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Nareed
Nareed
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October 14th, 2011 at 10:01:33 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

God help us I've been trying to but you ignore me or deny it is valid.



You have presented nothing yet, except arguments.


Quote:

- the physical world around us is evidence. Where did it come from? Why is it so beautiful? Why is it often so complex or intricate? It looks like there is order to it? Yes, it is also ugly at times and chaotic so one could use the physical world around us as evidence to try and disprove God, but for me the reality of the world around us is evidence that God exists.



That's an arbitrary assertion on your part, mixed with value judgments about the world. Specifically you claim the world is beautiful. Well, parts of it are, others not so much. But that's a judgment every person makes, if they bother to, not an integral aspect of the world. You might as well claim there is a god because brussel sprouts are tasty.

Anwyay, the world, and the universe, is indeed complex. how does that indicate in any reasonable way the existence of any god? No arguments, evidence.

If you go with the argument that the universe is too complex to be the result of radnom chance, then kindly explain where your god came from. if he is complex enough to create a complex universse, he must have come from a yet more complex creator. And god's creator ought to have a still more complex creator. and so on, ad infinitum.

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- the testimony of billions, upon billion, upon billions of people. You seem to have a problem with this, but as I've tried to say before to you testimony is an important part of evidence.



Curious that out of billions you cannot present one.

Becasue if you mean reasons I've heard why epople believe in god, I've yet to find anything other than "because I feel it," "because I can't know everything," or simply "because!" These are the least irrational, you understand. I've heard a few that are much, much worse. But I hesitate to impose on your good will to the extent of quoting those.

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- there are many, many miracles that have occurred throughout history, many in our own day.



That, too is an arbitrary asserion. And at the risk of drawing the wrath of your colelague, the Reverend DJ, I will say it is a particualrly ilogical one for you to make. Why? because you've gone on at length on how mcuh we don't know about the workings of nature. That's perfectly true: there's a lot we don't know. That being so, how can you classify any event, no matter how remarkable, as the work of a deity, rather than as a yet unexplained phenomenon?

Quote:

We could talk about history and also about where the desire for perfection in us comes from, but until you recognize that there is some evidence for a reasonable assent of the will to believe in God then I have no evidence from you that it is worth keeping up the conversation. Peace!



I dare you to repeat that in a way that is understandable :)

I'll wait. But I must warn you so far you're doing a close imitation of Sagan's "Venus" parable.
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odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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October 14th, 2011 at 11:07:58 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I'll wait.



I think by signing 'peace' that means he is done. But then again, you got him to come back once after saying that [g]

Quote: Nareed

I must warn you so far you're doing a close imitation of Sagan's "Venus" parable.



Care to elaborate?
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FrGamble
FrGamble
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October 14th, 2011 at 11:29:56 AM permalink
Quote: progrocker

1. The world is obviously not perfect. Nor is man perfectly designed. We still get lower back problems later in life because our feet have not evolved to be large enough to support a bipedal lifestyle...yet. Beauty is cultural and I don't think I would know what beautiful was unless I was told my entire life (see Eye of the Beholder, the greatest Twilight Zone episode IMO).

2. Appeal to popularity, one of the many logical fallacies out there. You seem to think testimony is important but it really is not. Anecdotal evidence is no evidence at all. Many are made to feel the 'presence of God' via clever marketing,

3. Misinterpretation. Often highly improbable events are believed to be impossible, therefore are described as 'miracles'. I have yet to see evidence of anything happening that was literally impossible.

The real problem with religion is that it is either a) wholly inaccurate or b) wholly inadequate in describing the fundamental nature of the Universe,

We are incapable of understanding, so why even bother trying? Accept the world as your reality and live as best you can. Empty the head, fill the belly.



1. Yes the world nor we are not perfect how is that proof God does not exist? Is it possible that the brokenness of this world and even ourselves is meant to inspire in us a longing for something more than this world can ever give? Stop selling yourself short by the way, you know what beauty is without others telling you. If what they told you was beautiful went against your inner and instinctive notion of beauty you would reject it. By the way I cut out the little quip about logical fallacies because they are indeed well known as are the responses to them.

2. I am not appealing to popularity. That is indeed a logical fallacy. I am appealing to credible testimony. How much hubris must you have to dismiss thousands of years of people who have experienced God in a real and tangible way. Was Gandhi tricked by clever marketing?!? Come on, the real experience that I have of God and countless others cannot be attributed in any lasting way to the smell of incense or stained glass windows. Again I think you are selling yourself short and maybe not thinking about the possibility that a cathedral only taps into a dormant seed of something special that is inside all of us.

