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11/15/11 10:42 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 11/15/11 11:05 AM
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Lots of problems with definitions. You asked "what more do you need?" when we just gave the attribute of omnipotence.

But that idea itself is not much of a definition. "Could God make a rock that's too heavy for him to pick up?" as the children's game paradox goes. So you have to get more specific with the attributes. And that's why I brought up the raven's taste for the Stones.

There's scientific reason to not believe in the same sense that I think there's scientific reason to not believe in any particular baroque construct that does no explanatory work.

But this is where I think I can make what you say true. Depending on how we define "scientific reason". If you put God on the same ground as my white raven who is omniscient and knows how groovin' "No Expectations" is (especially in the original vinyl mix), then.... ok. No proof. Or no "strictly scientific" reason to believe it doesn't exist.

But scientific observation is a statistical project in large part. The incidences of observation of the white raven, or the teapot, are nil. And so positing such things is embroidery, against Occam's razor at a minimum. so WHY God and why not the raven or the fairies in this conversation? Is there ANYTHING you're saying that couldn't be said of Cthulu?

If there is, what? If there's not, all I can figure is that your point is either wrong (because the view of 'scientific reason' is too elementary), or it is right but trivial.
11/17/11 11:54 AM
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prof
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vermonter,

Thanks for the interaction. I apologize: I'm not blowing you off. Rather, I'm swamped with work and for the moment and when I can find time I'm going to take a look at Plantinga's EEAN on the Attention Ridgeback thread. I'll try to get back to you when possible.

Thanks,

Prof.
11/17/11 10:50 PM
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Benedictus
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLroYHo4flE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

In this video, Pastor Mark Driscoll explains the burden of proof is not on the believers. Enjoy. Phone Post
11/18/11 12:53 AM
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LoveToChoke
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Ridiculous. The burden of proof is on anyone who asserts a statement as being true. Phone Post
11/18/11 1:52 PM
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Ali
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The video would make for a good 'spot the logical fallacy' exercise for high school teachers.
11/19/11 9:26 PM
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Suimaru
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Benedictus - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLroYHo4flE&feature=youtube_gdata_player<br><br>In this video, Pastor Mark Driscoll explains the burden of proof is not on the believers. Enjoy. <img src="/images/phone/droid.png" alt="Phone Post" border="0" style="vertical-align:middle;"/>



No, he does not explain anything of any sort.

The burden of proof ALWAYS falls upon the person asserting a claim. Trying to shift the burden of proof by asserting that the burden of proof falls onto the person that denies the asserted claim is a special case of argumentum ad ignorantium, and is fallacious in that it falls under the assumption that something is true unless proven otherwise.
11/19/11 11:27 PM
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zaiontz
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If the earth is billions of years old then y do scientist prove that the oldest tree n the world is only 4000 yrs old Phone Post
11/20/11 4:41 AM
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Joe Ray
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Because trees are living things with a finite life span.

They aren't rocks, which have been proven to be billions of years old.
1/23/12 3:01 PM
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samcarr6
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Benedictus - If God is just make believe similar to Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, why all the effort and anger to try and "disprove" God? Also, how did you come to believe there is no God? As a group who calls themselves rational and scientific, what scientific prrofs do you have there is no God? Phone Post
I'm an athiest and I argue against belief in god because I think it has an awful affect on humanity. I am a a-theist which means that I lack a belief in a theistic god because the arguments FOR any such god are poor. I do not need to disprove god to not believe in him just as I don't need to disprove fairies or any other supernatural claim. Phone Post
1/30/12 12:11 AM
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Ridgeback
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samcarr6 - 
Benedictus - If God is just make believe similar to Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, why all the effort and anger to try and "disprove" God? Also, how did you come to believe there is no God? As a group who calls themselves rational and scientific, what scientific prrofs do you have there is no God? Phone Post
I'm an athiest and I argue against belief in god because I think it has an awful affect on humanity. I am a a-theist which means that I lack a belief in a theistic god because the arguments FOR any such god are poor. I do not need to disprove god to not believe in him just as I don't need to disprove fairies or any other supernatural claim. Phone Post
The anti-religionist movements spanning the last three centuries have essentially demonstrated that the absence of religion not only doesn't make humanity any better, but a strong case could be made that it makes the human experience much worse.  You kind of have to live by faith and not by historical knowledge if you still believe in the anti-religion utopias that were empirically falsified in those centuries.
 
