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29-02-2012, 08:55 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(28-02-2012 05:15 PM)TalladegaTom Wrote:  
(28-02-2012 04:58 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Yes. Because that is true.

Great.

Will you accept that religion CAN cause hate?

Yes. Of course.

But... anything can cause hate. For crying out loud, I just saw in the news that someone killed a young rapper in the studio over a piece of candy.

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29-02-2012, 09:11 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(28-02-2012 07:25 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Doesn't sound like you're familiar with, let alone seriously contemplated or considered the implications of Libet's experiment.

I do not wish to fight you on this one or anything, but Libet's experiment is pretty flawed. The method may be kind of appropriate, but his conclusions are pretty stretched.

The human brain is a really cool machine and we still have a long way to go before we properly understand its workings, but does it surprise anybody that it has a "lag" just like any electric device? It works on electric impulses AND it requires chemical influence.

There is no free will required for reflexes like dodging to avoid a projectile or kicking the breaks when something or somebody jumps in front of your car. Still, between your eyes meeting the object and the foot pressing the pedal, a full second of delay occurs. The process is much simpler as it does not go through a judgment sequence and it still has one second of pure hardware delay. Given the number of simultaneous processes involved in the test (watch out for the start and stop signals, decide to press the button and how hard and how many times, observe the shape, color, texture and resistance of the button, ignore feeling watched, try not to make a fool of yourself, watch the clock, try to determine the right time when you think your mind is made, watch the clock again, make a mental entry of that specific time, try to adjust the record because you think you miscalculated), I'm not at all surprised that the delay went as high as 7 seconds sometimes.

I'm going to let go of his method of asking the subject when they think they made the decision. It still adds subjectivity in science which flaws the process, but I care less about that.

Libet may be on to something. If we ever discover ways of manipulating will and finding cures for mental illness, it's certainly important to know when and where and how thoughts start happening. But all he proved was that the machine has a considerable delay AND that decisions require access to some information stored in the unconscious. It's not even that surprising.

Vital processes (like control of the heart muscles) are not subjected to the conscious mind and probably a great deal of mental initiators are also unconscious. However, outside life threatening situations, every initiated action gets filtered by the conscious mind and that IS free will. Conscious mind also acts as an initiator when it decides a logical course of action.

If you scare me pretending to punch me in the face and I end up hitting you when I try to block your mock punch it is not a matter of free will. You can't even get upset at me because you know I had no control over it. Things are completely different if I walk to you and punch you out of the blue. You have every right to be upset and you're completely justified to seek some form of revenge because you know I had plenty of opportunity to prevent myself from doing it.

Libet stretching the conclusion and coming out with: "therefore we don't make the decisions, but some gremlin living in the unconscious" is simply not scientific.

His method is half-scientific, but his experiment isn't.

I'm not sure people like KC understand the implications of believing that people do NOT have free will. I tried to make a point by bullying him and pretending that it's god's decision for me to do so and I suppose that somebody decided for him that I'm an asshole because he's been ignoring me lately.

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it. (Chas)

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29-02-2012, 09:16 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
"They [religions] all make the same mistake. They all take the only real faculty we have that distinguishes us from other primates and from other animals -- the faculty of reason, and the willingness to take any risk that reason demands of us -- and they replace that with the idea that faith is a virtue. If I could change just one thing, it would be to dissociate the idea of faith from virtue, now and for good, and to expose it for what it is: a servile weakness, a refuge in cowardice, and a willingness to follow with credulity, people who are in the highest degree, unscrupulous."
~ Christopher Hitchens 9-7-2010 ~

It's all in your head, because there is no other place it could be.
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29-02-2012, 06:41 PM (This post was last modified: 29-02-2012 10:40 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Ask a Theist!
(29-02-2012 09:11 AM)Malleus Wrote:  
(28-02-2012 07:25 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Doesn't sound like you're familiar with, let alone seriously contemplated or considered the implications of Libet's experiment.

I do not wish to fight you on this one or anything, ...

Understandable, considering that I am on exogenous testosterone and all. Wink

(29-02-2012 09:11 AM)Malleus Wrote:  ... but Libet's experiment is pretty flawed. The method may be kind of appropriate, but his conclusions are pretty stretched.

I WASN'T TALKING TO YOU ASSHOLE! Wink

Seriously though, what's your take on this updated version? But don't respond here, we already got a thread discussing this around here somewhere, I'm gonna go find it and copy your post there for further discussion. There, bumped.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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04-03-2012, 01:23 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(29-02-2012 09:11 AM)Malleus Wrote:  I'm not sure people like KC understand the implications of believing that people do NOT have free will. I tried to make a point by bullying him and pretending that it's god's decision for me to do so and I suppose that somebody decided for him that I'm an asshole because he's been ignoring me lately.

No, I do understand the implications. I really do.

I also accept that all of it is according to His purpose.

