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why must there be a reason for "belief?" Why can't it simply be? Why must we analyze it and extrapolate based on what we think believers must feel?

I'm not sure that's the proper question. The question is, if you're not using any evidence whatsoever about the object of your belief, then why one god instead of the countless others? Isn't it broken to believe something for no reason?

 

EDIT: Correction. It's not "no evidence." It's hopelessly, dreadfully, intensely insufficient evidence to even BEGIN to support such a profound belief in such an extraordinary idea.

 

And since the evidence is equally insufficient for all of the other human myths, why yours? It's baseless, and that's why not.

 

Nice.

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Are we born religious? - Scientific American

 

 

 

If the strong inclination towards a belief whether it is of strong atheism or fundamentalism is shaped by our genes and our environment then it would be wrong to call them as broken. Here is evolutionary pyschology explaining why a group of people who demand evidence to accept something in all their aspects of their lives somehow don't question and criticize their own religious beliefs and just accept it as true without any evidence. Such behaviours can be fairly explained by evolutionary psychology. So we were programmed by our genes and by our environment to hold such beliefs and that explains the behaviours of majority of theists who come here.

 

The study also indicate that spiritual people tend to help people irrespective of whether they belong to the same ethnicity, whether thy know that person or not. It is these kind of behaviours which is harder to explain by evolutionary pyschological terms, the unknown persons are not their kin and yet they sacrifice and spend a lot of energy in helping them, it is these behavious which challenge our thinking of evolutionary origins and naturalism.

 

So it all boils down to what kind of evidence is accepted and what is rejected. It is really stupid from the context of this thread to demand empirical evidence of god and at the same time accuse religious people for believing in a god without any evidence. To bring empirical evidence you need to believe and have faith in god and worship him and invest one's time in him.

 

To me evidence of god is not in the Holy scriptures it is in religious scholars who have constantly claimed to have experienced God and describe God in and out and even describe him with so much detail that they infact describe what gems and jewellery he is wearing, surely a hallucinating experience cannot give such information content to anyone and wouldn't affect their lives so much seeing the commitment that they show to their religious practices. A single religious scholar's experience cannot be evidence of anything but if you add different religious scholars across diffeent cultures at different times you have a strong case in favor of religion.

 

The study also makes an interesting finding that our sense of right and wrong i.e morals doesn't come from religion it comes from our personality and genes.

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Immortal,

 

Well where do personality and genes come from?

 

It seems the "evidence" of the greater world, and other people having lived in it and other people that will live in it, after we die, is clear and uncontested.

 

How we each internalize the world, and which parts of it we consider "us" and which parts of it we consider "them" is probably a large factor in our personalities.

 

And our genes are so reliant on the greater world, to have come about, and they "know how to do so much", that if we consider our genes part of "us", we are already including a large portion of the world, as "us".

 

These facts are why I am not sure what people are talking about, when they say we have no evidence of God. We see it all the time and everywhere. Inside and out.

 

Regards, TAR2

 

If we have developed standards by which to associate our own personality/genes, to the greater world, to develope community and work out our differences, and consider those rules real and constant, because they are envisioned and acted upon by others, all the time, the sources of this illusion are apparant and real.

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It is really stupid from the context of this thread to demand empirical evidence of god and at the same time accuse religious people for believing in a god without any evidence. To bring empirical evidence you need to believe and have faith in god and worship him and invest one's time in him.

I do not understand what you are saying here at all. Neither statement makes any sense.

 

First, why is it "really stupid" to ask for evidence and simultaneously say that religious people seem unable to offer any that is viable or scales with their extraordinary claim?

 

Second, in what world is the availability of (good) evidence predicated on an a priori acceptance that the claim is true? Why must one FIRST have faith in order for that evidence to exist? This really does not compute. It is... dare I say... a broken line of reasoning... completely!

 

 

To me evidence of god is not in the Holy scriptures it is in religious scholars who have constantly claimed to have experienced God and describe God in and out and even describe him with so much detail that they infact describe what gems and jewellery he is wearing, surely a hallucinating experience cannot give such information content to anyone and wouldn't affect their lives so much seeing the commitment that they show to their religious practices.

Actually, yes. It truly can, rather often does, and your personal incredulity does not negate this.

