What is faith and how has it effected anything at all in your life?
And; in theory, could faith promote being violent and unreasonable to other people based on the fact that you cannot prove to yourself that they don't have similar feelings?
Explain what your thoughts are. Thank you.
No. Faith may have helped a few people but it leads to ignorants, superstition and violence.
Faith is the belief that a concept, thing or person is 'true' or valuable, regardless of logical or physical proof for such a belief - indeed sometimes in spite of evidence to the contrary.
Any system of belief can lead to unreasonable, violent or confrontational behaviour if followers of that belief are convinced of their own righteousness and therefore, by definition, the 'wrongness' of non-followers. This does not apply only to religious faith but also to other types of faith systems such as political and economic ones.
It does not, of course, follow that all people of faith are therefore dangerous, violent or unreasonable people - that would be a ridiculous claim to make. I would, however, argue that it is more likely that unreasonable behaviour will occur in people who are convinced of their righteousness than in people who know that they don't know.
As an atheist I have no belief in supernatural or divine entities, powers or forces. That does not mean that I have no faith at all - it just means that I will always put aside a belief if it can be demonstrated that it is logically flawed, or it is refuted by experiment or observation.
If, for example, God appeared and demonstrated His divinity by some means which I could quantify and validate, then I would abandon atheism and accept the religion in question, since that would be the obvious and logical course to follow. My attitude and 'beliefs' are, therefore, changeable which means I am unlikely to be 'backed into a corner' defending a belief system that is clearly problematic. This, I maintain, makes it less likely that I will engage in violent or unreasonable behaviour.
When cornered and threatened the instinctive reaction is to fight back - this can be easily observed in both human and animal experiments. When someone of deep faith is confronted by someone with an equally deep conviction which is not compatible or is contradictory they can sometimes be threatened by that, and animals and humans often do not respond well to threats of that type.
faith in what?
a higher power? yourself? other people?
the government?... haha, I crack myself up
peace be upon you.
I believe faith is ESSENTIAL.
Whether in God or not.
If an athelete goes to a race convinced he will loose, what chance can he stand?
Many years ago, no man had lifted 400kilos. It was convinced to be "impossible". So they got a man, and changed the scales to make it look "399" which had been lifted before, and the man lifted over 400kilos cos he believed it was less than 400. (note: i might have got the units wrong).
Belief made him do it.
Faith therefore, regardless of God, is essential to success.
may God bless you.
no faith is not essential.
You can live a nice life without a faith, without believing in any religion.
Think how many people have had nice lives without believing in religion. I'm not saying faith is good or bad, thats up to people to decide for themselves.
However if you are troubled, it helps to believe in God so that there is someone to turn to, to pray to...
Well I think that faith, as a Religious faith, isn't a necessity.
You don't have to belong to any of the Religion group, but if it would be that simple almost noone would be a part of them. Some people (including me) keep their faith mostly cause of the advantages like all the cool holidays and stuff and practically having a faith (f.e Christian) makes your life kind of easier cause there are certain things that only Christian can have.
Now in my case, I'm a Christian, but i don't go to Church, i don't believe in them, I do believe in God however and have faith in Him, but i'm not exactly sure that it's exactly the one that my church is describing. Though this faith keeps me going and if I feel like praying i do so.
In any case having faith can give you a boost sometimes, help you physicaly and mentaly, but it's not required of you to have it, afterall we all have the freedom of choice, it's not Middle Ages anymore...
You misunderstood my post. I was saying faith is essential. Faith as in "to believe in something to be true". Not faith as in "religion". Read my post carefully.
may God bless you.
Those example are do not help you.
If a man has faith that he will win a race, that dose not mean and will not help him in winning. And if he loses, his faith will backfire, doing harm to him. And they guy would have lifted it knowing how much it weighed.
You are also ignoring the negative consequences of it, the violence, death, deletions caused by faith.
That ain't the half of it. As it turns out, both of those examples not only do not make the case that faith is necessary... they actually make the case that faith is bad.
First, you gotta call him out on this: "If an athelete goes to a race convinced he will loose, what chance can he stand?" Do you realize that what he's just done is give an example where an athlete has faith that he will lose... and thus will not try? Isn't that a pretty good argument against faith?
But let's take the situation step by step and see what we get. Let's look at four possibilities, where the athlete believes they will win and where the athlete believes they will lose, in each case using and not using faith.
The athlete believes they will lose without reason (that is, by faith)
If the athlete believes they will lose, what motivation is there to bother trying (as in the example given)? However, if the athlete has no reason to believe that they will lose... they will be quitting for no reason, when in fact there may actually be a reason they could win. Thus, faith is bad in this case.
The athlete believes they will lose with a reason (that is, not by faith)
As above, what motivation is there to bother trying? However, in this case, the athlete has a reason to believe that they will lose (they are not in top form, the other athletes far outclass them, whatever). Therefore, if they quit, they will have a reason.
The athlete believes they will win without reason (that is, by faith)
If the athlete believes they will win, what motivation is there to bother training? However, if the athlete has no reason to believe that they will win... then they may lose simply because they haven't bothered to train, even though they could have won otherwise. In fact, if they do win, it will literally be by blind luck, because they have no reason to believe that they will win. Thus, faith is bad in this case.
The athlete believes they will win with a reason (that is, not by faith)
As above, what motivation is there to bother training? However, in this case, the athlete has a reason to believe that they will win (they have done sufficient training, they outclass the competetiion, whatever). Therefore, when they decide that they have done enough training, they will have a reason to believe that.
In each of those cases, it doesn't actually matter what the result is - win or lose. What is being measured here is whether the amount of effort being put into the event makes sense. Whenever faith is used, it does not. Whenever reason is used, it does. Thus, faith is bad.
As for the weightlifter case, that situation is rather disturbing. But there are two possible options. Either the weightlifter had a reason for believing they could not lift 400 kg, or they did not (they believed they could not lift 400 kg by faith). Let's look at each case.
The weightlifter had faith that he could not lift 400 kg
In this case, the weightlifter had no reason to believe he could not lift that weight. What those people who lied about the weight being lifted did was effectively prove that his faith was bad.
The weightlifter had reason to believe that he could not lift 400 kg
In this case, the weightlifter had some reason to believe he could not lift that weight. Perhaps in his training he realized that 400 kg was just beyond the threshold of safety for the effort he had to put out, and he was risking permanent injury straining any more. What those people who lied about the weight being lifted did was effectively fool him into ignoring the reasons he had for thinking that the lift would be impossible. He would have done the lift, feeling the strain but feeling safe because he knew from his training that the weight was within his limits... and potentially risked harming himself. In essence, the people that did that little experiment were unethical sons of bitches. If i were the weighlifter, and i actually did have a reason for believing i could not make that lift, i would have had them charged with criminial mischief. They were just damn lucky that the weightlifter's estimates were just a little conservative... or just lucky period.
So despite the claim made, faith is not essential to success. Success, in fact, when it occurs, does so in spite of faith. Whenever faith is used to determine success, if success occurs it is just blind luck.
I believe you have misunderstood them here.
"If an athelete goes to a race convinced he will loose, what chance can he stand?"
This is an example of lack of faith. It is more likely true, than false. If you have already settled on believing that you will lose, then you most likely will not try. Thus, you will surely lose.
I believe you have misunderstood them here.
"If an athelete goes to a race convinced he will loose, what chance can he stand?"
This is an example of lack of faith. It is more likely true, than false. If you have already settled on believing that you will lose, then you most likely will not try. Thus, you will surely lose.[/quote]
That is not an example of a lack of faith. An example of a lacked faith would be "a man knows he's going to loose through knowledge of his own limits and the limits of one or more of the other racers, he knows his and the limits of the others through reason." or "A man knows he's going to win cause he knows his limits and the limits of the other racers, he know there limits and his through reason", if a person know that he will win or loose by reason, he will know that there are other factors and though the possibility of winning is small, its not imposable.
No sir, i did not misunderstand. ^_^
If the athlete is convinced he will lose, that is not a lack of faith. Assuming there is no reason for believing he will lose, then that is very much real and active faith.
It is just as possible to have faith you will lose as it is to have faith you will win. It is just social convention that makes people believe faith must be a positive thing.
in addition to what I said.
If a person has faith that he will win the race, it would diminish the possibility of him winning. Cause of that faith he wouldn't give all he can as others racers would do.
not necessarily, his faith may be that IF HE does his best he will beat the rest (that would mean he would definitely be more likely to win, because he would try his hardest )
Here, here. If someone had faith that George Bush would not be reelected that is not a a 'lack of faith' that he will (be reelected), no sir, ".. that is very much real and active faith."
i voted that faith is nothing
because for me it is
however i do believe that for some people, having faith actually makes a difference in their lives, irrespective of what this faith is
but for me i believe that i do not need faith to live a morally correct and good life
so therefor i do not believe that there needs to be a higher force which created everything
i am quite happy to believe that there is a scientiffic explanation for everything
even if we havent found it yet
Wrong. What i said was if an athelete has faith that he will loose, faith is so powerful, he will loose.
The flaw in that argument is underlined. You automatically assume the athlete is quitting simply out of belief. Faith and fact can go together. When i was racing, i knew this kid could beat me; it was a fact. And so i believed i would come not first but maybe second.
That's really bad reasoning.
I believe in God. Doesn't mean that i throw all my logic, understanding, and skepticism to the winds! I use faith and fact together.
In the same way, an athlete knows he can't win by mere faith. He trains, and then BECAUSE of his training, [because of fact] he believes he can win, because he has potential.
This is a repeat of a previous argument.
Faith in this case is a booster. He might have trained really hard, and then someone told him the race was fixed. The athlete would then become depressed and convince himself he could not win, when he could have beat it (in other words, he could have beat the fixed result).
No-one had lifted 400kg. So people believed it was impossible.
That's simply it.
All the weightlifters had faith they could lift it. The people who lied, meant that the weightlifter had faith it was LESS than 400kg and he COULD lift it.
In other words, the weightlifter had faith he COULD lift under 400kg, and DID. This proves faith is good.
That's wrong. They didn't "fool him" into ignoring anything! They just changed the scales. You're changing the example.
you're completely changing this!!!
The fact is the weightlifter believes he can lift 399kg. A single kg will not affect his health!!
You need to reevalute your reasons.
may god bless you.
I think this argument is getting a little crazy.
Rather than focusing on talking about what other people have said (and if it was right or wrong) people should focus on sharing their view, and make sure their view CLEAR.
That would not be a debate. That would be an opinion poll.
Faith is absolutely necessary. People who pretend they have no faith just aren't aware of the limits of their knowledge.
IMHO, most of what Loyal says is right. There have been numerous studies showing that having a positive belief is beneficial. As he says, faith and fact do go together. We know in part and we have faith in part.
When I was young, I used to do swimming training. We used to get up at 4am in the morning and putter down to the pool, swimming and weight training. If I consider the opposite of having faith - then there is no way that it could possibly let you train so hard, let alone win races. You definitely need both - faith that you can win, but also the physical ability.
Faith is bad,faith is evil.
Faith has no positive attributes. Faith is belief with out or despite evidence. If you have faith in your ability's, you will loose, if you think "I will do my absolute best to win" you have a much grater chance of winning. It also leads to ignorants, superstition, violence and death.
Ah.. no! I said FOCUS!!!
Yes, in a good debate you do discredit the opponents argument, but you spend MOST OF THE TIME explaining your point of view and why it is right!
Think before you post guys!
Try reading (properly) what they said, think, and read over your post for readability and sense.
i know what you said, and no one is disputing that faith is powerful. Any belief, if strong enough, can motivate you to do things that you would not have been able to do without the belief - and that includes beliefs based on faith as well as beliefs based on logic and/or evidence.
The problem that i was pointing out is that unlike beliefs based on logic and/or evidence, beliefs based on faith have no rational basis in reality. If you have two athletes who strongly believe that they will lose - one who believes based on evidence and one who believes based on faith - they will probably both lose. The problem is that only the one who had evidence that they will lose is really justified in not trying. The one who simply had faith that they will lose had no objective, rational reason to believe they would lose - and, in fact, if they had looked at the evidence, maybe they would have seen that they had a good chance of winning.
That is not a flaw in my argument. That is what faith is... by definition.
The first problem is that you are confusing the environment of a belief with the content of a belief.
Consider the belief "i believe i will win the 100 m dash at the next Olympics". Are there any facts, evidence or logic involved in that belief? Yes, in fact, there are many. It wouldn't make any sense to believe that i will win the 100 m dash at the next Olympics if it weren't for the fact that the Olympics exist... and that there will be one in the future within my lifetime... and that there is an event called the 100 m dash... and that that event can be won by someone... and so on.
But all of those facts are not part of the content of the belief, they are part of the environment of the belief. The belief itself only involves whether or not i will win that race, nothing more, nothing less. And there is certainly no evidence or logic that could lead me to believe i could win that race.
(In fact, it turns out that pure faith is completely irrational and useless. Without some kind of real world environment based on evidence and logic, faith - far from being "necessary" - is of no good to anyone.)
So, looking at your belief that you would come second - the environment of your belief was that the race existed, and that you were in it, and that first place was impossible. But the belief itself was that you would come second. If you had no reason - no evidence or logic - for that belief, then it is a faith-based belief.
Which brings us to the second problem - you are attempting to redefine faith to make it easier on you. Faith is, by definition, a belief that is not based on evidence or logic. You can't say that you believed you would come in second based on the evidence that you were better than all but one of the participants and call it faith. If your belief that you would come second were really based on faith, then you cannot have evidence or logic for that belief - you may know that first place is not possible, but you can have no evidence or logic for believing that you might come second, as opposed to third, fourth or last.
Bad reasoning? Maybe, but it's not my bad reasoning, because it's not my argument. i never claimed that faith requires you to abandon all sense. i never claimed that when you believe something by faith that you would not bother to seek real evidence or logic for it.
If your belief in God is based on faith, then you believe in God without the benefit of any real evidence or reason. That is not my opinion, that is the definition of faith. If you believe in God based on evidence or reason, then you do not believe in God based on faith. That's all there is to it.
However, if you do believe in God based on faith, that doesn't mean that you can't or won't want to seek out real evidence or logic for that belief. There's nothing wrong with having faith that God exists while at the same time seeking evidence for his existence. If and when you ever find real evidence, then it will no longer be faith.
Again, you are attempting to redefine faith. If the athlete has reason to believe he will win - for example, because he has trained well and he has talent - then it is not faith.
That tells us nothing. It doesn't matter what the belief was. It matters where the belief came from. Was there a reason (that is, was there any evidence or logic) to believe that no one could lift 400 kg? Then it was not faith. Was there no reason for that belief? Then it was faith.
Now you're getting all confused. If the weightlifter believed he could lift 400 kg, what was the point of the example? He believed he could, and he did. The 399 kg deception has no relevance.
i'll get back to this "faith is necessary" thing in a minute.
Again, no one has claimed that belief - belief based on faith or otherwise - is not powerful. It is powerful enough to motivate you or demotivate you considerably. But powerful does not equal good. There is no reason faith cannot be both powerful and really, really bad.
And this "faith and fact go together argument" is based on two flaws. First, confusing the facts that make up the environment of the belief with the facts (or lack thereof) that make up the content of the belief. And second, the attempt to redefine faith to make it more palatable to those who are forced to rely on it for some of their beliefs. Faith is belief without logic or evidence. That is the definition of faith. If you have real world evidence or logic for your belief, then it is not faith. That's all there is to it, no matter how you try to weasel the definition.
There is another disturbing trend that i see mirrored here - the idea that all belief is faith. That is simply nonsense. If i drop a glass bottle out of my apartment window onto the parking lot below, i believe it will break. i base that belief on the evidence of my experience with glass, and logic from my knowledge of physics. There is no faith in that belief.
i was an athlete too. i also believed i could win and do well, and in fact did quite well. But i did not base that belief on faith. My father, all of my uncles and several of my cousins were also champions to varying degrees in the sport, so i had the evidence and the logic that genetically i was blessed. i had also done very well in training and trials. i also worked hard.
Based on all that, i believed i would do well. But there was no faith involved. i had very good and very solid reasons for that belief.
