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 February 2019, 10:33 PM   #121
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,907
I'm saying that the two are actually fully equivalent. If you're not saying that God is impossible, then God IS possible. It IS a dichotomy.

Essentially what you're saying there is that you're not saying "not X", you're saying "X is false". Well, that's nonsense right there. The two are saying the same thing.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann 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 February 2019, 11:22 PM   #122
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'm saying that the two are actually fully equivalent. If you're not saying that God is impossible, then God IS possible. It IS a dichotomy.
If by "the two" you mean the options that God is either possible or impossible then that's also exactly what I'm saying. Not saying "God is impossible" does not mean "God is possible" is true however, it merely leaves both possible/impossible options fully equivalent and open.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Essentially what you're saying there is that you're not saying "not X", you're saying "X is false". Well, that's nonsense right there. The two are saying the same thing.
The only thing I'm saying is false/invalid is the conclusive proposition that asserts "God is possible". It's false/invalid because it hasn't been established that God is actually possible, and it negates the alternative and fully equivalent "God is impossible" option.

Once again I'm not sure what you mean by "the two". If you mean the God is either possible or impossible options then they are definitely not the same thing. If you mean something else please explain.

I also have no idea what you mean by "not X" and "X is false".
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 16th February 2019 at 12:18 AM.
ynot 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 February 2019, 12:05 AM   #123
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,834
Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I think discussions like this always come down to the distinction between belief and faith.

Belief can be based on evidence or experience. But faith is belief in the absence of evidence or proof. Faith is believing even though you have no good reason to believe. If there is evidence or reasoning to support the belief it is no longer faith. That is what separates religion from other beliefs in my mind. Religion requires faith, most other beliefs are based on some evidence.
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Your distinction is flawed because it's not between belief and faith, it's between two distinct types of belief (as you correctly say "faith is belief"). Those distinct belief types are normal/natural beliefs (those that we know could be true) and paranormal/supernatural beliefs (those that we don't know could be true).

Faith (as in trust) can apply to either belief type. Tell me you have a (normal/natural) dog and I may trust that you're telling the truth and believe you (have faith in you). Tell me you have a (paranormal/supernatural) dragon and I won't trust or believe you. It's not rocket science.
I'm not a fan of the "faith is belief in the absence of evidence/proof" club, either, though it is a common, though half-assed, defense among those who just want to excuse believing whatever they feel like believing. While that is faith, that more specifically would seem to qualify as "blind faith." To take a step back, there's generally a good case to be made for rational examples of faith. Well in the past, for example, holding the position that the sun will come up again tomorrow, in a quite predictable manner, even if one doesn't really understand the hows or whys at all, would count just fine as an example of rational faith. Blind faith, on the other hand, when actually referred to as such, is frequently condemned even among the faithful, especially when they are trying to make the argument that their faith is actually rational faith, not blind faith.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas 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 February 2019, 12:21 AM   #124
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,907
No. First of all, "Belief that is not based on proof" is literally the definition of "faith" in the dictionary. So not being a fan of what the word means, well, doesn't change its meaning anyway. I mean, I'm not a fan of the definition of cat as a mammal, but that doesn't change anything.

Second, it's still not an equivalent situation at all. "Belief that is not based on proof", doesn't mention the proof being a full physical theory of the phenomenon. It doesn't even mention it being deductive proof. Induction is also a proof. So is the specific case of incomplete induction, i.e., where it can't be made equivalent to deductive reasoning. Not the best, but it is proof. So if for the last 5000 years of recorded history, the sun came up every 24 hours, it's fairly good inductive proof that you can expect it to come up tomorrow too.

Or if you want to go one peg smarter, you can go probabilistic on its ass. If a million and a half tries produced a positive result, and no negative ones, you can assume that the probability of a positive result is pretty high. At that kind of a sample size, even if you technically can't prove the margin of error to be zero, it is very very small. So even allowing for that margin of error, the probability of the sun coming up tomorrow too is in fact very very close to 1.

