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  1. #71
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Q. Why believe in logic?
    A. Cause it works as far as you know.

    Q. Why believe in God?
    A. Cause it works as far as you know.
    Quote Originally Posted by antireconciler View Post
    How wonderfully practical~ ^_^
    it's basically how it works for everyone.

    We decide to believe/trust what we believe/trust because it's the thing that works best / seems to make the most sense at the time.
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    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #72
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    On the other hand what if no contradiction is reached? Well, the teachings offer direction toward a wise life. Since we've already determined that the basis for religious teaching can not be determined rationally, then they must be derived from some type of other-worldly revelation. In other words if the teachings work (and lead to a wise life), then they must be based on some revelation from God.

    So there you have it. You follow the teachings of Christ and then you will know for sure whether or not they come from God.
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Really, if they do you good they must come from god?

    Okay, so I'll teach you five most efficient ways to cook, camp, study philosophy, play tennis. You name it. Or something even more complex like a lecture of a motivational speaker who has changed countless lives. Why dont all of those things have as much of a right to claim divinity as our much esteemed religious prophecy?
    I am afraid I am with BlueWing on this one.

    The idea that if something is "wise/good" it comes from God is still an assumption. It begs the question.

    More notably, it also offers no way to examine competing religious faiths that all contribute to good behavior. Is the most "true" religion the one that results in the "best" person? (Christians commonly make this argument, to suggest that they are the "true" religion as opposed to other faiths that present moral truth.)

    And what is the criteria for "best" -- doesn't a person's prior religious convictions set the rules by which he judges every religion, which again is stacking the deck in his favor?

    And if we do assume what "best" is, and if there are multiple faiths that result in this "pretty decent" behavior, isn't the most that can be said is that these religions all bear part of some seemingly good truth, but we still cannot "know" the specifics for certain?

    This is why people legitimately come to the belief that "all" (in reality, this means "a number of") religions lead to the same place and reflect moral goodness ... because they overlap in the area that results in the best behavior. But that is the most that can be ascertained -- all the doctrinal details, all the scriptural details, those must be taken on faith and still cannot be viewed as if they were fundamental truth. They are still assumed, they cannot be known for certain.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #73
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    There is nothing we can know without instructions from the other-worldly being?

    Really? I need to be told how the law of gravity works by someone who asserts to be a prophet? Or I need to be told how the laws of logic work?

    I dont get it.

    Moreover, refresh on my argument in regards to why spirituality cannot be communicated.
    Let me clarify by putting my statement into context. You said this:

    No you cant do this rationally. Whats worse is that we don't even know what God is.

    Essentially it is perceived as some other-worldly ineffable entity. Ineffable means inscrutable by definition--or outside of our understanding, there is nothing about it that we can know.
    I am responding to this statement by agreeing that normally we can know nothing about this "ineffable" entity. But I'm adding that we can know something about God if it is provided through revelation. In fact that is the only place we can start.

    But pretend that I'd do it in my reasoning. Tell you, suppose I do as you say, and here I discover that this would be the likely outcome of such an idea. Hence, because the outcome is unacceptable, your teaching isnt acceptable.
    I don't understand what you are saying here. Why is the outcome unacceptable? Shouldn't one be willing to accept all possible outcomes? You won't get far in a quest for Truth if you start limiting outcomes before you've investigated them.



    Really, if they do you good they must come from god?

    Okay, so I'll teach you five most efficient ways to cook, camp, study philosophy, play tennis. You name it. Or something even more complex like a lecture of a motivational speaker who has changed countless lives. Why dont all of those things have as much of a right to claim divinity as our much esteemed religious prophecy?
    Heh, the difference is that one of Christ's teachings is to "know God". In order for this to be true then the teachings must come from God.
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  4. #74
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I am responding to this statement by agreeing that normally we can know nothing about this "ineffable" entity. But I'm adding that we can know something about God if it is provided through revelation. In fact that is the only place we can start.
    My argument was that the ineffable means impossible to understand by the very definition. Therefore revelation cannot deliver knowledge to us of such an essence. This is the argument of mine that I have asked you to review one more time.

    Essentially, if it truly is ineffable, it means it cannot be grasped by a human mind. Therefore such revelations you speak of are impossible, but in essence what we call revelation is a mere prejudice of this world that we regard as the 'stuff' of the other world.





    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I don't understand what you are saying here. Why is the outcome unacceptable? Shouldn't one be willing to accept all possible outcomes? You won't get far in a quest for Truth if you start limiting outcomes before you've investigated them..
    A statement is rendered unacceptable when it has been shown to be false. This is the successful outcome of the reductio ad absurdum criticism of any given clause.

    As for example, you say sky is red. So I tell you--suppose this is true, and therefore for instance it must emanate brown and red light. We know this is absurd. Therefore such a conclusion is unacceptable which is necessarily entailed by the premise that the sky is red. Hence, we must reject your premise that the sky is red.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  5. #75
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I am afraid I am with BlueWing on this one.