3. You have not seen any evidence about miracles, what about those who have? Again you may have never seen a volcano but you know that they exist. I was leading a group through a local shrine the other day and there were hundreds of stories about miraculous healing. One story was told of a little girl whose one leg was three inches shorter than the other. She came in with a school group to pray. The other kids ran off to the playground she stayed in Church and was lost in an experience of prayer. They almost left without her. When she walked back to the bus the limp was gone and both legs were the same length. There are pictures and testimonies from her parents and doctors but you wouldn't believe them for some reason. I believe them, but again I don't need these type of things to believe in God - they are indeed extraordinary.

Religion is the only adequate way to describe the fundamental nature of the universe! It is Holy adequate while everything else is full of holes. Some use wormholes others all types of things including imaginary universes or my favorite argument - just give us time and we will figure it out. It is a waste of time to just sit around and wait for us to discover the fundamental nature of the universe on our own, but it is not a waste of time at all to discuss these things. They determine much about how we view life and how we live whether it is empty the mind, fill the belly or fill the mind, empty the belly or my favorite - fill your mind, body and soul!
Nareed
Nareed
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October 14th, 2011 at 11:41:44 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

ICare to elaborate?



Sure.

Venus has a thick atmosphere overly rich in clouds. It is the closest planet to the Earth, but due to its thick and ever-present cloud cover its surface cannot be seen.

Many astronomers assumed the clouds were water vapor clouds. Therefore venus ought to have a lot of rain. They also assumed Venus closely ressembles Earth. It does, actually, being near-twin in size and density (though its density was guesswork until recently, given the absence of a satellite).

Well, then a planet like Earth with lots of rain ought to ahve large oceans, mighty rivers and, being warmer since it's closer to the Sun, it ought to have alrge areas of jungle-like areas. the combination of abundant water and higher temperatures on such a world would suggest lots of life, too.

Come the XX Century and two developments: Radar and rocketry

Radar waves were bounced of Venus. The planet is too far and at that distance radar is too crude for mapping, but we found out its period of rotation. Slow, very, very sloooooooooooow. It takes Venus a large part of a Venusian year to complete one rotation about itself. Cloud cover or not, the planet must be broiling and the side away from the sun must be ice cold.

Come rocketry and we can actually send probes all the way to Venus. the first ones were of limited use, but they helped settle the composition of the atmosphere. This turns out to be mostly carbon dioxide, sulphuric acid and very little water vapor, only traces of water vapor. Latter ptobed landed there and others used shorter radar waves to gather a reasonably detailed map of Venus.

Ou near twin has an atmosphere tens of times thicker than ours, made mostly of carbon dioxide and no water to speak of. It's a parched dessert, drier than dust, without as much as a creek. The thick atmosphere made of a greenhouse gas traps heat so well the side facing the sun and the side facing away from the Sun are at almost the same temperature.

So Sagan says:

"Observation: there is nothing to be seen on the surface of Venus. Conclussion: it must be teeming with life. Later we learned better"

The moral of the story is: ignroance is just lack of knowledge, not a blanket permission to fill in the blanks with that which you find most pleasing.
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FrGamble
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October 14th, 2011 at 11:45:23 AM permalink
I will just try to make my crazy run-on sentence a little more intelligible, sorry about that.

I said, "We could talk about history and also about where the desire for perfection in us comes from, but until you recognize that there is some evidence for a reasonable assent of the will to believe in God then I have no evidence from you that it is worth keeping up the conversation. Peace!"

Dear Nareed, Like one of your earlier posts I could go on and on about evidence for God but I will not because you are unwilling to grasp that there is reasonable evidence for God. I also will not go on because even though I do readily admit there is evidence that could be used to disprove God you have hardly quoted any. Go back and read your posts with the same critical eye with which you looked at mine and see how many of your, 'what is wrong with religion' points are conjecture, stereotypes, misunderstandings, and strong personal feelings. Let me leave you with a quote that I think sums up our little conversation, "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible." -- Author Unknown

Peace!
Nareed
Nareed
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October 14th, 2011 at 12:10:44 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

1. Yes the world nor we are not perfect how is that proof God does not exist?



It isn't. It also isn't evidence that god exists. It's evidence that the world is as it is.

Quote:

2. I am not appealing to popularity. That is indeed a logical fallacy. I am appealing to credible testimony. How much hubris must you have to dismiss thousands of years of people who have experienced God in a real and tangible way.



Whether one person or nine trillion of them, feelings are only evidence of the state of mind of oen person and perhaps of that of people similar to them. Not of the existence of something outside themselves.

And I'm still awaiting a single such testimony.

Quote:

When she walked back to the bus the limp was gone and both legs were the same length. There are pictures and testimonies from her parents and doctors but you wouldn't believe them for some reason.



I don't believe you. I don't suggest you're lying; indeed I believe you're sincere in this claim. But the claim is too extraordinary to believe without proof. You know, on faith?

