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Old 30th September 2003, 11:39 PM   #81
Titus Rivas
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Philosophy vs. credes

Prospero,
Quote:
Either god is an entirely illogical being or does not exist. There are no logical alternatives.
An alternative may be that the God of the Bible may be a concept built on deeper notions, insights or intuitions of a creator who has revealed himself through its creation rather than through the limited means of historical events such as the supposed revelation of Holy Books. In that case, the image of God given by the Monotheistic religions might be very limited, incomplete and even flawed.

The most plausible notion of a God is for me a benevolent creator which has created the universe for the development and happiness of souls. Any incomprehensible, seemingly illogical properties of creation or fate could be reinterpreted within that view. In fact, it accords well with what many people who have had an Near-Death Experience claim to have experienced, namely that life makes sense after all.

Anyway, it's seem overly restrictive to take the Bible Belt God as the typical notion of a creator. Agnosticism, atheism and theism are primarily philosophical positions, not credes.

Titus
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Old 1st October 2003, 03:39 AM   #82
Cinorjer
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In my definition, a creator cannot possibly hide from its creation.
In this sense, omnipotence is an incoherent notion. Not even a God can do the logically impossible. Omnipotence should refer to all logically possible actions and to no logically impossible ones. Logical impossibility is very different from practical impossibility.


The rules of logic certainly don't apply to a God, if it exists, because it operates by an entirely different set of rules. The fact that a God can, if it chooses, break the rules that bind our universe doesn't mean it has to. Our rules of logic are bounded by our experience living in this universe. We know that every effect must have a cause, for instance, and that the effect follows the cause. A miracle is an effect without a cause. Once you've thrown out logic, anything is possible. No one and nothing can be in two places at the same time. God can, because it's God. That's the whole problem with the concept. "Why doesn't God have a creator?" Because it's God. That's why you can't use logic against the religious. When you point to a logical paradox, they can always shrug their shoulders and say, "But it's God, so anything is possible."

A God bounded by our rules of logic or behavior is not omnipotent, of course. There are many Gods like that in our history of religions - humans written on a large scale. The God of Christianity is a curious mix of both onmipotent Creator and anthromorphic Ruler. If it is the Revealed Truth, then God is, by our standards, insane.
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Old 1st October 2003, 03:55 AM   #83
Interesting Ian
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Originally posted by Cinorjer


The rules of logic certainly don't apply to a God, if it exists, because it operates by an entirely different set of rules.
I'm sorry but that's nonsensical. There is no meaning attached to saying God can do the logically impossible.

Quote:

The fact that a God can, if it chooses, break the rules that bind our universe doesn't mean it has to. Our rules of logic are bounded by our experience living in this universe.
Logic has nothing to do with experience.

Quote:

We know that every effect must have a cause, for instance, and that the effect follows the cause.
Well that's our experience of the world.

Quote:

A miracle is an effect without a cause. Once you've thrown out logic, anything is possible.
Anything is possible even if you don't throw out logic.

Quote:

No one and nothing can be in two places at the same time. God can, because it's God. That's the whole problem with the concept. "Why doesn't God have a creator?"
Why should God have a creator? This is the problem you see. Just because our experience of the physical world says that every effect has a cause doen't mean to say that an infinite mind need have a cause!

Quote:

Because it's God. That's why you can't use logic against the religious. When you point to a logical paradox, they can always shrug their shoulders and say, "But it's God, so anything is possible."
If there is a logical paradox in the concept of God then I would reject the existence of such a God. Are you able to name any logical paradoxes?
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Old 1st October 2003, 04:19 AM   #84
homunculus
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I've got into this "agnosticism" vs. "atheism" thing a few times, on different boards. Basically, there is a lot of confusion about what the words actually mean. If you do a search, right now, for dictionaries of philosophy on the Net, pretty much any entry for "atheism" will describe it in terms of active denial (as opposed to passive disbelief). The atheist can always be asked WHICH god he is denying (denial can only exist in relation to some conception of deity) - and of course, there is no such thing as non-evidence for non-entities!

But colloquially (and here, on this board) the word does tend to be applied to anyone who doesn't believe in the gods.

Personally, I prefer "agnostic" because theories about invisible, or non-material entities or beings are not open to verification/falsification either way. Talk about gods, spirits etc. is just verbal confabulation, a kind of word-magic.

Paul.
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Old 1st October 2003, 04:31 AM   #85
slimshady2357
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Re: An answer for slimshady2357

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
Hi Adam,

Interesting point. In general you could be right about common believers who might admit they (really) believe in God (or gods) but still may have their doubts now and then. However, a (philosophical) theist, atheist and deist all claim to know something, namely that it is reasonable (for whatever particular reasons) to believe that there is or is not a God. Atheism in the philosophical sense is the claim that (one knows that) there is no God.
I see a pretty big difference between your last two sentences. In one you say:

"However, a (philosophical) ... atheist ... claim(s) to know something, namely that it is reasonable (for whatever particular reasons) to believe that there is ... not a God"

And the next one:

"Atheism in the philosophical sense is the claim that (one knows that) there is no God."

