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Beliefs and opinions

Wondering_wanderer
Posts: 1
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3/4/2016 1:34:03 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
If one were to try to prove that there is no God or higher power, they would be unable to due to a lack of evidence and a large community against them. But if one tried to prove that there is a God, they would also be unable to do so because of the same reasons that made the atheist unable to make his point. However, they will still believe in what they had argued for and will not likely lose their beliefs. Both creationism and atheism communities will often try to prove the other one wrong, and get more people onto their side using media, campaigns, and entering heated debates. But when all else fails, they will often insult each other or say rude things such as, "Christians are idiots" or "All atheists are going to hell."
Alas, we have all seen or done such things. Wether it be defensive, rude, and hateful internet users (such as Christianu2ber, the Amazing English Atheist, etc.) Or protest/ hate groups (WBC, KKK, ISIS,etc.) Almost everyone here has seen these things, I'm sure, and many of us have taken part in these conflicts, often affecting our peacefulness, minds, and beliefs. I prefer to stay out of these.
I, myself, am both creationist and evolutionist, with many beliefs that are unique to me. I have received lots of hateful comments in the internet world and the physical world, from people of many different groups, telling me that I have "no evidence to support my cause," and that I am "too stupid for insults," and that I will face eternal torture in the pits of hell. But I do not need evidence. I believe in something, and all the scientists, theologists, and protesters in the world can't change my mind. The same applies to everyone. There is no human without a belief or opinion.
Because our beliefs and opinions are what make us human. And because we are human, we can coexist.
DavidHenson
Posts: 446
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3/4/2016 2:00:19 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
Well, that's very nice for you, WW, I'm glad you found what you were looking for, even though it probably means you are nuttier than a fruitcake . . . . okay, STONE 'EM!
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
janesix
Posts: 3,485
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3/4/2016 2:57:06 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/4/2016 2:00:19 AM, DavidHenson wrote:
Well, that's very nice for you, WW, I'm glad you found what you were looking for, even though it probably means you are nuttier than a fruitcake . . . . okay, STONE 'EM!
How nutty is a fruitcake, really?
DavidHenson
Posts: 446
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3/4/2016 3:22:40 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/4/2016 2:57:06 AM, janesix wrote:
How nutty is a fruitcake, really?

Really, really nutty. You know that advertising slogan for Almond Joy and Mounds? Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't?

Well. You have to feel really nutty for fruitcake. Metaphorically speaking.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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3/4/2016 6:08:41 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/4/2016 1:34:03 AM, Wondering_wanderer wrote:
If one were to try to prove that there is no God or higher power, they would be unable to due to a lack of evidence and a large community against them.
That's not really the issue, WW. The issue is to demonstrate whether it's valid to claim the existence of something whose definitive properties you couldn't independently verify or falsify with any assurance, no matter whatever evidence you saw.

That's not a question of ontology (what exists), but epistemology (what is knowledge.)

The hypocrisy of people who believe in transcendental gods (mostly Abrahamic monotheists, but some others too) is that they want an epistemology that admits their ideas as viable knowledge, yet seek to exclude ab initio the countless similar ideas that would also be made viable as knowledge and equally true under the same rubric.

There's also the issue that humanity has developed in recent centuries the first workable definition of what knowledge is, and how you can tell independently when it works -- and the strained definition theists want is inconsistent with the one working definition we have.

So it's not true that there cannot be a rigorous formal conversation about this stuff. The issue is rather that people who want (their) god to exist also have their thumb on the scales, and don't want to admit they're putting it there.

Or put another way: given what else we know about the universe and the errors through popular religious canon, no major religious dogma can possibly be resolved in the affirmative, so many clerics (and those faithful who think about these things) don't really want it resolved at all.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,134
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3/4/2016 6:15:26 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/4/2016 1:34:03 AM, Wondering_wanderer wrote:
If one were to try to prove that there is no God or higher power, they would be unable to due to a lack of evidence and a large community against them. But if one tried to prove that there is a God, they would also be unable to do so because of the same reasons that made the atheist unable to make his point. However, they will still believe in what they had argued for and will not likely lose their beliefs. Both creationism and atheism communities will often try to prove the other one wrong, and get more people onto their side using media, campaigns, and entering heated debates. But when all else fails, they will often insult each other or say rude things such as, "Christians are idiots" or "All atheists are going to hell."
Alas, we have all seen or done such things. Wether it be defensive, rude, and hateful internet users (such as Christianu2ber, the Amazing English Atheist, etc.) Or protest/ hate groups (WBC, KKK, ISIS,etc.) Almost everyone here has seen these things, I'm sure, and many of us have taken part in these conflicts, often affecting our peacefulness, minds, and beliefs. I prefer to stay out of these.
I, myself, am both creationist and evolutionist, with many beliefs that are unique to me. I have received lots of hateful comments in the internet world and the physical world, from people of many different groups, telling me that I have "no evidence to support my cause," and that I am "too stupid for insults," and that I will face eternal torture in the pits of hell. But I do not need evidence. I believe in something, and all the scientists, theologists, and protesters in the world can't change my mind. The same applies to everyone. There is no human without a belief or opinion.
Because our beliefs and opinions are what make us human. And because we are human, we can coexist.

