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how do religious people prove religion


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#16    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 01:54 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 04 May 2013 - 05:24 PM, said:

I have no empirical evidence for my beliefs.  But then, I have never claimed to have empirical proof.  So why should I be required to provide it for you?  I have my personal proofs/personal experiences that convince me of my views.  But just as your personal experience is unlikely to convince me of your world view, so is my personal experience unlikely to convince you of my world view.

Hi PA,

I guess the question then becomes, to what extent do you entertain and respect (the beliefs, not the believers; I find you to be very respectful of everyone to your credit) other people's world views and beliefs that similarly have 'no empirical evidence'?  There are countless beliefs that are in conflict with yours, so doesn't, or shouldn't, that temper the things you believe based on your own personal proofs or experience?  Without empirical evidence, doesn't that place all these unevidenced world views, a large set of which are mutually exclusive, on the same footing?  If it does, then what is the basis for thinking your world view is the true one?  

I guess I agree to some extent that everyone's world view is based somewhat on personal experience, but I don't think my world view is true based solely on that personal experience: there is abundant evidence that personal experience can be misleading and I know that my personal experience is very limited in scope.  I wouldn't try to convince you of the correctness of my world view based on my personal experience, I would try and base it on empirical evidence, as well as what is the consistent and logical position to take when empirical evidence is lacking.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
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#17    Doug1o29

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 01:55 PM

View Postali smack, on 04 May 2013 - 03:44 PM, said:

how do religious people offer proof of there religions?
i'm just interested to hear and see proof?
BTW i'm not insulting anyone's beliefs!
One believes on the basis of faith alone.  At least, that's what religious teachers say.  Those who need proof (or even evidence) lack faith.

The problem is that there is no proof of anything supernatural or, to the nest of my knowledge, even evidence of anything supernatural (I am assuming that "god" is defined as outside of Nature.).

Rational thinking starts with no assumptions:  we must demonstrate even our own existence.  We do not assume that there is no god, but neither can we assume that there is one.  We must wait until evidence is found.  Because evidence has not been found, we cannot use god to demonstrate or prove anything.  To theists, that sounds like atheism.  In fact, it is a neutral position.  Unable to invoke a god, we must explain the universe without one.  As long as god is not necessary to our explanation, this works just fine.  So far, god has not been necessary.

But tomorrow, we might find evidence of god.  Or we might have to insert the line "Then a miracle occurs," into our proofs.  In that case, science will need to be rethought.  But as that hasn't happened, yet, it appears we are safe.

So if a theist wishes to "prove" god, he must find a phenomenon that clearly exists and absolutely requires god for its existence.  Again, it's not that god does or doesn't exist; it's that the universe exists whether or not there is a god.

OK, theists.  Ball's in your court.
Doug

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Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
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#18    Paranoid Android

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:14 PM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 06 May 2013 - 01:54 PM, said:

Hi PA,

I guess the question then becomes, to what extent do you entertain and respect (the beliefs, not the believers; I find you to be very respectful of everyone to your credit) other people's world views and beliefs that similarly have 'no empirical evidence'?  There are countless beliefs that are in conflict with yours, so doesn't, or shouldn't, that temper the things you believe based on your own personal proofs or experience?  Without empirical evidence, doesn't that place all these unevidenced world views, a large set of which are mutually exclusive, on the same footing?  If it does, then what is the basis for thinking your world view is the true one?  

I guess I agree to some extent that everyone's world view is based somewhat on personal experience, but I don't think my world view is true based solely on that personal experience: there is abundant evidence that personal experience can be misleading and I know that my personal experience is very limited in scope.  I wouldn't try to convince you of the correctness of my world view based on my personal experience, I would try and base it on empirical evidence, as well as what is the consistent and logical position to take when empirical evidence is lacking.
That is where "faith" comes in Liquid Gardens.  I trust that I have chosen the path that leads to God and heaven.  Part of this faith is accepting things I can't empirically verify.  But that doesn't mean I see all paths as equal paths to God.  I see people who genuinely believe that they have the truth, even if that truth is different to mine.  That is why I fully respect someone for having the conviction in their life to follow something.  Even if it is not what I believe, I understand WHY they made the choice they did.  I see the beauty in the world view that they have chosen to abide by, and I understand why it gives them purpose and joy and wonder.  Therefore, no matter how "wrong" I believe it to be, I respect them for it.  But because of my Faith, I still believe that I have chosen correctly.  I believe that if someone were to lay out all that I believe Christianity teaches, the wonder of Jesus' sacrifice, the expression of love we therefore show in loving God and loving our neighbours, in meeting up with believers who have made the same choice, in accepting that we have sinned but because of God's mercy we have eternal life.

