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  1. #21
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    I appreciate the responses but I think there's been a bit of a misunderstanding about what it is that I'm asking here. I'm not asking about your personal beliefs, as interesting as they are. I'm asking about in which of the above categories (A - D) you believe the hypothetical Christian I describe in my post belongs.

    I think pretty clearly this hypothetical Christian belongs in category A. It's simply highly unlikely, to say the least, that someone who truly believes a perfect, loving, omni-god exists, would consciously act against that god's will, whether or not hell exists. The additional possibility of punishment for disobeying the god (i.e., spending eternity in hell) just adds to the virtual certainty that only those who disbelieve such a god exists would consciously and freely act in contravention of that god's will.

    There have been no viable counter-examples offered in rebuttal of this claim. A child disobeying a parent is in no way analogous to what I'm talking about. Neither is the example of a smoker who continues to smoke even though he knows smoking will damage his health and might possibly shorten his life. It's easy to see why those things sometimes occur.

    We're not talking about a being, like a human parent, who gives you what may or may not be good advice to follow. We're talking about a being who is infallibly laying out for you the only certain path to eternal happiness. Anyone who is sane and believes that such a being exists, will follow the advice, period. Only someone who disbelieves such a being exists (whether that disbelief is expressed openly or is hidden behind a false profession of belief) would freely and consciously disobey that god.

  2. #22
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I'm not asking about your personal beliefs...It's simply highly unlikely...
    Your standards for evidence seem a bit off balance. You are not interested in your opponent's belief, but you justify the rebuttal with your own belief.

    Do you have an objective argument as to why people are "highly unlikely" to take this action? Especially given our seeming unwillingness to accept medical advice from doctors, legal advice from lawyers, living advice from our elders, etc? Humans are pretty good at ignoring the obvious, even when they believe that person is right. So given all of those realities, what objective argument can you offer for why people would be unlikely to follow their personal desires?

    ---------- Post added at 02:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:13 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Only someone who disbelieves such a being exists (whether that disbelief is expressed openly or is hidden behind a false profession of belief) would freely and consciously disobey that god.
    Side note, this is a no-true Scotsman fallacy.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  3. #23
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by ROD
    Great. So we agree about that. However, I never claimed that, sometimes, people do not do what they should do. Never. Not once. I never claimed that people do not sometimes act irrationally. Never. Not once.
    Quote Originally Posted by ROD
    You seem to think that lots of people will do this. I don't see it. In my view, practically anyone who wants to continue to live would not trust that the gun will jam, that it is unloaded, that the person will somehow be restrained from shooting them, etc.
    Now you are just trying to argue degree's.
    I have established, and you have accepted that people act irrationally. You are pointing to an instance and saying
    "this irrational act is not reasonable to accept"..

    I don't really need to establish anything else. Your proposition is not supported because people do act irrationally and there is no real distinction or line that you have established. Nor is their a reason to accept that their is.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  4. #24
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap
    Now you are just trying to argue degree's.
    I have established, and you have accepted that people act irrationally. You are pointing to an instance and saying
    "this irrational act is not reasonable to accept".
    False. I am not JUST NOW trying to argue degrees of irrationality. I have been arguing degrees irrationality from the gitgo and I think I've been doing it openly. For that reason I'm a bit surprised that you consider this to be a "gotcha!" moment. To be clear, if I haven't been already, just let me say that, yes, I believe there is a substantial difference between the irrationality exhibited by some adult who jumps from a 17th floor ledge because he is convinced that he can fly like a bird and the irrationality of some other adult who decides to buy a couple of tickets in this week's lotto in hopes of striking it rich.

    IMO the reason that Christians try so diligently to act as if there are no degrees of irrationality, when clearly there are degrees and very important degrees of irrationality, is because they feel that their faith is threatened by the concept of rational thought.

    ---------- Post added at 03:47 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:40 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Your standards for evidence seem a bit off balance. You are not interested in your opponent's belief, but you justify the rebuttal with your own belief.
    Here's a belief of mine: San Antonio will win the NBA championship in 6 games. What does this belief have to do with the original belief that I was trying to prove? Nothing.

