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Old 08-27-2011, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
30,874 posts, read 31,747,081 times
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I'm just very happy that I live in Canada...Need I say more?

 
Old 08-27-2011, 09:38 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,432,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zekester View Post
Sure, that's exactly what I was doing and I think I made a compelling case for the superior utility and reliability of science -not from a shallow attempt at ego gratification (which is what debate often is), but simply as a means to communicate the idea that the adherent of the scientific world view is basing his/her beliefs on verifiable, objective evidence and hence doesn't require faith as opposed to the beliefs of the theist who often can only offer up a sheepish "because the Bible tells me so."
You seem to be making the case for naturalism. I'm curious as to whether you would consider yourself to be more closely aligned with philosophical empiricism or rationalism? ...or perhaps a mixture of both? In other words, it seems to me that there is a certain amount of knowledge that is a priori.

I also agree that offering up circular reasoning is a very lame apologetic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zekester View Post
Although we've agreed that there are questions that science is presently unable to answer I don't think that this fact reveals a basic limitation of science itself, but rather the limitations of the beings who wield it. I suspect that it is possible that some aspects of reality may not be compatible with human cognition in much the same way that you'll never be able to explain a DVD player to your cat. Note: I am not making an appeal to the existence of some supernatural intelligence. Perhaps an alien species who evolved on another planet somewhere has just the right mental hardware to comprehend aspects of reality not within our grasp. Perhaps human consciousness will evolve over time to the level of some new breakthrough (much like the development of language) that enables us to understand these things.
...right, so we would agree that science (knowledge) and our ability to wield it is limited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zekester View Post
To address your last point that a strict atheistic world view may require some faith: I have to agree to some extent. The truth is that I'm technically an agnostic rather than an atheist, but I get tired of explaining the difference to so many people. The fact is that its just easier to say that I'm an atheist because most people will get the general idea. I'm sure that you understand that the agnostic believes that there is no way we can empirically demonstrate whether or not something called "God" exists therefore he is forced to admit that he simply doesn't know even if he has a strong suspicion that there is no God whereas, strictly speaking, the atheist is taking a definite stance and proclaiming that there is indeed no God and here he steps onto the shaky ground of faith. Even if he has very well thought out logical reasons for this belief he has still made a bit of a leap of faith. However, this is not the "Gotcha!" admission that so many theists believe it is. One could just as easily argue that there is no way to empirically prove that the tooth fairy doesn't exist.
So you would agree that God may in fact exist? Would you say that your world view incorporates this possibility?

With respect to the tooth fairy, would it be REASONABLE to believe in it's existence?
 
Old 08-27-2011, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Terra firma
1,374 posts, read 1,354,881 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
You seem to be making the case for naturalism. I'm curious as to whether you would consider yourself to be more closely aligned with philosophical empiricism or rationalism? ...or perhaps a mixture of both? In other words, it seems to me that there is a certain amount of knowledge that is a priori.
Do you think we've hijacked this thread far enough away from the question posed by the OP yet? I'm getting tired so this will be my last response. Empiricism and rationalism both have their merits, but I think that rationalism opens up worlds closed off to empiricism with its reliance on sensory experience. After all, if it wasn't for the rationalist approach we would have no knowledge of x-rays, infrared waves, gamma waves, etc. because we of course cannot directly experience them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
...right, so we would agree that science (knowledge) and our ability to wield it is limited.
Not exactly. Human knowledge may be limited, but this is not due to an inherent limitation in the scientific method which is itself simply an abstract tool. I would instead propose the statement that science is a perfect tool being wielded by imperfect beings.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
So you would agree that God may in fact exist? Would you say that your world view incorporates this possibility?

With respect to the tooth fairy, would it be REASONABLE to believe in it's existence?
I would agree that anything is possible, however the most efficient and expedient way to go about determining what IS is to concentrate on what is probable and the best way to determine that is to examine the best evidence and mull over the best scientific theories. For example, the leading construct for describing cosmological origin is still the Big Bang Theory. As much as it is loathed and ridiculed by the theological set it is yet to be disproven and all observable evidence seems to back it up. The problem I have with positing that God may exist is the fact that not only were matter, energy, and space created at the moment of the Big Bang, but so was time. So quite literally there was no "moment" before the Big Bang in which a God could have created the universe nor any space for this God to exist in. The usual theist response is that God exists outside of space and time (whatever that means) and that God just always was. To which I would reply "Why not just save a step and say that the universe always was?"

Other theistic criticisms of the Big Bang Theory revolve around the basic question "How could something come from nothing?" The funny thing is that any physicist can tell you that the total amount of positive energy in the universe is equal to the total amount of negative energy and that just as the mathematical equation negative 5 plus positive 5 equals zero so does the total amount of energy in the universe equal zero. Next, add in that Einstein's Theory of Relativity proves that matter and energy are equivalent and you have just proven that the total amount of matter in the universe is zero. Therefore, the universe is quite literally made out of nothing. Mind blowing isn't it? This gets back to the idea that the human mind may have trouble dealing with certain aspects of reality.

And lastly, to deal with the tooth fairy argument. Quote: "Would it be REASONABLE to believe in its existence?" Well if the justification for God's existence relies on the same silly unprovable argument is it REASONABLE to believe in HIM?

