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Author Topic: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand  (Read 20048 times)

Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #100 on: February 24, 2017, 10:19:54 PM »

I do have to wonder who or what created hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and phosphorus and the rest of the periodic table elements considering a carbon based form discovered and named them.

And they keep discovering newer ones as decades pass which suggests they don't know everything until they can point to it and name it. Who knows, there could be a whole other universe inside each periodic table element.

Scaling is a bitch when it comes to trying to explain everything with logic and math because as Albert Einstein indicated the bigger the theory being proven with mathematics, the more precise one has to be. But I wonder if that holds true with things smaller than the subatomic level.
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #101 on: February 24, 2017, 10:33:59 PM »


The molecules came from the bonding of various atoms, such as Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon and Phosphorous.

Now, if you can tell me precisely and specifically which complex RNA molecules you are referring to, I could attempt to identify their constituent atoms and trace their history throughout the previous billions of years, and try to identify which atomic explosion is associated with the formation of which atom. Okay!  ;D ;D

Joke aside, the following New Scientist article does a good job of explaining the issue for the non-specialist.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128251-300-first-life-the-search-for-the-first-replicator/

Ray, on that New Scientist site link did you find any respected and certified science journal or well established government scientific study sited for attribution to back up what the reporter Michael Marshall was writing about? I couldn't find any connection to verifiable and certified scientific studies to support what he wrote about. It's all .org, .com, etc.

In that site's "About Us" it indicates they're just a business information company. Relux Group. Here's a quote from their case studies page...

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New Scientist has a proven track record of developing innovative and creative campaigns that deliver high levels of reach for major international brands, which the New Scientist audience love engaging with.

Is this site afraid of copyright infringement on all those scientists that contributed to Marshall's reporting?
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Rob C

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #102 on: February 25, 2017, 06:45:46 AM »

I do have to wonder who or what created hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and phosphorus and the rest of the periodic table elements considering a carbon based form discovered and named them.

And they keep discovering newer ones as decades pass which suggests they don't know everything until they can point to it and name it. Who knows, there could be a whole other universe inside each periodic table element.

Scaling is a bitch when it comes to trying to explain everything with logic and math because as Albert Einstein indicated the bigger the theory being proven with mathematics, the more precise one has to be. But I wonder if that holds true with things smaller than the subatomic level.

Why ever not? Subatomic is only impressive to us because of our own placement within the infinite scale. You know, perspective... I could imagine an ant struggling with a molecule or two every day.

;-)

Rob

Chairman Bill

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #103 on: February 25, 2017, 07:36:21 AM »

... Even the people who wrote the bible knew that there was nothing before there was something.  Science calls it the Big Bang.  Whatever, nothing was there at first and yet was created.
Er, no. Seriously, if your knowledge of science is so poor, I'd suggest reading a good book or three (and I don't mean the fevered ramblings of Bronze Age goat-herders).

Rob C

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #104 on: February 25, 2017, 09:01:49 AM »

Er, no. Seriously, if your knowledge of science is so poor, I'd suggest reading a good book or three (and I don't mean the fevered ramblings of Bronze Age goat-herders).

Well, so much for the saints.

R.I.P.

Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #105 on: February 25, 2017, 02:22:02 PM »

Er, no. Seriously, if your knowledge of science is so poor, I'd suggest reading a good book or three (and I don't mean the fevered ramblings of Bronze Age goat-herders).

OK, you're the one with a degree in psychology? Am I right, Bill?

You couldn't come up with a more meaningful and informative answer than that? How about winning minds instead of arguments?
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Farmer

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #106 on: February 25, 2017, 05:07:03 PM »

I think, Tim, when you try to discuss something with something whose every response is "because God", it becomes impossibly tiresome very quickly.  When someone constantly asserts there is scientific proof of God, but presents none, it becomes impossibly tiresome very quickly.  When someone places the burden of proof of their God on you by saying, "prove He doesn't exist", it becomes impossibly tiresome very quickly.

