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  1. #81
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    Re: When it comes to Theist vs. Atheist debate, who is correct is what is important

    The claim, according to Zordok's adherents is: If you sincerely believe in Zordok, then you will attain the power of invisibility on demand along with every other power you've ever dreamed of having!

    My friend Bob accepted their offer. He told them that he believed in Zordok because he wanted the power of invisibility. Later, when Bob wasn't able to use his power, he went to the Temple of Zordok where one of the priests there told him this:

    "Don't despair, my brother! The power of invisibility along with other powers of that sort often take years to manifest themselves. Your belief must grow, become more secure, it must be confirmed by your experience in the world.

    "Already, however, you should feel more peace, joy, love, strength in times of trouble... these sorts of things. This is good. It's a sign that Zordok is working in your life. If I were you I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of invisibility thing at this point. Just be patient. It will happen in time but it will happen on Zordok's schedule and not yours. I've seen true believers go invisible myself. Others I trust absolutely have seen the same thing. But those who do not believe in Zordok don't believe these accounts any more than they believe the other more easily verified claims of those claiming that it is Zordok who gave them strength, peace, etc. They might say that it's a mistaken attribution and that you don't need Zordok to feel good or to be morally strong... that you can "be good for goodness sake," as the Humanists like to say or that you can "be good with Jesus' help" as the Christians like to say. It seems to me, however, that when a person makes a claim about their own interior life, they are the best source of information about the attribution that should be made as to who is responsible for it.

    "Remember, my son, "faith" is not simply blind belief in something without proof and despite there being evidence against the belief. If that's all that's necessary for someone to have "faith," then every single paranoid schizophrenic alive should be revered as among the holiest of us all, because the defining characteristic of their disease is that they have an unshakeable belief in something that is either demonstrably not true or cannot be either verified or falsified by conventional means. This is not what it means to have faith. Faith is, according to the Word, the "substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen." We observe that when we do the things that Zordok has told us to do, we receive spiritual graces that improve our lives. We can directly correlate personal moral and spiritual benefit with obedience to Zordok's will in the form of prayer, virtuous living, good deeds, and loving others. This stands, for us, as sufficient evidence that the other claims made by the Apostles of Zordok about amazing powers, such as the ability to be invisible on demand, and the hereafter are true, as well."
    Last edited by Rodriguez; February 13th, 2012 at 04:22 AM.

  2. #82
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    Re: When it comes to Theist vs. Atheist debate, who is correct is what is important

    Quote Originally Posted by ROD
    The thing is, you're not really increasing your odds by picking one of the god boxes labeled, "Believe in the existence of my god and gain eternal life in paradise!" without some sort of evidence that the label is true.
    Wait, increasing your odds at what? I'm talking about increasing your odds at maximum positive side effects. It sounds like your talking about attaining "truth", but the premise is that the truth is unknown (And possibly unknowable).
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  3. #83
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    Re: When it comes to Theist vs. Atheist debate, who is correct is what is important

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    The benefits or disadvantages that accrue from belief about truth have nothing to do with truth itself. It just so happens that a true belief is usually helpful or beneficial but this isn't necessarily the case and in any event this (i.e., benefits that accrue from believing what is true) is not that which makes the proposition that the belief is about true in the first place. A proposition is true if it accurately describes a particular state of affairs in the world. Otherwise, it's false. And none of this depends on how this fact affects, either postively or negatively, anyone or everyone in the world.
    But overall, it's to our advantage to believe that what is true is true than to believe that what is false is true.

    There are numerous advantages to believing the the world is round compared to believing that the world is flat. And when it comes to the theory of how (or why) the universe was created and what does (or doesn't) await us after death, I just don't see how false information is better than accurate information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    To sum, to believe that Allah exists may bring tremendous benefits to someone who holds this belief and may have almost no negative consequences for him, but the proposition "Allah exists" could still be false just the same. This directly contradicts your claim, based on the pragmatic theory of truth, that says the benefits from believing that p is true pale beside the benefits of believing that p is false, if p actually is false.
    You said "may". Let's be real, here. Setting aside the accuracy issue, you think that believing in Allah IS (not might be, but IS) preferable to being an Atheist? Do you believe that the average Muslim or Christian or Jew has a significant advantage over the atheist overall (so just one particular issue is not what I'm referring to)? Do you believe that religion overall has done more good for the world than harm (factoring such things as religious wars and religious persecutions)? And I don't actually need an answer to those questions. My point is is that is very debatable and there is no way to prove that, the truth issue aside, that religions is better than atheism. It would take access to an alternate reality where religion never existed to answer that question with proof. So I forward that it's not known if there are any advantages to either that have nothing to do with accuracy of the belief system and therefore the truth is of primary importance to which is best.

