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Author Topic: God; is he or isn't he?
Adam Lassek
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quote:
Good to see taking a math class had some use. I understand this phrasing and its implications at least in statistics now, so it helps a lot to understand!
That's funny, because I've never understood this concept in a mathematical context!
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KnightEnder
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quote:
This is why the what created God question makes me laugh.
Aside from that being condescending to the person asking a perfectly legitimate question about the ‘first mover’, IF God exists without the need for a ‘first mover’, just IS and always HAS BEEN, if you can believe that then why can’t you believe that the Universe just IS and always HAS BEEN?

Both are very hard for humans to believe or grasp because we experience a beginning and an end to life and almost everything associated with it, but I think you must be right that the Universe simply IS.

Why you insist that the Universe be conscious and creative are questions I don’t understand. Notice I could have said that the idea that the Universe IS God and IS conscious and creative makes me laugh, but that is not conducive to discussion.


KE

[ May 15, 2007, 01:38 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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RickyB
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Well, it's a catch, but basically, if your god wants me to believe in him, he can mosey on down and tell me his own self. He did it for some homeys of mine (according to some stories...), he can do it for me.

[ May 15, 2007, 04:24 AM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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Everard
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You're right omega, and pan, i should have been more careful in the wording of one of my propositions.

Yes, god might exist despite the astounding amount of energy gone to proving gods existence that has to this point produced no evidence that god is real.

However, at this point, I believe that not only is their a lack of evidence, but there is a sufficient lack of evidence to say that god in all liklihood does not exist. And the rest of my propositions are fine.

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Everard
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"Is your problem simply that we can't have a discussion about God until we agree on a definition of what that word means? Or something more?"

Carlotta-
Both. Defining god is always a problem in these discussions. But moreso, the way pan phrased his questions brought a lot of assumptions into the discussion, both about what exists, and what atheists believe, that from the atheists perspective are wrong. Pan is trying to have a discussion on a platform of beliefs that is unshared by the people he wants to have the discussion with. That doesn't work if you want to learn what the people you are talking to believe.

"What do you think about X?" "I think W, Y, Z, because of U, T, and Not A" "No no, you can't think that, because I've already said that we will use A, B, and C as our premises."

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Everard
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"Everard, are you implying motive for me here. It seems as though you are. I am not trying to win an argument. It is not a thing to win. I am asking questions that is what I do. That is what I know. I don't ask questions to just to prove somebody is stupid for not giving an adequate answer."

I'm not saying it is your motive. I am saying the way you have framed the questions you are asking are counter-productive if you actually want to learn what atheists think. If you DON'T want to learn what atheists think, and merely want to demonstrate some sort of superiority, then your questions are fine.

I reframed your questions in order to be able to tell you what I think. I actually can't tell you what I think if I answer your questions, and I suspect the same is true for most atheists here.

"Oh BTW, I don't think that presupposing the existence of God gives me an unfair advantage because my point is not to prove you wrong."

Pan, you might want to rethink this statement. I don't know about other people here, but this statement demonstrates to me 110% that you have no interest in learning about what I think.

If we PRESUPPOSE that god exists, then that means the entire discussion rests on the framework that god exists and therefore teh atheist is wrong. It skips the step of determining whether or not there is a god. Any argument we make that god does not exist, because of your assumption, must be wrong, in this discussion.

And thats a horrible place to start, UNLESS you are trying to "win"

[ May 15, 2007, 06:31 AM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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PanHeraclitean
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MattP, it seems as though what you are doing is saying god doesn't exist because the evidence can't support it. I ask what evidence you would need and you say I think that you would need something spectacular. Suppose you saw the dancing of the sun at Fatima or the stigmata of Therese of Liseaux that smelled of roses or the raising of the dead. What would you say? He's something that really struck me, I heard that the image on the Shroud of Turin of the body is not pigment. It's been awhile but I think I heard that it was etched using ultraviolet light. What would you say to that? And why is it that you say I can't use things other than physics and other "simple" sciences to make a case? Here's a good question for you, what makes cells replicate. It's not something that I think that proves God, but I would like to know because I could easily put a God of the gaps there.

