Defining Christianity

Invisusira's playground

Moderators: Aergis, Invisusira

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Chunes » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:59 pm

Chunes wrote:At this point they're no longer skeptical of anything, their provisional position is one that says "there is no evidence to support the existence of the soul, but it's not ruled out either". Occam's razor takes care of the "ruling out" part I guess, but that's not skepticism.


Theck wrote:The default position of a skeptic on a topic that doesn't have enough evidence should be "there's not enough evidence to say one way or the other."


We are arguing the same point. I mentioned occam's razor only because that is the next step that some people take. I still remain in the "it could exist, or it couldn't, there's not enough information either way," camp.
User avatar
Chunes
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 3:46 pm

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Hayz » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:30 pm

I once saw a young (highschool) kid leave a Jehovah's witness speechless with the line of "There are more than 2 religions that claim you're going to hell if you arent of that religion, and since you cant be a part of more than one religion, everyone is going to hell." I gave him credit for an intelligent thought, and figured id toss it up here for your thoughts as it recently came back into my memory.
Deathknights are whores! They're cheap, easy, and spread diseases.
OOM, pulling more trash.
Its alright, I'm a Paladin!
They can't stop us let 'em try, for heavy metal we will die!
Image
User avatar
Hayz
 
Posts: 560
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:13 am

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Chicken » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:51 am

Assuming that even one faith is correct, that'd not be true though. Each faith which punishes you in the afterlife for not worshiping their deity(s) is of course going to be exclusive with all the other faiths. You'd just have to hope that the one you choose to worship is in fact the one true faith.

I've personally always felt that the punishment for being the wrong faith and the requirement of worship of a deity in general are human additions to the matter though. Assuming a benevolent creator deity I just can't imagine Him even wanting His (And I wish English had a good gender-neutral pronoun for this*) creations to spend their time on worship. As I said, personal opinion there, it's very different for a lot of other people and probably arose more because I came to being Agnostic from an Atheist background, and so worship is just something that's never been part of my life.

*I'd use 'their' instead, but while that works for gender neutrality it also tends to imply plurality. It's also not a "God is female" thing I'm aiming for, more a "God is unknowable".
Image
User avatar
Chicken
 
Posts: 1597
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Candiru » Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:35 am

I've never understood prayer or worship either.

Why would an omniscient being need you to pray to it? It would already know everything and so would know what the prayer would be before you thought of doing one.
Image
Candiru
 
Posts: 2480
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 12:21 pm

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Chunes » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:04 am

Candiru wrote:I've never understood prayer or worship either.

Why would an omniscient being need you to pray to it? It would already know everything and so would know what the prayer would be before you thought of doing one.


I think both prayer and worship are good at two things: practicing humility and practicing devotion. Devotion being defined as the intentional focusing of one's concentration on another person/being in an affectionate manner. I think both are great traits to develop and if one is rigorous in their "prayer/worship" then the individual learns discipline as well, which is also beneficial provided said person is not praying/worshiping exclusively and at the detriment of those around or dependent upon him or her.

I think a lot of contention is brought up with prayer when people categorize prayer as just a list of requests aimed skyward towards god (granted though, many christians I know pray like this and it irks me to no end). If you look at the lord's prayer from the NT, just a small portion of it was for requests/supplication. The rest was either adoration of god or request for forgiveness, though in many other prayers offered by christ in the NT there was a component of thanksgiving as well.

So deep down at the core, I think it would do good to keep in mind that prayer as it's generally thought of is not really what prayer (at least in the christian context) is really about.

With that laid as a framework, I think worship is just an extension of prayer, specifically the component of adoration.
User avatar
Chunes
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 3:46 pm

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Boyfriend » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:49 am

theckhd wrote:The default position of a skeptic on a topic that doesn't have enough evidence should be "there's not enough evidence to say one way or the other." By making the jump to "there's not enough evidence, thus it must not exist," you're implicitly defining a belief - namely that anything which doesn't have enough evidence to be true is false. To put it another way, "Unless there's strong evidence that something exists, it doesn't."


