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Thread: Study shows that IQ decreases with religiosity

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Atheism consists of the position that one does not believe in something (the existence of a supreme being) because there is no evidence that such a being exists. If you're going to claim that a god or a unicorn or whatever exists, it is up to you to prove it. Saying "I don't see the proof" isn't a belief system unless it involves disregarding evidence. Nobody needs to prove that a god or a unicorn or elves don't exist.
    My point exactly, the belief that there is no scientific evidence of God is one of the beliefs in Atheism. Atheists need to have faith that what they believe is the truth despite the very real chance that they may actually be wrong. And both sides cannot prove that they are right using scientific methods.

    The universe was formed or created whether we like it or not. Similarly, something created the universe. Now to say that you don't believe in unicorns is testable as unicorns, if they did exist, would be visible to the human eye, audible to the human ear, recognizable to us in a way that we could verify its existence using scientific measurement. This analogy however is false when comparing the quest for unicorns with the quest for the creator or god(s).

    How are we suppose to verify the existence of God if we cannot comprehend or know what we are looking for. The existence of verifiable creation does not prove the existence of a verifiable creator in much the same way as the existence of verifiable Atheists that live and breathe does not prove the non-existence of God.

    Atheism relies on science for its argument against theism whereas the existence of God cannot be tested or falsified using scientific measurement. To say that the onus is on the believer to prove the existence of God using science when science is the study of creation Not the creator, suggests a lack of willingness on the part of the Atheist, the onus is therefore on the Atheist to prove that the scientific measure put forth as necessary for the verification of God is in fact a reliable measurement. This is another belief of Atheists, namely that scientific measurements can be used to tests the existence of God.

    When I state that Atheism is not falsifiable I am merely stating it to prove the point that the measure or ruler or canon used by Atheists to discount the existence of God is in fact not the right tool for the job, whether one is testing the hypothesis one way or the other is irrelevant really. The onus is on the Atheist to prove that his/her canon of what constitutes the non-existence of God is in fact a reliable measure in that it is a measure of whether God does or does not exist. Therefore it can be said that both believers and Atheists rely on their experiences rather than verifiable measurements and as a consequence are reliant on their faith in God or the non-existence of God. Atheists have a unicorn too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorianfinder View Post

    The distinction as the tradition and perspective behind my understanding (.. as an Orthodox Christian), is that creation is the task of energy. If we deny the real difference between the essence of God and the acts of God, we cannot determine a clear borderline between the existence and/or reality of God (uncreated creator) and the creation.

    It is necessary to make the distinction between God's nature and manifestation of things about God's nature. The two are very different, the one being the energy (uncreated essence) of God that acts on the cosmos, the other the result of God's actions on the cosmos (created). The one is God's essence (uncreated) and the other God's creation.


    If one fails or is incapable of distinguishing between God's essence and His works, acts (i.e. the cosmos) then there is no distinction between God and the material or created world, cosmos. Uncreated as that which has no first cause and is not caused, in Orthodoxy is the basis for understanding outside the realm of science. Atheism here being a denial of the uncreated. Pagan philosophical metaphysics being an attempt to rationalize the uncreated.
    If we go by Christian scriptures there is no mentioning of energy as personalization of god. Actually there is a lot of created thinking done by you in giving god some form of existence. It feels that you need to embrace scientific language and concepts, like energy, to find god according to current scientific discoveries. There is nothing really comparable in bible, which should be your "manual" in understanding god. You might be creating a new heresy.
    Your writing reminds me times when I was a devoted Catholic, and had to go into very creative explanation to consolidate my beliefs with scientific observation of nature. Once I've departed from my beliefs everything became much simpler and makes more sense.

    Let's assume for a moment that you are right and god is energy. How can you be sure that god is only one and not many gods or spirits exist? After all we know that there are few forms of energy, therefore why only one creator? Two or more cooperating gods could have pulled this off too.


