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How can we know?

smartyskirt
Posts: 44
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10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.
Crede
Posts: 455
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10/26/2011 4:19:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.

Honestly there is only one way to fully know. And that is to jump in head first and believe. All the other arguments are between Theist and Atheist and provide "evidence" which will only get you so close. It is the personal experience that is needed to know for yourself. If you look for God in books and debates and evidence alone you can maybe see that he is real...but with doubts. It's not until you cross that boundary from non-faith to faith that it will become real. Seeing is not believing, believing is seeing. The world will change in every way and you can see things the way they really are. God wants you to come to him for the truth. All the rest (arguments) are used to soften the hearts of the non-believer, but it ultimately takes your personal search and acknowledgment....Thats why Christianity is so great....all you have to do is believe. He makes it easy, you just have to open the door.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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10/26/2011 4:20:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Appeal to Authority.

The fact that some Theist has a PhD doesn't mean I'm going to surrender my philosophical understandings.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
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MyVoiceInYourHead
Posts: 260
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10/26/2011 4:39:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.

It's a fair point. Agnosticism is the most philosophically defensible position. I used to be a weak agnostic - I didn't know for sure or didn't care whether God existed or not. I now consider myself to be a gnostic agnostic (I'm pretty sure we can never know). There have been so many religious claims over the years, none of which stand up to close scrutiny as far as I'm concerned. Sometimes I consider myself to be atheist because I don't believe in any of the Gods I have been exposed to (agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive). There might be one lurking around somewhere. I'm done turning over every stone looking for God. If God really is out there, then 'he knows where to find me.
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
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10/26/2011 4:39:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.

Your question reminds me of an incident that happened when I was in third grade. We had a question on a test, "Which is heavier, a pound of popcorn or a pound of nails?" When the tests came back, one girl complained that her answer was counted wrong. Popcorn is fluffy and light, she said, so clearly the pound of nails would be heavier. The teacher's response was that the popcorn must not have been popped. (By implication, the teacher thought that unpopped popcorn is as heavy as nails.)

The student complained that the test hadn't specified that the popcorn was unpopped. Soon, many people were in animated discussion: should they be held responsible for knowing that the popcorn was unpopped.

Now you could argue, smarty, that I shouldn't have had an opinion since so many people disagreed with me. Some of them were probably smarter. One of them was an adult, while I was only a kid.

But I did have an opinion, and my opinion was well founded. The issue under discussion was within my realm of competence, so I didn't need to rely on experts or majority vote.

I was right, and people who disagreed with me were---regardless of their intelligence or credentials---wrong.
smartyskirt
Posts: 44
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10/26/2011 4:40:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:20:01 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Appeal to Authority.

The fact that some Theist has a PhD doesn't mean I'm going to surrender my philosophical understandings.

I am not saying surender but it must give you pause.
izbo10
Posts: 2,995
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10/26/2011 4:44:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.

Actually that is not actually correct, 70% of philosophers do not believe in god. and a majority of those consider it a dead topic. The only ones who really still debate it are the few theists who managed to make it to their ph.d in philosophy of religion with their assinign beliefs intact.
DDO's marketing strategy has certainly paid off just not sure I agree with the target market: http://tinypic.com...
It's amazing to me that you still have yet to grasp the difference between believing something, not believing something, and having no belief at all -JCMT
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CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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10/26/2011 5:07:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
God's existence is entirely dependent on how God is defined.

Most conceptions of God are completely outside the realm of knowing though, and anyone who thinks that you can be reasonably certain of these gods is deluding themselves.

I suggest contemplating epistemology.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
smartyskirt
Posts: 44
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10/26/2011 6:25:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:39:37 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.

Your question reminds me of an incident that happened when I was in third grade. We had a question on a test, "Which is heavier, a pound of popcorn or a pound of nails?" When the tests came back, one girl complained that her answer was counted wrong. Popcorn is fluffy and light, she said, so clearly the pound of nails would be heavier. The teacher's response was that the popcorn must not have been popped. (By implication, the teacher thought that unpopped popcorn is as heavy as nails.)

The student complained that the test hadn't specified that the popcorn was unpopped. Soon, many people were in animated discussion: should they be held responsible for knowing that the popcorn was unpopped.

Now you could argue, smarty, that I shouldn't have had an opinion since so many people disagreed with me. Some of them were probably smarter. One of them was an adult, while I was only a kid.

