"Do you have evidence?"

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  1. A.Villarasa profile image72
    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago

    The above question I see a  lot  being asked by materialists when the discussion turns to topics about the spiritual and supernatural. They off-handedly deny the existence of the spiritual and supernatural/transcendental world because they have "found no evidence of them"  and then reflexively ask the question: "Do you have evidence?"

    It turns out the above question is the usual expression of "naïve empiricism",  which is referred to  as the belief that empiricists should try to be as objective and neutral as possible when studying something. It further proposes that empiricists should approach a problem with no preconceived expectations or assumptions which have not been previously studied and justified using the empirical method.

    Many arguments have been proposed against naïve empiricism. The rationale behind many of these arguments is that one must make some  assumptions before any progress in study can be made. Assumptions don't have to be  misleading or unfounded, but in order to study anything, we must either make assumptions of some kind. If no such assumptions are made, then empiricism is limited to observations which tell us little about how we interpret existence.

    1. wilderness profile image98
      wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      And if assumptions are made, and conclusions based on assumptions that have no foundations, then the conclusions carry the same label: unfounded.  It should not need to be pointed out, but ignorance, imagination, desire and belief are not considered acceptable foundations.

      In my own experience those that deny empiricism in favor of imagination or assumption do so because they have nothing to offer but assumption.  Leading nowhere of course, because one persons assumption is no better than anyone else's...until that awful empiricism is used to find a foundation.

      1. Oztinato profile image52
        Oztinatoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Haven't you caught up with the new math yet?? Please google Holographic Universe and you'll be up to date with science. The new math is proving the universe has intent ie consciousness.
        Stop burying your head in the sand.
        It's ok to believe these days as science is now proving God exists as universal consciousness.
        Get over it.

        1. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          LOL  Do you know what "new math" is?  That it is nothing but a new method of teaching the same old things?  That "new math" doesn't indicate a god any more than "old math" did?

          1. Oztinato profile image52
            Oztinatoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Please do your homework old son. We can all have a real discussion then. New math means recent math. You know, maths evolves fast due to super computers.
            Have you read about the recent math? No of course not.

            1. wilderness profile image98
              wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Has 2+2 changed to 3 then?  That was the common complaint of parents when new math hit the schools - that they couldn't understand it.  Of course, the real problem was just that they didn't understand math at all, for there is no difference in any of it.  2+2 is not 3, will never be.

              The last real discover in math was the calculus - are you trying to say there is something newer than that, that is not being taught in schools at all?  Or is the super computer, that can do no more than add 2+2 a jillion times faster than you can, that is coming up with the same answers we always have?

              (Did google your "holographic universe" but found no new math, just the same old language it has been since the discovery of calculus.  I did find such nonsense as the universe is conscious, reality is an illusion, and it's based on a "sacred" geometry.  It is but "a virtual experiment created in linear time to study emotions."  No new math here - no math at all)

              1. jtrader profile image20
                jtraderposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                I know this is a bit of a tangent from the main point of the question but 2+2 can =3.

                2 is what you get when you round 1.51 to the nearest whole number. Therefore 1.51+1.51=3.02 that is, 3.

                You experience this in reality every day, for example when you go to the supermarket. Sometimes you are shortchanged because of it.

                Any math teacher can explain that to you. It is not new or old math. These are the rules we have always followed in any brand of pure or applied math.

                1. wilderness profile image98
                  wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  LOL  And 1.51 = 2.  Got it!

                  And 6+6=20, too.  All you have to do is change the numbers from what they are and you get a different answer.  Good thinking -  when you get change of $1.51 from the cashier, be sure to complain that you've been cheated by 49 cents.  I'm sure she will give you the extra.  (Or say that it's closer to 0 than ten and grab it back!)

                  1. jtrader profile image20
                    jtraderposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    I think you are getting it.

                    However, 6+6 would not equal 20.
                    The range of values of 6+6 would depend on the range of values for 6. You don't just choose arbitrary values.

                    In Math and in every branch of science, we make approximations based on certain rules. Even when bridges are being built, approximations are made. Nothing is completely exact.

                    In elementary school, children are taught the basics. 1+1=2 etc. As they grow older, it is expected that they will broaden the bounds of their understanding, based on how well they grasped what they were taught at the start.

                    For example, you won't know as a doctor, that you should round 149.83g to 150g, if you weren't taught that 150 is the next number.

                    None of this is new. Math, just like any other science, is a set of rules we use to understand the world around us. As our knowledge of the world grows, we expand the boundaries of what "2" and "3" really mean.

