The truth and nothing but the facts

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Thomas, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    I am trying to demonstrate that the constructs we use to accept the existence of a God is the same as the constructs we could use to accept or deny the existence of fantasy creatures we know to be fiction.

    Let me attempt to demonstrate specifically. Unicorns exist. I say so. How do I know they exist? Can I prove they exist? No I cannot. But I can say that unicorns are magical creatures that work outside the laws of science as we understand our reality. As such you simply have to accept on faith that I know what I am talking about.

    Most modern people would consider that a silly argument because we know unicorns are fantasy.

    But if we take out unicorn and put God in its place, suddenly the exact same argument that we rejected a moment ago is now perfectly acceptable to prove the reality of a God.

    Thomas suggests that my example is not valid because 'God' is not the same order of thing as 'unicorn'. To which I have to ask why? What raises a God so far above any and every other mythological being other than telling me it is so.

    The answer as I see it is that if one presupposes that God exists, and also presupposes all the might and majesty we have given a God, well then yes a God is far more realistic than a unicorn.

    BUT

    If someone, like me, does not accept the basic premise that a God exists; from that position of thought, the decision process to prove either is the same. If one can say they can prove that a God exists. The argument they use to prove that is the same logic that I used to prove the unicorn.
     
  2. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    You know, the Bible tells us that in the end time Satan will come posing as Christ. It goes on to say how he will seemingly perform miracles in order to convince people of that and how, many will be deceived. I used to wonder how anyone could be deceived by that. Then I read statements like this and I have little doubt it will come to pass.
     
  3. EdgyDolmen

    EdgyDolmen Active Member

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    As to DA's argument:
    For those who swear by the KJV - Unicorns are mentioned nine times in five books by several writers. Some believe - that is proof enough. Others believe that the correct animal was lost it translation. Now as God - God's non-existence can be proved no more than his existence can be proved. A proved god would be no god at all. It seems that Unicorns and gods exist by faith alone...
     
  4. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    But I don't know how that relates to what I said. I said that you don't have the tools to relate to Miracles, these tools relate to faith, faith that you and I lack. I know that you CAN try to justify or discard miracles based on the tools you are used to, the natural sciences, but as we have all pointed out here, they aren't very useful.

    So when I ask why you keep coming back to them, I'm actually asking, their existence is and always will be irrelevant to you and whatever you choose to believe in, no?
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    LOL, if I may say, old chum, I think this is an affront to the Western Philosophical Tradition! And the great traditions of the Far East, who seem well able to discern between metaphysical speculation and the fabulous.

    Well yes, patently so. Because no-one ever suggested God and unicorn was the same order of thing.

    Then there is nothing I can do nor say to make you think otherwise. But your position is not a scientific proof, nor even a logical argument, because it depends on your insistence that to make the case God should be subject to empirical determination when, a priori, we're positing a category that it not a physical entity.
     
  6. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Tea you misunderstand what I asked. I acknowledged that science is not the tool. I also agree that the only measure of a God is faith.

    Thomas you misunderstood me too. Again, I accept that an empirical proof is not possible.

    I'm trying to think of a way to say this differently cause I'm clearly not getting my point across (frustrating!). Here is the sticky in the wicket for me. The title of this thread is 'The Truth and Nothing But the Facts'. In the OP it was stated that empirical evidence is not going to do the job when it comes to the existence of a God. Which I agree with.

    As this discussion has gone forward my thoughts have come around to this question: "If faith is the only 'proof' of the existence of a God, how do I relate to that when I see faith as potentially illusory. Which brought in the unicorn example. One has to have faith that unicorns exist because there is no empirical evidence that they ever did exist. In this case that faith would be misinformed as most of us understand that the unicorn is a creature of fantasy.

    From there, that exact thought process was applied to my conundrum with belief in a God. A God may be on a different magnitude than a unicorn but the thought process for determining both is the same. The tools used to determine the 'facts' are the same.

    And here it is. The bottom line. How does one choose to believe one mythological creature and denounce another? I accept that a whole lot more literature has been written about Gods than unicorns. Does a mountain of literature proving God trump a mole hill of literature for the unicorn? Obviously the answer to that question is up to each individual. I get that.

    The process is still the same for each. The volume of 'evidence' is different. All of it is faith driven though. Every last bit of it. 'Truth and Nothing But the Facts' is not a reasonable statement. Faith may be truth. Perhaps. It is NOT facts though. Not as that word 'facts' is defined.

