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  1. #341
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And I did justify it
    Justify what? I already explained to you that you had misinterpreted what you were being asked to justify. Please read the thought experiment carefully:
    You experience seeing a dog on your lawn. You tell your friend you saw a dog on your lawn and therefore believe there was a dog on your lawn. They then ask you, "Do you believe the dog still exists somewhere?"
    You answer, "Of course! He's probably back home playing with his bone or out walking on some other lawns."
    Your friend then asks, "How can you be sure? How do you justify that belief?"
    What do you say?

    NOTE: You have not been asked to justify your belief that a dog was on your lawn.

    Your response was:
    I would answer that I fail to see the relevance to whether I am justified in thinking that the dog actually was there because I saw it.

    My correction was:
    You are not being asked to justify your belief "that the dog actually was there because I saw it".

    Reading carefully is key.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    So as far as I can tell, your question is taking the debate off-topic and therefore is likely spam and I'm not going to answer because of that.
    Your initial statement was:
    people WILL say that one is justified in believing that there was a dog on the lawn just because one has a memory of it

    I merely asked you to apply the same reasoning to the actual topic at hand: supernatural experiences.
    To which you replied that religious people would agree that it's justified.

    But this is a poisoning of the well of sorts. Your argument is that generally people say one is justified in believing in the supernatural experience. If you want to talk generally, then you need to ask if people will say that someone is justified in believing a supernatural experience which contradicts their own, since although most people are religious, the majority of those religious views contradict each other. Not only because of that, but you also need to ask if people will say that one is justified in believing a supernatural experience which contradicts their own, because your whole argument rests on the experience itself, and not on the religious views of the person being asked aligning with the supernatural experience.

    Your original claim that people will say that one is justified in believing that there was a dog on the lawn just because one has a memory of it is all fine and dandy, but not what we're talking about here.
    So, staying on topic: will people say that one is justified in believe a supernatural experience which contradicts their own religious views?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    No, they are not one and the same. The experience is seeing the dog. The perception of reality is the belief that in reality there was a dog on the lawn.
    In terms of neither of them necessarily leading to reality, which is what you're trying to support, they are pretty much one and the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    As people generally accept that what they remember happening is what happened, the memory of any event implies that it actually happened. There is my support.
    This is not support for your claim. How does a person accepting their memory as fact imply that what they remember actually happened? This is nothing more than a re-statement of your original claim, with the added detail of people accepting their memory.

    Again, your claim was: the memory of ANY event implies that it actually happened

    Thus far, you've offered the following statements as support:
    1. People's perception of reality is based in a large part on what they experience.
    This does not lead to reality in any way. This is just a statement that perception is based on experience.

    2. people generally accept that what they remember happening is what happened
    This does not lead to reality in any way, either. This is just a statement that people accept that what they remember is what happened.

    Remember, your claim was: the memory of ANY event implies that it actually happened. Please support or retract it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    You mistook a statement that wasn't establishing criteria for doing so so I had to explain what the criteria actually was so as far as I could tell there was no need for further questions regarding criteria at that point. But then I wasn't complaining. I'm just pointing out that you already had all of the information you needed for clarification and therefore there was no need to ask more questions.
    Dude, I already thanked your for finally clarifying the questions you were avoiding, and explained why the clarification was required based on your changing criteria. Blaming that I mistook your statements and that I asked unnecessary questions is just more complaining at this point.
    Last edited by futureboy; May 3rd, 2018 at 12:46 PM.

  2. #342
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Justify what? I already explained to you that you had misinterpreted what you were being asked to justify.

    Please read the thought experiment carefully:
    You experience seeing a dog on your lawn. You tell your friend you saw a dog on your lawn and therefore believe there was a dog on your lawn. They then ask you, "Do you believe the dog still exists somewhere?"
    You answer, "Of course! He's probably back home playing with his bone or out walking on some other lawns."
    Your friend then asks, "How can you be sure? How do you justify that belief?"
    What do you say?

