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Any person can comment on this post, but it's geared towards Christians (Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans, etc.) Anyone can post the first subject of conversation. Just discuss issues about the religion (Heaven, evangelism,etc.) :rolleyes:

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I think that I can sum up the problem in one sentence: How would you teach critical thinking skills? :unsure:

How would I teach CTS? Or how would I get mass numbers of average teachers to teach CTS?

For the first question I bet that I personally would be able to teach CTSs quite well, but as you described in your following paragraphs, I now see the tough question. How do we get the great masses of our public education teachers with small incomes to make the large step up from teaching plain material to teaching critical thinking skills? You're right, that is a difficult question.

If a student is struggling with the new concepts in the problems, should he be graded down? Parents may not like it that their son or daughter is losing points because they aren't able to answer questions about material they've never seen before... :wacko:

I could go on a long rant about the many ideas I would try out as a teacher in order to make it so that "trying to get good grades" and "trying to learn as much as possible" are one and the same. As a student I have realized that sometimes these two things are completely different. I'm given an assignment and I know that I'm not going to learn anything by doing it. It's "busy work." Rarely do I get an assignment where trying to learn/perform the most is what I need to do to earn the A. In an ideal situation, I shouldn't have to make a decision between learning and getting the good grade. I have numerous ideas about being allowed to take tests (certain style tests) as many times as the student wants in an effort to maximize the learning, etc.

So personally I do have solutions to many of these problems, but it requires a lot of specific attention to answer specific situations as they arise. It would be difficult to teach teachers in general how to go about teaching CTSs, etc. But, I wouldn't say that's the first problem we're facing. I think a lot of people aren't even aware what the main issue with the teaching style is. If everyone is made aware that CTSs are lacking and material isn't everything, then I think that would be a good first step to solving the education system.

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Absolutely. The human body murders harmful microbes constantly. Billions of them. :D

Nice try! :lol:

I did of course say "you."

And you also defined "murder" a touch to broadly as well. There was a reason I said murder and not kill. ;)

Oh ... and one of my most fundamental tenets about balance: It is dynamic. True balance balances balance with imbalance.

So you accept that in some circumstances the "right balance" might be on one extreme of the spectrum?

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Not really, and I really don't appreciate being called Brainwashed.

Well Framm 18; I did say "Or", and did so for good reason.

While that (brainwashing of many types and degrees) does appear to be a common theme, I know practically nothing about your particular case. So it would be most unwise to just flat out assert that you have been brainwashed. Although most if not all of us have been to varying degrees,at various times and on certain things in our lives. How much each of us breaks free is another matter entirely.

Our Pastor, tells us that he is preaching his beliefs and we don't need to just accept it blindly and we need to take what the Bible has to say and form our on beliefs on what we have read.

Sorry. You do realise that you just said that your pastor told you NOT to just take him as the overriding authority. But to instead appeal to the overriding authority of a certain book instead, don't you?!

Well it made me laugh anyway. :lol:

That is part of the problem with most things not just religion, but also in most other things as well.

Oh absolutely it is. But this is a "Christian Discussion" after all. And many organised religions play in this. Some actively promoting "Faith" and what amounts to choosing to believe.

I am in another (woefully painful) discussion on another forum at the moment, where the (Islamic) apologist has pulled out the "you have to WANT to believe, you have to seek God (as opposed to seeking whatever the truth may be)" canard. And in it's various forms it is al all too common one.

This all comes down to the real problems I see in these kinds of arguments a lot: It is not what 'you' believe, but how and why, which is problematic.

People today are smarter, but yet it seems like we hear people doing less and less smart things.

One part of that I think is that the complexities of life have outpaced the intellectual improvements of the individuals.

People can no longer just take things at face value anymore (me included sometimes).

We only really could do so in those times when nothing much changed, for long enough for "the elders" or whoever, to have complied an adequate model by which all could live comfortably.

I get trying to find the answers. But there are times that we should just accept what is told (i.e. A parent telling their child no, there is not always a reason that either the child would not fully understand or it is something that the parent thinks is wrong and is hard to put into words.)

