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Subject: Continuation of Religion discussion from General Gaming rss

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Alexander B.
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My last post was this:

"I just wanted to say that, with the above excellent repsonses, I feel like I've said all I have to say.

So long as certainty is not claimed, I have no problem with people talking about what is meaningful to them.

Please don't lay it on me as fact, and pretty please with sugar on top, don't force it on my with "laws".... that's really all I'm saying in the final analysis. It was mentioned that religion was used as an excuse to impose taxes on others... I object to that in the extreme and feel it is pure immorality. Funny how force comes into a statement so close upon the heels of religion. I'd volutarily contribute to education and I have no kids or religion... sounds like force and religion are closely aligned for some.

P.S. Internal experience does indeed control my ethics... that's a good thing in my case, and a very bad thing in the case of some people's... my point was that it has nothing to do with imaginary beings for me...if it does for you--all I can say is: whatever pops your cork!

P.S.S. this is not a gaming topic. I'd be willign to continue, a little, in an off-topic forum thread *if* someone wants me to, but I'm done on this thread that keeps jumping to the top of a gaming 'sites list."

It was in response to a long response by user: neoshmengi, who has deleted their response in that thread. And requested I continue the discussion.

I'm glad to pick it up wherever. Note that, as pointed out in the other thread, no minds will be changed via rational debate if irrationality is central to their modus operandi in life. Therefore, there is a limited amount of time I'm willing to spend in discussion which has no real intent to uncover truth. That said, I'll respond a bit as requested.
 
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As you said, I deleted my last two posts and they were quite lengthy and I don't have the inclination any more to rewrite them.

Thanks for starting the new thread for me, that was thoughtful.

I'm going to let sleeping dogs lie.

Fun thread though, I've been thinking about these things for the last couple of days.
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Eric Jome
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diamondspider wrote:
Therefore, there is a limited amount of time I'm willing to spend in discussion which has no real intent to uncover truth.


The truth is a funny thing. When we speak of scientific truth, we refer to repeatable results. It is easy to heat a pot of water and measure how much energy it takes to boil it. When we try it under different conditions, we see different results, but they are consistent and repeatable when conditions are the same.

And yet, there are things that happen that cannot be repeatably tested. What can science say about such things? Nothing really.

Is mystical experience an avenue to a truth we don't know how to test? Is our science perhaps too limited to grasp larger truths or produce useful results in some areas? It's an attractive and interesting idea.

Yet, it's quite a stretch to think the past 2000 years of progress have produced no useful results. Everything we have learned with our science inclines us away from the written words of our historical holy texts. Does this invalidate mystical experience as well? No, only the contrived expression or particular aspect.

Today we see this effect born out in the general shift away from established religious authorities while at the same time people still claim to need and have mystical experience.
 
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Paul Sauberer
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diamondspider wrote:

P.S. Internal experience does indeed control my ethics... that's a good thing in my case, and a very bad thing in the case of some people's... my point was that it has nothing to do with imaginary beings for me...if it does for you--all I can say is: whatever pops your cork!


I don't know where this started, but since I have been feeling in an off topic mood lately I'll just jump in down here.

I would first say that undoubtedly for both sides of the God question, it has nothing to do with imaginary beings. One side may claim that God is imaginary based on where they go from their presuppositions, but that does not make God imaginary.

Quote:

I'm glad to pick it up wherever. Note that, as pointed out in the other thread, no minds will be changed via rational debate if irrationality is central to their modus operandi in life. Therefore, there is a limited amount of time I'm willing to spend in discussion which has no real intent to uncover truth. That said, I'll respond a bit as requested.


Since I arrived late at the discussion I would like to find out just what you consider to be "rational" and "irrational." Do you consider belief in God to be inherently "irrational?" If so, why?
 
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Paul Sauberer
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cosine wrote:
Everything we have learned with our science inclines us away from the written words of our historical holy texts.


