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Author Topic:   Hello everyone
Member (Idle past 162 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 45 of 380 (712416)
12-03-2013 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by scienceishonesty
12-02-2013 11:41 PM

Thanks for the story
scienceishonesty writes:
Hi everyone!
Hi scienceishonesty!
I just wanted to introduce myself and also mention that I used to debate here years ago under a different alias and had quite a bit of fun "disproving" people.
If you'd like, the admins have the ability to merge your current account with this new one. All old posts would change to this new name, and if you hover over your new name it will list both names. But maybe you'd like to keep them separate... sort of a visual indication of the paradigm shift. (I'm not sure how administration feels about that... but I'm sure they'll contact you if there's any issue to worry about).
HONESTY, admitting that I wasn't truly certain apart from wants or desires that the God I had in my mind existed for sure.
It's always a weight off the shoulders to simply be honest and deal with reality. It just wipes away the needless complications and gets down to the simple root issues.
I used to believe that the reason people were evolutionists was because they didn't want to "admit" that there's a God so that they don't have to be "accountable".
You may mean "atheists" here instead of "evolutionists." And no, atheists aren't trying to not-be-accountable. They are accountable to the people they deal with. And the people they deal with are much more difficult to please or even just appease than a God who only whispers in your mind.
The evidence for evolution may be imperfect but it's there and it's powerful and it is consistent with the evidence.
That's the power of science.
If it's ever not-consistent with the evidence... another scientist will point it out and update the theory so that it actually is consistent. And they are rewarded for doing this sort of thing (respect from their peers... grant money... nobel prizes).
Will it ever "get the final answer?" -Who knows? Maybe. Maybe not.
Will it always improve? -Absolutely.
Religion asserts certain ideas as true and those beliefs outrank anything else in life, including any inconvenient scientific discoveries.
This is a very good example of being honest with yourself and your ideas.
The next step is to also allow other people to be honest with their ideas.
This statement may certainly be valid for the way you understand religion.
But other people can quite easily understand religion in a different way...
Unless you can make a case (with evidence) showing how religion can/should only be understood the way you understand it?
Accepting the truth is not fun. I would like nothing more than to know for sure that there is some wonderful paradise waiting for me after I die.
For me, I found solace in moving my faith from "God"... an entity that represented ideals like love and hope and honesty... to putting my faith in those actual ideals... love and hope and honesty.
We know love and hope and honesty exist, "God" was just an anthropomorphized being that embodied those ideals.
Therefore, it's just as powerful to believe/trust in the ideals themselves. Sometimes it can even be stronger... more direct.
This sort of thing, though, is very personal and different for everyone.
Which gets us right back to what you mentioned in the beginning... being honest with yourself. Just be honest and follow the path that makes the most sense with your experiences. No one can blame anyone for doing that.
I thought I'd reveal my story because it's one of awakening. It's hard admitting this, it really is, but I really needed to admit all of this for myself.
Thanks for sharing. I find it interesting to go over other people's stories and contrast them to my own. If nothing else, abuse this forum for your own path of self-discovery to see what works for you. That's what I do. This is a great place to test ideas and learn mistakes and figure out what really does work for you. Have fun
I'll be posting an essay here on religion and honesty and god soon.
"Essay" sounds long and boring... but the content seems interesting to me. It is strange to want to read it and yet get that feeling of "awwww... stupid essay.." back from my schooling years.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by scienceishonesty, posted 12-02-2013 11:41 PM scienceishonesty has not replied

Member (Idle past 162 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 47 of 380 (712418)
12-03-2013 3:09 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by scienceishonesty
12-03-2013 12:48 PM

Who's the Boss?
scienceishonesty writes:
Give me one explanation why I should be more persuaded to reluctantly believe in your catholic variety of Christianity over Zeus and the Olympian pantheon or Hinduism or Islam?
What makes you think anyone is trying to persuade you?
Obviously, you are being honest with yourself and your experiences and they are leading you towards atheism and away from Christianity.
Do you think it's impossible for someone else to be honest about their own experiences and possibly be led towards Christianity and away from atheism? If so, can you explain how this can actually be impossible? Can you provide evidence that it is impossible?
If someone else honestly believes in God... it is not a requirement for them to be able to persuade you of the same thing.
You can argue that it is only rational if they can lay out a reasonable case... but again, this has nothing to do with scienceishonesty's acceptance of that case.
You may very well be the arbiter of you and your own honesty and your own experiences.
But that doesn't give you any special rights to judge someone else or someone else's honesty or someone else's experiences.
Different people think differently.
You are only one person.
Not all people are going to think the same way that you do.
Just because you think there is no reason for something... doesn't mean there actually is no reason for it.
In order to show there is no reason for something... you have to provide the evidence. You can't just say "it doesn't work for me."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by scienceishonesty, posted 12-03-2013 12:48 PM scienceishonesty has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by scienceishonesty, posted 12-03-2013 6:02 PM Stile has replied

