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  1. #141
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    Is it God's fault Peguy is weaseling out?
    "Only an irrational dumbass, would burn Jews." - Jaguar

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  2. #142
    PEST that STEPs on PETS stellar renegade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzcrossed View Post
    To say that Christians "know", is incorrect. It's a bad word choice. To say that Christians "have faith", is much more correct. God doesn't expect us to "know" 100% that He's out there when we haven't seen him for 2000 years. It's probably also more appropriate to say, we seek to have such faith, that in our actions, we will proceed as if we "know". The apostles "knew". They saw Christ and everything that went with Him. I have faith based on their testimony.

    I can also take that a step further and say that I look at life differently as a result--I can "see" how God works in it because the faith that I hold allows me to look at life much differently then the agnostic or the atheist.
    +1

    I totally agree. It's not a matter of knowing in some kind of objective or Cartesian way. It's more like just taking the risk that it's true because from all you've seen and experienced, it appears to be that way and you have enough evidence to act on it and make a leap into the dark based on it.

    It's an active faith, and if you turn out to be wrong, at least you were being as honest as you could be and using your brain to its fullest extent to make an educated decision. I think God likes a faith like that. I don't think he wants us to be "sure" because that's arrogant. I think it's much more romantic to believe in spite of not having 100% proof (which is impossible, in regard to anything really) and trust that it's true because you at least have evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    It's like a perception, not an objective judgment. It's a constant seeing and just "getting" it.

    And if we're gonna try to prove/disprove God, let's do the same for reality while we're at it. How do you know that anything really exists?

    The real question is, what is existence? I asked that question for awhile until I realized I was just depressed. It's better to just get up and live life instead of constantly asking questions or making abstract assumptions. Of course, that question does allow you to strip away the nonessentials and experience life for what it really is.

    And yes, interaction with God is relevant to our lives. Sometimes the unexplainable shows up and topples your life upside-down. So what? Life goes on.
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  3. #143
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I honestly don't even know how we could quantify that. And how are laws defined? Does "God" override natural law by a display of supernatural power, or does it only appear supernatural and the potential Divine is simply able to make use of laws that human beings are not capable of perceiving and manipulating?

    Don't ask me how to even answer that question.
    When we say that something happened and claim that there is no explanation for how it happened, we are making an appeal to magic. An appeal to magic is part of the supernatural. Hence, if we say that God creates things the supernatural way, we are endorsing a superstition or belief in magic.

    On the other hand, could it be the case that there are laws of nature that we cannot understand? Is there any reason to believe that? Surely there are some difficult problems that we did not yet understand, but how could we know that there are problems that are incapable of understanding. At this point we have not yet established a single example of such a law, hence there is no reason to assert that one exists.

    What is a law of nature? A principle that describes the cause of a particular event. For example, items falling due to gravity.
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  4. #144
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Mycroft,

    While I agree with the thrust of your argument, you err in claiming that when God "creates a universe - or anything for that matter - separate from Himself, he is no longer infinite." The set of even numbers is an infinite set, and yet no odd number is among its members, so something can be infinite without encompassing everything. It just depends on what is meant by "infinite" in the context it is said or written.

    But God could not have created the universe (by which I mean all of reality or all that exists). The usual retort is: "so you expect me to believe that everything -- all that exists -- just came from nothing?" The answer, of course, is that the universe neither came from something nor nothing, because "coming from" can only occur if a universe already exists.

    The claim, "if the universe didn't come from something, then it came from nothing" is a bit like saying "if an idea is not the colour blue, then it must be some other colour." An idea is, of course, neither blue nor any other colour. The property "is the colour x" does not apply to ideas, and, in a similar way, the property "comes from y" does not apply to the universe.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  5. #145
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    This misses the point of what I've been saying so completely that I have to wonder if you're being sincere.
    Heh, I'm sincere all right. If I've missed your point then, I sincerely do not know what you're point is. It's your choice if you want to explain yourself clearly.
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  6. #146
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stellar renegade View Post
    And yes, interaction with God is relevant to our lives. Sometimes the unexplainable shows up and topples your life upside-down. So what? Life goes on.
    See I agree with that part; I just don't see any reason to keep up the childish fantasy that "the unknown" is one singular, conscious, and self-aware entity with an arbitrary and parochial moral agenda who watches our lives and keeps a scorecard for the afterlife.