I would disagree with this. Science often does not speak at all to faith and the holy texts. Science has gotten increasingly better at what science does. Often, science is not the best tool to investigate matters of faith. The right tool is needed for the right job. It's like using a hammer to measure temperature. It is not well suited for that task.

I believe where people fo faith have problems sometimes, ironically, is to apply a scientific mindset to scriptures, interpreting them as if they were literal textbooks of history or science and not the documents of faith that they are.

Does this mean that the Bible, for example is not 100% the Word of God? No, it doesn't. It just means that it needs to be listened to as it was meant to be heard and not have our preconceptions fitted on to it. A document written hundreds of years before the birth of Christ should not be read as if it used the same literary conventions as something written yesterday. Context is vital.

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Does this invalidate mystical experience as well? No, only the contrived expression or particular aspect.


Or perhaps an eroneous interpretation of that particular.

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Today we see this effect born out in the general shift away from established religious authorities while at the same time people still claim to need and have mystical experience.


There is also the rise, at least in popular culture, of those who embrace an atheistic faith wothout realizing or admitting that they are making a similar leap of faith to those they mock.
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Psauberer wrote:
cosine wrote:
Everything we have learned with our science inclines us away from the written words of our historical holy texts.


I would disagree with this.


For example, it is thoroughly documented that prayer increases healing. A lot of medical research is being done as to why.
 
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quozl wrote:
Psauberer wrote:
cosine wrote:
Everything we have learned with our science inclines us away from the written words of our historical holy texts.


I would disagree with this.


For example, it is thoroughly documented that prayer increases healing. A lot of medical research is being done as to why.


It is also well documented that the placebo effects of thing such as water pills can increase healing. However, I wouldn't consider the divine in a capsule of water, but I do believe in the power of suggestion.
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True Blue Jon
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MWChapel wrote:
It is also well documented that the placebo effects of thing such as water pills can increase healing. However, I wouldn't consider the divine in a capsule of water, but I do believe in the power of suggestion.


Correct. But can science explain it?
 
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Phil
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Psauberer wrote:

Since I arrived late at the discussion I would like to find out just what you consider to be "rational" and "irrational." Do you consider belief in God to be inherently "irrational?" If so, why?

God is a fairly loaded term. I think, to even answer that, it would be necessary to lay out specifically what you mean by God. When you make certain positive assertions about this God, the burden will fall upon you to back them up with evidence.
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quozl wrote:
Psauberer wrote:
cosine wrote:
Everything we have learned with our science inclines us away from the written words of our historical holy texts.


I would disagree with this.


For example, it is thoroughly documented that prayer increases healing. A lot of medical research is being done as to why.


Actually it's not documented at all. There have been several attempts at documenting this claim but nothing in a peer reviewed study (wonder why?) The Straight Dope has, well, the straight dope on this subject"

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/msciprayer.html
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Jeff Jones
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Psauberer wrote:

There is also the rise, at least in popular culture, of those who embrace an atheistic faith wothout realizing or admitting that they are making a similar leap of faith to those they mock.


The only thing required to be an atheist is a negative response to the question "Do you believe in God". No faith required as the vast majority of atheists do not make a claim of certainty regarding the existence of god, only one of belief.

Now some atheists, commonly called strong atheists, do say that they have no doubt that god does not exist. However, the reasoning behind this is that until some sort of evidence is put forth that god exists, and there currently is none, it is not rational for person to believe in god.

I do not count myself as a strong atheist but I do see their point.
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Paul Sauberer
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cloudboy wrote:
Psauberer wrote:

Since I arrived late at the discussion I would like to find out just what you consider to be "rational" and "irrational." Do you consider belief in God to be inherently "irrational?" If so, why?

God is a fairly loaded term. I think, to even answer that, it would be necessary to lay out specifically what you mean by God. When you make certain positive assertions about this God, the burden will fall upon you to back them up with evidence.