    NOTE: You have not been asked to justify your belief that a dog was on your lawn.
    And I'm declining to engage in your thought experiment. If your thought experiment is part of an argument you are making, then just make the argument instead of asking me to play your game. If your thought experiment is not part of an argument, then it has no bearing on the debate either way and participating it is a waste of time.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Your original claim that people will say that one is justified in believing that there was a dog on the lawn just because one has a memory of it is all fine and dandy, but not what we're talking about here.
    So, staying on topic: will people say that one is justified in believe a supernatural experience which contradicts their own religious views?
    You tell me. You are bringing up the issue so you can make the initial claim regarding it.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    In terms of neither of them necessarily leading to reality, which is what you're trying to support, they are pretty much one and the same.
    I am not saying that they lead to reality. The original phrase was "the memory of ANY event implies that it actually happened" and implications is subjective. So to one's mind the memory of the event implies to them that the event happened.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    This is not support for your claim. How does a person accepting their memory as fact imply that what they remember actually happened?
    It doesn't nor is that my argument. Again, a memory of the event implies (as in makes them think) that it actually happened. If the memory is false, it STILL implies to the person that the event actually happened regardless of whether it did or not.

    Again, your claim was: the memory of ANY event implies that it actually happened

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Thus far, you've offered the following statements as support:
    1. People's perception of reality is based in a large part on what they experience.
    This does not lead to reality in any way. This is just a statement that perception is based on experience.
    And I don't argue that it leads to reality so that's a straw man.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    2. people generally accept that what they remember happening is what happened
    This does not lead to reality in any way, either. This is just a statement that people accept that what they remember is what happened.

    Remember, your claim was: the memory of ANY event implies that it actually happened. Please support or retract it.
    I have already done that. Imply is to suggest. Saying "what are you implying" is pretty much the same as saying "what are you suggesting". So the memory of an event implies/suggests to the person who has the memory that it already happened.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Dude, I already thanked your for finally clarifying the questions you were avoiding, and explained why the clarification was required based on your changing criteria. Blaming that I mistook your statements and that I asked unnecessary questions is just more complaining at this point.
    I never changed criteria. You mistook a statement that I made as establishing criteria and I then clarified what my criteria actually is and that should have been the end of it. And I'm explaining why I avoided your questions - they were a waste of time to ask or answer in regards to learning what my criteria was once I clearly stated what it was. I'm sorry you are confusing my explaining at what happened as complaining. But if you don't want to hear me explain things further (AKA complain, I guess), then this should be dropped.

  3. #343
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And I'm declining to engage in your thought experiment. If your thought experiment is part of an argument you are making, then just make the argument instead of asking me to play your game. If your thought experiment is not part of an argument, then it has no bearing on the debate either way and participating it is a waste of time.
    It is part of an argument - on what basis do you claim that it isn't, and why are you being so evasive on a simple thought experiment?
    You say you saw a dog (your OWN thought experiment, btw, which we've all readily engaged), and then someone asks you if you believe the dog still exists. You say, "Of course."
    You are then asked how you justify that belief (the belief that the dog still exists).
    What do you say in response?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    You tell me. You are bringing up the issue so you can make the initial claim regarding it.
    I'm merely pointing out why your initial claim fails to serve as support for your argument regarding theistic beliefs resulting from supernatural experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    So the memory of an event implies/suggests to the person who has the memory that it already happened.
    Again, a memory is evidence of a memory, and the most it can rationally imply is that something was experienced (which could also be false). Pure logic supports that. Nothing about the experience itself justifies anything further than the experience - and further justification is required for the further proposition of "the thing I experienced was actually there", let alone "the thing I experienced still exists" (going back to the thought experiment above).

