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Wed Aug 23, 2017, 08:32 PM

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible

Thomas Of Aquinas, a Christian philosopher.

To paraphrase, to a theist, faith requires no proof. One has faith, or one does not. In contrast, Satoshi Kanazawa, a self-described
Scientific Fundamentalist:

Unfortunately, there are many other misconceptions about science.  One of the most common misconceptions concerns the so-called “scientific proofs.”  Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a scientific proof.


https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200811/common-misconceptions-about-science-i-scientific-proof

So in all the debate over faith, and faith versus science, it appears that many non-theists insist on proof of faith. Proof in a scientific sense. As well to ask why Einstein or Hawkins are not mentioned in the Bible.

And if a non-theist asks why faith is, or why it persists, a theist would answer that faith persists because the Creator persists.

Thoughts?

142 replies, 17629 views

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Reply To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible (Original post)
guillaumeb Aug 2017 OP
Dawson Leery Aug 2017 #1
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #3
Lordquinton Aug 2017 #14
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #24
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #76
Binkie The Clown Aug 2017 #2
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #4
Binkie The Clown Aug 2017 #5
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #6
Angry Dragon Aug 2017 #12
Voltaire2 Aug 2017 #72
Heddi Aug 2017 #95
larwdem Aug 2017 #62
whathehell Aug 2017 #104
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #107
Binkie The Clown Aug 2017 #108
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #139
Binkie The Clown Aug 2017 #140
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #141
whathehell Aug 2017 #142
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #115
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #77
marylandblue Aug 2017 #7
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #8
Eko Aug 2017 #9
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #21
Eko Aug 2017 #27
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #30
Eko Aug 2017 #35
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #40
Eko Aug 2017 #55
Eko Aug 2017 #60
Mariana Aug 2017 #68
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #78
edhopper Aug 2017 #44
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #47
edhopper Aug 2017 #51
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #52
edhopper Aug 2017 #59
marylandblue Aug 2017 #61
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #80
marylandblue Aug 2017 #10
Eko Aug 2017 #11
marylandblue Aug 2017 #15
Eko Aug 2017 #29
marylandblue Aug 2017 #89
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #81
marylandblue Aug 2017 #90
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #91
marylandblue Aug 2017 #92
edhopper Aug 2017 #17
marylandblue Aug 2017 #18
edhopper Aug 2017 #19
marylandblue Aug 2017 #20
edhopper Aug 2017 #26
marylandblue Aug 2017 #63
edhopper Aug 2017 #66
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #31
edhopper Aug 2017 #34
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #38
edhopper Aug 2017 #41
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #43
edhopper Aug 2017 #45
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #49
MineralMan Aug 2017 #129
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #132
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #135
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #137
marylandblue Aug 2017 #37
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #46
marylandblue Aug 2017 #57
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #82
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #102
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #114
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #22
edhopper Aug 2017 #32
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #33
edhopper Aug 2017 #36
Voltaire2 Aug 2017 #71
Voltaire2 Aug 2017 #70
Angry Dragon Aug 2017 #13
Moostache Aug 2017 #83
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #84
Lordquinton Aug 2017 #16
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #23
Eko Aug 2017 #65
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #85
Act_of_Reparation Aug 2017 #93
msongs Aug 2017 #25
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #28
edhopper Aug 2017 #39
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #42
edhopper Aug 2017 #48
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #50
edhopper Aug 2017 #53
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #86
marylandblue Aug 2017 #56
Docreed2003 Aug 2017 #54
edhopper Aug 2017 #64
Docreed2003 Aug 2017 #67
edhopper Aug 2017 #75
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #88
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #87
Bradshaw3 Aug 2017 #58
ExciteBike66 Aug 2017 #69
Act_of_Reparation Aug 2017 #73
MineralMan Aug 2017 #74
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #96
MineralMan Aug 2017 #98
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #99
MineralMan Aug 2017 #100
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #101
MineralMan Aug 2017 #103
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #105
MineralMan Aug 2017 #106
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #119
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #122
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #125
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #126
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #127
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #130
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #133
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #134
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #136
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #138
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #118
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #121
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #124
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #117
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #116
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #120
AtheistCrusader Aug 2017 #123
LovesPNW Aug 2017 #79
Htom Sirveaux Aug 2017 #94
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #97
Act_of_Reparation Aug 2017 #109
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #110
Htom Sirveaux Aug 2017 #111
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #112
Htom Sirveaux Aug 2017 #113
samnsara Aug 2017 #128
guillaumeb Aug 2017 #131

Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 08:40 PM

1. Einstein is too honorable to be mentioned in the Bible.

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Response to Dawson Leery (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 08:43 PM

3. But, he did say this:

A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty - it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. (Albert Einstein)

And this:

I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings. (Albert Einstein)

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 09:30 PM

14. He also thought quantum mechanics was a bunch of bunk

And fought against it's research.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #14)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:31 PM

24. Proving that Einstein was not omniscient.

He would have admitted as much.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #24)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:22 AM

76. Einstein changed his mind when presented with evidence.

That puts him head and shoulders above any 'believer'.

