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Open to explore possibility
#91
RE: Open to explore possibility
(February 18, 2021 at 2:09 pm)John 6IX Breezy Wrote:
(February 18, 2021 at 1:58 pm)Angrboda Wrote: When Fox was no longer telling conservatives what they wanted to hear, they sought out sources that would tell them what they wanted to hear. [...]  So subscribing to Fox news is more likely to instill faulty beliefs.

Notice these two sentences are slightly dissonant. The casual arrow runs one way in the first; but the other way in the second.

They appear dissonant because you've misquoted what I said. I said that faulty beliefs are a result of a low signal-to-noise ratio, not a result of people seeking sources that tell them what they want to hear. Both can be true. You can have both selection based biases and non-selection based biases. Please don't misquote me again.
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#92
RE: Open to explore possibility
(February 18, 2021 at 3:58 pm)Angrboda Wrote: Please don't misquote me again.

Perhaps you were misunderstood but you weren't misquoted. I'm still not entirely clear on your point; but there is surely research on the topic, so I'll defer my answer to those. Generally speaking biases come first, confirmation second.
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#93
RE: Open to explore possibility
(February 18, 2021 at 4:30 pm)John 6IX Breezy Wrote:
(February 18, 2021 at 3:58 pm)Angrboda Wrote: Please don't misquote me again.

Perhaps you were misunderstood but you weren't misquoted. I'm still not entirely clear on your point; but there is surely research on the topic, so I'll defer my answer to those. Generally speaking biases come first, confirmation second.

Selectively quoting someone in a way that distorts their meaning is misquoting, so yes you did misquote. Are you saying you don't know the difference between accurately quoting someone and inaccurately quoting them?

My main point was that the correlation between watching Fox news and embracing false information isn't necessarily indicative of a causative role. Other things, such as the signal-to-noise ratio, might be considered causative. Why don't you back up and instead of trying to manufacture the appearance of a conflict between the two statements try to explain in words how you see the two as being contradictory? Or you can continue doing what you're doing, which frankly, isn't working.

Quote:mis·quote
/misˈkwōt/

verb
gerund or present participle: misquoting

quote (a person or a piece of written or spoken text) inaccurately.
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#94
RE: Open to explore possibility
APA format allows you to omit unnecessary parts of a direct quote and replace them with ellipses as I have done. You were quoted accurately. Only the two sentences presented were essential to my response.

Edit: Upon reading the Chicago Manual of Style, it appears that although my use of ellipses is correct, bracketing them is not. Brackets imply an omission on your end, not an omission on mine.
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#95
RE: Open to explore possibility
(February 18, 2021 at 1:58 pm)Angrboda Wrote: [...] The recent events seemed to underscore that people seek out information sources that confirm what they want to believe.  [...]

Fox lies constantly, so it deserves to be used as an example.

But I wouldn't want Fox's problems to cause us to overlook that similar things go on with all corporate media. The New York Times lies constantly in support of US foreign policy, including unnecessary war. The Guardian can't be trusted on Israel, among other things. I had to stop reading more than one "serious" magazine in the run up to the Iraq war, when it became obvious that they were warmongering based on lies. 

Meanwhile the sciences are suffering a "reproducibility crisis," because the for-profit journals who publish scientific results select for certain kinds of papers. When later scientists try to reproduce the published results, a shockingly large percentage can't be reproduced. Most science is funded by corporations or the Pentagon, which pay for certain results. Researchers seeking tenure or continued funding are motivated to publish certain kinds of things and not others. 

There has probably never been a time when the media that's widely available has had less incentive to tell the truth. Rush Limbaugh, may he burn in hell, was the poster boy for this, but he was only one of many.
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#96
RE: Open to explore possibility
(February 18, 2021 at 5:08 pm)John 6IX Breezy Wrote: APA format allows you to omit unnecessary parts of a direct quote and replace them with ellipses as I have done. You were quoted accurately. Only the two sentences presented were essential to my response.

Edit: Upon reading the Chicago Manual of Style, it appears that although my use of ellipses is correct, bracketing them is not. Brackets imply an omission on your end, not an omission on mine.

You omitted necessary parts of the text required to preserve the meaning of the text, so even if the APA style guidelines permit eliminating unnecessary parts of the text, that is irrelevant.

