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  1. #481
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    What's then the difference between infinite and non-existent? If something is non-existent, it isn't measurable either.
    You are right. It would be more precise to define infinity as "beyond measure". But your point above actually leads me back to my original point. And that is "science will never any evidence of God's existence". Let us examine the two common arguments.

    1. Atheists claim God does not exist. In this case it is clear science will not be able to measure anything as evidence for God's existence.
    2. Christians claim that God is infinite. In this case we also have the situation that science will not be able to measure anything as evidence for God's existence.

    Clearly science will find the exact same thing whether God exists or not. All we can conclude is that science is a poor method to discover God's existence. One will not find evidence of God using science any more than one will find evidence of an ocean by looking in the desert. If a person is really going to find out if God exists then they must find a better method than science.

    This is why I suggest people go out and look for themselves. Study and participate in various religions and see if there is anything to them. Even if you still conclude that God does not exist, you will at least know that you used one of the better methods available.

    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??
    "Where does God's free will come from" is similar to the question "Where does God come from". If God exists outside the boundary of time then God does not come from anywhere. God has always existed. Likewise God's free will has always existed. People do not exist outside the boundaries of time or space, so we ask about the cause of our free will (just like we look for a cause for any phenomena we observe). We cannot observe a cause, so commonly people assume that God is the cause.

    Conversely, atheists also cannot observe a cause for free will and instead assert that there is no free will. So that is why I hear atheists say there is no free will. (But then there is the issue that one cannot study the world around them without first assuming that one has a free and independent mind. So atheists have this contradiction to wrestle with.)

    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...
    I'm sorry, but you'll have to do better than this. I asked for a non-cynical explanation. And it is clear that religion is universal. It occurs in every society, and even in societies where religion is outlawed people find a way to practice it illegally. I'm sure you can come up with a better explanation for religion if you actually examine the evidence.
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  2. #482
    What is, is. Arthur Schopenhauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    You are right. It would be more precise to define infinity as "beyond measure". But your point above actually leads me back to my original point. And that is "science will never any evidence of God's existence".
    Both science and religion are incapable of offering evidences of gods existence.

    Let us examine the two common arguments.

    1. Atheists claim God does not exist. In this case it is clear science will not be able to measure anything as evidence for God's existence.
    2. Christians claim that God is infinite. In this case we also have the situation that science will not be able to measure anything as evidence for God's existence.

    Clearly science will find the exact same thing whether God exists or not. All we can conclude is that science is a poor method to discover God's existence. One will not find evidence of God using science any more than one will find evidence of an ocean by looking in the desert. If a person is really going to find out if God exists then they must find a better method than science.

    This is why I suggest people go out and look for themselves. Study and participate in various religions and see if there is anything to them. Even if you still conclude that God does not exist, you will at least know that you used one of the better methods available.
    Oh really?

    In summary: "The irrationality of god proves that god exists." - 1

    "That's irrational" - 2

    "I win. " - 1
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    Hmm... But what if it does end well?
    Then I suppose it will be a different sort of poetry, a preferable sort...
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  3. #483
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  4. #484
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I mourn the false dichotomy between science and religion which leads to otherwise smart people cutting themselves off from all spiritual growth and development.

  5. #485
    What is, is. Arthur Schopenhauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I mourn the false dichotomy between science and religion which leads to otherwise smart people cutting themselves off from all spiritual growth and development.
    False?

    No, inherent.
    INTJ | 5w4 - Sp/Sx/So | 5-4-(9/1) | RLoEI | Melancholic-Choleric | Johari & Nohari

    This will not end well...
    But it will at least be poetic, I suppose...

    Hmm... But what if it does end well?
    Then I suppose it will be a different sort of poetry, a preferable sort...
    A sort I could become accustomed to...



  6. #486
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Schopenhauer View Post
    False?

    No, inherent.
    [youtube="Nh33bGAxl58"]Arguing with village atheists[/youtube]

  7. #487
    Member Yeonhee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Thanks for your response, it was more thorough than I expected. Hope you got a good rest.



    I do need to point out that it is already clear that you are operating backwards -- i.e., you're starting with ideals of your own that have yet been unargued, then drawing your conclusions from them.

    1. A good god would not allow nuclear weapons.
    2. A good god would not allow serious/Dangerous diseases.
    3. If God exists, he is not a good God.

