Who can give the best account of why there is a God?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by alexb123, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. Oniw17 ascetic, sage, diogenes, bum? Valued Senior Member

    I hear theoretical physicists can explain anything...
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  3. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Hmm, theists can explain anything as well - god did it.

    But explanations aren't worth much unless they have some support from reality.
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  5. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    In other words by faith you can avoid the difficulty of having to go through the rigours of coming to t he platform of direct perception to verify what einstein advocated (BTW I am not condemning such acts of faith, I am indicating that to seperate them from the pursuit of knowledge is not at all practical).

    Th e problem with the high school drop out, is that he has no faith, which reflects the state of affairs with the atheist
    aka - physicists in regards to physics right? Why don't psychologists verify the findings of physics?

    Part of th at choosing is choosing to undergo the rigours of training and discipline to be able to work with the raw data that examinations of sub atomic phenomena requires - before that stage (of direct perception) one has faith

    On the contrary they are verified by the same means as science - physics is verified by physicists and their associated text books (ie someone who has been trained in the discipline of physics) just as religious claims are verified by practioners and scripture - for instance if I said that all atom are protons, how would you refute that claim as obviously false (unless you refer to an authority held in good standing - ie a science text book)
    As far as the general public is concerned, they might as well release it according to Panini's grammer - in other words its hardly a text that can be easily penetrated by the adroitness of your average joe.
    Scripture is also there for the average joe, which is why there is the saying "The bible is the most commonly read book and the most commonly misunderstood book" - in other words whether you are talking about science or religion, the knowledge of both is contingent on practioners who can explain it

    Just as those with ordinary vision see the sun's rays in the sky, so the wise and learned devotees always see the supreme abode of Lord Visnu. Because those highly praiseworthy and spiritually awake brähmanas can see that abode, they can also reveal it to others. [Rg Veda Samhitä]

    already indicated
    Can you think of a saintly person who didn't offer instructions without the view of coming to the platform of perfection?
    Are you contending that no one has come to the perfectional stage in religion or are you contending that the scriptures that offer such indications of sadhana (means to the goal) and the symptoms of reaching various points along the path to the goal (including the reaching of the goal) are not elaborated upon in scripture?

    agreed - so now the next question is who is qualified to see a said phenomena - the general tendency is that the more subtle the knowledge (regardless of discussions of theism/atheism), less and less people are capable to directly perceive it.
    Demonstrations are only accepted according to the credibility of the authority performing the demonstration (ie faith)
    You say there is no evidence of god by detectable means - the only detectable means you indicate is physical proof and physical proof is the business of reductionism (there is no physical proof for the mind, so my point is that "physical proof" is an incomplete means for determing the nature of phenomena in this world)
    thats because it is not known what matter is essentially composed of - it explains why relying on the perception of dull matter as the final last word in reality is incomplete
    The word "science" finds various parralells in sanskrit (cultivation of knowledge, etc etc)- i am not contending science as such, but merely the limited definition of the word
    systems and emergent properties etc etc also exist in spiritual knowledge too - its not clear what you are refering to as "holsim" in reductionism since there is no unified field theory that connects the systems/components etc

    you indicate the scripture is wrong because the men who wrote it are wrong - the only fault of the "authors" appears to be that they wrote about religion

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    But isn't this statement of yours also imagination?
    Maybe you should be clear and determine whether you are talking about a theory or the nature of something factual.
    Therefore steadfast strains of theism have an accountable historical disciplic succession of commentaries and practioners - in other words its not that there is a 2 or 3 thousand gap between sincere and successful practioners. The standard is met with each successive generation - if this succession fails the strain of theism automatically perishes by default and winds up being a social body in the pursuit of economic development or sense gratification, quickly becoming indiscernable from munadne materialistic endeavours
    The origins of religion, at least in the academic field, are highly speculative. It is very difficult for outsiders to even penetrate into t he existing significance of existing cosmopolitan affairs, what to speak of ancient history
    The difference is that the ant doesn't actually have the physical capacity to understand - the high school drop out does, but insists on an alternative view due to ignorance and bad attitude
    There is evidence for the electron too, but it doesn't seem to help the high school drop out any ...
    The difference is that in theism you have persons claiming direction perception of the absolute and also the means how to come to that platform
    I think this was brought up before - I was advocating that inductive reasoning innvolves faith and you were taking the opposite - if faith does not play a result in determining the outcome of inductive knowledge its not clear how any body of knowledge could lead to any conclusion outside of the findings (for instance finding fleas on all 10 000 inspected dogs would indicate nothing except that 10 000 dogs had fleas)
    I would counter that due an attitude not dissimilar from the highschool drop out in regards to the electron, you disregard on face value all of the bodies of knowledge and evidence established by scriptures and saintly persons. From such a skewed view it is not apparent to you how the faith utilized by a theistic practioner in the beginning stages is nondifferent from the type of faith necessary for a novice student to undergo the rigours of study and learning in science
    They are literally tripped over in any branch of science you care to mention if you go far enough.

    Why is the speed of light 2.99792458 x 10(8) ms (-1)
    Why is the magnetic constant 1.25663706144 x 10 (-6) H m(-1)
    Why is the electric constant 8.854187817 x10 (-12) F m(-1)

    or if you want to take things out of a reductionist paradigm

    What makes a squirrel sense its ability to jump from one branch of a tall pine tree to another with perfect timing and accuracy?
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  7. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member


    No. Blind faith is never required for anything and it isn’t being used in this example.

