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Author Topic:   How do we know?
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3016 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 76 of 88 (166515)
12-09-2004 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by lfen
12-04-2004 4:37 PM


Re: Spin off a new thread on "What is knowing?"
Hi Ifen,

I got almost all of my Ba-million papers done and so now all I have to worry about are my exams next week... So I'll have some time now to talk about that topic of what knowing is.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by lfen, posted 12-04-2004 4:37 PM lfen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by lfen, posted 12-09-2004 12:26 PM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

    
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3016 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 77 of 88 (166534)
12-09-2004 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Taqless
12-07-2004 12:32 PM


Re: Awaiting the completion of your finals
Hi Tagless, thanks for your reply.

Since ALL knowledge is based on certain presuppostions, to know anything one must believe in SOMETHING.

I think I agree.

Good!

However, would you then be willing to say that the same way you know gravity is the same way you know god?

I suppose in one way I could say I know them both the same way. I can neither see nor hear nor feel either one, but I can see and hear and feel the effects of both. Neither can I fully explain how either one works or why either one exists, nevertheless I believe both exist. You can say you don't believe God exists the same way I can say I don't believe gravity exists, but rather is the result of quantum computer simulation run by a bunch of life forms not yet discovered. The only reason we assume that gravity is as boring and simple as it appears to us to be is because in science we choose the simpler solution. Of course in real life the simpler solution is not neccessarily the correct one.

But I know what you are getting at. We have no scientific evidence that would indicate gravity has a personality, but we do have scientific evidence to indicate this thing called gravity exists. We have no scientific evidence to indicate that in the infinite realm of possibilities outside our universe that an omnipotent benevolent personality is the true reality. Therefore I cannot perform any tests to verify God's existence like I can with gravity. All I have to go on is the words of a few folks throughout history and in my life today and the conscience in my heart. And in those things I am willing to trust as much or more than my five senses.

Which includes theists by default as a portion of the "significant number".

...right. What point does that make?

However, the "fact" is that theists are not using consistant "presuppositions" to reason and understand the two worlds....

I completely agree. I think the most important presupposition a Bible thumping theist must make after the first two is that he doesn't fully understand what he's thumping. That would certainly end a lot of disputes among Christian theists...

what are theists perceiving differently than atheists that leads them to the conclusion that both ARE real while using different "presuppositions"?

I'm not quite sure I understand the question, but I'll try to answer anyways. Well, many do genuinely percieve things that others don't (angels, demons, the voice of God), and some are just willing to listen to the voice inside them that recognizes the complete goodness and righteousness of Christ when they read the gospels and believe. I mean, heck, even if you don't believe Christ was God, who can not be moved by the awesome example he set for right living?

Though the atheist has decided that he KNOWS only what is scientifically verifiable, this does not mean aspects of reality that are not scientifically verifiable do not exist.

Wait a second, once again you are posing as though the same presuppositions that define this world are somehow strictly limited to atheists....I think theists define this world using the exact same presuppositions....

I didn't say the presuppositions were limited to atheists, I said the atheists limit themselves to those presuppositions.

What lie are you talking about? Are you saying you know something about the reality that is not scientifically verifiable? If so, my apologies to you, and please tell me what you know. If not, then my statement stands.

Appealing to something that cannot be tested or information gathered from puts it out of reach to both atheists and theists.

Well nevermind then, you just affirmed my statement that you previously called a lie.

Based on another thread, I forget the title, using your current rationale you would be required to entertain the likelihood of leprechauns....there is no way that either theists OR atheists can prove/disprove them.

Why would I be REQUIRED to believe in Leprechauns? My current rationale as you call it is to believe in something when my confidence can be raised to sufficient level. I have more information and more testimonies about God, Christ, angels, and demons than I do about Leprechauns. In fact, I've never heard anyone seriously speak of an encounter with a Leprechaun. Finally, a Leprechaun is a mischievous creature with magial powers. Sounds like a demon to me. The idea of demons have been around for a long time. There are a couple of threads going on right now discussing encounters with these things. I would assume that the idea of a Leprechaun originated with similar encounters. So if we assume that a Leprechuan is just an Irish demon, then yes I believe in leprechauns. Haha...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Taqless, posted 12-07-2004 12:32 PM Taqless has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Taqless, posted 12-09-2004 5:25 PM Hangdawg13 has responded
 Message 81 by lfen, posted 12-11-2004 4:12 AM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

    
lfen
Member (Idle past 2787 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 78 of 88 (166539)
12-09-2004 12:26 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by Hangdawg13
12-09-2004 11:16 AM


Re: Spin off a new thread on "What is knowing?"
I'll propose the thread.

lfen


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-09-2004 11:16 AM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

  
Taqless
Member (Idle past 4023 days)
Posts: 285
From: AZ
Joined: 12-18-2003


Message 79 of 88 (166629)
12-09-2004 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by Hangdawg13
12-09-2004 12:11 PM


Re: Awaiting the completion of your finals
Cool avatar, btw.

