The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX

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Re: The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX

Post by XAtheistXX » Fri May 08, 2009 12:25 am

"The proposition that religious belief is rationally warranted. That doesn't necessitate proving God exists, jut proving that it's rational to believe in God."
I'd argue that it's not rational because of all the facts I showed earlier [including other things too of course].
"It's not a scientific subject so it has to be approached through other means, namely, philosophy, logic, reason, personal experince. Aboslute proof is not possible, the next best thing is that belief is rationally warranted."
Here, I disagree with alot of people. I think the idea of God is a scientific question. First, because according to many theists there are things that are supposed to happen in the world if God were real that just don't happen, like consistent answer to prayer, less evil, pain and suffering.

Second, one would think there would be undeniable evidence of such a being, but there isn't. There have been so many questions answered that have filled a gap in our knowledge that was previously filled by God. The most rational answer is that there is no God of any kind.
"That doesn't prove that religious experince can be reduced to just stimulating the brain. What's really going on in that stimulation is to open receptors to God's activity.

God created us as sentient beings. that means we have to communicate through the brain. So if God wants to give us a hint that he's there he has to use brain chemistry. That's no different than saying "if God wants to talk to us he speak into your ears."
I think the evidence points to the conclusion that religious experiences are, if not completely caused by the brain, it's a very very large reason for them. I know that alot of religious people like to think that God put this belief in his creations but I don't agree with that because the stimulation of the brain causes so many different illusory experiences, I think God is just another one of those experiences. I think this is the case even more since there isn't any evidence for any God anywhere else. Like I said, if God truly put this God part of the brain in us then why the huge variety of experiences and other gods?

You say that you're only out to argue that religious belief is rational and not to prove your Christian God but it seems that by admitting there can be no absolute evidence/proof of the Christian God that you're also implying that other gods could also be real, thus undermining your Christian beliefs because you might not be believing in the correct god. If other gods might be real how do you know you're believing the right religion?
"I want you to give me some documentation. I can demonstrate that those experiences are not proved to be valid religious experinces. But even if they were, this is nothing more than the innate sense of God that God himself put "on our hearts" so we would seek him. It proves nothing about the truth of God or the lack of God.

We experince God at the subliminal (mystical) level. Beyond words and images. when we load these experinces into language, we have to filter them through cultural constructs and this is what makes religions different. So they all reflect the same reality behind the constructs, but they are all tented by the cultures in which they are found."
So you're saying that all religions worship the same god it's just that they're confused and don't realize that the actual god is the Christian God?

That's an interesting idea but if that was the case why do so many people have such a variety of beliefs about the Christian God then? You could say they're confused but I honestly don't think that answers anything. I think you could call a person confused if they got a few details wrong about the Christian God but many cultures have completely different and incompatible beliefs. Their idea of their god is so different from the Christian God that I don't see how they could possibly be worshiping the same being. For example, some cultures have no creation story, some believe in a completely evil god, etc. That doesn't sound like the Christian God according to Christians.

How can you prove those experiences were not real? The exact same experiences that people have were reproduced when their brain was stimulated. Also, how can you prove that someone's experience wasn't the same if they hear or feel the exact same things as someone else? What would be different about it?

As for documentation, what do you mean? I gave those two link. There are also some books on the subject. One example is called "THE "GOD" PART OF THE BRAIN: A Scientific Interpretation of Human Spirituality and God" by Matthew Alper.
"Quite the contrary. While that may not be the acid test of truth, it has always been seen a sign of truth content. We see this many areas:

(1) the theory of trouble shooting says try different approaches and see if it works, so there you have the idea that working is a sign of veracity.

(2) How do we know that science is true? What's the one test that we use to know that science is telling us the true picture? If it works. If it does what it is suppossed to do then it works. That is understood as "we know its true."

for example how do we know evolution is true? Because we can find evdience to demonstrate our predictions. So if the predictions work, (ie they do what they are suppossed to do) then they are true.

Religion is suppose to transform our lives. that's it's main function. That itslef could be an argument. I may add that to list of god arguments."
I see what you're saying but I don't think religion transforms that many people to make that kind of claim. Yes, religion does sometimes cause people to do some good things, but they can also cause mental anguish from the constant fear of hell, even religious people have troubled lives, and harm people, etc. So, according to you because religion is responsible for some good things it might be true. But I argue that religion has probably done more harm than good and so would that mean, by your own argument, that religion could be false?
"that's not religious experince. That's the result of some religious sub culture and the doctrines they go by, it is not an example of religious experince of the sort I'm talking about. I didn't say you can't find screw up religious groups. But "mystical" or religious experince, the sort that created religion and that gives us the presence of God and keeps religion going has no deleterious effects."
No it's not an example of a religious experience, but I was trying to show that religion does not always have good effects.
"Christian science is not Christian. Its' a heretical sect. But remember now. we are no debating Christianity but religion in general. Christian science is not indicative of religious experience."
Why do you say this? How do you know it's a heretical sect? Just because a particular religious system doesn't agree with yours doesn't mean it's any more true, or false than yours, or someone else's.
"you can't prove it causes it. That may be a weak corroboration it's not a tight enough one to make causal connections.

The studies that I talk about demonstrate that those who have actual religious experiences are actually better about such things, less violent, greater social consciousness, and so on. That is directly refuted by my studies."
Why can't I prove religion belief causes harm? I've read direct quotes of religious people doing horrible or immoral things precisely because of their beliefs.

Two examples:

A christian pharmacist in Texas refused to fill a rape victim's prescription for the morning-after pill. This pharmacist was quoted as saying, "I went in the back room and briefly prayed about it...I actually called my pastor...and asked him what he thought about it" (pages 155-156 of Kingdom Coming).

Many religious people have said it explicitly that the reason they detest homosexuals is because of their religious beliefs.

There are also studies that show that religious people aren't always more moral. For example:

In 1975, Ronald Smith, Gregory Wheeler, and Edward Diener discovered that college-aged students in religious schools were no less likely to cheat on a test than their atheist and agnostic counterparts in nonreligious schools.

In 1969, sociologists Travis Hirschi and Rodney Stark reported no difference in the self-reported likelihood to commit crimes between children who attended church regularly and those who did not.

In 1934, Abraham Franzblau found a negative correlation between acceptance of religious beliefs and three different measures of honesty. As religiosity increased, honesty decreased.

In 1950, Murray Ross conducted a survey among 2,000 associates of the YMCA and discovered that agnostics and atheists were more likely to express their willingness to aid the poor than those who rated themselves as deeply religious.

"that's beside the point. First of all if they were just in someone's head how can they change people's lives and make them better? It's clear some actual experince has happened.It's proved by brain waves, the effects on the people and a lot things.

More importantly, my argument says that we do not have an real evdience at the epistemological level. All we can do is make judgments, we can't know reality really is. We make those judgements based upon our experinces, if they are regular, constant and shared. the studies show RE (religious experience) is regular, consistent and shared.

Since RE fits the criteria we use to make judgments about reality we should be able to trust it and use it as guide to what is real."
I don't understand why you think that just because religious experiences are just in someone's head they can't change peoples' lives. Why couldn't they? People feel emotions, have different thoughts that cause them to act in certain ways, why not the same for religious beliefs? For example, a person can feel sympathy for someone (that's just in someone's head; a chemical reaction) but it causes people to act.

So you're saying we can trust experiences if they are regular, consistent, and shared?

I would disagree because just because many people share experiences that doesn't make them real. There are such things as group delusions. As far as religious beliefs go, I wouldn't say they are consistent because of the great variety of beliefs, not only about religion itself but the object of worship, ie. God, or some other idol or being.
"I am saying we can't do without this over arking principle. All people have them, we can't even talk without because language is based upon it. I call "organizing principals." science is based upon it. Since it's impossible to get by without it there must be one.