    Nothing stopping them.

    Blind faith is never required for anything and it isn’t being used in this example.

    No. Science is verified by an independent methodology available to anyone.

    Entirely different. These sources are not verifiable by any type of independent process.

    Or you can conduct all the experiments needed to verify it for yourself. There is no equivalent with religion where one is forced to accept the scriptures or priests using BLIND irrational faith.

    Totally false. In science one is free to study the principles and the experiments to discover the facts independently. There is no such process where anyone can verify the existence of a god or the claims made by religions, such claims can only be believed using BLIND irrational faith.

    Yet none of that can demonstrate the existence of anything supernatural.

    How does that answer my question of anyone demonstrating the existence of the supernatural?

    Far too convoluted and ambiguous for me to form a meaningful answer.

    You mean fewer and fewer. But no that is not true with respect to science since anyone is free to verify science claims if they so choose through published procedures.

    Not true. You can do the experiments yourself. Blind faith is never required for anything worthwhile. Religions have no choice.

    No I have not said that. You are free to offer anything if you can demonstrate it is real.

    Nonsense. Physical proof can be determined by numerous mechanisms. All you have is a strawman argument.

    Science doesn’t prevent you presenting other types of existence if you can prove them real.

    Try this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holism

    The effect is the same. What’s your point?

    So what’s your point?

    Which cannot be demonstrated as true and which cannot be differentiated from delusion.

    Re: Faith – Religious faith (blind faith) – conviction that something is true in the absence of evidence.

    Inductive reasoning (evidential faith) – confidence that something is probably true based on statistical evidence, but understanding that there is a finite possibility of not being true. Most of our daily lives use this type of reasoning as does the overwhelming majority of science.

    So why see these as anything other than part of the characteristics of nature?

    Last edited: Nov 15, 2006
  8. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    then its not clear how a person comes to a conclusion th at einstein advocated while being grossly incompetant to do the practical work to verify such claims
    a lack of foundational knowledge in physics I would say at a guess
    so you said earlier - I think you have a strange defintion of faith - perhaps one you heavily associate with theism or something - perhaps you can define the word "faith" and we can save you the effort to repeat statements that don't appear to make sense
    so a person bereft of a foundation in the theoretical frame work of physics can verify the claims of physicists (if thats the case why are physicists considered specialized in the employment field?)
    neither is physics - it is verified by physicists

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    yes there is, evidenced by your very example - you can only verify such a claim in the way you suggest if you are a practioner of physics, just in the same way theistic claims are met by similar practioners

    Same in theism - one is free to become a practioner "everyone is free to take to spiritual life just as everyone is free to take bath in the ganga during the month of magha (winter)" - its free to everyone, but perceiving it as unpleasant the opportunity is not availed.
    just in the same way that working with theoretical scientific knowledge is blind faith (until of course one comes to the point of direct perception, where upon it becomes realized knowledge)
    They see it - and they explain it so others can see it (provided one actually wants to submit to the process of enabling one to see it - which is the stand off epitomized by the high school drop out and the electron)
    All saintly persons (at least the ones I am aware of) indicate processes to come to the platform of perfection by advocating normative ettiquette - if you can name one that doesn't I would be curious to hear about it
    my mistake - try this

    Are you contending that no one has come to the perfectional stage in religion


    are you contending that the scriptures that offer such indications of coming/traversing the path of perfection are not elaborated upon in scripture?

    ie - accept through faith - or do you mean that someone can do the necessary scientific work to review the latest findings as they are presented in time magazine?
    in which case you woul dbe classified as a practioner and the whole issue of not being on the platform of direct perception need not be addressed
    neither does science, after all before one is a "scientist" they are just relying on the direct perception of others with faith
    How can I demonstrate to you that the mind is real?
    How do you determine that the mind exists?
    It does if you hold that anything explainable and real must fall within the parameters of your version of "science"
    One innvolves the possibility of understanding - th eother does not
    the perception of evidence depends on qualification
    why not?]
    Then I would argue that inductive reasoning is applicable to theism - the only reason you assume religious faith is blind is because you wager that it is all faslely constructed - the only reason you appaear to give for suc a premise is that it is logical if we accept your original assumption

  9. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member



    Then they would need to learn. Nothing stopping them.

    Done so at the end of the post. Explained it to you several times already and it has been explained repeatedly in many threads here by many people over the 7 year lifetime of this forum.

    No, they only need repeat the experiments already developed and documented. That is different to physicists who are attempting to discover new knowledge and develop and design new experiments.

    No. By anyone who wishes to run the experiments they do not have to be labeled as physicists.

    This is nonsense. If I cook my own breakfast I do not need to be labeled a cook. If I cut down a tree in my garden I do not need to be labeled a lumberjack. You are deliberately missing the point because it doesn’t suit you. Anyone, absolutely anyone, who wishes to verify the findings of science are free to reconstruct the experiments for themselves. It may well require some training and understanding of the equipment, but those are just matters of logistics.

    Again you have totally missed the point. Recreating a science experiment assists in verifying a truth. Practicing a religion gives absolutely no guarantee that any truths will be revealed.

    No. Please take time to understand the difference between blind faith and evidential faith.

    No again. There is no verification that they see anything. These are still unsupported claims.

    I have no idea what that means.