    Similarly, it's not that I'm not interested in the beliefs of others. It's just that I'm not interested in those beliefs insofar as they do not relate to the belief that is being discussed. Perhaps if you read a few of the posts that preceded the one you seem to have read you'd have a better grasp of what is being discussed among us.

    Do you have an objective argument as to why people are "highly unlikely" to take this action?
    It's obvious for the reasons I've already given. Again, maybe if you would read a few of the other posts associated with this particular argument, you'd have a better grasp of what's being discussed.

  5. #25
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by ROD
    False. I am not JUST NOW trying to argue degrees of irrationality. I have been arguing degrees irrationality from the gitgo and I think I've been doing it openly. For that reason I'm a bit surprised that you consider this to be a "gotcha!" moment. To be clear, if I haven't been already, just let me say that, yes, I believe there is a substantial difference between the irrationality exhibited by some adult who jumps from a 17th floor ledge because he is convinced that he can fly like a bird and the irrationality of some other adult who decides to buy a couple of tickets in this week's lotto in hopes of striking it rich.
    The problem is, you are mis-characterizing what is occurring. In other words, you are using a flawed analogy in an attempt to show a degree that doesn't exist. It is not outside the normal human perimeters to choose to ignore inconvenient truths(to what they desire) that have delayed consequences. That is why smoking is a better example than your miss-characterization of thinking one can fly. The problem with all of your examples is that they do not contain a desired element that is real. For example smoking has the element of enjoying the smoke, denying God has the element of living as lord of your own life. Both have delayed consequences. some even go so far as to accept the consequences of both. I recall a thread here of how if God were considered evil by (former) atheists they would not follow him or obey him on principle.

    But lets suppose that it does, it clearly doesn't exist across the board(IE in all people in the same way). Some people are simply crazier than others.


    Quote Originally Posted by ROD
    IMO the reason that Christians try so diligently to act as if there are no degrees of irrationality, when clearly there are degrees and very important degrees of irrationality, is because they feel that their faith is threatened by the concept of rational thought.
    I never understood why athiests find the need to keep repeating that line, especially when it doesn't add to the debate in any way.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  6. #26
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    It's obvious for the reasons I've already given.
    None of those were reasons Rod, they were anecdotes and personal opinions.

    In post 10 you said: "The entire scenario is simply implausible."

    In post 14 you said: "To disobey the latter is just plain crazy and would almost certainly never happen."

    Neither of those are reasons (nor is anything else you said) you base your position solely on your personal perception concerning plausibility and human psychology. That isn't an objective argument, it is an OPED.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  7. #27
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I'm asking about in which of the above categories (A - D) you believe the hypothetical Christian I describe in my post belongs.
    Why do you insist on arguing hypothetically when I have put myself in that place? I match the beliefs of your hypothetical, so why can't you explain why my beliefs are irrational and why you think I am crazy?
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  8. #28
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul
    Why do you insist on arguing hypothetically when I have put myself in that place?
    I disagree. You didn't put yourself in the place of my hypothetical Christian. My Christian believes that God will send him to hell if he does S and yet the Christian does S anyway. You haven't indicated that you've done anything like that unless you mean to say, for instance, that you believe God will send you to hell because you sometimes work on Sunday.

    I match the beliefs of your hypothetical, so why can't you explain why my beliefs are irrational and why you think I am crazy?
    I do not believe you're crazy. I do believe you hold an irrational belief in the existence of God.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    None of those were reasons Rod, they were anecdotes and personal opinions.
    Personal opinions and anecdotes are reasons to hold a belief. They may not be good reasons but they are reasons. These, however, are not the reasons for my belief.

    In post 10 you said: "The entire scenario is simply implausible."

    In post 14 you said: "To disobey the latter is just plain crazy and would almost certainly never happen."

