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Old 6th January 2021, 12:32 AM   #41
GDon
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"... I'm a theist, but not a Christian. I believe in a generic omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent deity, which generally the Wager supports IMO. ..."

GDon, what even is the point in believing in such a vague and inconsequential thing? What even is the point of trying to defend such a belief?
To be clear: I don't try to defend my belief, in the sense that I think I can justify it to others. At the end of the day it is a faith position and so subjective. I proposed this thread to Chanakya as an extension to the "many gods" objection to Pascal's Wager, not to defend my reasons for theism.

The point of believing a 'generic' god? 'God exists' is a 'working hypothesis' that explains why we are here, the origin of everything and provides a grounding in the idea of 'good'. Again, that is a subjective idea. Does God exist? I have no idea. But my 'working hypothesis' appeals to me and sounds true enough that I am willing to 'wager' that 'God exists' is true and so live my life accordingly.

Last edited by GDon; 6th January 2021 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 6th January 2021, 02:58 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
But my 'working hypothesis' appeals to me and sounds true enough that I am willing to 'wager' that 'God exists' is true and so live my life accordingly.
In what way would you live your life differently if you didn't?
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Old 6th January 2021, 02:58 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
And note that we are starting to eliminate gods here. Logically, malevolent gods are eliminated, since wagering will be of no use: we are screwed whatever we choose.

......

Remember, the Wager is for those people who believe that reason can't tell us whether there is a god or not.

The two points here are:
1. Some gods may be more likely than other gods, leading to the idea that there may be a "most likely" god (of course that DOESN'T necessarily mean that that particular "god is likely!")
2. We can talk about gods in groups like "benevolent" gods.
I think reason also can't tell us whether the God is benevolent or malevolent if God existed. And it can't even tell anything about the probability of God being benevolent/malevolent. Pascal's wager can't logically rule out malevolent Gods and tell anything about their probability.

I personally think that the idea of infinite punishment for a finite wrongdoing or/and wrong belief/disbelief isn't really just. So it's hard for me to imagine that Pascal's wager is talking about a benevolent God.

The point of this wager might be to motivate in believing in a stricter God, but the logical possibility of an unjust/non benevolent God (for example a God who only saves criminals and atheists) makes this wager moot.
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Old 6th January 2021, 05:24 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Thanks, Chanakya. But defending theism, or at least my ideas about theism, wasn't what I had in mind.

Apologies if I've misunderstood your intent. As far as our discussion on the many-gods counter-argument to Pascal's Wager, we can simply take it forward, if you wish, onward from my last post addressed to you there.

I was under the impression that, apart from what we were discussing there, you also wanted to talk about your own reasons for turning to theism, that may not necessarily be exactly the same as the reasons covered by the Wager. Basis your last post there, I thought we could simply take that part of the discussion over here.

If that was not your intent, and you do not want to talk about all of that, then we can simply leave this thread be, and just go back to the Wager thread. Or else we could also, if you wish, discuss your particular reasons here, while looking more generally at the many-Gods argument in the other thread. That is, we could do just that thread, or just this one, or both, or neither, just as you wish. Your call entirely.

Once more, my apologies if I'd misread your intent. The only reason why I started this thread, instead of asking you to go ahead and start your own, was simple courtesy, just a wish to go ahead and initiate this discussion that, basis your last post, I believed you yourself wanted to begin on. A "call-out thread" was the furthest thing possible from my own intent, despite what one of the other posters here seems to think!!


-----------------


Quote:
I've explained what I believe and why a few times on this board. The bottom line is "it's a faith position", which I don't expect anyone other than me to accept.

Instead, it's about the "many gods" objection. From the other thread:



To which I replied:


This is a defence of the idea that Pascal can nominate a specific God for the Wager, using reasoning outside of the Wager.

To bring over some ideas from the other thread:

The two premises in Pascal's Wager that you listed are:


To get from the God in the Wager to a specifically Catholic God as opposed to, say, a Protestant God or Universalist God, requires more than the Wager.

I agree, going from the Wager to a specific God, and specifically the RCC God, is a bit of a leap. I assumed it is the RCC God that Pascal was championing.

