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    (Original post by Treblebee)
    It's not that I don't get it; it's that I do get it - and I don't think that The Terminator deserved the comments he received. Explain away
    Can you please edit your post and italicise/bold the bit you inserted into the quote? I don't want people to think that that was in my original post and that I've edited it. I don't want to be seen arguing against free speech just because you refuse to multi-quote.

    the terminator claimed that religion gives him all the answers, that his parents had put him under this spell, that he doesn't give a damn if all the evidence in the universe turns against his position, and that he intends to subject any children he has to the same cognitive disability that his parents subjected him to. I responded by saying that I hope that he is infertile and is unable to adopt.

    I said this because passing on this attitude to any children is to make them sitting ducks for vicious bullies at school and beyond and cause them untold misery when they find out that they're living in a world where flexibility is expected and those with an unthinkingly rigid mentality can go **** themselves for all anyone cares (which is the correct attitude for anyone to have, in my view -- it's not other people's job to deal with that child's parent-imposed limitations).

    Given all this, I do not see why what the terminator proposes to do to his children should be categorised any differently to more familiar kinds of child abuse and neglect that cause them to develop interpersonal problems in later life and prematurely stunts their intellectual capacity. My comment to him was entirely deserved and I don't care if anybody thinks it was nice or not. I can't be expected to be nice to people whose religion trumps their child's welfare and the fact that you're defending him speaks volumes about your own ability to evaluate what people say critically.

    I'm surprised that you get away with making such comments in a country which is run by a Christian
    What do you mean by 'such comments?' Here's what you're complaining about:

    (Original post by Hydeman)
    I don't care if it is the most important thing in their life -- perhaps the fact that their children are less important to them than views of which they cannot be certain should tell you something about the kind of person you're defending. You're also being rather naive if you think the 'passing on' of a religion from parent to child only ever amounts to 'telling them' something, as damaging as that is in itself.
    You really are too easily offended if this offends you. In any case, the Christian who runs this country is unelected and, if I had my way, would be removed from her position of hereditary power. As far as surprise is concerned, I'm totally unsurprised that you're arguing in favour of censorship on the basis of religious offence-taking. Fortunately for me, you're on the wrong side of history -- nobody these days is going to put up with being told that they can't say this or they can't say that because the hereditary monarch professes to follow a certain faith. The more you complain about it, the sooner we'll abolish that institution and become a proper, secular country.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    And what's the proof of that? Your point doesn't stand; it is your burden, as somebody who's made the claim that science can't explain the purpose of something, to first prove that that something necessarily has a purpose in the sense that you mean it. Don't try to dodge that by throwing the question back to me with the same idiotic certainty that you were called out for in the original statement.

    You don't seem to understand the kinds of experiments from which deductions about the origins of the universe are made, hence your incorrect comment about evidence for the origin of the universe being unattainable. New theories rely and build on existing knowledge and you seem to be under the impression that, because it's not possible to go back in time (when, in a metaphorical sense, it is possible to do so when it comes to observing light from distant parts of the universe) and actually look at what happened, it's not possible to obtain evidence. If you don't understand the basics of how science looks into the origin of the universe, then I'd advise staying off this subject.

    Philosophy and theology are not sources of knowledge (especially the latter). Philosophy, at best, simply provides a framework in which one can ask questions about reality. It does not have any mechanism or process by which it arrives at objective truth.

    I can, and will, complain about the decisions of others regarding their children.
    A few comments and questions.

    Perhaps it was lost in the semantics or definitions each of you hold about science, but I thought it was widely accepted that science describes how things are and how they work?

    I think on one hand you are right, but specifically wrong. If science was taken to be something that has to he observed and falsified (I think it was Popper or Eccles who highlight the philosophy, parameters and definition of science most follow - too late to remember which) then it would be straightforward to argue that science, the very enterprise - the tools that it has at its disposal - cannot explain why something exist. Now you are right in that this definition and view of science should be argued for rather than presumed.

    However, your point that he 'must prove that something necessarily has a purpose' is baseless. That was his whole point, the end he has in sight.

