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Old 18th December 2018, 09:36 AM   #1
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Hawking says there are no gods: Part II, The Olympians

Essentially we're left we two scenarios.

- A universe without a God
- A universe with a God that operates exactly like a universe without a God would operate.

When we are left with those two scenarios the full burden of proof laying on the side saying there's a God seems 100% reasonable to me.

Silly philosophical hair splits about total disapproval hardly seem worth the effort for even the most navel gazing among us.

Mod InfoThis is Part II of the thread, "Hawking says there are no gods". You are, as usual,free to quote from Part I in this thread.
Posted By:kmortis
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Old 18th December 2018, 10:03 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Essentially we're left we two scenarios.

- A universe without a God
- A universe with a God that operates exactly like a universe without a God would operate.
Aren't those the same thing? If god doesn't interact with our universe, can we say that he exists in any useful sense?
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Old 18th December 2018, 10:04 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Aren't those the same thing? If god doesn't interact with our universe, can we say that he exists in any useful sense?
To everybody except the philosophers, yeah.
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Old 18th December 2018, 01:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Aren't those the same thing? If god doesn't interact with our universe, can we say that he exists in any useful sense?
Why would something that doesn't interact with our universe even be considered a god? it's just an undefined..... something.
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Old 18th December 2018, 01:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Why would something that doesn't interact with our universe even be considered a god? it's just an undefined..... something.
Doesn't matter. It might be a god in a different universe, but I'm increasingly of the opinion that the word "exist" can't meaningfully describe something we could never detect, interact with or have knowledge of in any way, shape or form, even in principle.
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Old 18th December 2018, 02:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
But the theme of "hidden science" has no relevance to our theme, which is whether science demonstrates the non-existence of gods. A hidden science does not serve us to know it, although it exists.
And, as I have said, science does not directly address god but it still manages to refute god ideas indirectly.

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I have sometimes used an argument similar to yours. It seems to me that it has strength, but it is not scientific, but philosophical. If it were a scientific it could become an experiment that would decide the question. That is not the case.
If science can explain something that has always been attributed to god, then we can effectively rule out god. It is not unscientific to say that the sun is not drawn across the sky on Apollo's chariot. Or that Peter Popoff cannot heal people. Or that Scientology is bunk. All of those refutations are based on science and they address things that purportedly affect the real world.

For the bulk of medical history, centuries at least, western medicine thought illness was caused by imbalances in the humors. Humorism is almost as old as civilization and the western ideas about god. Then, in the last century or so, the scientific method started figuring out the real causes of illness. It didn't set out to disprove humorism, per se, but scientific discoveries quickly lead to new theories that have now ruled out humorism. So it is with science and god.

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Moreover, a believer can say that he does not feel concerned by that argument because it would only attack religions that believe that gods can be touched and seen. And that this kind of religion always existed in different forms. What could our response be?
That the idea of a god that interacts with the world must have evidence. If there is no evidence or your idea is some abstract god that does not interact with the world, the idea can be discarded. Better said, believers are free to engage in fantasy all they like, just don't try to convince me your fantasies are true.
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Old 18th December 2018, 02:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Why would something that doesn't interact with our universe even be considered a god? it's just an undefined..... something.
No reason other than "If I can shoehorn the word 'God' into the discussion somehow I can bootstrap my version of God into the conversation later and hope no one notices."

Again there's a God in the same way there's nothing in the rulebook that says a Golden Retriever can't play Basketball.
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Old 18th December 2018, 03:24 PM   #8
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their defense stinks but: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clu4tlLqysM
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Old 18th December 2018, 03:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
That settles it beyond all doubt. Gods do exist! All of them! The place is so overrun with gods there is hardly any elbow room to lift your drink to your mouth. Thank you LarryS for showing me the truth.
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Old 19th December 2018, 01:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
To everybody except the philosophers, yeah.
Speak properly, please:

To everybody except some believers : philosophers, scientists and common people.

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Old 19th December 2018, 02:02 AM   #11
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It's perfectly possible for God to exit but not interact with the world.
You know, like an unemployed highschool dropout in his parents' basement.
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Old 19th December 2018, 02:32 AM   #12
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Well, lots of things are POSSIBLE. No, really, LOTS. But that's kinda the problem: the space of what's POSSIBLE is necessarily larger than space of what IS, since the former includes the latter. And in fact, it's immensely larger. So to claim that something actually is so, just because it's possible is nonsense.

