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Author Topic:   Atheism and the case against Christ
MFFJM2
Member (Idle past 739 days)
Posts: 58
From: Washington, DC
Joined: 10-11-2009


Message 1 of 13 (724712)
04-19-2014 10:44 PM


by Matthew S. McCormick
The first half of the book is an honest and first-rate critique of the reasons for accepting the story of the resurrection, and for miracles generally. The author completely destroys the concepts espoused by most Christian apologists for accepting the story of the resurrection by comparing it with the Salem witch trials...absolutely brilliant. From the Amazon.com review...

"The author asks a number of probing questions: Is the evidence about Jesus as it has been relayed to us over the centuries of sufficient quantity and quality to justify belief in the resurrection? How can we accept the resurrection but reject magic at the Salem witch trials? What light does contemporary research about human rationality from the fields of behavioral economics, empirical psychology, cognitive science, and philosophy shed on the resurrection and religious belief?"

This book is a must read for any person who desires to use rational thought and critical thinking rather than a priori beliefs to determine truth.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Phat, posted 04-21-2014 10:17 AM MFFJM2 has responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 9762
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 2 of 13 (724818)
04-21-2014 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by MFFJM2
04-19-2014 10:44 PM


Believe It Or Not
What is truth? An eternal question. Im reading the amazon review now. I read a lot on both sides of this discussion...personally have not changed my belief and probably would believe even if the issue were logically refuted.

I think a lot hinges on what people want to believe.


“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—nothing more nor less.”

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by MFFJM2, posted 04-19-2014 10:44 PM MFFJM2 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 10:55 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
MFFJM2
Member (Idle past 739 days)
Posts: 58
From: Washington, DC
Joined: 10-11-2009


Message 3 of 13 (724824)
04-21-2014 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Phat
04-21-2014 10:17 AM


Re: Believe It Or Not
A statement of truth is one which is in accordance with physical reality, and is verfiable, falsfiable, and produces reliable predictions. Unless you're writing poetry that is how the truth is defined. What you want to believe has no effect whatsoever on reality. However, why would anyone want to believe something that is false, or even something that cannot be shown to be true. How is this any different from wishful thinking..? The idea that you would continue to believe something that is proven false or logically refuted is beyond me. This I understand is the basic concept of faith, to believe even though the evidence is against you...but why would anyone do that..? Faith is not a pathway to truth. Now in this case I'm not using the word faith as a synonym for hope, but rather faith as a truth statement about our world. When someone says I have faith my football team will win the Superbowl, they mean they hope their team will win. Nobody uses the word faith in this way in a negative sense (I have faith my team will lose), so we know they mean hope. I don't know how anyone could continue to believe as you say you would, although some certainly claim to have the ability. Belief is not a conscious choice, but rather it is subconscious and entirely dependent on our being convinced of the actual truth of the proposition in question. We may be convinced for good or bad reasons, but we don't then make a conscious choice to believe. Can you choose not to believe in gravity..?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Phat, posted 04-21-2014 10:17 AM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by NoNukes, posted 04-21-2014 3:21 PM MFFJM2 has responded
 Message 5 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-21-2014 3:39 PM MFFJM2 has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9926
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 4 of 13 (724846)
04-21-2014 3:21 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by MFFJM2
04-21-2014 10:55 AM


Re: Believe It Or Not
However, why would anyone want to believe something that is false, or even something that cannot be shown to be true.

It turns out that such a thing is unavoidable. It cannot be shown to be true that there is on God, yet many people take the lack of evidence to the contrary to be enough to reach that conclusion.

So why are you complaining about something that you almost certainly do yourself.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 10:55 AM MFFJM2 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 5:09 PM NoNukes has responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11707
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 5 of 13 (724847)
04-21-2014 3:39 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by MFFJM2
04-21-2014 10:55 AM


Re: Believe It Or Not
A statement of truth is one which is in accordance with physical reality, and is verfiable, falsfiable, and produces reliable predictions.

A minor nitpick, but true things are still true even if we can't verify them or use them to make reliable predictions.

I think you can leave it as something is true if it is in accordance with reality.

