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Leonard James

Why do people believe in God?

I have outlined what I think are a few of the reasons here :-

http://www.telefonica.net/web2/ljw/god1.html

Any other suggestions?
Samuel Vimes

Quote:
I believe there are various reasons why some people are Christians (or members of other religions) and others are not, and they are all due to nature/nurture.........each of us has a unique combination of personal traits.

The following are a few which I think influence whether we believe or not.......

1) The ability to believe without objective evidence. This varies from total credulity to absolute scepticism.......

2) Dependence. Varies from total dependence to complete independence. Some people are self-sufficient, and have no need to lean on others when it comes to making decisions, others are less certain, and need the support/advice of other people to help them in making up their minds..........

3) Response to indoctrinative methods. Varies from immune to susceptible. Some people are easily influenced........


So according to you people believe because they are more credulous than non-believers, are less independant than non-believers and are more susceptible to indoctrination than non-believers.

How very patronising of you.


Do you have any objective evidence to present in support of these conclusions of yours?
Leonard James

Hello Sammy,

What a surprise to see you!  

Have a nice day!  
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
Hello Sammy,

What a surprise to see you!  

Have a nice day!  



So, do you have any objective evidence to present in support of these conclusions of yours or are they simply based on your subjective interpretation of reality?
Shaker

Lenny, seems like you've picked up your very own stalker  
Samuel Vimes

admin. wrote:
Lenny, seems like you've picked up your very own stalker  


Sorry, didn't realise that new discussions were limited to certain contributors only. Must have missed that rule here: http://nglreturns.myfreeforum.org/about86.html

LornaDoone40

Quote:
1) The ability to believe without objective evidence. This varies from total credulity to absolute scepticism. People vary enormously in their ability to take things on trust, which is one reason why confidence tricksters are able to flourish. Their victims are highly credulous, and prepared to accept promises without prior investigation. Of course, if a personal desire is fulfilled, they are even more vulnerable, as in the case of rich men or women being preyed on by gold-diggers of the opposite sex, professing love for the victim, who needs to be loved regardless of his/her wealth.


It strikes me Leonard that there are a number of problems here: first you perpetuate the idea that spiritual faith must be supported by material and/or scientific evidence for it to have value. Faith falls outside the boundries of material and physical science and therefore the assertation that having faith is in the same vein as being susceptible to fraud is deeply flawed.

Quote:
2) Dependence. Varies from total dependence to complete independence. Some people are self-sufficient, and have no need to lean on others when it comes to making decisions, others are less certain, and need the support/advice of other people to help them in making up their minds. Most people, when young, are very dependent, and need guidance and instruction on how to live, but as they mature and are able to reason fully for themselves, they become more independent, and able to apply logical thought and past experience to the task.


Again this is not only a flawed presumption but a rather cold idea of humanity: to propose that if you are 'self-sufficient' you have 'no need to lean on others' and therefore are less likely to be religious, not only assumes that human fraility and fallibility are faults to be pitied but comes across as rather heartless, with respect.

Of course people take comfort in faith: but I'm afraid your argument thus far is over simplistic.

Quote:
3) Response to indoctrinative methods. Varies from immune to susceptible. Some people are easily influenced. If they completely trust the instructor, they can be induced to believe and do things they would not normally consider sensible or moral. Constant repetition of phrases can lull their will, and make them subject to the operator's own. If the person they are listening to has great charisma, and is a master at oration, the subjects will believe what he says without question, particularly if it boosts their ego. This is clear from the way mobs can be incited to violence by manipulation, and in extreme cases like the Nazi control which caused its followers to commit the most outrageous acts, believing them to be justified.


Again, you put people of faith into simplisitic box which takes no account of personal journey. I was brought up by a virulently anti-christian mother and agnostic father, yet I am a christian and it is not as though I am entirely unique in this. Nobody 'indocrinated' me.

I don't necassarily disagree that there have been, and are, charismatic religious leaders of dubious morality who persuade people because of clever oration and manuipulation of facts, but this is, like your other points, a rather broad and inprecise brush by which to make a point which is anyway flawed.
Shaker

Samuel Vimes wrote:
admin. wrote:
Lenny, seems like you've picked up your very own stalker  


Sorry, didn't realise that new discussions were limited to certain contributors only. Must have missed that rule here: http://nglreturns.myfreeforum.org/about86.html



More likely you missed this:

Quote:
Messages which could be deemed purely to cause offence/distress to others or which are considered to harass another poster may be removed, and persistent offenders in this regard will receive a warning and ultimately may be banned.
Samuel Vimes

admin. wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
admin. wrote:
Lenny, seems like you've picked up your very own stalker  


Sorry, didn't realise that new discussions were limited to certain contributors only. Must have missed that rule here: http://nglreturns.myfreeforum.org/about86.html



More likely you missed this:

Quote:
Messages which could be deemed purely to cause offence/distress to others or which are considered to harass another poster may be removed, and persistent offenders in this regard will receive a warning and ultimately may be banned.


I see, so how exactly is engaging with the topic that has been introduced by another poster by asking them for the evidence that supports the basis of the position that they have expressed "harassing another poster"?

If someone expresses a point of view or opinion on this messageboard is it considered "harassment" by the admin and the moderators to challenge that point of view?

I have limited myself to challenging those views expressed by Leonard with which I disagree and, unlike some other members, have not engaged in any sort of personal attack.

If you're truly interested in "stalking" and "harassment" on this messageboard I suggest that you look elsewhere.  
LornaDoone40

Mmm. Have to say admin, you are not exactly coming across as being particularly even handed right now. I pretty much made the same point as Sam (except in a slightly more long winded fashion!)
Farmer Geddon

admin. wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
admin. wrote:
Lenny, seems like you've picked up your very own stalker  


Sorry, didn't realise that new discussions were limited to certain contributors only. Must have missed that rule here: http://nglreturns.myfreeforum.org/about86.html



More likely you missed this:

Quote:
Messages which could be deemed purely to cause offence/distress to others or which are considered to harass another poster may be removed, and persistent offenders in this regard will receive a warning and ultimately may be banned.


Awww cummon Admin.......  it's not as if the Vimes is actually attacking Len, just disagreeing with him in his own inimitable way!!

Now if it me posting something that would be a different matter!!





But I think of Len as just woolly as most of our Anglican friends when it comes to beliefs, so is mostly harmless.. for an atheist..


Leonard James

Hi Lorna,

Thank you for your thoughts.
LornaDoone40 wrote:
 It strikes me Leonard that there are a number of problems here: first you perpetuate the idea that spiritual faith must be supported by material and/or scientific evidence for it to have value. Faith falls outside the boundries of material and physical science and therefore the assertation that having faith is in the same vein as being susceptible to fraud is deeply flawed.

The subconscious mind is capable of producing many strange experiences which seem real both in a waking and sleeping state, which makes them invalid as evidence of anything except the brain's capacity to produce them.
Quote:
Again this is not only a flawed presumption but a rather cold idea of humanity: to propose that if you are 'self-sufficient' you have 'no need to lean on others' and therefore are less likely to be religious, not only assumes that human fraility and fallibility are faults to be pitied but comes across as rather heartless, with respect.

