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Atheism vs. christianty

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posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 08:47 PM
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Originally posted by raingirl

I also think that just being from a Christian family doesn't mean you're aware of the above... however, i'm happy for you to be a first... if you would care to tell me more about what you know and why you don't believe

Why dont I believe? The main reason is that it makes no sense whatsoever and peoples explanations also fall short of any coherant argument. There is no basis for god except in the beliefs of people, written word can be false, eyewitness accounts can be embelished as can the storytelling. If it was so clear cut then why are there thousands of very different religions all believing their own thing. There are so many reasons that I don't believe.
On what I know well thats a difference of opinions really, my beliefs and knowledge of certain things i.e history etc support my opinion that god/s do not exist.


G




posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 10:58 PM
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To anyone who beleives in god or a higher power or whatever you want to call it, you can't follow what the church says or the bible for that matter.

You see, Im sure the church has good intentions (or maybe not) but, if you look at what shihulud said than you would see he makes a good point. There are so many versions of the bible out there and there are so many different relgions out there that are not similar in any way that nobody can deny that if god does exist, then his story has gotten mixed up along the way.

How can you be sure that the way the church tells you to worship god is the way he acually wants to be worshiped. And for that matter how do you even know that god is what the church makes him up to be. Given a few thousand years any story can be twisted any number of times in any number of ways.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 11:03 PM
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Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
I'm not sure I follow your question, Spamandham.

How many trials do I get?


How the heck should I know? If you say that something is practically impossible because the odds are 1e-1000 or whatever, you have not made a point at all unless you can demonstrate that the number of trials is not at least on the same magnitude.

The odds of getting snake eyes with 2 die in a given role is 1 in 12. But if you have 100 trials, the odds that you got snake eyes at least once in those 100 tries is 1-(1-1/12)^100 = 0.9998.

Likewise, if there is a 0.0000015^205 chance of something happening, but there are 10^300 possible scenarios within a set each of which is individually "practically impossible", the odds that huge numbers of them are fulfilled nonetheless becomes a virtual certainty. How many chances are there within your life for something highly unlikely to happen? Every possible unlikely scenario is a member of that set.

Many of the arguments in favor of gods are simply a failure to understand probability combined with assigning ex-post-facto meaning to unusual events.



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 11:15 PM
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The odds of the ones I posted would be nice to know. I did study prob. and stat. and these seem like they'd have very low probability. In practice things happen regularly that have very low probability. Like the daily lottery wins. Every day, a 14 million to 1 chance in someones eyes, comes to pass. Of course, if one inputs all the tickets bought for each draw, the odds are in favour of one being drawn.



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
I am having doubts as to your educational level
You don't know very much, do you?
I again must feel you've never taken a statistics course in anything


Is it really worth it to stoop down to personal attacks? Come now, I expected better.:shk:



And knowing some people with Math degrees, there is such a term as "Statistical Impossibility". It's when a number is so ludicrously small that it may as well be indistinguishable from zero.

Well you should ask the same people with the Math degrees about the defintion of a "Statistical Impossibility" because you misunderstood. You already seem to know what statistically improbable is. Statistical Impossibility happens when it violates the basic principles that govern statistics. For ex. the probability to be less than zero(0%) or more than 1(100%). If you end up with probability of you landing on that needle as 110% that does not mean its impossible, it just means that you made an error.
By the way I have a question. According to your argument am I right to assume that you believe .99 = 1?



Oh, and by the way, there are no impossibilities, only high improbabilities.

Agreed. So why the diatribe?



...as Stephen Hawking himself stated Chthulu could very well come out of a black hole in a reversal of his view that nothing escaped the gravity well. Granted, he was using a ludicrous concept at the time...

Thank you, ludicrous indeed.
The 'so called' white holes? Yea...when Chtulu comes out we'll get to whatever it is that you were getting at.


Unless you happen to have a zero on one face of the die. And honestly, it's a bad example. Even without a zero, there is an infinitesmal chance that for whatever reason, it lands on an EDGE. Even assuming a perfectly flat surface.

Um...I was talking about a regular die, with no zeros on it.
Sure there's a small probability that a coin or a die will land on an edge. I beleive there's some study being done about three sided coins( a thicker cylinder)...weird I know...but anyways.


