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  1. #321
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Support or retract that if a person has a genuine supernatural experience (as in it actually happened), they cannot determine that it actually happened in the same way that they can determine that a non-supernatural event happened (i.e. seeing a dog on their lawn).
    If all they have is the experience, then that's the only thing they have support for: the experience. Any further propositions require further rational justification.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And that's not my criteria for determining if a belief is rationale.
    Huh?
    Here's your statement:
    if God actually exists and contacts the person, then that person is rationally justified in believing in God
    You literally say that the determining factor according to you is whether that god actually exists and contacts the person. Do you retract that?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And I acknowledge that a mundane event, such as a dog on your lawn, is different than a supernatural event.
    And it is that difference which provides the dog experience rational justification based solely on the experience which the supernatural experience lacks. The principle of proportionality applies regardless of whether you're the person having the experience, or someone listening to that person's claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Support or retract that 1st person experience is not valid justification for the person who has the experience to believe that a supernatural event has occurred.
    Again, having an experience is rational justification to believe that one had an experience. Further propositions require further rational justification.

  2. #322
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    If all they have is the experience, then that's the only thing they have support for: the experience. Any further propositions require further rational justification.
    So you are saying that having an experience is not enough for one to determine FOR THEMSELVES that the experience actually happened? So seeing a dog is not enough to determine that the dog was there (for one's own belief in reality)?

    If so, please support that assertion.



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Huh?
    Here's your statement:
    if God actually exists and contacts the person, then that person is rationally justified in believing in God
    You literally say that the determining factor according to you is whether that god actually exists and contacts the person. Do you retract that?
    No I did not literally say that. Does the statement you quote identify the determining factor in why one is justified? It does not. There are multiple ramifications for the scenario of God contacting someone and one of them is that the person will have a vivid memory of God contracting them.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    And it is that difference which provides the dog experience rational justification based solely on the experience which the supernatural experience lacks. The same principle of proportionality is applied whether you're the person having the experience, or whether you're someone listening to that person's claim.
    First off, I'm referring soley to whether one has a rational justification in believing in the supernatural if THEY experience something supernatural so whether they can prove it to someone else is irrelevant to this discussion.

    And until you clearly identify the difference between the mundane and the supernatural which means that on is NEVER justified in believing the supernatural, no matter how vivid the experience is, you have no basis to claim that that which justifies belief in a genuine mundane experience can never equate belief in a supernatural experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, having an experience is rational justification to believe that one had an experience.
    Then having a supernatural experience is rational justification to believe that one had a supernatural experience. And if one has a rational justification to believe that supernatural experiences actually happen, then they have a rational justification to believe in certain supernatural things, like God.

  3. #323
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Theistic beliefs in general are not irrational, as it is a possible truth.
    Pretty much agree with everything you wrote, Belthazor, with the one exception of what I've quoted above. Perhaps I've misunderstood you but what I take you to mean here is that if a proposition is possibly true then a belief held in that proposition cannot be irrational.

    To me, what makes a belief rational is that the preponderance of the available evidence suggests that the belief is true. To believe in a proposition, including a proposition that is possibly true, in the absence of the preponderance of the available evidence supporting the belief, is to hold a belief that is not rationally justified.


    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    All true.

    When a co-worker tells you something, that's second-hand evidence and if the story is incredible, like the flying saucer story, you have pretty solid reasoning to not find the story convincing and therefore not be too impressed with the evidence. But for your co-worker, if he actually did see a for-real flying saucer very clearly, he has strong first-hand evidence that flying saucers exist and therefore has a very rational reason to believe in flying saucers from then on.

    And it's the same for theistic beliefs. If you're an atheist and a religious person tells you of some religious experience that has convinced him that God really exists, it's perfectly reasonable for you to remain unconvinced since the evidence presented is second-hand and therefore not strong.

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

    So whether theistic beliefs are actually rationally justified is unknown since we don't know if people actually have genuine spiritual experience which gives them rational justification for having theistic beliefs.
    Pretty much agree with all this, too. The one part I might quibble with is the part where you write "So whether theistic beliefs are actually rationally justified is unknown since we don't know if people actually have genuine spiritual experience which gives them rational justification for having theistic beliefs."

    As you point out, a belief in God would be rationally justified for someone who is actually contacted by God or a god or even an entity to whom we humans would attribute God-like powers, in a manner in which virtually any of us would take to be authentic. That person's belief, similar to a person's belief who was authentically contacted by an extraterrestrial being, would be rational.

    No one else, however, should be the least bit convinced that a God exists, that witches cause crops to fail, that extraterrestrials have visited or are visiting earth, etc., based on someone else's own personal experience. Further, to believe in such claims primarily on the basis of someone else's own private experience is certainly irrational.

    Whether a belief is rational or not, as futureboy has said many times in this thread, depends upon the strength of the available evidence cited to support that belief.

    So, given the above, I think we do know whether just about any belief held in anything, including beliefs held about God, ETs, witches, the healing power of copper bracelets, the efficacy of homeopathic cures, etc., is rational. To make such a determination, what we have to do is to examine the evidence.

  4. #324
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Pretty much agree with all this, too. The one part I might quibble with is the part where you write "So whether theistic beliefs are actually rationally justified is unknown since we don't know if people actually have genuine spiritual experience which gives them rational justification for having theistic beliefs."

    As you point out, a belief in God would be rationally justified for someone who is actually contacted by God or a god or even an entity to whom we humans would attribute God-like powers, in a manner in which virtually any of us would take to be authentic. That person's belief, similar to a person's belief who was authentically contacted by an extraterrestrial being, would be rational.

    No one else, however, should be the least bit convinced that a God exists, that witches cause crops to fail, that extraterrestrials have visited or are visiting earth, etc., based on someone else's own personal experience. Further, to believe in such claims primarily on the basis of someone else's own private experience is certainly irrational.

    Whether a belief is rational or not, as futureboy has said many times in this thread, depends upon the strength of the available evidence cited to support that belief.

    So, given the above, I think we do know whether just about any belief held in anything, including beliefs held about God, ETs, witches, the healing power of copper bracelets, the efficacy of homeopathic cures, etc., is rational. To make such a determination, what we have to do is to examine the evidence.
    Well, there are two different questions here and they need to be addressed separately.

    First, can one have a justifiably rational belief in God? The answer to that question is "maybe". Since it's possible that God exists and can contact someone, it's possible that someone can believe in God due to a criteria that we generally accept as justifying a belief that what happened actually happened, first hand experience of an actual event.

    The second issue is whether one can justifiably convince others that they had a genuine religious experience. And actually the question to that is likewise "maybe". It depends on the person. I fully agree that if someone who had such and experience told an atheist about it, the atheist has every justification to reject the story as anything resembling credible evidence. But then not everyone is an atheist - in fact most people aren't atheists. And we do give some level of credibility to second-hand evidence. When my co-worker tells me about seeing a movie over the weekend, I generally believe that it happened. And of course if instead of telling me something mundane, he tells me of something incredible, I am less likely to believe his story but that doens't mean that one has to reject the story. It really depends on the listener. If someone already holds a belief that such things are possible (perhaps he has already had a similar experience) and/or very much trusts the veracity of whatever the other person says, then to that person the story is very credible and to them, the other person's belief is justified.

    If one holds that the credibility of another's story is based only what they already believe or don't believe, then whether a belief is justified is pretty much subjective ("what's credible is what I think is credible").

  5. #325
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    So seeing a dog is not enough to determine that the dog was there (for one's own belief in reality)?
    I'll repeat: having an experience justifies believing one had an experience. The further proposition of "what was experienced actually happened" requires further justification. For something as mundane as a dog on your lawn, justification can be as simple as recognizing that it is a mundane proposition with little cause to doubt it, but the justification is required all the same. Other justification could the regularity of similar experiences (seeing other animals on your lawn, seeing dogs in other settings).

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    No I did not literally say that.
    An IF-THEN statement is used to specify the determining criteria for some result which is conditional & dependent on that criteria.
    You used an IF-THEN statement to say that IF god actually exists and contacts a person, THEN the person would be justified in believing in god.

    Here is your complete original statement from post 318:
    However, IF someone actually does have a genuine Godly experience (like IF God actually exists and contacts the person), THEN that person is rationally justified in believing in God

    My response:
    Whether the supernatural event actually happened vs they simply had an experience is something the person cannot determine. Therefore, believing that something supernatural actually happened would still not be rationally justified. If something supernatural actually happened, believing it would simply make their belief correct, luckily. You completely misunderstand rational justification if you think that whether the event actually happened is what establishes it.

    So now that we've clarified the statement you originally made to which I was responding, please answer the following.

