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jonathan7
02-06-2007, 06:18 PM
Mod note: Conversation split into its own thread from this thread (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=156426) since it was going off-topic. ~M

I am an ethical relativist, so I see the need to intervene and make a small defense of it.

You see the pedophile as evil, but does the pedohpile see himself as evil? No, he thinks that what he is doing is justified.

That is the core of ethical revalitism. That it is all relative what is right and what is wrong, and it all depends on the mind. You can aruge that the pedophile's mind is messed up (and I'll agree with you), but that still does not change the fact that ACCORDING to the pedophile, what he is doing is right.

Think about it. What if everyone believes that murder is right? Everyone? Then...murder becomes right. We define ethics and beliefs, and nothing is truly objective, everything is subjective.

It is only a theory of course. In the pedophile case, most people (expect the pedophiles) see the pedophiles as wrong, but what about other...shall we say...more delicate issues? Say, War in Iraq, Abortion, Sucidice, maybe even terrorism/feedom fighting? One person's sin is another person's gateway to Heaven.

Now that this is settled...let go back to here:

Hehe, we stray into this debate as well... I would agree with you if there were no God, then one mans wrong is another mans right as ultimatly we are human and so differ in opinion thoughts and motives. And if their is no overall diety and we are just a product of the big bang then there is no right or wrong really we have just created them.

However presume for a second there is a an all powerful God who can is a perfect judge... does that not then mean moral relativism doesnt work as God can say what is right and what is wrong?

I don't mind if you dont believe there is a God, but surely you can see my argument that if there is then there is no longer moral relativism?

I don't know if I have explained myself very well here, let me know if you would like me to try. For any mods reading this don't worry, me and Silentscope won't get into an argument its just a gentle debate :)

SilentScope001
02-06-2007, 06:33 PM
Hehe, we stray into this debate as well... I would agree with you if there were no God, then one mans wrong is another mans right as ultimatly we are human and so differ in opinion thoughts and motives. And if their is no overall diety and we are just a product of the big bang then there is no right or wrong really we have just created them.

However presume for a second there is a an all powerful God who can is a perfect judge... does that not then mean moral relativism doesnt work as God can say what is right and what is wrong?

I don't mind if you dont believe there is a God, but surely you can see my argument that if there is then there is no longer moral relativism?

Well, I could see heritical people argue God is evil. Of course, I would most likely see those people chanting that God is evil when they start getting escorted to Hell for their crimes, but yes, it can be possible. After all, why did God make human beings? Wouldn't it be better if God didn't make the human race, or given the human race a better life? God gave us free will, and look at the terrible pains we caused. If God did not give us free will, and let us live like angels, everything would be fine. Since God gave us free will, he caused us pain, and therefore God is evil.

Even in this case of an omipresecent omibevenolant being, ethical revaltisim can still apply, if a group of human beings call God evil, and is not swayed by any arguments that would explain away their fears and beliefs. Of course, this can be side-stepped by stating that this group of humans are being arrogant and stupid. This is God we're dealing with here, you're better off following his orders and not commenting if they are good or bad. :)

Remember, George Lucas is the "God" of Star Wars here, and I guess we got ourselves a little rapport in agreeing that the people of Star Wars still suffer becasue George Lucas wants cash.

EDIT: Prehaps the only way to avoid the above situation is to basically have God mindcontorl or convince everyone to admit that he is a good person. However, that may defeat the purpose of free will and all of that stuff.

jonathan7
02-06-2007, 06:47 PM
Well, I could see heritical people argue God is evil. Of course, I would most likely see those people chanting that God is evil when they start getting escorted to Hell for their crimes, but yes, it can be possible. After all, why did God make human beings? Wouldn't it be better if God didn't make the human race, or given the human race a better life? God gave us free will, and look at the terrible pains we caused. If God did not give us free will, and let us live like angels, everything would be fine. Since God gave us free will, he caused us pain, and therefore God is evil.

Even in this case of an omipresecent omibevenolant being, ethical revaltisim can still apply, if a group of human beings call God evil, and is not swayed by any arguments that would explain away their fears and beliefs. Of course, this can be side-stepped by stating that this group of humans are being arrogant and stupid. This is God we're dealing with here, you're better off following his orders and not commenting if they are good or bad. :)

Remember, George Lucas is the "God" of Star Wars here, and I guess we got ourselves a little rapport in agreeing that the people of Star Wars still suffer becasue George Lucas wants cash.

EDIT: Prehaps the only way to avoid the above situation is to basically have God mindcontorl or convince everyone to admit that he is a good person. However, that may defeat the purpose of free will and all of that stuff.

Hehe, well the problem is (and now I'm bringing my personal biased Christian opinion into this now :P) as you have stated its the free will problem God wants people to love him and choose that, but if he is in control then they cannot. Paradoxically I believe that God is both completley in control of the world but people also have complete free will. My argument against ethical relativism if there is a God is surely he is beyond our scope so can say what right and wrong are, if that makes sense? I can see the God is evil argument, but then surely God can decide what is evil due to the fact he created it. Also being a Christian I would also argue that God so loved us that he sent his only Son to die for us so we could get into heaven ;)

However while on this topic I pose you a little question that I have never found a sufficient answer for off all my Christians brothers and sisters who I have asked. The Bible states that Satan fell before hummanity so why didnt God just kill Satan before he had caused the fall of mankind?

Yeh we have a lil rapport because we think GL now just wants money, but while I disagree with what your saying I still repsect the intellectual debate and the difference in opinion as well :)

SilentScope001
02-06-2007, 07:05 PM
Yeh we have a lil rapport because we think GL now just wants money, but while I disagree with what your saying I still repsect the intellectual debate and the difference in opinion as well

So do I. :)

My argument against ethical relativism if there is a God is surely he is beyond our scope so can say what right and wrong are, if that makes sense? I can see the God is evil argument, but then surely God can decide what is evil due to the fact he created it.

Then it can only be an argument that human beings cannot question God, since he is beyond our understanding and beyond our world.

Of course, that can't necersically dissude the "God is evil" crowd since these humans may believe (possibly arrogantly) that they can review God's actions and pass judgment on him. But as long as most people accept your viewpoint, then the "God is evil" crowd can become isolated and forgotten. (Can't get rid of it fully though, which is a big shame.)

However while on this topic I pose you a little question that I have never found a sufficient answer for off all my Christians brothers and sisters who I have asked. The Bible states that Satan fell before hummanity so why didnt God just kill Satan before he had caused the fall of mankind?

Hm. Since I don't believe in original sin, my two hypothesis won't exactly settle that question (sorry!). Yet, here they are for reading pleasure:

1) God wants Satan to suffer for his evil. Death is too kind for the betrayer, so he decides to spare Satan and let him fight and wage a war against God. Satan fights, believing that he will win, believing that he will defeat God and finally take revenge. And then, Satan will watch his huge army be annilhated and destroyed, and Satan will finally be broken and defeated. Watching all his work, all his effort, being wiped out effortsley by the will of God...that would finally get Satan to admit that God is superior. Satan will then surrender to God.

2) God wants Satan to get mankind to fall from his "grace". Since I believe (and of course, belief proves nothing...) that God put us on Earth as a test of our will and beliefs, God decided to test us by having us "fall" and then trying to redeem ourselves. Heaven was presented and actually seen by the first humans to sway them to obey, and then later, when they are cast down, the first humans actually begin to strive, to return back to Heaven. God watches the Humans and monitor them, and see if they deserve to be admitted (permenatly and actually) this time back to Heaven.

jonathan7
02-06-2007, 07:19 PM
Then it can only be an argument that human beings cannot question God, since he is beyond our understanding and beyond our world.

Of course, that can't necersically dissude the "God is evil" crowd since these humans may believe (possibly arrogantly) that they can review God's actions and pass judgment on him. But as long as most people accept your viewpoint, then the "God is evil" crowd can become isolated and forgotten. (Can't get rid of it fully though, which is a big shame.)

Indeed I do struggle with such people, I find they often try to force (via strength of arms etc) their own opinions on to other, and ultimatly I look at the world and think an awful lot of its problems are created by people who can't accept that another can disagree with them. I don't mind people disagreeing or debating but do get narked when people try to force things on other as we all have slightly different thoughts. I tread a fine line here though as ultimatly I am a Christian, so have to take the Gospel out to people, but I dont want to ram it down their throats. But if I am correct then I think they need to take notice as it has profound implications for them. Does that make sense?



Hm. Since I don't believe in original sin, my two hypothesis won't exactly settle that question (sorry!). Yet, here they are for reading pleasure:

No worries I wasnt expecting you too, was just intrested to see what you would think.


1) God wants Satan to suffer for his evil. Death is too kind for the betrayer, so he decides to spare Satan and let him fight and wage a war against God. Satan fights, believing that he will win, believing that he will defeat God and finally take revenge. And then, Satan will watch his huge army be annilhated and destroyed, and Satan will finally be broken and defeated. Watching all his work, all his effort, being wiped out effortsley by the will of God...that would finally get Satan to admit that God is superior. Satan will then surrender to God.

2) God wants Satan to get mankind to fall from his "grace". Since I believe (and of course, belief proves nothing...) that God put us on Earth as a test of our will and beliefs, God decided to test us by having us "fall" and then trying to redeem ourselves. Heaven was presented and actually seen by the first humans to sway them to obey, and then later, when they are cast down, the first humans actually begin to strive, to return back to Heaven. God watches the Humans and monitor them, and see if they deserve to be admitted (permenatly and actually) this time back to Heaven.

Interesting, as for the first one, the vicar at my church argued that the way the world is was the best way to reveal Gods glory, but as humans we would find this hard to accept as we live in a world which is full of injustice and we like to put ourselves at the centre of our own worlds but ultimatly God would settle this and the way the world is was the best way for him to demonstrate justice and his glory.

Out of interest how do you think it is people get into heaven then?

Imoras
02-06-2007, 07:35 PM
Nice debate
Mind if i join in?


Ok first i assume you're talking about the Christian god (there are supposed to be so many of them so you better make such things clear in the future)

So okay
Lets assume the christian god exists
So what gives him the right to decide whats good and whats evil when there are so many other gods with equal rights to his?
And whats good to one god is evil to another god just like it is with humans
There we have 'moral relativism' as you call it again

Now go ahead and prove me wrong :D

Oh and don't try to tell me that the christian god is the only god
Thats so arrogant
He's not even the first god to have followers
Egyptian gods predated him by soo long
The greek gods did as well
Many other gods that now have no followers also predated the christian god

I always found the christian god to be the worst
I mean i haven't really read any religious books but afaik only the bible has "I'm the only God" and other such rubbish

jonathan7
02-06-2007, 07:55 PM
Nice debate
Mind if i join in?

Of course you can :)


Ok first i assume you're talking about the Christian god (there are supposed to be so many of them so you better make such things clear in the future)

We are currently...


So okay
Lets assume the christian god exists
So what gives him the right to decide whats good and whats evil when there are so many other gods with equal rights to his?
And whats good to one god is evil to another god just like it is with humans
There we have 'moral relativism' as you call it again

Now go ahead and prove me wrong :D

Well why do they have equal rights? The reason God challenges that there are soo many Gods is that from a Christian point of view they are all fake. In the bible a number of times prophets challenge the believers of false Gods to get their Gods to perform miracles which they don't... The prophets then proceed to perform mircales. I don't really want to get into a debate over the reliability of the bible but will do if you soo wish, ultimatly I would say its for you to decide, but I would say research the bibles sources before you knock it. Lots of the NT is confirmed by Roman and Jewish sources.


Oh and don't try to tell me that the christian god is the only god
Thats so arrogant
He's not even the first god to have followers
Egyptian gods predated him by soo long
The greek gods did as well
Many other gods that now have no followers also predated the christian god

I always found the christian god to be the worst
I mean i haven't really read any religious books but afaik only the bible has "I'm the only God" and other such rubbish

Well if God is the only real God then it doesnt matter how long any God predated him in human history as they are nothing but 'fake Gods'. If you havent read any other religious books, or the bible how can you know what they say? I have read the Koran as well as the bible. But imagine you are God and people are worshipinh a diety that isnt even real would you not be annoyed? I do not have issues with people disagreeing but what I believe is very different to alot of other religions. Christianity teaches no matter how could a life you lead you cannot get to heaven as no person is perfect hence the need for Gods Son to die in our place as a sacrifice. All other religions in there various forms teach that you have to do X, Y and Z to get to heaven, in other words live a good life. This is abit simplified but for example; the Koran would say Allah would compare all the good and bad you have done in your life and if you believed in him and you would go to heaven. Buddhists would believe that you have to reach enlighenment to get out of the reincarnation cycle, not soo much heaven but getting out of the continual life cycle... etc etc

Imoras
02-06-2007, 08:16 PM
Well in the bible it says that the christian god is the only god, that he created the world and everything in it
If thats so then how come ppl didn't believe in him but believed in other gods at first?
He supposedly created Adam and Eva and they knew about him but during the time of egyptian gods ppl didn't even know they're supposed to believe in the christian god cuz there was no bible to claim there is a christian god at the time
Its so obvious that god doesn't exist or if he does that he's just an arrogant fool with megalomania that refuses to admit the existence of other gods
If there are such entities as gods then i'd imagine they're like the gods from Terry Pratchet's Discworld :D

Sorry if you find this offending but facts speak for themselves and i am just stating them

jonathan7
02-06-2007, 08:31 PM
Well in the bible it says that the christian god is the only god, that he created the world and everything in it
If thats so then how come ppl didn't believe in him but believed in other gods at first?
He supposedly created Adam and Eva and they knew about him but during the time of egyptian gods ppl didn't even know they're supposed to believe in the christian god cuz there was no bible to claim there is a christian god at the time
Its so obvious that god doesn't exist or if he does that he's just an arrogant fool with megalomania that refuses to admit the existence of other gods
If there are such entities as gods then i'd imagine they're like the gods from Terry Pratchet's Discworld :D

Sorry if you find this offending but facts speak for themselves and i am just stating them

I'm not offended I am however somewhat amused that these so called 'facts' speak for themselves. Albert Einstein probably the best scientist and most intelligent human of the 20th Century believed there was a God. He however believed there was only an intelligent God and not a moral God. Einstein once said something along the lines of; The odds of all the universe coming togeather and life being complete random chance are so astronaumical that there there are more zero's on the end of that equation than there are stars in the sky.

Further to this the big bang theory goes against proven scientific law, in that energy is always needed to start a reaction... what started the big bang? Further to this Evolution is severely flawed as organisms cannot gain genetic information, they can only loose it, so when one of Darwins birds beak's changed there was a loss of genetic information. No organism can gain genetic information, so if we all started from single celled organisms how can we be a mutli cellualr organism given that by science own laws you cannot gain genetic information. Further more to this is the whole free radical debate within science, physicists cannot predict free radical's movement (they are very very very small) and if scientists cannot predict their movements caos theory should rain in a much larger world yet it doesnt....

Where are your so called facts?

Why must there be multiple Gods? And if there is a God do you really think our tiny human brains would be able to comprehend God? I very much doubt it, and I would say it would be arrogance in the extreme to try and judge God.

Imoras
02-06-2007, 08:50 PM
Humans had all kinds gods ever since they started to exist
Then suddenly some guy barged into the room and claimed his god is the only god and all other gods are fake
Now thats arrogance
There either are no gods at all or there are many gods
Can't be certain which one is true though i'm inclined to believe there are no gods at all
Whats certain is that if such entities exist they are much more then one

Also Einstein made mistakes like all humans
Building the nuke is one such mistake and he knew it
So not everything Einstein said is definately truth

Maybe the big bang started after antimatter came in contact with some kind of matter (rock for example)
And one celled organisms started to divide and yet remain whole due to weather anomalies for example (dunno if i am making myself clear... its rather hard to say it in english considering thats not my native language)
We can speculate on such things for years
At the moment they can't be proven

jonathan7
02-06-2007, 09:13 PM
Humans had all kinds gods ever since they started to exist

Perhaps there is a reason for this, in that presume there is a God for a second and he created a spiritual side to us, therefore man will seek to fill this spiritual side

Then suddenly some guy barged into the room and claimed his god is the only god and all other gods are fake
Now thats arrogance
There either are no gods at all or there are many gods
Can't be certain which one is true though i'm inclined to believe there are no gods at all
Whats certain is that if such entities exist they are much more then one

Why are there either lots of Gods or no Gods? I personally don't think you could have lots of Gods as they would all be fighting each other for supremacy I do not understand your logic or argument with why there have to be lots of Gods... Ronaldinho could say he was the best footballer (soccer player) on the planet its arrogant but currently it is also true. Pele or Maradonna could say they were the best players of all time, that would be arrogant and also true. Arrogance doesnt mean something isnt true.



Also Einstein made mistakes like all humans
Building the nuke is one such mistake and he knew it
So not everything Einstein said is definately truth

Maybe the big bang started after antimatter came in contact with some kind of matter (rock for example)
And one celled organisms started to divide and yet remain whole due to weather anomalies for example (dunno if i am making myself clear... its rather hard to say it in english considering thats not my native language)
We can speculate on such things for years
At the moment they can't be proven

Where did the first Matter and Anti-Matter come from? The whole point of the big bang is that it started from nothing. As for the cellular debate I dont think you understand, our DNA is an awful lot more complex than an single celled organism, it doesnt matter if it divides it cant gain informaiton it either loses information or changes it is a scientific imposibility to gain genetic informaiton.

I'm affraid I'm now going to have to show scientific reading and knowledge as this debate is beggining to frustrate me;

I will now quote Einstein on this; ďEveryone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe Ė a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.Ē
Albert Einstein (Nobel Prize 1921) This in itself you may argue could be a mistake on his behalf but there are a great many brilliant scientisits who believe that God must exsist.

Einstein also said; ďďScience without religion is lame, religion without science is blindĒ. Which is why when debating with atheists and scientists i dont use biblical referances I just hit them with scientific facts. I would also argue that Science can never explain why we are here, it can explain how but never why. ď ďScience cannot answer the question that philosophers- or children - ask; why are we here, what is the point of being alive, how ought we to behave? Genetics has almost nothing to say about what makes us more than just machines driven by biology, about what makes us human. These questions may be interesting, but scientists are no more qualified to comment on them than is anyone else.Ē Steve Jones (Professor of Genetics at University College). If I run a scientific experiment to either proove or disproove God exsists it will fail - so again where are the facts that God doesnt exsist? But if there is no God we will never know as no-one will ever return from death, also if there is no God life is utterly pointless as we are nothing but specs sand on a beach and whatever we do will ultimatly have no effect.


Moving onto the Evolution debate... People often say we are designed from the big bang and then a product of chance however; ď ďHuman DNA contains more organized information than the Encyclopaedia Britannica. If the full text of the encyclopaedia were to arrive in computer code from
outer space, most people would regard this as proof of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. But when seen in nature, it is explained as the workings of random forces.Ē George Sim Johnson (Wall Street Journal, 15/10/99) How can random forces be attributed to sheer luck and chance? With the argument for intelligent design coming in I will quote this ď ďThis new realm of molecular genetics is where we see the most compelling evidence of design on the earthĒ Dean Kenyon Ė Chemical Evolutionist. How can organisms so complex have evolved? But ultimatly I will quote the most troubling source for those who cling to the Big Band and Evolution...

ďďThere are only two possibilities as to how life arose. One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution; the other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is no third possibility. Spontaneous generation, that life arose from non-living matter, was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others. That leaves us with the only possible conclusion that life arose as a supernatural creative act of God. I will not accept that philosophically because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible: spontaneous generation arising to evolution.Ē

Professor George Wald (a Harvard biologist)

Combat that... those who argue for spontaneous generation.

Onto the cosmological arguments, further to my above Einstein quote (earlier post) is another along the same lines... ďďFor planets to exist the relevant initial conditions had to be fine tuned to a precision of one point in 10 followed by a thousand billion zeroesĒ Paul Davies. He also said; ďďThrough my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact. I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama.Ē Paul Davies (former professor of theoretical physics at the University of Adelaide). So are we really the product of chance given the odds?

Feel free to debate, and counter with those scientists who are Athiests, please note however Richard Dawkins is clueless and is not a scientist so dont treat him as such.

Imoras
02-06-2007, 09:46 PM
Perhaps there is a reason for this, in that presume there is a God for a second and he created a spiritual side to us, therefore man will seek to fill this spiritual side

Of course there is a reason.
Most people need something to believe in to endure the life.
Its simple as that.

Why are there either lots of Gods or no Gods? I personally don't think you could have lots of Gods as they would all be fighting each other for supremacy I do not understand your logic or argument with why there have to be lots of Gods... Ronaldinho could say he was the best footballer (soccer player) on the planet its arrogant but currently it is also true. Pele or Maradonna could say they were the best players of all time, that would be arrogant and also true. Arrogance doesnt mean something isnt true.


Of course they'll fight for supremacy.
And they do.
All religions try to gather more followers.
Thats fighting for supremacy isn't it?

To use your own analogy:
Claiming the christian god is the only god is like Ronaldinho claiming he's the only footballer (btw i disagree about him being the best) and all other footballers do not exist.
Which is just blind arrogance and madness.


Where did the first Matter and Anti-Matter come from? The whole point of the big bang is that it started from nothing. As for the cellular debate I dont think you understand, our DNA is an awful lot more complex than an single celled organism, it doesnt matter if it divides it cant gain informaiton it either loses information or changes it is a scientific imposibility to gain genetic informaiton.

Anti matter is nothing.
How can you ask where nothing came from? Nothing was always there.
Anyway I used that just as an example.
I'm not claiming thats what happened.
Same with one celled organisms.

I will now quote Einstein on this; This in itself you may argue could be a mistake on his behalf but there are a great many brilliant scientisits who believe that God must exsist.

So? There are even more that don't believe in the christian god.

Einstein also said; Which is why when debating with atheists and scientists i dont use biblical referances I just hit them with scientific facts.

Personal beliefs of scientists are hardly scientific facts.

I would also argue that Science can never explain why we are here, it can explain how but never why.

No one can explain that.
Not science and certenly not religion.
Every person has his own purpose to exist.
There is no some greater purpose or mission or whatever.
Things are like they are.
Just accept it.


If I run a scientific experiment to either proove or disproove God exsists it will fail - so again where are the facts that God doesnt exsist? But if there is no God we will never know as no-one will ever return from death, also if there is no God life is utterly pointless as we are nothing but specs sand on a beach and whatever we do will ultimatly have no effect.

I'm not saying gods don't exist.
They exist just not in the manner thats percieved.
Gods exist as long as people believe in them.
If ppl stop believing in gods they'll cease to exist.
Its that simple.

Moving onto the Evolution debate... People often say we are designed from the big bang and then a product of chance however; How can random forces be attributed to sheer luck and chance? With the argument for intelligent design coming in I will quote this How can organisms so complex have evolved? But ultimatly I will quote the most troubling source for those who cling to the Big Band and Evolution...

Why shouldn't it be just chance? Humans aren't perfect.
In fact we're as imperfect as one can get.
In a manner even one celled organisms are more of a perfect being then the human.


And please stop trying to drive the discussion away from the subject just to avoid admitting you're wrong.

stoffe
02-06-2007, 09:59 PM
Mod note: Everyone, please keep the discussion friendly. Respond to the arguments, do not attack the person presenting them if you disagree with their views.

Further, please make an effort to use proper words and punctuation. This is not a chat room, words like "people" and "no one" don't need to be abbreviated. That just makes your posts harder to read.

Thank you. :)

jonathan7
02-06-2007, 10:13 PM
Of course there is a reason
Most ppl need something to believe in to endure the life
Its simple as that

I would call that a comfort blanket




Of course they'll fight for supremecy
And they do
All religions try to gather more followers
Thats fighting for supremecy isn't it?

Thats individual people... where are the Gods involved? You have yet to supply me with any evidence that there are multiple Gods or to disprove that God exsists...

To use your own analogy
Claiming the christian god is the only god is like Ronaldinho claiming he's the only footballer (btw i disagree about him being the best) and all other footballers do not exist
Which is just blind arrogancy and madness

That wasnt the analogy, the anology was that just because something is arrogant doesnt mean it isnt true. (who do you believe to be the best footballer currently in the world?)


Anti matter is nothing
How can you ask where nothing came from? Nothing was always there
Anyway i used that just as an example
I'm not claiming thats what happened
Same with one celled organisms

Its clear my point as gone utterly over your head, and I'm not going to attempt to argue it again




So? There are even more that don't believe in the christian god

Personal beliefs of scientists are hardly scientific facts

No1 can explain that
Not science and certenly not religion
Every person has his own purpose to exist
There is no some greater purpose or mission or whatever
Things are like they are
Just accept it

Spontaneos Evolution was disproved over 100 years ago thats a scientific fact. I do differentiate between fact and scientific opinion, but I've sourced my arguments, why is your opinion more important or more logicalal than a whole load of well respected scintists? I'm affraid I really think you have missed the general point of the discussion.



I'm not saying gods don't exist
They exist just not in the manner thats percieved
Gods exist as long as ppl believe in them
If ppl stop believing in gods they'll cease to exist
Its that simple

Why shouldn't it be just chance? Humans aren't perfect
Infact we're as imperfect as one can get
In a manner even one celled organisms are more of a perfect being then the human

And pls stop trying to drive the discussion away from the subject just to avoid admitting you're wrong

It is utterly clear to me that you really havent understood alot of what this discussion was about. It was a theoretical discussion, you can believe what you want to believe although ultimatly I dont understand any logic or coherance in your argument. You have not researched your arguments, you havent read the bible yet you see fit to argue about its content. I'm not going into the realm of trying to prove the bible true. Or if there is more than one God as you havent even set out why you believe there to be many Gods, lots of religions is not proof of lots of Gods. You will ultimatly believe what you want to believe without even considering what the other is saying. Which was the beauty of mine and SilentScopes discussion in that I disagree with moral relativism, but if I'm wrong and there is no God then moral relativism exsists. What I had basically done above was set out my argument of why there is a God, I had not directed it as to which was the correct God... For the record in Islam and Judaism Allah and Jehovah say they are the only God.

Admitting I'm wrong about what? Its arrogance in the exteme to tell me I'm wrong about religion, you are taking this discussion to a dangerous place. I believe I am right and there is a God, but I understand people will disagree and will have to choose for themselves. Hence the fact I love debating and discussing issues, because I like to see anothers perspecitve, I really don't see your perspective. This is an ethics and religious debate which will move all over the place, people have different opinions. You have neither considered my points or even really understood them. You havent even set out what you believe, if you even believe anything...If you were going to rebuke my argument for there being intelligent design and a creator God then you should of sourced scientists who argue against the theory yet you have not done that. Offhand I can source several scientists who dont believe in intelligent design and believe the big bang theory and evolution are the way things happened. Which I would then of argued against.

Imoras none of the above is meant as offence by the way, its more make clear what you think. There is also no real right or wrong answer to this discussion as it a debate and people will come from all sorts of different angles. Well at least we won't know the right or wrong answer untill we die... I'm unsure about the fact that too me at the moment you seem to have missed my point and then said I'm not admiting that I'm wrong about what exactly?

Darth InSidious
02-07-2007, 07:12 AM
@question of god being necessarily good:

"Truth itself speaks truly, or there's nothing true." - Thomas Aquinas, trans. Gerard Manley Hopkins.

FHL, everyone.

Imoras
02-07-2007, 04:22 PM
I would call that a comfort blanket

You can call it whatever you wish
It remains true however

Thats individual people... where are the Gods involved? You have yet to supply me with any evidence that there are multiple Gods or to disprove that God exsists...

Its not individual people
Its the churches and they are representing their gods on Earth like a lawyer represents his client
Therefore if they fight for supremecy then the gods fight for supremecy

That wasnt the analogy, the anology was that just because something is arrogant doesnt mean it isnt true. (who do you believe to be the best footballer currently in the world?)

Your analogy wasn't the correct one
I pointed to you what the correct analogy should look like
Claiming christian god is the only god is like claiming Ronaldinho is the only footballer
If you claimed christian god is the best god THEN your analogy would be correct
(I don't think there can be a best footballer considering the difference in the positions... there can be best goalkeeper, best defender, best midfielder, best striker but not best footballer overall... atleast thats my opinion)

Its clear my point as gone utterly over your head, and I'm not going to attempt to argue it again

Spontaneos Evolution was disproved over 100 years ago thats a scientific fact. I do differentiate between fact and scientific opinion, but I've sourced my arguments, why is your opinion more important or more logicalal than a whole load of well respected scintists? I'm affraid I really think you have missed the general point of the discussion.

It is utterly clear to me that you really havent understood alot of what this discussion was about. It was a theoretical discussion, you can believe what you want to believe although ultimatly I dont understand any logic or coherance in your argument. You have not researched your arguments, you havent read the bible yet you see fit to argue about its content. I'm not going into the realm of trying to prove the bible true. Or if there is more than one God as you havent even set out why you believe there to be many Gods, lots of religions is not proof of lots of Gods. You will ultimatly believe what you want to believe without even considering what the other is saying. Which was the beauty of mine and SilentScopes discussion in that I disagree with moral relativism, but if I'm wrong and there is no God then moral relativism exsists. What I had basically done above was set out my argument of why there is a God, I had not directed it as to which was the correct God... For the record in Islam and Judaism Allah and Jehovah say they are the only God.

Admitting I'm wrong about what? Its arrogance in the exteme to tell me I'm wrong about religion, you are taking this discussion to a dangerous place. I believe I am right and there is a God, but I understand people will disagree and will have to choose for themselves. Hence the fact I love debating and discussing issues, because I like to see anothers perspecitve, I really don't see your perspective. This is an ethics and religious debate which will move all over the place, people have different opinions. You have neither considered my points or even really understood them. You havent even set out what you believe, if you even believe anything...If you were going to rebuke my argument for there being intelligent design and a creator God then you should of sourced scientists who argue against the theory yet you have not done that. Offhand I can source several scientists who dont believe in intelligent design and believe the big bang theory and evolution are the way things happened. Which I would then of argued against.

Imoras none of the above is meant as offence by the way, its more make clear what you think. There is also no real right or wrong answer to this discussion as it a debate and people will come from all sorts of different angles. Well at least we won't know the right or wrong answer untill we die... I'm unsure about the fact that too me at the moment you seem to have missed my point and then said I'm not admiting that I'm wrong about what exactly?

No, i haven't read the bible but its a famous book and there are quotes from it all over the net, the movies and everywhere really and i can comment on those quotes

No, i got the point of the discussion though you went into the bing bang stuff in an attempt to prove that a god created the world which was entirely offtopic

Its agreed that if gods doesn't exist then there is moral relativism

And your point is that if god exists then moral relativism can't exist because god is the only entity that can decide whats good and what isn't
Thats however your biased christian opinion
Your church teaches you that the christian god is the only god
I as an atheist can be unbiased in this situation and its only logical that if greater powers exist then they're more then one
One or more for each religion actually
And since each religion fights for supremecy and more followers most of the religions deny the existence of other gods then their own
Which is logical for them to do but to a person thats unbiased its obvious that if greater powers exist they are more then one
I hope i made myself clear enough this time

Perhaps now you see my point?

Oh and don't worry
I took no offence and i meant none in case you took one :)

Titanius Anglesmith
02-07-2007, 05:09 PM
Therefore if they fight for supremecy then the gods fight for supremecy
You cannot know that "the gods" fight for supremacy when you do not even know there are any gods at all.

Claiming christian god is the only god is like claiming Ronaldinho is the only footballer
If you claimed christian god is the best god THEN your analogy would be correct
No, actually jonathan7's analogy was more fitting. Christians (just for the record, I am one) claim that God is the only god. There is no proof that there are any gods at all, so any talk about gods is all speculation. Now of course, we all know there are countless footballers (I call them Soccer players, but I'll go along with it:)), so claiming that Ronaldinho is the only footballer is would be utter lunacy.

I can't claim the Christian God is the "best god" because I believe He is the only God. Arrogance it may be, but it's what I believe and I stand by it.

Imoras
02-07-2007, 08:28 PM
You cannot know that "the gods" fight for supremacy when you do not even know there are any gods at all.

We accept the the churches represent the gods
And we KNOW churches attempt to gather more followers (fight for supremecy)
Therefore we know the gods fight for supremecy


No, actually jonathan7's analogy was more fitting. Christians (just for the record, I am one) claim that God is the only god. There is no proof that there are any gods at all, so any talk about gods is all speculation. Now of course, we all know there are countless footballers (I call them Soccer players, but I'll go along with it:)), so claiming that Ronaldinho is the only footballer is would be utter lunacy.

Well its utter lunacy to claim one's god is the only god
So jonathan's analogy isn't more fitting

I can't claim the Christian God is the "best god" because I believe He is the only God. Arrogance it may be, but it's what I believe and I stand by it.

Exactly
I already said that to view the things better you must be unbiased

SilentScope001
02-07-2007, 08:28 PM
The above argument is an excellent example of why I believe in ethical relativism and that it is very useful when applied to this circumstance. You can't change someone's opinon here. ;)

I don't think that other Gods exist, there is only one God, who calls himself God. At least, that what I think my God said to me, and I don't think my God may lie, even though he could. There is no proof that a diety exist, but there is also no proof that a diety does not exist, and no proof that there can only be one diety.

If there are other Gods, does God know of these other gods? If not, then he shows himself as not exactly omiprescent...and if he does, then he is seen as a liar for stating that he is the only God, and unless he got some good reason, he could easily be perceived as evil, giving credence to the "God is Evil!" camp.

As for the creation of other religions, prehaps they all either are false cults...or all worship the same thing (God) in a differnet manner. Usually, most religions claim to be the "correct" religion, the correct interpertion of the truth, so it is unlikely multiple different Gods (each represented by a different religion) may be competiting. Then again, it is unlikely that the Earth would rotate around the Sun (satirizing pre-Scientific Revolution "science" here, with people aruging that the Earth has to be in the center of the universe otherwise we would be constantly falling, and that we could be rotating would be more absurd, when in fact, it was the truth. :xp: ). And if there are other Gods, then each God will be able to view the world in a different manner, and ethical relatvisim may result.

Basically, I do not find Imaros' argument that there are mulitple Gods convicing, but the fact is that there could be multiple Gods is something that interests me.

Even if there could be other Gods, it could still be best to worship at least one of these Gods, so that you could prosper in the ongoing conflict, if it exist.

Indeed I do struggle with such people, I find they often try to force (via strength of arms etc) their own opinions on to other, and ultimatly I look at the world and think an awful lot of its problems are created by people who can't accept that another can disagree with them. I don't mind people disagreeing or debating but do get narked when people try to force things on other as we all have slightly different thoughts. I tread a fine line here though as ultimatly I am a Christian, so have to take the Gospel out to people, but I dont want to ram it down their throats. But if I am correct then I think they need to take notice as it has profound implications for them. Does that make sense?

Somewhat. Just keep an open mind, they could (not likely, and hopefully not, though) very well be right. :)

And as for countering the "God is evil!" argument, you can't really convice them by using the Gospel. They could claim that since God is evil, God would resort to lying, and therefore, one should not trust God's word.

Out of interest how do you think it is people get into heaven then?

I don't even know if Heaven really is what everyone claims it is. I'm quite worried that it may become a place of eternal bliss, where we lose all meaning of what it is to be human, since there will be nothing to strive for once we get there. I'll still want to go there (I rather be bored to death than be burnt to death).

Hm. It may be just because God wants them to go to Heaven. Provide people a reason to worship him other than "Well, I made you. Can't you show some gratidue for that?" I guess that the truly devoted people of God would dismiss Heaven as a small trifle and rather just worship God, because they owe their life to him, that they are nothing...and it may be that these people are the ones that go to Heaven.

Maybe the ones who worship God just because they want to go Heaven may go to a lower rank in Heaven, or may even be sent to Hell, because they were serving God not because they love God, but because they love Heaven, and were greedy for it, like how people are greedy for cash and power because of it, they do good deeds. [An example would be in K2, how my evil Male Exile would work with the Ithorians on Telos to repair my Force connection, as well as to gain some credits...but mostly for the Force. This evil person did a good deed, but for evil intentions.]

EDIT: As for why this test is being done, since we are not God (or maybe we are, Descartes did ponder on this thought of him actually being God, creating the world around him for his enjoyment, but dismissed it because he is not perfect and he doubts, so he can't be God, who is perfect and does not doubt)...we won't know (one of the many mysteries surronding God). But maybe it is some sort of experiment, to see if a person, with the ability to freely choose, is able to choose God or to choose evil. Of course, I don't even know if free will exist, and if it doesn't, God's will and plan becomes more muddy.

It could be good to dismiss the question by stating, "God did this...because he can."

Imoras
02-07-2007, 08:33 PM
/offtopic

silent, why do you consider selfish and evil to be the same thing?

SilentScope001
02-07-2007, 08:40 PM
/offtopic

silent, why do you consider selfish and evil to be the same thing?

Well, selfish people usually are evil. Have you ever seen a good or pleasent selfish person?

And I don't see God really being egoistic, at least when talking to us. He's an omipresecent (or, if there are mutliple Gods, at least half-way prescent) being, and he really doesn't care that much if we all unite to form a coaltion to wipe God off the face of the Earth. He'll just throw a lighting bolt and kill us all. He really doesn't need our help, we need his help. So, yeah, good and evil makes sense as an axis here.

Hm...on second thought, I could see an selifish god really be existing.

Oh well, if the Gods doesn't exist, this topic becomes moot.

Imoras
02-07-2007, 09:23 PM
Well, selfish people usually are evil. Have you ever seen a good or pleasent selfish person?

Every single person is selfish more or less
Does that mean all the people are evil?

SilentScope001
02-07-2007, 09:27 PM
Every single person is selfish more or less
Does that mean all the people are evil?

In a way, yes. :)

It would be best that we return back to topic.

The Architect
02-07-2007, 10:17 PM
I am of the belief that there is a God or Gods. I say God or Gods because I donít know if there is more than one God or not, nor do I know if any God/s exists at all, nor do I know if a God or Gods still exist to this day. Who says God/s have to be immortal because it/they are God/s? Who says this/these God/s have to be either a male or a female?

