ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 15th August 2018, 04:56 PM   #1041
RoboTimbo
Hostile Nanobacon
 
RoboTimbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Springwood, NJ
Posts: 29,322
Originally Posted by Maartenn100 View Post
The main question you can ask to the atheists on this forum is:

"Does the scientific inability to prove the existence of something automatically render it as non existent?"

Answer: nope.
What do you think the main question for theists is?
RoboTimbo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2018, 06:17 PM   #1042
SOdhner
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,742
Originally Posted by Maartenn100 View Post
The main question you can ask to the atheists on this forum is:

"Does the scientific inability to prove the existence of something automatically render it as non existent?"
That conversation got split off to here:
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=330895

Originally Posted by Maartenn100 View Post
Answer: nope.
Longer answer: No, but at some point it's reasonable to just say something isn't real and since literally nothing can truly be 100% proven we don't set the bar that far. As a general guideline, unless you object to someone saying they don't believe in fairies or bigfoot or Russell's teapot or the invisible dragon in my garage you also shouldn't object to someone saying they don't believe in god.
SOdhner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th August 2018, 05:51 AM   #1043
JayUtah
Penultimate Amazing
 
JayUtah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16,191
Originally Posted by Maartenn100 View Post
The main question you can ask to the atheists on this forum is:

"Does the scientific inability to prove the existence of something automatically render it as non existent?"

Answer: nope.
That's why it's a good thing there are additional concepts such as a priori plausibility and Occam's Razor to keep that condition from resulting in nonsensical beliefs. That's especially important when the proponents of those beliefs keep moving the goalposts to avoid what would otherwise seem like the falsification of reasonable deduced consequents. The question you're asking got moved to a different thread. This thread is about a particularly silly attempt at conjuring up a proof for God out of tatters and collages of poorly-rendered philosophy and blatantly bad logic. So the main question we can ask deists, I suppose, is why the desperate need to make believe there's an objective proof for what is almost always claimed in the religion should be a matter of faith?
JayUtah is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th October 2018, 09:15 AM   #1044
halleyscomet
Philosopher
 
halleyscomet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 9,091
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Dear God, let it not be based on Bayes' Theorem.
Perhaps we can get him to use this modified version of the theorem instead?
Quote:
__________________
Look what I found! There's this whole web site full of skeptics that spun off from the James Randy Education Foundation!
halleyscomet is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2018, 04:02 AM   #1045
AOK Tiger
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 925
I cannot understand why you guys are arguing with Buddha.

You all make sense and he has not made even one cogent argument.

I have tried to form arguments against him, but he is saying things like:

"My cat is moon and blue is creator"
AOK Tiger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2018, 04:05 AM   #1046
Diablo
Muse
 
Diablo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 512
Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
That's why it's a good thing there are additional concepts such as a priori plausibility and Occam's Razor to keep that condition from resulting in nonsensical beliefs. That's especially important when the proponents of those beliefs keep moving the goalposts to avoid what would otherwise seem like the falsification of reasonable deduced consequents. The question you're asking got moved to a different thread. This thread is about a particularly silly attempt at conjuring up a proof for God out of tatters and collages of poorly-rendered philosophy and blatantly bad logic. So the main question we can ask deists, I suppose, is why the desperate need to make believe there's an objective proof for what is almost always claimed in the religion should be a matter of faith?
My bold.

Probably because the faith is getting a little frayed at the edges and needs all the support it can get.
Diablo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2018, 06:19 AM   #1047
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,169
Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
So the main question we can ask deists, I suppose, is why the desperate need to make believe there's an objective proof for what is almost always claimed in the religion should be a matter of faith?
This is a well I've went to a few times in various forms but I think a lot of people are... having a problem with faith and are trying re-invent it.

The walls between faith and apologetics are starting to show cracks.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
JoeMorgue is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2018, 07:38 AM   #1048
Hlafordlaes
Disorder of Kilopi
 
Hlafordlaes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Flux
Posts: 8,943
Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
<polite snip> ...So the main question we can ask deists, I suppose, is why the desperate need to make believe there's an objective proof for what is almost always claimed in the religion should be a matter of faith?
I'd venture to say that it is because there is a general need to associate faith with the standards that provide validity and reliability to science, so that its logical conclusions may claim the same weight. Whereas we might generalize to say that scientific logic is an overlay on a corresponding set of observables whose cause and effect are reflected in argument, lending science its objective authority, faith and all other manner of preferential reasoning are not, and by definition cannot be, based on anything outside the arguments themselves, even when starting out from a scientific fact of any kind.

It goes without saying St. Augustine attempted this sort of fudge with the First Cause argument (note: I refer to common parlance, not my own reading of original texts), but he never tied the hypothesis to the required observable, nor could he. Ever since, speculative leaps from known science or fact toward "logical and therefore inevitable" conclusions have continued apace, always with no understanding that the evidence has to carry you the entire way, or be waiting for you upon arrival.