So, no, that's not believing without proof. It's in fact, believing for a pretty solid reason to believe.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 16th February 2019 at 12:29 AM.
HansMustermann 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 February 2019, 12:32 AM   #125
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,834
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
If by "the two" you mean the options that God is either possible or impossible then that's also exactly what I'm saying. Not saying "God is impossible" does not mean "God is possible" is true however, it merely leaves both possible/impossible options fully equivalent and open.
I'm still getting the impression that the standard that you initially applied is simply inappropriate for debunking that premise, itself. Instead, your standard looks like it's at the level of "What reason would I have to actually accept this?" rather than "This premise is false/unworkable." The latter is what's necessary to actually debunk the premise and thus the argument there, however important the former is when determining what to actually accept as true in practice. With that said, when it comes to negating that premise, either way, I see far more value in disputing the validity of "maximally great being" necessarily equating to a god, even if we're being excessively generous about how vague and subjective "maximally great" is. That alone is enough to invalidate that premise, before even getting to the implication that "god" is <insert arbitrary version of some god(s)>.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 16th February 2019 at 01:05 AM. Reason: implied to implication
Aridas 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 February 2019, 12:37 AM   #126
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,834
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
No. First of all, "Belief that is not based on proof" is literally the definition of "faith" in the dictionary.
"A" definition. Not "the" definition. Snipped because the rest of your disagreement rests on the premise that that is the only one, which it's pointedly not.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas 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 February 2019, 12:45 AM   #127
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,907
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
"A" definition. Not "the" definition. Snipped because the rest of your disagreement rests on the premise that that is the only one, which it's pointedly not.
It's the definition that is relevant here. Pretending you can't talk because it didn't include all the irrelevant definitions like marital fidelity, yeah, it don't impress me much. It's like if I were to take my toys and stomp out of a talk about cats, because they don't include the definitions like the unix command, the logo of the Caterpillar corporation, and cat-5 a type of network cable.

Edit: more to the point, if you feel like another (existing) definition is more relevant, please do feel free how is it more relevant, and how does it apply to your example of expecting the sun to rise tomorrow too.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 16th February 2019 at 12:52 AM.
HansMustermann 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 February 2019, 12:55 AM   #128
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,834
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It's the definition that is relevant here. Pretending you can't talk because it didn't include irrelevant definitions like marital fidelity, yeah, it don't impress me much.
Except... nope, of course I wasn't citing irrelevant definitions like marital fidelity. It is "a" relevant definition. Not the only one. That is, of course, at the crux of the disagreement that both ynot and I expressed. "Complete trust," for example, without any distinction as to the reason for having such trust, seems to nigh inevitably accompany the definition that you cite.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 16th February 2019 at 01:06 AM. Reason: clarified the nope
Aridas 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 February 2019, 02:54 AM   #129
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,907
Complete trust, ok, let's go with that one. What evidence would such complete trust be based on? It seems to me like it only took one step to be back at the fact that in such cases there is ample reason for such complete trust, and the others just became even dumber. Because they still have no reason for that trust at all, and now it just moved it from trusting without reason or evidence, to COMPLETE trust without reason or evidence.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann 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 February 2019, 05:16 AM   #130
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,834
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Complete trust, ok, let's go with that one. What evidence would such complete trust be based on?
Depends on the case in question.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It seems to me like it only took one step to be back at the fact that in such cases there is ample reason for such complete trust, and the others just became even dumber. Because they still have no reason for that trust at all, and now it just moved it from trusting without reason or evidence, to COMPLETE trust without reason or evidence.
As I noted before, "blind faith" is generally not looked upon kindly. Generally speaking, of course, because there will always be exceptions in the mess. The caveat there, of course, is that religions like Christianity generally try to represent their faith as rational, not blind, and generally succeed among the people who just want something to grasp onto. I could likely go into more depth there, but... I don't think it would be much more than tangential and I would, of course, continue to be rather critical of the warping and/or rejection of critical thinking.

