Can believing there is a God ever be rational?

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arakish's picture
Jo: "Can believing there is a

Jo: "Can believing there is a God ever be rational?"

No.

It is same as believing unicorns exists.

Completely irrational to believe in plagiarized lies.

rmfr

Cognostic's picture
@arakish "It is same as

@arakish "It is same as believing unicorns exists."
You would not be saying that if you had a unicorn infestation like me. Unicorns everywhere; trampling all over my garden, eating my bananas and destroying my banana trees at 6 o'clock in the morning. Damn things are out there now kicking over my lawn elf, breaking my fences, loudly slurping up water out of the bird fountain, magically appearing and vanishing as they bang their horns together like swashbucklers, leaving hoof-marks in the trampled grass, and all over the sidewalks, driveways and even rooftops. Then there is the fucking unicorn shit. You know that stuff is magic. I get magic shit on me and it doesn't come off for weeks. I spend the entire day not knowing that I have it on me and then when the nighttime comes I light up like a frigging rainbow Christmas tree and everyone knows I have been cleaning unicorn shit up off my lawn all day. And did you know that when you step in a puddle of unicorn pee your feet vanish? I kid you not. So it's not just a lit up rainbow Christmas tree I look like, but a floating, lit up, glowing, rainbow, Christmas tree because no one can see my feet. Hell, I can hear those frigging unicorns out there now. I can't even type a simple post without the stress of knowing my yard is being destroyed those bastards. Next time you write an irrational post about unicorns, include your address an I can send these beasts over to you.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog

Eric the Rainbow Farting Unicorn Who Lives in MY Garage apologises for the disturbance. It was meant to be a quiet party next door to your place but it got put up on FB..and well things just got out of hand. The Russian contingent are the worst, far more ill behaved than even the Pegasus mob (At least they didn't bring his Mum or there would be stone statues littering the place) These things only last 3 days and then Walter's Purple Wombats will come round after to clear up, devour the mess and leave nice purple cube shaped poos on the benches.

For wiping up the Poo left by the Unicorns if you can't wait for the WWs Eric recommends using some 3 in One...you can get some used from Tin Man's sump. It doesn't clean it off, just makes it visible in normal light.

Arakish's address is "Third clearing on the Left, Tom Bombadil's back yard, Middle Earth 190666" Maybe we can organise a real party there? The pig is keen.......

Eric also says try leaving some marshmallows out for the party. Unicorns love them.

Philip's picture
Believing in any god is not

Believing in any god is not rational because according to a report published by the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, in mid-2014 there were over 45,000 Christian denominations worldwide. In addition, there are roughly 4,200 other religions in the world. That is over 49,200 different religious beliefs.

All 49,200 religions cannot be the one and only true religion, so the probability that any particular religion is the only true one is 1:49,200 or 0.002% which literally means ZERO%

Therefore, the probability that any religion is not the only true one is 49,200 ÷ 49,200 or 100%

It also follows that the probability that all 49,200 religious beliefs are true is 0% x 49,200 or ZERO%

This seems logical given the fact that all cultures have created their own religion and their own gods to provide answers to questions they didn’t understand, and a roadmap for the conduct and control of their people, and they have all gotten it wrong, because the concept of god exists only in the imagination of the conceptualiser and a one true universal religion or god does not really exist.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Philip - ...so the

Philip - ...so the probability that any particular religion is the only true one is 1:49,200 or 0.002%

I get your point, but that is a kind of reckless use of the naive definition of probability.

Jo's picture
@ Philip

@ Philip

There is a very plausible answer to your general question about why so many religions. I am going to use the figure of 99% as the percentage of people throughout time who have believed in some higher power. That is just a ruff estimation that I think is generally accurate.

If 99% of the people have always believed in some higher power, what is the explanation? Mass, strong delusion endemic to the species? If so, what does that indicate about our ability to be rational? You ascribe negative motives to the belief in God, but have you ever considered that it could an honest and open minded way of explaining what they see in the world? Perhaps 99% of the people have seen evidence of the supernatural and that is why they believe? They see God evidenced in the natural world. Has that knowledge ever been misused, sure. Have the details on what it is and what it means varied widely, sure.