True to an extent. Young children for example have not yet developed their reasoning capacities. It may well even be an evolutionary/genetic trait that ones reasoning skills are blocked (tendency to not critically assess, but accept the word of authority) until around the same time our other "secondary characteristics" kick in (much like the way a caterpillar becomes a butterfly etc._

The most obvious reason for this is that the child is best able to survive by just quickly accepting what their elders tell them (DO NOT pat the big striped kitty!) without carful examination and testing. As that testing is liable to get them killed.

BUT as adults we should work past that. Yes we still have to rely on quick judgements, and previously accepted rules of thumb etc. in situations when time is not on our side. But over all we are best served by thinking things through. Including the rational developments of rules of thumb and other such algorithms.

Unfortunately there are a number of factors, institutionalised and not, which tend to stifle that progression from the child to the critical thinker. And much of that can be found in religion.

There's a good reason for that as well. Religion (differentiated to religions) was one of the first (and thus worst) ways in which our species approached problems. How we asked and answered the questions of the day. Primarily it was about imagination, emotion and appeals to authority.

I do so like Douglas Adams' take on that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ACMbF52nu4&playnext_from=TL&videos=2FljC6oRTMM

Only latter did we begin to recognise the value of reason and evidence.

Leading first to Philosophy,

From which developed through Empiricism to what was known as Natural Philosophy,

Which became, as it developed further, Science.

And that is where all the real progress has come from.

So, our species too, like we as individuals, has grown from a naive childlike state, where imagination, emotion and bowing to imagined authority figures ruled, through as "age of reason" to becoming critical thinkers.

Both societies and individuals can and do get bogged down at certain points along that path however, and there some remain. And there are certain memes, institutions, traditions and so on, that only make that even more common. :(

Not in my opinion, but like you said it is better suited for another thread.

Indeed. All I will say further is that it is not about mere opinion, but simple biological fact.

But will leave that there for now, even though the underlying debate; on teh nature of ethics itself, is a fascinating one.

As you can obviously tell, my debating skills are next to none.

I have found that online argument (informal debate) is an excellent way to hone those skills. :D

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I think that I can sum up the problem in one sentence: How would you teach critical thinking skills? :unsure:

Not an easy question. There have been some efforts to teach what has been called "Philosophy for Children" (Also the name of a paper I desperately wanted to take when in university, but it wasn't available the entire time. :( ) But those efforts where run and financed by individuals, not the government (who should be the force driving this,) the schools or well financed institutions. And as a result they were severely limited and had to work around standard education requirements and classes. They have always reported great results wherever applied however.

What they really need is governmental backing and full education system integration.

Basically teach kids (from the earliest educational levels) how to argue (not fight, but informal debate and discussion.) This should be encouraged in all kinds of situations. (imagine a mini debate in the school yard over who's turn it is with the ball!) And how to critically assess others, and ones own, arguments.

- And the things seen in the media (of all types) is a fertile ground for exploration. Plenty of flaws to expose there! :lol:

In a general sense it's all pretty easy really. It's the finer details that demand the real work.

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sorry, took an abrupt break...anyway

But think about that.

How could a being exist outside or time, what would that even mean?!

And HOW could it 'create' time without time in which to do it? Creating is a temporal event; it implies that at one point it wasn't there THEN it was made.

And then God would have a beginning, that beginning would be the beginning of time.

Anyway once again you have given nothing but empty assertions.

isn't time a certain dimension? 4th, right? I believe God lives outside of even that dimension...don't ask me where...yes, God likely created the dimension of time itself, since He does things outside of time (if you don't get that part, then we really don't have any common ground on which to debate.) He then created the heavens and the earth. keep in mind He is a supreme being. He rules over existence. He created everything no exceptions, except Himself, since He always was and is, and will be.

don't try too hard to explain Him or prove His existence invalid, or other things such as that...it's not possible. that is where we disagree: Faith rules over reason. if I can't explain why I believe something logically, time to take faith and simply say "the Bible says so." childlike, you say? well, those with faith like a child's enter the Kingdom of God. the Bible says so.

from now on, i'm simply going to explain some misunderstandings there may be about Christians and our belief

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What?!

