Know or Believe?
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10-12-2012, 04:54 PM (This post was last modified: 10-12-2012 05:31 PM by Mr Woof.)
Know or Believe?
For a long time I have been bothered by the way the words 'believe' and 'know' are used relating to the existence of God.

In general belief in God involves the teachings of a specific religion that defines God in keeping with the writings of Kings, prophets, and followers who pass the teaching on by word of mouth and written documentation. Christians,thus, 'believe' in the God as defined in the trickle down process created by men looking for power or some sort of self glorification. At best a grossly egoistic concern for their fellow beings.

If I say "I believe its going to rain" I am not saying this is definitely going to happen. Rather, I am making an off the cuff remark based on some perceived degree of probability. I would argue that many Christians who say 'I believe in God" are suggesting much more than probability. And, surely Moslem suicide bombers feel pretty certain about Paradise being better than an each way bet.In the Hindu religion Krishna tells his charioteer to lead his family against their feuding neighbours in a fight to the death, as this is honourable ,and all will be washed out in the afterlife mix.


The religious person seems to use 'believe' in a very strong sense, more like "know", as to speak in terms of probability
would suggest a lack of devotion to God as described in the Bible, Koran, Gita, Upanishads, Book of Mormon, or whatever.
I would suggest that this can lead to a baseless militancy generated by completely unsubstantiated teachings.

As religious books contain an ample amount of contradictions and seeming fantasies to believe (know) is to take aboard blatant contradictions and see them as truths. For example Jesus teaches to turn the other cheek and at the same time whips the money changers in the temple. He also says "take up your sword and follow me" which is open to any type of interpretation.


Atheism adopts the reverse side of the coin. For many atheists 'belief ' equals 'know' also, which is probably justified when it comes to clear cut Biblical contradictions, as the Bible teaches that all verses are of value.Even in terms of scientific proofs based on observation, testing, and being able to be falsified, there is no such thing as 100% certainty.
Even Dawkins left some small degree of probability relating to the existence of God . (See The God Delusion)

So what is my position? Where people hold mutually opposing views, I see it as logically impossible.
I do not find allegedly holy writing convincing by virtue of their inconsistencies and contradictions,so the God espoused by such does not impress me.
As for supernatural cosmic possibilities, just out there I just don't know so am neutral in my belief.
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10-12-2012, 10:09 PM
RE: Know or Believe?
'know' cannot be used when speaking of a religion, because you can't know if that religion is true. No one can, and no one can know that it isn't true, but we can make conclusions based on evidence, so that we do have a positive 'belief' that there is no creator.

I can't say that I 'know' that god doesn't exist, I just say that I believe (based on evidence) that the god of :insertreligionhere: is not real. Mostly because the god of the bible is falsifiable, well, it would be if not for ignorance.

I believe in the big bang, but I know that it happened. I know and believe based on evidence. 'believe' is a word that can be used both for something that can't be proven, and something that can be proven. 'know' is a word that can only be used when you have an undeniable amount of evidence (like evolution, and the big bang) that the theory/ belief is true.

Sorry if that was a little confusing, but that's how I see the two words.
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10-12-2012, 10:21 PM
RE: Know or Believe?
I know any and all religions are false. Magic has never been demonstrated to have existed, or could exist. Pretty simply.

I don't "believe" in the big bang, I trust the scientific community who claim of a big bang. I don't believe in anything - I trust, I estimate, I predict, I gather, I guess, etc.

This is just semantics. Some people define "belief" as "guess" or "on some good authority" or "i'm just making stuff up".
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11-12-2012, 12:25 AM
RE: Know or Believe?
When I say 'know', I'm usually talking about my personal experience. It's also another way of telling everyone I'm certain. This hasn't always been the case. I didn't always understand the Theory of Evolution. I was a novice at best. So I'd rarely say something like, "Well, I know evolution explains why there's a diversity of life on our planet." After years of research, even if all my knowledge came from scientists, I'm confident enough in their findings and what I've learned to start saying I 'know'.

When I say I 'believe', I'm not fully confident in my words, which is why I'll likely be citing an outside source to backup my stance. I'm no astrophysicist, so if I'm talking about Dark Matter or Dark Energy, I'll be very cautious in what I say because I'm not privy to field. Even though I'll happily read up on what I can and cite what the experts think, I'm not absolutely convinced even though it's very likely to be true. Another way of looking at it is, "Be patient! Evidence is on it's way, believe me!"

If you think Superman is real, comics are historical events,
and a bite from a radioactive spider will give you superpowers,
congratulations! You're on the same playing field as a theist.
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12-12-2012, 12:16 AM
RE: Know or Believe?
(10-12-2012 04:54 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  For a long time I have been bothered by the way the words 'believe' and 'know' are used relating to the existence of God.

In general belief in God involves the teachings of a specific religion that defines God in keeping with the writings of Kings, prophets, and followers who pass the teaching on by word of mouth and written documentation. Christians,thus, 'believe' in the God as defined in the trickle down process created by men looking for power or some sort of self glorification. At best a grossly egoistic concern for their fellow beings.

If I say "I believe its going to rain" I am not saying this is definitely going to happen. Rather, I am making an off the cuff remark based on some perceived degree of probability. I would argue that many Christians who say 'I believe in God" are suggesting much more than probability. And, surely Moslem suicide bombers feel pretty certain about Paradise being better than an each way bet.In the Hindu religion Krishna tells his charioteer to lead his family against their feuding neighbours in a fight to the death, as this is honourable ,and all will be washed out in the afterlife mix.


The religious person seems to use 'believe' in a very strong sense, more like "know", as to speak in terms of probability
would suggest a lack of devotion to God as described in the Bible, Koran, Gita, Upanishads, Book of Mormon, or whatever.
I would suggest that this can lead to a baseless militancy generated by completely unsubstantiated teachings.

As religious books contain an ample amount of contradictions and seeming fantasies to believe (know) is to take aboard blatant contradictions and see them as truths. For example Jesus teaches to turn the other cheek and at the same time whips the money changers in the temple. He also says "take up your sword and follow me" which is open to any type of interpretation.


Atheism adopts the reverse side of the coin. For many atheists 'belief ' equals 'know' also, which is probably justified when it comes to clear cut Biblical contradictions, as the Bible teaches that all verses are of value.Even in terms of scientific proofs based on observation, testing, and being able to be falsified, there is no such thing as 100% certainty.
Even Dawkins left some small degree of probability relating to the existence of God . (See The God Delusion)

So what is my position? Where people hold mutually opposing views, I see it as logically impossible.
I do not find allegedly holy writing convincing by virtue of their inconsistencies and contradictions,so the God espoused by such does not impress me.
As for supernatural cosmic possibilities, just out there I just don't know so am neutral in my belief.

(10-12-2012 10:09 PM)UndercoverAtheist Wrote:  'know' cannot be used when speaking of a religion, because you can't know if that religion is true. No one can, and no one can know that it isn't true, but we can make conclusions based on evidence, so that we do have a positive 'belief' that there is no creator.

I can't say that I 'know' that god doesn't exist, I just say that I believe (based on evidence) that the god of :insertreligionhere: is not real. Mostly because the god of the bible is falsifiable, well, it would be if not for ignorance.

I believe in the big bang, but I know that it happened. I know and believe based on evidence. 'believe' is a word that can be used both for something that can't be proven, and something that can be proven. 'know' is a word that can only be used when you have an undeniable amount of evidence (like evolution, and the big bang) that the theory/ belief is true.

Sorry if that was a little confusing, but that's how I see the two words.
The big bang is a pretty rough theory.
The first premise holds that something? exploded and that something's existence is purely speculative.
Darwin's evolutionary theory in no way needs the BB SPECULATION.
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12-12-2012, 02:57 AM
RE: Know or Believe?
(12-12-2012 12:16 AM)Mr Woof Wrote:  The big bang is a pretty rough theory.
The first premise holds that something? exploded and that something's existence is purely speculative.

A singularity expanded. That´s also why I facepalm every time creationists say that the theory claim the universe came from nothing.
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12-12-2012, 09:21 AM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2012 09:30 AM by Vosur.)
RE: Know or Believe?
(12-12-2012 12:16 AM)Mr Woof Wrote:  The big bang is a pretty rough theory.
The first premise holds that something? exploded and that something's existence is purely speculative.
I'd suggest you to research a topic more thoroughly before misrepresenting it.

"The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that describes the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the Universe to cool and resulted in its present continuously expanding state. According to the most recent measurements and observations, the Big Bang occurred approximately 13.75 billion years ago, which is thus considered the age of the Universe. After its initial expansion from a singularity, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, neutrons, and electrons. While protons and neutrons combined to form the first atomic nuclei only a few minutes after the Big Bang, it would take thousands of years for electrons to combine with them and create electrically neutral atoms. The first element produced was hydrogen, along with traces of helium and lithium. Giant clouds of these primordial elements would coalesce through gravity to form stars and galaxies, and the heavier elements would be synthesized either within stars or during supernovae.

The Big Bang is a well-tested scientific theory and is widely accepted within the scientific community. It offers a comprehensive explanation for a broad range of observed phenomena, including the abundance of light elements, the cosmic microwave background, large scale structure, and the Hubble diagram for Type Ia supernovae. The core ideas of the Big Bang—the expansion, the early hot state, the formation of helium, and the formation of galaxies—are derived from these and other observations that are independent of any cosmological model. As the distance between galaxy clusters is increasing today, it can be inferred that everything was closer together in the past. This idea has been considered in detail back in time to extreme densities and temperatures, and large particle accelerators have been built to experiment in such conditions, resulting in further development of the model. On the other hand, these accelerators have limited capabilities to probe into such high energy regimes. There is little evidence regarding the absolute earliest instant of the expansion. Thus, the Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from that point on."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

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12-12-2012, 12:28 PM
RE: Know or Believe?
Rough theory? I'd say it is pretty well established and sufficiently supported.

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12-12-2012, 12:52 PM
RE: Know or Believe?
I believe that we don't know shit.

I know that I don't believe shit.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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12-12-2012, 03:54 PM
RE: Know or Believe?
(12-12-2012 09:21 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(12-12-2012 12:16 AM)Mr Woof Wrote:  The big bang is a pretty rough theory.
The first premise holds that something? exploded and that something's existence is purely speculative.
I'd suggest you to research a topic more thoroughly before misrepresenting it.

"The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that describes the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the Universe to cool and resulted in its present continuously expanding state. According to the most recent measurements and observations, the Big Bang occurred approximately 13.75 billion years ago, which is thus considered the age of the Universe. After its initial expansion from a singularity, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, neutrons, and electrons. While protons and neutrons combined to form the first atomic nuclei only a few minutes after the Big Bang, it would take thousands of years for electrons to combine with them and create electrically neutral atoms. The first element produced was hydrogen, along with traces of helium and lithium. Giant clouds of these primordial elements would coalesce through gravity to form stars and galaxies, and the heavier elements would be synthesized either within stars or during supernovae.

The Big Bang is a well-tested scientific theory and is widely accepted within the scientific community. It offers a comprehensive explanation for a broad range of observed phenomena, including the abundance of light elements, the cosmic microwave background, large scale structure, and the Hubble diagram for Type Ia supernovae. The core ideas of the Big Bang—the expansion, the early hot state, the formation of helium, and the formation of galaxies—are derived from these and other observations that are independent of any cosmological model. As the distance between galaxy clusters is increasing today, it can be inferred that everything was closer together in the past. This idea has been considered in detail back in time to extreme densities and temperatures, and large particle accelerators have been built to experiment in such conditions, resulting in further development of the model. On the other hand, these accelerators have limited capabilities to probe into such high energy regimes. There is little evidence regarding the absolute earliest instant of the expansion. Thus, the Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from that point on."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang
Your comments are locked into the idea that scientism provides an absolute, or dare I say it,God like,knowledge of the Universe.
The steady state theory along with others disagree.
My claim is that where the initial condition cannot be observed/tested, then the argument is not sound.Inferences are not proofs per se and knowledge based on heuristic modelling do not overly impress.
Nice that you can get the date down to 13.75 billion years; you must be one of the smarter scientists..... Cool
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