone of the skeptic and scientist, then they are dismissed as hearsay, fable or outright lie. I will not contest the fact that there certainly are a legion of charlatans out there preying upon the gullibility of the naive, so finding the needle in the haystack probably requires more patience and diligence than skeptics are willing to commit to something they would consider as pretty silly in the first place. Furthermore, I think it may well be a case of the conclusion having been made and dismissing the evidence that doesn't fit, which is not uncommon, even in the scientific world.

I appreciate your comments about my father's experiences, and accept them as highly plausible. That is why they didn't take the front row of my examples. To be honest, I could classify myself as a skeptical believer (which may be why my report of miracles relies too much on second-hand accounts ), meaning that I look for the more plausible solution before thinking any divine intervention was involved (beyond normal levels, as it were). I don't go around with pixie dust in my eyes, but my mind is open for things which would challenge conventional thinking...

I really dislike it when folks suggest that "evidence" is rejected because it's "outside the comfort zone". It's not evidence because it can't be replicated, in or out of a laboratory, or can more readily be explained without the addition of entities (like divine intervention). Skepticism and especially science requires real evidence to be accepted, and old theories discarded in favor of new ones that fir the new evidence. We follow the evidence, in other words. Most skeptics would like to find real evidence of miracles or psychic phenomena, because it would make the universe even bigger and more interesting than it already is (and as a skeptic, I find the universe all manner of awe-inspiring without having to call on ideas like gods or spirits or psychics).

And that's why faith has no place in science. What you end up with is a precept that you then look for evidence to support. Which means that you end up ignoring evidence that contradicts the precept.

DadaMungo wrote:
You're going to have to help me on this one. I figured that the one implied the other. Forgive my ignorance, but is it not so? How does a non-skeptic atheist view the world? I had understood (or maybe assumed) that one doesn't arrive at atheism without first being a skeptic.
In the nations of the former Soviet Union and other former Soviet style states there are hundreds of thousands of atheists who are not in the least bit skeptical. This is because they were born into a society that did not include religion, so they never were taught about it. (We are all born as atheists, some (most?) are then taught about theism.)

I also know plenty of skeptics who are theists because they do not apply their skepticism to their beliefs.

They really are very different things that happen to have some real correlation.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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Quote:I really dislike it

Quote:
I really dislike it when folks suggest that "evidence" is rejected because it's "outside the comfort zone"

Yep.  Evidence is evidence.  It has objective weight, based on its reliability.  I really dislike it when people reject lack of evidence because they really want their claim to be true.  Think about it like a trial.  In law, we have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an accusation is true, else the presumption is that it's false.

The standard for science is much higher than the standard for law.  That's because it's really important for it to be.  Would you want the people who build space shuttles to just "wing it" when they're doing their calculations on the structural integrity of the hull?  Do you want them to accept a builder's proposal because there's no evidence that it doesn't work?  Or, would you rather their proposal be scrutinized, tested, retested, and assured of reliability before you strap astronauts in?

 

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

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"Miracle" is merely a word

"Miracle" is merely a word used from ingorance to fill the gap when answers are lacking.

But Ocham's Razor takes care of this mental hickup quite easly.

Ocham's Razor, in layman's terms basically stipulates that out of many multiple explinations for a given situation, the least complicated is the most likely answer.

In any given event, something happens or it doesn't happen., vs something happening that cant happen.Human brains mistake rariety for magic. It is the same crap that caused humans to believe that elephantitus to be the work of the devil rather than a rare genetic hickup.

Airplane crashes are a good example of how people, no mater if only one dies or only one survives it is a "Miracle". When does it cease to be a miracle? When 50% live and 50% die?

How about this as an explination? Events happen or they dont and magic is not required to explain them even if we never find the answer for that specific event, because nature is real and our utopian wishes of how we want, or think an event should go, is no concern of nature.

It is rare for someone to be albino, but we don't worship an albino god. It is also rare for someone to die from the same bacteria that Jim Henson(Muppet Creator) died from but we don't blame satan for his death anymore than we would Thor.

"Miracle" is a word humans use because they want magic to exist when the reality is that it is merely luck.

If birth is a "miracle" then all the sperm who don't impregnate the egg must be as well. Otherwise the rational answer is that life is a crap shoot and what we think is magic is mere luck.

 

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I repeat, there is no

I repeat, there is no logically valid way to call something a miracle based on a lack of explanation. To say that something is a miracle under the circumstances provided, is merely to say that it's not currently explained. Under such criteria, at various points in time, fire, lightning, wind, gravity, mildew, scabs, hair growth, and alcoholism could all be considered miracles. That something is unexplained is NOT AN ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATION that leads wherever you want it to go.

If there were such a thing as a real miracle, it would be unsupportable because it would represent a suspension of the very avenues by which it would be investigated. You can't build a model of arbitrariness and anomalies, and because of that vagary superimpose an imagined will. And that's assuming you have phenomenology worth considering, rather than a bunch of vague and unsubstantiated generalities and anecdotes.


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Quote:rather than a bunch of

Quote:
rather than a bunch of vague and unsubstantiated generalities and anecdotes

EXACTLY!

Reality happens and the difference between the wishfull thinker and the realist is that when answers are lacking the realist, who may be as happy about the outcome of a given event, doesn't atribute the outcome to myth and defaults to the fact it happened.

 

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Moving on....

JillSwift wrote:
I really dislike it when folks suggest that "evidence" is rejected because it's "outside the comfort zone".

Sorry, but this does happen. Even scientists are guilty of it. To borrow from Anthony Flew's book There is a God (p. 86) "Since we cannot accept a transcendent source of life, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance from matter". Now, I don't know if this is a quote from someone, or an example of the skeptical thinking, but I at least accept that Flew is not building a straw man, i.e. this kind of thinking does exist even amongst the most lofty intellectual circles.

I'm sorry, but to maintain that this doesn't happen I find somewhat naive. Many have criticised Dawkin's work The God Delusion for just that problem: his blatant disregard or dismissal of evidence that counters his arguments.

Anthony Flew also has a few things to say about neo-atheism, labeling it as a weak versions of logical positivism, being the idea (as I understand it) that only things which can be demonstrated scientifically have meaning. Yet this idea has long been abandoned, and is untenable as a philosophy, since there is no way to determine that everything that exists can be demonstrated scientifically. So, to demand that "miracles" have to be subject to scientific control is perhaps not adequate.

I've since checked out the other thread that was suggested (thanks for that, pauljohntheskeptic!), and that got me to thinking about the relative nature of miracles, and perhaps why they seem so infrequent nowadays. With today's astounding advances in medicine, technology and science, it seems to us that almost nothing is beyond our grasp, either in terms of concept or actualisation. To our distant ancestors, the world we live in today would seem like one big miracle, whereas for us, things seem very commonplace. So there is indeed an element of perspective in a miracle. What would pass as simply mind-blowing just 100 years ago is for us everyday humdrum.

