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What would count as proof of God

atrib

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It's the position of those who express that the universe is unlikely to exist unless a transcendent being or entity (a "god") intentionally made it. And, no, that's not my position.
Then you feel it is atrib's position?

It's not my analogy, but I find it interesting that neither of you have been able to exercise consistency with it. It's supposed to be explaining why it should be obvious why the universe simply exists without any need to explain how or why, but both of you instinctively applied agency to the question of the appearing and disappearing cookie, seemingly without even meaning to or thinking about what you were doing.

That is not true. Not once did I compare the two or refer to them as being analogous, or ascribe any special qualities to the cookie itself or its origin - that was you trying to put words in my mouth in an attempt to avoid the point I was making. In the second paragraph of my first post I went on to explain my position further, and this you completely ignored. For the third fucking time, this is I said:

If we don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist. It is not reasonable to accept a claim that some supernatural entity outside the universe deliberately made it happen, when such a claim is not backed by sufficient evidence.

You made an argument from ignorance and got called out on it by multiple posters. You asserted that we should not question theistic claims because we don't know how the universe originated. This is an argument from ignorance. Now you are trying to misrepresent my position and argue irrelevant nonsense to divert our attention from this fact.
I said nothing of the sort.

You're very quick to invent positions for me, for someone so supposedly offended by my many misinterpretations of your clever metaphor that you cannot explain or defend.

I would, if coming upon a cookie, absolutely assume that someone made it. And if I then found the cookie missing, I would absolutely assume that someone had taken it. So what does that imply for a universe, which is the analogue to the cookie in this situation?

As I have explained already, the cookie is not an analogue of anything. The hypothetical scenario I made up is meant to illustrate how arguments from ignorance work. It is not intended to be a metaphor for the universe or its origin.

We don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist.

This, I wholeheartedly agree with. Indeed, I've said the exact same thing multiple times in the thread! I do not claim to know anything about how the universe came into being. But, I do think that it did. And so do you.

You continue to miss the point. This is the part of your post I disagreed with (in bold):

Politesse:
But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe, it seems a bit silly for one group to go after another group's story.

I disagree that theistic claims regarding the origins of the universe should not be questioned, as you seem to imply in the part I quoted and highlighted. And your reasoning behind why such claims should not be questioned is based on "But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe". It appears to be an argument from ignorance, as several posters have pointed out. Do you understand now?
 

Politesse

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It's the position of those who express that the universe is unlikely to exist unless a transcendent being or entity (a "god") intentionally made it. And, no, that's not my position.
Then you feel it is atrib's position?

It's not my analogy, but I find it interesting that neither of you have been able to exercise consistency with it. It's supposed to be explaining why it should be obvious why the universe simply exists without any need to explain how or why, but both of you instinctively applied agency to the question of the appearing and disappearing cookie, seemingly without even meaning to or thinking about what you were doing.

That is not true. Not once did I compare the two or refer to them as being analogous, or ascribe any special qualities to the cookie itself or its origin - that was you trying to put words in my mouth in an attempt to avoid the point I was making. In the second paragraph of my first post I went on to explain my position further, and this you completely ignored. For the third fucking time, this is I said:

If we don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist. It is not reasonable to accept a claim that some supernatural entity outside the universe deliberately made it happen, when such a claim is not backed by sufficient evidence.

You made an argument from ignorance and got called out on it by multiple posters. You asserted that we should not question theistic claims because we don't know how the universe originated. This is an argument from ignorance. Now you are trying to misrepresent my position and argue irrelevant nonsense to divert our attention from this fact.
I said nothing of the sort.

You're very quick to invent positions for me, for someone so supposedly offended by my many misinterpretations of your clever metaphor that you cannot explain or defend.

I would, if coming upon a cookie, absolutely assume that someone made it. And if I then found the cookie missing, I would absolutely assume that someone had taken it. So what does that imply for a universe, which is the analogue to the cookie in this situation?

As I have explained already, the cookie is not an analogue of anything. The hypothetical scenario I made up is meant to illustrate how arguments from ignorance work. It is not intended to be a metaphor for the universe or its origin.

We don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist.

This, I wholeheartedly agree with. Indeed, I've said the exact same thing multiple times in the thread! I do not claim to know anything about how the universe came into being. But, I do think that it did. And so do you.

You continue to miss the point. This is the part of your post I disagreed with (in bold):

Politesse:
But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe, it seems a bit silly for one group to go after another group's story.

I disagree that theistic claims regarding the origins of the universe should not be questioned, as you seem to imply in the part I quoted and highlighted. And your reasoning behind why such claims should not be questioned is based on "But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe". It appears to be an argument from ignorance, as several posters have pointed out. Do you understand now?
When have I ever so much as suggested that there is anything which cannot be questioned?
 

atrib

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It's the position of those who express that the universe is unlikely to exist unless a transcendent being or entity (a "god") intentionally made it. And, no, that's not my position.
Then you feel it is atrib's position?

It's not my analogy, but I find it interesting that neither of you have been able to exercise consistency with it. It's supposed to be explaining why it should be obvious why the universe simply exists without any need to explain how or why, but both of you instinctively applied agency to the question of the appearing and disappearing cookie, seemingly without even meaning to or thinking about what you were doing.

That is not true. Not once did I compare the two or refer to them as being analogous, or ascribe any special qualities to the cookie itself or its origin - that was you trying to put words in my mouth in an attempt to avoid the point I was making. In the second paragraph of my first post I went on to explain my position further, and this you completely ignored. For the third fucking time, this is I said:

If we don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist. It is not reasonable to accept a claim that some supernatural entity outside the universe deliberately made it happen, when such a claim is not backed by sufficient evidence.

You made an argument from ignorance and got called out on it by multiple posters. You asserted that we should not question theistic claims because we don't know how the universe originated. This is an argument from ignorance. Now you are trying to misrepresent my position and argue irrelevant nonsense to divert our attention from this fact.
I said nothing of the sort.

You're very quick to invent positions for me, for someone so supposedly offended by my many misinterpretations of your clever metaphor that you cannot explain or defend.

I would, if coming upon a cookie, absolutely assume that someone made it. And if I then found the cookie missing, I would absolutely assume that someone had taken it. So what does that imply for a universe, which is the analogue to the cookie in this situation?

As I have explained already, the cookie is not an analogue of anything. The hypothetical scenario I made up is meant to illustrate how arguments from ignorance work. It is not intended to be a metaphor for the universe or its origin.

We don't know how the universe came to exist, then we can't say anything meaningful about how the universe came to exist.

This, I wholeheartedly agree with. Indeed, I've said the exact same thing multiple times in the thread! I do not claim to know anything about how the universe came into being. But, I do think that it did. And so do you.

