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Old 4th May 2012, 07:50 AM   #601
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Originally Posted by punshhh
A scientific hypothesis of god cannot meaningfully address god because;

1, god may be something beyond our understanding and we are aware of our limited understanding.

2, revelation may be something beyond our comprehension and we are aware of our limitations of comprehension.
The second point is invalidated by psychology, and the first is merely re-stating that your gods don't interact with the universe in any meaningful way. This is nothing more than the god of the gaps.

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Now what were you saying.
You are attempting to use revelation to explain gods and to justify your belief in them. However, you've yet to demonstrate that revelation actually is worth looking into. You've previously admitted that the majority of revelation cases aren't contact with gods, and have yet to propose any means of testing which are and which aren't. Thus, you're trying to explain something that you haven't even demonstrated to exist. You have it 100% backwards. Second, you keep contradicting yourself saying that gods are beyond our comprehension, then telling us how they work. It's one or the other. The truly incomprehensible cannot be explained. Third, your god is a weak, pathetic non-entity with less ability to impact the world than paint fumes if all it can do is mess with people's heads (at least paint fumes set of PIDs).

FIRST prove that ANY revelation is anything but an error of the mind. If you can't do that, we're done here--you have literally nothing but a semantics argument. If you're capable of proving that at least one case of revelation is something unique, then we can talk about what it means. Until then, you've got the cart so far before the horse it's coming 'round the back side.

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Its you who seems to be chasing your own tail here.
Only because we're trying to explain logic to someone who steadfastly refuses to see it.
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Old 4th May 2012, 07:57 AM   #602
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Placing God "Outside the understanding of science" is a copout, not an argument.
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Old 4th May 2012, 09:41 AM   #603
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
One in which you appear to transcend time for example.
Got any examples?
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Old 4th May 2012, 09:54 AM   #604
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Got any examples?
Here.

Originally Posted by punshhh View Post

For example, I once heard an account by someone describing a revelation in which he was taken by Jesus up into the sky and he could see below not only the world below, but the past and future of himself and others. Along with personal experiences in the past and the future as though they were in the present.

Indeed I have experienced something like this in a dream, allowing me to understand in some way what this revelation involved. However I cannot find any way of explaining the experience of transcending time or how it was a part of a three dimensional space, which it was. Or to understand it in my own mind, and yet I remember aspects of it which enable me to recall it and discuss it.
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Old 4th May 2012, 09:58 AM   #605
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Yes I have a word and it does refer to something
What something does it refer to then?
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Old 4th May 2012, 09:59 AM   #606
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*Sighs* Any meaningful examples?

And you really have no concept of why "I heard a story about someone having what they thought was a revelation" isn't meaningful in any way?
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Old 4th May 2012, 10:00 AM   #607
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
What something does it refer to then?
He won't say. Because if he makes a claim he can be called on it, so his only hope is to keep being as vague as possible whenever asked anything directly.
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Old 4th May 2012, 10:01 AM   #608
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Originally Posted by punshhh
For example, I once heard an account by someone
This is nothing more than hearsay.

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Indeed I have experienced something like this in a dream,
And here you provide a perfectly valid explanation: the guy you heard the story from could have been dreaming. Dreams=/=reality. I once had a dream where I was a T. rex; doesn't mean I understand their physiology.
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Old 4th May 2012, 11:37 AM   #609
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Can you suggest an improvement of my definition?

Science would also need a definition to look into the issue would it not?
I could. I am, however, not the person defending anything, nor the one proposing anything. Your definition is sufficiently loose as to include a massive number of concepts with as good as no similarities. Your further addendums remove even our ability to speak about it, really.


Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
This is nothing more than hearsay.

And here you provide a perfectly valid explanation: the guy you heard the story from could have been dreaming. Dreams=/=reality. I once had a dream where I was a T. rex; doesn't mean I understand their physiology.
I've dreamed about being a dragon a few times. It was great.
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Old 4th May 2012, 12:17 PM   #610
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
This is nothing more than hearsay.

