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  1. #381
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Why do you think that the value is 1 across the board? Do you mean it is 1 now because the values have already been determined?
    No, it means that we have exactly one universe that exists, and this one universe has constants which are favourable to life. So 1 total outcome, and one favourable outcome. I've yet to see any support for the claim that the constants could have been different, which would be required for any arguments about the probability of the constants being what they are in our universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    None of the premises claim that this universe is optimized for life, right?
    Doesn't that kinda follow from your even bringing up the fine-tuning argument as a defence of your belief in god? If the universe appears to have been finely-tuned for the production of black holes, if anything at all, then it would not serve as support for belief in the Xtian deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    These two statements appear to be ontologically identical. Would life exist without matter formation? No. Does matter formation allow life? Yes. How is that meaningfully different?
    "Necessary for life" seems to imply that life is the goal. Is life (human life) the goal of why you think the universe was finely-tuned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think you are using the term finely-tuned incorrectly here. You are using it with an inferrence towards intent.
    Again, as an argument supporting a belief in god, the intent is kinda key. Otherwise, we can conclude that the universe appears finely-tuned for black holes and leave it at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I thought you wanted to stick to one argument at a time?
    When did I say that?

  2. #382
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    When a physicist uses the term "fine tuned in relation to life" he isn't saying that the universe was optimized for life such that it should be abundant. IE, he isn't arguing that these are the "best" or "perfect" values.

    Rather, he is simplying noting that the relatively small set of values that would allow life to even be possible at all, in any part of the universe, is incredibly small when compared to the large possible set of values that the universe could have had.




    Why do you think that the value is 1 across the board? Do you mean it is 1 now because the values have already been determined? Or 1 because those specific set of values neccessarily are what they are?


    I base that argument on the same reasoning the physics references quoted based it on. The values of the physical constants of the universe are not goverened by the specific physical laws of our universe and, as you can see from the arXiv link, widely held to have a range of probabilistic values.

    To give a bit more weight, we can consult the late Prof. Hawking:

    "M theory cannot predict the parameters of the standard model...the parameters can have any values. So much for string theory predicting the fine structure constant...even when we understand the ultimate theory, it wonít tell us much about how the universe began. It cannot predict the dimensions of spacetime, the gauge group, or other parameters of the low energy effective theory. . . . It wonít determine how this energy is divided between conventional matter, and a cosmological constant, or quintessence. . . . So to come back to the question. . . Does string theory predict the state of the universe? The answer is that it does not. It allows a vast landscape of possible universes, in which we occupy an anthropically permitted location."
    S. W. Hawking, ďCosmology from the Top Down,Ē paper presented at the Davis Cosmic Inflation Meeting, U. C. Davis, May 29, 2003.


    As I pointed out earlier Penrose calculates that String theory allows 10^500 different possible universes, even if we maintain the same physical laws, which, as Hawking points out, isn't a necessity either. http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0303194




    Sure, though I haven't seen that argued anywhere..and?

    This argument is about the range of possible outcomes that permit life, of which the above would constitute one possible universe of the set. It is an interesting thought experiment, but not related to the premises of the argument. None of the premises claim that this universe is optimized for life, right?




    These two statements appear to be ontologically identical. Would life exist without matter formation? No. Does matter formation allow life? Yes. How is that meaningfully different?




    I think you are using the term finely-tuned incorrectly here. You are using it with an inferrence towards intent. I am using it in the precisely defined way offered initially: "[A] physical constant is fine-tuned if the probability of the values that permit life within the population of total possible values is greater than 5 sigma."

    For the values referenced, do they fit that definition or not?




    I thought you wanted to stick to one argument at a time? This would seem to be a red herring to this argument, right?





    Only if we use the term "fine-tuning" in an incorrect manner. As stated, I am using it in the precisely defined way offered initially: "[A] physical constant is fine-tuned if the probability of the values that permit life within the population of total possible values is greater than 5 sigma."

    For the values referenced, do they fit that definition or not?



    Context Zhav. That is a neat factoid that is utterly irrelevant to this thread. The argument I put forward is about a binary outcome of a possible universe [permits life, does not permit life], not about its relative optimization, or aesthetic design, or any of that.

    Please stick to the context of the argument presented, not your own inference about where it is going.
    In a thread that had nothing to do with fine tuning you're going to try to lecture me about context? Please.

    Look, it's not that complicated: either you believe the fine tuning had a "fine tuner" or you don't. You can't believe both at once.

    If you believe there's no fine tuner, then it's a silly term to use for "parameters that allow life to exist somewhere" that we should probably replace.

    If you believe there's a fine tuner then you have to prove that being exists. We all get that there are these arguments out there theists like to use where they try to push some half baked agenda that doesn't quite go as far as "an intelligent god exists", but instead push some stepping stone claim. I'm not accusing you of this (yet). I'm saying if you believe something finely tuned the universe don't waste our time with some half-argument about definitions. "I BELEEV GOD EXISTS BUT I KNOW I'LL GET SHOT DOWN IF I COME OUT AND SAY THAT SO I'LL JUST HIDE BEHIND DEFINITIONS AND ACCUSE ZHAV OF CONTEXT TO TRY TO SNEAK THIS IN"... as though we don't see it. But I haven't sifted through the entire thread so I don't know if that's your agenda.

