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Author Topic:   I Know That God Does Not Exist
Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
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Message 355 of 2747 (721746)
03-11-2014 8:42 PM

I am super busy studying for final exams, but I thought I'd allow myself to be preoccupied for a bit by this discussion here

After reading through this thread it seems to me that we are once again facing the great debate. We have Stile (and his consistently used 4/5-statement outline ) arguing that he knows God does not exist. We have Eliyahu arguing the opposite. With interjections between and throughout. Both have asserted what they believe to be true.

It interests me that we, as humans, get so caught up in this kind of argument. Focusing so much on the rationality, the mathematics, the science, all it turns out to be is one huge insult-filled, exponent citing spaghetti monster. Haha.

We are so quick to lose sight of the much bigger issues at hand. My issue lies with both sides.

Stile writes:

Whether or not God exists is a matter of reality.
Following the evidence is our best known method for determining the state of reality.

Your choice if you want to follow the evidence or not.
By following the evidence... I know that God does not exist.
By following the evidence... I know that God does not exist even more than I know you won't die the next time you post here at EvC.

For Stile, God does not exist. His subjective experience has told him so. He claims the collective "we" (meaning humanity I'm assuming?) have been unable to prove God's existence, since he cannot be seen, does not answer prayers, etc.

This confuses me since the majority of humanity would affirm the existence of some sort of a supernatural power, and there are many testimonies of supernatural experiences out there (ghost sightings, unexplained phenomenon, answering prayer, miracles, etc). Here are some links:




This is affirmed by history as well. Moreover, humans in general tend to believe in or at least leave the possibility open to the existence of some sort of supernatural force/forces. (Aliens/God/demons/spirits): So since "we" (as a human race) have (in general) a belief in some sort of supernatural, two things are apparent.

1. Stile is choosing the minority view that the supernatural doesn't exist.

2. It is obvious that Stiles' problem does not actually lie with the supernatural, but with the Judeo/Christian presentation of God. If this were not so he would not have begun his position by attacking (albeit non maliciously) an already established position like "God," and would have wrote "Any sort of supernatural force of any kind" or something of that nature.

So my question for Stile would be: "What about the Judeo/Christian God or the people who claim his name do you disagree with?" The churches? The hypocrisy? The assumptions? This is the internet, so one can only get so personal, but I truly believe if this was not a debate, and Judeo-Christianity were not Judeo-Christianity, if it had no name, if the religions did not exist and all you had was an unnamed book on an island somewhere, you would find room in your worldview for clothing the naked, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and setting the oppressed free. (Luke 4:17) That's Jesus. That's God.

Eliyahu writes:

Nowadays there is strong irrefutable scientific proof that God exist, in the form of the anthropic principle, the fine tuning of the universe.

Eliyahu, on the other hand, claims that God does exist, and that mathematics can prove the existence of said God. He has argued that due to the anthropic principle God can be proven to exist.

While this may be true or false, I would argue that trying to prove God's existence with science/mathematics to those who use the same means to disprove God's existence is equally as futile. Here is a prime example: The opposing side has refused to accept your thesis, and so you really have nothing more to give them than reiterating your point. How you do this is up to you, but no matter how many insults you include, appeals for reason you throw out, and references back to your original point you make they will always refute you with the same things.

I know Eliyahu is Jewish, so this is my personal perspective and I do not mean this in a disrespectful way (I am a protestant Christian). Jesus was counter-cultural. Meaning, when those challenging him came with intellectual arguments he confused them by not feeding their intellectualism. He simply loved people, and let that be the testimony that God is real.

So, in conclusion, the argument is really actually fruitless, for when debating on such an over-debated topic, especially over the internet, no ground can be gained on either side. It is only faith expressing itself in love that will have any merit in the kingdom (Gal. 5:6) and if that's either of you, I'll be seeing you there! Today. Tomorrow. And in eternity The Beatles really were right! Haha.


- Raph

Replies to this message:
 Message 356 by Pressie, posted 03-12-2014 12:36 AM Raphael has responded
 Message 358 by Phat, posted 03-12-2014 1:01 AM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 363 by Stile, posted 03-12-2014 12:57 PM Raphael has not yet responded

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 361 of 2747 (721821)
03-12-2014 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 356 by Pressie
03-12-2014 12:36 AM

Hi there!

Pressle writes:

Raphael, I respectfully disagree with that conclusion.
I can present myself as an example where debates such as these played a huge part in changing my mind completely from being a Protestant to becoming non-religious.

If, by "debates like these," you mean debates like this one on the internet, then I am genuinely surprised. I suppose my original conclusion was rushed; I am meaning to speak more towards the "proving of God's existence" side than the "non-believer."

What we usually see in debates such as these are completely illogical, and dare I say functionally illiterate, religious people such as Eliyahu and Faith on the religious side up against rational and well-educated people on the other side. People who obviously thought long and hard about religion.

That my friend, is exactly what I'm speaking towards. You have illustrated for us the exact thing I wish to combat. Why is it so often the case that the "religious people" are (either seen as or truly) completely illogical, while rational, well-educated people argue the other side? I truly believe that it is because religious people go about the argument the wrong way. Eliyahu and Faith, for example (they are the names you referenced) are seen this way for a reason.

There are exceptions to the rule, I immediately think of CS and RAZD and some others on this forum. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from them. Sometimes I think that religious people such as them just can’t live on the same planet as those fundamentalists.
I don't have any repect for the rest of your conclusions. Just wishful thinking and preaching with absolutely no empirical evidence or merit to it.

I would totally agree with you. CS and RAZD are both excellent examples of that balance. I suppose then, that all I'm getting at is that from an I.D. perspective, and a specifically Christian one, I would not be so quick to try and use the same means of arguing my beliefs as "the other side." If I believe this Jesus stuff then I'm not going to approach the argument the same way. If I can love you guys, even through the internet, with at least my typed words, let that be the testimony that God is real. Or dont But at least its good vibes!

Phat writes:

And I disagree with Raphael that argumentativeness is fruitless.

The very fact that we here at EvC have dialogue at all is...to me...fruitful. Its not about winning or losing a discussion so much as it is about finding two hundred new ways to say the same thing only better. At least for me....

I appreciate you saying this Phat. As you know I am still in my Undergraduate studies.....there are many here much wiser than I Faith and Eliyahu included. I tend to think out loud sometimes, and that communicates into type as well I fear. Haha. I see the benefits of what you're saying.

The conversation then is not fruitless, if the goal is to continue to grow in the the how of saying things, the journey, the process. I see merit in that. I have seen growth in myself from that very thing. I suppose my frustration speaks more towards those (myself included) proponents of I.D. who try and use the same argument process as those against and end up only getting frustrated and seen as illogical. My question would be: Why go about the debate the same way only to be seen a those things? If I had one goal it would be to change the perception of what "religious people" are like. Perhaps I am falling into the very thing I am fighting against. haha. Oh well...such is life. I still have a long way to go.

- Raph

This message is a reply to:
 Message 356 by Pressie, posted 03-12-2014 12:36 AM Pressie has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 368 by Pressie, posted 03-13-2014 12:29 AM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 370 by Pressie, posted 03-13-2014 1:08 AM Raphael has not yet responded

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Message 2665 of 2747 (881769)
08-30-2020 12:53 AM
Reply to: Message 2664 by ringo
08-29-2020 12:16 PM

Hello friends! Looks like Phat and Ringo are still going around in circles these days . Thought I'd swing by and lo and behold, I found something to weigh in on.

ringo writes:

...There are a couple of places where the word "word" could be construed as referring to Jesus - but there are also a couple of places where the word AND Jesus are mentioned as if they were two separate things.