Which brings me to Adam. Adam why do you see that God would destroy a sense of honest inquiry into the world? And as a side note science and logic are by products of the way that humans look at the world. Unless you freeze your perspective on things you can always gain levels of precision. So science is not unique in that it comes so close to measurements and charts. That is what it was designed by man for, but when it comes up to complex things like social interactions it turns up to be just as good as many less scientific things because science has its origins in less scientific things, namely the human person. Science is only an instrument for describing the world around us in a systematic and universally applicable way. It does nothing more than describe people do the rest.

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PanHeraclitean
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So on to page two. KE, your right and I apologize that I said it that way, but I am coming from a background that basically has ingrained it into me that to posit a god necessarily posits that god outside the natural human strictures of space and time. I could go into countless reasons for it but I don't think that to say your next premise is the same thing. It would be like the good god/demiurge dicotomy. They are both eternal and one is a disinterested benevolent being while the other is the physical universe disperse through eternity and because of that shows itself to be capricious.

Everard, I mentioned this a few comments back, the athiest by using the label is setting himself in relation to a god. An agnostic places himself in relation to the accessability to a type of knowledge.

These are both topics that I would like to understand more. I agree that I may not have phrased them in the way that is most conducive to this discussion. I ask you to forgive the bull in the china shop who seems to have strayed in to look at the saucer in the window while taking out the display case it was in.

I am interested in your opinion. What I don't understand is the evidence thing. Evidence is something sterile and lifeless to me. We are daily presented with evidence for any number of things. That evidence is judged by people, by you and I in anywhere from a split second to a lifetime. For me I want to know in a world in which the vast majority of people believe in something which cannot be accounted for by scientific evidence, why do you hang your hat on it. What is it that makes it superior enough to hold that everything must fall into its criterion. Why do you use the instrument which man made to measure man and say that the image is more accurate than the real thing. This is what I see when I hear evidence brought out time and again. And I want to know why.

That's enough for now. That was pretty intense to think about for me and now I have to get ready for work.

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Everard
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"Everard, I mentioned this a few comments back, the athiest by using the label is setting himself in relation to a god."

Yes. There is a proposition, "god." The people who say "This proposition is

a) false
b) very unlikely to be true
c) is a non-sensical proposition
"

are taking a stand on a proposition put forth by a large number of people. We have an opinion on the proposition, and that opinion is that the proposition is hogwash.

"An agnostic places himself in relation to the accessability to a type of knowledge."

Not always. Agnostic is as flexible a term as atheist is.

"What I don't understand is the evidence thing. Evidence is something sterile and lifeless to me. We are daily presented with evidence for any number of things. That evidence is judged by people, by you and I in anywhere from a split second to a lifetime. For me I want to know in a world in which the vast majority of people believe in something which cannot be accounted for by scientific evidence, why do you hang your hat on it. What is it that makes it superior enough to hold that everything must fall into its criterion. Why do you use the instrument which man made to measure man and say that the image is more accurate than the real thing. This is what I see when I hear evidence brought out time and again. And I want to know why."

Evidence isn't always scientific evidence (although scientific evidence is the best sort of evidence).

What makes evidence superior to belief without evidence is that evidence is what allows us to sort out truth from fiction. There's a real world out there, and I want to know what that real world actually is, as close as I can come to getting at that reality.

But I'm not saying that the image is more accurate then the real thing. I'm saying that by using scientific evidence, we are using the closest thing we have to a perfect lens when examining the world, and that the magnification and distortion through that lens is as close to non-existent as we can get, and therefore the image we observe is as close to reality as we can actually see.

The real thing has a big, very faulty, lens between us and reality. That lens is our senses, and our brain. Science smooths out the imperfections in that lens, and allows us to see as clearly as we can possibly see. Left to our own devices, we are trying to see what is beneath a lake, obscured by algae, and has a very muddy bottom... without tools.

I wonder why you think that, without evidence, we can have any clue about what the world really is?

