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Author Topic:   What to believe? Please offer input
Justaman
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 34 (34093)
03-11-2003 12:19 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Mike Holland
03-10-2003 7:48 PM


Hey Mike:
Where you are at and where I am at is not very much different. Except for one teeny-weeny little thing I probably wouldn't spend much time at all thinking about the idea of God, because I think the idea(s) are vestiges of the primitive human mind. But that one little thing that brings me back to it is that for a large chunk of humanity the god ideas are very important. They justify wars with it (Bush, Bin Laden), they subjugate women in the name of it, and here in the States they even atempt to replace 500 years of empirical systematized research with it.
I don't care if the prevailing belief is that Bugs Bunny is the creator/destroyer.
I'm sounding for the stress crack to break the link between the idea of an unknowable creator/sustainer and the real, tangible, consequential activities of man. I'm not concerned with convincing thoughtful agnostics and atheists, or even those whose construct allows that faith and reason are not mutually exclusive. I'm looking for the handle on all those, of whatever stripe, who still believe that a powerful and intervening god fashions or dictates our moral and ethical behaviour.
I'll get you yet, you wascally wabbit!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Mike Holland, posted 03-10-2003 7:48 PM Mike Holland has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Mike Holland, posted 03-11-2003 7:26 PM Justaman has replied

  
Gzus
Inactive Member


Message 17 of 34 (34141)
03-11-2003 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Mike Holland
03-10-2003 7:48 PM


"put a blind ethiopian in a circular room and tell him 'there's food in the corner!'"
similar dillemma?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Mike Holland, posted 03-10-2003 7:48 PM Mike Holland has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Mike Holland, posted 03-11-2003 7:29 PM Gzus has replied

  
Mike Holland
Member (Idle past 560 days)
Posts: 179
From: Sydney, NSW,Auistralia
Joined: 08-30-2002


Message 18 of 34 (34145)
03-11-2003 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Justaman
03-11-2003 12:19 AM


Yes, but Elmer Fudd toted a gun!
Perhaps that is the only way.
But I think that Jurassic Park has done a lot for the evolutionist/old earth viewpoint, by getting at the kids. How many of them play with toy dinosaurs these days, and how many with Noah's Ark toys?
There is a terrific amount of 'science fiction' junk on TV and in the movies. It has little value in itself, but it does open minds up to other possibilities.
So perhaps there is hope!
Mike.
NB. I enjoy science fiction, but hate most of the stuff in the media (excluding books from 'media').

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Justaman, posted 03-11-2003 12:19 AM Justaman has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Justaman, posted 03-14-2003 9:49 AM Mike Holland has not replied

  
Mike Holland
Member (Idle past 560 days)
Posts: 179
From: Sydney, NSW,Auistralia
Joined: 08-30-2002


Message 19 of 34 (34146)
03-11-2003 7:29 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Gzus
03-11-2003 4:53 PM


I love that quote. Gzus. It sums up the promise of religion perfectly. But why pick on that poor Ethiopian? Any blind man would serve the purpose!
Mike.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Gzus, posted 03-11-2003 4:53 PM Gzus has replied

Replies to this message:
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Gzus
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 34 (34223)
03-12-2003 5:15 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Mike Holland
03-11-2003 7:29 PM


Popular joke, i don't see any ethiopians around!

This message is a reply to:
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William E. Harris
Inactive Member


Message 21 of 34 (34243)
03-13-2003 12:55 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Mike Holland
03-10-2003 7:48 PM


Belief in God
Only children of a god would be capable of asking such questions.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Mike Holland, posted 03-10-2003 7:48 PM Mike Holland has not replied

  
Justaman
Inactive Member


Message 22 of 34 (34359)
03-14-2003 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Mike Holland
03-11-2003 7:26 PM


