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  1. #41
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soren View Post
    Nope, doubt that's the case.
    You don't know which fruits i have heard of and which I haven't...

    Okay, so you don't believe in something that is a fruit despite your belief that fruits exist?
    No, I believe that you are a liar.

    See above.
    See above.

    Right, but that didn't happen. I asked if you believed right now that this fruit exists. I didn't ask if you would believe it given somebody mentioned it in idle conversation.
    No I do not believe in the existence of a Galiporkise fruit. I suppose my reason as to why doesn't matter...

    Look, believing in fruit doesn't mean that you have to believe in every conceivable (fiction or nonfiction) fruit that exists.
    Fine, but you do have to be open to the possibility of the existence of any fruit. Unless you know of all the fruits that exist in the universe.

    Believing in the supernatural doesn't mean that you have to believe in every conceivable (fiction or nonfiction) supernatural being that exists.
    The supernatural is fiction... what nonfictional supernatural thing are you referring to?

    Okay so believing in the supernatural being called God doesn't mean that you have to believe in unicorns. However, you do have to be open to the possibility that unicorns exist... IMO this is just as ridiculous.

    ---------- Post added at 10:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:53 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Irrelevant semantic quibbling. When someone dies and then is brought back to life (heart stopped, clinically dead for a brief while, and then heart is started again, no longer dead), that is what is commonly known as a Near Death Experience. Picking at the phrase "Near Death Experience" (which, btw, I did not coin - I'm just calling it what it is usually called) on a semantic level has absolutely no bearing on the accuracy of my argument.

    It can be called "Captain Crunch" and my point would be the same.
    This depends on the definition of death. Is death the heart stopping? Is it the cessation of brain activity? Is it when a person cannot be revived by medical science?

    But can we trust the reports of a dead person? Would you accept the calculations of a 'dead' calculator?

    ---------- Post added at 11:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:58 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Let's say that someone felt a presence, saw a glow, felt a warmth, and felt a loving communication that relayed a strong sense of well being.
    Sounds like you are explaining the effects of drugs and not someone who felt God... or does doing crack bring one closer to God?

    Well, THAT is. But that's not an adequate comparison.
    Why? What is the difference? I have a feeling, you have a feeling. Why is my feeling less valid then yours?
    abc

  2. #42
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    You don't know which fruits i have heard of and which I haven't...
    Well I never said I had. Do you know what I was "doubting?"


    No, I believe that you are a liar.
    You can believe both. So the fact that I am a liar (which really makes me sound worse than my intention!) does not mean that my previous statement false.

    In other words, you believe both:

    1: you don't believe in something that is a fruit despite your belief that fruits exist? (Specifically the Galiporkises fruit)

    2: you believe I am a liar




    No I do not believe in the existence of a Galiporkise fruit. I suppose my reason as to why doesn't matter...
    What specifically, is your reason that it doesn't matter?

    Fine, but you do have to be open to the possibility of the existence of any fruit. Unless you know of all the fruits that exist in the universe.
    Well if you are going to be difficult about questions, let's redefine the fruit to be:

    A fruit which exists on planet earth, and which grows in MyXenocides bedroom, and is very visible.

    Do you believe in this fruit?

    If you say:

    No, I don't believe in this fruit.

    Then I will say:

    Well then why do I need to believe in unicorns just because they are supernatural? You don't believe in Galiporkises just because it is a fruit.

    The supernatural is fiction... what nonfictional supernatural thing are you referring to?

    Okay so believing in the supernatural being called God doesn't mean that you have to believe in unicorns. However, you do have to be open to the possibility that unicorns exist... IMO this is just as ridiculous.
    Oh. . . well, I wish I hadn't responded to the rest of your post, because this is the most important part.

    Logically you have to be open to the possibility that anything (except a contradiction) exists. The chance could be 0.00000000000000001% but you still have to believe in the possibility.
    IMO this is just as ridiculous.
    IMO, your argument is just ridiculous.