It's basically sophistry, but that's probably being harsh on the sophists.  Those are the three pillars, absolutely inviolable and impregnable, upon which religion (not faith) rests its defence.  Appeal to authority/divine fallacy/argument from incredulity), false attribution, and argument from ignorance (folks should look that up before assuming the use of the term "ignorance" is some sort of personal attack - it isn't). 
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Phil Brown

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #107 on: February 25, 2017, 05:08:05 PM »

I think this thread went quite well considering its subject matter. Hell, we even got a physician and psychologist to offer their expertise and they didn't bill my health insurance.

Have you checked your mailbox? ;-)
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Phil Brown

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #108 on: February 25, 2017, 05:29:51 PM »

OK, you're the one with a degree in psychology? Am I right, Bill?

You couldn't come up with a more meaningful and informative answer than that? How about winning minds instead of arguments?

Maybe because I get a bit fed up with the misrepresentations of science (the universe sprang from nothing), in order to support superstition. If you don't know the science, don't argue about the science. The idea that a six day creation myth has scientific validity, is laughable at best, and frankly if proponents of such fanciful notions took the time to educate themselves about what science says, I wouldn't end up making terse comments born of frustration.

Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #109 on: February 25, 2017, 07:16:54 PM »

I think, Tim, when you try to discuss something with something whose every response is "because God", it becomes impossibly tiresome very quickly.  When someone constantly asserts there is scientific proof of God, but presents none, it becomes impossibly tiresome very quickly.  When someone places the burden of proof of their God on you by saying, "prove He doesn't exist", it becomes impossibly tiresome very quickly.

It's basically sophistry, but that's probably being harsh on the sophists.  Those are the three pillars, absolutely inviolable and impregnable, upon which religion (not faith) rests its defence.  Appeal to authority/divine fallacy/argument from incredulity), false attribution, and argument from ignorance (folks should look that up before assuming the use of the term "ignorance" is some sort of personal attack - it isn't).

That tiresomeness is understandable, Phil, which is why I don't engage with strangers who greet me with a "Do You Know Jesus" to avoid ruining a pleasant walk through my local hiking trail.

I don't believe the stories in the Bible were meant as an accurate historical document but more as a result of writing down thousands of years of a lot of word of mouth improvisational riffing off of inspired stories in order to take their mind off goat herding. Besides it's heavily edited anyway evidenced by all the left out chapters found on clay tablets and ancient papyrus by archeologists.

Thanks for that sophist comment. It cracked me up!  ;D
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #110 on: February 25, 2017, 07:31:07 PM »

Maybe because I get a bit fed up with the misrepresentations of science (the universe sprang from nothing), in order to support superstition. If you don't know the science, don't argue about the science. The idea that a six day creation myth has scientific validity, is laughable at best, and frankly if proponents of such fanciful notions took the time to educate themselves about what science says, I wouldn't end up making terse comments born of frustration.

That response restored my confidence in you, Bill. That's more like it.

I try not to focus on those that oppose the logic of science by reciting stories in the Bible. Rather I try to drum up some empathy on what it is about their life that makes them lean on their religion to win arguments. It gets to a point I don't want to push the issue because whatever they're getting out of their faith by believing in these stories as an accurate recording of history, I don't want to be a part of making them stumble. Some folks have a lot going on their head due to their past they'ld rather replace with these stories. I just say good luck with all that.

I'm going to expand my mind to explain how we got here with more challenging suppositions and speculations, but with a more scientific lean.
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N80

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #111 on: February 26, 2017, 06:28:09 PM »

OK. The Kalam Cosmological Argument (hereafter KCA), for those not up to speed on this aspect of supernaturalist apologetics, goes like this;

1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.

The first mistake is the assertion that the universe began to exist.

Not a mistake at all. There is no theory to date which provides a testable hypothesis outside of the big bang theory. I can easily find a handful of quotes from top contemporary physicists that will testify to this.

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The physics tells us that everything winds back to a point at which the science begins to break down, the so-called 'singularity' that preceded the cosmic expansion known as the Big Bang. Science can't reliably go back any further,

Exactly. Science has limits. There are things science can never tell us. Heisenberg asserted the same (even though he often hedged on the significance of his theory).