Derrida said God is the essential TS. In other words all the other organizing principles point to God as the ultimate organizing principle."
I agree that first principles are important but I don't agree that a God needs to be THE organizing principle. Again, the reason is because there isn't any evidence for God so how can God be a first principle? Before one can make use of a first principle that object must be proven to exist, but you have even admitted that God cannot be proven so I'd say that's a pretty shaky first principle.

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Re: The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX

Post by Metacrock » Fri May 08, 2009 11:40 am

XAtheistXX wrote:
"The proposition that religious belief is rationally warranted. That doesn't necessitate proving God exists, jut proving that it's rational to believe in God."
I'd argue that it's not rational because of all the facts I showed earlier [including other things too of course].

you did not show any facts that would lead to the conclusion that there is no God or religion in general is bad. All you show is that under circumstances some religious belief are wrong headed or lead to bad conclusions. That is not an indictment, and besides I have 350 studies that show you are wrong, they disprove your evidence.


Meta:"It's not a scientific subject so it has to be approached through other means, namely, philosophy, logic, reason, personal experince. Aboslute proof is not possible, the next best thing is that belief is rationally warranted."
XAXHere, I disagree with alot of people. I think the idea of God is a scientific question. First, because according to many theists there are things that are supposed to happen in the world if God were real that just don't happen, like consistent answer to prayer, less evil, pain and suffering.
this is what logicians call "begging he question." it's only opinion there is no consistent answer to prayer. "Consistent" doesn't have to mean every single prayer is answered the way you want it to be. But if you understand God's principles you can look at the pattern of your life and see that the answers in consistent with the principles. But, that's not an issue here because that is not what makes God not a scientific issue. It doesn't make God a scientific issue. Deciding about prayer is not a scientific question because not empirically verifiable.

God is an existential issue. that means it's a matter of understanding the nature of existence and your place in it, not asserting objective scientific facts. God is beyond our understanding and is Beyond empirical knowledge.

The problem is atheists put science in place of God. They think science is the only valid form of knowledge. ITs' not. When they do that they are making a metaphysical assumption.


I'll have to get back to this latter. don't answer anything more until I get back, ok? so we can keep our stuff in organized fashion. I'll get to it tonight.
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Re: The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX

Post by XAtheistXX » Fri May 08, 2009 3:09 pm

you did not show any facts that would lead to the conclusion that there is no God or religion in general is bad. All you show is that under circumstances some religious belief are wrong headed or lead to bad conclusions. That is not an indictment, and besides I have 350 studies that show you are wrong, they disprove your evidence.
Regardless if religion is good or bad, like I said, I'm mostly interested in debating the truth of God. But I think that studies can often be biased and I don't think they prove very much because I've read many studies that show that non belief is healthy for people and I've also read that religion can be good. I've seen more studies than what I presented that religion causes harm but that is not my goal to prove religion good or bad but whether or not it's true. Because of the many conflicting studies I don't see how holding up study after study proves much because I could gather just as many studies that show religion is bad. But even if I was wrong about that, it doesn't make religion true. For example, I could believe with all my might that my Grandma did not die and it might make me feel happy but that doesn't mean it's true. The same with religion.
this is what logicians call "begging he question." it's only opinion there is no consistent answer to prayer. "Consistent" doesn't have to mean every single prayer is answered the way you want it to be. But if you understand God's principles you can look at the pattern of your life and see that the answers in consistent with the principles. But, that's not an issue here because that is not what makes God not a scientific issue. It doesn't make God a scientific issue. Deciding about prayer is not a scientific question because not empirically verifiable.

God is an existential issue. that means it's a matter of understanding the nature of existence and your place in it, not asserting objective scientific facts. God is beyond our understanding and is Beyond empirical knowledge.

The problem is atheists put science in place of God. They think science is the only valid form of knowledge. ITs' not. When they do that they are making a metaphysical assumption.
Actually there are scientific studies that prove prayer does not work. It's not begging the question. These studies were done with a proper control group so I would consider them to be more accurate than many others I've read. One such experiement was reported in the December of 2000 Southern Medical Journal where patients with rheumatoid arthritis would be prayed for, both in person, and afar. The results were that the in person prayers "showed significant overall improvement during [their] 1 - year follow up", while the prayers from separate locations had no effect whatsoever.

You might now argue that prayer did help when the person praying was in the same room as the patient but I'd argue this is simply a case of the placebo effect. This effect can sometimes be very powerful. Studies have shown that placebos ["sugar pills" for example] in about 35 percent of cases can provide benefits to people who are in pain

- Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking, by Thomas Kida, page 59

Here is another study:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/n ... cation=rss

Finally I'll just list one more.

This study was reported in the American Heart Journal, from April of 2006 and was funded by the Templeton Foundation. The experiment, took a total of 1,802 patients from six different hospitals. Prayers were delivered from three churches, one located in Minnesota, one in Massachusetts, and the other in Missouri. All the patients had received coronary bypass surgery, and were divided into three groups: Group 1 received prayers and didn't know it. Group 2 (the control group) received no prayers and didn't know it. Group 3 received prayers and did know it. The comparison between groups 1 and 2 tests for the efficacy of intercessory prayer, while group 3 tests for possible psychosomatic effects of knowing that one is being prayed for.

The results were clear-cut. There was no difference between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not. There was a difference, however, in the third group, who knew they were being prayed for. They suffered significantly more complications then the other groups. The experimenters explained it as being a result from the stress, or 'performance anxiety,' from having the knowledge that they were being prayed for.

- The god Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, page 63

I would also like to argue that placing science ahead of God isn't a "metaphysical assumption" but is just because there is no evidence for God. You haven't provided any evidence for God in our discussion. I know you said you think that God can't be proven absolutely, but like I said before, if that's the case then how can you use God as a first principle? You can't. You've got to use what you know for sure and in this case that's the natural world.

I will gladly respect your wishes and not say any more.

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Re: The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX

Post by Metacrock » Fri May 08, 2009 4:02 pm

I asked you not to answer anything until I got back and finished your previous post. O well no matter.


Second, one would think there would be undeniable evidence of such a being, but there isn't. There have been so many questions answered that have filled a gap in our knowledge that was previously filled by God. The most rational answer is that there is no God of any kind.
Why would one think there would be undeniable evidence? you are arguing a straw man argument. you are assuming belief has to be a certain way. a way you have worked out answers to and your not even trying to deal with real beliefs that people really have. There is no particular reason why one think there would be an undeniable proof. But that depends entirely upon the nature of the belief system.

Besides that My version of free will defense theory demonstrates why God would not want to give us an undeniable proof:

http://www.doxa.ws/Theology/Theodicy1.html

"That doesn't prove that religious experince can be reduced to just stimulating the brain. What's really going on in that stimulation is to open receptors to God's activity.

God created us as sentient beings. that means we have to communicate through the brain. So if God wants to give us a hint that he's there he has to use brain chemistry. That's no different than saying "if God wants to talk to us he speak into your ears."
I think the evidence points to the conclusion that religious experiences are, if not completely caused by the brain, it's a very very large reason for them.
No. I disproved that. you have not answered my argument:

(1) the experinces induced are not proved to be valid religious experiences, they just lining up wired experinces with religious imagery in relation to the stimulus.

(2) God has to communicate with us through the natural set up or we would not understand. IF he wants us to hear him speak audibly he has to give us ears. He wants to speak to our minds he has to use neural transmitters. All that is proved is that neural transmitters open our minds to some sort of divine reception. that Does not prove that entirely rooted in the naturalistic set up.
I know that alot of religious people like to think that God put this belief in his creations but I don't agree with that because the stimulation of the brain causes so many different illusory experiences, I think God is just another one of those experiences. I think this is the case even more since there isn't any evidence for any God anywhere else. Like I said, if God truly put this God part of the brain in us then why the huge variety of experiences and other gods?