    Being right is not the only thing that counts (if it were then of course my premise is correct) but it is a significant factor by itself (it's better to be right than wrong) and in general a system that is correct is superior and there has to be strong, clear advantages to alternative systems before they can be declared superior. Forwarding that a wrong system may have advantages over the correct one is not showing such clear, strong advantages.

    ---------- Post added at 12:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:21 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Why do you think you would die and be disappointed?
    If there is no afterlife you would not be disappointed after death for you'd feel nothing at all. But if you live your life believing that you have an after-death guarantee and it affects how you live our life, then you waste a portion of your one life bothering with a guarantee that doesn't exist. As an earthly example, many people go to Church regularly to worship God. But if there is no God, then they are wasting a portion of their one life doing something that there is no reason to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Also, there is the other half of the equation.. that the box that promises no life after death gets it wrong. In that case you would spend a lot more time being wrong (eternity)
    No. An atheist would discover that he his previous assumption about God was wrong after he dies and then he won't be wrong anymore.

    And to be clear, eternal punishment for being wrong about God in life is not part-and-parcel of theism. This is just my opinion, but I think a God worth worshipping would be much more concerned with how morally one lives his life (such as how he treated other human beings) than what he thought about God and therefore an atheist who was a wonderful person should be alright after death even if he was wrong about God. You are free to disagree with that but regardless what I forward is not a direct contradiction of the definition of theism and therefore can be true if God does exist.

    So I suppose I should be even more clear and forward that I do not accept the premise that "If theism is correct, atheism will be punished in the afterlife" and until that premise is supported, all argument based on that premise will be rejected as unsupported.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    What does it matter? Delusion or no, as long as the effects are the same or better what does it matter if it is true or not.
    And I argue that generally the effects of the falsity are not better than the effects of the truth.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    For example, suppose the "truth" is that we are driven by our primal desires and if we accept that as a truth the result will be that people will act without restraint.
    VS
    The above is the "truth" but the falsehood of believing in God prevents people from accepting the above, and thus they practice restraint.
    And if you can show that that issue conforms to reality, you'll have a valid rebuttal.

    I'm not aware of those who are atheists having such problems when compared to theists.

    ---------- Post added at 12:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:38 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    How can it be the winning team if we are not able to recognize truth? What is truth?

    Is it whatever we want to justify truth on? Is it an absolute? Is it subjective? Is it a given? Is it something we know intuitively, despite what we may observe? Can we know truth with a certainty? Can both sides have elements of truth?
    Either God exists and theism is correct and therefore superior to atheism

    or

    God does not exist and atheism is correct and therefore superior to theism

  4. #84
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    Re: When it comes to Theist vs. Atheist debate, who is correct is what is important

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But overall, it's to our advantage to believe that what is true is true than to believe that what is false is true.
    Not necessarily. It depends strictly upon the situation, not upon the truth of what you believe. It can be true that the Christian god exists, that you believe the Christian God exists, and that you act on your belief. This can be a dangerous thing to do in parts of the Muslim world.

    There are numerous advantages to believing the the world is round compared to believing that the world is flat.
    So what? There are numerous advantages to believing that Allah is real and merciful in the Muslim world compared to believing that no god exists.

    Again, as it happens, overall to believe what is true about the world and to disbelieve what is false IS more beneficial than not. But it's not because true beliefs inherently are more beneficial. It's because to believe the way the world actually is and to disbelieve the way the world actually is not, more often than not but not always allows one to accomplish or to more easily accomplish what one wants to accomplish.

