Why I'm a Theist
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30-07-2015, 11:48 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(30-07-2015 10:27 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(30-07-2015 09:52 AM)Commonsensei Wrote:  He also seems to have a lot of presuppositions about Atheist. He has ignored all my post I put on his thread. So I sent him an invitation for a 1on1 debate in the boxing ring to perhaps clear some of these up and he has yet to respond.

Invitation still stands Drewpaul.

That's his MO. But it doesn't matter. The majority of viewers here are guests, and they can decide for themselves, based on what they see, what is being addressed, and what is not. Whether he replies or not, they make their own judgements.

For example :

"That is what it is...but many atheists not wanting to have to defend a belief (that God doesn't exist) prefer to claim they merely lack belief in God but don't deny God exists. This makes debating the existence of God a bit difficult."....

is complete bullshit. If someone had to defend EVERY concept that is dismissed as it's incoherent or just downright ridiculous, (as is the notion of an undefined deity) nothing else would ever get done. It's just 2 year-old behavior, demanding that the simplistic chidish arguments remain on the only level they know how to argue on.
Dismissing incoherent claims is not "belief", (except to someone who has redefined it for HIMSELF maybe it could be ... who knows).



"Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. Otherwise there would be no religious people" - Dr. Gregory House

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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04-08-2015, 02:34 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(28-07-2015 02:39 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  I think this point of conversation would of, or would still, go better if you defined "physics 'fixes' all the facts"

“Let’s unpack that slogan—The physical facts fix all the facts. It means that the physical facts constitute or determine or bring about all the rest of the facts. Here’s a graphic way of thinking about it. There is some corner of space-time far from here and now, so far in fact that light signals have not yet reached us from that corner of the universe. Imagine that by some cosmic coincidence, every molecule, every atom in that distant region just happens to be arranged in a distribution or configuration that is a perfect duplicate of the current distribution of the molecules and atoms in our own corner of the universe—the region of Earth and its moon. So we are to imagine two distinct regions of the universe many millions of light-years apart, each several hundred thousand miles across, that are physically identical, fermion by fermion and boson by boson.

With these two regions in mind, we can see what it means for the physical facts to fix all the facts—including the chemical, biological, psychological, social, economic, political, and other human facts. In the distant duplicate of our Earth-and-moon region, there are also animals and people, cities and shops, libraries full of books, paintings on the walls and refrigerators full of food, in every way physically indistinguishable from our own region of space-time. It would have to be the case that the distant arrangement of all the molecules, atoms, and their parts would also have to have a duplicate in it for everything that exists in our world. This must include every single biological creature, every human being, with all the same relationships in it that exist here and now in our own corner of the universe. What is more, since each of the brains of all the inhabitants of this distant world have to be identical to one and only one of the brains in this world, they would have all the same emotions, attitudes, and memories (or the feeling that they remembered) that the brains in our world have.
That distant region would have to be exactly like ours, no matter what the actual history of that distant chunk of matter and energy had been up to just before the moment of perfect duplication. It would have to be a duplicate of our region of space even if it had been organized and synthesized in a few moments of random fluctuation as opposed to the 4 billion years it took to produce us and our memories. A perfect physical duplicate of our world would have to be a perfect chemical, biological, neurological, psychological, social, economic, and political duplicate, too. It would have to—if the physical facts fix all the facts.

Before you reject this idea of a physically duplicate region of space-time, there are two observations to be made. First, no one is saying this really happens—ever. We are using this idea to illustrate what we mean when we say that the physical facts in our little corner of the universe (and every little corner, for that matter), fix, determine, establish, create, bring about, generate (or whatever word you want to use) all the other facts about it—including the biological, psychological, and social ones that obtain here and now.”

Excerpt From: Rosenberg, Alex. “The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions.” iBooks.
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04-08-2015, 02:42 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(04-08-2015 02:34 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 02:39 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  I think this point of conversation would of, or would still, go better if you defined "physics 'fixes' all the facts"

“Let’s unpack that slogan—The physical facts fix all the facts. It means that the physical facts constitute or determine or bring about all the rest of the facts. Here’s a graphic way of thinking about it. There is some corner of space-time far from here and now, so far in fact that light signals have not yet reached us from that corner of the universe. Imagine that by some cosmic coincidence, every molecule, every atom in that distant region just happens to be arranged in a distribution or configuration that is a perfect duplicate of the current distribution of the molecules and atoms in our own corner of the universe—the region of Earth and its moon. So we are to imagine two distinct regions of the universe many millions of light-years apart, each several hundred thousand miles across, that are physically identical, fermion by fermion and boson by boson.

