"True Atheists are Hypocrites"
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11-11-2010, 07:20 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(11-11-2010 06:57 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  
(11-11-2010 01:00 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  What does this mean? "Weight comparison"? Valid in what way?
Well we're using a tool that can accurately measure one but is farcical as measuring the other: science used to measure religion.

I think I understand what you were saying. However, I'd like to know why you think religion cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny.

Quote:
(11-11-2010 01:00 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  What prerequisite would that be?
Belief

So you chose to believe in the absence of evidence?

Quote:
(11-11-2010 01:00 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  What framework?
I'm talking about Christianity specifically.

I know that you were talking about Christianity; seeing as you're a Christian, it's a fairly safe bet. What I was asking about was the framework that Christianity offered which "stands up to logical scrutiny". I haven't seen one.

Quote:Apologies.

You've got nothing to apologize for.

Quote:I search very hard to discredit it and so far have drawn a blank.

What do you consider "discrediting"? What would be required to prove to you that Christianity is false?

Quote:Working through the logical concepts I find unbelievers have no counters to them.

As before, I've seen no "logical" concept in religion that stands up to scrutiny. Can you give some examples?

Quote:That isn't to say they then believe what I believe, because belief comes from acting upon what you accept to be true. For me it took a huge amount of working out and then given the overwhelming evidence for, a big effort to step over into belief.

What "overwhelming evidence"?

Quote:I fully respect the atheist position: I've been one for most of my life after all. There are very many good arguments and solid reasoning. None that I have found convincing myself, and nothing that would seriously challenge the faith (in my opinion). I sincerely hope that I'm big enough to be honest about that. I try anyway.

Glad to hear it. If you don't mind submitting your beliefs to logical scrutiny, you might start a thread here to try and defend them.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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11-11-2010, 08:33 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  I think I understand what you were saying. However, I'd like to know why you think religion cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny.
As Ghost has very eloquently demonstrated, and as I tried to also explain - it's totally the wrong tool - it simply doesn't work.

Take answering prayers: can you test for the effectiveness of prayer? First we need to know what the answer to the prayer should be. We can't assume what we would think was the right answer is what God would think is the right answer, because we don't have the capacity to know everything that would influence that judgement, as God would. Retrospectively we can assess answers to prayers. To us those answers may be contradictory, but again we have no knowledge of the reasoning behind them.

(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  So you chose to believe in the absence of evidence?
What?

(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  What do you consider "discrediting"? What would be required to prove to you that Christianity is false?
Any demonstrable error in the logic.

(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  As before, I've seen no "logical" concept in religion that stands up to scrutiny. Can you give some examples?
I'm not very good at coming up with answers on the spot. I usually just discuss points as they occur. God's supposed contradictions? I usually seem to be defending the right to be a theist and hold beliefs that are logical to me where people demonstrate an intolerance of anything they don't understand.

(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  What "overwhelming evidence"?
Sorry - the very many issues we might have with and faith worked out to satisfactory conclusion.
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11-11-2010, 09:11 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(11-11-2010 08:33 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  
(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  I think I understand what you were saying. However, I'd like to know why you think religion cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny.
As Ghost has very eloquently demonstrated, and as I tried to also explain - it's totally the wrong tool - it simply doesn't work.

I disagree.

Quote:Take answering prayers: can you test for the effectiveness of prayer? First we need to know what the answer to the prayer should be.

It should be "yes". Anything else is indistinguishable from there not being a god to answer in the first place, and is evidence against the effectiveness of prayer. Prayer is only effective if the answer is "yes". That's the definition of "effective".

Quote:Retrospectively we can assess answers to prayers. To us those answers may be contradictory, but again we have no knowledge of the reasoning behind them.

Which is irrelevant. The question was whether or not prayer could be demonstrated to be an effective cure for disease, not whether or not the prayers would be received. Whether or not there is a god to receive the prayers is irrelevant; as long as the prayer does not cure the disease, we have proven that prayer is ineffective. It's just as ineffective if there is a god who receives the prayers and ignores them as it is if there is no god.

Quote:
(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  So you chose to believe in the absence of evidence?
What?

Never mind.

