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Is there just one god for our world??!!

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Postby loqu » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:36 am

calvinist wrote:the idea of a universe without a thinking creator is an imaginary idea, it exists, but only in the minds of some... not apart from them.


you sure you didn't mean to write 'with' ?
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Postby Twpsyn » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:02 pm

calvinist wrote:
Twpsyn wrote:
calvinist wrote:the idea of a universe without a thinking creator is an imaginary idea, it exists, but only in the minds of some... not apart from them.


And what shall I, whose mind contains such an idea, say to this? 'Oh, I see now! I'll just start believing in God, because you say his non-existence is imaginary!'

yes that works!


No, it doesn't. What if I say to you, in return, 'the idea of a universe with a thinking creator is an imaginary idea..., etc.'? You can make no better response to that than I can to your version, because in the end each of us can only answer for the perceptions and emotions of our own mind, and anything we say about the outside world is filtered through those perceptions and emotions.
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Postby calvinist » Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:46 pm

Twpsyn wrote:
No, it doesn't. What if I say to you, in return, 'the idea of a universe with a thinking creator is an imaginary idea..., etc.'? You can make no better response to that than I can to your version, because in the end each of us can only answer for the perceptions and emotions of our own mind, and anything we say about the outside world is filtered through those perceptions and emotions.

well this whole statement which says in essence that we cannot say anything definite about the world outside of our minds is intended to represent some truth that applies to me, doesn't it?
Twpsyn wrote:
You can make no better response to that than I can to your version, because in the end each of us can only answer for the perceptions and emotions of our own mind
so why are you even arguing with anyone outside of yourself then? those rules don't apply outside of yourself, right? you are making a definite statement that applies to everyone that says in essence "no one can make any definite statement about anything outside of themselves" you're chasing your tail.
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Postby calvinist » Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:03 am

Anyway, the proof of God is in the absurdity of reality without Him... you cannot explain ideas such as beauty, love, honor, etc. without a creator. They become just arbitrarily created abstractions of a mind which is in essence only a complex computer....... meaningless. Your "love" for your wife and kids is reduced to a necessary primitive impulse to pass on your genes, of course we won't call it that, but why not? That is what it is essentially, unless there is a creator... it's really that simple. What is electromagnetism? Gravity? why do those forces act that way... "well they just do!" yes but why are there even "laws" in nature at all.. why is anything stable? someone explain why the "laws" of nature are stable other than because a sovereign God is constantly upholding and maintaining them everyday. here's one that is very fitting on this site: how did the complex languages of the world come out of nothing? how did chimps with the most rudimentary forms of communication turn that into languages with thousands of words, different parts of speech, past present future tenses, etc. the atheist world view just fails to explain anything, whether scientific, moral, philosophical, linguistic... anything.
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Postby loqu » Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:15 am

calvinist wrote:Anyway, the proof of God is in the absurdity of reality without Him... you cannot explain ideas such as beauty, love, honor, etc. without a creator. They become just arbitrarily created abstractions of a mind which is in essence only a complex computer....... meaningless. Your "love" for your wife and kids is reduced to a necessary primitive impulse to pass on your genes, of course we won't call it that, but why not? That is what it is essentially, unless there is a creator... it's really that simple. What is electromagnetism? Gravity? why do those forces act that way... "well they just do!" yes but why are there even "laws" in nature at all.. why is anything stable? someone explain why the "laws" of nature are stable other than because a sovereign God is constantly upholding and maintaining them everyday. here's one that is very fitting on this site: how did the complex languages of the world come out of nothing? how did chimps with the most rudimentary forms of communication turn that into languages with thousands of words, different parts of speech, past present future tenses, etc. the atheist world view just fails to explain anything, whether scientific, moral, philosophical, linguistic... anything.


Well that's the easy answer. I was told as well in kindergarten that when it rains it's because God wants it to rain. And then we were all happy that it rained and wanted to research no more because that answer killed any curiosity. I'm so happy not to be that 3-year-old guy again.

All this even though education is supposed to be laicist in Spain.
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Postby Lex » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:05 pm

calvinist wrote:Anyway, the proof of God is in the absurdity of reality without Him...