With these two regions in mind, we can see what it means for the physical facts to fix all the facts—including the chemical, biological, psychological, social, economic, political, and other human facts. In the distant duplicate of our Earth-and-moon region, there are also animals and people, cities and shops, libraries full of books, paintings on the walls and refrigerators full of food, in every way physically indistinguishable from our own region of space-time. It would have to be the case that the distant arrangement of all the molecules, atoms, and their parts would also have to have a duplicate in it for everything that exists in our world. This must include every single biological creature, every human being, with all the same relationships in it that exist here and now in our own corner of the universe. What is more, since each of the brains of all the inhabitants of this distant world have to be identical to one and only one of the brains in this world, they would have all the same emotions, attitudes, and memories (or the feeling that they remembered) that the brains in our world have.
That distant region would have to be exactly like ours, no matter what the actual history of that distant chunk of matter and energy had been up to just before the moment of perfect duplication. It would have to be a duplicate of our region of space even if it had been organized and synthesized in a few moments of random fluctuation as opposed to the 4 billion years it took to produce us and our memories. A perfect physical duplicate of our world would have to be a perfect chemical, biological, neurological, psychological, social, economic, and political duplicate, too. It would have to—if the physical facts fix all the facts.

Before you reject this idea of a physically duplicate region of space-time, there are two observations to be made. First, no one is saying this really happens—ever. We are using this idea to illustrate what we mean when we say that the physical facts in our little corner of the universe (and every little corner, for that matter), fix, determine, establish, create, bring about, generate (or whatever word you want to use) all the other facts about it—including the biological, psychological, and social ones that obtain here and now.”

Excerpt From: Rosenberg, Alex. “The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions.” iBooks.

Rosenberg is not a typical atheist, though -- he's an extremist. And I believe him to be wrong about some things. For one thing, it's not possible for everything to be determined that exactly. He needs to take a look at chaos theory (yes, that is a real thing, and it's fascinating). Whether or not we truly have free will, there is an element of randomness in nature. Everything is not predetermined.
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04-08-2015, 02:52 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(04-08-2015 02:34 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 02:39 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  I think this point of conversation would of, or would still, go better if you defined "physics 'fixes' all the facts"

“Let’s unpack that slogan—The physical facts fix all the facts. It means that the physical facts constitute or determine or bring about all the rest of the facts. Here’s a graphic way of thinking about it. There is some corner of space-time far from here and now, so far in fact that light signals have not yet reached us from that corner of the universe. Imagine that by some cosmic coincidence, every molecule, every atom in that distant region just happens to be arranged in a distribution or configuration that is a perfect duplicate of the current distribution of the molecules and atoms in our own corner of the universe—the region of Earth and its moon. So we are to imagine two distinct regions of the universe many millions of light-years apart, each several hundred thousand miles across, that are physically identical, fermion by fermion and boson by boson.

With these two regions in mind, we can see what it means for the physical facts to fix all the facts—including the chemical, biological, psychological, social, economic, political, and other human facts. In the distant duplicate of our Earth-and-moon region, there are also animals and people, cities and shops, libraries full of books, paintings on the walls and refrigerators full of food, in every way physically indistinguishable from our own region of space-time. It would have to be the case that the distant arrangement of all the molecules, atoms, and their parts would also have to have a duplicate in it for everything that exists in our world. This must include every single biological creature, every human being, with all the same relationships in it that exist here and now in our own corner of the universe. What is more, since each of the brains of all the inhabitants of this distant world have to be identical to one and only one of the brains in this world, they would have all the same emotions, attitudes, and memories (or the feeling that they remembered) that the brains in our world have.
That distant region would have to be exactly like ours, no matter what the actual history of that distant chunk of matter and energy had been up to just before the moment of perfect duplication. It would have to be a duplicate of our region of space even if it had been organized and synthesized in a few moments of random fluctuation as opposed to the 4 billion years it took to produce us and our memories. A perfect physical duplicate of our world would have to be a perfect chemical, biological, neurological, psychological, social, economic, and political duplicate, too. It would have to—if the physical facts fix all the facts.

Before you reject this idea of a physically duplicate region of space-time, there are two observations to be made. First, no one is saying this really happens—ever. We are using this idea to illustrate what we mean when we say that the physical facts in our little corner of the universe (and every little corner, for that matter), fix, determine, establish, create, bring about, generate (or whatever word you want to use) all the other facts about it—including the biological, psychological, and social ones that obtain here and now.”

Excerpt From: Rosenberg, Alex. “The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions.” iBooks.

They're not "facts". The things that "fix the facts" are "properties", (of this universe) some of which can only be described now, incompletelty. Why they arise as they do in this universe, now, .... we don't know.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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05-08-2015, 07:10 AM (This post was last modified: 05-08-2015 07:13 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(04-08-2015 02:42 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Rosenberg is not a typical atheist, though -- he's an extremist.

He's the only popular atheists with a spine, willing to connect all the dots, and the only one willing to articulate a scientific worldview, a materialist picture of the world, while the rest are more devoted to pointing out the flaws of religious worldview than engage in constructing their own.

He's the only atheists, any theist should actually bother reading, because the rest are a dismissible lot. The only one for whom his atheism, isn't predicated on a lack of belief, but an actual series of beliefs that negates the very existence of God, and any lingering shadows that he leaves behind.

Quote:And I believe him to be wrong about some things. For one thing, it's not possible for everything to be determined that exactly. He needs to take a look at chaos theory (yes, that is a real thing, and it's fascinating).

Uhm, as he noted in the quote I posted: " First, no one is saying this really happens", it was for sake of illustration only. " That two distinct regions of the universe many millions of light-years apart, each several hundred thousand miles across, that are physically identical, fermion by fermion and boson by boson", would be a duplicate of our own in every way, a duplicate of myself in every way.

It's basically another way of saying that I am nothing but fermions and bosons, that there's no spooky stuff in between.

As Jerry Coyne put it: “The view that all sciences are in principle reducible to the laws of physics, must be true unless you’re religious.” Either we’re molecules in motion or we’re not. " Do you take issue with this parallel sentiment as well?
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05-08-2015, 07:16 AM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(05-08-2015 07:10 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  He's the only popular atheists with a spine, willing to connect all the dots, and the only one willing to articulate a scientific worldview, a materialist picture of the world, while the rest are more devoted to pointing out the flaws of religious worldview than engage in constructing their own.

How charming you are Tommy Smile Come up with a reasonable proposition for how you're gonna live on after you die yet? I mean, say you get blown to smithereens, *something* continues on right?

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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05-08-2015, 09:13 AM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(05-08-2015 07:10 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(04-08-2015 02:42 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Rosenberg is not a typical atheist, though -- he's an extremist.

He's the only popular atheists with a spine, willing to connect all the dots, and the only one willing to articulate a scientific worldview, a materialist picture of the world, while the rest are more devoted to pointing out the flaws of religious worldview than engage in constructing their own.

He's the only atheists, any theist should actually bother reading, because the rest are a dismissible lot. The only one for whom his atheism, isn't predicated on a lack of belief, but an actual series of beliefs that negates the very existence of God, and any lingering shadows that he leaves behind.

You seem to think that atheism being predicated on a lack of belief is some sort of problem. It's not. That's just the definition of atheism. Atheists are not required to unanimously share some overarching world view. We agree on one thing and one thing only -- there is insufficient evidence that gods exist. And there's nothing wrong with that. I'm not somehow dishonest or cowardly because I don't go to the same extremes as Rosenberg. I think he's blowing smoke. We simply don't know enough to make those kinds of statements. I don't claim to know there is no God, and I don't think it's possible to know that. This is an honest philosophical stance. It doesn't make me a bad person.

Quote:
Quote:And I believe him to be wrong about some things. For one thing, it's not possible for everything to be determined that exactly. He needs to take a look at chaos theory (yes, that is a real thing, and it's fascinating).

Uhm, as he noted in the quote I posted: " First, no one is saying this really happens", it was for sake of illustration only. " That two distinct regions of the universe many millions of light-years apart, each several hundred thousand miles across, that are physically identical, fermion by fermion and boson by boson", would be a duplicate of our own in every way, a duplicate of myself in every way.

I don't agree with this, even as a hypothetical. It would not be a duplicate in every way. Quantum mechanics and chaos theory show that reality is not deterministic to that degree.

Quote:It's basically another way of saying that I am nothing but fermions and bosons, that there's no spooky stuff in between.

As Jerry Coyne put it: “The view that all sciences are in principle reducible to the laws of physics, must be true unless you’re religious.” Either we’re molecules in motion or we’re not. " Do you take issue with this parallel sentiment as well?

I agree with Coyne's statement, but note that he says "all sciences" -- not all of reality. I think Rosenberg makes the more extreme claim that everything is reducible to physics, and I don't necessarily agree with that.
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05-08-2015, 11:04 AM (This post was last modified: 05-08-2015 11:12 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(05-08-2015 09:13 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  You seem to think that atheism being predicated on a lack of belief is some sort of problem. It's not. That's just the definition of atheism. Atheists are not required to unanimously share some overarching world view.

Atheist are not required to have a coherent worldview, anymore so than theist or some new age woo merchant are. They just tend to be less than interesting, and are entirely disposable. They tend to hold beliefs that exists in such a fog of incoherency, that they lack the ability to offer a meaningful challenge to any prevailing worldview. Now, I should say that I don't think there are many options for coherent, and consistent worldviews for atheists, mainly because theism had a long head start in occupying a variety of different niches already.

Now, you can be self-satisfied by being such an atheist, and there’s nothing obligating you to be anymore so than this, but those who would be less than satifisied with such a poorly reflected form of atheism, are inclined to not take it very seriously.

Quote:I'm not somehow dishonest or cowardly because I don't go to the same extremes as Rosenberg. I think he's blowing smoke.

I was speaking of popular atheists. Folks such as yourself, like most people, are likely to be too devoted to their everyday affairs, paying the bills, playing with their children, planning dinner, to be devoting any serious time to philosophical or theological musings. They’re not the sort who write books on the subjects, or whose professional lives require this sort of reflection. The things that they believe in, they believe in only vaguely, not because they are cowardly or dishonest, but there’s only so much time in the day to devote to this endeavor, and it’s quite hard to believe that anything beneficial to ones lives arises out of this.

So it’s not surprising that perhaps someone such as yourself, and your run of the mill atheists, are gratified by defining themselves by their lack of beliefs, that the things you do believe in exist, exist in some fog that you don’t particularly mind, that you’re more comfortable lacking a belief in God, than believing God does not exist. It might be uninteresting, but it’s not necessarily cowardly or dishonest.

Quote:I don't agree with this, even as a hypothetical. It would not be a duplicate in every way. Quantum mechanics and chaos theory show that reality is not deterministic to that degree.

You might have to unpack this for me. Are you claiming here that chaos theory shows that no such duplicate physical state, fermion by fermion and boson by boson, is possible?

Or are your claiming that in such a physically identical state, fermion by fermion, and boson by boson, that it still would not be a duplicate in every way? What part of me would be absent in a physically identical, fermion by fermion, boson by boson recreation of me? Wouldn’t this recreation contain all my memories, and thoughts?

Quote:I agree with Coyne's statement, but note that he says "all sciences" -- not all of reality. I think Rosenberg makes the more extreme claim that everything is reducible to physics, and I don't necessarily agree with that.

In your view all the sciences are reducible to physics, but that reality is not? If so, wouldn’t that imply that there are some aspects of reality which are not reducible to the sciences?
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05-08-2015, 11:32 AM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(05-08-2015 11:04 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(05-08-2015 09:13 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  You seem to think that atheism being predicated on a lack of belief is some sort of problem. It's not. That's just the definition of atheism. Atheists are not required to unanimously share some overarching world view.

Atheist are not required to have a coherent worldview, anymore so than theist or some new age woo merchant are. They just tend to be less than interesting, and are entirely disposable. They tend to hold beliefs that exists in such a fog of incoherency, that they lack the ability to offer a meaningful challenge to any prevailing worldview. Now, I should say that I don't think there are many options for coherent, and consistent worldviews for atheists, mainly because theism had a long head start in occupying a variety of different niches already.