    So... let's have no more confusion:Challenge to support a claim. Do you or don't you believe the fine tuning of the universe is the result of an intelligent being/god?

  3. #383
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, no belief is rational until justification is provided,
    I see, so on page 19 of your thread, you’re changing the title of the thread… noted.

    If you presume the existence of god without providing rational justification, then it's irrational to do so.
    Where have you provided a well laid out case (this is your thread) that all theistic beliefs, now apparently all beliefs, are irrational?

    If you want to have an honest discussion about your theistic beliefs and whether they're rationally justified, by all means let's do so.
    Well FB, I attempted to have you focus your unsupported sweeping generalized claim to a more specific belief (you stated I can choose anything) so you can support something specifically. But it doesn’t look like you want to do that, so be it.

    If, instead, you want to play gotcha games
    My true intent was to have you go from a big mig mash of generalities to a more specific focus. And then perhaps I thought you might be willing to practice some Aristotlean reasoning. (It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.)

    No gotcha strategy but one of having you temporarily expand your narrow thinking.
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  4. #384
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I see, so on page 19 of your thread, you’re changing the title of the thread… noted.
    More gotcha playing. The thread's title is the same. The point you seem to be avoiding is that nothing, including theistic beliefs, is rationally justified simply just because, but only after rational justification is provided. All beliefs require justification.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Where have you provided a well laid out case (this is your thread) that all theistic beliefs, now apparently all beliefs, are irrational?
    Again, nothing is rationally justified until justification is provided. Do you dispute this? Are you claiming that there are some beliefs that have justification simply by default, or that some don't require justification?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Well FB, I attempted to have you focus your unsupported sweeping generalized claim to a more specific belief (you stated I can choose anything) so you can support something specifically. But it doesn’t look like you want to do that, so be it.
    And I responded to your specific belief (once you finally expressed it), asking for the justification. Funny, when asked for the justification for the specific belief you now claim you've been trying to get me to focus on (which is patently untrue), you then ignore that and switch back to playing gotcha again and claiming I'm making generalizations.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    My true intent was to have you go from a big mig mash of generalities to a more specific focus. And then perhaps I thought you might be willing to practice some Aristotlean reasoning. (It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.)
    Dude, I was the one who first asked you to present a specific belief for discussion after shooting down your first attempts at playing gotcha with love. You then finally provided it, although it took a couple posts for you to express the actual belief. And when asked what you thought rationally justified your belief in the validity of those commandments, you switched to generalizing about the thread and playing gotcha again. It appears that you find it easy to switch from playing gotcha, to beginning to actually discuss why theistic beliefs lack justification, and back to playing gotcha, whenever it suits you, now seasoning with attempting to misrepresent the facts about our discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    No gotcha strategy but one of having you temporarily expand your narrow thinking.
    It would appear not. Please provide the rational justification you think you have for the theistic belief you've presented (i. the belief in the validity of the commandments to love, and ii. believing/presuming god exists). Further gotcha attempts will be ignored.

    ---------- Post added at 10:21 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:48 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    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.
    I honestly don't get why you're trying (intentionally or not) so hard to make it difficult to have a normal discussion with you. You've already made 4 posts in response to the initial thought experiment. The first two being actual attempts at responding to it which failed due to careless reading, and now you're just declining to engage in the thought experiment. Why even bother trying and failing at all in the first place, if you were just going to refuse to engage in it afterwards? It seems wasting time is not actually a concern of yours, as you stated.

    In any case, the thought experiment goes like this:
    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?"
    How do you respond, with saying simply, "Because I saw it there"? No, since simply experiencing something doesn't justify the further proposition that what was experienced still exists. You'd provide the rational justification for your belief that the dog still exists (mundane proposition, previous experience, etc). Does that justification take place in your mind only when your belief is questioned? No, it's already there, just like how the justification for believing the dog was on your lawn was already there (it's basically the same justification, and your brain processes it automatically).
    Even if we were to accept your bald assertion that the experience alone justifies belief (which it doesn't), the further propositions (the dog still exists) which naturally follow also require justification - unsurprisingly, the same kind of readily-available justification which justifies the initial proposition (that a dog was on your lawn).