However, my point was, it is an equally wide leap from the Wager to any God, even a "generic" God. For reasons I've already discussed there, and further clarified in my last post addressed to you there.

The Pascal's Wager discussion we could, if you wouldn't mind, take right back to that thread, and resume from that last post onwards.


Quote:
For example, Pascal's Wager doesn't address whether or not Jesus was born from a Virgin, or whether Mary ascended bodily to heaven, or which group of ancient books should be included in the Bible.

So the question of "Which God? The Protestant God or the Catholic God?" can't be answered by Pascal's Wager itself. So I'll defend the idea that a generic benevolent God as being applicable to the Wager, and then we can take it from there!

My reasoning here is that it's the type of God being used in what's called "The Atheist's Wager"
The Wager states that if one were to analyze their options in regard to how to live their life, he or she would arrive at the following possibilities:
  • You may live a good life and believe in a god, and a benevolent god exists, in which case you go to heaven: your gain is infinite.
  • You may live a good life without believing in a god, and a benevolent god exists, in which case you go to heaven: your gain is infinite.
  • You may live a good life and believe in a god, but no benevolent god exists, in which case you leave a positive legacy to the world; your gain is finite.
  • You may live a good life without believing in a god, and no benevolent god exists, in which case you leave a positive legacy to the world; your gain is finite.
  • You may live an evil life and believe in a god, and a benevolent god exists, in which case you go to hell: your loss is infinite.
  • You may live an evil life without believing in a god, and a benevolent god exists, in which case you go to hell: your loss is infinite.
  • You may live an evil life and believe in a god, but no benevolent god exists, in which case you leave a negative legacy to the world; your loss is finite.
  • You may live an evil life without believing in a god, and no benevolent god exists, in which case you leave a negative legacy to the world; your loss is finite.
There are two premises here:
1. That there is such a thing as "living a good life" and "living an evil life"
2. That there may or may not be a benevolent god.

I'll leave the first premise alone for now. But for the second premise: note the use of a generic "benevolent" god. Does the logic work with a non-specific god? I think it does. You don't need to list a specific known god for this logic to work. I propose the same for Pascal's Wager.

I don't think it does, actually. You'd need to define what a "good" life is, in accordance with which to act (or at least to strive), in the context of a happy ending in the after-life, in every case. And I don't see how you can possibly do that without also defining your particular God, if only functionally. Like I'd said in that post in that other thread.


Quote:
For those atheists who believe that there is reason to lack belief in all gods, the Atheist's Wager is moot. Similarly, committed Christians, atheists, etc, will find Pascal's Wager unnecessary. Obviously wagering is not necessary when you are sure of the result already!

And note that we are starting to eliminate gods here. Logically, malevolent gods are eliminated, since wagering will be of no use: we are screwed whatever we choose.

I don't see that. Even in the reign of a malevolent God, one may (strive to) "act" one's way to a gentler screw-over. Besides, logically it might well be possible to actually attain even to bliss/beatitude/whatever even under a malevolent God, if you play your cards right.

If it comes to that, isn't the OT God uncommonly "malevolent"? And aren't there entire doctrines that try to bring about a personal happy ending given that malevolent God?

(But this is random nitpicking, I'm afraid. On my part, I mean to say; random responses on my part to some of the things you're saying, so that our discussion looks like going "all over the place" one more time. Like I said, if we're on a general Pascal Wager discussion as far as the many-gods counter-argument, then we can take it from my last post on that other thread. And/or we can discuss your own, personal reasons here, if you'd like to.


Quote:
If you want to argue that "reason tells us all gods are fictitious", then the Wager is no longer applicable, since it falls afoul of the first premise.

So can we can eliminate other gods as well? Yes: people who have pretended to be gods, like Sathya Sai Baba, whose "acts were based on sleight of hand though his devotees believe them signs of his divinity."

So, in principle, we can say that some gods are more likely than other gods. But if some gods are more likely than other gods, then it is logical to say that there may be one or more gods who are the MOST likely. And you would gamble based on that outcome.

Some gods can be ruled out directly. Others cannot directly be ruled out, but can still be set aside for want of evidence.

However, I don't think the latter are "more likely" than the former. All of them, unless there's evidence for them, are equally and entirely "unlikely".

