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    (Original post by mangala)
    satan punishes bad people. why would he do bad things, through people, and then punish them for it?

    He hates mankind because we are created in the image of God.
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    (Original post by Racoon)
    He hates mankind because we are created in the image of God.
    so why do some animals go to heaven/hell? they look nothing like us
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    (Original post by mangala)
    in the bible god creates light before he creates the sun? How does that make any sense
    You are right, the bible says God created light, but he doesn't refer to this light as being the sun which he created on the forth day.

    I don't see what the problem is with that, God created a light source which wasn't the sun, we could try to guess what this light source was but does it really matter?



    If it bothers you this has a few options.
    http://www.creationmoments.com/conte...determined-sun
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    (Original post by mangala)
    so why do some animals go to heaven/hell? they look nothing like us

    Who says they do or don't. I've never heard it said animals go to hell.
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    (Original post by Racoon)
    You are right, the bible says God created light, but he doesn't refer to this light as being the sun which he created on the forth day.

    I don't see what the problem is with that, God created a light source which wasn't the sun, we could try to guess what this light source was but does it really matter?



    If it bothers you this has a few options.
    http://www.creationmoments.com/conte...determined-sun
    it doesn't say god created a light source, it says god created light. this means that god created light which had no source.
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    (Original post by Racoon)
    Who says they do or don't. I've never heard it said animals go to hell.
    don't you have to believe in god to go to heaven? in that case all animals, except some humans, should go to hell.
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    (Original post by mangala)
    it doesn't say god created a light source, it says god created light. this means that god created light which had no source.
    It doesn't bother me either way. Its a semantic (if that's the right word).

    If you want to read some opinions on it then they are in the link I provided. .
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    A person might have a brain dysfunction that makes them hallucinate and believe there to be a God???? That's pretty scientific.
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    (Original post by mangala)
    don't you have to believe in god to go to heaven? in that case all animals, except some humans, should go to hell.

    Based on what I know animals are not subject to the same moral code as humans, they were not made in God's image. I would hope there are animals in heaven as I have had many pets which I would love to see again and my dog now, I want him in heaven with me.

    There are some things we just don't know. That's how it is, but because we have faith to believe God loves us then we hope for certain things and have to leave it with God and trust him.

    We have an idea of what heaven will be like but really cannot fully grasp the concept. The bible says "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."

    I have a simple faith of trusting God and putting my hope in Him. For me I don't NEED to know all the answers because what I do know is enough.
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    (Original post by The Epicurean)
    The same issues that tends to arise with miracles, also arises with issues such as the paranormal and alternative medicine. William Lane Craig for example completely dismisses the concept of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Would you argue that he is wrong there in taking such a stance?

    Let us start with an example. I reject homeopathy and would only be willing to change my opinion should further strong evidence come to the contrary to prove homeopathy to be a valid form of treatment. This is in fact the whole basis behind evidence based medicine. Would you regard me in this case to be unreasonable and close-minded?



    The problem is that it is a mathematical certainty that rare events happen. For example, a person with cancer goes to Lourdes and prays for the week. They come home and they go to doctor and the doctor finds the cancer has gone and s/he cannot explain it. Can the person now claim a miracle to have occurred? I would argue against jumping to such conclusions as it is still perfectly possible that an incredibly rare natural event may have happened that we just don't understand yet.

    So much like the person who heard someone call their name, the person who is cured of cancer will speak with complete conviction about their cure. Other people will naturally be sceptical, but they can bring the doctors testimony as evidence. But even if we are to accept that their cancer has suddenly become cured, the truth is that we don't have an explanation for how or why. I believe it a reasonable claim to state "my cancer was cured", but to state that it was a miracle is for me quite a jump that needs more evidence, especially seeing that it is the case with all miracles that what we could be witnessing is in fact just a mathematically probable rare natural event. So to claim a miracle in this case is to claim that a mathematically probable event didn't happen.

    In your example about your friend Jim, you were certain that your friend Jim was a good person, it would not be unreasonable to assume that maybe he was hallucinating or that some sort of insanity had come over him that led to him doing something that was out of the ordinary for Jim. So you can witness Jim killing a kitten, but still believe Jim to have a good character. I don't think that to be contradictory.