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    If you are going to claim that my support is insufficient you will need to clearly explain what is lacking.
    I explained in post # 341 why your statement fails as support.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    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.
    Because experience is evidence of experience - pure logic supports that. Any more requires justification. You claim otherwise, but so far have not provided support for that - you just say that someone is justified in believing what they experience, ignoring the fact that it's justified because of the justification which is processed automatically by the brain, and not simply because experiencing something justifies believing it. You cannot avoid the problem of hard solipsism.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Yeah, you think it's such a waste of time
    "Yeah," do I? "Yeah," I don't recall ever saying that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    So I've clearly explained what happened
    Except you missed/left out the parts where I had to explain IF-THEN statements to you, and repeatedly asked you clear questions to clarify what you meant, which you avoided, instead making more IF-THEN statements which included the criteria of god existing and contacting the person, then changing the scope of your claim, and then finally confirming that you were dropping your original IF-THEN claim that god existing and contacting was the criteria and sticking with the final general claim which was out-of-scope of the original claim we were discussing. THAT would be a clear explanation of what happened, not yours. I truly wish you do drop this already as you promise, instead of coming back again trying to misrepresent the events.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    So let me clarify this once and for all and then I will respond to it no further ...
    So is God actually contacting the person the criteria? ...
    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. ...
    So this exchange pretty much looks like spam so I'm done with it.
    It's clear that my thanking you for finally clarifying and attempts to keep your representation of events honest has resulted in some agitation, based on your overall tone here. For that, I truly apologize. Again, my intention was only to get to the bottom of your original IF-THEN statement claiming that the criteria for justification is whether god actually exists and contacts a person.

  5. #385
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    The point you seem to be avoiding is that nothing, including theistic beliefs, is rationally justified simply just because,
    Justified in the eyes of who? I trust you know that part of the definition of justification is: ďthe action of declaring or making righteous in the sight of God.Ē

    If youíre going to say in the eyes of materialistic standards, that wonít work nor would it make sense. Why? Because just as we canít measure someoneís IQ with a teaspoon and we canít measure someoneís courage with an EKG, a theistís belief canít be measured using a measuring cup. That doesnít mean all theists beliefs are not rational. What it does show, however, is that we donít have a universal patent that measures and determines the non-material in our world. Nor do we have a patent on reality and truth.

    Back to love, since itís a great example of dealing with immeasurable, transformative, life-changing experiences, which the chemicals our brain canít really justify/explain. Take for example, an old man who happens to meet up with a very young child in a public setting. They donít know each other, never met. Yet, thereís an immediate connection of deep love between them when they see each other, though they are decades apart. And within a very short amount of time, with the motherís permission, the grandfather and the young child (who has no history of this sort of attraction) become the best of friends, love each other and love spending quality time with each other along with the childís parents.

    Can you or I or the mother of the young child or the old man rationally justify the belief that this young child and this old man who have never met and in the blink of an eye have become the best of friends and love each other like a grandfather loves his grand daughter. No. Why? Because it doesnít make logical sense.

    If it doesnít make sense and it canít be rationally justified against something that is measurable and considered normal, does that mean their belief in their friendship and love, decades apart isnít real because it's not rationally justified?

    Again, we can't measure someoneís IQ with a teaspoon, nor can we measure the non-material using inappropriate tools.

    Are you claiming that there are some beliefs that have justification simply by default,
    Not necessarily by default, but by using:

    a. Critical thinking
    b. Consider as much context that is available
    c. Consider possibilities
    d. Be intellectually honest
    e. Be objective
    f. Be non-biased
    g. Be willing to self-correct
    h. Think openmindedly
    i. Use sound reasoning

    The other point about beliefs that I would mention is that when at times friends share something that I donít necessarily believe, I donít find it unreasonable to entertain the idea without accepting it.
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  6. #386
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Justified in the eyes of who? I trust you know that part of the definition of justification is: ďthe action of declaring or making righteous in the sight of God.Ē
    In theology, sure, but when discussing rational justification, this definition does not apply.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    If youíre going to say in the eyes of materialistic standards, that wonít work nor would it make sense. Why? Because just as we canít measure someoneís IQ with a teaspoon and we canít measure someoneís courage with an EKG, a theistís belief canít be measured using a measuring cup. That doesnít mean all theists beliefs are not rational. What it does show, however, is that we donít have a universal patent that measures and determines the non-material in our world. Nor do we have a patent on reality and truth.

    Back to love, since itís a great example of dealing with immeasurable, transformative, life-changing experiences, which the chemicals our brain canít really justify/explain. Take for example, an old man who happens to meet up with a very young child in a public setting. They donít know each other, never met. Yet, thereís an immediate connection of deep love between them when they see each other, though they are decades apart. And within a very short amount of time, with the motherís permission, the grandfather and the young child (who has no history of this sort of attraction) become the best of friends, love each other and love spending quality time with each other along with the childís parents.
    As previously stated, irrelevant gotchas will be ignored.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Can you or I or the mother of the young child or the old man rationally justify the belief that this young child and this old man who have never met and in the blink of an eye have become the best of friends and love each other like a grandfather loves his grand daughter. No. Why? Because it doesnít make logical sense.
    The belief that they have become friends and love each other can be easily justified by observing their expressions of friendship & love towards each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    If it doesnít make sense and it canít be rationally justified against something that is measurable and considered normal, does that mean their belief in their friendship and love, decades apart isnít real because it's not rationally justified?
    Above you asked whether the belief that they have become friends and love each other can be justified. It can. Here you appear to be asking whether their own belief in the others' love can be justified, to which I already responded the first time you brought up love.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Again, we can't measure someoneís IQ with a teaspoon
    No, we measure it by performing standardized tests on intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    nor can we measure the non-material using inappropriate tools.
    If something is non-material and cannot be measured in any way, then one is not rationally justified in believing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    The other point about beliefs that I would mention is that when at times friends share something that I donít necessarily believe, I donít find it unreasonable to entertain the idea without accepting it.
    Not believing something and entertaining an idea are two separate things.

