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Proof and evidence will always equal Science
#1
Proof and evidence will always equal Science
I've hit a bit of a conundrum regarding the "proof of the existence of God" question.

You can't do it.

Ask a theist to define:
Supernatural
Divine
Faith
Spirit
Soul
God

And you get vague wishy-washy crap that either doesn't mean anything, defines itself with its own word/another magic word that tautology defines itself,  or tries to point to something physical/material to define it but is never exactly the same as the physical thing and the special god-term possesses some nebulous "extra" quality that makes it MORE(e.g. the soul is often defined by pointing to the mind, the personality of a being, yet the words "mind" and "personality" are not interchangeable with soul because there's this as yet undefined special quality in soul that makes it MORE THAN a function of thinking or defining characteristics of a person/being).

They can't be hammered down and that's the point. They're mysterious. They're froo-froo magic.

Yet when you logically define things using scientific methods and terminology, you essentially break down how it works and what it is/what it does. So, asking for observable evidence of god, the divine, the spirit, is going to intrinsically change the nature of those things because the mystery, the vague unknown quality has been revealed and now the thing is just a "thing". It's real. We know how it works, what it is. 

Erasing that mystery and limitless potential erases the supreme nature of these things. Because now they have limits. It's physical. If a theist ever came to me and brought me someone that I could physically touch, see, and communicate with, and they showed me some crazy power and explained "this is how that is done"(like mutated genetics or advanced technology, etc.) And then they said, "Here he is. This is my God. The one I told you about this whole time. The one who created the planet(through some interspace geological farming project where planets are amassed or his evolution allows him to have geo telekinesis where he could bring together rocks and elements from space into one giant mass) and created all life(through genetic engineering or bringing embryos from his own planet here, or maybe his evolution has allowed him to get pregnant and he literally had a few kids and plopped them here, etc.). He's really real!" 

I would ask, "why are you worshipping some dude? He's right there. I can see him. He's not magic. He's not all-knowing. He's just advanced. He's got bowels and picks his nose just like you and me. Why are you on your knees for someone that merely got you out of a test tube and arrived here on a ship that takes fuel?"

Like, they'll never find "the guy" that is god, whether he looks humanoid or is some cosmic horror incomprehensible alien, because he doesn't fit into the vague mystery. Even if when they found him, he had a white beard and glowing white robes and owned all the shit in the Bible and Koran, once we pointed out that he could be physically explained and they were challenged for getting on their knees for a physical dude who poops and pees(or has some genetic mutation that eliminated his need to eliminate but that can be studied and explained), they might backtrack and be like, "that's not him." 

You know. Like how they did when it was explained what lightning is. "That's not him. I thought it was but now that I know what lightning is, that's not him. That's not my god."

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#2
RE: Proof and evidence will always equal Science
(December 1, 2021 at 8:57 am)Ten Wrote: It's physical. If a theist ever came to me and brought me someone that I could physically touch, see, and communicate with, and they showed me some crazy power and explained "this is how that is done"(like mutated genetics or advanced technology, etc.)

Category error.

Metaphysical issues can't be proven with physical evidence, by definition.
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#3
RE: Proof and evidence will always equal Science
(December 1, 2021 at 8:59 am)Belacqua Wrote:
(December 1, 2021 at 8:57 am)Ten Wrote: It's physical. If a theist ever came to me and brought me someone that I could physically touch, see, and communicate with, and they showed me some crazy power and explained "this is how that is done"(like mutated genetics or advanced technology, etc.)

Category error.

Metaphysical issues can't be proven with physical evidence, by definition.

You said what I just said in fewer words.

Define metaphysical. That should keep you busy for a bit.

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#4
RE: Proof and evidence will always equal Science
Great

Nice rant. I very much enjoyed it. Especially the cosmic horror bit. I think most colloquial conceptions of God are just people kind of going along with what their encompassing religious social group says. As you point out, it leads to absurdity pretty quick. Because people are just repeating a bunch of stuff they've never critically examined. It's nonsense.

Thoughtful theists, who scrutinize and question their own theologies, tend to be able to avoid some of this absurdity, although questions still remain. Leo Tolstoy, who I recently mentioned, has such a take on Christian theology. It's grounded and realistic... careful with its claims. You can't expect that from Baptists, Mormons, and others. Such people are members of a social institution first and believers second.

(December 1, 2021 at 9:01 am)Ten Wrote:
(December 1, 2021 at 8:59 am)Belacqua Wrote: Category error.

Metaphysical issues can't be proven with physical evidence, by definition.

You said what I just said in fewer words.

Define metaphysical. That should keep you busy for a bit.

Remember the "Do chairs exist?" thread? Whether you answer yes or no to that question, you accept some sort of metaphysical theory. As Bel points out, you can't prove a metaphysical theory with evidence... but you can make substantive logical arguments. So it's not dogmatic or anything.
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#5
RE: Proof and evidence will always equal Science
(December 1, 2021 at 9:08 am)vulcanlogician Wrote: Great

Nice rant. I very much enjoyed it. Especially the cosmic horror bit. I think most colloquial conceptions of God are just people kind of going along with what their encompassing religious social group says. As you point out, it leads to absurdity pretty quick. Because people are just repeating a bunch of stuff they've never critically examined. It's nonsense.