You are missing a very probable explanation, that there is a vein of truth, and underlying theme that has validity. That 99% of the people in the history of the world have seen God evidenced in the world. Could the 99% be wrong, sure. But it should give a thinking person pause to ask the tough questions, like maybe it is the 1% that is wrong. Maybe all of our ancestors were not just ignorant, irrational, and superstition brutes. Maybe they were on to something.

Cognostic's picture
AND SO ENDS THE ARGUMENT AD

AND SO ENDS THE ARGUMENT AD POPULUM: Hey Joe, there was a time when people thought the world was flat, 99% of them. There was a time when the Church insisted the planets went around the earth and that the earth was the center of the universe. 99% of them. I really believe all of your ancestors were just ignorant. You could be the first to crawl your way out of that ignorance and into the light of reason. Do you have any idea at all how utterly nonsensical the argument from popularity sounds to anyone with an education?

Jo's picture
@ Cognostic

@ Cognostic

Guilty as charged with some qualification.

Don't we both have the same ancestors?

I was responding to a previous argument ad populum that an atheist had made.

If 99% of the people say Jo is ignorant, shouldn't Jo take a good hard long look at that to see if there is any truth in it? Maybe they see something that Jo is unwilling to accept? Or should I just dismiss it as and argument ad populum?

Cognostic's picture
@Jo: A theist who admits he

@Jo: A theist who admits he got caught???? A bit of self exploration can never be a bad thing. Imagine how many people think Trump is a putz. True or not. his steak dinner tastes just as good and I am sure he does have a support group that helps him along. Or could it just be drugs? Okay Jo. You earn three bonus points for not getting all defensive like most theists on the site.

Cognostic's picture
I may be about to get my butt

I may be about to get my butt spanked in another thread on the Burden of Proof. We gotta take our lumps at times. I'm either going to be right or learn something new.

Jo's picture
@ Cognostic

@ Cognostic

Can I turn my bonus points in for a prize? :-)

I agree, self exploration is a good thing. If I am wrong I learn.
Can I say that the principle is found in the Bible (examine your hearts, try the spirits)? I better not, or you will take away my bonus points. :-)

Cognostic's picture
@Jo: RE: "Can I turn in my

@Jo: RE: "Can I turn in my bonus points for a prize. "
Do you know how lucky you are that I am not a priest?
I imagine examining hearts and spirits is just some sort of foreplay.
After all you gotta say something.

Sheldon's picture
"If 99% of the people say Jo

"If 99% of the people say Jo is ignorant, shouldn't Jo take a good hard long look at that to see if there is any truth in it?"

Only if they have evidenced the claim, otherwise the number of people making it is logically irrelevant.

LogicFTW's picture
@Jo

@Jo

First it is not anywhere near 99% of people. I would say at best it is around 80 percent. I would also say in many areas of the world a huge portion of people may say they believe in some sort of god but they barely give it a 2nd thought. I have had far more conversations with people in my own small sample of life that say they have not thought of god very much at all, then the ones that are highly religious and center their lives around god, (as many religions demand.) Religion almost becomes a chore, easter and christmas a chore like going to the dentist. Maintenance.

All the very young humans 0-3 years old do not believe in god, we are all born atheist. (Just like none of us are born with the ability to do advanced calculus.)

Also please understand that the fact that their is so many different religions in the world, (with differences to the point people are willing to go to war over it and die over it.) Is a powerful piece of evidence that there is no actual god, but instead a fiction made up by humans that neatly explains all the discrepancies, fallacies, logic flaws, etc.

Jo's picture
@ LogicFTW

@ LogicFTW

The 99% figure I gave was for all of history. I agree that in modern times the 80% is more accurate.

Yes, and children are all born illiterate also, but that doesn't make illiteracy right. All dogs and trees are also atheist, I guess you could claim. Based on your logic I could conclude that atheism is a child like state and theism is an adult state.

Because there are differences in religions and people are willing to fight over it is evidence that there is no God? Is that good reasoning? There are a lot of governments in the world and sometimes they fight. Does that mean all governments are wrong? Should we dispense with all governments? Should we be apolitical until evidence is provided as to what is the best government? Just trying to show that your reasoning is flawed.

