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logical thinking
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:33 pm  Why do you believe in God? Reply with quote

Why do you believe in God?

What specific argument or evidence is it, that persuades you?

Can you please outline the argument or piece of evidence that you believe is the STRONGEST reason to believe in God?

For example, is it the beauty and majesty of trees? Is it the Kalam Cosmological argument? Pascal's wager? Is it that you witnessed what you believe is a miracle? Is it the fact that you think the Bible contains prophecies? Is it because it feels good to believe in something greater than yourself?

Why do you believe in God?
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 81: Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:31 pm
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[Replying to post 72 by polonius.advice]


"Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)"

- TEX WILLIAMS

polonius.advice wrote:

JLB posted

Quote:
logical thinking wrote:
Why did man invent cigarettes if cigarettes are bad for you?


So you have no answer to the question of why man created religions since he already possessed compassion and empathy. Man created cigarettes because of addiction.

Question: How did a man become addicted to cigarettes which did not yet exist so he had to create them? Eh?


Maybe they were ADDICTED to addiction and needed an addiction to satisfy their addiction to addiction, so they invented cigarettes to be addicted to. And then they were addicted to cigarettes. After all, it's better to be addicted to SOMETHING, right?

All these addictive personalities were walking around like zombies searching for something to be addicted to. THEN, they had a revelation.

SMOKE that leaf


( I would just LOVE to be a theist )


Smile


Last edited by Blastcat on Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:36 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 82: Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:31 pm
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Re: Why do you believe in God?

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Zzyzx wrote:
Only 42% of the world's Jews live in Israel.


I don’t think all possible Jews that have existed must be gathered back for the scripture to be correct. I also don’t know who God meant with Jews in the scripture. Perhaps not all who call themselves Jews are really Jews.

Zzyzx wrote:
A wise person accepts what is known and shown to be true in the real world.


And that I do. Smile

Zzyzx wrote:
Evidence from many scientific fields and studies is strongly in support of NO worldwide flood “to the tops of mountains”


I disagree with that. Many real findings show it is possible that world was covered with water. (Water animal’s fossils on mountains, old coast lines on dry land…).

Zzyzx wrote:
Thus, an astute person does not simply take the word of salesmen of any product or service (including religion) but consults multiple, disconnected sources in search of truthful and accurate information.


Or tests the thing.

My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself.
John 7:16-17

Zzyzx wrote:
Are parts of the Bible written by God?


I don’t believe so, but I can’t say it is not possible.

Zzyzx wrote:
If parts (or all) of the Bible was written by humans it is subject to all human frailties and failings – including exaggeration; falsification; inclusion of myths, rumors, legends, tall tales, etc.


I agree with that. And if Bible would be just human product, it would have many mistakes. However I don’t think it has any, therefore I believe God has influenced in the making of Bible.

Zzyzx wrote:
If you believe and do what the Bible tells you will soon be in prison if a US resident (and most other civilized nations).


Why? Because western countries are becoming antichristian and prosecute everyone who believes in the Bible?

Zzyzx wrote:
Are you saying that you actually believe that donkeys can / do / did converse in human language?


I believe what the Bible tells. And according to it, one person heard donkey speaking. Bible doesn’t say it is what donkeys normally do, and I don’t believe it is what is normal for a donkey.

Zzyzx wrote:
If a wise person is not involved where intelligence is needed to survive, they do not travel in or pilot airplanes (or spacecraft); work in construction trades or farming or logging or law enforcement; explore high elevations or deep water; etc. Only unwise people do those things. Right?


I would rather say, wisdom helps person avoid problems.

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MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 83: Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:31 pm
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Re: Why do you believe in God?

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1213 wrote:
.

logical thinking wrote:

You shouldn't believe either of us. You should form your opinion based on the empirical evidence.


Good, that I have done.
Perfect! So please provide empirical evidence for the great flood!

Quote:
logical thinking wrote:

… called compassion. That exists in every single human being. The authors of the Bible didn't come up with it.


Biblical love seems to be more than compassion.
Love in general is more than just compassion. Please point out in which exact way a Christian is better at love than anybody else. If he's not, then the Bible is useless in the love department.

Quote:
logical thinking wrote:

so it's partially written by God?


Bible doesn’t say in all cases who wrote it, so I don’t really know. I believe humans have written it.
Ok thank you. So god didn't write the Bible, humans did. Much like the Harry Potter books.

Quote:
logical thinking wrote:

How do you know God exists? Because there are some passages in an old book that you think are really cool?


I believe God exists, because of the Bible and that I do because I see Bible to be correct about this world.
Never mind that the Bible is obviously not correct. It says that insects have 4 legs, that gay people should be killed and that women shouldn't be allowed to speak in church.

But even if it was correct, I don't follow your logic. If a text is correct about something, and then also says that a supernatural being is real, does that mean that the supernatural being is real?

" 2+2=4, and Santa is real".

The statement above is correct. So does it mean that Santa is real?