But sure, while some Gods do admit of direct "disproving", others don't. That much at least we can agree on.


Quote:
As I said: this may become a long discussion, so I will stop here, and please let me know what you think so far.

For what it's worth, you have my views now. I'm interested in both discussions, but again, if we're to focus on a generic Pascal's Wager argument, then we can simply resume that where we'd left off.

Let me just note one thing here, though. (This is kind of a building-upon of what I'd said in the other thread.) A sifting through of all Gods that we know of and can think of, in order to decide which Gods (if any) might be "likely" and which not, is probably a colossal project. Its scope, as well as the import of its actual outcome, probably far outstrip anything in the Wager itself. And this is the discussion that Pascal seems to have handwaved away in his Wager.

As you've yourself made clear, many times, Pascal's Wager is not about establishing truth value, it's about acting such that one's happiness/fulfilment is optimized/maximized. Even should you accept Pascal's argument, doing this necessarily entails understanding what kind of actions lead one to that happiness/fulfilment; and doing that necessarily entails at least a functional definition of this God; which in turn opens up the whole many-Gods counter-argument (so that you cannot provisionally accept one God, even an abstract God, unless you also provisionally accept all Gods, as the starting point of your argument) -- and the elimination process you mention, as well as its end-result, become the central point of the whole Wager.


Quote:
Remember, the Wager is for those people who believe that reason can't tell us whether there is a god or not.

Agreed. But again, I draw your attention to the special-pleading fallacy that Pascal seems to have been wallowing in. What you say applies to all Gods, unless you do use reason and evidence to argue in individual Gods back into reckoning for the Wager!


Quote:
The two points here are:
1. Some gods may be more likely than other gods, leading to the idea that there may be a "most likely" god (of course that DOESN'T necessarily mean that that particular "god is likely!")
2. We can talk about gods in groups like "benevolent" gods.

(Edited to add: Just reading some comments: Yes, we can add the FSM to the list of gods more unlikely to exist. Or can we?!?)

Sure, I take your point.

But again, you simply cannot even say "God X is more likely than God Y" without first justifying that statement. That justification, that discussion of specific Gods, is ...everything, and it simply CANNOT be handwaved away.
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Old 6th January 2021, 05:35 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
To be clear: I don't try to defend my belief, in the sense that I think I can justify it to others.

Nor do you need to, as far as I am concerned, as long as we're clear that's your subjective belief, and that you do not seek to foist on to others. Your private beliefs are your business, in my book, even if you do choose to discuss them with those who might be interested in such discussion.


Quote:
At the end of the day it is a faith position and so subjective. I proposed this thread to Chanakya as an extension to the "many gods" objection to Pascal's Wager, not to defend my reasons for theism.

Right. I'd envisioned two parts to this particular discussion, in this new thread: the above, and besides a discussion of your own personal reasons for your personal faith.

If the latter is off the table -- which is your call entirely, like I said I may have been mistaken in inferring that you'd proposed that latter as well -- then we might as well revert to the other thread.


Quote:
The point of believing a 'generic' god? 'God exists' is a 'working hypothesis' that explains why we are here, the origin of everything and provides a grounding in the idea of 'good'. Again, that is a subjective idea. Does God exist? I have no idea. But my 'working hypothesis' appeals to me and sounds true enough that I am willing to 'wager' that 'God exists' is true and so live my life accordingly.

But how would you do that? What form might that wager take? As others here have asked, including theprestige as well, what do you, or would you, do differently as a theist that you don't or wouldn't as an atheist? Like I'd said, to answer that would be to provide a functional definition of your God-idea.

I don't think the idea of a "generic God" makes any sense, not in the purely functional/utilitarian terms of Pascal's Wager.

Last edited by Chanakya; 6th January 2021 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 6th January 2021, 05:51 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
... Hopefully Chanakya will take up the mantle ...

Not mine to take up. Wouldn't fit.


Quote:
... But I'd lay odds that the thread was doomed by inclusion of the T word in the title.

No reason why, depending on how you define "doom". I wasn't looking for a blockbuster show, nor do I imagine was GDon. It takes no more than two interested parties to carry on a discussion -- although sure, that discussion can be enlivened and enriched by constructive criticism and inputs from others as well.


