Logic versus Faith

sent in by Nicholas Brosz

Logic versus religion. Thus is the concept that many people have fought and died for throughout humanity's existence. Some have fought and died for it, while far more have fought and died against it. Here is the result of my thoughts concerning the Bible and stories/miracles mentioned therein.

First, one of the most logic-defying miracles appears in Joshua 10:13. "So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on [ Or nation triumphed over ] its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day." Now, in order for the sun to stand still, the earth naturally would have had to cease rotating. However, this would have caused not only gravity itself to cease, but also this would have caused worldwide temperature changes, a temporary changing of the Earth's magnetic field (causing all creatures that use said field for navigation to be thrown into turmoil as their "north star", so to speak, disappeared) as well as giving everyone on the bright side of the Earth a potentially lethal dose of UV radiation due to the deflection power of Earth's magnetic field being temporarily "shut off". And then, if the world had suddenly gone from rotating at 465.11 m/s (at the equator) to no movement at all, everything on the earth would have been shot out into space as if from a slingshot.

Second, according to Genesis chapter 17, Abraham's wife managed to give birth to a son despite having passed menopause. Even if she had a single egg cell left in her ovaries, the chances of that egg being fertilized by Abraham during the narrow window in which it would be possible is so unlikely, it could practically be called impossible.

Third, Noah's Ark. In order to build a boat large enough to hold two of every species of creature on Earth as well as the food required would have without a doubt caused the Ark to be so heavy, it would have undoubtedly sunk. Furthermore, such a construction task would have taken one man's family many decades to build working alone, especially since according to the technical specifications the Bible gives for the ark, it was 450x75x45 feet, which would be 1,518,750 cubic feet, hardly enough to hold 2 of every unclean animal and 7 of every clean animal on Earth (including many species that are now extinct, such as dinosaurs). And then there's the problem of food. How would he feed these creatures for the 150 days in which he resided in the Ark? How would he and his family have managed to single-handedly give all these creatures fresh water (since the new oceans of the Earth would have been quite undrinkable if not due to salt content then due to the microbes from all the decomposing creatures that had died in the flood), cleaned out the dung (which, again, would have gone into their water source), and kept the animals from fighting or in any other way getting riled up? My parents claim that God put them all into hibernation, but that still doesn't explain how they would all fit on the Ark, and most creatures wouldn't be able to go into hibernation and be sustained for 150 days on nothing but body fat (reptiles included, don't store near enough body fat to survive a 150-day hibernation without any food and then, when it was all over, having to wait until other creatures either reproduced or flora returned before they could eat). Then, Noah was informed of the water having drained from the earth (apparently to an undisclosed location, since there doesn't seem to be that much water on Earth now) by a dove having brought him back an olive tree leaf. The problem with this is that olive trees need "average" rainfall. Being submerged for 150 days would have been more than enough to drown any olive tree (and probably any other tree as well for that matter) or at least cause it to die due to lack of sunlight. Furthermore, it would have taken much longer than just a the few days that the water was drained for a new olive tree to sprout and grow to the point of bearing leaves.

Of course, there's also the miracles in which the dead are brought back to life. The problem with this is that by the time 3 days had gone by (in the case of Jesus or Lazarus), the body would have gone into an extended state of decay, all tissue in the body being dead and the brain having suffered irreversible damage. Unless Jesus and Lazarus (and others who were resurrected) could spontaneously regain the chemicals and electric signals that made up their memory (which defies all proven laws of the inability for matter to appear out of nothing), they would have been brought back to life with almost complete memory loss, not to mention their muscles being stricken with rigor mortis (which beings after 3 hours and takes over 72 hours to dissipate), which would have made them unable to even hold their bodies upright and stand.

I could go on, but it is unnecessary. Suffice it to say that I realized how many impossible (by proven scientific facts, versus faith and biblical theory) many (if not most or all) the miracles described in the Bible are. From there I came to realize that religion was not worth what it asked for (not including the weekly church donations that costs my family some 5,000 to 7,500 dollars or more yearly) and the blinding of people to what could be a foreseeable truth, meaning if a scientist discovered groundbreaking evidence that could change the way Humanity worked but would contradict the Bible, Christians, against all logic and reason would stick to their false faith rather than go towards what may cause Humanity and the Earth as a whole to become enlightened.

McLaughlin
South Dakota
United States of America
Joined: Approx. 4
Left: 17
Was: Assembly of God member, Baptist, non-segregated church member
Now: atheist, logician, free thinker, idealist
Converted because: Because I was brought up believing it was the correct way to live.
De-converted because: After much thinking I realized the Bible has no proof.
email: nhbfan AT gmail DOT com

81 comments:

BoyGod666 said...

Great points. I have always been astounded at the wild tales that are taken as fact by the young earth creationists and other Christians. I have to admit that when arguing with Christians, I am so incredulous that they believe such nonsense that I just sort of clam up. I think the reason I do that is similar to the way that I don't challenge little children on their belief in Santa Claus. I'm too polite.

Sometimes I think that all of these people are playing a grand joke on us atheists. The stories are so rediculous that only a child who had yet to learn logic and reasoning skills would accept them. Can you believe that anyone over the age of 12-17 wouldn't reject them?

Now, all that said, I do believe that as a group of loosely related myths the bible does have some value to it. Especially if it is studied in the context of the ancient mythology that spawned it, and the later mythology that it spawned.

The psychological, Sociological and anthropological studies of the true believers are also fascinating. The cultish/tribal characteristics of the thousands of denominations give us page after page of knowledge. If humanity manages to survive the next thousand years we will be looked at as a primitive people who acquired way too much technology way too quickly.

Christians may be right, the end times may be near, though not at all the way they imagine them.

mq59 said...

On the matter of Abraham and Sarah, it's called a miracle for a reason. It should not have happened, but it did.

freedy said...

The childish myths of the babble are actually kind of entertaining,but the the god sanctioned murder,and torture of men,women,children,(animals too),seem to be "PRAISED" by believers too!
Now THAT may be the sign the end is near, and that they may be just the ones to help usher it on in! What say you 59?

freedy said...

Too 59,....I totally agree with you on Lazzie,...but I wish that he had taken out the devil while being tempted!"Wack his ass!"
Now that would have accomplished something! What did raising Lazarus do for anyone?Who is this incompetent diety that raises dead people,but allows evil to reign and torture humans for eternity? Why all the drama "King Jesus",...Why all the drama?

Anonymous said...

I highly recommend this assessment of "faith" over at infidels.org

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/robert_price/damnable.html

Anonymous said...

You said: "The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day." Now, in order for the sun to stand still, the earth naturally would have had to cease rotating. However, this would have caused not only gravity itself to cease [...]"

OK, this one pained me to read, if you are going to talk about logic, it definitely needs to be held to that very standard.

The cessation of rotation of a large body (i.e., the earth), would not remove its mass that is used in the calculation of gravity. If anything, the slight difference in outward motion (from rotation) would cause a slight increase in perceived weight of items from having fewer forces countering the gravity, but gravity itself would remain the same.

Other than that, welcome.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure none of you non-christians would have any problem if I murdered all your children.

Because you believe in no moral law.

Because apart from God's Word, there is no morality in this fallen world.

So don't be hypocrites when a psycho murders your children. You should rejoice, and say, Praise be to Entropy !!!

tigg13 said...

Anonymous said (its always anonymous): "I'm sure none of you non-christians would have any problem if I murdered all your children.

Because you believe in no moral law.

Because apart from God's Word, there is no morality in this fallen world.

So don't be hypocrites when a psycho murders your children. You should rejoice, and say, Praise be to Entropy !!! "

Would you say there is a humor law that objectively defines what is or is not funny? How about a surprise law that determines whether or not you are surprised? Suppose somebody told you that you didn't really love your parents because your feeling failed to meet the criteria set by their love law?

There is a big difference between recognizing and appreciating the existance of morality and presuming that there is one, and only one, set standard by which morality is to be defined.

There are millions of non-christians on this planet that live sane, peaceful, harmonious lives. They are kind, friendly, civilized people who manage to co-exist happily within their society without adhering to or believing in your god's moral laws.

Now tell us, Mr. self righteously anonymous, Mr moral law believer, if a bunch of christians decided that your children were enemies of god and joyfully bashed their heads against some stones, would you have any problem with that? If they enslaved your family or took your virgin daughters as "wives" against their will, would that be ok with you? If you heard a voice that claimed to be god and it told you to prove your faith by butchering your own children would you do the morally right thing? Do you even know what the morally right thing is?

mq59 said...

The only Biblical incident I can think of where mass death is PRAISED by believers is when the Egyptian army is drowned in the Red Sea and the Hebrews rejoice.

Thing is, that Egyptian army was coming to slaughter them. It wasn't like a bunch of harmless live-and-let-live types were killed by God and God's people were dancing with glee--they were praising God for SAVING THEIR LIVES.

mq59 said...

Anony,

Actually many people on this site believe in some kind of moral law (although whether it's a holdover from when they were Christians or part of a new belief system they have adopted since depends on the person).

You're not going to reel any of these folks back by generalizing like that.

Bentley said...

The greatest miracle of all time is believing in fantastic tales, lies and myths by faith.

Faith meaning that you are supposed to blindly believe anything written down in a book by any person claiming to have been inspired by an invisible god.

By having faith, you are not to question, nor analyze, nor have any doubt, you are to accept those tales as absolute truth, no matter how much your built-in common sense rejects them as false.

By having faith, you are to follow the teachings of the bible as 100% truth and focus on those teachings as a brainless zombie and reject all truisms and scientific knowledge that anyone says, especially Atheist's and scientest's and non-believers.

By having faith, you are to believe that the written scripture intercedes all knowledge past, present and future.

By questioning the Bible and by having one single doubt, or lack of faith about the infallable innerant word of God, will send you straight into hell for all eternity.

So a True Loyal Christian will not ever question, nor doubt, nor have lack of faith in what the innerant infallable word of God says, this is the sign of a True Christian.

Should a Christian ever cast one shred of doubt of the Bible's worthyness or a lack of belief, that any part of the Bible not being the true word of God, then you will be judged by God as an Atheist and non-believer and you will be cast into the lake of fire to burn forever and ever. Amen?

