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Author Topic:   Identifying false religions.
Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 479 (564148)
06-08-2010 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Asking
06-08-2010 12:09 PM


Asking writes:
Surely they are all false as they claim to be mutually exclusive and none of them can back up their claims.
Not necessarily. The inability to back up a claim does not mean that claim is incorrect, it simply means there is a lack of reason to accept it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Asking, posted 06-08-2010 12:09 PM Asking has not replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 479 (564224)
06-09-2010 4:02 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Buzsaw
06-08-2010 11:31 PM


Re: Corroborating Evidence
Buzsaw writes:
2, Enough verifiable historical significance.
Why should this be a factor directly linked to its truth?
Buzsaw writes:
3. Culturablly benefits. Do the cultures under it's influencef fare relatively well?
I don't see how this is relevant to the truth of the religion. A religion might have a particularly beneficial effect to society and yet still be false, and a religion founded on truth might be fundamentally damaging to society.
If instead we are simply identifying unique religions rather than "true" ones, I still don't see why cultural benefits would be a factor.
Buzsaw writes:
4. How old is it? If it's true, it should have been around from the beginning of recorded human history having some established doctrine.
Not necessarily. Religions need not involve creation stories or be known from the dawn of man. An actually existing deity revealing itself to people and gaining followers within the last month would in my assessment easily qualify as a true religion.
Buzsaw writes:
5. It should not be a Johnny come lately takeoff from an old established doctrine, contradictory to the original. Usually this originates from one self acclaimed prophet. Examples of this are Mormonism and Islam, both take - offs from the Biblical record, contradictory in some aspects from the original but having enough of it to draw adherrants.
This is going to be quite the tangle to unravel. Mormonism might be a takeoff of Christianity, but Christianity is also a takeoff of Judaism. Judaism might also be a takeoff of various creation and fertility myths combined with a fictional racial history.
Drawing a consistent line is likely to be either highly arbitrary or impossibly difficult.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Buzsaw, posted 06-08-2010 11:31 PM Buzsaw has not replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 43 of 479 (564346)
06-10-2010 1:58 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Buzsaw
06-09-2010 11:33 PM


Re: Corroborating Evidence
Buzsaw writes:
1. Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, Jesus fulfilling the Judao messianic prophesies.
I would like to ask about these prophesies. Which are the most impressive and to your view provide more evidence for your claim, prophesies that are fulfilled almost immediately or very old prophesies that are fulfilled long after their being written? (I am suspect the old ones)
Also, if someone were to fulfill one or two of a series of predictions in a prophecy but fail to do the rest, is the prophecy considered false or do we just wait until they area all fulfilled? (I am inclined to say that you would wait)
The reason I ask these two questions is to highlight a disconnect in assessing prophecy that I think you might be exhibiting. A hypothetical abstract prophecy might be the claim that someone with qualities A and B will do a series of acts, C, D, and E. No time limit or date is provided.
If the prophecy is immediately fulfilled it isn't terribly impressive because short-range predictions are made all the time. Accurate predictions of political races are hardly considered prophecy because pertinent information is available on which to base such predictions. Predicting a political race hundreds of years later would be much more impressive; given the time frame, there is no way the appropriate information would be accessible.
On the other hand, this type of prediction slants in the opposite direction. The claim that "someone fitting this bill" will come along with qualities and acts A-E increases in likelihood as time goes by. Someone with quality A but not B has no affect on the prediction; only a positive result is counted. The longer you have to wait for a positive result the less impressive the prediction, due to the increased pool of potential fulfillments.
So my last question is, how old are these prophecies you are referring to? A few years? A few hundred years? Maybe a few *thousand* years? What does that equate to in impressiveness?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Buzsaw, posted 06-09-2010 11:33 PM Buzsaw has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by Buzsaw, posted 06-10-2010 8:20 AM Phage0070 has not replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 85 of 479 (566410)
06-24-2010 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by New Cat's Eye
06-23-2010 11:11 AM