Assuming there is a God/s like I do, I havenít even attempted to understand in what form, how this God/s exists. Whether it/they exist in all living things, it/they is in nature itself, whether it/they is some physical entity looking down upon the Universe, I donít know. If there is a God/s, it/they may exist on a completely different plain to ours, something more than the Universe, I donít know.

Has anyone ever heard of Astral projection and the possibility of there being seven different plains of existence? Something along those lines anyway. God/s could exist on some other plain that the human eye cannot see. Or God/s could exist on a mental plain of some sorts, assuming there is more than just the physical plain of existence (what we live in).

Now, why do I think that God/s exist/s? Because the only possibility that life arose has to be because of some supernatural occurrence beyond our comprehension! There cannot be more than two possibilities as to how life arose.

The one that non-believing scientologists and atheists tend to favour is the disproven (which they mustnít realise or not understand) theory of spontaneous generation, which is that life, arose from non-living matter.

Since when can you create life from non-living entitles? You canít! Itís impossible! There never has been, and never will be, an authentic story or proven, witnessed event about the creation of a living thing from non-living matter.

Since spontaneous generation is scientifically impossible, then there is only one possibility. That God/s created life by paranormal means that us imperfect humans couldnít even begin to understand. What this/these God/s are, I do not know, but some super being/s beyond us humans surely must exist, since Iíll repeat it again, you cannot create life from non-living matter.

Samuel Dravis
02-07-2007, 10:35 PM
The one that non-believing scientologists and atheists tend to favour is the disproven (which they mustnít realise or not understand) theory of spontaneous generation, which is that life, arose from non-living matter.

Since when can you create life from non-living entitles? You canít! Itís impossible! There never has been, and never will be, an authentic story or proven, witnessed event about the creation of a living thing from non-living matter.

Since spontaneous generation is scientifically impossible, then there is only one possibility. That God/s created life by paranormal means that us imperfect humans couldnít even begin to understand. What this/these God/s are, I do not know, but some super being/s beyond us humans surely must exist, since Iíll repeat it again, you cannot create life from non-living matter.Spontaneous generation cannot be proven impossible for the same reason that Gods can't be proven nonexistant, so to speak of something being "scientifically" proven impossible is a misuse or misunderstanding of how science works. Science works by showing things to be TRUE, not false - never false, because we have no way of determining the reality of a false conjecture.

It is quite easy to show something is true, however. If you have a row of ducks, most of them black but one white, can you say that white ducks exist? Yes, of course - one's right in front of you. Now, if you have a row of only black ducks, can you say that ONLY black ducks exist? No, because the available information is limited to the set you're examining and doesn't include ALL information (knowing everything is generally declared the domain of an omniscient God).

Hopefully I've cleared that up for you guys. By the way, spontaneous generation is not the same as abiogenesis, which is far more plausible but still has some problems.



Since I've already bothered with this thread, I might as well post some thoughts on the Christian God issue. Basically, everything's good until omnipotence, omniscience and creation get put together. To show you what I mean:

God knows everything, past and future. He knows actions, beliefs, what direction a quark will be facing at AD 1395, Jan 5, 12:25:23.38884443. Anything, everything.

God knows exactly what will happen when anything changes in the universe.

God creates man.

Problem? Yes? Christianity proclaims "free will" as it had something to do with it. It doesn't appear to; there is no room for any sort of free will, free motivation, even the Calvinist's free determination doesn't avoid the unescapeable conclusion: God chose what would happen, when it would happen, and he made things in such a way as that it would occur.

Can people be held morally responsible for something that God forced them to do? That does seem to be the question. Many people are afraid of Hell and think that belief or works will save them. I wonder if what they think even matters.

ET Warrior
02-07-2007, 10:50 PM
Actually, science is not in the business of proving truths...because there is no way to prove a truth. It is generally accepted that Gravity is a solid theory, because we have never managed to falsify it, but we must accept the fact that it is POSSIBLE at some point we will find evidence to falsify it, and once we do we reject the theory as incorrect.

Science works on the premise that if something can withstand a myriad of tests and analysis and still not be falsified, then that becomes a new working paradigm, but if it does become falsified we either refine the theory or move on.

Samuel Dravis
02-07-2007, 11:05 PM
Actually, science is not in the business of proving truths...because there is no way to prove a truth. It is generally accepted that Gravity is a solid theory, because we have never managed to falsify it, but we must accept the fact that it is POSSIBLE at some point we will find evidence to falsify it, and once we do we reject the theory as incorrect.

Science works on the premise that if something can withstand a myriad of tests and analysis and still not be falsified, then that becomes a new working paradigm, but if it does become falsified we either refine the theory or move on.Good point, sorry I missed it. I never think of physical knowledge truths in "absolute" terms, so I guess I got a bit lax there (I said much the same thing the other day but got everything in that time -_-). Like you say, proving something "true" is simply making that statement more likely than various others, not showing it is ALWAYS true.

SilentScope001
02-07-2007, 11:08 PM
The one that non-believing scientologists and atheists tend to favour is the disproven (which they mustnít realise or not understand) theory of spontaneous generation, which is that life, arose from non-living matter.

Since when can you create life from non-living entitles? You canít! Itís impossible! There never has been, and never will be, an authentic story or proven, witnessed event about the creation of a living thing from non-living matter.

Um, they did. According to my biology textbook, scientists realized that the first proto-cells were made by chemical compounds in the air, that soon manage to combine together to create the proto-cells. These proto-cells evovled into real cells, and real cells evolve into animals like we have today. They reproduced it in a lab, so therefore, they believe it to be true.

But of course, who made those chemical compounds? :D

Regardless, I don't like science, only because many scientists proclaim that their method will help figure out the truth. It is replacing one dictatorship (of religion) with the dictatorship of...science. The indivudal theories can be proven and disproven, but all that remains is observations which they trust...Which I dislike. Observations can be falisfied. We could all be brain in vats and we wouldn't know, no?

Problem? Yes? Christianity proclaims "free will" as it had something to do with it. It doesn't appear to; there is no room for any sort of free will, free motivation, even the Calvinist's free determination doesn't avoid the unescapeable conclusion: God chose what would happen, when it would happen, and he made things in such a way as that it would occur.

Well, I do sympathize with that sort of view. But God could artifically limit his power, if he wanted to. He's God, after all.

Samuel Dravis
02-07-2007, 11:18 PM
Um, they did. According to my biology textbook, scientists realized that the first proto-cells were made by chemical compounds in the air, that soon manage to combine together to create the proto-cells. These proto-cells evovled into real cells, and real cells evolve into animals like we have today. They reproduced it in a lab, so therefore, they believe it to be true.I remember an experiment that produced organic molecules, yes. However, none that I know of to date have produced life from those compounds.

Regardless, I don't like science, only because many scientists proclaim that their method will help figure out the truth. It is replacing one dictatorship (of religion) with the dictatorship of...science. The indivudal theories can be proven and disproven, but all that remains is observations which they trust...Which I dislike.Tell me something: how do you know the computer you're typing on is there? How can you tell there's someone on the other end, responding? How do you know you have a body? You simply percieve it to be true. That's hardly a definite proof that your computer exists, that your body exists. Yet, you believe it does. Why? Your experiences lead you to trust in that model, that idea. How is science doing the same thing any different? If you dislike just the idea of trusting in anything, well, I can't help you; I can't show you that your body exists. No one can, not even you. Have "faith" is all I can say about that.

Observations can be falisfied. We could all be brain in vats and we wouldn't know, no?No, you wouldn't know if you were a brain in a vat. I'm curious why you think it would matter? Since there would be no effective difference, what's the point of the speculation?

Well, I do sympathize with that sort of view. But God could artifically limit his power, if he wanted to. He's God, after all.I have trouble imagining the ways God could limit his omniscience and omnipotence and still be God. Doubtless he could choose to avoid interfering with some section of space or whatever, but how could he avoid being himself? Saying God does not know something when the very definition of God is a being that knows everything doesn't make sense to me.

SilentScope001
02-07-2007, 11:29 PM
I remember an experiment that produced organic molecules, yes. However, none that I know of to date have produced life from those compounds.

Hm...I think they said that those organic molecules could theortically be the building blocks of life, forming those proto-cells. That would explain the scientist experience above.

Tell me something: how do you know the computer you're typing on is there? How can you tell there's someone on the other end, responding? How do you know you have a body? You simply percieve it to be true. That's hardly a definite proof that your computer exists, that your body exists. Yet, you believe it does. Why? Your experiences lead you to trust in that model, that idea. How is science doing the same thing any different?

Actually, I don't believe that I am sitting here typing, but I can reasonably assume that. Still, it can be wrong, since I have no actual proof that I am typing. I am willing to accept the possiblity that my senses are wrong that I am not really typing. :)

I do devel into skepticism, yes...

No, you wouldn't know if you were a brain in a vat. I'm curious why you think it would matter? Since there would be no effective difference, what's the point of the speculation?

I think it prehaps would matter due to the fact that...if this is true, then everything is a lie. USA doesn't exist, democracy doesn't exist, gravity doesn't exist, the computer I'm typing at doesn't exist, even God doesn't exist...Everything that I have taken for granted is a big lie. The point of the speculation is to throw everything into doubt, to wonder that it may be impossible to gain real knowledge into what really is true...there will always be doubt.

I have trouble imagining the ways God could limit his omniscience and omnipotence and still be God. Doubtless he could choose to avoid interfering with some section of space or whatever, but how could he avoid being himself? Saying God does not know something when the very definition of God is a being that knows everything doesn't make sense to me.

That is what I mean by limiting his omiprescence, by avoiding to interfere with some section of space (which happens to be our section of space). But yeah, I can understand that.

But if there is no free will, there is the problem of why Hell is made. I wonder if Hell is made not to punish humans per se, but rather evil human "thoughts" that has convinced humans to do the bad deeds...which could sastify the free will clause. That, or people can just claim "God is evil". :)

Samuel Dravis
02-07-2007, 11:40 PM
Actually, I don't believe that I am sitting here typing, but I can reasonably assume that. Still, it can be wrong, since I have no actual proof that I am typing. I am willing to accept the possiblity that my senses are wrong that I am not really typing. :)

I do devel into skepticism, yes...Heh. Quite.

I think it prehaps would matter due to the fact that...if this is true, then everything is a lie. USA doesn't exist, democracy doesn't exist, gravity doesn't exist, the computer I'm typing at doesn't exist, even God doesn't exist...Everything that I have taken for granted is a big lie. The point of the speculation is to throw everything into doubt, to wonder that it may be impossible to gain real knowledge into what really is true...there will always be doubt.Depends on what knowledge you're after. If you're going after some sort of transcendant truth, then you will not find it - at least you won't be sure that you've found it. If you're going after the best model for what you experience, then you can find it. The reason I ask why the brain-in-bowl scenario would matter is because... it wouldn't. How are you supposed to find the transcendant truth, see outside of your vat? You can't. Little point to speculation that lies outside of our possible reach because of our limited nature.

That is what I mean by limiting his omiprescence, by avoiding to interfere with some section of space (which happens to be our section of space). But yeah, I can understand that.Even if he did limit his actions with regard to us, there would still be no free will. The problem is with creation... since he created us, he knew what would happen in the future and even went so far as to plan on leaving us alone. This line of thought still gives no avenue for self-determination. By creating us, he already interfered.

But if there is no free will, there is the problem of why Hell is made. I wonder if Hell is made not to punish humans per se, but rather evil human "thoughts" that has convinced humans to do the bad deeds...which could sastify the free will clause. That, or people can just claim "God is evil". :)In the scenario, there are no thoughts but God's, and God is an amoral concept at that point. It's meaningless to say something is good or bad when there is only one free entity in the universe. The rest are puppets on strings. They have no life other than that which the puppeteer gives them - they are simply extensions of his will, to be discarded or used however he sees fit.

So you see, determinism is pretty bleak. :p It's difficult to understand why people would want this sort of situation, but I suppose it takes all kinds...

The Architect
02-08-2007, 04:35 AM
No one has ever observed life arising from non living matter. If life can be created from non-living matter, then why hasnít anyone ever seen humans being created out of thin air?

Why would it happen to the first generation of humans only, and then stop, when those same chemical compounds in the air that existed so long ago exist to this day? If spontaneous generation was true, then what is to stop Dinosaurs from returning? Because life canít arise from non-living matter, thatís why.

Samuel Dravis
02-08-2007, 05:53 AM
No one has ever observed life arising from non living matter. If life can be created from non-living matter, then why hasnít anyone ever seen humans being created out of thin air? Like I said, abiogenesis and "spontaneous generation" are two different things. I can't think of anyone that believes in spontaneous generation. The only people I know of that even think that people believe in it are usually some type of fundamentalist. Louis Pasteur is usually given credit for "disproving" the fact that life can't arise from the non-living, but he did no such thing. He just showed it was extremely unlikely for modern life to have arose from non-living organic material.

Abiogenesis (aka chemical origin of life) simply states that primitive self-replicating molecules could have formed and went on to form the life there is today. I suggest you read up on both to see why they're different.

Why would it happen to the first generation of humans only, and then stop, when those same chemical compounds in the air that existed so long ago exist to this day?The starting conditions are different, of course. Besides the differing atmospheric and oceanic states, there's LIFE now, advanced life, with millions of years of evolution under it's belt. How could a more primitive form of self-replicating molecules even begin to compete when it'd be so out of date? It's components would probably be broken up and assimilated by something that already lives even if it did manage to form.

If spontaneous generation was true, then what is to stop Dinosaurs from returning? Because life canít arise from non-living matter, thatís why.Nothing stops dinosaurs from returning (albeit in a slightly different form) except evolutionary pressure, time and probably us. We wouldn't want T-Rex in the backyard and would probably kill anything that looked like it was becoming a threat. Think of the children, man! :p

lukeiamyourdad
02-08-2007, 10:49 AM
Thank you to ET Warrior and Samuel Dravis for clearing things up on what science does and what science does not. It always amazes how little people know about it.

There was an argument earlier saying that scientists cannot prove the unexistence of a god or the existence of one either.

If I run a scientific experiment to either prove or disprove God exists it will fail - so again where are the facts that God doesn't exist? But if there is no God we will never know as no-one will ever return from death, also if there is no God life is utterly pointless as we are nothing but specs sand on a beach and whatever we do will ultimately have no effect.

The problem is that an actual scientist won't try to disprove god. A philosopher might, but not the scientist. By the way, philosophers are not scientists but scientists can be philosophers. Some people in European universities will try to kill me, but generally, it's accepted in North America that philosophers are necessary but not exactly scientists.

Anyway, back on the issue. The scientists never can claim that a god does not exist nor can he disprove the existence of unicorns and fairies. That's not the point. There is always a chance of a god existing and not existing. However, the religious folks make the claim that their god does exist. The scientist then asks for proof, which no one can provide. As such, science generally doesn't believe in the various incarnations of gods simply because no one has ever managed to gather conclusive evidence of his/her/its existence. Burden of proving that there is a or many gods is not on the shoulder of the scientists who ask for evidence, it's on those making the claim.




As for ethical relativism, as I work in social sciences, I have to take the context into consideration. I don't doubt that there are many Christians, Muslims, Jews and everything else also working in this branch of science, but you often have to "forget" that there is a right and a wrong so that your research won't be biased. You must never judge your subject because it's just unethical.

jonathan7
02-08-2007, 11:17 AM
Thank you to ET Warrior and Samuel Dravis for clearing things up on what science does and what science does not. It always amazes how little people know about it.

There was an argument earlier saying that scientists cannot prove the unexistence of a god or the existence of one either.

Indeed, it has been an extremley interesting read, lots of interesting and varying views :)

The problem is that an actual scientist won't try to disprove god. A philosopher might, but not the scientist. By the way, philosophers are not scientists but scientists can be philosophers. Some people in European universities will try to kill me, but generally, it's accepted in North America that philosophers are necessary but not exactly scientists.

Well personally I would argue that both are vital seeing as scientists tend to find cure's for disease or invent stuff which would now be considered vital for today. While philosophers pose questions that cannot be answered and can expand peoples comprehention of the world.

Anyway, back on the issue. The scientists never can claim that a god does not exist nor can he disprove the existence of unicorns and fairies. That's not the point. There is always a chance of a god existing and not existing. However, the religious folks make the claim that their god does exist. The scientist then asks for proof, which no one can provide. As such, science generally doesn't believe in the various incarnations of gods simply because no one has ever managed to gather conclusive evidence of his/her/its existence. Burden of proving that there is a or many gods is not on the shoulder of the scientists who ask for evidence, it's on those making the claim.

Well, see if an athiest ask's me to proove God exsists I ask why must I proove he exsists and challenge them to proove he doesnt exsist. Essentially its the same argument as I would challenge a scientist who doesnt believe in God to proove that God doesn't exsist. As I and the Architect have stated above Spontaneous Generation was disproved over 100 years ago, and from the quotes I posted above many scientist believe that there is only one other theory to explain what happened... Therefore I would argue that was enough proof to infer God's exsistance, but I'm sure people will argue against that ;)

As for ethical relativism, as I work in social sciences, I have to take the context into consideration. I don't doubt that there are many Christians, Muslims, Jews and everything else also working in this branch of science, but you often have to "forget" that there is a right and a wrong so that your research won't be biased. You must never judge your subject because it's just unethical.

Amen to that (forgive the pun ;)) I would however argue if there is no God then ethical relativism comes into being as who says what is right and wrong?

No, i haven't read the bible but its a famous book and there are quotes from it all over the net, the movies and everywhere really and i can comment on those quotes

No, i got the point of the discussion though you went into the bing bang stuff in an attempt to prove that a god created the world which was entirely offtopic

Its agreed that if gods doesn't exist then there is moral relativism

And your point is that if god exists then moral relativism can't exist because god is the only entity that can decide whats good and what isn't
Thats however your biased christian opinion
Your church teaches you that the christian god is the only god
I as an atheist can be unbiased in this situation and its only logical that if greater powers exist then they're more then one
One or more for each religion actually
And since each religion fights for supremecy and more followers most of the religions deny the existence of other gods then their own
Which is logical for them to do but to a person thats unbiased its obvious that if greater powers exist they are more then one
I hope i made myself clear enough this time

Perhaps now you see my point?

Oh and don't worry
I took no offence and i meant none in case you took one

I see where your coming from a bit better now, but as for you being unbiased your biased to disprooving God :-p We are all human so we will automatically bias to our expierance and understanding of the world. So I'm a psychology student but it is argued that all psychology studies are automatically biased as the person behind the study has their own baises, if that make sense.

Personally speaking I still only believe in one God as I believe the way you get to heaven is by believing in Jesus Christ. Now perhaps you could argue say the devil is a lesser God but ultimatly I believe God will defeat him. I still believe there is just one God :-p. Also just because there are many religions doesn't mean there are many Gods... e.g. if I invent a new religion that follows the Potatoe God, does that actually mean that there is a potatoe God? Lets assume for a second however there are multiple Gods, I would expect that if they were warring for supremacy that you would see many miracles of this war yet we don't. I would argue that other religions are cults (please don't be offended by that if anyone is of another religion) and only people are drawing them in. Feel free to disagree, but this isn't a winnable argument its only theoretics and ultimatly comes down to what people believe and there experiances of the world.

I'm not offended by anything you have said, I'm used to having such debates with lots of friends from all diferent backgrounds, from Athiests to Muslims, so they can get heated sometimes, but at the end of the day its just a discussion :)

Jae Onasi
02-08-2007, 11:42 AM
I remember an experiment that produced organic molecules, yes. However, none that I know of to date have produced life from those compounds.


The Miller-Urey experiements where they try to recreate the 'primordial soup' part of the planet's history to see if they can make any of the building blocks for life. They've been able to make some amino acids, but only the most simplest ones (glycine and alanine) of the 20 needed for life were made in any kind of amount greater than a parts-per-million ratio, and it was a mix of the right and left-handed versions of these, and only the left-handed version works in human life. They have also been unable to create any nucleotides or nucleosides, which are the building blocks for DNA and RNA, and obviously no DNA or RNA itself. The RNA/DNA bases were formed but without combining with the sugar backbone to turn them into nucelotides/nucleosides, they're useless. No proteins (chains of amino acids longer than polypeptides), polysaccharides (chains of sugar molecutes, needed for life), lipids (a fatty molecule needed for cell walls, among other things), or nucleic acids (needed to form DNA and RNA) have ever been formed in these experiments.

You knew you were all dying for a biochemistry lecture today, right? :D

JediMaster12
02-08-2007, 03:27 PM
Yes Jae. You brought me right back to BIO 101 and 102 and 11th grade biology. :D

From my understanding this topic, based on the heading was about religion and ethics. I have read some arguments and again the science comes back in with any topic remotely related to this. I have said it before and I'll say it again, science does not prove, it disproves. Using for example evolution and natural selection, nothing has been shown to disprove it therefore we have it called as a theory which has more explaining power than facts and Laws. Jae's example with the primordial soup mix is a good example of possibly disproving the idea seeing as they didn't get nucleotides and the like to create RNA and DNA.

With regards to religion, I wrote out a definition in another thread where I defined religion that was written by Geertz in that religion is a set of beliefs and belief systems that are described through symbols. There is no mention of the word gods or goddesses but the word symbol. Symbols could mean anything from a god, to a plant, to an animal, etc. That's just to clear things up.

With morals, yeah we have morals. As to where those come from, as an anthropologist, I could argue that it comes from learned behavior of a group, hence saying that it is a part of culture. Of course there could be other arguments maybe philosophically and the like. The point is, there probably is no definitive answer to that. The interesting thing is that what guides most of our laws today are based upon what we in general say is moral and immoral.

I see where your coming from a bit better now, but as for you being unbiased your biased to disprooving God :-p We are all human so we will automatically bias to our expierance and understanding of the world.
That I agree with. There is no truly unbiased person, no true objectivity. In anthropology, we talk alot about cultural relativism because one of the things we study is culture and we have to be able to put aside the ethnocentrisim to study the group that is in the focus of study. In the field most of the time is strictly observation. We try to minimize the damage we do in contacting a society. We do get faced with issues of ethics in whether or not to do something but we accept that it is largely a judgement call. Often that judgement is influenced by our own morals and definition of what is riht and wrong but also it is based upon the forseeable consequences of the action should we take it.
I admit that some people, mainly my family, have questioned my decision into studying anthropology because they are traditionally Catholic and they have their own ideas about things. They ask me if I believe that we descend from monkeys. To be honest I weave my way around that kind of thing and explain what the subject is so in the end they forget what they ask me and come out learnign something new. I accept that as part of the ethnocentrism that accompanies alot of people when they meet a new group. I know I have biases because I find it gross and wierd that people like to eat chocolate covered grasshoppers yet I find it fascinating. Call me liberal I guess but that is just me. I like learning what makes one person different from the next. I may not agree with them but I respect them.
As to disproving or proving the existence of God, there is no exact science that prove faith. We all have to some at some point. It doesn't matter whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, aethiest, Agnostic, etc., you use it. Whether it is to believe that you'll pass your qualifications for whatever or you'll get a new job, you are placing faith in yourself and your talents. It is no different from placing it in a diety of some sort. Faith is not defined by science. There are things that science can't prove.

Samuel Dravis
02-08-2007, 05:49 PM
Well, see if an athiest ask's me to proove God exsists I ask why must I proove he exsists and challenge them to proove he doesnt exsist. Essentially its the same argument as I would challenge a scientist who doesnt believe in God to proove that God doesn't exsist.Just a quick comment on this. A person who is honestly seeking greater understanding wouldn't ask you to "prove" beyond doubt that a God exists. They might ask for some reason that makes your statement more likely than others, but not for proof. It would be reasonable for them to ask this of you; most people don't just go around believing everything someone says. If you can't honestly provide a viable answer, then you should begin to wonder why you believe it in the first place.

The problem being, of course, that there are many religions and each differ. Is there truly something that makes yours more reliable than any given other? Or do you believe something just because that's what you've always done, or perhaps because it makes you feel better, etc.?

I've thought about this sometimes and I've come to the conclusion that only things that relate in a real world context would be useful in determining that reliability. In particular, things that you yourself observe and can later use. For example, if a person of X religion (and only X religion) was able to predict the outcome of any given series of events 90% of the time, wherever they were and without any possible previous knowledge of the circumstances, that would be interesting. Very interesting. Unfortunately, no one has ever demonstrated this sort of thing, or even close to it. People have good reason to be skeptical of religion's claims (really, this applies to any other circumstance which involves no reason given to believe it). There's a thread on this topic (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=108764) in the Senate.

Oops, guess it wasn't all that short. :p

lukeiamyourdad
02-08-2007, 06:05 PM
Well personally I would argue that both are vital seeing as scientists tend to find cure's for disease or invent stuff which would now be considered vital for today. While philosophers pose questions that cannot be answered and can expand peoples comprehention of the world.

Yes, both are linked, as without philosophers, social scientists don't have any definitions to work with but at the same time, definitions are always easily debatable and because of the inability to find one that all would agree on makes them unscientific. A weird thing to understand, but that's the way things are.



Well, see if an athiest ask's me to proove God exsists I ask why must I proove he exsists and challenge them to proove he doesnt exsist. Essentially its the same argument as I would challenge a scientist who doesnt believe in God to proove that God doesn't exsist. As I and the Architect have stated above Spontaneous Generation was disproved over 100 years ago, and from the quotes I posted above many scientist believe that there is only one other theory to explain what happened... Therefore I would argue that was enough proof to infer God's exsistance, but I'm sure people will argue against that ;)

The problem is that burden of proof is not on the scientist's shoulders. Generally, we never try to prove a negative (i.e. "God does not exist"). So considering that, you make the statement that God exists, it's your job to prove it to the rest of community. It's not the scientific community that has to disprove you. Only when you come up with a big reasoning, then it can be refuted but since you have admitted the inability of man to prove something like that, in the eyes of the scientific community, there is no evidence of God's existence.




Amen to that (forgive the pun ;)) I would however argue if there is no God then ethical relativism comes into being as who says what is right and wrong?


I really like …mile Durkheim's definition of education as a set of teachings given to a person to properly live in his society (translating from French and quoting from memory, not exactly that, but it's the main idea). Basically, ethical relativism is a necessity for every individual to be comfortable in his society. That's why gladiatorial fights are wrong now, but a cool thing back in the Antiquity.

Honestly though, I could care less. I try to forget my own values when I analyze some event or anything else, so I have no choice but to apply ethical relativism to avoid a normative judgment. And philosophy has never been my favorite subject of debate, since again, there is no definite answer that might come out of such a debate.

JediMaster12
02-08-2007, 07:27 PM
I really like …mile Durkheim's definition of education as a set of teachings given to a person to properly live in his society (translating from French and quoting from memory, not exactly that, but it's the main idea).
That is a working definition of culture, at least how anthropologists do. Culture is learned and is not static. It does change through time with innovation and invention. Then we have cultural relativism. I can't help but wonder if ethical relativism and cultural relativism are the on the same plane.

The problem being, of course, that there are many religions and each differ. Is there truly something that makes yours more reliable than any given other? Or do you believe something just because that's what you've always done, or perhaps because it makes you feel better, etc.?
Yes there are many religions each saying that theirs is the supreme one. Hence we've got ethnocentrisim. It is the way how one views the world we live in. Often it is equated with narrowmindedness. As to your last question again I defer to culture, that it is a learned thing. You aren't born with culture. Why do believe in what you do? You have your reasons and they are influenced by your view of the world as you see it. Again it is one of those things that says truth is relative. Truth is truth from your point of view.

SilentScope001
02-08-2007, 08:51 PM
For example, if a person of X religion (and only X religion) was able to predict the outcome of any given series of events 90% of the time, wherever they were and without any possible previous knowledge of the circumstances, that would be interesting. Very interesting. Unfortunately, no one has ever demonstrated this sort of thing, or even close to it. People have good reason to be skeptical of religion's claims (really, this applies to any other circumstance which involves no reason given to believe it).

Answer: Discordianism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discordianism) (religion disguised as satire disguised as religion), and the Law of Fives.

The Law of Fives is summarized on page 00016 of the Principia Discordia:

The Law of Fives states simply that: ALL THINGS HAPPEN IN FIVES, OR ARE DIVISIBLE BY OR ARE MULTIPLES OF FIVE, OR ARE SOMEHOW DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY APPROPRIATE TO 5.
The Law of Fives is never wrong.
The Law of Fives includes the word "Five" five times.

Like most of Discordianism, the Law of Fives appears on the surface to be either some sort of weird joke, or bizarre supernaturalism; but under this, it may help clarify the Discordian view of how the human mind works; Lord Omar is quoted later on the same page as having written, "I find the Law of Fives to be more and more manifest the harder I look."

Appendix Beth of Robert Shea's and Robert Anton Wilson's The Illuminatus! Trilogy considers some of the numerology of Discordianism, and the question of what would happen to the Law of Fives if everyone had six fingers on each hand. The authors suggest that the real Law of Fives may be that everything can be related to the number five if you try hard enough. Sometimes the steps required may be highly convoluted.

Another way of looking at the Law of Fives is as a symbol for the observation of reality changing that which is being observed in the observer's mind. Just as how when one looks for fives in reality, one finds them, so will one find conspiracies, ways to determine when the apocalypse will come, and so on and so forth when one decides to look for them. It cannot be wrong, because it proves itself reflexively when looked at through this lens.

So, in some cases, I doubt your test of 90% accuracy would work. I mean, if it does, I would follow Discordianism and start saying "Fnord" wherever I want. I mean, how come every car has 5 tires (4 for driving, one as a spare)? Has to be the Rule of Fives, and because of that, Discordianism (or any other religion with rules that people believe in and justify a lot) is correct. :D
===
As for the "Proof of God" (tm) that Scientists wants, here is one taken from St. Augustine (I think). This is a Totally Scientific proof (according to those days):

1. I move.
2. Something must have made me move.
3. Something must have made that thing made me move.
4. Something must have made that thing which made that thing made me move.
5. This is an infitie cycle that repeat endlessly.
6. Surely, there can't be something that continues endleesly. There must be a Prime Mover that is not moved by anything else, but what causes everything else to move.
7. That Prime Mover is God.

Problem: We already found the Prime Mover...the Big Bang. But what causes that? Why, if you believe in string theory...strings. So that theory (of God existing since I move) goes pretty awry. And what if there is an inifinte chain of events, each thing moving something else, and it is a chain that will never end?

Another proof...from Descartes (the inventor of the "evil demon" argument, the predecssor of the infamous "Brain In Vat" experiment):


Medidation 5 ontological argument
1. God's prefection entails existence (existence is a perfection).
2. So someone who thinks of God without also thinking that God exists contradicts himself.
Therefore, God exist.

This is an argument also used by a person named Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury in the late 11th and early 12th centuries.
A being that is all powerful and all knowing and perfectly exists exists.
A being wo is all powerful and all knowing and perfetly good and exists does not exist.

Problem: The argument would seem to be apply to anything.
A golden mountain that exits does not exist. This is contradictory but that doesn't prove that a golden mountain exist. It just shows that if you say it exists and then deny it exists you have contradicted yourself.

Rebuttal: We didn't say that a perfect being exists, adding the notion of existance to the notion of a perfect being. But it wasn't added on--the notion of aboslute perefection already including the notion of existing. To deny it exists is more like denying that a triangle has three angles euqal two right angles.

Mathematical concepts express "true and immutable essences" and they are not fictions. WHen we prove something about a true and immutable essence it is true indepedents of our thoughts.

Another Objection: Perfect island-Suppose we imagine a perfect island that does not exist. A more perfect island would be one that is just like that island but also exist. (Gaunilo's objection) That couldn't be a way to prove a way to prove the existance of perfect island.

That above proof also uses philopshy, but Descartes felt that it was quite easy to see that God exist thanks to that proof, and to deny it would be like denying a triangle has 180 degrees.

JediMaster12
02-08-2007, 10:21 PM
Descartes also said 'I think therefore I am.'

So, in some cases, I doubt your test of 90% accuracy would work. I mean, if it does, I would follow Discordianism and start saying "Fnord" wherever I want. I mean, how come every car has 5 tires (4 for driving, one as a spare)? Has to be the Rule of Fives, and because of that, Discordianism (or any other religion with rules that people believe in and justify a lot) is correct.
Five is considered one of the most powerful numbers. It is often associated with the divine feminine. Seven is another number and that is used in the Bible citing the perfection of heaven. Then there is three which is associated with the Holy Trinity and the Triple Goddess. Another number that is found even in science is the Golden Ratio or the Divine Proportion. Don't tell me I got it from the DaVinci Code. I actually have a mathematician for a friend and I never met anyone who loves math more than she. The reason I say it exists everywhere well take the length from your shoulder to your elbow and divide by the length from your shoulder to your fingertips. You get 1.618, the Divine Proportion. Because this number occurred so frequently, early scientists believed that it was a divine number. Your Laws of Five are very intereesting but haveyou considered why people like things in threes, fives and sevens. They are all odd numbers but yet they are prevalent in many religious cultures ranging from the pagans to the Western world.

SilentScope001
02-08-2007, 10:32 PM
Five is considered one of the most powerful numbers. It is often associated with the divine feminine. Seven is another number and that is used in the Bible citing the perfection of heaven. Then there is three which is associated with the Holy Trinity and the Triple Goddess. Another number that is found even in science is the Golden Ratio or the Divine Proportion. Don't tell me I got it from the DaVinci Code. I actually have a mathematician for a friend and I never met anyone who loves math more than she. The reason I say it exists everywhere well take the length from your shoulder to your elbow and divide by the length from your shoulder to your fingertips. You get 1.618, the Divine Proportion. Because this number occurred so frequently, early scientists believed that it was a divine number. Your Laws of Five are very intereesting but haveyou considered why people like things in threes, fives and sevens. They are all odd numbers but yet they are prevalent in many religious cultures ranging from the pagans to the Western world.

Reread again. The Rule of Fives is supposed to be a joke to satrize how people can see things (like conspiracy theories) if they just look for them. That was the reason I posted it here, to prove that just because a religion "predicts" something 90% of the time...it doesn't really mean that it is right.

JediMaster12
02-08-2007, 11:22 PM
I saw the satire. I was being serious :D

I am well aware that there is truth but truth is not always what it appears.

Allronix
02-09-2007, 02:23 PM
I am a Wiccan. This makes me "evil" in the eyes of certain "Followers of the Books," as well as a throwback for worshipping ancient Gods. It is not a conclusion I came to lightly. For years, I thought there was something wrong with me because I put a lot of effort into trying to follow the Christian faith, but kept coming up with too many questions.

I stumbled into the wrong room when looking for a writers' worskshop and ended up meeting a Gardnerian priestess. After a few hours of talking, I found there was a name for what I believed in my heart. Just to be sure, I read the King James cover to cover before putting that book down and declaring myself Pagan.

The fundamental of the faith is the Rede. "If it harms none, do as thou wilt." However, "harm none" is the BIG key. It includes harming yourself, and it expands to include all creatures and the Earth. And if you do something stupid, you pay for it in one form or another. There's no "devil made me do it" here. It's all about consequences and if you can live with them.

Jae Onasi
02-09-2007, 02:44 PM
Works pretty well with the 'Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.' :)

Salzella
02-09-2007, 04:02 PM
Ah, religion. I prefer to avoid it altogether, except to occasionally point it with a pointy stick :P

SilentScope001
02-09-2007, 04:05 PM
The fundamental of the faith is the Rede. "If it harms none, do as thou wilt." However, "harm none" is the BIG key. It includes harming yourself, and it expands to include all creatures and the Earth. And if you do something stupid, you pay for it in one form or another. There's no "devil made me do it" here. It's all about consequences and if you can live with them.

...But I want to harm myself or harm others, to punish myself or to punish others. I think this sort of "harming", punishment, is excluded from your definition (since it prevents 'greater harm'), but still...:D

Darth InSidious
02-09-2007, 06:10 PM
Question:

A definition of religion can be 'a set of beliefs based around an unprovable central belief or beliefs.' - If anyone objects to this, feel free to say so :)

So...What is science?

Science - the belief that reason can help us to understand the nature of everything around us completely.

But can we?

Let's take a hypothetical situation. In this situation, the universe is created in one instant by a deity or deities who will henceforth be known as The Omnipotent Triskaidekatheos. The Omnipotent Triskaidekatheos creates something very similar to Earth, but instantly. And then The Omnipotent Triskaidekatheos leaves the universe to its own problems and solutions, never to return.

Now in this universe, on this not-quite-Earth, which we shall call Tellurius, there is a single island-colony of humans. There is one main difference between them and humans in our universe - these humans are all blind from birth. They have no concept of sight, as they have never had it, never perceived using it, they don't know of its existence.

They build their society on a similar model to ours, fighting their wars, learning their knowledge, and building their understanding of the universe. But. They can't see.

And so, how do they learn things only learnt by sight? They can't. Or, they learn in a more inefficient manner.

And somewhere along the line, a fundamental mistake is made. So fundamental that it is completely ignored as being impossible to be wrong.

So how do they know that their perception of the universe is flawed if they have no concept of what they are missing?

Let me put it another way: We perceive the world through five senses, it is generally agreed. Others may or may not exist -that I'm not going to delve into here.

But is the world as we perceive it the world as it really is? What if our perceptions are coloured, or flawed, because of something we are incapable, and have no concept of exists as a further method of perception?

In the words of Kant, what if phenomenon and noumenon are not equal?

It may not be a constructive argument, necessarily, but it is an interesting one, I think, and so on to the point of this post: Isn't science, by the definition I put above, a religion?

Q
02-09-2007, 06:30 PM
Isn't science, by the definition I put above, a religion?
Absolutely. Complete with its own zealots. :)

SilentScope001
02-09-2007, 07:07 PM
It may not be a constructive argument, necessarily, but it is an interesting one, I think, and so on to the point of this post: Isn't science, by the definition I put above, a religion?

That would explain the ritualistic scarfice of frogs we do in biology class. :)

But, this is why I do like the school of skepticism. This philosphical school takes the same arguments you make and basically claim it is impossible to figure out the truth (since our senses could be flawed), so don't bother trying. It is supposed to cause inner peace, as you no longer have to worry on what is the "truth" (because it's stupid to figure it out).