And everyone would immediately recognize it so, if I make that claim about anything else than their favourite god. E.g., to reuse the classic example, if I claimed to know there is a fine china teapot in orbit around Proxima Centauri, everyone would think I'm off my meds, not that it must be so because it's possible.

Sure, there COULD be a teapot there, or equally it could be a fine china sauce pan instead, or a dead cat that someone swung around too hard to see how tight the space is, or the lost last copy of the Necronomicon, or Kahless's bat'leth that they set adrift into space, or trillions of trillions of other things, but more likely nothing but planets and asteroids. Claiming to know exactly which of them is there is stupid.


And that brings me to my general pet grievance about deism, because really that's what we ended up debating here: it's not the more enlightened and rational position, it's the dumbest position. (And I should know. I've been there)

At least the theists have SOME source for their claims. E.g., the Xians have their book, the Muslims have the Quran, etc. It's not a good source, but they can claim some chain of information from their God to them, as the way they know about that God. Plus miracles, church fathers writing their made up history, letters from the apostles, etc. Again, I'm not saying it's good evidence, but they can claim SOME base for their conclusion.

Deism on the other hand talks about a god that never reveals himself, never does anything, never leaves any traces, can't be detected by anything in our universe, etc, but they just know he's there. HOW?

Basically it seems to me like theism is like believing there's a Nigerian prince who wants to transfer me 80 million if I do everything he wants, because I have the email as evidence. Meanwhile deism is like waking up one morning just knowing that there's such a Nigerian prince, out of nowhere. The former is dumb, the latter is even dumber.
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Old 19th December 2018, 03:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
It's perfectly possible for God to exit but not interact with the world.
You know, like an unemployed highschool dropout in his parents' basement.
Many scientists, philosophers and common people that believe in God say that he "speaks" to them or that they can feel him in their inner. This feeling is usually related to faith or hope.

Instead of using sarcasms or straw men, it would be useful to comment here some text of these believers in order to discuss it with a little more seriousness. I cannot defend well them because I don't believe in faith nor "hope" and I probably would deform their beliefs.
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Old 19th December 2018, 03:22 AM   #14
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Yes, well, I can feel my invisible cat. But you wouldn't take it seriously anyway, I'm guessing?

EDIT: On a more serious note, according to a study, about 65% of children have an invisible friend. Do you propose to treat them as real, just because they are in someone's mind?
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Old 19th December 2018, 03:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

Deism on the other hand talks about a god that never reveals himself, never does anything, never leaves any traces, can't be detected by anything in our universe, etc, but they just know he's there. HOW?
Deism believes that there are reasons to believe that God exists (traces), but that human reason cannot know what God is. God is unknowable does not imply that God does not leave any trace of his existence. This is the deism that I know (Voltaire, for example).
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Old 19th December 2018, 03:27 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Yes, well, I can feel my invisible cat. But you wouldn't take it seriously anyway, I'm guessing?

EDIT: On a more serious note, according to a study, about 65% of children have an invisible friend. Do you propose to treat them as real, just because they are in someone's mind?
Those are too easy reductions to the absurd. Why do you not refer to some text of a theist I am talking about? Maybe they make it more complicated. Don't you know any of them?
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Old 19th December 2018, 04:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Deism believes that there are reasons to believe that God exists (traces), but that human reason cannot know what God is. God is unknowable does not imply that God does not leave any trace of his existence. This is the deism that I know (Voltaire, for example).
And once again David Mo is the authority on what words mean....
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Old 19th December 2018, 04:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Those are too easy reductions to the absurd. Why do you not refer to some text of a theist I am talking about? Maybe they make it more complicated. Don't you know any of them?
No they're not. They're just illustrating the issue I've actually addressed pretty formally around the end of the previous half of the thread: it's in an intensional context. You can't sneak it out across context borders

Be it your feelings of being touched (inapropriately) by god, or your imaginary cat, or your imaginary friend, or your feeling good about betting the house in Vegas, they're trapped behind that intensional context border. And thus have no relevance for anyone else. Because not only you can't break out from intensional to extensional, but you can't even combine stuff from two different intensional contexts.

And I'll guess you won't argue that there is some guy X, be it a theist or anyone else, who's exempt from that basic logic because that would be just stonking stupid.
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Old 19th December 2018, 04:56 AM   #19
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Ah, but if people have been wrong for a long time, and have written many a weighty tome on the subject, they deserve to be taken seriously for some reason.
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Old 19th December 2018, 08:38 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And once again David Mo is the authority on what words mean....
Thank you for considering me an authority. I only say what I believe.