You continue to miss the point. This is the part of your post I disagreed with (in bold):

Politesse:
But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe, it seems a bit silly for one group to go after another group's story.

I disagree that theistic claims regarding the origins of the universe should not be questioned, as you seem to imply in the part I quoted and highlighted. And your reasoning behind why such claims should not be questioned is based on "But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe". It appears to be an argument from ignorance, as several posters have pointed out. Do you understand now?
When have I ever so much as suggested that there is anything which cannot be questioned?

In the part I highlighted:

Politesse:
But since no one has any rational means to describe the origin of the universe, it seems a bit silly for one group to go after another group's story.

What did you mean by "go after"? I take it to mean "challenge" or "question". You seem to be saying that people should not challenge or question theistic claims. Feel free to clarify if that is not what you meant.
 

Politesse

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What did you mean by "go after"? I take it to mean "challenge" or "question". You seem to be saying that people should not challenge or question theistic claims. Feel free to clarify if that is not what you meant.
Thinking it's silly to attack the pot for being as black as the pan isn't the same thing as thinking its wrong or shouldn't be allowed. I do think people end up revealing more about themselves than they realize when they try to take proselytization on the offensive.
 

atrib

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What did you mean by "go after"? I take it to mean "challenge" or "question". You seem to be saying that people should not challenge or question theistic claims. Feel free to clarify if that is not what you meant.
Thinking it's silly to attack the pot for being as black as the pan isn't the same thing as thinking its wrong or shouldn't be allowed.
Why is it silly to challenge theistic claims?
 

blastula

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Pot and pan is a false comparison. The claims aren't in the same category.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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What did you mean by "go after"? I take it to mean "challenge" or "question". You seem to be saying that people should not challenge or question theistic claims. Feel free to clarify if that is not what you meant.
Thinking it's silly to attack the pot for being as black as the pan isn't the same thing as thinking its wrong or shouldn't be allowed. I do think people end up revealing more about themselves than they realize when they try to take proselytization on the offensive.
Do you think all proselytizers are aware of their behavior?

When is it okay to start telling children that magic isn't real?

It obviously isn't silly to challenge such behavior. Doing so is the only way a person may become aware of their contradictory behavior, praying to a cosmic magician on one hand and using medical science on the other. But I don't think someone inclined to believe in magic is going to give up their standard. To do so is to give up their group identity and likely financial security.

Maybe it isn't wise to inform a five-year-old brain that Santa is just a story that feels good to pretend is real like any other story-book story. Know your audience.
 

Politesse

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What did you mean by "go after"? I take it to mean "challenge" or "question". You seem to be saying that people should not challenge or question theistic claims. Feel free to clarify if that is not what you meant.
Thinking it's silly to attack the pot for being as black as the pan isn't the same thing as thinking its wrong or shouldn't be allowed. I do think people end up revealing more about themselves than they realize when they try to take proselytization on the offensive.
Do you think all proselytizers are aware of their behavior?
Obviously not. Only other groups proselytize, amirite?
 

Learner

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The complaining about the cookie/goblin analogy is what theists also do with analogies. Time and again I see them turn an analogy that's about epistemology into a matter of ontology; I think because they're ok saying WHAT the beliefs are but don't want to get into WHY the beliefs should seem plausible to anyone.

'Did you get the nature of my items of belief exactly right? Oops, no, nothing in nature is like what I believe so you didn't! How rude!'

Is the imagery in atrib's analogy rudely dismissive of time-honored "personal" beliefs? Let's think on it instead of emoting about it:

The universe is like a cookie if it's a made thing.
And God's like an invisible goblin if he's not visible and is a character found in fantastical stories

Deriving questions from the above in bold, can be misleading and misrepresenting the view of Christianity,... despite often hearing atheists telling us how much they've "read" the whole bible.

By following as according to atheist-apologistic-logic; by having them dictate HOW they "think" theists believe & understand their scriptures, and the cosmic universe in relation to their faith. Naturally these questions may seem difficult to answer (deriving from the above phrasing highlighted in bold).

The obvious point I'm making for this post is: at least meet the theists halfway, so to speak - by getting the story narrative right! Basically as I understand it - no one has seen the Father but the son.. and Jesus was not invisible to humans! Context derived from some examples of the verses below:

Luke 10:21-24
27. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

John1: 18
18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.


John 6:45-46
45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.


 
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Rhea

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You say, “not invisible to humans” as if to imply that the character, Jesus, *is* visible to humans, and is not, to all of us in this discussion, a character in a book of unverified veracity penned by unknown humans thousands of years ago.


You admonish us for failing to “get the story right” when the story is unverified and completely subject to interpretation.

Other Christians can and do admonish YOU for “failing to get the story right,” and here you are trying to imply that this “Jesus” (who, if you get the story right, is “Yeshua,” anyway,) is somehow visible to humans.


It’s rather a stretch, on your part.

In other words, for every human who is alive and has been alive for all of history, the gods have been invisible, and the only exception even you can come up with is in a story book written by you don’t know who, after the death of the alleged visible god, without a verified chain of custody.

That’s your story?
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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The "story" seems to be that humans are half ghosts and we really do fly around in the sky. But of all those stories that are out there only mine is the one, true, "real" story. Omigosh! I'm convinced!
 

Harry Bosch

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The complaining about the cookie/goblin analogy is what theists also do with analogies. Time and again I see them turn an analogy that's about epistemology into a matter of ontology; I think because they're ok saying WHAT the beliefs are but don't want to get into WHY the beliefs should seem plausible to anyone.

'Did you get the nature of my items of belief exactly right? Oops, no, nothing in nature is like what I believe so you didn't! How rude!'

Is the imagery in atrib's analogy rudely dismissive of time-honored "personal" beliefs? Let's think on it instead of emoting about it:

The universe is like a cookie if it's a made thing.
And God's like an invisible goblin if he's not visible and is a character found in fantastical stories

Deriving questions from the above in bold, can be misleading and misrepresenting the view of Christianity,... despite often hearing atheists telling us how much they've "read" the whole bible.

By following as according to atheist-apologistic-logic; by having them dictate HOW they "think" theists believe & understand their scriptures, and the cosmic universe in relation to their faith. Naturally these questions may seem difficult to answer (deriving from the above phrasing highlighted in bold).

The obvious point I'm making for this post is: at least meet the theists halfway, so to speak - by getting the story narrative right! Basically as I understand it - no one has seen the Father but the son.. and Jesus was not invisible to humans! Context derived from some examples of the verses below:

Luke 10:21-24
27. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

John1: 18
18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.


John 6:45-46
45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.


I'm not exactly sure of your point here. I'd like to hear more. But clearly, Jesus is mostly invisible to most people over the history of the planent. He only appeared to a tiny group in the Mideast for a short period of time before the iphone or printing press. Big Foot is far more visible and convincing than Jesus.
 