    Quote Originally Posted by MX in previous post
    By accepting that the supernatural exists you remove the one logical reason why not to believe in unicorns. If you have no logical reason to not believe in something then you should believe in it.
    Actually there is one more logical reason why not to believe in unicorns. . . the lack of evidence for them.
    Udabindu yathāpi pokkhare
    Padume vāri yathā na lippati,
    Evaṃ muni no palippati
    Yadidaṃ diṭṭhasutaṃ mutesu vā.

  3. #43
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    This depends on the definition of death. Is death the heart stopping? Is it the cessation of brain activity? Is it when a person cannot be revived by medical science?

    But can we trust the reports of a dead person? Would you accept the calculations of a 'dead' calculator?
    The person is clinically dead for a while (adhering to a medical definition of dying) and then is brought back to life. And if his experience corresponds to other people who've been through the same thing having the same experience, then I would say that it lends credence to his experience being genuine.


    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    Sounds like you are explaining the effects of drugs and not someone who felt God... or does doing crack bring one closer to God?
    First off, support or retract that what I've described are the effects of crack. I know you can't support it (since crack use doesn't have that effect) and part of my description is being sober right after the "spiritual experience" while most drugs do not leave you sober minutes later.


    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    Why? What is the difference? I have a feeling, you have a feeling. Why is my feeling less valid then yours?
    I described sight and sensation, not just feeling.

  4. #44
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    Why?
    Look at the title of your thread. The question you've posed is does theism, a belief in the supernatural God, require, that is necessitate belief in unicorns. Let's start the analysis by dropping, for the moment, the quesstion of belief in propositioins being true or false, and concentrating on the logical relationship between the two propositions in question. Then we have the question, does the proposition, P, there is a supernatural God entail the proposition, Q, there are unicorns.

    Do we really need to get into a formalized argument proving P does not entail Q? It should be obvious P does not entail Q. It is logically possible that God exist, but that God didn't create unicorns. It is logically possible that unicorns exist, but that God doesn't. Therefore, there are possible worlds in which one of the two exist, but not the other. So the existential propositions regarding each do not enjoy a logical entailment relationship. The proposition God and unicorns exist is possibly false.

    Getting back to belief, if P doesn't entail Q, then it would be a false belief to believe P entails Q. Put another way, it would be a false belief to believe that if I believe P, to avoid being logically inconsistent, I must also believe Q.

    If the belief I must believe Q if I believe P is false, your question has been answered; theism does not require a belief in unicorns.

    Understood?

    PS: As for my prior claim that even atheists show us belief in God doesn't require belief in unicorns, the above demonstration, with only very slight modifications, works just fine. I'll leave it as homework for you to make them.

    PPS: Just for future reference, MYX, there are those who strenuously argue for the case that there aren't any existential propositions that entail the truth of any other existential proposition. You should consult these arguments before starting any more threads that simply ignore them as if the huge body of philosophical debate they represent (existentialism) didn't exist.
    Last edited by cstamford; September 14th, 2011 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Add PPS

  5. #45
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    I think it's a bad op to be honest. Instead, it should have argued that there is no reason to believe in God if one does not believe in unicorns. Or perhaps there is no reason to not believe in unicorns if one believes in God. While I think this is still a bad argument that is easily refuted, at least it would have escaped the logical trap the op placed itself in to begin with.
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  6. #46
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    You are right, I am wrong. Cheers
    abc

  7. #47
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    You are right, I am wrong. Cheers
    /Off-Topic

    Just a general question to anyone opposing the opening post in this debate:

    Did any of you take the time to give reputation for this concession? Did it even cross your minds to do so?

    I think conceding an argument is probably one of the hardest things to do in a forum like this, and I also think that on the occasion that someone does plainly and openly concede, it gets ignored. I would urge people to reward this sort of thing when they see it, assuming you don't already, of course, because it's probably the best example of a mind willing to learn than anything we see here.

    Just putting it out there for what it may be worth.

  8. #48
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    /Off-Topic

    Just a general question to anyone opposing the opening post in this debate:

    Did any of you take the time to give reputation for this concession? Did it even cross your minds to do so?