Seems like Phat has referred to Jesus as "the Word" and ringo feels that makes no sense. It makes sense that this phrase seems like nonsense, ringo, but it actually has history and context within the christian tradition. Most likely what Phat is referring to is John 1:1, which reads,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. - John 1:1

What John is doing here is really brilliant. He knows his audience live in and value the principles of stoicism. The stoics taught that above all, an "ultimate reason," anima mundi, or "λόγος" permeated and animated the entire universe. Thy thought of reason as having a "soul" of some kind, a supreme "existence" that was above all other forms of flesh.

People of this time period and location would be swimming in stoicism in the same way we swim in modernism and post-modernism today. So John uses this concept, the concept of the λόγος, to essentially say that Jesus Christ is that λόγος, that "ultimate reason," that "soul of the universe" that has always existed and made flesh. He does this to essentially contextualize the gospel to their worldview and speak in language they understand. Some might even say he is attempting to affirm that the way they conceptualize "ultimate reality" speaks to an even higher truth that has been revealed in the form of Jesus.

So yea! Over the years the phrase "The Word" has entered the many forms of "Christianeese" terminology that Christians use without thinking. Hope this makes sense. Hope y'all are well!

- Raph

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2664 by ringo, posted 08-29-2020 12:16 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2666 by jar, posted 08-30-2020 7:22 AM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 2673 by ringo, posted 08-30-2020 3:23 PM Raphael has not yet responded

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Message 2693 of 2747 (885039)
03-19-2021 8:15 PM
Reply to: Message 2688 by Stile
01-05-2021 12:40 PM

Re: Einstein's God of Spinoza
Hola friends been awhile. Thought I'd pop in here and join the conversation.

Stile writes:

If God is pure love... then Love is God. And we know Love exists, most of us experience (at least parts of) it every day.
And if we know Love is there, and understand Love - there's no need for God, because they're the same thing.

It sounds to me Stile like you believe in God a lot more than you think you do . What you're saying is really similar to the Apostle John in 1 John, where he writes,

1 John 4:7 writes:

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God."

Sounds like the scriptures agree with you more than you realize

If they're not the same... if some part of God is not Love... then that part of God isn't worthy of following/understanding anyway.

And, again, we come down to: understand, follow and fill your life with Love. No mention or understanding or following of God is necessary.

This is interesting reasoning to me. I want to understand it better haha.

If love has a being, why wouldn't I want to follow it/him/her/they? If a Divine Being exists, and it embodies love, why wouldn't we want more of it in our life? Your reasoning here seems to be throwing away one specific outcome because you have rejected it ahead of time, not because you don't find it compelling. Or maybe I'm misinterpreting you and if so I apologize!

Much love friends (even you Ringo! lolol),


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2688 by Stile, posted 01-05-2021 12:40 PM Stile has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2694 by AZPaul3, posted 03-19-2021 8:50 PM Raphael has responded
 Message 2699 by ringo, posted 03-20-2021 12:28 PM Raphael has responded
 Message 2702 by AnswersInGenitals, posted 03-20-2021 5:08 PM Raphael has not yet responded

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 2695 of 2747 (885041)
03-19-2021 9:39 PM
Reply to: Message 2694 by AZPaul3
03-19-2021 8:50 PM

Re: Einstein's God of Spinoza
Yo Paul, been awhile since we went back and forth lol. Hope life is treating you well these days.

AZPaul3 writes:

Except with your divine being we also get the lake of fire. With Stile's Almost-God we get nice with more nice.

Seems like you're assuming a whole lot about "my" divine being . But, at the risk of taking the bait, "nice" isn't good enough. A "nice" God would be an impotent one. A God who has a priority of ending evil in the universe, and does so with fire would be much more worth believing in, imo.

...I wonder how you will respond to this


Edit: Spelling yikes! lol

Edited by Raphael, : No reason given.

Edited by Raphael, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2694 by AZPaul3, posted 03-19-2021 8:50 PM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2696 by AZPaul3, posted 03-19-2021 10:58 PM Raphael has responded

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 2697 of 2747 (885043)
03-20-2021 7:17 AM
Reply to: Message 2696 by AZPaul3
03-19-2021 10:58 PM

Re: Einstein's God of Spinoza
Appreciate the response and I think I understand better now!

AzPaul3 writes:

No, no, not any of the abrahamic gods. Those guys really love their fire. The problem I have is your good god who has a priority of ending evil is the one who created, spread and exacerbated evil to begin with. Unfortunately, image rehabilitation at this late date doesn't work.

In response, all love man, but your entire approach to this conversation is pretty intellectually arrogant. Haha. You’re doing a lot of assuming about my positions on things.

What I gather from your words is you’ve narrowed in on - or perhaps you were taught and have since rejected - one specific hermeneutic and then used that hermeneutic to come to very specific conclusions that you have airtight ways to disprove.

The issue is, there are a multiplicity of hermeneutics used to interpret scripture and I don’t really fit within the walls you’ve built for me. In fact, I’m more apt to agree with you and reject that kind of god too! You speak of “the Abrahamic religions” as if there is a single universally agreed upon systematic understanding in even one of those camps; that’s a pretty reductionist attitude imo. Real scholars take the time to understand the actual arguments of their contemporaries, so they can have an informed dialogue.

So in light of the above, I am rejecting all your conclusions and question your interpretive work. I am outside the box you have created for me and don’t claim to believe any of the things you are assuming I do

But I tilt at windmills. Your gods aren't real, Ralph. I can't really complain about a ghost that is only in someone else's head.

I mean, I hear and value your belief that my “gods” aren’t real. But it’s certainly not something any of us can demonstrably prove, right? Haha. (This is kind of bait-y but I’m gonna roll with it I think )


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2696 by AZPaul3, posted 03-19-2021 10:58 PM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2698 by AZPaul3, posted 03-20-2021 11:51 AM Raphael has responded

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 2705 of 2747 (885066)
03-21-2021 1:29 AM
Reply to: Message 2698 by AZPaul3
03-20-2021 11:51 AM

Re: You The Man
AZPaul3 writes:

It is indeed. And with justification. You all are selling a product. You want me to buy into it. What you see as arrogance I see as due diligence in questioning the product as well as the seller.

I mean fair. There have been many trying to "sell a product," here on evc and all throughout history. In earlier years I myself have probably done the same haha (avoid my posts from 10 years ago here at all costs lol). But that's not really where im at personally. Frankly, I'm more interested in understanding your perspective more than anything else. I ascribe to be more of a listener these days. I hope that is coming across.

Yes, I am. I assume you are religious meaning you believe in something that even you cannot show is really there. I assume this something is seen, by you, as creator of the universe, all that is, seen and unseen, as the mantra goes in this forum. I assume you agree and hold to the biblical Genesis account and that your goal here is to minister to us heathens in order to save our souls from the vengeance of your imagined gods. I assume your creed includes heaven and hell as reward/punishment for levels of devotion shown. I assume you believe Da Book.

You’re a religionist, the intellectual enemy of reality and reason steeped in the majik and emotion of a realm that doesn’t even exist in this universe.