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I never changed criteria. You mistook a statement that I made as establishing criteria and I then clarified what my criteria actually is and that should have been the end of it. And I'm explaining why I avoided your questions - they were a waste of time to ask or answer in regards to learning what my criteria was once I clearly stated what it was. I'm sorry you are confusing my explaining at what happened as complaining. But if you don't want to hear me explain things further (AKA complain, I guess), then this should be dropped.
    Sigh, still going on about this and complaining about time-wasting questions in order to save face?
    First of all, you completely misrepresent the events.
    You made the IF-THEN claim that if god exists and contacts a person, then the person is justified in believing in god.
    When asked to support your claim, you first attempted to deny that you were making such a claim.
    Upon having IF-THEN claims explained to you, you didn't then drop your IF-THEN and state your current "generally speaking" position, you instead doubled-down and attempted to clarify the original IF-THEN by introducing the further claim that, if god exists and contacts a person, then the person would necessarily have a vivid memory of the experience.
    When asked to clarify & support THAT, you ignored the clarifying questions, forgot the claim about vivid memory and instead attempted to clarify your original IF-THEN claim by adding a 2nd superfluous IF-THEN step.
    When asked to clarify THAT, you ignored the questions and went out of scope of the original discussion, making the completely different "generally speaking" claim which you're now saying is your actual position, but has nothing to do with whether god actually exists and actually contacts the person (your original IF-THEN claim), and instead is based solely on the person having an experience.
    Your attempt to state the events in the way you have (saying that I mistook your statement and then you clarified it and that should have been the end of it) is simply false and is pretty dishonest, to say the least.
    Second, if anything was a waste of time, it was you not simply retracting your original & ridiculous claim when it was questioned, instead trying to deny you made it, then doubling-down on it and making even more convoluted claims, before finally sacking it all and then saying that your position is actually something completely different & out of scope of your original claim. Again, why are you still going on about this and trying to misrepresent the discussion which took place? I already thanked you for finally clarifying and withdrawing your original claims - that should have been the end of it, really. I strongly urge you to drop this and stop trying to misrepresent the events.

  4. #344
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    ​It is part of an argument - on what basis do you claim that it isn't, and why are you being so evasive on a simple thought experiment?
    I'm declining to engage in the thought experiment because I think that assuming you have an actual point regarding your thought experiment, you should save us both a lot of time and state it directly instead of trying to get me to help you make your point by playing your game. You can either state your point directly or you can choose not to. But I'm under no obligation to help you make your point and I choose not to do it.

    So I've explained why I'm not engaging in your thought experiment. If it's important to you that this experiment move forward, you can complete it yourself and show me the results and then there will hopefully be an argument for me to address. Surely you can answer your own questions as well as, if not better than, I can. So go for it and I'll address the results.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    ​I'm merely pointing out why your initial claim fails to serve as support for your argument regarding theistic beliefs resulting from supernatural experiences.
    Asking a question is not pointing out anything. If you are going to claim that my support is insufficient you will need to clearly explain what is lacking.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, a memory is evidence of a memory, and the most it can rationally imply is that something was experienced (which could also be false). Pure logic supports that. Nothing about the experience itself justifies anything further than the experience - and further justification is required for the further proposition of "the thing I experienced was actually there", let alone "the thing I experienced still exists" (going back to the thought experiment above).
    And I challenged you to support or retract that assertion earlier and I will again,

    So again, I Challenge to support a claim. you to SUPPORT OR RETRACT that justification beyond having a memory of an event is required before a belief that a particular event occurred is a justifiably rational belief.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Sigh, still going on about this and complaining about time-wasting questions in order to save face?
    Yeah, you think it's such a waste of time that your response regarding it was about as long as the rest of your other three points combined.

    So let me clarify this once and for all and then I will respond to it no further.

    First my statement:

    "However, if someone actually does have a genuine Godly experience (like if God actually exists and contacts the person), then that person is rationally justified in believing in God even if he has no hope of convincing anyone else that he had a genuine experience."

    Does that statement explicitly state what my criteria is? It does not. But obviously if I maintain that the statement is true, then it must refer to my criteria. So is God actually contacting the person the criteria? Or is it the fact that the contact will give the person the experience of meeting God? Is it both? Neither? Well, in my next post I clarify what criteria I'm referring to.

    "The standard is if whether it makes sense to have such a belief. First-hand experience of something is a very good standard for justifying one's belief."

    And later on I clearly state that my criteria is experience and never said anything to the contrary.

    So I've never retracted any statement that I previously made nor altered my criteria throughout the debate. So I don't need to save face because I didn't do anything that requires it.

    So I've clearly explained what happened and I also see absolutely no value to the debate with discussing this issue further. I mean this just looks like a game of "Gotcha" ("you contradicted yourself earlier! Gotcha!") than trying to settle some point that is pertinent to the debate. So this exchange pretty much looks like spam so I'm done with it.
    Last edited by mican333; May 4th, 2018 at 04:21 PM.