But I digress, this is my personal faith.  I cannot turn away from it, for to me it is as true as this laptop I'm typing on.  Allah, Gautama, Krishna, all these other deities aren't real for me (ok, Gautama wasn't a deity, but you get my meaning).  I'll respect someone for believing different, but I cannot ever accept all views as equally correct.

Hope this helps :)

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#19    Setton

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:25 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 06 May 2013 - 01:55 PM, said:

One believes on the basis of faith alone.  At least, that's what religious teachers say.  Those who need proof (or even evidence) lack faith.

The problem is that there is no proof of anything supernatural or, to the nest of my knowledge, even evidence of anything supernatural (I am assuming that "god" is defined as outside of Nature.).

But as soon as you present proof of the supernatural, it becomes natural by definition. That's why to even consider proving or disproving a god is a waste of time. Unless, as you say, a proof needs the line 'then a miracle occurs'. Which would make miracles a natural occurrence. And therefore not miracles. And then my head starts to hurt :P

'Good' is not the same as 'nice'.
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When they discover the centre of the universe, a lot of people are going to be disappointed - They are not it.
I don't object to the concept of a deity but I'm baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance.

#20    Doug1o29

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:56 PM

View PostSetton, on 06 May 2013 - 02:25 PM, said:

But as soon as you present proof of the supernatural, it becomes natural by definition.
In the past what was previously thought to be god has turned out to be Nature.  It didn't become Nature; it was Nature all along.

Quote

That's why to even consider proving or disproving a god is a waste of time. Unless, as you say, a proof needs the line 'then a miracle occurs'. Which would make miracles a natural occurrence. And therefore not miracles. And then my head starts to hurt :P
I gave up on "proofs" of god when I discovered they were all exercises in semantics.  The "proofs" are circuitous in that whatever assumption you start with is the result you end up with.  The problem is that we have never developed a lexicon for this purpose, so we can't even talk about it.  Language can't do the job.

Also, many of the questions that come up in these discussions are phrased badly.  The result is gibberish.  Before you can get the right answer, you have to ask the right question.
Doug

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Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
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#21    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:48 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 May 2013 - 02:14 PM, said:

That is why I fully respect someone for having the conviction in their life to follow something.  Even if it is not what I believe, I understand WHY they made the choice they did.  I see the beauty in the world view that they have chosen to abide by, and I understand why it gives them purpose and joy and wonder.  Therefore, no matter how "wrong" I believe it to be, I respect them for it.  But because of my Faith, I still believe that I have chosen correctly.  I believe that if someone were to lay out all that I believe Christianity teaches, the wonder of Jesus' sacrifice, the expression of love we therefore show in loving God and loving our neighbours, in meeting up with believers who have made the same choice, in accepting that we have sinned but because of God's mercy we have eternal life.

Whereas this explanation to me seems to provide arguments why you should doubt what you believe.  Quick disclaimer, these are my intepretations only, I am phrasing my statements this way just for my ease, I am not putting words in your mouth.  When you say you understand why people made the choice they did, you accept that people believe things to be true essentially because they want to, it provides purpose and joy and wonder.  But you also say that many of these people are incorrect, thus people believe in false things just because they want to, a lot of them.  I don't know how one can objectively make a case without empirical evidence to show that your belief is correct and the others are not, as you say it largely comes down to faith with is wholly subjective.  Thus, through LG's eyes again, you've given yourself a very good reason not to put too much fai-, errrr, credence in what you believe to be true and especially whatever process you have taken to determine the truth of it.

To be fair, I don't believe that your religious belief was necessarily a matter of choice; it's obviously changeable, but I can't just will myself or choose to believe in God and Jesus or in creationism or astrology or whatever, I don't know to what extent belief is really voluntarily.  It does seem like it has to be tough to evangelize however, I don't think I know how to do that without empirical evidence/logic/objective reasoning, especially since without those I don't see how I could believe it to be true myself.

Quote

But I digress, this is my personal faith.  I cannot turn away from it, for to me it is as true as this laptop I'm typing on.  

I've heard this type of sentiment before, but I don't understand it.  If your laptop is not really there, then the likely answer to that should pretty much shatter your reality, you are either severely hallucinating or we're living in the Matrix or something.  Regardless of what it is, it pulls the rug out from your religious beliefs also as that relies on this world not just being a dream or simulation, as the Bible would just be a part of that illusion also.  If Vishnu comes down and through whatever means convinces you that you are incorrect about the role of Jesus in the grand scheme of things, I don't think it would have nearly as large an impact on everything else you think is true in comparison.