Regardless, I'd like you to please focus on the first half of this response. What you shared is IMO entirely nonsensical. The evidence doesn't exist until you accept the claim is true before seeing it? Seriously... WTF?

 

EDIT: Can you guys please consider taking your little "where does personality come from" off-topic jaunt to another thread? Thanks.

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Copperhead: Our God is not scientific in the slightest. Stop acting like He is.

 

What makes you think his god and your god are the same god? Maybe his does testable things like creating the universe over a span of 6 days just over 6000 years ago, flooding the entire earth for nearly a year leaving only 7 of each species on an alarmingly small boat to repopulate the earth, stopping the sun, or raising all of the Jews from their concrete graves.

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I guess there are two obvious answers: 1. Religious people are in deed broken or 2. There is a God that exists and has given people an ability to know them without the need for constant empirical evidence.

 

Which people did god give this ability to "know" ? Obviously not everyone. why not?

 

I disagree with half the logic you're using, but regardless, I think the main issue here is your premise. You *start* with the assumption that there IS a god, when there is no evidence to suggest this at all. Then, you "eliminate" arbitrarily according to your own logic. That is, if you speak to a wiccan, they not only will disagree with your logic, they'll likely offer an equally compelling reason why you should take THEIR angle. I know, I used to believe in it, and this above would not even begin to convince me, not by a long shot.

 

I know some wiccans, nice people...

 

There's zero evidence for either story, and I don't quite see how either premise is required, so I remain an agnostic atheist. If I had to choose, though, and the world was a false dichotomy (as you seem to present it fro your initial quote above, ignoring the possibility there are *other* options than the ones you presented, eh? ;) then Xena's world seems more plausible to me than the offered alternative. It has the same amount (if not more) of "evidence", written ancient texts, and ancient believers. If those are the criteria, I can't see how you can dismiss it off hand.

 

I love Xena, I watched several of those shows last night!

 

Moontanman: I know you do not seek to insult, but why must there be a reason for "belief?" Why can't it simply be? Why must we analyze it and extrapolate based on what we think believers must feel? I do not understand, my friend.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by a reason for belief, i think there should be supporting evidence for people to believe something. I see no reason to believe anything that is unsupported much less unsupportable. In no other aspect of life would people believe such unsupported claims, only religion gets that pass, why?

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First, why is it "really stupid" to ask for evidence and simultaneously say that religious people seem unable to offer any that is viable or scales with their extraordinary claim?

Your demand for an "empirical" evidence is an extraordinary demand. That's why. A theist could accept such a challenge but he has to believe in god and worship him to gain any knowledge in the first place. Instead of asking evidence via revelation you're asking evidence via your eyes. Religion doesn't make much sense if you confuse religious claims to be empirical claims, religion is non-empirical.

Second, in what world is the availability of (good) evidence predicated on an a priori acceptance that the claim is true? Why must one FIRST have faith in order for that evidence to exist? This really does not compute. It is... dare I say... a broken line of reasoning... completely!

All religious knowledge comes from revelation, one cannot have revelation without divine intervention and gods won't appear to you until you worship them. No one(even a theist) has to accept it as absolutely true unless one can see god but if a theist wants to know god and investigate him he is free to do so he is not broken by any means as long as he knows that faith alone is not enough to start preaching about god to anyone else to convince his own intellect.

Actually, yes. It truly can, rather often does, and your personal incredulity does not negate this.

Regardless, I'd like you to please focus on the first half of this response. What you shared is IMO entirely nonsensical. The evidence doesn't exist until you accept the claim is true before seeing it? Seriously... WTF

I'm afraid that's how religion works. Does it really work in bringing some valuable knowledge? I don't know. A god hypothesis is an equally competing hypothesis outside from science for explaining our origins.

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Your demand for an "empirical" evidence is an extraordinary demand. That's why.

Using valid evidence to form our opinions and worldview is something that every human does every day of their lives about every thing... except religion. Demanding empirical evidence is, in fact, quite ordinary... Even for most theists.

 

By definition alone your claim is bunk. Extraordinary means "beyond ordinary," and the request for valid evidence prior to accepting something as true is just about as ordinary as it gets in all of our day to day lives. Said another way, I do not think that word means what you think it means.