    Neither of those are reasons (nor is anything else you said) you base your position solely on your personal perception concerning plausibility and human psychology. That isn't an objective argument, it is an OPED.
    As I said the reason I believe what I believe in this instance is because it's obvious. It's as if you and I and twenty other people looked at a normal, calm, blue sky and you asked, "I know you believe the sky is blue, but why do you believe it is blue?"

    I would reply because it's obvious that it's blue. It's apparent.

    The same thing applies here. Omniscient means or can mean "all-knowing." Infallible means that "a claim or belief is not subject to fallibility", i.e., it cannot be mistaken. If I believe that an infallible, omniscient being exists then I believe that whatever the being communicates to me is the truth. It's obvious that this is true from the definitions of the terms and relationships involved in that statement. If the being communicates that X is the only way to achieve eternal happiness then X IS the way to achieve eternal happiness and I KNOW that that is true. If I want to achieve eternal happiness then I will do X if it is within my ability to do X.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap
    That is why smoking is a better example than your miss-characterization of thinking one can fly.
    Not in the least. Why should anyone believe that smoking with 100% certainty will lead to ill health and a shortened lifespan? Based on scientific study and research, heavy smoking will probably do that but there is nothing approaching certainty that it will. In fact, for some people smoking has very little if any effect. Some people smoke 2 packs a day and live into their 90s. Again, there is no CERTAINTY that smoking will take ten years off any particular person's life or substantially affect that person's health.

    So what of an omniscient being? Is there anything about that concept that is certain or guaranteed? Why, yes there is. An omniscient being knows everything that can be known! An omniscient being KNOWS without fear of failure what you and I and everyone else needs to do to achieve eternal happiness. This isn't a matter of probability. IF there is an omniscient being THEN the omniscient being knows everything, period. It's a certainty. Probability enters into this only if we're questioning this being's existence. Does such a being exist? That's a matter of evidence and argument and, hence, probability. What is NOT a matter of evidence and argument is that an omniscient being knows everything. This latter is not a matter of evidence and argument because "knowing everything" is the definition of 'omnisicent.'

    I never understood why athiests find the need to keep repeating that line, especially when it doesn't add to the debate in any way.
    I think it explains why you made a claim that in other circumstances you would never make. It's only when your faith is threatened that you equate "probability" (like the probability that smoking will shorten your lifespan) with "certainty" (like the certainty that an omniscient being knows the path to eternal happiness).

    If the wife says, "Quit smoking or you'll be dead in 20 years." Well, maybe she's right or maybe not. Who knows? It's not completely irrational for me to say "Both my parents were heavy smokers and lived into their nineties. I think I'll probably live into my nineties also even though I, too, am a heavy smoker."

    OTOH, it is completely certifiable to say, "There is an infallible, omniscient being who says that he knows the only path to eternal happiness but I also believe that the infallible, omniscient being is mistaken about that." By saying this, I've either admitted that I don't know the definitions of the words that I just used in my statement OR that I am a lunatic OR both.

  9. #29
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I disagree. You didn't put yourself in the place of my hypothetical Christian. My Christian believes that God will send him to hell if he does S and yet the Christian does S anyway. You haven't indicated that you've done anything like that unless you mean to say, for instance, that you believe God will send you to hell because you sometimes work on Sunday.
    Either I don't understand you, or you don't understand Christianity. Christians believe that they would go to hell for their sins, except for Jesus Christ taking those sins on Himself, leaving us blameless in God's eyes. So I don't believe there is any such thing as a Christian who says "I will go to hell if I do S" and then does S anyway, because to be a Christian means knowing we are forgiven for S. While knowing we will not go to Hell even if we do S, we're supposed to refrain from S anyway. If you don't believe that is the case, then explain your understanding of what it means to be a Christian.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  10. #30
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    In that case, how likely would it be that someone who knows God exists -- i.e., who knows that a being exists who loves them, wants the best for them, knows everything, can do anything, including give them eternal happiness, created the world, etc. -- would not love God?

    For the life of me I just cannot see someone saying, "Well, sure I could easily obtain eternal happiness but I freely choose eternal suffering instead."

