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Is there a God?
Yes 33%  33%  [ 29 ]
No 49%  49%  [ 43 ]
Don't Know 17%  17%  [ 15 ]
Total votes : 87
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:13 pm 
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BTW, Intelligent Design is a cop-out argument. It's not even a theory since theories can be disproven with evidence, yet there is no possible way to disprove Intelligent Design.
I agree. There's nothing to compare it to, and the possibility will always exist that either things are just happening or are being directed and even then the possibility that it was all created*. It is as it is. The same goes for there being evil in the universe. What would a pure universe look like?

Heh, and if our environment was altered, would we need to be altered as well to live in the purified world?

I just realised I'm a page behind :oops: I don't think I've even read this page yet, hold on.

*the creator could have made the universe in such a way that things happened as he wished them happen. There is no intervention b/c nothing can go wrong. (just repeating what's been said before, I know...) Would it really be "better" than this world? Could we be wise enough to do such a thing?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 6:39 am 
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somebody wrote:
greeef wrote:
Therefore, christian heavan may well exist, as there are a great number of people who beleive it does, and a number who say it may. Very few have SINCERE and DEEP beliefs (not opinions) that it does not exist, and frankly, it cannot be destroyed by disbelief.

How is this relevant? Belief does not equal reality. One can believe that a piece of metal is actually a piece of jello. That does not mean that it is true. If the person tries take a bite of it, his teeth will break, showing that it is not jello.


if you read up a little, i state that everything that exists is merely a shared belief - we have no more evidence than that.

The problem i see with most religion is they try to separate people from god. What i am saying is that people ARE god,
Thus, if there is a single person, on his own, with a lump of metal, and he sincerely beleives it is jello, and he has all the abilities of a god but has relinquished them for a life of purpose, who is to say that metal isnt jello?

Look at quantum physics, heisenburg etc. Anything could be anything until it is measured, only then does it become something specific. If that individual isnt going to upset the balance of the universe than why not turn metal to jello?

I'm only putting across a theory, one that happens to encompass all religion and give a motive for the creation of the universe, which is where all other religions and sciences fail.

griff


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 12:44 pm 
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sthayashi wrote:
BTW, Intelligent Design is a cop-out argument. It's not even a theory since theories can be disproven with evidence, yet there is no possible way to disprove Intelligent Design.

I don't have any opinion on the Intelligent Design argument, but a property of any good argument for God is that it can't be disproved with evidence. That is because God is not known through evidence - only sensory things are known through evidence.


Last edited by croddie on Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:19 pm 
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Rory B. wrote:
Somebody: Must a hypothesis be testable to be valid?

Did you not read what I said? I said "Your source is not scientific at all. I asked frosty about the scientific source he was refering to. Science is a methodology in which falsifiable hypotheses must be tested through experiments in order to deduce a conclusion. The source you refer to does not fall within this definition."

I said nothing about validity. Frosty claimed that he knew of scientific research in which a "higher being" was shown to exist. I am asking him to cite his source.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 5:07 pm 
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Rory B. wrote:
I suppose, Straker, that an important difference is that while a dictator is no different from an ordinary man, God has the authority by His very power to make whatever rules he wants. I guess this would be a good time to be thankful that God doesn't seek to condemn us, but instead to save us from our inability to control our flesh. If you don't like it, fine. But your arguments become arguments from outrage, which are of about as much use as appeals to emotion. (I guess the two are actually pretty closely related.)


um... what? by "dictator" i didn't mean a little guy with a big mouth and a gun; it was just a convenient device, the second sentence should have made that clear. my "dictator" does not say "this is wrong because i said so, and i will shoot you", ever. maybe you misinterpreted "rule utilitarianism"? the principle is basically the same as act utilitarianism, but without consideration of the consequences (ie no silly hedonic calculus etc need be involved); you simply follow the rules (the most important of which end up being, completely coincidentally, 10 Commandments-type deals) and breaking them is "wrong". but, the obvious consequence is that those responsible for formulating the rules still essentially have to use act utilitarianism to come up with them - this is what makes rule utilitarianism so perfect for public affairs. it's like what would happen if you considered the consequences of an act in thousands of different situations, and then decided on one rule/law regarding that act, designed in such a way to maximize utility for the entire population, and over time. my point was that by these means, it is still fairly easy to say that rape, murder, theft, adultery etc are objectively wrong.
and... if i "don't like" what? i'm not sure whether i do or not, but there are no circumstances under which this becomes an argument from outrage, especially not if the question is simply whether or not i "like" God encouraging rather than punishing anyone :P . i don't think God's "power" has anything to do with it, either; i believe that since we are conscious and self-aware there is no inherent contradiction in a sense of rightness beyond even God (unless, of course, we were deliberately created with a conscience, but if a God were taking that into consideration he could have skipped the stone tablet part entirely). or in short, an authoritative leader will beat an authoritarian one every time.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:27 pm 
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Somebody: I only wanted an answer to the question. MUST A HYPOTHESIS BE TESTABLE TO BE VALID?