Obvious there is since I've given two arguments (I have 42) and they are not related.

the argument I given here is good enough. You are not even addressed the issue upon which the argument turns:

RE fits the basic criteria by which we test reality. Therefore, it should be trusted as real in terms of its content.
You say that you're only out to argue that religious belief is rational and not to prove your Christian God but it seems that by admitting there can be no absolute evidence/proof of the Christian God that you're also implying that other gods could also be real, thus undermining your Christian beliefs because you might not be believing in the correct god. If other gods might be real how do you know you're believing the right religion?
you have to understand the basic concept of the Christian God. Most people don't know what that is. They think the image of a big man on a throne is the christian idea of God becasue that's what they see in the Bible. But that's a primitive image which is a metaphor it's not even the whole picture of God in the Bible. The God of the Bible is being itself (Exodus 3;11) beyond understanding, not a man not a king or a father figure, beyond anything we can comprehend, the basis of all reality.

Philosopher Spinoza Argues that any three sided object where the three sides are placed at right angels to each other is a triangle. So you can't ask "which triangle." An individual drawing of a Triangle is just a reference to the one universal triangle. That is analogy for God. There can be only one God. God is whatever is universally the foundation of all being. There can be only one being itself. There can't be two that would be like saying there are things both of which are "the one unique thing that can't be imitated."

The basic attributes of God:

eternal
necessary
first cause
ground of being.

all of these are unique and cannot be multiplied. Thus there can be only one God. There is not a Christian God and Muslim God and so on. There is and can be only one. So the only question is "which idea about God is true," not which God is true.
Meta:"I want you to give me some documentation. I can demonstrate that those experiences are not proved to be valid religious experinces. But even if they were, this is nothing more than the innate sense of God that God himself put "on our hearts" so we would seek him. It proves nothing about the truth of God or the lack of God.

We experince God at the subliminal (mystical) level. Beyond words and images. when we load these experinces into language, we have to filter them through cultural constructs and this is what makes religions different. So they all reflect the same reality behind the constructs, but they are all tented by the cultures in which they are found."
XAXSo you're saying that all religions worship the same god it's just that they're confused and don't realize that the actual god is the Christian God?
Basically.
XAXThat's an interesting idea but if that was the case why do so many people have such a variety of beliefs about the Christian God then? You could say they're confused but I honestly don't think that answers anything. I think you could call a person confused if they got a few details wrong about the Christian God but many cultures have completely different and incompatible beliefs. Their idea of their god is so different from the Christian God that I don't see how they could possibly be worshiping the same being. For example, some cultures have no creation story, some believe in a completely evil god, etc. That doesn't sound like the Christian God according to Christians.

We are all confused. God is beyond our understanding. WE can't speak of God from direct knowledge. The direct knowledge we have is beyond words. We can only speak in metaphors that point to experience that have to experienced and not transmitted din any description.

It's not such much that one group is more confused than another but that we have to load these experinces into cultural constructs. That means symbols form culture that are meaningful and that suggest a range of ideas and concepts that come to us from cultural associations.

It doesn't make any difference what ceremonies people have. Those are just tools for mediating experience. The experinces that are mediated are all the same. So the trappings are different but the outcomes are much the same. That's proved through studies. There is an instrument called "the M scale" that has been developed by Ralph Hood Jr. AT U Tennessee Chattanooga. He teaches psychology of religion. He has demonstrated through cross cultural validation of his technique that the experinces are all the same, even though the ideas about them are different. So if you the names out and just go by the descriptions and the results the religions are all the same.

The one proviso I place on that (as a Christian) is that Jesus is different and unique but only in the sense that he was a historical figure.

How can you prove those experiences were not real? The exact same experiences that people have were reproduced when their brain was stimulated.

No I've already disprove that. It's from John Hick's book on Science and Religion. The people int he studies done by Ramerchandren and Newberg and the others were not subjected to the M scale. They were not validated as real religious experinces. They are only going by similarities due to imagery recorded but not to the actual effects of the experince.



Also, how can you prove that someone's experience wasn't the same if they hear or feel the exact same things as someone else? What would be different about it?
They don't feel the same things. There are two kinds of studies here. Studies that try to test for a "god part of the brain" and M scale studies of mystical experince. The Mystical experince studies are validated by the M scale which is proved and has been adopted as the major mythology by all psychology of religion people.

the other guys are not trying to test the veracity of the religious experinces. They are just assuming that if the subject thinks of the word "God" then the part of the brain that governs thoughts about God will fire and that's all they test for. They do not compare the kinds of experinces that were had to determine if they stack up to the M scale.

btw when I say the M scale is validated cross culturally, what I mean by that is first they make a typology of mystical experinces from all the studies that have been done before that. They compare and draw up a standard. they design a study that uses that data, then test it by administering it in a whole bunch of places: India, Iran, Sweden, the US, the UK and so on. They compare results and find that the effects are the same and the descriptions are the same.

But the guys who are trying to find a God gene or a God part of the brain are not looking for the quality of mystical expression to see if the subject has a had a real mystical experince, all the do is assume that if the subject is talking about God the God part of the brain would be firing.

you can find the Documentation for that in Hick's book (John Hick):

The New Frontier of Religion and Science: Religious Experience, Neuroscience and the Transcendent
published Nov. 2006. £18.99. Available on Amazon.co.uk.


As for documentation, what do you mean? I gave those two link. There are also some books on the subject. One example is called "THE "GOD" PART OF THE BRAIN: A Scientific Interpretation of Human Spirituality and God" by Matthew Alper.
[/quote]

Alper is not qualified and his book is terrible. I've read it in fact I use it in my book as an example of a crummy approach. He's not a scientist he has no credentials. He was a grade school teacher and at one point he smuggled trucks. The subject is a lot more complex than makes it out to be.

you should read Anderew Newberg Why God wont Go Away., although its more written for a popular audience and ;Alper is using a style that is calculated to sound scientific so he actually sounds more official than Newberg. Newberg is way more qualified. Newberg was a pioneer in the field. He argues that there is a God gene (which I think is easily proven not to be proved at this time) but he also argues that God had to put it there and he says there is no reason to draw the conclusion form any the scientific data that this in any way beats religious experience.

The real issues that emerge from that field are (1) is it a gene or a Spandrel? (2) is it only naturalistic or just the naturalistic process that God created to draw people to him?
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Re: The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX

Post by Metacrock » Fri May 08, 2009 4:33 pm

Meta:"Quite the contrary. While that may not be the acid test of truth, it has always been seen a sign of truth content. We see this many areas:

(1) the theory of trouble shooting says try different approaches and see if it works, so there you have the idea that working is a sign of veracity.

(2) How do we know that science is true? What's the one test that we use to know that science is telling us the true picture? If it works. If it does what it is suppossed to do then it works. That is understood as "we know its true."

for example how do we know evolution is true? Because we can find evdience to demonstrate our predictions. So if the predictions work, (ie they do what they are suppossed to do) then they are true.

Religion is suppose to transform our lives. that's it's main function. That itslef could be an argument. I may add that to list of god arguments."
XAX:I see what you're saying but I don't think religion transforms that many people to make that kind of claim. Yes, religion does sometimes cause people to do some good things, but they can also cause mental anguish from the constant fear of hell, even religious people have troubled lives, and harm people, etc. So, according to you because religion is responsible for some good things it might be true. But I argue that religion has probably done more harm than good and so would that mean, by your own argument, that religion could be false?

Sorry, those are prejudices, not facts, and they are disproved byt he 350 studies that I keep talking about. That was what I documented in my open observation. This vast body of scientific word disproves all the prejudicial opinion that you just echoed.

(1) The indicidence frate for mystical experince is as high as 1 in 4.

(2) the 350 studies prove that people who have mystical expeinces have a much higher level of self actualization than those who do not.

