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  1. #241
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    True, it does seem that way. Although realizing that religion and other irrational beliefs are the cause of most humans' problems doesn't seem extreme, either. It actually makes sense - if having an accurate model of reality produces better results, it's no surprise that we see all these inaccurate models producing negative results.

    To add my two cents' worth to the Kalam Kalamity, I'd argue one shouldn't accept the first premise until it's demonstrated (specifically the "beginning to exist" part), and one is free to refuse it without de facto asserting the opposite (as per the jelly-bean jar).
    I know you're just trying to move the discussion forward to the main flaw in P2, but for me, it really doesn't even get past P1...

  2. #242
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    True, it does seem that way. Although realizing that religion and other irrational beliefs are the cause of most humans' problems doesn't seem extreme, either. It actually makes sense - if having an accurate model of reality produces better results, it's no surprise that we see all these inaccurate models producing negative results.

    To add my two cents' worth to the Kalam Kalamity, I'd argue one shouldn't accept the first premise until it's demonstrated (specifically the "beginning to exist" part), and one is free to refuse it without de facto asserting the opposite (as per the jelly-bean jar).
    I know you're just trying to move the discussion forward to the main flaw in P2, but for me, it really doesn't even get past P1...
    P1 does not pass the stink test.

    P2 is even worse.

    But I suspect that is why Squatch wants to focus on the "validity" of the syllogism...which has nothing to do with whether or not the syllogism leads to a valid conclusion.

    Anyway, I've left it at: For the purposes of our discussion here, I will accept his P1.

  3. #243
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    For the purposes of finally moving this discussion forward...I will agree without reservation that all things that begin to exist have a "cause."
    Fair enough. We should move to premise 2 then. "The universe began to exist."

    I think we can both agree that our current spacetime cosmology began around 13.8ish billion years ago. Given earlier statements, I'll dispense with specific defenses of that since I don't think you would argue that the current cosmology is eternal.

    There are really only two avenues to reconcile the above with a claim of an eternal universe.

    1) This spacetime has undergone some kind of cyclical effect for eternity. [Cyclical Theory]

    The problem with the group of physical theories related to this concept is that none of them actually predict a past eternal universe. Entropy is the problem. In each successive cycle of collapse and expansion, entropy builds up within the universe and its gets a little bit larger at its appogee. Eventually, it crosses a tipping point and does not collapse again, resulting in heat death. This means that our current universe could not have been past eternal because we would have already crossed that tipping point and reached heat death, with no stars, planets, or life.


    2) This spacetime is part of a larger universe that is past eternal. [Multi-verse Theory]

    There is a lot of variety in the variants of these theories right now, though they are generally small in number. We could go into their specific shortcomings one by one (they all rely on some pretty fundamental assumptions about how QM and Relativity will be unified), but rather than that, we can point out that none of them predict a past eternal universe either. This is because there is a fundamental trait that they all share as part of their "universe creating" mechanisms. In order to spawn off sub-universes, a la ours, they must be expanding along some internal dimension. It is the process of expanding that causes them to split of these sub-universes. But, as we know from Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem that any spacetime that is, on average, expanding, cannot be past complete (ie eternal in the past). Their theorem is a relatively rigorous proof of something that should be relatively obvious. If something is on average getting larger, it was, on average, smaller in the past. If we continue that chain it is smaller and smaller and smaller until, at some point, it has a start, a place where it cannot get smaller and it begins.

    Obviously there is a lot more complexity to their theorem than that, but that is the 101 level explanation.


    So given that we can rule out both possibilities as past finite, it doesn't really matter which one is the correct answer, all possibilities still end up in the universe (or multi-verse) beginning. Thus we can't escape from the premise that "the universe began to exist."