Second, you are really reworking the concepts in an extremely self-serving way. You define the belief that you will do well if you work hard as faith, but the belief that you have no chance at all as "the opposite of having faith". That's just plain wrong. If you believe that you will do well if you work hard, that's not necessarily faith - if you have evidence to indicate that if you worked hard you would do well then that is not faith at all. Further, the belief that you have no chance even if you try is not necessarily the "opposite" of faith - it could very easily be faith unless you have evidence or logic to support that belief - and in fact, the way you describe it, it is indeed faith.
i wanted to take a moment to take the question of this thread head on, because by this point, a couple of arguments have been put forward in support. Specifically, two arguments for why faith is "necessary" have been put forward, and both suffer from the same weakness.
First, it appears that we're not all clear on what the word "necessary" means (you'll see why i say this in a minute). "Necessary" means required, essential and/or indispensible - something we cannot do without.
You are trapped in a room with a bomb locked in cage where you cannot reach it. The bomb has an off button, but unless you can get the cage open, you cannot reach it, and you have no tools or anything else you can use. There is no way to live without disarming the bomb; there is no way to disarm the bomb without opening the cage; there is no way to open the cage without the key. If you want to survive, the key is necessary. Yes/no?
Answer: yes. The key is necessary to survive.
Now, consider the same scenario, only you don't have the key. Your death is unavoidable. That means your death is necessary. Yes/no?
Answer: no. Your death is inevitable. It is unavoidable. It is not necessary.
As i mentioned, you'll see why that is important in a minute. i should also make note that something that is helpful is also not necessary. You would think that is obvious, but....
Ok, so, as i mentioned, so far there have been two arguments put forward to justify the claim that faith is necessary.
Argument 1: Faith makes the unlikely happen
The first argument takes the form of pointing out that people like athletes must believe that they will do well in order to do well (and for some reason holds that the only way you can hold that belief is by faith, but that's an entirely different argument). That is not true.
It is true that if athletes sincerely believe that if they work hard they will make it to the top, they will probably do much, much better than they would without that belief. That means that the belief is helpful to their success. That does not make it necessary. In fact, even if you think you will fail miserably, there is still the chance that you will succeed. It's unlikely, but not impossible. Thus the belief is not necessary (and of course, it is not necessarily a belief held by faith).
Argument 2: Everyone has faith
The second argument is that it is impossible/impractical for a person to base all their beliefs on evidence and/or logic. At some point, we all have to take things on faith. Thus, the argument goes, faith is necessary.
Remember when i explained the difference between necessary and inevitable? Bring that to the front of your mind, and reread the argument above. What's wrong with it?
The argument above really only concludes that faith cannot normally be avoided, not that it is necessary. Necessary implies that any attempt to not use faith will fail... it shouldn't even be attempted. But that's not true. We can definitely try to find evidence and logic to support our beliefs, and it's not doomed to failure.
Furthermore, just because a thing is inevitable, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's good. A thousand years ago, if you drank poison, death was inevitable. Does that mean that if a person had drunk poison it would be a good thing that they die? Hardly. It was inevitable, not good. It also doesn't mean that we should sit back and accept it. Would you argue there was no point in even trying to find a way to negate the poison and save the person? Hardly. Even more, just because a thing is inevitable now does not mean that it will always be. It is no longer true for most poisons that ingestion inevitably means death.
I think that faith is a good thing, whether it's religious based or not. No one said that the only faith there is is religious faith. I have faith that my parents love me, that my husband love me and that my children love me. I have faith that I can learn things if I would just set my mind to it. Some things may be harder to learn than others, but I will learn it given time.
Any why is having faith in yourself sometimes a bad thing? I teach my children that as long as they do their best, I'm proud of them, win or loose. They have faith in themselves that if they practice at something, they will get better. What is wrong with that? They don't have to win a game to have faith.
Do I believe that everything will turn out perfect if I have enough faith? No. Bad things happen no matter how much faith you have and it's something I teach my boys.
That's all i was saying. Full stop. Nothing more, nothing less.
Faith is powerful enough to make you do things. It is generally needed for everyday life.
That is not what i was talking about.
I agree with you that faith is irrational sometimes.
Correction: in the western world, where for centuries christians believed in christianity irrationally and with no proof, the definition of faith is irrational.
In the Middle east, faith can be based on reason.
Besides, pure faith is in no case completely useless. It does things. It can make you win races; it can make you loose races. It does affect the person who believes.
The rest of your post seems to be based on just the definition of faith.
Our definitions disagree.
My middle eastern connection means i believe faith to include reason and evidence. Your western connection means you believe faith to include no evidence and irrationality.
may God bless you.
loyal, faith is belief with out (or despite) evidence, there is no reason in that what so ever. You can not have reason and faith together. So long as you believe something without (or despite) evidence, theres no reason there, only self delusion
Yes faith can make you do things but so can logical belief and reason. Logic belief and reason can be just as powerful as faith. Reason, logic and logical belief are just as powerful as faith and with none of the negative side effect.
Faith is powerful? Absolutely. Faith is helpful? Maybe, sure, why not? If you think so. i don't think so, but i'll accept that for now.
But neither powerful nor helpful equals necessary. And that's where i have a problem with this argument. Helpful does not equal "generally needed".
It seems to me that based on the arguments so far that some people do "need" faith to accomplish things. However, judging by the descriptions given, those people are the people who are simply too lazy to bother to find other means to motivate themselves sufficiently. The athlete that requires faith to motivate them to try their best does so simply because they're too lazy to find more realistic means of motivation - such as by thoroughly analysing the capabilities of their opponents and adjusting their training to counter them. You don't need need faith that you will win if you have already assured yourself objectively that you're going to because you're just way better than the competition.
Faith is irrational all the time by the definition of the word faith. What you're trying to do is say that a circular path is sometimes straight. Or that a white object is sometimes black. It's utter nonsense. If the object is black, it cannot be white by definition. If the path is straight it cannot be circular by definition. If a belief is rationally-based it cannot be faith by definition.
You can't just rewrite the dictionary to suit your position. The dictionary definition of faith is belief without evidence or logic. Period.
This has nothing to do with east or west, or north or south or even up or down. -_-
This has to do with the English langauge, and specifically the word faith. In the English language, the word faith is defined to mean belief without evidence or logic. No matter how much noise you make, no matter what part of the world you're from and no matter what religion you are, you cannot change the meaning of the word.
Yes, our definitions disagree... but the fact that we disagree doesn't mean that there is no objective truth here. In point of fact, you are wrong. That's all there is to it. That's not my opinion. That's the opinion of the English language. Get yourself a decent dictionary and find out.
If you have a problem with that, you don't have a problem with me, my beliefs or what part of the world i'm from, you have a problem with the English language. Well, tough. Use it or lose it. You don't like the way faith is defined by the English language, take up Esperanto. But don't try to rewrite the dictionary just because it doesn't fit your world view.
Given that faith is defined as belief without evidence or reason, then it follows logically from that - again, this is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact - that faith must be irrational. It doesn't matter how anyone feels about the subject, this is a matter of pure logic using the English language definitions of the various words involved. If faith is defined as belief without evidence or reason (which it is), then faith is irrational. Further, if faith is irrational, then pure faith must be purely irrational. Again, no opinion necessary.
It's not even hard to prove. This is what a statement of pure faith-based belief looks like: "Every garful has a spoolunk." That's pure faith there - there is not a single iota of reason or evidence there, neither in the content nor the environment of the belief. Do garfuls and spoolunks even exist? You have no reason or logic to believe that they do, thus if you believe that they do, it must be by faith. Is a spoolunk something that a garful can have? Once again, if you believe that it is, then it must be faith. Every aspect of that belief must be faith. It is pure faith. It is also nonsense.
And if i added any kind of logic or evidence to that example, such as by giving you any kind of evidence that garfuls exist or that "garful" is just another word for "chicken" or anything... then it would no longer be pure faith. In fact, if i connected it in anyway to reality, i would have to do so by means of logic and/or evidence. Thus, pure faith must be useless nonsense. QED.
At the beginning of last century, the 1900's the famous mathematician Hilbert declared that "We must know, we will know". His idea was to put all of mathematics on a logical basis. That is one which proceeded from a formal system of beliefs (known as axioms), and then to prove it correct (or at least self-consistent). As nice as this view sounds Goedel (pictured above) proved it can never work. Any axiomatic belief system, which accepts arithmetic (that is, adding two numbers, multiplying ect), is incomplete. There will never be a time when logic answers all questions, and this is not just an experimental fact. It is necessarily so.
Materialism has to be taken on faith, since there is no proof of it.
Loyal used a perfectly acceptable definition of faith. Indi, would you please tell us which dictionary you are used for the definition of faith as a belief held in the absence of logic, evidence and reason? I looked, but could not find a dictionary which agrees with you. Faith simply means a belief held in the absence of proof. Here are the definitions from www.dictionary.com:
Faith in the Christian context has nothing whatever to being illogical, irrational or denying evidence. It is a trust in God, and the revelation of him through Jesus. In Islam too, and Loyal, please correct me if I am wrong here, is not irrational, but accepts revelation of God as expressed by Mohammed in the Koran.
In my humble opinion all faith should start from God, and proceed from there.
There are several things wrong with this argument.
First, you don't completely understand Gödel's theorems. You understand just enough to fool yourself. What Gödel's theorems state is that you cannot prove any axiomatically based system using that system. That last bit is very important. What it means is that you cannot prove that the system of arithmetic is true using the system of arithmetic... but you can use set theory to prove arithmetic axioms, and you can use arithmetic to prove set theory axioms. Granted, that doesn't constitute absolute proof of either system, because both systems could be flawed and just happen to be flawed in a way that they work together. Which brings us to problem two.
You are interpreting the word "proof" to mean "absolute proof", which is a nonsensical concept. Absolute proof is impossible - totally impossible, not functionally impossible - the concept itself is illogical and cannot ever exist. Obviously when we talk about proof, we're not talking about a meaningless and illogical concept that cannot ever exist. So we're not talking about absolute proof. Therefore a proper definition of proof is any evidence or logical argument that serves to support belief. So when you say "do you have proof?", what you're really saying is "do you have any evidence or logical argument that supports that belief?". Not "can you show this belief to be true without any possible argument against?".
And then there's the third problem. Gödel's incompleteness theorems do not apply to everything. They are theorems of first order logic, and thus they only apply to systems based on first order logic. You can't just apply them to the universe and say "there! i've proven that you cannot ever know the universe completely!" That's just absurd. i know that's it's vogue now in postmodern thinking to try to apply science and math concepts to just about anything - from religion to literature - but it doesn't work. You might as well apply the second law of thermodynamics to aesthetics, or apply social clustering theories to gas particle interactions. Nonsense. -_- Gödel's theorems were constructed within a limited field, and they apply only within that limited field. If you want to apply Gödel's theorems to the material world, first you have to show that they are actually applicable here. The material world is not a first order logical system, and it is not axiomatically defined.
It was this quote that made me realize how you were defining "proof", because unless you interpret "proof" to mean "absolute proof", this statement is nonsense. Of course, if you define "proof" to mean "absolute proof", the statement is still nonsense, because absolute proof is impossible.
But with a more realistic and practical definition of proof, your claim is easily shown to be false. First, the short, but less solid proof: materialism is either true, or there is a non-physical aspect to the universe. In all of recorded human history, not a single iota of reasonably solid evidence or logic has ever been found that suggests there is any non-physical part of the universe. Never. In all of human knowledge. None.
That's a pretty powerful argument right there in favour of materialism, but not completely solid. For that, there is another, longer, more complicated argument, based on the necessity for similarity in order to interact (similarity is a philosophical concept). i'm not going to outline it here because: 1) it's really long and complicated, 2) it's not really relevant to the discussion and 3) it's not going to change your mind anyway. So there's no point. If you're interested, start another thread on it.
Speaking of requiring definitions, i'm afraid you're going to have to provide one for "perfectly acceptible" that includes "dead wrong".
That's it right there. You have it already. It was in your dictionary definition, too. Any dictionary will work.
All you have to do now is look up "proof". You will find that proof means "evidence or logical argument to support that the belief is true". Put it together to get: "Faith simply means a belief held in the absence of evidence or logical argument to support that the belief is true." It's all right there.
Your confusion seems to have been based on a misunderstanding of the definition of the word "proof".
Whoa. Right about here you go way off into weirdness country.
We're not talking about religious faith. That's something else entirely. You know this too, because you already gave the correct definition of faith above (i highlighted it in red). We're talking about epistemological faith - "plain old everyday" faith - the kind of faith that you defined above.
Where did all this religious nonsense come from? Surely you're not going to seriously try and argue that religious faith is necessary? Because that's so ridicuously absurd, it's not even worth responding to.
Even if we accept your example and try to repair both theories by accepting both arithmetic and set theory, A. In this case you end up with a bigger theory by combining both (with is axiomatic and contains arithmetic), which must in turn be incomplete B, and in turn be described by a larger theory, C... and so on. Not one of those theories are complete.
Goedel's theorem does not demand an absolute proof. It only asks that our beliefs (as expressed as axioms) be self-consistent.
For humans, I agree that faith comes in practice from the many uncertainties about the world, which we all face. In the case of the race, we do not know who will win or lose. We can never know everything, and therefore require faith.
I am not applying it to the universe. I am applying it to human beliefs. In particular, to logic and science. Such a belief system IS logical and axiomatic, and therefore cannot be complete. Why is it that you deny that logic and science are valid in our universe?
Well, actually Indi didn't say that, but it's clear that the argument is nonsense, and more than that, the argument is based on faith.
If Indi's definition to proof was true, you could prove that moon is made of cheese. Look up, and see that the moon is a similar colour, and or looks similar to cheese (see photo by subflux). That's evidence which supports the belief. By Indi's definition though, evidence which supports a belief is the same as proof. I think it's a really bad definition. Not surprisingly the dictionary says doesn't agree with Indi and says that proof is sufficient to produce belief that something is true. To leave off the sufficient truth part changes the meaning!
I humbly suggest that Loyal was talking about religious faith. And yes, religious faith is absolutely essential for us as humans. We have a worldview, and a faith in that worldview whether we like it or not.
If I may, let me finish with a quote from Luther, which agrees with Loyal's previous statement about the transforming of belief into actions:
Which is what i said, albeit in a slightly different way. -_-
i didn't say it did. -_- i said you were defining proof in the sense of absolute proof, not Gödel.
Read more carefully.
And now you're back to defining proof as absolute proof. Explicitly even.
If you live in a world where the only thing that can count as proof is absolute proof, then you live in a world where nothing is rational. Why? Because if you can never accept something is true based on any evidential or logical support - if no such proof is ever going to be enough, if everything requires faith - then you can never believe anything on the basis of evidence or logic... it will never be good enough. What that would mean is that you're really just wasting your time trying to claim that faith isn't completely irrational... because in that world, nothing is rational... rational can't even exist. That's why absolute proof doesn't work.
What? >_< Dude, seriously. If you're going to put words in my mouth, at least put semi-intelligent words there, please. That paragraph is nonsensical and incoherent. One minute you're talking about human beliefs, the next you're talking about science and logic... as if the two are interchangeable. And... somehow you can make conclusions about the nature of the universe based on the uncertainty of human beliefs??? What? There's no sense in there at all. -_-
i honestly can't even figure out what you're trying to say here, or how it in anyway relates to anything i said. It is literally unintelligible. It makes no sense at all.
Uh huh? -_- So you are claiming that religion is necessary? Good grief.
You do realize that that claim has absolutely no relationship to anything that's been discussed here so far? As in, like, none? We've been talking about non-religious faith... as is clearly evidenced by the examples we've been tossing about involving athletes (or are you going to argue now that an athlete's belief that he will win a race is a religious belief? -_-). i humbly suggest that if loyal was talking about religious faith, he was as far out in left field as you appear to be.
Goedel's theorem does not mean we need to throw away rational argument. But we do have to keep it in perspective.
I think, Indi, we are going to have to agree to disagree again. I hope you have a good day.
What? >_< Who said we did? All i said was that you cannot apply Gödel's theorems to just any old system you feel like, they only apply to axiomatically-defined, closed, first order logical systems. If you can prove that the universe is such a system, you go ahead and apply away. But you can't. Therefore it is wrong to apply them. Simple. What the hell does that have to do with rational or irrational anything? -_-
I completely disagree. We are perfectly justified in applying both logic and science ("axiomatically-defined, closed, first order logical systems").
Honestly -_- Your comprehension skills are atrocious. i mean horrible. Quote me exactly where i said or implied that we are not perfectly justified in applying logic and science to understand the universe.
