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Thread: NTs and God

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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Philosophies are not evidence.
    Science is not a universal tool for reaching conclusions. It surprises me how many atheists assume this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    Yeah, failed was harsh language, but it wasn't intended to apply to you. It was intended to apply to people who make the specific statement, "there is no evidence for God". There is a difference between saying, as you do, "I have looked at evidence and I'm not convinced" or even "there may be evidence, but I am not interested in reading it," and making the wholly unfounded statement "there is no evidence for God". Even a theory that the scientific community discards has some evidence for it, or it would have been impossible to even bother to write about. If you're aware of the existence of a work like Summa Theologica, how can you say there's no evidence for the existence of God? Also, regarding your statement that expressing the arguments of brilliant thinkers is the job of believers, weren't the brilliant thinkers believers? Why is it a requirement that some hypothetical brigade of believers recite arguments, when the arguments in their best form are available, say, on the internet? In an argument, yes, it would be the believers responsibility to present the arguments for belief (that was good, btw). But my point is, when you make a minor decision, you look for evidence for and against. When you're making a decision as to whether or not God exists, which changes one's entire metaphysical understanding (and possibly, one's entire life), I would probably make at least a cursory glance at the evidence for and against. And my belief is that it's a part of good teaching, good scholarship, to at least acknowledge the existence of alternative views, and to not dismiss them as unfounded without at least being aware of them.
    How about the statement "I have looked for evidence for God, and I have found none, so therefore I do not believe in God." Technically of course, that's not true. Even anecdotal evidence is evidence.

    Now, I can't say that I've made enough study of evidence against God, but that's what this discussion is for, right? So I'm really not attacking you, Kangirl, because I really respect people like you who are at least passingly familiar with the fact that some very smart people have argued that God exists, even if you're not convinced by them. My belief is that you are incorrect, but as far as I'm concerned, my respect increases by several orders of magnitude when I find considered statements like yours and Costrin's than when I encounter statements that clearly have no basis in fact, i.e., "there is no evidence for God", unless the statement is qualified I believe in God, but I would never make such an obviously false statement as "there is no evidence for atheism" or "there is no evidence for Darwinism" or "there is no evidence for pantheism," because one trip to the library proves that such statements are demonstrably false.
    I must focus on technicalities again. There can be no evidence for atheism, as atheism is a position, rather than a theory. It is the position of an absence of belief in God and/or theism. It makes no testable, unfalsifiable claims. However, the commonly misunderstood definition of atheism does, as it is a claim that God does not exist.

    "There is no evidence for Darwinism" is of course false, but "there is no evidence for pantheism", is true. It's just the same as any other theistic position practically when concerning the evidence. Unless of course you redefine God, in which case it would be true by definition.

    I did a fairly quick wikipedia look-over, and I believe that "before which space-time did not exist" is a conclusion taken from the "Hartle-Hawking state," which holds that space-time is finite. It may or may not be universally accepted, but I believe that it is fairly popular. I'm fairly certain that steady-state theory is discredited, but apparently there are theories that argue that the Big Bang does not inherently preclude an eternal universe, but these are (I think) tied up in highly speculative things like string theory.

    I was addressing believers and nonbelievers. I wish that believers emphasized this stuff more, and I wish nonbelievers didn't dismiss it out of hand, or not know that it even existed.
    Well, dismissing it out of hand is bad. If I'm doing that I trust you'll point that out to me, then later I can agree or disagree with it. However, not knowing it exists is quite a different problem, one I suspect would be mainly the problem of believers not properly educating people. At least in my case, you can't say I'm not looking, hence me participating in this debate!

    What is "concrete proof" to you? Is it scientific evidence based on observable phenomena, and if not, how much broader is it than this?
    Concrete proof to me, would be to take a theory. One that makes testable, falsifiable claims, and to conduct experiments testing these claims. If the results then were as such that they could not be easily dismissed because of random chance or placebo or whatever, then that would constitute concrete proof. For example, if one were to conduct an experiment testing the percentage of prayers fulfilled, and it was significantly greater than that of random chance.

    Costrin, I started my response early in the day, and then I added and subtracted at various times in the day until I posted it.
    Ah, I tend to work in one giant burst.

    Okay, so I understand your position better now, I think. What I don't understand is how it follows that this position precludes the Cosmological argument. Perhaps if I rephrased it as such:

    If the universe began to exist, then it has a cause
    The universe began to exist
    Therefore it has a cause.