Learner

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You say, “not invisible to humans” as if to imply that the character, Jesus, *is* visible to humans, and is not, to all of us in this discussion, a character in a book of unverified veracity penned by unknown humans thousands of years ago.
To Harry Bosch's post too.

Well, here we can open up a little more on, what one means, some clarity. I WAS talking about those who have witnessed Jesus as existing. According to a majority, if not all Biblical scholars; both secular and theistic believe Jesus existed (seen by people IOW).


You admonish us for failing to “get the story right” when the story is unverified and completely subject to interpretation.

Other Christians can and do admonish YOU for “failing to get the story right,” and here you are trying to imply that this “Jesus” (who, if you get the story right, is “Yeshua,” anyway,) is somehow visible to humans.

No it's about atheists reading it wrong versus how theists read it, in this particular regard.

It’s rather a stretch, on your part.

In other words, for every human who is alive and has been alive for all of history, the gods have been invisible, and the only exception even you can come up with is in a story book written by you don’t know who, after the death of the alleged visible god, without a verified chain of custody.

That’s your story?

It is my story, there abouts but there's a little more to it, than the generic discription.
 
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Harry Bosch

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You say, “not invisible to humans” as if to imply that the character, Jesus, *is* visible to humans, and is not, to all of us in this discussion, a character in a book of unverified veracity penned by unknown humans thousands of years ago.
To Harry Bosch's post too.

Well, here we can open up a little more on, what one means, some clarity. I WAS talking about those who have witnessed Jesus as existing. According to a majority, if not all Biblical cholars; secular and theistic believe Jesus existed (seen by people IOW).



You admonish us for failing to “get the story right” when the story is unverified and completely subject to interpretation.

Other Christians can and do admonish YOU for “failing to get the story right,” and here you are trying to imply that this “Jesus” (who, if you get the story right, is “Yeshua,” anyway,) is somehow visible to humans.

No it's about atheists reading it wrong as opposed to theists in this particular regard.

It’s rather a stretch, on your part.

In other words, for every human who is alive and has been alive for all of history, the gods have been invisible, and the only exception even you can come up with is in a story book written by you don’t know who, after the death of the alleged visible god, without a verified chain of custody.

That’s your story?

It is my story, there abouts but there's a little more to it, than the generic discription.
Learner: I'd be surprised if all biblical scholars believed that Jesus existed. However, it isn't surprising that someone with a belief devotes their life at validating their beliefs and becoming a "scholar" in the subject. But I'm curious about your beliefs. Correct me if I'm stating your position wrong, but it sounds like you believe in god because some people (in the bible?) have witnessed Jesus as existing?
 

Learner

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Learner: I'd be surprised if all biblical scholars believed that Jesus existed. However, it isn't surprising that someone with a belief devotes their life at validating their beliefs and becoming a "scholar" in the subject. But I'm curious about your beliefs.

Perhaps not every single one but according to Bart Erhman: pretty much close to ALL of them , as he was refuting the mythicists notion. I suppose the merits of the believing scholar depends on what he or she finds and presents to the world..

Correct me if I'm stating your position wrong, but it sounds like you believe in god because some people (in the bible?) have witnessed Jesus as existing?

You are correct. In short: I have never seen Jesus physically myself but my belief is on the basis of faith as in Trust, and with what I make of the world (which also leads me to asks questions about what they say about the world). Not wanting to go over old ground repeating myself, but the bible is highly emphasized as a book of witnessing and testimonies. And the word faith with some variation meaningsm is ALL included in the bible depending on the scenario.. The high emphasis on truth - telling the truth, and the consequences by doing the opposite i.e. telling lies and being false witnesses etc.. is punishable.

The belief and understanding of 'The fear of God, judgement & hell,' reveals in my opinion, a psychological mindset, writing down truthfully, what they (the authors who were intelligent people), say they've have seen and heard. The narrative idea of course, will have it's opposing arguments or debates made against... like "they made it up," or "Jesus never existed," or "a number of people were dellusional at the same time when seeing miracles," and so on. Ongoing untill apparently, one of these arguments 'nips it in the bud' ending the Jesus belief, once and for all.
 
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Harry Bosch

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Learner: I'd be surprised if all biblical scholars believed that Jesus existed. However, it isn't surprising that someone with a belief devotes their life at validating their beliefs and becoming a "scholar" in the subject. But I'm curious about your beliefs.

Perhaps not every single one but according to Bart Erhman: pretty much close to ALL of them , as he was refuting the mythicists notion. I suppose the merits of the believing scholar depends on what he or she finds and presents to the world..

Correct me if I'm stating your position wrong, but it sounds like you believe in god because some people (in the bible?) have witnessed Jesus as existing?

You are correct. In short: I have never seen Jesus physically myself but my belief is on the basis of faith as in Trust, and with what I make of the world (which also leads me to asks questions about what they say about the world). Not wanting to go over old ground repeating myself, but the bible is highly emphasized as a book of witnessing and testimonies. And the word faith with some variation meaningsm is ALL included in the bible depending on the scenario.. The high emphasis on truth - telling the truth, and the consequences by doing the opposite i.e. telling lies and being false witnesses etc.. is punishable.

The belief and 'The fear of God & hell' understanding, reveals in my opinion, a psychological state, writing down truthfully, what they (the authors) who were intelligent people, say they've have seen of heard, which of course, with this idea, will have opposing arguments or debates made against - like "they made it up," or "Jesus never existed," or "a number of people were dellusional at the same time," and so on.
Well, I don't want to strawman you. So please tell me if my interpretation of your beliefs are incorrect. But you believe that the bible is correct because the bible is "emphasized" as a book of witnessing and testimonies? Who is doing this emphasizing? If the writers of the Koran were convinced that the Koran was a book of witnessing and testimony (I'm not an expert on the Koran!); would you then assume that the Koran is "true"?
 

Learner

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Well, I don't want to strawman you. So please tell me if my interpretation of your beliefs are incorrect. But you believe that the bible is correct because the bible is "emphasized" as a book of witnessing and testimonies? Who is doing this emphasizing? If the writers of the Koran were convinced that the Koran was a book of witnessing and testimony (I'm not an expert on the Koran!); would you then assume that the Koran is "true"?
The emphasis is throughout the bible. But you could take the Commandments as an obvious example.

I'm not much on the Koran myself however, I do know they don't believe Jesus is the Son of God or trinity and they believe He wasn't crucified either.

Interestingly They do believe He is the Messiah, and He was concieved without a human father, and He will return.
 

