Prophesying
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30-10-2017, 11:11 AM
RE: Prophesying
(30-10-2017 08:34 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  But one of the things they do is an exercise in confirmation bias. They start by praying for long periods of time and seeing what images come to mind. They think that these are prophecies from their god.

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(30-10-2017 08:34 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  How else is prophesying implausible? It assumes that the world is deterministic instead of stochastic. Does this have implications for their ideas of free will? etc.

They'll use some Orwellian double-speak to resolve that, and make up terms like "compatibilism". It doesn't make any sense, but that's what happens when you redefine words to shut up the skeptics, then go back to using the old definitions when they're not in ear shot.
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30-10-2017, 11:19 AM
RE: Prophesying
I'm trying to figure out exactly how a god could guide you to go to a particular place or see a certain sight without interfering with your free will. But that's the whole problem with free-will, it is a meaningless term. If you think that demon possession causing mental illness exists then you must also accept that demons remove people's free will. But then how is that different from Derren Brown, a propaganda campaign, advertisements etc?
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30-10-2017, 11:27 AM
RE: Prophesying
My dad attends an Assembly of God crutch. He also claims to be able to interpret his oracle's gibberish.

Just don't make the joke that that sort of thing is witchcraft or Satanism where he can hear you. He gets mad and defensive rather quickly, saying that I must be full of invisible enemies.

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

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30-10-2017, 11:30 AM
RE: Prophesying
(30-10-2017 11:19 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  I'm trying to figure out exactly how a god could guide you to go to a particular place or see a certain sight without interfering with your free will. But that's the whole problem with free-will, it is a meaningless term. If you think that demon possession causing mental illness exists then you must also accept that demons remove people's free will. But then how is that different from Derren Brown, a propaganda campaign, advertisements etc?

I've quoted this post from the Gaming Den several times since I joined here, and it seems apt, right now. At the end of the day, people with these beliefs seem to believe in two different gods; they crazy one they believe in and the "sophisticated" one they dust off and take out of the closet whenever skeptics start pissing in their Cheerios.

"That depends on whether you're talking about what they actually say to each other and believe or whether you're talking about the "sophisticated theology" that they trot out when trying to win arguments against atheists. In their actual theologies, their God is in fact an active participant. Not just in the personal lives of individual believers, but in the day to day workings of literally every single thing everywhere. That is what expressions like "God willing" mean. The idea that God personally fucks with absolutely everything all the time and is in fact omnipresent and omnipotent and every single thing that ever happens no matter how inconsequential or important is in fact directly caused by God. So anything that happens, or could happen in the future, happens only because it is the Will of God that such a thing happens.

Now, you may have noticed that if that were true that you're living in a Skinner Box crafted by someone who literally knows every single thing you would choose when presented with any possible set of stimuli and crafts literally every piece of stimuli you experience for the express purpose of eliciting such a response. And while such a thing is not logically impossible or anything (albeit kind of depressing to contemplate), it is logically incompatible with any meaningful amount of the "free will" that Abrahamic religions constantly wank to. And the moment some Atheist points that out, the Christians and Muslims start busting out the "sophisticated theology".

The difference between regular theology (the actual crap they actually believe) and sophisticated theology is that the sophisticated theology is created for the purpose of being hard to refute by sophisticated people. That means that God instantly stops being a giant bearded leprechaun in the sky that has real effects in the real world and would thus be in some way testable to being a "God of the Gaps". That is: God stops having any and all traits that are in any way falsifiable and the things he (or possibly "it" depending on how "sophisticated" we're getting) controls or even effects are relegated to crap that is for whatever reason currently outside the reach of observation.

So while the actual theology version of God is someone who is a giant glowing bearded White dude who is going to purge the Earth in the "very near future" and lead all of his followers into a giant zombie dance (which is why Christians and Muslims have to be buried whole, so they can be backup dancers during the giant Thriller remake in the very near future), the "sophisticated" version of God only ever did or does anything very long ago, very far away, or in a manner so subtle or tiny that it is completely indistinguishable from not existing at all.

And no, I don't actually think they believe in the sophisticated theology version of their God, because it's trivial and unworthy of worship. The actual heavenly father that they actually talk about in their actual church services would actually be worthy of worship, but since it demonstrably does not exist they are forced to get increasingly "sophisticated" during any discussion with people who ask tough questions.

