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Can the belief of the existence of a supreme being ever be proved?
Yes 9%  9%  [ 6 ]
No 29%  29%  [ 20 ]
Of course, I am the living proof! 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Only if Invisible Pink Unicorns can also be proved 20%  20%  [ 14 ]
Look around you! the evidence of an intelligent designer 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
God is the universe and the universe is God 10%  10%  [ 7 ]
AG is a strident semi-god 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
I can't say, perhaps tomorrow we can prove it 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
I am not sure 10%  10%  [ 7 ]
All of the above 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
None of the above 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Half of the above 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
other 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
View results 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 70

Master_Pedant
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24 Jun 2010, 1:36 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:

AngelRho, most theologians are not open theists, and open theism is the only theology that upholds "all the possibilities". Standard Arminianism says that God knows everything that will happen. Molinism says that God knows everything that will happen. Open theism says "possibilities" and frankly, there is an ongoing scriptural debate surrounding Open theism's claims like that, mostly about what OT scriptures mean on the matter, as well as a few NT scriptures.


Yet must of the faithful in even the most fundamentalist sects of Christianity (as AngelRho elegantly demonstrates by his prescence) are some sort of metaphysical libertarian. A lot of polemics against atheistic naturalism depedent on its deterministic quality obscuring free will.

So this just goes to show how peripheral the influence of most theologians really is on the flock.



skafather84
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24 Jun 2010, 1:43 pm

Quote:
Can the belief of the existence of a supreme being ever be proved?


Not really and that's why the inquisition was so ineffective. I could go around all day saying I believe in a supreme being but it'd just be me lying.


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Awesomelyglorious
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24 Jun 2010, 1:59 pm

Master_Pedant wrote:
Yet must of the faithful in even the most fundamentalist sects of Christianity (as AngelRho elegantly demonstrates by his prescence) are some sort of metaphysical libertarian. A lot of polemics against atheistic naturalism depedent on its deterministic quality obscuring free will.

So this just goes to show how peripheral the influence of most theologians really is on the flock.

Well, you see, the weird thing is that most theologians actually hold that God knows the future completely AND that metaphysical libertarianism is true.

I mean, you are right though that theologians don't influence the flock that much given the emergence of these ideas, and blatant theological errors. (I mean, seriously, like thinking Methodism is Calvinist???? Dude..... like, the Baptists are a lot more Calvinist than the Methodists. The Methodists are one of the most noted Arminian denominations, and I think the Calvinist branch of Methodist is only really in Europe anyway, so the mistake makes like no sense.... as Methodists being that they have both Arminians and open theists [and even the Calvinist branch] are probably one of the most open on the overall question anyway)



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24 Jun 2010, 2:05 pm

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Master_Pedant wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
You go on thinking that AG. I don't care one iota what Calvin says. I care about what the Bible says. I don't need some dead European to tell me how to think. God is alive and well.


This is what I really hate about free will pop Christianity. The raw and wilful ignorance of it all.


To an extent, having knowledge of what ancient, medieval, and reformation theologian thought is beneficial, however it boils down to being just another form of Rabbinicism. What techstepgener8tion is doing is what I consider ideal: studying for oneself. The thoughts of past scholars can be useful if used correctly, but not to be used as a source of blind memorization though.

Hmm.... actually I tend to disagree. Using the existing frameworks and past debates is actually the quickest way to becoming proficient with a material, particularly in seeing how these frameworks can diverge tremendously. Obviously some familiarity with the source material is good, but it isn't all equal.



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24 Jun 2010, 2:07 pm

Master_Pedant wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
You go on thinking that AG. I don't care one iota what Calvin says. I care about what the Bible says. I don't need some dead European to tell me how to think. God is alive and well.


This is what I really hate about free will pop Christianity. The raw and wilful ignorance of it all.

I can understand that. I mean.... heck, I once actually tried to start a conversation about what I thought was a potential SOLUTION to the Euthyphro problem, and in trying to get the issue up, people said stuff like "I'm glad I am not an atheist, that position requires too much intellectualism" or some such. ... I mean... what???? Then I was attacked for trying to reduce everything to reason or some such.... so yeah.....



iamnotaparakeet
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24 Jun 2010, 2:21 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Master_Pedant wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
You go on thinking that AG. I don't care one iota what Calvin says. I care about what the Bible says. I don't need some dead European to tell me how to think. God is alive and well.


This is what I really hate about free will pop Christianity. The raw and wilful ignorance of it all.