Thanksgiving is an American (and Canadian) Harvest Festival. Only a couple of centuries old.

it's my turn: What?!

have you even studied Old Testament culture at all, or are you being sarcastic?

an offering of thanks to the Lord for delivering them from the FLood

Premise 1: All Sharks are Fish

Premise 2: The Hammerhead is a Fish

Therefore

Conclusion: The Hammerhead is a shark

Is the above syllogism LOGICALLY VALID? Why?

again, we do not have much common ground to argue on

i personally believe that not all truth is found in science or logic. ultimate knowledge must be preceded by the wisdom of God.

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It is the understandable result of starting with a chosen conclusion and trying to fit the argument to that conclusion. It is known as the logical fallacy (fundamental error in reasoning) of Circular Reasoning (or Begging the Question.)

"God exists" "why" "'cause the Bible said so" "what makes you so sure the Bible is true?" "'cause the Bible is the Word of God"

invalid you say? yes, by today's standards of logic. But God, in His supreme wisdom, knows how to tie up the loose ends. Faith! that's all i have to say

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1) you have a point - LJ: ever notice how the ones who don't believe in god end up dieing in God's stories? Gods people were slaves in egypt, but they could have slaves later on, and it was FINE?

3) its not a volcano: they went in a LIFEBOAT!!!

1) a) Yes, they did die. circumstances were different in the Old Testament: getting the mercy of God wasn't easy

b) the Egyptians were highly abusive, didn't let the Hebrews worship God, etc, etc. the difference is, God had standards of how to treat slaves (servants would probably be a better word) and is was far from abusive

3) you guys are having fun about that aren't you? would it surprise you if i said that i believe Pangaea to be a possibility? even by just looking at a map and studying tectonic movements makes the possibility very credible. the part that is twisted is that is took millions of years. i believe the world was worse off during the Flood than any of your meteors combined. the carving of the Grand Canyon during the first days of rain was probable, to some extent. the tectonic plates were shaken apart, and when the Flood ended and the living dispersed, the animals could have reached australia, etc, before it was dismembered.

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However, knowing the time period also means that anthropologists can also know things about the people who lived in that time period. And the fact of the matter is that since they were very early members of the Jewish faith, they actually held very different views from basically anything the Jews or Christians believe today. At the time, there was no concept of the Afterlife. Good works in life warranted good rewards in this life. Only bad people were punished. The problem with this understanding of life is that good people often did have bad things occur to them...What could possibly be the explanation for that? :huh:

The Book of Job provides that answer: God and Satan are having an intellectual debate on whether or not people believe God out of fear and empty statements as Satan conjectures, or through blind faith as God insists. So God allows Satan to test Job by making him absolutely destitute, to see if he will renounce his belief in God. (As a side note, since there was no afterlife, there was no Hell and thus, Satan had a rather different role in these people's minds. He was the original "Devil's Advocate." It was his task to test God's works and try to find a place where God screwed up. He wasn't considered the epitome of evil when the Book of Job was written, he merely provided the objective perspective that sought to find the holes in God's works. Thus, the reason that he and God were palling around so congenially. He wasn't the "Fallen Angel" at that time to the writers of the book.)

so, then, how did they know about Beezeboul and demonic possession? okay, they may not know about a "fallen angel," but "Satan" comes from the hebrew meaning "accuser" so they did know about his evil back then to some extent

I also thought that I remembered that "free will" was a construct given only to Man, so I'm a little confused about how Lucifer could get jealous of God, since I don't see how jealousy can exist in a being without free will. I admit that I'm not entirely clear on that point, but if the angels lacked choice in their actions, it seems to me that the only explanation would be that God created Lucifer specifically with the intent that he would rebel (so far as I can ascertain from the Christian point-of-view), which seems a pretty raw deal for Luci. :mellow:

no, everything that God created has either free will or instinct. plants, animals, etc, run on instinct. men, angels, etc, run on free will.