    I am more than willing to accept and believe the former, but I am sceptical that many theists set the bar equally high.
    What issues are there with both miracles and the paranormal?

    Do I think you are unreasonable in wanting good evidence to believe homeopathy to be true? No. But I can't see how a general claim about how disease works and is cured is analogous to one, specific situation of a miracle.

    Now with regards to mathematical certainty of rare events, the putative miracle should never be described as some random event, so that improbable events happen is all that can be said about it. Every putatively miraculous event takes place in a particular context, and that context is relevant to the probability that, if there is a God, God _would_ work in this situation. It is also relevant to the probability that this event would happen by natural causes. We have to evaluate things on their own merits. Random resurrections of corpses who have been killed and have been dead from Friday late afternoon to Sunday morning do _not_ happen by chance, and it would simply be misleading to describe such a natural rescuscitation merely as an "improbable event." Moreover, scientific evidence allows us to talk about _why_ such events don't happen by natural causes. We need to look at event _types_ in specific, not just at some vaguely described class of improbable events. Cancer remissions do sometimes happen by natural causes, and that's one reason why the evidence for a miracle in the case of a cancer remission is usually not as strong. However, even there, we need to ask how probable or improbable it is that such a cancer remission would happen during that particular week, over such a short time, etc., based on what else is known of the person's condition.

    We shouldn't talk of empirical matters in such generalities.

    A few points on the scenario with Jim. I think you may have mistaken what my point was, or that I didn't word it properly. My point is that from our perspective, if we think of something to be very unlikely, can we just wrote it off because we could be deceived by our senses? Can we justify such criticism? But to use your point - Even if we think he may have suffered some hallucination or insanity, it would be odd anyway to continue to use the phrase "good character" for such a person. One might instead say, "Jim was a man of good character, but now he seems to have gone insane" or something like that.

    I can imagine concluding that rationally, but so what? People do sometimes go insane. That's not an unreasonable possibility. I think it would be a lot harder sell to argue that Jim really did torture the kitten but was merely temporarily insane and that we can count on him to be the "old Jim" from now on! If he could go crazy in some way and torture a kitten last week, it might happen again, or it might be a child next time, etc.

    I think that if we really believed that *in general* people have *no* normal, reliable access to the external world via our senses, then of course this would undermine our trust in testimony. Of course, it would also make it impossible to have Internet debates, because we'd be wildly thinking that, for all we know, we could be hallucinating the computer. It would also call the very existence of the putative witness into question. In fact, why should we believe that the Bible exists, or even that any books exist, if we are all (for all we know) just hallucinating everything.


    So at _that_ level, yes, the argument from miracles presupposes the falsehood of _radical_ external world skepticism.


    Beyond that, however, I think it would be not quite right to say that we *assume* that the disciples' eyes (for example) were not deceiving them, that they did not hallucinate Jesus. Rather, we *argue* for that conclusion and against that explanation from the specifics of the case--e.g., the fact that they all saw him together, that they testified to lengthy conversations with him, that their experiences were polymodal (sound, sight, touch, etc.), that they were presumably talking with him and with one another at the same time.


    Similarly, if you tell me that a person saw something miraculous, I will not _assume_ that he was not deceived. I will want to know the specifics of the case to know how plausible or implausible it is that he was deceived. Not because I don't in general trust my senses at all, but because I want to know whether one of the specific kinds of sensory mistakes (misinterpretation of what one sees, hallucination, being deliberately deceived by someone else, etc.) that sometimes do happen would be a good explanation of the claimed phenomenon.


    Here is a really brief summary of one of the major points of John Earman's book: People think that David Hume has made it impossible to believe in miracles by some knock-down philosophical argument. But he hasn't. If one interprets Hume to be questioning whether any testimony could ever make us rational in believing in a miracle, the answer is that it could be, in principle, pace Hume. The reason is that no matter how improbable something is to begin with, if you have enough witnesses with the right kind of independence from one another, each of whose testimony is _some_ evidence (even if not much) for what he claims, then the cumulative effect of these witnesses mounts up and can overcome the prior improbability and make an extremely strong case. And this can be shown probabilistically.