Why? And what level of evidence is required, if it is? One could point to thousands of years of tradition and faith and count that as evidence. One could point to the oral and written evidence of thousands that they personally feel the existence of God. Even the order of the universe can be offered as evidence. Is that enough?

If someone makes negative assertions about God (and that concept is not as tough to deal with as you seem to make it) why do they not have to have any proof of that (even if only proof to themselves)? If they do not have such evidence, are they not holding their position on belief and not evidence?
 
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quozl wrote:
Psauberer wrote:
cosine wrote:
Everything we have learned with our science inclines us away from the written words of our historical holy texts.


I would disagree with this.


For example, it is thoroughly documented that prayer increases healing. A lot of medical research is being done as to why.

The only research I've heard on the subject was done by the Templeton Foundation - and it indicated that knowledge of intercessory prayer was more harmful than having no knowledge of said prayer. The efficacy of the prayer itself wasn't noticeable. That's coming from the Templeton Foundation; which, if anything, would want the results biased towards evidence for a personal God.
 
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Paul Sauberer
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Kafka wrote:
Psauberer wrote:

There is also the rise, at least in popular culture, of those who embrace an atheistic faith wothout realizing or admitting that they are making a similar leap of faith to those they mock.


The only thing required to be an atheist is a negative response to the question "Do you believe in God". No faith required as the vast majority of atheists do not make a claim of certainty regarding the existence of god, only one of belief.


So they do not have faith, but they have belief? That seems like a very thin distinction but still begs the question on what they base their belief.

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Now some atheists, commonly called strong atheists, do say that they have no doubt that god does not exist. However, the reasoning behind this is that until some sort of evidence is put forth that god exists, and there currently is none, it is not rational for person to believe in god.


Why is that irrational? There is plenty of positive evidence as to the existence of God. Thousands of years and millions of people will attest to directly feeling the existence of God.

Perhaps it is the type of evidence the atheists require. Perhaps they require the existence of God to be subject to the scientific method. Why would they hold this to be so? What law can be pointed to that demonstrates this to be a requirement and not an articel of faith, as it were? Also, is it rational to require evidence from the scientific method to establish the existence of a being who ostensibly can operate outside our natural laws?

Just because people start with different, unprovable presuppositions than someone else's unprovable presuppostitions does not make one side irrational. Either neither side is rational or both are, as both start from a similar beginning point. In both cases, you either buy the premise then buy the bit or you don't.

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I do not count myself as a strong atheist but I do see their point.


Except their point does not pass the logic test. If the scientific method is the proper method for a demonstration, then they are right. However, they cannot show this is fact, so they enter the realm of faith (or belief, if you prefer).
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Psauberer wrote:
cloudboy wrote:
Psauberer wrote:

Since I arrived late at the discussion I would like to find out just what you consider to be "rational" and "irrational." Do you consider belief in God to be inherently "irrational?" If so, why?

God is a fairly loaded term. I think, to even answer that, it would be necessary to lay out specifically what you mean by God. When you make certain positive assertions about this God, the burden will fall upon you to back them up with evidence.


Why?

Why is it necessary for you to have evidence for your assertions? That's the definition of being rational - which was stated in your question. I assert, then, that a secret cabal of elves are in control of the White House. Shouldn't I be required to have evidence for this assertion?
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And what level of evidence is required, if it is?

Scientific evidence has worked very well for humans. That is, the construction of experiments which are testable, repeatable, and make some predictions about the future.

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One could point to thousands of years of tradition and faith and count that as evidence.

Again, as evidence of what? You need to make positive assertions about this deity before I can weigh faith or tradition as evidence. For longer than that, humans believed the world was flat, so historical knowledge doesn't seem very appropriate.

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One could point to the oral and written evidence of thousands that they personally feel the existence of God.

Again, far more than thousands felt that the world was flat, or that the Earth was at the center of the universe, or that there were literally crystal spheres hanging in the sky. Popularity isn't evidence.