Not only did he change his mind about Quantum Theory, he contributed to it mightily with an understanding of light quanta (we now call them Photons) and the quantum theory of specific heat.

You have chosen a dangerous example to support your idea.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 08:43 PM

2. Why does a Muslim's faith persist if his faith is "wrong" according to your faith?

Is it because Mohamed persists?
Why does the Shinto faith persist? Is it because Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, persists?
Why does the Buddhist faith persist? Is it because the Buddha persists?
Why does faith in Voodoo persist? Because the Voodoo gods and spirits persist?

Faith does not persist because some imaginary creator persists. Faith persists because certain fundamental flaws in human reasoning ability continue to persist.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 08:45 PM

4. Your questions presuppose that I believe that these paths are wrong.

I believe that the Creator is so far advanced that all we can perceive are the traces of the Creator's actions.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 08:47 PM

5. Just like unicorns are so far advanced that all we can perceive are traces of their actions.

And I know this, because I have an invisible unicorn in my garage that nobody but me can see.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 08:49 PM

6. I knew it. A person of faith.

Is a unicorn an endangered species?

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 09:24 PM

12. A garage is no place for a unicorn ..... a meadow is better

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #12)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 05:07 AM

72. You can't leave unicorns in the meadow because the trolls will eat them.

fucking trolls. They ruin everything.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #72)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 07:06 AM

95. The trolls only eat them because the Succubus have completely obliterated the trolls' natural food

sources.

Fucking succubus'. They ruin everything.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:05 PM

62. you are right

I went big foot hunting and stepped in unicorn poop.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 11:43 AM

104. Could we cut the mockery?...Not every believer is a dummy or a nut job

Sometimes a "believer" believes because of what he/she has experienced, and, no, every experience cannot be "proven" and good luck trying to convince one who HAS experienced something, that it doesn't exist. I speak from personal experience, NOT about a religious experience, but about a paranormal one, something strict empiricists would likely sneer at as quickly as they do religion.

To quote my very left-brained, science trained spouse, "Science doesn't yet know everything...They thought they did in the 19th century and, as time told, they were dead wrong".

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Response to whathehell (Reply #104)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 12:19 PM

107. Mockery is an important tool for some. eom

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Response to whathehell (Reply #104)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 12:54 PM

108. The problem with faith is this:

1. Faith is belief in something without evidence that it is real.
2. There are quite literally an infinite number of things that could be claimed, such as:
2a. There are dragons living on the dark side of the moon.
2b. People with red hair have sold their soul to the devil.
2c. God is real and lives inside the planet Jupiter.
2d. Eating live crickets will cure cancer.
2e. The earth is flat.
2f. The moon is made of green cheese.
2g. Donald Trump is a genius.
2h. Mole people live under the earth.
2i. The Dalai Lama is a space alien.
2j. Electrons are actually tiny demons.
....etc.

Since you can go on naming ideas forever, there has to be a solid reason to believe one claim over another. If you pick just one crazy notion out of an infinite selection of possible crazy notions, what are the odds that your particular crazy notion is actually true? That brings us back to science. Science is how we decide which claims of faith might be worth believing in, and which should be doubted.

So which version of "god" do one choose to believe in? Most people do not choose. They believe in whatever version of god they were brought up to believe. So since you have so many people who believe so many contradictory versions of god, based on their ow personal faith, it follows that one's personal faith is a lousy way to decide what to believe and what not to believe. If it were otherwise, then the people with the strongest faith, for example, those willing to strap on suicide vests in the name of their faith, have the most likelihood of being correct. Do you believe that? Do people whose faith is stronger than yours have a better claim to their faith being true? Or is faith simply a psychological phenomenon that has no relation to what is or is not true?

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #108)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 07:47 PM

139. Faith is a belief in the unprovable.

And faith seems to have been an aspect of sentience for most humans for many thousands of years.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #139)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 11:06 PM

140. I have faith that my invisible unicorn will poop gold bricks.

That's unprovable, so it must be based on faith.

So from that single example, do you think that my faith is good enough to convince you?

Then why on earth would you think that your faith is good enough to convince me?

But in the long run it doesn't matter what your faith tells you because my faith tells me that Odin's sons Thor and Baldr will summon the Valkyries come Ragnarok and smite all the non-believers like you. Of course that's unprovable, but I have faith, so it must be true, right?

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #140)

Tue Aug 29, 2017, 11:44 AM

141. If your beliefs are convincing to you, THAT is the key.

I have no interest in convincing you, nor I assume do you have an interest in convincing me, of anything related to belief. Mutual tolerance should be the pattern.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #108)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 05:23 AM

142. The problem with you post is this:

Last edited Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:27 AM - Edit history (1)

I wasn't vouching for "faith". I was vouching for experience.