    The evidence for "if the universe began to exist, then it has a cause" is the inductive argument "everything that I have seen that begins to exist has a cause." The evidence for "the universe began to exist" is the Big Bang Theory. The Big Bang Theory in this case is merely evidence for the evidence, and is in no way in any sort of "direct competition" with "God exists". I don't think it violates your principle.

    Evidence 1) Anything that begins to exist has a cause
    -Support: everything that I have seen that begins to exist has a cause.
    Evidence 2) The universe began to exist
    -Support: The Big Bang Theory (every time I type this, I keep thinking about the TV show. Okay, sorry, just wanted to say that.)
    There's a reason inductive reasoning(wiki article ahoy!) is viewed with wariness. Though, I think in this case, it's as reasonable an assumption as you can get.

    Anyway, your making me look up stuff, instead of just pointing out logical fallacies, congratulations, you have gotten much further than many theists.

    Big Bang theory does not prove or disprove whether the universe began to exist. It does provide evidence for how it got to it's current state, but everything before the Big Bang is unknown. So whether or not the universe began to exist or not, is not proven one way or another by the Big Bang theory.

    Without any evidence associated with the earliest instant of the expansion, the Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe since that instant.
    Source

    I agree. This is the limitation of the cosmological argument. It really only gets us as far as Deism, but hey, historically (since Descartes, anyway), thinkers progressed from theism to deism to naturalism, so I don't see why we theists can't just inch it in the other direction! And if we establish a deistic universe, then we can proceed to rule out lots and lots of other theories of the universe. Coming to a more accurate understanding of how the universe works is just better, because it can lead to a more accurate understanding of several other things which do have more practical applications. Practically, there is no distinction. But surely factual distinctions matter, even if the practical applications haven't been worked out, or even don't exist. Of course, that principle rests on the idea that truth is inherently better than non-truth, which is sort of undermined by the position you take later on:
    Yeah, I agree here.


    Well, of course, you'll note that the argument says "perfection" rather than "quality". Evilness is (arguably) a "quality" but certainly not a "perfection". Ignorance is a "quality" but not a "perfection". But you don't agree that it is possible to have a perfection. So you're going to make me defend the concept of perfections? Really? Really, really? Okay, I don't quite know how to do this, but I'll try.

    To me, this returns to your 2+2=4 thing. How can one defend the proposition "x is better than y." It is just inherently better. Knowledge is inherently better than ignorance. Order is inherently better than chaos. Being is inherently better than non-being. Truth is inherently better than non-truth. If you don't affirm at least some actual, inherent superiorities, then how is Martin Luther King Jr. better than Hitler? If knowledge is better than ignorance, then it is a perfection to have all knowledge and no ignorance. If justice is better than injustice, then it is a perfection to have all justice and no injustice. This is, in my opinion, just properly basic.
    We may have to agree to disagree here. MLK is not inherently better than Hitler. MLK is seen as superior though, because the majority of humanity agrees with him. However, racists would disagree. Perfection, superiority, right or wrong, are all subjective values assigned by the observer. Depending on the perspective on takes, Hitler was clearly better. He nearly led Germany to dominance, he subdued or killed many of Germany's competitors, and MLK led to interracial mixing, ruining the purity of each race. This view is just as objectively equally valid as the common view.

    Course, I don't mean to imply that I hold that view. The contrary. Taken from a broader perspective of the survival and peace of all humanity, then it seems clear that MLK was vastly superior (although one can never truly know). But it all depends on how you define your goals.

    Knowledge is better than ignorance. But what about the saying, "ignorance is bliss"? Order is better than chaos, but wouldn't that depend highly on the kind of order? Certainly a totalitarian society (think 1984) has the highest amount of order, but is that really better? Well, you could say that justice is better than injustice, and a totalitarian society is unjust. But that is two contradictory goals, then. Truth is better than non-truth, but the truth can hurt. Is no pain better than pain? Yes? But what about "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger?"

    Basically, the reason society is able to function, is that they agree to common subjective definitions of these things. But, they are still subjective.