Not me brother, you cannot shake my faith with your common sense and logic, no! no! I'm not falling one bit for your deception, you want me to accept your scientific (demonic) explanations and me loose my soul in hell? No way! I know without a single doubt, that the Bible is the breathed word straight from the mouth of God.

God breathed on the disciples as they wrote, that's how close he was to them at the time it was written, he was right there, invisible of course, and told them directly what to write and pushed their hands and pen to write exactly as he said, although they wanted to write what they wanted, but uh uh God put a stop to that, he inspired them what to write, that means it is directly from God, that is a proven fact, this way it cannot be questioned, well except from infidels like Atheist's and non-believers.

I'm a 100% True Christian, and I've been washed in the Blood of the Lamb of Christ, my feet are firmly planted into the true written word of God, the Bible.

You're not going to shake my faith in God's Holy Written Word, no way, you cannot do it, no matter how much you all may try!

I will be praying for you to receive his holy spirit that you may one day believe like me and mq, that the Bible is God's inspired word sent to earth for man to believe, by faith.

Bendigeiduran said...

God and goodness.
Plato's Euthypryo - is something good because the gods (or God) choose it or do the gods choose it because it is good?
If the gods choose genocide is genocide good?
As humans our ethics leave us judging God. We know that the god character in Job is acting in a deeply evil way. We use our ethical sense to judge all actions. Believers and non-believers are in the same boat except that believers in gods, manifest destiny, historical materialism and varied other teleological memes override their ethical antennae and do evil in the name of what they call a greater good.
Assessing ethical behaviour can be tricky but it is what all but the perverse try to do.

Steve said...

Logic versus faith.

Too succinct. That's where it begins and ends for me as far as the religious debate goes.

Steve

bill said...

I think if the Earth is rotating about a thousand miles per hour and it suddenly stops, well, that would cause serious problems. Now if it slowed downed gradually, that might be different; but I would still think there would be issues. I don't think that Joshua would still be able to keep fighting until the Earth started to rotate again...either slowly or 0 - 1,000 in 60 seconds. We, as kids, used to spin the small carousel real fast and then stop it real fast...and watch everyone fly off..not off the Earth, but we went flying pretty good.

SpaceMonk said...

"Joshua 10:13. "So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on... its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar..."

The Book of Jasher is pretty cool. It's way more exciting than the Torah. The sons of Jacob are like Herculean action heroes, each making Brad Pitt in Troy look like a wimp.
They leap over city walls and single-handedly slaughter entire armies. They almost wiped out the whole of Egypt on their own, before the captivity even happened!

There's also even more mythical creatures, aswell as more backstory for all the major events in the Torah, like the measurements of the Tower of Babel, or who killed Nimrod (aha, so that's why Esau was so exhausted the day he traded his birthright for lentils...) and more!

It's cool stuff if you're into fantastical ancient action-adventure stories, but not if you think slaughtering thousands of women and children is a bad thing...

Even though it's even less believable than the bible I suppose it's still a must for any christian though, seeing as the bible itself appeals to it as an authority.

mrfun103 said...

Noah's Ark. Noah was a real person. He was some Sumerian King around 12,000 years ago. There is scientific evidence of a great deluge in the Mediterranean basin around that time. You MUST take into account the poetic nature of writing in biblical times. Someone took a TRUE story and embellished it through an oral tradition, then someone else wrote it down generations later. When the book says that, "the whole world was flooded", their whole world at the time was the Mediterranean Sea and some bits of land now called The Holy Land. I doubt Noah had two kind of every animal. He probably had some sheep, goats, and maybe a cow or two. The story was added to over time. It doesn't mean that it's TOTALLY false. But the kernel of truth was added to by other people on through the ages until someone wrote it down.

freedy said...

"59" You to read your bible!There are many battles fundies like you celebrate! The battle of Jerico,..Joshua slaughtered all,women,children,and livestock!
(and so and so on),....blah,blah!
Face it, the bible god is a sadistic warlord. By the way, they have proven recently that the jews were not slaves, and that Moses was probably just a military genius who kicked the Egyptians asses!
Do a lttle research man!

Anonymous said...

mrfun103 wrote

Noah's Ark. Noah was a real person. He was some Sumerian King around 12,000 years ago. There is scientific evidence of a great deluge in the Mediterranean basin around that time. You MUST take into account the poetic nature of writing in biblical times. Someone took a TRUE story and embellished it through an oral tradition, then someone else wrote it down generations later. When the book says that, "the whole world was flooded", their whole world at the time was the Mediterranean Sea and some bits of land now called The Holy Land. I doubt Noah had two kind of every animal. He probably had some sheep, goats, and maybe a cow or two. The story was added to over time. It doesn't mean that it's TOTALLY false. But the kernel of truth was added to by other people on through the ages until someone wrote it down.

Yeah we all believe it now, thanks for straightning us ignorant nonbelievers out.

Lorena said...

Ah bible-god,

I know you don't exist, but I wish you did, so you could dissolve the rage I feel when I read ignorance like this,

"Because apart from God's Word, there is no morality in this fallen world."

Maybe you are such a pervert that you need a super-being to stop you from serial killing. The rest of us are just find.

Idiocy has no limits, as illustrated by you retard comment.

Lorena said...

MG59 said,

"The only Biblical incident I can think of where mass death is PRAISED by believers is when the Egyptian army is drowned in the Red Sea and the Hebrews rejoice."

Oh my goodness MG59! You actually having read your holy book, have you?

Geeezzz! Have you forgotten why Saul was was debunked from the throne? His firt mortal sin was not to kill all the humans and animals of Amalec--as order by loving God.

I have to say, I actually thought you had read the thing. Oh, well, now you have to depend on us well-studied people.

Geezzzz... I sit here in amazement.

Free_Deist said...

Well, MQ59 at least makes an effort to back up fundamentalist Christianity. At least he makes an effort. Anony, on the other hand, don't forget the tin foil on your head...only a fundie asshole like you deals in absolutes.

Cerebral Stasis said...

Thank you, first Anonymous user, for pointing out the point of the rotation of the earth not affecting it's gravity issue. I have ammended my blog post on the subject to show your point. Forgive my ignorance and thank yu for setting me straight.

Bill, as I said, the Bible claims that the sun stood still, not slowed down.

Mrfun103, I'm not debating whether or not Noah existed, I'm just saying that the concept of he and his family single-handedly saving all animals, insects, birds, reptiles, etc. on earth is just ridiculous.

mq59 said...

Lorena,

It is true that Saul was rejected as king because he did not obliterate the Amalekites.

However, what I'm referring to is rejoicing by the bulk of either Israel (OT) or the Church (NT) at the prospect of mass slaughter of unbelievers, especially the harmless sort.

I do not recall anything of that nature connected to the fall of Jericho or the Amalekites. Any Biblical description of Hebrew victory parties or the like?

The only other OT thing I can think of that remotely relates to this is, "Saul has killed his thousands and David his tens of thousands" which pertains to the defensive war against the Philistines, not the aggressive conquest of Canaan.

And in the NT, there's only one example of this that I can think of, and that's in Revelation, where martyrs in heaven praise God for "destroying the destroyers of the Earth"--this is another case where it's not ordinary non-believers but murderous types who are on the receiving end.

.:webmaster:. said...

MQ59, read the book of Esther again, or for the first time. Read the entire book of Judges. Big fucking slaughter parties all over the place. Oh yeah, big fun! Undoubtedly you'll excuse whatever happened with some assinine blather, as always. You sound like a defense lawyer: "My client is innocent." "But what if you discover that your client is not innocent?" "My client is ALWAYS innocent.

Anyway, here's a question for you MQ: Please notate here one single verse where the ancient Hebrews mourned the killing of their non-Hebrew enemies.

Just one verse... Can you?

mq59 said...

In the book of Esther, the Jews were on the verge of genocide and suddenly were able to turn the tables.

An analogous situation would be the sudden collapse of the Nazi government in the mid-1930s, enabling the persecuted Jews to turn the tables on the local hooligans who'd wrecked their shops and homes (Kristallnacht).

And in Judges, the Jews were often on the receiving end of attacks by their neighbors.

You will concede it is a different matter to rejoice over defeating an enemy bent on your enslavement or extinction than it is to launch an aggressive campaign and glory in the slaughter.

Of course, you do raise the good point about the Jews' reactions to the deaths of non-Hebrew enemies. I will have to investigate that.

bill said...

Bill, as I said, the Bible claims that the sun stood still, not slowed down.



Correct. Yes, I know. I did not say the Sun slowed down. I said that the Earth's rotation would have to come to a sudden stop for the Sun to stand still in the sky. I believe this would cause big time problems are Earth if that were to happen. Josuha's army would not be standing on their feet fighting the five armies near Gibeon. Now, I do not know what would happen if the Earth's rotation were to slowly, slow down to a stall...could we handle that? Now, it says the Sun stood still in the sky for a day or so...So that means the Earth's rotation started back up again. Slowly? or real fast? 0 - 1,000mph in six seconds is pretty fast. Would that effect us on Earth at all. My bet is YES it would..yes it would. Of course gravity exists without rotation, but what happens to humans on Earth when you suddenly stop or start that rotation? I'm no scientist but my bet is action and reaction action taken place. thanks for listening.........


bill

Pistol Pete said...

I used to have an aquantance with someone just like mq59, If I said something was black, he would say it was white, if I said the sky is blue, he would say it was orange, needless to say, I haven't spoken to him in over 20 years.

Now if we were to suddenly say Christianity and Jesus and the Bible were true, mq59 would say it is false.

There are just people like that, why I think they want to be different or instigators or something.

Anyway if the Sun suddenly stood still, meaning that the Earth suddly stopped rotating, there would be instant tsunami's all over the world, millions would be killed or if now it were to happen, billions would be killed.

Also people and objects would weigh slightly more, we weigh less because of the Earths rotating sling, infact the circumference of the Earth's longitude is bigger at the equator, as opposed to the circumference from North Pole to North Pole latitude, because of the Earth's rotational sling outward.

Actually you and objects weigh less at the equator than you would at the North Pole or South Pole.

But one must remember when reading the Bible, that the Earth is the center of the universe and that the Earth is flat, and the heart is the center of all thoughts and emotion..

mq59 said...

The Hebrew word used for "heart" is leb, which is analogous to the Greek word "nous," which actually refers to the mind.