Or, it could be that reality is absurd! :twisted:

After all, Obama may be propelled into the White House by outrage over a financial crisis that was largely made by his party. If that's not absurd, I don't know what is.

calvinist wrote:you cannot explain ideas such as beauty, love, honor, etc. without a creator.


Sure you can.

calvinist wrote:They become just arbitrarily created abstractions of a mind which is in essence only a complex computer....... meaningless. Your "love" for your wife and kids is reduced to a necessary primitive impulse to pass on your genes, of course we won't call it that, but why not? That is what it is essentially, unless there is a creator... it's really that simple.


Whether love is created by God or by an evolutionary strategy to protect your offspring, it still feels the same. That's what's important, not where it came from. I think your argument is some sort of genetic fallacy.

calvinist wrote:What is electromagnetism? Gravity? why do those forces act that way... "well they just do!" yes but why are there even "laws" in nature at all.. why is anything stable? someone explain why the "laws" of nature are stable other than because a sovereign God is constantly upholding and maintaining them everyday.


You're just "explaining" unexplainable laws with an unexplainable God. All this does is add another layer of complexity without really explaining anything.

calvinist wrote:how did chimps with the most rudimentary forms of communication turn that into languages with thousands of words, different parts of speech, past present future tenses, etc.


Ummm, chimps didn't do that. We did. We co-evolved with apes, but we are not apes.

calvinist wrote:the atheist world view just fails to explain anything, whether scientific, moral, philosophical, linguistic... anything.


It explains a lot:

Napoleon: 'M. Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator.'

Laplace: 'I had no need of that hypothesis.'
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Postby calvinist » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:42 pm

Lex wrote:
After all, Obama may be propelled into the White House by outrage over a financial crisis that was largely made by his party. If that's not absurd, I don't know what is.

agreed!

Lex wrote:
Whether love is created by God or by an evolutionary strategy to protect your offspring, it still feels the same. That's what's important, not where it came from. I think your argument is some sort of genetic fallacy.

yes it does matter, because then love really becomes a complex survival skill, will you admit that? If it comes from the being who is love and who defines love by his own nature then it is a very real, powerful thing... and it's not based upon selfish self-preservation but on a glorious God... huge difference.


Lex wrote:Ummm, chimps didn't do that. We did. We co-evolved with apes, but we are not apes.

so how do we justify caging and owning animals? are we distinct from the rest of the animal kingdom? or are we of no more value or worth than a dog, cat, or ape? if we are, how do you explain that? if you think we're not, then I would say you are not "humane" in the truest sense of the original Latin humanus.

so how did everything come to exist.... or did it always exist? i'd like an answer that makes sense and not just adds complexity to the problem which is what all science does. science just adds more layers to every problem but they fail to answer the most fundamental question.... why? why any of it? why are there laws? why are they the way they are?
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Postby IreneY » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:21 pm

Wasn't this a discussion about how many gods (and possibly goddesses) exist?
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Postby calvinist » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:30 pm

IreneY wrote:Wasn't this a discussion about how many gods (and possibly goddesses) exist?

initially, yes....
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Postby Lex » Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:45 pm

calvinist wrote:yes it does matter, because then love really becomes a complex survival skill, will you admit that?


So love is only love if it doesn't help your loved ones? :?

I don't believe that just because love can be explained by evolutionary psychology means that love then "becomes [just] a complex survival skill". It is still love, no matter what caused it. You might as well say that according to science we are just complex bundles of atomic particles. I believe that we are complex bundles of atomic particles, don't get me wrong. But we are complex bundles of atomic particles that feel love, hate, anger, wonder, etc. Strange but, I believe, true. You ignore "emergent properties" of complex systems, which makes you strangely more reductionist than I am when thinking about science.

calvinist wrote:are we distinct from the rest of the animal kingdom?


Yes. But we are distinct due to the fact that our minds and cultures exist to a degree so far above animals that we might as well be different in kind, even though we really aren't, IMHO. I don't believe that this difference is because we did not evolve and have souls.

calvinist wrote:or are we of no more value or worth than a dog, cat, or ape?


No, I value humans more than dogs and cats. That's probably due to the fact that I'm a human, not a dog or cat.

calvinist wrote:so how did everything come to exist.... or did it always exist?