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TinMan
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First response:

God would have to look me in the the eye and explain to me, satisfactorily, and within my own mental framework, why He would want me to bow down and worship a being who allows newborn innocents to be born addicted to crack cocaine. The answer to this would pretty much answer every other question about God and the universe in a cascade of logic.

I'm not holding my breath.


Second response:
Evidence, and science, simply exists. If human beings were 100% wiped out, evidence and science would still exist. Science and evidence existed well before man, and will continue to exist well after.

God is, on the other hand, a 100% creation of man that will fade with his demise, if not sooner.

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MattP
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quote:
MattP, it seems as though what you are doing is saying god doesn't exist because the evidence can't support it.
No. I say I don't believe in god because the evidence can't support it.

quote:
I ask what evidence you would need and you say I think that you would need something spectacular.
I don't believe I said that. I said I don't know what evidence would be necessary, but that I presume it would be well within the power of the creator of the universe to manifest.

quote:
Suppose you saw the dancing of the sun at Fatima or the stigmata of Therese of Liseaux that smelled of roses or the raising of the dead. What would you say?
I'd probably utter an explitive and still have no clue about whether god existed and, as a separate issue, whether he was good.

quote:
He's something that really struck me, I heard that the image on the Shroud of Turin of the body is not pigment. It's been awhile but I think I heard that it was etched using ultraviolet light. What would you say to that?
I would say that sounds very interesting but doesn't sounds like what I recall about it and if it was a bit less busy this morning I'd read up on it.

quote:
Here's a good question for you, what makes cells replicate. It's not something that I think that proves God, but I would like to know because I could easily put a God of the gaps there.
Which is why I asked you to stick to the "hard sciences". If you want to evaluate the value of science, you must do so in an area where the science has been sufficiently developed. Even with the "soft sciences" we can predict broad patterns and trends pretty well, but it's too easy to chuckle at how the meteorologist said there was an 80% change of rain today while the sun is beating down on you.

I'm not a cellular biologist, so I can't tell you very much about the process of cell division. I'm OK with "I don't know." Why aren't you?

[ May 15, 2007, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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guinevererobin
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quote:
Why do you use the instrument which man made to measure man and say that the image is more accurate than the real thing. This is what I see when I hear evidence brought out time and again. And I want to know why
That's a flawed question, from my perspective, because I believe there is evidence for God (although it might not be sufficienctly persuasive for all).
quote:
God would have to look me in the the eye and explain to me, satisfactorily, and within my own mental framework, why He would want me to bow down and worship a being who allows newborn innocents to be born addicted to crack cocaine.
Here you judge that God does not exist, based on a moral judgment. Where does that moral judgment come from? Did it evolve as a social construct, in which case, morality should be relative based on the needs of the community - and if that is the case, then how is it all-encompassing enough by which to judge God?

In our consciences, and our natural human sense of right and wrong, our outrage at the injustices of the world - all those things point to a moral scale which exists beyond one individual's limited viewpoint, beyond the behavior necessities for people to group (After all, animals can run in packs, form societies, but we don't apply our moral judgments to them). I think most of secular philosophy and ethics point to a God as surely as religion does.

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DaveS
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quote:
I think most of secular philosophy and ethics point to a God as surely as religion does.
Only if you want to see it that way. Most philosophers throughout history who wrestled with reconciling faith with reason concluded that neither contradicted the other, or at best that positing or asserting God provided a primary cause from which observable reality could be derived. That wasn't necessarily a religious argument, but one of logical necessity to avoid the "turtles all the way down" conundrum. A philosopher's religious belief in God is not the same as his/her "belief" in the existence of integers. All philosophers believe in "2", even though it is a abstract quantity, whether or not they believe in God.
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MattP
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quote:
Did it evolve as a social construct, in which case, morality should be relative based on the needs of the community - and if that is the case, then how is it all-encompassing enough by which to judge God?
If there is a god and he is responsible for our moral sense, then he should probably explain why the things he does or allows to happen appear immoral to us.