Quote:
logical thinking wrote:

In any case, why does the fact that people don't like being murdered by religious zealots mean that the Bible is real?


When people are against the Bible without honest and accurate claims about the Bible, it does seem to have something special.
Well lots of people are against the Koran, and Muslims will tell you it's without honest and accurate claims. So does that mean the Koran is accurate and Allah is the one true God?

Quote:
If Bible would have real problems, it could be easily shown without arguments that have not really anything to do with what the Bible tells.
"you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance."

The Bible is evil. End of story.

Quote:
logical thinking wrote:

So God is real because in your opinion the Bible has cool tips for living a life where it's not necessary to be intelligent?


To be more accurate, for me Bible gives better understanding so that I don’t have to experience or test all.
Right, kinda like an Ikea furniture assembly instructions. It gives you a better understanding of how to put together that TV stand, without having to experiment yourself.

So, some barbarians figured out that the right thing to do to gay people is kill them and that women are intrinsically inferior to men in the same way that man is inferior to God. You like the fact that you don't have to think for yourself and let bronze and iron age barbarians do the thinking for you.

Ok, that's neat. But why would it follow from that that God is real?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 84: Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:24 am
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Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
Logic noun interrelation or sequence of facts or events when seen as inevitable or predictable.
A logical conclusion is a conclusion that is entailed by premises that might be true. It’s that simple. A logical conclusion may be false of course, but the fact is that it might be true. The entire reason this board exists is to debate the possibility of God existing and the consequences – positive or negative – of that existence.
It’s really that simple.

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
There is always the possibility of a possibility that we did not consider. This is true.
Wonderful! So we have established the possibility that an intelligent entity that has always existed created everything else.

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
This is not simply an opinion. This is an observation based on actual events.
The statement that belief in deities is absurd is not based on actual events. It is opinion and nothing more.

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
Eventual judgement and punishment is pronounced to be unavoidable. Individuals break and defy the laws of God/the gods at their immortal peril.
Okay – so why were religions created? If the deities don’t exist, then they cannot enforce them and no one’s immortality is in peril.

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
Religion serves to alleviate fear of the unknown.
What does that have to do with the evolutionary purpose – to multiply, raise young capable of finding a mate, and continue the species? This is all Evolution 101.

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
The belief that the end of times and final judgement was at hand was already an old and widely held belief at the time of Jesus. Dying a martyr's death for one's religious beliefs was seen then, as it is now in some beliefs, as an instant pathway to heaven.
The assertion was made that religions are established to make money. Your answer doesn’t address that.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 85: Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:44 am
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logical thinking wrote:
Of course the possibility that Allah (the uncaused causer) [and an intelligent entity that created the universe] exists is not zero.
Wonderful! A concession by a theist has been made. BTW, I’m an Eastern Orthodox Christian and my Arab Christian friends refer to God as Allah.

logical thinking wrote:
Is there any grown-up reason for believing any of this?
Do you fancy yourself more grown-up than any believer?

logical thinking wrote:
If you could kindly provide a link to where I said that a creator of the universe was an impossibility, I'd appreciate it.
You’ve changed your statement. You said, “And if things CANNOT exist without being created, and God exists, then God was created,” which is what I pointed out.

logical thinking wrote:
What I am saying is that we know next to nothing about the origin of the universe. We truly have almost zero data and it's all speculation.
And I’m saying that not a few brilliant scientists think that something always existed; therefore, ones who say, “Christians say God created everything, but they create a special pleading for God saying he wasn’t created so Christians are illogical, irrational people” are simply wrong.

logical thinking wrote:
But to believe any one of them and disbelieve all the others, and to organize your entire life around that belief, is really really.... how can I put it... misguided?
The reason for the Christian to disbelieve it is that there are alleged witnesses to an intelligent entity who says, “I did all this.” Thus far the only rebuttals have been ridiculing the argument and that’s illogical argumentation.

logical thinking wrote:
I don't need conclusive evidence [to prove a god doesn’t exist.]
That’s absurd.

logical thinking wrote:
So if the evidence for the God of the Bible (some anonymous dude wrote down that he's real and a bunch of people believed him) is no better than the evidence for Allah or Zeus or Santa or Scientology, I have every right to take your claims about God about as seriously as a child's claims about Santa or Spiderman.
Some of the people you have cited are known to be fictions – such as comic book characters created by Stan Lee. One reputedly resided on Mt. Olympus, which has been conquered and said god wasn’t found there. Santa Clause is St. Nicholas for whom there are alleged relics, and Allah is the Judeo-Christian deity so he shouldn’t be mentioned as a different deity. Your obvious axe grinding (preconceived biases/prejudices) are manifest in your lack of distinctions between Spiderman and the alleged revelations in the Bible.

logical thinking wrote:
I called you "buddy". BUDDY. That's what I did that was so horribly rude.
I have a handle/nickname for use on this board and have been chastised by board monitors for using “Dude.” “Buddy” used in the context/tone in which you were using it was dismissive and facetious.

logical thinking wrote:
Do you truly expect anybody to believe that you do in fact have compelling arguments for your your positions . . .
I have been respectful and have not received the same courtesy in return; therefore, I could not possibly care less of your opinion about me or my arguments w/o my being comatose or dead.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 86: Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:05 am
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Blastcat wrote:
We don't have to invent anything when we say that THINGS exist. We have to ADD an eternal god in order to say that GOD might have always existed and created all things.
That changes nothing about the logic of the conclusion is that God has always existed and that He did all of this stuff.