I don't know. I believe in the Big Bang, as far as it goes. I don't claim to know if the Big Bang had a cause, or if so, what it was. I prefer the theory that the last Big Bang was the result of the Big Crunch of the previously existing universe, and that existence always has and always will be a cycle of Big Bangs/Big Crunches, but this preference is, I must admit, for purely aesthetic reasons.

calvinist wrote:i'd like an answer that makes sense and not just adds complexity to the problem which is what all science does. science just adds more layers to every problem but they fail to answer the most fundamental question.... why? why any of it? why are there laws? why are they the way they are?


I don't think that it's science's job to answer such questions. That's the job of philosophy, or if you prefer, theology. I obviously prefer philosophy. Science works based on methodological naturalism. That is, scientists take for granted that there are natural explanations for phenomena, and try to find them. Whether or not this assumption is valid is the bailiwick of philosophy, not science itself.

calvinist wrote:why? why any of it? why are there laws? why are they the way they are?


I don't know. We may never know. I prefer to simply live with the fact that there are questions with no answers, rather than assume that there is a Big Brother up in the sky that can make all my doubts go away.
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Postby Twpsyn » Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:56 pm

Lex has expressed my thoughts quite well. Science offers an alternative to waving our hand and saying, 'God!' whenever we encounter something we don't understand. On the other hand, science by definition has to accept uncertainty, or in other words, accept the fact that it may not have the answers to all the questions yet. That seems a lot more honest, to me, than a model of the universe that unequivocably and rigidly attributes every unexplained phenomenon to a higher power. Nor is belief in a higher power unreconcilable with belief in natural causes for natural phenomena.
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Postby Amadeus » Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:19 am

This is my final comment in this thread, which is turning ugly very quickly. But I just have to point something out.

Twpsyn wrote:Science offers an alternative to waving our hand and saying, 'God!' whenever we encounter something we don't understand. That seems a lot more honest, to me, than a model of the universe that unequivocably and rigidly attributes every unexplained phenomenon to a higher power.


Those of us who believe in God hold that He is the reason for EVERYTHING, either explained by science or not. It's not as if once science has determined that rain is the immediate effect of condensation in the atmosphere that God is suddenly out of the picture. God is still the ultimate cause of rain, and apples falling from trees, and black holes, and the nuclear force, etc. Science (and by science I mean one specific branch, namely, empirical science) can only go so far in explaining the immediate physical causes, but it cannot tell us of the ultimate cause of being, a concept which forever will be out of its reach, since it is not physical.

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Postby Lex » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:02 am

Amadeus wrote:This is my final comment in this thread, which is turning ugly very quickly.


Why do you say that? Because we are debating religion? I don't think that is ugly, just honest disagreement. I've never understood why people say it's rude to discuss politics and religion. What else is there worth talking about? (Errrmmm, besides the classics, I mean. :oops: )

Or was it my Big Brother comment? Maybe that was a bit much... maybe that came off more snide than I intended it. Believe me, I don't think that religious people are stupid. I just think they're wrong. And I'll even admit that I can't prove that.

Amadeus wrote:It's not as if once science has determined that rain is the immediate effect of condensation in the atmosphere that God is suddenly out of the picture. God is still the ultimate cause of rain, and apples falling from trees, and black holes, and the nuclear force, etc. Science (and by science I mean one specific branch, namely, empirical science)


Is there a non-empirical branch of science? :?

Amadeus wrote:can only go so far in explaining the immediate physical causes, but it cannot tell us of the ultimate cause of being, a concept which forever will be out of its reach, since it is not physical.


I agree. In fact, I thought I said pretty much the same thing, except I said something more along the lines of "it cannot tell us if there is an ultimate cause of being".
Last edited by Lex on Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lex » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:09 am

Twpsyn wrote:On the other hand, science by definition has to accept uncertainty, or in other words, accept the fact that it may not have the answers to all the questions yet.


