5/16/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Does God exist?



Part II of a debate between the Rational Responders and The Way of the Master that was recently aired on ABC's Nightline news program.

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32 comments:

unforgiven said...

It seems to me the Rational Responders were weak .I mean couldnt we have had better representation.They seemed nervous.Ive seen and read better responses right here on this website. If were wrong we go to hell? cmon people .The DNA brought up by Kirk,oh yea that must have come from the dirt we were created out of....

fed up with christians said...

In response to part of Ray Comfort's closing statement, "Push the remote button, and god will become real, and manifest himself in you".

Well, I pushed that remote button several hundred times, and found no peace, no happiness, and no comfort from God, and yes, I did seek him earnestly. It is God who did not answer me.

People like Ray Comfort are out of touch with what's realistic, and what's practical. I hear Ray Comfort and other christians continously quote the Bible, "The Bible says this, the Bible says that......BLAH, BLAH, BLAH". They can't seemt to realize that their ancient text carries no weight with us.

They fail to realize and understand that Atheists and most Agnostics don't care about what their ancient text (The Bible) says. They are so weak minded that they don't know how to come up with a answer using logic that deals with reality. They are weak minded indeed.

I always hear fools like Ray Comfort who continousuly talk about how God changes people. Back when I was a foolish christian, I kept asking God to help me, and change me. Nothing ever happened.

I kept hearing about this wonderful plan that God has for my life, and how God has a wonderful and perfect plan for everyone's life.

When I finally gave up on christianity, and walked away from it, that is when I found direction in my life again. I no longer have to rely on an invisible personal god who does not exist for guidance. Everytime I relied on God for support and guidance, I always got hurt, and disappointed in the end.

I now depend on my own abilities to make decisons and get direction in my life. I now have found the will power to live a healthier lifestyle today. God did nothing.

God did not change me. I changed, because I simply made the decision to change. I changed, because I wanted to change.

fed up with atheists said...

So let me get this right. Atheists (some not all) demand the right for abortion as stated in the "3 chickens over toast" blog. And then they use abortion statistics to show that America isn't doing morally well??????????

Poltergoost said...

Message to "Fed Up With Atheists"

Can you not come up with a name of your own that is more original instead of copying someone elses name?

Michael Keller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
milphog6 said...

i didn't watch the clip, but using an abortion statistic in a country which is supposedly "christian" seems about right to me. it seems to me that most christians are not bible humping fundamentalists, they're usually the 'church on sunday and prayer before dinner' types.

Madworld said...

TO: F U W A......Try Fucknuckle

stronger now said...

F U W Atheists


The point was to show the rate of unwanted pregnancies is higher in the (predominantly christian) United States as compared to the lower rate in more atheistic countries. Showing that the christian mindset of morality is based on false assumption of atheistic lack of morals.

Dillhole!!

mike brown said...

fuwc wrote:

"They are so weak minded that they don't know how to come up with a answer using logic that deals with reality. They are weak minded indeed."

I watched what little of the debate nightline would show and I too was disappointed by the Christian showing and the Athiest showing. It was like watching two teenagers box, not really exciting or all that great but the intention was good.

However, I think we have a fundamental misunderstanding here of how this is all possible. Christian are not people who have turned off their mind, or at least they shouldn't be. Being a believer I don't like to think of myself as not using my God given intelligence. To be honest you have been suckered into the modernist mindset where in that view faith and reason are in conflict with each other. That view is propaganda from the renissance era; intelligent elites were trying to seperate themselves from the church, and western culture bit the huge apple. To be a christian is not to turn your brain on or off for that matter. For all their flaws St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Athanasius, Dominic, Paul, were not stupid people. As a matter of fact until the 15th century all the educated men in the west were church men. You could call these men many things but stupid or brainless is not one of them. Using language like that is a way of making yourself superior to another, that's called pride. Christians have not shut off their brains, they are trying to order their world differently that what society tells them. Sciencism tells us that we are a product of our genetics, it tells us we are nothing more then chemistry or chemicals that bump into each other. Things like Love, peace, Joy, these are not real they are a result of chemical reactions within ourbodies. Christians reject this idea. We believe that being human is more than genetics, or chemistry. We believe that it is more than that. We don't reject genetics, or chemistry but we use it in a different manner. If you saw the 6th Sense than you understand what I'm talking about. At the end of the movie a little bit of information is provided and the whole movie turns upside down. This is what christians call converstion. It's not a rejection of reason it's using it in a different way instead of worshiping it we subordinate it. Instead of believing it tells us everything, we believe it is limited in value. There is a place for reason but it is not the centerpiece of our world. You had a conversion experience when you rejected Christianity for atheism, suddenly you got a new bit of information or had a light bulb turn on and instead of thinking one way you reordered all the bits of data and began rethinking in a different way. But lets' get over ourselves, being an athiest does not mean you have suddenly started using your brain where as before you had not, rather you began using it in a different way. This arrogance is the kind of stuff that makes people smug and self rightous. I'm not saying you have to believe in God or else, but lets be honest you rejected God, you did not start using your brain.

mike

mike said...

fed up with christians your experience is just like mine in many ways. I too tried to seek god crying my eyes out to know him-but no answer and no comfort. What has given me peace and joy is through my own mind.