                    It's just like when most of us older ones were little, we were taught that light travels in rays. Now that we understand more about the world around us, we know that light also travels in waves.

                    We use science to understand our world and that's why we have to keep an open mind. As scientists, we are always open to possibilities, test things and explore in order to understand more.

                  2. Trichakra profile image60
                    Trichakraposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    You look like mathematics expert

              2. Robert Levine profile image85
                Robert Levineposted 21 months agoin reply to this

                Yes, 1.51 rounds up to 2.  That does not mean that 1.51 IS 2--it means that situations where we need to use whole numbers, we may approximate 1.51 as two.  2 + 2 will always equal 4, and 1.51 + 1.51 will always equal 3.02.  The reality that nothing is completely exact is no reason to sacrifice awareness of degrees of precision.

                I myself believe in God.  But neither mathematics nor science can prove God's existence.  They take as their task the exploration & investigation of empirical reality and not anything other than or beyond it.  This doesn't mean science & mathematics deny the existence of the spiritual; it's simply an admission that they are not the tools with which to engage in it.  Science can no more prove or disprove that God exists or gave the Torah any more than my Judaism can prove or disprove that coal is a form of carbon.

            2. My Esoteric profile image91
              My Esotericposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              In reading the details on how to teach "new math", I find that Wilderness is right; "new math" uses a different algorithm than "old math: to come up with the same answer in both cases.  What "new math" purports to do is teach an "understanding" of how things work rather than how I was taught initially ... memorization.  I simply knew that 12 x 12 = 144 without being taught why it does until much later.

              1. Oztinato profile image52
                Oztinatoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                By the New Maths I am abbreviating "the New Mathematical Theorems" regarding say M theory which have now offered indirect math proof of God's existence to clear headed philosophers.
                It is clear we have certain atheist commentators here of the stature of Einstein as they see themselves as capable of contradicting huge new areas of research in quantum theory. I'm sure we have dozens of Nobel Laureates on HP:  either that or they are simply in denial or culture shock.

                1. wilderness profile image98
                  wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  "In it <Hawking's book, A Brief History of Time> , Hawking describes how M-theory, a candidate ultimate theory of everything, may offer answers to the question of creation. “According to M-theory, ours is not the only universe,” Hawking writes. “Instead M-theory predicts that a great many universes were created out of nothing. Their creation does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or god.”

                  https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn … -about-god

                  Notice that according to Hawking, M theory does not prove OR disprove a god.  It might be there, it might not.  The "new mathematical theorems", then, have nothing to say on the existence of a god; while they don't disprove the possibility, that is hardly a reason to say they "prove" it.

                2. Longuer profile image61
                  Longuerposted 22 months agoin reply to this

                  I don't feel this is the case. However, if you were to share what you know in a less caustic medium, others may benefit. The way you are behaving is a fantastic microcosmic model for how conflicts are started between entire nations. Reflect on your syntax.

          2. Christy McKee profile image60
            Christy McKeeposted 19 months agoin reply to this

            By new math, not to be confused with common core crap (i hope) you can look up the Boson Hicks or "God Particle". Though I personally do not care what you believe and dont believe. Its either for you or it isnt. Maybe in the next life...?

            1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image84
              HeadlyvonNogginposted 19 months agoin reply to this

              *Higgs Boson

        2. jonnycomelately profile image83
          jonnycomelatelyposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Sir Oz, science is not proving the existence.  There are just more scientific opinions around now that allow for the possibility of there being some intelligence "ordering" our universe.
          The nature of the god you personally perceive remains a construct of your own mind.
          Each to their own.

        3. RockerGinger profile image82
          RockerGingerposted 20 months agoin reply to this

          Oztinato - Why on earth is your comment so judgmental and angry? I suggest that when you set foot into an intellectual conversation, that you present your information like an adult and not like a hormonal teenager.

          1. Oztinato profile image52
            Oztinatoposted 20 months agoin reply to this

            Rocker
            Not at all angry just pointing out the farce a certain highly prominent distinguished member of hp engages in by contradicting historically famous scientists and the very modern advances we have today.
            It's parody.. How else can we gently point out intellectual folly?