Taqless writes:

Which includes theists by default as a portion of the "significant number".

...right. What point does that make?

A minor point wherein I've seen some people argue as though they don't "believe" in gravity as though atheists' presuppositions don't apply to them.

Taqless writes:

However, the "fact" is that theists are not using consistant "presuppositions" to reason and understand the two worlds....

I completely agree.

However,

Hangdawg13 writes:

Therefore I cannot perform any tests to verify God's existence like I can with gravity.

Great, I agree! But, what the hell is this?

Hangdawg13 writes:

All I have to go on is the words of a few folks throughout history and in my life today and the conscience in my heart.

This is the theist's, imnsho, mistake...trying to mix realities. While I concede (how grand of me, eh?) that atheists cannot prove a god does not exist based on their reality and presuppositions by the same token theists cannot prove a god exists using strictly their own reality and presuppositions. Here, you are trying to use "evidence" from one reality, the atheists reality and yours as well, of a god that exists in a different reality based on a different set of presuppositions.

Taqless writes:

what are theists perceiving differently than atheists that leads them to the conclusion that both ARE real while using different "presuppositions"?

I'm not quite sure I understand the question...

This was a question which stemmed from the simplified definitions I got about belief and cognition. The way it read to me is: one perceives (I would hazard through the 5 senses, but I don't know) and then reasons and understands the perception which then becomes a belief or not....something like that.....so, that's why I wondered what perception the theist is receiving into the same carbon unit the atheist has with nothing but the 5 senses to sample the environment like the atheist....yet out pops a belief in the atheists reality (like gravity) AND a belief in this other reality.....I conclude split realities that theists have trouble distinguishing between, so a problem in the reasoning/understanding part (not that simple I'm sure).

The lie: That was because there is something that is unknown and incredible about this world....maybe that's what you have decided to name "god", BUT I don't name it...it is "simply" an unknown.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-09-2004 12:11 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-10-2004 3:42 PM Taqless has responded

  
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3016 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 80 of 88 (166997)
12-10-2004 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Taqless
12-09-2004 5:25 PM


Re: Awaiting the completion of your finals
Cool avatar, btw.

Thanks

This is the theist's, imnsho, mistake...trying to mix realities.

Isn't there only ONE reality? There may be vast parts of the reality that we do not know, but that doesn't make one part that we know more real or separate from the part that we don't know.

While I concede (how grand of me, eh?) that atheists cannot prove a god does not exist based on their reality and presuppositions by the same token theists cannot prove a god exists using strictly their own reality and presuppositions.

Proof is completely left out of the theist's knowledge of God. It is all about trust in the words of another, not trust in the empirical discoveries of another.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Taqless, posted 12-09-2004 5:25 PM Taqless has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by lfen, posted 12-11-2004 4:20 AM Hangdawg13 has responded
 Message 83 by Taqless, posted 12-14-2004 6:01 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

    
lfen
Member (Idle past 2787 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 81 of 88 (167127)
12-11-2004 4:12 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Hangdawg13
12-09-2004 12:11 PM


Re: Awaiting the completion of your finals
I mean, heck, even if you don't believe Christ was God, who can not be moved by the awesome example he set for right living?

Hangdawg,

I agree but I also have to ask who can not be moved by the awesome example Buddha, Ramana Maharshi, etc set for right living? I can answer that specifically: Buzsaw seems unmoved by anyone but Jesus or others from the Judeo Christian Bible and in fact denigrates other religions by claiming they were created by Satan.

And Buddha had decades to teach so his thought is much better documented, and Ramana again had decades plus his words were being written at the time not handed down orally for decades or centuries.

Many Hindu's, certainly Ramakrishna and Ramana to name two, accept Christ as an incarnation of God. It does seem rarer that Christians respect the deep spirituality of the Eastern religions.

I will say having grown up in a small town that I have a severe allergy to what I think of as intolerant fundamentalism, although the church I went to as a child was a very tolerant Episcopalian church.

what I appreciate about Buddhism and Ramana is that they point to a source of knowing within rather than a written source of knowing without. They also have a sophistication that seems lacking in Western culture until the developments of semantics that understand the map is not the territory and that language can only do so much. Zen puts it succinctly with the saying that Zen is a finger pointing to the moon, don't mistake the finger for the moon.

lfen


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-09-2004 12:11 PM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

  
lfen
Member (Idle past 2787 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 82 of 88 (167128)
12-11-2004 4:20 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by Hangdawg13
12-10-2004 3:42 PM


ONE reality?
Isn't there only ONE reality? There may be vast parts of the reality that we do not know, but that doesn't make one part that we know more real or separate from the part that we don't know.