Quote:Use an ellipsis in the middle of a quotation to indicate that you have omitted material from the original sentence, which you might do when it includes a digression not germane to your point. However, take care when omitting material to preserve the original meaning of the sentence.

(APA | APA style blog)

Since you appear more concerned with pushing dishonest ass twaddle instead of defending your original point, I think it reasonable to presume that you had no point.
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#97
RE: Open to explore possibility
Once you accuse someone of dishonesty you've made future dialogue impossible.
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#98
RE: Open to explore possibility
(February 16, 2021 at 4:56 pm)Astreja Wrote: Why not?  In the absence of empirical evidence, a belief essentially is based on feelings.

I disagree. We can have good reasons to believe in something, which can extend beyond mere feelings or emotions. Let's take a simple but telling example: We both believe that Siera Leone exists somewhere in Africa, although we very probably never set foot there, nor saw any incontrovertible evidence/footage supporting its existence. 

(February 16, 2021 at 4:56 pm)Astreja Wrote: I've considered the possibility on more than one occasion.  I've dismissed it every time.  The assertions of religion are not adequately supported by real-world data, so it's a waste of my time to consider the issue again.

The assertions of religions are mostly metaphysical, they clearly aren't the same as scientific assertions, so it's a category mistake to try to fit them to real world data. And actually, some parts of scripture - both in the Bible and in the Qur'an/hadiths - actually mention natural phenomena, making the entire respective religions vulnerable to falsification.

(February 16, 2021 at 4:56 pm)Astreja Wrote: I'm prepared to reopen the issue if and only if better data is found - testable data, not scriptures or believers' personal experiences or philosophical thought experiments.

Again, please consider that whatever convinced you may simply not be enough for someone like me.

It's actually not up to you to decide what would be convincing or not. There is a whole field in philosophy called epistemology that deals with this problem. It's a stretch already to restrict the scope of knowledge to testable data. Mathematical truths are not testable data, nor are historical facts or truths based on inference, such as the existence of an external world and of other minds, etc.

(February 17, 2021 at 4:31 am)pocaracas Wrote: The trinity notion claims that there are three persons in the godhead.
Not three gods. Just three different "tasks" attributed to the one god.
That's their clumsy attempt to hide the contradiction I am pointing to you. Of course they won't say the three persons are God, because they know how insane it looks, they nonetheless consider them equal to gods.


"There are three persons, denominated the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who deserve to be called God, and yet there is but one God, not three."
https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings...e-trinity/

(February 17, 2021 at 4:31 am)pocaracas Wrote: If a deity communicates with people, then that deity communicates with all people. Not just a few select individuals who then get tasked with spreading the message, because then the result is a mess - which is what we see in the world.
Also, all the supposedly divine texts in existence were manifestly penned by humans - none by the divine.

You may have heard it before, but a deity is communicating with us right now through what it created. We can recognize the majesty of the universe around us all by ourselves. What's the best way for some entity to prove it is powerful or intelligent? creating something like this intelligible universe.

Now if by communication you mean laying out the detailed message of how to worship this deity, then it's not really up to us whether this deity communicated with all people or only a handful of people. After all, he's God, we're not.

Furthermore, if a deity communicates with only select individuals, then these individuals become models, superstars. And models have a tremendous influence on people in general.

It's true that there are manifest signs of human error in scriptures like the Bible, the book of Mormon, etc. I still think the Qur'an is an exception though. To this day I never heard or read a single serious criticism pointing out some flaw in the Qur'an or authentic hadiths, including in arabic literature.


(February 17, 2021 at 4:31 am)pocaracas Wrote: I agree that the truth of religion and the reality of a god are two different things.
However, every religion hangs on the premise that a god exists. (except Buddhism, let's ignore that wrinkle)

So, does a god exist? any god?
What is a god and what does it mean to exist?
To exist is to be real, to be a part of reality.
God is usually considered to be the creator of all there is... at the least, the creator of the Universe, at the most, the creator of reality.
If we're just going for "creator of the Universe", then it seems to be just a somewhat powerful alien.

