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Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Rob
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Re: YouTube...

#46

Post by Rob » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:40 am

BryanH wrote: If an angel appears to me, well, that would be nice. But angels don't appear to anyone:)) They just appear to designated people and religious leaders:)) that is something to think about.
Not true. I've known people that I trust who have claimed to have had visitations. None of them were religious leaders or a "designated" angel receiver. None of them made any money (or even tried to) off of their story either.

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Re: YouTube...

#47

Post by BryanH » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:09 am

Not true. I've known people that I trust who have claimed to have had visitations. None of them were religious leaders or a "designated" angel receiver. None of them made any money (or even tried to) off of their story either.
Are your friends religious persons? What is their age? In what context did it happen?

The fact that you trust them doesn't mean that they can't lie, even if they don't know they are doing that.

P.S.: When I said "designated people" I mean people that were involved somehow in a certain biblical event. Anyways, why don't you ask yourself: why hasn't any angel appeared to a mass of people? That would have been nice compared to some "special" people being visited by angels.

By the way: what was the message sent by the angels?

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Re: YouTube...

#48

Post by Rob » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:26 am

BryanH wrote: Are your friends religious persons? What is their age? In what context did it happen?
The most notable was my great grandmother. She died a couple years ago. Yes, she was religious.
BryanH wrote: The fact that you trust them doesn't mean that they can't lie, even if they don't know they are doing that.
I know this. I am not a moron.
BryanH wrote: P.S.: When I said "designated people" I mean people that were involved somehow in a certain biblical event. Anyways, why don't you ask yourself: why hasn't any angel appeared to a mass of people? That would have been nice compared to some "special" people being visited by angels.
How do we know they haven't?
Anyway, it's similar to the question of why hasn't God appeared publicly in the sky to a mass of people.
BryanH wrote: By the way: what was the message sent by the angels?
It's not my story to tell, but I don't mind as much since she is gone home now.
She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told she didn't have much longer to live. When she was in the hospital, she claims that an angel appeared to her and told her she was going to live. She then recovered from the cancer and lived for a long, long time after that. (This occurred before I was born- I am now 25)
Unfortunately, I never found out what the angel said verbatim.

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Re: YouTube...

#49

Post by narnia4 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:36 am

My take on supernatural occurrences in general- Nobody that I know of denies that there are fakes, hallucinations, people have mental diseases, all of that. But it simply does not follow (at all) that because some supernatural occurrences are fake that somehow they all are. There also seems to be a tendency to write off what happens in the brain as somehow "fake", when I don't think that's necessarily the case.

Its no coincidence that those who believe in ghosts and the supernatural often interpret things as supernatural, but its just as true that those who don't believe in the supernatural will dismiss what some would interpret as a "supernatural occurrence". So these types of arguments, they really do very little to show the truth as far as whether there are ghosts or spirits or whatever.

One caveat though, eye witness testimony matters. Let's say you thought there was exactly a 50/50 chance that ghosts existed. If the majority of people believe that there are ghosts, then rationally you should determine that its more likely that ghosts exist than that they do not. Of course, we don't usually get to "exactly 50/50" chances.

One last thing, its not just uneducated people that believe in the supernatural or anything. Just about every pastor and missionary I know believe that he/she has seen a miracle(s) (some unimpressive, routine every day things, some spectacular hard to explain really weird stuff). For the most part these are highly read, seminary trained, degree holding, multilingual, intelligent people who know all the arguments for and against the supernatural. They're aware of cognitive biases and the power of the mind to show us what we want to believe. They don't shut off their brains when they go into a mission field or pray for someone. Yet they still believe that they've encountered the supernatural, and yes that does count as evidence.
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Re: YouTube...

#50

Post by BryanH » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:46 am

@Rob

Rob please don't consider me disrespectful or anything but people with terminal cancer can have hallucinations. The angel told your grandma what every person would like to hear when they are on their death bed: "you are going to live".

The fact that your grandma actually survived for many years to come is indeed very rare. Terminal cancer is usually deadly although there are other cases where people have survived without an angel coming.

As Neo-x pointed out: I might be wrong, but the truth is that I prefer looking for logical explanations rather than angels and God.

Now, it's up to you to choose which story you like better. In the end, I can't prove that angels exists, you can't either.

I might be wrong, you might be wrong, but none of us can prove anything...

@narnia
One last thing, its not just uneducated people that believe in the supernatural or anything. Just about every pastor and missionary I know believe that he/she has seen a miracle(s) (some unimpressive, routine every day things, some spectacular hard to explain really weird stuff). For the most part these are highly read, seminary trained, degree holding, multilingual, intelligent people who know all the arguments for and against the supernatural. They're aware of cognitive biases and the power of the mind to show us what we want to believe. They don't shut off their brains when they go into a mission field or pray for someone. Yet they still believe that they've encountered the supernatural, and yes that does count as evidence.
Got your point. I think that at the end of the day it's about what your own beliefs are. If you think that there is supernatural out there, well, for you there is.
Last edited by BryanH on Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: YouTube...

#51

Post by Rob » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:55 am

BryanH wrote:@Rob

Rob please don't consider me disrespectful or anything but people with terminal cancer can have hallucinations. The angel told your grandma what every person would like to hear when they are on their death bed: "you are going to live".