[ May 15, 2007, 11:29 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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guinevererobin
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quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Did it evolve as a social construct, in which case, morality should be relative based on the needs of the community - and if that is the case, then how is it all-encompassing enough by which to judge God?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If there is a god and he is responsible for our moral sense, then he should probably explain why the things he does or allows to happen appear immoral to us.

Perhaps. But that has nothing to do with whether or not he exists. If anyone is interested in talking about this, then maybe we could start another thread? The subject of seemingly immoral actions as portrayed in the Bible (Rampant genocide in the Old Testament, anyone?) has long been a subject of interest to me.

DaveS - Your post will take longer to respond to then I have right now, in order to clarify my thoughts and post relevant quotes, but I will as soon as I get the chance (Silly work, expecting me to work there).

[ May 15, 2007, 11:47 AM: Message edited by: guinevererobin ]

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TomDavidson
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Pan, I don't think you understand a very key point:

An atheist doesn't define himself in opposition to a belief in God. Dawkins actually prefers the term "rationalist" for precisely that reason, to avoid linguistic confusion.

Rather, an atheist defines himself in alignment with observable reality, and says "Okay, those things which appear observably or deducibly real, I believe." That God is just one of many things which are not observably or deducibly real is not really a huge deal to the rational mind.

[ May 15, 2007, 12:05 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Colin JM0397
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Perhaps you don't find what you're looking for because you're looking in the wrong place and in the wrong way?

If, as I've been reading, most major religions come at the angle of God with a "theology of separation" then our contemporary culture mirrors this even if you yourself don't believe. You still live in a world driven by religious ideals and mores.

What that means is we (collective we) look at God and spirituality as an us and them/him/her/it sort of thing. Meaning we're here groveling away on Earth and God is elsewhere looking down and occasionally jumping into the fray.

If you're looking for God to swoop down from elsewhere, you're going to keep looking and never seeing.

Now, I realize this really goes against the grain of a lot, yet it can also easily integrate with most theologies without changing much.... FWIW

Instead, try looking at God, the physical, and the spiritual as one. God is the collective intelligence of all living things. We together are God and you see and experience God every moment of your life. You have all that ever is and all that can be in the palm of your hand. Therefore, when you continue to look outwards for proof or confirmation, you are overlooking what you already have within you.

What God Wants
Conversations with God

Just a thought... but a very profound one if you really get into it and mull it over.

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TomDavidson
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It's semi-profound. But it ultimately means that God is completely irrelevant; the idea becomes an entirely unnecessary concept.

If God is everywhere and everything, God is useless.

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DaveS
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Even though I don't believe in an anthropomorphic God, I don't think it's quite right to say that God is entirely useless. The Eternal Laws of nature that even the Mormons apparently believe in are ultimately profound (moreso than their God, even), just not the cause or basis for any moral or intrinsic human meaning. That God is everywhere and indeed "all powerful", just not interested.
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Colin JM0397
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Oh contraire, if God is everywhere and everything, then you don't need God and God doesn't necessarily need you...

It's all up to you. What's terrifying for many, I know, is that it's not up to God and your life is not in Gods hands and you should not be a "God fearing" person.

It's all up to you... and God because there is no difference between the two.

Scary as hell, but it also removes all limitations and rules... And also throws out all those silly little "God wants this" reasons behind most of what ails us as a society - war, discrimination, social inequities, etc, etc. Most of those things can be traced back to “I’m doing God’s will”. What a turn around we’d have when all those folks realized and admitted they are really just doing what their own egos dictate, and not what God wants.

Anthropomorphic or not, if God is all-powerful and therefore everywhere, isn't that really the same thing? If no, why not?

What’s the difference between God is all-knowing, all-powerful to God simply is everything?

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TomDavidson
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What's the difference between "God is everything" and "God does not exist?"
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Colin JM0397
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If God doesn't exist, then I assume what we’re talking about is the “we're all just worm food, when you die that’s the end” idea, correct?

If God exists and you are a part of the whole, then the universe is, as I said, in the palm of your hand and you are, as Deepak Chopra says, a co-creator of the universe with God. IE you are much more than worm food... but you are still that, also.