Taking a step back, though, shall we consider an agreement to have been reached?
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 16th February 2019 at 05:19 AM.
Aridas 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 February 2019, 08:01 AM   #131
8enotto
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 371
The people with beliefs I know just believe. It is like an age of innocence...

Santa brings gifts if the child is good. He will have brought them in the morning when you wake up .

Because mommy and daddy Claus prepared to do exactly this unseen for years.
The child defending the belief knows it works flawlessly and never questioned why.

If another child traps daddy Claus assembling a bike then if he has other ideas the belief is false.....
Now he questions because he has learned his 3 year old brother believes anything he is told.

That child is now beginning to be a thinking being. Possibly a skeptic despite enjoying his new bike.

People go to war over points of faith that neither can prove or disprove. It just is because each believes. People will abandon friends and family because they insulted a dearly held belief. God is bigger and offered more in the mind.

Except any outside of the belief see no god offering anything. They see a friend going somewhere to do a ritual with others and returning later strangely satisfied.
It might be pure hogwash whatever he did but the changes in his mind make him happy and functional in society.
Isn't that enough?
8enotto 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 16th February 2019, 08:37 AM   #132
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,907
8enotto, as it happens, I can tell you exactly what happens when you catch Santa in the act at that age. When I was about two and a half years old, Xmas comes around, and it was grandma pretending to be Santa Claus. (Beats me why her.) So dad brings me to "Santa", and bear in mind that it was the first time I was seeing "Santa", and was freshly woken up in the middle of the night, and still not exactly in the clear as to what is happening and all, so I just reach over from dad's arms and yank the beard off grandma.

You might think, "oh, skeptic reflexes already", except... yeah, right.

So she scrambles to put it back on, and I'm like "hey, it's Santa again."

That was literally all that happened.

I couldn't tell you whether it was just because I was at an age where peek-a-boo still works -- as in, mom literally disappeared if she put her hands in front of her face -- or I was already the kind of little barstard who isn't gonna question someone about to give me a bribe... err... I mean, gift. My memory from that age is a bit fuzzy.

But yeah, all that happened was "oh, it's grandma... no, it's Santa again" without the slightest mental hickup.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 16th February 2019 at 08:41 AM.
HansMustermann 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 February 2019, 08:45 AM   #133
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 3,821
I don't believe in the supernatural. However, I can assume the role of devil's advocate and give a reason to believe:

If God doesn't exist, everything is permitted and the world is meaningless.
I need to believe to give meaning to my life. If I don't believe, the only rational act is suicide.

NOTE: I think it's silly to ask the question in a skeptical forum, but anyway....
David Mo 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 February 2019, 09:32 AM   #134
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 925
I suppose that if one felt that there is a reality, that is, something(s) real, and, if one felt that the idea of this reality having a source and or sustainer makes sense and has utility - and, if one wanted a point of focus for the display of authentic gratitude and appreciation towards that source, then one could call that God, and believe in that God.
LarryS 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 February 2019, 10:13 AM   #135
8enotto
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 371
My son just turned nine. We still have him professing that Santa is real and serious.

It is still harmless at this stage. It won't be when he is 25. I am assured his friends will dispel the fantasy long before that. I count on it.

Then he will ask and I will admit the truth. And explain why it was fun for parents and child. And we will still give gifts anyway.


It's a bit more difficult with Grandma and her ideas. She has 68 years of unwavering "knowledge" that the church is good and holy. The Pope is an honest and unselfish representative of god and every one before him the same.

She will silently hate her fantasies dispelled and distrust those who would destroy the sacred faith of her fathers.
Is it worth it if you really love grandma?

But if anyone doubts on their own and seeks guidance another direction then they may appreciate your new ideas.

It's all about understanding the situation and acting carefully.