You will find i said nothing of the sort. i said, and this is the entirety of what i said starting right here -> You cannot apply Gödel's theorems to any random system; they only apply to axiomatically-defined, closed, first order logical systems. If you want to apply them to science or the universe in general, you first have to show that they are axiomatically-defined, closed, first order logical systems. Until you do that, you cannot apply Gödel's theorems. <- And it ends there. That's it. That's all. Everything else you read you put there yourself.
Science is neither closed nor a first-order logic system. Science's axioms are not simply defined by science, they are determined by observation of nature - thus it is not a closed system. Science is a study of relationships of relationships (interrelationships), thus it cannot be a first-order logical system. It's as simple as that. Gödel's theorems do not apply to science.
As for this "logic" you're talking about, i have no idea what you mean. If you mean logic in general, then quite obviously Gödel's theorems do not apply, because logic in general isn't all first-order logic (or we wouldn't need the term first-order logic). Again, Gödel's theorems do not apply to logic in general.
The universe itself may or may not be an axiomatically-defined, closed, first-order logical system. i don't know, no one does. Maybe it's not closed. Maybe it's not axiomatically-defined. Maybe it's of a higher-order logic. Who knows? But until you prove that it is an axiomatically-defined, closed, first-order logical system - good luck - you can't apply Gödel's theorems to the universe.
Even if you try to create a blanket group by saying that if you lump all of science, logical thought and the universe altogether you get a closed system (which is not necessarily true), you still can't apply Gödel's theorems, because you still can't show it's a first-order logical system.
You can't just randomly apply equations and theorems wherever you want. You have to make sure that the equations or theorems are valid within the scope of where you're using them. Fermi-Dirac statistics can be applied to electrons, quarks and muons because those equations are valid for those particles... they are not valid for photons or gluons so applying them there would be wrong. Gödel's theorems apply to axiomatically-defined, closed, first-order logical systems... they are not valid for any other system. It's that simple.
That's all. That's all there is to it. All the other bullshit you're accusing me of, like throwing away all logical argument and all rationality, you're making that up yourself. It is no where explicit or implicit in anything i have said.
I claim that we do not have complete knowledge, and this is necessarily so. Indi disagrees. To prove my contention, I have to show that there always exist at least one problem to which we do not have the answer. Indi, on the other hand has to prove that there exists a time when every problem will be solved.
Indi claims that science is open. If you accept this, then it is clear that we do not have complete knowledge. At this point the rest of his post becomes pointless.
But better than that, we can provide several constructive examples.
Goedel's theorem provides such an example. I do not need to show that it applies in every case, and in particular I do not need to show that it applies to whatever case Indi dreams up. I only need to show that it applies at least once. And it does. It applies to all computationally enumerable theories that prove basic arithmetical truths.
The most famous is the halting problem. That is: Given a description of a Turing machine program and a finite input, decide whether the program finishes running or will run forever, given that input. This problem in not computable. That is, there is no general algorithm to decide if it will or will not halt.
I am under no obligation whatever to prove that the assumptions of Goedel's theorem apply in the physical universe, because I can hold beliefs about abstract things too - for example I believe that NP is not P, and that 2^32582657-1 is prime.
Who exactly are you talking to?
You are lying. You did not claim that it is impossible to have complete knowledge of the universe. You claimed that you could apply Gödel's theorems to the universe. That claim is false.
Only if that were the claim being discussed. It is not. The claim you made is that you could apply Gödel's theorems to the universe.
That would be true if the point of my post was what you are now claiming it to be. It is not. You claimed that you could apply Gödel's theorems to the universe. That post is a refutation of that claim. In that context, it has a point.
And here is where you completely leave the realm of logic.
What makes you think you can make that claim? If it's true, then why can't i apply the second law of thermodynamics to literary analysis? Why can't i apply economic game theory to particle interactions?
You know quantum mechanics. Tell me - precisely - why i can't use Fermi-Dirac statistics to describe bosons. If what you claim is true, one doesn't need any justification to apply a theory that is true in one context to another context. So why exactly can't i use Fermi-Dirac statistics to describe bosons?
Gödel's theorems were designed within a specific context to apply only to that context - spefically, first order computational logic. If you want to apply them to any other context, you do have to show that they apply.
BAM! Right there.
Now prove the universe is computationally enumerable.
You'll find you can't. Sure, it is usually assumed to be so, for the sake of simplicity. But that's no guarantee that it is. And, in fact, there is a lot of evidence that it is not, given the fact that there exist things that are not computationally enumerable within the universe.
Therefore Gödel's theorems do not apply. That has nothing to do with whether or not it is possible to know everything. The only thing it has to do with is whether or not Gödel's theorems appy. Try and stay with the rest of us now.
So logic be damned, you don't have to prove that Gödel's theorems apply because you believe they apply? You believe the universe is a closed, first-order system - without proof - so you can apply Gödel's theorems, and i just have to accept it?
Goedel's theorems do apply to the universe. They apply to computers.
Yeah? Now prove the universe is a computer.
Just as a neural network, such as the human brain, can be simulated by a computer, so can the Mind of God. There is nothing that is not a computer.
I defy you to show any evidence from Goedel that his theoroms do not apply to any computational device?
(Point of information)
a) Planck said nothing about spacetime being quantised and never mentioned quanta of space or time.
b) The idea that spacetime is quantised (ie it exists in discreet units) is unproven. There is, as yet, no experimental evidence that I know of that spacetime is quantised. If spacetime is, indeed, quantised then it is likely to be on a very very small scale. Quantum Gravity theory postulates that spacetime is quantised on the scale of the Planck length (10^-35m).
c) The idea that if spacetime IS quantised then the individual quanta would constitute cellular automata is an assumption. To be correct it would require spacetime quanta to
*It follows from this that time must be discreet.
For those interested in this area I suggest the following sources of information as a starting point.
Simple definition of a cellular automaton
More details on cellular automata at a general level
Introduction to the idea of the Universe as a computer
Wikki article on Seth Lloyd's 'Programming the Universe'.
Conference on this idea
Review of Seth Lloyd's 'Programming the Universe'.
Discussion on the issue in the Physics Forums
Video on Order and the Universe
Dear Conspirator, I disagree with you. Please, read below my opinion.
Faith is necessary for the human being. This makes us different from any animal. We must have faith BUT faith in life and faith in love. When you get faithful in both life and love you will need to be faithful in God, because this is the only way we can keep away the ignorance, the superstition, the violence and the "true" death. The Bible says this and I believe this is true. And it works. Think of this!
Excuse me... but isn't it our intelligence that makes us different from "any animal" (presumably you mean any other animal on Earth)? What's faith got to do with that?
As a matter of fact, faith-based belief does not require intelligence. A dribbling idiot could have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow. But only someone with intelligence could have a reason for believing that the sun will rise tomorrow. So, contrary to your assertion, it is when we do not use faith that we are most human.
(And incidentally: "When you get faithful in both life and love you will need to be faithful in God, because this is the only way we can keep away the ignorance, the superstition...."... don't you see the irony in that statement?)
Faith is everything. Without faith nothing would exist. Many who don't have faith will not agree because they probably don't know what faith is.
So, this should be testable I think. Are there any physical limitations on faith? Does it move/travel? If so how fast? If it is responsible for reality then it must, presumably, interact with a non-physical realm in some way to produce the material world?
We should be able, therefore, to set-up a closed system with a number of atheists as subjects and see if, when confined to a closed system which does not interact with the outside world, the whole of their material reality vanishes before their eyes.
There is the additional problem with this theory that it would, presumably, predict that before faith there was nothing. How, then, does something come into existence which can eventually express this faith in some manner? Surely the faithful come before the faith?
If you believe in Bayesian analysis then you certainly can quantify faith in beliefs. Constructing a prior is a problem.
That atheists believe that things they can't measure directly don't exist - for example the rest of the universe in Bikerman's example - just shows the silliness of some beliefs.
I think you may be confusing atheism with scientific materialism. Atheists don't necessarily 'not believe' things they can't measure - they specifically do not believe in a Deity, but other beliefs are not covered.
I think you may be confusing atheism with scientific materialism. Atheists don't necessarily 'not believe' things they can't measure - they specifically do not believe in a Deity, but other beliefs are not covered.
You are right. I should have said "some" atheists. Seems you're having the same problem I'm having tonight, not being sure if posts have gone or not...
I would draw a distinction and say it is not a belief at all. A belief is a positive entity whereas a lack of belief is a negative. One is not the opposite of the other and I'm not sure that you can say a lack of belief in something equates to a positive belief....
In your example, the belief that the rest of the universe does not exist because it can't be measured is absolutely a belief. One which I think is wrong.
To quote from wordnet: A belief is any cognitive content which is held true.
There's no necessity for beliefs to be positive statements. I can believe any number of things which are positive statements (the sky is blue) or negative ones (19 has no prime factors except 19 and 1).
Here's a stab at what faith is.
First off, we must establish what faith is, but it seems that no one can agree on what faith is to here is a general definition that I found which well work.
Note the word trust. I could also ask a similar question to what was propoed earlier. What do you put your trust in? Now is Faith necessary?
Further questions to fuel your thinking. Do you trust that what you know is enough to give you the confidence to believe what you believe?
- OR -
Do you trust (or believe) that you have enough training to finish a race?
Here is a good article that does explain with more words on what faith is.
Hope this helps.
Exactly. The definition is highly dodgy, but even accepting it then since I do not hold that the belief in a deity is true I am not beliving, not believing.
Those are not beliefs at all.
The first is an incorrect hypothesis which would, presumably, be discarded when the correct data were shown.
The second is a logical tautology based on a closed system of reasoning and is demonstrably 'true'.
[qoute="bikerman"]... since I do not hold that the belief in a deity is true I am not beliving, not believing. [/quote]
Is this decision a choice you have made, or were you determined by something or someone into believing there is no god?
Is this decision a choice you have made, or were you determined by something or someone into believing there is no god?
Is faith necessary? I think that it must be in our quest to find the truth. because if you look up the words true and truth you'll also find the word faith or faithful. You might even find the latin word fidelity.
Love God, love people, drink coffee.
In my own case, yes, it is a conscious and reasoned decision I have made. I was brought up and educated as a Catholic and started to question Catholicism itself in my early teens. That naturally led to questioning the whole Christian religion and from there it was a natural step to consider the whole idea of religion. There was no one datum or person more influential than another in reaching my current view - it represents my overall considered position after looking at the issue for a long time and thinking deeply about the matter for a considerable period.
True. Some people do have the choice to believe in a deity while others may not have that opportunity to hear about God. For those who never heard of God didn't choose not to believe, they just don't know any other way.
Like you and I, we both heard about God. You chose to not believe and I chose to believe in God. I do not believe Catholicism is correct for they have added things to their doctrine, and that is way I choose to believe the flip-side to Catholicism (protestantism). Evangelical Christianity is the road I chose. One major difference between Catholics and Evangelicals, amoung many others, is the doctrine of salvation.
As for anyone who has followed up on this Frihost topic, or other God topics, has the opportunity to chose to believe or not believe in God.
As an evangelical would you also accept that your right to introduce those of no faith or of other faith to your concept of God must be balanced by the right of those of other faiths to introduce their concept of their religion to Christians?
Believe it or not there actual are people who have not heard the of God, at least of the God the Bible refers to. These people are mostly live in remote areas where the God's message hasn't been reached yet or in countries where governments forbid outside "religions". In fact, missionaries are still working to translate the Bible into other languages. By the way, did you know that the Bible has been translated into more languages than any other text and is still being translated? (just a side note).
Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He left His disciples final instruction to tell the world about Him. This has been referred as the great commission. In doing so, we do not force people into accepting God as God, but we tell people about Jesus and they make decision to believe or not. This is their right. In turn, what missionaries will do when they enter a new land is they'll learn what they can about the people and determind the best approach to teach the people about God.
Many times if a missionary doesn't succeed in reaching some these primitive tribes, they are either asked or force to leave, or they are killed. And many people have lost their lives telling about Christ Jesus. Contrast that to Islam which a convert or die religion, and people wonder why it is the fastest going religion in the world.
To finish you question, sure i have the right to hear about other peoples god, gods or no god, but I do hold the right to choose to believe what many before me have believed, or choose to make up my own beliefs. I'm sure you would agree that it seems silly to make up a new religion of your own wouldn't you, especially if there are no facts to base such beliefs on? (like the book of morman)
Just as Christ has said, there will be people who will hear the Word and not accept it just as there will be people will hear and then believe. And also, just as Christ said to Thomas, "Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen me and yet have believed." -John 20:29
That's a good definition socialoutcast.
Bikerman. If someone goes inside a box and claims that the rest of the universe doesn't exist - that is a belief. The guy in the box believes that what he hasn't directly measured doesn't exist - and not those who tell him: "You're in a box. The rest of the universe still exists." In fact, it is a belief that he holds on faith.
I don't know where you get this 'universe doesn't exist' stuff from. I have never mentioned anything of the sort. If fact I was explicit in saying the opposite : thus
"Atheists don't necessarily 'not believe' things they can't measure - they specifically do not believe in a Deity, but other beliefs are not covered."
This whole line of argument is a complete red-herring and nothing to do with the point I made which was that Atheism is not in itself a belief.
That some atheists believe that things they can't measure directly don't exist - for example the rest of the universe in Bikerman's example - is a silly belief.
But more to the point, these people were Bikerman's own examples of people who have faith. That's the relevant thing for the discussion in this thread. Bikerman's atheists have faith when they believe that the rest of the universe doesn't exist. Likewise everyday atheists have faith if they believe that God doesn't exist.
Once again you seem confused -
1) Atheism has nothing to do with the belief or otherwise in the universe or it's existence. Atheism is the disbelief in divine entities, nothing more.
2) The notion that disbelief is just another form of belief is a common fallacy claimed by the religious. An atheist is one who does not believe that God exists - that is not the same as one who positively asserts that God does not exist.
I doubt the original poster would have said that everything that people believe is true. In which case you obviously misunderstood, and your ridicule applies not to faith, but to materialism.
The example of the universe disappearing is your example. I did not say that you believed scientific materialism. In fact, it's pretty clear that you've ridiculed it.
I simply don't understand how you think your views can be self-consistent. You used a 'disbelief' - ie. scientific materialism - as your example of faith. Now you are trying to redefine words to imply that it's not. That's contradicting yourself.
Why not try reading what was posted instead of assuming. The specific posting is still readable in the thread but since you can't be bothered to read it then I'll refresh your memory....
The point made was :
My response was in response to that specific point. I don't think it was unreasonable to assume that faith in this context meant faith in a divinity, but I admit that is an assumption and my reply was based on that assumption - if the assumption is incorrect then I withdraw the reply.
As to misunderstanding....I understand the distinction between atheism and materialism...indeed I believe it was me that pointed out the difference to you in response to your mistaken point that:
I know - it is pretty clear that you don't understand....maybe if you read what I wrote in the context it was written it will become more clear to you..
Disbelief is not a scientific materialist term, it simply means not believing. I made the distinction between disbelief (not believing in something) and the positive assertion that something does not exist. I admit that the distinction is perhaps a bit difficult to grasp but it is certainly consistent and certainly not a redefinition of words.
i disagree. i think the distinction is trivially easy to understand, and it is only by wilful ignorance that it appears obtuse to some people.
All you need is a simple example. i claim that i have a neighbour named Drago. Do you believe that Drago (my alleged neighbour) exists?
There are only three possible types of answers to that question:
If you answer in the affirmative, then you are expressing a belief... the belief that Drago exists.
If you answer in the negative, then you are expressing a belief... the belief that Drago does not exist.
If you answer in a non-committal way, then you are not expressing a belief... you are saying that you do not have enough information to form a belief.
This is not rocket science. We use this language every day. "Was John here today?":
Seriously, if i answered, "i am not sure he was", would anyone accuse me of saying that i was sure that he was not? Nonsense. Yet that is exactly what some people are trying to do.
I have been giving you too much credit.
The original poster was clearly making a statement about faith - which has to do with the human condition, possibly of a personal nature. Considering that, your reply is absurd and irrelevant. If you were trying to ridicule their ideas, then at least talk about their actual ideas, rather than redefining words and projecting that on to other people. Your behaviour only confirms what the original poster said you would do - claim faith was not everything because you do not know what faith is.
Well, well, well! Indi! Good to see that you can make that distinction now, when before you argued that the negative version had to be accepted as true. That is progress.