    Question to opponent.
    1. Do you now retract that statement?
    2. Are you instead just adding the further criteria of how vivid a memory of an experience is?
    3. Is your criteria now i) god must actually exist and must actually contact the person AND ii) the memory of the person's experience of that contact must be vivid?
    4. If someone has a memory of an experience which is just as vivid as what you describe in your criteria, but the experience is not of something that actually happened, is that person rationally justified in believing that what they experienced actually happened according to your criteria?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    There are multiple ramifications for the scenario of God contacting someone and one of them is that the person will have a vivid memory of God contracting them.
    Challenge to support a claim.
    Please support or retract your assertion that a god actually existing and contacting someone necessarily leads to them having a vivid memory of an experience in which they were contacted by a god.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    First off, I'm referring soley to whether one has a rational justification in believing in the supernatural if THEY experience something supernatural so whether they can prove it to someone else is irrelevant to this discussion.
    I was merely pointing out that the principle of proportionality applies regardless of who's believing the proposition - that is the principle of consistency. You agree with proportionality applying to someone else being told about the experience, but for some reason you don't seem think proportionality applies to the person who had the experience.

  6. #326
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I'll repeat: having an experience justifies believing one had an experience. The further proposition of "what was experienced actually happened" requires further justification. For something as mundane as a dog on your lawn, justification can be as simple as recognizing that it is a mundane proposition with little cause to doubt it, but the justification is required all the same. Other justification could the regularity of similar experiences (seeing other animals on your lawn, seeing dogs in other settings).
    Because you say so? I mean it looks like you are moving the standard to when a belief is rationally justified to wherever it needs to be to suit your argument.

    I think it's pretty obvious if I tell someone that I saw a dog on my lawn and therefore believe that there was a dog on my lawn and you asked them if my belief that the dog was there is a rationally justified belief, they would agree that my belief is rationally justified.

    You can say that more is required but without supporting that it is so, that assertion fails for lack of support.

    So SUPPORT OR RETRACT that experience an event is not enough to attain a rational justification in a belief that the event actually occurred.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    An IF-THEN statement is used to specify the determining criteria for some result which is conditional & dependent on that criteria.
    You used an IF-THEN statement to say that IF god actually exists and contacts a person, THEN the person would be justified in believing in god.
    But you need to do two steps.

    IF god actually exists and contacts a person, THEN the person would have had the experience of meeting God.

    IF the person has the experience of meeting God THEN the person would be justified in believing in god.

    So my statement does align with my criteria of direct experience. And likewise the statement was not intended to establish criteria but was just forwarded as an example of when one would be justified in believing.

    If you interpreted my statement in any other way, you have misinterpreted what I was saying. If you want to say that it's my fault for not stating my position clearly enough before, go ahead. It doesn't matter and doens't effect the actual issues in the debate and therefore to discuss further is essentially spam.

    But to make it clear, if I made any prior statements that you interpret as contradicting anything I am currently saying, you may consider the earlier statement, as you interpret it, retracted (which does not mean that I retract my interpretation of what I said but if I never repeat the statement or refer to in in future arguments, it's a non-issue anyway).

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I was merely pointing out that the principle of proportionality applies regardless of who's believing the proposition - that is the principle of consistency. You agree with proportionality applying to someone else being told about the experience, but for some reason you don't seem think proportionality applies to the person who had the experience.
    I do think proportionality applies. The more mundane the experience, the less vivid the experience needs to be in order to justify that it actually happened. A quick glimpse of a dog is enough to justify to oneself that they saw a dog and if the quick glimpse was of something highly unusual, they probably aren't justified in thinking that they actually saw the unusual thing (such as something supernatural). But if the supernatural event is incredibly vivid and long-lasting, then the belief that it actually happened is more justifiable.

    So if one has a vivid experience that actually happened of something highly unusual, such as a supernatural event, the position that they are not rationally justified in believing that it actually happened is without support. The argument that they need something more than their experience is not supported.
    Last edited by mican333; May 1st, 2018 at 08:57 AM.

  7. #327
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Because you say so?
    No, because experiences are only evidence that something has been experienced. If one wants to support the further proposition proposition that the source of what was experienced is something supernatural, they need something more than just the experience. This is simple rational skepticism, and you do it every day. Whether you have the awareness sufficient to understand what's going on when you formulate your understanding of reality based on what you experience or whether you take it for granted is irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I think it's pretty obvious if I tell someone that I saw a dog on my lawn and therefore believe that there was a dog on my lawn and you asked them if my belief that the dog was there is a rationally justified belief, they would agree that my belief is rationally justified.
    Like I said, there is already further justification built-in to your claim that since you experienced seeing a dog therefore there was a dog, for example the fact that it's a mundane claim. Again, just because most of the time this happens so automatically and we take it largely for granted doesn't mean that simply experiencing something is justification for saying it happened. Further, if someone were to question your justification for believing there actually was a dog, you would, without a moment's hesitation, be able to produce the justification (mundanity, regularity, etc). When you'd ask them why on earth they'd question it, your reasoning for doing so wouldn't be because they had the nerve to question something that you simply experienced, but because they questioned something mundane, regularly-ocurring, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Because the person would then have directly experienced god's presence and therefore meet the criteria I set up - having a direct experience of something that actually happened qualifies as valid criteria for having a justifiable belief that the thing that one experienced, in this case god, is real.
    Again, since the person has no way of verifying whether what they experienced actually happened, their experience is only evidence that they experienced something. By believing that what they experienced actually happened, they happen to be correct by chance, but that doesn't change the fact that the experience alone doesn't prove anything further than that they've had an experience and therefore their belief in the supernatural source is not rationally justified.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    IF the person has the experience of meeting god THEN the person would be justified in believing they experienced meeting god.
    FTFY

    In any case, the addition of the 2nd step doesn't change anything, you're still saying that if god actually exists and contacts the person, then the person would be justified in believing in god, which is absurd.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    If you interpreted my statement in any other way, you have misinterpreted what I was saying. If you want to say that it's my fault for not stating my position clearly enough before, go ahead. It doesn't matter and doens't effect the actual issues in the debate and therefore to discuss further is essentially spam.

    But to make it clear, if I made any prior statements that you interpret as contradicting anything I am currently saying, you may consider the earlier statement, as you interpret it, retracted (which does not mean that I retract my interpretation of what I said but if I never repeat the statement or refer to in in future arguments, it's a non-issue anyway).
    Since you seem to have back-pedalled from your previous addition of the vivid memory criteria, please answer the questions in order to confirm:
    Question to opponent.
    1. Is your criteria i) god must actually exist and must actually contact the person AND ii) the memory of the person's experience of that contact must be vivid?
    2. If someone has a memory of an experience which is just as vivid as what you describe in your criteria, but the experience is not of something that actually happened, is that person rationally justified in believing that what they experienced actually happened according to your criteria?

    Question to opponent.And since you didn't respond to the challenge directly, could you please confirm whether you retract your assertion that a god actually existing and contacting someone necessarily leads to them having a vivid memory of an experience in which they were contacted by a god?

    I want to make sure we pin down the criteria you're offering.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But if the supernatural event is incredibly vivid and long-lasting, then the belief that it actually happened is more justifiable.
    Your opinion is noted. Since we know that people can have vivid memories of all sorts of experiences that are true, untrue, natural, supernatural, and - importantly - contradictory, can you offer any actual support for why someone having a vivid memory of a supernatural experience implies that it actually happened other than because you say so?
    Last edited by futureboy; May 1st, 2018 at 12:37 PM.

  8. #328
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    No, because experiences are only evidence that something has been experienced.
    Wrong. People generally believe that what they experienced actually occurred so first-hand experience is generally accepted as a valid basis for a rational belief that the event that was experienced typically occurred.

    This it very, very obvious. So unless you are going to mount an argument that people don't generally accept that it's rational to believe that what one experiences is something that actually happened, this should be accepted.

    Now, accepting that does not mean that one cannot posit that there are exceptions to this rule and the event being supernatural in nature is one of those exceptions but then that would have to be supported.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    If one wants to support the further proposition proposition that the source of what was experienced is something supernatural, they need something more than just the experience.
    Yes. If one wants to propose to others that the supernatural experience they had was genuine, they may need to provide something more than their word on the matter.

    But we are discussing whether it's rational for one to believe HIS OWN supernatural experiences and therefore the criteria of what it would take to convince others is not relevant.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Like I said, there is already further justification built-in to your claim that since you experienced seeing a dog therefore there was a dog, for example the fact that it's a mundane claim.
    If you mean it's easier for one to justifiably believe in mundane experiences than incredible experiences, I agree.

    But that does not support that one cannot justifiably believe in first-hand incredible experiences so this does not support that supernatural first-person experiences cannot justifiably lead to belief in the supernatural.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Further, if someone were to question your justification for believing there actually was a dog, you would, without a moment's hesitation, be able to produce the justification (mundanity, regularity, etc).
    I do not see how that qualifies as further justification. If someone accuses me of lying about the dog because they think I'm lying, I have no way to convince them that I saw it.