    I think conceding an argument is probably one of the hardest things to do in a forum like this, and I also think that on the occasion that someone does plainly and openly concede, it gets ignored. I would urge people to reward this sort of thing when they see it, assuming you don't already, of course, because it's probably the best example of a mind willing to learn than anything we see here.

    Just putting it out there for what it may be worth.
    Well said. I hate to admit it, but I was so focused on the inherent weakness of the OP's argument it never even occurred to me to rep the author for his early concession. A little too much of the old competitive spirit for my own good I suppose. I'm doing it now though, so thanks for the admonition.

  9. #49
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Thanks everyone for the rep. I go to this site more to learn then to be right. Guess I don't have the true debaters spirit But I really enjoy reading all the different opinions and different angles with which people approach a topic. I especially enjoy the comments that are clever and take me by surprise (something that is clear but I would never have thought of). I also find this a great place to test the strength of my ideas and a place to practice trying to word my arguments in a clear and concise way. I plan to become a scientist so writing clearly is an important ability, at least that's my opinion. Honestly, looking back I see how weak my argument really was.
    abc

  10. #50
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    /Off-Topic

    Just a general question to anyone opposing the opening post in this debate:

    Did any of you take the time to give reputation for this concession? Did it even cross your minds to do so?

    I think conceding an argument is probably one of the hardest things to do in a forum like this, and I also think that on the occasion that someone does plainly and openly concede, it gets ignored. I would urge people to reward this sort of thing when they see it, assuming you don't already, of course, because it's probably the best example of a mind willing to learn than anything we see here.

    Just putting it out there for what it may be worth.
    Well, not to be a party pooper, but someone could concede for very, very terrible reasons. Just because someone concedes a debate doesn't mean that the understand their opponents' arguments, or (supposing that their own argument was flawed) that they understand why their argument was wrong. They might concede because they felt "ganged up" on, or because very smart people wrote a lot of stuff in opposition. And it's hard to get a sense of what motivated Xeno's concession from his rather terse message (although it seemed good-natured).
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  11. #51
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Well, not to be a party pooper, but someone could concede for very, very terrible reasons. Just because someone concedes a debate doesn't mean that the understand their opponents' arguments, or (supposing that their own argument was flawed) that they understand why their argument was wrong. They might concede because they felt "ganged up" on, or because very smart people wrote a lot of stuff in opposition. And it's hard to get a sense of what motivated Xeno's concession from his rather terse message (although it seemed good-natured).
    I simply agree with what people said in opposition to my argument. I cannot agree without understanding.
    abc

  12. #52
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    I simply agree with what people said in opposition to my argument. I cannot agree without understanding.
    That's probably true, but you could say you agree without understanding.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  13. #53
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    That's probably true, but you could say you agree without understanding.
    Yes that's true. But there is no way for me to prove it. I could explain why I am wrong, but a lot of other people already did that. I could just summarize what they said without any understanding... So all you have is my word...
    abc

  14. #54
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    No, theism does not require a belief in unicorns. Although they are most ready to proudly proclaim their unwavering faith, many theists claim they have "evidence" for the existence of God. Here are some examples:

    1) God talked to me, ergo God exists.
    2) I feel Him in my heart, ergo God exists.
    3) My (insert relative here) was dying of cancer, we prayed and he got well, ergo God exists.

    So from their point of view, they believe in something supernatural because they have "proof". If they do not believe they have the same kind of evidence for the existence of unicorns they can believe in God without having to believe in unicorns and be consistent with their own premises.

  15. #55
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgardo110684 View Post
    No, theism does not require a belief in unicorns. Although they are most ready to proudly proclaim their unwavering faith, many theists claim they have "evidence" for the existence of God. Here are some examples:

    1) Unicorns talked to me, ergo unicorns exists.
    2) I feel unicorns in my heart, ergo unicorns exists.
    3) My (insert relative here) was dying of cancer, we prayed and he got well, ergo unicorns exists.