Last edited by 8enotto; 16th February 2019 at 10:25 AM.
8enotto 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 16th February 2019, 11:13 AM   #136
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,800
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
8enotto, as it happens, I can tell you exactly what happens when you catch Santa in the act at that age. When I was about two and a half years old, Xmas comes around, and it was grandma pretending to be Santa Claus. (Beats me why her.) So dad brings me to "Santa", and bear in mind that it was the first time I was seeing "Santa", and was freshly woken up in the middle of the night, and still not exactly in the clear as to what is happening and all, so I just reach over from dad's arms and yank the beard off grandma.

You might think, "oh, skeptic reflexes already", except... yeah, right.

So she scrambles to put it back on, and I'm like "hey, it's Santa again."

That was literally all that happened.

I couldn't tell you whether it was just because I was at an age where peek-a-boo still works -- as in, mom literally disappeared if she put her hands in front of her face -- or I was already the kind of little barstard who isn't gonna question someone about to give me a bribe... err... I mean, gift. My memory from that age is a bit fuzzy.

But yeah, all that happened was "oh, it's grandma... no, it's Santa again" without the slightest mental hickup.
I think that is how it mostly works for children: Most things are games, and ... well we can temporarily drop out of the game, and take it up again. Many children, when getting a little older and being told that Santa was really daddy (or whomever), will simply shrug and say ... "I knew that". It was a nice game.

However, grown-up believers are not children ... I assume? Once you start going to church or something, it ain't no game anymore.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans 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 February 2019, 11:28 AM   #137
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,907
Yeah, I was about to say I'm pretty sure I knew it's grandma before the age of nine. Still wasn't going to question anyone who's about to give me a bribe... err... gift
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 16th February 2019 at 11:29 AM.
HansMustermann 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 February 2019, 12:08 PM   #138
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't believe in the supernatural. However, I can assume the role of devil's advocate and give a reason to believe:

If God doesn't exist, everything is permitted and the world is meaningless.
I need to believe to give meaning to my life. If I don't believe, the only rational act is suicide.

NOTE: I think it's silly to ask the question in a skeptical forum, but anyway....
God doesnít exist for me and other atheists, everything isnít permitted for us, the world isnít meaningless for us, we give our own meanings to our lives, we donít commit suicide any more than theists.

Skeptical doesnít mean atheist, there are many theists on this forum.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.
ynot 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 February 2019, 12:31 PM   #139
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
I suppose that if one felt that there is a reality, that is, something(s) real, and, if one felt that the idea of this reality having a source and or sustainer makes sense and has utility - and, if one wanted a point of focus for the display of authentic gratitude and appreciation towards that source, then one could call that God, and believe in that God.
Far too iffy for me to take seriously.

If I believe the universe is a simulation, and if I believe an alien geek called Bob designed, created and runs the simulation, and if I believe the purpose of the simulation is to worship Bob The Creator, and if I believe worshiping Bob The Creator gives me some advantages in the simulation, and if I believe not worshiping Bob The Creator gives me some disadvantages in the simulation, then I might waste my entire life believing in and worshiping Bob The Creator.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 16th February 2019 at 02:26 PM.
ynot 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 February 2019, 12:51 PM   #140
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18,370
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
That's actually one of the most insightful posts I've ever seen from you.
Sure but it is not applecorped's original thought, and he doesn't apply it to him/herself. Applecorped thinks Trump can do no wrong and therefore is some kind of messiah.
__________________
Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?


...love and buttercakes...
abaddon 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 February 2019, 12:53 PM   #141
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18,370
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Far too iffy for me to take seriously.

If I believe the universe is a simulation, and if I believe an alien geek called Bob designed, created and runs the simulation, and if I appreciate Bob doing that and want to show Bob some gratitude, and if I believe worshiping Bob might give me some advantages in the simulation, then I might spend my entire life worshiping Bob.
Few here will understand the implications of that. But good of you to post it nonetheless.
__________________
Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?


