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Featured The reason why atheists and believers will never agree of God.

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Xavier Graham SA, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

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    I’ve made a couple of threads about “proving God”, and have read through similar threads. I would like to state an observation. There is a fundamental reason why there will always be disagreement.
    First, definitions. Epistemology is the theory of knowledge. The theory of pramanas is ancient Hindu epistemology. Epistemology deals with discovering what are valid ways to attain true knowledge. Each pramana deals with a separate way true knowledge can be attained.
    In total, the Hindus theorized six different pramanas, with the varying schools accepting different ones as valid. Three central pramanas which are almost universally accepted, which are perception (Sanskrit pratyakṣa), inference (anumāna), and "word", meaning the testimonyof past or present reliable experts (Śabda); and more contentious ones, which are comparison and analogy (upamāna), postulation, derivation from circumstances (arthāpatti), and non-perception, negative/cognitive proof (anupalabdhi).
    For this thread, I will be focusing on the pramana of “word or testimony”.
    The Hindus argued that receiving knowledge directly from God is a valid means to attain true knowledge. As God is the source of all knowledge, information gotten from God is reliable and true. For Hindus, this would apply to their Vedic literature. For a Christian, the Bible. Interestingly, Buddhism does not see this pramana as a valid means to attain knowledge.
    Let’s use Christians as an example, now. I myself believe that the Bible is authentic because it says it is authentic. This is a valid way of verifying it, as I believe it to be directly from God. This isn’t just some cop out, trying to talk a way out of philosophically defending my position. That has been the assertion I’ve seen on this site. The notion that “word/testimony” is a valid means to attain true knowledge is a thoroughly developed epistemological concept. It is not a cop out.
    So! The believer believes in this pramana. The atheist does not (I’m not atheist, but I assume). Because of this, no matter how much debating is done, no one will ever be moved, I think. It all depends on whether or not you believe testimony is a valid means to attain pure knowledge.
    Well for my part, I’m done debating whether God is real. I suppose one could use Bible apologetics to try to prove the Bible in a “scientific” way, but will it ever be satisfactory? Like, the site of Jericho. The Christian will say, “It is archeologically dated to the Biblical date!” And the atheist will say “No, it’s a later date!” Each side can find evidence supporting their beliefs.
     
  2. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    There is no agreement because there is no God to produce.

    It's as simple as that.
     
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  3. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    They won't ever agree because there is nothing to agree on. One party believes mythological tales without evidence, the other party says there is no evidence of leprechauns, pink unicorns or gods so why wast time pretending
     
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  4. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

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    This notion I disagree with. The Christian can very easily point to apologetics as physical evidence of the authenticity of the Bible. As for the OP, I was hoping to demonstrate that there is a developed philosophy on the idea of testimony being valid.
     
  5. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    And i can point to history to dispute much of the bible. No one can authenticate the main points of the bible because there is no independent evidence to validate its claims.

    The testimony of no evidence for god is as valid as it comes. If such evidence is ever put forward then, apart from destroying faith, i, and many other atheist would be pleased to review it.
     
  6. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

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    You misused your own epistemology. Testimonial is only a valid epistemology if the testimonial is derived from a credible source with access to said knowledge like a third party witness to a crime in full possession of his or her intellect for example. That testimony has value on the subject of what happened during the crime because, being a third party the witness isn't biased toward one of the party involved, being in full possession of its intellect its least likely to commit error of perception and memory and it actually saw and heard directly what was going on during the entire event. That's a reliable testimony. The reliability of a testimony needs to be established by at least some external verifying factor for it to be accepted as a valid epistemology. If you cannot assess or confirm the viability and reliability of a witness or an expert, you can't use their testimony as proofs. That's why we don't accept second source witnesses without first source witnesses in trials. That's why a medical expert must demonstrate beyond all shadow of a doubt an expertise in medicine to be considered as such.

    In your case, you use a circular reasoning to assert the strength of the testimonial. Why is the witness a good witness? Because the witness says so. That's a gracious misuse of the an epistemology.
     
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  7. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Lightly seared on the reality grill.

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    Everything I post is 100% absolute fact which cannot be denied. Will you now accept that my posts contain absolute truth, just because I said so?

    The bible isn't even self-consistent.
     
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  8. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

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    I agree you can find evidence to dispute it. This is why I brought up Jericho. Upon personally reviewing the evidence and findings of Jericho, (through internet and books, nothing fancy) I believe that the archeological findings strongly support the Biblical narrative. Others believe that the findings discredit it. Hence me saying what’s the point debating the topic.
    There is independent evidence of historical events recorded by the Bible. For example, the Jewish king Hezekiah has been verified as historical and the narrative of his struggles to be historical as well. The Bible says that when Hezekiah was king, all of Judah was taken over by Assyria, save Jerusalem. Hezekiah was trapped in Jerusalem for his reign. Recently, an Assyrian battle monument has been found, listing Hezekiah king of Judah on the list of defeated kings. It even describes his predicament, him being “caged in Jerusalem like a bird”
     
  9. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

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    And that is why faith and personal experience with said faith is essential when holding religious beliefs. I don’t think there’s any shame in that.

    as for the Bible being valid testimony, like I said, Christian apologetics is something Christians can point to in support of it being valid. As well as our personal experiences with God, for ourselves, at least, we can validate it.
     