    I don’t know what that means. I can’t answer it.

    Doesn’t help. I don’t understand your question.

    No. They need to read the scientific papers that describe the experiments and the work.

    Make an effort to understand what “faith” means.

    Construct an experiment to show cause and effect.

    Same as above.

    No. Science does not depend on how people perceive science. If you can logically prove that something exists and the demonstration is reproducible by others then you will have achieved your objective. There are no limitations.

    But being able to understand and not wanting to understand give the same result.

    And here we can define qualification as either ability or desire.

    If you cannot show that something is true then your claim for it might either be true or you are deluded. How would you tell the difference without an independent mechanism of verification?

    If you take that approach then you must show that the supernatural exists to support your claim for some degree of evidence.

    The speed of light is a natural phenomenon; like the four basic forces; gravity, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear.

    I don’t think you have a clear perception of what you mean by natural. Can you explain magnetism for example? Perhaps if you had ever studied basic chemistry and physics then you would have a better feel for these fundamentals. And perhaps if you would study what is really meant by reductionism instead of just misunderstanding it from a purely philosophical distorted view then perhaps you’d have a better grasp of what is natural.

    I’m very loathe to enter into a description of natural selection here so you will understand how a squirrel came to have certain properties, since I sense you really don’t have any foundations in science and the debate would be very prolonged and most likely a waste of my time. My apologies if that sounds condescending or if I have misjudged you.
  10. fruityfigtree Grace strengthens the will Registered Senior Member

    Why is there a God?

    I don't think such a question has an answer conceivable in our human minds. In order to find out, you have to get to know Him infinitely more than is possible in this dimension. You have to be like Him to know why He exists. Most of us don't even know why we're here, but now we wanna know why GOD exists? You can never know until you have a mind like His...
  11. Shaitan lord of hades Registered Senior Member

    and where is this (god)mind.
    I'll tell you, it's inside yours.
    you already have a mind like that, use it, think for yourself.
  12. fruityfigtree Grace strengthens the will Registered Senior Member

    I believe if I had the mind of God I would be perfect. I wouldn't need anything and I wouldn't be restricted in any way.

    But, because of my human nature, I have a mind that would like to be a god. Yet my mind has been corrupted by all the crap in the world. Therefore, I cannot be like God but I can be a very corrupted god.
  13. lightgigantic Banned Banned


    Suppose a 12 year old, impressed by pictures in a science article in time magazine, sets out to directly perceive the findings of a great scientist.
    Suppose the first time he looks through a microscope is when he is thirteen.
    Suppose the first time he learns about the base material elements is when he is 15.
    Suppose the first time he enters a professional lab is when he is 18
    Suppose the first time that he is actually qualified and knowledgable enough to carry out the experiments and directly perceive the results that first inspired him when he was 12 years old is when he is 22.
    During the past 10 years, when he was grossly incompetant to perform the practical work of science that enables the direct perception of scientific claims, what was the platform that his scientific "knowledge" was being maintained on, if not faith?
    Then they would be psychologists that had the necessary training to be practioning physicists - something quite distinct from your run of the mill psychologist.
    In other words if you want to say "science is available to everyone" its obviou s that you cannot avoid the issue of training, etc that would make such an endeavour possible - obviously not everyone has or is prepared to undertake such training, even amongst scientists - therefor e the claims of different scientific disciplines are made on the strength of authority, and persons, even scientists accept them on faith. Like for instance if I ask you whether a single human cell has 200 trillion, 20 billion or 2 million molecules, the only way you could verify that is by quoting some scientific authority you had faith in, even though you profess some degree of expertise in some fields of science
    certainly might explain why you have some strange connatations withthe word

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    but even to repeat the experiments requires some training in physics - in other words the platform of direct perception, even if you are following in the footsteps of persons who have established the path, has prerequisites of discipline and training
    A physicist is someone who is capable of understanding physics - distinct from say a spot welder or pastry cook.
    you may not be the best cook, but if you just made yourself a pie its obvious that you know how to roll pastry

    maybe your not qualified to start a tree logging business but you can hold an axe
    Just like anyone can make a pie if they know how to roll pastry or cut down a tree provided they are capable of wielding an axe.
    Physics requires more than knowing which end of a microscope to peer down or which end of the bunsen burner is hot - there is a whole body of theory that enables one to make sense of the raw data one is expected to collect - like for instance suppose one was setting out to calculate time by measuring the energy levels of laser cooled atoms - don't you think that requires more than an instruction manual for a laser?
    Its not clear why you make this statement in regard to religion
    As far as I can determine the only reason you want to call the faith in religion "blind" is because it is called "religion". Actually I don't think the faith used by a succesful practioner of either science or religion is blind - that of the unsuccessful practioner is - an example of that in science would be someone making a tentative claim based upon a tentative scientific claim - for instance I recall one seminar where the speaker said to the audience that there was very little evidence for what he was claiming, but that shouldn't concern the audience because the theory they had before this they had virtually no evidence for at all.
    What are you talking about?
    There are claims by saintly persons, confirmed by scripture, about the nature of transcendental experiences - both authorities advocate processes based on normative values on how to achieve those states and there are the claims of persons who have applied these processes and achieved such states
    normative means "what people should do" as opposed to what they do "do"
    It seems you are grossly unaware of any saintly person achieving an exalted state of being
    or alternatively you are suggesting that the different levels of spiritual advancement indicated in scripture bears no relevance to the persons who adhere to such reccomended processes and perceive the benefits outlined there
    So if tom the panel beater picks up a medical journal he can do heart surgery? Or if he picked up a paper on the latest developments in rocket science he could even make heads or tails of it?
    faith meansthat you accept something as true or reliable, even though the means to determine its actual truth and reliability are beyond you - like for instance if a person in london reads an article about archeology in the indus valley and are so much inspired about it that they become a qualified archeologist working in the indus valley 10 years later, during that 10 year period they were operating on faith (the faith would be more considerable in the beginning and practically neglible at the conclusion)
    What would be an example of such an experiment to indicate the mind's existence?
    It is limited by what others can reproduce - like for instancethe high school drop out's inability to reproduce the experiment with the electron certainly sets up a few perimeters to the progress of science
    You are right - the difference lies in potential
    agreed - evidence is not self evident
    my question was what is that property of religion that makes it fall in such a category, since you have the statement of a proposal of reality (scripture), persons who can vouch for such a proposal (saintly persons) and also persons who can vouch for the process of perceiving that proposal (candidates for spiritual advancement)

