Why should a deity exist?
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25-01-2017, 01:49 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(25-01-2017 01:04 PM)JHaysPE Wrote:  In my own personal opinion, faith is the grist of the mill of innovation. I think that if one rejects the operation of taking some things on faith, then one is destined to follow, not lead, when it comes to human endeavors. This isn't religious faith, but the ability to decide and act, absent certitude.

I could not possibly disagree more. Faith, in the sense of believing things to be true without good evidence, is not needed at all for creativity and innovation.

Nobody has argued that it isn't possible, reasonable, or even necessary to act without certainty. Ideas can be accepted provisionally; they can be assumed for the sake of investigating possibilities; they can be taken as something hoped for. None of that is prevented, or even discouraged, by a skeptical outlook on propositions. The only key is that you don't accept that something really is objectively true without good evidence.

Quote:I would suggest that if the ability to choose and act absent certitude is a capacity that has value in human endeavors, but religious faith is unacceptable, then I would suggest a comfort or discomfort with risk.

What has no value is accepting things as true without evidence. It isn't a question of risk, it's a question of aligning beliefs with reality and knowing when you are on solid ground and when you are speculating.

Quote:You are comfortable acting in faith if past patterns indicate acceptable odds of making a choice a particular way. That is worth exploring as it relates to "Why should a deity exist?".

That's not faith. If you have evidence of prior decisions and the results then making a similar choice is not a matter of using faith. You have actual reasons for believing that your actions will turn out to be correct.

Nothing about being a skeptic demands that you avoid all risk or have perfect information or complete knowledge. It only demands that you make the best choices you can based on the evidence you have and that may even mean taking a wild guess based on hope because you have nothing else. The difference is in knowing that you are doing that.

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25-01-2017, 02:01 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(25-01-2017 01:37 PM)unfogged Wrote:  If I pick up a knife and use it to tighten a screw then I have given that knife the purpose of tightening screws. The fact that it was intentionally designed to spread butter is irrelevant. The butter knife has whatever purpose I use it for.
If your intention was to fill the purpose of spreading butter, together with tightening screws, and you designed a tool to do that, then I would concede your point. However, butter knives exist to spread butter. The fact that you can also use them to tighten screws does not suggest existential purpose of screw tightening, it simply shows adapted utility by intelligent input.

(25-01-2017 01:37 PM)unfogged Wrote:  Yes, you misuse words frequently.
Then I appreciate your patience.

(25-01-2017 01:37 PM)unfogged Wrote:  You might say that life we see today was "designed" by natural selection but it can be very misleading to do so since "design" typically includes the idea of an intelligent agent with and end goal in mind.
What I am actually saying is that natural selection "stacks the deck" of the randomness of gene mutations. A mutation will or will not be expressed depending on how that mutation suits the organism for the environment.

(25-01-2017 01:37 PM)unfogged Wrote:  Whoever invented the butter knife had a purpose in mind and designed the knife for that purpose. There's no evidence that dogs or people or any other naturally occurring things were designed by anything other than the natural selection process.
Domestic dogs and cats are designed. The intelligent inputs of selective breeding by humans has resulted in the form and feature of the domestic dogs and cats we see today. The evidence of the assertion is apparent in that one does not observe packs of wid Boston Terriers roaming the plains of Africa, competing for survival with Hyenas and Jackals.

Boston Terriers exist because they express a purpose (cute, short-nosed dogs) resulting form an intelligent input (selection of a breeder to express the features of a short-nose and cuteness)

(25-01-2017 01:37 PM)unfogged Wrote:  Perhaps to you it does. It does not imply that to me at all. I can be glad that I exist without feeling any need for any object. Giddiness doesn't enter into it at all; I am not giddy that I exist.

Thank you for refuting your argument. My donation to a charity would not be an expression of gratitude for the windfall to the cause of that windfall; it would be a desire to spread the happiness that I am experiencing.
So the action is the same, but it is informed by a different "philosophy"?

(25-01-2017 01:37 PM)unfogged Wrote:  As I said before, and I think you may be agreeing, the emotion is the same. If you are going to restrict the use of gratitude to cases where there is a specific agent responsible then I am not grateful to exist because I see no agent. I don't assume that because I'm glad things worked out I must be feeling grateful and that must mean there is some agent to thank.
Fair enough. Happy in existence, but not grateful, as I have defined this, because there is not object to which the gratitude may be pointed. That at least honestly answers my question, and I appreciate that.
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25-01-2017, 02:04 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(25-01-2017 01:04 PM)JHaysPE Wrote:  In my own personal opinion, faith is the grist of the mill of innovation. I think that if one rejects the operation of taking some things on faith, then one is destined to follow, not lead, when it comes to human endeavors. This isn't religious faith, but the ability to decide and act, absent certitude.

It is definitely religious faith, and not uncertainty, that I'm opposed to. I prefer to use the word "confidence" rather than "faith" when speaking of non-religious matters, to avoid equivocation and keep the realms separate.