I would say that science by definition has to accept the fact that there are questions to which it will never have answers, period, because the questions are outside of science's purview.
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Postby mingshey » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:03 am

What science cannot answer cannot be answered for any certainty. God is just a name for what we do not know. (It is ridiculous that some people get annoyed when another one calls it by another name. -- When people even do not know how to pronounce the tetragrammaton, some people get annoyed when you read it Yahoo instead of Yahweh. Sometimes they kill each other if one calls it Elohim when the other calls it Allah.)
I think that many people are afraid to stare into the abyss of ignorance. They want to give it some level of certainty. So they name it, dress it with sorts of properties, and worship it. In a way, religion is always a sort of idolatry.
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Postby Lex » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:31 am

mingshey wrote:What science cannot answer cannot be answered for any certainty.


I don't think that science even gives certainty. I believe, with Popper, that all science can do is come up with falsifiable theories that haven't been falsified yet.

mingshey wrote:I think that many people are afraid of the abyss of ignorance. They want to give it some level of certainty.


Yes. I think most humans want to put the world they see into some sort of order, to impose some sort of pattern on it to make it make sense. And that is not a bad thing. It's what drives the search for truth. It's just that different people have different "can't-helps", which was Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.'s phrase for things that people can't help but believe in. When can't-helps come into play, intelligence is not an issue. A perfectly intelligent person, even one more intelligent than me, can have can't-helps that I think are kinda dumb. It took me a long time to realize this.

I once had an extended discussion with a guy, I'll call him George, who was a metaphysical idealist. He didn't believe in material substance, and believed that everything we sense has no existence outside of our minds. I tried to convince him that his theory was wrong. Instead, he convinced me that I couldn't logically do so! I still believe in material substance, because it is a theory that helps me to make sense of the world. It is one of my can't-helps. But I know now that the existence of the noumenon, the thing-in-itself, cannot be proved. It's just that material substance is a can't-help for me, but not for George.

I don't want to convert calvinist to atheism (although I wouldn't consider that result bad). The reason I have responded to him is because of his claim that nothing makes sense without God. I want him to understand that this isn't true. It may well be that nothing makes sense without God for him, but things do make sense without God for me. In other words, God is one of his can't-helps, but not one of mine.
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Postby Amadeus » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:36 am

Ok, one last comment. :P

Lex wrote:Why do you say that? Because we are debating religion? I don't think that is ugly, just honest disagreement.


Oh, I guess that's how I was reading this thread, as going the wrong way. I may be worng. But, yes, by all means discuss religion.

Is there a non-empirical branch of science? :?


Yes. Mathematics is one. Metaphysics & Logic are also non-empirical. The tendency nowadays is to restrict science to empirical science, but that is not right. :wink:

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Postby Lex » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:49 am

Amadeus wrote:Ok, one last comment. :P


Hehehe. :twisted: :wink:

Amadeus wrote:
Is there a non-empirical branch of science? :?


Yes. Mathematics is one. Metaphysics & Logic are also non-empirical. The tendency nowadays is to restrict science to empirical science, but that is not right. :wink:


Hmmm, OK. I think we're getting into semantic quibbling now, so I won't belabor this too much. Suffice to say, I don't see math or logic as science. I see math (and logic) as "the art of drawing necessary conclusions". (I forget who came up with that definition, but I like it.) I guess that would make metaphysics (and philosophy in general) "the art of posing unanswerable questions". :lol:
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Postby PeterD » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:04 am

Lex wrote:After all, Obama may be propelled into the White House by outrage over a financial crisis that was largely made by his party. If that's not absurd, I don't know what is.


Quite true. It was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 (which separated commercial banking from investment banking) by the corrupt Clinton administration in 1999. In fairness, though, the Republicans, with Senator Phill Gramm leading the charge, supported it.

Excellent, Lex.
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Postby Lex » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:07 pm

PeterD wrote:
Lex wrote:After all, Obama may be propelled into the White House by outrage over a financial crisis that was largely made by his party. If that's not absurd, I don't know what is.


Quite true. It was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 (which separated commercial banking from investment banking) by the corrupt Clinton administration in 1999. In fairness, though, the Republicans, with Senator Phill Gramm leading the charge, supported it.