    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    How many people that were actually "at" the WTC when it went down are promoting the "conspiracy theory"?...
    Not an insignificant number oddly enough: http://newmediacentral.net/mysteriou...itness-deaths/

    Though they appear to mysteriously dying. I think your counter is that you feel that, when confronted with something closely, people will accept what is obviously the case. I would argue that that massively underrates our ability to rationalize. Witness the rise of "latent racism" to explain why people others had known for years voted against Pres. Obama. Confirmation Bias is an incredibly powerful human congitive device. People are, quite literally, prevented from seeing evidence (their brain tends to not process it as irrelevant) that would undermine their existing belief or hypothesis. This is even more true if the issue is framed towards a specific conclusion. There are literally dozens of experiments where people failed to see evidence in the room with them or see it as evidence, if they had the conclusion framed or of the evidence didn't fit their hypothesis.

    For example, researchers sat down people from all ages and levels of education and asked them to assist in a data gathering process. They had a simple hypothesis that an algorithm they had developed would only spit out even numbers. A screen flashed for 30 or so seconds with something like 100 numbers. About 90% of people confirmed that it only produced positive numbers (because they searched for positive numbers). 10% found the odd numbers (they were specifically looking for disconfirming evidence). There were even odd numbers in the first 20 numbers presented and made up a not insignificant number of the total numbers. That means people specifically overlooked them based on their cognitive bias.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Well, please give it a shot, cause:

    1. you either don't understand what I am askin
    2. I'm not askin it right
    3. you have an interesting answer I may have never considered

    Let's try for 3!
    I hope it is either 1 or 2 to be honest. I took a shot at it, then wen't back and realized that I had constructed an argument based on the opposite statement you put forward. I had valiantely defended by existence, not my non-existence. Which is also the argument I had been discussing above.

    Re-answering your question with the appropriate context, could I construct a logically valid argument with truthful premises to show that I don't exist? I don't think I can given the nature of deductive logic.

    Given that, I'm curious what aspect of your question I wasn't understanding. And sorry for the confusion.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    You are now a human giving an argument to another human.

    My point has been, God knows me as well (some say better) than I do. He wants to "be" with me. He knows what I would find as compelling evidence as to his existence and that would be available to me.
    Agreed, I am only a human being. To make up for that deficiency I need a bit of insight. God, in your construct, is doing the same thing I am, trying to confince you, but He has a wealth of knowledge about your understanding, biases, knowledge, beliefs, etc. that I don't have. Thus, in a small effort to level that playing field I would need to know a little tiny fraction of what He does.

    You said earlier that you haven't been given reason to believe, that you hadn't seen evidence either way. That could be because you aren't aware of it, or because you don't find that evidence compelling. I'm trying to understand what you find compelling and what you've been presented with so that I can make an argument for you.

    Now, you might say, no need, God should be able to do that. Sure, maybe that is why you are here. ;-)



    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    So here you are trying to convince me that a cause can occur after the effect and that is not illogical?
    No, I'm pointing out that the two don't have an internal temporal ordering. Nothing about the concept of a cause and the concept of an effect requires us to put them in time, we just do that because we are temporal beings. The reason we (generally) reject effects happening before causes in our universe is because we are using our temporal dimension (hence the word before here) and that temporal dimension comes will all kinds of other rules about direction and speed, etc. Thus that illogic is the function of our temporal dimension, not of the nature of cuase and effect.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    A logical possibility I suppose, a likely possibility seems remote.
    Based on what? We are very limited beings in our experience, if we assume the possibility is remote based on that experience, we might be selling it short.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Perhaps, but I have been given no reason to believe we can really make any predictions in such a scenario.
    I disagree. I think the universality of logical principles gives us sufficient reason to think that predictions based solely on those principles should be trusted. We certainly aren't saying that because we can't describe how the strong and weak forces interact in the first 10^-100th second of the universe that therefore married bachelors could exist at that moment.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Well it obviously isn't a "steady state" if it "BB's" is it? (you explain the "state change" with God so I don't understand the "philosophical" issue).

    Where did "steady state" come from anyway?

    Does a singularity exist as "something" or does it not?
    Your point does not make sense to me?
    Sorry, I threw in an additional concept without explaining it. By steady state I mean the idea that the singularity was just sitting around out there, in time, forever before exploding. That idea isn't very appealing for a whole host of reasons.

