Prayer Partner
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Everything posted by mererdog

  1. Fun stuff: Riding through Kansas for the first time, today, I keep seeing billboards that feature a picture of an infant and the words "There is evidence for God." Coincidence, kismet, dharma?
  2. You misunderstood because you misinterpreted the evidence. While you might not misinterpret different evidence, or the same evidence presented differently, that isn't really something I can know. So how would I go about being "more careful?"
  3. I've been talking about the nature of belief, not the nature of God. People's beliefs about the nature of God, and why they have those beliefs, was just an "in" to the subject.
  4. I am not moving the goalpost. You just don't like where it is. If we are to claim that it is the evidence that determines our beliefs, we are claiming that other factors are not involved. We are claiming that we are open to the truth, no matter what the truth is. I do not believe that is true. Belief has an emotional component.
  5. That would not answer the question. Tissue samples do not react the way a body does. What effectively kills cancer in a dish will not always kill it in a person, at least not without also killing the person. This is why they do human trials. They examine patient outcomes, and use that evidence to determine what is effective. And while no single patient's outcome provides enough evidence to conclusively determine anything, each outcome provides helpful evidence.
  6. The question is whether or not believing in God would represent a fundamental change in worldview for you.
  7. If this were true, medical science would not exist. When patient's get well, it is evidence that the treatment they were given was effective. In this case, he got chemo, surgury, and also prayed. I tend to think the medical stuff was more important than the religious stuff. My uncle disagrees.
  8. I still don't get you. What people say and what is true do not always coincide. When someone says that there is a way for them to accept something, they may be wrong. It is a claim like any other, inviting the same level of scrutiny as any other. To simply take it at face value would be unfair, in the sense that it is an uneven application of a principle. Special pleading, if you will. I was trained to see that as a sign of flawed thinking. Specifically, I was trained to see it as a sign that emotional attachment to a position was overshadowing critical analysis.
  9. Sorry, I got lost here. Can you rephrase? In the meantime... I think that almost everyone has an innate desire to be fair. It is not a huge stretch to say we all desire justice. Truth be told, we are really, really, really bad at actually being fair. To be fair to us, however, this is largely because being fair is really hard. When I believe, it is because of the evidence. When you believe the opposite of what I believe, you do so despite the evidence. This is true because I am right and you are wrong. It's how I see it, so how can I see it elsewise?
  10. So, we complain that the other guy has no proof for his claim, while simultaneously building a refutation out of unproven assumptions? That seems... fair?
  11. I am. The topic revolves around the question "Why don't you believe in God?" For me, that translates well to "Why don't you see pretty much everything completely differently than you do?" Is it not like that for you? You think you could start believing without it being a big deal?
  12. It is a fact. But what is it evidence of? It is an objective, verifiable fact that my uncle's cancer got better after he prayed to God. But what is this fact evidence of? My uncle and I definitely do not agree on that. When people argue that God exists, they often offer a ton of facts. To make the complexity argument, for example, they'll cite the number of genes in a single cell or the statistical likelihood of an eyeball developing by chance. They are usually spot-on about the facts. Where we normally differ is in our interpretation of the facts- in our subjective determinations about what is evidence of what.
  13. Prudence and Paranoia are identical twin sisters. The kind that wear matching outfits, sleep in the same bed and ride a tandem bicycle. In their youth, they delighted in tricking others by assuming each other's identities. Now, looking at old photographs of themselves, even they can't always tell who is who.
  14. Objective evidence is a myth. No one truly knows what is adequate for them to reevaluate their worldview. You can't know what it would take to get you to quit smoking, if you haven't quit smoking. And what it took to get you to quit last time doesn't tell you what it will take this time. Juries are inherently unpredictable.
  15. When I look up the word "insufficient" in a dictionary, it says the most common meaning is "not enough". "insufficient evidence" would therefore most commonly be understood as "not enough evidence". Nothing in the context of your post suggested that isn't what you meant. Neither word games nor a straw man, but simply an honest attempt at comprehending your writing. Please note, however, the differences between saying the evidence is the cause and saying that your view of the evidence is the cause. The first creates implications about how others should believe (They saw the same evidence), while the second does not. The second creates personal accountability for your personal belief, while the first gives the external responsibility for your internal decisions. See why I think these points matters?
  16. Biblical interpretation tends to get presented as a false dichotomy: either it is all true, or it is all false. But what if it is 14% true? What if God is powerful, but not all-powerful? What if God created the universe, but was also created by something outside the universe? This is a fundamental problem with this subject. People ask "Why dont you believe in polar bears?" and everything I know about polar bears comes from cartoons. If they try to educate me on real polar bears, I just keep saying "That's not what the cartoons said!" As I see it, the only way the universe can not need a "first cause" is if the word "first" is meaningless, in context. This would still mean that everything has a cause, but that at least some things occur either simultaneously or in an infinite timeframe.
  17. I honestly doubt anyone could convince me that God exists. Shown conclusive proof, I suspect I would just believe I was crazy. If God doesn't exist, it is like I am inoculated against a lie. But skepticism is unhealthy when it blinds us to the truth, and what could be more tragic than a blind man who doesn't even realize he is blind?
  18. I never implied a god was required. I stated that a cause was required. "energetic properties" would be a set of causes. The job of science is to sniff out the causes, and the underlying causes beneath the causes.
  19. I refer you back to my first post in this thread. If no one knows you are praying, you are probably correct. But if you tell people you are praying, or you pray in front of them, you can easily cause problems if they do not pray the way you do. You may end up starting a fight, or simply alienating the other person, ensuring they will never accept the salvation you want for them. People can be more than a little touchy about this stuff. Most people don't seem to care that much about it, but the ones who do...
  20. You may not need a reason, but there are reasons. This is a causal universe. Everything is an effect of something, right?
  21. The specific "something" in question was evidence. Cuchulain made the claim that there is not enough evidence. My point was that there is no objective standard for how much evidence is enough. We have some codified standards in specific industries, but that just means that someone wrote down their subjective standards and someone else decided to follow those subjective standards. Its all still opinion-based. We tend to think that if we are convinced that shows there is enough evidence, and that if we are not convinced that shows there is not enough. But are we convinced by the amount of evidence, or by the quality of evidence? Would the same evidence convince us on a different day when we were in a different mood? How much does the way evidence is presented to us determine whether we are convinced? Is there any amount of evidence that would convince us our core beliefs are wrong? And is there any way to objectively verify any of this? "There isnt enough cinnamon in this." "I followed the recipe." "So that's a bad recipe."
  22. As the song goes, "Because the Bible tells me so." I mean, technically, its a matter of interpretation, but it comes from reading the book. It is sort of the built-in paradox of Abrahamic religion. How do you have individual justice and accountability in a universe with an all-powerful ruler? Every Christian has to reconcile that, somehow. I've never heard an explanation that satisfied me, but I've heard quite a few that satisfied others.
  23. I think you missed the Protestant Revolution. 😁 Those issues of clergy status are central to why there are so many denominations today.
  24. Absent conclusive proof, it would be illogical to presume to know one way or the other. We usually lack conclusive proof, and we usually crave certainty, so we routinely illogically presume things. If we did not do this, we would die very young.