Happiness is to be found within not with some pie in the sky hype and hoopla.

I am glad that people are comming forward to tell the world that christianity has lied to us. The promises that the spout off do not line up with real life. The christian promises dont come through unless one is able to get excited about some emotional tickle they might have had.

boomSLANG said...

Mike B: I think we have a fundamental misunderstanding here of how this is all possible.

What is it, exactly, that the non-theist side is "misunderstanding"? We're asking for evidence for your belief, beyond "I believe". To the best of my knowledge, you, like all Christians, have a personal belief that dead-ends at "I BELIEVE". Fantástico! Evidence, please. And I beg of you--please don't rehash the "you can't prove my belief isn't true" argument, unless you are prepared to "prove" that Islam, Moromonism, Scientology, UFOlogy, etc., etc., isn't true.

Mike B: Christian(s) are not people who have turned off their mind, or at least they shouldn't be.

Your own Holy book says that "the wisdom of man is foolishness", and that you must become as a "child" to be a disciple of your biblegod[paraphrazed]. I'll provide the exact verses if you'd like, however, I get the feeling that now since I've given you the "heads-up", you'll come back and "rationalize" both things, won't you? Moreover, those two referenced passages might not explicitly say "turn off your mind", but I think we can agree that they hardly say "improve" your mind.

Mike B: To be honest you have been suckered into the modernist mindset where in that view faith and reason are in conflict with each other.

In the context in which you believe? Naw, no conflict. You don't have empirical evidence to support your claims---that's the "reason" for your "Faith". Sold.

Mike B: Sciencism tells us that we are a product of our genetics, it tells us we are nothing more then chemistry or chemicals that bump into each other.

"Sciencism" tells us that you are making up words as you go. But seriously, now you are projecting what your view of scientism means. You are attaching your own emotions/opinions to "science".

Mike B: Things like Love, peace, Joy, these are not real they are a result of chemical reactions within ourbodies.

TELL me you're not serious. Please... "Love, peace, Joy" etc., are emotions. No one is denying that we have emotions just because they originate in our brains as a result of chemical processes. You are jumping......no, wait...you are LEAPing to some really absurd conclusions, due to your apparent ignorance of what-causes-what in the human body.

Riddle me this, then----do you think a child born with anencelphaly(only a brain stem) can experience "love, peace, and joy"? Presumably, said child was "created by God", and thus, has a "soul"... and that "soul" should be just fine because that "soul" doesn't involve "chemical reactions"...right? Answer please.

Mike B: If you saw the 6th Sense (then) you understand what I'm talking about.

If you saw the 6th Sense(and you weren't on ACID) then you understand that it is FICTIONAL.

Mike B: At the end of the movie a little bit of information is provided and the whole movie turns upside down.

Yes, "The End"

Mike B: This is what christians call converstion

?

MikeB: It's not a rejection of reason it's using it in a different way instead of worshiping it we subordinate it.

Yes.... you use "reason" in a "different way"......similar to the way a mackeral uses a bicycle.

When you're done pondering that, find me a church where it's members "worship" science, and/or "reason".

Worship:

1: a) The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.

b) The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.

2: Ardent devotion; adoration. (American Heritage)

Mike B: ...suddenly you got a new bit of information or had a light bulb turn on and instead of thinking one way you reordered all the bits of data and began rethinking in a different way.

Yes, a "light bulb moment".....similar to when a child determines that Santa doesn't really exist. Some "lights" never turn back off.

Mike B: But lets' get over ourselves, being an athiest does not mean you have suddenly started using your brain where as before you had not, rather you began using it in a different way.

We use our brains the same you have used yours to determine that a gazillion other gods throughout history don't exist.....just one "extra". BTW, let's get over ourselves for not believing in those gods, shall we?

Mike B: This arrogance is the kind of stuff that makes people smug and self rightous.

Again, you readliy dismiss the existance of myriads of other deities---does that fact make you "smug" and "self rightous"?

Mike B: I'm not saying you have to believe in God or else..

No, your "ALL-loving" biblegod's got that part covered.

Mike B: ...but lets be honest you rejected God, you did not start using your brain.

How 'bout let's be intellectually "honest"?... then "Theism", and thus, "Atheism" would be obsolete, and we wouldn't need to have conversations like these.

Jim Arvo said...

MB: "You could call these men [Augustine, Aquinas, etc.] many things but stupid or brainless is not one of them."

