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Old 08-16-2013, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Bergen County, Nazi Jerky
367 posts, read 819,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleverfield View Post
Say I have no concrete evidence neither for or against God, but I believe that God exists. Is this rational of me to believe?
I don't know. What you have is faith, a belief in the absence of any proof. I envy you. I don't have it so it's just me in a pretty large universe and it gets lonely. To quote a line from a movie, "Faith is a gift I have yet to receive".
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:59 AM
 
2,879 posts, read 4,602,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleverfield View Post
Say I have no concrete evidence neither for or against God, but I believe that God exists. Is this rational of me to believe?
It's not empirical. The two terms, "rational" and "empirical", are commonly confused as there's a quite natural bias in favor of the empirical. However, fully extended the argument for empiricism is not logically tenable. We can't logically know everything not experienced. We can overcome this with an argument for strictly human construction, which is subjective. But is that "rational" by definition? And does the fully extended argument for its rationality lead to a kind of autism, this is what I can construct only at this moment?

We have to enter a position about the a priori. You have made a perfectly rational choice that your existence aligns with some universal intention. If there is none then why are we the way we are in the first place, able to conjure such questions? That we do is an empirical fact. If it's irrelevant then we logically need an answer to the irrelevance. Otherwise there's no discussion of rationalism in the first place. Isn't that what rationalism is, answering why?
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
3,176 posts, read 3,826,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscomac View Post
If you can arbitrarily decided that "god" doesn't need a cause, then you can just as easily decide that any other "thing" doesn't need a cause.
Whatever "thing" doesn't need a cause, is simply called "God".
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:57 AM
 
25,960 posts, read 28,355,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleverfield View Post
Say I have no concrete evidence neither for or against God, but I believe that God exists. Is this rational of me to believe?
Yes.

Whether God exists or not, it's been shown that religious people tend to be happier, live longer, etc. on average than people who are not. Even if there is no God, it could be argued that certain belief systems are good for individual and group survival.

Also, scientific inquiry is great....but the process is incredibly slllllllooooowwww. In the real world, we have to make quick judgements about what works and what doesn't for survival reasons. Scientific inquiry is great when you have the time to do it, but often times you don't.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Eugene, OR
14 posts, read 17,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Yes.

Whether God exists or not, it's been shown that religious people tend to be happier, live longer, etc. on average than people who are not. Even if there is no God, it could be argued that certain belief systems are good for individual and group survival.

Also, scientific inquiry is great....but the process is incredibly slllllllooooowwww. In the real world, we have to make quick judgements about what works and what doesn't for survival reasons. Scientific inquiry is great when you have the time to do it, but often times you don't.
This is not rational. Not at all.

Here, let me demonstrate why this is fallacious by slightly (but just slightly) modifying the terms.

Whether The Purple Dinosaur Barney is a real talking dinosaur, or not, he makes children happy. (Note: I have no PROOF that this is the case, but since I affirm it, and I believe that it makes sense, it surely must be a fact. Does Barney ABSOLUTELY TERRIFY some children? Well, clearly not, because I just stated he makes children happy, right?)

Studies (which I won't name, just take my word for it) show that happiness makes a person live much longer than one who is unhappy.

Though the original question was "Is belief in Barney without concrete evidence rational," I have now concluded that belief in Barney makes people happy at a young age, that they therefore live longer, and in conclusion, belief in Barney is therefore rational.

And you think that is logical? Really?

First off, survival is not even at issue here. Second, you have done nothing even to address survival, other than make some irrelevant, unsourced assertions, completely changing the terms of the discourse and avoiding the question entirely. Third, individual and group survival is in no way related to the existence of Barney. In no way at all. Finally, Barney still does not exist.

The OP didn't ask, 'Will I live longer if I believe in God.'

If my survival in the "real world" depends on your "quick judgements about what works and what doesn't" or something reliable like scientific inquiry, I'll take my chances with the latter. Better to be late to the party than get lost in the desert on the way to the party.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:24 PM
 
Location: DFW
6,793 posts, read 11,720,025 times
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I don't think it's rational but people respond to my posts that way all the time.. and I catch myself doing that too here (and in real life.)