Well, OK. I was actually referring to the housing bubble being brought on by sub-prime mortgages with little/no collateral to get every American into a house, even if he or she can't really afford it. Those people walking away from their debt after losing their jobs or whatever caused the "bad debt" that has the financial sector in such a tizzy, AFAICT. Democrats of the ilk (I love that word) of Barney Frank seem to have been the main drivers of that policy.

But, yeah, the Republicans carry their share of the blame. To keep this tangentially on topic, socialism and laissez-faire capitalism are both religions, and some Republicans are just as mindless about theirs as the far lefties are about socialism. I used to be that way, too, but some regulation and oversight seems necessary. More regulation of oil commodity trading might be a good idea, for instance. And more accountability of the institutions that come up with these "debt instruments".
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Postby mingshey » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:38 pm

Lex wrote:
mingshey wrote:What science cannot answer cannot be answered for any certainty.


I don't think that science even gives certainty. I believe, with Popper, that all science can do is come up with falsifiable theories that haven't been falsified yet.



[edit]
Yes and no. Philosophically that's no certainty at all (And philosophy itself doesn't get people anywhere). But practically that's the maximum certainty human can get.
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Postby Lex » Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:32 am

mingshey wrote:
Lex wrote:I don't think that science even gives certainty. I believe, with Popper, that all science can do is come up with falsifiable theories that haven't been falsified yet.


[edit]
Yes and no. Philosophically that's no certainty at all (And philosophy itself doesn't get people anywhere). But practically that's the maximum certainty human can get.


I agree, with respect to facts. Science gets us as good as we can get, with respect to facts. With respect to deriving ethical norms, though, science is impotent. Philosophy has done better (although maybe not recently).
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Postby calvinist » Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:26 am

Lex wrote:Science works based on methodological naturalism. That is, scientists take for granted that there are natural explanations for phenomena, and try to find them. Whether or not this assumption is valid is the bailiwick of philosophy, not science itself.

Agreed, my point is that there is no reason to make this assumption in the first place. I'm saying that we all assume the stability and existence of natural laws because we all know deep inside that there is a personal being who has created and controls the universe.
Lex wrote:I prefer to simply live with the fact that there are questions with no answers, rather than assume that there is a Big Brother up in the sky that can make all my doubts go away.

Ok... that's a straw man. God doesn't answer everything, in fact in today's world we have lots of unanswered questions even with God. Also, God is not antithetical to science. In fact the existence of a God creating and maintaining physical laws creates the possibility of science in the first place.
Lex wrote:I don't believe that just because love can be explained by evolutionary psychology means that love then "becomes [just] a complex survival skill". It is still love, no matter what caused it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that these emotions then become individual, not universal... and if universal, only by accident. Love is not then a universal thing... it doesn't exist outside of our minds. To me these emotions are much bigger, they are universal.... similar to the Forms of Plato.
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Postby bluetech » Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:47 pm

I'm a solipsist, and it's the best thing ever! I don't know why more people don't take that up.

And as for the "mind is a computer" (that is a Turing machine) possibility that some of you seem to worry about - look for the Chinese Room Argument. It convinced me, at least. Not that the alternatives are much better.
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Postby mingshey » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:58 am

Lex wrote:I agree, with respect to facts. Science gets us as good as we can get, with respect to facts. With respect to deriving ethical norms, though, science is impotent. Philosophy has done better (although maybe not recently).


I doubt philosophy's role in making the ethical standards. And the problem of ethical norms has nothing to do with certainty. It's just what things to do or not in order to maintain the society (or in many cases just one or two classes or groups of the society). It has no firmer ground than the specific group's interest, be it a couple of persons, a political entity, or a genus. Political situations had forced people which group identity to choose and it served most in the making of ethical norms. Philosophy only served to justify the choice.
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Postby mingshey » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:21 am

bluetech wrote:I'm a solipsist, and it's the best thing ever! I don't know why more people don't take that up.

And as for the "mind is a computer" (that is a Turing machine) possibility that some of you seem to worry about - look for the Chinese Room Argument. It convinced me, at least. Not that the alternatives are much better.


Why would a solipsist bother about other people? :P
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Postby calvinist » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:23 am

mingshey wrote:
bluetech wrote:I'm a solipsist, and it's the best thing ever! I don't know why more people don't take that up.