    This person obviously could not be someone like me who does NOT believe that the being described above exists, but he instead would be someone like you who DOES believe that such a being exists. So let's phrase the question differently and use you as the example instead of my hypothetical Christian: Why would you, believing as you do about God, choose to hate God? Do you really think there are such people? . . . really?

    I don't believe such people exist. IMO, it's infinitely more likely that you would become convinced that God doesn't exist rather than that you would believe the God described exists AND simply reject him.

    To believe that a being exists who loves you, who is omni-this-and-that, who will provide you with eternal happiness, etc., practically ENTAILS loving such a being.

  11. #31
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Personal opinions and anecdotes are reasons to hold a belief.
    Indeed, however, you discount another person's statement because it is based upon their beliefs. You then offer, as a rebuttal your personal opinion on what is rational and what is not. Either that standard applies for both participants in the debate, or neither. You can't invoke what seems reasonable to you as a defense and then scream bloody murder when your opponent does the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod
    As I said the reason I believe what I believe in this instance is because it's obvious. It's as if you and I and twenty other people looked at a normal, calm, blue sky and you asked, "I know you believe the sky is blue, but why do you believe it is blue?"

    I would reply because it's obvious that it's blue. It's apparent.
    The fact that there is no such thing as the sun would seem "obvious" to a man who lived in a cave. The fact that the sun revolved around the earth seems obvious from earth bound observers. It seems obvious that these dots are moving:




    There is a reason that we don't rely on what is "obvious" when making an argument.

    If a claim is patently true, then it should be easy to support right? The sky is blue is an easy argument to support without relying on an emotional response concerning what you believe.

    Your response above would not be the actual answer either. You don't believe it because it is apparent. You believe it because the light waves entering your eye produce a specific effect in your brain that you've been taught to associate with the idea of a color, blue.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rod
    If I believe that an infallible, omniscient being exists then I believe that whatever the being communicates to me is the truth. It's obvious that this is true from the definitions of the terms and relationships involved in that statement. If the being communicates that X is the only way to achieve eternal happiness then X IS the way to achieve eternal happiness and I KNOW that that is true. If I want to achieve eternal happiness then I will do X if it is within my ability to do X.
    Your logic does not follow here because you forgot to include a premise (actually several premises).

    1) God is omniscient.
    2) God is infallible.
    3) God is truthful. (You forgot to include this and I think it highlights a lack of rigor in the analysis)
    C: God's communication is objective truth.

    That lack of rigor is why you make the fallacious jump from a person knowing that X is the way to happiness to a person doing X.

    1) A person knows that X will produce happiness.
    2) ???
    C: A person will do X to be happy.

    I can think of at least two additional premises you need to include in your argument here in order to make it a valid argument.

    You've offered no premise as to why a fallible person would infallibly apply a principle to their life. That premise needs to be offered and defended in order for your argument to hold.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  12. #32
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    You can't invoke what seems reasonable to you as a defense and then scream bloody murder when your opponent does the same.
    I've hardly "screamed bloody murder" about anything in this thread. I'm rather happy with the tone of the arguments in this thread so far. Even yours.

    It is obvious, I should think, to most of us that someone would follow the one path that is guaranteed to bring them happiness if they care about happiness. To imply anything on the contrary -- for example, to imply that it is just as often the case that someone who wants to be happy would NOT follow the one path that they believed was guaranteed to bring them happiness -- is absurd. These two claims are not equal. One relies on the vast bulk of human experience and the other goes against that same experience. That which we desire, we strive to achieve, all else being equal.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    You misunderstand the nature of the obviousness of a concept in this context. Being obvious in the sense we're using it here doesn't mean that a proposition is necessarily true. It means rather that, all else being equal, it should be assumed probably true.

    To one of your examples: Yes it was obvious at one time that the earth is stationary and is not rotating on its axis GIVEN THE LIMITED EVIDENCE THAT WAS AVAILABLE THEN. However, as more evidence became available it became clear that this obvious or apparent state of the universe was incorrect.