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That's an honest statement, actually, but I'm not so sure whether it would have an honest rational effect on the religious people reading the sign. I'm actually not sure what the point of it is. Are there really people in that church who are so brainwashed that that statement enforces their beliefs? Or is this a joke? Could it possibly be that someone against the religion put that statement up on the church sign for the irony? I'd bet that's it.

no, it's a warning. there are people out there, smart people. like the people in this Den. but there are many smart people who try to prove the Faith wrong with their reason. that's what the sign is: a warning, a heads-up, a way to keep the congregation from veering away from the Faith just because they've been proved wrong by reason

those kinds of stories sadden me

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quoting Framm

Our Pastor, tells us that he is preaching his beliefs and we don't need to just accept it blindly and we need to take what the Bible has to say and form our on beliefs on what we have read.

Sorry. You do realise that you just said that your pastor told you NOT to just take him as the overriding authority. But to instead appeal to the overriding authority of a certain book instead, don't you?!

Well it made me laugh anyway. :lol:

uh-huh, you laughed. what is there to laugh at? that "certain book" contains the laws and standards by which the entire world should live by. the very fact that the Bible was written by Him is enough to say that that "certain book" rules over every single thing in this earth, save God himself. the pastor is placed at the head of a church, but he is placed under the authority of the Word of God. get it???

i have had my say for tonight.

Edited by LJayden

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"God exists" "why" "'cause the Bible said so" "what makes you so sure the Bible is true?" "'cause the Bible is the Word of God"

invalid you say? yes, by today's standards of logic. But God, in His supreme wisdom, knows how to tie up the loose ends. Faith! that's all i have to say

Wow.

Yes, I say, everybody with an ounce of common sense, reality says. It's as true as 2+2=4.

Basically you are admitting that you don't care what all reason and evidence says, you have dogmatically chosen to believe whatever you happen to believe, whether ultimately true or false.

You can't really care about truth at all to be perfectly honest, not with this kind of attitude. You demonstrate that you care far more about protecting your cherished beliefs than seeking the truth, the real. Yeah; have fun with that.

Faith: Belief through the (wilful) abandonment of reason.

And what do you have left without Reason? Emotion and Imagination, that's it. Fine and dandy things to be sure, but lousy when assessing the truth-value of things.

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God had standards of how to treat slaves

Quite explicitly demonstrating that God approved of slavery, of the owning of another human being as property, chattel.

(servants would probably be a better word)

You would like to spin it that way wouldn't you?

At least that demonstrates that you have at least some moral reasoning skills of your own, that you realise on some level that slavery is immoral. A pity you are also so fixated in the dogmatic belief that the bible, and it's God character, are morally perfect, you feel the need to spin and distort what is written to make it seem to fit (at least for you.)

People OWNED as property are slaves, not servants.

and is was far from abusive

You are referring to the nice little God given rules about keeping slave then?

About how it's okay (and you aren't to be held responsible) to beat your slave, just so long as he lives at least a day or two after the beating. So a beating that kills in three days in fine and "far from abusive" apparently.

And how if you GIVE your (Jewish) slave a wife, and after (as per the God given rules) six years when you have to let your slaves go (only if you are both Jewish, non-Jewish slaves are not given such an opportunity.) You get to keep his wife and any children that they had (as your property!) And if the slaves comes back and wants to keep his wife, the you get to won him FOREVER. And you mark him as your permanent PROPERTY by driving an awl through his ear.

Yeah "servants would probably be a better word" and "far from abusive." :rolleyes:

This is just desperate modern theist spin. Trying desperately to keep that ancient text relevant even when you know that it just aint so.

3) you guys are having fun about that aren't you?

I was yeah.

WHat made it the most fun though?:

That Travel by Volcano "theory", it's a REAL creationist apologetics idea! :lol:

would it surprise you if i said that i believe Pangaea to be a possibility?

Not really. Biblical literalists have long been known to 'accept' any science that they think they can fit within their closed-minded and fixed doctrine, and reject any that won't.

It's known as confirmation Bias. And it's sad. :(

even by just looking at a map and studying tectonic movements makes the possibility very credible. the part that is twisted is that is took millions of years.

And why is that? Reason, evidence? No. That doesn't fit in with your predefined doctrine, does it.

ANd HUNDREDS of millions of years actually. Not the simply insane and violent super-tectonic movement required to do the job in only a few millennia!

i believe the world was worse off during the Flood than any of your meteors combined.

Except of course 'we' have evidence of those meteors, where's yours for this global flood. It should be easy; a global flood layer would pop out like a sore thumb.

the carving of the Grand Canyon during the first days of rain was probable, to some extent.