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, since the person has no way of verifying whether what they experienced actually happened, their experience is only evidence that they experienced something. By believing that what they experienced actually happened, they happen to be correct by chance, but that doesn't change the fact that the experience alone doesn't prove anything further than that they've had an experience and therefore their belief in the supernatural source is not rationally justified.
    SUPPORT OR RETRACT that experiencing an event that actually happened is not enough to attain rational justification in the belief that it happened.



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    In any case, the addition of the 2nd step doesn't change anything, you're still saying that if god actually exists and contacts the person, then the person would be justified in believing in god, which is absurd.
    Your opinion that it's absurd is noted. If you can support that it actually is absurd, please do. Otherwise I will ignore this comment as just opinion.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Since you seem to have back-pedalled from your previous addition of the vivid memory criteria, please answer the questions in order to confirm
    I am not back-pedaling. I never identified any criteria other than experience you have misinterpreted a comment of mine, which was never intended to establish criteria, as establishing criteria. So I can't back-pedal from an argument I never made and arguing over whether what I said somehow logically leads to establishing some other criteria is a complete waste of time.

    If there is confusion on the criteria, all that needs to happen is that I clearly atate the criteria and that will also show that any other criteria is not criteria that I currently forward.

    So here's the criteria:

    "Generally speaking, direct experience of an event gives one a rationally justified belief that what they experienced is something that actually happened"

    That's it. At this point I forward no other criteria.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Your opinion is noted. Since we know that people can have vivid memories of all sorts of experiences that are true, untrue, natural, supernatural, and - importantly - contradictory, can you offer any actual support for why someone having a vivid memory of a supernatural experience implies that it actually happened other than because you say so?
    First off, I said a MORE vivid memory is MORE justifiable and pure logic supports that. The stronger the evidence, the stronger the case.

    Nor do I deny the possibility that a very vivid memory could be false and that goes for mundane memories as well as memories of something incredible.

    My point is that generally speaking, experience is valid justification for belief in what was experienced. And you have neither shown that this is generally not true nor that a uniform exception is warranted for supernatural experiences.

    The notion that if one experiences the supernatural they NEVER have a rational justification to believe what they experienced actually happened is not supported. Just saying they need something more does not qualify as support that they need something more.
    Last edited by mican333; May 1st, 2018 at 04:06 PM.

  9. #329
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Well, there are two different questions here and they need to be addressed separately. First, can one have a justifiably rational belief in God? The answer to that question is "maybe". Since it's possible that God exists and can contact someone, it's possible that someone can believe in God due to a criteria that we generally accept as justifying a belief that what happened actually happened, first hand experience of an actual event.
    To me, the answer to the question "Can someone have a rational belief in God?" is not "maybe." It is "yes."

    It's possible to have a rational belief in any proposition that is possibly true. Maybe this is what Belthazor was getting at. Since the proposition "God exists" (unlike, for instance, the proposition "A four-sided triangle exists) contains no contradiction then it's at least possible that the proposition is true. [This assumes too, of course, that the definition that one uses for the word "God" itself contains no contradictions.]


    The second issue is whether one can justifiably convince others that they had a genuine religious experience. And actually the question to that is likewise "maybe".
    I'm not sure I follow. If you mean "Can one convince others that he or she had a genuine religious experience?" then the answer undoubtedly is yes! It's possible that any of us, even the most rational thinking among us, can be fooled or can become convinced that a false proposition is actually true. Worse, there are some (and you probably know one or two or more of these folks) who become convinced on a somewhat regular basis that false claims are true.

    But I don't think this is what you're talking about because you used the word "justifiably" in your statement. I think you probably mean something more like this: Can one hold a rational belief on the basis of another person's experience as that experience is related to them by the person who had the experience?

    If this is closer to what you mean (and if it's not and I still have it wrong, sorry) then I still believe the answer is yes! Most of what we take to be our rational beliefs are based to a large degree on the testimony of other people. For instance, I have a rational belief that Australia exists even though I've never set foot in the country. I have a rational belief that Abraham Lincoln was our 16th president even though I obviously never personally experienced Honest Abe's presidency.

    In both cases, these two particular rational beliefs I hold are based not only on the testimony of other people but on other factors, as well. For instance (and crucially), both beliefs fit well within the rubric of my own personal experience. I've experienced the succession of American presidents many times in my own lifetime. It's not a real stretch to believe that this process was ongoing since well before my birth. Contemporary newspaper and literary pieces of the period were about or refer to President Abraham Lincoln. I've seen paintings allegedly of Lincoln hanging among portraits of other American presidents hanging in the White House. All this, and more evidence, is in addition to the fact that no recognized expert, scholar, or authority in the field of American History doubts that Abraham Lincoln was the 16th US president.

    Concerning my belief in the existence of Australia . . . not only have I met people who say they have been to or hail from Australia, but also: I've visited foreign countries, even if not Australia itself, so I know from personal experience that other countries outside the US exist; I've seen movies, documentaries, travel videos, etc., allegedly shot in Australia; many years ago, we studied Australia in 6th grade geography class and the evidence for its existence at that time was persuasive; no one that I know or have read seriously questions the existence of Australia.

    To present the other side of this line of reasoning, I am beginning to somewhat question whether I have a rational belief that William Shakespeare existed. By "William Shakespeare" I refer to the man born to commoners in Stratford-Upon-Avon, who was educated there, who moved to London at some point in his 20s, and to whom the writing of some of the greatest works in English literature is attributed. There seems to be a growing body of evidence that suggests someone besides the Bard of the Avon may have created those famous works. Perhaps if more were at stake concerning my belief about the existence of Shakespeare, I'd look more deeply into the matter, but as it is I've no need or interest in doing that.

    Anyway, while it is never solely the testimony of other people that makes a belief rational, IMO there is little doubt that testimony often does play a large role in what we come to accept as a rational belief.

  10. #330
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I have enough rational justification for believing/knowing my loved ones love me simply by observing their expression of love
    How? Purely by outward expression? Are you stating that if someone doesn’t express themselves according to some criteria that meets your sense of knowing love, that their expression (let’s say they speak to you in harsh way) would be irrational?

    Look, I'm sure that there's some ultra meaningful deepity that you're trying to play gotcha with here, but that's just not what this thread is about.
    There’s no gotcha intent here. Your thread is about "the belief in claims which have not been demonstrated to be true is not rationally justified.” And that Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified.

    I bring up love, because love remains a mysterious force in our current reality. It also just happens to be at the heart of the theistic religions (beliefs), especially Christianity. In fact, it’s one of the fundamental tenants.

    Aside from understanding the chemicals in the brain when we love, we’re pretty clueless about the emotion of love, let alone unconditional love. Yet most people can’t seem to live functional and fulfilling lives without the feeling love. How rational is that?

    So when you say: “I have enough rational justification for believing/knowing my loved ones love.” How rational are your feelings when someone that you thought loved you behaves like they don't love you?" Can you still feel and know love is there when someone doens't express themselves in a loving way for years?

    This thread is about theistic beliefs and why they're not rational.
    What theistic beliefs?
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
    Rumi

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    How? Purely by outward expression? Are you stating that if someone doesn’t express themselves according to some criteria that meets your sense of knowing love, that their expression (let’s say they speak to you in harsh way) would be irrational?
    If the "criteria that meets [my] sense of knowing love" is reasonable, then isn't the answer here obviously "yes"?

    Take the opposite case, for instance. If someone never expressed any affection whatsoever for me, then in what sense would it be rational for me to believe that person loves me? Does any reasonable person believe that a stalker who holds the belief that Taylor Swift loves him even though he's never met Taylor Swift, has a rational belief about Taylor Swift's love for him?

    By using the expression "P loves me," am I not suggesting that P shows affection for me in some way? If not, then what do we mean by that expression?

    Even you imply as much yourself when you write: "Can you still feel and know love is there when someone doens't express themselves in a loving way for years?"