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Even the order of the universe can be offered as evidence. Is that enough?

I don't personally feel qualified to make statements in regards to the entire universe. Some parts seem ordered; some parts don't, but what is order in the universe evidence for? A God that modifies the universe in response to prayer? First make positive assertions about God, then we can weigh them.

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If someone makes negative assertions about God (and that concept is not as tough to deal with as you seem to make it) why do they not have to have any proof of that (even if only proof to themselves)? If they do not have such evidence, are they not holding their position on belief and not evidence?

Again, there is no need to argue for negative assertions - there are both infinitely many and it is irrational to do so. Do you have any positive evidence that there are no elves running the White House? Did you know that aliens from Alpha Centauri live next door to me? Also, I have never lost any of the boardgames I've played.

You're saying that the burden of proof falls on you, not me, to prove these assertions? That seems very irrational.
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cloudboy wrote:
Psauberer wrote:
Quote:
And what level of evidence is required, if it is?

Scientific evidence has worked very well for humans. That is, the construction of experiments which are testable, repeatable, and make some predictions about the future.


And what is your proof that the scientific method is the proper tool to use in this case? You assert that is needed based on what?

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Quote:
One could point to thousands of years of tradition and faith and count that as evidence.

Again, as evidence of what? You need to make positive assertions about this deity before I can weigh faith or tradition as evidence. For longer than that, humans believed the world was flat, so historical knowledge doesn't seem very appropriate.


So the scientific method has been 100% accurate in determining truth?

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Quote:
One could point to the oral and written evidence of thousands that they personally feel the existence of God.

Again, far more than thousands felt that the world was flat, or that the Earth was at the center of the universe, or that there were literally crystal spheres hanging in the sky. Popularity isn't evidence.


Not popularity, personal testimony. Are you arguing that personal testimony is inherently invalid as evidence? On what basis do you hold that?

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Quote:
Even the order of the universe can be offered as evidence. Is that enough?

I don't personally feel qualified to make statements in regards to the entire universe. Some parts seem ordered; some parts don't, but what is order in the universe evidence for? A God that modifies the universe in response to prayer? First make positive assertions about God, then we can weigh them.

Quote:
If someone makes negative assertions about God (and that concept is not as tough to deal with as you seem to make it) why do they not have to have any proof of that (even if only proof to themselves)? If they do not have such evidence, are they not holding their position on belief and not evidence?

Again, there is no need to argue for negative assertions - there are both infinitely many and it is irrational to do so. Do you have any positive evidence that there are no elves running the White House? Did you know that aliens from Alpha Centauri live next door to me? Also, I have never lost any of the boardgames I've played.

You're saying that the burden of proof falls on you, not me, to prove these assertions? That seems very irrational.


Your analogy fails because we are actually not talking about defending a negative statement.

The statement has been made, "God exists."

Evidence has been demanded to support that statement.

Evidence has been offered to support that assertion. (See many autobiographiues of saints, for example.)

It has then been said that such evidence is invalid. This requirement is a positive assertion. Has any evidence been offered that this statmeent is correct, that only results from experiments conducted according to the scientific method are valid evidence to establish the existence of God? I have not seen such evidence. Until such time as evidence is produced, the underlying premise that only the scientific method is valid is an unsupported assertion, a belief. Acting on that belief is not irrational, as at some point you have to get to a starting point where you have to believe. Neither is taking the other position, that evidence outside the scientific method is valid and thus rational to make conclusions from, irrational.
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Psauberer wrote:
cloudboy wrote:
Psauberer wrote:

Since I arrived late at the discussion I would like to find out just what you consider to be "rational" and "irrational." Do you consider belief in God to be inherently "irrational?" If so, why?

God is a fairly loaded term. I think, to even answer that, it would be necessary to lay out specifically what you mean by God. When you make certain positive assertions about this God, the burden will fall upon you to back them up with evidence.