Glen said...

I agree, when one reads the Bible, one must remember that the brain did not exist.

tigg13 said...

What I want to know is why god needed to stop the sun in the first place since Genesis, chapter 1, clearly states that god created light 3 days before the sun ever existed. If all Joshua needed was light the slaughter by, god could have just left it on after the sun went down. Right?

Cerebral Stasis said...

Perhaps, but the Egyptians believed that the heart did all the thinking, and the way the Bible words certain things (i.e. "with all your heart", "ask Jesus into your heart" [may not actually appear in the Bible], etc.), it certainly suggests that whoever wrote the Bible was ignorant of the fact that thought occured in the brain versus the heart. I mean, if a book was written thousands of years ago pledging to God with all one's ballsack, I'm pretty sure noone would have to really argue to agree that it was written by an ignorant person.

Glen said...

Yeah well according to mq59, the Hebrew translation used for "heart" is "ballsack", which is analogous to the Greek word "nuts," which actually refers to your precious nuts, therefore I surrender my "sack of precious nuts" to you, my fearless and humble God.

.:webmaster:. said...

MQ59 said: "In the book of Esther, the Jews were on the verge of genocide and suddenly were able to turn the tables."

Actually, MQ, an unjust plot had been formulated against the Jews where their neighbors would be allowed to slaughter them without the Jews being allowed to defend themselves, but the plot was thwarted. The threat had been averted, so nothing happened. The King then unjustly authorized the Jews the license to wreck vengeance on their neighbors, and the Jews exercised that right with impunity. The neighbors were restrained from defending themselves. They were unarmed. The Jews showed no forgiveness, no turning the other cheek, and gave no quarter. I’m sure that the voracious bloodlust of the Jews against their neighbors endeared the Jews to their surviving Pagan neighbors. Even the King was upset when the body count was given.

MQ59 said: “An analogous situation would be the sudden collapse of the Nazi government in the mid-1930s, enabling the persecuted Jews to turn the tables on the local hooligans who'd wrecked their shops and homes (Kristallnacht).”

Frankly, I’m unfamiliar with the event you cited, but Esther doesn’t mention anything about turning tables on hooligans. It talks about full-scale mob killings against men, women and children — anyone who was not a Jew.

MQ59 said: “And in Judges, the Jews were often on the receiving end of attacks by their neighbors.”

Now, let’s talk about this. Who was attacking whom here? From the time the Hebrews departed Egypt, the Hebrews were the admitted aggressors. Jericho was a sovereign walled city, and Joshua and his hoard attacked it. Except for one traitorous prostitute and her family, every man, woman and child met a gruesome death at the hands of the Israelites. In fact, the Book of Joshua is filled with similar stories. In Judges, the Hebrew heroes are frequently documented as goading neighbors into aggression, just so they could kill them and take their land, virgins, whatever.

Would you see the wholesale slaughter of your relatives as good? Even if the aggressors claimed to be the people of God? For some reason, Islamic fundamentalism comes immediately to my mind. They believe they are defending their way of life, fighting for God, and the most hideous acts of terrorism are seen as defending the world against the “Great Satan.” I suppose, following your train of thought here, that when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the American response of imprisoning US citizens whose roots traced back to Japan was not only just, but it would have been equally as just to exterminate them altogether. After all, they were Japanese. Nazis were not slaughtered after WWII. Those who had committed atrocities were tried, and those who had not committed atrocities returned to regular civilian life, to rebuild as best they could. Many emigrated to the US and other countries. We didn’t take their land and their virgins.

There are big differences between merely defending yourself, attacking someone else to take their land, and committing genocide against an entire people group. Is genocide, or attempted genocide, ever the right thing to do? No matter how awful the enemy?

MQ59 said: “You will concede it is a different matter to rejoice over defeating an enemy bent on your enslavement or extinction than it is to launch an aggressive campaign and glory in the slaughter.”

Absolutely, but to glory in the heinous butchery of defeated humans for any reason, then stealing their property and virginal women, is barbaric.

MW59 said: “Of course, you do raise the good point about the Jews' reactions to the deaths of non-Hebrew enemies. I will have to investigate that.”

Good luck.

A suggestion: When reading about the atrocities in the OT, try reading the stories as if they are historic events written by a nameless ancient tribal people group. See if you still like what you read. See if you would still want to find ways to justify and excuse their behavior.

Dano said...

Its easy to be a Christian when it's just an intellectual exercise, but try to really believe all of the absurd stuff in the bible, like a little guy called Satan running around messing with Gods children, and God not being able to do anything about it even though he was the one that created Satan.

Try honestly believing that God really did have a son with Mary, a virgin who was betrothed to Joseph, and the off spring of that mixed marriage was pure human, although he was also God himself, and something called the holy Ghost.

Try believing with all your heart that the "Arrangement" whereas, Jesus was killed as a sacrifice to his immortal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent father really has any significant meaning at all, especially when this supposed son knew he would only be dead three days and then float up through the clouds and rule the kingdom of paradise forever.

Really, really try to believe that you are bad to the core, and the only way you can amount to anything is to believe this stuff with every fiber of you being. Every time you are doing something pleasurable, try reminding yourself that all things in this life are fleeting, and you really should be keeping your attention turned towards "The next life"

Try drowning your children because you don't want Satan to get them. Try drinking cyanide laced Kool Aid, so you can go to heaven with your group leader Try hitching a ride on a comet, DEAD!

Dan (It's so much easier just being the heathens that we were when we were born)

boom said...

The ever persistant MQ59 said: "The Hebrew word used for "heart" is leb, which is analogous to the Greek word "nous," which actually refers to the mind."

Check this shit out: With a success rate of about 99.5% accuracy, the sphincter muscle(butt hole) can "translate" to the human brain the difference between needing to pass gas, and having to defecate......yet, here we all sit and listen to how a presumable omnsicient and omnipotent "God" needs to have some dude(MQ59) "translate" this god's "Divine" plan for all of mankind. It's thick with irony---a butt hole is smarter than God. Thppppt!

mq59 said...

Boom,

How trashy and immature.

mq60 said...

" Boom,

How trashy and immature."

Way to go, Boom! (Hey, if you can annoy the self-righteous, you're doing something right!)

boomSLANG said...

MQ60 said: "Way to go, Boom! (Hey, if you can annoy the self-righteous, you're doing something right!)"

Trust me, MQ59 has the market cornered on "annoying"...I just made an observation that I believe holds true. Whether it's viewed as "trashy" or not, is irrelevant. Think about what I said...it's true....::wink::(pun)

freedy said...

"59",..Don't most christians celebrate god's victory over lucifer and one third of his angels being destroyed in a "WAR IN HEAVEN?"
He cast them down to earth to cause more battles ,death and destruction!
Your god is a "GOD OF WAR!"and to BE A GOOD CHRISTIAN YOU MUST ACCEPT THIS !

Gregory said...

I think mq59 has a screw loose, he's posting on a topic called, Logic versus faith.

Now it's so very obvious that mq59 puts more merrit in an invisible word invented over 2000 years ago called faith, invented to make one feel guilty for not following the invisible myth lie called the bible.

I myself happen to put more merrit in things I know is true and can be proved to exist.

I therefore choose logic over imaginary faith anytime of the day, week or year.

So mq59 is suffering from a mental disorder in which he either refuses to recognise or chooses not to recognize truth and logic.

He's cerainly not alone, there are billions suffering from the same mental disorder, it's not easly recognized by society, but it is easly recognized by us non-believers in myths and lies and fairytales.

mq, you desperately need psychotic help, you may fit in your surrounding environment, but you certainly as shit do not fit in here on this website.

Please take your nonsense and foolishness elsewhere! Thanks and get a life!

bill said...

I see where God helped Joshua's team by confusing he enemies and hurling large Hail stones down on them, while he also kept the Sun up for more daylight time. Sooooooo, why won't he throw some Rock Ice on the Hezbollah right about now? Surely, they are as a big of threat as those early Canninites were. no? bill

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to be the fly in the ointment here. I am an ex-Christian and no apologist by any stretch of the imagination. However, it seems to me that we all live with some degree of faith (if you prefer that kind of language). I mean even the most rigorous and logical of mathemeticians must begin with some set of axioms, which seem to me to be little more than tenets of faith.

David

sbwilley said...

Anony:

The difference between what mathematicians do and what MQ59 is doing is epistemological.

Mathematics doesn't begin with faith, but definitions. Any mathematical principle that is not merely tautological is subject to disproof using the basic definitions and well tested methodology.

The whole point of faith is that you believe in things that are not subject to disproof. You claim to receive truth from a Higher Source that cannot be questioned.

If you ever question it, people like the earlier anony in this post say you have no basis for a moral life.

Well, there's no evidence that the Higher Source exists or created morality. There's lots of evidence that human beings created the Higher Source and the morality they ascribe to divine authorship.

XaurreauX said...

"So no one else in the entire world had a boat besides Noah?" -- Normal Bob Smith

Dano said...

Playing Christian is a very efficient way to gain status in our society.

Just look at the prisons, and how many prisoners find religion.

An excellent cover for almost any criminal is to pretend to be a God fearing Christian.

Usually when serial killers are discovered, the first thing you see is someone saying "He was such a good church member"

In summation, I submit that pretending to give up rational thought and masquerading as a good Christian is NOT all that illogical for someone looking for instant status in society!

(Dan (Who asks. Who is sitting in your pew?)

Anonymous said...

What if . . .
What if all those Christians are right . . . ?
What if the Bible is true . . . ?
Couldn't a God exceed what science says is impossible? ? ? Could a real God do the impossible? ? ? isn't that what a miracle is? If there is a real God, would he be limited to only what man claims to be possible?

What if it is all true? ? Would Hell still exist whether I believe it or not? What if a man or woman --you or I -- could have a relationship with this God?
What if God can put his Spirit and power into our lives?

What if you die tomorrow? - if hell exists - I don't want to go there.

Please be free thinking enough to think about the "what if's"

We are all quick to read something in a science book or history book and put "blind faith" in what we read as "fact."
Let's take free thinking to a new degree

That "Ball" Guy said...

What if the Upanishads and Rig veda are correct? What if the Native American religions are correct? What if you end up in Alla's hell? If you read about it, it's not a place most would like to go to.

