Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Wouldn't it be Great if there really was a God? (Page 7)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 7 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7   
Author Topic: Wouldn't it be Great if there really was a God?
John Brown
Member
Member # 3035

 - posted      Profile for John Brown   Email John Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Back on knowledge, I think this is an interesting article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propositional_knowledge#Acquiring_knowledge

As is this portion of the same: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propositional_knowledge#Practical_limits_for_obtaining_knowledge

Posts: 38 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 2763

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Is it possible that I was delusional and can't trust my senses? I haven't taken any medication stronger than Ibuprofen for years, so I can't say it was drugs. I haven't had any history of "hallucination." I wasn't asleep at the time. Are there other explanations? Sure. But they strain reason. I couldn't find the calf, but the rancher did. I'd broken its back leg.

So I can say with certitude that I hit a calf at about 1 AM on such-and-such a morning. I know this thing. It happened to me.

Several points:

* Is it a reasonable assertion that a cow would be found in the place where you struck one?

* Is there any physical evidence to support your claim?

* Do you have a motivation for manufacturing such a story?

* Is it important that I beieve your cow story? What are the positives/negatives to believing or not believing you?

quote:
So let's apply this same method of forming knowledge to religious things. Let's say I see an angel or a waking vision. Said angel comes with the glory etc., so I'm not mistaking him for Bob who lives next door. Let's say that I haven't been taking drugs, have no history of any mental illness, wasn't dozing. Let's say I hear clear communication from some other being. What's the explanation?
* How do I know you were concious?

* How do you know you were concious?

* Is there any physical evidence? Where is the "farmer with the injured cow" in this story?

* Did this happen during a time of severe distress for you? Any family members recently pass away?

* Do you have a motivation for seeing an angel? Does seeing an angel affirm or contradict your beliefs at that time?

* Do you have a motivation for saying that you saw an angel even if you did not? Does doing so increase your standing amongst friends, family or congregation?


quote:
Now, I haven't seen an angel.
Oh. Well, that doesn't help. You claim to have hit a cow but you've manufactured an angel story that may or may not have happened to someone else. I have your word on the cow but only your word of someone else's word (in the best case) on the angel story.
Posts: 3481 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Brown
Member
Member # 3035

 - posted      Profile for John Brown   Email John Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Matt,

I'm not talking about beliving others. Knowledge is an individual thing. I'm talking about ME knowing somthing. So I expressly did NOT ask if this is a valid evidence for YOU to believe me. I'm asking you if it's reasonable for ME to say I KNOW I hit the cow. What you believe about my experience is beside the point.

Please answer the question about whether you think this is a reasonable way for me (not you), or any individual, to know something--direct, first-hand, non-scientific, experience. In your view can I say I know I hit the cow? Can the angel beholder say he knows he saw an angel?

[ October 02, 2006, 01:31 PM: Message edited by: John Brown ]

Posts: 38 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Brown:

In Massachusetts, hitting a calf -- even a maverick on the road -- is a vehicular offense. Not even supposing the calf has no replaceable value, The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruel to Animals, which has The Great & General Court by the blue ballocks, will require that a forensic report be filed with the accident report which you are obliged to file -- including a full statement of its scientific method of investigation. Belief me (?), the MSPCA will not be interviewing angels; it will be investigating the calf and your fender.

Notwithstanding our inability to agree upon useful terms of debate, you have yet failed to produce evidence by which my evidentiary process is useable. The scientific method may be applied to science or religion with satisfaction and make a determination of what is known and what is not. Your method can be applied to religion with some satisfaction I presume -- but not fulfill the more-stringent requirements of science.

If you are satisfied with belief rather than knowledge, you can sing:

Jesus loves me, this I know
because the Bible tells me so.


But no matter how much you believe it, believing doesn't make it so. That was the great leap forward made by the classical Greeks; they demanded to know by the ability to replicate the process of knowledge. They sought keys to eliminating conjecture and presumption and belief that they might better know nature.