And as for the "mind is a computer" (that is a Turing machine) possibility that some of you seem to worry about - look for the Chinese Room Argument. It convinced me, at least. Not that the alternatives are much better.


Why would a solipsist bother about other people? :P

not sure, but i think he was being sarcastic.
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Postby Lex » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:45 pm

mingshey wrote:I doubt philosophy's role in making the ethical standards.


In reality, you may be right that philosophy serves mainly a function of apologetics. But at least theoretically, it can have something to say about ethics. Science, as far as I can tell, cannot.
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Postby mingshey » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:14 am

Lex wrote:
mingshey wrote:I doubt philosophy's role in making the ethical standards.


In reality, you may be right that philosophy serves mainly a function of apologetics. But at least theoretically, it can have something to say about ethics. Science, as far as I can tell, cannot.


Yes. What I deny is that the philosophy and religion has something verifiable. You can live on unverified assertions if it doesn't do much harm to you, or rather, even if it does.
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Postby Lex » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:19 am

calvinist wrote:
Lex wrote:Science works based on methodological naturalism. That is, scientists take for granted that there are natural explanations for phenomena, and try to find them. Whether or not this assumption is valid is the bailiwick of philosophy, not science itself.

Agreed, my point is that there is no reason to make this assumption in the first place.


Yes, there is. Scientists make the assumption, because without it, science cannot proceed. If they assume that natural explanations for phenomena are impossible, they wouldn't search for them. Of course, the assumption may have turned out to be wrong. But, after humans having explored the consequences of this assumption for five centuries or so, it seems it is a good one.

calvinist wrote:I'm saying that we all assume the stability and existence of natural laws because we all know deep inside that there is a personal being who has created and controls the universe.


OK, now you're p***ing me off a little bit. I can assure you from years of personal introspection (possibly more than you've been alive!) that not all of us "know deep inside that there is a personal being who has created and controls the universe", and I'd appreciate it if you'd not put words in my mouth, or beliefs anywhere else "deep inside" my person, thank you very much. I know what I believe much better than you do. I believe no such thing.

calvinist wrote:
Lex wrote:I prefer to simply live with the fact that there are questions with no answers, rather than assume that there is a Big Brother up in the sky that can make all my doubts go away.

... God doesn't answer everything, in fact in today's world we have lots of unanswered questions even with God. Also, God is not antithetical to science.


Fair enough. Agreed.

calvinist wrote:In fact the existence of a God creating and maintaining physical laws creates the possibility of science in the first place.


I think you're assuming that God explains the existence and stability of physical laws, rather than simply accepting that we don't know why these laws exist and are stable. That's why I think you're resorting to an "argument by Big Brother", so to speak. Yes, without the existence and stability of these laws, science would be impossible. Yes, they do seem to exist and be stable. This in no way implies that God exists, or if so, is responsible for this state of affairs.

calvinist wrote:
Lex wrote:I don't believe that just because love can be explained by evolutionary psychology means that love then "becomes [just] a complex survival skill". It is still love, no matter what caused it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that these emotions then become individual, not universal... and if universal, only by accident. Love is not then a universal thing... it doesn't exist outside of our minds. To me these emotions are much bigger, they are universal.... similar to the Forms of Plato.


OK, fair enough. We'll have to agree to disagree here. To me, the idea of a universal emotion, outside of individual "emoters", is meaningless. I'm not sure I would even understand what such a thing would mean or imply.
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Postby Lex » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:30 am

mingshey wrote:... What I deny is that the philosophy and religion has something verifiable....


Or even falsifiable.... :wink:
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Postby annis » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:40 am

Lex wrote:I can assure you from years of personal introspection (possibly more than you've been alive!) that not all of us "know deep inside that there is a personal being who has created and controls the universe", and I'd appreciate it if you'd not put words in my mouth, or beliefs anywhere else "deep inside" my person, thank you very much. I know what I believe much better than you do. I believe no such thing.


Hear, hear!
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Postby calvinist » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:19 am

annis wrote:
Lex wrote:I can assure you from years of personal introspection (possibly more than you've been alive!) that not all of us "know deep inside that there is a personal being who has created and controls the universe", and I'd appreciate it if you'd not put words in my mouth, or beliefs anywhere else "deep inside" my person, thank you very much. I know what I believe much better than you do. I believe no such thing.


