Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
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23-01-2014, 05:45 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
Quote:'anidominus' wrote:
If you have to have proof or evidence your girlfriend won't cheat on you before you marry her, you'll never marry her.
When dealing with people and personalities, all you have is faith. According to Scripture, God is a personality and you have to make a choice whether you're going to believe him via whatever method he uses to communicate or not. Its your call.

This simply is not true - the comparison between a relationship or girlfriend/wife is not comparable to faith is a God.

Lets use the girlfriend/wife analogy - it is similar to the probabilistic reasoning I mentioned earlier (the pragmatic faith like W.James model)
You do not know 100% that the girlfriend wont cheat on you - however there is evidence for the type of personality she is based on direct interactions with her. Does she flirt with everyone, then disappear and tell lies about were she has been, is the relationship rocky, has she cheated before - all sorts of factors go into making that assessment - and ultimately it is an inference to the best explanation for the behaviours.

Your saying this applies to God in scriptures ?
The analogy seems very far fetched.

You met your girlfriend, other people can verify who she is and everybody can assess trust issues based on evidence revealed in the relationship - it is ultimately evidence based.
Of course when she does cheat she can be discovered - the hypothesis is falsifiable & testable whether your girlfriend or wife will cheat. Whether your girlfriend or wife will cheat or has cheated is also predictable depending on how much data you have or how good she is at deceiving - clues abound (clues such as spending nights away without saying were & credit card bills in hotels unaccounted are evidence).
As you can see a relationship can be treated as a scientific hypothesis - and this is done often in psychology (eg profiling criminals) - of course its much more complicated & variable that physical sciences were all the variables can be controlled - but it is ultimately evidence based, using probabilities, inference, abduction, reasoning, past experience, falsification, some psychological traits etc

Can this really be applied to God ?
The answer "he works in mysterious ways" is usually given when attempting such an investigation.

Quote:Banks have faith that people who sign a 30 year mortgages will be able to pay them. I could go on and on.

You obviously haven't worked in a bank ? Banks DONT have "faith" in this way. They base their loan assessments on probability and risk analysis based on credit checks, audits, criminal records, assets and bailiffs. It is not proof by deduction (i.e 100% mathematical proof that the loan will be paid) but again based on probabilistic reasoning like I mentioned in my first post. The bank will not give a loan for 30yrs to a drunk beggar on the street for £300,000 property who cannot show some evidence for how the mortgage will be paid.

These analogies do not fit anything like faith in the God of scriptures.

In any case - the God of scriptures DOES lend itself to falsification - all we have to do is find one contradiction in scriptures to put doubt on scriptural reliability (...and oh boy, its easy to find contradictions morally, scientifically, philosophically within scripture................need I go on ????????????????????

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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23-01-2014, 06:14 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(23-01-2014 03:10 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  
(23-01-2014 02:18 PM)anidominus Wrote:  Everything your saying leads me to believe that you grew up having no idea what faith was. Faith isn't going to prove anything. I will explain best I can what faith is.

Faith is believing this item you just made will earn you a million dollars and then maintaining the confidence, the behavior, swagger, and work ethic as if this is true without doing something stupid like writing a check for a million dollars without the money being in the bank first.

People use faith all the time, atheist alike. Its how everything huge gets done. Faith got us to the moon.

So, have Faith in God. I don't know how else to explain it.

It doesn't matter "which God".

Merely hoping that a product of mine will make me millions, and then treating that concept as a goal, is an ambitious endeavor, but not a good representation of what I mean by religious faith. As you conceded yourself, having faith in the million dollars to come did not make the probability of making that money 100%. Faith in and of itself does not make something true, only evidence and proofs can do that, in this case, checking the bank account. You point out, and so you should, that a faith in the self is valuable and necessary, and even an Atheist might comfortably engage in such faith. I have no issue with this. My criticism is reserved for a more harmful form of faith displayed by religious fundamentalists, and even protected by their more moderate comrades.

My entire point is that faith in god does not make him real, no matter my own desire either way. To be a grown adult person and to say "I believe in god as literally existent and Christianity as being literally true because I have faith that this is so." is ridiculous and childish. Evidence, reason, and proofs, if they exist, are far superior as means of discovering the truth of any proposition. In fact, in no field of study, other than religion, is faith considered an acceptable explanation for a belief. When a mathematician or scientist comes to a conclusion, he must present his evidence or proofs for examination and criticism. When the average citizen purchases a new car, he is not willing to merely trust in the salesman as to the features of his purchase, he usually inspects the vehicle, asks relevant questions, and conducts a test drive in order to make the most informed decision. If this is the standard by which we purchase a vehicle, why are we not using such a system in pursuit of a far more important truth? Why is enough merely to assume god is real, and one particular religion is literally true?