    A forward (not backward) assess would say:
    1. The potential for nuclear weapons exist.
    2. Serious/Dangerous diseases exist.
    3. What is the full range of possibilities in regards to God for such things existing? [What purposes would #1 and #2 serve? Are they residual of good things or wholly evil? And so on.]

    These are actually two very different approaches. The first one includes an inherent ideal/non-ideal (or even good/evil) moral judgment.



    So God is not loving (i.e., evil, I think, in how you're discussing this) because if he was, he would give people more time to redeem themselves but sometimes calls the game early.



    It's inevitable that they would.

    So you're saying that behavior springs from inborn forces that God is conjectured to place there anyway, which means he's punishing people for them partly behaving as he created them to behave. (JUst asking for clarification.)



    Determinism to me partly removes the NEED for religion. i.e., if the machine runs all by itself and outcome is predetermined based on the earlier state of the system, then moral values seem to have no place.

    Although it still does not explain why the system exists in the first place.




    I think our concept of love is based on choice, yes.

    Love is a choice to do what is best for someone else or to accept/trust them into a relationship, when there is no compulsion or need to do so. If you have no choice, you can't really choose to love.




    Surely you have read one of the zillions of fantasy novels out there where the characters spent their lives unsure of what was going on, but afterwards discovered that if they had been told the truth up front, they would not have persevered to the end and benefited from things.

    Even apply it to psychology. People don't change and grow unless they have to. If they knew what was going on, they might not change. Change is very desirable as part of life.

    Now applying this very broad concept to religion. You can see lots of reasons why a loving God might not just spill the beans up front. I can't say which is true; I'm simply saying there are scenarios that make the "not knowing" reasonably understandable.



    God creates fear, doubt, and despair? Those are feeling states -- possibilities inherent in the human system (i.e., biology). We choose whether or not to give into them and indulge them, and even act on them. Just because they exist really says nothing about God; it matters only what the overall intent of having such a system was in the first place, and if that system enables us to reach pinnacles of growth, then now it is a person's choice that determines the value of having the potential for despair -- not any sort of "God." God would have just created the machinery, but not how it was used.



    ...sorry, but not really.

    I identified with the earlier things more.

    I do wrestle with the thought of "Why so much pain in the world?"

    But I live within the system. I can't evaluate it from the outside. From a personal standpoint, I can despise the pain and be angry at a God figure. From an impersonal standpoint, trying to use my mind and imagination, I can visualize why that sort of experience might be necessary in order to spur growth.

    A book I was recently reading talked about overcoming childhood pains, especially with disappointment in the parents, and the author made the point that usually people who have undergone those terribly emotionally painful childhoods are also highly sensitive, empathic, broad/far-seeing... and have a sense and longing for beauty, goodness, and joy that others who had better childhoods do not. They can find beauty in everything.

    So he advises to accept the experiences for what they were, true, but also to not hold bitterness over them and to see them in some ways as a gift that brought "goodness" and the desire for it into clearer focus.

    Just another idea for you to consider.



    Oh, there's lots of bad, B-rate movies out there.

    If you want a personal opinion, that's why I think the conservative religious stance on homosexuality (and similar things) is crap. Especially if you look at what gets said by Jesus. But that's another issue.




    Does Satan actually exist in the way you bring him up, or is that just partly another part of the "Paradise Lost" myth read back into modern Christianity? I don't know.



    With limited resources, any world fills up and/or gets polluted. Everything is fighting for the same living space, with different needs.



    What other energy source options are palatable to you? Do they have no flaws in them either?



    That's sort of a pointless question. You might as well judge an artist for taking 2 hours to paint a picture you think might have been painted in half an hour. He chose to take that long. *shrug*

    Why create reality where love can be so easiliy destroyed, by this I mean civilization that has those feeling.

    etc...

    I wish I had time to read Owl's stuff, but I have to run. Thanks for your post.
    What you say reminds me of Aquinas. Aquinas believed that human folly is not contingent upon God's perfection, and it is precisely because of Love. In loving man, God gave us choice. And in order to authentically love God, we must also have the choice to do it. We cannot be moderately free (ie, why doesn't God stop evil?), we are free or we are not.

  8. #488
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Schopenhauer View Post
    False?

    No, inherent.
    No false.

  9. #489
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I mourn the false dichotomy between science and religion which leads to otherwise smart people cutting themselves off from all spiritual growth and development.
    There maybe needs to be some kind of reformation that has to go thru church. I for example think there's a lot of wisdom in the bible, something like captured life experience. I too think that being open to the bible and reading it, can enable one to become more philosophical about ones own existance and maybe finetune people more to understand many ethical and moral views on the world that sometimes seem lost nowadays.