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Response to whathehell (Reply #104)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 10:05 AM

115. Personal experience is the ultimate anecdote.

I would ask your spouse "Specifically, which 19th century scientists proclaimed, insisted, or otherwise declared they thought they knew everything?"

"good luck trying to convince one who HAS experienced something, that it doesn't exist."


Actually, I find most non-dummies are quite amenable to being show evidence about how flawed our senses/perception are, as humans, and how easily we can misunderstand events and conditions, and how bad we are at 'playing back' a memory (which of course, human memory doesn't do, we are reconstructive.).


If the paranormal were real, you or someone else would be able to prove it. Especially you know... BY NOW, since it's been claimed for thousands of years, with nary a single demonstration that wasn't fully snake oil.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:32 AM

77. No you can't.

I've long admitted I would accept evidence of the toolmarks of a creator upon reality as evidence of a creator, even if we cannot directly perceive the creator because it is either incomprehensible, does not wish to be perceived, or wandered off long ago.

Believers can't even support that. Not even traces of the result of actions.


It seems unlikely that ANYTHING is too far advanced, or too abstract, for us to be unable to perceive it. Humans are actually quite good at doing just that. String Theory suggests there are at least 10 dimensions to space time. Our brains evolved in 3 dimensions. We STILL visualize what space time might be like in 6 or 10 dimensions. Never been there. We might not even be able to ever travel there. Doesn't mean we can't perceive it.

Your position of a creator 'so advanced we can't perceive it' is just another feeble god of the gaps argument. You've simply chosen a supposedly infinitely deep gap at the far end of the spectrum. In a sense, just by postulating it, you've already shone a light into that gap.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 08:53 PM

7. The problem with faith is

Your faith may be real, but the thing you have faith in may not be. Atheists are looking for evidence of God, not evidence of faith.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 08:59 PM

8. If you are an atheist,

perhaps you are not considering that all of existence, everything that what surrounds you, might be a manifestation of the Creator's work.

I have had this discussion previously with non-theists. Once I asked what form that evidence might take. A sample of DNA perhaps, or a fingerprint?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 09:16 PM

9. I dunno,

maybe he should go hang out at mit for a week or two, would be nothing to him and they could run a battery of tests. Too hard?

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Response to Eko (Reply #9)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:28 PM

21. I cannot know.

What would be the Creator's motivation?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #21)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:35 PM

27. No, no, no.

I answered your question, you don't get to just move on past that with another question, and a insignificant one at that, without at least addressing my answer.

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Response to Eko (Reply #9)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:38 PM

30. Assuming that the Creator would so manifest, and playing the role of scientist,

what tests would be sufficient to prove anything to you personally?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #30)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:41 PM

35. There are multiple tests

to prove that something exists. Blood samples, skin samples, video, ir, not to mention the fact of peer reviewed data all confirmed by multiple scientists that are renown in their field. It is really very simple, I don't know why you are making it seem so complex.

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Response to Eko (Reply #35)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:45 PM

40. These tests were devised by human scientists.

Assuming for the argument that a Creator exists, what would make you assume that the Creator would be composed of anything that you would recognize as a life form?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #40)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:56 PM

55. Ill take that chance.

You are arguing for the unknowable, the unverifiable, and you expect people to believe that? No wonder religion is dying.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #40)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:03 PM

60. You did ask for what tests

and I provided them. Now you are saying that such tests would be useless. Did not Jesus bleed? Die? We can measure supernovas, estimate black matter, catch visions from millions of years ago with satellites, we can create what powers the sun. Telling me we cant see something because you say so when we can see so much of the universe, that is balderdash.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #40)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 12:30 AM

68. In the Bible, in Exodus 33, Moses wanted to look upon God's form

so God let Moses see his backside. If he can let himself be visible for Moses, he can do it for everyone.

But he doesn't even have to come himself. He can send Jesus, who might feel somewhat more at home since he's already been here. In the stories, no one seemed to have any trouble identifying him as a life form, did they? Let him perform all the very same miracles the Bible says he did before, but under controlled conditions this time - heal some sick and injured people, turn water to wine, control the local weather, walk on water, bring a 4 days dead rotting corpse back to life, strike a fig tree dead, feed multitudes with a small basket of food, ascend bodily into heaven, etc.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #68)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:35 AM

78. I notice the claims of god manifesting as burning bushes and towers of fire has dropped precipitousl

ly since the advent of the HD Camera.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #30)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:48 PM

44. one instance

in the entire Universe of something that exists or happened that needs God to explain it.
One thing that shows God had any impact on the physical Universe.

The absence of evidence is a proof of nonexistence.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #44)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:50 PM

47. Why did the universe come into being?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #47)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:53 PM

51. why do you need a why?