It's not very popular with scientists, religious folk, and...well, almost everyone for that matter.

Carlo El Sanchez
02-09-2007, 07:42 PM
I am Greek Athodox, but also beleave in Budhism.

jonathan7
02-09-2007, 08:12 PM
I am a Wiccan. This makes me "evil" in the eyes of certain "Followers of the Books,".

Officially all Christians should believe this; it doesn't make you any more or less evil than anyone else. Just because I'm a Christian doesnt make me any better than anyone else. From the Christian perspective I sin the same as everyone else, there is nothing I can do to save myself which is why I need Jesus to die for me on the cross. And in God's eyes all sin is equal so you are no more evil than me. The only difference being I believe in Jesus so he takes the rightful punishment I should recieve, which he did so on the Cross. I'm sure some people will argue that not all Christians should believe the above but if the bible is the true word of God then what is above is directly from the Gospels. Its also why I get very frustrated when Christians are tolerate or loving of those they should seek to look after. So for example I think the Church over the years has stigmatised Gay people, but their Sin is no different to me swearing in the eyes of God and if they don't believe in God why should they follow his laws? Its also why if say you have a gay Christian, we should be very carefdunl in the manner anyone should correct him on any sexual sin he could perhaps be into, as Jesus was very perseptive when he was talking about look at the plank in your own eye before telling your brother about the splinter in his. Thats me 2 cents for now.

JediMaster12
02-10-2007, 01:15 AM
I am a Wiccan. This makes me "evil" in the eyes of certain "Followers of the Books," as well as a throwback for worshipping ancient Gods. It is not a conclusion I came to lightly. For years, I thought there was something wrong with me because I put a lot of effort into trying to follow the Christian faith, but kept coming up with too many questions.
I question too but mainly it is the Catholic tradition. I don't believ in saying the Hail Mary or things like the Prayer of Saint Francis. I believe that the only way to have your prayer answered is to ask God through his Son. As an anthropologist, I don't consider Wiccans as being a throwback. It is who you are. If you think that is a throwback, let us make Buddhism one too and Shinto since they are old religions. Everything has a history including religion. It doesn't make anything a throwback. I have an acquaintance who is Wiccan. I study Wiccan belief, purely in the academic sense though I get the probing questions. I don't consider my self better than you or anyone. That is blatant ethnocentrism if you think like that.

...But I want to harm myself or harm others, to punish myself or to punish others. I think this sort of "harming", punishment, is excluded from your definition (since it prevents 'greater harm'), but still...
"Do as ye will but ye shall harm no one"
When I began my personal study into the mantra, I took it to mean the practicing of spells against a person. My research uncovered that by casting a spell against someone is deemed sorcery. I could be wrong or it is one interpretation of it. The mantra, like anything is a matter of conduct when practicing belief.

Isn't science, by the definition I put above, a religion?
Yes it is. I see that someone has been paying attention to what I said. I gave the same argument in a general religion thread. I gotta hand it to Geertz with his technical definition. At least it helps when I conduct my research.

This philosphical school takes the same arguments you make and basically claim it is impossible to figure out the truth (since our senses could be flawed), so don't bother trying. It is supposed to cause inner peace, as you no longer have to worry on what is the "truth" (because it's stupid to figure it out).
Inner peace through claiming it is impossible to figure out truth? Truth is relative my friend. Truth is how you see things.

Q
02-10-2007, 01:18 AM
Truth is relative my friend. Truth is how you see things.
Uh... Are you sure about that?

Darth InSidious
02-10-2007, 09:43 AM
Quick point: Catholicism teaches that Satan is evil. It is also taught that he is immensely clever and devious. If (to our eyes), you were seduced by him, but believe yourself to be doing right, does that make you an evil person? No. Misguided, perhaps, but not evil.

That said, I know very little about Wicca, although I do find the Satanist Black Mass an insulting mockery, but that's another discussion...

Samuel Dravis
02-10-2007, 08:40 PM
Answer: Discordianism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discordianism) (religion disguised as satire disguised as religion), and the Law of Fives.Your example of the law of fives does indeed fit my 90% requirement. I suppose I should have specified that the phenomenon must be distinguishable from chance to have any use for the purpose I was interested in.

...
7. That Prime Mover is God.

Problem: We already found the Prime Mover...the Big Bang. But what causes that? Why, if you believe in string theory...strings. So that theory (of God existing since I move) goes pretty awry. And what if there is an inifinte chain of events, each thing moving something else, and it is a chain that will never end?There are some problems with this argument that bear thought. First, and probably most obvious, is like you say - what caused the First Cause? Just asking the question is nonsensical if you take for granted that things MUST follow from a cause. Even if you consider that only EFFECTS must have causes, why do we single out one particular "First Cause" as if it were different from any other, i.e., not an effect? Also, even if you were able to show that there was indeed particular "First Cause," you wouldn't be able to say it was (xxxx religion)'s God with any certainty except if you argue from a definition, which is clearly circular reasoning. If you consider the "First Cause" to be outside of time, then the premise that 'all effects must have a cause' is a strange sort of position to take - there'd be no distinguishable relation between the cause and effect. Of course, none of this shows whether a God does indeed exist or not; however, it does mean that holding such a belief is not necessary to acting rationally.

Another proof...from Descartes (the inventor of the "evil demon" argument, the predecssor of the infamous "Brain In Vat" experiment):

That above proof also uses philopshy, but Descartes felt that it was quite easy to see that God exist thanks to that proof, and to deny it would be like denying a triangle has 180 degrees.A couple of problems with such proofs is that they aren't really. They depend on suppositions that don't follow from human capability. For instance, consider the argument of Anselm, in which he says he can conceive of a God as a being greater than nothing can be imagined. This presupposes that God concept is capable of being conceived by humans, and also that Anselm did so. Is it possible to truly conceive infinity, and how do you know you have done so? This knowledge is core to the integrity of the argument, but it hasn't been proven a priori; thus, the argument is not really an argument, but an opinion. There are also other objections, such as Kant's rejection of existence as a property.

So...What is science?

Science - the belief that reason can help us to understand the nature of everything around us completely.

...

In the words of Kant, what if phenomenon and noumenon are not equal?

It may not be a constructive argument, necessarily, but it is an interesting one, I think, and so on to the point of this post: Isn't science, by the definition I put above, a religion?By your definition, yes. Many would not use that definition, however, thinking that there is no way to determine the sort of transcendant truth that religion tries to ascribe properties to. To me, a more useful definition is the one that ET Warrior posted (http://www.lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2263831&postcount=26) above. Using this definition, scientific findings would not subject to belief as religious ones are. They are simply a model of what our senses tell us, whether that information is truthful or not.

The Architect
02-11-2007, 12:17 AM
Wow! You folks are likeÖbrain surgeons! :lol: This topic is out of my knowledge leagueÖbut not by much mind you. :giggle1: Thatís why Iíll stay out of this discussion from now on, because most likely Iíll get owned by one of youse, like I pretty much already have by Samuel Dravis :lol:, however I still believe that life originated via supernatural means from some type of higher being/s.

Iíll just say one thing though. Scepticism can be a good thing. Iím a bit sceptical in general myself, but itís never a good thing to be too sceptical, because youíll drive your brain nuts! :lol:

Achilles
02-11-2007, 08:36 AM
Question:

A definition of religion can be 'a set of beliefs based around an unprovable central belief or beliefs.' - If anyone objects to this, feel free to say so :)
I suppose that's one possible definition. If we are attempting to operationally define the term, I would prefer to use the definition found in Webster's. If you find some fault with it, I'm sure that we can discuss it:

Main Entry: re∑li∑gion
Pronunciation: ri-'li-j&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English religioun, from Anglo-French religiun, Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back -- more at RELY
1 a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

I'm assuming that your intent is to paraphrase 4? 1 (a & b) won't work for obvious reasons. 2 also won't work because it specifies religion. It also specifies "personal" belief, whereas belief based on science is for everyone. 3 doesn't apply because science is skeptical by nature. 4 doesn't apply (here or in your paraphrased definition) because science does not utilize faith (although I'm sure someone will be along shortly to insist that it does, if the argument hasn't been raised already).


So...What is science?

Science - the belief that reason can help us to understand the nature of everything around us completely.

Again, if we are operationally defining the term, I would say that the following is more accurate (once again, taken from Webster's):

3 a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : NATURAL SCIENCE

The key words that I would like to point out here are "as obtained and tested through scientific method"

In order for something to be considered valid in the eyes of science, it must be testable, reproducible, falsifiable, etc, etc (hence why science concerns itself with only natural explanations). Since God (YHWH, etc) is/are decidedly supernatural (i.e. not falsifiable), He/She/It/They falls outside the realm of scientific study. This is possibly tangential, however I suspect that this will come up later.


But can we?

Let's take a hypothetical situation. In this situation, the universe is created in one instant by a deity or deities who will henceforth be known as The Omnipotent Triskaidekatheos. The Omnipotent Triskaidekatheos creates something very similar to Earth, but instantly. And then The Omnipotent Triskaidekatheos leaves the universe to its own problems and solutions, never to return.

Now in this universe, on this not-quite-Earth, which we shall call Tellurius, there is a single island-colony of humans. There is one main difference between them and humans in our universe - these humans are all blind from birth. They have no concept of sight, as they have never had it, never perceived using it, they don't know of its existence.

They build their society on a similar model to ours, fighting their wars, learning their knowledge, and building their understanding of the universe. But. They can't see.

And so, how do they learn things only learnt by sight? They can't. Or, they learn in a more inefficient manner.

There are a lot of assumptions made in this last couple of statements that would appear to be based on fallacy. Since they can fight their wars and learn their knowledge and build their understanding of the universe, we can only assume that this imaginary species has evolved some other means of advancing themselves.

It also assumes that whatever these means may or may not be, they are patently "inferior" to sight (which may or not be true).


And somewhere along the line, a fundamental mistake is made. So fundamental that it is completely ignored as being impossible to be wrong.

So how do they know that their perception of the universe is flawed if they have no concept of what they are missing?

What is this fundamental mistake and what impact does it have on their species? Again, we're assuming an awful lot here. I'm thinking that science shows us that blind species are just as well adapted to their environments as sight-bearing species are to their's.

Their perception of their universe is predicated upon whatever ability they have to observe their universe. Without sight, it seems unlikely that they could develop tools, make much use of bipedal locomotion, etc. I'm sure someone with a degree in evolutionary biology could do a much better job of painting a picture of this hypothetical species, but I suspect that the point is moot.


Let me put it another way: We perceive the world through five senses, it is generally agreed. Others may or may not exist -that I'm not going to delve into here.

But is the world as we perceive it the world as it really is? What if our perceptions are coloured, or flawed, because of something we are incapable, and have no concept of exists as a further method of perception?

It's possible. But these methods of perceiving our world would fall outside the realm of science (which would seem to contradict the argument that science is a religion)

Until any observations could be made using these "other senses" that are capable of holding up to the scientific method, they would have to remain in the "non-science" category.


In the words of Kant, what if phenomenon and noumenon are not equal?

It may not be a constructive argument, necessarily, but it is an interesting one, I think, and so on to the point of this post: Isn't science, by the definition I put above, a religion?

Science is not a religion for the reasons posted above.

Allronix
02-11-2007, 09:55 AM
http://www.echoschildren.org/CDlyrics/WORDGOD.HTML


From desert cliff and mountaintop we trace the wide design,
Strike-slip fault and overthrust and syn and anticline. . .
We gaze upon creation where erosion makes it known,
And count the countless aeons in the banding of the stone.
Odd, long-vanished creatures and their tracks & shells are found;
Where truth has left its sketches on the slate below the ground.
The patient stone can speak, if we but listen when it talks.
Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the rocks.



From "The Word of God" by Cat Faber

JediMaster12
02-11-2007, 11:14 PM
Uh... Are you sure about that?
Of course. Truth is how I perceive things and it differs from what you say is true. This topic of religion is a good example. Truth isn't always what it appears. ;)

I suppose that's one possible definition. If we are attempting to operationally define the term, I would prefer to use the definition found in Webster's.
Websters is a good definition but in terms for use in study, I prefer the definition that Geertz came up with that Darth Insidious and I have stated before. You could say that it is a means to quantify it or something like that.

2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
This one holds more along the lines of what I was thinking of and what Geertz was attempting. If I find it again I can post it again what Geertz said. He expands it to include symbolism as weel.

Boba Rhett
02-11-2007, 11:36 PM
Truth is how I perceive things and it differs from what you say is true.



http://sa.tweek.us/emots/images/emot-pseudo.gif Making up your own definitions for existing words doesn't magically make them applicable, usually is frowned upon, and also does not lend merit to ones outlook on the matter at hand.

Achilles
02-12-2007, 12:19 AM
Of course. Truth is how I perceive things and it differs from what you say is true. This topic of religion is a good example. Truth isn't always what it appears. ;)I think you're going to find that relativism will get you into more trouble than it will get you out of in some cases.

If "truth" is what you perceive, than what is "true" will differ from person to person. Another way to put this would be to say that truth is a matter of opinion. I'm assuming that it's obvious that there is a difference between what is opinion and what is fact.

That the earth travels around the sun is a fact.
That God created the earth is 6 days is an opinion.

One of these things is observable, repeatable, testable, etc and should be considered "true" by any rational person. The other is a matter of faith, which means that the believer believes it in spite of little, no, or contradictory evidence.

As you can see, there is truth and then there is relativism. The trick is not to confuse the two.


Websters is a good definition but in terms for use in study, I prefer the definition that Geertz came up with that Darth Insidious and I have stated before. You could say that it is a means to quantify it or something like that.
Regardless, I think that one of the definitions offered by Webster's was pretty close to the definition offered by Darth Insidious. In both cases, the term "religion" cannot be applied to science for reasons that I have already posted. Webster's definition cannot apply because it invokes faith. DI's definition does not work because it can not be uniformly applied with regards to science.


This one holds more along the lines of what I was thinking of and what Geertz was attempting. If I find it again I can post it again what Geertz said. He expands it to include symbolism as weel.You can take the time to find it if you'd like, but I think I already showed that it cannot be used to equate science to religion (which was the gist of the post that I was responding to), so I'm not sure what that will accomplish.

Again, if we're operationally defining the terms, it might save everyone a lot of time to simply use a commonly held existing definition rather than try to cook up one of our own. Just my 2 cents.

SilentScope001
02-12-2007, 10:40 AM
I think you're going to find that relativism will get you into more trouble than it will get you out of in some cases.

If "truth" is what you perceive, than what is "true" will differ from person to person. Another way to put this would be to say that truth is a matter of opinion. I'm assuming that it's obvious that there is a difference between what is opinion and what is fact.

That the earth travels around the sun is a fact.
That God created the earth is 6 days is an opinion.

One of these things is observable, repeatable, testable, etc and should be considered "true" by any rational person. The other is a matter of faith, which means that the believer believes it in spite of little, no, or contradictory evidence.

As you can see, there is truth and then there is relativism. The trick is not to confuse the two.

And this is why I dislike science.

Science claims that it can find the truth. Well, then. Prove it.

Prove to me that the world revolves around the Sun.

Okay, you got some stats, observations and such. Prove to me that those stats, observations, senses, and everything is true.

You gave me a standard by which you evaluate if something is true or not to prove that this is true. Prove to me that standard is true.

You're telling me to shut up because it's "self-evident"? Well then, according to a preacher, the world is created within 6 days and that is "self-evident". Why should I trust you, when your words have equal validity to that preacher's words? It doesn't.

I of course believe that the world revolves around the Sun. Just like I believe I am typing here. But I'm willing to accept the possiblity that my beliefs are wrong. Can you? :)

Here is a more formal explaination of what I am arguing here. This is from the school of sketpicism once more, this time from the Founder of Skepticism, Sextus Empiricus:

1. If we prefer one knd of observation either we do so with judgment and proof or without judgment and proof.
2. If we prefer it without judgment and proof, then our preference is aribtrary and not to be trusted.
3. If we prefer it with judgment, then we do it either with proof or without proof
4. If without proof, then the judmgent is again arbitrary and not to be trusted.
5. If we do it proof, we can ask what standard is applied to the proof.
6. Either the standard is justified or is it isn't.
7. If it isn't jusitifed then it is arbitrary.
8. If it justified then we can ask what standard is applied to the justification. (etc., etc.)

Either the process goes on forever, and so the preference is not. Or it re-uses the same standard of proof, in which case it is circular. Or at some point, the "dogmatisit" refuses to offer further justification or proof, in which case she is unreasonable.

Circular arguments can be valid (if the peremises are true the conclusion must be true, since one of the premises is the conclusion), but they are never legitimately persuasive. The audience won't accept the premise. (That premise is what you were trying to persuade them to accept)

Samuel Dravis
02-12-2007, 11:05 AM
And this is why I dislike science.

Science claims that it can find the truth. Well, then. Prove it.

Prove to me that the world revolves around the Sun.

Okay, you got some stats, observations and such. Prove to me that those stats, observations, senses, and everything is true.

You gave me a standard by which you evaluate if something is true or not to prove that this is true. Prove to me that standard is true.

You're telling me to shut up because it's "self-evident"? Well then, according to a preacher, the world is created within 6 days and that is "self-evident". Why should I trust you, when your words have equal validity to that preacher's words? It doesn't.

I of course believe that the world revolves around the Sun. Just like I believe I am typing here. But I'm willing to accept the possiblity that my beliefs are wrong. Can you? :)

Here is a more formal explaination of what I am arguing here. This is from the school of sketpicism once more, this time from the Founder of Skepticism, Sextus Empiricus:I've already addressed this exact issue on page 1. I don't trust things I observe to be absolute truths. Science does not claim it can find absolute truths. The only thing science does is find models that seem to fit what we percieve, and nothing more. By accepting this I MUST believe that my ideas about how the world works are possibly incomplete. I would NEVER try to prove to you that my model is the absolute truth, because it can't be done. I can, however, show you that my model may work better than yours on some things, and I can prove it to you in that context.

I agree that your preacher's words have the same value of usefulness in determining "absolute" truth. However, one is far more useful in predicting how I will see things in the future. Science does work in that regard, so I trust it more than something I have no way of verifing the effectiveness of. It's part of the reason I asked about anyone finding something that is true (appears to be anyway) 90% that was predicted by some religion - it's because it would allow me to verify its claims and judge its usefulness as a model compared to others that are already working. Like I said, however, there is no such thing that I am aware of. Religion's claims are usually of the impossible to verify variety, perhaps because that very property is valuable to it.

I'm curious what more people think of the deterministic christianity view I posted earlier on page one. Since it appears that there are a few of you here, I would enjoy discussing the merits of its impact on the value of ethics. After all, this wasn't about God, per se... just the idea's impact on ethics. :p

SilentScope001
02-12-2007, 11:42 AM
I've already addressed this exact issue on page 1. I don't trust things I observe to be absolute truths. Science does not claim it can find absolute truths. The only thing science does is find models that seem to fit what we percieve, and nothing more. By accepting this I MUST believe that my ideas about how the world works are possibly incomplete. I would NEVER try to prove to you that my model is the absolute truth, because it can't be done. I can, however, show you that my model may work better than yours on some things, and I can prove it to you in that context.

It is more arguing against Achilles' position andn not yours.

That may be true that science offers a framework, which is why I believe in it. I treat it respectfully, and I obey it quite well. Still, I would like to remind people that there is always the possiblity science may be wrong. There is no proof science is wrong, but then again, there is no proof that science is right. I just accept it as true anyway, based on faith. :)

I agree that your preacher's words have the same value of usefulness in determining "absolute" truth. However, one is far more useful in predicting how I will see things in the future.

So that's where that 90% rule comes in. Well, then again, that preacher may end up speaking about the Rule of Five, and then try to come up with some way of arguing that it's not really "by random chance" that everything is related to 5, but it's all part of some divine plan by Eris or something to that effect.

I guess I can understand why I believe in Science then, due to that 90% rule.

I'm curious what more people think of the deterministic christianity view I posted earlier on page one. Since it appears that there are a few of you here, I would enjoy discussing the merits of its impact on the value of ethics.

If it is true, then ethics really does have no meaning. Some scientists are aruging that the human race is in fact deterministic, determined by natural events and such, and that we are contorlled by our subconsisus. During a disuccion in philosphy about this, people argue if this would justify evil...which leads to the question on what is evil if we are all contorlled to believe in certain things?

These very same scientists try to reaffirm free will by stating that we are able to veto our urges that the subconsisus tells us...but there is no proof of that, so I don't trust that.

Of course, if there is such thing as a Chrisitsan deterministic God, then we can just say that God made Human race for his own reasons, maybe only to exholt his pleasures and such...or maybe for something more sinister. It goes to show that there is some hidden answers that we have yet to discover.

Jae Onasi
02-12-2007, 12:50 PM
That is what I mean by limiting his omiprescence, by avoiding to interfere with some section of space (which happens to be our section of space). But yeah, I can understand that.

But if there is no free will, there is the problem of why Hell is made. I wonder if Hell is made not to punish humans per se, but rather evil human "thoughts" that has convinced humans to do the bad deeds...which could sastify the free will clause. That, or people can just claim "God is evil".

This is a very challenging thing to understand, and I don't know that we can fully understand it, what with being imperfect and finite and all. :)

Just because God knows what you're going to do doesn't mean you don't have a choice in the matter. I can give my kids the option of obeying or not obeying, and in any given situation I'm going to have a good idea which route they're going to take since I know them very well because of our family relationship. If they obey, I can exercise one of my actions accordingly, and if they disobey, I exercise other options. If I had perfect foresight, I'd urge them to make the correct choices, but I can't do it for them. They ultimately have to make their own decisions. If I know what mistakes they're going to make, however, I can alter my plans in advance accordingly to deal with that mistake.

Someone used an analogy one time of an orchestra. Say you're a viola player, and you mess up on a piece of music, maybe even intentionally. God has the ability to alter the entire piece of music to work around your mistake (and everyone else's) to still keep the music beautiful. Is it better to play it the way He designed? Sure, but that doesn't mean He's limited in what He can do or even anticipate in any given situation.

Achilles
02-12-2007, 01:00 PM
And this is why I dislike science.<snip>

Samuel Dravis' response to this message is probably similar enough to my own that I don't feel a need to repeat it.

I will only take a moment to point out that nowhere have I told you to "shut up". In fact this is the first time that I have addressed you in this thread. Please don't put words in my mouth in the future. Thanks in advance.


That may be true that science offers a framework, which is why I believe in it. I treat it respectfully, and I obey it quite well. Still, I would like to remind people that there is always the possiblity science may be wrong. There is no proof science is wrong, but then again, there is no proof that science is right.

Before I respond, I'd like to point out that the first two sentences here appear to be a contradiction to the quote above. Could you please clarify your stance on science?

There is always a possibility that a scientific theory is wrong. That is why the scientific method seeks to show if a hypothesis is falsifiable. For instance, if someone were to offer an alternative theory that explains the movement of the sun and could prove it via the scientfic method, then we would have to reject our earlier model and accept the new one...until something better (which could be tested) comes along.

You can argue with some of the theories all you want (in fact it's encouraged), however you can't argue the process.

I just accept it as true anyway, based on faith. The scientific method does not require faith. This is why the label of "religion" does not apply.


If it is true, then ethics really does have no meaning. Some scientists are aruging that the human race is in fact deterministic, determined by natural events and such, and that we are contorlled by our subconsisus. During a disuccion in philosphy about this, people argue if this would justify evil...which leads to the question on what is evil if we are all contorlled to believe in certain things?

These very same scientists try to reaffirm free will by stating that we are able to veto our urges that the subconsisus tells us...but there is no proof of that, so I don't trust that.

You do know that "science" is a field of study, not an organization of people, correct? Also, are you aware that some scientists study some things and that other scientists study others?

Some scientist might be arguing for determinism, but the ones that are posing a counter-argument for free will are most likely different human beings.

Since we're on the subject, could you please post a link that details these studies further? It seems to me that this subject is more philosophy than science, so I would be very much interested in knowing more about what science has to offer the subject of free will.

Straying even closer to the topic, I think that it is possible to find moral absolutes, however one would most likely have to reject religion in order to find them. The main critisim of Kant's categorical imperative (a tool which can be used to judge morality/ethics) is that it conflicts with the deterministic model. If one were to scrap this model and all its implications, a remarkably similar (but non-dogmatic) ethical framework would still exist (apparently we don't need a story about stone tablets for "Thou shalt not kill" to make sense).

To summarize this point: religion is not the de facto source of ethics. Most arguments for ethical behavior can be "proven" outside of religion. This means that religion is not necessary for ethics or ethical behavior.

JediMaster12
02-12-2007, 01:58 PM
Another way to put this would be to say that truth is a matter of opinion. I'm assuming that it's obvious that there is a difference between what is opinion and what is fact.
Exactly. We do make the assumption that there is a difference. More often we base this on "commom ascent" or a common opinion something like that. What I am trying to say is that take the law for example: most things that we have deemed illegal is because on a general consensus and abiding with our morality, they are wrong. How the laws are written are up for interpretation which is what gets us into trouble.

Again, if we're operationally defining the terms, it might save everyone a lot of time to simply use a commonly held existing definition rather than try to cook up one of our own.
Geertz's definition is widely accepted among anthropologists and is used as a basis to identify the religious aspects of a particular culture. This is difficult to do since many societies don't have the separation of church and state like the US or other places. The Aztec religon heavily intertwines with the socio-political side of things down to the fact that they could lose a battle if they displease their god. Anthropology is a social science and like many other things in this world, it is inexact. It is up to interpretation.

There is always a possibility that a scientific theory is wrong. That is why the scientific method seeks to show if a hypothesis is falsifiable.
Another way of saying that science disproves rather than proves. Thanks Achilles :D

If I had perfect foresight, I'd urge them to make the correct choices, but I can't do it for them. They ultimately have to make their own decisions.
Nice point to emphasize and I totally agree. Our moral compass can point us in the right direction but it doesn't make us go there. In the end, we have to make the choice and hope that it comes out for the best.

SilentScope001
02-12-2007, 02:24 PM
I will only take a moment to point out that nowhere have I told you to "shut up". In fact this is the first time that I have addressed you in this thread. Please don't put words in my mouth in the future. Thanks in advance.

I was not putting words in your mouth, but rather making an argument of someone else defending science and what he would say.

Before I respond, I'd like to point out that the first two sentences here appear to be a contradiction to the quote above. Could you please clarify your stance on science?

Science claims that its method is correct. That by using the method, you are able to figure out stuff. You say it yourself:

You can argue with some of the theories all you want (in fact it's encouraged), however you can't argue the process.

No, I think you should argue with the process. If the process is flawed, then all theories that come out of it is flawed, and we should know that. If we can't trust our observations, then we should not trust what results from the observations, the theories of Science.

And this is why I dislike science. For all its vaunted discussion about being skepticial, and always trying to disprove, it never ever thought of trying to disprove or question the Scientific Method. By adhering to this Method, it has became just as dogmatic as lots of other religious groups out there, which is a major disappointment.

The scientific method does not require faith. This is why the label of "religion" does not apply.

Do you trust that the scientific method is correct? Do you trust that your observations are accurate? Do you believe in it? Yes? Then to me, it requires faith. It is, to me, a religion.

You do know that "science" is a field of study, not an organization of people, correct? Also, are you aware that some scientists study some things and that other scientists study others?

Of course, two groups of scientists can argue with each other, just like two different squabbling religious sects can argue with each other. So what? That doesn't mean anything.

Since we're on the subject, could you please post a link that details these studies further? It seems to me that this subject is more philosophy than science, so I would be very much interested in knowing more about what science has to offer the subject of free will.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/02/science/02free.html?ex=1325394000&en=7d7a58876163384d&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Straying even closer to the topic, I think that it is possible to find moral absolutes, however one would most likely have to reject religion in order to find them. The main critisim of Kant's categorical imperative (a tool which can be used to judge morality/ethics) is that it conflicts with the deterministic model. If one were to scrap this model and all its implications, a remarkably similar (but non-dogmatic) ethical framework would still exist (apparently we don't need a story about stone tablets for "Thou shalt not kill" to make sense).

Uh. Mr. Kant's denotlogical beliefs are just as unproven and in some cases, just as unreasonable as the stone tablets of "Thou shalt not kill".

Here is Kant's law...

The way you determine if an act is permissible is: can this be a universal law? ďCan everyone adopt the law: Everyone can lie, Everyone ought to lie?Ē Can society function? Kant thinks no, so it is not okay to lie at all. This is the self-defeating test.

Expect, uh...Society can function if everyone lies. How come? Well haven't you seen the Sith Academcy in K1, with the Sith plotting and betraying? I think lying and cheating and stealing can allow for a society to function...and even, in some cases, prosper. And, oh, yeah, in K2, "I always lie" is not a paradox as well.

It also begs the question of why Society must function? Why can't we live alone? Why do we need others?

Another part of Kant's beliefs:

Moral Standard 2: An action is right if and only if it treats a person as an end instead of only as a means.

And why must we treat humanity as an ends? Why can't we use the human race to do something greater? Why must we treat it as something...special? And you know that would be bad for society if people actually accept it? So much for an army, the drafting, the civil service, the tax collection, the experimenations, so much for, well everything.

Nope, to me, Kant's beliefs are irrational. Just as irrational as the holy books. At least the holy books give you a reason to obey, Kant gives me none.

To summarize this point: religion is not the de facto source of ethics. Most arguments for ethical behavior can be "proven" outside of religion. This means that religion is not necessary for ethics or ethical behavior.

And they can be "disproven" outside of religion as well. There are tons of ethical theories out there, each theory hating each other, and each theory having no logical basis or reason. Marqius de Sade said murder is okay because it helps out nature, and it provides compost materials. Obivously, nature is much more important than mankind, so why ban murder for what nature intended for man? This is just an example however.

The fact is, ethics, oustide of religion, becomes nothing more than a debate field where we just try to argue to each other what is right and what is wrong. I

I myself like Act Utilitrainism which says good acts are those that make people "happy". Of course, it begs the question of why must people be happy, but it also is so vague that anything can be justified for the sake of "making people happy". Murder, framing of innocent people, tyranny, censorship...you name it, it "makes people happy".

Which is why I like it. Because it allows for me to understand why everyone does whatever they want to do. It acts as a useful framework to allow me to know why people do what they want to do...

Another way to put this would be to say that truth is a matter of opinion. I'm assuming that it's obvious that there is a difference between what is opinion and what is fact.

Actually, facts can become a matter of opinon too. I hate Holocaust deniers, and think of them as idiots, but Holocaust deniers are claiming the Holocaust is not fact. You cannot prove to them that the Holocaust exist. So now what? How in the world can you persuade them? You can't. They will assume that you are holding an opinon that the Holocaust exist, and they are holding the fact that the Holocaust did not exist.

There is no difference therefore between facts and opinons, since different people can very well have different views over certain "facts". Since the "facts" are contested, and people begin splitting into two camps, each claiming that they are right, then I consider them to be holding different opinons.

If I know what mistakes they're going to make, however, I can alter my plans in advance accordingly to deal with that mistake.

The difference however is the fact that you did not make your kids what they are today. God made the human, in all his glory and all his imprefectness. And since he made that man, he could very well know everything about that man. And he could change it, if he wanted to. God could have just thrown everything into a random Mankind generator, and decide not to mess with it. Or God could have tinkered with all aspects of mankind, making it how he meant to be.

In other words, only God knows if he gives us free will or the illusion of free will.

Samuel Dravis
02-12-2007, 02:48 PM
So that's where that 90% rule comes in. Well, then again, that preacher may end up speaking about the Rule of Five, and then try to come up with some way of arguing that it's not really "by random chance" that everything is related to 5, but it's all part of some divine plan by Eris or something to that effect.That preacher could try to say that, but unless he connected it to something verifiable there'd be no reason to believe him. He'd just be saying something about what he thinks, but giving no real reason to justify why he thinks it. His model lacks useful predictive power.

Of course, if there is such thing as a Chrisitsan deterministic God, then we can just say that God made Human race for his own reasons, maybe only to exholt his pleasures and such...or maybe for something more sinister. It goes to show that there is some hidden answers that we have yet to discover.I'd hesitate to describe that kind of God as evil or sinister. He just is, doing what he wants. Nothing particularly sinister about that since there isn't anyone else to care about.

This is a very challenging thing to understand, and I don't know that we can fully understand it, what with being imperfect and finite and all. :)

Just because God knows what you're going to do doesn't mean you don't have a choice in the matter. I can give my kids the option of obeying or not obeying, and in any given situation I'm going to have a good idea which route they're going to take since I know them very well because of our family relationship. If they obey, I can exercise one of my actions accordingly, and if they disobey, I exercise other options. If I had perfect foresight, I'd urge them to make the correct choices, but I can't do it for them. They ultimately have to make their own decisions. If I know what mistakes they're going to make, however, I can alter my plans in advance accordingly to deal with that mistake.

Someone used an analogy one time of an orchestra. Say you're a viola player, and you mess up on a piece of music, maybe even intentionally. God has the ability to alter the entire piece of music to work around your mistake (and everyone else's) to still keep the music beautiful. Is it better to play it the way He designed? Sure, but that doesn't mean He's limited in what He can do or even anticipate in any given situation.You see, Jae, my problem with that is that it doesn't seem to be the same situation with God as in your examples. In the orchestra one, you asked if it was better to play it as God designed. What is the difference between what God designed and you played? IS there any difference? He knew what you would play before you were created, before humanity was created, before the universe was created. How is what you played not his ultimate design?

In your first example, you have a "good idea" of what your children will do. God doesn't. He knows exactly what they will do. Moreover, he chose that they would do it, and that you would punish them for making a "bad" decision.

I'll restate what I said on page one for reference:

1)God knows everything, what has been and what will be.
2)God created everything.

I assume these because they are common in mainstream Christianity. Now, if God creates anything (2), he automatically knows exactly what the creation of that thing entails (1). Due to the fact that humanity is a limited creation, humans cannot do things that are not in their nature. Necessarily, God created those limitations by creating limited beings (2).

From this, we can discover a few things: since God created us, he knew exactly what he was getting into. Since he knew this, and still created us in the way we are, with the limitations we have, he MUST have decided that this was what he wanted. Since he decided exactly what people would do at any point in their lives, I don't see how free will follows, nor how God can be considered having any affiliation with "good" or "evil."


BTW Jae, you didn't quote me. :p

No, I think you should argue with the process. If the process is flawed, then all theories that come out of it is flawed, and we should know that. If we can't trust our observations, then we should not trust what results from the observations, the theories of Science.

And this is why I dislike science. For all its vaunted discussion about being skepticial, and always trying to disprove, it never ever thought of trying to disprove or question the Scientific Method. By adhering to this Method, it has became just as dogmatic as lots of other religious groups out there, which is a major disappointment.I would be quite interested in any other method that approaches the accuracy of the scientific method for the purposes that the method is used for. Do you have one?

Nope, to me, Kant's beliefs are irrational. Just as irrational as the holy books. At least the holy books give you a reason to obey, Kant gives me none.How do they give you a reason to obey?

The fact is, ethics, oustide of religion, becomes nothing more than a debate field where we just try to argue to each other what is right and what is wrong.Depends on if you're trying to get transcendant truth or not. If you're just trying to find out whether something is good or bad within a framework, it can be done. Religion is a framework among a great many others and is not necessarily a useful one.

Which is why I like it. Because it allows for me to understand why everyone does whatever they want to do. It acts as a useful framework to allow me to know why people do what they want to do...You've already shown yourself that it doesn't do a thing for true understanding.

Actually, facts can become a matter of opinon too. I hate Holocaust deniers, and think of them as idiots, but Holocaust deniers are claiming the Holocaust is not fact. You cannot prove to them that the Holocaust exist. So now what? How in the world can you persuade them? You can't. They will assume that you are holding an opinon that the Holocaust exist, and they are holding the fact that the Holocaust did not exist.The difference being that many people's opinions are more likely to be true than just a few. For example, you could make them go to a concentration camp and see it for themselves. You could do quite a few things that, while they don't PROVE the Holocaust, they do make it quite a bit more likely than not. It's strange how you would be bothered about not being able to "prove" it when clearly it can't be done...

SilentScope001
02-12-2007, 03:07 PM
From this, we can discover a few things: since God created us, he knew exactly what he was getting into. Since he knew this, and still created us in the way we are, with the limitations we have, he MUST have decided that this was what he wanted. Since he decided exactly what people would do at any point in their lives, I don't see how free will follows, nor how God can be considered having any affiliation with "good" or "evil."

Easy. The Random Intelligent Creation Engine.

You are God and you create something that randomly chooses everything. Why? Because you're God, and you like randomness for some reason. You decide to make sure that it is TRULY random. You press the button and then it creates templates for billions and billions of Humans.

"The Random Intelligent Creation Engine", this true randomness, is in fact how free will is deterimined. We freely choose what we do because of the RICE, and how it randomly chooses for us what we do. God may not like what the RICE comes out with (just like one may not like rolling 1s all the times), but God places it in anyway, because he made RICE to randomly create certain people.

So God has no contorl over us, and allows for our free will, represented by total randomness inside of the RICE, to take over.


I think. I could be wrong. :)

I would be quite interested in any other method that approaches the accuracy of the scientific method for the purposes that the method is used for. Do you have one?

Well, to me, the burden of proof is not on me to come up with a Method, but rather on you to prove to me that the Method is correct.

How do they give you a reason to obey?

"Obey or go to Hell."

Depends on if you're trying to get transcendant truth or not. If you're just trying to find out whether something is good or bad within a framework, it can be done.

Again, if the framework is wrong, then all conclusions from the framework is flawed. If you trust the framework, maybe, but as one can see in the Abortion topic, it might be hard to figure out if Abortion is good or bad.

You've already shown yourself that it doesn't do a thing for true understanding.

True, but it allows me to determine why they believe what they are doing is right and thereby justify it. Allows me to come up with some sort of a belief as to why dictators would justify what they have done.

The difference being that many people's opinions are more likely to be true than just a few.

