Every advance of science has been at a loss to superstition. Once humankind learned of the plague bacillus, the fear disappeared of the local witch bringing "the black death" by casting her evil eye on the village.
Still, believers refuse to relinquish utterly outlandish beliefs.
Can Christians at least admit how ridiculous their beliefs are? The Christian faith teaches that, A) virgin birth is possible, B) human tissue dead for 3 days can be reanimated, and C) that a resurrected being can disappear into the clouds, live there for eons, then return to earth as a king and ruler.
To believe this you must accept that science is dead wrong on these subjects, that impregnation via spirit really is possible, that dead human flesh that begins the process of decay can be transformed and regain itself whole and live again, and that reanimated human flesh can disappear into the clouds and stay alive and well for thousands of years only to return again at will.
What you believe is absurd. That these beliefs shape your actions has the potential to be dangerous when your belief overflows into a misguided faith in your own righteousness.
We demand more proof that the meat we buy at the store is not contaminated than we do for the activities of our gods.
And then we consider ourself advanced. Amazing.
a)Artificially Inseminating a woman through the skin of the abdomin is possible, therefore a "virgin" can become pregnant.
b)Science cannot reanimate dead tissue..YET. That does not dis-prove the possibility at some future time.
c)As medical science advances it may prove to be completely possible.
(Artificially Inseminating a woman through the skin of the abdomin is possible, therefore a "virgin" can become pregnant.)
And as everyone knows artificial insemination clinics were on every street corner in 1st century Galillee.
(Science cannot reanimate dead tissue..YET. That does not dis-prove the possibility at some future time.)
And when that happens, scientists can hop into their wayback machines and travel back in time to reanimate some dead 1st century rabbi tissue.
(As medical science advances it may prove to be completely possible.)
And such medical breakthroughs like discovering plague bacillus and antibiotic therapy will greatly help all those people in the Dark Ages who died of the "black death" and who are now dust.
Sounds to me more like hope that the impossible miraculously turns out to be possible than reasoned thinking about the likelihood of scientific probability.
In trying to justify your reasons, I think you have just made my case for me. :-)
It has ceased to amaze me that virtually every, wise, advanced, logical "New age / improved" thinker, almost instantly reverts to curt, sarcastic, patronizing comments the minute somebody voices or expresses a differing point of view or belief.
If you can't accurately refute the opposing view point....Intimidation is a good curve ball to point the topic and therefore the method of exchange in a more favorable direction.
Not to mention that it's so much easier than actually intelligently refuting the statements made! I noticed that Mikel G Roberts didn't belittle or ridicule AKA's errant beliefs, like the statement, " Still, believers refuse to relinquish utterly outlandish beliefs."
According to AKA's rules of fair exchange in debate, It would not only be fair, but in fact expected to address that sentence with a blunt, offensive, " So, you're the master who has undertaken the ardent task of deciding, (for us simpletons), what is and isn't outlandish! Thank you for making up my mind for me!" ...Yeah... I like that! So.... um.... Advanced.
I believe it takes a very shallow, closed mind to totally rule out the possibility or prospect that the miraculous, as well as reasoned thinking, scientific probability AND a supreme BEING, WAY BEYOND OUR FEEBLE LIMITED COMPREHENSION could ALL exist.
In your attempt to shred, belittle and humiliate Mikel G Roberts possible explanations rather than respectfully give reasons why you disagree, you adequately proved the depth of your willingness to consider the possibility that, you may in fact, be wrong, and moreover, arrogant! Go ahead, try to justify your remarks and I think you will succeed in Making my case..... for me. :-)
Well, if that belief is worthy of ridicule......
What exactly do you want me to do when I point out that it is absurd to believe that a spirit can impregnate a human, that truly dead human tissue can be reanimated after 3 days, and a human can fly into the clouds and disappear without the aid of machinery, live there for thousands of years,and then return to earth in triumph, and the opposing position is simply, "Nuh, uh, it could happen"?
I offered rational reasons why I call these beliefs ridiculous - someone simply saying, "it could happen" is not a rational refutaion of the original position.
Why should I respond differently?
What a ridiculous forum.
Flawed from the very start.
@AKA Winston, have you never heard of a liberalist Christian?
hahaha, I imagine you have trouble with Idioms too?
"I'm so hungry I could eat a horse" does not mean that the person actually believes they could consume a horse...
Dear (non-existing) Lord! People baffle me.
The *spirit* of Christ was lifted up into heaven. Not his body, per se. Secondly, when you burn your finger, after a certain amount of time, new skin will cover the burn. When a child is in the mothers womb and is having a difficult time, science can go in and fix some problems. A person can have a heart transplanted into another. Blood can be used to save anothers life, if there is a match in type. You have one less rib in your body.
(all men) all women have that extra rib. When you die in the body. You become dust, because it says..ashes to ashes and dust to dust. I don't know who or what circumstance has made you feel this way. I will tell you that every person goes through some of the most horrific things in this life.
So let me ask you a question, if I may? Where does the good that is inside you, come from? What force pushes you to do nice things for other people, for your friends and family? Do you ever feel comforted when you are sad?
I send you hugs, prayers of good thoughts and I will not stop until you are able to release the pain that is so apparent in your words.
These words are moving, Jo_Goldsmith11, and I could not restrain. You did encourage me by these subtle thoughts here on this writing.
So let me ask you a question, if I may...
The source of that goodness - is that a Personal God? Or something like a Supreme Reality?
...I would like to hear. Sorry for the intervention, and nice to meet you!
I have a lot to ask...
Perfect! Especially the query / statement " I will tell you that every person goes through some of the most horrific things in this life.
So let me ask you a question, if I may? Where does the good that is inside you, come from? What force pushes you to do nice things for other people, for your friends and family? Do you ever feel comforted when you are sad? " No other animal on this planet behaves in such a way, or is capable of such self sacrificing actions, (even for unknown or better yet, unliked people). There is soooo much more to the "Human Animal" than meets the eye or can be even remotely compared to any other animal in existance,,, Well put comment! I doubt that it would be appropriate debate material because it is all subjective, but, any truly open minded individual would have to at least ponder the answer to such a question.... even though, most people already have their minds made up and no amount of provokative verbage will ever change that UNTIL the Holy Spirit steps in, but then again, I can't PROVE that, so, once again.... Moot ! Nice to read your comment and for what it's worth...God inspired!
I would like to answer your question but yet to find the words to answer. I would like to think it is because I do believe in a higher power. Could our brains in this human flesh understand the concept of when you walk, breathe, move and respond in goodness it connects you to something that can't be explained? I am grateful to have good in me. It keeps the darkness away. Until recently I would sleep with a teddy bear, because I don't like darkness. Maybe it is from the trauma that I have witnessed/experienced. I just thank the one who is greater in me than the one that is in this world !
Let's approach a hypothetical situation from two viewpoints.
Person A is walking on the beach in a secluded country. He comes across a watch lying in the sand. Being a rational thinker, he wonders how it came to be there. Looking around, he sees sand, water, stone, and wood. 'Ah, I see' he thinks to himself. 'Obviously all the materials for a watch are here already. It must have just formed when all the materials came together just right!'.
Person B walks along another beach in another secluded country and finds a watch in the sand. He thinks to himself 'Hmmm... somebody must have made this watch... therefore, somebody must have been here before me.'
Now you tell me, which is the more rational thinker? Everything in the natural world has a tendency to break down into its simplest parts, yet on this planet we have life. What makes more sense, that this complex thing called life just happened, or that it was created by a being that can create it? Or possible, that it wasn't created, but just 'passed on'.
You fail to consider that your arguments about the bible could also potentially include intentionally hidden truth, or problems with translation.
As to reanimating dead tissue, science can never prove that it is impossible. Science can't prove a negative, by definition. It can only record results of experimentation and hypothesize. Basically, it can say something did happen(and therefore can't), or that something didn't happen(which doesn't mean it's impossible).
Impregnation by spirit... well there are a whole host of possible explanations for that. Some which science would reel at, and some that religious thought would reel at. Maybe the bible is all just made up by man in the first place, but that wouldn't prove that God doesn't exist.
Your point about a resurrected not being able to 'live in the clouds' is ridiculous. If He is a resurrected being, then why not? Why not be able to travel to another planet? You can't say science says resurrection is impossible, and even if it's not, He wouldn't be able to leave.
When one is mired in religious gobbledegook and has not taken the time to understand the world around them, they are not rational thinkers. The OP does not offer a rational question based on it's premise, it only offers faith based gobbledegook.
That would make the Bible utterly useless.
LOL! Of course, whenever your God waves his magic hand, science takes a back seat.
No, science would just laugh hysterically. --->
It only would make the bible useless if you only would consider it useful if it clearly contained all the answers. If it did that in such a way as to leave no doubt, then what's the point in having it? Why not just talk to us directly?
Can you tell me what branch of science, or what study, has proven that reanimation of tissue is impossible? I would love to know that. Science can't prove a negative.
For your last point, 'scientists' who laugh at any idea are no scientist at all. Laughing at an idea indicates you know better, and if a scientist knows better, he is no longer a scientist. True scientists can only observe and make hypothesis about what they *do* see, not what they don't see.
What answers would you have that the Bible did not? Are you an authority on the Bible?
LOL! The old 'Science can't prove my extraordinary claim' ploy. Yes, we can come up with all kinds of silly claims that science can't prove wrong.
And, you're right, science can't prove your magic is wrong.
Scientists have a sense of humor, too. They hear cranks and crackpots spewing all kinds of hilarious claims.
You see, here's how it works. The scientist is going to assume that whoever comes to them with a theory has actually taken the time to understand what it is their talking about, have done the research and figured out the math when presenting the theory as opposed to offering some half-baked idea based on magical sky fairies. It is the latter that they would laugh about and the former would take seriously.
And, believers make hypothesis about what they've been indoctrinated to see, but never actually see.
(Person B walks along another beach in another secluded country and finds a watch in the sand. He thinks to himself 'Hmmm... somebody must have made this watch... therefore, somebody must have been here before me.')
Then Person C walks by and sees a watch on the beach alongside a crab and thinks, I hope the same guy didn't make watches and crabs or that crab is going rust and stop working in about a minute.
Thank you for bringing out the 100-year-old argument from design - nastalgia is in this year.
You made the claim. It is up to you to validate it. Here let me help.
1) The emrldphx hypothesis: Godunnit.
2) The emrldphx theory: It was magic
Thanks for your cogent input into this discussion.
You watch analogy doesn't work.
If watches -- or things substantially similar to them -- were known to exist, or arise, in nature, then it would be reasonable for Person A to surmise that the discovered watch had likewise arisen. However, in the world that you and I occupy, watches are obviously artifactual.
Trees might be artifacts of a higher being, but -- within the realm of human experience -- they are uncreated. For all practical purposes, they have always existed.
I submit that trees which have always existed are just as rational as a concept as artifactual trees.
Life isn't known to arise in nature by itself. That is exactly why the watch analogy works. Show me proof that life can spring into being in nature.
If we can't prove that life can come out of inorganic material, then how do you exclude the possibility of it being created by a higher lifeform?
Are you trying to argue my point for me? My point is that, seeing how we can't show life to spring from non-life, it is just as rational to think of it being created.
Unless you are arguing that life came from non-life, then you are actually on my side.
Life may indeed have been created by a higher being. I'm certainly not excluding it as a possibility. There aren't an unlimited number of reasonable possibilities, after all.
1. Life arose from non-life.
2. Life has always existed.
3. Life was created by a higher being.
If option #1 is correct, then life did not necessarily arise on this planet. The universe is a big place, and earth has been daily bombarded with alien debris for a very long time.
If option #2 is correct, then, well... life has always existed. There isn't really anything else that can be said about that option.
if option #3 is correct, then I have to accept the existence of a non-obvious higher being, and then ask who created that higher being. It seems as reasonable to me to posit option #1 or #2 as it does to posit the existence of a non-obvious creator whose own existence would then have to be explained. If the explanation is "He/She/It has always existed," then options #1 or #2 seem, to me, much simpler and attractive.
You've got it. It's all about possibilities. It's the people who claim one possibility, and anyone who believes in it, is ridiculous, that cause the problems.
In fact, I would say maybe more like this.
1 - Life arose from inorganic materials
1a - Nature used its own laws to do so
1b - Some being used nature's laws to do so
2 - Life always existed
2a - Our earliest life forms came from somewhere else by chance
2b - Our earliest life forms were planted here
3 - Life was created by a higher being
3a - The same as 1b
3b - The same as 2b
As to the question, if a higher life form created life, what created that life form?
It's natural for us to look for a beginning. Our consciousness begins with birth, so it seems natural for us. But is it really natural?
Isn't is just as reasonable that the universe has always existed? What if the big bang was caused by the universe collapsing in on itself previously, and the whole of universal existence is just a series of big bangs? What if it's something else?
When we are open to possibilities, there is no reason to mock others for their thoughts.
i understand what you are saying, but it is possible to group beliefs into "less likely" and "more likely" categories, and even into the category "so-unlikely-that-it's-ridiculous-to-consider."
I seldom mock, but not because some beliefs aren't deserving of mockery. I refrain from mockery because I've discovered that it is usually alienating and counterproductive.
Sure. Mostly the criteria for less likely and more likely is a subjective, personal thing.
I definitely agree about alienating and counter-productivity. I don't see any reason for us not to get along.
The majority of unlikely beliefs are unambiguously indefensible.
Every claim is either a matter of fact, or a matter of opinion. Matters of opinion I automatically dismiss from consideration. They may indeed be true to you, but I choose not to squander my time debating what can never be objectively resolved.
Claims that are objectively true or objectively false -- matters of fact -- I first judge based on how well they logically complement my existing paradigm. Second, I poke and I prod their supporting evidence. If a claim possesses logical correspondence and good supporting evidence, it moves into my "maybe" pile. Eventually -- usually -- I move it into my "fact" pile.
Any claim that doesn't make it into my "maybe" pile I consider unambiguously indefensible.
Note that all of my "facts" are subject to deletion or revision.
If something is a matter of fact, it is easily testable objectively and empirically. Will a rock fall if you hold it up and drop it? That's is something we can objectively test.
Matters of things which can't be seen or detected cannot be objective, by definition. If you dismiss matters of opinion, you dismiss religion, morality, and possibility.
Notice how you say that claims that don't make it into your "maybe" pile(which is determined by how it fits your existing paradigm, which equals subjectivity) you consider unambiguously indefensible.
There are two problems with that. 1 - You don't consider anything that is matter of opinion, yet you judge matters of fact based off your current model of understanding, which is subjective consideration. 2 - Something you determine doesn't fit your current model of understanding, you consider unambiguously indefensible. How can it be unambiguous just because you decide it is? To state such means you define things by the way you think of them... logically this is called mind-projection, it's a logical fallacy.
LOL! So, you set up a false premise using a man made item like a watch (read Dawkins book, The Blind Watchmaker) in order to rationalize life on earth as being created or passed on by an entity.
Yet, when we actually study life on earth (rather than studying a watch) we find that it did form from materials already present.
So, you tell me, which is the more rational thinker, the one who sets up a false premise with a watch?
I set up an example of something more complex than basic materials. Nature tends to break things down into their simplest parts, not make complex things out of simple things. A watch is an example of a complicated thing. Life is another example of a complicated thing. I know you don't handle hypothetical examples very well, but try to see the similarity.
We do? Can you provide any evidence of that? As far as I know, we have yet to show how life can come from inorganic material. And no, amino acids don't count as life.
Or the one who claims we have shown how life formed, when we haven't?
It's a valid example designed to get you to think... but that part is up to you.
On a more grand scale is the entire universe. How was it created or formed? Does it make more sense to think it came from nothing on its own, or was made from nothing by something with intelligence?
Does it make more sense to say it formed this way from only energy by itself, or it was formed this way using energy, by something with higher intelligence?
The blind watchmaker doesn't completely address the question. If life can be made from inorganic material, then doesn't it still make sense that the situation was setup by a being with intelligence? If we were able to create life in a lab, and somebody found this goup of simple life on the sidewalk, wouldn't it be more rational to assume that it was part of life made in a lab than just appearing?
How dishonest of you to do so. I handle hypothetical situations just fine, thanks, and can recognize when someone is trying to baffle me with bs, like you often do.
Why didn't you use a complex life form rather than a watch when making comparisons to life on earth?
But, they count as the materials required to form life, which was your point, was it not?
No, it isn't, it is a typical red herring set up by believers.
We already know what you believe. No, it makes no sense at all that an intelligence created the universe. None. Nada. Zip.
Sorry, you've read that book?
Not at all.
How is it dishonest? Every time I use a hypothetical example, you claim it is irrational or irrelevant.
Why would I use the complexity of life as a comparison to the complexity of life?
Haha, you don't even realize you are arguing my point now. My point was that nature can provide the raw materials for a watch, but we don't assume that nature assembles those raw materials into a watch.
You say nature can provide the raw materials for life, but we assume that nature assembles those raw materials into life.
Do you understand? Same situation, different thought process, and you call it rational.
I just showed you how it sets up the same TYPE of situation. Nature and raw materials. Why would you assume in one situation that nature assembles the raw materials into something complex, and not assume the same thing in the next situation?
Ok, so what makes sense? That it sprang out of nothing on its own?
It has been some years, but yes. The simple fact of the matter is, even if life can evolve, that doesn't prove that evolution isn't just a tool in God's toolbox. It only proves that life can evolve.
Think of a bowling alley. From a pin's perspective, you can say that a bowling ball knocked it over. Does that prove that a being of intelligence wasn't involved?
Intelligent beings can utilize objects and processes to achieve their goals.
Not to you, ok. I understand that.
And there it is. The laughter when you can't refute something. If evolution and abiogenesis were proven 100%, you would argue that as proof against God. Well, if God can't use the process of abiogenesis to create life, then man can't either...
Unfortunately, in our situation of evolution and abiogenesis being proven 100%, man would have already created life as part of the proof...
Because using the complexity of a man made object to the comparison of life is dishonest, especially when you derive conclusions from it.
How much hand holding do you need, anyways?
I am not arguing your point because your point is fallacious. You are dishonestly comparing a man made object to nature and gleaning false conclusions.
No, you dishonestly assert man made watch is the same as life.
Because, I don't dishonestly assert man made objects are the same as nature.
There you go again, making silly conclusions based on your religion.
Here's a way to see how silly they appear. Substitute the phrase, "Invisible Purple Rhinoceros" in place of 'God' when you make your claims.
Who cares? What does that have to with nature? It's just another irrelevant example, another red herring.
That's nice, so what?
Does anyone in the scientific community agree with you on that?
Why would I need to do that when no believer can show a shred of evidence that their gods exist?
Evolution and Abiogenesis are two of the very best explanations we have for the origins and current state of our universe. Other sciences have sprung from these explanations only to find more evidence that supports them. Both explanations have now made their way into every other hard and soft science with more evidence of support.
Absolutely none of it shows an iota of evidence for divine influence.
Sure, you could argue it was made such a way by God as to not show His influence, but that still doesn't support the claim of divine influence.
A fallacy of elementary status, B is not true just because A may be or is true.
Hilarious. You talk about man proving things 100% as if it were some standard that had to be met in order for us to accept them.
I haven't read the entire thread, but I doubt I'm doubling up with my comment below.
To dismiss any, or all the miraculous events at the core of the Christian faith, and rely on science alone leaves you with just as big a dilemma, as the very miracles you debunk. Namely, abiogenesis.
If you care to search out the different hypotheses for this (undeniable event), you will come up against equal, and compelling (scientific) arguments why it COULD NOT HAPPEN.
In effect, affirming the "miraculous" nature of the origins of life.
To this day, life can only be demonstrated to come from (existing, LIVING) life forms.
PS, Your perception of God is too small!
If you have read this entire thread, then you will have read my (pertinent to your objection) reply to another respondent on a subsequent tangent:
http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/84540?p … ost1853670
What a line of Bull this is. Almighty God is Pure Love. It is nobody's fault but your own that you refuse to acknowledge God and His abilities to do things like those you claim are lies and fake. It is to bad that your mind is so closed that you cannot recognized the truth when it stares you right in the face.
This is called faith and to me it is easier to believe than the whole world is here from some washed up fish or a baboon getting real smart and where pray tell did they come from?
They DON'T KNOW!!!!
Don't bother asking. I've asked, repeatedly, and the only honest answer they can give is, just that
"we don't know . . 'but it wasn't any God' ".
So they debunk it as "majik" (their spelling, not mine), yet, life somehow DID come from non-life. (Also magic, in my book. Without God, that is.)
They crack me up.
The only honest answer anyone can give is "I don't know." It would indeed appear to be magical no matter the cause, either god or no god. Anyone who claims it could not have been god is simply dishonest - depending on the definition of god.
Creation ex nihilo is impossible by reason, though.
The unknown cannot be known. Anyone who claims knowledge of the unknowable is a liar, either theist or atheist.
I will take this as a yes. God "could have done it" then. A bit of an about face, mind you.
So is the virgin birth, resurrection of Jesus (bodily,) I might add, or miracles! Reason is not the problem. An all powerful God can do all of the above without any effort. It's perfectly reasonable for Him to do so. As you also seem to admit "depending on your definition of god"
Also not true. God is unknowable! However, He chose to reveal Himself, so we CAN know Him. Of course, if you haven't received that revelation, you are in the dark.
Oh, and may I say, all of these above concepts come straight from the Bible. They are not merely "my opinion".
Our progenitor and every religious book says about the miracles like virgin birth is possible. Christ was reanimated after 3 days and disappeared into the cloud. Moses did apart the river through the help of the stick. Mohammed did the moon into two parts and he visited God. Hinduism says the God Chrishna could be reanimated himself into seven and presented himself in different places at a time.
The progeny and stories of miracles are the cause of human fear. Science is completely dead on this subject. Faith is misguided you because it is anti-science.
Why such a thing does not happen now in this modern scientific world?
Miracles confused the human brain to understand and fearfulness become the cause of existence of different religion.
A) virgin birth is possible,
It does not matter what word the bible uses as virgin. All women were supposed to be virgins as in not have had sex prior to marriage. The bible does not mean that they retained their virginity after conceiving a child, it means they were virgins before they were married. Now in marys case, God picked her so she would meet the requirements of virginity, now God is spirit, unlike Zeus who had intercourse with humans and as is supposed by the angels in genesis 6 lol, so no penetration by the spirit. God placed a zygote in mary and she had a child by proper course 9 months later. Not hard to understand at all, since God created the universe. Cmon.
B) human tissue dead for 3 days can be reanimated,
In lazarus' case it was 4 days and this is important because rigor mortis which sets in quickly also disappears after 36hrs. Google rigor mortis and you will see that this is so. Also notice that in John 11:39 martha says that lazarus by now stinks, but when we see lazarus hoping out of the tomb he obviously does not stink. Did God have a hand in lazarus resusitation - because this is not a resurrection as the pattern for resurrection goes.
and C) that a resurrected being can disappear into the clouds, live there for eons, then return to earth as a king and ruler.
Jesus does not live in the clouds. lol. That's just not knowing what the scripture says and you should not comment on what you do not know. IT is plainly stated that Jesus ascended into heaven and is on the right hand of God. When you figure out what that means you will some new understanding but to answer the question he is not in the clouds for eons.
As for being king and ruler. This is what God is in the first place and will be in the last place.
That is entirely untrue.
That is entirely untrue. If it were true, we would be doing it all the time.
It is sad that believers must spread these kind of lies in order to defend their faith.
Who says religion does no harm or damage?
obviously you did not google rigor morits but thank you for your unsearchable opinion
and God bless you
Here are some links, go ahead and read them yourself and show me where it says tissue can be reanimated...
Then, you can go ahead and place as many links and explanations as you like showing us all how to reanimate tissue.
God, the progeny of human fear, is anti-science
Science is a common tool of believers and non-believers; hence the statement is incorrect.Science presents only the seen or the physical realm; the unseen or moral and spiritual is outside its scope; it fall short of it; it has not been desighned for that purpose.
(Science presents only the seen or the physical realm; the unseen or moral and spiritual is outside its scope;)
Science deals with reality, seen or unseen, like the plague bacillus. Religion brings us answers like "the witch's evil eye brings black death" and "god impregnated a human woman by sending his spirit to her".