1/31/12 2:15 PM
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Granpa
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To the OP:

1. The burden of proof is on the believer. Or as Carl Sagan put it "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

2. Watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1jIkrzyfgM&feature=related

That should answer your question.
1/31/12 2:16 PM
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samcarr6
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Ridgeback -
samcarr6 - 
Benedictus - If God is just make believe similar to Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, why all the effort and anger to try and "disprove" God? Also, how did you come to believe there is no God? As a group who calls themselves rational and scientific, what scientific prrofs do you have there is no God? Phone Post
I'm an athiest and I argue against belief in god because I think it has an awful affect on humanity. I am a a-theist which means that I lack a belief in a theistic god because the arguments FOR any such god are poor. I do not need to disprove god to not believe in him just as I don't need to disprove fairies or any other supernatural claim. Phone Post
The anti-religionist movements spanning the last three centuries have essentially demonstrated that the absence of religion not only doesn't make humanity any better, but a strong case could be made that it makes the human experience much worse.  You kind of have to live by faith and not by historical knowledge if you still believe in the anti-religion utopias that were empirically falsified in those centuries.
 
I never said that I believe in anti-religious utopia, so no I don't have faith. Religion makes another (and the most significant) division between people. It provides another reason to kill people and even if this reason isn't what has killed most people it still doesn't mean that it's good. Compare what has been done because of belief in god to what has been done only because of being atheistic. Phone Post
2/1/12 3:39 AM
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justinthevikingwren
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"The single greatest cause of atheism today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and deny Him by their lifestyle."
-Brennan Manning Phone Post
2/1/12 3:46 AM
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justinthevikingwren
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Atheist...

Get your eyes off the people of God and turn your eyes to the God of the people...

Stop asking why are there so many fakers and pointing the bad out and start asking God if he is real or not and I believe you'll find out the answer. If you actually asked wanting to know the answer, humbly, openly, and not just having a closed case on it.

For me, a Christian for 1 yr 8 months and 22 days... Once I experienced Him, I cant deny Him anymore. I experienced the real deal... More real to me than the food I eat or water I drink. Phone Post
4/28/12 2:07 PM
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PastorJosh
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Joe Ray - The real question is why do Christians put such effort and anger into denying all other Gods?

The Romans where more than happy to accomodate Jesus into their pantheon and give him recognition but that was nowhere good enough for the angry Christian zealots.



Absolutely false on all sides. Phone Post
4/29/12 2:35 PM
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DyingBreed
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PastorJosh -
Joe Ray - The real question is why do Christians put such effort and anger into denying all other Gods?

The Romans where more than happy to accomodate Jesus into their pantheon and give him recognition but that was nowhere good enough for the angry Christian zealots.



Absolutely false on all sides. Phone Post
He is correct. They may have accepted him at first, until they found out Jesus wasn't a quiet God that doesn't require full commitment to him, thus disturbing people's habits and beliefs Phone Post
4/29/12 2:37 PM
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DyingBreed
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Ever hear of the games where believers were put in a stadium so people could watch lions maul them? Phone Post
4/29/12 3:08 PM
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Ridgeback
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 Jesus could have been one god among the Roman pantheon.  The pagans were hardly tolerant the way Joe Ray (a guy who admires Julian the Apostate which is like admiring Hitler) is making them out to be though.  Anyway, Christians weren't playing that game.  They weren't going to worship the gods that were okay with injustice and cruelty and infanticide and the hatred of women.  The claim that Jesus is Lord is a claim of absolute intolerance for the old order of gods.  And Christianity won by the way.  Paganism is dead.  Modern neo-pagans are about as authentic as modern Jedis.
5/9/12 4:24 PM
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bjjdna
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Ridgeback -  Jesus could have been one god among the Roman pantheon.  The pagans were hardly tolerant the way Joe Ray (a guy who admires Julian the Apostate which is like admiring Hitler) is making them out to be though.  Anyway, Christians weren't playing that game.  They weren't going to worship the gods that were okay with injustice and cruelty and infanticide and the hatred of women.  The claim that Jesus is Lord is a claim of absolute intolerance for the old order of gods.  And Christianity won by the way.  Paganism is dead.  Modern neo-pagans are about as authentic as modern Jedis.



The jews and pagans of that day likely believed that the christians were nuts as they were advocating that a convicted executed criminal was in reality a zombie man-god

and it seems like you're arguing that...because protorthodox christianity "won"...that it is therefore a rational belief?

christianity began as a sect of jewish OT followers that added the jesus stuff....christians did/do worship the god of the OT...which is full of injustice, cruelty, murder of children, etc etc
5/9/12 5:02 PM
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bjjdna
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Prof: "What prudential reason would that be?"

verm: "I believe that statistically christians live longer than the general population."


There is evidence that pattern seeking, repetition, and superstitious thinking reduces anxiety in uncertain environments and that prayer, meditation, and worship leads to greater physical and mental health

Robert Sapolsky is a neurobiologist/primatolist from stanford - a real smart dude. I've read his books and taken some courses. His lectures on the internet are quite educational.