The first sentence is how I would characterize Atheism, I agree that an Atheist thinks they know it is reasonable not to believe in any Gods. But this doesn't mean that they know there is no Gods.

I'm an Atheist, I don't think it's reasonable to claim I know there is no God(s).

So I agree that an Atheist claims to know something, but not that there is no God(s), only that it is rational to not believe in any God(s). [with a disclaimer that the reason it's rational in my experience is a lack of evidence, if someone has experienced evidence of God(s) it's different]

Quote:
Similarly, theism in the philosophical sense, is the claim that (one knows that) there is a God. This is not a matter of 'mere' religious belief, but of philosophical conviction.
I believe such a philosophical position is possible of course, but I don't think I've ever heard it said it was the theist philosophical position. But I don't think it really matters, it's probably just usage, and usage varies across territories. Did you know there are a fair number of people on these boards that were taught 'W' is sometimes a vowel, in the same way 'Y' is? I'd never heard of that before!

Quote:
Likewise, Deism is the position that (one knows) there is a God who created this world, but didn't interfere with its evolution ever since. As far as I know Deism is not so much a religious stance, but a philosophical position about the origin of this world.
I'm really surprised by that one though! How would a deist claim to know this? The situation of the world is exactly the same whether he's right or wrong, what is his reasoning for knowing a Deist position to be the case?? Subjective revelation?

Just curious. I've met only two people who called themselves a Deist, one is on this board (Joshua) and the other was in RL. I've not asked Josh, but the guy I met in school certainly didn't think he 'knew' Deism was true, he was in philosophy also.

Best wishes for you too

Adam
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Old 1st October 2003, 05:03 AM   #86
Cinorjer
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Logic has nothing to do with experience.

You'll have to argue this point, since it seems to go against the generally held definition of what logic is. Logic has EVERYTHING to do with experience. We observe the world around us, we see patterns, we draw conclusions and set rules of logic based on that experience. To say something is logical is just to say it fits into how we know the universe works, according to our experience. For instance, if we watch a tree grow from a seed, that's nothing to remark about, because logically we know that's how trees arrive. If a full grown tree suddenly appeared in your front yard, that's not logical. Trees don't just appear. We would have to look for a cause that fits into the logic of how things happen. The only logical explainations would be (1) the tree was there all along, and our memory is faulty (it can happen), or (2) someone dug a hole and put the tree there when we weren't looking, as a joke. (it also happens). That's logic in action. To shrug your shoulders and say "It's a miracle" defies all logic. What definition are you working from?

I gave you several examples of logic in action in my post you replied to. Let's take this infinite God. Logically, a complex being with a personality, consciousness, and will has to come from somewhere. God has to have a cause. We look around us, and see that complex organisms such as ourselves evolve and grow from less complex elements. Yet, we insist God has no cause, that this infinite mind was always there. That's not logical. But it's applying the wrong yardstick, at that. Of course it's not logical. God is a concept that exists outside of our universe, so logic dosn't apply.
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Old 1st October 2003, 05:25 AM   #87
Interesting Ian
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cinorjer

II
Logic has nothing to do with experience.

Cinorjer
You'll have to argue this point, since it seems to go against the generally held definition of what logic is. Logic has EVERYTHING to do with experience. We observe the world around us, we see patterns, we draw conclusions and set rules of logic based on that experience.
This is inductive "logic". It's not really logic at all.

Quote:

To say something is logical is just to say it fits into how we know the universe works, according to our experience.
No that's not my understanding of the word logic at all.

Quote:

For instance, if we watch a tree grow from a seed, that's nothing to remark about, because logically we know that's how trees arrive. If a full grown tree suddenly appeared in your front yard, that's not logical.
Well it's certainly not illogical. Just against physical laws as we know them. But you can't say something which contravenes currently known physical laws is illogical.

Quote:

Trees don't just appear.
How do you know?

Quote:

We would have to look for a cause that fits into the logic of how things happen. The only logical explainations would be (1) the tree was there all along, and our memory is faulty (it can happen), or (2) someone dug a hole and put the tree there when we weren't looking, as a joke. (it also happens). That's logic in action. To shrug your shoulders and say "It's a miracle" defies all logic. What definition are you working from?
I would say something defies logic if there is something conceptually incoherent about the notion. But there is nothing incoherent about a tree suddenly springing into existence. Certainly we can imagine it.

Quote:

I gave you several examples of logic in action in my post you replied to. Let's take this infinite God. Logically, a complex being with a personality, consciousness, and will has to come from somewhere.
Not at all! Neither do I accept that people do. I'm not talking about our physical bodies but rather our selves. The self does not come from anywhere because it has always existed


Quote:


God has to have a cause.
Not at all. And I remind you that intellectual materialist atheists (if that is not an oxymoron) don't typically believe the Universe has a cause.
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Old 1st October 2003, 05:40 AM   #88
homunculus
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"The smell of a fart does not exist.