 

 

A theist could accept such a challenge but he has to believe in god and worship him to gain any knowledge in the first place.

In which case, they have NOT accepted the challenge, but have instead assumed the conclusion. I can tell you're struggling to grasp this relatively straight forward point.

 

All religious knowledge comes from revelation, one cannot have revelation without divine intervention and gods won't appear to you until you worship them.

Then it is not knowledge, it is assumption, delusion, and wish thinking... but not knowledge.

 

A god hypothesis is an equally competing hypothesis outside from science for explaining our origins.

Equal? No, not really. Scientific hypotheses regarding our origins are rooted in valid evidence. The god hypothesis, as we established earlier in the thread, is rooted in nothing other than personal faith and wish thinking. Ergo, the two are NOT equal and there truly is no competition between them, regardless of how many times you continue to assert the contrary.

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What makes you think his god and your god are the same god? Maybe his does testable things like creating the universe over a span of 6 days just over 6000 years ago, flooding the entire earth for nearly a year leaving only 7 of each species on an alarmingly small boat to repopulate the earth, stopping the sun, or raising all of the Jews from their concrete graves.

 

 

How are any of those things testable?

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Inow,

 

If there is no empirical evidence for a supernatural being, that would make complete sense. A supernatural being would not be found empirically, for if it could be found, empirically, it would be true and real and evident. It is not going to remain hidden, and only "pop" up when somebody prays in the right direction, says OM enough, or intakes the proper mushrooms.

 

So if you ask, how can somebody believe in something with no empirical evidence to back it up, there is only one place to look for this thing. In the human mind. And the fact that any human's envisionment of God, is exactly what is NOT containable in the human mind, but that which is "greater than" the human mind, leads me to believe that the knowledge of God, the knowing of God, the thought of God, is a conception of that "knower" which trumps not only your own intellect, but that of any human.

 

You do not have to convince me that a God of this sort cannot wear a particular jewel, or write in a book, or "exist" in any imagined "real way". I am already convinced. If God is "real", then he cannot also be supernatural. I have already decided this, that is why I am an atheist.

 

But the fact remains that people consider their imagined supernatural God, "actual". This can only be so, in my determination, if the things that the supernatural god stand for, are themselves real and actual and evident.

 

And if taken in this light, asking a person who believes in God to show you his/her evidence, all they would need to do is ask you to open your eyes and look at it.

 

So we know the world is not carried on the back of a turtle, or overseen by Zeus and his family. But Physics only finds what is already true, and points out what cannot work in reality. Physic itself is not a replacement for God in the human psyche. Just an avenue to get to know God better, and more precisely, and elimnate characteristics attributed to it, that cannot be true.

 

The universe remains as huge and timeless and powerful as it always was to any human. With or without the Wizard of OZ pulling any levers.

 

Regards, TAR2

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So if you ask, how can somebody believe in something with no empirical evidence to back it up

That is not the question being asked. I have a fairly robust answer to that question already, and it is truly not unclear for me. It's not an issue of "why" someone believes in something so profound with zero adequate empirical evidence supporting that belief, nor is it an issue of "why" they presume faith is good enough to support something so broad reaching and impactful yet not good enough for nearly all other things they accept as true, but it is instead an issue of what it means about these individuals when they do.

 

 

And if taken in this light, asking a person who believes in God to show you his/her evidence, all they would need to do is ask you to open your eyes and look at it.

In which case it does not even begin to scale appropriately with the extraordinary claim they are making. They are presenting evidence for many things when they tell us to "open our eyes," but it is not evidence of god(s)... not even close. It is functionally equivalent to me asking for evidence that Thor actually exists and them pointing to a thunderstorm and presuming they've somehow managed to adequately address my request.

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Using valid evidence to form our opinions and worldview is something that every human does every day of their lives about every thing... except religion. Demanding empirical evidence is, in fact, quite ordinary... Even for most theists.

 

By definition alone your claim is bunk. Extraordinary means "beyond ordinary," and the request for valid evidence prior to accepting something as true is just about as ordinary as it gets in all of our day to day lives. Said another way, I do not think that word means what you think it means.