...love and buttercakes...
abaddon 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 February 2019, 12:57 PM   #142
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Few here will understand the implications of that. But good of you to post it nonetheless.
Thanks. I just added the important "punishment" bit

ETA - And the "purpose" bit.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 16th February 2019 at 01:36 PM.
ynot 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 February 2019, 01:05 PM   #143
kayle
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 282
they can't. what they can -- you won't take it.
kayle 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 February 2019, 01:08 PM   #144
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by kayle View Post
they can't. what they can -- you won't take it.
If they could -- I would take it.

How come they can for themselves, but they can't for me and other atheists?
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 16th February 2019 at 01:11 PM.
ynot 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 February 2019, 02:39 PM   #145
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,800
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
If they could -- I would take it.

How come they can for themselves, but they can't for me and other atheists?

Well, I think theprestige answered that. It is a question of personal conviction.

That is the difference between belief systems and science: Science works with evidence that has universal value. Belief is personal.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans 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 February 2019, 02:43 PM   #146
Thor 2
Illuminator
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 4,648
"Theists Ė Give me a reason to believe."

Sorry ynot but you've got it all wrong. Believing has nothing to do with reason it has to do with choosing.

Theists are very big on the choosing theme. You choose to believe in God, you choose to love God, you choose to fear God and so on. These are all on the positive side and gets you lots of merit. However if you choose to hate God and even worse, choose to not believe in the god you hate, you are in deep ****. If you add choosing to be homosexual to this you are beyond hope.

Theism needs the choosing theme. If something other than your choice comes into play, how can you be punished for being or believing what you are or do?

Without choosing the religious position collapses like a house of cards.
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 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 February 2019, 02:44 PM   #147
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Well, I think theprestige answered that. It is a question of personal conviction.

That is the difference between belief systems and science: Science works with evidence that has universal value. Belief is personal.

Hans
So it's merely a question of personal conviction belief then.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.
ynot 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 February 2019, 02:49 PM   #148
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
"Theists Ė Give me a reason to believe."

Sorry ynot but you've got it all wrong. Believing has nothing to do with reason it has to do with choosing.

Theists are very big on the choosing theme. You choose to believe in God, you choose to love God, you choose to fear God and so on. These are all on the positive side and gets you lots of merit. However if you choose to hate God and even worse, choose to not believe in the god you hate, you are in deep ****. If you add choosing to be homosexual to this you are beyond hope.

Theism needs the choosing theme. If something other than your choice comes into play, how can you be punished for being or believing what you are or do?

Without choosing the religious position collapses like a house of cards.
Okay, give me a reason to choose to believe in a god
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.
ynot 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 February 2019, 03:08 PM   #149
Thor 2
Illuminator
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 4,648
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Okay, give me a reason to choose to believe in a god

You get lots of goodies when you die.

Choose carefully however because the odds are not good, given the number of religions, and variations within the main categories, you have to choose between.

Hard to get a real handle on this, but I get the feeling that even if you decide on different versions of say Baptist, you may be choosing slightly different gods. The different ones being defined by the slightly different hang ups they have.

Best of luck all the same.
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 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 February 2019, 03:15 PM   #150
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You get lots of goodies when you die.

Choose carefully however because the odds are not good, given the number of religions, and variations within the main categories, you have to choose between.

Hard to get a real handle on this, but I get the feeling that even if you decide on different versions of say Baptist, you may be choosing slightly different gods. The different ones being defined by the slightly different hang ups they have.

Best of luck all the same.
If the reason to choose to believe in and worship God is that doing so is advantageous, and not doing so is disadvantageous, then that also applies to Bob The Creator. Why God and not Bob?
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 16th February 2019 at 03:26 PM.
ynot 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 February 2019, 03:25 PM   #151
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Matt Dillahunty on Ontological Arguments . . . Pretty much what I said
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.
ynot 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 February 2019, 03:29 PM   #152
Thor 2
Illuminator
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 4,648
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
If the reason to choose to believe in and worship God is that doing so is advantageous, and not doing so is disadvantageous, then that also applies to Bob The Creator. Why God and not Bob?

