Proof, or faith?

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  • #26
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Originally posted by Zantra
Occam's Razor
Okay, so I'm not familiar with Occam's Razor. Can you explain it to me?


Not quite sure I follow you. What does relevancy have to do with the truth? I think you're referring to what Mentat suggested earlier, as far as reality unbeheld? As far as what to believe, I believe truth and facts.
And yet the only truth we can really believe is the truth of our own circumstances. And yes to some people that includes a God, real, imagined or otherwise.


My point exactly. And if the truth eventually holds that God doesn't exist, will religion be able to adapt?
I believe that the sun in our solar system may eventually "wink out." So? ...


First, "better" is a matter of opinion. Weather it's better or not, the truth still holds. Then given an option, would you choose the acceptance of a "better" philosophy over a truthful one? As to length of time.
Well science obviously thinks it has a better approach.


Then why would we choose to believe that there is life on other planets as opposed to believing that we are the center of the universe, and the only life within it? Why do we believe that the sun doesn't revolve around the earth? Just because it's an older belief, does not make it a wiser one.
Would you deny that your great great grandparents ever existed? They may be dead now, and have no relevence to your own "personal situation" now, but that doesn't mean they didn't exist or, had relevancy back then. Besides you are speaking of the difference between what has been proven and what has not (scientifically). In which case you cannot say just because an idea no longer "appears useful," that it never held any relevancy or, held any truth.
 
  • #27
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
Okay, so I'm not familiar with Occam's Razor. Can you explain it to me?

basically: one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.

or:

the simplies answer is often the best one.
 
  • #28
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Originally posted by megashawn
Hmm. Lets see. Maybe because in the short time that "formal discipline" has been around, we've advanced quite a substatianal amount. Alot of us live longer, healthier and happier lives due to science. Most places that are called "3rd World" lack science, and still wait on some superstition to delever them to salvation. In fact, your able to ask us questions like "Why should we believe in science since its only been around a few hundred or so years?" due to science.

And as far as to that which has been around eons? I think most estimates of a christian timeframe say god created the universe like 15-20,000 years ago. Science predicts a much, much older time frame. It can tell us about things millions of years ago, like dinosaurs, something every religion seems to lack.

Like I tried to say earlier, my quote pretty much says it all.
Times change. People change. And God should change too but, "not in essence."
 
  • #29
megashawn
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dont you hate it when you run out of good confusing stuff to say?

In other words, Huh?

edit:

Occamms Razor is "Of two competing theories or explanations, all other things being equal, the simpler one is to be preferred." There are also some other pretty smart things he said.

Check out your favorite search engine for more info.
 
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  • #30
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Originally posted by Mentat
People, this is getting to be a religious thread. I know that it doesn't address any specific religion, and it did start as purely Philosophical inquiry, but it's become a discussion of certain religious issues (such as the supposed (though truthfully non-existant) conflict between the Genesis account and Evolution), and that should be handled in the Religion section.

I know people are probably getting sick of me pestering about where a thread belongs, but I cannot (because of a personal agreement with someone) post on religious threads, and it is so much easier for me to avoid them, if they are always posted in the Religion Forum.
perhaps it should be moved then. sorry if i posted in the wrong place.
 
  • #31
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Originally posted by megashawn
dont you hate it when you run out of good confusing stuff to say?

In other words, Huh?
I don't know, maybe it isn't neccessary to rely on God the way we used to, but it still doesn't change the fact that He exists or not. And on another note, how do we know that God isn't speaking to us through Science? And, that maybe the next big scientific discovery will be to discover that He does? :wink:
 
  • #32
megashawn
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Maybe so. But what if he is saying things the church don't wanna hear.

I mean, lets think about this. What if god is speaking to us through science. God has told us how to recreate ourselves, and modify ourselves. He's also let us in on computing, and seems to be telling us better, faster ways to do this. Infact, god seems to be using science to motivate us to a society independant on supernatural things.

Hey, I'll accept that maybe behind the quantum randmoness is a god of some sort. Maybe I'll like what he has to say, maybe not. How about you?

Btw, I edited the post you responded to adding what occams razor was, sorry, was hoping to beat you to it.
 
  • #33
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
Times change. People change. And God should change too but, "not in essence."
And I think that is exactly what is happening. People eventually stop believing in Santa Clause, but he still exists in our minds to serve a purpose. Granted the subject of God is much more complexed than Santa Clause, but the concept of GOD as an entity that will never fade from our society is germane. I believe that even if society were to wholly accept that God did not exist in the face of irrefutable evidence, that people would still pray to him. In a sense, the "name" of God, allah, or a higher being carries more meaning than the actually figure. It's like Elvis making more money dead than when he was a alive. The legend eventually exceeded the person himself.

Weather he exists or not, it's so socially ingrained in us to believe in him, that the "essence" of God will probably never cease.
 
  • #34
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Originally posted by maximus
perhaps it should be moved then. sorry if i posted in the wrong place.
Actually it's my fault for going off on this religious tangent..

Muh bad:wink:
 
  • #35
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Originally posted by megashawn
dont you hate it when you run out of good confusing stuff to say?