Stimpson J Cat

[clarification]
He thinks the smell of a fart is literally a physical process in the brain
[/clarification]



At the risk of derailing this interesting thread, what exactly is wrong with Mr(s) Stimpson's assesment, here? The "aroma" of a fart - what you imagine when you imagine a fart - is a purely subjective experience, arising through the physical process of perception. There IS no "smell" (in this sense) without a physical nose, and a physical brain and nervous system, to interpret the electical stimulus from it.

Simularly, there is no "red" without an observer, just a dance of photons (or whatever). "Red" is how our brains translate a certain wave frequency - nothing more.

Paul.
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Old 1st October 2003, 05:52 AM   #89
Ruby
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Re: Why agnosticism?

Having just been delivered out of Christianity, I can safely say that Agnosticism feels GREAT!!!

It's great to question everything and look and study. My hubby and I have been reading so much info lately. I have missed being on here.

I may end up an Atheist in the end. I don't know.
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Old 1st October 2003, 08:08 AM   #90
Correa Neto
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ruby
Having just been delivered out of Christianity, I can safely say that Agnosticism feels GREAT!!!

It's great to question everything and look and study. My hubby and I have been reading so much info lately. I have missed being on here.

I may end up an Atheist in the end. I don't know.
That´s the very point! As an agnostic, you should question all conceptions regarding god, with no prejudices or preconceived ideas. And surely many atheists have done that and this lead them to their current position.

An agnostic, IMHO, can be defined (among many others definitions) as someone who has not been convinced (yet?) by the avaliable evidences, that god, according to a certain conception (that is a human construct), exists or not. But many will say that an agnostic should just turn his/hers back to the question, because he/she belives that nothing can be said about god´s existence or inexistence.

A point that should be made- could one really use such attributes (possible/imposible; good/bad; existence x non-existence among others) to a creator of the universe- supposing there is one-? If there is such a thing, our concepts, language, intelligence, etc. may just be inadequate to define, describe and attribute characteristics to it. As inaquate as to say that god sees everything, what would imply that god has eyes or something like that and therefore a material existence. Well, you probably know where this line of reasoning came from and lead to. Maybe its just like an homo erectus trying to understand quantum physics... He/she lacks the abillity to do it and has some more important things to do (find food, elude predators and breed to evolve).
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Old 1st October 2003, 08:20 AM   #91
Interesting Ian
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Originally posted by Correa Neto
As inaquate as to say that god sees everything, what would imply that god has eyes or something like that and therefore a material existence.
There is evidence to suggest that during out of body experiences people can see much better than their eyes normally allow them to. The idea that it would be logically impossible for a being to see without eyes is utterly absurd.
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Old 1st October 2003, 09:01 AM   #92
Cinorjer
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I would say something defies logic if there is something conceptually incoherent about the notion. But there is nothing incoherent about a tree suddenly springing into existence. Certainly we can imagine it.

We can imagine all sorts of illogical events. Imagination is not bounded by reality. A full grown tree suddenly appearing out of nowhere certainly fits any definition of incoherent: lacking orderly continuity or intelligibility. In fact, it fails the flying monkey test. A tree will materialize out of nowhere the same time monkeys fly out of my butt. Both have equal chance of happening.

Not at all! Neither do I accept that people do. I'm not talking about our physical bodies but rather our selves. The self does not come from anywhere because it has always existed

An unsupported and illogical belief. If you want to believe that, fine, but don't say it's logical. There is absolutely no evidence that any such "self" exists outside of our individual minds. In my own religion, Buddhism, we insist this "self" is an illusion caused by the workings of the mind. At least we can logically argue why we believe this to be so.

And I remind you that intellectual materialist atheists (if that is not an oxymoron) don't typically believe the Universe has a cause.

Wrong analogy. The universe, as we know it today, was caused by a singular event in the far distant past and evolved into the present form. What caused that to happen, and what came before that, we simply don't know. That's like saying God came into existance in the distant past and evolved into the being it is today, then created the universe. The universe is visible around us; God is not.
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Old 1st October 2003, 09:02 AM   #93
Correa Neto
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Ian,

Lets assume that there are real OBEs, in the sense that something (say, a "soul") really comes out of the body, and lets also assume that this soul (astral body, counsience, etc) can somehow perceive external objects (shapes, volumes, colors, etc).

Sight is a sense created by our brain processing data acquired by reception of reflected light by sensory cells in our eyes (or structures with similar functions in other organisms) .

So, a "soul" would still be able to "see" by capting light rays in some sort of organ and processing the data in something like a brain? If it uses another process, then this process should not be called sight. One would be using the term "sight" on an impropper manner or as an adaptation, artistic licence, whatever.

It would also be like saying that bats can "see" using sonar. They can avoid obstacles and locate possible prey, but they can not actually see using sonar. Or on a different level, perhaps similar to what pysics do when saying that a quark has a color or a flavor.

