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  1. #471

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    If it where plausible would it still be God?

  2. #472
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Again?

  3. #473
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well does that mean that you cant discuss religion with athiests?

    If its resolution you're talking about then they can be just as resolute as each other. A lot of the time I think people are working out their own personal issues and often there's a lot of social psychology and dynamics at work when they reach their conclusions.
    Yes. I can discuss fundamentalism with atheists. It has nothing to do with religion.
    True. People see through the screen of their personal life.

  4. #474
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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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!"

    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.
    Yes. Well put.
    Maybe the set is the other way around altogether.
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  5. #475
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    Infinite means "bigger than every number" so yes, it is measurable.
    This is not quite right. Infinite means "not finite". What does finite mean?

    fi·nite   
    [fahy-nahyt]

    –adjective
    1. having bounds or limits; not infinite; measurable.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/finite
    Infinte means no bounds, no limits and not measureable. Anything which is infinite cannot be measured by definition.

    If you assume there is a god! And I think you're assuming even more in this sentence: that god is somehow able to steer us like puppets and has actively cutted the strings to make us free-willed. But if there isn't a puppeteer to begin with... free will is much easier to understand. And I'm a great fan of Ockham: if two different theories describe the same effect, choose the easiest.
    This is the first time I've heard this argument. Perhaps you could elaborate? Generally I've heard atheists argue against free will and Christians argue in favor of it. If the simplest explanation is that free will exists without God I would like for you to elaborate as to why that is.

    True. Moreover, for science to work you need to believe in other things too: that there is a sort of structure to our universe, that it's predictable, and that our senses don't mislead us. Most people actually believe in that - maybe not if you ask them right out, but they live as if they do. They go home after work as if they are sure their house is still there and didn't mutate into an octopus! You don't even think about that!
    I agree.

    Did you find a part of god yet? Did you find a lower bound?
    I only found upper bounds to him (her,...): his influence is not significantly bigger than pure chance.
    I can't really understand your last sentence. In that I can't understand how a person can see the influence of any sort of deity as purely chance. For this to be true one must give an adequate (and non-cynical) explaination why religion is a universal phenomenon.
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  6. #476
    Senior Member BlueGray's Avatar
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    People have a fear of the unknown. When events occur that they can't describe, rather than accept it as an unknown they attribute it to a greater being. Thus, religion. There is also trust and communication. When one person reaches a conclusion, those surrounding them learn of this conclusion from them. It's not like Christianity formed in multiple places; different religions popped up to handle such situations.

    That definition of finite is problematic. You can place bounds or limits on stuff and have it remain infinite. Saying that happy is not a number does not mean that there are not an infinite amount of numbers.
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    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    This is not quite right. Infinite means "not finite". What does finite mean? (...)
    Infinte means no bounds, no limits and not measureable. Anything which is infinite cannot be measured by definition.
    What's then the difference between infinite and non-existent? If something is non-existent, it isn't measurable either. If you say "infinite" I think of two things - either infinitely small or infinitely big. If something is infinitely big (insert any scale here - infinitely good, infinitely powerful... are the ones most readily attributed to a god - but I don't shrink from infinitely massive or other things) you can at least put a lower limit to it.
    Infinitely small - why worship a "god" who is infinitely less powerful than a human, who has infinitely little influence on the world,...? Such an entity is not worth to worship.

    This is the first time I've heard this argument. Perhaps you could elaborate? Generally I've heard atheists argue against free will and Christians argue in favor of it. If the simplest explanation is that free will exists without God I would like for you to elaborate as to why that is.
    Strange! This is the first time I've heard of atheists arguing against free will.
    Let me revise the Christian thing.
    First of all there is a God with a free will. This one wants some company, creates (whether in six days like the Bible tells or with genetic manipulation which can't be distinguished from spontaneous evolution - I don't really care about the details here.) plants, animals and humans. Then he actively endows the humans with a spark from his free will.
    So you start already with something with free will!
    Why can't I start with something with a free will too? Why do I have to prove that you can create free will with nothing but chance and selection? You've got a much bigger problem than that! Where does that free will of God come from??

    I can't really understand your last sentence. In that I can't understand how a person can see the influence of any sort of deity as purely chance. For this to be true one must give an adequate (and non-cynical) explaination why religion is a universal phenomenon.
    Why is religion universal? Because that's how humans are built. We always want explanations and causes for everything. We humans can't accept chance. We invent cause-effect relations and start believing in them. If you put manure on your field you'll get a better harvest. If you don't sacrifice a lamb to the Sun God, spring will not come back next year. If you change the direction of stirring while making dough, the bread will not rise.
    You don't want to risk spring not coming back, so you won't experiment with "not sacrificing a lamb" this year. Until someone does.
    The whole history is riddled with new ideas and beliefs coming up and old ones discarded or proven false.
    Religion is not as universal as it used to be...
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  8. #478
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    What's then the difference between infinite and non-existent?
    What's the difference between priceless and worthless? Would you seriously say they're the same?

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    Actually, it is rather obvious that the Christian God is illogical. The essence of christianity is that God made the Universe, and Adam and Eve, who ate a fruit from a talking snake, which caused us all to be sinners, and then sent himself as a sacrifice to himself, in a bid to please himself. Despite his omniscient characteristic, he could not prevent Adam and Eve from eating the fruit, he could not prevent people for disbelieving, and yet claims free will exists when he would send his creations to hell. To make it worse, evil believers qualify for heaven, while good nonbelievers go to hell. The Universe is so obviously not designed, and it is obvious that if a God existed, he would have deliberately made it appear as such. And when Christians say that it is to 'test their faith', it gets annoying that they reject evidence. Of course, we have the FSM to back us up.

    Furthermore, the irony deepens when God is considered 'all loving', when any rational thought immediately shows that God is bloodthirsthy and self-centred. If the Christian God existed, Heaven would be no better than Hell.

    The deist God would make a much better case. However, the existence of any God in the first place is, prima facie, unlikely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    What's the difference between priceless and worthless? Would you seriously say they're the same?
    If both are defined as "can not been expressed in terms of money", yes. But they aren't.
    Priceless can be defined as: "more worth than any money" while worthless can be defined as "less worth than any money."
    The same is true for "infinitely big" = "bigger than every measure" and "infinitely small" = "smaller than every measure". Both can be compared to a measure. Not I, but Liquid Laser was telling "infinite" meant "can not been expressed in terms of measures". If you take this definition (which I don't) then yes, you can't distinguish between infinite and nonexistent.
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