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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I didnt suspend my disbelief involuntarily while I was a child. On the basis of my experience alone this is bunk. Why do you speak with authority you dont have Victor? Where's your research?
    These are interesting questions.

    The last I can dispose of easily as this is not a research journal and so research is not called for.

    But 'why do I speak with authority' is more interesting.

    I speak as an oracle. I simply describe what I see.

    And what I see may be right or wrong, silly or profound, in good or bad taste.

    So I share with you what I see without a critical filter. And this is where you come in. You apply your excellent critical mind to what I see.

    And the critical mind is part of the digestion process of analysis, evaluation and integration - so we can be free again to see the world afresh.

    Bon appetit!

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well you mentioned you dragon so.
    No, I meant that I don't see how it matters that people haven't debated over my example for ages. Is Russell's teapot a better example for you then?

    Although I would say that the existence or none existence of the things you mention bigfoot, loch ness monster etc. are not perrenial and universal, they have not emerged as points of wonder or discussion within human communities which are seperated or isolated or not in contact with one another, if you know what I mean.

    I believe the existence of God is fact because it is perrenial and universally featured within humankind's thinking and theorising.
    But why does it make them any less relevant if they are not widely discussed or thought of in "wonder?" A sense of wonder does not imply a higher power is involved. I experience wonder when staring up into the night sky or when studying anatomy (and so have many others since the beginning of humanity), but I do not regard either of these things as divine. Outer space, especially, has been a large topic of debate and wonder.

    I would not imply such a thing. I dont believe you understood what I wrote at all. That was not an appeal to authority, it was indicating one source among many if you were interested in how I had reached my conclusions. Maybe you're not really interested. Which is fine.
    My apologies. I took your comment the wrong way.

    Yeah, I'm familiar with the whole probably but not likely idea, I've read about it in relation to rationalisations made during the cold war about the power and intent of the superpowers.

    In relation to the God discussion, presently the existence of God appears unlikely or even absurd, at another time and place the opposite would have been self-evident, I do not believe that this is a result of leaps and bounds in science or philosophy but instead corresponds to public mood or culture which does not foster any kind of belief generally, there are a lot of different reasons for this I would suggest, some of them political trends, a lot of them underpinned by economic and social changes but really anything which is going to be demanding or involve obligations or from which consequences will stem is not something people are going to be that interested in finding out is fact or evidencing.
    While this is an interesting idea, I do not agree that it is true.

    In humanity's humble beginnings, very little was known about the universe. What did man do when he didn't know something? He made up a clever tale that seemed to make sense. These typically, but not necessarily, had to do with some sort of deity. We used to think Zeus caused lighting and thunderstorms before we learned about combinations of air currents and moisture. We used to think Helios caused the Sun to rise every morning before we found out the Sun doesn't rise and instead the Earth revolves around it (as well as simply rotating to cause day and night). We thought that disease was caused by demons and spirits until germs were discovered. As time goes on, there seems to be less and less of a need for these deities. Now the monotheistic religions seem to come in because there really isn't a need for more than one god. While I don't know if this monotheism will ever progress to atheism, it does seem that over time humanity believes in a lesser amount of gods and actions made by gods because of advances in knowledge rather than political and cultural change.

    People who do not wish to believe in things and who are more comfortable with disbelief or non-belief will seek to have that confirmed in their researches, I know it can cut both ways but those who disbelieve in things are inclined to present this as logical and rational and devoid of any cognitive bias whereas the believing mind is explained as completely corresponding to or arising from cognitive bias.
    I'd like to emphasize your bolded point. Both of us are not likely to come to an agreement, so we can agree to disagree. Although I'd just like to say I considered myself a Christian when I joined these forums a few years ago. Maybe you will eventually switch your stance and maybe you won't. Conversely, maybe I will convert back to Christianity. (Although I find this far less likely considering atheism was a conscious choice for me, rather than the Christianity that was instilled upon me from birth.)