However, why would anyone want to believe something that is false, or even something that cannot be shown to be true.

One reason could be that it makes them feel better.

How is this any different from wishful thinking..

Its not, but some people do prefer fantasy to reality.

This I understand is the basic concept of faith, to believe even though the evidence is against you...but why would anyone do that..?

I don't think the evidence really has to be against you for there to be room for faith. Simply being unknown is enough, in my opinion.

Faith is not a pathway to truth. Now in this case I'm not using the word faith as a synonym for hope, but rather faith as a truth statement about our world.

Hrm, I usually don't state the things that I take on faith as being a matter of fact.

I'll say that I believe X, but I'm not saying it must be true and I'll acknowledge that I don't know.

And for things that I do know, or would state matter of factly, I don't say that I "believe" them. I accept them, or I know them.

Belief is not a conscious choice, but rather it is subconscious and entirely dependent on our being convinced of the actual truth of the proposition in question.

I'm not sure that the jury isn't still out on that one. For one, I'm not totally convinced of the things that I have faith in. And for two, sometimes it seems like I can choose to believe in some things.

We may be convinced for good or bad reasons, but we don't then make a conscious choice to believe.

And for the things that you're not convinced of? Can't you still lean one way or the other? Couldn't you hope so bad that you find yourself accepting it anyways?

Can you choose not to believe in gravity..?

I don't think that's a good representation. Gravity is undenyable. Can you choose to believe that your wife loves you? Even if she isn't showing it very strongly today? Or even if she's not behaving in a way in which she should?

.

Oh, and one more thing. If you could go ahead and press that Enter key a few times here and there, that would be great.

Check it out. This:

quote:
A statement of truth is one which is in accordance with physical reality, and is verfiable, falsfiable, and produces reliable predictions. Unless you're writing poetry that is how the truth is defined. What you want to believe has no effect whatsoever on reality. However, why would anyone want to believe something that is false, or even something that cannot be shown to be true. How is this any different from wishful thinking..? The idea that you would continue to believe something that is proven false or logically refuted is beyond me. This I understand is the basic concept of faith, to believe even though the evidence is against you...but why would anyone do that..? Faith is not a pathway to truth. Now in this case I'm not using the word faith as a synonym for hope, but rather faith as a truth statement about our world. When someone says I have faith my football team will win the Superbowl, they mean they hope their team will win. Nobody uses the word faith in this way in a negative sense (I have faith my team will lose), so we know they mean hope. I don't know how anyone could continue to believe as you say you would, although some certainly claim to have the ability. Belief is not a conscious choice, but rather it is subconscious and entirely dependent on our being convinced of the actual truth of the proposition in question. We may be convinced for good or bad reasons, but we don't then make a conscious choice to believe. Can you choose not to believe in gravity..?

Versus this:

quote:
A statement of truth is one which is in accordance with physical reality, and is verfiable, falsfiable, and produces reliable predictions.

Unless you're writing poetry that is how the truth is defined. What you want to believe has no effect whatsoever on reality. However, why would anyone want to believe something that is false, or even something that cannot be shown to be true. How is this any different from wishful thinking..?

The idea that you would continue to believe something that is proven false or logically refuted is beyond me. This I understand is the basic concept of faith, to believe even though the evidence is against you...but why would anyone do that..?

Faith is not a pathway to truth. Now in this case I'm not using the word faith as a synonym for hope, but rather faith as a truth statement about our world. When someone says I have faith my football team will win the Superbowl, they mean they hope their team will win. Nobody uses the word faith in this way in a negative sense (I have faith my team will lose), so we know they mean hope.

I don't know how anyone could continue to believe as you say you would, although some certainly claim to have the ability. Belief is not a conscious choice, but rather it is subconscious and entirely dependent on our being convinced of the actual truth of the proposition in question.

We may be convinced for good or bad reasons, but we don't then make a conscious choice to believe. Can you choose not to believe in gravity..?