To an extent, having knowledge of what ancient, medieval, and reformation theologian thought is beneficial, however it boils down to being just another form of Rabbinicism. What techstepgener8tion is doing is what I consider ideal: studying for oneself. The thoughts of past scholars can be useful if used correctly, but not to be used as a source of blind memorization though.

Hmm.... actually I tend to disagree. Using the existing frameworks and past debates is actually the quickest way to becoming proficient with a material, particularly in seeing how these frameworks can diverge tremendously. Obviously some familiarity with the source material is good, but it isn't all equal.


Knowing the source material prior to engrossing oneself in the conclusions of others on the matter allows for better understanding of the conclusions of others if not also seeing where they are right and where they are wrong.



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24 Jun 2010, 2:25 pm

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Knowing the source material prior to engrossing oneself in the conclusions of others on the matter allows for better understanding of the conclusions of others if not also seeing where they are right and where they went wrong.

I strongly disagree. Engaging a source material without some idea on how to engage it or organize one's insights about it ends up being more confusing than enlightening. Knowing the various historical positions and debates instead will provide a better understanding of the conclusions as you both see the conclusion, the opposition, and the historical emergence of a particular conclusion. Most long-standing debates reach a level where the source-material is analyzed in a manner that is impossible to understand without knowledge of the history involved, or even without knowledge of intellectual methods and disciplines.



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24 Jun 2010, 3:11 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Knowing the source material prior to engrossing oneself in the conclusions of others on the matter allows for better understanding of the conclusions of others if not also seeing where they are right and where they went wrong.

I strongly disagree. Engaging a source material without some idea on how to engage it or organize one's insights about it ends up being more confusing than enlightening. Knowing the various historical positions and debates instead will provide a better understanding of the conclusions as you both see the conclusion, the opposition, and the historical emergence of a particular conclusion. Most long-standing debates reach a level where the source-material is analyzed in a manner that is impossible to understand without knowledge of the history involved, or even without knowledge of intellectual methods and disciplines.


And I disagree strongly with you also, but nonetheless I see the matter as this: starting with the debates and conclusions of later times without knowledge of the source material colors ones interpretation of the source material so as to better form-fit one's opinions to that of the later debates and conclusions.



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24 Jun 2010, 3:38 pm

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
And I disagree strongly with you also, but nonetheless I see the matter as this: starting with the debates and conclusions of later times without knowledge of the source material colors ones interpretation of the source material so as to better form-fit one's opinions to that of the later debates and conclusions.

Perspectives are ALWAYS colored though, as the very notion of the "objective" perspective is somewhat questionable given that even having a perspective requires an organization of information in which none can really be called the "objective" organization of information (unless one is going to refer to Platonic essences or some such). Would you advocate doing geology by counting rocks? Any information that is useful is information that is either in support, or in opposition to a theory. Perhaps searching the source for a starting point for a theory is helpful, but the most important thing at all points in time is to develop a theory and then continually test other opposing theories or analyze their objections to one's own theory. That's it. And a rejection of the naive perception is pretty old at this point.



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24 Jun 2010, 4:33 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Quote:
It also introduces another problem: The idea that unrepentant sinners belong in the kingdom of Heaven. How fair is it for someone to keep the faith and, believing it is in God's will to do so, does good for himself, his family, his friends, and others only to find out at the end believing and accepting Jesus' sacrifice and thus being Christ-like in action was not enough simply because his name didn't come up? Is it really fair to be a believer and do good things and be rejected from God's presence only because you were screwed from the beginning?

Now, you are just ignorant of Calvinist theology. Calvinists believe that in order to really keep the faith, you have to be chosen. They hold that the good works and solid faith needed to be saved are God-granted gifts resulting from influence by the Holy Spirit. So, the "unrepentant sinner being unjustly saved" and the "faithful man not on the list" aren't actual issues within Calvinist theology. They're strawmen created by a person who doesn't know anything about the theology.

well, anyhow Christians who reject ideas from Calvinism are generally because their ideas don't conform to their own ideas, even if some have a poor understanding of it, because it still causes conflict in the end, their basic idea is that God wants everyone to be saved and not just having selected a few before creation, and that seems to be enough for them, wether how that actually works.

And the notion that that conflicts with the idea of Christ's sacrifice, as it would be pointless for him to die on the cross being that the case, as I believe they can generally say that Christ's sacrifice was for the sake of humankind salvation, an equal oportunity.

The issue about the ones who are faithful and serve God are the ones who were previously selected is still unfair though, it is still undonditional election, and frankly, I personally don't see much of a purpose for a person to be born in the first place, if that person is doomed for eternal damnation, that seems to make God a seriously evil god, from my perspective.