Catholic Scientist writes:
Why does it fall or stand as one piece?
In my view, this sentiment is explained in this way:
If part of the Bible is false, then the Bible's claims must be evaluated piecemeal in order to separate the falsehoods/exaggerations/myths/etc from the truth. Theists know that if they were to honestly do this, all of the supernatural elements of the Bible would be swept aside and they would be left with a book of moral teachings and poorly recorded history. Moral teachings which are extremely questionable now that they lack supernatural backing.
This is I think why theists commonly cling to their holy books as being divinely inspired if not truly inerrant.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-23-2010 11:11 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-24-2010 3:45 PM Phage0070 has replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 88 of 479 (566424)
06-24-2010 4:04 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by New Cat's Eye
06-24-2010 3:45 PM


Catholic Scientist writes:
How's that follow?
With the "honestly" part, Catholic Scientist.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-24-2010 3:45 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-24-2010 4:07 PM Phage0070 has replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 90 of 479 (566438)
06-24-2010 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by New Cat's Eye
06-24-2010 4:07 PM


Catholic Scientist writes:
Oh, seems like I'd have to assume that the supernatural could not have happened.
Supposing that you have any reasonable standards of observing the world we live in, I wouldn't describe that as an assumption but rather an observation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-24-2010 4:07 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-24-2010 4:57 PM Phage0070 has replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 92 of 479 (566443)
06-24-2010 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by New Cat's Eye
06-24-2010 4:57 PM


Catholic Scientist writes:
"Observation" suggests to me that there's data... something observed... showing that the supernatural could not have happened.
Centuries of consistent observation ruling out violations of natural law doesn't qualify as data showing that the supernatural could not have happened? Or are you suggesting that our sample of reality isn't representative of the whole?
How about we turn this question around; what *would* qualify as that data you are talking about?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-24-2010 4:57 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-24-2010 5:23 PM Phage0070 has replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 94 of 479 (566450)
06-24-2010 5:41 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by New Cat's Eye
06-24-2010 5:23 PM


Catholic Scientist writes:
There's plenty of unanswered paranormal mysteries out there.
The ability of people to make ridiculous claims is, so far as I can tell, unbounded. The lack of a single confirmed instance of a supernatural occurrence is far more telling.
Catholic Scientist writes:
But these are just possibilities that remove the conclusion from being a necessity, not something that we have observed.
So you would agree that such possibilities are simply hypothetical and that all our observations indicate that reality hasn't fundamentally altered in form or function within the time periods we are addressing, correct?
Catholic Scientist writes:
I think you saying that since every past supernatural explanation has been replaced by a natural one, then that means that we can conclude that the supernatural does not exist, so therefore an honest examination of the Bible would be without anything supernatural, right?
No. I am saying that since absolutely no supernatural occurrence, explanation, or claim has born out when reasonably isolated from error or fraud, the only intellectually honest response is to reject unevidenced claims of supernatural events until such time as sufficient supporting evidence is presented.
I am not aware of any account of the supernatural within the Bible that has the support of that evidence, considering the unbroken string of failures referenced above. Given the vested interest of extremely large and resourceful organizations to present such evidence, as well as the careful research of the scientific community as a whole, I consider concluding that the supernatural does not exist a very solid position.
Thus, if we are to strip the Bible of unreasonable or untrue claims it would be utterly lacking in the supernatural.