    To answer you penultimate question, it doesn't, then it does. There is a definitive causal point where the singularity starts to exist in all physical models. Ie there is a point along whatever dimension we want to describe it (time, causal, entropic order, etc) which has no prior point, either temporally, causallly, etc. This is the first point at which the universe exists.
    Last edited by Squatch347; February 8th, 2018 at 09:51 AM. Reason: Tag fix
    "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.


  4. #244
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Fair enough. We should move to premise 2 then. "The universe began to exist."

    I think we can both agree that our current spacetime cosmology began around 13.8ish billion years ago. Given earlier statements, I'll dispense with specific defenses of that since I don't think you would argue that the current cosmology is eternal.

    There are really only two avenues to reconcile the above with a claim of an eternal universe.

    1) This spacetime has undergone some kind of cyclical effect for eternity. [Cyclical Theory]

    The problem with the group of physical theories related to this concept is that none of them actually predict a past eternal universe. Entropy is the problem. In each successive cycle of collapse and expansion, entropy builds up within the universe and its gets a little bit larger at its appogee. Eventually, it crosses a tipping point and does not collapse again, resulting in heat death. This means that our current universe could not have been past eternal because we would have already crossed that tipping point and reached heat death, with no stars, planets, or life.


    2) This spacetime is part of a larger universe that is past eternal. [Multi-verse Theory]

    There is a lot of variety in the variants of these theories right now, though they are generally small in number. We could go into their specific shortcomings one by one (they all rely on some pretty fundamental assumptions about how QM and Relativity will be unified), but rather than that, we can point out that none of them predict a past eternal universe either. This is because there is a fundamental trait that they all share as part of their "universe creating" mechanisms. In order to spawn off sub-universes, a la ours, they must be expanding along some internal dimension. It is the process of expanding that causes them to split of these sub-universes. But, as we know from Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem that any spacetime that is, on average, expanding, cannot be past complete (ie eternal in the past). Their theorem is a relatively rigorous proof of something that should be relatively obvious. If something is on average getting larger, it was, on average, smaller in the past. If we continue that chain it is smaller and smaller and smaller until, at some point, it has a start, a place where it cannot get smaller and it begins.

    Obviously there is a lot more complexity to their theorem than that, but that is the 101 level explanation.


    So given that we can rule out both possibilities as past finite, it doesn't really matter which one is the correct answer, all possibilities still end up in the universe (or multi-verse) beginning. Thus we can't escape from the premise that "the universe began to exist."

    One of the many problems with making assertions that cannot be established...is that it becomes a habit.

    A second problem with making assertions that cannot be established...is that one starts to feel a need to defend what cannot be logically be defended...and that leads to many worded pseudo-defenses that just show the individual offering them can put a lot of words together...whether they make sense or not.

    Allow me to diverge for a second:

    I want to assure you that no serious harm will come to you if you acknowledge that you do not know something.

    All you have to say is, "I do not know..."...and that pretty much is the end of it.

    Let me give you an example of something I do not know...and I will then continue to type, so that you can see that I survived the ordeal.

    I do not know the true nature of the REALITY of existence.

    I do not know if THE UNIVERSE is something that came into existence; began to come into existence; or simply always was/is.


    Now...and note that I did not turn into a pumpkin or suddenly cease to exist...

    ...I suspect (not saying I know...just suspect) that you do not know the true nature of the REALITY of existence either. I suspect you do not know if THE UNIVERSE is something that came into existence; began to come into existence; or simply always was/is.

    I also suspect that all that stuff you posted regarding "the universe began to exist"...is Shinola...or that other stuff.

    (This is all Getting Through Internet BS 101)

    Your P2, Squatch, is nothing more than an unsubstantiated assertion...made only so that you can get to (what I consider to be) a faulty/invalid conclusion.

  5. #245
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    Your P2, Squatch, is nothing more than an unsubstantiated assertion...made only so that you can get to (what I consider to be) a faulty/invalid conclusion.
    Hmm, ok, I see that that is the conclusion you came to, but I don't see an objection to anything I said or a reason why you think that it is unsubstantiated. What, specifically, about my argument was wrong?