It certainly does not help that the logic used in legal systems (ideally) employs evidence-based reasoning for matters of fact, and the maxims and postulates of law to decide matters of legal code, to eventually arrive at "truth." It is a tempting example for misuse, and seems often mimicked by those wielding divine laws and a smattering of physical "proof" to arrive at their ironclad nonsense and so issue "fair" judgments.

tl;dr: Faith lacks true universals and borrows absconds with the methods of those systems that do in the vain hope of validity by association.
__________________
Driftwood on an empty shore of the sea of meaninglessness. Irrelevant, weightless, inconsequential moment of existential hubris on the fast track to oblivion.
His real name is Count Douchenozzle von Stenchfahrter und Lichtendicks. - shemp

Last edited by Hlafordlaes; 18th October 2018 at 07:42 AM. Reason: Fixed things.
Hlafordlaes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2018, 09:39 AM   #1049
Nay_Sayer
I say nay!
 
Nay_Sayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Long Island
Posts: 3,561
Originally Posted by AOK Tiger View Post
I cannot understand why you guys are arguing with Buddha.

You all make sense and he has not made even one cogent argument.

I have tried to form arguments against him, but he is saying things like:

"My cat is moon and blue is creator"
Think of it as practice.

I commend Jay for humoring buddah with such extensive replies.
__________________
I am 100% confident all psychics and mediums are frauds.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"01010100 00110100 01110110 01101101 00110111 01100111 01010010 00110110 00001101 00001010"

Said the robot gleefully as he went on his rampage.
Nay_Sayer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2018, 09:46 AM   #1050
Wolrab
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,390
I think I would rather be insulted as opposed to having everything I try to argue getting so soundly destroyed by logic and reason.
__________________
"Such reports are usually based on the sighting of something the sighters cannot explain and that they (or someone else on their behalf) explain as representing an interstellar spaceship-often by saying "But what else can it be?" as though thier own ignorance is a decisive factor." Isaac Asimov
Wolrab is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2018, 01:20 PM   #1051
aleCcowaN
imperfecto del subjuntivo
 
aleCcowaN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: stranded at Buenos Aires, a city that, like NYC or Paris, has so little to offer...
Posts: 9,397
I think some person got both, but was only aware about one of them.

Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
I'd venture to say that it is because there is a general need to associate faith with the standards that provide validity and reliability to science, so that its logical conclusions may claim the same weight. Whereas we might generalize to say that scientific logic is an overlay on a corresponding set of observables whose cause and effect are reflected in argument, lending science its objective authority, faith and all other manner of preferential reasoning are not, and by definition cannot be, based on anything outside the arguments themselves, even when starting out from a scientific fact of any kind.

It goes without saying St. Augustine attempted this sort of fudge with the First Cause argument (note: I refer to common parlance, not my own reading of original texts), but he never tied the hypothesis to the required observable, nor could he. Ever since, speculative leaps from known science or fact toward "logical and therefore inevitable" conclusions have continued apace, always with no understanding that the evidence has to carry you the entire way, or be waiting for you upon arrival.

It certainly does not help that the logic used in legal systems (ideally) employs evidence-based reasoning for matters of fact, and the maxims and postulates of law to decide matters of legal code, to eventually arrive at "truth." It is a tempting example for misuse, and seems often mimicked by those wielding divine laws and a smattering of physical "proof" to arrive at their ironclad nonsense and so issue "fair" judgments.

tl;dr: Faith lacks true universals and borrows absconds with the methods of those systems that do in the vain hope of validity by association.
That's a well reasoned, well laid out, excellent post, that proves that we here, as a general rule, can't stoop low even if the essential quality of a topic demands it; even if we want it. We simply cannot be "down to par" even trying (and I try really really hard).

But this thread was born in more primitive motivations. Here what was invoked has been more of a "logic and scienty thingy" for self-assurance and social standing, and the authority was simply feigned just for an imaginary personal gain.

It's the everlasting immorality of those creators of gods: they wake up one morning and decide that the whole universe started some way and works as they will explain by playing it by ear. Lucky for them there's no hell nor karma.
__________________
Horrible dipsomaniacs and other addicts, be gone and get treated, or covfefe your soul!These fora are full of scientists and specialists. Most of them turn back to pumpkins the second they log out.
I got tired of the actual schizophrenics that are taking hold part of the forum and decided to do something about it.
aleCcowaN is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2018, 09:54 AM   #1052
JayUtah
Penultimate Amazing
 
JayUtah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16,191
Most of these answers are what I had hoped to elicit with my question. Why would you go about proving something according to secular knowledge after your religious leaders informed you it had to be a matter of faith?

Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
Probably because the faith is getting a little frayed at the edges and needs all the support it can get.
I think this is certainly a true statement. I think it's especially true for the audiences of such proofs when they are offered by others. It was certainly true for Jabba, who was told by his online cohort that we (i.e., the JREF regulars at the time) were lucky to have such a well-read and highly logical contributor championing the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. They clearly wanted to believe there was a legitimate secular case for accepting that old linen tablecloth as the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth. Religious faith wasn't enough.

And where I live in Utah, naturally we have a cadre of intellectual Mormons, championed to some degree by professors of "Ancient Scripture" and "Modern Scripture" at Brigham Young University, who try to make proving Mormonism a legitimate academic pursuit. Not every congregant cares, but for some it's a source of comfort to believe that certain allegations of fact -- such as the lost tribes of Israel kicking around late Iron Age America -- have some confirmation in the historical record.

Having pivoted to the dominant religion in my area, let me illustrate a point with something that happened a couple weeks ago during Mormonism's semiannual conference. One of the church's senior leaders and a noted hard-liner reiterated the church's position on gender and marriage in a particularly strident and anti-science way. He basically said to ignore what science said and ignore what the courts said and stick with what God said about marriage equality and gender identity. This did not sit well with many Mormons, especially millennials who (as a group) tend to be far less dogmatic than the older age group.

This is sort of what I was talking about. Yes, they make a good case when they say that secular law is not a substitute for the morals they are trying to teach. There has always been that in religion, and it is leading to tension in the law between the obligations incumbent upon all in a heterogeneous society and the privileges previously afforded sincere adherents to religion. That's not what I mean. That tension will probably always be a part American jurisprudence and religious practice.

What I mean is that this curmudgeonly moralist is outright telling his followers to ignore secular knowledge in favor of putting faith in what he tells them God wants them to believe. This to me says that if someone goes looking in the secular scientific literature for our latest understanding of sexual behavior, gender identity, and the sociology of marriage, they're not going to find a consensus that supports Mormonism's doctrine that seems like it comes right out of the 1950s. Modern psychology and sociology are not going to support sexuality-as-a-voluntarily-chosen-lifestyle, binary-biological-sex-as-gender-role, and marriage-as-baby-factory -- the hallmarks of Mormonism's views. And here's a Mormon leader telling them as much, and exhorting them not to try.

The point is that we have religions telling us that knowing of the existence of God is a matter of faith and enlightenment. It's not a logical "certainty." It's not the consilient and parsimonious conclusion drawn on available fact. Looking for God in that way is the wrong way, they say. Explicit faith in contradiction of secular knowledge, if necessary, is what is desired. There is no value in believing in God against all secular wisdom if the existence of God were a logical inevitability or the best answer for all the evidence. Then people would only casually believe in God. Operative faith requires some meaningful sacrifice, and in the 21st century that sacrifice may entail forgoing reason.

So yes, I believe that people shore up their sagging faith by pretending there are secular reasons for their belief. But what I want to ask is why people embark on these proofs, in some cases, when they are expressly told not to, and when they are told that what they will find will challenge their faith, not strengthen it.

Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
tl;dr: Faith lacks true universals and borrows absconds with the methods of those systems that do in the vain hope of validity by association.
This hits the nail on the head insofar as I think it describes the experience at JREF/ISF over the past few years. That's not to say some claims made by some religions can't or shouldn't be susceptible to secular validation. We can determine how likely it is that the Americas really were involved in the Diaspora. It's at least a question that can be addressed according to evidence, regardless of how we conclude. We can determine how likely it is that levitation, as practiced by some religions, is an actual physical phenomenon and not just a parlour trick. These are testable claims.

The more interesting ones in religion are less testable, such as the existence of Gods, animistic dualism, and so forth. I can't really say it any better than you did. Among some believers in religion there is a need to believe that their tenets are just as philosophically and empirically well founded as any secular science. They want to believe their doctrines follow from universal axioms, when they patently don't. This leads to pseudo-logical and pseudo-philosophical gyrations such as we've seen in this thread and a few others in this section of the forum that I can name.

Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
But this thread was born in more primitive motivations. Here what was invoked has been more of a "logic and scienty thingy" for self-assurance and social standing, and the authority was simply feigned just for an imaginary personal gain.
And this hammers the nail home in the cases of at least a few recent and/or prolific ISF posters. And we can circle back to what I said at the top of the post. There are specific threads whose only purpose seems to be establishing the reputation of the principal poster, usually at the expense of the reputations of his opponents. "I believe religious teaching X, and I believe I can prove it using secular means, and by so doing I can show that all you skeptic atheists aren't really what you claim to be, and thus inferior."