(3) Some small group feel anguish, but that is probably guilt due to sin rather than any ill effect of being religious. the bs that religion makes people go insane from guilt and makes you unhappy and stupid and kill mass groups of people and all that is just a bunk. There's ample disproof. I've given a bit of it already.

Meta:"that's not religious experince. That's the result of some religious sub culture and the doctrines they go by, it is not an example of religious experince of the sort I'm talking about. I didn't say you can't find screw up religious groups. But "mystical" or religious experince, the sort that created religion and that gives us the presence of God and keeps religion going has no deleterious effects."
XAX:No it's not an example of a religious experience, but I was trying to show that religion does not always have good effects.
you can't count that as an effect of religion. It's a subset, it's a certain take on religion. There are plenty of religious people who don't experince such things.
Meta:"Christian science is not Christian. Its' a heretical sect. But remember now. we are no debating Christianity but religion in general. Christian science is not indicative of religious experience."
XAXWhy do you say this? How do you know it's a heretical sect? Just because a particular religious system doesn't agree with yours doesn't mean it's any more true, or false than yours, or someone else's.
Christianity is a club, it has definite rules for Joining. the Christian science group has been ostracized from fellowship with all other orthodox factions of Christianity for violating those rules of doctirne set forth in the creeds which function as the official guidelines for true Christian teaching. It's not just a whim, there's a bonifiede list of guidelines which are supposedly handed down form the Apostles and have been attested to by the church councils. So its' a definable set of parameters.






Meta"you can't prove it causes it. That may be a weak corroboration it's not a tight enough one to make causal connections.

The studies that I talk about demonstrate that those who have actual religious experiences are actually better about such things, less violent, greater social consciousness, and so on. That is directly refuted by my studies."
XAX:Why can't I prove religion belief causes harm? I've read direct quotes of religious people doing horrible or immoral things precisely because of their beliefs.
prove that their belief caused it and that they were just anomaly based upon those particular people's psyches. Look,I can show that atheists murdered 100 million people since 1917. that's how many people communists governments killed. So why can't we argue that communism is atheist, therefore, atheism causes mass murder? same logic.


Two examples:

A christian pharmacist in Texas refused to fill a rape victim's prescription for the morning-after pill. This pharmacist was quoted as saying, "I went in the back room and briefly prayed about it...I actually called my pastor...and asked him what he thought about it" (pages 155-156 of Kingdom Coming).

But that is not endemic to religion itself. that's just the result of one religious person's training. Ok the training is from country hicks. I live in Texas, I know the type. So it's just a subset of the whole. You can't blame the thing of religious itself for the anomaly of a subset. So some people have bad religious ideas. that doesn't mean all religion gives you bad ideas.

That is guilt by association. Do you know that that is? In logic its called "an informal fallacy." That means it's fallacious reasoning. You are using guilt by association.
Many religious people have said it explicitly that the reason they detest homosexuals is because of their religious beliefs.
there are gay people who are religious.
There are also studies that show that religious people aren't always more moral. For example:

In 1975, Ronald Smith, Gregory Wheeler, and Edward Diener discovered that college-aged students in religious schools were no less likely to cheat on a test than their atheist and agnostic counterparts in nonreligious schools.
so what? that doesn't have any bearing on the issue. You can't think this disproves the existence of God do you? Nothing in any of that negates the arguments I've made.

(1) Religious experince meets the criteria of epistemic judgment so we should be able to trust it as a guide to reality and thus we can credit the content of religious princesses.

(2) All human thought requires the assumption of an organizing principle to make thinking coherent, we can't even have language without it. This pionts up the idea that there must be an organizing principle such as the Transcendental signifier and that' is a good reason to believe in God.

None of the things you say contradict either of these ideas. my argument demonstrate that it is ratinoal to belief. if there are other aspects of religious belief that are not as rational for some people that in no way undermines the fact that for these two reasons belief is ratinoal. All means is one should be more care about filling out one's beliefs.

In 1969, sociologists Travis Hirschi and Rodney Stark reported no difference in the self-reported likelihood to commit crimes between children who attended church regularly and those who did not.

In 1934, Abraham Franzblau found a negative correlation between acceptance of religious beliefs and three different measures of honesty. As religiosity increased, honesty decreased.

In 1950, Murray Ross conducted a survey among 2,000 associates of the YMCA and discovered that agnostics and atheists were more likely to express their willingness to aid the poor than those who rated themselves as deeply religious.

But I did not argue morality as a basis for belief in God. So showing that belief in God doesn't make people more moral can't be used as a counter to my arguments. So what if religion doesn't make people more moral? So what? that doesn't disprove God. It merely means morality i not one of the major reasons to beileve in God.



Meta:"that's beside the point. First of all if they were just in someone's head how can they change people's lives and make them better? It's clear some actual experince has happened.It's proved by brain waves, the effects on the people and a lot things.

More importantly, my argument says that we do not have an real evdience at the epistemological level. All we can do is make judgments, we can't know reality really is. We make those judgements based upon our experinces, if they are regular, constant and shared. the studies show RE (religious experience) is regular, consistent and shared.

Since RE fits the criteria we use to make judgments about reality we should be able to trust it and use it as guide to what is real."
XAX I don't understand why you think that just because religious experiences are just in someone's head they can't change peoples' lives. Why couldn't they? People feel emotions, have different thoughts that cause them to act in certain ways, why not the same for religious beliefs? For example, a person can feel sympathy for someone (that's just in someone's head; a chemical reaction) but it causes people to act.
Obviously they are in people's heads, all experinces are. you stated something to the effect that they are only in people's heads. I'm saying the evidence indicates the effects of the experience are real, so we can trust that the content is real. Its' more than just in the head.

So you're saying we can trust experiences if they are regular, consistent, and shared?
XAXI would disagree because just because many people share experiences that doesn't make them real. There are such things as group delusions. As far as religious beliefs go, I wouldn't say they are consistent because of the great variety of beliefs, not only about religion itself but the object of worship, ie. God, or some other idol or being.

you can't stick religious experinces with being delusional. That's ruled out by a number of studies. People having religious experinces do not fit the symptoms of mental illness, and mental illness does not lead to self actualization. Delusions are usually the product of mental illness.

Your assertion that variety of belief means that they are not alike is disproved by the studies. that's merely counter intuitive. It's empirical!

Now talk about TS argument
"I am saying we can't do without this over arking principle. All people have them, we can't even talk without because language is based upon it. I call "organizing principals." science is based upon it. Since it's impossible to get by without it there must be one.

Derrida said God is the essential TS. In other words all the other organizing principles point to God as the ultimate organizing principle."
I agree that first principles are important but I don't agree that a God needs to be THE organizing principle. Again, the reason is because there isn't any evidence for God so how can God be a first principle? Before one can make use of a first principle that object must be proven to exist, but you have even admitted that God cannot be proven so I'd say that's a pretty shaky first principle.
Your reasoning is circular. God can't be the TS because there's no evidence for God. But the TS is evdience for God. So you are just resting your premise on your conclusion.

It's linke by Derrida, he's the expert.