You've won me but that's a small victory given where I come from. See how far you get with theprestige on this one.
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 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 February 2019, 03:38 PM   #153
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You've won me but that's a small victory given where I come from. See how far you get with theprestige on this one.
theprestige may have run away waving the white flag of victory
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 16th February 2019 at 04:11 PM.
ynot 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 February 2019, 05:16 PM   #154
Roger Ramjets
Illuminator
 
Roger Ramjets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,884
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Would you be happier if I said "God is possible" is a definitive, conclusive proposition that requires the support of evidence"?
Not if you want to stick to the accepted definition. If a thing can be conceived of (ie. it's existence can imagined without violating any physical or logical laws) then by definition it is possible. So while supporting evidence may help to make something possible, it's not required.

Quote:
The ontological argument I'm quoting is specifically claiming "God is possible" (not "possibly is possible"). It makes no claims about alien geeks possibly creating simulations. "Maximally great being" clearly refers specifically to a creator god. Your simulation scenario is a red-herring.
It's not my red herring, but anyway...

God has one essential attribute which separates Him from alien geeks creating simulations, He is supernatural. Which is bad news for God, because the Supernatural, by definition, does not exist. For ordinary things that wouldn't be a problem, since something that doesn't exist now could still possibly exist in the future or have existed in the past. But if God exists then He is not supernatural - and therefore not God - whereas if He is supernatural then He does not exist. Therefore God cannot exist. If a thing cannot exist then it is not possible.

Note that this proof of God's impossibility does not require any evidence.

Quote:
And if being in a simulation is impossible, then it's not possible - no matter how low the probability.
Agreed. However that presupposes that being in a simulation is impossible, which is neither logically nor factually correct. I know this because I have been 'in' many simulations myself - very crude simulations that were obviously not real for sure - but still real enough to forget for a moment that I was in them. Considering the enormous increases in computing power that we have already made in only a few decades, it's not only conceivable that simulations will become so sophisticated that players will not be to tell that they are in them, it's virtually inevitable.

So being in a Matrix-style simulation is definitely possible. And considering the age and size of the Universe I think we can all agree that an alien species could possibly have developed such simulations, and possibly could have put us in it. In that scenario they could manipulate the simulation to make us think that God exists. Nevertheless it would not be God, because God cannot exist by definition.

Quote:
If we have no evidence whether a thing is possible or not all we can say is "That thing is either possible or impossible".
That's silly. If a thing is either impossible or possible then it's still possible. It doesn't become impossible until proven to be.
__________________
We don't want good, sound arguments. We want arguments that sound good.
Roger Ramjets 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 February 2019, 05:54 PM   #155
Roger Ramjets
Illuminator
 
Roger Ramjets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,884
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
If the reason to choose to believe in and worship God is that doing so is advantageous, and not doing so is disadvantageous, then that also applies to Bob The Creator. Why God and not Bob?
Why indeed. The difference is that in this scenario Bob does exist (in the simulation), whereas a physical God cannot. I would be far more inclined to 'believe' in an entity which has powers (in the simulation) vs one which doesn't. Even if I know I am in the Matrix and so nothing is 'real', worshipping 'Bob' is still advantageous.

However in the real World things are a bit different. Without a simulation which can be manipulated to produce God-like powers, we are stuck with a physical reality that cannot provide any of the benefits of a 'real' god. So what use is belief in God? One big reason is that it provides an escape from reality, an opportunity to believe in things that don't exist without having to be put in a simulation. This has numerous advantages over being in a simulation, not least being that you can make it whatever you want. IOW, religion is a simulation created in the believer's mind - a simulation that they can control rather than being subject to the whims of an alien megalomaniac.