    Also, the omni-paradoxes were solved, for me anyway, by the argument that "God cannot defy His own nature." Thus when Christians say "God can do anything," we really mean "God can do anything but contradict Himself." God cannot create a square circle, because to do so would be logically incoherent (disorderly) and He is a God of order. God cannot create an immovable object, because He can't violate Himself. That's probably an insufficient way of stating it; I don't know if it would stand up to scrutiny, but it makes sense to me. I should probably find a better defense of it.
    Hmm. But I don't think this solve the free-will versus omniscience contradiction. God knows everything, so he knows what we are going to do, but supposedly we can choose to do whatever we want. But if God knows what we're going to do before we even do it, are we really making a choice?
    Well, upon further thought, I suppose it does solve this dilemma. God isn't actually omniscient. He doesn't know what we are going to do. But then, does he really know anything in the future? Due to the butterfly effect, our actions would resonate around the universe, and make the future unknowable. But I suppose he could know everything else, including the past, and non time-related data.

    Meh. My principle is that physical facts imply metaphysical realities. But I suppose I can't really use facts gleaned in this manner in defense of God, because the only logical justification I have for that principle is the idea of the "General Revelation" of God, the way in which God's creation reveals itself. That, and romantic poetry/Walt Whitman, which would go back to that whole "beauty-as-evidence" bit. But, yes, you're right. In the absence of God, there is no reason to believe that the fact that all organisms attempt to survive implies that being is better than nonbeing.
    Well, it wouldn't be logical, but if this works for you, more power to you. As I stated previously in this thread, I have no problem with irrationality (and to do so would itself be irrational), as long as people don't try and push it upon others unwillingly.

  3. #393
    THREADKILLER Prototype's Avatar
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    Is the question asking how I as an NT understand what God is?...


    Could life be only the accumulation of atoms reacting only to the smallest frequencies/vibrations created and emitted within the Universe?
    Could it be that there was no intentional "Grand Design" behind this existence because observation/and "conscience" is only a side effect produced by this vibration?

    When vibrating sand at different frequencies you can create symmetrical shapes and patterns with it,... Everything is formed by very specific frequencies and when these frequencies change slightly over billions of years, so does the form.

    What is so special about the Human species that allows us to have faith in that we have a particular purpose, in the macrocosm scheme of things?
    ... They say that knowledge is free, and to truly acquire wisdom always comes with a price... Well then,... That will be $10, please!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Philosophies are not evidence.
    Ummm... shall I go over the difference between inductive and deductive arguments, or how science makes philosophical assumptions? This would be a great argument to have on another thread, but really quickly (and admittedly, these are just off the dome, so they're not great, but they might work as points of discussion):

    1) What physical evidence tells you that it's a good idea to tell the truth and a bad idea to lie? (Science is predicated on telling the truth about findings and research)
    2) What physical evidence tells you that it is better to know than to not know (what's the point of science if there's no motivation to know scientific knowledge?)
    3) What physical evidence tells you that your perception is at all reliable? (Science assumes that what we see, measure, count, etc., is accurate, reliable, and repeatable)

    I seriously believe that humans' final destiny is a putrefying corpse, and we have nothing to look forward to after that. For some, belief in God is an edifying experience that aids in growth, maturity, and intelligence. However for me, I can never permit myself to believe in such a thing so long as I am alive, even the possibility of a god does exist. Why? Because I would become complacent, and not live life to its fullest. I would never use my brain to its maximum capacity, since I know that I will be rewarded with "salvation" as long as I behave and believe faithfully. The possibility that God doesn't exist invigorates me, and motivates me to do my best and live life like there is no tomorrow (most of the time).

    What if God doesn't exist, or doesn't even like us? Then you must take advantage of every living moment of your physical life. That's just the way I see things, no offense intended.
    You know, I can sympathize with this position. I could quote Pascal's wager at you, but really I understand what you're saying. This is another thing that is entirely the church's fault, and the best answer to you is that Christ took advantage of absolutely every moment of His life, and Christian's example is to be Christ. We don't achieve it, but I firmly believe (and would love to talk about) the idea that God energizes and propels us to live our lives to the fullest. In fact, let me paraphrase a C.S. Lewis quote that might apply here. It comes from an eschatological POV, and I know that turns a lot of people off, but just think about it: Christianity teachers that every action you take moves each individual whose life you affect towards being a creature of such unimaginable beauty that you would be tempted to go down to your knees and worship them, or towards being a creature of such hideousness that it would shatter your heart to so much as look at them. That's not a great argument, but it is a great statement of what should motivate Christians to live their lives to the fullest as well.

    Christianity replaces "at any moment I may die" with "at any moment God might come back." I am not defending the veracity of these propositions, but merely indicating their efficacy in motivation.