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Well, I don't want to strawman you. So please tell me if my interpretation of your beliefs are incorrect. But you believe that the bible is correct because the bible is "emphasized" as a book of witnessing and testimonies? Who is doing this emphasizing? If the writers of the Koran were convinced that the Koran was a book of witnessing and testimony (I'm not an expert on the Koran!); would you then assume that the Koran is "true"?
The emphasis is throughout the bible. But you could take the Commandments as an obvious example.

I'm not much on the Koran myself however, I do know they don't believe Jesus is the Son of God or trinity and they believe He wasn't crucified either.

Interestingly They believe He is the Messiah and was concieved without a human father, and He will return.
Sorry, but I'm a little confused. I think that you are saying that you believe that the bible is correct because the bible emphasizes witnessing and testimony? Correct? If the Koran also emphasizes witnessing and testimony (I'll do some research on this); would you not also consider it to be true? If so, which book should we believe in?
 

Learner

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Sorry, but I'm a little confused. I think that you are saying that you believe that the bible is correct because the bible emphasizes witnessing and testimony? Correct? If the Koran also emphasizes witnessing and testimony (I'll do some research on this); would you not also consider it to be true? If so, which book should we believe in?

Why are you confused? Well firstly... the bible was written well before the Koran. Witnesses (plural) are many in the bible. Witness singular, by Mohammed in the Koran has less weight. The old argument against the bible: that there were many writers etc.. strangely enough is actually better than one single witness, so to speak, just like lonesome Joseph Smith.
 

Harry Bosch

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Sorry, but I'm a little confused. I think that you are saying that you believe that the bible is correct because the bible emphasizes witnessing and testimony? Correct? If the Koran also emphasizes witnessing and testimony (I'll do some research on this); would you not also consider it to be true? If so, which book should we believe in?

Why are you confused? Well firstly... the bible was written well before the Koran. Witnesses (plural) are many in the bible. Witness singular, by Mohammed in the Koran has less weight. The old argument against the bible: that there were many writers etc.. strangely enough is actually better than one single witness, so to speak, just like lonesome Joseph Smith.
I gotcha now. So, you're saying that the bible is more accurate because it is older and has more witnesses. However, there are many religious books that are older than the bible:


I will do some research to see if these books have "witnessing" in them.
 

Learner

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Sorry, but I'm a little confused. I think that you are saying that you believe that the bible is correct because the bible emphasizes witnessing and testimony? Correct? If the Koran also emphasizes witnessing and testimony (I'll do some research on this); would you not also consider it to be true? If so, which book should we believe in?

Why are you confused? Well firstly... the bible was written well before the Koran. Witnesses (plural) are many in the bible. Witness singular, by Mohammed in the Koran has less weight. The old argument against the bible: that there were many writers etc.. strangely enough is actually better than one single witness, so to speak, just like lonesome Joseph Smith.
I gotcha now. So, you're saying that the bible is more accurate because it is older and has more witnesses. However, there are many religious books that are older than the bible:

I approached it from the perspective that even though Islam is taught to believe in the Torah, the Prophets and bible (some parts believed corrupted). The bible mentioned prophets first. out of the Abrahamic faiths. I suppose "technically," Islam is another biblical denomination, considering they acknowledge Jesus , Moses and other prophets..




I will do some research to see if these books have "witnessing" in them.

Nice one Harry, good thing with these discussions is they encourage us to do research, for the curiosity and not just for debates| (I need to do some research myself).
 

abaddon

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The universe is like a cookie if it's a made thing.

And God's like an invisible goblin if he's not visible and is a character found in fantastical stories

Deriving questions from the above in bold, can be misleading and misrepresenting ...

It's not misleading because it lead to an answer.

Wanting it to reflect your "narrative" in all details misses the point. It's an atheist telling his perspective, to invite discussion about what the evidence is. So your response about what your evidence is IS the reasonable kind of response. That's how discussing what the disagreements are happens.
 
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Rhea

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Sorry, but I'm a little confused. I think that you are saying that you believe that the bible is correct because the bible emphasizes witnessing and testimony? Correct? If the Koran also emphasizes witnessing and testimony (I'll do some research on this); would you not also consider it to be true? If so, which book should we believe in?

Why are you confused? Well firstly... the bible was written well before the Koran. Witnesses (plural) are many in the bible. Witness singular, by Mohammed in the Koran has less weight. The old argument against the bible: that there were many writers etc.. strangely enough is actually better than one single witness, so to speak, just like lonesome Joseph Smith.


So are you agreeing with Harry’s effort to reflect your position?
That you believe whatever book is the oldest one with witnesses?

And I have a follow-up question; does this mean that you do not believve the parts of the bible that are written by people who are not witnesses? Like Paul’s stuff, and Revelations? And Genesis?
 

atrib

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The complaining about the cookie/goblin analogy is what theists also do with analogies. Time and again I see them turn an analogy that's about epistemology into a matter of ontology; I think because they're ok saying WHAT the beliefs are but don't want to get into WHY the beliefs should seem plausible to anyone.

'Did you get the nature of my items of belief exactly right? Oops, no, nothing in nature is like what I believe so you didn't! How rude!'

Is the imagery in atrib's analogy rudely dismissive of time-honored "personal" beliefs? Let's think on it instead of emoting about it:

The universe is like a cookie if it's a made thing.
And God's like an invisible goblin if he's not visible and is a character found in fantastical stories

Deriving questions from the above in bold, can be misleading and misrepresenting the view of Christianity,... despite often hearing atheists telling us how much they've "read" the whole bible.

By following as according to atheist-apologistic-logic; by having them dictate HOW they "think" theists believe & understand their scriptures, and the cosmic universe in relation to their faith. Naturally these questions may seem difficult to answer (deriving from the above phrasing highlighted in bold).

The obvious point I'm making for this post is: at least meet the theists halfway, so to speak - by getting the story narrative right! Basically as I understand it - no one has seen the Father but the son.. and Jesus was not invisible to humans! Context derived from some examples of the verses below:
The narrative is that God created humans broken; we are all broken from birth because God made us that way. But he wanted us to overcome our broken nature and stop sinning, or we would be sent to Hell. But he also gave humans a get-out-of-jail-free card; he cloned himself in human form and had this clone brutally sacrificed to himself so he could allow himself to forgive the broken humans who bowed down before this clone and called it Master. Did I get the narrative right?

The narrative doesn't make any sense. Why would an emotionally and technologically sophisticated god want or need to be worshiped? Why would this god need human sacrifice to be appeased, and the aroma of burning flesh to be soothed? If this god loves it's creation, why does it make us suffer? Why does this god never show itself to the humans he created and apparently loves?

and Jesus was not invisible to humans!
Not in any way that you can demonstrate. For all we know, Jesus is a fictional character invented by humans, just like all the other gods we have created.
 

atrib

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You say, “not invisible to humans” as if to imply that the character, Jesus, *is* visible to humans, and is not, to all of us in this discussion, a character in a book of unverified veracity penned by unknown humans thousands of years ago.
To Harry Bosch's post too.