    I think the reason many nonbelievers view belief as irrational is because of the burden of proof. This states that if you make a claim, it is upon you to prove that claim. The claim is that X exists. Although it may be possible to prove the non-existence of X in certain cases, here it is not possible. Therefore, the burden of proof lies on the person making the claim to prove X (X may be God, Russell's teapot, or something else with similar properties.) If we make X=God, then you start to see a bit of a problem. This is due to the fact that the original claim made was that "God exists." "God does not exist" was not the original claim and therefore does not need to be proved. We can say that "God does not exist" is not the original claim because it is the default position. Consider a newborn. Do they no of any gods? No. The adult then makes the "God exists" claim.

    Although I can again see where you may disagree, but I will try to explain further if you wish.

    Category errors are when you explain one thing with reference to another of a different kind as though there were equivalence when there is not. Like comparisons between big foot, the loch ness monster and God.
    Yes, but I fail to see how these are category errors. They are all alike in that none of them can be proven or disproven. I know you obviously disagree with me on this.

  3. #33
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    When we believe in God, we suspend our disbelief.

    And when we believe in God as children, we suspend our disbelief involuntarily.

    But when we believe in God as grown ups, we suspend our disbelief voluntarily.
    What about Father Christmas?

    And Jack Skellington? Dont tell me those arent real...pah...I scoff at the silliness of it.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  4. #34
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    I'd also like to point out that one cannot choose true belief.

    One either believes something or does not, or is undecided perhaps, or doesn't believe strongly, but these aren't choices either regardless.

    One can choose to say that they believe, and act like they believe, perhaps because they think this is what is best, but this does not mean that they fully believe something to be true.

    Internal doubt is not uncommon, and frankly, I don't think it is enough to only proclaim belief. It's like trusting someone who you believe is a criminal and might stab you in the back, for whatever reason. Maybe you trust them because you need to, and you must act as if they will not stab you in the back because it is better than some alternative, but somewhere inside, your belief is still that they will stab you. You're just ignoring it for the time being.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    No, I meant that I don't see how it matters that people haven't debated over my example for ages. Is Russell's teapot a better example for you then?


    But why does it make them any less relevant if they are not widely discussed or thought of in "wonder?" A sense of wonder does not imply a higher power is involved. I experience wonder when staring up into the night sky or when studying anatomy (and so have many others since the beginning of humanity), but I do not regard either of these things as divine. Outer space, especially, has been a large topic of debate and wonder.


    My apologies. I took your comment the wrong way.


    While this is an interesting idea, I do not agree that it is true.

    In humanity's humble beginnings, very little was known about the universe. What did man do when he didn't know something? He made up a clever tale that seemed to make sense. These typically, but not necessarily, had to do with some sort of deity. We used to think Zeus caused lighting and thunderstorms before we learned about combinations of air currents and moisture. We used to think Helios caused the Sun to rise every morning before we found out the Sun doesn't rise and instead the Earth revolves around it (as well as simply rotating to cause day and night). We thought that disease was caused by demons and spirits until germs were discovered. As time goes on, there seems to be less and less of a need for these deities. Now the monotheistic religions seem to come in because there really isn't a need for more than one god. While I don't know if this monotheism will ever progress to atheism, it does seem that over time humanity believes in a lesser amount of gods and actions made by gods because of advances in knowledge rather than political and cultural change.


    I'd like to emphasize your bolded point. Both of us are not likely to come to an agreement, so we can agree to disagree. Although I'd just like to say I considered myself a Christian when I joined these forums a few years ago. Maybe you will eventually switch your stance and maybe you won't. Conversely, maybe I will convert back to Christianity. (Although I find this far less likely considering atheism was a conscious choice for me, rather than the Christianity that was instilled upon me from birth.)