So how do we describe the beliefs of someone who is not sure? In Bayesian framework, they can believe whatever (or whoever) they like, and update their beliefs based on the evidence. There's no distinction between positive and negative beliefs like Bikerman is trying to push on us. We describe people as having giving credence or degrees of belief to certain ideas (described by a probability distribution). When new evidence becomes available we update that probability distribution according to Bayes law. Thus ends the maths lesson.
So what happens when someone makes a choice? They can clearly make that choice based on the evidence - but nothing can ever be 100% certain. I'd regard that as a statement that everything is faith. We have to act - and indeed we do act. We constantly live making choices on data which is not 100% certain. Bikerman and you Indi, have obviously chosen to act in a way that God doesn't exist. You are on here what seems like 24 hours a day, arguing against any and every religious concept. Many of us here have chosen to act under God's rule. Both are positions that are not certain, and so both can be described as very different faiths.
Quote me where i did that.
^_^; You might want to try rereading what Bikerman wrote. You clearly don't understand it. i say this because in a single post you confirm his claims and then turn around and outright deny them.
Thus ends the reading comprehension lesson. ^_^
So because we do not act like God exists, we believe that he does not?
Please back up at least some of what you say, Indi. Bikerman was trying to establish a privileged position for atheism. I gave a quantitative framework where such a biased position of treating 'un'beliefs differently from belief is neither necessary nor desirable. All are described and treated in exactly the same way.
Yes, you do have belief, just as I do. You demonstrate your beliefs in a quantitative way through how you act. Neither of us has full information. We both act based on our respective beliefs - although these beliefs are necessarily uncertain - which I would describe as faith.
There is a difference however. That is in our priors, and our current beliefs. Since I believe in God - that is how I will interpret things. From God first.
No he wasn't. He was trying to explain the difference between disbelief, denial and belief. I claim no 'privileged' position for atheism, I merely object to your fallacious reasoning.
i have made the same request of you. You have not complied. i will make the request again:
Not according to anything i have read. What i have seen him do is draw a distinction between believing in something, not believing in something, and believing in not-something.
Right. ^_^; Because it only makes sense to treat belief and non-belief the same, right? Anything else would be "biased", right? After all, we treat criminals and non-criminals the same. We don't want to show any bias by treating them differently, right? In sworn statements, we accept truth and non-truth as identical. It's all about not being biased. Good call! Here's to equality! And... non-equality... which is apparently the same thing as equality.
You'll have to excuse me now, i am unable to read anymore. You see, the text is black and the background is non-black... which makes them the same thing, so i can't tell them apart without being biased. ^_^;
Your reasoning is fallacious. You even know this. You make the fallacy explicit yourself below:
The difference is that you have a prior assumption and i do not. You assume, a priori that God exists. You have just admitted so explicitly. That makes every single belief you have about God fallacious - specifically... everything you believe about the universe that concerns whether or not a god exists begs the question.
It's right there. ^_^ You admit it explicitly. It's a fact that you cannot avoid.
Someone who made an a priori assumption that a god or gods do not exist would also have similarly fallacious reasoning.
However, i make no a priori assumptions about whether a god or gods exist. i don't know that one (or many) does or one that one (or many) does not.
So i observe the universe. i see no evidence of any god or gods, and so no particular reason to be acting as if they exist. Since acting as if they would exist is more bothersome than acting as if they do not, and since both possibilities are equal for me (technically not because the fact that i have no evidence of any kind for any god actually swings the needle the other way, but ignore that for now), i choose the path of least resistance.
So despite your claim, the fact that i act as if there is no god is not evidence of any belief or faith. i don't need to believe that no god exists in order to act as if no god exists any more than you need to believe that Drago doesn't exist in order to act as if he doesn't. You've been acting like Drago doesn't exist your whole life... but you never even heard of the idea of Drago until now, so how could you possibly believe he does not exist?
The two cases are not symmetrical, despite your... attempts? ^_^;... to define them as such.
Yes, belief in X deserves the same treatment as belief in not-X. Those are symmetrical. But not belief in X (and not belief in not-X) is not symmetrical with either of those two other options.
So, you didn't say that negative assumptions should be assumed to be true?
When I pointed out that overwhelming evidence (the standard of proof we had agreed on) shows that nothing travels faster than the speed of light, you disagreed, saying, that "you can't prove a negative". You then went on to disagree that building perpetual motion machines is impossible, that quantum cloning is impossible and so on. Along the way rejecting just about every scientific claim which involved a negative - rejecting the idea that evidence was required for negative beliefs, and that they should simply be accepted as true on assumption. Your strange logic even led you to claim:
Which was pretty funny, until I realized you were serious.
I started with atheist beliefs, and became a Christian. So my apriori assumptions were anything but God existing. I was intelligent enough to realize that my atheist beliefs did rest on unproven assumptions. And yes, if I could have my time over, I would not start with an atheist prior - I would start with a Christian one.
My actual point was the Bayesian one - that we start out with priors which accounts for differing subjective beliefs, even when examining the same evidence.
I don't assume that Drago exists or doesn't exist. I personally would start with an unbiased prior (and yes, contrary to your claim, this is an apriori assumption). Thus I have uncertain belief about Drago. I don't know if he exists or not - for all I know he might be your boyfriend. However, as my actions involve Drago, for example as soon as I start arguing against Drago existing - I am displaying faith that he doesn't.
Take the example of a cliff. I tell you there's a cliff ahead. You can either display faith in what I am telling you, and stop. Or you can ignore my warning and plow straight on.
Wordnet says, of belief:
The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy says:
It goes on to say that belief does not imply any extended reflection about the matter in question.
Wikipedia agrees, saying:
Other sources say
None of these sources are religious sources. All of them apply to people who believe that the universe doesn't exist if they can't measure it, or to people who believe that God doesn't exist. Don't take my word for it. Google define:belief.
No, i did not. i said that negative assumptions should be assumed true by default. i hope i don't need to explain to you what that means. And i certainly never said anything even remotely close to "negative assumptions '[have] to be accepted as true'". That's just bullshit you put in my mouth.
You know, you should really be more careful about tossing the word "impossible" around in a philosophy forum.
First, a physics lesson. There are several things in the universe that travel faster than light. The phase velocity of the de Broglie waves of most massive particles is far, far faster than light speed. So it is not true that nothing travels faster than light. You simply lack the mental flexibility to consider the problem from another perspective.
Second, there is no standard of evidence you could use to prove conclusively that anything is impossible in the universe. That is simply absurd. You may think you know everything, but most people do not. We are well aware that our knowledge of the universe is incomplete. Our current knowledge and experience strongly indicates that faster than light travel/communication is impossible... but that does not actually make it impossible.
Third, you don't seem to be able to comprehend what you read properly. You are no doubt aware of numerous ways to use current physics to derive the conclusion that faster than light travel/communication is impossible. Which means? You seem to think that it means that you have evidence that faster than light travel/communication is impossible. You do not. What you have is evidence that current physics holds that faster than light travel/communication is impossible. Nothing more.
When you read something, use only what is written to determine the meaning. Do not insert or omit words and ideas. That is clumsy, and leads to mistakes in understanding. You missed the important words "current physics/knowledge" in the discussions of the previous idea, and you missed the words "by default" in the section above (and then inserted the idea that negative assumptions "had" to be accepted true, just to make things more convoluted). In both cases, you completely change the meaning of what is being discussed. Be more careful in future. If every time you reiterate my points i have to correct you, something is going very wrong - and if every time i have to correct you by repeating my original statements without your alterations, i think it's clear where the problem lies.
Anyway, is there some reason you went out and hunted down quotes but then neglected to provide a link to the conversation? You cut and pasted the quotes, so why not the link? How about giving us a link to the conversation and letting us determine the context for ourselves?
You have provided a remarkably self-serving tale of what was discussed.
At any rate, what exactly was my argument? Was it not that one cannot say absolutely that X is impossible without being omniscient? Do you dispute that?
Or perhaps it was that perception and perspective may make things that seem impossible possible? For example, the old mind bender - you can't push a camel through the eye of a needle... or can you?... depends on your perspective and perception. Do you dispute that?
If not... then what are you trying to prove by posting these quotes? If you agree with the argument, and if those quotes were in support of the argument... aren't you just being dishonest?
Would you like me post some of your quotes - and provide my own version of the context? ^_^ i'd be happy to do it. i don't think you'd be too pleased with the results, though.
Please, look up the definition of "a priori". Your statements are absurd unless you have misunderstood the meaning of the term.
"A priori beliefs" does not mean the things you believed as a child, or last year, or yesterday. It means things you believe in advance of any reasoning or evidence - your starting assumptions - today, right now, as you start to reason something out.
This is a platitude. Of course everyone approaches a problem with some kind of assumption. That has nothing to do with whether the assumption is positive or negative, warranted or not, logically sound or fallacious. It is not possible to approach a problem without some kind of assumption, but it is possible to approach a problem without biased assumptions.
What does that mean exactly? Spell it out for us. Answer the following two questions with yes or no - nothing else, because they are yes or no questions.
Do you believe Drago exists?
Do you believe Drago does not exist?
i'm going to assume the answer is no to both questions, for two reasons. First, it is the only rational answer, because you have no reason to believe he does and no reason to believe he does not. Second, that seems to be what you were saying above - that you neither believe nor disbelieve until something forces you to make a choice.
So far so good. That means that it is possible to not believe something without believing not-something.
Now consider the following.
Drago gets really, really happy when people say his name at least once every hour. i mean really happy. He lives for it - even if he doesn't actually hear it done, just knowing that it happens makes his day. If he knows that someone out there isn't saying his name once an hour, he gets depressed - suicidally depressed.
Let's assume for the sake of the discussion that you're not homicidal, and that if you knew someone was suicidal, you would do anything in your power to save their life.
So now, let me ask you another yes or no question. Only yes or no.
Did you say Drago's name every hour today?
i'm going assume that you didn't. In other words, even though it could have killed my neighbour, you didn't say his name every hour today. Seeing as you are not homicidal, then, according to your logic, that must mean that you must believe that Drago does not exist. Because you acted in a way that, if he existed, would probably kill him, which you would never do if you believed he existed.
How could this be? You were obviously acting as if you believed that Drago does not exist. According to your logic, that must mean that you actually did believe that Drago does not exist.
Does that match the statements you made at the beginning of this section? Assuming that my assumptions of what answer you will make are right, it does not. In which case, you will have just demonstrated that you are irrational.
Problematic, isn't it?
So maybe, just maybe, despite your claims, it is possible to act like Drago does not exist without actually believing that Drago does not exist, hm?
So it is very easy for one to act as if God does not exist without believing in his non-existence, simply by not even considering the question.
Now the next point. You now know that Drago is suicidal if you don't say his name every hour. What will you do tomorrow? Will you say his name every hour?
i'm going to assume that you won't.
So what does that mean? Does that mean that you suddenly believe that Drago does not exist? After all, you can't even claim ignorance now. You know that Drago will probably kill himself if you don't do it (assuming he exists). According to your logic, you must now decide whether to believe or not. And most likely, you have chosen to not believe (although, if you had chosen to believe, nothing would change... except people would think you really weird, and i would have managed to start a religion on the Internet).
So, just to make this crystal clear, you have absolutely no more knowledge now that you did five minutes ago. You have not got any more evidence. You haven't heard any kind of argument for or against Drago's existence. But... you have changed your beliefs. Just like that.
Does that sound rational?
You're probably tempted to answer yes, it does sound rational. Don't bother. It is actually a logical fallacy called appeal to consequences. So, no, it's not rational.
Certainly you have to make an assumption. And you can assume that Drago does not exist and go on like that. But does that mean that you believe that Drago does not exist? No, not at all. You can still consider it highly probable that i have an extremely neurotic neighbour named Drago. You really have no reason to believe that he does not exist.
So if i were to actually change my belief in whether God exists or not simply by virtue of the consequences of deciding whether or not i will bother to pray today (for example), then it would be an irrational belief. In fact, is it not possible to doubt that God exists, but pray anyway, when one is desparate enough... just on the off chance that one is wrong? So the opposite is also true - it is possible to act as if God exists while believing that he does not.
And now, let's look at it from yet another angle.
Once again i ask, will you say Drago's name every hour tomorrow?
Once again i assume you will not.
Does that mean you believe that Drago does not exist? Or does it mean that you do not believe that saying his name really matters that much to warrant inconveniencing your life so much?
So you could still consider Drago's existence possible, but simply doubt it enough that there's no point in inconveniencing yourself to such a degree. Thus you would act as if he doesn't exist while not necessarily believing that that's true.
So if i don't go get confirmed and eat communion and so on, that doesn't mean that i am declaring that i think God does not exist. It may simply mean that i don't think that those things are that big a deal if he does. Thus, again, i would be acting as if God doesn't exist without committing to any belief.
So you see, there are many ways of looking at the problem (and there are more that i could offer, but i think that's plenty enough), all leading to the same conclusion - that it is possible to neither believe nor disbelieve in something while nevertheless acting in a way that one would act if one did believe or disbelieve.
In practice, that means that a weak atheist could shirk religious practices without committing to the belief that God does not exist ("if he does exist, he will understand that my doubt was reasonable"), or that they could pray without committing to the belief that God does ("if he doesn't exist, then i'm wasting my time, but that's no great harm"). If you actually try talking to atheists - and listening to what they say - rather than dictating to them what they must and must not believe, you will probably find many with such attitudes.
And of course, relating back to the comment about FTL travel, there is nothing wrong with a physicist working in the current physics framework - which declares FTL impossible - while at the same time believing that it will be possible in some distant future.
In reality, no one is dogmatic about everything they do.
Well here we go again. Let me apologise to others on this thread.
Of course I dispute that. Triangles have three sides by definition. It is impossible to have a triangle with four sides. I do not need to omniscient to say that triangles have three sides, all I need to be is relatively sane.
And for the reasoning we were talking about - whether God exists or not - as I explained to you, my starting assumptions were atheist ones, and I became a Christian after rejecting those assumptions.
An unbiased assumption is one in which one belief is not favoured over another. You however, have been arguing that we should choose the "negative" assumption by default. That is not an unbiased assumption, that is a biased one. It would be equally valid to choose the "positive" assumption by default.
I note that in the framework that I've given you, if I had no evidence one way or the other, the answers would not be "no" and "no" but "perhaps" and "perhaps". Beliefs are uncertain. It is only when I make a choice that I display my faith in one belief or the other.
My answer is perfectly rational, and is consistent with all the available evidence, namely that you are untrustworthy as you have consistently demonstrated.
It is faith which is demonstrated when we make a choice, not a change in belief. My belief is still the same as it was before.
Yes. Belief, as I quoted from Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy does not require conscious reflection. That's exactly the position atheists would love if people adopted. Remove all valid discussion of God, and portray atheism as the default belief. Perhaps you could augment that by bogging down any discussions of God and faith in massive long word games. Then people would accept atheism on faith, without even thinking about it.
Of course I do. That's an obviously false statement.
I haven't changed my beliefs.
Of course if you assume something to be true, then you do believe it, by any of the definitions of belief (given above). You may not give much credence to that belief, but it is a belief which you hold.
You yourself just described Drago not existing as a belief. Consistent with your own usage, and the dictionary definition of atheism,
Beliefs can be applied to both positive and negative statements.
Beliefs which are uncertain are not beliefs, they are doubts.
You have misunderstood the Stanford entry. It means that belief is not an ongoing mental 'process'. We do not have to be conscious to believe, for example, otherwise we would stop believing every night. We do not have to be actively 'believing something' as a conscious process - indeed it sounds silly to ask someone 'are you currently believing in x'.
The Stanford entry goes on to define 'Belief' in much more detail and in a way which casts doubt on your case...
Essentially a belief is the position or stance that a particular proposition is true - more generally it belongs in the class 'propositional attitudes' with other propositional attitudes like doubt or hope.
Belief in God, begins with the proposition There is a God and takes the propositional attitude Belief - ie the stance or attitude that the proposition is true. The atheist may (strong atheist) take a propositional attitude - denial that the proposition is true.
They might, however, be aware of the proposition and find it either a) invalid; b) unimportant; c) uninteresting; or they might even be unaware of the proposition (unlikely, I grant). The atheist does not, therefore, necessarily have a propositional attitude, since they may a) not accept the proposition has any useful meaning; b) not consider the proposition important enough to consider taking a position on; c) be to busy or disinclined to consider the proposition sufficiently to arrive at a position or stance. They may even be completely ignorant of the proposition.