If we're going for "creator of reality", then one can't logically exist (i.e. be a part of reality) and create it. The created must be subordinate to the creator.
As such, reality can't have been created by anything, given that this thing would have had to not exist.
Religious philosophers walk around this by claiming that the creator would have created itself simultaneously with reality... but come on... that just reeks of intellectual desperation.

In general a god is defined as the creator of the universe, not of reality. But these are just definitions and empty nomenclature, we somehow all know what the word God means: a perfect, eternal being who is omniscient, omnipotent, etc.

Definitions aside, if one concedes that every thing that begins to exist has a cause, and that the latter principle is universally valid, then there is forcibly a creator of this universe. The only hanging point is that of infinite regress, which can be shown to be impossible in the case of actual causes. The result is an uncaused creator of this universe.
That's all what most deductive arguments for God rely on. Inductive-type arguments are compelling too, namely the teleological argument.

Why is religion necessary if a god exists? Not much can be said unless we assume the the god we reached through standard deductive/inductive arguments is infinitely just. In this case, a just God must have sent us detailed instructions on how to worship him, our goal in life, etc. We then look for traditional belief systems that are the closest to what instructions from a deity should look like.


(February 17, 2021 at 4:31 am)pocaracas Wrote: To look for better reasons for believing after you're already believing, is just feeding a bias.
In my opinion, people shouldn't need to believe whether there is or isn't a god. They should just know - no irrational reasons required. Just pure evidence equivalent to that found for so many other phenomena. If, at some time in their evolution, mankind came across evidence for the divine, then that evidence should have remained intact for us to look into after all these years of worship... and yet, after all these years, all that mankind has managed to show is a multitude of religions and accompanying gods, and the arguing between said religions leading to conflicts and wars and loss of life. The perfect way for any god to reveal itself, huh?

But if the god is not real, or just doesn't care, then all this bickering is completely justified as a purely human psychological phenomenon.

First of all, that there is a multitude of religions doesn't prove anything. It's not because there are conflicting accounts of the divine message that there is no divine message. This is an outright non sequitur. Secondly, it may be the other way around: we are psychologically predisposed to believe in gods precisely because a god made it this way, as some sort of an imprint of the designer.
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#99
RE: Open to explore possibility
(February 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm)Klorophyll Wrote:
(February 16, 2021 at 4:56 pm)Astreja Wrote: Why not?  In the absence of empirical evidence, a belief essentially is based on feelings.

I disagree. We can have good reasons to believe in something, which can extend beyond mere feelings or emotions. Let's take a simple but telling example: We both believe that Siera Leone exists somewhere in Africa, although we very probably never set foot there, nor saw any incontrovertible evidence/footage supporting its existence. 

Just because I haven't been there, nor saw footage of it, that doesn't mean that I can't go there and find footage of it. Evidence for Sierra Leone exists. Evidence for the divine does not.

(February 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm)Klorophyll Wrote:
(February 16, 2021 at 4:56 pm)Astreja Wrote: I've considered the possibility on more than one occasion.  I've dismissed it every time.  The assertions of religion are not adequately supported by real-world data, so it's a waste of my time to consider the issue again.

The assertions of religions are mostly metaphysical, they clearly aren't the same as scientific assertions, so it's a category mistake to try to fit them to real world data. And actually, some parts of scripture - both in the Bible and in the Qur'an/hadiths - actually mention natural phenomena, making the entire respective religions vulnerable to falsification.

The way I see it, if something is supposed to be real, then it is a part of reality - a part of real world data.
Metaphysics is, most likely, nothing but man made generalizations.

(February 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm)Klorophyll Wrote:
(February 17, 2021 at 4:31 am)pocaracas Wrote: The trinity notion claims that there are three persons in the godhead.
Not three gods. Just three different "tasks" attributed to the one god.
That's their clumsy attempt to hide the contradiction I am pointing to you. Of course they won't say the three persons are God, because they know how insane it looks, they nonetheless consider them equal to gods.


"There are three persons, denominated the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who deserve to be called God, and yet there is but one God, not three."
https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings...e-trinity/

I hear you. I know it... but it's what they claim.


(February 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm)Klorophyll Wrote:
(February 17, 2021 at 4:31 am)pocaracas Wrote: If a deity communicates with people, then that deity communicates with all people. Not just a few select individuals who then get tasked with spreading the message, because then the result is a mess - which is what we see in the world.
Also, all the supposedly divine texts in existence were manifestly penned by humans - none by the divine.