    I think the reason many nonbelievers view belief as irrational is because of the burden of proof. This states that if you make a claim, it is upon you to prove that claim. The claim is that X exists. Although it may be possible to prove the non-existence of X in certain cases, here it is not possible. Therefore, the burden of proof lies on the person making the claim to prove X (X may be God, Russell's teapot, or something else with similar properties.) If we make X=God, then you start to see a bit of a problem. This is due to the fact that the original claim made was that "God exists." "God does not exist" was not the original claim and therefore does not need to be proved. We can say that "God does not exist" is not the original claim because it is the default position. Consider a newborn. Do they no of any gods? No. The adult then makes the "God exists" claim.

    Although I can again see where you may disagree, but I will try to explain further if you wish.


    Yes, but I fail to see how these are category errors. They are all alike in that none of them can be proven or disproven. I know you obviously disagree with me on this.
    All I can suggest to you is that you read Mark Vernon on God or Humanism and Hans Kung's books about Christianity.

    There's a couple of other books I'd recommend too, Erich Fromm's You Shall Be As Gods (or a similar title, I always get it wrong) for instance, although Fromm's book for instance is actually an atheist book and affirms an atheistic version of God, if you can believe that, its a very interesting idea but given the common character structure of most new atheists (which I think resemble the pessimists which Josha Loth Liebman writes about) I doubt the idea will ever catch on.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munchies View Post
    assumption, that's the only fallacy. Agnostic/Buddhism ftw
    +1

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    All I can suggest to you is that you read Mark Vernon on God or Humanism and Hans Kung's books about Christianity.

    There's a couple of other books I'd recommend too, Erich Fromm's You Shall Be As Gods (or a similar title, I always get it wrong) for instance, although Fromm's book for instance is actually an atheist book and affirms an atheistic version of God, if you can believe that, its a very interesting idea but given the common character structure of most new atheists (which I think resemble the pessimists which Josha Loth Liebman writes about) I doubt the idea will ever catch on.
    So you're just going to ignore everything I said then?

    I could recommend numerous books for you as well if we're going to play this game. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens are two big ones that come to mind.

    Why is your logic so complex that I must read numerous books on it? Can you not simply tell me in your own words why belief makes more sense than nonbelief?

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    So you're just going to ignore everything I said then?

    I could recommend numerous books for you as well if we're going to play this game. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens are two big ones that come to mind.

    Why is your logic so complex that I must read numerous books on it? Can you not simply tell me in your own words why belief makes more sense than nonbelief?
    No, I'm not ignoring what you said.

    I thought you were interested in trying to understand the views I had already stated.

    I havent read Hitchens but I hate him as an author and Dawkins, what I've read of him, is awful too. Its very easy to understand the new athiest mindset and there is no depth to it, so it is unlikely that any reading would really be needed to understand it. It is popular and widespread, especially among younger people, but then so are tabloids.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    So you're just going to ignore everything I said then?

    I could recommend numerous books for you as well if we're going to play this game. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens are two big ones that come to mind.

    Why is your logic so complex that I must read numerous books on it? Can you not simply tell me in your own words why belief makes more sense than nonbelief?
    No, I'm not ignoring what you said.

    I thought you were interested in trying to understand the views I had already stated.

    I havent read Hitchens but I hate him as an author and Dawkins, what I've read of him, is awful too. Its very easy to understand the new athiest mindset and there is no depth to it, so it is unlikely that any reading would really be needed to understand it. It is popular and widespread, especially among younger people, but then so are tabloids.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    No, I'm not ignoring what you said.
    Well you certainly seem to be.

    I thought you were interested in trying to understand the views I had already stated.
    I wanted you to put your views in your own words, not recommend the words of other people to me.

    I havent read Hitchens but I hate him as an author and Dawkins, what I've read of him, is awful too. Its very easy to understand the new athiest mindset and there is no depth to it, so it is unlikely that any reading would really be needed to understand it. It is popular and widespread, especially among younger people, but then so are tabloids.
    I'd hardly call your view any deeper than mine, nor do I think it is difficult to understand why some people believe.

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