No, the default position of a skeptic should be "Unless there's strong evidence that something exists, it probably doesn't and until the evidence changes I will treat it as if it doesn't.", because simply considering the existence of everything you can think of is not practical. But that's a language issue.
Image
User avatar
Boyfriend
Maintankadonor
 
Posts: 588
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:16 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Mcduffie » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:20 am

Boyfriend wrote:
theckhd wrote:The default position of a skeptic on a topic that doesn't have enough evidence should be "there's not enough evidence to say one way or the other." By making the jump to "there's not enough evidence, thus it must not exist," you're implicitly defining a belief - namely that anything which doesn't have enough evidence to be true is false. To put it another way, "Unless there's strong evidence that something exists, it doesn't."


No, the default position of a skeptic should be "Unless there's strong evidence that something exists, it probably doesn't and until the evidence changes I will treat it as if it doesn't.", because simply considering the existence of everything you can think of is not practical. But that's a language issue.


Language is a flawed medium of communication, and where most of the problems in this thread have come from.
User avatar
Mcduffie
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:42 am

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby theckhd » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:14 am

Boyfriend wrote:
theckhd wrote:The default position of a skeptic on a topic that doesn't have enough evidence should be "there's not enough evidence to say one way or the other." By making the jump to "there's not enough evidence, thus it must not exist," you're implicitly defining a belief - namely that anything which doesn't have enough evidence to be true is false. To put it another way, "Unless there's strong evidence that something exists, it doesn't."


No, the default position of a skeptic should be "Unless there's strong evidence that something exists, it probably doesn't and until the evidence changes I will treat it as if it doesn't.", because simply considering the existence of everything you can think of is not practical. But that's a language issue.


I would argue that the minute you make the underlined statement, you have implicitly defined a belief. As soon as you make a statement about the existence of a phenomenon that you don't have evidence of, you've left the realm of "method" and entered the realm of "belief."

To put it in mathematical terms, the skepticism operator S can give me a result of True, False, or ?. Applying the skepticism operator to something is a method:

S(Aliens)=?
S(electrons)=T
S(Aether)=F

However, the statement "If applying S to an object returns ?, I will treat that object as if it were F" defines a belief. It could be a perfectly reasonable belief, given the practicality (certainly S(unicorns)=?, but we probably assume that it's F). But that doesn't make it any less a belief.
"Theck, Bringer of Numbers and Pounding Headaches," courtesy of Grehn|Skipjack.
Simcraft 6.x, Call to Arms 6.0, Talent Spec & Glyph Guide 6.x, Blog: Sacred Duty
User avatar
theckhd
Moderator
 
Posts: 8030
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:06 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Candiru » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:22 am

Well, if you consider that for every object x, where S(x)=? there is a closely related object x` where S(x`)=? such that your actions |S(x)=T are the opposite of |S(x`)=T. This means you *should* ignore everything where S(x)=?

For example, a theory says that walking under ladders if unlucky. This is unproven. Another theory states that walking under ladders is lucky. This is also unproven. Should you modify your behaviour on account of the ladder-luck theory? No.
Image
Candiru
 
Posts: 2480
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 12:21 pm

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Chicken » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:54 am

That's true for that particular question perhaps, but take a more philosophical question instead. For instance, does free will exist? It's a bit of a conundrum that one, and one that people with all kinds of views hold different viewpoints on. There's people with and without religious beliefs who each have a different answer to the question, each with further explanations as fits their beliefs. It's something that we're not sure about either way.
Image
User avatar
Chicken
 
Posts: 1597
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Chunes » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:35 pm

Chicken wrote:That's true for that particular question perhaps, but take a more philosophical question instead. For instance, does free will exist? It's a bit of a conundrum that one, and one that people with all kinds of views hold different viewpoints on. There's people with and without religious beliefs who each have a different answer to the question, each with further explanations as fits their beliefs. It's something that we're not sure about either way.


Free will is a tough subject indeed, but I think it's actually much, much more complex than "I have a choice between tuna and chicken salad, I choose tuna erego I have exercised free will".

I'd go so far as to say there are so many underlying variables inherited from the sum of your experiences that no matter what, had the universe played out exactly the same, you would still have chosen tuna, all other things equal.

