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Old 03-04-2010, 12:29 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,085 posts, read 7,453,708 times
Reputation: 2641

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Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
Because there is no evidence for Satan, demons, angels etc. Your argument is predicated on the belief that someone else's say so makes it so. This is not true, evidence comes from empirical testing.
I provided the proof. Satan is a real person, Miroslav Satan, a pro hockey player who was well documented as "real" as recently as in the Olympics where he played and led his Slovak national hockey team. Devils are hockey players for the NJ Devils hockey team, they are real. Angels are baseball players for the L.A. Angels of Anaheim baseball team, they are real.

I wanted to make 2 points with this thread:
1. People will quickly presume things to be rooted in religion despite this being a religion and philosophy forum; and
2. people will default to demanding methods of "proof" that are, in their opinion, scientific rather than generally philosophical.

This thread demonstrated as much. Some people, presumably those with senses of humor, got a kick out of it once they "got it" (and that's good because while I had the intention of making valid points I did want it to be light-hearted, also).

But it was interesting to see what people demanded as "proof" or "valid evidence". Some wanted photos, some wanted interviews. Others insisted on lab-based tests, or in-person interaction with the people I mentioned.

This all has a very real and important philosophical implication of where humanity is at this point in time. We tend to vary greatly and not agree quite as much on what constitutes "proof". We tend to the naturalistic despite thousands of years of documented spirituality and thousands of evidences, naturalistic and non-naturalistic for the supernatural. People will believe Mel Gibson exists because they have seen him in photos, interviews on TV, reports, etc.; but mostly people believe he exists because of the lack of opposition to the fact he exists.

It seems that people will accept skeptism as "proof" these days if skeptics are a certain number and if skeptics appeal to what they want to believe. Philosophically, "proof" has never been indisputable or immune to skeptism, but in the modern era we are moving in that direction for all forms of philosophical proof except scientific "proof" which, despite being fallible (as we've seen time and again) is accepted as indisputable fact. What's indisputable in science is the data, not the conclusion; but scientific conclusions are treated as fact (until they are replaced by new conclusions).

In our world today, it's easy for things to be falsified and passed off as real. The kids TV show "Hannah Montana" is based on this premise - Hannah's fans are convinced she's real, but she's not, she's a character played by a girl named Miley. We don't truly KNOW nearly as much as we permit ourselves to believe we "know" in order to function in life. The distinction between fact and belief is blurred and this can be used to manipulate people and what they believe. Independent thought is rare; people are led to believe their thoughts are independent despite the fact that their various evidences are not even truly scientifically valid, let alone philosophically.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
680 posts, read 1,168,070 times
Reputation: 503
I agree with most of the arguments against the idea that there is proof of Satan, demons, angels, etc. These are all based on subjective experience which cannot be validate by any objective means.

This is not to say that subjective isn't a valid method of apprehending "truth." Quite the opposite, subjective experience and faith are probably the ONLY means of "knowing the truth" because every other form of knowledge is subject to testing and refutation.

So, for those who believe in Satan and angels and such, I have no contempt or quarrel. I don't personally believe in these entities for 3 reasons:

1. I don't have subjective experiences of mystical entities that fit the ordinary descriptions of Satan, etc.

2. All subjective religious experiences can be explained by neurology, culture, the power of suggestion, the power of imagination, and the evolution of the mind. This doesn't prove that such experiences have no external validity, but it does offer an alternative explanation which I happen to have more faith in.

3. Even if we accept that our mystical experiences and visions have validity, it is impossible to say that what we're experiencing is explained by any particular religions constructs. If I see "Satan", am I not merely giving a label to what I see, a label that was created by others who taught me how to interpret my experience? If I saw "Satan" and had grown up a Hindu, I would not label my vision "Satan" but might have a completely different interpretation and response.

All mystical experience falls outside the shared meanings we have for common tangible experiences. A table is a table. An apple is an apple. Satan is the embodiment of evil or a guy who looks funny and lies a lot or is a hallucination or is a Greek god or is the IRS agent who is harassing you or is the man who slept with your wife --- we cannot know. Merely claiming that we're seeing what is described in the Bible isn't sufficient. For everyone who reads the Bible, there is a unique subjective interpretation of the mystical elements in that book. We can intuitively sense that our interpretations are shared, but we cannot objectively prove it.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
680 posts, read 1,168,070 times
Reputation: 503
Quote:
Originally Posted by BergenCountyJohnny View Post
I wanted to make 2 points with this thread:
1. People will quickly presume things to be rooted in religion despite this being a religion and philosophy forum; and
2. people will default to demanding methods of "proof" that are, in their opinion, scientific rather than generally philosophical.


