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07/05/2013 03:51:07 PM · #201
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by Cory:

...the whole concept of an afterlife is almost certainly nothing more than a very compelling sales pitch.

To be fair, there's a *bit* more to it than that. For one thing, the afterlife is a handy explanation for reports of visions or lights during some near-death experiences as Kelli alluded to earlier, although a far more plausible explanation is simply the brain going into desperate overdrive... not unlike dreams, and no more mystical (a remote Amazon tribesman will never experience a vision of Jesus or dream of snowboarding). It also offers a convenient gap for the supernatural soul, even if the whole notion of a soul was derived from a homunculus fallacy– the sensation that our identity is a separate person peering out through the window of physical eyes. Leaving aside the obvious problem this creates as an explanation for vision (another little person peering out through that window), there's also the little issue of explaining why a soul needs physical eyes and ears at all to perceive the universe if the same soul can be "watching over us" without them.

As with religion, only the general idea of an afterlife is common while the specifics vary wildly: ghosts, angels, purgatory, reuniting with loved ones, harps, wings, judgement, reincarnation and so on. These beliefs will be held with absolute conviction, yet must remain unprovable and unknowable in order to persist. Jesus supposedly promised physical resurrection, vividly demonstrated by his body disappearing from the tomb, and that has evolved over the centuries into a spiritual resurrection since disappearing bodies would be a cinch to test. Never mind that the spiritual approach renders the story of an empty tomb utterly pointless. It's fun to imagine awkward afterlife moments like meeting up with several divorced spouses, a repentant murderer meeting his victim(s), or maybe 40 virgins thinking "how did I wind up with this gig?"


OMG! It hurts to laugh, but I couldn't help it.
07/05/2013 11:34:08 PM · #202
It's probably just God.
07/06/2013 03:18:32 PM · #203
Originally posted by scalvert:

a remote Amazon tribesman will never experience a vision of Jesus or dream of snowboarding


So science has proven they dont have imagination and never will? That sucks.
07/06/2013 03:25:32 PM · #204
Originally posted by yanko:

Originally posted by scalvert:

a remote Amazon tribesman will never experience a vision of Jesus or dream of snowboarding


So science has proven they dont have imagination and never will? That sucks.


More like, first, as I have explained a dozen times, the value of science is never in proving anything, but rather in the disproof, since since doesn't actually ever prove a damned thing - it just fails to disprove.

Secondly, the idea at play here is that science has indicated that humans are generally only able to conceptualize that which they are able to build a framework around, and have some exposure to.

Since a remote Amazon tribe has never heard of, or seen, a white guy in flowing white robes, one would surmise that it's pretty darn unlikely they would ever 'see' a vision of Jesus. Of course, they've NEVER seen snow, and there most certainly are not snow covered mountains where they live, and as such, they would never be able to conceptualize the idea of snowboarding.

Pretty simple really - no idea how the heck you would have misinterpreted that one.
07/06/2013 03:34:29 PM · #205
Originally posted by Cory:

Originally posted by yanko:

Originally posted by scalvert:

a remote Amazon tribesman will never experience a vision of Jesus or dream of snowboarding


So science has proven they dont have imagination and never will? That sucks.


More like, first, as I have explained a dozen times, the value of science is never in proving anything, but rather in the disproof, since since doesn't actually ever prove a damned thing - it just fails to disprove.

Secondly, the idea at play here is that science has indicated that humans are generally only able to conceptualize that which they are able to build a framework around, and have some exposure to.

Since a remote Amazon tribe has never heard of, or seen, a white guy in flowing white robes, one would surmise that it's pretty darn unlikely they would ever 'see' a vision of Jesus. Of course, they've NEVER seen snow, and there most certainly are not snow covered mountains where they live, and as such, they would never be able to conceptualize the idea of snowboarding.

Pretty simple really - no idea how the heck you would have misinterpreted that one.


That sure reads like a proof to me.

Eta: You might want to re-read my post because everything you just said In bold is the opposite of imagination.