    Your Paganistic or Aristotelian understanding of God brings you to the above conclusion that God and creation would 'naturally' be engaging and man would source his morality and laws from God. Evangelical teachings are problematic and Western Christianity is riddled with the inventions of sola scriptura.
    As atheist I don't need to understand God or spirits. I'm more fascinated by spirituality and religion that make people belief in supernatural, me included.

    The mainstream churches and Orthodox understanding in both Judaism and Christianity are and have been unified on the core principle of God as infinite and incorruptable. The heresy of personifying God is a new invention dating from the 20th century.
    When I said personalized, I meant it in more general term of giving god a function, character, voice/thought and purpose as an existing entity. I didn't mean to present god or gods in human form on a picture.

    Evangelical Protestantism has this Pagan understanding that may be prohibiting you from engaging with me and creates this false dilemma you appear to be having.
    I have no dilemma. I rather sense dual personality in your beliefs. On one hand you are committed Orthodox Christian and should be looking for loving and caring god, on other hand you ignored biblical teaching and "created" god out of energy.



    My understanding is Christian Orthodox, God is not finite, cannot be rationalized
    And yet you rationalized it as form of energy and need for existence.



    I find that my Atheist friends have a limited or misguided understanding of the principles with Christianity. Most of my Atheist friends come from an Evangelical background or have been exposed as children to a person-centered (ego-centric) philosophy of being. This understanding naturally appeals to individuals who have a lack of self-worth and need to feel valued by a false doctrine incorporating psychology and entertainment to draw large crowds of people in need of narcissistic supply.
    I don't think you have met many Atheists.

    Egocentric? Perhaps is the person who sees other Christians as pagans? Who claims the only right understanding of universe? Who says that he believes in only true religion and god. Who calls people of different understanding of world confused, misguided, egocentric, narcissistic, incapable, heretics. Doesn't it make you special, chosen by God, born in right place and the only true religion, and skills to point others the Creator.


    Atheism is not about increased intelligence. The correlation between Atheism and personality type or even a particular experience would be more probable IMHO. The essence of this discussion is about the value of IQ tests and their interpretation. Intelligence should correlate positively with better decision making and it does for the most part. The problem with intelligence as a construct is that it is not the only variable exercising an influence on a individual's decision to follow a particular belief system. Similarly, psychometric tests such as the Wechsler IQ test are not very reliable. A test taker's ability or test-giver's ability to work quickly without making an error determine to a greater extent the success of an IQ test than intelligence or general knowledge. If an individual is brilliant but is not motivated to excel and lacks interest at the time of testing, the scores will not reflect that individual's true ability.
    It's ok, we see a correlation between IQ and religiosity, or income, or choices of occupation, and having a nice talk to see if one causes the other of not. No harm in it.

    Fact: Atheism as a belief-system cannot be proven using the scientific methods.
    For some people could be a belief, but for me it is a state 0 of religiosity. 0 in spectrum from 0 to 10 being maximum. State of non existent god, gods, spirits, UFO, Santa Claus, etc. Whatever science can't prove, or I can't see or touch, doesn't exist for me. A state of disbelief in anything supernatural or too small or too far.
    I could be mistaken and some of this might exist, but I don't believe in it. My mind is in state 0 regarding these things. It hardly constitutes a belief, even less a system.
    600 years ago we believed in heliocentric universe, hell in center of Earth and Saints killing dragons. Now thanks to science we stopped believing in these things. Would you call this lack of faith, in things people used to believe, a belief-system? It doesn't make sense, does it?
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    If I may...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorianfinder View Post
    My point exactly, the belief that there is no scientific evidence of God is one of the beliefs in Atheism.
    There is no scientific proof of god's existence, therefore no need to believe.
    You don't need to believe in god's nonexistence. You just need to lose a belief in god and supernatural to become Atheist. You don't need to start believing in god's nonexistence. The state of god's non existence is granted after losing a belief. It comes automatically. It is not a belief.
    Take a word of someone who went through this process, which is only a theory for you.
    If you love someone and you stop loving this person, does it mean that you necessarily need to love someone else? You just lose love and you lose a belief, and you back to state 0.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorianfinder View Post
    My point exactly, the belief that there is no scientific evidence of God is one of the beliefs in Atheism. Atheists need to have faith that what they believe is the truth despite the very real chance that they may actually be wrong. And both sides cannot prove that they are right using scientific methods.

