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  1. #21
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Again, I'm not interested in playing games, Mican. You yourself use certain standards of evidence every day. For example, when you hear about another person claiming they were abducted by aliens, you don't just go believing them based on the insufficient evidence provided. You know exactly what it means for evidence to be sufficient.
    Does it not stand to reason that people have different standards for what constitutes sufficient evidence? Or are you suggesting that everyone has the same standard?

    If you agree that people can have different standards for what constitutes sufficient evidence, that means that it is likewise possible that the people discussing this topic with you might have a different standard. If this is the case, and the people discussing the topic with you are using the same terms but with different definitions, then nothing is actually accomplished.

    You are being asked to clarify what you mean. You supposedly opened this topic to convince others that what you wrote was true. This means the burden is on you to persuade, and if you aren't willing to help others understand what you mean, then your argument won't be very persuasive. Anyone can post what they believe to be true, but if you want to actually persuade others to change their views or understand yours better, you're going to want to actually engage and make an effort to communicate your viewpoint well. If you didn't want to actually discuss this, then why did you post here?

  2. #22
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Right. But if I had a very vivid memory of being abducted by aliens, then I would say that I have sufficient evidence to believe in aliens. Likewise if someone were to experience being contacted by God or some other supernatural event, then I would say that they have sufficient evidence to believe in whatever they experienced.
    Lol, you've basically explained how all religions came to be, way to go. In any case, believing they had one specific experience and believing the other claims associated with their theistic beliefs are two very different things, and you know that. This OP is about the latter - the every-day theist who believes that there's an invisible man in the sky and an afterlife. Your insistence, yet again, on the specific God revelation experience is just as pointless as it was in your objective/subjective morality thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And IF the thing they experienced actually happened then it would almost certainly be rationale to believe it happened.
    Again, just as pointless as it was in your morality thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I do know how it works and I'm applying the same standard that I use for the car to the issue of the supernatural/theistic. I'm being consistent.
    You've obviously never had any hallucinations or suffer from schizophrenia. Count yourself lucky. In any case, you know very well that merely experiencing something does not count as sufficient evidence in all cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    As I've said in the past, this is the debate network, not the complaining network. So spare me your faulty interpretations of what you think I've done and just stick to debating the topic at hand, alright.
    Really, Mican, I don't know why you even bother continuing to respond. Again, the topic at hand is theistic beliefs. That means, "beliefs held by theists". It's not about specific experiences which aren't representative of the theistic demographic, and your insistence on this indicates that you know very well what the point is here. It's ironic, but it seems this really is the last bastion of irrational faith, claiming personal revelation, no wonder WLC falls back on it so much. Anyway, if you want to actually have a valuable discussion about what theists believe and why it's nonsense, fine, but otherwise, don't bother, since I won't engage you further in such pointlessness. You can claim afterwards all you want about how all I did was complain and misinterpret what you did, I don't care.

  3. #23
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Lol, you've basically explained how all religions came to be, way to go. In any case, believing they had one specific experience and believing the other claims associated with their theistic beliefs are two very different things, and you know that. This OP is about the latter - the every-day theist who believes that there's an invisible man in the sky and an afterlife.
    There is nothing in the OP that differentiates the two and they both very much qualify as theistic beliefs. Nor are they mutually exclusive. A person can have some kind of experience that leads them to engage in more mainstream religious beliefs. In fact, I'm sure you can find numerous stories of such an event.

    The fact is what I described completely qualifies as a theistic experience per the OP and now saying that this is not covered in the OP is moving the goalpost.

    So I take it that you do not challenge the notion that one can rationally gain theistic beliefs if they have an experience that qualifies to them as evidence.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    You've obviously never had any hallucinations or suffer from schizophrenia. Count yourself lucky. In any case, you know very well that merely experiencing something does not count as sufficient evidence in all cases.
    Sure. If someone is diagnosed with schizophrenia or is on LSD, then they have reason to doubt their own experiences. But that in no way rebuts the notion that IF God actually talks to someone (or someone has a similar, real, experience), then they have a justified reason to believe in what they experienced.



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Really, Mican, I don't know why you even bother continuing to respond.
    More complaining. Ignored. I didn't even bother to read beyond that first sentence. I think you will see that in this post, I offered nothing but on topic debate. My goal is to adhere to that standard and likewise only reply to your comments that adhere to that standard.

