Why should a deity exist?
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26-01-2017, 01:31 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(26-01-2017 12:08 PM)JHaysPE Wrote:  Would you agree that in order for a thing to have a purpose, that purpose has to be given by a rational mind, such as yours? Would you agree that a rock has no purpose, until a rational mind picks up the rock, because of its particular shape or weight, and provides this purpose?

I think I can agree to that. Your odd word usage always makes me hesitate but OK.

Quote:Would you agree that if the rock served the purpose of the rational mind effectively, that the rational mind might take the care and precautions to preserve that particular rock, and that the preservation of this rock above other randomly shaped rocks would behave similarly to the natural process of "natural selection" preserving the traits and features of creatures that are most suited for the environs? Or is there no parallel?

No, that I would not agree with. Preserving the one rock won't affect the likelihood that other rocks of the same size and shape will become more prevalent. That is very different than either natural or human-guided selection.

(26-01-2017 11:20 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Does this work, this effort, to create utility by either modifying a rock, or by searching until you found the right one, indicate intelligent input to the selection of a suited rock, as opposed to picking up the first rock you find (or the only rock you find) and trying to make it work the best you are able?

That depends on the situation. If the need is urgent I might make do with a sub-optimal rock (a phrase I never thought I'd say); that would be a more intelligent thing to do than lose time searching for a better one.

You'd probably do better to cut to the chase and explain where you are going with all of this. It is fast becoming boring.

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26-01-2017, 02:05 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(26-01-2017 11:18 AM)JHaysPE Wrote:  I thinkyou're offering a false dichotomy here, to offer the choice of either primate reasoning, or 100% pure logic. I've never seen nor read about a non-human primate trained to complete a US income tax 1040 form. I'm suggesting there is a level of consideration above which we might label "human intelligence", as opposed to the dog being able to discern that he needs to be outside to pee.

Humans are more intelligent. That's what I said. But saying that because they can't complete a 1040 form it means they are not exercising reason is more than a little misleading, to put it as nicely as I can.

As I said, it is a spectrum, with humans at the top (presumably) of that spectrum... but other than having a larger brain and higher intelligence, there's nothing particular to distinguish us from other reasoning beings. Your anthropocentrism is drawing an arbitrary line at "able to do all the things humans do", and then using that line to distinguish us from the other animals in some philosophical way.

It is disingenuous to pretend that the dog is "discerning that he needs to be outside to pee" (why is that?) rather than reasoning that he'd better not violate the social rules he has learned. As anyone who has raised a puppy knows, the dog is quite content to pee in the house unless he is taught otherwise.

(26-01-2017 11:18 AM)JHaysPE Wrote:  
(25-01-2017 07:32 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Pray to the magic man in the sky all you like, bub. Nobody's listening.
My time is limited, but this strawman caught my eye. it is unreasonable to pray to an immutable God, seeking to change that God. Prayer practice for faithful is the contemplation of what the malleable, mutable, compliant will of one's self is to do with what the immutable will of existence has presented. This is prayer practice as it is for the vast majority of all faithful.

I note that this reality is jaded by TV preachers praying to God for Hot Wheels under the Christmas tree, but this isn't prayer practice, its delusion. So your strawman characterization of prayer practice is also, in fact, a composition fallacy.

Who's making the strawman? I said nothing about praying for anything.

You made it up. You put words in my mouth.

Lying for Jesus™ is still lying.

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26-01-2017, 02:49 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(26-01-2017 11:18 AM)JHaysPE Wrote:  
(25-01-2017 07:32 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  You are minimizing. Whether it is blindness on your part or willful dishonesty, it's hard for me to tell, at this point. I would, however, consider the dog waiting to go outside to be an example, yes. He has been taught that in his "pack" it is unacceptable to pee in the living space, and that he must go outside the walls of the living space in order to use the bathroom. He then reasons that he'd better let the pack members who can open the portal to the outside know he has to pee, and endeavors to do so by various methods. We also have done studies that show a dog experiences emotion in the same way as humans, and in the same regions of the brain, via fMRI studies.