Right. They were not stupid. I have great respect for the eloquence of some of them. However, one needn't be stupid to labor under one or more stupid beliefs. I have a colleague who is a brilliant scientist and the recipient of several highly prestigious awards. He also believes in the literal truth of Noah's ark and the Tower of Babel. Is the man stupid? No, far from it; as I said, he's brilliant. Does he believe a few "stupid" things? Yes, I think he does. We probably all do.

Mike, we can all make long lists of brilliant people who tout the very same things we do. Need I list all the Nobel-prize-winning scientists who think Christianity is nonsense? Would that convince you of anything other than the fact that brilliant people can be wrong too? I think not.

What matters in the end is not the stature of the proponent, it's the soundness of the ideas. Sure, give the brilliant people a good hearing--they've earned at least that much. But if what they say does not stand on it's own, without the force of their authority, then what they have to say warrants no more respect than anybody else's opinion.

Spoomonkey said...

Debate or no debate... That Atheist chick? I'd hit that like a mexican hits a pinata filled with tequila and green cards...

Yum...

Spoomonkey

mike brown said...

Thanks for taking my comments seriously and I am enjoying the conversation, although sometimes i feel like your talking through me or at me instead of to me or with me... but none the less it's communication....

boomslang wrote:

"To the best of my knowledge, you, like all Christians, have a personal belief that dead-ends at "I BELIEVE". Fantástico! Evidence, please."

My guess is, based upon your post that you demand empirical evidence.

"You don't have empirical evidence to support your claims"

Here's the thing I don't believe that there's enough empirical evidence to provide you with what you demand. Jimarvo and I have had this discussion concerning absolute certainty and the availability of such things. Absolutely certainty is.. well not possible.

Now on to empiricism. As you probably understand the major part of any investigation is methodology. What you determine to use as a method will very likely determine the outcome of the investigation. For example: if you are trying to determine if there is a supernatural world but you only choose to listen to those sources that deny the supernatural it's pretty obvious where your answer is going to come out. Methodolgy in this way is critical.

Empiricism explicitly proposed by Locke and supporteded by the likes of Hume and Descartes is a methodology designed to give us information about the exterior world. It can tell us about lots and lots of things but it is designed as a methodology to only tell us about physical things. However, it is extremely difficult to use in other ways.

Military prowess for example is both an art and a science. by that I mean that by purely studying military history one does not become a military genius. The great Doctors themselves will tell you that being a doctor is sometimes a great science and other times an art form. This means that empiricism as a methodology is extremely limited. It has limited uses. Just like logic, it is useful, it is helpful but as a pure epistomology it is flawed. By design it can only tell us about external physical things.

Try it yourself, I have no idea arvo or boomslang if your married or not but try to employ empiricism, pure empiricism to answer the question of whether you love your wife/ husband or not. Then try and disect why you love them. I could create a list as long as my arm as to why I love my children but as soon as I write them down there is something else missing. It's part of what Wittgenstein call "that which we must pass over in silence."
In short there are things about being human which are understood not with empiricism but with the heart.

Whats even more is: if you have read the Structure of Scientific Revolution by Thomas Kuhn you'd know that science itself is not about prooving what's true but about prooving the established prevailing scientific paradigm. So in other words the evidence you're most likely to accept is that which prooves what you already believe. This is partly why you'll never have anyone provide you with the evidence you'll need.

Personally I believe much like Kierkegaard in Either Or and Neither. People live in spheres of life, an internally consistent way of living that is not a progression but rather a bubble that one chooses to live within or to reject. Unfortunately I'm waxing too much here and I must go.

mike brown said...

Arvo wrote:

"What matters in the end is not the stature of the proponent, it's the soundness of the ideas."

What makes an idea sound arvo? Does it have to be logical, does it have to be empirical? Does it have to be singularly true?

What societies consider logical and consistant changes quite frequently. It is our obsession with Truth as a singular object that blinds us to truth as a subjective and relational existance.
Personally I think this is why we have lost truth.

We have been searching for something that does not exist outside of a complex web of relationships. You loving Wittgenstin should love this idea. We took the idea of truth as a metaphysical reality and we have been trying to discover it for a long time. What's the result? Exactally what our society tells us: There is no objective external truth that stands by it's self. It is all contengent upon a complex relationship which is not entirely obvious. That's why this discussion concerning God and objective empirical evidence is crazy. Your saying that the TRUTH is there is no God. But the TRUTH is there is no TRUTH to talk about about. So you can't even say "The Truth is ... " it is a nonsensical statment.

Now for a christian the matter is different. For us truth is bound up entirely with the person of God. Truth has a context within which it can work; as a word, for us it is useful and entirely functional. For Christians God is the truth and we function within that context but out side of God we would agree with you... There is no Truth out side of God, that makes truth truely relative.

I felt like your thoughtful response needed a comment. By the way I wasn't pointing out that Christians are smarter I was commenting on Boomslangs disparaging comments that Christians turn off their brains.
mike

.:webmaster:. said...

