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  1. #41
    Kultainen Kuningas Devil Flamingo's Avatar
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    I believe in faeries (I'm 100% serious. shit serious, in fact) but not in god. The fay make sense to me; they're part of Nature (I'm Pagan, lol).

    But the whole god(s) and goddess(es) thing doesn't make sense to me; I don't understand how they fit in the framework of natural things.

    I do revere Cernunnos, but it's more of a symbolic thing than an actual belief in the deity per se. Cernunnos to me is simply the personification of the forest, representing the balance between humans (hence its human body) and nature (hence its deer horns).
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  2. #42
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    It's a good argument (although I disagree with it). And I suppose the causal argument is in most people's eyes more sensible than fairies. Although if you think of fairies as being on the same level as ghosts, then they are not-entirely-physical or non physical beings. And God is a non physical being. So it's not that silly; disproving the idea of fairies involves things that might disprove God. Like, if there are no nonphysical beings then there is no God unless God is the only exception.

    So is God simply a cause and not a being or a mind?
    It's not the only argument for God though, only the most direct counter-example. You mention the ontological argument, but there are quite a few (of varying quality). Some don't differ notably to "there be fairies", as you are saying, but it's not universal.

    The fundamental issue here isn't in the truth of their existence, but in the quality of argument that represents a probable truth. Is there a God? Let me use my example of a simulated reality. If I believe that, then I typically would believe in a creator. This creator, at this point, is undefined but is explicitly true. Now, if I wanted to give a quality to this creator, I could say that for whatever reason it wanted to create, and this is again explicitly true. And again, everything that exists now is created and therefore represents something, for some purpose. I could progressively define traits from this.

    This argument is pretty robust. It's also entirely deductive off of physical laws and (progressive) logic.

    Using other metaphysical properties doesn't disprove its existence - you cannot prove a negative, and here I have provided a framework for a positive. Approaching the problem in this regard is simple: you can disprove the positive argument, but you cannot disprove the existence. IMO, your original post hits on an important point, but it's not about the existence of God, but rather that current mainstream religions are not notably different than other myths. That is true! However, it can only be applies to the argument/belief in God, and only a subset of them.

  3. #43
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    It's not the only argument for God though, only the most direct counter-example. You mention the ontological argument, but there are quite a few (of varying quality). Some don't differ notably to "there be fairies", as you are saying, but it's not universal.

    The fundamental issue here isn't in the truth of their existence, but in the quality of argument that represents a probable truth. Is there a God? Let me use my example of a simulated reality. If I believe that, then I typically would believe in a creator. This creator, at this point, is undefined but is explicitly true. Now, if I wanted to give a quality to this creator, I could say that for whatever reason it wanted to create, and this is again explicitly true. And again, everything that exists now is created and therefore represents something, for some purpose. I could progressively define traits from this.

    This argument is pretty robust. It's also entirely deductive off of physical laws and (progressive) logic.

    Using other metaphysical properties doesn't disprove its existence - you cannot prove a negative, and here I have provided a framework for a positive. Approaching the problem in this regard is simple: you can disprove the positive argument, but you cannot disprove the existence. IMO, your original post hits on an important point, but it's not about the existence of God, but rather that current mainstream religions are not notably different than other myths. That is true! However, it can only be applies to the argument/belief in God, and only a subset of them.
    I will have to think about this more to fully digest it. So since I can't immediately see anything to argue with, kudos.
    Quote Originally Posted by Devil Flamingo View Post
    I believe in faeries (I'm 100% serious. shit serious, in fact) but not in god. The fay make sense to me; they're part of Nature (I'm Pagan, lol).

    But the whole god(s) and goddess(es) thing doesn't make sense to me; I don't understand how they fit in the framework of natural things.

    I do revere Cernunnos, but it's more of a symbolic thing than an actual belief in the deity per se. Cernunnos to me is simply the personification of the forest, representing the balance between humans (hence its human body) and nature (hence its deer horns).
    This is exactly my point of view!

    Yay, another pagan!

  4. #44
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I think because, theoretically, fairies (as most people understand them) would have bodies and a physical presence and thus be theoretically falsifiable, sort of like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. God, being totally non-corporeal (to most people), is inherently unfalsifiable.