Even today doctors with their crash-carts are able to raise the , at least if the haven't been for too long. (As a side note, that's why the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the was considered such a miracle - the Jews believed the spirit ed by the deceased for three days before passing on. Jesus raised Lazarus on the fourth day.)

So in a way, our life is replete with miracles, though we hardly consider them as such. If there is a God, then what would it take to impress Him? Certainly, miracles are only such in the eyes of the beholder, and they have to challenge the limits of credulity for the beholder.

Okay, so now I'm moving on in my thinking. Miracles for the sake of miracles, then, seem rather flat. Yet, if there are some genuine miracles out there (as I'm satisfied there are), then they would indicate that there are laws that exist that are not understood or accepted by the scientific world. But this is exactly how the classic developments in renaissance thinking came about: by challenging conventional thought and daring to think outside the box. The Copernican "heresy" springs readily to mind. Einstein's theory of relativity. Quantum physics. Each of these challenged the thinking norms of their time, albeit with less and less resistance from the religious elite. Is it simply because miracles are the province of the theist that they are treated with skepticism? Would it not be worth seeking not to disprove, but to harness and reproduce? I accept that they may not work along purely scientific lines, but that is not a justification for skepticism (see comment on logical positivism above). On these forums, in many instances the atheist contributors express their joy in the wonder of the world and science and understanding, and rightly so, but I don't believe that warrants skepticism which closes the door on that which is not yet understood.

When we read that Jesus raised Lazarus from the , should we simply say it's a lie because that kind of thing just doesn't happen? Or should we rather keep the door open and accept that maybe, just maybe, there's something going on there that we just don't understand....yet.

I'm inclined to think that for many of you the heap of that comes with religion makes the though of finding the 'pearl of great price' not worth getting one's hands dirty....


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DadaMungo wrote:JillSwift

DadaMungo wrote:

JillSwift wrote:
I really dislike it when folks suggest that "evidence" is rejected because it's "outside the comfort zone".

Sorry, but this does happen. Even scientists are guilty of it. To borrow from Anthony Flew's book There is a God (p. 86) "Since we cannot accept a transcendent source of life, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance from matter". Now, I don't know if this is a quote from someone, or an example of the skeptical thinking, but I at least accept that Flew is not building a straw man, i.e. this kind of thinking does exist even amongst the most lofty intellectual circles.

Ah, Anthony Flew, the "most important atheist" that no one's ever heard of. Did you know he's so senile he can't even remember significant people cited in "his own" book? Or maybe it's just that it was ghost written.

But scientists actually do have reproduced self-replicating molecules, the basis for theories of abiogenesis. Now then, how would your hypothesis be demonstrated, if there's a mysterious deliberate agency that "just did it" somehow?

DadaMungo wrote:

I'm sorry, but to maintain that this doesn't happen I find somewhat naive. Many have criticised Dawkin's work The God Delusion for just that problem: his blatant disregard or dismissal of evidence that counters his arguments.

Anthony Flew also has a few things to say about neo-atheism, labeling it as a weak versions of logical positivism, being the idea (as I understand it) that only things which can be demonstrated scientifically have meaning. Yet this idea has long been abandoned, and is untenable as a philosophy, since there is no way to determine that everything that exists can be demonstrated scientifically. So, to demand that "miracles" have to be subject to scientific control is perhaps not adequate.

It doesn't have to be scientifically demonstrable, just logically coherent, which much of what you assume to be self-evident is not. And there is no "neo-atheism."

[TL;DR!!!!!!!!!!]

You write so much and say so little, it's infuriating.


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 Your comments about

 Your comments about crash-carts being equivalent to raising Lazarus from the dead is ad hoc gibberish and a false analogy. It doesn't matter if real thing could be likened to fake thing, because the fake thing has nothing to look at. How do you not see this!!!???


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magilum wrote:It doesn't

magilum wrote:
It doesn't matter if real thing could be likened to fake thing

But on what grounds do you determine what is real and what is fake? You have missed my point completely.


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DadaMungo wrote:JillSwift

DadaMungo wrote:

JillSwift wrote:
I really dislike it when folks suggest that "evidence" is rejected because it's "outside the comfort zone".

Sorry, but this does happen. Even scientists are guilty of it. To borrow from Anthony Flew's book There is a God (p. 86) "Since we cannot accept a transcendent source of life, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance from matter". Now, I don't know if this is a quote from someone, or an example of the skeptical thinking, but I at least accept that Flew is not building a straw man, i.e. this kind of thinking does exist even amongst the most lofty intellectual circles.

I'm sorry, but to maintain that this doesn't happen I find somewhat naive. Many have criticised Dawkin's work The God Delusion for just that problem: his blatant disregard or dismissal of evidence that counters his arguments.

Anthony Flew also has a few things to say about neo-atheism, labeling it as a weak versions of logical positivism, being the idea (as I understand it) that only things which can be demonstrated scientifically have meaning. Yet this idea has long been abandoned, and is untenable as a philosophy, since there is no way to determine that everything that exists can be demonstrated scientifically. So, to demand that "miracles" have to be subject to scientific control is perhaps not adequate.

I've since checked out the other thread that was suggested (thanks for that, pauljohntheskeptic!), and that got me to thinking about the relative nature of miracles, and perhaps why they seem so infrequent nowadays. With today's astounding advances in medicine, technology and science, it seems to us that almost nothing is beyond our grasp, either in terms of concept or actualisation. To our distant ancestors, the world we live in today would seem like one big miracle, whereas for us, things seem very commonplace. So there is indeed an element of perspective in a miracle. What would pass as simply mind-blowing just 100 years ago is for us everyday humdrum.

Even today doctors with their crash-carts are able to raise the , at least if the haven't been for too long. (As a side note, that's why the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the was considered such a miracle - the Jews believed the spirit ed by the deceased for three days before passing on. Jesus raised Lazarus on the fourth day.)

So in a way, our life is replete with miracles, though we hardly consider them as such. If there is a God, then what would it take to impress Him? Certainly, miracles are only such in the eyes of the beholder, and they have to challenge the limits of credulity for the beholder.

