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Old 06-25-2001, 09:59 AM   #31
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Polycarp:
Bob,

Your whole post could be boiled down to the one sentence I just copied. Your attempt to claim that your definition is the one used by “non-scholars” is simply wrong. If society (and these boards) are going to function in an efficient manner, then we have to use a common language and not simply feel free to make up word meanings as we see fit.

“Belief” means that we “believe X to be true”. In other words, we consider it to be more probable that X is true than that X is false.</font>
Is language rigid? Cast in stone/cement?

Can people change language to reflect efficiencies detected in new definitions?

Do new dictionaries contain new terms/phrases? Perhaps new definitions of old terms/phrases? Or, at least new definitions added to the old definitions of old terms/Phrases?

The American Heritage Dictionary I have defines belief thus:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">belief (b*-lTf2) n.
1. The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another.
2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something.
3. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.</font>
I notice that your definition of
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">we “believe X to be true”. In other words, we consider it to be more probable that X is true than that X is false.</font>
is not included in the above definition.

Are YOU possibly making up YOUR own definition of belief?

It's not a bad definition, by the way.

I have observed that beliefs are usually built upon proof of some kind (physical evidence, eyewitness reports, or logical arguments), which may be inconclusive, perhaps irrational, illogical, but proof nevertheless, to the individuals who hold the beliefs.

I have also observed that when a person believes in X (A) he believes in the existence of X (that X is true as proven by its existence) and (B) he believes in the existence of proof of the existence of X.

What proof he believes in may in fact be inconclusive, which is the belief of agnostics concerning the so-called proofs of theists and atheists, but, nevertheless, the individual who believes also believes in the existence of proof of the existence of that which he believes in.

Concerning religion, the fundamental question is this: Do gods exist?

How could we answer this question?

By faith?

No good. No more than unsupported opinion/belief.

Authority?

No good. Whose authority? How does the authority prove his proof? Do we dare ask how the authority proves his proof?

Scientific proof, defined as physical evidence consisting of people/things/events (A) who/which are comprised of matter/energy, (b) who/which are observable/measurable, and (C) who/which are not the content of ideas?

Good! This is the best proof.

Eyewitness reports?

No good. We would have to verify the credibility of the eyewitnesses and the corroborators, and that might not be possible or, if possible, easy and reliable to do.

Logical arguments?

No good. All logical arguments thus far presented have unverified premises which invalidate the conclusions. Premises can only be verified by means of physical evidence (scientific proof), and any premises not so verified cannot be accepted as premises and thereby invalidate their related conclusions.

Thus, although scientific proof as physical evidence is the best proof, people often offer less than this ideal, but, to them, what they offer is proof nevertheless.

We thus come back to the idea that to believe/to believe in means to believe in the existence of X and in the existence of proof of the existence of X.

We can use "existence of" and "existence of proof of the existence of" to create new and more efficient/effective definitions of theist/atheist/agnostic.

Proof of the effectiveness/efficiency of the proposed definitions is their capacity to differentiate clearly agnostics from atheists, meaning agnostics are fairly not atheists.

If you do not accept the proposed definitions, then you bear the responsibility to define the terms/phrases you use so everyone interested in your ideas can understand the terms/phrases you use to describe and define them.

If I define my terms in my own way, even though you may not agree to use them in everyday speech/conversations, at least you have the chance to understand what I am trying to say to you.

Undefined terms create communication nightmares for everyone.

And when normal people use certain definitions at odds with scholars, then perhaps the scholars, being in the minority, should be willing to adapt and adopt the new definitions. For linguistic clarity and commonality.
 
Old 06-25-2001, 10:09 AM   #32
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Polycarp:

Bob,

Your whole post could be boiled down to the one sentence I just copied. Your attempt to claim that your definition is the one used by “non-scholars” is simply wrong. If society (and these boards) are going to function in an efficient manner, then we have to use a common language and not simply feel free to make up word meanings as we see fit.

“Belief” means that we “believe X to be true”. In other words, we consider it to be more probable that X is true than that X is false.</font>
Is language rigid? Cast in stone/cement?

Can people change language to reflect efficiencies detected in new definitions?

Do new dictionaries contain new terms/phrases? Perhaps new definitions of old terms/phrases? Or, at least new definitions added to the old definitions of old terms/Phrases?

The American Heritage Dictionary I have defines belief thus:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">belief, n.
1. The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another.
2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something.
3. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.</font>
dictionary.com defines belief thus:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

be·lief, n.

1.The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another: My belief in you is as strong as ever. 2.Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: His explanation of what happened defies belief. 3.Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.</font>
I notice that your definition of
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">we “believe X to be true”. In other words, we consider it to be more probable that X is true than that X is false.</font>
is not included in the above definitions.

Are YOU possibly making up YOUR own definition of belief?

It's not a bad definition, by the way.

I have observed that beliefs are usually built upon proof of some kind (physical evidence, eyewitness reports, or logical arguments), which may be inconclusive, perhaps irrational, illogical, but proof nevertheless, to the individuals who hold the beliefs.

I have also observed that when a person believes in X (A) he believes in the existence of X (that X is true as proven by its existence) and (B) he believes in the existence of proof of the existence of X.

What proof he believes in may in fact be inconclusive, which is the belief of agnostics concerning the so-called proofs of theists and atheists, but, nevertheless, the individual who believes also believes in the existence of proof of the existence of that which he believes in.

Concerning religion, the fundamental question is this: Do gods exist?

How could we answer this question?

By faith?

No good. No more than unsupported opinion/belief.

Authority?

No good. Whose authority? How does the authority prove his proof? Do we dare ask how the authority proves his proof?

Scientific proof, defined as physical evidence consisting of people/things/events (A) who/which are comprised of matter/energy, (b) who/which are observable/measurable, and (C) who/which are not the content of ideas?

Good! This is the best proof.

Eyewitness reports?

No good. We would have to verify the credibility of the eyewitnesses and the corroborators, and that might not be possible or, if possible, easy and reliable to do.

Logical arguments?

No good. All logical arguments thus far presented have unverified premises which invalidate the conclusions. Premises can only be verified by means of physical evidence (scientific proof), and any premises not so verified cannot be accepted as premises and thereby invalidate their related conclusions.

Thus, although scientific proof as physical evidence is the best proof, people often offer less than this ideal, but, to them, what they offer is proof nevertheless.

We thus come back to the idea that to believe/to believe in means to believe in the existence of X and in the existence of proof of the existence of X.

We can use "existence of" and "existence of proof of the existence of" to create new and more efficient/effective definitions of theist/atheist/agnostic.

Proof of the effectiveness/efficiency of the proposed definitions is their capacity to differentiate clearly agnostics from atheists, meaning agnostics are fairly not atheists.

If you do not accept the proposed definitions, then you bear the responsibility to define the terms/phrases you use so everyone interested in your ideas can understand the terms/phrases you use to describe and define them.