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There may have been an eternal process of expansion & contraction.

But you have already said that is unknowable. Why speculate about the unknowable when science, your gold standard, can say nothing about it? That is where you're argument falls apart on so many levels. You are now in the same realm as religion. Essentially you're assessment is that all of science points to a beginning, it can tell us no more, so we'll just assume that maybe there wasn't a beginning. That is not scientific. That is speculation based on nothing at all. It is supra-scientific so that point is utterly lost. You might as well claim that there might have been pixies, right?

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Because point 2 doesn't necessarily stand,

Nope. You have not defeated point number two in any universe. Point 2 only falls if you assume things outside of science. If you can speculate without science then so can a theist, right?

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Now, modern apologists like William Lane Craig, who put together the KCA, offers a proof of the second point, namely

Not even necessary since you cannot get past number two yourself with anything other than wild speculation unsupported by anything but imagination. So, sorry, start over with number two. And if you want to do so with credibility you'll have to do a lot better that "we can't know so anything goes".

At best we are at an impasse, your wild speculations (the universe always existed) verses a creator, which you will consider a wild speculation (and that's okay).

And so to the point, all the way back to your original response, you make fun of others for having a belief structure that is just as solid as yours.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 07:06:42 PM by N80 »
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #112 on: February 26, 2017, 07:46:00 PM »


George,
I think you've missed the point I was making.

I might have :)

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Such people tend to believe that an Intelligent Designer or Creator God is a more reasonable explanation.

I won't deny that such a view has some merit, but the flaw in that argument, based upon an unrealistically small degree of probability that life could have originally occurred by chance, is that it doesn't take into consideration the likelihood of the existence of trillions of planets in our universe which have similar environmental conditions to those that have existed on the earth.

I get that but I don't understand how it changes the probability of life having developed that way on earth. I'm terrible at statistics but I'm pretty sure it doesn't. It might change the probability of life arising spontaneously somewhere, but it does not change the probability that it happened here, where we know for sure there is life and have some ideas about the conditions under which it arose.

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Now, however remote one might think the chances of life spontaneously arising in a soupy sea might be, those chances should be multiplied by some huge figure,

But not until we know that there is actually life on one or more of those zillions of other celestial bodies. Until then it is still an assumption.

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Can you understand the logic of my argument?

Yes, but again, it is limited to the odds of it happening somewhere. It says nothing about the odds of it happening here. That's like saying that because someone blindly pulled 4 aces in a row out of a shuffled deck of cards in Cleveland that it is more likely to happen in another deck of cards in Miami.

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In case you don't, I'll use a simple analogy of playing roulette in a casino. However remote your chances of winning, if the chip you place on a number were simultaneously placed on a second roulette table for the same one-bet price (equivalent to a second planet with environmental conditions similar to the earth), you would increase your chances of winning, wouldn't you agree?

Yes, but that doesn't speak to your point. Placing bets on wheels 1 and 2 does not change the odds of my winning on wheel 1. And as of right now, we only know there is life on wheel one. So wheel 2 is irrelevant to what happened here on wheel 1. And even more so since the odds are still fairly remote for wheel 2-whatever.

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My point is, however remote one might think the chances are of life forming on one planet, in this instance the Earth, such chances increase in proportion to the number of Earth-like planets that exist in the universe.

Correct.

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Therefore, the reasoning that some people use, even some scientists apparently, that the chances of life spontaneously arising are too small for credibility, is now a flawed logic in the light of recent investigations that have discovered the actual existence of planets encircling other stars in our galaxy, and estimates of the massive number of planets that probably exist in the entire universe with its trillions of galaxies. Got it?  ;)

Well, again, the existence of multiple roulette wheels does not change the odds of wheel number one landing on the number 7 a thousand times in a row even if it happened on every other roulette wheel in the universe. The only thing this speaks to is that the existence of potentially life containing planets increases the odds that life could arise spontaneously. It doesn't change the odds for any given planet.