You may have heard it before, but a deity is communicating with us right now through what it created. We can recognize the majesty of the universe around us all by ourselves. What's the best way for some entity to prove it is powerful or intelligent? creating something like this intelligible universe.

So you're assuming the universe is created to conclude that there is an entity that created it to show its power and intellect.
That would be circular reasoning, don't you think?
If we don't assume the universe is created, then we don't have any reason to conclude the existence of a creator.

(February 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm)Klorophyll Wrote: Now if by communication you mean laying out the detailed message of how to worship this deity, then it's not really up to us whether this deity communicated with all people or only a handful of people. After all, he's God, we're not.

And, as a god, s/he/it would know beforehand the result of doing things in a particular way.
With the hindsight of the past 5 thousand years of human history, I'm led to think that, if there is a god and s/he/it decided to communicate with a very few select people in antiquity, then s/he/it does not deserve to be considered a god. Just the amount of suffering that this way of doing things has brought on humanity is beyond what I'd expect of something worthy of being called a god.

(February 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm)Klorophyll Wrote: Furthermore, if a deity communicates with only select individuals, then these individuals become models, superstars. And models have a tremendous influence on people in general.

Ah, of course... Elvis!

(February 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm)Klorophyll Wrote: It's true that there are manifest signs of human error in scriptures like the Bible, the book of Mormon, etc. I still think the Qur'an is an exception though. To this day I never heard or read a single serious criticism pointing out some flaw in the Qur'an or authentic hadiths, including in arabic literature.

I don't care much to know about particulars of any holy book....
But I'm sure if we google it, we'd get something on the Qur'an... let me google that for you:

https://carm.org/islam/contradictions-in-the-quran/
""
[...]Of course, the Muslims will deny that any contradictions exist in the Qur’an, but they do.  
[...]
What was man created from: blood, clay, dust, or nothing?

   “Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood,” (96:2).
   “We created man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape, (15:26).
   “The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be”. And he was,” (3:59).
   “But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?” (19:67, Yusuf Ali). Also, 52:35).
   “He has created man from a sperm-drop; and behold this same (man) becomes an open disputer! (16:4).
[etc...]
""

https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Contradictions_in_the_Quran

Should I continue?

(February 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm)Klorophyll Wrote:
(February 17, 2021 at 4:31 am)pocaracas Wrote: I agree that the truth of religion and the reality of a god are two different things.
However, every religion hangs on the premise that a god exists. (except Buddhism, let's ignore that wrinkle)

So, does a god exist? any god?
What is a god and what does it mean to exist?
To exist is to be real, to be a part of reality.
God is usually considered to be the creator of all there is... at the least, the creator of the Universe, at the most, the creator of reality.
If we're just going for "creator of the Universe", then it seems to be just a somewhat powerful alien.

If we're going for "creator of reality", then one can't logically exist (i.e. be a part of reality) and create it. The created must be subordinate to the creator.
As such, reality can't have been created by anything, given that this thing would have had to not exist.
Religious philosophers walk around this by claiming that the creator would have created itself simultaneously with reality... but come on... that just reeks of intellectual desperation.

In general a god is defined as the creator of the universe, not of reality. But these are just definitions and empty nomenclature, we somehow all know what the word God means: a perfect, eternal being who is omniscient, omnipotent, etc.

Definitions aside, if one concedes that every thing that begins to exist has a cause, and that the latter principle is universally valid, then there is forcibly a creator of this universe. The only hanging point is that of infinite regress, which can be shown to be impossible in the case of actual causes. The result is an uncaused creator of this universe.
That's all what most deductive arguments for God rely on. Inductive-type arguments are compelling too, namely the teleological argument.

Really? This old thing is still accepted to the point of being delivered with a straight face?

Look at what you wrote>> "every thing that begins to exist has a cause"... "The result is an uncaused creator of this universe."
Shouldn't this creator also have a cause, if "every thing" has a cause?

If you have to establish an exception to your rule, then the rule isn't exactly as air tight as it should be.