Mike B,

I spent twenty years in the military and what you just posted I'd call chaff.

If I read you right, you're admitting to having NO empirically evidence, no way to obtain any such evidence, and in your opinion have no need of that kind of evidence.

Here's the thing with religion: People can't seem to just speak clearly, because when they do that, it sounds bad. Instead, everything has to be couched with long winding ideas that might or might not make sense, should anyone actually follow them to their conclusion.

mike brown said...

Chaff,

that's interesting... I find it interesting that you havn't dealt with a single thing I have just said. If you followed it you would know that there is all kinds of evidence just like there are all kinds of arguments.

Just what kind of empirical evidence would you be willing to accept? Lets talk about miracles. Would miracles be enough for you to believe in God? How about someone testifying to miracles? How about the fact that most societies worship in someways or another. How about that fact that if our faith didn't speak to a human need it would have died out years ago.

Of course none of these things matter to you because their not emirical evidence or more correctly it not the evidence that you will accept.

That was exactally what I was talking about. It's this kind simplistic materalism that simply doesn't work. I mean really what do you think the existentionalist have been saying for the last hundred years. They want to know what it means to be human. Is being human more than eating and breathing? You don't need evidence you need to begin to ask the questions. The right questions.
What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be free. Does real materalism really answer the questions that matter?

I would say that materalism allows one to reject God but it brings up more questions than it answers. Sure materalism helps us make sense of a few things but does it allow us to understand what really matters? Materalism can tell us what a woman or a man is, but can it tell us how to make a marriage work? Such is the limit of materalism. This by the way is why I am a theist, while materalism certainly makes some things easire it makes some things harder.

mike

.:webmaster:. said...

Evidence is testable and falsifiable.

Goofy, unverified stories are not evidence.

Simplistic materialism? Are you made of something other than materials? You are constructed of atoms and such, right? You aren't some sort of trans-dimensional entity are you? You do live in the same universe the rest of us live in, right?

You are claiming there is some magical realm with its own laws of reality, and your evidence is... well you haven't presented any, yet you condemn me for doubting you?

Huh?

If I were to tell you that my dead grandmother visits me every night and has assured me that Christianity is bunk. Would you accept my testimony and turn away from Christianity?

What if I told you that she told me that Allah is GOD and Mohammad is his prophet? Would you believe me?

What if I really, really, really believed what I was telling you. Would you then abandon Christianity?

You accuse me of being impervious to change, but what you apparently don't know is that I was a missionary-zealous Christian for 30 years. I was finally able to admit I'd been duped by a 2,000-year-old religious cult. I changed.

Methinks you have a case of the pot calling the kettle black. It seems to me that you are the one not willing to examine his thinking processes.

Regardless, since you are the one making a super-duper, magical, amazing claim of angels, demons, heavenly wars, horrific burning hell, talking bushes, flying fiery chariots, a floating, un-dead god-man, and a bunch of other weird stuff, would you care to provide any REAL evidence? I mean, until some tangible evidence can be provided, all this stuff sounds more like the lunatic ravings of sunbaked 2,000-year-old brains.

As far as making life harder or easier, being drunk might make me happier, but it isn't necessarily a good idea. I fail to see how religious fantasy can be made true or false by whether it makes someone happy or sad. Christianity made my life harder, therefore it's false? Is that really what you mean?

boomSLANG said...

Mike B: By the way I wasn't pointing out that Christians are smarter I was commenting on Boomslangs disparaging comments that Christians turn off their brains.

If you'll go back and re-read the comments in chronological order, you'll see that I had not posted one thing in this thread until you, Mike Brown, had made the following statement:

"However, I think we have a fundamental misunderstanding here of how this is all possible. Christian(s) are not people who have turned off their mind, or at least they shouldn't be." [bold added]

Notice, it was you, Mike Brown, who first raised the issue of Christians "turning off" their minds. I just elaborated on what you brought to our attention.

Now that that's cleared up, let's have a look at some more of Mike Brown's comments:

Mike Brown: Just what kind of empirical evidence would you be willing to accept?

Let's see, for me, the same type of evidence we have that the moon exists; the same type of evidence we have that George Bush (unfortunately) exists. Or how about "God" appearing in Time Square?....yes, the same way he allegedly appeared to the 12, and to 500 other people in the "Holy Bible". Hell, with technology, it could even be documented. And please don't pull out the "Faith" card, because you know damned well that this alleged appearance to the above mentioned people didn't hurt anyone's "Faith".

Mike B: Lets talk about miracles.

Oh, you mean, let's talk about improbable coincidence, and ignore the blunders and "misses". Okay, let's......

Mike B: Would miracles be enough for you to believe in God?

Sure, and here's just a few that would have me reconsider my Atheism:

1) Yahweh/Jesus shows up in the flesh, smack dab in the middle of Iraq, thus, proving "His" existance, and in doing so, disproving the existance of "Allah", and subsequently, ending the slaughter of human life over which geographical location has the one
"True" interpretation of "God".