So the idea that it would be logically impossible for a being to see without eyes is not utterly absurd.
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Old 1st October 2003, 03:10 PM   #94
Interesting Ian
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Quote:
Originally posted by homunculus
"The smell of a fart does not exist.

Stimpson J Cat

[clarification]
He thinks the smell of a fart is literally a physical process in the brain
[/clarification]



At the risk of derailing this interesting thread, what exactly is wrong with Mr(s) Stimpson's assesment, here? The "aroma" of a fart - what you imagine when you imagine a fart - is a purely subjective experience, arising through the physical process of perception. There IS no "smell" (in this sense) without a physical nose, and a physical brain and nervous system, to interpret the electical stimulus from it.
A. OK, own up, who's farted??!
B. It was I.
A. It stinks!
B. It is your brain and nervous system creating the smell, so don't blame me.

Quote:

Simularly, there is no "red" without an observer, just a dance of photons (or whatever). "Red" is how our brains translate a certain wave frequency - nothing more.

Paul.
You can hold everything we ever perceptually perceive as being an illusion, or as not really constituting the "furniture" of reality if you like. But don't expect me to agree with you. I prefer to believe what my senses tell me.
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Old 1st October 2003, 04:48 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cinorjer
[Interesting Ian said:]
And I remind you that intellectual materialist atheists (if that is not an oxymoron) don't typically believe the Universe has a cause.
[Cinorjer replied:]
Wrong analogy. The universe, as we know it today, was caused by a singular event in the far distant past and evolved into the present form. What caused that to happen, and what came before that, we simply don't know. That's like saying God came into existance in the distant past and evolved into the being it is today, then created the universe. The universe is visible around us; God is not.
I've got to diagree with you on a couple of points. Right off the bat, Ian wasn't making an analogy as much as he was simply stating the facts as he knows them to be. I have to agree with him to an extent, based partly on my experience on this forum. I've exchanged ideas with atheists who think it likely that the universe is acausal. These same atheists would probably take issue with your having said that we don't know what came before the singular event which resulted in the universe. Why? Because there was no "before the singular event". Spacetime sprang into being with the birth of the universe. No universe means no spacetime. No spacetime means no "before the event". Counterintuitive? Yes. That's no problem for them for a couple of reasons, the first being that much of the knowledge we've achieved as a result of the application of the scientific method is counterintuitive. Secondly, intuition is not a reliable source of information. In short, it been my experience that it's not at all unusual to run into atheists who dont' believe that the universe had a cause.
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Old 1st October 2003, 09:56 PM   #96
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Quote:
A. OK, own up, who's farted??!
B. It was I.
A. It stinks!
B. It is your brain and nervous system creating the smell, so don't blame me.
Yea, but the methane and hydrogen sulfides which binds to the receptor sites in the olfactory cells and stimulated the nervous system which caused the brain of "A" to respond with an EEEWWWW!!!! came out of "B"s ass.

I agree with most of what Gentlehorse wrote. Stephen Hawking
has been doing some thinking on what was before the initial state
of big bang. Even he admits that it is pretty difficult to deal with.

Quote:
Why should God have a creator? This is the problem you see. Just because our experience of the physical world says that every effect has a cause doen't mean to say that an infinite mind need have a cause!
The same could apply to the universe. Quantum mechanics has shown that the universe (at least at on a quantum level) does not
have to follow our intuition or what we feel is common sense.

Just because we observe the universe in a linear and causual manner doesn't mean that the universe is operating in that manner. It could be operating on a much deeper level. Feyneman postulated that some quantum mechanical processes look the same going forward or backward in time.
I think he even described that anti-matter was regular matter traveling backward in time. (How he came to that idea or what became of it, I don't know. I think Hawking superceded it.)

Anyhoo, I don't think it's possible to detect or prove the existance of god. Not to say that it may not exist, Just that it is impossible for us to find that evidence or know it if we "see" it. It's kind of like trying to point to where the fourth dimension is. I know, bad analogy, but something akin to that.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 01:27 AM   #97
homunculus
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You can hold everything we ever perceptually perceive as being an illusion, or as not really constituting the "furniture" of reality if you like. But don't expect me to agree with you. I prefer to believe what my senses tell me.

Me too. If a tree falls in the woods when nobody is around, it might not make a "sound". But it does vibrate the air in a way we would interpret as "sound", were we around to listen.

As you were.

Paul.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 03:26 AM   #98
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Why? Because there was no "before the singular event". Spacetime sprang into being with the birth of the universe. No universe means no spacetime. No spacetime means no "before the event". Counterintuitive? Yes.

Yes, the question of what came before the big bang is meaningless, because time and space are attributes of this universe. It not so much that we can't say the universe didn't have a cause, as the concept of cause and effect doesn't apply. Cause and effect require a flow of time and space to operate. Words and logical concepts fail. That was my original point, I think (these threads are fun but do tend to wander). To be agnostic about the concept of God in general to me, is to say it's a concept where rules of logic don't apply and nothing can be said about it, other than that there's no evidence for one and imaginings of various religions are certainly cultural projections.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 03:36 AM   #99
Correa Neto
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errr...