As for growing wings, not a statistical impossibility. Provided the correct genetic engineering techniques, I imagine it comes into the realm of feasible.

Does that mean I can finally acheive my dream of being a teletubby? Yey!


Likely a good thing I don't ascede to the existence of such a concept.

Whatever makes you happy!


Contrived they are, in the sense that it is contrived to think that all such small numbers align together at the same point in time to occur in one unified event. The probability of any two such events occuring making the number smaller, and every additional unlikely event making the number smaller still.

Ok ponder this example. I have a well-shuffled deck of cards. I deal and note down one card at a time. The probability of a specific 52-place-sequence appearing is (52!)-1, a very very very tiny number. This will almost certainly never happen again. For someone to go backwards and say "what are the odds for that to happen?. Jee wiz it must not be chance!" is not being logical. You cant make that assumption in hindsight. Seemingly "statistically impossible" things happen all the time if you don't demand to know what they will be beforehand.



Anyone who claims to know something is silly, and has a statistically high probability of being wrong somewhere along the line. It's also a high probability that they'll never notice because they feel as if they know something.

Yea scientists dont make outrageous claims based on shoddy evidence claiming to know everything. Guess that makes them silly ha! And ofcourse scientists have a high probability of being wrong somwhere along the line cuz they possibly cant be 100% right all the time right? That would be preposterous!



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 01:24 PM
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I think it was Benjamin Disraeli who said " There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics." The usefulness and objectivity of calculating probabilities is limited. There is always the possibility of an unexpected variable skewing the final results.
This, I believe, is one speculation for why the chaos theory exists. No matter what we do, 100% predictability is unachievable. A sure thing, really isn't.
Theory is great, but does not always work out in practice.
I could be wrong, though, considering what I just said.



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 01:36 PM
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We should all shake hands and wait til we die, then we'll see who's right



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 02:43 PM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
The odds of the ones I posted would be nice to know. I did study prob. and stat. and these seem like they'd have very low probability.


Indeed they do. How many other possible low probability events did not happen, that had they happened, you would have been just as impressed by? I would think that set is enormous.



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by spamandham
Indeed they do. How many other possible low probability events did not happen, that had they happened, you would have been just as impressed by? I would think that set is enormous.

Sad really that the other branches of possibilities are always thrown out the window and viola someone comes up with Intelligent Design



Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
The usefulness and objectivity of calculating probabilities is limited. There is always the possibility of an unexpected variable skewing the final results.

Thats why its called a probability and not a certainty.
And yea...I agree..statistitians are totally manipulative in more ways than you may think.



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 04:36 PM
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I am not discussing statisticians and skewing poll results and adjusting statistics to read what you want them to read. Most statisticians do that.

I am discussing the actual probabilities of things. And might I inquire, actually, where in this I have said you have to believe the same thing I do? Do not ridicule my reasons for attribution, you have no obligation to adopt them. I merely put forward my reasons as to why I feel there is a Creator Being.

Statistically impossible things happen every day, and there by the Grace of God go I.


Originally posted by I_s_i_s

Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
I am having doubts as to your educational level
You don't know very much, do you?
I again must feel you've never taken a statistics course in anything


Is it really worth it to stoop down to personal attacks? Come now, I expected better.:shk:


My commentary is based off of what I am familiar with versus what you are asserting. Have you ever read "The Universe in a Nutshell"? "A Step Further Out"? HAVE you taken a base level course in statistics?



And knowing some people with Math degrees, there is such a term as "Statistical Impossibility". It's when a number is so ludicrously small that it may as well be indistinguishable from zero.

Well you should ask the same people with the Math degrees about the defintion of a "Statistical Impossibility" because you misunderstood. You already seem to know what statistically improbable is. Statistical Impossibility happens when it violates the basic principles that govern statistics. For ex. the probability to be less than zero(0%) or more than 1(100%). If you end up with probability of you landing on that needle as 110% that does not mean its impossible, it just means that you made an error.
By the way I have a question. According to your argument am I right to assume that you believe .99 = 1?


No such Numbers. While in fact the literal term is Statistically Improbable, when used in lay conversations, it is termed Statistically Impossible due to the number being so small as to be indistinguishable from zero.