Voltaire's deism:
We feel that we are under the hand of an invisible being; this is all; we cannot advance one step farther. It is mad temerity to seek to divine what this being is — whether he is extended or not, whether he is in one place or not, how he exists, or how he operates. (Philosophical Dictionary, "God")

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Old 19th December 2018, 08:48 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Because not only you can't break out from intensional to extensional, but you can't even combine stuff from two different intensional contexts.
I don't understand "intensional" and "extensional". Can you explain what you mean?
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Old 19th December 2018, 08:53 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Ah, but if people have been wrong for a long time, and have written many a weighty tome on the subject, they deserve to be taken seriously for some reason.
Even more so. They are people who will probably find by your side. Friends, relatives or companions of the same political struggles. Are we going to treat them like fools because they don't share your philosophy? Are wegoing to laugh them in the face? Or do we keep our sarcasms for those who think like us and laugh at our jokes ?

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Old 19th December 2018, 08:54 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't understand "intensional" and "extensional". Can you explain what you mean?
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...5#post12537955

You should pay more attention.
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Old 19th December 2018, 08:56 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Even more so. They are people who will probably find by your side. Friends, relatives or companions of the same political struggles. Are we going to treat them like fools because they don't share your philosophy? Are wegoing to laugh them in the face? Or do we keep our sarcasms for those who think like us and laugh at our jokes ?
There is a vast gulf between ridiculing and ostracizing people on the one hand, and finding merit in their metaphysical speculation on the other...
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Old 19th December 2018, 09:02 AM   #25
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Can the philosophizers please decide if we're wrong or if we're right but being "mean" about it and stop flip-flopping between the two.
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Old 19th December 2018, 09:02 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Do you mean this?

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-intensional/

Or this:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/intension

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Old 19th December 2018, 09:04 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
*Bzzz* "I'm sorry, you didn't phrase your answer in the form of 'Well this philosopher said...'. You do not win this round of Philosopher Jeopardy."
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Old 19th December 2018, 09:11 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
There is a vast gulf between ridiculing and ostracizing people on the one hand, and finding merit in their metaphysical speculation on the other...
I agree. But the right thing to do is to discuss an idea that is presented to us for debate without entering into any considerations other than its value of truth or falsity. The merit or appreciation that the opposite ideas deserve is nothing more than a personal matter in a philosophical debate. (Provided there are no moral consequences involved).
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Old 19th December 2018, 09:19 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The first one.
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Old 19th December 2018, 09:22 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The first one.
I will have to read that article again because I have the impression that it does not fit with your use of those terms. I may be wrong.
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Old 19th December 2018, 09:30 AM   #31
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Even more so. They are people who will probably find by your side. Friends, relatives or companions of the same political struggles. Are we going to treat them like fools because they don't share your philosophy? Are wegoing to laugh them in the face? Or do we keep our sarcasms for those who think like us and laugh at our jokes ?
I was wondering when someone would break out the "but that's mean" or "that's not how you convince people" canard. But that's what it is: a canard.

Being mean to relatives is at best an ad-hominem circumstantial for the topic of whether they're right or wrong. And if they're trying to sneak something out of an intensional context, they're wrong.

I may or may not be sarcastic about it, I may or may not try to be diplomatic instead, but at the end of the day, they're wrong. As I was saying, I tend to apply a "don't ask, don't tell" policy, so I'm not going to start that debate. If they try to debate it, I might give them a free hint by trying to hijack the debate into something stupid. (E.g., "I think this is all a game, so I worship the great game designer. Oh, and I think they ruined the game with the expansion that introduced firearms.") But if they insist, they ARE going to be told they're wrong. Diplomatically or not.

And yes, I do that even with family. Last time mom tried to tell me that "but at least the Bible gives people good rules", I told her about the rules about how to properly rape a woman in war. Went over about as well as you'd expect, when telling a woman about the proper way to be raped at sword point. But, as I was saying, that's been the last time I heard that argument.

If that makes me a bigger flaming ass hole than the winner of last year's fart lighting contest, so be it. But my being a flaming ass doesn't make their argument right.