Am I close?

Nope! Haha. I mean for sure, the first couple statements are close. But words are important. I am religious, but just as much as you. You're just religious about different things. I don't think you actually agree with that definition for religion . Not trying to split hairs though. I do believe in a divine being creator God! More specifically, YHWH, the God of the Hebrew scriptures, and not some other philosophical construct or hypothetical god. As for the rest of what you said...nope .

The problem again lies in the fact that you are targeting a very specific hermeneutic, painting with a broad brush and rejecting it wholesale. That's cool with me, because I reject it too (probably, lol, I'd have to ask more questions to fully know). For example, do I "Hold to the Biblical Genesis account?" I guess, but probably not in the way you assume I do. As for my goal here, while I do believe God has revealed Himself to the world in order to lead us to more authentic, healthy, and more joy-filled humanity, and I would love for you to experience it, I'm not really attached to the specific "vengeance-based" system you pointed out. In fact I probably oppose that view as much as you do lol.

Ironically, and I don't think I've really done enough listening to make this claim, but at the risk of assuming myself, you strike me far more as a religionist . You're just religionist about being anti-religion. How interesting! Haha

There is only one box for you to fit in, Ralph. Believer. Religionist. The specifics of your belief system are not important. The box I put you in doesn’t care if you cross yourself from left-to-right or right-to-left or not at all. The reality or not of what you insist we should believe is the only issue here.

But I'm not insisting you believe anything. Haha. You can choose to believe what you'd like. I'm only concerned with any misrepresentation from your end. It's ok to be honest and admit I don't fit within the framework you put me in. There are plenty of believers and religionists in scientific, non-religious and anti-religious circles, just as there are plenty of evidence-based and logical thinkers in what you would call "religious" circles. To not acknowledge this would be pretty naïve imo.

Caution, I’m also a scientist (retired). I know what constitutes evidence and what doesn’t so, please, present hard physical evidence not some wayward syllogisms with faulty logic.

Perfect! So then you already know approaching this conversation with an epistemology bias towards the scientific method doesn't work

If there is something pertinent I am missing in my assumptions about your position then please correct me.

I may seem arrogant but I’m also limiting the discussion to the bare essence. Where have I erred in my assessment that you believe in some kind of god and seek to convince others of its reality? What other positions need to be put forward to discuss that one questionable in your creed – belief? It is the most basic question of this discussion.

This thing really is, for me, that simple. Show us your god. That’s all it takes.

I hear that of course. I'm fine to limit the discussion to the bare essence, I just feel you haven't taken into account that there are a multiplicity of ways to perceive and understand the bare essence, if that makes sense. The proof is that I do not represent the positions you have assumed I do. I agree that faith - "belief" as you say - is essentially my creed. But it is faith attached to a specific story and system, not belief in a vacuum.

Essentially what I'm trying to get across is there are many ways of understanding the ideas you have attacked and dismiss. My hopewould be that there are ways of understanding these issues you would be a lot more comfortable with.

Then why do you pray to this thing?

I suspect why. You’re not going to like it. It’s called acculturation. And the only reality involved in acquiring such a thing is being born and raised in a specific society. You didn't choose your religion, Ralph. Society did.

I actually agree! I have been deeply formed by acculturation to be religious, just as you have been deeply formed by acculturation to be anti-religious. Haha. It goes both ways, friend. I'm comfortable with the unproveable faith gaps in my worldview. How do you feel about yours?

So, yeh, you are all religions and all creeds. In this discussion, you personally, Ralph, are the collective embodiment of every shaman, apologist, preacher and priest throughout all of history. You got big shoes.

I suppose so. But I do not claim to speak for them, I only claim to speak for me. So speak to me, not them

Your god is non-existent. There is no reason to believe.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to defend against that.

I hear and value your belief (faith choice) to not believe in my god . I just don't really think you've done enough diligent work to know who that God is. I don't identify with the expression of fundamentalist religion you have projected on to me. So, in rebuttal, your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to seek to understand, rather than assuming you already do


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2698 by AZPaul3, posted 03-20-2021 11:51 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2707 by AZPaul3, posted 03-21-2021 3:48 AM Raphael has responded

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 2706 of 2747 (885067)
03-21-2021 1:35 AM
Reply to: Message 2699 by ringo
03-20-2021 12:28 PM

Re: Einstein's God of Spinoza
Ringo writes:

Thanks for singling me out. I didn't know I was such a nemesis.

Haha! I jest, in all honesty you're not, though if I recall back in the Dreamcatcher days we had quite a few bouts . Good times!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2699 by ringo, posted 03-20-2021 12:28 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 2721 of 2747 (885170)
03-25-2021 9:55 PM
Reply to: Message 2707 by AZPaul3
03-21-2021 3:48 AM

Re: You The Man
Apologies on my slow response time friends, middle of seminary midterms for me so a bit swamped haha.

Phat writes:

*Tags raph.* I'll step in the ring for a moment, Raph. Go have a Gatorade...or some Holy Water.

Haha, appreciate you, Phat my friend! Though these days I'm a bit more partial to La Croix

AZPaul3 writes:

Everything else involved in a specific creed is not important.

You believe.

You believe in the god of Genesis. Yet, you don't believe in the full narrative of the Genesis account. Interesting. But not now.

You are not wrong! I do believe. Words are important though. I do believe in the full Genesis account Just...perhaps not in the way you might assume I do. A piece of my perspective on that question in particular is I don't think the writer(s) of Genesis care(s) about scientific questions. The questions we ask the text are sometimes even more important than the answers....sometimes we get the wrong answers because we are asking the wrong questions

Quite the contrary, the scientific method is known as the only method that does work, if by 'work' we mean accurately modeling the reality being examined. My bias is not negotiable. The science rules.

Well all due respect, but of course your bias is negotiable, as is any bias. The assumption that the scientific method is the only arbiter for how knowledge about truth is gained (epistemology) is an unproveable faith claim. I honor and value your belief that it is, but it is a belief. Where did you find this faith claim, and what objective knower of Truth verified it? Until those questions are verified I will question your bias just as you question mine

The bare essence, to me, is the fact that you believe in a supernatural being, specifically YHWH. You believe this being is actual, real, has influence over this universe, has worked his special will on this universe, with a special interest in Earth and a tribe of violent destructive people in the Levant.

Despite my political comments is this pretty much correct?

Have we filled in the vacuum?

Mostly, yes! Though I may add a couple nuances. It seems to me you are wanting to isolate and debate about the "what," ("you believe in a god") and what I am saying is, the "why" and even the "how" are equally as important and cannot be separated from the whole. So, why I believe, and, in particular how believe it, in my view, are connected so deeply to what I believe, that to deal with only the "what" seems too reductionist to me. (LOL tbh this paragraph is a bit of a tongue twister )

I understand that. That's why we narrow the target, eh the subject, to the most basic concept reasonable. The only idea I wish to attack and dismiss is this concept of belief.

Ah I understand now! And so to reiterate what is above, in response, I feel that to attempt to attack and dismiss the idea of belief without taking any consideration as to what is believed and how it is carried is too limited to come to an accurate conclusion.

It would be like dismissing all donuts because you only ever had an apple fritter and hated it, and then assumed all donuts must be the same. You've never even had a bearclaw!

Thank you, but I am quite comfortable with my understanding of things.

I respect and hear where you're at. I feel a similar way! I'm glad we can talk about this though!