      2. savvydating profile image94
        savvydatingposted 24 months agoin reply to this

        Basic Science 101 for Dummies (No offense): All scientists make assumptions in order to form a working hypotheses, which is then narrowed down to fewer hypotheses, which may then lead to further discoveries or not, upon which time a new hypotheses is formed. This is very plain, even for me, and I am no scientist. Villarasa has made a very clear statement which is accurate.
        http://genesismission.jpl.nasa.gov/educ … endixB.pdf

    2. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image84
      HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      A materialist demanding evidence simply shows their complete ignorance of the topic. I find it kind of sad. Some of the most intelligent people I've talked to, it's like watching them push on a door that says 'Pull'. Or it's like watching them try to remove a bolt with a screwdriver.

      It would be one thing if what we do know about God didn't perfectly fit the mold of something with no empirical evidence. Empirical evidence can only deal with what is a product of this universe. The matter and energy that this universe consists of. If God is indeed the creator of the universe, then He cannot be a product of it. How can the creator of the causal chain also be a link in that same chain?

      This is the materialists brick wall protection. They can deny any argument put forth from that point on. Apparently not realizing how completely ignorant they look doing so.

      The fact remains, whether you're talking about God or not, there are elements within this universe that play a role in what we observe that cannot be accounted for physically/empirically. The mind is a primary example. Life is another. The natural laws. These things that are just counted as 'given' by the materialist also demand explanation. Of course God IS the explanation, but that doesn't fly where they're concerned, so they're basically dooming themselves to never fully understanding because they're limiting what the answer can be prematurely. And most often based on a bias against religion and not any real logical reasoning.

      1. Don W profile image81
        Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        You can't reasonably argue that there are issues with evidentialism, therefore god must exist. That's a non-sequitur. The philosophical issues with evidentialism do not increase the likelihood that god exists. It has no bearing on it.

        1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image84
          HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying it's illogical to demand evidence of something that fundamentally isn't something that lends itself to being evidential.

          1. wilderness profile image98
            wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            No, that's not quite right.  You're saying it's illogical to demand evidence of something that is defined as impossible to find evidence for.

            Black matter (whatever it is) doesn't lend itself to being evidential.  We've been looking for years and haven't found what is accelerating the expansion of the universe.  But your spiritual world, your god - these are things that are defined as being impossible to detect, impossible to find evidence for. 

            So you're right - it is illogical to attempt to find evidence for anything defined in such a manner.  But where does that leave us?  Just accepting anything at all, declaring truth in anything we happen to come up with because we like the idea?

            1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image84
              HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Not at all. First that leaves us acknowledging the correct parameters. Then we go from there. No, we don't just accept just anything. We examine all the elements involved that can't be evidentially defined. It's either consistent with what's described or it isn't. Like testing a hypothesis.

              The important thing to acknowledge is that it's possible. That nothing in all we've learned has ruled any of it out. That given how long ago the parameters of this God were first established and written down, considering how little was known at the time about the natural world by the authors, it's incredibly interesting that it all still works. It still fits. That shouldn't be ignored or dismissed. That should be considered seriously if we're really interested in arriving at the truth.

              1. wilderness profile image98
                wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                What elements?  Those we make up, to fit the story being created?  And just how are you going to "examine" elements that can't be evidentially defined?  Check to see if they are consistent with the rest of the story and thus must be true?

                Of course it is possible; when one makes up another universe with different rules anything is possible.  Anything at all, from a god creating another universe to a cross-eyed unicorn flying between stars to the FSM.  None of which can be disproved and thus considered seriously - do you do so, or just make up your own fairly self-consistent tale, modifying it as necessary when new information comes available?

                Therein lies the problem, though, as I said.  You make up a tale, you're expected to support it.  But you can't, so no one really takes it seriously...unless they want to believe what you say, whereupon truth doesn't enter the picture.   And you get irritated because no one agrees that when an explanation is demanded that the proper method of supplying one is to make something up.  Most people are willing to accept ignorance over imaginary tales...unless they like and want those tales whereupon the human mind can and will rationalize anything it wants.

                1. Castlepaloma profile image76
                  Castlepalomaposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  At least it makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image84
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    And what exactly does that mean to you? In your view? What's the significance of "warm and fuzzy feeling"?

                    You and others make statements like this, like "feeling warm and fuzzy inside" totally unaware, it seems, of the fact that you're speaking of something that has nothing in the way of an explanation, yet that each of us know to be a real feeling that we've each experienced at one time or another I'm sure. With my explanation there's meaning behind that. With yours the most you can hope for is some kind of chemical happening.

                2. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image84
                  HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  There are numerous elements that undoubtedly exist, yet remain elusive as far as any sort of material/physiological explanation. Here's one ... life. There is absolutely nothing different structurally/biologically between a living body and a dead body. There's nothing detected in one that's not in the other. One is just alive, the other dead. When a body dies there''s no difference. Nothing missing that was there before. Nothing detectable.

