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Author Topic:   I know God exists & the court of highest appeal is me.
PaulK
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Posts: 14563
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 16 of 94 (459044)
03-03-2008 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
03-03-2008 8:49 AM


I think that the question that has to be answered is whether you do have something that could legitimately be called a "perception of God" in the same sense that we perceive things with our normal senses. How about addressing that point, rather than taking it for granted ?
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Straggler
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Posts: 10271
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 17 of 94 (459051)
03-03-2008 2:05 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by iano
03-03-2008 12:24 PM


The Difference Is
I know there is a pc screen on front of me just as much as I know that God exists and just as much as I know what I thought 5 seconds ago. I don't add "non-conclusively" to pc screens or thoughts. Nor do I to God.

The difference is that you can invite me (or anyone else - lets not get too cosy) to verify that the thing in front of you is a PC. Whether I am imaginary too or not is irrelevant at this point.

The difference is that you cannot invite anyone along to verify your personal knowledge of God.

You are either a brain in a jar imagining both me and the PC. (granted this is a possibility)
OR
We are independent beings who together are able to verify the existence of the PC in a way that we cannot the existence of God

Your thinking is inherently 'all or nothing' and as such self defeating.

The only way you can give your knowledge of God equal status to your knowledge of the PC in front of you is if you deny that anything is real at all. Including your God!!!!

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


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Stile
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Posts: 3282
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 18 of 94 (459057)
03-03-2008 2:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
03-03-2008 8:49 AM


Of Monitors and Gods
I'm going to go through a few steps. Stop me where the disagreement starts with any of the assumptions made.

1. We are able to perceive a reality with our senses.
2. We perceive other people who we assume are also capable of perceiving reality.
-These other people may all be of our own imagination, they may not. Regardless, we perceive them, and perceive that they have their own abilities similar to ours.
3. When people assume something is true on their own, the reality we perceive often proves them wrong.
-eg. personal mistakes, forgetting...
4. When people assume something is true because others agree with them, the reality we perceive agrees more often, but still often proves the whole group of people wrong.
-eg. past ideas like the world being flat or the sun being pulled around the earth by a chariot
5. When people assume something is true because others agree with them and the 'something' is reproducible with repeatable conclusions, the reality we perceive agrees every time we test again.
-eg. gravity attracting objects with mass, electronics...

So, we have 3 (basic) categories of assumptions, with varying degrees as to how often the reality we perceive disagrees.

1. Personal knowledge - can often disagree
2. Shared knowledge - can often disagree
3. Repeatable knowledge - always agrees (or else it wouldn't be repeatable and then it's not in this class)

Noting, of course, that we are dealing with the reality we perceive. I agree that we are limited to our perceptions and they may all be wrong.

Now we have two things. The God you know and the monitor you know.

You are saying we 'know' both with equal strength. I agree that this is true, when talking about the 'true' reality (the reality we don't know if we can even perceive).

However, when talking about the reality we do perceive. It's obvious that 'the God you know' is a part of your Personal Knowledge. While 'the monitor you know' is Repeatable Knowledge.

This puts 'the monitor you know' in a class of 'things we know' that has a much better track-record for not disagreeing with the reality we perceive. While 'the God you know' is currently in the class of 'things we know' that has the worst track-record for ending up in disagreement with the reality we perceive.

This says nothing about either 'thing we know' being a part of the true reality we may not be able to perceive. This only declares the monitor as being less likely to be in disagreement with the reality we can perceive.

It is up to the reader to decide for themselves how important our perception of reality is, or if it even matters whether or not there may be a true reality that we cannot perceive.


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Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 19 of 94 (459060)
03-03-2008 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by iano
03-03-2008 12:24 PM


The concluding point of my arguing so is to stalemate the objection "how do you know it is God and not Shiva". The question is as useless as the question "how do you know you are not a brain in a jar"

The honest answer to both those questions is that you don't know.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Explorer
Junior Member (Idle past 3849 days)
Posts: 24
From: Sweden
Joined: 02-24-2008


Message 20 of 94 (459062)
03-03-2008 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Stile
03-03-2008 2:48 PM


Re: Of Monitors and Gods
Nice categorization, Stile! It certainly applies good to many experiences and situations.
This message is a reply to:
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iano
Member
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 21 of 94 (459063)
03-03-2008 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Straggler
03-03-2008 11:42 AM


Re: Jars and Brains
Straggler writes:

1) You could be a brain in a jar and all of this could be the product of your imagination.

OR

2) You could cohabit an external reality in which other conscious perceiving beings also exist and in which you can interract with them.

The trouble is that you cannot tell which it is. This...

In the case of the second the nature of the reality in which you coexist with your fellow perceiving consciousnesses (lets call them people) can be empirically investigated and objectively verified through consistent independent corroboration.

...won't tell you which it is. The brain in a jar can take a stroll in the countryside (lets call it a virtual countryside) as easily as can a 'real' person. That's the whole point of the dilemma of the brain in a jar.

What I do is assume that my perception of being a 'real' person (and not a brain in a jar) accurately reflects whatever the reality might be. I cannot demonstrate this to be the case - even to myself. My trusting my perception to-be-the-case is the highest court of appeal for what is real and not.
For instance...