Isn't that second one A LOT easier to read?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 10:55 AM MFFJM2 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 4:55 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
MFFJM2
Member (Idle past 739 days)
Posts: 58
From: Washington, DC
Joined: 10-11-2009


Message 6 of 13 (724849)
04-21-2014 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by New Cat's Eye
04-21-2014 3:39 PM


Re: Believe It Or Not
quote:
A minor nitpick, but true things are still true even if we can't verify them or use them to make reliable predictions.

Please note, I wrote "a statement of truth is one which..." I didn't mean to suggest that truth cannot exist without it being verifiable, falsifiable, and providing reliable predictions, but truth statements cannot.

Perhaps you don't yet see the difference. Suppose I say that there is a teapot circling Saturn. Is that a true statement or not..? How would you know..? Now there may or may not be a teapot circling Saturn, but the statement that there is said teapot needs to be verifiable, falsifiable, and provide reliable predictions before the statement can be accepted as a truth statement.

quote:
I think you can leave it as something is true if it is in accordance with reality.

But we don't have something that is true, what we have are statements or assertions of truth and we are assessing those statements for their truth value. The orbit of the former planet Pluto is said to be 248 years, but we've only known about this former planet since 1930. Consequently, we only have the mathematics to support it's very eccentric orbit, and have not observed it making this orbit even once.

Now the statement that the orbit of Pluto is 248 years, is verifiable using Newtonian physics, and is falsifiable in the same way. It even provides reliable predictions on where the former planet will be, relative to the Sun, at any given moment. Consequently, the statement has a high degree of certainty that it is true. We still cannot know to absolute certainty if it is true.

I asked, why someone would want to believe something that is false or not proven true, and you responded...

quote:
One reason could be that it makes them feel better.

Ah, the placebo effect. But isn't the placebo effect neutralized once you know it's a placebo..? I prefer to know as many true things as I can, and as few false things, since what I believe to be true impacts so many things in my life.

quote:
quote:
How is this any different from wishful thinking..
Its not, but some people do prefer fantasy to reality.

That's fine as long as they can distinguish between fantasy and reality. Unfortunately, many theists cannot distinguish between the two. This then becomes a problem for the rest of us, especially when theists are intent on becoming martyrs to their religions. We live in a technological society and our beliefs have effects beyond our personal thoughts and convictions.

quote:
I don't think the evidence really has to be against you for there to be room for faith. Simply being unknown is enough, in my opinion.

Faith is not a pathway to truth. To accept anything on faith is to accept it regardless of the evidence to the contrary. The Webster New Word dictionary definition of faith in this context is "unquestioned belief that does not require proof or evidence."

Many theists hold their beliefs so strongly they would not change their views regardless of the evidence against them.

quote:
Hrm, I usually don't state the things that I take on faith as being a matter of fact.

Christians accept that Jesus was born of a virgin, worked miracles, was the son of God, suffered and died on the cross, and was resurrected as literal facts. If you don't take these things on faith what evidence do you have that they occurred..? If you don't have faith in them as literal facts then you aren't a Christian, according to the doctrine of the Christian church.

quote:
I'll say that I believe X, but I'm not saying it must be true and I'll acknowledge that I don't know.

If you're asserting a belief, how can you also assert it isn't or might not be true..? If you don't know then you don't know, but that's a far cry from holding a belief. The Webster's New World dictionary defines belief as "the conviction or acceptance that certain things are real or true." Do you believe in Leprechauns..? Many people believe in them, and you can't know for certain if they are real or not, so you must believe in them, right..?

It appears you're saying that belief for you is no more than what might or might not be true, but because you like it or it feels good, you're going to believe in it. That's not belief, it's delusion.

quote:
And for things that I do know, or would state matter of factly, I don't say that I "believe" them. I accept them, or I know them.

That is a distinction without a difference. Apparently, you'd like to add a degree of certainty to the things you know, but all certainty requires a level of belief because we can never know anything to absolute certainty. The brain in the jar comes to mind.

Edited by MFFJM2, : typo.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-21-2014 3:39 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-21-2014 5:53 PM MFFJM2 has responded

    
MFFJM2
Member (Idle past 739 days)
Posts: 58
From: Washington, DC
Joined: 10-11-2009


Message 7 of 13 (724852)
04-21-2014 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by NoNukes
04-21-2014 3:21 PM


Re: Believe It Or Not
quote:
quote:
However, why would anyone want to believe something that is false, or even something that cannot be shown to be true.
It turns out that such a thing is unavoidable.