                  Yet life is at the forefront of nearly everything when it comes to remaining mysteries. It's that same life force that compels us. It's our will personified. When it's alive it wants to live, wants to thrive. It has preferences and desires.

                  The original authors didn't make up another universe. They had no concept of multiple universes. It just turns out that there simplistic explanation actually fits rather well with what we've determined to be true all these centuries later. I think you and other are a bit too quick to dismiss that and how truly significant it is.

                  The truth is, there's clearly more than a purely material explanation can account for. The things that actually animate life, what gives us our spirit and our humanity, totally unaccounted for. It's reason and intuition that suggests there's more going on here. That there's deliberate intent in the natural world. That it's not all just a cosmic accident. To not find anything through purely material means and use that as justification to say there's nothing, it's just ignorant. There's way too much you just have to dismiss and ignore to favor that view.

                  We may not get the certainty we so much love to have through material/observable means, but that doesn't mean we're just unable to determine what the whole truth is.

                  1. wilderness profile image98
                    wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    Brain waves are detected in dead bodies?  I thought that was how we determined they were dead!  But of course brain waves are something that can be detected and therefore not of particular interest.

                    Electricity animates life, and is what gives us our spirit (not that unknown thing in the spiritual universe that we can't detect).  Quite accounted for, then.  Reason and intuition do not indicate another universe with a god - there is nothing in our experience to do that, which leaves imagination rather than intuition. 

                    But whether you agree with that or not, you indicate that there are elements to be examined and the question was how are you going to "examine" them except to simply postulate that they are there and therefore exist.

                  2. Castlepaloma profile image76
                    Castlepalomaposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    In would never proclaim to know the whole truth. Only in high or low degrees of truth. If I think Hawkins therory of everything is a high degree of truth, I won't let my warm a fuzzy  feeling obstruct my logic and reason.

                  3. RachaelLefler profile image93
                    RachaelLeflerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    "When a body dies there''s no difference. Nothing missing that was there before. Nothing detectable." That's baloney, there's tons of differences. The heart is not beating, the person is no longer breathing, an EEG would show the brain is not thinking or feeling anything, the skin is not breathing, sweating, or secreting, the muscles are not moving, a cut won't heal itself anymore, a child won't grow any taller when dead, there are none of the detectable, physical, tangible processes of life. Life is all physical. It's all rational and empirical. Religious and spiritual concepts are not as much. My belief is that if we were created by an entity beyond the universe, we have no way of understanding it or communicating with it, so why pretend it's the same god from any one of our myriad old legends? It most likely is not anything like Odin, Thor, Yawheh, Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Osiris, or Zeus. We can wish and wish but a being that is undetectable and incomprehensible by definition cannot aid us or teach us anything the way our imagined gods did in stories.

              2. Slarty O'Brian profile image85
                Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                And it is not consistent with anything, as you well know. You add to the OT and twist what it actually says and come up with what you want it to say. But anyone actually looking at your evidence knows it's got nothing to do with what is actually in the bible, which is nonsense when compared with what science says.  Sorry, buddy, it still doesn't pass the smell test. wink

                1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image84
                  HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  Well that explains it. You weren't testing it right. I've made no claims about how it should smell.

                  I'm sorry, but making general comments about how I 'twist' the OT around, while all fine and good, alone sounds like a bunch of nonsense. How can I just "twist" the OT around to make it say what I want? Sheer will? You say that like that's something that can be done.

                  Give me something to work with. Give me an example.

                  1. Slarty O'Brian profile image85
                    Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    Lol... Your interpretations are how you twist the words on the page. The words are still there for all to read, of course. It's not hard to twist meanings in the bible, its done all the time. But you take it to a new level.

                    We've been over the particulars to the tune of several hundred posts, so we're not going to resolve anything here. Still, I don't understand how a person of your obvious intelligence doesn't see what you are doing.

          2. Don W profile image81
            Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, but those who hold god-belief make claims about the world that do lend themselves to being scrutinized on the basis of evidence. For example, currently available empirical evidence indicates that coming back to life after being clinically dead for three days is very very unlikely. Weighed against available evidence for the claim that such an event occurred in first century Palestine, a reasonable person would have to conclude that this core Christian belief lacks sufficient evidence to be deemed true. Can we conclude from this that god therefore does not exist? No. But we can conclude that the belief upon which Christianity is founded, does not meet a basic test of plausibility.