 

 

That's exactly my point religious practices has nothing to do with fulfilling our day-to day activities of eating and survival, they're not doing it for mere survival, religious people think that life is more than just survival, one of the common things about practicing religious people is that they're disassociated with the world, they have no interests in this world. Religion has nothing to do with this world.

 

The evidence from revelation are not repeatable and hence it doesn't meets the criteria of scientific evidence but such a evidence is non-empirical. Now don't ask god could've done this or he could've done that, we don't have much knowledge of god to speculate on what is going in his mind. If you're looking for empirical evidence of god you will not find a single thing because such an evidence has to come from a theist who knows and worships God. So if you don't want to invest your time in god don't do it but why do you have to criticize religious thinking if it doesn't affect you in anyway.

 

You make a false comparison of religion with raping innocent children or throwing acid into someone's face and such people do need to be made to look upon down by others and I appreciate the effort you put to make someone question their own religious beliefs and their worldviews, I can see your purpose but in the process you are trying to suppress religious thinking and speculation as a whole which is not right IMO.

 

 

In which case, they have NOT accepted the challenge, but have instead assumed the conclusion. I can tell you're struggling to grasp this relatively straight forward point.

 

There are different kind of theists out there, you're doing injustice by generalizing all theists in the same bandwagon. I disagree with your assertion that we need to stick with critical and analytic thinking and stop investing our time in god, not all theists go on preaching about god assuming he exists, it is a personal endevour to many, just because they abandon logic and reason while investigating one aspect of their lives i.e religion or god doesn't necessarily mean that they're broken and such blind actions follow up in other social aspects of their lives. I know it often does which is quite unfortunate.

 

Then it is not knowledge, it is assumption, delusion, and wish thinking... but not knowledge.

 

That's exactly which I'm so unsure of, I'm not convinced yet that it is a delusion and it is this uncertainty which pushes me to investigate such experiences and to cast doubt on the realness of empirical reality itself. I can't buy your claim so easily.

 

 

Equal? No, not really. Scientific hypotheses regarding our origins are rooted in valid evidence. The god hypothesis, as we established earlier in the thread, is rooted in nothing other than personal faith and wish thinking. Ergo, the two are NOT equal and there truly is no competition between them, regardless of how many times you continue to assert the contrary.

 

The default position from the scientific community is to completely dismiss it. I don't have to equate science with religion, no. Religion is not science but as a branch of philosophy it stands on its own in guiding us to the truth.

 

 

 

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That's exactly my point religious practices has nothing to do with fulfilling our day-to day activities of eating and survival, they're not doing it for mere survival, religious people think that life is more than just survival, one of the common things about practicing religious people is that they're disassociated with the world, they have no interests in this world. Religion has nothing to do with this world.

 

The evidence from revelation are not repeatable and hence it doesn't meets the criteria of scientific evidence but such a evidence is non-empirical. Now don't ask god could've done this or he could've done that, we don't have much knowledge of god to speculate on what is going in his mind. If you're looking for empirical evidence of god you will not find a single thing because such an evidence has to come from a theist who knows and worships God.

You seem to be talking completely past me. The point is that it's inconsistent and shows a double standard when people accept god as a valid conclusion despite the lack of any adequate evidence to do so, yet they simultaneously don't accept most other things in their lives as valid with no adequate evidence. You're merely here repeating that theists accept god based on wish thinking. You are conceding that one of my starting premises is completely accurate, but then ignoring the conclusion that follows. We know the premise that religious people allow god(s) to have a special pass through their bullshit detection mechanisms is a valid one, as their entire belief is based on faith alone. Faith is not a strength. It merely means you accept something as valid for no good reason other than you WANT it to be true. That was never in question. We knew religious people do that. The point is what follows from understanding that to be the situation... that this is a broken way of thinking overall, and for many reasons. Terribly inconsistent. Terrible double standard. Terribly broken.

 

 

You make a false comparison of religion with raping innocent children or throwing acid into someone's face and such people do need to be made to look upon down by others and I appreciate the effort you put to make someone question their own religious beliefs and their worldviews, I can see your purpose but in the process you are trying to suppress religious thinking and speculation as a whole which is not right IMO.

