The Religous apiari

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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Re: The Religous apiari

Post by Metacrock » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:43 pm

Reed_Rothchild wrote:God trancends human understanding. Thats a cop out. Nothing else needs to be said after making that statement.

you aren't by any chance a guy named "skeptic Lee?" are you?

it's not a cop out it's logic. it's also philosophy.

How does God trancend normal human understanding but not normal proof?
he transcend normal proof. I never said he didn't. I said belief is rationally warranted. not proven.

God is not experienced through normal sense data? All humans have is sense data. We have no other way of experiencing the world. Experiences of the so called "trancendant" or "numinous" are experienced through our senses.

no they are not because they are not part of the nomral material world. the sense of numinous is apprehended in qualia and in sense data to some extent. that's not god, that's just things about God.
Empericism isnt the only way, only the best way. It is the way we can have the highest degree of probability when it comes to knowledge.

empiricism is a total mistakes that's why Kant destroyed it.
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Re: The Religous apiari

Post by Metacrock » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:44 pm

ChumpChange wrote:
Reed_Rothchild wrote:God trancends human understanding. Thats a cop out. Nothing else needs to be said after making that statement.


How does God trancend normal human understanding but not normal proof?

God is not experienced through normal sense data? All humans have is sense data. We have no other way of experiencing the world. Experiences of the so called "trancendant" or "numinous" are experienced through our senses.

Empericism isnt the only way, only the best way. It is the way we can have the highest degree of probability when it comes to knowledge.
A cop out? How could anyone not expect God to transcend human understanding? Let me ask you a question: If you created an ant farm and then put ants in it would you expect the ants to know who you are or the nature of your being? Would you expect those ants to understand the human mind? The Human mind is like that of an ants compared to God. Saying that its a cop out is a cop out!

hey good responsdes man. I also laud Wordgazer and Theo they have good one's too.
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Re: The Religous apiari

Post by QuantumTroll » Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:45 pm

"[Religion is] a simple notion which cannot be defined by reference other than itself."--David Pailin
This little nugget of a quote really stands out to me as expressing the essence of religion. The two threads on the religious a priori defend the idea that religion is only supported by circular reasoning and that's okay.

Before I give my (inevitably negative) reaction to this, I'd like to ask the believers whether or not my interpretation is correct. Am I understanding Pailin correctly?

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Re: The Religous apiari

Post by Metacrock » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:51 pm

QuantumTroll wrote:
"[Religion is] a simple notion which cannot be defined by reference other than itself."--David Pailin
This little nugget of a quote really stands out to me as expressing the essence of religion. The two threads on the religious a priori defend the idea that religion is only supported by circular reasoning and that's okay.

Before I give my (inevitably negative) reaction to this, I'd like to ask the believers whether or not my interpretation is correct. Am I understanding Pailin correctly?

no of course it's not circular reasoning. It's silly to call it that. you only do so because you can't accept anything as proper knowledge except empirical matters like math and science.


It's just saying religion is its own deal ans has it's own approach that is not math or science is not subject to empiricism. that is no a big thing and the exent to which you take that as carzy or radical or way out is the extent to which one shows one's lack of erudition.

the argument says two things:

(1) empiricism allows things to fall betweent he cracks.

(2) reliogion is one of those things, it fallas betwene the cracks and has it's own criteria.

now I fail to see why that is so amazingly outlandish to you?

why does it threaten you so?
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Re: The Religous apiari

Post by QuantumTroll » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:53 am

Metacrock wrote:
QuantumTroll wrote:
"[Religion is] a simple notion which cannot be defined by reference other than itself."--David Pailin
This little nugget of a quote really stands out to me as expressing the essence of religion. The two threads on the religious a priori defend the idea that religion is only supported by circular reasoning and that's okay.

Before I give my (inevitably negative) reaction to this, I'd like to ask the believers whether or not my interpretation is correct. Am I understanding Pailin correctly?
no of course it's not circular reasoning. It's silly to call it that. you only do so because you can't accept anything as proper knowledge except empirical matters like math and science.

It's just saying religion is its own deal ans has it's own approach that is not math or science is not subject to empiricism. that is no a big thing and the exent to which you take that as carzy or radical or way out is the extent to which one shows one's lack of erudition.

the argument says two things:

(1) empiricism allows things to fall betweent he cracks.

(2) reliogion is one of those things, it fallas betwene the cracks and has it's own criteria.

now I fail to see why that is so amazingly outlandish to you?

why does it threaten you so?
It's not outlandish or threatening, actually I think it is the opposite. But I do think it's odd that you refuse to call it circular reasoning. Non-circular support for an idea is when an independent source provides something that corroborates that idea. It seems to me that the only support for religious ideas is religious ideas. I think Pailin's quote supports that, and I think saying "religion is its own deal" supports that, because it implies that you're supposed to use religion to deal with religion. This isn't outlandish or threatening, since we often encounter the same scenario when dealing with other concepts (like morality, logic, etc). The Religious A Priori argument provides a starting point for the circle. If you have this a priori religious idea, then you can use it to derive more religion. Religion is "non-derivative of any other discipline", and it must start with an a priori idea of itself. Sounds pretty circular to me, but obviously I'm just displaying my lack of erudition :roll:

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Re: The Religous apiari

Post by Metacrock » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:27 pm

circular reasoning is a fallacy. If it were circular it would be wrong. It's not wrong. more to the point, it's premise does not rest on its conclusion, which is what makes something circualr. I think you mean insular. it may be that.