            1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image84
              HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              But by those same standards would you not also reach the conclusion that giant dinosaurs are implausible? After all, "currently available empirical evidence indicates that" reptiles don't get that large.

              See, here's the problem I have with that. Let's say you're standing outside one day and something happens that you know shouldn't have happened. Let's say a large rock was just floating 4 feet above the ground. You know this is a very strange occurrence, having never heard of anything like this before. So you feel compelled to write about this thing you experienced.

              By your reasoning, anyone who later read what you wrote would dismiss it, because that kind of thing just doesn't happen.

              It's the fact that someone raising from the dead after 3 days doesn't generally happen that makes this event significant. If it were something that happened all the time, or even periodically, then the story would be way less significant.

              1. Don W profile image81
                Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                There is currently available empirical evidence for the existence of dinosaurs, and that evidence is not outweighed by evidence to the contrary. A cursory search demonstrates that.

                The significance of an event is irrelevant. If there is insufficient empirical evidence supporting a claim, or supporting evidence is outweighed by evidence to the contrary, then it's reasonable not to deem that claim to be true. Available evidence for the claim that a man came back to life after being clinically dead for three days, is outweighed by current empirical evidence that such an event is extremely unlikely. Therefore, on the basis of currently available empirical evidence, it is reasonable to conclude that the claim is implausible. As Christianity is founded on this belief, we may deduce that Christianity is founded on an implausible belief.

                1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image84
                  HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  Of course it's implausible, that's what makes it significant.

                  Yes, in that mindset the significance of an event is definitely irrelevant. Doesn't make the event less significant. Just makes you more prone to dismiss it, true or not. Sure, when you have a lot of data to drudge through you might use such a process to weed out certain scenarios, but when you base what can and cannot be true on "currently available empirical evidence" your dictating what the answer can and can't be prematurely, weeding out everything that isn't already known. Any event that's out of the ordinary, made significant by the fact that it doesn't generally happen, gets totally overlooked. Not a wise approach in my mind.

                  1. wilderness profile image98
                    wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    nowhere in this line of though have I seen anything proposed about the veracity of the handful of people that reported the incident (resurrection).  It has not been "tested" for veracity by anyone, simply accepted as truth.  Some of the more obvious questions might be in a search for other possibilities to a 3 day corpse walking and talking.

                    1.  The 3 or 4 witnesses are liars.  It was, after all, to their great advantage to report such an occurrence and keep the "conspiracy" going.

                    2.  A "stunt double", or actor was used rather than re-animating a corpse.

                    3.  Jesus was never dead.  Medical knowledge of the time was, after all, rather lacking.

                    4.  Rather than depending on a god to reanimate the corpse, ET used holograms and other advanced ET technology to produce a believable image.  Or robot, take your choice.

                    5.  The whole story was a fabrication from a much later time, perhaps at Nicea.  The Romans were quite meticulous in their histories; it seems odd that this was never recorded.

                    6.  The tale was but a metaphor for something else.  Common enough in scripture.

                    The list is hardly complete, and I'm sure other answers could be found as to how it was possible.  With that many viable possibilities, it does seem to throw the veracity of the account into question.  More likely, in other words, that something else happened than a living corpse.

                  2. Don W profile image81
                    Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    Either a claim is supported by currently available empirical evidence, and that evidence is not outweighed by evidence to the contrary, or not. How significant people deem the claim to be is irrelevant to that. Scrutinizing claims in this way means that knowledge is tied to what we are currently able to observe. Therefore as our ability to observe expands, so our knowledge expands, which leads to increases in our ability to observe. . . etc. This systematic, iterative accumulation of knowledge (commonly known as science) is the most successful method of acquiring knowledge in human history. 

                    The claim that a Jewish man in first century Palestine came back to life after being clinically dead for three days, is similar to the claim that there is currently an invisible teapot orbiting venus. Neither can be categorically proven false, but it's reasonable, on the basis of currently available empirical evidence, to conclude that both are very unlikely to be true. From this we can deduce that Christianity is founded on a belief that is very unlikely to be true.

    3. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image72
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      The question is a valid one since the only way people can reasonably ascertain what is true is by weighing the evidence and asking, "Where's the proof?"

      The fact of the matter is there is no honest human being that is going to be completely objective and neutral when it comes to weighing the facts because no matter what you believe in (or don't), your social, cultural and geographic contexts has a lot to do with personal ideology. (This also points to the fact that our-belief generating system is flawed). So a person who grows up poor in Morocco will tend to believe one thing, while someone who grows up rich in Scandinavia will tend to believe another. If you switch those people, the tendencies of the environment persuade the individual's presupposed "objectivity" or "neutrality."