  5. #345
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    I experienced that you cursed at me in a thread and broke ODN rules. You should ban yourself.

    ---------- Post added at 04:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:10 PM ----------

    Obviously, this didn't happen. But here's the problem:

    If you agree with me that you cursed at me then you're admitting that any claim of experience is just as good as any other... whether it be as common as "I drank starbucks this morning" or as inane as "My starbucks coffee drank ME this morning."

    If you disagree with me then you're admitting that claiming an experience doesn't cut it and that there are claims that require evidence. All claims do. But we don't normally say things like "PROVE TO ME YOU DRANK STARBUCKS THIS MORNING SOUNDS IMPOSSIBLE." Whereas if I say, "I can fly. Prove I can't" it's perfectly reasonable to say "Woah, Zhav. that's on YOU to prove that experience happened, not the other way around."
    It's cool, Mican.

    If I were you, I wouldn't reply to me either...

  6. #346
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    I just didn't see your post originally. Thanks for drawing it to my attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    I experienced that you cursed at me in a thread and broke ODN rules. You should ban yourself.

    Obviously, this didn't happen.

    If you agree with me that you cursed at me then you're admitting that any claim of experience is just as good as any other... whether it be as common as "I drank starbucks this morning" or as inane as "My starbucks coffee drank ME this morning."

    If you disagree with me then you're admitting that claiming an experience doesn't cut it and that there are claims that require evidence. All claims do. But we don't normally say things like "PROVE TO ME YOU DRANK STARBUCKS THIS MORNING SOUNDS IMPOSSIBLE." Whereas if I say, "I can fly. Prove I can't" it's perfectly reasonable to say "Woah, Zhav. that's on YOU to prove that experience happened, not the other way around."
    But you seem to be referring to justifying one's claims to others. That's not what I'm referring to. I'm talking about someone believing that something happened because they experienced that something happening.

    The example I typically use is someone remembering seeing a dog on their lawn in the morning and thinking about the experience later. They clearly don't have to prove anything to anyone before they are justified in believing that there really was a dog on their lawn.

    So as a general principle, one does not have to do anything more than experience an event before they are justified in thinking it happened. Whether others will be convinced that it happened if the person claimed that it happened is not really relevant.

    And I do acknowledge that unusual events require a more vivid experience in order to be justified. Take UFOs for example. If one just briefly sees an alien spacecraft streak through the sky, they should seriously consider that they didn't see what they think they might have seen. On the other hand, if the spaceship lands and aliens get out and wave at him, then his belief that it was a real spaceship is quite justified. And again, whether he can provide evidence that it really happened to prove it to others doesn't factor into the equation.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    IMO, the person who believes he saw an actual spaceship land and aliens wave to him, still wouldn't be justified in believing that the spaceship and the aliens were real. He no doubt would have an unshakeable belief that what he saw was real (as would most others, as well!) but don't you think he'd need more evidence than what you outline in your scenario to justify such an extraordinary occurrence even to himself?

    I have a good friend who swears to this day that a massively large spaceship hovered a few feet above a drive-in movie parking lot where she and many other people were parked watching a movie. She says she saw the vessel as clearly as anything she's seen in her life. She will never be shaken from her belief.

    Yet, when you speak with her about her experience in detail virtually everything else about her experience screams out "LUCID DREAM"!!!

    Still, you will never convince her that what she saw that night at the drive-in movie, she probably saw only in a dream.

  8. #348
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    IMO, the person who believes he saw an actual spaceship land and aliens wave to him, still wouldn't be justified in believing that the spaceship and the aliens were real. He no doubt would have an unshakeable belief that what he saw was real (as would most others, as well!) but don't you think he'd need more evidence than what you outline in your scenario to justify such an extraordinary occurrence even to himself?
    No. Why should I?