And here you provide a perfectly valid explanation: the guy you heard the story from could have been dreaming. Dreams=/=reality. I once had a dream where I was a T. rex; doesn't mean I understand their physiology.
Yeah, see, there you make Punshhh's point. Your dream wasn't actually a dream -- it was a revelation; it's just how your puny human mind could actually interpret what an all-powerful god put there. The thing is, you didn't interpret it correctly. It wasn't really "I was a T. Rex" but rather "Jesus is my Lord and Savior."

So it all makes sense now!
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Old 4th May 2012, 12:24 PM   #611
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So Jesus was a T. Rex?

That sorta brings up some logistic problems as to how the Roman's managed to nail those tiny forearms to a cross.
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Old 4th May 2012, 12:27 PM   #612
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I suppose the Procompsygnothid I snacked on was a representation of Jesus crushing lesser gods?

Originally Posted by JoeBentley
That sorta brings up some logistic problems as to how the Roman's managed to nail those tiny forearms to a cross.
Well, that and the fact that the guy would have weighted tens of tonnes and been able to stand his own against a good number of centurians.
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Old 4th May 2012, 12:28 PM   #613
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Well, that and the fact that the guy would have weighted tens of tonnes and been able to stand his own against a good number of centurians.
If that was a movie I'd pay to watch it.
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Old 4th May 2012, 12:33 PM   #614
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
So Jesus was a T. Rex?

That sorta brings up some logistic problems as to how the Roman's managed to nail those tiny forearms to a cross.
Don't look at me, it was his dream...
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Old 4th May 2012, 12:43 PM   #615
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Originally Posted by The Norseman
Don't look at me, it was his dream...
Well, after my snack I went and watched a Saturn V rocket launch in Florida. So Romans didn't feature too prominantly.
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Old 4th May 2012, 01:05 PM   #616
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Well, after my snack I went and watched a Saturn V rocket launch in Florida. So Romans didn't feature too prominantly.
Roman candle = Saturn V rocket.

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Old 4th May 2012, 03:03 PM   #617
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
So Jesus was a T. Rex?
No; He was a velociraptor.

(well, according to Mormons, He was a Utahraptor, but they're crazy)
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Old 4th May 2012, 06:37 PM   #618
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
I suppose the Procompsygnothid I snacked on was a representation of Jesus crushing lesser gods?

Well, that and the fact that the guy would have weighted tens of tonnes and been able to stand his own against a good number of centurians.
Ah but the Romans had spears with iron points.
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Old 4th May 2012, 07:04 PM   #619
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Originally Posted by tsig
Ah but the Romans had spears with iron points.
Right--that could only be thrown once. So I'm wounded, but a tad annoyed at that point. And their armor was often leather--something my teeth are REALLY good at getting through.
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Old 4th May 2012, 07:44 PM   #620
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Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
Yup. This ^^^

There is no "hypothesis" to test based upon these criteria, because this collection of assertions is inherently untestable, either scientifically or philosophically, to begin with.

Which, as has already been stated, gives punshhh free reign to make **** up as he/she sees fit. Engaging in discourse with such a person is the purest folly.
Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Yes I am aware of this. But do you think one can consider the issue seriously without acknowledging our human limitations?
If you're aware of it, correct it. Otherwise, don't expect anyone here to treat you seriously.

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I find it just as frustrating as anyone else that such considerations make any realistic speculation of any real gods that may or may not exist impossible.

Perhaps the real issue here is what Richard Dawkins is intending with his hypothesis.
Ummm, no. I think the issue is pretty much what I stated above. You're just making **** up. Try shoring up your own arguments before you attempt to poke holes in the arguments of others, punshhh.
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Old 4th May 2012, 07:52 PM   #621
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Yes, whenever anyone tries the 'we can't know reality, humans could be wrong about everything' gambit they commit intellectual suicide because accepting their arguments means their arguments are worthless.
This ^

One of my favorite retorts to someone seriously attempting to spout this sort of solipsistic nonsense is to publicly state, "I'm going to ignore you, since you're just a figment of my imagination."