In other words, Huh?
What are you trying to confuse me? :wink:


edit:

Occamms Razor is "Of two competing theories or explanations, all other things being equal, the simpler one is to be preferred." There are also some other pretty smart things he said.

Check out your favorite search engine for more info.
In other words it was perfectly acceptable to believe the earth was flat "in its time," as opposed to speculation by others who believed it was round?
 
  • #36
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
In other words it was perfectly acceptable to believe the earth was flat "in its time," as opposed to speculation by others who believed it was round?

i see your logic here, but you are missing the point. they (those who believe the earth was flat) failed to take in all the evidence. evidence such as a ship's sail being the last thing to disappear over the horizon.

read the previous definition again and you'll see he said: "Of two competing theories or explanations, all other things being equal , the simpler one is to be preferred"
 
  • #37
megashawn
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No, that comment was made due to the way you sidestepped my entire arguement and said

"Times change. People change. And God should change too but, "not in essence."
And this is your response to my saying the scientific ways have increased life beyond that which the bible ever predicted. Sure we still have problems, but atleast now, at this point in time there is actually someone (a whole lot of someones actually) who are trying to do something about it.

Lets try this again, shall we?

And yet how long has the "formal discipline" of science been around?
Not very long at all, in comparison to how long humans have been around.

Meaning, why should we base everything upon that which has been around for a short while, as opposed to that which has been around for eons?
Because that which has been around for a short while has done more for humanity in that "short while" then any mythological belief that has been around for eons. (how long is an eon anyhow?)

While I think it's entirely unreasonable to cast aside the whole account of existence, just because we may have discovered a "better approach."
Well, if this "better approach" has improved so much in general life, refridgerators, air conditioners, heat, tv, computer, car, train, plain, jets, rockets, etc, What makes you think it doesn't have any improvement to do on the theorys of existance?
 
  • #38
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Originally posted by maximus
i see your logic here, but you are missing the point. they (those who believe the earth was flat) failed to take in all the evidence. evidence such as a ship's sail being the last thing to disappear over the horizon.

read the previous definition again and you'll see he said: "Of two competing theories or explanations, all other things being equal , the simpler one is to be preferred"
Of course the idea that the earth was round had yet to be fully developed, in which case it could not have been considered the simpler of the two ideas. Meaning the old idea had to be challenged first and ultimately proven wrong.

Now who's to say science isn't in a similar predicament with God? There may indeed be a very simple way of proving this (outside of one's own personal experience that is) but, until that time comes, does that mean it's wrong to believe as such? Or, even speculate on the matter?
 
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  • #39
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
In other words it was perfectly acceptable to believe the earth was flat "in its time," as opposed to speculation by others who believed it was round?

No that wasn't the reason I mentioned Occamm's Razor. Point being, all things being equal, what seems to be the more plausible explanation, theology or evolution?

And the "flat earth" comparison was to illustrate the point that the oldest beliefs aren't necessarily the correct ones. Much like a child grows into an adult and gains experience, knowledge and understanding, so does humanity evolve on a much grander scale. So you're saying just because it's newer, it can't be useful? Well then then by all means toss out that microwave, 50 inch TV, radio, computer, and all other signs of modernism, because they definitely can't be as useful as a ball of yarn and some sheep.

People are always resistance to change. They fear the unknown.
 
  • #40
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Originally posted by Zantra
And I think that is exactly what is happening. People eventually stop believing in Santa Clause, but he still exists in our minds to serve a purpose. Granted the subject of God is much more complexed than Santa Clause, but the concept of GOD as an entity that will never fade from our society is germane. I believe that even if society were to wholly accept that God did not exist in the face of irrefutable evidence, that people would still pray to him. In a sense, the "name" of God, allah, or a higher being carries more meaning than the actually figure. It's like Elvis making more money dead than when he was a alive. The legend eventually exceeded the person himself.

Weather he exists or not, it's so socially ingrained in us to believe in him, that the "essence" of God will probably never cease.
If there is the reality called God, then it must be contingent upon the fact that there is an afterlife. This is the part which isn't going to change, and it's the part which I mean by the "essence of God."
 
  • #41
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
If there is the reality called God, then it must be contingent upon the fact that there is an afterlife. This is the part which isn't going to change, and it's the part which I mean by the "essence of God."
Though I do not personally believe in God, I believe in the institution of religion and the moral values that it upholds. I see religion as a base guideline for society to treat each other and how to act. Without it we might very well have descended into anarchy.

Proving the afterlife and God almost becomes paradoxical in nature. If there is a God, eventually we'll be able to look beyond death and see that. But if there is no afterlife, we may never be able to prove that, because if you cease to exist, then you can't prove that, because it would basically just be nothingess. And to religion, the simple lack of seeing an afterlife is not proof it doesn't exist. It's all self-reinforcing.
 
  • #42
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Originally posted by megashawn
Because that which has been around for a short while has done more for humanity in that "short while" then any mythological belief that has been around for eons. (how long is an eon anyhow?)
And yet it's possible to get "too comfortable" in our complacency don't you think? An eon is anywhere from an immeasurably long period of time, to a period of one billion years (used in geology).