Nonsense. I don't think you get what "probable" means.

the tectonic plates were shaken apart, and when the Flood ended and the living dispersed, the animals could have reached australia, etc, before it was dismembered.

Nice little story. Anything to back it up? No, nothing?

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no, it's a warning. there are people out there, smart people. like the people in this Den. but there are many smart people who try to prove the Faith wrong with their reason. that's what the sign is: a warning, a heads-up, a way to keep the congregation from veering away from the Faith just because they've been proved wrong by reason

those kinds of stories sadden me

Yeah, can't have their flock, sheep, THINKING now can they? They might just get a clue and stop giving them their money, for being preached at!

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uh-huh, you laughed.

I did indeed. It was a kind of sad laugh however. Sometimes it is all you have left when you realise that a mind is far to closed off to reach; highlight the inanity of it all.

what is there to laugh at?

The claim that the preacher realised that the appeal to authority was unjustified in one sentence, but when right ahead and used it again in the :rolleyes: next.

that "certain book" contains the laws and standards by which the entire world should live by.

Oh I certainly hope not!

But we still see that many Islamic controlled states agree with you. They keep the stonings right on going, just as their book (based on your book) says.

the very fact that the Bible was written by Him

Aaaaaannnd he doesn't know what "fact" means either.

Just calling it a fact means absolutely nothing.

"The fact that the Flying Spaghetti Monster rules over us all with his noodley appendages..." See what I mean? :rolleyes:

And no theologian with half a brain thinks that it was written by God. They attribute some authors, and simply have no idea about the rest.

is enough to say that that "certain book" rules over every single thing in this earth, save God himself.

Um no. Just because (even if it were true) this God character wrote it doesn't make it of any value whatsoever. It certainly doesn't make him the supreme dictator, as you portray him here.

How in Hel does "X wrote the book Y" mean that "The book Y rules over every single thing on Earth"?! That makes no sense at all.

But I guess that's what you get when you abandon reason.

the pastor is placed at the head of a church, but he is placed under the authority of the Word of God. get it???

By who? (and remember we are talking about every "pastor" of every one of the tens of thousands (at least) of differeing and bickering sects and denominations of every religion on Earth here.)

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LJayden -

Here is the problem: Many people (perhaps yourself included) believe that truth is gained through faith, and that faith is the preferred path that leads toward absolute truth.

ADParker -

Here is the problem: Many people (perhaps yourself included) believe that truth is gained through reason, and that reason is the preferred path that leads toward absolute truth.

To solve your problems, both of you need to agree on a precise definition of truth. Good luck, since the world's best philosophers cannot agree on one.

Once you've agreed on a definition of truth, only then could the term 'absolute truth' even begin to have meaning.

Somewhere in the realm of 'absolute truth' dwells whatever deity or essence or force lack thereof underlies reality.

I urge you both to seek this diligently, calmly, persistently and co-operatively!

I believe that truth is gained through small iterative steps.

(Thesis <--> Antithesis) --> Synthesis

(Faith <--> Reason) --> Balance

(edit) ... so, of course, I believe that truth is a journey, not a destination.

Edited by seeksit

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The preceding post was in response to this thread of the discussion:

again, we do not have much common ground to argue on

i personally believe that not all truth is found in science or logic. ultimate knowledge must be preceded by the wisdom of God.

Faith: Belief through the (wilful) abandonment of reason.

And what do you have left without Reason? Emotion and Imagination, that's it. Fine and dandy things to be sure, but lousy when assessing the truth-value of things.

LJayden: What is 'ultimate knowledge', and how does it relate to 'truth'?

ADParker: What is 'truth-value'?

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no, it's a warning. there are people out there, smart people. like the people in this Den. but there are many smart people who try to prove the Faith wrong with their reason. that's what the sign is: a warning, a heads-up, a way to keep the congregation from veering away from the Faith just because they've been proved wrong by reason

those kinds of stories sadden me

In the past couple centuries, our knowledge of medicine has increased greatly so that now people like you and me can live a lot longer on average than people who lived 500 years ago. Did humans gain this medical knowledge using the power of faith or the power of reason? I would appreciate if you answered this question, LJayden. Please explain how it is that if I get sick today I can take medicine to save my life. People couldn't do that 500 years ago. How did our knowledge of medicine get to where it is today? Did we pray to God for Him to tell us how to make the medicine? Did we finally uncover the knowledge after studying the Bible carefully? How did we get it?