Thoughtful theists, who scrutinize and question their own theologies, tend to be able to avoid some of this absurdity, although questions still remain. Leo Tolstoy, who I recently mentioned, has such a take on Christian theology. It's grounded and realistic... careful with its claims. You can't expect that from Baptists, Mormons, and others. Such people are members of a social institution first and believers second.

I think I would still challenge the idea of worship or awe for anything that can be materially defined and physically interacted with. Like, even if you define your god as a realistic being, the "daddy" of creation, I'm still stuck on the theism bit. Why is he god? He can be explained. It's still absurd.

Or maybe I'm just not catching on to what you mean by the oxymoron of "thoughtful theists" and what you mean by grounded and realistic. Theism itself by the definition "belief in a god" is escaping the physical and definable reality. What is god? The more concrete it is, the less it is god.

(December 1, 2021 at 9:08 am)vulcanlogician Wrote: Remember the "Do chairs exist?" thread? Whether you answer yes or no to that question, you accept some sort of metaphysical theory. As Bel points out, you can't prove a metaphysical theory with evidence... but you can make substantive logical arguments. So it's not dogmatic or anything.

Oh god...

I do remember it. I avoided it. Because it was an absurd and not very useful line of questioning. Where we are right now talking together with letters and typing and me sitting in my room and you sitting somewhere else; there's a certain level of idiocy "gotcha" in challenging the reality we both acknowledge and interact with on a practical basis.

So, this is what I've done. I've accidentally remade the "derp are things that I touch real?" thread. Great.

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#6
RE: Proof and evidence will always equal Science
(December 1, 2021 at 9:14 am)Ten Wrote: I think I would still challenge the idea of worship or awe for anything that can be materially defined and physically interacted with. Like, even if you define your god as a realistic being, the "daddy" of creation, I'm still stuck on the theism bit. Why is he god? He can be explained. It's still absurd.

Or maybe I'm just not catching on to what you mean by the oxymoron of "thoughtful theists" and what you mean by grounded and realistic. Theism itself by the definition "belief in a god" is escaping the physical and definable reality. What is god? The more concrete it is, the less it is god.

I don't endorse worship of anyone or anything. At least "worship" in the crude sense as is endorsed by Baptists and Mormons. Awe on the other hand, I think is natural. I'm awed by nature. When I peak out my window to see a sow-covered tree, I am awed by its beauty. If theists believe some kind of cosmic intelligence to be behind it all, awe might be appropriate there too.

There are plenty of thoughtful theists around. Tolstoy is a great example. In his Confession he wrote:

Quote:A certain intelligent and honest man named S. once told me
the story of how he ceased to be a believer. At the age of twentysix, while'taking shelter for the night during a hunting trip, he
knelt to pray in the evening, as had been his custom since childhood. His older brother, who had accompanied him on the trip,
was lying down on some straw and watching him. When S. had
finished and was getting ready to lie down, his brother said to him,
"So you still do that." And they said nothing more to each other.
From that day S. gave up praying and going to church. And for
thirty years he has not prayed, he has not taken holy communion,
and he has not gone to church. Not because he shared his brother's
convictions and went along with them; nor was it because he had
decided on something or other in his own soul. It was simply-that
the remark his brother had made was like the nudge of a finger
against a wall that was about to fall over from its own weight. His
brother's remark showed him that the place where he thought
faith to be had long since been empty; subsequently the words he
spoke, the signs of the cross he made, and the bowing of his head
in prayer were in essence completely meaningless actions. Once
having admitted the meaninglessness of these gestures, he could
no longer continue them.
http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgup...olstoy.pdf


Tolstoy is a theist, but he's also profoundly thoughtful, as a reading of the above passage indicates. His journey to belief as described in the Confession begins with him dismissing the many absurdities (like the ones you mention in the OP). I think Tolstoy exemplifies a thoughtful theist. If you think "thoughtful theist" is an oxymoron, you should read his Confession. I found it to be an exhilarating work. Lots of insights in there, even for an atheist. If anything, reading the book dispels the notion that there's no such thing as a thoughtful theist.
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#7
RE: Proof and evidence will always equal Science
(December 1, 2021 at 9:01 am)Ten Wrote: Define metaphysical. That should keep you busy for a bit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics
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#8
RE: Proof and evidence will always equal Science
(December 1, 2021 at 9:35 am)Belacqua Wrote:
(December 1, 2021 at 9:01 am)Ten Wrote: Define metaphysical. That should keep you busy for a bit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics

Vulcan beat ya to it. I got it. It's the "am me here? Food am eat? Other people think or all people is me? Is really real or mind really real? *mouth fart noises*" thread again. My bad.

My name is regret.

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#9
RE: Proof and evidence will always equal Science
You can argue for the existence of god but you can't argue god into existence.
I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem




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#10
RE: Proof and evidence will always equal Science
(December 1, 2021 at 9:46 am)brewer Wrote: You can argue for the existence of god but you can't argue god into existence.

Maybe not, but it give ontologists something to do.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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