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God Does Not Exist Because... (3)

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In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 13:32:50 GMT
Spin says:
Bellatori; Leap of faith? Is there not a leap of faith concerning arguments for the Big Bang, Dark matter, Dark energy, gravity, the Higgs feild, the origin of life, evolution etc etc?

Posted on 10 Jan 2013 13:27:06 GMT
@ Spin - Religion is adopted because of indoctrination and people telling you that this is true from the very moment you can understand words, most people are not given other options. I never really believed in religion but it wasn't until I was 16 years old that I found out that not believing was an actual option

Then consider how many people who have these idea's constantly drilled into them from when they children and don't know better or people who don't have the capabilities to question, then of course the punishments for failing to understand or believe in these things. Actual belief doesn't come until you have the capacity to question

Your argument would definitely hold true if you were completely seperated from religion until you reach an age when you can make your own decisions

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 13:05:02 GMT
Bellatori says:
I may well agree with you entirely but my point is still valid. No matter what experience you may have had there has to be a leap of faith to whatever deity or spiritual essence you then chose to believe in. If it is not then it is all experiential (and I would suggest it is not a religion) and therefore open to scientific debate and challenge.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 13:00:08 GMT
Spin says:
Bellatori: I believe that religion is adopted because of experience, not belief. One believes because of experience, one does not experience because of belief. The religious have not experienced those things which counter thier belief and the non-religious have not experienced those things which favour religious belief. Such is the diversity of all human religious, political, aesthetic and scientific experience..

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 12:48:41 GMT
Bellatori says:
But then surely religion is founded on belief/faith. To put it the other way round, without faith it is not a religion. The point where scientists come in is when religion chooses to start offering proofs for its validity rather than relying on faith.
Any statement that start God(s) exist because... is open to scientific evaluation and critique with one exception...

God exists because I believe he/she/it or they do(es).

No matter how fragile or otherwise your internal justification for this statement is, it is not open to challenge scientifically.

By the by, I quote:
"Religious studies is the academic field of multi-disciplinary, secular study of religious beliefs, behaviours, and institutions. It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic, historically-based, and cross-cultural perspectives."
I am fairly sure some of these academics will be scientists however.

Posted on 10 Jan 2013 12:19:42 GMT
K. Hoyles says:
'Men would never be superstitious, if they could govern all their circumstances by set rules, or if they were always favoured by fortune: but being frequently driven into straits where rules are useless, and being often kept fluctuating pitiably between hope and fear by the uncertainty of fortune's greedily coveted favours, they are consequently, for the most part, very prone to credulity. The human mind is readily swayed this way or that in times of doubt, especially when hope and fear are struggling for the mastery, though usually it is boastful, over-confident, and vain.'

Benedict de Spinoza b.1632, extract from 'Theological - Political Treatise'

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 12:18:29 GMT
Spin says:
Stephen: Science cannot address the question of the existence of deity because it does not study religion. It cannot even attempt to address the question because to verify or falsify a proposition one must be able to define what it is that one seeks to verify or falsify. Science only adresses, in a general manner, the belief in deity, not deity itself.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 12:18:00 GMT
Bellatori says:
Nicely put.

... and yes it would be fascinating and I would have an awful lot of apologising to do!

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 12:14:41 GMT
Bellatori says:
JA Foxton says....""

In terms of number line, the comment in the paper that "they located numbers only on the endpoints, thus failing to use the extent of the line." I take to mean they were inclined to 1, 2, many type of approach which does not invalidate your '3 cats' analogy. By the by my point about 2 cats was, not that people might say 2 instead of 3 and be simply wrong but that had you chosen to put 2 cats in the room then an understanding of 3 as an abstract concept is not a requirement and the more primitive 1, 2 & many pointed out by Norm Deplume applies anyway but your argument is the same. In other words scaling from 3 to 2 changes nothing.

I agree with your comment about children etc. The argument has to be about functioning adults in their society.

The real issue is the statement "they located numbers only on the endpoints, thus failing to use the extent of the line.". This suggests to me one and many, not even the 1, 2 many of earlier.

Again this does not help me because you can claim that understanding 1 represents cardinality and something therefore agreed by all and abstract.

To be honest I can only argue about this by indirection. What I would exemplify is what the authors describe as ubiquity by cultural practices (imperialism).