    Your very statement here implies that at one time the person whom you believe loves you once DID express affection, tenderness, etc., toward you and that the reason you believe the person loves you now is precisely because of their earlier display of affection.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Wrong. People generally believe that what they experienced actually occurred so first-hand experience is generally accepted as a valid basis for a rational belief that the event that was experienced typically occurred.
    I already explained the justification which takes place and that it's not simply the experience itself which is being accepted as truth. Again, whether you have the awareness sufficient to understand what's going on when you formulate your understanding of reality based on what you experience or whether you take it for granted is irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    So unless you are going to mount an argument that people don't generally accept that it's rational to believe that what one experiences is something that actually happened, this should be accepted.
    I've already mounted and supported that argument. People don't simply take what they experience at face value as true, there's a whole host of reasoning going on behind the scenes which provides the rational justification for the belief. You can try to say that "people generally accept that it's rational to believe the experience", but this ignores the rational justification which takes place, and that it's not simply the experience which is being believed.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Now, accepting that does not mean that one cannot posit that there are exceptions to this rule and the event being supernatural in nature is one of those exceptions but then that would have to be supported.
    No, there are no exceptions. All experiences, even mundane ones, are only evidence of the experience. The further propositions which follow the experience (such as, "what was experienced actually happened") require further justification.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Yes. If one wants to propose to others that the supernatural experience they had was genuine, they may need to provide something more than their word on the matter.
    No, if one wants to support the further proposition regardless of who's being convinced. You already agreed that the principle of proportionality applies irrespective of who is considering the proposition.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But we are discussing whether it's rational for one to believe HIS OWN supernatural experiences and therefore the criteria of what it would take to convince others is not relevant.
    I did not mention any others in my statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    If you mean it's easier for one to justifiably believe in mundane experiences than incredible experiences, I agree.
    No, I mean that the mundane experience has the justification which the supernatural one lacks. Again, having an experience is evidence of having an experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I do not see how that qualifies as further justification. If someone accuses me of lying about the dog because they think I'm lying, I have no way to convince them that I saw it.
    Way to completely misunderstand the point. I never said anything about them accusing you of lying, or even about you convincing them you saw it.
    They question your justification for believing there actually was a dog. They say, "Ok, you say you saw a dog and you believe there was a dog, but how do you justify that belief?"
    This is about the justification which you utilized in accepting the proposition that there was a dog after having the experience. That justification would not be based solely on the experience, which demonstrates that even with mundane experiences, there is further justification required for believing in the further proposition that the experience accurately reflects reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    SUPPORT OR RETRACT that experiencing an event that actually happened is not enough to attain rational justification in the belief that it happened.
    I have. Having an experience is evidence of having an experience, and further justification is required for believing even mundane experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I am not back-pedaling. I never identified any criteria other than experience you have misinterpreted a comment of mine, which was never intended to establish criteria, as establishing criteria. So I can't back-pedal from an argument I never made and arguing over whether what I said somehow logically leads to establishing some other criteria is a complete waste of time.
    When I questioned your statement about the determining criteria being simply that god exists and contacts the person, here was your response:
    "No I did not literally say that. Does the statement you quote identify the determining factor in why one is justified? It does not. There are multiple ramifications for the scenario of God contacting someone and one of them is that the person will have a vivid memory of God contracting them."

    So you clarified your initial statement by pointing out that it does not identify the determining factor, and then you identified a determining factor: "the person will have a vivid memory of God contracting them".

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    "Generally speaking, direct experience of an event gives one a rationally justified belief that what they experienced is something that actually happened" That's it. At this point I forward no other criteria.
    "Generally speaking" doesn't cover supernatural experiences, which was the scope of this specific thread of our discussion. Further, I have supported why experience alone isn't justification in the further propositions associated with the experience (experience is evidence of experience, and there is justification required for even mundane experiences).

    In any case, your statement of general criteria is out-of-scope of this specific thread of our discussion, which was your claim that "IF god actually exists and contacts a person, THEN the person would be justified in believing in god". Please stick to what we were discussing.

    Again, I rebutted your claim that the simple fact that a god existed and contacted the person would provide justification in believing in god by explaining that it would only make the person's belief correct, by chance.

    You then provided clarification of the determining criteria by adding the claim that "IF god exists and contacts a person, THEN the person will have a vivid memory of god contacting them".

    I asked you to support the claim that being contacted by god necessarily leads to someone having a vivid memory of the contact.

    You ignored the multiple requests for clarification and support or retract, instead adding the superfluous step in your original IF-THEN statement, and apparently going back to the simple criteria of god's existence:
    But you need to do two steps.
    IF god actually exists and contacts a person, THEN the person would have had the experience of meeting God.
    IF the person has the experience of meeting God THEN the person would be justified in believing in god.


    Question to opponent.
    So, staying in-scope of our discussion about your initial IF-THEN statement, do you still maintain that someone is justified in believing in god if god actually exists and actually contacts the person? Or is your position now simply that the experience alone is sufficient justification in believing that what was experienced actually happened, regardless of whether it actually happened, regardless of whether the experience is mundane (generally speaking) or supernatural (not generally speaking), and regardless of whether the memory of the experience is vivid?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    First off, I said a MORE vivid memory is MORE justifiable and pure logic supports that. The stronger the evidence, the stronger the case.
    First off, you didn't say "MORE vivid memory is MORE justifiable". You introduced "vivid memory" as a criteria in your claim that if god contacted someone, they'd have a vivid memory of the experience.

    Second, a vivid memory is of evidence of a vivid memory. The stronger the evidence (the more vivid the memory), the more justified you are in claiming that you remember something. Pure logic supports that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Nor do I deny the possibility that a very vivid memory could be false and that goes for mundane memories as well as memories of something incredible.
    So again, since you admit that people can have extremely vivid memories of experiences that are false, can you offer any actual support for why someone having a vivid memory of a supernatural experience implies that it actually happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    My point is that generally speaking, experience is valid justification for belief in what was experienced. And you have neither shown that this is generally not true nor that a uniform exception is warranted for supernatural experiences.
    I have already supported why an experience is nothing more than evidence of an experience, and why there is further justification required the further propositions that follow even mundane experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    The notion that if one experiences the supernatural they NEVER have a rational justification to believe what they experienced actually happened is not supported.
    Nice strawman. Sure, if someone has rational justification for believing what they experienced happened, then their belief is rationally justified. Duh. I've said as much about belief in propositions which follow mundance experiences, but I get why you may have missed that. However, since the experience alone isn't sufficient to justify any propositions further than the fact that one had an experience, if that further justification is lacking, then someone is not justified in believing the propositions which follow the experience.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    SUPPORT OR RETRACT that experiencing an event that actually happened is not enough to attain rational justification in the belief that it happened.
    I experienced that you cursed at me in a thread and broke ODN rules. You should ban yourself.

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

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

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

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

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I already explained the justification which takes place and that it's not simply the experience itself which is being accepted as truth.
    And when you support that instead of just say it, I will give it consideration. Until then, I reject it as unsupported.



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I've already mounted and supported that argument. People don't simply take what they experience at face value as true, there's a whole host of reasoning going on behind the scenes which provides the rational justification for the belief. You can try to say that "people generally accept that it's rational to believe the experience", but this ignores the rational justification which takes place, and that it's not simply the experience which is being believed.
    Since this assertion is repeated throughout your latest post, has been stated in prior threads, and as far as I can tell has yet to be supported, I will challenge you to support it.

    So 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.

    Further arguments of yours that more or less state the same thing will not be responded to in order to reduce redundancy.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    No, if one wants to support the further proposition regardless of who's being convinced. You already agreed that the principle of proportionality applies irrespective of who is considering the proposition.
    One does not have to support to himself what he already believes. And when it comes to proportionality, I agree that that the more incredible the event, the more vivid the experience before one is rationally justified in believing that it occurred. But that does not mean that the burden is never met for incredible events.

    As an example, if a UFO streaks through the sky and someone gets a brief glimpse of it, they may not have good reason to think they saw a real UFO because the experience wasn't vivid. On the other hand, if the UFO landed in front of the person and aliens got out and waved at him, then it's a very vivid event his belief that he actually saw an alien ship is very justified. The same principle applies to the Supernatural. The burden is indeed higher but it's not provably unattainable.

    So it's possible for a person to have a supernatural experience vivid enough to rationally justify a belief in the supernatural.



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    They question your justification for believing there actually was a dog. They say, "Ok, you say you saw a dog and you believe there was a dog, but how do you justify that belief?"
    And I would say that me seeing the dog justifies my belief that the dog was really there. That answer would satisfy practically anyone and they would not ask for further justification before they would accept that my belief in the dog was rationally justified.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    "Generally speaking" doesn't cover supernatural experiences, which was the scope of this specific thread of our discussion.
    Generally speaking does cover everything but allows for exceptions but one must support that the exception is a valid exception. So I allow for the possibility that the supernatural is an exception but if you are going to argue that it actually is, you will need to support that.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    So, staying in-scope of our discussion about your initial IF-THEN statement, do you still maintain that someone is justified in believing in god if god actually exists and actually contacts the person? Or is your position now simply that the experience alone is sufficient justification in believing that what was experienced actually happened, regardless of whether it actually happened, regardless of whether the experience is mundane (generally speaking) or supernatural (not generally speaking), and regardless of whether the memory of the experience is vivid?
    My position is "Generally speaking, direct experience of an event gives one a rationally justified belief that what they experienced is something that actually happened". As you can see, it makes no mention of whether the experience actually happened or not so that is not currently part of my argument so I have no position regarding that either way. Indulging these questions, I think, would drag us away from the argument that I'm actually making in a fashion that would hamper the debate so I choose to not address them.