What you have described to me as 'knowledge' is, in the Greek sense, mere 'opinion' for it there is no such thing as personal knowledge inside a court of public opinion. Knowledge must be knowable by anybody who seeks it by the same method. I know that you have said you hit a calf in the road; I don't know it but only that you've said that you know it. There's knowledge there, but not all of it.

Cripes! Even god demands the foreskins of his enemies. Everybody has a right to demand proof before even the most-obvious fact is granted the august rank of 'knowledge'.

What I'd like is some evidence to support the claim that gods or even one little god exist. Surely the evidentiary process for determining if gods exist is not less rigorous than the evidence required for itsy-bitsy subparticles.

Until then, it would seem to me that the belief in personal deities is so personal that it shouldn't be mentioned in public -- let alone preached, for it is a demand that others believe what one believes on faith and with no respect for the many ways we come to know.

Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Brown
Member
Member # 3035

 - posted      Profile for John Brown   Email John Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dey,

I'll say it again. This is not about proving something in court or to other people. That is an entirely different issue. The question is whether *I* can say *I* know I hit the cow.

[ October 02, 2006, 02:21 PM: Message edited by: John Brown ]

Posts: 38 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 2763

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
In your view can I say I know I hit the cow? Can the angel beholder say he knows he saw an angel?
They can say whatever they want.
Posts: 3481 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Brown
Member
Member # 3035

 - posted      Profile for John Brown   Email John Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Matt,

You're dodging. A simple yes or no will do.

Posts: 38 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Brown:

NOBODY but nobody is saying that you don't have a right to say anything you want or, providing that you define your terms of arugment, to argue any point you wish. That ceased to be the issue.

You disagreed with my terms of argument, but instead of restricting your argument to your definitions, you said, basically, this is where we disagree and continued on as if my definitions had been swept off the table. You said I wasn't a scientist so I didn't have a right to define the term 'science'.

I was obliged to defend my definition. You got houghy that I'd have the temerity to do so.

I refused all philosophical definitions of science on the grounds that they were historically ambiant and not-yet decided within the realm of philosophy. You refused to allow scientists to define science by trumping them with philosophical argument. I rejected that. I said, scientists should be allowed to define their own science -- preferably without philosophical fustication.

Meanwhile, we continued the argument at hand, to wit:

* Is god knowable?

You suggested that the supernatural was knowable because you and your authority figures had personal knowledge of the supernatural.

I suggested that your definition of 'knowledge' did not sufficiently constitute knowledge as defined by science.

In short, you hadn't read White on the matter.

Would you care for a crumpet?

Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 2763

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by John Brown:
Matt,

You're dodging. A simple yes or no will do.

The data is insufficient. The cow guy - probably yes. It's a rather mundane event with physical evidence to support it. The angel guy - I would need WAY more information. The questions I posed earlier were some of the questions I'd ask myself should I have such an experience.

Even if I could determine that what I experienced was supernatural, how in the world could I know that:

a) It was an angel. Does seeing something that looks like our contemporary concept of an angel constitute seeing an angel?

b) That angels are good. Even the bible says that Satan can take a pleasing form. And the bible and similar texts are the only authority that angels are good. One must agree that the bible is authoritive before one can even agree with the angel=good axim.

c) That the angel's message was true. Who says the angel is telling me the truth? It may be satisfying to hear that your loved ones are in heaven or that your prayers have been heard, but it's still hearsay, just coming from a glowing blob of glory rather than from another human.

An event that cannot be explained by science as an individual understands science and as that individual interprets their experience do not, automatically, become evidence for a particular religious viewpoint or even knowledge of what occured during the event.

Posts: 3481 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Brown
Member
Member # 3035

 - posted      Profile for John Brown   Email John Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
>>An event that cannot be explained by science as an individual understands science and as that individual interprets their experience do not, automatically, become evidence for a particular religious viewpoint or even knowledge of what occured during the event.

This reply is puzzling. Since when was I ever talking about a particular religious viewpoint?

