Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

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Ddrak
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Ddrak » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:14 am

The argument is easy to understand. We have free will naturally. Not because a non existent God grants it. Being granted free will by another being is, necessarily, a contradiction in logic.
Except that's a different argument. I'm having difficulty getting you to stay with one thing, and you instead seem to prefer taking potshots at whatever I posted last. Your latest post just gave the blatant assertion that there was no God, when previously we'd been discussing that given the assumption there was a God then you felt that the Bible resulted in a self-contradiction with the concept of "the elect" and Calvin's views on predestination (which it should be noted that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches explicitly rejects, as do a small number of Protestant denominations).

On the existence of God, I feel it's a workable hypothesis that has yet to be disproven and I'm more than happy to consider arguments against it that are more than "you can't prove it, therefore it's false".

Oddly, on Calvinism, my parents (Dad is a Presbyterian minister) told me two nights ago that they'd "discovered" that the Bible said they were pre-chosen by God and how wonderful it was not to be responsible for stuff. That shit scares the crap out of me, and frankly makes me very sad for them. The ultimate logical conclusion of that sort of argument is life is pointless and we're all just awesome marionettes so hedonism is really the best option given nothing you do changes whether you're one of "the elect". I can't buy into any religion like that, ever.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by MeGusta » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:58 pm

On the existence of God, I feel it's a workable hypothesis that has yet to be disproven and I'm more than happy to consider arguments against it that are more than "you can't prove it, therefore it's false".
How could I be called on to prove a negative? There is no substantive evidence of the existence of God, therefore I am not required to prove the inverse. The burden is on the believer, since you are the one reliant upon faith and I am reliant upon facts.
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Ddrak » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:12 pm

MeGusta wrote:How could I be called on to prove a negative? There is no substantive evidence of the existence of God, therefore I am not required to prove the inverse. The burden is on the believer, since you are the one reliant upon faith and I am reliant upon facts.
I wasn't asking you to prove a negative. I was asking you to disprove a hypothesis, which only requires a single counterexample and is consistent with the scientific method. Note that your inability to disprove the hypothesis doesn't prove it (nothing will), it merely strengthens it. This is pretty much the way all modern science works.

Note that none of Physics can be proven either. It's merely one counter-example away from being tossed out, and in many cases the counter-examples are abundant but the hypothesis are still used because they generally produce valuable results.

I'm not trying to say Religion and Physics are remotely in the same league, in fact I'd put them orthogonal to each other, just explaining why the "prove a negative" fallacy doesn't apply.

I would imagine the best you can logically argue is "God may exist, but is completely irrelevant and pointless".

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Freecare Spiritwise
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:22 pm

The burden of proof is on the disbeliever since the believers don't require proof in order to believe. No pun intended but seems like you're the only one here with something to prove. Your disbelief doesn't take away anything from our belief. But I just have this sneaking suspicion though that the opposite is true; that our belief is somehow offensive to you.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by MeGusta » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:01 pm

Ddrak wrote:I was asking you to disprove a hypothesis, which only requires a single counterexample and is consistent with the scientific method.
That is not consistent with scientific method simply because no initial evidence has been provided to support the hypothesis. I am not required to disprove an unsupported hypothesis. Having received no evidence to support your hypothesis then I am simply allowed to apply it's negation. That God does not exist.

Otherwise I could propose any absurdity and ask you to disprove it. This is simply not rational discourse.
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by MeGusta » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:17 pm

Freecare wrote:The burden of proof is on the disbeliever since the believers don't require proof in order to believe. No pun intended but seems like you're the only one here with something to prove. Your disbelief doesn't take away anything from our belief. But I just have this sneaking suspicion though that the opposite is true; that our belief is somehow offensive to you.
Firstly, Ddrak and I are speaking scientifically as he has indicated, so faith does not enter into the discussion. Faith cannot be argued scientifically, only theologically and philosophically.