You are right, though. Science deals with reality; religion deals with the make-believe.
The only purpose of any god is to abate human fear of the unknown - if humans can convince themselves with pretense that someone or something is out there watching out for them they can turn off the emotional night light for awhile instead of jumping wide awake with each creak, rattle, or squeak in the attic.
Real freedom from fear comes with the knowledge that is is O.K. to simply be human, understanding that our emotional levels have more in common with great apes and chimpanzes than with gods, and it is our evolved ability to imagine invisible all-powerful controllers that allows our particular species to deal with the primal fears instinctual to survival.
And religion only deals with the imaginary; and pretends there is a purpose.
All Christians are stupid interbred intellectually challenged mongoloids and all non-believers are brilliant progressive beacons of rational thought...
There, you win.
Geez Melissa, I didn't know any of that. It explains heaps of things.
AHHHHHHH! The demons in my computer thingy know my name! They must be getting in through that new fangled electricity stuff.
Wow! A christian speaking the truth for a change!
"All non-believers are brilliant beacons of rational thought"
Who says that?
The non-believers say.
It is a self praise; it is not a scientific fact or reality.There is no requirement of being a sane even to be a non-believer.
One day I'll invent a sarcasm font... or at least a decent way to convey a cyber face-palm. Til then...
Unfortunately, Melissa, as long as humans believe in the ridiculous, there are no winners.
Look, I'm in a nasty mood so I'll tone down what I really want to say here and go with:
It appears that you are a winner, as you have successfully had someone respond to your troll bait. If you want to have a reasonable conversation that might actually change the situation, don't start by insulting people. If you want to have a clever thought-provoking conversation, pick a horse that hasn't been kicked to death.
If you think you can "show people the errors of their ways" by insulting them, you are just as bad as any sign toting funeral picketer. Or would me calling you an idiot somehow convince you of my superiority?
If you aren't trying to have a conversation then why the hell are you here? If you want everyone to sit around and laugh with you about how stupid Christians are (which is the other option) then you are, indeed, a troll.
Winston's thesis is that Christianity is non-scientific, requiring superstitious belief.
He illustrates his thesis with examples of non-scientific, superstitious beliefs commonly held by Christians.
He is trolling, yes (in the sense that he hoped to arouse strong emotion), but he only "wins" if you fail to provide a cogent reply.
WOW!! Now THAT is what I call a reparte....NICE
At what point were you insulted? Do you believe that a ghostly spirit can impregnate a human woman and cause a virgin birth, that dead human tissue can rise again after 3 days of decay, or that a being can live as a human and then disappear into the clouds only to return thousands of years later?
I didn't say you were stupid to believe this - I said what you believe is ridiculous. Science has shown us that many things we used to believe were actually silly - and now science shows us that impregnation and live births are biological events, that dead tissue decays after three days, and that it is impossible to come back to life, much less disappear into the sky and live there for thousands of years.
Or are you claiming these beliefs make sense?
Compared to what we now understand about biology and chemistry, if these are your beliefs you should not feel insulted when someone points out they are ridiculous - you should be ashamed.
Firstly, Winston shows limited understanding of the beliefs of Christians. To assume that all Christians believe that all biblical stories are literal fails to take into account the belief systems of over 32 million Christians in the United States alone.
Secondly, Winston also fails to take into account that it is completely possible to be a fundamentalist (Those who do take the bible literally) and still lead normal lives. I know plenty of priests, preachers, and reverends that are extremely well-read. Several pastors that I know work in the field of medicine/science.
Thirdly, Winston also discounts the several hundred years where the scientific community was the Catholic Church. As science tends to build on itself, many of the discoveries of the church are 1. Still valid and 2. served as the basis for new theories and discoveries.
Fourthly, unless Winston has some pretty significant withheld knowledge, he has absolutely no ability to say with surety that none of those events happened. He can only say that they have not been able to be replicated... Except for virgin birth, which has been documented scientifically, and to a lesser extent resurrection has been recorded in the animal world... and then there are a tonne of the "dead for a while" patients that have been revived.
Me taking it personally came into play on point one as I am one of the 32 million and it seems narrow-minded to assume my beliefs based on a limited and stereotypical definition of Christianity.
Me getting agitated comes from yet another "Look at how smart I am and how stupid Christians are" thread that has been kicked to death. There is no purpose to them. There will be no reasonable conversation once you label someone's beliefs as absurd or ridiculous. Anyone with an ounce of empathy or even a basic grasp of human nature and psychology has to know that. So, if you are not aiming at conversion (getting someone to give up their beliefs) or conversation (trying to learn more about why people believe what they do) Then what is the point of these little rants? Because honestly, the only other reason to bring them up is to make yourself feel better by degrading the beliefs of others while simultaneously getting affirmation from your peers that you are indeed absolutely correct on your view of the world.
You're pretty smart for a girl, Melissa!
Approximately 237 million of the 307 million people in the US identify themselves as Christians. According to your statistics -- which I am not calling into doubt -- one out of seven of those Christians interpret some biblical stories metaphorically. This means that six out of seven interpret most, or all, of those same biblical stories literally. This also means that Winston isn't addressing the beliefs of a limited and stereotypical subset of Christianity, but the beliefs of the majority of Christianity, at least within the US.
Winston doesn't address the question of whether fundamentalists lead "normal" lives, although he does imply that their fundamentalism increases their likelihood of being dangerous. I don't think that this is a contentious claim. Fundamentalism has led to a significant portion of the misery of humanity, whether that fundamentalism is expressed via one of the many flavors of Marxism, or via Islam or Christianity.
You claim that, for several hundred years, the scientific community was the Catholic Church. When? Certainly not during classical antiquity, which predated Christianity. Modern science didn't develop until the Enlightenment, when the Roman Catholic Church (and Protestantism) slowly began to lose (accede?) to secularism. That leaves the Middle Ages, which isn't notable for much that would be labeled "scientific" today.
As for Winston having "absolutely no ability to say with surety that [nether the virgin birth nor the resurrection] happened," you are correct. However, that doesn't make them any less ridiculous as beliefs. To be ridiculous, a belief merely has to be at variance with reason to the extent that it is absurd to entertain. We unapologetically say that it is ridiculous to maintain beliefs about a great many things. Religious beliefs deserve no exemption.
As for your examples providing rationalization of these beliefs, 1) parthenogenesis -- or "artificially Inseminating a woman through the skin of the abdomin [sic] " -- isn't being impregnated supernaturally, 2) revivification has never been recorded after putrification, and 3) you can't be "dead for a while." Death is, by definition, the permanent cessation of bodily functions. Those who were "dead for a while" weren't dead.
I agree with you that Winston's methods would be more effective when engaging reasonable people, but Winston isn't engaging reasonable people. Sometimes, the fundamentalist needs to be riled before he/she begins to think at all. Occasionally, once he/she has been motivated into actual thought, they keep thinking, which has the slight chance of metamorphosing into critical thought.
I don't use Winston's methods. I'm not sure that I agree with them. I do understand them, however. Self-aggrandizement and self-assurance are not the only, or even the primary, motives. I'll leave Winston to describe what those motives are.
Where did your "32 million" figure come from?
My numbers come from several surveys that can be found here: http://www.barna.org
(it is actually a pretty awesome site for those whose perception of what people truly believe is skewed by the media and/or these forums)
Here's a good place to start:
http://www.barna.org/faith-spirituality … aith-group
and a quote from that survey:
"The largest change in beliefs was the ten-point decline in those who firmly believe that the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches. Only 43% of self-identified Christians now have such a strong belief in the Bible."
(I'm sorry, I was working from older information when I made my post... the percentage seems to have gotten higher... that survey was from August of this year)
And I wasn't discussing parthenogenesis (which before this thread I had never heard of before). I was discussing pregnancy without penetration, which while uncommon is certainly not medically rare. It is not lab created either.
Then we get into resurrection... One point I would like to make is that the bible does not claim that there was purtrification. In short, Jesus did not come back as a zombie. Working from that point, there are plenty of scenarios that could explain his resurrection. (The most obvious is quite mundane) As far as tissue regeneration from necrosis, that occurs too... often actually in both humans and animals.
So, is it possible for Jesus to have been pronounced dead and return 3 days later? Absolutely. Especially 2000 or so years ago.
As for contributions of the Church to science, I was referring largely to the 13th through the 18th century and the contributions are honestly far to indepth to go into here... Names like Pascal, Galileo, Copernicus, and Bacon spring to mind though.
(On that point, I'd like to point out Pascal in specific... not a great philosopher-although there is a certain charm to pascal's wager-but an absolutely brilliant physicist and mathematician. Which goes to illustrate my earlier point 2)
And yes, you CAN be clinically dead for "a while" Flat-line is dead. Brain dead is also dead. Legally dead is yet another kind of dead. Although by your definition of dead- which includes permanency- then you win. Of course by adding permanency to the definition, you have limited the terms of the debate since the primary question was "can someone return from the dead?" If you refuse exception by vocabulary, then you are correct by semantics.
Finally, your assumption that "riling someone up" can make them think is also semantically true. However, the most likely thought would be how big of an ass the speaker is. You can't persuade by insult. You can shame, you can anger, and you might possibly be able to reinforce the other persons ideas but you will absolutely NOT change someone's convictions by making fun of them.
The best that you could possibly hope for is to bully someone into the facade of conformity for fear of verbal retribution if they spoke up. If you manage that, then congratulations... you are likely guilty of oppression through verbal abuse.
Possibly, but what would happen to the brain after not getting oxygen for 3 days?
I'm not sure I understand your question TM... Are you talking about lack of oxygen from being entombed?
That's an interesting question.
Some thoughts (I am not a neurologist nor a neurosurgeon, so the basic answer is *beats the hell out of me*)
1. God may have returned Jesus from the grave healed and whole. No brain damage, no problem.
2. IMHO most likely scenario- Jesus was pronounced dead and recovered. Humans have had thousands of such incidents. They aren't as common now that we embalm, but they still do happen. The individuals are generally fine neurologically speaking, although psychologically waking up in your own casket tends to be a bit traumatic.
Now from what I know about body function organs don't necessarily need oxygen to remain undamaged, as long as the right conditions are met. (induced hibernation in those that fall through the ice. Up to 45 minutes with no oxygen and they are perfectly fine) There are also species that can go extremely long times without oxygen and survive unscathed... (A certain type of shark comes to mind... I'll have to look it up) So, if we are looking at possible, it is scientifically possible to go an extended amount of time without brain damage. So then it comes down to "how long?" Which is a question that relies on individual records to answer.
Then there is the question of brain damage in general and how it effects us as humans. That gets into even more of a quagmire. From personal experience, my son had visible brain damage from both extended lack of oxygen during birth and subsequent bilateral subdural hematomas. Yet he tested higher than average on I.Q. tests despite having two large "dead" areas (approximately 20 percent of his brain). In fairness, he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS- but it manifested largely in OCD behaviors rather than true learning disabilities. He was just shy of his fourth birthday when he passed and could type his needs (using the wordpad of the computer) with correct spelling. There are many other examples of brain damaged individuals that are indistinguishable from their peers.
Point being, even if there was brain damage, it is possible that it wouldn't have made a difference.
Now, I'm kinda playing devil's advocate here, but the way I believe is that if something is even feasibly possible, that still makes it possible. (And I rarely believe in pure impossibility). So any belief that one has regarding the feasibly possible is largely personal choice. I like personal choice.
I'm not a big fan of the "Goddunit" answer to things, and I suspect neither are you.
Yes, that is plausible. Unfortunately, it puts a serious cramp on Christianity and the Resurrection.
While I don't go in for personal choices over real answers, I can agree with you on this one as a possibility. Again, Christianity becomes a false religion if Jesus never actually died.
No, I'm not big on goddunnit... but I also wasn't there so I can't state with any certainty.
I don't think Christianity as a whole would be exposed as a false religion if resurrection was disproven... but fundamentalism would have to adapt. Those who aren't literal Christians (see survey link in one of my above posts) would continue on. They have already adapted.
The idea of a non-resurrecting Christ is really not new within Christianity. I throw the Jefferson Bible around a lot, but it is a good example of how non-literal Christianity had both adapted and survived for a pretty significant length of time in the U.S.
I'm not so sure about that, Melissa. I've read many believers who say the Resurrection for them is what Christianity is all about. It solidifies the belief while making a direct connection with God and His characteristics, or to put it frankly, the goddunnit part of the equation that so many believers embrace.
Let me clarify here. I am speaking strictly of the accounts that make Jesus a deity. Mortals can be presumed dead when they are not - there is nothing miraculous in that type of "return to life".
For Jesus to be a god, for the sake of the break in the line of original sin, then Mary must be thought to have become impregnated without the aid of human male sperm in any fashion - truly virgin and miraculous birth. Then, Jesus had to die on the cross - the ultimate sacrifice for sin. Faking death or appearing dead does not work in the theological structure. And finally, that this resurrected dead body could disappear into the heaven and live only to return thousands of years later is a belief that is in total disregard of all known laws of the physical sciences.
I distictly chose these three elements of Christianity because they are the crux of the religion - for those super-moderates and liberal christians who are only going to church for the social aspects, this message does not apply.
For the Christian, it is not pleasant to dwell on this belief structure for long because it is obviously ridiculous on face value.
If we notice that both Jesus and Lazarus were in tombs and tombs contain air, being a cave and therein the deceased was wrapped in breathable linen and laid on a flat stone.
In the event of Lazarus an incidental bit of tidy information surfaces
"but by now he stinketh"
Yet when Lazarus rose, the people went to him to unbind him - no stinketh, he rose which means no rigor mortis
facts about rigor mortis
Rigor mortis starts about three hours after death; it reaches its maximum after about 12 hours. It gradually dissipates over the next 72 hours or so.
Facts about rigor mortis
The onset of rigor and the temperature of the body at any time after death vary considerably with a number of factors, for example:-
+ the temperature of the room and it's level of ventilation
+ whether the deceased was clothed, in bed etc
+ the cause of death (especially if it was any form of fever or infectious disease)
+ when they last ate
+ body weight
+ age of the deceased
Lazarus was dead for 4 days 96 hrs approx, the rigor would have disappeared.
for an excellent and super informative page on rigor mortis look here:
http://www.deathreference.com/Py-Se/Rig … anges.html
In the case of the resurrection from the dead at the end of all things although difficult to imagine but so are planets hanging in space with no visible suspension and yet they are there. Nothing is impossible with God. Faith in action and belief in action, two things that God just loves.
Dishonesty knows no bounds here. LOL!
You forgot to mention, rigor mortis dissipates with the start of putrefaction.
Who has the difficulty? Which is the upside, for it to hang?
(Lazarus was dead for 4 days 96 hrs approx, the rigor would have disappeared.)
You forgot to mention the maggots that would have appeared by then, as well as the autoinfusion of the body's cells by enzymatic action, as well as the change in coloration in the body by that time.
(Nothing is impossible with God.)
Exactly my point! To control the basic human fear of death and the unknown, a superbeing is invented that allows hope that there really is someone in charge over this terrifying situation. It is simple to eliminate the stress of intractable human problems - all you have to do is believe the hope message being peddled by the priest, the pastor, or the quack.
As Christopher Reeve (aka Superman) said, "Once you chose hope, anything is possible."
(Faith in action and belief in action, two things that God just loves.)
Then god must be crazy about the halle bop followers who commited suicide to join the space ship in the tail of the comet.
(1. God may have returned Jesus from the grave healed and whole. No brain damage, no problem.)
This would constitute invoking a magical component to reality - clearly an irrational idea.
(2. IMHO most likely scenario- Jesus was pronounced dead and recovered. Humans have had thousands of such incidents. They aren't as common now that we embalm, but they still do happen. The individuals are generally fine neurologically speaking, although psychologically waking up in your own casket tends to be a bit traumatic.)
In this scenario Jesus is mortal and thus there is no reason for the claims of his being sent by a god as redemption for sins, that he fulfilled ancient prophecies, or that he ascended to heaven and will return again as those activities are known impossibilities for mortals. If this scenario is accurate, then Christianity is not based on a human incarnation of a god and a triumverate godhead but is based on a misguided belief and urban legend about a Jewish rabbi who was thought to have died but did not.
(the way I believe is that if something is even feasibly possible, that still makes it possible. [And I rarely believe in pure impossibility].)
This is revealing as it shows a misunderstanding about knowledge - Socrates was the first to understand that all human knowledge is based on induction, and as such our knowledge can never be 100% conclusive.
This then leads to the hope that no matter how miniscule the chance, maybe there is a big huggy-bear superhero spirit that can cure cancer, raise the dead, grant everlasting life, while providing the standards of absolute morality.
If this hope cannot be disproved - and it cannot be totally refuted - then we cling to this last gasp straw that maybe, just maybe, it could happen.
Curious - and thanks for the excellent and honest description that makes my point so well for me.
Thank you for the link. I'll look at it later.
Fundamentalists argue for virgin birth and resurrection by supernatural means, not natural means.
I understand that , historically, a huge number of philosophers, proto-scientists and scientists have been Roman Catholic, but that doesn't make their contributions Roman Catholic contributions, any more than the contribution of an atheist scientist automatically becomes an atheist contribution. Also consider that, historically, huge numbers of bakers, ditch diggers and greengrocers have been Roman Catholic, which is equally irrelevant.
As for the definition of "dead," my intent was not to play with semantics, but to clarify that the revivification of a non-permanently dead person is not miraculous, and is not what a fundamentalist claims in the resurrection of Jesus.
I do not advocate riling someone up to get them to think. I agree that it is almost always counterproductive. However, sometimes, occasionally -- which are the qualifiers I used before -- the theist who is only a theist reflexively is angered into exploring the sanctuary of apologetics. I've witnessed many confident young theists embark on an exploration of apologetics, yet end up as atheists. This happens quite often with Catholic priests, actually. I've personally known over a dozen young priests who emerged from seminary as atheists.
Again, this isn't a technique that I employ, or recommend, but it works more often than you might imagine.
Thank you very much for your reasoned debate.
I'm still trying to figure out when the catholic church was the cutting edge of science. That is re-writing history Melissa.
The bottom line is that normal people can adjust their thinking when scientific theories are adjusted in response to new evidence. To me that is evidence of an open mind, and not a little humility to acknowledge that we don't know the answers, but we are trying to know, and are actively looking for anything that helps explain what we are experiencing while we live.
On the other hand we have the religious sector that insists that it absolutely knows the answers, and all it takes is faith and we will know the answers also. You are smug in your beliefs but ignore anything that doesn't support them.
Most people are good whether they have religion or not, nobody is going to hell.
Melissa questions my motives. I think that is a fair question.
The answer is simple - when one is surrounded by believers, there is no one left to point out that the shared beliefs are ridiculous. If by pointing out how silly the beliefs really are, I can get only one person to look at his beliefs in a new light, then my mission will have succeeded.
Why am I doing it? Because what someone believes is important. We act based on our beliefs. People who cannot use reason to overcome superstition are potentiallly dangerous. You cannot reason with the faithful - the faithful fly airliners into buildings. And hold Inquisitions.
It is no more ridiculous to believe in flying mules and Muhammed in a cave visited by an angel than it is to believe in virgin births, reanimated decayed flesh, and beings who disappear into the sky for thousands of years only to return in triumph.
I don't want to ever be in the position to have to try and convince the sheriff that it wasn't my evil eye that caused his kid to come down with chicken pox.
The only way to assure myself of that is to eliminate irrationally held beliefs.
Oh, okay. You want to convince someone to give up the beliefs they hold most dear by calling them names.
How's that working out for you?
Once again, just to sum it up... you object to the extremists that are willing to fly a plane into a building because of their beliefs so you are going to convince that person (the one willing to die for his God) how wrong they are by insulting their beliefs (that are likely the only reason for their existence) on an internet forum?
And you call belief in a virgin birth irrational?
Okay, I am going to take you at your word that there is a greater good that you are aiming for.
In that case, I'm going to point out...once again... that the only people likely to be swayed by rational conversation are the already rational. Unfortunately, rational people will not see you as rational when your are insulting them. So the only people who's opinion you COULD change are 1. Not your target anyway and 2. Not going to respond well to your techniques.
A person who has truly irrational beliefs may (a very small may) respond well to rational conversation without hostility. They will, however, most certainly not suddenly become rational after being insulted. In fact constant insults over the things they hold dear may cause them to fly a plane into something.
The third class are the timid. Who may or may not be irrational but regardless are extremely unlikely to actually DO anything about their beliefs. These are the only ones that you could get to say that their opinions have changed by insulting them. It is unlikely a true change, and occurs by coercion (which once again may build enough resentment to fly a plane into something.)
Now, I am sure that you don't wish to bully someone into giving up the things they hold sacred just so they will agree with you. No one wants to be verbally abusive. I am also sure that you are not egotistical enough to assume that your beliefs are the only ones that could possibly be correct.
I realize that you believe that some religious beliefs are dangerous, and I am inclined to agree with you... However it really is a question of those who are dangerous are not going to listen to you and those who would be open to seeing your point of view are not dangerous.
So how about a nice conversation where you state your beliefs and explain why you believe that way (without using words like ridiculous or irrational) and then allow people to also state their views... You might actually find your views of the world around you to be expanded and you might actually find a few who are expanded by your POV.
As it is now you are managing only to preach to the choir while alienating those who you wish to convert.
At what point did I disparage anyone by calling him a name? The closest you can get is that I made the statement that it is absurd to believe the basic tenets of Christianity. Smart people can and do believe absurd things. Good and bad people believe absurd things.
I think what you consider insult is really caused by the cognitive dissonance you perceive when faced with the facts that actually back your belief. I know firsthand - been there, done that.
I disagree with your assessment, though. If someone is offended by having the unreasonableness of his beliefs pointed out, then that person could never be reached by way of reason - the only hope is shock.
Funny thing is, the shock isn't in the form of an insult - it is in simply taking the phony wrapping paper off and letting him see for himself what he has really bought into.
I understand that I cannot change anyone. But if I offer facts, there is the chance that the person may elect to change.
Whatever, you win. You are truly the superior intellect and everything you are doing makes perfect sense and is the absolute correct way to go about it. Continue on with your crusade, I'm sure the masses are waiting to fall before your genius, so I won't keep you.
However, just so you know, if I wasn't firm in my beliefs you would actually make me want to become MORE conservative. Rather than risk agreeing with you. I felt bullied by you and I'm not even your target audience. If you are the representative of what people like you believe in, I'd rather believe just about anything else rather than believe whatever causes you to act the way you do.
You are obviously completely ignorant of the basics of human psychology. You are abusive and you are deluded to believe that you are important enough or persuasive enough to change anyone's mind on what kind of gum to buy, let alone what religion to choose.
Quite honestly, you may want to considered therapy for your inferiority complex and delusions of grandeur.
Now, according to your logic, you should now be completely reasonable and ready to see my point of view. I mean that worked right? You aren't feeling defensive and more likely to feel you are correct are you?
(Whatever, you win. You are truly the superior intellect and everything you are doing makes perfect sense and is the absolute correct way to go about it. Continue on with your crusade, I'm sure the masses are waiting to fall before your genius, so I won't keep you.)
It is interesting how often the disgruntled Christian falls into sarcasm as a last resort when there is no reasoning left to use. However, if you want to continue the dialogue on a reasoned basis, I have not taken any offense from your diatribe - I understand your anger is misguided fear.
(if I wasn't firm in my beliefs you would actually make me want to become MORE conservative.)
I'm fairly certain I said early on that it is useless to politely debate believers using reason because their unreasonable belief is evidence that they will not understand or agree to use reasoning - you have exemplified that claim.
(Quite honestly, you may want to considered therapy for your inferiority complex and delusions of grandeur)
I think if you will look back over the give and take it is you who had been most audacious and personally insulting while all I did was poke holes in a well-established belief system. That you took insult from the facts I provided is a problem I'm afraid only you can deal with - shooting the messenger won't fix problems you have with reasoning skills concerning your religious/spiritual beliefs.
this will come as no surprise to you, but if your title was 'Religion, the progeny. . .' I would agree with you.
