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Old 03-31-2012, 09:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Then please permit me to clarify. If I approached the average person on the street and described an atheists as a person who believes that God does not exist in one sentence and, in the next sentence, a person who disbelieves in God's existence, what reason would this average person have for concluding that I'm referring to "strong" and "weak" atheism?

I fully understand why you do. My question to you is why should anyone else logically and automatically arrive at a similar conclusion?
Because this is the distinction between a positive belief and a lack of belief.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
In other words, in common everyday parlance, there is no logical distinction between the these two statements.
This is true. For the average person discussing the issue in a disinterested manner, they probably will not make this distinction. That does not mean the distinction is not there or that it is unimportant. It just means that when outside of the context of logical proofs, human beings tend to be less than precise in their language.

The two statements you began with are analogous to the strong and weak atheist positions, and thus I believe my definitions to be sufficient.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post

That's precisely what I'm getting at here. What is your REASON for choosing to disbelieve? ...or, do you have any reason(s) for choosing to disbelieve?
I disbelieve because there is not sufficient evidence. Like I posted to Arequipa, once there is sufficient evidence for something, it becomes integrated into the naturalistic worldview, and is no longer supernatural.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
This strikes me as a nonsense assertion. The only reason that we can make these predictions is wholly based upon natural (commonly observed) phenomena. It (theoretical causation that is presumed to be natural) is utterly and entirely based upon the frequent observation of natural phenomena. Basically, it's based upon the scientific and logical law of cause and effect.
Precisely! Any phenomenon that cannot be observed, replicated, tested and verified will not have any predictive or explanatory value, and will not become part of a naturalistic worldview. Why? Because there is not sufficient evidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
What if the overwhelming evidence led us to the logical conclusion that the natural has been created and is sustained by the supernatural?

Again, what reasons are there for assuming (believing) that no supernatural entities can exist?
Essentially, because they are supernatural. The minute we can identify, quantify, measure and predict the supernatural it becomes natural. If we cannot provide repeatable, verifiable experimental evidence then it remains unsupported conjecture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
In the event that you haven't already figured this out, I'll explain where this line of questioning is headed. It's headed towards the apparent necessity of the naturalist to rely upon faith in order to make the assumption (choose to believe) that the supernatural does not exist. Naturalism makes unwarranted and unprovable assumptions based upon flimsy or outright nonexistent evidence.
Then you should probably stop right there. You aren't going to make any headway on this. The point of naturalism is that I do not have to have any faith at all. I simply work off of the evidence given. If sufficient evidence of a god is given, then it will be integrated into a naturalistic worldview. I do not assume that the supernatural cannot exist, only that insufficient proof has thus far been provided. I do not have to conjecture, merely work with the evidence at hand.

Right now, you seem to be working very hard to tell me what it is that I think. Maybe you should tell me what you think about naturalism, and then we can discuss where our views diverge.

-NoCapo
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:57 AM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Because this is the distinction between a positive belief and a lack of belief.
Because YOU say so? Simply because you see a difference between a positive belief and "lack" of belief - choose to make a distinction - we should all automatically make the same distinction?

Let's be honest, it all comes down to semantics and word games such as: "It all depends upon what your definition of 'IS' is."

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
This is true. For the average person discussing the issue in a disinterested manner, they probably will not make this distinction. That does not mean the distinction is not there or that it is unimportant. It just means that when outside of the context of logical proofs, human beings tend to be less than precise in their language.
No. It means that words usually have obvious meanings and REASONABLE people will draw REASONED inferences if they are choosing to be REASONABLE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
The two statements you began with are analogous to the strong and weak atheist positions, and thus I believe my definitions to be sufficient.
Drawing the distinction was designed to serve your apparent purpose of denying the faith component. It might wash with your like minded proponents here in the forum but it comes across to me as being completely disingenuous. I don't mean this as a personal attack - just being frank and honest here.

Either one believes that God exists or they don't. Logically, you don't get a third option. Even the agnostic must make existential choices and various meaningful decisions that will necessarily and purposely include or exclude God. Morally meaningful decisions and choices are unavoidable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
I disbelieve because there is not sufficient evidence. Like I posted to Arequipa, once there is sufficient evidence for something, it becomes integrated into the naturalistic worldview, and is no longer supernatural.
Why does anything exist rather than nothing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Precisely! Any phenomenon that cannot be observed, replicated, tested and verified will not have any predictive or explanatory value, and will not become part of a naturalistic worldview. Why? Because there is not sufficient evidence.
Glad you agree. What evidence is there to suggest that nothing exists outside the box?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Essentially, because they are supernatural. The minute we can identify, quantify, measure and predict the supernatural it becomes natural. If we cannot provide repeatable, verifiable experimental evidence then it remains unsupported conjecture.
Do you have empirical repeatable evidence for the existence of minds other than your own?