As for innovation, IMO curiosity and the ability to identify and analyze a situation, are far more important factors.

Quote:I would suggest that if the ability to choose and act absent certitude is a capacity that has value in human endeavors, but religious faith is unacceptable, then I would suggest a comfort or discomfort with risk.

No, I see it more a matter of whether or not the object of faith/confidence is plausible.

Quote:You are comfortable acting in faith if past patterns indicate acceptable odds of making a choice a particular way. That is worth exploring as it relates to "Why should a deity exist?"

Without acceptable evidence for a god there really are no past patterns in which I could ground such faith, hence nothing that can be explored.

I'm sorry, but your beliefs are much too silly to take seriously. Got anything else we can discuss?
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25-01-2017, 02:19 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(25-01-2017 01:44 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  Hello JHaysPE! Big Grin

Terribly sorry i've not greeted you and such yet. Different times zones, shift work etc.

Welcome to the forums and hope you'll enjoy your time here. Smile

So, since I'm really behind in the conversation. Blush

Might you drop a small post to just highlight your position?

I'll be more than happy to chat back and forth with you. Smile

Much cheers.
My objective here, under the topic of "Why should a deity exist?" is to investigate and understand the informing of choices and inspiration of willed actions from people who do not exercise religious faith.

I am following lines of questions, and responses, to come to an understanding of whether or not 'faith" (choosing or acting with less than the facts) is exercised, and if it is exercised, it is effective or not, and if effective, it so except when it comes to religious faith.

My position is that Deity/Not Deity is simply a statement of faith, no matter which is picked. It is picking one side of a coin or another. If that is true, then any discussion of the subject is meaningless - as people have chosen what they choose to believe, based on the relevance of one position or the other to them.

From there, it might be interesting to explore the products of this "faith" in terms of choices it informs, or accomplishments it inspires.
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25-01-2017, 02:32 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(25-01-2017 02:01 PM)JHaysPE Wrote:  
(25-01-2017 01:37 PM)unfogged Wrote:  If I pick up a knife and use it to tighten a screw then I have given that knife the purpose of tightening screws. The fact that it was intentionally designed to spread butter is irrelevant. The butter knife has whatever purpose I use it for.
If your intention was to fill the purpose of spreading butter, together with tightening screws, and you designed a tool to do that, then I would concede your point. However, butter knives exist to spread butter. The fact that you can also use them to tighten screws does not suggest existential purpose of screw tightening, it simply shows adapted utility by intelligent input.

Then we have a fundamental disagreement on what it means to have a purpose. Things can have a purpose for which they were intentionally designed but they can equally have a purpose for which they are used. The old tire that has been cut up and painted and turned into a flowerpot in the front yard (no, I do not have one) used to have the purpose of being a tire and now has the purpose of being a flowerpot. The purpose-from-use is not secondary to the purpose-from-design.

If something was not intentionally designed then it can only have the purposes that it is used for. The rock used as a paperweight had no designed purpose but does have a purpose now. In the case of agents they can also have the purposes that they decide to adopt.

Quote:What I am actually saying is that natural selection "stacks the deck" of the randomness of gene mutations. A mutation will or will not be expressed depending on how that mutation suits the organism for the environment.

I think we agree but, to be pedantic, natural selection doesn't stack the deck, natural selection IS the process of the deck being stacked. The former wording implies an intentional act.

Quote:Domestic dogs and cats are designed. The intelligent inputs of selective breeding by humans has resulted in the form and feature of the domestic dogs and cats we see today. The evidence of the assertion is apparent in that one does not observe packs of wid Boston Terriers roaming the plains of Africa, competing for survival with Hyenas and Jackals.

Correct. Humans took naturally evolved animals and intentionally guided the selection process to achieve a desired end.

Quote:
(25-01-2017 01:37 PM)unfogged Wrote:  Perhaps to you it does. It does not imply that to me at all. I can be glad that I exist without feeling any need for any object. Giddiness doesn't enter into it at all; I am not giddy that I exist.

Thank you for refuting your argument. My donation to a charity would not be an expression of gratitude for the windfall to the cause of that windfall; it would be a desire to spread the happiness that I am experiencing.
So the action is the same, but it is informed by a different "philosophy"?

Huh? The emotion is the same. Any actions I take as a result of the emotion may differ.

Quote:Fair enough. Happy in existence, but not grateful, as I have defined this, because there is not object to which the gratitude may be pointed. That at least honestly answers my question, and I appreciate that.

OK.... I still think it is a really strange usage but at least I think we finally understand each other.

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25-01-2017, 02:34 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(25-01-2017 02:19 PM)JHaysPE Wrote:  
(25-01-2017 01:44 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  Hello JHaysPE! Big Grin

Terribly sorry i've not greeted you and such yet. Different times zones, shift work etc.

Welcome to the forums and hope you'll enjoy your time here. Smile

So, since I'm really behind in the conversation. Blush

Might you drop a small post to just highlight your position?