    In any case, you said you wanted to talk about a specific theistic belief, and then provided one (the belief in the validity of the commandments to love, and the belief/presumption that god exists). You have yet to provide the rational justification for these beliefs, and appear to only want to continue to play gotcha.

  7. #387
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    When a physicist uses the term "fine tuned in relation to life" he isn't saying that the universe was optimized for life such that it should be abundant. IE, he isn't arguing that these are the "best" or "perfect" values.

    Rather, he is simplying noting that the relatively small set of values that would allow life to even be possible at all, in any part of the universe, is incredibly small when compared to the large possible set of values that the universe could have had.
    Well, that's nice and all, but we were NOT discussing "physicists" were we? We were discussing theists. The way you change the source is common for you but only when we discuss religion. At ALL other times you are incredibly concise!

    We ARE discussing theists, and "fine tuned" to a "theist" means exactly what you see:
    "fine tuned" means there IS a "fine tuner"
    It's a given or you would not have brought it up as support for "rationality"

    ---------- Post added at 06:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:36 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Sure, though I haven't seen that argued anywhere..and?

    This argument is about the range of possible outcomes that permit life, of which the above would constitute one possible universe of the set. It is an interesting thought experiment, but not related to the premises of the argument. None of the premises claim that this universe is optimized for life, right?
    "Optimized" no, "FINE TUNED"!!! Yes!
    The difference being........nothing.

    ---------- Post added at 06:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:40 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Certainly. Fine-tuning is a well used term within physics. Its definition generally revolves around the margin a physical constant can deviate before the universe we live in would no longer permit life. There are generally recognized to be four categories of fine-tuning recognized in physics. Fine tuning of physical laws, physical constants (which I will primarily deal with), the universe's initial conditions, and high level features of the universe.
    And physics, in this case, kinda means "narrow parameters that allow this universe to exist". NO other conclusion can be drawn from just this information. No reason to conclude the parameters were "purposeful".
    Add another set of "narrow parameters" that it could also support life"?
    Still 0 reason to conclude it was "purposeful".
    This universe is HOSTILE to life with the ONLY know exception being Earth!!
    That this universe "allows" life to exist, is no reason to think it was "designed" for it!!

    "Fine tuned"?????????

  8. #388
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    As previously stated, irrelevant gotchas will be ignored.
    It’s relevant because most logical thinkers would probably find it irrational to believe in a love that attracts two perfect strangers decades apart in age.

    The belief that they have become friends and love each other can be easily justified by observing their expressions of friendship & love towards each other.
    The belief in a love why two perfect functional strangers, a young child and an old man are attracted may be rational on a parallel universe but not in this universe. Is it a love that all parties conserned can believe in despite not understanding the why? Yes.

    No, we measure it by performing standardized tests on intelligence.
    Right. And how do we measure something that can’t be contained like the feelings and experience of love?

    If something is non-material and cannot be measured in any way, then one is not rationally justified in believing it.
    Love is not a material phenomena. The chemicals in our brains do not explain or justify the transforming, sometimes life-changing experience and feelings love has on a person -- sometimes irrational feelings. Are you implying we should not believe in love when we don’t understand or we can’t rationally justify our experience and feelings even though a person may instinctually know this love is real?

    Not believing something and entertaining an idea are two separate things.
    That’s right, but when we entertain an idea that we’re not ready or willing to accept, it gives us the opportunity to consider possibilities. When we are open to possibilities, that in itself can sometimes lead to opening up our awareness to something we did not previously understand but that we now understand. It is those ah hah moments that can lead to seeing an old problem and objections through a new different lens.

    In any case, you said you wanted to talk about a specific theistic belief, and then provided one (the belief in the validity of the commandments to love, and the belief/presumption that god exists).
    Are you willing to discuss the belief of loving God and our neighbor presuming God’s existence?
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Itís relevant because most logical thinkers would probably find it irrational to believe in a love that attracts two perfect strangers decades apart in age.
    Again, the claim that they love each other can be rationally believed by observing how they love each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    The belief in a love why two perfect functional strangers, a young child and an old man are attracted may be rational on a parallel universe but not in this universe. Is it a love that all parties conserned can believe in despite not understanding the why? Yes.
    Why they love each other is a mystery, since you have not offered a proposition for the why, but that doesn't change the fact that believing that they love each other is easily justified. You seem to be confused about the various propositions surrounding situations involving love.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Right. And how do we measure something that canít be contained like the feelings and experience of love?
    Again, you seem to be confusing the propositions which are being believed. Whether they love each other is one proposition - the only one you've actually offered. This proposition can be rationally justified.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Are you willing to discuss the belief of loving God and our neighbor presuming Godís existence?
    Dude, I've been trying to. When prompted to provide specific beliefs to discuss, you offered the following propositions:
    1. The validity of the commandments to love.
    2. God's existence.