If I define my terms in my own way, even though you may not agree to use them in everyday speech/conversations, at least you have the chance to understand what I am trying to say to you.

Undefined terms create communication nightmares for everyone.

And when normal people use certain definitions at odds with scholars, then perhaps the scholars, being in the minority, should be willing to adapt and adopt the new definitions. For linguistic clarity and commonality.
 
Old 06-25-2001, 06:19 PM   #33
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bob K:
Concerning religion, the fundamental question is this: Do gods exist?

How could we answer this question?

By faith?
No good. No more than unsupported opinion/belief.

Authority?
No good. Whose authority? How does the authority prove his proof? Do we dare ask how the authority proves his proof?

Scientific proof, defined as physical evidence consisting of people/things/events (A) who/which are comprised of matter/energy, (b) who/which are observable/measurable, and (C) who/which are not the content of ideas?
Good! This is the best proof.

Eyewitness reports?
No good. We would have to verify the credibility of the eyewitnesses and the corroborators, and that might not be possible or, if possible, easy and reliable to do.

Logical arguments?
No good. All logical arguments thus far presented have unverified premises which invalidate the conclusions. Premises can only be verified by means of physical evidence (scientific proof), and any premises not so verified cannot be accepted as premises and thereby invalidate their related conclusions.

Thus, although scientific proof as physical evidence is the best proof, people often offer less than this ideal, but, to them, what they offer is proof nevertheless.
We thus come back to the idea that to believe/to believe in means to believe in the existence of X and in the existence of proof of the existence of X.
Quote:
</font>
You seem to be claiming that the only things you believe to be true are those that can be verified by scientific proof. You can not scientifically verify any past event which you did not observe. Do you believe a significant event happened on July 4, 1776? If you do, then you are not doing so solely on the basis of scientific proof. You are relying on all of the things which you criticized. You rely on eyewitness reports that were used to record the event. You use logical arguments based on the eyewitness testimony (i.e. You believe Y to be true and X to be false because X could not have happened due to the fact that it is mutually exclusive of Y – law of non-contradiction). You rely on the authority of those who recorded the event as being reliable and possessing the ability to do so. Lastly, in each of these areas you utilize some measure of faith because you were not there to witness the event.

Now if you’d like to say that you believe nothing of much importance happened on July 4, 1776 then you are free to do so, but at the loss of being considered a reasonable person by the overwhelming majority of the general public, not to mention scholars.

Peace,

Polycarp


[This message has been edited by Polycarp (edited June 25, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Polycarp (edited June 25, 2001).]
 
Old 06-25-2001, 07:14 PM   #34
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JamesKrieger:
Tercel: I believe that the mere historical facts of Jesus existence and his death on the cross at the hands of the Roman and Jewish authorities is beyond all remotely reasonable doubt.

James: I've got to call you on this one Tercel. The existence of Jesus and his crucifixion are not established historical facts. The only references to Jesus and his crucifixion are in the Bible. There are no extrabiblical records of such a person or events. I am not saying that Jesus did not exist, but you cannot claim his existence as historical fact. At the most, you can say that you believed he existed.</font>
And I've got to call you on this one. I stand completely behind exactly what I said. The Bible portrays him as existing and being crucified. While we might think the Bible in general is not historically correct and a lot of it is made up, there is no reason to suppose the Jesus' mere existence and crucifixion is suspect. There is nothing intrinsically impossible, difficult or historically suspect about a person named Jesus existing and being crucified. Any writer's say so is enough to believe these things. But we do not just have one writer: We have many writers which speak of his death and crucifixion and to say that these are all Biblical writers (where "Biblical" is pretty much defined as anything about Jesus or Christianity) merely begs the question entirely.
Not to mention that (whether you would like to ignore it or not), Josephus and Tacitus mention Jesus (or Christus). Even if all we knew about Jesus were Tacitus' writings (and therefore the subject wasn't controversial), I do not think any historian in the world would doubt the mere existence and death of Christ.

I believe that the mere existence of Jesus and his crucifixion is beyond all remotely reasonable doubt.

[This message has been edited by Tercel (edited June 25, 2001).]
 
Old 06-25-2001, 10:58 PM   #35
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Polycarp:

Thou hast said:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You seem to be claiming that the only things you believe to be true are those that can be verified by scientific proof.</font>
If you re-read my previous post, you should note the following:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Concerning religion, the fundamental question is this: Do gods exist?

How could we answer this question?</font>
Was I or was I not referring to answering this question: Do gods exist?

Concerning religion, and concerning answering THE fundamental question concerning religion, which is Do gods exist?, the ONLY proof of the existence of gods I will accept is scientific proof, defined as physical evidence, defined as people/things/events who/which can be observed (A) directly by the perceptual senses of sight/hearing/touch/smell/taste or (B) indirectly by their observable/verifiable effects upon observable people/things/events, as defined by the standards you and I have agreed to thus: http://www.bobkwebsite.com/stndrdsgods.html

Let the gods show up and prove they are gods by performing actions which clearly indicate that they have superior knowledge and physical capabilities to mankind, such as generating missing limbs, causing weather changes (and announcing precisely what those changes will be before they are initiated), etc.

Then let the gods prove that they are not demons. (By regularly interacting benevolently with mankind.)

Let's be clear on one issue: I am not telling the gods what to do. I am telling the gods what are my standards for analyzing, evaluating and judging them for the purpose of identifying if or not they are gods. And I am telling the gods that these are reasonable standards, standards they, the gods, would hold if they were humans for a day and had to analyze/evaluate/judge the claims of beings claiming to be gods.

Even for the gods, standards are important.

And I want to remind you that even the disciples of the Xn mythology held standards for sons-of-gods which required the performance of actions not performed by mankind, as found in the myth of Doubting Thomas.

Thou said:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You can not scientifically verify any past event which you did not observe. Do you believe a significant event happened on July 4, 1776? If you do, then you are not doing so solely on the basis of scientific proof. You are relying on all of the things which you criticized. You rely on eyewitness reports that were used to record the event. You use logical arguments based on the eyewitness testimony (i.e. You believe Y to be true and X to be false because X could not have happened due to the fact that it is mutually exclusive of Y – law of non-contradiction). You rely on the authority of those who recorded the event as being reliable and possessing the ability to do so. Lastly, in each of these areas you utilize some measure of faith because you were not there to witness the event.</font>
For historical events, I do rely upon eyewitness reports preferrably witnessed by credible witnesses and preferrably corroborated by credible corroborators.

But if all of history were erased, I could go on about my life using the remnant laws and scientific knowledge.

If necessary, I might well be able to judge the utility/practicality of remnant laws; and I might be able to replicate the remnant scientific knowledge to verify them; and thus I could go on with my life, and make effective decisions and solve problems without verified knowledge of what might have happened on July 4th, 1776.