Secondly, I am not offended by anyone's belief. I am only offended by the action that the belief brings. If you keep your religion to yourself I have no problem with you having an imaginary friend.
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Fallakin Kuvari » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:25 pm

If you keep your atheism to yourself I have no problems with you burning in hell for eternity. :lol:

Faith is a hypothesis, there is no logical proof.
The God Hypothesis is a construct of reason that claims to have explanatory power in terms of ultimate necessity, ultimate causative power, and ultimate value. The God Hypothesis is put forward as the most compelling integrating postulate that provides a rational interpretive scheme for all diverse forms of human experience, and that justifies belief, when it does, by the rational basis it gives for those apprehensions of transcendent value and life-transforming intimations of human fulfilment that are the life-blood of religion.

Contrary to what is said by some of the philosophically naive atheists of our own day, it is faith that asks for the restoration of reason, and it is the Epicurean hypothesis that threatens to deprive reason of its power, and make it nothing more than the slave of the passions.

Keith Ward, God and the Philosophers (pp.74-75)
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Ddrak » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:37 pm

MeGusta wrote:
Ddrak wrote:I was asking you to disprove a hypothesis, which only requires a single counterexample and is consistent with the scientific method.
That is not consistent with scientific method simply because no initial evidence has been provided to support the hypothesis. I am not required to disprove an unsupported hypothesis. Having received no evidence to support your hypothesis then I am simply allowed to apply it's negation. That God does not exist.

Otherwise I could propose any absurdity and ask you to disprove it. This is simply not rational discourse.
Fair enough. I figured there was sufficient evidence to support at least the creation of a hypothesis, but if that's what we want to discuss then I'm open to that.

I feel the anthropic principle is unsatisfying in its explanation of the fine-tuned universe as we see it and hypothesize that an external entity could be reasonably presented as an initial designer of the physical laws within the universe. I find Douglas Adams' analogy of a puddle comparing its shape to the vessel it fits in to be apt in this manner, as it is equally plausible that the puddle formed the shape because the vessel happened to have that shape as it is to state that the designer of the vessel engineered it such that the puddle would have the specific shape. Puddles of both types can be shown to exist so why should we exclude one type from the universe?

Gross oversimplification?

I'm really not saying a god must exist, just that a god may exist (as a starting point). Most of my faith comes from the argument that *if* a god exists then what makes sense about its (curse you lack of gender-neutral pronouns) nature.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Ddrak » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:58 am

@Fallakin:

Thanks for the reference to Keith Ward. I really, really like his stuff now you set me onto it. "What the Bible Really Teaches" is awesome and I'm now working through his reply to Dawkins' 'The God Delusion".

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by MeGusta » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:02 am

I'm really not saying a god must exist, just that a god may exist (as a starting point). Most of my faith comes from the argument that *if* a god exists then what makes sense about its (curse you lack of gender-neutral pronouns) nature.
Absolutely, I can get into a discussion like that. A hypothetical philosophical discussion is always interesting. Unless someone gets butt hurt.
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Harlowe » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:45 am

Ddrak or whoever might be interested, my guy's stepdad is an interesting fellow, he has his doctorate in psychology and was a Methodist pastor. He really loves this collection of books, because they talk about the various books of the bible in order, in sort of a question answer format, with a historical approach. He told me, that if I read this series while reading the Bible I'd know more about the Bible than 80% of the preachers out there. So, what the heck, I'm getting a copy. The historical context always fascinates me and I'd really like some assistance getting through Revelations.

http://www.amazon.com/Know-Your-Bible-R ... 0687209102
Here is a review ..
I've studied the Bible for many years. I have to admit that in reading and studying books about the Bible, the whole picture has never been clear to me until I studied this series by Roy L. Smith.
Roy makes a bold claim that by studying the Bible in the order in which the books are written the reader of the Bible will understand the Bible and appreciate it better. It is no false claim.