And really, someone with an education in philosophy should be able to understand that instinctively.
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Old 19th December 2018, 09:54 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Sorry, David. You're going to have to figure out the definition of "is" yourself.
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Old 19th December 2018, 10:19 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Sorry, David. You're going to have to figure out the definition of "is" yourself.
Not much to figure out, actually, since both say the same. Just the dictionary has the more concise, dictionary style version, the other has the long philosophy course version. Plus the dictionary page points at the intensional logic if one just scrolls down.

So the question was nonsense, but I'm willing to cut him some slack, if he's not familiar with the domain. I'd probably get confused the first time too.
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Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
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Old 19th December 2018, 10:24 AM   #34
JoeMorgue
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The line between "Philosophy" and "Obtuse Semantics" is growing fuzzier and fuzzier.
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Old 19th December 2018, 10:33 AM   #35
Belz...
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The line between "Philosophy" and "Obtuse Semantics" is growing fuzzier and fuzzier.
But what 'line' are you really refering to, Joe? The one on the map, or the one on the territory?

That's DEEP, MAN!
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Old 19th December 2018, 11:08 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Deism believes that there are reasons to believe that God exists (traces), but that human reason cannot know what God is.
That statement is entirely devoid of content. It's as meaningless as the following empty statement:
"X exists but we can't possibly know anything about what X is."

Inserting the word 'God' in place of 'X' might give some people the warm fuzzies, but it says absolutely nothing at all. What is the take-home content of the statement "God exists but human reason cannot know what God is."?

Just what is it saying exists?

What is the difference between the following statements?

God exists, but human reason cannot know what God is.
Pazuzu exists, but human reason cannot know what Pazuzu is.
X exists, but human reason cannot know what X is.
Lzzrtgh exists, but human reason cannot know what Lzzrtgh is.

I suspect the only answer forthcoming will be that the first statement gives lots of people the warm fuzzies because it contains the word 'God' therefore something something, but all four statements are as empty and meaningless as each other.
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Old 19th December 2018, 11:26 AM   #37
Steve
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
That statement is entirely devoid of content. It's as meaningless as the following empty statement:
"X exists but we can't possibly know anything about what X is."

Inserting the word 'God' in place of 'X' might give some people the warm fuzzies, but it says absolutely nothing at all. What is the take-home content of the statement "God exists but human reason cannot know what God is."?

Just what is it saying exists?

What is the difference between the following statements?

God exists, but human reason cannot know what God is.
Pazuzu exists, but human reason cannot know what Pazuzu is.
X exists, but human reason cannot know what X is.
Lzzrtgh exists, but human reason cannot know what Lzzrtgh is.

I suspect the only answer forthcoming will be that the first statement gives lots of people the warm fuzzies because it contains the word 'God' therefore something something, but all four statements are as empty and meaningless as each other.
No argument with what you say. I just want to add - why is the default that there is only one thing called a god? The premise could apply equally to ten, or ten thousand, or an infinite number. If there are more hidden gods that there are people on earth then a god is hardly a special thing. Maybe the multiverse is wall-to-wall gods and humans are the things that are hidden.

(deep, huh )
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Old 19th December 2018, 12:44 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
It's perfectly possible for God to exit but not interact with the world.
You know, like an unemployed highschool dropout in his parents' basement.
Sooooooooo, god can leave the world by living in his parent's basement or, possibly, their outhouse!!!?????????
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Old 19th December 2018, 12:50 PM   #39
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Note, there really is no argument in reality for a god(s). Best proofs are:1) no direct evidence/proof. just stories. The same was and is true in religions before and after the judeo/Xtian times. Thus they cannot all be right or religion and any god/gods is/are pointless.
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Old 19th December 2018, 01:04 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
But what 'line' are you really refering to, Joe? The one on the map, or the one on the territory?

That's DEEP, MAN!
But wait. Lines. I was in line for a movie. Was I, at that point, walking edge between reality and what is out beyond the event horizon of the formless.

Wait... In line. I was walking. Walk the Line. Johnny Cash. Cash. Money. Money is the root of all evil. The road to evil to paved with good intentions. Road. On the Road. Jack Kerouac's classic semi-autobiographical novel about the Beatnik Generation. Generation. Star Trek the Next Generation. Enterprise. Enter the Prize. Enter. The Prize. Dave Bowman entering the Monolith in 2001. 2001. Toynbee idea. In movie. 2001. Resurrect Dead. On Planet Jupiter.

Applejacks don't even taste like apples. Grapenuts aren't grapes or nuts.

I think I'm on to something here. Does anyone have the number for the President of Philosophy?
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