First, the comparison to raping children and throwing acid in young girls faces is something I share in response to a very specific argument. People often say that we must respect peoples beliefs, and that it is not right of us to criticize or challenge or scrutinize their beliefs. I often reply, "What if the person believed in something very disgusting, or harmful to others? Must we respect that and not criticize that, either?" Of course not. You and I agree those beliefs deserve to be both challenged and minimized.

 

So then... The issue is why do you request we offer special deference specifically for religious beliefs? Why should religious beliefs get a free pass and be deserving of respect and immune from criticism, but not those others? In short, they shouldn't. All beliefs should be equally challenged and criticized, especially those that are held for no good reason. That's the basic point I am making when I share the extreme visual example of criticizing people for believing that raping boys will end global warming or that throwing acid on to the faces of young girls will end world hunger or result in universal peace. The point is that you DON'T, in fact, want us to respect all peoples beliefs. The point is that you only want us to respect YOUR beliefs, and I say... Sorry, no. I value my intellectual integrity and consistency far too much to give you a free pass for no good reason just because YOUR beliefs are important to you and how you define yourself.

 

Second, let's be sure we're clear about this since you're now questioning my overall motivations... Suggesting I am trying to suppress religious thinking. So you are aware, the only thing I may be trying to "suppress" is irrational thought, unreasonable assumptions, unfounded baseless conclusions, and people believing in things for no good reason. I am, perhaps, trying to "suppress" the rampant ignorance that manifests itself everyday in this world we all share, but not religious thinking specifically. If religious thinking should happen to fall within that domain of irrationality and unreason then so be it, but I'm not trying to suppress religious thinking specifically... If I am, in fact, trying to suppress anything, then I am trying to suppress unreasonable thinking and irrationality as a whole.

 

I think I have made a strong case here, as have others, that accepting something as true based on faith alone is both irrational and unreasonable... Especially when that "something" is so profound and impactful and extraordinary as the proposition that god(s) exist.

 

I disagree with your assertion that we need to stick with critical and analytic thinking and stop investing our time in god...

Except, that's not the assertion I am making. You can continue to seek god all you want. You can invest as much time into that endeavor as you see fit. What I'm asserting is that you should not assume the conclusion before doing so. I am asserting that you should stop making conclusions BEFORE you find adequate evidence of existence. Seek god(s) all you want. Stop assuming they exist for no good reason.

 

Do you understand the difference?

 

The default position from the scientific community is to completely dismiss it. I don't have to equate science with religion, no. Religion is not science but as a branch of philosophy it stands on its own in guiding us to the truth.

Science rejects all ideas that are unfounded. It's a very solid starting point that has allowed us to advance tremendously... well beyond the dark age thinking that religions have so often facilitated... and no, religion guides you to assumptions... It doe NOT guide you to truth (unless you are stretching the meaning of the word "truth" so much as to render it useless).

 

Religion guides you to what you WANT to believe or what you WISH were true, but those wishes and wants cannot be accurately described as "truth," so you should stop trying to conflate them. Truth must be validated, falsifiable, and supported by robust, repeatable, rational evidence. Your religious thinking and belief in god(s) satisfies NONE of those requirements, and hence cannot reasonably be described as "truth."

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You seem to be talking completely past me. The point is that it's inconsistent and shows a double standard when people accept god as a valid conclusion despite the lack of any adequate evidence to do so, yet they simultaneously don't accept most other things in their lives as valid with no adequate evidence. You're merely here repeating that theists accept god based on wish thinking. You are conceding that one of my starting premises is completely accurate, but then ignoring the conclusion that follows. We know the premise that religious people allow god(s) to have a special pass through their bullshit detection mechanisms is a valid one, as their entire belief is based on faith alone. Faith is not a strength. It merely means you accept something as valid for no good reason other than you WANT it to be true. That was never in question. We knew religious people do that. The point is what follows from understanding that to be the situation... that this is a broken way of thinking overall, and for many reasons. Terribly inconsistent. Terrible double standard. Terribly broken.

 

 

Okay if anyone concludes that god exists without any adequate evidence then he can be considered broken.

 

 

If religious thinking should happen to fall within that domain of irrationality and unreason then so be it,

 

There are different kinds of religious thinking, in some traditions you're not even given access to scriptures until you have the ability to have revelations, so not all religious thinking fall into that domain of irrationaity.

