Theist -> Atheist

  • #126
Question: do you examine other methodologies to see if they are better? A simple yes or no will suffice.
Yes, I do. And a big part of my criteria is to examine how well each methodology can explain our universe. All the other ones I have examined have fallen flat on their faces in that category.
 
  • #127
Ivan Seeking
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The term supernatural certainly has meaning; it is simply something above nature, or for our intent, above scientific inquiry.
Do you mean magic? Sorry, I don't believe in magic, and you certainly can't produce any evidence that it exists. It is also a leap of faith to conclude that if a deity exists, it can't be described by science. In fact we have already attempted to do so with Type IV civilizations. It is said that a type IV being would meet our expectations for a deity.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

We certainly have ways to address and test some claims of the features of certain deities, such as special creation, age of earth and so on.
These are indirect tests for a deity. But if your point is that such efforts might produce indirect evidence of a deity, then perhaps that is true.

I think this is a somewhat fussy statement. An operational definition of religion could be "a social systems whose participants avow belief in a supernatural agent or agents whose approval is to be sought. (Dennett 2006), even though this is not set in stone. Science would not qualify as a religion.
New-agers don't seek any approval. They seek universal harmony and awareness of the divine. There are also religions groups like the Unitarians who make no specific demands for belief.

Here is one definition for religion:
4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
The point was that one can make a religion out of science. I'm not saying that in itself science qualifies as a religion.

Be so that it may, not all possible deities can be true; some 4 billion people on earth would therefore have a delusion no matter how you put it.
Perhaps the problem is the perception and not the essence of that allegedly perceived.

No, you take gravity on evidence. Tons and tons of mutually supporting evidence that you experience every day. You be convicted of the reality of gravity, but you certainly do not accept it without evidence.

No one is claiming that science can prove something beyond truth, but it is all about the evidence. The evidence makes a certain position reasonable and others less reasonable. Just because you cannot prove something to be true does not make it any less approximately correct in its explanatory and prediction power.
There is no guarantee that gravity will work tomorrow as it did today. We take it on faith based on the history of repeatability. Do we have good reason to have faith? Of course.

Be so that it may, if it can be shown that religion is a natural construction, any attempts at inference or justification via religion becomes less convincing.
I was only pointing out that there are no beliefs that I know of in which the existence of a deity is observer dependent.

Indeed, GTR makes more accurate predictions than NM, but according to instrumentalism, all that matters is its explanatory and prediction power. That is why we still make use of Newtonian Mechanics today. To my knowledge, the first shuttle that landed on the moon made use of NM, exclusively.
However, you know as well as I do that observations can be made that violate our original Newtonian concept of gravity. The point is that our concepts may grow more sophisticated - the day may come when gravity is considered an archaic concept. And in some ways this is already true.

Not quite - your brain makes constant updates on your life and future based on the available evidence - even if you do not consciously think of it.
I have faith that I will survive the day, that my house will be here tonight, that my wife won't leave me, that my father is telling the truth, that the world won't end... We make dozens or even hundreds of little leaps of faith a day... all the way down to having faith in other drivers on the road and that the traffic signals are working properly.

Faith as in conviction; not faith as in blind acceptance without evidence. This is a crucial semantic difference.
Not at all. He [Russell] was completely in error. There is plenty of evidence for a deity, but afaik there is no scientific evidence.

Note also that Twain was making a complete leap of faith. By his defintion, no one has faith in anything real, which is clearly false.

The rest of your responses do not apply to me.
 
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  • #128
Ivan Seeking
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Something else struck me today that was funny [well, at least to me]. It can be argued that people choose religion because they find it to be a model that produces good results. One of the promises made by churches is that faith will improve your life. Millions of people will tell you that based on their own experience, this is absolutely true. So in this sense belief is a logical choice and not one based only on a leap of faith.
 
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  • #129
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Something else struck me today that was funny [well, at least to me]. It can be argued that people choose religion because they find it to be a model that produces good results. One of the promises made by churches is that faith will improve your life. Millions of people will tell you that this is absolutely true. So in this sense it is a logical choice and not one based only on faith.
i can see what you mean, but can't it also be a logical choice based on some faith. Also, i have a different definition of faith than what has been generally said here. My understanding of faith is that faith is the 'substance of things hoped for' and 'the evidence for things not seen'
 
  • #130
Ivan Seeking
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Is hope logical? Now there's a question!!!