But for making decisions and solving problems from this day forth I will not be believing in the existence of gods without scientific proof of the existence of gods; and I will not be believing in the nonexistence of gods without scientific proof of the nonexistence of gods howsoever that could ever be defined and obtained.

Thus, the responsibility for proving gods exist is upon the gods themselves.

If the gods choose to not show up and prove they are gods, then they shall have no right nor reason to condemn me for holding standards which they, were they humans for a day, hold as well.

If, however, the gods are hypocrites, being more powerful than I, then they certainly could do with me whatever they wish, but so long as I have the capacity to think, then they should thus disgrace themselves and prove forever that they are far less than any reasonable conception of loving gods could ever be.

Also, if I were a god, I would not permit a day to go by without revealing myself to humans, and proving myself to be a god by the performance of actions which clearly indicate that I have superior knowledge and capabilities than mankind.

And then I would have the responsibility to continue to interact regularly with mankind to prove that I am not a demon.
 
Old 06-26-2001, 02:26 PM   #36
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bob K:
But for making decisions and solving problems from this day forth I will not be believing in the existence of gods without scientific proof of the existence of gods; and I will not be believing in the nonexistence of gods without scientific proof of the nonexistence of gods howsoever that could ever be defined and obtained.

Thus, the responsibility for proving gods exist is upon the gods themselves.

If the gods choose to not show up and prove they are gods, then they shall have no right nor reason to condemn me for holding standards which they, were they humans for a day, hold as well.

If, however, the gods are hypocrites, being more powerful than I, then they certainly could do with me whatever they wish, but so long as I have the capacity to think, then they should thus disgrace themselves and prove forever that they are far less than any reasonable conception of loving gods could ever be.

Also, if I were a god, I would not permit a day to go by without revealing myself to humans, and proving myself to be a god by the performance of actions which clearly indicate that I have superior knowledge and capabilities than mankind.

And then I would have the responsibility to continue to interact regularly with mankind to prove that I am not a demon.
Quote:
</font>

You are asking for something that I can’t provide. You want firsthand, observable data in order to believe in a god. Unless I am a god I can not help you. I am not a god. Therefore I can not help you.

Why are you on internet discussion boards looking for god? He/she (god) could not scientifically verify his/her existence over the internet. I don’t understand why you frequently cry out for the gods to reveal themselves to you on discussion boards unless you think god would waste his/her time on these things. As far as I know, everyone at the SecWeb is a mere mortal.

The bottom line is that you won't believe in god no matter what you're told on these boards. Why even bring up the topic? You'd have to rely on a person's testimony, logical arguments, faith, etc.

Peace,

Polycarp


 
Old 06-26-2001, 10:19 PM   #37
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Polycarp:

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> You are asking for something that I can’t provide. You want firsthand, observable data in order to believe in a god. Unless I am a god I can not help you. I am not a god. Therefore I can not help you.</font>
Damn right I want firsthand, observable data in order to believe in a god.

But indirect data, defined as effects upon observable people/things/events which can only be explained as proof of the existence of gods would also work—less impressive, but nevertheless workable.

But I am not looking for the gods.

Instead, I am looking for new ideas, new concepts/principles/techniques for understanding reality and religion. In addition, I am also responding to people trying to convince me that they know more about gods than I do and that I should do this or that and I will be convinced that gods exist.

I am showing people my philosophy, my vision of reality, and from that vision the standards which I hold for identifying gods, standards which, other people, too, could and perhaps should hold, so, they, too, will not be deceived into believing in what cannot be seen/heard/touched/smelled/tasted directly or indirectly.

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Why are you on internet discussion boards looking for god?</font>
I am not looking for gods on internet bulletin boards.

Why do you have that idea?

What evidence can you offer to prove the validity of your idea?

Tell me what you know, not what you believe, for you can believe anything, but you can only know the truth.

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> He/she (god) could not scientifically verify his/her existence over the internet.</font>
How do you know gods cannot make their presence known via the internet?

What proof can you offer to verify your claim?

Tell me what you know and how you know it is true; do not tell me what you believe, for you can believe anything, but the truth is only itself and at that is knowledge.

You:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I don’t understand why you frequently cry out for the gods to reveal themselves to you on discussion boards unless you think god would waste his/her time on these things.</font>
Again, why do you claim I am searching for gods on internet bulletin boards?

And what proof do you offer?

Tell me what you know, not what you believe.

You:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">As far as I know, everyone at the SecWeb is a mere mortal.</font>
Obviously.

And it seems to me that we are all sharing our concepts/principles/techniques concerning religion, perhaps for various reasons, perhaps sharing a common reason of learning more, and, ultimately, determining the standards of proof by which we could change our minds.

You:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The bottom line is that you won't believe in god no matter what you're told on these boards.</font>
How do you know that I will not ever believe in gods?

What proof can you offer?

Tell me what you know, not what you believe.

If I am presented nonsense then I will not believe, for I will not accept nonsense, and, hence, I will not believe in nonsense.

If I give you my reasons, my reasonings, and therefore my philosophy, then you can understand me, and point out the errors of my ways, but you must do so under the standards which I have raised, standards which are mine but are possibly good for others, for these standards force everyone to face the reality that our senses are in fact highly accurate thus highly reliable, that all is not illusion, that proof must be direct or indirect physical/empirical evidence, that the criteria for accepting evidence must be rational/objective and not emotional/subjective, that terms must be operationally defined so the abstract can be made concrete.

Someone among us must tell us that we need standards. And someone must offer standards.

Without standards, anything goes, and nonsense is not necessarily nonsense though in reality it is.

My guess is that most of the people reading infidels.org boards are infidels, meaning atheists/agnostics, and trying to learn more about religion.

Is not my voice and are not my ideas worthwhile for atheists and agnostics to hear, read and consider?

Or would you prefer that I and others like me be shut up/off so those of you who champion mysticism/mythology/illusions can have a better time confusing others as well as yourselves?

You:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Why even bring up the topic?</font>
The fundamental question concerning religion is thus: Do gods exist?

Is not the search for answers to that question worthwhile?

You:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You'd have to rely on a person's testimony, logical arguments, faith, etc.</font>
Wrong.

I only have to rely upon reason and logic, which tell me my perceptual senses are accurate and reliable and therefore just fine for investigating reality, the only true proof is direct/indirect observation/measurement of physical evidence/empirical data, and helps me stay grounded in reality and not taking fanciful flights into mysticism and mythology and biblical inerrancy and belief in the existence of any person/thing/event who/which is not comprised of matter/energy, is dependent upon opinion/belief, and is the content of ideas.

So much for me.

What about you?

Why are YOU here on these boards?

What do you hope to accomplish?

What are your desires [Desire = Wanting a person/thing/event.]

What are your fears? [Fear = Not-wanting a prson/thing/event.]