I hate 'em. That's why I'm a scientist. Gotta fill those holes. Problem is every time we fill a hole, new ones open up. It's a never ending cycle of endless hole filling. Endless learning. And god I do love it so, like the smell of cordite in the morning.

Haha. I can see where you're coming from and that the process is valuable to you. I am with you on the endless learning, I feel the exact same way. I think that is perhaps part of why I am a person of faith. I am far too skeptical and interested in the "holes" to accept that we know all there is to be known. What if we are operating with only 1% of knowable information? We have no way of knowing. So I am with you man!

So now you're going to tell me how special your god is over all the others.

You realize that's been beat to death, right? Hardly seems to matter. They are all pretty much the same. Other than for different hair styles, fancy dress, various numbers of arms, hands, faces, they're all pretty much the same.

But, before I ask my major question, you seem to have some issues you feel need addressing. Please do.

No issues, really! Just enjoying the conversation tbh. But I do recognize the argument I am presenting is a common one....in part. I feel I have perhaps beaten to death my point in my responses already haha. But at the risk of doing so again, I think if I were to attempt to synthesize it all it would be: I perceive that you reject a pretty specific conceptualization of faith. Perhaps I'm wrong about this, but the more you share the more I am convinced it is so. Statements like this indicate this to me:

First create evil, suffering, anguish and death, let them fester for millennia then claim to be The Warrior Against Evil. The cheek.


your goal here is to minister to us heathens in order to save our souls from the vengeance of your imagined gods

From these quotes I can see you reject some pretty specific theological systems and ways of interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures. You reject the idea that God created evil/suffering/anguish/death and then claims to be the warrior against those things. You reject the idea that God comes with punitive vengeance and as a Christian my goal is to save you from this paradox.

In response, I also reject those ideas In fact I think these ideas are the opposite of what the whole thing teaches. What say ye?

Oh! And what is your major question?? I'm ready

- Raph

Edited by Raphael, : Some grammar/spelling issues lol

Edited by Raphael, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2707 by AZPaul3, posted 03-21-2021 3:48 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2722 by AZPaul3, posted 03-26-2021 12:29 AM Raphael has responded

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 2724 of 2747 (885249)
03-29-2021 10:35 PM
Reply to: Message 2722 by AZPaul3
03-26-2021 12:29 AM

Re: You The Man
AZPaul3 writes:

This is going to be difficult to explain. I don’t think you can wrap your head around the concept. You are so steeped in belief you cannot imagine a philosophy that eschews such a thing.

Nah that makes a lot of sense! Though I am a person of faith I have not always been, so I understand personally and grasp intellectually alternate philosophies/worldviews. I like to live life with a healthy intellectual openness, never assuming I have all the answers. Rather, respectfully, I get the sense it is you that approach science with the type of dogmatism you seem to be projecting onto me

I cannot accept a belief statement. I need the science to accept and approve such a statement.

But you already accept a belief statement. Haha. You believe the scientific method is the only path to knowing truth. That is not provable or testable and so, a belief statement.

You have already tried to argue that science is a belief system on par with your made up religious bs. As I’ve already said to Phat in another thread the difference in efficacy has been established and recognized for quite some time, now. I'm afraid it's well past time to think anyone here could effectively challenge the conclusion already reached that science is the superior ontology. Belief-based systems have no efficacy since they have no reality.

Interesting. Is science a superior ontology? How is such a thing determined? When was this decided? By what objective source was this determined? You claim belief-based systems are not based in reality, but you can't possibly know this for certain. In reality, you believe, by faith, for this to be the case.

I look forward to seeing your evidence of this conjecture. Show us these other arbiters of knowledge. Show us their fruits. Show us the reality they reflect and model. We will determine their worth.

Hmm I could, I have done before here in other threads, however I don't know that you would find compelling the evidence I would present . I'll say this though; Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz gifted us with a great many things and their influence on epistemology was one of them. The thinkers of the Enlightenment prioritized reason - and eventually the scientific method - above all things. In part this was for good reason, the West moved largely away from superstition and towards an evidence-based approach to understanding reality. This is great! However in the process of it all the thinkers totally abandoned any other way of discerning reality. Again, I admit there were good reasons for this, the evidence led us in a direction and so much unfounded superstition leads to chaos. However, the decision to prioritize reason above all other things as the epistemological tool is merely that, a decision, a faith choice.

So nowadays we are now left with a paradox. The scientific method is a method used to test things. And yet scientists who hold to a more strict scientism (as I perceive you to be) are not open to testing the test or even considering other epistemological tools.

In summary, I think I am more skeptical than you I am skeptical of any person who claims to have a process with a monopoly on truth discernment, religious or non-religious alike. Perhaps you are surprised to hear this from me , but nobody really knows anything about anything. Rather, all is faith. Therefore, the question is, in what will you put your faith?

We don’t believe anything.

But of course you do! You enter into your entire process with an epistemology bias towards a certain process (the scientific method). What if there are truths untestable by that process? (I would argue there are). How might you go about testing whether or not we are living in a simulation by an unobservable entity? How would you test whether or not you love your mother, or even if love exists at all?

There is no objective knower of truth.

I might beg to differ The Scriptures contend that Truth is actually a person, that Truth is aware of you and has an agenda: your freedom, healing and joy. But also that Truth is wild and totally free. For all intents and purposes though, I actually agree! I might modify your statement from my perspective though, to "Any objective knower of truth is not testable or controllable by the scientific method."

My opinion, your opinion, my interpretation, your interpretation mean nothing. The science is tentatively what the chorus of the discipline says it is today with provision to change with new data tomorrow.

I am on board with this, or at least the spirit of it. A healthy skepticism to absolute certainty is healthy, imo. I just think it is important to be honest about the places where we only believe things by faith. I have been honest about mine, and yet you seem reluctant to... That's ok, but I am interested in why certainty is so valuable to you? You say you are a scientist, and yet I sense a refusal to be skeptical about your foundational presuppositions.

Just so there is no misunderstanding, I intend to bias everything with the science. Everything.

If you make a statement without evidence I will challenge its reality, as you should me.

Interesting. Well that is fine, haha, as long as you know it is a bias based on an unproveable faith claim and is not actually objective or necessarily true .

To your second statement here, while I am a person of belief I am a person of evidence. I go where the evidence leads. Contrary to popular belief, faith is based on evidence. However, not all true things are testable, and not all testable things are true.

For clarity, what I am saying is I agree we should question truth claims without evidence, and so that is exactly what I am doing when you claim science is an objective lens for discerning truth

Who could hate an apple fritter? I’ll take both that and the bearclaw.

Nice! If nothing else is said in this discussion, let it be known that this is all I need to call someone a friend. Donuts rule

No, you don’t see. You haven’t fathomed the depth of the rejection of all things belief-based. I do not reject some specific theological systems. I reject them all. I am not just atheist I am anti-theist.

Ah gotcha. You're right, I did not grasp the depth of your rejection. I'm curious to understand, why are you anti-theist? Surely a scientist would acknowledge there are unknowable things about the universe and take more of an agnostic stance, no?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2722 by AZPaul3, posted 03-26-2021 12:29 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2726 by nwr, posted 03-30-2021 11:26 AM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 2730 by AZPaul3, posted 03-31-2021 2:49 AM Raphael has responded
 Message 2731 by AZPaul3, posted 03-31-2021 2:53 AM Raphael has responded
 Message 2732 by Percy, posted 03-31-2021 11:55 AM Raphael has responded

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 2733 of 2747 (885276)
03-31-2021 8:02 PM
Reply to: Message 2732 by Percy
03-31-2021 11:55 AM

Re: You The Man
Percy writes:

I haven't read ahead in the thread and so may be replying to some of the same arguments as others, but they were too ostentatiously wrong to ignore.