I have two examples. the concepts of Zero and the concept of 60 seconds in a minute. The argument cannot be that you have a primitive culture so it won't have the concept but that does the concept always arise within a culture without the cultural imperialism as it were. The Greeks based their maths on lines and Euclidean geometry not numbers. the two are equivalent but not the same. They certainly had problems with the concept of zero. When you look at the appearance of the zero concept across the world it does give the impression of colonisation. So does that make zero an abstract concept that is unique to itself i.e. the concept has a rightness and objective validity. The alternative is that it is such a useful abstract idea that makes dealing with issues and contexts so much easier than alternatives (unspecified!!) or maybe it literally conquered the world as one group conquered another and promulgated the idea (bit like religion).

The other example is trivial. We all accept 60 seconds but why? (that's rhetorical we just do as its convenient)

My real point is that concrete things cause stimuli which we relate to external existence. So the cats in the room have real existence but the concept of counting does not. Somehow your internal conceptual model needs to be updated with this. Is that update because counting is a universal truth or just subjectively useful.

I have not put this very well but then this is a very nuanced argument BUT one which I feel is important when we get to the God exists/does not exist discussion.

Posted on 10 Jan 2013 12:12:15 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jan 2013 12:13:02 GMT
All science ever seems to need is time to explain things, everyone wants answers now but it seems simply that we do not have the faculty or the facilities to answer some of the tougher questions like the Big Bang for example. I do think that in time, as with much else, we will have answers for these questions. Maybe not in our lifetime... maybe not for 100 years but I do think the answers will surface

All science seems to ask for is time and it will provide the answers

Religion claims to already have the answers and asks you to believe them blindly without question

Sorry but the scientific approach seems more appropriate to me

Now if Science confirms a "God's" existance... now wouldn't that be interesting

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 12:10:24 GMT
AJ Murray says:
I wonder if in 50 years Christians will be on forums telling everyone that the Church was in fact *very* progressive on homosexual rights and was actively seeking to change society for the better...

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 12:07:32 GMT
K. Hoyles says:
Thanks Paul - you might find this book helpful, 'The Portable Atheist', 'Essential readings for the Unbeliever', selected and with introductions by Christopher Hitchens' -

An excerpt from 'Bible Teaching and Religious Practice', by Mark Twain

'The methods of the priest and parson have been very curious; their history is very entertaining. In all the ages the Roman Church has owned slaves, bought and sold slaves, authorised and encouraged her children to trade in them. Long after some Christian people's had freed their slaves the Church still held on to hers. If any could know, to absolute certainty, that all this was right, and according to Gods will and desire, surely it was she, since she was God's specially appointed representative in the earth and sole authorized and infallible expounder of his Bible. .....so unassailable was her position that in all the centuries she had no word to say against human slavery. Yet now at last, in our immediate day, we hear a pope saying slave trading is wrong...the text remain: it is the practice that has changed. Why? Because the world has corrected the Bible. The church never corrects it; and never fails to drop in at the tail of the procession - and take credit for the correction. As she will presently do in this instance'

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 11:57:14 GMT
Spin says:
MR P: It the job of science to explain the cause and effect of things. So it must be able to attempt to answer the question of the cause of the universe...It is only sciences inability to answer this question which results in its refusal to even address it in any way. There is no scientific justification for refusing to answer the question of the cause of the Big Bang...Fortunately, the times are such that our scientists are now beginning to admit, not that science is not to be applied to such a question, but that they simply do not know the answer because of the limitations of the scientific method, not because of the limitations of alternative methods.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 11:44:16 GMT
Mr. P. Smith says:
Light says:-"science hasn't proven God yet so God's secrets remain hidden."

It's not science's job to prove God - it's yours if it's anyone's!

Light asks:- "What would happen if people could unlock the mysteries of the universe?"

Don't you think that's exactly what we have been doing by looking at it, Light?

Light asks:- "Would the power be used to create or destroy?"

A bit of both I reckon.
It's humanity we're referring to.