2) Instead of a crashing jet liner explosion resulting in 99 dead and 1 "miraculous" life "spared"...let's see a jet liner explosion where every passenger walks away from the crash.

3) Let's see a Sunday "prayer" result in the discharge of an entire children's hospital full of children on Monday.

Now, you might say, "well that's impossible, boomSLANG." No shit, and that's the point. A "miracle" would be "God" doing the IMpossible; something that would never happen by "chance".

Someone winning lotto numbers based on a dream they had is NOT a "miracle". Someone saying a prayer for a cancer patient and they live, is NOT a miracle, it is an improbable coincidence, especially if you count the "misses". You never hear about the misses, because the people are dead...obviously.

Mike B: How about someone testifying to miracles?

How about if I find you a Muslim who testifies to having seen Muhammad at the foot of their bed? Would that convince you that Islam is "True"? Please think about the questions you ask.

Mike B: How about the fact that most societies worship in someways or another(?)

Irrelevant conclusion. At one time most "societies" believed the world was flat. So? "Truth" isn't determined by popular vote. Nice try.

Mike B: How about that fact that if our faith didn't speak to a human need it would have died out years ago.

No one is denying that "Faith" doesn't fill a "need". Our existance is limited, just like every other living organism. "Faith" fills the "human need" to not want to believe the reality of the situation, and that is that death is a part of life. That's just the way it is. 'Sorry 'bout that.

Mike B: Of course none of these things matter to you because (they're) not (the) em(p)irical evidence or more correctly it (is) not the evidence that you will accept.

Are you okay?

Nonetheless, you had it right the first time---what you've put forth is not "empirical evidence", and that's what most propontents of materialism/naturalism would accept. Yes.

Mike B: It's this kind simplistic materalism that simply doesn't work.

What you mean, is it doesn't work for you.

Mike B: Is being human more than eating and breathing?

Yes, it's sleeping late and having sex, too. But seriously.... of course it's more... who says is isn't? And what does that have to do with whether there exists some invisible super-charged man-ghost in the sky who clammoring to give you eternal life? The fact that life ends, gives it it's meaning, along with what we do in the mean time.

Speaking of---you will waste a great portion of the life that you know you do have, on the off-chance that there is some "other" life that awaits you, provided you've chosen the right religion. You and I could both live our lives as decent law-abiding human beings, yet, because I am skeptical; because I don't believe second-hand revelation from a Bronzed aged ignorant time, I might go to "hell". Y'know what?..I'll GLADLY go to Hell as opposed to being bullied into believing something that forces me to suspending my logical senses.

Mike B: You don't need evidence you need to begin to ask the questions. The right questions.
What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be free. Does real materalism really answer the questions that matter?


My questions "matter" to me; yours "matter" to you. I couldn't give a shit less that I'm not sure as to how the universe started. I couldn't give a shit less if there exists some "Divine" babysitter in the sky. F%ck "Jesus", and F%ck all the other the gods that you dismiss, too.

Mike B: I would say that materalism allows one to reject God but it brings up more questions than it answers.

I would say that dualism demands that one suspend logical thinking. I would say that filling the gaps in our knowledge with "God did it!" begs way more questions than it answers. No one can even objectively define "God". The concept of "God" is riddled with circular reasoning and contradictions. Of course, these are just our opinions until objective evidence is put forth for "God". Okay......' got any yet? = )

mike brown said...

boomslang is correct is was not he who stated the first disparaging comments about christians. It was fuwc who said:

"They are so weak minded that they don't know how to come up with a answer using logic that deals with reality."

I am sorry I got fuwc and boomslang mixed up I appologize.

What is amazing to me as I read you post boomslang is that you have yet to truely deal with what I am proposing. You seem to think I'm here to try and proove to you there is a God. You've got me wrong: I am attacking your empiricism. Your methodology. your epistomology.

You demand that unless I conform to your way of understanding the world (ie empiricism) than I have nothing to say.

I'll demonstrate what I mean: Law of gravity. Is there such a thing? Can you point to it and say there it is... No you can not it is a concept an idea of which we all happen to understand the signs and symbols. What is a law? A law is imutable and unchangable. It is an IDEA, Law is an idea a concept. So when scientist talk about the Law of gravity or the law of this or that there is nothing out there that corrisponds with LAW it is a concept,

Gravity, equally is a concept it is a way of saying and I'll put it crudly here: large objects attracts other objects. There is nothing out there externally that you can point to that you can say "Ahh there is gravity." it is an idea, a concept one that we all pretty much understand but a symbol and sign none the less.

Matter of fact the law of gravity is not even imutable. what has the greatest pull in the universe? Nothing, a black hole almost literally nothing has the greatest garvitational pull.

Empiricism by design can only tell us about physical things. Is it any surprise that the results of this investigation is that only physical things can be verified.