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Old 4th May 2012, 09:04 PM   #622
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Right--that could only be thrown once. So I'm wounded, but a tad annoyed at that point. And their armor was often leather--something my teeth are REALLY good at getting through.

And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron. (Judges 1:19)


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Old 6th May 2012, 08:34 AM   #623
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
The second point is invalidated by psychology, and the first is merely re-stating that your gods don't interact with the universe in any meaningful way. This is nothing more than the god of the gaps.
Thank you for actually addressing my point.
The second point is not invalidated, psychology only indicates a psychological explanation for the phenomena. As with any question like this, if god exists revelation is can be considered a reasonable explanation of such phenomena. Or if god does not exist, revelation is clearly nonsense. Any scientific study of such phenomena can only produce evidence of a naturalistic explanation nothing more.
The first point does not state that god does not interact with the universe, or interact in any meaningful way. Only that god is at present undetected in the form of scientifically identifiable data.

God of the gaps is a phrase referring to the process of religious people redefining their god of which they claim knowledge or even claim to speak for.

I remind you that my point is only about the potential reasons why science cannot work from assumptions of the absence of revelation and the absence of gods. Such assumptions can only be adopted to illustrate the arguments around such notions and little more. To take these assumptions as correct scientifically is to suggest that human scientific understanding is all knowing (omniscient) and not potentially mistaken about the existence we find ourselves in.
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You are attempting to use revelation to explain gods and to justify your belief in them.
The third time I have pointed out that this is your projection onto me and tells more of your psychology than mine.

Quote:
However, you've yet to demonstrate that revelation actually is worth looking into. You've previously admitted that the majority of revelation cases aren't contact with gods, and have yet to propose any means of testing which are and which aren't. Thus, you're trying to explain something that you haven't even demonstrated to exist. You have it 100% backwards. Second, you keep contradicting yourself saying that gods are beyond our comprehension, then telling us how they work. It's one or the other. The truly incomprehensible cannot be explained. Third, your god is a weak, pathetic non-entity with less ability to impact the world than paint fumes if all it can do is mess with people's heads (at least paint fumes set of PIDs).

FIRST prove that ANY revelation is anything but an error of the mind. If you can't do that, we're done here--you have literally nothing but a semantics argument. If you're capable of proving that at least one case of revelation is something unique, then we can talk about what it means. Until then, you've got the cart so far before the horse it's coming 'round the back side.
I suggest you read my point above about assumptions and think again.

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Only because we're trying to explain logic to someone who steadfastly refuses to see it.
Really and what does logic say about what we can say about existence as we know it?

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Old 6th May 2012, 09:15 AM   #624
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Originally Posted by punshhh
The second point is not invalidated, psychology only indicates a psychological explanation for the phenomena.
Okay, I have to ask: Why, when the argument supports your point, do you insist that the posibility of something happening is enough to admit it as evidence, but when the argument is against your point you refuse? Your argument is "Someone, somewhere, at some time, may have received actual revelation; therefore we can use revelation to know God". My counter-argument is "We KNOW that many of these cases are merely psychological artifacts and errors; it's likely that the rest are. Therefore we can't use revelation to know God, at least not by itself." You reject my argument but accept your own. WHY? It's completely inconsistent, and amounts to nothing more than "I accept it because I want to"!