The naturalist must often make assumptions that cannot be empirically verified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Then you should probably stop right there. You aren't going to make any headway on this. The point of naturalism is that I do not have to have any faith at all. I simply work off of the evidence given. If sufficient evidence of a god is given, then it will be integrated into a naturalistic worldview. I do not assume that the supernatural cannot exist, only that insufficient proof has thus far been provided. I do not have to conjecture, merely work with the evidence at hand.
We're working off the wiki definition that you provided. Naturalism denies the existence of the supernatural. My observation is that MOST atheists tend to agree with this view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Right now, you seem to be working very hard to tell me what it is that I think.
I think not. In what way have I been "working hard to tell you what you think?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Maybe you should tell me what you think about naturalism, and then we can discuss where our views diverge.
As stated, I'm willing to accept the wiki definition. In other words, I agree with it.
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:53 PM
 
Location: South Wales, Yes, I'm, back!
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If it helps (Wiki)

"Naturalism commonly refers to the viewpoint that laws of nature (as opposed to supernatural ones) operate in the universe, and that nothing exists beyond the natural universe or, if it does, it does not affect the natural universe.[1] Followers of naturalism (naturalists) assert that natural laws are the rules that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe, that the universe is a product of these laws."

Note 'or, if it does, it does not affect the natural universe.' thus it is not denying 'something outside the box' but is taking the logical position that what has no apparent effect apparently isn't there. It is possible that there is something undetectable that exists but "if it does, it does not affect the natural universe". That is it has no apparent affect on the natural and material world. Thus naturalist materialism is still the logical default based on the lack of evidence for any supernatural input.

Seems while reasonable and logical to me. Hope that helps to clarify any possible misunderstandings.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Because YOU say so? Simply because you see a difference between a positive belief and "lack" of belief - choose to make a distinction - we should all automatically make the same distinction?
You asked for the difference. I explained it. What you do with it your business, but I gave you my answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Drawing the distinction was designed to serve your apparent purpose of denying the faith component. It might wash with your like minded proponents here in the forum but it comes across to me as being completely disingenuous. I don't mean this as a personal attack - just being frank and honest here.
In a way your are correct. I have tried to formulate my viewpoint this way, precisely because it avoids a faith component. I have had enough of that in my time as a believer, and recognize that taking things on faith without sufficient evidence led me into all manner of errors. I am trying to avoid that this time around. There is nothing disingenuous, just a simple desire to base my world view on evidence instead of wishful thinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Either one believes that God exists or they don't. Logically, you don't get a third option. Even the agnostic must make existential choices and various meaningful decisions that will necessarily and purposely include or exclude God. Morally meaningful decisions and choices are unavoidable.
Sure, I do not believe god exists, or in the event that one does, that it makes any difference whatsoever. I make my life decisions with that in mind. The reason I do not believe is because there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate the existence of a god, so either it doesn't exist or it does but is irrelevant. I don't need to prove that a diety does not exist (which is logically impossible given limited knowledge), merely recognize that the existence of a deity has not yet been demonstrated ( which is theoretically possible with limited knowledge), so I don't believe.



As far as naturalism, I think it follows the same lines. I will accept anything with sufficient evidence into the realm of the natural. If something is supernatural, it means by definition it does not have enough evidence for me to give it any credence. When Benny Hinn can heal under controlled conditions in a double blind test for instance, or when telepathy is repeatable, measurable and predictable then these phenomena can be included in a naturalistic understanding of the world around us. Until then, the best explanation appears to be a combination of human gullibility and hucksters. These phenomena we can document, understand and predict.

I did want to specifically talk about this one:
[quote=tigetmax24;23652088
Do you have empirical repeatable evidence for the existence of minds other than your own?