That's the thing, we've asked these questions, and have found ALL the mythologies to be just that: mythologies lacking in any basis of reality.

I for one, do not accept history and science on "blind" faith, as far as science, I believe those things which are shown to be factually correct, or at least to be the best plausible explanation thus far. Science is reliable because it can change when new evidence is presented, unlike the dogma of religion, which will always remain ignorant

Anonymous said...

I consider myself a liberal free thinker. I accept that many of the miracles in the bible can't be proven with science. Yet, I think atheists and non-believers should accept that the science is not the end all, be all. Science constantly contradicts itself. Yes there are basic laws such as the law of gravity, matter etc, but how many coutless times have we read articles or heard news reports of a scientific idea disproving another idea? Practically everyday. Even with evolution there are questions that scientists cannot and have not answered about it, such as how the universe itself began . Im talking what started the so called big bang. Their is no fact only theory and conjecture.I do believe there is a place for evolution, but the changes that occur in most evolution are quite minimal and over a long period of time. The idea that humans developed from the apes seems no less amazing or preposterous then the idea of an all powerful god. Let's face it from ape to human is a pretty damn big leap. And if so why haven't our primate cousins evolved in all the so called millions of years they have been here. After all we are the same aren't we? So cousin Bongo should be human too. Atleast by now. Until you drag up the missing link all you have is an interesting hypothesis. And as far as the earths age thats up for debate as well. The instruments used to tell the earths age give different readings according to who is measuring it. Science is great but it certainly isn't infallible. There are too many things that happen here on earth that cannot be explained away by statistics or science. It may be far fetched but I choose to believe that their is a God somewhere. The one thing about the bible is that it does say believe by faith or not. So thats what it all comes down to. Faith vs Some Facts (Not ALL Facts). But if you do believe by faith, then you eliminate worrying about all the details like lazerus' death and the sun stopping in space, cause if their really is a God and he is as powerful as he claims to be than such feats are nothing to him and defy any logical explaination. He's God so he can do it, and that's that. If some view it as a fairytale so be it. Maybe its not so much Faith Vs Fact by Spritual vs Science. Science is grounded in what we observe, see, and logically attempt to explain, but the Spiritual has it's own set of rules.In the spiritual world 2 +2 might give you 5,6, or even 12. But hey that doesn't make sense cause we all know 2 +2 gives you 4, right? And there lies the paradox. So it boils down to what you believe. But inspite of it all I lean toward the idea that their is a God. Call me an optimist but I'd like to believe in a that someone somewhere is taking account of everything and that children who are slain or die with incurable diseases do have a second chance.

That "ball" Guy said...

You might find www.talkorigins.org to be informative on many issues.

What you said about science not being infallible is true, many ideas are only theories, but science is a self-perfecting system. . .anytime new evidence is shown to discredit old ideas, the new evidence is accepted.

Now, if one holds a concept of god, it's a lot easier to stop scientific inquiry, to just say "Oh well, god did it". Likewise with the unjust suffering in the world, if we don't just push off all the responsibility to a god concept, we're more likely to work towards making a change in this life, since these children won't have any justice in an afterlife.

Isn't the idea of a god up there taking all this suffering into account even worse than no god? If there were a god, they'd just be sitting on their ass while innocents are suffering. . .yay god.

freedy said...

Gods are such a simple concept,..it has to come from man.
It's more likely that all this came to about thru something man cannot even conceive or grasp with our limited minds and knowledge.

Anonymous said...

logic and faith are separate. it takes a lot of time to realize it, but it's true. those who try to "reason out" their faith or destiny will only be sorry.

tigg13 said...

Consider the problem x + y = ?.

A person of faith may solve this problem by choosing the number 10 to replace the question mark; 10 being an even and familiar number that is easy to understand and relate to. Certainly, they would point out, there is no reason why x + y couldn't equal 10. So x + y = 10 as far as they are concerned.

The logical skeptic, though, is quick to point out that, without knowing what x and y are, there is no way of knowing that their sum would actually be 10. But the true believe is just as quick in answering that, since x and y are unknown, then there's no way to logically prove that their sum is not 10. They claim the "intellectual high ground" because they at least have a solution whereas logic can only make unprovable guesses.

As research into values of x and y begin to show that x can't be less than 11 and y is appearently a billion and something it becomes clear to the logical mind that, while x + y is still not a completely defined value, it definately can't equal 10.

Enter the apologists who either refutes the research calling it all lies and deceptions or interject new values into he equation such as "negative(a billion and something + 1)". But they build their arguments, not on facts, but (and they freely admit to this) on faith. They begin with the assumption that x + y = 10 is true and instantly conclude that anything that contradicts their assumption must be flawed.

What is really weird, though, is that were it discovered that x actually equals 4 and y equals 6, then the equation x + y = 10 would be proven to be true. And, once proven, there would no longer be a need for faith. It is only in the in the world of the unknown - in ignorance - that faith can exist.

Bendigeiduran said...

It is worth remembering that David Hume recognised that he could not prove cause and effect, that one simply had to carry on presuming that certain things would always follow on from given other things.
Etymologically faith's primary meaning is trust and this seems apt for a world where we cannot prove cause and effect.
As for the fallibility of science, the Hegelian triad seems a fitting description of science's method and, indeed, its very business - thesis, antithesis and synthesis. We start of with a given thesis which is then examined and attacked, this resulting in its antithesis. Further examination leads to a synthesis of the ideas found sustainable in both the thesis and antithesis.This synthesis becomes now a new thesis and on we jolly well go.

Marty Mets said...

Anonymous said:

"Let's face it from ape to human is a pretty damn big leap. And if so why haven't our primate cousins evolved in all the so called millions of years they have been here."

You have just illustrated that your understanding of evolution comes from the church, and not from any science outlet. MAN AND APES EVOLVED FROM A COMMON ANCESTOR THAT NO LONGER LIVES!!!! Man did not evolve from apes, "Apes" did not exist at the time humans were evolving, they evolved alongside humans to the current state they are in today. Proto-hominids that were neither ape, or human, were the species that today all primates can claim decent from. And evolution is a SLOW process, every species is evolving today, only we consider it the "current" species because we do not know where it is heading, evolution has no purpose. It is like saying nothing else can ever be invented, so we should just close down the patent offices.

Humans evolved differently than chimps or bonobos because of many reasons, some of which would be climate and food sources, but we did not evolve from apes or chimps, and NO scientist has ever claimed that. The church says this BECAUSE it sounds insane, and that is the point. Apes are our COUSINS, not parents.

This really was an eye opener for me when I was leaving the church. I bought some books on evolution, and realized that what I thought I knew about it from the church was NOTHING but flat out lies or distortions of the actual theory. The question then arised "why would the church lie if they had the revealed truth?"

Because if the church admits that man has evolved, then there was no Adam and Eve. If there was never an Adam or Eve, then there was never an "original sin". If there was never an "original sin" then there is no need for salvation. If there is no need for salvation, then there would be no need for a blood sacrifice. If there is no need for a blood sacrifice, then there is no need for a jesus. If there is no need for jesus, then there is no need to get up on Sunday and give 10% of your hard earned money to the church. If you do not give your money to the church, they will all need to go out and get REAL jobs and actually work for a living, and that is not something they want. Money talks...

Could you explain why humnans and chimps share some 97% of our DNA without evolution? If god created everything in a unique and seperate way, why would he need to re-use most of the code for lower primates in humans, espically if we were the whole reason for the creation in the first place? If humans are some divine creation, than why are we made from the same carbon as any other animal? Why do we reproduce sexually just like any other species on the planet? Why do we need to eat, sleep, shit and piss just like every other species on earth? Because we ARE animals that are NO DIFFERENT than any other, except that our brains are of an order that allows to wonder why we are here. Comon man, think!

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that bendigeiduran might be on to something by citing Hume. Perhaps the fight of "Logic versus Faith" is one whose resolution will be properly found in the domain of philosophy. Is there a philosopher in the house?

David

Dano said...

Anonymous wrote:
"It seems to me that bendigeiduran might be on to something by citing Hume. Perhaps the fight of "Logic versus Faith" is one whose resolution will be properly found in the domain of philosophy. Is there a philosopher in the house?"
David

Dan asks,
If you have a choice between logic or faith, why would you choose faith?

If you choose faith, you may never know the truth.

If you demand empirical proof, you are open to learning truth whenever it is discovered.

I am sure there are people in insane asylums who keep saying over and over: "Jesus help me".

As no verifiable, repeatable proof that a man named Jesus, who could do magic, ever lived, or could help them, especially after he has been dead for two thousand years, these poor souls should have stuck with rational thought.

Dan (Who can be happy without knowing how the universe was created)

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan,
I suppose that the word "faith" is a bit of a hot button word around here. That word doesn't get me all stirred up I suppose. I think it's because I am aware that the only thing that I can really be aware of is myself. The existence of an "external world" or public domain is something that is POSITED or taken on as tenet of faith by a private self.

David (who doesn't need to append statements after my name to be happy :)

Dano said...

Anonymous wrote:
"Hey Dan,
I suppose that the word "faith" is a bit of a hot button word around here. That word doesn't get me all stirred up I suppose. I think it's because I am aware that the only thing that I can really be aware of is myself. The existence of an "external world" or public domain is something that is POSITED or taken on as tenet of faith by a private self"
"David (who doesn't need to append statements after my name to be happy :)"

Dan replies to Anonymous David:
So what does that make you? Are you a Christian, Ex Christian, Christian apologist, Agnostic, atheist?
Do you have faith in a mythology, and or what?
Do you prefer to not put a label on your self?
Do you just like to discuss philosophy?
Do you believe that evolution disproves the whole Christian religion?
I do!

Dan (Who uses the appendix thing to distinguish myself from all of the Anonymouses around here, because it is irritating to respond to Anonymous, when it is so easy to hit the other button and make up a unique screen name. At least I have you pegged as some kind of defender of faith, named David.)

Bendigeiduran said...