Haha, well it is always an honor when Percy jumps into the fray. It seems I have summoned the Grand Wizard himself, or perhaps Anti-Wizard? lol.

I'm putting this here as a placeholder. You both have provided really thorough responses and I want to take the proper time and care to respond, all amidst grad work. Apologies if it is a day or so before I can throw it down!

Until then,

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2732 by Percy, posted 03-31-2021 11:55 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 2734 of 2747 (885290)
04-01-2021 11:10 PM
Reply to: Message 2730 by AZPaul3
03-31-2021 2:49 AM

Re: You The Man
Response 2 AZPaul Part 1 (Part 2 to come!)

Unless you want to argue against the reality of history there is no doubt that the pursuit of evidence and the refinement of science, still ongoing, is what spurred the explosive growth in our human knowledge base and understanding of the universe.

I must clarify and say: I am not anti-science. Science has bettered our lives in a plethora of ways over the past 300 years in particular and that progress should be celebrated! We have not solved all the problems yet but what has been done is remarkable. I am not anti-science, I am merely skeptical of any who would claim to elevate the scientific method as the only epistemological process.

AZPaul3 writes:

You aren’t yearning for the 1500s are you, Raph? My understanding is that time wasn’t all that pleasant. They didn’t have bearclaws back then. Worse yet, that was before Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream. It took dedicated scientists working slavishly in test kitchens using all the skills science gave them to conceive and create these wonders of the secular scientific world.

Haha, true! Life would not be the same without donuts and ice cream, a tragedy even! I am grateful for the scientists and science of cooking that allows us to create such awesome things!

They all say pretty much the same thing – science rules. And that stands very high. Unless you can show me a more productive, more accurate and more useful way to model reality, then science is the standard by which ALL else is to be measured.

I have no problem with the voice of our collective experts having consensus on something. Again I'm not against science, in fact usually, in my faith circles, I am an advocate for championing science as a vital part of a wholistic faith. I'd even be willing to say "the science rules" if you were to provide nuance on what the science rules over. I simply believe there are truths untestable by the scientific method. That does not mean I hate the method or even disagree with the way it is used. I simply recognize its limitations.

I read a handful of the link you posted, interesting stuff, though a lot of it was over my head . Equations were never my strongest subject tbh lol. Send me a link with a chapter of the TANAKH to translate from Hebrew to some workable English though, and I'm your guy haha. I found this quote in particular to be interesting:

Realist theories of scientific progress take truth to be an important goal of inquiry. This view is built into the classical definition of knowledge as justified true belief: if science is a knowledge-seeking activity, then it is also a truth-seeking activity.

If we are working from ^this classical epistemological definition, then all knowledge is "justified true belief." The writer above also posits that if the aforementioned is true, science then, is in fact a truth-seeking activity [fundamentally]. You resist this, for some reason. But your contemporaries seem to disagree. I don't have the slightest issue with science being a truth-seeking activity. In fact, I would even advocate it should be one of the primary truth-seeking activities. Just not the only one.

I understand your motivation to obfuscate. If science really is THAT powerful at revealing reality then what chance do emotional delusions, ouija boards or faith have as explanatory frameworks? None. After science there appears nothing in reality that any of these others can discover.

And in turn, I understand your motivation to remain with a scientific dogmatism. If science is only one pathway to knowledge of reality than the certainty you had counted on might be in question. Your unbending argument, ironically, reminds me greatly of conversations I have had with religious fundamentalists. We are more like the other side than we realize

But what a gift it is to experience uncertainty, my friend. What a gift it is to not have to have all the answers. What a gift it is to rest in the mystery.

Tools that actually give accurate results are superior. As far as anyone … anyone … can show the only tools with that demonstrable body of success are ones provided by our science.

I am on board with using tools that actually give accurate results. The Scriptures though, contend that since Truth is totally free it is not a tool, or a process like the scientific method to be controlled. Truth is not beholden to anyone, though Truth loves everyone. (Which, in fact, is the mystery of the gospel.) Truth reveals Himself on His own terms and speaks to people answers to questions outside the scope of what science deals with, the questions we all ask on a fundamental human level. Do you matter? Is love real? Will suffering/war/genocide/child abuse/rape/starvation end? Does justice exist? To all these questions the answer from Truth is "yes."

You matter, Paul. You are sacred and your life and the lives of your family and parents and children are holy and objectively divinely valued. Love is real, and love wins in the end. Suffering and injustice is a human creation, and yet it will come to an end.

The facts we have show that religion fails. Miserably. Prayer, faith, devotional mumbling in an apse somewhere, fails to solve any of these, or any other, problems.

Two things in response. First, really? What does it fail at? Perhaps you are looking to it for the wrong things. Perhaps some religious person even told you to ask it the wrong questions. And so I disagree. I think, as we have said before, words matter. Sometimes we ask the right source the wrong questions. Sometimes we ask the wrong source the right questions. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire is not the place to find the answer to the question "What is the recipe for the perfect cheese cake?" The Boy Who Lived doesn't really care about cheesecake (though I bet Daniel Radclife does! Maybe lol).

In the same way, the Scriptures are not the place to ask "What is the PH of the water in cat urine?" It doesn't care about that question. Same goes with the question "Was the world created in seven literal days?" The book of Genesis, in response, says "I don't care about that question." It has other questions it is answering. It gets to decide what questions it cares about, not you or me. So really, the task for us is to become better discerners of which questions which sources care about, and ask those sources those questions.

This is difficult, because it requires humility and listening and acknowledging...we don't have all the answers. Nobody does.

Second, I think that statement is a pretty clear example of cultural privilege. With respect, but what an incredibly culturally arrogant and Western-centric thing to claim. The majority of people in the world experience the reality of their faiths on a daily basis, in vivid reality, and would tell you so. The fact that you dismiss what they experience as false shows again, your epistemological bias and arrogant preference for the positions of your own tribe - ironically the thing you accuse religious people of. You only have this perspective because of your holding culture, not because of its objective truth. Not trying to slander or name-call, just trying to be direct and honest.

Truth discernment? What is that? Another religious strawman?

Again, I don’t think you science much. You are not familiar enough with its use and limitations.

We may love our equations, theories and mathematics but no one ever confuses evidence, even the strongest evidence, with truth or proof. It’s a philosophy thing. Our creed. A mantra. Everything is tentative. There is no proof. There is no universal truth. There is only evidence and its rational, agreed upon, interpretation.

It seems your own source disagrees with you though. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, their writers define science as "a truth-seeking activity," if truth/knowledge is defined as "justified true belief." I hear you though, I may have misspoke.

So, while science may not be interested in "universal truth," it is certainly interested in the progressive pursuit of understanding more "justifiably true things." If you are willing to concede this, then I agree with it! I am just also arguing that science is axiologically limited. It helps us know true things, just not all of the true things.

