An Atheist who Found God
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04-01-2017, 01:57 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
(04-01-2017 01:28 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  This happens far too often. Never get grocery lists from people on the brink of sleep. Especially when they tell you to check and make sure the lightbulbs are ripe.

Too true- for me, it's at bedtime, when I'm ready to sleep; I will remember little of any conversation. For my wife, if I tell her something first thing in the morning, she will likely have no recollection.
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04-01-2017, 02:02 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
(04-01-2017 01:20 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  
(04-01-2017 11:53 AM)Vosur Wrote:  The crux of the issue is not whether or not you respect him, but why. I respect KC as well, but I do so in spite of his whacky beliefs, not because of them. I find it hard to believe that you differ from me in that regard. Aliza put it nicely in her post when she expressed the sentiment that the reason why KC is respected around here is that he's a good guy and an upstanding citizen rather than that his theology is admirable in some way. Maybe your wording was just ambiguous, but to me it sounded like you were saying that the merits of his theology are the primary reason why we respect him, a notion that is completely at odds with my experience on this forum.

You're right, I've muddled my meaning. I'll meet you half way here. Clearly I don't share KC or Aliza's beliefs, though I am willing to be more tactful about it because, as you say, I respect the individuals. That said, I stand by my earlier statement about respecting their mature and complex worldviews. They are intelligent, aware, and active in a forum that should be fundamentally at odds with their core beliefs. They are not dismissive, seeking validation from us, or trying to convert us like so many grains of rice. They are not our usual Sanday afternoon "god-thus-bible-thus-god-thus-bible-so-you-must-listen-to-Pascal's-Wager-YET-AGAIN-so-I-can-feel-sanctionious-about-trying-to-save-you-from-hell" witless wonders that we so love and cherish. Sorry about the faint praise. No freakiness for me I guess. Weeping

I may belive that their fundamental premises are wrong, but clearly they posess worldviews that are sophisticated enough to not only exist in an otherwise hostile environment without going into a full-blown dissonace tantrum but to also managing to be genuinely decent to us in spite of those fundamental points of disagreement. That is what I have to respect.

Quote:I choose Aliza. Wink

Given Aliza's shameless bribe of freakiness you'd be a fool not to.

Though I'm told that theBorg was seen with a large jar of peanut butter and a box of latex gloves. Hobo
Ha, I think there's an argument to be made that you've got it all backwards. The fact that an outlandish theology can exist in the mind of an otherwise intelligent and capable person does not, in my view, speak to the merits of the theology. If anything, it speaks to that person's remarkable ability to compartmentalize. I'll give you a less muddy example than KC. There's an Old Earth Creationist named Hugh Ross who happens to have a PhD in astrophysics. I watched him debate the YEC Kent Hovind a few years ago and have to admit that he comes across as a very educated, eloquent and intelligent man. Even so, he believes that Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eve existed the way it was described in Genesis. Now, would you say that this belief is 'mature and complex' simply because an intelligent man like him holds it or would you rather say that his ability to compartmentalize such an outlandish belief with everything that he knows as a scientist speaks to his highly developed intellect?

tl;dr version: I think you're giving credit to the belief when you should be giving credit to the believer. Tongue

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04-01-2017, 02:10 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
(04-01-2017 08:41 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(04-01-2017 08:27 AM)Peter Slevon Wrote:  I think that the beliefs of theists and atheists alike should be able to explain and defend them in a reasonable way.

And I believe that my beliefs are personal, and that I don't need to justify them to anyone unless I choose to do so. If someone thinks that I should be able to explain my beliefs in a reasonable way, then I expect that person to first impress me enough that I wish to explain it to them, and to also have a comprehensive Jewish education so they can understand what I'm talking about.

I think you have made that understood before. Even so thank you for what you have explained about your beliefs.
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04-01-2017, 02:14 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
(04-01-2017 12:26 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(04-01-2017 11:40 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  This is precisely why evidence of an event is needed before you believe the claim. If my sole basis for belief is based on my personal experience without any evidence to backup what I have observed, then it's NOT rational to believe what I have seen.

If I can't justify my observation with evidence then my observation of reality isnt consistent with reality, therefore something in my brain isn't functioning in such a way as to allow me to observe reality as close to 100% as is humanly possible.

If I see leprechauns dancing around in the backyard or hear bells that can't be recorded by any device nor heard by anyone else, then it's time for me to see a doctor. Something in my brain isn't functioning the way it should.

My experiences are irrational if I can't justify them with evidence.

If for whatever reason, I might enjoy seeing leprechauns play in the backyard and I understand that it's not real and accept it as a quirk of my brain, then so be it.

What about if you see your spouse, and he or she asks you to pick up milk at the grocery store. It's perfectly rational to believe that this has really occurred, and you don't need to check external evidence for every little thing. But, later, when you come home with milk, your spouse tells you that they never asked you to go the store. In this situation, let's say that there is no external evidence to validate your experience. You don't realize you were drugged, and you don't have a recording of when the encounter with your spouse was to have taken place.

Is it still rational to believe that you had this conversation with your spouse?

Normally I would like you to concede that my points are valid before moving on to a new scenario, but instead I'll respond.

Per the video attached, I make two assumptions about reality.
I assume I exist.
I assume that my senses are sometimes accurate.