In the case of the second those conclusions that are formed by this process of corroboration and communication are more reliable indicators of the workings and nature of the reality in which you exist than conclusions which cannot be tested by this process (e.g. that the reality in question was created by a physically undetectable being).

Given that the reality in which these conclusions occur is an assumed-to-exist reality, all these conclusions are subject to that same assumption. I do indeed find out more about the assumed reality - just not in the sense of being enlightened as to the accuracy of my starting assumption. We might call all these assumed sub-conclusions...er...assumed sub-conclusions.

I cannot test the overarching hypothesis: "I perceive reality as objective and external". Nor can I test the equally apparent hypothesis - the one called "I perceive God to exist"

Iano - You are continually trying to have your cake and eat it.
Either you are a brain in a jar (or whatever other metaphorical equivalent) and your God is as much a figment of your imagination as everything else.

My being a brain in a jar means I exist and that the reality I perceive doesn't. The reality I perceive is being fed into my brain by scientists or something. It doesn't necessarily mean that God doesn't exist - not unless the scientist turns off that signal that is.

Which is it?

As we might now see, neither of us can tell. I know what I assume and I think it's what you assume. I think we both assume our perception of reality is that it is objective and external to us.

My perception happens to include you as real and God as real. Your only has me as real. Which is a matter of perception only.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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iano
Member
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 22 of 94 (459065)
03-03-2008 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by New Cat's Eye
03-03-2008 3:05 PM


CatholicS writes:

The honest answer to both those questions is that you don't know.

True. What we can all say is that "I know x - subject to my perception of reality accurately reflecting whatever the actual reality happens to be."


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10271
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 23 of 94 (459066)
03-03-2008 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Stile
03-03-2008 2:48 PM


Re: Of Monitors and Gods
Iano's confused thinking seems to reduce down to something like -

IF it is possible that my knowledge in it's entirety is wholly subjective and false.
THEN every individual aspect of my knowledge is equally subjective and open to falsehood

How exactly the premise leads to the conclusion and how this logic deals with the possibility of his entirety of knowledge not being false (i.e. not being a brain in a jar) he has yet to explain.


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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 458 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 24 of 94 (459068)
03-03-2008 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by iano
03-03-2008 12:24 PM


iano writes:

My argument amounts to me saying I know God exists but cannot know whether my knowledge is objective knowledge or not.

According to that contradictory statement, you definitely do not know that your God exists, and you cannot know, because you do not trust your senses.

Stating that we all have to rely on our senses, and trust them, is not the same as saying that our senses cannot perceive reality, if they're functioning properly.

Perceiving supernatural things via our senses, as you claim to have done, is becoming increasingly recognised as a sign of malfunction of the brain, and is much more common amongst people with identifiable neurological conditions than those without.

You may be right in doubting your senses, but don't assume that the rest of us are in the same condition. I've never seen or sensed any magic beings, and if I ever do, I'll check my experience with a doctor or two.:)


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 94 (459070)
03-03-2008 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by iano
03-03-2008 3:16 PM


True. What we can all say is that "I know x - subject to my perception of reality accurately reflecting whatever the actual reality happens to be."

You're using the word "know" differently from how people typically use it. I wouldn't say that you know god exsts.


If satan decieves someone into thinking that he is god, by your definition that person would know that it is god, even though it wasn't. I think that is a problem with your definition.

Also, if you really do know that god exists, then you don't have faith that he does.


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10271
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 26 of 94 (459075)
03-03-2008 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by iano
03-03-2008 3:13 PM


Re: Jars and Brains
I cannot test the overarching hypothesis: "I perceive reality as objective and external".

I am not claiming to test this hypothesis. As far as I am concerned it cannot be tested. On this I think we agree.

The trouble is that you cannot tell which it is

None of my points make any claim to tell us which is the case.

As we might now see, neither of us can tell. I know what I assume and I think it's what you assume. I think we both assume our perception of reality is that it is objective and external to us.

I have assumed nothing. I have simply followed the logical consequences of the two possibilities

I will try again as you are obviously missing the point I am trying to make.

There are two possibilities under consideration.
1) Brain in jar scenario
2) Independent conscious bengs in an objective physical reality scenario

No claim is to be made that we can distinguish between 1) and 2).

In the event of 2) being true - Conclusions regarding the workings and nature of the reality in question can be independently corroborated and tested.
In the event of 1) being true the same tests can appear to take place but with no meaningful result despite appearing equally as meaningful to the 'brain in the jar'

Still I make no claim as to being able to differentiate between the two scenarios.

In the event of 2) being true conclusions that cannot be tested and which are not independently corroborated are inherently more prone to error and personal delusion than those that can be tested and corroborated.
In the event of 1) being true conclusions that cannot appear to be tested and cannot appear to be corroborated appear to be inferior and more prone to personal delusion as compared to those that it appears can be tested. However they are in fact equally as (in)valid as any other conclusions as all conclusions are the subjective result of the 'brain in the jar' alone.

I still make no claim as to which scenario is true.