Well, here we can open up a little more on, what one means, some clarity. I WAS talking about those who have witnessed Jesus as existing. According to a majority, if not all Biblical scholars; both secular and theistic believe Jesus existed (seen by people IOW).

There were probably hundreds of people named Yeshua in that part of the world 2,000 years ago. Some of them may have been preachers and leaders of a small cult. That doesn't mean any of them were clones of a god. That doesn't mean they performed supernatural acts. That doesn't mean that what they preached about their gods were true.
 

atrib

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Learner: I'd be surprised if all biblical scholars believed that Jesus existed. However, it isn't surprising that someone with a belief devotes their life at validating their beliefs and becoming a "scholar" in the subject. But I'm curious about your beliefs.

Perhaps not every single one but according to Bart Erhman: pretty much close to ALL of them , as he was refuting the mythicists notion. I suppose the merits of the believing scholar depends on what he or she finds and presents to the world..

Can you cite the book and quote the passage that you reference here please? I have read a few of Erhman's books, and I don't remember him saying that pretty much all historians believe that Jesus was a flesh and blood person.

The belief and understanding of 'The fear of God, judgement & hell,' reveals in my opinion, a psychological mindset, writing down truthfully, what they (the authors who were intelligent people), say they've have seen and heard. The narrative idea of course, will have it's opposing arguments or debates made against... like "they made it up," or "Jesus never existed," or "a number of people were dellusional at the same time when seeing miracles," and so on. Ongoing untill apparently, one of these arguments 'nips it in the bud' ending the Jesus belief, once and for all.

I don't have a problem believing that someone named Jesus existed, and he was a preacher. What I don't believe is that he rose up from the dead as a zombie and flew off into space. Those stories are almost certainly fabrications, beyond any reasonable standard of doubt. For reasons that have been explained to you previously.

The idea is not to "nip the Jesus beliefs". I don't give a fuck what you believe. The idea is to challenge the misinformation and outright lies that many theists resort to to defend their faith.
 

atrib

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Sorry, but I'm a little confused. I think that you are saying that you believe that the bible is correct because the bible emphasizes witnessing and testimony? Correct? If the Koran also emphasizes witnessing and testimony (I'll do some research on this); would you not also consider it to be true? If so, which book should we believe in?

Why are you confused? Well firstly... the bible was written well before the Koran. Witnesses (plural) are many in the bible. Witness singular, by Mohammed in the Koran has less weight. The old argument against the bible: that there were many writers etc.. strangely enough is actually better than one single witness, so to speak, just like lonesome Joseph Smith.


So are you agreeing with Harry’s effort to reflect your position?
That you believe whatever book is the oldest one with witnesses?

And I have a follow-up question; does this mean that you do not believve the parts of the bible that are written by people who are not witnesses? Like Paul’s stuff, and Revelations? And Genesis?
In another place, Learner has claimed that only the parts of the Bible that are direct quotations of what Jesus said should be considered true. Everything else is questionable.
 

Politesse

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Prove it no longer exists!😜
No need, I just need to prove that everything which specifically claims to be a cookie, isn't one. Since "absence of cookies" is the default assumption, the burden of proof is always on the baker. And since as we all know, everyone who claims to have seen the cookie is suffering from mental delusions, and moreover disagree even with each other as to what cookies look like, this should be.... a cakewalk.
 

Politesse

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Sorry, but I'm a little confused. I think that you are saying that you believe that the bible is correct because the bible emphasizes witnessing and testimony? Correct? If the Koran also emphasizes witnessing and testimony (I'll do some research on this); would you not also consider it to be true? If so, which book should we believe in?

Why are you confused? Well firstly... the bible was written well before the Koran. Witnesses (plural) are many in the bible. Witness singular, by Mohammed in the Koran has less weight. The old argument against the bible: that there were many writers etc.. strangely enough is actually better than one single witness, so to speak, just like lonesome Joseph Smith.


So are you agreeing with Harry’s effort to reflect your position?
That you believe whatever book is the oldest one with witnesses?

And I have a follow-up question; does this mean that you do not believve the parts of the bible that are written by people who are not witnesses? Like Paul’s stuff, and Revelations? And Genesis?
In another place, Learner has claimed that only the parts of the Bible that are direct quotations of what Jesus said should be considered true. Everything else is questionable.
Ah, the red-letter Bible! My grandmother used to have one of those.
 

atrib

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Prove it no longer exists!😜
No need, I just need to prove that everything which specifically claims to be a cookie, isn't one. Since "absence of cookies" is the default assumption, the burden of proof is always on the baker. And since as we all know, everyone who claims to have seen the cookie is suffering from mental delusions, and moreover disagree even with each other as to what cookies look like, this should be.... a cakewalk.
A cookie is not analogous to a god in any meaningful way. Many of us have seen cookies, or biscuits, as the rest of the world calls them. Cookies are easily available from multiple retail stores, and can also be created from ingredients in our own homes. We can see, feel, taste and smell cookies. We can create standards to define what a cookie is, and test anything that claims to be a cookie against these standards. None of those things are possible with gods. And that is where your analogy breaks down.
 

Politesse

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Prove it no longer exists!😜
No need, I just need to prove that everything which specifically claims to be a cookie, isn't one. Since "absence of cookies" is the default assumption, the burden of proof is always on the baker. And since as we all know, everyone who claims to have seen the cookie is suffering from mental delusions, and moreover disagree even with each other as to what cookies look like, this should be.... a cakewalk.
A cookie is not analogous to a god in any meaningful way. Many of us have seen cookies, or biscuits, as the rest of the world calls them. Cookies are easily available from multiple retail stores, and can also be created from ingredients in our own homes. We can see, feel, taste and smell cookies. We can create standards to define what a cookie is, and test anything that claims to be a cookie against these standards. None of those things are possible with gods. And that is where your analogy breaks down.
It's not my analogy. I think it's moronic and infantile that we're trying to compare cookies to universes.

You're unintentionally making my point, actually, the one everyone is theoretically objecting to; that since we have only one universe to observe, there's no real possibility of scientifically studying how universes originate, or talk reasonably at all about what might or might not be required for one to come into being.
 

atrib

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Sorry, but I'm a little confused. I think that you are saying that you believe that the bible is correct because the bible emphasizes witnessing and testimony? Correct? If the Koran also emphasizes witnessing and testimony (I'll do some research on this); would you not also consider it to be true? If so, which book should we believe in?