But I was actually referring to numerous studies that clearly show reasoning skills being exercised by primates (and several other animals, but for simplicity's sake I've been focusing on primates), and even empathic reasoning, where they "feel the pain" of the other primate and try to help them out, using problem solving to achieve the desired solution. [If you like, I will gladly find you references to all of the above; I'm presuming you're well-read enough to be already familiar with them, at this point.]

What I don't get is how you don't grasp that this is indeed a "spectrum" of rationality, based on the brain architecture and intellectual capacity of the species in question. And from that root, we further developed our ability to be rational as our brains got bigger. If you choose to narrowly define rationality as "able to exercise perfect logic", then I'd say 99% of humanity fails to fit that definition, almost all of the time.
I thinkyou're offering a false dichotomy here, to offer the choice of either primate reasoning, or 100% pure logic. I've never seen nor read about a non-human primate trained to complete a US income tax 1040 form. I'm suggesting there is a level of consideration above which we might label "human intelligence", as opposed to the dog being able to discern that he needs to be outside to pee.

(25-01-2017 07:32 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Pray to the magic man in the sky all you like, bub. Nobody's listening.
My time is limited, but this strawman caught my eye. it is unreasonable to pray to an immutable God, seeking to change that God. Prayer practice for faithful is the contemplation of what the malleable, mutable, compliant will of one's self is to do with what the immutable will of existence has presented. This is prayer practice as it is for the vast majority of all faithful.

I note that this reality is jaded by TV preachers praying to God for Hot Wheels under the Christmas tree, but this isn't prayer practice, its delusion. So your strawman characterization of prayer practice is also, in fact, a composition fallacy.

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Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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26-01-2017, 06:35 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
I'm still thinking about this one. It's baffling to me that this guy presumes to lecture us on what prayer is or is not, as if we don't even know the Lord's Prayer, THE example of "what a prayer is", let alone the myriad ways that Christians see the usefulness of prayer in general.

'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'

Many people also add, "For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.", but it's not found in early manuscripts and is clearly a later interpolation, even assuming Jesus actually said the words above, so I left it off.

I mention it because this example of prayer is different from what you claim, when you presumed to lecture us.

Jesus starts with what you claim, praying a praise to God and submitting to God's will with a wish that others do so. Okay.

Then, immediately following that, Jesus asks God for three things, 1) that we have food (some interpret "daily bread" as spiritual fulfillment, of course), 2) that we be forgiven as we forgive others, and 3) that God help to steer us away from temptation.

These are clearly prayers for intercession by the magic man in the sky. Yes, it is acknowledging that God's Will is immutable, but specifically does ask for intercession (help) for the individual praying, in following that will and in being provided for... even when that individual is Jesus showing others How It's Done™.

Perhaps you have been told that atheists don't know about religion, and that most of us are just "angry at God" or simply never understood faith (or else we'd be Christians, right?), but the fact is that a large percent of us come from Christian backgrounds, and made studying theology one of our priorities before making the decision to depart from the cult religion.

Oh, sure, you can find lots of ways in which we're not "properly Catechized", meaning that we don't follow your particular interpretive variety of Christianity, but that will be true if you try to argue with an evangelical or any other form of Protestant or Orthodox Christian about "What is True Christianity™?", even if that person is a theology professor at a Christian university. Applying the "properly Catechized" standard to atheists, while ignoring that little detail, is deeply dishonest, and should be beneath you.

But then, it has been our lifetime of experience to note that Lying For Jesus™ is the de facto norm among those who deign to try to come tell us How It Is™.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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26-01-2017, 07:09 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2017 07:15 PM by mordant.)
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(26-01-2017 06:35 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Then, immediately following that, Jesus asks God for three things, 1) that we have food (some interpret "daily bread" as spiritual fulfillment, of course), 2) that we be forgiven as we forgive others, and 3) that God help to steer us away from temptation.