I'm trying to establish that direct experience (non-scientific, but empirical evidence) is one sufficient source for someone to say he knows something.

Sure, you might question your senses and want to make sure it's real. I understand that.

But I find it a bit curious that you'd say, all things being equal, sure, I know I hit a cow, but you just couldn't say, sure, I saw an angel.

No, for some reason this is just automatically out of the question. I wonder why that is.

Let's do another thought experiment. How do you perform science on the fact that I'm married to my wife? You look at state documents. Oh, wait. That's not science. That's simply looking at papers. And what if the papers are gone? Well, I'd better not say that we ever were married--I probably should question the very idea I was married. Or what about that I have four daughters? What if my daughters are all dead and I have no records and neither does the state. And there's no DNA guy around. Should I then begin to question my knowledge--no I really didn't have four daughters because I haven't had any peer review, haven't performed a test?

It's ridiculous on the face of it.

And yet this is what you're demanding of religious things.

It seems to me that you (and Dey) are not only unwilling to discuss evidence for religious things, you're unwilling to even consider the possibility of it. Methods that are just fine in other arenas are rejected in this one. It's a double standard. You seem so obstinately and unreasonably wedded to a particular opinion about religion that it's going to be difficult to move forward in any meaningful way.

I'm fully prepared to talk about evidence for religious things. I'm fully prepared to shine a bright light upon my experiences and ask difficult questions, perhaps modify what I think I know. Alas, it seems you are not.

[ October 02, 2006, 07:26 PM: Message edited by: John Brown ]

Posts: 38 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 2763

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
This reply is puzzling. Since when was I ever talking about a particular religious viewpoint?
Well, your example was an angel. Angels are primarily the domain of Abrahamic religions. Not many Wiccans or Buddhists that believe in an angel myth.

quote:
I'm trying to establish that direct experience (non-scientific, but empirical evidence) is one sufficient source for someone to say he knows something.
The experience that you described is not knowable and I pointed out as much. The person saw an angel. How do they know they saw an angel? What does an angel look like? What does another entity, trying to impersonate an angel, look like? Yes, the person knows they saw something. Do they know what they saw? Heck if I (or they) know.

quote:
No, for some reason this is just automatically out of the question. I wonder why that is.
Because I have experienced no situation that contains any of the elements of the angel story and there are unsupported assumptions in the story. I've enough experience with cars, cows, and physics to accept the feasibility of the cow story.

quote:
How do you perform science on the fact that I'm married to my wife?
Again, another mundane situation with which I have experience.

Also, I don't really have an interest in the veracity of the marriage claim or the cow claim. Whether it happened or not doesn't really matter to me, so the burdon of proof required to accept it's truth is very low. If I'm wrong, then... nothing.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Angelic visits, if legitimate, represent important events that can not and should not be ignored. People give up their jobs, break ties with family, or commit to donate 10% of all future income based on such events or others' claims of same. That is why even a personal experience that appears to be one would require an excess of strutiny. By what method can I determine what an angel looks like? If that simple question cannot be answered then no, I cannot KNOW that I saw an angel.

quote:
I'm fully prepared to shine a bright light upon my experiences and ask difficult questions, perhaps modify what I think I know. Alas, it seems you are not.
Please. You asked me to answer these questions and I've done so honestly. I'm sorry if you are displeased with my answers or if they disagree with what you believe to be the only reasonable conclusions.

[ October 02, 2006, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: MattP ]

Posts: 3481 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Adam Lassek
Member
Member # 1514

 - posted      Profile for Adam Lassek   Email Adam Lassek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
>>historical science

Can you explain what you mean by this?

With experimental science, claims can be reproduced and tested independantly in a lab. In historical science, you have to accumulate evidence and infer what happened based upon the existing record. You can't recreate history in a lab.

In your example of the cow, you have physical evidence in the form of damage to your car, and cow bits everywhere. It is reasonable to conclude that you hit a cow with a high level of certainty. To claim that you can't truly know that you have done so is semantic nonsense.

