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Author Topic:   Deism in the Dock
ringo
Member
Posts: 14641
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 241 of 270 (416551)
08-16-2007 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 237 by anastasia
08-16-2007 2:58 PM


anastasia writes:

Anything which we internalize can be wrong or petty or useless. Things which are meaningful are those things which can be shown to 'perform'.

And that performance is assessed in real-world terms, not by adherence to some "revealed" standard.

Did you not say that a good philosophy should not care how you live life?

Certainly not. Where ever did you get that idea?

I said that a good philosophy shouldn't dictate how you live life.

How can you make any sort of judgement call without a philosophy?

Conscience.

... I do think it is complete human nature to desire justice.

I don't. I think it's human nature to desire vengeance. Religionists are never happier than when they're revelling in the punishment that the other guy is going to get.

I don't think most religionists have any idea what justice is.


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place” -- Joseph Goebbels
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 237 by anastasia, posted 08-16-2007 2:58 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19509
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 242 of 270 (416557)
08-16-2007 4:50 PM
Reply to: Message 238 by anastasia
08-16-2007 3:09 PM


Re: The exclusive nature of "monotheism"
By this definition, angels and demons are not gods.

Actually it does not say that. That only applies to the head honcho god. It does not say there are no other gods, (and in fact your faith has a little something to say about other gods yes?), just that he is the big cheese.

...every faith has to utilize all of the definitions for God ... even when the word 'angel' appears in there as well?

Actually to my mind every person has a different faith. Some people use broad support from existing religions as a basis, but individually no two people agree on the whole. You use the definitions that are comfortable for your faith.

But I also note:

dae·mon –noun 1. Classical Mythology.
- a. a god.
- b. a subordinate deity, as the genius of a place or a person's attendant spirit.
2. a demon.

While the Trinity may be a strange belief, having three aspects of God does not make 3 gods.

Whatever makes you happy.

Enjoy.


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we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
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This message is a reply to:
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Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1399 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 243 of 270 (416562)
08-16-2007 5:22 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by Modulous
08-15-2007 5:39 PM


Re: The exclusive nature of "monotheism"
Modulous:

Don't get me wrong - angels are often seen with roles similar to the lesser gods of many pantheons. Angel of Death, Horsemen of the Apocolypse spring to mind as being on a par with 'Gods of X', and Yahweh is on a par with (though generally considered more powerful than) many sky or sun gods who was often the head of such pantheons. However, the Christian mythology clearly states that angels are not gods - so when considering Christian mythology that's all that really counts as far as making sense is concerned.

It's worth mentioning that most gods in traditional Asian religions are human beings who, by living exemplary lives on earth. are granted revered immortal status. They are individually assigned responsibility in an area of nature or human affairs (childbirth, travel, scholarship, etc). Adherents with concerns in those areas then address the appropriate supernatural figure.

Even though these Asian deities are called gods, they function in a manner corresponding more closely to saints in Christian tradition. Of course, the similarity of the hierarchy of saints and angels with polytheistic belief systems has been long noted. It hinges mainly on terminology: do you have one god ordering lesser supernatural beings around, or a supreme god ordering lesser gods around?

History shows that even professed monotheists often decide it is not good for the god to be alone.

___

Edited by Archer Opterix, : html.


Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 211 by Modulous, posted 08-15-2007 5:39 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
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Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 244 of 270 (416563)
08-16-2007 5:35 PM
Reply to: Message 239 by petrophysics1
08-16-2007 3:27 PM


Re: Viewpoint bias, and a problen to figure out.
this is just the most recent statement, found all through these 16 pages that we can’t know anything about God, or only through revelation and dusty old books.
There is another way.

I trust the rest of your post is expounding on this?

Well I do, but what everyone here appears to be doing is only looking at this from their viewpoint, culture and particular belief system which they hold to be correct or true.

I don't hold my belief system, viewpoint or culture to be inherently true or correct. I do hold that we shouldn't regard a belief as true without evidence to help us confirm that belief.