    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    I do not know if THE UNIVERSE is something that came into existence; began to come into existence; or simply always was/is.
    Ok, I don't know the circumference of the Earth at the equator. If someone told me it was X miles and gave me a source and evidence why I would examine it though, I wouldn't simply dismiss their argument, right?
    Last edited by Squatch347; February 8th, 2018 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Tag fix
    "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.


  6. #246
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Hmm, ok, I see that that is the conclusion you came to, but I don't see an objection to anything I said or a reason why you think that it is unsubstantiated. What, specifically, about my argument was wrong?
    I want to be respectful, Squatch...I do respect you. But the things I have to say may sound less than respectful. I hope you can live with that.

    What I think is specifically wrong about your argument is that you used it to "establish" "the universe began to exist."

    It does not even come close to establishing it, Squatch.

    Finer minds than those at work here in this thread have grappled with the subject matter here...and come up very, very short.

    The best thing...the most honest thing you can say about the assertion, "the universe began to exist"...is...I don't really know this, but it is a blind guess I need in order to get where I want to go.

    That should not be the way this works.




    Ok, I don't know the circumference of the Earth at the equator. If someone told me it was X miles and gave me a source and evidence why I would examine it though, I wouldn't simply dismiss their argument, right?
    I am dismissive of the arguments mostly because they are not worthy of anything more.

    You pile up unsubstantiated assertion upon unsubstantiated assertion...just because!

    Take a look at your second paragraph.

    I think we can both agree that our current spacetime cosmology began around 13.8ish billion years ago. Given earlier statements, I'll dispense with specific defenses of that since I don't think you would argue that the current cosmology is eternal.
    No, we cannot agree on that, because "our current spacetime cosmology" MAY NOT HAVE begun around 12.8 billion years ago. Just the part of "our current spacetime cosmology" that we can "see" (or want of a better word) began about that time.

    During my grammar school days we still used books that essentially taught that the Milky Way Galaxy was "the universe." It was in the late 1920's that we even discovered the vastness of space...the notion of galaxies.

    Who knows what we will discover during the next century or two?

  7. #247
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Re-answering your question with the appropriate context, could I construct a logically valid argument with truthful premises to show that I don't exist? I don't think I can given the nature of deductive logic.

    Given that, I'm curious what aspect of your question I wasn't understanding. And sorry for the confusion.
    Then "some things" can get thru to pretty much anyone.
    As in "undeniable?"

    ---------- Post added at 06:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:15 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You said earlier that you haven't been given reason to believe, that you hadn't seen evidence either way. That could be because you aren't aware of it, or because you don't find that evidence compelling.
    True, however the creator of the universe left it for me to see and I am actively searching to see if there is any truth to it, so I don't see how come I would be unaware or unconvinced of what ever I am finding???

    ---------- Post added at 06:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:21 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I disagree. I think the universality of logical principles gives us sufficient reason to think that predictions based solely on those principles should be trusted. We certainly aren't saying that because we can't describe how the strong and weak forces interact in the first 10^-100th second of the universe that therefore married bachelors could exist at that moment.
    Perhaps, and maybe I am just ignorant, but I still see a lot of room for "we don't have a clue" or really better said there is a lot of unknown out there???

    ---------- Post added at 06:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:23 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Sorry, I threw in an additional concept without explaining it. By steady state I mean the idea that the singularity was just sitting around out there, in time, forever before exploding. That idea isn't very appealing for a whole host of reasons.
    Well if it sat "forever" it would not have exploded at all??

    you are saying, if I may paraphrase:
    "there was nothing, then a singularity that BB, perhaps at the same moment as it appeared" and that the cause for this could come after the BB??

    And I am still at ALL of these "models" are wrong to one extent or another????
    So we still don't know what is really going on yet and predictions in such a scenario still seem extreme.

    ---------- Post added at 06:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:30 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Now, you might say, no need, God should be able to do that. Sure, maybe that is why you are here. ;-)
    Perhaps. Guess we shall see....