    In fact that you concede that such a person (which means the average person) would definitely believe it was reals means that it's normal for one to believe that the event was real if they actually experienced it. And while without external evidence one cannot say it's a fact that there really was an alien ship, it IS a fact that the person has the memory and the person has no choice but to reason why the memory is there. And while tricks of the minds (hallucinations, confusing dreams with reality, etc), the more vivid the experience, the less likely those alternative explanations become. So unless you are suggesting that no matter how vivid or lengthy the experience is, to a sane/sober person, the explanation is ALWAYS a trick of the mind instead of a genuine event, I don't see why one has to conclude that more evidence is needed before one can reasonably accept the memory as valid.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I have a good friend who swears to this day that a massively large spaceship hovered a few feet above a drive-in movie parking lot where she and many other people were parked watching a movie. She says she saw the vessel as clearly as anything she's seen in her life. She will never be shaken from her belief.

    Yet, when you speak with her about her experience in detail virtually everything else about her experience screams out "LUCID DREAM"!!!

    Still, you will never convince her that what she saw that night at the drive-in movie, she probably saw only in a dream.
    Well, I can't actually judge that situation since I don't have enough details. For all I know, you are just extremely biased against the notion of aliens and therefore would say that anyone's claim that they experience something like that would, to you, scream "LUCID DREAM". Or maybe this person is loopy and is prone to believe in false stuff very easily and therefore she doesn't apply to the population in general. I'm not saying that is the case with you but that I don't know if it is or isn't so I can't judge the situation either way.
    Last edited by mican333; May 5th, 2018 at 09:07 AM.

  9. #349
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Most of what you wrote above I agree with (as usual). I think our slight difference of opinion on this subject boils down to this:

    So unless you are suggesting that no matter how vivid or lengthy the experience is, to a sane/sober person, the explanation is ALWAYS a trick of the mind instead of a genuine event, I don't see why one has to conclude that more evidence is needed before one can reasonably accept the memory as valid.
    I'm not suggesting that an extraordinary interpretation of an event IS always rooted in cognitive error or malfunction or deception or hijinx or whatever.

    I'm saying only that extraordinary interpretations of events are MORE LIKELY to be rooted in cognitive error or malfunction, or deception or hijinx or whatever else than that they are the correct interpretations.

    See the difference?

    It's really only common sense. To disagree with this, you would have to believe that it's more likely that extraordinary interpretations of events are accurate than it is that they are mistaken or at the very least to believe that the two outcomes are equally likely. I seriously doubt that you would ever put your money down and bet that way.

    For all I indubitably know everyone who's ever claimed to have met an alien, actually has met an alien.

    However, for what I have reason to believe, none of them has (even though it's always possible that one or more or even all have).

    We're talking here about what we have reason to believe, about what we are justified to believe, not about what we know beyond doubt.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I'm not suggesting that an extraordinary interpretation of an event IS always rooted in cognitive error or malfunction or deception or hijinx or whatever.

    I'm saying only that extraordinary interpretations of events are MORE LIKELY to be rooted in cognitive error or malfunction, or deception or hijinx or whatever else than that they are the correct interpretations.

    See the difference?
    Sure. And that's why I think that an extraordinary event requires a more vivid memory before one is justified in believing it. Which is why in my alien scenario I differentiate between briefly seeing a flying saucer and aliens landing and waving. The second event would be incredibly vivid and if one had that experiment and not much reason to doubt their senses (not high nor mentally ill) they can justify to themselves that they really saw an alien. If they just briefly see a flying saucer, they could easily think that it was something else or their mind briefly played a trick on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    It's really only common sense. To disagree with this, you would have to believe that it's more likely that extraordinary interpretations of events are accurate than it is that they are mistaken or at the very least to believe that the two outcomes are equally likely. I seriously doubt that you would ever put your money down and bet that way.
    And again, how justified one is in believing that an extraordinary event happened is directly proportional to how vivid the experience was.

    If I personally experienced the alien waving scenario, I WOULD think that I really saw an alien. I would first examine the fact that I had the experience and then logically weight the likelihood of the various options on why I saw it. And since I wasn't high, not mentally ill and have had no prior experience with waking vivid hallucinations, I would think that it's very unlikely that the experience didn't happen more or less as I remembered it. So I would definitely think that my belief that I actually saw an alien ship would be rationally justified and even the most likely reason I had the experience given all of the data that I have.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    For all I indubitably know everyone who's ever claimed to have met an alien, actually has met an alien.

    However, for what I have reason to believe, none of them has (even though it's always possible that one or more or even all have).

