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Faith and evidence for God.
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Author Topic: Faith and evidence for God.  (Read 51461 times)
rwpikul
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« on: March 24, 2008, 19:56:31 EDT »

It doesn't change the fact that those who cherry-pick from it are not using the bible as it should be used. And the so-called contradictions of the gospels are just the perspectives and musings of the ones who wrote them. That's why Matthew, Mark, Luke and John need to be read together; to find the truth among their varied perspectives. Quoting one of them for any specific thing is about as useful as quoting Jerry Springer on political issues.

How do you decide when they make direct contradictions?  When you have two clear statements that are mutually incompatible, which is right?  It's one thing when the contradiction is simply background trivia, but when you end up with different rules for how to live your life....

Also, you're committing an is-ought fallacy.  Saying that people shouldn't pick and choose does not address either the capability of doing so, or the existence of those who do.


As an aside, given your position on the Catholic church and thus your clear disagreement with Irenaeus of Lyons on more than just the issue of the continued use of the Old Testament, why do you use their selection of gospels?  Is it simply a matter of availability, or do you actually have a reason for discounting the others?


You work with the tools you have available. The Holy Spirit guides you to what is relevant and what isn't. The bible is a good book, considering what it is, but the truth of it only comes when you are guided by the hand of God.

Which brings us right into one of the steps of the classic biblical example for begging the question, or possibly the trivial theistic example.

(The next step being the answer to a question along the lines of:  "How do you know that whatever is guiding you is God?")

Quote from: Darkeforce
But of course, you're going to discount that as bunk, since you have to see something to believe in it (like air).

You mean you _can't_ see air?  I see it all the time, the same way anyone sees anything:  Be observing the effect it has on the light which it interacts with.

More seriously:  To rationally believe in things, evidence  for it, and the possibility of evidence against it, is required.  There is a lot of very good evidence for the existence of air, and there are many conceivable tests that would have different results if air did not exist.


As to contradictions and so on: you have to remember that the Gospels were primary sources, accounts of Christ's ministry as witnessed by four disciples, and as with all witness accounts there are going to be discrepancies and even outright contradictions.

Not quite:  John is far too late to have apostolic authorship, (between 90-100 CE), and there isn't even a claim for such with Luke and Acts, (Luke the Evangelist was only a disciple of the apostles, and there is doubt that he wrote them).  Luke is also largely based on Mark with a significant amount of material from either Matthew or another, lost, source.  Matthew is also largely based on Mark and current evidence is that the Catholic ascription of authorship to Matthew the Evangelist is incorrect and that the author was a non-witness, (the gospel itself was written anonymously), there is also the possibility that the shared material with Luke came from the lost source mentioned.  Mark is, like Luke, not claimed to be of apostolic authorship, Mark the Evangelist was a companion of Peter.

Of course, there is always the question of "were there actually events to be an eyewitness to?"  as the gospels are the only sources that date to the first century.
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2008, 18:07:18 EDT »

It doesn't change the fact that those who cherry-pick from it are not using the bible as it should be used. And the so-called contradictions of the gospels are just the perspectives and musings of the ones who wrote them. That's why Matthew, Mark, Luke and John need to be read together; to find the truth among their varied perspectives. Quoting one of them for any specific thing is about as useful as quoting Jerry Springer on political issues.

How do you decide when they make direct contradictions?  When you have two clear statements that are mutually incompatible, which is right?  It's one thing when the contradiction is simply background trivia, but when you end up with different rules for how to live your life....

Also, you're committing an is-ought fallacy.  Saying that people shouldn't pick and choose does not address either the capability of doing so, or the existence of those who do.


As an aside, given your position on the Catholic church and thus your clear disagreement with Irenaeus of Lyons on more than just the issue of the continued use of the Old Testament, why do you use their selection of gospels?  Is it simply a matter of availability, or do you actually have a reason for discounting the others?


You work with the tools you have available. The Holy Spirit guides you to what is relevant and what isn't. The bible is a good book, considering what it is, but the truth of it only comes when you are guided by the hand of God.

Which brings us right into one of the steps of the classic biblical example for begging the question, or possibly the trivial theistic example.

(The next step being the answer to a question along the lines of:  "How do you know that whatever is guiding you is God?")

Quote from: Darkeforce
But of course, you're going to discount that as bunk, since you have to see something to believe in it (like air).

You mean you _can't_ see air?  I see it all the time, the same way anyone sees anything:  Be observing the effect it has on the light which it interacts with.

Yet if you believe that with air, why is it so hard to apply the same rationale to God? I see the effect of God's presence in other people every day. If you can't disbelieve in air, then nor can you disbelieve in God.

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Medivh
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2008, 19:09:13 EDT »

You see God's effect on light? Might I suggest you go to your local hospital and ask to be inducted to the mental health ward?
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So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
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rwpikul
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2008, 20:43:51 EDT »

Quote from: Darkeforce
But of course, you're going to discount that as bunk, since you have to see something to believe in it (like air).