So, before the 1400's, would you accept the belief that the Earth is in fact standing still in the center of the universe? Most people believed that, even the scholars agreed it was the most reasonable. :)

Samuel Dravis
02-12-2007, 03:11 PM
Easy. The Random Intelligent Creation Engine.

You are God and you create something that randomly chooses everything. Why? Because you're God, and you like randomness for some reason. You decide to make sure that it is TRULY random. You press the button and then it creates templates for billions and billions of Humans.How does God not know what happens inside of this engine?

"The Random Intelligent Creation Engine", this true randomness, is in fact how free will is deterimined. We freely choose what we do because of the RICE, and how it randomly chooses for us what we do. God may not like what the RICE comes out with (just like one may not like rolling 1s all the times), but God places it in anyway, because he made RICE to randomly create certain people.How does this random selection provide free will anyway? Even if it's random you're still ONLY going to be able to do whatever was selected by that generator.

SilentScope001
02-12-2007, 03:16 PM
How does God not know what happens inside of this engine?

God doesn't want to know. It would upset the purpose of making the RICE in the first place. :xp:

How does this random selection provide free will anyway? Even if it's random you're still ONLY going to be able to do whatever was selected by that generator.

The fact is that God would not know really, and could not intervene in the situation, since it is outside of his contorl what the RICE choosen. To me, that random selection would provide the semblance of Free Will anyway, or at least something apporaching it. It's much less doctrinally dangerous than having a God that contorls everything. God is not in contorl, only the randomness, and there is no way to rig the randomness to make it what it is.

But if God didn't make the RICE, then it really doesn't matter what I said, did it?

Samuel Dravis
02-12-2007, 03:24 PM
God doesn't want to know. It would upset the purpose of making the RICE in the first place. :xp:Knowing everything is one of the attributes of God, remember? It's hard to figure how he could know everything yet clearly not know it - a logical contradiction.

The fact is that God would not know really, and could not intervene in the situation, since it is outside of his contorl what the RICE choosen. To me, that random selection would provide the semblance of Free Will anyway, or at least something apporaching it. It's much less doctrinally dangerous than having a God that contorls everything. God is not in contorl, only the randomness, and there is no way to rig the randomness to make it what it is.So we're talking about "semblances" of free will now. Why would he even bother with the moral laws he's supposed to have given to humanity? Why would God punish those that will make decisions based on the "semblance" of free will that this generator is supposed to give? A god that did this is certainly no God of justice, love or much else... which is probably just as bad as the chooser one.

But if God didn't make the RICE, then it really doesn't matter what I said, did it?Don't worry, you didn't say it. :D

SilentScope001
02-12-2007, 03:39 PM
Knowing everything is one of the attributes of God, remember? It's hard to figure how he could know everything yet clearly not know it - a logical contradiction.

To me, I think God has the power to do anything, even do stuff that is totally illogical. He, for example, can create a stone so heavy that even he cannot lift it. He's all-powerful, he should be able to break his own rules, right?

But if God in fact cannot break certain rules, then my theory does go out the window, does it? :)

So we're talking about "semblances" of free will now. Why would he even bother with the moral laws he's supposed to have given to humanity? Why would God punish those that will make decisions based on the "semblance" of free will that this generator is supposed to give? A god that did this is certainly no God of justice, love or much else... which is probably just as bad as the chooser one.

Well, he made the moral laws, but it is the random generator that decides if the people would follow the laws or not. The random generator could create some random stats and then use those random stats to determine if one will obey the moral laws or not.

Example of RICE's Character Sheet:

Bobby
20 Charisma
5 Intelligence
20 Strength
1 Dexertiy

Now with all those stats, we can see that Bobby is very charismastic but also very dumb. He is also a strong brute. Once that is done, the Random Generator can then randomly choose the alignment of Bobby, based on the random stats that the RICE has done:

Bobby's alignment: Chaotic Good.

Bobby is chaotic because he has low intelligence but Good because he really do like helping people and is very friendly, due to his high charisma. Therefore, Bobby follow the laws, due to the randomness that allow for what we know as free will. I think.

...Just remember, you did say that the idea of God being a deterministic being is very pemmestic, so anything that might be able to refute it might work.

EDIT: Oh, Samuel, while we're on the topic of God, you might like this article (http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28484).

Samuel Dravis
02-12-2007, 04:25 PM
To me, I think God has the power to do anything, even do stuff that is totally illogical. He, for example, can create a stone so heavy that even he cannot lift it. He's all-powerful, he should be able to break his own rules, right?

But if God in fact cannot break certain rules, then my theory does go out the window, does it? :)I'm not sure it's a rule he'd be breaking. It's what he is, a fundamental property of the God concept. Like the bit of Aquinas' about God being all good because it is his inherent nature to be good. Ergo God can't do evil, or put another way: God can't do anything against his will. I use logic and reason because it's basically the only thing I have. It has proven its usefulness countless times in the past for me, with results I can count on (well, in my experience anyway :p). I literally don't know of any other way to find truth in an argument, so I must use the best thing I've got on the God concept.

If you believe that reason can't explain anything about God, then fine. Of course, that would mean that you would also have to give up any ideas based on that supposition. "God is..." would be "God appears to be..." "God says..." --> "God might be saying..." With "God is benevolent..." you could never assume that "God never does anything not benevolent." "God is good" doesn't mean that God is not truly evil and he just likes toying with us.

However, if you're to suppose all of this that religion says about God is true and use it as a working model, then at least you should be able to show something useful you get out of it. Myself, I don't see any reason to believe it. I just don't see the effects of a God anywhere. I don't find that belief or non-belief changes much in the way of knowledge gained, or that belief provides a useful measure to predict things. Sure, God might exist. He also might not. I don't have any reason to think he does, no 90%, so you see... I just don't see the point of believing. In addition, the other problems like this deterministic God keep me from even wanting to believe in such a thing.

Well, he made the moral laws, but it is the random generator that decides if the people would follow the laws or not. The random generator could create some random stats and then use those random stats to determine if one will obey the moral laws or not.
...

Bobby is chaotic because he has low intelligence but Good because he really do like helping people and is very friendly, due to his high charisma. Therefore, Bobby follow the laws, due to the randomness that allow for what we know as free will. I think.Oh, no doubt Bobby does indeed follow the laws set down for morality. Does he have any choice? No...which makes it strange for God to punish Bobby when he makes a mistake. Did Bobby actually make that mistake? He's just being the only thing he can be: Bobby. Bobby has no control. Only God does. And God chose for the Random machine to make Bobby...

...Just remember, you did say that the idea of God being a deterministic being is very pemmestic, so anything that might be able to refute it might work.I certainly don't want it to be true! Still, with the starting conditions as they are, I don't see how to get another result. If the assumptions made were different, perhaps it wouldn't be true, but I don't think that most Christians would care to have their God limited...

EDIT: Oh, Samuel, while we're on the topic of God, you might like this article (http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28484).The Onion is a valuable resource to all people on the internets. :D

SilentScope001
02-12-2007, 04:39 PM
I'm not sure it's a rule he'd be breaking. It's what he is, a fundamental property of the God concept. Like the bit of Aquinas' about God being all good because it is his inherent nature to be good. Ergo God can't do evil, or put another way: God can't do anything against his will.

My definition of God is a being that has total, unlimited contorl over everything and anything. He's all-powerful, and the creator of, well, everything. Since God creates everything, he has the power to do what he wants, and could theortically decides if we have free will or if we don't.

I don't find that belief or non-belief changes much in the way of knowledge gained, or that belief provides a useful measure to predict things. Sure, God might exist. He also might not. I don't have any reason to think he does, no 90%, so you see... I just don't see the point of believing.

I just follow Pascal's little gamble here. Basically, obey God because if you do not, your life has little meaning, and it's okay to decieve yourself in order to make you happy. And, if God does exist, then you get the added bonus of infinite pleasure and happiness. Of course, Pascal's gamble is probraly a stupid one, but still...

Oh, no doubt Bobby does indeed follow the laws set down for morality. Does he have any choice? No...which makes it strange for God to punish Bobby when he makes a mistake. Did Bobby actually make that mistake? He's just being the only thing he can be: Bobby. Bobby has no control. Only God does. And God chose for the Random machine to make Bobby...

Again, I said before that I believe God would not intervene in the Random machine, for some strange reason. I don't see tthe reason why God would limit his power, but since he is God, he can limit his power. Only the random machine is responsible, the total randomness of RICE. Prehaps, one could say that the randomness is basically the society of Earth and the genetic pool, which gives you certain predopsitions...and the randomness is the different events that shape you into what you are.

I certainly don't want it to be true! Still, with the starting conditions as they are, I don't see how to get another result. If the assumptions made were different, perhaps it wouldn't be true, but I don't think that most Christians would care to have their God limited...

Of course, I'm a fan of predestination because it makes God seems mighty and powerful...before people start arguing to me about where free will comes into play. I had an idea of the free will being the thoughts of mankind rather than mankind himself, and it is ideas that goes to Hell, not actual human beings. That didn't exactly fly.

So, while it is possible for predestination to occur, it is also equally possible that there is free will, or something that resembles free will. It's basically an excerise in thinking and belief.

Samuel Dravis
02-12-2007, 05:28 PM
My definition of God is a being that has total, unlimited contorl over everything and anything. He's all-powerful, and the creator of, well, everything. Since God creates everything, he has the power to do what he wants, and could theortically decides if we have free will or if we don't.It's not a question of whether he could decide such a thing; it's more of whether it's even possible with the idea of God itself. God MUST know everything, because if he didn't then he wouldn't be all knowing... If it's accepted that there is no way to determine what god wants or not through reason, then I don't see the point of bothering with it at all. If god exists, then he will do what he wants when he wants to, and since I have no hope of figuring out anything about him or his motivations, I have no reason to act on what people say are "God's wishes." If that choice is even possible.

I just follow Pascal's little gamble here. Basically, obey God because if you do not, your life has little meaning, and it's okay to decieve yourself in order to make you happy. And, if God does exist, then you get the added bonus of infinite pleasure and happiness. Of course, Pascal's gamble is probraly a stupid one, but still...Pascal's wager might be useful for some Gods. I'm not sure how well it would work fooling a god if it cared about your belief. Probably it wouldn't. I'd rather do as I will and trust that, if there is a God, it will forgive me my inescapable ignorance. If it didn't, I probably wouldn't want to associate with it anyway. The Bible says that this is what God wants anyway, as He hates the lukewarm souls the most (Rev 3:16). I use the Bible because we're talking about Christianity and we're assuming it to be true.

Again, I said before that I believe God would not intervene in the Random machine, for some strange reason. I don't see tthe reason why God would limit his power, but since he is God, he can limit his power. Only the random machine is responsible, the total randomness of RICE. Prehaps, one could say that the randomness is basically the society of Earth and the genetic pool, which gives you certain predopsitions...and the randomness is the different events that shape you into what you are.Like I say, I just don't get how God is actually limiting his power here. I imagine he could CHOOSE not to interfere (other than the physical laws & other such "constants") after he made the random machine, but he already interfered by creating the machine in the first place. Anything the machine does would necessarily be the result that God intended.

I don't see how he could choose to not know what goes on within the machine, as nothing, not even randomness, exists without his willing it to exist, and by willing it he must know what its existence entails. Like I said, I'm using logic on this because I've got nothing else. If you have something else that seems to work, then I'd be happy to hear it. Right now, however, it just seems like you're trying to justify God not being responsible by putting another step in the chain.

So, while it is possible for predestination to occur, it is also equally possible that there is free will, or something that resembles free will. It's basically an excerise in thinking and belief.Sounds very Calvinistic. I don't have a problem with people saying that the appearance of free will is compatible with the given properties of God. It's just the reality of free will that appears to be the non sequitur.

SilentScope001
02-12-2007, 06:13 PM
It's not a question of whether he could decide such a thing; it's more of whether it's even possible with the idea of God itself. God MUST know everything, because if he didn't then he wouldn't be all knowing...

Then we have different ideas of God then. I see God as being the Prime Mover, the greatest of all things. He is all-knowing...unless he wants to not be all-knowing. Again, I got no proof for this, but this is the idea by which I operate by.

Pascal's wager might be useful for some Gods. I'm not sure how well it would work fooling a god if it cared about your belief. Probably it wouldn't. I'd rather do as I will and trust that, if there is a God, it will forgive me my inescapable ignorance. If it didn't, I probably wouldn't want to associate with it anyway. The Bible says that this is what God wants anyway, as He hates the lukewarm souls the most (Rev 3:16). I use the Bible because we're talking about Christianity and we're assuming it to be true

Actually, I am not a Chrisitain, so I know nothing of the Bible's text and of that verse. Sorry.

You could be true, but I guess I'm pretty paranoid and fearful of Hell, hence why I probraly believe in God.

I don't see how he could choose to not know what goes on within the machine, as nothing, not even randomness, exists without his willing it to exist, and by willing it he must know what its existence entails. Like I said, I'm using logic on this because I've got nothing else. If you have something else that seems to work, then I'd be happy to hear it. Right now, however, it just seems like you're trying to justify God not being responsible by putting another step in the chain.

Isn't, well, basically, any sort of thing that tries to come up with the idea of "free will" and reconcile it with God's all-mighty status? They are trying to skip and avoid the question, because, to be quite fair, there is no real way to answer it. I'm just saying it is possible that somehow, God could find some way to create such a world that allows for free will, but personally, I do not know. It does not matter anyway...I don't have access to all the data of what I will do in the future...

I don't have a problem with people saying that the appearance of free will is compatible with the given properties of God. It's just the reality of free will that appears to be the non sequitur.

Finally, a solution! We have something looks like free will, that feels like free will, and it appears to be free will, so let just call it Free Will. :)

EDIT: I actually do prefer determinism, but it does infringes on free will, and it does take a long time to reconcile those two strange ideas, if it even is possible. Eh.

Achilles
02-12-2007, 06:45 PM
Exactly. We do make the assumption that there is a difference.It seems I phrased that poorly. Allow me to try again: You do acknowledge that there is a difference between fact and opinion, correct?


More often we base this on "commom ascent" or a common opinion something like that. Do you have a logical argument for why fact should not be considered separate from opinion?


What I am trying to say is that take the law for example: most things that we have deemed illegal is because on a general consensus and abiding with our morality, they are wrong. How the laws are written are up for interpretation which is what gets us into trouble. That's because law is relative. I'm sure everyone is capable of finding at least one law that would appear to defy logical analysis without context. I'm afraid that your example does not support your argument very well.


Geertz's definition is widely accepted among anthropologists and is used as a basis to identify the religious aspects of a particular culture. This is difficult to do since many societies don't have the separation of church and state like the US or other places. The Aztec religon heavily intertwines with the socio-political side of things down to the fact that they could lose a battle if they displease their god. Anthropology is a social science and like many other things in this world, it is inexact. It is up to interpretation.

Fine, we can do the same thing with Geertz's definition:

a unified set of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden, - beliefs and practices which unite [into] one single moral community, all those who adhere to them

Science does not deal with beliefs or practices relative to sacred things, therefore science is not religion. Were there any other definitions that you'd like to use?


Another way of saying that science disproves rather than proves. Thanks Achilles :D
Your point? If I can disprove that the earth does not orbit any other body other than the sun, isn't that the same thing as proving that the earth orbits the sun? The method is different but the result is the same.

Most people with a basic understanding of emperical science accept that this is how science works. I didn't realize that I was breaking new ground.


Science claims that its method is correct. That by using the method, you are able to figure out stuff. You say it yourself:

<snip>

No, I think you should argue with the process. If the process is flawed, then all theories that come out of it is flawed, and we should know that. If we can't trust our observations, then we should not trust what results from the observations, the theories of Science.

Well I agree with that, however you don't appear to offer any specific arguments against the scientific method. Considering that the method was developed and refined over hundreds of years by some of the most brilliant minds in history and has been used to uncover some of the most spectacular facts about the observable universe, I think you'll be hard pressed to do so, but my argument is based on fallacy, so...;)


And this is why I dislike science. For all its vaunted discussion about being skepticial, and always trying to disprove, it never ever thought of trying to disprove or question the Scientific Method. By adhering to this Method, it has became just as dogmatic as lots of other religious groups out there, which is a major disappointment.
How does one disprove a process? By providing a better one? Wouldn't that be an example of the scientific method in practice? I submit that it is.

Are mathematicians dogmatic because they refuse to consider that 2+2 might equal some other number than 4? Before you waive the word "dogma" around like a sword, remember that dogma is an authoritative argument that is made without support.


Do you trust that the scientific method is correct?
Yes


Do you trust that your observations are accurate? Yes.


Do you believe in it? What is "it"?


Yes? Then to me, it requires faith. It is, to me, a religion.
Using your own definitions to support your own argument does not make your argument any more true. So, consider science a religion if you want, but that doesn't mean that it's the case and it doesn't mean that anyone else should accept your assertion.

PS: This would be a good example of dogmatic thinking.


Of course, two groups of scientists can argue with each other, just like two different squabbling religious sects can argue with each other. So what? That doesn't mean anything.

Well, you did say that one group of scientist was arguing both sides of the same issue. Doesn't make sense that this would happen.


Uh. Mr. Kant's denotlogical beliefs are just as unproven and in some cases, just as unreasonable as the stone tablets of "Thou shalt not kill".

Here is Kant's law...<snip>

Expect, uh...Society can function if everyone lies. How come? Well haven't you seen the Sith Academcy in K1, with the Sith plotting and betraying? I think lying and cheating and stealing can allow for a society to function...and even, in some cases, prosper. And, oh, yeah, in K2, "I always lie" is not a paradox as well.
Kant argues that individual have inherent worth and should be considered as end unto themselves. Therefore intentionally deceiving another breaks the categorical imperative except in cases where lying is necessary to save the life of yourself or another. Hope that helps to clarify.


It also begs the question of why Society must function? Why can't we live alone? Why do we need others?

Indeed. Were you hoping for a philosophical answer or anthropological one?



Another part of Kant's beliefs: <snip>

And why must we treat humanity as an ends?Err...value of individual human life? Are you proposing an argument against this?


Why can't we use the human race to do something greater? Why must we treat it as something...special? And you know that would be bad for society if people actually accept it? So much for an army, the drafting, the civil service, the tax collection, the experimenations, so much for, well everything.
Oh, I see. You're a fan of Plato's "Philosopher Kings".

So people that don't share your view should be coerced into working to better mankind? Who gets to decide what this means and how it is measured? Wouldn't it be better if there was an open forum of ideas and those that choose to participate could while those who didn't think this way did whatever it was that they did?


Nope, to me, Kant's beliefs are irrational. Just as irrational as the holy books.
Right and disparate interpretations of Utopia is perfectly rationale ;)


At least the holy books give you a reason to obey, Kant gives me none.
Depends on how you look at it. The argument could be raised that "doing what you're told" isn't true ethical behavior whereas acting ethically because you see value in it is. *shrugs*


And they can be "disproven" outside of religion as well. There are tons of ethical theories out there, each theory hating each other, and each theory having no logical basis or reason. Marqius de Sade said murder is okay because it helps out nature, and it provides compost materials. Obivously, nature is much more important than mankind, so why ban murder for what nature intended for man? This is just an example however.The point remains though. Religion is not the sole source of ethics.


The fact is, ethics, oustide of religion, becomes nothing more than a debate field where we just try to argue to each other what is right and what is wrong.
And help me understand how this is different from ethical debate within religion?


I myself like Act Utilitrainism which says good acts are those that make people "happy". Of course, it begs the question of why must people be happy, but it also is so vague that anything can be justified for the sake of "making people happy". Murder, framing of innocent people, tyranny, censorship...you name it, it "makes people happy".Was that sarcasm or are you arguing that one person should be able to murder another if it makes them happy? Utilitarianism is like communism; it looks good on paper but tends to fall apart when applied. At least with deontological ethics there's some sense of "do onto others...".


Actually, facts can become a matter of opinon too. I hate Holocaust deniers, and think of them as idiots, but Holocaust deniers are claiming the Holocaust is not fact. You cannot prove to them that the Holocaust exist. So now what? You cannot prove it or they won't accept proof because they are dogmatic. Since members of the Flat Earth Society refuse to accept evidence which shows that the earth is actually round, does that mean it is factually flat? Relativism does not equal truth.


How in the world can you persuade them? You can't.
Probably not. That's why it's called dogma.


There is no difference therefore between facts and opinons, since different people can very well have different views over certain "facts". Since the "facts" are contested, and people begin splitting into two camps, each claiming that they are right, then I consider them to be holding different opinons. Having an opinion about a fact does not put the opinion on equal footing with fact. Using your premise, the argument that the earth is round is just as true, factual, etc as the argument that it is flat.


The difference however is the fact that you did not make your kids what they are today. God made the human, in all his glory and all his imprefectness. And since he made that man, he could very well know everything about that man. And he could change it, if he wanted to. God could have just thrown everything into a random Mankind generator, and decide not to mess with it. Or God could have tinkered with all aspects of mankind, making it how he meant to be.

In other words, only God knows if he gives us free will or the illusion of free will. This is an opinion, not a fact. The fact is that one of my sperm cells interacted with one of my ex-wife's egg cells to produce a son with his own unique human genome.

Whether or not this system was developed by the Christian God is a matter of opinion. The mechanism isn't in question, however the cause (if any) is still open to debate.

Samuel Dravis
02-12-2007, 07:05 PM
Then we have different ideas of God then. I see God as being the Prime Mover, the greatest of all things. He is all-knowing...unless he wants to not be all-knowing. Again, I got no proof for this, but this is the idea by which I operate by.I'm not sure what to say to this other than, well, why? Why do you believe something that you have no reason to? To me that's sort of like being afraid of a man-eating monster in the closet that can only be appeased by believing in it... Sure, there might be a monster, I don't know for certain, but I don't plan on being afraid of my closet because of that chance. I've never seen or heard of anyone or anything that reasonably shows the monster to be actually real, or that there are any bad effects if you don't believe.

Actually, I am not a Chrisitain, so I know nothing of the Bible's text and of that verse. Sorry.I'm curious what you subscribe to, then. Any particular teaching?

Isn't, well, basically, any sort of thing that tries to come up with the idea of "free will" and reconcile it with God's all-mighty status? They are trying to skip and avoid the question, because, to be quite fair, there is no real way to answer it. I'm just saying it is possible that somehow, God could find some way to create such a world that allows for free will, but personally, I do not know. It does not matter anyway...I don't have access to all the data of what I will do in the future...Remember we were talking about the status of ethics in relation to religion. Regardless of what you percieve your status to be, if God does in fact determine your course then there is no true free will and ethics mean nothing.

Finally, a solution! We have something looks like free will, that feels like free will, and it appears to be free will, so let just call it Free Will. :)Okay, but let's not make the mistake of thinking that it actually is "free." :)

EDIT: I actually do prefer determinism, but it does infringes on free will, and it does take a long time to reconcile those two strange ideas, if it even is possible. Eh.Yeah, it's rather difficult. Even so, I'd much rather be responsible for myself than be a mindless cog in a machine.

Samuel Dravis
02-12-2007, 08:53 PM
I just noticed I didn't respond to these earlier, so sorry about that. I wasn't ignoring them, I just got distracted by your random engine idea. :)


Well, to me, the burden of proof is not on me to come up with a Method, but rather on you to prove to me that the Method is correct.I think it's pretty clear that the method works fairly well. You can get firsthand experience yourself if you look at the computer in front of you, which was made with applications of information gained by the method. I'm not sure what else you want in the direction of proof. Unless you have something that works better, there's little use in proclaiming the scientific method flawed, because everyone already knows it. The only reason it's used is because there's nothing better to use.

"Obey or go to Hell."Err...this is a reason? Have they actually shown you to a reasonable degree that hell even exists to be afraid of?

Again, if the framework is wrong, then all conclusions from the framework is flawed. If you trust the framework, maybe, but as one can see in the Abortion topic, it might be hard to figure out if Abortion is good or bad.Right. Christians can prove abortion evil, because in their framework it is; I can say I am against it because I believe people to have inherent worth and I can't tell if it is human or not; others can argue that since there is no indication of what can be seen as human (i.e., cognition, etc) then there is no need to restrict it. A proof in one system will probably not work out as a proof in another. Fun, isn't it?

True, but it allows me to determine why they believe what they are doing is right and thereby justify it. Allows me to come up with some sort of a belief as to why dictators would justify what they have done.If you were to accept their positions on what some dictators have done, then I'm sure they were all saints. :p

I can see some things which I percieve as bad. If they happened to me I'd be angry or dead. I don't want either of those things, so I can empathize with people who have been oppressed by these dictators and be against them.

So, before the 1400's, would you accept the belief that the Earth is in fact standing still in the center of the universe? Most people believed that, even the scholars agreed it was the most reasonable. :)No doubt they did. I probably would have as well if I were brought up in such a system. However, presented with sufficient evidence I would hope I could change my mind, just as they did eventually. Are we better off because they did? The idea that the earth isn't at the center of the universe hasn't been proven wrong, it's simply been proven less useful than other models...

JediMaster12
02-12-2007, 09:19 PM
Achilles: My point on thanking you for staing your quote is that many people don't understand the point of science. It comes forth in their arguments.

SilentScope001
02-13-2007, 12:18 AM
Please note, Samuel Dravis and Achilles, that I do believe in science and trust in it. Just repeating it again, I guess.

Well I agree with that, however you don't appear to offer any specific arguments against the scientific method. Considering that the method was developed and refined over hundreds of years by some of the most brilliant minds in history and has been used to uncover some of the most spectacular facts about the observable universe, I think you'll be hard pressed to do so, but my argument is based on fallacy, so...

I know the scientific method's outline, correct me if I am wrong:

1. Observation: I see something.
2. Hypothesis: Come up with a reason why the observation is correct.
3. Experiment Design: Design an experiment to test the hypothesis, to see if it is correct or not.
4. Data Collection: Collect the data from the experiment and anaylze it to gain a greater understanding.
5. Conclusion. Does the Experiment support or do not support the hypothesis.

The Scientific Method is reliant on observations. You need to observe something before you can make a testable hypothesis. If the observations are flawed, so is everything that result from it. How do we know if our observations are flawed? We can't use the scientific method to figure out if the observations can be relied on...because that relies on observations.

Take the example of the evil demon or a brain in a vat. Such a possiblity of you being deceived by an evil demon can exist, and therefore, your senses and observations lie in doubt. I don't trust observations, since they have the possiblity of being falisfied by the evil demon or by a brain in a vat.

There is also the possiblity of different people seeing different observations. A sane man sees the world in a different light than an insane person. A sleeping man sees the world in a light that is contray to a waking man. A drunk person observes the world differently than a sober man. You can say that you trust the sane over the insane, the waking over the sleeping, the sober over the drunk...but then you need to prove to me why you have to rely on their observations...

And there is the thing. There is no way to prove that an observation can be trusted. If you present some evidence that the observation happened, then I can merely ask for proof of that evidence. And then proof that that proof of the evidence is accurate. And so on and so forth. Without such proof, I feel that it becomes quite artibrary to rely on those observations, and thereby, via science itself.


How does one disprove a process? By providing a better one? Wouldn't that be an example of the scientific method in practice? I submit that it is.

I can't produce a better one. But I don't need to. All I am doing is questioning if we should actually trust Science and its observations to begin with. In this case, I'm taking up the position of an atheist here, arguing that the burden of proof is not on me to prove that Science is wrong and provide something differnet, but the burden of proof is on you to prove that Science is right.

Are mathematicians dogmatic because they refuse to consider that 2+2 might equal some other number than 4? Before you waive the word "dogma" around like a sword, remember that dogma is an authoritative argument that is made without support.

Some parts of math are in fact made without support and they accept it quite well. For example, they posulate the existence of a point. There is no way to prove that a point exist, and they don't even bother. They say the point exist.

Math is a creation by the human race. 2+2=4 really represent...a grouping of a some objects that is represented by a Numerical symbol 2 and another grouping of some objects that is represented by a Numerical System 2, combined together, creates a third grouping of objects that is represented by the Numerical System 4. Since I see math as man-made, there is really no need to prove those definitions are correct or not, they are just aribtrary and are there to help us.

So, yes, it is dogmatic. But math is an invention by mankind, and mathmaticians create their own terminology, their own world, so that they are allowed for this dogma. But, scientists did not create their own world.


Using your own definitions to support your own argument does not make your argument any more true. So, consider science a religion if you want, but that doesn't mean that it's the case and it doesn't mean that anyone else should accept your assertion.

PS: This would be a good example of dogmatic thinking.

Then why are you reliant on trusting Science? Why do you attempt to believe that science is correct, trying to find definitions that support your belief as well, and attempting to redefine everything as being "scared"? Is Science a "scared" thing? Maybe.

Does it even matter of the terminology I throw at it? No. All that matters is that can Science be trusted...more importantly, can we trust the observations? If we cannot trust observations, we cannot trust Science.

Well, you did say that one group of scientist was arguing both sides of the same issue. Doesn't make sense that this would happen.

It was the scientist that did it...not me. :)


Kant argues that individual have inherent worth and should be considered as end unto themselves. Therefore intentionally deceiving another breaks the categorical imperative except in cases where lying is necessary to save the life of yourself or another. Hope that helps to clarify.

And what if I don't accept Kant's belief? I guess then the cateogorical imperative does not apply to me then.


Indeed. Were you hoping for a philosophical answer or anthropological one?

Neither. I was questioning for questioning's sake, to expose faults within a theory.

Err...value of individual human life? Are you proposing an argument against this?

No. I am merely poking holes through a theory to find faults within it. People can go and attack the theory through the faults.

So people that don't share your view should be coerced into working to better mankind? Who gets to decide what this means and how it is measured? Wouldn't it be better if there was an open forum of ideas and those that choose to participate could while those who didn't think this way did whatever it was that they did?

Again, I was poking holes through a THEORY. The fact remains that one could argue that way.

Each ethical theory has a fault, and has a hole. I was poking in those holes because of me being devil's advocate here.

And actually, if everyone believes in the same thing, then there will be no wars, no violence, no chaos. The world might actually be a better place, if less richer in culture.


Right and disparate interpretations of Utopia is perfectly rationale

To me, rational is coming up with a logical belief. But the problem is that we have base assumptions that cannot be justified logically. I hate those assumptions, but it seems that Kant is having them here. We all have them. Since these assumptions are illogical, they are irrational to even consider them.

Depends on how you look at it. The argument could be raised that "doing what you're told" isn't true ethical behavior whereas acting ethically because you see value in it is. *shrugs*

Well, the problem is that if I don't see value in what I am doing, I don't do it. Different value systems can lead to a lot of chaos. "Doing what you are told" at the least gives people, like me, a reason for doing stuff.

Ethics is the science of determining what is right and what is wrong. Sooner or later, it boils down to relying on an arbibraty thing to guide you, and "doing what you are told" seems to me, probraly okay.

The point remains though. Religion is not the sole source of ethics.

Of course not. But outside of religion, you can argue for anything, and I can argue anything back...by using our vaunted reason here. It's not the sole source of ethics, but the other sources are not to be honored as well...they can be just as arbitrary.

And help me understand how this is different from ethical debate within religion?

"God says this!"/"No, God says that!"/"No, God says this!"/"Fine, let go and spilt up, and when we die, God will show that I am right!"/"Okay!"

Debate ends peremeantly with a schism within a religion, with both sides calling each other heatens. Meanwhile, other people just argue endlessly and endlessly while the religious folk just end the argument and call each other bad names.

Was that sarcasm or are you arguing that one person should be able to murder another if it makes them happy? Utilitarianism is like communism; it looks good on paper but tends to fall apart when applied. At least with deontological ethics there's some sense of "do onto others...".

But deontological ethics make no sense. "Do this!" Why? "Well, because I say so!" That's not very convicing, I have holy books if I want to have that sort of discussion.

What I was doing is stating that with AU, you can use it to justify...well...anything. Which is why I prefer it over the other theories. It is open, and easy to use. Anyone can use it to justify whatever they want to do, and because of it, I can use it as an ethical framework by which other people can justify their actions, according to that framework.

Call it morally wrong, but can you prove it? That's the main question.

You cannot prove it or they won't accept proof because they are dogmatic. Since members of the Flat Earth Society refuse to accept evidence which shows that the earth is actually round, does that mean it is factually flat? Relativism does not equal truth.

Actually, Holocaust Deniers and Flat Earth Society do present 'proof'. Or at least, they call them proof, we just laugh at them. Or is it? What if we are the dogmatic idiots here?

But you haven't even proven to me that Science can be trusted. So, how come you can call it "truth", when we haven't verified if the observations that is the whole basis of Science can be trusted?

Having an opinion about a fact does not put the opinion on equal footing with fact. Using your premise, the argument that the earth is round is just as true, factual, etc as the argument that it is flat.

It then puts you on the defensive however. You have to prove to my opinon that the fact is true. And then you have to prove that that proof is true. And then you have to prove that proof of the proof is true...and so on and so forth. In the end, sooner or later, you will stop giving me proofs. And then I can say that we both share different opinons.

This is an opinion, not a fact. The fact is that one of my sperm cells interacted with one of my ex-wife's egg cells to produce a son with his own unique human genome.

Whether or not this system was developed by the Christian God is a matter of opinion. The mechanism isn't in question, however the cause (if any) is still open to debate.

You fail to realize that we were waging in different arguments.

The argument above, about science, talks about merely if Science exist. The second argument, the one where I mentioned God, talks about the possiblity of free will in a universe with an all-powerful God, and we assume, for the purpose of the argument, that THERE is an all-powerful God. If you argue against the assumption we make, then you destroy the argument.

I'm not sure what to say to this other than, well, why? Why do you believe something that you have no reason to? To me that's sort of like being afraid of a man-eating monster in the closet that can only be appeased by believing in it... Sure, there might be a monster, I don't know for certain, but I don't plan on being afraid of my closet because of that chance. I've never seen or heard of anyone or anything that reasonably shows the monster to be actually real, or that there are any bad effects if you don't believe.

Because...well...I have no reason to believe in anything else to be quite honest. Skepticism rules the day once again.

Atheism sounds pretty neat, until you realize you accept an unproven belief that God does not exist (prehaps a logical belief, but still, unproven, and if you cannot prove it, it is unreasonable). You jump into a religion...only to realize you are into another religion. At least, to me. Religion is somewhat of a personal affair.

Adherance to the ideas of protecting a secular and liberal democracy sounds a bit silly (I hate the idea of a tyranny by majority), and in the long run, the fear of the death of the human race really does frighten me so. Since the human race may be wiped out (most likely naturally and gradually), or likely, will be wiped out, everything we are doing is...in a sense useless. The Human race is going to end anyway, and all our vaunted empires, all our towers of reason, just...crumbles, and remain forgotten...forever.

Religion is invented to give people's lives meaning. Appeasing an invisible and wrathful monster is better than sitting my room, doing nothing and waiting until the day I die, and when...well...that's it. I can rearrange the furinture, read great novels, create great stuff, make the room the most utopian place yet...but is that the full extent of living? Is my purpose is to sit in that room, do whatever I want, and then die like cattle, my mind terminated? As Pascal says, the silence of the universe frightens him so. There is nothing out there, and there may very well be nothing. This may be the truth, but then again, I rather that my life have some sort of meaning, some sort of purpose, no matter how remote, no matter how vague.

As I said, Pascal's wager may be stupid. Other people can find things to devote themselves towards. But I cannot find such a goal except in religion. No matter what happens, I'm going to die. And so will the rest of humanity.

Err...this is a reason? Have they actually shown you to a reasonable degree that hell even exists to be afraid of?

No. But that may not be the main reason. See above.

Right. Christians can prove abortion evil, because in their framework it is; I can say I am against it because I believe people to have inherent worth and I can't tell if it is human or not; others can argue that since there is no indication of what can be seen as human (i.e., cognition, etc) then there is no need to restrict it. A proof in one system will probably not work out as a proof in another. Fun, isn't it?

I think there are some secular arguments over wheter abortion is correct or incorrect, altough they center around the "sacnity of life" argument. Even if you accept the framework of an ethical discussion, you can get people to argue with each other...


If you were to accept their positions on what some dictators have done, then I'm sure they were all saints.

I can see some things which I percieve as bad. If they happened to me I'd be angry or dead. I don't want either of those things, so I can empathize with people who have been oppressed by these dictators and be against them.

Eh. I empathize with the oppressed dictators. ;)

Not because I'm mean-spirited, but the dictators here are the ones that are in contorl and actually do what many people see as evil. So I want to know why they do the thing, why do they think what they are doing is right, instead of just condemening them and calling them bad names. I don't have to accept their positions at all (for the most part, I just remain on the sidelines), but I want to hear their positions, so that I learn what they are doing. The term "promote the general good" can be so vague to be used as a slogan for most little good or evil deed done that, at least on the surface, not selfish at all. And I want to see how they apply that slogan.

No doubt they did. I probably would have as well if I were brought up in such a system. However, presented with sufficient evidence I would hope I could change my mind, just as they did eventually. Are we better off because they did? The idea that the earth isn't at the center of the universe hasn't been proven wrong, it's simply been proven less useful than other models...

Still, the point was to illusrate that what was popular belief once is now not so shared any more. Popular belief is no such indication of truth, therefore. Prehaps, in the future, they may laugh at our beliefs (more likely the beliefs of those that believe in religion...they are the last of a dying breed, after all, rather than your beliefs...but maybe science may advance to a point where they can figure out complex stuff that we never thought about). And they may be true...or maybe false. We won't know.

I'm curious what you subscribe to, then. Any particular teaching?

Islam.

Remember we were talking about the status of ethics in relation to religion. Regardless of what you percieve your status to be, if God does in fact determine your course then there is no true free will and ethics mean nothing.

Ethics does mean something. They act as a way of how our "not-so-true will" manage to determie what is right and wrong, and therefore allow us to go on the track that will lead us to the direction that God wants us to go. Assuming that God does determine your course.

Okay, but let's not make the mistake of thinking that it actually is "free."

Understood.

Yeah, it's rather difficult. Even so, I'd much rather be responsible for myself than be a mindless cog in a machine.