    you have the claims in scripture - you have the confirmation of saintly persons and you have the testimonies of persons applying the process - what more do you want?
    so now you are backing down from your previous statement that anyone can understand physics?

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    anyway, besides that, of course these things are natural - what is not so natural (or rather, obvious) is what has determined them as a constant - This issue was (unsuccessfully) addressed by einstein's unified field theory

    - in other words having an array of dispirate constants (eg - speed of light, magneic constant, electric constant, charge of electron/proton, rest mass of electron, rest mass of proton, rest mass of neutron, electronic radius, planck constant, boltzman constant, avogrado constant etc etc) is not sufficient to dtermine how they got to be the way they are - of course you can say evolution, but I could also say a celestial teaapot, after all you have no one to reference who is on the platform of directly perceiving how evolution formed these constants, nor can you advocate a process or path of research that enables one to directly perceive evolution forming these constants, what to speak of practioners of such a process who can testify to the success - all you can advocate are persons (and processes that enable one to think like such persons) that think evolution is a really really really really really good idea that could explain these things - this is why your use of the term "evolution" is just as effective as "celestial tea pot" - both of them are bereft of an authority at the position of direct perception, which is what science (whether you are talking about spirtual science or material science) is dependant on to be accepted as bonafide
  14. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member


    I believe you are stuck on the idea that one MUST believe something. This is a common fault with theists especially. I’ll repeat again there is NEVER a need to use faith for anything. In your example the length of time is not relevant, the boy/man/old man isn’t forced to believe what the scientists are saying, one may simply always remain skeptical. Or one could accept what was being offered inductively bearing in mind the foundation of science that there is always an element of doubt.

    Again, I’ll repeat you NEVER have to believe based on faith. This is never required. If one doesn’t have the time to find the facts directly then one can always remain skeptical, or accept inductively.

    Choosing to believe something in the absence of evidence doesn’t determine that what is believed is true.

    Not sure what you mean here. The term “blind” represents the absence of evidence in religious beliefs.

    Not sure you made a point there. Science is pretty much all about evidence. In religion there is no evidence.

    What states are you talking about?

    OK thanks.

    What does saintly mean? What does exalted state of being mean?

    I don’t have any comprehension of what “spiritual advancement” means.

    You seem to be confusing the fundamental theories of science with the application of science (usually technology of some type), these are quite different.

    Good examples of inductive reasoning or evidential faith. However, a belief in the supernatural elements that are key to religions are not based on anything that could be considered evidence since no one can show that such things exist. In religion these are believed on blind faith and not evidential faith.

    I think this is a repeat but – my problem is that I can’t see that your claims that such scriptures or saintly persons are indeed capable of representing truth. For example how could we independently verify that what they claim to be true is indeed true? In science anyone is free to repeat the experiments, whether that is practical or not is another issue, but the opportunity is there. With your claims you are forced to trust authority figures and texts only. And I see why you are trying to say the same thing for science, but that isn’t accurate. In science there is empirical data that you don’t have in religion so the two paradigms are significantly different. What is the equivalent in religion to the empirical data from science?

    Proof that what they claim is true. But we seem to be at cross-purposes here. I am looking for proof of supernatural constructs and here you are talking about process. I’m no longer sure we are talking about the same things.

    LOL, no I think it is more like you are your student drop-out who doesn’t want to learn science.

    This is an interesting issue. It is essentially what is it that makes natural things natural. The latest idea of course is string theory where absolutely everything can be reduced to these very fundamental “things”. But that doesn’t answer the question of why things might be that way. Generally science is more concerned with “how” and not “why” although the “why” often becomes apparent when the “how” is discovered.

    I assume you might want to suggest that there is a designer or creator, although that begs the question of why that entity makes such choices. Others have suggested that what we see as natural here might be different in another universe. If the big bang did occur (I suspect there was no such thing) and created this bubble universe then there could be an infinite number of other big bang bubbles existing concurrently where each might have developed a different set of physical characteristics; perhaps one where the speed of light is different and where life might not be possible.

    Clearly we can only speculate at this time.

    I guess we could also consider that it is this set of parameters that make the universe possible, if it were otherwise then perhaps the universe would not exist. In other words what we see is what it is and there is no design or reason other than it works correctly this way.

