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Comment Re:Reason (Score 2) 674


You seem rather persistent in insisting that what you consider "necessary" or "worthwhile" is objectively so, demonstrated simply because you say it is

Not at all. I keep asking what separates the unprovable God hypothesis from other hypotheses (e.g. the teapot, the FSM, etc.). I'm asking *you* to tell me why the God hypothesis is worthwhile, when infinitely many other hypotheses that are equally (un)supported are not. (I presume you'd agree that it's not worth seriously considering the existence of a teapot orbiting the sun).

The scope of "worthwhile" is tautologically defined by the reality you already accept--if it is an extension of philosophical naturalism, it is worthwhile, if it is not, it is not worthwhile.

No, you misunderstand. It's not about me, you do it too. There are infinitely many potentially true things, and you only have finite time to consider them. How do you distinguish between the potentially true things you consider, and the ones that you don't?

You don't see this stance as rather... limiting?

Humans are limited creatures. It does us no good to pretend we know things that we actually do not.

it is simply untrue that knowing "God did it" tells us nothing. At minimum, it tells us God did it.

But that adds no explanatory power to our models. Saying "God did it" does not allow us to make more accurate predictions about observable reality. That's the same as telling us nothing.

My experiences are consistent with many others' as per the expectations of the religion. If there is disparity, you haven't demonstrated it.

"many" others. Try "all others". It only takes one contradictory observation to disprove a hypothesis.

So what? You get "different answers" asking anything from any diverse group, whether it be in politics, art, or for that matter, physics. From this we infer none of the positions is correct?

Politics and art are matters of opinion. In physics, no you don't get different measurements. If you get different measurements for the same phenomenon, you either discovered a novel effect(e.g. you weren't actually observing the same phenomenon), or your apparatus is broken.

Here's an example. The OPERA experiment measured the speed of neutrinos. Every experiment in every laboratory everywhere in the world had already determined through extensive observation that the speed of light is the fastest any particle with mass can go. This one experiment contradicted decades worth of experimental evidence, and got huge amounts of press coverage. As well they should have, it would have turned physics upside down if it were true. But as it turns out, it was a loose cable.

So no, it's not OK to get different answers. If your revelation tells you one thing, and another person's revelation tells them something contradictory, at least one of you is wrong. Since you are both using the same technique, you have to conclude that the technique is unreliable.

Remarkable, given it was presented in this very thread, to you. You neither challenged the evidence nor acknowledged it. "Not seeing it", however, seems remarkably unlikely.

No idea what you're talking about here. Link or quote.

You have not explained how or why hypoxia results in these specific experiences, consistently.

Nor do I need to. That we do not have an explanation for consciousness currently does not mean that deity is required.

Which, ironically, is precisely what you just did. Conjecturing and asserting your conjecture regarding the writings is true.

I did not assert that my conjecture was true. I asserted that it was plausible. If a plausible naturalistic explanation exists, there's no reason for us to assume a supernatural explanation. Remember, I said it was important that evidence be *inconsistant* with the model you are trying to reject. Currently your "evidence" is consistant with both a theistic and naturalistic model of the universe. Show me something inconsistant with a naturalistic model of the universe.

"The evidence" is for the dominant model of the time, in science in particular. For it to expand, someone has to propose a model contrary to the known evidence, and initially, their hypothesis-formation is highly speculative. This is precisely how we came to accept Einstein's Relativity. This will be how we will determine whether String Theory is ultimately correct. This is how we will determine which of the Interpretations of QM is correct--and one of them is, and none of them are differentiable by testing.

Nope. We follow the evidence. Relativity was prompted by the observation that the speed of light is constant in all directions. String theory was prompted by the observation that two extremely well supported models produce nonsensical results when combined.

Can speculation be useful? Sure, but until you have something testable, it's just speculation. Including string theory. Asking "what if" questions is all well and good. The problem comes when you like the answer enough to forget it's a "what if" and call it an "is".

Then people are correct or incorrect based purely and exclusively on whether or not they are correct, based on what actually happened. Conjecturing what might have happened, or noting a lack of knowledge as to what happened, does not alter what happened. If someone saw what happened, they know what happened, regardless of the lack of knowledge of others.

I agree with this entirely. If Bill shot Steve, the people who saw Steve shoot Bill are wrong, the people who saw Andy shoot both of them are wrong, and the people who saw no one shoot anyone are wrong. Using the arbitrarily assigned numbers I made up for illustration, that means that 3 out of 4 eye witnesses are wrong.