*You could, however, believe something without ACCEPTING it - Stanford gives the following example;
you can believe that a ladder is stable but, because of the risks involved, not accept that it is stable until you check further.
Whether or not the belief is accepted, though, the fact remains that belief is an active position on a particular issue. Acceptance can be regarded as the belief that a proposition is true with the added position that further debate, testing or consideration/reflection is not required or wanted.
the actual entry is
Both of the dictionary definitions are consistent with what I have been saying. You however, only allow one, and deny the other. Denying that I can use words in the same way the dictionary does is just plain absurd.
Propositions can clearly be about negative things as well as positive things, and so you can have beliefs about negative statements. Specifically the statement that "what cannot be directly measured does not exist" is negative statement and also a proposition. Both positive and negative propositions can be the basis of belief.
The amount of credence we place in beliefs is important. If Indi had asked "Do you believe that it is equally likely that Drago exists as he doesn't exist?", someone who adopted the unbiased assumption would certainly answer "Yes". Therefore they also have a belief.
You are right however, that atheism can, and often is, taken on in ignorance or avoidance. In fact, I would go much further and say that atheism is often lapsed into for psychological reasons - when people experience cognitive dissonance when they perceive a gap in their actual lifestyles and what they perceive that religion expects of them. In a recent study, drug use and extra/pre-marital sex, had a negative impact on young adults retaining a religious belief whereas increased levels of education (when separated from other relevant factors) had a positive one. Atheists beliefs can often be adopted, not through thinking, understanding or grappling with the issues, but simply through lifestyle choices and external factors.
I do nothing of the sort. I clearly pointed out that 'strong' atheists can be argued to conform to definition 1 and then demonstrated that other atheists do not conform to 1, they conform to 2. Both the definitions are different and the second is NOT consistent with what you have been saying. Atheists can be 1 or 2, not 1 and 2.
The proposition is indeed an example where belief would be needed if one wished to adopt a stance (either the proposition is true - belief - or false - denial). It can never be adequately refuted (how could you test the proposition since by definition you cannot measure something which you cannot measure)? It is therefore a non-scientific proposition and I personally would not find it a constructive exercise to adopt either stance (believe/deny) for this proposition. I chose to adopt a position of disbelief in the proposition but neither do I deny it - I have no belief as regards this proposition*
*Unless we take the word 'directly' seriously. In that case, of course, I deny the proposition - I believe it is wrong, if you wish to use that expression.
As I said before, if you believe something you must have credence in it by definition - this attempt to distinguish the terms is futile.
Indi has pointed all this out once.
in such a world as this one, sometimes faith is the only thing that can possibly get you through
faith in what? now that's open to debate, in my opinion!
The "in" thing these days seems to be to use dictionary definitions, so:
And as i tried to explain to you when you said that: what you are in effect saying, then, is that at that point in the past your a priori assumption whenever you considered any other questions was that there is no god... but your current a priori assumption when considering any questions is that there is a god. Understand now?
That is what a priori means. It does not mean "things i used to believe in the past".
Here we go yet again - i have to correct your warping of my position by restating my original words.
What i said was that if you are attempting to find the truth, you should always choose the negative assumption by default. And as i clearly explained before and am force to repeat yet again, the reason for that is that you can never prove a negative, which means that you can never prove a positive false. That means that if you assume the positive by default, and you were wrong, there is absolutely no chance of ever finding that out. For example, if you start with the assumption that fairies exist, you can never find proof that they do not. Even if you search every forest in the world with a fine tooth comb, you can always believe that the comb was not fine enough. However, if you start from the belief that there are no fairies, then you find one... you have the evidence that your assumption was wrong, and you can change it.
i never said anyone "had" to believe anything. i simply said that the only practical way to collect knowledge while minimizing the risk of error is to start with negative assumptions. It is the only "right" way that we know, and it is the system that science, philosophy and logic are built on.
"Perhaps" is not an answer to a yes or no question. "Do you believe that X exists/does not exist" is a yes or no question.
i am thoroughly confused as to how you can insist one minute that beliefs can be uncertain... yet the next insist that i am certain that god does not exist because i don't act like he does. But anyway.
So you believe that Drago does not exist. Do you have any evidence for this at all, other than that you want to believe that i'm a liar?
And i did force you to make a choice - the choice as to whether to say his name all day or not. You chose not to, i assume, which means that you now believe that he does not exist, correct?
Faith is belief. You can check your online dictionaries for that if you want, because i know you think i'm just a liar.
If you have faith in something, then you believe it. It is possible to hope without belief. It is not possible to have faith without belief.
Is that what you think the atheist conspiracy is up to? i mean, it can't possibly be that there are those of us who haven't found an answer to the question of the existence of god(s), and who don't want to be identified along with people who assert something we don't believe (that god(s) don't exist). It can't be that there are *gasp* honest weak atheists who don't want people to mistake them for strong atheists.
Nah. Must be that we're trying to subvert all the honest, god-fearing theists to the dark atheist side by twisting words to our benefit... regardless of the fact that that's what those words actually mean.
Really? Then what new evidence did you acquire to help you change your mind about Drago's existence or non-existence in that post you were quoting?
i mean, you didn't just cherry pick that sentence out of the context and refute it because when it stands by itself it sounds like something easy to refute, right? i mean, you would never do something so dishonest as to take my quotes out of context deliberately and then provide your own false context engineered by you to make me look bad, right?
But not, apparently, by the definition of assume (given below).
Assume. (Pay close attention to the bits that say stuff like: "to pretend to have or be; feign" and "make a pretence of".)
Have i not - consistently - insisted that an assumption is a temporary belief that you fake for the purpose of considering an argument? Of course, why should i even bother to ask? ^_^ i mean, anything i said was probably a lie anyway, right?
1.) A lie by omission is still a lie. You have gotten so used to carefully editing my quotes to suit your own ends, you have started to do it to external sources, too. Why don't you give us the full definition of atheism from that source? Both number 1 and number 2.
2.) My own usage of the words belief and atheism are indeed consistent. i have never denied, and in fact i have actively stated, that atheism includes the belief that gods don't exist. i have also consistently stated and never denied that belief that X does not exist is as much a belief as the belief that X does exist. So yes, the belief that Drago does not exist is a belief. i did describe it as such, i do so again, and i state that that is entirely consistent with everything i've ever written on the topic... except perhaps in your own mind. The belief that a god or gods does not exist is also a belief, and again, i have always said so and say so again clearly.
3.) Although atheism includes the belief that gods don't exist, it is not limited to that. It also includes the lack of any belief at all. Don't know/ don't care about the existence of a god or gods both fall under atheism. i have always stated that clearly and never denied it.
i have never said otherwise. Simply look back to where i first introduced Drago; i explain the similarities and differences between believing X, believing not-X and not believing X. If that's not clear enough, i don't know what would be.
*i*'m not the one who is dishonestly editing sources so that they only say what i want them to say. ^_^
And you really do need to calm down a little. Your last few posts have been an almost non-stop stream of hate speech against atheism, atheists, and now, me personally. On top of that, your arguments are growing increasingly incoherent - or maybe it's just that there's less and less rational argument and more and more ranting against evil atheists. Either way, if you cannot discuss this topic civilly, it might be wise to avoid discussing it at all. i don't really care if you insult me, but if you really do believe that atheism is a religion, then you are knowingly and deliberately engaging in religious intolerance. Regardless of the apathy of Frihost moderators on the topic of hate speech against atheism, i can't believe that anyone - including you - would argue that it's ok to foster intolerance of a religion, and if that's really what you think of atheism, i think it's time for some serious reflection on your part of your recent actions.
i disagree, and i think this is something that you and i have butt heads on before. i think it is possible to believe something while still having a significant measure of doubt. Consider the position of someone who actually believes that Pascal's wager is a good idea.
i think belief, faith and (un)certainty/doubt are all different, though related, concepts. Faith and belief are related in that faith is a kind of belief. You can't have certainty without belief, but you can have belief without certainty. i am believe that Frank will be at work tomorrow, but i'm hardly certain. i have doubts. We're not required to be there, so maybe he won't show up, though i believe he will.
Of course... "doubt" can mean many things. Doubt is not the same thing as A doubt. "Doubt" is a measure of the (un)certainty of a belief. "A doubt" is a kind belief about something - the belief that something about that thing is not what it appears to be or is thought to be.
So this is the approach n atheists take to believe god/gods don't exists, eh. It makes logical since to me and even sounds reasonable, but I don't buy it, this pessimistic attitude.
As for the question is faith necessary? Just do a word study on the word fidelity (that's latin for faithful). Then consider what Hi-Fi means when you see it printed on the front of a stereo system.
Rockin' out to Hi-fidelity sound man, it's like right there at the real thing!
Unreasonable behavior, yes. I can see that if one does not commit to a particular faith/set of beliefs, it would be easy for one to avoid unreasonable behavior. However, the violent behavior is a little more sketchy with the framework you set up. The only way this would be true is if there was a direct correlation between violence and faith (which I do not believe there is). Why do you feel you would be less likely to engage in unreasonable behavior due to your faith (or lack thereof)?
I think faith is very important, but it should not cloud your interaction with the outside world. Faith should be a personal thing which one must resort to, particularly during troubled times, so that one can be at peace with oneself.
Once again: there is one thing, and one thing only, that defines atheism: the lack of belief in a god or gods. Nothing more, nothing less. Atheism says nothing about how you came to whatever state of mind you have that has made you an atheist.
For the record, the process you quoted above is not how i came to be an atheist. It might be how someone else did, though.
It's neither pessimistic nor optimistic. It is rational - nothing more, nothing less.
Perhaps you see it as pessimistic because you think the idea that a god exists is a happy idea (or it could be fairies, but i'm going to assume god), thus assuming by default that one does not sounds like a pessimistic assumption. All fine and good, but what if the idea of a god sounds disgustingly horrible to someone else? To them, the assumption would appear optimistic.
Or, look at it another way. You see that method of reasoning as pessimistic when it is used to assume that no god exists (or, again, perhaps fairies, because, hey, they're probably cool, too), because that seems a pessimistic assumption to you. All fine and good, but what if we were not talking about a god - what if we were using the exact same method of reasoning to talk about hell? Then the starting assumption would be that hell does not exist, which sure seems like an optimistic assumption to me.
All of which means that the pessimism in that formulation is not in the formulation itself, it is in your personal preference to believe that assuming there is no god is a pessimistic assumption (or... could be fairies... to each their own).
Which is fine - there's nothing wrong with that (i'm not part of the camp that believes that assuming a god exists is stupid or bad in any way... all i say is that it's not the proper way to go about things if you are trying to determine whether god exists or not using rational methodology). However, as i said right at the beginning, that method of reasoning has nothing to do with making you feel good or bad, it is only about how to think rationally. If your goal is to determine truth, insofar as it is humanly possible, that is the way to go about it. There are no guarantees at all about whether or not the truth you are led to will be optimistic, pessimistic... or even something you can live with at all.
One cant live without faith.
Even atheist, also has the Faith of no god.
Faith is not just part of religion or philosophy. Its in each & every action we do.
That is not true, as has been repeated over and over by several different people.
Without reading the thread itself I'd say yes, it's necessary. Simple people actually NEED dogmatic thought to live with a little tranquility.
Everyone seems to be confused about the term atheism and what you believe as being one. Maybe I am not reading these responses correctly but some *cough* believe atheism is a belief in no God and some think it is the lack of a belief in God.
As to quote Indi:
Correct me if I am wrong but in the case of Divinities existance..
1) Theism (God)
2) Atheism (without God)
3) Agnostic (without knowledge)
The greek terms used:
the ("deity", or "god")
gnostos ("known" or "knowledge")
So Theism believes in a God.
Atheism believes in no God.
Agnostic believes there isn't enough knowledge to know the difference.
No matter your stance on an issue, you believe in something. I would redo Indi's neighbor example into the following:
1) Affirmative: "i believe that Drago exists."
2) Negative: "i believe that Drago does not exist."
3) Non-committal: "I believe there isn't enough evidence to determine Drago's existance."
In the third example you believe in something, but that something is sitting on the fence.
Faith is not equivalent to confidence. There's quite the difference. You can go into a race, as you say, with pure optimism and confidence in your abilities and come out with a win. How is that anything related to faith? It's determination, confidence, and simple ability to win the race. It has nothing to do with faith.
And your story is quite irrelevant and odd...
You are wrong. You are mixing up two different questions: "do you have belief in a god? (or do you believe that a god exists?)" and "can you have knowledge of a god? (or, can you know that a god exists?)"
(A)theism is the answer to the question of belief. "Do you believe that a god exists?" Yes means theist (theism = belief in god or gods). Anything else means atheist (a = not/without, theism = belief in god or gods).
(Non-)agnosticism is the answer to the question of knowledge. "Can you know that a god exists?" No means agnostic (a = not/without, gnostos comes from the Greek root for knowledge). Yes means non-agnostic (gnostic is already used for something else unrelated).
Theism means believing in a god or gods. Atheism means not theism, which is anything that is not believing in a god or gods. You are applying the negative incorrectly. You don't stick the not in the middle of the sentence. Theism means [belief in a god], so a-theism means not-[belief in a god], not [belief in not-god (that is, belief in no god)]. Anything that is not-[belief in a god] is atheism. Is complete ambivalence [belief in a god]? No. Therefore it's atheism. Is "i don't have enough evidence to make a conclusion, so i refrain from making one" [believe in a god]? No. Therefore it's atheism. Simple.
Any talk of gods always makes people emotional, and when they are emotional, they don't think clearly. So take the gods out of the equation, and deal with simple terms that do not elicit an emotional reaction.
Assume there are upists and downists. When upists make a sandwich, they always put the butter on the bottom side of the upper piece of bread. When downists make a sandwich, they always put the butter on the top side of the lower piece of bread.
Suppose i told you i was an adownist. What does that mean? By your logic, means i am an upist. But does it really? Certainly if i always put the butter on the upper side i would be an adownist, and an upist... but what if i never ate a sandwich in my life, and never would. Then i would still be an adownist (not a downist)... but i would not be an upist. So an adownist might be an upist... but does not have to be.
Consider another example. Suppose i told you that i did not think it mattered whether or not you buttered the upper or lower slice. By your logic, that means that i'm neither an upist or a downist. But is that really the case? No. i may not think it matters, but i may still butter the lower slice every single time, always, which would make me a downist.
Now let's relate the results back to gods. Let downists represent those who believe god exists and upists represent those who believe god does not exist. Downists, then, represent theists, and adownists represent atheists. As you see from the first example, upists do not represent atheists, because an adownist is not necessarily an upist. An adownist might be an upist, but does not have to be. An atheist (equivalent to adownist) might believe no god exists (equivalent to upist - these are called strong atheists), but does not have to (the rest are called weak atheists).
In simple table form:
Downist: butters the lower slice
Upist: butters the upper slice
Adownist: does not butter the lower slice... maybe butters the upper slice, maybe not
Theist: believes a god exists
____: believes no god exists
Atheist: does not believe a god exists... maybe believes no god exists, maybe not
Is it clear now? (The ____ would be strong atheist. Weak atheists are not represented in those tables - they would be people who do not eat sandwiches, do not use butter, put the butter on their tongue and then eat the sandwich, or whatever. Atheist includes both strong atheists and weak atheists.)
Now let's throw agnosticism into the mix. Look at the second example, where i said it does not matter what side gets buttered, if any. As i showed, that has no relationship whatsoever as to whether i was an upist or downist. None. i could believe the upper side should be buttered, but actually do the bottom side for practical reasons (short arms for example), which would make me a downist even though i think like an upist. Doesn't matter. Only what i actually do makes me an upist or downist (or neither). What i think should be done is another question entirely.
Likewise, only what you believe makes you a theist or atheist. What you think it is possible to know is an other question entirely. Whether you believe you can know that a god exists or not has no bearing whatsoever on whether you actually believe. None. i can believe that it is possible to know that a god exists (that is, that there is some way to prove it) while still believing that none does. Or i can believe that it is not possible to know that a god exists (faith is required) while still believing that one does.
To make it crystal clear: belief (or the lack thereof) determines theism (or the lack thereof). Agnosticism is the answer to a different question, one about knowledge, not belief.
Most theist thinkers are agnostic. They believe that their god exists, but they believe that one can only know this through faith. Only a handful of fringe characters actually claim that it is possible to have proof of god, like those "Way of the Master" loons.