Source: xkcd: Age Milestone Privileges (Randall Munroe)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-24-2010 5:23 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 99 of 479 (566467)
06-24-2010 6:59 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by RAZD
06-24-2010 6:10 PM


Re: false beliefs - do they add up to false religion?
razd writes:
Whether believing one or more of these means that one's religion is false, however, is a different matter: if these beliefs are inconsequential to the core beliefs of the religion, and those core beliefs are not contradicted by evidence, then those core beliefs of the religion per se can be (tentatively considered) valid.
No. If those beliefs are inconsequential to the core beliefs of the religion, and those core beliefs are not contradicted by evidence, then those core beliefs can be tentatively considered not disproved.
The lack of evidence to the contrary is not in and of itself a reason to believe a claim. The existence of an undetectable pink unicorn may not be contradicted by evidence, but it isn't reasonable to tentatively consider such a belief true based on that fact.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by RAZD, posted 06-24-2010 6:10 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by RAZD, posted 06-24-2010 9:16 PM Phage0070 has replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 100 of 479 (566469)
06-24-2010 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by Rahvin
06-24-2010 6:40 PM


Re: "Supernatural"
Rahvin writes:
If gods exist, they do not supersede nature's laws - nature's laws are simply different from our current limited conception of them, and the real laws allow deities.
Unless the religious view is true, and the god or gods actually exist and operate outside of reality. In that case it is the terms "natural" and "reality" which are lacking, or referencing a subset that we previously thought was the whole.
I take your meaning, but I think the distinction (vague as it is) is helpful to the discussion. Simple terms aid in the conveyance of simple ideas, such as assessing basic credulity.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by Rahvin, posted 06-24-2010 6:40 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by Rahvin, posted 06-24-2010 7:25 PM Phage0070 has replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 102 of 479 (566476)
06-24-2010 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by Rahvin
06-24-2010 7:25 PM


Re: "Supernatural"
Rahvin writes:
There is no "outside reality." If something exists, then it is real, that's part of the definition of what it means to exist as opposed to being a figment of imagination.
Unless you subscribe to a dualistic view where God exists, but not within reality. Or perhaps that god is a collective consciousness and in essence is imagination.
I'm not trying to defend this position, but if it actually were the case that a god existed outside of reality (as nonsensical as that might appear)... then it wouldn't be part of reality. You argue quite reasonably that there is no such place or thing, and I would be inclined to agree considering that is part of my argument against gods being able to exist there.
Rahvin writes:
From the other side, the believer just stops thinking and answers a mysterious question with a mysterious answer.
I don't see how your definitions are going to prevent that. A theist will simply argue that your definitions rule out the existence of their deity *by definition*; it is you being closed-minded rather than them not providing proof for their claim.
Rahvin writes:
I think the term and the debate around it are actually worse than useless - they stop debate about the actual phenomenon and any relevant observations, hypotheses, tests and so forth,...
I think in many cases it aids the discussion of actual observations. If someone believes because the Bible says stuff happened, then there is nowhere for the discussion to go. Classifying it as supernatural claims or natural claims doesn't address the meat of the issue at all.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Rahvin, posted 06-24-2010 7:25 PM Rahvin has not replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 104 of 479 (566488)
06-24-2010 10:03 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by RAZD
06-24-2010 9:16 PM


Re: false beliefs - do they add up to false religion?
RAZD writes:
That makes it not invalidated yet. Thus the belief is not falsified. Another word for that is valid.
No, that isn't what "valid" means in the context of logic. A logically valid argument is one where the conclusion follows from the premises. A valid argument could be made for something that has solid evidence to the contrary, simply by including untrue premises. Evidence to the contrary is therefore irrelevant to determining the logical validity of an argument.
RAZD writes:
It's just something that may be true if the premises are true (not invalidated). If the premises are not disproven, then the conclusion may be (tentatively considered) true.
No, it may not, at least not on those ground alone. For instance:
Premise 1: The IPU is invisible.
Premise 2: The IPU is pink.
Premise 3: The IPU is a unicorn.
Premise 4: The IPU exists.
Conclusion: An invisible, pink unicorn known as the IPU exists.
This is a valid argument. It has no premises which are disproved. However, those elements are NOT enough to tentatively consider the conclusion true.
RAZD writes:
Now - perhaps - we (including bluegenes) can discuss the topic, rather than rehash old battles that are off-topic here.
Following the thread of logic, discussing the topic is impossible if you are going to insert untrue premises. A wildly incorrect view of logic makes any response you might offer on the topic pointless to discuss.
RAZD writes:
...just that you may consider it (tentatively) true, and thus that it is not unreasonable if someone does believe it.
No, it is not reasonable to consider something true if a logically valid argument can be presented to prove it, and there is no contradictory evidence. If you don't understand this, it is no wonder you are a theist.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by RAZD, posted 06-24-2010 9:16 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by RAZD, posted 06-24-2010 11:06 PM Phage0070 has replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 106 of 479 (566497)
06-24-2010 11:47 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by RAZD
06-24-2010 11:06 PM