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Awesomelyglorious
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24 Jun 2010, 4:40 pm

greenblue wrote:
well, anyhow Christians who reject ideas from Calvinism are generally because their ideas don't conform to their own ideas, even if some have a poor understanding of it, because it still causes conflict in the end, their basic idea is that God wants everyone to be saved and not just having selected a few before creation, and that seems to be enough for them, wether how that actually works.

And the notion that that conflicts with the Christ's sacrifice, as it would be meaningless for him to die on the cross being that the case.

The issue about the ones who are faithful and serve God are the ones who were previously selected is still unfair though, it is still undonditional election, and frankly, I personally don't see much of a purpose for a person to be born in the first place, if that person is doomed for eternal damnation, that seems to make God a seriously evil god, from my perspective.

My perspective is that none of these theologies makes any sense whatsoever.



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25 Jun 2010, 7:26 pm

Empirically, no, the existence of God is a scientifically unanswerable question. There is no way to test the claims that can prove or disprove his existence. BUT unconventionally YES.

For instance how to you quantify prayer? Some 80 year old monk in a monastery who fasts for 80 years and hasn't uttered a single word can attest that he HEARS to voice of god, or has seen apparitions of angels. Yet others cannot hear or see. For something to be proven over and over again. It must be able to be duplicated by non partial and by anyone.

There are other factors that come into play with this hypothesis that if you pray for 80 years you will see Micheal the Arch Angel. Underlying causes. For instance, did the old monk go insane from long periods of isolation and only hallucinated a General, wishful thinking? Starvation?

Is it the diet that monks or people eat, contributing to neurological encounters with the devine (ie did some country girl, boy, pick the WRONG shrooms and put it in their soup?) Did Joan of Arc really see angels give her a sword and hear the voice of God, before she became a WoW Paladin chick?

However, paradoxically, Christians or Muslims will claim that if only we opened our hardened hearts, and with all "sincerity" pray to God show humility he will slowly open our minds and our hearts. If we showed faiths, or we listened to the so called still quiet voice of God, or Just allowed the hand of God to guide us. (running the "experiment", for instance which is a scientific rule). Then the results should be the same. Ie Angels serenade to us in our dreams and we see heaven and all those beautiful stuff we see "John Hagee, or John Tilton" say (when they're actually speaking English and not some bababababa language).

For the Pentacostal, Oh boy, they have all the "Scientific proof" they need. Like you HAVE to have enough evidence and proof of God to decide to jump up and down and make funny screaming sounds. They claim that this is the "Slain in the spirit", (although I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I think it means you're filled with rapturous joy, that you start acting sounding like a child of God and make baby sounds. Or that's what it looks like to me). And doing so, of course you put your neck on the block by being denounced as a lunatic, a infantile believer of imaginary friends and other nasty things atheists say.

But you are thoroughly convinced enough to devote your life to such practices, time and money and effort to propagate it because so convinced you did the "scientific" experiment of just letting god in, and you feel that others would benifit from other inquiries into spiritual matters, you fund missionary work, or you become a missionary yourself. You become passionate and want to spread this knowledge to others so they too may feel joy. Because you are convinced that this experiment that you did worked.

This is the paradox of faith. It has led people to do great things, free young people from drug addiction, crime, helped to promote social justice (When the priests decided to marry political refugees from South America, or free Gaza etc etc), and it has led people to do terrible things 9-11, crusades, invent tourcher, violence, xenophobia, because it convinced the believer that they are right. a Billion Christians and a Billion Muslims, all did the scientific method. That is TEST of faith, they turned their life to God's custody.

Scientific examinations are suppose to test a hypothesis "Does God love me? Is there a God? Will god touch my heart if I open to him". You do the activity Saying the Takibir "Allah Hu Ackbar, Mohammad is his Prophet", and obeying god's 4 other simple commands: prayer 3 times a day, a pilgrimage, 3% of your gains for the betterment of human kind, and Ramadan Fasting and being a nice person. Then you're touched by the hand of God.

for Christians: Preform the sinner's prayer (confession that you're imperfect) that you welcome God into your heart and your life. "God is the pilot you're the co-pilot", and that you're ready to cooperate with his "plan" and that you love him. Christians show their love by "if you love me follow my commandments".

For Jews: Circumcision, and evolving to adult hood (after a series of touch Rabbinical exams, where they must memorize 613 Laws) then they accept responsibility to follow these rules, in which Jews meet with at least other 10 Jews for form a Council.

For Mormons: Belief that The church of Christ has been restored (all other churches are dysfunctional because they may be missing a important component of "Jesus" church through general imperfect translations, deliberate deception etc. Belief that Joesph Smith was a prophet of the Lord who was tasked to restore the church of God (as a Demi-Messiah), and that the Fullness of the Gosple the book of Mormon, is the correct gospel.