This is the last time I'm going to respond to you if you don't give something resembling a decent answer. You obviously want to believe, and if you're going to accept flagrant contradictions in your arguments like that you're not worth arguing with.
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Old 6th May 2012, 11:43 AM   #625
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
You obviously want to believe, and if you're going to accept flagrant contradictions in your arguments like that you're not worth arguing with.
Possibly, but not necessarily. He's (I don't know the gender, honestly, but he will serve as a stopgap) using a standard theistic approach to the matter, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he's a theist. Yes, I'm aware that he's stated that the position he's taken is agnostic theist, but that doesn't change the nature of the arguments he's putting forward.

He is, of course, doing a terrible job of applying reasonable standards and his arguments for his position are worthless for any scientific purposes, but that's irrelevant to question that he's asking.

It's the old theist point... "You can't disprove God!" taken to the extreme that many use it these days. His points about revelation are worthless beyond the point that *maybe* one or more could be real, regardless of the fact that this point is untestable and unfalsifiable. The argument stands, just as firmly, if you say that some being, somewhere in the multiverse (assuming that a multiverse is the case), might have had a true relevation.

It is a terrible argument, from start to end, for anything and everything except the possibility that some kind of undefined god exists, which doesn't say anything, really, since that *possibility* is literally indisputable, especially with the addendums that he added. For comparison, the *possibility* that the Earth is flat is also indisputable, with the addendums that he added. It's actually roughly in the same category, for that matter, of "There's no evidence or good arguments for it, plenty of reasonable evidence/arguments against it, but the possibility that it's the case is still there and still used in an attempt to make an argument."

"Burden of proof" alone, is enough to mean that such arguments aren't worth dealing with, regardless of the rest of the issues.

To switch gears a little...

And... punshhh, I have little doubt that Dinwar's simply making a generalized assumption that's usually warranted in these cases. (My assertion based on non-scientific observation) Desire to believe is, by far, the most common reason that someone is motivated by when they bring up an argument at this level seriously. It becomes ever more likely as they keep on arguing for it or trying to make ever more elaborate justifications for it, while not actually supporting it. As it is... it doesn't look, at all, like Dinwar has been disputing the possibility that some undefined god could exist, which is the *most* that the arguments that you've brought up can be used for, in an honest manner. It does, on the other hand, look like you're putting an inordinate amount of effort to defend something that stands equally well now as it did initially.

I'm tempted to point back to my prediction of what this conversation would boil down to, regardless.
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Old 6th May 2012, 02:30 PM   #626
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Possibly, but not necessarily. He's (I don't know the gender, honestly, but he will serve as a stopgap) using a standard theistic approach to the matter, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he's a theist. Yes, I'm aware that he's stated that the position he's taken is agnostic theist, but that doesn't change the nature of the arguments he's putting forward.

He is, of course, doing a terrible job of applying reasonable standards and his arguments for his position are worthless for any scientific purposes, but that's irrelevant to question that he's asking.

It's the old theist point... "You can't disprove God!" taken to the extreme that many use it these days. His points about revelation are worthless beyond the point that *maybe* one or more could be real, regardless of the fact that this point is untestable and unfalsifiable. The argument stands, just as firmly, if you say that some being, somewhere in the multiverse (assuming that a multiverse is the case), might have had a true relevation.

It is a terrible argument, from start to end, for anything and everything except the possibility that some kind of undefined god exists, which doesn't say anything, really, since that *possibility* is literally indisputable, especially with the addendums that he added. For comparison, the *possibility* that the Earth is flat is also indisputable, with the addendums that he added. It's actually roughly in the same category, for that matter, of "There's no evidence or good arguments for it, plenty of reasonable evidence/arguments against it, but the possibility that it's the case is still there and still used in an attempt to make an argument."

"Burden of proof" alone, is enough to mean that such arguments aren't worth dealing with, regardless of the rest of the issues.

To switch gears a little...