What I'm doing boomslang and I don't know how no one has seemed to understand this, is I am not defending God I am attacking empiricism as a pure epistomology.

You said:
"Truth" isn't determined by popular vote. Nice try."

What does determine "TRUTH" boomslang? what is your process of determining the truth. You are speaking of TRUTH as if it is real. You accuse me of believing in a fantasy but objective knowable TRUTH is one of the largest fantasies in the world and yet here you stand. Your proposing what's called a metanarrative, an overarching story that everyone can assent to and everyone has access to. Welcome to post modernism where metanarratives are subject to questioning.

Science is really about describing physical things nothing more. What makes you think that empiricism is able to give you the truth? By your own definition evidence is something you can test and falsify. Well what if something is not testable or able to be falsified? Does that make it no longer real?

If you think I'm doubting you, it's not you I'm doubting I am questioning the central tenant of materalism namely that empiricism tells us everything we need to know about the universe.

boomslang why havn't you confronted me on the lingistic issue or the issue of science being nothing more than prooving to ourselve what we already "know" Are you familiar with Wittgenstein?
This is my point with methodology. the method you use for investigation will have a profound influence upon the conclusions. If you only will accept empirical, dramatic evidence than what you will call knowledge begins to shrink extremely quickly.

Yes I am demanding proof from you: given the post modern age we live in, how can you sit there and propose to tell me the "Truth" about anything?
Here's another demonstration of your belief in objective "truth"

"Faith" fills the "human need" to not want to believe the reality of the situation, and that is that death is a part of life. That's just the way it is. 'Sorry 'bout that.

Your proposing to tell all of us exactally what Faith is. how do you know that's what faith is?

If your wanting me to piecemeal your response I just can't do that I need some family time :)

I have been frustrated over the last few days for anyone to take this issue up. I'm not sure if you're used to people playing on your own field (scientific data being the ultimate decider of what is True) but I don't play like that. I'm questioning the ability of empiricism to tell us everything we need to know. I'm not questioning empiricism totally but that empiricism tell us everything we need to know about everything.

boomSLANG said...

Holy convoluted goose chase, Batman!

Mike Brown, I can't decide if I want to put a lot of time into a point-by-point response to your latest weasle-wording, atrocious spelling and grammar, bait and switch tactics, logical fallacies, mile-long strawman rant.

Actually, right now?... I'm leaning towards "NO"......so I'll just address a few of the more immediate problems, and be on my merry way for now.

Mike Brown asked: Just what kind of empirical evidence would you be willing to accept? [bold added]

Now, notice, YOU asked a specific question about what I would "accept" as "evidence"---a specific kind of evidence...e.g..."empirical evidence". Notice, I gave direct answers to your question.

Let's review:

My answer(s) to your direct question:

"Let's see, for me, the same type of evidence we have that the moon exists; the same type of evidence we have that George Bush (unfortunately) exists. Or how about "God" appearing in Time Square?....yes, the same way he allegedly appeared to the 12, and to 500 other people in the "Holy Bible". Hell, with technology, it could even be documented."

Again, you asked; I answered....but yet, now you seem to be frothing at the mouth because the type of evidence I provided was "empirical". Have you been drinking? It appears you're a family man.....so I hope not.

Mike B: What I'm doing boomslang and I don't know how no one has seemed to understand this, is I am not defending God....

Oh, we understand it. What you are doing, is you are now making an admission that you are "not defending God"(as if you haven't been), and you are doing so because you can't defend "God". You have zero evidence. What "God?..where?..who?..what?..how?

AND, since you are at least smart enough to know that you can't convince us with your apologetic mish-mash, you have now "turned your guns"(.i..e.."water pistol") towards the materialist/naturalist worldview, just like many Christian apologists do.

Yes, they commit the logical fallacy where they think that if they can shoot holes in the theory of evolution, that that will make creationism/ID "true" by "default". They likewise think that if they can shoot holes in materialism/naturalism that "dualism" will be "true" by "default".

MikeB continues: I am attacking empiricism as a pure epistomology.

Attack it all you'd like, Mike Brown. It won't change the fact that you and I--"we"--live in a natural universe. Your "'tis so" argument that there is more to it than that will continue to fail unless you can convince us that you "know" there is more to it, and provide evidence for HOW you "know" it.

Before I go, let's look at this mess:

MkieB: Law of gravity. Is there such a thing? Can you point to it and say there it is... No you can not it is a concept an idea of which we all happen to understand the signs and symbols.

We also understand it's affects, Mike Brown. Nonetheless, if you doubt that "gravity" is "real"?.... then please, find a couple of adjacent 3 or 4 story buildings, and go to the roof top of one, and "test" the Law of gravity by walking from one building to the other. Let us know, m'kay?

lol

mike brown said...

boomslang:

I also wrote: "Here's the thing I don't believe that there's enough empirical evidence to provide you with what you demand."