And even if your point were true, and life arose here without the intervention of a creator, it still does not disprove that one exists. It only proves he did not create life. Here. This would be contrary to Judeo-Christian belief but not theistic belief in general. And it has been part and parcel of the materialist to say: "We have thought of ways this can happen without God, so there is no God." This is possibly the biggest flaw in all of their arguments and it is thoroughly illogical.

But finally, as I've mentioned, my original proposition is NOT that there is a god. My proposition is that we do not have sufficient evidence to refute the existence of a being that probably 3/4 of the world's population believes exists. I'm not trying to convince you that god exists. I'm essentially saying that people who believe in a deity have warrant for their beliefs. I also believe that warrant extends beyond the idea of 'pixies' and such (as invoked by Bill) which is at least bourn out by the fact that the idea of a creator god permeates most of the planet's inhabitants and the idea of pixies does not.

And for goodness sakes, even if those of us who believe that maybe something exists beyond our five senses and the machines that enhance them, and we do actually believe that something is pixies, what sort of restraint does it take to not belittle them in the name of a science which cannot disprove their belief not matter how bizarre it is anyway?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 07:51:06 PM by N80 »
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #113 on: February 26, 2017, 08:07:06 PM »

It is not a religious statement, it is a hypothesis for which he sees much justification. It is certainly not provable at this stage of our knowledge.

Call it whatever you want but you have set up a double standard. I could apply the same thing to the existence of God. As mentioned before, many great scientists other than Hawking see and have seen "much justification" for the existence of God, also "certainly not provable at this stage."

And that's the issue. There is a double standard. How can we acknowledge the limits of science, speculate without testable evidence that the universe created itself and then say our beliefs are superior to someone who finds with the same level of justification for the existence of a creative force.

Which brings up another point. If the universe "created" itself as Hawking speculates, then the universe is the creator. Some might call it the Creator.

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If in the case of a specific religion we can show that it was entirely created by a man for his own selfish purposes, then that is a good reason to discount it as genuine.

But you can't show that with all religion. You can speculate about it, but you cannot prove it. You might even show that it is probable. But you cannot prove it. And again it is a logical fallacy that says since I have an explanation it is the explanation.

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I can think of religions which were clearly man made, and therefore fake,

I suspect you'd have to resort to a great deal of speculation and probably weak social science to do so. Maybe not. But still, beside the point. If we could prove beyond any shadow of doubt that every religion was just a psychological crutch, that would not provide any evidence that there is no god.

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but I will not specify them as I do not wish to offend any believers in those religions, at least not in these forums.

You are kinder than some and probable more than I am.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 08:11:43 PM by N80 »
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #114 on: February 26, 2017, 08:28:02 PM »

But finally, as I've mentioned, my original proposition is NOT that there is a god. My proposition is that we do not have sufficient evidence to refute the existence of a being that probably 3/4 of the world's population believes exists. I'm not trying to convince you that god exists. I'm essentially saying that people who believe in a deity have warrant for their beliefs. does it take to not belittle them in the name of a science which cannot disprove their belief not matter how bizarre it is anyway?[/i]

Divine fallacy / non sequitur.  There is no need to prove that something does not exist when no one can prove that it does.  The burden of proof is on proving existence.  That 3/4 of the world's population believe in something has no bearing on anything.  Belief is not proof nor even reason to follow suit in similar belief (of the 3/4 who believe in something, almost all of them disagree in significant ways even though may of them believe that they are reading the very words given or inspired by their God(s)).

So it boils down again to "because God", which is an entirely fallacious argument, completely circular, and utterly pointless.  If you want to actually discuss this, George, you need to do better than that - but you can't, because all arguments in favour of the existence of God ultimately resort to "because God".  If God were divine and His purpose made known, you'd think He'd do better and provide His followers with the capacity to provide a logical argument in support.
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Phil Brown

sierraman

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #115 on: February 26, 2017, 09:24:07 PM »

Why argue about it. I understand everyone here has a reason for believing or not believing, and those beliefs should be
respected. The fact is each one of us will get the definitive answer sooner or later.   :)
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Farmer

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #116 on: February 26, 2017, 09:56:26 PM »

Why do I have to respect all beliefs?