    Regardless of whether you think the universe has a purpose or not, his point is that science is impotent in addressing it.

    Also I'd like to point out science doesn't use deductive reasoning - it uses inferential reasoning to the best explanation. One of the reasons science doesn't deal with certainty.

    As to your point about philosophy and knowledge - that makes you an anti -realist with regards to metaphysics. I guess that means you can't have meaningful knowledge that causation is something real (as Hume observed we never experience or observe causation) and I guess you would count reformed epistemology outside of knowledge. In which I'd like to ask how you can be confident in the reality of the external world, as Bertrand Russel once gave an example of. Outside of philosophical reasoning within epistemology how do you ground your answer?

    Now a quick question about your complaint about others and indoctrination of their children. If they don't have free will, in your subjective judgment of them being wrong, can you rationally accuse them of wrong doing? How can someone determined to make decisions be considered accountable? I guess you can, at best, argue they should stop because of the consequences on the kids, but at no fault of the parents?
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    And what's the proof of that? Your point doesn't stand; it is your burden, as somebody who's made the claim that science can't explain the purpose of something, to first prove that that something necessarily has a purpose in the sense that you mean it. Don't try to dodge that by throwing the question back to me with the same idiotic certainty that you were called out for in the original statement.
    I would suggest that your arrogance is preventing you from seeing where you are wrong. Science deals not in reasons, but in mechanisms. This is simply a matter of reminding yourself of what science is. It attempts to create models of reality, using experiments. This way we can explain the mechanisms behind what we observe to a high degree of certainty, and come to truths or knowledge. It certainly does not explain why things are.

    For example, science has shown that a water molecule consists of hydrogen and oxygen. It has demonstrated the chemical bonds between the atoms, and the intermolecular forces between the molecules. But what science could never tell us is why water exists, or why the IM forces exist. As soon as you attempt to answer the question why, you leave the scientific method (falsifiability, reproducibility, experiments, objectivity), and enter other means of acquiring knowledge. This isn't something worth arguing about, you could easily google the definition of science, and what it is used for.

    You don't seem to understand the kinds of experiments from which deductions about the origins of the universe are made, hence your incorrect comment about evidence for the origin of the universe being unattainable. New theories rely and build on existing knowledge and you seem to be under the impression that, because it's not possible to go back in time (when, in a metaphorical sense, it is possible to do so when it comes to observing light from distant parts of the universe) and actually look at what happened, it's not possible to obtain evidence. If you don't understand the basics of how science looks into the origin of the universe, then I'd advise staying off this subject.
    I think you misunderstand what science is. Theories can be proposed for the origin of the universe, but we couldn't possibly scientifically demonstrate the origin of the universe. That's just something we won't be able to do with science. Again, the scientific method deals in reproducible experiments, conclusions need to be falsifiable. One could not observe the origin of the universe, even if we somehow created some sort of model of it, and then went back in time on it. To be able to explain how or why time, space and matter came into existence, you would need to know what was before the beginning/what exists outside of our reality/whether anything exists outside of our reality.

    Philosophy and theology are not sources of knowledge (especially the latter). Philosophy, at best, simply provides a framework in which one can ask questions about reality. It does not have any mechanism or process by which it arrives at objective truth.
    If you're going to claim that philosophy and theology are both definitely not sources of objective truth, then we will simply have to disagree. Have you never heard of the phrase 'I think, therefore I am'? I would have thought that even the basics of philosophy are not looked down upon like this, but hey, whatever. And one could only say for certain that theology is not a source of objective truth if they knew god doesn't exist. But you don't - hence you're being arrogant or wilfully saying things that are false.

    I suggest you read my response to Treblebee's complaint about this particular post. I am neither going to apologise for what is, in my view, a completely justified statement, nor explain my reason for making it more than once.
    I never asked you to apologise - is your conscience telling you to do that? Like I said, perhaps you need to go outside, or go to bed or something. Cool off. I know what that's like, because I've written a number of things online that days later I have come back to and regretted.