    All this means is that ANY a posteriori proposition we think we know is true may indeed not be true. Anything like this that we believe we know may later be proved false. We can be mistaken about anything of this nature.

    At the same time we have to keep in mind, though, that merely because any a posteriori proposition that we think is true MAY be false, that is not by itself a good reason to believe that it is false. Only evidence can show what appears to be a completely true a posteriori proposition false. However, absent such contravening evidence, propositions that seem to be obviously true should be believed true.

    In this light then it's reasonable to believe that people will do things that they believe will make them happy if they care about being happy. If someone believes that by doing P he can achieve eternal happiness then it's reasonable to believe that that person will do P. Again, this is no guarantee that the person will do P but it's pretty damned close to a guarantee. To believe the opposite is irrational without strong evidence, evidence strong enough to overcome the vast bulk of human experience that argues the contrary.

    Someone smokes because it makes him happy. Maybe the smoking will shorten his life. Maybe it will affect his health. So what? There is no guarantee that any of those things will happen and certainly, for some people, not enough of a guarantee to overcome the happiness that they receive from smoking.

    Is this similar to the belief that one can achieve eternal happiness by accepting Jesus as one's savior. No and it's not even close. For one thing, on the one hand we're not talking about merely shortening a life. We're talking about never ending a life! That's two entirely different concepts.

    For another thing, we're talking about probability v certainty. Smoking will probably affect someone's health but will not certainly do so. However, any communication from an INFALLIBLE, OMNISCIENT being is certain. It is not probably true or very likely to be true. It is ABSOLUTELY TRUE WITH NO POSSIBILITY OF BEING FALSE!

    This means that one might rationalize away any probable answer that one receives. It is impossible, however, to rationalize away a claim that one believes to be ABSOLUTELY true.

    -------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Your logic does not follow here because you forgot to include a premise (actually several premises).
    Why would you believe that a conditional statement is an argument?

    If an omniscient being says something sincere, then what the omniscient being says is true.

    All you have to know to know that this statement is true is to know the definition of "omniscient." [Unlike the word "omniscient," which of course most people are familiar with but perhaps not all, I assume most people will be already sufficiently familiar with the other terms in that statement to know what the statement means.]
    Last edited by Rodriguez; June 12th, 2014 at 01:05 AM.

  13. #33
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    It is obvious, I should think, to most of us that someone would follow the one path that is guaranteed to bring them happiness if they care about happiness. To imply anything on the contrary -- for example, to imply that it is just as often the case that someone who wants to be happy would NOT follow the one path that they believed was guaranteed to bring them happiness -- is absurd. These two claims are not equal. One relies on the vast bulk of human experience and the other goes against that same experience. That which we desire, we strive to achieve, all else being equal.
    There are quite a few hidden assumptions in this statement. But let's set that aside for now. What evidence can you lay forward (and simply claiming something is obvious is not a defense even in your attempt to respond to me below you weren't arguing why they held the sun revolve around the earth, why it was apparent, just making a bold claim that it was) that the vast bulk of human experience shows humans pursue what is best for them rather than more immediate gratifications?

    That is the thrust of your argument Rod, that people would not only take a truth statement about what is best for them over what their appetites desire, but that they would do so consistently. That doesn't seem so evident to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod
    Why would you believe that a conditional statement is an argument?
    Because I assumed (via the principle of charity) that you meant this as an argument rather than as a flawed conditional.

    If you only meant the conditional premise: "If I believe that an infallible, omniscient being exists then I believe that whatever the being communicates to me is the truth."

    Then I would point out your conditional is incorrect given the objection raised in my last post. You seem to agree because you included that point in your re-phrasing:

    "If an omniscient being says something sincere, then what the omniscient being says is true."

    That conditional would seem to be a true statement.

    So lets apply that to the rest of your argument.

    P1: If an omniscient being says something sincere, then what the omniscient being says is true. [Agreed]
    P2: A person knows that X will produce happiness.
    P3: People infallibly follow advice they know to be true that will produce happiness at the expense of all other appetites. [Needs support]
    C: A person will do X to be happy.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  14. #34
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    How do you know what is best for anyone but yourself? You are not omniscient so you don't know. In fact, you don't know what is best even for yourself because of the limitations of your knowledge.