Blastcat wrote:
Aren't you trying to prove that a God exists?
I am trying to prove that belief in God is logical/rational. Most of you are forced to concede that (concession being very painful for you [general ‘you’] apparently as evinced by the rather habitual devolution into ridiculing arguments and/or posters of those arguments.)

Blastcat wrote:
Everything IN the universe might have a cause.
Once again, you’re stating the obvious.
Does a god have a cause – maybe. Of course, God might not have a cause and the idea of a causeless cause has been embraced by scientists. That fact apparently irritates many atheists who charged that Christian construct inappropriate special pleadings that excuse God from the same scrutiny that they apply to created things.

Blastcat wrote:
WE DON'T KNOW.
You know what you don’t know. You don’t know what St. Sergius of Radonezh or St. Alexander of Skvir knew. They allegedly spoke w/the deity in question, His mother, SS. Peter and Paul. The only rebutaal offered against that has been, “How do you know they weren’t deluded?” I don’t know. My response has been, “Why should I conclude they were deluded?” The rebuttal has usually been something along “It’s stupid to believe in fairy tales” or “You just want to live forever because death scares you” or some other illogical ridiculing of the argument.

Blastcat wrote:
Nobody at all knows anything at all about eternal existence.
Not everyone has said “I don’t know anything about eternal existence.” How do you know that no one knows anything about eternal existence or if they’re bluffing? Quite simply, you don’t know what others know and are just presuming to say you do.

Blastcat wrote:
So we seem to be at a bit of an impasse here.
Yup – each individual knows what he doesn’t and what other people say they don’t know.

Blastcat wrote:
Notice that there is only one case where an eternal god is actually needed.
And I should accept another one because . . .
Why exactly?

Blastcat wrote:
EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OPINIONS... why even mention it?
It’s the most pointed way to tell someone that their statement is being facilely dismissed if the statement casts all clergy as control freaks when in fact most are actually quite kind, decent people.

Blastcat wrote:
The TRUTH is that nobody really KNOWS why religions were created.
Once again, you don’t know what everyone else knows. You’re just stating that you do.

Blastcat wrote:
And when they DO get that power, it's not always PRETTY, is it?
Given the history of officially atheist governments, I find your statement to be quite ironic.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 87: Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:44 am
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JLB32168 wrote:

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
Logic noun interrelation or sequence of facts or events when seen as inevitable or predictable.
A logical conclusion is a conclusion that is entailed by premises that might be true.
Nope, you're getting confused. A conclusion based on premises that MIGHT be true, is not a logical conclusion. It's a meaningless conclusion.

A logical conclusion is a conclusion based on premises that ARE true.

Check this out:

Premise 1: Reindeer can fly
Premise 2: There is an invisible toy factory in the north pole
Conclusion: Santa Klaus is real

Hey, it might be true that reindeer can fly. It might be true that there's an invisible toy factory in the north pole.

If a logical conclusion were one arrived to by means of premises that might be true, then Santa would be real.

Is Santa real? No? Then

Quote:
It’s that simple.
It's actually not quite as simple as you think it is.

Quote:
A logical conclusion may be false of course, but the fact is that it might be true.
A logical conclusion that might be true or might be not true, based entirely on speculation and on premises that might be true or might be not true, is a MEANINGLESS conclusion.

Quote:
Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
There is always the possibility of a possibility that we did not consider. This is true.
Wonderful! So we have established the possibility that an intelligent entity that has always existed created everything else.
And in other news: WATER IS WET!

Of course it's a possibility that an intelligent entity that has always existed created everything else.

It's also a possibility that such an entity does not exist.
It's also a possibility that the universe was created by an intelligent entity that was created by another intelligent entity, that was created by another intelligent entity, that was created by another intelligent entity, etc, etc, etc
It's also a possibility that the universe does not exist, and all this is just a dream that you are dreaming, and actually you are God and when you wake up you're gonna create a universe that is much better than what you dreamed.

It's a possibility that Allah is real, that Zeus is real, that Santa is real, that Peter Pan is real.

Almost everything is a possibility. The question is this: Of all the things that are possibilities (Yahweh, deistic God, Allah, absence of any God, Santa, Spiderman, etc) why do you believe in God?

What reason, what evidence, do you have that, unlike Santa and Allah, the Christian God is MORE than just a possibility?

Quote:
Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
This is not simply an opinion. This is an observation based on actual events.
The statement that belief in deities is absurd is not based on actual events. It is opinion and nothing more.