    Essentially, yes. Here's a simple definition of indoctrination from Google, just so we know we're talking about the same thing: 'teaching someone to accept doctrines uncritically.'

    I like to think so, yes. In any case, I do not see how my being indoctrinated or not affects the validity of what I said about 'the terminator.' To pretend that it does would be committing a tu quoque fallacy.
    Oh, are you using philosophy to demonstrate a truth? You are unbelievable.

    And of course you like to think that you are impartial. Of course you do! But it's not a Tu quoque fallacy. I'm saying that you believe in naturalism. Therefore if you were consistent with that philosophy, you would believe that we are all simply the result of nature and nurture. So then, you should not be criticising anyone. Our actions and thoughts are completely out of our control. We have no free will. As soon as you imply you have free will, you borrow from the biblical worldview. Really think it through.

    No.
    These questions are redundant in light of my answer to the previous question.
    Quite high, I should think. Although I'd say it's less than 1.
    I can, and will, complain about the decisions of others regarding their children. My lack of belief in the supernatural does not mandate that I not have my own personal code of conduct which isn't dictated to me by any god. I don't make the claim that anything is objectively right or wrong -- I've no evidence for it. However, I have my own subjective ideas about what is acceptable and what isn't and, based on this, I'll criticise people all I like and exercise my right to vote to effect change that I want, without being lectured by you on what I can and can't say or do.

    Half of these questions are hogwash and you know it. What do you mean by 'the uniformity of nature', 'sense of worth' and having trust in my morality? If you mean what I think you mean by the latter that you can't see why I think my morality is right and not wrong, it's quite simple: I don't believe in an objective morality, so I don't have to compare notes with some ancient book on what's right and wrong. There's no trust involved.

    You fail in much the same way that many other creationists fail in debates like this: because you think there are objective rights and objective wrongs, this must be universally true and you think that you are therefore justified in asking me a question of that kind. It's rather worrying that you keep asking questions with enormous, unproven premises and don't seem to notice that you've done so.
    By all means make a list. I can't promise to keep replying regularly or forever but I do have plenty of time -- one of the many benefits of a gap year.
    All of this is flawed. Little by little. I can't sit here and go through it all if you aren't going to listen to just the basics.
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    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    A few comments and questions.

    Perhaps it was lost in the semantics or definitions each of you hold about science, but I thought it was widely accepted that science describes how things are and how they work?

    I think on one hand you are right, but specifically wrong. If science was taken to be something that has to he observed and falsified (I think it was Popper or Eccles who highlight the philosophy, parameters and definition of science most follow - too late to remember which) then it would be straightforward to argue that science, the very enterprise - the tools that it has at its disposal - cannot explain why something exist. Now you are right in that this definition and view of science should be argued for rather than presumed.

    However, your point that he 'must prove that something necessarily has a purpose' is baseless. That was his whole point, the end he has in sight.

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    I don't think you've followed. He claimed, with absolute certainty, that science cannot explain why the universe exists (or something like that -- too late to remember exactly) and that this, for some bizarre reason, is justification for his belief in the doctrines of Christianity.

    With all due respect, I think it is you whose point is baseless: there is nothing wrong with saying to somebody who uses 'science can't prove why X happens in the sense of meaning/purpose' as an argument against science to first prove that X does indeed have purpose. There's a hidden, unproven premise in the argument and your inability to see that is no fault of mine. It's rather like asking why the President is wrong about policy X -- you must first prove that he is, in fact, wrong about policy X. Then you can ask why he's wrong, where in his thinking of policy X he's gone wrong and so on. Your refashioning of his point amounts to shifting the goalposts and I suggest you not try that again.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    I don't think you've followed. He claimed, with absolute certainty, that science cannot explain why the universe exists (or something like that -- too late to remember exactly) and that this, for some bizarre reason, is justification for his belief in the doctrines of Christianity.

