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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The problem is that this kind of Apologetics requires double-think.

    And double-think and intellectual integrity are strange bed fellows.
    as long as you are sure that it is the shade of gray that holds merit...


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I agree with this within the constraints of your framework.

    However, there is no universal law saying that:
    • God must be someone we look up to.
    • God must be good, noble, and virtuous
    • God must be rational
    • God must be consistent


    Those are all assumptions about God.

    In terms of making decisions about one's life, they seem reasonable; but in terms of rational logic, they cannot validate that the faith system is true. They're just constraints you've chosen to operate under because they seem to mesh with what you want to believe is true (which is fine, and I might even share some of those assumptions with you -- I just want to call a spade a spade).
    these are not laws but given the nature of humanity, they are more than fair conclusions...or call them assumptions, if you prefer

    someone we look up to -> the whole reason for God to exist from an atheist perspective and much of what a theist spent his life doing

    good, noble, virtuous -> as exemplified by the prophets in every major religion...

    rational -> the life lessons imparted in the scriptures are consistent with a brilliant teaching strategy...like a how-to manual for life

    consistent -> consistency as seen in the overall thoroughfare of mankind...this is the hardest one to convince oneself of but i think that God works mysterious ways and that there is ALWAYS a reason


    they cant invalidate the faith system either. people tried doing that with the Quaran but it didn't work because in the right context, God's word is...well, God's word.

    i realize that i have faith but i haven't spent nearly enough time or effort to even be worthy of mention as compared any of the enlighetened souls that i hold in high regard. i can't really use my dealings with life to discount his presence.

    my point being, i KNOW how, but i haven't PRACTICED the how ...so i havent expereienced...but i do believe.


    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    This is a very important distinction.


    The best way to find God/s is to seek his nonexistence. Conversely, the quickest way to overlook God is to try to explicitly assert his presence.


    Very insightful point, SW.

    not where God is concerned...unless you seek the nonexistance with an open and accepting mindframe

  2. #102
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ergophobe View Post
    Assuming there are multiple external pressures and influences, the suggestion would be to examine a set of acquired beliefs from as many perspectives as possible. Also use your internal powers of logic and/or feeling to distinguish between those logically inconsistent, poorly framed, poorly compassionate, poor explanations of the world as we observe it empirically. Both internalized logic and feeling provide enough basis to question any set of institutionalized religious beliefs.
    Logic is theoretically objective, such that it affords a direction towards a common conclusion. Feeling (subjective) cannot, as what is 'poor' to one may be just right to another. Thus, I cannot see using logic to question any set of institutionalized religious beliefs because if that was possible, it could/would have been concluded by now (if we assume logic to be an externally objective process to seeking truth). So, we are only left with feeling, and in this realm, the whole concept of questioning will be skewed by the motivation and subjective goal of the questioning in the first place, making the whole shebang redundant in finding some *universal* truth about beliefs.

    The best conclusion one can reach in this realm is: it works for me. Nothing more.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisGuy View Post
    as long as you are sure that it is the shade of gray that holds merit...
    It's true, I'm a black and while kind of guy.

    I had a friend, Alan, and we would argue philosophically long into the night. But our argument would always end up at the same spot. He would base his argument on the rainbow and I would base my argument on black and white.

    He was a great friend and I miss him, rainbows and all.

  4. #104
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Is it any wonder that people have issues with this? You need to step outside your own beliefs and theology if you want to grasp why people are taking issues with this sort of belief structure. As I mentioned in a response to you elsewhere today, the information you send through Ti is what determines outcome, but right now you're just sending "pro-Christian" ideas through and so you're not really grasping why people are having issues. You can still maintain your conclusions, but maybe putting yourself in someone else's mindframe would help you understand why they are saying these things.
    I have done my best to address, correct, and convey what Christian's believe while still being coherent and relevant to those with different beliefs.


    By the way, have you read my previous post's on this thread?




    ************************************************** **************


    A faith without some doubts is like a human body without antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic.

    I fully acknowledge that I wrestle with doubts.


    But even as Christians should learn to look for reasons behind their faith, you must look for a type of faith hidden within your reasoning. All doubts, however skeptical or cynical they may seem, are really a set of alternate beliefs. You cannot doubt Belief A except from a position of faith in Belief B. Every doubt, therefore, is based on a leap of faith.