    Please provide the rational justification for these propositions. All you've been doing so far is avoiding justifying them and going on irrelevant tangents with over-arching deepities about love. Further such posts which don't provide the rational justification for the above claims will be ignored as spam.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    If you’re going to say in the eyes of materialistic standards, that won’t work nor would it make sense. Why? Because just as we can’t measure someone’s IQ with a teaspoon and we can’t measure someone’s courage with an EKG, a theist’s belief can’t be measured using a measuring cup.
    But we're not talking about belief. We're talking about reality and you and I both use what you refer to as "materialistic" standards. You absolutely use them. Because the claim "an intelligent god exists and created the universe" is what you would refer to a materialistic claim. So is any claim about the real world.

    Don't believe me?

    Imagine for a moment the Associated Press ran a story saying that archaeologists had found the cross Jesus was allegedly crucified on. Not only did they find the cross, but Biologists were able to examine blood stains on it and found something downright inexplicable: the blood is from an adult human male, but the DNA of the blood seems to only posses chromosomes from the mother. The father's set of chromosomes... even though the blood came from an adult human male... are completely absent.

    If you and other theists were honest and logically consistent you'd reply with some variation on "Doesn't interest me. It's a materialistic claim and my religion has nothing to do with materialism. Not even news worthy." To be sure, we can agree that the vast majority of Christians would be SHOUTING this news at the top of their lungs to anyone and everyone who would listen. The LAST thing they would do is claim that it doesn't interest them. And it's not just claims about Jesus: any claim about a god that exists as something more than an idea is subject to this same level of scientific rigor.

    The fact that theistic claims fall laughably short of anything resembling reason or support is why theists are so apt to try to move the goal posts. "What's that? There's zero evidence and none of this makes sense? Quick! Move the goal posts! We have to make sure there's a different set of rules for our claims or it'll be obvious how silly they are. Wait! What's that? There has been some sort of evidence!? Quick! Move the goal posts back!"

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: if the photo finish only matters if your horse is the winner, then you're kidding yourself.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Why they love each other is a mystery,
    Yes, it is a mystery and I can’t offer a proposition because the why is unknown. However, that’s the point. For many people in relationships it is belief and trust in the mystery of love that justifies the relationship.

    1. Why would an old man and a young child who are not related, have little in common and perfect strangers just enjoy hanging out together? Because they believe in the experience of love they are living, even though they may not understand it because it doesn’t seem rational.

    2. Why would a couple who constantly argue, are not very loving continue to stay together and can’t live without each other? Because they believe in the experience of love they are living, even though they may not understand it because it doesn’t seem rational.

    If something, a belief, doesn’t seem rational to our outer awareness because we may not be aware of all the facts, does that mean it’s truly not rational? Or could it also imply we’re just not aware of all the connecting dots, but we’re just observing some dots -- effects?

    you offered the following propositions:
    1. The validity of the commandments to love.
    OK, God is presumed in the belief I chose (not up for debate here). So if you wish, we can discuss the rational justification of believing the two most important commandments which is loving God and our neighbor. And for the purpose of debate, some descriptions/characteristics of God in the Bible are: Spirit, Light, is both outside and within the natural world, God is Love, an all-consuming fire, good, righteous, Creator, God IS.

    How can we rationally justify the belief to love God and our neighbor?

    Giving ones love to such a power brings many benefits to a person’s life. Why? When we truly love, we establish a relationship with the focus of our love. Through that relationship and our sincerity and commitment, we receive the gifts of a loving relationship with the Spirit. In loving God this includes, the gifts of goodness, unconditional love, peace of mind, more of God’s Spirit to name just a few.

    The reason Jesus said these two commandments were the most important ones, is not because the Father required man to love their Creator. The principle is for man’s benefit, especially when man has dug himself into a hole. They were named the two most important commandments because the people Jesus was addressing at that time, the Israelites, had become blinded by legalism for a long time over the initial 10 Commandments. This caused lots of problems for the Israelites.

    If we love God first, we establish a download connection to the gifts of the Spirit, for which there are many. From that secure state. the does and don'ts in the 10 commandments become common sense for man instead of rules we struggle to obey. And the Spirit of the Law verses the letter of the law reinforces that connection.

    So the belief in loving God first is rational because it benefits us and begins to remove our sense of separation from the Creator.

    I will address the rational of loving our neighbor in a different post.

    ---------- Post added at 10:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:34 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    But we're not talking about belief.
    Please note the name of the thread: "Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified"
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Yes, it is a mystery and I canít offer a proposition because the why is unknown. However, thatís the point. For many people in relationships it is belief and trust in the mystery of love that justifies the relationship.

    1. Why would an old man and a young child who are not related, have little in common and perfect strangers just enjoy hanging out together? Because they believe in the experience of love they are living, even though they may not understand it because it doesnít seem rational.

    2. Why would a couple who constantly argue, are not very loving continue to stay together and canít live without each other? Because they believe in the experience of love they are living, even though they may not understand it because it doesnít seem rational.