    With all due respect, I think it is you whose point is baseless: there is nothing wrong with saying to somebody who uses 'science can't prove why X happens in the sense of meaning/purpose' as an argument against science to first prove that X does indeed have purpose. There's a hidden, unproven premise in the argument and your inability to see that is no fault of mine. It's rather like asking why the President is wrong about policy X -- you must first prove that he is, in fact, wrong about policy X. Then you can ask why he's wrong, where in his thinking of policy X he's gone wrong and so on. Your refashioning of his point amounts to shifting the goalposts and I suggest you not try that again.
    Well I must have missed the part where 'science cannot explain purposes = justification of Christianity'.

    Care to show me that bit?


    Your second paragraph was either irrelevant (and shows your either misunderstanding his point or being disingenuous) or just all over the place.

    He is saying that science has nothing to say on whether the universe has purpose. He is not concluding 'therefore the universe has purpose'. Ofcourse, if I'm being really mistaken and he is doing that then he's wrong. But his point about the boundary and capabilities of science.

    Its like trying to Whisk eggs with using a hammer. The tool won't work!

    Now this doesn't say anything as to whether the universe has a purpose or not.

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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    I don't think you've followed. He claimed, with absolute certainty, that science cannot explain why the universe exists (or something like that -- too late to remember exactly) and that this, for some bizarre reason, is justification for his belief in the doctrines of Christianity.

    With all due respect, I think it is you whose point is baseless: there is nothing wrong with saying to somebody who uses 'science can't prove why X happens in the sense of meaning/purpose' as an argument against science to first prove that X does indeed have purpose. There's a hidden, unproven premise in the argument and your inability to see that is no fault of mine. It's rather like asking why the President is wrong about policy X -- you must first prove that he is, in fact, wrong about policy X. Then you can ask why he's wrong, where in his thinking of policy X he's gone wrong and so on. Your refashioning of his point amounts to shifting the goalposts and I suggest you not try that again.
    Wow! I didn't say that! All I did was show where you were wrong! Science indeed cannot explain why the universe exists.

    God is his proof. Nowhere in the bible does it say that man can deduce that Jesus is Lord. In fact, the bible says the wisdom of man is foolishness. Jesus said we should be like children if we want to know God. God is his proof - he reveals himself and will be visible to all who earnestly seek him.

    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    Well I must have missed the part where 'science cannot explain purposes = justification of Christianity'.

    Care to show me that bit?
    Glad I wasn't the only one who spotted that!
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    (Original post by Pride)
    Science indeed cannot explain why the universe exists.
    Why would a scientist seek to prove why the universe exists before it has reasonably been demonstrated that there is, indeed, purpose to the universe? He might seek to identify the mechanisms that brought the universe about, of course. But purpose? No.

    (Original post by Pride)
    God is his proof.
    Now you are getting silly. How can anything be its own proof? I think this might be classed as special pleading.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Why would a scientist seek to prove why the universe exists before it has reasonably been demonstrated that there is, indeed, purpose to the universe? He might seek to identify the mechanisms that brought the universe about, of course. But purpose? No.
    I know this. You may want to read the previous page. Why I said that would make more sense.

    Now you are getting silly. How can anything be its own proof? I think this might be classed as special pleading.
    It's not silly at all. God is his proof. I don't need to offer anybody proof of his existence. He shows himself to people. If you were God, how would you prove your existence to people on earth?
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    (Original post by Pride)
    I would suggest that your arrogance is preventing you from seeing where you are wrong. Science deals not in reasons, but in mechanisms. This is simply a matter of reminding yourself of what science is. It attempts to create models of reality, using experiments. This way we can explain the mechanisms behind what we observe to a high degree of certainty, and come to truths or knowledge. It certainly does not explain why things are.

    For example, science has shown that a water molecule consists of hydrogen and oxygen. It has demonstrated the chemical bonds between the atoms, and the intermolecular forces between the molecules. But what science could never tell us is why water exists, or why the IM forces exist. As soon as you attempt to answer the question why, you leave the scientific method (falsifiability, reproducibility, experiments, objectivity), and enter other means of acquiring knowledge. This isn't something worth arguing about, you could easily google the definition of science, and what it is used for.
    I'm getting rather tired of your seeming determination to be obtuse about this. As somebody who studies science and intends to pursue it at higher levels of education, I don't think I need to sit here and put up with your lectures about what science is and isn't and what it may or may not do within the confines of the universe as you see it. Nature doesn't give a damn about your opinion of it.