You mean you _can't_ see air?  I see it all the time, the same way anyone sees anything:  Be observing the effect it has on the light which it interacts with.

Yet if you believe that with air, why is it so hard to apply the same rationale to God? I see the effect of God's presence in other people every day. If you can't disbelieve in air, then nor can you disbelieve in God.

There are two key differences:

The evidence for God _SUCKS_, it's a collection of cherry-picked events, addition of an unneeded cause, appeals to privileged information, philosophical word games and outright question begging.  (And that's leaving out the various bits of fake evidence that has been manufactured over the millenniums.)

There is no conceivable observation which contradicts the existence of God.
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agharo
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008, 23:33:13 EDT »

Quote
There is no conceivable observation which contradicts the existence of God.

Here's a hint: that's kind of the point. How anyone expects to observe a supernatural being through purely natural means is beyond me.

Part of the "faith" is the ability to understand that your senses are incomplete, and you cannot see everything no matter how much you build, how much you enhance, however advanced your technology. It is the realization that you are ignorant, and will always be ignorant, because there is more to this world than purely natural events. There is more than what you see, feel, taste, touch.

You can't measure God, you can't observe God, any more than you can observe any other infinity. The Universe itself is large, but finite, and you'd be hard-pressed to find any astronomer or physicist who tells you different. Because it is finite, it can be reasoned that it exists in a larger expanse, possibly an infinite one. And because this is outside of our Universe, the laws of nature that apply here may not apply there.

And, furthermore, this infinite space (or just a much larger, finite space) will likely remain beyond our comprehension for all time, because it is so utterly beyond our ability to reach. This space is, by strict definition, super-natural or at least extra-natural. And just like this space, which is at once a logical conclusion and an absolutely unprovable, unobservable expanse, so is God a logical conclusion, but unprovable, unobservable.

This isn't because He doesn't exist, but because He is so far above and outside our natural means that we cannot see Him with our eyes, or any mechanical ones we build.
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Medivh
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2008, 00:50:06 EDT »

Agharo: Darke just claimed natural observable phenomena proves the existance of god.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
purplecat
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2008, 14:56:46 EDT »

Because it is finite, it can be reasoned that it exists in a larger expanse, possibly an infinite one.

Does not follow. just because the universe is finite, it doesn't mean that there is anything "outside" it. It also doesn't mean that the concept "outside the universe" has any meaning whatsoever.

Plus, if this god is completely undetectable by any human means, what difference is there between being completely undetectable and not actually existing. If you know an answer to this one, then please tell the invisible, intangible dragon that's hovering above your left ear. He'd love to know.
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agharo
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2008, 17:37:40 EDT »

Agharo: Darke just claimed natural observable phenomena proves the existance of god.

He said that he sees the effect of God in people. He said nothing to the effect of "air proves God", or anything like it.

The effect of God in people is more the effect in their lives that believing in God has had. A sense of inner peace, and happiness, and just general goodness. This doesn't claim any natural phenomenon; it claims that being with God has a positive effect on people. That much is natural. Can it be measured? If so, more by taking a poll than creating some sort of scope, because it is about how people feel, and how people act, than actually seeing some nimbus of light or whatnot.

Quote
Does not follow. just because the universe is finite, it doesn't mean that there is anything "outside" it. It also doesn't mean that the concept "outside the universe" has any meaning whatsoever.

Plus, if this god is completely undetectable by any human means, what difference is there between being completely undetectable and not actually existing. If you know an answer to this one, then please tell the invisible, intangible dragon that's hovering above your left ear. He'd love to know.

I said that it could be reasoned as such, not that it must be so. It is, as such, entirely speculative, because we are unable to see outside the boundaries of our Universe.

Even if something cannot be detected, or measured, does not mean it has no effect. Given an entirely omnipotent being, literally all things are possible, including altering events in such a way so that the being's influence cannot be detected.

This is done, in the case of human events, by working through people, rather than just crashing through the sky and making it happen. People shape events, and God shapes people. Thus, God shapes events. That the event was made without appearing as if anything had changed is as much evidence for God as it is against it. Either there was no change, or the change had been so long in the making that entire lives were built specifically to lead to that event. Given an entirely omniscient and omnipotent being, both are possible.
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purplecat
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2008, 17:55:09 EDT »

That the event was made without appearing as if anything had changed is as much evidence for God as it is against it. Either there was no change, or the change had been so long in the making that entire lives were built specifically to lead to that event. Given an entirely omniscient and omnipotent being, both are possible.

An infinite number of things are possible, but given that situation, the causes of the situation should not be multiplied beyond necessity. If the god is not necessary, why invent it?
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2008, 18:41:58 EDT »

Quote from: Darkeforce
But of course, you're going to discount that as bunk, since you have to see something to believe in it (like air).