The naturalist must often make assumptions that cannot be empirically verified.
[/quote]

I think in this case you raise an interesting point. I do not have empirical evidence for the existence of other minds. You could be a robot or a mental puppet controlled by my subconscious. If there is no way to determine this experimentally, then it just doesn't matter. You will behave the same way no matter what the explanation. It is more useful for me to assume that since I have an example of the concept of a person existing (myself) from which I can extrapolate that I make that assumption, rather than assuming you are a figment of my imagination with no way to extrapolate your behavior. Fortunately, assuming that you either are an independent mind, or at least an indistinguishable simulacrum allows me to communicate, relate, and empathize with you, so experimentally, it appears to work out all right.

To boil down the previous paragraph, if there are two explanations that produce indistinguishable results, I will choose the one that is based on known, understood, and testable principles and processes. If both explanations are not substantially based in verifiable, testable reality, then I don't particularly care. Both explanations are insufficient, and I will bide my time until we get a better explanation.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
The vast majority of atheists actually subscribe to naturalism. Naturalism relies most heavily upon blind faith or unwarranted credulity and it's adherents hold to specific doctrines - much like 'religion.'

Again, 'religion' tends to be a loaded term.

Can you detail these doctrines?
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:02 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
In a way your are correct. I have tried to formulate my viewpoint this way, precisely because it avoids a faith component. I have had enough of that in my time as a believer, and recognize that taking things on faith without sufficient evidence led me into all manner of errors. I am trying to avoid that this time around. There is nothing disingenuous, just a simple desire to base my world view on evidence instead of wishful thinking.
I fail to see how a purposeful intent to deny that a faith component exists in every worldview would prove helpful. Would it not be more useful to pursue truth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Sure, I do not believe god exists, or in the event that one does, that it makes any difference whatsoever. I make my life decisions with that in mind. The reason I do not believe is because there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate the existence of a god, so either it doesn't exist or it does but is irrelevant. I don't need to prove that a diety does not exist (which is logically impossible given limited knowledge), merely recognize that the existence of a deity has not yet been demonstrated ( which is theoretically possible with limited knowledge), so I don't believe.
You're simply stating a desire to disregard the evidence for God's existence or deny that any such evidence exists. I'm not asking you to prove anything but I have repeatedly asked you to provide a reason for choosing to deny or disregard the evidence. Your reluctance to state such reasons comes across to me as a back-handed admission that you have no reasons. If atheism or naturalism is true and coherent, one would expect to find logical and practical reasons for holding such a view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
As far as naturalism, I think it follows the same lines. I will accept anything with sufficient evidence into the realm of the natural. If something is supernatural, it means by definition it does not have enough evidence for me to give it any credence. When Benny Hinn can heal under controlled conditions in a double blind test for instance, or when telepathy is repeatable, measurable and predictable then these phenomena can be included in a naturalistic understanding of the world around us. Until then, the best explanation appears to be a combination of human gullibility and hucksters. These phenomena we can document, understand and predict.
The teleological argument for God's existence primarily hinges upon the topic of statistical probability. These probabilities are logically and mathematically deduced through naturalistic means and are measurable and predictable. The cosmological argument also strikes me as a reasonable explanation as to why anything exists rather than nothing.

Apparently, you disagree. For what REASON do you disagree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
I think in this case you raise an interesting point. I do not have empirical evidence for the existence of other minds. You could be a robot or a mental puppet controlled by my subconscious. If there is no way to determine this experimentally, then it just doesn't matter. You will behave the same way no matter what the explanation. It is more useful for me to assume that since I have an example of the concept of a person existing (myself) from which I can extrapolate that I make that assumption, rather than assuming you are a figment of my imagination with no way to extrapolate your behavior. Fortunately, assuming that you either are an independent mind, or at least an indistinguishable simulacrum allows me to communicate, relate, and empathize with you, so experimentally, it appears to work out all right.
You appear to be saying that it's REASONABLE to believe in the existence of other minds even though their existence cannot be empirically verified. I agree. My primary point is not to debate the existence of brains other than your own but to illustrate that naturalists are also forced to make assumptions which cannot be empirically verified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
To boil down the previous paragraph, if there are two explanations that produce indistinguishable results, I will choose the one that is based on known, understood, and testable principles and processes. If both explanations are not substantially based in verifiable, testable reality, then I don't particularly care. Both explanations are insufficient, and I will bide my time until we get a better explanation.
In many cases I would probably tend agree. However, with respect to the question of God's existence, we don't have that luxury. Life goes on and we WILL ultimately be faced with very real and meaningful moral dilemmas and choices. A choice to exclude God strikes me as being equal to making a choice to disregard God's existence. Which I suppose is fine as long as one has logical reasons for doing so. Is atheistic dogma to be preferred over theistic dogma?