Quote:
(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  What do you consider "discrediting"? What would be required to prove to you that Christianity is false?
Any demonstrable error in the logic.

Fair enough. I wouldn't mind exploring the logic more deeply later, but for now it's not part of the discussion.

Quote:
(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  As before, I've seen no "logical" concept in religion that stands up to scrutiny. Can you give some examples?
I'm not very good at coming up with answers on the spot. I usually just discuss points as they occur.

Fair enough.

Quote:God's supposed contradictions?

That's not part of the religion's concepts, though, is it? It's one of the objections that some people raise against it.

Quote:
(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  What "overwhelming evidence"?
Sorry - the very many issues we might have with and faith worked out to satisfactory conclusion.

Sorry, but this sentence doesn't make any sense to me. Can you rephrase it?

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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11-11-2010, 11:38 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hey, BnW.

Quote:ok, my head just popped off, but I'm following you this time.

I'm seriously hoping you're one of those orange Muppets from Labyrinth.

Quote:My problem is that anything people can make up does not get equal weight and treated with equally validity because it can't be 100% disproven.

That's a position.

We must; however, make a separation between random claims and supernatural claims. If I say I can throw a fastball a million kilometres an hour, while you may have never seen it or measured it with a radar gun, you can reasonably assume that I can't because it's a normal thing (a mass accelerated by force in an atmosphere) that is so far outside of the boundaries of normal that it simply couldn't correspond. But it can be discounted in three seconds with a radar gun.

This logic CANNOT be applied to the supernatural. Full stop.

The supernatural has no boundaries and doesn't correspond to the natural, making testing impossible.

The supernatural can't be disporven 1% nor can the non-existence of God be proven 1%.

Quote:I can't prove, beyond all doubt, that there are not leprechauns living in the middle of the sun but I can reasonably infer there are none.

This might sound like a fecetious question, but why? Seriously. Is it just your intuition or is there something you're basing it on?

If you said there's no ice in the centre of the sun, that's reasonable. Ice begins to form at 0 Celsius, or 273 Kelvin. We know that the sun reaches temperatures of ~1.57×10 to the 7th power K. So there can't be naturally occuring ice according to what we know and what we suspect.

Quote:I can't say for absolute certainty that the supernatural does not exist but I can say it has yet to manifest itself in any observable or tangible way so I can discount it and dismiss it until evidence of its actual existence is somehow presented.

It has yet to manifest itself to YOU. Others have been claiming for thousands of years that it has manifested itself to them. There's no reason to believe that it SHOULD manifest itself to everyone (if it exists at all). So in the end, all you're saying is "I haven't seen it". This is EXACTLY the limits of science that I've been talking about.

This goes back to the point of the original article. He says explicitly that it's entirely reasonable to not believe in it; however, it's not reasonable to say it doesn't exist.

Quote:Science, on the other hand, is able to see, to touch, to measure, to question, and to answer many of the mysteries of the universe.

Yes. I agree 100%. Science is AWESOME at getting to the bottom of the natural world.

Quote:No, it has not answered all of them but given the track record of science and the total lack of evidence of the supernatural, it is not unreasonable to assume that all things have a logical, explicable cause and it's not ghosts, goblins or god that causes them.

There is not a total lack of evidence. There are claims. Thousands if not millions of them. What doesn't exist is a commentary from science beyond, "I got nuthin." So saying, "there's no scientific evidence so I don't believe," is reasonable. Saying, "none of those claims have been substantiated by science," is also reasonable. It's less reasonable if science CAN'T substantiate them, but hey. But the jump from, "well it's not proven by science," to, "therefore, it doesn't exist," is not a reasonable jump.

So the assumption that everything has an explanation is, just that, an assumption. It is, in fact, the assumption, not the scientifically proven or provable fact, but the assumption that science is based on.

Quote:Finally, I'm not sure where the political agenda comment comes from but science does not have an agenda other than the search for objective truth.

I agree. Science has no agenda. That's the point. Science won't make claims it can't. But others can claim that science claims things that it can't. So the point is if science has limits then admitting that shouldn't be an issue. It's only an issue if people want to pretend that it doesn't have limits so they can use it to their advantage.

Quote:Politicians have a political agenda and they will use science or distort science to further their causes.