Why are you confused? Well firstly... the bible was written well before the Koran. Witnesses (plural) are many in the bible. Witness singular, by Mohammed in the Koran has less weight. The old argument against the bible: that there were many writers etc.. strangely enough is actually better than one single witness, so to speak, just like lonesome Joseph Smith.
There are multiple witnesses who have testified to Joseph Smith seemingly translating the word of God using magical tools. We know that Joseph Smith was a real person who gave rise to a large sect of believers who still exist and thrive today. Why should we believe the anonymous authors of the Bible who never met Jesus or were even his contemporaries, but not Joseph Smith?

Similarly, there are multiple witnesses to the life of the Prophet Mohammed, and in its initial stages, the stories of the Quran was passed on through oral tradition (recitation from memory) before they were written down and collected into books - just like the Bible. Why do you say the Quran is less credible than the Bible?

If I wrote a story about someone performing supernatural acts, and the story stated that there were thousands of witnesses who saw these miracles happen in front of their eyes, would that mean the story is true? Isn't that exactly what you are asserting?
 
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atrib

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Prove it no longer exists!😜
No need, I just need to prove that everything which specifically claims to be a cookie, isn't one. Since "absence of cookies" is the default assumption, the burden of proof is always on the baker. And since as we all know, everyone who claims to have seen the cookie is suffering from mental delusions, and moreover disagree even with each other as to what cookies look like, this should be.... a cakewalk.
A cookie is not analogous to a god in any meaningful way. Many of us have seen cookies, or biscuits, as the rest of the world calls them. Cookies are easily available from multiple retail stores, and can also be created from ingredients in our own homes. We can see, feel, taste and smell cookies. We can create standards to define what a cookie is, and test anything that claims to be a cookie against these standards. None of those things are possible with gods. And that is where your analogy breaks down.
It's not my analogy. I think it's moronic and infantile that we're trying to compare cookies to universes.
I did not compare the universe to a cookie. The universe is not a thing - it is a collection of things, everything that we can see or hypothesize as existing. You can't compare the universe directly to anything within it. As an example, the set of all 40-year old bachelors living in NYC at the present time is not comparable or analogous to any individual male that happens to belong in that set.


You're unintentionally making my point, actually, the one everyone is theoretically objecting to; that since we have only one universe to observe, there's no real possibility of scientifically studying how universes originate, or talk reasonably at all about what might or might not be required for one to come into being.
We have the ability to reasonably talk about the origins of the universe already. Cosmological models allow us to do that. One model hypothesizes an inflating scalar field that spawns local areas of spacetime where the field value drops below a certain threshold, which then follows "regular" cosmic expansion and cools down to form a universe filled with matter/energy. We don't have the ability to test every aspect of such models at the present time, but that doesn't mean this limitation will always exist. And just because we cannot authoritatively state how our universe originated doesn't mean that we should accept stories from old books as being likely true. That is the point.
 

blastula

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Can you cite the book and quote the passage that you reference here please? I have read a few of Erhman's books, and I don't remember him saying that pretty much all historians believe that Jesus was a flesh and blood person.

From page 173 of Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist?

Jesus certainly existed. My goal in this book, however, is not simply to show the evidence for Jesus’s existence that has proved compelling to almost every scholar who has ever thought about it, but also to show why those few authors who have thought otherwise are therefore wrong.
 

Politesse

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Prove it no longer exists!😜
No need, I just need to prove that everything which specifically claims to be a cookie, isn't one. Since "absence of cookies" is the default assumption, the burden of proof is always on the baker. And since as we all know, everyone who claims to have seen the cookie is suffering from mental delusions, and moreover disagree even with each other as to what cookies look like, this should be.... a cakewalk.
A cookie is not analogous to a god in any meaningful way. Many of us have seen cookies, or biscuits, as the rest of the world calls them. Cookies are easily available from multiple retail stores, and can also be created from ingredients in our own homes. We can see, feel, taste and smell cookies. We can create standards to define what a cookie is, and test anything that claims to be a cookie against these standards. None of those things are possible with gods. And that is where your analogy breaks down.
It's not my analogy. I think it's moronic and infantile that we're trying to compare cookies to universes.
I did not compare the universe to a cookie. The universe is not a thing - it is a collection of things, everything that we can see or hypothesize as existing. You can't compare the universe directly to anything within it. As an example, the set of all 40-year old bachelors living in NYC at the present time is not comparable or analogous to any individual male that happens to belong in that set.


You're unintentionally making my point, actually, the one everyone is theoretically objecting to; that since we have only one universe to observe, there's no real possibility of scientifically studying how universes originate, or talk reasonably at all about what might or might not be required for one to come into being.
We have the ability to reasonably talk about the origins of the universe already. Cosmological models allow us to do that. One model hypothesizes an inflating scalar field that spawns local areas of spacetime where the field value drops below a certain threshold, which then follows "regular" cosmic expansion and cools down to form a universe filled with matter/energy. We don't have the ability to test every aspect of such models at the present time, but that doesn't mean this limitation will always exist. And just because we cannot authoritatively state how our universe originated doesn't mean that we should accept stories from old books as being likely true. That is the point.
A "model" that isn't based on comparative observation of similar phenomenona and that cannot be confirmed or evaluated by further observation is really just a glorified philosophy.
 

bilby

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Either the universe is eternal, or it began to exist. We can't know which, but I lean towards the eternal, as this avoids the highly dodgy and un-evidenced assumption that the First Law of Thermodynamics hasn't always applied.

Positing an eternal creator god (or gods) achieves the counterproductive step of ensuring that the First Law of Thermodynamics is violated despite an eternal universe.

God stories get us further from, not closer to, an understanding of origins.
 

atrib

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Prove it no longer exists!😜
No need, I just need to prove that everything which specifically claims to be a cookie, isn't one. Since "absence of cookies" is the default assumption, the burden of proof is always on the baker. And since as we all know, everyone who claims to have seen the cookie is suffering from mental delusions, and moreover disagree even with each other as to what cookies look like, this should be.... a cakewalk.
A cookie is not analogous to a god in any meaningful way. Many of us have seen cookies, or biscuits, as the rest of the world calls them. Cookies are easily available from multiple retail stores, and can also be created from ingredients in our own homes. We can see, feel, taste and smell cookies. We can create standards to define what a cookie is, and test anything that claims to be a cookie against these standards. None of those things are possible with gods. And that is where your analogy breaks down.
It's not my analogy. I think it's moronic and infantile that we're trying to compare cookies to universes.
I did not compare the universe to a cookie. The universe is not a thing - it is a collection of things, everything that we can see or hypothesize as existing. You can't compare the universe directly to anything within it. As an example, the set of all 40-year old bachelors living in NYC at the present time is not comparable or analogous to any individual male that happens to belong in that set.