    "I don't believe in Christianity because I can't accept the existence of moral absolutes. Everyone should should determine moral truth for his/her self."
    Is that a statement you can prove to someone who doesn't share it? No, it's a leap of faith, a deep believe that individual rights operate not only in the political sphere but also in the moral. There is no empirical proof for such a position. So the doubt (of moral absolutes) is a leap of faith.


    The only way to doubt Christianity rightly and fairly is to discern the alternate belief under each of your own doubts and then to ask yourself what reasons you have for believing it. How do you know your belief is true? It would be inconsistent to require more justification for Christian belief than you do for your own, but that's what is happening. In fairness you must doubt your own doubts. My thesis is that if you come to recognize the beliefs on which your doubts about Christianity are based, and if you seek as much proof for those beliefs as you seek from Christian's for theirs - you will discover that your doubts are not as solid as they first appeared.


    In the very end, even if you do remain the skeptic you've been, at very least you will hold your position with both greater clarity and greater humility. There will be an understanding, sympathy and respect for the other side that did not exist before. Believers and non-believers will rise to the level of disagreement rather than denouncing one another.

  5. #105
    Allergic to Mornings ergophobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Logic is theoretically objective, such that it affords a direction towards a common conclusion. Feeling (subjective) cannot, as what is 'poor' to one may be just right to another. Thus, I cannot see using logic to question any set of institutionalized religious beliefs because if that was possible, it could/would have been concluded by now (if we assume logic to be an externally objective process to seeking truth). So, we are only left with feeling, and in this realm, the whole concept of questioning will be skewed by the motivation and subjective goal of the questioning in the first place, making the whole shebang redundant in finding some *universal* truth about beliefs.

    The best conclusion one can reach in this realm is: it works for me. Nothing more.
    I couldn't disagree more and says more about how much you value feeling as a rational function. You wouldn't be an NT would you?

    It works for me is a fine basis for bolstering your own beliefs and it is okay to stop there. That is a completely subjective and closed viewpoint regardless from which way you look at it - from the perspective of the person expressing their faith as the leap of faith alone or the person accepting it as simply that and not open to questioing. If the bolstering is the only goal, by all means, sure. If the goal was to have a discussion, then it necessitates stepping outside of the faith to meet questioners half way in this discussion. I think you may be right in that this thread may have been envisioned as a pulpit.

    For the sake of argument:

    Analysis, particularly of unknown conditions such as the existence of God (can't be empirically proven or disproven) is always influenced by both subjective and objective logic. Objective logic, in itself, in my own opinion and experience, often leads people to reach quite different conclusions. So, by that token, there is, even if using objective logic, no single truth or conclusion to be reached necessarily simply by the use of this objective analysis.

    Both thinking and feeling can be used to derive principles for analysis. Feeling can be used in that we can use our ethical principles (not personal values), for example, compassion, to judge whether a set of beliefs that claim to meet that criterion does or not. Much like when using objective logic, you can have people reach different conclusions, you can also have that happen with ethical principles. Yet, this does not preclude us from discovering these principles or suggest that we shouldn't attempt to clarify what these principles are and apply them to understanding/questioning our belief systems.

    There are many people within faith who can do both: analyze their own beliefs using logic or feeling, thus understanding the limitations of the belief system and choose to recognize that parts of the larger belief system works for them, sometime contradictions included. One does not preclude the other.

  6. #106
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    This cannot be done practically because the very existence of the concept will always come from the 'outside'. It defies meta-cognition. A person born in isolation will never be aware that what he is contemplating is 'god' or not...unless he is aware of the concept in the first place. The seed will need to be planted someway, it can never come from inside without any outside influence. Ever.
    How do you know that?
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  7. #107
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ergophobe View Post
    You wouldn't be an NT would you?
    Nope, I'm an SJ.

    I couldn't disagree more and says more about how much you value feeling as a rational function.
    How did you deduce that I thought feeling to be an irrational function? Are you saying subjective means irrational?

    It works for me is a fine basis for bolstering your own beliefs and it is okay to stop there. That is a completely subjective and closed viewpoint regardless from which way you look at it - from the perspective of the person expressing their faith as the leap of faith alone or the person accepting it as simply that and not open to questioing. If the bolstering is the only goal, by all means, sure. If the goal was to have a discussion, then it necessitates stepping outside of the faith to meet questioners half way in this discussion.
    Why would 'it works for me' assume no questioning? Nor any outside discussion/questioning with others? Esp. if you recall that I originally entered this thread saying there is nothing independent in thought?