Quote:
... For my part, I've been down this dead-end street before and don't intend to spend a decade throwing fits about how I'm tired of talking about it.

Heh, I know. That was one entertaining/blood-curdling thread, that one, depending on the direction and the nature of your perspective!
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Old 6th January 2021, 09:49 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
.........The point of believing a 'generic' god? 'God exists' is a 'working hypothesis' that explains why we are here, the origin of everything and provides a grounding in the idea of 'good'. Again, that is a subjective idea. Does God exist? I have no idea. But my 'working hypothesis' appeals to me and sounds true enough that I am willing to 'wager' that 'God exists' is true and so live my life accordingly.
Your statement is utterly contradictory.

Since you admit that you have no idea of the existence of God then it is virtually impossible to determine the truth of your imagined Deity.

Sorry, you don't have any real hypothesis just a working baseless superstition.
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Old 6th January 2021, 10:31 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I have a hard time associating our lack of knowledge about everything that happened before or immediately after the big bang with theology, modern or ancient. I mean, even if the big bang was the act of some sentient being, I don't see any through thread from that event to any religion being practiced today or throughout our history. Other than all of them claiming to be worshiping that sentient being and much more.

Being the prime mover is one thing. Caring about how each and every human lives their life seems to be a completely different thing. I can't seem to put the two in the same room.

Really, the only reason creation creeps into religion seems to be as some sort of proof about whose god is greater. Anything less than the god of creation is just a bit weak. I'm surprised there isn't a branch of Christianity that claims to worship Jesus's grandfather, you know the father of the father. Quadritarian is one more than trinitarian.

I'm comfortable not knowing about the moment of creation or anything prior to the big bang. It is an interesting field for discussion and investigation, I suppose. If we learn more I will likely read a few articles about it. But, I doubt we will learn anything that will impact me on a personal level. Unless one of my offspring are involved in the research.

If I'm wrong I expect the right Rev. Dr. Thermal to be a real dick about it and rub it in my face, though. So that's something to look forward to.
A reading from the Book of Thermal:

1.Aiight bitch. 2.I think that first causes open the door to modern concepts of god. You can surely have one without the other, but in terms of finding common ground with an unbeliever, an agreement that a belief in god would originate at a creator (where science also throws up its hands) is some kind of shaky common ground, or at least a point of understanding where the rubber of god meets the road. 3. Don't even think about running with The Rubber of God jokes, mother ******. 4.Offerings accepted via Venmo
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Old 6th January 2021, 10:39 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Not mine to take up. Wouldn't fit.

No reason why, depending on how you define "doom". I wasn't looking for a blockbuster show, nor do I imagine was GDon. It takes no more than two interested parties to carry on a discussion -- although sure, that discussion can be enlivened and enriched by constructive criticism and inputs from others as well.
Hang in there for an honest discussion, and I divine that the discussion will be enlivened with thoughts about your intellect, honesty, gender identification, etc.

Quote:
Heh, I know. That was one entertaining/blood-curdling thread, that one, depending on the direction and the nature of your perspective!
Not just Jabba, although the sidebars were worth the price of admission in spades. No matter how tangentially the G word comes up, there is a contingent of Zealots that will have much to say about you, quite personally. Been there, done that. It's like half as much fun as it sounds.
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Old 6th January 2021, 05:55 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
If that was not your intent, and you do not want to talk about all of that, then we can simply leave this thread be, and just go back to the Wager thread.
Thanks, that would be best. Apologies if I've misled you there.
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Old 6th January 2021, 07:44 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Hang in there for an honest discussion, and I divine that the discussion will be enlivened with thoughts about your intellect, honesty, gender identification, etc.

Doubt it. My personal experience here indicates otherwise. This place is a skeptics' forum, that is, a critical-thinking forum, more than just in name. While there can be individual isolated instances of weirdness and even outright asshattery, but if you're talking sense, then that does end up carrying the day, eventually if not immediately. How things end up here, long term, is entirely a function of whether what you're saying makes sense, even if it happens not to be the majority view. That's the beauty of this place, IME.


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Not just Jabba, although the sidebars were worth the price of admission in spades. No matter how tangentially the G word comes up, there is a contingent of Zealots that will have much to say about you, quite personally. Been there, done that. It's like half as much fun as it sounds.