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DaveS
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The dictionary definitions of God boil down to God is a being of some kind, implying that God is separate from nature. That God has consciousness and will, and is intentional. I'm not sure if I think that God is or is not supposed to be deterministic (preordination). I interpret that God to be all knowing and all powerful, but not everywhere and everything, even if it created all that is.

If God did not create everything and yet an all powerful God exists, then God is all that exists. That God has no consciousness or will, is therefore not all knowing, and is intentional and deterministic only in the sense that the physical laws of nature are. Rather than seek that God through worship and obeisance, we would seek a deep connection to God (nature) by trying to understand it at low (laws) and high (truth, beauty) levels.

I don't know that that God exists, either, but I could spend 1000 lifetimes seeking those kinds of connections, and that hardly seems impious or irreverential to me.

Can any Mormon here explain if the Mormon God that obeys eternal laws is of the first or the second variety?
quote:
What's the difference between "God is everything" and "God does not exist?"
If God is boundless, your two statements are different.

[Edited to add last comment]

[ May 15, 2007, 02:29 PM: Message edited by: DaveS ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
If God exists and you are a part of the whole, then the universe is, as I said, in the palm of your hand and you are, as Deepak Chopra says, a co-creator of the universe with God.
And, again, that's completely irrelevant. It's one of those things that has no impact whatsoever on the life you might live.
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Colin JM0397
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If you say so... But how is, basically, the power of God delegated down to each of us just business as usual?

Granted, if you don't know it's there, it is and will continue to be business as usual, which brings me back to my original point of perhaps those who don't believe and/or are looking for proof are simply not looking in the right place and asking the right question.

It's the question, not the answer, that's most important, IMO.

Tom, it may have no impact on your life, but it has impact on those of us who see it that way. It has impact, for instance, with me because I don't give my life to Jesus or wait for God to deliver me - I envision the life I want and I make it happen... And it most certainly does happen.

However, at base, we still come down to faith. Yet I not only have faith, I have definite proof. But one man's proof is another's coincidence or delusion, so we always do come back around to some measure of faith, I suppose.

-------------

Addition, on the asking for proof note, if you ask of God for proof, you tend to get none because, based on what I've been saying, you need to ask yourself for that proof... Yet, if you doubt you have the power, you probably can't manifest the proof you desire. It’s definitely a catch-22.

Just like standing at the plate with that nasty pitcher throwing 90 mph at you... If you're confident and well trained, you might hit it. If you doubt your own abilities or ask God to hit it for you, you’ll very well never even take a swing.

I don’t know if that’s the best analogy, but it’s the best I have on short notice. I’ll mull it over tonight.

[ May 15, 2007, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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Adam Lassek
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quote:
Instead, try looking at God, the physical, and the spiritual as one. God is the collective intelligence of all living things. We together are God and you see and experience God every moment of your life. You have all that ever is and all that can be in the palm of your hand. Therefore, when you continue to look outwards for proof or confirmation, you are overlooking what you already have within you.
You're just talking nonsense. First, the unstated major premise of this argument is based on the assumption of the spiritual, which I do not accept.

Second, "collective intelligence" is meaningless. Intelligence is an emergent property of the neurons in our brains. There is no plausible mechanism by which they could possibly interact in any meaningful way other than the mundane.

Third, if god is everything then there needs to be something inherent in the concept beyond the sum of the parts that require the assumption. Apply Ockham's Razor; why do we need to assume god's existence? You have not demonstrated any evidence to require it.

[ May 15, 2007, 02:46 PM: Message edited by: Adam Lassek ]

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Adam Lassek
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quote:
Here you judge that God does not exist, based on a moral judgment. Where does that moral judgment come from? Did it evolve as a social construct, in which case, morality should be relative based on the needs of the community - and if that is the case, then how is it all-encompassing enough by which to judge God?

In our consciences, and our natural human sense of right and wrong, our outrage at the injustices of the world - all those things point to a moral scale which exists beyond one individual's limited viewpoint, beyond the behavior necessities for people to group (After all, animals can run in packs, form societies, but we don't apply our moral judgments to them). I think most of secular philosophy and ethics point to a God as surely as religion does.