That David Hume trusted that certain things would always follow on from certain other things was in no way way a belief in mythologies. If we take miracles as an example, he asked what you would think if someone reported a miracle to you - that there had been a miracle or that the reporter was mistaken? Clearly all but the gullible would conclude that a mistake had been made. No matter how much you trust the person reporting the miracle the only thing to do is presume the report mistaken.
David Hume was of course either a negative atheist or a deist. He was specifically opposed to the idea of revealed religion.His emphasis was always on the inevitability of the empirical being the only way forward.
And what are we to say of logic?
A thing is not logical because it is sensible - logic describes methods of sound argument from a given premise not a guarantee of good sense. The given premise might be absurd but the argument stemming from it perfectly logical.
There is the story told about a certain extremely intelligent yet hugely unpopular Britsh politician that he would always accept a mistaken premise and then argue from it with impeccable logic.
'The moon is made of green cheese; cheese comes from cows; therefore there must once have been cows in space,' is both absurd and logical.
I recognise that you might want to point out that the cheese could have come from another species of lactating mammal but that would simply be to continue a logical argument based on an absurd premise.
I suggest that the way to tackle theists of any stamp is to undermine the historical, the empirical, roots of their belief system. There is no point in tackling faith, ie. trust, as we all share in that.
If people find they can believe in a benevolent universe that wishes us all well - as Mother Julian of Norwich put it,'All will be well, all manner of things will be well' - they can be left to that. Trust is necessary and if not misplaced, as in in mythic systems, perhaps a great and good thing.

David M said...

Hey Dan,
I'm an ex-Christian, an apostate like most of you. I don't consider myself a philosopher. I sometimes wish that I knew more about it though.

I don't think that acceptance of the theory of evolution necessitates the denial of a God. That is, I think that it is possible to both accept evolution and maintain a belief in a God. However I do think that accepting the theory of evolution destroys any notion of a "literal interpretation" of the Bible. The phrase "literal interpretation" strikes me as an oxymoron in any case, with or without the theory of evolution.

I'm not an apologist either. What you may be sensing in me is a live and let live attitude that I have developed towards Christians. I am after all an EX-Christian, so for me attacking or mocking Christians is like attacking or mocking my own childhood. I still have friends and family who are Christians, and I don't think that they are complete fools. That's just where they are right now. I hope that all that gives you a sense of where I'm coming from.

Well said Bendigeiduran.

David (who no longer posts anonymously thanks in part to Dan)

Dano said...

David M said... Hey Dan,
I'm an ex-Christian, an apostate like most of you. I don't consider myself a philosopher. I sometimes wish that I knew more about it though.

Danagain!
I agree with every thing you said.

More later, the boss just called me to dinner.

Dan (Who enjoys talking to "David M" (My brothers name is David and got Parkinson's that affects his mind, the same year he retired after 40 years of hard work)

freeman said...

David M.
"I do think that accepting the theory of evolution destroys any notion of a "literal interpretation" of the Bible"

Exactly, the bath water is filthy from a dirty rotten baby who must be tossed out also!

There are so many holes in the bible that there can be NO literal interpretation of it at all. The christian "god" is a farse.

I will never be sure that there is no god, but I can say with certainty that the bible god does not exist!

Non-Absurd Trust said...

Logic: "The branch of philosophy that analyzes inference"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Inference: "The reasoning involved in drawing a conclusion or making a logical judgment on the basis of circumstantial evidence and prior conclusions rather than on the basis of direct observation"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

All knowledge comes from the senses, period. To deny ones' senses, is to deny their identity and existence awareness. In short, in order for someone to make such a claim, renders their own comments sterile, whether their comments are logical or not. A person can logically, disable themselves from experiencing reality. People murder all the time, and are capable of justifying their actions, in some form, however, it doesn't remove the act or empirical evidence of the act.

Truth is what it is, not what it may be inferred as. There are logically good arguments, and bad arguments, and its the job of the logician to make a determination on what logical arguments, are fallacious and which ones aren't.

Thus, I may agree that people make the "attempt" to reason and use logic in their everyday lives, but, many do in a fallacious capacility. To say a supernatural deity exists, in a natural world, or can/has existed in a natural world, is a contradiction of the terms, supernatural and natural.

One could argue that there are schools of logical thought, and many people seem to exist well in some schools better than others. An empirical logistician is not going to accept another persons' reasoning when they start making comments like, you can't trust your senses, etc. like descartes, etc. One could suggest both are a form of logical reasoning, but "not really", and perhaps, that's my own logical bias, but until someone communicates to me, without using their "senses", will I entertain the notion that there is logic beyond natural sensory communication.

Faith, is the alibi used by those who use fallacious reasoning as their primary mode of logic. One may suggest that a person at a minimum has to have "faith" in themselves, in the form of "trust and confidence", but I choose to use the word "trust", instead of "faith". No reason to allow ambiguity to enter a discussion on "faith", as different definitions are "not" equal, and there's no reason to let those who use "faith" as a crutch in life to keep their crutch during an honest and non-ambiguous discussion.

Religious "faith", is for those who need to build a bridge between the natural reality, and their "self-declared" imaginative state of platonic existence where a perfectly objective god resides.

tigg13 said...

Bendigeiduran, I too would rather stick to critical analysis of historical evidence. The problem is, how do you do that without using the tools of logic? And once those methods have been implemented, the arguments all boil down to the question, who are you going to believe: the critical thinker or the tenets of faith?

Faith is the issue - the only issue - that you ever really wrestle with when it comes to theism. They may dress it up in rationized regalia and treat it as though it were a self-evident fact, but, as long as they have it, they are free to close their eyes and their ears to anything that threatens their trust in their beliefs.

Dano said...

Bendigeiduran wrote:
"And what are we to say of logic?
A thing is not logical because it is sensible - logic describes methods of sound argument from a given premise not a guarantee of good sense. The given premise might be absurd but the argument stemming from it perfectly logical."

Dan agrees: (And with David M, also who said "I still have friends and family who are Christians, and I don't think that they are complete fools. That's just where they are right now. I hope that all that gives you a sense of where I'm coming from"

I have been guilty of calling Christian evangelicals illogical and stupid. I now understand that most of the most prominent ones have led extremely logical lives. Professing to believe or even actually believing is not all that dumb sometimes, and many believers seem to live happy healthy lives.

People like Billy Graham have been advisors to presidents, been revered wherever they went, looked up to, had enormous amounts of money at their disposable, and for all practical purposes lived like royalty.

All he had to do to was to give the same sermon over and over every where he went. You know what it is. We have all heard it a million times. (God loves you, this I know, cause the bible tells me so.)

Even though very little of the bible makes any sense when rational examination is applied to it, it still makes a lot of sense to pretend to believe it, elect your self as someone who speaks for God, and go around telling everybody that you were called by him to try and convince as many gullible people as possible to believe it, and SEND IN THEIR MONEY.

The Binny Hinn's, and the Jerry Falwell's, and the Pat Robertson's, are not fools. They live very well.

I will even go so far as to say that a belief in a magical deity gives a lot of little people confidence to get up in the morning. IF you have to go out of the cave and kill something, it makes a lot of sense to believe that the God of the hunt is right there watching and rooting for you.

I don't suppose there is any way to explain to somebody, whose whole psyche depends on a trust in a benevolent God, the irrationality of it. THEY DON'T CARE! Their religious book essentially tells them to just believe that God will take care of everything. It is sort of being high on opium. Nothing else matters.

But here is the problem; Around the world there are millions of people being taught that their particular religious belief is the only true religious belief, and anyone who believes different should die.

Right now, right here on planet earth, those folks in the middle east who are essentially all pretty much physically and intellectually equal, are killing each other as fast as the can, because of differing religious acculturation.

You have a nut case running Iran, and they have all the billions of dollars that we have paid them for their oil, and they can buy weapons from North Korea which is run by a little fat pervert who inherited the country from his father. He has insisted and received compliance to the edict, that everyone start worshiping him from the moment they are born.

Both of these whackos are making nuclear weapons as fast as they can, right now, right here, on planet earth.

It is just a matter of "how long" will it take, before one of these competing idealologies pulls the trigger, forcing our "Borned Again" to make a parking lot outa one of their countries.

Dan (Who if, was younger, would be digging a hole and stocking it with food and water)

Bendigeiduran said...

I think we must be clear about logic.
I quote A J Ayer’s ‘Language, Truth and Logic,’ ‘…the characteristic mark of a purely logical inquiry is that it is concerned with the formal consequences of our definitions and not with the questions of empirical facts.’
‘A Dictionary of Philosophy,’ (Pan, 1981) perhaps states it even more clearly, ‘..it should be noted that there is no requirement that a logically valid argument be an argument from true premises. If the premises are not true, the argument may still be valid, but its validity will not compel acceptance of its conclusion. A valid argument establishes its conclusions only conditionally – on the condition that its premises are correct.’
Wilfrid Hodges, in his introduction to logic, ‘Logic’, simply states, ‘Notice that a valid argument need not have true premises.’
What are we to say about ‘faith’?
Miguel de Unamuno, an early 20th century Spanish existentialist caustically wrote of an ‘odium antitheologicum’ - at this point please remember that I am an atheist – of thinkers who found themselves unable to believe. ‘Consider not the more detached scientific investigators, those who know how to doubt, but the fanatics of rationalism, and observe with what gross brutality they speak of faith.’
There is a time when the sustaining faith of others need not be directly disturbed. I have done this to people and curse myself for it. There are also many times, usually public times when courage is needed, when we are forcefully obliged to speak out against the monstrous dictates and actions of ugly groups and monstrous individuals.
That is a caution and it calls for discretion and bravery.
But there is also, when it comes to the meaning of the word, the need to analyse ‘faith’ as a word.
Gottlob Frege’s ‘On Sense and Reference’ helps us se clearly that we must be sure of the meaning of words and to what they refer. For some people faith is trust in justice and goodness of heart, for others it is a passionate desire to fight for the creation of a violent and world wide theocracy. We must not conflate the two. We must be clear first about what we are talking.
A reason for stressing the etymological meaning of ‘faith’ as ‘trust’ is that it allows a common gound where the atheist and the theist can both acknowledge our puzzling incompetence with causality – as Bertrand Russell put it “So far as the physical sciences are concerned , Hume is wholly in the right; such propositions as ‘A causes B’ are never to be accepted, and our inclination to accept them is to be explained by the laws of habit and association.”
Faith and logic are not opposites.
We must choose surer ground.

David M said...