Actually, the cog idea seems much better, presically due to not being responsible for your actions, especially if it turns out your actions lead you down a very bad path. It allows you to displace all the blame onto the Intelligent Designer or whomever that causes you to go down that path. :)

I think it's pretty clear that the method works fairly well. You can get firsthand experience yourself if you look at the computer in front of you, which was made with applications of information gained by the method. I'm not sure what else you want in the direction of proof. Unless you have something that works better, there's little use in proclaiming the scientific method flawed, because everyone already knows it. The only reason it's used is because there's nothing better to use.

This is what I am looking for=

To prove that There is a Computer In Front of Me:

1. I see a Computer in Front of Me.
2. I evaluate that there is a Computer in Front of Me because I see it using my eyes.
3. My eyes are perfect and not damaged in any way, shape or form.
4. My doctor says my eyes are perfect and not damaged in any way, shape, or form.
5. My doctor has a Ph.D. from a very good School, and therefore, I can trust that the Doctor is telling the truth.
6. The School is prestigous according to Prestigious Schools Maganize, so it must be prestigious.
7. It's right here in The Prestigious Schools Maganize. I see it in my own eyes. Oh wait...;)

Anyway, the main reason I ask for proofs is because I really don't want to accept arbitrariness, arbitrary saying that A is B because I say so. That just sounds something that comes from religion, and something that is pretty irrational. While Science works good, and I like it, it seems very flawed, and because of that, I'm afraid that if I rely on it too heavily, I may end up adopting its flawed conclusions without knowing if it is flawed or not.

It is also an admission that I am willing to take this risk that I may be wrong, and that I am scummbing myself to an arbitrary desicion based on arbitrary descions that just happen to right. You may be true that the preacher may not show any connection, but then again, one could argue that maybe it is just by plain luck that science is able to determine it.

I guess I really should come up with some better system if I want to be able to refute science. The reason I cannot do such a thing is because I would be committing the same "sins" that I see Science doing, that is, thinking itself as a way of figuring out the truth.

But in the end, I accept science and religion, and end up beliving in something abritrary anyway. It seems a bit depressing that it is impossible for people to logically come up with stuff without having to have any sort of unproven assumptions or belief. In argument, this is known as the "warrant", and I hate the "warrant", seeing it as the impediment to all logical discourse.

Samuel Dravis
02-13-2007, 01:28 AM
Please note, Samuel Dravis and Achilles, that I do believe in science and trust in it. Just repeating it again, I guess.Noted. :)

Because...well...I have no reason to believe in anything else to be quite honest. Skepticism rules the day once again.I see. So your choice of belief was indeed completely arbitrary. I can accept this.

Atheism sounds pretty neat, until you realize you accept an unproven belief that God does not exist (prehaps a logical belief, but still, unproven, and if you cannot prove it, it is unreasonable). You jump into a religion...only to realize you are into another religion. At least, to me. Religion is somewhat of a personal affair.That depends on what degree you take your atheism. There's the ones that you mention, the ones that actively believe that there are no gods, and then there's the ones that just don't believe because they have no reason to. In the second context, it's not really a belief in anything in particular, just using what we percieve and applying logic to that. If I don't percieve a god I don't have any reason to believe it. That doesn't mean I actively say such a god can't exist. Arguing against perception being at all reliable is interesting, but there's little else to do besides work with perception, so I see little point in denying it as the "true" reality we live in. Even if I don't see the world correctly, how is that going to matter to me? It's real to me. One might say that religion was created to explain our perceptions, so to use the result of an attempted explanation of perception would be irrational.

Adherance to the ideas of protecting a secular and liberal democracy sounds a bit silly (I hate the idea of a tyranny by majority), and in the long run, the fear of the death of the human race really does frighten me so. Since the human race may be wiped out (most likely naturally and gradually), or likely, will be wiped out, everything we are doing is...in a sense useless. The Human race is going to end anyway, and all our vaunted empires, all our towers of reason, just...crumbles, and remain forgotten...forever.Yes, I agree it will (probably) end. That's the way of things, ending. That doesn't stop what we do here and now from (apparently) affecting those around us. What we do doesn't mean anything objectively, perhaps. I don't know. However, it does mean something subjectively. It means everything subjectively. Did you really expect something else when you consider we are limited beings?

Religion is invented to give people's lives meaning. Appeasing an invisible and wrathful monster is better than sitting my room, doing nothing and waiting until the day I die, and when...well...that's it. I can rearrange the furinture, read great novels, create great stuff, make the room the most utopian place yet...but is that the full extent of living? Is my purpose is to sit in that room, do whatever I want, and then die like cattle, my mind terminated? As Pascal says, the silence of the universe frightens him so. There is nothing out there, and there may very well be nothing. This may be the truth, but then again, I rather that my life have some sort of meaning, some sort of purpose, no matter how remote, no matter how vague.So creating a purpose that is most likely false (given the endless possibilities and you pick only one) helps that problem in what way?

As I said, Pascal's wager may be stupid. Other people can find things to devote themselves towards. But I cannot find such a goal except in religion. No matter what happens, I'm going to die. And so will the rest of humanity.The rest of humanity can't die unless they're real, which you have no way of knowing. Even the idea that YOU will die is based on incomplete evidence, so you can't really be legitimately depressed about it until (if) it is too late. :)

I think there are some secular arguments over wheter abortion is correct or incorrect, altough they center around the "sacnity of life" argument. Even if you accept the framework of an ethical discussion, you can get people to argue with each other...Sure there are people that will argue. It's more interesting that way. My point was that only within a single framework can you guarantee the ability to make a specific conclusion. :)

Eh. I empathize with the oppressed dictators. ;)

Not because I'm mean-spirited, but the dictators here are the ones that are in contorl and actually do what many people see as evil. So I want to know why they do the thing, why do they think what they are doing is right, instead of just condemening them and calling them bad names. I don't have to accept their positions at all (for the most part, I just remain on the sidelines), but I want to hear their positions, so that I learn what they are doing. The term "promote the general good" can be so vague to be used as a slogan for most little good or evil deed done that, at least on the surface, not selfish at all. And I want to see how they apply that slogan.Hmm. It would seem to me that if you wanted to know why people do evil things, you could look at why YOU do things you consider evil/bad. How do you justify your actions? I think that this line of thought would prove more useful, truth-wise, than imagining what goes on in dictator's heads.

Still, the point was to illusrate that what was popular belief once is now not so shared any more. Popular belief is no such indication of truth, therefore. Prehaps, in the future, they may laugh at our beliefs (more likely the beliefs of those that believe in religion...they are the last of a dying breed, after all, rather than your beliefs...but maybe science may advance to a point where they can figure out complex stuff that we never thought about). And they may be true...or maybe false. We won't know.No, we won't. I thought this was an accepted fact for this discussion. As far as proving things true (to ourselves), that can only be done in logical constructs like maths and with statements like, "I exist."

Ethics does mean something. They act as a way of how our "not-so-true will" manage to determie what is right and wrong, and therefore allow us to go on the track that will lead us to the direction that God wants us to go. Assuming that God does determine your course.So they are just a way that God uses to "guide" people into doing what he wants, in much the same way as the effects in the material world can "guide" people into doing certain actions. Okay.

Actually, the cog idea seems much better, presically due to not being responsible for your actions, especially if it turns out your actions lead you down a very bad path. It allows you to displace all the blame onto the Intelligent Designer or whomever that causes you to go down that path. :)I'm not entirely convinced of that quite yet. I still think, even though I will be probably wrong, that I would like to make my own decisions. I want this because to do so would be to exercise the full extent of my capabilities. I want to be responsible, essentially, because if I'm not, then even if I exist, that existence means nothing.

This is what I am looking for=
...

Anyway, the main reason I ask for proofs is because I really don't want to accept arbitrariness, arbitrary saying that A is B because I say so. That just sounds something that comes from religion, and something that is pretty irrational. While Science works good, and I like it, it seems very flawed, and because of that, I'm afraid that if I rely on it too heavily, I may end up adopting its flawed conclusions without knowing if it is flawed or not.

It is also an admission that I am willing to take this risk that I may be wrong, and that I am scummbing myself to an arbitrary desicion based on arbitrary descions that just happen to right. You may be true that the preacher may not show any connection, but then again, one could argue that maybe it is just by plain luck that science is able to determine it.

I guess I really should come up with some better system if I want to be able to refute science. The reason I cannot do such a thing is because I would be committing the same "sins" that I see Science doing, that is, thinking itself as a way of figuring out the truth.

But in the end, I accept science and religion, and end up beliving in something abritrary anyway. It seems a bit depressing that it is impossible for people to logically come up with stuff without having to have any sort of unproven assumptions or belief. In argument, this is known as the "warrant", and I hate the "warrant", seeing it as the impediment to all logical discourse.I agree that the bit about having to accept some things without evidence is irritating. I don't like not knowing what things really are. Personally I like to know how things work; I read a lot in science magazines, about subjects that interest me on the internet, etc. However, this doesn't help in proving any of it "true" in an absolute sense. Even so, I enjoy this "learning" because, as far as I can tell, it does work.

People can't be more than they are, and I don't expect myself to be able to prove facts about the world. I can learn about my perception of the world, however. To me, what's the difference between the two? I don't know of any, so for me to suppose that there is a difference would make me guilty of going beyond what my evidence leads me to believe and into pure speculation.

I percieve - my lappy 486. Do I have reason to believe it is there? Well, I can see it, touch it, taste (ewww gross) it, hear it, smell the toxic plastics, etc. Do I have reason to suggest it's not really there? No, not really any concrete reason, just the fact that it's possible it may not be. I consider my computer to be real, because I have no data that suggests otherwise stronger than my perception of it. That's about all I can do. For me, that's good enough.

Achilles
02-13-2007, 02:56 AM
Please note, Samuel Dravis and Achilles, that I do believe in science and trust in it. Just repeating it again, I guess. I submit that one cannot embrace science with one hand and faith with the other. To accept one is to reject that which cannot observed while the other is accept the unobservable without question.

My 2 cents.


I know the scientific method's outline, correct me if I am wrong:<snip>

Pretty close. I think there are a few steps missing, most noticeably (imo) Prediction.

This link might help:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

More on that in a moment.


The Scientific Method is reliant on observations. You need to observe something before you can make a testable hypothesis. If the observations are flawed, so is everything that result from it. A.K.A: GIGO or Garbage In, Garbage Out.

To jump the gun a little, suppose I have an observation about a traffic light. I observe that the colors change at some interval, but for whatever reason, don't take note of the sequence of changes.

If I were to form a hypothesis that the sequence is red, yellow, green I can make a prediction that further testing will show that the sequence is red, yellow, green and not some other sequence.

Alas, when test my hypothesis against a control, I find that my prediction is wrong, but I learn that I simply had the sequence backwards. Further testing against a control can be used to make the prediction that every traffic light that I ever look at will follow this sequence.

If at some point in the future the sequence is changed (via some national traffic safety law) or if I visit another country that uses a different sequence, I can make adjustments to my theory to account for the observable changes.

The wonderful thing is that anyone with gift of sight that is not color blind can verify and benefit from scientific study. My results do not require that one believe them without evidence, in fact finding contradictory evidence will only strengthen our collective understanding of traffic lights.

Now we can wax philosophical about whether or not the traffic light really exists or if our observation is nothing more than The Matrix telling us the steak is juicy and delicious, but since part of this argument can't be measured , tested, or falsified scientists are most likely going to leave it alone.


How do we know if our observations are flawed? We can't use the scientific method to figure out if the observations can be relied on...because that relies on observations.See above.


Take the example of the evil demon or a brain in a vat. Such a possiblity of you being deceived by an evil demon can exist, and therefore, your senses and observations lie in doubt. I don't trust observations, since they have the possiblity of being falisfied by the evil demon or by a brain in a vat. Unless there was some evidence to show that all people were possessed by an evil demon, a rational person would have no reason to accept that I alone was possessed thusly, unless they wanted to take it as a matter of faith.

However, this begs the question: Why would someone be willing to accept that an evil demon was in possession of my brain without any evidence to support the claim? I suppose this could be simplified even further to ask: Why would any rational person accept that faith is preferable to reason?

I could tell you that a giant purple monkey lives on my patio and is invisible to everyone except me. What possible motivation would you have for accepting this as true? Would you accept that your observation that there is no monkey (nor any sign of a giant purple monkey such as bedding, dirty monkey smell, etc) is flawed in light of your potential belief in said monkey?


There is also the possiblity of different people seeing different observations. A sane man sees the world in a different light than an insane person. A sleeping man sees the world in a light that is contray to a waking man. A drunk person observes the world differently than a sober man. You can say that you trust the sane over the insane, the waking over the sleeping, the sober over the drunk...but then you need to prove to me why you have to rely on their observations...Hence why the scientific method dictates that results are repeatable. Using my earlier traffic light analogy, I would accept that the perceptions of a man who is color blind will be different than one who is not color blind. Further examination of the conditions of my experiment would show that this particular issue only arises when tested with people who are unable to differentiate color.

Should I then throw up my arms and lament that I shall never know the nature of this elusive traffic light because I cannot test it using people that are color blind? I suspect that I could probably get away with making a minor adjustment to my theory (to specify those that can see color) and then continue on my merry way.

If I restore sanity to the insane, provide sobriety to the drunk, or wake the sleeping, then their observations should be the same as my own. If they are not, then I should find the cause of this discrepancy and adjust my theory accordingly or abandon it if shown false.


And there is the thing. There is no way to prove that an observation can be trusted. If you present some evidence that the observation happened, then I can merely ask for proof of that evidence. And then proof that that proof of the evidence is accurate. And so on and so forth. Without such proof, I feel that it becomes quite artibrary to rely on those observations, and thereby, via science itself. Again, repeatability. You can go anywhere in the universe that you want to and 2+2 is going to equal 4. Maybe you find a planet where they call "2" ice cream and "4" goldfish, but the fact remains that "ice cream" + "ice cream" = "goldfish".


I can't produce a better one. But I don't need to. Sure you do. Remember that the scientific method seeks to falsify. I can't walk up to the scientific community and proclaim that gravitational theory is all wet (without a) a model that better explains our understanding of gravity and/or b) some evidence that shows that the current theory is does not hold up under specific circumstances) and expect to be taken seriously.


All I am doing is questioning if we should actually trust Science and its observations to begin with.

SilentScope001 says: "Please note, Samuel Dravis and Achilles, that I do believe in science and trust in it."


In this case, I'm taking up the position of an atheist here, arguing that the burden of proof is not on me to prove that Science is wrong and provide something differnet, but the burden of proof is on you to prove that Science is right.
First, what does atheism have to do with anything?
Second, that's not the way it works.

Personally, I don't care if you adopt a personal philosophy that has "science is right" as a basic tenet. If you would like to discuss a specific theory as part of another thread (or PM) I'll be more than willing to do so, however I do not feel compelled to stage some mock defense for a process that is quite capable of speaking for itself.


Math is a creation by the human race. 2+2=4 really represent...a grouping of a some objects that is represented by a Numerical symbol 2 and another grouping of some objects that is represented by a Numerical System 2, combined together, creates a third grouping of objects that is represented by the Numerical System 4. Since I see math as man-made, there is really no need to prove those definitions are correct or not, they are just aribtrary and are there to help us. Math exists whether we are here to observe/discover it or not. Just as seconds would tick by without our being here to count them. Our methods for measuring and recording them are certainly man-made but they themselves existed before we were here and they will exist after we are gone.


So, yes, it is dogmatic. But math is an invention by mankind, and mathmaticians create their own terminology, their own world, so that they are allowed for this dogma. But, scientists did not create their own world. I'm not following you here.


Then why are you reliant on trusting Science? Why do you attempt to believe that science is correct, trying to find definitions that support your belief as well, and attempting to redefine everything as being "scared"? Is Science a "scared" thing? Maybe. I'm not sure what this has to do with what we were discussing. I trust science because it is empirical. One has only to be rational to accept that the scientific process works.

If you can find fault with the definitions that I have provided, I will be more than happy to discuss them to the best of my ability. Since they are not "my" definitions though, I suggest that you not shoot the messenger.

BTW, science is not sacred. The scientific process is skeptical by nature which automatically gets it thrown out of the "sacred club".


It was the scientist that did it...not me. :) I suspect that the opposite is true. Unless this group of individuals suffer from MPD, I highly doubt that they are truly arguing both sides of the same debate. Perhaps if you go back to your original statement, you'll find that you accidentally misspoke.


And what if I don't accept Kant's belief? I guess then the cateogorical imperative does not apply to me then. Since moral relativism is itself relative, that would seem to indicate that there is a moral absolute. Of course some people act immorally all the time, so I don't suppose there is any moral order that any one person is forced to accept.

As I tell my employees all the time, "You can do whatever you want, but there are consequences for your actions".


Neither. I was questioning for questioning's sake, to expose faults within a theory. Indeed. Please let me know when you find it and we can pick up from there.


No. I am merely poking holes through a theory to find faults within it. People can go and attack the theory through the faults. Ok, and what fault do you feel that you've exposed. Perhaps it would aid matters a great deal if you quit dancing around an argued a specific point.


Again, I was poking holes through a THEORY. The fact remains that one could argue that way.

Each ethical theory has a fault, and has a hole. I was poking in those holes because of me being devil's advocate here.

And actually, if everyone believes in the same thing, then there will be no wars, no violence, no chaos. The world might actually be a better place, if less richer in culture. None of these responses are answers to my questions.


To me, rational is coming up with a logical belief. But the problem is that we have base assumptions that cannot be justified logically. I hate those assumptions, but it seems that Kant is having them here. We all have them. Since these assumptions are illogical, they are irrational to even consider them. What is the logical fault within Kant's categorical imperative? Is it that he assumes free will? If we follow the evidence to it's logical conclusion and reassess this factoring in that no God exists, does the logical fault still exist? I submit that it does not.


Well, the problem is that if I don't see value in what I am doing, I don't do it. Different value systems can lead to a lot of chaos. "Doing what you are told" at the least gives people, like me, a reason for doing stuff. Therefore value exists only insofar as you can see it? It would seem that you readily trust your observations after all. Then again maybe not, since you seem to be arguing that you find value in doing what you are told.


Ethics is the science of determining what is right and what is wrong. Sooner or later, it boils down to relying on an arbibraty thing to guide you, and "doing what you are told" seems to me, probraly okay. Well, since I'm a pretty skeptical guy, I tend not to trust authority for authority's sake. I can use the categorical imperative to determine that not killing, maiming, stealing, etc are all in my best interest, therefore I don't need a fictional character in a 2000 year old religious text to tell me that these things are wrong in order for me to believe it.


Of course not. But outside of religion, you can argue for anything, and I can argue anything back...by using our vaunted reason here. It's not the sole source of ethics, but the other sources are not to be honored as well...they can be just as arbitrary. You can argue for anything inside of religion as well. Are you telling me that beating your slaves within an inch of their lives is ethical? Or stoning your daughter to death if she is raped is ethical? This is the path that "doing what you are told" will guide you down (even though most Christians and some Muslims conveniently ignore these directives). The categorical imperative would seem to slam on the brakes pretty hard and fast by way of comparison, wouldn't you say?


"God says this!"/"No, God says that!"/"No, God says this!"/"Fine, let go and spilt up, and when we die, God will show that I am right!"/"Okay!" Shia and Sunnies have been fighting for about 1400 years because their instinct is to "find out after we're dead"? Catholics and Protestants having been fighting in Northern Ireland for about 40 years because they agreed to settle their debate in Heaven? Leaving "intrafaith" wars out of it, how about the myriad of wars, skirmishes, atrocities than have taken place between Christians and Muslims for thousands of years. No, sir, I don't think this is the way it goes at all. Both the Bible and the Koran are quite clear on the subject: Kill everyone that doesn't believe as you do if you want to stay in God's favor. Ethics anyone?


Debate ends peremeantly with a schism within a religion, with both sides calling each other heatens. Meanwhile, other people just argue endlessly and endlessly while the religious folk just end the argument and call each other bad names. See above.


But deontological ethics make no sense. "Do this!" Why? "Well, because I say so!" That's not very convicing, I have holy books if I want to have that sort of discussion. And apparently you find them very convincing, considering that you laid claim to this moral compass earlier.

"In ethics, deontological ethics or deontology (Greek: Deon meaning obligation or duty) is a theory holding that decisions should be made solely or primarily by considering one's duties and the rights of others."

Please show me where this implies "Do this because I said so".


What I was doing is stating that with AU, you can use it to justify...well...anything. Which is why I prefer it over the other theories. It is open, and easy to use. Anyone can use it to justify whatever they want to do, and because of it, I can use it as an ethical framework by which other people can justify their actions, according to that framework.

Call it morally wrong, but can you prove it? That's the main question. Ah, so you weren't just "poking holes in a theory" earlier (as you claim). Now I really am going to have to have answers to those questions.

For proof, consider Rawl's veil of ignorance: There is a group of people that take pleasure is causing physical harm (up to an including death) of other human being that have done them no wrong. Understanding that you yourself could be a member of either group, would you agree or disagree that it is ethical to prevent the first group from acting on the second group.

Disagreeing will mean that you will be denied happiness if you are a member of the first group. Agreeing will mean that you are denied happiness if you are part of the second group.

How is that Utilitarianism treating you now? I'm telling you, the whole field of ethics get shortened to the length of a paragraph the moment the world decides to abandon faith, and specifically, religion.


Actually, Holocaust Deniers and Flat Earth Society do present 'proof'. Or at least, they call them proof, we just laugh at them. Or is it? What if we are the dogmatic idiots here? So their proof is equal to our proof? All proof is equal and all one has to do to achieve this status is call their argument "proof"? Doesn't sound very intellectually rigorous to me.

Is the evidence falsifiable? If yes, then the principles of the scientific method would make short work of any false "proof" (theirs or ours) pretty quickly.


It then puts you on the defensive however. You have to prove to my opinon that the fact is true. And then you have to prove that that proof is true. And then you have to prove that proof of the proof is true...and so on and so forth. In the end, sooner or later, you will stop giving me proofs. And then I can say that we both share different opinons. On the contrary, it does not. At the risk of repeating myself:

There are two argument:
Argument {A} says that the earth is flat
Argument {B} says that the earth is round

One of these arguments can be falsified using evidence which is controlled, reproducible, and observable. One of these arguments cannot. That's as far as it really need to go.

Therefore one of these arguments is a fact and the other is an opinion. Giving them equal consideration is foolish once this distinction is made.


You fail to realize that we were waging in different arguments.

The argument above, about science, talks about merely if Science exist. The second argument, the one where I mentioned God, talks about the possiblity of free will in a universe with an all-powerful God, and we assume, for the purpose of the argument, that THERE is an all-powerful God. If you argue against the assumption we make, then you destroy the argument.
Yes, the argument that God is all powerful breaks down the moment that you no longer assume that he exists in the first place. "Free will" is a fancy label that we place on something that we already have but opposes this made-up thing that we call "destiny". If there is no writer of destiny then all that exists is free will.

The rest of your post addresses Samuel Dravis, so I will excuse myself here.

Samuel Dravis
02-13-2007, 03:13 AM
I'm not following you here.If I may -

He means that maths is just a way of labeling things. The number "2" is a label for what we percieve to be 2 objects. Without our labels, the number of objects doesn't go away, it's just not labeled. It's sort of like "x+2=2." Does "x" mean anything in and of itself? No, it's just a label for the variable. Likewise, the addition sign is simply a label that we interpret as a certain logical function; it has no inherent meaning. Put simply:

Maths is a way to think about things, while reality is what they actually are. We just added a layer of abstraction. It is possible to fully know a limited concept of things (and thus be able to truly prove things within that concept), but it's uncertain whether that idea corresponds fully to reality.

Achilles
02-13-2007, 03:26 AM
Ah, sounds vaguely similar to my ice cream and goldfish example. Thanks!

The Architect
02-13-2007, 04:24 AM
I said I would stay out of this thread and wouldnít post in it again, yet here I am. :lol: I have to say, this is a brilliant topic.

However, this begs the question: Why would someone be willing to accept that an evil demon was in possession of my brain without any evidence to support the claim? I suppose this could be simplified even further to ask: Why would any rational person accept that faith is preferable to reason?

Our observations could be flawed, they could be a lie. We canít prove that our observations are or arenít fake. If an evil demon was in possession of our brains, then how may I ask could you come up with any evidence to support the claim?

Iím willing to accept the possibility that an evil demon is in possession of our brains, because Iím willing to accept the possibility that are observations arenít real. Call me paranoid if you want but it is a possibility. How can you prove that an evil demon isnít in possession of our brains? How can you prove that our observations are real?

I myself believe that my observations are real, but I do think that itís wrong to completely dismiss the possibility that observations, that life itself, is a lie, because we donít know. The absence of evidence isnít the evidence of absence.

Vaelastraz
02-13-2007, 10:15 AM
And what exactly can we do with the possibility that our obersvations could be wrong? We will never be able to prove that observations are to 100% right.

Just like Achilles said, it's similar to the concept of "The Matrix". Everything we see hear and feel could be an illusion, but we can never ever prove that.

Just look at what could be achieved through the scientific method (with observation) allready. It makes sense in the world we see/hear/feel.

The possibility that just everything is a big illusion can never be ruled out, but please, show me just the slightest evidence that our observations really are illusions.

Achilles
02-13-2007, 10:42 AM
I said I would stay out of this thread and wouldnít post in it again, yet here I am. :lol: I have to say, this is a brilliant topic. No need to exclude yourself. Debate is an awesome forum for learning and so long as the punches remain above the belt, it's fairly safe too :D

If you're finding this interesting, I'd recommend http://evcforum.net/
There's a lot of info there and the regular posters are so smart is makes my head spin. The post of the month section is a good place to start if you're unsure where to jump in.


Our observations could be flawed, they could be a lie. We canít prove that our observations are or arenít fake. If an evil demon was in possession of our brains, then how may I ask could you come up with any evidence to support the claim?
Scientists only bother with what is observable because it can be tested, repeated, and falsified. Furthermore, it can be used to make predictions and those predictions can also be tested, etc.

If I observe something and my observation is flawed, that it going to become apparent pretty quickly when I put my hypothesis through the wringer of the scientific method. Suppose that somehow my flawed hypothesis makes it through the method and comes out the other end as a plausible theory. Then surely it won't survive the peer-review process. That's why I feel comfortable with science; it's base tenet is skepticism therefore the process is built around the premise that you have to earn your way to the top of the scrap heap.

You cannot create any evidence to support the evil demon anymore than I can create evidence of the Christian God. At that point you can either continue to believe in the evil demon, as a matter of faith, or reject the idea based on insufficient evidence. Remember, science = belief based on evidence; faith = belief based on little, no, or contradictory evidence.


Iím willing to accept the possibility that an evil demon is in possession of our brains, because Iím willing to accept the possibility that are observations arenít real. Call me paranoid if you want but it is a possibility. How can you prove that an evil demon isnít in possession of our brains? How can you prove that our observations are real? You are free to do so, but then your decision seems arbitrary. Is the Evil Demon explanation just as valid as the Flying Spaghetti Monster? How about the Christian God? The Muslim God? Zeus?

How can you have a ethical system that provides moral guidance if you're not willing to accept something as basic as observations? Nazi scientists performed hundreds of gruesome medical experiments on their Jewish captives during WWII. It is doubtful that they would have conducted these experiments on themselves or their family members, so surely there was something can convinced them that their subjects were different. Could it have been that test subjects did not show pain? I imagine that there was a great deal of evidence to the contrary. However the Nazi scientists choose to adhere themselves to their conviction the Jews can't feel pain despite the apparent evidence to the contrary (belief with little, no, or contradictory evidence is called what again?).


I myself believe that my observations are real, but I do think that itís wrong to completely dismiss the possibility that observations, that life itself, is a lie, because we donít know. The absence of evidence isnít the evidence of absence. This path can be a fun diversion from time to time (like when I pop in The Matrix and crank up the surround sound), but at the same time, I don't live life day-to-day afraid that everything that I see is a simulation and that my daughter is going to morph into an Agent in front of my eyes. I suppose that I could, based on the fact that I can't disprove that I'm plugged into The Matrix, but there are dozens if not hundreds of contesting "explanations" that are equally non-disprovable. Should I make an attempt to operate within them all (i.e. should I be a Christian, a Muslim, a Pagan, and an apostle of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) at the same time? Surely one might seem preferable to me (like being Christian in a Christian culture, or Muslim in a Muslim one), but does that make it any more real than the others.

Even if I accept on some irrational level that my observations can't be trusted, wouldn't it make sense instead to operate based on them? At least they are consistent. At least they can be tested. At some point you have to let go of the question "why do we call green 'green' instead of 'apple sauce'?" and just accept that it's 'green' because it's green. Or then again, maybe you don't. ;)

PS: the scientific field of psychology has been experimenting (using the scientific method) with the concept of perception (observation) for hundreds of years. It's been more than a decade since I studied the subject, so I don't know if I'm prepared to intelligently debate the topic. I mention it only to point out that there is an existing body of knowledge that already attempts to answer "how can we trust observations?" and encourage you to seek it out. I hope that helps.

JediMaster12
02-13-2007, 02:06 PM
I submit that one cannot embrace science with one hand and faith with the other. To accept one is to reject that which cannot observed while the other is accept the unobservable without question.
Then how do you explain my acceptance and belief in natural selection while still maintaining my faith as a Christian? What I have seen in science, I accept it as true but there are some things that go by faith because science has yet to disprove that it does exist.

Achilles
02-13-2007, 02:21 PM
Then how do you explain my acceptance and belief in natural selection while still maintaining my faith as a Christian? What I have seen in science, I accept it as true but there are some things that go by faith because science has yet to disprove that it does exist. You are either a man of science or you are not. In my opinion, religious people that claim to be science-minded are religious first and advocates of science second. I think bias prevents people from being able to be both at the same time.

If you are willing to accept the existence of the Christian God with little, no, or contradictory evidence, what does that say for your ability to be intellectually rigorous in the lab? Perhaps you offer some argument for "wearing two hats" but I don't believe that our true natures are that interchangable.

Apologists like Collins or Behe claim to be men of science, but when called to task about their positions, it becomes pretty evident where their priorities lie. This doesn't even take into consideration that their "scientific" hypothesis fall apart under scritiny.

What it comes down to is that science is a way of observing our world. Religion is also a way of observing our world. The two are, by their definitions, in opposition to one another. To claim that both are true would appear to put one in quite the conundrum.

My 2 cents.

JediMaster12
02-13-2007, 03:05 PM
You are either a man of science or you are not. In my opinion, religious people that claim to be science-minded are religious first and advocates of science second. I think bias prevents people from being able to be both at the same time.
I can wear two hats because it's what I am. I can give you a reasonable explanation for it except that I am driven by a desire and love to learn. I know I have my bias as well as you and ever other person out there in existence today. Like anythign else, those bias are shaped by our culture and the world that we live in. Yes I believe in the infinite mercy of the Lord but I also believe that there is a logical explanation for some things. It's hard t describe the complexity of the human mind coupled with the belief systems and emotions that derive from it. I accept that I have a weak argument. I may have my set of beliefs but that doesn't deter me from seeking out others. Recently my family wondered if I was turning into a witch because I wa reading up on folklore and magic and the Wiccan ways. In the end the usual discussion of being Catholic, blah, blah goes in one ear and out the other because I don't see it that way but as research. I love things of mythic origins and I like to see the cultural eveolution that takes place with these mythic things. On the physical plane, to chronologically see the progression from Australopithecines to Homo habilus and Homo erectus, to Neandertals and to archais human beings and finally Homo sapiens sapiens (us) I find fascinating. I've also seen documented evolution sequences of other species and I find it hard to not believe that evolution occurs. It's how I am.

SilentScope001
02-13-2007, 03:32 PM
I submit that one cannot embrace science with one hand and faith with the other. To accept one is to reject that which cannot observed while the other is accept the unobservable without question.

But, of course, I embrace science in one hand and faith in another. How come?

Well, Science is all based on observations. Observations can be falsisfied, observations cannot be trusted, since you can doubt them. Many people argue, even you, that if you do not believe in the observations, you might as well accept them anyway.

So, I made an arbitrary choice, like The Arcitect, that observations can be trusted. Do I have any proof? No. Just like I have no proof that my holy book is right, but I abritraily trust it anyway. Therefore, it is possible to embrace science and faith, since both requires that you arbitraily trust something without any proof that you can trust it...wheter it is a holy book or observations. So, if I can artibraily accept one thing, I can surely choose another thing artibraly as well.

When science and faith clash, I have to make an arbitrary choice between two arbitrary things that are in fact plainly artibrary. I'll just arbitraly come up with a solution where both science and faith is right and artibraly be sastified with such a belief.

To jump the gun a little, suppose I have an observation about a traffic light. I observe that the colors change at some interval, but for whatever reason, don't take note of the sequence of changes.

If I were to form a hypothesis that the sequence is red, yellow, green I can make a prediction that further testing will show that the sequence is red, yellow, green and not some other sequence.

Alas, when test my hypothesis against a control, I find that my prediction is wrong, but I learn that I simply had the sequence backwards. Further testing against a control can be used to make the prediction that every traffic light that I ever look at will follow this sequence.

If at some point in the future the sequence is changed (via some national traffic safety law) or if I visit another country that uses a different sequence, I can make adjustments to my theory to account for the observable changes.

The wonderful thing is that anyone with gift of sight that is not color blind can verify and benefit from scientific study. My results do not require that one believe them without evidence, in fact finding contradictory evidence will only strengthen our collective understanding of traffic lights.

Now we can wax philosophical about whether or not the traffic light really exists or if our observation is nothing more than The Matrix telling us the steak is juicy and delicious, but since part of this argument can't be measured , tested, or falsified scientists are most likely going to leave it alone.

Again, the fact that you can indeed doubt your observations is indeed a bad idea. A thing that can indeed be doubted, and has the possiblity of being false shouldn't be embraced full heartly, because of the possiblity. You have no certainity that the traffic light is there. And, since Science cannot question the observations, it seems that I cannot verify that the traffic light is indeed there.

Unless there was some evidence to show that all people were possessed by an evil demon, a rational person would have no reason to accept that I alone was possessed thusly, unless they wanted to take it as a matter of faith.

However, this begs the question: Why would someone be willing to accept that an evil demon was in possession of my brain without any evidence to support the claim? I suppose this could be simplified even further to ask: Why would any rational person accept that faith is preferable to reason?

I could tell you that a giant purple monkey lives on my patio and is invisible to everyone except me. What possible motivation would you have for accepting this as true? Would you accept that your observation that there is no monkey (nor any sign of a giant purple monkey such as bedding, dirty monkey smell, etc) is flawed in light of your potential belief in said monkey?

Absence of proof does not mean proof of absence.

Even if I accept on some irrational level that my observations can't be trusted, wouldn't it make sense instead to operate based on them? At least they are consistent. At least they can be tested. At some point you have to let go of the question "why do we call green 'green' instead of 'apple sauce'?" and just accept that it's 'green' because it's green. Or then again, maybe you don't.

This is exactly how most skeptics actually live out their lives. After believing that it is impossible to prove anything, they decide to live their lives based on apperances, while 'not' believing in them. If I was a skeptic, I would say that it appears that I am on a computer and that we are having a discussion, so it seems it would be obivous for me to reply...however, there is no proof whatsoever that the above is in fact true, and I believe it well.

Hence why the scientific method dictates that results are repeatable. Using my earlier traffic light analogy, I would accept that the perceptions of a man who is color blind will be different than one who is not color blind. Further examination of the conditions of my experiment would show that this particular issue only arises when tested with people who are unable to differentiate color.

Should I then throw up my arms and lament that I shall never know the nature of this elusive traffic light because I cannot test it using people that are color blind? I suspect that I could probably get away with making a minor adjustment to my theory (to specify those that can see color) and then continue on my merry way.

If I restore sanity to the insane, provide sobriety to the drunk, or wake the sleeping, then their observations should be the same as my own. If they are not, then I should find the cause of this discrepancy and adjust my theory accordingly or abandon it if shown false.

Is there any proof that just because a thing happens 100 times in one way that it would happen the 101st time that exact same way? Common sense may imply yes, but without any sosrt of proof, it would seem impossible to verify that. Again, it's aribitrary.

Again, repeatability. You can go anywhere in the universe that you want to and 2+2 is going to equal 4. Maybe you find a planet where they call "2" ice cream and "4" goldfish, but the fact remains that "ice cream" + "ice cream" = "goldfish".

I think Samuel Davis actually explained my point clearly. Math is abstract, and an artifical construct that is made. It is not really reality, per se.

Sure you do. Remember that the scientific method seeks to falsify. I can't walk up to the scientific community and proclaim that gravitational theory is all wet (without a) a model that better explains our understanding of gravity and/or b) some evidence that shows that the current theory is does not hold up under specific circumstances) and expect to be taken seriously.

Does it really matter if you are taken seriously or not...if you happen to be true? I'm sure Copernicus was laughed at for his ideas and wasn't taken seriously, at least at the begining.

But, in the end, Science is not skeptical about observations. They just accept it and go on their merry way. Therefore, it is not really skeptical, since it trust things arbitrally, without any proof.


SilentScope001 says: "Please note, Samuel Dravis and Achilles, that I do believe in science and trust in it."

I believe in science, but I do so arbitrally, without proof, because I know I cannot find it. However, you believe in it and think there is proof that science is right, when there may very well be none.

First, what does atheism have to do with anything?
Second, that's not the way it works.

Personally, I don't care if you adopt a personal philosophy that has "science is right" as a basic tenet. If you would like to discuss a specific theory as part of another thread (or PM) I'll be more than willing to do so, however I do not feel compelled to stage some mock defense for a process that is quite capable of speaking for itself.

From what I hear from atheists, and I cannot be wrong, some people argue that it is up to the followers of God to prove that God exist. If you cannot prove that God exist, then God cannot exist.

So, I decide to try this method. Instead of asking for someone to prove that God exist, I just ask to prove that Observations can be trusted. Without such a proof, so what?