Good work! You certainly roped me in.

Wish I had read the entire thread before posting my long-winded comments above.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:39 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,085 posts, read 7,453,708 times
Reputation: 2641
Quote:
Originally Posted by smh1 View Post
Well philosophical proof is subject to interpretation. For example I can say I saw Satan too. He came to my door on Halloween. He also wen't away when I gave him some candy!

I can say I saw Satan or a child dressed as Satan or any number of interpretations, based on my cultural, worldly view.

Science on the other hand is the same. Heart surgery in the U.S is the same as heart surgery done in the middle east. The concepts are same and it is not subjective.

On the philosophical side, you also have a ton of people who specialize in making a living by interpreting things. When you have no proof and demand money to cast out demons or whatever-well people will start to doubt the whole thing.
But you're illustrating my point here. Take, for example, that you assert that "Heart surgery in the U.S is the same as heart surgery done in the middle east. The concepts are same and it is not subjective." What is your proof of this? I would expect that if you are correct you are someone who knows all about heart surgery in the US, all about heart surgery in the Middle East, and every concept about heart surgery to know for a fact that it is the "same" in both places. What is your background that enables you to state this as "fact"? Or are you going on what you understand as a third party who is not involved in heart surgery eithere in the US or the middle east or either, perhaps someone who is not even familiar with all the concepts and details of heart surgery at all?? For me to believe you, I have to accept a lot of things unscientifically, as assumptions. I have to assume you have the expertise and experience to make such claims. I have to assume that any expertise or experience you claim is true since I have not witnessed any of it first-hand, not even diplomas or licenses.

"Truth" is far more pliable than people would like to believe, particularly when limited to natural bases. So much of what people believe to be "true" and what they think they "know" is actually rooted in so much evidence that is actually weak and not even scientifically, let alone philosophically, valid. Yet people make exceptions when the resulting belief is the popular one.

This is how many religions have survived and grown throughout the centuries, but the irony is that this is also how naturalism (i.e. atheism) is growing today, while at the same time criticizing religion for having grown in this manner. Manipulation and control of the definition of "Truth" is behind the growth of every ideological movement.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:41 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,085 posts, read 7,453,708 times
Reputation: 2641
Quote:
Originally Posted by tongpa-nyi View Post


Good work! You certainly roped me in.

Wish I had read the entire thread before posting my long-winded comments above.
No problem, glad you got a chuckle!

And I appreciate your "long-winded comments above" and think they still do contribute to this discussion, so no need to wish you'd done anything differently!
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Richland, Washington
4,071 posts, read 4,968,144 times
Reputation: 2479
Quote:
Originally Posted by BergenCountyJohnny View Post
I provided the proof. Satan is a real person, Miroslav Satan, a pro hockey player who was well documented as "real" as recently as in the Olympics where he played and led his Slovak national hockey team. Devils are hockey players for the NJ Devils hockey team, they are real. Angels are baseball players for the L.A. Angels of Anaheim baseball team, they are real.

I wanted to make 2 points with this thread:
1. People will quickly presume things to be rooted in religion despite this being a religion and philosophy forum; and
2. people will default to demanding methods of "proof" that are, in their opinion, scientific rather than generally philosophical.

This thread demonstrated as much. Some people, presumably those with senses of humor, got a kick out of it once they "got it" (and that's good because while I had the intention of making valid points I did want it to be light-hearted, also).

But it was interesting to see what people demanded as "proof" or "valid evidence". Some wanted photos, some wanted interviews. Others insisted on lab-based tests, or in-person interaction with the people I mentioned.

This all has a very real and important philosophical implication of where humanity is at this point in time. We tend to vary greatly and not agree quite as much on what constitutes "proof". We tend to the naturalistic despite thousands of years of documented spirituality and thousands of evidences, naturalistic and non-naturalistic for the supernatural. People will believe Mel Gibson exists because they have seen him in photos, interviews on TV, reports, etc.; but mostly people believe he exists because of the lack of opposition to the fact he exists.

It seems that people will accept skeptism as "proof" these days if skeptics are a certain number and if skeptics appeal to what they want to believe. Philosophically, "proof" has never been indisputable or immune to skeptism, but in the modern era we are moving in that direction for all forms of philosophical proof except scientific "proof" which, despite being fallible (as we've seen time and again) is accepted as indisputable fact. What's indisputable in science is the data, not the conclusion; but scientific conclusions are treated as fact (until they are replaced by new conclusions).

