Is there a God?

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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Kurieuo
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Re: Is there a God?

#361

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:18 pm

Audie wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Audie wrote:
Kenny wrote:

Yeah I guess sometimes people loose interest; even in other people. But do you think people choose to loose interest?

Ken
I suppose some people actually can, or convince themselves they can, "choose" to believe.
I think it comes down to what is on our "table of beliefs".
Some might be for rational and logical reason, others might be for passional reasons.

Obviously, some beliefs are just not on our table -- therefore you cannot choose them.
Kenny, re: your "box of religion" it'd probably be more correct to say that it's under the table...
One day, maybe it'll make to on top of your table.

@Audie, regarding not being able to choose.
There was an example where someone online deceived me recently.
I had no reason to trust them further, but having found out I was deceived there was every reason to not believe anything they said.
Judges in courts work that way do they not? If discovered your lying than anything else you say is taken as a grain of salt.

BUT, guess what I chose out of:
1) "I'll trust they're now being honest with me" or
2) "I can't trust that they're being honest with me"

Am I stupid for choosing the trust the person and what they say?
I'd have no real tangible evidence or even reason to.
AND, I actually do trust and believe what they are telling me now.
I feel it is quite unfair of you to be right about this.
Being right isn't fair because it often means someone else is wrong.
Maybe we can take turns and I'll let you be right next time. :lol:
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Is there a God?

#362

Post by Squible » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:00 pm

Kenny wrote:Squible
So now it is a belief? I thought theists and atheists just had those in your view...
Ken
That’s why I prefer using the term “point of view” in that particular case. We are using belief two ways, and it seems to be getting a little confusing.
A belief is a belief isn't it?
Kenny wrote: Squible
Can you explain "For a theist is a belief about believing" please? And after you explain that can you please explain if you hold this to atheists as well?
Ken
To say you believe God exists is different than saying you KNOW God exists. By definition; to say “believe” leaves open the possibility of doubt, to “know” does not. The same applies to the Atheist. Think of it this way: (as the website I sent you yesterday confirmed)
Theist: someone who believes God exist but leaves the possibility that he may not
Atheist: someone who does not believe God exist, but leaves open the possibility that he may
Theist Agnostic: Person who Knows God exists
Atheist Agnostic: person who Knows God does not exist
Agnostic: person who says it is impossible to know either way.
You see these agnostics theist / atheist terms. Hubris.

A theist is someone who believes God exists period!
An atheist is someone who believes God does not exist period!

Both are knowledge claims regardless of their justification for their belief. What you are attempting to do is describe justification for belief - not the belief itself.

The definition for Theism/Atheism has never been - A belief where someone knows God does exist/not exist, it has only ever been the belief God exists or the belief God does not exist.

Perhaps you should stop reading those infidel sites, which attempt to redefined terms including the word faith.

Seems to me you hold to one definition of agnosticism and ignore Wikipedia also stating:
philosopher William L. Rowe, in the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of God

And dictionary definition 3 third one.
agnostic -a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic: "Socrates was an agnostic on the subject of immortality."

Do you cherry pick to suit yourself?

How's subjectivism working out for you?
Kenny wrote: Squible
And does this mean a theist or atheist isn't making a knowledge claim, when they say God exists or Does not exist respectively?
Ken
The way you phrased it was a knowledge claim which would make them a "theist agnostic or an "atheist agnostic". For them to be theist or atheist they would have to say I believe God exist, or I don't believe God exist.
I know this stuff gets bandied around the internet but it is what it is... HUBRIS! Sometime ago I listened to a Podcast with a philosopher talking about a paper an atheist philosopher here in Australia wrote, they both agreed that this agnostic X is a contradiction in terms when applied to Theism and Atheism. I happen to agree with how nuts it is, especially when you understand that there is a clear distinction between justification and belief itself.

When someone states a belief X, REGARDLESS it is a knowledge claim.

A theist is a Theist not and agnostic theist. Same goes for Atheist. What this hubris is attempting to do is make these definitions a merger of belief with justification, but in reality these terms is about justification for belief, not the belief itself.