To believe in one possibility and base your life around that belief, and to disbelieve in other possibilities which are no less likely, based on no good evidence, is an absurd belief.

It's like living your life assuming the lottery ticket you just bought is the winning one, and buying fancy cars and jewelry on your credit card, because once you win the lottery ticket next week, you'll be bale to pay it all off.

Sure, it's a possibility that that you will win the lottery. But it's also a possibility that your neighbor will win it, or that the person living one more door down will win it, or the person two doors down, or 3 doors down, or 4 doors down.

Believing things just... because. That's absurd.

Quote:
Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
Eventual judgement and punishment is pronounced to be unavoidable. Individuals break and defy the laws of God/the gods at their immortal peril.
Okay – so why were religions created? If the deities don’t exist, then they cannot enforce them and no one’s immortality is in peril.
Can you please start your own thread on why religions are created?

I don't see how it's relevant.

Religion was created for SOME reason.

Is your argument "religion was created because God is real"?

If so, then UFO stories were created because UFOs are real. Bigfoot stories were created because bigfoot is real. Fairy tales were created because fairies are real.

Please present an argument which starts with "Religion exists" and ends with "Therefore God is real". If not, if your opinions on why religion was created is not germane to the truth of God's existence, then please start your own thread about that.

Quote:
Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
Religion serves to alleviate fear of the unknown.
What does that have to do with the evolutionary purpose – to multiply, raise young capable of finding a mate, and continue the species? This is all Evolution 101.
There is an answer to your question, and if you pose your question in a thread about the evolutionary value of religion, I'll post a response.

But this thread is about why you believe God exists. Please follow the edicts of 1 Peter 3:15 and tell us WHY YOU BELIEVE IN GOD.

Why is this so difficult? Just tell us why you believe!

Quote:
Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
The belief that the end of times and final judgement was at hand was already an old and widely held belief at the time of Jesus. Dying a martyr's death for one's religious beliefs was seen then, as it is now in some beliefs, as an instant pathway to heaven.
The assertion was made that religions are established to make money. Your answer doesn’t address that.
If I had known that you would take my off the cuff remark, and use it as an excuse to try to change the subject, derail the conversation, and avoid answering the question that the OP poses, then I wouldn't have made that remark.

If you're interested in debating the monetary motivations for starting religions, I'd be happy to do that - ON A SEPARATE THREAD.

This thread is for theists to explain why they believe in God.

Either explain it, or stop posting here. Why do you believe in God?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 88: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:08 am
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logical thinking wrote:
A logical conclusion is a conclusion based on premises that ARE true.
No – a conclusion can be logical if the premises are false. It’s just an unsound argument, but it’s not illogical. That’s forensics/logic 101.
logical thinking wrote:
Premise 1: Reindeer can fly Premise 2: There is an invisible toy factory in the north poleConclusion: Santa Klaus is real.
Fallacy of too many terms. You should say:
[p1]Reindeer can fly.
[p2]Rudolph is a reindeer.
[c]Rudolph can fly.
There are three terms: reindeer, Rudolph, and fly. The conclusion is logical. It’s unsound because the first premise is false, but it’s still logical. In the case with the present discussion on the creation, you cannot prove that God doesn’t exist; therefore, you cannot assert that premises about him are false (not that it would affect the logic of the argument.)
The rest of your arguments are predicated upon an erroneous conclusion (i.e. premises must be true before a conclusion is illogical).
logical thinking wrote:
To believe in one possibility and base your life around that belief, and to disbelieve in other possibilities which are no less likely, based on no good evidence, is an absurd belief.
If it keeps me from hacking stupid people into teeny tiny bits (people who need to be throttled) then it’s not an absurd belief. It down regulates my aggressive behavior. Of course, I’ve already given a list of people who have allegedly spoken with the deity in question and I believe them since I a)don’t think they made this stuff up and b)don’t think that they’re deluded.
logical thinking wrote:
Believing things just... because. That's absurd.
I don’t know of anyone who believes things just because. I’ve seen this misrepresentation presented by atheists on numerous occasions before.
logical thinking wrote:
Religion was created for SOME reason.
It has to serve an evolutionary purpose. If it serves no purpose then there’s no logical reason it would be invented. Of course, there’s a possibility – the “SOME” reason you’ve mentioned, which is that a deity revealed him/her/itself to someone.
logical thinking wrote:
Is your argument "religion was created because God is real"?
My argument is “Belief in God is logical.” I don’t need to address the arguments founded upon your misunderstanding of my argument.
logical thinking wrote:
Why is this so difficult? Just tell us why you believe!
I have articulated that answer multiple times already. If you didn’t understand it then, then I don’t think you’ll understand it now and I’m not in the mood to cut and paste.
logical thinking wrote:
If I had known that you would take my off the cuff remark, and use it as an excuse to try to change the subject, derail the conversation, and avoid answering the question that the OP poses, then I wouldn't have made that remark.
I responded to someone else who cited your words. I’m not derailing anything or changing the subject. You need to direct your comments to the one who mentioned it.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 89: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:45 am
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[Replying to post 86 by JLB32168]




Oblivious to the obvious


Blastcat wrote:
We don't have to invent anything when we say that THINGS exist. We have to ADD an eternal god in order to say that GOD might have always existed and created all things.