I would be willing to see the pictures, read interviews with the parents, the girl and any witnesses, and submit the whole thing to any interested physicians. I hope you'll be willing to understand that some instances of differences in limb length are actually due to spinal cord issues, or abnormalities in the pelvis. Lastly, assuming this was a supernatural occurrence, what is your evidence to claim it was a specific deity who did it?

BTW, just so you won't get your hopes up, even if we could authenticate the claim and the "healing," we'd only just be at the beginning. Next we'd need to investigate what happened. Then we'd need to look at possible mechanism as to how it happened, and whehter there's a reason it happened at the time it did. I also think it's fair to tell you I do not expect to ever se any photos or transcripts of any interviews. Somehow such things are never available.


Quote:

Religion is the only adequate way to describe the fundamental nature of the universe!



I've never heard a single explanation of the nature of the universe originating in religion, let alone a fundamental one. "God did it" is not an explanation. "God did it for reasons you cannot comprehend" is less than that.
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Nareed
Nareed
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October 14th, 2011 at 12:24:34 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Dear Nareed,



I do thank you for taking the time to explain.

Quote:

Like one of your earlier posts I could go on and on about evidence for God but I will not because you are unwilling to grasp that there is reasonable evidence for God.



I will dispense with the reference to Reagan.

I dont' fail to grasp it. You have failed to offer any evidence at all. I've explained why, you've kept repeating the same arguments.

Quote:

I also will not go on because even though I do readily admit there is evidence that could be used to disprove God you have hardly quoted any.



I've quoted none. I don't intend to present any, either. I don't need to. The burden of proof doesn't rest on me, it rests on those making a claim; ie it rests on you in this case.


Quote:

Go back and read your posts with the same critical eye with which you looked at mine and see how many of your, 'what is wrong with religion' points are conjecture, stereotypes, misunderstandings, and strong personal feelings.



None. They're all based on observation and experience. It's odd you should bring this up, too, because one of the first things you did in this debate was to push faith on me. I should say I'm flattered by the attention, but it's like receiving a comp to an all-expenses paid night at the most expensive nightclub in Vegas: it offers nothing of any use to me.


Quote:

Let me leave you with a quote that I think sums up our little conversation, "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible." -- Author Unknown



I'd be ashamed, too, had I come off with such an intelelctually weak statement. I've used it to mock the Dalals Cowboys. You know, "Q: why do you dislike the Cowboys? A: If you're a football fan, no explanation is necessary. If you're not a fan, no explanation is possible."

It works as a joke because it's already absurd but sounds profound.
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MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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October 14th, 2011 at 12:30:20 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

So Sagan says:

"Observation: there is nothing to be seen on the surface of Venus. Conclussion: it must be teeming with life. Later we learned better"

The moral of the story is: ignroance is just lack of knowledge, not a blanket permission to fill in the blanks with that which you find most pleasing.


A long time ago, before monotheism, gods or supernatural beings were used to explain that which humanity could not. All of the pre-Abrahamic religions, including the Greek/Roman pantheon, the Egyptian pantheon, the Hindu pantheon, the Native American pantheon (and I mean both north and south -- they were different), the Chinese pantheon, all of these were developed by people to explain what early humans observed but could not understand. Something as simple as "the Earth is round" was totally unknown to early man, so he invented sun-gods carrying a flaming ball of light across the sky, disappearing into the underworld every night. The concept of "underworld" is a throwback to when humanity thought the Earth was *flat* and therefore there must be something *under* it. So you had Apollo, Ra, Surya, Tonatiuh, etc.

But then we learned that the Earth was round. And after that, we learned that the Sun wasn't revolving around it but vice versa. And now nobody reveres Apollo or Ra anymore because we understand that the Sun isn't a plaything of the gods but a ball of hot gasses undergoing constant nuclear fusion.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
EvenBob
EvenBob
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October 14th, 2011 at 12:42:17 PM permalink
The famous myth author and religion expert,
Joseph Campbell, tells of a priest who said to
him: "Mr Campbell, if we could prove there was
a god, we would have no need for faith."

To which Mr Campbell Replied: "Father, if you
could prove there was a god, we would have
no need for religion."
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
Nareed
Nareed
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October 14th, 2011 at 12:44:21 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Go back and read your posts with the same critical eye with which you looked at mine and see how many of your, 'what is wrong with religion' points are conjecture, stereotypes, misunderstandings, and strong personal feelings.



Thinking back on it, I did make one error. I said Jewish prayers are all flattery or requests and directionto or of god. That's not entirely right. In my haste I forgot there's also as large subset of thanking god for this and that and the other thing. Be these things that exist or actions that god commands of his followers. In my defense I'll say that these expressions of gratitude are mixed in with flattery. For example "Blessed art thou God, our God and King of the world, that thou has commanded us to/given us/made me/not made me/etc"

It's still sickening. and I won't even get into the content of some of those baruchot, or of how transliterating Hebrew is different in English than in Spanish.

I regret the ommission.
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