Of course I don't think a creator has any direct relationship at all to religion, since so much of it is easily refuted by puny humans.
okay, perhaps believing in God as difined by christianity is not ridiculous. let's then just say it's not brilliant. 90% of men with IQ's above 140 (the cutoff for genius) don't believe in God.
That is actually an interesting stat... Any stats for women? I'm not a genius, but I'm not exactly brain dead either. My views about God aren't standard Christian but I see very little difference in intelligence between the Christians and non-Christians in my life.
sorry, guess they haven't studied women.
the top 1/2% have IQ's above 140, so if you know 200 people, chances are only one of them would be that smart. going by the folks you know is probably too small a sample size to make for any statistically significant conclusions. i know a rocket scientist who is a devout catholic. that one experience doesn't change the statistic above.
*nods* O.K. I concede point.
I actually know three male geniuses and only one is nominally Christian. One is Hindu and the other is vaguely atheistic. (He believes himself to be God I believe)
I've got to wonder though if their incredibly high I.Q.s haven't influenced their choice of careers... (Teacher, Engineer, Physician) and interests towards a scientific slant and a group of peers that are also largely unconcerned about religion.
In addition, the studies on women would be interesting to see as females tend to be more religiously oriented in general...(With the exception, I believe, of Buddhism)
Also, the personalities that lean more towards non-belief tend to be more logical while those that lean towards religion are more emotional (Myers-Brigg)
science is just like religion . assuming and soon to be proven false. if there is such a thing as god i hope its first order of business is going to be . kicking the crap out of both. for being such know it all's .
I agree. Science has the same history of stating something as fact only to find out they are wrong...the earth is flat for example. But people put their faith into it and trust it when it is as much faith as anthing else. Except these people can be know-it-alls. At least some of us can say I don't know and admit it is faith.
Science was nary even a concept in any ones mind back when they believed the earth was flat. In fact, during that time, all kinds of Gods reigned over the earth and very little was known about anything, let alone the characteristics of the earth itself. It was believers who believed the earth was flat and it wasn't until Pythagoras in the 6BC developed a spherical earth model (based on astronomy), which Aristotle accepted (based on physics) and promoted 3oo years later that we all accept today.
Yes, people put their faith in a flat earth model until someone doing a little science comes along to correct the model, NOT using faith as their guidance.
Or, maybe they just know something more, but not all.
Yes, you are free to do so. We are also free to help you know so you don't have to rely on faith alone and mistakenly claim things about science.
I think you missed the point. But thank you for that perfect example of the arrogant know-it-all attitude.
Wow, TroubledMan, your knowledge certainly is "troubled." You stated, "Science was nary even a concept in any ones mind back when they believed the earth was flat." Oops!
"Flat Earth" believers exist even today. Science, as far as history is concerned, started as far back as 3500 BC, when the Sumerians recorded numerical data about their observations of nature. The Greeks continued in this tradition, including the works of Pythagoras and others.
The observations of the early Greeks were so good that one of them discovered the precession of the Earth's axis. Another Greek calculated the diameter and circumference of the Earth from real-world observations.
There were some who believed in a "flat Earth" during the time of Columbus, too. This was long after science had its start.
So, your opening pronouncement was full of "stuff!"
Science studies the products of God's creation. And that's a beautiful profession. But scientists and skeptics making pronouncements against God and faith are talking out their back sides. And that truly is not a pretty picture.
Science and faith are not incompatible. Skepticism and faith are.
Scientific method warns against bias. But, oops! Skepticism contains a very potent bias -- that of doubt. Could science use a better paradigm? I think so.
That paradigm would include humility and restraint, but too many have too much ego invested in their "skepticism." Alas!
Science has proven there was no Adam and Eve.
Therefore there was no original sin.
Therefore no savior was needed.
Therefore your faith is meaningless (not to mention ego-driven).
Science and your faith are utterly incompatible.
Of course there must be sometime in the evolution where we could say that there were a first couple of human being; what is bad if they had the names Adam and Eve?
I agree that their was no original/hereditary sin; every human being is born innocent like Jesus.
No messenger prophet of the Creator God ever opposed science; it is a good tool of knowledge.
Nonsense. I suggest you go and learn about evolution before making such ridiculous statements. No compulsion - but you would not appear so un-knowledgeable.
If Adam and Eve were the first humans, why would they need names? There was no-one to talk to.
Funny how each time you decide to engage me, you start off with a personal insult. Is that the loving Christian in you or someone else?
Read this article before you go making those claims:
"Thus, Sumerian science lacked the conceptual framework of formulated principIes (what in the West has been called «natural laws"), and simply ordered nominal expressions one after the other in a one-dimensional fashion, without any kind of elucidation."
http://www.gatewaystobabylon.com/introd … ience1.htm
No, they did not continue in that tradition. Did you not read where I talked about Pythagoras in my post?
So what? Do you have a point?
And yet, that is one of the most common misconceptions and myths which you appear to have swallowed. Columbus never sailed to prove the Earth wasn't flat, that is entirely false.
Really? I think we can see where the "stuff" is originating.
Gobbledegook, or in your own words, "Stuff"
I already know you know very little about the scientific method and science in general, no need to remind me.
It seems many who need religion confuse their beliefs with self-identity, in that if the belief is withdrawn the ego - the person - dies. This is why I believe they fight tooth and nail to hold onto untenable positions, feeling that if they let go of beliefs there is no person left as a base to move forward.
On the other hand, someone like me looks at their own beliefs in a dispassionate manner, and I know I can easily shed a false belief if the evidence does not support that belief.
The road to here from there is extremely difficult for some, as they must be willing to eradicate their ego, their self-identity, and rebuild identity on a much sounder basis - that it is perfectly fine to be nothing more than human like everyone else.
I agree Winston, I am another average human being who can also change beliefs in the light of better information.
Not much point in holding on to wrong ideas simply because they are what we believed yesterday if today's info is proven to supersede it.
being a female infj, shedding my christianity once i realized it wasn't logical was a ten-years-long process. though i think religion equates to superstition, i rarely say this because i realize how important religion can be to someone.
I just find it hilarious that he is STILL harping on my religious beliefs when my personal beliefs (if he actually would have read anything I posted) aren't the ones he finds offensive...
Talk about obsession.
(he is STILL harping on my religious beliefs when my personal beliefs (if he actually would have read anything I posted) aren't the ones he finds offensive... )
I never said I took offense. I said basic Christian beliefs are ridiculous. I would venture that if I described a 19th century American who met an angel who gave him magic seer stones so he could read the new gospel written on hidden golden tablets and that the writing revealed that a lost Jewish tribe had lived in the Western Hemisphere that you, too, would consider that belief ridiculous. Or if I told you about a holy man who lived in a cave and was visited by an angel and flew across the sky on a magic mule-like animal you would also consider that believer basically clueless, as well.
Well, your disregard for those beliefs would insult the million Mormons in the U.S. and the millions of Muslims living worldwide.
Accepting the idea of magic with no objective basis is ridiculous, regardless of the religion, and it is all based on relieving the anxiety brought about by our inherited primal fears.
I am sorry if you don't like to hear it.
But I did indeed read what you posted, and you said this:
(I am one of the 32 million and it seems narrow-minded to assume my beliefs based on a limited and stereotypical definition of Christianity.)
I then pointed out that the 3 elements that comprise Christianity are virgin birth, resurrection, and a final return. I pointed out that if you didn't believe these three then what I said did not pertain to you.
I also read when you said this,
(There will be no reasonable conversation once you label someone's beliefs as absurd or ridiculous.)
I never said I was looking for conversation as I am not trying to change minds. Perhaps you are not aware that we cannot control anyone else in any way - any change must come from the other person.
My sole reason for this post is exactly as it states - to show how little progress we have made in our reasons for holding religious/spiritual beliefs when compared to The Dark Ages that we all agree were full of superstition and irrational and ridiculous beliefs.
We still accept in a sense that witch's are real - in that we accept without any objective evidence at all what some ancient texts say.
Believe at your own risk.
~ never said I was looking for conversation as I am not trying to change minds.~
Then what the hell is the point? Why are you writing threads about how ridiculous other's beliefs are? What are you hoping to accomplish?
The post is clear that we continue in 2011 to ask for as little evidence for the validity of our gods as we did during The Dark Ages for the validity of the idea that witches could cause plague - yet we call ourselves advanced.
Occassionally, even a believer can have a lucid moment and go, hmmm, that is curious. Why do we do that? At times, this can even lead to a believer changing his mind.
But I cannot change anyone's mind - they have to do it for themselves.
You seem to be arguing that all I am doing is providing an unfounded assertion that basic religious beliefs are ridiculous. That is untrue. It is fact that the ideas expressed in the basic tenets of the world's major religions are patently absurd when compared to reality as it has shown itself to be.
As example only, take the case of dead human tissue that has been in the decaying process for three days - we scientifically know the state of that body at that point in time and the tissue is unsalvageable, the body is locked in rogor mortis, and the body's bacteria has begun the process of ingesting the host tissues.
It is 100% impossible for that tissue to be regenerated and return to life. Yet to accept the basic tenet of Christianity - the resurrection - a mysterious, magical being has to intervene with magic powers unknown to man and will this tissue and this person back to life.
Or cause plague with an evil eye - your choice.
There is no objective evidence of this resurrection occurence, mind you, nor any scientific evidence that it could possibly have occured without magical intervention. The only claimed evidence of this happening is the worst type of historical evidence, i.e., second-hand writing years after the fact from non-witnesses who also had a bias and motive for having their story believed.
You may as well be buying the tonic from the local snake oil salesman for as much evidence of validity provided - in fact, his claims are even better if he states he has personally seen the miracle snake oil cure firsthand.
As I stated before, if I told you my personal beliefs about a man sitting in a cave who was visited by an angel and then flew to heaven on a magical mule-like beast you would consider my beliefs absurd, as the entire world knows there is no such critter as a flying mule and no matter how high we blast off from earth we do not reach the entry to heaven by flight.
But millions of people worldwide hold just such belief.
We act based on what we believe to be true - the fact that so many of us accept as true the story of ancient snake oil salesmen without demanding any further proof but the word of ancients who had trouble keeping their fesces and food supply separate makes the world a more dangerous place that it should be.
Spreading lies again, huh Wilson?
God is not the progeny of human fear. Some beliefs are, but that's not the same thing.
And God is not anti-science. Again, some beliefs are, but when you create such an "equation," you are twisting the facts -- creating a lie.
And where did you get the wild idea that science ever said
* virgin birth is impossible,
* human tissue dead for 3 days can never be regenerated?
And who ever said that Christ ascended in a physical (flesh and bone) body?
Are we to believe your claim "What you believe is absurd," simply because you say it is so? And where is your proof?
Simply because science has not done this yet does not mean it is impossible by science.
And you claim such expert knowledge of spiritual things, and yet have you ever had a spiritual experience?
I have to agree with your assessment that "belief" can shape actions and potentially become dangerous. But "belief" is not the same thing as "knowledge" or "faith."
And yet so many "believers" have not yet found "faith" and truly are misguided by what they think is "righteousness."
And who is this "we" that "demands more proof?"
I leave to science those things which belong to science and those which belong to God are His. You seem to be too easily confused, Wilson. Someone can still use the USDA (US government agency responsible for all things agricultural) recommendations and have faith in God. The two are not incompatible.
The truly faithful have no problem with science, for science studies the products of God's creation. And that's a good thing. When scientists and skeptics start making pronouncements against "faith," then they are treading on thin ice. Oops!
You seem like a smart guy, so perhaps you can answer a question for me. Why was it such a big deal for god to sacrifice his son when he could-and supposedly did-simply bring him right back to life? How is that a meaningful sacrifice?
When you consider that the fullness of God was in the persom and flesh of jesus christ and that as that flesh suffered, so did God. God who made everything put aside his awesome powers and his heavenly home and came to earth and walked - not teleported - everywhere. Heard his people say He was not who he was, deride him and seek to kill him, then in Gethsemane garden, was betrayed by a kiss - sign of homage - and then Peter cut off that guards ear, which jesus healed and rebuked him saying, "could not my father send me legions of angels to rescue me" and then as he was interrogated by the governors and sentenced without proper cause, then beaten, etc, hung on a cross and while that flesh was in great pain God kept that body alive for 6 hrs while all it wanted to do was stop functioning, all the while realizing the pain that those close to him were experiencing watching him die, for Mary to watch her baby boy die this way.
My words do not convey the extremity of this situation at all.
God could have not done this or avoided it completely. Nobody asked God to do this, God chose to do this to give up all that He had and walk as a human to experience life as we do and then to give it up.
Aside from that, the sacrifice was necessary, prophesied throughout the OT, 1,000 of years before it happened, this sacrifice changed so many things. That sacrifice gave us a different way of doing things other than to be killing cows at a nearby temple or any of the other worship events the OT people did. It also was a stepping stone to revealing that there is an afterlife, a resurrection, laugh if you will, but the resurrection is the backbone of the Early Church and its faithful to the death followers.
Hope this helps
(When you consider that the fullness of God was in the persom and flesh of jesus christ and that as that flesh suffered, so did God.)
And, of course, you have objective evidence you can provide that shows you to be especially sensitive to occult knowledge of what an omnipotent being felt over 2000 years ago, and you can provide concrete examples to show scientifically how it is possible that god-flesh can become human flesh by the expedient of spiritual intercourse with a human virgin female?
Let's get real, here. Either a person has good reasons for what he believes or he does not. It would be ridiculous to believe that it was an alien race of 10-foot tall zombies and not the Romans who conquered the known world around the first century when the evidence of history is so clear-cut that Rome and its citizens did indeed rule.
Yet we accept without question the idea of an equally-alien spiritual impregnation of a human virgin based on the most dubious of evidence - two second-hand accounts written long after the described event supposedly occured, written by those who were biased toward the belief, and who wrote two stories that do not match each other in details. For reliability, this is the very worst kind of evidence for ancient historical acceptance, and it is not considered historically accurate. On top of that, we accept this claim in full knowledge that science tells us that spiritual impregnation is biologically impossible.
Outside of religion, strong belief in the ridiculous is a sign of stupidity or insanity. What is there about the orientation of religious thought that grants equally ridiculous religious beliefs cultural acceptance?
Now you are just arguing for argument sake and you are asking stupid questions and saying ridiculous stuff. If you can't figure them out then it appears in this area i have information that you choose to ignore.
Good luck with that in the future
(Now you are just arguing for argument sake)
Yes, I will always argue why I should believe your Christian snake oil is superior to Muslim or Hindi snake oil when no snake oil peddler can offer a single piece of objective evidence to back his claims.
Remember what I said about why I believe Rome ruled? Evidence. Evidence supports my inductive reasoning that says it is likely true that Rome and its citizens ruled the ancient world. I can show you Roman coins, Roman writings, Roman ruins...
What evidence do you have that your snake oil heals? You point to an empty bottle that has no label and say, see? There is my proof.
Sorry. Not good enough.
But I am openminded - all you have to do is show me the power of your belief by creating an objective, tangible miracle - just like your holy book says you can do - and make the Matterhorn relocate itself to Central Park by this Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time, and I will happily change my mind and views about your beliefs.
Now, if you cannot do this or find a suitably faithful believer who can accomplish this miracle for you, would you be willing to change your mind about the reality of your beliefs? No?
I didn't think so.
(Aside from that, the sacrifice was necessary)
This is an unwarranted assertion, and it is the one point no theologian has ever been able to explain to me logically, fully and faithfully using genuine intellectual honesty: why is blood sacrifice a necessity to absolve sin?
If god is omnipotent, then god has the power to forgive the debt of sin without requiring a sacrifice be made; if a sacrifice is mandatory, then god is a slave to this law and cannot be omnipotent.
If we resolve to postulate that god is indeed omnipotent, then the only logical conclusion to be drawn is that blood sacrifice is the will of god, that the necessity of sacrifice stems from god's own bloodthirsty nature rather than any genuine necessity to kill to absolve sin.
As god has stated the moral law that it is wrong to murder, then god is violating his own law by adhering to his bloodthirsty nature and requiring murder to be done for absolvement of sin when his omnipotent nature clearly makes this requirement unnecessary.
God therefore cannot be good as he is an evil, bloodthirsty bastard.
Game over. You lose. Thanks for playing.
(Spreading lies again, huh Wilson?)
Look who's back - the Miracle Worker. Trolling for sucke...er... followers?
How are you doing on that little miracle request I made of you - you know, to regrow an amputee's arm? Must be hard to do without ego.
Dianetically-speaking, of course.
Obviously its easy to use facts to make some other conjecture.
As far as your making an amputees arm grow, i bet you get there before winston does.
Science only predicts what will happen when a billiard ball is pushed by a pool cue, but it will not be able to account for me when i grab the ball before it reaches its destination.
Science only thinks physics is laws as all its tests are done to see what happens if they apply the formula.
But if something unseen happens, like the God who created all this cause and effect, action and reaction, chooses to calm the waves and still the wind, the jaw of science will be on the floor and will take a long time to close again.
Humans believe for one simple reason - we are afraid not to believe. All one has to do is accept a make-believe story of hopefulness to make fear of the unknown subside - and that is why we chose false belief: it masks our fear.
Man this could have been a long post
About people who are persecuted in intolerant societies - 1/3 of the world and have lost families and careers, possessions and are in jail not to mention the apostles scant lives and grizzly deaths.
About how belief is first in the person who while growing up investigates the supernatural, spirituality, etc.
About how people wear seat belts because they are 'afraid of a car accident' and how prudent that is. We deride them not.
About experience and relationship with God.
About how everyday the Christian life is full of unknowns because they do not control their lives.
About how i have read about vampires and do not believe in them.
But you said "that is why we chose FALSE belief:"
I simply say, nothing false masks anything. Nobody dies for a false anything if they can help it.
Of course the word false is up for grabs. Some people may want immortality so they go vampire hunting to get bit. Some like karma and say they do, yet, have not researched the three different types, nor realized an angry blue elephant god runs that show. We could go on.
But my point is that if someone knows something is false, they will not serve it nor let it run their life and neither will it give them comfort. A willingness to follow anything false; 2+2=5; nobody will use that to comfort themselves. Believing in a false belief about the afterlife, if we know it to be false, will not mask our fear. Having a golden cow in the livingroom will not mask our fear of unknowns if we know the cow has no power.
(About how people wear seat belts because they are 'afraid of a car accident' and how prudent that is. We deride them not.)
That's because there is a mountain of evidence about the risks of driving without a seatbelt and hundreds of thousands of dead or crippled individuals who have proved such risk brings real harm.
There is not a single person who can say with total assurance that there is any life after death, a heaven or a hell - and anyone who claims to be able to do so is simply peddling opinion, not facts.
We humans do not like to face intractable human problems like morality, disease, and death, so we invent beings and conventions that we claim can control and overcome such things in order to make us feel less threatened by our own mortality and limitations.
For many, it is easier to believe a hopeful lie than face abject reality. And every con man since Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus to P.T. Barnum and Benny Hinn have used that same fear to swindle the fearful and bedazzle the emotionally weak.
Hi Winston. I agree with a few comments that this thread is somewhat trollish. But, your comment in this post piqued my curiosity.
For many, it is easier to believe a hopeful lie than face abject reality.
Really? So, you were obviously raised with faith (as evidenced in that comment). Why do you consider the reality of no God or afterlife an utterly hopeless reality? Or, why would you assume the realization of no God would cause others to react that way?
The more interesting question is; if that was your reaction, why attempt to create that feeling in others? Misery loves company?
(Why do you consider the reality of no God or afterlife an utterly hopeless reality? )
You are placing your own interpretation on my words and reaching an incorrect conclusion. Perhaps you would understand it better if I simply stated "stark reality".
Stark reality is simply reality stripped of illusion of the hope of magical interventions - god is not going to cure your cancer no matter how many words of prayer you utter, and the magic Mexican mushroom concoction you pay hundreds of dollars for and ingest three times a day won't do it either.
(Misery loves company?)
Why would you assume that there is misery in having the knowledge of reality instead of the security blanket of irrational hope?
Did you become miserable when you found out there really wasn't a monster hiding in your closet or that Santa Claus was not ever really going to visit?
I think not. I think what you became was not miserable but less naive, less gullible, and that brings an inner satisfaction based on self-reliance that replaces the fear of superstition.
My interpretation? I would be curious how others interpret the word abject. The fact that you used it at that particular point was telling. Were you not raised in some type of pro God atmosphere?
I understand your argument either way. I am simply asking why you would think that? Whether a person believes in God, or not, it doesn't change reality. Does it? How many people wander around thinking they can magically have cancer cured? Not many that I have met.
I would point you back to the use of the word abject.
I don't know Winston. Accepting the absence of Santa equated to less presents under the tree. I was a kid. How do you think that played out? And, I still have to put my feet under the covers to keep the monsters from grabbing them. You can't just make a fear go away, by knowing it is irrational. You simply learn to have fun with it.
There is nothing wrong with a belief in God, as long as the believer is capable of finding perspective. Accepting and embracing reality. The ones who do are no different from you and me. Well, me for sure. I've got my own delusions so don't begrudge them theirs.
(I would be curious how others interpret the word abject. The fact that you used it at that particular point was telling.)
Well, Emile, it wouldn't be the first time I screwed up in my choice of words, thinking it meant one thing when it meant another. :-)) Luckily, this time the word and my intent for its meaning has some agreement.
From the website: English-test.net "Definition of abject, immutable...."
This is how I meant the word - but on reflection I see your point and you are correct that it is not the best choice of words to reflect my intent. We usually (me included) think of abject as in "abject poverty" meaning hopeless or crushing.
I did not and do not mean reality is hopeless or crushing - but reality is immutable (abject).
I hope this clears up that problem.
(You can't just make a fear go away, by knowing it is irrational)
This is true. But you can make fear go away by the realization that the fear itself is imaginary, that there is nothing to fear. This is exactly what we do when we open the closet door and peer inside - we are proving to ourselves that there really was no reason to fear the closet monster.
(There is nothing wrong with a belief in God, as long as the believer is capable of finding perspective.)
Here I think one needs a bigger picture viewpoint. The question is not one of right or wrong, but of harmful versus harmless. The question then becomes is it harmful or harmless for adults to accept beliefs that have no objective basis? On a comparative basis, is it better for a society to be led by those who do not require testable validations of beliefs or with those who demand evidence that the belief is likely valid?
In this sense all unfounded beliefs - whether it be that Benny Hinn can cure chronic arthritis or that blacks are fundamentally inferior to whites is of the same ilk and each has some degree of responsibility for the others' lack of shame.
If unfounded beliefs were castigated by entire populations as shameful and silly, there could not have been a Spanish Inquisition, a 9-11, or the Salem witch trials. There is no dividing line between moderate belief and extreme belief - but tolerance allows a resevoir that enables the growth of extremism.
If you want a better grasp of the dangers inherent in something as seemingly benign as religious beliefs, it takes only a limited investigation into the beliefs of Dominionists to recognize this group as antithesis to genuine American values.
Iran is a classic example of theocracy - when religion and government blend into one.
At this point, I'd have to say you are overstepping your bounds. Grossly. We all have our beliefs. You cannot prove your assertions on the question of God any more than a believer could prove their stand. To argue otherwise, is simply an attempt to convince yourself you know something that no one in the history of humanity has been able to prove.
Conversely, there would have been no pogroms under communist regimes. There would have been no attempt to exterminate the Jews. It works all ways Winston. All of us, no matter what our philosophy, are capable of atrocities. It has less to do with our personal concept of God than it has to do with the realities of being human.
I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you on that one also. There is a larger chasm between moderate and extreme religious beliefs than there is between atheist and moderate christian beliefs. To argue otherwise ignores facts.
Although America is predominantly Christian, most voters support gay marriage. Why is that? Many of them are Christians. America has come a long way in race relations, equality for all and host of social issues; all the while being peopled by a population that is......mostly Christian. Can you explain that away?
A vocal and irritating minority. I don't fear them because they are simply that. To use them as an example as to why Christianity is to be feared is irrational, at best.
Fear is a tactic used by the right. It doesn't work on me. We've had the religious as a majority for many, many years. They are already losing ground. I wouldn't expect to get anywhere with that argument, if I were you. You don't have a leg to stand on.