As for your question, it could certainly be taken as an insult to my intelligence. No, I don't believe that any indescriminate number less than one instantly assures 1, at least not at a local phenomena level. The universe being as vast as it is doesn't necessarily count out anything, and if MWT is correct, then every event occurrs somewhere, no matter how ludicrous.



Agreed. So why the diatribe?


You remind me of something I thought a few weeks ago. If there was no God, it would be imperative to invent one somewhere along the line. I don't mean that mentally, I mean that literally. Somewhere down the line, with the right amount of technology, I don't imagine it would be too difficult to create such a being and somewhere shunt them back to the inception of the universe, thus making God. Personally, I'd make it a sort of spiritual storage device, so that all souls from the beginning of time till the end would be stored rather than dissipate. This, of course, also requires technology to make an imprint which is flawless, which could certainly be considered to be a soul. Either that, or invent the soul too.

Aeons from now, I see it all being possible as such... which, of course, begs the question if there is. After all, I'm certain that not just humanity could endeavor to such.



Thank you, ludicrous indeed.
The 'so called' white holes? Yea...when Chtulu comes out we'll get to whatever it is that you were getting at.


No. Black Holes. Recent development in physics, within the last several years. I again ask, have you read much Hawking or other scientific minds of the ages?



Um...I was talking about a regular die, with no zeros on it.
Sure there's a small probability that a coin or a die will land on an edge. I beleive there's some study being done about three sided coins( a thicker cylinder)...weird I know...but anyways.


And I was being an ass about the zero side. The small probability of landing on a corner is the thing I was serious about. I don't see how a study on three sided coins applies, however.



Does that mean I can finally acheive my dream of being a teletubby? Yey!


I point out how your impossible things can be likely, and you make a jibe. Also ignored the water tension comment I made. Are we still discussing?


Likely a good thing I don't ascede to the existence of such a concept.
Whatever makes you happy!


No, it doesn't appear we are.



Ok ponder this example. I have a well-shuffled deck of cards. I deal and note down one card at a time. The probability of a specific 52-place-sequence appearing is (52!)-1, a very very very tiny number. This will almost certainly never happen again. For someone to go backwards and say "what are the odds for that to happen?. Jee wiz it must not be chance!" is not being logical. You cant make that assumption in hindsight. Seemingly "statistically impossible" things happen all the time if you don't demand to know what they will be beforehand.


A deck of cards is significantly different than what I am talking about. A guy is struck nine times by lightning in his life... does this mean he is just impossibly in the wrong place at the wrong time or that he is a lightning magnet somehow? If the latter, why him?

Or, for example, my aunt who had her liver removed several years ago, she grew a new one.

There's many odd things that happen. Either there isn't a god and our universe is just silly and strange, because of how many odd things happen on a daily or hourly or minute basis... or there's a God, possibly with a sense of humor about some things.

I **CHOOSE** the latter. I like to think that I at least put some thought to my reasons, rather than ascribe to them out of some feeling or communion with such a being.



Yea scientists dont make outrageous claims based on shoddy evidence claiming to know everything. Guess that makes them silly ha! And ofcourse scientists have a high probability of being wrong somwhere along the line cuz they possibly cant be 100% right all the time right? That would be preposterous!


Everyone is ignorant of what they do not know.

Because everyone **believes** there are certain things. Your making fun of the concept doesn't make it any less accurate.



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 11:16 PM
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Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
Statistically impossible things happen every day.


There's a reason for that, that need not be explained with gods or magic.

The key to understanding why highly improbable things happen is in recognizing the incomprehensible number of low probability things that could happen.

Math doesn't break down with large or small numbers. Extend the example about rolling snake eyes. Only, instead of 1 in 12, let the number be 0.0000015^205, and instead of the number of rolls being 100, let that be 10^1000. The rolls represent the unfathomably large number of possible rediculously unlikely events that would impress you. Now what are the odds that an unlikely event out of this set of 10^1000 possible unlikely events will happen? It's a statistical certainty - and not just for one of them either.

Someone wins the lottery. That's a low probability event and he thinks god has favored him as a result. He's ignoring the possibility that he could win it twice in a row, or three times, or every week for the rest of his life. He's ignoring that the same is possible for anyone else. He's ignoring that he could have found the winning ticket blowing in the wind, or that a meteor strikes him dead right after winning, or that an earthquake cuts through the middle of his living room revealing a 10 pound gold nugget, or...the number of possible "statistically impossible" events may well be infinite.


Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
Have you ever read "The Universe in a Nutshell"?...HAVE you taken a base level course in statistics?


I know the question was not directed toward me, but since it was directed at someone using a similar line of reasoning...I have read that book, and have had courses in probability and statistics as well as random processes. None of this makes me an expert, but I do consider myself well informed on the subject.

The term "statistically impossible" is a rule of thumb. Isolated events with a probability of less than 0.1^50 are generally considered to be so remote as to be unworthy of pondering. However, we are not talking about a single unlikely event, but rather, the set of all unlikely events that would have each resulted in similar degrees of astonishment.

The odds that one of those statistically impossible events comes true is not statistically impossible. Based on your own experience (and mine), it's quite probable.



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 03:18 AM
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Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
The odds of the ones I posted would be nice to know. I did study prob. and stat. and these seem like they'd have very low probability.


Indeed they do. How many other possible low probability events did not happen, that had they happened, you would have been just as impressed by? I would think that set is enormous.

Enormous, yes, infinite even. But totally irrelevent and unrelated to my experiences. If Socrates was a man, and Socrates was gay, then does that mean all men are gay? I have had many years in which to hear responses to these accounts, and the opinion that they are just 'coincidences' is very common. I know that if my dying wife said she'd send lightning as a sign, then as her funeral was about to start, lightning struck, and the lights went out, I'd likely have looked at my watch too. Why? I don't know, but he did and it was 1:00PM, on the dot. The scheduled time to start the funeral. He and I were the only ones that very strongly believed that was no coincidence. But I am not perfect, and could be wrong. And whatever the odds of it happening were, I doubt he cares.



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 08:57 AM
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Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
My commentary is based off of what I am familiar with versus what you are asserting. Have you ever read "The Universe in a Nutshell"? "A Step Further Out"? HAVE you taken a base level course in statistics?


Is this where I start stating all the books Ive read so we can compete on who can misinterpret it the most?
And dont base your commentaries on a book. I'm sure if you try hard enough you can do it on your own!

If you must know, and you keep asking me ... I have taken begining and advanced statistics. I have a degree in Applied Mathematics and I'm in grad school majoring in the same. I'm the evil statistican everyone hates.


...termed Statistically Impossible due to the number being so small as to be indistinguishable from zero.

You keep asking the same question trying to beat a dead horse!
Please refer to my post before this and Spam's post is informative as well.



As for your question, it could certainly be taken as an insult to my intelligence.

It was not my intention and I'm not here to babysit your insecurities.


If there was no God, it would be imperative to invent one somewhere along the line.

Yes as long as we hold on to our insecurities and lack of logical thinking.



And I was being an ass about the zero side.

Really I didnt notice!



The small probability of landing on a corner is the thing I was serious about. I don't see how a study on three sided coins applies, however.

I repeat, Its not an impossible event. Never mind the three sided coin.



A deck of cards is significantly different than what I am talking about. A guy is struck nine times by lightning in his life... does this mean he is just impossibly in the wrong place at the wrong time or that he is a lightning magnet somehow? If the latter, why him?

Ok if it makes you happier, make it 10000000000 decks of cards with a specific sequence. Same logic applies.
Impossibly at the wrong place at the wrong time? No. Just darn unlucky! Either that or he's covered in piercings




Or, for example, my aunt who had her liver removed several years ago, she grew a new one.

Yea liver has a remarkable capacity to regenerate after injury and to adjust its size to match its host. Thats biology. Not Mathemagic! Sorry your aunt is not special. Even an atheist would regenerate his liver!


There's many odd things that happen. Either there isn't a god and our universe is just silly and strange...

Our universe is just silly and strange. It wont be eventually.
Thats my belief.



Are we still discussing?

I dont like repeating myself.



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
Enormous, yes, infinite even. But totally irrelevent and unrelated to my experiences.


You are looking at these particular experiences as if there is purpose behind them and then concluding there is purpose behind them. If the lightening story had not happended, but something else equally impressive had, you would have been telling that story instead. The number of scenarios that would elicit this type of response is enormous, and each of those scenarios has a finite probability of happening.