And... punshhh, I have little doubt that Dinwar's simply making a generalized assumption that's usually warranted in these cases. (My assertion based on non-scientific observation) Desire to believe is, by far, the most common reason that someone is motivated by when they bring up an argument at this level seriously. It becomes ever more likely as they keep on arguing for it or trying to make ever more elaborate justifications for it, while not actually supporting it. As it is... it doesn't look, at all, like Dinwar has been disputing the possibility that some undefined god could exist, which is the *most* that the arguments that you've brought up can be used for, in an honest manner. It does, on the other hand, look like you're putting an inordinate amount of effort to defend something that stands equally well now as it did initially.

I'm tempted to point back to my prediction of what this conversation would boil down to, regardless.
He believes in faeries in the foliage. Shrug.
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Old 6th May 2012, 03:18 PM   #627
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Originally Posted by Aridas
Possibly, but not necessarily. He's (I don't know the gender, honestly, but he will serve as a stopgap) using a standard theistic approach to the matter, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he's a theist.
Check out the rest of the threads he participates in (I believe punshhhh is male; if not, punshhh, I apologize; merely going with the convention). He's a theist, and rather consistently rejects reason via constructing elaborate "definitions" specifically intended to make the concept undefinable.

Quote:
His points about revelation are worthless beyond the point that *maybe* one or more could be real, regardless of the fact that this point is untestable and unfalsifiable.
Actually, it's far worse than that--and that's the reason I'm getting fed up with him. punshhhh is claiming in the absence of data that some revelation is true--then demanding that WE disprove HIS idea! This is a gross perversion of the scientific method; the term "inversion" isn't nearly strong enough here. If we used that logic in science it would stop. I've tried explaining that to him, but he simply doesn't want to see it.

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Desire to believe is, by far, the most common reason that someone is motivated by when they bring up an argument at this level seriously.
That's not it at all. The only explanation I can come up with that explains why someone would so flagrantly pervert the requirements of evidence in science is that they're trying to bolster an a priori belief. Why else should he bother? It's completely irrational--and behind all irrational actions is a desire to avoid reality.

Please understand, I'm not saying that actions *I* think are irrational are an attempt to avoid reality. A Medieval monk singing hymns while the city around him burned was acting perfectly rationally, given his view of the world. He was doing what amounts to cleaning up your home before your mother arrives--getting his soul in order before he met his maker. The problem is, punshhh doesn't have that excuse. I've gotten him to admit that psychological explanations are sufficient for the majority of cases of "revelation", so he knows that this sort of nonsense can be falsified and faked. Thus, his insistence that a small percentage should be true is nothing more than a dodge, and he knows it. If it weren't, he'd have provided evidence for the few he considers true revelation.

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As it is... it doesn't look, at all, like Dinwar has been disputing the possibility that some undefined god could exist, which is the *most* that the arguments that you've brought up can be used for, in an honest manner.
Just to clarify my position: I neither accept nor reject such an idea. I consider it unworthy of consideration, as if such a god is undefined any assertions made about such a god are arbitrary, therefore having the same epistemological standing as a hallucination, dream, or the colors you see when you get hit in the back of the head. Since such a god is undefined, we can know nothing about it--and therefore there's nothing to talk about. Discussions about such gods are akin to sitting down to dinner and only having empty plates.
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Old 6th May 2012, 03:25 PM   #628
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I think the point the myself and others are trying to get across is there is a certain level of evidence a concept has to have going for it before it's even worthy of being put on the table for rational discussion.

From any angle you approach it making something up and then asking for reasons why it isn't true or appealing to "We can't know for certain" is just not a good idea.
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Old 6th May 2012, 10:12 PM   #629
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Check out the rest of the threads he participates in (I believe punshhhh is male; if not, punshhh, I apologize; merely going with the convention). He's a theist, and rather consistently rejects reason via constructing elaborate "definitions" specifically intended to make the concept undefinable.
I'd prefer not to do so. Regardless, I likely couldn't care less whether one's a theist or not, rather, I care about the arguments presented. So far, I've seen little to nothing that impresses me.

Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Actually, it's far worse than that--and that's the reason I'm getting fed up with him. punshhhh is claiming in the absence of data that some revelation is true--then demanding that WE disprove HIS idea! This is a gross perversion of the scientific method; the term "inversion" isn't nearly strong enough here. If we used that logic in science it would stop. I've tried explaining that to him, but he simply doesn't want to see it.
Technically, didn't sound like that to me. It sounded like punshhh was claiming that some might be true, and asking that that premise be accepted for the equivalent of a thought experiment. Also, I was referring to the furthest that the concepts that were being invoked could be logically taken, not what he was doing with them, regardless.

Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
That's not it at all. The only explanation I can come up with that explains why someone would so flagrantly pervert the requirements of evidence in science is that they're trying to bolster an a priori belief. Why else should he bother? It's completely irrational--and behind all irrational actions is a desire to avoid reality.
Well, I was rather including that in the generalized "desire to believe." Much as I'm not so sure that all irrational actions are based on a desire to avoid reality. Psychology tends to be a fair bit more complex than that, unless you're defining things in such a way that it's automatically true.

Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Just to clarify my position: I neither accept nor reject such an idea. I consider it unworthy of consideration, as if such a god is undefined any assertions made about such a god are arbitrary, therefore having the same epistemological standing as a hallucination, dream, or the colors you see when you get hit in the back of the head. Since such a god is undefined, we can know nothing about it--and therefore there's nothing to talk about. Discussions about such gods are akin to sitting down to dinner and only having empty plates.
You've clarified said position repeatedly already. I, at least, don't think that I had a problem understanding it the first time I saw it, for that matter, and was not attempting to restate your position, just to point out one of the obvious consequences that means that the arguments punshhh was presenting are irrelevant, given that the only points that they can be used as counters for are not being presented by you. Or me, for that matter.
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Old 6th May 2012, 10:42 PM   #630
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Interesting, can you suggest any ways of falsifying the results.
What results? I didnt offer a hypothesis. Obviously, it would depend on your hypothesis.


Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
I would see it as indicative of human psychology.
Of course you would, because you are continually beginning with your conclusion.

Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
I can't agree, firstly your caricature of my intention is wrong and secondly I doubt you appreciate what the more intelligent believer is actually considering when they contemplate god.
Why would you think that? (that I could not appreciate what an intelligent believer may consider)

Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Someones pissed of, god knows who though.
Could be Odin. Probably isnt Loki, because I still have pants on.
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Old 6th May 2012, 10:48 PM   #631
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Originally Posted by Aridas
I'd prefer not to do so. Regardless, I likely couldn't care less whether one's a theist or not
I'm not saying "He's a theist, ergo he's wrong". I'm saying that there's a context to this discussion, and in that context the benefit of the doubt you're giving him is unwarranted.

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Much as I'm not so sure that all irrational actions are based on a desire to avoid reality. Psychology tends to be a fair bit more complex than that, unless you're defining things in such a way that it's automatically true.
I wasn't clear--I should have said INTENTIONALLY irrational actions. That's what I meant by my reference to monks--their actions may appear irrational to outsiders, but the monks are taking what they believe to be a rational action. Taking an intentionally irrational action is always, in my experience at least, due to a desire to avoid reality.

Originally Posted by punshhh
Interesting, can you suggest any ways of falsifying the results.
This is what I'm talking about. punshhh obviously acknowledges the principles of rationality--he merely refuses to abide by them. The only justification for this is that he doesn't like the conclusion that the principles of rationality inevitably lead him to. Thus, the special pleading in the case of gods.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:58 AM   #632
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
From any angle you approach it making something up and then asking for reasons why it isn't true or appealing to "We can't know for certain" is just not a good idea.
And funnily enough, it's accepted for everything except the one special case!

I have never been to the moon. I can't prove it.

I am not Angelina Jolie's mother. I can't prove it.

My house doesn't dematerialise and turn into a giant lobster spaceship when nobody is looking. I can't prove it.