Non-circular support for an idea is when an independent source provides something that corroborates that idea. It seems to me that the only support for religious ideas is religious ideas.

sorry your understanding of circular and linear is flawed. logic wise? but it is not true that religion is not supported by empirical evidence. that's not what the argument says. certain assumptions within a theological system are empirically derived. It's just that the whole itself is not in the domain of empirical evidence.

I think Pailin's quote supports that, and I think saying "religion is its own deal" supports that, because it implies that you're supposed to use religion to deal with religion.
yes but that is not what logicians call "circular." "insular" would be more accurate, or self referential. But as I say It's confirmed by premises of sub points that are empirical.

This isn't outlandish or threatening, since we often encounter the same scenario when dealing with other concepts (like morality, logic, etc). The Religious A Priori argument provides a starting point for the circle. If you have this a priori religious idea, then you can use it to derive more religion. Religion is "non-derivative of any other discipline", and it must start with an a priori idea of itself. Sounds pretty circular to me, but obviously I'm just displaying my lack of erudition :roll:

I agree with that except for the use of the term "circular."
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Re: The Religous apiari

Post by Reed_Rothchild » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:23 pm

A cop out? How could anyone not expect God to transcend human understanding?
Its a cop out in terms of providing evidence for God. He "trancends" normal accepted methods of proof in the first place. He is super dee duperdy magical. Then, of course the theist goes about providing evidence that relies on "normal human sense data" ANYWAY but he always falls back on his original statement, because the evidence is always lacking, inconclusive, vague and, well poor. The apologist sets a trap. God doesnt apply to our rules. Hes magic. Here is evidence as to why God exists. the skeptic points out its flaws. The apologist says "Now now God is above all that in the first place".

Kant did not destroy empiricism. Poking holes in something is different than destroying it. Empiricism is still more reliable and superior to all ways of knowing. There are gaps in all knowledge. This is similar to the all encompassing "God of the gaps" argument. We dont know everything, therefore GOD. Well, no.

Empiricism is flawed and imperfect, therefore God is a good idea. It does not follow.

Theists always think that gaps, and imperfections = God.

The only way to disprove God in there eyes or to show that God is not a solid idea, is to have perfect knowledge of all that exists.

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Re: The Religous apiari

Post by ZAROVE » Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:33 pm

ALTHOUGH I do not agree with a good many things said in this artile by Metacrock and others, and do regard basic evidencial means as useful in assertaining various aspects of the Christian faith, I do think, Reed, that your attitude is raher appauling.

Your condecension and childing oversimplifications which mislead rhe reader and which arent based on what is said are simply not a welcomed mean to discussion, and reveal that you aren't interested in discussion.

Can't you reign it in and listen for a change? Troll certainly has.

That said...


Its a cop out in terms of providing evidence for God.

Npt exactly, no. Although saying God transcends Empirical reasoning certainly may frustrate an Empiricalist, it is certianly not a Cop out in terms of a generalised statemet, since many things cannot be Emoircally shown. Even many accepted facts in ciene like Evolutionary theory cannot be Empiriclaly shown. Not by a long shot.

This is because it cannot be directly observed.

It does not nullify its veracity, it merley means that the concept goes well beyind what we are capable of determining with ordinary , day-to-day observation.



He "trancends" normal accepted methods of proof in the first place.

Not accpordign to many, many others who hve displayed arguments for God. What he is said to transcend in this thread is Empirical observation, which is not the only standard method of proof in existance for the use of the Human creature. Dispite the usual statement of reliance upon it by the General New Atheist community, the truth is a good many things aren't Emoirically verifiable, and not everythign is Empiriclaly dispayabe.

Of coruse, Metacrocks goes a bit beyind this, and I disagree with much of that, but the point is thay you arne't beign fait to what he has stated.




He is super dee duperdy magical.


This is the sort of phrase that leaves me cold. No oen said he was "Super dee duperdy Magical". Your use of this phrase only shows your own contemot, and unwillingness to consider the argument of your oponant, and doens't further anything but your own conspectuousness.



Then, of course the theist goes about providing evidence that relies on "normal human sense data" ANYWAY but he always falls back on his original statement, because the evidence is always lacking, inconclusive, vague and, well poor.

This is too much of a Generalisation, and not accurate. Its liek when soemone says the "Ahtiest always does this, then that".

Its not acutlaly true, either, sicne I actulaly reject the whole Religiosu A Priori, and have yet to see why one woudl say the evidnece is always lacking, vauge, inconclusive, ect...


Nor do all Theists make as their original staement "God is transcencant therefore beyind normal means of proof". I certiany don't, nor do others who hodl to traditional , classical thlogical thought.

I woudl argue that God olds up to routine methods for assertainign truth.

