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  #361  
Old Jan 11, '17, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by Vera_Ljuba View Post
I am simply not interested in fruitless endeavors.

But I can give you this. To try to go "outside" the universe is exactly as nonsensical as postulating the "other side" of the Mobius strip.
Then, it is, as I thought: you are a fundamentalist who rejects something you haven't even considered.

You know when you are in dialogue with someone and he can't even come up with one good argument for your side, that you are not dealing with someone with an open mind.

"Everything you are promoting is just plain wrong!" is the mantra of the fundamentalist.

And I don't dialogue with these types of folks.

Their minds are so closed (usually because of some emotional reason), that they are recusant to reason and rationality.

They wish to keep their blind faith in their own beliefs.

So, sadly, I must end our dialogue.

If a person cannot even say, "Ok, I see that you have a good point here...."
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  #362  
Old Jan 11, '17, 8:19 pm
Vera_Ljuba Vera_Ljuba is offline
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by PRmerger View Post
So, sadly, I must end our dialogue.
No problem. There is not one good argument for the existence of God. If you wish to present one, be my guest.
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  #363  
Old Jan 12, '17, 3:17 am
inocente inocente is offline
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by Charlemagne III View Post
Aquinas never asked us to worship a hypothesis.
Never mentioned him. Is your mind wandering?

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Being a relativist, Russell's decision was valid for him; but he failed to recognize that he never opened his heart as well as his head to any evidence whatever for the existence of God. He had become an agnostic in his teen years, hardly a recommendation for a well thought out decision of such tremendous significance.
I know little of Russell except he was a philosopher. And I imagine that for a philosopher the concept of God Almighty, of a being than which nothing greater can be conceived, can't rest on feelings, it needs to rest on a robust argument. Seems he never found one, and God was OK with that.
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  #364  
Old Jan 12, '17, 9:17 am
Charlemagne III Charlemagne III is offline
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by Vera_Ljuba View Post
No problem. There is not one good argument for the existence of God. If you wish to present one, be my guest.
“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.” Albert Einstein
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  #365  
Old Jan 12, '17, 2:53 pm
Vera_Ljuba Vera_Ljuba is offline
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by Charlemagne III View Post
“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.” Albert Einstein
That is NOT an argument for anything.
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  #366  
Old Jan 12, '17, 6:23 pm
Charlemagne III Charlemagne III is offline
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by Vera_Ljuba View Post
That is NOT an argument for anything.
Actually it is. You just don't get it.
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  #367  
Old Jan 13, '17, 9:08 am
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

The ground of reality (what is objective and the common basis of all) might be imagined as being things, material forces and energy. Theoretically there exist quantum fields containing blips of energy that bring particles into being for however long it lasts until they fade back into the background. In the grand scheme of things, this background noise somehow becomes a universal chorus.

These are things we can measure. We may try, but we cannot quantify Existence itself, nor love.

When my hand reaches out to strike another, if all one considers is the physical act as being real, the moral quality would have to lie within the person's imagination, which is shared, but perhaps more accurately can be said to have been swallowed up by society, its attitudes, rules and pressures. My friend Freddy N. believed power was what this is all about. We're all struggling to make order out of and carve a place for ourselves in the chaos of existence. This seems a fairly accurate description of life, but to only a certain point.

Trying to go a bit deeper into what appears an abyss, the Buddhist in me would say that there exists a field, not dissimilar to the concept of quantum fields. In this case however, it is our individual lives that pop up, as expressions of what is an infinite field of compassion. Like the discovery/creation of the Higgs boson in the Hadron Collider supported the existence of quantum fields, specifically the Higgs field, one's own existence, our feelings, thoughts and actions reveal a living universe. Within it, as I care about myself, it cares, although it's other manifestations, nature as a whole and others may not. When hurt, we try to protect the wound. Some of us in desperation, crying out for help or in our shame and guilt, lash out against ourselves, broken inside. Existence implies suffering in the context of this earthly life, filled as it is with transitory and illusory ends that provide no lasting satisfaction. There is nothing that the world can offer that is better than, and how much better it is to simply sit, surrendering oneself, dissolving into the Ground of all being. Hallelujah! And, what better way to express the fundamental truth of reality, of that spiritual quantum field within which our experience floats, but to be compassionate and loving towards our neighbour and all of nature.

Delving into what is love and compassion brings us beyond the realm of things into the nature relationships, relationality. Who is self, who and what is other, and that which joins them, manifests itself as the finite wholeness of our individual participation within existence. This relational nature is grounded in a greater Relationality, from which all creation comes into being. Transcendent, Divine, One, God reveals Himself as more than an ultimate Cause, but as Love in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He brings us into being, His creation able to love and thereby know it's Maker. Emptying Himself, becoming one of us and subjecting Himself to our will, the Son, the innocent Lamb, the incarnate Word of God, the second person of the Trinity, fulfills the Father's will that has made it possible for us to transcend our creatureliness and truly become sons and daughters of God.