You and those who use this hubris fail to understand that your justification for belief is wholly independent to the belief itself. So sorry sunshine in philosophy they are seen as two entirely separate things.
Kenny wrote: Squible
What about an agnostic who says "I don't believe God exists and I don't believe God does not exist" (and holds no position on whether it is knowable) how is that a belief about knowledge in your view?
Ken
If he holds no position on weather it is knowable, according to Thomas Huxley (the man who coined the term agnostic approx 150 years ago) he is not an agnostic. According to Huxley he has to have the view that knowledge is unknowable.
I refer you to the other meanings and definitions for the term Agnostic.
Kenny wrote: Squible
So when someone talks about anything to do with Gods existence it isn't about God?
Ken
Not God by himself, but God’s existence.
I see...
Kenny wrote: Squible
So now you are saying it is about God because it is about his existence when before you said it isn't?
KenI think you misunderstood me
A huh...
Kenny wrote: Squible
So are you saying an agnostic who claims you cannot know if God exists or not doesn't hold a belief about Gods existence?
Ken
I am saying an Agnostic claims you cannot know if God exist, but he doesn’t address belief in God.
But that is still a belief right?
Kenny wrote: Squible
What about an agnostic who holds no belief either way, because they have never heard about God or not worked out from nature that God may exist, and as such don't have a belief about knowledge (In your view)?
Ken
If a person never heard of God, he cannot be an Agnostic.
Refer to definitions again.

Will Kenny cherry pick?

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Re: Is there a God?

#363

Post by Kenny » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:11 pm

Squible. I made a big mistake on my last post and I tried to edit it before you got a hold of it to respond. obviously I didn't suceed at it. I've edited my last response, and so if you read it again you can see what I really meant. Hopefully my editing will have cleared things up a bit.

My apologies
Ken
RickD wrote
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: Is there a God?

#364

Post by Squible » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:07 pm

Kenny wrote:Squible. I made a big mistake on my last post and I tried to edit it before you got a hold of it to respond. obviously I didn't suceed at it. I've edited my last response, and so if you read it again you can see what I really meant. Hopefully my editing will have cleared things up a bit.

My apologies
Ken
Even after your edit my position remains the same.

The point is there are several definitions for agnosticism today and you are choosing to ignore them, and stick just with one in order to assert your position. The one you are asserting is a decided philosophical position, which also requires justification. I full well understand the origins from Huxley, Huxley demonstrates in his statement the untenability of holding to philosophical agnosticism. It is a position that is extraordinarily difficult to justify, and you can see why with regard to Huxley's comment.

However what you need to understand is the term also needs to be understood in its current context and meaning(s) of today. You can go on ignore the other definitions, but it simply means you are cherry picking in order to assert your position.

What you are essentially doing here is forcing people must maintain philosophical agnosticism on order to be agnostic, when in reality you don't have to hold to philosophical agnosticism, to be agnostic with a position.

This is something you are not understanding.

For example: I am agnostic about whether other life exists in the universe. I hold no position either way and it's not because of what we cannot know.
This falls inline with another meaning for an agnostic who is a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic: "Socrates was an agnostic on the subject of immortality."

And to sum up, your little cartoon with agnostic X, etc.. is simply hubris, it is not describing the belief (which are knowledge claims - regardless of their justification), rather it is describing justification with respect to their belief. Two separate and distinct things. Go on believing it if you want but it is philosophically absurd. To me it is just a game of BS in order to divert someone who doesn't know any better when it comes to belief (knowledge claims) and their justification for that belief. In any case, In theory if someone is an agnostic X then they have to justify why they "cannot know", which leads you right back to an extraordinarily difficult position to justify. You are just better of saying your are X make your knowledge claim that X (which is a belief) does or does not exist - and just claim you are ignorant about it since you have no epistemic justification for your beleif.


Let's end this topic or otherwise it will go on for weeks.
Last edited by Squible on Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:39 am, edited 12 times in total.

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Re: Is there a God?

#365

Post by Squible » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:42 pm

Now Kenny,

I want to ask you to something else actually.

I remember you saying you can't prove a negative. Meaning, in the context you used it in, that you can't prove that X doesn't exist.

Is this true?

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Re: Is there a God?

#366

Post by Kenny » Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:59 am

Squible wrote:
Kenny wrote:Squible. I made a big mistake on my last post and I tried to edit it before you got a hold of it to respond. obviously I didn't suceed at it. I've edited my last response, and so if you read it again you can see what I really meant. Hopefully my editing will have cleared things up a bit.

My apologies
Ken
Even after your edit my position remains the same.