I wrote this before your little rant. So please don't say I'm changing my tactics. I have been saying the same thing the whole time. you apparently either don't understand what I'm talking about concerning science or are playing coy so I'll be slow and make my point clear:

Language is assumed to a be a one to one corrispondance with external reality. Empiricism works as long as this assumption is true. Meaning when I say "cup", you all understand the word as an image But a cup is an object but also I make it with my hands. Some of the linguistic work by the likes of Wittegenstein, Saussure have proposed that language does not corrispond to external reality as much as function in terms of signs and symbols (by the way their work is not particularly christian per se) in a social relationship.

We see how this works in the LAW of Gravity that you apparently didn't understand the point.

(We also understand it's affects, Mike Brown. Nonetheless, if you doubt that "gravity" is "real"?.... )
Is there a one on one relationship with external reality with LAW? No you can not find one, There is no law, Law is a metaphorical symbol that we collectively understand but only imperfectly. By law we might mean something immutable or unchanging. Likewise gravity is a word that does not corrispond with any THING in the external world. It is likewise a concept, a symbol. What we call the LAW of GRAVITY is a way of describing to ourselves why things fall to the ground.

But here is my point: There is nothing, if an alien from another Galaxy came to our world, that you could POINT to and say: This is gravity. The law of gravity is a concept, an idea.

I'm sure this is difficult becuase it's philosophy instead of science. But this is the crux of Wittgenstein and Richard Rorty and others.

What this means is that empiricism believes it is describing the universe in a one on one relationship all the while it is really just describing itself. Let me demonstrate:

Why do we call it the LAW of gravity. Why not the rule of gravity or the foundation of gravity. Why law? We use the term law because of our WESTERN historical philosophical history. In our history a law is supposed to be something that is with out change. When physics itself describes gravtiy in a different manner. Much of the universe is contengent upon relationships. e=mc2 is about how light can exist in different forms in different circumstances. So even light isn't set in stone, it is contengent upon the context. So why use the word law? Richard Rorty would probably say it has much to do with power and our desire to demonstrate our control over nature. In this way the law of gravity is really about describing to ourselves the way the universe works.

Thomas Kuhn (I don't believe he is a believer either) assaulted the scientific community with his "Structure of Scientific Revolution" In it he contended (and I'm a bit over simplifying here) that science works within paradigms these paradigms function as the borders of a puzzle while individual research functions as pieces of the puzzle. The paradigms is the TRUTH while the individual research flushes this truth out. Suddenly a revolution occurs in science and the truth changes. All the pieces in the puzzle are reshifted and realiged prividing a new paradigm or TRUTH within which science functions.

Now we see this most receintly with Pluto. Has Pluto suddenly blown up? Has it been destroyed by a comet or the hand of God. Two year's ago we had 9 planets now we only have 8. What happened? We shifted definitions. That's all, Pluto is still out there, all the large bits of rocks and dirt are still out there but here on earth we now tell our children that instead of 9 planet there are 8. That is a type of paradigm shift. A better demonstration is the shift from Capernicus to Newton physics and from Newton to Einstein physics. Very little information is added but it completely changes the way people view things (hence back to my 6th sense comment of which you didn't understand either)

You keep demanding for a certain type of proof (empirical evidence) completely ignorant that what ever proof you will accept is by definition that which fits with in your own world view. In other words to convince you that a non physical being like God exist must be done within a system designed to only accept that which is physical. Do you not see the problem here? Its like saying prove water exist, but don't use water

.

redtail said...

Boomslang...i just have to say....you give immeasurable pleasure to my life. lol ;)

boomSLANG said...

Oh happy day, here we go again---Mike Brown is back, and unfortunately, he didn't test the LAW of gravity, and instead, posted another mile long pointless rant, finishing with: Do you not see the problem here?

Yes, we see the problem. He has zero evidence for his fantastic claims, so his goal is to try and make naturalism seem "fantastic". I wonder, does he think he's the first theist who's ever tried this crap?

Okay, one more time---let's back-up and review from an earlier post.

Mike Brown: Law of gravity. Is there such a thing? Can you point to it and say there it is(?)

Once AGAIN, he asked a pointed question, and once AGAIN, I gave a direct answer to his question. His premise, although he likely won't admit it, is that because we can't "point to it"..i.e.."see it"/"touch it" then he's questioning how we know it's "real"(at least, until he comes back and changes the subject)

I said we can see the affects of gravity, and then I asked him to test it, even providing a great test. "TEST", and falsify.

I personally don't give a flying f%ck what Mike would like to call "how gravity works", it is relevant to NOTHING. ZERO. In fact, his whole mile long post is relevant to nothing, unless, if you consider it a diversion from the fact that he claims to "know" that there's something beyond this physical universe, but has no evidence of such, nor can he provide a sound explanation of how he can "know" this alleged "fact".