 

Except, that's not the assertion I am making. You can continue to seek god all you want. You can invest as much time into that endeavor as you see fit. What I'm asserting is that you should not assume the conclusion before doing so. I am asserting that you should stop making conclusions BEFORE you find adequate evidence of existence. Seek god(s) all you want. Stop assuming they exist for no good reason.

 

Do you understand the difference?

 

 

Thanks for clearing it up, yes, good point, faith is not strength, we need to make them aware that they have no knowledge what so ever to those theists who argue from faith alone.

 

Although I don't agree with many of your conclusions, how can you be so sure that religious knowledge is delusional, how do you know? and also you seem to have made up your mind that religious people make stuff up on their own, no religion is hard work, it is as hard work as scienific enquiry, calling all relgious knowledge to be just wishful thinking is very much wrong and inaccurate.

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There are different kinds of religious thinking, in some traditions you're not even given access to scriptures until you have the ability to have revelations, so not all religious thinking fall into that domain of irrationaity.

This does not make sense. Your argument is that... because they are forced to accept something as true BEFORE they have any evidence whatsoever to inform that decision... that this cannot be accurately classified as irrational?

 

Although I don't agree with many of your conclusions, how can you be so sure that religious knowledge is delusional, how do you know?

I will always change my mind if I am provided adequate evidence and a valid reason to do so. Scholars have sought exactly that for thousands of years, and have consistently failed to provide even one shred of adequate evidence in support of the proposition that god(s) exist. None has been provided, and I suspect this trend will continue. However, I will never close my mind to that evidence, so let's be very clear about that. My point is that it hasn't been provided by a single being who has tried... Not that it's impossible to offer any.

 

On your other point, the fact that strong beliefs and conclusions of this type continue to be made DESPITE this lack of adequate evidence is the very definition of delusion. The characteristics fit the definition of delusion completely, and were it any topic other than religion you would agree with me.

 

Further... My argument is not that "religious knowledge is delusional." My argument is that these religious beliefs cannot accurately be described as "knowledge" since they are based on faith alone. They are perhaps personal wishes or wants, but they are NOT knowledge. They are more accurately described as conjectures or speculations, perhaps even desires or personal preferences... but NOT knowledge.

 

As I said, though, I approach this with the scientific ethos. I may be wrong by dismissing your position as silly, delusional, and/or broken, but I will gladly change my mind if even one theist can adequately respond to the challenges being put to them. As I mentioned, theists have been trying to do precisely that for thousands of years and have continued to fail.

 

What we have learned is that this extraordinary belief in god or gods ALWAYS comes down to nothing other than personal faith, and as you just conceded, faith is not a good enough reason to accept an extraordinary claim as true and nor can it be accurately described as a strength.

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This does not make sense. Your argument is that... because they are forced to accept something as true BEFORE they have any evidence whatsoever to inform that decision... that this cannot be accurately classified as irrational?

 

They're not forced to accept anything, every statement from the scriptures is self-validated through revelations, it is not based on just faith alone, such a line of reasoning is enough to covince one's own intellect and if he displays some extraordinary phenomena that would be enough to convince others to accept the extraordinary claim of god's existence.

 

 

On your other point, the fact that strong beliefs and conclusions of this type continue to be made DESPITE this lack of adequate evidence is the very definition of delusion. The characteristics fit the definition of delusion completely, and were it any topic other than religion you would agree with me.

 

 

 

There are a variety of scholars out there, some base their arguments on logic and reason while some base it entirely on one's own and others revelation and if you study the literature of such latter kind of scholars one has to think twice before rejecting them, there is nothing personal about my position.

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They're not forced to accept anything, every statement from the scriptures is self-validated through revelations, it is not based on just faith alone, such a line of reasoning is enough to covince one's own intellect and if he displays some extraordinary phenomena that would be enough to convince others to accept the extraordinary claim of god's existence.

But that's not what you said above. You said above that sometimes people are told to accept it as true BEFORE they are shown scriptures, and that this was not irrational. Stop trying to move the goal posts.

 

There are a variety of scholars out there, some base their arguments on logic and reason while some base it entirely on one's own and others revelation and if you study the literature of such latter kind of scholars one has to think twice before rejecting them, there is nothing personal about my position.