Okay, so now I'm moving on in my thinking. Miracles for the sake of miracles, then, seem rather flat. Yet, if there are some genuine miracles out there (as I'm satisfied there are), then they would indicate that there are laws that exist that are not understood or accepted by the scientific world. But this is exactly how the classic developments in renaissance thinking came about: by challenging conventional thought and daring to think outside the box. The Copernican "heresy" springs readily to mind. Einstein's theory of relativity. Quantum physics. Each of these challenged the thinking norms of their time, albeit with less and less resistance from the religious elite. Is it simply because miracles are the province of the theist that they are treated with skepticism? Would it not be worth seeking not to disprove, but to harness and reproduce? I accept that they may not work along purely scientific lines, but that is not a justification for skepticism (see comment on logical positivism above). On these forums, in many instances the atheist contributors express their joy in the wonder of the world and science and understanding, and rightly so, but I don't believe that warrants skepticism which closes the door on that which is not yet understood.

When we read that Jesus raised Lazarus from the , should we simply say it's a lie because that kind of thing just doesn't happen? Or should we rather keep the door open and accept that maybe, just maybe, there's something going on there that we just don't understand....yet.

I'm inclined to think that for many of you the heap of that comes with religion makes the though of finding the 'pearl of great price' not worth getting one's hands dirty....

Quote:
When we read that Jesus raised Lazarus from the , should we simply say it's a lie because that kind of thing just doesn't happen? Or should we rather keep the door open and accept that maybe, just maybe, there's something going on there that we just don't understand....yet.

Which makes more sense to you?

Isis reanimated the penis of of Osirus to copulate to create Horis?

OR

Someone made up that story?

DEATH is final, otherwise we would not be dead. The other option to this story you pull out of a self serving circlar cheerleading club manual...is that the people who wrote it liked the idea of defying death and popularized the myth through effective marketing.

There certainly are times in when humans think something shouldn't happen but it does. There are also times when humans write things down that are not true in order to sell an idea.

We could confirm your claim right now, by you getting on CNN and taking a shotgun to your own head and pulling the trigger. I SINCERELY HOPE YOU DON'T!

It never occurs to you that the story you buy, is just that, a story. Much like Superman swooping down to save Lois Lane. Just because someone utters a claim doesn't make it true. Popularity of myth and its longevity of being sold doesn't make it true. It merely means the people who bought it were good at marketing it.

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magilum wrote:logically

magilum wrote:
logically coherent, which much of what you assume to be self-evident is not

Care to elaborate?

BTW, what does [TL;DR!!!!!!!!!!] mean?


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DadaMungo wrote:Sorry, but

DadaMungo wrote:
Sorry, but this does happen. Even scientists are guilty of it. To borrow from Anthony Flew's book There is a God (p. 86) "Since we cannot accept a transcendent source of life, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance from matter". Now, I don't know if this is a quote from someone, or an example of the skeptical thinking, but I at least accept that Flew is not building a straw man, i.e. this kind of thinking does exist even amongst the most lofty intellectual circles.

I'm sorry, but to maintain that this doesn't happen I find somewhat naive. Many have criticised Dawkin's work The God Delusion for just that problem: his blatant disregard or dismissal of evidence that counters his arguments.

No one claims otherwise. However, science has a built-in method for avoiding that trap called "peer review". Just because one group of scientists are rejecting evidence because it upsets thier theories in no way prevents other scientists from making proper use of that evidence. So, yes, Flew's assertion is indeed a straw man, and a red herring. No one rejects a transcendent source of life, there's just no evidence for one. No one "believes the impossible" because we're still hunting for evidence for biogenesis, and it's also not in the least bit impossible for abiogenesis to be true.

And those critics of Dawkins' are free to present the evidence they have - though from what I've seen it's not evidence, it's assertion and faith and circular logic.

DadaMungo wrote:
Anthony Flew also has a few things to say about neo-atheism, labeling it as a weak versions of logical positivism, being the idea (as I understand it) that only things which can be demonstrated scientifically have meaning. Yet this idea has long been abandoned, and is untenable as a philosophy, since there is no way to determine that everything that exists can be demonstrated scientifically. So, to demand that "miracles" have to be subject to scientific control is perhaps not adequate.
Only those things that can be demonstrated scientifically have immediate value. Meaning can be granted to anything at any time without regard to its existence.

Science and skepticism don't claim that all things can be measured or demonstrated by the rigors of the scientific method. There was in fact a large cry of "Oh crap!" when it was proven that not everything can be proven.

But then, the point isn't to prove things or disprove things, but to gather information, and carefully peel back misconception and eliminate false data to improve our understanding of the universe. To do that successfully, one starts from the assumption that something does not exist until there is evidence for its existence. But it's kept well in mind that it is an assumption.

DadaMungo wrote:
<trim>

Okay, so now I'm moving on in my thinking. Miracles for the sake of miracles, then, seem rather flat. Yet, if there are some genuine miracles out there (as I'm satisfied there are), then they would indicate that there are laws that exist that are not understood or accepted by the scientific world. But this is exactly how the classic developments in renaissance thinking came about: by challenging conventional thought and daring to think outside the box. The Copernican "heresy" springs readily to mind. Einstein's theory of relativity. Quantum physics. Each of these challenged the thinking norms of their time, albeit with less and less resistance from the religious elite. Is it simply because miracles are the province of the theist that they are treated with skepticism? Would it not be worth seeking not to disprove, but to harness and reproduce? I accept that they may not work along purely scientific lines, but that is not a justification for skepticism (see comment on logical positivism above). On these forums, in many instances the atheist contributors express their joy in the wonder of the world and science and understanding, and rightly so, but I don't believe that warrants skepticism which closes the door on that which is not yet understood.

No, sorry, that's not quite the case. It's not radical thinking - though such things are often labeled as radical thinking, what it is in fact is the evidence led them to new conclusions. See, this is what I was talking about earlier. Science has this built-in defense against dogma. Those "radical ideas" became part of mainstream science on the merit of the evidence.

DadaMungo wrote:
When we read that Jesus raised Lazarus from the , should we simply say it's a lie because that kind of thing just doesn't happen? Or should we rather keep the door open and accept that maybe, just maybe, there's something going on there that we just don't understand....yet.
And this is where one can illustrate the real difference between a believer and a skeptic. The skeptic doens't reject the idea, she just fails to accept it for lack of evidence. (It's a very fine but important difference.) The beliver accepts the idea because it might be true and it has positive emotions associated with it.

DadaMungo wrote:
I'm inclined to think that for many of you the heap of that comes with religion makes the though of finding the 'pearl of great price' not worth getting one's hands dirty....
Wow, now that's hubris!

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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DadaMungo wrote:magilum

DadaMungo wrote:

magilum wrote:
It doesn't matter if real thing could be likened to fake thing

But on what grounds do you determine what is real and what is fake? You have missed my point completely.

What's real tends to have evidence.


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Brian37 wrote:It never

Brian37 wrote:
It never occurs to you that the story you buy, is just that, a story.

Not so. I like to give myself some credit that I don't believe just any old thing. No doubt you will feel inclined to disagree.