Member (Idle past 162 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 71 of 380 (712495)
12-04-2013 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by scienceishonesty
12-03-2013 6:02 PM

Evidence's role in belief vs. knowledge
I think we're using different definitions of "believe" and "faith" and "know"...
But I'm not sure yet.
scienceishonesty writes:
Facts should be something that everyone be persuaded into accepting.
I agree.
But we're not talking about facts. We're talking about believing and having faith in things... these are things you do without facts and sometimes even against facts.
Are you trying to say that any and all belief is a bad idea at all times?
But you can't honestly believe in something for which there is no evidence.
Actually, that's the only way you can possibly believe in something. If there's evidence... then you don't believe in it anymore... you know it.
Like this:
A guy gets told stories all his life that all ravens are black.
The guy believes that all ravens are black, based upon these stories.
The guy looks for ravens and studies them as best he can (he does not have access to the internet).
All ravens he identifies are all black.
Now he knows that all ravens are black, because he has tested and verified the information. He no longer believes that all ravens are black.
One day he gains access to the internet and learns about the existence of albino ravens that are white. He's just never seen one.
He updates his knowledge of ravens and now knows that all ravens are not black.
Knowing things is based on evidence... tests that can be repeated and falsified.
Believing things is based on personal experience or word-of-mouth... things that are not tested or verified.
Once you move into testing and verification (evidence...) you leave the realm of "belief" and enter the realm of "knowledge."
Belief can be right or wrong...
Knowledge can also be right or wrong...
The difference is that one is based on things that can be tested and verified (evidence) and the other is not.
No one can honestly believe in the flying spaghetti monster and neither can anyone honestly believe in any other being or creature for which there is no evidence whatsoever. So in that case, I disagree.
Again, actually... that's the only way someone can believe in the flying spaghetti monster or any other being or creature. If there is no evidence, or if they refuse to accept the evidence.
Once they admit that they are basing their thoughts on the actual evidence... then you can say they can't honestly think the evidence does not exist. But this doesn't rely on your knowledge of there being evidence or not. This relies on their knowledge of the evidence and their willingness to pursue it and their method of going over the evidence.
Like this:
Let's say I was raised by horrible, practical joke-loving parents that always told me the flying spaghetti monster was real.
I would honestly believe that the flying spaghetti monster was real.
Then, one day I decide to go over the evidence.
There is none, and there is evidence that the FSM does not exist.
Therefore, I now know that the FSM does not exist.
Let's say that while I was growing up believing in the FSM, I found a lot of comfort from having him around. He, after all, never played jokes on me like my parents did.
So, even now that I'm aware of the evidence that the FSM does not exist... I can still honestly believe in the FSM, despite the evidence to the contrary.
I could even honestly believe that the evidence was incomplete or wrong somehow but we just do not know it yet.
Then, I can honestly say that "yes, all current, rational evidence points towards the FSM not existing. However, I honestly believe that the FSM still does exist, and I hope that one day current science finds more evidence."
The belief may be wrong.
Science may be wrong.
...but this can all still happen, and all still be honest.
But, it seems you actually sort of already agree with all this I've just said, because your next statement is:
Of course, we are all free to believe what we like. I can believe that fairies crawl into my bed at night but that doesn't mean they do.
So, which is it? Can people honestly being in things without evidence?
Or are people free to believe what they like?
Personally, I think this statement is very valid. Yes, we are all free to believe what we like.
Those beliefs may be true, they may be false.
The knowledge we have scientifically may be true, it may be false.
Scientific knowledge has a wonderful track record of being very accurate and reliable.
Beliefs have a horrible track record of being accurate and reliable.
But that has nothing to do with how we utilize each in our day-to-day lives, and how we go about things in an honest way.
Sometimes the priority of "being accurate and reliable" isn't very high. Sometimes other factors have higher priorities.
But there is no reason to believe in something for which there is no evidence.
Sure there is.
Feelings of security.
Feelings of joy.
Feelings of fun.
...and many more.
If you plan on going the rest of you life not believing in things there are no evidence for... you better wipe the following from your resume:
-following a sports team (eventually, there will be evidence that they will lose and lose badly and therefore you shouldn't follow them...)
-trusting a friend when no one else will (no one else trusts them because there's evidence that they shouldn't be trusted...)
-gambling (the house always wins...)
-believing in your own children (evidentially, your children are average and will be average. There's no rational reason to treat them as special or to love them more than other people's kids)
Are you really going to postulate that one must "provide evidence that not believing based on evidence is reasonable?"...
Actually, I've gone further than postulating it.
I've given you 4 reasons just now. Each one proves that what I'm saying is correct... there are plenty of reasons to believe in things without evidence and even despite the evidence.
Just because those reasons aren't important to you, doesn't mean they aren't important to someone else.
You don't get to decide what's important for other people.
It's like saying: I don't believe in science and the reason is because no one has produced evidence that not believing in science is not okay?
No, I'm not saying that "no one has shown that believing despite the evidence is impossible... so it can't happen."
What I'm saying is "here are the reasons why some people will believe in things despite the evidence." And I've given you some reasons.
I've provided evidence for the claims I'm making.
Can you provide evidence for your claims?
Do you still think it's impossible for someone to honestly believe in something with no evidence?
If so, can you provide evidence that this, in fact, impossible?
I'm hoping you'll see the point here.
The point is that "following the evidence" is only important when your highest priority is to be accurate and reliable with your information.
"Following the evidence" becomes less important when other priorities get higher... priorities like making other people feel good, and getting along with others and being a nice person.
It's up to you to be honest with yourself, see what sort of person you want to be, and then decide how to prioritize things according to what you think is best and when.
But blanket, absolute statements like "there is no reason to believe in something for which there is no evidence" are easily proven to be false.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by scienceishonesty, posted 12-03-2013 6:02 PM scienceishonesty has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by scienceishonesty, posted 12-04-2013 5:09 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied

Member (Idle past 162 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 109 of 380 (712615)
12-05-2013 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by scienceishonesty
12-05-2013 11:23 AM

Re: Black or White or Gray?
scienceishonesty writes:
It's not impossible I suppose but it's also very improbable and it's an idea that isn't falsifiable.
Well said.
Why worry about it if there's no evidence? Why waste our time?
Again, good questions and well put.
The answers, of course, are dependent on each person.
Personally, I think enough time has been wasted on searching for the evidence of a God. At this point, I think we should leave it as "does not exist" and simply update that stance if we happen to stumble over some evidence in the future.
Thousands of years (possibly even tens of thousands of years) have been spent looking for evidence of a God. That's a lot of time and searching.
But, that's just my take. I'm sure there's plenty of things I do that other folks would think of as "strange" or "a waste of time." I like to stock bird feeders and have a bunch of them in the backyard. I bet there's a huge group of people who would consider buying birdseed for out-door wild birds to be "a waste of time and money." But I like it, so it's my choice, and I'm thankful to be allowed to continue to do so.
Therefore, it's only fair to allow other people to make their choices based on what they "like." Perhaps "having evidence" isn't very important to them when considering whether or not God exists. That in itself doesn't make sense to me... but it does make sense to allow them the freedom to pursue their own ideas about such things. Of course, if they want to teach their stuff in schools to kids... in science class... then there's going to be an issue if they don't have any evidence.
There's a time and a place for different things.
I have no problem with other people continuing the search for God... as long as they're using their own resources and time.
It could even be helpful to me personally, if they actually do uncover some real evidence.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by scienceishonesty, posted 12-05-2013 11:23 AM scienceishonesty has not replied

Member (Idle past 162 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 377 of 380 (713202)
12-10-2013 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 373 by Faith
12-10-2013 3:06 PM

Why can't they get cut after a long time?
Faith writes:
Sigh. During the Flood there would have been SHORT periods of exposure at the surface BETWEEN WAVES AND TIDES, during which ripples and minor erosion and footprints could have occurred to the wet sediments, but NOT the kind of erosion that occurs to land that is aerially exposed for years on end, which would be visible in the strata from across the whole canyon. You would not have those neat level horizontal strata ANYWHERE AT ALL had that ever occurred to ANY of the layers.
So... you're saying that you do accept there's differences across the Grand Canyon.
Some areas have neat, level, horizontal strata... and others show signs of erosion and exposure.
Your point has nothing to do with the parts that show signs of erosion and exposure...
Your point has to do with the actual areas that do have neat, level, horizontal strata from top to bottom where no significant signs of erosion and exposure exist.
You're saying that these areas show that all the layers of the Grand Canyon were created by whatever process, and then the canyon was cut through.
Any comments on those actual areas that do show signs of erosion and exposure have no impact on this point. And yet, that seems to be what everyone is focusing on.
And then, your point is that because of these neat, level, horizontal strata areas... they show that all the layers were there (at least at some points in the canyon) before the canyon was cut.
Therefore... the canyon could not possibly be old because it's impossible for the area to not-be-cut for such a long time?
My question is... why is that impossible? Why can't all those layers form over millions (and even up to a billion... as you say) years before getting cut out? Science that says the earth is old says that the earth is over 3 billion years old. Why can't these layers have been forming for hundreds of millions of years (even close to a billion) and then get cut after they all formed?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 373 by Faith, posted 12-10-2013 3:06 PM Faith has not replied

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