That doesn't mean it no longer easily fits the criteria for delusion. A delusion doesn't cease to exist just because many people share it, or because others have written about it... Nor does it cease being equivalent to a delusion just because it involves religion or belief in god(s).

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But that's not what you said above. You said above that sometimes people are told to accept it as true BEFORE they are shown scriptures, and that this was not irrational. Stop trying to move the goal posts.

 

 

immortal, on 13 May 2012 - 11:09 PM, said:There are different kinds of religious thinking, in some traditions you're not even given access to scriptures until you have the ability to have revelations, so not all religious thinking fall into that domain of irrationaity.

 

 

They're not just told or forced to accept it without any evidence, they are given access to scriptures only after they attain the ability to validate its statements.

 

 

That doesn't mean it no longer easily fits the criteria for delusion. A delusion doesn't cease to exist just because many people share it, or because others have written about it... Nor does it cease being equivalent to a delusion just because it involves religion or belief in god(s).

 

Are you suggesting that these religious scholars are so dumb that they cannot even differentiate between a hallucination and a genuine divine experience with identical experiential content across different people from the same traditions, i.e from the masters to their disciples. Your dismissal of such literature as delusional is quite ill founded.

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They're not just told or forced to accept it without any evidence, they are given access to scriptures only after they attain the ability to validate its statements.

And you continue to believe that it's not irrational to accept something as true based on zero evidence and based purely on wish thinking?

 

Are you suggesting that these religious scholars are so dumb that they cannot even differentiate between a hallucination and a genuine divine experience with identical experiential content across different people from the same traditions, i.e from the masters to their disciples. Your dismissal of such literature as delusional is quite ill founded.

It has nothing to do with intelligence. You can be the smartest person on the planet and still be deluded. Your rebuttal is moot.

 

Also, what exactly do you suggest is the functional difference between a hallucination and a "genuine divine experience?" Are you aware that truth is not determined by popularity? Also, do you understand that truth is not determined by the emotional impact some concept or idea has on the perceiver or person cogitating about it?

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And you continue to believe that it's not irrational to accept something as true based on zero evidence and based purely on wish thinking?

 

The question is why do religious people have strong beliefs in God despite the lack of empirical evidence.

 

There can be many other possibilities but as Villain mentioned earlier these are the most likely answers to that question.

 

1. Either our genetic machinery and other environmental factors shape the behaviours of some people to accept something as true with out any positive evidence.

 

2. Or revelations are not delusional and there is evidence for god and that explains the behaviours of such practicing religious people.

 

I myself am not convinced of my position, so I'm not trying to convince anyone, if I knew god exists I would have taken a more positive take on religion and asserted that the second conclusion is true and the correct one and my committment to religion would increase by tenfold. I don't know god exists or not, so I'm not convincing anyone, I'm questioning the validity of your arguments and others. Why can't we just let scientific advancements and other cultural changes through religion in the near future to answer that question rather than concluding things based on a personal bias.

 

 

It has nothing to do with intelligence. You can be the smartest person on the planet and still be deluded. Your rebuttal is moot.

 

Also, what exactly do you suggest is the functional difference between a hallucination and a "genuine divine experience?" Are you aware that truth is not determined by popularity?

 

 

Having the ability to have revelations means to have the ability to see one's external mind, this is the first self-validation which proves that what they're observing or experiencing is true and is based in reality. You cannot pass such a test by making stuff up or by making random speculation, there can be many questions that can be asked to test the validity of your experience like you would be asked to describe the detailed appearance of the anthropomorphic god. So the only way to know whether there is any truth in it is to find out the root cause of such experiences.

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That is not the question being asked. I have a fairly robust answer to that question already, and it is truly not unclear for me. It's not an issue of "why" someone believes in something so profound with zero adequate empirical evidence supporting that belief, nor is it an issue of "why" they presume faith is good enough to support something so broad reaching and impactful yet not good enough for nearly all other things they accept as true, but it is instead an issue of what it means about these individuals when they do.