  8. #248
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Sorry, I threw in an additional concept without explaining it. By steady state I mean the idea that the singularity was just sitting around out there, in time, forever before exploding. That idea isn't very appealing for a whole host of reasons.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Well if it sat "forever" it would not have exploded at all??
    you are saying, if I may paraphrase:
    "there was nothing, then a singularity that BB, perhaps at the same moment as it appeared" and that the cause for this could come after the BB??
    To be clear, any confusion here is due to Squatch's misuse of the term "steady state". Nobody refers to a "steady state singularity" when discussing BB theory - certainly not the BB models which do posit a beginning-less singularity, such as the Hawking-Hartle proposal - and not even WLC. "Steady state theory" is actually an alternative, or competing theory, to BB, in which there is a constant creation of matter ensuring that the density of the universe remains unchanged - hence it is in a steady state.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    That isn't cosmology's current understanding. At this point, describing it depends on which model we want to explore, but all of the models out there still have a definite point at which the universe goes from not-existing to existing. The idea of a steady state singularity is unappealing for a lot of physics and philosophy based reasons, not the least of which is that we would need to explain why the state change occurs (and that is a pretty massive problem since it would involve entire new mechanisms, and constants that at best don't fit into current law, and at worst overturn all existing law).
    You really need to be careful with how you represent the current body of cosmological knowledge & models, especially when making bold claims about "a lot of physics and philosophy based reasons". Besides that gem, the biggest error here is your claim that all models include a "definite point at which the universe goes from not-existing to existing" (which they certainly don't) closely followed by your "massive problem" of "new mechanisms" and "constants that don't fit". I understand that, to a layperson, it may indeed seem as though you know what you're talking about. However, any discerning and careful scrutiny reveals that this is not the case at all, I'm afraid.

  9. #249
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    He died. He rose again three days later. Over 500 people at that time saw a dead Man who was alive again.
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    Amazing!

    John Kennedy was killed in Dealey Plaza in November 1963. There were thousands of people witnessing the shooting...dozens of cops...more dozens of federal agents and Secret Service people...and cameras galore. And there is controversy about what happened, how it happened...who did what and from where.
    They knew J.F.K died just like the disciples/apostles knew Jesus died. The difference is no one ever reported J.F.K coming to life again and people witnessing him alive after death. The disciples/apostles go to their deaths testifying they saw Him alive (in bodily form) after His death.

    All the OT revolves around prophecies that deal with an old covenant people, the coming of their Messiah, and coming judgment. Some prophecies deal with the Messiah's coming to Israel before Jerusalem, and the temple's once again destruction. This destruction happened in A.D. 70, and when it happened, the OT system of worship can no longer be performed in the manner required by that covenant. That means that God applied the old covenant curses He promised He would that are listed in Deuteronomy 28. He did it once in 586 B.C. as recorded by the prophets. He told Daniel the destruction of the temple would happen again after their Messiah's death (Daniel 9:24-27).

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    Yet this story from a book filled with myths you are willing to take as proof that a man who "died"...and came back to life?

    Do you not see the reason for extreme skeptisim?
    I see the reason as an excuse not to believe God.

    Myths? The prophecies came about as said.

    I see the reason for your skepticism. You do not want to believe the message. You place your limited knowledge above that of the Bible. How do you make sense of life from your worldview? Peel back the layers of the onion to its core and find out what your foundation rests upon. I believe you will find that it rests on something that cannot make sense.

    Fine, if that is what you want to place your faith in - a worldview that cannot ultimately make sense of itself.

    Here you are, 80 years old, and ultimately from an atheistic/agnostic perspective, without hope for a future. I once befriended a secular humanist around your age shortly before he died and tried to talk him through his bankrupt belief system. He wasn't open (to my knowledge) even though he admitted his system of thought had no lasting meaning.

    Here is the secular humanist worldview in a nutshell:

    You are a freak of nature. This universe is a freak of nature. There is no reason for it. The universe is indifferent to meaning. You invent it yet ultimately nothing matters. Others invent a contrary meaning. You/they make up meaning while you/they exist but when you/they die nothing matters.