No, I don't think such an argument would be pleasent for either of us. But I am pointing that by you stating, "It speaks for itself"...it means the same thing as "The Holy Book Speaks For Itself."

I'm not sure what this has to do with what we were discussing. I trust science because it is empirical. One has only to be rational to accept that the scientific process works.

If you can find fault with the definitions that I have provided, I will be more than happy to discuss them to the best of my ability. Since they are not "my" definitions though, I suggest that you not shoot the messenger.

BTW, science is not sacred. The scientific process is skeptical by nature which automatically gets it thrown out of the "sacred club".

How can one be skeptical unless he finds proof to prove that his proof is true? And I am being rational here in just asking for proof, because it would seem silly to just accept something based on no proof whatsoever.

(I end up beliving stuff arbtirally anyway, but I hate doing it...and I think the human race must find some way to abandon this following of arbitrary beliefs.)

I suspect that the opposite is true. Unless this group of individuals suffer from MPD, I highly doubt that they are truly arguing both sides of the same debate. Perhaps if you go back to your original statement, you'll find that you accidentally misspoke.

Sorry then. I may have gotten confused, but there is the article over there.

Since moral relativism is itself relative, that would seem to indicate that there is a moral absolute. Of course some people act immorally all the time, so I don't suppose there is any moral order that any one person is forced to accept.

As I tell my employees all the time, "You can do whatever you want, but there are consequences for your actions".

All ethical relativism argues is that everything is relative, and is based on beliefs, and that there is no objective truth (and ethical relativism is not an objective truth). That's it. In a society that condemns ethical relativism and burns those who believe in it, ethical realtivism states that they believe themselves to be right.

Ok, and what fault do you feel that you've exposed. Perhaps it would aid matters a great deal if you quit dancing around an argued a specific point.

I don't have to believe in catogerocial imprative. I don't see the point of why a human being should be valued. Why we should treat it with respect, and why we must treat it as an autonomus being.

If I don't believe in the warrant and beliefs of Kant, I don't follow him.

What is the logical fault within Kant's categorical imperative? Is it that he assumes free will? If we follow the evidence to it's logical conclusion and reassess this factoring in that no God exists, does the logical fault still exist? I submit that it does not.

He made the assumption that the human race matters. That it should be treated with respect and honor. Kant must prove it to me, otherwise I don't trust it.

Therefore value exists only insofar as you can see it? It would seem that you readily trust your observations after all. Then again maybe not, since you seem to be arguing that you find value in doing what you are told.

I arbtirally accept something. I prefer the Holy Book over Kant. The Holy Book tells me to obey it by stating that I am indeed weak and patheic, that in fact, I have no value, and that's about it. Kant talks about the respect of humanity, and how great it is...and if I don't accept Kant's arbitrary belief, then I see no need to follow Kant.

You can argue for anything inside of religion as well. Are you telling me that beating your slaves within an inch of their lives is ethical? Or stoning your daughter to death if she is raped is ethical? This is the path that "doing what you are told" will guide you down (even though most Christians and some Muslims conveniently ignore these directives). The categorical imperative would seem to slam on the brakes pretty hard and fast by way of comparison, wouldn't you say?

You imply that stoning your daughter to death is bad. Without any proof whatsoever.

Yes, I see stoning as wrong. But you have to prove to me that it is wrong, otherwise it is unconvicing. And don't even bother using that catogerical imperative, that's just a circular argument.

(And I think the stoning punishment is only for those that are adulters, who are consenting to having sex, and already married...and the man also get stoned as well. If you are raped, the woman gets off scot-free and the man get stoned regardless...Other people however interpt the laws differently, and I am not responsible for how they see the world. And to be quite fair, nobody is going to put such a punishment anyway, due to the fact that it will be hard to find the man who done the deed as well as just the fact that there is no way to even confirm such a thing happened. This was a punishment for the past, and now that we live in a different society, it is up to us to intrept new ways.

I think. I may need to talk to some scholars to see if this is doctrinally sound and what exactly you mean here.)

The cateorgical imperative says that I must basically respect the human race and that I must not infirge on the right of the autonomy Human. So, that means, using it and interpreting it: Taxes are wrong, you are harming a Human. Talking Bad to Someone is wrong since you are harming a Human's feeling. Oh, and so is execution and imprisoning people. You are harming that person's feeling!

I know these arguments are strawmen. But I can make the arguments anyway.



Shia and Sunnies have been fighting for about 1400 years because their instinct is to "find out after we're dead"? Catholics and Protestants having been fighting in Northern Ireland for about 40 years because they agreed to settle their debate in Heaven? Leaving "intrafaith" wars out of it, how about the myriad of wars, skirmishes, atrocities than have taken place between Christians and Muslims for thousands of years. No, sir, I don't think this is the way it goes at all. Both the Bible and the Koran are quite clear on the subject: Kill everyone that doesn't believe as you do if you want to stay in God's favor. Ethics anyone?

No, the Bible and Koran are quite clear on this subject: "Believe in your religion, and have THEM believe in their religion, and in Heaven, you will be proven right. HOWEVER, if one religion attack you, you have the right to attack and destroy them, because they are wrong."

Note the qualification "If one religion attack you". The reason that the schisms and the different sects fight each other is because they BELIEVE that the other side started first, and that they are fighting for self-defense. Similar to how two nations, USSR and USA both accuse the other side of starting the Cold War, seeing the othe rside as wanting to destroy their way of life.

Now, they can be seen less as religions, and more as indepedent states that squabble endlessly. But for the most part, if the two sides stop being paranoid, they can easily work and live together, quitely knowing that the other guy will go to Hell while he goes to Heaven.

And apparently you find them very convincing, considering that you laid claim to this moral compass earlier.

I chose them arbitrally. Because I chose to believe in something.

"In ethics, deontological ethics or deontology (Greek: Deon meaning obligation or duty) is a theory holding that decisions should be made solely or primarily by considering one's duties and the rights of others."

Please show me where this implies "Do this because I said so".

"Your duty as a Human is to support Other Humans."/"Why?"/"Because that is your duty."/"But I don't want to do this duty!"/"But it's your duty!"/"Bah, who cares about duty?"

Ah, so you weren't just "poking holes in a theory" earlier (as you claim). Now I really am going to have to have answers to those questions.

For proof, consider Rawl's veil of ignorance: There is a group of people that take pleasure is causing physical harm (up to an including death) of other human being that have done them no wrong. Understanding that you yourself could be a member of either group, would you agree or disagree that it is ethical to prevent the first group from acting on the second group.

Disagreeing will mean that you will be denied happiness if you are a member of the first group. Agreeing will mean that you are denied happiness if you are part of the second group.

How is that Utilitarianism treating you now? I'm telling you, the whole field of ethics get shortened to the length of a paragraph the moment the world decides to abandon faith, and specifically, religion.

Who cares how much it treats me? I don't. If a person using AU go and kidnap me and do terrible experiments without my consent, I hate it, but I can understand why he did it. I'll scream and scream and scream, but deep down, I know why he does it. I don't call him wrong, because, to be fair, why should I care how I feel?

I merely want to know why people do the things they do. How they justify it. And this theory allows me to do it.

No, my friend, ethics will not boil down to one paragraph. If I do not believe in faith, I still can claim a single human being should not be worried about rather than the general public, about the greater good. Religion is gone, but so what? AU will still exist. And I trust AU more than Kant. At least AU lets you decide what is the right action to do, and let you gague it on an arbitrary scale. Kant does not, he gives you an artibrary rule and an arbitrary justification for that rule.

To me, AU preserves my right to reason, Kant does not.

So their proof is equal to our proof? All proof is equal and all one has to do to achieve this status is call their argument "proof"? Doesn't sound very intellectually rigorous to me.

Is the evidence falsifiable? If yes, then the principles of the scientific method would make short work of any false "proof" (theirs or ours) pretty quickly.

They can "falsify" our evidence as well. We dismiss it out of hand and "falsify" their evidence, but they'll just say that we didn't falsify it at all.

It doesn't sound intellectually rigrious to basically claim one proof is right without proving it. Basically, an argument between both sides will continue forever, just like abortion, so how can you tell who is right and who is wrong?

On the contrary, it does not. At the risk of repeating myself:

There are two argument:
Argument {A} says that the earth is flat
Argument {B} says that the earth is round

One of these arguments can be falsified using evidence which is controlled, reproducible, and observable. One of these arguments cannot. That's as far as it really need to go.

Therefore one of these arguments is a fact and the other is an opinion. Giving them equal consideration is foolish once this distinction is made.

Or neither is correct...the earth is a cube, or the earth is oval? Didn't think of that, no? And again, if you do not trust observations, then you cannot trust that theory can you?

That depends on what degree you take your atheism. There's the ones that you mention, the ones that actively believe that there are no gods, and then there's the ones that just don't believe because they have no reason to. In the second context, it's not really a belief in anything in particular, just using what we percieve and applying logic to that. If I don't percieve a god I don't have any reason to believe it. That doesn't mean I actively say such a god can't exist. Arguing against perception being at all reliable is interesting, but there's little else to do besides work with perception, so I see little point in denying it as the "true" reality we live in. Even if I don't see the world correctly, how is that going to matter to me? It's real to me. One might say that religion was created to explain our perceptions, so to use the result of an attempted explanation of perception would be irrational.

Then again, the absence of proof does not mean the proof of absence, which is somewhat key in skepticism.

Yes, I agree it will (probably) end. That's the way of things, ending. That doesn't stop what we do here and now from (apparently) affecting those around us. What we do doesn't mean anything objectively, perhaps. I don't know. However, it does mean something subjectively. It means everything subjectively. Did you really expect something else when you consider we are limited beings?

Er...yes. :)

With all the talk about the war on terrorism, the battle for freedom, the Clash of Civilization, the enviromentalist crusade against global warming, etc. you kinda think that there has to be some objective thing that makes us important. When I realized that it didn't mean anything, that really did hit me like a ton of bricks.

So creating a purpose that is most likely false (given the endless possibilities and you pick only one) helps that problem in what way?

Then you resolve the problem. You finally find something objective to latch yourself onto. There are endless possiblities, and endless other belief systems that I can join and subscribe myself to, so I randomly choosen one and then stick with that. Plus, I has the rare possiblity that I can be right, and that I could get beniefts from that belief. But I guess the main point of religion here is to add meaning to one's life. It's totally arbitrary.

The rest of humanity can't die unless they're real, which you have no way of knowing. Even the idea that YOU will die is based on incomplete evidence, so you can't really be legitimately depressed about it until (if) it is too late. :)

Yep. Arbitrainess rears its ugly head once more, and as well as my artibrary fear that life has no meaning...(Why should life have meaning?, one can reply). Sooner or later, one has to adopt something arbitrary and stick with it, and I might as well choose this one, since I given up on my crusade to get rid of warrants, seeing how impossible it is.

Sure there are people that will argue. It's more interesting that way. My point was that only within a single framework can you guarantee the ability to make a specific conclusion.

I guess, maybe if taken to an infinite limit and if someone stops talking and stops objecting. But I have some low hopes that could happen.

I'm not entirely convinced of that quite yet. I still think, even though I will be probably wrong, that I would like to make my own decisions. I want this because to do so would be to exercise the full extent of my capabilities. I want to be responsible, essentially, because if I'm not, then even if I exist, that existence means nothing.

We may never know.

Hmm. It would seem to me that if you wanted to know why people do evil things, you could look at why YOU do things you consider evil/bad. How do you justify your actions? I think that this line of thought would prove more useful, truth-wise, than imagining what goes on in dictator's heads.

I don't know if I do good or evil things, to be quite fair. I have no way of knowing if my actions are good and bad. But since I am a fan of AU, I may subconisusly use it in deciding my actions, and hence, I am using my line of thought (that of AU) to justify how others are doing what they are doing.

Besides, happiness is such a general term that I think it would be better to use that as a way to figure out why others do the things they do.

No, we won't. I thought this was an accepted fact for this discussion. As far as proving things true (to ourselves), that can only be done in logical constructs like maths and with statements like, "I exist."

Ah. Still, with logic being comrpomised by what is known as warrants, with our base assumptions and desires that cannot be justified or proven, I feel that my own thinking may be unreliable.

I agree that the bit about having to accept some things without evidence is irritating. I don't like not knowing what things really are. Personally I like to know how things work; I read a lot in science magazines, about subjects that interest me on the internet, etc. However, this doesn't help in proving any of it "true" in an absolute sense. Even so, I enjoy this "learning" because, as far as I can tell, it does work.

People can't be more than they are, and I don't expect myself to be able to prove facts about the world. I can learn about my perception of the world, however. To me, what's the difference between the two? I don't know of any, so for me to suppose that there is a difference would make me guilty of going beyond what my evidence leads me to believe and into pure speculation.

True, but then again, abscene of evidence does not mean evidence of abscene.

I percieve - my lappy 486. Do I have reason to believe it is there? Well, I can see it, touch it, taste (ewww gross) it, hear it, smell the toxic plastics, etc. Do I have reason to suggest it's not really there? No, not really any concrete reason, just the fact that it's possible it may not be. I consider my computer to be real, because I have no data that suggests otherwise stronger than my perception of it. That's about all I can do. For me, that's good enough.

And of course, the main reason why I embrace science, since it seems to be true. But it might not be true. I'm sort of paranoid and worried of that. There is no preceptions that indicate otherwise, but then again, you can be worried about preceptions being contorlled and working together. So, skepticism still exists.

The possibility that just everything is a big illusion can never be ruled out, but please, show me just the slightest evidence that our observations really are illusions.

Abscene of evidence does not mean evidence of abscene.

Of course, having no evidence is unconvicing, but it is in doubt, and I do fear doubt.
===
*sigh* If only the human race would live forever, or if they become infinite beings, or something different from what they are, being fully emotional, or fully logical. Then this question would be resolved.

I, for example, probraly wouldn't follow God if I lived forever, because if I live forever, my actions in this world have meaning, and since I will stay in the world forever, I might as well make it the best world it is. And since I live forever, I don't have to fear God, since God cannot touch me unless I am dead.

This is just some random comment though.

Achilles
02-13-2007, 07:53 PM
I respectfully decline to continue this dialog with you, SilentScope001. I cannot tell if your contradictions and fallacies are an intentional attempt to "troll" or if you truly are not interested in having a rational discussion. Either way, I gain nothing by repeating myself further. Thank you for your time.

Achilles
02-13-2007, 08:22 PM
I can wear two hats because it's what I am. I can give you a reasonable explanation for it except that I am driven by a desire and love to learn. That is certainly commendable. The problem is that religion is dogmatic. This means that you can only explore so far before you are told to stop looking because He/She/It/They is the answer. Science on the other hand seeks to look under every stone. If you are somehow able to reconcile these two in your mind now, then kudos to you, however at some point you have to make a personal choice: Either your love of knowledge will have to supersede your faith or your commitment to faith will curb your ability to learn.

Yes I believe in the infinite mercy of the Lord but I also believe that there is a logical explanation for some things. If there is a logical explanation for some things, then why is it that there cannot be a logical explanation for all things? Anyone can tell you that science cannot answer every question that is out there, but this does not mean that it will not be able to some day. Little more than a 100 years ago, manned flight was science fiction. A few years later it was science fact. 50 years later: supersonic air travel. 15 years later: a manned flight to the moon.

Technology and scientific discovery grow exponentially, not linearly. As our ability to understand our universe increases, the "gaps" where "God can hide" are going to continue to diminish (i.e. "Science can't explain this so it must be the grace of God"). Our ethics, unhindered by ancillary arguments about God's intent for mankind, will solidify pretty quickly.


It's hard t describe the complexity of the human mind coupled with the belief systems and emotions that derive from it. I accept that I have a weak argument. The fact that you're willing to acknowledge this speaks highly of your ability to reason.


I may have my set of beliefs but that doesn't deter me from seeking out others. Recently my family wondered if I was turning into a witch because I wa reading up on folklore and magic and the Wiccan ways. In the end the usual discussion of being Catholic, blah, blah goes in one ear and out the other because I don't see it that way but as research. I love things of mythic origins and I like to see the cultural eveolution that takes place with these mythic things. It was a similar process for me. I began studying Greek mythology as a hobby when I was a kid. Greek led to Roman, which led to Egyptian, which led to Norse, which led to Japanese, Native American, etc. You study enough myths, you begin to see that there is a pattern. The explanation for that pattern that I found most plausible is that man, as a social creature, has certain needs that have been fulfilled by religion in the past.

But tradition for the sake of tradition is folly and modern man can find meaning, morals, and ethics without the need for dogma or faith. In my opinion is long time that we leave superstition (read: religion) behind, because it is only holding us back (all the positive aspects of religion can be found outside of it).


On the physical plane, to chronologically see the progression from Australopithecines to Homo habilus and Homo erectus, to Neandertals and to archais human beings and finally Homo sapiens sapiens (us) I find fascinating. I've also seen documented evolution sequences of other species and I find it hard to not believe that evolution occurs. It's how I am.Until another model comes along that explains our observations better, I would tend to agree.

jonathan7
02-13-2007, 10:35 PM
I have been reading the thread with intrest but havent read everything within the thread, so won't give a 'full' (e.g. very long Silentscoopey ;) post untill the weekend when I have the time.

I do however hava quick note to add;


That is certainly commendable. The problem is that religion is dogmatic. This means that you can only explore so far before you are told to stop looking because He/She/It/They is the answer. Science on the other hand seeks to look under every stone. If you are somehow able to reconcile these two in your mind now, then kudos to you, however at some point you have to make a personal choice: Either your love of knowledge will have to supersede your faith or your commitment to faith will curb your ability to learn.

Thought 1;

Pah thats aload of balls. Science is as dogmatic as faith, Spontanuos (I cant spell and its 3am in the UK) Generation is a scientific impossibility, so at this point there is only one other answer, reasonable or not. I (and the Vicar at my Church would argue) that the minute a religion says; you should just believe it becomes a cult. I will always seek to answer any question asked of me, and have always been able to give an answer, sometimes I have to walk off research and come back, but I will always try to give an answer and if I can't find one just hold up my hands and say 'I don't know'. Also take away your biased oppinions for a second as that is what is causing you to say the above. If the Christian God is the true God then those 2 will never actually come into conflict as they would basically become the same thing. Just because you have encountered dogmatic Christians does not mean all are. No offence to some, but American Christians scare me, so Achilles if you are American don't judge Christianity as a religion on a few people you have met. Imagine if I judged science on the beliefs of Mengele, and other mid 20th Century 'Scientists' who argued for the superiority of some races over others. Would I have a balanced view of it?

Thought 2;

Some where talking about God as if he were an entertity to test for, now I don't know if he is or he isn't. But say I'm sat in a empty room, now the air is made up of around 70% nitrogen, which is a fact. But I don't have the apparatus to test for it, that doesn't mean it isnt there just because I cant see it or test it... what if the same is true of God?
From the Paranormal Psychology perspective, by testing for the paranormal view scientific methods do you automatically nullify your results because you are trying to test stuff that goes against normal scientific results? In other words Science is seeking to explain the unexplainable. Or change perspective; science is seeking to explain something for which there is infact no answer. For the record this perspective can explain that tarrot cards, star signs, those twig things people find water with are a load of crap, but it can't explain things like expierances after death. It should be a scientific impossibility if there is no life after death; yet it happens, (side note it is also intriguing to note it doesnt happen in all cases as some people expierance nothing). I myself expieranced a healing... I had appendicitus and was going to miss Christian Camp in the summer as I was due to go into hospital to have them taken out, but then the day before we prayed about it and that night I was healed... and went. Slightly off topic but I would challenge any scientist to explain that (my dad is a GP and medically what happened is impossible). Also as another note, say God does exsist, would in not be arrogance on the, part of science for a scientist to say to God proove you exsist or that the burden of proof should be on him to be a quantifiable entity, does it not take away from God to think you can quantify and test for him>


Finally Achilles I don't understand why you are becoming hostile to Silentscoope I think his argument is going down the Philisophical route and you are being very arrogant in your assumption that science is 'truth/knowledge'. I will use a quote I used earlier in the the thread (its on the first page, and think it would be good for you to read through all the scientific quotes there before posting against Christianity as I dont belive it has to be opposed to science or posting against philosophy).



ďScience cannot answer the question that philosophers- or children - ask; why are we here, what is the point of being alive, how ought we to behave? Genetics has almost nothing to say about what makes us more than just machines driven by biology, about what makes us human. These questions may be interesting, but scientists are no more qualified to comment on them than is anyone else.Ē Steve Jones (Professor of Genetics at University College).

ďScience without religion is lame, religion without science is blindĒ. I would slightly edit this Einstein quote to replace religion with philosophy. But the point still stands.

Finally I apologise for grammatical and spelling errors, I am dyslexic and it is now very late/early ;)

Achilles
02-14-2007, 01:40 AM
I have been reading the thread with intrest but havent read everything within the thread, so won't give a 'full' (e.g. very long Silentscoopey ;) post untill the weekend when I have the time.

I do however hava quick note to add;




Thought 1;

Pah thats aload of balls. Science is as dogmatic as faith,
I would tend to disagree. Scientists do not claim to have all of the answers to every questions. If something is unknown, the scientific community will say "we don't know right now" or "we're looking into it". That is not dogma.

If I had to take a guess, I would assume that most people that feel that science is dogmatic, say so because they want their arguments to have equal footing with scientific theory, but aren't willing to do the work. "I believe that God exists, but science refuses to accept God, therefore science is dogmatic".

It's not that science refuses to accept God, so much as it is that the concept of God (as we understand it) has nothing to do with science. Furthermore, more often than not, there is a proven scientific explanation that doesn't even need to invoke supernatural causes in the first place.

Spontanuos (I cant spell and its 3am in the UK) Generation is a scientific impossibility, so at this point there is only one other answer, reasonable or not. Really? You can quote a peer-reviewed scientific journal article that states that abiogenesis (or Spontaneous Generation) is scientifically impossible? "Not being able to show something right now" does not equal "can never be shown". 200 years ago DNA was literally unknown yet today we have completely mapped the human genome. The Urey-Miller experiment showed that some amino acids can be formed "from nothing". This is not the same thing as showing as proving spontaneous generation, but it sure seems like a first step at showing that it's at least a possibility.

I point this out merely to show that there is not "only one other answer". This, sir, is dogmatic thinking.


I (and the Vicar at my Church would argue) that the minute a religion says; you should just believe it becomes a cult. I will always seek to answer any question asked of me, and have always been able to give an answer, sometimes I have to walk off research and come back, but I will always try to give an answer and if I can't find one just hold up my hands and say 'I don't know'. Nothing wrong with that :)


Also take away your biased oppinions for a second as that is what is causing you to say the above. If the Christian God is the true God then those 2 will never actually come into conflict as they would basically become the same thing. Please explain your thought process (when you have time, I know you mentioned that don't right now).

Just because you have encountered dogmatic Christians does not mean all are. No offence to some, but American Christians scare me, so Achilles if you are American don't judge Christianity as a religion on a few people you have met. Imagine if I judged science on the beliefs of Mengele, and other mid 20th Century 'Scientists' who argued for the superiority of some races over others. Would I have a balanced view of it? Please don't mistake my comments for being based on personal experience (or at least personal experience alone). My arguments are leveled primarily at faith as a system itself. It's not that I don't like religious people, I don't like religion at all. I hope that helps to clarify.

Similarly, I don't seek to defend a specific scientist or proclaim that all scientists are (forgive the expression) saints. Just as I seek to question religion as a system, I also argue for the scientific process. Some "scientist" don't follow the scientific process put want their place at the table (the names of everyone working for the Discovery Institute spring to mind).



Thought 2;

Some where talking about God as if he were an entertity to test for, now I don't know if he is or he isn't. But say I'm sat in a empty room, now the air is made up of around 70% nitrogen, which is a fact. But I don't have the apparatus to test for it, that doesn't mean it isnt there just because I cant see it or test it... what if the same is true of God? I'll try to cut through a lot of backstory here and simply say that most people that believe in the God of Abraham (Christians, Jews, & Muslims) will eventually says "God cannot be measured because he trancends space, time, physics, logic, everything". This is unfortunate because science (by it's nature) can only concern itself with that which is natural. Anything supernatural is automatically not allowed in the club.

Well why is that? Because of the scientific method. The process breaks down as soon as you try to apply it to something supernatural. Put anything observable in there and it works like gangbusters, so it's not the process, it's what you try to feed it.

To use your example, you might not have an apparatus to measure right then and there, but if you did, could you? If you had 50 people with 50 apparatuses in the room with you, would they be able to get the same reading as you (within a reasonable margin of error)? Measuring nitrogen in a room isn't beyond measure, it just is in your scenario. It's like saying the bus can never come because the bus isn't at your stop right now.

From the Paranormal Psychology perspective, by testing for the paranormal view scientific methods do you automatically nullify your results because you are trying to test stuff that goes against normal scientific results?If you can observe it, you can test it with the scientific method. However if you can get this far, then you automatically exclude the source from being supernatural; at some point all the "whys and hows" will point to a natural explanation.

In other words Science is seeking to explain the unexplainable. Of course it does. That exactly what all science does.

Or change perspective; science is seeking to explain something for which there is infact no answer. *shrugs* why do we have to assume that there is no answer? Just because an answer isn't clear to us now does not preclude it from ever being known.

For the record this perspective can explain that tarrot cards, star signs, those twig things people find water with are a load of crap, but it can't explain things like expierances after death. It should be a scientific impossibility if there is no life after death; yet it happens, (side note it is also intriguing to note it doesnt happen in all cases as some people expierance nothing). If I could stick a probe into your brain and make you experience exactly what all of these "near-death survivors" describe, could we truly consider them evidence of an after life? Your argument assumes that the only possible explanation for "near-death experience" is an actual afterlife. Again, this is a prime example of dogmatic thinking (I'm still not hatin' though).

I myself expieranced a healing... I had appendicitus and was going to miss Christian Camp in the summer as I was due to go into hospital to have them taken out, but then the day before we prayed about it and that night I was healed... and went. Slightly off topic but I would challenge any scientist to explain that (my dad is a GP and medically what happened is impossible). I don't mean to strawman, but...clicky (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/health/31pray.html?ex=1301461200&en=4acf338be4900000&ei=5088)

Because medical science cannot explain all phenomeon that occur does not mean that experiences like yours are supernatural.

Also as another note, say God does exsist, would in not be arrogance on the, part of science for a scientist to say to God proove you exsist or that the burden of proof should be on him to be a quantifiable entity, does it not take away from God to think you can quantify and test for him Yes, in that scenario, I suppose it would be quite arrogant. It seems odd though that God could kill the whole debate right now with an appearance on CNN or BBC, but chooses not to. Unfortunately this tends to kick off a lengthy dialog about God hiding himself as part of the test, but revealing himself to some as snack cracker even though he's supposed to powerful to be percieved by us, etc, etc. And I'd really rather not have that dialog if that's ok.

Finally Achilles I don't understand why you are becoming hostile to Silentscoope I think his argument is going down the Philisophical route and you are being very arrogant in your assumption that science is 'truth/knowledge'. You are welcome to your opinion. As I stated earlier, I don't feel that any further discussion with SilentScope will bear fruit and talking about him is just rude. Hopefully you can understand and respect that.


I will use a quote I used earlier in the the thread (its on the first page, and think it would be good for you to read through all the scientific quotes there before posting against Christianity as I dont belive it has to be opposed to science or posting against philosophy).

<snip>

I would slightly edit this Einstein quote to replace religion with philosophy. But the point still stands.

"One of Eintein's most eagerly quoted remarks is 'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.' But Einstein also said,

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then is is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it

Does it seem that Einstein contradicted himself? That his words can be cherry-picked for quotes to support both sides of an argument? No. By 'religion' Einstein meant something entirely different from what is conventionally meant."

<snip>

"Here are some more quotations from Einstein, to give a flavour of Einsteinian religion."

I am a deeply religious nonbeliever. This is a somewhat new kind of religion
I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and thus that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.
The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive.

- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (p.15)

My intent was not to counter your Appeal to Authority with one of my own, so much as to set the record straight.

Thanks for your remarks. I look forward to reading your response.

Achilles
02-14-2007, 01:45 AM
In light of recent discussions, I thought that some of the findings discussed in this article might be relevant food for thought:

click me (http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0040167)

jonathan7
02-14-2007, 03:20 AM
I would tend to disagree. Scientists do not claim to have all of the answers to every questions. If something is unknown, the scientific community will say "we don't know right now" or "we're looking into it". That is not dogma.

If I had to take a guess, I would assume that most people that feel that science is dogmatic, say so because they want their arguments to have equal footing with scientific theory, but aren't willing to do the work. "I believe that God exists, but science refuses to accept God, therefore science is dogmatic".

Ok, I will slightly rephrase :-p Some scientists becoming dogmatic in thinking that science is the only way to explain the world, where as I take it as how something works but doesnt not explain why... e.g. science can tell us how the human body works but not why on a philisophical/intellectual level sophisticated enough for humans. If there is no God of course then there is no after-life etc etc, so the why is either we've evolved to this point... or life is utterly pointless as in the grand cosmological scale we are nothing than a tiny spec of dust that exsists for but a second. Do you get what I mean... you will have people who refuse to accept there is anything outside of science... which is surely dogmatic?? As you would say someone is dogmatic if the fail to accept there is something outside of their frame of referance. I also think that the reason science is no struggling in popular culture is its lost its sence of wonder (although this is another debate really, I dunno where you live, but science here is now struggling a fair bit, in terms of peoples understanding and knowledge of it, people no longer get exited over new discoveries anymore)

It's not that science refuses to accept God, so much as it is that the concept of God (as we understand it) has nothing to do with science. Furthermore, more often than not, there is a proven scientific explanation that doesn't even need to invoke supernatural causes in the first place.

I agree with both statements to a degree. I would argue with the first that the current evidence (to me at least) would point towards a creator God.

Spontanuos (I cant spell and its 3am in the UK) Generation is a scientific impossibility, SO AT THIS POINT there is only one other answer, reasonable or not.

Really? You can quote a peer-reviewed scientific journal article that states that abiogenesis (or Spontaneous Generation) is scientifically impossible? "Not being able to show something right now" does not equal "can never be shown". 200 years ago DNA was literally unknown yet today we have completely mapped the human genome. The Urey-Miller experiment showed that some amino acids can be formed "from nothing". This is not the same thing as showing as proving spontaneous generation, but it sure seems like a first step at showing that it's at least a possibility.

I'm a Psychology student, so although my range of reading is large (National Geographic etc) I'm not a science student so I don't read that many science journals... I'll see if i can dig out a Psychology journal with it in ;) I have also caps locked part of my original sentance, as your trying to pidgeon hole me :-p so by saying "Not being able to show something right now" does not equal "can never be shown". so you've argued against something I never said ;) I had already concedeed that in the future perhaps another reason could be put forward in my original statement.

I point this out merely to show that there is not "only one other answer". This, sir, is dogmatic thinking.

Nah, I'm not being dogmatic... see above argument for how what I had said had been taken slightly out of context.


Also take away your biased oppinions for a second as that is what is causing you to say the above. If the Christian God is the true God then those 2 will never actually come into conflict as they would basically become the same thing.

Please explain your thought process (when you have time, I know you mentioned that don't right now).

Well presume the Christian God is real, he created the world, Jesus was his Son etc and then you have science which seeks to explain and find truth and knowledge etc. Just because 2 things are true doesnt mean they can't co-exist. So for a simplistic anology a Glass is round, solid and see through. Neither of those things disproove the other. So if science is the quest for truth and understanding and the Christian God is real then they arent in competetion and maybe science would even lead you into believe there was a God due to experiment you do of the world around you. Do you understand what I mean?

Please don't mistake my comments for being based on personal experience (or at least personal experience alone). My arguments are leveled primarily at faith as a system itself. It's not that I don't like religious people, I don't like religion at all. I hope that helps to clarify.

Why do you dislike religion?

Similarly, I don't seek to defend a specific scientist or proclaim that all scientists are (forgive the expression) saints. Just as I seek to question religion as a system, I also argue for the scientific process. Some "scientist" don't follow the scientific process put want their place at the table (the names of everyone working for the Discovery Institute spring to mind).

No comments or points.

I'll try to cut through a lot of backstory here and simply say that most people that believe in the God of Abraham (Christians, Jews, & Muslims) will eventually says "God cannot be measured because he trancends space, time, physics, logic, everything". This is unfortunate because science (by it's nature) can only concern itself with that which is natural. Anything supernatural is automatically not allowed in the club.

Well why is that? Because of the scientific method. The process breaks down as soon as you try to apply it to something supernatural. Put anything observable in there and it works like gangbusters, so it's not the process, it's what you try to feed it.

To use your example, you might not have an apparatus to measure right then and there, but if you did, could you? If you had 50 people with 50 apparatuses in the room with you, would they be able to get the same reading as you (within a reasonable margin of error)? Measuring nitrogen in a room isn't beyond measure, it just is in your scenario. It's like saying the bus can never come because the bus isn't at your stop right now.

I won't move into the Scientific Method debate ;) Well my kind of example was try to say that maybe one day in the future it might be possible to measure it if you had the right apparatus ;)

If you can observe it, you can test it with the scientific method. However if you can get this far, then you automatically exclude the source from being supernatural; at some point all the "whys and hows" will point to a natural explanation.

This would go into the realms of what is natural, which is a debate I'm trying to avoid. Although it is somewhat pertinant to the Question. I would say that you want something to be repeatable... In that its something you can observe time after time. Where as supernatural events tend to be 'random' in nature, so its not like dropping an apple to observe there is gravity, as say someone seeing an angel doesnt occur everytime you want to test it. Of course this isn't to say it couldnt be explained in some other way for example Schizophrenia or other mental illnesses.

Of course it does. That exactly what all science does.

ROFL, yeh I know (hence me laughing :)) What I mean to say is presume an event was completely and utterly random with no scientific reason for it or explanations... Science would never be able to explain simply because there isnt an actual answer. Dunno if you've understood me on that. I site Jade Goody... she's alive although were not quite sure as she doesn't have a brain so she shouldnt be alive or moving, she also doesn't have any function in the ecosystem and society and yet she still manages to live without any of these things, it defies scientific explanation ;) (bad example but I hope it amuses you :)

*shrugs* why do we have to assume that there is no answer? Just because an answer isn't clear to us now does not preclude it from ever being known.

Well we as inquisative humans will always try to find an answer, but come outside the problem a second, imagine there is no answer to the problem. It doesnt matter how many times someone looks at it to solve the provlem, because there is no answer to the problem, an answer can never be found

If I could stick a probe into your brain and make you experience exactly what all of these "near-death survivors" describe, could we truly consider them evidence of an after life? Your argument assumes that the only possible explanation for "near-death experience" is an actual afterlife. Again, this is a prime example of dogmatic thinking (I'm still not hatin' though).

Not really, there just isnt any reason for people expierance the near death expierance. Its not dogmatic thinking as I pointed out near death expierences tend not to happen in some cases (I'm not sure on the figures of people close to death who have or hadn't had a near death expierance). You've put words in my mouth and presumed what I was saying, I was merely putting forward a cunudrum for you to explain. Most Psychological Para-normal phenomina can be easily explained however this is one of those things that can't be. On a side note, my all time 'favourite' Paranormal show, was this Ghost Hunters show where they went round to people's houses and sat them in the dark and recorded... IF you sit a bunch of people in a room in the dark for hours and they think the house is haunted what are they going to do??

I don't mean to strawman, but...clicky

Yeah, I know about such studies seen them before. My one slight point is imagine that the True God is the ancient Egyptian Gods, theyre hardly going to answer the prayers of anyone but there followers are they? I don't have too much to say on the subject it for you to decide for yourself what your analysis of why it occured.

Because medical science cannot explain all phenomeon that occur does not mean that experiences like yours are supernatural.

No but currently it defies explanation by science.

Yes, in that scenario, I suppose it would be quite arrogant. It seems odd though that God could kill the whole debate right now with an appearance on CNN or BBC, but chooses not to. Unfortunately this tends to kick off a lengthy dialog about God hiding himself as part of the test, but revealing himself to some as snack cracker even though he's supposed to powerful to be percieved by us, etc, etc. And I'd really rather not have that dialog if that's ok.

Thats fine, although I probably wouldn't of gone down that path of discussion.

You are welcome to your opinion. As I stated earlier, I don't feel that any further discussion with SilentScope will bear fruit and talking about him is just rude. Hopefully you can understand and respect that.

Fair enuff, hes one of my favourite users, but were both very Philisophical and have a 'rapport' going as we believe the EU and the on going battle between Jedi and Sith is because GL wants to line his pockets with lots of money.

"One of Eintein's most eagerly quoted remarks is 'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.' But Einstein also said,

Quote:
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then is is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it

Does it seem that Einstein contradicted himself? That his words can be cherry-picked for quotes to support both sides of an argument? No. By 'religion' Einstein meant something entirely different from what is conventionally meant."

<snip>

"Here are some more quotations from Einstein, to give a flavour of Einsteinian religion."

Quote:
I am a deeply religious nonbeliever. This is a somewhat new kind of religion

Quote:
I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and thus that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.

Ahh, but I'm pretty sure in my original post I would have pointed out that Einstein believed there to be a intelligent creator but not a moral God. I don't ignore something just because it will contradict my argument.

As a future favour, please don't quote Dawkins at me, I consider the bloke a complete idiot who is in fact dangerous. Why?? Because religious people are foolish? He doesn't allow for differances in opinion. Whatever is the Truth is the Truth regardless of what any of us believe, which is why I have no issue with athiests, as they could be prooven right (although we get into a paradox as obviously I think I'm right) but I dont treat them as if they are stupid or thick because they disagree with me. And as for thinking religion causes all wars... He convienatly ignores things like the Zula Wars, both WW's, Vietnam etc... I would also put forward an argument that the motives for the Crusades from the aristocracy in Europe was not at all religious. It is my belief people like him lead to Hitler, Stalin etc simply because they think anyone that doesnt come into their line of thinking is stupid and inferior. He also conveniatly ignores that athiestic societies tend to end in tradgedy, like the purges, the Holocaust etc.