 

 

 

In which case it does not even begin to scale appropriately with the extraordinary claim they are making. They are presenting evidence for many things when they tell us to "open our eyes," but it is not evidence of god(s)... not even close. It is functionally equivalent to me asking for evidence that Thor actually exists and them pointing to a thunderstorm and presuming they've somehow managed to adequately address my request.

 

When my Mom (the believer in Christ) was dying of Cancer, I asked her to try and give me a sign, if she was able, of her presence, after her death. She said, "like what?" I replied "something I would know came from you, something mathematical." The gardens where my sister distributed her share of my Mom's ashes grew extraordinary flowers...but that was not anything that could not be dismissed as having other causes. My share of her ashes are in a small crystal bowl, with a crystal lid, on a shelf in my library in the basement where I spend a lot of my time. Many years passed, and a few things odd occurred, but nothing really strange. Then a summer or two ago there was a single leopard frog in my basement. I caught it, and put it outside. A week later a smaller leopard frog was hopping around, hiding under furniture and fixtures for a few days 'til I caught it, and put it out, then another, even smaller for a few days. I caught it, and put it out. I told my wife about how odd it was that three single frogs visited like that. Then a tiny little leopard frog hid from me for a day or two over by the wall where my mom's ashes sit. I finally caught it and showed my wife, and let it out. Then a few weeks later a smaller still frog, not a leopard, more like a tree frog, about a half inch long eluded me for a few days, peeping, but not showing itself, till I caught it, showed my wife and let it out. Then the clincher, I little tiny frog about a quarter inch long appeared in the storage room. I brought my wife down, to show her. She saw it, and it hopped into a crevice.

 

 

I didn't try to catch it, I could never find it, but I would hear its peeps, usually 5 or 6 peeps in a row, and then nothing till a few hours later, or the next day. It finally settled over by a file cabinet in my library corner, on the other wall from where my Mom's ashes sit. I don't know how it survived, I guess a little bug here and there was all it required, but it's little string of peeps were heard from time to time, for months.

 

My Mom was a mathematician. Always talking about ratios and dividing stuff and functions and comparisions and the like.

 

Makes no sense that she could have made the string of ever reducing in size frogs appear in my basement. She is dead.

 

But I have not seen or heard a frog in my basement, for quite a long time now. And don't remember but one or two having gotten in before the string of ever smaller frogs occurred.

 

Does not prove anything. Can not be repeated. Obeyed all the laws of Physics. But makes me wonder.

 

 

Regards, TAR2

Edited by tar
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False dichotomy, anyone? ;)

 

There are quite a number of other options, Villain. To name a few, there's a possibility that there is a god but he/she isn't what we think it is, or that there's no god but evolution made us lean towards the spiritual (which makes us want to believe regardless of fact, and also makes religious folk not "broken") and.. well, quite a number of other possibilities.

 

I would stay away from "either or" in these cases.

 

That said, I would be careful of your final sentence. You are saying "without the need for constant empirical evidence", you know what? I'll settle for a ONE TIME empirical evidence that stands to scrutiny, I don't need this issue to keep being reaffirmed if the evidence it has are strong enough.

 

Then again, if god actually real, evidence would just naturally "fall" to our laps, as happens constantly with things like General Relativity and gravity. We're not constantly trying to prove these theories, not anymore, they're fairly well established, but everywhere we look, we find evidence, because they are real events and reality "can't avoid it". It is the way things work.

 

I consider it a problem that there are no continuous "incidental" evidence for God's existence, I really do, that makes me wonder if he exists at all, and I think it should make everyone wonder that, especially in light of the fact that there are no evidence at all without have "continuous" ones.

 

In relation to a god there can only be two choices 1. god exists and the believer is correct in not applying the stringent criteria that they apply to the rest of their life or 2. god does not exist and they are making a mistake (broken) because they didn't apply the same stringent criteria as the rest of their lives. Evolution/whatever other reason as to why they might believe in a god falsely, all point to brokenness and are irrelevant in the two choices.

 

Seek an ye shall find. Knock and the door will be opened. It takes faith to be offered the opportunity to discover evidence, once you have done that the evidence will present itself. Try starting with religious text and that will open your understanding to how a god might reveal themselves. How can you find something if you don't know what you are looking for?

 

Which people did god give this ability to "know" ? Obviously not everyone. why not?

 

 

 

I am not God or a god.

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