It's only unavoidable to believe things based on bad or false evidence if you forgo critical thinking and reason.

quote:
It cannot be shown to be true that there is on God, yet many people take the lack of evidence to the contrary to be enough to reach that conclusion.

And this belief without evidence is a lack of critical thinking and reason. There is a lack of evidence for elves, fairies, and pixies...does that mean that people are correct to believe in them because of this lack of evidence..?

quote:
So why are you complaining about something that you almost certainly do yourself.

I'm not complaining. I'm answering a post. I most certainly do not believe in things or accept truth statements without evidence, and neither do you. I require my evidence to be compelling, and you may not. I require truth statements to be verifiable, falsifiable and have predictive ability, and you may not. Perhaps you should get to know me a bit better before you malign me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by NoNukes, posted 04-21-2014 3:21 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by NoNukes, posted 04-22-2014 10:30 AM MFFJM2 has responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11707
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 8 of 13 (724853)
04-21-2014 5:53 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by MFFJM2
04-21-2014 4:55 PM


Re: Believe It Or Not
Please note, I wrote "a statement of truth is one which..." I didn't mean to suggest that truth cannot exist without it being verifiable, falsifiable, and providing reliable predictions, but truth statements cannot.

So something that is true, but cannot be verified, becomes not-true when someone states it? That don't make sense.

but the statement that there is said teapot needs to be verifiable, falsifiable, and provide reliable predictions before the statement can be accepted as a truth statement.

Whether or not something can be accepted as true can be independent of its veracity. That is, something can be true even though we are unable to accept it as such.

But we don't have something that is true, what we have are statements or assertions of truth and we are assessing those statements for their truth value.

Sure, assessments of the truth value of a statement require the things you say, but that's not what I thought you were saying before.

Ah, the placebo effect. But isn't the placebo effect neutralized once you know it's a placebo..?

But they don't know its a placebo. They believe something because it makes them feel better, and they don't know if its right or wrong.

This then becomes a problem for the rest of us, especially when theists are intent on becoming martyrs to their religions. We live in a technological society and our beliefs have effects beyond our personal thoughts and convictions.

Where's the problem for the rest of you?

quote:
I don't think the evidence really has to be against you for there to be room for faith. Simply being unknown is enough, in my opinion.

Faith is not a pathway to truth. To accept anything on faith is to accept it regardless of the evidence to the contrary. The Webster New Word dictionary definition of faith in this context is "unquestioned belief that does not require proof or evidence."

Many theists hold their beliefs so strongly they would not change their views regardless of the evidence against them.

Be that as it may, I don't see where having faith in something requires that there is evidence against that thing.

quote:
Hrm, I usually don't state the things that I take on faith as being a matter of fact.

Christians accept that Jesus was born of a virgin, worked miracles, was the son of God, suffered and died on the cross, and was resurrected as literal facts. If you don't take these things on faith what evidence do you have that they occurred..? If you don't have faith in them as literal facts then you aren't a Christian, according to the doctrine of the Christian church.

Nobody knows if those things happened or not. As a Christian, I'm telling you that I don't accept them as literal facts. Facts are things that I know are true. For the things you mention, I believe that they happened. But I don't know, and I may very well be wrong.

If you're asserting a belief, how can you also assert it isn't or might not be true..?

Because I don't know if its true or not. That's why I say that I just "believe" it. If I knew it was true then I'd say it was a fact. i wouldn't say that it is a fact that Jesus was resurrected. It is simply a belief of mine.

It appears you're saying that belief for you is no more than what might or might not be true, but because you like it or it feels good, you're going to believe in it. That's not belief, it's delusion.

I don't believe things just because I like them or they make me feel good. There's other reasons involved.

quote:
And for things that I do know, or would state matter of factly, I don't say that I "believe" them. I accept them, or I know them.

That is a distinction without a difference.