    So if you want to debate, let's debate.

  4. #24
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Does it not stand to reason that people have different standards for what constitutes sufficient evidence? Or are you suggesting that everyone has the same standard?
    Sure, people could have different standards based on varying experiences, but again, if the goal is to have as accurate an understanding of reality as possible, then it's safe to say that there is a set of standards which will best achieve that goal. You do care whether what you believe is true, don't you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    If you agree that people can have different standards for what constitutes sufficient evidence, that means that it is likewise possible that the people discussing this topic with you might have a different standard.
    What's important is that we use the standards which have been demonstrably showed to be reliable pathways to truth. Faith is not a reliable pathway to truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    You are being asked to clarify what you mean. You supposedly opened this topic to convince others that what you wrote was true.
    Is it not true that the use of standards which have not been demonstrably showed to be reliable pathways to truth are not standards which should be used in order to lead to the truth? As already stated, it's not rocket science, it really isn't. We can take the simple standard of consistency as an example, which is that similar criteria should be applied when considering similar claims. When someone is met with a theistic claim for which the only evidence is other theists' assertions of truth, then they would not be rationally justified in accepting that claim, since they would then have to accept other theistic claims which may contradict the first. A child who accepts their parents' theistic claims (such as the existence of a deity and an afterlife), and later grows up to deny other different theistic claims is not rationally justified in doing so.

    The point is that a theist is not rationally justified in continuing to believe in theistic claims which have not met their burden of proof, the same kind of burden which that same theist applies to all other theistic claims with similarly insufficient evidence. The question really is, "What do you believe, and why?" This is the basis for the kind of rational skepticism which has been proven to be a reliable pathway to truth, whereas faith has not. This, and other questions like, "Do I care whether what I believe is demonstrably true?", should be considered by everyone, theists and atheists alike, on a regular basis.

    So, Freund, what do you believe, and most importantly, why? And do you care whether what you believe is true?

  5. #25
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    We can take the simple standard of consistency as an example, which is that similar criteria should be applied when considering similar claims. When someone is met with a theistic claim for which the only evidence is other theists' assertions of truth, then they would not be rationally justified in accepting that claim, since they would then have to accept other theistic claims which may contradict the first. A child who accepts their parents' theistic claims (such as the existence of a deity and an afterlife), and later grows up to deny other different theistic claims is not rationally justified in doing so.
    ?
    This is a valid point. I have looked at a number of religions and what they usually have in common is the same type of evidence for their claims. To believe any particular religion, one would have to believe most religions were true if they were being consistent in their beliefs. Since most religions are mutually exclusive, this sets up a logical dilemma.

    ---------- Post added at 05:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:25 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    My goal is to adhere to that standard and likewise only reply to your comments that adhere to that standard.

    So if you want to debate, let's debate.
    Touch down for ODN !!
    (applause in the background)

  6. #26
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Sure. If someone is diagnosed with schizophrenia or is on LSD, then they have reason to doubt their own experiences.
    Wrong. One doesn't need to have been diagnosed in order to have a rational justification to doubt their own experience. Being skeptical of and not simply accepting experiences which do not conform to what has been demonstrated as comporting with reality is what a rational and intellectually honest person would do. Instead, what we see is the not-at-all surprising phenomenon of people having religious experiences which overwhelmingly comport with the beliefs they already hold or have been most exposed to. Funny that.

    Again, this is not an actual response to the unrelated theme, I'm simply pointing out the flaw in your reasoning for those interested in a valuable discussion, so feel free to disregard it.

  7. #27
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Wrong. One doesn't need to have been diagnosed in order to have a rational justification to doubt their own experience. Being skeptical of and not simply accepting experiences which do not conform to what has been demonstrated as comporting with reality is what a rational and intellectually honest person would do. Instead, what we see is the not-at-all surprising phenomenon of people having religious experiences which overwhelmingly comport with the beliefs they already hold or have been most exposed to. Funny that.