What are your priorities? [Priority = The importance of each desire or fear compared to all other desires and fears.]

If you ever care to visit www/bobkwebsite/com and check out Operational Psychology, then you will find that I define mind thus: Mind = An individual's personal system of desires/fears/priorities which causes his actions and reactions, including his feelings as his reactions to his realizations of his desires and fears, his personality as his revelations of his desires/fears/priorities through his actions/reactions, his behavior as his self-caused actions/reactions, his mental problems as his unrealistic desires/fears/priorities, and his mental solutions/mental health as his realistic desires/fears/priorities.

If you start listing your desires/fears/priorities, then you will understand your mind, your feelings, your behavior, your personality, your mental problems, and your mental solutions.

And when you list your desires/feqrs/priorities, then I can begin to understand you and your self-caused actions/reactions, and perhaps why you are on these boards.

[This message has been edited by Bob K (edited June 26, 2001).]
 
Old 06-27-2001, 05:05 AM   #38
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bob K:
I am not looking for gods on internet bulletin boards.
Why do you have that idea?
What evidence can you offer to prove the validity of your idea?
Tell me what you know, not what you believe, for you can believe anything, but you can only know the truth.
Quote:
</font>
Bob,

I’ll try to be as polite as possible because I think we’ve had some good discussions, but I have to tell you that I’m very confused because I think you’re contradicting yourself.

Why do I think you are looking for gods on internet discussion boards? Because you frequently use the statement, “Show me the gods”, which is a command for someone to prove to you the existence of gods. Why would you demand someone to show you the gods unless you were looking for a god?

As to your repeated demands for me to tell you what I KNOW, let me simply point out the fact that you again are doing exactly the opposite of what you preach. You don’t claim to KNOW whether or not god(s) exist, you simply state what you BELIEVE. Why are you holding myself (and others) to a different standard? You demand that I tell you what I KNOW while you yourself don’t KNOW whether or not god(s) exist.

Do you KNOW whether god(s) exists? If not, then you should be practicing what you preach and telling us only what you KNOW, “for you can believe anything, but you can only know the truth.” People can believe things that are true even if they don’t KNOW them to be true. A belief is TRUE or FALSE regardless of whether the belief is known to be certain. For example, if I believe that my neighbor’s dog weighs more than 30 pounds my belief might be TRUE or FALSE. I wouldn’t KNOW whether the dog weighed more than 30 pounds until it was actually weighed on a recently calibrated scale. Beliefs can be correct even if they are not KNOWN in the same sense as you’d like them to be. God isn’t like a dog you put on a scale and can measure, touch, see, etc. This is why I believe you’re making a category mistake in your request for observable data as the only criterion by which you will accept the existence of god(s).

Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 06-27-2001, 06:04 AM   #39
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Metacrock:

I spoke thus:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> (Truth) must be based upon empirical proof, (1) physical evidence (defined as people/things.events who/which can be seen/heard/touched/smelled/tasted and who/which are independent of opinion/cannot be denied, and who/which are not the content of ideas), (2) eyewitness reports from credible witnesses of physical evidence and corroborated by credible corroborators, and/or (3) logical arguments in which all premises are verifiable/falsifiable/verified by physical evidence.</font>
Thou wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Why must truth be based upon empirical evidence?</font>
Because truth IS based upon empirical evidence!

What else is there? Mysticism? Mythology? Feelings?

There is a huge different between knowledge and beliefs/opinions.

Knowledge consists of verifiable/falsifiable/verified (A) concepts [mental representations/ideas of things, objects, unities which retain their identities for longer periods of time than their related events], (B) principles [mental representations/ideas of relationship[s, particularly causal relationships, between/among things], and (C) practical techniques [effective applications of concepts and principles].

How do you verify/falsify concepts/principles/techniques?

You use your perceptual senses to obtain empirical evidence.

I am fed up with philosophers and anyone else who believe that all we get from our perceptual senses are illusions, that we therefore cannot trust our perceptions, that reality somehow does not exist.

The fact is that normal people have the perceptual senses of sight/hearing/touch/smell/taste which are highly accurate and therefore highly reliable.

It is by means of our perceptual senses that we obtain information/data about people/things/events who/which (A) are comprised of matter/energy, (B) are independent of our opinions/beliefs of them, and (C) are not the content of ideas; and it is because of the information we gain through our perceptual senses that we make decisions and solve problems.

Try telling the Internal Revenue Service agents that either you are an illusion or they are illusions and that, therefore, you do not have to pay taxes.

Or, show up in the Quadrangle of Washington University of St. Louis and run head first/full speed through the space/time coordinates of North Brookings Hall and, if you survive, then try to convince me that North Brookings Hall is an illusion.

True, illusions occur, but how do we determine if or not perceptions are illusions? We use our perceptual senses! If that puddle of water we see in the desert that always keeps moving the more we walk towards it , then, when we verify that the palm tree and the Arab’s tent we initially saw standing beside it has not moved, but the puddle has, and the Arab then tells us there has never been and is now no puddle near his tent nor under that palm tree, then, because of our perceptions of the moving puddle, the palm tree, and the Arab, we begin to get the idea that we are dealing with an illusion.

Illusions, by the way, are rare.

If we develop delusions (false/untrue ideas about real people/things/events), how can anyone prove to us that our ideas are false?

They use their perceptual senses and point out to us which of our perceptual senses to focus upon to determine the truth/falsity of the delusions.

NOTE: I dealt with delusions when I worked at St. Louis State Hospital as a Social Worker.

If we develop hallucinations (false/untrue perceptions), how can we determine if or not what people/things/events we seem to perceive are actually what we perceive?

We use our perceptual senses!

NOTE: I dealt with hallucinations when I worked at St. Louis State Hospital.

Now, I have observed that opinions/beliefs are often, not always, based upon at least some empirical evidence, or at least what an individual believes is empirical evidence, which to him is proof that supports his opinion/beliefs.

And where does the proof supporting opinion/beliefs come from?

From our perceptual senses! Or at least what appear to be the people/things/events we believe we perceive with our perceptual senses.

What do we expect from eyewitness reports? Reports by eyewitnesses of what they perceived with their perceptual senses!

What do we expect from corroborators of eyewitness reports? Corroborating reports of what they perceived with their perceptual senses!

True, we then have the problem of determining the credibility of the eyewitnesses and the corroborators, but how to do we do that? With a search for empirical evidence we can perceive with our perceptual senses!

If Joe Bob and Betty Lou tell us they were abducted by space aliens, what do we look for from them that would prove their assertions? Perceptual information, empirical information. Some people claim that aliens experimented upon them, implanted test equipment into their bodies, tested reproduction with humans, etc. We would demand that Joe Bob and Betty Lou dig out of their garbage those gizmos they claim the aliens implanted into their noses which they happened to sneeze out and didn’t think were important so they threw those gizmos into their garbage can. Or show us scars from alien experiments.