I just can't think of another way of saying it other than to repeat that if there are enough of these unlikely scenarios (and we both agree there might be an unbounded number of them), the odds that some of them happen (not specific ones, just some) becomes very good. If you just look at the odds of the specific ones that happened, without considereing all the ones that didn't happen, you might conclude there is purpose.


Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
If Socrates was a man, and Socrates was gay, then does that mean all men are gay?


Invalid logic has nothing to do with this discussion.



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 07:30 PM
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Why? Cuz it makes the most sense from my point of view, considering my life experiences, studies, and my speculations as to what those things mean? Above are some of the specific reasons. My other personal spiritual experiences are a major part of it.


Hmm, i suppose your reasons would be justifiable from your point of view... but... and if u don't feel like it that's cool, but what in particular is it about life that's told you that it makes the most sense?



posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 03:06 AM
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Okay, let me try this yet AGAIN....

Spamandham: I am not discussing specific isolated incidents of singular phenomena that have a high improbability of occuring. I realize that individually, no matter the number, things will occurr that ARE unlikely to happen if not for the sheer vastness of the universe.

There is an episode of the X-Files which addressed a psychic murderer, a guy who went around killing psychics. The protagonist assisting Skully and Mulder (I forget the actors name) related that he had not always been psychic, but that it had happened after he became obsessed about a particular line of thought concerning the Big Bopper... and all of the events which must have transpired in order to bring the entire fate of his life into a coin toss.

This is more like what I am referring to. Or, maybe, you are pushing your luck with your car and you run out of gas... you meet a woman who you will fall in love with and eventually marry. Strangely enough, you both were born in the same hospital on the same day, and would never have met if not for her having had to stop her cross-country drive because she needed to sleep and gas up (Meeting at the gas station), when she could've driven five more miles and never met you.

This second scenario is what some people think about a great deal, a pattern which seems to singularly effect you in either a beneficial or negative manner that, when taken individually, all seems harmless statistically. Harmless situations with such contrivances are far more common day occurences than what I cite for evidence of my own OPINION.

If we calculate the chances of you being struck by lighting... let's say one in 100,000. That would be .00001 or some such, I'm tired so my math is likely off. In any case, what is the likelihood of you taking an overpass on the way home that will go over where your wife is driving on HER way home (But having to stop for groceries), and having the lightning strike the car, knock out a key electrical component, and at the same time a car cut you off in such a way that you careen over the edge of the overpass, through the cement barrier, and land on your wife's car as she's passing under you, killing her instantly?

Each individual component of these scenario's has a mathematical value of likeliehood, many of them harmless probabilities. Yet the likelihood of two of these elements coinciding decreases the probability, because you are no longer considering things by themselves... the new ratio is respective of both happening at the SAME time to result in a particular situation.

If you have a string of these, and it doesn't have to be many elements, the likelihood of all coinciding results in a ludicrously small number.

Better examples are out there, I am sure. I am merely attempting to explain the premise.

And... as for the God being made thing, I wasn't being fecetious. If at some future point, we are able to manufacture a true imprint of a human being (What some might call a soul), and if we are able to store such an imprint in a non-material box, per se... then what is to prevent us from making a equivocably infinite box, shunting it prior to humanity in time, and having it pull these imprints into it in a manner of storage/emulation?

Fanciful notion that, I realize. No science to back it up, but then it's just a mental query I was postulating to myself... if such a thing were possible, then there very well must be a god in that sense. I again state, just mental exercises.

Back on the subject at hand, though...

SpamandHam: You have said numerous times that such and such does not mean that a magical/deific instance need be considered... I would argue there is absolutely no reason not to consider it.

It is either a matter of comfort or a matter of belief, but I haven't discounted anything. There very well could be nothing watching over us, no god, no spirit, just dust and ceasing to be at the end. Very well could be. However I'm not willing to discount that there may be more, and I don't see that as an argument as to why one should disclude it as a reason.

Just because it seems to be too convenient and neat doesn't mean it isn't correct. Also doesn't mean it is.



posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by daedalas
I have looked through the forums in faith, spirituality & Theology and mostly what I have seen is christians posting and getting attacked by atheist and atheist posting being lecured by christians.

So, I decided to make a thread purely for the arguement of christianity vs. Atheism. This is what most of the threads are turned into anyway.