That is merely how you perceive it ... but it makes it no less true.
Quote:
Of course people take comfort in faith: but I'm afraid your argument thus far is over simplistic.

Why?
Quote:
Again, you put people of faith into simplisitic box which takes no account of personal journey. I was brought up by a virulently anti-christian mother and agnostic father, yet I am a christian and it is not as though I am entirely unique in this.

It is common and natural for children, once they develop their own ability to reason things out, to rebel against their parent's beliefs and way of life, and assert themselves.
Quote:
Nobody 'indocrinated' me.

Your beliefs, whatever they are, must be the result of what you have heard or read from others. I'm sure you know that you didn't just find them yourself.
Quote:
I don't necassarily disagree that there have been, and are, charismatic religious leaders of dubious morality who persuade people because of clever oration and manuipulation of facts, but this is, like your other points, a rather broad and inprecise brush by which to make a point which is anyway flawed.

You haven't shown me any flaws so far.
Leonard James

Quote:
But I think of Len as just woolly as most of our Anglican friends when it comes to beliefs, so is mostly harmless.. for an atheist..

Thank you, farmer boy!
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
You haven't shown me any flaws so far.


And you haven't shown how your broad assertions are based on objective evidence.  
Leonard James

Hi Steve,
admin. wrote:
Lenny, seems like you've picked up your very own stalker  

Yes, he does seem to be waiting to pounce every time I post something. That's why I asked if he was DavidM from the BBC board, who was just as nitpicky and argumentative.
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
Hi Steve,

All very pally.  

Leonard James wrote:
admin. wrote:
Lenny, seems like you've picked up your very own stalker  

Yes, he does seem to be waiting to pounce every time I post something.


You mean like you used to pounce on anything that Lynne posted irrespective of whom it was directed to? Usually with something totally unrelated to the subject under discussion like a comment belittling her belief in her ability to communicate directly with God.

I don't recall you ever being accused of being a "stalker" or of "harassing" her though.

Perhaps you are a protected species on this messageboard.  



As for being "argumentative": I don't see why I shouldn't be free to disagree with those things that you post that I find disagreeable (such as your typical unsupported generalisations about believers).
Farmer Geddon

Whoa Sam.....  u al .. Vimes...

Lynne posts .. weird stuff that only has meaning to herself, unless you are going to claim that you understood any of it...

I personally gave up posting attacks on what Lynne wrote because I discovered she had a coven of followers who knew as much about the bible, and more specifically the Hebrew Bible, as she does...  and I got fed up mocking them as much as I did her about their absolute lack of understanding of Judaism.

Are you trying to claim that Len has a coven too?


[The only poster here who has a harem ATM is powsers...  ]
Samuel Vimes

Farmer Geddon wrote:
Are you trying to claim that Len has a coven too?


Not at all.

Merely speculating as a result of the admin implying that I may have broken the site rules by "harassing" Len and comparing this response to the lack of a similar comment when Len was replying to virtually everything that Lynne posted.

Farmer Geddon

I know what you mean..  I'm guessing Admin never gets to see my fluctuations on this board because the mod gets there before him....  so thought that that particular rule seemed to apply to your gentile baiting without realising it could get a lot worse.....

Farmer Geddon

Actually thinking about it - it would be more enlightening if posters were only allowed to have a blog, where others could post a response, and the blogger could answer individually to attacks or bum-licking!!

But I guess it would get messy when bloggers attack each other in their separate blogs, so would end up like a clot of bile when we get cross-blogging..

In fact - no different from what we have now!!



LornaDoone40

Leonard James wrote:
The subconscious mind is capable of producing many strange experiences which seem real both in a waking and sleeping state, which makes them invalid as evidence of anything except the brain's capacity to produce them.


You miss my point: faith and belief are not science and are therefore not measurable by scientific method. This does not invalidate the experience of faith, nor does it lessen the value of it.  

The beauty of a flower or the song of a bird cannot be quantified by science: my point is that science is not the only measure of experience.

Quote:
That is merely how you perceive it ... but it makes it no less true.


Why is what you say 'true'? I am not talking about 'perception': I am talking about every person on the planet having times of sadness, anger, pain, doubt, hurt, fear, desperation... weakness. There is no shame in weakness and any philosophy which supports the notion that weakness is somehow wrong or shameful is not "truth" Leonard but merely your perception.

Quote:
It is common and natural for children, once they develop their own ability to reason things out, to rebel against their parent's beliefs and way of life, and assert themselves.


So faith is either indoctrination or rebellion? And you wonder why I say your argument is overly simplisitic. Apart from your own perceptions and opinions Leonard, where are your facts and figures? After all, your first point implies quite strongly that quantifiable data is more important than the experience of faith. It might be wise then to provide some.

Quote:
Your beliefs, whatever they are, must be the result of what you have heard or read from others. I'm sure you know that you didn't just find them yourself.


And can you say that your beliefs and ideas were all your own? Who did you read and talk to that influenced your own ideas?  

Your ideas are weak because they lack evidence, because they are based on your own perceptions and your perceptions are flawed by the same weakness you lay at the door of those people of faith.
Samuel Vimes

LornaDoone40 wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
The subconscious mind is capable of producing many strange experiences which seem real both in a waking and sleeping state, which makes them invalid as evidence of anything except the brain's capacity to produce them.


You miss my point: faith and belief are not science and are therefore not measurable by scientific method. This does not invalidate the experience of faith, nor does it lessen the value of it.  

The beauty of a flower or the song of a bird cannot be quantified by science: my point is that science is not the only measure of experience.

Quote:
That is merely how you perceive it ... but it makes it no less true.


Why is what you say 'true'? I am not talking about 'perception': I am talking about every person on the planet having times of sadness, anger, pain, doubt, hurt, fear, desperation... weakness. There is no shame in weakness and any philosophy which supports the notion that weakness is somehow wrong or shameful is not "truth" Leonard but merely your perception.

Quote:
It is common and natural for children, once they develop their own ability to reason things out, to rebel against their parent's beliefs and way of life, and assert themselves.


So faith is either indoctrination or rebellion? And you wonder why I say your argument is overly simplisitic. Apart from your own perceptions and opinions Leonard, where are your facts and figures? After all, your first point implies quite strongly that quantifiable data is more important than the experience of faith. It might be wise then to provide some.

Quote:
Your beliefs, whatever they are, must be the result of what you have heard or read from others. I'm sure you know that you didn't just find them yourself.


And can you say that your beliefs and ideas were all your own? Who did you read and talk to that influenced your own ideas?  

Your ideas are weak because they lack evidence, because they are based on your own perceptions and your perceptions are flawed by the same weakness you lay at the door of those people of faith.


LornaDoone40

Thanks Sam - I just think that if you are going to hold something to a certain standard, you must hold yourself (and therefore your ideas and beliefs) to that same standard, which I think Leonard had failed to do here.
Samuel Vimes

LornaDoone40 wrote:
Thanks Sam - I just think that if you are going to hold something to a certain standard, you must hold yourself (and therefore your ideas and beliefs) to that same standard, which I think Leonard had failed to do here.