Once we play the 'maybe reality isn't real card' all of the above become possibilities. Should I consider them?
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Old 8th May 2012, 01:26 AM   #633
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Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
If you're aware of it, correct it. Otherwise, don't expect anyone here to treat you seriously.
The fact that the "god hypothesis" has no philosophical teeth is not my problem. I'm pointing it out and if Richard Dawkins is going to step into the debate on existence, he should bone up on some philosophy to give his explanations some philosophical rigor.



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Ummm, no. I think the issue is pretty much what I stated above. You're just making **** up. Try shoring up your own arguments before you attempt to poke holes in the arguments of others, punshhh.
I repeat the Nth time, I am rehearsing the philosophically identified problems with the thinking about existence and the existence of gods.

You can pick up any copy of degree level philosophy and its all spelled out for you. Including science's impotence on the issue.

You know I appreciate what you guys are involved in over the pond countering the various attacks on intellectual property by fundamentalist christians. On balance I am on your side.

Where I live christians are a quiet minority and have very little influence on power. Indeed most of Europe is like that, essentially atheist.

Please don't confuse me with the creationists.
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Old 8th May 2012, 02:01 AM   #634
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Okay, I have to ask: Why, when the argument supports your point, do you insist that the posibility of something happening is enough to admit it as evidence, but when the argument is against your point you refuse? Your argument is "Someone, somewhere, at some time, may have received actual revelation; therefore we can use revelation to know God". My counter-argument is "We KNOW that many of these cases are merely psychological artifacts and errors; it's likely that the rest are. Therefore we can't use revelation to know God, at least not by itself." You reject my argument but accept your own. WHY? It's completely inconsistent, and amounts to nothing more than "I accept it because I want to"!
I have told you that I don't see the relevance of the null hypothesis or parsimony. I agree with what your saying about the weight of evidence suggests the scientific analysis of revelation is what is happening on the ground. But thats besides the point.

The point is that if even 1 in a billion so called revelations is true, it is an example of god interacting with his creation which cannot in any realistic way be discovered by science. Even if a scientist did by chance examine the one true revelation, it would still be impossible to determine whether it was true or not.

Alternatively every so called revelation could be true and science could not determine the issue because every human thought is actually being performed by god and only appears to be due to a naturalistic process.

No matter what reasons, or how they are supported with scientific data, you can offer to conclude that god does not exist and is a figment of human imagination. It all still hinges on the age old question of does god exist or not. Either way the existence we are familiar with is or may be identical and as science only deals with that existence from inside the phenomena. It can never compare its results. It can never find god or absence of god. Only indications from the human perspective, which I am pointing out are inadequate for the task.

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This is the last time I'm going to respond to you if you don't give something resembling a decent answer. You obviously want to believe, and if you're going to accept flagrant contradictions in your arguments like that you're not worth arguing with.
Again parsimony cannot constitute a god hypothesis, it is all you have presented.

Parsimony as it is used in questions of this sort is little more than a reflection of our psychological and intellectual development. It can never tell you how many angels there are on the head of a pin.

Last edited by punshhh; 8th May 2012 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 8th May 2012, 02:11 AM   #635
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
philosophical rigor.
There's a phrase you don't hear very often.

All the more amusing given the arguments of the poster, too.
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Old 8th May 2012, 02:13 AM   #636
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Check out the rest of the threads he participates in (I believe punshhhh is male; if not, punshhh, I apologize; merely going with the convention). He's a theist, and rather consistently rejects reason via constructing elaborate "definitions" specifically intended to make the concept undefinable.

Actually, it's far worse than that--and that's the reason I'm getting fed up with him. punshhhh is claiming in the absence of data that some revelation is true--then demanding that WE disprove HIS idea! This is a gross perversion of the scientific method; the term "inversion" isn't nearly strong enough here. If we used that logic in science it would stop. I've tried explaining that to him, but he simply doesn't want to see it.