    One thing is for sure, science cant teach our society how to become more ethical , moral or social in that regards, the tools alone science uses, like logic and pragmatism are completly not qualified for this. But if religion wants to do it one day, it has to call it something else than "spiritual growth" or the "path to God" cause I just dont believe in those two (and get allergies from esoteric mumbojumbo).
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  10. #490
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    You are right. It would be more precise to define infinity as "beyond measure". But your point above actually leads me back to my original point. And that is "science will never any evidence of God's existence". Let us examine the two common arguments.
    1. Atheists claim God does not exist. In this case it is clear science will not be able to measure anything as evidence for God's existence.
    2. Christians claim that God is infinite. In this case we also have the situation that science will not be able to measure anything as evidence for God's existence.
    Clearly science will find the exact same thing whether God exists or not. All we can conclude is that science is a poor method to discover God's existence. One will not find evidence of God using science any more than one will find evidence of an ocean by looking in the desert. If a person is really going to find out if God exists then they must find a better method than science.
    A better method?
    Why doesn't god tell us what that better method is, if he cares anything about us?
    And if he is indifferent, why do we pray to him?
    The question is: does this god interact with ordinary matter? If yes, his effect is measurable. If not, he isn't different from any ghost, fairy or tachyon rider I can imagine...
    This is why I suggest people go out and look for themselves. Study and participate in various religions and see if there is anything to them. Even if you still conclude that God does not exist, you will at least know that you used one of the better methods available.
    I've done that. Really, my disbelief doesn't come from a disgust of my local church or something - I actually still have very positive memories of it.
    "Where does God's free will come from" is similar to the question "Where does God come from". If God exists outside the boundary of time then God does not come from anywhere. God has always existed. Likewise God's free will has always existed. People do not exist outside the boundaries of time or space, so we ask about the cause of our free will (just like we look for a cause for any phenomena we observe). We cannot observe a cause, so commonly people assume that God is the cause.
    Conversely, atheists also cannot observe a cause for free will and instead assert that there is no free will. So that is why I hear atheists say there is no free will. (But then there is the issue that one cannot study the world around them without first assuming that one has a free and independent mind. So atheists have this contradiction to wrestle with.)
    I guess not all atheists are the same I don't agree with the assertion of "no free will". Actually, I think there is a big mistake in the reasoning you're quoting here. "I haven't observed any cause for it, so it can't exist"??? I haven't observed any cause for the universe. Do I really have to say now that the universe doesn't exist? Come on!
    No, my stance is simpler than that. "I have observed the universe so it exists." I haven't observed a cause for it, but that doesn't stop the universe from existing.
    The "causality argument" is actually an answer to theists. If you (theists) are allowed to believe there exists a god without needing a cause for that, I am allowed to believe there exists a universe without needing a cause.
    I'm sorry, but you'll have to do better than this. I asked for a non-cynical explanation. And it is clear that religion is universal. It occurs in every society, and even in societies where religion is outlawed people find a way to practice it illegally. I'm sure you can come up with a better explanation for religion if you actually examine the evidence.
    I really didn't mean this to be cynical. If it sounds like that, my apologies.
    My point is: I lay the cause for religion in human nature, not in an external cause. Humans are quite similar all over the world (well we are of the same species!)
    If you're offended by the examples I gave, please look a bit closer to them. They aren't as silly as they look on first sight.
    The "sacrifice idea" has been (and still is) part of most religions. Incense, wine and water have taken the place of animal or human sacrifices, but the goal is the same. Make the powerful being (god, saint,...) happy in order that he doesn't destroy your crops/wreck your ship/...
    The "manure idea" probably sounds the silliest of all to some primitive human who doesn't know about fertilizer... but that one actually works. You can divide your field in two, add manure to one half and no manure to the other, and look which half of the crops grows the best.
    The "stirring idea" - maybe you haven't heard of this one and yes, than it sounds silly. It was not my intention. I myself have believed it for +/- ten years. I believed it because my mother told so. My mother was right about the cooking plate being hot and the knife being sharp. She has been right about that awful tasting liquid which made the pain in my throat go away. So I trusted her. At one point I forgot it and stirred both ways - it's quite natural for me to do so, as I'm ambidexterous and if one arm gets tired, I change hands. I remembered when the cake was in the oven - and it came out fine! Turned out my mother was wrong on that one...
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