Not just politicians. Anyone with an agenda that such claims support. So it's a political issue (not to be conflated with government).

Quote:Atheism is not a political movement and is not driven by politics.

Fair enough.

Quote:That does not mean atheists do not have political agendas, though.

That's what I'm getting at.

Quote:However, my observation is most of the atheist political agenda is to keep the forces of superstition where it belongs: out of class rooms and in the local theological repository. Beyond that, we fall all over the political spectrum.

An agenda that is more difficult when they're forced to say, "well, we don't believe it but we don't actually have any way to disprove it, so really, it's our word against yours."

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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12-11-2010, 12:22 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(11-11-2010 11:38 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, BnW.

Quote:ok, my head just popped off, but I'm following you this time.

I'm seriously hoping you're one of those orange Muppets from Labyrinth.

Quote:My problem is that anything people can make up does not get equal weight and treated with equally validity because it can't be 100% disproven.

That's a position.

We must; however, make a separation between random claims and supernatural claims. If I say I can throw a fastball a million kilometres an hour, while you may have never seen it or measured it with a radar gun, you can reasonably assume that I can't because it's a normal thing (a mass accelerated by force in an atmosphere) that is so far outside of the boundaries of normal that it simply couldn't correspond. But it can be discounted in three seconds with a radar gun.

This logic CANNOT be applied to the supernatural. Full stop.

The supernatural has no boundaries and doesn't correspond to the natural, making testing impossible.

The supernatural can't be disporven 1% nor can the non-existence of God be proven 1%.

Quote:I can't prove, beyond all doubt, that there are not leprechauns living in the middle of the sun but I can reasonably infer there are none.

This might sound like a fecetious question, but why? Seriously. Is it just your intuition or is there something you're basing it on?

If you said there's no ice in the centre of the sun, that's reasonable. Ice begins to form at 0 Celsius, or 273 Kelvin. We know that the sun reaches temperatures of ~1.57×10 to the 7th power K. So there can't be naturally occuring ice according to what we know and what we suspect.

Quote:I can't say for absolute certainty that the supernatural does not exist but I can say it has yet to manifest itself in any observable or tangible way so I can discount it and dismiss it until evidence of its actual existence is somehow presented.

It has yet to manifest itself to YOU. Others have been claiming for thousands of years that it has manifested itself to them. There's no reason to believe that it SHOULD manifest itself to everyone (if it exists at all). So in the end, all you're saying is "I haven't seen it". This is EXACTLY the limits of science that I've been talking about.

This goes back to the point of the original article. He says explicitly that it's entirely reasonable to not believe in it; however, it's not reasonable to say it doesn't exist.

Quote:Science, on the other hand, is able to see, to touch, to measure, to question, and to answer many of the mysteries of the universe.

Yes. I agree 100%. Science is AWESOME at getting to the bottom of the natural world.

Quote:No, it has not answered all of them but given the track record of science and the total lack of evidence of the supernatural, it is not unreasonable to assume that all things have a logical, explicable cause and it's not ghosts, goblins or god that causes them.

There is not a total lack of evidence. There are claims. Thousands if not millions of them. What doesn't exist is a commentary from science beyond, "I got nuthin." So saying, "there's no scientific evidence so I don't believe," is reasonable. Saying, "none of those claims have been substantiated by science," is also reasonable. It's less reasonable if science CAN'T substantiate them, but hey. But the jump from, "well it's not proven by science," to, "therefore, it doesn't exist," is not a reasonable jump.

So the assumption that everything has an explanation is, just that, an assumption. It is, in fact, the assumption, not the scientifically proven or provable fact, but the assumption that science is based on.

Quote:Finally, I'm not sure where the political agenda comment comes from but science does not have an agenda other than the search for objective truth.

I agree. Science has no agenda. That's the point. Science won't make claims it can't. But others can claim that science claims things that it can't. So the point is if science has limits then admitting that shouldn't be an issue. It's only an issue if people want to pretend that it doesn't have limits so they can use it to their advantage.

Quote:Politicians have a political agenda and they will use science or distort science to further their causes.

Not just politicians. Anyone with an agenda that such claims support. So it's a political issue (not to be conflated with government).

Quote:Atheism is not a political movement and is not driven by politics.

Fair enough.

Quote:That does not mean atheists do not have political agendas, though.

That's what I'm getting at.

Quote:However, my observation is most of the atheist political agenda is to keep the forces of superstition where it belongs: out of class rooms and in the local theological repository. Beyond that, we fall all over the political spectrum.

An agenda that is more difficult when they're forced to say, "well, we don't believe it but we don't actually have any way to disprove it, so really, it's our word against yours."

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Two big problems that I want to comment on:

1. Your making an assumption that the supernatural exists. It is highly possible that there is no supernatural. Or if there is one that it does not interact with our reality in any way at all.

2. We CANNOT count on many of these people's claims for evidence because the claims contradict each other almost each and every time. There are thousands of different church groups that each claim to have a direct communication with God or Jesus.

Yet each of these different groups seems to have a rather difficult time coming to an agreement about even the basic things like how god views homosexuality, Eucharist, Baptism and so on.

Even if a being is beyond science it is not beyond reason to say that if everyone who claims to be able to speak with this being can't even come to an agreement about what kind of person he is then his odds of being real are quite small.

Even if science doesn't work there is still reasoning involved. There has never been a group of people touched by the supernatural that have been consistent in their description of events.

That is why currently I have no reason to believe a supernatural exists at all much less a god.
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12-11-2010, 01:17 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Very well stated, Godless.
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12-11-2010, 02:49 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Unbeliever...

(11-11-2010 09:11 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  I disagree.
Why? How?

(11-11-2010 09:11 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
Quote:Take answering prayers: can you test for the effectiveness of prayer? First we need to know what the answer to the prayer should be.
It should be "yes". Anything else is indistinguishable from there not being a god to answer in the first place, and is evidence against the effectiveness of prayer. Prayer is only effective if the answer is "yes". That's the definition of "effective".
Forgive me, but that's one the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. You think the only answer to any prayer is "yes"? So if I make the most absurd request that should work too? Or are you saying that the request is beyond reproach and therefore has to be met with the only reasonable answer? How can you know this? You would have to have have supernatural powers to know that surely?

(11-11-2010 09:11 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
Quote:Retrospectively we can assess answers to prayers. To us those answers may be contradictory, but again we have no knowledge of the reasoning behind them.
Which is irrelevant. The question was whether or not prayer could be demonstrated to be an effective cure for disease, not whether or not the prayers would be received. Whether or not there is a god to receive the prayers is irrelevant; as long as the prayer does not cure the disease, we have proven that prayer is ineffective. It's just as ineffective if there is a god who receives the prayers and ignores them as it is if there is no god.
No the question is NEVER that prayer is effective against disease. The question is whether or not God decides that the disease should stop is justified. If it is the disease will be cured.

I agree it's not a question of the prayers being received, as I believe they always are. The answer given is the just answer however. This is the Christian model, and if you're deviating from that model then you aren't testing prayer from a Christian perspective and the test is for something else.

We don't know and can't prove if there's a God that accepts them or not is all, as we have no way of knowing what the just answer to prayers is. As Christians we accept God's judgements as just, because God can be no other.

(11-11-2010 09:11 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
Quote:
(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  What "overwhelming evidence"?
Sorry - the very many issues we might have with it (religion) and faith worked out to satisfactory conclusion.
Sorry, but this sentence doesn't make any sense to me. Can you rephrase it?
(see bolding - hope that helps!)

For example... all the objections you might raise having a satisfying answer.
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12-11-2010, 07:52 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Fr0d0

Quote:Forgive me, but that's one the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. You think the only answer to any prayer is "yes"? So if I make the most absurd request that should work too? Or are you saying that the request is beyond reproach and therefore has to be met with the only reasonable answer? How can you know this? You would have to have have supernatural powers to know that surely?

I think you missed the point here. Unbeliever isn't stating that the answer to all prayers should be yes, he's saying that the only way you can test for the effectiveness of prayer is with a "yes" answer. If you pray for a Ferrari and the next day someone drops one off at your door, you can perhaps infer the prayer worked. Of course god would be under no obligation to answer prayers but then how do you know if they work? What would be the point?