I will have to stew on this, but for now I can say that we can always justify buying a lottery ticket. As a worst case, I see that as being no different than hoping that 4000 years of history is not all false. Of course a lottery always produces a winner, and faith in a God may not ever pay off, but the idea of having faith in spite of logical long odds certainly applies.
 
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  • #131
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Do you mean magic? Sorry, I don't believe in magic, and you certainly can't produce any evidence that it exists. It is also a leap of faith to conclude that if a deity exists, it can't be described by science. In fact we have already attempted to do so with Type IV civilizations. It is said that a type IV being would meet our expectations for a deity.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
So you believe that there is nothing above scientific inquiry? The term supernaturalism is defined as 'above scientific inquiry'. This says nothing about whether supernaturalism actually exists.

Indeed, but it is false to claim the reverse, that magic (or any form of supernaturalism) is distinguishable simply future technology.

There is no guarantee that gravity will work tomorrow as it did today. We take it on faith based on the history of repeatability. Do we have good reason to have faith? Of course.
We can certainly know that gravity will continue to work tomorrow, although not by the application of induction. If gravity failed, we would have all sorts of nasty consequences. As long as there are none of those nasty consequence, we can be sure that gravity will continue to work.

If you have a good reason to have faith, then you do not need faith. We have good reasons to have faith as in a conviction, but not faith as accepting things blindly without evidence.

Perhaps the problem is the perception and not the essence of that allegedly perceived.
Perhaps, but it is impossible to escape the dilemma, all forms of deity worship cannot be correct.

I have faith that I will survive the day, that my house will be here tonight, that my wife won't leave me, that my father is telling the truth, that the world won't end... We make dozens or even hundreds of little leaps of faith a day... all the way down to having faith in other drivers on the road and that the traffic signals are working properly.
I would call it approximate predictions based on the available evidence. If more evidence comes in, your brain updates this prediction.

It can be argued that people choose religion because they find it to be a model that produces good results. One of the promises made by churches is that faith will improve your life. Millions of people will tell you that based on their own experience, this is absolutely true. So in this sense belief is a logical choice and not one based only on a leap of faith.
Indeed, I am sure that religion and faith provide comfort in a world torn apart by religion and faith. Literally hundreds of millions of people have died as a direct result of it as well.

"The fact that a religious man is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that that a drunken man is happier than a sober one" Kipling, I think.

Would being an alcoholic be a logical choice because alcoholics think their drinking improves their life? I am sure that millions of people believe this as well?
 
  • #132
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"The fact that a religious man is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that that a drunken man is happier than a sober one" Kipling, I think.
Would being an alcoholic be a logical choice because alcoholics think their drinking improves their life? I am sure that millions of people believe this as well?
I can see your point, but people make their choice based on other things than an improved life quality. People also make decisions on what they believe is right, not in the good and bad sense but in what they think is the truth.

Link deleted by Ivan: Please refrain from posting religious links. I am really pushing my luck here but if we all be good the thread will be allowed to continue. We have to stick to the logic and sociological considerations.
 
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  • #133
mjsd
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If God exists, his existence does not depend on faith.
Not at all. The people depend on faith. According to most beliefs, God was around before there was anyone to have faith.

Explain existence without using faith.

ah ha, an interesting point.... methink.
The existence of something without any entities asking the question (about the validity of existence) or have any knowledge of the something is a fascinating idea.... well perhaps debatable.

perhaps the term "existence" needs a bit of clarification first before any more meaningful (or perceived to be meaningful within the powers of the human mind) discussion on it and its relation to faith can be constructed.

anyway, I have slightly different idea (which you may say I took a big leap of faith in it in order to construct this argument..well.. we have to start somewhere otherwise we can't go anywhere :rolleyes:), if a duck or a dog invents their brand of science based on their own logical system or simply, let them define what is rational thinking, wouldn't it make human's version of science or logical/rational thinking any more/less important?

