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Thoughts on God/Purpose

Posted by TheThorn 
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 01:22AM
Sam, for the truth of an assertion, a hypothesis, etc, to be underdetermined, it just means basically that the evidence available to us at a given time may be insufficient to determine what beliefs we should hold in response to it. A simplified example given in the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy goes like this. All you know is that I spent $10 on apples and oranges. Apples cost $1 and oranges cost $2. You know I couldn't have bought six oranges. Should you believe that I bought four oranges and two apples? Should you believe that I 'didn't' buy four oranges and 2 apples? From my perspective you don't have enough information to make that determination and the most rational thing to do IMO would be to suspend your judgement until you had more info. Why 'should' you have to believe one or the other? If you think (believe) I bought four oranges and two apples or that I didn't, you'd have to bring something else into your decision making besides the evidence. When most people believe an underdetermined hypothesis, they use hunches or guesses (personality plays a part), usually based on lots of assumptions and preconceived beliefs they already hold, and they believe what just 'seems' to make the most sense to them. Can you really not withhold judgement on something if you feel you don't have enough info?
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 02:18AM
Imo, no, not on a true or false claim regarding whether or not something exists and that's what the question at hand is. What you are trying to figure out and what I'm talking about? Apples and Oranges. smiling smiley
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 03:18AM
Sam, does my casita exist?
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 03:36AM
By the way, it's good to be see all my old friends still here! I just have to be careful not to get too caught up in this debating stuff. It's much too easy to spend way too much time here lol!
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 05:46AM
Isle, If you say you have a casita, then yes, I believe your casita exists.

Good to see you, Isle, and hope you and yours are doing great. I just came here looking for some Londoners and have found a couple so will be moving along soon but it sure was nice seeing everyone again.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 10:49AM
Great answer, Sam.

And why shouldn't Sam believe (note: not claim to know) that Islander has a casita based on nothing more than Islander's claim that he has one. There's nothing particularly extraordinary about his claim. After all, lots of people own small houses and Islander seems like the kind of person who wouldn't lie or be mistaken about such a mundane, easy-to-verify matter, although, of course he could be lying or mistaken about it. But that's just the thing: if he is lying or joking about it and Sam finds out, Sam would change her belief because she would then have evidence that pointed her in that direction.

It's called "believing with the evidence," folks. It doesn't lock you into anything. Based on the evidence currently available, I believe X. If the evidence changes in such a way ~X becomes more likely than X, then I hope at that point I'll have the courage to believe ~X.

The mere claim that something extraordinary exists without any sort of tangible evidence whatsoever that the thing actually does exist, is enough for someone to believe (note: not claim to know) that the thing (a god or a tachyon or a 2015 Seahawk Super Bowl win) doesn't exist.

I agree with Islander that belief can be and sometimes is underdetermined, which is just another form of irrational belief. However, much, much more often what happens, as is the case with belief in the existence of a god or gods, is that people just don't want to state their belief publicly.

Do you believe Big Foot exists? Martians? The ebola virus? Atlantis? Athena? The Ark of the Covenant? Joseph Smith's golden plates? Tachyons?

Remember, I'm not asking you whether or not you KNOW that these things exist. I'm asking only whether you BELIEVE they do. Big difference.

You either have enough information now or can easily get enough information to automatically, unconsciously come to a simple belief one way or the other about the existence of virtually anything, including the existence of God. If you don't want to publicly state your belief, fine. Just say that. I think it's a bit disingenuous, however, to pretend that you are completely unfamiliar with the subject or don't have enough information about it to automatically form a belief one way or the other on the matter.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 02:33PM
Sam, when I asked you if my casita you know what I'm talking about? You don't know whether I have an actual casita since I never told you I did. So I'll have to ask you again. Based on the evidence you do have, "Do you believe my casita exists"?
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 05:20PM
Isle, When you said "my" it gave me a clue that you probably believe it exists so I believe you that it probably does exist but I don't know and I don't care. So on that question I'd have to say I'm an agnostic believer. smiling smiley
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 06:02PM
If the matter of whether Islander owned a casita was of importance to her Sam could easily get enough info to form a belief on the matter. She could start, for example, by simply asking Islander whether he owned a casita.

This same process applies to just about everything else, as well, and certainly applies to belief in God or in a particular god or in gods. If someone says, "I don't believe or disbelieve in God's existence," he's not (truthfully) saying, "I lack the necessary evidence or information to form a belief on the matter."

He's saying, "I don't want to tell you what I believe about God."
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 06:43PM
What Dick said.

I think one of the fundamental problems for self-proclaimed agnostics is that they don't believe that absence of evidence is evidence of absence even though they absolutely believe this to be true in all other cases besides the case of whether or not gods exist. I suspect giving gods this special case exception is due to previous indoctrination and social/psychological pressures to believe or at least to not NOT believe. That deep seated fear that "just in case" it does exist they better not ever say they believe it doesn't because they could be punished forever, ohmy, and if not that, then they are just the sort of people who are uncomfortable with the prospect of ever being wrong which is weird because they absolutely believe we can never know the answer to the god question so they can never be proven wrong no matter what they believe yet they have no problem saying they know other things don't exist (or do) which have a much higher probability of having new evidence sway their belief so that they no longer can say they know it is true. A very perplexing kind of thinker those agnogs.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 11:28PM
"If that were true - why did you bother posting it?"

Because as I said back on page 1, although our perception of "purpose" is an illusion, we all live our day to day lives as if it were accurate. Even those who are aware that it's an illusion. It's an integral part of our existence, but it's not necessarily reflective of "what is."

Ahhhh... mental jumping jacks. A game of psychological Twister. Yes - we can agree "purpose" as you are using it is an "illusion". Of course, by that standard so are a lot of things... hope, want, love, peace... just about anything you can't put your hand on. Inventions we created but - ironically - serve a purpose.



Who needs to trip with you around? smoking smiley
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 11:36PM
Good God it's the same fuking argument we have been discussing for years!

I don't believe God exists nor do I believe we live in a world absent of God. So if someone were to ask me if God exists I would say "I don't know".

Why is there so much confusion? I'll tell you! Atheist nonsense... You all have been believing in nonsensical arguments for years and you just can't seem to grasp the flaws...

To say we live in a world absent of God is also to say... What? That you have a particular philosophical metaphysical belief about the world. Metaphysical beliefs, by definition, are irrational beliefs. They absolutely require faith.

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...
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 04, 2015 11:56PM
I'll let the agnog who prides himself in knowing nothing yet tells everyone how it is have the last word, lol...
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 12:21AM
Sorry truth normally ends the discussion... Unless you are being trolled :p
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 05, 2015 12:56AM
Sam, You're proving my point. If I'd given you sufficient evidence, which is what you now seem to feel you need, the question would no longer be underdetermined. You could then make a more rational determination as to its truth or falsity. Keep in mind, you were unwilling to answer my question as to whether you believed the casita existed without more info. To me, based on the evidence you had, believing the existence of the casita to be true would be as irrational as believing it to be false. The most rational choice, IMO would be to withhold your judgement until you knew more, and had sufficient evidence to determine what to believe about the proposition.

Why do think you or anyone else "has to" or "must" believe or disbelieve in the existence of the casita based on such inadequate evidence? Agnosticism with regard to underdetermined propositions means I can sometimes withhold judgement and "really" neither believe a proposition is true or that it is false.

Why should anyone always believe an underdetermined theory to be false instead of holding the agnostics position of neither believing it to be true, nor believing it to be false? That is, why do you not believe in withholding judgement until one has sufficient evidence to determine what one should believe regarding the proposition?
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