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  1. #451
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Schopenhauer View Post
    How depressing it is to realize, that neither of us is drunk off our rockers. It's a shame really.
    [youtube="ghgGnlg8PeQ"]Drunkiness[/youtube]

  2. #452
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    This is a fair point, and the best answer I can give to this is the following metaphor.

    If I could talk to fish I don't think I could convince one that the ocean exists. After all what evidence would I give? It would take me a while to make the fish realize that he is swimming in water, but that is not convincing evidence of an ocean. Or I could point to all the vast and diverse life living in the water, but the fish would just tell me that all of that alleged evidence is simply, "the way things are". I could try to show the fish the boundaries of the ocean, but the ocean is vast and where the oceans meet it's hard to tell where one ocean begins and another ends. From the fish's perspective the ocean is immeasurable. So I don't think I could ever convince the fish using evidence. I mean there is plenty of evidence, but there is so much that it's hard to see it, because the evidence simply looks like everything that exists.

    Instead if I really wanted to convice the fish I would use a different approach by trying to win his trust. Then he might simply take my word for it instead. I would do this because it is easier to convince the fish this way then by trying to convince him that the evidence really was evidence.

    And this is the approach that I think God has taken. He has sent trustworthy people like Jesus or Mohammad or Siddhartha to guide the rest of us. The decline in modern religion, I believe, has nothing to do with science. Rather it has to do with a lack of trustworthy religious leaders. Rising from the dead was just as irrational 2000 years ago as it is today. But people believe these things in spite of them being irrational because they trust the people giving the message. I became a Christian because I trust the authors of the New Testament. I also trusted the pastor of the church I've been attending the past several years. However I don't particularly trust either the Pope or Rick Warren or any other major religious figure I see on TV. The public figures give religion a bad name and I think that affects a person's view of religion more than any scientific evidence (or lack thereof).

    So even though I believe in God I don't think science will find any "evidence" of God's existence. Not unless they find a way to measure the immeasurable. However I think anyone with doubts or skepticism could be made to change their mind if they found a believer they could really trust. Talk of evidence is misleading because no one has been convinced by evidence even though many of the greatest minds in history have believed in some sort of God or transcendent entity. Were Isaac Newton or Socrates really ignorant and irrational people?
    You make some really excellent points and I think I've got to say that I respect you more for making this post that I have before now. If that's wrong then, well, *shrugs*

    Trust is important and I agree with you that evidence is far from the only criteria involved when people are making their minds up, most of the hue and cry that I see denying the existence of God, attacking religion and expounding athiest or anti-theist models of evolution and science I think would continue if there where irrefutable evidence provided to them of the existence of God, even if there where irrefutable evidence provided for the existence of God in the often simplistic and anthropomorphic ways they conceptualise deity and divinity.

    There generally a major kind of grievance, whether its with authority per se, religious authority specifically, historical religious authority (which isnt depicted in a factual, contextual or balanced way generally either) in some ways change within the family, authority, paternity and other norms have made it more difficult to belief too along with the abscence of trusthworthy religious leaders. The basic conceptual building blocks are gone or totally transformed.

    One final thing I would say too is the whole thing about rationalism and logic, those things can be highly over esteemed and over rated and exaggerated in their importance, economics has begun to slowly divest itself of some of the more mechanistic rationalism and other disciplines are slowly catching up, the vitriolic angry atheism I see making a power play for the soul of science isnt entirely rational, logical and objective either if you ask me.

  3. #453
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Schopenhauer View Post
    Such a wild amount of crude sophistry!



    I do not disbelieve in god based upon this notion that there are no trustworthy believers. I do disbelieve in god, however, because there are no good arguments in his favor - although, being the ignorant fish I am, I can hardly be blamed for this wretched sin.
    Crude sophistry? Really? Hardly.

    So let me get this right, you disbelief in God not because of a lack of evidence but because you can think of or find no good argument to do so or "in his favour"? I'm unsure what the stuff about fish and sin is meant to mean though.

  4. #454
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    Smile Believing our own propaganda.

    Whether God exists is certainly plausible or implausible.

    And also whether God exists is neither true nor false.