Re: false beliefs - do they add up to false religion?
RAZD writes:
Or is it just a poor argument from consequences?
It is neither; it is simply an observation.
RAZD writes:
Poisoning the Well fallacy?
Someone who misunderstands logic is likely to make illogical arguments; having made an illogical argument the proper response is to point out the logical error, not trundle on as though it has to be addressed in another fashion.
RAZD writes:
Those elements are not enough to say that you must consider the conclusion true, certainly, but they are also not anywhere near enough to tentatively or otherwise consider the conclusion false either.
Amusingly, therefore, if someone wants to believe in the IPU, this shows that such a belief is not unreasonable.
You just said it in the first paragraph, and then completely ignore it in the second.
Those elements are not enough that we must consider the conclusion true, and they are not enough that we must consider the conclusion false. They are not enough to show that such a belief is unreasonable either. HOWEVER, the belief may actually be unreasonable and be proved unreasonable by another method, or other data not part of the argument presented.
So no, it is not true that if someone wants to believe in the IPU such a belief is not unreasonable. The inability of the particular argument we are considering to prove something unreasonable doesn't mean it cannot be proved unreasonable! That is a basic fallacy of Composition.
RAZD writes:
Curiously, I am not the one that posted a self contradicting opinion about the validity of belief.
You already quoted that line, double quoting is unnecessary considering I wrote it. I am not *that* narcissistic. It would also help if you pointed out a contradiction somewhere in your claim.
RAZD writes:
And interestingly, just because arguments with untrue premises can be valid, does not mean that that arguments with premises that have not been invalidated cannot be valid.
In the terminology of logic, I can't figure out what you mean by invalidating premises. I am going to assume you mean proving premises untrue.
In that case, yes, the truth of the premises has no bearing on the validity of the argument. That was my point in the first place; the mere fact that the premises have not been proved false does not mean we can consider the argument valid. The soundness of the argument though, does depend on the premises being true. Simply pointing out that the premises have not been proved false does not establish them as being true either.
RAZD writes:
... and the definition provided in Message 103 shows that a conclusion is valid if (a) the form is properly constructed and (b) if the premises, taken as true in the argument, lead to the conclusion.
This does not mean (I repeat) that the conclusion is proven , just that it is valid.
A logically valid argument is one that may be (tentatively considered) true if the premises are not known to be false.
Again, a thousand times no! A logically valid argument is true if the premises are known to be true! If you don't know that, if you are unsure of the truth of the premises, the argument is simply valid with premises of unknown truth.
It is not reasonable to consider something true, tentatively or otherwise, simply because an argument based on facts that may or may not even exist can be made for that something. Such an approach would result in literally *anything* being tentatively considered true.
Of course this reductio ad absurdum depends on you recognizing such a state of affairs as absurd.
RAZD writes:
Again, YOU consider this statement true even though you have no evidence to prove it, it is just your opinion.
My IPU example proves that such a leap is unreasonable. You have yet to address it.
RAZD writes:
Now do you want to continue with the topic, or continue to wallow in mud slinging?
This is how discussions work; you have presented an argument, and I pointed out a flaw. If you don't want to address it that is your prerogative, but discussion of arguments on the topic is the entire purpose of a discussion board.
Edited by Phage0070, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by RAZD, posted 06-24-2010 11:06 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by RAZD, posted 06-25-2010 8:04 AM Phage0070 has not replied
 Message 110 by Rahvin, posted 06-25-2010 12:20 PM Phage0070 has not replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 128 of 479 (567228)
06-30-2010 7:51 AM
Reply to: Message 127 by Pauline
06-29-2010 11:42 PM