    The universe was formed or created whether we like it or not. Similarly, something created the universe. Now to say that you don't believe in unicorns is testable as unicorns, if they did exist, would be visible to the human eye, audible to the human ear, recognizable to us in a way that we could verify its existence using scientific measurement. This analogy however is false when comparing the quest for unicorns with the quest for the creator or god(s).

    How are we suppose to verify the existence of God if we cannot comprehend or know what we are looking for. The existence of verifiable creation does not prove the existence of a verifiable creator in much the same way as the existence of verifiable Atheists that live and breathe does not prove the non-existence of God.

    Atheism relies on science for its argument against theism whereas the existence of God cannot be tested or falsified using scientific measurement. To say that the onus is on the believer to prove the existence of God using science when science is the study of creation Not the creator, suggests a lack of willingness on the part of the Atheist, the onus is therefore on the Atheist to prove that the scientific measure put forth as necessary for the verification of God is in fact a reliable measurement. This is another belief of Atheists, namely that scientific measurements can be used to tests the existence of God.

    When I state that Atheism is not falsifiable I am merely stating it to prove the point that the measure or ruler or canon used by Atheists to discount the existence of God is in fact not the right tool for the job, whether one is testing the hypothesis one way or the other is irrelevant really. The onus is on the Atheist to prove that his/her canon of what constitutes the non-existence of God is in fact a reliable measure in that it is a measure of whether God does or does not exist. Therefore it can be said that both believers and Atheists rely on their experiences rather than verifiable measurements and as a consequence are reliant on their faith in God or the non-existence of God. Atheists have a unicorn too!
    If someone says "I don't believe in things that cannot be shown to exist", some would say that is not a statement of belief but merely proof of sanity. And the scientific idea that there is no evidence of a supreme creator is in fact "falsifiable" in the sense that one could disprove it by presenting proof of a supreme creator.

    If you want to argue that the existence of the universe is evidence of a creator, and if you personally find that convincing, it still doesn't provide you with any evidence to support any one particular deity. According to your argument, I could take the view that the universe was created by a purple dragon named Albert. That can't be disproven, so if someone disagrees with me, they merely have a belief system that they cannot support with evidence.

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    Both Judaism and Christianity are revelation-based models. God has certain attributes positively ascribed to Himself. The text is said to be inspired. Another way to say this is God represents Himself through the text. This type of reasoning is known as cataphatic theology. Orthodoxy however holds an apophatic view of God.

    Examples of apophatic theology are:

    The theophany to Elijah, where God reveals Himself in a "still, small voice" (1 Kings 19:11–13). And St. Paul's reference to the "Unknown God" in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 17:23) is sometimes pointed to as an apophatic statement.

    The Cappadocian Fathers of the 4th century said that they believed in God, but they did not believe that God exists in the same sense that everything else exists. That is to say, everything else that exists was created, but the Creator transcends even existence. The essence of God is completely unknowable; mankind can know God only through His energies.

