Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
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18-08-2014, 04:19 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(17-08-2014 04:32 AM)phil.a Wrote:  I am curious wether there are any theists in here whose position on the existence of God is not a matter of faith, e.g. is facts-based.
...

Yup.

It is a fact that ...

...KC has a brain disorder that gives him headaches and a personal god.

Angel

But faith is not the only factor. There are 4:

There are arguments from Faith, Authority, Revelation and/or Tradition.

FART... proof from hot air.

I'd say personal experience comes under the Revelation category.

(I know, yes, I've posted this before but it's one of my favourites)

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18-08-2014, 04:45 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
I think this thread would go better if you just dropped the last sentence from the OP.
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18-08-2014, 04:53 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(18-08-2014 03:46 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 11:14 AM)Chas Wrote:  Not really, consider phantom pain - is it real?

Or consider hallucination. Is it real? Real in what sense?

It's real in that it's an actual experience. Interpretations might not be real, e.g. phantom pain the mind interprets as coming from an amputated limb, the pain is real (probably as a result of stimulation of the nerve ending in our stump) even though the mind's spatial location of the pain isn't real.

Similar thing with hallucination. I think there must be some underlying cause and effect, e.g. there's some factual underpinning to the experience, even if the mind's interpretation of the situation is false.

Phil

The reality of those is entirely within the brain. There is no external reality to them.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-08-2014, 06:25 AM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2014 06:39 AM by phil.a.)
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(18-08-2014 04:19 AM)DLJ Wrote:  But faith is not the only factor. There are 4:

There are arguments from Faith, Authority, Revelation and/or Tradition.

FART... proof from hot air.

I'd say personal experience comes under the Revelation category.

(I know, yes, I've posted this before but it's one of my favourites)

All experience is "personal" experience, in the sense that there is always a "person" actually having the experience.

Empirical evidence is a "personal experience" of sense data.

In fact, rational thinkers frequently forget this, but it's important! Someone telling me they have empirical evidence for their claims does not deliver me empirical evidence for their claims. It's only empirical evidence to me if it actually arrives directly through my senses.

In my experience, there is a Revelation aspect to empirical knowledge, in the sense that a self-evident knowing is "revealed" when my awareness comes into contact with sense data.

However, regarding other people's claims - unless I actually re-create their experiment, I'm taking their claim on Faith, probably because I regard them as some sort of Authority in whatever Tradition I've been inculcated.

I'm an electronic design engineer. My father was a civil engineer, my grandfather was a mechanical engineer. Engineering is in my blood, my great great great great great uncle was George Stephenson (of "Stephenson's Rocket" fame).

It should be obvious I've received a deep cultural conditioning of enlightenment/industrial revolution rational worldview values.

It should be obvious that "Authorities" to me are Newton, Einstein, James Maxwell, Laplace, Faraday etc etc, these guys are Traditional engineering Authorities.

So much F.A.R.T in my life! But actually, that's not a problem.

Have you ever noticed how other people's F.A.R.Ts smell really bad but one's own F.A.R.T actually smells quite nice?

Why not tell me a bit about your own F.A.R.T?

Phil
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18-08-2014, 06:38 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
I posted something similar during my time in the den of Baptists. I said "there is no proof that God exists that doesn't require you to assume he exists in the first place". Cue a bunch of people independently saying "creation is proof of God".

Facepalm

I had to explain why they were presupposing God in that statement several times. I did manage to get a few of them to admit that their beliefs are faith-based.
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18-08-2014, 06:50 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(18-08-2014 04:45 AM)pablo Wrote:  I think this thread would go better if you just dropped the last sentence from the OP.

So I see - there seems to be reactivity around the concept of "personal experience".

By "personal experience" I essentially mean "empirical evidence".

defining "empirical" thusly:

"based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic."

What I mean is, if it's not founded in some actual direct experience, e.g. if it just comes from books or from thinking about things - I'm not really interested.

Phil
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18-08-2014, 07:12 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(18-08-2014 06:50 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(18-08-2014 04:45 AM)pablo Wrote:  I think this thread would go better if you just dropped the last sentence from the OP.

So I see - there seems to be reactivity around the concept of "personal experience".

By "personal experience" I essentially mean "empirical evidence".

defining "empirical" thusly:

"based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic."

What I mean is, if it's not founded in some actual direct experience, e.g. if it just comes from books or from thinking about things - I'm not really interested.

Phil

That's really muddling words, these are very different terms. Maybe the distinction is that evidence from a rational standpoint will be determined by observation and measurement in the natural universe.

Personal experience is such a broad way of viewing things that it includes divine and/or supernatural revelation. Being an atheist, I would; of course, give credibility to someone that gives evidence for an assertion based on observation from the natural world. Supernatural explanations, and people that assert their reality, are going to be viewed with a great amount of skepticism.

Someone who asserts the supernatural is demonstrating a flawed thinking process that can't be trusted.

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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18-08-2014, 07:45 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(18-08-2014 07:12 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(18-08-2014 06:50 AM)phil.a Wrote:  So I see - there seems to be reactivity around the concept of "personal experience".

By "personal experience" I essentially mean "empirical evidence".

defining "empirical" thusly:

"based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic."

What I mean is, if it's not founded in some actual direct experience, e.g. if it just comes from books or from thinking about things - I'm not really interested.

Phil

That's really muddling words, these are very different terms. Maybe the distinction is that evidence from a rational standpoint will be determined by observation and measurement in the natural universe.

What other universe is there? None. So that's implicit. The fact is though that human brains and human minds are themselves, facts of the cosmos (the cosmos contains them). So if the cosmos is to be truly understood, that might mean we need to look at human psychology to deepen our understanding of the cosmos.

It's actually my opinion that I can't reasonably understand what I'm looking at (in the cosmos) unless I have some understanding of what's doing the looking, e.g. have an understanding of the underlying psychology that supports my experience of reality. I think everyone (physicists, mathematicians, chemists etc) should all study basic human psychology simply to make their thinking more powerful in their actual area of professional expertise.

Quote:Personal experience is such a broad way of viewing things that it includes divine and/or supernatural revelation.

Not in the way I am using it, in the sense that "divine and/or supernatural " sounds like an interpretation of an experience, or a story told about an experience, rather than a statement of fact regarding what actually occurred.

If someone told me they'd experienced "the divine", I would ask - how do you know it was "the divine"? What actually occurred? These questions would lead me to perhaps glimpse the underlying facts of their experience, and separate those from their interpretation of the experience. Perhaps if I did so, I'd come to a different conclusion to them regarding how to reasonably interpret the facts, although this process is already hazardous because in terms of actual empirical knowledge, they have it and I don't (I wasn't in their head when they had the experience). So I'm already in quite a weak position to refute their claims, empirically speaking.

Phil
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18-08-2014, 02:56 PM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
In my opinion, from my experience, what people are calling a divine encounter is an emotional reaction to their environment influenced by their personal beliefs. Example. If you are at e religious retreat and you have an emotional experience it would be real easy to call it divine. Same it you were praying or some other religious activity that took you to an emotional place. The person does indeed have the emotional experience and what ever physical effects that come with it. It does not make it divine. I have had some of the religious nature when I was a believer. I have also had some non-religious experience that have left me with similar feelings since I have stopped believing.
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18-08-2014, 03:03 PM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
God exists because God exists. Circular? Of course. Just like your position? Of course!

Truth seeker.
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