(You cannot prove your assertions on the question of God)
At what point have a made a positive claim about god? Please point out any god claim and I will address it. I have not made an argument against god.
I have pointed out that the beliefs of the major religions are based on absurd ideas supported by no objective evidence.
(America has come a long way in race relations, equality for all and host of social issues; all the while being peopled by a population that is......mostly Christian. Can you explain that away?)
Absolutely - each movement of society toward enlightenment has been at the expense of religious fundamentalism. As Christians found out that the "word" was not really 100% accurate, they abandonded absolutism for moderation - so why not go the rest of the way and simply recognize that the whole book that the religion is based upon is nothing but a collection of myths and urban legends from a group of ancient nomadic tribes, no more worthy of holiness than any other collection of ancient writing?
There is life after death, a heaven no hell... and those are facts.
Since your not at the game you don't know the score.
Since your not up on the news you don't know wuzsup.
and your only peddling your opinion
I'm perfectly fine with the bad things that go on in this world. It happens. I don't blame God thats for sure. And i didn't invent God, 40 other people over thousands of years and then 8 more came along and documented the New covenant. I just read it, obeyed it, and it works for me.
Obviously you don't understand Pauls writings, they are spot on! I think because you don't understand Pauls writing and you call him a con man you are being intellectually dishonest. 2 finger points, 1 shame and a sound of the buzzer on that.
But what did you think of the rest of the post, especially the last point? I know you didn't like the seat belt, but then to me christianity is the seat belt of life, it keeps ya safe.
LOL! Hysterical stuff.
Life after death is a fact?
That deserved the coveted double laughie.
(There is life after death, a heaven no hell... and those are facts)
Show me objective evidence of your claim. Do you have a piece of the Pearly Gate of heaven you can display at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C.? Perhaps you have captured a rogue soul and have it living in a glass jar in your bedroom and are willing to donate it to science for study?
Until you can do this much, whatever else you have to say is nothing but an editorial expressing your personal opinion about the nature of reality.
I do not find your opinion compelliing evidence of the nature of reality - sorry.
(But what did you think of the rest of the post, especially the last point?)
In that post you wrote this: (Believing in a false belief about the afterlife, if we know it to be false, will not mask our fear. Having a golden cow in the livingroom will not mask our fear of unknowns if we know the cow has no power.)
What you are doing is confusing the proclaiming of a creed with belief. You may profess the creed of the golden cow while at the same time understanding that the golden cow offers no method to alter life circumstances. The parallel here would be the liberal Christian who professes to follow the creed because they think it is a decent way to live but who has no self-delusions about the impossibility of virgin birth, resurrection, or objective miracles like regeneration of amputee's limbs.
Genuine belief requires the assumption that reality includes that which is believed - I have never been to China but I believe it exists and is part of the community of nations of earth.
I could equally believe that a superbeing created everything that is in 6 literal days, but to continue in that belief in the face of scientific gains in knowledge requires mental gymnastics Bart Conner would envy.
Belief requires the suspension of disbelief in any alternative reality . The fundamental Christian belief is based on an assumption that Christian dogma represents reality so that if it were not so it would not be believed. You believe god exists because you believe god to be a truth of reality - and your belief is such that if god were not a truth of reality, you would not believe it.
The trouble is that the only method humans have to determine reality is based on induction - and thus we can never have a 100% guarantee that our ideas are inviolate. Because of this perpetual doubt, we have the capacity for self-delusion that is staggering. And we have a limited capacity for separating self-delusional beliefs from actual truths of reality.
Our brains and emotions cannot distinguish from a genuinely held false belief and a true belief. Either way we consider that condition as reality. The only way we have to determine the difference is induction and testing of the claim.
This gets back to the basic tenets of Christianity I talked about earlier. The claim of a virgin birth is not just a religious euphenism; it is a claim of a reality of biology - a scientific claim. The same holds true for the resurrection; this is not simply theology but a scientific claim that reality includes reanimation of dead tissue. That a resurrected being could disappear into the heavens and live for thousands of years only to return later is a direct claim that flight without mechanical aid is a reality and it is also a direct biological claim that supra-human beings invalidate known life expectancies and are immune from the known biological devastation brought about by the aging process.
Science never says it cannot happen - but induction says there is no evidence that is can happen and therefore it is incredibly unlikely that it is even possible.
Believe at your own risk.
I do not believe because of any of the reasons you mentioned. And your belief leads you away from belief in God. Your second last paragraph for example, incredibly unlikely is all through the bible.
And i am glad you say what you say but what you think is in your way of what God requires. When joshua told his men to march around the walls of Jericho he was talking to men of war, generals, strategists do you not think they asked him, 'hey joshua are you sure you heard from God, i mean those walls are thick and you want us to just march around them and blow some trumpets?' You see, this is the kind of faith a person needs to understand the things of God and to know God and experience God. What your line of thinking will always bring to you, is the walls are still standing and the promised land unknown.
(incredibly unlikely is all through the bible.)
And the bible is not considered historically reliable. What are the objective tests one can construct and accomplish that would verify any miracle or incredibly unlikely event from the bible? In other words, how can we objectively validate any miraculous claim?
The answer is short and sweet. We cannot. So to point to the bible as a source document is like pointing to The Odessey as reliable proof that Atlantis was real. Maybe...but we need some credible evidence to believe it.
(What your line of thinking will always bring to you, is the walls are still standing)
What my line of thinking will lead to is this: Men, we are going to need artillery. (artillery has evidence supporting its case as a wall-buster.)
And the question that you might want to ask yourself is what do you offer god-believers in place of the concept of god?
Christians believe there is an all powerful, all knowing, infinitely benign, eternal being who is present everywhere, who intervenes directly in their lives, and at the end of time if they've done their best to live a certain way they'll get to exist in a state of eternal bliss.
Science offers the notion that human beings are less significant than an electron spinning round the nuclei of an atom, within a molecule of puss, on a boil, on the arse of the backside of the universe. When you die (in the words of Willy Wonka) "you loose, you get nothing, good day sir!".
Does it surprise you in any way that the first narrative is more appealing to some people than the second? If it does, I think you underestimate the power of human hope. If it doesn't why offer science up as some kind of alternative to religion. It isn't, because it can't be. And you do it a disservice to position it as such.
In a world where self-aware creatures exist and endure suffering, a narrative of hope, justice and eternal life, will always trump a narrative of randomness, chaos and oblivion, no matter how true or false you believe either to be. We are hard-wired to hope and to make sense of our experience through narrative, just as we are hard-wired to see patterns and order. Hope is a form of resilience, a defence mechanism against fear and doubt in circumstances where those things are not conducive to survival. You cannot eradicate god-belief without first eradicating hope and for that matter imagination. Only a material change (e.g. an end to all suffering) or a fundamental change in human nature itself can achieve what I think would be your ultimate goal. Without either of those, such talk as this is just so much pissing into the wind. But of course that's only my humble opinion.
(Christians believe there is an all powerful, all knowing, infinitely benign, eternal being who is present everywhere, who intervenes directly in their lives, and at the end of time if they've done their best to live a certain way they'll get to exist in a state of eternal bliss. )
When I was 4 years old, I believed there was a fat jolly man who knew if I had been bad or good and who wore a red furry suit and flew around the world in a sleigh on Christmas night and gave out presents to the good children.
Now, neither story - yours or mine - has any better evidence than the other of its truth. The question is, if an adult believed either story would you want that person to control the nuclear arms of Pakistan or India?
What if Iran sent its army against Israel - at that point in time would you want a U.S. President who was a fundamentalist Christian in charge of the U.S. military response?
On an academic level it seems harmless enough to have silly beliefs - but just such silly beliefs killed over 50,000 people during the Inquisition and led to 3,000 U.S. citizens being killed during the 9-11 attacks.
The fanatics believe the same fairy tales as do moderates and liberals and follow the teachings of the same holy books - they simply believe it on a deeper level.
I don't underestimate the power of hope - or the power of delusional beliefs.
Theoretically, scientific discoveries should push back belief in the supernatural. However, the evidence so far is that it hasn't. Scientsts are mostly atheists, because they understand existence better than most of us. However, for the majority of the human population, gods, creation myths, and the supernatural still hold sway over their imaginations, and no amount of scientific empirical evidence will ever be allowed to get in the way of a good story, especially as it is those stories, which provide people with the myth of an afterlife, which so many humans need, in order to make sense of their lives.
http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublons … ociety.htm
There are scientists whom are Christians.
And those scientist are willfully ignorant!
If you say so
But that to me is just your opinion.
Science bends the facts to suit their theories. Somebody krauss said that if gravity pulled towards itself then the universe should be shrinking not expanding, so he went into lengthy discussion about how space with nothing in it has weight and if it has weight its not empty, they call this dark matter however dark matter has not been found yet. Then he went on to explain the 3 theories about the shape of the universe, convex, flat and spherical. Its seemed as though only the flat universe theory fitted their data based on things they could not find yet and so they chose the flat universe because it matched their criteria best. Its unproven as to whether its possible but it matches the criteria. Science is like being a member of the masons. How is it possible for two masons to greet each other without chuckling.
The worst part about your posts is that you never offer a scrap of intel you just put an exclamation mark behind your opinion and expect people to take it as gold. Good luck with that somewhere else, k.
(Science bends the facts to suit their theories)
Sorry but this is wrong. It is men - some of whom are indeed highly credible scientists - who try to sell their scientific opinions as facts.
Facts do not change - only the hypothesis changes. Theories could change in principle but in the practical world almost never do as they are so well supported by the facts before they are considered theories.
Science is too big of label to use exclusively to encompass biological sciences as well as cosmological investigators and mathematical physicists.
I would agree some of these "methods" have more in keeping with religious ferver than science.
Do you despise them as much as you do scientists who are not Christians?
(There are scientists whom are Christians)
There are some Christians who have graduated with degrees in the sciences and use the label "scientist" in order to promote their religious belief system, too, but in reality it is not the schooling or the scientific method nor experimentation or mathematical modeling that is at the core of genuine science: genuine science requires intellectual honesty.
I think if science were to be intellectually honest we would see a big change in its affirmations about many theories. How many scientific facts are based on computations by instruments? Instruments that may be inadequate. What if for example the crab nebula were not round but due to light refraction and distance or some invisible space fog unseen yet, it is actually square. Blind faith is used so very often in the sciences.
Not to mention each has their agenda. Winning that nobel prize may be a factor. Perhaps biology is a more accurate science than space exploration, but even then, the x-ray WAS a good machine but Magnetic Resonance Imaging is far better.
Intellectual dishonesty is always, when mentioned something that will stir doubts, but without proper research it is hard to prove its in the recipe.
(I think if science were to be intellectually honest we would see a big change in its affirmations about many theories)
You seem to entail the same problematic conclusions that many other fundamental believers describe that warps their understanding into an expression of fact.
The basic thing to learn in any area of study is the terminology: scientific theory does not mean the same thing as when the word theory is expressed by a layman. And a theory is never considered factual by science.
The best science can claim is that some theories are reliable. If you are unwilling to understand or acknowledge the difference between claiming fact and accepting reliability, then you are simply babbling based on buffoonish and blatant bias.
(What if for example the crab nebula were not round but due to light refraction and distance or some invisible space fog unseen yet, it is actually square)
Then cosmological scientists would change their minds.
What would you do if it were found that there was no god or heaven?
Ways of thinking always change. I am not disputing claiming fact or reliability but the way this information is put out comes across as this is fact and that is fact, we don't have it yet but we will someday. Oh yah, these sciences progress but that does not mean that distribution is certain. Take the cure for cancer for example, its out there but do we see it, no. Take the doctrines of the roman philosophists' and their double doctrine standards, then listen too the news and know that it is a press release and truths are stymied. Now to have faith in everything else but God, i think that is the real blatant bias.
As we read Gods book we see that God - as earnest has attested too - lays it all out there; the horrors of war, peoples sins, His judgments, lies, intents of the heart, etc. This is news with no rehearsed press release - its just the straight goods with no hidden agendas. History revealed. And its the same when people come to God and God begins to poke around in their lives, he reveals what they are, how they are without bias. Bit of off topic but i just wanted to say that.
The church has changed their doctrine often as more truth is revealed and this is why there are different denominations and today, even non-denominations. If heaven and God were proven not to exist, well, then i am sure shifts would occur accordingly. Until that happens and not through fallible science or slight of hand information or the unsuccessful attempts of others, God is number one in my house and i don't actually expect that to change but actually to increase because the deeper I,we go in God the bigger He gets and return is imminent and thats a mathematical calculation, btw, based on jubilee years.
(The church has changed their doctrine often as more truth is revealed)
If you are intellectually honest about it, you would have to see that moderation of beliefs has been in response to gains in scientific knowledge.
Science discovered that the world is not really 6000 years old. Moderate believers said, O.K, then I guess Genesis is not supposed to be taken literally.
When science learned of the bacterial cause of leprosy, moderate believers said O.K, and started taking their children to the doctor instead of simply sprinkling the house with the blood of two doves as the bible indicated they should do.
When human culture figured out it was immoral to keep and treat other humans as slaves, the moderates said, O.K., and gave up their slaves. although the bible was quite clear in its support of slavery.
Do you see the pattern? Religious moderation comes with taking scripture less and less seriously. So why take it seriously at all? Why not simply admit that it is a compilation of opinions and myths gathered over time from ancient people who had no more idea about the truth of the unknown that we do now, and quite likely were more prone then than now to accept hyperbole, inadequate information, rumor, storytelling, myth, legend, and exageration as fact?
Old doesn't mean right - it doesn't mean wise - it just means old.
ahhh the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus
yes, God did it! Hallelujah! what a better way than previous.
(God did it! Hallelujah! what a better way than previous.)
Aha...maybe you mean when Xenu was in control of the gallaxy. Perhaps the Miracle Worker will tell us more about those times.
You are correct that there were religous ignorance regarding technology and medicine But why are you focusing only on religion when men were ignorant. Science didn't just step into the picture and say here's what needed to be done-they struggled, made mistakes and in a number of cases stumbled onto the answers.
(But why are you focusing only on religion when men were ignorant)
Religion is simply the easiest example to use. The basic condition is that humans reach for magical interventions of hope due to reactions to our inate evolutionary-based insecurities.
It doesn't matter if it is religion, alternative medicine, or alien superintelligence, our intractable human problems (morality, death) are resolved by believing in some hopeful message peddled by religious narratives, self-help gurus, or medical quacks.
If you believe the superpowerful is real, nothing is impossible - and that belief resolves the fear of death - because the superpowerful can overcome death - if you just believe.
A little circular, don't you think?
Circular is allowed when God is in the picture.
God reveals himself and therefore exists, is completely acceptable.
I can accept some of what you're saying however we all believe in something. Science or scientist believe they can come up with the answer for a problem, a computer programmer believes they can develope a computer program so we all believe in something even if it's only ourselves.
(we all believe in something)
Of course we all believe - that is the basis of knowledge. The difference is in how we develope belief. For some, it takes a degree of reliable evidence; for others, hope for the miraculous seems enough.
Take brotheryochanan's last note - (Circular is allowed when God is in the picture.) What makes the invocation of magic a valid reason to supercede the laws of logic?
See what I mean?
God, the progeny of human fear, is anti-science
What a joke?
The Creator God created nature which works on principle which the science never created; it only discovered the existing principles in nature.
The Creator God is not anti-science
(The Creator God created nature)
I was talking specifically about the progeny-of-human-fear god, not the creator god, or the sun god, or the Mars god, or any of the other gods.
(We are hard-wired to hope and to make sense of our experience through narrative, just as we are hard-wired to see patterns and order.)
I could not agree more strongly - but you left out the part that we are also hard-wired to accept our pattern recognition as factual.
We may not be able to eradicate emotions, but we certainly do not have to respond as emotion dictates.
My first hand knowledge is that the final casting off of unwarranted beliefs is a most liberating and uplifting experience leading to a better life.
There is no magic solution in the opium of the masses - unless you like hanging around with a bunch of junkies.
We differ in that I think god-belief is formed by the same process as many other beliefs, so would not call it unwarranted. But in terms of uplifting experience, perhaps for you maybe, but not necessarily for all. Some find angst and despair in the face of a narrative that doesn't include god-belief. What do you offer them? The idea their lives are insignificant? That death means oblivion? That their suffering is meaningless? Some people cannot respond positively to that narrative.
The responses of self-aware creatures to their own existence and suffering range from awe and curiosity to anguish and confusion and each response is as unique as every individual. If you can give me an explanation as to what entitles you, as opposed to say a Christian, to tell someone what their response should be and where that 'should' comes from, I'd appreciate it.
(Some find angst and despair in the face of a narrative that doesn't include god-belief. What do you offer them?)
I think it is you who is selling short the possibilities of humankind. I know of no one who had god belief who reliquished that belief who then felt angst and despair - the only ones who seemed to feel any angst were the believers who worried incessantly over the loss of one of their own.
I have heard this argument before about angst and despair and I find it hollow. You can be exactly the same person you are right this second without having any belief in any god - discarding that belief actually changes nothing about you.
Did you find angst and despair waiting when Santa disappeared of when the Tooth Fairy failed at last to appear?
What you describe as angst and despair in my experience has been nothing more than defensiveness and anger - people who genuinely see a misguided belief they hold and discard it find it a positive experience.
However, if you are so wrapped up in your belief that it is part of your ego, then you are in trouble, as then if the belief dies the ego feels as though it dies, too. It is a terrifying feeling to be a non-person with a no self identity.
I know of no one who had god belief who relinquished that belief who then felt angst and despair
That's because the type who would feel angst and despair without their god-belief wouldn't consider relinquishing their god belief in the first place. Plenty of people say they felt angst and despair before their god-belief, which lessened it. So angst and despair doesn't come from giving up god belief, it comes from not being able to find satisfactory meaning in other narratives, which for some then leads to god-belief.
You can be exactly the same person you are right this second without having any belief in any god - discarding that belief actually changes nothing about you.
Depends. If you mean physically, then of course . If you mean psychologically, culturally, socially, then it does make a difference. A change of world view, as the name suggests, is a change in how someone views the world. That change can be profound.
Did you find angst and despair waiting when Santa disappeared of when the Tooth Fairy failed at last to appear?
That's comparing apples to oranges. Santa and the tooth fairy are not equivalent to the Christian concept of god, and they can't be by definition.
However, if you are so wrapped up in your belief that it is part of your ego, then you are in trouble, as then if the belief dies the ego feels as though it dies, too. It is a terrifying feeling to be a non-person with a no self identity.
We each find a world-view that appeals to us, psychologically, aesthetically, culturally, emotionally etc. That world-view gives us something within which to frame our existence. The question is, do you think you are more entitled to tell others what they should believe than Christians? If so, why?
Why should one fear the Creator God if one is not doing anything wrong?
He is the most Merciful and Beneficiant.
He has introduced Himself as such in His Word repeatedly:
[1:1] In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/sh … r.php?ch=1
The Creator God has created nature which is running on principles set by Him; science is only discovering them that already exist, science is not creating them; science is therefore in service of human beings as per His Word.
So - you should fear him if you are doing things he doesn't like such as being homosexual?
There is no compulsion to do thing which the Creator God does not like; and if I sometimes do it, I can ask his forgiveness; He is the most Forgiving and Merciful.
Please don't do anything wrong and don't fear Him; He is Most-Loving.
(The question is, do you think you are more entitled to tell others what they should believe than Christians?)
Absolutely not - but from the give and take just in this thread it is apparent that I am more qualified than a Christian to point out the irrationality of beliefs. Just as Christians can see the delusions inherent in Islam and Latter Day Saints, I have the advantage of recongnizing the delusions of all three religions.
Adults recognize it is ludicrous to believe in generalized virgin births, in general resurrection of dead tissue, and in general flying into the clouds without the aid of machinery. That these three preposterous claims are combined into a single religion due to the "magic" of some superpower makes it no more valid than Santa, no matter how many people want to believe.
I would feel much more comfortable if the leaders of the nations of the world who control nuclear arms were armed with reasonable doubt about the validity of preposterous claims rather than ready to fight to the death any disparagement of that claim.
What millions and billions of people believe matters. I prefer they used evidence-backed reasoning instead of superstitious claims of magic.
You imply that rationality makes you more qualified to tell people what to believe than a Christian. So if I point out the irrationality of some of your beliefs, does that mean I am more qualified to tell people what to believe than you and Christians?
Regarding validity. Suggesting the concept of Santa is "no more valid" than god, says nothing about the truth or falsehood of either. Validity has no bearing on truthfulness. E.g. all birds have wings, the animal in my garden has wings, the animal in my garden is a bird. This argument is not valid because the conclusion does not necessarily follow on from the premises. Yet it's true that there is a bird in my garden. So validity/invalidity is no indicator of truth/falsehood and it's not wise to use it as such. Just as easy to make a valid argument that is false.
Wouldn't we all feel more comfortable if the leaders of the nations of the world didn't have any nuclear arms to control. Wouldn't that be the best solution to that particular problem?
This isn't about rationality, or maturity, it's about biology. What makes "us" want to kill "them" is the fact that they are not us and vice versa. The impulse to form cooperative groups and compete with other groups for resources is a biological imperative. It was a characteristic that helped our prehistoric ancestors survive. That's why we have the same characteristic. The difference is that it's now obscured by layer upon layer of socialisation. So conflict is now said to be about religion, global politics, ideology what have you. It's actually about the fact that you are "other". You are a threat to the survival of the genes I carry. And my genes have more chance of survival if you are dead. Every war there has ever been has been because of this biological fact. Whether you dress that fact up as religion or politics or something else, the fact remains. It is a biological imperative for human beings to cooperate within social groups and kill members of competing social groups. Any other suggestion is the attempt of self-aware creatures to rationalise their own animalistic behaviour.
Removing god-belief will not in any way change that behaviour. It will simply lead to a different type of rationalisation for it, in my opinion.
(You imply that rationality makes you more qualified to tell people what to believe than a Christian)
No, that is not the implication. I simply stated that someone outside a belief system (me, for example) is in the better position to guage the rationality of that system of beliefs.
The reason is simple - belief is not espousing a creed; belief is not faith; belief means you think something is true. It is true to such a degree that if it were not true you would not believe it.
If you genuinely believed that a second invisible moon circled the earth, you could not see that idea as ridiculous. To you it would be fact.
The argument is not that I know better what others should believe - the argument is that all of us should demand rigorous testable evidence of what we chose to believe.
Otherwise, we risk ending up slaves worshippers of the god of the double moon.
So for you genuine belief prevents a person determining that an idea is ridiculous, because to them it is fact. And because of that, someone outside that belief system (yourself for example) is in a better position to gauge whether a belief within is rational or not, presumably because their view is not skewed by the belief in question. But isn't your view skewed by your own beliefs.
I assume your belief that all of us should demand "rigorous testable evidence" for our beliefs is one you genuinely hold to be true. So by your reasoning you could not see that idea as ridiculous because you believe it. By the same reasoning, I am in a better position than you to gauge whether your belief is rational, because I am outside it. Are you willing to defer judgement to me as to whether your belief is rational? If not, why not? And what has been achieved here apart from stating the obvious: our view is skewed by the things we hold to be true.
Science only discovers what already exists in nature; and nature is a creation of the Creator God; so He is not anti-science.
(nature is a creation of the Creator God)
You make a positive assertion about the nature of reality - an explanation for our default knowledge that existence occurs. It is up to the one making the positive assertion to validate his claim, else it is only personal opinion.
However, I will save you that and agree that with the correct starting premises and axioms it is possible to show logically that a god is possible. But any stretch from that conclusion to a claim of a specific god is 100% opinion and unwarranted.
The other argument for existence's occurence is that it is eternal, that it has always been. To humans, who see the cyclical nature of carbon-based life, this seems counterintuitive. But the conclusion requires no opinion.
If god indeed is the product of mankind's fear, a superstition himself, he would have to be anti-science as science eliminates superstitions.
On the other hand, any logically-possible god may or may not be anti-science as order (the most compelling god argument) does not infer benevolence or animosity toward science.