    What exactly are you assuming is meant by my statement 'it works for me'?

    Objective logic, in itself, in my own opinion and experience, often leads people to reach quite different conclusions.
    Well, in terms of the very definition of logic, it only deals in the realm of correct/incorrect, true/false given a certain premise/statement. So, multiple conclusions can only be reached if the premise allows for multiple conclusions. At the pinpoint of the argument regarding god, I cannot see multiple conclusions at the very basic level other than, either it is or isn't. Now, what 'god' is/can do, be, sing, can very well have premises that are not contingent on dichotomy with one another, hence, leading to multiple conclusions. But, the very basic question of belief, and, using the definition of what logic is....it's either right or wrong given a premise. Hence, my argument that you cannot use classical logic to base it on.

    What you can do, is, argue that the premise(s) to be set up is subjective in the first place, hence, multiple layers within premises (not contingent as either/or on one another) leading to multiple concurrent logical conclusions. But, no, regardless of opinions, logic doesn't work with couple of answers. It either is or isn't.

    So, by that token, there is, even if using objective logic, no single truth or conclusion to be reached necessarily simply by the use of this objective analysis.
    See above.

    Both thinking and feeling can be used to derive principles for analysis. Feeling can be used in that we can use our ethical principles (not personal values),
    First you'd have to convince me of an absolute morality. I don't think I'm assuming personal values to only mean subjective as you're assuming. I can and will call ethics subjective too.

    Yet, this does not preclude us or suggest that we shouldn't attempt to clarify what these principles are and apply them to understanding/questioning our belief systems.
    There are many people within faith who can do both: analyze their own beliefs using logic or feeling, thus understanding the limitations of the belief system and choose to recognize that it works for them. One does not preclude the other.
    I'm saying that using classical logic of true/false is obsolete by the very existence of a subjective realm being acceptable, admissable when it comes to discussion of belief.

  8. #108
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    How do you know that?
    You cannot know that you know unless you know what knowing is. This is meta-cognition.
    How logically do you think the human brain would know what it knows? It builds on the knowing, gathers information, matches it against something, discards, or stores. This functionality cannot exist without outside stimuli (it has been proven through neuronal development and activation during the development phase of a child [most fascinating of proof, neuronal plasticity] - all points to stimuli as a needed variable...otherwise, the brain is a sitting duck)

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    You cannot know that you know unless you know what knowing is. This is meta-cognition.
    How logically do you think the human brain would know what it knows? It builds on the knowing, gathers information, matches it against something, discards, or stores. This functionality cannot exist without outside stimuli (it has been proven through neuronal development and activation during the development phase of a child [most fascinating of proof, neuronal plasticity] - all points to stimuli as a needed variable...otherwise, the brain is a sitting duck)
    ummm...yes it does.

    its called being self-aware which is a result of questioning. its very ambigious and confusing but it can and does exist without an external stimuli. i know...i spent age 10 and up talking to myself about what i know and what i dont know till i finally realized that i know a fair bit about knowing. it was only after that that i could decide knowing so much is good for the mind but useless in terms of worldly action.

    guess that would make me an INTP, wont it...but its true

    i think i realized the importance of 'action' about the same time i hit puberty...coincidence? i think not

  10. #110
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisGuy View Post
    its called being self-aware which is a result of questioning.
    Back up even further to basics. And you'll understand my argument (as your response didn't really understand my argument in the first place)

    How did you know what self is? You must have had to understand yourself as a separate entity from OTHERS. I.e., you cannot know from inside your brain ONLY, you needed the external stimuli of your surroundings/environment to understand what SELF is RELATIVE to others...much less know/understand what you know about self.

    its very ambigious and confusing but it can and does exist without an external stimuli. i know...i spent age 10 and up talking to myself about what i know and what i dont know till i finally realized that i know a fair bit about knowing. it was only after that that i could decide knowing so much is good for the mind but useless in terms of worldly action.

    guess that would make me an INTP, wont it...but its true

    i think i realized the importance of 'action' about the same time i hit puberty...coincidence? i think not

    Um...okay?

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