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  1. #11
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    This seems pretty hopeless. But the bald guy doesn't make very many good points. He believes there is only truth 1 (God) or truth 2 (no God). I call that a false alternative, and that he has not justified this view despite the fact that everything he states is based on the "god" of justification.
    He didn't say that in the way you think he did, and actually ALL of his points are spot on if you actually understand what he is saying and why he is saying it.

    When he said that there either is or isn't a God, he was referring to the caller's specific God.

    If you were paying attention you would have also caught the fact that he said that a god is not necessarily unfalsifiable under every definition, and also pretty much implies that one shouldn't limit themselves to accepting something as true irrationally because at some point there might be an actual truth to find.

  2. #12
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    I watched half of the D'Souza video before getting bored. He didn't mention any difficult problems and nor did he offer any satisfying answers.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    He didn't say that in the way you think he did, and actually ALL of his points are spot on if you actually understand what he is saying and why he is saying it.

    When he said that there either is or isn't a God, he was referring to the caller's specific God.

    If you were paying attention you would have also caught the fact that he said that a god is not necessarily unfalsifiable under every definition, and also pretty much implies that one shouldn't limit themselves to accepting something as true irrationally because at some point there might be an actual truth to find.
    I've already said that there are a number of hypothesis which correspond to God rather than one, I do think that these are falsifiable in the Popperian scientific sense, for instance anthropomorphic versions of divinity, I would hope that they have been falsified and new hypothesis have had to replace them.

    In relation to belief in God Hans Kung has written some good material suggesting that while you can not apply falsifiability to God you can to the various proofs of his existence or evidence, I believe that the old scriptural literalist and solo-scriptural proofs or evidence were falsifiable and have been proven false, I know a lot of people will not accept that if they profess those believes but scientific research, which is proven, falsifies the creation narrative. The higher criticism has exposed other flaws in scripture.

  4. #14
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I've already said that there are a number of hypothesis which correspond to God rather than one, I do think that these are falsifiable in the Popperian scientific sense, for instance anthropomorphic versions of divinity, I would hope that they have been falsified and new hypothesis have had to replace them.

    In relation to belief in God Hans Kung has written some good material suggesting that while you can not apply falsifiability to God you can to the various proofs of his existence or evidence, I believe that the old scriptural literalist and solo-scriptural proofs or evidence were falsifiable and have been proven false, I know a lot of people will not accept that if they profess those believes but scientific research, which is proven, falsifies the creation narrative. The higher criticism has exposed other flaws in scripture.
    Yeah.

    In that video they aren't actually approaching other kinds of God and/or gods though. They're simply addressing the callers argument that he believes in an unfalsifiable God, and that he isn't a deist, but actually believes in a specific God that he will meet when he dies.

    They address this from the callers own given perspective of essentially acknowledging that something can't be given a truth value, yet still giving it a truth value, which is indeed a conflict.

  5. #15
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    I'm practically an expert on issues concerning falsifiability. The idea that a proposition 'can't be given a truth value' because it's unfalsifiable is just wrong on so many levels. The lady in the video who said she would not believe anything that is not falsifiable is either lying or ignorant.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  6. #16
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    I'm practically an expert on issues concerning falsifiability. The idea that a proposition 'can't be given a truth value' because it's unfalsifiable is just wrong on so many levels. The lady in the video who said she would not believe anything that is not falsifiable is either lying or ignorant.
    In the context of determining an objective truth value, they are not wrong.

    It is true that being unfalsifiable does not determine truth or validity, and she even says that claiming to know that God is unfalsifiable is a knowledge claim.

    However, they are not talking about unfalsifiable in the sense of "This cake is delicious." or even "I saw some guy cross the street." They are talking to a man who admits that he essentially does not know but believes anyway because it can't be proven wrong and it makes him happy.

    In his context it can't be given a truth value. At least not in that point in time. That is not to say that no unfalsifiable thing can be given a truth value.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I could be with you on this point, I think the question is not whether or not there is a God, what is the nature of God and why to believe are much better questions. I mean what if God at a time had a very active role in human affairs and has since abandoned humanity altogether? There are so many other conclusions about God which historically have hinged on belief in the existence of God which I do not believe actually automatically follow from that first premise, for instance the existence of an afterlife, eternal life etc. etc. Perhaps God has animated beings for a time and when they are extinct that is it, its not what I believe and I have other reasons for that but its one example of the mistaken automatic conclusions thinking I'm talking about.
    You strayed into fantasy at the end. It reminds me of the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, in which the Creator has (apparently) abandoned his Creation and is willing to allow the forces of evil to eventually triumph. Because what you're implying is that Satan has bested God. This scenario seems rather implausible.