Anyways thats my response, will be interested to see what you have to say :)

ZippyFreak
02-14-2007, 08:52 AM
hey guys i would like to enter the debate to make one statement and one statement only...
(unless people ask questions, then of course i will reply)
in relation to silentscope's comment on why god would leave satan alone and not end him well and truly, i will say simply this:

i believe that a man can only be responsable for himself and his own actions.
if he has defeated an enemy and kills the helpless enemy surely he becomes just as evil as an enemy that kills the helpless?
if the man helps the enemy and the enemy then goes onwards to kill again, can he who helped the enemy be blamed?
i dont believe so.

or in other words:

if you came across a man injured and dying in the road and found that it was an enemy who had wronged you, would leaving him to do die not make you just as bad?
if your belief is that you should help him, and you do, and in return for this he goes onward to hurt others, does this mean your beliefs are wrong?
i cannot be responsable that he chose to continue to hurt others, i can only be responsable for my own actions. not the actions of those that i help.

Christians preach peace and brotherhood, if god destroyed satan, where would that leave the beliefs that he founded?

hope this post made sense. i liked the debate guys.

Achilles
02-14-2007, 11:26 AM
Ok, I will slightly rephrase :-p Some scientists becoming dogmatic in thinking that science is the only way to explain the world, where as I take it as how something works but doesnt not explain why... e.g. science can tell us how the human body works but not why on a philisophical/intellectual level sophisticated enough for humans. I cannot presume to speak for all scientists. I feel that I have done an adequate job of explaining the scientific process and have gone so far as to explain why science is limited to what can be observed.

I'm sure you could find examples of dogmatic scientists (anyone supporting Intelligent Design, for instance), however those that adhere to the scientific model cannot be accused of following dogma.

If there is no God of course then there is no after-life etc etc, so the why is either we've evolved to this point... or life is utterly pointless as in the grand cosmological scale we are nothing than a tiny spec of dust that exsists for but a second.I'm not sure I follow the dichotomy, but I'll try to address what I think you're saying.

If God does not exist, then all it means is that meaning is intrinsic rather than extrinsic. That's not the end of the world considering that it happens everyday already (just not for a majority of the world's population). I don't need to feel as though I'm part of "God's plan" to have meaning. Furthermore, I would argue that this realization makes my sense of purpose more meaningful rather than less so.

Do you get what I mean... you will have people who refuse to accept there is anything outside of science... which is surely dogmatic?? Science is a method or process for making observations, not necessarily a set of tenets in itself. Therefore, by it's very nature, true science cannot be dogmatic (i.e. authoritative with no basis).

As you would say someone is dogmatic if the fail to accept there is something outside of their frame of referance. There's a lot of supposition in that statement. Am I dogmatic because I fail to accept religion? You have to presume that religion is outside my "frame of reference" if you say yes. Religion is well within my "frame of reference" but I choose to reject it. Rejecting a premise is not the same thing as not understanding it.

In other words, rejecting religion (or religious explanations) does not automatically make one dogmatic.

I also think that the reason science is no struggling in popular culture is its lost its sence of wonder (although this is another debate really, I dunno where you live, but science here is now struggling a fair bit, in terms of peoples understanding and knowledge of it, people no longer get exited over new discoveries anymore) I think the reason why science is struggling in popular culture is that most people aren't scientifically literate. They are enculturated (quite strongly in a lot of cases) into a religious tradition at a young age and do not received adequate scientific instruction in the public school system (I can only speak for the U.S. here, although studies would indicate that this is true in other developed nations as well).

It not that two equally viable options are getting equal time on a level playing field. Kids grow up with dogma, and then grow up to have children of their own, who most likely grow up with dogma as well. If children weren't exposed to religion until their critical thinking skills were adequately developed and were then given science and religion in equal parts, I'm sure that religion would sure die out in a few generations (being generous).

I agree with both statements to a degree. I would argue with the first that the current evidence (to me at least) would point towards a creator God. There is no evidence of a creator God. None. Zero. Zilch.

You have a belief and that's fine, but that belief is not based on evidience. That's why it's faith.

You can very easily deflate my argument by proving evidence to the contrary (HINT: there is an entire organization of "scientists" call the Discovery Institute that is trying to do just this in regards to the evolution/creation debate. They are well funded and staffed by people with post-graduate degrees in applied sciences. This group cannot produce any evidence, so I will not hold it against you if you cannot either.)

I'm a Psychology student, so although my range of reading is large (National Geographic etc) I'm not a science student so I don't read that many science journals... I'll see if i can dig out a Psychology journal with it in ;) Actually, psychology is behavioral science so technically you are a science student :) Psychologist use the same scientific method that applied scientists use.

FWIW, I highly doubt that you'll find anything on abiogenesis in a psychology journal. Try Nature or it's ilk.

I have also caps locked part of my original sentance, as your trying to pidgeon hole me :-p so by saying "Not being able to show something right now" does not equal "can never be shown". so you've argued against something I never said ;) I had already concedeed that in the future perhaps another reason could be put forward in my original statement. Your logic is still flawed though. Absense of Explanation {A} does not mean that Explanation {B} is correct by default. Because we don't have a workable model of abiogensis does not mean that Creationism is the de facto explanation until one can be developed. Not the way it works :)

I didn't strawman your argument, I just understood it's implications maybe a little better than you did.

Nah, I'm not being dogmatic... see above argument for how what I had said had been taken slightly out of context. Actually you are. "only one other answer, reasonable or not" is textbook dogma (if such a textbook exists :)).

Again, I don't think you realized the implications of your argument.

Well presume the Christian God is real, he created the world, Jesus was his Son etc and then you have science which seeks to explain and find truth and knowledge etc. Just because 2 things are true doesnt mean they can't co-exist. So for a simplistic anology a Glass is round, solid and see through. Neither of those things disproove the other. So if science is the quest for truth and understanding and the Christian God is real then they arent in competetion and maybe science would even lead you into believe there was a God due to experiment you do of the world around you. Do you understand what I mean? I understand, but I don't agree. If two models are being offered to explain the same thing, one has to work better than the other. In your example, the two models would both support the hypothesis equally well, everytime. But this isn't how it works.

Why do you dislike religion?
It's unnecessary, therefore a waste of resources that could be devoted toward bettering mankind. In the human body, systems that behave this way are generally known as "cancer".

This would go into the realms of what is natural, which is a debate I'm trying to avoid. You mean as in defining natural? There should be much to debate, should there?

Although it is somewhat pertinant to the Question. I would say that you want something to be repeatable... In that its something you can observe time after time. Where as supernatural events tend to be 'random' in nature, so its not like dropping an apple to observe there is gravity, as say someone seeing an angel doesnt occur everytime you want to test it. Of course this isn't to say it couldnt be explained in some other way for example Schizophrenia or other mental illnesses. Exactly. Well put.

What I mean to say is presume an event was completely and utterly random with no scientific reason for it or explanations... Science would never be able to explain simply because there isnt an actual answer. Dunno if you've understood me on that. Right because part of your hypothetical scenario is that no actual explanation exist. Of course a system that is designed to find explanations is going to break down. What else did you expect to happen? ;)

Imagine I built a telescope that could never find stars. Isn't this a wonderful exercise in showing how pointless astronomy is? xp

I site Jade Goody... she's alive although were not quite sure as she doesn't have a brain so she shouldnt be alive or moving, she also doesn't have any function in the ecosystem and society and yet she still manages to live without any of these things, it defies scientific explanation ;) (bad example but I hope it amuses you :) I'm sorry, I don't know who Jade Goody is. I did a Google search, but the results came back for some television actress. Help?

Well we as inquisative humans will always try to find an answer, but come outside the problem a second, imagine there is no answer to the problem. It doesnt matter how many times someone looks at it to solve the provlem, because there is no answer to the problem, an answer can never be found *taps the glass on his shiny telescope as he listens to jonathan7*

Not really, there just isnt any reason for people expierance the near death expierance. Its not dogmatic thinking as I pointed out near death expierences tend not to happen in some cases (I'm not sure on the figures of people close to death who have or hadn't had a near death expierance). You've put words in my mouth and presumed what I was saying, I was merely putting forward a cunudrum for you to explain. Was or was not your point that near-death experiences are evidence of an afterlife?

If it was, my response was not a strawman and your example is an example of dogmatic thinking.

If it was not, then I clearly did not understand your message and I apologize for the strawman response.

Yeah, I know about such studies seen them before. My one slight point is imagine that the True God is the ancient Egyptian Gods, theyre hardly going to answer the prayers of anyone but there followers are they? I don't have too much to say on the subject it for you to decide for yourself what your analysis of why it occured. To reference my earlier discussion with SilentScope, if you accept the existence of one god with no evidence, then you have to accept all gods (plus The Matrix, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Evil Demon, etc). How do you choose or do you decide to live your life appeasing them all? What if they conflict (Christianity and Islam, for instance)?

Ahh, but I'm pretty sure in my original post I would have pointed out that Einstein believed there to be a intelligent creator but not a moral God. I don't ignore something just because it will contradict my argument. Even if Einstein was a Deist, your argument is still guilty of being an Appeal to Authority.

As a future favour, please don't quote Dawkins at me I quoted Dawkins quoting Einstein. I don't see what thoughts of Dawkins were offered for you to bristle at.


I consider the bloke a complete idiot who is in fact dangerous. Why?? Because religious people are foolish? He doesn't allow for differances in opinion.

I know another guy like that...

Exodus 22:19
2 Chronicles 15:12-13
Deuteronomy 13:1-5
Deuteronomy 13:7-12
Deuteronomy 13:13-19
Deuteronomy 17:12
Deuteronomy 18:20-22

- God, The Holy Bible


Whatever is the Truth is the Truth regardless of what any of us believe, which is why I have no issue with athiests, as they could be prooven right (although we get into a paradox as obviously I think I'm right) but I dont treat them as if they are stupid or thick because they disagree with me. Yes, he has an abrasive style, but that doesn't meant that all of his points are wrong.


And as for thinking religion causes all wars... He convienatly ignores things like the Zula Wars, both WW's, Vietnam etc... I cannot think of any place where I've heard him say that, but if he did, he would probably be wrong on that point.

I would also put forward an argument that the motives for the Crusades from the aristocracy in Europe was not at all religious. Possible, but not necessarily correct.

It is my belief people like him lead to Hitler, Stalin etc simply because they think anyone that doesnt come into their line of thinking is stupid and inferior. He also conveniatly ignores that athiestic societies tend to end in tradgedy, like the purges, the Holocaust etc. You might want to spend some more time on this one. I think there might be some gaps in your thinking.

SilentScope001
02-14-2007, 11:42 AM
I respectfully decline to continue this dialog with you, SilentScope001. I cannot tell if your contradictions and fallacies are an intentional attempt to "troll" or if you truly are not interested in having a rational discussion. Either way, I gain nothing by repeating myself further. Thank you for your time.

Hm...I apologize if I appear irrational or "trolling". I did not mean for that to happen. I guess we just reached an impasse in discussion.
---
Maybe I should just inform everyone that arguments aren't just made to convince others that you are right. It's impossible. Sooner or later, you come across warrants that cannot be proven right or wrong, they're just assumptions, which are, to me, the greatest impediment to logical discussion.

Arguments, however, exist to explain your viewpoint to others. Argument orginally meant to "clarify".

Sometimes, arguments can allow you to learn what other people believe, to broaden your horizions, to understand others. I learnt a lot of stuff from Samuel, Achilles, JediMaster21, and johnantan7 about the many different theories and beliefs concering religion, science, and the concept of free will than I would learn via other methods. Each belief and religion may or may not be right, but I don't care much about that. I care about learning what other people believe, and why they believe it, and I felt that this argument was very succesful in that goal.

I don't think we will ever know the answer, to be able to simpfily everything into one paragraph. Even if there is a God that exist and pass judgment on us and can be verifed via observations and the Scientific Method, I'm sure the dezines of Heaven and Hell will still question if the God really did exist, if observations of the existance of God really is true, or if they are still brain in vats. Does God really exist, or is he just a hallcuation brought about after you are dead? The endless questions will continue to spawn endless questions.

And if God does not exist, and there is a proof via the Scientific Method that finally prove the nonexistance of God, then what is the point of living? Why have a moral system? Why treat people with respect? The endless questions will continue to spawn endless questions...

Achilles, I really liked talking to you, as with everyone else. I learnt a lot of stuff from you, and I hope that you learnt a lot of stuff from me.

Samuel Dravis
02-14-2007, 06:08 PM
I arbtirally accept something. I prefer the Holy Book over Kant. The Holy Book tells me to obey it by stating that I am indeed weak and patheic, that in fact, I have no value, and that's about it. Kant talks about the respect of humanity, and how great it is...and if I don't accept Kant's arbitrary belief, then I see no need to follow Kant.If I said you were weak and pathetic and you have no value, would you obey me? I essentially say the same thing as what you apparently believe, so belief in one or the other is of equivalent value. I would tell you to do my homework for me. :D

Then again, the absence of proof does not mean the proof of absence, which is somewhat key in skepticism.True, it doesn't mean "proof" of absence. I don't care about that because I have no hope of finding the ultimate truth. I just want to find out whether one idea is more likely than another. If none are more likely than any others, I might just choose not to think a specific way about it until I have more information.

Er...yes. :)

With all the talk about the war on terrorism, the battle for freedom, the Clash of Civilization, the enviromentalist crusade against global warming, etc. you kinda think that there has to be some objective thing that makes us important. When I realized that it didn't mean anything, that really did hit me like a ton of bricks.I wouldn't go so far as to say it doen't mean anything. It might, just that I'm not sure if there is a way to know what that meaning if there is one. That's why I said it's everything subjectively earlier, because I know of nothing truly objective.

Then you resolve the problem. You finally find something objective to latch yourself onto. There are endless possiblities, and endless other belief systems that I can join and subscribe myself to, so I randomly choosen one and then stick with that. Plus, I has the rare possiblity that I can be right, and that I could get beniefts from that belief. But I guess the main point of religion here is to add meaning to one's life. It's totally arbitrary.Yep, it doesn't resolve that problem.

Yep. Arbitrainess rears its ugly head once more, and as well as my artibrary fear that life has no meaning...(Why should life have meaning?, one can reply). Sooner or later, one has to adopt something arbitrary and stick with it, and I might as well choose this one, since I given up on my crusade to get rid of warrants, seeing how impossible it is.I'm curious why you would choose an abstraction of untrustworthy senses, if you're concerned about knowing the most you can. Religion is present only in what we percieve. You don't start thinking about God inherently, but only in context of perception - things that are "inexplicable." Since "god" is an apparent product of that perception, why would you choose to believe that over just simple acknowledgement of perception? That would eliminate a link in the list of things that could be wrong.

Ah. Still, with logic being comrpomised by what is known as warrants, with our base assumptions and desires that cannot be justified or proven, I feel that my own thinking may be unreliable.Indeed. Solipsism can be taken quite far. "I think therefore I exist" >>> Do *I* think? >>> Something COULD be creating a mind that percieves it is thinking, while the actual thoughts are simply a progression of newly created minds with different perceptions >>> I do not know if *I* exist >>> Nothing is known.

...at which point it becomes untenable. If you don't know that you exist, then there's no point being afraid of dying because there's no reason to suppose you aren't already. So just think you're dead and you'll be fine. After all, dead people probably have nothing to lose. :)

Moreover, if you accept that logical thought does not exist, then you also accept that the idea of skepticism is...not wrong, not right. It just would be, (if you were "thinking" about it); but such "thoughts" as you had wouldn't have meaning. Literally nothing would have meaning at that point, and your clinging to such a degree of skepticism wouldn't make sense, as any other position is equally likely and some are not as depressing. :)

True, but then again, abscene of evidence does not mean evidence of abscene.Right. It simply means absence of reason to belive in one idea over another within a system.

And of course, the main reason why I embrace science, since it seems to be true. But it might not be true. I'm sort of paranoid and worried of that. There is no preceptions that indicate otherwise, but then again, you can be worried about preceptions being controlled and working together. So, skepticism still exists.It does. However, that sort of skepticism doesn't provide any useful outcome (useful being determined by results I percieve, which are the only thing I have to use to determine it), so I just discard it. That way of thinking just doesn't MEAN anything. It doesn't mean anything to me, it doesn't mean anything to you. It can't, that's its nature.

When I lift up my hand, I see something. I know I have perception. This leads me to think that there is something there for me to see. When I think about moving this hand, I see it move. If it moved without me willing it, then I might revise the supposition that it's MY hand, or refine my knowledge of what works on that hand for it to move in the way it did.

I percieve - and what I percieve is there. I'm not conciously making up the world by imagining it. I don't have any reason to think that someone else is, because I know of nothing other than that perception and my response to it. I've never existed, to my knowledge, without perception.

So you see, I believe my perception is as close to truth as I will get. I think other things are real because I percieve them and because nothing I know of even so much as implies that they aren't real.

An example: I am against abortion because I am part of that group that wants that respect of life. Others might not be human, but *I* could not make an alternate decision when what I percieve leads me to believe they are. I think it's PROBABLE that others are indeed human, and since I consider myself human and I want to be treated in a way that respects my life, I will respect what is probably theirs.

No, I can't prove they are worthy of that respect. But then, I'm not even going to try. The way it appears to me makes me act in the way I do.

You got your idea of being afraid of death through your perception. Is there any reason to trust your perception? Yes, because it is, as far as you can tell, "not you." If it is "not you," then it is other. If it is other, then it can be what it is and what it isn't. You don't have any reason to think it is other than what you see >>> Occam's razor >>> it is as you see it.

I don't think that there's anything to be afraid of in dying, however, because by definition you won't care after you're dead. The only possible ends are for you to exist or you don't. Neither option would be bad if you were worried about existing. The first you would continue on, and in the second you wouldn't be around to care.

Sometimes, arguments can allow you to learn what other people believe, to broaden your horizions, to understand others. I learnt a lot of stuff from Samuel, Achilles, JediMaster21, and johnantan7 about the many different theories and beliefs concering religion, science, and the concept of free will than I would learn via other methods. Each belief and religion may or may not be right, but I don't care much about that. I care about learning what other people believe, and why they believe it, and I felt that this argument was very succesful in that goal.That's exactly why I post on threads like this. It's the ONLY reason I post, actually. Plus you can put down the occasional flamer by not talking in caps or with thousands of exclamation marks. :p


Edit: replying to a bit more...

And if God does not exist, and there is a proof via the Scientific Method that finally prove the nonexistance of God, then what is the point of living?Why should there be a point other than what you want to do? Is there any reason to suggest there is?

Why have a moral system? Why treat people with respect? The endless questions will continue to spawn endless questions...Like I had posted above, my moral system is based on probability of what I will experience. I don't like being stuck in the foot with a nail (yes that has happened to me before), and since I consider other people to be the same class as me (human), I surmise that they wouldn't like it either. If there's a conflict I can balance it out between us, because I consider both of equal value. Why do I care about what they experience? See below...

I treat them with respect because I like to be treated with respect. As far as I can tell, only humans have the capacity to treat people with respect (or without it), and I have experienced them do both. However, that experience has been weighted: more people treat me with respect when I do the same to them. Ergo, I treat them with respect. In an unfamiliar situation, I would go with whatever I think is the best idea that doesn't cause harm. This same model applies to any other attribute or action.

SilentScope001
02-16-2007, 08:15 PM
If I said you were weak and pathetic and you have no value, would you obey me? I essentially say the same thing as what you apparently believe, so belief in one or the other is of equivalent value. I would tell you to do my homework for me.

Most likely not, but that's because I seem to be having a good life. In case of an economic downturn, and with no dependents, I may be forced to join a cult in order to keep my self-esteem high, and I'll might consider your offer of doing homework. :)

Plus, artifically putting people down, while likely accurate, is not a good way to get people to join a cult. Promise prehaps a way to rise in stats, maybe creating a concept of Heaven or Hell...

True, it doesn't mean "proof" of absence. I don't care about that because I have no hope of finding the ultimate truth. I just want to find out whether one idea is more likely than another. If none are more likely than any others, I might just choose not to think a specific way about it until I have more information.

The problem is that how do one know if something is "more likely" to occur than another? Don't you need to form some sort of standard to evaulate certain belief systems, and thereby decide between the belief systems? And then, you have to have some proof to prove that that standard indeed works (and a proof of that proof, etc.)...otherwise it is simply artibrary.

I wouldn't go so far as to say it doen't mean anything. It might, just that I'm not sure if there is a way to know what that meaning if there is one. That's why I said it's everything subjectively earlier, because I know of nothing truly objective.

Okay.

Yep, it doesn't resolve that problem.

Usually, you don't go and think through a desicion. Doing so defeats the purpose of arbitrally chossing a religion randomly. :xp:

I'm curious why you would choose an abstraction of untrustworthy senses, if you're concerned about knowing the most you can. Religion is present only in what we percieve. You don't start thinking about God inherently, but only in context of perception - things that are "inexplicable." Since "god" is an apparent product of that perception, why would you choose to believe that over just simple acknowledgement of perception? That would eliminate a link in the list of things that could be wrong.

"Simple" acknowledge of preception is not very...simple, to me. It seems sort of hard to grasp something and then to accept it totally on face value.

And, maybe in the past, religion is invented to explain preceptions...but not for me, and not today. Preceptions, and science in general can create a system by which God is unnecessary, even superfulous, providing for a reasonable belief that God does not exist. Science has already explained how the world works, and explain our preception.

God does not become "invented" because of a need to explain preception, but rather, "invented" by use of reason. God is the thing that secretly contorls the world. Instead of the world working naturally...it has a sentience. It can think, it can communicate, and it can feel love and hate towards the very thing it is created.

Indeed. Solipsism can be taken quite far. "I think therefore I exist" >>> Do *I* think? >>> Something COULD be creating a mind that percieves it is thinking, while the actual thoughts are simply a progression of newly created minds with different perceptions >>> I do not know if *I* exist >>> Nothing is known.

...at which point it becomes untenable. If you don't know that you exist, then there's no point being afraid of dying because there's no reason to suppose you aren't already. So just think you're dead and you'll be fine. After all, dead people probably have nothing to lose. :)

Unlikely though. It may essentialy become untenable (and you are forced to accept observations), but it does establish something key: You can't know everything...or anything, truly.

This bit of "knowledge" can actually prove to be pretty useful, according to the skeptic: If you do not know if you can aquire true knowledge, you do not have to waste any time in proving such stuff. You no longer have to worry about questions like, "Is [such-and-such] the right thing to do?" You can laugh at the people debating on the problem of evil. You can smile at those who endlessly battle and fight for ideologies.

It provides you a measure of calm, basically. Figuring out truth is meaningless, so why even bother? Just live life how you would normally do (accepting the apperances, but never believing in them), and laugh at those who try to philophize, or try to think grandiose solutions to problems. Because they don't really have any proof that they are right.

So, basically, you accept the apperances, but do not believe them. So, if I was a skeptic, I would basically say, "It appears that people are dying. It appears that death is a bad thing. It appears that I hate bad things, so I should follow the apperances and be afraid of death." I am not a skeptic, but I just accept apperances and then from there, operate.

Moreover, if you accept that logical thought does not exist, then you also accept that the idea of skepticism is...not wrong, not right. It just would be, (if you were "thinking" about it); but such "thoughts" as you had wouldn't have meaning. Literally nothing would have meaning at that point, and your clinging to such a degree of skepticism wouldn't make sense, as any other position is equally likely and some are not as depressing.

Sounds like a pretty good refutation. Even the skeptic has some sort of warrant: that is, they require proof. One can argue that, "Proof? Pah. You need no proof!" I, however, guess that I like having proofs, because without proof, you accept things arbitrally, which I dislike.

There are other theories that are less depressing, but seem...not as good, not as palpatble. How in the world can you accept murder, killing, disappointment, and endless change on such a large scale? Optmisim seems foolhardy, and especially since they have no proof that their "Ideology" would lead the world to a better place...I just can't accept it. Depressing ideologies make much more sense to me, at least, according to my observations.

It does. However, that sort of skepticism doesn't provide any useful outcome (useful being determined by results I percieve, which are the only thing I have to use to determine it), so I just discard it. That way of thinking just doesn't MEAN anything. It doesn't mean anything to me, it doesn't mean anything to you. It can't, that's its nature.

See above on how the skeptic recieves inner bliss by knowing that it's impossible to know anything. They basically don't have to prove anything, they'll just live life as they normally do, and don't have to waste time justifying what they believe.

When I lift up my hand, I see something. I know I have perception. This leads me to think that there is something there for me to see. When I think about moving this hand, I see it move. If it moved without me willing it, then I might revise the supposition that it's MY hand, or refine my knowledge of what works on that hand for it to move in the way it did.

I percieve - and what I percieve is there. [b]I'm not conciously making up the world by imagining it.[b] I don't have any reason to think that someone else is, because I know of nothing other than that perception and my response to it. I've never existed, to my knowledge, without perception.

Emphasis added in bold. Something I always wondered. What if you are unconciously making up the world? In other words, what if you are God, deceiving yourself so that you can live a better life?

Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, actually explored this idea within his unfinished novella...The Mysterious Stranger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mysterious_Stranger). This final chapter (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Mysterious_Stranger/Chapter_11) in his work is a great excerise in the breaking of the 4th Wall, similar to how the Matrix works...except it's not machines deceiving you...it's you.

Another way of explaining it is that all you preceive is basically ideas, and not actual living things. No proof of that, and I'm sure it's a pretty unpopular idea, but it is possible (and if true, you got yourself a in-built and dubious proof of God right here...somebody has to go and made up all those ideas, and man are limited and cannot made up all the ideas, so it must be God who made up all the ideas.)

So you see, I believe my perception is as close to truth as I will get. I think other things are real because I percieve them and because nothing I know of even so much as implies that they aren't real.

Okay, so there is a lack of evidence that would go against it. I guess I can understand that, though I would disagree with thinking preceptions would lead you close to truth, they just have the same chance of leading you to truth as anything else. Common sense would tell you that you're best off accepting it.

An example: I am against abortion because I am part of that group that wants that respect of life. Others might not be human, but *I* could not make an alternate decision when what I percieve leads me to believe they are. I think it's PROBABLE that others are indeed human, and since I consider myself human and I want to be treated in a way that respects my life, I will respect what is probably theirs.

No, I can't prove they are worthy of that respect. But then, I'm not even going to try. The way it appears to me makes me act in the way I do.

Okay. The reason that is so is because the main goal of persuasion, as opposed to argument, is to get someone to follow your viewpoint.

Suppose you know someone who wants to do an abortion. And you want to stop them (for the most part, I don't think you would want to do that, seeing that you are a bit different from other pro-lifers, tell me if I'm wrong ;) ). You go and talk about sacnity of life. And they say, "I don't care that life is scared."

There's the problem. How can you convince someone if they do not believe that life is scared? How can you stop the abortion then?

Finding other arguments against abortion is usually a good idea, if your aim is to persuade and convince. The Forfiture Account actually sounds like a useful idea, and assuming that people are living, this would be a pretty good thing to throw, just in case. It's something I most likely believe in. This is by Marqius (not the same Marqius de Sade):

Why is it wrong to kill an adult human?
The loss of oneís life deprives one of all the experiences, activities, projects, and enjoyments that would otherwise have constituted oneís future.
Hence, what is wrong with killing any adult human is the loss of his or her future.

Implications of Abortion: The future of a fetus includes experiences, etc. that are similar to the futures of adult humans. Abortion deprives a fetus of its future. It is wrong to deprive beings of their futures. Hence, aborting a fetus is prima facie morally wrong.

Other Implications: It extends to beings other than just humans Ė to anything that has a Ďfuture-like-oursí. It does not rely on the notion of the sanctity of life or of personhood. It does not imply that active euthanasia is wrong.
It applies to children, infants, and fetuses for they all have a future-like-ours.

Problems:
-Is there only one property that makes killing wrong? If not, then it may not be equally wrong to kill an adult and a fetus.
--Adults have a different relationship to their futures.
--Killing adults who want to live is a gross violation of their autonomy.
-Does a fetus have interests in its future like we have? Is there a difference between having a future and valuing the future?
-What about the interests of the woman? Rape? Death?

Problems are hard to address, yet I guess that I can shrug them off, in the same way you shrug off the dignity issue. It seems a bit harder for someone to actually think of the objections.

You got your idea of being afraid of death through your perception. Is there any reason to trust your perception? Yes, because it is, as far as you can tell, "not you." If it is "not you," then it is other. If it is other, then it can be what it is and what it isn't. You don't have any reason to think it is other than what you see >>> Occam's razor >>> it is as you see it.

"As far as I can tell" really doesn't mean much. I also dislike Occam's Razor, presically because there can be complicated answers to a simple question. Science still has not answered the question on why we yawn, for instance. There is also no proof Occam is right.

I don't think that there's anything to be afraid of in dying, however, because by definition you won't care after you're dead. The only possible ends are for you to exist or you don't. Neither option would be bad if you were worried about existing. The first you would continue on, and in the second you wouldn't be around to care.

It's less about the fear of death (it would actually be a form of "Nirvana", assuming the atheist is correct)...but rather that all you have done was useless. Your effect really meant nothing in the grand scheme of things, the world is going to continue with or without you. That smallness is depressing. If one lived forver, then I can, in essence, be a sort of God, and therefore, what I do becomes important (I have to live in this world forever, so I have to make it the best place it can be). But, judging from observations (if you accept them), death does occur, and therefore, I cannot live forever...and therefore, all my actions seem meaningless.

That's exactly why I post on threads like this. It's the ONLY reason I post, actually. Plus you can put down the occasional flamer by not talking in caps or with thousands of exclamation marks

:)

Why should there be a point other than what you want to do? Is there any reason to suggest there is?

The problem is...what do I want to do? I don't know. Serving myself seems a bit egoisitc, and you serve yourself anyway during religion (Why else do people believe in God? Don't say it's because they love God, they are only doing it for Heaven...and for their own bliss.)

So, I choose not to be selifsh. That's sounds nice. So, it looks to be to serve some other ideology...

But why? Uh. Seems pretty hard to choose ideologies especially since that if God does not exist, I have no need to be a Marxist, Capitalist, or something else...Or serve no ideology and just do stuff arbitrally? This last one I may accept...but it still is hard.

I don't know what I want to do basically, and I don't know how to give my life meaning, if any. I change my mind a lot, and believe in a ton of different, contradictory notions. I can see the validity of everything...which makes my life without God a very, shall we say, confusing one.

Like I had posted above, my moral system is based on probability of what I will experience. I don't like being stuck in the foot with a nail (yes that has happened to me before), and since I consider other people to be the same class as me (human), I surmise that they wouldn't like it either. If there's a conflict I can balance it out between us, because I consider both of equal value. Why do I care about what they experience? See below...

I treat them with respect because I like to be treated with respect. As far as I can tell, only humans have the capacity to treat people with respect (or without it), and I have experienced them do both. However, that experience has been weighted: more people treat me with respect when I do the same to them. Ergo, I treat them with respect. In an unfamiliar situation, I would go with whatever I think is the best idea that doesn't cause harm. This same model applies to any other attribute or action.

Okay. A secular verison of a "Do onto others"...but there has to be some exceptions. I mean, I don't want to be executed or thrown in prison in case I get arrested for murder...but then again, I want people to be executed or thrown in prison if they get arrested for murder.
===
I notice that while I (quite feebly) try to defend my belief, it seems that it is easier to attack beliefs than it is to defend them. Beliefs have to have no weaknesses, but they have them (that of assumptions). Attacking an assumption is the way to destroy the Belief. It seems that the way to defend a belief is by the offense, attacking the other person's belief in order to distract from the attack on your own.

Samuel Dravis
02-17-2007, 03:15 AM
Most likely not, but that's because I seem to be having a good life. In case of an economic downturn, and with no dependents, I may be forced to join a cult in order to keep my self-esteem high, and I'll might consider your offer of doing homework. :)I'll keep in touch. :D

The problem is that how do one know if something is "more likely" to occur than another? Don't you need to form some sort of standard to evaulate certain belief systems, and thereby decide between the belief systems? And then, you have to have some proof to prove that that standard indeed works (and a proof of that proof, etc.)...otherwise it is simply artibrary.Right. However, I going from the assumption that what we can see is "reality," because I've never experienced anything else and have nothing else to use. In this case, I'd be showing what is more likely inside that system.

Usually, you don't go and think through a desicion. Doing so defeats the purpose of arbitrally chossing a religion randomly. :xp:
Oh, I don't know. Surely there would be a teaching in it that would make me do something I didn't really want to do, and then I would have to think about it, and then...


"Simple" acknowledge of preception is not very...simple, to me. It seems sort of hard to grasp something and then to accept it totally on face value.What I meant was that you would be acknowledging your direct perception, instead of listening to someone postulate an entity outside of it. They would be a secondary source, if you will. Since they are like you, they have no other benefits in "finding" God, so anything they tell you that they cannot prove within the common ground you have - percieved reality - is just as meaningful as a randomly generated statement.

And, maybe in the past, religion is invented to explain preceptions...but not for me, and not today. Preceptions, and science in general can create a system by which God is unnecessary, even superfulous, providing for a reasonable belief that God does not exist. Science has already explained how the world works, and explain our preception.Tell me this: why do you want a God? It's because you're afraid of the end of everything, that it has no meaning. Why are you afraid of this? Because...you see things die, see them end. It appears to me that you have invented a God because you didn't want to believe in something that perception shows you. This is why I said God can't be seperated from 'reality' - he just doesn't have any meaning to us apart from it.

God does not become "invented" because of a need to explain preception, but rather, "invented" by use of reason. God is the thing that secretly contorls the world. Instead of the world working naturally...it has a sentience. It can think, it can communicate, and it can feel love and hate towards the very thing it is created.And for this one, I'd just have to give the standard answer: what reason is there to postulate that being? Why should I suspect the demon, the controllers of the vat? There's no reason as far I can tell.

Unlikely though. It may essentialy become untenable (and you are forced to accept observations), but it does establish something key: You can't know everything...or anything, truly.Yes, I agree.

This bit of "knowledge" can actually prove to be pretty useful, according to the skeptic: If you do not know if you can aquire true knowledge, you do not have to waste any time in proving such stuff. You no longer have to worry about questions like, "Is [such-and-such] the right thing to do?" You can laugh at the people debating on the problem of evil. You can smile at those who endlessly battle and fight for ideologies.

It provides you a measure of calm, basically. Figuring out truth is meaningless, so why even bother? Just live life how you would normally do (accepting the apperances, but never believing in them), and laugh at those who try to philophize, or try to think grandiose solutions to problems. Because they don't really have any proof that they are right.Why bother? Because, you see, regardless of whether anything actually REAL or not, there's no difference to you or me. I got a nail stuck in my foot and it HURT. I don't plan on letting it happen again, even if there truly was no nail.

So, basically, you accept the apperances, but do not believe them. So, if I was a skeptic, I would basically say, "It appears that people are dying. It appears that death is a bad thing. It appears that I hate bad things, so I should follow the apperances and be afraid of death." I am not a skeptic, but I just accept apperances and then from there, operate.Right. I don't necessarily believe that things really are as we see them, but given that the incomplete information is the only thing I have, I will make choices based on it.

There are other theories that are less depressing, but seem...not as good, not as palpatble. How in the world can you accept murder, killing, disappointment, and endless change on such a large scale? Optmisim seems foolhardy, and especially since they have no proof that their "Ideology" would lead the world to a better place...I just can't accept it. Depressing ideologies make much more sense to me, at least, according to my observations.Yes, I agree. I'm not exactly the optimist on some things, mainly because I can't justify being that way. I can be optimistic about specific things, however: I'm happy with my life and I'm sure I will succeed doing what I want to do. :D Idealogies like communism/facism/democracy/capitalism etc, they can be judged by what results they appear to give, because their aim is the world of perception. Religions cannot (at least they will not allow themselves to) be judged in the same way, unfortunately. I can show doing something physically helps people, but I can't produce results praying for them. Because of this, I'd always do the physical act; at least I know I did SOMETHING that had an effect.

Emphasis added in bold. Something I always wondered. What if you are unconciously making up the world? In other words, what if you are God, deceiving yourself so that you can live a better life?
It's interesting, but as I don't have a way to determine its veracity, it goes the way of the demon. Personally I'd have to say, that even with my ego, I don't think my brain is THAT awesomely powerful. :D

Another way of explaining it is that all you preceive is basically ideas, and not actual living things. No proof of that, and I'm sure it's a pretty unpopular idea, but it is possible (and if true, you got yourself a in-built and dubious proof of God right here...somebody has to go and made up all those ideas, and man are limited and cannot made up all the ideas, so it must be God who made up all the ideas.)This argument is usually about how you're dreaming everything. One of the same things as the above in that I doubt I could imagine Dicken's books (I certainly wouldn't have made THOSE up if I had a say in the matter!) The ideas: I don't know if I have had all the ideas, so whether a god is necessary to create them is unknown.

Okay, so there is a lack of evidence that would go against it. I guess I can understand that, though I would disagree with thinking preceptions would lead you close to truth, they just have the same chance of leading you to truth as anything else. Common sense would tell you that you're best off accepting it.I'm sorry if I made you think I thought it was closer to the truth. I just accept it because nothing else shows me it's not real. Whether it is or not is unknown; there is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer. I will wait to see.


...ugh, I'm such a nerd. :D

Okay. The reason that is so is because the main goal of persuasion, as opposed to argument, is to get someone to follow your viewpoint.

Suppose you know someone who wants to do an abortion. And you want to stop them (for the most part, I don't think you would want to do that, seeing that you are a bit different from other pro-lifers, tell me if I'm wrong ;) ). You go and talk about sacnity of life. And they say, "I don't care that life is scared."

There's the problem. How can you convince someone if they do not believe that life is scared? How can you stop the abortion then?They might be impossible to convince. I would, of course, state why I thought the way I did, and I think that is a fairly good argument in itself. They could check the validity of it themselves - and unless they truly lacked empathy, I think they would have to concede my main points.