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04-03-2012, 06:41 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(04-03-2012 01:23 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(29-02-2012 09:11 AM)Malleus Wrote:  I'm not sure people like KC understand the implications of believing that people do NOT have free will. I tried to make a point by bullying him and pretending that it's god's decision for me to do so and I suppose that somebody decided for him that I'm an asshole because he's been ignoring me lately.

No, I do understand the implications. I really do.

I also accept that all of it is according to His purpose.

Look. God is conveniently difficult to define and describe and he always has a higher branch to climb on when he becomes easy to catch on the lower branches. A perfect plan, however doesn't have the same inconveniences for our discussion.

I have no problem describing at least some of the attributes of a perfect plan and comparing them with this. All this.

A good plan needs to be simple. The fewer steps the better. Now, since the results are different than the starting point, it's impossible to accomplish anything in less than one step. The perfect plan needs exactly ONE step.

A good plan takes the shortest route from the reality before and the one after reaching the goals.

A good plan requires minimal resources.

A good plan solves the problem in the shortest time.

The outcome of a good plan requires minimal input from the user/administrator in order to function.

Since we are talking absolute perfection here, god's plan should have one quick and simple step, it should be made with no resources, in no time and the outcome should be eternal and completely self-sustaining with no input.

Look around you. This is nothing like I described. God's plan is backwards and full of redundancies and waste. It takes a LONG time (most of it wasted on crap), every single part of the plan is ephemeral and it requires permanent maximal input from whoever you think is in control.

All the units involved break, most of them before they are even born and the new ones need at least a quarter of their statistical lifespan to be trained to replace the ones that break. Every unit reproduction is made by wasting billions of viable reproductive cells when all that is really needed is one.

Don't even get me started on Jesus. WTF? God saw Jesus with no purpose so he created a world and the devil and sin and people and then Jesus dies and tadaaa! he has purpose! Really? It's like I look in my cupboard and i see a really nice cleaning cloth. But i have nothing to clean with it. Therefore I build a house, i furnish it, I arrange it and then I engineer chickens from loose chemicals. I will fill the house with the chickens i create. The chickens are going to shit everywhere so i will come with my cool cloth and i will clean it spotless. This way my cloth finally has a purpose and then I can throw it away because it's used. Brilliant!

That's not a perfect plan. That's a 5 year-old playing lego. Somehow they always start from something like the roof antenna. They have no idea what they'll build under it, but that part looks cool, therefore whatever will be built in the end will use that particular piece. Backwards. Just like god's plan. What part of this story doesn't scream "bronze-age brains" at you?

And this plan somehow has has to include fully viable human egg-cells that die for no reason before they start dividing and nobody knows about them so nobody cares. Fully viable fertilized ovules. God needs to get the people to fuck, to make a very specific sperm reach the ovule and then it gets thrown away without influencing anything in any way.

Even I could come up with something better. In fact I could come with a perfect plan that only requires me to have god's powers for a split second. He allegedly spent all eternity with those powers and this is the best he could do?

I'm not applying human standards to anything. I'm applying absolute standards of perfection to this plan and nothing about this world's configuration spells it. It sucks even by human standards.

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it. (Chas)

I would never shake a baby unless the recipe requires it.
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07-03-2012, 06:09 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
This thread has gotten long, and there is a chance that the questions I ask has already been answered (problem lies with the thread being trolled too much, so it's hard to read everything).

But to the questions...

1. You say that the bible is inspired and should not be followed literally?
This contradicts your thoughts of God being perfect. Since according to your beliefs, the bible should be 100% as God wants it, even though it is inspired. As God knew exactly how people would react to His words as there is no free will.

2. You say that infants, children, and mentally handicapped people are elect.
I assume you know how flawed this theory is? It means that the kindest thing to do is taking the lives of children and infants before they have the chance of going to hell, or at the very least mess with their brains making them mentally handicapped when they grow up.

3. You say that people are "elected"?
Does this mean faith is useless for some people? Is this common christian knowledge, or are you following yet another christian "branch"?

4. Roughly how many do you believe will go to heaven/hell in percentages (I know this is difficult to answer though) when they die?
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07-03-2012, 09:09 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(07-03-2012 06:09 AM)Dust Wrote:  This thread has gotten long, and there is a chance that the questions I ask has already been answered (problem lies with the thread being trolled too much, so it's hard to read everything).

But to the questions...

Your first post. Way to jump right in Smile

Quote:1. You say that the bible is inspired and should not be followed literally?
This contradicts your thoughts of God being perfect. Since according to your beliefs, the bible should be 100% as God wants it, even though it is inspired. As God knew exactly how people would react to His words as there is no free will.

No. I did not say that you should not take the Bible literally. I said that the Bible isn't 100% literal. There is a major difference.

There is also a huge difference between inspired and inerrant. God's message is inspired and conveyed exactly how He wanted it in the Bible. Since the Bible isn't a science book, there are some literal inaccuracies based on evolved knowledge of human beings (this is also reconciled by my belief in evolution and that God is a God of order). However, it was also relatively inerrant based on the knowledge of the time. These do not affect the inspired message of God.