    Maimonides was perhaps the first Jewish Thinker to explicitly articulate this doctrine (see also Tanya Shaar Hayichud Vehaemunah Ch. 8):
    God's existence is absolute and it includes no composition and we comprehend only the fact that He exists, not His essence. Consequently it is a false assumption to hold that He has any positive attribute... still less has He accidents (מקרה), which could be described by an attribute. Hence it is clear that He has no positive attribute however , the negative attributes are necessary to direct the mind to the truths which we must believe... When we say of this being, that it exists, we mean that its non-existence is impossible; it is living — it is not dead; ...it is the first — its existence is not due to any cause; it has power, wisdom, and will — it is not feeble or ignorant; He is One — there are not more Gods than one… Every attribute predicated of God denotes either the quality of an action, or, when the attribute is intended to convey some idea of the Divine Being itself — and not of His actions — the negation of the opposite. (The Guide for the Perplexed, 1:58)

    Eastern Orthodox theologians have criticized Western theology, and especially the traditional scholastic claim that God is actus purus, for its alleged incompatibility with the essence-energies distinction.

    Atheism does not engage with Eastern Orthodoxy. http://www.asna.ca/resources/dawkins-delusion.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    If we go by Christian scriptures there is no mentioning of energy as personalization of god. Actually there is a lot of created thinking done by you in giving god some form of existence. It feels that you need to embrace scientific language and concepts, like energy, to find god according to current scientific discoveries. There is nothing really comparable in bible, which should be your "manual" in understanding god. You might be creating a new heresy.
    Your writing reminds me times when I was a devoted Catholic, and had to go into very creative explanation to consolidate my beliefs with scientific observation of nature. Once I've departed from my beliefs everything became much simpler and makes more sense.

    Let's assume for a moment that you are right and god is energy. How can you be sure that god is only one and not many gods or spirits exist? After all we know that there are few forms of energy, therefore why only one creator? Two or more cooperating gods could have pulled this off too.

    As atheist I don't need to understand God or spirits. I'm more fascinated by spirituality and religion that make people belief in supernatural, me included.

    When I said personalized, I meant it in more general term of giving god a function, character, voice/thought and purpose as an existing entity. I didn't mean to present god or gods in human form on a picture.

    I have no dilemma. I rather sense dual personality in your beliefs. On one hand you are committed Orthodox Christian and should be looking for loving and caring god, on other hand you ignored biblical teaching and "created" god out of energy.

    And yet you rationalized it as form of energy and need for existence.
    The concept of God's essence in Eastern Orthodox theology is called (ousia) and is distinct from his energies (energeia in Greek, actus in Latin) or activities as actualized in the world.The ousia of God is God as God is. It is the energies of God that enable us to experience something of the Divine, at first through sensory perception and then later intuitively or noetically. The essence, being, nature and substance (ousia) of God is taught in Eastern Christianity as uncreated and incomprehensible. God's ousia is defined as "that which finds no existence or subsistence in another or any other thing".God's ousia is beyond all states of (nous) consciousness and unconsciousness, being and non-being (like being dead or anesthetized), beyond something and beyond nothing beyond existence and non-existence. The God's ousia has not in necessity or subsistence needing or having dependence on anything other than itself. God's ousia as uncreated is therefore incomprehensible to created beings such as human beings. Therefore God in essence is superior to all forms of ontology (metaphysics).The source, origin of God's ousia or incomprehensibliness is the Father hypostasis of the Trinity, One God in One Father.The God's energies are "unbegotten" or "uncreated" just like the existences of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) both God's existences and energies are experience-able. God's ousia is uncreatediness, beyond existence, beyond no existence, God's hyper-being is not something comprehensible to created beings.As St John Damascene states "all that we say positively of God manifests not his nature but the things about his nature."

    With respect to the Eastern and Western theological traditions, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes that, at times, one tradition may "come nearer to a full appreciation of some aspects of a mystery of revelation than the other, or [express] it to better advantage." In these situations, the Church views the various theological expressions "often as mutually complementary rather than conflicting."