    Why would I want to believe such subjective nonsense? The very reason that you look for meaning is a clue that human's were created to find it. Otherwise, how does meaning come out of the meaningless? Such worldviews that exclude God are devoid of hope, and when carried to their conclusion create nihilism.

    An engineering aquaintence committed suicide at a young age because he couldn't find any meaning in life. With his worldview system of thought that denied God, what was the point of his existence? Ultimately there was none, or so he thought.

    He had no surety to what he believed. How did the universe come to be? No one outside of a necessary Being revealing as much has any certainty. It all depends on which subjective, and limited being you believe has the "right" system of thought. Whose limited knowledge does your worldview rest on? Have you ever read Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions? It raises questions as to IF the current scientific paradigm is correct. What is the worldview that your system of thought rests upon regarding truth and the universe?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cp6pEzx3uw

    https://archive.org/details/ThomasS....ficRevolutions

    Peter

  10. #250
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    They knew J.F.K died just like the disciples/apostles knew Jesus died. The difference is no one ever reported J.F.K coming to life again and people witnessing him alive after death. The disciples/apostles go to their deaths testifying they saw Him alive (in bodily form) after His death.

    All the OT revolves around prophecies that deal with an old covenant people, the coming of their Messiah, and coming judgment. Some prophecies deal with the Messiah's coming to Israel before Jerusalem, and the temple's once again destruction. This destruction happened in A.D. 70, and when it happened, the OT system of worship can no longer be performed in the manner required by that covenant. That means that God applied the old covenant curses He promised He would that are listed in Deuteronomy 28. He did it once in 586 B.C. as recorded by the prophets. He told Daniel the destruction of the temple would happen again after their Messiah's death (Daniel 9:24-27).



    I see the reason as an excuse not to believe God.

    Myths? The prophecies came about as said.

    I see the reason for your skepticism. You do not want to believe the message. You place your limited knowledge above that of the Bible. How do you make sense of life from your worldview? Peel back the layers of the onion to its core and find out what your foundation rests upon. I believe you will find that it rests on something that cannot make sense.

    Fine, if that is what you want to place your faith in - a worldview that cannot ultimately make sense of itself.

    Here you are, 80 years old, and ultimately from an atheistic/agnostic perspective, without hope for a future. I once befriended a secular humanist around your age shortly before he died and tried to talk him through his bankrupt belief system. He wasn't open (to my knowledge) even though he admitted his system of thought had no lasting meaning.

    Here is the secular humanist worldview in a nutshell:

    You are a freak of nature. This universe is a freak of nature. There is no reason for it. The universe is indifferent to meaning. You invent it yet ultimately nothing matters. Others invent a contrary meaning. You/they make up meaning while you/they exist but when you/they die nothing matters.

    Why would I want to believe such subjective nonsense? The very reason that you look for meaning is a clue that human's were created to find it. Otherwise, how does meaning come out of the meaningless? Such worldviews that exclude God are devoid of hope, and when carried to their conclusion create nihilism.

    An engineering aquaintence committed suicide at a young age because he couldn't find any meaning in life. With his worldview system of thought that denied God, what was the point of his existence? Ultimately there was none, or so he thought.

    He had no surety to what he believed. How did the universe come to be? No one outside of a necessary Being revealing as much has any certainty. It all depends on which subjective, and limited being you believe has the "right" system of thought. Whose limited knowledge does your worldview rest on? Have you ever read Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions? It raises questions as to IF the current scientific paradigm is correct. What is the worldview that your system of thought rests upon regarding truth and the universe?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cp6pEzx3uw

    https://archive.org/details/ThomasS....ficRevolutions

    Peter
    With regard to the existence or non-existence of gods, PGA, here is my agnosticism:

    I do not know if gods exist or not;
    I see no reason to suspect gods CANNOT EXIST...that the existence of gods is impossible;
    I see no reason to suspect that gods MUST EXIST...that gods are needed to explain existence;
    I do not see enough unambiguous evidence upon which to base a meaningful guess in either direction...

    ...so I don't.



    If you see something illogical or inappropriate about it...let's discuss it.