Posts: 554 | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KnightEnder
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How would it mess with free will if God prevented birth deffects? If there had never been one we would never even know they could occur. And surely 'God' could tweak the science?

KE

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wakeup
Member
Member # 3081

 - posted      Profile for wakeup   Email wakeup       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hello everybody in America
did you know that the 911 was mass murder
do you know how building 7 went down
do you know that fire does not bring down any steel building??
anyone?

Posts: 45 | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Brown
Member
Member # 3035

 - posted      Profile for John Brown   Email John Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
>>How would it mess with free will if God prevented birth deffects? If there had never been one we would never even know they could occur. And surely 'God' could tweak the science?

I don't know that it does. But saying that God could surely tweak the science presumes he can do anything without constraint, achieve all objectives without constraint. Heck, if that were the case then what in the world are we doing down here? Just put us in heaven and let's have a party. I truly believe if God could do anything willy-nilly, then he's malovelent or apathetic, because he doesn't. What I think is that God cannot. The scriptural history leads me to believe in benevolence over some wacky form of omnipotence.

[ October 03, 2006, 09:51 AM: Message edited by: John Brown ]

Posts: 38 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Brown
Member
Member # 3035

 - posted      Profile for John Brown   Email John Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
>>Yes, the person knows they saw something. Do they know what they saw?

>>Because I have experienced no situation that contains any of the elements of the angel story and there are unsupported assumptions in the story. I've enough experience with cars, cows, and physics to accept the feasibility of the cow story.

>>Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

It seems from these statements that you're simply wanting to be cautious, maybe exceedingly cautious, but you're not excluding personal experience as a valid source of knowledge in religious things. Is that correct?

Posts: 38 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Brown
Member
Member # 3035

 - posted      Profile for John Brown   Email John Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
>>In historical science, you have to accumulate evidence and infer what happened based upon the existing record. You can't recreate history in a lab.

Would an example of this be some parts of the theory of evolution? We can't recreate and test much of it. We have recreated evolution within a species--bacteria, fruitflies, etc. And our inferences predict what we find in rocks etc., but we're not actually seeing tests that recreate all of the postulated events. Is that an example? Or explanations of the mounds out in eastern Washington being from mega floods from some huge dam that was created by succeeding ice ages? We don't recreate the event, but we come up with an explanation that accounts for what we see?

[ October 03, 2006, 09:59 AM: Message edited by: John Brown ]

Posts: 38 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
¶ Angels. The 1st known angels are amongst the Sumerians in the form of guardian angels. Anybody could have one -- if he wanted.

¶ Neither evolution nor the fast formation of the Grand Canyon or whatever is science; these are theories to be applied to the scientific method. They are presently under study in science because, unlike religion -- which answers everything and asks nothing because it knows everything [Roll Eyes] , science has a reliable means of evaluating the likelihood of these theories.

Don't claim for science claims that it doesn't make.

The reason that evolution is taught in schools and not religion is fundamentally because evolution has been offered on the altar of evaluation, and survives the dissection; religion refuses to submit to such close examination because it refuses to drop its drawers.

Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Brown
Member
Member # 3035

 - posted      Profile for John Brown   Email John Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dey, Dey, Dey...

So evolution is still under hot debate in the scientific community? Or are you suggesting now that science is a method, not what we know? I thought that's the point I was making.

[ October 03, 2006, 10:47 PM: Message edited by: John Brown ]

Posts: 38 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kenmeer livermaile
Member
Member # 2243

 - posted      Profile for kenmeer livermaile   Email kenmeer livermaile       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"I thought that's the point I was making."

Yes, but do you KNOW that was the point you were making? [Wink]

Posts: 23297 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Brown
Member
Member # 3035

 - posted      Profile for John Brown   Email John Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
<laughing>
Posts: 38 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[Big Grin]

Science is a noun, not the method. Going around sciencing somethingmight be thought unseemly [Wink] , perhaps even improprietous! Is it a parts-of-speech confusion we're having?