JLB32168 wrote:
That changes nothing about the logic of the conclusion is that God has always existed and that He did all of this stuff.


But should we just IGNORE all of the other possibilities?

I think that would be quite unreasonable. We should look at all the data possible. And if our "data" points are speculative, we should look at all the possible speculations.

If confirmation bias seems like a good idea, go right ahead. Only LOOK at the one possibility that you want to believe in. But other people notice that you don't seem to NOTICE all the others.

Some people ADMIRE the kind of thinking that conspiracy theorist use.
I sure don't.

I don't think they THINK well at all.

Blastcat wrote:
Aren't you trying to prove that a God exists?


JLB32168 wrote:
I am trying to prove that belief in God is logical/rational. Most of you are forced to concede that (concession being very painful for you [general ‘you’] apparently as evinced by the rather habitual devolution into ridiculing arguments and/or posters of those arguments.)


Your conclusion might be logical/rational. I'm not saying that they are, but I'm conceding that many theistic arguments CAN BE. It's a case by case thing.

But you seem to not appreciate that just because something makes SENSE, like a Harry Potter book idea, it NEVER has to mean that it's TRUE. When you say that God might be eternal and might have created the universe, I say YES all of that MIGHT BE TRUE.

But the very OPPOSITE might ALSO BE TRUE.

So, you might have explained how your idea can be INTERNALLY CONSISTENT, like J. K. Rowling does with Harry Potter, but it doesn't mean that your CREATOR is REAL. It does NOT mean that HARRY is real, either.

They BOTH can be FICTIONS.

Blastcat wrote:
Everything IN the universe might have a cause.


JLB32168 wrote:
Once again, you’re stating the obvious.


Of course I am.

I am PRESENTING what I consider quite obvious possibilities. But it seems that SOME debaters choose to IGNORE the obvious. They appear to be OBLIVIOUS to the obvious.

So I feel that the OBVIOUS has to be stated.
We don't want to exclude the middle. I was TRYING to be thorough.

JLB32168 wrote:
Does a god have a cause – maybe.


Maybe, and maybe not. Right.
We don't KNOW which.

JLB32168 wrote:
Of course, God might not have a cause and the idea of a causeless cause has been embraced by scientists.


By some.. but I don't know if by all. I don't imagine that humans know everything that there is to know about causation quite yet. We don't KNOW is the honest answer.

But we can speculate.
When you say that your god can be eternal and create a universe, you are speculating.

When someone else says that the universe doesn't need a cause to exist, I'd say that they are speculating, TOO.

But we don't KNOW.. nobody knows.
That was my main point.

People like to PRETEND that they know what they really don't. THEREFORE, beliefs of all kinds seem to pop into existence.

JLB32168 wrote:
That fact apparently irritates many atheists who charged that Christian construct inappropriate special pleadings that excuse God from the same scrutiny that they apply to created things.


Special pleading irritates, that's for sure.

It's a complete WASTE OF TIME. And for those who don't SPOT IT.. it's very misleading. It's intellectually dishonest.

We should all AVOID IT.
And it's DEATH to any logical/rational argument.

Blastcat wrote:
WE DON'T KNOW.

JLB32168 wrote:

You know what you don’t know.

WOW... that sounds so deep.

When I'm trying to be logical/rational, I do NOT embrace direct contradictory statements. The above statement of yours is SO vague, and so conflating, that I have to conclude one of two things:

1. You are PROFOUNDLY bad at expressing yourself.
2. You are deliberately trying to mislead.

Neither possibility enhances your credibility.

JLB32168 wrote:
You don’t know what St. Sergius of Radonezh or St. Alexander of Skvir knew. They allegedly spoke w/the deity in question, His mother, SS. Peter and Paul.


People DO allege all manner of things.
I say "Let them", and then I "IGNORE THEM".

If they can prove their claims I say "Let's look at the proof".

JLB32168 wrote:
The only rebutaal offered against that has been, “How do you know they weren’t deluded?”


It's not the only rebuttal that I can think of. Maybe you aren't talking to very thoughtful atheists. Not all atheists, are, you know.

I think that rebuttal is very good. But it's not the only one that I can think of. They might BE deluded, or lying, or that they never really said it. Or they were only joking. Or they were saying that to save their lives. Or someone else's life. Or they meant it poetically, and didn't ever INTEND to be taken literally. Or they were talking about another god entirely. Or a demon. Or an alien that they mistook for a god. Or someone was standing in another room playing jokes.. "Boooooo I'm the ghost of Xmas passsssst". These honest but gullible people might have been DECEIVED, too.

The point to all of this speculation is... HOW WOULD WE KNOW?

But I get your point. Their claims might not have been TRUE.

