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Author Topic: Does God Exist?  (Read 5394 times)
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« Reply #75 on: June 18, 2012, 03:09:30 pm »
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I believe in God because I can't imagine what life would be like without Him.

It's largely the same, except you get to sleep in on Sundays.

Because there are no churches with afternoon or evening services. Roll Eyes

Only you -- someone who might choose a religious tradition based on the practitioners' music tastes -- would actually think Dibble was being serious.
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« Reply #76 on: June 18, 2012, 04:14:58 pm »
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Hah, I broke the tie!
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« Reply #77 on: June 18, 2012, 05:11:58 pm »
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Well, actually, I'm an Adventist, so I go to church on Saturday, not Sunday.  What I mean is that I can't imagine what life would be like without a higher power that controlled what goes on in the world.  Simply put, I believe in God because I want to.
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« Reply #78 on: June 18, 2012, 07:49:52 pm »
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Well, actually, I'm an Adventist, so I go to church on Saturday, not Sunday.  What I mean is that I can't imagine what life would be like without a higher power that controlled what goes on in the world.  Simply put, I believe in God because I want to.

And what I was getting at is that what you want is irrelevant - reality is what it is. If God does not exist then your perception of reality is simply wrong, and what goes on around you right now wouldn't be any different.

Believing in something solely because you want to is a terrible reason to believe something anyways - it's basically an admission you don't care about what the truth actually is.
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« Reply #79 on: June 18, 2012, 08:56:59 pm »
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I do care what the truth is, but the wish is father to the thought.
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« Reply #80 on: June 18, 2012, 09:20:41 pm »
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I do care what the truth is, but the wish is father to the thought.

No, you don't care - if you did wishful thinking wouldn't be a good enough reason to believe something. If you cared you'd want evidence.
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« Reply #81 on: June 18, 2012, 10:19:53 pm »
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I believe in God because I can't imagine what life would be like without Him.

It's largely the same, except you get to sleep in on Sundays.

Because there are no churches with afternoon or evening services. Roll Eyes

Only you -- someone who might choose a religious tradition based on the practitioners' music tastes -- would actually think Dibble was being serious.

Dude, there's a lot more to it than that. It has more to do with being with people I can relate to, unlike gray-haired church ladies types.
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« Reply #82 on: June 19, 2012, 11:02:53 am »
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I do care what the truth is, but the wish is father to the thought.

No, you don't care - if you did wishful thinking wouldn't be a good enough reason to believe something. If you cared you'd want evidence.

But then most of the things we care about are beyond any rational (and certainly beyond any empirical) criterium of truth.
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« Reply #83 on: June 19, 2012, 11:43:15 am »
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I do want evidence, but until I find evidence that convinces me otherwise, then I believe that God exists.
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« Reply #84 on: June 19, 2012, 12:48:15 pm »
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I do care what the truth is, but the wish is father to the thought.

No, you don't care - if you did wishful thinking wouldn't be a good enough reason to believe something. If you cared you'd want evidence.

But then most of the things we care about are beyond any rational (and certainly beyond any empirical) criterium of truth.

What constitutes "most of the things we care about"?


I do want evidence, but until I find evidence that convinces me otherwise, then I believe that God exists.

Generally speaking you can't provide evidence for a negative. I could say I believe that there's an ethereal, invisible dragon in my garage which can't be demonstrated in any way and I will believe in it until I can be provided with evidence to the contrary - would you consider me particularly rational for holding such a position?
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« Reply #85 on: June 19, 2012, 01:00:45 pm »
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I do care what the truth is, but the wish is father to the thought.

No, you don't care - if you did wishful thinking wouldn't be a good enough reason to believe something. If you cared you'd want evidence.

But then most of the things we care about are beyond any rational (and certainly beyond any empirical) criterium of truth.

What constitutes "most of the things we care about"?


Morality, aesthetics, our concern with the truth of what we say,...
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« Reply #86 on: June 19, 2012, 02:54:18 pm »
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There might be no JUDGEMENT DAY OR NO GOD, but there might be reincarnation. Takes about 300-500 yrs to return and live in the reality of cause and effect and what you put out will come back. And live out the remaining yrs of the life cycle of this planet respecting each ones' religion. It is the belief that is what counts.
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« Reply #87 on: June 19, 2012, 03:03:24 pm »
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I do care what the truth is, but the wish is father to the thought.

No, you don't care - if you did wishful thinking wouldn't be a good enough reason to believe something. If you cared you'd want evidence.

But then most of the things we care about are beyond any rational (and certainly beyond any empirical) criterium of truth.

What constitutes "most of the things we care about"?

Morality, aesthetics, our concern with the truth of what we say,...

I fail to see how any of these are beyond rationality or empirical analysis.

The consequences of systems of morality and actions can be observed and compared against eachother.

Aesthetics is a matter of personal preference and as such are not something for which a truth value can be assessed, but you can generally deduce the general origins of these preferences.