    We're talking here about what we have reason to believe, about what we are justified to believe, not about what we know beyond doubt.
    And we all have reason to believe that whatever we experience actually happened. Of course there are times when we are wrong about seeing/believing. But again, the more vivid the experience, the more one has justification in believing it and therefore it's possible for extraordinary events to be rationally believed if one experiences them.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And we all have reason to believe that whatever we experience actually happened. Of course there are times when we are wrong about seeing/believing. But again, the more vivid the experience, the more one has justification in believing it and therefore it's possible for extraordinary events to be rationally believed if one experiences them.
    I have an incredibly vivid memory of a Siegfried & Roy show with the white tigers in Las Vegas. It was an awesome, intense show
    Roy and one of the tigers actually disappeared right in front of me in a recorded event!! No fuzzy camera UFO, sasquatch, Lockness monster type of bullsh!t either!! This recording has VERY clear photography of what's happening!!

    It obviously (to me and about 1500 people that night) "actually" happened since I saw it in person, and have a sharp, clear video/audio of the event!! I have a witness that was with me that will testify to the accuracy of this story as well as corroborating video as well!

    After all, "super natural" stuff happens all around us, ALL the time, IF, we just take notice
    Why wouldn't I believe it????? I SAW it "happen"!!

    Is my belief "rationally justified"?

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    "And we all have reason to believe that whatever we experience actually happened." -- mican

    I need to clear up something that may be confusing me. By "experience," do you refer to our perceptions of an event or to our interpretation of our perceptions of an event?


    Also, as a side note, I probably should mention we've gone rather far afield of the thread's original proposition that claims theistic beliefs are not rationally justified. Very, very few people, I believe, claim to have a vivid experience, for instance, of meeting Jesus face-to-face. Therefore, according to my understanding of your argument, very few people would be justified to believe that Jesus exists. Is that a fair characterization of your thought?
    Last edited by Rodriguez; May 5th, 2018 at 07:12 PM.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, by observing their expression of their love towards me, I am able to believe/know that they love me.
    Many people have a hard time expressing love but they love others nevertheless, without any outward signs. And then there’s the type of love where two people come together who don’t know each other whatsoever and they can be decades apart in age, and there’s an instant connection and love between them. Can you believe in that type of love, simply by feeling someone’s love without any outward signs? Or does that fall into the realm of intuition which apparently you stated earlier you don’t value much.

    As far as what does this have to do with your thread's premise? You stated in your opening premise:
    “The general idea is that, since it's in our interests to believe things which are true, then belief in claims which have not been demonstrated to be true is not rationally justified.”

    How can you support the fact that someone who doesn't express love in outward expression (but truly does love), should not believe in love because it’s not in his/her best interest?

    It could be anything
    Ok, well let’s take the two most important commandments of Christianity:

    1. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind.
    2. Love your neighbor as thyself.

    This is your thread and you are claiming such principles "Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified." Can you please support why these two fundamental principles of Christianity are irrational beliefs for Christians.
    Last edited by eye4magic; May 5th, 2018 at 10:48 PM.
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    I have an incredibly vivid memory of a Siegfried & Roy show with the white tigers in Las Vegas. It was an awesome, intense show
    Roy and one of the tigers actually disappeared right in front of me in a recorded event!! No fuzzy camera UFO, sasquatch, Lockness monster type of bullsh!t either!! This recording has VERY clear photography of what's happening!!

    It obviously (to me and about 1500 people that night) "actually" happened since I saw it in person, and have a sharp, clear video/audio of the event!! I have a witness that was with me that will testify to the accuracy of this story as well as corroborating video as well!

    After all, "super natural" stuff happens all around us, ALL the time, IF, we just take notice
    Why wouldn't I believe it????? I SAW it "happen"!!

    Is my belief "rationally justified"?
    I'm guessing that your actual belief is that you saw a couple of very talented magicians create a stage illusion of a tiger disappearing. And if so, then I would say that your belief in very justified.