-Frank"
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30-10-2017, 11:41 AM (This post was last modified: 30-10-2017 11:53 AM by Silly Deity.)
RE: Prophesying
(30-10-2017 08:34 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  They have indoctrination sessions to get new recruits which mainly teaches preaching on the streets, asking people if they are afflicted with anything and then doing some 'faith healing'.

Don't know if your brother is in the UK but if he is he could find himself in the shit if he tries it on with the "faith healing" nonsense in relation to cancer. The Cancer Act makes it an offence to take any part in publication, except under specified conditions, of advertisements that "offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof".

The expression "advertisement" includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document, and any announcement made orally or by any means of producing or transmitting sounds.

Maybe..........just maybe.................ask him why faith healers are not employed in hospitals or in any part of any healthcare system anywhere in the world.

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
Excreta Tauri Sapientam Fulgeat (The excrement of the bull causes wisdom to flee)
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30-10-2017, 11:42 AM
RE: Prophesying
(30-10-2017 11:19 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  I'm trying to figure out exactly how a god could guide you to go to a particular place or see a certain sight without interfering with your free will. But that's the whole problem with free-will, it is a meaningless term. If you think that demon possession causing mental illness exists then you must also accept that demons remove people's free will. But then how is that different from Derren Brown, a propaganda campaign, advertisements etc?

It is called compatibilism. You have free will but God knows what you will freely choose. That is the usual answer to this problem from many Christians who get this from apologist theologians. Of course if God knows what you will choose to do and then do, you really have no free will, just an illusion of free will.

But for many Christians it is what Arthur Schopenhauer called a taxi cab argument. You get to where you want to go and then dismiss the cab. And go no further.

And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter
- Thomas Jefferson

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30-10-2017, 12:26 PM (This post was last modified: 30-10-2017 12:35 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Prophesying
Too bad he's doing exactly what the Bible told them they are not to do:
"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,"
Deuteronomy 18:10

Prophecy was / is NEVER prediction of the future.
Amateur mistake.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid257278

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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30-10-2017, 03:14 PM
RE: Prophesying
(30-10-2017 11:30 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(30-10-2017 11:19 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  I'm trying to figure out exactly how a god could guide you to go to a particular place or see a certain sight without interfering with your free will. But that's the whole problem with free-will, it is a meaningless term. If you think that demon possession causing mental illness exists then you must also accept that demons remove people's free will. But then how is that different from Derren Brown, a propaganda campaign, advertisements etc?

I've quoted this post from the Gaming Den several times since I joined here, and it seems apt, right now. At the end of the day, people with these beliefs seem to believe in two different gods; they crazy one they believe in and the "sophisticated" one they dust off and take out of the closet whenever skeptics start pissing in their Cheerios.

"That depends on whether you're talking about what they actually say to each other and believe or whether you're talking about the "sophisticated theology" that they trot out when trying to win arguments against atheists. In their actual theologies, their God is in fact an active participant. Not just in the personal lives of individual believers, but in the day to day workings of literally every single thing everywhere. That is what expressions like "God willing" mean. The idea that God personally fucks with absolutely everything all the time and is in fact omnipresent and omnipotent and every single thing that ever happens no matter how inconsequential or important is in fact directly caused by God. So anything that happens, or could happen in the future, happens only because it is the Will of God that such a thing happens.

Now, you may have noticed that if that were true that you're living in a Skinner Box crafted by someone who literally knows every single thing you would choose when presented with any possible set of stimuli and crafts literally every piece of stimuli you experience for the express purpose of eliciting such a response. And while such a thing is not logically impossible or anything (albeit kind of depressing to contemplate), it is logically incompatible with any meaningful amount of the "free will" that Abrahamic religions constantly wank to. And the moment some Atheist points that out, the Christians and Muslims start busting out the "sophisticated theology".

The difference between regular theology (the actual crap they actually believe) and sophisticated theology is that the sophisticated theology is created for the purpose of being hard to refute by sophisticated people. That means that God instantly stops being a giant bearded leprechaun in the sky that has real effects in the real world and would thus be in some way testable to being a "God of the Gaps". That is: God stops having any and all traits that are in any way falsifiable and the things he (or possibly "it" depending on how "sophisticated" we're getting) controls or even effects are relegated to crap that is for whatever reason currently outside the reach of observation.