    So this issue of the mind existing or not arose because of my request to you to prove that something supernatural exists. You know and I know that you can’t do that using science or empirical data. You had no choice but to avoid the challenge and you are understandably continuing to do so. Your attempted defense though is to pursue what you see as the inability of science to prove certain well established things like the mind and if that were true then I wouldn’t have any validity to insist you prove the supernatural exists.

    So how would I prove that the mind exists? So this is really quite easy since the mind doesn’t really exist so there is nothing to prove. Ok so you won’t like that answer. But it is true in a very real sense. The word “mind” does not represent an object or a “something” but rather it is a label we have assigned to a set of effects. For example if you have a thought, or you remember something, or you experience an emotion, etc, we say these are all the actions of the mind. But that is not accurate. What is really happening is that the brain is generating all these characteristics and we have simply clumped them together and called them “mind”. In perhaps the same way that a flock of geese doesn’t exist, as in reality it is just a group of geese. If the geese all go in different directions then the “flock” magically vanishes. Another example is a traffic jam. This is another system that is entirely dependent on its components and interactions. It is just a label we give to this group of real world characteristics.

    This means that to understand the details of the mind one must look at the empirical causes of the effects and that takes us into the science of neurology. I.e. the mind has an empirical basis that can be studied by empirical science. Much like a flock has an empirical basis in the form of its real live geese.

    I’ll pause here and let you respond, although I’m pretty sure I know what you will say.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
  15. lightgigantic Banned Banned


    From my side it appears that this argument of faith vs inductional knowledge is semantic - I tend to use the terms "blind faith" and "faith" and you appear to use the words "faith" and "inductional knowledge" for the same purposes
    i am advocating that there is evdience, perceived by persons qualified - of course you will demand to know whatthat evidence is, but all I can do is point to established authorities in the field, just like if we were having a discussion about the billions of molecules in a human cell, all we could do is quote authorities in the field since (I assume) none of us have the skills of direct perception to give a feasible number by dint of our own direct perception
    you cannot sperate the word "evidence" from "seer" - in otherwords if you want to advocate that there is no evidence for religion, you also have to qualify your position (or the position of others whom you hold as authoratative) that you have met the requirements for determining the feasibility of theistic claims
    My point was that the feasible claims of either science or theism are determined by someone, somewhere, being in a capable position of direct perception in regard to the claims being made - in the presence of direct perception you can argue for some presentation of truth - in the absence of it you cannot because it is speculation
    states of knowledge, distinct from states of illusion

    SB 11.10.14-16: My dear Uddhava, I have thus explained to you perfect knowledge. There are philosophers, however, who challenge My conclusion. They state that the natural position of the living entity is to engage in fruitive activities, and they see him as the enjoyer of the happiness and unhappiness that accrue from his own work. According to this materialistic philosophy, the world, time, the revealed scriptures and the self are all variegated and eternal, existing as a perpetual flow of transformations. Knowledge, moreover, cannot be one or eternal, because it arises from the different and changing forms of objects; thus knowledge itself is always subject to change. Even if you accept such a philosophy, My dear Uddhava, there will still be perpetual birth, death, old age and disease, since all living entities must accept a material body subject to the influence of time.

    in short, a theistic practioner stabilized on an advanced level of knowledge
    in short, the degree that one understands and realizes that the corporeal self and things related to such a bodily conception (relatives, possessions, wealth, country etc) are not ultimately one's own
    What has more value?
    Theories that one is not capable of applying or theories that one is capable of applying?
    an electron can not be "shown" to anyone who doesn't have a foundation in physics -
    Since there are numerous claims of saintly persons perceiving the transcendental absolute nature of reality and also adocating the means to be situated on such a level of perception, you would have to determine that you (or the persons thatyou hold as credible in the field) have met the criteria indicated by those that perceive it, just like if a person determines that electrons do not exist, they are also required to indicate how the y have met the standard requirements for perceiving such things (this explains why the claims of th ehigh school drop out in regard to the electron are not held in high regard by the scientific community)

    ditto above
    yes, the opportunity is there to acquire the related discipline and determine the truth/falsity of the claims - it is dependent on perservering with the right discipline for the right claim - for instance you cannot determine the truth of organic chemistry by studying astronomy.
    Much like an astronomer is forced to accept the claims of an organic chemist
    Transcendental knowledge cannot be presented empirically - religion however doesn't contradict empricism, since it accommodate sthe following themata

    In other words the difference is that empricism cannot lay claim to the same synoptic domain of religion.
    the demand to see the empirical body of evidence for god is just like trying to balance an elephant on a dining plate. (limited senses, ie empricism, cannot accomodate the unlimited)
    This explains why ignorance is always a concommitant contributer to the progress of empricism and why there is no end to empirical inquiry.
    The analogy about the high school drop out and the electron illustrates the importance between processes and perceiving proofs
    what is an example of a "how" that science has uncovered that determines a "why" that doesn't beg a further "how"?
    In other words relative knowledge answers neither "how" nor "why".
    Actually ID scientists advocate that understanding the purpose (why) can help us determine the design (how).
    speculation nests in empricism, by necessity
    this is still clearly a branch of speculation and not bona fide science since it is bereft of an authority on the platform of direct perception to confirm this

    seeing what one sees with is a difficult problem for empiricism, much like jumping over one's knees. basically with empiricism you cannot go further than Descartes "I think therefore I am" - there is so much phenomena that one can doubt in this world, but one cannot doubt that one exists because that is the platform from which all doubt owes its source