Not what I was referring to, but okay.

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Old 6th January 2021, 07:50 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Thanks, that would be best...

Sure, absolutely!
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Old 24th January 2021, 12:48 AM   #53
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Why being a deist at the minimum is the only thing you can be, in point form
  • Universe begins
  • Came out of nothing
  • A CONTRADICTION
  • God has always existed
  • Created the Universe
  • IT IS LOGICALLY SOUND
  • Dna begins
  • No cause exists
  • A CONTRADICTION
  • God has always existed
  • Created Dna
  • IT IS LOGICALLY SOUND
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Old 24th January 2021, 07:39 AM   #54
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All of Lupus’ points have been hashed over thousands of times.

No physicist posits that the universe began from “nothing”. It’s as “logical” to assume that the conditions that spawn universes have existed forever.... As much so that a complex being capable of designing and creating a universe has existed forever.
In fact, the former is a simpler idea.... Occam’s Razor.

No one posits that life began with “DNA”. The DNA molecule is complex and would have itself evolved over time from much simpler self-replicating molecules. The process whereby such molecules may have formed in the mineral-rich deep-see volcanic vents is a strong hypothesis.
You might give the 2nd season of Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos” series a look.. He goes into some details on the current thinking around abiogenesis.
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Old 24th January 2021, 12:01 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
All of Lupus’ points have been hashed over thousands of times.

No physicist posits that the universe began from “nothing”. It’s as “logical” to assume that the conditions that spawn universes have existed forever.... As much so that a complex being capable of designing and creating a universe has existed forever.
In fact, the former is a simpler idea.... Occam’s Razor.

No one posits that life began with “DNA”. The DNA molecule is complex and would have itself evolved over time from much simpler self-replicating molecules. The process whereby such molecules may have formed in the mineral-rich deep-see volcanic vents is a strong hypothesis.
You might give the 2nd season of Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos” series a look.. He goes into some details on the current thinking around abiogenesis.
And those conditions and the concentrated particles came...out of nowhere right? That's not logical at all. What's not simple about "God did it", that's way more simple to understand than the ultra-complex scientific theories on the physical world that you need to study for years to understand. Even you could do it. Also Big Bang is just a theory with several flaws. You used universe in plural but there is zero evidence for a multiverse.

And what simple self-replicating molecules are those? How can a hypothesis be strong, unless you test it it's only your opinion.
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Old 24th January 2021, 12:14 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
Also Big Bang is just a theory with several flaws.
I'll probably regret this, but what flaws are you referring to?
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Old 24th January 2021, 12:30 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Ron Obvious View Post
I'll probably regret this, but what flaws are you referring to?
This is one of them, Baryon asymmetry. The Big Bang should have naturally produced equal amounts of matter and anti-matter according to theory but produced more matter. Scientists don't know how to react to this problem.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baryon_asymmetry
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Old 24th January 2021, 01:54 PM   #58
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And who created God?
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Old 24th January 2021, 01:58 PM   #59
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A defence of theism/deism Humm.

Perhaps to fill a "spiritual need". I don't think I have one of these personally but I know some, who may be religiously inclined, talk of this need.

It is with some hope and yet amusement that I have listened to some programs in the media in the past, where representatives of different religions have discussed their beliefs, with apparent tolerance of each other. There seems to be an attitude held by some new age devotees that people had a “spiritual need” and if it is satisfied by any religion that is OK. I find this position quite illogical, but non the less it is encouraging to observe tolerance, between those of different faiths.

A mischievous though occurs to me in the light of the above. We may have the answer to all those divisions and conflicts that have plagued mankind as a result of different religions. We could invent yet another religion. A generic religion! A religion so broad and vague in its description of a deity that all others may be absorbed. Such a faith could satisfy the spiritual need of devotees without causing division.
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Old 24th January 2021, 02:36 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
What's not simple about "God did it", that's way more simple to understand than the ultra-complex scientific theories on the physical world that you need to study for years to understand.