In our world today, it's easy for things to be falsified and passed off as real. The kids TV show "Hannah Montana" is based on this premise - Hannah's fans are convinced she's real, but she's not, she's a character played by a girl named Miley. We don't truly KNOW nearly as much as we permit ourselves to believe we "know" in order to function in life. The distinction between fact and belief is blurred and this can be used to manipulate people and what they believe. Independent thought is rare; people are led to believe their thoughts are independent despite the fact that their various evidences are not even truly scientifically valid, let alone philosophically.
You have not provided evidence. Evidence comes from what has been verified through use of the scientific method. The problem with your argument is that it is based on nothing more than testimonials, which have been proven to be highly unreliable. Do you believe aliens abduct people in their sleep then take them back to their spaceship and perform experiments on them? After all, there are many testimonials from people who have said it happened to them. Also, do you seriously think that fans of Hannah Montana believe sshe's real. There's something known as fiction. Hannah Montana is nothing more than a fictional character, even fans of the show know that. Also, Mel Gibson is tangible, as is the actress that plays Hannah Montana. That means they are detectable and verifiable by the five senses. There is no evidence for Satan or any other supernatural entity. If there were it for one, would be verified through scientific testing. There is no evidence for the supernatural, just unreliable testimonials.
Another problem with your argument is that you assume that someone's say so makes it so. With the exceptions of paradigms like evolution or gravity, scientific proof isn't seen as indisputable fact. Science throws out or revises its conclusions as new evidence comes in. Testimonials(and other faith based beliefs) don't change even if the evidence says otherwise.

Last edited by agnostic soldier; 03-04-2010 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 4,877,303 times
Reputation: 3025
I agree, and have shortly stated my epistemological belief on this forum many times that, you need to "show that you know." And even then I believe that all we have are beliefs. We don't Know until we have a direct connection with the object in question.

There are degrees of beliefs and some are closer to knowledge than others, due to our proximity to provide explanations and first hand accounts etc.

I strongly believe Mel Gibson exists. But I don't Know for sure that he does. Until I meet with him and have no other reason to believe it is someone else.

However I do take issue with point #1. Satan is firmly rooted in religion; religion and stuff like this is ALWAYS posted. Especially with your "devilish" deception, how would we know that this was a "faux" thread? People should be open minded, but our brains cannot and should not work in a way where we have to second guess everything. I DO second guess a lot of stuff on the internet (for obvious reasons), but when I have no reasons to doubt (or very little) I roll with it. (To be honest your name looked familiar and didn't seem in line with previous points, but on that point I was about 90% 'real thread', 10% fake thread.)In the end I think it is unreasonable to hold the "folk" against these high standards of skepticism.

BTW I was going to post a Flanders as the Devil earlier in the thread, but I didn't possibly due to doubt.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:15 PM
 
3,614 posts, read 2,953,185 times
Reputation: 909
I'm a little perplexed as to what made my previous comment so rude, but in it, I was requesting definition of what you mean by Satan. It is impossible to prove or disprove something without having a definition of what it is we are talking about. Granted, when you're posting questions in a religion and philosophy forum, people are going to apply their schemas and think that Satan in a religious forum means, of course, the embodiment of evil.

However, clearly you weren't talking about that. However, never did you once provide evidence of your Satan. You were merely speaking about evidence you had, but never actually provided it. All talk, no show.

If you're unable to define something, how can you provide evidence for it? Without a definition, the words you're using (e.g. Satan) are meaningless. Ovacatto covered this in the "Atheist made easy for theist" thread.

Last edited by Konraden; 03-04-2010 at 01:25 PM..
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Texas
32,611 posts, read 17,684,046 times
Reputation: 18701
Quote:
Originally Posted by BergenCountyJohnny View Post
With all the clearly documented evidence of the existence of Satan how can anyone still be in denial that he not only exists but he strives to defeat people?? Same with Devils and Angels - documented evidence and proof but people are in denial of their existence. It's clear that people would rather just choose what to believe rather than look at facts and PROOF.

I'd bet all that documented "evidence" is anecdotal.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,363,010 times
Reputation: 5054
BergenCountyJohnny: I think you ruthlessly manipulated several people to prove your point, but I certainly agree with it! Most of the discussion here is about religion, so it's easy to see why people assumed it was about that. In these days of Photoshopping, a photo as proof can hardly be definitive unless it can be proven to be unaltered.
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