Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
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18-08-2014, 07:08 PM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(18-08-2014 06:25 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(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

Empirical evidence is empirical if it is measured, which means seeing it is not enough, you have to be able to put an instrument and a number to it - at least in the scientific sense. In science, something is only true if other scientists can repeat the measurement or the experiment and get a similar result.

You are not probing into the scientific method, you are criticizing the informal approach of acquiring knowledge and evaluating claims. In general, we use our rationality to determine the likelihood of a claims validity. This saves us the time and expense of having to experience everything ourselves. If we hear a claim from someone we believe to be an appropriate authority we are likely to except that claim uncritically; and for good reason. I don't have the time to study molecular biology, if a molecular biologist make a claim about molecular biology I am apt to believe it, or I must reject all claims about molecular biology. We cannot be everywhere at once and be educated in all relevant trades and sciences to evaluate every truth claim by experiencing it ourselves, we have to use some system of judgement to guide us; that is what skepticism is good for.

Folks like Sye and dido don't seem to understand that; skepticism is accepting that you can be certain of nothing but you can be reasonably sure as to the likelihood of many things. All people employ skepticism in their lives - to varying degrees of success Dodgy .
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19-08-2014, 12:27 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(18-08-2014 02:56 PM)wazzel Wrote:  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.

Are the two necessarily mutually exclusive? Perhaps that's how the "divine" is accessed.

Phil
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19-08-2014, 12:39 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(19-08-2014 12:27 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(18-08-2014 02:56 PM)wazzel Wrote:  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.

Are the two necessarily mutually exclusive? Perhaps that's how the "divine" is accessed.

Phil

If they're all accessing a singular unified realm or experience, how come people can replicate the experience praying to any god or none? This would seem to indicate that the phenomenon is psychological and biological, because the only thing consistent about it is people and faith; not what they have faith in. Now you can label that experience 'divine', but doing so only burdens it with unnecessary and unhelpful cultural and religious baggage; and is ultimately nothing but a definition word game.

Relabeling a natural psychological experience or phenomenon doesn't actually provide evidence for the supernatural.

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19-08-2014, 12:46 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(18-08-2014 07:08 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  Empirical evidence is empirical if it is measured, which means seeing it is not enough, you have to be able to put an instrument and a number to it - at least in the scientific sense. In science, something is only true if other scientists can repeat the measurement or the experiment and get a similar result.

Sure, and this does not undermine the fact it is a "personal experience", in the sense that the entire process occurs inside the personal awareness of whatever scientist is conducting the experiment. Awareness, or consciousness, is the "stage" on which empiricism takes place. It's not possible for us to radically step outside of our own awareness because in a sense, awareness itself is our core essence.

Quote:In general, we use our rationality to determine the likelihood of a claims validity.

Yes, I agree I do this a huge amount. And whilst on the one hand it saves a lot of time, on the other hand it's unfortunate because it can trap me inside a memetic echo chamber.

If a claim comes in which is described in terms of a perspective which in order to be meaningful requires knowledge or experience I don't yet have, it's highly likely that the claim will sound (at best) highly unlikely or (at worst) gobbldygook or "word salad".

So it gets dismissed without investigation. What this means is that I don't merely dismiss noise or nonsense, I can also find myself dismissing higher order knowledge in the same manner

Quote:This saves us the time and expense of having to experience everything ourselves. If we hear a claim from someone we believe to be an appropriate authority we are likely to except that claim uncritically; and for good reason. I don't have the time to study molecular biology, if a molecular biologist make a claim about molecular biology I am apt to believe it, or I must reject all claims about molecular biology. We cannot be everywhere at once and be educated in all relevant trades and sciences to evaluate every truth claim by experiencing it ourselves, we have to use some system of judgement to guide us; that is what skepticism is good for.

OK again - I agree this is what I myself tend to do, but it does contain the exact same potential trap as above.

Phil
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19-08-2014, 01:04 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(19-08-2014 12:39 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  If they're all accessing a singular unified realm or experience, how come people can replicate the experience praying to any god or none?

Simple - "god" is just a human concept. It's a concept that points to an aspect of reality that's absolute, however other non-god concepts point to the same aspect of reality, e.g. zen is concerned with acquiring a direct experience of the absolute (Satori) but it does not use the "god" concept to describe it, zen is essentially an atheist tradition. Similarly, I am sure such experiences could be framed in the language of western psychology, or systems theory, or any number of other conceptual systems.