Message edited by author 2013-07-06 15:56:33.
07/06/2013 04:01:34 PM · #206
Originally posted by yanko:

Originally posted by scalvert:

a remote Amazon tribesman will never experience a vision of Jesus or dream of snowboarding

So science has proven they dont have imagination and never will? That sucks.

It's not about imagination, but personal experience. People blind from birth do not dream with images because their brains have no reference for that, yet I'm sure these folks are just as creative as anyone else.
07/06/2013 04:18:16 PM · #207
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by yanko:

Originally posted by scalvert:

a remote Amazon tribesman will never experience a vision of Jesus or dream of snowboarding

So science has proven they dont have imagination and never will? That sucks.

It's not about imagination, but personal experience. People blind from birth do not dream with images because their brains have no reference for that, yet I'm sure these folks are just as creative as anyone else.


Yeah I knew what you meant.
07/07/2013 11:22:12 PM · #208
Originally posted by scalvert:

The basic point is that literally every single assertion of God's possible existence necessarily rests within the unknown or unknowable...


To be fair, ALL worldviews or systems of knowledge are going to eventually fall victim to the same problem. We must be careful to define what we mean by "known", but most of the time in epistemology, we "know" a proposition if we have a justification for such knowledge (to put it very simply). However, all justifications are, in themselves, propositions and thus we can spot the conundrum. We can imagine some infernal Rant-bot that responds to every post with "what is your justification for this knowledge?" Either the proposition-justification chain goes on forever (which seems unlikely and, at the very least, it seems we would not have actual knowledge of an infinite chain of justifications), or it stops somewhere with a statement that has no justification. The question is, can we "know" that root statement?

So to summarize, not all worldviews reflect truth (we can deduce this by seeing there are mutually exclusive worldviews), but all fall victim to ultimately being "unknowable". Frankly epistemology always makes me want to curl up in a ball and weep, but I can at least take solace in knowing we are all in the same boat.

Message edited by author 2013-07-07 23:23:55.
07/08/2013 02:30:12 AM · #209
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

., but all fall victim to ultimately being "unknowable". Frankly epistemology always makes me want to curl up in a ball and weep, but I can at least take solace in knowing we are all in the same boat.


Ahh... But that is where we differ. I think they are simply currently unknown, which should NOT be confused with unknowable. Indeed sir, I feel that we are in two different boats, although admittedly they are both in about the same condition currently, I do have more hope for my boat in the future.
07/08/2013 09:34:20 AM · #210
Originally posted by Cory:

Indeed sir, I feel that we are in two different boats, although admittedly they are both in about the same condition currently, I do have more hope for my boat in the future.

LOL, we aren't even in the same ocean. Jason's hilariously trying to assign a base level of ignorance to ALL knowledge to prop up the credibility of religious conviction. Rather than even dispute the argument from ignorance, he's going with, "Yeah, well you don't really know anything either. Nyah!" Baloney. We know the earth is spherical and orbits the sun and we know germs cause disease. These facts are not going to change because the "justification" is justifiable: we have tested the propositions to find out if they're true. Religion doesn't work that way at all, and no supernatural entity, much less his intentions or magical deeds, will ever be known because religion requires its tenets to be untestable. Skeptics can come to an agreement or be convinced to change their minds through demonstration and observation while the faithful can't even agree who's a Christian or Muslim. They just "know" it.
07/08/2013 11:22:42 AM · #211
Well, Shannon, a lot of what you're posting up can be reduced to scornful rants against the way humans choose to personify God. For the purposes of this discussion, here, that's irrelevant. This discussion is more about the raw EXISTENCE of a God, not how we humans have chosen to mangle up our comprehension of him. We'd be a lot better off, in this thread at least, if we threw away our preconceptions of how idiotic are the Muslim and Christian concepts of the Maker, and instead just realized that the REAL mystery lies around how the universe got "created" or came into being in the first place.

