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Featured The Power Of Circular Reasoning

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Skwim, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Which is not evidence for creation by God or for having been ejected from the hind end of a transuniversal rhinoceros.

    What it IS evidence for, as much as we are able to see of it, understand it and work backwards, for a Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, and beyond that...nothing more.
     
  2. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Meaningless. Spirituality is merely a supposition that one is "going beyond," it is a subjective feeling, and it is entirely generated by the same organ that generates feelings of anxiety, love and libido. The notion of "above the natural" means nothing.
     
  3. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    He didn't deliver it to any of us alive today. And your conjectures about divine messengers of the past are just that. Also, why would God choose to trust his message to human 'spokespeople', knowing that we would screw it up?

    What you are proposing is nonsensical. And even foolish. And that's why I don't believe it's in any way accurate.

    I think we humans have a spark of the divine within us. And as such, we are occasionally capable of perceiving and even embodying divine wisdom. This is what the story of Jesus' life and death teaches us. If you want to claim this is a "message from God" that's your choice.
     
  4. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    You keep imagining, I think, that you can "verify truth". You can't. And neither can I or anyone else. All we can "verify" is what works within our current experience and understanding of existence (as opposed to what doesn't). And that's FUNCTIONALITY, not TRUTH.
    It is a difficult concept for a lot of people to understand.
    You'd be believing in a lie, because as a non-omniscient human, you cannot possible "verify" truth. You can only test a proposition to determine if it 'works' within your current experience and understanding of existence, or it doesn't. That does not "falsify" the proposition, nor does it verify your current experience or understanding of existence. You are living by faith just as much as any theist. And just as with any theist, what you place tat faith in determines the outcome of the actions you take based on that faith.

    EVERYONE is picking and choosing what they "believe" relative to what they want to be true. It's what we humans do. Because we do not possess the requisite knowledge to determine the 'Truth' of anything. All we can determine is the relative functionality of a proposed 'truism'.
     
  5. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    And in this context you're quite right. ;) which I wasn't going to bring up until later, but :thumbsup: for recognizing what I believe to be a major flaw in the "God's prior knowledge against free will argument."

    .
     
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  6. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    I may be playing fast and loose with the word "truth," and you're right I should rein that in.

    What we can do is create models of reality based on the evidence available to us that are probabilistic. We can determine if an idea matches the evidence we have, or does not. You can describe this as function as well. If we want to know if a drug cures a disease, we can test it and collect the evidence. If 99% of people don't get better after taking the drug, we can conclude it's highly likely the drug doesn't work. Believing, despite the available evidence, that the drug does work and people should take it would be irrational.

    Get over to my thread and explain it. :D


    Sure it does, probabilistically. There is always a chance we could be wrong despite the evidence, of course. We're not talking about absolute truth or dogma. We're talking about building a worldview that makes most sense of the evidence available to us.

    Sorry, but bull. This is an equivocation fallacy. The fact that I can't have absolute certainty of the accuracy of my beliefs does not mean I am believing without evidence.

    I still am not convinced we pick and choose any of our beliefs. See the other thread.
     
  7. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    See post #145

    .
     
  8. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    How can a god that may not exist(I don't know if a god exist), know what you do and/or be responsible for anything you do?
     
  9. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Keep in mind that what you are referring to as "evidence of truthfulness" (veracity), is really just biased functionality. Because the criteria we are holding it up to is our current imagined reality: (truth) according to our current and profoundly minimal experience and understanding of 'what is'.
    The probability of our being wrong, and I mean wildly wrong, is far greater than we nearly always allow ourselves to recognize. Even our best scientists estimate that we are still totally ignorant of well over 80% of existence. And with a 'knowledgeable' percentage that small, even our estimation becomes wildly suspect.