I just explained to you the difference:

If its a fact, then its something I can verify as true, and then I accept it and say that I know it.

If it is something that I cannot verify as true, but I still think that it is correct, then I will say that I believe it.

Apparently, you'd like to add a degree of certainty to the things you know, but all certainty requires a level of belief because we can never know anything to absolute certainty. The brain in the jar comes to mind.

If I mean absolutely, then i will say absolutely. If I don't say absolutely, then I don't mean absolutely.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 4:55 PM MFFJM2 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 10:16 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
MFFJM2
Member (Idle past 739 days)
Posts: 58
From: Washington, DC
Joined: 10-11-2009


Message 9 of 13 (724870)
04-21-2014 10:16 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by New Cat's Eye
04-21-2014 5:53 PM


Re: Believe It Or Not
In order not to lose the thread I will be quoting both parties. I apologize for the length.

quote:
quote:
Please note, I wrote "a statement of truth is one which..." I didn't mean to suggest that truth cannot exist without it being verifiable, falsifiable, and providing reliable predictions, but truth statements cannot.
So something that is true, but cannot be verified, becomes not-true when someone states it? That don't make sense.

I'm sure you mean that doesn't make sense. No, a statement of truth that cannot be verified or falsified or provide predictive capability cannot be "accepted" as a true statement. It may or may not be true in objective reality, but it cannot be accepted as true. Now I know this doesn't make sense to you, but if you consider the question I provided you earlier, it might begin to.

quote:
quote:
but the statement that there is said teapot needs to be verifiable, falsifiable, and provide reliable predictions before the statement can be accepted as a truth statement.
Whether or not something can be accepted as true can be independent of its veracity. That is, something can be true even though we are unable to accept it as such.

No, not whether or not something is objectively true, but whether or not "a statement" can be accepted as true. A statement is not completely independent of the object of the statement, but the word is not the thing. Are you following that..? So, now answer the question. Is the statement "there is a teapot circling Saturn" a true statement or not, and why..?

quote:
quote:
But we don't have something that is true, what we have are statements or assertions of truth and we are assessing those statements for their truth value.
Sure, assessments of the truth value of a statement require the things you say, but that's not what I thought you were saying before.

Well, regardless of what you thought, that is precisely what I wrote, "a statement of truth...". All statements of truth must be verifiable, falsifiable, and provide predictive ability or they cannot be accepted as true. They might still be true objectively, but we would have no way of ascertaining that they are. The default position for any statement of truth that does not provide verifiability, falsifiability, and predictive ability is non-belief.

quote:
quote:
Ah, the placebo effect. But isn't the placebo effect neutralized once you know it's a placebo..?
But they don't know its a placebo. They believe something because it makes them feel better, and they don't know if its right or wrong.

But they must know it's a placebo effect, because instead of evidence they rely on faith, which means they know there is no evidence to support their belief. Faith is what is called upon when there is no evidence, or the evidence is negative to their position. We don't choose to believe. We believe because we are convinced. Religion is the only subject in the lives of human beings where faith, rather than reason or evidence, is considered a virtue.

Suppose a District Attorney doing his summation before the jury said, "I know we haven't provided much convincing evidence. In fact, most of the evidence refutes the contention that the accused is guilty, but if you just have faith, I think you'll find the means to come back with a guilty verdict." Ridiculous, isn't it..?

quote:
quote:
This then becomes a problem for the rest of us, especially when theists are intent on becoming martyrs to their religions. We live in a technological society and our beliefs have effects beyond our personal thoughts and convictions.
Where's the problem for the rest of you?

Where's the problem..? Seriously..? Were you in a coma on 9/11..? Those of us that live in this society, and would prefer not to be killed by fundamentalist religious fanatics, feel that beliefs can be dangerous. That's where the problem is. Even for those who would never crash an airplane into a building, their beliefs determine to a large extent their world-view, and that impacts education, technology, medical research, and laws...to name but a few.

quote:
quote:
Faith is not a pathway to truth. To accept anything on faith is to accept it regardless of the evidence to the contrary. The Webster New Word dictionary definition of faith in this context is "unquestioned belief that does not require proof or evidence."