LogicFTW's picture
If we include all of history

If we include all of history to reach that 99% figure you end up diluting the god concept to the point it is hardly recognizable.

Assuming you do not ascribe to the young earth stuff (that earth is less than 12,000 years old,) Our particular strain of humans has been around for 300,000 years. While we humans have had some spiritualism and curiosity where we try to answer things that are unknown, realize what you are including if you include these people in your definition. People chanting around a fire, being frightened everytime a lighting went off nearby and went into absolute hysterics if there was an eclipse or something similar. Did those people believe in some sort of entity (or group of them) that created them, created everything was all powerful and communicated rules to them 250,000 years ago? Remember we did not even have writings back then, no bible, all 100's of thousands of years before just about any religion today says major events happened.

I think it would be far more accurate to say for 99% of human history the religious followers was much closer to 0% then 99%

I would say from around 1000 BC to about 1600 AD the number of "theist" were high (I would guess above 80%), and this is well reflected in the rise and fall of religious power and influence in those times.

Part of the problem here is when you try to include everyone in a very broad definition of religion, the religion gets watered down to the point where it is almost meaningless.

To me the only conclusion you can draw is: people are spiritual and seek answers in the spiritual if they cannot find them in the physical. The more access to knowledge and information sees a corresponding drop in "faith."

As the various religion groups lose their once near complete grip on knowledge and information (back in the dark ages the only people learning much of anything were the ones supported by the church, as few other entities could afford the expense of even ink and parchment, let alone education.

Now anyone of us can look up just about anything on google for nearly free, instantly. Instead of wondering where lighting comes from, we can hop on the internet and look it up instantly and the "religious" answer loses yet more ground.

 
 

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I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.
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Jo's picture
@LogicFTW

@LogicFTW

I generally agree with what you said.

I have some questions about one of your statements. "To me the only conclusion you can draw is: people are spiritual and seek answers in the spiritual if they cannot find them in the physical."

Yes, people are spiritual and seek answers in the spiritual. Is it rational then to find spiritual answers when the physical answer cannot be found? Can everything be answered by the physical? I don't mean just right now.

LogicFTW's picture
@Jo

@Jo

Ya know where we have no answers sure, it may be rational to seek spiritual answers if there is no physical answers, although these days that is rare as we have filled in most of the blanks, the spiritual answers are mostly left to "god of the gaps."

But I do think everyone should be very careful with spiritual answers, knowing there is no evidence backing them, it is to easy for people to make up spiritual answers, and without accountability those spiritual answers could be use for nefarious and overall negative means instead of positive.

 
 

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I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.
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Nyarlathotep's picture
LogicFTW - But I do think

LogicFTW - But I do think everyone should be very careful with spiritual answers, knowing there is no evidence backing them...

And that is really it in a nutshell; there is no way for someone else to verify "spiritual answers". They are inherently suspect, right out of the starting gate; or at least they should be.

Sheldon's picture
"Based on your logic I could

"Based on your logic I could conclude that atheism is a child like state and theism is an adult state."

Not really, theism is a belief, it is far easier to indoctrinate children into that belief, as theists know. Have you never heard the Jesuit's boast about turning a child into a catholic for life?

Your government analogy is another logical fallacy, this one is called reductio ad absurdum.

"Just trying to show that your reasoning is flawed."

You failed, as your argument uses a known fallacy, thus it is your reasoning that is flawed. This often happens when one tries to prop up blind belief without any objective evidence.

Sheldon's picture
"That is just a ruff

"That is just a ruff estimation that I think is generally accurate."

About as accurate as your spelling of rough.

"If 99% of the people have always believed in some higher power, what is the explanation?"

You have to see the irony of someone starting a thread to ask if belief in a deity is rational, then using a known common logical fallacy like argumentum ad populum. The number of people who believe something tells us nothing about the validity of the belief.

" what does that indicate about our ability to be rational? "

Humans are capable of being rational, but it is not innate in us, logic and science require hard work and objectivity, unlike religious superstition.

" They see God evidenced in the natural world. "

If this were true then science could observe it and test the evidence. yet no one can demonstrate any objective evidence for any deity or anything supernatural. The majority would also have seen deities other than the one you believe in, explain that if your rationale is sound?