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Second, a vivid memory is of evidence of a vivid memory. The stronger the evidence (the more vivid the memory), the more justified you are in claiming that you remember something. Pure logic supports that.
    And as memory of an event is indeed valid justification that the event happened (people WILL say that one is justified in believing that there was a dog on the lawn just because one has a memory of it), the more vivid the memory, the better the justification.




    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    So again, since you admit that people can have extremely vivid memories of experiences that are false, can you offer any actual support for why someone having a vivid memory of a supernatural experience implies that it actually happened?
    Because the memory of ANY event implies that it actually happened.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And when you support that instead of just say it, I will give it consideration. Until then, I reject it as unsupported.

    Since this assertion is repeated throughout your latest post, has been stated in prior threads, and as far as I can tell has yet to be supported, I will challenge you to support it.

    So I challenge 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.

    Further arguments of yours that more or less state the same thing will not be responded to in order to reduce redundancy.
    Since you apparently - or are just pretending to for whatever reason - lack the awareness sufficient to understand what's going on when you formulate your understanding of reality based on what you experience, let's look at it another way with the following thought experiment:

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    One does not have to support to himself what he already believes.
    Again you demonstrate a lack of understanding of cognitive function if you think that people simply experience things and automatically and immediately believe them and that nothing else is going on in order for them to reach a belief in what they experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And as memory of an event is indeed valid justification that the event happened (people WILL say that one is justified in believing that there was a dog on the lawn just because one has a memory of it)
    And what do you think people will say if you exchange "dog" for something supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Because the memory of ANY event implies that it actually happened.
    I don't know how you'd support this assertion, but feel free to do so or retract it.



    BTW, thank you for confirming that you retract the claim that a god actually existing and contacting a person would necessarily justify their belief in a god, and the claim that actual contact from god would necessarily lead to someone having a vidid memory of the experience. These were quite confusing (not sure why you'd even make them), and your avoidance of directly answering the questions I asked for you to clarify was making it hard to continue the discussion with you.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Since you apparently - or are just pretending to for whatever reason - lack the awareness sufficient to understand what's going on when you formulate your understanding of reality based on what you experience, let's look at it another way with the following thought experiment:

    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."
    No, I would answer that I fail to see the relevance to whether I am justified in thinking that the dog actually was there because I saw it. Even if the dog doesn't exist (for example, it was an elaborate hoax made by using holograms or a really good disguise and I was completely fooled), I am still justified in thinking that I saw a dog.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again you demonstrate a lack of understanding of cognitive function if you think that people simply experience things and automatically and immediately believe them and that nothing else is going on in order for them to reach a belief in what they experience.
    And I asked 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.

    Just saying that one is ignorant if they think otherwise falls far short of that burden. Per the rules, you cannot repeat your assertion that more than memory is required without supporting that claim.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    And what do you think people will say if you exchange "dog" for something supernatural?
    It depends on the person and their bias towards the supernatural. I can guarantee you that it won't be uniform rejection. Most people are religious on some level and therefore won't automatically think "BS" to any and all religious or supernatural claims.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I don't know how you'd support this assertion, but feel free to do so or retract it.
    It's easy to support. People's perception of reality is based in a large part on what they experience. Therefore experiences of an event strongly implies that the event actually happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    BTW, thank you for confirming that you retract the claim that a god actually existing and contacting a person would necessarily justify their belief in a god, and the claim that actual contact from god would necessarily lead to someone having a vidid memory of the experience. These were quite confusing (not sure why you'd even make them), and your avoidance of directly answering the questions I asked for you to clarify was making it hard to continue the discussion with you.
    Since I was not establishing criteria from that earlier statement nor continuing to forward it in the debate, you could have easily continued the discussion by just ignoring it instead of wasting time asking questions about it. When I X is my criteria, then you don't need to concern yourself with the notion that Y is also my criteria.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    No, I would answer that I fail to see the relevance to whether I am justified in thinking that the dog actually was there because I saw it. Even if the dog doesn't exist (for example, it was an elaborate hoax made by using holograms or a really good disguise and I was completely fooled), I am still justified in thinking that I saw a dog.
    Please read the thought experiment carefully - you are not being asked to justify your belief "that the dog actually was there because I saw it".

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    It depends on the person and their bias towards the supernatural. I can guarantee you that it won't be uniform rejection. Most people are religious on some level and therefore won't automatically think "BS" to any and all religious or supernatural claims.
    And if it's something supernatural that doesn't align with any existing supernatural claims, and contradictory to those claims?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    People's perception of reality is based in a large part on what they experience.
    "perception of reality" ≠ "reality" or "the event actually happened". You've basically just stated a tautology here, since "experience" and "perception of reality" are basically one and the same. Please support your claim that "memory of ANY event implies that it actually happened".

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Since I was not establishing criteria from that earlier statement nor continuing to forward it in the debate, you could have easily continued the discussion by just ignoring it instead of wasting time asking questions about it. When I X is my criteria, then you don't need to concern yourself with the notion that Y is also my criteria.
    As I already explained, you changed the scope of what was being discussed when presenting your determining criteria, which is why I asked the questions for clarification. In any case, complaining that I didn't simply continue the discussion instead of asking questions is nothing more than complaining, and as you often like to put it, this is the debate network, not the complaining network. I'm not even sure why you'd waste time responding to my expressing thanks that you finally clarified the questions you had been avoiding.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    simple objections as "outside our physical/temporal dimensions" is not a coherent concept
    I’ve seen you make this statement on a half dozen occasions in this this thread, but you never explain why it is incoherent. Why does something not being contained within a specific set of spatial and temporal dimensions make it incoherent?

    Unless you actually address the question, your point simply states that you don’t understand the concept, not that it is incoherent. Now there well could be a defense of that concept being incoherent, but it hasn’t been presented here.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    If you'd instead like to move on to the other arguments you think are "inescapable the deeper they are delved into" (Moral & Fine Tuning), we could do that, otherwise, I'll leave it at that.
    I’d be happy to move on. Let’s start with the Fine Tuning argument. Since all of our discussions start (and usually end) with you expressing that you don’t know what a term in common usage means, which term of the argument would you like a formal definition of first?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    I'd recommend that in the future when you are trying to convince a non-theist of KCA, you stick to a single definition.
    I’ve never had someone express such concern over a term widely understood before. But given this response I’m assuming this was another “tldr” section for you? Because I offered multiple supports doesn’t mean I offered a large set of definitions.

    To be clear, I am relying on; “the entirety of a connected spacetime manifold.”


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    This is a shifting of the burden of proof. You are the one claiming that the principle of causation can apply outside the universe and absent the existence of the universe. Please provide support for this claim.
    There appears to be some confusion about this claim. My initial statement was a defense of causality as a presupposition of physics. IE it is a principle that exists independently of physical laws and is, indeed, a requirement for physical laws to exist. I supported this premise with several links to academic sites related to physics and philosophy on the subject.

    Its status as an underlying presupposition for physics means it cannot, by definition, be limited to the confines of what is governed by our laws of physics. It would be like saying that the laws of gravity are confined to engineering. Engineering relies on the laws of gravity, gravity isn’t bound by engineering.

    This is also not an uncommon or unique status. It shares this status with mathematics and other principles like coherence for example.

    Given that definition and evidence, I would put forward that I have supported the claim that causality governs both premises of this argument.

    Now, you then objected to this by saying that causality was, in fact, bound to the physical dimensions of this universe. What I’m asking you to do is defend your rebuttal. If you are not maintaining that as a rebuttal (as you seem to imply) then the original argument I put forward stands and we can rely on causality as an applicable principle in this analysis.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    I'm not sure you've exressed yourself clearly here. My statement was: Again, "outside our physical/temporal dimensions" isn't even a coherent concept.
    Your response: it means, in this context, that something is contained within our physical and temporal dimensions
    I apologize for the confusion. I missed a negative in there. Restated:

    It would seem intuitively obvious that it means, in this context, that something is not contained within our physical and temporal dimensions.

    For example, the physical constants of our universe are not generally held by physicists to be bound to our universe. They aren’t determined by it, nor governed within it.https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.06944

    It would also generally make sense when used in the context of a multiverse, even if that multiverse does not contain physical or temporal dimensions. https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.08631

    Nor do I think Neil Turok is “incoherent” when he is describing either a process, a constant, or a function as causally before or outside the universe. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1612.02792.pdf, https://arxiv.org/pdf/1312.1772.pdf, https://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0404480.pdf


    Given that clarification, do you have further objections to its coherence? If so, can you detail why it isn’t coherent?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    I'm saying that the actual coming into existence has never been observed, and therefore virtual particles are not an actual example of coming into existence.
    I fully understood your point. I am pointing out that your point is invalid. If we were to accept it, then we would also need to reject the existence of quarks, photons, gravity, etc.