If "God did it" is simple, why have there been millennia of theologians and no consensus or even perceptible progress on understanding, predicting, or even perceiving God's actions?
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Old 24th January 2021, 02:38 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
If "God did it" is simple, why have there been millennia of theologians and no consensus or even perceptible progress on understanding, predicting, or even perceiving God's actions?
Or indeed no agreed upon definition of “god”, and why do the vast majority of religions have non-creator gods.
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Old 24th January 2021, 04:41 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
A defence of theism/deism Humm.

Perhaps to fill a "spiritual need". I don't think I have one of these personally but I know some, who may be religiously inclined, talk of this need.

It is with some hope and yet amusement that I have listened to some programs in the media in the past, where representatives of different religions have discussed their beliefs, with apparent tolerance of each other. There seems to be an attitude held by some new age devotees that people had a “spiritual need” and if it is satisfied by any religion that is OK. I find this position quite illogical, but non the less it is encouraging to observe tolerance, between those of different faiths.

A mischievous though occurs to me in the light of the above. We may have the answer to all those divisions and conflicts that have plagued mankind as a result of different religions. We could invent yet another religion. A generic religion! A religion so broad and vague in its description of a deity that all others may be absorbed. Such a faith could satisfy the spiritual need of devotees without causing division.
Zero substance found. Concepts are by nature broad and generic.
Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
If "God did it" is simple, why have there been millennia of theologians and no consensus or even perceptible progress on understanding, predicting, or even perceiving God's actions?
Simple things sometimes create big disagreements. Like with 9/11, there still is no agreement on who did it. This is how it was, God imagined the world and it formed.
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Or indeed no agreed upon definition of “god”, and why do the vast majority of religions have non-creator gods.
It doesn't matter what kind of God it is, a being powerful enough to be considered God did it. It is like a detective story "The miss was shot in the head with a missing murder weapon, we don't know who the killer is but that she was killed by someone carrying a firearm."
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Old 24th January 2021, 04:52 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
Like with 9/11, there still is no agreement on who did it.
Wow "You see theism is perfectly logical, it's just like Trutherism."

That's... yeah that's something.
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Old 24th January 2021, 09:56 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Lupus View Post

Simple things sometimes create big disagreements. Like with 9/11, there still is no agreement on who did it. This is how it was, God imagined the world and it formed.
God did not imagine the world and formed it.

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Old 24th January 2021, 11:01 PM   #65
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"The Universe has always existed." You can't disprove that. No god (or God) required.

And at least we know the Universe exists. Np such evidence for god.

Occam's Razor and all that.

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Old 25th January 2021, 05:04 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
...snip...

It doesn't matter what kind of God it is, a being powerful enough to be considered God did it. It is like a detective story "The miss was shot in the head with a missing murder weapon, we don't know who the killer is but that she was killed by someone carrying a firearm."
Of course it matters, you don’t know what “power” is required, so all your “reasons” turn into mush i.e.

Something has always existed
Created the Universe
IT IS LOGICALLY SOUND
Something has always existed
Created Dna
IT IS LOGICALLY SOUND

You have no idea if that “something” is or even could be a god that anyone actually believes in and if it isn’t a god anyone believes in then using the word “god” for your something is intellectually dishonest.

The other issue is something that often gets thrown at atheists and those that argue about “logical proofs” of a god existing, and that is your theology is of the very simplistic kind that actual Christian theologians and other religions theologians dispensed with literally centuries ago as they realised the weaknesses in those “arguments”.
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Old 25th January 2021, 06:22 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
And those conditions and the concentrated particles came...out of nowhere right? That's not logical at all. What's not simple about "God did it", that's way more simple to understand than the ultra-complex scientific theories on the physical world that you need to study for years to understand. Even you could do it. Also Big Bang is just a theory with several flaws. You used universe in plural but there is zero evidence for a multiverse.

And what simple self-replicating molecules are those? How can a hypothesis be strong, unless you test it it's only your opinion.
Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
This is one of them, Baryon asymmetry. The Big Bang should have naturally produced equal amounts of matter and anti-matter according to theory but produced more matter. Scientists don't know how to react to this problem.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baryon_asymmetry

The Baryon Asymmetry is something I've heard mentioned occasionally in the past, though it's not something I've ever looked at. But just looking very briefly at that Wiki link, that seems to be no different than many things that we don't fully understand from the results of various measurements and various calculations that a wide range of different research groups have made using all sort of different techniques and approaches … and that's nothing new ... that always happens where research is ongoing and especially with something so complex as the question of the Big Bang which not only occurred (we think) 13.8 billion years before any humans existed or any such scientific research existed, but which also involves a lot of very complex theoretical particle physics.