Anyway...his research involved stress impacts on primate health. He studied baboons because their social structure is much like humans, i.e., they hunt for food, eat, relax, have sex, and spend LOTZ of time being miserable to each other

What he found is that the most stressful baboons had the worst health and consisted of low ranking baboons and the Type A baboons. But the most unhealthy stress was created not from low rank or typeA, but from social isolation with little hope in getting back into the baboon cool club.

The data suggests that stress-related disease is a function of lack of social connectedness.

And what is it that religion/christianity offers...fellowship, lifelong group memebership in the christian cool club, hope for eternity in heaven with your loved ones

christianity is a system that provides a book of ulitmiate knowledge from the mind of god - a god that responds preferentially to your wishes - a religion that offers predictability and social support - a religion that offers eternal life despite the pain and suffering on earth

so it makes sense to me that believing christians would have better overall health than non believers...but that does not mean chritianity is a rational belief
5/9/12 8:15 PM
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TheStewedOwl
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<quote>bjjdna: The data suggests that stress-related disease is a function of lack of social connectedness.

That's oversimplifying the data. Many people with extremely strong social networks nevertheless die of stress-related diseases. Diet, genetics, occupation, marriage, fertility, age, level of physical conditioning, etc., can be and probably are greater determinants of susceptibility to stress-related disease.

And what is it that religion/christianity offers...fellowship, lifelong group memebership in the christian cool club, hope for eternity in heaven with your loved ones


It also offers the possibility of eternal damnation, the need for continual self-examination of conscience, a rigorous moral code with concrete eternal punishment and the prospect of disappointing one's creator by one's actions,the financial cost of tithing and charity, a vastly limited sexual life, the possibility for increased social friction coincident with a wider social network (if you've ever witnessed internal church politics, you'd know what I mean), opprobrium from a hostile popular culture and media, and in some countries, the risk of imprisonment, torture, and death for professing or practicing one's faith (or proselytizing the "wrong" faith.

And these would reduce stress how...?

christianity is a system that provides a book of ulitmiate knowledge from the mind of god - a god that responds preferentially to your wishes


What religion are YOU looking at?

- a religion that offers predictability and social support - a religion that offers eternal life despite the pain and suffering on earth.

so it makes sense to me that believing christians would have better overall health than non believers...but that does not mean chritianity is a rational belief.


I would agree (despite the potential costs of religious belief that I outlined above) that religious belief, or more narrowly, religiosity, as practiced in the western world, does offer tangible benefits as well as spiritual ones. The research shows active Christians tend to be happier, attend a higher educational level, are less likely to commit suicide, are less likely to report depression, are less likely to practice substance abuse, report a higher level of sexual satisfaction, are more likely to exercise, are less likely to be obese, are less likely to smoke, live longer and enjoy less morbidity in their senior years, are more likely to have children, contribute more to charity, than non-religious people

Heck, you could form a utilitarian version of Pascal's Wager from all that data. If religious practice leads to an arguably better life (as opposed to a grumpy, lonely, obese life with a smoker's cough and an early death)...one could make that argument that it is not "rational" not to believe, from the perspective of self-interest and the desire to make the world a better place.
5/10/12 3:01 AM
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Ali
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None of what's presented shows "prudence" as a good reason to believe something. Even if we grant, arguendo, that believers have better outcomes on all sorts of measures of "happiness" or "good life", that doesn't mean that it works in such a way that believing because you want those goodies will actually work. That is, most believers who have those benefits are believers first. A lot of empirical research would have to go into determining whether it "works" to believe in pursuit of those goodies. Only if it does might there be a prudential reason.

Maybe it does "work", especially for some people who are very good at the fake it till you make it attitudes. Or maybe to put it in a way more familiar to those who study theology, those who are able to act "as if".
5/10/12 3:09 AM
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Ridgeback
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bjjdna - 
Ridgeback -  Jesus could have been one god among the Roman pantheon.  The pagans were hardly tolerant the way Joe Ray (a guy who admires Julian the Apostate which is like admiring Hitler) is making them out to be though.  Anyway, Christians weren't playing that game.  They weren't going to worship the gods that were okay with injustice and cruelty and infanticide and the hatred of women.  The claim that Jesus is Lord is a claim of absolute intolerance for the old order of gods.  And Christianity won by the way.  Paganism is dead.  Modern neo-pagans are about as authentic as modern Jedis.