      "Do you have evidence?" thus equally applies to any human ideological subscription. The only person who would be exempt from a burden of proof is someone who has no belief (either positive or negative) in anything. It would seem this state is incompatible with being human.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image72
        A.Villarasaposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        The burden of proof is always relative to or dependent upon  what one is being asked to provide proof of. In the area of the spiritual/transcendental  absolute proof is not forthcoming any time soon , so in lieu of the  "proofs" that empiricists demands to be satisfied with ie the smell, touch, see kind,  one can only provide aurguments... arguments that in my mind would satisfy anyone not utterly closed to considering the validity and veracity of those arguments.

        Unhappily, the materialists/physicalists one meets on Hub Pages are the close-minded kind. Therein lies the conundrum.

        1. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image72
          Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          I tend to agree in the "dependency" of proof in that no matter how much of it you reasonably present to some folks, it ends up being not persuasive. Case in point, you'd be surprised how many people I try to tell are healthy ("Look at the proof of your lab tests!") when they are convinced that something is wrong with them. (Likely this isn't such a pervasive problems in pediatrics.) Comforting lies fill a felt psychological need whereas objective truth is often terribly inconvenient.

          Close-mindedness is a human trait, and it just happens to manifest both as staunch theism, staunch atheism and staunch conservatism, liberalism, statism, libertarianism, etc.

          And speaking of evidence of the transcendent, I dare say that proof is forthcoming. Constructive, value-adding information is available in the mock debate series between the late Dr. John Gerstner and R. C. Sproul (http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/si … the_devil/) and On Guard by W. L. Craig.

        2. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          "arguments that in my mind would satisfy anyone not utterly closed to considering the validity and veracity of those arguments."

          Therein lies the rub, in that little phrase "in [b]my]/b] mind"  For your goal isn't to reach truth and reality (and yes, the spiritual or transcendental world is just as real as any other if it exists at all) - it is to promote and convince a listener of a god in it's spiritual realm.  There is a massive difference, even if it IS true, in that the search for truth is a very, very different thing than a PR campaign to promote a god.

    4. promisem profile image96
      promisemposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Evidence proves existence, but non-evidendence doesn't prove non-existence.

    5. A.Villarasa profile image72
      A.Villarasaposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      To conflate assumption and imagination is use of semantics at its worse. To be clear assumptions are never related in any manner or form to imagination... not the kind of imagination anyway  that you are so familiar with and therefore so  enamored of ie phantasmogorical.

      The assumptions that I am referring to are the ones  that comes from astute interpretation of intrinsic  reality. When it comes to humans, the intrinsic reality of their existence could  and should never be interpreted as mere objects (objectivism)  and therefore could be reduced (reductionism)  to their basest material forms. Humans, and for that matter any living entities be they sentient/intelligent or not,  are a  lot more than the inconsequential formation of atoms, molecules, cellular structures, and  organ-systems, that from your perspective are just bio-chemically and electrically inclined  because it is in their nature to do so. As far as I am concerned inclination without direction, purpose and goal are just that....futility at its utmost.

    6. Sam Shepards profile image91
      Sam Shepardsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      What claims are you making? Do you have a basis to make them more than opinion? I'm not saying you have to have an end all and final proof of the universe. Science doesn't have that either. It just has building blocks, conditional theories, falsifiabilty, reproducebility, good enough ideas until better. Things other people can build on or reject when they have better data and better ideas.

      What are you defining? What are the elements you use to build your theories? Does it contain elements that don't need experience data? Eg deductive reasoning from first principles or basic definities that will hold?

      If not on what basis do you make claims. What are your definitions and conditions. If you say God, what God definition do you mean? Abrahamic? Hindu? Spinoza (monism)? Does it have intelligence? Can we know it's intelligence or purpose with our antropocentric understanding? If we can or can't does it have any meaning at all for humans? What is spiritual? What is transcendant? What are you transcending? What is supernatural for you? If a doctor says you are probably going to die of cancer and you survive is that a Godly miracle or just extraordinary event. Our medical science is conditional, not perfect 1% chance of surviving and you live does that mean intervention or just we need to improve our science and get better data?

      How do you know what you know? Do you describe what you know what you know with the same words as other people? Is language limited in transferring this? What don't you know? How conditional is what you know?