Well, if this "better approach" has improved so much in general life, refridgerators, air conditioners, heat, tv, computer, car, train, plain, jets, rockets, etc, What makes you think it doesn't have any improvement to do on the theorys of existance? [/B]
How much of an improvement is it though? And how long will it last? before we find the need to get back to "the essence" of who we are? ... i.e., what some people term as "getting back to the basics."
 
  • #43
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Originally posted by Zantra
No that wasn't the reason I mentioned Occamm's Razor. Point being, all things being equal, what seems to be the more plausible explanation, theology or evolution?

And the "flat earth" comparison was to illustrate the point that the oldest beliefs aren't necessarily the correct ones.
Oh, did you bring this one up (about the earth being flat), I didn't catch that I don't think?


Much like a child grows into an adult and gains experience, knowledge and understanding, so does humanity evolve on a much grander scale. So you're saying just because it's newer, it can't be useful? Well then then by all means toss out that microwave, 50 inch TV, radio, computer, and all other signs of modernism, because they definitely can't be as useful as a ball of yarn and some sheep.
And yet how many times in one's lifetime does one really need to buy a new TV set? Indeed, there may come a time when all of this junk gets tossed! :wink:


People are always resistance to change. They fear the unknown.
And yet quite often the "old ways" are merely shrugged off due to the impetuousness of youth. Which can be unfortunate, once you have grown up and are able to look back.
 
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  • #44
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Originally posted by Zantra
Proving the afterlife and God almost becomes paradoxical in nature. If there is a God, eventually we'll be able to look beyond death and see that. But if there is no afterlife, we may never be able to prove that, because if you cease to exist, then you can't prove that, because it would basically just be nothingess. And to religion, the simple lack of seeing an afterlife is not proof it doesn't exist. It's all self-reinforcing.
And yet the idea of it has been ascertained, suggesting that we have the means by which to discuss its plausibility anyway, otherwise we wouldn't be here talking about it.
 
  • #45
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
Oh, did you bring this one up, I didn't catch that I don't think?


And yet how many times in one's lifetime does one really need to buy a new TV set? Indeed, there may come a time when all of this junk gets tossed! :wink:


Touche!

And yet quite often the "old ways" are merely shrugged off due to the impetuousness of youth. Which can be unfortunate, once you have grown up and are able to look back.
Personally I'm aiming for an impetuous retirement as well as youth:wink:

I don't see my views changing that much as time goes on, but then I can't predict the future either (unless determinsm holds true). However, athieism does have it's advantages. A lot of religious people will make all these mistakes and then not worry about them, because they will be forgiven in the afterlife. Especially Catholics. They seem to think they can rape, pillage, and plunder and just say "oops" on thier deathbed and be forgiven. (Yes I'm overstating that, but still..). Anyhow, not believing in the afterlife definitely makes one more appreciate the current phase of life, and realize that you only get one chance to get it right:wink:
 
  • #46
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Originally posted by Zantra
Anyhow, not believing in the afterlife definitely makes one more appreciate the current phase of life, and realize that you only get one chance to get it right:wink:
But why even bother to worry about it if there were no repercussions, good or bad? Which to me is another way of saying we have no need for morals. In fact I see a lot of people -- including many impetuous young people -- who behave this way.
 
  • #47
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
But why even bother to worry about it if there were no repercussions, good or bad? Which to me is another way of saying we have no need for morals. In fact I see a lot of people -- including many impetuous young people -- who behave this way.
i have responded to these sentements many times, and every time it is the same. morals are superficial (IMO). beyond humans and and human societies, they do not exist. does the lion feel sorry for the gazelle? no. now, don't get me wrong, morals are completly neccassary for human coexistance to take place. but in the cosmic picture, they are meaninless.
 
  • #48
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
But why even bother to worry about it if there were no repercussions, good or bad? Which to me is another way of saying we have no need for morals. In fact I see a lot of people -- including many impetuous young people -- who behave this way.
As maximus says, it's necessary for humans to coexist. I was speaking more of personal sacrifices that people make in the name of the church, such as tithing.
 
  • #49
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Do Standards Exist?

And yet, is there truly a standard by which all things are judged? If so, then where does it come from? Wouldn't that also imply it was inherent with who we are, rather than something which is applied "externally?" (although this may be a means by which to introduce it initially). Which is to say, this is something which always has and always will be?

At the very least though, it seems like a process by which we have to reconcile ourselves to these things "from within" (in order for them to have any meaning).
 
  • #50
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Originally posted by maximus
i have responded to these sentements many times, and every time it is the same. morals are superficial (IMO). beyond humans and and human societies, they do not exist. does the lion feel sorry for the gazelle? no. now, don't get me wrong, morals are completly neccassary for human coexistance to take place. but in the cosmic picture, they are meaninless.
If this is so, then why does it only exist with humans? Why are we so unique? Could it be that this is the "crowning achievement" of evolution? Or, perhaps something else? :wink:

Would you say that morals result from a "higher state of being?" Or, a lower state of being?
 

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