    Faith in the belief of Gods may be true. And I say that with purpose. Faith of Gods may indeed be true. I'm a mere mortal and who am I to say no it is absolutely impossible. Is it reasonable to rely of faith to declare facts not in evidence? That one is tougher. The only conclusion that there is for me is that this is a chasm I am not capable of crossing.
     
  7. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Thomas I wanted to make a point of responding to this statement. I realize that from a view of someone who has belief - what I am saying may be very insulting. I hope you know me well enough by now to know that I would never mean it as an insult. I acknowledge the great traditions of East and West, the history of religious traditions down through the ages. These are very real.

    Humanity has a need for a belief in Gods. All the many traditions around the world through out history make this obvious. I don't question the need (although I admit I do not understand this need); the question is does the need mean Gods must exist? Is it possible that the need is part of the human psyche which generates a belief structure that Gods must exist even though they may not exist at all? Is it possible all of this history of Gods is based solely (souly ;) on some fundamental biology of the human psyche but is never the less completely illusory?

    That is what I ponder.
     
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  8. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I'll sit down with your text and do a thorough reading! I think I misunderstand not WHAT you write but HOW you write it. I'm thinking you are used to the tools I've mention many times now that is sort of how you write things out. I'll make a proper effort later!
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Of course, wouldn't dream of it. I hope you understand that neither am I ...

    Quite possible. Something I ask myself all the time.

    So do I, my friend, so do I! (LOL. I missed the 'r' in 'friend' just now, so read back 'so do I, my fiend'! Freudian slip? Or are you a demon sent to test me?)
     
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  11. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Nah. That would be Wil. :D
     
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  12. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    LOL.

    A good friend of mine is a lifelong supporter of a UK soccer club, Leicester City. They always lose. This year they won everything. During the season he used to post on Facebook that the weekends weren't the same. Without Saturday's result to moan about, he's at a loss as to what to do. I know what he means. Where the heck is Wil?

    (I'll give him a nudge on FB. He seems to be getting political in his old age.)
     
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  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    It seems this applies... How many believe in Mormonism as a truth? That Joseph Smith received gold plates with a strange script and translated them?

     
  14. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Where did you get that from, wil?
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    From a Mormon site... or contemplation. If we are going to discuss truth and facts.... I think it wonderful to discuss what others believe as truth and facts and why we don't... and in exploring why we don't... can we understand why others don't believe our truth and facts.
     
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  16. Courage

    Courage Member

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    Science only works inside a physical place where we can go. It is because science is experiment based. Science thus will not work in a time-space outside of our living environment. That's the limitation of science. So is empirical evidence. Empirical evidence can only be gathered in a place where we can physically go.

    It is thus fallacious to draw the conclusion that nothing can be true outside the reach of our science. The analogy is that when your finger is unable to penetrate a wall then to draw the conclusion that nothing can exist on the other side of the wall. It's the limitation of your finger which limits your capability to reach the other side of the wall.
     
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  17. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. It is also true that nothing can be definitively proven outside of science. Science cannot test beyond empirical evidence. Neither can any other system test beyond empirical evidence. There is the rub.

    P.S. I see you have been a member for a long time, so welcome back!
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Only within the logic of the narrative.

    Quite so.

    The logic and coherence of the narrative, and then it's a matter of conviction.

    Yes. If you believe in God, then miracles are not out of the question.

    I'd say it's based on a world view that transcends the empirical. The idea of God — within their respective traditions — is coherent, logical, reasonable, rational, etc. This is where I part company with 'personal religion' or syncretism, which tends to ignore the whole and focus on subjective views and values, but the point is metaphysics does not fall within the realm of physics.

    I think the issue is that we in the West have dazzled ourselves with physics so comprehensively, it's become a stumbling block, for all its benefits.

    Is that not itself a narrative that favours the empirical?
     
  19. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    It may surprise everyone to hear that I actually agree with this statement. More specifically we have so grounded ourselves in the physical world that we have lost site of our connection to what is beyond. And there are beyonds in my belief system. It is just very different from most all modern conventional religious systems. Because it is based on one of the oldest belief systems, Animism/Pandeism.
     
  20. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Since you are a man of quantitative data and proof, how did you come to animism?
     

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