Last edited by tigetmax24; 03-31-2012 at 09:20 PM..
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:16 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Can you detail these doctrines?
Denial of the existence of the supernatural to include a deity.

Denial of the existence of objective morality.

Denial that Jesus ever existed or, if he did exist, could never have been what he claimed to be.

Denial that the Bible is true.

Denial of all Christian doctrines.

Assumption that it's possible for something to pop into existence out of nothing (the old rabbit-out-of-the-hat trick without the rabbit or the hat) or that it's possible to have actual infinite sets (a never ending series of causes and effects).

...shall I continue?
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:24 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
That's precisely what I'm getting at here. What is your REASON for choosing to disbelieve? ...or, do you have any reason(s) for choosing to disbelieve?
Atheists choose not to believe in Yahweh for exactly the same reason you choose not to believe in Allah, Zeus, Thor, Poseidon, Tezcatlipoca, Vishnu or the thousands of other dieties that have existed in the imagination of mankind since the beginning of civilization. Nobody expects you to actually defend your disbelief in all these other gods, why should we offer Yahweh special consideration just because Christian mythology happens to be part of our culture at this moment in time? A few hundred years from now, people will look at Christianity just like we look at Greek, Norse and Roman mythology.

Quote:
What if the overwhelming evidence led us to the logical conclusion that the natural has been created and is sustained by the supernatural?
There is no such evidence so it remains a what if question. If there were evidence of something preceding and creating the current natural world, it would just be incorporated into our understanding of nature. How would you measure the supernatural, what kind of evidence would affirm the supernatural?

Quote:
Again, what reasons are there for assuming (believing) that no supernatural entities can exist?
As NoCapo already explained to you, there is a difference between holding the position that "no supernatural entities can exist" and "there is no evidence to support a belief in supernatural entities". I don't think you are unaware of this difference, you just choose to ignore it because it doesn't fit your hypothesis about our beliefs. I think most of us will agree with you that a positive belief in the non-existence of God is not a reasonable position to hold because it requires faith. I'm not quite sure why you think this is problematic though, because holding a positive belief in the existence of God also requires faith and is for that reason not reasonable, yet you think this is perfectly OK. I'm always confused when religious people criticise atheism as being "just" a religion and complain that atheists require "faith" to believe as we do. They're basically saying: "Well, you're just as unreasonable as we are!" Of course, it's complete nonsense. As Bill Maher put it: "If atheism is a religion then abstinence is a sex position".

Anyway, to answer your question: the reason for not holding a positive belief in the supernatural is that there is not one shred of evidence to support it. This would be more than sufficient reason in any other domain of discourse. If there is no evidence, the default position is not to hold a positive belief in it. If I tell you that there is an invisible pink dragon in my garage, you'd have no way to disprove it. Does that mean you should give my claim any credence? Again, the default position is to disbelieve it until I can provide some actual verifiable evidence (i.e. personal anekdotes won't do) to prove that the dragon does exist.

Quote:
In the event that you haven't already figured this out, I'll explain where this line of questioning is headed. It's headed towards the apparent necessity of the naturalist to rely upon faith in order to make the assumption (choose to believe) that the supernatural does not exist.
There is a difference between faith and evidence-based belief. Faith is belief without empirical evidence. The naturalist view does not rely on faith, it relies on evidence-based belief which is perfectly reasonable.

Quote:
Naturalism makes unwarranted and unprovable assumptions based upon flimsy or outright nonexistent evidence.
As opposed to supernaturalism? LOL!
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
I fail to see how a purposeful intent to deny that a faith component exists in every worldview would prove helpful. Would it not be more useful to pursue truth?
Let us be very clear, my point is that I wish to minimize the faith component by relying on repeatable verifiable evidence, and thus minimize my deviation from actuality as best I can. If something is not falsifiable, its truth value cannot be tested, and should be left out of consideration. It is essentially just noise, ad should be filtered out. This is the entire point of rejecting the supernatural, to remove error. Should what is considered supernatural today prove to be repeatable and quantifiable, then we can include it in the natural and study it just like we do all the other thing that were once considered the province of the gods(e.g. disease, celestial bodies, weather, etc..)


Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
You're simply stating a desire to disregard the evidence for God's existence or deny that any such evidence exists. I'm not asking you to prove anything but I have repeatedly asked you to provide a reason for choosing to deny or disregard the evidence. Your reluctance to state such reasons comes across to me as a back-handed admission that you have no reasons. If atheism or naturalism is true and coherent, one would expect to find logical and practical reasons for holding such a view.
Back this one way up! I am not your strawman! I am not interested in disregarding any evidence! I wish to evaluate the evidence. Some evidence is very important, some makes less of a difference, and some is entirely useless in reaching a conclusion, but it should all be looked at.

I have very clearly stated my reason for not believing in a deity. Quite simply I have encountered no clear evidence for the existence of any god, and have found that, in general naturalistic explanations have far greater explanatory and predictive power, are testable, and are falsifiable. All of the theories and hypotheses about the supernatural including gods appear to have little support, and have virtually no predictive power.

Essentially, a huge reason for holding to a naturalistic viewpoint is that it works! Naturalistic explanations are responsible for the advances in medicine, technology, and science. It was precisely the abandoning of supernaturalism that led to the heliocentric understanding of the solar system and Kepler's laws of planetary motion. The reason you no longer get bled at the hospital, or that you don't have a sandpainting done instead of surgery is, you guessed it, naturalism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
The teleological argument for God's existence primarily hinges upon the topic of statistical probability. These probabilities are logically and mathematically deduced through naturalistic means and are measurable and predictable. The cosmological argument also strikes me as a reasonable explanation as to why anything exists rather than nothing.

Apparently, you disagree. For what REASON do you disagree?
A number of reasons. First, these are logical arguments, not evidence. Mystic and I had a conversation about this. You are never going to be able to prove the existence of something through logic alone. It is like the philosophers arguing about how many teeth a horse has. If you want to reach the truth, you open its mouth! In the same way, logical arguments are fine, but if the supernatural is not observable or testable, and we cannot reliably measure any effect it has on the physical world, why should we give it any credence? This is especially true for much of the supernatural which is intentionally defined in such a way as to be unfalsifiable. In any other aspect of life, if someone tried to sell us something with promises of how good it was, but we couldn't actually examine it, or test it, and the results aren't measurable, we would rightly call it a con.

Secondly, in both the arguments you mentioned, the concept of god-did-it has no explanatory or predictive value. If we assume, for instance that the bibg bang happened in a specific way, there are very specific consequences that allow us to make predictions to test the theory. By using a supernatural explanation, we remove all predictive power from the explanation. You cannot derive the behavior of matter or energy from the "god as creator" hypothesis. It is in effect a useless explanation that does nothing except stifle further inquiry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
In many cases I would probably tend agree. However, with respect to the question of God's existence, we don't have that luxury. Life goes on and we WILL ultimately be faced with very real and meaningful moral dilemmas and choices. A choice to exclude God strikes me as being equal to making a choice to disregard God's existence. Which I suppose is fine as long as one has logical reasons for doing so. Is atheistic dogma to be preferred over theistic dogma?
The logical reason is that there is no compelling reason to believe in the supernatural. By definition it is not repeatable, verifiable, or falsifiable. Naturalistic explanations provide far greater predictive power and allow us to learn and expand our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. In addition, naturalism requires no dogma, just a simple evaluation of the evidence.

-NoCapo
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
The vast majority of atheists actually subscribe to naturalism. Naturalism relies most heavily upon blind faith or unwarranted credulity and it's adherents hold to specific doctrines - much like 'religion.'

Again, 'religion' tends to be a loaded term.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
I'm willing to go along with the standard wiki definition of naturalism.

As stated, it relies heavily on faith and unwarranted credulity - it's doctrine includes the denial of the existence of the supernatural and miraculous events. Understanding that all of these terms (religion, supernatural and miracles) tend to be somewhat loaded.
As any well-documented, carefully considered and evidence-based conclusions always do. No "faith" required. "Faith" means you insist something exists or is in operation DESPITE the overwhelming evidence. That is NEVER the case with the naturalist's science-based perspective, and is precisely why theism so dislikes the scientific approach: it categorically denies the specific faith-based belief in the Abrahamic God.

By comparison, we start out with an hypothesis about, say, the earth being flat, or Genesis taking only 6 days, or evolution being a fantasy. Then we test it over time and by multiple, independent researchers, and the facts in evidence come to the fore. Then and only then we can form a reliable set of theories that end up supporting the Laws we can apply to predict, to utilize, to revise and improve.