    The metaphysical questions (nature of God and all that) are more interesting. Because they lead to a further question: what purpose does it serve mankind to somehow divine these holy properties? Then there's the question which you mentioned: why believe in a being that possesses holy properties?

    I don't know that D'Souza has accurately characterized the atheist position in declaring that without God anything goes. Because God is only the personification of these holy properties. He gives something upon which to attach these properties. But even in the absence of holy being, there is still a question as to whether even an atheist believes in those properties as ideals for humans to strive toward. And in this sense, the atheist believes as a Christian believes.
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  8. #18
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    He didn't say that in the way you think he did, and actually ALL of his points are spot on if you actually understand what he is saying and why he is saying it.

    When he said that there either is or isn't a God, he was referring to the caller's specific God.

    If you were paying attention you would have also caught the fact that he said that a god is not necessarily unfalsifiable under every definition, and also pretty much implies that one shouldn't limit themselves to accepting something as true irrationally because at some point there might be an actual truth to find.
    Consider your "delicious cake" example, but instead think of it as a difference between an old man with a long white beard sitting on a cloud, vs. a being who can violate the laws of nature and thus produce miracles at will. In order to falsify the former it would be necessary to check all the clouds thoroughly, and while this may take a long time it is still possible. But the latter is what we mean by unfalsifiable truth. Would you apply the laws of nature as a scientist? A being who is beyond those laws, and is indeed the very source of those laws, cannot be discerned this way unless he chooses to reveal himself. And even then, you still can't know for certain.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
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  9. #19
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Consider your "delicious cake" example, but instead think of it as a difference between an old man with a long white beard sitting on a cloud, vs. a being who can violate the laws of nature and thus produce miracles at will. In order to falsify the former it would be necessary to check all the clouds thoroughly, and while this may take a long time it is still possible. But the latter is what we mean by unfalsifiable truth. Would you apply the laws of nature as a scientist? A being who is beyond those laws, and is indeed the very source of those laws, cannot be discerned this way unless he chooses to reveal himself. And even then, you still can't know for certain.
    Yes, exactly. This is pretty much what they are talking about in a lot more words.

    Unfalsifiable doesn't mean false. There very well could be such a god. What they are saying is that if you claim to know, and you stop looking, you close the door on further knowledge.

    It's basically saying "I've got it right and I don't have to seek anymore" when you can't actually know if you've got it right. Nowhere does this say that it's actually false. It might still be true. Then again it might not.

    Edit: also note that if one claims esoteric knowledge, that's a whole other story entirely, and is up to an individual to deal with on their own.

  10. #20
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    In this video, D'Souza defends Christianity against its "new atheist" opponents. But his is a rational faith-based view that is rarely seen. One example of what I mean by "rational" comes from another youtube video in which he explains that it is rational for a cab driver to drive past a black male looking for a cab based on the driver's bad experiences with blacks. It is rational because he desires to be safe and make it back home to his family every day after work. Or, to use an example of my own, it is irrational to hire a lesser candidate for a job based solely on skin color. (By the same token, it is irrational to hire anyone based on anything but ability to fulfill the duties of the job.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    I don't know that D'Souza has accurately characterized the atheist position in declaring that without God anything goes. Because God is only the personification of these holy properties. He gives something upon which to attach these properties. But even in the absence of holy being, there is still a question as to whether even an atheist believes in those properties as ideals for humans to strive toward. And in this sense, the atheist believes as a Christian believes.
    Aye! and does he ever give a rational reason for why black people do what they do, or what other racial groups do wrong? Doesn't look like it. Ever since The End of Racism, his "rational" views have been very lopsided. (Blacks use "victim rhetoric" to get special treatment; while conservatives had been the loudest "victims" in the very act of pointing at others using victim rhetoric, to take something from them!) But people buy it up; and he's become a "darling" of conservativism.

    He basically fuses Western jingoism with Christianity, and it looks so good for this dark skinned foreigner to be advancing the "truth" of capitalistic and Western cultural superiority, but if you search the blogosphere on him, you can see him likely accurately portrayed as just an upper caste member in his country's own discriminatory system; so of course he will favor the powerful in the West.

    So as the second quote shows, even his arguments for religion are basically shallow and inaccurate. Since it's all about cultural superiority, it doesn't matter; you just have the "bad guys" on one side (the atheists and communists), and the "good guys" on the other (Westerns and Christians, even if only culturally Christian, because it's the culture that determines "truth"), so you can say anything you want about the other side.
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