I read all these posts to see if anybody was going to make the most obvious point and several posters touched on it but, the plain fact is that the title and opening post of this thread present a false dichotomy that is most frequently used by Christians.

I've probably posted about this 20 times - a believe in G-d does not make a person a Christian. I believe in G-d and I do not believe in the divinity of Jesus. So, the premise of this thread is skewed from the beginning.

I'm not even sure that we'll ever really know if there was such a person as the Christian Jesus but, I don't need to know that answer to know that the G-d that I know has no need of any such character as a Jesus.

I was greatly amused by the postings about statistics.

I had a big laugh about "who wins" with showing how Christianity is "leading in the polls" - sorry, but, even in the USA, we don't decide what is the truth by "voting". You can prove to me that 99.999% of the world's populations believes something and still not use that as proof that this belief is factual.

Anyway, this all gets right down to the heart of the valid part of the post by the thread-starter - why do folks fight about religion? Well, one reason that people fight against Christians is this very thing that is in the title of the thread - Christians seem to want to "own" G-d. That's why you see so many of them use this "are you a Christian or an Atheist?" stuff. It presents this false choice that excludes the majority of the world's theistic religions and that's just plain arrogant.

OK, you guys go back to fighting over who is smarter and who understands statistics, now. (Which makes about as much sense to this topic as the history of the rules regarding 3-point shot in basketball.)



posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 09:34 PM
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Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
If we calculate the chances of you being struck by lighting... let's say one in 100,000. That would be .00001 or some such, I'm tired so my math is likely off. In any case, what is the likelihood of you taking an overpass on the way home that will go over where your wife is driving on HER way home (But having to stop for groceries), and having the lightning strike the car, knock out a key electrical component, and at the same time a car cut you off in such a way that you careen over the edge of the overpass, through the cement barrier, and land on your wife's car as she's passing under you, killing her instantly?


I think we can agree that "unlikely" is a very broad term encompassing events on the range of 1 in a 1000 and up. Some of the possible events (or combinations of events) are wildly less likely than others. However, the more contrived the scenario, the more the number of possible similarly fantastic contrived scenarios.


Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
If you have a string of these, and it doesn't have to be many elements, the likelihood of all coinciding results in a ludicrously small number.


The longer the string you allow for, the greater the number of possible bizzare events. If we knew the odds of all these things, we could actually calculate how often lidicrously unlikely events should happen.


Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
SpamandHam: You have said numerous times that such and such does not mean that a magical/deific instance need be considered... I would argue there is absolutely no reason not to consider it.


Gods and magic are not testable notions. The lack of testability means there was no valid basis from which to draw the conclusion to begin with. It is nothing more than a mental trick to satisfy our desire not to have unanswered questions by filling in the unknown with easy answers based on loose correlations.

"Boy, the crops are really good this year, I wonder why. Well, the sun brings warmth and lets the crops grow, so I guess the sun must be happy with us and is rewarding us with a good yield. Why is the sun happy? Og's son got killed during sowing, remember, and just when it happened, a patch of light broke through the clouds onto his body, so I guess the sun likes children to be sacrificed and will reward us with a good crop."

Once you start going down the road of providing baseless answers, you end up believing whatever your imagination presents. Saying "god did it" just sets you up for the need to answer "why did god do it", and this all distracts you from seeking an answer that is testable.



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 04:09 AM
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Originally posted by spamandham
I think we can agree that "unlikely" is a very broad term encompassing events on the range of 1 in a 1000 and up. Some of the possible events (or combinations of events) are wildly less likely than others. However, the more contrived the scenario, the more the number of possible similarly fantastic contrived scenarios.


I really feel as if you just aren't understanding what I am talking about. Not isolated scenario's, when each action or event is taken seperately it's possibility is unlikely, when you combine two unlikely events and have them occurr at the same time, the probability of both those events occurring simultaneously is the sum total of multiplying the two probabilities together. Let's say you have a probability of .008, or 8 in 1000. and you have a probability of .01 or 1 in 100. .008 X .01 = .0008, or 8 in 10000.

Thusly, if you have two events with the likelihood of one in a million, .000001 or such... multiplied together, it would be 1,000,000,000,000 to 1 or some such. And if there was a third element, you'd multiply it again using the third factor's probability.

You can see how this quickly enters the realm of improbable probabilities, regardless of how many people are in the world.