In all honesty, WW, I don't agree with your view of creationism, but it doesn't appear you've let it make you into a science denier, so good for you. If this is true, I am very tolerant of your theism.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,585
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3/6/2016 6:56:37 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/4/2016 6:08:41 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/4/2016 1:34:03 AM, Wondering_wanderer wrote:
If one were to try to prove that there is no God or higher power, they would be unable to due to a lack of evidence and a large community against them.
That's not really the issue, WW. The issue is to demonstrate whether it's valid to claim the existence of something whose definitive properties you couldn't independently verify or falsify with any assurance, no matter whatever evidence you saw.

That's not a question of ontology (what exists), but epistemology (what is knowledge.)

The hypocrisy of people who believe in transcendental gods (mostly Abrahamic monotheists, but some others too) is that they want an epistemology that admits their ideas as viable knowledge, yet seek to exclude ab initio the countless similar ideas that would also be made viable as knowledge and equally true under the same rubric.

There's also the issue that humanity has developed in recent centuries the first workable definition of what knowledge is, and how you can tell independently when it works -- and the strained definition theists want is inconsistent with the one working definition we have.

So it's not true that there cannot be a rigorous formal conversation about this stuff. The issue is rather that people who want (their) god to exist also have their thumb on the scales, and don't want to admit they're putting it there.

Or put another way: given what else we know about the universe and the errors through popular religious canon, no major religious dogma can possibly be resolved in the affirmative, so many clerics (and those faithful who think about these things) don't really want it resolved at all.

Who are you to tell the poster what the "real issue" is? He simply points out - correctly - that anyone claiming there is no God will find themselves unable to demonstrate the truth of that claim, which is a true statement so far as I'm aware.

What is this "strained definition" that you speak of, that's supposedly promoted by all theists?

Harry.
Pandit
Posts: 354
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3/6/2016 7:21:02 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
My Belief is , I am a Part of Cosmos and that part of Cosmos lives through me , Enjoys through me , Loves through me , Plays through me etc .
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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3/6/2016 8:30:43 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/6/2016 6:56:37 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 3/4/2016 6:08:41 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/4/2016 1:34:03 AM, Wondering_wanderer wrote:
If one were to try to prove that there is no God or higher power, they would be unable to due to a lack of evidence and a large community against them.
That's not really the issue, WW. The issue is to demonstrate whether it's valid to claim the existence of something whose definitive properties you couldn't independently verify or falsify with any assurance, no matter whatever evidence you saw.
That's not a question of ontology (what exists), but epistemology (what is knowledge.)
Or put another way: given what else we know about the universe and the errors through popular religious canon, no major religious dogma can possibly be resolved in the affirmative, so many clerics (and those faithful who think about these things) don't really want it resolved at all.
Who are you to tell the poster what the "real issue" is?
Someone with a perspective to contribute?

He simply points out - correctly - that anyone claiming there is no God will find themselves unable to demonstrate the truth of that claim, which is a true statement so far as I'm aware.
I read the post. I think he's making an epistemological mistake, and now I think you are too. Did you understand why?

What is this "strained definition" that you speak of, that's supposedly promoted by all theists?
Okay, so you don't understand why, but it took you three paragraphs to admit it and ask the necessary question. Here then is my answer:

Harry, if I were to ask you what is truth, you might answer that truth is a proposition's accordance with reality. Then, were I to ask you what is reality, you might indicate that reality is our shared environment beyond the subjective perceptions of our minds.

But if understanding reality is critical to recognising truth, then how can we be sure that any conjecture exists in reality and not only in our minds?

I think that assurance needs four elements:

1) A systematic approach to identifying whether something exists or probably doesn't exist;
2) A systematic understanding of how our minds create ideas that nevertheless don't exist, so we can avoid repeatable mistakes;
3) Validation that shows our tests for existence existence are relevant to the matter we're investigating; and
4) Independent review of our methods to show that we haven't made mistakes and are not being biased.

This paradigm is not only reasonable, it's very effective. It has demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that (for example) disease is caused by microorganisms and not by demons; that matter is made of atoms, and not four humours; that energy follows physical laws, but ignores ethnicity, culture, age, gender, social status and religious beliefs. Ancients didn't know these things, but we do, because we use better methods than they did.

In that context, the problems with the proposition 'God exists' are that:

1) No valid, systematic approach has ever been proposed for confirming the existence or non-existence of a transcendental metaphysical being, or confirm or falsify its properties;
2) There is nevertheless robust data to show that humans routinely imagine gods that do not exist, and routinely mistake as evidence of gods, observations that are not evidence at all;
3) The methods offered as evidence of God's existence (pondering scriptures, matching vague prophecies to cherry-picked events, conjecturing about the origins of life or the inception of the universe) are either unreliable, insufficient or irrelevant; and
4) The people asserting that God exists routinely dismiss independent review of their methods and purported evidences anyway.

So we know that a God-conjecture is untestable, that thousands of similar conjectures are constructed from ignorance and superstition and are virtually all false; that the people making this conjecture use poor methods and get very confused about evidence; and that they don't want anyone else telling them they've made mistakes.

That's sufficient reason to throw out the whole question as: a) too flawed and damaged to be explored in its present form; b) probably uncorrectable, since the people promoting these ideas refuse to accept independent review; and c) probably false anyway, due to existing evidence of ignorance, superstition and error, even if you could fix things to make them viable.

In conclusion, there's plenty of evidence that god-beliefs are wrong beliefs, and what sustains them isn't evidence that they're right beliefs, but a desire not to abandon ancient cultural traditions that are flawed, dishonest and wrong.

There's plenty of evidence, Harry, if you ask the right questions.