That's not it at all. The only explanation I can come up with that explains why someone would so flagrantly pervert the requirements of evidence in science is that they're trying to bolster an a priori belief. Why else should he bother? It's completely irrational--and behind all irrational actions is a desire to avoid reality.

Please understand, I'm not saying that actions *I* think are irrational are an attempt to avoid reality. A Medieval monk singing hymns while the city around him burned was acting perfectly rationally, given his view of the world. He was doing what amounts to cleaning up your home before your mother arrives--getting his soul in order before he met his maker. The problem is, punshhh doesn't have that excuse. I've gotten him to admit that psychological explanations are sufficient for the majority of cases of "revelation", so he knows that this sort of nonsense can be falsified and faked. Thus, his insistence that a small percentage should be true is nothing more than a dodge, and he knows it. If it weren't, he'd have provided evidence for the few he considers true revelation.

Just to clarify my position: I neither accept nor reject such an idea. I consider it unworthy of consideration, as if such a god is undefined any assertions made about such a god are arbitrary, therefore having the same epistemological standing as a hallucination, dream, or the colors you see when you get hit in the back of the head. Since such a god is undefined, we can know nothing about it--and therefore there's nothing to talk about. Discussions about such gods are akin to sitting down to dinner and only having empty plates.
I have told you I am a mystic, a mystic for whom the existence or not of god is irrelevant. My thought process is more rigorous than the critical thinking espoused on this forum. I consider all human intellectual endeavors and I don't reject* philosophy, religion, science or any other endeavor. I take from them what is useful.

*Rejection of an idea for whatever reason, along with belief in an idea, are stultifying and limiting on thought. I do not indulge in such fancies.

Last edited by punshhh; 8th May 2012 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 8th May 2012, 02:14 AM   #637
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
There's a phrase you don't hear very often.

All the more amusing given the arguments of the poster, too.
I suggest you go and pick up that degree level philosophy book.
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Old 8th May 2012, 02:23 AM   #638
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
And funnily enough, it's accepted for everything except the one special case!

I have never been to the moon. I can't prove it.

I am not Angelina Jolie's mother. I can't prove it.

My house doesn't dematerialise and turn into a giant lobster spaceship when nobody is looking. I can't prove it.

Once we play the 'maybe reality isn't real card' all of the above become possibilities. Should I consider them?
There is a reason that this case is special. It is because it is a question about something which is beyond our understanding, but which people feel impelled to answer in their terms (human terms). Also its strong appeal is due to notions that the answer to the question will have profound implications for our everyday lives, meaning, purpose, destiny etc.
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Old 8th May 2012, 03:59 AM   #639
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
There is a reason that this case is special. It is because it is a question about something which is beyond our understanding, but which people feel impelled to answer in their terms (human terms).
And it's been explained a dozen times that this is nothing more then a circular copout.

You can't define something as "outside our understanding" and then use that definition to avoid intellectual standards. When asked to provide a reason for something simply going "Oh this doesn't need a reason because I say so" doesn't count as one.

What you are doing is a textbook perfection definition of special pleading.
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Old 8th May 2012, 04:28 AM   #640
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
There is a reason that this case is special. It is because it is a question about something which is beyond our understanding, but which people feel impelled to answer in their terms (human terms). Also its strong appeal is due to notions that the answer to the question will have profound implications for our everyday lives, meaning, purpose, destiny etc.
No, you assume its beyond our understanding in order to make it a special case. There is no evidence to support your assertion that God is something or that this something is outside of our understanding. The only reason you make that assertion is because God has not been found inside our understanding and rather than give up the concept you seek to redefine it.

I can just as easily assert that I am Angelina Jolie's mother via a process which is 'outside of our understanding'.

The appeal of the notion is irrelevant to whether it has any substance. Speculating on the impact of an unknown unknown is beyond meaningless.
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