Doesn't matter if you call it an experience of oneness or a Satori or a peak experience or an experience of god-realisation, it's all just different people describing the same human experience using different concepts.

It's worth repeating because it's really important - "god" is just a human concept. We have it, we created "god", not vice versa. However, what in reality does the concept point towards?

Quote:This would seem to indicate that the phenomenon is psychological and biological,

I am sure it is both biological and and psychological. A biology and a psycology are both required to support any experience of the cosmos.

Quote:Relabeling a natural psychological experience or phenomenon doesn't actually provide evidence for the supernatural.

There is no supernatural.

At least, not by my understanding of that word. If we define "god" as a "supernatural entity", then I'd say I'm a strong atheist, I am prepared to assert such an entity does not exist in fact.

Phil
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19-08-2014, 01:20 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(19-08-2014 12:46 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(18-08-2014 07:08 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  Empirical evidence is empirical if it is measured, which means seeing it is not enough, you have to be able to put an instrument and a number to it - at least in the scientific sense. In science, something is only true if other scientists can repeat the measurement or the experiment and get a similar result.

Sure, and this does not undermine the fact it is a "personal experience", in the sense that the entire process occurs inside the personal awareness of whatever scientist is conducting the experiment. Awareness, or consciousness, is the "stage" on which empiricism takes place. It's not possible for us to radically step outside of our own awareness because in a sense, awareness itself is our core essence.

It is not "personal" in that there are more than one "persons" and instruments involved. Measuring takes the most or all of the subjectivity out of the measurement, and because of the relatively constant nature of instruments it allows others to do the same.

It is a philosophical truthism that all experiences are experienced by the person. All our senses are fallible so in theory anything we think we know could be in error. Like many things in philosophy, it is a rather useless and impractical sentiment. [Most of us] have no particular reason to doubt our senses most of the time. When we observe something repeatedly that seems congruent with reality it is reasonable to assume it is true.

Quote:
Quote:In general, we use our rationality to determine the likelihood of a claims validity.

Yes, I agree I do this a huge amount. And whilst on the one hand it saves a lot of time, on the other hand it's unfortunate because it can trap me inside a memetic echo chamber.

If a claim comes in which is described in terms of a perspective which in order to be meaningful requires knowledge or experience I don't yet have, it's highly likely that the claim will sound (at best) highly unlikely or (at worst) gobbldygook or "word salad".

So it gets dismissed without investigation. What this means is that I don't merely dismiss noise or nonsense, I can also find myself dismissing higher order knowledge in the same manner

This has little to do with solipsism and everything to do with critical thinking. Distinguishing fact from fiction, and bias from objectivity, is indeed difficult to do.

Quote:
Quote:This saves us the time and expense of having to experience everything ourselves. If we hear a claim from someone we believe to be an appropriate authority we are likely to except that claim uncritically; and for good reason. I don't have the time to study molecular biology, if a molecular biologist make a claim about molecular biology I am apt to believe it, or I must reject all claims about molecular biology. We cannot be everywhere at once and be educated in all relevant trades and sciences to evaluate every truth claim by experiencing it ourselves, we have to use some system of judgement to guide us; that is what skepticism is good for.

OK again - I agree this is what I myself tend to do, but it does contain the exact same potential trap as above.

Phil

The "potential trap" of solipsism is omnipresent and trivially true. Just because we have unreliable instruments doesn't mean they are broken. If the unlikely is true, and everything we experience as reality is a delusion, the real question is - would it matter?
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19-08-2014, 06:32 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(18-08-2014 03:03 PM)diddo97 Wrote:  God exists because God exists. Circular? Of course. Just like your position? Of course!

Not at all like my position. There is no evidence of a god so I do not believe there is a god. I am an ex-believer. I came to this conclusion in my quest to be a better Christian. Sometimes when you go looking for answers they are not what you expected.
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19-08-2014, 06:35 AM
RE: Theists: do any of you have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(19-08-2014 12:27 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(18-08-2014 02:56 PM)wazzel Wrote:  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.

Are the two necessarily mutually exclusive? Perhaps that's how the "divine" is accessed.

Phil

I do not discount a person's experience, just where they assign credit.
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