Ah, the tired, old argument from morality. [Smile]

There is a wealth of literature on the subject of natural morality and the evolutionary origins of altruism. The Selfish Gene would be a good starting point.

The basic idea is this: generally, humans display altruism towards their in-group and hostility to their out-group. Throughout the vast majority of human history, their in-group consisted of their kin, who had a high probability of possessing the same genes. Humans evolved altruism to help their kin because of this. Other humans who were not part of their in-group had a much lower probability of possessing their genes, so they are typically hostile towards them.

This is not a recent idea. Charles Darwin wrote:
quote:
Any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well devloped, or nearly as well developed, as in man.

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Colin JM0397
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Adam, I don't have to prove anything because I'm not an evangelist, I just enjoy sharing what I've come to understand. You think I'm talking nonsense. Careful of that ego that's telling you that you’re the end-all-and-be-all of deciding what proof there is or isn't. You think I’m talking nonsense, but that doesn’t make it so – at least in my world, so to speak. You ever consider that you might simply have it all wrong?

To answer the obvious retort, yes, I have and do regularly.

Based on what I've been saying I cannot provide you with any proof that you won't discount or explain away as coincidence or delusions on my part. My ability as co-creator doesn't trump your ability, so if you create your world where you are nothing but worm food, then there you are and my ideals won't uproot what you've planted for yourself.

If the simplest answer is the best answer, then I’ll go with my answer because it easily explains why there’s so much crap in the world, why you can’t seem to get any definitive proof, and why I see and feel all the proof I’ll ever need every moment of every day – and all in one simple little statement.

[ May 15, 2007, 03:14 PM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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Adam Lassek
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quote:
Suppose you saw the dancing of the sun at Fatima
I, for one, would question my own sanity. For the Sun to move as it allegedly did at Fatima, would have eradicated all life on Earth.

quote:
I heard that the image on the Shroud of Turin of the body is not pigment. It's been awhile but I think I heard that it was etched using ultraviolet light.
New "Shroud" Claims Challenged as Spurious

The Shroud has been tested, and the markings are pigment. Paint, in fact. Red Ochre and vermillion tempura paint to be exact. I don't know where you got the UV idea from, but we have empirical evidence to the contrary. Carbon dating places the Shroud in the 1300s, not unsurprisingly right around the time it was first mentioned.

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Adam Lassek
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quote:
Adam, I don't have to prove anything because I'm not an evangelist, I just enjoy sharing what I've come to understand. You think I'm talking nonsense. Careful of that ego that's telling you that you’re the end-all-and-be-all of deciding what proof there is or isn't. You think I’m talking nonsense, but that doesn’t make it so – at least in my world, so to speak. You ever consider that you might simply have it all wrong?
Hmm, typical. I'm merely pointing out that your argument is logically untenable and contradicted by the evidence, and you attack me personally. Do you have anything interesting to say or are you going to continue tossing non-sequiters into the discussion?

quote:
Based on what I've been saying I cannot provide you with any proof that you won't discount or explain away as coincidence or delusions on my part.
So why post in this thread in the first place? If you had read anything myself or Ev or Tom or Matt had said you would know you would be questioned on it.

quote:
My ability as co-creator doesn't trump your ability, so if you create your world where you are nothing but worm food, then there you are and my ideals won't uproot what you've planted for yourself.
Oh, I see. You've bought into the whole Deepak Chopra/J.Z. Knight nonsense about quantum mechanics creating reality. They're just capitalizing on the mystery of quantum mechanics to make money off the gullible. If you actually studied anything about quantum mechanics, you would know they are completely full of crap.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
It has impact, for instance, with me because I don't give my life to Jesus or wait for God to deliver me - I envision the life I want and I make it happen...
And you wouldn't do that if you believed there were no God?
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PanHeraclitean
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BTW I like evidence per se. I work within that framework. But my problem is the constricting of evidence to be "scientific" or not. Evidence is all about. Scientific evidence can essential discount anything that is not accurate enough which is an ever increase group depending upon what you might like to avoid addressing.