I don't respect the KKK, for example.
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Phil Brown

sierraman

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #117 on: February 26, 2017, 11:45:17 PM »

Why do I have to respect all beliefs?

I don't respect the KKK, for example.

Who said you had to respect "all" beliefs? Weird!   :)
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Ray

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #118 on: February 27, 2017, 12:04:44 AM »

Well, again, the existence of multiple roulette wheels does not change the odds of wheel number one landing on the number 7 a thousand times in a row even if it happened on every other roulette wheel in the universe. The only thing this speaks to is that the existence of potentially life containing planets increases the odds that life could arise spontaneously. It doesn't change the odds for any given planet.

Absolutely correct. But I get a sense you have some anthropocentric fixation on our planet, Earth, as being special. It might well be special if it's the only planet in a trillion, or one hundred trillion similar planets in the universe, that has spontaneously developed life. But no-one can know that, at present.

However, if you are betting on a roulette wheel, and you are offered the advantage of the same bet being placed on another hundred, or thousand, or million roulette wheels, with no extra cost, are you really concerned about which roulette wheel gives you the winning number? Does it matter at all? You've won. That's the point.

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And even if your point were true, and life arose here without the intervention of a creator, it still does not disprove that one exists. It only proves he did not create life. Here. This would be contrary to Judeo-Christian belief but not theistic belief in general. And it has been part and parcel of the materialist to say: "We have thought of ways this can happen without God, so there is no God." This is possibly the biggest flaw in all of their arguments and it is thoroughly illogical.

I think here, you are falling into the trap that I've observed most religious believers are in. Because they have a belief in something (a God), despite a lack of clear evidence which could substantiate such a belief, they assume that an atheist has an opposite belief that a God does not exist, because of a lack of clear evidence that a God does not exist.

Here is the source of the confusion. In fact, I have the impression that many small dictionaries describe atheism as a belief that there is no God. Perhaps this is just a typical confusion of common, vernacular language, but from my own perspective, I see atheism as a lack of belief; a lack of belief in 'theism' or a God.

There is a very clear distinction between a lack of belief and a belief. Perhaps the problem here is that those who have a belief in a God, which they need emotionally, and which motivates perhaps most of their activities on this planet, cannot imagine how someone could function without a belief. Such people therefore assume that someone who professes a lack of belief, must actually have a belief in the 'lack of'. Hope this is not too confusing for you.

Whilst most scientist, and people with an appreciation of the benefits of scientific inquiry, might have a so-called belief in the effectiveness of rationality, logic and the scientific methodology, the effects and consequences of such beliefs are intrinsically provisional and are subject to continual change in accordance with new evidence that comes to light.

Religious beliefs, on the other hand, tend to be dogmatic and inflexible. Personally, I prefer to believe (provisionally) in things that can be proved or disproved, rather than things which can be neither proved nor disproved.

I'm still getting the sense, George, that you are failing to distinguish between a belief in things that can be proved, as opposed to a belief in things which cannot be proved. These are two entirely different categories.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 04:45:32 AM by Ray »
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Farmer

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #119 on: February 27, 2017, 01:22:50 AM »

Who said you had to respect "all" beliefs? Weird!   :)

You said everyone here.  Of course, that's not everyone and all.  My point, though, is that the general claim of "you should respect others beliefs" is unfounded in reason.  Why should, therefore, "I understand everyone here has a reason for believing or not believing, and those beliefs should be respected" be held as a requirement?  Why should I respect everyone else's beliefs here?  Why should they respect mine?  I used an extreme example, but where is it OK to draw the line as to what's mandatory to respect and what's not?  I don't think it holds water.  I may choose to respect other's beliefs, but why should I?  What legitimately compels me to that respect and why?
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Phil Brown
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