Please read the article that I linked to. you can't understand that argument without it.
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Re: The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX

Post by Metacrock » Fri May 08, 2009 4:55 pm

XAtheistXX wrote:
you did not show any facts that would lead to the conclusion that there is no God or religion in general is bad. All you show is that under circumstances some religious belief are wrong headed or lead to bad conclusions. That is not an indictment, and besides I have 350 studies that show you are wrong, they disprove your evidence.
Regardless if religion is good or bad, like I said, I'm mostly interested in debating the truth of God. But I think that studies can often be biased and I don't think they prove very much because I've read many studies that show that non belief is healthy for people and I've also read that religion can be good.
NO you have not! Sorry. I just wrote a book about the 350 studies that i keep talking bout. I've looked for studies saying that religious experince is bas for you. there are none! Not one! Showing some religious people have done some bad things is not proof that religious experience is bad for you. that is not anything like the same idea and it's nothing more than the fallacy of guilt by association.

there are no such studies. there aren't any.
I've seen more studies than what I presented that religion causes harm but that is not my goal to prove religion good or bad but whether or not it's true. Because of the many conflicting studies I don't see how holding up study after study proves much because I could gather just as many studies that show religion is bad. But even if I was wrong about that, it doesn't make religion true. For example, I could believe with all my might that my Grandma did not die and it might make me feel happy but that doesn't mean it's true. The same with religion.

show me a study. no such studies exist. I think you are confusing the idea of some religious people doing some bad things with the idea that having religious experinces is harmful. These are not the same thing at all. As I said, the former is a fallacy of guilt by association, the latter is undocumented.

btw offering to studies that you may have seen "someplace" is not valid documentation in a debate. You have to give a published source (or at least a link to a website).



Metathis is what logicians call "begging he question." it's only opinion there is no consistent answer to prayer. "Consistent" doesn't have to mean every single prayer is answered the way you want it to be. But if you understand God's principles you can look at the pattern of your life and see that the answers in consistent with the principles. But, that's not an issue here because that is not what makes God not a scientific issue. It doesn't make God a scientific issue. Deciding about prayer is not a scientific question because not empirically verifiable.

God is an existential issue. that means it's a matter of understanding the nature of existence and your place in it, not asserting objective scientific facts. God is beyond our understanding and is Beyond empirical knowledge.

The problem is atheists put science in place of God. They think science is the only valid form of knowledge. ITs' not. When they do that they are making a metaphysical assumption.
XAXActually there are scientific studies that prove prayer does not work. It's not begging the question. These studies were done with a proper control group so I would consider them to be more accurate than many others I've read. One such experiement was reported in the December of 2000 Southern Medical Journal where patients with rheumatoid arthritis would be prayed for, both in person, and afar. The results were that the in person prayers "showed significant overall improvement during [their] 1 - year follow up", while the prayers from separate locations had no effect whatsoever.
First of all, none of those studies prove "prayer doesn't work." the studies themselves don't claim to prove that. They prove nothing more than that prayer was not proved to work in that case. that's all they claim to prove.

The issue of prayer working is irrelevant. Look. you are just going to learn the realities of what debate is. you wanted to debate. I was high school debate for 2 years and college debate for four (NDT Policy debate)> my coach was one of the top coaches in the country at that time (1970s).

here's the deal. Giving a plethora of reasons why you don't like religion is not a counter to the arguments I gave. Just because there may be some problems with religion is not proof that religion is irrational. If the reasons I gave demonstrate that it is rational to believe, it doesn't matter if there are other reasons why some religions irrational or there are some things wrong with it. In logic that is called "a read herring." like you drag fish (red herring) across a trail to confuse blood hounds. In other words you are just bringing in extraneous things that are not the major issue.

I did not appeal to prayer as a reason why religious belief is rationally warranted. So pointing out that prayer doesn't work (even though I can disprove that) is just not a relevant issue.


You might now argue that prayer did help when the person praying was in the same room as the patient but I'd argue this is simply a case of the placebo effect. This effect can sometimes be very powerful. Studies have shown that placebos ["sugar pills" for example] in about 35 percent of cases can provide benefits to people who are in pain


- Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking, by Thomas Kida, page 59
still irrelevant.

Here is another study:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/n ... cation=rss

Finally I'll just list one more.
This study was reported in the American Heart Journal, from April of 2006 and was funded by the Templeton Foundation. The experiment, took a total of 1,802 patients from six different hospitals. Prayers were delivered from three churches, one located in Minnesota, one in Massachusetts, and the other in Missouri. All the patients had received coronary bypass surgery, and were divided into three groups: Group 1 received prayers and didn't know it. Group 2 (the control group) received no prayers and didn't know it. Group 3 received prayers and did know it. The comparison between groups 1 and 2 tests for the efficacy of intercessory prayer, while group 3 tests for possible psychosomatic effects of knowing that one is being prayed for.

The results were clear-cut. There was no difference between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not. There was a difference, however, in the third group, who knew they were being prayed for. They suffered significantly more complications then the other groups. The experimenters explained it as being a result from the stress, or 'performance anxiety,' from having the knowledge that they were being prayed for.

miracles at Lourdes proves that prayer does work. But we are not debating prayer. prayer is not an issue.

-
The god Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, page 63

I would also like to argue that placing science ahead of God isn't a "metaphysical assumption" but is just because there is no evidence for God. You haven't provided any evidence for God in our discussion. I know you said you think that God can't be proven absolutely, but like I said before, if that's the case then how can you use God as a first principle? You can't. You've got to use what you know for sure and in this case that's the natural world.

I will gladly respect your wishes and not say any more.
[/quote]


first, Dawkins is not a great scientist. he is not a philosopher. he doesn't kknow shit from shinola and I think the man is a fool. He's not impressive to me, he's totally dishonst, he doesn't know how to argue and the things he says are crap.

but it's worse, they are irrelevant because they have nothing to do with the issues here.

Saying there is no scientific evdience for God is a meaningless statement. There is not scientific evidence of a direct nature (although there is good evidence of an indirect nature) but there is direct evdience because it's not a scientific issue. saying it is a scientific issue because there is no scientific evidence doesn't make any sense. and it's also circular reasoning.

If it's not a scientific issue that would expalin why it doesn't have the evdience, so the fact that it doesn't can't be used as an argument that it is a scientific issue.
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Re: The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX

Post by XAtheistXX » Fri May 08, 2009 7:23 pm

"I asked you not to answer anything until I got back and finished your previous post. O well no matter."
I'm sorry about that. I thought you meant that you didn't want me addressing anything that you didn't cover in that post. My bad.
"Why would one think there would be undeniable evidence? you are arguing a straw man argument. you are assuming belief has to be a certain way. a way you have worked out answers to and your not even trying to deal with real beliefs that people really have. There is no particular reason why one think there would be an undeniable proof. But that depends entirely upon the nature of the belief system."
Perhaps a strawman in some situations but not all. Many theists think there is undeniable evidence for a god, but you seem to not take that approach.
"No. I disproved that. you have not answered my argument:

(1) the experinces induced are not proved to be valid religious experiences, they just lining up wired experinces with religious imagery in relation to the stimulus.

(2) God has to communicate with us through the natural set up or we would not understand. IF he wants us to hear him speak audibly he has to give us ears. He wants to speak to our minds he has to use neural transmitters. All that is proved is that neural transmitters open our minds to some sort of divine reception. that Does not prove that entirely rooted in the naturalistic set up."
I'm sorry but just proclaiming these experiences as not valid religious experiences I don't think is a very good argument at all. On the contrary, you've failed to show just how these aren't true religious experiences, or show how they are different than other peoples' experiences.
"the argument I given here is good enough. You are not even addressed the issue upon which the argument turns:

RE fits the basic criteria by which we test reality. Therefore, it should be trusted as real in terms of its content."
I thought I had. I hope you wouldn't mind explaining it once more and we can discuss that particular subject in more detail if you want.
"So the only question is "which idea about God is true," not which God is true."
Alright, so then how do you know for a fact that your idea about God is the true version?
"No I've already disprove that. It's from John Hick's book on Science and Religion. The people int he studies done by Ramerchandren and Newberg and the others were not subjected to the M scale. They were not validated as real religious experinces. They are only going by similarities due to imagery recorded but not to the actual effects of the experince."
Can you please elaborate on this?