    However propaganda is neither true nor false, rather propaganda is plausible or implausible.

    So whether God exists or not is propaganda.

    And interestingly the first mistake we amateur propagandists make is to believe our own propaganda.

  5. #455
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    A good post.
    Can you discuss Islam fundamentalism with Islam fundamentalists?
    No.
    You cannot discuss religion with religious people.
    The first principle of logic.
    I assume that, if people come to a thread like this, they would like to discuss. Of course they'll defend their opinions, why not, that's what I do too. I myself lost my belief because of lots of great discussions - and I'm ready to gain it back, too.

    Even as a believer, I was of the opinion that I should have arguments for it. My reasoning was: "if I lose my belief just by discussing or by thinking about arguments, then it wasn't worth to keep to begin with!"

    Another thing I've been itching to post here:

    There are two possibilities.
    Either there exists a god (or more than one , or goddess(es) - I'm talking really generally here, about super-beings able to communicate with humans and influence their lives) or there is no god.

    Now people fall apart in three categories depending on which hypothesis they assume as true.

    Agnostics give each hypothesis around 50% chance - "I don't know whether there is a god or not"

    Theists assume one of the hypotheses and will change when proof is presented. "There is a god". That's how most human minds work - we assume lots of things and will only be surprised if it turns out to be false. We all assume things like "if I let a rubber fall, it will go down" and "if I heat this water, it will boil". So our theist starts from "there is a god" and will only conclude there is none if sufficient proof is presented.

    So do atheists. Only they start from the other hypothesis, "there is no god" and will only conclude there is one (or more) when sufficient proof is presented.
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  6. #456
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Schopenhauer View Post
    I do disbelieve in god, however, because there are no good arguments in his favor - although, being the ignorant fish I am, I can hardly be blamed for this wretched sin.
    We are all the ignorant fish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    The issue there to me is that you have no guarantee that the two situations you are equating in your inductive reasoning are alike whatsoever.
    etc...
    I was using a metaphor to illustrate a point. All metaphors can only be taken so far, because they are simply used to communicate certain ideas. I wasn't trying to assert anything about the cosmology of the universe.

    Even who we determine is trustworthy or not is based on our own personal values and standards and isn't necessarily derived from some inherent truth. So claiming that certain authorities are indeed authorities seems to be yet another self-spawned choice of one's own reality, rather than inherent and thus a reality that can be derived by anyone who cares to examine it.
    Human beings are biologically similar enough that you can reasonably say that some standards of trustworthiness are universal. For example I've never heard anyone say a disparaging word against Mother Theresa. If a person is consistently honest and compassionate and they consistently yield positive results in their deeds, then people will consider them trustworthy. It's not simply a matter of personality traits.
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  7. #457
    What is, is. Arthur Schopenhauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Crude sophistry? Really? Hardly.
    Guffaw.

    So let me get this right, you disbelief in God not because of a lack of evidence but because you can think of or find no good argument to do so or "in his favour"?
    There is no evidence of god; there are no worthy arguments that play in his favor.

    I'm unsure what the stuff about fish and sin is meant to mean though.
    It's a reference to the sophistry.
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  8. #458
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    For example I've never heard anyone say a disparaging word against Mother Theresa. If a person is consistently honest and compassionate and they consistently yield positive results in their deeds, then people will consider them trustworthy. It's not simply a matter of personality traits.
    That's just your personal experience. I've seen people call her manipulative, among other things.

    Not that I'm saying that Mother Theresa wasn't a good person, because really, she devoted her life to caring for the sick and the dying, so I approve, but just because you didn't hear it didn't mean it didn't happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    I assume that, if people come to a thread like this, they would like to discuss. Of course they'll defend their opinions, why not, that's what I do too. I myself lost my belief because of lots of great discussions - and I'm ready to gain it back, too.

    Even as a believer, I was of the opinion that I should have arguments for it. My reasoning was: "if I lose my belief just by discussing or by thinking about arguments, then it wasn't worth to keep to begin with!"
    Wildcat is right. There's nothing you can say unless they want to see it.

  10. #460
    Reptilian Snuggletron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Wildcat is right. There's nothing you can say unless they want to see it.

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