"But I could have just as easily picked the chicken salad" it could be said, and I would disagree. Now within the hidden subset of variables influencing your decision there could always be the "fuck it" variable (or collection of variables) which makes you more inclined to slam both sandwiches into the wall and eat your coworker instead, but I would argue that these are still dependent on your total variable set as inherited from your total experiences.

tl;dr I believe (GASP!) that free will is likely an illusion, but i'd be happy to be proven wrong.
User avatar
Chunes
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 3:46 pm

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Boyfriend » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:59 pm

theckhd wrote:I would argue that the minute you make the underlined statement, you have implicitly defined a belief. As soon as you make a statement about the existence of a phenomenon that you don't have evidence of, you've left the realm of "method" and entered the realm of "belief."

To put it in mathematical terms, the skepticism operator S can give me a result of True, False, or ?. Applying the skepticism operator to something is a method:

S(Aliens)=?
S(electrons)=T
S(Aether)=F

However, the statement "If applying S to an object returns ?, I will treat that object as if it were F" defines a belief. It could be a perfectly reasonable belief, given the practicality (certainly S(unicorns)=?, but we probably assume that it's F). But that doesn't make it any less a belief.


I very much much disagree with your definition of belief/Skepticism operator.

I'll illustrate with a more or less scientific example.
Assuming:
(1) there occured a Big Bang
(2) the Universe created by said Big Bang is all that exists now
(3) the Big Bang destroyed all information from befor it's occurence

A) Any theory of whatever was before the Big Bang will be equally valid. (There will never be any evidence for anything, and we have no laws of nature to rely on as ll information was destroyed there also is nothing outside the Universe to help us with this)

B) There is an infinite amount of theories (you can make any theory more complex by expanding it, thus there is actually an infinite amount of different possibilities)

This is the purest example of 'theory without any evidence' I could come up with, most other things people will argue there is evidence for and against (weak evidence if nothing else) but this example is specifically set up to be something about which nothing is knowable by definition.

The observation on this example is that each theory is infinitely unlikely, with a possibility approaching zero. So it IS perfectly reasonable to say that some specific state did not exist before the Big Bang in this case.

As said though, in reality we have evidence for and against anything; we rarely make decisions in a vacuum.

In reality we make decisions based on evidence (usually at least) and concerning existance there is usually always a static evidence for it's non existance, this is statistical. Most things we can think of don't exist or more precisely formulated don't affect us (in an infinite universe everything could exist somewhere) if there is a lack for evidence FOR the existance of any object within the area of objects affecting us, it is absolutely skeptical and rational to assume it does not exist due to the static evidence for non-existance based on there being a limited number of existing objects but an infinite number of possible objects.

Under the assumption that only a finite number of objects exists within your sphere of influence, you get an automatic razor that will null everything out of existance lacking evidence for it's existance; simply due to the statistical unlikelyness of any given object out of an infinite pool will be in your finite world.

The weakest link in this argument is 'belief' in a finite sphere of influence, but it's not unreasonable to base this on experience and observation, this is weak but any any weaker than most of natural science, however once you accept that there is only a limited amount of matter/energy that will affect you during your existance; occam's razor becomes a mathematical construct based on that assumption.
Image
User avatar
Boyfriend
Maintankadonor
 
Posts: 588
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:16 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Brekkie » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:52 pm

Very interesting article I just read.

The Chaplain and the Atheist go to War:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB2000142 ... 55248.html
Theckhd wrote:big numbers are the in-game way of expressing that Brekkie's penis is huge.
Brekkie
 
Posts: 953
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Dorvan » Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:06 pm

Brekkie wrote:Very interesting article I just read.

The Chaplain and the Atheist go to War:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB2000142 ... 55248.html


Best quote from the article

Though he admits to some youthful indiscretions and flirted briefly with the lure of dentistry


A close brush there...many a soul has been lost through what they thought was a little harmless fun with dental medicine :P
Image

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Moonlight Sonata Techno Remix
Scriggle - 85 Fire Mage
Fizzmore - 81 Mut Rogue
Adorania - 80 Disc Priest
User avatar
Dorvan
Maintankadonor
 
Posts: 8462
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:28 pm

Re: Defining Christianity

Postby Brekkie » Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:02 pm

Yeah I chuckled at that too.
Theckhd wrote:big numbers are the in-game way of expressing that Brekkie's penis is huge.
Brekkie
 
Posts: 953
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:44 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Arkham Asylum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 380 on Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:28 pm

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest