Why I'm a Theist
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10-08-2015, 12:02 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(10-08-2015 11:59 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(10-08-2015 11:50 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Why are you now trying to restrict it to societies by the way?

Because people generally live in societies. I am not claiming that every single individual would invent Gods. But historically, religion was pretty universal until science started providing better answers. In the middle of a thunderstorm, a primitive person wondering what's happening isn't going to sit down and derive Maxwell's equations. I can't see how this statement is at all controversial. People want to explain things, and science was not an available option until fairly recently. Before that, the best explanation was religion.

Don't confuse the "only" explanation at the level of the society meaning that it is inevitable that all humans will arrive at supernatural conclusions as they enter adulthood.

Your language suggests that the only course of action is to develop supernatural/religious beliefs in the absence of any education by other humans.

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10-08-2015, 12:04 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(10-08-2015 12:02 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(10-08-2015 11:48 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  (I'll assume there was 0 evidence against him)

Without evidence linking him to it, it is not possible to conclude he did. The possibility therefore remains more likely he didn't until such time as proof positive of his guilt is found.

Wrong answer. People kill people and get away with it all the time. It is unreasonable to assume guilt without evidence, and it is also unreasonable to assume innocence without evidence. We see this in the legal system as well. We don't rule anyone out (assume innocence) of a murder case until they prove their innocence with an alibi.

But we do have "innocent until proven guilty" as a guiding principle. Innocence is the default state, not guilt.
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10-08-2015, 12:04 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(10-08-2015 12:02 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(10-08-2015 11:48 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  (I'll assume there was 0 evidence against him)

Without evidence linking him to it, it is not possible to conclude he did. The possibility therefore remains more likely he didn't until such time as proof positive of his guilt is found.

Wrong answer. People kill people and get away with it all the time. It is unreasonable to assume guilt without evidence, and it is also unreasonable to assume innocence without evidence. We see this in the legal system as well. We don't rule anyone out (assume innocence) of a murder case until they prove their innocence with an alibi.

You are conflating issues. I did not say that in the case of murder there is no guilt, but that the probabilities assigned to a specific suspect can only lead one to conclude they are more likely guilty than not such that guilt >0 and guilt > not guilty. With no evidence, it remains the postulation that not guilty > 0 and not guilty > guilty

If not for this, then every human on the planet is equally likely to be guilty each time a murder is committed.

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10-08-2015, 12:06 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(10-08-2015 12:04 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(10-08-2015 12:02 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Wrong answer. People kill people and get away with it all the time. It is unreasonable to assume guilt without evidence, and it is also unreasonable to assume innocence without evidence. We see this in the legal system as well. We don't rule anyone out (assume innocence) of a murder case until they prove their innocence with an alibi.

You are conflating issues. I did not say that in the case of murder there is no guilt, but that the probabilities assigned to a specific suspect can only lead one to conclude they are more likely guilty than not such that guilt >0 and guilt > not guilty. With no evidence, it remains the postulation that not guilty > 0 and not guilty > guilty

If not for this, then every human on the planet is equally likely to be guilty each time a murder is committed.

This is also why I use the rock example instead of one where consciousness is required (murder).

Can a rock be conscious such that it can have intentions? If one is completely ignorant of reality, they might say "yes" and attempt to prove the rock is conscious. But can an inanimate object or cause have intentions or unintentions?

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10-08-2015, 12:09 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(10-08-2015 11:38 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(10-08-2015 11:34 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I think you're missing my point. If a baby could somehow make it to adulthood without being taught anything by adults, and had to figure everything out for himself, he would very likely conclude (like most primitive people) that the powerful forces of nature were controlled by supernatural beings. He wouldn't come up with modern science all by himself, from scratch.

To say "adults think it up" says nothing, really. Adults think everything up. Babies aren't capable of anything that can really be called thinking. Science is "thought up" by adults just like religion is. Babies learn what they are taught.

And if theism can only arise by indoctrination, who indoctrinated the first theist? I claim that it can and does arise in other ways.

"...he would very likely conclude (like most primitive people) that the powerful forces of nature were controlled by supernatural beings."

How did you arrive at this conclusion?

Humans are prone to ascribing intentionality to things: tigers, storms, elk, earthquakes, ...