You mean you _can't_ see air?  I see it all the time, the same way anyone sees anything:  Be observing the effect it has on the light which it interacts with.

Yet if you believe that with air, why is it so hard to apply the same rationale to God? I see the effect of God's presence in other people every day. If you can't disbelieve in air, then nor can you disbelieve in God.

There are two key differences:

The evidence for God _SUCKS_, it's a collection of cherry-picked events, addition of an unneeded cause, appeals to privileged information, philosophical word games and outright question begging.  (And that's leaving out the various bits of fake evidence that has been manufactured over the millenniums.)

There is no conceivable observation which contradicts the existence of God.


Yet it's a very real presence that can be seen if you don't blind yourself with prejudice.
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2008, 18:44:54 EDT »

Agharo: Darke just claimed natural observable phenomena proves the existance of god.

Whee! There go the words put in my mouth again. It's a party, and everyone's prejudice is invited!

What I said was that God was observable. I did not say that you could see him in natural phenomena with purely "natural" perceptions.
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Medivh
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2008, 19:41:50 EDT »

You mean you _can't_ see air?  I see it all the time, the same way anyone sees anything:  Be observing the effect it has on the light which it interacts with.
Yet if you believe that with air, why is it so hard to apply the same rationale to God?

Direct claim to natural observable phenomena, by direct association with air.

The fact that you went on to claim non-natural phenomena doesn't negate this part of your argument.

Also: getting fairly sick of you screaming that no-one reads what you say, or puts words in your [hands|mouth]. Either you're being caught saying stupid things and are trying to cover that with "you interpreted me wrong", or you're not speaking plain English. Fix plz.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
Gizensha
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2008, 21:56:52 EDT »

Plus, if this god is completely undetectable by any human means, what difference is there between being completely undetectable and not actually existing. If you know an answer to this one, then please tell the invisible, intangible dragon that's hovering above your left ear. He'd love to know.

He'd also like to cuddle based on my experience of dragons. (Namely - Dragons are snugly)
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rwpikul
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2008, 01:10:20 EDT »

There are two key differences:

The evidence for God _SUCKS_, it's a collection of cherry-picked events, addition of an unneeded cause, appeals to privileged information, philosophical word games and outright question begging.  (And that's leaving out the various bits of fake evidence that has been manufactured over the millenniums.)

There is no conceivable observation which contradicts the existence of God.

Yet it's a very real presence that can be seen if you don't blind yourself with prejudice.

Well?

Let's see you present some evidence for this presence.

Or is this just an instance of the trivial theistic example of begging the question, (you believe God exists, because you believe God exists)?


Agharo: Darke just claimed natural observable phenomena proves the existance of god.

He said that he sees the effect of God in people.

Which is a natural, observable, phenomena.

Quote from: agharo
The effect of God in people is more the effect in their lives that believing in God has had. A sense of inner peace, and happiness, and just general goodness. This doesn't claim any natural phenomenon; it claims that being with God has a positive effect on people.

Being able to show an effect due to holding a belief, is not being able to show an effect due to the existence of the thing believed in.

To use an obvious example, people of many, completely incompatible, faiths are impacted by believing in those faiths.  This is true for all of them even though we know that some of them have to be completely wrong.

Quote
Does not follow. just because the universe is finite, it doesn't mean that there is anything "outside" it. It also doesn't mean that the concept "outside the universe" has any meaning whatsoever.

Plus, if this god is completely undetectable by any human means, what difference is there between being completely undetectable and not actually existing. If you know an answer to this one, then please tell the invisible, intangible dragon that's hovering above your left ear. He'd love to know.

I said that it could be reasoned as such, not that it must be so. It is, as such, entirely speculative, because we are unable to see outside the boundaries of our Universe.

Even if something cannot be detected, or measured, does not mean it has no effect.[/quote]

Well, actually it kind of _does_.  If there is an effect, there is something to measure.

Quote from: agharo
Given an entirely omnipotent being, literally all things are possible, including altering events in such a way so that the being's influence cannot be detected.

Thus you have something that can explain anything, which is equivalent to explaining nothing, (because there are no possible predictions from your explanation).
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2008, 18:05:02 EDT »

You mean you _can't_ see air?  I see it all the time, the same way anyone sees anything:  Be observing the effect it has on the light which it interacts with.
Yet if you believe that with air, why is it so hard to apply the same rationale to God?

Direct claim to natural observable phenomena, by direct association with air.

The fact that you went on to claim non-natural phenomena doesn't negate this part of your argument.

Also: getting fairly sick of you screaming that no-one reads what you say, or puts words in your [hands|mouth]. Either you're being caught saying stupid things and are trying to cover that with "you interpreted me wrong", or you're not speaking plain English. Fix plz.

Or perhaps you're putting words in my mouth, and not even realizing it. I said, quite clearly, that just as the effects of air can be observed, so can the effects of God.

removed ad homanim - rogue-kun

« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 20:50:40 EDT by rogue-kun » Logged

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