Yet, all I get in response are simply varying degrees of skepticism. Is it simply a question of how much we're willing to accept, with you guys some way further towards the skeptical end of the spectrum? It's all too easy to play the skeptic and find holes in another's thinking.


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DadaMungo wrote:magilum

DadaMungo wrote:

magilum wrote:
logically coherent, which much of what you assume to be self-evident is not

Care to elaborate?

BTW, what does [TL;DR!!!!!!!!!!] mean?

It means you write about 70% more than you need to.


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So did anyone else notice

So did anyone else notice that his massively long post essentially boiled down to admitting that all miracles are nothing more than God of the Gap Arguments? You know 'What is a miracle is all relative!' and other such gems. Yeah, I thought that was nice.

Furthermore, I love that Flew quote. "Since we cannot accept a transcendent source of life, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance from matter". Funny thing, isn't this "what biblical literalists actually believe, you know God mad man out of dirt and eve out of a dirty rib?"(*1). Go back to school and learn your F***g Science before you try to criticize it, and pray that DeludedGod doesn't see you(*2).

Abiogenesis does not state that life popped out of matter in the sense you are obviously implying, but that life gradually began as a string or self-replicating molecules. Look up the YouTube user Potholer54 and watch his made easy series if you want a heavily abridged version of this theory in easy to digest lecture format. Hopefully you'll get something from it.

As for all of those brilliant miracles in the bible, prove they happened, with extra-biblical evidence, then prove that miracles continue to happen to this day, and I'll take another look at it.

1: Thunderf00t of Youtube, one of his "Why do people Laugh at Creationists" videos, I forget which one, theres only like 25 of them.
2: I realize the irony of this statement.
 

When you say it like that you make it sound so Sinister...


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DadaMungo wrote:I've since

DadaMungo wrote:

I've since checked out the other thread that was suggested (thanks for that, pauljohntheskeptic!), and that got me to thinking about the relative nature of miracles, and perhaps why they seem so infrequent nowadays. With today's astounding advances in medicine, technology and science, it seems to us that almost nothing is beyond our grasp, either in terms of concept or actualisation. To our distant ancestors, the world we live in today would seem like one big miracle, whereas for us, things seem very commonplace. So there is indeed an element of perspective in a miracle. What would pass as simply mind-blowing just 100 years ago is for us everyday humdrum.

You are at a point here where you see something that is really meaningful, today's technology shows that what was considered a miracle isn't. 2000 years ago those who wrote the Bible and developed the basis for what you accept were ignorant of many things. It is quite apparent in the text of the Bible if you choose to consider it. Knowledge has made all the difference.

DadaMungo wrote:

Even today doctors with their crash-carts are able to raise the , at least if the haven't been for too long. (As a side note, that's why the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the was considered such a miracle - the Jews believed the spirit ed by the deceased for three days before passing on. Jesus raised Lazarus on the fourth day.)

Is there some reason you can't use the word dead?

DadaMungo wrote:

Okay, so now I'm moving on in my thinking. Miracles for the sake of miracles, then, seem rather flat. Yet, if there are some genuine miracles out there (as I'm satisfied there are), then they would indicate that there are laws that exist that are not understood or accepted by the scientific world.

If there are laws we don't quite understand or haven't yet found and they explain how a supposed miracle happens then it's not a miracle anymore is it. Clearly we haven't learned all there is to know of our Universe yet, so there are likely new theories and laws yet to come.

DadaMungo wrote:

Is it simply because miracles are the province of the theist that they are treated with skepticism? Would it not be worth seeking not to disprove, but to harness and reproduce? I accept that they may not work along purely scientific lines, but that is not a justification for skepticism (see comment on logical positivism above).

No, non-religious ideas are treated in the same way. Skepticism of any claim that goes into an area that defies known science and understanding is necessary in order to validate and understand that which is claimed. Technology has developed by the way of proving concepts and ideas. As a R & D engineer I developed new ideas by first design and calculating how a new circuit should work, then I built and tested the design. In so doing I will find either it does what I wanted or I find areas where I made errors in my assumptions. In the case of supposed miracles they are untested designs and must be proved. So far I know of no miracles as you described that are genuine done by a mysterious unknown invisible being.

DadaMungo wrote:

On these forums, in many instances the atheist contributors express their joy in the wonder of the world and science and understanding, and rightly so, but I don't believe that warrants skepticism which closes the door on that which is not yet understood.

It is skepticism that enables the development of knowledge and opens the door to understanding. It is how new technology and methods are in fact discovered.

DadaMungo wrote:

When we read that Jesus raised Lazarus from the , should we simply say it's a lie because that kind of thing just doesn't happen? Or should we rather keep the door open and accept that maybe, just maybe, there's something going on there that we just don't understand....yet.

You really need to consider the entire source and environment of such a claim as raising the dead. Until recently when technology enabled the saving of lives of those who would be technically dead there has been no real proof of it really occurring. There are many problems in accepting this story as a possibility which goes beyond the intent of this thread. This story is from the Gospels which are not necessarily based in reality but are very likely fiction. It has insufficient proof especially as it comes out of a time period so long ago when real knowledge of science was lacking.

DadaMungo wrote:

I'm inclined to think that for many of you the heap of that comes with religion makes the though of finding the 'pearl of great price' not worth getting one's hands dirty....

Many of us are former Christians and have extensive knowledge of theology and religion. In fact this very knowledge has contributed to my views and understanding. Perhaps in trying to understand we have far more dirty hands in researching then most believers.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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DadaMungo wrote:Brian37

DadaMungo wrote:

Brian37 wrote:
It never occurs to you that the story you buy, is just that, a story.

Not so. I like to give myself some credit that I don't believe just any old thing. No doubt you will feel inclined to disagree.

Yet, all I get in response are simply varying degrees of skepticism. Is it simply a question of how much we're willing to accept, with you guys some way further towards the skeptical end of the spectrum? It's all too easy to play the skeptic and find holes in another's thinking.

In this discussion, there is only the task of finding "holes in your thinking," because there's nothing else to look at. In the case of simple phenomenology, like observing gravity, one doesn't have to argue gravity into being. It is observable, repeatable, obvious, self-evident -- evident at all! Yours is somewhere along the lines of the ontological argument, as though your being able to vaguely describe an idea was some substantiation of it.


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For clarification, i hold a

For clarification, i hold a different definition of "Miracle" then most.

I consider it nothing more then a highly improbable event... such as surviving a 180mph car crash, not impossible, but just exceedingly unlikely.

 

DadaMungo wrote:

People are genuinely healed of basically untreatable conditions. For example, blind people being made to see, the lame to walk, broken bones being healed on the spot, and so forth. If it makes it easier, we can discount accounts of remarkable recoveries, e.g. my own father's recovery from cancer surgery was considered by doctors as little short of miraculous, but maybe my father just happened to be eating his greens more than usual.