Concern with the truth of what we say goes back to morality in the context of deceit. Constantly lying to people is not a good way to build trust and if people don't trust you then you won't likely get the benefits of cooperation with them. In terms of actually wanting to know the truth, knowing true things is beneficial because actions taken based on things that are true are much more likely to have the intended results than actions taken based on things that are false.


There might be no JUDGEMENT DAY OR NO GOD, but there might be reincarnation. Takes about 300-500 yrs to return and live in the reality of cause and effect and what you put out will come back. And live out the remaining yrs of the life cycle of this planet respecting each ones' religion. It is the belief that is what counts.

There might be reincarnation that is a total lottery and Hitler will hit the Jackpot and reincarnate as someone who will inherit billions of dollars and live a life of luxury and happiness. There are tons of things that might be, but we shouldn't every possibility seriously.
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« Reply #88 on: June 19, 2012, 03:25:41 pm »
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I do care what the truth is, but the wish is father to the thought.

No, you don't care - if you did wishful thinking wouldn't be a good enough reason to believe something. If you cared you'd want evidence.

But then most of the things we care about are beyond any rational (and certainly beyond any empirical) criterium of truth.

What constitutes "most of the things we care about"?

Morality, aesthetics, our concern with the truth of what we say,...

I fail to see how any of these are beyond rationality or empirical analysis.

The consequences of systems of morality and actions can be observed and compared against eachother.

Even such a bland consequentionalism requires a standard by which one measures morality. You may put forward any criterion you want ('utility' being a favourite, but if you're hedonistically inclined 'pleasure' may be a nice alternative), but there's no way to establish the desirability of such a golden standard, beyond, perhaps, pointing to convention: 'I and most other reasonable men just happen to feel that we should organize our actions so as to bring about the maximum amount of X'. (And this is not what we say when we judge, for example, murder to be wrong. What we mean is: 'It's a fact that murder is wrong.')

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Aesthetics is a matter of personal preference and as such are not something for which a truth value can be assessed, but you can generally deduce the general origins of these preferences.

Beauty is not reducible to certain physical properties and their relationship to one another. And even if it was that would not necessarily adequately explain what happens when we're moved by a painting, a poem,... More importantly there's the difference between explaining something and justifying it. There's no rational justification for the aesthetical experience.

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Concern with the truth of what we say goes back to morality in the context of deceit. Constantly lying to people is not a good way to build trust and if people don't trust you then you won't likely get the benefits of cooperation with them. In terms of actually wanting to know the truth, knowing true things is beneficial because actions taken based on things that are true are much more likely to have the intended results than actions taken based on things that are false.

a) 'Constantly lying' isn't what I was talking about, but even here the depressing limits of consequentionalist morality should be glaringly obvious.
b) More importantly, if you were able to discover as an absolute truth that every empirical statement you've ever thought to be the case and every impression you've ever had were not corresponding to a state of affairs in 'reality' and that none of the future ones you'll have ever would, that wouldn't have a single implication for your actual life. You would still be capable to realize all your ambitions, to do all the things you value* ,... without ever having to fear the perfect conceit dropping down around you. Yet you wouldn't want to sign up for that life, now would you?

*: And while I'm at it: how do I rationally determine what things I should attempt to bring about? What things are worthy of my attention?
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« Reply #89 on: June 19, 2012, 04:22:11 pm »
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Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it isn't there.  If there is strong evidence that it is, then chances are that it does exist.
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« Reply #90 on: June 19, 2012, 04:41:32 pm »
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*: And while I'm at it: how do I rationally determine what things I should attempt to bring about? What things are worthy of my attention?

It's a matter of personal values I suppose. I'll come right out and say that none of the things you're mentioning are matters of actual existence - the matter of God is not a matter of a concept, but of an actual thing that is purported to exist. That is not a matter of philosophy, it is an actual matter of fact and should be treated as such.


Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it isn't there.

When did I claim otherwise?

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If there is strong evidence that it is, then chances are that it does exist.

When did I claim otherwise? And as for God, what is your strong evidence?
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« Reply #91 on: June 19, 2012, 07:49:08 pm »
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Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it isn't there.  If there is strong evidence that it is, then chances are that it does exist.
What is the strong evidence?  I'm genuinely curious.
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« Reply #92 on: June 20, 2012, 05:30:02 am »
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No.

Human beings have a social hierarchy which is interesting; we have fathers and mothers when we are born and when we escape that influence we are faced with leaders in our adult lives due to the influence of authority and powerful attributes; sometimes it is basic like brawn or intellect. Now it’s about connections, exposure, influence and money. The idea of a god is an extension of that as gods have very human attributes; anger, love, power, influence, comfort, leadership, vengeance. Our understanding of what god is changes as our understanding of power changes. Theologically it’s a very easy narrative to follow. It’s also why the Stone Age god; the smiter and killer and tribal ‘godhead’ isn’t particularly appealing to us today (even if some try and gloss over such attributes written down in their holy books), so theology compensates for that. You will often notice how the portrayal of god depends on the person preaching; the god of one pastor is different from the god of the other pastor. It’s a human projection.