Bendigeiduran, I think that you may have something going on there man. You said, "A reason for stressing the etymological meaning of ‘faith’ as ‘trust’ is that it allows a common gound where the atheist and the theist can both acknowledge our puzzling incompetence with causality" That is both bold and humble in my opinion. You might appreciate the folowing quote from a book that I cherish by a theoretical biologist named Robert Rosen. This is from a chapter entitled 'Some Necessary Epistemological Considerations' and a section entitled:

Entailment in the Ambience: Causality

"I now turn from the internal, formal world of the self to the external world that constitutes its ambience, the world we have come to look upon as populated by natural systems and their environments. I thus turn to the world of science in the broadest sense.
The fundamental question for us, at this point, is the following: is there, in this external world, any kind of entailment, analogous to the inferential entailment we have seen between propositions in a language or formalism? Obviously, if there is not, we can all go home; science is not only impossible but also inconceivable.
This kind of question has always been difficult, because we come by our knowledge of the ambience at second hand. As philosophers have pointed out for millennia, all we directly percieve are ourselves, together with sensations and impressions that we normally interpret as coming from 'outside' (i.e. from the ambience), and that we merely impute, as properties and predicates, in that ambience. The things themselves, the noumena, as Kant calls them, are inherently unknowable except through the perceptions they elicit in us; what we observe are phenomena, which are to an equally unknowable extent corrupted by our perceptual apparatus itself (which of course also sits partly in the ambience)."

He then goes on later to detail the nature of the modelling relationship (bringing into congruity inferential entailment, or inference, and causal entailment, or causality). The name of the book is: Life Itself, a Comprehensive Inquiry into the Nature, Origin, and Fabrication of Life. If you are capable of finding a copy you might want to check it out; especially if you enjoy philosopy, mathematics, science, and especially biology.

David

P.S. Dan, I think that you may be on to something about digging a hole. Strange days.

Cerebral Stasis said...

Maybe, but at times faith and logic are opposites. Faith is the believe of something without a need for any evidence, while logic requires proof of something's being true before it can be logically said to be true.

Non-Absurd Trust said...

"Faith and logic are not opposites."

Nor are they equals, but they do share a common informational ancestry... the ambience. Differences occur between perceptions based on the ability to "interpret" the ambience in a manner that elicits epistemological truth, based on "logical" or "other" thresholds held by the individual.


The difference in perception and control of life, is based on interpretational perception and action.

"We must choose surer ground."

And... what would that surer ground be, and why do we need surer ground? Is it required of the Atheist to bridge the gap, or seal the chasm that exists in someone's epistemological gaps, lets say for those who choose to believe in gods? I don't personally need to shut down a religionists' fantasies unless they are in the act of attempting to impose their beliefs on me. What more do I need than, "free agency through freedom", to ensure they keep their opinions and beliefs to themselves? If my freedom becomes threatened, then obviously I need not get into a deep intellectual debate on why someone's epistemological thresholds for truth are incorrect. So, again, "why", do we need to be on surer ground?

On Hume, who believed "causation" was the result of "constant conjunctions" of events, and not cause effect relationships... Bertrand disagreed with Hume on the matter, and suggested to move from cause effect relationships, into perceiving events as "cojoined" and not "absolutely" causal, was akin to promotion of superstitious actions in reality. Hume believed "a" doesn't cause "b", he believed that these two events are merely making up a bigger event, and the two are cojoined based on some relationship, that is beyond our ability to reason. Basically, he left the door open for "other" factors to be involved in the process of the Natural processes that unfold in front of our eyes, as we humans are not capable of truly understanding reality. Hume... believed there is absolute argument to prove out our very existence, nor the existence of the external world, using "any" type of logical argument.

Bertrand... well, he disagreed with Hume, and chalked Humes' argument of "conjuntive" events, and dismissal of causality, as akin to "superstitious" belief.

For example, I throw a tennis ball against the wall, and it bounces back to me. Hume would suggest that the ball hitting the wall (cause), and the ball bouncing back (effect), are just happenstances, that the entire process of throwing the ball against the wall was no more than a "cojoining" of two acts, that weren't necessarily cause-effect related. He supposed there could be "more" involved in the process, and that it wasn't a given that the ball hitting the wall, "caused", it to bounce back - even if the exact same process was run a billion times, with the same exact result, he felt there was no true cause-effect, only a relationship between the two bits of information in the process.

Bertrand, would most likely have suggested that throwing the ball in fact, did necessitate/cause the bounce effect, and to suggest that there were "other" controlling features beyond human understanding that could be part of the scenario, as we humans can't disregard our ignorance as a "factor" in the cause-effect or causality argument.

It appears Bertrand, believed that we as humans have to be able to "stand" on something with some level of surety, using cause-effect if necessary, than to dismiss our very existence, and perceptions of reality as truly unknowable to any great degree.

"Hume held that we (and other animals) have an instinctive belief in causation based on the development of habits in our nervous system, a belief that we cannot eliminate, but which we cannot prove true through any argument, deductive or inductive, just as is the case with regard to our belief in the reality of the external world."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hume

Its interesting, when I read what philosophers have written, at times, I'm caught between admitting by infinite ignorance in comparrison to their words of wisdom, or I have a desire to "instintively" call what I read - self-ruting and absurd.

Hume's philosophy, was obviously nothing but his biologically driven "development of habits" inspired by his "nervous system," which is impossible to "eliminate", but yet, his very biologically driven words, "cannot prove true through any argument, deductive or inductive, just as is the case with regard to our belief in the reality of the external world."

Do you ever read something, where someone says, they are incompetent to give words of wisdom because of their sheer inability to escape their biologically driven instinctive patterns, yet... their incompetence was used to make such a statement. I find that odd. Bertrand, must have also, and suggested there must be surer ground, than self-refuting hallucinogenic phrases.

I do agree with Hume however, on "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc", in that its a fallacy in causal logic.

An example: "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc, a Latin phrase meaning "after this, therefore because of this," is a logical fallacy confusing cause and effect with chronology. Just because Irving wakes up every morning before the sun rises doesn't mean that the sun rises because Irving wakes up."
www.pearsoned.ca/text/flachmann4/gloss_iframe.html

That makes sense, however, one can't discount that the "sun" rising didn't play a "part" in Irving waking up. If the "sun" no longer existed, it would be very conceivable that Irving would not have waken up, he quite possibly would be dead. Perhaps, some sites are just not providing the best of examples.

I suppose if Hume were alive today, I'd ask him what he thought of the "butterfly effect" as stated by Lorenz, in regard to chaos theory. I mean, Hume would have to "know" the "sun" didn't cause Irving to rise in the morning, yet Hume, obviously removes himself as an authoritative figure to discern truth by his very argument that we can't prove anything, even our external reality.

To me, Hume was skeptical of the human condition, which is a much "Agnostic" point of view, where its suggested that humanity, being biologically dependent and "flawed" to some degree, can not "find" or "perceive" reality as it "truly" exists. Bertrand, obviously being an Atheist, didn't appear to take such a stance, he was more compelled with understanding "evidence", based on "a priori" reasoning, i.e., mathematics, etc.

Still, in the end, I am not sure what prompts anyone to search for some "bridge" between the Atheist and Theist in regards to "causality". Hume and Russell were obviously on different sheets of music, in regard to the search for "truth", in causality. Hume suggested we couldn't do it, because we are biologically ineffective for such an occassion (a really deja vous moment, when thinking of modern religion and original sin with humanity sitting in a defective state), yet, Bertrand appears to limit his skepticism towards the human ability to know "truth", through argument.

On "noumena" and Kant, well... Noumena, or the noumenal realm are those aspects of "reality", that can not be experienced with the senses... Of course, I would like to know, how one can suggest that there exists "more" than "experience", one has to "experience" such a "thought", to make such a "statement"...

"This kind of question has always been difficult, because we come by our knowledge of the ambience at second hand."

Is it inconceivable that we are the "ambience", and the external reality, is nothing but a reflection of our own mental expectations? I by far, have no degree in the area of mathematics, actually I am quite humbled by those who hold such skill... however, in a need to simplify my reality, I see mathematics as a modelling system based on "expectation"... we expect "2" to follow "1", and we seek experiences in which these "expectations" are vetted out.

Perhaps, the surer ground is found when attempting to discern the ability for humanity to create "expectations", and if these expectations are derived from the ambience, experience, or some other noumenal realm, that somehow finds its way into our thoughts.

This thread's topic was on biblical errancy, from my perspective, and how illogical the bible is, when read literally...

However, so far, philosophy has ensued, and we have touched on Hume (Somewhere between Agnostic and Naturalist), Russell (Athiest), and Kant (Somewhere between Deist and full blown Evangelical), in order to find "surer" ground, to bridge the gap of "expectations". And, the surer ground is... what.

Hume - We can't know something, we're biolobically defective/driven. And, so are my statements.

Russell - We can know something, yet, we have to seek it vigorously, as we haven't found anything absolute. And, so, I'm "not" going to commit suicide (per biographies), I plan to search for "truth", and mathematics is where I plan on starting. Less confusion and contradiction seemed to be helpful for him.

Kant - We can't truly know everything, the noumena (spiritual realm) holds answers that we are not able to grasp through sensory experience. Yet, I've created the term "noumena" from the sensory experiences I have had in my life.

The objects and themes of argument don't appear to change much over time, just the names used in the arguments. Spirit world, a.k.a. noumena, original sin a.k.a. inescapable biological instincts, etc. There is rarely something New to be stated in the millions of books that are published, the same "meaning" is given different names, and the rhetoric dances around the cultural norms of the political and religious era they are written. The bible is no different.

Again, I'd like to hear of a surer stance, to bridge Atheistic thought and Theistic thought, any insights?

David M said...

I for one did not intend to get sidetracked from the original intent of this post. I was going off the title, "Faith vs. Logic", more than anything else.

I assert only that atheists, as a group, are not devoid of "faith" or trust. I know a few that assert that there are indeed 'entailments in the ambience' or that there is such a thing as causality. In other words if atheists were to print their own money then I would not think it uncharacteristic of them to place "In Causality We Trust" on their bills. Nor would I for one think that this trust would be misplaced.
Likewise I assert that "peoples of faith" or theists are not devoid of the capacity for logic and inference. I'm sure that many an excellent mathematician was also for instance a Christian or a Muslim.
In addition I also assert that explicitly bringing inference into congruity with causality (or the establishment of a modelling relation) is a difficult art form for both theist and atheist alike.