I'm not normally one to posit "both/and" logic, but in this case your "either/or" is wrong. What you're saying is that either impregnation which is scientifically impossible is truly possible thereby invalidating science or it's not (it makes sense, read it again.) But if God really exists (and He does) then it would be possible for Him to set separate rules for the Creator than the created. So mere spirits (angels, demons, what have you) could not impregnate a woman but the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) absolutely could. The reason they are called miracles in the first place is because they contradict what can be plainly seen and verified. Only God can do them. And if He did them every day, they wouldn't be miracles.
If you read the Bible, you would see that God did not let the flesh of Jesus see decay. Acts 2:31
Many scientists, both in the past and today, believe in God. So your assertion that to believe in God (who created the universe) means you must reject science (the study of the rules and laws He set in place to order His creation) is fallacious.
And if you don't believe THAT has the potential to be dangerous, you need to check you history!
(What you're saying is that either impregnation which is scientifically impossible is truly possible thereby invalidating science or it's not )
No. What I am saying is to accept as fact - with no supporting evidence whatsoever - that it is a reality that a supernatural spirit impregnated a human woman is ridiculous. The fact that science says it is biologically impossible only makes it more ridiculous.
Acceptance means you believe (accept as true) that magical beings with magical powers are a part of reality - and they actually do magical things, like impregnating a woman by willing it to occur. You believe this when all objective evidence implies that your belief is not the case.
To believe in magical creatures with magical powers is an attempt to address the frightening unknown and keep it at bay. Magical creature belief has more to do with the childlike hope that the closet monster won't get me if I hide my head under the blanket than it does with reality.
Well, I was tracking with you until that last paragraph. My history both personal and familial is exactly the opposite, I come from a long line of pedantic free thinkers. In fact, I wasn't even looking for God or anything when He reached out and touched me.
I have the objective evidence. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. The third paragraph basically represents the standard response that materialists have as to why so many people believe in God. I gave you a logical argument, you don't have to accept it for yourself but you might try looking a little farther than Richard Dawkins has to see why I accept it for me.
You have a valid argument in my view. The human condition has some old and fundamental hardware that needs rewiring.
Fortunately we are learning how to deal with this part of ourselves and if mankind is to move forward, this is a prerequisite for all in my view.
Mankind has remained the same in this way since consciousness and we need to get a handle on this part of ourselves pronto.
(I assume your belief that all of us should demand "rigorous testable evidence" for our beliefs is one you genuinely hold to be true.)
No, not at all. That is only my opinion. You seem not to get it - belief means you hold true that reality has occured, is occuring, or will occur in some particular way. Belief has nothing to do with opinions - belief has to do with the presumed actual nature of reality.
For example, the LDS belief system holds that a lost tribe of Israel lived and prospered in North America, although there is zero physical or historical evidence for that claim. It is ridiculous to believe this story (accept it as literal historical fact, that it is really true) based on the claim of one human who said he received the information from a magical supernatural source.
(So by your reasoning you could not see that idea as ridiculous because you believe it.) No. You are confusing belief with opinion. To believe you have to hold as true something about the nature of reality. To say my opinion is ridiculous is simply to counter opinion with opinion.
I do not believe (accept as part of reality) that a supernatural phantom willed a human to become pregnant with a supernatural child. I have valid reasons to doubt the reality of this story. There is no objecive evidence that phantoms or the supernatural are real. There is doubt about the reliability of the translation that makes the story of virgin birth a necessity for the fulfillment of prophecy as the Christian religion claims. There is no logical reason why an omnipotent and perfect good-power would require a blood sacrifice, and hence there is no necessity for the original sin to be absolved by a godly sacrifice that requires the virgin birth narrative. But mainly, there is no objective method to test the voracity of the claim - at least in quackery like Therapeutic Touch a child can construct an objective method to test the claim. All we have as evidence to accept the reality of the virgin birth claim is the claim itself. In this, it is no different that the LDS claim of a lost tribe of Israel.
A non-acceptance of the claim based on inductive reasoning cannot genuinely be compared to accepting the claim based solely on faith. They are not both "just" beliefs, just as evolution and creationsim are not both "just theories". The former is a reason-based conclusion; the latter is unfounded belief in the reality of magic.
For me, a belief is anything we hold to be true, and an opinion is just a belief made with a subjective criteria. You believe it is true that all of us should demand rigorous testable evidence for our beliefs, so it is a belief. Your argument about beliefs therefore applies, which makes that argument self-defeating.
The only way around that is if opinion is not a type of belief. I suggest opinion is simply subjective belief. Can you tell me how and why you arrived at the notion that opinion is somehow separate from belief, given the common meanings of those terms?
(I suggest opinion is simply subjective belief.)
Real belief cannot be subjective. Subjectivity requires that an opinion be formed. Our actions are based on beliefs. When you hear the screech of the brakes and the blare of the horn you do not jump back onto the curb because of an opinion, but because of genuine belief that the bus is going to run you down. Note that your belief does not have to be genuine - you only have to accept it as genuine.
You can profess any creed you want, but to believe there is a god is to believe you are not fooling yourself, that it is true that god is real.
The key issue is the justification for belief - science and religion are based on beliefs, but to claim the justifications are equal is ludicrous.
I make no truth claim about my opinions. In fact, there isn't really a good definition of the word "truth". I am using it so that true means that we accept that a truth is a concrete aspect about reality. In other words, it is real (true) irrespective of anyone's opinion.
Genuine critical thinking reveals that objectivity must mean observer-independent while subjectivity is observer-dependent. Only real objects are observer independent. All concepts require an observer to define the meaning of the concept = opinion. Ergo, subjectivity=opinion.
Beliefs can and often are completely subjective. Religious beliefs are almost always subjective (observer-dependent) because there is often no objectively verifiable evidence available to support or refute them.
For example, someone believes Jesus was resurrected. To them it is a reality. They believe it 100%. However, there is no verifiable evidence that the event took place as described in scriptures. So while it is a belief (something they consider true, an aspect of reality) it is a matter of opinion (it is based on subjective judgement).
In contrast, someone believes the earth is ellipsoid in shape. To them it is a reality. They believe it 100%. There is objectively verifiable evidence available that the earth is ellipsoid. So this is also a belief (something held to be true) but it is a matter of fact (it is based on objectively verified evidence).
So beliefs can and are often subjective. And it works the same in everyday life. When I see a car coming at me, I form a belief that I will be hit if I don't take action. Objectively verifiable evidence is possible, but not available to me at the time I form the belief. My belief is therefore based on sense experience which is subjective. It is simply an opinion formed using the best information I have at the time. Someone else watching could form the opinion that the car is not going to hit me at all. So the belief is observer-dependent. Although I believe 100% that the car will hit me, that belief is subjective. It is an opinion. That ability to form and act on subjective beliefs increases our chances of survival. A side effect of that is that it also allows god-belief. Such belief is often formed on the basis of an experience or experience that someone subjectively determines to be a connection with god.
But all this works both ways. The fact that there is no verifiable evidence available on the specific event described as the resurrection means that any belief about it is a matter of opinion, including the belief that it didn't happen. This is where justification comes in to play. As there is no categorical evidence, people use a different criteria. So the argument changes from what verifiable evidence is there (there isn't any) to how good is the justification for your opinion.
I'm aware of all this and was trying to avoid bogging down into semantics, but now you have forced the issue. We now have to define key terms so they are clear and unambiguous:
Object: that which has shape.
Concept: that which does not have shape.
Exist: physical presence, that which has shape and location
Objective: observer independent
Subjective: observer dependent, i.e., defined
Truth, then, is always opinion. Subjective. I agree. Belief is a tricky word - it conceptualizes what we accept as real. Real is a synonym for exist. So what we believe is how we think reality is composed.
My point is that moderates and liberals do not understand real belief as is displayed by the fundamentalist - one does not fly an airplance at 500 mph into the side of a building because of an opinion about the rewards of martyrdom. They believe Allah is an object that exists (is real) along with the 70+ virgins as reward, etc.
They believe this narrative despite the same lack of evidence as are the Christian beliefs of virgin birth, resurrection, and eventual return.
The degree of belief is all that separates. The real enemy is irrational belief, i.e., with no objective validation, belief in the magical as real.
I don’t want to get bogged down in semantics either, but explaining terms helps us communicate ideas and gain understanding. I think this suggestion there is a difference between opinion and belief is confusing the issue. What you seem to be talking about is the nature of the belief rather than degree of belief. Believing the Venus De Milo is a beautiful statue is one thing, believing god is actual another. The nature of the latter can have a significant affect on how someone lives and behaves. If that's what you're saying, I agree.
Where I disagree is the notion that the way the belief is formed is the issue, i.e. the fact it is not based on objectively verifiable evidence. You argue that all of us should demand rigorous testable evidence for our beliefs, but this is not the answer because:
1) being able to form concrete beliefs on the basis of subjective judgement is useful in the environments we live, as it increases our chance of survival. That's why we developed the ability in the first place.
2) It's too simplistic to suggest that atrocities are motivated solely by belief, which your argument implies. The families of suicide bombers are reportedly paid $50,000 to $100,000. That's a strong motivator for someone whose family lives in poverty. Also, the desire for vengeance from those families affected by conflict shouldn't be underestimated. These things are social and political issues, not a matter of belief.
3) compared to the number of people on the planet who believe Allah exists, those who commit atrocities is insignificant, and certainly not enough to demonstrate a causal relationship.
4) your argument leads to the problem of infinite regress. If we all demand rigorous testable evidence for our beliefs, the supporting evidence needs to be supported by rigorous testable evidence, and that needs to be supported by rigorous testable evidence also, ad infinitum. This is called evidentialism and it doesn't work. At some point you have to make an assumption, i.e. form a belief which is not based on rigorous testable evidence, thus defeating the object.
5) murder in the name of religion will exist as long as the biological imperative to form groups and compete with other groups exists. God-belief is just one way of distinguishing between “us” and “them”, and serves as a justification. There are many others. The issue is biological, and not related to how we form belief.
6) as long as there is a need for god-belief, god-belief will exist. Eradicate economic inequality, poverty, social injustice, disease and create a clean, unlimited source of fuel accessible to all. Then the need for competing groups disappears. The need to hope in something other than ourselves disappears. The need to conceive of the perfect being disappears. The need for “us” and “them” disappears. And the need to imagine some place better beyond the clouds disappears. Focusing on getting individuals to give up their beliefs does nothing to take away the need for the belief in the first place.
The point is some human beings need god to be real. And it's not like Santa, or the tooth fairy. This concept is the ultimate articulation of human hope. The greatest thing humans can conceive. It is an all encompassing concept that can, by its nature, assimilate virtually any opposing argument. There is no competing with that and it's futile to try. So rather than focussing on eliminating belief in god, wouldn't it be better to focus on eliminating the need for belief in god? Only then can humans compete with god for the hearts and minds of fellow humans. And that's what it's about in my opinion, winning hearts and minds. So far the concept of god is ahead by a long chalk, and I see nothing in your argument that would change that.
If you can't believe a venn diagram, what can you believe?
I agree with your above point and have to add that those who kill or wage war are in fact not-religious people; they are politicians who use religion to promote their own agenda.
. . . and another thing. Neither invasion of Iraq were about beliefs, they were both about oil. It's estimated more than 90,000 civilian deaths occurred as a direct result of the 2nd Iraq war alone. Nothing to do with belief. NATO's intervention in Libya was not motivated by belief either (or protecting civilians) it was about securing another oil supply.
Likewise the current financial meltdown has not been caused by the beliefs you mention. It's been caused by the greed of an economic elite, in collusion with our Governments, and unfortunately aided by people's apathy.
So when you say "these beliefs shape your actions [and] has the potential to be dangerous when your belief overflows into a misguided faith in your own righteousness." you may as well be talking about Wall Street. Yet this thread is titled "God, the progeny of human fear, is anti-science". I wonder, where is your thread entitled "Economic inequality, the progeny of human greed, is anti-human"?
In contrast the Arab spring movement in the Middle East was made up of young, Arab, Muslim men and women freeing themselves from political tyranny, partly caused by interference from "The West" in the first place. Those young people being shot dead in Syria right now couldn't care less about belief right now. They simply want freedom from a dictator. I wonder if we would do better supporting them in their struggle for freedom, as opposed to calling their beliefs "absurd" from afar, as we watch their children being shot in the legs by government troops to stop them protesting?
(This concept is the ultimate articulation of human hope.)
That is exactly what I said - we only hope because we fear. God (hope) was created to resolve our fears of the unknown - god is the progeny of fear. And god must be anti-science as the growth of scientific knowledge destroys myths
Thank you for agreeing.
We don't hope because of fear. Hope is a form of mental resilience that contributes to maintaining the will and motivation of a person, which in turn increases their chances of survival. Other animals don't need this because they act on instinct. We do because we are self-aware and can therefore override instinct and choose to not act even if that's not in our interest. So hope is an attribute developed through natural selection to counterbalance a negative aspect of self awareness. Nothing to do with fear.
Your approach to all this doesn't seem to be working. It's like saying its absurd to eat strawberries in the hope it will eradicate strawberry eating. But people don't care what you think about it, they eat strawberries because they like them and that's part of who they are. They don't want whatever you're offering because they don't like it as much, and you can't force them to give up their strawberries. All you can do is try to make whatever you are offering equally or more appealing. So what do you have that's more appealing? Why should someone put more hope in humanity than in god?
Very nicely written and well stated argument in my opinion.
There are 2 types of possibilities i know of
1. Physical possibility
2. Logical possibility.
Let us analyse your assertion;
"It is ridiculus to claim that someone death 3 days ago can come back to life"
First and formost, it is PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE let alone logical. It demands a mere right reorganisation of all the molecules. The correct scientific statement is that;
CURRENTLY, we know not a physical mechanism that can reasamble all the molecules back in the same place to bring back life after three days of death in a short period of time.
Why am I saing it is physically possible? Simply because upon death, all 'spare parts' of human body still exist as a matter of fact. It is only that they are at different locations! Come on can't you see that it is reabiogenesis?? It is you who also claim that life can come from dead matter. I thought a scientist ought to be consistent!
The judgment of what people beleive, even whether or not is ridiculus is non of real scientist business. The judgment that claim A is ridiculus is HIGHLY subjective. There is no objective criteria of judging what and what is not 'ridiculus.' Go open pages of biology books to find if 'ridiculus' is there. I have looked but not found!! They are right! This term does not belong to science!! In science, we are not dealing with people and their views. We are dealing with objects and well defined concepts.
WTF is reabiogenesis?
We know things are ridiculous when we have disproved them, like the theory that the earth is the center of the universe, which people that believe in god believe, because if we are the only people in the universe because god only created us then we are in the center of gods attention, and therefore the center of the universe.
I believe in God but I don't believe we are the center of the universe. Nor do I believe we are the only planet with human life in the universe. It's like people here have a list of what theists are and aren't, what they do and don't believe, and can't see past it.
I agree with emrldphx. The notion that people that believe in god believe also that we are the centre of the universe is a generalization.
Like saying all atheists are immoral. . . no?
Tell you what. Reanimate human tissue that has been well and truly dead for three days, show how a thought from a spirit can cause preganancy, and explain in detail how reanimated human remains can disappear into the sky only to return thousands of years later and we might then talk.
Until then, the are ridiculous ideas.
some doctors about a year ago tested intercessory prayer. they had a group of patients noone prayed for and a group of patients that were prayed for. none of the patients knew if they were being prayed for or not. the ones that got prayed for actually did worse. results were reported in "journal watch".
Reference please. If you want to use a study as evidence of a point, people need to be able to see the study, the setup, sample size, scope of sickness, etc...
Otherwise, your study can't be used as evidence in rational discussion. Otherwise, anyone could reference any study, no matter how real or scientifically valid.
Am Heart J 2006 dec, 112
better yet, a review using over 7000 subjects: Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009 apr 15; 2: CD000368
Ok. There was no measurable difference in those that were prayed for compared to those who weren't prayed for(both of those groups were told they may or may not be prayed for). There was a slightly higher percentage of complications among a group that knew they were going to be prayed for. Finally, no measurable difference in 30-day results or mortality among all 3 groups.
Your review of the first study was misleading, it was the knowledge of being prayed for that gave the third group a higher complication rate(about 7% higher than the other two groups).
Praying for someone didn't make anything worse in a blind situation... either the prayer wasn't effective, wrong kind of prayer, wrong religion, not the will of supreme being, or nothing there for these people to pray for.
Definitely not a conclusive set of evidence to the 'is there a God' question.
so does that mean you shouldn't tell someone you'll pray for them?
Maybe, maybe not. I wasn't sure what your point was about the study.
The first study, prayers were performed by 3 Christian groups. Maybe they were the wrong groups. Maybe none of them had the gift of healing. Maybe they were praying to the wrong God or to a nonexistent God. Maybe God didn't want there to be scientific evidence or proof of Himself.
Maybe there wasn't even a real difference at all. A standard margin of error on that group size is just under +/- 4%, so it is entirely possible the two low groups were on the bottom of the statistic spread and the high group on the top.
You won't accept any evidence as real will you?
What do you mean? I accept the evidence, but what does the evidence prove? All the evidence proves in that experiment is that there was no measurable improvement in either group.
You want it to prove that there is no God, but science can't do that.
No worries, they'll get around to that once they've proven the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't exist.
I'm sure you would have laughed at a round earth theory, or sun-centric solar system theory, or theory of tiny spheres making up matter, with most of it being empty space, or rays that can take a picture of your bones...
Like I've said, you decide for yourself what's possible... there have always been people like you, but they aren't the ones that help move human knowledge forward.
Let's put your tirade to rest once and for all and show just how desperate and dishonest your weak position is of attacking me. I know that believers are unable to distinguish reality from fantasy and myth, and your posts show pretty much the same thing.
The shape of the earth, the solar system, matter and space and the rays that can take a picture of your bones are all based on reality. If you or anyone else came to me and said the earth was round and not flat, or the sun is the center of the solar system, or even that you had discovered rays that could take pictures of our bones, I would simply ask to see the evidence, which you could most likely and easily produce because all of these things are part of reality and don't appear in any way to break the laws of nature.
However, you're coming to me with tales of invisible gods, imps and demons that swirl around us in an ever ending battle of good vs. evil, all the while we maintain our regular day to day lives. At least, that's what your religion would have us believe.
It is these claims of myth and fantasy that have never been shown to be part of reality in any way, although religionists would have us believe they are. And, it is these claims of myth and fantasy that would have the rest of us laughing hysterically at those who swallow it, trying to fathom how it is possible adults can be so gullible.
I offered a simple concept for you to help distinguish your beliefs and asked exactly how it was possible for us to see a spirit; how it generates the light necessary to enter our eyes. You have yet to answer that question and instead continue a tirade of my TYPE of person. See how desperate and dishonest that is?
The problem with your argument is that each one of these things, at one point in history, could *NOT* be proven scientifically. There was no evidence. 2000 years ago if I said there was such a thing as an x-ray, you would have asked for proof, I wouldn't be able to give it, and therefore you would have 'proved' that x-rays are magical and fictitious. If you can't understand the parallel between a hypothetical situation and the application of the underlying principle to the current situation, that's your fault.
1 - You don't even know what my religion is, yet you know what it would have you believe? Hint: you're wrong.
2 - Everything, according to your definition, was invisible before it could be seen. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it's not there. I've proven that with the existence of particles smaller than 380nm. Not too long ago nobody could see them. Now we can. Did they suddenly become real instead of myth?
You laugh at things you can't see. You say they are impossible, but you have no proof, other than the fact you can't see them.
People who leave no room for the possibility of things we don't know of... is that the group you want to belong to?
I have answered your question. Not all matter can be seen with light, and certainly not all matter generates light. Nothing smaller than 380nm can be seen with light, yet it exists(or do you not believe in atoms either? Atoms are about 1/1000th that size... so, do you believe in atoms?
If you do, you just contradicted yourself. You said something has to be seen with light to exist.
Completely and entirely untrue. All of those things existed then as they do now and could easily have been shown scientifically, had there been the ability to do so. Unfortunately, there's this little thing called religion that has been destroying our civilization for centuries and impeding all efforts to conduct science.
Yes, please keep making up stuff as you go along, very entertaining.
But, it's not fault you're unable to distinguish fantasy from reality.
No, I laugh at people who make silly claims about things they pretend to see.
I have no proof for the invisible pink rhinoceros living in my garage either, other than the fact I can't see it.
Are you saying spirits are matter? How do you know that?
True, but matter can reflect or refract light so that we can see the matter. That's how our eyes work, they see reflected light in what is called, "The Visible Light Spectrum." Ever heard of it?
Let's look at what you just said. You said all these things existed and could have been proven had science had the ability.
That's exactly my point. Science can't prove something until it develops the ability to do so. But, before then, the things are still true, we just haven't discovered them.
It's hilarious that you don't realize you proved my point with your argument.
How is that any different than what you do now? You say something is impossible because we can't see it.
How many times do I have to ask. Have you seen an x-ray? Have you seen an atom?
You keep saying that, but your inability to think outside your personal situation shows how close-minded you are. Did you know that without thought-experiments most of our discoveries never would have happened?
Again, the laughing. Have you ever seen an atom?
You believe in things you can't see.
I do too.
I never said I pretend to see anything.
You can't see atoms, so by your reasoning that pink rhinoceros is as real as 'atoms'
Seriously. Answer the question. I dare you. Can all matter be seen with light?
Have you seen an atom?
Do atoms exist?
I'm not saying what spirit is, I"m just open to the possibility for things we haven't yet discovered.
Yes I have.
Now answer this question. Do atoms exist?
They don't reflect visible light... so do they exist?
Since you can't answer the question without contradicting yourself, you laugh at it. Very mature for such a learned, open-minded person.
Then, where did you get the idea of a spirit if you're not saying they exist? Did you see one before and it confirmed to you that it was indeed a spirit?
The reflection of light in an atom is done by the electrons. They absorb the energy of light and then re-emit it as their electrons seek their ground state.
I told you, it's personal. You don't respect my beliefs, so there is no reason to think you would respect my personal reasons for my beliefs.
Nor do I try to offer my beliefs as proof to others, like you try to do with your belief that they don't exist.
Electrons? What are electrons? That's a silly concept, to say these tiny balls can't be seen by light but they reflect it because of these tinier things that also can't be seen with light.
(that's sarcasm, in case you can't tell).
Are you going to start arguing again that something has to be visible with visible light to exist? I thought we moved past that.
Then, you're done before you even started, and your claim of spirits is nothing but your own personal and unfounded belief and you're wasting everyone's time talking goobledegook.
So you are looking for objective proof of God?
If you only believe in things that can be proven objectively, then you don't believe in anything mankind can discover in the future.
Of course, anyone's spiritual beliefs are going to be subjective. Why would you think it would be otherwise?
Can you name anything throughout history that was discovered and "WASN'T" objective. LOL!
Yes, subjective nonsense.
You still don't understand... how can I make it any more clear? Has there been any discovery of mankind that had always been objectively provable?
We can only prove what we can see and detect. New technology allows us to detect and prove new things. You want objective proof now, or to you it is ridiculous.
By that way of thinking, every discovery was ridiculous before it was discovered.
Just because you dismiss something doesn't mean it's false. Your phrase 'subjective nonsense', applied to other people, is an oxymoron. You simply can't define subjective things for other people.
You can try, but it only shows your ignorance and own self-ego.
" For the comparison of intercessory prayer plus standard care versus standard care alone, overall there was no clear effect of intercessory prayer on death... For general clinical state there was also no significant difference between groups"
What about it? No measurable effect. I still don't know if you were trying to disprove the existence of God with these studies or if you had another point... you failed to provide any point.
there is no god that cares what i think. if he did, he would certainly intervene and make himself known in the only way that would make sense to me - the alleviating of suffering in a measurable way.
Just because He doesn't alleviate suffering in the way you would want, doesn't prove He's not there. If God exists, and all that stuff about heaven and hell is true, then why are we here? Why not just put us all in heaven, or just put us where we're going to end up anyway?
If God exists, I think we're here because we need to learn things. We need to learn suffering to understand and appreciate joy.
Every good parent goes through times they wish they could wrap up their children in bubble wrap and protect them from the world, but that wouldn't really do the child any good. We have to learn how to get up, and we can't learn how to get up without falling down.
If He took away all adversity, all pain, all sickness... well that would be heaven wouldn't it?