You're unintentionally making my point, actually, the one everyone is theoretically objecting to; that since we have only one universe to observe, there's no real possibility of scientifically studying how universes originate, or talk reasonably at all about what might or might not be required for one to come into being.
We have the ability to reasonably talk about the origins of the universe already. Cosmological models allow us to do that. One model hypothesizes an inflating scalar field that spawns local areas of spacetime where the field value drops below a certain threshold, which then follows "regular" cosmic expansion and cools down to form a universe filled with matter/energy. We don't have the ability to test every aspect of such models at the present time, but that doesn't mean this limitation will always exist. And just because we cannot authoritatively state how our universe originated doesn't mean that we should accept stories from old books as being likely true. That is the point.
A "model" that isn't based on comparative observation of similar phenomenona and that cannot be confirmed or evaluated by further observation is really just a glorified philosophy.
And the Higgs boson was really just glorified philosophy, the mere prediction of a model, until we built a particle accelerator big enough to detect it. And tell us that scalar fields were a real thing. Took us about half a century, but we did it eventually.

We don't have to build and observe multiple universes to figure out how our universe may have originated. We can replicate the earliest conditions of our universe using instruments like the Large Hadron Collider, instruments that can replicate "similar phenomena" in a test environment.
 

atrib

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Either the universe is eternal, or it began to exist. We can't know which, but I lean towards the eternal, as this avoids the highly dodgy and un-evidenced assumption that the First Law of Thermodynamics hasn't always applied.
When I say "the universe originated", I am talking about the apparent singularity that people call the Big Bang event. I am not suggesting that the universe originated ex nihilo, that nothing existed prior to this point in spacetime. Just a clarification, since some theists seem to think that is what the Big Bang theory states (an ex nihilo creation).
 

Politesse

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Prove it no longer exists!😜
No need, I just need to prove that everything which specifically claims to be a cookie, isn't one. Since "absence of cookies" is the default assumption, the burden of proof is always on the baker. And since as we all know, everyone who claims to have seen the cookie is suffering from mental delusions, and moreover disagree even with each other as to what cookies look like, this should be.... a cakewalk.
A cookie is not analogous to a god in any meaningful way. Many of us have seen cookies, or biscuits, as the rest of the world calls them. Cookies are easily available from multiple retail stores, and can also be created from ingredients in our own homes. We can see, feel, taste and smell cookies. We can create standards to define what a cookie is, and test anything that claims to be a cookie against these standards. None of those things are possible with gods. And that is where your analogy breaks down.
It's not my analogy. I think it's moronic and infantile that we're trying to compare cookies to universes.
I did not compare the universe to a cookie. The universe is not a thing - it is a collection of things, everything that we can see or hypothesize as existing. You can't compare the universe directly to anything within it. As an example, the set of all 40-year old bachelors living in NYC at the present time is not comparable or analogous to any individual male that happens to belong in that set.


You're unintentionally making my point, actually, the one everyone is theoretically objecting to; that since we have only one universe to observe, there's no real possibility of scientifically studying how universes originate, or talk reasonably at all about what might or might not be required for one to come into being.
We have the ability to reasonably talk about the origins of the universe already. Cosmological models allow us to do that. One model hypothesizes an inflating scalar field that spawns local areas of spacetime where the field value drops below a certain threshold, which then follows "regular" cosmic expansion and cools down to form a universe filled with matter/energy. We don't have the ability to test every aspect of such models at the present time, but that doesn't mean this limitation will always exist. And just because we cannot authoritatively state how our universe originated doesn't mean that we should accept stories from old books as being likely true. That is the point.
A "model" that isn't based on comparative observation of similar phenomenona and that cannot be confirmed or evaluated by further observation is really just a glorified philosophy.
And the Higgs boson was really just glorified philosophy, the mere prediction of a model, until we built a particle accelerator big enough to detect it. And tell us that scalar fields were a real thing. Took us about half a century, but we did it eventually.

We don't have to build and observe multiple universes to figure out how our universe may have originated. We can replicate the earliest conditions of our universe using instruments like the Large Hadron Collider, instruments that can replicate "similar phenomena" in a test environment.
When they do, I'll be most interested. I don't see "a boson" as being any more or less like "a universe" than a cookie is, though.
 

Politesse

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Either the universe is eternal, or it began to exist. We can't know which, but I lean towards the eternal, as this avoids the highly dodgy and un-evidenced assumption that the First Law of Thermodynamics hasn't always applied.

Positing an eternal creator god (or gods) achieves the counterproductive step of ensuring that the First Law of Thermodynamics is violated despite an eternal universe.

God stories get us further from, not closer to, an understanding of origins.
How is the assumption of eternity any more evidenced or less "highly dodgy"?
 

atrib

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Prove it no longer exists!😜
No need, I just need to prove that everything which specifically claims to be a cookie, isn't one. Since "absence of cookies" is the default assumption, the burden of proof is always on the baker. And since as we all know, everyone who claims to have seen the cookie is suffering from mental delusions, and moreover disagree even with each other as to what cookies look like, this should be.... a cakewalk.
A cookie is not analogous to a god in any meaningful way. Many of us have seen cookies, or biscuits, as the rest of the world calls them. Cookies are easily available from multiple retail stores, and can also be created from ingredients in our own homes. We can see, feel, taste and smell cookies. We can create standards to define what a cookie is, and test anything that claims to be a cookie against these standards. None of those things are possible with gods. And that is where your analogy breaks down.
It's not my analogy. I think it's moronic and infantile that we're trying to compare cookies to universes.
I did not compare the universe to a cookie. The universe is not a thing - it is a collection of things, everything that we can see or hypothesize as existing. You can't compare the universe directly to anything within it. As an example, the set of all 40-year old bachelors living in NYC at the present time is not comparable or analogous to any individual male that happens to belong in that set.


You're unintentionally making my point, actually, the one everyone is theoretically objecting to; that since we have only one universe to observe, there's no real possibility of scientifically studying how universes originate, or talk reasonably at all about what might or might not be required for one to come into being.
We have the ability to reasonably talk about the origins of the universe already. Cosmological models allow us to do that. One model hypothesizes an inflating scalar field that spawns local areas of spacetime where the field value drops below a certain threshold, which then follows "regular" cosmic expansion and cools down to form a universe filled with matter/energy. We don't have the ability to test every aspect of such models at the present time, but that doesn't mean this limitation will always exist. And just because we cannot authoritatively state how our universe originated doesn't mean that we should accept stories from old books as being likely true. That is the point.
A "model" that isn't based on comparative observation of similar phenomenona and that cannot be confirmed or evaluated by further observation is really just a glorified philosophy.
And the Higgs boson was really just glorified philosophy, the mere prediction of a model, until we built a particle accelerator big enough to detect it. And tell us that scalar fields were a real thing. Took us about half a century, but we did it eventually.