    Furthermore, I don't know if you work like this, but for me the joy of using my brain is discovering something new, exciting, and amazing. Well, Christian thinkers have that same wonder of discovery, with the added dimension that this discovery helps us to better understand the God who we believe created us and gives us purpose. It's like everything gets counted twice, once for its own sake and once for what is shows about God.

    Finally (and here's a real feelings-based rant), one of the most significant tenets of Christianity, one of the ideas most fundamental to Christianity, is the idea that love is the greatest motivator. Not fear (of punishment, of running out of time, of death of what-you-will), not duty, not compulsion (because Christianity holds that God could compel and chooses not to), not manipulation, not hatred, not, contrary to everything that appears to be the case, self-interest, but love, is the motivation whereby God has choosen to move His people. And that, to return to another point, is beauty-as-evidence. Because it makes moral sense, which is just as valid as objective rational sense, that love is a better motivator than fear. It agrees with the intuition we recieve when we look at a baby and see beauty. Okay, there's my rant.

    (And Costrin, I really want to respond, but I'm busy right now, so I'll read it ASAP.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Costrin View Post
    How about the statement "I have looked for evidence for God, and I have found none, so therefore I do not believe in God." Technically of course, that's not true. Even anecdotal evidence is evidence.
    That statement is significantly better, when you define evidence as "testable and falsifiable." But it's false to the point of ludicrousness when you broaden evidence to include, like you said, anecdotal evidence, deductive logical argument, appeals to moral law, and, my favorite, beauty-as-evidence, or what might be better stated as correspondence to the truths that Plato and Descartes say are self-evident and available to reason (or more accurately, "rational intuition" to use Plato's--or his translator's--language).

    I must focus on technicalities again. There can be no evidence for atheism, as atheism is a position, rather than a theory. It is the position of an absence of belief in God and/or theism. It makes no testable, unfalsifiable claims. However, the commonly misunderstood definition of atheism does, as it is a claim that God does not exist.

    "There is no evidence for Darwinism" is of course false, but "there is no evidence for pantheism", is true. It's just the same as any other theistic position practically when concerning the evidence. Unless of course you redefine God, in which case it would be true by definition.
    And there is logical evidence for Pantheism, but now that I'm aware of how you use the word evidence, I would probably agree that Pantheism makes untestible and unfalsifiable claims.

    Oooh, that's good. Atheism defined as "an absence of belief" rather than a claim "God does not exist." I suppose it would put the burden of proof on the theist, at least until the atheist makes any negative claim against Christianity, which would necessarily be support for the claim "God does not exist". Of course, the two statements have no pragmatic difference whatsoever, but logic and semantics are like twin brothers (thanks, Aristotle), so I don't have any choice but to deal with it.

    So then, the refusal to affirm is a position, whereas an affirmation or a negation is a theory. That's something interesting to think on.


    Well, dismissing it out of hand is bad. If I'm doing that I trust you'll point that out to me, then later I can agree or disagree with it. However, not knowing it exists is quite a different problem, one I suspect would be mainly the problem of believers not properly educating people. At least in my case, you can't say I'm not looking, hence me participating in this debate!
    No, no, no not at all. I haven't been able to catch you in what I thought to be such a simple error. If I have to be specific, those comments were directed towards individuals such as withoutaface and lazyhappy who genuinely believe, not that there is no convincing evidence, but that there is no evidence whatsoever, for Christianity. Of course, now that I've talked with you more, I realize that their position might have been that there's no testable and falsifiable evidence, which would be less lamentable, but still, the statement, just on its face, really really bothers me. And I don't think that it's just the fault of believers (although it's definately partially our fault) but also people who refuse to accept the existence of God yet also refuse to look for evidence that God does exist. It's just the responsible intellectual thing to do, which is why we're having this conversation, not only to convince but also to learn. But I'm much more willing to budge on this point that others; it could very well be that believers are the only one's whose responsibility it is to present this evidence. I suppose that's not one of those deeply-held, unshakeable ENFP values (although I do get into those further down...).