I'll say it again, for what it's worth, I don't see how positing a god keeps people from continuing to observe and explore the world around them.

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PanHeraclitean
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As another note here is contradicting evidence about the shroud.
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Kent
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This quote from thePBS program on the Mormons pretty much sums up where I come down on the "evidence" issue.

quote:
But I felt satisfied that there was in every case a corresponding weight on the other side of the equation, which actually led me to, I think, some very important insights into the nature of faith and how faith works. I came to the conclusion, in large part through my study of the Book of Mormon, that for faith to operate, and for faith to have moral significance in our lives, then it has to at some level be a choice. It can't be urged upon us by an irresistible, overwhelming body of evidence, or what merit is there in the espousing of faith? And it can't be something that we embrace in spite of overwhelming logical rational evidence to the contrary, because I don't believe that God expects us to hold in disregard that faculty of reason that he gave us.

But I do believe that the materials are always there of which one can fashion a life of belief or a life of denial. I believe that faith is a revelation of what we love, what we choose to embrace, and therefore I think [it] is the purest reflection of the values that we hold dear and the kind of universe that we aspire to be a part of. And so it comes ultimately as no surprise to me that the evidence will never be conclusive on one way or the other. I think that there's a purpose behind the balance that one attains in the universe of belief.


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Everard
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"But my problem is the constricting of evidence to be "scientific" or not."

Why not?

Scientific evidence is evidence that can be shared, and be convincing, to someone who doesn't already share your belief. Thats strong evidence. "Oh, I saw it in a dream, and so I think its real" is piss poor evidence.

"cientific evidence can essential discount anything that is not accurate enough"

You mean you think we should accept evidence even if the evidence is bad? I don't understand this objection.

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PanHeraclitean
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I'm saying that you can say, "your evidence is not properly scientific so I won't count it" And I ask what would you count as scientific and you say make it peer reviewed. Should we go into that again?
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TomDavidson
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You know, I'm increasingly irritated by the phrasing "life of denial" or "deny God," as if random beliefs in things were the default.
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PanHeraclitean
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I would be irrated if that was directed at me as well TomD. In fact this is why I don't like the claim that there is NO EVIDENCE for god. The reason being that there is evidence but it might not fit a specific persons criterion for belief. The point of this thread was to see what would be a criterion for belief of this type and I feel stonewalled by several who pull evidence out as what they need. There is mountains of evidence to show that belief in god is not unreasonable. It is irratating to me to see someone say belief in god is hogwash and foolhearty.

I think we could easily commiserate about the injustices done to each of us because of our personal stances. I think to a certain extent you might feel it more. But I must say that I don't believe you are living a life of denial or denying god. I believe you have legitimate reasons and I seek to know what they are, that was the point of this thread.

If you throw up evidence you are indeed throwing up a legitmate concern, but I am looking for something more specific and concrete than a vague use of evidence.

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TomDavidson
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It's not a vague "use" of evidence. It's a distinction between what you consider evidence and what someone of a skeptical frame of mind might consider evidence. If I look at the sun and it appears to jiggle, that is not "evidence" that the sun is moving; it is evidence that I perceive the sun to move. By recognizing the flaws in my own ability to perceive reality, I recognize that physical evidence requires a level of control independent of my personal interpretation to be valid for others.
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Sunshine
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Honestly this thread is a bit confusing to me. Not because I'm not capable, but because the parameters are really vague. Maybe I've missed some posts, I'll read again.

Pan:
Maybe if you defined God for me then I could have a better understanding of the evidence that may or may not exist. I think I'm confused on a few levels. One, I'm trying to assume what other people's definition of god is; this varies throughout the world. Two, I'm not looking for god, so I don't really know how to answer the question "what evidence would be sufficient". Maybe if I had a clear concept of the first, I could handle the second.
Maybe you could also explain your evidence for god. That would be helpful for me to understand what you're looking for.
Lastly, I don't think it's foolish for other people to believe in god, but I have no knowledge of god's existence. I'm more concerned with an individual's daily values than I am with their idea of god.

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