Even if one manages to get that far, why does it not matter which god? Is it not true that believing in Allah is directly in violation of belief in Jehovah? Does this not condemn every Muslim to hell, provided that Jehovah is, in fact, the one true god? In what way does this not matter?

'Dark Phoenix' - I think the issue here is "anidominus" is treating "evidence and proof" only as a form of deduction from valid premises i.e 100% proofs in contrast to faith. ( a false dichotomy)

Of course when banks make loans or when one makes a commitment to marry or when a scientist discovers something new but has not fully formulated the evidence this is very far from deductive reasoning and 100% proof that:
1.the loan will be paid,
2.the wife wont cheat or
3.full evidence for a fringe theory will come to light.

anidominus reasoning is because there is not 100% proof then these cases are called "faith"

However in the three analogies above evidence plays a role all along - as I mentioned the bank does evidence based assessments on the likelihood for the loan being repaid, in relationships there are behaviours, clues & records of cheating and depending on the evidence available the new fringe science theory can either be falsified or further backed up with evidence increasing the likelihood that the theory is correct.

How does this relate to faith in God ?

Anidominus did not accept my probabilistic faith in God scenario - we were obviously using the terms faith differently. (faith is slippery term - meaning in different context trust, hope, confidence and a way of knowing things unrevealed)
i.e the terms is slippery from an emotional attitude to an epistemological method to know that not revealed by evidence.

Eg the "probabilistic argument" for faith is used by Richard Swinburne in his book "The existence of God"
a summary & critique available here:
http://infidels.org/library/modern/gabe_...burne.html

Eg the Pragmatic use of faith to enhance confidence & hope may be life enhancing put makes no claim that God actually exists - just that faith can be useful for example if combined with a work ethic to run a successful business. (also useful to inspire people to fly planes into buildings and burn witches)

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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24-01-2014, 02:26 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
Quote:
Quote:"In some cases people seem to believe in God for the sole purpose of experiencing some grand afterlife in which all their problems go away."
'anidominus' wrote: This is true... And?


The point is just wishing something to be true doesn't make it true.


Quote: 'anidominus' wrote: "We hold these truths to be self evident..." is in the declaration of independence because if you don't see these truths just by looking, then we can't help you.

God isn't self evident - if it was we wouldn't be arguing about it for thousands of years and some people have never believed from childhood - its just doesn't come up in their lives.
Others leave faith, not a comparison to other "self evident" truths such as in mathematics one day deciding to abandon 1+1=2.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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24-01-2014, 05:55 AM (This post was last modified: 24-01-2014 06:03 AM by Mathilda.)
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(23-01-2014 02:18 PM)anidominus Wrote:  Faith is believing this item you just made will earn you a million dollars and then maintaining the confidence, the behavior, swagger, and work ethic as if this is true without doing something stupid like writing a check for a million dollars without the money being in the bank first.

People use faith all the time, atheist alike. Its how everything huge gets done. Faith got us to the moon.

This is the search hypothesis of emotions.

A neuroscientist called Antonio Damasio dealt with patients who had damage to the parts of the brain processing emotions. He writes in his book 'Descarte's error' how he asked one such patient to choose between two dates for his next appointment. Each option was as good as the other but this didn't stop the patient spending half an hour trying to decide and reason about all kind of things such as likelihood of the weather etc. Damasio finally had enough and picked the date for him and the patient was perfectly happy. This is a typical observation from neuroscience.

This all shows that you need to make irrational choices in order to act rationally. Humans need to be able to pick an arbitrary choice and to stick with it long enough to properly exploit it. It's a big issue in the field of Artificial Intelligence designing robots that can decide when to explore for better options, and when to exploit what it already has. Imagine being stranded in the wilderness with very little in the way of food and water but you suspect that you may find a lot more if you walk several miles to another location that looks favourable. Do you stay where you are and conserve your energy or do you risk looking for something better? In the end it comes down to making a guess and sticking with it. The worst thing would be to walk half way there and then return.

Having faith feels right to you because as humans it is how we naturally think and act. That's a very different thing though from saying that what we have faith in is actually true or can be done in practice. This is why it is important to also be able think critically.