    Concrete proof to me, would be to take a theory. One that makes testable, falsifiable claims, and to conduct experiments testing these claims. If the results then were as such that they could not be easily dismissed because of random chance or placebo or whatever, then that would constitute concrete proof. For example, if one were to conduct an experiment testing the percentage of prayers fulfilled, and it was significantly greater than that of random chance.
    Darn it; that bit about looking up stuff officially applies to you as well. I remember that Alvin Plantinga has an awesome refutation of falsifiability and verifiability, but I'd have to go read it before I could present it coherently. But... I do remember a little bit of someone (Kant, I think?) who completely dismissed inductive evidence (science always yields inductive, probable conclusions) being "concrete" because deductive arguments provide necessary conclusions, while inductive arguments provide only probably conclusions, and I would rather have logical necessity than likelihood. Just a thought. I think this is another one of those fundamental points of difference (just like the one you pointed out below), which is your definition of evidence. I'll probably argue about that next, but like I said, I have to look it up in order to do anything even semi-effective.

    Ah, I tend to work in one giant burst.
    I wonder if that has anything at all to do with type differences. It seems like the kind of thing that would just be a preference.


    There's a reason inductive reasoning(wiki article ahoy!) is viewed with wariness. Though, I think in this case, it's as reasonable an assumption as you can get.

    Anyway, your making me look up stuff, instead of just pointing out logical fallacies, congratulations, you have gotten much further than many theists.

    Big Bang theory does not prove or disprove whether the universe began to exist. It does provide evidence for how it got to it's current state, but everything before the Big Bang is unknown. So whether or not the universe began to exist or not, is not proven one way or another by the Big Bang theory.



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    Yay problem of induction! I just learned problem of induction last semester, and I know Augustine has some stuff about that, so it's lookup time again. But yes, good point. I made a similar one above (not the same argument, but you know, similar conclusions) using Kant.

    Okay, I've studied up some, and here's some arguments for the finitude of the universe. I haven't gotten to the ones that are Big Bang = finitude, but maybe I'll find those later. For the moment:

    1) Philosophical absurdity of an actual infinite. Say that there existed a library containing an infinite number of books. Say again that half of the books were red and half of the books were black. If there was indeed an actual infinite number of books, then all of the red books + all of the black books would = all of the red books, because infinity/2 = infinity. So each "half" of the books is also all of the books. Inductively unlikely and it violates the law of noncontradition: how can "half" be "all"? It's a philosophical absurdity, and more significantly, it undermines the very laws of logic whereby we came to conclude that the universe is infinite. Logic (hypothetically) tells us that the universe is infinite, but the universe is infinite implies that logic doesn't work.

    2) Furthermore, imagine that every book in the library had a number on its spine. Since there are an infinite number of books, every number that exists is represented on the spine of one of the books. Say then that we added one more book to the number of books. There would be no number that we could add to this number of books; it would be logically impossible to count. Yet inductively, we are familiar with the principle that everything that exists in reality can be counted. Furthermore, say we just assigned the book the number infinity + 1, and we have infinity + 1 books. But infinity + 1 = infinity, so then we would have added a book and not added a book, because the number of books did not increase (it is the same number).

    The idea is that the same thing that applies to the number of books applies to the number of days, hours, seconds, minutes, half-lives of uranium, or whatever measure of time one chooses, so that an actual infinite number of time demarcations is impossible. By the way, both of these arguments are shamelessly plagiarized from "Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology," which is a book co-written by William Lane Craig which would appear to address the issue from a fairly balanced perspective (it was also co-written by an atheist arguing against Craig). It looks to be good reading (and quite a few pages are apparently readable on Google Books for free.

    Yeah, I agree here.
    So then, if one could prove that the Big Bang actually implies the finitude of the universe (or if the finitude of the universe could be established in some other way), then you might have a rational reason to at least seriously consider deism...?

    We may have to agree to disagree here. MLK is not inherently better than Hitler. MLK is seen as superior though, because the majority of humanity agrees with him. However, racists would disagree. Perfection, superiority, right or wrong, are all subjective values assigned by the observer. Depending on the perspective on takes, Hitler was clearly better. He nearly led Germany to dominance, he subdued or killed many of Germany's competitors, and MLK led to interracial mixing, ruining the purity of each race. This view is just as objectively equally valid as the common view.

    Course, I don't mean to imply that I hold that view. The contrary. Taken from a broader perspective of the survival and peace of all humanity, then it seems clear that MLK was vastly superior (although one can never truly know). But it all depends on how you define your goals.
    If Hitler's perspective is just as objectively valid as MLKs (and I'm not ready to grant that, but defending objective morality requires God, IMO, or as I might say, God is part of the "necessary structure" of support for objectivity of morality, no matter what Plato and Aristotle say), then this would be a good enough reason for me to reject a purely rational and objective point of view. This would disqualify me from rationality, I know, but I would sooner concede the insufficiency of logic than subjectivity of morals.