So it's not something that'll be going away anytime soon, unfortunately.
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:01 AM
 
6 posts, read 5,614 times
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It is if it benefits you to believe it.
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:37 PM
 
59 posts, read 34,519 times
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1. We are fast developing a Cult of Reason. Science is our new Religion. Science, of course, is a construct of the human mind, and, as such, is ill-equipped to even begin to speculate (much less "hypothesize") about the eternal questions. Science, as a discipline and a mode of thought, will never pose a question it does not believe itself fit to answer - and the devotees and acolytes of Science are all too eager to dismiss any question that cannot be assessed, quantified, reduced, and, ultimately, "explained". The very existence of scientific thought is sad "proof" of our Failure of Consciousness.

2. All Belief is outside Reason. That is the nature of Belief. When you have evidence, there is no need for Belief. Weak minds turn notions into Beliefs. Stronger but misguided minds belittle belief in favor of constructs like Proof and Evidence. Yet Belief, as an inclination of the mind, persists. Why?

3. The question: "Do you believe in God?" is meaningless. God is an Idea. The Idea has endured for thousands of years. The Idea exists and cannot be denied. It is likely the most sublimely vexing Idea ever conceived by man, and no amount of scientific exploration will ever match its breadth and depth (indeed, the urgent need to travel to - and eventually colonize - Mars, etc., is in essence a vulgar misreading of the ancient notion that first gave rise to the Idea of the Other). It is also, of course, a spectacular admission of Failure - we cannot answer the questions we began to pose thousands of years ago, so we create the technology that allows us to realize our so-called dreams and ambitions, which are, after all, merely insincere substitutes for our more legitimate and substantial inquiries.

4. Rational thought is important - to an extent, and in some areas of life. But rational thought is of very little use when human relations are in question, or at stake.

5. All human beings seek to make sense of their ontological state. It is likely that our increasing dependence on artificial intelligence is a concession to the ultimate impossibility of this task. Shame that we have yielded the fight to half-witted fundamentalists, New Age kooks, and soulless, denatured "rationalists". We need a (non-Nietzschean) Superman, a Stevensian Major Man - not mindless trend whores in perpetual Cosplay mode.

6. The most beautiful things are Inexplicable.

7. Artists will always be more meaningful than Scientists.
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:07 PM
 
354 posts, read 245,338 times
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"Is it ever rational to believe something you have no evidence for?"

So I was just sitting here playing poker thinking about this question. It should actually be rephrased to read, "Is it ever rational to believe in something that can not leave evidence?"

For instance; Tom tells me he has some milk in his frig. That's a rather common item to have in a frig so I might believe him on face value, or I'd at least rate it as likely to be true without any supporting evidence. Of course I could check for evidence if Tom would let me look.

Conversely; Tom tells me there's a supernatural wisp that inhabits his frig and being supernatural doesn't leave evidence. It would not be rational of me to believe Tom because no evidence can be given.

This is generally the same in the case of the god question. Most god believers hide there deity behind a cloak of supernaturalism, making it impossible to leave evidence and thus irrational to believe in. This is why faith is such a key component of god belief.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Michigan
722 posts, read 1,946,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleverfield View Post
Say I have no concrete evidence neither for or against God, but I believe that God exists. Is this rational of me to believe?
It could be. Read The Will to Believe by William James.

He argues that it is rational to maximize your true beliefs and rational to minimize your false beliefs. But these two goals are at odds to some extent: if you are credulous, you will maximize your true beliefs but also believe some falsehoods. If you are skeptical, you will minimize your false beliefs but also fail to believe some things that are true. Finding the right balance that works for you is not a purely rational decision. Whether you choose to take some things on faith or withhold belief from anything that isn't scientifically proven depends on emotional factors, not the dictates of pure reason; neither is more rational than the other.

There's more to it than that, but that's the core of the argument.
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