    Just to be clear, I'm pretty much agnostic and don't fully believe in anything along these lines. I have some hopes and do some things as if God is real even though I know the chances are pretty overwhelmingly against it, from a purely rational point of view. (I'm not a purely rational being- neither are any of you.) I don't really have the same hope that fairies are real. They can just stay cute stories and that's quite okay with me.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    I suppose not, but that person is not entitled to accuse the other person of being any more irrational. I would call it logically inconsistent if that person refused to acknowledge the possibility of the other things, as opposed to simply not affirming it and leaning toward rejection of it.
    That's fine, and I agree with you.

    But the thread is called "How can a rational person be theistic and not believe in fairies?", not "How can a rational person be theistic and judge someone else for believing in fairies?" That's why I answered how I did.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

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  6. #46
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    That's fine, and I agree with you.

    But the thread is called "How can a rational person be theistic and not believe in fairies?", not "How can a rational person be theistic and judge someone else for believing in fairies?" That's why I answered how I did.
    Ok, touche. I labeled it somewhat incorrectly. But I was really interested in both questions, as they are related.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I think because, theoretically, fairies (as most people understand them) would have bodies and a physical presence and thus be theoretically falsifiable, sort of like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. God, being totally non-corporeal (to most people), is inherently unfalsifiable.

    Just to be clear, I'm pretty much agnostic and don't fully believe in anything along these lines. I have some hopes and do some things as if God is real even though I know the chances are pretty overwhelmingly against it, from a purely rational point of view. (I'm not a purely rational being- neither are any of you.) I don't really have the same hope that fairies are real. They can just stay cute stories and that's quite okay with me.
    That's interesting you saying people imagine them as having physical bodies and being physical beings. I was kind of assuming that wasn't true. I guess the extent of whether they are or aren't can't really be known; but I do know they aren't purely physical. The mythology pretty clearly presents them as being "more" than what is conventionally physical. They can shape shift, become invisible, and are in many cases immortal, for example.

  7. #47
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    And I would answer: I don't believe in God as an absolute form of all power. I believe in deities as concentrations of energy, created by people as thought forms. Most fairies would fit that description as well. However, I think some probably existed before humans, but they were created as part of nature. Everything is energy, and all things are concentrations of energy. So I have reasoning for my mystical belief. Do you?
    If fairies were created as part of nature, though, that makes them natural rather than mystical beings, quite distinct from deity in any form.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Yes, my argument was somewhat unclear, and probably intentionally so; but what I was getting at is simply that people's reasons for automatically rejecting belief in fairies could usually be applied to the concept of God. I'm really going for the incongruity of rejecting one belief and holding another by the same standards of dismissal. People often have further arguments for God, but there is an assumption that they are not needed; whereas I may have further arguments for fairies and people assume that there aren't any to have.
    If this is your real concern, you might have been clear about it up front. I don't advocate automatically rejecting much of anything. Entertaining an idea, however, does not require accepting it in the end. Different worldviews will result in different mystical landscapes. Yours might be populated by fairies, mine by angels. I evaluate my beliefs by the rational yardsticks of consistency and utility, but understand that our subjective experiences will lead us to different conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Using other metaphysical properties doesn't disprove its existence - you cannot prove a negative, and here I have provided a framework for a positive. Approaching the problem in this regard is simple: you can disprove the positive argument, but you cannot disprove the existence. IMO, your original post hits on an important point, but it's not about the existence of God, but rather that current mainstream religions are not notably different than other myths. That is true! However, it can only be applies to the argument/belief in God, and only a subset of them.
    I have never understood why the highlighted is so difficult for people to accept. It is a crucial understanding.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #48
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I think because, theoretically, fairies (as most people understand them) would have bodies and a physical presence and thus be theoretically falsifiable, sort of like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. God, being totally non-corporeal (to most people), is inherently unfalsifiable.

    Just to be clear, I'm pretty much agnostic and don't fully believe in anything along these lines. I have some hopes and do some things as if God is real even though I know the chances are pretty overwhelmingly against it, from a purely rational point of view. (I'm not a purely rational being- neither are any of you.) I don't really have the same hope that fairies are real. They can just stay cute stories and that's quite okay with me.
    Noncorporeal is an interesting concept because it really only has to do with how physically solid it is.

    How can something that is not made of anything actually exist, though?