Addendum: I don't feel I personally have to run down and squash everything some hack says is wrong with the Bible. See "Calculated Contempt: Why Bible Critics Do NOT Deserve the Benefit of the Doubt" - http://www.tektonics.org/af/calcon.html

If you love the idea of the possibility that the Bible is wrong so much that you won't go and seek out the counterarguments, refutations, and explanations, then I suppose that you and your fate deserve each other. As for me, I'm tired of dealing with this. And the fact of the matter is I don't have to take this from you anymore. I'm finished with this thread.

And for the rest of you Christians, if the kind of conversational arguments these guys are coming up with can shake your faith and erode your assurance of what we have, then I'm quite frankly ashamed of you as well. If someone else has raised doubt in your heart about these things, then seek out the answers! Give Christian scholarship a chance to answer the challenges! But don't you dare just give up because someone put something to you that you couldn't refute on the spot!

But it's not my responsibility to speak for all of Christian scholarship, and it's unfair for you to expect that of a 19-year-old college student who has never read a theology book cover-to-cover.


Last edited by Rory B. on Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:27 pm 
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Rory B. wrote:
Somebody: I only wanted an answer to the question. MUST A HYPOTHESIS BE TESTABLE TO BE VALID?

Are you talking about science? If so, yes it does need to be testable to be valid.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:11 am 
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Now, that doesn't make any sense, because it makes no allowance not only for thngs that will not subject themselves to testing (i.e. God), but things we can't YET test as well. I'll have to ask a professor here on campus, but it seems to me that your claim, that a hypothesis must be testable to be valid, makes the grand assumption that everything that exists can be measured and tested by a human means. That just seems a little hubristic to me. This is quite a breakthrough into your way of thinking.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 12:28 pm 
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I was expecting this type of reaction from you. That is why I asked whether or not you were talking about science. I wanted to make sure that by "valid", you meant valid in terms of science. As I have already told you, science is a methodology that involves testing hypotheses. If a hypothesis is not testable then it cannot be shown to be false. Science is used to deduce conclusions. It looks at the possible hypotheses and weeds out those that are invalid.

I make no assumption that everything that exists can be tested. In cases where hypotheses are falsifiable, science is used.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:37 pm 
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Rory B. wrote:
SAddendum: I don't feel I personally have to run down and squash everything some hack says is wrong with the Bible. See "Calculated Contempt: Why Bible Critics Do NOT Deserve the Benefit of the Doubt" - http://www.tektonics.org/af/calcon.html

If you love the idea of the possibility that the Bible is wrong so much that you won't go and seek out the counterarguments, refutations, and explanations, then I suppose that you and your fate deserve each other. As for me, I'm tired of dealing with this. And the fact of the matter is I don't have to take this from you anymore. I'm finished with this thread.

Well, I'm sorry that you're finished with this thread. I was rather enjoying it.

That article you linked, I have to admit, was confusing. The critics, in this case me), are linking these contradictions because Christians are using the Bible as their claim and proof for the existence of God. We critics don't think that the Bible is a valid source for the proof of God/Christ any more than Forrest Gump is a valid source on 20th century history.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:03 pm 
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Yeah, I'm done with the thread. (So why don't I leave, already?) I thought Holding's article was pretty straightforward. The point is, in a nutshell, that it's highly unlikely, and downright rare, that the people who are posting these lists of 1001 Irrefutable Bible Contradictions, Inconsistencies, and Outright Lies or whatnot know enough about all of the necessary subject areas to be able to arrive at sound conclusions. For an example of how just such a 1001 list can be answered, take a look at this: http://www.tektonics.org/uz/wally01.html (Warning, Satire Alert! Those of you who are not cool with other people satirizing the attitude of most Bible skeptics should take this into consideration when they read this. Also, I realize the list only goes to #736, and is thus technically incomplete, but if your attention span hadn't already run out by the time you get into the #500's, I hoped you would get my point, anyway.)

What I'd like to know from Somebody is what he means by a falsifiable hypothesis. Do you mean falsifiable results? Because isn't a hypothesis simply a proposal of an explanation for something? I can get my mind around the possibility of results to an experiment being falsified, perhaps because the supervisor of the study didn't like the results (See just about any documentary about Big Tobacco companies), but I can't seem to get my mind around the idea of a falsifiable hypothesis.