I was not referring to particular tastes (among 4 billion people, chances are that some will like the smell of fart- disclaimer- I´m not one of them), phylosophical interpretions of reality or if one belives or not in his what his/hers/its senses are telling.

I was just referring to the ways information about the surroundings are gathered by sensory organs and interpred by the brain. On a completely dark cave (no not that one with the blind humans), someone without a light source would stumble on the walls or worse, while a bat would be able to hadle itself in and out with ease. Does the bat sees the walls, stalactites and other obstacles? Not really. It uses its sonar. It emmits sounds, its ears pick the recflections and its brain proccess the data ("obstacle 3 meters ahead to the right"). Blind cave arthropods gather data about their surroundings using antennas. Our spelunker whose batteries run out will be aware of the presence of obstacles on a different (and possibly more painfull) way. If our spelunker just stood still, waiting for a rescue party, the obstacles will still be there, even if he can´t gather data about them.

An earless animal could still know that a tree has fallen by sensing vibrations transmitted through the soil. But it would not actually hear the sound.

So, no eyes-like structure to gather reflected or emmitted light, no brain-like (or equivalent) structure to interpred the data, there is no sight sense. But the objects that reflect the light or the light sources are still there. Data about them can eventually be acquired by other means.

Back to the topic, our intuition, as many people said here and in other places before, is not adequate when analizing quantum or relativity. Even Newtonian mechanics has several counterintuitive situations. Some people confuse intutive logic or common sense with logic, and this just does not work. Quantum mechanics follow mathematic equations that are utterly logical but are against our common sense and intuition. And look for what existed before the big bang is somehow like tring to know what we were doing before born. Unless one belives in regression and similar things, one must accept that counsiousness sprang out after a certain time when his/hers brain achieved a certain development stage. I´m afraid that these paths will not lead to an answer regarding god´s existence or inexistence.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 05:10 AM   #100
Interesting Ian
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Quote:
Originally posted by uruk
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. OK, own up, who's farted??!
B. It was I.
A. It stinks!
B. It is your brain and nervous system creating the smell, so don't blame me.

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



Yea, but the methane and hydrogen sulfides which binds to the receptor sites in the olfactory cells and stimulated the nervous system which caused the brain of "A" to respond with an EEEWWWW!!!! came out of "B"s ass.
But you suppose the actual qualia (the odor of the fart) is created ex nihilo by the recipient. You do realise the scientific story need not depict a literal state of affairs?

Quote:

I agree with most of what Gentlehorse wrote. Stephen Hawking
has been doing some thinking on what was before the initial state
of big bang. Even he admits that it is pretty difficult to deal with.
It's impossible to deal with. Physics by definition cannot explain why the Universe came into being because physics only deals with the physical ie once the Universe is already there.

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why should God have a creator? This is the problem you see. Just because our experience of the physical world says that every effect has a cause doen't mean to say that an infinite mind need have a cause!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The same could apply to the universe.
Right, if I translate this correctly this means you agree with me.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 05:23 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally posted by Correa Neto
errr...

I was not referring to particular tastes (among 4 billion people, chances are that some will like the smell of fart- disclaimer- I´m not one of them.
After not reading this thread for days, it's nice to come back and see that we're addressing such pressing matters.
Yes, there are plenty of people who have a fetish for this. Google it.

There is no god.
But, okay, if it's still being argued, there's no way to prove it either way. But, there is no god. We can go round and round on this. So you haven't made up your mind, or you've said, ****** it, I'm not going to live my life wondering and I'm just going to pick a side. Good for you. But my mind is made up until I'm shown proof otherwise.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 12:21 PM   #102
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Quote:
But you suppose the actual qualia (the odor of the fart) is created ex nihilo by the recipient. You do realise the scientific story need not depict a literal state of affairs?
Possibly, But without the anal eminations, there would be no "ex nihilo" as it were. Since our bodies are physical (exist in this universe) and the various processes are governed by the laws of physics and follow cause and effect (in the macro sense) you need a phyisical stimulus to generate the cognition.

If you had never smelled the rectal bouquet of a good ripper, then you could only assume and imagine what one smelled like.
Others could describe it to you, (egg-like or sewer-like) that is, to refrence to what has been already experienced. You've created
an "image" based on stimulus that was previously physicaly experienced.

It isn't untill you actually experiance that full bodied, piquant
gastric arouma, by having those complex molecules assault your olfactory nodes, does it become a reality and fully formed in your mind.

I believe that the quality or the experiance or the neural connection patterns formed in our brain is the direct result or response of a physical interaction. We can "build" an "experiance" which never took place but it has to be based
or refrenced on what has been previously, physicaly experianced

Any image we have of god will always be based on whatever we have experianced. ( god is anthropomorfic, god is a creator, god is male, god is female, god has emotions, god has form, ) That is one reason I belive any concept of god we can come come with will be an incorrect one. God is completely outside our experiance
and as a result we have no "frame of referene" to describe him.