But I did have an opinion, and my opinion was well founded. The issue under discussion was within my realm of competence, so I didn't need to rely on experts or majority vote.

I was right, and people who disagreed with me were---regardless of their intelligence or credentials---wrong.

Could be that this point already belongs in the philosophy section, but, here goes:
Assuming that the other person is of equal or greater intellectual competence and honesty, why should we value our opinion over the other? just bec. we thought of it?
Of coarse I am not suggesting taking the other opinion over our own. But rather treat them as equally plausible.
smartyskirt
Posts: 44
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10/26/2011 6:31:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 6:25:16 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/26/2011 4:39:37 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.

Your question reminds me of an incident that happened when I was in third grade. We had a question on a test, "Which is heavier, a pound of popcorn or a pound of nails?" When the tests came back, one girl complained that her answer was counted wrong. Popcorn is fluffy and light, she said, so clearly the pound of nails would be heavier. The teacher's response was that the popcorn must not have been popped. (By implication, the teacher thought that unpopped popcorn is as heavy as nails.)

The student complained that the test hadn't specified that the popcorn was unpopped. Soon, many people were in animated discussion: should they be held responsible for knowing that the popcorn was unpopped.

Now you could argue, smarty, that I shouldn't have had an opinion since so many people disagreed with me. Some of them were probably smarter. One of them was an adult, while I was only a kid.

But I did have an opinion, and my opinion was well founded. The issue under discussion was within my realm of competence, so I didn't need to rely on experts or majority vote.

I was right, and people who disagreed with me were---regardless of their intelligence or credentials---wrong.

Could be that this point already belongs in the philosophy section, but, here goes:
Assuming that the other person is of equal or greater intellectual competence and honesty, why should we value our opinion over the other? just bec. we thought of it?
Of coarse I am not suggesting taking the other opinion over our own. But rather treat them as equally plausible.

I think this proves that we are not totaly rational beings, but rather live by what we feel is right, based on logic.
smartyskirt
Posts: 44
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10/26/2011 6:35:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 6:31:11 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/26/2011 6:25:16 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/26/2011 4:39:37 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.

Your question reminds me of an incident that happened when I was in third grade. We had a question on a test, "Which is heavier, a pound of popcorn or a pound of nails?" When the tests came back, one girl complained that her answer was counted wrong. Popcorn is fluffy and light, she said, so clearly the pound of nails would be heavier. The teacher's response was that the popcorn must not have been popped. (By implication, the teacher thought that unpopped popcorn is as heavy as nails.)

The student complained that the test hadn't specified that the popcorn was unpopped. Soon, many people were in animated discussion: should they be held responsible for knowing that the popcorn was unpopped.

Now you could argue, smarty, that I shouldn't have had an opinion since so many people disagreed with me. Some of them were probably smarter. One of them was an adult, while I was only a kid.

But I did have an opinion, and my opinion was well founded. The issue under discussion was within my realm of competence, so I didn't need to rely on experts or majority vote.

I was right, and people who disagreed with me were---regardless of their intelligence or credentials---wrong.

Could be that this point already belongs in the philosophy section, but, here goes:
Assuming that the other person is of equal or greater intellectual competence and honesty, why should we value our opinion over the other? just bec. we thought of it?
Of coarse I am not suggesting taking the other opinion over our own. But rather treat them as equally plausible.

I think this proves that we are not totally rational beings, but rather live by what we feel is right, based on logic.

Thus if god exists and we reject him it is not bec. of logic alone, but rather a feeling which stems from not wanting to believe in god.

Hey, I think I might be on to some thing here.

Thanks wiploc for your help.
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
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10/26/2011 7:18:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 6:35:27 PM, smartyskirt wrote:

Thus if god exists and we reject him it is not bec. of logic alone, but rather a feeling which stems from not wanting to believe in god.

Hey, I think I might be on to some thing here.

Thanks wiploc for your help.

If there's no evidence of god, but we believe in him anyway, this irrationality is because we are too weak to handle reality without the crutch of religion.

Hey, this explains a lot.

Thanks, smarty, for making this clear to me.
rogue
Posts: 2,325
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10/26/2011 8:06:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.

Because very smart people have come to conclusions. Just because there isn't universal agreement does not mean that we cannot come to a conclusion ourselves. Philosophy is not a credible discipline in my opinion. Most leading scientists are atheist as are most scientists. You should evaluate and reason on your own regardless of other people not agreeing.
rogue
Posts: 2,325
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10/26/2011 8:08:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 6:35:27 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/26/2011 6:31:11 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/26/2011 6:25:16 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/26/2011 4:39:37 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.