I still do not see how this M scale can tell the difference between an actual "mystical" religious experience and one that's been stimulated in a study? If religious experiences aren't caused by the brain then how come a woman stopped having many religious experiences after parts of her brain was removed? In a case with a twenty-five year old woman who had TLE (Temporal Lobe Epilepsy), an MRI showed a right-sided, mesial temporal focus and hippocampal sclerosis. The auras, seizures, and religious thoughts she was experiencing were almost completely eliminated after the removal of the right amygdala and hippocampus.
"Alper is not qualified and his book is terrible. I've read it in fact I use it in my book as an example of a crummy approach. He's not a scientist he has no credentials. He was a grade school teacher and at one point he smuggled trucks. The subject is a lot more complex than makes it out to be."
I honestly don't see how this ad hominem could count as a refutation of Alper's work. You didn't argue against one thing in the book.
"first, Dawkins is not a great scientist. he is not a philosopher. he doesn't kknow shit from shinola and I think the man is a fool. He's not impressive to me, he's totally dishonst, he doesn't know how to argue and the things he says are crap."
Another ad hominem and no arguments about why these studies don't show prayer doesn't work. I also only brought up the prayer arguments because you said I was "begging the question" when I wasn't and I wanted to show you studies that backed me up.
"NO you have not! Sorry. I just wrote a book about the 350 studies that i keep talking bout. I've looked for studies saying that religious experince is bas for you. there are none! Not one!"
Actually, there are several studies that show this. Here are a few.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 571206.ece

There was also a study done by Venris (1995) that showed that non-religious people are psychologically healthier than religious people and this may be related to "a sense of personal competence and control, self-acceptance and self-actualization, and perhaps open-mindedness and flexibility."

Participating In Religion May Make Adolescents From Certain Races More Depressed:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 134209.htm

Sexual Abuse: Faith Can Silence Victims Or Provide Solace:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 180427.htm

Actually, just browsing for about five minutes online I found four studies that show that either a lack of belief does not make one less happy (which would cancel out the argument that religion is good for you since it proves even non-religious people are healthy) or religious belief seems to contribute some problems. Also, the studies I cited earlier about child death rates with "Christian scientists" is also relevant here because it shows that religious belief can play a role in harming someone's health.

I guess I'll comment on one last thing here.
"Saying there is no scientific evdience for God is a meaningless statement. There is not scientific evidence of a direct nature (although there is good evidence of an indirect nature) but there is direct evdience because it's not a scientific issue. saying it is a scientific issue because there is no scientific evidence doesn't make any sense. and it's also circular reasoning."
Like I said before, if God were real there is no doubt we would be living in a completely different world (I brought up the prayer experiments to show this). If God wanted all his creations to know him and love him and worship him there are much better ways of doing this than having a book written by countless people who changed it countless times over time and which contradict itself. God would attempt to show that one kind of religion was true but this has never happened. God doesn't seem very interested in human affairs if there is one.

I would also argue that this isn't circular reasoning. If there were some all powerful God out there no doubt we humans would know for sure by now. It's a very logical, reasonable statement.

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Re: The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX

Post by Metacrock » Fri May 08, 2009 10:28 pm

XAtheistXX wrote:
"I asked you not to answer anything until I got back and finished your previous post. O well no matter."
I'm sorry about that. I thought you meant that you didn't want me addressing anything that you didn't cover in that post. My bad.

that's ok :P
Meta:"Why would one think there would be undeniable evidence? you are arguing a straw man argument. you are assuming belief has to be a certain way. a way you have worked out answers to and your not even trying to deal with real beliefs that people really have. There is no particular reason why one think there would be an undeniable proof. But that depends entirely upon the nature of the belief system."
XAX:Perhaps a strawman in some situations but not all. Many theists think there is undeniable evidence for a god, but you seem to not take that approach.
A straw man is a straw man any time. But there is scientific evidence that points to God's existence indirectly, in other words, we can argue from the effects of God. But I don't put as much stock in those arguments as some people do. I mean the evidence from these studies is scientific. But what it's measuring a direct view of God but an indict understanding of what is called the "co-determinate" the signs one can point to and argue from for god. That's the same thing as direct empirical scientific proof. Since God can't be the object direct scientific empirical observation, the question of God is not a scientific one. The question of God is a metaphysical question becasue it deals with matters beyond direct observation.

Meta: "No. I disproved that. you have not answered my argument:

(1) the experinces induced are not proved to be valid religious experiences, they just lining up wired experinces with religious imagery in relation to the stimulus.

(2) God has to communicate with us through the natural set up or we would not understand. IF he wants us to hear him speak audibly he has to give us ears. He wants to speak to our minds he has to use neural transmitters. All that is proved is that neural transmitters open our minds to some sort of divine reception. that Does not prove that entirely rooted in the naturalistic set up."
XAX: I'm sorry but just proclaiming these experiences as not valid religious experiences I don't think is a very good argument at all. On the contrary, you've failed to show just how these aren't true religious experiences, or show how they are different than other peoples' experiences.
sorry if you think about the arguments I've made you would see that is very wong. I've proved it empirically.

(1) I tell you there is a standard for measuring religious experinces, the "M" Scale. That is what tells what is and what is not a valid religious experince. Because it has been cross culturally validated.

(2) I show that the studies that are concerned with God gene or God part of the brain do no use the M scale to validate religious experinces. That means they have no way of determining what is and what is not a religious experience.

(3) I told you they merely assume that if the subject says "God" or talks God in any way then some part of the brain is firing. that is basically circular because it means they assume there's a God part of the brain to begin with.

(4) there is no data to establish the idea that a God part of the brain will be firing if you have a religious experince. So when they get data that suggests such area (it's really several areas) they just assume it's a religious experince because they need to assume to have a study.



Meta:"the argument I given here is good enough. You are not even addressed the issue upon which the argument turns:

RE fits the basic criteria by which we test reality. Therefore, it should be trusted as real in terms of its content."
XAX:I thought I had. I hope you wouldn't mind explaining it once more and we can discuss that particular subject in more detail if you want.
You haven't said anything about the criteria. I listed them in the opening part where I made the argument (1).

we determine the reality of experinces based upon these criteria:

that they are regular
consistent
shared.

I then show that the studies demonstrate that RE is regular, consistent, and shared (inter-subjective).

Therefore, RE fits the criteria by which we determine if experinces are valid indicators of reality. So it would be logical to assume that RE is a valid indicator of reality, thus the content of the experinces has to be regarded as reality.

Meta:"So the only question is "which idea about God is true," not which God is true."
XAX Alright, so then how do you know for a fact that your idea about God is the true version?
For the purposes of this debate I don't have to. All I'm arguing here is that belief is rationally warranted. I haven't said anything about what idea of God I feel one should believe. In my own life I go by the Christian tradition because the content of my own RE was Christian. But I accept he validity of other faiths because I understand that all views of God are metaphors that point to the reality behind them all. Or I have a little slogan I use for that:

All gods point to God.

Meta:"No I've already disprove that. It's from John Hick's book on Science and Religion. The people int he studies done by Ramerchandren and Newberg and the others were not subjected to the M scale. They were not validated as real religious experinces. They are only going by similarities due to imagery recorded but not to the actual effects of the experince."
XAX: Can you please elaborate on this?

I still do not see how this M scale can tell the difference between an actual "mystical" religious experience and one that's been stimulated in a study?
I explained that above. The God part of the brain studies aren't about the nature of religious experience so they don't use the M scale and they assume any reference to a religious topic is good enough to determine the part of the brain that 's firing.