" it should give a thinking person pause to ask the tough questions,"

Hilariously ironic again fair play, I have yet to encounter any theists who asked tough questions, they are as blinkered as intransigent in their beliefs as you evidently are Jo, they never question those beliefs.

"maybe it is the 1% that is wrong. Maybe all of our ancestors were not just ignorant, irrational, and superstition brutes. Maybe they were on to something."

How any maybes can one theists put in a single post before even they see the irony? This is still an argumentum ad populum fallacy, and again your beliefs are very much in the minority, as your are pretending theists all hold the same belief, and they certainly do not. You disbelieve in all the thousands of deities I do, I just don't use subjective unevidenced bias to pretend one of them is somehow different.

Jo's picture
@ Sheldon

@ Sheldon

Cognostic has already spanked me for my appeal to populum and I have repented. Sorry for my spelling error.

Did you say that science can test for evidence of God in the natural world? I have some follow up questions, but wanted to be sure.

Sheldon's picture
"Did you say that science can

"Did you say that science can test for evidence of God in the natural world? "

No, you claimed people saw evidence of god in the natural world, and I pointed out that if that were true science could test such evidence. As it has done, for instance the claim that a deity answers prayers has been tested in double blind clinical trials, and found to be false as prayer was evidenced to have no discernible effect.

Jo's picture
@ Sheldon

@ Sheldon

If God answered prayers there would be a discernible effect that science could test?

How do you test scientifically for God creating the universe?

Sheldon's picture
"If God answered prayers

"If God answered prayers there would be a discernible effect that science could test?"

I just answered this, prayer has been tested using double blind clinical trials, and the prayers had no discernible effect.

You claimed believers could see "EVIDENCE" of a deity in the natural world, and I pointed out that this would be testable using the scientific method. Please stop making up claims I have not made.

Jo's picture
@ Sheldon

@ Sheldon

I am not making up claims you have made. You are not answering my question directly and unequivocally, so I am trying to figure out what you mean. For some reason you are trying to indirectly answer my question.

It is a simple and straight forward question that could be answered with a yes or no as a starting point.
Would there be a discernible effect that science could test for if God answered prayers?

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - Would there be a

Jo - Would there be a discernible effect that science could test for if God answered prayers?

If the effects are repeatable and large enough to be measured, yes. There are many examples in your mythology of these kinds of things. Strangely, these profound effects mentioned in the mythology seem to be missing from the modern world.

Sheldon's picture
"You are not answering my

"You are not answering my question directly and unequivocally,"

That's a lie Jo, and I am getting a little tired of you repeating this lie.

"It is a simple and straight forward question that could be answered with a yes or no as a starting point.
Would there be a discernible effect that science could test for if God answered prayers?"

What the fuck?

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 13:56
Sheldon "the claim that a deity answers prayers has been tested in double blind clinical trials, and found to be false as prayer was evidenced to have no discernible effect."

http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/debate-room/can-believing-there-go...
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Mon, 04/29/2019 - 14:38
Sheldon "I just answered this, prayer has been tested using double blind clinical trials, and the prayers had no discernible effect."

http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/debate-room/can-believing-there-go...
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Now just how many times are you going to lie that I haven't answered you?

Cognostic's picture
@Jo: How do you test

@Jo: How do you test scientifically for God creating the universe?
Before you can assert that a God created the universe, you have to prove that such a thing exists. It is nowhere near a possible cause until it can first be validated as real. This is why science asserts it does not know the "cause' (meaning initial expansion) of the universe. No one is yet addressing the cause (meaning initial appearance of matter if there was such an initial appearance of anything). We do not know how to get from 'Something" to "Nothing" in the real world. There is no example of "nothing" existing anyplace.

Grinseed's picture
@ Jo

@ Jo

"The Trinity is not in the Bible. It says the opposite, that God is one. Same God from cover to cover."

Sorry Jo, can't let that pass without comment,

First Epistle of John 5:7-8.
7 For there are three that beare record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8 And there are three that beare witnesse in earth, the Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood, and these three agree in one.
— King James Version (1611)

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