    So from their point of view, they believe in something supernatural because they have "proof". If they do not believe they have the same kind of evidence for the existence of unicorns they can believe in God without having to believe in unicorns and be consistent with their own premises.
    Consistent sure, but wrong. All that evidence can be said about unicorns as well.
    abc

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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    Consistent sure, but wrong. All that evidence can be said about unicorns as well.
    Well, that's exactly the point. They claim that they have the aforementioned kinds of evidence for God and I'm sure most of them would not say the same for unicorns. You'd have to prove that they have the same evidence (or lack thereof) for both of them in order to prove that "theism requires a belief in unicorns". The problem is that said claims (at least to best of our current knowledge) are unfalsifiable for an outside observer so you reach a certain point in which you clam they are wrong, they claim you are wrong and neither of you can prove the other wrong.

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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgardo110684 View Post
    No, theism does not require a belief in unicorns. Although they are most ready to proudly proclaim their unwavering faith, many theists claim they have "evidence" for the existence of God. Here are some examples:

    1) God talked to me, ergo God exists.
    2) I feel Him in my heart, ergo God exists.
    3) My (insert relative here) was dying of cancer, we prayed and he got well, ergo God exists.

    So from their point of view, they believe in something supernatural because they have "proof". If they do not believe they have the same kind of evidence for the existence of unicorns they can believe in God without having to believe in unicorns and be consistent with their own premises.
    But accepting the above as evidence is an abdication from the obligation to produce/seek evidence. And any honest and intelligent theist will have to admit it.

    The OP is only correct insofar as the "You can't prove god does not exist" claim goes. That claim applies equally to Unicorns. And make no mistake about it, that claim is a worryingly common claim made by theists.

    I don't think theism requires people to believe in unicorns. But it (at least "personal god theism") does require people to abolish intellectual honesty in order to exclude all other local deities (some 3000 of them) in favour of a chosen one. And this remains true even with an acknowledgement of personal revelations and "miraculous" cures. No single religion has a monopoly on claims of supernatural intervention. Indeed, they appear to be common between by far most religions.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

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  19. #58
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post

    I don't think theism requires people to believe in unicorns. But it (at least "personal god theism") does require people to abolish intellectual honesty in order to exclude all other local deities (some 3000 of them) in favour of a chosen one. And this remains true even with an acknowledgement of personal revelations and "miraculous" cures. No single religion has a monopoly on claims of supernatural intervention. Indeed, they appear to be common between by far most religions.
    Well, the exclusion you mention is not necessarily intellectually dishonest from their point of view, because like I said, theists will always find "evidence" that supports their god and not the others. For example, they would say that the fact that belief in God has survived until today and belief in Zeus has not is very strong evidence that God is real and Zeus is not. Or for example I've heard people say that the fact that many of today's worldwide laws are consistent with the Bible's commandments (e.g. "thou shall not kill" and "homicide is a crime everywhere in the world") is proof that the Bible is real and is part of every human being's inherent morality. Like I said I think these arguments are very faulty, but many people accept them as reasonable.

  20. #59
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Both are very bad examples as "evidence" of God and are not actual examples of arguments and evidence offered by those who actually argue for the existence of God in a meaningful manner (eg, philosophers throughout history, educated apologists, theologians, etc...).

    We may as well use radical, uneducated claims about atheism by the radical and uneducated then proclaim that they represent a relevant variable at work in the defense of an atheistic worldview.
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  21. #60
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    Re: Does Theism Require a Belief in Unicorns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgardo110684 View Post
    Well, the exclusion you mention is not necessarily intellectually dishonest from their point of view, because like I said, theists will always find "evidence" that supports their god and not the others. For example, they would say that the fact that belief in God has survived until today and belief in Zeus has not is very strong evidence that God is real and Zeus is not.
    Or perhaps a more pargmatic approach is that God is still here today and has not gone away is because God continues to work in our lives. And generally, whatever works in people's lives in positive ways sticks around and passes the test of time. Even though new eras and new understanding may give us a different perspective about God and what God is, the spiritual applications of principles/precepts often outlined in world sciptures work. (One of the most common ones central to most world sacred texts being the Golden Rule.)

    How does God (grace) work in our life? I think one of the most effective, observable ways grace works in our lives is through the process of change/transformation; changing the old to the new.
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