If you mean how, you are just giving us a God of the gaps argument.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #51)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:54 PM

52. Not how, why?

What was the motivation?

THAT is what faith is concerned with.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #52)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:02 PM

59. Why does there need to be a why

Last edited Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:16 AM - Edit history (1)

you question presupposes an intelligent decision.

What makes you think there was a motivation?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #52)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:03 PM

61. Why do you need a why?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #47)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:37 AM

80. Why do you need there to be a 'why'?

I don't presuppose a motive. A motive presupposes a creator.

That's why we don't speak the same language. Our starting points, perceptions, and assumptions are alien to each other. You ask why, I say your question is a non-sequitur, or an attempt to foment the requirement of a creator with an agenda.

If the universe is what it appears to be, there isn't and never needed to be, a 'why'.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 09:20 PM

10. I'm an agnostic

The way the concept of God is usually defined, there is no way to know if He exists or not. God is defined as omniscient, omnipotent, all-good etc. But in science, we need to be able to define a concept such that it is distinguishable through experiment and observation. Everything else is unfalsifiable. God is an unfalsifiable concept because we can't distinguish between a creation that has a God vs. one that does not.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #10)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 09:22 PM

11. So he is unknowable?

Balderdash.

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Response to Eko (Reply #11)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 09:32 PM

15. Why is that balderdash?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #15)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:37 PM

29. For what reason do you say this?

"we can't distinguish between a creation that has a God vs. one that does not". Why does that make any more sense than this "we can't distinguish between a creation that has a dragon vs. one that does not."

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Response to Eko (Reply #29)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 10:54 AM

89. Because we can see that tbere are no dragons

God is said to be the one essential being who is omnipotent etc. If we defined a dragon that way, we would then be define the dragon as God, not the usual definitio of sragans as a flying fire breathing creature.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:39 AM

81. Because you presuppose omniscience and omnipotence.

If a being is omnipotent, it is incapable of not being perceived if it wants us to perceive it.

It cannot fail to be known/perceived, or it wouldn't be omnipotent.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #81)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 10:56 AM

90. If it is omnipotent, it can avoid being percieved

And since we don't percieve it, it either doesn't exist or soesn't want to be percieved.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #90)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 11:15 AM

91. Exactly.

That is why I included the qualifier that it would want to be perceived.

The latter option you mention is why I consider myself an agnostic atheist.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #91)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 11:58 AM

92. I suppose I am an agnostic atheist too.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #10)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:02 PM

17. so God

violates Occam's Razor?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #17)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:15 PM

18. Good point

That makes me lean towards atheism, but I'm still hung up on the definitional aspect. We've defined God as the one being that actually could defy all of our tests and observations, so yeah, maybe defy Occam's razor too. But I am not betting that way.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #18)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:20 PM

19. We know were the concept arose

and we know nothing that exists needs that being to explain it.

So why accept the existence of an all mighty being who has never made any impact on the physical universe.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #19)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:23 PM

20. I don't accept it

I just think it is possible, though unlikely.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #20)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:34 PM

26. I wasn't trying to confront you

just further musing on our discussion about an unnecessary God.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #26)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:07 PM

63. I think it is hard-wired into our brains

Belief in a spiritual world must either have had a evolutionary value, or is a consequence of some other mental process, such as confirmation bias or personification.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #63)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:09 PM

66. yes

definitely an evolutionary aspect to it.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #17)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:39 PM

31. Did William of Occam believe in a Creator?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #31)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:41 PM

34. Did he apply his own reasoning to God?

Did he have the modern understanding of the universe and it's origins?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #34)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:43 PM

38. An understanding that is still far from complete.

Nor can it ever be complete.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #38)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:45 PM

41. yet accurate

compared to what mankind has thought for most of human history.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #41)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:48 PM

43. Accurate as far as it goes.

But it cannot explain why the universe came into existence. It can speculate and theorize as to the how, but speculation is not proof. Ultimately, the decision to be a theist or a non-theist is a decision that can never be validated.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #43)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:49 PM

45. so you are going with

God of the gaps?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #45)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:52 PM

49. I am a person of faith who admits that my faith is not in any way based on science.

Which is why it is a belief.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #43)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 01:57 PM

129. You keep insisting that we must consider "why" the universe exists.

There doesn't need to be a reason for its existence. It simple is. Why do you exist? I understand how you came to exist, but can't think of why your existence is necessary. I exist, but I cannot, for the life of me, think of any reason why I exist. I'm the result of a fertilized egg due to my parents' sexual activity around Halloween of 1944. I know how I came to exist, but there is no why. I simply am.

The universe exists, as we can all experience through observation. It has some rules that exist due to its nature. We can't change those. It exists. Why it exists is of no importance, really. It simply does. Without its existence, we do not exist. We are part of that universe, albeit a completely insignificant part. We exist because it exists and we're a natural expression of its existence. That much is clear.

