I am new to the forums and new to the site. I am a Christian with a fairly scientific mind and I am always intrigued by how many people act as though science and religion are opposed to each other rather than as I see them as complimentary.
One question, I've been curious about is how do most atheist explain super natural events that people report. Is the general belief that these people are liars, confused, combination? I've included a video link to show what I am talking about. There are hundreds of thousands similar experiences and I am interested to know how a typical atheist explains these experiences.
Thanks! I look forward to hearing your replies.
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A "supernatural event" is an oxymoron.
By supernatural event, I was referring to an event that occurs that cannot be explained by our current understanding of our universe. For instance, if someone could move the moon by waving their hand, I would consider that a supernatural event.
If an event can happen, by definition, it happens within the laws of nature.
If you are saying that a supernatural event is merely something that we do not understand, then what is remarkable about that?
"By supernatural event, I was referring to an event that occurs that cannot be explained by our current understanding of our universe."
Argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy, or god of the gaps polemic. Not having an explanation negates the possibility of making any rational assertion. People once thought all manner of natural phenomena like lightning earthquakes and tsunamis had supernatural causes, because they had no "other" explanation of the cause. The other in such arguments also implies there are explanations other than natural ones, this is a begging the question fallacy, since no rational argument can contain assertions or assumptions about the thing they are arguing for.
Yes, my guess is some combination of mistakes, embellishment, and just plain fiction.
So the general belief would be that many people lets say 1-2% of the population, experience this type of mistake, embellishment or just plain fiction? I can see how that could be true, but at the same time, it seems like a lot of otherwise sane people are making some crazy claims.
Christians and Muslims have conflicting beliefs and each supposedly make up more than a billion of the world's population. They could still both be wrong.
Adding to what sapporo said:
Does it bother you at all that a majority of these "supernatural claims" come from people other than Christians worldwide? Since the claims of supernatural from christians is in minority compared to the rest does that mean based on your "popularity" claim that there may be some god but not your god?
Does it bother you at all I just made up a new god, called LogicFTWisGOD and this god can claim just as must credit for all these "miracles and supernatural events" as your chosen made up god idea?
If you are indeed a practicing engineer do you ever do some of your engineering work on "faith" instead of careful math, evidenced conclusions etc? Why not?
If god can be proven by "faith" why can't you build a bridge on "faith" that it will keep standing instead of proven math and physics?
No, neither of those things bother me. One should not have faith in something where there is no evidence. Faith should be based on evidence. Just as other abstract concept exist and cannot be proven. For instance, no one can prove the existance of their "Love", however, there is strong evidence for it. For example, if wife takes care of her paraplegic husband etc.
I believe there is a lot of sound evidence that God exists. But at the end of the day people get to choose whether or not to believe the evidence or not.
Evidence negates the necessity of faith, and faith is useless for determining the validity of anything. Faith is the excuse people use to believe things they can't properly evidence.
There is no objective evidence for any deity, or anything supernatural, but by all means present the best you have. And no, we don't get to decide whether we believe the evidence, it either is sufficient or it is not, to deny things like evolution that are objectively evidenced beyond any reasonable or rational doubt is the very definition of delusional. To lower the bar for acceptable evidence for just one belief is bias, and that is the definition of closed minded.
If your claims for evidence has any validity then there wouldn't be thousands of different religious groups all making the same claim for different beliefs, and we wouldn't have to suffer an endless parade of theists through here all making the same grandiose claims that in every single instance come to naught.
There are often many ways to understand sets of data and people have different experiences or an incomplete picture of all of the data. IMO, this is one of the main reasons why you see so many different religious groups. That doesn't mean their isn't a God, it simply means different people have had difference experiences of God and have modified views from each other.
As far as evidence; I don't expect you to come to the same conclusion as I have, but that doesn't mean their isn't evidence. You simply interpret the evidence differently; likely that science just hasn't come far enough to explain it yet. At the same time you seem to be arguing that if people disagree on something that none of the claims being argued are true.
The evidence I would site:
1 - Unexplained healings many medically documented and thoroughly documented. (reference works by Jacalyn Duffin who I believe is an athiest, but has done a good job of researching unexplained healings)
2 - Visions and Locutions by 100's of 1000's
3 - The design of the universe to be capable of maintaining and supporting life and not collapsing on itself
There are others, but that is a start. There are millions of samples of this type of evidence, so I see acouple of logical conclusions:
- No power outside of known universe and we simply do not understand all aspects of the universe. In time, we will recognize that all of these types of phenomen happen and their is a scientific reason for it.
- Something is capable of performing actions outside of the bounds of what we understand to be possible.
- All these people are making stuff up, the doctors simply don't understand the bodies true capacity for healing, and the universal constants could have been migrating for trillions of years until one set of them stuck. etc.
Are there others?
"The design of the universe to be capable of maintaining and supporting life and not collapsing on itself"
99.9999% of the universe is very hostile to life. In fact, if you were teleported in any direction ten miles from where you are now, you would die with a 99% certainty.
99% of all species that have lived are now extinct.
I' sorry but either you can demonstrate objective evidence or you can't, and we both know you can't, and for fairly obvious reasons I'd have thought.
"There are often many ways to understand sets of data"
Nope, it either is objective or it is open to interpretation.
"people have different experiences or an incomplete picture of all of the data."
So entirely subjective anecdotal claims then, you can dress it up as word salad but such claims and experiences are meaningless in any objective sense. No different to people claiming they are Cleopatra or Napoleon reincarnated.
"IMO, this is one of the main reasons why you see so many different religious groups."