For sure, nobody has the answer to THAT yet, and if YOU think science HAS solved that conundrum, then you're just as dogmatic as any Christian or Muslim in this thread :-)
07/08/2013 11:34:48 AM · #212
Both Cory and Shannon miss what I am saying. We may "know" the Earth is spherical, but we ask why we know that. We point to observation. We ask why this is important. We point to the scientific method. We ask why this is important. We might point to a philosophical underpinning. We ask why this is important...

Does it make sense now? Either it goes on forever (unlikely) or eventually it is grounded in a statement without a "why". Every system is going to run into this. All systems are built upon "unknowable" axioms (unknowable in the epistemologic sense). It's possible Shannon may have been using "unknowable" in the sense of "unproven by science", but that is a weak definition and one easily dismissed. Not all knowledge is gained through the scientific method. We've been through that already.

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 11:35:41.
07/08/2013 11:51:28 AM · #213
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

We'd be a lot better off, in this thread at least, if we threw away our preconceptions of how idiotic are the Muslim and Christian concepts of the Maker, and instead just realized that the REAL mystery lies around how the universe got "created" or came into being in the first place.

Sure, but it still amounts to inserting god into a gap of ignorance, and there's no more basis for that than assuming fairies are the reason socks disappear from the dryer even if the mystery is never solved.
07/08/2013 12:33:40 PM · #214
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

We'd be a lot better off, in this thread at least, if we threw away our preconceptions of how idiotic are the Muslim and Christian concepts of the Maker, and instead just realized that the REAL mystery lies around how the universe got "created" or came into being in the first place.

Sure, but it still amounts to inserting god into a gap of ignorance, and there's no more basis for that than assuming fairies are the reason socks disappear from the dryer even if the mystery is never solved.


The conversation had been talking about the rationality of supposing a Creator based upon the fine tuning of the universe. The "god of the gaps" counterargument has been dealt with more than once above.

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 12:34:38.
07/08/2013 12:52:04 PM · #215
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Does it make sense now?

Nope. You're still trying to show ignorance of everything to lend credence to an argument from ignorance, and it doesn't work. There are many aspects of the universe that we don't fully understand, some minor and some major, but not knowing the origin of life does not mean germ theory is ultimately based on ignorance. A god can never answer the question of ultimate origin because it always leaves something without an origin: the god. More to the point, it's not even an ATTEMPT to answer the question, but a flawed effort to make questions fit a preconceived answer. "We don't know X, therefore the god I know" does not make sense on any rational level because it assigns a very specific conviction to a complete unknown. Even if god is taken as an abstract, it arbitrarily narrows the field of possibilities to a maker– a living entity with intent, immense knowledge and supernatural ability– and a complexity greater than the universe it purports to explain. While the deist approach of a general creator is ultimately as baseless as assuming fairies are stealing your socks, specific religions go on to describe the fairy in detail along with what it wants, a complete history of sock taking and the ultimate fate of future socks.

"I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day." - Douglas Adams
07/08/2013 01:11:31 PM · #216
Let me see if I can distill this down.

Position 1: SOMETHING must exist like a god of some sort because there are things science can't explain, but my religion has answers for everything, so it must be smarter/better/more correct.

Position 2: We don't know many things, and suspect much of what we do know. What we know, we've found by applying a set of behaviors to our lives, and attempting to answer questions through those means, known as the 'Scientific Method'. Historically, through this set of behaviors, we have found that we are able to answer almost any question that we have asked. There are still a few questions we're not even sure of the nature of the answer, let alone the answer itself, but we know that the system we're using have proven highly efficient at solving these types of problems, so it's reasonable to expect the same performance and results even on questions that are more difficult to answer.

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 13:12:52.
07/08/2013 01:16:43 PM · #217
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

The conversation had been talking about the rationality of supposing a Creator based upon the fine tuning of the universe.