Quote:
It's impossible to deal with. Physics by definition cannot explain why the Universe came into being because physics only deals with the physical ie once the Universe is already there.
I agree with you there. Hawking wrote that "we have a good understanding of what happened in the first femto seconds of big bang. but we no frame work to describe what went on before". (not an exact quote, but thats the idea. For futher reading, check out his books) And I go to further to say that the same applies to any concept of god.


Quote:
Right, if I translate this correctly this means you agree with me.
I agree, if you mean that the universe does not necessarily have to have been "created" by a creator.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 12:49 PM   #103
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Logic has nothing to do with experience.

Zeno's Arrow - first the arrow has to travel half the distance, then half that, etc., to infinity, therefore the arrow never reaches its target.

That's Logic.

Experience tells us that arrows hit their targets like a mofo. (Some of them miss, I know - that's irrelevant)

Now, having said that, it has logically been proven both that you should believe in God, and that you should not believe in God.

Sagan did the 'should not' on his show Cosmos. "There is the assertion that God has been here forever - why not just save a step and say that the universe has been here forever?" is more or less what he said.

I don't know who proved the 'should', but it reads more like bet hedging than cause. Nonetheless, it's something like:
Don't believe in God - God doesn't exist - death is the end.
Believe in God - God doesn't exist - death is the end.
Don't believe in God - God exists - death leads to hell.
Believe in God - God exists - death leads to heaven.

So if you don't believe in God, the best that can happen is nothing and the worst is hell. If you believe, the best that can happen is heaven and the worst is nothing.

Therefore, you should believe in God.

Both are valid arguments. Basically only one can be true. So again, logic has nothing to do with experience.

However, it is not known whether God exists. At best, it can only be believed that God exists. Not only that, but then there is a question of WHICH God exists.

Agnosticism seems like the most all-encompassing position to have, especially agnosticism without religion. Any position that incorporates the most viewpoints is by my reckoning the best one.

I choose Agnosticism.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 12:55 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dorian Gray

Experience tells us that arrows hit their targets like a mofo.
Making reference to me?
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Old 2nd October 2003, 01:19 PM   #105
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Re: Why agnosticism?

Quote:
Originally posted by Darwin
What do you think about it,agnosticism?
Using a dictionary definition,an agnostic would state that "the existence of a God cannot be either accepted or denied".I can see how one could have a problem with this definition though,and there appears to be variations of it.
Biologist Thomas Huxley,as a famous example of an agnostic,gave us the idea of "not being able to know",while "not necessarily believing" (these are not really direct quotes).
Where philosopher Herbert Spencer felt that there will be things outside of human mind´s reach,Darwin (probable agnostic) thought that the whole issue goes beyond one´s intellect.
So,I wonder,why agnosticism? I think there are agnostics lurking around to offer their thoughts.
In a way it appears that agnosticism has logical edge in that it it appears true that the issue we are dealing with is often untestable unless predictions are made (on this ground,we can perhaps,more easily put to rest a God or two) and in that a solid one.But why should one assume this position,why not simply disbelieve? As for me,I think fairly highly of agnosticism,but I find no reason to entertain it myself,so far.
Responses of all kinds are appreciated.Thank you.
If you can't prove God exists and you can't prove God doesn't exist. How can you then test a God or 2?

Is agnosticism, 'A sitting on the fence' type of philosophy?

I don't believe there is a God/s but I can't prove he/she/it/them aren't out there. Would it be that I have a closed mind being an atheist?

Where as an agnostic has their own personal views, but leaves the field open to other possibilities?
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Old 2nd October 2003, 06:07 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dorian Gray
However, it is not known whether God exists. At best, it can only be believed that God exists. Not only that, but then there is a question of WHICH God exists. ....
Yes, not only that but religions can be viewed as explanations for human experiences. These explanations make sense to me. Religions themselves do not. Take merely the many contradictions within them, let alone the fact one must drop all common sense about what we observe to be true, and believe in something we otherwise would not.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 09:23 PM   #107
69dodge
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Re: Necessary versus arbitrary

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
If this world was artificially created rather than arising out of blind logical necessity, there should be markers of it.
You seem to assume that there are only two choices:[list=1][*]there is only one logically possible world, and our world is it, or[*]our world was created by a creator.[/list=1]It seems obvious to me there are many different worlds that are all logically possible. But it is still not obvious to me that our world had a creator. Perhaps our world simply happens to exist, and the many other logically possible worlds happen not to exist.
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Old 3rd October 2003, 03:20 AM   #108
Correa Neto
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dorian Gray

Nonetheless, it's something like:
Don't believe in God - God doesn't exist - death is the end.
Believe in God - God doesn't exist - death is the end.
Don't believe in God - God exists - death leads to hell.
Believe in God - God exists - death leads to heaven.
One could also add:
Don't believe in God - God exists - death is the end.
Believe in God - God exists - death is the end.