Quote

Hope this helps :)

It does, and despite my response above I'm still thinking about what you've said and how that seems to me to be such a different 'justification' for believing things to be true, I haven't really thought through all the ramifications if was to accept such justifications.  Thanks as always for the reply!  :tu:

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
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#22    danbell06

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:29 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 05 May 2013 - 06:27 AM, said:

Speaking of amateurish discoveries, didn't someone also find Jesus' bones?
Yeah his foot was still inside his sandal, and a skidmark on his dress.

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#23    danielost

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:32 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 05 May 2013 - 06:27 AM, said:

Speaking of amateurish discoveries, didn't someone also find Jesus' bones?

They found a tommb with the name of jesus carved on it.  It was empty.  That doesn't mean that it was the tomb of christ.  Many people named jesus.  Including one in the same time period as christ.  He also claimed to be the son of god.  It was do to this jesus that the timple was destroyed.

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I do not go to church haven't for thirty years.
There are other Mormons on this site. So if I have misspoken about the beliefs. I welcome their input.
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#24    Rlyeh

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:33 AM

View Postdanielost, on 07 May 2013 - 11:32 PM, said:

They found a tommb with the name of jesus carved on it.  It was empty.  That doesn't mean that it was the tomb of christ.  Many people named jesus.  Including one in the same time period as christ.  He also claimed to be the son of god.  It was do to this jesus that the timple was destroyed.
Empty except for remains.
http://www.nytimes.c...3stan.html?_r=0


#25    danielost

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:28 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 08 May 2013 - 06:33 AM, said:

Empty except for remains.
http://www.nytimes.c...3stan.html?_r=0

The show on tv said no remains.  Which proves my other point.  That there were more than one person named jesus, as there is today.  Mexicans name children jesus in honor of christ.



I am a Mormon.  If I don't use Mormons believe, those my beliefs only.
I do not go to church haven't for thirty years.
There are other Mormons on this site. So if I have misspoken about the beliefs. I welcome their input.
I am not perfect and never will be. I do strive to be true to myself. I do my best to stay true to the Mormon faith. Thanks for caring and if you don't peace be with you.

#26    Rlyeh

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 04:42 PM

View Postdanielost, on 08 May 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:

The show on tv said no remains.  Which proves my other point.  That there were more than one person named jesus, as there is today.  Mexicans name children jesus in honor of christ.
I think you're missing the point, it was an example of an unsubstantiated discovery, like the ark being found.


#27    Frank Merton

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:06 PM

I gave up a long time ago wondering what aspects of the traditional Buddha story are history and which are not.  The whole thing is riddled with clearly mythological elements, so we may as well just assume the entire thing is a myth and go from there.  

I think Christians would be better off doing much the same.  The stories as we have them are not credible as history and not supportable from outside sources.

Does that mean one abandons Buddhism or Christianity?  I think it means one abandons some aspects of these traditions and becomes agnostic about other aspects, but that the traditions and the art and the ritual and the moral and humane teachings are still valuable and the stories, while not necessarily (or even probably) historical are still valuable cultural motifs and helpful if approached openly.


#28    J. K.

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:27 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 06 May 2013 - 01:55 PM, said:

One believes on the basis of faith alone.  At least, that's what religious teachers say.  Those who need proof (or even evidence) lack faith.


For me, my "faith" is based on evidence: the evidence that I have seen of God working in my life.  The "faith without evidence" is more along of the lines of things that I accept even thought I don't understand them.  I can't say that I understand everything about Christianity, but that doesn't stop me from believing.  

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#29    Doug1o29

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:38 PM

View PostJ. K., on 08 May 2013 - 05:27 PM, said:

[/size]

For me, my "faith" is based on evidence: the evidence that I have seen of God working in my life.  The "faith without evidence" is more along of the lines of things that I accept even thought I don't understand them.  I can't say that I understand everything about Christianity, but that doesn't stop me from believing.  
It's only evidence if two independent observers can agree that it is.  So who is your other observer and what did he/she observe?

For that matter:  what did YOU observe?
Doug

Edited by Doug1o29, 08 May 2013 - 05:43 PM.

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Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#30    Frank Merton

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:41 PM

I hate to say this, but I think faith is an excuse, and a weak excuse at that, for believing indoctrination and not thinking independently.  Buddhism has to my knowledge never taught such a thing, but to always go the way one's mind says to go, not one's heart or one's desires.





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