    What I am trying to point out, here, is that our 'pursuit of truth' claims are a sham. We coudn't pursue the truth even if we wanted to. The best we could do is pursue truthfulness, and the proper word for that is "honesty", not truth. So I suggest that we all just drop the old-fashioned nonsense about our righteous pursuit of truth, and start trying to be honest with ourselves and each other. What we are really pursuing is functionality. And the criteria for what we deem functional and non-functional is our desire. Does "it" get us what we want/need? If yes, then we deem it "functional". If not, then we deem it non-functional. And this is as true of a scientific experiment as it is of an intercessory prayer.

    OK, so now that we've finally faced this reality of our human condition, what about the ideal of "God", and what about placing our faith in such an ideal? I am saying that the determination, here, is NOT properly or logically going to be made based on any delusional 'pursuit of truth'. It's properly and logically going to be made based on it's functionality. And that, in turn, will be determined by hoe "it" helps us to get what we need/desire. AS IT SHOULD.
     
  10. RedhorseWoman

    RedhorseWoman Active Member

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    In this instance, Deeje stated that tiny babies and little children deserved to die because God knew that they would be evil. Those babies and children never had a chance to exercise free will because their fate was foreordained and they were slaughtered without ever getting a chance to choose a path for themselves. That, to me, is a very real problem.
     
  11. RedhorseWoman

    RedhorseWoman Active Member

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    If God knows what you will do, then you really can't choose anything different without causing God to be imperfect and his "foreknowledge" to be merely guesswork.
     
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  12. Jos

    Jos Active Member

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    Oh... with respect to children I guess that could be a problem given they weren't allowed to exercise their free will and make their own choices.
    I understand that but if we wanted to choose otherwise we would have chosen otherwise but we still made a choice of our own free will to choose the action we chose so I still don't see how that negates our free will.
     
  13. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Okay. Good.


    So they use instruments. Cool.


    Supernatural, to my knowledge refers to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
    So it seems to indicate that even if it were a phenomenon that were observed, it is not possibly to measure with current instrument, and baffles the observer - it surpasses his understanding.
    Do you find that different to a force that indicates a presence, but cannot be currently measured - such as 'dark energy' as one example?
    If there were no instruments to measure wind, magnetism, and other forces, these phenomenon would still exist, and their effects observed, even if not understood scientifically.


    Exactly the point I am making.


    So far, we are on track.


    Did you read the small excerpts I included in the post?
    They have not - cannot - directly observe them. What we can observe, is affected by something - some unobserved force.
    So, based on what appears to be a misunderstanding, I think I should ask the question again. Why do you accept these hypotheses?


    So you are convinced of something that cannot be directly observed. You consider it to be real, because whatever it is... whatever is there... it has an effect on matter. So you believe. Agreed?
    Do you require a measure of faith to believe that it is what others have proposed, or suggested, as an explanation for the phenomenon?


    Oh. I see. Can you elaborate please. It sounds interesting.


    Now you will have to explain what you mean by empirically detect something, since you have said you believe, and are convince that something is true even though it cannot be directly observed.

    If due to the earlier misunderstanding, and you want to change anything, that is acceptable, and understandable. So feel free to make any adjustments.
    I will understand.
     
  14. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    No, not unless we completely equivocate about the term "bias." We are talking about objective functionality, that we can empirically verify.

    The reality I'm referring to is not imagined in my head alone, it's shared and independently verifiable. That is the criteria I'm using.

    What you seem to be arguing is that if we can't be absolutely certain in our knowledge of everything, then we can't be confident about the accuracy of our beliefs in anything, and we should just abandon the entire enterprise of finding accurate information about reality. Which seems to me is a) a huge jump to conclusion, and b) a monumentally foolish idea.

    As far as I can tell, you're creating an odd false dichotomy between truth/reality and functionality. The thing is, you aren't going to know how to appropriately navigate reality (functionality) unless you understand that reality to some degree. If I want to know the fastest route from my house to the store, I have to have knowledge of where my house is, where the store is, what roads connect the two, what the traffic laws and road conditions are, etc.