Mike:
quote
Yes, but Elmer Fudd toted a gun!
Perhaps that is the only way.
Sorry, I couldn't resist the Fudd impersonation. No, guns aren't the answer. Revolution is destructive, evolution is adaptive.
quote
But I think that Jurassic Park has done a lot for the evolutionist/old earth viewpoint, by getting at the kids. How many of them play with toy dinosaurs these days, and how many with Noah's Ark toys?
Similarly, in my prepubescent youth (c 1960's)my mother enrolled me in a youth science program by Nelson Doubleday. Every month I would get 2 to 4 booklets on different areas of science. The one in particular that I remember was on plate techtonics. I didn't know, at that young age, how radical this theory was wrt the extant geological science, and so I grew up believeing it as a fact. Wasn't until a Geology 101 course in college that I realized that it was still being hotly debated.
Just the other night I told this story to my 12 year old son who just studied plate techtonics in science class. His eyes got REAL big - he understood. So then I relayed to him what I am just now learning about evolutionary psychology, a field of study that I believe has the potential to change much thought and understanding in the general field of psychology. I'll gather and relay as much as I can on this subject to him in the hope that it will let him navigate confidently through that topic(elementary and HS psychology)when it is presented to him.
Vince (is just a man)

This message is a reply to:
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bambooguy
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 34 (36251)
04-04-2003 8:40 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gzus
12-31-2002 10:26 AM


Gzus,
This is good stuff. I studied philosophy in my later years of highschool (read the book "Sophie's World", I can't recommend it highly enough).
Do you remember Decartes? How his proof of self existence was, essentially, "I think therefore I am" or "I undeniably exist". I always thought that a similar argument could be used for truth, "truth undeniably exists". If you deny truth's existence then you have to say that there is a truer reality, which means there is a form of truth. So, your own existence and truth are two realities that cannot be denied.
Decartes was a rationalist, not a empiricist. Unfortunately no rationalist ever came up with a reason to believe in your senses. As I was thinking about it, it seemed to me that this was a tough cookie to crack from a rationalist's perspective. Here's what I came up with:
How can we know if our senses are valid? If we had reliable communication with someone through our senses, then we would know that our senses were somewhat acccurate. The problem is that all the people we know may be products of our faulty senses. So we have to find another person, or being, without using our senses.
This is why I think that the idea of morality is such a central concept. We, as humans, perceive morality as something outside of ourselves. We think it's been forced onto us by something else. If we had sensory communication with/from that something else, we could validate our senses.
Any comments?
Evan

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 27 by John, posted 04-05-2003 12:04 AM bambooguy has not replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 34 (36258)
04-04-2003 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Justaman
03-10-2003 1:46 AM


Wow... Mike, Justaman... we are spiritual brothers We seem to have gone the same path to atheism.
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Justaman, posted 03-10-2003 1:46 AM Justaman has not replied

  
Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7654 days)
Posts: 634
From: Washington, USA
Joined: 12-10-2001


Message 25 of 34 (36278)
04-04-2003 12:37 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by bambooguy
04-04-2003 8:40 AM


quote:
Decartes was a rationalist, not a empiricist. Unfortunately no rationalist ever came up with a reason to believe in your senses.
Descartes works his argument from the "cogito" - I think therefore I am" - to the existence of God in Meditation 3. By Meditation 6 he has worked back to discussing why we can rely on our senses to know the external world. From Meditation 6.7 onwards he discusses the reliability of the senses.
His arguments are quite involved and beyond the scope of a single post, but you should perhaps look them up. You can read the Meditations on-line here: http://philos.wright.edu/DesCartes/

This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 26 of 34 (36281)
04-04-2003 1:16 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by bambooguy
04-04-2003 8:40 AM


There are two serious problems with this position.
Most seriously any such "communication" cannot be trusted any more than our senses. If you assume Descatres "deceiving Demon" it could generate that just as easily as it could sensory data. Verification from an external source is impossible because there is no way to show that the external source is reliable. So even in principle there is no possibility of such an argument working.
But even if there were your idea of morality is even more questionable than the evidence of our senses. I certainly do not accept it and I have yet to see any strong argument for such a view.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by bambooguy, posted 04-04-2003 8:40 AM bambooguy has not replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 34 (36322)
04-05-2003 12:04 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by bambooguy
04-04-2003 8:40 AM