Try assuming all other belief systems, including mine, are true. Do that and then consider what kind of information should be available here to prove it. What evidence should be available to “prove” Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity……etc?

Where any religion provides us with a testable claim 'if this religion is true then...' we can test it. For instance, are Christians immune from poisonous snakes?

For instance, if some religion says that God is doing things in this universe right now (or in the past, like say a worldwide flood) we should be able to spot evidence of that, right?

Depends what and where the god is doing exactly. However, if it is a god that doesn't attempt to hide its work, and its work effects things that we can access...then yes - this would generally hold to be true.

BTW I would consider all the types of evidence that would be acceptable in a court of law, and perhaps others as well. DO NOT leave out forms or types of evidence you do not believe at present. That would just show your bias (a thing very much in evidence on this board).

Indeed - one thing that could be true if a god exists is that it communicates with certain people, and thus we'd see people claiming that god has communicated with them.

What I'd like to know, after claiming there is another way to know anything about God beyond revelation, is what is this other way?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by petrophysics1, posted 08-16-2007 3:27 PM petrophysics1 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 245 of 270 (416566)
08-16-2007 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 235 by RAZD
08-16-2007 1:56 PM


Re: The exclusive nature of "monotheism"
Color for emphasis. There's your "any" qualifier. But this is getting off the track of the argument.

Now you are using a different dictionary! Indeed, not even a dictionary - a lexical database. Had you put this definition forward to begin with you wouldn't be falling into the red car fallacy you'd be entering a whole different realm, you'd be cherry-picking loose definitions to demonstrate your point that Christianity considers other gods. If you made a point about Hebrew plurals of god and references to other gods, or early religions which Hebrew evolved from, you'd have a point. Arguing by definition is massively fraught with error - two of the common ones have come to light already.

If you want to convince me otherwise, I'm happy to participate in a thread about it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 235 by RAZD, posted 08-16-2007 1:56 PM RAZD has not yet responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 246 of 270 (416567)
08-16-2007 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 243 by Archer Opteryx
08-16-2007 5:22 PM


Re: The exclusive nature of "monotheism"
I'm not actually arguing against the position you are putting forward, only pointing out that some of the reasoning/evidence RAZD put forward to support the point is erroneous.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 243 by Archer Opteryx, posted 08-16-2007 5:22 PM Archer Opteryx has responded

Replies to this message:
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anastasia
Member (Idle past 3755 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 247 of 270 (416573)
08-16-2007 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 241 by ringo
08-16-2007 3:58 PM


Ringo writes:

And that performance is assessed in real-world terms, not by adherence to some "revealed" standard.

If what is revealed makes sense, it doesn't matter where it supposedly came from. I gave my humble opinion that for me, I can not understand why I should worry about a God who I can't know. To the other extreme, since I can never know God well enough, perhaps I should just not worry about what I do?

I said that a good philosophy shouldn't dictate how you live life.

A philosophy has to dictate how you live life. That's what a philosophy is, and what it does.

Conscience.

That's good but not enough.

I don't. I think it's human nature to desire vengeance. Religionists are never happier than when they're revelling in the punishment that the other guy is going to get.

Justice: the simple concept of getting what you deserve.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 241 by ringo, posted 08-16-2007 3:58 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
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Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1399 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 248 of 270 (416574)
08-16-2007 6:50 PM
Reply to: Message 246 by Modulous
08-16-2007 5:48 PM


Re: The exclusive nature of "monotheism"
Modulous:

I'm not actually arguing against the position you are putting forward, only pointing out that some of the reasoning/evidence RAZD put forward to support the point is erroneous.

I understand. My comment represented a marginal note--'Oh BTW'--that wasn't intended to distract anyone from an excellent point.

___


Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 14641
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 249 of 270 (416581)
08-16-2007 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 247 by anastasia
08-16-2007 6:33 PM


anastasia writes:

If what is revealed makes sense, it doesn't matter where it supposedly came from.

Then the whole idea of revelation is irrelevant, as I've been saying. If it makes sense, we can figure it out for ourselves and the "revelation" is redundant. If it doesn't make sense, how can we trust it as "revelation"?