    If something, a belief, doesnít seem rational to our outer awareness because we may not be aware of all the facts, does that mean itís truly not rational? Or could it also imply weíre just not aware of all the connecting dots, but weíre just observing some dots -- effects?
    You are again confusing the whether someone loves with the why someone loves, having only offered the proposition for whether someone loves. Without a proposition for why someone loves, there is nothing to be believed about it.
    Again, the propositions you offered for discussion are:
    1. The validity of the commandments to love god and your neighbour. You believe in this validity, but have yet to provide rational justification for it.
    2. The existence of god. Your belief in god is presumed, but have yet to provide rational justification for it. Claiming that because it's presumed it's not up for debate is irrelevant, since, as I already explained, even presumptions need to be rationally justified.
    3. The old man and girl have become friends and love each other. This is the only proposition you've provided which can be rationally justified (even though you don't think it can - I provided the justification).

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    OK, God is presumed in the belief I chose (not up for debate here).
    No, a presumed belief also requires justification. Please provide the rational justification for presuming god exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    How can we rationally justify the belief to love God and our neighbor?
    You are again confusing the actual proposition you originally offered, which was:
    "The belief in the validity of the Greatest Christian commandment."

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    When we truly love, we establish a relationship with the focus of our love.
    Not if the focus of your love has not been demonstrated to exist. Please provide the rational justification for believing it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Through that relationship and our sincerity and commitment, we receive the gifts of a loving relationship with the Spirit. In loving God this includes, the gifts of goodness, unconditional love, peace of mind, more of Godís Spirit to name just a few.
    Lots of preachy-deepity claims, but no support. Please provide the rational justification for believing that you receive anything from believing in something which has not been demonstrated to exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    The reason Jesus said these two commandments were the most important ones, is not because the Father required man to love their Creator.
    You do know that "commandment" literally means something which is required, right? Speaking of a commandment to love with phrases like "it's not because man is required to love" is simply nonsense.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    If we love God first, we establish a download connection to the gifts of the Spirit, for which there are many.
    Not only do you lack support for this claim, but even if we accepted that what you claim is true, it still doesn't follow that commanding someone to do it is valid. Sure, we could say that it's good for someone to love god because they "establish a download connection to gifts" (a claim which requires support), but it still doesn't justify it being commanded. Again, from what I know of love, it's not something which can be commanded. Why does god have to command it?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    So the belief in loving God first is rational because it benefits us and begins to remove our sense of separation from the Creator.
    Your conclusion doesn't follow since the arguments for it lack support. Further, the statement of the conclusion is incoherent. "The belief in loving god" doesn't make any sense, since "loving god" is not a proposition, it's an action. "God exists and commands you to love him, and that commandment is valid" is a proposition. Please provide support for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I will address the rational of loving our neighbor in a different post.
    You'd first have to address the inherent irrationality of commanding anyone love anyone in the first place.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Please note the name of the thread: "Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified"
    [Emphasis mine]

    The topic is about how you rationally justify them. Thus my point... that we're not actually talking about belief, but how we evaluate reality... are all very much on topic and your rather cowardly dodge is highly inappropriate. Try again:

    But we're not talking about belief. We're talking about reality and you and I both use what you refer to as "materialistic" standards. You absolutely use them. Because the claim "an intelligent god exists and created the universe" is what you would refer to a materialistic claim. So is any claim about the real world.

    Don't believe me?

    Imagine for a moment the Associated Press ran a story saying that archaeologists had found the cross Jesus was allegedly crucified on. Not only did they find the cross, but Biologists were able to examine blood stains on it and found something downright inexplicable: the blood is from an adult human male, but the DNA of the blood seems to only posses chromosomes from the mother. The father's set of chromosomes... even though the blood came from an adult human male... are completely absent.

    If you and other theists were honest and logically consistent you'd reply with some variation on "Doesn't interest me. It's a materialistic claim and my religion has nothing to do with materialism. Not even news worthy." To be sure, we can agree that the vast majority of Christians would be SHOUTING this news at the top of their lungs to anyone and everyone who would listen. The LAST thing they would do is claim that it doesn't interest them. And it's not just claims about Jesus: any claim about a god that exists as something more than an idea is subject to this same level of scientific rigor.

    The fact that theistic claims fall laughably short of anything resembling reason or support is why theists are so apt to try to move the goal posts. "What's that? There's zero evidence and none of this makes sense? Quick! Move the goal posts! We have to make sure there's a different set of rules for our claims or it'll be obvious how silly they are. Wait! What's that? There has been some sort of evidence!? Quick! Move the goal posts back!"

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: if the photo finish only matters if your horse is the winner, then you're kidding yourself.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    No, a presumed belief also requires justification.
    If you would like to start a thread and lay out your case for the non-existence of God, you are free to do so.

    If you don’t want to discuss the specific belief I offered (the belief in the validity of the two greatest Christian commandments), that presumes the existence of the Creator, then we’re done.