Could heaven really be so boring?
emrldphx, I think you and I may agree on many things
You're right. Much better to burn most of the unbrainwashable in hell, yup, that is the god of love alright.
(I still don't know if you were trying to disprove the existence of God with these studies or if you had another point)
The point is that when god claims are subjected to empirical validation they fail miserably, and even more miserably when the test is objective in nature.
These tests don't disprove god; what they do prove is that your hope that there is a god is based on as much empirical evidence as the belief in Santa.
You can point to examples of experiments on intercessory prayer, for example, and find no meaningful differences between the control group and the prayed-for group. Scientifically, that doesn't do anything towards dis-proving God.
That would be like saying that putting coal in a light-bulb to try and create light would dis-prove the concept of light-bulbs. Science doesn't prove that things are impossible.
In some of those experiments, the group being prayed for actually did worse.
Wrong again. Is it possible you can flap your arms and fly? Notice that we can turn to science and find out why that is impossible.
In one experiment, one of the groups that *knew* they were being prayed for, had a higher percentage of early complications, which percentage is as small as the margin of error, to twice the size of margin of error. More tests would have to be performed to know which.
None of the groups had any difference in long-term survivability.
The group that was prayed for and didn't know it did the same as the group that wasn't prayed for and didn't know it.
As far as flapping your arms and flying, science can only show that in any instance, it doesn't work. Sometimes with experiments, people think they have everything controlled except for one variable, but later discoveries prove that there were un-accounted for variables that affected the experiment. That's part of the reason why science can't draw the conclusion (this is impossible) because of any number of experiments (it didn't happen).
And, the variable that would allow you to fly while flapping your arms is what?
If we haven't discovered it, how could we know?
Thinking that because we haven't discovered it, it can't exist, is ridiculous. If everyone who ever existed thought like you, very little would ever be discovered.
That's one of the silliest responses I've read today. Thanks for the laugh.
How is it silly?
Look back at all the great discoveries, and why the person was looking for them. Did they say 'Hmmm... nothing we don't know about can exist', or did they look for what we haven't found yet?
You could just as easily say there is no cure for cancer, because we haven't found it yet.
I fail to see how being open-minded about possibilities is ridiculous.
Yet, to be so "open-minded" to a fault, one falls prey to all sorts of irrational and emotional beliefs; religious faith, mysticism, pseudo-science, spirits, etc. One then indulges themselves in gobbledegook.
We can resolve this easily enough - have a Christian regrow an amputee's limb by using prayer alone, just as the bible says a believer can do. All it takes to get us to believe is some real, objective evidence - it is 2010 years later we are still waiting
We can resolve this easily enough - have a Christian regrow an amputee's limb by using prayer alone, just as the bible says a believer can do. All it takes to get us to believe is some real, objective evidence - it is 2010 years later we are still waiting
Having a waning is easier.
Because the doctrine of Christianity is NOT required to 're~grow' anything, by prayer or otherwise. And putting such a requirement on the doctrine only shows a blatant neglect and inferiority toward said doctrine, without practical experience to the contrary, to provide explanation nor methodology to the believer/believing. In short, no new knowledge, no new information, no new provision or teaching --merely a venting of a former doctrine that still clings to your shorts. Therefore the claim of "hope" is validated -by your perspective and theirs. Ironically, neither of the doctrines have anything valid -- pro or con.
IF, Winston, and only IF all it takes is something real, then why not dissimilate your ideologies from former doctrines or existing ones and attempt such a feat yourself --if you have the gonads. Ah, but I suspect you cannot, will not, know not how nd THAT is the quandary.
Your perspective is muddled man, very muddled...
You sound like an old Jew, trying to argue with a Hebrew ( an authentic Judaic ).
hope is the ULTIMATE INDOCTRINATION.
And ALL of humanism suffers its effects, justified or otherwise, so long as any adhere to said doctrine,
You are still waiting. Not everyone is. I've seen recoveries that shouldn't have happened, but these are all subjective experiences. For an objective test like you want, maybe God won't allow it to happen because He wants us to believe rather than be shown fact that proves it. After all, if God exists and wants us to learn to have faith, He wouldn't want there to be the kind of proof that nobody could deny.
i practiced medicine for 12 years. at some point i gave up looking for that recovery that shouldn't have happenned because it never did happen. any person with a reasonable amount of life experience who bases their belief on reality will not believe in god.
Just because you didn't see it doesn't mean others don't. You are trying to form a definition based off your subjective experiences.
Let's look at this objectively. If you don't look at this objectively, you're doing yourself a disservice. Also note that I'm not trying to prove the existence of God, just the problem with defining others based off your experiences.
I hope you can see my point. Just because you haven't experienced something doesn't mean you know everything about it. I find it interesting that people who are always talking about opening your mind and thinking in terms of reality often have the more close-minded approach.
what kind of god wants followers who believe nonsense? i'll tell you what kind of person wants you to have blind faith in them - a sociopath. my ex-fiance told me that christopher cross stole a song from the man who sang his way into my heart. the harder i tried to get my ex-fiance to fight for his rights to the song (i had a friend in the music industry advising me on the "how"), the angrier he got. he also wanted me to believe he sang back-up on "crystal blue persuasion" though no credits are listed on the record. in my ex-fiance's case and in religion's case, the emporer has no clothes.
Please read my example about John and Samantha above... if you think(thinking is subjective, different to each person) that something is nonsense, doesn't make that thing nonsense. Otherwise, you would be able to think that you are Rule of the Earth, and it would become true.
You cannot define something by thinking it.
(maybe God won't allow it to happen because....)
Or maybe it's simply because there is no god. We should not have to invent justifications to rationallize away the actions or non-actions of a supreme being. The fact that we do produce such justifications promotes the idea that god is our own concept, and we are defensively offering alibis to protect our egos from criticism rather than offering genuine reasoning for a god's actions.
Earlier you made a claim which I meant to address and did not have time so I will do so now.
There must be a mechanism of action in order for there to be genuine possibility. To claim unknown mechanisms may exist that allow unverifiable entities (spirits) to impregnate a human is simply an appeal to a hope for magic and absolutely no different than the hope that Santa may be real.
Anything is not possible. Only some things are possible. And those things which are possible have a mechanism of action which allows them to occur. There is no mechanism to make parallel lines intersect - it is impossible.
Asserting impossibility cannot be proven is a childish attempt to validate hopeful beliefs.
Who says I've invented anything? Do you know what I've seen and experienced?
Do you want to address the question of whether or not spirit is a possibility from a scientific standpoint? If you do I'll discuss it with you, point by point, using the very definitions of science.
If you don't then there is no other way to objectively try and prove anything. All that is left is discussion.
Do you know what dark matter is? How do you know that it's not this 'spirit' thing that doesn't exist?
You miss the very definition of the word possible. "that may or can be, exist, happen, be done, be used". The definition of possible includes things that aren't.
No, not everything is fact, or truth, but everything is possible. By our current understanding, two parallel lines can't intersect, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. There is no scientific way to show what we won't know tomorrow.
Sorry to butt in, Spirit is a possibly?? For that first you have to define spirit, and state whether it is a concept or object. Without that how do we know what we are discussing?
Dark matter?? An invention by the idiots of relativity to justify their religion.
Two parallel lines are parallel by definition. The moment they intersect they seize to be parallel. It is just like square circle or married bachelors.
PS: If I were you, I would not try a discussion with 'A troubled man', he is just as fanatic about his religion, as 'paarsurrey' is about his and just as rational.
For the purpose of showing that you can't prove that something doesn't exist, I will define spirit as a type of matter. We have spirit bodies made of this matter that live after the physical body dies. Those are are definitions, they are objects.
Dark matter is one theory that tries to explain why gravity is the way it is. According to our definitions for gravity, we can't account for even the majority of matter in the universe. It's not an invention, it's a scientific theory... theories are made to try and explain experimental results, not to justify any kind of religion.
I said, by our current understanding, parallel lines can't intersect. Still, that doesn't mean we won't discover something that changes that in the future.
Definitions of words change with understanding. Scientific laws change with understanding. We may be standing on the brink of the first particles measured at a speed greater than the speed of light...
Think of the movie Men In Black.
Science doesn't operate off of assumptions about what is and isn't possible.
Proof is subjective.
Certainly we can assume spirit as "an object" that leaves the body after death. Then the question, what is death or when do we call a person dead? And at what time this spirit leaves. And as this spirit is material, the weight of the body has to reduce, once the spirit leaves. So far there is no weight loss at death recorded[Except the spurious one by MacDougall, in 1913]. And death has very different definitions legally and medically.
According to the idiotic theory of relativity, so to justify there is dark matter and dark energy.
A circle is a circle even if we call it a square. Even if we decide to call a circle a square from today the definition remains the same, only the name changes.If we put as much as a "dent" at one "edge" it ceases to be a circle. It is not about discovering new, its about the basics.
I never said that. Science is about explanation of nature.
1 - Spirit having weight would only be true if spirit were affected by gravity, and dense enough for us to detect a difference.
2 - Real proof is objective. I can prove a rock will fall if I hold it up and let go. I can show this process to you, you can do it yourself. Subjective things can't be used as proof, except to yourself if you so choose.
You think relativity is idiotic? What about when you take two clocks that are perfectly aligned, and have them travel around at different speeds? Did you know they will have different times? Did you know that the same two clocks at areas of different gravity will also measure time differently?
Did you know that communications, such as GPS, don't work without relativity?
Relativity doesn't justify dark matter. Dark matter is just a theory trying to define the gigantic problem with gravity.
Is a circle really a circle? You probably define a circle as a perfect, constant arc around a central point, where every point is equal distance from the center. Is a circle even possible?
The fact is, the basics even change at times.
Yet you call relativity idiotic, even though it is our best explanation of nature.
You know a rock will fall to ground only because you have seen it a thousand times before. There is no way for you to be absolutely sure the next time you drop it. Hope you might have seen magic.
I didn't say technology do not work. Technology works irrespective of relativity. And the HK experiment you mentioned was a big failure.
Dark matter is an explanation to fill up the holes in relativity.
But the figure still remain. Only you chose to call it a different meaning.
Just because it is the latest and the majority of scientists agree, doesn't make it rational,and hence plausible.
There's no point in delving that deep into the philosophical if you want to have a real conversation about anything. Of course, you can never prove that you are more than just the dream of a butterfly.
If you take that standpoint, there is no purpose in anything. You want to completely dismiss science and say that the underlying laws of the universe are likely to change(one day the rock might not fall because nature doesn't want to pull it down anymore).
Actually it doesn't. If you don't account for relativity GPS doesn't work correctly.
The HK experiment was a success. The clocks were predicted to gain 275+/-10 nanoseconds on the westbound trip, and lose 40+/-23 nanoseconds on teh eastbound trip.
The actual results were that the clocks gained 273+/-7 nanoseconds during the westbound trip and lost 59+/-10 nanoseconds during the eastbound trip.
How is that a failure?
Not if we prove the initial figure to be incorrect. You have it backwards, we explain something one way, but learn that explanation was wrong, so change it. The thing never changed, just our explanation.
Yes, you know better than the scientists and engineers who have made accurate, working GPS using the concepts of relativity. Do a search for GPS and relativity, and you'll find that our GPS systems without relativity would be off by up to 5+ miles after one day without the relativity calculations.
But... you know better.
Thanks for your comments about me; I remember you discussing things with in these forums.
the MMPI, a respected and validated psychological test labels people as reality-based vs. religious-based.
1 - Show us some info please, if you want to use it as an argument. What scale or score is used to show this.
2 - What is your point in posting this? That you have proof that religion and reality are mutually exclusive?
that the psychology community has reached a consensus that reality-based is not religious-based.
i'm not a psychologist, so i can't tell you which scale is used. i only know the results of several people, including mine. i came out reality-based. others came out religious-based. i know there's a question about the hereafter and one about the influence of spirits.
That's a pretty bold claim with no backup information that the entire psychology community has reached a consensus that it is one or the other.
As far as I know psychology is basically the study of human behavior, and has no goals to prove or disprove things we can't yet see or measure. Psychology certainly can test the effects of religious teaching and internalization on the psyche... Some questions I found relating to religion are the following
I can understand these kinds of questions when you are trying to discern if someone might be potentially dangerous to themselves or others. A schizophrenic, for example. But to say that they psych community has decided religion and reality are mutually exclusive, would be a stretch, especially without any backup of your claims.
Oh no, religion does in fact exist, it is the gods and spirits and other silly imps and demons believers conjure from their imaginations that are mutually exclusive to reality.
I would really love to see you back that up with real proof. Just saying that it's 'magical' doesn't mean it's not real. The times I've argued this point with you you simply laugh at my arguments and re-state that spirit is 'magical'.
That's because spirits are magical thinking, you nor anyone else has ever produced a shred of evidence to suggest otherwise. In fact, if you took the time to understand the origins of 'spirits' you'd find they have nothing to do with current magical thinking.
What's the difference between the thought of spirit before a discovery of spirit and the thought of the strong force before its discovery? What defines an unproved concept as magical versus an unproved concept that isn't logical?
You seem to think that, just because you say it's magical, means it is.
I've said before, of course science can't provide evidence of something it can't detect yet. Every scientific discovery was the discovery of something it didn't know or couldn't detect before.
That is entirely untrue and once again show just how little you know of science. I'm beginning to think you never sat in a physics class, ever.
How is it untrue? You can't just say 'It's untrue' and that makes that fact.
Show me one scientific discovery of something that science already had proven.
You can't. If science had already proven it, it would already know about it. Thats the very definition of discover.
Since you have such a difficult time addressing specific points, I'll make this one post. If you can, reply to each of the three points without resorting to
1 - Does something have to be visible in the visible light spectrum to exist?
2 - Do atoms exist?
3 - How can atoms exist if they can't be seen with visible light?
Good and rational question.
He will just say ""; which means he is finished with reasons and arguments.
atoms have measurable effects. god has none.
I would have to pose the question differently to you cathylynn, that question was specifically to A Troubled Man, because he was contradicting himself.
Atoms have measurable effects, yes, but we weren't always able to measure those effects.
Before we were able to measure the effects of atoms, did they still exist?
Again, you are presenting fallacies, not an argument.
You are confusing yourself with visibility. First off, key terms must be defined unambiguously so we all know precisely what is meant when we offer the hypothesis or theory. For example: exist - I bet you haven't a clue as to what you mean when you use this word. The dictionary doesn't help when we try to be precise, as is done in physics.
There are only two categories of terms to discuss, objects and concepts.
Object: that which has shape.
Concept: that which has no shape.
Exist: physical presence, having shape plus location
Do atoms exist? Yes. How? By definition. Why? Because they can be reasoned to have shape plus location, i.e., they are assumed to be physical objects.
Seeing has nothing to do with it.
Now, as a theist, how can you reason that a god exists? What is the shape of god and where is god located - as a physical presence? Is god an object or a concept?
Winston, the quote you used of mine was an argument put together specifically to show A Troubled Man's self-contradiction. In one post he says something has to be visible in the visible spectrum to exist, yet another he says things exist that can't be seen that way. I was just trying to get him to admit that his argument against spirit(not visible with visible spectrum) was at odds with his other argument.
The dictionary, actually, is the only tool we have to select words to represent ideas. More disagreement arises in forums like this from two people using the same word differently.
As I said before, I formulated that argument specifically for A Troubled Man. If I can't get him to acknowledge his own contradictions, there's no point in arguing against him, because he argues both sides of the coin.
I never said seeing has anything to do with it. I have stated multiple times that seeing isn't a requirement for something to exist.
Maybe tomorrow we'll discover that dark matter is actually spirit matter. Maybe not. The point is, scientifically, you can't prove that spirit doesn't exist.
As a theist, I can argue that God exists just as anything else that is tangible. Perhaps you don't agree with my definition of God, but that's the nature of subjective concepts. I believe God has a body, similar to ours, but perfect. As to where he is, well, I don't know, He doesn't check in with me. I would think his home in this universe would probably be at or near the center of the universe... but that's just my personal thought, not based on any scientific or theological evidence.
(As a theist, I can argue that God exists....)
This is a positive claim, and the onus is thus on you to provide a rational explanation for your god hypothesis. Science has no responsibility to disprove delusions.
Your 'science can't disprove it" claim is an argument from ignorance and does not validate your assertion that "anything is possible". Science is based on induction. To the best of its ability, science has already shown that the likelihood for the existence of a physical god is remote - we have gone inward to the molecular level without finding god and have investigated the cosmos for millions of miles without finding evidence. Induction suggests we won't.
It is unsurprising you don't accept this inductive evidence as proof against your beliefs - that is the nature of proof, i.e., it is subjective. To the world, O.J. was guilty, but to the 12 peopole in the jury box it was not so clear.
After three days of death, cells that make up human tissue have burst open and the enzymes have spilled out and begun to consume the dead cells - we know this as a scientific fact.
To hold the position that these dead cells may be reanimated by the mechanism of action of god's will is no different than belief that the mechanism of action that puts presents beneath the tree Christmas morning is the will of Santa.
Rationality says dead human tissue cannot be reanimated after three days and here is why, blah, blah, blah, so it is silly to believe that it happened.
Your response has been, N'uh uh! Maybe it was magic.
Seems sophomoric to me.
Yes, it is a positive claim, but I'm not offering it as objective proof. I acknowledge it is subjective, and as such, can't be proved or disproved to anyone else.
Do you want subjective rationale, or objective?
Science is not based on induction. It is based on experimentation. Any time you perform an experiment, the natural laws of the universe manifest themselves. That evidence is perfect.
Everything else is just trying to explain it.
Nothing in science has even shown that God is unlikely, and if you think it has, you don't understand science.
What will be the next smaller chunk of matter we discover? What will we discover when we learn more about the early moments of the big bang?
There is a lot of evidence that we can only account for 20-30% of the matter in the universe... what is the rest of it?
Science never claims to know what isn't.
Objective evidence is universal... if I hold a stick to a flame, it will catch fire. I can show this to anyone, and they will believe that a stick can catch fire.
Subjective evidence is different. It is, by definition, personal. Trying to prove something to someone else with your own personal proof doesn't work. The best you can hope for is a discussion to share ideas.
Science hasn't shown that the matter can't be reorganized back into living cells. Scientifically, there is no proof for or against the possibility.
So, we are back to subjective. Back to reasoning. If there is no God, then it would probably take a long time before we were able to manipulate existing material at a molecular level. If there is a God, it stands to reason He would have the ability to reorganize matter, and hence, reanimate dead tissue.
Rationality can't say human tissue can't be reanimated. It can easily say that we can't reanimate it yet. Rationally, I would say that the human race would eventually discover methods to manipulate matter.
I love the comparison of God to magic. Trying to disprove something by demeaning it, and you say I'm sophomoric.
The whole point is, there is no objective method of showing that God doesn't exist. It's fine for you to think so, subjectively, but you have to understand that subjective proof isn't the same as objective proof.
Generally I know better than to mix it up with someone as recalcitrant and adamantine as you, but you seem to be missing something here. That would be an actual working knowledge of what God (through the Bible) claims about himself. A little acquainting of yourself would really help here. But, you being you, I expect you will sneeringly dismiss what you don't know because you don't know it. And the world will applaud you even-handedly, Mr. Vidal. Of course I expect invective about delusions and imaginary b eings that you, being unable to prove, will simply assume are self-evident. All of this being said you'll probably ignore and prove me right. Or not, which would be great.
(That would be an actual working knowledge of what God (through the Bible) claims about himself.)
You would be right that I would ignore someone who would make the monumentally absurd claim as to be able to know the unknowable - i.e., what any god claims about himself.
What is sad is that you don't understand that your claim of occult knowledge (what god says about himself) is no different than L. Ron Hubbard's claim that Xenu flew around the galaxy in a spacecraft shaped like a DC-7 or Son of Sam's claim that the neighbor's dog talked to him.
All of these are nothing but empty assertions - opinionated BS
But there is a significant difference. I hope that with some time and maturity you will understand that there is. That doesn't mean you have to accept the premise, just understand the difference.
Consistency is not the same as logic. I can make a statement that is, to your mind, absurd but it can still be a logical statement. Rigidly rejecting whatever you don't agree with and then decreeing that the person making the statement rejected as sad and absurd is not the same as proving them wrong. It may satisfy you in your own mind, but it does not satisfy the demands of logic in and of itself.
And to simply insult me, as I did you, is the very height of opinionated BS.
(But there is a significant difference)
What is sad is that your confirmation bias will not allow you to understand that any claim of knowledge of the unknowable is impossible, so all such claims are equally ludicrous.
Telling Johnny that aunt Jenny is in heaven with Jesus is a bald-faced lie, as that knowledge is impossible to possess. For a grown-up to believe the supernatural story for no other reason than some guy in robes, holding a book, and carrying a cross said it was true is ridiculously naive.
(As a theist, I can argue that God exists just as anything else that is tangible)
This is accurate and rational - you are positing that god has shape and a location, is a real physical object, tangible. This means that god is subject to the same physical laws as other objects, and we should have some chance of detecting this object called god.
However, once you begin to posit that this object can do things other natural objects cannot do - telekenesis, telepathy, reanimation - then you have left the world of the rational and invoked the irrational idea that magic is real.
Either god is a concept, imaginary, an idea, or god is an object, a real physical presence subject to the laws of physics, bounded by space which gives him spacial separation, and from which he cannot escape.
These are the only two choices reality offers you: real or imaginary - so which is it to be?
Yes, if He were in a location we could observe. But, we don't even know how big the universe is... we just know we can see some 40 billion light years in every direction.
That is a false assumption. You are saying that, because I argue God has form, that I also argue that He is only physical. Just because He has form doesn't mean He doesn't also have spirit.
Nor can you say spirit can't exist, or is a ridiculous concept. When we can't account for the majority of the matter in the visible universe, how can you say what can or can't exist? We have all this matter that we can't detect, yet we can measure it's effects. Maybe it's the thing we call 'spirit', maybe not.
To say that spirit is impossible, even though we are trying to figure out what all this dark matter is... extremely close minded approach.
If we assume for argument that God is real, that doesn't necessarily mean He is bound by our physical laws. Perhaps his physical is a different type of matter and energy that is subject to different laws. We have no idea if dark matter or dark energy will behave according to all the laws we currently have.
Saying that God is real doesn't limit the definition of what He is capable of. You could only do that if you knew what He was made of, knew every type of matter and energy that exists, and knew all the laws that govern them.
We don't even know half of that.
(That is a false assumption. You are saying that, because I argue God has form, that I also argue that He is only physical. Just because He has form doesn't mean He doesn't also have spirit)
You totally miss the point. To have a rational discussion requires the use of unambiguous definitions so that we all know what is meant when someone says, it exists, for example.
You want to claim god has a "spirit" that "exists". I am calling BS on your claim because you have not defined your key terms.
I will give you some help: exist = to be is not a definition but a synonym. Here is a clear and unambiguous definition: exist=physical presence, that which has shape and location. When I say exist, everyone in the audience always knows precisely what is meant. Only objects have shape. Only real physical objects have shape and a location. Ergo, concepts like morality and love and spirts cannot exist by definition
Perhaps you can furnish an unambiguous definition that fits your claim of duality. Here is your chance. Exist______.
The definition of exist is 'to have actual being; be'. To be is a definition of exist. By your definition, shadows don't exist. Waves don't exist(including sound). Energy doesn't exist. By your definition no concept at all exists.
I gave you the definition. Exist: to have actual being; be. In case you have a hard time with English, that can be read as 'Exist: to have actual being, or to be'.
You have provided a correct definition of exist, in my opinion.
(To be is a definition of exist)
No. It is a synonym. To be, be, is, are - these are all synonyms. Santa Claus is a concept. Concepts are. Therefore, by your definition, Santa Claus exists.
Jesus died for our sins. Jesus ceased "to be". Therefore, Jesus did not exist after he died? Again, your "definition".
I gave you a genuine definition: exist = object + location.
You play word games in response. Unless you can unambiguously define your terms, you are not reasoing but preaching.
It is a synonym, but it is also inherent in the definition... I posted the definition of the word for you!
You want to use the definition 'exist=physical presence, that which has shape and location.', but that's not the definition of the word. Where did you get it?