    I have made this clear before and if the message doesn't get across after this post, I'm not going to make any further attempts: the validity of the question 'why?' in the sense of purpose is in dispute. In asking why water exists or why intermolecular forces of attraction exist, you have presumed that there must be a reason that it exists. This presumption is unproven. Your entire argument on this is hinged on this presumption and you keep trying to restrict me to the same false dilemma that you restrict yourself to in order to justify your creationism (despite there being no logical progression from 'science can't explain why' to 'the universe was created by an interventionist god who loves us all and his name is Jesus Christ').

    It is not a choice between science being either able or unable to explain why water molecules exist, as you keep trying to insist it is. It's also interesting that you think this point isn't worth arguing about and is non-negotiable. It's almost as if your stated justification for your entire worldview depends on this point not being discredited... :rolleyes:

    (As far as my apparent 'arrogance' goes -- you may want to reconsider that accusation in light of your own claims, which claim a degree of certainty that's apparently denied to mere mortals.)

    I think you misunderstand what science is. Theories can be proposed for the origin of the universe, but we couldn't possibly scientifically demonstrate the origin of the universe. That's just something we won't be able to do with science. Again, the scientific method deals in reproducible experiments, conclusions need to be falsifiable. One could not observe the origin of the universe, even if we somehow created some sort of model of it, and then went back in time on it. To be able to explain how or why time, space and matter came into existence, you would need to know what was before the beginning/what exists outside of our reality/whether anything exists outside of our reality.
    In bold: A fine example of your misunderstanding of the current scientific explanation for the origin of the universe in the Big Bang. After all those beautiful lectures about how I misunderstand science, don't know what it is or how it works, you come out with this. There is nothing before the beginning of time. To argue that there is is to put forward a paradox. It's like asking where the circle ends or what's north of the North pole.

    Credit where credit is due with finally asking a question worth spending time on though -- I'm more than happy to talk about whether anything exists outside of our reality. However, being a creationist, it's more than likely that you've already made up your mind on this so why you bring it up as if you're some committed agnostic looking to explore further is beyond me.

    You keep backing yourself into a metaphorical corner with your repeated insistence that anything that cannot be observed in a lab is bad science or somehow proves a deficiency in science. If that's your definition, then your claim about the water molecule being made up of hydrogen and oxygen atoms is equally uncertain: we cannot see atoms under a microscope, nor can we see the electrons which form the covalent bonds between the atoms. But your proposition seems to be that this is somehow acceptable science and the Big Bang isn't, despite the same methods, based on extrapolation from previous knowledge and explanation of observable phenomena, being used in either case.

    If you're going to claim that philosophy and theology are both definitely not sources of objective truth, then we will simply have to disagree. Have you never heard of the phrase 'I think, therefore I am'? I would have thought that even the basics of philosophy are not looked down upon like this, but hey, whatever.
    The word 'definitely' was inserted by you. I certainly haven't claimed that any of the conclusions reached through philosophy are definitely false with respect to objective truths. I even mentioned that it provides a framework in which to ask questions. But don't let the facts get in the way of your phony outrage.

    And one could only say for certain that theology is not a source of objective truth if they knew god doesn't exist. But you don't - hence you're being arrogant or wilfully saying things that are false.
    Again, the word 'certain' was used by you, not by me. This is just pure word-twisting to come to pre-determined conclusions, namely that I'm arrogant. There's a tendency on the people arguing against my view on this thread to think that they can get away with putting little words in my mouth here and there and then use that as bait to get me to defend things I haven't said; it won't work, sorry.