      For instance I'm open to beneficial ideas from all areas of life. But just because meditation has positive effects on the brain, doesn't mean I have to agree that Tibetan ideas of reincarnation are true.

      Just because the idea that love is good and a couple of sentences about Jezus have value, doesn't mean I got to take the 99% other stuff surrounding beliefs.

      We can only take so much and everybody holds some beliefs they don't question or atleast not often out of convenience or because it makes them feel better or good. So I don't think it is unreasonable to sometimes ask for proof. Don't say it has to be that way, but billions of people hold beliefs that their religion, ideology or view of the world is the right one and will kill the other for it so maybe some solid evidence isn't out of place then? And if there is no good evidence maybe just leave it out of certain spheres of life and atleast suspend judgement on it.

      Etc etc.

      (I don't follow topics, since I hate the notifications, so you don't need to respond to my ramblings, because I probably don't follow up here)

      1. A.Villarasa profile image72
        A.Villarasaposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        No you don't need to take the other 99% stuff surrounding  beliefs. I certainly don't. From my perspective the most important thing is to understand that existence is not all material and physical; that in fact from our  intuitive and instinctive predisposition, we can assume and surmise and conclude that there is a spiritual element to our existence.

        The concept  of the spiritual or transcendental  emanates from the observable fact that nature  is non-sentient and as such could not have created us and other sentient/intelligent entities on earth. So what other sentient entities out there could have been involved in the creation process. Certainly not from the natural world but from a supernatural one... thus the concept of a GOD that has no material or physical form, at least the material or physical form that we are used to experiencing ie touching, smelling, hearing, tasting, seeing.

        Now the non-belief in that spiritual or transcendental world, where a supernatural, intelligent and creative entity (GOD) resides,   is what collapses atheism into an infantile inception, juvenile progression, and senile conclusion

        Infantile, because like an infant who constantly needs reassurance that someone (parents and other care takers) are  taking care of him,  so does the atheists  who needs constant reassurance that someone (empiricists) is  always reminding them of the importance of sticking to that physicalist  and materialist  viewpoint of existence.

        Juvenile, because like the teenager( that I regularly see in my Pediatric practice)  whose interpretation of interpersonal relationships  is oppositional/defiant to the point of actual delinquency, an atheist would in no uncertain terms oppose and defy statements   that are presented to them that argues for the non-total material and physical interpretation of existence.

        Senile, because like an old man whose 5 sense have taken leave of him he feels bewitched, bothered and bewildered that those 5 senses have fallen short of making his existence profoundly satisfying, thus ultimately disappointing.

        Now to your point re: a couple of sentences  about Jesus of Nazareth. To devalue his importance to human history and western civilization just does not cut it. As far as I am concerned, anyone who could give his followers and listeners a profoundly elucidating and elevating Sermon on the Mount, deserves to be followed and enshrined, and those teachings entrenched in human consciousness and values,  even now and more so...2 centuries later.

        1. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Which we do, and with a vengeance.  If we can't find that spiritual element we will make one up.  Or dozens or thousands of them.  Although it is a mistake to say intuition provides such a thing (intuition requires experience, and there is no experience with the metaphysical), we certainly have an instinctive predisposition to it.  It's called curiosity, and if we can't find an answer we will make one up - the "goddunnit" that answers everything we might think up.



          Even a believer has to know that there is no "observable fact that nature  is non-sentient and as such could not have created us and other sentient/intelligent entities on earth".  Any such fact can only be based on that spiritual element we made up. 



          And as will be seen, it is not the atheism that does it, but theism.  All from the false premise that there HAS to be a god that made us.



          Fascinating, as atheists supposedly say exactly that about believers.  That they need something to care for them, to carry them along through the rough road of life.



          Just as the juvenile takes the word of adults, the theist takes the word of the shamans that god is there and watching without ever questioning it.  Small children do it with Santa Claus watching them; juveniles stretch it to an invisible god that is watching instead.



          Yes, senile.  The theist demands that their life be profoundly satisfying, and makes up a god giving massive importance to them.  Their senses are no longer enough - they simply MUST the assurance of an eternal life (without considering the ramifications of such a horror) and the senses do not provide that - so they make it all up.  We are important in a way that reality can never show, and must live forever to boot, so must depend on rationalization to do it FOR us.

          I actually laughed out loud as I read your post; it is SUCH a take-off from the stereotyped atheist thinking.  Hope you get the same giggle as the table turns 180 degrees.