Ah, yes of course! and which ONE was it again?

But how many illusions, imagined delusions, etc are there? How many models, approximations, theories? I'm going to say concepts aren't reality, and to the extent that we use language we aren't dealing directly with reality but with a multiplicity.

But wouldn't it be true to say that the reality of many people is a series of illusions, day dreams, fantasies? So it that sense fantasy is the reality for many.

lfen


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-10-2004 3:42 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-17-2004 11:54 PM lfen has responded

  
Taqless
Member (Idle past 4023 days)
Posts: 285
From: AZ
Joined: 12-18-2003


Message 83 of 88 (168221)
12-14-2004 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by Hangdawg13
12-10-2004 3:42 PM


Re: Awaiting the completion of your finals
I apologize for the delay in getting back to you...neck deep in my atheistic/scientific experiments

Hangdawg13 writes:

Isn't there only ONE reality?

I don't think this is known, so 'NO'. I should not have used this term. Let's drop the term "reality" (I dropped "trust" as well for the same reason).

Hangdawg13 writes:

....more real or separate from the part that we don't know.

Ah, and this is what we are discussing. So, let me go over my line of logic AGAIN since it seems you kind of focused on the side points I made versus the claim that your OP makes.

1. Theists have (for this discussion) two sets of "presuppositions" that account for their "belief" in the existence of a god. SET #1 is the same as the atheists in terms of basic scientific "beliefs" and is acquired exactly the same (in terms of the 5 senses):
- gravity
- mathematical calculations, weights, measures, etc.

A. "I believe there is a god because of this WRITING by so-n-so in this book".

**This theistic "belief" acquisition of writings and sayings clearly lies within the same "belief" acquisition as atheists. So, it is subject to being tested and verified within SET #1's parameters and then based on results reasoned if the "belief" is valid.

SET #2:
- self-experience.

B. "I believe a god exists because of my own personal experience".

**This, imo, can not be confirmed or denied at this point in time.

2. So, to reiterate, the theist's "belief" in the existence of a god draws from BOTH sets of "presuppositions".

THE PROBLEM:

Since the "belief" of a god was first acquired in the same manner as a "belief" of gravity by default the "self-experience" came SECOND. So, your OP asserts that atheists and theists all have "presuppositions" that lead to equally valid "beliefs".

Absolutely NOT. Why? Because theists argue that SET #1 supports their "belief" of a god, BUT at the same time deny SET #1 when it is used by atheists to negate the assertion as a valid "belief" of a god. So, then theists are left with SET# 2, but who cares because I for one can't prove or disprove what an individual experiences.

Hangdawg13 writes:

Proof is completely left out of the theist's knowledge of God.


Not if you assert that the bible (SET #1) contributes to your "belief" of a god.

So, there really is no "separate but equal" when it comes to the acquisition of "beliefs" in the above context.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-10-2004 3:42 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-18-2004 12:24 AM Taqless has responded

  
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3016 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 84 of 88 (169631)
12-17-2004 11:54 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by lfen
12-11-2004 4:20 AM


Re: ONE reality?
Thanks for your reply. Sorry for my late one.

But wouldn't it be true to say that the reality of many people is a series of illusions, day dreams, fantasies? So it that sense fantasy is the reality for many.

I don't know, but this is a very good question. It is a true/false question about true reality... hmm... We have decided to use subjective experience to determine what is real. If one and only one person experiences something, than can we say it is real? If no one experiences the universe, then is the universe real? If reality is only a subjective experience, must there be One who is experiencing so that all reality is 'realized' or made truth? I think this question is equivalent to asking where does truth come from if it exists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by lfen, posted 12-11-2004 4:20 AM lfen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by lfen, posted 12-18-2004 5:17 AM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

    
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3016 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 85 of 88 (169637)
12-18-2004 12:24 AM
Reply to: Message 83 by Taqless
12-14-2004 6:01 PM


Re: Awaiting the completion of your finals
I apologize for the delay in getting back to you...neck deep in my atheistic/scientific experiments

Thanks for your reply. I've been neck deep in finals (Thank GOD the semester is over!)

Isn't there only ONE reality?

I don't think this is known, so 'NO'.

Muhaha... No? Now if you're sure there is more than one reality, then your answer of 'NO' is meaningless. The idea of truth and falsehood is meaningless. Logic, reason, and empiricism upon which your whole worldview is based have no meaning (other than practical value). But I think you know this already...