I never say he is "Transcendant", so what original sttaement do I, as a theist, flal back on Reed?

I think you shohdl be less careless and more open to what others have to say, as well as less terotypical in your thinking.




The apologist sets a trap. God doesnt apply to our rules. Hes magic. Here is evidence as to why God exists. the skeptic points out its flaws. The apologist says "Now now God is above all that in the first place".

No, this isn't true. No APologist says God is magical, and thats simply false. It is also false to say the Apologist ( which happens in your statement to mean anyone arguing for CHristainity) always says "Now now, God is above all that in the first place".

Again, I don't, and I'm not alone. Yoru statement is simply a vulgar oversimplification and caracaturisation of what is acutlaly stated.




Kant did not destroy empiricism. Poking holes in something is different than destroying it.

Nevertheless, Kant did not rely upon Empirical data only an dhsowed how it is impossible to do so.



Empiricism is still more reliable and superior to all ways of knowing.

No, Empiricassism is a method of gainign informaiton which is only superior to other sin certain limited situations, but not the best method in all given situations.



There are gaps in all knowledge. This is similar to the all encompassing "God of the gaps" argument. We dont know everything, therefore GOD. Well, no.


Actulaly this sin't the God of the Gaps argument, whuch, in truth, sin't actulaly used by most that I have seen in seriosu debate.

What Metacrock, and late Wordgazer, stated is that their beleif in God is transcendant to the observable world and is instinctuve, and Gods preasenc eis made known ot hem as a STill, quiet preasence in their lives.

THis is the core o it, anyay, and that is harldy equivolemt to "Gaps in Knowledge means God exists", just as its not "God is super dee duperdy magicval".




Empiricism is flawed and imperfect, therefore God is a good idea. It does not follow.


You are correct. Its a good thing no one actually said this,. Pity, its a lovely SCarecrow yo just knocked down.

Theists always think that gaps, and imperfections = God.


No THey don't.



The only way to disprove God in there eyes or to show that God is not a solid idea, is to have perfect knowledge of all that exists.


Isn't this like sayinf "All Ahtiests alwys htink that lakc of knowledge= God does not exist. THe only way to prove God in their eyes is to have perfect knwoeldge fo all that eists."

Its the szame sort of sweeping critism that isn't relaly fair to the oponants of your position.

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Re: The Religous apiari

Post by Metacrock » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:41 pm

yes Kant destoryed empiricism. it is not a living philosophy. It is a defunct movement. a version based upon some ideas about empirical knowledge are the basis of modern science, the philosophical movement represented by Locke, Berkeley, and Hume is known to be dead, that's the judgment of modern philosophy and Kant is Kant to have killed it.
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Re: The Religous apiari

Post by tinythinker » Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:58 pm

I just want to pass through and offer some constructive thoughts...

The axiom that is generally failing to be sufficiently described or apprehended here is that according to some conceptions of Ultimate Reality (whether or not they always correspond to one's notions concerning the term 'God') experiences of the Divine are noetic. As KR suggested, this refers to an intuitive understanding which must be directly and personally experienced. It cannot adequately be discussed if someone else has not had a similar experience because of a lack of a sufficient common frame of reference, and even then, because it is so personal, it can only be pointed to, not fully enumerated in any descriptive way. Of course, no aspect of our experiences of reality can ever be fully and adequately described in prose or even poetry, but these experiences are reportedly even less amenable to such depictions. And it should be pointed out that not everyone who claims to "believe in" God would hold to this axiom.

It may also be helpful to consider that not everyone uses terms such as 'God' to refer to Supernatural Theism, but because that conception and its related images and implications are so entrenched in popular forms of Abrahamic religions it is extremely difficult for people with a Western cultural background to get away from it. In fact, most arguments for atheism were conceived of in direct opposition or as a reaction to Supernatural Theism. This can be shown by the fact that many people who call themselves "theists" or say they "believe in" God as well as many avowed atheists feel that any other way of relating to or understanding the Divine is somehow distorted, watered-down, or futile even though alternative insights have been around for thousands of years. If one has set up dichotomies such as natural/supernatural and conflated natural with restricted empiricism (which is still a very subjective and culturally-bound approach) and supernatural with irrational, made-up, or delusional, then any perspective that violates this scheme tends to seem suspicious. For example, someone who does not "believe in" God but who accepts the reality of the Divine, who rejects the supernatural and practices religion. To many that kind of arrangement is simply in error - the person is either a hopelessly romantic atheist or a confused, ineffectual theist. Anything involving the words "spiritual", "religious", "numinous", etc is automatically presumed to be in the supersition and fairy tale "side" of the divide.

Moreover, in such a devisive atmosphere it may sound like someone who is describing an experience as "noetic" is trying to get out of providing proof. In some cases that may be true, but such experiences were not "made up" as an answer to atheism. They have been documented in oral and later in written traditions as far back as history can take us, and they have been reported in all cultures. That is, people can make of them whatever they wish in terms of what their internal maps of reality will or won't allow, but they aren't just some apologetics tool. If anyone is interested, I also refer more to them in another thread here on the same forum.
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