    The Enchiridion Symbolorum et Definitionum (Handbook of Creeds and Definitions), the collection of Roman Catholic teachings originally compiled by Heinrich Joseph Dominicus Denzinger, has no mention of the words "energies", "hesychasm" or "Palamas". The later twentieth century saw a remarkable change in the attitude of Roman Catholic theologians to Palamas, a "rehabilitation" of him that has led to increasing parts of the Western Church considering him a saint, even if uncanonized. Some Western scholars maintain that there is no conflict between the teaching of Palamas and Roman Catholic thought on the distinction.According to G. Philips, the essence-energies distinction of Palamas is "a typical example of a perfectly admissible theological pluralism" that is compatible with the Roman Catholic magisterium. Jeffrey D. Finch claims that "the future of East-West rapprochement appears to be overcoming the modern polemics of neo-scholasticism".Some Western theologians have incorporated the essence-energies distinction into their own thinking.

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    @Dorinafinder. Thanks for these lengthy explantions. So, if we simplify and use the quantum jargon, God is actually both the superposition (the unknown) and (I might add) the Higgs Boson particle. Right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorianfinder View Post
    The concept of God's essence in Eastern Orthodox theology is called (ousia) and is distinct from his energies (energeia in Greek, actus in Latin) or activities as actualized in the world.The ousia of God is God as God is. It is the energies of God that enable us to experience something of the Divine, at first through sensory perception and then later intuitively or noetically. The essence, being, nature and substance (ousia) of God is taught in Eastern Christianity as uncreated and incomprehensible. God's ousia is defined as "that which finds no existence or subsistence in another or any other thing".God's ousia is beyond all states of (nous) consciousness and unconsciousness, being and non-being (like being dead or anesthetized), beyond something and beyond nothing beyond existence and non-existence. The God's ousia has not in necessity or subsistence needing or having dependence on anything other than itself. God's ousia as uncreated is therefore incomprehensible to created beings such as human beings. Therefore God in essence is superior to all forms of ontology (metaphysics).The source, origin of God's ousia or incomprehensibliness is the Father hypostasis of the Trinity, One God in One Father.The God's energies are "unbegotten" or "uncreated" just like the existences of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) both God's existences and energies are experience-able. God's ousia is uncreatediness, beyond existence, beyond no existence, God's hyper-being is not something comprehensible to created beings.As St John Damascene states "all that we say positively of God manifests not his nature but the things about his nature."

    With respect to the Eastern and Western theological traditions, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes that, at times, one tradition may "come nearer to a full appreciation of some aspects of a mystery of revelation than the other, or [express] it to better advantage." In these situations, the Church views the various theological expressions "often as mutually complementary rather than conflicting."

    The Enchiridion Symbolorum et Definitionum (Handbook of Creeds and Definitions), the collection of Roman Catholic teachings originally compiled by Heinrich Joseph Dominicus Denzinger, has no mention of the words "energies", "hesychasm" or "Palamas". The later twentieth century saw a remarkable change in the attitude of Roman Catholic theologians to Palamas, a "rehabilitation" of him that has led to increasing parts of the Western Church considering him a saint, even if uncanonized. Some Western scholars maintain that there is no conflict between the teaching of Palamas and Roman Catholic thought on the distinction.According to G. Philips, the essence-energies distinction of Palamas is "a typical example of a perfectly admissible theological pluralism" that is compatible with the Roman Catholic magisterium. Jeffrey D. Finch claims that "the future of East-West rapprochement appears to be overcoming the modern polemics of neo-scholasticism".Some Western theologians have incorporated the essence-energies distinction into their own thinking.
    Thanks for Wiki articles. Links would be nice, as you see you misled FBS, who thought it was your "lengthy explanation". I was hoping you would love to exercise your brain and engage in conversation, answering few questions and contemplating dilemmas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorianfinder View Post
    Both Judaism and Christianity are revelation-based models. God has certain attributes positively ascribed to Himself. The text is said to be inspired. Another way to say this is God represents Himself through the text. This type of reasoning is known as cataphatic theology. Orthodoxy however holds an apophatic view of God.