I do hope he answers you.

He has refused to directly answer me when I have asked for the evidence on which he bases his conclusions.
Leonard James

Hi Lorna,

You seem to have completely misunderstood me. I have never intentionally said that there is anything weak, wrong or shameful about the way we are. We are simply the product of our nature/nurture, and all aspects of our personality are the result of it. Stating that people are all physically and mentally different is merely to state facts. The evidence is there for us to see.

Seeing life as I do is no more weak/strong, right/wrong, shameful/prideful than the way anybody else sees it; it is just my reading of the evidence that surrounds me. If it were the same as yours, there would be nothing to discuss, would there?
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
Hi Lorna,

You seem to have completely misunderstood me. I have never intentionally said that there is anything weak, wrong or shameful about the way we are. We are simply the product of our nature/nurture, and all aspects of our personality are the result of it. Stating that people are all physically and mentally different is merely to state facts. The evidence is there for us to see.

Seeing life as I do is no more weak/strong, right/wrong, shameful/prideful than the way anybody else sees it; it is just my reading of the evidence that surrounds me. If it were the same as yours, there would be nothing to discuss, would there?


So you don't think that there is any negative connotation attached the generalising about a whole group of people and labelling them gullible, dependant and prone to indoctrination and nothing positive about generalising about another group of people and labelling them sceptical, independant and resistant to indoctrination?


Besides which this is a side issue.

Whether these traits are seen as positive or negative is only important once you have demonstrated that your gross generalisations are grounded in fact by producing the evidence that supports such assertions in the first place.

Which is something that you still haven't done.
genghiscant

Anyway, back to the question. I think a fear of death has something to do with a belief in a God & an afterlife. It's absolutely certain that faith has no logic to it. To believe in something that cannot be sensed in anyway, by anything, has all the appearance of delusion.
Outrider

LornaDoone40 wrote:
You miss my point: faith and belief are not science and are therefore not measurable by scientific method. This does not invalidate the experience of faith, nor does it lessen the value of it.


Well, faith and belief are not science, as they are not evidence based, but that does not mean that they are therefore not measurable by the scientific method - they are patterns of thought, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that thought is neurological activity. That activity can be measured, and with time and sufficient data a pattern could be built to the degree that we can say "that pattern there is belief in a deity", and "that pattern there is logical reasoning".

That faith and belief are beyond current scientific understanding does not automatically mean that they are beyond the scientific method in principle.

Quote:
The beauty of a flower or the song of a bird cannot be quantified by science: my point is that science is not the only measure of experience.


Again, patterns of thought and experience, and therefore entirely possibly decipherable by science, one day.

O.
cyberman

Outrider wrote:
could be....  entirely possibly....  one day.

O.


Right. Could be. Maybe. Maybe not.
Lexilogio

genghiscant wrote:
Anyway, back to the question. I think a fear of death has something to do with a belief in a God & an afterlife. It's absolutely certain that faith has no logic to it. To believe in something that cannot be sensed in anyway, by anything, has all the appearance of delusion.


No - I don't fear death.

My faith is there because for me, God is an unshakeable reality. I went through a time when I deconstructed everything I believed, but I could never shake my belief that God existed.
genghiscant

Are you able to tell me why you believe in God? I find it very difficult to understand as I can find no reason to believe.
Leonard James

Quote:
Whether these traits are seen as positive or negative is only important once you have demonstrated that your gross generalisations are grounded in fact by producing the evidence that supports such assertions in the first place.

Which is something that you still haven't done.

I base my affirmations on my own observations and reflections. That they seem correct to me and not you is neither here nor there.

I can only change my opinions if presented with arguments or evidence to the contrary.
BashfulAnthony

I believe in God because I cannot conceive of a universe like ours, and a world like ours, with its massive complexities and containing humans capable of reaching the stars, metaphorically and probably literally one day, being the product of blind chance.  There is NO evidence of similar anywhere in the cosmos.  I feel sympathy for those who cannot accept this and are content to be regarded as a freak of "nature."

I also believe wholeheartedly in the teachings of Jesus.
gone

I think the universe is just as likely to have come about by some other means than at the instigation of some deity. One day, probably well into the future, humans might discover exactly how it came about and say, "Of course, now we know it is so obvious!"
Leonard James

BashfulAnthony wrote:
I believe in God because I cannot conceive of a universe like ours, and a world like ours, with its massive complexities and containing humans capable of reaching the stars, metaphorically and probably literally one day, being the product of blind chance.  There is NO evidence of similar anywhere in the cosmos.  I feel sympathy for those who cannot accept this and are content to be regarded as a freak of "nature."

So you cannot conceive of a complex universe coming into being by chance, and yet you can conceive of a being who would have to be much more complex doing so.  How curious!

Quote:
I also believe wholeheartedly in the teachings of Jesus.

So do I, mostly, but feel he was mistaken in believing in the Jewish God.
BashfulAnthony

Leonard James wrote:
BashfulAnthony wrote:
I believe in God because I cannot conceive of a universe like ours, and a world like ours, with its massive complexities and containing humans capable of reaching the stars, metaphorically and probably literally one day, being the product of blind chance.  There is NO evidence of similar anywhere in the cosmos.  I feel sympathy for those who cannot accept this and are content to be regarded as a freak of "nature."

So you cannot conceive of a complex universe coming into being by chance, and yet you can conceive of a being who would have to be much more complex doing so.  How curious!

Quote:
I also believe wholeheartedly in the teachings of Jesus.

So do I, mostly, but feel he was mistaken in believing in the Jewish God.


It may be curious; but whatever  you choose to believe, it's curious!
Leonard James

BashfulAnthony wrote:

It may be curious; but whatever  you choose to believe, it's curious!

As you know, Bash, I don't believe you can choose to believe, but apart from that some beliefs are curiouser than others. (with apologies to Lewis Caroll. )
hupo

genghiscant wrote:
Anyway, back to the question. I think a fear of death has something to do with a belief in a God & an afterlife. It's absolutely certain that faith has no logic to it. To believe in something that cannot be sensed in anyway, by anything, has all the appearance of delusion.


Yes, it could have that appearance but how about:
I believe in God because I decided to believe in God. No facts. Can't prove it.
If I could, it would be science, not faith.

Naturally one would ask: What made you make that decision?
I don't know really. It doesn't even make sense yet I did and I am quite happy with the decision.

The reason I am talking about myself and not anyone else is that I believe I am a witness on this planet, not a judge. I wouldn't presume to know why others believe or not.

But it is an interesting point... Have to admit. I'm sure there are reasons...
Leonard James

Hi Hupo,
Quote:
I believe in God because I decided to believe in God.

That's interesting ... it's quite beyond me to do so. I can only believe something if my reason tells me there is sufficient evidence for it.

Can you decide to believe in any other gods, or only the Christian one?
hupo

Leonard James wrote:
Hi Hupo,
Quote:
I believe in God because I decided to believe in God.

That's interesting ... it's quite beyond me to do so. I can only believe something if my reason tells me there is sufficient evidence for it.