Setting one's sights on the Truth, remaining steadfast, one will know these realities and more. But if one doesn't seek, which ultimately boils down to following God's call, one can never find the truth - and that truth is love.

Last edited by Aloysium; Jan 13, '17 at 9:19 am.
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  #368  
Old Jan 13, '17, 9:10 am
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CHRISTINE77 CHRISTINE77 is online now
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by Vera_Ljuba View Post
No problem. There is not one good argument for the existence of God. If you wish to present one, be my guest.
Give me a good argument for His non-existence.
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  #369  
Old Jan 13, '17, 9:30 pm
Vera_Ljuba Vera_Ljuba is offline
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by CHRISTINE77 View Post
Give me a good argument for His non-existence.
It is the same that you give as an argument for the non-existence of the Loch-Ness monster. The absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Not to be confused with the incorrect "absence of proof is a proof of absence". By the way to demand argument for NON-EXISTENCE is a logical nonsense. I suggest you drop it.
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  #370  
Old Jan 14, '17, 5:14 am
e_c e_c is offline
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by Vera_Ljuba View Post
It is the same that you give as an argument for the non-existence of the Loch-Ness monster. The absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Not to be confused with the incorrect "absence of proof is a proof of absence". By the way to demand argument for NON-EXISTENCE is a logical nonsense. I suggest you drop it.
Certainly, one can prove the non-existence of certain kinds of things. You are showing that you have not considered these things very carefully... All one must do is find that which a thing necessarily implies, know where to find what it implies, and see if it is there.

It is just a modus tollens.

Atheists try to pull it all the time - "God necessarily should do this and that, but this and that doesn't happen, therefore..."
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  #371  
Old Jan 14, '17, 7:56 am
Vera_Ljuba Vera_Ljuba is offline
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by e_c View Post
Certainly, one can prove the non-existence of certain kinds of things.
Yes, there are some special cases. One is in an axiomatic, deductive system. You can prove that the square root of two cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers. In an inductive system one can prove a negative, if the definition of the proposed entity is either nonsensical or has contradictory attributes. Like a "married bachelor".

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Originally Posted by e_c View Post
You are showing that you have not considered these things very carefully... All one must do is find that which a thing necessarily implies, know where to find what it implies, and see if it is there.
Really? And how are you going to "go there" and see if it is "there" in the whole universe? If the proposition is "There are no white ravens", there is simply no way to investigate the whole universe.

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Originally Posted by e_c View Post
Atheists try to pull it all the time - "God necessarily should do this and that, but this and that doesn't happen, therefore..."
Well, the mere definition of God is problematic, and the logical corollary of some of God's alleged attributes are plainly "not there". There are some attributes, like omnipotent, omniscient, which are simply nonsensical. And the problem of evil is something that no apologist could resolve - at least in the last 2000 years. The attributes of "just" and "merciful" are mutually contradictory.

What atheists say is this: "If God has certain attributes, then the logical corollary is 'this'. We look at the reality, and 'this' is not "there". Therefore EITHER God does not have the alleged attributes, OR God is not there."

One of the oldest "tricks" used by the apologists is that they try to redefine the problematic attributes. They say:
Attribute "A" means exactly this for humans, but it means something else for God. When we speak of attribute "A", it is only analogical, not actual. (Yes, I am aware that we sometimes speak of the loyalty of a dog, and it is not the same as loyalty of a human. They are quite similar, however.)
If that is the case, then they should not try to use this attribute to describe God. An attribute should mean the same regardless of the referent. If an entity has the attribute of "good", then the entity cannot perform/allow acts which are considered "not good" - and STILL retain the label of "good". If a human could feed the starving (without even slightly inconveniencing himself), and fails to do it, then no one will call him "loving and good". But God fails to feed the starving, even when there is no one else do it. So to call God "good" is nonsense. Of course you (or any other apologist) could try to prove that feeding the starving (or saving the tortured ones) would bring forth a horribly evil outcome, which cannot be avoided... but you cannot say that "MAYBE it would bring forth such an outcome". Using "MAYBE" is not permitted.

I would love to have a conversation with a knowledgeable AND intellectually honest apologist, but so far I did not find one.
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  #372  
Old Jan 14, '17, 8:26 am
e_c e_c is offline
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by Vera_Ljuba View Post
Yes, there are some special cases. One is in an axiomatic, deductive system. You can prove that the square root of two cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers. In an inductive system one can prove a negative, if the definition of the proposed entity is either nonsensical or has contradictory attributes. Like a "married bachelor".
Sure.