Here's another definition from the Cambridge Dictionary:
By definition, the concept of Santa Claus is real, but that doesn't mean that Santa Claus is real. The concept and the thing are two different things
How did he cease to be? Your argument assumes that Jesus is real in the sense of being the Son of God(by saying that he died for our sins). If that's true, then He had at the time a physical body and a spiritual body. After he died, he still had a physical body(which was dead) and a spiritual body(received unto the father). So how did he cease to exist?
Your definition is what you want exist to mean. Do you know why we have dictionaries? Like you said, for unabiguity. If you just make up definitions, we lose that, but it's your fault, not mine.
Call using the actual definition of a word wordplay if you want, but I'll keep using the real meanings of these words
(By definition, the concept of Santa Claus is real)
If you would stop parroting your priests of higher education and instead use your inate abilities to think and reason for yourself you might get this.
Automobile is a synonym for car, but to the visitor from Mars who has never seen a car the synonym won't help him identify one or find one on his own. We have to define it for him: it has such-and-such shape, it has four round rubber things on the bottom at each corner, it has an engine, it is used for transportation, yadi, yadi, yada.
Real is another synonym for exist, but you have failed to provide any definition for what - other than your assertion - makes it exist. A concept requires a brain to think it up - once you stop thinking about Santa does the concept cease to exist? What is the definition of exist that allows a concept to continue to exist without humans to think it up? Nature doesn't care about what we think - only about what is real.
Physical objects require no observer in order to be real, to exist. The moon orbited the eath before any human saw it and gave it a name. Did Santa also exist prior to human brains?
See, what you are claiming is that what is in the imagination of mankind, i.e., concepts, are as real as the object we call the moon. This is hocus-pocus and I call BS on the idea.
What we think "might exist" does not equate to "actual existence", and that is why we use a separating definition to differentiate reality from the imagined. Nature is binary: real or not real. Nature only knows objects; she doesn't care about your ideas.
It's simple. You want unambiguity in definitions for the sake of argument, but you don't want to use the established definitions for words. You want to use your own definitions that match your argument.
Sorry for insisting we use the real definition of exist.
I'll stop that for our argument. You asked me to define exist. Here we go:
Exist - To be spirit, the creator of the universe.
I guess I just proved God is the only thing that *can* exist!
(See why we have to use the real definitions of words?)
In that case, you would be telling him of a concept. You couldn't prove the existence of a car without showing one to him.
You could say if nobody ever thought of or remembered Santa Claus that the concept wouldn't exist, yes.
Not thinking of something doesn't really make it un-exist though, it still exists in memory.
Yes, objects exist without observation. I never said any differently. The atom existed before anyone ever even thought of it or saw it.
Your problem is that you think, because we can't detect something yet, that is proof it doesn't exist. It's not. Just as before we thought of or discovered the atom, yet it existed, so are there things in the universe that do exist that we haven't thought of or discovered.
Anything that exists exists as equally as another, concept or object. If a concept ceases to exist, then it no longer exists. I never said concepts are eternal.
Nor did I say that thinking a concept makes it physically real. You try to make me make arguments I don't make.
Ok, but by your thinking, only things we can detect equate to 'actual existence'. By your thinking, 2000 years ago the atom didn't actually exist.
Don't you realize that thinking is how people come up with the ideas to look for new things?
concepts exist. on the one hand they are biocemicalelectricla processes in someone's brain.
on the other hand, as sociologist c. wright mills states, "things that are defined as real are real in their consequences." racism has no shape, but it is real and has real consequences.
Cathylynn, you are responding to an argument I strictly formulated for Winston. According to his definition, concepts don't exist.
I believe they do exist however, so you have no argument with me, only with Winston.
What do you mean by "exist"?
Here is the deal. When we are trying to make a scholarly or scientific presentation, the key words must have unambiguous definitions else no knows what is being said.
You say racism exists. Where in nature do I find a pound of racism, or do they grow from trees in bunches?
See what I mean? We cannot seriously discuss racism and bunches of bananas using the exact same vocabulary, as both existing in the same fashion.
Why do we do this? To speparate objective (observer independent) from subjective (observer dependent), to separate reality from imaginary, objects from concepts.
Subjective ideas, i.e., concepts, require a brain to define them and thus they cannot be eternal. Did racism exist before there were humans? No.
Physical objects - observer independent real objects like matter- are the only possibilities as eternal. Humankind was not required for those objects' existence.
This is the dichotomy that theists cannot resolve, so they try to reify concepts into objects by claiming racism "exists", implying that it is as real as a bunch of bananas.
I don't let theists get away with that sleight-of-hand of trying to make the subjective appear to be objective.
Most people go along with society and use the definition of the word...
appeal to common belief, appeal to authority, arguments from ignorance, unwarranted assertions - I would expect better from you as it is obvious you have a bright mind. Tell the priest to quit trying to grope you so you can think and reason without his assistance.
Appeal to common belief. So you argue that no definitions of words are valid, because they are taken as the real definition by society. By that reasoning, any discussion is null and void because there is no way to achieve unambiguity in meaning. I didn't appeal to common belief. I was being sarcastic to you. The definitions for words are correct because, by definition, they define the words. Without the definition the word doesn't exist.
Or, we can just ignore definitions as you would like to do.
Appeal to authority. How did I appeal to authority? I stated the definition of the word for you. To do so, I would be appealing to my own position or authority. If you continue to claim that the definitions of words aren't correct, then there is no point in seeking unambiguity, and no point in arguing.
Argument from ignorance... actually you're the one using that. You say spirit is false because it hasn't been proven true. Show me how I used this.
Unwarranted assertion. Yes, you are *completely* correct(sarcasm). I assert the definition of 'exist' based off the definition of exist. Again, this is a fallacy you have used, not me. You define 'exist' without any evidence as to why that is the correct definition. You ignore the correct definition.
If you want to try and win an argument by referencing logical fallacies, you have to do a little more than just rattling off fallacies. Burden of proof means if you say I used a fallacy, you have to show why.
'Tell the priest to stop groping you...'
Ad Hominem, attacking the arguer instead of the argument. You try and attack my character asserting I'm the abused sex-toy of a religious or intellectual priest. Nice.
If you are going to use only your precious reasoning to argue, get it right.
Let's be unambiguous here. I would appreciate if you clarified the following. You say that:
1 - Objective = Objects = Observer Independent = Reality
2 - Subjective = Concepts = Observer Dependent = Imaginary
And if you can answer the following:
3 - So what defines an object?
4 - In the year 1000 B.C., did atoms exist?
The only thing humans have that is reliable is reasoning ability. Sentient experience is totally unreliable.
(3 - So what defines an object?)
Real objects have both shape + location
4 - In the year 1000 B.C., did atoms exist?
Of course they did, by way of our reasoning ability and our definitions of existence. This is the best humans can do - reason. Proof is meaningless as it is subjective and thus nothing but an opinion.
Ah, gotcha. You claim our only pathway to knowledge is reasoning and logic, and the sciences are unsubstantial.
You say concepts are imaginary, and sound is a concept.
You say atoms are real, because they have shape, but in 1000BC we didn't even have the idea of atoms. Our reasoning ability hadn't led us to even think of atoms. So how did they exist as objects if we couldn't even think of them yet?
([concepts]... are biocemicalelectricla processes in someone's brain.)
Precisely! It is an activity. The process occurs, but it is not a "thing" in the sense that a rock or a tree is a "thing'.
1 - I'm glad to see you still fail to acknowledge your own contradictions.
2 - Just because something exists as a concept doesn't mean it can't exist as an object. You seem to think that if something is a concept, it doesn't exist. I've shown that to be false with the atom example.
By my reading, no one has implied that something which exists as a concept can't exist as an object.
The problem here is with the words "exist" and "exists."
Concepts unarguably exist, but not in a corporeal sense. They aren't tangible. They don't have mass or occupy space.
I am this moment holding the concept of an apple in my mind, but I am not holding an apple. The apple in my mind is imaginary, in the sense that it is not an external object, nor is it available to my senses or any other means of detection.
Does that help clarify?
These are Winston's contradictions I'm referring to:
http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/84540?p … ost1841721
He states that we separate objective from subjective to distinguish reality from imaginary. He says objective = objects and subjective = concepts.
If a = b and b = c then a = c. If concepts = subjective and subjective = imaginary then concepts = imaginary.
He said sound is a concept, so it is imaginary.
I've been pointing out Winston's contradictions, that's the entire point. I don't believe that just because something is a concept means it can't also exist, but he said he does.
(When we can't account for the majority of the matter in the visible universe, how can you say what can or can't exist?)
You strike me as being quite young - when I was young I was equally as romantic and gullible. I don't remember being quite so smitten by authority, but perhaps I was.
Dark matter is the neo-epicycle of Ptolemy, a finger in the dyke of the flawed theory it is trying to sustain. I understand your confusion - the mathematical physicist is simply an incarnation of the theist in different guise.
Cynacism comes with age - there is no fairy godmother to make everything all right- we really are nothing but a bunch of ignorant evolved hominids, acting like the animals we are, and certainly not special.
Nature is binary: real/not real. Nature does not give a rat's hiney about your subjectively held beliefs, proofs, conclusions, or possibilities. Real/Not Real - that is all there is. Naive chumps who believe in "what ifs" have provided the fodder in the stalls for every con man from P.T. Barnum to Binny Hinn to Uri Geller to James Edwards to Joseph Smith to L. Ron Hubbard.
I would advise not being a chump.
However, if you insist then my advice to suckers is this: if your are going to be a sucker, be a quiet one.
Sound is a concept.
What exists are the air molecules that is the medium for transmitting the vibrations - they have shape + location.
Right... so physics are all bunk, right? Is science also bunk?
Let me tell you about science. You perform an experiment, and nature does something. For example, if you hold up a rock and let go, it will fall. The experiment is holding up the rock and letting go. The rock falling is the result of the experiment, or in other words, nature doing its thing. Gravity is our word for that, our attempt to explain it.
If you don't believe in science, do you believe in the results of the experiments? In other words, do you believe when the rock falls?
Cynicism comes with age... what is so great about cynicism?
And, if we are a bunch of ignorant evolved hominids, then why should I believe the argument of an ignorant evolved hominid?
Yes, believing in 'what ifs' is definitely a horrible way to try and escape ignorance
When did you decide to change from discussing and comparing arguments and ideas to condescending advice?
(Gravity is our word for that, our attempt to explain it.)
You have such pride of knowledge but so little real understanding. Gravity is not an explanation - it is a description of what occurs - all Einstein did was describe what occurs in planetary orbits, but he did not explain why it happens. Eludicate us with your knowledge - what is the mechanism that causes the ball to fall to the floor and not to the ceiling? Is it the breath of god? Does earth suck? Maybe it is gravitons pelting the ball and forcing it to crash land?
Science is not about experiments - it is about natural explanations. Try reading Darwin's On the Origin of Species to get a grasp of actual science.
Mathematics is not science - it is a system of logic and its conclusions are only valid inside its logical framework. It does not explain reality. You may believe that 2+2 is always 4, but you would be wrong.
(When did you decide to change from discussing and comparing arguments and ideas to condescending advice?)
When your arguments became redundant expressions of your confirmation bias, and you lost all pretense of intellectual honesty.
Gravity is a word we give to the thing. The definition of gravity is our attempt to explain it. Call it a description if you will. You can explain what happens without explaining why it happens. But if you want to be picky about word choice for the sake of argument, that's your prerogative. Speaking of which, are you going to address your contradiction about reality and imagination?
The mechanism that causes the ball to fall is gravity. That's the word we have chosen for it. Doesn't mean we know why, just our best attempts at explaining why.
Science is about studying the world through experiments and attempting to describe what happens. How is that not about experiments?
If you disagree with the actual definition of the word, why don't you tell me what your definition is?
What are you going on about? You really believe that if you have 2 apples and I give you 2 more apples, that you might not end up with 4?
You can argue that 2+2 = 11 in a base 3 counting system, but that is clearly trying to shift the argument.
You can argue that the wording might change, but if you have '2' apples, and I give you '2' more, you're going to have '4', call them what you want.
How does 2+2 not equal 4?
Mathematics is a language that science uses. Without it, we wouldn't have all these pesky imaginary things like computers, phones, etc...
Why don't you just show the problems with my arguments instead of avoid them and attacking my character?
BTW, I'm still waiting for you to answer my questions. If you would like, in the future, I will number every question so you can be sure to address them.
(The mechanism that causes the ball to fall is gravity)
You might as well claim the mechanism is the will of god, then. You have explained nothing.
Wanting the immaterial to be real is not the same as showing by definition and reasoning how it is real.
Thus endeth the lessons.
You are not forming arguments, you are propagating fallacies.
Yes, I know, you have said many times 'that is a fallacy' or something similar, but you never back it up. Burden of proof to show that it is a fallacy falls on the one who declares it a fallacy. That's you.
Maybe instead of saying 'you're wrong' you can try and explain why you think so?
Had you taken the time to understand fallacies, you wouldn't use them so often.
Burden of proof is on whoever makes the claim. You don't understand that. You just say 'fallacy' as if that proves something. The fact that you use a burden of proof fallacy to prove your own understanding of fallacies is hypocritical.
Again, take the time to understand fallacies so you don't use them all the time. Why should anyone bother to point them out to you and teach them to you when you don't even make an effort to understand them yourself?
I understand fallacies. I understand that if you claim something is a fallacy it is your job to show why. For you to argue otherwise only shows your lack of understanding of logical fallacies.
Oh, I see now, according to you, one is not obligated to understand logical fallacies and is free to use them unwittingly and unequivocally, until someone else comes along to point that out?
If they care to, then yes.
By the very rules of logical argument, to claim something is a fallacy, the claimant has to back up the claim with evidence.
You are still trying to shift the burden from yourself to me. No matter how you word it, that is what you are trying to do. That is a fallacy by definition.
Read the above comment. If God is the Creator, then He would not necessarily be subject to the same rules and laws ans His creations. That is accurate and rational. The one who forms the clay or the wood can do things that the clay or wood cannot do. The one who created the human brain would be able to do things that human brains cannot do.
God is Spirit, not flesh and blood like us. We are made in His image, not the other way around. And lots of people say that we made God in our image, but only if they don't understand what God has said about Himself.
(God is Spirit)
Then you are saying god is nothing. See, Chris, it is a Catch-22. The word spirit means nothing until it is defined, therefore it is a concept. Concepts are not real, but are ideas. To say god is spirit is saying that god is a concept, therefore not real, a nothing.
(We are made in His image)
So we, too, are nothing. At least you are consistent.
I've read your replies. I've thought about it. You enjoy your semantic games. God is not nothing. I did not say that.
I am sure it is not what you wanted to say, but it assuredly is what you said. Spirit is a concept. A concept is an idea. And idea is not a concrete thing, Therefore god is not a concrete thing.
Only concrete things (objects) can be reasoned to exist objectively, i.e., observer independently.
Saying god is spirit is a subjective claim (an opinion) about a subject matter where real knowledge is impossible to possess - therefore it is a senseless claim no different than the assertions of any other lunatic.
Not everybody thinks that objects are the only things that exist, Winston.
No, Winnie. I meant what I said, both times. You may have meant what you said as well, but the fact that you insist on telling me what I mean is not a sign of your intelligence.
I notice you haven't answered my other question. Sticking with the comfortable, pat answer that others have already "thought out" for you is also not a sign of intelligence. Or intellectual rigour.
Right, a microscope that doesn't use light to see things... but uses these electron things that also can't be seen with light...
I await your response whether or not you are returning to the concept of something having to be visible with visible light to exist.
I don't want to wait for you to pass over your own contradictions anymore. I'll show them for you.
If you can, try and address these points.
Exist: to be, or to be real.
Real(n) : A thing or whole having actual existence.
Isn't that circular??
Real: physically existing: having actual physical existence(Microsoft Encarta)
Only Winston's definition can be consistently and unambiguously used. If your definition is used, what is the difference between the existence of 'imagination' and 'reality'?
Yes, at some point, all definitions become to be slightly circular, but exist has two definitions. To be, or to be real. To be real only applies to real things. To be applies to much more. I have an idea of a pink spaghetti monster, which makes the idea exist.
Trying to use 'to be real' as you do excludes half of the definition.
But it helps to differentiate between imagination and reality.
It only helps to differentiate if you exclude half the definition.
Otherwise, you hold the stance that concepts can't be real. So, when the atom was nothing more than a concept, it wasn't real.
That does not exclude half definition, it exclude half the meaning given to it by laymen dictionary. When we define, we are making sure the word has unambiguous and consistent meaning.
It doesn't matter whether man was able to 'see' an atom only lately. Atom is the fundamental particle(by definition), it is not a concept, it is an object. Objects exist irrespective of humans, atoms were there even before human. Concept is the relation between two objects. It need an intelligent brain to make a meaning out of it. There was no love or morality or energy before humans, but there was atoms.
You really want to argue that the definition of a word isn't what it really means? If we want unambiguity, how can we achieve that without using the definition?
I'll give you a hint. If we don't use the definition of words, anyone can claim anything, by using their own definition. That's the point of having dictionaries and defining words in the first place.
It absolutely matters. Before there was any detection of the atom, or even a concept of the atom, it still existed.
Think of it this way. If you were born a few thousand years ago and someone started talking about these 'atoms', tiny spheres that make up matter, but are really mostly empty... you wouldn't believe it. You would say 'if you can't prove it it doesn't exist'.
It's the exact same thing with stating today that something doesn't exist because there is no proof. In 100 years we might have proof of spirit.
Before it was proven, there was no proof that the atom was an object.
Ok, atoms were there before humans. Good.
What about spirit? Isn't there a chance that it exists but we haven't been able to detect it yet?
If you say no to that question, then you assume you know everything we will ever know.
Also, to say there was no love before humans is to assume we are the only life-forms in the universe capable of love. It is to say, that in a universe that is AT LEAST 100 billion light years in diameter, and has existed for 14 billion years, that you know for a fact there has never existed another life form in all that space and time. That's a pretty big claim.
1.to have actual being; be
2.to have life or animation; live.
3.to continue to be or live: Belief in magic still exists.
4.to have being in a specified place or under certain conditions; be found; occur:
5.to achieve the basic needs of existence, as food and shelter:
According to the dictionary these are the different meanings of exist. So do you mean, the moon lives, when you say "moon exists"? In laymen language it is the context that decide the meaning and where the context cannot be determined, the meaning is at the mercy of the listener. In a scientific presentation, it is the other way round, the meaning should be clear and precise. We are not putting any new meanings, but defining the existing meaning so that the word can be used consistently and unambiguously, to give a clear and precise meaning.
Any rational sane person will understand if you say an atom is the smallest indivisible component of an element having the chemical properties of the element. There is no need of any proof
You are the one who say proof again and again. What I'm asking is to define spirit and explain its existence, not prove it.
Spirit by definition is the incorporeal part of humans, that is having no material existence. It is not about detecting, it is about explaining.
There, I should have said intelligent life. AS we usually say human beings, I said human. With out an intelligent being to conceive, there is no concept, while an object is there irrespective of life.
God, the progeny of human fear, is anti-science
The Creator God created the Universe and everything in it.
He is not anti-science; He encourages it
(Otherwise, you hold the stance that concepts can't be real)
Your incesssant resistance to understand is tiresome, so this will be my last response. This has nothing to do with me, you, my opinion, your subjective beliefs, god, allah, or Santa Claus. This only has to do with being able to create a hypothesis and theory using unambiguous definitions.
If we are ambiguous, we have said nothing.
I do not hold that concepts are not real - concepts are not real by definition. In normal conversation, we can debate concepts as if they were real, and no one cares, and I do it myself. But in scholarly or scientific presentations, ordinary language will not suffice. Precision is required. If you do not like that fact, then present your own unambiguouis definition (not synonym) of exist that shows how the immaterial and the material can both be real.
It is impossible for parallel lines to intersect. Can we prove this? We can't. A railroad track sure looks like it gets more and more narrow in the distance. How can we "know" that eventually these two lines don't really interesect?
Because of the definition of parallel. If the two lines did intersect, they would no longer be parallel lines but would be intersecting lines. How hard is this to understand? Definition creates the meaning. When I give a talk about parallel lines no one thinks I am talking about intersecting lines.
Concepts require the brain of sentient beings because they are an activity of that brain. Objects do not require the sentient brain.
When I give a talk on existence, it is known that I am defining that word to mean only those things we can reason to be real, physical objects that have shape and a location.
If you want to give a talk that shows that the immaterial spirit of god is as real as a rock then it is up to you to provide an unambiguous definition of the word "exist" that encompasses your claims - otherwise, you are simply preaching your opinion using ordinary language.
You may as well be in the dorm room, smoking dope and talking about the universe existing in a shoebox inside god's closet. That may be fun, but it is useless fun.
Right. So you come in and insist that, instead of using the definition of the word 'exist', we use your preferred definition. If you really want unambiguous definitions, why not use the definition that exists?
Right. You admitted that sound is not real, by definition. =
I have presented the definition of exist several times for you. You just don't want to accept the real definition because it doesn't fit your argument. I'm not going to post them again, go back and look at the definitions from dictionary.com, merriam-webster, cambridge, and I don't even remember if I used any others for you.
You want me to present 'my own' unambiguous definition... if it were my own definition it would be ambiguous. That's why I use the accepted definition, from the dictionary.
I told you, there is a branch of geometry that defines it differently than you do. But you just pick and choose your own definitions to fit your arguments.
You are so adamant about the definition of words... why won't you use the real definition of 'exist'?
You said sound is a concept. So, without the brain of sentient beings, there would be no sound.
1 - I dare you, address this point specifically. You constantly ignore when I point out your contradictions. Address the contradiction you stated: sound is concept, concepts don't exist without brains.
Again, the definition of the word is the real definition. I would argue that most people believe sound exists.
When did I ever claim to have proof of a substance called spirit?
You're the one that says, because I don't have proof, then it isn't as real as a rock.
Again, using your precious rules of reasoning, I present:
Argument from ignorance: Assuming a claim is false because it hasn't been proven true. Assuming spirit is false because it hasn't been proven.
To whom it may concern:
There has been quite a bit of give and take about sound in this thread, so I thought it apt to explain why sound is considered conceptual.
The act of making a sound is an event that requires many components, including an ear to assimilate the wave motion of the air molecules and a brain to interpret those wave motions. If we were to illustrate "sound", it would require several frames in a movie - it would require an explanation to give it a definition. "Sound" is a relationship between two or among many objects. If is not a single "thing".
On the other hand, a grape can be illustrated with a single frame, a single snapshot picture. I don't even have to explain the grape. All I have to do is point at the grape picture and grunt and everyone will understand what I am alluding to - an object we have named "grape".
This is the critical difference between real objects and abstract concepts, perhaps better termed abstractions rather than concepts because rightly any word is a concept. The difference is that some concepts resolve to ideas (movies) and others resolve to real physical objects. (pictures).
Intellectual dishonesty that refuses to admit to this distinction is the hallmark of faith, because separation between real and abstract invalidates the metaphysical argument..
Nice wordplay winston, but you still fail to acknowledge that you have said sound doesn't exist.
If you would just use the actual definition of the word 'exist' we wouldn't have as much of a disagreement, but in your quest for unambiguity in discussion, you have chosen to define terms to suit your arguments, rather than use established meanings of words.
Even with your new wordplay here, you say that objects are real and concepts are abstract. You also say that if we separate real and abstract it will invalidate the metaphysical argument. By the same argument, using your definitions and separating real and abstract invalidates the 'sound' argument.
You put sound and spirit in the abstract category, and argue that neither are reality.
The Creator God created the Universe and everything in it.
He is not anti-science; He encourages it
Many things are matters of fact that are not testable. To qualify as a matter of fact, a claim only has be objectively true or false, regardless of our ability to test that claim.
My paradigm is personal, but nothing within it is subjective. it is personal only in the sense that it is mine, but it is constructed entirely out of objectively evaluable claims. I claim that Natalie Portman is more attractive than Angelina Jolie, but that claim is not one of the building materials of my personal paradigm.