    However, Earman does _not_ say that this means that Christianity is well attested. He's not a Christian, actually. What he says is that this means that if you want to argue against Christianity you have to make an argument that the witnesses didn't have any credibility whatsoever, or that their testimony didn't (for specific reasons related to the situation) meet the other criteria for forming a good cumulative case for the truth of Christianity.

    Earman's main point is that skeptics can't go on just being comfortable and saying that they'll never believe in miracles because the prior probability is low. More work is required when there is putative testimony in order for them to dismiss it.


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    (Original post by Swoldier)
    A person might have a brain dysfunction that makes them hallucinate and believe there to be a God???? That's pretty scientific.
    Yeah, just like the one that believes all the missing links in the fossil records are there.
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    (Original post by Racoon)
    Based on what I know animals are not subject to the same moral code as humans, they were not made in God's image. I would hope there are animals in heaven as I have had many pets which I would love to see again and my dog now, I want him in heaven with me.

    There are some things we just don't know. That's how it is, but because we have faith to believe God loves us then we hope for certain things and have to leave it with God and trust him.

    We have an idea of what heaven will be like but really cannot fully grasp the concept. The bible says "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."

    I have a simple faith of trusting God and putting my hope in Him. For me I don't NEED to know all the answers because what I do know is enough.
    okay so you are admitting that although there is no evidence of god, and although the explanation of the universe in the bible doesn't even make sense, you still believe in god?
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    (Original post by Racoon)
    It doesn't bother me either way. Its a semantic (if that's the right word).

    If you want to read some opinions on it then they are in the link I provided. .
    unshakable faith is a dangerous thing buddy
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    (Original post by Racoon)
    Yeah, just like the one that believes all the missing links in the fossil records are there.
    Clearly you've chosen to block/ignore blatant facts in an attempt to help rationalise God. As accepting them would surely disprove the bible entirely and therefore Gods existence.
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    (Original post by mangala)
    unshakable faith is a dangerous thing buddy
    It's true. I shook your faith and now you've become a Theist.

    I forgot to ask - Which religion are you, now? I have some thoughts.
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    (Original post by Racoon)
    Yeah, just like the one that believes all the missing links in the fossil records are there.
    1, you must consider the fact that certain conditions have to be perfect in order for a fossil to be created, so they are created quite rarely

    2, every time you find a missing link in the fossil record, you need two more transitional fossils to go either side of it. This means that the fossil record will never be 100% complete, as at some point we will be unable to find a fossil for a specific evolution due to their rarity.

    3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxrxnPG05SU this explains it pretty well
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    (Original post by ThatOldGuy)
    It's true. I shook your faith and now you've become a Theist.

    I forgot to ask - Which religion are you, now? I have some thoughts.
    i believe in the greek gods pal, they're the coolest
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    (Original post by chemting)
    Yes but then you had monotheism vs polytheism/paganism. I guess you could apply the same for this battle as monotheism is way more orthodox therefore it wins against more flexible practices.
    Whatever the specific legend of a religion, most of them still did similar things: persecute adultry, encourage high fertility and so on.


    I wouldn't quite go as far as to say "society is collapsing" as of yet. Steven Pinker argues how violence has actually decreased quite well in his "the better angels of our nature", although there has been some criticism of his work. Anyhow, I do believe education is part of the answer (like everyone really) that is why orthodox religion is declining drastically.

    What worries me slightly is that we could see a decline in capitalism (or at least pure unregulated libertarian capitalism) as people may not believe in "the invisible hand" anymore
    I've read this book. He mentions a very significant increase in violence in the 60's, when "hedonist" ideas proliferated, such as the sexual liberation- a breakdown of the fundamental principles of civilisation.

    Even though these declined by today, I still believe our society can count as failing because we cannot maintain ourselves (birthrate below 2.1) and other factors which make a different debate (I think acceptance of hedonism is a big one.)

    And yes I agree, education has totally destroyed religion, but it hasn't given a substitute staple for society. Building communism has tried to be one, as was nationalism. So we are in a dangerous transition zone.
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    (Original post by john2054)
    physics is a first degree knowledge, philosophy, and in this case 'metaphysics' is a higher level science
    :rofl:
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    (Original post by Sun Ras)
    :rofl:
    Ha this is supposed to be a science debate but we've only attracted philosophers...
 
 
 
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