    The idea that if something is "wise/good" it comes from God is still an assumption. It begs the question.
    It has to do with the method of discerning "Truth". We were talking about using pure reason which is essentially useless without a starting place. I am suggesting that revelation be the starting place, since science is useless in answering theological questions. Or do you have another method of gathering information about the divine that is separate from revelation, science or pure reason?

    Once you have a starting place then one can apply reason, but logic is impotent without knowledge to feed into it. Logical statements can always be reprased into some sort of if-then statement. Without the "if" there is no "then".

    More notably, it also offers no way to examine competing religious faiths that all contribute to good behavior. Is the most "true" religion the one that results in the "best" person? (Christians commonly make this argument, to suggest that they are the "true" religion as opposed to other faiths that present moral truth.)

    And what is the criteria for "best" -- doesn't a person's prior religious convictions set the rules by which he judges every religion, which again is stacking the deck in his favor?

    And if we do assume what "best" is, and if there are multiple faiths that result in this "pretty decent" behavior, isn't the most that can be said is that these religions all bear part of some seemingly good truth, but we still cannot "know" the specifics for certain?

    This is why people legitimately come to the belief that "all" (in reality, this means "a number of") religions lead to the same place and reflect moral goodness ... because they overlap in the area that results in the best behavior. But that is the most that can be ascertained -- all the doctrinal details, all the scriptural details, those must be taken on faith and still cannot be viewed as if they were fundamental truth. They are still assumed, they cannot be known for certain.
    I'm not sure where you are coming from here. (Perhaps this is a tangent rather than a response to what I've said?) Let me respond to what you've said though.

    If a person were to ask me if the Christian teachings were "right" I would essentially say yes. But if someone were to ask me if another faith's teachings were "wrong" I'd say, "I don't know". All of these faiths are often talking about different things. Sometimes the ideas intersect and sometimes they don't. I don't know how well you can judge a particular faith by comparing to another faith. If I were attempting to judge a faith, I would look at it based on it's own supposed merits. I'll assume you've heard the analogy of the blind men touching various parts of an elephant? What I'm saying is for any given faith what you want to determine is if they are actually touching a part of the elephant, or if it's just meaningless fluff.

    In the case of Christianity I don't think it's biblical to believe the notion that Christians have it all right and everyone else is dead wrong. "That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world." Jn. 1:9 (emphasis mine) I don't think it's just the Judeo-Christian tradition that has any type of insight from God. I don't think the New Testament was intended to present the only revelation from God, simply one that is unlike the others. "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son," Heb. 1:1-2 The New Testament is there to present the salvation/grace of God as a new revelation, but not one that negates any other.

    Other Christians use verses like "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 I agree with them. But does that negate any other faith? Is reaching a mental state of Nirvana now impossible? I don't know, but I don't think Nirvana has anything to do with Christian grace. I'm suggesting that Christianity presents part of the elephant. In my opinion it's an important part, but I can't say that other faiths haven't found parts of the elephant as well. I suspect that some have and some have not, but I don't know enough about the other faiths to make an accurate judgement call about it.
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  6. #76
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Logically a person cannot say that religion is untrue as such cannot be proven.

    Logically a person cannot say that black holes are x,y and z because they cannot prove their points except by accepting the parameters which they put on the conclusion. By that I mean that they accept all the things which they say are true which lead up to this end truth.

    So what makes an NT believe Mr Hawkins?
    What makes an NT doubt Mr Hawkins?

    The same process applies to religion.

    To look at it from another perspective, why do some NTs embrace existentialism and others nihilism? Why are some affable people and others crotchety intellects devoid of warmth?

    Most probably the answer to how NTs can have religion is that they choose to do so. Not that I profess to understand that choice but that doesn't mean I can't see the choice.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  7. #77
    Senior Member NoahFence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    I believe it has to do with consistency. However NTs build upon their foundation of truth is how they will determine God's existence. If an NT demands evidence, then he will not believe in God. If an NT seeks an answer, he will have to embrace ambiguity.
    Please define "evidence".
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo

  8. #78
    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
    Please define "evidence".
    Duh! It's in the data silly! :rolli:
    Time is a delicate mistress.

  9. #79
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Logically a person cannot say that black holes are x,y and z because they cannot prove their points except by accepting the parameters which they put on the conclusion. By that I mean that they accept all the things which they say are true which lead up to this end truth.

    So what makes an NT believe Mr Hawkins?
    What makes an NT doubt Mr Hawkins?
    The problem, here, Xander, is that science is based on observable data. Black holes are assumed because their existence actually is supported by science of things that we can observe and test directly. (Similar to how we date things, whether using Carbon-13 or uranium or cosmic rays or whatever -- the science all interlocks as cross-references, confirming the hypothesis enough that it can be used dependably.)

    So although we have never seen black holes, although they might not be visible (and actually they are visible, if you can view X-rays... they give off a LOT of them), the phenomena we have labeled "black holes" does exist. We might not know exactly what they are or cannot define them in all their specifics, but something is there and we know how to recognize them, etc.

    Religion cannot be equated with that, because it's more of a perspective than anything else. Any proof that we observe/experience doesn't really say anything about the "spiritual" realm. We can articulate ethical systems, we have been up psychology and can witness patterns of human behavior, but we cannot attribute it to something spiritual, anymore than we could just say it's "natural." It's a large question mark.