Why? And what level of evidence is required, if it is? One could point to thousands of years of tradition and faith and count that as evidence. One could point to the oral and written evidence of thousands that they personally feel the existence of God. Even the order of the universe can be offered as evidence. Is that enough?

If someone makes negative assertions about God (and that concept is not as tough to deal with as you seem to make it) why do they not have to have any proof of that (even if only proof to themselves)? If they do not have such evidence, are they not holding their position on belief and not evidence?


Why? Because that's the way evidence works. The time to believe in something is after evidence shows that it exists not before. Is it necessary to provide evidence for the non-existence of everything that does not exists. Russell's cosmic teapot argument comes to mind here. If someone makes the claim that something exists why is it up to others to show it doesn't if the person making the claim cannot offer evidence that it does.

As to what level of evidence is required it is actually every simple. Most theistic religions claim that their god is of sufficient power to effect the natural world. If so, then all that would be needed is an event which was so profound could not be explained by any other means than god. But most of us don;t even require that level of evidence to at least consider the possibility of a god. Just some evidence would suffice but I have yet to see any that would qualify as even the most basic level of evidence.

Thousands of years of a certain belief is not evidence of anything but the existence of the belief. Many things have been believed my billions of people throughout history that later proved to be untrue. Not to mention that other religions (Hindus for example) also have thousand years of believers. Considering that the vast majority of Hindus and Christians claim to worship the only TRUE god(s)this "evidence' becomes self-contradictory. All religions who have existed for thousands of years and claim the true god cannot be right. If some of them can be wrong then the most simple explanation, absent any stronger evidence, is that all are wrong.

It is also true that anecdotal evidence is not evidence at all. Anecdotal evidence is notoriously unreliable due to differences in perception and memory which science has shown to be shaky at best. The feeling of the presence of god is just that, a feeling. In fact, scientists in Canada and San Diego have been able to either recreate the feeling of a divine presence or isolate an area in the brain which seems to be directly related to the "god feeling".

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Person A: It's 72 degrees outside.

Person B: Provide evidence for that.

A: The thermometer outside says it's 72 degrees. Plus I just heard the weather report on the radio say it's 72 degrees.

B: Those are not valid. You have to use this calendar to prove that it's 72 degrees. I have always been able to tell what day it is with this calendar, so that's what you have to use.

A: I can't do that. It's not the right tool for the job.

B: Then it's not 72 degrees. You are irrational.
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Psauberer wrote:

And what is your proof that the scientific method is the proper tool to use in this case? You assert that is needed based on what?

I really have no idea if science is appropriate, as you have said nothing about this God in which you want to question.

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So the scientific method has been 100% accurate in determining truth?

Science is the process of revealing successive approximations of the truth. Science makes no claims to absolute truth. That is the beauty and power of science.

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Not popularity, personal testimony. Are you arguing that personal testimony is inherently invalid as evidence? On what basis do you hold that?

Personal testimony is invalid as scientific evidence. That follows from the previous definition of science as the process of objective experimentation.

Quote:
Your analogy fails because we are actually not talking about defending a negative statement.

The statement has been made, "God exists."

Evidence has been demanded to support that statement.

Evidence has been offered to support that assertion. (See many autobiographiues of saints, for example.)

Again, you need to make specific assertions about God. We are at an impasse until you do so. Otherwise, I can say: God is what happens. Then, yes, belief in God is rational, as it, quite literally, is. I defined reality by the word "God" - but that definition is meaningless. It also goes against what most people mean when they use the term God.

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It has then been said that such evidence is invalid. This requirement is a positive assertion.

You haven't made a positive assertion yet, so I can't say whether it's valid or not.

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Has any evidence been offered that this statmeent is correct, that only results from experiments conducted according to the scientific method are valid evidence to establish the existence of God?