    An omniscient being has no such limitations. An omniscient being, should one exist, knows WITH CERTAINTY what is best for you. I assume this is one reason that you probably consider yourself to be a follower of God's will, no? What I mean by this is that you believe God has communicated with you in some way and conveyed his plan for your life. You believe a God exists who knows everything, who loves you, who would not deliberately mislead you, etc., hence you are a follower of God.

    Is the above roughly true?

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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    An omniscient being has no such limitations. An omniscient being, should one exist, knows WITH CERTAINTY what is best for you. I assume this is one reason that you probably consider yourself to be a follower of God's will, no? What I mean by this is that you believe God has communicated with you in some way and conveyed his plan for your life. You believe a God exists who knows everything, who loves you, who would not deliberately mislead you, etc., hence you are a follower of God.
    And do I follow that plan infallibly? No of course not. Like all human beings I fail, I make mistakes, I sin. Why in your mind does failure to follow a rule necessarily imply that the person doesn't believe the rule is real?

    That is why your argument here still fails, you haven't supported premise three, which is requisite for your argument. You still need to show that a follower of God is both a) capable and b) willing to inerrantly set aside all other appetites to follow the will of God.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    I never said that you or anyone else follow that plan reliably. If you believe that I did say that somewhere then you need to quote that passage because either I miswrote something or you misinterpreted something that I wrote. What I did say was that one of the reasons you try to follow the will of God is because you believe that a God exists who has the traits that I laid out!

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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I never said that you or anyone else follow that plan reliably. If you believe that I did say that somewhere then you need to quote that passage because either I miswrote something or you misinterpreted something that I wrote. What I did say was that one of the reasons you try to follow the will of God is because you believe that a God exists who has the traits that I laid out!
    Are these the traits you're referring to?

    Rod: "For another thing, we're talking about probability v certainty. Smoking will probably affect someone's health but will not certainly do so. However, any communication from an INFALLIBLE, OMNISCIENT being is certain."

    ---------- Post added at 02:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:58 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    The same thing applies here. Omniscient means or can mean "all-knowing." Infallible means that "a claim or belief is not subject to fallibility", i.e., it cannot be mistaken. If I believe that an infallible, omniscient being exists then I believe that whatever the being communicates to me is the truth.
    Not necessarily. If God from an absolute state of existence, coveys an absolute truth to a human who exists in a non-absolute state, the degree of that truth is going to be realized based upon the mental/emotional/spiritual state of the human. If the human is all cluttered up with all sorts of emotional and mental baggage and preconceptions, what may be absolute truth may change as it goes through the human filter system of our perceptions into something slightly different. That doesn’t mean some humans can’t realize and be inspired and know absolute truth, but it’s certainly not a given.

    If the being communicates that X is the only way to achieve eternal happiness then X IS the way to achieve eternal happiness and I KNOW that that is true.
    Why would you assume you know it is true? What you will know from X (God) is going to be based upon your personal human filter system. Now, if you want to talk about clearing/cleansing the human emotion/mental debris, that can be an interesting topic.

    If I want to achieve eternal happiness then I will do X if it is within my ability to do X.
    You are assuming that human and eternal happiness is about doing something. Where did you get that assumption? Achieving happiness is not necessarily just about doing something. Though ceasing to do things that don’t serve us well is certainly wise. Happiness in this reality and probably beyond seems to be more about a state of being – just being. That’s why some inmates in prisons, confined of almost every type of freedom can find mental and emotional freedom and happiness.
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Rodriguez: If I believe that an infallible, omniscient being exists then I believe that whatever the being communicates to me is the truth.
    Eye4Magic: Not necessarily.
    No, you've misunderstood. I'm afraid it is true by definition. It's necessarily true. No one can both believe A) that S is omniscient, infallible, and sincere AND AT THE SAME TIME B) that S is mistaken in what S claims to be the truth.