Here's another table:
Non-agnostic theist: "i believe a god exists - i think it is possible to prove this."
Agnostic theist: "i believe a god exists - i think they can only be found through faith."
Non-agnostic strong atheist: "i believe no god exists - i think it is possible to prove one does, but since none does, no one ever will."
Agnostic strong atheist: "i believe no god exists - it wouldn't be possible to prove one does, but who cares since none does"
Is that clear now?
If a dragoist is someone who believes Drago exists, then the first would make you a dragoist. The second would make you an adragoist.
What does the third make you? i don't know. You didn't answer the question. You answered a different question. You were asked, "do you believe Drago exists?" But you answered the question "do you think it's possible to know that Drago exists?"
You seem to think that that's an answer, but it is not. i could say either of:
"I believe there isn't enough evidence to determine Drago's existance. But i believe anyway."
"I believe there isn't enough evidence to determine Drago's existance. But i do not believe."
"I believe there isn't enough evidence to determine Drago's existance. So i have no belief either way."
So 3.) is not an answer, it is an evasion. At best, it is the answer to a different question, but not the one you were asked.
But let's actually answer the question with a real answer. Suppose you said:
4.) Non-committal... but actually an answer: "i have no belief on Drago's existence. i don't believe he does, and i don't believe he doesn't."
If dragoism is the belief in Drago's existence, then this answer is adragoism. As stated explicitly, you don't believe Drago exists (in answer 4), therefore you are not-a-dragoist... ie, an adragoist.
Simply replace Drago with God, dragoism with theism (and adragoism with atheism), and - if you like - your evasion as agnosticism (which is the answer to a different question, and has no relation to either theism or atheism), and you'll get the same result as i've been saying all along.
i agree that faith is a necessity, depends on each persons individual mentality
What would the maybe not be?
I see the 'a' in front of a word as meaning the opposite of the proceding word. Thus a theist believes in a God and the opposite would be someone who doesn't. However you are saying it is different. Which I can understand, it makes sense what you are saying, however, what would be the word for belief in no god than?
By your logic an atheist might actually be a theist? Maybe an atheist is inbetween a theist and this mysteryword which means belief in no god?
theist <-> atheist <-> mysteryword
I guess what is confusing me is a middle ground for belief. I can understand middle ground for something like say politics. Little conservative or little liberal, but with belief it just seems weird. You either believe something exists or it doesn't.
How would life look like with an in-the middle belief? Maybe you believe that God doesn't need your faith but he exists? But what if you are making up what God is like and he is like something else. What if he is actually the Christian God who says believe in him and you will surely not perish?
The prefix 'a-' does not mean opposite or opposed to, that would be the prefix 'anti-'.
The prefix 'a' means 'not' or 'apart from' in general usage. Thus apolitical means not political whereas anti-political means against or opposed to politics....
Atheist therefore is someone who does not believe in God/Deity(s), but not necessarily someone who maintains that God/Deity(s) does not exist....subtle but important difference....
Indi does explain this in a previous posting.....
Indi did explain it, just not as well.
I don't think faith is necessary, but hope is. Without hope, there really is nothing to live for. Wherever you get that hope is, well, whatever ... It could be friends, family, religion, food, anything really.
And I would like to make it clear that no faith does not equal no morality. Morality and Faith can be completely independent of each other!
The Bible clearly states that without faith it is impossible to please God Hebrews 11:6. By faith: Abraham followed God ; forsaking his country and his brethren, not knowing where he was going, but had enough sense to follow after God and his righteousness.
By faith I (HealingHands) forsook my country also, to follow after the I AM THAT I AM Exodus 3:14 ; knowing that he will never leave me nor forsake me. Though I walk through the valleys of the shadows of death, I will fear no evil for I AM is with me... Selah.
Without faith religion would be pointless, and a complete waste of time. And what is time? it is the measure of our earthly sojourn in this lifetime, that will determine our end reward in the second pilgrimage; be it into eternal life or eternal damnation..
Actually, Indi did a horrible job of it...
Ignoring the fanatics on both sides, theists believe in God, or some form of higher intelligence. Even if they don't worship that intelligence, or have defined it so that the intelligence can't really be worshipped, they nonetheless believe that some greater force exists. Note that this includes monotheists, pagans, and those that believe in karma (where the universe itself is that higher intelligence).
Atheists can believe in a higher power, but that power has nothing to do with how they think or what they do. This includes true atheists (who believe that God simply doesn't exist), as well as Deists (who believe that God exists, but has no bearing on their lives, like a watchmaker that has has abandoned his creation).
Agnostics are a truly strange bunch, in that they doubt any higher power exists. It's weird because they are stronger non-theists than atheists; in this case, it's not a doubt in that there is a question of a deity existing, but rather really question anyone who believes in a deity.
If that helps...
Once more from the top:
An Atheist does not believe in God...that is not the same as believing that God does not exist.
^_^; Some people live by the philosophy "you're either with us or against us". Gray is only a shade of black to them.
i'd recommend against bothering to try to engage unreasonable people in debate. If they can't acknowledge that the definition for "atheist" that they use is contradicted by:
i'll repeat the truth, complete with evidence, as many times as is necessary to someone who demonstrates even the slightest bit of interest in what might be objectively true, regardless of personal feelings. But to those who just want to call me a liar or a fool because they disagree with what i believe - and hence dismiss any evidence i might present... eh, screw em. Not worth my time.
And because i'm such a stickler for definitions, i'll repeat them again:
Theism: Belief in a god or gods. Not simply beliefs in "higher intelligences" or "greater forces" or "universal order", belief in god(s). You don't need to call it a god for it to be a god, but you can't meaningfully call anything you want a god. Worship is neither implied nor necessary. Only belief.
Atheism: Lack of a belief in a god or gods. Not necessarily the belief that no gods exist, although it might be. Atheists can believe in "higher powers", including "higher powers" that control or influence them or their lives, provided those higher powers are not gods. Karma, for example, which does not require any higher intelligence, could be a higher power that atheists believe in that influences their lives.
Deism: Belief in a god that does not influence the universe. Obviously, due to the belief in a god, it is not atheism, but rather a form of theism.
Agnosticism: Belief that it is not possible to know (rather than believe) that a god or gods exist. Belief, unbelief or disbelief (which, by the way, are all different things) in the existence of a god do not affect whether you think the existence can be (dis)proven.
And if you want to check my sources, start with the dictionary.
I think that covers the point of what an Atheist is in sufficient detail to convince any reasonable person. I'll therefore consider the matter closed unless someone has a reasoned criticism to make(which I doubt).
i am not so optimistic that what i have said will impress those who have been repeating the same misconceptions over and over. After all, there is nothing in the post above that i have not said a dozen times before.
Well, I think we should both refer to the above posting as the 'manual' and deal with any future repeats of the misconceptions in the same way that tech support people deal with dumb questions. Simply 'RTFM'.*
*(Read The F****** Manual).
I see your point. Someone is always going to have an argument against what you believe.
However, I believe that you must believe something. Otherwise you will fall for anything at all. Believing in any religion takes faith.(some more than others).
I miss an option that is somewhere in the middle. Although I personally have nothing with faith there are people that draw strenght from it and do wonderfull things. People can accept the fact that they'll die because of faith or can acquire the strength to life through it. Faith, even though I do not believe in it myself, can have a great meaning to peope that have a need for it. It is the greater whole within a community that can play a good role for people. Faith is one of the things which can unite people in such a way.
Do I strike you as someone who would 'fall for anything'? Does Indi strike you as someone who would 'fall for anything'?
It is this quote that really left me scratching my head.
Explain to me exactly how "believing something" prevents "falling for something". Because, on my planet, in order to "fall for something", one must first... believe it. So, rather than insulating you from falling for nonsense, belief is actually the cause of stupidity.
i am glad you see the problem!
Yes, believing in religion takes faith (and, as you admit, some take far more faith than others). Faith, as has been described repeatedly in this thread, is belief without reason (evidential or logical support).
So let's come up with a hypothetical belief that the sky is pink with green polka dots. Is there any way to have that belief using evidence? No, because there does not exist a shred of evidence anywhere in the entire world that the sky is pink with green polka dots, and an incredible amount of evidence that it is blue. Is there any way to have that belief using reason? No, because observation clearly indicates the sky is blue, and Ockham's Razor rules out the possibility of deception without any corroborating evidence.
But now... is there any way to have that belief using faith? Yes. Just, as you say, "believe". And if someone points out that the sky looks blue, since you know it is really pink with green polka dots (by your faith), you can simply call them mistaken, tricked, stupid or a heretic who should be killed (or, following the example of most religious apology in all its charity, all of the above). If someone points to the vast body of evidence, scientific and otherwise, that describes the sky as blue, you can simply claim that scientists are fools who are ignoring the one true source of information that trumps anything they might think they know: that would be the particular book, writing or teaching that you have arbitrarily chosen as the source for your faith about the sky.
Good thing faith keeps you from falling for anything, eh?
But here's the kicker. Suppose i introduced you to Bob, who believes by faith that the sky is pink with green polka dots. i'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you do not believe the sky is pink with green polka dots... i'm going to assume that, despite your disdain for reason and your glorification of faith, you believe the sky is blue because of the evidence you can see with your own eyes (possibly you have the diligence to have confirmed that belief with other sources, but i doubt it, hm?).
So how exactly would you convince Bob that his faith is wrong? Remember, he holds on to that belief by faith, and - according to you - faith trumps everything else, and prevents you from being a sucker. So given that Bob also believes his faith is a good thing that prevents him from falling for foolishness that does not agree with what he holds by faith, how exactly would you convince Bob that the sky is blue?
And for bonus points: if i am wrong for trying to use scientific evidence or philosophical logic to convince a person that their faith in Christianity is false... how would you not be wrong for trying to use scientific evidence or philosophical logic to convince Bob that their faith in the psychedelic sky is false?
I wouldn't say that. In your limited perspective people of faith around you fall under that, but if you ask someone of faith they would say it makes perfect sense and their faith is based on the evidence and logical support from their lives. Most reasonable people I talk to have to have some reason to believe in something. Now, that reason maybe illogical to you, but then again the reasons you don't believe maybe illogical to them
Here is what I mean (from a Christian standpoint):
A masterpiece of flummery and circular reasoning.
There is evidence to support God because the Bible tells us there is evidence to support God. LOL.
Clearly Captain Ahab and Moby Dick are historical characters because the book 'Moby Dick' says that they are.
You deliberately choose to misunderstand the words 'logic' and 'evidence', in this context. This is a typical theological tactic in debate, I might add.
The notion of 'proof of faith' is an oxymoron. You CANNOT prove faith. If you prove something it doesn't require faith anymore.
The notion that the Bible provides strong, clear, historical evidence for the existence of God is nonsense. It makes the assertion that God exists, nothing more.
Well the bible was just part of it. You kinda missed the beginning part. You have faith that the bible is what it says, and you get that faith not from the bible (a common misconception, and unfortunatly a common occurance lol) but rather you get faith that God exists from your own personal experiences and those experiences tell you to read this book and through reading you hear from God...not through the words but through you. When I read something like John 3:16 "For God so loved the world he sent his only son" I am not saying to myself, oh ok, so God sent his son, and reading it as historical truth, rather I hear God affirming what this is saying in my heart, in my soul, in me. And that is an experience that you could classify as a miracle, which maybe illogical and non-sensical to the world around me, it makes sense to me, it is my own experience. True Christianity is about a relationship with God...not some historical account of some guy 2000 years ago, because if you actually read the bible and it's 5 different accounts, the bible is NOT a historical account. Unfortunatly lots of Christians don't get that and they just read the book as a book instead of an experience and thus get nothing out of it. People like you read the bible as a book and get nothing out of it and assume the rest of us are psycho and non-logical. I wish you could walk in my shoes for just a day, for I have walked in yours for 20 years. Someday you might give God a shot and honestly ask him that if he exists to speak to you through his word. I believe that when you ask honestly...he will answer.
So...with all that said, it is my belief that you CAN prove faith.... but only to yourself. I can't prove my reason for faith to you, as you read above, I can't even really express it in words, but I don't just believe to believe, like you I think that's retarded and non-sensical (see flying speghetti monster, lol).
Your point is, I think, that faith is a personal act and that supplies a personal certainty. Would that be fair?
I actually have no problem with that in itself. What I do find problematic is the use of words like 'evidence' and 'logic' in that context. The evidence would be, by definition, anecdotal at best, and the logic would be a personal logic not 'logic' as it is generally understood. That is why it is best to stick to the word 'faith' and not try to show that there is some empirical or evidential support for the notion of God. The words evidence and logic are normally used in the context of being able to demonstrate something to others, not to oneself, because a personal 'evidence' or 'logic' could be entirely dillusional or erroneous.
Oh yes, I really believe in a mercifull god when I see African people starve to death or when I see people drowning or dieing of thirst. I believe in god when I see people dieing of cancer. If god excisted he would be a very cruel person, which is prove to me that he doesn't as every religion in the world tells me he is a god person. To get a bit more into your point; the experiences most people have don't have anything to do with god nor do they think of a god when they experince something. And if the bible isn't the key then how come christians always start pointing to it when they need to "prove" something?
Then surely you've read the bible clearly. It is full of anger and violance. God himself kills many people who opress his. He murders and tells people he will praise them if they do the same. Surely that can't be love?
And with that you've struck the entire point. It is impossible to prove faith to others and that is what makes it not true for so many people. The fact that it cannot be proven and that there is no real proof shows that they have been deceived all that time.
Does God answer to you when you pray? In what way does he reply? How can you tell?
My interest for my last three questions is sincire, I do not mean to make fun of you but I am really interested .
Yes, you are right, which is why you have to take with a grain of salt what people say is evidence or logical, however, based on the definitions of both words and based on my experiences I reserve the right to use such words to describe my experiences for I feel they are the words to use. But you can tell by the context that this evidence and logic is personal and thus have a duty to yourself to logically make your own conclusions of not believing what I say as fact but rather as possible and to only consider it fact after you yourself under the same circumstances experience the same. I hope that made sense
Ah yes, the good ole "problem of evil". I can't go fully into this but there are tons of people who have answered this in a variety of ways. I would start by asking you, what is evil and what is good? By bring up the question of evil you have to have a sense of moral right and wrong or else evil doesn't exist. Then you ask well where did this moral gauge come from? So to answer this question of why God would allow evil in the world you are assuming the following things:
1. God exists.
2. God is love.
3. Evil exists.
And the question is how can those 3 co-exist.
As I stated above there are a variety of answers.
I don't think God wants a bunch of zombies that love him for I don't feel that is real love. I think real love comes from self sacrafice. I know my friends that really love me are the ones that would lay down their life for me. Thus we are stuck here in this middle ground. A world full of good and evil. Some of that is brought on by eachother (crime) some by the world (disease, natural disasters). All of it in place to show us both worlds so we have that choice. So when we die, God has with him people who really love him, for they have been through this hell hole we call Earth. I imagine starving kids in Africa hurt God immensly but His people hear His call and go over there to remedy the situation. God is at work throughout this world with His people trying to help and show His love, but at the same time there is one who doesn't like God, in fact he hates Him. Satan, the devil, whoever you call him, he is here on this Earth to trample the work of God and does things to discourage us, to cloud our view of Gods love. Read the first and last few chapters of Job and you will see the devils work and Gods redemption.
One thing you mention is it is Gods doing when it isn't. God doesn't commit evil, every example in the bible with which is quoted saying God is evil is taken way out of context. Sodom and Gahmorah? God gave them a chance, he even sent in people to take out those who were righteous and destroyed the rest. In the story of Jonah and the whale. Jonah was sent to save the town of Ninevah, Jonah sent a message of destruction unless they repented, they did and the town was spared. Evil as a whole is not from God directly, but rather is needed for there to be love. This is a very hard concept to grasp and I wish we could talk in person so I could really explain it all. If you are ever in Jacksonville, FL maybe we oculd meet up, but I doubt that would ever happen.
"Does God answer to you when you pray? In what way does he reply? How can you tell?
My interest for my last three questions is sincire, I do not mean to make fun of you but I am really interested ."