"Untreatable"... would be regrowing limbs... everything you mentioned can be cured by mere medieval medicine under the right circumstances. (Which is pretty pathetic  )

 

 

DadaMungo wrote:

People speaking in tongues. Let's be clear: I'm not talking about some poor soul babbling away in gibberish which none can understand - that's just sad. I'm talking about people speaking in languages they do not know and have not heard, and speaking fluently, without error, as attested by a crowd of native speakers who are present

Ever fall asleep in front of the tv, and have an entire baseball game sear'ed into your brain in vivid detail?... and, you know, lie'ing works to >.> mob thought... etc

 

DadaMungo wrote:

I accept that many unfortunate people hear voices which tell them to do all kinds of crazy stuff, but I think it careless to whitewash all such instances as insanity, delusion or some such. One example of what I would consider a possible candidate, though you may feel to dismiss it as coincidence, would be again my own father being warned (when alone) to tighten his seatbelt while driving, only to be have his car hit from the side by another moments after, and coming out unscathed (and also a little shaken) in what might easily have turned out to be a rather unpleasant ending. Okay, my Dad was alone, so I only have his word, but I for one do no think he was lying.

Not gonna bother, hardly a miracle, just brain processing (not exactly an easy rebuttle to add considering the huge scope it would involve)

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Miracle ??? WTF isn't a

Miracle ??? WTF isn't a miracle? Explain dirt in precise detail. Religious people make me laugh and then pissed .... atheist jesus had some angry words for the religious f...s.


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|You might want to check out

|You might want to check out the history of the now debunked "Flew" book. Flew was in a degenerative mental state, and never reviewed the book that was written under his name but not by him. Disingenuous people used an ill man's name to further their agenda.

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All claims of omni-deities

All claims of omni-deities that are popular today were started in feudal tribalistic times. Now that scientific method is showing the lies that these claims are, rather than do the intelectually honest thing and give up a debuked claim, people try to retrofit modern culture and science to lagitimize a fairy tale.

The only thing I can give modern theists credit for is their creativeness in trying to dress and redress the skunk in a differnt tux.

Yawhey is not real because Jews basterdise science and call it Kabballah. Muslims can't prove the existance of allah by claiming muhammed knew about plate techtonics because the Koran talks about "mountains moving".

You believe in lies purely for emotional reasons and have fooled yourself into thinking that without realizing it. You cannot fool us. Now that you realize that magic is an untenable position, you backpeddle and try to change the meaning of what ancient people wrote because YOU KNOW IT IS A LIE, BUT DONT WANT TO ADMIT IT!

"Of course Adam didn't come from dirt, that is not what the bible says"

BULL....! Up untill modern science said, "that is a lie", people wrote it and believed it as being magic and of the super natural, and for you to lie and attempt to make it natural sounding is a stupid and disingenious and certainly untenable tactic.

Instead of doing the intelectually honest thing and say, "Your right", you take elaborate phycobabble and psudo science to prop up a magical myth and a LIE. A lie is a lie is a lie, no matter how much you try to re dress it or how you try to mask it in nature.

You have been suckered by intellegent appollogists, nothing more.

Omni-gods are a product of human emagination, your is, and so is everyone elses. The only reason you buy this elaborate tripe is because the idea of having a super hero is appealing to you. I only hope for your intelectual sake you wake up some day and realize it.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Brian37 wrote:All claims of

Brian37 wrote:

All claims of omni-deities that are popular today were started in feudal tribalistic times. Now that scientific method is showing the lies that these claims are, rather than do the intelectually honest thing and give up a debuked claim, people try to retrofit modern culture and science to lagitimize a fairy tale.

The only thing I can give modern theists credit for is their creativeness in trying to dress and redress the skunk in a differnt tux.

Yawhey is not real because Jews basterdise science and call it Kabballah. Muslims can't prove the existance of allah by claiming muhammed knew about plate techtonics because the Koran talks about "mountains moving".

And embrace intellectual arrogance instead?  Our forebears realized that the world is a very complex place, they arrived at this conclusion using the same three pound piece of meat behind their eyes that you and I use.  We are not retrofitting our beliefs, but are observing the way which our belief meshes with what we know.  Aquinas (it may have been St Jerome, I'm working from a faulty memory here) summed up the Christian viewpoint best by commenting that in those areas where Scripture and science conflict, there is something wrong with our understanding of the Scriptures.

Quote:
You believe in lies purely for emotional reasons and have fooled yourself into thinking that without realizing it. You cannot fool us. Now that you realize that magic is an untenable position, you backpeddle and try to change the meaning of what ancient people wrote because YOU KNOW IT IS A LIE, BUT DONT WANT TO ADMIT IT!

As much as you would like to believe otherwise, everything we do is inluenced by emotion.  We are not purley rational creatures; emotion plays a big part in who we are and what we do.  It is instriking the right balance between emtion and reason that mankind reaches its greatest heights. 

Quote:

"Of course Adam didn't come from dirt, that is not what the bible says"

BULLSHIT! Up untill modern science said, "that is a lie", people wrote it and believed it as being magic and of the super natural, and for you to lie and attempt to make it natural sounding is a stupid and disingenious and certainly untenable tactic.

Instead of doing the intelectually honest thing and say, "Your right", you take elaborate phycobabble and psudo science to prop up a magical myth and a LIE. A lie is a lie is a lie, no matter how much you try to re dress it or how you try to mask it in nature.

We're damned if we do and damned if we don't then.  Craetionists are wrong when they interpret the Bible literally, and when other Christians accept the science and agree with you, you suddenly become a biblical lteralist.  Make up your mind.

You're right, Brian! There, I said it.  The universe is about 15 billion years old.  Evolution is a fact. 

Quote:
Omni-gods are a product of human emagination, your is, and so is everyone elses. The only reason you buy this elaborate tripe is because the idea of having a super hero is appealing to you. I only hope for your intelectual sake you wake up some day and realize it.

Here's where the other shoe drops.

Omni-gods are the product of the human realization that mankind is somehow different from the rest of nature, not just qualitativey, but quantitatively; that somehow man is "of this world, not in it."  The only reason I buy this "tripe" is because the idea of the individual worth of each human being is somehow appealing to me.  I only hope for your intellectual, emotional, and spiritual sake you wake up some day and realize it.

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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totus_tuus wrote:Brian37

totus_tuus wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

All claims of omni-deities that are popular today were started in feudal tribalistic times. Now that scientific method is showing the lies that these claims are, rather than do the intelectually honest thing and give up a debuked claim, people try to retrofit modern culture and science to lagitimize a fairy tale.