We can't really ask "why" successfully, because we cannot observe anything beyond that universe. Not a single thing. We cannot go outside of it to examine it, either. Since we are part of it, we cannot observe all of it.

We might be able to come up with the question of why, but it is a question without meaning, really, and certainly without an answer.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #129)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 04:02 PM

132. People do ask "why" about many things. Is the asking itself necessary?

We are thinking beings, so thinking is what we do. Some of the thought is about the necessities of living, but some of the thought revolves around "why" questions.

I am not insisting that anyone pose these why questions, I am simply pointing out that they exist. If the fact that the universe exists is sufficient for you, that obviously works well for you.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #132)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 04:11 PM

135. SOME people do ask 'why' about the existence of the universe.

Some of us do not, until there is a reason to ask why. Meaning, until there is a reason to suspect a motive resulted in an action to bring about the universe.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #135)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 04:12 PM

137. I understand.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #31)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:43 PM

37. I believe he did

As just about everyone else did in his time.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #37)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:49 PM

46. And he did have faith, even while knowing it was unprovable.

A decision to believe in the absence of proof.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #46)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:01 PM

57. He didn't believe it was unprovable

He believed that the Bible provided an accurate historical record of creation and revelation. That was a reasonable belief at that time since there was no scientific or historical evidence to counter the claim.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #31)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:56 AM

82. Ockham.

He was a Franciscan Friar, in a time when, from a higher learning standpoint (doctorate/graduate type school), you could be a doctor, a lawyer, or a theologian. There weren't any Philosopher tracks.

Having chosen theology major, he then delved into philosophical issues. Ontological and cosmological proofs, infinite regression theory, etc. All with incomplete middle age cosmological data. He did quite well, given the understanding of the universe at the time, but given that his variables were incomplete, Ockham's Razor will produce inaccurate results. If your starting point is the world must have been created, any further application of the Razor to the nature of that god may be inaccurate, because you've assumed a condition that isn't proven.

William of Ockham asked questions and postulated philosophical theories that resulted in him being summoned to a papal court and interrogated in something like what we'd call a Grand Jury today. It returned the result we'd call no-bill today. He escaped a full trial, and sufficiently frightened, avoided philosophical politics for the rest of his career. He almost went down the same road as Giordano Bruno.

Sad really. He delved into a field that I hold true today, based on my understanding of the universe and our place in it. I am a Metaphysical Libertarian, because the universe appears to be indeterminate, and I appear to have free will.

We'd be so far advanced today, had not The Church(TM) muzzled and killed people like Bruno and William.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #82)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 11:38 AM

102. Speculation, but it can be interesting to speculate.

Harry Turtledove does so in his alternate history books.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #102)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 09:59 AM

114. When the church muzzled William of Ockham, how was our understanding of the universe and our place

in it advanced?

Applying Ockham's razor; it wasn't. Hence, not speculation. (Of course absent a black swan like some massive force multiplying improvement to warfare in an age we weren't ready to restrain ourselves.)

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #10)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:29 PM

22. But even in science nothing is considered truly provable.

Correct?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #22)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:39 PM

32. depends on whose philosophy of science you go by

But there is much that is settled science and to overturn this would take extrodinary evidence.

There is a difference between being 99.9% sure of something and things for whichbthere is no evidence but "might be" if you only want to believe.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #32)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:40 PM

33. Which is why faith and science do not compete. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #33)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:42 PM

36. Until people of faith contend something happened or exists

for which science has the evidence it doesn't.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 05:04 AM

71. lots of things are truly provable

I don't think you have expressed what you are trying to say correctly. I think you are trying to make some sort of point about evidence based reasoning about the physical universe, where indeed we can only establish probabilities of certainty that new evidence can always change.

Bring on your testable theory of god and lets test it.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 05:00 AM

70. not all gods have been defined as omni-*.

The Abrahamic gods are all powerful, other deities aren't. Given that there is no evidence for any gods, assuming knowledge of what the qualities of these things are seems presumptuous. But then again with faith based "knowledge" evidence is not required so one can just make up shit as one feels the need to do so.

An all powerful entity has well established logical problems.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 09:27 PM

13. I thought athiests did not believe in gods ........ agnostics did not know if gods exist

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #13)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:58 AM

83. Atheists do not see any evidence to believe in the god hypothesis.

There is nothing "belief" centered about being an atheist. It is the default, null position. Belief should be based on evidence or facts, otherwise, call it what it is..."wishful thinking".

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #13)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 10:01 AM

84. Correct. Gnosticism is about knowledge, Theism is about Faith.

There are Agnostic Theists that hold there is a god/creator but we cannot truly know it.
There are Gnostic Atheists that hold there is not a god, never was, period, and we can prove it.
There are Agnostic Atheists that hold there is no evidence of a god, but accept that our knowledge is incomplete.
There are Gnostic Theists that hold there is a god, and they have direct communication and a personal relationship with it.