    Thanks for the chat.
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    If you would like to start a thread and lay out your case for the non-existence of God, you are free to do so.
    I'm not claiming that a deity doesn't exist. I'm asking you for the rational justification in presuming that one does. Again, presuming something requires justification - it's no different that belief in that respect. If you have no justification for presuming something, then it's irrational to do so.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Well, that's nice and all, but we were NOT discussing "physicists" were we? We were discussing theists.
    Hmm, I'm not sure this is the case. The argument is always about that specific use of the term. That isn't to say that theists don't use the term in other ways (and often incorrectly), but that isn't what I'm saying here. Premise 1, nor any time I've used the term is meant as some kind of broader, fuzzier term.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    "Optimized" no, "FINE TUNED"!!! Yes!
    The difference being........nothing.
    I'm not sure we can hold that position reasonably. It certainly isn't how we use the term in any other context. If I say the best width of an optical fiber for data transmission is 1/1000th of an inch, but it can't be larger than 1/100th or smaller than 1/10,000th of an inch I'm differentiating between what is optimal (1/1000th) and what is fine tuned (Between 1/100th and 1/10,000th).

    Because something isn't perfect doesn't mean it isn't fine tuned. I can fine tune the design of a wing on a plane to allow for flight. That doesn't mean that particular wing shape is optimal for flight.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    And physics, in this case, kinda means "narrow parameters that allow this universe to exist". NO other conclusion can be drawn from just this information. No reason to conclude the parameters were "purposeful".
    Let's assume we agree about the physics just for a second. Is premise 1 correct? 1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to physical necessity, chance, or design.

    Forget, for just a second about the defense of which option is the best explanation, are those three options the breadth of options to explain this phenomenon?


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    When did I say that?
    I want to make one quick comment about the style of the discussion. In this post, you asked me to move on to another argument. The fact that you didn't respond to any other sections of my post clearly indicated that you were done discussing that argument. You've made it abundantly clear in this thread that you'd like to take things one step at a time, so that is what I'm doing here. I'm defending the premises one at a time for clarity's sake. Arguing against premise 2 when we are talking premise 1 doesn't help that matter.

    So the question is, is premise 1 correct or not? Are the only three explanations for this phenomenon, design, necessity, or chance?

    If so, we can move to premise 2.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    No, it means that we have exactly one universe that exists, and this one universe has constants which are favourable to life. So 1 total outcome, and one favourable outcome.
    You say "no" in your intro, but then your following two sentences are a yes.

    You are saying the probability is 1 for a life sustaining universe because the outcome was a life sustaining universe.

    That reasoning is a probabilistic fallacy (http://www.fallacyfiles.org/probfall.html) however [it is also very close to a hindsight fallacy, "we know what it is now, therefore we always knew what it was" http://www.slate.com/articles/busine..._fallacy.html]. Because an observed event has actually occurred does not mean that it was guaranteed to occur at the time of choosing.

    So, for example, a die on a table has a six. Does that mean, when rolled the probability of getting a six was 1? Or that the probability of getting a 1 was 0? Of course not. Likewise, at t=0, the probability of the costants being what they are now is not 1.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    I've yet to see any support for the claim that the constants could have been different,
    I provided a quote by Prof. Hawking and a physics paper by Prof. Penrose earlier. Both contain argumentation from respectable experts that the values could have been different. Additionally, I posted numerous papers by physicists, mathematicians, and philosophers arguing that there is a range of possible values for the constants.

    If physicists are not what you are looking for for support, can you detail what kind of support you would like to see?


    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    In a thread that had nothing to do with fine tuning you're going to try to lecture me about context? Please.
    The thread is about whether or not thiestic views are rationally justified. How does an argument about a rational justification have "nothing to do" with the thread?


    Quote Originally Posted by Zhav
    So... let's have no more confusion:Challenge to support a claim. Do you or don't you believe the fine tuning of the universe is the result of an intelligent being/god?
    There has never been any confusion Zhav aside from yours here. You are attempting to insert a different clause and rationale than I offered. If you think that a designer somehow requires a universe 100% perfectly suited to life, then feel free to make that argument and support it. I don't see any reason to think that that is true.

    Rather, I've already answered your question in the argument presented;

    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.


    Also, your challenge makes no sense. A challenge is a request for support for a claim made, not an attempt to force someone to answer a question. Generally, you should use a Question to opponent. tag for that.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.Ē -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I want to make one quick comment about the style of the discussion. In this post, you asked me to move on to another argument.
    No, I offered you the opportunity to move to another argument, since I clearly indicated that the post would be my last "discussing the status cosmology" with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You've made it abundantly clear in this thread that you'd like to take things one step at a time, so that is what I'm doing here.
    I'd like to have an honest discussion about why you think that the arguments you've presented provide any justification for believing in the Xtian deity. Therefore, I'm assuming that you believe the universe was finely-tuned for life. Do you have any support for that? The argument you've presented doesn't support such a conclusion.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Squatch: "There has never been any confusion Zhav aside from yours here. You are attempting to insert a different clause and rationale than I offered. If you think that a designer somehow requires a universe 100% perfectly suited to life, then feel free to make that argument and support it. I don't see any reason to think that that is true."

    Rodriguez: It's not that it's in any way "required," it's that common sense strongly supports something along those lines.