Science is the object. The scientific method (i.e., the adductive/deductive method) is the means to obtain the knowledge if any is to be had. If it is determined to be knowledge, then it is science -- scientifically tested science.

Science doesn't need the pope's approval. AS I've suggested, a pope's approval renders the research moot. It has to be researched all over again!

"When science and religion are agreed," said Dr Bill Boner, "we have what is known in the laboratory as a Code Red! Anybody with any common sense will evacuate at once!" -- The Boner Boys in Bonervaria --

The Greeks devised an atomic theory, a quadrite theory, even a kind of string theory; those were theories, not science. They did not have the means of measuring subparticles but they intuited them -- as it turned out later, rightly.

When I said that science has a means of determining the likelihood of something or other, that means was 'the scientific method' first introduced modernly by Bacon -- but it is a method devised by the classical Greeks, that same method abandoned by Christianity and lost to us between 0323-1625 in the 1300 years of "faith" known as The Dark Ages.

Imagine human beings having to go backwards nearly 2000 years to reconnect with their intellectual evolution -- an optimistic, foresightful, ongong progression that religion couldn't compete with, so it gained control of the western world and forbade it!

Religion isn't only dangerous, it was always dangerous.

Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kenmeer livermaile
Member
Member # 2243

 - posted      Profile for kenmeer livermaile   Email kenmeer livermaile       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But to scient is a verb, inn't it? In some dead language? Of course, in a dead language, all verbs are merely nouns, having lost their git up and go.

I think we shuld refer to 'ensciencing' just as we say someone has been 'ensorcelled'.

Hoo doo voodoo? You do!

Who know 'to know'? Me no gno!

BOO!!!

Posts: 23297 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't remember it, Oz. Scire, to know, past particle stem would be scient I suppose. If somebody does something knowingly, he's a scienter; so yes, you're basically right.

Judge: And when you hit the cow, Mr Brown, you knew that you had hit the cow?

Brown: Yes, your honor. I knew at once that I'd hit the cow.

Judge: And did you stop safely on the side of the roadat the scene of the accident, leaving your blinkers on for traffic in both directions, and determine certainly that you had hit the cow?

Brown: Hell no, Judge! I hit the cow intentionally in the middle of the field!

Judge: Clerk, please note that the defendent is the scienter in this case ...

Dey: Your pardon, your Honor.

Judge: (Sigh ...) Yes counsel ...

Dey: The counsel for the defense requests, Your Honor, that the cow be listed as a scienter, Your Honor. She was hit by the car.

Judge: Could the defendant please identify the co-scienter in this case ...?

Brown: Yes, Your Honor. She's sitting in the front row with a cast on her leg.

Judge: The chair recognizes Miss Borden, well known to this court as an habitual vagrant and woman of the night.

I think where Brown has gone awry here is in using the word science for [/I]scientism[/I], which yields scientist, i.e., somebody who practices scientism (not science), i.e., a practitioner of the scientific method.

Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Adam Lassek
Member
Member # 1514

 - posted      Profile for Adam Lassek   Email Adam Lassek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Would an example of this be some parts of the theory of evolution? We can't recreate and test much of it. We have recreated evolution within a species--bacteria, fruitflies, etc. And our inferences predict what we find in rocks etc., but we're not actually seeing tests that recreate all of the postulated events. Is that an example? Or explanations of the mounds out in eastern Washington being from mega floods from some huge dam that was created by succeeding ice ages? We don't recreate the event, but we come up with an explanation that accounts for what we see?
For the most part, yes, although evolution isn't entirely inferential as you pointed out. We have recreated the process in a lab with e.coli, for one example, and a significant part of it involves the study of living organisms. But, a very large part of evolution is indeed historical in nature.
Posts: 554 | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Brown
Member
Member # 3035

 - posted      Profile for John Brown   Email John Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I see how it's being used then. Thanks.
Posts: 38 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 7 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1