So... God

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by SomeGuyOverThere, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. SomeGuyOverThere

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    Thought it would be deliciously inappropriate to start a discussion the day after Christmas (Boxing day for my British co-patriots) on God.

    In the midst of all this wrapping paper and fairy lights and Christmas Trees, do you believe in God(s)? Do you believe in the Christian God? Why?

    Generally, do you place faith in divine beings, if so, why?

    Personally I don't have any beliefs about a divine or otherwise creator, I think that Science has the potential to find and explain all there is, and that God is a label of that which we do not understand which does not and cannot solves problems; only create bigger ones.

    And, enguage me in debate at your peril - I'm reading "The God Delusion" at the moment, and I'm halfway through. :tongue: And yes, I was an Atheist when i started reading one, but I became more convinced in atheism and more convinced in the harm and flawed nature of Religion while I was reading the book.
     
  2. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    Significant differenct between religion and faith.
     
  3. SomeGuyOverThere

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    I don't think anything I've said falls down by that distinction.

    You are quite right that there is a big difference between the two.

    However, I only used the word "Religion" in the final paragraph, before that I used the word "God". Perhaps I should edit that to be more general.
     
  4. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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  5. SomeGuyOverThere

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  6. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    You obviously didn't read it. I would continue in this thread but a common starting point would lessen the waste of time understanding each other.:smile:
     
  7. SomeGuyOverThere

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    When a thread is more than about 3 pages, I confess I tend to read the first 2/3 posts and the last 2 or 3, and none of them suggested the debate which went on between them. I have read a lot of it now, I think it's interesting, but your claim to 'fall back on Pascal's Wager' immediatly jarred with me, as did your claim that "Atheism is a form of faith".

    Firstly Pascal's Wager tells you to force yourself to believe in God if you don't. Wouldn't an omnisceant God realise that you were just pretending to believe? How can you fool God? You can't. Any more than you can force yourself to believe something you don't.

    Secondly, Atheism is not a form of faith in most forms, it is usually about looking at the world and saying "I see no evidence for the existence of God, so I do not think he exists". Which is certainly the case for me.

    I see no more evidence for the existence of the Christian God than I do for Zeus, Wotan or Britannia.
     
  8. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    In that thread it was best said by JustAsking in this post:

    http://www.lpsg.org/et-cetera-et-cetera/39533-religion-3.html#post651506

    Its a fairly powerful statement, don't you think?

    Pascal's Theory is in fact game theory. You can win games if you play with game theory in the mix. What makes you think God isn't a rational, reasoning being, well adjusted enough to let me fool myself into faith using game theory, why do you think it would bother him? Read about empericism as JustAsking potrays it, he picked me up quickly, really cool.:cool:
    I think it bothers him though when I continue my growth and try to see a way to put some pseudo-empericism back into my faith.

    Then again you may just be missing the 'Faith' gene. You could be happy for that or not. If I were you though I wouldn't be.:smile:
     
  9. SomeGuyOverThere

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    Wait, faith is supposed to make me happy? Well in the same way that an idiot can be happy I suppose then yes, I suppose you could call that happiness. Unfortunatly for me, I'm not happy with that. :tongue:

    Thats just the problem though - you start talking about assigning attributes to something that we have no evidence for, and no way of checking. I might as well counter "what makes you think God isn't a giant, sentient banana who will punish you for every fruit you have eaten?".

    Without empiricism, without guageing things against measureable quantities, it's all just a matter of opinion, it's arbitrary.

    If God is a matter of opinion, how can you begin to argue about what properties he has, how can you assert he even exists? Because the existence of God, is most definitely in the arena of science.

    Its kind of like politics and the weather. If God is arbritrary, he's like politics, we can just bullshit about right wing or left wing for hours and nobody is particularly right or wrong, but the weather is one way or another - it is or is not raining in Honalulu at this particular moment in time.

    God can only be like politics if we say "lets imagine" and take away the matter of existence, belief and faith. As soon as they enter the mix, he's weather - he is or he isn't. He's one way or another. And then, empiricism is really quite important.
     