I do consider matters of opinion, but I don't debate them. Matters of opinion are intrinsically not debatable. If you claim that caramel is a superior flavor to chocolate, and I claim the converse, we are both right. Debating such a claim would be pointless.
Most religious claim are matters of fact, in that they are at least theoretically evaluable as true or false. For example, Jesus either rose from the dead to save us from our sins, or he didn't. Neither my opinion -- nor yours -- makes such a claim true or false. It either happened, or it didn't.
My paradigm isn't impregnable. When necessary, I voluntarily remodel or demolish it. However, because such a deconstruction isn't trivial, I don't initiate it until my paradigm has lost its integrity.Still, when I discover enough non-complementary claims that my paradigm becomes logically unsound, I change it unhesitatingly. Sometimes that change involves mere refurbishment, sometimes complete destruction.
A factual claim is unambiguously indefensible either when it is demonstrably false, or when the claim doesn't have sufficient corroborating evidence to justify the refurbishment or destruction of the existing paradigm. Claims in the latter category are obviously those claims which are -- currently, at least -- untestable. An untestable claim may eventually prove to be true, but, until it can be tested, it remains unambiguously indefensible.
Theoretically evaluable as true or false isn't objective. The existence of spirit is theoretically evaluable just as much as whether or not Jesus rose from the dead.
To objectively prove the existence of spirit, we would have to be able to empirically test it. See it, detect it, something along those lines. Theoretically, it is possible that we develop a means of detection of a different type of matter than what we now know, so it is theoretically evaluable.
The reason it isn't impregnable is because you do allow for subjective ideas. If you only based your paradigm off of truly objective, evaluable means, it would be perfect, but limited.
Anyway, to admit that your paradigm has been and can be imperfect means that you also have to admit that things you consider to be unambiguously indefensible might not actually be. After all, you deciding what is unambiguously indefensible is a conflict of interest.
You are talking about your paradigm. If the evidence isn't sufficient for you to change your paradigm, you claim it is unambiguously indefensible. How can you claim to define unambiguity off your personal paradigm?
I write "theoretically evaluable" to refer to factual claims that can't be tested currently, but that -- theoretically, at least -- are capable of being tested, even if only in the future. We have no observable evidence for them today, but one day, we might.
Yes, the existence of spirit is theoretically evaluable, as is the claim that Jesus rose from the dead.
I don't admit subjective ideas to my paradigm. If it isn't at least theoretically evaluable, there is no place for it.
I am pragmatically agnostic about all matters of fact, so of course some of the claims that I consider unambiguously indefensible today I will consider indisputable fact tomorrow. I'm also not inclined to append "but I might not believe this tomorrow" to every sentence. That is manifestly true, for all of us.
Ok, so then, do we have any difference in view on what is 'theoretically evaluable' and what isn't? I'm not sure anymore, too many people in this conversation
That's a good disclaimer for all of us to have, I think
Let's get some clarity, here.
The best efforts humans can make to understand the nature of their reality is via reasoning and axioms. Matter cannot be created or destroyed is axiomatic. We don't know 100% if it is accurate, and can never know, but thus far it has been shown to be accurate both empirically and using rational logic. That's the best we can hope to accomplish.
As William Munny might have said to Little Bill Daggett just before shooting him in the throat: Tests and proof's got nothing to do with it.
Inane and continual banter about something not being proved is simply a sideshow attack on a bearded-woman strawman.
By this same "we haven't proved" argument, we have not totally disproved that a witch in the 1500s could not have cast an evil eye on the village and caused the plague. After all, maybe we don't have the right techniques to detect witch's evil eye energy, and maybe it was that unknown energy that prompted all those rats to abandon ship and invade the village, bringing their plaque bearing bacillus in flea hosts to terrorize the citizens.
Nor have we totally shown that Ra is not the sun god, that god could be disguising himself as a star and again we simply don't know how to detect Ra-god energy yet.
Perhaps one can find funding to spend his life researching "god energy" but it is more likely funding will be channeled into finding a method to turn off miosis in cancer cells.
The closest we can ever come to knowing the nature of reality is to reason rationally from a sound axiomatic basis - without ghosts, ghouls, goblins, or gods in the picture to clutter up the thinking process.
When gods show themselves to be part of nature, then we can address them at that time and include them in our reasoning.
Until then, it is ridiculous to accept the supernatural realm as reality when that assumption is based on nothing more than ancient subjective claims repeated as if authoritative.
If you do believe in the spiritual, you probably want to avoid the witch's evil eye - after all, in over 500 years its power has never been disproved.
Objectively, and scientifically, it is ridiculous to either accept, or reject, any possibility for things we don't understand. The very nature of science is to approach any problem with an open mind, without any preconceptions.
The idea that we should approach science in a way trying to prove no God, or assuming that an idea of God is ridiculous, is in and of itself ridiculous. As I said, open-mindedness is key to true scientific research. It is those who approach science with a bias against any possibilities that do it a disservice.
Even more ridiculous to exclude the possibility of spiritual matter or energy, when our current model of understanding says we can only account for 20% of the matter and energy in the visible universe. Scientists are looking for a new kind of matter, so why rule out the possibility of a type of matter many have believed in for thousands of years?
@emrldphx: Respectfully, I don't think that you fully understand how science or the scientific method works.
Science depends on preconceptions. A scientist doesn't start from scratch each time he or she forms a new hypothesis or postulates a new theory. Science proceeds from the known to the unknown, not the other way around. Frankly, any other approach would be illogical.
As far as the existence of spiritual matter or energy is concerned, why would a scientist postulate it? Science is in the business of forming testable explanations and predictions. Apart from the impregnation of virgins -- and accounting for matter and energy that scientists argue is missing -- what testable explanation or prediction does it provide?
Believe me, I do understand the scientific method. If you allow for any type of prejudice in setting up an experiment, it is not a true, objective experiment. If you allow for any prejudice in interpreting the results of an experiment, then your interpretation may be flawed.
You say science proceeds from the known to the unknown, and that is correct. But science doesn't proceed from 'knowing something doesn't exist' to the unknown.
I never suggested postulating the existence of spiritual matter. I simply stated that excluding it as a possibility isn't scientific. If you approach an experiment thinking that 'X' is ridiculous, and it turns out to be 'X', you might come up with 'Y' to explain it.
It's all about keeping an open mind. You can only use the knowledge of things that we have, not your ideas about what reality is.
"Spiritual matter" is possible, yes. However, this is science we are talking about, and not just a "what if" game.
To be specific, you are advocating the possibility of spiritual sperm. You advocate it because you (apparently) choose to defend the literal, historical veracity of a given miraculous event.
It makes exactly as much sense to defend spiritual sperm as it does to defend the conception of Helen of Troy by Zeus impregnating a goose. Why don't we mount a scientific defense of Xenu, L. Ron Hubbard's invention? Maybe we should scientifically defend Joseph Smith's golden plates. After all, all of those accounts might be true, so -- by your logic -- we should suspend any judgement until we have performed an objective experiment.
That plan sounds admirable, but it fails in real life. Science, like any other enterprise, has limited funds, limited time, and limited resources. It tries to invest its funds, time, and resources wisely, which means that investigating the possibility of spiritual sperm isn't a high priority.
I advocate that all possibilities are allowed for by not excluding any specific possibilities from the start. I'm not saying anything specific about the truth of 'spiritual sperm', I'm saying that to exclude a possibility ruins the scientific process.
It has nothing to do with defending anything. It has everything to do with approaching science with an open mind. Since we don't know what an experiment will yield(we don't know), then to approach that experiment knowing that something isn't, is to assume that we know what is. It's not about any specific idea, it's about an open mind without prejudice. Science with prejudice isn't science.
We should suspend scientific judgement of anything until we can experiment on it, yes. Anything else is pseudo-science.
I never said we should go out and actively try and prove spirit! I've said this over and over, it's not about seeking out every possibility. It's about understanding that no possibility should be excluded from possibility. If you presume to know something isn't possible then your interpretations will be biased.
Exactly. However, you will continue to make claims of spirits and you will believe they do in fact exist, regardless.
Hence, you have not formed an argument either way. You have led us down the garden path of irrelevancy and pointlessness in favor of your religious beliefs all the while fallaciously demanding we accept them as a possibility.
Okay, they're a possibility, one of such infinitesimally small magnitude, it warrants similar attention to that of the possibility of an invisible purple rhinoceros living in my garage.
So, let's discuss that instead. I noticed you still haven't asked me how I know it's purple.
Do you understand the difference between belief, and a claim of reality?
Yes, I believe in spirit. No, I don't claim to be able to prove them reality.
I wouldn't have any scientist to try and prove spirit. You would have scientists dismiss spirit as a possibility completely. That is the difference between what you have said, and what I have said.
I said, nothing should be excluded. Nothing else should be favored as a possibility either. Science should be approached unbiased. If you disagree with that, then you believe more in pseudo-science than science.
You say it's a possibility, fine. If you try and prove it, then I will ask you for proof.
You made another claim I want you to back up as well. You say spirit is an infinitesimally small possibility, and you presented that as fact, not opinion. Back it up.
Much better than you, evidently.
Then, you have an unfounded, irrational and ridiculous belief in spirits.
Sorry, are you saying they haven't dismissed it already? LOL!
LOL! In other words, science needs to accept as a possibility anything you are any other religious believer can conjure from their myths and mysticisms.
You write, " it's not about seeking out every possibility. It's about understanding that no possibility should be excluded from possibility. If you presume to know something isn't possible then your interpretations will be biased."
In principle, I agree with you. Science, as an intellectual endeavor, presumes -- and requires -- open-minded impartiality. However, I don't think that "open-minded" means what you think it means. It doesn't require that all possibilities should be treated equally.
If all possibilities were equal -- literally equal -- then your "ought" world is indeed the one in which science should properly operate. But not all possibilities are equal, and this is easy to demonstrate.
Whipped cream is not the chemical equivalent of acetylsalicylic acid.
The flowering plant Pimpinella anisum is not a herbivorous quadruped.
Gelatin does not have the tensile strength of steel.
Cephalopod molluscs do not live in the branches of evergreen conifers.
Mercuric chloride is not excreted by bumblebees.
It quickly becomes obvious that the set of impossible things far exceeds the set of the possible.
You believe in the existence of something called "spirit." Many people do, including scientists. However, does belief in something -- by a scientist or otherwise -- automatically move it into the purview of science? Further, what is meant by "spirit?" Is it testable? What phenomena have been observed that would make it reasonable for a scientist to hypothesize it?
For a fairly thorough analysis of what "open-mindedness" means within a scientific context, I suggest this video:
Only in hindsight, using things we can discover, can we call two possibilities unequal. We can only discover this by testing. Yes, some things probably don't exist, but we don't know the differences before testing. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Only things we can test are in the realm of science. I'm not saying anything about going out to test for spirit. My belief is it is a different kind of matter, but I'm not saying we should go test for it. I'm saying that, scientifically, we can't exclude the possibility of there being other types of matter. We already have forces and apparent matter that we can't detect(we can only detect their effects).
If a scientist is researching dark matter and 'knows' personally that spirit doesn't exist, he might bypass something due to his prejudice. That is what I mean by open-mindedness. No prejudice.
I hope that I wouldn't let skepticism get in my way, If I were a scientist investigating a phenomenon, and "spirit" provided the best explanation for it.
Still, I would need to have a reasonable theory how spirit -- which is understood as nonphysical -- could affect something that is physical, and how I might measure it.
I think we agree about 99%, with maybe just a little confusion along the way
For instance, the faster-than-light neutrinos recently. They analyzed their data and experimentation for something like 6 months after the results of the experiment before releasing the results, because they were skeptical of the results.
Non-physical can be defined many ways... neutrinos could be considered non-physical cause you can't touch them, or they could be considered physical because you they have mass(edit, sorry, I said that wrong).
I'm excited to see if CERN can uncover any new evidence of dark matter next year as they set new records for energy levels in particle collisions. Certainly we have no way to test spirit, but let's just say we discover a new particle and call it 'pigom'. Then we develop methods of detecting it accurately and find that it mirrors existing matter consistently. Meaning that a large lump of matter would have a corresponding large lump of pigom. Then we discover that humans actually emit pigom, as part of the thought process...
Those kinds of results would start to cross into the realm of spirit and prayer. Unless/Until we get there, then it is just personal, and we should just observe experimental results with an open mind.
It is ridiculous to reject or accept anything we do not understand?
It is ridiculous to reject the ridiculous? I don't think so.
The nature of the Christian religion is such that belief is held that Jesus vanished into the sky without the aid of any flying machine and thus far has lived out of sight of humankind for more than 2000 years and will someday return to earth out of the sky in triumph.
Let's simply take this claim rationally. First, Jesus was a human, made of flesh and blood. He is claimed to have had a spiritual aspect that also made him god. God cannot be killed, so what died was the physical aspect of Jesus. This human body was placed in a tomb. It is claimed that Jesus was resurrected and thereafter the tomb was empty, meaning that the physical remains must have been reanimated. After such and such activity, this same man/god disappeared into the sky and has lived there for over 2000 years, which means that his human physical body must have done so else the remains of it would have been left on earth.
However, in anything other than what is arguably myth, documented evidence for the maximum length of human life is around 100 years.
Are we to assume because of this one second-hand account of Jesus that there is a method that can alter cellular lifespans and that it is ridiculous to rule out 2000-year-old lives? Is it ridiculous to rule out 2000+ year life spans of human bodies and human bodies that can disappear into the sky because it is something we as yet don't understand?
The disintegration of human cells after death is a well known process that has never been shown to be reversible. But it is ridiculous for science to rule out the possibility of reanimated dead human tissue simply because it cannot be 100% proven that it is impossible?
Superman, of course, can fly, so I concede the flying point. After all, I would not want to appear closed-minded or ridiculous.
The reason we no longer take our children to the witch doctor to drive out the invading spirits is due to the knowledge of the scientific investigation of disease processes.
In that sense, we have ruled out the ridiculous although there is no validation that viral infections, bacterial infections, or fungal infections are not actually caused by the will of evil spirits. However, the evidence is strongly in support of the idea that our health does not respond to incantations directed toward spirits, either good or evil.
What is ridiculous is the notion that anything is possible.
On a personal level, you can do what you want. What I said, is when we come to trying to objectively define truth, especially scientifically, there is no room for bias.
Don't bundle all Christians under one idea. There are different beliefs about how much of a 'mortal human' Christ actually was. If we believe the bible, then He resurrected with body of flesh and bone.
There are also different ideas on how much of a God Christ was. Some believe that He didn't fully become like God until he performed his sacrifice, so he did retain the ability to be killed.
Let me get this straight... you want to define the possibility of how long a resurrected, immortal being can live based off of current evidence of the length of life? Obviously if reanimation is possible, our 'limits' on life would change.
You can think that reanimation is ridiculous, but to say 'even if it happened, it would be ridiculous for someone to live 2,000 years'. If we could reanimate material, why would someone have to die?
Yes, it is ridiculous for science to rule out the possibility. Science doesn't do that. Science makes a hypothesis, does an experiment, and analyzes data. It doesn't rule out possibilities.
If you personally think it is ridiculous, that's your prerogative. There is a difference between personal opinion and the scientific process.
See, if somebody says something 'Superman can fly', presented like that as fact, then it is up to them to provide supporting evidence. If someone say 'I think superman can fly', they don't have to provide supporting evidence, it's an opinion.
Opinion has no place in science. It spoils experimentation. It leaves open factors in experimentation because someone doesn't think those factors will have an effect.
Right. So? If science discovers a way to reanimate tissue, we would go to science for that as well. What's your point?
You have ruled out the ridiculous in your mind, in your opinion. How many times do I have to explain that scientific experimentation should not be approached with bias?
I'm sorry Winston, I don't think you fully appreciate the reasoning behind the scientific method. When an experiment is done, every effort to control every variable except for 1 variable is taken. If someone approaches an experiment and injects their opinions, they might not control variables that they think are important, and the resulting data could lead to erroneous conclusions.
Science has proven itself wrong before, simply because of faulty experimentation, poor equipment, or erroneous conclusions drawn from the data. Science is about eliminating the human errors.
(Even more ridiculous to exclude the possibility of spiritual matter or energy, when our current model of understanding says we can only account for 20% of the matter and energy in the visible universe.)
Then by all means keep searching for the spiritual energy that transforms the witch's evil eye into action that brings about the plague. After all, science has not disproved its possibility.
In the meantime, the rest of us will get on with our lives while others busily chase their tails.
When it comes to sciences, there is an operational definition used so that there is no confusion as to meaning. That is the reason scientists do not use the word "truth" about their claims, nor is there any provision anywhere in science to uncover the "truth".
Truth has had many, many definitions and those are still argued. Myself, I have defined truth as the logical necessity of a valid argument. Note, though, that my definition means that the "truth" is only valid within its system of logic and has nothing to do with a "truth" about reality - a logical necessity may or may not be a reality. Truth really is only opinion, meaning it is what we individually accept as a reality. That sometimes there is nearly unanymous agreement does not make truth any less an opinion; it simply makes it a commonly held opinion; like geocentricity way back when.
I actually do understand you position and have some sympathy for it in that biases should be removed as much as possible from analytics. That doesn't mean that anything is truly possible, though, except in the world of theoretics. Once we have better knowledge, we abandon the idea of truly possible for the practical - only a tiny minority of hardliners still take their child to the exorcist: most go to the psychiatrist for treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorders. We don't drown the witches; we get vaccinations. These changes are the result of abandoning ideas we now realize were truly ridiculous, although they have not been completely disproven and can never be.
Seriously, do you accept that an angel can appear to a man in a cave, mount that man on a flying mule-like creature who then flies the man to heaven and back? Is this in the realm of the truly possible or is it closer in possibility to square circles and 4-sided triangles? Is it really possible that an entire lost tribe of Israel could have inhabited North America for centuries without leaving a single scrap of historical evidence only to be unearthed by magical seer stone furnished by another angel to a known con-man for safekeeping? This is not a ridiculous belief simply because it cannot be 100% ruled out?
The best we as humans can do is reason - we never have perfect knowledge.
Proofs, truths, and validations have no place in scientific endeavors - the attempt of science is to explain events that have occurred (consummated events) via natural processes. Science and technology sometimes blur the lines - that doesn't make technology science nor does it make science a technological pursuit.
You asked once about redshift - my answer is I don't know what causes redshift, but the explanation of Doppler Effect makes no rational sense. Just as sea monsters made no sense but one could find evidence of missing ships and crew to justify those beliefs, evidence and proofs of the Doppler Effect of redshift should not be anything more than evidence in support of that notion. That redshift is a Doppler Effect is not truth, fact, or proof. It is an interpretation of an observation.
It may end up being the neo-sea monster.
I don't think you do understand my position. Approaching science without bias and having opinions in everyday life are not mutually exclusive. Keeping an open mind for science doesn't relate to taking your sick child to an exorcist. I think you think I'm saying things that I'm not saying.
About the records of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, I wouldn't be so quick to discount all of that. If you take a look at the grammatical structure of the BoM, there is tremendous evidence of it being a book written in a language like Hebrew or Aramaic... not English. The amazing claim of records written on metal plates was originally ridiculed, until archaeologists started finding just that, metal plates with historical writings. Not to mention certain prophecies and predictions.
I find it amazing to see the similarities between different religions.. I think the truth is sprinkled out there for everyone.
Maybe not your definition of truth. You say there is no operational definition of truth. I use it then, as the dictionary defines it... 'what is'. Something that is, is truth.
Why don't you think the Doppler Effect makes sense? We can use it to measure velocities on earth, so why not in space? Perhaps if you have problems with relativity...
The BoM reads like a pastiche of the KJV, which was translated primarily from Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. There is tremendous evidence that the BoM used the KJV as a source, with no evidence that it existed in any form before the 17th century.
Perhaps to you, not necessarily to others. This is certainly a topic that would be deserving of its own thread. You can easily argue that there is much more evidence of it being an original work, rather than a copy or invention.
Again, we could discuss this extensively. As for lack of evidence, the fact that Joseph Smith claimed the records were written on metal plates can be considered evidence to the veracity of his story. After all, the idea was extremely ridiculous at the time, yet we now know that many important and sacred things were engraved on metal plates by many cultures.
Have you ever read the BoM? The BoM was allegedly written more than a millennium before the KJV, yet it uses the same literary style, and reproduces the same errors.
I spent nearly a decade as a Mormon, and my wife was a 5th generation Mormon. We both left the church in the late 1990s, with no hard feelings. I knew when I joined that there was no convincing archaeological evidence, that population genetics were not supportive, and that there was no connection between Native American and Semitic languages. But -- at the time -- I was of the philosophy that the benefits of working within an organization which I considered largely a force for good outweighed any problems I had with the theology.
Incidentally, I knew serving bishops who didn't believe that the Laminates or the Nephites had ever existed.
Of course, if I were presented with serious physical evidence for the authenticity of the BoM, I would judge that evidence and accept it (or reject it) on it own merits.
Yes, I have read the BoM. Speaking of literary style, why wouldn't two books translated from allegedly similar languages use the same literary style?
As for errors... what would you like to talk about?
There is a difference between scriptural theology and external beliefs. For instance, there is no scriptural basis in the BoM to say that the Lamanites and the Native Americans are one and the same.
In fact, there is reference to the Lamanites and other groups being intermarried from the beginning with existing peoples.
THere are things we can talk about
Without physical evidence, the "golden plates" aspect of the BoM is just good storytelling.
Life isn't long enough to give equal scrutiny to every unsupported claim. I spent literal decades doing just that, and it was ultimately a foolish endeavor.
A partial list of subjects and related claims that I have researched and discounted:
The Urantia Book, Jane Robert's Seth, channeling generally, ley lines, Edgar Cayce, ancient astronauts, Dr. Ian Stevenson and his reincarnation studies, out-of-body experiences, astral projection generally, the Mormons, Scientology, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Kirlian photography, Marian apparitions, ghosts, witchcraft, Satanism, demonology and exorcisms, Roswell, the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati, the NWO, Emanuel Swedenborg, Helena Blavatsky, the Fox Sisters, Spiritualism and Spiritism generally, Mu, Lemuria, Atlantis, Uri Geller, John Edwards, Allison DuBois, Sylvia Brown, James Van Praagh, physic surgeons, speaking on tongues, Nostradamus, clairvoyance, paranormal and psychic abilities generally, faith healing, miracles generally, past life regression, the Georgia Guidestones, David Icke, homeopathy, MJ-12, and. . . the list goes on.
I still keep an open mind, and I still investigate, but none of the claims made by, or about, the subjects listed above have much chance of being objectively factual.
The claims of Mormonism have been capably repudiated by many hands, and I'm not inclined to regurgitate any of it here. Not because it isn't fascinating to me, but because Mormons don't promulgate a lie that I have any real interest in dispelling.
Are you familiar with the book "The Mormon Murders" based on the bombings in Salt Lake City? Counterfeit Mormon documents of Joseph Smith writings, which the church had accepted as real, were found to be the basis behind those killings.
I suppose before they were found to be good forgeries they were considered good evidence.
But, then, I left my seer stones in the car.
Btw, my niece is LDS, so this is nothing personal. I admire you for escaping.
However, my understanding is that the entire basis for the BoM is based on Smith's claim of golden tablets, the angel, and the seer stones, and no one else ever saw the physical evidence of those claims.
In that is accurate, there can be no argument made for voracity of evidence that does not exist.
I'm not familiar with that book, but are you referring to the Salamander Letter?
Not aside from the witnesses listed in the BoM, that I'm aware of.
You have to admit though, that a claim of a record on metal plates is interesting. At the time, it was ridiculed. Now, we know many cultures did just that.
The saga of "The Mormon Murders" is as compelling today as it was when it was unfolding. I would love to talk with Mark Hoffman about his motivations. How does a former LDS missionary become a notorious forger of embarrassing church documents?
(I don't think you do understand my position.)
No one cares what position a troll claims. Goodbye.
Major kudos to anyone who knows and can use correctly the word "pastiche" in a sentence - I had to look it up.
I sometimes use words that I probably shouldn't. Unfortunately, once a word is part of my vocabulary, I lose track of whether it is common or uncommon. If it feels like the right word in the heat of composition, I use it.
I'm glad that you appreciated the word pastiche. :-)
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