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Old 11-07-2001, 06:15 PM   #31
Wyrdsmyth
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tercel:
<STRONG>Why do people insist on comparing Christian belief to mythical creatures? A brief glimpse of reality would demonstrate to you that there is a reasonable large argument from authority to be said for Christian belief while there there is universal argument from authority against those mythical creatures. That puts Christian belief in a different category to the others even before we consider the evidential arguments.</STRONG>
I've been trying to puzzle this paragraph out. Why should we care about "arguments from authority"? More people believe Christianity than those who believe in other belief systems/myths/superstitions, but so what.

At one time, more people believed in the pagan Greco-Roman gods, with associated fauns, nymphs and unicorns than believed Christianity.

What's your point?
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Old 11-08-2001, 10:01 AM   #32
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Tercel, Jay, A Disciple, this IS you isn't it?

Yes, I came here as a Christian apologist, then after reading and digesting the vast amount of discussion and argument here, I had to admit that the reservations I had always held about religion and the Christian faith are valid and, I believe, true. You obviously are a stubborn Christian, unwilling to "admit" the validity of these arguments....simply writing them off as ridiculous notions that you were "warned" about in the Bible. Okay, that's great, I'm happy for you. You can continue to believe in myths and supersticious fairy tales about a resurrected God-man that will grant you salvation to an everlasting life if you simply believe in him and ask him to enter your heart (btw-the "meat" that is unprovable and requires "blind faith"). This is very similar to many other myth-legends believed by our supersticious culture, and I refuse to buy in to it any more. It is nothing more than a silly little fable, Tercel. You simply will never admit to this. You obviously wish to stay on that side of Pascal's Wager, so good for you.
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Old 11-08-2001, 11:23 AM   #33
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btw, Tercel, argument from authority is exactly what? "God says it's so, therefore it is so."? It's no different than the argument from the bible which you chided me above as being circular reasoning (which is correct....but is still basically all the proof Christians need, isn't it?)
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Old 11-08-2001, 10:14 PM   #34
Tercel
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wyrdsmyth:
I've been trying to puzzle this paragraph out. Why should we care about "arguments from authority"? More people believe Christianity than those who believe in other belief systems/myths/superstitions, but so what.
Do I need to use words of two or fewer syllables in future?
Okay, are you ready?
Imagine there are two propositions X and Y. When you hear them, you don't have a clue whether either of them are true or false.
Upon further research into people's beliefs (those above the age of 10 or so whom you feel capable of serious rational thought) about the two propositions you find:
* Nobody believes X to be true.
* In fact everybody you talk to positively believes X to be false (as opposed to being agnostic) and everybody asserts that the idea was made up.
* There is widespread debate on Y
* Many intelligent people have positively believed Y and many have positively dis-believed and many have been agnostic.

I say that this information is reasonably sufficient to state that positive dis-belief in X is reasonable and that Y is not inherently unreasonable.
The first follows from that since all reasonable people disbelieved in X and since they were reasonable then disbelief in X is reasonable. As far as Y is concerned, while we cannot conclude anything about our reasonable state of belief in its trueness from the data, what we can conclude is that it is not in any remote way as reasonably inherently disbelievable as X was.
Conclusions: Positive disbelief in X is reasonable and positive belief that the reasonableness of Y is greater than that of X is reasonable.

Substitute belief in your choice of universally agreed non-existent beings such as Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy etc for proposition X and substitude belief in God for Y and QED. Happy?

Quote:
At one time, more people believed in the pagan Greco-Roman gods, with associated fauns, nymphs and unicorns than believed Christianity.
Actually it is quite debatable whether very many people really believed in the Greco-Roman Gods or whether they merely saw religion as an important institution in society. And it is certainly very debatable as to how many of them adequately understood the concept of Christianity for their unbelief to be meaningful. (After all, if someone doesn't know about something and therefore doesn't have a belief in it, it hardly counts)
You however mistake this for a democratic "vote for the winner" which it is not. It is a survey of reasonable people on whether belief or disbelief in a given proposition is reasonable thereby giving us an indication of its reasonableness or otherwise.

I hope that is sufficiently clear because I am getting extremely sick of having my beliefs compared to belief in unicorns or Santa Claus or any other universally-agreed fictitious being. Note that last! The very fact that people compare my beliefs to such things shows they recognise and understand the logic I have argued above (since otherwise their comparison isn't a bad thing) and are willfully commiting a logical fallacy to attempt to make Christianity look stupid. Perhaps I need to post this in the Existence of God board as well since the same idiocy is rampant over there...

Tercel

[ November 09, 2001: Message edited by: Tercel ]
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Old 11-08-2001, 10:55 PM   #35
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Originally posted by MOJO-JOJO:
Tercel, Jay, A Disciple, this IS you isn't it?
??? I'm me, Tercel.
If you mean am I also Jay and/or A Disciple then no. I don't post here under any other names, I'm me and only me.