The only thing I can give modern theists credit for is their creativeness in trying to dress and redress the skunk in a differnt tux.

Yawhey is not real because Jews basterdise science and call it Kabballah. Muslims can't prove the existance of allah by claiming muhammed knew about plate techtonics because the Koran talks about "mountains moving".

And embrace intellectual arrogance instead?  Our forebears realized that the world is a very complex place, they arrived at this conclusion using the same three pound piece of meat behind their eyes that you and I use.  We are not retrofitting our beliefs, but are observing the way which our belief meshes with what we know.  Aquinas (it may have been St Jerome, I'm working from a faulty memory here) summed up the Christian viewpoint best by commenting that in those areas where Scripture and science conflict, there is something wrong with our understanding of the Scriptures.

Quote:
You believe in lies purely for emotional reasons and have fooled yourself into thinking that without realizing it. You cannot fool us. Now that you realize that magic is an untenable position, you backpeddle and try to change the meaning of what ancient people wrote because YOU KNOW IT IS A LIE, BUT DONT WANT TO ADMIT IT!

As much as you would like to believe otherwise, everything we do is inluenced by emotion.  We are not purley rational creatures; emotion plays a big part in who we are and what we do.  It is instriking the right balance between emtion and reason that mankind reaches its greatest heights. 

Quote:

"Of course Adam didn't come from dirt, that is not what the bible says"

BULLSHIT! Up untill modern science said, "that is a lie", people wrote it and believed it as being magic and of the super natural, and for you to lie and attempt to make it natural sounding is a stupid and disingenious and certainly untenable tactic.

Instead of doing the intelectually honest thing and say, "Your right", you take elaborate phycobabble and psudo science to prop up a magical myth and a LIE. A lie is a lie is a lie, no matter how much you try to re dress it or how you try to mask it in nature.

We're damned if we do and damned if we don't then.  Craetionists are wrong when they interpret the Bible literally, and when other Christians accept the science and agree with you, you suddenly become a biblical lteralist.  Make up your mind.

You're right, Brian! There, I said it.  The universe is about 15 billion years old.  Evolution is a fact. 

Quote:
Omni-gods are a product of human emagination, your is, and so is everyone elses. The only reason you buy this elaborate tripe is because the idea of having a super hero is appealing to you. I only hope for your intelectual sake you wake up some day and realize it.

Here's where the other shoe drops.

Omni-gods are the product of the human realization that mankind is somehow different from the rest of nature, not just qualitativey, but quantitatively; that somehow man is "of this world, not in it."  The only reason I buy this "tripe" is because the idea of the individual worth of each human being is somehow appealing to me.  I only hope for your intellectual, emotional, and spiritual sake you wake up some day and realize it.

 

1. Non- (or pseudo-) intellectual arrogance is more embraceable?

2. There is nothing wrong with letting one's emotions rule one's behavior. When one's emotions override acceptable behavior/mental capacities, most call it a lack of impulse control. Some christians call it religious zeal.

3. It's funny how some can accept that God did not make man from the dust of the ground as the Bible said and accept the sceintific view as correct. Then those same people accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ as incontrovertible fact without having any science behind it and it doesn't bother them. Why is that?

4. If Omni-gods are the product of human realizations - why worship them?

"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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jcgadfly wrote:1. Non- (or

jcgadfly wrote:
1. Non- (or pseudo-) intellectual arrogance is more embraceable?

Not at all.  Again, and like the rationality vs emtion issue, it's about balance.  Our predecessors produced many valuable ideas which are still relevant today.  Just because one held mistakedn ideas abotu certain aspects of reality is no reason to condemn all his thinking to the ash heap.

Quote:
2. There is nothing wrong with letting one's emotions rule one's behavior. When one's emotions override acceptable behavior/mental capacities, most call it a lack of impulse control. Some christians call it religious zeal.

I would qualify your statement to say that there is nothig wrong with letting emotion play a role in guiding one's behavior; there is a problem in allowing emotions to rule one's behavior.  Othe than that, we are in 100% agreement on this point.

Quote:
3. It's funny how some can accept that God did not make man from the dust of the ground as the Bible said and accept the sceintific view as correct. Then those same people accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ as incontrovertible fact without having any science behind it and it doesn't bother them. Why is that?

The short answer is that reliable witnesses did not record the Creation.  Science tells me how Man recieved his physical form.  Theology tells me where Man recieved his reason and dignity.  Witnesses recorded in the Gospels the events surrounding the Ressurection.   They are contemporary accounts of the life of Christ.  We disagree vehemently here, I know.  My case for the hsitoricity of the Gospels has been outlined in threads in either "Biblical Errancy" or "The Jesus Mythicist Campaign" forums.  I have nothing to add on that score.

Quote:
4. If Omni-gods are the product of human realizations - why worship them?

The answer lies in the difference between "imagined" and "realized".  Imagination lies in the fabrication of ideas in the mind alone.  Realization lies in the discovery of truth that exists outside of the mind and hence exists in actuality.  Man's realization that he is so different led him to see that there must be something greater to which we are called.  That "greater-ness", if we are called to it, must have a source and an actualization who calls us to it.  That is God.

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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totus_tuus wrote:The answer

totus_tuus wrote:

The answer lies in the difference between "imagined" and "realized".  Imagination lies in the fabrication of ideas in the mind alone.  Realization lies in the discovery of truth that exists outside of the mind and hence exists in actuality.  Man's realization that he is so different led him to see that there must be something greater to which we are called.  That "greater-ness", if we are called to it, must have a source and an actualization who calls us to it.  That is God.

Like how man realizes there are bunny rabbits and vacuum cleaners nestled among the clouds. Or how there's a face on the moon, or on a grilled cheese sandwich. Surely every instance of pattern recognition must refer not only to a familiar concept, but an actual thing. So why not go hog wild?


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totus_tuus wrote:jcgadfly

totus_tuus wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
1. Non- (or pseudo-) intellectual arrogance is more embraceable?

Not at all.  Again, and like the rationality vs emtion issue, it's about balance.  Our predecessors produced many valuable ideas which are still relevant today.  Just because one held mistakedn ideas abotu certain aspects of reality is no reason to condemn all his thinking to the ash heap.

Quote:
2. There is nothing wrong with letting one's emotions rule one's behavior. When one's emotions override acceptable behavior/mental capacities, most call it a lack of impulse control. Some christians call it religious zeal.

I would qualify your statement to say that there is nothig wrong with letting emotion play a role in guiding one's behavior; there is a problem in allowing emotions to rule one's behavior.  Othe than that, we are in 100% agreement on this point.

Quote:
3. It's funny how some can accept that God did not make man from the dust of the ground as the Bible said and accept the sceintific view as correct. Then those same people accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ as incontrovertible fact without having any science behind it and it doesn't bother them. Why is that?