In the case of my spouse and I having a conversation and then later having a disagreement on whether or not the conversation took place at all is much different that me seeing leprechauns in the backyard.

1. I assume that I exist
2. I can justify that my spouse exists and that we have conversations.
3. Our memories of events can change over time and are not always 100% accurate.

Now let's compare that to the leprechauns in the backyard.

1. I assume that I exist.
2. I cannot justify the existence of leprechauns.
3. I assume that my senses are sometimes accurate and in this case, they appear to not be accurate.

So the first scenario involves a problem in the accuracy of my senses and the second scenario involves remembering if all the components of a justified scenario (meaning a real spouse, a real conversation and a real me) all happened the way I remembered it or perhaps her memory is in error.

Either way, it is a problem in one of our brains that would demand further study if this situation repeated itself on a more frequent basis.

So, is it rational for me to believe this conversation took place ?
Do I have a good reason to believe that a normal every day conversation took place in which nothing out of the ordinary took place during that conversation ?

Yes, I have an expectation of trust that my senses are sometimes accurate, but I do also have a small amount of doubt that occationally I get things wrong.

Yes, occasionally I get things wrong.

In essence you are asking me if it's rational to believe that all the normal things that happen to me each day, really have happened ?

I would have to answer - Yes
It's only when the strange and odd things that appear to happen for which we have no evidence for, that the question of personal belief based solely on personal experience comes into play.

Does that make sense ?



Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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04-01-2017, 02:25 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
(03-01-2017 12:51 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  
(03-01-2017 11:36 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  By rational I mean he has good reason. Isn't that what rational means?

His belief is irrational because he cannot justify holding the belief. It's not about just having a good reason, it's about having justified reasons. In other words, sound, solid evidence for holding the belief.

He doesn't have a good reason and he acknowledges that. Being aware of when your brain is making bad decisions is a form of self awareness that many people don't possess.
It seems to me that IF you have that self-awareness then you can at least say your deployment of religious ideation is useful (for you). In point of fact every theist I have respect for in a forum like this says their beliefs are based on faith rather than evidence, and that it is meaningful and binding on them and no one else.

It is the ones who claim to know the "Truth" (capital "T" on purpose here) and who claim it is binding on others and that anyone that disagrees with them is "wrong", who are the problem. Even some liberal believers make this claim at least for some things, usually at least for the "my personal god exists" shibboleth, which, if violated, they see as an existential threat.
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04-01-2017, 02:29 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
(04-01-2017 02:02 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Ha, I think there's an argument to be made that you've got it all backwards. The fact that an outlandish theology can exist in the mind of an otherwise intelligent and capable person does not, in my view, speak to the merits of the theology. If anything, it speaks to that person's remarkable ability to compartmentalize.
Precisely.

It is not true that a person is necessarily or usually stupid because they hold unsubstantiated / unsubstantiatable / unjustified beliefs. They have simply succumbed to the same confirmation bias, agency inference, and other perceptual quirks that all humans are heir to. Some of us do better than others (or are more motivated than others) to push back against that, to doubt it, to deny truthiness in favor of actual truth. That is all.
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04-01-2017, 02:37 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
(04-01-2017 08:27 AM)Peter Slevon Wrote:  In nature beauty as we perceive it is governed by two things, as I understand it. Our own genetics and the natural number called the "golden ratio." So there are some absolutes involved.
I would say it is governed by a combination of formative experiences, genetics, and gene expression. "Formative experiences" include the influence of parents / mentors / teachers, the influence of culture, personal experiences of high emotional content that associate certain things with very positive or negative experiences, and the like.

The "golden ratio" is simply an observation that the things many people regard as aesthetically pleasing often have that characteristic, and it is mostly limited to geometrical and architectural shapes so it's far too limited to apply to "beauty" generically. What is a beautiful song or a beautiful concept? Those have nothing to do with the golden ratio and everything to do with personal opinion informed by past experience and your own proclivities and the influence of social reciprocity (you are more likely to consider conforming at least overtly to what others think is pleasing if you fear they will ridicule you for having a divergent opinion).
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04-01-2017, 03:46 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
One can LEARN about somethings, (for example abstract forms or painting, maybe music), and what was once meaningless and meant nothing, can be seen as beautiful.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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04-01-2017, 03:59 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
(04-01-2017 12:24 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(04-01-2017 08:41 AM)Peter Slevon Wrote:  Oh. Are you saying evidence does not need to be believed[to have faith in]?

How could you possibly interpret it that way? Consider Try again. Drinking Beverage
Information does not become one's knowledge unless it is believed.
Quote:
Quote:[I have only personally known the evidence of the 4 moons of Jupiter. Having seen them.]

There is photographic evidence of many more than 4 moons. And of rings, too.
And your evidence that alleged evidence is for real?
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04-01-2017, 04:46 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
(04-01-2017 03:59 PM)Peter Slevon Wrote:  
(04-01-2017 12:24 PM)Chas Wrote:  How could you possibly interpret it that way? Consider Try again. Drinking Beverage
Information does not become one's knowledge unless it is believed.

Now you are just being annoying. Drinking Beverage

Quote:
Quote:There is photographic evidence of many more than 4 moons. And of rings, too.
And your evidence that alleged evidence is for real?

It is a consistent body of information from a source that has a solid track record.

This is about facts, not beliefs.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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