These are clearly prayers for intercession by the magic man in the sky. Yes, it is acknowledging that God's Will is immutable, but specifically does ask for intercession (help) for the individual praying, in following that will and in being provided for... even when that individual is Jesus showing others How It's Done™.
I have noticed of late, an increased tendency for fundamentalists to pretend that the Bible does not unambiguously teach, promote, and glorify imprecatory prayer, and to deny that they ever use the promise of answered prayer an inducement to convert. And then pretend that ALL it ever talks about is meditative prayer, the sort of prayer that changes the pray-er rather than the pray-ee, the kind that encourages one to submit to the will of the almighty.

The Lord's Prayer has both in one model prayer supposedly offered up by the son of god himself. Yes, it says "thy will be done" but it also implies what that will is: to intervene on behalf of believers in provision of their everyday needs. The only real requirement is (1) belief and (2) doing the "ask". In fact it was my experience that when bad things happened to good people, the explanation was invariably a lack of sufficient belief, lack of sufficient asking, or, in some cases, an accusation of "hidden sin".

The very least we can conclude from the Lord's Prayer (ignoring anything else the scriptures say about prayer) is that one should have a balance of meditative and imprecatory prayer, and that one should ask for modest generic needs to be met and not be terribly specific, less the whole prayer thing be shown up for the scam that it is.
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26-01-2017, 07:46 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
I guess he better instruct the Catholics about how wrong they are:

Pope Francis concludes World Day of Prayer for Peace

And the majority of Christendom while he's at it:

The World Peace Prayer Society

Oh those poor deluded Christians that are just too dumb to figure it out like the special snowflakes on this forum. Facepalm

Of course Christians need their ready-made excuse of how prayer changes them but doesn't change anything else, it's an easy cop-out when prayers that should be answered go unanswered.

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Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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26-01-2017, 09:13 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2017 09:36 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(26-01-2017 11:18 AM)JHaysPE Wrote:  
(25-01-2017 07:32 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  You are minimizing. Whether it is blindness on your part or willful dishonesty, it's hard for me to tell, at this point. I would, however, consider the dog waiting to go outside to be an example, yes. He has been taught that in his "pack" it is unacceptable to pee in the living space, and that he must go outside the walls of the living space in order to use the bathroom. He then reasons that he'd better let the pack members who can open the portal to the outside know he has to pee, and endeavors to do so by various methods. We also have done studies that show a dog experiences emotion in the same way as humans, and in the same regions of the brain, via fMRI studies.

But I was actually referring to numerous studies that clearly show reasoning skills being exercised by primates (and several other animals, but for simplicity's sake I've been focusing on primates), and even empathic reasoning, where they "feel the pain" of the other primate and try to help them out, using problem solving to achieve the desired solution. [If you like, I will gladly find you references to all of the above; I'm presuming you're well-read enough to be already familiar with them, at this point.]

What I don't get is how you don't grasp that this is indeed a "spectrum" of rationality, based on the brain architecture and intellectual capacity of the species in question. And from that root, we further developed our ability to be rational as our brains got bigger. If you choose to narrowly define rationality as "able to exercise perfect logic", then I'd say 99% of humanity fails to fit that definition, almost all of the time.
I thinkyou're offering a false dichotomy here, to offer the choice of either primate reasoning, or 100% pure logic. I've never seen nor read about a non-human primate trained to complete a US income tax 1040 form. I'm suggesting there is a level of consideration above which we might label "human intelligence", as opposed to the dog being able to discern that he needs to be outside to pee.

(25-01-2017 07:32 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Pray to the magic man in the sky all you like, bub. Nobody's listening.
My time is limited, but this strawman caught my eye. it is unreasonable to pray to an immutable God, seeking to change that God. Prayer practice for faithful is the contemplation of what the malleable, mutable, compliant will of one's self is to do with what the immutable will of existence has presented. This is prayer practice as it is for the vast majority of all faithful.

I note that this reality is jaded by TV preachers praying to God for Hot Wheels under the Christmas tree, but this isn't prayer practice, its delusion. So your strawman characterization of prayer practice is also, in fact, a composition fallacy.

