Re: The Existence of God - Metacrock vs. XAtheistXX
Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:25 am
I'd argue that it's not rational because of all the facts I showed earlier [including other things too of course]."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."
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."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."
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.
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?"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."
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?
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?"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."
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.
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?"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."
No it's not an example of a religious experience, but I was trying to show that religion does not always have good effects."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."
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."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 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."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."
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.
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."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."
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 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."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."