I'm not sure what you're saying here. I haven't made a positive statement: I'm simply trying to understand what you mean when you say "God Exists" so I can decide if it's rational or not.

Quote:
I have not seen such evidence. Until such time as evidence is produced, the underlying premise that only the scientific method is valid is an unsupported assertion, a belief. Acting on that belief is not irrational, as at some point you have to get to a starting point where you have to believe. Neither is taking the other position, that evidence outside the scientific method is valid and thus rational to make conclusions from, irrational.

You seem to have shifted gears here; are you saying that popular opinion has the same validity as a testable, repeatable, experiment which makes predictions about the future? If so, then I would disagree, but that's a completely different conversation than your first question, which had to do with the nature of some deity and whether belief in it is irrational.
 
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Kafka wrote:

Why? Because that's the way evidence works. The time to believe in something is after evidence shows that it exists not before.


And many would say they have such evidence. That you do not accept it and choose to believe that only the scientific method is valid is not their problem.

Quote:
Is it necessary to provide evidence for the non-existence of everything that does not exists. Russell's cosmic teapot argument comes to mind here. If someone makes the claim that something exists why is it up to others to show it doesn't if the person making the claim cannot offer evidence that it does.


If someone makes the claim that something exists, why is it up to them to allow the skeptics to arbitrarily set the terms of what evidecne is allowable?

Should those skeptics at least be required to give proof that the scientific method is the best way to prove the existence of something that operates outside natural boundaries?

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As to what level of evidence is required it is actually every simple. Most theistic religions claim that their god is of sufficient power to effect the natural world. If so, then all that would be needed is an event which was so profound could not be explained by any other means than god. But most of us don;t even require that level of evidence to at least consider the possibility of a god. Just some evidence would suffice but I have yet to see any that would qualify as even the most basic level of evidence.


Haven't seen or haven't seen any that meets the arbitrary criteria that you have set as the bar?

Quote:
Thousands of years of a certain belief is not evidence of anything but the existence of the belief. Many things have been believed my billions of people throughout history that later proved to be untrue. Not to mention that other religions (Hindus for example) also have thousand years of believers. Considering that the vast majority of Hindus and Christians claim to worship the only TRUE god(s)this "evidence' becomes self-contradictory. All religions who have existed for thousands of years and claim the true god cannot be right. If some of them can be wrong then the most simple explanation, absent any stronger evidence, is that all are wrong.


Or even more simply, that the underlying premise is correct, that God exists, and that some of the details have been gotten wrong.

Quote:
It is also true that anecdotal evidence is not evidence at all.


(We are actually talking about "eyewitness evidence" and not "anecdotal evidence," which is something very different. I will answer, though, about Eyewitness evidence.)

Not true. It may need to be evaluated differently than forensic evidence, but it is still evidence. Especially in the case of evaluating something that the scientific method may not be the best tool to use.

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Anecdotal evidence is notoriously unreliable due to differences in perception and memory which science has shown to be shaky at best.


In an individual case, this is true. However, the more people offer the same evidence, the more reliable it is.

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The feeling of the presence of god is just that, a feeling. In fact, scientists in Canada and San Diego have been able to either recreate the feeling of a divine presence or isolate an area in the brain which seems to be directly related to the "god feeling".


So if a certain portion of the brain is stimulated, then the subject reports feeling a divine presence. How does this negate the existence of God? How have those who have reported this feeling had this area of the brain stimulated without the assistance of researchers?

Why is this not considered evidence for God's existence? If there were no God, why would stimulating this particular place not yield nothing? There is a big leap to take this as evidence that the presence of God is "just" a feeling. It could, in fact, be a true feeling.
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Psauberer wrote:
Person A: It's 72 degrees outside.

Person B: Provide evidence for that.

A: The thermometer outside says it's 72 degrees. Plus I just heard the weather report on the radio say it's 72 degrees.

B: Those are not valid. You have to use this calendar to prove that it's 72 degrees. I have always been able to tell what day it is with this calendar, so that's what you have to use.

