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Thoughts on God/Purpose

Posted by TheThorn 
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 01:29AM
Because there are varying shades of belief to some people, islander. grinning smiley
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 02:44AM
Wow. If someone I sorta know and feel like is a fairly honest person, then why on earth wouldn't I believe him if he tells me in casual conversation something as trivial as "Oh btw, I own a house"!

Some of you are WAY over-thinking this and I'm guessing it's just because the subject is God.

We don't consciously decide to have a belief about anything. Beliefs automatically arise cognitively in response to experience. If you have no experience with a concept, then you won't have a belief about it. But if you do have experience with a concept then you cannot help but have a belief about it. This doesn't mean you'll have a true or even a rational belief about it. It means only that you'll believe something about it.

Very, very few people in the developed world are entirely unfamiliar with the concept of God; hence, very, very few people in the developed world have no belief one way or the other about the existence of God.

I don't believe God exists. Science, IMO, has done an excellent job in describing the way the universe works, making God an unnecessary hypothesis. At one point, before we knew what we know today about the world, the God hypothesis was more viable. Now, people seem to believe in God because of fear more than anything else. Not fear of God. Fear of an indifferent universe, fear of the ultimate meaninglessness of their lives (see TheThorn). It's an existential fear. If these people admit their lack of belief in God, to them, they will be admitting that they have no special status in the universe, that their lives, when all is said and done, are meaningless, that in a hundred or two hundred or a thousand years it will be as if they'd never lived at all -- and they cannot bear the thought of that.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 02:55AM

"mental jumping jacks"

... is a conveeenient label that you just put on a concept that you don't understand and don't want to think about too hard.

smoking smiley
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 09:45AM
Perhaps the universe doesn't have a "designer" per se, but something else entirely that we don't understand that's meaningful and not "nothing".
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 04:02PM
So, Hornswoggle, do you 'actually believe' that speculation is "absolutely not the case" as some would say you must? winking smiley Or, while it's a perfectly logical and plausible possibility, the evidence is insufficient for you to determine whether it is or is not the case?
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 05:34PM
Isle, Re: "why do you not believe in withholding judgement (sic) until one has sufficient evidence to determine what one should believe regarding the proposition?"

Because probability theory says that if there is absolutely no evidence to support a claim that something exists or that something does not exist, absence of evidence can be counted as, albeit weak, evidence of absence. Iow, the ONLY evidence for the claim makes it more likely than not that it does not exist. That's why in a nutshell. On a personal note, I don't know how to withhold judgment. My brain does what it does and it always leans toward the claim that makes the most sense to me or that is mathematically most likely.

And, no, I can't just let this one from tuk go because it really just sums up his whole nonthought process : "Stop thinking about celestial teapots people, it's only an argument to show who has burden of proof. When you claim we live in a world absent of God you absolutely have that burden..."

But those who claim there IS a god don't have a burden of proof?? Lmao! "Stop thinking"? It's obvious that's what tuk did as soon as he was programmed to believe in gods. Claims he doesn't believe either way but only chastises the nonbelievers. Typical theist masquerading as a nonbeliever, a nonfaithful know nothing. Just the practice of capitalizing the word "god" is a dead giveaway to his Abrahamic upbringing and deep programming. Yet he fancies himself an intellectual. Go figure.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2015 05:49PM by Sam.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 05:36PM
When it comes to the topic of existence, nothing seems to make sense. Consider quantum entanglement

Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently—instead, a quantum state may be given for the system as a whole.

Measurements of physical properties such as position, momentum, spin, polarization, etc. performed on entangled particles are found to be appropriately correlated. For example, if a pair of particles is generated in such a way that their total spin is known to be zero, and one particle is found to have clockwise spin on a certain axis, then the spin of the other particle, measured on the same axis, will be found to be counterclockwise. Because of the nature of quantum measurement, however, this behavior gives rise to effects that can appear paradoxical: any measurement of a property of a particle can be seen as acting on that particle (e.g. by collapsing a number of superimposed states); and in the case of entangled particles, such action must be on the entangled system as a whole. It thus appears that one particle of an entangled pair "knows" what measurement has been performed on the other, and with what outcome, even though there is no known means for such information to be communicated between the particles, which at the time of measurement may be separated by arbitrarily large distances.

Here's the "simple" explanation: []

So in other words, if something happens to one of the particles, its sister particle, which could be all the way on the other side of the universe, is instantly affected. Which is very bizarre, even to theoretical physicists.

The results of the double slit experiments call into question time itself - also very bizarre.

But just because something is inconceivable to us doesn't make it false. It could be that the human mind isn't equipped to understand these things. Perhaps the answers can't even be described by mathematical formulas.

We know a lot, but we still know nothing. In math, any number divided by infinity equals zero.

For these reasons, I describe myself as agnostic. It would be interesting to see what percentage of theoretical physicists describe themselves as agnostics. My guess is that most do.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2015 05:37PM by Hornswoggle.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 05:39PM
confused smiley Oddly enough, some folks in this thread have the mistaken impression that "sufficient evidence" is necessary before belief forms. This usually results from confusing "belief" and "rational belief," which are not the same thing at all.

Belief forms subconsciously. Rational belief or irrational belief is determined only after a conscious analysis of the reasons for one's belief.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 05:50PM
According to this survey, among scientists, atheists outnumber agnostics:

OTOH, what does "nothing in particular" or "don't know" mean?
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 05:57PM
Horny's statement: "We know a lot, but we still know nothing." is the agnostic position in a nutshell. It's like throwing a cat in the middle of a dog fight.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 06:01PM
Actually that's a mathematical position.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 06:18PM
If you know something, you can't also know nothing. If that's not true, I'd love to see the math.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 06:23PM
I already showed you the math.

Now, if knowledge is finite, then we don't know "nothing" - we actually know something.

Or perhaps zero doesn't really mean nothing.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 06:29PM
I'm not sure if rationality can't be automatic to some people. I think in some ways it can be. I think one can be naturally skeptical and that is a critical thinking mindset. Rationality is likely an inherent and learnt trait. IOW you might not be able to define certain logical fallicies but still argue and think rationally.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 07:27PM
No Sam, anyone who holds a metaphysical belief has burden of proof so yes that would include the Theist.

And Dick, When you say God isn't necessary that has a very specific meaning in relation to science, not philosophy. God isn't incompatible with science, it just isn't necessary or useful to it. In no way is that rational justification to believe we live in a world absent of God. Religion can be incompatible with science but that can be fixed by the believer if they desire to have a consistent religious philosophy. We see that evolution happening in America right now. ( You atheist haters who argue for the complete eradication of religion probably see it as a bad thing, somehow...)
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