The short answer is that reliable witnesses did not record the Creation.  Science tells me how Man recieved his physical form.  Theology tells me where Man recieved his reason and dignity.  Witnesses recorded in the Gospels the events surrounding the Ressurection.   They are contemporary accounts of the life of Christ.  We disagree vehemently here, I know.  My case for the hsitoricity of the Gospels has been outlined in threads in either "Biblical Errancy" or "The Jesus Mythicist Campaign" forums.  I have nothing to add on that score.

Quote:
4. If Omni-gods are the product of human realizations - why worship them?

The answer lies in the difference between "imagined" and "realized".  Imagination lies in the fabrication of ideas in the mind alone.  Realization lies in the discovery of truth that exists outside of the mind and hence exists in actuality.  Man's realization that he is so different led him to see that there must be something greater to which we are called.  That "greater-ness", if we are called to it, must have a source and an actualization who calls us to it.  That is God.

 

First, thanks TT. I had meant to use the word "influence" instead of "rule". Thank you for seeing what I was trying to say.

However, I think you've done more for my case that the gods are of human imagining than you have for their existence. It looks like you're saying that man realized he's so different that he had to create a god to represent the things beyond himself that he didn't yet understand..

As the only reference you have is the Bible that was conceived and written by humans and the Church teachings that were conceived and written by other humans, you haven't done much to convince me that the God of the Bible is not a human construct.

I'd like for there to be something beyond me that I could call "god" sometimes. It could make some things more emotionally tolerable. I don't see the Yahweh of the Bible being that.

"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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magilum wrote:Like how man

magilum wrote:
Like how man realizes there are bunny rabbits and vacuum cleaners nestled among the clouds. Or how there's a face on the moon, or on a grilled cheese sandwich. Surely every instance of pattern recognition must refer not only to a familiar concept, but an actual thing.

Not every.

Quote:
So why not go hog wild?

It's a balancing act, just like most other aspects of life. I'm too much of a moderate. My temperment doesn't lean towards passion. Have at it if you'd like.

BTW, since I have your attention for a oment, and you're a moderator, can I change my screen name to capitalize the intial "T"s and get rid of the dash, like this Totus Tuus, without messing up my account. Thanks if you can do that or tell me how. If not, no worries.

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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totus_tuus wrote:magilum

totus_tuus wrote:
magilum wrote:
Like how man realizes there are bunny rabbits and vacuum cleaners nestled among the clouds. Or how there's a face on the moon, or on a grilled cheese sandwich. Surely every instance of pattern recognition must refer not only to a familiar concept, but an actual thing.
Not every.

Just the ones that...


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totus_tuus wrote:magilum

totus_tuus wrote:
magilum wrote:
Like how man realizes there are bunny rabbits and vacuum cleaners nestled among the clouds. Or how there's a face on the moon, or on a grilled cheese sandwich. Surely every instance of pattern recognition must refer not only to a familiar concept, but an actual thing.
Not every.
Quote:
So why not go hog wild?
It's a balancing act, just like most other aspects of life. I'm too much of a moderate. My temperment doesn't lean towards passion. Have at it if you'd like. BTW, since I have your attention for a oment, and you're a moderator, can I change my screen name to capitalize the intial "T"s and get rid of the dash, like this Totus Tuus, without messing up my account. Thanks if you can do that or tell me how. If not, no worries.

1.  Ah, the beauty of the Special Plead  mixed with a healthy dose of denial- "all other gods are imaginary but mine". If your God doesn'r refer to familiar concepts and actual things, why is he described as having human body parts and emotions?

2. Life is a balancing act, agreed. Is your balance so tenuous it needs to be countered by an construct of human imagination?

"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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jcgadfly wrote:First, thanks

jcgadfly wrote:
First, thanks TT. I had meant to use the word "influence" instead of "rule". Thank you for seeing what I was trying to say.

Of course.  I knew rule couldn't be what you meant.  It would be highly unlikely finding you jumping to the right of me.  LOL!

Quote:
However, I think you've done more for my case that the gods are of human imagining than you have for their existence. It looks like you're saying that man realized he's so different that he had to create a god to represent the things beyond himself that he didn't yet understand..

Perhaps, and it may surprise you to know that I concede there is a possibility that your view is corrrect, I just don't think it is.  I think that the classic proofs for the existence of God leave a great deal of room for the existence of God.  I think that materialist arguments against God, those that attempt tp reduce him to the "God of the gaps" are ambiguous at best.  Certainly not compelling enough to overcome the "emotional" appeal I feel for the existence of a God.  And I will not argue his existence based on my personal experiences here.  Ever. 

Quote:
As the only reference you have is the Bible that was conceived and written by humans and the Church teachings that were conceived and written by other humans, you haven't done much to convince me that the God of the Bible is not a human construct.

I doubt I could convince you even if I tried.  It's not my intent.

Quote:
I'd like for there to be something beyond me that I could call "god" sometimes. It could make some things more emotionally tolerable. I don't see the Yahweh of the Bible being that.

You've been there, you know it is comforting.

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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Quote:We are not

Quote:
We are not retrofitting our beliefs, but are observing the way which our belief meshes with what we know.

No, it is backpeddling because you don't want to admit you bought a lie. How convient that your superstition is real while you don't buy the tripe that the sun was a thinking entity.

Yes you are backpeddling and you are fooling noone except yourself.

And again, calling me arrogent is like calling someone arrogent when they point out that Santa is not real.

Now, if you want to prove me wrong, it is quite simple.

Come up with a workable, testable, repeatable and falsifiable model and demonstrate it. You like all theists mistake naked assertions for evidence and then try to act like lagit science supports it.

You do it, Muslims do it Jews do it and even pantheists do it and it is nothing but your ego clinging to a utopian fiction because it appeals to you.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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magilum wrote:totus_tuus

magilum wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
magilum wrote:
Like how man realizes there are bunny rabbits and vacuum cleaners nestled among the clouds. Or how there's a face on the moon, or on a grilled cheese sandwich. Surely every instance of pattern recognition must refer not only to a familiar concept, but an actual thing.
Not every.

Just the ones that...

...realize the dignity of Man.

PS...Gotta run. have a lot going on today.  I'll try to get back this afternoon, but may well be the evening before I manage to post more.

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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totus_tuus wrote:magilum

totus_tuus wrote:

magilum wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
magilum wrote:
Like how man realizes there are bunny rabbits and vacuum cleaners nestled among the clouds. Or how there's a face on the moon, or on a grilled cheese sandwich. Surely every instance of pattern recognition must refer not only to a familiar concept, but an actual thing.
Not every.

Just the ones that...

...realize the dignity of Man.