    Again, this is not an actual response to the unrelated theme, I'm simply pointing out the flaw in your reasoning for those interested in a valuable discussion, so feel free to disregard it.
    First off my statement was not wrong. I did not say that mental illness or LSD is the only reason that one may doubt their experiences. Of course it's always a judgment call but the more vivid the experience and the more unlikely it is that is an alternative explanation for the experience gives one a greater reason to not doubt that it's a legitimate event. Obviously we don't have a formula for where we can pinpoint the moment when it's rationale to consider one's experience to be a valid one but regardless, it is within the realm of possibility that one can have a legitimate experience and recognize it for what it is.

    Therefore the notion that such experiences are uniformly bogus and therefore one is never justified in having theistic beliefs is not supported.

    And there has been no presented evidence that such experiences contradict what we know to be true so the notion that one should disregard such experiences because they can't be real is not supported either.

  8. #28
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I did not say that mental illness or LSD is the only reason that one may doubt their experiences.
    Yet again, missing the point.
    Lets recap:
    M: I'm applying the same standard that I use for the car to the issue of the supernatural/theistic. I'm being consistent.
    F: You've obviously never hallucinated.

    The point is not about simply believing that one has had an experience, but believing that the experience comports with reality. One of the biggest dangers to schizophrenics is that for many of them, their hallucinations don't really stretch the imagination, and therefore they find it easier to believe them. For these, usually the only way they can understand that their experiences shouldn't be trusted is if they are diagnosed, and even then it's still extremely hard. With many Alzheimer's patients it's even worse, since they have no option of being diagnosed (more specifically, remembering that they've been diagnosed). They often don't have the luxury of even having an actual experience, their illness simply imposes upon them the idea that they've experienced something, and their imaginations fill in the details until they're adamant that they did. When these people get some crazy ideas, questioning them is next to impossible, but it can be done. Unfortunately, the skill of applying rational skepticism to their hallucinations is forgotten. In case you were wondering, I have extensive experience with both.

    For a previously rational and healthy person to start having hallucinations completely unrelated to anything they've experienced previously and then just accept the experience in the same way as they would seeing a car in the street would indeed be irrational, especially with the wealth of evidence available that people can and often do have hallucinations, and that hallucinations ≠ reality.
    But when someone has an experience which comports with other supernatural themes they've been exposed to (big surprise), then lo and behold, no problem, it's perfectly rational!


    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Therefore the notion that such experiences are uniformly bogus and therefore one is never justified in having theistic beliefs is not supported.
    Right, its only all the other people's experiences which don't comport with your beliefs that are all uniformly bogus.


    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And there has been no presented evidence that such experiences contradict what we know to be true so the notion that one should disregard such experiences because they can't be real is not supported either.
    Special pleading and arguments from ignorance aside, I really don't know why you still bother responding. Your entire argument thus far has been an unfortunate exercise in how not to reach rationally justified conclusions about reality.

    So, in the interests of actually having an honest and worthwhile discussion, what do you believe, and why? That's all I'm interested in anyway, so if you're not ready to answer that then don't bother responding. Further pointlessness will be disregarded as spam.

  9. #29
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    The point is not about simply believing that one has had an experience, but believing that the experience comports with reality. One of the biggest dangers to schizophrenics is that for many of them, their hallucinations don't really stretch the imagination, and therefore they find it easier to believe them. For these, usually the only way they can understand that their experiences shouldn't be trusted is if they are diagnosed, and even then it's still extremely hard. With many Alzheimer's patients it's even worse, since they have no option of being diagnosed (more specifically, remembering that they've been diagnosed). They often don't have the luxury of even having an actual experience, their illness simply imposes upon them the idea that they've experienced something, and their imaginations fill in the details until they're adamant that they did. When these people get some crazy ideas, questioning them is next to impossible, but it can be done. Unfortunately, the skill of applying rational skepticism to their hallucinations is forgotten. In case you were wondering, I have extensive experience with both.
    And I would assume that every schizophrenic that you've worked with has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. So if one has no known mental illness nor is on drugs, then drugs and mental illness are not likely the reason that they experienced what they experienced. And of course, it's possible for one to have false memories even without drugs or mental illness. So one can always question what they remember experiencing.