And suppose, they don't have the concept about God, simply because their brains can't handle it or whatever, does it then make it meaningless to talk about God ar all?

my point is that human tends to believe that their way of thinking or system of logic is the most proper. And that rational, simply means that human's version of rational, and should not be taken as the universal version of rational. IT is highly possible that there are other more advanced creatures with brain powers far beyond ours who will again see things differently (cf. the duck and dog analogy) and that in their mind all we do/think are absolute B***s***! As a result, the discussion on scientific evidences vs faith etc, it perhaps almost meaningless within the context of the wider and yet undiscovered world.

Until we can dis-entangle ourselves with ourselves we can in principle never (based on our own limited logic) explain ourselves fully.

as a result, many of the so-called objective arguments (including some of my own) are not so objective after all and some are simply meaningless (owning to the limit of the human brain). On most issues, we can at best say is they are inconclusive or Yes-and-No.

And one advice to the OP, your logic is different from the theists' logic. And we all know that cars don't run on the sea.
 
  • #134
Gokul43201
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According to most beliefs, God was around before there was anyone to have faith.
The belief had to exist for the God to have pre-existed. The believers had to exist for the belief to exist. Ergo, the believers are a neccesary condition for the pre-existence of the deity.
 
  • #135
Gokul43201
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There is no guarantee that gravity will work tomorrow as it did today. We take it on faith based on the history of repeatability.
And you take a deity on faith based on what?

4000 years worth of untestable claims?

This despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of these claims also come with baggage that is scientifically refutable by a high-schooler.

Does it not worry you that over these 4000 years, more and more magical things that have been attributed to the divine hand of a deity have subsequently been shown to have natural explanations?

Does it not worry you that more people today than the entire total that existed over most of the last 4000 years, will tell you they are certain that man was made before insects...and they are as certain of this as they are of the existence of the deity?
 
  • #136
Ivan Seeking
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And you take a deity on faith based on what?

4000 years worth of untestable claims?
First of all, I didn't say what I do or don't accept. Next, no one is claiming that anecdotal evidence is more compelling than scientific evidence. Are you disputing the specific point about gravity?

This despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of these claims also come with baggage that is scientifically refutable by a high-schooler.

Does it not worry you that over these 4000 years, more and more magical things that have been attributed to the divine hand of a deity have subsequently been shown to have natural explanations?

Does it not worry you that more people today than the entire total that existed over most of the last 4000 years, will tell you they are certain that man was made before insects...and they are as certain of this as they are of the existence of the deity?
I think that you are confusing doctrine with faith. There has been no attempt to support or dispute specific religious beliefs. In fact I think that a review of religious beliefs would demonstrate that the basis for faith usually has very little to do with specific beliefs.

If you are saying that all claims of miracles or "divine intervention" are false, then you are making a simple leap of faith. And I hardly see how historical claims could have been tested or attributed to natural explanations. If you are talking about people who see apparitions in a slice of toast or in a shadow on a wall, then I wouldn't worry because I doubt that toast has ever created a convert.

Should we judge science by the crackpots as well?
 
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  • #137
First of all, I didn't say what I do or don't accept. Next, no one is claiming that anecdotal evidence is more compelling than scientific evidence. Are you disputing the specific point about gravity?



You are confusing doctrine with faith. Threre has been no attempt to support or dispute specific religious beliefs. In fact I think that a review of religious beliefs would demonstrate that the basis for faith usually has very little to do with specific beliefs.

If you are saying that all claims of miracles or divine intervention are false, then you are making a simple leap of faith. And I hardly see how historical claims could have been tested or attributed to natural explanations. If you are talking about people who see apparitions in a slice of toast or in a shadow on a wall, then I wouldn't worry because I doubt that toast has ever created a convert.

The basis of faith is a mixture of solace, a false sense of entitlement, stubbornness and ignorance.
 
  • #138
Ivan Seeking
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You are entitled to your faith.
 
  • #139
Math Is Hard
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I am closing this thread because it is in the PF Social Science forums, and very little of it seems to have to do with the social science aspect of the topic. (This is a general observation and not aimed at anyone specifically). Please PM me if you want it reopened, and state your reasons. Thanks.
 
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