    Electricity might be said to be incorporeal - you can't exactly hold a piece of it in your hand, and it is relatively formless, but it still exists in a specific location and can be contained or transported in detectable, finite quantities.

    God is unfalsifiable not just because of being incorporeal, but because nobody dares to give specific existential properties that can be falsified to begin with. If somebody were to say that "god is made of this kind of energy and lives over here" we could falsify that. But strangely, God is always in the places that you cannot look for it.

  9. #49
    Kultainen Kuningas Devil Flamingo's Avatar
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    Yeah, the physicality of fairies is not... how shall I put it... well, it's not a guarantee. As Greenfairy mentions, there's plenty of mythology on them alluding to shapeshifting, invisibility, immortality, etc. Moreover, there's also tons and tons of mythology about them not appearing as they are, or appearing differently, depending on the environment or 'realm', if you will. In other words, they may appear ghastly in our world, but more corporeal elsewhere (wherever 'elsewhere' is) or like, look more beautiful to us than they are in reality (glamoring). Is that not akin to god(s) and angels?

    We often assume 'god' to mean the Judeo-Christian-Islamic god, but there's plenty of deities elsewhere who do have a human-like form, and/or have the whole glamoring, shapeshifting or invisibility thing going on for them, same as faeries do. The "cute stories" thing is another misconception; I personally think the fay are about as cute as we are. In other words, there's ugly and grotesque ones, wingless ones, cute-as-a-button ones, etc. There is no reason to assume they are good or kind; it's akin to an alien race assuming humans are inherently cute or kind. We have ofc lots of modern fiction depicting them as such, but people who look beyond the smoke and mirrors know it's silly to think the fay are cute little things about which cute stories are written.

    ...Sorry, I don't mean to derail the thread, I just find it illogical to assume unicorns are pure, fairies are cute, dragons are violent, etc. There's plenty of mythology suggesting the contrary, and since science can't prove their existence or lack thereof it seems queer to me to assume these creatures (be they real or not) are inherently... well, anything, really. To me, this is not unlike people assuming awfully good-looking people don't commit crimes ("but she's such a pretty girl! how could she have murdered someone?") and people who look like hobos are inherently guilty of something ("well he certainly looks like a dirty old man, so he must be bad").

    EDIT:

    I might as well point out that one of the reasons I don't so much believe in god(s) as I am rather apathetic about the whole thing is because... I don't inherently assume god cares about me or wants what's best for me, and it doesn't make sense to me that people do, either. "Jesus loves you!" ...Why? O_o This reminds me of girls confessing to me in high school. Why are you in love with me? You don't know anything about me at all. Tell me you love after years of living with me and putting up with my ugly bitch face in the mornings. Otherwise I am not at all inclined to believe you.

    On the other hand, believing in faeries make sense to me because their existence (or non-existence) is not something that benefits me or them, nor is there an assumption that they care about me, or that I care about them. They simply exist, here or Elsewhere, and they're part of Nature as is everything else. Likewise, I believe in aliens. They, too, exist elsewhere, I don't know where or how or why, but their existence isn't necessary to mine, nor mine to theirs, they simply exist for their own sake, not for mine, and that's partly why I'm not concerned with finding them or them finding me.
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  10. #50
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    If fairies were created as part of nature, though, that makes them natural rather than mystical beings, quite distinct from deity in any form.
    This is one of my arguments in favor of their possible existence being more reasonable than deities, but that's another can of worms. Most people don't see them this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    If this is your real concern, you might have been clear about it up front.
    Oh but if I did that, people would misunderstand even more and think it all came down to "Greenfairy is upset because people don't believe in fairies. Poor NF." And like I say, I'm interested in both the rational side of things and the proper behavior side of things. A more accurate title would have been worded "how can a rational person justify..."
    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I don't advocate automatically rejecting much of anything.
    And this is one reason I like you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Entertaining an idea, however, does not require accepting it in the end. Different worldviews will result in different mystical landscapes. Yours might be populated by fairies, mine by angels. I evaluate my beliefs by the rational yardsticks of consistency and utility, but understand that our subjective experiences will lead us to different conclusions.
    Certainly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I have never understood why the highlighted is so difficult for people to accept. It is a crucial understanding.
    Because people are dogmatic and think they have the only right answer?

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