Edited by Use the Force

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LJayden quoted ADParker ( :D ), but I couldn't find ADParker atcually saying it. Here it is:

------------------------------------------------

View PostADParker, on 03 May 2010 - 12:46 AM, said:

But think about that.

How could a being exist outside or time, what would that even mean?!

And HOW could it 'create' time without time in which to do it? Creating is a temporal event; it implies that at one point it wasn't there THEN it was made.

And then God would have a beginning, that beginning would be the beginning of time.

Anyway once again you have given nothing but empty assertions.

------------------------------------------------

Then LJayden responded with this:

sorry, took an abrupt break...anyway

isn't time a certain dimension? 4th, right? I believe God lives outside of even that dimension...don't ask me where...yes, God likely created the dimension of time itself, since He does things outside of time (if you don't get that part, then we really don't have any common ground on which to debate.) He then created the heavens and the earth. keep in mind He is a supreme being. He rules over existence. He created everything no exceptions, except Himself, since He always was and is, and will be.

don't try too hard to explain Him or prove His existence invalid, or other things such as that...it's not possible. that is where we disagree: Faith rules over reason. if I can't explain why I believe something logically, time to take faith and simply say "the Bible says so." childlike, you say? well, those with faith like a child's enter the Kingdom of God. the Bible says so.

from now on, i'm simply going to explain some misunderstandings there may be about Christians and our belief

I'm really replying because of ADParker's words. You (ADParker) said, "How could a being exist outside or time, what would that even mean?!"

I would answer that that is quite possible. Let's say I want to be a god. I can create a universe with a computer. In my universe program I could start off by creating many tiny particles (points with properties) and then give the universe a few properties of its own and then allow those points to interact according to their properties until they eventually evolve into beings that are capable of questioning their own existence. Now, of course we couldn't create a universe as great as our own from a computer program within our universe, but I think in theory you should be able to get the idea. The "time" in our computer universe isn't the "time" that we are in. We would exist outside of the time of the people in our computer universe.

Having said that, I would assert that it is completely possible that our universe may have been created by something else in some other universe. This universe wasn't necessarily created by anything else; it may have just formed all on its own. I think that both are reasonable ideas. Therefore, I call myself an agnostic. I also call myself an atheist, however, because I lack a belief in any gods. I do think that it's possible that something created this universe (and exists outside of the time of this universe), but just because I think it's possible doesn't mean that it would be rational of me to assert that "God" created this universe or that God can communicate telepathically with the humans on Earth that are simply the results of a process of evolution or that we ought to worship this "God" or that when we die and our brains stop functioning we will still remain conscious in an "afterlife" or ... etc.

So, ADParker, I don't know if you realized or not (perhaps you were just trying to get LJayden to think), but I think there are reasonable answers to your questions.

You (ADParker) also said, "And HOW could it 'create' time without time in which to do it?"

I may have already answered that, but I'll try to clear it up by saying that there are two different "times." If you create a computer world then the "time" in that computer world is not the same as the "time" in this universe.

ADParker: "Creating is a temporal event; it implies that at one point it wasn't there THEN it was made."

When a human is created, the human is there even before it is alive. It is in the form of other matter and energy in this universe and then forms into a living human being. The same could be true about this universe being "created" if it was created by a "god" in the sense that the god formed this universe out of the material in the god's universe's surroundings.

If you mean "create" in the sense that there's something out of nothing, literally, then I'll say this:

LJayden (like other theists I've communicated with) might think that it's 100% necessary that this universe was created by a god, not because he knows with certainty that "God" created this universe, but because he (like other theists) may not think that it would be possible for this universe to exist without it being created. The idea that the universe could just exist eternally without having been created may not seem possible to LJayden. Am I right? Well, if you do hold that view, tell me this: If it is impossible that this universe cannot be in existence without having been created (atheist perspective), then how is it that the "God" that you believe created this universe is capable of existing without having been created?