For example, humans could have had faith in the Victorian ages that they could get to the moon before the end of the century. They would have been wrong.

My husband read a book once by a geologist in the late 19th century who based his whole career on the assumption that the moon was volcanic. You could argue that the geologist had faith, i would say that he was exploring a hypothesis. Either way, he was wrong.
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24-01-2014, 07:13 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(23-01-2014 05:45 PM)Baruch Wrote:  This simply is not true - the comparison between a relationship or girlfriend/wife is not comparable to faith is a God.

Lets use the girlfriend/wife analogy - it is similar to the probabilistic reasoning I mentioned earlier (the pragmatic faith like W.James model)
You do not know 100% that the girlfriend wont cheat on you - however there is evidence for the type of personality she is based on direct interactions with her. Does she flirt with everyone, then disappear and tell lies about were she has been, is the relationship rocky, has she cheated before - all sorts of factors go into making that assessment - and ultimately it is an inference to the best explanation for the behaviours.

Your saying this applies to God in scriptures ?
The analogy seems very far fetched.

Heck, it gets even weirder. It's common for apologetics to claim that God is on a different level than us morally, and that he isn't morally bound to keep us safe or even not to kill us. This is typically done to absolve him of crimes such as killing children in the flood. They will assert that he simply has no moral imperative to not kill us.

If we assume that is true, why would we assume he has any moral imperative to tell us the truth? God would be, by apologetic definition, the least trust-worthy entity in all of creation. So, really, it takes less faith to trust your girlfriend/wife than it does to even assume any single thing God said is even true.
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24-01-2014, 07:38 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(24-01-2014 07:13 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  If we assume that is true, why would we assume he has any moral imperative to tell us the truth? God would be, by apologetic definition, the least trust-worthy entity in all of creation. So, really, it takes less faith to trust your girlfriend/wife than it does to even assume any single thing God said is even true.

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24-01-2014, 09:47 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(23-01-2014 06:14 PM)Baruch Wrote:  
(23-01-2014 03:10 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Merely hoping that a product of mine will make me millions, and then treating that concept as a goal, is an ambitious endeavor, but not a good representation of what I mean by religious faith. As you conceded yourself, having faith in the million dollars to come did not make the probability of making that money 100%. Faith in and of itself does not make something true, only evidence and proofs can do that, in this case, checking the bank account. You point out, and so you should, that a faith in the self is valuable and necessary, and even an Atheist might comfortably engage in such faith. I have no issue with this. My criticism is reserved for a more harmful form of faith displayed by religious fundamentalists, and even protected by their more moderate comrades.

My entire point is that faith in god does not make him real, no matter my own desire either way. To be a grown adult person and to say "I believe in god as literally existent and Christianity as being literally true because I have faith that this is so." is ridiculous and childish. Evidence, reason, and proofs, if they exist, are far superior as means of discovering the truth of any proposition. In fact, in no field of study, other than religion, is faith considered an acceptable explanation for a belief. When a mathematician or scientist comes to a conclusion, he must present his evidence or proofs for examination and criticism. When the average citizen purchases a new car, he is not willing to merely trust in the salesman as to the features of his purchase, he usually inspects the vehicle, asks relevant questions, and conducts a test drive in order to make the most informed decision. If this is the standard by which we purchase a vehicle, why are we not using such a system in pursuit of a far more important truth? Why is enough merely to assume god is real, and one particular religion is literally true?

Even if one manages to get that far, why does it not matter which god? Is it not true that believing in Allah is directly in violation of belief in Jehovah? Does this not condemn every Muslim to hell, provided that Jehovah is, in fact, the one true god? In what way does this not matter?

'Dark Phoenix' - I think the issue here is "anidominus" is treating "evidence and proof" only as a form of deduction from valid premises i.e 100% proofs in contrast to faith. ( a false dichotomy)

Of course when banks make loans or when one makes a commitment to marry or when a scientist discovers something new but has not fully formulated the evidence this is very far from deductive reasoning and 100% proof that:
1.the loan will be paid,
2.the wife wont cheat or
3.full evidence for a fringe theory will come to light.

anidominus reasoning is because there is not 100% proof then these cases are called "faith"

However in the three analogies above evidence plays a role all along - as I mentioned the bank does evidence based assessments on the likelihood for the loan being repaid, in relationships there are behaviours, clues & records of cheating and depending on the evidence available the new fringe science theory can either be falsified or further backed up with evidence increasing the likelihood that the theory is correct.