The experiment with these Abraham faiths (I didn't take Eastern Religion yet), is to live their respective faiths, to live according to the rules then the expected scientific outcome would be communication with God. It is strange that these can't be quantified with measurable instruments of science. (Unless you're a scientologist with an "E" meter, or you can see the physical manifestations of faith, ie World Youth Day (Catholics), or videos of the Hajj (Islam), or St Joans sword slicing through your neck... Or a pastor jumping up and down twirling around and around and around, or the disasters at Waco, Jonestown, or the Aum Shinrinko.

Gullible or not, brainwashed or not, there are millions and millions of people who have preformed these tests of faith, and the result seems to be the same. Fork over money to show faith to progress the "experiment" for others (missionary work), and give god a chance. Or so says the youths on youtube to me.

Perhaps they're deluded to believe in "invisble" sky people, that the earth is 6000, when conventional science has proved their hypothesis wrong that women arn't magical rib women, and that Mary wasn't a virgin. But there are benefits to this unconventionally unscientific experiment. Just look at any university or the older ones, especially in Europe, or the hospitals still funded by churches. I'm sure that the patients of these institutions, or students of these schools in some poverty stricken country is glad for an education.

Catholics were on the forefront of scientific research as they sought to restore a shattered world and restore civilization, when the Roman Empire was nuked. (again by building universities, promoting the arts, it was slow going). The true meaning of Irony? The Catholics were the first to chart the human Geneome, discover the source of illnesses through microbiology ", St. Thomas, St. Albert the Great,

The fighters for freedom for example, anti slavery were Christian Quakers, the Mennonites fight for human dignity to this day helping immigrants, The Knights of Columbus was founded by an Irish American priest with the intention to form a social net work where the church could help their own, survive in a new and unfriendly land which has evolved into a brotherhood of service.

Muslims created a society of Egalitarianism, the first Muzzin (the guy who screams out "Allah Hu Ackbar" during prayer time), was a former Black slave that Mohammad bought and freed. As well the Muslim Ummah (a collection of nations connected through Islam, comparable to Christendom or the "Body of Christ) was able to produce wonders of technologly (giving them the well deserved stereotype of being a magical people with flying carpets and stuff: http://www.1001inventions.com/ They even had FLUSHING toilets and waste garbage disposals in their public parks (which modern parks took until the 1800s to do. All this stuff we have in the 20th century or early 20th century the Muslims discovered hundreds of years ago. Again the Flushing toilet). How scientific is THAT? Like to think where we'd be now, if these mighty empires of Christendom and the Ummah didn't either implode, or were nuked (barbarian invasion of the Huns, Mongols, Vandals, Lombards, Conan the Barbarrian, Orcs etc etc etc).

These inventions like running water, the Romans invented, the Egyptians invented eons ago. We were practically Ancient Babylonians under Nimrod, sans universal language. Hell I'd be on my Autistic home world, speaking my own language with my own people.

Anyways while the BELIEF of a diety is not scientific, as a God can't be actually proven or disproves. When applying imaginative Lateral logic (such as Faith), we can see that this is sufficient enough to motivate experimenters to at least entertain the possibility of ethereal supernatural beings. To try and placate or genuinely please such a being, with either horrific acts of horror, or wonderful acts of wonder. OR.... the scary notion that perhaps that WE are the Gods, and that our imaginations, especially our powerful Autistic ones, can create these heavens or hells. Through Doctor Parraris Imaginarium. Because these alleged Gods or Godesses of antiquity seem awfully childish and petty like a human. Zeus is a Womanizer and irresponsible father, Hercules is a Jocky, Hera is a psychotic step mom, Athena is a big sister activist. etc etc etc etc.



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26 Jun 2010, 4:40 am

What experiment? There is no pass / fail. If the 'faith' doesn't yield the expected result. The faith heads will just say 'more faith' or 'that is a wrong expectation'.

It is not true that faith always lead people to do good things. Feel free to call the slave masters un-Christian and the Jihadists un-Muslim. That is just bias.



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26 Jul 2010, 6:07 am

I like to think of myself as god, A power individual as myself,


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28 Jul 2010, 5:31 am

There came a time when the deliberations that determine allocation of the greatest good to the greatest number appeared computable to me.

Run under the axioms that follow from the assumption that "god is god", and run from the assumption that "there is no god", they worked out to very similar results.

Occam's razor swung into action, and I was cast out of that cozy universe with god at its heart.