M scale measures the validity of an experince because it uses 36 items based upon compiled data tons of previous studies. Then compares the experinces of the subject to that profile. It's like profiling. people who talk about this kind of experince tend to sense an overwhelming presence of love, for example, on certain occasions. So if you answer the question "yes I have sensed such a presence" then that's a point for you. If you get enough points form enough things that means you have experienced all the things that people with the kinds of experinces usually say they have experienced.

there is no such validation for people in the God part of the brain studies. All they do is say "I had an image of Jesus." then look at the die and they go "ok the die is all in part of this part is firing when he talks about Jesus. But maybe this image of Jesus is not a religious experince, maybe it's just an image?
If religious experiences aren't caused by the brain then how come a woman stopped having many religious experiences after parts of her brain was removed? In a case with a twenty-five year old woman who had TLE (Temporal Lobe Epilepsy), an MRI showed a right-sided, mesial temporal focus and hippocampal sclerosis. The auras, seizures, and religious thoughts she was experiencing were almost completely eliminated after the removal of the right amygdala and hippocampus.
Because they are being transmitted through the brain and that's how transmission in the brain works. I did not say the brain structure has nothing to do with it. I said it can't be proven that it is originated wholly and only in the brain chemistry. BTW the woman regained religious experinces with practice. The connections can be re-established.


"Alper is not qualified and his book is terrible. I've read it in fact I use it in my book as an example of a crummy approach. He's not a scientist he has no credentials. He was a grade school teacher and at one point he smuggled trucks. The subject is a lot more complex than makes it out to be."
I honestly don't see how this ad hominem could count as a refutation of Alper's work. You didn't argue against one thing in the book.
Questions about credentials are not ad hom, never! you need to learn to debate. Debate revovled aroudn evidence, and evdience is of differing qualities. you cannot have good evidence from a lousy source. If he has no credentials he's not qualified to make certain statements.

Ad hom would say he's bad, he's lazy, he's stupid, he's immoral, I did not say that. I said he's not qualified that's a huge difference.



"first, Dawkins is not a great scientist. he is not a philosopher. he doesn't kknow shit from shinola and I think the man is a fool. He's not impressive to me, he's totally dishonst, he doesn't know how to argue and the things he says are crap."
Another ad hominem and
Yes that is ad hom. I hate Dawkins as a person. sorry.
no arguments about why these studies don't show prayer doesn't work. I also only brought up the prayer arguments because you said I was "begging the question" when I wasn't and I wanted to show you studies that backed me up.

prayer is not the issue. I did not advance prayer as an argument. Look can't you see how unfair it is to think that all you hve to do is bring up some other topic that wasn't talked about and you win just because you can ignore my issues and introduce your own? I'm the affirmative, "m the one who brought the case. I went first. you have to respond to may case otherwise you go first.

If I don't advance prayer as a reason to believe what difference does it make if you think it's not a reason to believe?

suppose we are going to debate taxes. you put out a case "taxes are too high." I come up and say "o but what mortgage rates? we need to lower them." How should I win because you don't have anything to say about mortgage rates? This is universal to all debate.


"NO you have not! Sorry. I just wrote a book about the 350 studies that i keep talking bout. I've looked for studies saying that religious experince is bas for you. there are none! Not one!"
Actually, there are several studies that show this. Here are a few.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 571206.ece

Ok that's that stupid Paul study. It's a horrible study, not even real social science. When it first came out Wiki had an article saying that most sociologists said it was crap. The Zuckerman study is also crap. Here are my criticisms.

http://www.doxa.ws/social/Zuckerman.html

But it doesn't apply because:

(1) Not measuring religious experince at all. It's dealing only with participation in religious activities and membership has nothing to do with experience.

(2) I have evdience over 300 studies that show the opposite. Mind you this is a totally different batch of 300 than the 350 on experience. these are about participation.

http://www.doxa.ws/experience/empirical_studies.html



There was also a study done by Venris (1995) that showed that non-religious people are psychologically healthier than religious people and this may be related to "a sense of personal competence and control, self-acceptance and self-actualization, and perhaps open-mindedness and flexibility."
you are not properly introduced it. where is found? who did it? what's the methodology? But that is one (mabye) to 350. So that's not really competing.
Participating In Religion May Make Adolescents From Certain Races More Depressed:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 134209.htm

Wuthow studies shows RE makes people more sensitive to social issues and less racist. Moreover this is participation not experince.

the study you site even acnkowledges the studies I sight:


"Previous research has shown that teens who are active in religious services are depressed less often because it provides these adolescents with social support and a sense of belonging."

but there are studies among those 300 on participation that show it helps minority kids stay out of trouble.


Sexual Abuse: Faith Can Silence Victims Or Provide Solace:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 180427.htm
not an argument, guilt by association. That has nothing to do with the rationality for belief in God. it cannot be that belief in God is irrational because some religious people have bad ideas about ses. that's just wrong. There are all other religious that don't so go to their chruchs. that has nothing to do with the nature of religious belief itself.


you are still putting out a bunch of read herrings. not one of these arguments apply to the arguments I made. none of them mean that all religious belief is irrational.

Actually, just browsing for about five minutes online I found four studies that show that either a lack of belief does not make one less happy (which would cancel out the argument that religion is good for you since it proves even non-religious people are healthy) or religious belief seems to contribute some problems. Also, the studies I cited earlier about child death rates with "Christian scientists" is also relevant here because it shows that religious belief can play a role in harming someone's health.

you have not documented it. Saying you found it is not enough. where is it? who did it? how was it done?

Moreover, it's overwhelmed by 350 studies. 350 to one. But I doubt that it really even says that. It's not studying people with mystical experinces it doesn't even apply.

several studies show that religious people are happier. The Larsen study examined 2000 articles social science abstracts in all of them religion was always a positive factor in well being.


Religion is the most powerful Factor in well being.

Poloma and Pendelton The Faith Factor: An Annotated Bibliography of Systematic Reviews And Clinical Research on Spiritual Subjects Vol. II, David B. Larson M.D., Natiional Institute for Health Research Dec. 1993, p. 3290.

Quote:

"The authors found that religious satisfaction was the most powerful predicter of existential well being. The degree to which an individual felt close to God was the most important factor in terms of existential well-being. While frequency of prayer contributed to general life satisfaction and personal happiness. As a result of their study the authors concluded that it would be important to look at a combindation of religious items, including prayer, religionship with God, and other measures of religious experince to begin to adequately clearlify the associations of religious committment with general well-being."


(5) Greater happiness


Religion and Happiness

by Michael E. Nielsen, PhD


Many people expect religion to bring them happiness. Does this actually seem to be the case? Are religious people happier than nonreligious people? And if so, why might this be?

Researchers have been intrigued by such questions. Most studies have simply asked people how happy they are, although studies also may use scales that try to measure happiness more subtly than that. In general, researchers who have a large sample of people in their study tend to limit their measurement of happiness to just one or two questions, and researchers who have fewer numbers of people use several items or scales to measure happiness.

What do they find? In a nutshell, they find that people who are involved in religion also report greater levels of happiness than do those who are not religious. For example, one study involved over 160,000 people in Europe. Among weekly churchgoers, 85% reported being "very satisfied" with life, but this number reduced to 77% among those who never went to church (Inglehart, 1990). This kind of pattern is typical -- religious involvement is associated with modest increases in happiness



Argyle, M., and Hills, P. (2000). Religious experiences and their relations with happiness and personality. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 10, 157-172.

Inglehart, R. (1990). Culture shift in advanced industrial society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Nielsen, M. E. (1998). An assessment of religious conflicts and their resolutions. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37, 181-190.

Nielsen again:

In the days before research boards reviewed research proposals before the studies were conducted, Pahnke devised an experiment to induce people to have a religious experience. On a Good Friday, when they were to meditate in a chapel for 2.5 hours, twenty theology students were given either psilocybin or a placebo. The students who were given the psilocybin reported intense religious experiences, as you might imagine. Their levels of happiness also were significantly greater than the control group reported. But what is especially interesting is that these effects remained 6 months after the experiment, as the psilocybin group reported more "persistent and positive changes" in their attitudes to life than did the placebo group.



Pahnke, W. H. (1966). Drugs and mysticism. International Journal of Parapsychology, 8, 295-314.