Actually Jesus himself asked the Father to remove the cup from him. A prayer of *petition* to CHANGE something, by your "immutable" god.
How does an "immutable" anything "send" his son, in RESPONSE to something that changed ? And then "be appeased" by a sacrifice (another CHANGE) ?
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/ar...3a1.htmere is the Catechism of the Catholic Church on prayer.
This fool (as per usual) does not know his own religion.
The Church (he says he belongs to) teaches there are 5 types of prayer.
Blessing and Adoration (Worship) In prayers of adoration or worship, we exalt the greatness of God, and we acknowledge our dependence on him in all things. ...
Petition. Prayers of petition are the type of prayer with which we are most familiar. ...
Intercession. ...
Thanksgiving. ...
Praise.

Matthew 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
CCC 2610 “Just as Jesus prays to the Father and gives thanks before receiving his gifts, so he teaches us filial boldness: “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will.” Such is the power of prayer and of faith that does not doubt: “all things are possible to him who believes.” "If you ask anything in my name, the father who is in heaven will hear you, and you will receive it".
John 16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

The entire business of canonization miracles is that saints intervened and CHANGED what was already going to happen, miraculously. It's Hot Wheels all the way down.

A god that "exists" is only a part of Reality, a part in which it is REQUIRED to participate.
Non-existence always concurrently was also real. No god can be the creator of a (larger) Reality it is REQUIRED to participate, only partially, in. Reality remains unexplained and is larger than any defined deity.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-01-2017, 10:18 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(26-01-2017 09:13 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Actually Jesus himself asked the Father to remove the cup from him. A prayer of *petition* to CHANGE something, by your "immutable" god.

In an attempt to be fair to the cultists believers, it should be noted that they think that his prayer-to-himself was part of the final temptation of his human half, wishing to not go through with what he had sent himself to do... but in the end submitting to his own will (as an example to the rest of us).

And if that "reasoning" makes sense to you, I have some oceanfront property in Phoenix to sell you.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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27-01-2017, 05:07 AM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2017 05:14 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(26-01-2017 10:18 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(26-01-2017 09:13 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Actually Jesus himself asked the Father to remove the cup from him. A prayer of *petition* to CHANGE something, by your "immutable" god.

In an attempt to be fair to the cultists believers, it should be noted that they think that his prayer-to-himself was part of the final temptation of his human half, wishing to not go through with what he had sent himself to do... but in the end submitting to his own will (as an example to the rest of us).

And if that "reasoning" makes sense to you, I have some oceanfront property in Phoenix to sell you.

I gots some mountain-top land in SD, but thanks Tongue ... I'm counting on it getting higher when "the big one" hits. Weeping

We have the proceedings of the Councils, (available on Forham U's website, among other places). We can READ for ourselves the process in which the "divinity" of Jesus was cooked up, argued about and defined, (well they tried anyway, as they argued and voted non-unanimously). The "heavenly host" in Hebrew culture contained many "divine beings" (but none EVER equivalent to Yahweh, and the many "sons of god" were simply "righteous men", generals, politicians, prophets etc). Jesus was one of many Jewish apocalyptic heroes, who were "exalted" (ie *raised up* ... NOT *resurrected* (from the dead) if the Greek is translated properly), so I take issue the idea that when they wrote the gospels he was "praying to himself" ... and scholars know the concept of "divinity" is different in each gospel. In Mark he's human and "exalted" to divine being status, in Matthew and Luke he was a divine being, gave it up, and returned later to the divine status, and in John, (as one would expect in a Gnostic context), he was divine, remained divine while taking on a "human guise", and then gave that up, and returned to just being a divine being.

And to return to my previous theme. The notion of an "immutable" being who *exists* is absurd. Does this god of theirs not *think* ?
THAT alone is a change, a *process* which requires time. Nothing that we know of which "exists" is "immutable". Nothing.
(Cue the Special Pleading ...) Facepalm

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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27-01-2017, 06:31 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(26-01-2017 09:13 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Actually Jesus himself asked the Father to remove the cup from him. A prayer of *petition* to CHANGE something, by your "immutable" god.

I'm not up on all the religious weird stuff in the bible.
Did Jesus have some kind of cup stuck in his ass or something ? Are we talking shot glass ?
I can't imagine how you would get a full on cup up there.
He is known as the miracle man, so it's possible.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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