No. Objective reality exists and is discernible, and understandable, using our properly functioning senses. Yes, those senses are objectively calibrated by group feedback. Peer review. Mom and dad, friends and colleagues, all telling you it’s there. The chair really is there. Maybe. Try kicking it.

Sure, but you only trust it based on belief, however justified. As I mentioned earlier, you have no way to discern whether this is a simulation or even if you are dreaming currently. You cannot observe your own brain function, and you only have untestable "markers" you assume will tell you you are dreaming. Anyway. Perhaps I spoke too hyperbolically.

Perhaps a statement that more accurately represents my view is: "there are unproveable faith gaps at the foundation of all worldviews and epistemological frameworks." Objective reality may exist, somewhere, but even with the scientific method you have no way of discerning what is is or if this is it. I would be equally skeptical of a religious person claiming to know for certain what objective reality is. However I am not as invested in this path of argumentation tbh haha, this is not really my argument.

Raphael writes:

Therefore, the question is, in what will you put your faith?

AZPaul3 writes:


We agree here! As long as we recognize your view of reality is clearly skewed to favor a specific epistemological framework that you believe, by faith, is able to tell you all the accurate information.

As I said, I don’t think you can conceive of a philosophy without belief. We are not talking a definition of “belief” like opinion or favorite flavor but something much deeper. You seem to need that rote blank unexplainable emotional feeling of surety based on hope. Faith. Belief.

I can conceive of it, I just do not think you recognize the unprovable faith gap beneath your entire framework (as there is within my own). What I am arguing is perhaps deeper than you recognize.

For clarity, I’m arguing that built within the presuppositions of the scientific framework itself is the assumption that the method has all the tools required for gathering information about knowledge. You may rebut this, but you have been dismissing any truths not discovered by this process as “not reality.” Therefore, you are choosing to believe, by faith, whether you realize it or not, that the process has all the epistemological tools required for understanding reality, when, in reality (lol), this is not objectively true.

In rebuttal to your thoughts on faith, faith actually has nothing to do with emotions or feelings. The Scriptures would contend that faith is based (in part) on what it calls revelation; that is, evidence that reveals itself to you without your control. Surely evidence, no matter its source, would be considered by one claiming to be a scientist?

I have actual facts, a demonstrable history, of the success of science modeling reality. You have abandoned your evidence-based lip service for your belief-based foundation. Objective reasoning has not been evident in your words here. It appears as all subjective emotion.Like what? Specifics, please.

Like the answers to the questions above. Science has an epistemological scope that plenty of scientists recognize. This is really the core of my argument. Some truths science does not bother concerning itself with. That's ok, because the field of Faith does have answer for the deeper, more mystical, fundamentally human questions we all ask.

My departed mommy said she loved me. I felt that. I knew the emotion. In the context of my humanity that emotion was real. The chemical stew that is me really had the feels. That feeling is a fact. It is an evident part of my reality. And by observation I see/hear/read the same emotion in others. Emotions are demonstrable products of human existence. Love exists.

I’m sorry to hear about your mom. Don’t know what I would do.

On a lighter note, look who is basing reality on fleeting emotions now Emotions are demonstrable products of human existence, I am in agreement there. "Oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin in response to physical stimuli" may equate to "human connection" but that's really as far as you could go. This is because science does not care about the questions "is love real?" or "does love matter?" Science does not have the tools to answer these questions. This is the limit of using "the method" as your only epistemological tool. What about those who do not experience this chemical reaction, but still claim to love? Or those impaired by mental illness and chemical imbalances like depression or multiple-personalities. Is their love objectively false?

Better living through chemistry.

You type this, but I am willing to bet you do not live like it. In reality, you live in deep connection and love with people you are close to, and you care about them, without stopping to reduce your own emotions into chemistry. In this sense, your ideas and the reality of the way (I am again willing to bet) you live your life are in dissonance. In reality, connection matters, love matters, and you matter, and you live as if all are true.

Continued in part 2 tomorrow!

Edited by Raphael, : Cleanup, grammar, some code issues, formatting

Edited by Raphael, : More cleanup, I missed a few!

Edited by Raphael, : One final edit for finishing touches (yes I’m a bit of a perfectionist whose asking? lol

Edited by Raphael, : Finally done

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2730 by AZPaul3, posted 03-31-2021 2:49 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2735 by PaulK, posted 04-02-2021 5:46 AM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 2736 by AZPaul3, posted 04-02-2021 12:50 PM Raphael has not yet responded
 Message 2737 by Percy, posted 04-02-2021 4:48 PM Raphael has responded
 Message 2738 by AZPaul3, posted 04-08-2021 6:06 PM Raphael has responded

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 2739 of 2747 (885376)
04-08-2021 8:49 PM
Reply to: Message 2731 by AZPaul3
03-31-2021 2:53 AM

Re: You The Man
Response to AZPaul3, Part 2!

And what evidence do you have for this? The bible? Sounds like a statement of faith to me.

Well, yeah. But I've already admitted it is a faith statement, lol.

Can you show your objective knower of truth actually exists, has power and knowledge, and lives in a golden palace in the sky, hates humans but likes putting his children’s pictures on burnt toast? Can you show this? Can you show any part of it? Ok, I’m just being an ass. I’m gonna go get a glass of wine.

How can I, though, when you will reject any evidence that does not fit your favored epistemological framework? Also, again, sometimes we do not get the right answers because we're asking the wrong questions. Things of the Spirit are Spiritually discerned. I can't show you anything. There is no process or formula or methodology I can control. But if you are open to revelation-evidence (subjective, of course) and willing to seek with an open mind, YHWH, through the Ancient Prophet Jeremiah, says,

"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord..." - Jeremiah 29:13-14

I don't think you're being an ass. Though I'm more of a beer guy, myself I think you have probably interacted with religious people selling something completely contradictory to what the Scriptures are even about. The kind of Christianity or religion that spouts ideas about a god existing who hates humans but likes putting kids faces on burnt toast is something I'd also reject as bullshit, frankly. Lol.

What good is a tool that explains everything by explaining nothing? A faith, a belief, can center on anything. The only rules are the creeds of the cults and they are so hopelessly in conflict. Anything, absolutely anything, your heart desires, true or not, actual or not, can be your belief. It’s worthless.

It is interesting to me that this is how you view faith. I'm frustrated that someone perhaps introduced you to a kind of faith that "explains everything by explaining nothing." My faith doesn't work in such a way. Rather than explaining "everything," we find the Scriptures explains someone, namely, YHWH. A God, yes, but a person, with a character and personality and emotions and agency and hopes and goals.

I'll concede, though, that many religious people over the years have probably tried to make the Scriptures be an "explains everything" sort of tool, when that's not what they are at all. "A faith" can center on anything, but healthy believers recognize the Scriptures have a clear agenda, and certain beliefs do not fit within that scope. If, for example, I want to believe Gimli from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is an elf, rather than a dwarf, I'm free to believe that, but any avid fan or reader of the series would know this is not only incorrect but such a core part of Gimli's character, to change it would change almost everything about him. Such is the same with the Scriptures. Different cults and fringe groups may believe something, but that does in no way make their warped beliefs representative of the community at large, nor are those fringe beliefs representative of the source material.

Science gives us actual, demonstrable, repeatable, deep understanding of reality. Belief gives us 9/11.

I do not disagree with this, really. I'd only add the caveat that I think this is very black and white thinking. Secular, anti-religious regimes have accounted for just as much violence and death in world history as religious. This is pretty well documented, but I don't think this is what you're even arguing.