I'm not going to quote JoeMorgue directly, but I agree that these days people want their religion to make sense. Where there are people looking to buttress their buckling faith with extracurricular evidence, there is a market for pseudoscientists to cast aspersions against science in a sort of Debate Theater. They don't have to be right; they just have to make it sound like science is just wrong enough that their cherished beliefs can be not-impossible. In the extreme, you have people making the case that things like evolutionary biology are an intentional scam perpetrated by agents of Satan to drag the faithful down to hell. Maybe climate change, too; I don't post in those circles. Thankfully most of it is on the order of Jabba telling his fandom that he's going to go over to JREF and show up those godless atheists with his exemplary reasoning skills and Effective Debate. In these experiences, the self-assurance and social standing of the principal proponent is definitely a factor.

So in the final analysis, I think the answer to my question as it pertains to this thread specifically is that you'll always have people who -- regardless of catechismic prohibition -- want to believe that their religion is objectively reasonable and makes sense according to secular wisdom. And there will be other people who satisfy that need if, in return, they get a boost to their own self-esteem from being thought of as scientifically savvy, logically rigorous, or otherwise authoritative.
JayUtah is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2018, 04:35 PM   #1053
aleCcowaN
imperfecto del subjuntivo
 
aleCcowaN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: stranded at Buenos Aires, a city that, like NYC or Paris, has so little to offer...
Posts: 9,397
Originally Posted by JayUtah
Most of these answers are what I had hoped to elicit with my question. Why would you go about proving something according to secular knowledge after your religious leaders informed you it had to be a matter of faith?

Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
Probably because the faith is getting a little frayed at the edges and needs all the support it can get.
I think this is certainly a true statement. I think it's especially true for the audiences of such proofs when they are offered by others. It was certainly true for Jabba, who was told by his online cohort that we (i.e., the JREF regulars at the time) were lucky to have such a well-read and highly logical contributor championing the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. They clearly wanted to believe there was a legitimate secular case for accepting that old linen tablecloth as the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth. Religious faith wasn't enough.


....


Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
But this thread was born in more primitive motivations. Here what was invoked has been more of a "logic and scienty thingy" for self-assurance and social standing, and the authority was simply feigned just for an imaginary personal gain.
And this hammers the nail home in the cases of at least a few recent and/or prolific ISF posters. And we can circle back to what I said at the top of the post.



...


I'm not going to quote JoeMorgue directly, but I agree that these days people want their religion to make sense. Where there are people looking to buttress their buckling faith with extracurricular evidence, there is a market for pseudoscientists to cast aspersions against science in a sort of Debate Theater. They don't have to be right; they just have to make it sound like science is just wrong enough that their cherished beliefs can be not-impossible. In the extreme, you have people making the case that things like evolutionary biology are an intentional scam perpetrated by agents of Satan to drag the faithful down to hell. Maybe climate change, too; I don't post in those circles. Thankfully most of it is on the order of Jabba telling his fandom that he's going to go over to JREF and show up those godless atheists with his exemplary reasoning skills and Effective Debate. In these experiences, the self-assurance and social standing of the principal proponent is definitely a factor.

So in the final analysis, I think the answer to my question as it pertains to this thread specifically is that you'll always have people who -- regardless of catechismic prohibition -- want to believe that their religion is objectively reasonable and makes sense according to secular wisdom. And there will be other people who satisfy that need if, in return, they get a boost to their own self-esteem from being thought of as scientifically savvy, logically rigorous, or otherwise authoritative.

I think the whole thing goes way beyond all of this. It has to do with the way contemporary times work: we're in the Age of Fashion as opposed as the Age of Tradition. That means the past and the elders are no longer the role models to repeat but the fellow contemporary man is the model to imitate. That doesn't mean that tradition died, but it is taken in eclectic bits and recombined according to the individual taste and needs(the slut that finally gets married, she dresses in the purest white, gets a priest and has a vegetarian reception organized with oriental aromatic smokes everywhere).


And then, there's religion, and those human demiurges who want to create their own ones to their own image and likeness. This thread was never intended to discuss an isolated philosophical/theological subject, but to discuss a bit of a personal-made religion that is based in an la carte selection of mostly buddhism -taken in general- with Jesus being "the real thing" according to the particular human demiurge who created these "religion" and thread.


If people should look for more solid or legitimated foundations for their religious beliefs they won't come here. Those who do are just the kind of fringe claimants we are used to deal with (and try to shoo out)
__________________
Horrible dipsomaniacs and other addicts, be gone and get treated, or covfefe your soul!These fora are full of scientists and specialists. Most of them turn back to pumpkins the second they log out.
I got tired of the actual schizophrenics that are taking hold part of the forum and decided to do something about it.
aleCcowaN is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:29 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.