    But what if the event actually happened and they remember it happening? Then the more they trust their memory, the more their beliefs on what happen ALIGN WITH REALITY and to doubt their memory is to doubt actual reality. So IF something happened and the person also believes it happened - even if the event was very unusual, then their thinking is rational and correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    For a previously rational and healthy person to start having hallucinations completely unrelated to anything they've experienced previously and then just accept the experience in the same way as they would seeing a car in the street would indeed be irrational, especially with the wealth of evidence available that people can and often do have hallucinations, and that hallucinations ≠ reality.
    But when someone has an experience which comports with other supernatural themes they've been exposed to (big surprise), then lo and behold, no problem, it's perfectly rational!
    You seem to be begging the question that such events never happen. Of course if every "supernatural" event that one experiences never happens, then the only possible reason that they think it did is due to some error on their part and hallucination is indeed a very likely scenario (or maybe someone is tricking them into think it like with a hologram).

    But again, if the event actually happens, then believing it happened is not irrational.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Right, its only all the other people's experiences which don't comport with your beliefs that are all uniformly bogus.
    I guess that's sarcasm. I don't really know what you are trying to say. But regardless, my point stands until it is rebutted.



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Special pleading and arguments from ignorance aside, I really don't know why you still bother responding. Your entire argument thus far has been an unfortunate exercise in how not to reach rationally justified conclusions about reality.
    Wrong as usual when you try to asses my argument. An argument from ignorance fallacy says that if no one can prove A is incorrect, then it must be correct. I'm not saying that. I'm saying if one cannot prove that A is incorrect, then it is not supported that A is incorrect.

    And you have not supported that people cannot have genuine supernatural experiences and therefore have no basis to support that people who experience such things have not experienced genuine events which they are justified in believing that they are real.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    So, in the interests of actually having an honest and worthwhile discussion, what do you believe, and why?
    I believe that we cannot scientifically answer the question on whether God exists or not and why I believe that is because I've never seen any evidence that God does exist nor have I seen any evidence that God does not exist.

    Therefore, getting back to the OP, I don't know that it's impossible for someone to have a genuine supernatural experience. Therefore any argument that uses that such things never happen as a premise will need to show evidence that it never happens before it can be a supported argument.
    Last edited by mican333; December 21st, 2017 at 06:53 AM.

  10. #30
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Sure, people could have different standards based on varying experiences, but again, if the goal is to have as accurate an understanding of reality as possible, then it's safe to say that there is a set of standards which will best achieve that goal. You do care whether what you believe is true, don't you?
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    What's important is that we use the standards which have been demonstrably showed to be reliable pathways to truth. Faith is not a reliable pathway to truth.
    What are those standards and where did they originate?

    I would tend to agree with you that faith, according to your definition ("Belief in something without evidence."), is not a reliable method for determining what is or isn't true. That isn't really the issue.

    The issue is your definition of evidence. You agreed with me above ("Sure, people could have different standards based on varying experiences...") that people have different standards for what is considered sufficient evidence for a belief. This means that very few people would have what you call "faith". To clarify, if they have any evidence for their belief, regardless of its soundness or validity, it is no longer considered faith under your definition and their belief can be considered rationally justified.

    This means that the actual topic of debate here is what classifies as "sufficient evidence". Therefore you need to answer the questions I posed above: What are the standards of evidence to which you are referring, and why should they be considered as the most "reliable pathways to truth"?

  11. #31
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    This is a valid point. I have looked at a number of religions and what they usually have in common is the same type of evidence for their claims. To believe any particular religion, one would have to believe most religions were true if they were being consistent in their beliefs. Since most religions are mutually exclusive, this sets up a logical dilemma.
    Add to that the fact that theists not only reject other theistic claims, but also inherently make the positive assertion they are not true (something that theists often accuse atheists of, claiming that there is no god), and you have the mess we see in the world today. It's a shame theists don't have the intellectual honesty to apply the same rational skepticism to their own unsupported beliefs that they do every other claim they encounter. I truly believe the world would be a better place if that would happen, but as long as irrational theistic beliefs continue to get a free pass in avoiding rational discourse, this is very unlikely to change in the near future.