Your question reminds me of an incident that happened when I was in third grade. We had a question on a test, "Which is heavier, a pound of popcorn or a pound of nails?" When the tests came back, one girl complained that her answer was counted wrong. Popcorn is fluffy and light, she said, so clearly the pound of nails would be heavier. The teacher's response was that the popcorn must not have been popped. (By implication, the teacher thought that unpopped popcorn is as heavy as nails.)

The student complained that the test hadn't specified that the popcorn was unpopped. Soon, many people were in animated discussion: should they be held responsible for knowing that the popcorn was unpopped.

Now you could argue, smarty, that I shouldn't have had an opinion since so many people disagreed with me. Some of them were probably smarter. One of them was an adult, while I was only a kid.

But I did have an opinion, and my opinion was well founded. The issue under discussion was within my realm of competence, so I didn't need to rely on experts or majority vote.

I was right, and people who disagreed with me were---regardless of their intelligence or credentials---wrong.

Could be that this point already belongs in the philosophy section, but, here goes:
Assuming that the other person is of equal or greater intellectual competence and honesty, why should we value our opinion over the other? just bec. we thought of it?
Of coarse I am not suggesting taking the other opinion over our own. But rather treat them as equally plausible.

I think this proves that we are not totally rational beings, but rather live by what we feel is right, based on logic.

Thus if god exists and we reject him it is not bec. of logic alone, but rather a feeling which stems from not wanting to believe in god.

Hey, I think I might be on to some thing here.

Thanks wiploc for your help.

or you could reject logic because of a feeling of wanting to believe in god.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/26/2011 9:02:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.

The way I see it, you have two options:

1. Pick some random book written thousands of years ago by a primitive people trying to make sense of the world with no better tools than sticks and stones, and assume that knowledge stops there.

-OR-

2. Accept the fact that we are ignorant about a great many things, that sometimes "I don't know" is the most appropriate answer, and join the rest of us in trying to figure things out unencumbered by religious preconceptions.
MyVoiceInYourHead
Posts: 260
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10/29/2011 1:59:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 9:02:39 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/26/2011 4:11:20 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
How can we come to a definite conclusion about god based on our understanding?
With centuries of brilliant people thinking about this for life times, and no conclusion has been universally accepted. People with PhDs in philosophy, and other related areas continue to debate this topic. How can we think we know better, and that we have come to the correct conclusion, when so many others who are so much smarter then us disagree? I hope I've made my point clear.

The way I see it, you have two options:

1. Pick some random book written thousands of years ago by a primitive people trying to make sense of the world with no better tools than sticks and stones, and assume that knowledge stops there.

-OR-

2. Accept the fact that we are ignorant about a great many things, that sometimes "I don't know" is the most appropriate answer, and join the rest of us in trying to figure things out unencumbered by religious preconceptions.

Here, here. Well said, sir!
Flyingpencils
Posts: 1
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11/1/2011 4:34:21 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I was raised without any influence from religion. When I was 7, I went to my aunt's bookshelf and got out two picture books to read, one about the story of God and Jesus, the other about Cinderella. The fact that I, a seven year old, found Cinderella more believable goes to show how ignorant a religious person can be.
logicrules
Posts: 1,721
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11/1/2011 8:45:12 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
There is no way to "know" there is a God in the traditional sense of know. There are no logical proofs for the existence of a Living God to a metaphysical certitude, and any argument for said existence is also an argument against. Pure reason leads to one, of two possible conclusions, both valid and acceptable provided one is honest with oneself.

One may make the reasoned inference that there is a God, and then adopt a theology that explains. Equally valid, one may conclude that there is insufficient evidence to establish that a Living God exist. ie Many founders of the United States of America held that there was no God active in our lives, our destiny was ours alone.

I would rather talk to an honest atheist than a religious zealot.
Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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11/1/2011 10:57:45 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At the end of the day, I would rather be convinced with scientific evidence than philosophical argument.

There is no scientific evidence and further, it's questionable whether there could be scientific evidence. So all we can rely on is philosophical argument.

As such, I feel that it is subject to the vagaries of the current reigning reason, to be overthrown or reworked by scholars redefining the subject as they choose in order to support their pre-existing belief.

In short, I don't know if God exists or not and see no reason to believe.