    Frankly I doubt whether you seriously advocate this philosophy - either that or you are unaware of the ramifications of such an out look - to determine that there is ultimately no sense of "self" to the corporeal body (there is no "flock" to the "geese") means that there is no question of responsibility for one's actions (in otherwords you have no reason to express outrage at a person who blows themselves up in a bus full of people, since there is no entity amongst the neural tidings of the brain that is ultimately responsible).
    The subject is more eloquently summed up by Roger penrose
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2006
  16. Makaveli Registered Senior Member

    interesting read .. thank u
  17. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member


    No I don’t think so. Use different terms then – (1) belief not based on evidence, (2) belief based on evidence. Religion uses (1). The real problem is that you claim that religion does have evidence but you have no means to show it is real.

    No this is not a valid comparison. Science can demonstrate these claims as true; your authoritative figures have no means to show their claims are true.

    No again. The authority in science is the evidence. And those you claim are the authoritative figures in science are able to show that the evidence is what supports their claims. Your religious authorities have no means to support their claims so we have no way to know that what they say might be true.

    No that doesn’t hold up. Scientists MUST support their claims by independent evidence and there is significant competition in the scientific community such that other scientists will readily destroy the claims of another if the evidence is not adequate. It is this extensive peer review mechanism of reproducible experimentation that ensures that no individual scientist is the authority but is instead the weight of the evidence. Ultimately the scientists themselves become irrelevant.

    Religions on the other hand have absolutely no equivalent or similar checks and balances. Claims by religious authorities are expected to be believed without any verifiable or independent supporting evidence and that makes such claims not credible and gives no cause to believe them.

    Ahh – an arrogant claim that can’t be supported.

    Not really sure why ownership is an issue here.

    How can one possibly place a value on knowledge whether it has any practical use or not?

    And neither can any other set of imaginary objects we can dream up. The point here is that you are unable to prove that these claims that cannot be proven through empirical evidence are somehow still valid but you cannot demonstrate how except by believing others who also have no way to demonstrate they are true.

    Interesting but I don’t see how those lead religion to claim the existence of anything supernatural and support such a claim in any credible manner.

    And does a credible job.

    I do not see the connection.

    Prove it.

    No one has claimed otherwise.

    Of which none can be shown to represent any truths.

    Please stop the preaching.

    It doesn’t attempt to do so but what it does claim can be considered credible. Religions, however, claim to know everything and can demonstrate absolutely nothing.

    Then as I have said many times feel free to demonstrate the existence of a god through a mechanism other than empiricism. You have utterly failed to show that there is anything else. Your entire argument is based on believing the claims of religious authority figures that are in the end just fallible and limited humans.

    Then you haven’t come close to understanding the implications of what I said. Clearly the flock, the traffic jam, the mind, consciousness, and similar systems do impact reality, but they are transient and totally dependent on their component parts, but they do exhibit behaviors and properties beyond their parts. Such systems are truly greater than the sum of their parts yet entirely dependent on them. And I have most definitely not said there is no sense of “self”. Self exists exactly as above as a transient system all the time its physical support structures exist.
  18. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Do you are argue that evidence is self evident?
    If you do why does the police train and engage detectives for homicide cases?
    In other words when you have a situation where qualified persons are making claims about the nature of things, those claims are refuted or confirmed either according to the degree of faith a person has in their credibility or by persons who are similar or more greatly qualified. Of the two refutation/confirmation of the former is feeble. (like for instance a physicist is quite right to laugh at the claims of a high school drop out in regard to the electron).
    To avoid the station of feebleness you have to establish exactly how you or your representatives are similarly or more greatly qualified than theistic practioners.
    What does this demonstrate to your average joe?

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    Or alternatively you have no means to verify if they are correct, anymore than the average joe could determine if one too many COO-'s were slipped in.
    You mean like the krebs cycle diagram?
    Hardly - its comlete gibberish unless it is in the hands of someone familiar with organic chemistry - evidence means nothing unless it is in the hands of a qualified person

    Its the same with kreb cycle - you have two choices - either accept it on faith or verify its validity by entering into the discipline of science
    So why is it that a community of scientists set out to deconstruct theorized propositions of evidence and not high school dropouts?
    All this doesn't place science in a distinct class - on the contrary with the numerous historical commentaries, scriptural references and presentations of philosophical conclusions, theism operates out of similar principles

    Hardly a true statement - if one is required to have scientific training to independantly analyze scientific claims, why do you assume that there is no specialized training to determine the nature of theistic claims (I use "training" in a very loose manner, meaning any number of ways to arrive at the point of understanding the imports of knowledge, and not just a mere uni degree or equivelant of formal training)
    Maybe you didn't read this Q in conjunction with the one that came before it (It did include a scriptural quote, therefore you probably felt justified in skipping it for reasons indicated by your accusation)

    You're not attached to your body?
    You don't accept things related to your body as the very sustenance of your life (friends, relatives, prestige, wealth, etc)
    Those who can't do, teach; those who can't teach, manage; those who can't manage go to art school

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    The difference is that there are persons making claims about the nature of reality and processes that enable one to come to that platform of perception - hence its not imagination
    I have never said it is all about belief in others - it is you who has constantly declared it - I have constantly been saying that one can be enabled to come to the platform of directly verifying the claims.
    These claims cannot be established by empirical processes because they are transcendental (beyond the purview of the senses) - how do you propose that a metaphysical truth be presented physically?
    How do you propose to physically present -33.333333 recurring?