Can you decide to believe in any other gods, or only the Christian one?


Of course I can. Anyone can. This is the beauty of that gift of free choice that God gave us.
He obviously doesn't want us as zombies

(It says a lot for this forum )

It means quite a bit of responsibility on our part, doesn't it?
Leonard James

hupo wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Hi Hupo,
Quote:
I believe in God because I decided to believe in God.

That's interesting ... it's quite beyond me to do so. I can only believe something if my reason tells me there is sufficient evidence for it.

Can you decide to believe in any other gods, or only the Christian one?


Of course I can. Anyone can. This is the beauty of that gift of free choice that God gave us.
He obviously doesn't want us as zombies

(It says a lot for this forum )

It means quite a bit of responsibility on our part, doesn't it?

Oh dear, my friend, it seems that I am lacking in the ability. Maybe I'm a mutation?
hupo

Leonard James wrote:

Oh dear, my friend, it seems that I am lacking in the ability. Maybe I'm a mutation?


From what I read in your posts, you are far from lacking in the ability to make decisions, but even if you were, that would be a decision too, no?

(but you know what.... I won't tell if you won't   )
Leonard James

Hi Hupo,
hupo wrote:
Leonard James wrote:

Oh dear, my friend, it seems that I am lacking in the ability. Maybe I'm a mutation?


From what I read in your posts, you are far from lacking in the ability to make decisions, but even if you were, that would be a decision too, no?

(but you know what.... I won't tell if you won't   )

Sadly, I can only make decisions that don't crash head-on with my ability to reason.

For example, my reason looks at the evidence for flying saucers, and finds it wanting. I cannot then decide to believe that there really are genuine flying saucers ... the most I can do is say that there is a remote possibility that they exist, but that possibility is too slight for me to take it seriously, however hard I try.

It's the same with supernatural gods of any description.
Shaker

BashfulAnthony wrote:
I believe in God because I cannot conceive of a universe like ours, and a world like ours, with its massive complexities and containing humans capable of reaching the stars, metaphorically and probably literally one day, being the product of blind chance.


Humans aren't the products of blind chance, though. They're the products of what the great French biologist Jacques Monod called chance and necessity - genetic chance plus environmental necessity. In short, evolution by natural selection.

Quote:
There is NO evidence of similar anywhere in the cosmos.

What of it? What evidence is there for any gods?
Quote:
I feel sympathy for those who cannot accept this and are content to be regarded as a freak of "nature."

Argument from incredulity ... logical fallacy, I'm afraid.

Quote:
I also believe wholeheartedly in the teachings of Jesus.

... which is irrelevant to believing in God, of course.
BashfulAnthony

Quote:
I also believe wholeheartedly in the teachings of Jesus.

... which is irrelevant to believing in God, of course.


Not so.  The core of Jesus' teaching was about the Kingdom of God.  I accept Jesus' teachings in their entirety, and that encompasses a belief in God. Jesus was the Son of God, not merely a teacher who had a good slant on things.
Shaker

BashfulAnthony wrote:
Not so.  The core of Jesus' teaching was about the Kingdom of God. I accept Jesus' teachings in their entirety, and that encompasses a belief in God.

Are you sure about that - in their entirety?

Quote:
Jesus was the Son of God

We'll need to see some evidence of that.
Quote:
not merely a teacher who had a good slant on things.

That's precisely what some people consider him to have been, no more.
SceptiKarl

I do find Bashy's view, that the universe, Earth etc., couldn't have about by chance and therefore it was created, a strange one. Modern cosmology has  pretty good natural explanations for how the universe has evolved back to within fractions of a second after the big bang. Alright, that is still a mystery although people like Hawking, Mlodinov, Krauss and others think it can be explained by M Theory.

Yes, yes, there is loads still to be found out, and we may never see the end of it, but to insert a deity as a cause for the universe actually complicates the picture and asks more questions than it solves.

The perpetual motion machine that is God actually defies the known laws of physics, and of course the religios have their escape clause that God isn't subject to these laws. How very convenient! An undetectable deity that can wield almost infinite power over the material world, and is also unexplainable! How this entity came about is also side stepped by the religios, because He is eternal!

I'm afraid that I just find that too much to swallow. IMO religious ideas are mistaken in the extreme!

Shaker

Superb post, Karl  
Lexilogio

SceptiKarl wrote:
I do find Bashy's view, that the universe, Earth etc., couldn't have about by chance and therefore it was created, a strange one. Modern cosmology has  pretty good natural explanations for how the universe has evolved back to within fractions of a second after the big bang. Alright, that is still a mystery although people like Hawking, Mlodinov, Krauss and others think it can be explained by M Theory.

Yes, yes, there is loads still to be found out, and we may never see the end of it, but to insert a deity as a cause for the universe actually complicates the picture and asks more questions than it solves.

The perpetual motion machine that is God actually defies the known laws of physics, and of course the religios have their escape clause that God isn't subject to these laws. How very convenient! An undetectable deity that can wield almost infinite power over the material world, and is also unexplainable! How this entity came about is also side stepped by the religios, because He is eternal!

I'm afraid that I just find that too much to swallow. IMO religious ideas are mistaken in the extreme!



Interesting.

I find that the origins of the Universe to be complex anyway - with or without God in the equation - and by the time you start looking at quarks, particularly in relation to the Big Bang Theory, and not to mention dimensional theory..... it's ......big?

So I don't find there is enough evidence to take God out of the equation.
Leonard James

Quote:
So I don't find there is enough evidence to take God out of the equation.

Difficult to answer since nobody seems prepared to say what 'God' is.
Lexilogio

Leonard James wrote:
Quote:
So I don't find there is enough evidence to take God out of the equation.

Difficult to answer since nobody seems prepared to say what 'God' is.


We can't even say categorically what the Universe is yet - and God is bigger (metaphorically) than that!
hupo

Lexilogio wrote:

I don't find there is enough evidence to take God out of the equation.

Which leaves us with "free choice" to decide what we believe in.
Personally I believe there is a God even as described in the bible.
But of course I can't prove it, which brings it all down to "Faith".

I do believe also that God's existence or non-existence is totally independent of what we think, say or do about it
But it's a good academic debate anyway
Leonard James

Lexilogio wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Quote:
So I don't find there is enough evidence to take God out of the equation.

Difficult to answer since nobody seems prepared to say what 'God' is.


We can't even say categorically what the Universe is yet - and God is bigger (metaphorically) than that!

And so on ad infinitum.
hupo

Leonard James wrote:

Difficult to answer since nobody seems prepared to say what 'God' is.


The Buddhists have a saying that "the Tao that can be explained is not the real Tao" and I think it fits the question as to "what God is"
I'm saying this with the danger of having it described as a cop-out
SceptiKarl

Thanks for the compliment Shaker!

Personally I can't find a reason to bring God into the equation.

I suppose that's up to people like W. L Craig to bring in the Kalam cosmological argument, first cause and all that, but because it's asserted without evidence , it can equally be dismissed without evidence.

Just as a brief look back over what was commonly thought 110 years ago.