I don´t see why the existence of god necessarily imply on the existence of an afterlife, unless you stick with the definitions of god that are given by religions.
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Old 3rd October 2003, 05:04 AM   #109
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Logic has nothing to do with experience.

Zeno's Arrow - first the arrow has to travel half the distance, then half that, etc., to infinity, therefore the arrow never reaches its target.

That's Logic.


I'm not using mathematic or symbolic logic - that isn't the only definiton of the term, you know. Those logic games start with a premise and ask you to reach a conclusion based only on the premise. Given that for x amount of time an arrow only travels halfway to its goal, then by solving that equation you conclude the arrow never reaches it's goal. But the logic of experience: "a science that deals with the principles and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration", tells you that in fact, arrows do indeed, in reality, reach their goal. Logical reasoning tells you the example isn't a valid description of reality, that there's something wrong with the equation. This is not intuition (I hate that term), but using logic to reach conclusions based on our demonstrated experience.

If you start with the premise that there is a God, then you still need to further define its attributes before you can logically draw any conclusions about it. But that sort of thing is nothing but word games. As a Minister once told me, when I said I was an atheist: "Tell me what sort of God you don't believe in. I probably don't believe in it, either."
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Old 3rd October 2003, 03:27 PM   #110
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Why agnosticism?

Agnostics are essentially fence sitters - they are hedging their bets by not committing one way or another. Unfortunately for them a vengeful god would whip their butts to hell with the atheists (Can't I have purgatory instead cries the Agno!!)

A smart Agno may as well profess a belief & if there is a God he is allocated his 2 square metres & polished harp!! If he's wrong what the heck? He's manure like the rest of us (including the fundamentalists!!)

Isn't that what religion is about? Covering your own butt!

The sad thing for us Athos is that if we are right, big deal we can't say Ha Ha - told you so!!! If the Christians are right, well we've got some harrassing coming our way, although I suspect God would turn off the BBQ cookers & tell us to come on up for a beer after a couple of million years. Isn't he about forgiveness?

I am confident that God was a creation of humans & not vice-versa therefore won't fence sit, but to quote Irish comedian Dave Allen " I don't believe in God, but I'm not against a death bed repentance - there's nothing like a bit of insurance on the way out!!"
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Old 3rd October 2003, 03:30 PM   #111
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Re: Why agnosticism?

Quote:
Originally posted by Bazza
Agnostics are essentially fence sitters - they are hedging their bets by not committing one way or another.
Huxley's agnosticism was (and is) a sound methodological foundation for atheism.
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Old 3rd October 2003, 09:28 PM   #112
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Fact: Atheists are atheists because they like feeling special knowing that they were that one sperm that made it will all of the sperm that men produce and go through instead of being pre-selected. It's a great feeling knowing that you beat all those billions of other sperm sort of like winning the loto!



@!
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Old 4th October 2003, 05:37 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally posted by traveller
Fact: Atheists are atheists because they like feeling special knowing that they were that one sperm that made it will all of the sperm that men produce and go through instead of being pre-selected. It's a great feeling knowing that you beat all those billions of other sperm sort of like winning the loto!



@!
Care to expand on your statements? Frankly they don't make a lick of sense (to me). What's this about sperm that "go through instead of being pre-selected"? If you are against atheists in what way were you "pre-selected"? How can a sperm be singled out from others?

Are you serious? Or am I missing something here?

And is it billions or millions???

ACCKKKKKK!
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Old 5th October 2003, 12:53 AM   #114
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Quote:
Originally posted by SFB


Care to expand on your statements? Frankly they don't make a lick of sense (to me). What's this about sperm that "go through instead of being pre-selected"? If you are against atheists in what way were you "pre-selected"? How can a sperm be singled out from others?

Are you serious? Or am I missing something here?

And is it billions or millions???

ACCKKKKKK!
There are many sperm that guys produce and go through I don't think that is questionable.

http://www.teenwire.com/index.asp?ta...2_testicle.asp
"An average pair of testicles can produce 150 million sperm in one day, and can store up to about two billion sperm at a time. Guys, just think about that the next time someone says you're not being productive!"

Atheists like the feeling of being that one sperm who beat all the other sperm, if it was another sperm that made it instead the one you developed from then it wouldn't have been "you" who was born. If something like re-incarnation was true it would be a 1:1 chance because nomatter which sperm made it your the same consciousness would enter the body regarless of which of the millions of sperm made it. Like I said given those chances it's a good feeling kind of like winning the lotto!
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Old 5th October 2003, 06:49 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally posted by traveller


There are many sperm that guys produce and go through I don't think that is questionable.

http://www.teenwire.com/index.asp?ta...2_testicle.asp
"An average pair of testicles can produce 150 million sperm in one day, and can store up to about two billion sperm at a time. Guys, just think about that the next time someone says you're not being productive!"