  10. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    Saying there is no god implies that you have the FAITH to believe you have enough information, of all the information available in the universe let alone all that is had by mankind at the moment, to claim with CERTAINTY that there is no god. You are better off declaring yourself a non-believer as DC does.

    (p.s. gonna catch your latest post in a bit)
     
  11. JustAsking

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    spiker,
    This is a difficult argument because you always take the apriori position that God exists and therefore one must have enough information to prove that he doesn't. This is a difficult position, because this argument also applies to Zeus, Aphrodite, and the undetectable minute teacup in orbit around Jupiter. It is also a double twist on the "argument from ignorance" problem. This is the trouble with a rational or empirical approach to proving the existence of God. So in this argument, I stand with Dawkins.

    Where I part with Dawkins is that I don't choose to place my complete faith in empiricism as the only route to ultimate truth. Doing so, is also an article of faith. So yes, Dawkin's atheism is not a religion, but his logical positivism is a religion.

    I do love to seem him light into fundamentalists, though. God knows the rest of Christianity is not doing a good job at that.
     
  12. madame_zora

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    Atheism can also include the one (like me) who feel we reserve the right to form an opinion based on further scientific evidence. You see, nothing pisses me off more than someone assuming that I MUST choose, especially about something for which there is NO scientific evidence pro or con. THAT to me is the problem, and I refuse to be pidgeon-holed.

    Someguy clearly said that he believes science can eventually find answers, but doesn't even assert that as fact- that it the only rationally sane conclusion one can draw! The only thing we can say with certainty at this time is "I don't know". The other thing that I believe is "You don't either".

    I don't believe in the Christian god, as described in the Bible, other than as a model. I don't believe in a personified god at all, just forces we don't as yet understand. I have to say, I echo the sentiment of SomeGuy that if faith is just the opiate of the masses, then I just can't subscribe. I don't want to be happy, if that happiness is based on half-truths, and outright falsehoods.
     
  13. JustAsking

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    This is a true statement, but it does not prove that empiricism is sufficient for getting at all universal truth. Dawkins is a logical positivist, which ultimately can only be defended as an article of faith.

    On the other hand, I love his challenge to religion to prove that it is a net positive force in the world. I am hoping he has some success with this part of his crusade.
     
  14. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    Why do you say that I say that God in fact exists at this point? When what I say is that the possibility of a [g]od exists. SomeGuyOverThere asserts that there is NO possible way that he/she/it exists. He is in fact making a leap of faith that he has enough empirical information on hand to make that assertion. I at this point am merely taking the agnostic position in a gendaken (thought) experiment, where I'm starting with the idea that 'creation' might require a 'creator'.

    He has jumped directly to the end of the experiment and says that God is DEAD.
     
  15. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    JA,

    DC_Deep doesn't say that he says, "I don't believe creation requires a creator and so what is the point of the experiment?"

    Is what I think a non-believer position boils down to.

    Spiker

    P.S. Do you think in the end God does not / never will have an empirical manifestation for us?
     
  16. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    Also, I'm never arguing that there is empirical evidence for God. These guys always bring me back to their empirical game and so I say hey maybe you don't have all the empirical information to out of hand dismiss the possibility of a creator and that if you think you do maybe thats an article of faith on your part.
     
  17. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    That twinge in your intestines
    Hand Of The Almighty

    (written by: John R. Butler)
    From the album "Surprise!"