Like I told Bikerman, I can't explain it but he does answer my prayers, just not always the way I want to, for life is not what I want it to be it is the way that it is. We live in a world that says life can be what you want it to be, but in reality life is what it is and you have to conform to it. A lot of Christians ask "how can you tell" and the answer is "you just know". But of course that is not a good answer for you now is it? Well it wasn't for me either. The hell do you mean "you can just know"? It makes no logical sense...but I tell you when you experience it it does. Same idea when you are looking for a wife. Some people say when they met their spouse they "knew it" and of course the rest of us go.."huh?" the hell does that mean? dang it, I need solid answers. Unfortunatly it doesn't work like that. You just have to go out on a limb and have faith that if God is real he will answer you and ...well, you will know. lol.
Just to note if you read the gospels Jesus never heals the same way twice. In all the blind being healed he does it differently every time. one time he touches the eyes, another he just speaks, another he puts clay on the eyes and tells him the bath in a river. In the same way God answers prayers and reaches people. it's different, it's unique to each person... it is what it is suppost to be, it is what He says it is... relational. it is a relationship.
Not really. Your idea of evidence and logic is for things like the laws of nature, where as i'm talking evidence and logic for something of the divine and it is useful to know that others are getting the same thing I am which helps with the making sure i'm not crazy Of course not everyone agrees with those of us who have had these experiences, and no one elses experiences shape my own views and beliefs, but it is nice to know i'm not alone...which also coincides with my views that I am not alone
That is commonly known as the ad-populum fallacy.
lol, I said the view of other people doesn't affect my view. There is a difference between being comforted by others and shaping my view because of others.
Nice try though.
Your comment was "it is useful to know that others are getting the same thing I am which helps with the making sure i'm not crazy" and my point is that - no it doesn't - that is the ad-populum fallacy.
Yeah, but knowing whether or not your crazy isn't going to affect the belief. At least in my mind it wouldn't. Maybe it would for you.
Oh yes, for me it certainly would. If I hold any delusional views then I would wish to know about it and rid myself of such views.
1. I've heard several people claim that but have seen no proof, ever.
2. Even though I stop at 1 as, for me, it is clear that god does not exist I do not feel god is love. If he would truely be love he would not allow his children to be hurt as he had time enough to prevent the Isreali's from being hurt in the bible.
3. That is certainly true.
So Satan does all of that? In the bible there is also a part that says that everything which happens here on earth happens because god wants it too. Not even a bird will fall dead from a roof without being the intention of god. Either god does it all or he doesn't do anything at all.
It sounds more like: "You'd better believe in me or I'll destroy you," in my eyes. I feel that it is just a way to scare people. Plus the fact that I don't see citys filled with sinners being destroyed nowadays whilst there are more sinners now then back then.
You are right, that answer won't do for me. I think god answering prayers and looking for a wife is diffrent. You might have to take a guess but once you have found a wife others will see it too. That's not the way with prayrs being answered. You will know just won't do. If I see children with dieing fathers or mothers praying for the survival of their loved one that person dies I do not see god at all. He didn't answer the prayers, in fact: he made them suffer. A mercifull god, who is love, would not do that.
These are 3 assumptions for the question you ask. Any answer given assumes these to be true, so you can question them all you want, but it's counterintuitive to the answer if you can't get past the assumptions.
Yes, God allows everything to happen. Like I said love and evil must co-exist for you to choose. So God allows some evil to happen, doesn't directly cause it, but allows it to happen. Welcome to the middle ground.
Shouldn't it scare you that there is a being that created everything you see, feel and know? And that you could be going against His wishes? Damn right that should scare you. Dunno about you but I want to be sure if there is a creator I am on His good side lol.
Sin is sin, we are all sinners and everyone behind us were sinners, you can't really quantify it so to say there is more now then back then is kinda hard to say.
Do you make the family suffer with the loved ones loss, or do you end the loved ones sufferings by ending His life. If you assume there is a God and a Heaven and that life in Heaven is eternal, then life on this Earth is a blink of an eye and in the words of Paul "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain". When someone saved dies, it is said because we want them around, when it should be a joyous moment that they actually gained death and get to live in heaven forever, no longer on this hell hole.
You are not going to be able to answer this issue of evil until you accept those top 3 conditions.
God exists, God is love and evil exists.
When you pretend to accept them as fact then the problem of evil can be address, but if you keep getting caught up on those 3 issues then you will never be able to address the problem of evil.
True. But an ideas existance says nothing about an ideas truth.
No, that is why we need independant evidence and logic as opposed to your internal logic and evidence. That is how we test to see if an idea is rational.
So, the bible says God does everything but in fact he doesn't. That doesn't make much sense to me at all.
Then I feel you are a coward. If that being existed then I do not agree with the things he does and says as they are not the same. If there is a heaven or hell and I'll go up there when I'll die then we will have a hell of a discussion, or I could better say that I'd join in on the discussion that's already being held.
I should also add that the basis of believe, in my eyes, is fear and that it is extra proof to me that faith isn't true.
Only because Eve ate that apple so many years ago? Wouldn't you think he had forgiven us? We forgive every time. Christians because god wants them to but on the whole god can't forgive the humans?
You are forgetting here that the bible says that god is responsible for everything, meaning that he also started that one's suffering. There is no good in ending that if he could have prevented it in the first place.
You see earth as a hell hole? I certainly don't. In heaven I wouldn't be with my relatives, I would have to watch them live their lifes. If I had children I could so them grow up and have fun, all without me. I get sad now by typing and imagening it. For me, that would be hell, not heaven.
Evil is only a matter of perspective. Evil is relative, it doesn't have to exist. By raising people in a specific way we make certain actions evil while they don't have to be. For example, homosexuality is being seen as a sin by most christians, thus evil, but for me it is normal and not evil at all. We create and think of our own evil...
Which you are not going to get because what is rational to you is not what people are saying about faith and until you have those experiences you will never consider it as such.
Which is a good place to end this particular segment.
We can agree therefore that faith is inherently irrational in that it does not provide logical and evidential support for it's contentions that can be communicated and therefore tested.
From an outside view, not an internal view.
People who stop believing have an internal view and do agree on what he said.
people who have both agree on what I said.
think about it this way:
I have never had a faith type of inside logical reasonable experience therefore they cannot possibly exist, reguardless of what others say.
Ruling out a possibility is the definition of a closed mind.
Your personal evidence doesn't go against personal divine experiences, it just doesn't support it.
Ruling out all scientific proof and progeress of humanity, that is the defenition of a closed mean. Remaining loyal to a faith whilst it can be proven that it isn't true and doesn't help. That's what is a sign of a closed mind...
I live in experience A (the world around us)
I say A and B are true.
You have only experienced A.
Nothing contrary to experience B, but since you never had it, than it must not be true.
I accept A and B.
You claim B is false.
and I have the closed mind?
Am I missing something here?
You are making an assumption here. What makes you think I never experienced B?
I can tell you that I have experienced B and I can also tell you that I didn't like it.
Yes, you are.
What would it take to convince you that you have not in fact experienced B, and it was only a hallucination or mistake in judgement on your part that has made you think you have (and surely you do not deny that such hallucinations and mistakes are possible and quite convincing)?
What would it take to convince him that experience B exists?
The answer to the first question would seem to be... nothing. You are apparently completely convinced that your own "internal" evidence and logic trumps anything that can be verified externally - even though you are aware of how fallable the human mind is.
The answer to the second question depends on Coen. i would hazard a guess based on what i have seen him right that all it would take is any valid intersubjective evidence or logic, which is really not that much to ask for. If we can get that kind of support for things ranging from the existence of rocks, to the non-locality of quantum particles, to the variable nature of time, to happiness and love... then why not experience B, assuming it exists?
And that is why you are the closed-minded one in that comparison. Believing one more thing than someone else does not make you open-minded.
Oh no. You are right, experience B can totally be delirious, or else how do you explain the variety of religion? Everyone can't be right.
However, Experience B is real the the person who had it and you can't say otherwise for you haven't experienced it or anything to the contrary. You have ONLY experienced A. Thus it is very easy to say, well B can't happen because I never experieced it....doesn't make it logically right to say.
I don't need to convince him that my experience B is true, all I have to convince him to do is try what I did for himself. However, he will more than likly not be willing to because he has himself so convinced that B is just a delusion that he won't bother trying.
I should know....I was in yalls same boat. Till I said F it, and tried.
As I said I do know world B. And I also understand why people get strenght out of it and thus I also know why I don't and so why it's not true.
You have experienced B?
You have had God talk to you?
By experienced B, don't get confused here, I think a lot of people think they have heard from God but are mistaken. I know when I heard from God this isn't something that could be mistaken, you know. You said before you don't accept that answer of "you just know" which means you have yet to experience B, so don't even think you have any clue what it is or claim to "know world B". You "know" the outsider looking in view of spirituality, you have yet to truly experience it. Spirituality and a relationship with God isn't going to church on Sunday, it isn't killing in the name of God, it isn't reading your bible, it is SO MUCH bigger than that. Which is why I use words like "logic" and "evidence" in terms of experience B because when you actually experience it, it is logical, it is evidence for a God, it IS GOD. So don't claim it isn't true when you haven't experienced it.
The thing with faith is you can't claim it isn't true, because there is no contrary to it, there is no anti-faith feeling, there is lack of faith feeling, but not the opposite. For example if everyone was given a box that only they could see inside of. I open mine to find God inside. I claim God exists. You refuse to open the box. You can't claim there is no God in the box because you are not opening the box, if you were able to open the box and see it empty then you could make the claim, but you physically can't. Unfortunatly in our world the box is there but no one knows how to open it. In the case that God is in the box it is easy to open and see for you have experience B. However if there exists no God it is impossible to tell because you could always say you just haven't opened the box yet. What would an open empty box look like in our world? There can be no 100% certain open empty box. For we are stuck in this world of natural laws until we die and God exists outside of it where we cannot touch him with science.
Yet that is exactly what you do. You have - and i can quote you if you don't believe me - said that the "B" that other people experience is wrong and yours is right.
So if you can do it, why can't i? Why can't Coen? He says he's experienced a form of "B" that is different from yours... and you say he's wrong. Why? Why can't he say you're wrong?
Furthermore, i can confirm Coen's "B". Anyone can. Even you can. Coen's "B" is based on intersubjective logic and evidence. All you need to do is open your eyes and you see the universe, which is, if i understand Coen, his "B", his "religion".
But i can't confirm your "B".
You insist that your "B" is right and his (and others') is wrong. With no evidence outside of your head.
i can assure you that you have no idea what "boat" i'm in.
But you are not mistaken of course. Only everyone who "hears" from gods that don't agree with yours, or who don't "hear" gods at all. Right?
There is a clinical diagnosis for that, you know. ^_^;
He hasn't experienced B and I say this by his lack of liking the "you just know" answer. If you really experenced B then "you just know".
and I would beg to differ on the boat
Of course. Obviously there should be some more study then just "i'm right you're wrong". We "B's" would have to get together and discuss. Something that is not easy to do, as you can see from our History.
Once again: "i'm right you're wrong".
You're saying that the only "B" that's valid is one that is described as "you just know". Your reason for this...? Because you say so.
If he says he's experienced "B", and you say you've experienced "B", why should i or anyone believe you over him? He can provide evidence. And you... all you can do is insist you're right and everyone else that disagrees is ignorant.
Beg all you like. Your posts on the evolutionary basis for homosexuality have indicated that you have a fundamentally incorrect idea of what natural selection and evolution are all about. And since - in my boat - the vast majority of what exists today is the product of evolution, both biological and otherwise, with emergent properties arising from simplistic systems... and since my entire understanding of the universe derives from my understanding of how it works and it came about... it follows that you do not understand where i come from at all. You may think you do, but your understanding is wrong. That may be why you eventually rejected it, while i haven't.
If you really want to understand my "boat", there are really only a small amount of concepts to learn, concepts that are completely intersubjective and can be read, studied and criticized by anyone. You have grazed the topic, but you have clearly not understood it, as can be demonstrated by quoting your misconceptions. An introductory course in evolutionary biology should set you straight... maybe.
On the contrary. Who says we have to get people together and discuss anything? History is the answer, as you say. We have volumes of writings and quotes from people who all claim - just as adamantly as you - to have experienced this "B" you insist Coen hasn't. Quite literally millions of different people describing their experience with "B".
And, surprise surprise... they're all different.
Your only response to that difference thus far has been, as you put it: "i'm right you're wrong".
How is it in the discussion of Atheism you understand this concept but with this you seem lost.
Atheism is without God, not necessairly anti-God, correct? Or do I have to hunt down a quote of yours.
Same applies here.
There is experience B. There is lack of Experience B but there is no experience for anti-B.
His evidence is nothing at all, just saying he has never experienced it, you as well have never experienced it. But you can't say that it's impossible for experience B to exist because there is no anti-B experience that would counter it, just a lack of it, which, of all people, you know doesn't mean there is no experience B.
The reality is that there is no way to describe anything to you because you haven't experienced it. The only way we describe new experiences to people who haven't experienced them before is to compare to stuff they have, but this is something divine and something that is different from anything else, it would be like describing an exotic food.
Well no crap, not everyone is right, people are mistaken. There are tons of people who claim things that arn't true, such as people who claim to be Christians but based on their actions and actual beliefs when confronted are not close to the teachings of Christ at all. So people say bullcrap all the time. All I am trying to say is that you can't discredit somethings right away simply because you never had them. Having experienced B, something that I personally have defined above, I reserve the right to judge others experiences when they describe them to me as to authentisty. Could I be wrong? I think I am obligated to say 'yes' but do I really think so?...no
Why? Because you say so? ^_^;
You can't just apply a principle from a completely unrelated topic without first showing why it also applies in the current situation. In this case it doesn't, not in the least. Nothing i have said even comes close to "'B' does not exist". Not even in the same ballpark. i'm not even talking about the same concept! i don't even care whether or not 'B' is real or not, whatever it may be. i don't care whether you've experienced 'B' and someone else has experienced "anti-'B'". i don't care about people that haven't experienced 'B'. In fact, i've even deliberately insisted on using this abstract term 'B' to illustrate the problem. 'B' could be anything, real or imaginary. i am not interested in what 'B' is, or 'B's properties or lack thereof. i am interested in your experience of 'B', and why you think it might be real in the face of all conventional evidence (namely, intersubjectivity). i am not asking if 'B' is real, i am asking if your experience of 'B' is real.
i have been repeatedly asking you is how you can be sure that your experience of 'B' is real. And you have repeatedly insisted that "you just know", to use your words. So i then asked if "you just know" that your experience of 'B' is real, even though no one can see any evidence of it at all outside of your head, how can you be sure that Coen's experience of 'B' - or anyone's experience of 'B' - isn't just as real as yours.
Your only answer to date, repeated in the quote above, has been "i'm right and you're wrong".
Your logic is that since Coen's experience of 'B' is different from your experience of 'B', he's wrong and you're right - your experience is "really" an experience of 'B', and Coen's is not. And that, quite literally, is the entire extent of your argument.
Presumably if Coen's experience of 'B' was the same as your own, his experience would be real... but why? Why can't i say that your experience of 'B' is the illusion and Coen is right, and the evidence of that is that your experience is different from Coen's? At least if i made that claim, i could back it up with intersubjective evidence. How can you back up your claim? And if you can't back it up at all (which you have already admitted you can't), how can you be sure you haven't been deluded?
And again i say, i am not and have never at any point in this discussion tried to prove that there is no such thing as 'B'. i have just pointed out that the human mind is quite susceptible to being deluded, so how can you be sure that what you think you have experienced is real? Your answer: "you just know", but when i pointed out that even clinically insane people "just know" that their delusions are correct, you evaded.
So...? How do you know that your experience of 'B' is not a delusion? (Again, i did not ask you if 'B' was real, i asked you if your experience of 'B' is real.)
The normal way to determine that an experience is not hallucinatory is by showing that it is intersubjective. But you went right out of your way to doggedly insist that your experience of 'B' isn't intersubjective, but entirely in your head. So...? Still waiting for an answer other than "you just know".
Your next tactic was to try to claim that your experience of 'B' is real because it's apparently a common experience. But i pointed out to you that it's not as common as you claim, and in fact, differs widely from person to person. Your response to that was... "they're wrong and i'm right". How do you know this? "You just know", apparently.
So the question remains, and not the straw man question you just made up, the real question i was asking to begin with. How do you know that your experience of 'B' is not a delusion? Your experience of 'B' is different from Coen's... so how do you know that yours is right and his is wrong?
i'm not interested in comparisons.
You are aware that people do hallucinate, yes? And that those hallucinations can appear every bit as real as anything in reality, yes? In fact, people who hallucinate can be completely and totally convinced that what they hallucinated was real, without any doubt at all.