Personally, I have no qualm with the infinite past. Much as I no issue with there being an infinite amount of space to both my left and my right.
You see, for over a century, now, it has been made known to us that space and time are merely two aspects of the same thing - spacetime. If there can both be an infinite spatial regress, then the infinite temporal regress is also allowed. What seems to happen is that, according to the quantum foam theory and bringing in Quantum Fluctuations, sporadically and randomly, a small "ripple" in spacetime forms and promotes the production of matter. One such "ripple", at some particular point of spacetime, could have produced our Universe.
Such a random point of spacetime would anchor the start of the Universe at some time within the infinite past and would provide us with a starting point for our clocks.
No uncaused creator required that breaks the argument's premise... just pure randomness that arises from the Heisenberg Principle.

(February 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm)Klorophyll Wrote: Why is religion necessary if a god exists? Not much can be said unless we assume the the god we reached through standard deductive/inductive arguments is infinitely just. In this case, a just God must have sent us detailed instructions on how to worship him, our goal in life, etc. We then look for traditional belief systems that are the closest to what instructions from a deity should look like.

As I said above, if there is some entity that did create the Universe and decided to communicate with mankind through special people, then I wouldn't call it a god. I'd call it an alien.... an extraterrestrial... nay, an extrauniversal. And one that doesn't seem to understand its own creation.
I think it's extraordinary to assume that this god is just when it made itself known to mankind in a way that promotes divisiveness, strife, war and suffering... extraordinarily naive. It's clearly a false assumption that only the upper classes of mankind would do their utmost to impart on the remainder.

So, if there is a "god" that decided to do things like that, then it is not a just "god".
If there is a "god" that didn't decide to do things like that, then it is none of the gods of human religions.

(February 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm)Klorophyll Wrote:
(February 17, 2021 at 4:31 am)pocaracas Wrote: To look for better reasons for believing after you're already believing, is just feeding a bias.
In my opinion, people shouldn't need to believe whether there is or isn't a god. They should just know - no irrational reasons required. Just pure evidence equivalent to that found for so many other phenomena. If, at some time in their evolution, mankind came across evidence for the divine, then that evidence should have remained intact for us to look into after all these years of worship... and yet, after all these years, all that mankind has managed to show is a multitude of religions and accompanying gods, and the arguing between said religions leading to conflicts and wars and loss of life. The perfect way for any god to reveal itself, huh?

But if the god is not real, or just doesn't care, then all this bickering is completely justified as a purely human psychological phenomenon.

First of all, that there is a multitude of religions doesn't prove anything. It's not because there are conflicting accounts of the divine message that there is no divine message. This is an outright non sequitur. Secondly, it may be the other way around: we are psychologically predisposed to believe in gods precisely because a god made it this way, as some sort of an imprint of the designer.

That there are conflicting accounts of a divine message makes it obvious that mankind manufactured at least some of the messages attributed to the divine.
Given the extraordinary nature of the claim of the divine, it is far more plausible that all the existing divine messages are man-made.
Sure, I agree with you that this plausibility doesn't necessarily lead to the non-existence of a real divine message. It's just that such a real divine message would be expected to be so overwhelming that belief would not be required. As such is not observed, yatta yatta...

As for your psychological predisposition, I'd say that all our psychological predispositions arise from evolutionary forces.
It's very likely that the predisposition we observe nowadays (with all its faults that are producing some 20% of atheists in the population) was brought about due to the need to fit in, in a time when science was very far from existing and human settlements were becoming larger than family units, while hacking into our instinct of trusting our close elders for information that isn't readily available to us, especially in our infancy.
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RE: Open to explore possibility
(February 18, 2021 at 5:08 pm)John 6IX Breezy Wrote: APA format allows you to omit unnecessary parts of a direct quote and replace them with ellipses as I have done. You were quoted accurately. Only the two sentences presented were essential to my response.

Edit: Upon reading the Chicago Manual of Style, it appears that although my use of ellipses is correct, bracketing them is not. Brackets imply an omission on your end, not an omission on mine.

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Please review the forum rules - in this case particularly #18 - Quoting other members of the forum inaccurately is against the rules. Any changes in the format of a quote must be called out by the poster with a note (i.e. "bold mine").


And if you want to argue this, go to the correct forum thread to do it.  It's not going to be debated here.  Specifically:  Atheist Forums - Questions, Problems, Suggestions, and Feedback
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