City-Data Forum Is there anything that could change your mind? (soul, evolution, pagan)
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06-23-2011, 05:39 AM
 Location: Golden, CO 2,108 posts, read 2,497,318 times Reputation: 1018

May I suggest we use language that is a little more precise; it might aid in the communication of ideas. Something is either possible or it is not possible; something cannot be more possible than something else that is also possible. Probability lies along a continuum from very unlikely or improbable to very likely or probable. Something can be more probable or more likely than something else.

Someone may think a god is more likely to exist than a pink unicorn. They may base their probability estimates on how well something might fit into what we already know about the universe, etc, or upon evidence, however shaky it might be, etc. In short, people can legitimately argue and disagree about likelihood. People can be biased on this point, and that is ok.

The only legitimate argument people can have about whether something is logically possible or not is over whether the proposition implies contradiction. On the question of possibility, bias would be frowned upon because it can interfere with pure logical reasoning.

Estimates of probability have to do with interpreting the evidence and judging how well a proposition can fit into one's existing paradigm or worldview. Evaluations of possibility are an exercise in logic, and thus come nearer to being objective.

Last edited by Hueffenhardt; 06-23-2011 at 06:10 AM..

06-23-2011, 06:33 AM
 5,462 posts, read 5,935,581 times Reputation: 1804
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Georgiafrog Okay. Given the fact that we exist, don't know how, and that a God is a possible explanation to our existence, then yes. The idea of a God has much more validity.
What evidence are you using to dismiss the pink unicorn as a creator god? I thought you had to give everything that might possibly exist a chance. Unless you can prove it's impossible that the pink unicorn created us you should accept that it is just as possible as gods.

06-23-2011, 08:22 AM
 16,300 posts, read 24,947,967 times Reputation: 8282
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Georgiafrog Okay. Given the fact that we exist, don't know how, and that a God is a possible explanation to our existence, then yes. The idea of a God has much more validity.
No, we do not exist through the "magic" of some god with a long beard and white robes. Magic is reserved only for the stage, and yet there is not magic, only the slight of hand that gives the illusion of magic.

06-23-2011, 08:47 AM
 8,468 posts, read 13,641,437 times Reputation: 7538
Anything is possible. This is a line you'll often hear on TV shows like Law & Order. The lawyer will be questioning a witness who just testified that his client's DNA was found at the crime scene. The lawyer will claim that it's possible the DNA belonged to someone else. The witness will say that it's unlikely, but the lawyer will then ask if it's possible. Finally, the witness (after a dramatic pause) will say that anything is possible. The intent is obvious. To establish doubt in the minds of the jurors. If you can't rule out the possibility, then it means you can't be sure of anything. But who says you have to be 100% sure of anything before you can accept it as fact? Claiming that anything is possible is just a way of shifting the burden of proof. If I say I don't believe in God and you say anything is possible, you're now trying to get me to disprove that God could ever exist. But the burden of proof shouldn't be on me. It should be on you for claiming that God exists. Don't hide behind the "anything is possible" line. I could use that justify a lot of things besides the existence of God. It's possible my TV is beaming subliminal messages into my head telling me to buy junk I don't need. It's possible I'm really from the planet Xenu and my parents didn't tell me. It's possible that Megan Fox can act. The possibilities are endless.

06-23-2011, 04:45 PM
 Location: Golden, CO 2,108 posts, read 2,497,318 times Reputation: 1018
Quote:
 Originally Posted by DennyCrane Anything is possible. This is a line you'll often hear on TV shows like Law & Order.
Thankfully, in criminal trials the threshold is "beyond a reasonable doubt" and not "beyond all possible doubt" or "the impossiblity the defendant could be innocent".

06-23-2011, 05:43 PM
 Location: Ohio 13,900 posts, read 10,778,703 times Reputation: 7242
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Georgiafrog Okay. Given the fact that we exist, don't know how, and that a God is a possible explanation to our existence, then yes. The idea of a God has much more validity.
I "think" what this poster isn trying to say is that there is no reason to even assume that the pink unicorn exists, however, since there is "something rather than nothing" there is reason to assume that a God may exist. Call it a " God-of-the-gaps" if you like, but as long as science hasnt answered this question, it remains a valid argument. When and if science does answer this question, then we will talk about dismissing the entire concept of a Creator God.

06-23-2011, 10:30 PM
 16,300 posts, read 24,947,967 times Reputation: 8282
Quote:
 Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 I "think" what this poster isn trying to say is that there is no reason to even assume that the pink unicorn exists, however, since there is "something rather than nothing" there is reason to assume that a God may exist. Call it a " God-of-the-gaps" if you like, but as long as science hasnt answered this question, it remains a valid argument. When and if science does answer this question, then we will talk about dismissing the entire concept of a Creator God.
Your "god-of-the-gaps", the gaps in man's knowledge about the universe we live in is really the "god-of-our-ignorance". As those gaps in our ignorance (missing knowledge) are filled, the gap god will continue to shrink.