But you're an eye witness too! If you know that 3/4 of eye witnesses are wrong, how can you not doubt your own eyes? Their incorrect beliefs were based on "direct empirically derived direct experience", just as yours is. But they were all still wrong! What kind of hubris does it take to make you think that your eyes don't lie, when everyone else's eyes do?

If it's not clear, eyesight here is used as an analogy for revelation.

Comment Re:I do. (Score 1) 151

Do you seriously think what GP described is a Usian problem?

It's sounds like the AC's problem to me, if the "vast majority" of his bosses are 'vindictive arseholes' then either he's really unlucky, or there's something about him that brings out the 'vindictive arsehole' in people. My guess is that the AC is a young male and as such will generally have problems with any authority figure. OTOH he has a point, I'm not going to light up a joint in the bosses office any day soon.

Comment Re:Reason (Score 2) 674

Leave aside your disdain for the term--what is it that you consider fundamentally different, epistemologically, between religious faith and, say, the "undemonstrated belief" that String Theory is valid?

String theory is a worthwhile exercise because it potentially explains a real gap in our knowledge. If true, it could explain the discrepancies between quantum mechanics and general relativity. Eventually the models will become sophisticated enough and technology will advance to the point where something testable will fall out. And if it doesn't, theoretical physics is a small investment that has paid for itself a million times over already.

God on the other hand is not needed to explain any natural phenomena. If there is a phenomenon we cannot currently explain, saying "god did it" does not actually increase our understanding.

I have tested it using the recommended methodology for testing for spiritual phenomena

There are only phenomena, and the recommended methodology is the same for all phenomena. The scientific method. Valid observations have to be repeatable, verifiable by third parties, and if you're going to accept or discard a hypothesis they have to be compatible with only one truth value for that hypothesis. Your proposed method fails all of those points.

How does that matter?

It matters if you care about accuracy. If I weigh an object, and get 5 kilos, then you weigh the same object and get 8 kilos, we'd throw away the scale. It's not a reliable tool.

On the other hand, if you ask your deity how old the Earth is, and a Hindu asks his deity how old the Earth is, you'll get different answers. Your measurements are unreliable, yet you're not willing to throw away your instrument.

What is true is contingent on what you've personally seen?
Not at all. That was not a claim that religion is false because I have not seen evidence. That was an invitation for you to present evidence.

I just posted peer-reviewed information supporting the veracity of theism.

You posted a peer reviewed paper supporting the existence of subjective experiences during extreme hypoxia. That is entirely consistent with a naturalistic explanation of consciousness.

I also posted information regarding its predictions (i.e. "prophecy") along with a survey of proposed improbability if it were random guessing.

Self-fullfilling prophesies, generous readings, confirmation bias, and retconning.

e.g. I'd be surprised if there weren't a dozen individuals who fit the very nonspecific description in that first prophesy, but were not successful enough for record to survive.

e.g. for the second prophesy, what evidence is there that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, besides gospels written decades after his death by people with a vested interest in linking him to messianic prophesy?

e.g. You don't think it's likely the author of Matthew engaged in some poetic license? How would he have known exactly what the cost of the bribe was?

And so on...

That doesn't mean that it can't be, that is, that there is a correct resolution to the question, and that scientific method cannot address.

Again, just because the scientific method can't address a question doesn't mean it's OK to make things up.

And how do you make this determination of what is "worth consideration" a priori?

You don't. You follow the evidence. You observe the world and make a model of it based on those observations. Then you look for predictions made by that model, and see if they match further observations. So far there are no observations that require a God to be part of our model, and our model makes no predictions about the existence or non-existence of God. As LaPlace apocryphally said to Napoleon, "I have no need of that hypothesis".

If I see Bill shoot Steve in a back alley, I have all the evidence I need that Bill shot Steve. I do not need to replicate the event for you or prove it for it to be evidence

What if a billion people claimed to see Bill shoot Steve? And another billion people claimed to see Steve shoot Bill? And yet another people claimed that Andy shot both Steve and Bill? And another billion people claimed that no one shot anyone at all?

Wouldn't you start to doubt that your eyes are a reliable instrument for observing reality? That's exactly the case with revelation. Your personal subjective experience of God cannot be a valid experiment because billions of people have done the same experiment and gotten different results.

Comment Re:**apparent age** (Score 1) 674

"created with apparent age" is how they explain that...done...**dusts off hands**

Ah, but what apparent age? If it was created 5000 years ago to look 4 billion years old, it could just as easily have been created 5 seconds ago. Why choose one over the other?