    To believe that S is infallible is just to believe that S cannot be mistaken about what S says.

    To put it more simply, no one can believe both p and ~p at the same time. I can't believe that it's raining and not raining in the same place at the same time in the same way. I can't believe that a person I just met is both a man and not a man at the same time in the same way. I can't believe that a being whom I believe is incapable of being mistaken about anything is mistaken about something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eye
    Why would you assume you know it is true?
    Because in this scenario, I believe that a sincere, omniscient being (i.e., a being who knows everything) says that it's true.

    You're not quite getting what is being discussed, which is probably my fault. Omnipotent means or is defined as something like the power to do anything that's doable. Communicating with other human beings with a very high level of precision is something that certainly seems doable, especially for an omnipotent being. It follows then that an omnipotent being has the power to communicate with ANY human being with a very high level of precision no matter what physical or psychological problems the human being may have.

    You are assuming that human and eternal happiness is about doing something.
    Yes, I am assuming that for the purpose of the argument I'm making. It's the same assumption that Christianity makes. Are you aware of that?

    ---------- Post added at 09:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:23 PM ----------

    I just think it's odd that some Christians seem to believe that they are saved because they believe an omnipotent, omniscient, infallible, sincere, loving being has communicated to them in some way that he died for their sins. Yet they seem to believe that it's not unusual for other people to also believe that this same being exists but that these other people incredibly enough choose not to follow the will of this omnipotent, omniscient, infallible, sincere, loving being but to instead thumb their nose at him.

    This is about the craziest thing I've ever heard of. I've never met any such person in my life and seriously doubt that any of you have either.

    It is about the height of irrationality to believe that a being exists who has the power and desire to make you happy and then to ignore that being. I completely understand someone's doubting the existence of such a being -- but to believe that the being exists AND THEN to disregard him is pure insanity.

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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    You're not quite getting what is being discussed, which is probably my fault. Omnipotent means or is defined as something like the power to do anything that's doable. Communicating with other human beings with a very high level of precision is something that certainly seems doable, especially for an omnipotent being. It follows then that an omnipotent being has the power to communicate with ANY human being with a very high level of precision no matter what physical or psychological problems the human being may have.
    Reality versus human perception don’t always match and may indeed be very different.

    The reality of God, an omnipotent intelligent force that knows the full picture does not mean this divine reality as a norm violates its own principles of causation and free will in order to communicate with man. We observe this throughout the Bible and probably in other religious text.

    If man truly wants to communicate with God – the opportunity and process is there.

    Yes, I am assuming that for the purpose of the argument I'm making. It's the same assumption that Christianity makes. Are you aware of that?
    What assumption does Christianity make?

    I just think it's odd that some Christians seem to believe that they are saved because they believe an omnipotent, omniscient, infallible, sincere, loving being has communicated to them in some way that he died for their sins.
    Yet they seem to believe that it's not unusual for other people to also believe that this same being exists but that these other people incredibly enough choose not to follow the will of this omnipotent, omniscient, infallible, sincere, loving being but to instead thumb their nose at him.
    This is about the craziest thing I've ever heard of. I've never met any such person in my life and seriously doubt that any of you have either.
    It is about the height of irrationality to believe that a being exists who has the power and desire to make you happy and then to ignore that being. I completely understand someone's doubting the existence of such a being -- but to believe that the being exists AND THEN to disregard him is pure insanity.
    Who disregards God?
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    Re: The Sheep and Goats contradiction

    Quote Originally Posted by ROD
    I think it explains why you made a claim that in other circumstances you would never make. It's only when your faith is threatened that you equate "probability" (like the probability that smoking will shorten your lifespan) with "certainty" (like the certainty that an omniscient being knows the path to eternal happiness)
    You are confused, I was comparing BELIEF with BELIEF.
    The actual probability doesn't matter as long as the belief is equal. I proposed that the belief that smoking is bad for you, is as strong in people who do it, as the belief that God has your best interest in mind etc.. by those who disobey him.

    so your explanation is more a reflection of your mindset then what I was actually saying.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

 

 
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