          1. A.Villarasa profile image72
            A.Villarasaposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            I'm so sorry for you that you have not found anything or experienced anything spiritual in your life. And for us folks who have had those experiences in our lives, we could say with gratifying sincerity that we have become happier/better  humans because of  them. Perhaps what you could do is to  not be so close-minded  so you could release yourself from the clasp of the purely physical and material predisposition.... and then maybe you could experience  something akin to a spiritual  revelation and conversion. Until such time, I can only pray for you.

            If memory serves me right, you, in one of your post in this forum, stated that the reason you do not believe in God's existence is because you have no need for Him in your life, thus  you find the possiblity  of His existence irrrelevant. Which to my mind encapsulates quite succinctly the idea that atheism leads one to be specious or  sophistic  in the way one approaches life's perplexities and complexities. In the atheists' world,  whatever those complexities and complexities are , they can all be approached from the purely material and physical perspective. No need to think of another dimension, that might be more attuned to approaching those complexities and perplexities with  soulful  desire and conviction.

            1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image84
              HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              That's the part I just don't get. I mean, I get the general stance. I'm only going to accept and believe what I can see. There's comfort in the certainty of knowing something for sure. I get that.

              But there are so many things that are a part of life that you just have to dismiss as "chemistry" or "biology" that just baffles me. Like in your comment you speak of soulful desire and conviction. These are things that any human who's lived life on this planet knows of. Desire, conviction, that 'human' spirit that we champion in stories and songs and poetry. That drive within us to overcome obstacles and push through adversity through sheer will and desire.

              None of that makes sense in a purely material viewpoint. It would all have to be akin to adrenaline, or something similar. Some chemical happening that evolved in us that made us better survivors. And the sensation that we physically feel may well be something just like that. But just because you've found a physical cause doesn't mean that's the whole story. Your mind still had to reach a point where it was driven enough to cause this chemical happening. It's still a non-material mind making something material happen to your material body that then aids you in getting through something.

              Yet all of these people who claim to be so materially/mechanistically minded don't see a problem with that. With this mechanism being it's own driving force. With these states that bring about these heightened senses of desire or conviction caused by the same mind that then is driven by them. It's an enclosed circular system that doesn't make much physical sense, yet that's easier to believe.

              Some of these people really are very intelligent, but so blind at the same time. It's confounding.

            2. wilderness profile image98
              wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              I read of an experiment some time ago where test subjects had a magnetic field placed around specific portions of their head and then the room went quiet with virtually no other stimulation.  Some reported a feeling of being watched, with the feeling very closely matching the periods when the field was turned on and off.  But others reported being in the presence of God - a very interesting interpretation of their feeling.

              So how do YOU determine the difference between spiritual experiences and the same feeling the non-believer gets?  Just assign it whenever the endorphins kick in?  When you feel good about something, like perhaps a gorgeous landscape/sunset or similar?  Outside of a purely subjective assignation of "spiritual" what differentiates the same feelings as others get?  Or do you just pretend that only the believers get the feeling you choose to label as "spiritual"?

              "If memory serves me right, you, in one of your post in this forum, stated that the reason you do not believe in God's existence is because you have no need for Him in your life, thus  you find the possiblity  of His existence irrrelevant."

              Perhaps, but I don't remember it and the context would have to be considered.  Yes, the (very low) possibility is irrelevant, because there is nothing to support it, in the creation of belief in a god.  On the other hand if there WAS a need for it then the fact that there is a possibility, however improbable, is all that would matter - desire would override any  consideration of just how improbable it was and decide it was true regardless.  Does that make sense?

              You're right in that everything we've ever found an answer to has been real and physical.  It has been primarily the philosophical questions (that usually have no answer at all) that produce a god or supernatural as the only possible answer. 

              "Why are we here?"  "What is our purpose?"  "What happens to us when we cease to exist (pretending that we never die in spite of have zero indication that it is true)?"  These are all questions created by the mind, and without any possible answer outside of a god and the supernatural. 

              Of course the god/supernatural gambit is also used to alleviate our burning desire for answers; if we don't know it becomes a "goddunnit" answer.  The response that answers every possible question without answering anything at all.

              "No need to think of another dimension, that might be more attuned to approaching those complexities and perplexities with  soulful  desire and conviction."

              This is what I just said - accepting that we don't have an answer to everything, that we are not omniscient, and the need for a make believe god goes away.  Ignorance becomes something we can live with rather than demanding an answer, true or false, to everything we wish to know.  Doesn't mean we won't continue to look and search for an answer, just that until we