Hear, hear!

Well I believe we can deceive ourselves about what we do and do not know, and this is exactly what the Bible says about fallen man. It's why the terms "blind" and "dead" are used very often. Yes, you can disagree with that notion, but you have to admit that it is not impossible for people to deceive themselves about what they know to be true about reality, especially when admitting to the truth has such enormous consequences for everything.
Lex wrote:I'd appreciate it if you'd not put words in my mouth, or beliefs anywhere else "deep inside" my person, thank you very much. I know what I believe much better than you do.

I'm not saying I know this of my own, I'm saying that this is what God says... and you must admit that if the God of the Bible does exist, he would know that. In your worldview I couldn't know such a thing, true. I don't share your worldview though, and in mine I can know such a thing because God knows and can reveal that information and has through the written word. You can deny my worldview and say that you know for absolute certainty that my worldview is wrong, but you can't deny that it is consistent with my worldview to be able to know anything if the God of everything chooses to reveal it. Anyway, let's not forget we're all in the same boat. All of us are passionate about what we believe and feel it can help others to explain it to them. Let's not get too personal about it. I respect that you're intelligent and have positions that are thought through. If my worldview is offensive to you, well I can't apologize for it, it's not the intention.
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Postby mingshey » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:47 am

Lex wrote:
mingshey wrote:... What I deny is that the philosophy and religion has something verifiable....


Or even falsifiable.... :wink:


Yeah, Wolfgang Pauli had put it in unforgettable words:
"That's not right. It's not even wrong."
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Postby IreneY » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:08 am

calvinist wrote:Well I believe we can deceive ourselves about what we do and do not know, and this is exactly what the Bible says about fallen man. It's why the terms "blind" and "dead" are used very often. Yes, you can disagree with that notion, but you have to admit that it is not impossible for people to deceive themselves about what they know to be true about reality, especially when admitting to the truth has such enormous consequences for everything.


I'm not saying I know this of my own, I'm saying that this is what God says... and you must admit that if the God of the Bible does exist, he would know that. In your worldview I couldn't know such a thing, true. I don't share your worldview though, and in mine I can know such a thing because God knows and can reveal that information and has through the written word. You can deny my worldview and say that you know for absolute certainty that my worldview is wrong, but you can't deny that it is consistent with my worldview to be able to know anything if the God of everything chooses to reveal it. Anyway, let's not forget we're all in the same boat. All of us are passionate about what we believe and feel it can help others to explain it to them. Let's not get too personal about it. I respect that you're intelligent and have positions that are thought through. If my worldview is offensive to you, well I can't apologize for it, it's not the intention.


So let me see if I get it straight (since I fall in the same category as Lex and others:
I may actually believe, no, know that I do not harbor any inner belief, feeling, whatyoumaycallit about a higher being but in truth I do and therefore I am "blind" or "dead" or "fallen" presumably for not recognizing it ?
That because in your worldview there is a God who is the creator I must therefore not know my own self well enough to really know the result of a lot of thinking, reading, debating with others and myself and quite a lot introspection?
I hope I didn't get it right.
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Postby MiguelM » Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:03 pm

Unfortunately, that's a common fanatical argument. Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

Who is more godless than I am, that I may enjoy his teaching?
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Postby calvinist » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:28 pm

IreneY wrote:That because in your worldview there is a God who is the creator I must therefore not know my own self well enough to really know the result of a lot of thinking, reading, debating with others and myself and quite a lot introspection?
I hope I didn't get it right.