Atheists like the feeling of being that one sperm who beat all the other sperm, if it was another sperm that made it instead the one you developed from then it wouldn't have been "you" who was born. If something like re-incarnation was true it would be a 1:1 chance because nomatter which sperm made it your the same consciousness would enter the body regarless of which of the millions of sperm made it. Like I said given those chances it's a good feeling kind of like winning the lotto!

"If something like re-incarnation was true..."

Well, there's no evidence for anything similar to reincarnation.

"[b]ecause nomatter which sperm made it your the same consciousness would enter the body regarless of which of the millions of sperm made it."

Umm... come again? Perhaps you should expound a bit more, I don't get it.

Are you a fatalist?

I don't follow, nor agree with your assessment of atheists.

You seem to say some humans are ingrained, fated, to be atheists. If this is your stance, please provide an argument for it.
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Old 5th October 2003, 06:55 PM   #116
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Dude, that's whack.
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Old 5th October 2003, 08:09 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally posted by SFB
Well, there's no evidence for anything similar to reincarnation.
You may be right but I don't know!

Quote:
"[b]ecause nomatter which sperm made it your the same consciousness would enter the body regarless of which of the millions of sperm made it."

Umm... come again? Perhaps you should expound a bit more, I don't get it.
If re-incarnation was true it would not matter which sperm made it to the egg. Your consciousness would have existed before that so it would not matter which sperm made it, the same consciousness will occupy the body therefore the sperm that makes it to the egg is irrelevant. If there is no re-incarnation/afterlife then it would not be the same "you" that exists now if another sperm had fertilized the egg, so you beat millions (probably billions) of sperm to that egg. If those stats are right it's about 150 million sperm produced a day but times x number of days that a guy lives. Just look at the chances of you being that one sperm that made it to fertilize the egg. Use the Occam's razor on the stats for both sides!

Quote:
Are you a fatalist?
No, I'm a blainetologist.

Quote:
I don't follow, nor agree with your assessment of atheists.
I'm not even being serious there but I have a point with the chances compared to re-incarnation!

Quote:
You seem to say some humans are ingrained, fated, to be atheists. If this is your stance, please provide an argument for it.
I don't think that.
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Old 5th October 2003, 08:17 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally posted by MoeFaux


Dude, that's whack.
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Old 23rd October 2003, 10:57 PM   #119
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A very late reply

69dodge:
Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas:
If this world was artificially created rather than arising out of blind logical necessity, there should be markers of it.You seem to assume that there are only two choices:

1. there is only one logically possible world, and our world is it, or
2. our world was created by a creator.

It seems obvious to me there are many different worlds that are all logically possible. But it is still not obvious to me that our world had a creator. Perhaps our world simply happens to exist, and the many other logically possible worlds happen not to exist.
Perhaps, yes, but my point was that IF this world was created it would be different from what it would be IF it was not created.

Best wishes,

Titus
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Old 23rd October 2003, 11:41 PM   #120
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Another very late reply

Another late reply, to Adam this time:

Quote:
The first sentence is how I would characterize Atheism, I agree that an Atheist thinks they know it is reasonable not to believe in any Gods. But this doesn't mean that they know there is no Gods.

I'm an Atheist, I don't think it's reasonable to claim I know there is no God(s).

So I agree that an Atheist claims to know something, but not that there is no God(s), only that it is rational to not believe in any God(s). [with a disclaimer that the reason it's rational in my experience is a lack of evidence, if someone has experienced evidence of God(s) it's different]
Okay, you're right about this. Atheism may be of two types: absolute atheism, which claims it has been absolutely proven that there can be no God, and parsimonious atheism which just holds there is as of yet no conclusive evidence for the existence of a God.

Quote:
I believe such a philosophical position is possible of course, but I don't think I've ever heard it said it was the theist philosophical position.
As far as I know it would be the theist position within the philosophy of religion.

Quote:
But I don't think it really matters, it's probably just usage, and usage varies across territories. Did you know there are a fair number of people on these boards that were taught 'W' is sometimes a vowel, in the same way 'Y' is? I'd never heard of that before!
No, I didn't know. I did know however that the W evolved from two Vs which were originally pronounced as oo in Latin as V en U was really the same letter in the Latin alphabet.

Quote:
I'm really surprised by that one though! How would a deist claim to know this? The situation of the world is exactly the same whether he's right or wrong, what is his reasoning for knowing a Deist position to be the case?? Subjective revelation?
Not at all, a deist does hold that there are plenty of signs in the natural world that it was created. Remember that deism was formulated in the days of the French Encyclopedia, long before contemporary evolutionar biology or cosmology.

Quote:
Just curious. I've met only two people who called themselves a Deist, one is on this board (Joshua) and the other was in RL. I've not asked Josh, but the guy I met in school certainly didn't think he 'knew' Deism was true, he was in philosophy also.
Then why is he a Deist?

Kind regards,

Titus
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