The fact that gods have human attributes should be obvious to you. The fact that gods seem to think we are more interesting than anything else on the planet should cause alarm bells to ring. Other animal species do not, to our knowledge have gods. But if they did, then they would reflect their ‘power’ structures or their ‘need.’ It used to be the same for us. We made fertility idols, because reproduction was important to us. We worshipped the sun (and in my view, if we had to exalt anything it should be the sun), we had gods of the sea and of farming. We wanted gods that gave a damn about our immediate concerns. We also wanted gods to satisfy our more sinister sides; we needed war gods, gods who sent plagues.

We also ‘personify’ everything; we say faces in plug sockets, we make dolls, we ‘humanise’ animals. We give the weather a temperament. The weather isn’t ‘clement’ or ‘foul’; it’s just being the weather. It is us that humanise it in order to understand it. So we made the elements that had mastery over us as gods; humanised, human orientated and human thinking gods. As we developed and didn’t need to worry about the ‘elements’; when we were going to eat and whether the winter was going to kill us as we settled down and began to farm we also started to think. Thinking led to productivity. The more we thought about ourselves and our purpose (which was now more than mere survival) and what we were able to make the gods that we created began to change as well.
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« Reply #93 on: June 24, 2012, 11:28:17 pm »
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Maybe... but my experience and all testable (no, ramblings of Gilded Age peasants don't count) human observation ever recorded says "no". 

Therefore, the only rational, logical answer is "maybe", and the only reasonable way for myself to live is to assume "no". 
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« Reply #94 on: June 25, 2012, 02:44:13 pm »
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Maybe... but my experience and all testable (no, ramblings of Gilded Age peasants don't count) human observation ever recorded says "no". 

'Gilded Age peasants'?

No testable human observation ever recorded has actually said anything.

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Therefore, the only rational, logical answer is "maybe",

Agreed.

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and the only reasonable way for myself to live is to assume "no". 

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« Reply #95 on: June 25, 2012, 02:59:10 pm »
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(no, ramblings of Gilded Age peasants don't count)

If you're going to call the overwhelming majority of people since time immemorial stupid for not following your theological views, you might want to make sure you know what the words you are saying actually mean before you do so.
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« Reply #96 on: June 25, 2012, 03:18:20 pm »
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(no, ramblings of Gilded Age peasants don't count)

If you're going to call the overwhelming majority of people since time immemorial stupid for not following your theological views, you might want to make sure you know what the words you are saying actually mean before you do so.
Thanks, Mikado- it doesn't bother me that some people are atheist, but respect is given when it is shown and the Penn Jillette/Bill Maher types who mock all those who believe in God is insulting and doesn't help any one
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« Reply #97 on: June 25, 2012, 10:13:51 pm »
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(no, ramblings of Gilded Age peasants don't count)

If you're going to call the overwhelming majority of people since time immemorial stupid for not following your theological views, you might want to make sure you know what the words you are saying actually mean before you do so.

I was simply pointing out that there has not yet been any testable observations of a god or gods.  Many belief systems have originated from people who have claimed to had visions/were spoken to/received messages etc.  I personally would not count these as testable. 
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Have you been to Oklahoma?! Roll Eyes To say that Oklahoma is better than NYC and Nantucket should be a criminal offense.

To say I despise Oklahoma would be the world's largest understatement. Even ISIS ranks higher than Oklahoma.
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« Reply #98 on: June 25, 2012, 10:20:35 pm »
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(no, ramblings of Gilded Age peasants don't count)

If you're going to call the overwhelming majority of people since time immemorial stupid for not following your theological views, you might want to make sure you know what the words you are saying actually mean before you do so.
Thanks, Mikado- it doesn't bother me that some people are atheist, but respect is given when it is shown and the Penn Jillette/Bill Maher types who mock all those who believe in God is insulting and doesn't help any one

Since I see religion as something inherently destructive to mankind... how am I supposed to approach the discussion without some degree of hostility to the belief systems that characterize it?   Atheists have been (and still are) sh*t all over by most of the world, but that seems to be okay.  But showing a lack of respect for a religion is somehow intolerable.  Example: a religious person can tell me I'm going to burn in hell for my beliefs, but no way could I ever call that belief stupid. 

Perhaps some of the more outspoken atheists should tone it down a bit... but isn't it obvious that part of it is reactionary? 
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Have you been to Oklahoma?! Roll Eyes To say that Oklahoma is better than NYC and Nantucket should be a criminal offense.

To say I despise Oklahoma would be the world's largest understatement. Even ISIS ranks higher than Oklahoma.
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« Reply #99 on: June 25, 2012, 10:22:54 pm »
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(no, ramblings of Gilded Age peasants don't count)

If you're going to call the overwhelming majority of people since time immemorial stupid for not following your theological views, you might want to make sure you know what the words you are saying actually mean before you do so.

I was simply pointing out that there has not yet been any testable observations of a god or gods.  Many belief systems have originated from people who have claimed to had visions/were spoken to/received messages etc.  I personally would not count these as testable. 

I think the mockery was over the "Gilded Age peasants" line.
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