i didn't say that because there is a God then therefore you do not know yourself... i said that because of sin we have blinded ourselves to the reality of it. you don't like the idea of it, but you haven't given any arguments against the possibility of a person deceiving themselves about what they know to such an extent that they think they do not know it. let's abstract it some so it's not so personal.... i'm saying that we can know something to be true and yet out of fear, pain, whatever.. we can convince ourselves it is not true. yes, you believe your mind to be the ultimate authority on what is and isn't, especially in your own mind.... i reject that though. most of us have experienced this to a small extent when a loved one dies or something of that nature... we may try to reject the reality because we do not like it. those circumstances are not nearly of the magnitude of the existence of God though and don't produce a complete denial of reality. we all have information, memories, etc. stored away that we can't instantly pull up... but it's there nonetheless. this is not the same thing, no, but it proves the ability of the mind to know something without being able to consciously recall it on demand. the way the mind works, especially with beliefs is far too complex to simply say "i know what i know, because i know it" or something to that effect. i guarantee you couldn't write down every piece of information or belief you currently hold in your mind, not because of the time it would take, but because it would be difficult for your mind to recall certain things hidden away.
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Postby annis » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:16 pm

calvinist wrote:but you haven't given any arguments against the possibility of a person deceiving themselves about what they know to such an extent that they think they do not know it.


The question is not whether or not people can deceive themselves or have unconscious motivations — this is obvious. The question is whether or not you have some special access to other people's thoughts and motivations. You do not. No person does, even if you imagine your god does. There is also a Muslim doctrine that people don't convert, they revert to Islam. Like yours, the belief is that people innately already somehow know that god exists, just not the Christian one in this case.

For me personally, when someone tries to tell me in the course of a discussion what I think, that really I agree with them but am just being difficult, they have lost the argument.
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Postby IreneY » Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:38 pm

In fact there can't really be a discussion can it? Only a statement of different opinions, ideas.
It is obviously impossible to convince person A about a matter when he or she truly believes that person B is wrong and he or she simply doesn't know it.
On the other hand, the person that does not know it (person B) has to be convinced that it is not his/her logical conclusions that are wrong (more than possible) not even the logical process itself (another probability) but their logic itself.
If however I, for example, am convinced that I cannot trust my logic, my mind, to reach the right conclusions even after a lot of discussions, introspection etc, how can I possibly trust it to decide one way or another on such a weighty matter? Not to mention that since I will have to use this faulty logic I have (the only one available for me I'm afraid) to be convinced I can't see how this is possible.



Point in case (reversion done on purpose): I found the logic of this argument faulty, verging on circular. I am deceiving myself is that I do not believe in a creator and the reason for this is that we all know there is a creator deep inside but some of us do not see it. My logic cannot but dismiss this argument and therefore, my logic is faulty.

Hope I make some sense here :)

As for
i guarantee you couldn't write down every piece of information or belief you currently hold in your mind, not because of the time it would take, but because it would be difficult for your mind to recall certain things hidden away.
, well, in fact, I do believe that, given enough time and nothing better to do I could and I am not an exception. Anyone who, when asked what he/she thinks about A can reply to that question, knows what he/she thinks about that issue. True, I would have to fill the paper with asteriscs after countless variations on the theme of "Sugar! I forgot to write what I believe about the use of discposable paper bags vs. plastic bags in that section about environment" but tmy ideas on the matter are not hidden since I do have perfect access to them.

Also note that I really love my dad so not trauma blocking my beliefs there, and my granny Irene who was the most devout in our family was an absolute sweetheart that I remember with love and fondness. In fact in was grandpa Panayotis of whom I was quite afraid of through all my childhood and my early teens years and he was an atheist :D
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Postby calvinist » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:16 pm

annis wrote:The question is whether or not you have some special access to other people's thoughts and motivations. You do not. No person does, even if you imagine your god does.

In this statement you are saying that you know what other people can and can't know in their own minds (in this instance me), which is exactly what you are rejecting anyone can do.
IreneY wrote:I found the logic of this argument faulty, verging on circular.

Yes, I will admit to the circularity of the argument, but all arguments are circular. It's just a question of how large the chain of circularity is... an argument with a small circle can be unacceptable, for instance: "the car is blue because the car is blue." there is only one element in that argument so it's not very strong. "the car is blue because i painted it blue" is much better but it's still circular, no matter what 'blue' means as long as it means the same thing in both instances the argument will be valid as long as painted still means to apply the 'blue' characteristic. the circularity of an argument does not make it invalid, it may make it weaker though. when we are talking about the most fundamental things of reality though, such as the existence or nonexistence of God, much more circularity in arguments is to be expected since the subject matter is the foundation for other things. they cannot stand on more fundamental things because they are the fundamental things.
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