The series is eye opening and informative beyond your imagination. You'll find yourself asking more questions than Mr. Smith answered. But the questions he answered are so thought provoking and enlightening, I find that my search for books to understand the Bible is at an end.

The book takes an objective and scientific look at the Bible. Mr. Smith leans on some outside material for some of his explanations, but that is mostly for the New Testament. I encourage all seekers of the truth to read this series. You will not be disappointed, even if you don't always agree or want to agree with what he has written.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:23 am

All my bible reading experience has been from hotel rooms. Top drawer of every night stand of pretty much every hotel room I've stayed in. It's a good read, though much of it is downright boring. But there's certainly some good nuggets of wisdom in there. I don't believe that all answers are within one book or even one ideology. And I think if you look hard enough for truth you will find some.

Growing up one of my friend's mom was a biblical scholar. She used to talk about how the vatican edited the bible to suit its own ends. Supposedly Jesus preached reincarnation and said stuff like "all answers are within yourself" that would be obviously contrary to a large institution. If all answers are within you then why would you need an institution to tell you what's what.

Honestly, I view Jesus more as just one of the great philosophers. And I do believe that a good bit of what he said has been watered down, misconstrued or downright edited. He was pretty much saying "I'm god, you're god, we're all god." and all anyone heard was "I'm god." So yeah, if we're all god then again, we don't need the church.

So yeah, much of what this woman told me years ago has stuck with me. Especially "all answers are within yourself" which I believe is true. In fact, Socrates said something very similar. And just think how different the bible would be if it was reincarnation instead of resurrection.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Harlowe » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:58 am

Free, I thought this was interesting religion (Bahai), Rainn Wilson discussed that this was how he was raised and still believes when he was on (I think) Marc Maron's WTF podcast.

http://www.bahai.org/faq/facts/bahai_faith

If you haven't listened to the podcast, it's a good one.
http://wtfpod.libsyn.com/episode-225-rainn-wilson

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:35 pm

Oh, thank you for that, Harlowe! Religion as a social network; that's kinda what they're saying, right? Me likey. I need to read some more about this but so far I'm liking it. I don't have an official religious affiliation but I really like this. W.C. Fields said "I would never join a club that would have someone like me as a member". But a couple ideologies like Buddhism have come close to sucking me in.

I've actually been thinking a lot about something I read, which ties in to your link: That religion was something vital and necessary to the development of humanity. But we've outgrown some of these once-necessary dogmas and it's time for humanity to evolve spirtually. Another one of my favorite quotes, by Bruce Lee: "Take what is useful, discard what is not." rings true here. I think we've reached the useful shelf life of certain dogmas. It's time for us to discard that which is not useful to our spiritual development.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Harlowe » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:12 pm

He said something else I thought was kind of interesting, there is no "right" religion, because there are many messengers, but we are connected by the same God. They respect the works of all the messengers - Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad etc...and feel that people get the messenger they need in whatever time or place they are to continue growing and evolving spiritually. To become more connected to God, the creator or source or whatever name you want to give.

That's just from memory, not anywhere near a quote, but that's what I took from some of what he said iirc.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:42 pm

Awesome. I would agree with that 100%. I've always said that people focus too much on the messangers and often miss the message. That's why I've always liked Seth. A supposed disembodied entity dictating a series of books on spirituality. There's just something appealing about that to me.

But yeah, on spiritual evolution I believe that the universe is functioning as intended. I believe that it's only forward progress. We have the free will to choose the timing/method of our evolution and from Harry Potter: "Help will always be available to those in need."

Some belief systems even specifically talk about the concept of spiritual guides. When asked about Jesus, Seth said basically that at all times there are those among us who are sent here to help nudge our evolution along. He called them "speakers" but "messengers" sounds just as good. He also talks about the great empathy they have for humanity.

My mom has always said it a little differently: "The universe provides".

The Native Americans also believed in the concept of spiritual guides.

So yeah, we all take different paths and hopefully end up in the same place.

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