I know LJayden doesn't think that "God" was created, but I'll say this anyways. Perhaps there is a god of this universe that we are in now. Perhaps there is another god that created the universe that contains the god that created this universe that we are in now. Perhaps there is yet another god that created the universe that contains the god that created the universe that contains the god that created this universe.... It can go on and on. But, eventually it is unavoidable that there must be something in existence (whether it be LJayden's "God" or the god of the universe that created "God"'s universe, etc) that exists without creation. Something must be able to "just exist."

I have no idea what universe it is that "just exists" without creation. I would say that it is possible that there is a Large superstructure universe (call it The Universe) that contained some being that created a Universe B that created our universe that we are in now. With this possibility, you could say that our universe (that began with the Big Bang) is actually contained within the superstructure universe (The Universe).

I would also say that it is possible that this Big Bang universe is The Universe--it exists without creation. LJayden seems to think that this option is impossible and that this universe was instead created by "God." LJayden also asserts confidently that "God" wasn't created. I must say that that is a foolish assertion. While I strongly reject your idea of "God," I would say that even if A god exists (that created this universe), there is very little to no reason at all to think that that god exists without creation (as LJayden says it does).

Anyways, ADParker: What do you think of what I have said? Do you see how it would be possible that this universe was created?

"Anyway once again you have given nothing but empty assertions."

I would agree with you, ADParker: LJayden's assertions were quite empty.

Edited by Use the Force

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fine, people, i'll say it loud and clear.

we as Christians have a defined doctrine, yes, and it cannot be proved by mankind's ways of reasoning. so what if i find something that doesn't fit in? i'm young, i don't know how everything fits together. God can show me later on

i'll say it one last time and i think i've had my full say on this topic: call me stupid and naive if you wish: faith like a child rules over reason

(PS, not that i am fully against reasoning...why do you think i joined the Den in the first place??? maybe that explained something to you who uses the Force. sure, man is smart enough to find medications, et cetera. but when reasoning fails, faith comes in)

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"God exists" "why" "'cause the Bible said so" "what makes you so sure the Bible is true?" "'cause the Bible is the Word of God"

invalid you say? yes, by today's standards of logic. But God, in His supreme wisdom, knows how to tie up the loose ends. Faith! that's all i have to say

I could see how your statements could be offensive but I on the other hand see something beautiful in the ouroboros there (even if it is circular logic)... however, the fundamental flaw is that (due to its circular nature), it can be applied to ANY religion. I could use an exactly similar cycle of reasoning to prove that the Holy Book of Pasta proves the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster which proves the legitimacy of the Holy Book of Pasta, etc, etc.

Since this cycle of logic in your quote can be applied to literally ANYTHING, it's clearly NOT the reason you believe but rather a justification for it. Think to the core of it. Why do you really believe? Why are you a christian? Help us not feel sorry for you for having no other options in your life to choose from... help us see why you can self-justify these beliefs you hold so dearly that in your own words do not adhere to reason but rather to an untouchable unexaminable faith. I really do genuinely want to understand, I hope you can see that

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fine, people, i'll say it loud and clear.

we as Christians have a defined doctrine, yes, and it cannot be proved by mankind's ways of reasoning. so what if i find something that doesn't fit in? i'm young, i don't know how everything fits together. God can show me later on

i'll say it one last time and i think i've had my full say on this topic: call me stupid and naive if you wish: faith like a child rules over reason

(PS, not that i am fully against reasoning...why do you think i joined the Den in the first place??? maybe that explained something to you who uses the Force. sure, man is smart enough to find medications, et cetera. but when reasoning fails, faith comes in)

I disagree with "when reasoning fails, faith comes in." A part of reasoning is being uncertain. You never have to use faith to blindly believe something. Just use reason to conclude that you're unsure and that's okay. You don't have to have all the answers. But, saying "there is no reason to believe in a god so I'll just have to let the faith kick in" is completely silly in my opinion (and the opinion of a reasonist). I'm not religious either (something you said was impossible).