Because the bible says it was 5000 years old? Well the bible could have been created 5 seconds ago to make you think the Earth was created 5000 years ago.

And now they're ruined by their own "logic". Allowing the miracle of "apparent age" doesn't actually strengthen their position at all. The more miracles you allow, the more potentially true things there are, and the less likely it is that your specific version of events is true.

just stop the whole line of thinking...

And that's why theism is harmful. It requires you to stop thinking. Never stop thinking.

stop trying to disprove something with logic that is personal opinion....

Stop having personal opinions about factual claims about objective reality.

Comment Re:not a hypothesis (Score 1) 674

all I have really proven is that you cannot PROVE or DISPROVE the existence of a supernatural god, buddah, Xenu or whatever with logic or scientific inquiry

And I completely agree with this statement. Now the question is, why do you treat the idea of God differently than any other unprovable idea?

Because faith, right? The problem with that is that people have faith in mutually conflicting ideas, so we know that faith cannot be a reliable way of determining facts.

you can't prove or disprove it

That you can neither prove nor disprove something is not license to make any claims you want and have them taken seriously.

Comment Re:teapot is a personal perception (Score 1) 674

It's all just opinion too...it's your **opinion** that the proper analogy to believing in 'god' is [insert something ludicrous and nonsensical]

Let me elaborate on this. It's not just that believing in god is equivalent to believing in an absurdity. It's that every unsupported proposition is equivalent. Instead of a teapot, we could presume a 4 kilogram lump of iron is orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars. Or a 4 kilogram lump of ice. Or a 5 kilogram lump. Maybe it's between Venus and Earth. And so on.

You can come up with infinitely many plausible propositions that are unsupported by evidence. We don't spend any time thinking or arguing about any of these. Why? Because until there's evidence there's no reason at all.

Now we don't have evidence for any of these propositions. So we don't give them any consideration on a daily basis. Why then do we consider the equally unsupported existence of God?

Comment Re:Reason (Score 2) 674

Wrong. Science requires faith in quite a few unprovable axioms, right at its core.

True, but that doesn't require faith. We can accept propositions provisionally if they are useful. We have mountains of technology that could only have been created by presuming the scientific method works. We have zero technology that could only have been created by faith.

Identity, that things are what they are, and are so consistently, being one.

If things aren't what they are(whatever that means), it does not affect the outcome of our experiments or the models we come up with to explain those results.

No science proceeds without starting with hypotheses, the plausibility of such ultimately being true being supported, at that point, only by the equivalent of faith.

Hypotheses are testable, and they are discarded when they fail tests. That's not equivalent to faith at all.

To avoid the common misrepresentation, "faith" does not mean "belief without evidence", that's simply an intentionally-false statement of what theists mean by it, made by atheists, to fit a pre-built argument. "Confidence in the face of incomplete information" is an accurate rendering of what theists actually mean.

I don't see a difference. If you're claiming that "incomplete information" is greater than "zero information", I'd like to see some of that information that leads you to be confidant about the existence of anything supernatural. I've never seen any.

Either "rock is good" or "rock is not good" is a factual claim. One or the other is true, neither is provable.

The problem with that is that "good" is not well defined. Propositional logic does not apply to squishy english terms. Av~A doesn't work when A means different things to different people.

A better example concerning unprovably true statements would be Godel's theorems. But that still doesn't help your argument. That unprovable statements exist does not imply that they are all worth consideration. Hell, we don't even have the time to evaluate all the potentially (dis)provable statements.

"The theist" can certainly hold the position that his belief is one of opinion, rather than fact.

You can have an opinion about a factual claim, but that doesn't make the claim non-factual. You're free to have whatever opinions you want, but your opinion about objective reality is worth nothing if it is not supported by evidence.

Comment Re:teapot is a personal perception (Score 1) 674

thanks for chiming in w/ an explanation of the teapot thing...I still think its a complete waste of time to consider but thnx just the same

That's the point! The teapot is entirely a waste of time to consider. Just like every other unsupportable hypothesis, such as the existence of God.

It's all just opinion too...it's your **opinion** that the proper analogy to believing in 'god' is [insert something ludicrous and nonsensical]

What is the meaningful difference between the God hypothesis and the orbital teapot hypothesis? They are supported by the same amount of evidence, so they should be treated equally. That's not an opinion, that's simple reasoning.

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