I said that a good philosophy shouldn't dictate how you live life.

A philosophy has to dictate how you live life. That's what a philosophy is, and what it does.

Nonsense. You don't get to dictate what philosophy is.

How can you make any sort of judgement call without a philosophy?

Conscience.

That's good but not enough.

Why not?

Justice: the simple concept of getting what you deserve.

Ah, but what do I deserve?

Do I deserve eternal life in heaven just because I happened to pick the right revelation? Do I deserve eternal torment because I happened to fall in love with a person with the same naughty bits? And which of those just desserts trumps the other?

I don't see how "getting what you deserve" is a remotely useful understanding of justice.


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place” -- Joseph Goebbels
-------------
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5514
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 250 of 270 (416587)
08-16-2007 8:43 PM
Reply to: Message 232 by RAZD
08-16-2007 9:47 AM


Re: "inadequacies" again.
You keep saying I don't add up in your mind. How about this -- you tell me what you - in your great wisdom - think I believe

Or you could tell us all what you believe. If you just say, "I'm a deist," then that's all I have do go on. I am then forced to rely on what is known about deism to understand your position. I then take this brief statement and compare it to other beliefs you've shared over the course of our time here at EvC and come to the obvious conclusion that the two are simply not compatible in any meaningful way.

You may have some really unique definition of deism means to you, but until you explain that position, please don't sit here and chastise me when you appear totally incapable of explaining the simplest of questions.

You have not defended your position one iota thus far, nor will you answer questions about causation that I've posed to you, presumably because everyone would begin to see that I'm not nearly as far off the mark as you claim I am.

Something very profound is hitting home for you, RAZD. We don't need to be psychology majors to see that.

I even gave you an easy out to stop the conversation out of respect to your elusive personal belief. But you seem absolutely bent on being made the fool, and in the process, trying to call me out as if I had assaulted you with a glance.

Melodramatic? Tell me what you think deists are then if not freaking nuts? It's written all over the tone of your posts nem.

My main problem is not so much with deism than it is with your version of it. It seems there is no compelling reason to believe in a God at all, and since you are unwilling to actually share why, I'm left with only what I do know about you.

Claim: there cannot be any deists.
Evidence: there are deists.
Conclusion: any claim that there cannot be deists is invalid. (or deists are freaking nuts ...).

Its not so much them as it is you. I'm still left wondering by what avenue you have deduced God.

1. If the conclusion is false then either the structure of the argument is invalid or one or more of the premises MUST be false: this is basic logic 101.
2. Check the structure to see that it is valid AND
3. Investigate each of those premises to see which are invalid.

I've been going over this with you from the beginning.

1. Deists believe that God created, and then has since been an absent father.

2. What event was it that inescapably led you to believe that such a God caused life? Was it the Big Bang?

3. If God does not come to us by revelation, then you obviously would not know of God in that way.

4. If God does not provide any special revelation, then you cannot know God in this way either.

5. You see no intentional design within nature, so what led you to believe that God exists.

I have removed-- better yet-- you have removed the teleological argument, you have removed the rational argument, you have removed the revelatory argument.

You have repeatedly stated that I have not exhausted all options. When I ask you very plainly to provide some others, you neglect to do so, (presumably because you can't) and then hide in an postulate that I'm offending your delicate sensibilities (presumably to take the focus off of you, and to place it on to me).

Failure to take these steps means that your concept will remain invalidated simply by the evidence of the existence of deists.

My argument has less to do with deists than it does you, since deists hold that the course of nature sufficiently demonstrates the existence of God. You apparently don't even have that. Or if you do, its been hidden from the lot of us. Supposing you did, I'd have to question why all these years your posts don't reflect that belief.

Continued assertion of your claim will just prove that you are unable to learn from simple errors, can't admit to being wrong, have trouble doing basic logic, and prefer to insult people with stupid remarks based on faulty thinking.

Then what does that say about you, 1. that you are doing the very thing you accuse me of, and 2. you can't answer the alleged stupid questions? Why don't you focus more on answering the questions, than attacking me. Your position might not look as weak as it really is if you could just answer even the simplest of questions.