Many theists hold their beliefs so strongly they would not change their views regardless of the evidence against them.


Be that as it may, I don't see where having faith in something requires that there is evidence against that thing.

It doesn't, and that's not what I wrote. Did you read the dictionary definition I provided..? Faith is "unquestioned belief that does not require proof or evidence." Nowhere in that definition does it say where evidence is contrary to the belief. However, I provided you the example of people who would not alter their beliefs regardless of the evidence refuting their belief. I can quote dozens of believers making this very clear, but is that really necessary..?

quote:
quote:
Christians accept that Jesus was born of a virgin, worked miracles, was the son of God, suffered and died on the cross, and was resurrected as literal facts. If you don't take these things on faith what evidence do you have that they occurred..? If you don't have faith in them as literal facts then you aren't a Christian, according to the doctrine of the Christian church.
Nobody knows if those things happened or not. As a Christian, I'm telling you that I don't accept them as literal facts. Facts are things that I know are true. For the things you mention, I believe that they happened. But I don't know, and I may very well be wrong.

If you don't accept them as literal facts then you're not a Christian, according to the doctrine of the Christian church. Have you never heard of the Apostles Creed..? Are you perhaps creating your own kind of Christianity..?

I have already provided you a dictionary definition of belief, "conviction or acceptance that certain things are true or real." If you believe they happened, then by definition you think they are real and true. To believe something happened, but not to accept it as true and real is a literal contradiction.

A fact is "a thing that has actually happened, or that is really true" according to the same dictionary. Therefore a fact is part of objective reality. But a fact can also be a statement about reality, and therefore it is a truth statement. In order for it to be a acceptable as a truth statement it must be verifiable, falsifiable, and provide predictive ability.

The question is not if Jesus was the son of God, and all the other nonsense, but rather are the statements made about him in the Bible believable as assertions of truth.

quote:
quote:
If you're asserting a belief, how can you also assert it isn't or might not be true..?
Because I don't know if its true or not. That's why I say that I just "believe" it. If I knew it was true then I'd say it was a fact. i wouldn't say that it is a fact that Jesus was resurrected. It is simply a belief of mine.

This simple belief of yours is a literal contradiction. A belief is the "conviction or acceptance that certain things are true or real." You cannot believe something is real or true, and at the same time assert you don't think it is true or that it might not be true. If you feel that it might not be true, then by definition you don't believe it.

quote:
quote:
It appears you're saying that belief for you is no more than what might or might not be true, but because you like it or it feels good, you're going to believe in it. That's not belief, it's delusion.
I don't believe things just because I like them or they make me feel good. There's other reasons involved.

If you believe them, then they are by definition what you think are real and true. If you have other reasons for believing something is real and true, even if at the same time you deny they are real and true, let's hear the reasons. This would be non-evidentiary reasons, because if you had evidence you wouldn't need belief (see the definition for belief).

quote:
quote:
quote:
And for things that I do know, or would state matter of factly, I don't say that I "believe" them. I accept them, or I know them.
That is a distinction without a difference.
I just explained to you the difference:

If its a fact, then its something I can verify as true, and then I accept it and say that I know it.

If it is something that I cannot verify as true, but I still think that it is correct, then I will say that I believe it.


No, you asserted there was a difference, but you're wrong. And that's not the dictionary definitions of belief or fact. I'm afraid you don't get to make up your own definitions for words. A fact is part of objective reality, but a statement of fact is a truth statement. A belief, in this context, is a truth statement as well.

quote:
quote:
Apparently, you'd like to add a degree of certainty to the things you know, but all certainty requires a level of belief because we can never know anything to absolute certainty. The brain in the jar comes to mind.
If I mean absolutely, then i will say absolutely. If I don't say absolutely, then I don't mean absolutely.

Will you say positively, when you mean positively too..? There are only ever degrees of certainty, and nothing is every virtually certain. What you think are facts are really just statements of truth with varying degrees of certainty, and those statements of fact are also beliefs. Knowledge is a subset of belief.