  10. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

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    Well I don’t believe you though. :p
     
  11. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

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    Faith isn't a valid epistemology though.

    Christian apologetic fails to support the more contentious and important elements of the Bible like the Resurrection of Jesus for example and can only provide evidence for mundane claims that aren't even questioned like Roman crucified Jews who opposed them or threatened them. That's a major difference.

    As for your personal experience of the divine, no you can't validate them yourself since you don't have the definitive ability to make the difference between "divine experience" from "hallucination", "florid psychosis", "active dreaming" and a plethora of phenomenon that can equally explain and reproduce the same experience you had.
     
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  12. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

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    This point is the point I was trying to make in the OP. You can look at it both ways, and different schools of thought do. You have to have faith in the source of the testimony for you to believe it is valid, so faith is a part of it. The Hindus thoroughly developed the theory of Pramanas before epistemology was theorized in the west. For them, testimony meant faith in the ancient sages. They reasoned that through their deep meditations, the ancient sages were in direct contact with Brahman. This is how they believe the Vedic literature was produced. They have to have faith in them, So, originally, faith was integral in accepting testimony.
     
  13. Bird123

    Bird123 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the real problem is Accepting beliefs as fact. When one does not question, one does not really care for the truth. I see this on both sides. Each see their side as right without even the possibility of the other side having useful information of some kind. I think theists and atheists need each other so the knowledge or possibilities will be around.

    At one time, the truth was the smallest particle of an element was the atom. In time, it was discovered this is not so. That which was thought to be a fact turned out to be merely a belief that was not true.

    Truth must always be questioned. Real truth will never change. If truth is not question, one might wake up one day, just like the atom, and discover all they had all along was mere beliefs.

    So the question remains. Do you seek real truth or do you just want to spread your beliefs?? Do you Question or merely accept?? It has always been in each of our hands. Choose!!

    Atheists need to see that there is existence beyond this physical world. The proof is within us all. Theists need to see that God is more than feelings. Just like all the physics add up perfectly so does everything about God. One can not just ignore and accept beliefs from a holy book when they clearly do not add up.

    So often people do their best to avoid Drama and yet so much learning comes around Drama. I think it is wrong to stop the interaction between theists and atheists. Each side has something the other side needs to see.

    That's what I see. It's very clear!!
     
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  14. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    And I've been to Alnwick castle and seen it with my own eyes, so Harry Potter must be true.

    Historical facts are not the problem. Any good writer of fiction will pepper their book with facts to lend credibility to the story

    What is the problem i see is the "supernatural", and unevidenced stuff that make the religion what it is. It does not worship Jericho or Hezekiah, but a god without evidence and said son that makes no sense whatsoever.
     
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  15. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Lightly seared on the reality grill.

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    Well if you're prepared to believe a self-contradictory collection of old books just because it says so, why won't you believe me? I don't even contradict myself (not often, anyway).
     
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  16. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

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    We have differing opinions on the book, I suppose that’s what it simply comes down to. I’ve read through the Bible, and study it often, and have yet to come across contradictory information. I think some examples are very easily cleared up with context of the surrounding text, such as the contradiction of the death of Saul.
     
  17. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    In the matter of accepting testimony we also have to judge the testimony‘s honesty and accuracy and that becomes subjective. Atheists and believers both accept some testimony but not all.

    The difference is really just in that subjective judgment on religious/spiritual testimony and what it means. The difference is not a case of accepting testimony or not as part of one’s epistemology.
     
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  18. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

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    A measure of faith is indeed necessary to any epistemology if only to solve the problem of hard solipsism. Passed that point though it's absolutely worthless. You can't invoke a principle outside of its needed application. Let's take you old sages as an example. Do they speak wisdom because they are in contact through unknown and undemonstrated means with an external source of knowledge or do they speak wisdom because they are old, experimented, well reasoned and thoughtful and thus make reasonably accurate guesses on human conditions and the world we interact with? You cannot imply the existence of Gods or any external source of supreme knowledge from that since there are equally competing explanations that are far more plausible since their mechanism are known and observable in other settings. While the other involves a lot of unknown processes and postulate the existence of an unobserved source. Faith is integral to epistemology only as far is it needs to pass the problem of hard solipsism the rest is accessory and after that testimonies needs to be demonstrated and demonstrable.
     
  19. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
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    That theists and atheists will never agree on God is a truism. If they did, either they woukd both be theists, or both atheists.

    ciao

    - viole
     
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  20. Xavier Graham SA

    Xavier Graham SA God is Love, is love, is love. OM, AV KAH AHH!

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    And I would say this reasoning you have is why you are an atheist. Faith in these sages and their divine message is central to Hinduism; it is Hinduism. (Correct me if I’m wrong anybody!)
    You disagree with the premise of religion in general. That’s how I’m interpreting your response. To be a Hindu is believing that these sages speak wisdom, and meditation is how they believe it is demonstrable.
     
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