(I know, I know. This is also something my friends notice about me - my inability to walk away from a confrontation of this nature. Perhaps if I'd put it all in perspective, this is only one of thousands upon thousands of threads on the internet like this one, and so this particular thread as a battle front is not all that important in the grand scheme of things.)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:44 pm 
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Actually, arguing about these things is completely pointless - some seed will always fall on barren ground. Simply because a few nobodies are unable to see beyond mechanistic thought, there's no reason to get dragged into arguments about semantics. Rory, it's the strength of your faith which impresses me, not childish nitpicking. What so many people fail to see is that spiritual knowlege is a gift, and requires a lot of sincere effort to uncover - just like anything worthwhile.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:48 pm 
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Rory B. wrote:
What I'd like to know from Somebody is what he means by a falsifiable hypothesis. Do you mean falsifiable results? Because isn't a hypothesis simply a proposal of an explanation for something? I can get my mind around the possibility of results to an experiment being falsified, perhaps because the supervisor of the study didn't like the results (See just about any documentary about Big Tobacco companies), but I can't seem to get my mind around the idea of a falsifiable hypothesis.

I think you may be confused. A falsifiable hypothesis is a hypothesis that can be shown to be false. For example, if my computer stops working, a falsifiable hypothesis would be that the power went out. One can prove that my hypothesis is incorrect by pointing out that the light in the room is still on.

An example of a hypothesis that is not falsifiable would be that invisible fairies, that cannot be at all detected, were the cause. There would be no way to prove that this hypothesis is false.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 4:54 am 
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alleycat wrote:
Actually, arguing about these things is completely pointless - some seed will always fall on barren ground. Simply because a few nobodies are unable to see beyond mechanistic thought, there's no reason to get dragged into arguments about semantics. Rory, it's the strength of your faith which impresses me, not childish nitpicking. What so many people fail to see is that spiritual knowlege is a gift, and requires a lot of sincere effort to uncover - just like anything worthwhile.


easy on the rhetoric, sheesh.
noone's "arguing" about anything either - i've deliberately avoided the Bible in this thread myself because basing arguments (either for/against creationism, abortion, masturbation, whatever) around anything written in it is ludicrous. as far as i'm concerned it's on par with Aesop's Fables; good way to show children what's right and wrong, but misguided to think that it more or less literally represents reality. but if some people choose to interpret it that way because it provides easy answers to a lot of seriously screwy questions about our existence, that's their prerogative and i can respect that.
if you check the first 4 or so pages you'll see they were both more interesting and also managed to refrain from Bible interpretation. :P

in light of all this, i can say that if i were alive then, and if Jesus was more than a random African (or Mexican, heh) peasant, i would have arranged to write "ALL THAT JESUS SHIT WAS REAL BTW" in stone walls 50 feet high and 100 feet thick to avoid silliness like this later on. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 4:26 pm 
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Sorry Straker, I actually agree with you, particulary the Aesop's Fables part, but with age you begin to realise more and more the truth in the scriptures if you care to look deeply into it. I won't be drawn into particular 'issues' because I think that would be outside the scope of the initial queston. I might add, however, that my interpretation of the subjects you mention would probably have me labelled a heretic by the vast majority of Christians.

The point I was trying to make was that I get a bit tired of human chauvanists who seem to think that the mind is the ultimate authority in the Universe when we are so utterly at its mercy (see my earlier post). If one has "ears to hear" then we realise that all the great teachings offer valuable insight into Nature, whether those teachings come from the Koran, Bible, Tao Te Ching, Upanishads, or whatever. Considering this entire thread seems to revolve around a Christian-style God, I thought it useful to comment in that context. Having said that, I don't think there is some guy sitting on a throne up in the sky sending down lightning bolts every now and then. I do, however, admire anyone who looks beyond the mundane to attempt to understand that which is both imminent and transcendent (call it what you like).

Agnostics I can handle, but the spiritually handicapped who insist on attempting to prove this or that using 'intelligence' are just stabbing away in the dark - they look hilarious. Literalists are simply confused... but at least they're trying.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 6:44 am 
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Well Somebody I don’t have a hundred and four links to show Scientists leaning towards a belief in a higher power or divine being. Relatives I have surely see the definite help and improvement patients experience who have prayed before surgury or whose Surgeon prayed for them. Also prayer seems to help with recover times and discharge dates. I have read lots of other stuides and where physics are actually thinking of a higher force in existence over our race.

Certainly is is reasonable that something smarter than humans exists, or if it is just us we have turned the Earth into a shambles and wrecked havoc on our fellow humans and animals.

The Christian sense of creation and continuation is what I adhere to, but what if God was really a form of energy and does not sit on a throne, but is millions of cells in an inconcrete form?

