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Thread: NTs and God

  1. #451
    Member Petite Etoile's Avatar
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    so i'm new here and i've briefly read a few pages on this thread and thought i would comment.. so if i actually do believe in god and consider myself christian does this mean i'm not INTJ after all? bcuz it seems like that's what everyone is saying..

  2. #452
    Junior Member mibnelius's Avatar
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    "The argument goes something like this: `I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, `for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'

    "`But,' says Man, `The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'

    "`Oh dear,' says God, `I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanished in a puff of logic."

    - Douglas Adams

    Now that I've brought that up, let me say that I completely disagree with it. Talk to people in the field of theoretical physics if you want proof of a divine entity. You will quickly find a large group that believes in some divine entity/ies because they cannot for all the beautiful multidimensional beauty of space-time, figure out where or how everything originated.

    I'm an NT, just like most of the rest of you in this thread, but I don't think that we can just logic God away. Allow me to briefly mention some holes in the existence-of-god theory.

    1) Prove it. Sorry, no can do... I don't have the ability to summon god, and neither does anybody else.
    2) Why? I can't explain the existence of poverty, hate, war, greed, or any of the other specters that haunt our world, and we choose to brand as unhealthy or evil.
    3) If God is omnipotent, why do we have free will? Good question- if I was God, I'd still be banging my head on the wall somewhere.
    4) Where does god exist? Each religion has their own take on that.

    Here's why God must exist: We live in a vastly complex system that has endured for eons. Perhaps there was some progenitor race that constructed this all from nothing or nearly nothing, but then where did they come from? The big bang theory currently maintains that the universe as we experience it resulted from the collision of two massive 9-dimensional objects. I wish I more completely understood this, but so do most theoretical physicists. Anyway, those must have come from somewhere, and following this recursion back far enough, something must have come from nothing. Therefore, something which transcends our knowledge and understanding must have created the energy that coalesced into the universe as we know it today.

    Now, those of you who didn't agree with me in the first place will be asking where God came from in my scenario. And for you I will say that perhaps you could accept the existence of "God" as the motive force that created the universe, and then you may choose whether or not it has any power in your life. No matter what you choose to think, there may be some things that we may not be ready to understand yet as a species.
    Dare to reinvent the wheel.. Let's start with a sphere.

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  3. #453
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mibnelius View Post
    Now that I've brought that up, let me say that I completely disagree with it. Talk to people in the field of theoretical physics if you want proof of a divine entity. You will quickly find a large group that believes in some divine entity/ies because they cannot for all the beautiful multidimensional beauty of space-time, figure out where or how everything originated.
    First, argument from authority. Second, most statistics I see give a high level of nonbelief amongst scientists (granted, with physicists at the highest rate of belief amongst the various disciplines).

    Quote Originally Posted by mibnelius View Post
    Here's why God must exist: We live in a vastly complex system that has endured for eons. Perhaps there was some progenitor race that constructed this all from nothing or nearly nothing, but then where did they come from? The big bang theory currently maintains that the universe as we experience it resulted from the collision of two massive 9-dimensional objects. I wish I more completely understood this, but so do most theoretical physicists. Anyway, those must have come from somewhere, and following this recursion back far enough, something must have come from nothing. Therefore, something which transcends our knowledge and understanding must have created the energy that coalesced into the universe as we know it today.
    Then where did God come from? If you say that God always existed and thus has no cause... well, I could say the same about the universe. There is equal evidence for both, so we go with the simpler explanation because of Occam's Razor.

    Of course, my position as to the origin of the universe, is "I don't know", as I see no evidence for any theory. (Note, Big Bang theory does not claim to describe how the universe came into existence, it merely describes a state it was in billions of years ago, and which we have no idea what happened before then.)



    Quote Originally Posted by Petite Etoile View Post
    so i'm new here and i've briefly read a few pages on this thread and thought i would comment.. so if i actually do believe in god and consider myself christian does this mean i'm not INTJ after all? bcuz it seems like that's what everyone is saying..
    Of course not. NTs are just as capable as any other type of believing. However, there is more of a tendency to question their belief than other types, which of course can lead to a higher rate of nonbelief among them.

  4. #454
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mibnelius View Post
    "The argument goes something like this: `I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, `for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'

    "`But,' says Man, `The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'

    "`Oh dear,' says God, `I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanished in a puff of logic."

    - Douglas Adams

    Now that I've brought that up, let me say that I completely disagree with it. Talk to people in the field of theoretical physics if you want proof of a divine entity. You will quickly find a large group that believes in some divine entity/ies because they cannot for all the beautiful multidimensional beauty of space-time, figure out where or how everything originated.

