Intercessory prayer is pointless
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05-09-2017, 06:33 AM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(04-09-2017 06:37 PM)Gwaithmir Wrote:  It would appear as if Angra Mainyu has finally been given the bum's rush. I'm surprised it took this long. Yes

I wasn't even reading his/her posts anymore. After a handful of moronic posts dismissing our requests for evidence, I put him/her on ignore and moved on with my life.
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05-09-2017, 06:40 AM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2017 06:44 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(05-09-2017 06:33 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  I wasn't even reading his/her posts anymore. After a handful of moronic posts dismissing our requests for evidence, I put him/her on ignore and moved on with my life.

Yeah, me too. It became clear very quickly that he was just saying things to annoy people.
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05-09-2017, 10:59 AM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2017 11:35 AM by nosferatu323.)
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(05-09-2017 04:51 AM)unfogged Wrote:  That is a completely unwarranted assumption. Even if there is a "truth" to find and even if it is possible for some religion to have grasped it there is no reason to assume that any religion has done so, let alone every religion. You have now made confirmation bias the core tenet of your investigation.

I think your point is correct, but I suppose it's the only viable assumption. Because if there is a chance that one religion among the all contains the truth, there is no way for me to figure out which one is true, since I don't already know what the truth is. My only chance is to assume that the truth is in all of them, any other assumption is not viable.

To put it more clearly, if we assume there is a "truth", there are 3 possibilities as I see it:

1. There is a truth but it is not represented by major religions
2. There is a truth and it is represented by some but not all major religions
3. There is a truth and it is represented by all religions

If we assume 1, the investigation of religions is meaningless.
If we assume 2, there is no way to identify those religions which represent the truth, since we don't already know what the truth is, so the investigation would be meaningless.
The only viable assumption is 3, I think.

Quote:In other words, the things religions had in common were things that they had in common.

That's not what I meant. I mean that which is common in all religions is consistent. If we throw away the uncommon notions, such "God has a begotten Son", what remains will be consistent. It's not a tautology.

So following your objection, I would revise what I said in the following way:

1. I assumed it is possible that all the religions contain the truth as they claim (This is merely a possibility)
2. I inspected the sources and figured out what is common in all of them, according to #1, the commonality was a candidate for "the truth", the uncommon parts were dismissed as fabrications
3. The commonality was consistent, hence qualified for being the truth
4. Therefore, 1 was still a possibility for me

#1 is merely a possibility that I want to investigate whether this is a viable possibility or not.

Please note that all that I want to suggest here is that the "inconsistency argument" can be resolved with reasonable assumptions. I don't want to justify anything beyond that.
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05-09-2017, 11:26 AM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(05-09-2017 12:44 AM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  1.) It's possible that A religion is actually representative of the truth they claim, but not all because almost every single one makes contradictory claims about the "truth". For example some religions claim their is no afterlife, some claim their is no heaven, some claim that you get reincarnated. None of these are consistent so they must all be fabrications, and thus are not true.

What you are saying is a possibility, but it's not viable, because there is no way for us to identify that one true religion.

A different, but viable possibility is to assume all religions represent the truth, except that there have been some manipulation and fabrication in some or all religions, all we have to do is to identify those fabrications by comparing the religions. Are you saying this is not a possibility? If yes, how can you justify that this is impossible?

Quote:2.)you are claiming that a religion could contain the truth and if it is the truth all religions would have this truth......but you don't know what that truth is until you compare them...but you don't know what you are looking to find unless you already decide what that truth is..before you compare.
No, I do not need to know what the truth is, I just omit the uncommon aspects of religions and look at the commonality, if it is inconsistent, I would dismiss them all. But if it is consistent, I would conclude that all religions being true is a possibility.

Quote:If I get together with 20 people, and we all agree to lie to you about the colour of the sky and you walked in and asked us and every single person in that room claimed the sky was red but you said no it's blue than by your logic and methodology the truth would have to be that the sky is red and your instance that the sky is blue is a fabrication.
As long as the sky is not observed, I think it's reasonable to assume that "The most viable possibility is that the sky is red", even if they are all lying, since we do not have any means to measure who is truthful, the most viable option is to listen to what is common in all the claims. Since all religions talk about the unseen, I think it's reasonable to assume if there is such thing as the unseen, the commonality of all religions is the most trustworthy description of that unseen.