    And I'm not going to ignore the issue of someone being genuinely fooled. I often use "seeing a dog on my lawn" as a scenario. If I see a dog on my lawn I am justified in believing there was a dog on my lawn. But what if the reason I saw a dog on my lawn was due not to there actually being a dog on my lawn but because someone managed to fool me into seeing the dog when it really wasn't there (such as using some kind of sophisticated hologram technology that creates illusion). In that case I saw a dog on my lawn when there wasn't one and therefore my belief that there was a dog on my lawn is incorrect. But regardless, I am still justified in thinking that there was a dog on my lawn. If it's reasonable to draw a certain conclusion based on the evidence, it's a justifiable belief - even if the evidence is, unknown to you, fake (and in the case of the magicians, you have plenty of evidence that what you saw was fake - I mean when someone essentially says "I'm going to fool you into thinking you saw a tiger disappear" when you see the tiger vanish, you have solid reason to believe that your eyes were fooled).

    ---------- Post added at 10:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:21 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    "And we all have reason to believe that whatever we experience actually happened." -- mican

    I need to clear up something that may be confusing me. By "experience," do you refer to our perceptions of an event or to our interpretation of our perceptions of an event?
    I mean perception of the event. And of course one's interpretation of their perception is very relevant to the discussion but when I say "experience" I do mean what they perceive to have experienced.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Also, as a side note, I probably should mention we've gone rather far afield of the thread's original proposition that claims theistic beliefs are not rationally justified. Very, very few people, I believe, claim to have a vivid experience, for instance, of meeting Jesus face-to-face. Therefore, according to my understanding of your argument, very few people would be justified to believe that Jesus exists. Is that a fair characterization of your thought?
    Not really. Just because I am arguing that those who have vivid experiences are justified does not mean that I agree that those who have more subtle experiences aren't likewise justified (which is not to say that I think they are uniformly justified either).

    To be clear, I'm countering the notion that theistic beliefs are NEVER justified (as the OPs title suggests) so all I'm seeking to do is show that theoretically theistic beliefs can be justified at times. If my argument is correct, then it's not true that theistic beliefs are not rationally justified because, as I argue, sometimes they might be justified.
    Last edited by mican333; May 7th, 2018 at 06:32 AM.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I'm guessing that your actual belief is that you saw a couple of very talented magicians create a stage illusion of a tiger disappearing. And if so, then I would say that your belief in very justified.
    Well, I don't know for sure they didn't actually disappear.
    I keep hearing from theists super natural things can and do happen!

    ---------- Post added at 08:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:26 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I often use "seeing a dog on my lawn" as a scenario. If I see a dog on my lawn I am justified in believing there was a dog on my lawn.
    Fine, but I don't see how a dog on your lawn at all equates to the super natural.
    I have considerably more evidence (clear video, other witnesses) of the tigers disappearing than you have of the dog on your lawn and you still say the didn't actually disappear.

    ---------- Post added at 08:34 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:31 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    To be clear, I'm countering the notion that theistic beliefs are NEVER justified (as the OPs title suggests) so all I'm seeking to do is show that theoretically theistic beliefs can be justified at times.
    Ah, I see. I don' think that bar is reachable at the moment and not what I was arguing against. You are correct, it is possible theistic beliefs in general (though not when it gets down to particular religions...) is quite rational, but it seems about as likely as the tigers actually disappeared...

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Well, I don't know for sure they didn't actually disappear.
    I keep hearing from theists super natural things can and do happen!
    First off, you CLEARLY believe that they didn't actually make a tiger disappear. When you go into a show KNOWING that the magicians purpose is to fool you into making it look like the impossible actually happened and they are very good at doing it, you know that when something "impossible" happens before your eyes, it's a trick that the magicians pulled off. You can say that you aren't 100% positive that it's a trick (like you think there's a .0001% chance they performed REAL magic) but your belief is obviously that you saw a trick, not a miracle.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Fine, but I don't see how a dog on your lawn at all equates to the super natural.
    I have considerably more evidence (clear video, other witnesses) of the tigers disappearing than you have of the dog on your lawn and you still say the didn't actually disappear.
    And we also have very, very strong evidence that the magicians did not actually make a tiger disappear. To be clear, I am not saying that seeing something is the one and only thing to consider when generating belief. But first-hand experience is a solid base for belief. But it doesn't require one to always believe what they see.