Edit: I am an Agnostic Atheist.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 09:33 PM

16. Getting semantic about what Science is and how it does it

Doesn't excuse the lack of evidence for any god. You have a whole book talking about him.

What I find amazing is the endless praises and descriptions about your god that vanish the second there are any specific questions.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #16)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:30 PM

23. Science has its methods.

But can science prove anything?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #23)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:08 PM

65. Yes,

It is what makes your car stop when you hit the brakes, and it is what gives you the expectation that your car will stop when you do so. It is also what heats your house, lights it up at night, makes your computer work so you can post on here, it proves many many many more things that religion ever has and it always will every day, every hour, every second. Dismissing that is the height of ignorance.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #23)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 10:02 AM

85. All Damn Day.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #23)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 01:04 PM

93. No.

Nothing can prove anything. Bone up on your Hume.

What science provides is certainty. So much certainty that it is often predictive.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:34 PM

25. faith is an opinion formed in the absence of fact. nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #25)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:36 PM

28. Yes, it is. Faith is belief and the realization that the belief is unprovable.

Some people have a belief that democracy is the best possible system.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #28)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:44 PM

39. that is a different category

of faith.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #39)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:45 PM

42. But unprovable also.

There are many categories of faith.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #42)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:51 PM

48. its a philosophical opinion

not a matter of existence.

Apples and mid sized sedans.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #48)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:52 PM

50. It is unprovable, thus a matter of faith.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #50)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:54 PM

53. no

its a philosophical debate point.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #50)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 10:06 AM

86. YOU believe it is unprovable. Today that may be so, overall.

Doesn't stop science from proving that the earth does not reside upon a snake, upon elephants, upon a turtle, or the sun isn't a fiery chariot crossing the sky, or a snake girdles the entire planet, or that hades isn't a real place guarded from mortals by a three headed dog, etc.

Science bats away ridiculous 'faith' all the time. The Abrahamic faith is a bit harder nut to crack, because it makes very general claims that are squishy and can be interpreted various ways, but, still plenty of claims in the Abrahamic bible that have already been shredded by science. Plenty more to come too.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #28)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:57 PM

56. Belief in democracy is a combination of evidence and value

If you have a value that that society should promote the maximum good for all of its members, then you can provide evidence that democracy is the system most likely to produce the maximum good. The value is not provable, but how to achieve that value is subject to evidence. Belief in God is different. It is consistent with any value system and any line of evidence, no matter how absurd.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 10:54 PM

54. I cannont see the wind, and yet I can see the effects of the wind...

I stole that quote and yet I think it speaks to your point. There is much unknown in the universe and at the end of the day, we, as humans, can only observe and interpret what we see and make attempts to make sense out of nonsense.

I rarely post in this forum because it seems that it serves as a means for some to criticize and bash those of faith. While I've seen enough of the world to question every single facet of my faith upbringing, to the point some would call me an Atheist, I also have the understanding and compassion to know that it is not my place to bash or critciize anyone who is on their own spiritual journey. I say that as a Jesuit Catholic/piss poor Buddhist/Muslim apologist/often angry atheist....yeah, my spiritual life is complex, .

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #54)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:07 PM

64. The wind is quite visible and measurable

Last edited Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:12 AM - Edit history (1)

by a variety of physical methods. Sight alone is not the sole determination of something.

Where has God had a single measurable effect on the Universe?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #64)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:31 PM

67. All of those measures are the effects of the wind...

The point stands...can you see the wind? I have not...I've experienced it and seen and experienced its force first hand many times, but I've never actually seen the wind.

As for evidence of God's effect in the universe? Hell if I know! I could get very scientific and talk about the basics of DNA and how the basic functions of DNA seem carefully orchestrated and extremely similar from species to species. I could sell you a line of crap that evolution is clearly the sign of a creator molding and shaping his creation. Yet that would all fall flat because I don't know that I personally have that faith, and I alluded to as much in my post! I don't know...neither does anyone else. I, personally, find solace in the faith of my upbringing because it validates me as a human being. I, likewise, find strength and peace through the study of martial arts and the beliefs that spawned them. For me, I've tried my best to live my life as a sponge, to soak up as much of the humanity around me at any given time and find meaning through that. To my priest, I'm sure that probably makes me a shitty Catholic...to the people I encounter every day, if they knew my own spiritual thoughts, to quote Dylan: "if my thought dreams could be seen, they'd prolly put my head in a guillotine". That's just who I am, maybe that makes me a humanist, I don't know. But like I said, I've seen enough of the world to question whether there is an overarching creator. I've seen children ripped apart by war in the most grisly fashion imaginable with no rhyme or reason for their misery. So, don't mistake my statement for blind allegiance to religion. I meant what I said when I described myself. I, personally, don't have an issue with enriching my spirituality through many avenues, in an attempt to make myself into a better person, while at the same time questioning whether there is in fact a God at all! At the same time, I would never try to push my personal beliefs and issuses with religion on anyone else, because religion and spirituality is, at its core, a deeply personal thing.