    I never asked you to apologise - is your conscience telling you to do that? Like I said, perhaps you need to go outside, or go to bed or something. Cool off. I know what that's like, because I've written a number of things online that days later I have come back to and regretted.
    Nope, no conscience, I'm pleased to say. You didn't ask me to apologise, no, but you did, as you've done again in this post, patronise me and insinuate that my words were motivated by anger and not substance -- you even threw in a 'get some air and think about what you did [, young man]' comment [Disclaimer: words in square brackets written by me, not Pride, to illustrate the tone of the comment]. The natural response to that is to say that, no, I'm not sorry that I said it and, no, I won't apologise. Carry on trying to pull tricks like that though. It shows your calibre as a debater.

    And of course you like to think that you are impartial. Of course you do!
    I don't get what you're trying to say here. You asked me a question; I answered it. Now you have an issue with that for some reason.

    But it's not a Tu quoque fallacy. I'm saying that you believe in naturalism.
    It's a tu quoque fallacy to imply, as you did, that my being indoctrinated in some way takes away from my criticism of somebody else being indoctrinated. Don't try to link that back to a different claim about naturalism.

    Therefore if you were consistent with that philosophy, you would believe that we are all simply the result of nature and nurture. So then, you should not be criticising anyone.
    A fine example of a non sequitur. How simply being the result of nature and nurture logically leads to 'you should not be criticising anyone' is beyond me.

    Our actions and thoughts are completely out of our control. We have no free will. As soon as you imply you have free will, you borrow from the biblical worldview. Really think it through.
    Your capacity for patronising people is seemingly infinite.

    This is another false dilemma -- you've presented me with choices that are not exhaustive. No, I don't, as a naturalist, have to believe all the bull**** you're coming out with. And no, I don't have to borrow from the biblical worldview (if it can be said that it actually 'owns' certain ideas) to argue that we have free will.

    All of this is flawed. Little by little. I can't sit here and go through it all if you aren't going to listen to just the basics.
    That's curious -- I seem to remember you offering to go through the 'flaws' in my ideas not so long ago. Make a list, even. And now you're backing up because I answered your loaded questions with answers you didn't expect. By all means make a list, but don't ask me questions and then dismiss what I say by claiming that I'm not listening to 'the basics' (there's that capacity for patronising again...). Share this special knowledge that you apparently have that's denied to me. Go on, do it. I want to see how it holds up.
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    Yea, there's never a need to bash religion. I left Christianity, was an atheist for a time, and then came back to faith. Never bashed religion. I will say I debated over it, and then God surprised me, and led me back. But, many atheists are former theists, so there might be some pain and anger from their former religious life that causes the ''bashing.'' Hard to say, but that's my guess.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    It's not silly at all. God is his proof. I don't need to offer anybody proof of his existence. He shows himself to people.
    That paltry argument could be applied to any number of gods (or, indeed, anything else) that you don't believe in.

    'I don't need to offer anybody proof of a unicorn's existence. He shows himself to people.' Ha.

    If you were God, how would you prove your existence to people on earth?
    That's a difficult question to answer because of the great number of clever tricks that can be pulled by magicians and other entertainers. If I didn't know better, I might very well be convinced I've seen a miracle when looking at the popular fairground trick where an assistant is put in a box, the box is sawed in half, and then the assistant miraculously becomes whole again.

    A similar principle applies to all other apparent evidences that a god might present. There are too many fakes to say for certain what would count as irrefutable evidence but it would probably have to be solid evidence examined from just about every angle and approached with great skepticism.

    Of course, it might be said that, by virtue of my not being a god, I can't possibly conceive of methods that a god might conceive of. I might just decide to be an inconsiderate jerk and play with my creation's sanity by being inconsistent and incoherent. Wouldn't I be the worst god imaginable if I did that. Oh wait...
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    (Original post by YesAllMen)
    Did 'Hydeman' seriously suggest that philosophy isn't a source of knowledge? My Lord :laugh: :laugh:

    Dunning-Kruger effect high in this kid again

    I wonder if he'll do a Stephen Hawking and say science is the only source of knowledge :holmes:
    Ah, the unbiased student of theology is back to show everyone how to put people's usernames in inverted commas for no apparent reason and demonstrate why his diagnosis of others applies even more accurately to himself. Just what this thread needed. :lol:
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    I'm not a student of theology; my main degree lies in engineering. Theology is just one of my optional modules :-)

    Either way, I'm not sure I understand your criticism. You demonstrated a sheer inability to read last time (even when provided with non-layman sources) but yet still spoke as if you had some authority on the subject(s), and are doing so again here, despite clearly having little knowledge of it (i.e. Dunning-Kruger effect). Unsurprisingly, you yet again fail to demonstrate any reasonable ability to debate about anything to do with theology or philosophy!