Goodnight.

Last edited by Zekester; 08-27-2011 at 11:34 PM..
 
Old 08-28-2011, 07:07 AM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,432,994 times
Reputation: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zekester View Post
Do you think we've hijacked this thread far enough away from the question posed by the OP yet? I'm getting tired so this will be my last response. Empiricism and rationalism both have their merits, but I think that rationalism opens up worlds closed off to empiricism with its reliance on sensory experience. After all, if it wasn't for the rationalist approach we would have no knowledge of x-rays, infrared waves, gamma waves, etc. because we of course cannot directly experience them.

Not exactly. Human knowledge may be limited, but this is not due to an inherent limitation in the scientific method which is itself simply an abstract tool. I would instead propose the statement that science is a perfect tool being wielded by imperfect beings.

I would agree that anything is possible, however the most efficient and expedient way to go about determining what IS is to concentrate on what is probable and the best way to determine that is to examine the best evidence and mull over the best scientific theories. For example, the leading construct for describing cosmological origin is still the Big Bang Theory. As much as it is loathed and ridiculed by the theological set it is yet to be disproven and all observable evidence seems to back it up. The problem I have with positing that God may exist is the fact that not only were matter, energy, and space created at the moment of the Big Bang, but so was time. So quite literally there was no "moment" before the Big Bang in which a God could have created the universe nor any space for this God to exist in. The usual theist response is that God exists outside of space and time (whatever that means) and that God just always was. To which I would reply "Why not just save a step and say that the universe always was?"

Other theistic criticisms of the Big Bang Theory revolve around the basic question "How could something come from nothing?" The funny thing is that any physicist can tell you that the total amount of positive energy in the universe is equal to the total amount of negative energy and that just as the mathematical equation negative 5 plus positive 5 equals zero so does the total amount of energy in the universe equal zero. Next, add in that Einstein's Theory of Relativity proves that matter and energy are equivalent and you have just proven that the total amount of matter in the universe is zero. Therefore, the universe is quite literally made out of nothing. Mind blowing isn't it? This gets back to the idea that the human mind may have trouble dealing with certain aspects of reality.

And lastly, to deal with the tooth fairy argument. Quote: "Would it be REASONABLE to believe in its existence?" Well if the justification for God's existence relies on the same silly unprovable argument is it REASONABLE to believe in HIM?

Goodnight.
To answer your last question:

I'm not familiar with what the argument for the existence of the tooth fairy is. However, if it is as I suspect and the REASON for God's existence relies on the exact same arguments, then, absolutely, it would be nonsense to choose to believe.

I'm both willing and prepared to make what I consider to be a REASONABLE argument for God's existence.

As an aside, it's difficult for me to understand just where you're going with the science thing. You speak of it as a tool when, to my understanding, science is quite simply a search for knowledge.

I also see the Big Bang theory and modern cosmology as falling right in line with properly interpreted Biblical hermeneutics.

Finally and candidly, I find your statement about the universe being in essence "nothing" to be complete nonsense. If we are "nothing," than I must ask who it is that I'm having a discussion with?
 
Old 08-28-2011, 09:23 AM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,947,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
...and you don't see anything even remotely christophobic about this rant?
The desire for freedom is not a phobia. Christians and their desire to impose their willful ignorance to stunning stupidity, and fantasy beliefs into society is a threat to everyone's freedoms.
 
Old 08-28-2011, 09:47 AM
 
3,413 posts, read 6,450,443 times
Reputation: 1425
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
The desire for freedom is not a phobia. Christians and their desire to impose their willful ignorance to stunning stupidity, and fantasy beliefs into society is a threat to everyone's freedoms.
I think it is the willingness to see this as something limited to only "Christians" is what makes it christophobic.
 
Old 08-28-2011, 12:00 PM
 
288 posts, read 299,539 times
Reputation: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Romney could be sane except that he is playing to the Christian right.
Really? I didn't get that impression at all. On the contrary, it seems that he's trying to distance himself from the rest of GOP clowns. That's why he's the one I most likely would vote for.

But if it's gonna come down to Bachman and Perry I'll be voting for Obama again.
 
Old 08-28-2011, 12:01 PM
 
288 posts, read 299,539 times
Reputation: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
The desire for freedom is not a phobia. Christians and their desire to impose their willful ignorance to stunning stupidity, and fantasy beliefs into society is a threat to everyone's freedoms.
Couldn't agree more.
 
Old 08-28-2011, 12:16 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,947,967 times
Reputation: 8282
Quote:
Originally Posted by laysayfair View Post
I think it is the willingness to see this as something limited to only "Christians" is what makes it christophobic.
It is not limited only to christians, they are being discussed here simply because they are the treat to freedom in this country, for the simple reason they are the majority of ancient superstition followers, in the country I live in. Were it muslims or pastafarians, the threat to freedom is the same.

Like cancer is a threat to health, religion is a threat to freedom, and neither are a phobia, just fact.
 
Old 08-28-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Nowhere'sville
2,345 posts, read 3,901,189 times
Reputation: 701
I can't stand either party. I have a hard time relating to some Atheists because they are die hard Democrats. That bothers me.
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