I guess I'll comment on one last thing here.
"Saying there is no scientific evdience for God is a meaningless statement. There is not scientific evidence of a direct nature (although there is good evidence of an indirect nature) but there is direct evdience because it's not a scientific issue. saying it is a scientific issue because there is no scientific evidence doesn't make any sense. and it's also circular reasoning."
Like I said before, if God were real there is no doubt we would be living in a completely different world (I brought up the prayer experiments to show this).

You haven't given us a basis for saying that. Wouldn't that depend upon the exact nature of God? you act like the only meaning the term religion has is the fundamentalist amerian christan view of the bible. that's "religion" it's being a fundamentalist in America. that's crazy. There are tons of other view points.

no have no guideline from which to make that argument, you are merely basiing it upon fundamentalist assumptions about the Bible.



If God wanted all his creations to know him and love him and worship him there are much better ways of doing this than having a book written by countless people who changed it countless times over time and which contradict itself. God would attempt to show that one kind of religion was true but this has never happened. God doesn't seem very interested in human affairs if there is one.

No he would not! I explained why! the link up there find it. I said it already. I already put the link up showing why God wants a search. why didn't you read it?


I would also argue that this isn't circular reasoning. If there were some all powerful God out there no doubt we humans would know for sure by now. It's a very logical, reasonable statement.

some of us do know for sure. that's just begging the question. I know. I do know and I am certain. you are not because you are not searching. the search is in the heart that's the God watns it becuase that's we internalize the values of the good.
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Re: The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX

Post by Metacrock » Fri May 08, 2009 10:29 pm

I know I've bombarded you with a lot of links and info. But you have to start reading them.

You haven't' attacked argument II with anything like a sufficient force to make a dent in it. The proposition stands due to the lack of refutation of argument II at present.

I guess perhaps it's still early. Do you want me to post the material for arguemnt II?
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Re: The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX

Post by XAtheistXX » Sat May 09, 2009 12:33 am

"sorry if you think about the arguments I've made you would see that is very wong. I've proved it empirically.

(1) I tell you there is a standard for measuring religious experinces, the "M" Scale. That is what tells what is and what is not a valid religious experince. Because it has been cross culturally validated.

(2) I show that the studies that are concerned with God gene or God part of the brain do no use the M scale to validate religious experinces. That means they have no way of determining what is and what is not a religious experience.

(3) I told you they merely assume that if the subject says "God" or talks God in any way then some part of the brain is firing. that is basically circular because it means they assume there's a God part of the brain to begin with.

(4) there is no data to establish the idea that a God part of the brain will be firing if you have a religious experince. So when they get data that suggests such area (it's really several areas) they just assume it's a religious experince because they need to assume to have a study."

I understand what you're arguing but I'm unable to find any information on M-scale. How does it measure religious beliefs? Do you have a post about that specifically? Or some other information? Since I don't have enough knowledge about that I don't feel I can argue for or against that. EDIT - going through your arguments again I think I get it. See below.
"You haven't said anything about the criteria. I listed them in the opening part where I made the argument (1).

we determine the reality of experinces based upon these criteria:

that they are regular
consistent
shared.

I then show that the studies demonstrate that RE is regular, consistent, and shared (inter-subjective).

Therefore, RE fits the criteria by which we determine if experinces are valid indicators of reality. So it would be logical to assume that RE is a valid indicator of reality, thus the content of the experinces has to be regarded as reality."
I went back up and re read what you said about M-scale. Ok, let's see if I got it. M-scale is basically a listing of all the different types of religious experiences and if something does not match that list, it's not considered a religious experience. Is that right? If that's right, then how do those people making the decisions on what is a true religious experience decide what is a true experience and what isn't? What is their criteria?

Then you said:
"You haven't said anything about the criteria. I listed them in the opening part where I made the argument (1).

we determine the reality of experinces based upon these criteria:

that they are regular
consistent
shared.

I then show that the studies demonstrate that RE is regular, consistent, and shared (inter-subjective).

Therefore, RE fits the criteria by which we determine if experinces are valid indicators of reality. So it would be logical to assume that RE is a valid indicator of reality, thus the content of the experinces has to be regarded as reality."
Ok I think I might have it now. That is the criteria for the M-scale, correct?

That each experience is regular (whatever that means. It can have a wide range of meanings), is consistent and shared. I think I already argued against this though. I said (i think) that just because some experience fits these categories doesn't mean it's true, or more likely to be true. There are documented cases of group hallucinations and just because many people have the same experience doesn't mean it's necessarily real.

I found a good site that explains this phenomenon, but it explains it not from a religious perspective, but the current bank crisis. But the idea is the same.

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com ... sions.html
"Questions about credentials are not ad hom, never! you need to learn to debate. Debate revovled aroudn evidence, and evdience is of differing qualities. you cannot have good evidence from a lousy source. If he has no credentials he's not qualified to make certain statements.

Ad hom would say he's bad, he's lazy, he's stupid, he's immoral, I did not say that. I said he's not qualified that's a huge difference."
I would actually disagree just because someone can still study and learn about things even if they don't have a formal degree and know just about as much stuff as someone who studied it. You didn't give any reasons why he was wrong which is why I didn't feel that was a very good response on your part.
"prayer is not the issue. I did not advance prayer as an argument. Look can't you see how unfair it is to think that all you hve to do is bring up some other topic that wasn't talked about and you win just because you can ignore my issues and introduce your own? I'm the affirmative, "m the one who brought the case. I went first. you have to respond to may case otherwise you go first.

If I don't advance prayer as a reason to believe what difference does it make if you think it's not a reason to believe?

suppose we are going to debate taxes. you put out a case "taxes are too high." I come up and say "o but what mortgage rates? we need to lower them." How should I win because you don't have anything to say about mortgage rates? This is universal to all debate."
I understand that, but my reason for bringing it up was an attempt to prove my argument that if there were a God the world would likely be different and answers to prayer would occur and we could see how many were answered and see if it's just statistical probability or chance, or if there was something really going on. Because the many studies show there's nothing going on - meaning a God is likely not answering prayers - that would count against anyone who claims there is a God because the kind of world where a God answers prayers does not exist where we would expect one. That's the only reason I brought that issue up. I think it has a lot to do with whether or not god exists, and whether or not religious belief is rational.
"You haven't given us a basis for saying that. Wouldn't that depend upon the exact nature of God? you act like the only meaning the term religion has is the fundamentalist amerian christan view of the bible. that's "religion" it's being a fundamentalist in America. that's crazy. There are tons of other view points.

no have no guideline from which to make that argument, you are merely basiing it upon fundamentalist assumptions about the Bible."
I wouldn't say I'm doing that at all because a great majority of religious people claim that God acts within the world. Even you believe God answers prayer so like I said this world would be very different if there was really a God. I don't think you've addressed that argument of mine well enough.
"No he would not! I explained why! the link up there find it. I said it already. I already put the link up showing why God wants a search. why didn't you read it?"
I'm sorry I didn't see which link that was.
"I know I've bombarded you with a lot of links and info. But you have to start reading them.

You haven't' attacked argument II with anything like a sufficient force to make a dent in it. The proposition stands due to the lack of refutation of argument II at present.

I guess perhaps it's still early. Do you want me to post the material for arguemnt II?"
Just so you know I've read many of the links you've posted. Sorry if I missed one or two. Yes, it's a lot to read :)

If it's not too late I wouldn't mind if you posted argument 2 again. If not tonight I can wait until tomorrow. Thank you.

As for my not making a dent, I feel like your idea of God is very elusive. I feel like I've given many reasons why God is highly unlikely, thus religious belief is also very likely irrational. This is due to the lack of a world that seems as if there is no God. You say I've done no searching but trust me I have. Alot. All evidence point away from God or any other kind of god. I've seen no evidence proving it. There is no sign of any God which is why I think religious belief isn't warranted.

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