    - religion however doesn't contradict empricism, since it accommodate sthe following themata

    “ “
    Probably because you lack qualification - even an astronomer runs into brick walls when trying to determine the claims of an organic chemist at a certain level
    The paragraph was actually indicating that its not so credible - if you put the paradigms of reality determined by the human senses on one side of the scales and everything that the universe has to offer on the other, which way do you think the scales would tip?
    Just as an elephant cannot be supported on a dish, the universe cannot be supported by thehuman senses - just like a swimmer, regardless of how powerful a swimmer they are, will definitely drown if they are placed in the middle of the pacific ocean - just like an ant cannot understand the mechanics of a passenger airline (perhaps they could comprehend the satchets of sugar that the airline hostesses offer for the tea but thats hardly a great advancement in the knowledge of aircraft mechanics)

    Answer this question
    Where are you?
    Then why do you hold on to the limited (unless your faith is that it is the only thing you have)
    well they have been shown to saintly persons - and not only that but they reveal how it can be shown to others too ...
    I can include quotes without tags if you want, but skinwalker got sore at me for doing that - what would you prefer?
    this statement doesn't make sense - there are numerous credible claims in theism.

    i have indicated it - through the recommendations given by saintly
    persons and scripture, just like there are recommendations for the progress of advancement inphysics by physicists and physics text books - if you don't want to accept that process, you don't get the result of that process
    then I guess these leaves you with the problem of establishing your claim beyond the realm of speculation - if you say that the mind (consciousness) is a product of the combination of gross material elements, evidence requires that you be able to configure the material aspects of the brain to establish selfhood - I think I have posted links in a seperate thread that indicate a body of work to suggest that does not appear possible even in theory.
  19. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    Ahhh, but it DOES effectively exist (whether or not it exists in “reality”)... much like the Theory of Relativity, actually, which many “rational” people subscribe to.

    The following is distilled down from what I was exploring with an old post a while back called “The Pragmatist’s God”

    If we look at the fairly universal attributes commonly associated with “God” it can be described as:
    It cannot be seen by human eyes, but people can feel Its presence.
    It is omnipotent: It can force the hands of people and turn the tides of fate. It cannot be stopped or contained. The sum of all humankind’s power combined cannot compare to It. No one person can control It, but everyone can influence It - It knows the fears, wishes, glories and prayers of every person, and responds accordingly. Its power should be recognized, revered, feared and respected - to deny Its existence is folly at best. Its power reaches into the deepest recesses of every person’s subconscious mind and exercises influence on all, regardless of faith or belief.
    It works in mysterious ways. There is none as subtle and graceful as It is. It can wholly control nearly every aspect of a person’s life, without that person even knowing It is present.
    It is omniscient: It is greater than the sum of the knowledge, wisdom, experience and emotions of everyone, past and present. There is nothing that happens that It does not know. There is nothing that has happened that It does not remember. Its knowledge of and influence over the future is unfathomable. No future, however, is inevitable.
    It is omni benevolent: It is greater than the sum all the benevolent influences of all people combined.
    It is omnipresent: There is no place anyone can go without being affected by It.
    It is eternal: It has existed since before the dawn of humankind's consciousness. Long after the last human has expired, It will still exist.
    It has created, and continues to create, humankind in Its own image.
    Humankind has created, and continues to create, It in its own image.

    Does something with the traits and attributes of "God" exist?
    I think so.
    Does that thing affect my life on a regular, even constant basis?
    I think so.
    Does that thing react to my actions, therefore, in effect, acknowledge my existence?
    I think so.
    Does that thing have an immense power over people’s lives all around the globe, whether or not they acknowledge its existence?
    I think so.
    Does this thing deserve to be respected and even praised for its power?
    I think so.
    Do I benefit from acknowledging this thing as an integral part of my life?
    Yes, I think I do.

    I determined that there actually IS something that all those attributes could be ascribed to.
    It has all the power that the “universal God” has, I could see its effects in my every day life, I can contribute to it, I can learn from it, I am affected by it every moment of every day and it deserves all the praise and worship that is lauded upon the God(s) of different religions.
    If I respect the power of it, act with integrity and be mindful of all my actions and what I contribute to it, I could clearly see the results of those actions.
    I could see the direct and indirect results of living a virtuous life, while recognizing, acknowledging and revering something bigger than myself that is not distinct and separate from myself.

    This thing, for all intents and purposes, is equivalent to common depictions of the “Universal God”.

    Who or what is God?

    The Alpha and the Omega
    Volition, Driven
    Desire, Realized
    Will, Rendered
    Word, Incarnate
    Intention, Revealed
    Karma, Manifest

    Every action you take affects the lives and decisions of countless people around you and each one of those actions that were affected by your action affects many more.
    It is an endless collection of ripples interacting in an infinite pool of time.

    Any decision you make, regardless of how insignificant it may seem on the surface, could ultimately end up affecting the lives of millions of people that you don’t even know, and many that you do know.
    What is most important is being mindful of the contributions you make to it by virtue of simply existing and interacting with other life.
    It is important to acknowledge the fact that we and our lives are so intrinsically intertwined and powerfully influenced by this, and that we would do well to keep that in mind when we make the choices we do.
    We certainly are self-determined animals, but we are constantly inundated with influences in our lives, and while that is certainly no excuse to absolve yourself of your responsibility and accountability of your actions, not being mindful of such influences will cause you to fall prey to it. The immense power of this is something that should be revered, not blamed, because the source of the blame is placed squarely on individuals and their actions.