    If you want to discuss your "beliefs" (I read that "blind guesses about the REALITY" or "superstitions")...fine...we can do that also.

  11. #251
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I see the reason for your skepticism. You do not want to believe the message. You place your limited knowledge above that of the Bible. How do you make sense of life from your worldview? Peel back the layers of the onion to its core and find out what your foundation rests upon. I believe you will find that it rests on something that cannot make sense.
    The reason skeptics don't want to believe the message is that it's loaded with claims which haven't met their burden of proof - simple as that. That you say it rests on prophecies is even worse, since the "prophecies", are nothing more than confirmation bias, self-fulfilling, circular, and grossly over-interpreted nonsense.

    Hitchens put it quite simply: "If you pick up any of the four Gospels and read them at random, it will not be long before you learn that such and such an action or saying, attributed to Jesus, was done so that an ancient prophecy should come true. If it should seem odd that an action should be deliberately performed in order that a foretelling be vindicated, that is because it is odd. And it is necessarily odd because, just like the Old Testament, the "New" one is also a work of crude carpentry, hammered together long after its purported events, and full of improvised attempts to make things come out right."

    There is absolutely no single prediction (let's refrain from the use of "prophecy" - too much baggage) in the Bible that would warrant accepting any of its other claims. If you think there is, feel free to present it.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Fine, if that is what you want to place your faith in - a worldview that cannot ultimately make sense of itself.
    Here you are, 80 years old, and ultimately from an atheistic/agnostic perspective, without hope for a future. I once befriended a secular humanist around your age shortly before he died and tried to talk him through his bankrupt belief system. He wasn't open (to my knowledge) even though he admitted his system of thought had no lasting meaning.
    Here is the secular humanist worldview in a nutshell:
    You are a freak of nature. This universe is a freak of nature. There is no reason for it. The universe is indifferent to meaning. You invent it yet ultimately nothing matters. Others invent a contrary meaning. You/they make up meaning while you/they exist but when you/they die nothing matters.
    Why would I want to believe such subjective nonsense? The very reason that you look for meaning is a clue that human's were created to find it. Otherwise, how does meaning come out of the meaningless? Such worldviews that exclude God are devoid of hope, and when carried to their conclusion create nihilism.
    Ugh, these deepities really do get me right in the feels. There is so much wrong here it's hard to find where to begin. Humans and the universe are not freaks of nature. Science has been able to illustrate quite well how it's all part of nature. Humans create their own meaning for their own lives. Of course, the vastness of the universe has long-since deprived humanity of any ultimate/universal meaning other than that which humanity determines for itself. So it makes perfect sense that a person's own determined meaning to life ends when the person ends. And when humanity ends, the meaning it has determined will also end. There's no escaping this, and no amount of wishful thinking can change it. And when you truly consider that honestly, it actually adds value to the limited time we are given. The knowledge that we will one day end makes it all the more important to spend the time we have in the best way possible. And I know these might sound like deepities to some, but they have the facts to back them up, instead of just being wishful thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    An engineering aquaintence committed suicide at a young age because he couldn't find any meaning in life. With his worldview system of thought that denied God, what was the point of his existence? Ultimately there was none, or so he thought.
    Suicide is always a touchy subject, and it's usually very tragic when someone kills themselves for reasons we perceive are flawed. People have killed themselves for much less than your engineer acquaintance, and it's a shame he was not able to determine his own meaning to his own life, for example, to try an make the world a better place while he was alive, or some other endeavour available to engineers. It's also a shame that he was not able to find help with his issue, as there is quite a lot of help available to those in similar situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    He had no surety to what he believed.
    If his beliefs were based on current scientific knowledge, then he had the surety of knowing that they were the best explanations anyone currently had available.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    No one outside of a necessary Being revealing as much has any certainty.
    Claiming it's a necessary being doesn't make it so - this must be demonstrated.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    It all depends on which subjective, and limited being you believe has the "right" system of thought.
    No, it depends on the system of thought which reliably produces beneficial results. Yours does not.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Have you ever read Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions? It raises questions as to IF the current scientific paradigm is correct.
    I fully understand why you do it, but your extrapolation from Kuhn's writing on paradigm shifts to the very misguided belief that no truth can be found using the scientific method is not rationally justified, much like your other beliefs. Paradigm shifts occur quite a lot, actually, and it doesn't mean anything that you'd like it to. The scientific models we use to explain observed reality are constantly changing as we learn more, and this is not alarming. In fact, it's the understanding that we don't have all the answers, and being willing to be proven wrong as we learn more, which will allow us to go and actually discover the truth. On the other hand, claiming you already know the answer, based on nothing that could be called actual evidence in the strictest sense, is what prevents you from discovering the truth.