Quote:No the question is NEVER that prayer is effective against disease. The question is whether or not God decides that the disease should stop is justified. If it is the disease will be cured.

So, your position is that an all knowing, all seeing, loving deity will wait until you pray to decide if you should have a disease cured or not? Really? And, if that is the case then doesn't it stand to reason that people who never prayed would never be cured? And yet, we can prove, pretty easily, that is not the case. At minimum, using your logic, there should be some demonstrable difference in cure rates between people who do pray and people who don't. I know there has been some research on this in the past. Would you care to wager on the outcome?

Quote:For example... all the objections you might raise having a satisfying answer.

Not as of yet, they don't.

Ghost

I'm not going to go through this line by line, but I'll hit the highlights

Quote:We must; however, make a separation between random claims and supernatural claims.

And what is that difference? What is the difference between my leprechaun example and your baseball example? The proof factor? I don't agree that is a difference. In your example you say something that is easily debunked. In my example I say something that there is no evidence to support at all. None. So, you're right in saying that it's possible that there are leprechauns living in the sun but absent some evidence of it and given what we know about the sun and leprechauns, we can reasonably infer there are not. You are correct that science can not absolutely prove most things (sometimes we will get lucky on the absolute proof thing) but we can make reasonable inferences based on what we know.

Regarding the supernatural, you're correct that I've never seen it but from what we know about the universe we can make reasonable inferences. As for the thousands of people who claim to have seen it over the course of history, a great deal of those accounts are easily debunked and another great number of them are third party accounts (including the Gospels). Also, lightening was once considered proof of the supernatural.

You're right that we can't say with 100% certainty that the supernatural does not exist but without some credible evidence of its existence and its impact on our universe, we can both assume that it does not and equally just ignore it as a possibility.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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12-11-2010, 08:37 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(12-11-2010 02:49 AM)fr0d0 Wrote:  Unbeliever...

[lurch]You rang?[/lurch]

Quote:
(11-11-2010 09:11 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  I disagree.
Why?

The rest of my post contained my reasons for disagreeing.

Quote:How?

By saying "no". *rimshot*

Quote:
(11-11-2010 09:11 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
Quote:Take answering prayers: can you test for the effectiveness of prayer? First we need to know what the answer to the prayer should be.
It should be "yes". Anything else is indistinguishable from there not being a god to answer in the first place, and is evidence against the effectiveness of prayer. Prayer is only effective if the answer is "yes". That's the definition of "effective".
Forgive me, but that's one the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.

Why?

Quote:You think the only answer to any prayer is "yes"?

No. You missed the point. It isn't that the only possible answer is "yes", it's that the only answer which can prove that prayer is effective is "yes". Prayer is only effective if the answer is "yes". Getting any other answer - or no answer at all - gives no evidence for the effectiveness of prayer.

So... yes. We can use science to test the effectiveness of prayer.

Quote:So if I make the most absurd request that should work too?

Not unless you're trying to prove that prayer is effective in solving... whatever problem it is that you're asking God to solve.

Quote:
(11-11-2010 09:11 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
Quote:Retrospectively we can assess answers to prayers. To us those answers may be contradictory, but again we have no knowledge of the reasoning behind them.
Which is irrelevant. The question was whether or not prayer could be demonstrated to be an effective cure for disease, not whether or not the prayers would be received. Whether or not there is a god to receive the prayers is irrelevant; as long as the prayer does not cure the disease, we have proven that prayer is ineffective. It's just as ineffective if there is a god who receives the prayers and ignores them as it is if there is no god.
No the question is NEVER that prayer is effective against disease.

Except that it is.

This is a fairly common claim, fr0d0. Hundreds of theists have said it thousands of times in millions of places all over the world. It gets tested - and disproven - regularly.

When someone claims that prayer is an effective cure for disease, the question is "Is prayer an effective cure for disease?".

Quote:The question is whether or not God decides that the disease should stop is justified. If it is the disease will be cured.

Again, this is irrelevant. We are not testing whether or not the prayers are received, or even if there is a god to receive them. We are simply attempting to ascertain if there is any correlation between prayers for health and health itself. No other knowledge is necessary.

Quote:I agree it's not a question of the prayers being received, as I believe they always are.

I don't doubt that you do. But it's still irrelevant.