What do we expect from logical arguments? Premises (1) which are verifiable/falsifiable/verified assertions of facts concerning people/things/events who/which are (A) comprised of matter/energy, (B) are independent of our opinions/beliefs, and (C) are not the content of ideas, and (2) which lead logically to conclusions which are true if the premises are true. Once again, with logical arguments, we come back to the requirement for physical/empirical evidence to support/prove true/verify premises, which answer the fundamental question concerning logical arguments: Are the premises true?, which is the famous unanswered question/question begging for an answer/begged question which causes the logical arguments for the existence of gods I am aware to fail to support their conclusions, and the answer to which often reveals the presence of the conclusion in the premises, also invalidating the conclusion and the argument.

Once again, our perceptual senses are the means by which we gain information about the people/things/events of the real world which we use for making decisions and solving problems. They are highly accurate, therefore highly reliable.

If I ask you to tell me what you know then I expect you to describe verifiable/falsifiable/verified concepts/principles/techniques supported by physical evidence you perceived with your perceptual senses and that I can perhaps perceive with my perceptual senses; I do not expect you to tell me what you believe, or otherwise cannot prove by means of empirical evidence.

Again, there is an enormous difference between knowledge and beliefs/opinions. The difference is verifiable/falsifiable/verified physical/empirical evidence.

I am a pilot. There is no way that I am going to fly in an airplane designed by a priest from his beliefs instead of by an aeronautical engineer from his knowledge. A pilot friend told me the story of a man who built in ultralight aircraft, who flew it successfully until one day when a screw broke and he replaced it with a screw he believed was okay instead of a screw specified by the aeronautical engineer and approved by the government engineers who approved the design, and the screw broke in flight, and the man lost his life.

Empirical evidence is required for operational definitions: http://www.bobkwebsite.com/opdefs.html

Empirical evidence is required for the Code of Science: http://www.bobkwebsite.com/thecodeofscience.html

An then thou didst write:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> And I am willing to bet that you will not accept empirical evidence if it doesn’t back your views.</font>
If you can produce conclusive proof of the existence of gods, then I will believe in gods.

But I have standards for identifying gods that must be met, standards which answer this question: What would I do if I were confronted with a being claiming to be a god?

Here are the standards: www/bobkwebsite.com/stndrdsgods.html

How would we know a god is a god if ever one attempted to reveal itself to us?

If we have no standards for accepting claims of godism, then anything goes, and anyone or anything can be a god.

We would expect gods to be more powerful than mankind individually.

We would expect gods to be more knowledgeable than mankind collectively.

We might not expect the gods to be more benevolent than mankind individually or collectively, but, of course, it would be nice if they were.

We might not expect evil to exist as a force, but, instead recognize that natural forces may have no intent, being only natural forces, and, therefore, without intent, and that mankind individually by greed, or excessive desires/desiring, can cause human unhappiness [as when individuals want more than they can have and refuse to accept that fact as a fact].

We would need the gods to fit at least some of the following standards:

1. We need a god to come as itself or send a messenger; we would need the god/messenger to reveal itself in a form we can perceive by our senses of sight/hearing/touch/smell/taste; to be in a form we can understand: human-like, animal, a burning bush, etc., but, hopefully, not some kind of psychedelic swirl of lights or/and cacophony of sounds, etc., that we might not be able to perceive and recognize to be a god/messenger, or in a dream [to avoid confusions], or as a sound/voice/image in one’s head [again, to avoid confusions]; and, hopefully, to be in a form we could videotape for future reference.

2. We would need the god to be more powerful than man individually [able to do things man individually cannot]; we would need the god to be more knowledgeable than man collectively [knows more than man collectively knows].

3. We would need the god/messenger to perform miracles, defined as caused effects man individually or collectively cannot yet cause/create; gentle miracles would be preferred instead of terrifying/threatening miracles, gentle miracles including healings, cures of uncurable diseases, generation or regeneration of missing limbs, raising the dead, if possible, changes of the weather on demand, movings of mountains. changes in the courses of rivers, assemblages of animals, birds, insects, fish on command, etc.; and we would need all miracles to be preceded by an announcement of the miracle--we would not need an announcement of a miracle after the fact of the miracle.

4. We would need the god/messenger to be willing to spend time with us, to answer our questions completely, to tell us of the origins of life [and if replicable by man, then man ought to replicate the origination of life], to tell us if or not there is a life after death, what it will be like, and how it can be achieved if there is a test individuals must pass, to tell us of how to cure currently uncurable diseases, generate/regenerate missing limbs, control the weather, tell us if or not the god can save the Earth from the expected destruction of the Sun, but if the god cannot or will not prevent the destruction of the Earth by the expected explosion of the Sun, then we will need the god/messenger to tell us if another planet exists whereupon mankind can live, where it can be found, and how mankind can get to it if our present technology is not sufficient to get us there; moreover, the god/messenger must tell us what the god wants from us, how we are to worship the god, what is the gods’ ultimate moral code, the god/messenger must tell us if or not the god hears all prayers, and if or not the god answers any prayers, and if not all then which prayers are heard/answered, and why, etc.

5. If the god/messenger were intent upon giving mankind an holy book, then we would need that book to be subject to standards of inspiration/authorship/guidance by the god in all its original forms, translations, and copies, to be free of multiple stories of the same people/things/events existing/occurring at the same timepoints [one story per set of people/things/events]--to be free of contradictions, to be free of historical inaccuracies, to be free of archaeological inaccuracies, and to be free of confusing language [to be easily read by any humans who can read, not just an elite group, such as priests, or scholars], and to contain the complete theology of the gods.

These standards are reasonable means by which humans might be able to recognize gods if they exist and if they decide to communicate with humans. These are not necessarily commandments the gods must follow, for, assuming that they are more powerful than mankind individually, the gods could do whatever they wanted. But, nevertheless, if they wanted to convince us they are gods, then we will need the gods to at least perform miracles, for otherwise, we would have no means of determining that they are gods and thus more powerful/knowledgeable than man.

I have chosen to use expressions indicating human needs of gods rather than making commandments [musts/should/oughts/etc.] that the gods must follow. Thus, instead of the form “The gods must ...” I prefer to use the form “We need the god [or god/messenger] to ...”

I would expect that the gods most likely would be understanding of the standards mankind would have to have to analyze/evaluate/judge claims of godism.

If Xns are wont to complain about standards for the analysis/evaluation/judgment of gods, then, assuming the NT of the Xn Bible to be true, let them [the Xns] explain how it is that there ever could have been a Doubting Thomas and why the gods would have decided to prove themselves to him.

And then let the Xns [or anyone else] tell us how/by what standards/for what reasons we could tell if or not a god is a god.

Polycarp asked how I would require empirical evidence for proving historical facts.

While archaeology and paleontology can provide us with physical evidence including ancient manuscripts, we are not able to observe the original people/things/events who/which are historical.

We are dependent upon eyewitness and corroborating reports by credible contemporary witnesses and corroborators who wrote histories, private letters, etc. The problem herein is determining standards for credibility.

Inconsistencies and contradictions in ancient writings don’t help. Consistencies and a lack of contradictions do.

Insults to common sense don’t help. We do not witness everyday resurrections/alien abductions/etc., therefore we have a right to be suspicious of claims of ancient people/things/events who/which do not conform to our common sense expectations.

The primary features of history that is important to me are the resulting laws and knowledge which remain after the personalities are gone.

If all history were completely erased, then I would be relying upon my perceptual senses to deal with remnant laws and knowledge. I would not worry about who/what might have been/happened in the past but, instead, would deal with the present and the future, by means of my perceptual senses, and, thus, by means of empirical evidence to determine what laws are effective and what knowledge is true for the purpose of making decisions and solving problems.

Why rely empirical evidence? Because mysticism and mythology and beliefs not based upon empirical evidence cannot be verified and therefore cannot be used for decision-making and problem-solving.

And then thou didst query:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Why does this belong on this board?</font>
Because It is a natural evolution of interests expressed by Repliers to this post.

I thus wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If the gods (A) never existed, or (B) existed but died, or (C) exist but don't give a damn about human beings, then we need to face whichever is the reality and go about creating a culture that will improve the lives of all mankind, within reason. Given any conclusive proof that the gods never existed/died/don't give a damn about humans, man can effectively create a culture which will have a natural morality based upon the selfishness of normal people (not sociopaths/psychopaths) which matures from personal selfishness (seeking only to achieve one's personal desires and to maximize one's personal happiness without regard for the desires and happiness of other people) to social selfishness (seeking to achieve most of one's desires and to maximize one's happiness by helping other people achieve their desires and maximize their happiness) when individuals learn that to achieve most of their desires and to maximize their happiness they need the ready, willing and able cooperation of other people and therefore must be ready, willing and able to cooperate with those other people by negotiating and seeking to achieve common desires.

Again, truth is what counts.</font>
Thou hast written:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Illogical and confused.</font>
Why is what I have written illogical and confused?

Do you deny that man has desires?

Do you deny that a desire can be defined reasonably as wanting a person, a thing, or an event?

(Do you deny that a fear can be defined reasonably as not-wanting a person/thing/event?)

Do you deny that feelings can be defined reasonably as reactions to realizations of desires?

Do you deny that man is selfish?

Do you deny that selfishness can be defined reasonably as seeking to achieve one’s desires and to maximize one’s happiness?

Do you deny that personal selfishness can be defined reasonably as seeking to achieve one’s desires and to maximize one’s happiness without regard for the happiness of other people?

Do you deny that social selfishness can be defined reasonably as seeking to achieve one’s desires and to maximize one’s happiness by recognizing one’s need for the ready, willing and able cooperation of other people for which one must be ready, willing, and able to cooperate with those other people to negotiate and to achieve common desires?

Do you deny that normal people, not psychopaths nor sociopaths, are first personally selfish and then develop social selfishness when they realize that to achieve many if not most if not all of their personal desires and to maximize their personal happiness they need the ready, willing and able cooperation of other people for which they need to be ready, willing and able to cooperate with those other people to negotiate and seek to achieve common desires?

Do you deny that social selfishness develops in the following sequence?

1. The individual is born personally selfish.
2. The individual realizes that to achieve many if not most if not all of his personal desires and to maximize his personal happiness he needs the ready, willing and able cooperation of other people for which he must be ready, willing and able to cooperate with them to negotiate and to seek to achieve common desires. [NOTE: Is this not the rebirth in every generation of civilization? Of effective government?]
3. The individual develops social selfishness.

Do you deny that the inherent selfishness of man (normal man) is his personal salvation [that their initial personal selfishness will develop into social selfishness in normal people]?

Do you deny that a code of natural morality (code of rules for behavior) can be based upon social selfishness if scientists could prove beyond a doubt (howsoever that could be) that the gods (A) do not exist or (B) exist but do not involve themselves in human affairs?

Thou then wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Why even bother assuming that God could cease to exist?</font>
Humorously, because “with god all things are possible.”

Seriously, because I am not aware that any human being really knows much about the gods, it is possible that the gods could cease themselves (commit supernatural suicide), just as human cease themselves (commit suicide).

Thou thus spoke:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And why accept more than one, one is all it takes.</font>
True. Where is he/she/it?

I thus spoke:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I need information, defined as knowledge, not belief/opinion.</font>
Thou replied:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> You need a liberal arts education. You need to read something besides biology and the history of evolutionary theory.</font>
I have a BA in Psychology for Washington University of St. Louis. [Humorous NOTE: Harvard is the Washington University of the East!]

I studied Psychology, Philosophy, Economics, and Music.

In Philosophy I studied The Major Religions of the World, The Major Divisions of Christianity, and The Philosophy of Religion (the study of proof and the logical arguments for the existence of gods).

Through Psychology I developed a healthy respect for the high degree of accuracy and reliability of the perceptual senses of man: sight/hearing/touch/smell/taste.

I wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Show me. Show me the physical evidence. Show me the gods. Or show me the clear and obvious observable effects of the gods, effects that are so clear and obvious that they cannot be refuted by physical evidence, which prove conclusively that they could only have been caused by gods, and that, therefore, gods exist.</font>
Thou replied:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">This clearly belongs on the existence of God board.</font>
I agree, but it is the natural result of the evolution of interests by Repliers to this Post.

Thou claimed:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I think this sort of demand is irrational given the concept of God in the first place. Why should we have to furnish any sort of evidence at all?</font>
Because without physical/empirical evidence anything goes and nothing makes sense. My god is as good as your god, and someone else’s god is likewise, and so we know nothing even though we think we do.

Thou:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> It's a basic aspect of human nature to be religious, our brain are apparently wired for it, and its a properly basic belief. It's absurd to think that the only sort of truth is scientific reductionistic and physically demonstrable. </font>
For my degree in Psychology I studied neuroanatomy—the study of the nervous system, including the brain and peripheral nerves. My Professor was Dr. Rita Levy-Montalcini, a highly published and respected researcher.

For some time scientists have known that if you implant electrodes into the amygdala (almond-sized neural structures on either side of the brain) in some cases the subjects reported a sense of awe much like a religious experience.

If you can artificially stimulate a sense of awe then you are looking at a simple process which has no necessary relationship to reality. The sense of awe does not prove that which you are perceiving is necessarily true.

Feelings are reactions to realizations of desires/fears/priorities.

Your feelings develop in a basic sequence:

1. Desire: _____ (?) [Wanting a person/thing/event.]
2. Realization: _____ (?) [Achieving/not achieving a desired person/thing/event—achieving/not achieving the Desire.]
3. Feeling: _____ (?) [The Reaction to the Realization of the Desire.]

Among your feelings are your emotions: (1) Happiness as a reaction to the perception of the achievement of the desire; (2) Unhappiness as a reaction to the perception of the nonachievement of the desire, specifically as (A) sadness from reacting to the perception of an actual loss or of no hope of achieving the desire; (B) anger from reacting to the perception of a violation/frustration of an expectancy, a promise, a contract, a law, or an ethic; (C) fear from a reaction to the perception of a threat of a loss, an accident, an injury, an illness, or a physical or verbal attack.

Notice how your perceptions trigger your emotions. No perceptions, no feelings (unless artificially stimulated by experimental techniques or/and drugs/nicotine/alcohol/etc.).

Feelings do not prove true or false any proposition.

Feeling good about O.J. Simpson does not prove he is innocent; feeling bad about him does not prove he is guilty.

In the recent Mennendez brothers murder trials, in which two brothers were tried for the murders of their parents, several female jurors felt good about the accused and therefore voted to acquit them, resulting in hung juries, and the necessity for new trials.

You can develop a sense of awe from your perceptions of people/things/events which you judge/expect to be awesome. People experience awe reacting to different perceptions: sunrises, sunsets, sports heroes/heroines, famous actors/actresses, politicians, doctors who have helped them deal with serious medical problems, musicians (I have been stunned when some doctors, whom I regard as doing work far more important than my work as a professional musician/entertainer, have told me they would give anything to be able to do what I do), the sacrifices of our patriots and soldiers, our flag, our national anthem, etc.

Thus, you have a neural wiring for developing a sense of awe, but, like any other feelings, a sense of awe resulting from reacting to a perception of a person/thing/event does not prove that person/thing/event is true/real/verified/etc.

Thus, any claim that the neuroanatomy which can produce a sense of awe proves that we are wired for a belief in gods is nonsense.

Thou claimed:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You can offer no such evidence to prove to me that life is real or you actually exist. </font>
What is proof? (1) Physical evidence consisting of people/things/events (A) who/which are comprised of matter/energy, (B) who/which can be perceived by the perceptual senses of sight/hearing/touch/smell/touch, (C) who/which are independent of opinions/belief, and (D) who/which are not the content of ideas; (2) Eyewitness reports of physical evidence from credible witnesses corroborated by corroborating reports of physical evidence from credible corroborators; (3) Logical arguments consisting of verifiable/falsifiable/verified premises (verified/answering the question: Is this premise true? by means of physical evidence) leading to conclusions which are true if the premises are true.

Since I know you have perceptual senses of sight/hearing/touch/smell/taste, then I know I could appear in your perceptual field/environment so you could see me, hear me, touch me, etc., and thereby be unable to deny that I exist or otherwise claim that I am an illusion.

And as I prove to you by means of your perceptual senses I exist, I prove to you that you have perceptual senses, and your perceptual senses provide information that proves to you that life is real.

In a way, Descartes’ “Je pense, donc je sui” (“I think, therefore I am”) can be effectively augmented by reference to the perceptual senses, as in “I see/hear/touch/smell/taste, I develop concepts as mental representations of people and things, principles as mental representations of relationships, especially causal relationships, between/among people/things, and practical techniques as effective applications of concepts and/or principles to make decisions and to solve problems, and I think by means of relating concepts/principles/techniques to each other to develop, through intuition, new concepts/principles/techniques as hypotheses to be proven true or false, I have desires/fears/priorities, I feel by means of my reactions to my realizations of my desires/fears/priorities, and I develop a memory of my personal history, therefore I am.

Experiments in which individuals’ perceptual senses were dulled or deprived proved that sensory perceptions are important to an individual’s mental and physical health: subjects reported extreme discomfort and a strong desire to have the experimental stuff removed so they could go back to experiencing their natural/normal perceptions.

If you were such an experimental subject the chances are excellent that you would get rid of the nonsensical idea that you and life are illusions: your perceptual senses would prove to you beyond a doubt that you and life are real.

Unless, of course, you are psychotic and therefore delusional/hallucinating.

The Texas woman who killed her children is considered to have an abnormal physiology which corrupts her normal perceptual and mental capacities. To her, life may seem to be an illusion, and she may appear to be an illusion to herself.

But physiological/psychological conditions such as hers are rare. The norms include accurate and reliable perceptual senses, learning and therefore developing accurate/true/reliable concepts/principles/techniques, the ability to think using concepts/principles/techniques, etc.

You could claim that I am an illusion, that you are an illusion, and that life is an illusion, but those of us with our physiologies/psychologies in good working order will know that you are only fooling yourself. For instance, you would not be able to prove to us that you are an illusion, for you would need to convince us that our perceptual senses are faulty and therefore unreliable. To do that you would have to appeal to our perceptual senses, and that would defeat your notion that our perceptual senses are illusory, and, thus, you would contradict yourself. And as we use our perceptual senses to analyze/evaluate/judge what you say/claim, we would realize that what you say/claim is nonsense because we are using our perceptual senses—we can ONLY use our perceptual senses—to observe and obtain the information/data needed to confirm or deny your hypotheses, and, thus, we would not deny the accuracy and reliability of our perceptual senses.

You are kidding yourself if you say you believe that you and your life are not real.

By the way, there is a Post entitled How can I prove I exist? on the SecWeb: http://www.infidels.org/electronic/f...ML/000159.html

Then thou queried thus:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">So why should I have to furnish that sort of evidence for my mostly basic beliefs?</font>
If you only advance your beliefs/opinions and offer no empirical facts as knowledge, then I cam not compelled to believe your claims of facts and/or statements of opinions.

Tell me what you know and how you know it; do not tell me what you believe.

I need accurate information/empirical evidence/knowledge about real people/things/events for making decisions and solving problems.

So do you.

In that sense, we who seek truth are brother searchers.

But we must use what natural equipment we have

Thou conjectured thus:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Probably I should imagine that any sort of evidence I would give you would be denied even if it met all of your criteria.</font>
You assert, you prove.

Physical evidence, please!!!

Show me the gods. Let the gods prove they are gods. And that they are not demons fooling us.

Then I will believe you.

Thou once again:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> It's only happened about 60 times on the other board.</font>
And 60 times on the other boards boards no one has produced the gods, the physical evidence of the gods.

Let the gods show up and prove they are gods by performing actions which clearly indicate that they have superior knowledge and physical capabilities to mankind, such as generating missing limbs, causing weather changes (and announcing precisely what those changes will be before they are initiated), etc.

Then let the gods prove that they are not demons. (By regularly interacting benevolently with mankind.)

Let's be clear on one issue: I am not telling the gods what to do. I am telling the gods what are my standards for analyzing, evaluating and judging them for the purpose of identifying if or not they are gods. And I am telling the gods that these are reasonable standards, standards they, the gods, would hold if they were humans for a day and had to analyze/evaluate/judge the claims of beings claiming to be gods.

Even for the gods, standards are important.

And I want to remind everyone that even the disciples of the Xn mythology held standards for sons-of-gods which required the performance of actions not performed by mankind, as found in the myth of Doubting Thomas.

[This message has been edited by Bob K (edited June 27, 2001).]
 
Old 06-27-2001, 06:39 AM   #40
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Post

Polycarp:

Thou wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Why do I think you are looking for gods on internet discussion boards? Because you frequently use the statement, “Show me the gods”, which is a command for someone to prove to you the existence of gods. Why would you demand someone to show you the gods unless you were looking for a god?</font>
When individuals claim gods exist, I demand that they prove their assertions.

My standards of proof have been addressed thus:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">What is proof? (1) Physical evidence consisting of people/things/events (A) who/which are comprised of matter/energy, (B) who/which can be perceived by the perceptual senses of sight/hearing/touch/smell/touch, (C) who/which are independent of opinions/belief, and (D) who/which are not the content of ideas; (2) Eyewitness reports of physical evidence from credible witnesses corroborated by corroborating reports of physical evidence from credible corroborators; (3) Logical arguments consisting of verifiable/falsifiable/verified premises (verified/answering the question: Is this premise true? by means of physical evidence) leading to conclusions which are true if the premises are true.</font>
Thus, physical evidence—defined/specified as the gods themselves performing actions that prove they have ore knowledge and capabilities than man individually or collectively—are required for me to believe in them.

Too many individuals who claim gods exist offer only their beliefs in mysticism/mythology/biblical inerrancy/etc. and refuse to offer physical evidence defined as the gods themselves.

When I say “You assert, you prove!” I say that to do so you/anyone else must “Show me the gods!!!”

By that I requiring people to prove their assertions. In your words, i am looking for people to prove their assertions. And in regards to gods, the only way people can prove their assertions is to Show me the gods!!!

I am not asking for gods to exist.

My standards for the analysis/evaluation/judgment of gods are:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">How would we know a god is a god if ever one attempted to reveal itself to us?

If we have no standards for accepting claims of godism, then anything goes, and anyone or anything can be a god.

We would expect gods to be more powerful than mankind individually.

We would expect gods to be more knowledgeable than mankind collectively.

We might not expect the gods to be more benevolent than mankind individually or collectively, but, of course, it would be nice if they were.

We might not expect evil to exist as a force, but, instead recognize that natural forces may have no intent, being only natural forces, and, therefore, without intent, and that mankind individually by greed, or excessive desires/desiring, can cause human unhappiness [as when individuals want more than they can have and refuse to accept that fact as a fact].

We would need the gods to fit at least some of the following standards:

1. We need a god to come as itself or send a messenger; we would need the god/messenger to reveal itself in a form we can perceive by our senses of sight/hearing/touch/smell/taste; to be in a form we can understand: human-like, animal, a burning bush, etc., but, hopefully, not some kind of psychedelic swirl of lights or/and cacophony of sounds, etc., that we might not be able to perceive and recognize to be a god/messenger, or in a dream [to avoid confusions], or as a sound/voice/image in one’s head [again, to avoid confusions]; and, hopefully, to be in a form we could videotape for future reference.

2. We would need the god to be more powerful than man individually [able to do things man individually cannot]; we would need the god to be more knowledgeable than man collectively [knows more than man collectively knows].

3. We would need the god/messenger to perform miracles, defined as caused effects man individually or collectively cannot yet cause/create; gentle miracles would be preferred instead of terrifying/threatening miracles, gentle miracles including healings, cures of uncurable diseases, generation or regeneration of missing limbs, raising the dead, if possible, changes of the weather on demand, moving of mountains. changes in the courses of rivers, assemblages of animals, birds, insects, fish on command, etc.; and we would need all miracles to be preceded by an announcement of the miracle--we would not need an announcement of a miracle after the fact of the miracle.

4. We would need the god/messenger to be willing to spend time with us, to answer our questions completely, to tell us of the origins of life [and if replicable by man, then man ought to replicate the origination of life], to tell us if or not there is a life after death, what it will be like, and how it can be achieved if there is a test individuals must pass, to tell us of how to cure currently uncurable diseases, generate/regenerate missing limbs, control the weather, tell us if or not the god can save the Earth from the expected destruction of the Sun, but if the god cannot or will not prevent the destruction of the Earth by the expected explosion of the Sun, then we will need the god/messenger to tell us if another planet exists whereupon mankind can live, where it can be found, and how mankind can get to it if our present technology is not sufficient to get us there; moreover, the god/messenger must tell us what the god wants from us, how we are to worship the god, what is the gods’ ultimate moral code, the god/messenger must tell us if or not the god hears all prayers, and if or not the god answers any prayers, and if not all then which prayers are heard/answered, and why, etc.

5. If the god/messenger were intent upon giving mankind an holy book, then we would need that book to be subject to standards of inspiration/authorship/guidance by the god in all its original forms, translations, and copies, to be free of multiple stories of the same people/things/events existing/occurring at the same timepoints [one story per set of people/things/events]--to be free of contradictions, to be free of historical inaccuracies, to be free of archaeological inaccuracies, and to be free of confusing language [to be easily read by any humans who can read, not just an elite group, such as priests, or scholars], and to contain the complete theology of the gods.

These standards are reasonable means by which humans might be able to recognize gods if they exist and if they decide to communicate with humans. These are not necessarily commandments the gods must follow, for, assuming that they are more powerful than mankind individually, the gods could do whatever they wanted. But, nevertheless, if they wanted to convince us they are gods, then we will need the gods to at least perform miracles, for otherwise, we would have no means of determining that they are gods and thus more powerful/knowledgeable than man.

I have chosen to use expressions indicating human needs of gods rather than making commandments [musts/should/oughts/etc.] that the gods must follow. Thus, instead of the form “The gods must ...” I prefer to use the form “We need the god [or god/messenger] to ...”

I would expect that the gods most likely would be understanding of the standards mankind would have to have to analyze/evaluate/judge claims of godism.

If Ins are wont to complain about standards for the analysis/evaluation/judgment of gods, then, assuming the NT of the On Bible to be true, let them [the Ins] explain how it is that there ever could have been a Doubting Thomas and why the gods would have decided to prove themselves to him.

And then let the Ins [or anyone else] tell us how/by what standards/for what reasons we could tell if or not a god is a god.</font>
Once again, you/anyone else claims gods exist, then you/anyone must prove gods exist, and you /anyone else must do so by physical evidence, which means you/anyone else must Show me the gods!!!

I am searching for truth.

In that sense, if you want to claim that I am searching for gods on the internet, then so be it.

But it is the truth most of all that I am searching for.
 
 

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