    If the purpose of a project is to create an environment in which fish might survive and flourish, then why design a Karaoke lounge in which an aquarium sits?

    If such a thing occurred, at the very least we'd say, and justifiably so IMO, "I seriously doubt that the primary purpose of this project was to provide these fish an environment in which to flourish!"

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    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.
    There’s different types of spiritual experiences. Some of which are not only non-contradictory, but are highly practical and unitive across all faiths. Such experiences present the person with “more reality and truth than we ordinarily experience in everyday life.”

    We can also distinguish between mysticism as an experience and mysticism as a process of spiritual life. The former is very common, while the latter requires an ongoing commitment, regardless of the tradition. Mysticism as a process — mystical or contemplative spirituality — has a number of characteristics, which are true of all its forms in the various traditions or schools. Mystical spirituality is practical, experiential, ineffable or nonconceptual, unitive or nondual, noetic, integrative, sapiential, giving certitude, and in possession of transcendent knowledge from direct experience.

    All mystical experience, though involving the here and now, happens in the present moment of the eternal now, since time is contained in eternity. Mysticism is a revelation of the eternal in the midst of the temporal, and in that revelatory communication, it presents us with states of consciousness that possess the following elements. Mystical spirituality is always practical: its experience is eminently beneficial to a person’s life and well-being. Because it concerns one’s ultimate situation, it is never abstract. It always contributes to one’s inner landscape — the development of individual character. Mysticism is also experiential. By stressing what can be known and experienced mysticism is similar to science’s empiricism. Both are based on experience. Just as science is related to what actually is, so the mystical life is directly in contact with what is ultimately real.

    Mystical awareness confers an absolute certitude on the knower or experiencer. Every tradition makes the point that this certainty is total, undeniable, clear, and eternal. One cannot doubt the reality of the experience while in the midst of it. We all doubt all kinds of experiences we have in life — we doubt our fundamental subjectivity — but it is not possible to doubt mystical phenomena.

    The vividness, intensity, and immediacy are so profound, the magnitude of certainty so great, and the eternal so real, that the experiences are beyond doubt. The mystical also gives us a glimpse of the transcendent mystery beyond this universe. When we encounter it, or it envelopes us, our capacities are enlarged, enhanced, and elevated into a higher, more ultimate way of knowing. We are then confronted by something more real than anything we have previously known. The mystical presents us with more reality and truth than we ordinarily experience in everyday life because it reveals a greater reality untouched by change, decay, and death. Cast in the light of the unchanging, boundless source, the mystical makes all things translucent with the eternal, transcendent being. Once touched — even for a brief moment — we are changed forever. Our inner life is transformed by the deifying radiance of the transcendent ground from which everything arises and to which everything returns....

    (Mysticism means direct, immediate experience of ultimate reality. For Christians, it is union and communion with God. For Buddhists, it is realization of enlightenment....Mysticism, in its pure form, is the science of ultimates, the science of union with the Absolute, and nothing else, and that the mystic is the person who attains to this union, not the person who talks about it. Not to know about, but to Be, is the mark of the real initiate.)


    The Mystic Heart: Discovering Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Hmm, I'm not sure this is the case. The argument is always about that specific use of the term. That isn't to say that theists don't use the term in other ways (and often incorrectly), but that isn't what I'm saying here. Premise 1, nor any time I've used the term is meant as some kind of broader, fuzzier term.
    It still comes down to, if the parameters were different, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Big stretch to say the ONLY reason the universe has the qualities it has is because of purposeful intent. Again, if it was basically about humans, the universe (save earth) would not be expected to be so hostile to human life. Orbiting around the earth in the space station causes many health concerns and that is still in the earth's magnetic field, shielding most of the harmful "stuff".

    ---------- Post added at 10:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:15 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I'm not sure we can hold that position reasonably. It certainly isn't how we use the term in any other context. If I say the best width of an optical fiber for data transmission is 1/1000th of an inch, but it can't be larger than 1/100th or smaller than 1/10,000th of an inch I'm differentiating between what is optimal (1/1000th) and what is fine tuned (Between 1/100th and 1/10,000th).

    Because something isn't perfect doesn't mean it isn't fine tuned. I can fine tune the design of a wing on a plane to allow for flight. That doesn't mean that particular wing shape is optimal for flight.
    Ok but, the only place in the universe we are aware of that could support human life is earth. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    ---------- Post added at 10:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:17 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Let's assume we agree about the physics just for a second. Is premise 1 correct? 1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to physical necessity, chance, or design.

    Forget, for just a second about the defense of which option is the best explanation, are those three options the breadth of options to explain this phenomenon?
    e

    Here you make a good point "if" all the physics are as you believe, but we still struggle with gravity don't we?
    So we don't know the physics yet, you may indeed be correct, though there are religious issues that also don't seem to be able to conform to what we "know" either. Both sides of the God equation are unresolved due to inconsistencies. This in itself lends credibility to no God, because God by definition WANTS to be known!!!!!!!!!!!
    And is certainly capable of being known should "he" chose to be known.

 

 
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