  12. #252
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    To be clear, any confusion here is due to Squatch's misuse of the term "steady state". Nobody refers to a "steady state singularity" when discussing BB theory - certainly not the BB models which do posit a beginning-less singularity, such as the Hawking-Hartle proposal - and not even WLC. "Steady state theory" is actually an alternative, or competing theory, to BB, in which there is a constant creation of matter ensuring that the density of the universe remains unchanged - hence it is in a steady state.
    (to paraphrase a bit)
    "One day in the very, very distant future, the only galaxies anyone in the Milky Way will be able to see, will be galaxies IN the Milky way. All other galaxies will be too far away for their light to be seen. At that point any information we could have learned form these other galaxies will be unavailable to anyone alive to witness it.

    I wonder if there are things in the past that are not available to us now that would allow us a much greater understanding, but since they will always be unavailable, we may never be able to understand"
    NDT

    IOW,
    perhaps the reason our models don't completely, accurately describe our "reality" is we are prevented from seeing the truth as it is currently unavailable to us and will continue to be???

  13. #253
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Perhaps, but whether it "will continue to be unavailable" is unknown, and therefore we should never stop trying to learn more. Statements like the one you quoted from Neil deGrasse Tyson, while profound, are often quite near-sighted. There have been countless times in history when we thought we had achieved the pinnacle of something, only to see it smashed to bits just a few years later.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    (to paraphrase a bit)
    "One day in the very, very distant future, the only galaxies anyone in the Milky Way will be able to see, will be galaxies IN the Milky way. All other galaxies will be too far away for their light to be seen. At that point any information we could have learned form these other galaxies will be unavailable to anyone alive to witness it.

    I wonder if there are things in the past that are not available to us now that would allow us a much greater understanding, but since they will always be unavailable, we may never be able to understand"
    NDT

    IOW,
    perhaps the reason our models don't completely, accurately describe our "reality" is we are prevented from seeing the truth as it is currently unavailable to us and will continue to be???
    Not sure who this quote is from, Belthazor...but it simply is wrong.

    There are NO galaxies in our Milky Way galaxy...with the POSSIBLE exception of a galaxy in collision with it...something most astronomers discount.

    All the billions of other galaxies we know of...are outside of our galaxy.

  15. #255
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Probably he meant stars. The over-all point makes sense though.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Probably he meant stars. The over-all point makes sense though.
    Ahhh...right.

    I missed that.

    Thanks.

  17. #257
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Probably he meant stars. The over-all point makes sense though.
    Indeed I did mean at some point, if you lived in the Milky Way, you would not be able to see any other galaxy.
    Sorry for the confusion, I usually can't post in the daytime was in too big a hurry.

    Thank you for the back up FB

  18. #258
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Indeed I did mean at some point, if you lived in the Milky Way, you would not be able to see any other galaxy.
    Sorry for the confusion, I usually can't post in the daytime was in too big a hurry.

    Thank you for the back up FB
    After FB posted that comment...it all made sense to me.

    Sorry. Not busting chops. I was more interested in who the quote was from.

  19. #259
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    After FB posted that comment...it all made sense to me.

    Sorry. Not busting chops. I was more interested in who the quote was from.
    FB was correct, NDT is Neil deGrasse Tyson.

  20. #260
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    FB was correct, NDT is Neil deGrasse Tyson.
    Could you advise where you found this quote?

 

 
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