I do claim that IF the objective reality scenario is true then some conclusions are more valid than others.
I do also claim that IF the brain in the jar scenario is true then all conclusions are equally prone to personal delusion.

Which of the above do you dispute?
Please don't insist that I have assumed an objective reality at any point. I have not and will continue to make no claims or assumptions regarding which scenario might be true during this debate.

Edited by Straggler, : crap typing


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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 678 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 27 of 94 (459082)
03-03-2008 6:18 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by iano
03-03-2008 3:13 PM


All in the Same Boat
iano writes:

The trouble is that you cannot tell which it is.

If you can't tell the difference, what is the point in assuming there is a difference? If both manifest the same way, the same logic applies in describing them both. Only in places where the two would of necessity be different (which, you assert, is nowhere) would this line of reasoning be in any way meaningful.

Both theistic and atheistic approaches depend upon some external source of reality. This, you believe, puts us in the same boat, and renders all our claims about reality utterly subjective and completely equal in validity. I can understand this logic. That boat is the "external reality" boat (as opposed to the "subjective reality" boat).

So, the question is, either the "external reality" is the right boat, or it's the wrong boat. If it's wrong, then both theists and atheists are wrong together. If it's not wrong, at least one of us is still wrong (because, in an external, objective reality, we can't both be right).

So, we're only in the same boat if we're all wrong. This doesn't drive the argument to stalemate, because it only stalemates under the condition that everybody's wrong. This effectively polarizes the argument (i.e. leaves no room for middle ground).

Therefore, if reality is objective and external, the interpretation of reality that is most objective and external is most likely to be correct. Well, seeing how religion relies on personal feelings and interpretations, while science relies on outside observation and repeatability, I submit that science is more objective and more external. So, here are the two options that this entire line of reasoning permits:

(1) Subjective reality: We're both wrong
(2) Objective reality: You're wrong

Edited by Bluejay, : Clarification.

Edited by Bluejay, : Added my own Subtitle.


There was a point to this [post], but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind. -modified from Life, the Universe and Everything, Douglas Adams
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ICANT
Member
Posts: 6141
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 28 of 94 (459104)
03-03-2008 10:25 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Straggler
03-03-2008 2:05 PM


Re: The Difference Is
Hi Straggler,

Straggler writes:

The difference is that you cannot invite anyone along to verify your personal knowledge of God.

Sure iano could. iano could invite me along and I would agree that iano's God is real. I happen to have a personal relationship with the same God.

In fact it is just as easy to prove the God we talk about exists as it is to prove where the singularity came from that the universe spawned from.

Everything is what it is. Makes no difference what we think it is.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 94 (459105)
03-03-2008 10:26 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Blue Jay
03-03-2008 6:18 PM


Re: All in the Same Boat
You seem to doing the same thing that you accuse iano of doing...

That is:

Not being able to tell the difference, yet assuming there is a difference.

You say:

If both manifest the same way, the same logic applies in describing them both. Only in places where the two would of necessity be different (which, you assert, is nowhere) would this line of reasoning be in any way meaningful.

and then you conclude:

Therefore, if reality is objective and external, the interpretation of reality that is most objective and external is most likely to be correct. Well, seeing how religion relies on personal feelings and interpretations, while science relies on outside observation and repeatability, I submit that science is more objective and more external. So, here are the two options that this entire line of reasoning permits:

(1) Subjective reality: We're both wrong
(2) Objective reality: You're wrong

Don't you, in arriving at your conclusion, assume a difference here:

So, the question is, either the "external reality" is the right boat, or it's the wrong boat. If it's wrong, then both theists and atheists are wrong together. If it's not wrong, at least one of us is still wrong (because, in an external, objective reality, we can't both be right).

So, we're only in the same boat if we're all wrong. This doesn't drive the argument to stalemate, because it only stalemates under the condition that everybody's wrong. This effectively polarizes the argument (i.e. leaves no room for middle ground).

Maybe I'm missing the difference you must have pointed out?

Here you said:

Both theistic and atheistic approaches depend upon some external source of reality. This, you believe, puts us in the same boat, and renders all our claims about reality utterly subjective and completely equal in validity. I can understand this logic. That boat is the "external reality" boat (as opposed to the "subjective reality" boat).

If "all our claims about reality utterly subjective and completely equal in validity" then how is the boat the ""external reality" boat"?


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Replies to this message:
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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 458 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 30 of 94 (459113)
03-03-2008 11:44 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by ICANT
03-03-2008 10:25 PM


Sure iano could. iano could invite me along and I would agree that iano's God is real. I happen to have a personal relationship with the same God.

Agreeing and verifying aren't the same things.

How can two different individuals have the same subjective experiences? If we question the two of you on your Gods, will we get exactly the same answers?.

And Iano's God has the same likelihood of existing as you being a brain in a jar. Are you going to preach that to your flock?

It's a big misconception that all Christians believe in the same God. If you're all relying on subjective "experiences", then 2 billion Christians = 2 billion Gods.

The differing descriptions of the Christian God that we get here on EvC don't support the view that you're all believing in the same thing.


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