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Old 08-16-2013, 06:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
Brain trauma often changes people's personality and beliefs. Not surprising, considering that's where those preferences come from in the first place. Change the physical structure of the brain, and the brain does different things. No need for magic.
I agree. Given that the brain works in particular ways (and rather like physical or medial 'training' there are right ways or doing it and wrong ways) the way my brain has always worked and found in bogstandard logic (as distinct from the brain -cracking confusions of philosophy, which seem more useful in 'making the worse cause appear the better', as Aristophanes put it than in getting at the truth) the only valid and reliable mechanism for appraising claims and data, is the worldview in which it will continue and it would take a complete change in the way my brain works to make the claims of religion (though I can entertain the remote possibility of a god and even a creating god, but NOT now, the claims of an intervening god or the gospel stories about Jesus) credible to me.

Effectively, I would have to become insane.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Effectively, I would have to become insane
Hey we wouldn't want that would we and lose an inquisitive mind eh?



And from the looks of it I always get the notion that empirical evidence and factual evidence is very important in these discussions so this. Looks like you want facts only the facts maam for God but.....

You know in the filed of astronomy we have Hubble's work and most probably know it one of his discoveries was the fact that his investigations clearly showed that our surrounding galaxies are receding from us into space. He proved it with the 'red shift' analysis.

I think there are equations that show a closed or open universe and by open I mean infinite. Now from the theistic point of view infinity is 'ok'. That can be dealt with. But I'd suppose atheistically this might be difficult. I mean it looks as if it can't proved since it can't be measured 'empirically'. Anyone for God=infinity??? Or nestled somewhere in that fold???....Or is infinity bs????....as you see questions questions .....;-)...
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:44 AM
 
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I could certainly do without it.

Facts, really, are all we can go on. Speculation, hypothesis and guesswork, let alone unsupported faith won't do. Expanding universe. I don't quite follow how this provides any evidence for the case for God.
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:10 PM
 
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We don't necessarily have all the 'facts/knowledge' on the infinite. Can we negate not knowing anything more about it to possibly make some factual spec on the God concept eventually? And also knowing a bit .000000000000000000001 x10 x10 x10 secs before the Big Bang could tell us much about alot of things. But these things perhaps take 'time' in human intellectual thinking to develop. We are in constant flux all the time I think as humanity slinks along in the eons.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by travric View Post
We don't necessarily have all the 'facts/knowledge' on the infinite. Can we negate not knowing anything more about it to possibly make some factual spec on the God concept eventually? And also knowing a bit .000000000000000000001 x10 x10 x10 secs before the Big Bang could tell us much about alot of things. But these things perhaps take 'time' in human intellectual thinking to develop. We are in constant flux all the time I think as humanity slinks along in the eons.
I think the problem is not about current lack of evidence. The issue is that most, if not all, current concepts of gods are not falsifiable. That means no matter how much we learn, no matter how much evidence we can gather, by definition we will never be able to test for the existence of a god in a meaningful way.

Clearly there is a tremendous amount that we do not know, and any number of gaps in our knowledge that some god could be hiding in. Until we have some positive evidence for such a being, it seems irrational to assume that there is one.

-NoCapo
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
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Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
I think the problem is not about current lack of evidence. The issue is that most, if not all, current concepts of gods are not falsifiable. That means no matter how much we learn, no matter how much evidence we can gather, by definition we will never be able to test for the existence of a god in a meaningful way.

Clearly there is a tremendous amount that we do not know, and any number of gaps in our knowledge that some god could be hiding in. Until we have some positive evidence for such a being, it seems irrational to assume that there is one.

-NoCapo
Great post as usual NoCapo and I agree. I do believe that no matter how much we are able to discover about the universe, there will always be some who will see god in everything. For a long time I could not understand how people I know, intelligent people (many scientists) remained undoubting of the existence of a god. Over time, and particularly on this forum I have begun to understand that it is possible to have both an enquiring mind and a faith in god. That's why I'm hesitant about the threads that pop up now and again that equate having faith with a low IQ and vice versa. I know that this not necessarily the case.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
Great post as usual NoCapo and I agree. I do believe that no matter how much we are able to discover about the universe, there will always be some who will see god in everything. For a long time I could not understand how people I know, intelligent people (many scientists) remained undoubting of the existence of a god. Over time, and particularly on this forum I have begun to understand that it is possible to have both an enquiring mind and a faith in god. That's why I'm hesitant about the threads that pop up now and again that equate having faith with a low IQ and vice versa. I know that this not necessarily the case.
Absolutely! I don't believe there is any sort of causal relationship between IQ or wisdom, or any other form of intelligence and belief or unbelief. Not bragging, but 2 of my 3 siblings had full academic scholarships to college. My dad is a very intelligent, highly skilled electrical Engineer, my mom and 2 of my siblings all have Master's degrees in psychology and are licensed counselors. Of the family I am the only non-believer. The rest of the family are devout Christians, YEC's, the whole nine yards. Icome from a family of hyper nerds, but I am the only one to leave the faith.