I for one have grown annoyed with going over the same points you refuse to address. If you cannot answer my questions, I will assume, rightly, that you are incapable of doing so. I will not respond to you if you continue your tirade w/o anything to corroborate your claims.

Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : Edit to add


"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt


This message is a reply to:
 Message 232 by RAZD, posted 08-16-2007 9:47 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
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Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1399 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 251 of 270 (416608)
08-16-2007 11:57 PM
Reply to: Message 212 by Rob
08-15-2007 5:41 PM


Re: missing the mark
Rob: It is you who has tried in the past to argue for relative truth.

On the contrary: I said reality is absolute.

easy there Hoss!

Whoa, Nellie.


Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 212 by Rob, posted 08-15-2007 5:41 PM Rob has not yet responded

  
Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1399 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 252 of 270 (416630)
08-17-2007 2:05 AM
Reply to: Message 212 by Rob
08-15-2007 5:41 PM


telling stories outside the clubhouse
Rob:

Though 'happy' and 'joy' are related, if you look at their definitions, their is a definite link to long term sucess attended to joy, and an immediate quality associated with happiness. It' not black and white grant you, but it is distinguishable.

And the distinction is neither here nor there as far as your argument is concerned.

First I pointed out that people of many beliefs are as likely as Christians are to know happiness. You respond by saying that happiness is not as important as joy. I respond by saying that people of many faiths are as likely as Christians to know joy.

In no case have you demonstrated that people of other faiths are, as you told me, already enduring 'eternal torture.' No evidence exists of this torture you mention.

The torture is a story you have learned. This is is all storytelling.

The myth of the 'joyful' Christian and the 'tortured' unbeliever has a long history among evangelicals. It's the kind of drama that fills tent meetings. It's the kind of story you and your church friends tell each other when you get together. You know it by heart.

Stories like this are easy to believe while you're hanging around the club house. They have their uses in building a sense of cohesion and morale. If the people outside the club don't really look all that tortured, well, maybe they just don't know they are. Or maybe they don't show they are. Something. Anything. Reality isn't what matters most here. The most important thing is to keep telling the story.

When you come to the boards people ask you for evidence and arguments. You respond by reciting all the preachy stories you have learned. You wonder that the stories aren't more persuasive. They aren't, though, for the same reasons that a ghost story is not persuasive away from the camp fire.

Reciting a clubhouse story is not the same thing as showing something true about the real world. Clubhouse stories are told to reassure club members that they are in the right clubhouse. They only persuade the convinced.

If you want to persuade anyone else, you have to start with reality.

___

Edited by Archer Opterix, : title.

Edited by Archer Opterix, : html.


Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 212 by Rob, posted 08-15-2007 5:41 PM Rob has not yet responded

  
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3860
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 253 of 270 (416638)
08-17-2007 3:59 AM


Replay of message 1 (something about deism, I think)
Discussion relating to deism seems to have been pretty thin. Let's try to get back there.

BTW, I don't remotely have the enthusiasm to go back and flag a bunch of messages as being off-topic. Maybe members can recognize such on their own, and not respond to them?

Anyway, here again is message 1 of this topic:

I have recently found myself flirting with aspects of deism. This has come as quite a shock.

Before I implode into a black hole of a pre-midlife existential angst under the sheer weight of deitilogical confusion I would like to ask a few questions.

If any of the following offends you, - that is OK. It is my aim to offend everyone equally and indiscriminately.

To Atheists
Is there really nothing out there. Are you really really sure? “There is no evidence” I hear you cry. You smug self-righteous bastards. Did everything really come from nothing? I mean really absolutely nothing. No space, no time, no other dimensions. No forces, no matter, no energy. No equation obeying abstract concepts. No laws. No rules. No……consciousness? NOTHING. Really? And doesn’t quantum theory and it’s ‘role of the conscious observer’ implications pose some fairly awkward questions? Come out from your façade of rationalism and admit it. The ultimate evidence is against you.