    Examples of apophatic theology are:

    The theophany to Elijah, where God reveals Himself in a "still, small voice" (1 Kings 19:11–13). And St. Paul's reference to the "Unknown God" in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 17:23) is sometimes pointed to as an apophatic statement.

    The Cappadocian Fathers of the 4th century said that they believed in God, but they did not believe that God exists in the same sense that everything else exists. That is to say, everything else that exists was created, but the Creator transcends even existence. The essence of God is completely unknowable; mankind can know God only through His energies.

    Maimonides was perhaps the first Jewish Thinker to explicitly articulate this doctrine (see also Tanya Shaar Hayichud Vehaemunah Ch. 8):
    God's existence is absolute and it includes no composition and we comprehend only the fact that He exists, not His essence. Consequently it is a false assumption to hold that He has any positive attribute... still less has He accidents (מקרה), which could be described by an attribute. Hence it is clear that He has no positive attribute however , the negative attributes are necessary to direct the mind to the truths which we must believe... When we say of this being, that it exists, we mean that its non-existence is impossible; it is living — it is not dead; ...it is the first — its existence is not due to any cause; it has power, wisdom, and will — it is not feeble or ignorant; He is One — there are not more Gods than one… Every attribute predicated of God denotes either the quality of an action, or, when the attribute is intended to convey some idea of the Divine Being itself — and not of His actions — the negation of the opposite. (The Guide for the Perplexed, 1:58)

    Eastern Orthodox theologians have criticized Western theology, and especially the traditional scholastic claim that God is actus purus, for its alleged incompatibility with the essence-energies distinction.

    Atheism does not engage with Eastern Orthodoxy. http://www.asna.ca/resources/dawkins-delusion.pdf
    So what you're saying is that your god exists because the bible says so. And why should we care what the bible says? Because it's the word of your god, apparently. Even a young child could see that's a circular argument. And it does nothing to address my position. I say the universe was created by a purple dragon named Albert. If you can't disprove that, it must be true, according to your earlier position.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I hope my point is clear - we could debate whether the existence of the universe "proves" that it must have had a creator, but even if we accept such an assumption, it only gets us an abstract deity, not the god of the Isrealites. And it doesn't "prove" that Attis, Dionysus, Orpheus or Jesus was a demi-god who died in order to be resurrected as a true god. Those sorts of beliefs are entirely dependent on faith, and not having faith in the christian deities is not a belief, just the absence of faith in unproveable deities.
    Last edited by Aberdeen; 23-09-14 at 01:49.

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    I do not agree with this idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mihaitzateo View Post
    I do not agree with this idea.
    That was a very clear and coherent argument, but perhaps you could flesh it out a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FBS View Post
    @Dorinafinder. Thanks for these lengthy explantions. So, if we simplify and use the quantum jargon, God is actually both the superposition (the unknown) and (I might add) the Higgs Boson particle. Right?
    Hi FBS, I am not a physicist unfortunately but I can put it differently for you using the example of a universal quantum experiment. The experiment has an observer and an unknown which the observer is looking for. The unknown will be influenced by the observer's 'needs'. This in turn affects the experiment's outcome so that it appears to have no reliable variables that effect the outcome ... making it an experiment that expresses a 'quantum' or unreality. This proves only that the observer's 'hoped outcome' has the desired effect on the experiment.

    If we change the experiment to a non-quantum experiment but a conventional scientific experiment, we get a controlled environment that allows for a reliable outcome each time, hence a reality that various people can agree on.

    The quantum experiment is dependent on a variable that changes constantly (observer). Similarly, the way in which we experience God changes constantly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorianfinder View Post
    Hi FBS, I am not a physicist unfortunately but I can put it differently for you using the example of a universal quantum experiment. The experiment has an observer and an unknown which the observer is looking for. The unknown will be influenced by the observer's 'needs'. This in turn affects the experiment's outcome so that it appears to have no reliable variables that effect the outcome ... making it an experiment that expresses a 'quantum' or unreality. This proves only that the observer's 'hoped outcome' has the desired effect on the experiment.