Edited by MFFJM2, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-21-2014 5:53 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

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New Cat's Eye
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Posts: 11707
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


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Message 10 of 13 (724905)
04-22-2014 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by MFFJM2
04-21-2014 10:16 PM


Re: Believe It Or Not
All statements of truth must be verifiable, falsifiable, and provide predictive ability or they cannot be accepted as true. They might still be true objectively, but we would have no way of ascertaining that they are. The default position for any statement of truth that does not provide verifiability, falsifiability, and predictive ability is non-belief.

Non-belief as in rejection? There's no way that's how I'm gonna live my life.

Here's a video that is worth watching. I realize that 9 minutes is terribly long in internet time, but its got a great message, its put together really well, and its not religious or anything. Its an excerpt from a commencement speech with some video thrown on top. The point is that you have the choice in what you are willing to accept as possibilities in the world around you. If you reject all those possibilities then you strip life down to an existence that will make you miserable.

http://youtu.be/DKYJVV7HuZw


Now, regarding knowledge versus belief, I am explaining to you how my mind works and how I use the words that I do to describe those workings. You cannot use my words back against me to define away the workings of my mind, that's just not gonna work. If you have a suggestion on better words to use, then I'm willing to hear them.

And that's not the dictionary definitions of belief or fact. I'm afraid you don't get to make up your own definitions for words.

Dictionaries are descriptive, not proscriptive. Language is a malleable clay, not a rigid stone. The words 'know' and 'believe' contain enough wiggle room to be used in the way that I am using them, but you're going to have to be open to the possibility if you care to understand what I am trying to tell you.

If you just want to dig your heels in, and insist that I cannot think the way that I do, and that I cannot use these words to describe it, then there's really no point in us conversing.

Knowledge is a subset of belief.

That's what I'm saying. I can believe things that I do not know. I can also reserve the use of the word knowledge for the beliefs that I have verified as true, and then stop calling those pieces of knowledge "beliefs".

It is a way to separate the things I accept into those that have been verified and those that have not.

If you believe them, then they are by definition what you think are real and true.

I reserve the word "belief" for things that I do not know. I reserve the word "know" for things that I have verified as true.

I do think that my beliefs are true, but I don't know that they are.

I wouldn't say that I "believe" that the Earth orbits the Sun. I know that it does because I have verified that it is true. I wouldn't say that I "know" that Jesus existed, because I cannot verify that its true, but I believe that he did.

That is how I use those words.

This simple belief of yours is a literal contradiction. A belief is the "conviction or acceptance that certain things are true or real." You cannot believe something is real or true, and at the same time assert you don't think it is true or that it might not be true. If you feel that it might not be true, then by definition you don't believe it.

I can believe that something is true, while accepting that I can be wrong about it. Its possible that Jesus never existed, but I believe that he did. There's no contradiction in knowing that your beliefs might not be true.

What you're saying here, is that belief is a subset of knowledge rather than visa versa.

If you don't accept them as literal facts then you're not a Christian, according to the doctrine of the Christian church.

There are plenty of Christians that leave room for doubt in their beliefs. Being a Christian does not require unquestioning and absolute certainty of the truth of your beliefs.

There are certainly religious people who do say that they are absolutely certain that their beliefs are true, but they're the ones who are crazy.

quote:
Be that as it may, I don't see where having faith in something requires that there is evidence against that thing.

It doesn't, and that's not what I wrote.

You wrote that "the basic concept of faith, to believe even though the evidence is against you...", and I replied that faith does not require there to be evidence against you.

Well, regardless of what you thought, that is precisely what I wrote, "a statement of truth..."

That's what you changed it to. You started with: "This book is a must read for any person who desires to use rational thought and critical thinking rather than a priori beliefs to determine truth." To which Phat replied: "What is truth?" Then you went on to talk about how we assess statements of truth rather than talking about what truth is. And if you're allowing that people to use a priori beliefs to determine truth, then you cannot be restricting truth to that which we can assess through verification.

So pardon me for failing to follow you.

Now I know this doesn't make sense to you,

There's no reason to act like an arrogant prick. And if I wanted to return the favor, I could point out that since you have not verified how much sense it makes to me, then you cannot assess that statement as being truth, and therefore you cannot know it.