ROFL! Fine tuning is perhaps the most ridiculous and thoroughly debunked of all the big arguments from ignorance. Camp out naked in Oregon some February and tell us how finely tuned the universe is for you. The vast majority of the universe is openly hostile to life as we know it, and organisms have adapted to fit the available conditions or gone extinct (mostly the latter).
07/08/2013 01:19:01 PM · #218
No. Shannon, you came into the conversation way too late and are missing what we were talking about or are going over things already gone over. Cory, you are just pulling back into the shell of Scientism again.

Originally posted by Shannon:

A god can never answer the question of ultimate origin because it always leaves something without an origin: the god.


Of course. ALL origin stories are going to wind up with something without an origin. No? This isn't fatal to the rationality of the concept. We are ALWAYS going to wind up with some first cause.

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 13:19:24.
07/08/2013 01:21:10 PM · #219
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

The conversation had been talking about the rationality of supposing a Creator based upon the fine tuning of the universe.

ROFL! Fine tuning is perhaps the most ridiculous and thoroughly debunked of all the big arguments from ignorance. Camp out naked in Oregon some February and tell us how finely tuned the universe is for you. The vast majority of the universe is openly hostile to life as we know it, and organisms have adapted to fit the available conditions or gone extinct (mostly the latter).


Ok. You are now off the deep end of ignorance. Im not talking about whether the water in my tub is just right. Fine tuning is back in the news because of the Higgs boson. If you don't understand the issue, we can just be done.

Are you a #3 guy or a #4 guy?

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 13:25:04.
07/08/2013 01:27:49 PM · #220
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

No. Shannon, you came into the conversation way too late and are missing what we were talking about or are going over things already gone over.

Hmm... just because you can't see me you assume I haven't been present for the conversation since the very first post. I think I need a white robe.
07/08/2013 01:31:22 PM · #221
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

No. Shannon, you came into the conversation way too late and are missing what we were talking about or are going over things already gone over.

Hmm... just because you can't see me you assume I haven't been present for the conversation since the very first post. I think I need a white robe.


Fair enough, are you a #3 or a #4 or do you have a fifth option?
07/08/2013 01:32:15 PM · #222
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Im not talking about whether the water in my tub is just right. Fine tuning is back in the news because of the Higgs boson. If you don't understand the issue, we can just be done.

The accidental comedian strikes gold.
07/08/2013 01:41:06 PM · #223
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Fair enough, are you a #3 or a #4 or do you have a fifth option?

None of the above. Your premise of fine tuning was faulty from the outset: an inverse Gambler's Fallacy.

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 13:41:22.
07/08/2013 01:41:08 PM · #224
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Im not talking about whether the water in my tub is just right. Fine tuning is back in the news because of the Higgs boson. If you don't understand the issue, we can just be done.

The accidental comedian strikes gold.


Really Doc, you do see that you're trying to use a gap argument here right?

There's no arguing that almost everything we can see, or know about, is completely hostile to life, that much I know you agree on.

The question is why you see a gap in the knowledge, and seek to insert a pre-formed answer into the gap. We scientists are admittedly guilty of the same, with one crucial difference - our pre-formed answers MUST be testable and able to be disproven if incorrect. Yours, are by definition, untestable, so they are in effect, useless in terms of gaining knowledge (which IS what we are talking about in the end).

Now beyond all of that, it's a worrisome fact that I even have to go over this with someone who has, ostensibly, been trained in science. Surely you of all people should understand the ramifications of the new information - and that those ramifications are actually exciting, rather than upsetting. We are about to see a whole new generation of understanding and discovery. Yet here you stand, wailing the ages old cry. It's baffling to me, and I have to admit, upsetting and disturbing in a way that you probably can't even comprehend.
07/08/2013 01:42:28 PM · #225
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Fair enough, are you a #3 or a #4 or do you have a fifth option?

None of the above. Your premise of fine tuning was faulty from the outset: an inverse Gambler's Fallacy.


I said to myself. There's no way in hell he answers...

Can you explain an inverse gambler's fallacy for the uninitiated among us?

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 13:44:02.
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