    I'm an NT, just like most of the rest of you in this thread, but I don't think that we can just logic God away. Allow me to briefly mention some holes in the existence-of-god theory.

    1) Prove it. Sorry, no can do... I don't have the ability to summon god, and neither does anybody else.
    2) Why? I can't explain the existence of poverty, hate, war, greed, or any of the other specters that haunt our world, and we choose to brand as unhealthy or evil.
    3) If God is omnipotent, why do we have free will? Good question- if I was God, I'd still be banging my head on the wall somewhere.
    4) Where does god exist? Each religion has their own take on that.

    Here's why God must exist: We live in a vastly complex system that has endured for eons. Perhaps there was some progenitor race that constructed this all from nothing or nearly nothing, but then where did they come from? The big bang theory currently maintains that the universe as we experience it resulted from the collision of two massive 9-dimensional objects. I wish I more completely understood this, but so do most theoretical physicists. Anyway, those must have come from somewhere, and following this recursion back far enough, something must have come from nothing. Therefore, something which transcends our knowledge and understanding must have created the energy that coalesced into the universe as we know it today.

    Now, those of you who didn't agree with me in the first place will be asking where God came from in my scenario. And for you I will say that perhaps you could accept the existence of "God" as the motive force that created the universe, and then you may choose whether or not it has any power in your life. No matter what you choose to think, there may be some things that we may not be ready to understand yet as a species.

    What you've just described is commonly referred to as the problem of causation. It does necessitate that some kind of greater force, some first cause, independent of the known universe must have existed in order for the universe to exist at all.

    This is a good argument, actually. I agree that we can't really account for this, and so therefore some kind of something must have existed before or independently of the known universe.

    The problem with theology is that right here is where the reasoning stops. We have no idea if this unknown force is a conscious entity, or just the sum of all natural forces, or any number of other things--in fact, we don't know anything about it, and therefore can't possibly attempt to assign any specific properties to it.

    You are correct that anyone who claims he knows for certain that no such greater force of any kind exists or ever existed is fooling himself--it's obvious that he has no answer to the problem of causation.

    But anyone who claims that he knows any specific properties of this vague greater force is also fooling himself, because there is no evidence for any of them and no way to obtain any. Whatever this vague greater force is--call it "God" if you really want to--it's a far a cry from most modern theistic conceptions of God, and that's why many people identify as atheists. Intelligent atheists don't claim to have any real knowledge about the origin of the universe or any solution to the problem of causation--they identify as atheists simply to signify that they don't buy into any of the specific theistic conceptions of "God" that are abundant in popular religion today.

    I think it's quite possible to be an atheist and still not claim any answer to the problem of causation, because this "vague greater force" that we know nothing about and can't possibly hope to comprehend is not necessarily "God"--what are the properties of God? Most people who believe in God try to claim that they know specific properties about him, but that's clearly impossible.

    Who says this vague greater force is actually God, anyway? It may not be omnipotent or omniscient or any of that stuff, but theists think that they know all about it. "God" by most people's definitions has all kinds of specific properties, and atheists identify ourselves in this way simply as a method of dismissing any conceptions of God as a conscious entity, or as something about which we can really know anything. We don't claim to know how the universe was created, and we don't have a good answer to the problem of causation--but these things don't necessitate the existence of so-called "God" by any modern popular definition.

    (And by the way, don't take Douglas Adams literally. He was well aware of the logical contradiction in that piece of writing but simply found it amusing enough to print.)
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  5. #455
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petite Etoile View Post
    so i'm new here and i've briefly read a few pages on this thread and thought i would comment.. so if i actually do believe in god and consider myself christian does this mean i'm not INTJ after all? bcuz it seems like that's what everyone is saying..
    No, INTJs are perfectly capable of being mistaken, just like everyone else.

    I'd ask you to read my above post, though, about the problem of causation--and then tell me how you're able to make the jump from "there must be some first cause" to "Jesus Christ is my omnipotent, omniscient, eternally loving and forgiving lord and savior, he has supernatural powers and I have abundant specific and definite information on him."

    When you can do that, other NTs will probably begin to respect your belief system more.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #456
    Junior Member mibnelius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Who says this vague greater force is actually God, anyway? It may not be omnipotent or omniscient or any of that stuff, but theists think that they know all about it. "God" by most people's definitions has all kinds of specific properties, and atheists identify ourselves in this way simply as a method of dismissing any conceptions of God as a conscious entity, or as something about which we can really know anything.
    I agree that specific qualities cannot be assigned to God, and that any pursuits that are made in that direction are foolish. I myself obviously believe in God, but I do not make a habit of spending excessive amounts of time classifying an entity which, if you choose to accept it, it so obviously beyond the small confines of the human psyche.