The jews and pagans of that day likely believed that the christians were nuts as they were advocating that a convicted executed criminal was in reality a zombie man-god

and it seems like you're arguing that...because protorthodox christianity "won"...that it is therefore a rational belief?

christianity began as a sect of jewish OT followers that added the jesus stuff....christians did/do worship the god of the OT...which is full of injustice, cruelty, murder of children, etc etc

 Thanks for the proto-history lesson.  Regarding the OT, I will simply direct you to the Marcionite controversy regarding how early Christians read the OT.   The OT was a large collection of books that also include startling elements of justice towards the poor and towards neighbor along with the things you mentioned.  The early Christians did not support injustice, did not murder children (they were unique in standing against abortion and infanticide, and, as Nietszche points out, they adopted a new code of mercy that stood in direct confrontation with the pagan belief that mercy was a weakness.  

What I pointed out is the historical fact that the pagan gods of antiquity all fell by the wayside.  At one time Christianity was the odd man out among the pantheon and now that pantheon is dead and gone.  And no I wasn't making any argument for Christianity.  I never do.  I just clarify.
5/10/12 10:21 AM
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bjjdna
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Edited: 05/10/12 10:22 AM
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...
5/10/12 10:23 AM
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bjjdna
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TheStewedOwl - <quote>bjjdna: The data suggests that stress-related disease is a function of lack of social connectedness.


That's oversimplifying the data. Many people with extremely strong social networks nevertheless die of stress-related diseases. Diet, genetics, occupation, marriage, fertility, age, level of physical conditioning, etc., can be and probably are greater determinants of susceptibility to stress-related disease.

And what is it that religion/christianity offers...fellowship, lifelong group memebership in the christian cool club, hope for eternity in heaven with your loved ones


It also offers the possibility of eternal damnation, the need for continual self-examination of conscience, a rigorous moral code with concrete eternal punishment and the prospect of disappointing one's creator by one's actions,the financial cost of tithing and charity, a vastly limited sexual life, the possibility for increased social friction coincident with a wider social network (if you've ever witnessed internal church politics, you'd know what I mean), opprobrium from a hostile popular culture and media, and in some countries, the risk of imprisonment, torture, and death for professing or practicing one's faith (or proselytizing the "wrong" faith.

And these would reduce stress how...?

christianity is a system that provides a book of ulitmiate knowledge from the mind of god - a god that responds preferentially to your wishes


What religion are YOU looking at?

- a religion that offers predictability and social support - a religion that offers eternal life despite the pain and suffering on earth.

so it makes sense to me that believing christians would have better overall health than non believers...but that does not mean chritianity is a rational belief.


I would agree (despite the potential costs of religious belief that I outlined above) that religious belief, or more narrowly, religiosity, as practiced in the western world, does offer tangible benefits as well as spiritual ones. The research shows active Christians tend to be happier, attend a higher educational level, are less likely to commit suicide, are less likely to report depression, are less likely to practice substance abuse, report a higher level of sexual satisfaction, are more likely to exercise, are less likely to be obese, are less likely to smoke, live longer and enjoy less morbidity in their senior years, are more likely to have children, contribute more to charity, than non-religious people

Heck, you could form a utilitarian version of Pascal's Wager from all that data. If religious practice leads to an arguably better life (as opposed to a grumpy, lonely, obese life with a smoker's cough and an early death)...one could make that argument that it is not "rational" not to believe, from the perspective of self-interest and the desire to make the world a better place.



This was a study on baboons looking at their social behaviors and what produces the highest level of stress causing hormones. Sapolsky would dart these baboons at different times and then only had minutes to measure their hormones. It turns out that when one baboon gets agitated and thumps another, it sets off a chain reaction of thumpings down the hierarchy until the lowest ranking member gets thumped - and then it's all good again. His research is really interesting stuff

Anywhooo...What he found from studying them for his entire careers was that social isolation/connectedness is a BIG DAWG player in stress response/disease.

When it comes to stress-related diseases, having support is crucial, although I'm sure you can belong to strong social networks and still have stress related problems.

Unhealthy humans/baboons often have these elevated resting levels of stress hormones. Stress results in the release adrenalin and glucocorticoids, which increases heart rate, energy level, etc. It's an ancient evolutionary adaptation and all vertebrates have it because we share a common ancestor. What's different is that most animals turn on the stress response when they are about to be eaten or about to fight..etc - whereas most humans and baboons don't usually have to worry about those real life or death stressors

Humans have much more behavioral flexibility than baboons and can overcome low social status and isolation by belonging to multiple hierarchies. The geek that gets made fun of at school - that low ranking kid in one group setting can still socially bond and be king of his computer club.

Humans have a huge range of options for support and many religious organizations offer an extremely supportive social network.

If your support system not only offers support when times are tough - but also eg eternal life, 72 virgins, and a "get out of hell free card" if you're really sorry and genuinely accept Jesus as your savior, etc etc - I can see where joining that club would provide health benefits

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