I should not have used this term. Let's drop the term "reality" (I dropped "trust" as well for the same reason).

Okay, that's cool .

Your two sets of presuppositions seem about right...

THE PROBLEM:

Since the "belief" of a god was first acquired in the same manner as a "belief" of gravity by default the "self-experience" came SECOND. So, your OP asserts that atheists and theists all have "presuppositions" that lead to equally valid "beliefs".

You lost me... Knowledge of both gravity and God were first acquired by #2, personal experience. The belief in God was first acquired by personal experience with God just like our belief in gravity was first aquired by personal experience with gravity. Where's the problem?

theists argue that SET #1 supports their "belief" of a god, BUT at the same time deny SET #1 when it is used by atheists to negate the assertion as a valid "belief" of a god.

Whoa... you can negate God's existence with logic and the Bible? Or maybe you are just saying that we cannot verify God with the Bible?

Proof is completely left out of the theist's knowledge of God.

Not if you assert that the bible (SET #1) contributes to your "belief" of a god.

I never said the Bible was proof of God, only that it is information or evidence and that the information that lies within comes from set #2, personal experience with God.

So, there really is no "separate but equal" when it comes to the acquisition of "beliefs" in the above context.

I think we've already agreed that all knowledge comes from belief or trust in something else to be true. In daily living you acquire knowledge by believing other people's subjective experience without verification. The ONE thing that puts knowledge of God out of your reach is YOUR decision to not trust it.

You are right when you say all acquisition of knowledge through belief is not equal. We can prove -- or increase confidence in somethings more than others, and some things not at all. You cannot prove God or disprove Him. You can only choose Him, and THAT is how it MUST be.

This message has been edited by Hangdawg13, 12-18-2004 12:25 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Taqless, posted 12-14-2004 6:01 PM Taqless has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by lfen, posted 12-18-2004 1:42 PM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded
 Message 88 by Taqless, posted 12-20-2004 6:27 PM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

    
lfen
Member (Idle past 2787 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 86 of 88 (169666)
12-18-2004 5:17 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by Hangdawg13
12-17-2004 11:54 PM


Re: ONE reality?
f one and only one person experiences something, than can we say it is real? If no one experiences the universe, then is the universe real?

Oops, I've inadvertenly wandered into Berkley territory. A quick google couldn't find the "tree in the quad" ditty and I forget how it goes exactly, but winds up God sees the tree so it exists. But I wasn't talking about reality, I was talking about what people take to be reality. So far we only know bits and peices, and I'm now adding the concept of abstraction to this. Is all we know abstractions from reality?

lfen


This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-17-2004 11:54 PM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

  
lfen
Member (Idle past 2787 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 87 of 88 (169730)
12-18-2004 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Hangdawg13
12-18-2004 12:24 AM


Re: Awaiting the completion of your finals
The belief in God was first acquired by personal experience with God just like our belief in gravity was first aquired by personal experience with gravity. Where's the problem?

Hangdawg,

Ah, you and Bencip19 are both providing me with excellent thought stimulating material but at such a busy time of year!

I don't know if there is a problem or not but it's apparent to me that personal experience of gravity refers to our organisms experience of gravity and also our experience of dropped things, falling of self or other seems obvious.

What isn't obvious to me is what you are referring to as personal experience of God and how or when do parents or Sunday school offer beliefs that we adopt as children out of confidence in the adults in our lives? Could you amplify your statement. It seems to me that our belief in God first comes from cultural transmission.

lfen


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-18-2004 12:24 AM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

  
Taqless
Member (Idle past 4023 days)
Posts: 285
From: AZ
Joined: 12-18-2003


Message 88 of 88 (170247)
12-20-2004 6:27 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Hangdawg13
12-18-2004 12:24 AM


Re: Awaiting the completion of your finals
In daily living you acquire knowledge by believing other people's subjective experience without verification.

This is definitely less true for atheists than theists.

You began this thread stating the following which I picked as a point to rebutt:

Hangdawg13 Post#1 writes:

There exists no means to weigh between these beliefs and determine which is TRUE, because any attempt to do so will be based on a belief in certain presuppositions.

You ended with the following statement:

Hangdawg13 Post #85 writes:

You are right when you say all acquisition of knowledge through belief is not equal. We can prove -- or increase confidence in somethings more than others, and some things not at all.

This was my goal. It was great going back and forth with you. I hope you did great this semester. I'm sure we'll bump into each other again.

You cannot prove God or disprove Him.....

You'd have to show me where anyone of merit on this board has claimed to be able to prove/disprove the existence of a god. I certainly don't.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-18-2004 12:24 AM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

  
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