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Really? And how are you going to "go there" and see if it is "there" in the whole universe? If the proposition is "There are no white ravens", there is simply no way to investigate the whole universe.
See your own comment above. Insofar as we can apply this same idea in the physical world, it is doable. And we also can admit of degrees, in this kind of knowledge, as well as a malleability of definitions (we might call white "ravens" something else entirely, if we found them, for instance).

Quote:
Well, the mere definition of God is problematic, and the logical corollary of some of God's alleged attributes are plainly "not there". There are some attributes, like omnipotent, omniscient, which are simply nonsensical. And the problem of evil is something that no apologist could resolve - at least in the last 2000 years. The attributes of "just" and "merciful" are mutually contradictory.
Then you must show the problems. I can just contradict you and it holds just as much weight. But I can tell from your quip that you don't understand what at least some of those attributes are.

Quote:
What atheists say is this: "If God has certain attributes, then the logical corollary is 'this'. We look at the reality, and 'this' is not "there". Therefore EITHER God does not have the alleged attributes, OR God is not there."
Some might say that indeed. And the attributes they are thinking of are probably not there. It is true. But that comes back to a failure to understand the attributes. I challenge you to describe what omnipotence actually would be, for instance.

Quote:
One of the oldest "tricks" used by the apologists is that they try to redefine the problematic attributes. They say:
Attribute "A" means exactly this for humans, but it means something else for God. When we speak of attribute "A", it is only analogical, not actual. (Yes, I am aware that we sometimes speak of the loyalty of a dog, and it is not the same as loyalty of a human. They are quite similar, however.)
If that is the case, then they should not try to use this attribute to describe God. An attribute should mean the same regardless of the referent. If an entity has the attribute of "good", then the entity cannot perform/allow acts which are considered "not good" - and STILL retain the label of "good". If a human could feed the starving (without even slightly inconveniencing himself), and fails to do it, then no one will call him "loving and good". But God fails to feed the starving, even when there is no one else do it. So to call God "good" is nonsense. Of course you (or any other apologist) could try to prove that feeding the starving (or saving the tortured ones) would bring forth a horribly evil outcome, which cannot be avoided... but you cannot say that "MAYBE it would bring forth such an outcome". Using "MAYBE" is not permitted.
This is basically the idea that ended the era of medieval philosophy and readied the world for Descartes... It's all tied up with nominalism. Are you familiar with any of the key players in that process? Scotus? Abelard? Ockham?

I am prepared to defend the way of analogy at some length, but first you will need to acknowledge that your critique actually creates a straw man: predication by analogy doesn't simply "mean something else for God." I can see why you would think that, though. But unless you are willing to admit the possibility that you are in unfamiliar territory, I suppose it's not worth even bothering - you will just insist that you are right, and that you know what analogy ACTUALLY is, rather than all those sneaky "apologists" (whom you never name, I have noticed, or are just other CAF posters).

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I would love to have a conversation with a knowledgeable AND intellectually honest apologist, but so far I did not find one.
This does nothing to help your argument.
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  #373  
Old Jan 14, '17, 9:32 am
Gorgias Gorgias is offline
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by Vera_Ljuba View Post
I am simply not interested in fruitless endeavors.

But I can give you this. To try to go "outside" the universe is exactly as nonsensical as postulating the "other side" of the Mobius strip.
Unless you hold that the universe always existed, then there was a 'time' when the only possible existence was "outside the universe".

Yet, I understand that the way you define 'universe' is different from the way that it is commonly understood by believers. That would be the big stumbling block for you, here: your worldview -- and the definitions it requires -- precludes the ability for you to consider the non-physical.
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  #374  
Old Jan 14, '17, 9:47 am
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Originally Posted by Vera_Ljuba View Post
It is the same that you give as an argument for the non-existence of the Loch-Ness monster. The absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Not to be confused with the incorrect "absence of proof is a proof of absence". By the way to demand argument for NON-EXISTENCE is a logical nonsense. I suggest you drop it.
That's not a good argument! And I suggest you drop your non-existence nonsense. Things that are not material exist. Maybe not to you, but that's your problem!
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  #375  
Old Jan 14, '17, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: Lack of Questioning Leads to Atheism?

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Thanks for the article.



That I agree but I think there is a difference between meaning and purpose. Don't you think?



Again, there is a difference between meaning and purpose. When we say that life is meaningful, we mean something more than purposeful. Your life can be purposeful but meaningless. That is why you add meaningful to purpose (the bold part). The question is what is the meaning of existence in general?
The meaning is that we are all part of the same story, the story we find in the Bible, and that our purpose is to accomplish our part in that story as the Creator intended. Of course, we have free will so we can choose not to participate- but the characters in the story are assured of a happy ending.
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