Can we choose to believe in God?
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22-09-2016, 03:26 PM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
Tomasia,

You've nailed it.

D.
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22-09-2016, 03:29 PM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
I don't believe we can "choose" what we believe. We either actually believe it or we don't. We can choose to attempt to delude ourselves and choose to conduct ourselves with others as if the delusion is real. But deep down we know.
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22-09-2016, 04:23 PM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(22-09-2016 01:29 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-09-2016 01:02 PM)Dworkin Wrote:  And so the 'talking past each other' pseudo debate goes on.

I think that's very true. It just all seems like a constant steam of talking past each other. That it becomes easier to the see an individual who holds a competing worldview, as an alien of sorts. It starts to become evident, that our differences are not merely in what we believe, but whatever set of experiences and life that led each us there, a lot of which might not be entirely relatable to the other party, or transferable.

Even the idea of evidence seems strange to me. We all seem to infer what we eventually hold as true through a variety of sensory stimuli. It doesn't seem to be the case that we then go on to filter this through whether or not what stimulated our thoughts in a particular direction is evidence or not. If anything we label these items as evidence after the fact, after holding something as likely true, or not.

The important point that you are overlooking is what constitutes evidence.
A person's internal, unrepeatable, unfalsifiable, unconfirmable experience is not evidence.

There are many things I don't want to believe or would rather not believe, but the evidence that they are true does not allow it.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-09-2016, 01:43 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(22-09-2016 04:23 PM)Chas Wrote:  The important point that you are overlooking is what constitutes evidence.
A person's internal, unrepeatable, unfalsifiable, unconfirmable experience is not evidence.

There are many things I don't want to believe or would rather not believe, but the evidence that they are true does not allow it.

Chas,

I see that you do not believe your eyes. Smile

D.
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23-09-2016, 05:43 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(23-09-2016 01:43 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  
(22-09-2016 04:23 PM)Chas Wrote:  The important point that you are overlooking is what constitutes evidence.
A person's internal, unrepeatable, unfalsifiable, unconfirmable experience is not evidence.

There are many things I don't want to believe or would rather not believe, but the evidence that they are true does not allow it.

Chas,

I see that you do not believe your eyes. Smile

D.

If you had taken as much LSD as Chas has you wouldn't believe your eyes either.

#sigh
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23-09-2016, 06:08 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(23-09-2016 05:43 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(23-09-2016 01:43 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Chas,

I see that you do not believe your eyes. Smile

D.

If you had taken as much LSD as Chas has you wouldn't believe your eyes either.

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23-09-2016, 06:25 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(23-09-2016 01:43 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  
(22-09-2016 04:23 PM)Chas Wrote:  The important point that you are overlooking is what constitutes evidence.
A person's internal, unrepeatable, unfalsifiable, unconfirmable experience is not evidence.

There are many things I don't want to believe or would rather not believe, but the evidence that they are true does not allow it.

Chas,

I see that you do not believe your eyes. Smile

D.

You missed the word 'internal'.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-09-2016, 06:29 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(23-09-2016 05:43 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  If you had taken as much LSD as Chas has you wouldn't believe your eyes either.

Yabut, when I close my eyes I can see the secrets of the universe and the meaning of, like, everything. Smokin

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-09-2016, 10:44 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(09-09-2016 02:00 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Of course, this is just the old philosophical chestnut – can we choose our beliefs?

However, something interesting comes from the question. If we cannot choose to believe in God, then why would it not follow that we cannot choose not to believe in God? If this were true, then it would also follow that there are no atheists, only agnostics and theists.
Agnostic and atheist are not mutually exclusive. All atheists are either agnostic atheists or gnostic atheists. I believe that no one can actually be a gnostic atheist (knowing there is no god) because no one has been everywhere and seen everything in order to truly know. So technically, you would be right that there are only agnostics on the non-believer side. However, one can be essentially gnostic in the same way that one can "know" there is no tooth fairy. If there is no evidence at all that something exists, it is an unreasonable belief if one still believes it exists.

About choosing belief, one cannot do so. You can't make yourself believe something. However, you can choose actions that lead to beliefs and thus end up changing what you believe.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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23-09-2016, 12:15 PM
Can we choose to believe in God?
(22-09-2016 04:23 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(22-09-2016 01:29 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think that's very true. It just all seems like a constant steam of talking past each other. That it becomes easier to the see an individual who holds a competing worldview, as an alien of sorts. It starts to become evident, that our differences are not merely in what we believe, but whatever set of experiences and life that led each us there, a lot of which might not be entirely relatable to the other party, or transferable.

Even the idea of evidence seems strange to me. We all seem to infer what we eventually hold as true through a variety of sensory stimuli. It doesn't seem to be the case that we then go on to filter this through whether or not what stimulated our thoughts in a particular direction is evidence or not. If anything we label these items as evidence after the fact, after holding something as likely true, or not.

The important point that you are overlooking is what constitutes evidence.
A person's internal, unrepeatable, unfalsifiable, unconfirmable experience is not evidence.

There are many things I don't want to believe or would rather not believe, but the evidence that they are true does not allow it.
It's not matter of what your want to believe, but that variety of stimuli acting on your brain that gets you to believe something is true, regardless of whether you like to believe this or not.

And this impacted by a whole slew of factors both concious and unconscious, upbringing, social and cultural factors, relationships with one's parents, siblings, etc... which impact how we see the world, others, and ourselves. Our thoughts are no more free of such factors than we are.

Suggesting otherwise is just peddling magic.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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