Quote:The answer given is the just answer however.

Which is irrelevant. We are only testing to see if prayer can be seen to have a quantifiable effect on disease. The only answer that means anything in this context is "yes". Anything else is not an effective treatment for disease, and is therefore not evidence for the effectiveness of prayer.

Quote:This is the Christian model, and if you're deviating from that model then you aren't testing prayer from a Christian perspective and the test is for something else.

Except that it isn't. The "Christian model" is irrelevant. It doesn't matter what you believe about prayer. It doesn't matter what you think that God does with the prayers that he receives. The only thing that matters is whether or not you can show a direct correlation between prayer and healing.

You may very well believe that all prayers are received and answered, and that the answer is often "no" or "wait". But it doesn't matter. That doesn't change the fact that we are testing for "yes" answers and "yes" answers only. We are not - repeat, not - testing to see if the prayers are received. The only thing that is relevant is whether or not we receive a "yes" answer.

Quote:
(11-11-2010 09:11 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
Quote:
(11-11-2010 07:20 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  What "overwhelming evidence"?
Sorry - the very many issues we might have with it (religion) and faith worked out to satisfactory conclusion.
Sorry, but this sentence doesn't make any sense to me. Can you rephrase it?
(see bolding - hope that helps!)

Meh. I still don't know exactly what evidence it is that you're talking about.

Quote:For example... all the objections you might raise having a satisfying answer.

Pardon me if I don't take your word for it. I've heard that from a lot of people, and I've still yet to see any evidence whatsoever in favor of a god's existence.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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12-11-2010, 11:51 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Forgive me, I think you're both deliberately trying to miss the point here! If I ask for a Ferrari, and it doesn't appear... the God's answer to my request is 'no'. If a Ferrari appears... the answer is 'yes'.

For Christians: prayers must be in line with the directions given. Still then, the most correct prayer may result in a negative answer from God. Why? Because only God knows enough to be just. We can't judge what God decides as we cannot have the information to do so.

BnW Wrote:So, your position is that an all knowing, all seeing, loving deity will wait until you pray to decide if you should have a disease cured or not? Really? And, if that is the case then doesn't it stand to reason that people who never prayed would never be cured? And yet, we can prove, pretty easily, that is not the case. At minimum, using your logic, there should be some demonstrable difference in cure rates between people who do pray and people who don't. I know there has been some research on this in the past. Would you care to wager on the outcome?
That's nothing like my position. The point of the story of the suffering of Job is that it doesn't matter how good you are (Job was, according to the text, a good and righteous man), it makes no difference to your treatment. The act of praying is inconsequential on this according to the bible.

I know the double blind test very well. Like I said, it commits the most heinous fallacy of studying a false premise: that we can know what an answer from God should be. We simply don't. -- Personally I'm grateful to the test to silence the numbskull Christians who make scientific claims of the supernatural. That's all the test achieves. It has no bearing on what prayer really is.

Believer Wrote:Prayer is only effective if the answer is "yes". Getting any other answer - or no answer at all - gives no evidence for the effectiveness of prayer.
To you maybe, but to the believer, given the correct approach, it can be indicative of God's will.

Do you not get it yet: nothing of God can be empirically known, otherwise how can we call him God?

Prayer isn't a tool like a calculator. Calculators solve problems that are entered into them. That's what they do. There is no magic formula to get what you want from a prayer - the answer is entirely up to God, and we can't know the mind of God. I might want an amputee healed... but if it isn't God's will it's not going to happen... I have no way to force the answer to what I want it to be... God's will is what happens.

Some medicine is an affective cure for some diseases. I know of very reliable and utterly respectable people who claim to have seen with their own eyes weirdy things happening to skin and bone. Do I believe it? No. They sure do. Again, Ghost's logic is impeccable here. 1. "If it were rational, it wouldn't be supernatural." And 2. "Of course there is no evidence. That's the point."

Unbeliever Wrote:
fr0d0 Wrote:For example... all the objections you might raise having a satisfying answer.
Pardon me if I don't take your word for it. I've heard that from a lot of people, and I've still yet to see any evidence whatsoever in favor of a god's existence.
Well except for illogical objections! Big Grin Wink
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