    ---------- Post added at 11:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:11 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Therefore you need to answer the questions I posed above: What are the standards of evidence to which you are referring, and why should they be considered as the most "reliable pathways to truth"?
    They are demonstrably the most reliable methods of accurately describing reality. When you have a method which provides repeatable optimal results, then it is considered reliable. I already gave you an example of a standard, consistency. So when a theist believes in a specific claim of an afterlife, they are not being consistent, since there are other equally valid claims which the theist should then also believe. Another standard is proportionality, that the evidence must be proportional to the claim. Believing someone's claim that they met their colleague in the street yesterday is not the same as believing a claim that they met someone confirmed to have been dead. Again, it's not rocket science. We do it every single day. Except when it comes to someone's specific theistic beliefs that they more-often-than-not arbitrarily began to accept as true, then all of a sudden the same standards go out the window. This is really just an exercise in getting theists to honestly consider their own rational thought processes which they apply every day to everything but their theistic beliefs.

    What do you believe, and why? How confident are you that it's true (scale of 1-10, for example)? On what do you base that confidence?

  12. #32
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    They are demonstrably the most reliable methods of accurately describing reality.
    So far we have consistency and proportionality. Can you explain why we should believe that these (and other methods yet to be named) are "demonstrably the most reliable methods of accurately describing reality"?

  13. #33
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    So far we have consistency and proportionality. Can you explain why we should believe that these (and other methods yet to be named) are "demonstrably the most reliable methods of accurately describing reality"?
    Dude, not only did I provide a specific example of how each would be used in real life, but I also explained how even you yourself use them. The demonstration is their continued reliability in producing accurate results. Do you believe in Santa Claus? Again, this really is just an exercise in considering your own rational thought processes which you apply every day to everything but your theistic beliefs.

  14. #34
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Dude, not only did I provide a specific example of how each would be used in real life, but I also explained how even you yourself use them.
    I'm struggling to understand your examples due to their lack of clarity or coherency, which is why I asked if you could explain why we should believe these methods are "demonstrably the most reliable methods of accurately describing reality".

  15. #35
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    I'm struggling to understand your examples due to their lack of clarity or coherency, which is why I asked if you could explain why we should believe these methods are "demonstrably the most reliable methods of accurately describing reality".
    Freund, I've given you specific examples, which even which apply to the same kind of rational thought processes you use every day. Again, do you believe in Santa Claus? This is just one example. If you don't, then you need to explain why you don't, while at the same time believing in claims which have the same lack of rational justification. Simply pretending you don't know what's going on with the examples when they're precisely what you do yourself every day, and pretending that you don't know why the standards you use every day in every other endeavour are demonstrably reliable is intellectually dishonest.

    If you are not prepared to honestly engage in a discussion about what you believe and why, then don't bother participating.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Freund, I've given you specific examples, which even which apply to the same kind of rational thought processes you use every day. Again, do you believe in Santa Claus? This is just one example. If you don't, then you need to explain why you don't, while at the same time believing in claims which have the same lack of rational justification. Simply pretending you don't know what's going on with the examples when they're precisely what you do yourself every day, and pretending that you don't know why the standards you use every day in every other endeavour are demonstrably reliable is intellectually dishonest.
    Ok, let's tackle Santa Claus.

    How does consistency help us to determine the truth about the existence of Santa Claus? How do we know it is the most accurate or reliable method?

    How does proportionality help us to determine the truth about the existence of Santa Claus? How do we know it is the most accurate or reliable method?

  17. #37
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    How does consistency help us to determine the truth about the existence of Santa Claus?
    By requiring similar justification for like claims, we are able to avoid mistakes like special pleading. You do think special pleading is not a reliable pathway to truth, right? At this point, I'm not sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    How does proportionality help us to determine the truth about the existence of Santa Claus?
    By requiring more/better evidence in proportion to the claim, we are able to avoid mistakes like believing in the tooth fairy simply because someone claims it. You don't believe in the tooth fairy, right? Again, not sure at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    How do we know it is the most accurate or reliable method?
    Again, the demonstration is their continued success in producing results.

    Bottom line, Freund, you again miss or simply ignore the point. All the explanations provided thus far for you are things that you yourself have already taken advantage of in order to create a more accurate picture of reality for yourself. That you continue to question them speaks volumes with regard to the justification you (don't) have for your theistic beliefs.