Christ spoke in parables while the prophets spoke in visions and dreams. These are not to be taken literally, but no one bats an eye at them. God has many ways of communicating with us. History, theology, and science continually affect whether parts of the Bible are literal or figurative; however, its message stays the same.

Quote:2. You say that infants, children, and mentally handicapped people are elect.
I assume you know how flawed this theory is? It means that the kindest thing to do is taking the lives of children and infants before they have the chance of going to hell, or at the very least mess with their brains making them mentally handicapped when they grow up.

No. You speak as if you have control of God. But, let's assume your analogy is possible. Children that die don't get an automatic pass into heaven. God chose them for salvation. Under your hypothetical situation, the children you kill could either go to heaven or hell.

Again, according to what I believe, all of that is impossible anyway. God chooses salvation, damnation, life, and death for all. There is nothing that you could do that could change His predestined plan.

The biggest disconnect that many people have with what I believe is that they continually try to humanize a situation. Do you understand that your above situation couldn't happen? We as people couldn't choose to just off kids so that they would go to heaven. God's choice is supreme.

Quote:3. You say that people are "elected"?
Does this mean faith is useless for some people? Is this common christian knowledge, or are you following yet another christian "branch"?

No. Faith is necessary for salvation. Faith is a gift from God. The belief in God is empirically impossible to prove; therefore, God gives faith to His elect so that they believe.

You begged a question, and I'll let this slide, but just to let you know - logical fallacies really get under my skin. Your conclusion is false, and you asked a question based on that false conclusion.

Quote:4. Roughly how many do you believe will go to heaven/hell in percentages (I know this is difficult to answer though) when they die?

I honestly have no idea, and I don't think anyone could answer that. God is the only one that knows.

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07-03-2012, 09:50 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
Let's see if this forum allows me to quote the way I want...

(07-03-2012 09:09 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  No. I did not say that you should not take the Bible literally. I said that the Bible isn't 100% literal. There is a major difference.

There is also a huge difference between inspired and inerrant. God's message is inspired and conveyed exactly how He wanted it in the Bible. Since the Bible isn't a science book, there are some literal inaccuracies based on evolved knowledge of human beings (this is also reconciled by my belief in evolution and that God is a God of order). However, it was also relatively inerrant based on the knowledge of the time. These do not affect the inspired message of God.

Belief in Adam and Eve + Evolution? I'm not sure how the bible encourages you to believe in this.

Quote:No. You speak as if you have control of God. But, let's assume your analogy is possible. Children that die don't get an automatic pass into heaven. God chose them for salvation. Under your hypothetical situation, the children you kill could either go to heaven or hell.

Again, according to what I believe, all of that is impossible anyway. God chooses salvation, damnation, life, and death for all. There is nothing that you could do that could change His predestined plan.

You say God chose them for salvation. Yet you say that they can still go to hell? Predestined plan or not, let's say an infant gets killed by a very sick man. What happens to the infant?

Quote:No. Faith is necessary for salvation. Faith is a gift from God. The belief in God is empirically impossible to prove; therefore, God gives faith to His elect so that they believe.

You begged a question, and I'll let this slide, but just to let you know - logical fallacies really get under my skin. Your conclusion is false, and you asked a question based on that false conclusion.

I guess I was unclear on this one, as you didn't answer the questions.
Can you have faith and not be "elect"?
What "branch" of Christianity are you following? Do you believe that your thoughs are the common thoughts of that branch?

Quote:I honestly have no idea, and I don't think anyone could answer that. God is the only one that knows.

Fair enough. Though I assume that you still think the number is fairly low.
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07-03-2012, 10:01 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
@Malleus
You are still applying human standards to God's plan. You are apply what a human views as "perfect". God is infinite... which cannot be held to any human standards. What you may think is perfect, succinct, or efficient may not be what God holds as a standard. Your whole argument is based on what we perceive; not what God perceives.


(07-03-2012 09:50 AM)Dust Wrote:  Belief in Adam and Eve + Evolution? I'm not sure how the bible encourages you to believe in this.

I go into great detail about this... somewhere... on this forum... umm... maybe in this thread... who knows... I'll try and find it and piece it together for you.

Quote:You say God chose them for salvation. Yet you say that they can still go to hell? Predestined plan or not, let's say an infant gets killed by a very sick man. What happens to the infant?

I believe that they are elect. This is my personal belief based on God judging people on their deeds.

Quote:I guess I was unclear on this one, as you didn't answer the questions.
Can you have faith and not be "elect"?
What "branch" of Christianity are you following? Do you believe that your thoughs are the common thoughts of that branch?

True faith is not for the non-elect.

I follow Reformed Theology or Calvinism.

Yes, I do... although, my origin beliefs and eschatological beliefs are not universally shared by all Calvinists.

Quote:Fair enough. Though I assume that you still think the number is fairly low.

I might have to agree. I would say that there are far fewer elect than non-elect. This is reinforced in Matthew 7:14.

14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

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