I have enjoyed this conversation. It's rare that I get to discuss these kinds of things.

David

Bendigeiduran said...

When tackling what others say we must avoid category mistakes. Faith versus Logic is like Blancmange versus a Spanner. To decide whether or not they are equivalent is to regard them as comparable, which they are not.
Many people who trust that all will be well use mythic structures as vehicles for their trust or faith. The way to tackle their mythic beliefs is not to attack faith itself but to tackle the empirical bases of the vehicles they use – Muhammad splitting the moon in two, the sun stopping to allow further slaughter, Jesus and Siddharta walking on water.
Let us compare faith to love.
You love your partner. Who will destroy this love by asserting that love itself either does not exist or is simply foolish?
You love your partner. Who will make you reassess this love by demonstrating conclusively many instances of your partner’s infidelity? (A form of Anthony Flew’s 1000 qualifications. His odd dalliance with deism is immaterial here.)
We should not aim at destroying faith qua trust itself but at demonstrating the empirical untruth of the mythic systems used as religious faith’s vehicles.
The recognition that the truth of things is our common search allows for less aggressive approaches to each other’s ideas: that many philosophical thinkers find causality problematic is an honest starting point for such discussion.
The surer ground is not to allow category mistakes. Accepting a common tool, logic,
allows us all a common language. Recognising the Hegelian triad as the way in which discourse develops allows for the courteous recognition of the ideas of others, even when they are in need of radical challenge. It allows us also to recognise that our own ideas must be challenged, refined or even abandoned.
Non-absurd Trust, your nom-de-keyboard is well chosen, it is what we are all about.
Allow me to quote Neurath’s analogy. Like many others I came across it in Quine’s ‘Word and Object.’
‘We are like sailors who on the open sea must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom. Where a beam is taken away a new one must at once be put there, and for this the rest of the ship is used as support. In this way, by using the old beams and driftwood the ship can be shaped entirely anew, but only by gradual reconstruction.’

David M, thank you for introducing me to Robert Rosen. I have looked up the reader reviews on Amazon and am enthused but fear that my lack of a scientific background might hinder. As you say, this has been enjoyable.

It is very easy to ill judge the use of humour; I am going to chance my arm.

The Irish writer, Flann O’Brien, in his novel ‘At-Swim-two-Birds’, had one barroom debater say to another, ‘The conclusion of your syllogism is fallacious as it’s based on licensed premises.’
Well, it always makes me smile.

Dano said...

David M wrote:
"I assert only that atheists, as a group, are not devoid of "faith" or trust. I know a few that assert that there are indeed 'entailments in the ambience' or that there is such a thing as causality. In other words if atheists were to print their own money then I would not think it uncharacteristic of them to place "In Causality We Trust" on their bills. Nor would I for one think that this trust would be misplaced.
Likewise I assert that "peoples of faith" or theists are not devoid of the capacity for logic and inference. I'm sure that many an excellent mathematician was also for instance a Christian or a Muslim.
In addition I also assert that explicitly bringing inference into congruity with causality (or the establishment of a modelling relation) is a difficult art form for both theist and atheist alike.
David"

Dan observes:
If our politicians were atheists and printed their own money, I don't' think you would have to worry about them putting: "In Causality We Trust" on their bills, because not one politician in a thousand knows what "Causality," is (I looked it up on Wikipedia and still don't).............................

..........................and I would bet my entire fortune (And risk not being a "hundredaire" anymore), that you don't need to worry about our born again president "explicitly bringing inference into congruity with causality (or the establishment of a modeling relation."

Shit! He can't even pronounce "nuclear."

It would not only be a difficult art form for both theist and atheist alike, but virtually IMPOSSIBLE, for any of my neighbors here in North Carolina!

Dan (Letting my coalescent congitations demonstrate a clarified consciousness)

Bentley said...

Actually I think that would be a great idea, Atheists printing their money...having printed on it, "IN NO INVISIBLE DEITIES OR MYTHS DO WE TRUST" I think we should form our own economy and separate from church and state, and form our own Nation, before North America becomes North Mexico.

Ben(Who thinks that the majority of Americans are abhorrently and completely mentally insane, as demonstrated by their trust in politicians and the absurdity of politics, preachers and religions, on this small Island called ex-christian.net with my few sane friends, do I live.)

Dano said...

Ben wrote:
"Actually I think that would be a great idea, Atheists printing their money...having printed on it, "IN NO INVISIBLE DEITIES OR MYTHS DO WE TRUST" I think we should form our own economy and separate from church and state, and form our own Nation, before North America becomes North Mexico"

"Ben (Who thinks that the majority of Americans are abhorrently and completely mentally insane, as demonstrated by their trust in politicians and the absurdity of politics, preachers and religions, on this small Island called ex-christian.net with my few sane friends, do I live")

Dan says;
Ben! Could we pass a law that no one could use the term "One of the worlds great religions," when referring to Christianity or Islam? In fact, could we make it illegal to say; "Islam is a religion of peace, or "The bible is the greatest book ever written"?

Could we "FLOG" juvenile delinquents in public, and serve free beer and hot-dogs?

Could we CASTRATE anyone convicted of a serious sex crime against anyone, be it man woman or child? Could we then brand the "castratratee" on the forehead, and make it a crime for any one to give charity to him? ON THE FIRST OFFENSE!

Could we issue a booklet to every prisoner in every prison that essentially states that: Society is tired of feeding, clothing, and in generally taking care of your sorry ass? Tell them, now get the hell out of here, but keep in mind that anyone who has committed at least three felonies, will be put to death immediately upon the conviction of another crime after you leave here.

Could we then make condos out of the prisons and give them, free to anyone, no questions asked, if it can be proven that they have, undisputedly, contributed something to society above and beyond the norm?

OH shit Ben, starting fresh with a new country suggests so many wonderful possibilities.

How about a law that says: Whenever the lawmakers pass any new law raising the remuneration for lawmakers, it must be ratified by the general vote of the people.

I guess that the state of affairs in this country would be impetus for a million suggestions, if we the people actually still ran it.

Dan (Always nice to see a fellow appendixee)

Bentley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bentley said...

Dano, you and me think so much alike, as do many of my fine ex-tian friends that post on here.

You're being too rational, the problem is, religion has vehemently beat into everyone's brain that rationality and common sense is of the devil and is from Satan, and the majority of people in the USA believe this to be true.

I think we should send all prisioners that murder into outer space with about five years of food to explore the universe and look for God or Jesus, if they come back with proof of a God or Jesus, then we shall set them free.

Also I think the people that commit crimes should be made to wear the same clothes that they had on when they commited the crime and the punishment should fit the exact crime they committed.

If found guilty, the sentence should be carried out within 24 hours, no plea barganing, no stays of execution, no paroles, no prisons needed.

They are re-paving roads around here that do not even need to be repaved, they've got so much tax money that they do not know what to do with it, they are paving our roads with waisted money and the contractors have the finest and newest equipment and getting rich quick on the gasoline tax.

America will be completely different in about 20 years, although I'll be dead, and I really do not care, I've had and seen enough bullshit in my liftime.

I would have never guessed that humans, whom call themselves adults, would allow themselves to be so unrational and blinded by idiocy. TC, Ben

Dano said...

Ben wrote:
"I think we should send all prisoners that murder into outer space with about five years of food to explore the universe and look for God or Jesus, if they come back with proof of a God or Jesus, then we shall set them free"

Dan adds:
Yea we could set up a powerful telescope, and charge their relatives a hefty fee to peer at their loved ones floating in space, and before we pushed em out of the rocket ship, we could attach a plaque that reads: Will he find Jesus?

(They all find Jesus in prison about a year before their parole is due. All monies collected from those wishing to view them should be given to their victims)

While on the subject, could it be a requirement that anyone convicted of a crime, immediately be required to, and on their own, find some kind of work, of which 50% of their salaries goes to their victims.

This would continue until, the victim, plus a panel of judges, made up of only, men and women who have worked and paid into social security for at least 40 years, decide that said criminal has repaid a sufficient amount.

If the criminal does not enroll in this program, or does not find some way to make it work, can we put him to sleep and harvest his organs and sell them on the open market, and give THAT money to his victim?

Dan (Future citizen of the Nation of Commonsensaca)

tigg13 said...

Ben & Dan, I hate to burst your bubbles, but if we were to get rid of orgaized religion and started a new nation based on free-thought, personal integrity and social harmony there probably wouldn't be any criminals around to punish.

Except, of course, those backsliding christians - but they'ld probably all get off on some sort of insanity plea.

Tigg (Who has no idea why anyone would want to write a bunch of stuff after their name - except that it is kinda fun)

Non-Absurd Logic said...

"I assert only that atheists, as a group, are not devoid of "faith" or trust."

Again, "faith" if confined to the discrete meaning "trust", has a better chance of being asserted, still, there are people like "Hume", who was not an Atheist, who don't even trust themselves to make a statement on "truth", because they feel all information being processed through their intellect comes from a dysfunctional or pre-set genetic standards, of which we are incapable of escaping.

Here's a better question, per a Humean view. If Hume's views are to be taken seriously, that "we" are a species are incapable of escapting our biologically driven instincts, then... can it be assumed that "trust" and/or "confidence" is innate?

Lets ask ourselves... Does "trust", require knowledge? Is it a developmental concept, where an embryo starts with "no" trust per se, but with an "infinite/finite", "potential" for "trust".

How you answer these questions, determines the truth to the concept of general/group observations of "Atheists". However, deducing "potential" based on innate genetic code and development, is "not" an Atheist thing, its a "human" thing. However, that appears to be the point... that Atheists as well as Theists have "trust" and "confidence" in something, even if its misplaced, the concept of "trust" is being genetically pounded on relentlessly in our cognitive makeups.

Some may suggest that it is "human" to be capable of "trust", or that "confidence" is a genetically predisposed factor, because without it, we would be walking around in relentless "fear" at our very existence and environmental experiences in life. The only escape for such a person who lives a life in such fear, is within their own receses of their mind, as they withdraw from reality.