Flight in heavier than air machines is impossible.

Electrons?          What the hell are they?

Gravity?           Well it seems Newton got it mostly right, but there are problems.

Relativity?         Never heard of it.

Quantum physics?             Who's this Max Plank guy anyway?

Uncertainty Principle?           What?

Nuclear fission / fusion?          Sorry, what did you say?

Tectonic plates?                     Are they fine porcelain from Japan?

Continental drift?                  Well we all know Wagner was crazy, and this Wegner guy seems to be the same way!

The "fine tuning" of nature's known constants?                      Well I've no idea what you're talking about but if the theologians can twist it to support the impossible, then it must be God's will.

Darwin?                           Oh dear! Did he really end being buried in Westminster Abbey after all that natural selection stuff?

Knowledge moves on. Religious ideas are stuck in the past.

Samuel Vimes

SceptiKarl wrote:
Religious ideas are stuck in the past.
SceptiKarl wrote:
because it's asserted without evidence , it can equally be dismissed without evidence


SceptiKarl

Sam obviously disagrees that religious ideas are stuck in the past. (no need for all those quote boxes).

OK Sam.

Q. Heretics should be burnt at the stake.

Perhaps Sam could give us the latest sophisticated theology on that one?

Q. Galileo was well treated by the Inquisition.

Holy Joe seems to think so.

Q. Eating forbidden fruit caused sin.

Obviously that particular fruit wasn't part of the 5 a day regime?

Q. The universe was created by God in 6 days.

Come on Sam, stick up for that one!

So yes, my position stands. Religion is stuck in the past with concepts that are irreconcilable with modern knowledge. Sam can sneer as much as he likes, but let's see if he answers any of the above points.
Samuel Vimes

SceptiKarl wrote:
Sam obviously disagrees that religious ideas are stuck in the past. (no need for all those quote boxes).


I didn't say that I disagreed (I accept that certain sections of the religious are very stuck in the past) but merely pointed out that you have asserted this without offering any evidence and therefore, according to your rules, this assertion can be ignored.

I note that you have countered this with further un-evidenced assertion.  
SceptiKarl

Sam, I have given 4 examples of how religious ideas are stuck in the past. I could post many more. Yet you call this assertion without evidence, and can therefore be safely ignored.

Perhaps you would like to counter my examples with your own examples of up to date religious ideas?

In the meantime I will still regard religion as part of the dead hand of the past.
Samuel Vimes

SceptiKarl wrote:
Sam, I have given 4 examples of how religious ideas are stuck in the past.


No you haven't. You have given 4 statements, some of which may or may not be believed by some of those with a religious faith.

What you have not done is offered evidence of your assertion that
Quote:
Religious ideas are stuck in the past.


I would accept that some religious ideas held by some people are firmly rooted in the past, but that isn't what you said, is it?  
SceptiKarl

OK let's try again for Sam's sake.

I hereby formally assert that religious ideas are stuck in the past.

As evidence for my assertion I point to:

1) The idea contained in the Bible that the Earth was created in 6 days.

This idea belongs in the past as it has been thoroughly discredited by science.

2) The idea that eating forbidden fruit caused the downfall of humanity.

Eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is an important part of a healthy diet. There is no evidence of any fruit being "forbidden", except of course known poisonous ones which are best avoided. Nor is there any evidence that eating fruit caused any downfall of humanity. The idea is stuck in the past.

3) Burning heretics is good and morally right.

Even the church has moved on this one, although plenty of Muslims still believe in stoning as punishment. Nevertheless, murdering people of the wrong or no faith was / is a disgusting method of enforcing behaviour onto people, and belongs in the past.

4) Galileo was well treated by the Inquisition.

An idea endorsed by the current Pope who feels Galileo was treated appropriately for the times in which he lived. The fact that Galileo's observations were correct and that the RCC was wrong about an Earth centred universe, shows the RCC to be behind the times in its thinking, i.e. of the past. It took over 300 years for the RCC to apologise for its treatment of Galileo.

OK Sam, assertion finished.
hupo

SceptiKarl wrote:
OK let's try again for Sam's sake.

I hereby formally assert that religious ideas are stuck in the past.

As evidence for my assertion I point to:

1) The idea contained in the Bible that the Earth was created in 6 days.

This idea belongs in the past as it has been thoroughly discredited by science.


Your assertion is based on science. Science is based on facts. There is no evidence that a "day" in creation time was 24 hours. Especially when we talk about the first 3 days before God created the sun and the moon.
Now I am not saying a "day" wasn't 24 hours. All I am saying is it is not a scientific fact and therefore drills a little hole in your assertion.

Personally, although I believe in God, I do not understand enough to make any assertive statements. All I have is faith
Samuel Vimes

SceptiKarl wrote:
OK let's try again for Sam's sake.

I hereby formally assert that religious ideas are stuck in the past.

As evidence for my assertion I point to:

1) The idea contained in the Bible that the Earth was created in 6 days.

This idea belongs in the past as it has been thoroughly discredited by science.

2) The idea that eating forbidden fruit caused the downfall of humanity.

Eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is an important part of a healthy diet. There is no evidence of any fruit being "forbidden", except of course known poisonous ones which are best avoided. Nor is there any evidence that eating fruit caused any downfall of humanity. The idea is stuck in the past.

3) Burning heretics is good and morally right.

Even the church has moved on this one, although plenty of Muslims still believe in stoning as punishment. Nevertheless, murdering people of the wrong or no faith was / is a disgusting method of enforcing behaviour onto people, and belongs in the past.

4) Galileo was well treated by the Inquisition.

An idea endorsed by the current Pope who feels Galileo was treated appropriately for the times in which he lived. The fact that Galileo's observations were correct and that the RCC was wrong about an Earth centred universe, shows the RCC to be behind the times in its thinking, i.e. of the past. It took over 300 years for the RCC to apologise for its treatment of Galileo.

OK Sam, assertion finished.


Yes, four assertions of four things that are individually believed by some theists that you consider to be "stuck in the past".

Hardly a proof of your grand assertion that:
SkeptiKarl wrote:
Religious ideas are stuck in the past.


genghiscant

Quote:
There is no evidence that a "day" in creation time was 24 hours.


Surely, when the Bible was written a "day" was 24hrs.
hupo

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
There is no evidence that a "day" in creation time was 24 hours.


Surely, when the Bible was written a "day" was 24hrs.


Why do you say that?
If we go by the bible at all, it says God created the sun and the moon on the 4th day. What does that make the first 3 "days"?
A 24 hour day as we know it is based on the sun rising and setting and rising again, the natural way of perceiving time before the Swiss watch was invented
SceptiKarl

hupo:

Quote:
Your assertion is based on science. Science is based on facts. There is no evidence that a "day" in creation time was 24 hours. Especially when we talk about the first 3 days before God created the sun and the moon.
Now I am not saying a "day" wasn't 24 hours. All I am saying is it is not a scientific fact and therefore drills a little hole in your assertion.