The point is there are several definitions for agnosticism today and you are choosing to ignore them, and stick just with one in order to assert your position. The one you are asserting is a decided philosophical position, which also requires justification. I full well understand the origins from Huxley, Huxley demonstrates in his statement the untenability of holding to philosophical agnosticism. It is a position that is extraordinarily difficult to justify, and you can see why with regard to Huxley's comment.

However what you need to understand is the term also needs to be understood in its current context and meaning(s) of today. You can go on ignore the other definitions, but it simply means you are cherry picking in order to assert your position.

What you are essentially doing here is forcing people must maintain philosophical agnosticism on order to be agnostic, when in reality you don't have to hold to philosophical agnosticism, to be agnostic with a position.

This is something you are not understanding.

For example: I am agnostic about whether other life exists in the universe. I hold no position either way and it's not because of what we cannot know.
This falls inline with another meaning for an agnostic who is a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic: "Socrates was an agnostic on the subject of immortality."

And to sum up, your little cartoon with agnostic X, etc.. is simply hubris, it is not describing the belief (which are knowledge claims - regardless of their justification), rather it is describing justification with respect to their belief. Two separate and distinct things. Go on believing it if you want but it is philosophically absurd. To me it is just a game of BS in order to divert someone who doesn't know any better when it comes to belief (knowledge claims) and their justification for that belief. In any case, In theory if someone is an agnostic X then they have to justify why they "cannot know", which leads you right back to an extraordinarily difficult position to justify. You are just better of saying your are X make your knowledge claim that X (which is a belief) does or does not exist - and just claim you are ignorant about it since you have no epistemic justification for your beleif.


Let's end this topic or otherwise it will go on for weeks.
I see where you are coming from. I was defining the term as it was explained to me. In the real world I don’t use the term outside religion and rarely use it even then; so its exact definition is not important to me. I have always maintained the term agnostic is a flawed position because it is foolish to say X cannot be known unless X has been defined; but the way you use it; which is new to me, makes more sense because you seem to apply it to anything.
Anyway I agree we should end it I would hate to see this thread get sidetracked over this

Ken
RickD wrote
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: Is there a God?

#367

Post by Kenny » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:00 am

Squible wrote:Now Kenny,

I want to ask you to something else actually.

I remember you saying you can't prove a negative. Meaning, in the context you used it in, that you can't prove that X doesn't exist.

Is this true?
Yes

K
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"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: Is there a God?

#368

Post by Squible » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:26 am

Kenny wrote:
Squible wrote:Now Kenny,

I want to ask you to something else actually.

I remember you saying you can't prove a negative. Meaning, in the context you used it in, that you can't prove that X doesn't exist.

Is this true?
Yes

K
Okay I thought about this one further and realized we prove negatives all the time...

For example:
Prove that a planet doesn't exist between the orbit of Jupiter and Saturn.
Prove that X is not somewhere.
Prove that a flea does not exist in my lounge room.
Prove that an elephant doesn't exist in your street.
and so on..

I believe this whole "can't prove a negative" claim is actually philosophically flawed, and is just an attempt to not shoulder any burden of proof as such..

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Re: Is there a God?

#369

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 31, 2014 6:18 am

I am going to have to go with Audie on this one; I cannot fathom how someone can "choose" to believe or disbelieve; as I said before, for me belief happens after reason and logic demands it, not before. But I noticed you said "believe in", what does that mean? How are you defining the term to believe in someone or something? Perhaps that is different.

Ken
You can't fathom how someone chooses to believe yet you say that, for you, belief is based on reason and logic, correct?
So you choose to believe in something that, for you, is based on reason and logic ( whatever that may be at that point in time).
Almost everything we do is a choice in some form or another.
Belief is no different.

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Re: Is there a God?

#370

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 31, 2014 6:20 am

Squible wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Squible wrote:Now Kenny,

I want to ask you to something else actually.

I remember you saying you can't prove a negative. Meaning, in the context you used it in, that you can't prove that X doesn't exist.

Is this true?
Yes

K
Okay I thought about this one further and realized we prove negatives all the time...

For example:
Prove that a planet doesn't exist between the orbit of Jupiter and Saturn.
Prove that X is not somewhere.
Prove that a flea does not exist in my lounge room.
Prove that an elephant doesn't exist in your street.
and so on..

I believe this whole "can't prove a negative" claim is actually philosophically flawed, and is just an attempt to not shoulder any burden of proof as such..
At best all you can proof is that those things don't "exist" at the time you tried to observe them.
There was a time that people believed that black swans never existed, until someone saw one.