JLB32168 wrote:
I don’t know.


That's a very honest answer.

JLB32168 wrote:
My response has been, “Why should I conclude they were deluded?”


That would be a very FALSE conclusion. So, right. Why SHOULD YOU?
You don't know. That's it.

But why would you conclude that they WEREN'T?

You seem to be ONLY looking at the side of the question that would prove yourself RIGHT. That's what the conspiracy theorist do. They don't think well at all. We should look at all of the possibilities, and NOT just the one that tends to confirm our bias.

You seem to be promoting some of the WORST kind of thinking imaginable.:

http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/logical-fallacies/confirm...

We should ALL avoid confirmation bias and ESPECIALLY in debates, as the method, once it has been noticed, can ONLY fail to convince.

JLB32168 wrote:
The rebuttal has usually been something along “It’s stupid to believe in fairy tales” or “You just want to live forever because death scares you” or some other illogical ridiculing of the argument.


I'm sorry. But I have to agree with this rebuttal.

It IS a stupid way of thinking to believe in fairy tales, when we are GROWN UPS, trying to think in a logical/rational way. I am just not that GULLIBLE. I don't think that other people should be gullible, either. I don't know ANYTHING about your actual motivation, so I wouldn't tell you what it is... that's nonsense.

You might have been talking to irrational atheists. That happens.
But now, I'm trying as hard as I can to be a RATIONAL atheist. So, try me. I won't pretend to know what your motivations are. If I want to know your motivations, I will ASK.

But I usually try to focus on people's logic/reason.

I'm WAY more interested in how people ARRIVE at their conclusions than the actual conclusions themselves, you see.

I believe that faulty reasoning does NOT lead to reliable conclusions.

Blastcat wrote:
Nobody at all knows anything at all about eternal existence.


JLB32168 wrote:
Not everyone has said “I don’t know anything about eternal existence.”


Here's a hint. If someone comes up to you and says that they DO know... they are most probably bluffing. You don't have to believe them.

You might want to ask them for their MECHANISM by which they found out, first. See how they ARRIVED at their rather "spectacular" knowledge.

JLB32168 wrote:
How do you know that no one knows anything about eternal existence or if they’re bluffing?


For one thing, people aren't eternal so cant really know if something is eternal or not. Sorry. They might PRETEND that they know, but that's not the same as really KNOWING.

RIGHT?

Pretend ≠ knowledge

JLB32168 wrote:
Quite simply, you don’t know what others know and are just presuming to say you do.


You think that I'm bluffing about those bluffers. Fair enough. I don't know what other people know. I don't read minds, I don't KNOW absolutely everything, and I can be completely wrong.

BUT... I do not know of ANY MECHANISM by which a person could know anything about eternal existence, do YOU? I don't know of anyone who DOES know absolutely everything and who also can't be completely wrong, deluded, mistaken, lying etc... People have LIMITED knowledge, so expecting ANYONE to know anything about ETERNAL anything is unreasonable. I imagine that only an eternal being could know about the eternal existence of anything. Is eternal existence POSSIBLE?

I don't know.

As an example of not knowing, and claims, let's play some poker:

Someone CLAIMS to have 4 aces, I would ask them to SHOW. I call their bluff.
But you might just want to go ahead and take their word for it and fork over your dough.

Why should we assume he is deluded about those 4 aces? We shouldn't assume that they are deluded.. so .. fork over the money? I suppose it depends on HOW much money. Let's say it's a substantial sum of money. Kids are crying in the other room because they are hungry. Feed the kids, or pay the player who says he has 4 aces.

Think of the CHILDREN!!!!!

You give him your money, I'm going to CALL.

Now, it's pretty easy for the card player to show his hand. He either HAS 4 aces, or he was just bluffing.

But how does someone who claims to know about eternal EXISTENCE "show his hand"? Do you see a problem here?

( I lost a lot of money playing poker )

Blastcat wrote:
So we seem to be at a bit of an impasse here.


JLB32168 wrote:
Yup – each individual knows what he doesn’t and what other people say they don’t know.


Look, saying " I KNOW WHAT I DON'T KNOW " is EXTREMELY ambiguous. It's ambiguous to the point of being a JOKE.

I wouldn't use that bad turn of phrase in a serious debate UNLESS I also pointed out that it was a JOKE. But if you don't MEAN it as a joke, that's a messed up statement. I say: "Drop it".

Blastcat wrote:
Notice that there is only one case where an eternal god is actually needed.


JLB32168 wrote:
And I should accept another one because . . .
Why exactly?


Who on EARTH is asking you to accept anything?

I'm not ASKING you to ACCEPT any possibility... I'm PRESENTING possibilities. Remember that I said that we don't know if ANY of these possibilities are true. I'm trying to be a skeptic.

Skeptics don't ACCEPT what might be false as true.

Blastcat wrote:
EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OPINIONS... why even mention it?