Ultimately belief is not about being smart. It is about handling cognitive dissonance, and how you reconcile it. At the end of the day, I could not reconcile what I saw with what my faith promised. Others in may family have found ways to redefine their belief or change their perspective in order to patch around the discontinuities.

-NoCapo
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I can't think of anything other than a mystical experience that would make me religious - or change my tastes in music.
Mystical experiences do not depend upon the existence of any God.
Most who have had those "mystical experiences" were Atheist Occultists.
Everything is Frequency. Switch frequencies and you switch experiences.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Absolutely! I don't believe there is any sort of causal relationship between IQ or wisdom, or any other form of intelligence and belief or unbelief. Not bragging, but 2 of my 3 siblings had full academic scholarships to college. My dad is a very intelligent, highly skilled electrical Engineer, my mom and 2 of my siblings all have Master's degrees in psychology and are licensed counselors. Of the family I am the only non-believer. The rest of the family are devout Christians, YEC's, the whole nine yards. Icome from a family of hyper nerds, but I am the only one to leave the faith.

Ultimately belief is not about being smart. It is about handling cognitive dissonance, and how you reconcile it. At the end of the day, I could not reconcile what I saw with what my faith promised. Others in may family have found ways to redefine their belief or change their perspective in order to patch around the discontinuities.

-NoCapo
Ha ha. Well I don't come from a family of hyper-nerds but I did marry into a family of hyper-nerds. They are mainly atheists with a few Christians thrown in. Scientific researchers, engineers and teachers mainly - and my brother is a geologist. It's an interesting mix.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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Arequipa,
The conversation seems to have passed by, but I told you I would address the topic of why I believe my encounter was in fact an encounter with God. So, unless it will start making eyes glaze over, I will do so.
Strident atheists claim that the concept of God produces evil, and they have half a point. God concepts involve concepts of the greatest rewards imaginable, the greatest responsibilities possible, and the most dreadful punishments comprehendible. They also foster communities based on these premises. It is very easy for the leaders of such communities to abuse their power in the name of responsibilty to God, or the reward of heaven, or the fear of hell. And that is unfortunately exactly what we see throughout history. In essence, the concept of God can be used to justify the same expression of the sin nature in said community, that would have been similarly expressed if that community simply accepted evil as its mandate. As a critic of the Calvin/Servetus affair pointed out, if that was of Jesus, what is there left for the devil to do? We see that in the fundamentalist movement in 1920. We had the political clout to pass prohibition. Yet in the south we justified racism on religious grounds. (My position is a fundamentalist one - I accept their tenets (largely) but I judge their application.) It took secularists to teach us morality - thus providing the moral authority for the progressive movement.
What was needed was the religion Jesus actually described - a religion that not only offers forgiveness of our sins, but works powerfully against our very sin nature. You mentioned the emotional high that conversion brings, and equated it with the experience I described. There is no equivalency here. The convert who only ecperiences the emotion falls away - either completely as relapsed atheists you mentioned, or secretly, one who talks the talk, but has no spiritual energy to get victory overthose base sins that cause evil to flower.
Yet there are, among the false, also truly transformed people. While not perfect, ever seriously seeking not just Gods kingdom, but also his righteousness.
Any false religion, and even no religion at all can take a good man and keep him a good man. It takes the power of God, however, to take a man, thoroughly marinated in evil, and transform him into a good man.
Moderator cut: website/URL solicitation
It seems unreasonable to me that God would have created us with a conscience, and not provided a way for man to get real victory over evil.

Last edited by june 7th; 08-17-2013 at 09:41 PM.. Reason: Is in violation of the TOS.
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