quote:
How his proof of self existence was, essentially, "I think therefore I am" or "I undeniably exist".
Descarte essentially assumes his conclusion. Compare the premise "I think" to the conclusion "I am." Notice that funny little word "I" appearing in both? Well, that doesn't work, logically. This is the case whether you consider the argument deductive or inductive.
quote:
I always thought that a similar argument could be used for truth, "truth undeniably exists".
Why?
quote:
If you deny truth's existence then you have to say that there is a truer reality
Again, why?
quote:
Unfortunately no rationalist ever came up with a reason to believe in your senses.
Nor did any rationalist come up with a good reason to believe in rationalism. Rationalists, imo, were all saddled with the same problem: they had to rely upon "first principles" or "inate ideas" or some such, in order to construct arguments. They could not, after all, appeal to the senses. Unfortunately, which ideas are inate and which are not pretty much just depends upon who you ask, at least in so far as concerns the classical rationalists.
quote:
If we had reliable communication with someone through our senses, then we would know that our senses were somewhat acccurate.
Not really, as you point out.
quote:
So we have to find another person, or being, without using our senses.
How? And even if such a person were somehow found, how would this validate the senses?
quote:
We, as humans, perceive morality as something outside of ourselves. We think it's been forced onto us by something else.
No we don't. That is, speak for yourself bud. And haven't we been through this in another thread? In fact, aren't there several posts in that other thread which remain unanswered?
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by bambooguy, posted 04-04-2003 8:40 AM bambooguy has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by zipzip, posted 04-05-2003 2:46 AM John has replied

  
zipzip
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 34 (36325)
04-05-2003 2:46 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by John
04-05-2003 12:04 AM


John, this is the classic paradox of truth. If you say there is no truth, and your statement is true, then it is truth and your statment is false. Otherwise your statement is false, in which case there is truth. In otherwords, truth, like mathematics, seems inherent in our universe.
Descarte's entire argument rests on his initial assumption (which he makes out of pure utility, knowing that he cannot go anywhere without it) that given a single immovable point, like Archimedes, he could move the world. This immovable point is that he thinks. It is a given, and seems as reasonable as anything. If even this cannot be accepted then any argument is meaningless, and in fact, does not even exist. John, Descartes was a genius. It is humorous to see you dispel his philosophy in two lines.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by John, posted 04-05-2003 12:04 AM John has replied

Replies to this message:
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Gzus
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 34 (36326)
04-05-2003 5:54 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by zipzip
04-05-2003 2:46 AM


My personal opinion is that there very well may or may not be such a thing as truth, only we cannot know it since we have no access to absolute proofs.
The problem with this statement is that it is unavoidably self defeating since in order for the statement to have any credibility it must be 'true'. The implications of this self-contradictary yet unavoidable conclusion lead many people to nihilism, apathy or extreme scepticism when confronted with claims [esp. religious] to truth.

This message is a reply to:
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John
Inactive Member


Message 30 of 34 (36331)
04-05-2003 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by zipzip
04-05-2003 2:46 AM


quote:
John, this is the classic paradox of truth. If you say there is no truth, and your statement is true, then it is truth and your statment is false. Otherwise your statement is false, in which case there is truth. In otherwords, truth, like mathematics, seems inherent in our universe.
This is a semantic game. It depends upon equivocation on the meaning of truth. It confuses the practical idea of truth, or the truth of a particular statement, with absolute Truth with a capital T. An example, "I am sitting in a chair right now." This is true conditional upon a wide range of sensation I am now having. For the sake of argument, assume I am not lying. But is the Truth? It this the big TRUTH? Well, Plato would say no. For him the world of ideas was Truth. The rest, including my sensations of my body and my chair, illusion. Kant would say no as well. For him the big T is beyond our ability. We deal with phenomena and cannot know anything about noumena. See the difference? You can have countless if/then statements that happen to be true. That doesn't imply any sort of universal Truth. That is, the universe my ultimately make no sense. It is really impossible to know without having absolute knowledge.
quote:
Descarte's entire argument rests on his initial assumption
Indeed.
quote:
This immovable point is that he thinks. It is a given, and seems as reasonable as anything.
The operative word being "he". Descarte simply assumed his own existence and went from there. He never asked what exactly is meant by 'I'. Hume did. Hume went to great lengths to analyze the concept and came to nothing. Essentially, there is no real reason to connect 'thought' with a self-existent 'I', as Descarte did. What you have really got is "thought". It is human prejudice to assume that some metaphysical entity is doing the thinking. And is exactly what Descarte did.
quote:
John, Descartes was a genius.
Lol..... since you put it that way...
Descarte was an inventive mathematician but a poor philosopher. Sorry. There are numerous problems with Descarte's "Meditations..." and this is no secret among modern philosophy PhDs'. My intro to philosophy class outlined these things.
quote:
It is humorous to see you dispel his philosophy in two lines.
Humorous perhaps, but humor is no argument.
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Mister Pamboli, posted 04-05-2003 1:44 PM John has replied

  
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