JLB32168 wrote:
It’s the most pointed way to tell someone that their statement is being facilely dismissed if the statement casts all clergy as control freaks when in fact most are actually quite kind, decent people.


And yet, civility is demanded of all of us in these forums. If anyone actually DOES insult someone in here, it should be reported immediately. Let the moderators handle that kind of thing.

Dismissing something in a facile, pointed way does NOT increase our credibility in here. If you notice some rule violation, report it.

Blastcat wrote:
The TRUTH is that nobody really KNOWS why religions were created.


JLB32168 wrote:
Once again, you don’t know what everyone else knows. You’re just stating that you do.


If you read carefully, I am admitting to IGNORANCE.. when I say that nobody knows, I include myself. It seems reasonable to say that for all WE DO KNOW.. nobody has a time machine and a mind reading machine to go back in time and INSPECT all the motivations for people creating religions.

Do you know of any MECHANISM by which someone could POSSIBLY know how religious were created? People can and do speculate. That's the best we can do.

WE CAN'T GO BACK IN TIME YET.
So we just don't know.

Let's try to not pretend to know what we really don't.

Blastcat wrote:
And when they DO get that power, it's not always PRETTY, is it?


JLB32168 wrote:
Given the history of officially atheist governments, I find your statement to be quite ironic.


Again, this is the product of confirmation bias. It seems that you can't IMAGINE anything wrong with historical or present day theocracies. Remember that the USA waged a WAR against a theocracy. Putting on your rose colored glasses about religions might feel good to you, but it's not what I would call historically or politically sophisticated.

Confirmation bias at work:

1. Whatever tends to prove a bias, KEEP.
2. Whatever tends to DISPROVE.. DISCARD.

We can ONLY expect to KEEP and ENHANCE our bias that way.

It seems to me that you would LOVE a theocracy. BUT.. it has to be YOUR theos. Not the theos of some other guy. I would not love ANY theocracy.

I don't want to be forced to believe what some other guy believes. DO YOU?

Smile

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JLB32168 wrote:

A logical conclusion is a conclusion that is entailed by premises that might be true. It’s that simple. A logical conclusion may be false of course, but the fact is that it might be true. The entire reason this board exists is to debate the possibility of God existing and the consequences – positive or negative – of that existence.
It’s really that simple.


If one does not know the answer to a particular question then the possible answers are infinite. With respect to the question at hand, what we actually observe is that every effect is the result of a still earlier cause. This occurs without exception for everything that can be observed. To declare that the only possible conclusion is that there must be an uncaused cause, in violation of all observation, is NOT logical. It is an assumption. It is an assumption which is simply one of an infinite number of possible answers. Because our powers of observation are limited, so we do not have a definitive answer.

It is often said that everything has a beginning. But in fact this is NOT what we observe at all. What we actually observe is that everything is a continuation of things that have already occurred. In ancient times people supposed that spontaneous beginnings occurred commonly. The birth of a child, for example, which gave rise to an entirely new individual which had not previously existed. This was generally thought in ancient times to be a supernatural manifestation and a descreet new beginning. But we today know that the conception of a human child, or any new life, is the result of material provided by the parents. And the each component part of every existing individual, already existed for billions of years at least prior to making up the whole of that individual. When the individual dies, it's component parts will continue on, taking yet new forms. Because energy can neither be created or destroyed, only changed in form. It is neither observed to begin, or to end.

It is observed that the universe is expanding. By extrapolation it must be concluded that the universe was smaller a second ago. This leads to the conclusion that all of the material of universe must have once been in one place in the past, which leads to the concept of the big bang. Believers leap to the conclusion that this represents the beginning of the universe, and a discreet beginning at that. But we have absolutely no experience with discreet beginnings. A beginning where nothing previously existed. We have vastly more reason to suppose, based on all experience, that the universe WAS BORN as a result of things which preceded it. Physicists suppose that what preceded the big bang was a condition known as the singularity, or a condition approaching the state of a singularity. Since black holes are predicted to be the end result of gravitational collapse into the state of a singularity, or a condition approaching the state of s singularity, it is possible to conclude that the cosmic singularity from which or universe was born, was also the result of gravitational collapse. Which implies the existence of an entirely other universe. Because everything we observe is a continuation of that which preceded it. It certainly is possible to conceive of a cause which requires no first cause. But no such thing is observed to be true, and must be entirely made up from the imagination.

JLB32168 wrote:

Wonderful! So we have established the possibility that an intelligent entity that has always existed created everything else.


If one does not know the answer to something for certain, nearly anything is possible.

JLB32168 wrote:

The statement that belief in deities is absurd is not based on actual events. It is opinion and nothing more.


The assertion that religions lead to massive amounts of death, torture and the exhibition of people inflicting extreme horrors on other people based on their religious convictions is itself based on much observation.

JLB32168 wrote:

Okay – so why were religions created? If the deities don’t exist, then they cannot enforce them and no one’s immortality is in peril.