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #67)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:16 AM

75. Thanks for the thoughtful answer

I think the wind is just a poor analogy to this.

And given the scope of your post, probably besides the point to your view.

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #67)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 10:11 AM

88. You can see the wind in a variety of ways.

We can coat an object with a light oil and observe it in ultraviolet light and see how the wind shifts and presses upon it.
We can use electromagnetic sensors (radar) to directly observe wind as pressure/density.

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #54)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 10:08 AM

87. I'm a fairly ardent atheist.

We'll get along fine, as long as you do not presume to tell me how or why the universe is, or tell me what I believe, or that my lack of belief is a faith of its own, or any other number of obnoxious behaviors. (Of which you've never done, so peace)

Asking questions or suggesting possibilities or even sharing what you believe will never annoy me.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 11:02 PM

58. Always thought Aquinas was full of shit

Uses rationalism to justify a belief he already had - like most Christians. Then when you debate them and their reasoning doesn't hold up, they go back to faith: well that's just what I believe. You either trust in the power of rational thought and science or you don't. Can't just rely on them when it suits your purpose and then discard them when it doesn't.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 04:50 AM

69. I'm not sure this makes sense.

If there is an omniscient god, then of course "scientific" proof would be possible, because all things would be possible to that entity.

When I am asked "what proof would cause me to have faith", my only answer is that if there truly is a god then he or she could presumably find a way to make me believe.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 06:45 AM

73. That's a really slick argument you got there.

It also works for 9/11 conspiracy theories, the reptilian alien plot to dominate life on earth, and anti-vaxxers. So hooray. Well done.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 08:42 AM

74. To one who has faith, no explanation is possible.

Just try explaining anything to a fundamentalist Christian. I think this quote is reversed, actually.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #74)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 11:13 AM

96. No, I stand by the quotation.

Faith does not require proof, because if something is provable there is no requirement to have faith.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #96)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 11:16 AM

98. Well, faith certainly is useful when it comes to supernatural stuff.

I'll give you that much, at least.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #98)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 11:19 AM

99. If I may ask, what has inspired this outpouring of reflections on faith?

I find it interesting that many of the non-theists who post in the religion group rarely or never post in the atheists group.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #99)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 11:25 AM

100. Oddly, your statement doesn't seem connected to your title.

As for my inspiration, I'm often inspired to reflect on faith. It interests me, since I find it so odd that many people have faith in things that appear to me to be more or less irrational.

As for your interest, why would I post in the atheist's group? Atheism is not that interesting. It's simply non-belief regarding the existence of deities. Why discuss rational viewpoints with which I agree? It's more interesting to discuss things I don't agree with and to ask questions.

I may have posted in the Atheists and Agnostics Group at some point, but I don't remember doing so.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #100)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 11:30 AM

101. I personally find it interesting that some of the atheists here feel that a belief can be

defined by them as a non-belief by virtue of simply calling it a non-belief.

I say this because any opinion that is not provable is ultimately only a belief. It is not based on knowledge.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #101)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 11:38 AM

103. I would never call a belief a non-belief.

That's not logical at all. Beliefs exist and people hold beliefs. Why would I question the truth of someone's beliefs? If someone says they believe something, I accept that they believe that thing. That, however, had nothing to do with whether what they believe is correct or rational. As long as they don't insist that I believe what they believe, it doesn't really matter.

I once knew someone who believed that bad things would happen if he did not count the number of steps he took while walking. I certainly accepted that he believed that, but always understood that such a belief made no sense at all. However, I was happy to let him count his steps without comment. That had no effect on me, so it wasn't something I ever mentioned to him.

Now, had that person insisted that I count my steps to prevent untoward things happening, I'd have refused to do so. His belief is not mine, and I would tell him so, and explain why, if asked. Similarly, people's belief in deities has no relevance to me. However, such people often want me to believe as they do. When that happens, I tend to say something.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #103)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 11:44 AM

105. The " number of steps" person sounds as if he might have an OCD issue.

A daughter of a friend of ours has similar issues about situations.

As to belief, I never discuss them with others unless the subject arises. And it rarely does. My philosophy is people should believe as they wish and respect the right of all others to also do so.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #105)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 11:49 AM

106. Yes, no doubt he did.

I'm always happy to leave people's beliefs alone, unless they attempt to force them on others. There's an awful lot of that going around, though, it seems. Then, I'm very likely to say something about those beliefs.