    Again, if you are not prepared to honestly engage in a discussion about what you believe and why, then don't bother participating. Further pretending you don't actually know what's going on in your own head will be disregarded as spam.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    By requiring similar justification for like claims, we are able to avoid mistakes like special pleading.
    Why does consistency require similar justification for like claims, and how does it help us avoid special pleading? What I am asking for here is a framework by which one can employ the consistency method.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    By requiring more/better evidence in proportion to the claim, we are able to avoid mistakes like believing in the tooth fairy simply because someone claims it.
    What determines the level of evidence required for a claim? As above, what is the framework by which one can employ the proportionality method?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Again, the demonstration is their continued success in producing results.
    You have mentioned some examples (Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, etc.), but haven't really elaborated on the methods themselves. This is what is needed to move forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Bottom line, Freund, you again miss or simply ignore the point. All the explanations provided thus far for you are things that you yourself have already taken advantage of in order to create a more accurate picture of reality for yourself. That you continue to question them speaks volumes with regard to the justification you (don't) have for your theistic beliefs.
    I can't question something that hasn't been forwarded. We are currently working through the only two methods you have defined (consistency and proportionality), so if you would like to elaborate on what "them" is, that would be much appreciated.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Why does consistency require similar justification for like claims, and how does it help us avoid special pleading? What I am asking for here is a framework by which one can employ the consistency method.
    I'm guessing Future means (just an example, not his whole point) something like:

    "if one were to examine Christianity and by virtue of the evidence offered by Christians, determined it to be true. Then this person examined Judaism and saw similar evidence (indeed some of the SAME evidence) that would make it the truth as well if this person was consistent in their thought processes.
    As they are mutually exclusive religions this sets up a logical conflict."

    Future, forgive me if I am not in line with your thoughts on this point, just trying to help.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    [1] Someone put it quite aptly: "If you can't show it, you don't know it".

    [2] 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.

    [3] We operate on certain standards of evidence which have been demonstrably proven to be the most reliable method available to us currently when determining what is true or what to believe (to varying degrees of certainty, of course). Further, it has also been demonstrably proven that not applying or disregarding these standards leads to results which are incompatible with the truth.

    [4] Using faith instead of these standards, is one such example of a method that provides results which are demonstrably incompatible with the truth.

    [5] If our goal is to have as accurate an understanding of reality/truth as possible (by believing as many true things, and as few false things, as possible), then by definition we must apply the same proven standards to all claims when deciding what to believe in order for our belief/knowledge to be rationally justified.

    [6] Disregarding those standards in order to believe something which does not meet them is nothing more than special pleading and intellectual dishonesty.
    [1] And even they operate on beliefs they cannot show if what you mean by 'show' is physical evidence.

    [2] It is a question of epistemology - how we know what we know. There are some things which are self-evident. To deny them goes against logic. So logic is one of those things that are self-evident. It is not physical; it is abstract, so it cannot physically be shown, yet you can't deny it without appealing to it. Without using it nothing makes sense.

    God, I claim, is another. The hurdle I would like to see atheists and agnostics tackle/explain is how do conscious living beings arise from physical matter?

    [3] If you start without God, then you look for evidence that supports that presupposition. I, on the other hand, beginning with God, look for evidence that supports my beginning beliefs. I can make sense of things. I do not believe your belief system can make sense of itself. That, I see, is a significant difference between the two.

    [4] I object to your definition of faith.

    We all have faith or belief in some system of thought. You/I build your/my worldview on presuppositions that everything else is based. How logical and reasonable are those starting propositions? You seem to think the theistic system of belief is devoid of evidence. It is not. The evidence is most reasonable. I would argue that without faith or belief in God nothing else ultimately makes sense. Unless there is ultimate standard via and because of an ultimate Creator, there is no surety to what you believe about your existence or me mine. What I'm saying is that God is necessary.

    [5] The question is, is your understanding of reality/truth 'true truth'? Is it how things really are regarding origins, since philosophical questions seem to descend into ultimate origins? Neither you nor I were there for the origin of the universe or the origin of life. Thus, origins are built upon an interpretation of the data.

    [6] People claim their standards are true/right/real all the time, yet there is massive disagreement on almost every issue between different systems of thought. Who is actually right? Does your 'truth' standard correctly describe reality or just your prejudice? I am just as wary of the atheist special pleading his case as the atheist who claims the theist of special pleading.

    Peter

 

 
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