    Although its existence cannot be seen, heard, measured or quantified, it certainly has very real effects.
    It swept through the Deep South many years ago and convinced people that they were justified in lynching human beings based on the color of their skin.
    It pulled people together at home to gather their efforts and cooperate while their sons and husbands were off fighting World War II.
    It made Michael Jackson a star.
    It made Michael Jackson a pitiful laughing stock.

    Every attribute of God and the Devil, every bible story, every ideal and ideology can be ascribed to it.
    God is Karma, Manifest.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2006
  20. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    Again, as in the other thread I posted the link to, I think this analysis regarding a scientific approach as to whether or not Jesus existed is applicable to this discussion.


    A scientific approach to the Jesus question would be remiss without looking at the purpose of science and discovery.
    What is the main goal and purpose of science? To observe phenomena and their interactions with each other with the end result of discerning the results of those interactions to gather knowledge that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of said interactions under controlled situations. We gather knowledge in order to use that knowledge to our advantage. Science, then, is wholly pragmatic in its endeavors - it is only interested in results.

    History - whether you are discussing rumors of a God-man 2000 years ago, governmental propaganda from World War II or the CNN news broadcast last night – relies almost entirely on anecdotal evidence.
    Science, on the other hand, all but rejects anecdotal evidence, due to the fact that it cannot be independently and objectively verified. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence often completely undermines the whole concept of a controlled environment. Finally, anecdotal evidence, by its very nature, is wholly subjective, therefore generally considered fairly useless.

    This, along with the scientific tenet that you cannot prove a negative, virtually guarantees that there is no way to prove that Jesus did not exist. Using material evidence is simply out of the question.
    That given, there are two approaches you can take…

    Most people who claim that Jesus did not exist will use the first one. Weigh the veracity of the anecdotal claims against other wholly subjective anecdotal claims that have as their claim to veracity, grater contemporary corroboration. There are quite a few problems with this approach that I feel are apparent, including the fact that you are simply weighing subjective evidence vs. subjective evidence and the dearth of contemporary history in Jesus’ time.
    Corroborating evidence does not make a claim fact.
    If it did, one could simply point to the fact that there exists an estimated 2 billion Christians, it is the basic belief of the Muslim religion that Jesus existed and was a prophet of God, many Jews believe that Jesus existed, but simply was not the prophesied savior and countless other people believe that Jesus existed, but simply do not worship him. With even a conservative estimate, likely half the world’s population believes that Jesus did exist. If corroboration of anecdotal evidence determined fact, one could simply point at the more that three billion people who believe he did exist and rest one’s case.

    The second approach, I believe is the more pragmatic, therefore scientific, approach.
    How can you look at the question pragmatically and objectively? You look at the results of his existence and how that would change if his existence was false.
    Given that you cannot disprove the existence of Jesus, there is no need to look at what may happen if someone disproved that he existed, because it simply cannot happen. So, looking at the world today, with all the people that believe that he did exist, what would change if that belief was not based in reality?
    Exactly what would happen if it WAS based in reality.
    Exactly what would happen if Napoleon never existed, and he was just a product of French propaganda.
    Nothing at all.
    What would it change? People will still believe he existed. His image would have the same exact impact it does today. He exists as a collective memory right now. He exists as a force within our cultures right now. People’s belief in him right now, has the exact same effect as if he really did exist.

    As someone who values little more than truth, this is something that is quite difficult for me to admit and accept, but like it or not, for better or for worse, collective belief DOES determine reality.
    Jesus exists in people’s minds because people believe in him, and if that belief is not based on reality at all (which is simply improvable) it makes no difference whatsoever.
    And there is nothing you can do about it.

    So, if you truly and honestly take the “Scientific Approach” to the question of whether Jesus existed the answer would HAVE to be, “It doesn’t matter, because it has absolutely no bearing on the situation al all.”
  21. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member


    So, someone has actually SEEN an electron first hand?

    Or is it that scientists have postulated the existence of an Electron based on percieved interactions with other matter?

    There IS a difference, you know.
    I'm pretty sure you also know that is what most "scientific knowledge" is based on - especially particle physics.
    Nothing stemming from the Copenhagen Interpretation is based on first hand observation.
    It is all postulation, based on observation.
  22. Fire Registered Senior Member

    Yes... 'first hand observation' was a poor choice of words.

    And reality is the important factor. I would never deny that a god delusion exists. The electron - despite the fact we may not see it directly - we can measure it's presence in reality.

    I had to get that last sentance in there before LG comes along...
  23. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    But I am not refering to the delusion of God, I am referring to something which has all the described attributes of "God(s)" and is very real, observable and, in effect, equal to the common conception of what God is.

    Just like in Special Relativity, the results of matter approaching the speed of light contracts time and dilates length - regardless of what the "reality" of the situation may be, the effective results are what matters.
    The results point to the reality.

    If this something (Karma Manifest) has the same net effective results as God, is it not then God?

    Perhaps people have given it a different name, personified it and given it a long, white beard, but we are talking about the same thing.

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