One more thing:

Is the statement "there is a teapot circling Saturn" a true statement or not, and why..?

You need to revisit the point that Bertrand was making. He was shifting the burden of proof back onto those who claim that you cannot discount something because it isn't falsifiable. He wasn't talking about how we accpet truth through verification.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 10:16 PM MFFJM2 has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9926
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 11 of 13 (724912)
04-22-2014 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by MFFJM2
04-21-2014 5:09 PM


Re: Believe It Or Not
It's only unavoidable to believe things based on bad or false evidence if you forgo critical thinking and reason.

Then perhaps you should have advanced that proposal rather than the one that you did.

I most certainly do not believe in things or accept truth statements without evidence,

Yet you almost certainly believe things that you have not and cannot personally check. I am not sure I believe your statement anyway. All humans believe some things that are wrong, and for which there can be no valid evidence. And most humans believe things that can be shown to be wrong by others. I highly doubt that you are an exception.

What you said, and what I took issue with is that we should not accept things that cannot be shown to be true. It cannot be shown to be true that there is no God.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by MFFJM2, posted 04-21-2014 5:09 PM MFFJM2 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by MFFJM2, posted 04-23-2014 8:49 AM NoNukes has not yet responded

    
MFFJM2
Member (Idle past 739 days)
Posts: 58
From: Washington, DC
Joined: 10-11-2009


Message 12 of 13 (724956)
04-23-2014 8:49 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by NoNukes
04-22-2014 10:30 AM


Re: Believe It Or Not
quote:
quote:
It's only unavoidable to believe things based on bad or false evidence if you forgo critical thinking and reason.
Then perhaps you should have advanced that proposal rather than the one that you did.

I have no idea what you're referring to. Could you perhaps be less obsure..? What proposal do you think I've advanced..? I have always maintained that believing things without evidence or on the basis of false evidence is a result of poor reasoning and a lack of critical thinking.

quote:
Yet you almost certainly believe things that you have not and cannot personally check.

The essence of knowledge is that it's based on empirical and testable evidence. It's not a requirement that I collect the evidence myself. The essence of belief is that it may or may not be based on evidence, but it is an acceptance that something is true or real. The essence of faith is that it holds to truth statements without or in the face of contradictory evidence.

I certainly do believe truth statements without personally observing the proof of that statement. So does everyone. I'm not fluent in every language in the world, so I must trust that the interpreter has done a satisfactory job when he/she translates some document. But the translation is not done based on faith, but rather on accepted translations in the academic world. The bottom line is my beliefs are based on evidence and reason not on faith, because faith is gullibility.

quote:
All humans believe some things that are wrong, and for which there can be no valid evidence.

How do you know what is true for all humans, did you take a poll..? Can you be more specific as to this thing you think I have accepted without sufficient and compelling evidence..?

quote:
And most humans believe things that can be shown to be wrong by others. I highly doubt that you are an exception.

Another poll perhaps..? Regardless of what you doubt about me, since you know nothing about me, by simply admitting "most humans" you are admitting that there are exceptions.

quote:
What you said, and what I took issue with is that we should not accept things that cannot be shown to be true. It cannot be shown to be true that there is no God.

That's right, just as you cannot show there are no fairies, pixies, elves, or Leprechauns. The standard is "he who asserts must prove" (or at least provide convincing evidence). The burden of proof is on the person making the positive assertion. The negative has no burden of proof, because it is nearly impossible to prove a negative. Can you prove there is no Santa Claus..?

Yes, we should refuse to believe/accept things for which no compelling and convincing evidence can be provided. All statements of truth must be verifiable, falsifiable, and provide predictive ability. Fantastic claims require greater evidence than common claims. There is insufficient evidence to support a belief in God, and therefore belief in God is unwarranted.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by NoNukes, posted 04-22-2014 10:30 AM NoNukes has not yet responded

    
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Message 13 of 13 (744216)
12-09-2014 4:51 AM


Gabe cheap fifa 15 coins Newell is the managing administrator

Edited by Admin, : Break the spam link.


    
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