Science won't answer the question about god, but will answer the unknowns which are currently attributed to god, thus eliminating god through the need to explain away unknowns as 'god magic'.

06-23-2011, 10:56 PM
 Location: Metromess 11,798 posts, read 21,967,933 times Reputation: 5074
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt Something is either possible or it is not possible; something cannot be more possible than something else that is also possible.
While possibly(!) not strictly correct, I think the phrase "more possible" simply means that something is more likely than simply "possible" or "barely possible", like "more probable" except still somewhat unlikely (<50%). In other words, lower on the continuum you posited (which I agree with). "Possible" can be modified just as "probable" can in common usage. Just my opinion.

06-23-2011, 11:14 PM
 40,036 posts, read 26,715,004 times Reputation: 6047
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt I have consistently acknowledged that we do not know, yet, how those things came about. Scientists and theorists are working on it. I am currently reviewing your hypothesis as I have time, and will post my response when I am done. I do completely disagree with you, as do many other researcher/theorists in the field of consciousness, that monism can't work because that would mean consciousness is self-referential (my words not yours), or using your words, a camera taking a picture of itself. Most modern theorists do not believe consciousness is self-referential. Consciousness produces a product that is not a picture of its own inner workings; it produces only an illusion of its inner workings. An illusion: The hands aren't really drawing each other. A third hand, not pictured here, drew them both.
The central core of our Self or consciousness is NOT the "fleeting" in-process consciousness we use to think and respond with . . . it is a cumulative composite that maintains the essence of Self-ness within the universal field (God's consciousness). The in-process version is all we have access to and it DOES require the brain and what has been recorded there to "report" what it "knows" at this level of becoming. But the cumulative central core knows far more. The reason the Self is NOT an illusion is because it interacts independently with the universe as a Self . . . not as the independent brain activity we measure. If Hueff were an illusion . . . I could not be conversing with him . . . I would be trying to converse with individual neuronal firings. Since I am conversing with Hueff . . . he MUST be some form of energy (AS Heuff-consciousness) . . . because all REAL components of reality are some form of energy. That cannot be an illusion.
Quote:
 There have been a number of studies that show people are often completely unaware of the true reasons why they do what they do. If asked, they will create an explanation that seems reasonable given what is available to them, and often they will be certain that reason they created is the true reason why they did it. In a classic study, participants subtly exposed to words related to the elderly subsequently walked more slowly down a hallway after leaving the experiment. I am not sure if this was this study or a different one, but if you were to ask them why they are walking more slowly, they would make up reasonable explanations such as they have no place to be right now, etc. They won't consider the true reason, that their brains were primed to activate neurons associated with the elderly. We are not consciously aware of the processing of our brains. Consciousness is a subroutine the brain produces to give us the illusion that we have access to the inner workings of the brain. It is not self-referential; therefore, the argument that monism cannot account for consciousness because consciousness would be self-referential is without merit. Now, that still leaves a whole lot of unanswered questions of how neural networks can create the experience of the mind, but it permits us to continue looking for answers to those questions in monist/materialist framework.
We do not neeed to be conscious of all the processes of our brain for our Self to be self-referential because it is comprised of all the formative states whether or not they are acknowledged in the existing in-process conscious state. In that sense it is greater than the sum of its parts . . . because the neuronal states of the parts cannot simultaneously contain the composite state that is responding as Hueff.

06-24-2011, 06:04 AM
 Location: Golden, CO 2,108 posts, read 2,497,318 times Reputation: 1018
Quote:
 Originally Posted by MysticPhD The central core of our Self or consciousness is NOT the "fleeting" in-process consciousness we use to think and respond with . . . it is a cumulative composite that maintains the essence of Self-ness within the universal field (God's consciousness). The in-process version is all we have access to and it DOES require the brain and what has been recorded there to "report" what it "knows" at this level of becoming. But the cumulative central core knows far more. The reason the Self is NOT an illusion is because it interacts independently with the universe as a Self . . . not as the independent brain activity we measure. If Hueff were an illusion . . . I could not be conversing with him . . . I would be trying to converse with individual neuronal firings. Since I am conversing with Hueff . . . he MUST be some form of energy (AS Heuff-consciousness) . . . because all REAL components of reality are some form of energy. That cannot be an illusion. We do not neeed to be conscious of all the processes of our brain for our Self to be self-referential because it is comprised of all the formative states whether or not they are acknowledged in the existing in-process conscious state. In that sense it is greater than the sum of its parts . . . because the neuronal states of the parts cannot simultaneously contain the composite state that is responding as Hueff.
I only have time right now to make one little point of clarification of what I meant by illusion, but I will come back and respond more thoroughly.

When I say I think consciousness is an illusion, I do not mean that consciousness does not exist, or that I do not exist, I mean that I don't think consciousness is what it seems to be, and is in that sense an illusion.
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