    This is because you are rejecting inferential observation, a basic principle of all physical sciences (and, in reality of all physical sense, you aren’t really “seeing” a letter, you are interacting with photons).

    The status of those things as “coming into existence” is irrelevant because I wasn’t claiming that they did. I was addressing your wholesale dismissal of inferential observation.

    Given the high intellectual price for rejecting that concept, we can dismiss your objection and realize that we have, in fact, observed virtual particles coming into existence via their effects on measurements within controlled experiments, as detailed in earlier posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Again, changes in existing matter/energy within and existing universe are not examples of things beginning to exist.
    Well, A, remember we aren’t talking about matter/energy changing. That was what you meant when you said: “ if we accepted virtual particles as changing from demonstrably and actually not-existing to demonstrably and actually existing…” We are talking about the implications if we accept basic inferential observation and the conclusions of actual particle physicists.

    And B, you keep claiming that there is a material difference that precludes all examples from counting, but you haven’t detailed what that difference is and why it matters. Until you do that, this is simply a “nu-uh” response.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Essentially you're saying that, in the thought experiment I forwarded, the 5th would still exist in some way even after all the matter that was arranged in representations of it was rearranged to no longer represent it.
    No, if you had read through my response in total, you would notice that I said quite the opposite. What matters to this specific section of my response was the question, if I destroy a manuscript does the 5th cease to exist? Or if I copy it to another piece of paper and destroy the original does it cease to exist? Of course not. Even though the matter is different, we recognize the thing (the 5th in this case) as still existing. Likewise, future doesn’t cease to exist despite the fact that the matter in his body changes constantly. There is an entity we recognize despite the matter change.

    Thus your 1:1 convergence of identity and matter construct doesn’t hold up.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    The mind is an emergent property of a physical brain, so there's no issue with using either term. Changes in a mind can be expressed as changes in matter/energy in the brain.
    Good luck proving that. Monism (what you’ve stated here) is certainly one area that some people hold to. It has its own issues and gaps.

    Regardless, your last statement is irrelevant to demonstrating monism. Changes in matter can be expresses as changes in mathematical formulas. It doesn’t mean they are the same thing. For that matter, changes in matter can be expressed as changes in physical models that are demonstrably wrong. Because something can be expressed as something else is irrelevant to whether they are, in reality, the same thing.

    Likewise, as noted above, changes in matter and energy can occur with no change in a mind. That happens, in fact, to all of us every day. Neurons die and new ones are generated, matter switches in and out of molecules within brain cells. All of those occur with no change in the mind, so it is unwarranted to assume a 1:1 nature as you seem to do here.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Words don't have intrinsic meaning, they have usages. The same goes for collections of electrons representing a word or idea. The electrons may be different, but as long as they are arranged in a representation of what is recognizable by both parties, communication takes place.
    Ahh, so you agree that there is a meaning absent the specific electrons right? That I can replace one electron with another and the meaning doesn’t change.

    We can even take this a bit further. If we both agreed the word “cow” was now to be used to refer to an aix sponsa, nothing about that affects the physical reality of either aix sponsa or Bos primigenius, right? IE there is an objective reality beyond the physical characters?

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    The arrangement is the information. The information is not created.
    Even if we were to hold to this kind of self-contradictory materialism, your fundamental objection to beginning to exist still fails. Even if we accept that the arrangement is the information, then the act of arranging is the act of creating the information, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    No, again, words don't have intrinsic meaning, they have usages. The same goes for notes and arrangements of notes/sound. If someone plays an arrangement of sound that others recognize as the arrangement they previously experienced as the 5th, then they will identify this new arrangement as also being a representation of the 5th.
    Correct. A representation that is independent of any specific matter/energy combo. IE it is the pattern that is the symphony, not the material it is dictated on.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    If nobody understood reality enough to understand that 1+1=2, it would still be possible for representations of 1+1=2 to exist, for example a tree growing in a field, and then another tree grew next to it would be two trees growing in a field.
    Yes, exactly! All those different representations and arrangements are still referencing the same true relationship. The existence, or non-existence, of a particular matter set and agreed to pattern is irrelevant to the truth value of that relationship.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Here is the final word on said discussion from Vilenkin via Krauss' Facebook page…
    Even if we presuppose that Krauss’ statement here speaks for Prof. Vilenkin (and given Krauss’ reputation since this incident and the fact that Vilenkin hasn’t worked with him but has worked with Craig since then I’m not sure that is a safe assumption), it doesn’t disagree with anything Craig really said.

    We need to go back to what Prof. Krauss’ initial argument was;

    1) Nothing in science is certain.
    2) WLC claims it is certain.
    3) We could get around the BVG Theorem.

    1 is an obvious fact. Science, as an inductive reasoning system, cannot be certain by definition. That is why 2 is so patently false (as Prof. Vilenkin points out in his personal response to Dr. Craig, when he says that Prof. Krauss misrepresented Craig’s view.) In fact, if you look back at the original debate at the 52:18 mark you’ll see Craig take Krauss to task for implying that we are discussing certainty and Krauss backs off and agrees.

    Nothing in the FB post relates at all to 1 and 2. So what about 3?

    Prof. Krauss’ claim is that we can get around the BVG theorem by adopting a non-classical model of spacetime at the earliest stages of the universe. He claims that this is reasonable via quantum gravity. He produces Vilenkin’s email to support that claim. He says the removed sections are only “technical” details, which we should all be able to agree isn’t the case. Those weren’t technical model details, they were Vilenkin’s summary of the likelihood of Krauss’ escape to be valid.

    Remember, for Krauss to be right, we need more than just a quantum theory of gravity. We need one that specifically overturns Relativity. The single most confirmed prediction set in all of modern physics. Vilenkin agrees that that is certainly possible (as does Craig and anyone who understands what science is), but is it likely? Vilenkin says no. And the “joint statement” on FB doesn’t address that at all. It wasn’t the edited version that distorted the content, it was Krauss’ statements in the debate that distorted the content. It was Krauss claiming that the BVG theorem is essentially dismissible until we get a theory of quantum gravity that was distorting, and that wasn’t part of the email edit, but part of Krauss’ monologue.

    So we are left with a defense that doesn’t address the actual debate and Prof. Vilenkin’s statement: “I think you represented what I wrote about the BGV theorem in my papers and to you personally very accurately.”


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    And FYI, I haven't seen debunkingwlc.com before…
    Interesting. Your argument and objections so closely mirror those on their site that it seemed an obvious reference point. Perhaps random parts could fall together in a bag to form a watch after all.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Again, all you've done provide examples of changes in existing matter/energy within an existing universe that are often referred to as "come into being". And again, the fact that these changes follow the cause-effect principle that has been observed within the existing universe is irrelevant, because they're a different process than what you're attempting to describe in KCA.
    Hmm, again this doesn’t seem to address the actual point at all.

    Your initial objection was that “come into being” was “ambiguous,” despite two formal and rigorous definitions and one more lay definition.

    I pressed you to define how it was ambiguous. To which you replied in post 290: “It's the variety of ways in which "come into being" could be applied which is the issue.”

    If we are to hold that the fact that there are a “variety of ways” something could come into being is relevant to this thread, it would need to be that it undermines the premise under discussion. To whit, “all things that begin to exist have a cause.”

    If the entire set of the “variety of ways” require causes, the fact that there are a variety of ways isn’t a relevant rebuttal to the premise.

    Take for example the idea that there are a variety of ways that someone can become wet. They could have a liquid poured on them, they could jump into a liquid, etc. But none of the different ways someone becomes wet undermines the fact that “to become wet you must come into contact with liquid.”

    Every single method for becoming wet requires that one come into contact with liquid. Thus, highlighting the myriad of ways one can do that is completely irrelevant to whether or not contact with liquid is required to become wet.


    Likewise, highlighting there are a variety of ways that something can come into existence, but unless those variety of ways affect the need for causation, it isn’t a relevant point.

    So, Question to opponent. do any of the ways that something can come into existence not require causality? If not, then we can dismiss this particular objection, right?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    So again, causal set theory applies to spacetime.
    I’m assuming you don’t know what a spacetime (lowercase with no definite or possessive pronouns) means then? Nor did you actually read the papers?

    A spacetime is simply a model of physical and/or temporal dimensions. It isn’t necessarily actualized (IE it doesn’t have to be our universe). It can be hypothetical, it can even contradict our laws of physics if stated outright. “A spacetime is a 4-dim collection of points with additional structure.” http://faculty.poly.edu/~jbain/space....Spacetime.pdf

    Remember, that was the entire point Prof. Krauss was making above, that in models where we use a non-classical spacetime, BVG doesn’t apply. The question is, is our universe correctly modeled by a classical or non-classical spacetime?