There are those, whose fear is so severe that their very existence proposes debilitating paranoia, this is a clinical observation that is not common, but... the fact that there is a clinical definition for such a state of mind, means that there is the "potential" for some, "not" to have been capable of finding "trust" or "confidence" within their lives.

So, in general, the statement of Atheists, as a group, not devoid of "faith" or trust, is understood by me, to suggest that Atheists are not "paranoid", or that "Atheists" in general, hold onto biological characteristics that define what it means to be "human". I suppose, my point, is that making such a statement, is like making a statement that "Atheists" in general, have functioning hearts that pump blood, if they didn't they would no longer be Atheists, their experience(s), that define them in life as an Atheist, cease to exist on death, as they no longer have the ability to "vouche" for their beliefs.

Such a general statement, doesn't seem to bridge a gap between the Atheist or Theist, if we need to get down to biological potential, in order to bridge a gap in philosophical ideaology, then, it could be argued that no two people are biologically the "same" at the molecular level. In "general" we humans are the same, in the "particular", in the most strict of reductionist form, if we were capable of breaking down the individual one molecule at a time, we would find that each person is unique. However, again, I perceive "potential", based on previous experience in my life, as a way of connoting the similarities we find in life, and between groups of people who choose to accept categorizational labels.

"The surer ground is not to allow category mistakes."

Getting to the most fundamental elements of life, in order to search for truth, is the noble way to attempt to bridge a gap, however, when one is using a screwdriver to drive nails in a board, one need not question the screwdriver, one need only look at the one wielding the screwdriver. Could the person, justify logically that they have a need to use the screwdriver as a hammer? Sure, especially if its all they have, and they "really" need to get nails pushed through boards. However, that still doesn't make the screwdriver the "best" tool for the job, especially when hammers are available. The "potential" for the person using the screwdriver, to use a better tool, is increased exponentially, once they become aware of what a hammer does, and how to get one.

It appears, then, that the limiting factor, is the number of hammer vendors, and the ability of the person to wield a hammer effectively, which may take some training. Like most "all" things in life, beyond the biologically innate, we choose our "tools", from what we have been able to gather. Logic, is not so easily wielded, even if it becomes the tool of choice held by many of different beliefs.

"I know a few that assert that there are indeed 'entailments in the ambience' or that there is such a thing as causality."

Interesting topic... causality. We start seeing strings attached, such as determinism, indeterminism, etc., being associated with such. To accept causality, as "Aristotle" pointed out, one must assume a "beginning", of sorts, and if it be known, it becomes a matter of science.

Per Robert Rosen, "We shall thus accept this view, that entailment relations can exist between phenomena and that their study comprises causality; hence science and causality are to that extent synonymous."

Tricky wording, Rosen suggests that there "may" be entailments between "phenomenon", (I'll leave it at "natural" phenomenon, and not delve into suggesting Rosen believed in some "supernatural" phenomena). This is a vague premise, to suggest "may", does not hold a statement, its a measure of "potential", in order to convey a thought. He, then, asserts that "science", is the study of natural cause-effect relationships, and the scientific field is "causality".

There is a difference, actually a huge difference, between the study of such correlations, if they indeed "exist" :-), and a person making an "absolute" statement on deterministic causality, etc. I agree that there are necessarily "entailments", however, I can't make such an "absolute" statement with 100% certainty, as that would of course, be absurd. Thus, like Rosen, I would couch such terms with "potentialility", and the degree or likelihood that such a premise would hold true in certain instances, using my "twice removed" level of knowledge of the phenomena.

"Existentialists have suggested that people have the courage to accept that while no meaning has been designed in the universe, we each can provide a meaning for ourselves. In light of the difficulty philosophers have pointed out in establishing the validity of causal relations; it might seem that the clearest plausible example of causation we have left is our own ability to be the cause of events. If this is so; then our concept of causation would not prevent seeing ourselves as moral agents."

Do we make decisions on morality based on choice, or do we make decisions on morality, because we are the "Natural Universes'" potential, come to life. Is this meaning, in a Universal sense? Can there be a Universal meaning, juxtaposed with our individual meaning in life? Do they need to align, or can they contradict? Is it possible to remove such a Universal meaning, from the Individual meaning, if we indeed sit partly in the ambience?

An Existentialist could easily suggest that we may indeed be our own moral agents, if we indeed have "free agency" and "ability" to act freely. A strict determinist would not make such a statement, even if there is the potential for Outside influence from the ambience, of which, we can only know of, second nature.

In the end, some Atheists may surely suggest entailment to some extent, but, I see a statement of "fact", using the money analogy, to suggest that Atheists are "absolute", in their terms of causality. Perhaps, I don't see "In Causality I Trust". As one tagged an Atheist from the less secure of society, I would suggest I believe in "connectedness", and an interdependence of elements within the Universe. I limit my statement from being "absolute", not because of knowledge "twice removed", from the phenomena/ambience, but because I accept the constant "change", is acceptance of such a "constant" acceptable to "all", perhaps not, and again, that's my subjective view.

Its possible the Universe never really changes at the most fundamental level, its conceivable through "twice removed" knowledge, that we as organic beings, "change", and our perceptions of the external ambience, change accordingly. Thus, a child's view of reality, changes as their rose colored glasses are tinted over the years... is it the "ambience" that changes, or is it the failed "expectations", and what "reality" is "not", that causes our perceptions of "reality" to change, as we remove "unwarranted" expectations, and "potential".

Per Aristotles' Formal Cause, and how objects have "capacity", I'd agree, however, "capacity" without expectation or action, remains nothing more than "potential". What is that agent that "causes", potential to become a capacity that is fulfilled? I'd suggest Nature, seeing Nature as a word synonomous with "ambience", and nothing more.

"In other words if atheists were to print their own money then I would not think it uncharacteristic of them to place "In Causality We Trust" on their bills. Nor would I for one think that this trust would be misplaced."

My money would say, "In me I trust", as I am the validation piece of the Natural process, without me, there is not the "capacity" of "trust" to exist. I would also suggest that more than "Atheist", would ascribe to money that state, "In Causality I Trust", as many believe the acting Causal agent in the Universe, is not just Nature, but a God. The term Causality, doesn't connote by its single word, who/what that "agent" is.

"Likewise I assert that "peoples of faith" or theists are not devoid of the capacity for logic and inference."

Again, logic and inference could be seen as a biologically innate "capacity", by which many mature and grow into that potential. There doesn't seem to be a bridging of a gap between the Theist and Atheist, just a reduction in terms of what it means to be a human, and the aspects that are common. Building the foundation, beyond the basic characteristics of what it means to be a human, is greatly dependent on not just the "capacity" of genetic limitations, but on available "potential", that is many times, "restricted" by "other" humans, who have the ability to "influence" our decisions. Perhaps, "meaning", in life, is to fulfill ones' "capacity".

"I'm sure that many an excellent mathematician was also for instance a Christian or a Muslim.
In addition I also assert that explicitly bringing inference into congruity with causality (or the establishment of a modelling relation) is a difficult art form for both theist and atheist alike."

Even Hume, accepted Inductive Logic, as superior to Deductive.

"Despite Hume's critique of induction, he held that it was superior to deduction in its realm of empirical thought."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hume

My point, is that the "capacity" for logic exists, between all that is considered to be human, but many "choose", the "type" of "logic", that they feel will provide them with a "greater" platform by which to infer "truth".

There are plenty of people who use certain logic types, to fulfill a purpose, but then use "different" logic to meet a different need. Logic is fluid, in that some philosophers would assert that only "one" type of "logic", or philosophy should be used throughout ones' life, to maintain consistency, and this would include the philosophy by which the logic were founded.

However, there are plenty of counter arguments, that philosophers would suggest lend credence to an ecclectic approach to logic. Personally, I am not an expert in multiple levels of logic, however, I am keenly aware of the "source" for information, that feeds such systems we call "logic", and its where I plant my flag and make a stand.

I suppose some could consider those who use logic in multiple forms to be more diverse, yet, I could see how others may perceive those who jump around in their logical platforms as being fickle/whimsical. Going back to the screwdriver analogy, we live life, based on flexibility, and if more than one logic tool is required to do a job, then so be it... as long as the individual holding the tool, can explain what the tool is, and how they plan on using the tool, because if they can't, then aren't using "logic", they are using their Natural environment in the most sensible manner they know how, through cause-effect relationships in the ambience...

"I have enjoyed this conversation. It's rare that I get to discuss these kinds of things."

Its amazing, that such discourse is possible considering the potential illiteracy rate of the U.S. I was going to pull a statistic, however... let me post my first search results, on literacy...

Educational Cyber-Playground

""42 million adults in the US are "functionally literate," meaning that they can't read the front page of the newspaper. Will these folks vote? This is the shocking truth about the Literacy Levels of American Adults."
http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Literacy/default.asp

Functionally literate, means in fact, they "can" read the front page of the newspaper. So much for educational inspiration..

This has been refreshing for me as well, a good change from the norm.

Lupis Noctum said...

Great series of posts guys, just have to toss in my two cents, adjusted for inflation...

When they fly from a TruBeliever's" mouth, words like "faith" are as greasy as the word "love" coming from the mouth of a chronic seducer. Both words have been so misused and abused that they've lost their pure meaning for most people.

One thing that I need to point out about faith is the very overlooked point that it must still be BASED on reality, as in the discussion about presumed causality. Because one has observed action A (throwing a ball at a wall) leading to reaction B (the ball bouncing off the wall) 100 times, the observer can have faith that the ball will probably do this the hundred and first time. He doesn't know for a fact that this will happen, but experience with putting his ball to the wall (sorry, couldn't resist) gives him faith in the laws of physics.

My point is, "faith" must be based on experience or other strong data. The Christian would tell you that even though he's never seen a ball OR a wall, he has absolute faith that the ball will in fact stick to the wall when tossed because he read about it in a book his mother gave him.

That's not faith. That's someone reading fiction, pretending it's a real fact, then shouting at anyone with contrary evidence that they're the ones lacking.

Faith comes from experience. If you have no data about something, you can't have faith.

And before the jesus freaks flame me, let me remind them that a book of fables is NOT experience or useful data.

Anonymous said...

I somehow stumbled across this discussion while doing a little background research on "The Brothers Karamazov"

If anyone would like a good read on logic vs. faith you should check it out

Sorry not joining any arguments at this time :P

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