So, we can prove that something doesn't exist to a certain degree BUT not in the absolute.

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Re: Is there a God?

#371

Post by Squible » Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:11 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
At best all you can proof is that those things don't "exist" at the time you tried to observe them.
There was a time that people believed that black swans never existed, until someone saw one.

So, we can prove that something doesn't exist to a certain degree BUT not in the absolute.

It seems you missed the point of what was said and went on a tangent. The examples were not to be taken as absolutes throughout time.
The examples are there to refute the claim "you can't prove a negative" which in Kenny's context is "You can't prove something doesn't exist"

The fact is we do prove negatives all the time. And that was the point of the exercise, not whether it is absolute or not.

Many atheists use the "you can't prove a negative" as a response to avoid shouldering the burden of proof for their claim God does not exist. Now when I say burden of proof here I am not talking about absolutes, or for that matter direct evidence, but rather justification for the belief "God does not exist" based on what evidence we do have. As such using inference / abductive reasoning is acceptable.

The problem here is the above example demonstrates that we do "prove negatives" (wholly independent to your point in respect to time) which refutes the claim "you can't prove a negative", and in the case where someone wants to say okay well I mean it for just God, then they are special pleading.
Last edited by Squible on Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is there a God?

#372

Post by Squible » Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:35 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
I am going to have to go with Audie on this one; I cannot fathom how someone can "choose" to believe or disbelieve; as I said before, for me belief happens after reason and logic demands it, not before. But I noticed you said "believe in", what does that mean? How are you defining the term to believe in someone or something? Perhaps that is different.

Ken
You can't fathom how someone chooses to believe yet you say that, for you, belief is based on reason and logic, correct?
So you choose to believe in something that, for you, is based on reason and logic ( whatever that may be at that point in time).
Almost everything we do is a choice in some form or another.
Belief is no different.
To sum it up I think Kenny is making the point that one should have justification for their beliefs.

If this is what he is attempting to say then I happen to agree with Kenny on that.

However, I agree with you, that we can choose our beliefs (although I question that there maybe some we simply cannot easily because they are properly basic ones), but again one ought to be justified in holding to that belief. And make the choice based on that justification. Someone doesn't have to, but if they don't then the belief is based on ignorance.

As such you can have defeaters come along which challenge your justification for that belief such that you choose to no longer hold to it. And then as Alvin Plantinga puts it you may have defeater defeaters come along which cause you to have justification for your original belief and as such you have warrant to hold it again.

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Re: Is there a God?

#373

Post by Audie » Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:50 am

Squible wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
I am going to have to go with Audie on this one; I cannot fathom how someone can "choose" to believe or disbelieve; as I said before, for me belief happens after reason and logic demands it, not before. But I noticed you said "believe in", what does that mean? How are you defining the term to believe in someone or something? Perhaps that is different.

Ken
You can't fathom how someone chooses to believe yet you say that, for you, belief is based on reason and logic, correct?
So you choose to believe in something that, for you, is based on reason and logic ( whatever that may be at that point in time).
Almost everything we do is a choice in some form or another.
Belief is no different.
To sum it up I think Kenny is making the point that one should have justification for their beliefs.

If this is what he is attempting to say then I happen to agree with Kenny on that.

However, I agree with you, that we can choose our beliefs (although I question that there maybe some we simply cannot easily because they are properly basic ones), but again one ought to be justified in holding to that belief. And make the choice based on that justification. Someone doesn't have to, but if they don't then the belief is based on ignorance.

As such you can have defeaters come along which challenge your justification for that belief such that you choose to no longer hold to it. And then as Alvin Plantinga puts it you may have defeater defeaters come along which cause you to have justification for your original belief and as such you have warrant to hold it again.
Christians use the word "justify" in ways that are quite alien to me.

Perhaps if you choose a different word?

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Re: Is there a God?

#374

Post by Squible » Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:52 am

Audie wrote:
Christians use the word "justify" in ways that are quite alien to me.

Perhaps if you choose a different word?
I am not using it in a Christian context.

It is commonly used when discussing belief philosophically (epistemic justification). The term is used extensively no matter what belief/epistemic justification theory is being discussed.

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Re: Is there a God?

#375

Post by Jac3510 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:24 am

The idea of epistemic justification is also captured by the word "warrant," as in, belief in X is warranted by a, b, and c, but belief in Y is completely unwarranted.

Carry on.
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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