We don't have to build and observe multiple universes to figure out how our universe may have originated. We can replicate the earliest conditions of our universe using instruments like the Large Hadron Collider, instruments that can replicate "similar phenomena" in a test environment.
When they do, I'll be most interested. I don't see "a boson" as being any more or less like "a universe" than a cookie is, though.
The Higgs Field is what gives certain particles that interact with it their mass. The universe is a collection of massive particles and energy, and some of this matter/energy in the early universe interacted with the Higgs field to produce the universe we observe today. So very relevant to the question of how the universe came to be.

A cookie is also made out of matter which gets it mass from its interaction with the Higgs Field.

And the universe is not a thing, it is a collection of things, a set or a container, as I have explained before.
 

steve_bank

Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
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The general alternatives are limited.

1. A god created it all, without explaining where god came from. Native Americans have their own creation myths. as do all cultures.
2.The universe winked into existence without causation, something from nothing.
3. The universe has a finite beginning and a finite end. No explanation of how the starting point came to be.
4. A universe with no beginning and no end in constant change.

I go with number 4. Unless you dispense with causation or invoke the supernatural for which there is no evidence there is no explaining a starting point. The BB Theory starts with a set of theoretical initial condition's, but does not exlain what may have come before the event. The BB does no address ultimate organs of the universe.

Everything in our long history of experimental evidence says nothing happens without a cause. Given causation, there can be no 'first cause'. Hense am infinite sequence of causation. The alternative is a supernatural god not subject to causation. Or the universe creating itself out of nothing.


Is an infinite causation as whimsical as something from nothing?

As I like to say, if the unaverse itself is evidence of a god, then the god is not a very good god. Sloppy work.
 

Politesse

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"Everything in our long history of experimental evidence"
has been a component of the thing we're studying.

If a group of fish in an opaque fishbowl concluded that the fishbowl itself existed but that there was nothing outside of it, their reasoning would be 100% sound, since they would have no way of experimentally confirming anything beyond what their senses could detect. Even their daily dose of fish food would make sense to them, as it would simply be a natural law that food appeared at a certain time, and why add "unnecessary entities" to explain what seems to simply exist without any need for a creator to explain it? Science can only confirm that the fish food appears, not these wild tales people come up with about it coming from another realm. Indeed, given that the food is made of similar stuff to the fish biochemically, a scientist fish would have reason to assume that they evolved both from and to eat the only scientifically known source of food in the universe, which simply exists and reoccurs at consistent intervals, no theories of intelligent design necessary. So there'd be nothing wrong with their logic.

But they'd still be very, very wrong.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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"Everything in our long history of experimental evidence"
has been a component of the thing we're studying.

If a group of fish in an opaque fishbowl concluded that the fishbowl itself existed but that there was nothing outside of it, their reasoning would be 100% sound, since they would have no way of experimentally confirming anything beyond what their senses could detect. Even their daily dose of fish food would make sense to them, as it would simply be a natural law that food appeared at a certain time, and why add "unnecessary entities" to explain what seems to simply exist without any need for a creator to explain it? Science can only confirm that the fish food appears, not these wild tales people come up with about it coming from another realm. Indeed, given that the food is made of similar stuff to the fish biochemically, a scientist fish would have reason to assume that they evolved both from and to eat the only scientifically known source of food in the universe, which simply exists and reoccurs at consistent intervals, no theories of intelligent design necessary. So there'd be nothing wrong with their logic.

But they'd still be very, very wrong.
They'd be dumb fish that believed in magic. To conclude that their fishbowl was all there is but that food magically appeared from outside where there wasn't anything? Yes, very dumb fish that pray to the great nothing that magically gives them food.
 

Copernicus

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Can you cite the book and quote the passage that you reference here please? I have read a few of Erhman's books, and I don't remember him saying that pretty much all historians believe that Jesus was a flesh and blood person.

From page 173 of Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist?

Jesus certainly existed. My goal in this book, however, is not simply to show the evidence for Jesus’s existence that has proved compelling to almost every scholar who has ever thought about it, but also to show why those few authors who have thought otherwise are therefore wrong.
I read that book a couple of years ago, so it came to mind when I read atrib's request for a reference. That was a really interesting book, because Ehrman used it to teach students how to read the gospels in parallel rather sequentially in order to pick our contradictions over large and small details. However, I was somewhat disappointed in his claim, because he appeared to contradict himself. He said up front that he wasn't going to use the popular tactic of claiming that Jesus must have existed because all the serious scholars think he did. Nevertheless, Ehrman seemed to do that repeatedly throughout his discourse. I do not think he succeeded in proving that "those few authors who have thought otherwise" were actually wrong. The strongest evidence against mythicists is still Paul's claim to have met his brother James, but that isn't actually very strong evidence at all. But Ehrman did a splendid job of explaining why the gospels themselves were riddled with inconsistencies. I don't know whether his defense of the historical Jesus helped him to tamp down the criticism he was receiving for refusing to embrace Christianity wholeheartedly, but it probably didn't hurt.
 

Politesse

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"Everything in our long history of experimental evidence"
has been a component of the thing we're studying.

If a group of fish in an opaque fishbowl concluded that the fishbowl itself existed but that there was nothing outside of it, their reasoning would be 100% sound, since they would have no way of experimentally confirming anything beyond what their senses could detect. Even their daily dose of fish food would make sense to them, as it would simply be a natural law that food appeared at a certain time, and why add "unnecessary entities" to explain what seems to simply exist without any need for a creator to explain it? Science can only confirm that the fish food appears, not these wild tales people come up with about it coming from another realm. Indeed, given that the food is made of similar stuff to the fish biochemically, a scientist fish would have reason to assume that they evolved both from and to eat the only scientifically known source of food in the universe, which simply exists and reoccurs at consistent intervals, no theories of intelligent design necessary. So there'd be nothing wrong with their logic.

But they'd still be very, very wrong.
They'd be dumb fish that believed in magic. To conclude that their fishbowl was all there is but that food magically appeared from outside where there wasn't anything? Yes, very dumb fish that pray to the great nothing that magically gives them food.
How is that any more dumb than assuming our "physical laws" are laws, or that the universe has "always existed"? They have no access to any data that could possibly confirm the existence of anything outside the bowl; they'd think you were a complete blibbering idiot for suggesting there were living beings outside the bowl. Why is it necessary to posit magnificent but completely invisible alien beings who like to give us food, when everyone knows that the First Law of Food Materialization consistently explains the phenomenon they see better (and in much more sciencey-sounding language) than any mysticism could possibly hope to do? You might as well propose that the food comes from a pink fluffy invisible unicorn pooping into the bowl.
 
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