So the fact there are unanswered questions about things like the Baryon Asymmetry, or Dark Energy/Matter, or the actual nature of Time, or exactly how an initial Inflationary Stage of the Big Bag may have arisen, none of that is unexpected or suspicious in the sense of making any cosmological physicist's today doubt that the process that we call the big bang almost certainly did happen (but please don't bother listing any names of people who are claimed to be serious physicists who disagree with what I've just said, because there are probably (at a very rough guess) 100,000 physicists in the world and with numbers that big you will inevitably find some who will say almost anything … sometimes because they genuinely believe in some alternative theory, sometimes because they are individuals who like a bit of sensationalist attention, and unfortunately in many cases (particularly in the US) because they are particularly religious, particularly committed to belief in a creator God, and too often looking for a gap in which to insert their God belief.
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Old 25th January 2021, 06:50 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
Why being a deist at the minimum is the only thing you can be, in point form
  • Universe begins
  • Came out of nothing
  • A CONTRADICTION
  • God has always existed
  • Created the Universe
  • IT IS LOGICALLY SOUND
  • Dna begins
  • No cause exists
  • A CONTRADICTION
  • God has always existed
  • Created Dna
  • IT IS LOGICALLY SOUND


That seems like, among other things, a kind of God-of-the-Gaps argument to me.

There are many ways in which these arguments seem less than compelling, but let me focus on that one argument that happened to come up in the course of the Pascal's Wager discussion (and which specific counter-argument is what led to this separate thread). Not that my articulating that particular counter-argument means the others are any less compelling, but still, let's take that one for now, the many-gods approach.


What exactly is your idea of God?


Is it any of the Gods extant in current or past religions and philosophies? Or is it simply what has elsewhere been described as the "prime mover"?


Let's grant you, just for the sake of argument, that positing a prime mover does make things more logical. (It doesn't, actually, but still, let's just grant that for now.)


Is there any reason to assume this prime mover is conscious?


If we do grant consciousness to this prime mover, again for the sake of argument, is there any reason to assume this prime mover is singular? Why not 5 billion eternal consciousnesses, why not 5 billion separate creating forces, why not 5 billion Gods? Or are you okay with that, do you find that possibility, as you say, logical -- or at least, as logical as the idea of a single conscious prime mover, a single eternal God?


And, most importantly, what is the end-result of this kind of belief? (Not having a satisfactory end-result is fine, I guess, as far as the truth value itself, but still, how does this work out, this kind of thing?) As a result of believing that there's this God, what do you do differently that you wouldn't had you not believed in Him? Can you expand on that, and defend the specificities of your belief system? (And, if there are no specifities involved, then can you tell us what the point is then of your belief system and/or conclusions, and how it meaningfully differs, in practice, from non-belief, from atheism?)
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Old 25th January 2021, 08:09 AM   #69
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God of the gaps is passe.

God of Gaps That Don't Even Exist is what all the cool kids are doing now.
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Old 25th January 2021, 08:16 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
God of the gaps is passe.

God of Gaps That Don't Even Exist is what all the cool kids are doing now.
It’s “Gods-that-no-one-has-ever-believed-in of Gaps That Don't Even Exist”
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Old 25th January 2021, 09:34 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
Why being a deist at the minimum is the only thing you can be, in point form
  • Universe begins
  • Came out of nothing
  • A CONTRADICTION
  • God has always existed
  • Created the Universe
  • IT IS LOGICALLY SOUND
  • Dna begins
  • No cause exists
  • A CONTRADICTION
  • God has always existed
  • Created Dna
  • IT IS LOGICALLY SOUND
Why couldn't we say The Universe Has Always Existed, in the same spirit you assert God has? No contradiction there.

Actually, we could logically discard the other premise/conclusion constructs, too. "God did it" is essentially the same as "then a miracle happens", which is an unsound conclusion, logically.