Btw, what do you believe on aliens? Almond eyes or slits?

I believe in aliens for sure! Their eye shape is probably unknowable though lol. or maybe this is a reference to something Im not aware of?

The questions about the power and efficacy of science have been answered and those answers keep coming in book loads of new understand every day. I no longer need to be question my table saw. It is my tool. There is no other toolbox available. At least not one that can actually do anything.

I don't think we really disagree about what maybe you think we disagree about. I'm not anti-science, as you are anti-theist. I think the scientific method is a great epistemological tool, even the best one we've created. I listen to, and courage other people of faith to listen to scientists on issues of the environment, gender, healthcare, pandemics, vaccines, and all sorts of other issues. I do not know that I am even arguing an alternative epistemological process.

To bring it all the way back to the name of this entire thread, and where I perceive we disagree really, is this: I reject your assertion "you know that God does not exist." I reject it because you have no way of knowing whether your tools can measure the Divine/Supernatural (even less so for the specific God of the Scriptures). Maybe your table saw works great! But a table saw cannot be used with emotions, or logic, or love. Meaning, your tool, (that I agree works for measuring reality), simply cannot measure what you want it to measure. It can't.

Rather, you, yourself, are a person of faith - a believer. LOL. You believe, by faith, that if a God existed your tools would be sufficient to account for him. But that is an infinitely large assumption and totally unknowable. So, what I am saying is, I reject your assertion because it is a truth claim without evidence, and ironically, fairly dogmatic, and dare I even say "religious." I have enjoyed this debate, and am down to continue, however the reason I have made no truth claims, nor have I provided an alternative epistemology is because the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate how you are able to know an unknowable and untestable thing.

The superiority of science to model reality IS unprovable. We don’t do proof.

Neither do persons of faith, so we are in agreement. And yet you have claimed you know God does not exist. That you can prove it. Seems like a contradiction to me. Can't have the best of both worlds, my man.

Nothing is true, only evidenced.

This is one of the few things I've seen from you that I totally agree with We're on the same page here

Because theology has been an intellectual chain of slavery to the human mind and a violent, bloody, war culture in every society.

Sure, I don't even disagree. As long as you also agree totally anti-religious groups and governments have committed as much violence throughout history, especially in the 20-21st centuries. Here's a Wiki (admittedly non scholarly, low on time) source about the 7-20 million people murdered by Stalin's regime in secular Russia. Should we abolish anti-religion? Violence is less of a religion problem, as it is a human one, it seems.

I think the issue I hear in talking with you this far is you have a very black and white view of the world. You buy into the fallacy that "x things/people group/method is good" while "x other thing/group/method is bad." But life is a lot more nuanced.

The wild-assed speculations, like your supernatural superstitions, have nothing in reality that holds them up as intellectually, let alone physically, viable. It’s not an “I don’t know” thing. It’s a “this is worthless” thing. There is no knowledge there to contemplate. There is no knowledge there to be agnostic about.

I'm sorry you feel that way man. This explains a lot. You view faith as worthless. I don't really have anything to offer to change your mind. I don't really know if I care to do such a thing. I value you and your right to feel this way though. I'm sorry no religious person in your life ever presented it in such a way that you could see the richness faith adds to life. Perhaps that comes off as patronizing, I hope not. I'm sorry man. I think that's all I'll say here.

So. You believe. Why?

Haha, well as you have seen, it seems to be a pattern that whenever I engage in lines of argumentation like this, many come out of the woodwork, so to speak. Guys like PaulK and I have had our time in the fire in the past Now we even see Percy join the fray!

To answer your question frankly, it has been my experience that the anti-religious community at EvC is completely shut off and not really open to any answers I could provide to this question. I've been on EvC nearly as long as you man, since I was in high school in fact (I'm finishing a Masters degree currently) and this is a pretty consistent pattern I've seen here. I have always been the one willing to totally doubt my entire worldview and presuppositions, totally open to shifting my views and even, as I have done here, admit when I'm getting ahead of myself or even agree with you! I've never really seen that reciprocated. That's ok, but it doesn't really lead to any productive discussion that goes anywhere interesting , just more of the same. At this point in my life and higher education work I'm not really insecure about my faith, I know where the gaps are, and I know where the evidence is, and im comfortable with both. Because of this I experience a pretty healthy level of openness to totally alternate ideas. Anyway. I'd be down in maybe a PM to chat more though if you are actually interested!

I'll leave this thought to end. And of course this is an oversimplification. Why did you believe your mother loved you? You might've been able to hook her up and demonstrate oxytocin was released in her brain when she cared for you. But in your real life, in the way you actually live, in reality, you didn't and don't need all of that. You believe it because you saw it to be true. You saw the evidence. Something in you resonated with that evidence, something deeply human. And that was enough. I am the same.

All love,

Edited by Raphael, : Some grammar issues as usual lol

Edited by Raphael, : found an incomplete sentence

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2731 by AZPaul3, posted 03-31-2021 2:53 AM AZPaul3 has acknowledged this reply

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 2740 of 2747 (885377)
04-08-2021 11:46 PM
Reply to: Message 2737 by Percy
04-02-2021 4:48 PM

Re: You The Man
Hello Percy I'm going to sort of condense this since there is so much to respond to here.

Percy writes:

What do you mean by epistemology? Knowledge about God and the disposition of souls? Or knowledge about the real world? If the latter then if you have a meaningful alternative to the scientific method please tell us what it is.

By epistemology I mainly mean "a process by which knowledge is shown to be justified."

As I mentioned to AZPaul though, I am not arguing an alternative method. He made a truth claim, ("I know God does not exist") and I rebut it under the grounds that he has no evidence for such a claim.

What are these truths that you speak of? Are these objective truths, i.e., the same truth for everyone, or does this truth vary from one person to the next?

Most are objective, like the truth that you, Percy, are infinitely valuable and your life is sacred. Or the expanded version of that, that the lives and humanity of all people are intrinsically sacred and valuable. Or the truth that rape is evil. And the expanded version of that, that all injustice, oppression, and abuse is evil and ought to be fought against. Science does not have the tools to tell us these things. Nor should it, its for other things, as you have already said.

Do you have any limitations in mind beyond being limited to the real world?

Yes. And I must emphasize to you as well. I am not anti-science as AZPaul is anti-theist. I believe science, trust science, and use science all the time. But it is limited, it would be naïve to not recognize this. Science cannot test the supernatural. This is why I disagree with AZPaul's claim that he "knows God does not exist."

Scripture is revealed knowledge, not a method of gaining knowledge. If all you're saying is that science shouldn't be applied to religious questions then I think most of us would agree with you. You should be telling the creationists not to apply science to the Bible, not us.

I think that's pretty much all I'm arguing, so seems like we're in agreement! However, frankly I don't think AZPaul takes your same position. And I agree! I have zero interest in applying science to the Bible. At least not in the typical creationist way of it.

You don't have an epistemological framework, at least not one you've described for us yet.

I don't need to establish one, since it is AZPaul that made a truth claim. Therefore the burden of proof is on him. I am merely trying to demonstrate that the scientific method is axiologically limited. You seem to agree with this. I don't think he does though. Lol

No one has said anything like this. Rebuttal requires a bit more than making up stories about what other people believe.