The fact that your grandma actually survived for many years to come is indeed very rare. Terminal cancer is usually deadly although there are other cases where people have survived without an angel coming.

As Neo-x pointed out: I might be wrong, but the truth is that I prefer looking for logical explanations rather than angels and God.

Now, it's up to you to choose which story you like better. In the end, I can't prove that angels exists, you can't either.

I might be wrong, you might be wrong, but none of us can prove anything...
No disrespect taken, I agree with you- we can't prove anything. All my personal evidence and experience is anecdotal. It's good enough for me personally, though.
I currently hold no illusions that I can win arguments with evidence other people never saw or experienced. Been there, done that.

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Re: YouTube...

#52

Post by narnia4 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:47 am

Yes, it basically comes down to your presuppositions about metaphysics, nature, the nature of nature, about God, all that kind of stuff. Part of the problem I have with many people on both sides of the issue is that they dismiss things based on their worldview without justifying that worldview, in fact most people don't think much about their foundational beliefs at all. When I realized this, that's when I started getting into philosophy.

If we truly started from "0" and built up our arguments from there, well, things could look a lot different. Of course, starting from scratch is impossible.
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Re: YouTube...

#53

Post by Callisto » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:55 pm

narnia4 wrote:Yes, it basically comes down to your presuppositions about metaphysics, nature, the nature of nature, about God, all that kind of stuff. Part of the problem I have with many people on both sides of the issue is that they dismiss things based on their worldview without justifying that worldview, in fact most people don't think much about their foundational beliefs at all. When I realized this, that's when I started getting into philosophy.

If we truly started from "0" and built up our arguments from there, well, things could look a lot different. Of course, starting from scratch is impossible.
I think that's the point when I started reading theology and philosophy too, about five years ago, right before I started college. It wasn't that I disbelieved, it was that I saw how people around me couldn't (or wouldn't) explain why they had a particular worldview. And at the time, I couldn't either. That bothered me very, very much. Then I noticed that when people dig themselves in holes and won't see anything past their presuppositions, I finally realized what free will meant - that a person could willingly dig themselves into that hole and basically lie to themselves so vehemently that the lie becomes truth in their eyes. This is the rejection of God.

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Re: YouTube...

#54

Post by BryanH » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:15 am

I finally realized what free will meant - that a person could willingly dig themselves into that hole and basically lie to themselves so vehemently that the lie becomes truth in their eyes. This is the rejection of God.
You realize that believing in God is a belief, right? It is based on choosing a certain world view and sticking to it. The fact that you and others believe in God doesn't make God true... It could be a lie and the hole you chose to dig for yourself.

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Re: YouTube...

#55

Post by neo-x » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:31 am

You realize that believing in God is a belief, right? It is based on choosing a certain world view and sticking to it. The fact that you and others believe in God doesn't make God true... It could be a lie and the hole you chose to dig for yourself.
And you do realize that it can cut both ways too...I mean you have chosen a worldview as well and stuck to it. The fact that you and others do not believe in God doesn't make God untrue...It could be true while you chose to dig the hole for yourself, not choosing to believe.

This type of approach will always land you in problems no matter which side chooses to make this kind of argument. Just pointing this out. It is not a good argument...as this can always backfire.
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Re: YouTube...

#56

Post by BryanH » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:37 am

And you do realize that it can cut both ways too...I mean you have chosen a worldview as well and stuck to it. The fact that you and others do not believe in God doesn't make God untrue...It could be true while you chose to dig the hole for yourself, not choosing to believe.

This type of approach will always land you in problems no matter which side chooses to make this kind of argument. Just pointing this out. It is not a good argument...as this can always backfire.
I know. I just pointed out the other side... That's all.

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Re: YouTube...

#57

Post by Byblos » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:39 am

BryanH wrote:I know. I just pointed out the other side... That's all.
True there are 2 sides. The difference is that one is rational and the other isn't. Just pointing out the obvious.
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Re: YouTube...

#58

Post by BryanH » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:51 am

True there are 2 sides. The difference is that one is rational and the other isn't. Just pointing out the obvious.
Saying that one side is rational and the other one isn't doesn't actually relate to being 2 sides.

Both sides are have their rational and irrational arguments. That would be the fair way to present things.

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Re: YouTube...

#59

Post by Byblos » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:58 am

BryanH wrote:
True there are 2 sides. The difference is that one is rational and the other isn't. Just pointing out the obvious.
Saying that one side is rational and the other one isn't doesn't actually relate to being 2 sides.
I agreed with you that there are 2 sides, not sure what your point is.
BryanH wrote:Both sides are have their rational and irrational arguments. That would be the fair way to present things.
Er, no it's not. One side has a rational argument for creation (of anything) that does not violate the law of non-contradiction, and the other one ... well, doesn't.
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Re: YouTube...

#60

Post by BryanH » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:23 am

Er, no it's not. One side has a rational argument for creation (of anything) that does not violate the law of non-contradiction, and the other one ... well, doesn't.
No offense Byblos, but at present times I don't think that anyone can offer a rational argument for creation. We only have assumptions.

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