    You can see this definition all over the place in physics. Notice that we are modeling the function of the dirac equation in a specific, not actualized set of spacetimes here: https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/...rnalCode=ijmpd

    Or, the discussion of how anti-de Sitter spacetimes (IE explicitly spacetimes that violate our observed data) still follow certain physical laws: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1801.02589.pdf

    We can even see causal set theory applied to two-dimensional spacetimes here: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1611.10281.pdf
    Which I think even you will agree are not models for this universe.


    But, more importantly, I think you’ve missed the original point of your objection. Your objection was that causal set theory takes place within time. IE that it requires time in order to make sense. Even your paper states the opposite. Rather, causal set theory is the underlying theory of how time exists (more accurately how order exists) within different spacetimes.

    Causal set theory doesn’t rely on time, time relies on causal set theory.

    If causal sets comprise the true structure of spacetime they must produce a four-dimensional Lorentzian manifold in macroscopic limits (such as a large number of causal set elements).
    (From your paper)

    In other words, it extracts the causal structure that it takes to be essential for relativistic spacetimes, posits it as fundamental, imposes discreteness, and tries to establish that these spacetimes generically arise from the resulting structures in the continuum limit.
    http://jamesowenweatherall.com/wp-co...alSets_v12.pdf

    Furthermore, the topology of ‘spatial’ antichains should cohere with, and in fact give rise to, the nearness relations as we find them in spatial slices of the emerging relativistic spacetime.
    Ibid

    Notice here both the use of multiple spacetime models to explore the topic and the fact that causal sets are the underpinning of tensed reality. http://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/impe...ssertation.pdf
    In that paper take note of causal space discussion for example, which demonstrates causal set theory being applied to space only manifolds, absent any time.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Same problem here: phrases like "earlier than it" make no sense absent the existence of time.
    Clearly we can agree that time is past finite if there are a finite number of seconds (or hours, or milliseconds, or years or whatever) prior to this second/hour/year, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Again, it would depend on how you are defining "universe", which I've repeatedly asked you to clarify.
    Given the definition I have provided above, are you still objecting to the definition of exist: "Have objective reality or being" by arguing that all things we identify as having objective reality are contained within our universe. To whit; "Everything which we identify as having objective reality or being, has it within an already-existing universe."

    If so, can you support that?
    If not, then it appears we agree on the definition of exist, and this can move forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Sure, I completely understand why Craig seems to think this demonstrates that the universe began to exist, but it simply doesn't meet the rigorous standards required by mainstream cosmology.
    Hmm, you seem to have dodged this challenge. Are you retracting this claim?

    Challenge to support a claim. 1) Please support or retract that Craig's definition "assum[es] the existence of time before it existed."

    Challenge to support a claim. 2) Please support or retract that Craig's definition "doesn't meet the rigorous standards required by mainstream cosmology."

    I'm assuming that you also would argue that Prof. Smith's definition "doesn't meet the rigorous standards required by mainstream cosmology" as well? If not, please support or retract that assertion as well. [Time begins to exist if and only if for any arbitrarily designated, non-zero, finite interval of time, there are only a finite number of equal intervals earlier than it; or, alternatively, time begins to exist if and only if for some non-zero, finite temporal interval there is no equal interval earlier than it.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Ok then, based on your definitions, what was there before the universe existed?
    I just want to be clear that we have an accepted definition for the universe beginning to exist? Or at least, that you are not putting forward a specific objection to any of the three offered definitions? (Lay Definition, Formal Logical Definition, Formal Physics Definition).

    Given that, I think the answer to your specific question is clear in the original post I linked about this argument; a cause sufficient to warrant the effect we are discussing.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    I checked, and could not find any serious/reputable cosmologists asserting that the universe actually began to exist.
    This does not constitute valid support. Your research skills and understanding of physics does not represent the consensus opinion in physics. Unless you can offer something a bit more concrete, you’ll need to retract this claim: “no serious/reputable cosmologists assert that the universe actually began to exist.” Challenge to support a claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Really, this would all be made a lot simpler if you'd simply provide the clarification which has repeatedly been requested and we can go from there: Everything which we identify as having objective reality or being, has it within an already-existing
    I’d be happy to…once you provide support that the latter statement you’ve made is true. Challenge to support a claim.

    Likewise, given that I’ve provided a technical definition above, what ambiguity remains in any of the three definitions offered above?





    Quote Originally Posted by future
    It appears as though you're saying that virtual particles are not changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe.
    Yes I am saying they are not changes in existing matter and energy.

    No, I am not claiming they don’t happen within our universe, I’ve never claimed that, and specifically challenged you to explain why it is relevant.

    And your two links don’t disagree with me. A fluctuation in the quantum field is not a change in existing matter or energy.



    Prof. Strassler is absolutely correct that most virtual particles exist as fluctuations in the background quantum “foam” of the universe. But that foam isn’t existing matter or energy (https://science.nasa.gov/science-new...ec_quantumfoam). Nor does the process of creating them involve transitioning existing matter or energy (see link).

    What Prof. Strassler is pointing out is that these fundamental particles exist as waves…like all fundamental particles (https://www.livescience.com/55833-wh...particles.html). Electrons, photons, etc. are all waves when in an indeterminate state. This is the basis for quantum mechanics in part. He is noting that these particles begin to exist based on probability fluctuations in the underlying fabric of spacetime. That is the basis, for example, of Quantum Tunneling, which was referenced earlier (https://www.azoquantum.com/article.aspx?ArticleId=12)

    That was discussed in the original link I offered about virtual particles from Prof. Gordon Kane, director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, when he says:

    Quantum mechanics allows, and indeed requires, temporary violations of conservation of energy,

    What Prof. Strassler, and Prof. Kane are saying is that the total energy of the universe is increased for a short period as part of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Dr. Andreachi does a good job of explaining it here (https://io9.gizmodo.com/5731463/are-...icles-for-real) for Gizmodo:

    Those of you familiar with The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle probably recall that it has something to do with not being able to measure the position and momentum of a particle to better than a particular combined uncertainty. Measure the position well, and you'll be very uncertain about the momentum, and vice-versa.

    But there's another part to the Uncertainty Principle, and one that makes a mockery of the conservation of energy: You can create particles for a short while, but the more massive they are, the shorter they'll last….

    Think of it like the fractions of pennies in Superman III or Office Space. The roundoff error is so small that nobody would notice, and it's all supposed to cancel out in the end. So on the whole, energy conservation will work out eventually, after microscopic fractions of a second.

    Even in the so-called vacuum, virtual particles pop into and out of existence all the time, but they do so in pairs. At this very moment and all around you, electrons and their anti-particles, positrons are being created and, about a billion-trillionth of a second annihilated again. The same is true (with even shorter lifetimes) for virtually every other possible set of particle/anti-particle pairs.

    A variant of this may also have happened in the very early universe. In the tiny fraction of a second after the big bang, particles pairs were created constantly. But during the period of "Inflation" (which I'd love to talk about in a future column, if only somebody would ask), the universe exploded in size, and particles which were initially near one another quickly became separated by such huge distances that they couldn't possibly recombine.


    Thus we can see that virtual particles are not transformations of energy and matter, they are creations of it, if for just an incredibly brief period. Regardless, it certainly fits the definitions offered. Begins to exist means "Expressing the result of a process or action where the object comes into being at a certain time or place, thus having an objective reality or being."

    Or

    Begins to exist: X can be said to "begin to exist" if and only if it meets the following three criteria at t.

    a) x exists at t (and the actual world includes no state of affairs in which x exists timelessly).
    b) t is either the first time at which x exists or is separated from any earlier t at which x existed by an interval in which x does not exist.
    c) x's existing at t is a tensed fact.


    Quote Originally Posted by Future
    No, the chair is an example of changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe….
    If one defines "chair" as something made by a carpenter that supports your weight on legs when you sit on it", then the carpenter could make something he considers to be an "incomplete chair" with only 3 legs (not "chair") that could still be called a chair by someone adhering to that definition.
    And then the carpenter adds the 4th leg. Did two chairs begin to exist? Did the first representation of "chair" cease to exist and then another began to exist?
    To be clear, you are objecting and saying that the chair example does not meet criteria b of the definition of begins to exist. Specifically, you are saying that t is not the first moment the chair began to exist, but that it already existed. Or, that two people could have different definitions for the identity thus it is “vague” in your view.

    This objection fails because it presupposes that because people might not share a definition, an object’s identity doesn’t exist. This is patently false because you’ve committed an equivocation fallacy (You’ve specifically conflated an indefinite article with a definite article. Ie a chair and this chair). I call it this chair, someone in Spain calls it este silla. Because we use two different words does not mean we aren’t referring to the same object.

    Likewise, we might define the category of things that constitute a chair differently, but that is completely irrelevant as to the fact that the identity of the object changed when the carpenter added the fourth leg. It affects what categorization you and I might put it in respectively, but it has nothing to do with whether or not a separate object with a different identity began to exist when the carpenter added the fourth leg.