To Deists
C’mon, what the fuck actually is deism? Surely it is just a debating tactic masquerading as a meaningful philosophy. After all how can one argue with someone who believes everything and nothing all at the same time?
What is the rational basis for deism? That which we do not know? That which we “cannot” know? It’s all based on our inability and lack of understanding regarding the most fundamental questions. Is deism at root just a belief in a glorified gOD of the ultimate gaps?

To ‘Rational’ Theists and Creationists (because you are both the same really)
Put you bibles/korans/torahs/etc/etc down for a second and think. Pretend your book of choice does not exist for just a moment if you can.
Look around you. Aren’t all those difficult theological questions about pain, death, suffering and evil much better answered by an uncaring and indifferent creator? The best evidence you have for God is the appearance of design and frankly there is nothing in that which suggests anything cares about you. Take away your book and all you have left are arguments for deism!!!!

To Agnostics
Oh who cares what you guys think?

In the unlikely event that this (slightly drunken) rant gets promoted I would like to hear from anyone who can imagine that they are wrong.

Anyone else can stuff off elsewhere!

Adminnemooseus

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petrophysics1
Inactive Member


Message 254 of 270 (416645)
08-17-2007 6:37 AM
Reply to: Message 244 by Modulous
08-16-2007 5:35 PM


Re: One other way
BTW I agree completely with your statements in post #244.

Mod says:

What I'd like to know, after claiming there is another way to know anything about God beyond revelation, is what is this other way?

Suppose I asked you to prove to yourself that you were born, BUT you cannot use:
1. Anything anyone tells you (they could be trying to con you)
2. Any papers, documents, or photos (all can be faked)
3. Reason or logic of any kind (you might think it reasonable
That because others have been born, you were too, but it's not,
and you can't use it.)

As far as I know there is only one thing left that you can do to prove to yourself that you were born. You do it all the time, in fact if you were unable to do it you could probably not function in society. People do it in court when they testify, when they take a test at school. Everyone does it. They just never thought of using it to discover themselves, or that they were born, OR that God exists.

When I was 19 I was doing a lot of thinking about my life and "who or what exactly am I?" and "What the hell am I doing here?” During doing this I suddenly remembered (well actually relived, like I was in a movie) something that happened to me when I was 7. In thinking about it I saw all the ways this had affected my thinking, biased data collection, and affected my interactions with others. It changed the way I was to a considerable degree. A couple of weeks later it occurred to me, what if there were other subconscious memories like this affecting my thinking and attitudes.

So I decided to start looking for them as I don't like things affecting my thinking I don't know about. Well I found more and they didn't sometimes just affect your thinking they could affect your body, giving you aches and pains that have no physical cause. (Unless you have a brain tumor this is where most headaches come from) My only concern in doing this was finding who and what exactly I was.

Took me 15 years to remember/relive being born, and remembering it
cured a sinus problem I had had all my life (wasn't even looking or thinking to do that). A side benefit is I have not had a single headache in 24 years. Even remembered prenatal stuff ( which resulted in my no longer supporting or being a member of NARAL).

Let me pause for a second. Everything I have discovered to this point is nothing new and can be found in the peer reviewed Psych literature or a general psychology textbook. Memories which occurred with people who I could check on them about, I did. Mostly my mom, dad, older brother and my uncle Dan who used to baby sit when I was small.

Now, I'm not sure that I have gotten everything so I kept looking. One day I relive the last time I died. France 1943, trying to get home in a hurry and a bomb hits the building to my right and I get blown through the air, lived for a few moments and then cashed it in. Then the heart attack trying to get that fu*king ox cart unstuck from the mud in SE Poland, dead face down in the mud, and others, and others and others……..

This led me to the conclusion that I am a spiritual being who has lived and died many times. So there I am in my mid thirties an atheist who is a spiritual being who has lived and died countless times. Still no evidence for God.