Mike?..if you're there, honestly, look at the title of the thread. See it? Now, I could eat a bowl of Alphabet soup and shit out a better argument for "God"....and I don't even believe in God.

Please don't waste your/our time, k' handsome? Beat it.

Bye now.

Astreja said...

Mike Brown said: "In other words to convince you that a non physical being like God exist must be done within a system designed to only accept that which is physical. Do you not see the problem here? Its like saying prove water exist, but don't use water."

If your god is non-physical, Mike, and therefore undetectable through physical means, the corollary is that it does not interact in any way, shape or form with the physical world.

In other words, you have defined your god as a being that is 100% impotent in the real world.

Which is consistent with my personal observations of this hypothetical god.

(picks up stapler and drops it) Gravity, on the other hand...

fjell_strom said...

Mike Brown said: Its like saying prove water exist, but don't use water

Okay, Mike. Please prove unicorns don't exist, but don't use unicorns.

Can't you see how presupposing your reasoning is? Presuppositions are not useful. Why do you hold yours aloft like a giant idiotic banner?

fjell_strom said...

Of course I meant to say:

Please prove unicorns [do] exist, but don't use unicorns.

Bollox. And I found it rather hilarious.

mike brown said...

Ok boomslang honestly I didn't use any thoughts of my own, (except the last paragraph) I'm employing philosophers and current post modern perspectives. If you keep ranting about how I'm not making any sense but not even challengeing how I'm using wittegensteing, Kuhn, Sassure, kierkegaard, it seems to me either you don't know them, don't know how to respond to them or just don't care.

boomslang said:
"he claims to "know" that there's something beyond this physical universe, but has no evidence of such, nor can he provide a sound explanation of how he can "know" this alleged "fact"."

I am trying to get there but to get you there you have realize how culturally bound and philosphically dependent your demand for "evidence" truely is.

.:webmaster:. said...

"I am trying to get there but to get you there you have realize how culturally bound and philosphically dependent your demand for "evidence" truely is."

OK, I'll admit it. I too think whatever it is you are trying to convey is so much bullshit. I could care less that there are other cultures who DON'T think evidence is important. My guess would be that those cultures are primitive in more ways than I'd care to personally have to endure.

Sheesh, do you have any idea how culturally bound and philosophically dependent you are in your need to evangelize for Jesus?

We are ALL bound to a greater or lesser degree by our circumstances in life. DUH! That doesn't mean we should retreat into the ignorant fantasies and magical thinking.

The scientific way of thinking, which demands evidence, has transformed the planet over the past century and a half. I wouldn't give it up for anything.

boomSLANG said...

Mike Brown to me: If you keep ranting about how I'm not making any sense but not even challengeing how I'm using wittegensteing, Kuhn, Sassure, kierkegaard, it seems to me either you don't know them, don't know how to respond to them or just don't care.

"C"....I "just don't(f%cking) care"---final answer. And that is inclusive of the other two hypotheticals, BTW. If I wanted to talk philosophy about "epistemological solipsism"?... I'd JOIN such a thread, or start my own.

"Does God exist?" is the title of this thread, Mike Brown. Your very first response in this thread is brimming with presuppostions, strawman arguments, special pleading, and your standard blow-hard apologetics.

Mike Brown: I am trying to get there but to get you there you have realize how culturally bound and philosphically dependent your demand for "evidence" truely is.

"Culturally bound"? Hogwash. Take any cross section of humanity, make some funky-ass fantastic claim, and you'll see that people of all races, creeds, and geographical locations "demand evidence". On the subject of "Divine" supernatural claims---go to Iraq and tell a Muslim, "Hey dude, y'know Yahweh's Son, Jesus?....well, he can walk on water!", and I'll bet my right testicle that they'll either "demand evidence", or shoot you between eyes....or maybe both.

"Does God exist?", Mike Brown.....not "gravity"; not "stop signs"; not dead philosopher's left-over philosophies..."GOD".

eel_shepherd said...

Mike Brown wrote:
"...For us truth is bound up entirely with the person of God. Truth has a context within which it can work; as a word, for us it is useful and entirely functional. For Christians God is the truth and we function within that context but out side of God we would agree with you... There is no Truth out side of God,..."

This is devoid of sense or meaning. Once you link truth to god, (making that linkage axiomatic, thereby rendering the axioms inaccessible to logical argument, since axioms don't require anything in the way of proof; Agent 008 --- licenced to move the goalposts) and then say that god is always larger than/outside of anything and everything else, any ratio-nal discussion becomes a divide-by-zero exercise. The word "truth" ceases to have any meaning once you put it (by thus defining it) in the hands of Mr. Ever-Transcendent. It's like trying to have a game of baseball in which the ball has been defined (or predeterminedly required) to be forever beyond the centre field fence.

webmdave said...

We have an interesting debate about this topic going at the following link:

http://www.surveymagnet.com/2010/07/does-god-exist/

Come and join us