Pauline writes:
If my beliefs eventually are the source of harm to the society and myself, then I obviously must discard them. ... At the end of the day, the religion has to suffer all reproach.
It appears that those harmful things which you avoid now are the result of trial and error; stumbling blocks which the religious have encountered and the harm they have inflicted are now avoided by rote rather than vision.
How then do you address one of the greatest harms of all? I refer to the partner a theist provides to an atheist in any cooperative goal, such as society. A team member who is unable or unwilling to look at evidence and make rational decisions based on that evidence is a hindrance rather than a help. Are we to suffer the trial and error of a theist looking for the right answer that is in front of them, or is the atheist eternally to instruct the theist on proper behavior based on the evidence?
Pauline writes:
After one subscribes to faith, one does NOT look for evidence to prove it.
The reason why theists so often try to defend faith by pretending it isn't belief in a concept without evidence, or even an attempt to find evidence, is because such behavior is clearly monumentally stupid and harmful to others. Apply such a behavior to *anything* else and you would see it for yourself.
Suppose you were to use faith toward the subject of the state of the traffic lights you encounter. Lets say you faithfully assume that they are all green... obviously you are going to get pasted by another car eventually, and are a great harm to others. Not all the time of course, sometimes it is actually green and everyone is fine. But it should be clear that you are a danger to others regardless.
In the case of faith your options are much greater; there may be millions of possible colors of the light, or no light at all. You may not be able to see the light, either because you have painted the windshield opaque (went to a Christian college) or conditions prevent it from being viewed at all. The fallout from your decision is the same though; faith that you know something that you don't know, have no reason to know, is harmful in and of itself.0
Pauline writes:
Isn't faith what you do when you have absolutely zilch probability of a claim being proved/disproved. Isn't faith also for things that we can never scientifically assign a probability to?
No, that is called "lying". Or pulling stuff out of your butthole, making stuff up, or "imagining". The proper, honest answer is "I don't know." Especially so when you *cannot* know.
Pauline writes:
What if, for arguments' sake, you life was at stake? You have two options 1. I don't know. 2. I will go with the eye-witness, it was a demon. And your life depended upon it, in some way.
Pascal's Wager? Again?
The proper response is uncertainty with increased caution. Religion would get you killed here, when the previously unknown winged bear-scorpion attacks the theist with a Bible, a cross, and unwavering faith that his/her fictional deity will protect them.
Pauline writes:
...then obviously their faith was based on contingencies other than the ONLY necessary one--God. If your "once faith" was based on whether or not you approved of genocide, then how is that a faith in Jehovah God,
How can you claim to have a moral compass when it is fixed on a god, and you are unable to assess the morality of something like genocide? How can you claim to be a moral agent at all?
Your moral compass through faith is an arrow drawn on a rock pointing a random direction. I see no reason why you would defend such a thing.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by Pauline, posted 06-29-2010 11:42 PM Pauline has not replied

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 188 of 479 (568777)
07-17-2010 5:50 PM
Reply to: Message 187 by jar
07-14-2010 6:56 PM


Re: Immaterial Empirically Undetectable god/GOD
jar writes:
Is there anything in there other than 'The issue is simply that "it might be true" is not ever good enough for anything, ever' that I should disagree with?
What possible disagreement could you have to the concept that it isn't OK to believe something is true just because it *might* be true?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 187 by jar, posted 07-14-2010 6:56 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 189 by jar, posted 07-17-2010 5:52 PM Phage0070 has replied

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