    I'm all about exploring and seeking to understand the unknown; I just find the label "God" to be rather limiting (not to mention utterly unnecessary) in that regard.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  7. #147
    PEST that STEPs on PETS stellar renegade's Avatar
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    I definitely think that people anthropomorphize God way too much, but I do think that God is a conscious entity. Self-aware I don't know, I don't think any of us are self-aware, that seems impossible. We can only know about ourself through hints, like looking in a mirror. You can see yourself reflected, but who can actually view themselves? At most we're looking at an image of ourselves.

    We're all a set of impulses and desires, neurons firing, we're a spectacular phenomenon, not an objective personality just a subjectively defined one. So in a sense you could say God's a phenomenon, but in the sense that we're personalities, he/she/it seems to be one, too.

    I don't believe God has an arbitrary or parochial moral agenda, either. I don't think that God has any self-interest. I don't even think that God's looking for our worship, necessarily. I do think he wants our affection and for us to at least enjoy living and becoming what we were intended to be if nothing else.
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  8. #148
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    How can he be a conscious entity that is not self-aware?

    If he has consciousness, how does he use it?

    It's not the idea of there being great unknown forces out there that bothers me, just that people feel the need to pretend they all add up to a dude in the clouds with a white beard. You can explore the unknown without the nonsense about prayer and the afterlife and faith in arbitrary rituals.

    By the way, if you don't think God has any particular moral agenda (which I would certainly agree with), you've already separated your fundamental beliefs from those of 90% of religious people in the world.

    Congrats.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  9. #149
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Mycroft,

    While I agree with the thrust of your argument, you err in claiming that when God "creates a universe - or anything for that matter - separate from Himself, he is no longer infinite." The set of even numbers is an infinite set, and yet no odd number is among its members, so something can be infinite without encompassing everything. It just depends on what is meant by "infinite" in the context it is said or written.
    Numbers are a method we have created to categorize existents. They have no existence in and of themselves. Further, as SW pointed out, even if we granted numbers some nature of "existence", they would be infinite only unilaterally; like our hypothetical line mentioned in posts elsewhere.

    I agree that the term "infinite", being one of the highest level concepts available to human thinking, has a variety of definitions. I've strived to make it very clear what definition of the term I must employ for the purposes of this discussion. At this point, I'm at a loss as to how I could make my use of the term any clearer.

    But God could not have created the universe (by which I mean all of reality or all that exists). The usual retort is: "so you expect me to believe that everything -- all that exists -- just came from nothing?" The answer, of course, is that the universe neither came from something nor nothing, because "coming from" can only occur if a universe already exists.

    The claim, "if the universe didn't come from something, then it came from nothing" is a bit like saying "if an idea is not the colour blue, then it must be some other colour." An idea is, of course, neither blue nor any other colour. The property "is the colour x" does not apply to ideas, and, in a similar way, the property "comes from y" does not apply to the universe.
    Given as I have consistently maintained that reality must be infinite in all respects, I don't see how this is relevant. This merely addresses Liquid Laser's miscategorization of my presentation of the concept under discussion.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

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  10. #150
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Heh, I'm sincere all right. If I've missed your point then, I sincerely do not know what you're point is. It's your choice if you want to explain yourself clearly.
    At this point I could only restate. If you are genuinely interested in coming to terms with the concept I attempt to present, read over my posts again and contemplate.

    I believe that I present my ideas in a manner that is remarkably clear given the subject matter. With high level concepts, there must be a meeting in between.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

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