Edited by Use the Force

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Since this cycle of logic in your quote can be applied to literally ANYTHING, it's clearly NOT the reason you believe but rather a justification for it. Think to the core of it. Why do you really believe? Why are you a christian? Help us not feel sorry for you for having no other options in your life to choose from... help us see why you can self-justify these beliefs you hold so dearly that in your own words do not adhere to reason but rather to an untouchable unexaminable faith. I really do genuinely want to understand, I hope you can see that

i posted my reason in your "am i a true atheist?" topic: a simple, short testimony of God's personal interaction in my life

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Izzy's back. ...:D

I haven't read the new posts since my departure (..waay too many), but I'll start keeping up with this topic starting here.

Fresh meat?

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ADParker -

Here is the problem: Many people (perhaps yourself included) believe that truth is gained through reason, and that reason is the preferred path that leads toward absolute truth.

Actually not to truth so much as the most reliable approximation of truth.

As far as it is yet known, rationally derived truth, or more succinctly; Proof is not obtainable on the ontological (actual) as that would most likely require absolute knowledge and perfect reasoning in order to be actualised.

As some of us have come to say (over at another forum):

If you want proof, try Mathematics, Formal Logic or Alcohol. :lol:

They (the former two) of course, are limited to the conceptual (and the latter; a equivocation play on words ^_^ )

When dealing with the actual however we are limited to imperfect information. And reason (the careful and critical assessment of the available data) is the best tool we have available for deriving the most reliable approximations of truth, for reaching at least some real understanding of that which is (and is not.)

To solve your problems, both of you need to agree on a precise definition of truth. Good luck, since the world's best philosophers cannot agree on one.

Actually I think that you will fnd that the word you are looking for is not "Truth" but "knowledge."

There is a (my favourite) branch of philosophy dedicated to it, known as Epistemology. It involves the search for knoweledge, truth and understanding, but also more fundamentally examines th every question of what Knowledge is.

Still an ancient definition is really the best we have: Justified true belief. Coupled with an understanding of just how flawed that definition is.

"Truth" is easy; it is the concept of being in accord with the actual, the real.

The real problem comes with "justified." It leads to an infinite regress or defining and understanding just what that is and how to acheive it.

Once you've agreed on a definition of truth, only then could the term 'absolute truth' even begin to have meaning.

That to is relatively simple (at least in a generalised fashion) but the actual obtaining of it is another matter entirely.

Which brings us to another common distinction between Faith and Reason. Reason is not about holding something as True, but as reasonable to accept. While Faith is often (but it can be held in a limited way) held up as believing something as the TruthTM, as the final ultimate answer/solution/truth, and nor does it allow (within itself) any means of correction or revision. Because Faith is about the answer far more than the seeking of answers.

Somewhere in the realm of 'absolute truth' dwells whatever deity or essence or force lack thereof underlies reality.

Probably yes. All you are saying here is that there is an answer, a truth.

Truth is truth after-all, no real need for the "absolute" qualifier.

I urge you both to seek this diligently, calmly, persistently and co-operatively!

Sounds REASONABLE ( ;) )

There is of course a fundamental difficulty and conflict however, when one party chooses to abandon reason and just believe some given "ultimate" answer. As that is not seeking, but closing down the search altogether.

I believe that truth is gained through small iterative steps.

What can rationally and reliably judged as improved approximations of truth, absolutely. The history of science demonstrates this beautifully.

(Thesis <--> Antithesis) --> Synthesis

Not always, not hardly.

Sometimes there is a sythesis between two opposing ideas. Sometimes one replaces another entirely. At others (as is often the case) the new idea is a modification (minor to paradigm shifting) of the old.

Phlogiston theory did not join in a synthesis with the new oxygen/fuel/heat theory of combustion, it was defeated and refuted outright. As it was just plain wrong.

(Faith <--> Reason) --> Balance

Um no.

Their is no balance between reason and the abandonment of reason. They are at direct odds. The only way the two are maintained is through compartmentalisation, where one area of thought/belief in kept separate and protected from the 'rational self.'

(edit) ... so, of course, I believe that truth is a journey, not a destination.

Truth is a destination, one we may never reach.

The Search for truth, Knowledge and Wisdom; that is the journey.

And Faith is stepping of from that journey to embrace a specific belief of what the destination is.

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