Quote:It's only consistent when you speak and talk in incredibly vague terms because once you get down and look at the details the commonality and consistency vanish.
Yes, this is true, if we want to take things literally, the consistency vanishes. But there is no reason to take things literally. Since the religions are talking about the unseen, it's reasonable to assume that they are talking using metaphors and analogies.

Please note that all I want to suggest here is that the problem of inconsistency in religions can be resolved with reasonable assumptions. I do not want to make any point beyond that.

Cheers.
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05-09-2017, 11:46 AM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2017 11:59 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(05-09-2017 11:26 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  A different, but viable possibility is to assume all religions represent the truth, except that there have been some manipulation and fabrication in some or all religions, all we have to do is to identify those fabrications by comparing the religions. Are you saying this is not a possibility? If yes, how can you justify that this is impossible?

We don't have to say it is impossible to say it is highly improbable, based on what science has discovered about the material world and about human psychology. The most probable explanation for religions, given science, is that they represent people filling in the blanks with what they thought were reasonable ideas when they didn't know any better. When people don't know something, they typically don't just say "I don't know." They make something up. In the good old days, what they made up was mythology.

Why do you prefer improbable explanations?
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05-09-2017, 11:55 AM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(05-09-2017 11:46 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(05-09-2017 11:26 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  A different, but viable possibility is to assume all religions represent the truth, except that there have been some manipulation and fabrication in some or all religions, all we have to do is to identify those fabrications by comparing the religions. Are you saying this is not a possibility? If yes, how can you justify that this is impossible?

We don't have to say it is impossible to say it is highly improbable, based on what science has discovered about the material world. The most probable explanation for religious ideas, given science, is that they represent people filling in the blanks with what they thought were reasonable ideas when they didn't know any better. When people don't know something they really want to know, they don't just say "I don't know." They make something up. In the good old days, what they made up was mythology.

Why do you prefer improbable explanations?

I think core religious ideas are irrelevant to science. Such as after life. I cannot see how science can make it less or more likely that after life exists.

Or God, I cannot see how science can make it less or more likely that a cosmic will is moving everything in the universe.

I'm not saying these ideas are likely to be true, but I think science is irrelevant to these ideas, it neither makes them less probable nor more probable.
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05-09-2017, 12:02 PM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(05-09-2017 11:55 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think core religious ideas are irrelevant to science. Such as after life. I cannot see how science can make it less or more likely that after life exists.

Or God, I cannot see how science can make it less or more likely that a cosmic will is moving everything in the universe.

I'm not saying these ideas are likely to be true, but I think science is irrelevant to these ideas, it neither makes them less probable nor more probable.

Well, I certainly disagree. Science has shown how the mind is brain-dependent. That makes it much less probable that anything about consciousness survives death.

Science has also shown that you don't need a God to explain the world we see. In fact, such a world looks exactly as you would expect if there were no God at all.

So no, science is not irrelevant to the probabilities.
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05-09-2017, 12:20 PM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(05-09-2017 10:59 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  
(05-09-2017 04:51 AM)unfogged Wrote:  That is a completely unwarranted assumption. Even if there is a "truth" to find and even if it is possible for some religion to have grasped it there is no reason to assume that any religion has done so, let alone every religion. You have now made confirmation bias the core tenet of your investigation.

I think your point is correct, but I suppose it's the only viable assumption. Because if there is a chance that one religion among the all contains the truth, there is no way for me to figure out which one is true, since I don't already know what the truth is.

That makes it a rather pointless search, doesn't it? How would you know when you found it?

Quote:My only chance is to assume that the truth is in all of them, any other assumption is not viable.

I do not see that as a viable assumption either. You are not only assuming there is a "truth" (which I don't think is even defined), you are assuming it can be found, and then assuming that it has already been found.

Quote:To put it more clearly, if we assume there is a "truth",

Why would we do that?