How does this relate to faith in God ?

Anidominus did not accept my probabilistic faith in God scenario - we were obviously using the terms faith differently. (faith is slippery term - meaning in different context trust, hope, confidence and a way of knowing things unrevealed)
i.e the terms is slippery from an emotional attitude to an epistemological method to know that not revealed by evidence.

Eg the "probabilistic argument" for faith is used by Richard Swinburne in his book "The existence of God"
a summary & critique available here:
http://infidels.org/library/modern/gabe_...burne.html

Eg the Pragmatic use of faith to enhance confidence & hope may be life enhancing put makes no claim that God actually exists - just that faith can be useful for example if combined with a work ethic to run a successful business. (also useful to inspire people to fly planes into buildings and burn witches)

I can't make you believe the evidence of God existences. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

That fact is, regardless of the probability or anything else, banks don't know if one particular person is going to pay back that loan. Yes, banks have examples of people paying back the loan. Likewise, people won't have faith in "God" unless he has demonstrated his power. That's why Jesus did the miracles, to demonstrate that he was who he said he was. This is how I know I can have faith. God demonstrated his power over and over again in scripture but you don't believe it. You believe Julius Caesar existed when all you have is people telling you, but you won't believe in God.

But see, you don't understand. You can't wrap your head around that simplicity. And I can't help you with it.
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24-01-2014, 09:49 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(24-01-2014 02:26 AM)Baruch Wrote:  
Quote: 'anidominus' wrote: This is true... And?


The point is just wishing something to be true doesn't make it true.


Quote: 'anidominus' wrote: "We hold these truths to be self evident..." is in the declaration of independence because if you don't see these truths just by looking, then we can't help you.

God isn't self evident - if it was we wouldn't be arguing about it for thousands of years and some people have never believed from childhood - its just doesn't come up in their lives.
Others leave faith, not a comparison to other "self evident" truths such as in mathematics one day deciding to abandon 1+1=2.

Its not God's fault that you don't believe whats right in front of you.
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24-01-2014, 10:31 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(24-01-2014 07:13 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(23-01-2014 05:45 PM)Baruch Wrote:  This simply is not true - the comparison between a relationship or girlfriend/wife is not comparable to faith is a God.

Lets use the girlfriend/wife analogy - it is similar to the probabilistic reasoning I mentioned earlier (the pragmatic faith like W.James model)
You do not know 100% that the girlfriend wont cheat on you - however there is evidence for the type of personality she is based on direct interactions with her. Does she flirt with everyone, then disappear and tell lies about were she has been, is the relationship rocky, has she cheated before - all sorts of factors go into making that assessment - and ultimately it is an inference to the best explanation for the behaviours.

Your saying this applies to God in scriptures ?
The analogy seems very far fetched.

Heck, it gets even weirder. It's common for apologetics to claim that God is on a different level than us morally, and that he isn't morally bound to keep us safe or even not to kill us. This is typically done to absolve him of crimes such as killing children in the flood. They will assert that he simply has no moral imperative to not kill us.

If we assume that is true, why would we assume he has any moral imperative to tell us the truth? God would be, by apologetic definition, the least trust-worthy entity in all of creation. So, really, it takes less faith to trust your girlfriend/wife than it does to even assume any single thing God said is even true.

Agree Bobby.
Worse than this - if the relationship with God was comparable to a human relationship it would be an extremely dysfunctional relationship !
Your wife tells you one day to sacrifice your son and just says "trust me"
...The rational thing to do is sent her to a psychotic asylum. (even if she backed out at the last minute and saved the son) - the very intention is psychotic.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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24-01-2014, 10:35 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #3
(24-01-2014 09:47 AM)anidominus Wrote:  I can't make you believe the evidence of God existences. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

There is no evidence for the existence of God that doesn't require you to assume he exists in the first place.

Please, point me to a piece of evidence where you don't assume his existence in the premise and where the conclusion couldn't be adjusted to point to a different god. Every piece of "evidence" I've seen either requires you to assume YHWH to prove YHWH (as opposed to Allah, or any other gods), or the conclusion is so vague that there's no way that it points go "God, and only God".

I'd like to see this water to which I've been supposedly lead. I was thirsty for several years and didn't drink, but not for lack of will, but lack of water. Please. Show me.
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