Of course, in an online forum that is dedicated to the discussion of religion as a topic, such commentary is the point, isn't it? If it's not a "religious" forum, but a "religion" forum, of course.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #105)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 10:14 AM

119. What do you think Donald Trump believes, and should his beliefs go unchallenged?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #119)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 11:50 AM

122. I think that Donald Trump believes in himself.

Not believes himself, as in believing what he says, but believes in himself as the most important thing in his universe.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #122)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 11:53 AM

125. Nice dodge.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #125)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 11:57 AM

126. You did ask.

And I answered.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #126)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 12:00 PM

127. No you didn't. Observe.

You: "My philosophy is people should believe as they wish and respect the right of all others to also do so."
Me: "What do you think Donald Trump believes, and should his beliefs go unchallenged?"

You: "I think that Donald Trump believes in himself. Not believes himself, as in believing what he says, but believes in himself as the most important thing in his universe."


Donald trump claims to be a Christian and makes Christian like noises in front of the cameras. So you skipped that element of 'belief' entirely.
But more importantly, you completely ignored the bit about "should his beliefs go unchallenged?"

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #127)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 03:48 PM

130. Trump self-describes as a Christian.

I accept that. Whether or not the con man actually believes in anything other than himself is the point I was making.

My feeling is that Trump has no real beliefs other than in his own self-worth.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #130)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 04:08 PM

133. And?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #133)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 04:10 PM

134. That is my judgment/analysis of Trump.

And I believe that it answered your question. If it did not, please be more specific.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #134)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 04:12 PM

136. SHOULD HIS BELIEFS GO UNCHALLENGED?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #136)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 04:13 PM

138. Trump's actions are challenged every day.

Our church group has marched many times, alone and in concert with other groups, over many of Trump's actions.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #101)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 10:13 AM

118. Oh good, we're at that point in a conversation where you insist atheism is a belief.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #118)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 11:48 AM

121. Do you believe that there is/there are no god/gods?

No matter if it is expressed as a negative or a positive it is still an unprovable belief.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #121)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 11:53 AM

124. No. I do not believe your (and others) claims that there is a god.

It's a very different thing to say:

A) I don't believe your god exists.
B) I believe your god does not exist.

Dismissing your claim that your god exists, does not have the same effect as venturing a claim of my own that your god(S) cannot or do not exist.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #99)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 10:12 AM

117. Maybe we don't seek an echo chamber?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #96)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 10:12 AM

116. Logical error. If you could prove god exists, people would still have to chose to have faith or not

in that character of god. Faith as in a form of allegiance, or support, or worship, or trust, or a relationship.


I would, based on the current human understanding of the Abrahamic god, happily tell it to fuck off forever if it could be proven to exist. I'd have no faith in it. No allegiance to it. No trust in it. In fact, I'd do what I could to try and destroy it in self defense.

And you ought to know this quite well, since most religions, specifically including the Abrahamic ones, are rife with examples of god 'proving' itself to humans and 'showing itself' in various forms, and YET, even Moses had crisis of faith, having allegedly gazed upon its power and allegedly conversed with it, and in some cases, wielded its power.

Numbers 20:12 yo.

Faith and Proof are only decoupled in the minds of believers that know full well their imaginary friend can never be proven, period, end of story.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #116)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 11:46 AM

120. A logical error.

Proof implies that something can be proven.

Faith implies the concept of belief.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #120)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 11:51 AM

123. I believe the Seahawks can win the next super bowl. They've proven in the past they CAN.

I can stop having faith in them at any time. For any season, for any reason. OR I can continue to have faith loss after loss, hoping for a wildcard slot and a statistically improbable post season.


The biblical character of Moses KNOWS his god is a real physical thing in the story. Yet he STILL must invest FAITH in it.
I fucking gave you one example chapter/verse.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:37 AM

79. Silly poo

 

Gone from my world

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 08:15 PM

94. And yet, Anselm defined theology as "faith seeking understanding"

and I would side with Anselm. If you never attempt to explain your faith, you might never notice any potential confusions or difficulties with what you claim to have faith in.

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Response to Htom Sirveaux (Reply #94)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 11:14 AM

97. And what is the understanding that is pursued?

Is it a greater understanding of how humans relate to the Creator?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #97)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 12:57 PM

109. Careful, now.

This is how holy wars get started.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #109)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 02:24 PM

110. And never end. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #97)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 04:21 PM

111. Wisdom, after the manner of Socrates,

who found that many people were sure they understood concepts that they did not upon questioning.

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Response to Htom Sirveaux (Reply #111)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 04:39 PM

112. Anslem said:

that it was faith seeking an understanding of God. Generally understood as meaning seeking an understanding of the nature of God.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #112)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 04:41 PM

113. Indeed, so that raises the question

of whether people understand what they are talking about when they discuss the nature of God. Because they might not; they might be talking nonsense without realizing it.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 01:32 PM

128. but if there is no such thing as a creator there goes their argument why faith persists.

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Response to samnsara (Reply #128)

Mon Aug 28, 2017, 03:53 PM

131. Faith in a Creator presupposes the existence of a Creator. eom

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