    You have a really complex take on this issue; it appears to me to be more complex than simple relativism. Before I attack it, let me attempt to understand it better. The Olympics analogy was very effective earlier (which is odd, because generally I detest sports metaphors). So, a given thing is only "better" or "worse" relative to a given situation or set of goals. So "good" and "bad" are really "effective" and "ineffective," no?

    But then, how do you condemn a murderer? Heck, how do you justify punishing criminals at all? Good thieves are very, very effective. Serial killers are effective. Should, then, they be praised, rather than censured? Is this a Nietzschean system, wherein, since the most effective is the most good, a super-effective individual (ubermensch-like) arises and "defines" morality for a given people group?

    The trouble with this argument is that many theists make the claim that God is necessary for objective morality, so I may or may not be arguing against myself. Certainly God is necessary for divine command ethics (which is sort of obvious from the title) but whether or not He is necessary for Platonic/Aristotelian "virtue" ethics, or whether or not virtue ethics can be defended by anything other than the "self-evident" claim, remains to be seen. However, you have effectively pointed out to me that the ontological argument (at least as stated by Descartes) requires the existence of objective morality, and so is just as susceptible to the simple claim that objective morality does not exist as the moral or anthropological argument (which I won't bother to produce).

    Knowledge is better than ignorance. But what about the saying, "ignorance is bliss"? Order is better than chaos, but wouldn't that depend highly on the kind of order? Certainly a totalitarian society (think 1984) has the highest amount of order, but is that really better? Well, you could say that justice is better than injustice, and a totalitarian society is unjust. But that is two contradictory goals, then. Truth is better than non-truth, but the truth can hurt. Is no pain better than pain? Yes? But what about "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger?"
    Ah, this is covered under the idea of hierarchy of values. Certainly, at certain times the good of knowledge (as opposed to ignorance) is superceded by the good of mental stability. Certainly, at certain times, the good of order is superceded by the good of freedom. To make it even clearer, the Christian would say that the good of sexual relations (because pleasure is a good, although many Christian denominations would refute that opinon) is superceded by the good of having one sexual partnership throughout one's life. The Christian would say that the good of a woman choosing what to do with her own body is superceded by the good of protecting the life of a fetus, in the case of abortion. And yet, although one good is superceded by another, in all of these cases, each one of those things were a good and never ceased to be a good. Because one good is not the best, it does not follow that that said good ceases to be an objective good; it is merely not best in that situation.

    So yes, pain is better than non-pain, and if we lived in an ideal world, pain would not be necessary to gain knowledge, because all possible goods would be actual in every situation. But since we live in a flawed world, not all possible goods are attainable, and one good must be sacrificed for another. It's like moral economics.

    Basically, the reason society is able to function, is that they agree to common subjective definitions of these things. But, they are still subjective.
    Again, your position is tough. It's sophisticated, I think. So you'd even agree that all cultures can make a differentiation between murder and non-muder killing, without there being any objective differentiation?

    Hmm. But I don't think this solve the free-will versus omniscience contradiction. God knows everything, so he knows what we are going to do, but supposedly we can choose to do whatever we want. But if God knows what we're going to do before we even do it, are we really making a choice?
    Well, upon further thought, I suppose it does solve this dilemma. God isn't actually omniscient. He doesn't know what we are going to do. But then, does he really know anything in the future? Due to the butterfly effect, our actions would resonate around the universe, and make the future unknowable. But I suppose he could know everything else, including the past, and non time-related data.
    Okay, I was trying to re-figure out the Molinist position well enough to state it coherently here. Let me know if I've done a decent job. I think that some Christians that hold to Molinism would argue that God IS actually omniscient, but uses a process more like eternally completed deduction to arrive at His knowledge: He has "foreknowledge" which roughly corresponds to your "non time-related data". This would include (but not be at all limited to) perfect knowledge of how people (who He created) work, sort of like a super-Shakespeare, as well as the inherent characteristics (insofar as inherent characteristics exist, which I suppose is not at all if you're an existence-precedes-essence person) of all of the people who would ever live. In consequence, God would have "middle knowledge" of counterfactuals, that is, he would not so much foreknow as predict with 100% accuracy what person x would do in situation y. This would allow Him to know (or perhaps more accurately, imagine) every possible universe He could create; that is, every possible chain of events depending upon which actions He Himself took. Then He actualized (created) one particular possible universe, which is the actual universe in which we live. Consequently, at the creation of this particular universe, He did know exactly what would and will happen throughout time on the basis of His actions and His perfect prediction of how humans would/will behave. I think it's like your system, except that the omniscience of God allows Him to "figure out" what will happen despite the butterfly effect, and furthermore, He did this "figuring out" before He created the universe. Of course, this falls apart if there's something about the butterfly effect that makes knowledge of the future logically impossible rather than too difficult for anyone to do (rather like the difference between infinity and uncountability)

    It's not much for Ockham's Razor, but it's a pretty good theory.