So, assuming that your experience of 'B' is not a hallucination... how do you know? If it were a hallucination, how would you tell? More importantly, how can you tell that what Coen or i experience is a hallucination, and what you experience is not?
i can give you my answer. i can tell that what i experience is not a hallucination because i can test everything i experience intersubjectively. i can get third party confirmation from anyone or anything i choose.
But you have already admitted - in fact, insisted - that your experience is entirely supported only in your head. So, if i claimed that Coen's experience of 'B' is real and yours is a hallucination... how do you defend yourself? Other than "you just know" and "i'm right and you're wrong", of course, because those are responses you would expect from someone who was clinically insane. Assuming you're not insane, you must have something beyond that. So, share it with us. Preferably without telling us that we're either too ignorant, stubborn or hostile. Assume we're nice open-minded people genuinely curious about the answer, but who will not be satisfied with empty words or evasions, and share it with us.
And you know you're not mistaken... because...?
No, but we can ask about them, can't we? What have i done beside that?
We can also critically examine the results we get from asking and determine whether or not they are nonsense. Can't we?
Or is it wrong to ask questions? And, if we can ask questions, is it wrong to question the results? Is it your position that we should just blindly accept whatever you tell us to believe without questioning it?
If not, then what is unreasonable about asking you for evidence of this thing you claim to have experienced but we have not? You've given us none, and have in fact declared that since it's entirely a subjective experience, evidenced only in your head, you don't need to.
Would i be unreasonable for deciding to stop asking questions right there, and deciding that i don't believe you because you have no evidence? Would i be unreasonable to say that without evidence, i only have your claim, and the claim of a single person wouldn't even stand up as evidence in a court of law without serious scrutiny? i don't think so.
But i was extra open-minded, and went a step further. i assumed that you were telling the truth - insofar as you knew it. Was that unreasonable? Or was that closed-minded? i don't think so.
Then, given the assumption that you believe you are telling the truth, i asked what reason you had for believing that. Was that unreasonable? Or closed-minded? i don't think so.
Your answers thus far have been that you just know... and that is it. No explanation for how or why you know, and how you were able to know that you weren't deceived by your own mind. Am i unreasonable for being sceptical?
Furthermore, you have taken it to the next level, and insisted that your experience is not only real... but that others' experiences are false. You provide absolutely no reasoning behind this claim, other that it is so because you say it is so.
To give you a reality check, here is what just happened. You just called tens of thousands - possible even millions or billions - of people liars and/or deluded, while insisting that you don't have to provide any reason for doing so. Meanwhile i have been trying to understand your experience, asking you questions about it and considering your replies critically. Yet somehow you claim that i am being closed to other experiences, and you are open-minded.
How do you answer that?
In other words, you have... arbitrarily... defined something that you experienced as the one universal truth that all others must agree to or be mistaken. i say arbitrarily because you have provided no reason that your experience is even real other than that it appears so to you, while being fully aware that it is quite easy to be mistaken.
You then insist that you have the "right" to use this arbitrary standard that you created and refuse to justify - in fact, insisting that you do not have to justify it - and judge the beliefs of others.
Sounds like a religion to me. ^_^
ahh, I see.
You cut in on the convorsation towards the middle, missing the whole what this "experience b" thing is all about.
You don't understand, do you? He isn't interested what "experience b" is about. He wants to know how you are so convinced that you experienced it and that it was real. You are evading his question.
As i've said over and over, i don't care what experience 'B' is. It doesn't matter in the least. It could be a mystical, subjective experience of god, it could be your personal sensation of the colour red or it could be visions of sugar plums dancing in your head.
Each of those experiences i just listed, both the believable and the farcical ones, can be manifestations of brain misfirings - hallucinations. We have methods for determining when that is what has happened and when it is not. You have eschewed all of those methods.
So i ask, how can you be sure? How do you know that experience 'B' (call it the experience of God) is real and experience 'C' (the sugar plum fairies) is not? How do you know that when your experience of 'B' differs from someone else's, that yours is right and theirs is wrong?
Once again: without resorting to "you just know" or "i'm right and you're wrong", and without telling us that we're either too ignorant, stubborn or hostile. i'm assuming you're not lying and you're not insane, so you must have a reason. Share it with us.
No, actually I was understanding that he didn't pick on the fact that I answered that at the beginning, after he came into the conversation.
Let's see... at the beginning after i came into the conversation... the first thing i see is:
But that can't be your answer because it has nothing to do with my question. i know experience 'B' can be a complete delusion. i've told you so over and over. i am, in fact, asking how you know it is not.
No, that can't be the answer, so i look to the next bit:
That can't be the answer either because it has nothing to do with my question. As i thought i made clear earlier, i am not implying that you haven't experienced 'B' or that 'B' itself can't be possible. You have said you experience 'B'. Fine. Great. But then you go on to say that Coen hasn't experienced 'B'.
At that point i ask: how do you know that? Maybe he has. You insist he hasn't because his experience differs from yours. You have already admitted that different people have different experiences of 'B'. Maybe his experience of 'B' is that 'B' is a complete fiction.
Your only evidence is that it feels real to you. Well, all hallucinations feel real to the person having them. That's kinda the point. Maybe he's right, and the entire experience of 'B' is totally not real, and you're wrong. Your only argument to refute that so far has been "no, because i say so". Does that sound like a reasonable argument?
But of course, that can't be an answer. i specifically asked for an answer without "you just know".
So, maybe it's this:
That can't be it either, because i also asked for an answer that doesn't consist of telling us we're too stubborn.
It would seem i'm a little slow. Ah well, i've heard that theists, and Christians in particular, are apparently quite charitable, so it won't be too much to ask of you to share with us what this answer is again. Since you've apparently already given the answer, it can't be too much trouble to repeat it. Can it?
Maybe you don't need me to repeat the question, especially if you've already given the answer, but i'm a little slow, so let this be for my benefit.
You have claimed that it is possible to experience something which we have labelled 'B'. You have further claimed that all evidence for this experience is entirely subjective, entirely within your own head. You have agreed that other people experience 'B' in different ways, and asserted that some do not experience it at all. You then insisted that your experience of 'B' is the correct one, and anyone that differs is wrong. You even went so far as to say that you have the right to cast judgement on other people's experiences - experiences which you are not privy to and can neither confirm nor deny - and call them deluded.
i pointed out that people are easily deluded, and that these delusions can be completely and utterly convincing to the person that experiences them. You seem to agree with this implicitly, because you say that people who have experiences of 'B' that are different than yours are "mistaken". There are standard tests to determine which of our experiences are delusion and which are not, but you have methodically ruled out every one of them (and, if you had not, Coen's experience of 'B' would trump yours... yours would fail and be a delusion, his would not).
So... here you are, having had an experience that neither you nor anyone else can confirm intersubjectively... that could possibly be a delusion, and that you have no way of proving otherwise. You have insisted that not only is your experience not a delusion, but that all other experiences that differ are, and yours is the only true one. In fact, you assert that you have a right to cast judgement on any conflicting view of this experience, and call it "mistaken".
My questions: How do you know that your experience is not a delusion? How do you know that everyone else whose experience differs is deluded?
And, as i requested, i would like answers that do not take the form "you just know" or "i'm right and you're wrong", and do not involve telling us that we're too ignorant, stubborn or hostile to hear the answer.
Unfortunatly you are not going to get a different answer, as I have already stated.
Experience B as I have defined it, quite pooly I suppose, is a discussion with God. Something that by it's very nature is inexplainable with words, for words, feelings as the such were simply not made for discussing talks with God. The fact is that when you have this experience "you just know". The fact that Coen has said he doesn't believe in this idea of "you just know" well then, I think by definition he hasn't had the experience.
All Bachelors are unmarried men, Coen said he was an unmarried man, well there ya have it, he's not a bachelor. I hope that analogy made sense.
I think one analogy for this whole thing that would make it all click is think of an experience, one that would be hard to really describe fully. For example. Sex. Not everyone has had it. Trying to describe it from the point of view that someone has to someone who hasn't would be quite difficult. Thanks to the movie "american pie" someone has offered the explination that "it" feels like warm apple pie. Suppose you have had "it" and would describe it as such. Now, someone else comes along and says it's more like cold potatoe salad. Well now we have a few views:
Person A who "had it" : warm apple pie.
Person B who "had it" : cold potatoe salad.
Person C, the virgin: no idea.
Now, in the above discussion I am taking the role of person A. Person B comes along and says the experience was different, but I have had the experience and I know what it's like, obviously person B is mistaken. Could I have mistaken sex? Maybe I was dreaming and some friends shoved my jimmy in a warm apple pie while I was sleeping. Highly doubtful given my personal experience, but, taken the descartes stance, not quite indubitable. Person C has made no claims to have had sex and thus should have no weight in the discussion at all.
Leaving the analogy, I have had this experience B, could I be wrong? I think I am obligated to say yes, but in my mind that is just impossible, given the amount of other evidences and occurances in my life. Coen is more like the potatoe salad boy in that he claims to have had an experience but in a round table of A's we would all look at him like he was crazy. I think a lot of people think they experience B because they want to, because they want to be right, because they want their little world to be their little world. I on the other hand don't have those predejuices for I don't want to be right. For me to be right, millions are going to be suffering in Hell, among them, I am pretty sure my own dad who died a few years back. So for me, these experiences with God were a rose with a thorn. I kept ignoring Him over and over again, I never wanted to believe, I wanted my own world, where I was boss and my flesh led the way, to continue. But I finally caved, gave up fighting and realized there is a truth out there and it's not the way I want life to be run, but it is the way life is run. There is no law of nature that coincides with this. So I am unsure what answer you are expecting. I fancy you, Indi, to be an educated person, someone who has done his homework. Thus I have to wonder what kind of answer would ever satasify you. For you are looking under rocks for what is in the sky. Using a microscope for the stars. Science won't help you find God, for that's not it's purpose. Logic has been corrupted by society. The only thing left is God, and there is no word to describe his methods, his functions and forumlas other then "you just know."
In one breath you say that "you just know" is fine enough for you, but in the next you say it's not good enough for others. i'm frankly confused. On my left Rev. Hill tells me he has "talked" to God (i use the word "talked" because i cannot think of a better word, and you referred to it as a discussion, so it seemed appropriate... but i don't want to imply a literal communication, or something that might be associated with schizophrenia... i mean what you mean, some form of non-verbal communication with God), on my right you tell me you have "talked" to God. On my left Rev. Hill says he can't offer me any evidence, on my right you tell me you can't offer me any evidence. On my left Rev. Hill is completely certain that he has communicated with God, on my right you are completely certain you have communicated with God. On my left Rev. Hill says that anyone whose communication with God is different from his own is mistaken, on my right you say that anyone whose communication with God is different from your own is mistaken. Your claims of the "message" from God are wildly different from, and possibly completely contrary to, Rev. Hill's.
In the middle is me, representative of all the people who have yet to feel any kind of presence of (and have certainly not had any communication from) God. One or both of you is insane or lying.
What is your honest assessment of what i should do? i cannot accept that what both of you tell me is right is right... because you two contradict each other. Only one, or possibly neither, of you is actually giving me good information on what God says is good. From my perspective, should i dismiss you, him or both?
You still seem to be hung up on the notion of trying to prove that 'B' is real. i don't care if 'B' is real or not. i don't care if God really exists, and i don't care if you actually experienced him or not.
In fact, for the purposes of this discussion to this point, i have assumed that God does exist. Otherwise i could just dismiss you out of hand as deluded. Which i haven't done, or it would have been a short conversation.
What i am asking you is how you can be sure that your experience of 'B' is true and not a hallucination. If you want to use sex as an example, fine, but then your analogy is flawed.
The correct version of the analogy would be that you have claimed to have experienced sex, then i asked you how you can be sure it wasn't a hallucination. (i'll get to the other participants in a second.)
Now with sex, we can actually determine that it is not a hallucination, because, presumably, you didn't do it alone, so there is at least one witness, possibly more depending on how much fun the sex was. In addition, there is very likely physical evidence, including bodily fluids, torn sheets and possibly pregnancy (depending on how much fun you had, and how careful you were). i or anyone who questions whether or not you have experienced sex can be shown that you actually did.
Now, suppose someone else comes along and says they have experienced sex, but that it was totally different to how you describe it. i am faced with four possibilities. You are right and he is wrong, he is right and you are wrong, you are both wrong or you are both right. But i can resolve this dilemma by looking at physical evidence to see who has had sex. i can determine which of you is mistaken, or possibly that both of you are mistaken, or possibly that neither of you are mistaken (at which point i would have start a new line of research to find out what caused the difference in the experience).
If Coen came along and said "i experienced sex too, and there was nothing amazing about it like you describe... it was just dull and mechanistic," i can use the method above to find out which of you, if either, is right (or possibly that both are right and Coen could use some lessons).
And if Coen came along and said "there is no such thing as sex and anyone who experiences it is deluded," i can resolve that, too. All i would have to do is find one person who has had sex that i can prove by physical evidence, and Coen would be silenced.
But the problem with your experience 'B' is that... by your own admission... there is no way i can confirm the experience. You're saying one thing and Coen's saying another, and i apparently can't do anything to determine who's right. You say you listened for the divine and he touched you, Coen says he listened for the divine and heard just the wind whistling through the trees. Who's right? How can i find out?
Your answers have all led to the conclusion: i can't. You claim certainty, even though you are aware of how easily you could be deluded. But what can i do? i can't just follow every person that crawls out of the woodwork that is absolutely sure of what he believes.
Even worse, you don't even seem to have any intellectual safety valve. You don't seem to have any way to verify that you're not mistaken. Even while fully aware of how easily you could be completely insane... you don't even consider that as a possible option. Oh, sure, you pay lip service to the possibility that you might be wrong... right before immediately rejecting it out of hand. And terrifyingly, you are so assured that you're definitely right that you assert the right to judge the beliefs of others. Isn't that correct?
My standards for evidence - at least for first-round evidence, which would let me consider the possibility seriously - are very, very low by comparison to what i would require for complete acceptance of the idea. In fact, i'm so easy, i'll take pretty much anything even remotely coherent as a good starting point (but the analysis will get tougher from there).
But unless you've got more to offer than what you're offering now, what i am facing is this: i have a person who claims to have experienced something. They assert that no evidence of this experience exists that they can show me. Millions of others claim to experience similar things, but the vast majority of them experience it differently than the person making the claim. The person making the claim explains this discrepancy with, "They're just mistaken. i'm right. i know i'm right." But of course... no evidence whatsoever.
Would i be closed-minded to reject this claim? And if not, why not?
i have always been told that God is everywhere. In fact, i have been explicitly told that he's not just living in the sky.
And i know you meant metaphorically, but so did i. My reasoning is this. The universe is fricken huge... immense beyond imagination and teeming with energy beyond any possibility to measure (literally). However something so incredibly enormous came to be, there must be some traces of its creation. If God made it all, his fingerprints should bloody well be everywhere.
And i do see a signature of a creation event... only, it's the cosmic background radiation and expansion that you would expect from the "bang". And while that is not proof in and of itself that God does not exist, it is a good example of the problem i am facing. i'm looking everywhere... where's God? Where are his fingerprints? What possible motivation could he have for hiding? And hiding he must be, because there's no conceptual way that so many people could have missed him so completely for so long. (And before you attempt to make the claim that many people have felt him, let me point out that by your own logic, they are "mistaken". Because only a vanishingly small minority have experiences of God compatible with yours.)
Ah, but all that's a digression from the topic. Getting back to it:
i'm not sure what you mean by logic being corrupted by society. i've found that it is happily embraced by everyone when it works in their favour, and dismissed otherwise.
But anyway, if i am reading you right you are saying that because logic and evidence are apparently insufficient to prove to me - or even to yourself - that your experience with God was real, you must resort to faith. Saying "you just know" is a pretty clear statement of a faith-based belief. Is that about right?
I voted for Faith is nothing
Life without a faith is senseless. Vera everywhere.
For a man as a rule it is possible to divide into three kinds:
1)âåðà based on the tested experience;
2) faith at transcendental level (faith in higher forces);
3)âåðà simply based on a trust, without verification, not with reason.
So everybody chooses itself the method of faith. Other kinds are possible, but it will be only to certain by combination of the above enumerated kinds.
Read the thread. Faith has already been defined, and only two of those things count as faith at all, while only one of them counts as the kind of faith being discussed here.