Considering the period in which Genesis was written, a "day" meant the period from, say noon to the next noon. Some religios have interpretted "day" as meaning a thousand years, but even then the 6 day creation of Genesis is well short of the 4.5 billion year age of the Earth. If the author meant "1000 years" why didn't he write it? I suggest because the author wanted to impart the power of the creator. Suggesting a 6000 year creation would suggest a bit of a slow coach creator. No. I think "day" meant eaxactly its common meaning, noon to next noon. No doubt hupo will be aware that at the time of the Earth's formation the "day" would have been considerably shorter then the present 24 hours, which is itself an approximation, as we have to have "leap seconds" every few years. If hupo is really interested in "days" perhaps s/he should have a look at sidereal days, which are different again, and relate to the Earth's position in its orbit in relation to distant stars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidereal_time

I'm afraid I'm unable to detect the hole which you claim to have drilled into my assertion that the idea of a 6 day creation belongs in the past.
SceptiKarl

Sam:

Quote:
Yes, four assertions of four things that are individually believed by some theists that you consider to be "stuck in the past".

Hardly a proof of your grand assertion that:


Religious ideas are stuck in the past

Well Sam, they are stuck in the past. Who claimed proof anyway? Not me, I just presented evidence for my assertion.

That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence (Hitchens). Now where were we on that God creating the universe topic?
genghiscant

Quote:
A 24 hour day as we know it is based on the sun rising and setting and rising again, the natural way of perceiving time before the Swiss watch was invented


Exactly how the people who wrote the Bible would have perceived a day.

If they wrote six days then they meant six days just like our days.
hupo

SceptiKarl wrote:
If the author meant "1000 years" why didn't he write it? I suggest because the author wanted to impart the power of the creator. Suggesting a 6000 year creation would suggest a bit of a slow coach creator. No. I think "day" meant eaxactly its common meaning, noon to next noon. No doubt hupo will be aware that at the time of the Earth's formation the "day" would have been considerably shorter then the present 24 hours, which is itself an approximation, as we have to have "leap seconds" every few years.


You do have a very logical mind, I'll grant you that

I notice quite a few questions, thinking and suggestions in your response.
That in itself shows a personal approach to what you are stating (Religious ideas belong to the past). If it is personal, it is just your view as opposed to other views.
Now while this is perfectly legit, it is a subjective way of looking at religion. Your personal view. Meaning - it is not factual!

Quote:
If hupo is really interested in "days" perhaps s/he should have a look at sidereal days, which are different again, and relate to the Earth's position in its orbit in relation to distant stars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidereal_time

Thanks for the link, I will read up on it.

You see, I live my life with at least one very good (in my eyes) answer to questions:  -  "I don't know"
It allows for so much expansion and learning. Stops one from getting stuck in mind-ruts etc.
To this end I have no problem with anyone telling me that religious ideas are stuck in the past. I just don't believe it to be true, is all.

Quote:
I'm afraid I'm unable to detect the hole which you claim to have drilled into my assertion that the idea of a 6 day creation belongs in the past.

All I am saying here is that your assertion is actually just an opinion, not related to facts. You could be right of course, and I don't believe that but this is all academic not scientific

The truth is what it is whether we know it or not. Our discussions cannot and will not change it.
My response to it: I don't know. I just believe

Thanks for your post. I like your logic even if I don't agree with it  
hupo

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
A 24 hour day as we know it is based on the sun rising and setting and rising again, the natural way of perceiving time before the Swiss watch was invented


Exactly how the people who wrote the Bible would have perceived a day.

If they wrote six days then they meant six days just like our days.


That is very logical.

Yet I believe God created the world. I rest my statement on belief not scientific fact. If  I was the only one who believes this, you could call me a nutcase and send me to the happy farm, but, and this is factual! There are millions who believe in creation. Are they all wrong? Are they all nuts?!

Apart from believing in creation, I also believe there is much we don't understand, both in science and theology. I believe there is something we haven't seen yet that closes this seemingly impossible gap between science and religion.

I know that is a lot of "believing" to base one's life on but who doesn't believe? I assure you that many don't have any idea of how a jet plane stays in the air, yet millions fly anyway. They trust or believe in soemthing they don't know and strangely enough, they manage pretty well, don't they?

As an aside: If everyone agreed with me I would die of boredom so thanks for disagreeing  
Lexilogio

The argument by those saying religion is stuck in the past is based on a literal interpretation of the text.

There are many different possibilities of metaphorical interpretation - although the centre is always that God created the world.
Samuel Vimes

SceptiKarl wrote:
Sam:

Quote:
Yes, four assertions of four things that are individually believed by some theists that you consider to be "stuck in the past".

Hardly a proof of your grand assertion that:


Religious ideas are stuck in the past

Well Sam, they are stuck in the past. Who claimed proof anyway? Not me, I just presented evidence for my assertion.


No you didn't, you just gave more assertion.  
hupo

Lexilogio wrote:
The argument by those saying religion is stuck in the past is based on a literal interpretation of the text.

There are many different possibilities of metaphorical interpretation - although the centre is always that God created the world.


Right!  and the funny thing is that even a million interpretations won't make a dent in the truth itself.... whatever it might be
Andy

I wonder if people who believe in God, and then have a frontal labotomy, continue to hold a belief in God?

I mean no implied insult.

But the frontal lobe of the brain which controls emotions, feelings and reactions is the part which is operated on in certain psychiactic cases. The removes that persons ability to respond emotionally or hold 'feelings'. So I wonder if that removes that persons notions of what God is, or of the relationship they had with God, being as their other relationships are at best redefined by the procedure if not removed.

I am sure the internet knows.
Shaker

Andy wrote:
I wonder if people who believe in God, and then have a frontal labotomy, continue to hold a belief in God?

I mean no implied insult.

But the frontal lobe of the brain which controls emotions, feelings and reactions is the part which is operated on in certain psychiactic cases. The removes that persons ability to respond emotionally or hold 'feelings'. So I wonder if that removes that persons notions of what God is, or of the relationship they had with God, being as their other relationships are at best redefined by the procedure if not removed.

I am sure the internet knows.


That's a fascinating possibility, Andy. I've heard of partial and sometimes amazingly drastic personality changes occurring after certain types of brain injury - the case of Phineas Gage is well known and similar things have happened after strokes, etc. where people have made a full or partial recovery but have been left speaking with a French accent despite never even having been to France, knowing anything about France or even knowing a word of the French language. All part of the brain's wiring and all very mysterious. As you say, there must be some research on this somewhere or other.
genghiscant

Quote:
I know that is a lot of "believing" to base one's life on but who doesn't believe? I assure you that many don't have any idea of how a jet plane stays in the air, yet millions fly anyway. They trust or believe in soemthing they don't know and strangely enough, they manage pretty well, don't they?


But if they wanted to know how a jet plane stays in the air, they could quite easily find out.
hupo

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
I know that is a lot of "believing" to base one's life on but who doesn't believe? I assure you that many don't have any idea of how a jet plane stays in the air, yet millions fly anyway. They trust or believe in soemthing they don't know and strangely enough, they manage pretty well, don't they?


But if they wanted to know how a jet plane stays in the air, they could quite easily find out.