Quote: there are 3 possibilities as I see it:

1. There is a truth but it is not represented by major religions
2. There is a truth and it is represented by some but not all major religions
3. There is a truth and it is represented by all religions

If we assume 1, the investigation of religions is meaningless.
If we assume 2, there is no way to identify those religions which represent the truth, since we don't already know what the truth is, so the investigation would be meaningless.
The only viable assumption is 3, I think.
Quote:#3 might be the only one that lets you pretend to have found an answer but that doesn't make it a viable assumption.

[quote][quote]In other words, the things religions had in common were things that they had in common.

That's not what I meant. I mean that which is common in all religions is consistent. If we throw away the uncommon notions, such "God has a begotten Son", what remains will be consistent. It's not a tautology.

Yes, it is. What is common is what is consistent and what is consistent is common. What you don't know is what the source of that consistency is and assuming it is something supernatural is wholly unjustified.

Quote:So following your objection, I would revise what I said in the following way:

1. I assumed it is possible that all the religions contain the truth as they claim (This is merely a possibility)

Is it? I don't know that it is possible that all religions contain any truth at all. Not being able to show something is impossible doesn't mean that it is possible.

Quote:2. I inspected the sources and figured out what is common in all of them, according to #1, the commonality was a candidate for "the truth", the uncommon parts were dismissed as fabrications

Which is still a process based on unsupported assumptions.

Quote:3. The commonality was consistent, hence qualified for being the truth

Of course the common things were consistent. If they weren't they would not be common and you would have discarded them. Facepalm

Quote:4. Therefore, 1 was still a possibility for me

#1 is merely a possibility that I want to investigate whether this is a viable possibility or not.

Good luck with that. Nothing you've outlined even comes close to shoing that anything is possible.

Quote:Please note that all that I want to suggest here is that the "inconsistency argument" can be resolved with reasonable assumptions. I don't want to justify anything beyond that.

I have yet to see any reasonable assumptions. You are starting with the assumption that there is a "truth" and that's effectively putting your conclusion into the premise. You then pile on more unwarranted assumptions and think you've gotten somewhere. You haven't.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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05-09-2017, 12:23 PM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(05-09-2017 12:02 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(05-09-2017 11:55 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think core religious ideas are irrelevant to science. Such as after life. I cannot see how science can make it less or more likely that after life exists.

Or God, I cannot see how science can make it less or more likely that a cosmic will is moving everything in the universe.

I'm not saying these ideas are likely to be true, but I think science is irrelevant to these ideas, it neither makes them less probable nor more probable.

Well, I certainly disagree. Science has shown how the mind is brain-dependent. That makes it much less probable that anything about consciousness survives death.

Science has also shown that you don't need a God to explain the world we see. In fact, such a world looks exactly as you would expect if there were no God at all.

So no, science is not irrelevant to the probabilities.

Quote:Science has shown how the mind is brain-dependent. .
I would disagree, science still cannot show that there is such thing as the mind. As far as I know there is no objective measure to distinguish a human with a mind and a hypothetical philosophical zombie. So how can science show the mind is dependent on the brain while it cannot show it even exists?

I think all that science currently shows is that "awareness" is brain dependent. Which is not something new I guess.

Quote:That makes it much less probable that anything about consciousness survives death
I think we already had some discussion about this, but I still hold my position. How can science suggest consciousness cannot survive death when it cannot even define what consciousness is or show that consciousness exists?

I understand that you might not be willing to discuss this further, since we couldn't successfully communicate our ideas about this matter in our previous attempts.

Quote:Science has also shown that you don't need a God to explain the world we see.
I think this is true. But it doesn't tell us anything about whether there is a God or not. Science might be able to explain your functions using some computational models, does that mean that it's unlikely that "you" are there controlling your body at will?
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05-09-2017, 12:28 PM
RE: Intercessory prayer is pointless
(05-09-2017 12:20 PM)unfogged Wrote:  You are starting with the assumption that there is a "truth" and that's effectively putting your conclusion into the premise.
This is true. If you are not accepting the assumption that "there is a truth" all that I said is meaningless, and I do not have any way to demonstrate to you there is a truth.

I don't have anything to add I guess. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to express myself about this anyway.
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