Wow, I guess this is what I get for typing with no coffee in me yet.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 3:48 pm 
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frosty wrote:
Well Somebody I don’t have a hundred and four links to show Scientists leaning towards a belief in a higher power or divine being.

I didn't ask you for "a hundred and four links". I just asked to cite your source. A few links to the scientific studies that you are refering to will be fine.

frosty wrote:
Relatives I have surely see the definite help and improvement patients experience who have prayed before surgury or whose Surgeon prayed for them. Also prayer seems to help with recover times and discharge dates.

Were your studies conducted with the use of control groups?

frosty wrote:
I have read lots of other stuides and where physics are actually thinking of a higher force in existence over our race.

Great, please provide the links.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:11 am 
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Rusty075 wrote:
And mas92264 does bring up, indirectly, an important idea. Since our entire scientific history points to a universe that operates on a complex, but orderly, set of "rules", what role does God play now?


I know little about this, but isn't more and more of the bleeding edge of science running into the opposite of this? Quantum physics and all?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:00 am 
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Wow, a quote so old that I forgot typing it!

I don't know if "opposite" is exactly how I'd describe it, but things like quantum behavior, Chaos theory, the Uncertainty Principle, etc, do certainly fly in the face of "orderly".

But if you look at the whole timeline of human existence, we gradually reduced our world from an unknown controlled by capricious gods, to one governed by laws of nature that can be understood and predicted. You don't see many people nowadays performing sacrifices to ensure that spring will arrive.

Over time, its likely that our understanding of principles involved in these "disorderly" scientific theories will to the point where we will understand the underlying order within them, as we have with everything else. Quantum mechanics is the youngest of the fields of physics, afterall. Even if we evenutally decide that at some level these things are just random, that's still orderly.

And what does this have to do with God? Well, absolutely nothing. You can look at it in any one of several equally plausible ways:

1. There is, and never was a god. The universe operates like a machine, always has, always will.

2. There is god, but it plays no active part in the universe today. Like a child spinning a top, God just wound up the toy and let it go.

3. There is a God, and the innate randomness of the physical world that He created leaves enough wiggle room for Him to affect the outcomes of events, while still preserving the natural laws that we depend on.

4. There is a God, and the apparent existence of natural laws are purely on His whim. Since he made them, he can break, bend or unmake them whenever he wants.



And there are other philosophies as well, obviously, just pick one and run with it. :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 12:14 pm 
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Rusty075 wrote:
4. There is a God, and the apparent existence of natural laws are purely on His whim. Since he made them, he can break, bend or unmake them whenever he wants.

By "can" do you mean "may" or do you actually mean "can". Being able to make something does not necessitate being able to break it.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 12:42 pm 
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If you were able to create the entire universe from nothingness....I would think doing a little thing like parting the Red Sea would be child's play. :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:06 pm 
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By break, I thought you meant turn the universe into nothingness.

Frosty, you still haven't provided a link to your scientific source.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:25 am 
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Yeah, I agree that we do not yet know all, and likely never will. The Universe is a strange, crazy place.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:44 pm 
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nobody KNOWS if there is a god, God or whatever, can't prove or disprove, some people believe it. That's about as far as I got :)

How about this one, I believe it is closely related. Are we more than the sum of our parts? If not then my brain is a state machine. If you knew every detail of my brain, you could predict my every decision, almost like it's predetermined. I hope this is not the case. How about if an exact copy was made of me down to the last cell, atom, or whatever you want to think of? Would it be me? Would I be both of them? Probably not. How about if I went in a star trek transporter to somewhere, my body disassemled and put back together on the other side? Is that still me? I'm sure to everyone else it will seem like me but will I know it's me or will I have ceased to exist? That's the same question as the last one isn't it? Well I for one won't be going on any transporters to find out :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 12:04 am 
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MikeK wrote:
nobody KNOWS if there is a god, God or whatever, can't prove or disprove, some people believe it. That's about as far as I got :)

How about this one, I believe it is closely related. Are we more than the sum of our parts? If not then my brain is a state machine. If you knew every detail of my brain, you could predict my every decision, almost like it's predetermined. I hope this is not the case. How about if an exact copy was made of me down to the last cell, atom, or whatever you want to think of? Would it be me? Would I be both of them? Probably not. How about if I went in a star trek transporter to somewhere, my body disassemled and put back together on the other side? Is that still me? I'm sure to everyone else it will seem like me but will I know it's me or will I have ceased to exist? That's the same question as the last one isn't it? Well I for one won't be going on any transporters to find out :)

What do you mean by the word "God"?

Your copy will be you. That is until you split apart and start doing different things.


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