    What is true about the world is NOT that which benefits someone or even everyone the most. What is true about the world is the way the world is whether it benefits someone or everyone or no one.

    And when it comes to the theory of how (or why) the universe was created and what does (or doesn't) await us after death, I just don't see how false information is better than accurate information.
    Yes, you do. You've already agreed that you see that to believe falsely that a given proposition is true can be better -- in fact, much better -- than to believe truly about that proposition.



    You said "may". Let's be real, here. Setting aside the accuracy issue, you think that believing in Allah IS (not might be, but IS) preferable to being an Atheist?
    Absolutely it is in particular situations. You've already agreed with me that it is. To believe what is true doesn't guarantee or even make it more likely that you will find happiness or success or achieve great wealth. To believe what is true means only that correctly believe the way the world actually is. To believe what is false doesn't mean that you are guaranteed or even more likely than not to have a miserable, poverty-stricken, sickness-filled life. It means only that you are mistaken in some of your views about the way the world actually is.

    Do you believe that the average Muslim or Christian or Jew has a significant advantage over the atheist overall (so just one particular issue is not what I'm referring to)?
    Yes, in particular situations, yes absolutely. It's much more beneficial to believe in the local god when 90% of the population and virtually 100% of those in power of the country you're living in believes in the existence of that god, whether the god's name is Jehovah or Allah or Jesus or Zordok. Is there any real debate to be had about this?

    Do you believe that religion overall has done more good for the world than harm (factoring such things as religious wars and religious persecutions)? And I don't actually need an answer to those questions. My point is is that is very debatable and there is no way to prove that, the truth issue aside, that religions is better than atheism.
    Or vice versa. I would disagree that it's impossible to prove whether religion, overall, has had a net good or bad effect on the world. I think it probably can be proved if terms are defined clearly enough, if enough data is gathered, etc. I mean, I think it is an empirical question that, in principle, can be answered. But if that question were defined clearly and if enough data were gathered and analyzed so that the question was answered, would it be your contention that a "yes" answer to that question would mean that some god or other actually does exist???

    Of course not! This is because a false belief can have good consequences and a true belief can have bad consequences. Whether overall the belief that some god exists has had good or bad consequences for planet earth does not in any way mean that a god either exists or doesn't exist. The only thing that can make the belief "God exists" true is for a god to actually exist. Whether that belief has positive or negative consequences for earth is irrelevant in regard to the truth or falsity of that proposition.

    It would take access to an alternate reality where religion never existed to answer that question with proof.
    Well, I think you're mistaken. It's just an empirical question that can be answered like any other empirical question if terms are defined with sufficient clarity and enough evidence on the matter is gathered.

    So I forward that it's not known if there are any advantages to either that have nothing to do with accuracy of the belief system and therefore the truth is of primary importance to which is best. [emphasis mine)
    "Best" in what way? Is the "better" belief one that leads to your premature death? How can that possibly be true (assuming you want to live as long as is reasonably possible)?

    Being right is not the only thing that counts (if it were then of course my premise is correct) but it is a significant factor by itself (it's better to be right than wrong) and in general a system that is correct is superior and there has to be strong, clear advantages to alternative systems before they can be declared superior. Forwarding that a wrong system may have advantages over the correct one is not showing such clear, strong advantage.
    "Being right" in one's belief about whether a particular proposition is true or false is a significant factor in knowing the way that the world actually is -- and that's pretty much it.

    "Being right" in one's belief about whether a particular proposition is true or false, however, may or may not lead to positive consequences for the holder of that belief. Usually, holding true beliefs do lead to positive consequences because in general it's better to believe what is true about the world than what is false -- but not always. This is because the consequences that ensue from holding a particular belief only partially depend on the belief's actual truth. If it were otherwise then a belief that led to good consequences would be a true belief and a belief that led to bad consequences would be a false belief; and this is not what a true belief is. A true belief is an attitude of being convinced that a descriptive proposition about the world is true, whether or not that proposition actually has good consequences for the world.