The longer the string you allow for, the greater the number of possible bizzare events. If we knew the odds of all these things, we could actually calculate how often lidicrously unlikely events should happen.


I'd say 5 events of at least 1 in 1000 would effectively be what I'm alluding to, as that is a greater number than the populace of the world... yet events do coincide in such a manner, and frequently.


Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
Gods and magic are not testable notions. The lack of testability means there was no valid basis from which to draw the conclusion to begin with. It is nothing more than a mental trick to satisfy our desire not to have unanswered questions by filling in the unknown with easy answers based on loose correlations.


Just because you claim that is what it is doesn't mean that is what it is. Likewise, that is not the only possibility of what it is. Also, the testability of something isn't de facto an argument against it's possibility/probability. It's an argument that it isn't provable or disprovable. You're making a spurious claim based off of your own personal preference, which is that believing something like divine power or some sort of deific entity is a mental trick.

I've given a good reason as to why I believe, which isn't based off of specious mental tricks to convince myself of something that isn't true. I am considering possibilites as potential evidence of divinity, or at the very least, the strangeness of the universe.



Once you start going down the road of providing baseless answers, you end up believing whatever your imagination presents. Saying "god did it" just sets you up for the need to answer "why did god do it", and this all distracts you from seeking an answer that is testable.


Some people do that, don't make blanket statements. I am very well differentiated between what I believe and what I perceive. I am also very well differentiated between what I observe and what I'd like to be true. Ne'er the twain shall meet However, I am discussing what I believe and what *I* feel supports my belief.

It isn't necessary for you to believe what I do.



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 04:34 AM
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Gods and magic are not testable notions. The lack of testability means there was no valid basis from which to draw the conclusion to begin with. It is nothing more than a mental trick to satisfy our desire not to have unanswered questions by filling in the unknown with easy answers based on loose correlations.

I know i'm trying to exit this place, but couldn't help but comment on this one.

Statement 1: Gods and magic are non testable notions.
You're right, and you're wrong. I would, once again, restrict what i'm about to say to Christianity - since i don't know enough about many other beliefs to talk about them. Ultimately, you're quite right: we cannot find any definitive answer. But there are things that we can test: evidence for the resurrection, the historical validity of the Bible itself, etc. From that, we can make of it what we will. Most things in life are non testable notions: there are few things in life for which we can expect to get definitive answers.

***
Statement 2: It is nothing more than a mental trick to satisfy our desire not to have unanswered questions by filling in the unknown with easy answers based on loose correlations.

You speak with such certainty. But how do you know? I know now that you were once a Christian - perhaps you consider yourself "enlightened" compared to those of us who believe. Perhaps you suppose that Christians do not consider the possibility that it is no more than a mental trick. I can only speak for myself and say that I have. Logically, yes, that it is a mental trick is possible. But providing a seemingly plausible alternative does not make that alternative true.

I'm aware of your opinions, but now that i think about it... you haven't actually told us many "why's". What makes you so convinced that Christianity is not true?

As to your statement about filling the unknown with easy answers >> Perhaps there are some people who do take it as an easy answer... i'm not sure why you feel confident to make such generalisations though..

Personally, from what i've seen, i don't think Christianity is a belief that would necessarily appeal to someone who's after an easy option. I'll talk about what i know: i'll talk about me. I know that not all Christians allow themselves to be challenged. But i believe that to at least some extent, i have. And there are times when it feels so much easier to live life as a non-christian. I'm in the middle of a really tough time, and i guarantee you, i've taken a step back, and said, woah, wouldn't life be so easy in this respect, and that respect, if i believed there was no God. But i haven't taken that option. Why? Because i don't believe because i want to, i believe because i can find no other satisfying answer to who Jesus was (and yes, i've considered conspiracy theories, falsification of the bible, etc). I've seen people who think more than me come to the same conclusions.

And no, being a Christian doesn't give you all the answers. They're not easy answers necessarily, sometimes you end up with more questions.

I'll say it now: if anyone out there is reading this and thinking about accepting Christianity, it's not going to be easy. But that's no reason not to accept it. You accept it because you believe it's true. Yes there are good things about it, but choosing Christianity is not like choosing a job, you don't sit down, draw up a few columns and weigh up the pros and cons. Belief is not about pros and cons.



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