    However, let's forget about that. Please, do tell, 'Hydeman', to what evidence do you say that philosophy (or theology) cannot provide knowledge / be sources of knowledge? Where is this coming from? Because that's what I'm interested in
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    (Original post by Pride)
    If you were God, how would you prove your existence to people on earth?
    I don't know but it would be: (a) permanent, (b) easily understood by all who saw it, without the need for interpretation or translation, (c) not ambiguous or capable of misinterpretation, (d) not capable of being confused by educated people for the trickery of men who seek to control others' behaviour, (e) visible all around Earth and (f) consistent, and not self-contradictory.

    Maybe I would draw something in the clouds which never went away. Being omnipotent, I would think of something and create it successfully. It would, in fact be easy for me and more effective than what is alleged to have been tried.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    I don't know but it would be: (a) permanent, (b) easily understood by all who saw it, without the need for interpretation or translation, (c) not ambiguous or capable of misinterpretation, (d) not capable of being confused by educated people for the trickery of men who seek to control others' behaviour, (e) visible all around Earth and (f) consistent, and not self-contradictory.

    Maybe I would draw something in the clouds which never went away. Being omnipotent, I would think of something and create it successfully. It would, in fact be easy for me and more effective than what is alleged to have been tried.
    Normally when I ask this question, people dodge it or say that it's impossible. Sometimes I hear variations of your answer, but it's simply flawed.

    Do you not see how if you did that, not everybody would believe that it was God. Some naturalists would say that it could have been aliens. Others would say it was some sort of force we have not discovered yet. You could not prove scientifically that it was God. You would need to have faith (which is a conscious decision), to believe that it was God and not an alien. That's not to say that that faith would be illogical. It's just not a scientific means of acquiring knowledge, and it's not something everybody would agree with.

    You're trying to come up with a set of rules that would count as evidence of God. Consistency, unambiguity, permanency etc. In reality, you would still require faith to believe, regardless of the strength of the evidence. Jesus made this argument in John 16:19-31.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    I don't know but it would be: (a) permanent, (b) easily understood by all who saw it, without the need for interpretation or translation, (c) not ambiguous or capable of misinterpretation, (d) not capable of being confused by educated people for the trickery of men who seek to control others' behaviour, (e) visible all around Earth and (f) consistent, and not self-contradictory.

    Maybe I would draw something in the clouds which never went away. Being omnipotent, I would think of something and create it successfully. It would, in fact be easy for me and more effective than what is alleged to have been tried.
    Ahem, that would make Faith no special thing, as everyone would have it. Instead, God requires us to have faith in something with everyone around jeering blindly. Jesus told us that "blessed are those who believe without seeing". This seems to be a feat which many people on this thread cannot accomplish.

    I'm getting quite sick of this debate, as @Hydeman seems quite determined to nit-pick, and close his ears to the truth. However, as a last word, allow me to quote Romans 1 (with the exception of the greeting) - a letter from Paul to the church in Rome:
    8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,[c] that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians,[d] both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.The Righteous Shall Live by Faith16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,[e] as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”[f]God's Wrath on Unrighteousness18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
    26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

    Gl with your debate
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    That's curious -- I seem to remember you offering to go through the 'flaws' in my ideas not so long ago. Make a list, even. And now you're backing up because I answered your loaded questions with answers you didn't expect. By all means make a list, but don't ask me questions and then dismiss what I say by claiming that I'm not listening to 'the basics' (there's that capacity for patronising again...). Share this special knowledge that you apparently have that's denied to me. Go on, do it. I want to see how it holds up.
    Why bother, only for you to not take on board anything I say? There's no point in wasting all that time. You aren't interested.