    If one has strong evidence by other means that what they saw didn't really happen, then they have less reason to believe that what they saw actually happened. The fact that you know the magicians are going to trick you, gives you a very solid reason to not believe that you actually saw a tiger vanish in to thin air.




    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Ah, I see. I don' think that bar is reachable at the moment and not what I was arguing against. You are correct, it is possible theistic beliefs in general (though not when it gets down to particular religions...) is quite rational, but it seems about as likely as the tigers actually disappeared...
    In your opinion, that is. It's not been objectively established how likely "supernatural" events actually are.

    Note: I put the word "supernatural" in quotes above because I'm not sure exactly what that means in terms of the debate. I'm going to create new thread right now to explain further.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Many people have a hard time expressing love but they love others nevertheless, without any outward signs.
    Without your receiving any outward signs of affection whatsoever from someone, why on earth would you believe that that person loves you? Does some sort of special intuition tell you this? Is it just a "feeling" that you have that makes you interpret Joe Blow's indifference as love and John Doe's indifference as indifference?

    Does the opposite occur, as well? Do you sometimes interpret someone's indifference toward you as hate?

    I can be convinced otherwise, but I would venture that person A's interpreting person B's indifference as love says more about person A's psychology than anything else it says.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Without your receiving any outward signs of affection whatsoever from someone, why on earth would you believe that that person loves you?
    What the person on the receiving end may feel and experience from such a person is a different matter. The point I am trying to make is that some people love and they believe in love, but for whatever reason, they may not be able to express it.

    Then if you want to ponder something a bit more deeper, consider from the theistic perspective that God/Spirit loves its creation unconditionally, (God is love 1 John 4:7-21) despite the fact that millions reject that love for reasons a, b, c, d…..

    I can be convinced otherwise, but I would venture that person A's interpreting person B's indifference as love says more about person A's psychology than anything else it says.
    I will not argue that there may be some psychological considerations in such cases, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the person loves and believes in love. “It’s better to have loved and lost then not to have loved at all.”
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    What the person on the receiving end may feel and experience from such a person is a different matter. The point I am trying to make is that some people love and they believe in love, but for whatever reason, they may not be able to express it.
    Oh OK. My mistake. I thought you were saying that a person can rationally believe that someone loves him even though that person shows him not the slightest bit of affection or regard. But you're saying that a person himself knows when he loves someone else even though he may not express that love physically or outwardly toward the person he loves.

    Yes, I agree, we all know what we feel even if sometimes we struggle making our feelings known to others and sometimes even to ourselves. It can be difficult and painful to be completely honest with one's self. We know what we feel at any moment in time but we sometimes rationalize those feelings to ourselves for psychological reasons. We've become pretty good at that over the ages.



    Then if you want to ponder something a bit more deeper, consider from the theistic perspective that God/Spirit loves its creation unconditionally, (God is love 1 John 4:7-21) despite the fact that millions reject that love for reasons a, b, c, d….
    Hmm. I don't consider myself to be rejecting love from whatever else may exist in the universe. It's just that I don't feel that love.

    To link this thought to my answer above I'd say that if there is something in the universe like a God of some sort or just a creator force, then that God might know it loves me but unless it showed affection or goodwill or some other sign of love toward me, I wouldn't be able to know or even to form a rational belief that it loved me.

    I will not argue that there may be some psychological considerations in such cases, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the person loves and believes in love. “It’s better to have loved and lost then not to have loved at all.”
    Sure people love. And hate. And envy. And admire. And [name your emotion]. But it's unnecessary to have a belief that you love or hate or envy or admire. These are emotions/feelings/psychological states that human beings either have or don't have and know when they have them or not just like someone knows (not merely believes) that he feels pain or that he sees a shape or color.

    You only believe that someone else loves you (whenever you do believe such a thing). But you know when you love someone else.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Snide misrepresentations of my position aside, you'd have to first state the argument in order for the terms to be brought into the discussion.
    I'm sorry if you felt that it was snide. Looking back on the wording I definitely see how you could read it that way. I apologize, I only meant to imply that that is usual structure of our discussions, so it would be best to start there.

    With that said, I will adopt this structure of that argument:

    1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to physical necessity, chance, or design.

    2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.

    3. Therefore, it is due to design.
    "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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