I'll be more than happy to chat back and forth with you. Smile

Much cheers.
My objective here, under the topic of "Why should a deity exist?" is to investigate and understand the informing of choices and inspiration of willed actions from people who do not exercise religious faith.

I am following lines of questions, and responses, to come to an understanding of whether or not 'faith" (choosing or acting with less than the facts) is exercised, and if it is exercised, it is effective or not, and if effective, it so except when it comes to religious faith.

My position is that Deity/Not Deity is simply a statement of faith, no matter which is picked. It is picking one side of a coin or another. If that is true, then any discussion of the subject is meaningless - as people have chosen what they choose to believe, based on the relevance of one position or the other to them.

From there, it might be interesting to explore the products of this "faith" in terms of choices it informs, or accomplishments it inspires.

You continue to conflate two different meanings of 'faith' and this renders your thesis incoherent.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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25-01-2017, 02:34 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(25-01-2017 01:12 PM)JHaysPE Wrote:  
(24-01-2017 04:47 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You're joking, right ? So your god didn't exist until gravity was created ? Facepalm

https://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/ev....ybGR8P0QQ
Do you read the posts to which you reply?

I do.
And you have IN NO WAY responded to the question asked of you.
How is the existence of a god compatible with what you asserted.

Apparently you don't even understand what you said.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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25-01-2017, 02:38 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(25-01-2017 02:19 PM)JHaysPE Wrote:  I am following lines of questions, and responses, to come to an understanding of whether or not 'faith" (choosing or acting with less than the facts) is exercised, and if it is exercised, it is effective or not, and if effective, it so except when it comes to religious faith.

Where the hell do you get these definitions? Faith, in the religious sense, is believing something without sufficient evidence or in the face of contradictory evidence. In the non-religious sense it is essentially trust and based on past experience. I've never heard anybody use it to mean acting without all the facts.

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25-01-2017, 02:43 PM (This post was last modified: 25-01-2017 04:29 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why should a deity exist?
Quote:My position is that Deity/Not Deity is simply a statement of faith, no matter which is picked. It is picking one side of a coin or another.
And you would be totally wrong.
There are many options, and if one cannot even coherently define what a god is, (which you can't) the dismissal of the notion of "gawd"
(such as you dismiss the notion of pink unicorns), which is MORE defined than any notion of any "god", has nothing to do with "faith" or "no faith".
But we get you like the world in simple "blacks and whites".
That simplistic BIASED way to look at the world is a fairly common street-level error theists, (who probably in realty know NO non-believers), make.
You can't even say WHICH deity/not which deity, much less discuss "deity/not deity". You *need* a deity, or your psychological world falls to pieces.
It's not a philosophical or theological question / problem. It (as you have implied), is a PSYCHOLOGICAL issue, and you have projected your own needs onto others.
It's a gap filler, as you (as you have said) otherwise lack motivation and direction.

Quote:In my own personal opinion, faith is the grist of the mill of innovation. I think that if one rejects the operation of taking some things on faith, then one is destined to follow, not lead, when it comes to human endeavors. This isn't religious faith, but the ability to decide and act, absent certitude.

Oh right. Like astronomy for example ? I'm afraid history debunks that nonsense. Weeping
How about 5 examples in support of that claim.
Why would people who buy into "it's God's will" be motivated to do ANYTHING ?

Religious faith is a gift of the Spirit (according to Paul). Not everyone is given the same gifts, (which one would know if one ever took Bible 101).
"For many are called, but few are chosen"
"No one shall come to me, UNLESS the Father draw him". Faith is not a choice. Ever. (Unless the god is SO stupid he doesn't know when people *say* they believe, but really don't.)

(24-01-2017 08:28 AM)JHaysPE Wrote:  My personal experience and my purely anecdotal evidence, for what its worth in the discussion, finds that the religious are able to make contemplative "leaps of faith", which are relevant to accomplishment and fulfillment, where either by discipline or ignorance, the atheist doesn't allow himself.

Good people do good things. Some good people are people of faith. Many are not. The categories, in terms of what actions they perform are meaningless, and irrelevant.
Even religious people have a myriad of various motivations and purposes. The assumption they all stem from the same place, or are even similar, is ludicrous.

Too bad some religionists actually know so little of their own faith and those who practice it.
The contemplative, the agnostic and the non-believer all end up in the same place, practically speaking. The "Dark Night of the Soul" is where St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, (and supposedly Mother Teresa ... but her I doubt, as she actually implied in her memoirs that she lost her faith), and the Catholic mystics (contemplatives) told us they ended up. It's also the same place that the Eastern Tao mystics say they end up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_of_Unknowing In the end faith or non-faith is the same.

The above judgmental (ignorant) assertion about atheists is totally WRONG concerning BOTH accomplishment and fulfillment, AND there is absolutely NO DATA to support that nonsense.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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25-01-2017, 03:54 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(25-01-2017 01:04 PM)JHaysPE Wrote:  In my own personal opinion, faith is the grist of the mill of innovation.
Then please do regale me with one -- even ONE -- example of when religious faith has either corrected an error in science or provided an innovation or invention or product.
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