The solution as to whether or not the deities can enforce their rules to the point of placing one's "immortality" in peril is conveniently declared to occur after one dies. Which of course no one can check on. The entire idea of "immortality" is an imaginary one, derived from religious claims which cannot be examined and verified. Nothing which is observed reinforces the concept of immortality. All living things die. Make believe cannot change that. I am not offering you a better deal here. I am simply pointing out that the reality of that which can be observed to be true is different from those things which are entirely contrived by the imagination and then declared to be true without any actual physical evidence to support them.

JLB32168 wrote:

What does that have to do with the evolutionary purpose – to multiply, raise young capable of finding a mate, and continue the species? This is all Evolution 101.


Religion is a way for humans to cope with the fact that they exist in a capricious world that as naked apes they have little control of. We modern humans, with our technology, have afforded ourselves some small measure of actual control over our circumstances however. And as we move down that path, make believe is needed less and less.

JLB32168 wrote:

The assertion was made that religions are established to make money. Your answer doesn’t address that.


You ARE aware of how fabulously wealthy TV evangelists have made themselves? Now, notice how the Torah sets up the Levite priests to share in the wealth of the society, WITHOUT producing any actual wealth themselves, and yet without incurring any risks to themselves. Because being a shaman/witch doctor/priest is literally the longest running scam in human history. Far older than Judeo-Christianity. We know that ancient prehistoric people had religious beliefs. The role of witch doctor/shaman/priesthood has been around probably nearly as long as modern humans have been around, if not longer. These individuals were generally feared and highly respected in tribal hierarchy, as well as men of wealth in power in the early civilizations, where they typically served as advisers to the king. The problem was, they were generally expected to foretell important things, like the fortunes of upcoming battles, and the general coming of disasters. Since such people are little more than con artists using slight of hand tricks to fool everyone, (think Peter Popoff here) they had no better than a 50/50 chance of predicting anything right. And when they got it wrong they generally paid with their lives.

The priests of Judaism however figured a way around this problem. They produced a series of documents, known as the Torah, which they claimed to be from God Himself, which placed duties and restrictions on the Jewish population. Lots and lots of duties and restrictions on the Jewish population. So many duties and restrictions on the Jewish population that it was impossible for all of the people to to keep all of the duties and restrictions all of the time. So when disasters struck, which of course they inevitably would, the priests could claim that they were not at fault, but the people had angered God by falling to uniformly follow all of the rules all of the time. And so the priests were able to reap the rewards of their position without suffering the risks.

The rewards for the Jewish priests, the Levites, were extraordinarily lucrative too. For example:

Num.18
[20] And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
[21] And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Num.31:
1. And of the children of Israel's half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD.
2. Even of the children of Israel's half, Moses took one portion of fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, which kept the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses.


The Levites have no inheritance of lands to work but are instead given a portion of the wealth and cities to reside in:

Num.35:
1. Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them.
2. And the suburbs of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about.
3. And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites there shall be six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee thither: and to them ye shall add forty and two cities.
4. So all the cities which ye shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities: them shall ye give with their suburbs.
5. And the cities which ye shall give shall be of the possession of the children of Israel: from them that have many ye shall give many; but from them that have few ye shall give few: every one shall give of his cities unto the Levites according to his inheritance which he inheriteth.


Leviticus makes it even better for the Levites. Free homes to live in. And if the Levite owners should choose to sell his home to a non Levite, the ownership of the home reverts to the Levite owner again every seven years.

Lev.25
1. Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, and the houses of the cities of their possession, may the Levites redeem at any time.
2. And if a man purchase of the Levites, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the year of jubile: for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel.


Deuteronomy sweetens the deal for the Levites even further.

[i]Deut.12
[16] "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
[17] Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee."

Deut.18
[1] "The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and his inheritance.
[2] Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the LORD is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.
[3] And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.
[4] The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him."[/b]

Wow! What a huge break for the Levites! Three times a year you must come to Jerusalem and make your offering to the Lord of the finest things you possess. And once your offering is consecrated it becomes the property of the Levites.

And it only gets better. The duties of the Levites "set them aside" from the general population. They are not required to fight in battle.

"Why did the Levites not share in the apportionment of land of Israel and its plunder, along with their brethren? Because they were set aside to worship the Lord and to minister to Him, and to instruct the masses in His proper ways and just laws, as it is said: “They shall teach Your laws to Jacob and Your instructions to Israel” (Deut. 33:10). Therefore they were set aside from the ways of the world: they do not go to war, as do the rest of Israel, they do not receive an apportionment of land as an inheritance, and they do not obtain things for themselves by the strength of their bodies; rather, they are the Lord’s host (Heb. hayil), as it is said: “Bless, O Lord, his substance (Heb. Barekh hashem helo), [2] and He, Blessed be He, provides for them, as it is said: “I am your portion and your share” (Num. 18:20)." Rabbi Judah Zoldan
668 Zoldan

So who wrote the Torah? That would be the Levites. Now THAT'S a scam! Well played Levites. Well played. Where would today's TV evangelists be without your guidance and inspiration!

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