    If you'll indulge my pickiness for a moment, the atheism that you describe, where people choose not to give credence to a higher power due to humanity's inability to define it is more agnosticism than atheism. It seems to give the leeway where there may be a God that is not seen in true atheism.

    Also, I know Adams was speaking satirically, and if I thought he was serious I would have been less inclined to include it, owing to the fact that it would weaken my argument to some extent. I just put it in because I really like the Hitchhikers Guide Trilogy (yes, I'm aware that there are 5 books).

    Quote Originally Posted by Costrin View Post
    Then where did God come from? If you say that God always existed and thus has no cause... well, I could say the same about the universe. There is equal evidence for both, so we go with the simpler explanation because of Occam's Razor.

    Of course, my position as to the origin of the universe, is "I don't know", as I see no evidence for any theory. (Note, Big Bang theory does not claim to describe how the universe came into existence, it merely describes a state it was in billions of years ago, and which we have no idea what happened before then.)
    I agree with your position on the definitive origin of the Universe. Despite my belief in God, that still leaves me in a position where I want to see how everything happened. Perhaps a part of my mental block is caused by my inability to create a mental picture of what the Universe would be like in true nothingness. If it were just a vacuum, then it would still have volume and is therefore easy to imagine, but if it were truly nothing, then the weirdness of null space eludes me. Is it possible for anything to exist in the absence of matter/energy/time? Are these the universal constants which are the underpinnings of our existence? Can even God exist without these things? Those questions are the in the realm of science until we reach the final question. At that point it is the duty of the individual to make a decision to accept or reject the existence of a deity or higher power.
    Dare to reinvent the wheel.. Let's start with a sphere.

    [Your witty comment here]
    .._.._.......__.
    ./.|/.|..().|[])
    / /|/||.||.|[])
    ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

  7. #457
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mibnelius View Post
    If you'll indulge my pickiness for a moment, the atheism that you describe, where people choose not to give credence to a higher power due to humanity's inability to define it is more agnosticism than atheism. It seems to give the leeway where there may be a God that is not seen in true atheism.
    a - non
    theism - belief in God
    atheism - disbelief in God

    gnosis - knowledge
    agnosticism - without knowledge

    Thus, there is no problem. An atheist is one who simply does not believe in god, for whatever reason. An agnostic is one who says that you can never know for certain. These are not mutually exclusive. You can have agnostic atheists (like myself), and agnostic theists (yourself), or non-agnostic (a)theists (morons).

    What atheism is not, is "a belief that there is no god". There is a subtle but important difference. Under the definition above, atheists merely deny belief in God, while under this definition, atheists are making a positive claim that God does not exist.

    Of course, all the above only applies to the technical definitions. Connotation-wise, atheists are people who believe there is no god, agnostics are on the fence, and theists believe in god. Naturally I disagree with these connotations, but I digress.

  8. #458
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    A small quibble:

    I don't believe that we can never know for certain; I believe that we don't presently know for certain and may not ever.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  9. #459
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    A small quibble:

    I don't believe that we can never know for certain; I believe that we don't presently know for certain and may not ever.
    The reason I think we can never know, is because of the brain in a jar argument. Sure, for practical purposes, it's irrelevant, as I previously pointed out, but it doesn't make it any less true. You can never really know for certain that everything you see isn't all an illusion. If you were omniscient, you couldn't know whether or not all your supposed knowledge is actually fake, except you would, because your omniscient, except you wouldn't because it's impossible, but by definition you would know, but what if the knowledge and the meta-knowledge you have is fake?. Infinitely recursive paradox.

    Of course, I don't know for certain, whether or not it's actually impossible to know anything for certain.

    So yeah.....

  10. #460
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mibnelius View Post
    I agree that specific qualities cannot be assigned to God, and that any pursuits that are made in that direction are foolish. I myself obviously believe in God, but I do not make a habit of spending excessive amounts of time classifying an entity which, if you choose to accept it, it so obviously beyond the small confines of the human psyche.

    If you'll indulge my pickiness for a moment, the atheism that you describe, where people choose not to give credence to a higher power due to humanity's inability to define it is more agnosticism than atheism. It seems to give the leeway where there may be a God that is not seen in true atheism.

    Also, I know Adams was speaking satirically, and if I thought he was serious I would have been less inclined to include it, owing to the fact that it would weaken my argument to some extent. I just put it in because I really like the Hitchhikers Guide Trilogy (yes, I'm aware that there are 5 books).
    Would you mind describing for me what exactly your definition of God is? I think many God arguments are the result of poorly defined context. You say you believe in God, but you also say that no specific properties of this God can be discerned...so what properties of this being that you believe in actually make it God?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

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