    I've spoken to many atheists on these topics, and it's interesting how people respond so varyingly. Some people follow the reasoning that shows the contradictions in their views. Some people are open to what I say, and then take the stand that they just don't know, or that they couldn't know. Some just go defensive. Others will puff their chest out and insult you, refusing to think logically, perhaps because of self-deception, perhaps because of arrogance, perhaps because of hate for God. Some will just insult you, claiming that they know much more science than you, and the problem is your lack of knowledge.

    You implied earlier that you are going to go into higher education to do a science course. So you mean that you are in sixth-form/college? I mean, the audacity to assume that I'm less qualified than you, even though you're still at school. One does not need to study at university to see where you're wrong. You just gloss over the points and call them hogwash. Your naturalist worldview dictates 'determinism', yet you refuse to see the futility of condemning someone for their choices if this is the case. I could go on, but like I said, there's no point.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    That's a difficult question to answer because of the great number of clever tricks that can be pulled by magicians and other entertainers. If I didn't know better, I might very well be convinced I've seen a miracle when looking at the popular fairground trick where an assistant is put in a box, the box is sawed in half, and then the assistant miraculously becomes whole again.

    A similar principle applies to all other apparent evidences that a god might present. There are too many fakes to say for certain what would count as irrefutable evidence but it would probably have to be solid evidence examined from just about every angle and approached with great skepticism.

    Of course, it might be said that, by virtue of my not being a god, I can't possibly conceive of methods that a god might conceive of. I might just decide to be an inconsiderate jerk and play with my creation's sanity by being inconsistent and incoherent. Wouldn't I be the worst god imaginable if I did that. Oh wait...
    Of course it's a difficult question to answer. Because it's obvious that whatever the evidence, you would require faith to believe that it was God. You dodged the question, because the answer has a number of undesirable implications.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    Normally when I ask this question, people dodge it or say that it's impossible. Sometimes I hear variations of your answer, but it's simply flawed.

    Do you not see how if you did that, not everybody would believe that it was God.
    So you are now claiming that your god is not omnipotent after all. You will have to make your mind up one day.

    This reversion to claiming faith is all-important is ridiculous. It is the very thing that proves that the religion is derived from charlatanism - the emperor's new clothes.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    Of course it's a difficult question to answer. Because it's obvious that whatever the evidence, you would require faith to believe that it was God. You dodged the question, because the answer has a number of undesirable implications.
    Let's not have lectures on question-dodging from you, Pride. You've dodged and twisted every question thrown at you at and, when I've answered any of your questions, you turn around and accuse me of having dodged the question. Just for the benefit of people who haven't got the context, here is my apparent dodging of the question asked:

    (Original post by Pride)
    It's not silly at all. God is his proof. I don't need to offer anybody proof of his existence. He shows himself to people. If you were God, how would you prove your existence to people on earth?
    (Original post by Hydeman)
    That's a difficult question to answer because of the great number of clever tricks that can be pulled by magicians and other entertainers. If I didn't know better, I might very well be convinced I've seen a miracle when looking at the popular fairground trick where an assistant is put in a box, the box is sawed in half, and then the assistant miraculously becomes whole again.

    A similar principle applies to all other apparent evidences that a god might present. There are too many fakes to say for certain what would count as irrefutable evidence but it would probably have to be solid evidence examined from just about every angle and approached with great skepticism.

    Of course, it might be said that, by virtue of my not being a god, I can't possibly conceive of methods that a god might conceive of. I might just decide to be an inconsiderate jerk and play with my creation's sanity by being inconsistent and incoherent. Wouldn't I be the worst god imaginable if I did that. Oh wait...
    There you have it. Pride's logic: not offering a wrong-headed, certain, absolutist answer like him = dodging the question. Apologies for recognising the inconvenient nuances that you're just too high and mighty to bother with, Pride.

    And no, it's not 'obvious' that it would require faith. Yet another bull**** statement of certainty from somebody who clearly knows very little.
 
 
 
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