I would say the same of at least some atheists that I know. If they really wanted to know they would read the bible and take it from there on in
hupo

Andy wrote:
I wonder if people who believe in God, and then have a frontal labotomy, continue to hold a belief in God?

Very interesting idea.....
Dangerous too.
Can you imagine someone having a frontal lobotomy suddenly believing in God after being an Atheist all his life?
genghiscant

Quote:
I would say the same of at least some atheists that I know. If they really wanted to know they would read the bible and take it from there on in


Lots of us have & took it to be a false dawn.
Shaker

hupo wrote:
I would say the same of at least some atheists that I know. If they really wanted to know they would read the bible and take it from there on in


What would they take from there on in - a book full of baseless assertions and fantastical claims? Please.
hupo

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
I would say the same of at least some atheists that I know. If they really wanted to know they would read the bible and take it from there on in


Lots of us have & took it to be a false dawn.


Fair enough. All it means is we disagree. No harm done.
hupo

Shaker wrote:
hupo wrote:
I would say the same of at least some atheists that I know. If they really wanted to know they would read the bible and take it from there on in


What would they take from there on in - a book full of baseless assertions and fantastical claims? Please.


Ah... yes. That is what faith is about: No scientific facts (usually) and fantastic... yes some fantastic claims!

So what would you say about the millions who believe in it, are we all crazy?

Depending on our view we are descendents of Adam and Eve or Mr. & Mrs. Ape
Whichever it is, we are  all one big happy family
genghiscant

I think for an atheist to believe something they're told would require as a  minimum, logic & reason

Faith that God exists & a belief in the Bible have neither. That's what it comes down to in the end, some people need reason & some don't.
hupo

genghiscant wrote:
I think for an atheist to believe something they're told would require as a  minimum, logic & reason

Faith that God exists & a belief in the Bible have neither. That's what it comes down to in the end, some people need reason & some don't.


Faith in God, for me, is a decision. Yes, I know there are believers who won't agree with me on this.
As for reason..... you know, sometimes things happen that are just pure amazing and I have no way of explaining it other than via Faith in a super natural God.
How would you explain a 120 mm mortar shell landing 50 cm away from you. Exploding. and not a scratch to be seen    
That was a personal experience, not someone telling me a story!

Maybe science can explain it with the theory of coincidences?
Leonard James

Hi Hupo,
Quote:
How would you explain a 120 mm mortar shell landing 50 cm away from you. Exploding. and not a scratch to be seen.

No disrespect intended, but it was just good luck, my friend. What about all the other guys that get killed or injured when something similar happens ... how are they different from you?
hupo

Leonard James wrote:
Hi Hupo,
Quote:
How would you explain a 120 mm mortar shell landing 50 cm away from you. Exploding. and not a scratch to be seen.

No disrespect intended, but it was just good luck, my friend. What about all the other guys that get killed or injured when something similar happens ... how are they different from you?


If I knew that I would be a scientist  

I don't believe in luck, and I definitely cannot explain the difference, if there is any.
I just point out facts, which to my understanding is the basis of science.
"luck" is not very reasonable, or scientific, is it?

But tell me, do atheists really not believe in any possibility of a supernatural God....or super natural something?
I would feel deprived of a big lump of possible knowledge of what makes the universe tick. Is science really the be-all and end-all of our knowledge? No para-logical possibilities?

A hint for me is the fact that the best science fiction books were written by down-to-earth, reasonable, calculated scientists
hupo

There is also something very refreshing about letting go

I'm sure many, including atheists, have taken part in extreme sport of some kind and at a moment in time, let go, and give themselves up to the unknown.

Why not do it on the spiritual level? Why limit ourselves?

The universe is ours to play in. We should have fun, don't you think?
Leonard James

hupo wrote:
If I knew that I would be a scientist  

You miss the point ... the question was rhetoric. The fact is that they are no different from you, they are just unlucky.
Quote:
I don't believe in luck, and I definitely cannot explain the difference, if there is any.

The only explanation possible if you believe that God saved you, is that he didn't in their case. Hardly a just God, would you say?
Quote:
I just point out facts, which to my understanding is the basis of science.
"luck" is not very reasonable, or scientific, is it?

No ... it's just another name for chance.
Quote:
But tell me, do atheists really not believe in any possibility of a supernatural God....or super natural something?

Only the narrow-minded ones. Nobody knows whether there is or not ... but we each judge according to the evidence offered, and for me that evidence is unconvincing.
Quote:
I would feel deprived of a big lump of possible knowledge of what makes the universe tick. Is science really the be-all and end-all of our knowledge?

It is the only method we have of finding out things about the universe and ourselves.
Quote:
No para-logical possibilities?

For example?
Quote:
A hint for me is the fact that the best science fiction books were written by down-to-earth, reasonable, calculated scientists

I didn't know that, but I suppose a knowledge of science is useful when you are a fiction writer to avoid creating implausible stories.
splashscuba

genghiscant wrote:
I think for an atheist to believe something they're told would require as a  minimum, logic & reason

You are attributing qualities to all atheists here. Just to be clear. The only thing all atheists are likely agree on is a lack of belief in gods.

Not all atheists, however, will necessarily use logic & reason
hupo

Leonard James wrote:

The only explanation possible (luck) if you believe that God saved you, is that he didn't in their case. Hardly a just God, would you say?

We are at base one, the view that God exists (or not) at all. We haven't got to His character yet. But to respond to your question, I have a lot of questions to ask God, why every first born should be killed, in Egypt, even if they are 2 years old? Why the Holocaust? I ask these questions knowing that God can take them. Believe it or not but followers of God do, for the most part, ask hard questions, even as Job did in the bible itself.

Quote:
Quote:
But tell me, do atheists really not believe in any possibility of a supernatural God....or super natural something?

Only the narrow-minded ones. Nobody knows whether there is or not ... but we each judge according to the evidence offered, and for me that evidence is unconvincing.

To me that is a very acceptable answer


Quote:
Quote:
(what makes the universe tick). No para-logical possibilities?

For example?

By para-logical I mean things such as written by Ospensky (One of Gurjieff's brilliant students) who wrote the book "A new model of the Universe" - in it he explains a possible explanation to mysterious stuff such as the "Bermuda triangle". He mentions the 4th dimension and expands it from a linear one-dimension to a body of time with it's own 3 dimensions. This could easily explain the big debate of the 6 days of creation, for instance.

As of now it is all beyond regular human logic, yet it makes a lot of sense in other levels of reasoning. All this to say that we don't have to limit ourselves to reason and logic. there are things beyond that and maybe, just maybe there is a supernatural being out there somewhere.....
Outrider

hupo wrote:
We are at base one, the view that God exists (or not) at all. We haven't got to His character yet. But to respond to your question, I have a lot of questions to ask God, why every first born should be killed, in Egypt, even if they are 2 years old? Why the Holocaust? I ask these questions knowing that God can take them. Believe it or not but followers of God do, for the most part, ask hard questions, even as Job did in the bible itself.