    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial][SIZE=-1]VERSE 1 [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Oh, sinner, do not stray [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]From the straight and narrow way [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]For the Lord is surely watching what you do [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]If you approach the Devil's den [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Turn 'round don't enter in [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Lest the hand of the almighty fall on you. [/FONT][/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]CHORUS: [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]He'll fuck you up (he'll fuck you up) [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Yes, God will fuck you up [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]If you dare to disobey his stern command. [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]He'll fuck you up (he'll fuck you up) [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Don't you know he'll fuck you up [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]So you better do some prayin' while you can. [/FONT][/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]VERSE 2 [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Long ago a man named Lot [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Had a wife he thought was hot [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]But she could not stop her black and sinful ways. [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]You know it was her own damn fault [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]When God turned that bitch to salt. [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]That's the way he used to work back in those days: [/FONT][/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]CHORUS: [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]He fucked 'em up (he fucked 'em up) [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]He really fucked 'em up [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]When the people went and turned their backs on him [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]He can fuck you up (he'll fuck you up) [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]No shit he'll fuck you up [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Just like he fucked the people up back then. [/FONT][/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]VERSE 3 [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]I used to have a friend named Ray [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Who walked that evil way [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]He cursed and drank and broke his neighbor's fence [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]You know Ray was full aware [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]That some sheep were over there [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]And he knew them in the Biblical sense. [/FONT][/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]CHORUS: [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]God fucked him up (he fucked him up) [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]He went and fucked Ray up [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Went and paid him back for all his wicked sins. [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]He fucked him up (he fucked him up) [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Fucked that boy completely up [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Arial]Now he's married to a Presbyterian. [/FONT][/SIZE]
     
  18. JustAsking

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    It doesn't matter which side you start out on when it comes to Dawkin's argument, which SomeGuy has articulate quite well. Dawkin's point is that unless you have evidence for something then it is a waste of oxygen to be discussing it. Since your argument could be just as easily be applied to Zeus, God, Aphrodite, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it is a waste of time to apply these pseudo-logical arguments to the existence of God. SomeGuy doesn't say God is Dead anymore than he says that Zeus or the FSM is dead. All he says is why invent an imaginary construct and challenge people to prove it doesn't exist? It sounds like he stands with Dawkins who claims to be just like you in his atheism about Zeus, Thor, and all the other pagan gods. The only difference between him and you is that he goes "one God more" in his atheism. Its funny but I don't see you arguing very vehemently for the existence of Thor. Why is that?

    Also, you have not created a thought experiment. A thought experiment is one that demonstrates the logical consistency or inconsistency of an assertion. All you have done is to make an arbitrary assertion, which is "I think maybe creation needs a creator.". The only possible response to that is, "Ok, I am really happy for you." It has no argument value, however.

    Exactly! Saying that creation needs a creator is an arbitrary and extraordinary statement. And as they say, extraordinary statements require extraordinary proof. So far, there is zilch.

    You are using the "appeal to ignorance" canard again.

    Yes, I believe that. . Although I have a strong belief in God, I also believe that there will be no scientific evidence of the existence of God. I also believe that this is consistent with the Bible.
     
  19. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    I've understood DC-Deep's position from before ever hitting LPSG. It's not a recent personal epiphany or learned nuanced. I just find non-believer = atheist is functionally the same, I used to humor that distintion but not so much anymore. At least atheist is more intellectually honest. Non-believer is an escapist formulation.

    Funny enough I'm arguing about an incomplete experiment (which I really don't even care about). My thought experiment is that the Universe itself is the trail in the oil that indicates there is a God or sub atomic particle creating that trail in the oil for us to 'see' (we just also happen to be part of that oil trail). That's my thought experiment which is probably not much different than E's riding on a beam of light (until experimentalist caught up to the theoretician). You can call him Thor, Aphrodite, FSM, Yaweh, I don't care. You want to call him Thor? Okay, I'm arguing for Thor.

    You are more of a believer than I. Isn't Jesus a physical, empirical representation of God? If not, why not? (Be careful Peter).

    My faith as I've gotten to defining it does not really care if God will ever present himself in a empirical fashion. I seems irrelevant to me, but very relevant to you and to Dawkins.
     
  20. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    Really, isn't saying that creation does not need a creator also an arbitrary and extraordinary statement. If not, why not. And, as they say, extraordinary statements require extraordinary proof. So far, there is zilch proof that a creator does not exist. Creation is the proof that a creator exists, isn't it? Why not?

    Now listen Dawkins and et al have a specific problem with all gods that have a history or story that seems to them mythological. My God at the moment here is a God of creation. Nothing more or less. He has no myths to get hung up on.
     
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