In the Matrix you have to 'believe' in Bob to get anything from Him, even if you don't believe he exists. In the real World no God can give you anything except escapism, but you can get plenty out of other people if they think you're a believer. This is another big advantage of 'God' over 'Bob'. Bob can only give you simulated benefits, whereas people can give you physical goods and services - and you don't even have to actually believe!
__________________
We don't want good, sound arguments. We want arguments that sound good.

Last edited by Roger Ramjets; 16th February 2019 at 06:01 PM.
Roger Ramjets 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 February 2019, 05:59 PM   #156
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Not if you want to stick to the accepted definition. If a thing can be conceived of (ie. it's existence can imagined without violating any physical or logical laws) then by definition it is possible. So while supporting evidence may help to make something possible, it's not required.
Are you claiming that the imagined God of the Bible doesn’t violating any physical or logical laws?

The reason I say comparing gods with simulations is a red-herring analogy is because we know simulations are possible (thought a particular imagined simulation may not be), but we don’t know gods are possible. I'm not prepared to use such a flawed analogy in a debate.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
That's silly. If a thing is either impossible or possible then it's still possible.
That's sillier. If a thing is either impossible or possible then it merely might be possible, and equally it might be impossible. That a thing "might be possible" doesn't mean it "is possible". The odds of a god being either possible or impossible are nowhere near being 50/50.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
It doesn't become impossible until proven to be.
It doesn't become (known) possible until we prove it to be either.

Things are either possible or impossible in reality regardless of whether we prove and know they are.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 16th February 2019 at 07:05 PM.
ynot 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 February 2019, 06:11 PM   #157
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Why indeed. The difference is that in this scenario Bob does exist (in the simulation)
Rubbish! This is a misuse of language. Bob only exists as an imaginary character in an imaginary simulation. I should know, I imagined it up .

Bob doesn't "does exist" any more than a god "does exist".
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 16th February 2019 at 06:21 PM.
ynot 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 February 2019, 07:07 PM   #158
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,834
Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
God has one essential attribute which separates Him from alien geeks creating simulations, He is supernatural. Which is bad news for God, because the Supernatural, by definition, does not exist. For ordinary things that wouldn't be a problem, since something that doesn't exist now could still possibly exist in the future or have existed in the past. But if God exists then He is not supernatural - and therefore not God - whereas if He is supernatural then He does not exist. Therefore God cannot exist. If a thing cannot exist then it is not possible.

Note that this proof of God's impossibility does not require any evidence.
Defining things either into or out of existence is remarkably unconvincing. "Supernatural" only automatically equates to impossible if you engage in fallacious logic. Generally the fallacy for such lies in the conflation of different uses of "natural" and a nonsensical redefinition of supernatural. Your logic here seems to fit that pattern. I'm going to be lazy, either way, and not address the rest of the post.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas 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 February 2019, 07:11 PM   #159
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 8,673
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I clicked on the link and realized the ontological "argument" strikes me as exactly backwards. IMO, any God worth believing in would be greater than the greatest being I could imagine. If I could imagine it, it wouldn't be God.

Not sure I am really grasping this argument at all. I did look it up, so I'm better informed than I was 10 minutes ago.
Minoosh 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 February 2019, 10:28 PM   #160
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 8,673
So I watched a couple of videos, of Matt Dillahunty and Seth Andrews. I wasn't familiar with them. I notice both say they used to be fundamentalist Christians. They have reasons not to believe, but I didn't really hear them giving reasons for why they did believe. Andrews said something like, he wasn't given a choice - he was just raised that way. I escaped all that. I never had the disillusionment of realizing that I had been lied to all my life.

My mother didn't believe in cramming religion down our throats (like it had been crammed down hers) and her church did not practice infant baptism. By the time I was old enough to be baptized, I wasn't interested. So I got the courtesy of "choosing" for myself, even though I'm not sure we actually choose. ynot, I think there are reasons to believe, but you might not think they're good reasons. Did you really feel when you started the thread that someone might come up with something you haven't thought of?
Minoosh 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 08:35 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, 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.