A: I can't do that. It's not the right tool for the job.

B: Then it's not 72 degrees. You are irrational.

Now you're talking! I would happily accept such a testable, repeatable, predictable, experiment as evidence for this deity that you want to claim is "rational." Do you have any?

Wait - back up, first you have to make some positive claims about this deity so that I can differentiate it from the millions of others. Then, on to the tests!
 
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Paul Sauberer
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cloudboy wrote:
I really have no idea if science is appropriate, as you have said nothing about this God in which you want to question.


Alright. We can start with the basics.

God exists. By that, I mean a personal being that transcends our natural world.

The existence of such a being has been attested to for centuries by many individuals. In my opinion, their collective experience makes it more probable that such a being exists than not.

Therefore, I believe that such a being exists.
 
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Paul Sauberer
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cloudboy wrote:
Psauberer wrote:
Person A: It's 72 degrees outside.

Person B: Provide evidence for that.

A: The thermometer outside says it's 72 degrees. Plus I just heard the weather report on the radio say it's 72 degrees.

B: Those are not valid. You have to use this calendar to prove that it's 72 degrees. I have always been able to tell what day it is with this calendar, so that's what you have to use.

A: I can't do that. It's not the right tool for the job.

B: Then it's not 72 degrees. You are irrational.

Now you're talking! I would happily accept such a testable, repeatable, predictable, experiment as evidence for this deity that you want to claim is "rational." Do you have any?


What testable, repeatable, predictable, experiment? All person B wants to use is a calendar because that's all he knows how to use. As long as a calendar is used, he'll accept the evidence. If it's not a calendar, the evidence is invalid.

Quote:
Wait - back up, first you have to make some positive claims about this deity so that I can differentiate it from the millions of others. Then, on to the tests!


See post just before this. I will be awaiting your hypothesis that shows proof why the scientific method is the only valid method of evaluating the question.

Or will we just end up agreeing to disagree, that you will believe what you believe and I will believe what I believe?
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Psauberer wrote:
cloudboy wrote:
I really have no idea if science is appropriate, as you have said nothing about this God in which you want to question.


Alright. We can start with the basics.

God exists. By that, I mean a personal being that transcends our natural world.

The existence of such a being has been attested to for centuries by many individuals. In my opinion, their collective experience makes it more probable that such a being exists than not.

Therefore, I believe that such a being exists.

Sounds good. So, are you talking about the deity known as Jehovah? A little odd that you're so cagey about even talking about the deity you feel is perfectly rational to believe in. You do know what it is you believe so vehemently, don't you?

Do I have this right, on its list of super-powers: omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent, infinite, created the universe, will modify the universe in response to verbal commands or thoughts from some hominids? It sounds like you don't believe that Jehovah created the Earth in seven days a few thousand years ago? Or yes? Did Jehovah literally do all that stuff in the Old Testament? Or no? Does this deity have a problem with organisms of the same sex mating? If so - which ones?

The more info I have, the easier it will be for me to tell if science will yield evidence or not. I'm sure I don't have the list right, but it's important for any meaningful discussion to occur.
 
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Psauberer wrote:
The existence of such a being has been attested to for centuries by many individuals. In my opinion, their collective experience makes it more probable that such a being exists than not.


Or, more accurately, the existence of many such beings (personal, transcendent), many of which are mutually incompatible with each other, has been attested to for many centuries by many individuals.

In my opinion, their collective inability to even come up with a basic method for resolving their competing truth claims* makes it more probable that they're talking out of their asses than not.

*At least one more advanced than "Well, just wait 'till you're dead! Then you'll see that I'm right!"

In the last several thousand years, our understanding of the natural world has increased by many orders of magnitude. Our understanding of the theological world has increased not one iota. The top 1% of educated people in 1000 A.D. would be complete ignoramuses in every subject of human discourse -- except theology.
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