    To highlight why your thought experiment fails, let’s apply the exact same logic to human beings. You and I almost certainly disagree on when a human being begins. Conception, birth, sentience, whatever. Let’s say you adopt birth, I adopt conception. We differ in our categorization of what objects are included in the criteria of humans.

    Does that mean that future never began to exist? No of course not. Now we might disagree on exactly which t was your first t, the first moment you existed, but that doesn’t affect that there is, in fact, a moment (t) which you did not exist prior to.




    Quote Originally Posted by future
    A chair did not begin to exist - there was something that was called "pile of wood" which was existing matter/energy, and it was changed within an existing universe into something that was then called "chair".
    So you are claiming that, ontologically, a pile of wood and a chair are the same thing? They share the same identity?

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Again, you have not provided any examples of something that "begins to exist" - only examples of changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe.
    Future, I want to highlight that you don’t have the option of just ignoring a challenge. You must either support it or retract it. You need to support or retract Challenge to support a claim. that this definition is incoherent when used in the following sentences as you claim.

    1) All things that begin to exist have a cause.
    2) The universe began to exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    LOL, I don't think I'm having a hard time pointing out why your examples of changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe don't serve as examples of the kind of "begin to exist" you need to support for the KCA. In any case, a quick googling of "Big Bang Model" easily provides the following results.
    Hopefully you can understand that a simple google search is not a good review for a highly technical field right? And if you had taken more than the first result you would have noticed that the vast, vast majority of findings reference the big bang theory, not the big bang model. Google was being kind and including more accurate results for the lay person’s reference name. You’ll notice that this is especially true for the more technical links (https://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/bb_theory.html). And if you search an actual archive of physics papers, you notice that every single use refers to a class of theories or models, not a specific model: https://arxiv.org/search/?query=%22B...&source=header
    Look at your second link, which by the way is two philosophers rather than physicists, “Big Bang cosmology that holds there to be a point singularity at some past time…” We are talking about Big Bang cosmology, ie a field of study, not a model. There is no “big bang model” it is a category of models that describe an initial low entropy state within an inflationary spacetime.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    If you truly cared about the status of cosmology, you'd leave the scientisting to the scientists
    I’m a bit confused by this response. Do you mean if I was clearly interested in the status of cosmology I would not be quoting cosmologists? That seems an odd position. So far, all I’ve offered is the assessment of actual scientists referring to their particular field.

    It isn’t clear at all what your objections are aside from “I don’t understand” related to definitions.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Actually, you made up the debunkingwlc part - complete with a made-up URL to nowhere
    You realize I didn’t offer a url, right? I simply referenced the site. The parallels between your objections and theirs could be coincidence, sure. And a watch could self-assemble in a junkyard. It is in the realm of possibility, though not probability.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    No, but nice strawman.
    Well, if that isn’t the distinction you are drawing here, the statement you made, “having a beginning is not the same as beginning to exist” are identical statements. Your distinction is related to the difference between identity and matter. Which is a red herring (except in the case of virtual particles, where it is just wrong). The chair begins to exist. It’s wood does not, sure. But that isn’t the claim. In order for your objection to hold, you have to adopt a reductionist viewpoint that identity does not exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Please leave the scientisting to the scientists.
    If that means willingly invoking magic, no thanks. But I suspect it is just a veiled attempt to not address the point. You have to adopt one of those two positions, there isn’t a mystical third path for you here.


    1) When we discuss whether causation is internal to the universe or independent we have two possible stances to hold.

    a) Causation is independent of our universe. This is my position and was defended earlier in thread and in the thread I linked to.
    b) Causation is dependent on our universe. The consequence of this assertion is that we can invoke universe creation absent any necessary cause. IE the universe can spontaneously create. It is hard (actually impossible) to reconcile that view with a past finite universe like ours. If the universe can just magically jump into existence, it should have always and in all states existed. It also invokes essentially magic (or as some physicists term it worse than magic) to create the universe. We don’t need an explanation, just abracadabra..universe! That position is impossible to reconcile with anything like scientific method of thought.

    Given these problems, a becomes the far more probable view. And, to paraphrase Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; “when you remove all the impossible options, whatever is left, no matter how odd, must be correct.”


    2) You also seem to tie causation to time. Perhaps I misunderstood you, but on several occasions you’ve argued that causation requires or presupposes temporal dimensions. This however, isn’t the case. If we were to imagine a universe that is only spatial dimension, with no time present, just eternally existing. There is nothing contradictory about an object existing in that universe dependent on another object. IE if object 2 exists, object 1 must exist. For example, in that universe if a light is on, the room is not dark. That is a causally dependent relationship that is irrelevant of time.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  19. #339
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I’d be happy to move on. Let’s start with the Fine Tuning argument. Since all of our discussions start (and usually end) with you expressing that you don’t know what a term in common usage means, which term of the argument would you like a formal definition of first?
    Snide misrepresentations of my position aside, you'd have to first state the argument in order for the terms to be brought into the discussion.



    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    How? Purely by outward expression?
    Again, by observing their expression of their love towards me, I am able to believe/know that they love me. There are also actions which, while not directed at me, could indirectly indicate that they love me. Or, it could be something as simple as them sincerely telling me that they love me.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Are you stating that if someone doesn’t express themselves according to some criteria that meets your sense of knowing love, that their expression (let’s say they speak to you in harsh way) would be irrational?
    Depending on the situation, someone speaking harshly to me could very well be an expression of their love towards me. I'm not sure what you're getting at, so it's best if you stated it out-right.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I bring up love, because love remains a mysterious force in our current reality. It also just happens to be at the heart of the theistic religions (beliefs), especially Christianity. In fact, it’s one of the fundamental tenants.
    Just because you claim love is a fundamental tenet of a religion doesn't change the fact that it's irrelevant to this thread, which is about how belief in theistic claims which haven't met their burden of proof is irrational.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Aside from understanding the chemicals in the brain when we love, we’re pretty clueless about the emotion of love, let alone unconditional love.
    We are clueless indeed, but that could also be because we're making it into a bigger thing than it actually might be. It might be simply chemicals in the brain and nothing more, and our confusion and emotions are all just results of that chemical reaction. I'm not even sure there's such a thing as "unconditional love" - this could just be another deepity extrapolation made by humans who are under the influence of chemicals.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Yet most people can’t seem to live functional and fulfilling lives without the feeling love. How rational is that?
    And the irrelevant gotcha attempt rears its ugly head - I knew it would, eventually. Again, any statements you make about love are irrelevant to this thread unless they're specifically about theistic claims/beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    What theistic beliefs?
    It could be anything from a simple theistic belief such as the divinity of Jesus, to something more complex like what happens in the afterlife. It's really up to you - if you think that you have rational justification for a theistic belief you hold, please post it.

  20. #340
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Please read the thought experiment carefully - you are not being asked to justify your belief "that the dog actually was there because I saw it".
    And I did justify it, just not the way that you are asking me to. While I agree that I must support my own arguments, there are multiple ways to do it and I did it in a fashion other than the one you apparently want me to. But support is support.

    If you want to use your thought experiment to challenge my support, it is up to you to do that with an argument regarding it.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    And if it's something supernatural that doesn't align with any existing supernatural claims, and contradictory to those claims?
    I'm not sure where you are going with this but it's up to you to make your own arguments if you want to challenge my assertions. Again, the issue is whether one is justified in believing something that HE HIMSELF sees and what other people might think of his beliefs is kind of irrelevant.

    So as far as I can tell, your question is taking the debate off-topic and therefore is likely spam and I'm not going to answer because of that. If you actually have an on-topic point regarding your question, you can state your point.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    "perception of reality" ≠ "reality" or "the event actually happened". You've basically just stated a tautology here, since "experience" and "perception of reality" are basically one and the same. Please support your claim that "memory of ANY event implies that it actually happened".
    No, they are not one and the same. The experience is seeing the dog. The perception of reality is the belief that in reality there was a dog on the lawn.

    As people generally accept that what they remember happening is what happened, the memory of any event implies that it actually happened. There is my support.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    As I already explained, you changed the scope of what was being discussed when presenting your determining criteria, which is why I asked the questions for clarification.
    You mistook a statement that wasn't establishing criteria for doing so so I had to explain what the criteria actually was so as far as I could tell there was no need for further questions regarding criteria at that point.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    In any case, complaining that I didn't simply continue the discussion instead of asking questions is nothing more than complaining, and as you often like to put it, this is the debate network, not the complaining network. I'm not even sure why you'd waste time responding to my expressing thanks that you finally clarified the questions you had been avoiding.
    But then I wasn't complaining. I'm just pointing out that you already had all of the information you needed for clarification and therefore there was no need to ask more questions.
    Last edited by mican333; May 3rd, 2018 at 11:31 AM.

 

 
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