He doesn't need to say it for me to observe his language, and using that language as evidence, draw tentative conclusions about them. Maintaining that science is the only place knowledge about the universe comes from is an unprovable assertion, a faith position. An extremely well evidenced faith position, but a faith position nonetheless.

Now scripture is evidence? Which scripture? Can I guess which one? What is the method by which the veracity of scripture on topics like God and angels and souls and heaven has been demonstrated? Isn't the true situation that scripture has a wide range of interpretations, not a single objective truth?

I mean its not a mystery which ones I believe and advocate for, I've been around here a long time. Lol. Anyway, yes, why wouldn't divine revelation be evidence? If the supernatural existed, and revealed itself, if we are going to follow the evidence, if we are actually interested in reality, why wouldn't we follow that evidence?

To your other questions, on the issue of the veracity of the topics you mentioned within scripture, most scholars use (and have used for hundreds of years) similar if not the same hermeneutical tools to determine what is central/core and what is peripheral for orthodox Christianity. Think if it as a circle with another circle within. This works within each area of study. The topic of "God," also known as "Theology" is massive, but there are some things all orthodox scholars agree on. God exists, and exists in trinitarian form is one of those things. The topic of angels would be fairly peripheral, since it is not core to orthodoxy, so there is a pretty large spectrum of belief on the topic.

To not get lost in the weeds and get at what I think you're asking, yes, there are a wide range of interpretations of certain things within Scripture. But on others, there is a very narrow range. Virtually all orthodox scholars agree on the narrow stuff.

Edited by Raphael, : couple fixes, couple adds

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2737 by Percy, posted 04-02-2021 4:48 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2742 by Percy, posted 04-09-2021 6:13 PM Raphael has responded

Posts: 150
Joined: 09-29-2007
Member Rating: 3.6

Message 2741 of 2747 (885378)
04-09-2021 12:42 AM
Reply to: Message 2738 by AZPaul3
04-08-2021 6:06 PM

Re: You The Man
I'm gonna also respond to this since I'm trying to get caught up tonight, though I may have to condense this as well, maybe I'll consider it as an extension of my last reply.

Hmm. Reasonable. If we can lose the faith part but keep the holistic physics we may have something here.

Haha, I should have expected this

Sorry. Science doesn’t do truth. Truth is absolute. That doesn’t play well in this relativistic universe.

Seems like we agree here!

You guys do truth, and when you find you need to change, you can’t. You’re stuck with the old sacred universal TRVTH that is not of this world and cannot ever change until there is a schism and then you guys go to war and it really is a mess. Stay away from the concept of absolute truth. It’s evil. It causes good people to make war.

I don't dispute the history. But there are plenty of religious people, and people right now in the Christian tribe who are not only nothing like what you have described but oppose it probably more than you do.

No, Raph, science doesn’t control truth. Not even your god (dressed up as the truth) can control truth. Truth does not exist. I could be an ass, Raph, but, not now. I’ll just say that whatever your scriptures say … doesn’t hold a lot of weight, as in any, in this universe.

Excluding the first one, I respect your freedom to make these faith statements. I won't think you're an ass, no matter how honest or blunt you are. I mean unless you insult my mom, I guess? lol. This is a debate between gentlemen! I am honored to engage.

Where science itself does control (or should control except we’re human and mostly stupid) is when it’s time to do something. Anything. Which path to take? What options to choose? Science will show the way.

I don't agree. I think science can tell us a great deal of information that can help us make informed decisions. I think it is an absolutely crucial part of life and decision making. But it is axiologically limited. Science helped us develop nuclear weapons. But science does not ask the question, "should these be used?" "How should these be used? "Why or why not?" These are ethical questions. And beneath the ethics are moral assumptions. Is human life inherently valuable? Why? Who decided?

If justice is being extracted for the original sin of having been born, then no, there is no justice.

Sounds to me like you have rejected a specific hermeneutical framework (that I also oppose) and equated it with my perspective. The more I read from you the more I hear this in your words.

Does justice exist? Ehh … sorta but not so much maybe.

I'm glad for you then, that you live in a world with people of faith who can boldly answer this question, "yes!" and pursue it in the real world. Who knows where we'd be with a society of "maybe justice exists" police officers.

That’s all so nice, but your bibles and your histories paint a much more violent, bloody and evil picture than this.

I think you are again inserting a specific hermeneutical perspective about those stories I probably disagree with, but we'll go with it. Sure, but so does history in general. The list of peoples murdered in the name of no God stack up just as high. Science hasn't seemed to solve this problem. Now what?

Not according to your bible. Do I need to quote scripture at you? Your god states pretty plainly he made evil. And in his actions he uses his evil to cause suffering and injustice. He says so right in the book.

Go for it, just know that I read those scriptures in the original language, and I don't think they are saying what you think they are saying. I've responded to that specific verse here before, though not sure where in the archives it is lol.

Really, what I hear, is again that you either 1. Were given or 2. Developed on your own a specific hermeneutical framework about the Scriptures, and then rejected the ideas based on that framework. The issue is there are plenty of other frameworks, and not all are created equal. Now is my turn to say: I'm not trying to be arrogant or an ass myself. Just trying to make it clear that what you have, over and over again assumed as the positions of the scriptures come from many assumptions that most serious scholars dismiss as fringe and untrue.

Again, you just can’t see anything without invoking belief. Despite your most fervent insistence belief has no warrant here.

I think you are actually the same only about the opposite. You can't see anything unless it is demonstrated by your method. And I don't think I ever said that. My entire position is one of faith (though faith based on evidence), and I freely admit it. My position is all world-views are faith-based, even anti-religious (or religious ) scientism.

Wait? Unprovable? That means there can be no evidence. If you can’t show this faith gap because it’s unprovable how do you know it is there?

I realize now perhaps this language is confusing. My bad there. What I mean is that beneath the scientific method is the belief that the method has all the tools to measure reality. This is an assumption. So, rather than saying "unprovable" I'll just stick with the phrase "faith assumption."

We choose this tool because there is an objective body of facts that details its success in capturing reality. Not faith or belief, Raph, actual fact, actual history.

I don't really dispute any of this, and its the reason why I use science all the time lol. I feel that perhaps I have gotten ahead of myself with all this....I tried to clarify and condense in my last response to you, so I'll try and reiterate here, and maybe condense what I've been trying to get at with all these posts. I am a bit of a verbal processor haha, maybe that is apparant. I had a pretty strong idea I was heading here, but sometimes it takes writing it all out to clarify it even for myself lol. Here we go.

This is my main point in all of this:

1. You claimed you "Know God does not exist." I rebut this claim, and dub it a faith statement because you have no way to test or demonstrate that is is true.

2. The Reason for this: The scientific method has within its foundation a faith assumption that it has all the tools required to test what is real. Its track record is good, however no objective source has verified this (none exists), therefore it is not objectively true.

3. In conclusion, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate how you have come to such a conclusion, which is something you have not done.

Your methods cannot give you any answers at all, can they? If so, how? Show me.

I don't need to, because I did not make a truth claim about something that cannot be known. I have my methods for how I know what I believe is true, but this story is about you, not me So, really, you are the one on trial, not I. Demonstrate how you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God does not exist. Demonstrate how science has killed God. I'm ready.

- Raph

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2738 by AZPaul3, posted 04-08-2021 6:06 PM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2743 by AZPaul3, posted 04-09-2021 6:28 PM Raphael has responded

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