...while simutaneously debasing Man before a deity (quite possibly of his own imagining)?

Self delusion is terrible but self delusion enforced by unscrupulous being for their own gain is abhorrent.

"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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This should be fun.

This should be fun. Smiling

DadaMungo wrote:

  1. People are genuinely healed of basically untreatable conditions. For example, blind people being made to see, the lame to walk, broken bones being healed on the spot, and so forth. If it makes it easier, we can discount accounts of remarkable recoveries, e.g. my own father's recovery from cancer surgery was considered by doctors as little short of miraculous, but maybe my father just happened to be eating his greens more than usual.

Complex. For one thing, the majority of human biology is unknown. I don't care who says otherwise, they are either lying or misinformed(that includes your doctor). The central nervous system, which is the primary component of who we are, and what we are, is only known to perhaps a rate of 30%. In the face of a lack of knowledge, no rational and satisfactory answer can be given.

As a perfect example, I give you the placebo. Defined, a placebo is a substance lacking in medical application, which is applied as if it could achieve something. The patient is informed(lied to) that the placebo is in fact a drug capable of helping them, or having some effect. Many times, the placebo which is incapable of achieving anything, cured the patient. This is largely due to psychological effects. Is it a miracle? No. It merely opens up a new field for biology, which has been being studied for a few decades now.

DadaMungo wrote:

  1. People speaking in tongues. Let's be clear: I'm not talking about some poor soul babbling away in gibberish which none can understand - that's just sad. I'm talking about people speaking in languages they do not know and have not heard, and speaking fluently, without error, as attested by a crowd of native speakers who are present.

This is a medical condition. Not a miracle. It has been observed many times. Though the most common experience is that the speaker reverts to a language used in youth, there have been situations where people have picked up a new language seemingly out of no where. As above, this is unexplainable due to our lack of knowledge. Today, at least. Maybe tomorrow it will be a different story.

DadaMungo wrote:

  1. I accept that many unfortunate people hear voices which tell them to do all kinds of crazy stuff, but I think it careless to whitewash all such instances as insanity, delusion or some such.

 

Maybe you feel so, but the fact of the matter is that most hallucinations are due to biological imbalances. Whether from drug use, lack of water or nourishment, or other factors, hallucinations are not from god. They are your own brain committing errors.

 

DadaMungo wrote:
 One example of what I would consider a possible candidate, though you may feel to dismiss it as coincidence, would be again my own father being warned (when alone) to tighten his seatbelt while driving, only to be have his car hit from the side by another moments after, and coming out unscathed (and also a little shaken) in what might easily have turned out to be a rather unpleasant ending. Okay, my Dad was alone, so I only have his word, but I for one do no think he was lying.

So what's to say that the voice wasn't his own mind reminding him that seat belts not only increase safety, but are the law? Chances are, it was.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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totus_tuus wrote:magilum

totus_tuus wrote:

magilum wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
magilum wrote:
Like how man realizes there are bunny rabbits and vacuum cleaners nestled among the clouds. Or how there's a face on the moon, or on a grilled cheese sandwich. Surely every instance of pattern recognition must refer not only to a familiar concept, but an actual thing.
Not every.

Just the ones that...

...realize the dignity of Man.

Ah, so the vacuum cleaners attest to man's ingenuity, but the bunny rabbits don't, so they're just an illusion.


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The NT mentions the sick,

The NT mentions the sick, the fools, the blind, the hypocrites, the lepers (the ugly), the (walking) dead, etc. Who are they? Well, they are the "idol worshiping ugly separatists", those self detached from the SIMPLE "One" principal, that all is g-awe-d.

This would be all of the "god of abe" fans,  the xains, the "paulines", etc. They are the enemy to love, as to understand, as to heal, and demands  understanding our own enemy or demons with in. Jesus did his 40 days alone, and Buddha meditated a long while nearly starving, to this 'self awaking", realization of what we all are. A story so simple and humbling, that has been perverted by the innate fears and ignorance of human kind.

Some say with good reason that Buddha Jesus "saves", and that Saul Paul's christianity destroys and blinds. Idol worship is "wrong thinking", the very definition of hell and mental death.  

"Save" them sick christians ..... spread the "good word" of Atheism. RRS is love.    


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magilum wrote:Ah, so the

magilum wrote:
Ah, so the vacuum cleaners attest to man's ingenuity, but the bunny rabbits don't, so they're just an illusion.

Dignity is not ingenuity.  I will concede that man's ingenuity, or intellect is something that is indicative of his dignity, but it is not the whole ball of wax.

Neither a vacuum cleaner, nor a bunny rabbit calls me to self-discipline for the good of society; or to self-sacrifice for the well-being of others.  

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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totus_tuus wrote:magilum

totus_tuus wrote:

magilum wrote:
Ah, so the vacuum cleaners attest to man's ingenuity, but the bunny rabbits don't, so they're just an illusion.

Dignity is not ingenuity.  I will concede that man's ingenuity, or intellect is something that is indicative of his dignity, but it is not the whole ball of wax.

Neither a vacuum cleaner, nor a bunny rabbit calls me to self-discipline for the good of society; or to self-sacrifice for the well-being of others.  

You've been called of God to use something that the Bible shows your God doesn't have (self-discipline that benefits society) and to do what your God didn't do (self sacrifice for the well-being of others)?

I assume you mean that the crucifixion of Jesus/God was a self-sacrificial act that benefited mankind. I have to ask then - At what point in the Crucifixion did Jesus stop being God?" If he stopped being god, why venerate him? If he didn't, what did he sacrifice?

"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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I AM GOD AS YOU...

I AM AS GOD AS YOU wrote:
This would be all of the "god of abe" fans,  the xains, the "paulines", etc. They are the enemy to love, as to understand, as to heal, and demands  understanding our own enemy or demons with in. Jesus did his 40 days alone, and Buddha meditated a long while nearly starving, to this 'self awaking", realization of what we all are. A story so simple and humbling, that has been perverted by the innate fears and ignorance of human kind.

Some say with good reason that Buddha Jesus "saves", and that Saul Paul's christianity destroys and blinds. Idol worship is "wrong thinking", the very definition of hell and mental .

You are not far from the truth (as I see it). Indeed, the Bible teaches on many levels what you are aiming at here. And yes, it is a message that is more often than not one that is missed. It is human to externalise and over-simplify advanced concepts. A major failing of believers is that they mimic what they understand to be holiness, without understanding that it comes from within not without. They are as the stars of the sky (to play upon NT imagery), 'having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof' (2 Tim 3:5). True salvation lies within. And yes, you are as God as I. Right on, brother!

Quote:
RRS is love.

Hmmm, 'by their fruits ye shall know them'. If it's love then it's a tough love. Keep working at it!

'And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.'