To cut to the chase, one day I found myself re-experiencing leaving God and my decision to do so. “Where” God is there is no space and no time. God is not in this universe. Yes, I decided to leave God. This was the result of a non-understanding on my part. I am no where near as intelligent or knowing as God. God did not wish me to do this and there was an immense outpouring of compassion and understanding. At the time I did not understand, in retrospect I realize God knew all of the pain, suffering, sickness, death and insanity I would end up enduring for billions of years. This was not a smart decision.

This is why I’m a Deist. I’m 58 and still looking, always more to know about yourself, plus I have a problem to solve. How exactly do I get the hell out of here and back to God.
I have some ideas, but am not sure.

All the good and evil in this universe is done by us. You and I are here because we did something stupid, but it was our decision and now it is our responsibility. Remember that the next time something bad happens to you or to others.

BTW does God punish you for doing wrong? No, you punish yourself, and have been for a long, long time.

Don’t believe what I have said here. I find just believing, like in a religion you know about by reading, doesn’t change much in the world. Go LOOK yourself and see what you find out.


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 Message 244 by Modulous, posted 08-16-2007 5:35 PM Modulous has responded

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 Message 255 by Modulous, posted 08-17-2007 8:06 AM petrophysics1 has not yet responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 255 of 270 (416653)
08-17-2007 8:06 AM
Reply to: Message 254 by petrophysics1
08-17-2007 6:37 AM


Re: One other way
Suppose I asked you to prove to yourself that you were born

I can't even prove my body exists - why go as far as proving it was born? I can only make conclusions with varying levels of confidence.

As far as I know there is only one thing left that you can do to prove to yourself that you were born.

I would like to know what that is...

Took me 15 years to remember/relive being born, and remembering it

That certainly wouldn't prove to myself that I was born. I know that false memories are more likely than faked documentation and that all my loved ones are conning me. So if I reject that evidence, I should also reject subjective and possibly flawed memories.

Let me pause for a second. Everything I have discovered to this point is nothing new and can be found in the peer reviewed Psych literature or a general psychology textbook. Memories which occurred with people who I could check on them about, I did. Mostly my mom, dad, older brother and my uncle Dan who used to baby sit when I was small.

Except of course, part of the thought experiment involves rejecting anything anyone tells you as evidence.

God is not in this universe.

Neither is this universe. And we reach a similar conclusion that you do only without positing an entity for which no evidence exists or (to the point I was making) any of this entity's properties.

Don’t believe what I have said here. I find just believing, like in a religion you know about by reading, doesn’t change much in the world. Go LOOK yourself and see what you find out.

I've been Christian, Gnostic, Muslim, Buddhist, a neo-Sannyasin, a slavic Pagan, a Taoist, a spiritualist, a panentheist, a pantheist, a deist and an atheist. I've looked, and concluded that I can postulate anything about the supernatural and it makes no difference since there is no way to check if my postulations have merit.

So far you have just told me that the other way to know anything about god is through conclusions reached through self inspection. This can easily be rejected as a valid way since all you can learn is what you think of yourself and what 'feels right'. The only difference this has with revelation is in the reporting. One person says his conclusions feel right after he thought about it, the other says his conclusion feel right because they came from a deity or angel or what have you. Since we cannot know whether it came from a deity, it may well have come from the self...revelation and self-revelation are essentially synonymous when it comes to having confidence in them.

We cannot have any confidence in self-inspection because we are very capable of self-delusion. We can delude ourselves that we are receiving messages from on high or we can delude ourselves that our memories and feelings are reliable indicators of the nature and properties of a god. If I self-inspected and discovered that reincarnation was false (I too have had memories of past lives incidentally, rather similar to your own though it was a bullet shot) and was just subconscious trickery - does that mean I'm right or you are right?

We can't know with any confidence which one of us is right and as such - we can not know with any confidence anything about a deity.

Not unless you are so egotistical as to think you are the exception to the possibility of self-delusion. As someone who has wandered through so many faiths, I have the luxury of knowing I can delude myself. I have had false memories, that have been independently confirmed as being false so why trust memories that seem massively implausible based on the evidence that I have the memory?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 254 by petrophysics1, posted 08-17-2007 6:37 AM petrophysics1 has not yet responded

  
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