For some us there just doesn't seem to be any way that anyone could justify allowing these to happen and still considering themselves 'good' - it makes God seem implausible

Quote:
By para-logical I mean things such as written by Ospensky (One of Gurjieff's brilliant students) who wrote the book "A new model of the Universe" - in it he explains a possible explanation to mysterious stuff such as the "Bermuda triangle". He mentions the 4th dimension and expands it from a linear one-dimension to a body of time with it's own 3 dimensions. This could easily explain the big debate of the 6 days of creation, for instance.


Except that there isn't really any mystery to the 'Bermuda Triangle'. Given the weather there and the frequency of shipping and air travel in the area, it doesn't contribute to the accident figures for transport beyond what would be expected.

There is no need for an explanation of the 6-Day creation - it is either absolute myth or it is allegory, whether deliberately or due to mistranslation of God's intent by imperfect human reproduction.

Quote:
As of now it is all beyond regular human logic, yet it makes a lot of sense in other levels of reasoning. All this to say that we don't have to limit ourselves to reason and logic. there are things beyond that and maybe, just maybe there is a supernatural being out there somewhere...


There is no way of knowing if there is anything beyond 'reason and logic' - there isn't even a way of knowing absolutely if there is anything within reason and logic, but on balance of probabilities it seems likely that those things we can consistently measure or can reason from evidence have some validity: things that we can only arrive at through assumption or conjecture need to be viewed with a high degree of scepticism.

O.
Leonard James

hupo wrote:
We are at base one, the view that God exists (or not) at all. We haven't got to His character yet. But to respond to your question, I have a lot of questions to ask God, why every first born should be killed, in Egypt, even if they are 2 years old? Why the Holocaust? I ask these questions knowing that God can take them. Believe it or not but followers of God do, for the most part, ask hard questions, even as Job did in the bible itself.

But if he never gives you an answer it is reasonable to conclude that he isn't there, isn't it?
Quote:
By para-logical I mean things such as written by Ospensky (One of Gurjieff's brilliant students) who wrote the book "A new model of the Universe" - in it he explains a possible explanation to mysterious stuff such as the "Bermuda triangle". He mentions the 4th dimension and expands it from a linear one-dimension to a body of time with it's own 3 dimensions. This could easily explain the big debate of the 6 days of creation, for instance.

I'm sorry, my friend, but that all sounds like gobbledygook to me. I have no doubt that many different explanations can be offered by imaginative people, but if there is not a scrap of evidence to support those explanations, and no way to test their veracity what use are they?
Quote:
As of now it is all beyond regular human logic, yet it makes a lot of sense in other levels of reasoning. All this to say that we don't have to limit ourselves to reason and logic. there are things beyond that and maybe, just maybe there is a supernatural being out there somewhere.....

Pure supposition.
hupo

Outrider wrote:
(questions to God)For some us there just doesn't seem to be any way that anyone could justify allowing these to happen and still considering themselves 'good' - it makes God seem implausible

"good" and "bad" is not an absolute thing with human beings. It became a value through the bible. To this day we are not under any concensus as to what these terms actually mean. Different people, nations, countries, cultures, all see "good" and "bad" in different ways. So to my mind it is something important to deal with and clarify for our selves. I personally do this mainly via scripture.
Different views will have to be compromised if we are to live together, else we will have  'Jihads" and other "holy excuses" popping up everywhere.

Quote:
There is no need for an explanation of the 6-Day creation - it is either absolute myth or it is allegory, whether deliberately or due to mistranslation of God's intent by imperfect human reproduction.

Saying it this way cuts out any other option, which is fine if that is what one believes in. I don't, so allow me to differ with you on this.

Quote:
There is no way of knowing if there is anything beyond 'reason and logic' - there isn't even a way of knowing absolutely if there is anything within reason and logic, but on balance of probabilities it seems likely that those things we can consistently measure or can reason from evidence have some validity: things that we can only arrive at through assumption or conjecture need to be viewed with a high degree of scepticism.

Very true there is no known way of knowing if there is anything beyond reason and logic. Yet I like keeping the "unreasonable" doors open rather than shutting them with skepticism

Jule Vern did that and today we have submarines  
Shaker

hupo wrote:
"good" and "bad" is not an absolute thing with human beings. It became a value through the bible.


There was no good and bad before there was a Bible?
hupo

Leonard James wrote:

But if he (God) never gives you an answer it is reasonable to conclude that he isn't there, isn't it?

Yes, it is very reasonable, but not necesarily the truth. You see, if God is beyond reason, which I believe He is, it stands to reason ( ) that a reasonable approach to God is unreasonable. (Sorry but I couldn't resist that smiley - it does sounds nuts!)

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( Ospensky) I'm sorry, my friend, but that all sounds like gobbledygook to me. I have no doubt that many different explanations can be offered by imaginative people, but if there is not a scrap of evidence to support those explanations, and no way to test their veracity what use are they?

First, you don't need to apologize (to me at least) about the way you see things. I have enough friends who think I'm nuts
What are these theories? Well, I find them mind stimulating at the very least. They trigger off ways of seeing life that I have never thought of. Is this useful? Time will tell I guess but as we are at the same place, seeing things through different glasses, who's to know which is the "right" way?
We choose and in this case you go one way and I go the other. Not a real problem.

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As of now it is all beyond regular human logic, yet it makes a lot of sense in other levels of reasoning. All this to say that we don't have to limit ourselves to reason and logic. there are things beyond that and maybe, just maybe there is a supernatural being out there somewhere.....

Pure supposition.
 

That is true!  But who's to say it's the wrong one?

Don't you think it's an exciting life where we can choose what to believe in?
hupo

Shaker wrote:
hupo wrote:
"good" and "bad" is not an absolute thing with human beings. It became a value through the bible.


There was no good and bad before there was a Bible?


Not to my knowledge. Even in the bible it shows how people conducted their lives according to needs. Killing people and other activities we consider "bad" was a common thing in those days.

The Bible was written as a manual for people to live by and most of the world does, in some form or the other, even if they don't believe in the bible itself.

I consider the bible, a written word from God. God's word existed way before the actual physical bible was written
Leonard James

Hi again Hupo,
Quote:
Don't you think it's an exciting life where we can choose what to believe in?

I suppose it might be, but nobody can do it, can they?
hupo

Leonard James wrote:
Hi again Hupo,
Quote:
Don't you think it's an exciting life where we can choose what to believe in?

I suppose it might be, but nobody can do it, can they?


You don't think we have the option to choose?
Is that what you mean?
Pukon_the_Treen

hupo,

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You don't think we have the option to choose?


I do not see how anyone can choose what to believe in. As far as I know, when trying to decide what's true and what isn't, or what's real and what isn't, people look at the available evidence and then they are drawn towards the conclusion that seems to them most plausible and likely based on their own experience, reason and understanding of how the universe works. Where does choice come into it? You are free to choose which ideas, theories and philosophies you study, but at the end of the day your belief in them is not a matter of willpower or choice.

If you do not agree, why don't you give it a try? Why don't you choose now to believe something that you don't currently believe?
Ketty

Seeing is believing, true, and in addition for some of us, believing is seeing.  If there is a genuine will/desire, it is possible to believe and then to see.

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