This is very likely an evolved survival trait as it leads to second-order thinking, prediction, and so on. It works very well when the thing actually has some level of intentionality, like tigers.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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10-08-2015, 12:10 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(10-08-2015 11:41 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(10-08-2015 11:19 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  If you find no evidence of intentionality, then the probability of intentionally remains 0 whereas the probability of there being no intention (such that the word or its opposite) don't apply is >0

If no evidence exists that a specific individual committed a crime, then the probability that they committed that crime remains 0 until shown otherwise and the probability of their innocence is >0

What if the man actually committed the crime, but no evidence was found?

How would you know? Consider

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10-08-2015, 12:11 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(10-08-2015 11:44 AM)Free Wrote:  
(10-08-2015 11:36 AM)Chas Wrote:  If I mis-read that and you only meant this in relation to human knowledge, then we're good.

We're good.

And now I can sit back and enjoy the ass kicking you are giving to the arguments these theists are proposing.

Popcorn

I forgive you for making yourself misunderstood. Big Grin

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10-08-2015, 12:12 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(10-08-2015 11:46 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(10-08-2015 11:42 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  You can't conclude they did it without evidence and the probabilities remain as I state them.

A cause without evidence of it being linked in any way to the effect, is an untestable, unverifiable, and unknowable cause.

Because OJ Simpson was not found to be guilty, does that mean that we are certain that he is not guilty? For all we know, isn't it possible that he killed them and got away with it?

Please stop conflating legal proceedings and science. Weeping

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
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10-08-2015, 12:13 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(10-08-2015 12:02 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(10-08-2015 11:59 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Because people generally live in societies. I am not claiming that every single individual would invent Gods. But historically, religion was pretty universal until science started providing better answers. In the middle of a thunderstorm, a primitive person wondering what's happening isn't going to sit down and derive Maxwell's equations. I can't see how this statement is at all controversial. People want to explain things, and science was not an available option until fairly recently. Before that, the best explanation was religion.

Don't confuse the "only" explanation at the level of the society meaning that it is inevitable that all humans will arrive at supernatural conclusions as they enter adulthood.

Your language suggests that the only course of action is to develop supernatural/religious beliefs in the absence of any education by other humans.

I never said "only" -- I said "very likely". The only place I've seen "only" is on the other side of this argument -- the claim that the only way to acquire religious beliefs is by indoctrination. Again I ask: Who indoctrinated the first theist?

In real life (in today's world), people are taught explanations for things. They are taught religion, or they are taught science, or they are taught both. The claim that I'm fighting against here is that if they are not taught anything, they are guaranteed to remain atheist. I claim otherwise. If this were true, there never would have been any theists at all. The concept had to originate somehow. History has shown that, in the absence of better explanations (such as science), people are likely to come up with some sort of theism. Not guaranteed, but likely.

I don't understand why this simple and obvious idea is meeting such fierce resistance.
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10-08-2015, 12:13 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
Unfogged,

Quote:No, the god claim is extraordinary and requires extraordinary evidence. Naturalistic claims are as yet unproven but, given the vast amount of information we have for natural processes, it is not in the same category as the god claim.

It is in the same category, both hypothesis attempt to explain how we find ourselves in a universe and how our existence came to be and neither explanation has conclusive evidence in its favor.

Quote:Facts that support multiple conjectures aren't evidence for any of them in particular, they just aren't evidence against ant of them either. None of your 5 facts is even unlikely given the idea of natural processes being responsible.

If anyone wants to make a case in favor of naturalism from the lines of evidence I submitted they are welcome to it. The problem is you lack belief in natural causes (though you favor that explanation) and you lack belief in a theistic cause. Apparently there isn't enough evidence (in your opinion) in favor of either theory for you to offer an opinion.

Quote:As it turns out, we've been over that repeatedly anyway. The fact that intelligence CAN create something doesn't say anything about whether it is REQUIRED.

Did I ever claim a theistic cause is required? What it does show is a theistic model is plausible and reproducible.

Quote:Only to individuals who aren't willing to be intellectually honest. For somebody who insists that they need to have an answer NOW they can jump at whatever they "feel" makes the most sense but that means nothing. It may give them an excuse to stop asking questions but doesn't actually answer any of the questions.

I have an opinion...don't you?

Quote:Perhaps because that's all it is. The common base stance for atheists is that theists have not met the burden of proof for the claim that a god exists. Period.

The burden of proof for an opinion are facts and arguments that support that opinion.
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