    If we change the experiment to a non-quantum experiment but a conventional scientific experiment, we get a controlled environment that allows for a reliable outcome each time, hence a reality that various people can agree on.

    The quantum experiment is dependent on a variable that changes constantly (observer). Similarly, the way in which we experience God changes constantly.
    Are you referring to the Measurement Problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    So what you're saying is that your god exists because the bible says so. And why should we care what the bible says? Because it's the word of your god, apparently. Even a young child could see that's a circular argument. And it does nothing to address my position. I say the universe was created by a purple dragon named Albert. If you can't disprove that, it must be true, according to your earlier position.
    Hi Aberdeen, the Bible is not an individual or person with a single opinion. Rather, it is a collection of writings/experiences that individuals have had concerning their relationship with God over many centuries. You cannot disprove an experience, it is a deeply personal thing that is unique to the individual who is experiencing it. The existence of God is not testable using conventional science but God's 'energies' can be experienced.

    You may say that a purple dragon named Albert created the universe. Who else agrees with you and how long have people believed this? This is an experiential measure ... expressed in a quantitative form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diocletian View Post
    Are you referring to the Measurement Problem?
    Thanks. I was referring to the Measurement Problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorianfinder View Post
    Hi Aberdeen, the Bible is not an individual or person with a single opinion. Rather, it is a collection of writings/experiences that individuals have had concerning their relationship with God over many centuries. You cannot disprove an experience, it is a deeply personal thing that is unique to the individual who is experiencing it. The existence of God is not testable using conventional science but God's 'energies' can be experienced.

    You may say that a purple dragon named Albert created the universe. Who else agrees with you and how long have people believed this? This is an experiential measure ... expressed in a quantitative form.
    So you're saying that if a lot of people believe something that isn't supported by any scientific data, it's more likely to be true than something that one or a few people believe is true and isn't supported by any scientific data? If numbers of believers is the important thing, the universe really does have a creator and it's almost as likely to be Vishnu as Jehovah, although Jehovah is still in the lead at the moment. But if the day ever comes when Hindus outnumber Christians, will that mean it would then be more likely that Vishnu created the universe? Just wondering.

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    I should add that I have actually experienced the presence of purple dragons, but that was when I was much younger, and I may have been under the influence of a certain energy, although whether it was sunshine or a window pane I can't remember at the moment. If the subjective experiences of other people have validity, so do mine.

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dorianfinder View Post
    Thanks. I was referring to the Measurement Problem.
    If your god is so malleable that attempting to locate him causes him to vanish, he's not much of a god, in my opinion. If you want to be a religious believer, my suggestion is that you man up and get yourself some faith.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    If your god is so malleable that attempting to locate him causes him to vanish, he's not much of a god, in my opinion. If you want to be a religious believer, my suggestion is that you man up and get yourself some faith.

    It seems as if you have a passing acquaintance, at least, with Kierkegaard...:) People call it "the leap of faith",although Kierkegaard actually used the phrase "the leap to faith".

    It's the decision to believe in or accept something intangible or improvable. It grows out of the rather conservative Christian belief (Kierkegaard came from the Lutheran tradition) that faith is a gift which one must choose to accept.

    At any rate, his theology was in opposition to that of many others, including some modern Christians like C.S. Lewis, who believed that supernaturalism can be logically inferred based on a teological argument regarding the source of human reason.

    From Kierkegaard:
    "... naked dialectical deliberation shows that there is no approximation, that wanting to quantify oneself into faith along this path is a misunderstanding, a delusion, that wanting to concern oneself with such deliberations is a temptation for the believer, a temptation that he, keeping himself in the passion of faith, must resist with all his strength, lest it end with his succeeding in changing faith into something else, into another kind of certainty, in substituting probabilities and guarantees, which were rejected when he, himself beginning, made the qualitative transition of the leap from unbeliever to believer...When someone is to leap he must certainly do it alone and also be alone in properly understanding that it is an impossibility. … the leap is the decision ...."