So while the actual theology version of God is someone who is a giant glowing bearded White dude who is going to purge the Earth in the "very near future" and lead all of his followers into a giant zombie dance (which is why Christians and Muslims have to be buried whole, so they can be backup dancers during the giant Thriller remake in the very near future), the "sophisticated" version of God only ever did or does anything very long ago, very far away, or in a manner so subtle or tiny that it is completely indistinguishable from not existing at all.

And no, I don't actually think they believe in the sophisticated theology version of their God, because it's trivial and unworthy of worship. The actual heavenly father that they actually talk about in their actual church services would actually be worthy of worship, but since it demonstrably does not exist they are forced to get increasingly "sophisticated" during any discussion with people who ask tough questions.

-Frank"

It was my experience that there wasn't really any sophisticated theology within the fundamentalist circle I once participated in. As soon as you started asking tough questions in regards to suffering or generic bad things, they busted out their little helper Satan or demons to hand-wave it away.

This turned it into an unfalsifiable mess trying to make sense out of the world, of course the con-men that ran this scam wanted you in a state of incoherence at all time. If you start thinking too clearly, Mr. Satan and his demons just might be paying you a visit.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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31-10-2017, 01:49 AM
RE: Prophesying
(30-10-2017 11:41 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  Don't know if your brother is in the UK but if he is he could find himself in the shit if he tries it on with the "faith healing" nonsense in relation to cancer. The Cancer Act makes it an offence to take any part in publication, except under specified conditions, of advertisements that "offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof".

The expression "advertisement" includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document, and any announcement made orally or by any means of producing or transmitting sounds.

Maybe..........just maybe.................ask him why faith healers are not employed in hospitals or in any part of any healthcare system anywhere in the world.

Thanks for that. Yes he does live in the UK. I will definitely make a note of this if he personally mentions healing cancer. And yes, a good question too. His response to me about why he can't move a penny on a table using prayer is that it would be showing off and his god doesn't want that. It would remove my free will about whether to worship his god. Yet that's exactly what he would be doing if he was going out there healing people. That's why he does it. To get recruits.
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31-10-2017, 02:29 AM
RE: Prophesying
People who think they can give prophesy through the voice of God are fooling themselves. It's sad that people still try.

Likewise, it's foolish to think that we can read the minds of people we've never met, over huge distances of space and time.

Here's an example I saw recently. The discussion was about how the word "cause" may have different meanings in certain kinds of philosophical topics:

"To continue to use a word that is so clearly inapplicable is simply pig-headed and bound to lead to confusion. And that confusion seems to be intentional."

It's true that English words sometimes have multiple meanings and can get confusing. But the use of the word "cause" that this poster was complaining about is very specific and has been well-known to philosophers for many centuries. It won't be confusing to anyone with basic knowledge of the topic (e.g. Aristotle's still useful concept of the Four Causes).

But note that this poster didn't just dislike the ambiguity of the word, for people unfamiliar with the topic. He also felt justified in imagining that people are intentionally trying to confuse others. (It was good of him to use the word "seems" to soften the mind-reading certainty somewhat.)

This happens a lot. When there's disagreement on this forum, it's not unusual to see almost instant accusations that the other side is not only wrong but is intentionally trying to mislead, to hide ulterior motives, or to pretend to be something he's not.

Even worse, there are a number of blanket statements concerning the hidden motives of huge numbers of people. We don't have a right to say that all or most religious people believe due to a fear of death. For one thing, the term "religious people" is far too broad -- almost nothing can be said about such a huge number of people that will be true for all of them. And more important, we can't properly attribute a hidden motivation to them which they themselves do not acknowledge. We cannot read their minds.

Nor can we say that they are all just brainwashed, or stupid, or unthinking.

I'm sure that some people will deny that such mind-reading occurs. Or you may claim that it's just casual and (as one poster said when I pointed to one of his more wildly over-broad statements) no one expects the Oxford Debating Society. But I think that if someone is making statements that can only be known through mind-reading, it makes sense to point those out.

Please keep an eye out for these fantasies in the future, and I think you'll see they happen a lot.
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