    Well, it wouldn't be logical, but if this works for you, more power to you. As I stated previously in this thread, I have no problem with irrationality (and to do so would itself be irrational), as long as people don't try and push it upon others unwillingly.
    Hmmm. I probably agree with that, although it might have implications which I find distasteful. (Which is more of my feeling-ness. I say, "can this be true" and then decide why it is true or false. This is not to say, of course, that I could never be convinced that something I decided "couldn't" be true isn't true, but merely that it would take a lot longer, and probably some-ick-"soul-searching" (I hate outworn terminology)). I really think some good study of Augustine would be productive to me in this discussion (which is really somewhat of a concession; I've just about run out of my own resources, so I should probably capitulate, right?)

    Okay, my post is now less disastrously incomplete (and better spelled).

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    S Saiyan God Mace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Science is not a universal tool for reaching conclusions. It surprises me how many atheists assume this.
    I thought the same.

    ... for alot of atheists that I come across, say on youtube or forums (hardcore pro-atheism forums, that is), being an atheist is one thing, which is generally OK, but picking up debates and arguments on it is another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Science is not a universal tool for reaching conclusions. It surprises me how many atheists assume this.
    You're absolutely right. But philosophies are not a universal tool for reaching conclusions either. (And I am an agnostic)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demigod View Post
    Is the question asking how I as an NT understand what God is?...


    Could life be only the accumulation of atoms reacting only to the smallest frequencies/vibrations created and emitted within the Universe?
    Could it be that there was no intentional "Grand Design" behind this existence because observation/and "conscience" is only a side effect produced by this vibration?

    When vibrating sand at different frequencies you can create symmetrical shapes and patterns with it,... Everything is formed by very specific frequencies and when these frequencies change slightly over billions of years, so does the form.

    What is so special about the Human species that allows us to have faith in that we have a particular purpose, in the macrocosm scheme of things?
    Exactly. Our ability to rationalize self-defense mechanisms like faith in a God, increases the likelihood that this is all fake. That's what special about us: our ability to bullshit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by persianness View Post
    I thought the same.

    ... for alot of atheists that I come across, say on youtube or forums (hardcore pro-atheism forums, that is), being an atheist is one thing, which is generally OK, but picking up debates and arguments on it is another.
    What do you mean by this? Are you saying it's bad to debate about atheism? I don't think your saying that, so could you clarify?

    Okay, my post is diasterously incomplete, but I'm typing on a computer I won't have access to for a minute, so I'm going to post it and then edit it later.
    Mmk, I'll just make some small comments then wait for the rest of your post.


    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    So then, if one could prove that the Big Bang actually implies the finitude of the universe (or if the finitude of the universe could be established in some other way), then you might have a rational reason to at least seriously consider deism...?
    Yup.

    Again, your position is tough. It's sophisticated, I think. So you'd even agree that all cultures can make a differentiation between murder and non-muder killing, without there being any objective differentiation?
    Yes. Cultures can collectively agree on morals that they find benefit their society according their goals (likely survival, prosperity and happiness). But the denied actions are still just as objectively neutral as any other. Basically, it's a sort of selfishness that binds. Individuals don't want to be killed, assaulted, have their stuff stolen, etc. So they make laws that deny these actions, with appropriate consequences. Combine this with the "good feeling" you get from helping others, and people are able to coexist mostly peacefully (clearly it's not perfect though).

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    There is no evidence for the existance of some super-person in the sky so I have no reason to believe in the existance such a being, let alone worship it. People that say "you just gotta have FAITH!!!" make me want to bash my head again the wall.

    I get rather annoyed when religious people accuse us non-believers in wanting to get rid of all spiritualness, wonder, and mystery from the world, which is total nonsense. We just don't resort to the concept of "god," a concept I actually find to be an insult to the universe, to explain such feelings.
    Autistic INFP


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