Finding other arguments against abortion is usually a good idea, if your aim is to persuade and convince. The Forfiture Account actually sounds like a useful idea, and assuming that people are living, this would be a pretty good thing to throw, just in case. It's something I most likely believe in. This is by Marqius (not the same Marqius de Sade):That is interesting. I'd rather use my own argument, however, because it has more generalized application. Modified to fit the situation, it would be equivalent to the Forfeiture argument.

Problems are hard to address, yet I guess that I can shrug them off, in the same way you shrug off the dignity issue. It seems a bit harder for someone to actually think of the objections.It is harder to find problems with something you believe, true. My own included; that's why I talk about it with other people to see what they say about it. I'm not sure what you mean about the "dignity" issue... could you please clarify that?

"As far as I can tell" really doesn't mean much. I also dislike Occam's Razor, presically because there can be complicated answers to a simple question. Science still has not answered the question on why we yawn, for instance. There is also no proof Occam is right.I agree, doesn't mean much. It knows as much as I know, however, and I can hardly expect more.

I use Occam's Razor because it talks about the simplest explanation that fits ALL the data. I like simple explanations, what can I say? They're easier to work with, easier to find flaws in, easier to explain, easier to actually use. If I'm able to use an explanation and understand it better, then that is certainly in my interest.

It's also very important to note that the explanation MUST describe all the data - I can't just throw something away because it doesn't fit into a nice graph with the other values.


It's less about the fear of death (it would actually be a form of "Nirvana", assuming the atheist is correct)...but rather that all you have done was useless. Your effect really meant nothing in the grand scheme of things, the world is going to continue with or without you. That smallness is depressing. If one lived forver, then I can, in essence, be a sort of God, and therefore, what I do becomes important (I have to live in this world forever, so I have to make it the best place it can be). But, judging from observations (if you accept them), death does occur, and therefore, I cannot live forever...and therefore, all my actions seem meaningless.Yet, you influence other people's lives. That influence may seem fleeting, but it is quite possibly the greatest thing you can do. Though that influence your actions will affect many, to good or ill. Whether you will be an influence forever is not really important; you can achieve goals in a limited situation, as much as can be expected of humanity. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just how we are.

The problem is...what do I want to do? I don't know. Serving myself seems a bit egoisitc, and you serve yourself anyway during religion (Why else do people believe in God? Don't say it's because they love God, they are only doing it for Heaven...and for their own bliss.)

So, I choose not to be selifsh. That's sounds nice. So, it looks to be to serve some other ideology...

But why? Uh. Seems pretty hard to choose ideologies especially since that if God does not exist, I have no need to be a Marxist, Capitalist, or something else...Or serve no ideology and just do stuff arbitrally? This last one I may accept...but it still is hard.A few things to think about:

*How do you not only serve yourself already, regardless of what you believe? Even the most religious people serve themselves; their wants, their desires.

* You can do stuff truly arbitrarily, but is it arbitrary in context? If you consider perception to be your effective reality, then action you take on that is not arbitrary, even though the true effect might be.


I don't know what I want to do basically, and I don't know how to give my life meaning, if any. I change my mind a lot, and believe in a ton of different, contradictory notions. I can see the validity of everything...which makes my life without God a very, shall we say, confusing one.Yes, I agree, it's hard to figure out what to do, what to think. Its interesting, however, because I once read a statistic on conversions. Apparently something around 80% of people that lose their childhood faith end up with it again in their 30's or so. I'm curious as to what I will do...

Okay. A secular verison of a "Do onto others"...but there has to be some exceptions. I mean, I don't want to be executed or thrown in prison in case I get arrested for murder...but then again, I want people to be executed or thrown in prison if they get arrested for murder.Sort of; I wouldn't have killed someone in the first place because I wouldn't like that to happen to me. A lot of people will recognize this in a calm setting such as when lawmaking, but those same people could end up violating the laws they agreed to in stressful situations.

I guess it's a good thing most lawmakers aren't homicidal maniacs...

I notice that while I (quite feebly) try to defend my belief, it seems that it is easier to attack beliefs than it is to defend them. Beliefs have to have no weaknesses, but they have them (that of assumptions). Attacking an assumption is the way to destroy the Belief. It seems that the way to defend a belief is by the offense, attacking the other person's belief in order to distract from the attack on your own.True, attacking assumptions is the way to kill a belief, but ignoring the vulnerabilities of your own argument is never a good way to learn anything. If your position is vulnerable, why would you NOT be looking for something better to replace it? Personally I welcome anyone attacking my positions, because in defending them I really have to think about what I believe. I'm not above stealing someone else's arguments to use either. :D

SilentScope001
02-19-2007, 01:59 PM
Right. However, I going from the assumption that what we can see is "reality," because I've never experienced anything else and have nothing else to use. In this case, I'd be showing what is more likely inside that system.

Okay.

Oh, I don't know. Surely there would be a teaching in it that would make me do something I didn't really want to do, and then I would have to think about it, and then...

Ah, but you underestimate the power of sects within religion. Not only do you randomly choose a religion, but you can randomly choose a sect as well. If you disagree with the teachings of the sect, why, you can just stand up, leave that sect, and join a new sect, while all at the same time believing in the same religion. My family actually did that once.

And if you find that you hate all the sects...well, you can just found a brand-new sect. You just have to make sure that you don't cross the fine line between trying to find out the true meaning of religion and attempting to create a brand new religion to fit your own beliefs, but if you manage that, well, good for you! :)

What I meant was that you would be acknowledging your direct perception, instead of listening to someone postulate an entity outside of it. They would be a secondary source, if you will. Since they are like you, they have no other benefits in "finding" God, so anything they tell you that they cannot prove within the common ground you have - percieved reality - is just as meaningful as a randomly generated statement.

I can understand that, but then we come back to wheter we can even trust the secondary source because they may not even exist...I guess, I still can't wrap myself to just accept something without proof. I don't know why, I just can't.

Tell me this: why do you want a God? It's because you're afraid of the end of everything, that it has no meaning. Why are you afraid of this? Because...you see things die, see them end. It appears to me that you have invented a God because you didn't want to believe in something that perception shows you. This is why I said God can't be seperated from 'reality' - he just doesn't have any meaning to us apart from it.

Okay, I can understand that.

And for this one, I'd just have to give the standard answer: what reason is there to postulate that being? Why should I suspect the demon, the controllers of the vat? There's no reason as far I can tell.

There is indeed no reason, as I claim. In fact, I said it before, all the preceptions of today can suggest the nonexistence of God, maybe even prove it. But, as you said above, I did posulate it, prehaps as a way to deny the preceptions.

Why bother? Because, you see, regardless of whether anything actually REAL or not, there's no difference to you or me. I got a nail stuck in my foot and it HURT. I don't plan on letting it happen again, even if there truly was no nail.

Understood. But it does, in some way, cheapen our existence, if it is not real.

Right. I don't necessarily believe that things really are as we see them, but given that the incomplete information is the only thing I have, I will make choices based on it.

Okay.

Yes, I agree. I'm not exactly the optimist on some things, mainly because I can't justify being that way. I can be optimistic about specific things, however: I'm happy with my life and I'm sure I will succeed doing what I want to do.

Just a question: What do you want to do?

Idealogies like communism/facism/democracy/capitalism etc, they can be judged by what results they appear to give, because their aim is the world of perception. Religions cannot (at least they will not allow themselves to) be judged in the same way, unfortunately.

Most do, just not...well, right now. The Judeo-Christian religions all claim the existence of a Heaven and a Hell that can be preceived...after we're dead. Of course, by then, it would be too late.

I can show doing something physically helps people, but I can't produce results praying for them. Because of this, I'd always do the physical act; at least I know I did SOMETHING that had an effect.

Never forget the power of the Placebo effect. If people believe that something works, then the body then will automatically react postively, thereby causing the person to feel better...even if that "something" is just a sugar pill. If a person feel prayer work, then when he prays, he thinks he feels better, meaning he actually feels better.

So, even prayer has an effect. But it's the same as if you gave someone a sugar pill and told them it would feel better. It's basically a form of deception. :)

This argument is usually about how you're dreaming everything. One of the same things as the above in that I doubt I could imagine Dicken's books (I certainly wouldn't have made THOSE up if I had a say in the matter!) The ideas: I don't know if I have had all the ideas, so whether a god is necessary to create them is unknown.

Okay.

I'm sorry if I made you think I thought it was closer to the truth. I just accept it because nothing else shows me it's not real. Whether it is or not is unknown; there is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer. I will wait to see.

Ah, okay. It must have been my bad.

They might be impossible to convince. I would, of course, state why I thought the way I did, and I think that is a fairly good argument in itself. They could check the validity of it themselves - and unless they truly lacked empathy, I think they would have to concede my main points.

Understood.

It is harder to find problems with something you believe, true. My own included; that's why I talk about it with other people to see what they say about it. I'm not sure what you mean about the "dignity" issue... could you please clarify that?

The dignity issue, I think...refers to your "respect of life", otherwise known as the "life is scared".

The reason I see that issue as being not really convicing is because you do not define what it is, and if taken to the extreme, can become quite absurd. So, we assume that life is scared and not to be harmed.

This means that I cannot eat my chicken sandwich. Why? I'm killing a chicken. Chickens are living beings too. Guess that I have to just throw away the sandwhich and eat lettuce. But...Lettuce are living too! I can't kill a living thing, even a plant, so I have to spare the lettuce.

I can't even brush my teeth now. My teeth has innocent little bacteria, and while they make my teeth look ugly and decay my teeth...it would be wrong to kill bacteria, especially to perseve my teeth which are not living (they are just clumps of soild calcium).

So, now I can't eat food, nor can I brush my teeth, thanks to my newfound respect for life. I think we're going to need some way of compromising this dignity of life in order to help us, you know, live. :)

I agree, doesn't mean much. It knows as much as I know, however, and I can hardly expect more.

I use Occam's Razor because it talks about the simplest explanation that fits ALL the data. I like simple explanations, what can I say? They're easier to work with, easier to find flaws in, easier to explain, easier to actually use. If I'm able to use an explanation and understand it better, then that is certainly in my interest.

It's also very important to note that the explanation MUST describe all the data - I can't just throw something away because it doesn't fit into a nice graph with the other values.

Ah, I can understand that.

Yet, you influence other people's lives. That influence may seem fleeting, but it is quite possibly the greatest thing you can do. Though that influence your actions will affect many, to good or ill. Whether you will be an influence forever is not really important; you can achieve goals in a limited situation, as much as can be expected of humanity. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just how we are.

True, but I guess I do devalue that, a bit. I can understand it though, and it may be the only thing that I can do.

*How do you not only serve yourself already, regardless of what you believe? Even the most religious people serve themselves; their wants, their desires.

I can understand that. I already do serve myself, but I'm just thinking of a hypotehtical me having to decide what I have to do...and me somewhat fearful of egoism.

* You can do stuff truly arbitrarily, but is it arbitrary in context? If you consider perception to be your effective reality, then action you take on that is not arbitrary, even though the true effect might be.

Okay.

Yes, I agree, it's hard to figure out what to do, what to think. Its interesting, however, because I once read a statistic on conversions. Apparently something around 80% of people that lose their childhood faith end up with it again in their 30's or so. I'm curious as to what I will do...

I'm curious of that statisitic as well. I always have thought that atheism will soon become the largest "religion" in the world, due to it being pretty logical, making much sense, and being broad enough to allow people to function in their world. Never thought people could 'revert' from Atheism.

Speaking of which, how would you view the future of Atheism? To me, I personally think that in the future, everyone will believe in Atheism and religion will finally die its slow and painless death. Prehaps an actual utopia may even be formed. But, since I do believe in God, I think that once the human race all embrace atheism and form its perfect little utopia, then God will finally launch the Day of Judgement he has been promising. But I can be wrong about this, especially if there is no such thing as God. :)

[quote]True, attacking assumptions is the way to kill a belief, but ignoring the vulnerabilities of your own argument is never a good way to learn anything. If your position is vulnerable, why would you NOT be looking for something better to replace it? Personally I welcome anyone attacking my positions, because in defending them I really have to think about what I believe. I'm not above stealing someone else's arguments to use either. [/quoote]

Neither am I above stealing someone else's arguments, altough I try to source them whenever possible. All positions however are quite vulnerable, and the reason I would not be looking for something better to replace it may be because it works well for you before, and it looks pretty nice, and as you said, I am not that willing to abandon my belief in God due to the fear of everything getting destroyed if there is no such thing as God, and life not mattering, at least in the long run.
---
I have to say, Samuel, I enjoyed talking to you. This debate is quite fun and informative. A little sad that I was unable to respond as much as I can, but it is still very interesting learning from each other. :)

jonathan7
02-19-2007, 02:09 PM
Just for the record I havent forgotten this debate, but any post takes ages to write ;) so its been my Birthday and I have uni projects due, so havent been able to give it my due attention just yet... thursday is looking good tho :)

Achilles
02-19-2007, 02:23 PM
Happy belated birthday!

Darth InSidious
02-20-2007, 12:02 PM
Achilles: Apologies for the belated response to your response to my (somewhat trite) thought experiment/argument; I tried to reply twice, but I got logged-out mid-posting. >.<

Anyhow.

First of all, my definition. I chose this definition pretty much because it covers all religions/belief systems including atheism (which can be seen as a religion/belief system) - in short, I wanted to cover all my bases.

While you have disproved the first part of my thought experiment, I believe you rather missed my point - which was that it cannot be empirically proven that phenomenon is equal to noumenon, and so science does indeed require an input of faith. :)

I realise this falls outside of the remit of science, but nonetheless, it does affect science, and there are a number of prominent scientist who seem to think that either it does...

JediMaster12
02-20-2007, 01:27 PM
Technology and scientific discovery grow exponentially, not linearly. As our ability to understand our universe increases, the "gaps" where "God can hide" are going to continue to diminish (i.e. "Science can't explain this so it must be the grace of God"). I still snicker at some of the ridiculous things that the Church justified back at the time of Gallileo. From experience, it is easier to criticize in hindsight when we find new evidence that contradicts or even supports the previous thoughts and ideas.

It was a similar process for me. I began studying Greek mythology as a hobby when I was a kid. Greek led to Roman, which led to Egyptian, which led to Norse, which led to Japanese, Native American, etc. You study enough myths, you begin to see that there is a pattern. The explanation for that pattern that I found most plausible is that man, as a social creature, has certain needs that have been fulfilled by religion in the past. Maybe that is why I decided to become an anthropologist. Yes I do see a pattern and I have seen the similarity across the board more often with the major ones like creation and the great floods, etc. This can lead to support for the mobility of the early humans and the predecessors. It is more helpful when we get written language which develops much later on the evolutionary timescale. You could define religion as a means of social control. Taking from the Aztecs, the socio-politico base derives much of its function from religion. There really is no separation of church and state.

Either your love of knowledge will have to supersede your faith or your commitment to faith will curb your ability to learn.
It is something I cannot do. True that being Christian may hamper things but it is one thing to forget and another to remember. Also ethics comes into play particularly with the fieldwork I have to embark on studying Seventh Day Adventists and their foodways. More often I evaluate on a moral standpoint but I find that very little comes from spouting Bible chapter and verse. Mostly it is a judgment call and that there is no right or wrong answer. We were discussing ethics in fieldwork a while back. Due to this and from previous discussions when I embarked on my career in higher education, I developed more of the attitude of seeing the shades of grey as is mentioned in KOTOR and probably will be discussed for years to come. I hated taking stands unless it was something that I perceived wasn't right, more often dealing with rights and politics. I know that science operates on a code of ethics. What is the basis for that? Obviously those who are even atheistic must have morals regarding testing and the like. Maybe I am rambling on but like I said before, it is difficult to understand fully the complexity of the human mind and the thought and emotional processes that accompany it.

While you have disproved the first part of my thought experiment, I believe you rather missed my point - which was that it cannot be empirically proven that phenomenon is equal to noumenon, and so science does indeed require an input of faith.
Such an example would be faith in the process or the explanatory power of a theory? That was my understanding.

Darth InSidious
02-20-2007, 02:47 PM
Such an example would be faith in the process or the explanatory power of a theory? That was my understanding.
Partly, but also that the world as we perceive it is as it really is, and thus that science can give an accurate picture. So not just in the process, but in human senses, too. :)

Achilles
02-20-2007, 05:50 PM
Achilles: Apologies for the belated response to your response to my (somewhat trite) thought experiment/argument; I tried to reply twice, but I got logged-out mid-posting. >.< No worries. Glad to see that you responded when you were able.

First of all, my definition. I chose this definition pretty much because it covers all religions/belief systems including atheism (which can be seen as a religion/belief system) - in short, I wanted to cover all my bases.
I acknowledge that atheism is considered to be a religion by U.S. law (not sure if this applies elsewhere) for the purposes of protection from religious discrimination/persecution. I agree with the rationale behind this decision and think that it's a good thing, however I don't agree that this is a solid foundation for arguing that science is a religion.

First, as you point out yourself, there is no dependent relationship between science and atheism. It sure seems as though there should be one, but even I have to begrudgingly admit that this isn't the case.

Second, science is a study of the natural laws of our universe, not a belief system. Some beliefs are formed as a result of the scientific process, however these beliefs are either a) based on evidence or b) disproven and abandoned. No faith necessary.

To summarize, If your point was to argue that atheism is a religion, I have to concede the point on a limited basis. If your point was to argue that science is a religion (which I though was the case), then I maintain that is not, even using the definition that you provided.

If I am missing the point, please feel free to steer me where I need to go.

While you have disproved the first part of my thought experiment, I believe you rather missed my point - which was that it cannot be empirically proven that phenomenon is equal to noumenon, and so science does indeed require an input of faith. :) My apologies. There didn't seem to be a clear argument being made there, so I assumed that the sentence was a lead-in for your summary.

Phenomena, by their definition, are empirical. Noumenon, by their definition, cannot be. If the deeper question being raised (and I hope I'm not introducing a strawman here) is "How is scientific evidence empirically better than religion", then you must admit that we've presented ourselves with a question that can never be answered using the criteria identified.

You cannot use empiricism to disprove something that cannot be observed.

You can however use logic to make informed decisions. If I have a mountain of empirical evidence that provides a reasonable (and some might say "inarguable") explanation for what we can observe around us which does not invoke the Christian/Muslim/Jewish God or any other Intelligent Creator, why would I forego that for a completely subjective explanation that has no empirical evidence whatsoever?

You say that belief in scientific evidence requires a measure of faith. I disagree on the basis that the presence of empirical evidicence automatically negates any need for faith whatsoever.

I realise this falls outside of the remit of science, but nonetheless, it does affect science, and there are a number of prominent scientist who seem to think that either it does... This is an argument from authority. Would you care to restate your premise without the fallacy?

I look forward to your response.

Samuel Dravis
02-28-2007, 08:44 PM
Ah, but you underestimate the power of sects within religion. Not only do you randomly choose a religion, but you can randomly choose a sect as well. If you disagree with the teachings of the sect, why, you can just stand up, leave that sect, and join a new sect, while all at the same time believing in the same religion. My family actually did that once.

And if you find that you hate all the sects...well, you can just found a brand-new sect. You just have to make sure that you don't cross the fine line between trying to find out the true meaning of religion and attempting to create a brand new religion to fit your own beliefs, but if you manage that, well, good for you! :)You've got a point there. I don't think I would do that myself, however; if I found something I couldn't reconcile within the official teachings, then I'd probably view it as a problem with the religion as a whole, especially since I wouldn't - haven't - been able to find any justification for any of it, even new stuff I make up.

I can understand that, but then we come back to wheter we can even trust the secondary source because they may not even exist...I guess, I still can't wrap myself to just accept something without proof. I don't know why, I just can't.I agree. I simply regard the other source's talk of his perception to be less trustworthy than just using my own. I often have to use secondary sources, but unless they are backed up by things that I could do myself (given sufficient interest), I really can just toss it as an unfounded opinion.

Understood. But it does, in some way, cheapen our existence, if it is not real.It clearly isn't cheapened now, while we're alive. It sure seems real enough to me. If we come to later understanding of an outside force, then it can hardly be said that it's our fault; no, that fault would lie on whatever was making the illusion.

Just a question: What do you want to do?
I want to finish college, learn a bunch of stuff, create sweet art, etc etc. I want to stay happy, and since that's more of a mindset than anything I don't think it will be hard. I'm sure I'll think of other things later when new opportunities arise. :)


Most do, just not...well, right now. The Judeo-Christian religions all claim the existence of a Heaven and a Hell that can be preceived...after we're dead. Of course, by then, it would be too late.Well, that was my point, wasn't it? By making you have to judge it on maybe-benefits and might-or-might-not is just guessing. I've found no reason to infer that these benefits are real, nor will I ever until I'm dead, after which religion will be of zero use to me.

....

So, even prayer has an effect. But it's the same as if you gave someone a sugar pill and told them it would feel better. It's basically a form of deception. :)Correct. However, lying to people is the catch. I'm not going to lie about something so important (and yes, I do consider the validity of religion to be important). I'm not sure you'd ever need to lie about religion in specific anyway.

The dignity issue, I think...refers to your "respect of life", otherwise known as the "life is sacred".

The reason I see that issue as being not really convicing is because you do not define what it is, and if taken to the extreme, can become quite absurd. So, we assume that life is scared and not to be harmed.

This means that I cannot eat my chicken sandwich. Why? I'm killing a chicken. Chickens are living beings too. Guess that I have to just throw away the sandwhich and eat lettuce. But...Lettuce are living too! I can't kill a living thing, even a plant, so I have to spare the lettuce.

I can't even brush my teeth now. My teeth has innocent little bacteria, and while they make my teeth look ugly and decay my teeth...it would be wrong to kill bacteria, especially to perseve my teeth which are not living (they are just clumps of soild calcium).

So, now I can't eat food, nor can I brush my teeth, thanks to my newfound respect for life. I think we're going to need some way of compromising this dignity of life in order to help us, you know, live. :)Ah, okay. To clarify, I have respect for me - I don't really want to die all that much, particularly without my own choice in the matter. I also have respect for those who are like me, since their experience seems similar to mine, and I infer that they probably wouldn't like it either. The farther an entity goes from experiences such as mine, the less I will be concerned about it. Specifically, the experience I enjoy, and feel the most important, is being self-aware. A chicken, while it can clearly feel pain and other associated things, would not be as important to me as a chimp. A chimp would not be as important to me as a human. Perhaps this helped a bit?

I'm curious of that statisitic as well. I always have thought that atheism will soon become the largest "religion" in the world, due to it being pretty logical, making much sense, and being broad enough to allow people to function in their world. Never thought people could 'revert' from Atheism.

Speaking of which, how would you view the future of Atheism? To me, I personally think that in the future, everyone will believe in Atheism and religion will finally die its slow and painless death. Prehaps an actual utopia may even be formed. But, since I do believe in God, I think that once the human race all embrace atheism and form its perfect little utopia, then God will finally launch the Day of Judgement he has been promising. But I can be wrong about this, especially if there is no such thing as God. :)Yep, people have become religious after they've been atheist. A good example is one of the best-known Christian apologists of the century, C.S. Lewis. I've been reading some of his books lately (probably will make a thread on it, quite interesting stuff).

I think atheism will increase in places where the idea of God is needed less. If you're happy and content, there's less reason to want a god shoving you around (also touched on by Lewis, actually). The effect of this is obvious in Europe. In America, however, I think that religion is so ingrained that it will be a long time, if ever, that having a religion becomes a minority. The same probably holds true of Islamic countries, where religion is (part of?) the culture. Personally, however, I don't think that simply because there is religion it's a bad thing, or that increased atheism is necessarily a good thing. As long as people's beliefs don't affect my interests adversely in a major way I don't think there's a conflict to speak of. I couldn't care less who is atheist or who isn't, as long as everyone behaves. :p

Neither am I above stealing someone else's arguments, altough I try to source them whenever possible. All positions however are quite vulnerable, and the reason I would not be looking for something better to replace it may be because it works well for you before, and it looks pretty nice, and as you said, I am not that willing to abandon my belief in God due to the fear of everything getting destroyed if there is no such thing as God, and life not mattering, at least in the long run.I guess there's just some that are "more vulnerable" than others, IMO. Religion is one such for me, because I have never come across convincing evidence of any kind that there's really something to it. Like I said before, I'm not particularly afraid of dying either, because I've got no real reason to be. Everything possibly being meaningless wouldn't matter a bit to me either, because I wouldn't be around to care. Really I just don't see the point in worrying about it.

I have to say, Samuel, I enjoyed talking to you. This debate is quite fun and informative. A little sad that I was unable to respond as much as I can, but it is still very interesting learning from each other. :)Same here. Sorry for the late response, I've been being entertained by professors a little too much lately. :p

JediMaster12
03-01-2007, 03:45 PM
Partly, but also that the world as we perceive it is as it really is, and thus that science can give an accurate picture. So not just in the process, but in human senses, too. :)
I see your point Darth InSidious and I agree. What I can say is that everything that exists is a miracle in my eyes. Life is a miracle in of itself and we have the means and the power to see how it works. If that sounds strange it's because that yeah I am a Christian but I also can see te fundamental side of things. I can understand if Achilles or anyone for that matter can't understand. That it why I can wear the hat of science and the hat of faith, if it be called that.

SilentScope001
03-03-2007, 10:35 PM
Sorry Samuel Davis, I will respond to your post later, but I think I need to test an argumnt to Achilles. I know that you are talking to Darth Insidious, but he said he doesn't feel the effort. I know you don't want to respond to me, but I just want to present be the Devil's Advocate, and argue for a point, to contrpost it.

You can however use logic to make informed decisions. If I have a mountain of empirical evidence that provides a reasonable (and some might say "inarguable") explanation for what we can observe around us which does not invoke the Christian/Muslim/Jewish God or any other Intelligent Creator, why would I forego that for a completely subjective explanation that has no empirical evidence whatsoever?

You have evidence for such a system. But, do you have any proof that such evidence is valid?

How can "emprical" evidence automatically justify itself? So, I see data, and then that data is correct, because it's data? That's just sounds like a circular argument, similar to: God exist because my Holy Book, written by God, says so.

Let us use logic. We must NOT accept things without proof. But when you present Proof, we need to evaulate that Proof, to make sure that it is correct. We don't want people using logical fallacy here. But we need to make sure that the evaluation of the proof is sound as well, otherwise, it would be invalid, and if that is invalid, so can the proof.

What I want is a Standard for your Evidence, to evaluate it. And then, to evaluate that Standard, we need some evidence to back it up. And then an Standard to evaulate that Evidence, etc.

By refusing to justify the Scientific Method, well, you are turning Science into a belief system. Why should I trust the Scientific Method? Because it has "emprical" data, that does not need any sort of justification? That's absurd.

I don't want Science to go down this route. I don't want Science to become a belief. But it is going down this route, and with everyone trusting Science and worshipping it, I fear that all free-thinkers everywhere has merely exchanged one system for another.

This does not mean that Science is wrong. But there is no way to verify it is correct. And since you refuse to give me proof that the Scientific Method works, because you say it is "self-evident"...well, that's the same as me throwing you the Bible and saying "Believe in God". I could very well be right...but I don't think you would be happy at the Bible-throwing person.

EDIT: The reason I like to reply to Achilles is to test out some sort of theory that I am doing in that Philopshy book I'm writing, to see if it would actually work, or would it just repel. This would also explain why I don't have much time to respond to you, Samuel, I'm trying to write my ideas down on some book. :)

JediMaster12
03-04-2007, 03:59 AM
How can "emprical" evidence automatically justify itself? So, I see data, and then that data is correct, because it's data? That's just sounds like a circular argument, similar to: God exist because my Holy Book, written by God, says so.

This is where you have to remember that the goal of science is to disprove, not prove. When you conduct an experiment multiple times and you keep getting the same results, you can affirm that what you have is valid. However there is the flaw of deciding how manys times re-testing is enough. There however is a point where things have been confirmed so many times that it is accepted without too many arguments. Famous example is the theory of natural selection. By definition, theories have more explaining power than a law. Because nothing has been shown to disprove that natural selection doesn't occur. Things become vaild through testing. A fact is a fact but like an entry at wikipedia, it can be changed.

What I want is a Standard for your Evidence, to evaluate it. And then, to evaluate that Standard, we need some evidence to back it up. And then an Standard to evaulate that Evidence, etc.
As I said, the goal of science is to disprove, not prove. It is through experimentation that we can discredit what was once perceived to be true.

This does not mean that Science is wrong. But there is no way to verify it is correct. And since you refuse to give me proof that the Scientific Method works, because you say it is "self-evident"...well, that's the same as me throwing you the Bible and saying "Believe in God". I could very well be right...but I don't think you would be happy at the Bible-throwing person.
Science is a means to disprove. The method itself is what it is, a method to try and disprove something. If you want to have somethign prove that it works, then I suggest you devise an experiemnt tio disprove the method. True that it was formulated by humans and therefore will have some flaws but it had not been show. Surely that it proof enough that it is a valid method.

Samuel Dravis
03-04-2007, 04:11 AM
JM, I don't think he cares that the scientific method works in the way you describe. He accepted that the method works, now it's the problem of knowing whether your measurements actually correspond to reality or not. If your observations aren't accurate, of course you conclusions will be messed up too, even with the best system in the world.

You may have measured something, sure - but not necessarily what you though you were. A drunk man could swear he can walk in a straight line. We don't think so, of course - it's obvious to us he can't. Still, like him, how can we claim our present, sober state is the "true" way to see it? Is what you measured the fantasies of a drunken man, or is that the way it really is?

Vaelastraz
03-04-2007, 06:33 AM
@Silentscope
If you are sceptical about empirical data, well...
How can you "prove" what your eyes and ears say see and hear? It could all be a big illusion, but there is absolutely no evidence that supports that.

Science is based on information we gain through our senses, to some extent. That information could be wrong of course, but if that's the case, we cannot trust our senses at all.

Religious faith on the other hand is not based on information gained through observation. Because there is nothing to observe, there is no evidence.

All the "faith" science requires is that you have to trust that humans are capable of gaining right information through observation.

SilentScope001
03-04-2007, 12:55 PM
JM, I don't think he cares that the scientific method works in the way you describe. He accepted that the method works, now it's the problem of knowing whether your measurements actually correspond to reality or not. If your observations aren't accurate, of course you conclusions will be messed up too, even with the best system in the world.

You may have measured something, sure - but not necessarily what you though you were. A drunk man could swear he can walk in a straight line. We don't think so, of course - it's obvious to us he can't. Still, like him, how can we claim our present, sober state is the "true" way to see it? Is what you measured the fantasies of a drunken man, or is that the way it really is?

True.

@Silentscope
If you are sceptical about empirical data, well...
How can you "prove" what your eyes and ears say see and hear? It could all be a big illusion, but there is absolutely no evidence that supports that.

Science is based on information we gain through our senses, to some extent. That information could be wrong of course, but if that's the case, we cannot trust our senses at all.

This can be true. If there is a possiblity the senses could decieve, then why trust them?

Religious faith on the other hand is not based on information gained through observation. Because there is nothing to observe, there is no evidence.

Ah, but what if a Preacher says otherwise? What if he points to the Holy Book and offer that as evidence? Or say that he has a "mystic experience" and that is his observations.

Obivously, one would discount the Preacher's preachings, because just because he sees this as "evidence" that God exist, but we cannot verify the evidence. But do we verify the evidence that Science has given?

All the "faith" science requires is that you have to trust that humans are capable of gaining right information through observation.

But it is still faith, no? You accept things without any proof, without any evidence you are correct or not. Without any proof, your judgement may or may not be correct, we don't know. If so, we should show skepcticism at the person making the claim, would we not, instead of just accepting things purely on faith? And, well, accepting things only on faith is not really appealing to me. I thought the Scientific Revolution tells us to question everything, but if we cannot question Science itself, then what have we actually accomplished? I like proof, I like evidence, and without it, how can I accept anything? And yet I am disappointed that there is no proof that observations are valid.

Vaelastraz
03-05-2007, 10:54 AM
I ask you, how can you "prove" observations? If I would observe that water is wet, and everyone else does also, we say "Water is wet" as a fact. The only possibility that it would not be correct is, that we're living in the matrix, and cannot trust our senses...

You will always have to BELIEVE that not everything around us is an illusion. There is no evidence that suggests that our observations are wrong, but you can never rule out the possibility that everything is wrong.

SilentScope001
03-05-2007, 12:00 PM
I ask you, how can you "prove" observations? If I would observe that water is wet, and everyone else does also, we say "Water is wet" as a fact. The only possibility that it would not be correct is, that we're living in the matrix, and cannot trust our senses...

Many other different ways other than the Matrix hypothesis. For example, there is the Brain in a Vat (similar to the Matrix), the Evil Demon hypothesis, you just dreaming (or purposely creating the world), us being figments of dreams, etc.

But there may be a way to prove an observation. Note that if you could offer a standard for that proof, and a proof for that standard, and then a standard for that proof, etc. you could theortically 'prove' something totally...IF we are infinite beings, if we can live forever. I don't think that's possible, I believe that is not possible, and I think our observations prove that we cannot live forever.

You will always have to BELIEVE that not everything around us is an illusion. There is no evidence that suggests that our observations are wrong, but you can never rule out the possibility that everything is wrong.

Correct. And I do BELIEVE in observations, and by extension, Science.

But isn't belief something to hate? I mean, to believe in one thing means you can quite easily believe in something else. If you just believe in Evoultionary Theory (based on your observations), isn't it just as fine to believe in the Creationist theory (based on the "observations" of Holy Books)? I like logic, I like rational thinking, and to rely basically on belief is something that I dislike intensely. I also draw no difference between certain Beliefs, a Belief is a belief, regardless of wheter you believe in the Laws of Nature or an Intelligent Designer...it is accepting something without having any proof.

Isn't belief a core part of what makes a religion...a religion? If you have to believe in observations, then you are making a judgement without any proof, which is...well, contradictory to what many free-thinkers want.

JediMaster12
03-05-2007, 02:53 PM
But isn't belief something to hate? I mean, to believe in one thing means you can quite easily believe in something else. If you just believe in Evoultionary Theory (based on your observations), isn't it just as fine to believe in the Creationist theory (based on the "observations" of Holy Books)?
Belief isn't something to hate. True you can think one way and believe something else but to hate a belief speaks of ethnocentrism. Everything you believe is based on observations. Observation is point of view, the way we see things. Some of these things you are stating about proving observation sounds a bit farfetched in my opinion but maybe I am attributing that to the fact that observations in a way can't be proven because it is how one person sees things.

SilentScope001
03-05-2007, 11:27 PM
Belief isn't something to hate. True you can think one way and believe something else but to hate a belief speaks of ethnocentrism.

Clarification: I don't hate a specific belief. I just hate all beliefs in general, only because you cannot prove what you believe, and that, therefore, it is totally irrational to believe in it (if you cannot prove it conclusively). At least, according to me. I could be wrong.

Double-thinking (knowing one thing is true, while at the same time, believing in something else totally different) is a concept I play around with, but it is something that I think, is not very tendable in the long run, at least for me.

It's pretty frustrating to be unable to prove what you believe. It's probrarly a fact of life, but it is still annoying me quite a bit. I just wanted to let people know that though.

Some of these things you are stating about proving observation sounds a bit farfetched in my opinion but maybe I am attributing that to the fact that observations in a way can't be proven because it is how one person sees things.

True, it may be far-fetched. Just trying to find objections and holes in my viewpoint.

machievelli
03-06-2007, 02:26 PM
Clarification: I don't hate a specific belief. I just hate all beliefs in general, only because you cannot prove what you believe, and that, therefore, it is totally irrational to believe in it (if you cannot prove it conclusively). At least, according to me. I could be wrong.

SS, the definition of faith is believing in something of which you have no proof. So claiming a belief system must have verifiable evidence is an oxymoron. I believe in my Gods, just not the Judeo Christian one as described.


Double-thinking (knowing one thing is true, while at the same time, believing in something else totally different) is a concept I play around with, but it is something that I think, is not very tendable in the long run, at least for me.


Which explains how some of your ideas are formed.

Oh BTW, as the local literary critic, the word in untenable.

Jae Onasi
03-06-2007, 03:59 PM
I got waylaid this last week by getting laid off from my job and having to do a mad scramble to find another one (happily, a previous employer was more than happy to take me back), so I haven't been able to keep on top of the KC threads as much. Just a reminder to everyone that religion can be a very hot topic, and I don't want to have to pull out my fire extinguisher, so I do appreciate you all keeping it generally civil as appears to be the case. :)

JediMaster12
03-06-2007, 04:50 PM
SS, the definition of faith is believing in something of which you have no proof.
I going out on a limb and saying that everyone has some form of faith. Whether you believe you can pass the next test or make it up the steps of Lincoln Memorial in a jog, it is all faith. It is not a bad thing. It seems to me that people need something to believe in. Much like hope, it can be a dangerous thing like putting all the eggs in one basket.

Nancy Allen``
03-10-2007, 07:09 AM
I could be completely wrong about this but KOTOR could be a good source for ethics and religion. How? Generally saying that the force, religion, can heal and there is hope in the force earns you light side points and saying you're a ****head to believe in it earns you dark side. Silly? Perhaps, but in the game whacking a kid is very much frowned upon as well...last I checked the same applied in real life.

machievelli
03-10-2007, 12:00 PM
I could be completely wrong about this but KOTOR could be a good source for ethics and religion.

When Lucas wrote the series originally, he might not have thought of a religion, but before the first twenty minute had passed, you know that to most people that is exactly what the Jedi and Sith were. Rival factions of the same religion vying for mastery.

In my religion you have a lot of people who join thinking that doing so always equates to power. Even when you point out the balance that is created and how it will be redressed by the cosmos, they still belive they can just take what they want.
You have Christians who say that if god loves you he showers you with wealth and conversely tell you that if you do not have that wealth, it is because god does not like you. Even in Islaam the riches flow from Allah, though they believe these really are stored in heaven and that earthly wealth is transitory. But among them you have those that say their god glories in the death of innocents only because it is his worshipers who kill them.

As a moral center of what is right and wrong, the SW universe has a lot to say for it. The people of the books look at it as any person alive today do. It's a religion, they have some secular authority, they tend to be a little fractious and opinionated. But as long as they don't mess with you, ignore them.