    Now it is possible you could stumble upon a solution to some problem you have without any comprehension why. You took a pill and it made you feel better, but you have no comprehension of the science behind it. But wouldn't you be better off, all else being equal, if you did understand why the pill makes you feel better? It certainly will be helpful for your doctor to know why the pill works if you come in with other complications down the road.

    The problem with believing things that seem "functional" in the moment but have no evidentiary basis for them, is they come with unintended consequences. Like believing when you pray to your God he will miraculously heal you, and so you are filled with hope and joy (it's "functional" for you) and forego medical treatment and end up sicker, or dead. Again, the history of religion is littered with these examples. Which is why, again, we should defer to what verifiably conforms to the evidence and not believe things just because they make feel good but are not tied in any demonstrable way to reality.

    Again, understanding reality is the most reliable way to get us what we need/ desire. "God," like all things supernatural, is a Pandora's box that often seems functionally helpful but comes with baggage of unproven ideas that lead people to do foolish and dangerous things.
     
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  15. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    It becomes a bit of an actual duty once one realizes what the exact boundaries of the self-imposed parameters of Christianity are.

    You asked. I am just answering.
     
  16. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    ARE...?????.....what????

    as a nonbeliever looking in
    you MIGHT have some insight to the faults of a religion

    but Christians are self imposed?
    as if the will of God is a choice?

    looks like fresh thread material
     
  17. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    To clarify, a supernatural event is not just one that baffles the observer - lots of natural stuff baffles observers all the time. Same with measurement - there's lots of stuff out there in the physical universe that we haven't measured and can't currently measure. Something supernatural would, presumably, violate the laws of nature or be completely beyond measurement because by definition it is beyond nature.

    So here's the critical decision point: if we observe something that we can't explain, or can't measure, how do we know if it's something supernatural, or something natural that we just don't have enough information about yet?

    I think this question is unanswerable, which is why I don't think we can ever conclude that something is supernatural. There is always a possibility it will turn out to be natural once we learn more about it - which has happened many, many times in the history of human discovery. Feel free to tell me if you think I've got it wrong.

    Dark energy is a proposed natural explanation for a phenomenon we've observed. The difference between that and a supernatural explanation is that dark energy can at least some day, once we get the proper technology, be tested and/or falsified. Supernatural explanations can't, they're unfalsifiable.

    Correct. And we would be wrong to ascribe a supernatural explanation to them simply because we don't understand them. That would be an argument from ignorance.

    Full disclosure, I have only done minimal research on this topic. So I really don't know that much. So when you ask, do I "accept these hypotheses" - I think they're plausible? They could very well be wrong. I don't know, because I don't have the physics knowledge to really understand the complexities of these ideas. I should do more reading on them, I just haven't.

    I believe there is something causing this phenomenon yes. And I'm highly confident that something is going to be a natural rather than a supernatural thing, because all the other verified causes of everything else we know of in the universe have been natural.

    That depends on what you mean by faith. Confidence? Yes, I have confidence that physicists are the most capable people on the planet of accurately answering these questions. Belief in the absence of evidence? No.

    Let me think...let's take the Loch Ness monster. The idea that there's a plesiosaur hanging out in a loch in Scotland can be tested by - going and looking in Loch Ness, and say, seeing him and videoing him (not the crappy home videos of floating logs, I mean like Nat Geo quality video).
    We can't do that with, say, I don't know, what's inside a black hole. I'm just spit balling here. I just mean that different hypotheses require different tests to verify them.

    Sorry, by directly observe I was thinking of actually seeing something with my own eyes. "Empirically detecting" would be like using instruments.
     
    #157 Left Coast, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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  18. RedhorseWoman

    RedhorseWoman Active Member

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    So, then, you believe that God is merely guessing about what a person would do because that person could choose to do something different? God is not all-knowing and omnipotent in your opinion?
     
  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    If God exists, God knows everything we do but God is not responsible for what we do; we are responsible because we have free will to choose.
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. :)
     
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