Now, you can be self-satisfied by being such an atheist, and there’s nothing obligating you to be anymore so than this, but those who would be less than satifisied with such a poorly reflected form of atheism, are inclined to not take it very seriously.

Quote:I'm not somehow dishonest or cowardly because I don't go to the same extremes as Rosenberg. I think he's blowing smoke.

I was speaking of popular atheists. Folks such as yourself, like most people, are likely to be too devoted to their everyday affairs, paying the bills, playing with their children, planning dinner, to be devoting any serious time to philosophical or theological musings. They’re not the sort who write books on the subjects, or whose professional lives require this sort of reflection. The things that they believe in, they believe in only vaguely, not because they are cowardly or dishonest, but there’s only so much time in the day to devote to this endeavor, and it’s quite hard to believe that anything beneficial to ones lives arises out of this.

So it’s not surprising that perhaps someone such as yourself, and your run of the mill atheists, are gratified by defining themselves by their lack of beliefs, that the things you do believe in exist, exist in some fog that you don’t particularly mind, that you’re more comfortable lacking a belief in God, than believing God does not exist. It might be uninteresting, but it’s not necessarily cowardly or dishonest.

Quote:I don't agree with this, even as a hypothetical. It would not be a duplicate in every way. Quantum mechanics and chaos theory show that reality is not deterministic to that degree.

You might have to unpack this for me. Are you claiming here that chaos theory shows that no such duplicate physical state, fermion by fermion and boson by boson, is possible?

Or are your claiming that in such a physically identical state, fermion by fermion, and boson by boson, that it still would not be a duplicate in every way? What part of me would be absent in a physically identical, fermion by fermion, boson by boson recreation of me? Wouldn’t this recreation contain all my memories, and thoughts?

Quote:I agree with Coyne's statement, but note that he says "all sciences" -- not all of reality. I think Rosenberg makes the more extreme claim that everything is reducible to physics, and I don't necessarily agree with that.

In your view all the sciences are reducible to physics, but that reality is not? If so, wouldn’t that imply that there are some aspects of reality which are not reducible to the sciences?

Yes, it implies exactly that. However, note that I'm not making a dogmatic statement about this. I am willing to entertain the possibility that some aspects of reality are not reducible to, or approachable by, science. That's all.

As for my views being uninteresting, or me being "self-satisfied", stop being so smug. This has nothing to do with intellectual laziness or what I'm "comfortable" with. I have given a great deal of thought to these matters, and my conclusion is not only that I don't know the truth about God, but that it is not possible for anyone to know such truth with certainty. Anyone who claims to know for certain that God exists, or that God doesn't exist, is fooling himself (or herself). This is not some default "I don't want to think about it" cop-out. It is a philosophical stance to which I have given a great deal of thought. I can do without your condescension. And please stop pretending to know what all atheists think or believe. You don't know that. Nobody does.
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05-08-2015, 02:41 PM (This post was last modified: 06-08-2015 06:04 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(05-08-2015 11:32 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I can do without your condescension. And please stop pretending to know what all atheists think or believe. You don't know that. Nobody does.

Noted. I’ll try and be less presumptuous here.

Quote:I have given a great deal of thought to these matters, and my conclusion is not only that I don't know the truth about God, but that it is not possible for anyone to know such truth with certainty.

Would you say the same of Santa or Superman, fairies etc…? I don’t find myself uncomfortable claiming that I believe Santa, Superman, and fairies don’t exist. Would you see yourself as parting company with me here, and only feel comfortable declaring your lack of belief?

Quote:Yes, it implies exactly that. However, note that I'm not making a dogmatic statement about this. I am willing to entertain the possibility that some aspects of reality are not reducible to, or approachable by, science. That's all.


There seems to be a lot of positions in between making a dogmatic statement, and entertaining a possibility.

I can recognize that you’re not trying to state something strongly one way or the other here, but it does seem that you have some tentative belief, or inclination here, that you think there is something more to this picture than what can be reduced to “science”, that likely wouldn’t be best described by referring to it as “entertaining a possibility”.

I can entertain all sorts of possibility, even absurd and silly ones, but I doubt this is what you mean by “entertaining” it.
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