    People even argue about altruism now -- is the tendency towards it self-selecting, because it's advantageous, or is it a direct reflection of the divine since people could choose to be selfish? Does everyone who is altruistic have to be religious, in the sense of having some articulated theology about the spiritual world?

    To look at it from another perspective, why do some NTs embrace existentialism and others nihilism? Why are some affable people and others crotchety intellects devoid of warmth?
    I think it's a choice of perspective, tied into past experience and (gasp!) underlying emotions that drive behavior.

    Most probably the answer to how NTs can have religion is that they choose to do so. Not that I profess to understand that choice but that doesn't mean I can't see the choice.
    Yes, that's a choice as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    It has to do with the method of discerning "Truth". We were talking about using pure reason which is essentially useless without a starting place. I am suggesting that revelation be the starting place, since science is useless in answering theological questions. Or do you have another method of gathering information about the divine that is separate from revelation, science or pure reason?
    I suppose I just see it as useless... because there is no way to validate revelation. You either choose to buy into it or you do not. Why not select something that others would find abhorrent, because it was simply "revealed" to you? At some point criteria has to be used to evaluate revelation.

    But I suppose this is what you are saying next:

    Once you have a starting place then one can apply reason, but logic is impotent without knowledge to feed into it. Logical statements can always be reprased into some sort of if-then statement. Without the "if" there is no "then".
    The attitude I'm referring to is that which accepts revelation, then simply uses logic (and whatever else) to support the revelation... but the revelation is first and foremost assumed to be true in the way understood by the advocate. At that point, the person is simply deciding to believe something, because they want to.... not because it's necessarily true or can be shown to be true.

    So revelation is arbitrary. Some revelation is "way off" and can be excluded, I guess (like "historical events that never happened"); other spiritual revelation (whether Christian or Muslim or New Age / Spiritualism, etc.) is too general and amorphous to ever evaluate. you either buy into them or you do not.

    ...Let me respond to what you've said though. If a person were to ask me if the Christian teachings were "right" I would essentially say yes. But if someone were to ask me if another faith's teachings were "wrong" I'd say, "I don't know"...
    Based on the rest of this, we are probably much more in agreement than it seemed.

    I'm still surrounded by people who believe (sometimes with regret but still choosing to believe) that truth is exclusive, and that if they're right, everyone else is necessarily wrong. So if you read my posts with an understanding of that tension I experience, then that will probably help clarify some of what I've said...
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  10. #80
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    The problem, here, Xander, is that science is based on observable data. Black holes are assumed because their existence actually is supported by science of things that we can observe and test directly. (Similar to how we date things, whether using Carbon-13 or uranium or cosmic rays or whatever -- the science all interlocks as cross-references, confirming the hypothesis enough that it can be used dependably.)

    So although we have never seen black holes, although they might not be visible (and actually they are visible, if you can view X-rays... they give off a LOT of them), the phenomena we have labeled "black holes" does exist. We might not know exactly what they are or cannot define them in all their specifics, but something is there and we know how to recognize them, etc.

    Religion cannot be equated with that, because it's more of a perspective than anything else. Any proof that we observe/experience doesn't really say anything about the "spiritual" realm. We can articulate ethical systems, we have been up psychology and can witness patterns of human behavior, but we cannot attribute it to something spiritual, anymore than we could just say it's "natural." It's a large question mark.
    See now I have to disagree with that. What is observation but noticing things which have entered your concious awareness?

    Some people tie their faith to "observable" things.

    What I'm thinking is that to start to figure things on a black hole then firstly you have to believe that what we have observed here applies so far out into space. Sure it's a logical assumption but that's just it it's an assumption. Now with some things there are no observable phenomena in such a way as there is with say light. However what do you say to those who pray for a certain outcome and find that this outcome is delivered despite the odds against such an occurrence? Sometimes you get lucky? Sure that IS a possibility but it's also not an observable one. You can see the effect and you can see the causes but you still don't understand why. Sure it's perhaps convenient to dismiss the possibility of divine influence but would it not also be dismissive to just state that it's down to that one a thousand chance paying off? It would seem under cold light that either is a little simplistic, perhaps a belief?

    Anyhow just thought that was a counter point, crude though it may be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    People even argue about altruism now -- is the tendency towards it self-selecting, because it's advantageous, or is it a direct reflection of the divine since people could choose to be selfish? Does everyone who is altruistic have to be religious, in the sense of having some articulated theology about the spiritual world?
    Something about 'all is delusion, denial and displacement' comes to mind. From a psychological point of view such things are irrelevant as altruism is only relevant in the context of the human condition (as far as we are aware).

    Funnily enough I'd have thought that being religious would be as much a hindrance to being altruistic as a boon. It's hardly selfless if you're working to get yourself a cushy afterlife or to ingratiate yourself with the others in the religion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I think it's a choice of perspective, tied into past experience and (gasp!) underlying emotions that drive behavior.
    A decision in context!! Oh wow that's like totally intuitive!!


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Yes, that's a choice as well.
    Errm... you saying it's a choice to see but not to understand?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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