Meantime however, Christians do not engage in this process, though it's available to them, to confirm any scientific and published study any time, on their own. Oddly, they categorically and routinely refuse to do this, yet they try to refute the steadfast and reliable conclusions it inevitably generates.

Thus, they have no basis to reject those ueful laws and theories, except that they, as with your increasingly petulant arguments here strongly indicate, can not personally deal with such results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
This strikes me as a nonsense assertion. The only reason that we can make these predictions is wholly based upon natural (commonly observed) phenomena. It (theoretical causation that is presumed to be natural) is utterly and entirely based upon the frequent observation of natural phenomena. Basically, it's based upon the scientific and logical law of cause and effect.
Not true, as Capo so carefully ellucidated. However, the frequency of something that is repeatedly and reliably observable, documentable and understandable is very natural, not "supernatural", which by common definition means "not repeatable", or "requiring of illogical and non-understandable forces or means", and/or "that cannot be reasonbly explained". As well, a "natural" occurrence can indeed most often be explained by other, far more logical, means.

This of course sticks in the craw of theists, and Christians in particular, since again, it both threatens and obviates the need for their supernatural and fantasy-based belief system.

This reaction is increasingly evident in your responses here. As Capo notes so well, "faith in the supernatural" is of no particular value to us theists, since it has no relevance if it can never be made credible nor trusted, nor it's existence even hinted at in any practical test.

And thus, your last ditch attempt:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
What if the overwhelming evidence led us to the logical conclusion that the natural has been created and is sustained by the supernatural?

Again, what reasons are there for assuming (believing) that no supernatural entities can exist?

In the event that you haven't already figured this out, I'll explain where this line of questioning is headed. It's headed towards the apparent necessity of the naturalist to rely upon faith in order to make the assumption (choose to believe) that the supernatural does not exist. Naturalism makes unwarranted and unprovable assumptions based upon flimsy or outright nonexistent evidence.
Well, again, this is pure desperation and abject conjecture on display.

1) If the overwhelming evidence were that the natural had been "created", then we'd have, how did you put it exactly? that "Overwhelming Evidence". But the sad (for you at any rate) fact is: we never will see such evidence. time and repeatability have shown this to be the most likely and reliable outcome, and as someone insightfully noted above, in another 00 years, Christianity will take iut;s place in the BOok of Fantasies alongside Thor, Woden, Zeus et al.

2) The overwhelming evidence you tried to define, both for a disbelief in any sentient supernatural beings is that, so far there is no evidence. What you desperately hope is true simply because it is written in your bible simply does not count. Except to theists. Not to anyone else.

FACT: Far better evidence, with proofs and supporting facts, is also written in my Intro to Biology or Geology or AstroPhysics texts, where there are relentlessly growing masses of reproducible evidence (go ahead: Try the tests yourself if you dare!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Because YOU say so? Simply because you see a difference between a positive belief and "lack" of belief - choose to make a distinction - we should all automatically make the same distinction?

Let's be honest, it all comes down to semantics and word games such as: "It all depends upon what your definition of 'IS' is."

Drawing the distinction was designed to serve your apparent purpose of denying the faith component. It might wash with your like minded proponents here in the forum but it comes across to me as being completely disingenuous. I don't mean this as a personal attack - just being frank and honest here.

Either one believes that God exists or they don't. Logically, you don't get a third option. Even the agnostic must make existential choices and various meaningful decisions that will necessarily and purposely include or exclude God. Morally meaningful decisions and choices are unavoidable.

The naturalist must often make assumptions that cannot be empirically verified.
Sorry. WRONG. Facts are hardly "just semantics". We verify everything we have come to rely on, or are in the ongoing and always-improving process of validating or improving those facts. As well, despite your appeal, there are many more than two options, God or no God, or any of an infinite number of other options. You just don't like those sorts of odds, face it, so you've mae up an arbitrary number of choices. Sorry: WRONG again!

Your desperation is now truly showing it's colors in most everything you've stated here in your last posts. You've lost this debate, face it. All you can now produce is conjecture and childish foot stamping.

And to continue is, for me, a waste of time and foolish, since you really didn't come here to engage in an open debate. You are now denigrating atheism for it's own selfish purpose (example: see blue highlight above).

That is the best you can now produce, sadly for your supernatural beliefs.

Last edited by rifleman; 03-31-2012 at 11:28 PM..
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