Cheers
Peter

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 11:32:46 GMT
Spin says:
Jackie: If God tries to post on these threads he will no doubt be deleted...=) The Ten commandments - Customers do not think this post adds to the discussion... =)

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 11:12:04 GMT
G. Heron says:
Jackie Gill

"Saying God doesn't exist can not delete him" and saying he exists cannot create him.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 11:10:03 GMT
Jackie Gill says:
Saying God doesn't exist can not delete him, our part is actually to choose whether we believe in him or not. Unbelief or atheism will not make him go away. The most dangerous thing we have is choice. Many say seeing is believing, but for me believing is seeing. For me, my faith in God enhances all of science because its discovering how through all of time and space God has worked and is still working. I see no reason why God couldn't have worked through evolution and natural selection, I dont think God and science disprove each other, God is the greatest scientist of all. I agree with one thing though, God doesn't exist, he is very much alive.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 10:52:10 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jan 2013 11:08:20 GMT
Drew Jones says:
"Opposite in terms of one is abstract and the other is concrete. One is subjective, the other is objective."
I can kind of work with that, although I would characterise it as relative rather than abstract - that is just where we differ in terminology I guess.

"Anyway I actually think we now finally have a meeting of minds. We can now move on from bags to existence."
Good. Would you say existence (especially with reference to how a theist would think of their god) to be a abstract or concrete claim?

Posted on 10 Jan 2013 10:43:32 GMT
Bellatori says:
""The bags heaviness in terms of weight is objective." which conflates the two ideas as the same when by definition are they are exact opposite of one another."
I just can not see how heaviness can be considered the opposite of weight. They are related, heaviness would be the relative value of the weight.

Opposite in terms of one is abstract and the other is concrete. One is subjective, the other is objective.

Anyway I actually think we now finally have a meeting of minds. We can now move on from bags to existence.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 10:25:07 GMT
Drew Jones says:
"I gave you a definition of abstract and concrete. The latter can be informed by your five senses. Abstract cannot be."
This is where I get confused because you say heaviness is abstract yet it's your senses that are literally weighing up the bag to place it along your scale of heaviness. I think it better to say heaviness is the relative (subjective) form of weight (objective/concrete).

"The former might be described as objective existence but certainly not the latter which is a function of 'subjective' interpretation of your internal constructs."
Here is where I think we converge but language has divided us.

""The bags heaviness in terms of weight is objective." which conflates the two ideas as the same when by definition are they are exact opposite of one another."
I just can not see how heaviness can be considered the opposite of weight. They are related, heaviness would be the relative value of the weight.

"You also wrote "I think we only disagree in terminology and categorisation." Yes, If we accept that you don't understand the terminology and therefore, understandably, got the categorisation wrong."
Well if it's a difference on language then it's hard to appoint direct blame, I am of course going to say I say it better. When it comes to categorisation I think we are going to a agree that the existence of things is in your term 'concrete' i.e. trees, bags, wives, you and that is not the same as heaviness which exists as an abstract/relative concept. In the example of the bags weight we have been both been saying heaviness is abstract/relative but used different words, the trouble is that this started with existence and for that I think we are both going to categorise it as an objective/concrete claim. The bag example is correct within itself in illustrating abstract/relative concepts providing varying answers but not an apt analogy to existence.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 10:11:24 GMT
Hi Karen

Your post to Light reminded me...

There is another good book you might find helpful, by Stanley L. Jaki:

`The Road of Science and the Ways to God'.

Best wishes

Paul

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 09:51:20 GMT
Bellatori says:
Drew Jones says
"your word abstract and seems to work in the way I have been using 'objective existence'."

I gave you a definition of abstract and concrete. The latter can be informed by your five senses. Abstract cannot be. The former might be described as objective existence but certainly not the latter which is a function of 'subjective' interpretation of your internal constructs.

You also wrote
"The bags heaviness in terms of weight is objective." which conflates the two ideas as the same when by definition are they are exact opposite of one another.

You also wrote "I think we only disagree in terminology and categorisation." Yes, If we accept that you don't understand the terminology and therefore, understandably, got the categorisation wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 08:48:17 GMT
I think that was the point of the film '2001 A Space Odyssey', where the hero, and lone astronaut by that time, encounters other dimensions in space and time. Heaven knows when it will actually happen though.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 08:01:07 GMT
K. Hoyles says:
Light - your line 'science hasn't proven God yet' has just sunk into my early morning fuzzy head, and to that I can only reply that maybe science will discover god whilst on the journey to understand the origins of the cosmos ;)

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 07:46:39 GMT
K. Hoyles says:
Light - we don't know all the answers and the universe is indeed a mystery. However, finding out about its origins and what is happening to our cosmos and beyond is an ongoing process, and many new exciting discoveries have been made, new galaxies have been found which give a better understanding of our origins, for example. Knowledge is also used for good.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
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Initial post:  6 Mar 2012
Latest post:  10 Jan 2013

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