Logically valid arguments do not make them logically sound. You can make all sorts of comically ridiculous propositions that are valid. The party is in making them sound.
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Old 25th January 2021, 09:55 AM   #72
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My debating power isn't high enough to argue with 7 of you lol. It's pretty much settled that we know that the universe hasn't existed forever and someone had to have created it. To suggest otherwise is ridiculous.
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Old 25th January 2021, 09:57 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
My debating power isn't high enough to argue with 7 of you lol. It's pretty much settled that we know that the universe hasn't existed forever and someone had to have created it. To suggest otherwise is ridiculous.
Neither of those things has been remotely settled. Forget about debating anyone for the moment, and just answer a question: Where do you think it's been settled?
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Old 25th January 2021, 09:57 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
My debating power isn't high enough to argue with 7 of you lol. It's pretty much settled that we know that the universe hasn't existed forever and someone had to have created it. To suggest otherwise is ridiculous.
I...dont think that's settled at all.
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:00 AM   #75
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"God has existed forever" is qualitatively dentical to "The Universe has existed forever". One has no more likelihood than the other. Except that the former assumes a supernatural being gratuitously dropped in.
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:14 AM   #76
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"By god I mean the infinitesimal anisotropy that triggered the big bang and produced a macroverse that is very slightly discontinuous."
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:26 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
We could invent yet another religion. A generic religion! A religion so broad and vague in its description of a deity that all others may be absorbed. Such a faith could satisfy the spiritual need of devotees without causing division.
You mean something like John Allen Paulos's "Yes" religion? Or perhaps Ronald Plasterk's "Something-ism" ?
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:33 AM   #78
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I changed my mind and will answer a couple of you.
@IanS What happened is that a theory and made and a flaw was found by evidence where big bang failed and physics couldn't explain it. Afterwards, like in all theories, the patchwork happens and an exception is created in the theory. No one has been able to do a good job.
@GordInToronto There's another razor called Kant's Razor that says "The variety of beings should not rashly be diminished". Can you prove that God doesn't exist, that we should rashly diminish him?
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Old 25th January 2021, 11:40 AM   #79
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I feel like the fact that our newest God Botherer compared his apologetics for the giant invisible sky wizard to Trutherism as a positive hasn't been appropriately addressed yet.
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Old 25th January 2021, 12:02 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
I changed my mind and will answer a couple of you.
@IanS What happened is that a theory and made and a flaw was found by evidence where big bang failed and physics couldn't explain it. Afterwards, like in all theories, the patchwork happens and an exception is created in the theory. No one has been able to do a good job.
@GordInToronto There's another razor called Kant's Razor that says "The variety of beings should not rashly be diminished". Can you prove that God doesn't exist, that we should rashly diminish him?

Re the highlight - I cannot agree with that description ... physicists may not have yet found an explanation that is fully accepted by most scientists ... but that is very different from what you just said where you wrote "physics couldn't explain it" ...

... scientific research is always an ongoing process that takes time (often many decades if not centuries); not just for the properties of the universe, space-time, particle-fields, and the big bang etc., but also with everything that science has ever studied and explained - the research takes time before a solid consensus of opinion is reached with a rigorous explanation (and even that is always open to change if new information is discovered) ...

... this is early days with investigations in such difficult studies as things like the complete energetic nature of this universe. This is not an easy field in which to find totally convincing explanations - you do realise that, don't you?

Also, when you write "Afterwards, like in all theories, the patchwork happens and an exception is created in the theory. No one has been able to do a good job", that sounds very much like a conspiracy theory by which you are trying to undermine science. But everyone should know by now that science has proved itself over-&-over again as by far mankind's best way of determining answers that are very likely to be correct and distinguishing those from unscientific answers of the past that were nearly always wrong.

As I say, whether it's ideas about the Baryon count, or numerous other aspects of energy-particle-field measurements throughout all of space (space-time), there are currently lots of things that we don't yet fully understand ... but this is all a relatively new field of study where very high-tech measuring devices are needed (often more sensitive and more powerful than current technology allows ... e.g., as finally happened with the confirmation of the Higgs Field at the LHC), and you will not get full complete unarguable answers immediately just because you, anyone, or in particular suspicious anti-science theists might want to claim that science is insufficient.

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