    ---------- Post added at 02:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:20 PM ----------

    Miccan, assume that a blue-ribbon panel of scientists is assembled to determine whether religious belief has had an overall good or bad effect on the population of the earth. And after terms are clearly defined, after all available evidence on the matter is gathered and analyzed, it is shown to be highly probable that religion (i.e., the belief that some god or other exists) overall has had a positive consequence for humanity.

    In your mind, would this mean that a god probably exists or would it mean only that religious belief has probably had, up to this point, a net positive effect for the planet earth?

  5. #85
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    Re: When it comes to Theist vs. Atheist debate, who is correct is what is important

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    If there is no afterlife you would not be disappointed after death for you'd feel nothing at all. But if you live your life believing that you have an after-death guarantee and it affects how you live our life, then you waste a portion of your one life bothering with a guarantee that doesn't exist. As an earthly example, many people go to Church regularly to worship God. But if there is no God, then they are wasting a portion of their one life doing something that there is no reason to do.
    Well, you can't really call it a "waste". Because there is no ultimate goal to get too if there is no God. Waste only applies if there is a goal. The only opportunity for waste is if you don't try and there is a God.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    No. An atheist would discover that he his previous assumption about God was wrong after he dies and then he won't be wrong anymore.

    And to be clear, eternal punishment for being wrong about God in life is not part-and-parcel of theism. This is just my opinion, but I think a God worth worshipping would be much more concerned with how morally one lives his life (such as how he treated other human beings) than what he thought about God and therefore an atheist who was a wonderful person should be alright after death even if he was wrong about God. You are free to disagree with that but regardless what I forward is not a direct contradiction of the definition of theism and therefore can be true if God does exist.

    So I suppose I should be even more clear and forward that I do not accept the premise that "If theism is correct, atheism will be punished in the afterlife" and until that premise is supported, all argument based on that premise will be rejected as unsupported.
    Fair enough, but it is also an unsupported assumption that you would simply be corrected.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And I argue that generally the effects of the falsity are not better than the effects of the truth.
    That would be a big one to support, and I would like to see you do it.
    I would say that there are several things that (from your view) evolution has produces, which directly contradicts that.
    Like our psychological defense mechanism; Denial, Projection, Displacement etc.. many are based in believing a lie and rejecting the truth. Unless you would argue that evolution made a mistake in developing these things, then they should be accepted as "More fit" or "better". I should note that moving from those thing back to believing reality doesn't mean that at the time it would have been better. IE, a person being beaten or tortured would be better off using physiological defense mechanisms at the time in order to survive or deal with the event as it is happening. Meaning, that at that time the "truth" was not "better", or even produce better effects.

    That all said, you did say "generally".. which is a big loop hole because we are talking specifically about one belief or truth. So it isn't reasonable to assume anything about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And if you can show that that issue conforms to reality, you'll have a valid rebuttal.

    I'm not aware of those who are atheists having such problems when compared to theists.
    I disagree that my rebuttal was not a valid one.

    I'll re-quote what you said, and what I was responding to.
    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN POST 75
    No, it's not. If atheism is true and you believe in it then you have all of the advantages of operating on a truthful belief system over a false one. And that doesn't just apply to individuals but to the society as a whole. Our society is in part guided by religious belief. While we don't have religious laws many laws are effected by the religious beliefs of our citizens such as the gay marriage issue and teaching creationism. So religion is effecting all of us and if it's a false belief, then our society is being guided, in part, by delusion which is not a good thing.
    First, you talked of the advantages of believing the truth, but that begs the question of WHAT advantages. Then I gave an example of where a falsehood COULD have superior advantages.

    You said that delusion was not a good thing, I said it depends on the results.
    My rebuttal is valid, because it was a hypothetical which highlighted the results were what is important.


    That said, I think there are many real world examples.
    1) The foundation of the U.S. gov vs all the atheist minded gov. The results are vastly different, and the U.S. version is superior.
    2) Me personally. I know that my belief in God has effected my actions in a positive manner, through action and restraint.
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  6. #86
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    Re: When it comes to Theist vs. Atheist debate, who is correct is what is important

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Either God exists and theism is correct and therefore superior to atheism or God does not exist and atheism is correct and therefore superior to theism
    Does correct mean (=) truth?
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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