    Sorry, these guys were all required reading at a certain point in my life...

    Of course, sometimes people who make the leap fall flat on their faces, or make the decision and then recant it...


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Yes, I'm quite familiar with Kierkegaard, although I don't share his views. But you seemed to be taking the C.S. Lewis approach, and that's an easy target, IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Yes, I'm quite familiar with Kierkegaard, although I don't agree with his views. But you seemed to be taking the C.S. Lewis approach, and that's an easy target, IMO.
    There's something to be said for C.S. Lewis' arguments, in my opinion. I don't agree with Kierkegaard when he says things like this:

    "The world has perhaps always had a lack of what could be called authentic individualities, decisive subjectivities, those artistically permeated with reflection, the independent thinkers who differ from the bellowers and the didacticizers. The more objective the world and individual subjectivities become, the more difficult it becomes with the religious categories, which are precisely in the sphere of subjectivity. That is why it is almost an irreligious exaggeration to want to be world-historical, scholarly-scientific, and objective with regard to the religious...even wanting to be subjective enough to appeal to another subjectivity is already an attempt to become objective, is a first step toward getting the majority vote on one’s side and one’s God-relationship transformed into a speculative enterprise on the basis of probability and partnership and fellow shareholders is the first step toward becoming objective. Concluding Unscientific Postscript

    However, at the end of the day, I think Kierkegaard has it right. Reason only takes you so far. Then, you must decide whether, no longer relying only on yourself, you will take the leap into the loving arms of God, or not.

    Anyway, as I said, he was required reading. The good Sisters who taught me were very fond of the Lutheran theologians like Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich and Bonhoeffer. They were fond of Hans Kung too. Now there's a case for you...I guess they don't formally excommunicate anyone nowadays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    If your god is so malleable that attempting to locate him causes him to vanish, he's not much of a god, in my opinion. If you want to be a religious believer, my suggestion is that you man up and get yourself some faith.
    If my lack of faith or inability to man up somehow makes God less visible to you then maybe it's me that is not much of a believer. I forgive myself for my lack of faith, your lack of faith is not my responsibility, nor is it God's. It's a choice. There is nothing to be afraid of or threatened by if one finds it hard to believe, it is difficult to forgive and often more difficult to accept that man has no control over God. This inability to understand and control God is not God's inability, it's ours. We need faith, I need faith. God is not responsible whether we have faith or not. It's the nature of man to resist that which limits him. Man wants to have control and freedom above all else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorianfinder View Post
    If my lack of faith or inability to man up somehow makes God less visible to you then maybe it's me that is not much of a believer. I forgive myself for my lack of faith, your lack of faith is not my responsibility, nor is it God's. It's a choice. There is nothing to be afraid of or threatened by if one finds it hard to believe, it is difficult to forgive and often more difficult to accept that man has no control over God. This inability to understand and control God is not God's inability, it's ours. We need faith, I need faith. God is not responsible whether we have faith or not. It's the nature of man to resist that which limits him. Man wants to have control and freedom above all else.
    Alow me. Isn't the faith (and anything else in this word) god's creation? Therefore why God gives some people more faith than he gives to others?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Alow me. Isn't the faith (and anything else in this word) god's creation? Therefore why God gives some people more faith than he gives to others?
    God affords man free will to choose. If man has no free will then there can be no faith, for to have faith man must have the choice to believe. Similarly, sin is only possible if man has the freedom to choose right from wrong and chooses wrong. However, God's love affords Grace, forgiveness is deserved. Some people, me included, are too proud at times to love unconditionally. Others, myself included, have difficulty due to lack of knowledge. God affords Grace based on each individual's circumstances.

    Equality in terms of faith is necessary for man to relieve man of the choices and consequences resulting from the responsibilities afforded him.

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