Quote:
Yes, I came here as a Christian apologist, then after reading and digesting the vast amount of discussion and argument here, I had to admit that the reservations I had always held about religion and the Christian faith are valid and, I believe, true. You obviously are a stubborn Christian, unwilling to "admit" the validity of these arguments....simply writing them off as ridiculous notions that you were "warned" about in the Bible.
I was "warned" about in the Bible??
I came here as I was aware I was being under-exposed to the atheistic point of view, and wanted to ensure my belief was logically reasonable and that I understood both sides of the argument. I think I have on the whole sufficiently achieved that, and I can now say honestly that I believe I have a sufficient understanding of both viewpoints and as a result of that believe the Christian one to be the correct of the two. Of course I still want to learn more, so I'm still here.

Quote:
You obviously wish to stay on that side of Pascal's Wager, so good for you.
I see Pascal's Wager is unpopular with the skeptics, but I'm not sure I fully understand why. The principle of the thing seems to me to be sound: If belief in X is potentially benificial and belief in Y isn't and ~(X&Y) (ie You can't believe both X and Y), then it is better to believe X. Perhaps it is merely the application of its use in religion which is the problem?
I think it can be applied usefully to many things eg free-will vs determinism, Atheism vs Christianity etc. About the only thing it doesn't work for is Christianity vs Anything else because things like "The Wrong Hell Problem" come into play.

Tercel
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Old 11-09-2001, 01:59 AM   #36
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Tercel, has it ever occurred to you that Pascal's Wager can be used to support creeds other than yours? Seriously.

Here's what might be called Ibn Baskal's version:

If you accept that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammed is his prophet, and Islam is true, you will get to live like a sultan in a luxurious oasis estate when you die, complete with having a harem of 72 lovelies. If not, then you won't be any worse off.

The same is true if you reject Islam and Islam is false; but if you reject Islam and Islam is true, then you will be chained in place, you will have clothing of superhot fire, you will be beaten with iron rods, and boiling water will be poured down your throat.

So which is it, Tercel?
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Old 11-09-2001, 10:17 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tercel:
<STRONG>. . .

You however mistake this for a democratic "vote for the winner" which it is not. It is a survey of reasonable people on whether belief or disbelief in a given proposition is reasonable thereby giving us an indication of its reasonableness or otherwise.

I hope that is sufficiently clear because I am getting extremely sick of having my beliefs compared to belief in unicorns or Santa Claus or any other universally-agreed fictitious being. Note that last! The very fact that people compare my beliefs to such things shows they recognise and understand the logic I have argued above (since otherwise their comparison isn't a bad thing) and are willfully commiting a logical fallacy to attempt to make Christianity look stupid. Perhaps I need to post this in the Existence of God board as well since the same idiocy is rampant over there...

Tercel</STRONG>
Your argument is somewhat convuluted, but I think your point is that your argument is not from authority, but from the consensus of informed opinion.

But you don't have any real survey results. In fact, I notice that a lot of idiots and charlatans believe in Christianity and/or god, and a lot of intelligent people are atheists or agnostics. Most scientists do not believe in a personal god. I notice that a lot of intelligent believers are very defensive about their belief, as if they know it is not very rational. (I recall an article by John Updike in the New Yorker a few years ago.) Many make it clear that their beliefs are not subject to rational scrutiny.

And I think you should go to EOG and read the thread about trying to disprove the existence of Santa to 8 year olds at the Santa Trial before you try to claim persecution by having your god compared to Santa.

It's nice to have you here demonstrating the complete lack of coherence to the Christian position.
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Old 11-09-2001, 11:31 AM   #38
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Wink

But he makes it sound so...er...palpable, doesn't he? A persuasive debater even though his beliefs are not supportable with anything other than made-up imaginery notions and logic doublespeak.....much like Phillip Johnson.
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Old 11-09-2001, 01:28 PM   #39
Tercel
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Quote:
Originally posted by lpetrich:
Tercel, has it ever occurred to you that Pascal's Wager can be used to support creeds other than yours? Seriously.
Of course. It can be used to support any belief where a given alternative to that belief is unbeneficial.

Quote:
Here's what might be called Ibn Baskal's version:

If you accept that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammed is his prophet, and Islam is true, you will get to live like a sultan in a luxurious oasis estate when you die, complete with having a harem of 72 lovelies. If not, then you won't be any worse off.
No, he's falling for the wrong hell fallacy in his last sentence: "If not, then you won't be any worse off". I might well be worse off if I believe in Islam rather than Christianity and end up in the Christian Hell because of it...

He would be better to present the argument as Islam vs Atheism. In that case it would be sound, and the argument provides a reasonable motive for believing Islam as opposed to Atheism. (The same as Pascal's Wager does for Christianity. Pascal wasn't stupid you know.)

Tercel
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Old 11-09-2001, 01:37 PM   #40
Tercel
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Quote:
Originally posted by MOJO-JOJO:
But he makes it sound so...er...palpable, doesn't he? A persuasive debater
Wow, a compliment... or are you just being sarcastic?

Quote:
even though his beliefs are not supportable with anything other than made-up imaginery notions and logic doublespeak.....much like Phillip Johnson.
Oh dear.
It's rather amusing that when Singledad uses logic people can't understand (then since he's an atheist) it is no doubt correct, while when I, or any other theist, do the same it's "doublespeak".

Phillip Johnson? I don't recognise the name... should I?
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