How is that your opinion? It's exactly the point I made in my post? Religious beliefs are based entirely on subjective opinion. This means that believing in Jesus or Allah has no more objective validity than belief in Thor, and there are people who believe in Thor right now who make precisely the claims for experiential evidence you are making here, how is their experience invalid or misunderstood, and yours not? Without an objective method as a point of reference they're no different, and you cannot both be right.
"That doesn't mean their isn't a God, it simply means different people have had difference experiences of God and have modified views from each other."
No it doesn't, Hitchens's razor applied. One thing you will learn about me, and you won't like it trust me, is I won't keep letting you make unevidenced assertions, and I will call you on these each and every time.
"As far as evidence; I don't expect you to come to the same conclusion as I have, but that doesn't mean their isn't evidence. "
There is no objective evidence, and again you are making a claim for evidence not demonstrating any. I don't need to keep pointing out it must be objective evidence, as subjective experience is meaningless unless you are happy to believe things based on closed minded bias, I am not.
"You simply interpret the evidence differently; likely that science just hasn't come far enough to explain it yet."
Two more unevidenced claims, and both wrong. I set an objective standard for evidence that I apply universally, whereas you exhibit bias in favour of your chosen belief. Your claim about science is asinine, come on, would you build a bridge or a skyscraper based on someone's unevidenced opinion that had no scientific validity? it's also pure assumption, I could make this claim about invisible mermaids.
The evidence I would site:
1 - Unexplained
I read no farther, why do I have to keep explaining what an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy is? If you can't explain something then how is it evidence?
2 - Visions and Locutions by 100's of 1000's
Argumentum ad populum fallacy, did you say you were an engineer? Google common logical fallacies please.
3 - The design of the universe
A begging the question fallacy, you have used the word design in your argument for design. That's an argument not objective evidence and it contains a common logical fallacy.
"There are others, but that is a start. There are millions of samples of this type of evidence, so I see acouple of logical conclusions:"
No there aren't - Hitchens's razor, I warned you stop making assertions for evidence, either demonstrate it or don't. If the rest is the same as what you have offered then there is only one logical conclusions as you have based all three on well know common logical fallacies. It astounds me that theists invoke logic in ignorance of such basic principles as common logical fallacies.
Nothing that contains a logical fallacy can be asserted as rationally true.
"No power outside of known universe and we simply do not understand all aspects of the universe. "
Well you'd need to demonstrate objective evidence fro your first assertion, and that's no going so well as this is typical fallacious apologetics thus far, and the second is a demonstrable fact. It's why appeal to ignorance arguments are fallacies.
"Something is capable of performing actions outside of the bounds of what we understand to be possible."
No it isn't - Hitchens's razor.
"All these people are making stuff up, "
We don't need to speculate, just link the peer reviewed research that supports their claims, otherwise it's anecdotal rhetoric, no different to sailors claiming they were rescued by mermaids.
"the doctors simply don't understand the bodies true capacity for healing,"
An axiomatic fact, so your point isn't clear here, but if not knowing is being cited as evidence then again this the common logical fallacy argumentum ad ignorantiam.
"the universal constants could have been migrating for trillions of years until one set of them stuck. etc."
I have no idea what means, but unless you can evidence it Hitchens's razor applies.
Sorry to say but these fallacies are so common on here you owe me big time for taking the time and effort to yet again explain that they are fallacies. Out of interest did you know what common logical fallacies are and have some understanding of the most commonly used ones? Logic is defined as a method of reasoning that adheres to very strict principles of validation. Nothing....that contains a logical fallacy can be asserted as rationally true or valid.
All three of your argument contained / were based on common logical fallacies.
Argumentum ad ignorantiam "Ignorance isn’t proof of anything except that one doesn’t know something." Exactly...that covers "1 - Unexplained healings "
" argumentum ad populum (Latin for "argument to the people") is a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition must be true because many or most people believe it, often concisely encapsulated as: "If many believe so, it is so."" Well that covers "2 - Visions and Locutions by 100's of 1000's" unless you can demonstrate objective evidence for these "claims"?
Begging the question fallacy..."Begging the question is an informal fallacy that occurs when an argument's premises assume the truth of the conclusion, instead of supporting it. It is a type of circular reasoning: an argument that requires that the desired conclusion be true" well please not assumption of design in this argument, and the assumption of it's necessity 3 - The design of the universe to be capable of maintaining and supporting life and not collapsing on itself
Of course the universe is not designed to support life, we have evidence that life exists only on one minuscule planet in one minuscule solar system, of 200 billion solar systems in one of over 100 billion galaxies in the currently observable universe. Not so compelling when ALL the facts are included in the assertion. A sceptic would also want to an explanation for your deities fascination with dinosaur evolution and black holes, bit of which took up exponentially more time than humans who have existed for a mere spec of 150 to 200 k years. If we're the main show then the evidence doesn't support this idea.
Now I'm out as it's time to cook dinner...
Where is that evidence? Please enlighten us
I hear crazy (religious and non-religious) claims all the time from sane people; from people who should know better. Yesterday I discovered that a doctor I know is participating in a multi-level marketing scheme (something like Amway); which reminds me of one of my favorite sayings:
People is dumb.
I use the word "is" to make it clear I'm including myself as well. Maybe this should be my "razor".
"People is dumb."
Have we become like animals to you, stupid and dumb? ~ Job 18:3 (TLB)
My list is now the Ten Razors.
It's catchy, I like it, maybe a Latin translation to lend it a little gravitas and an air of mystery. That's part of the reason the inane nonsense mumbling's of priests were never questioned, they were in Latin and sounded solemn because no one knew wtf they were saying.
Homines enim bruta.
I'm going to purchase a coat of arms to go with that I think.
Have you heard of Revital-U?
@Christian_Engineer: it seems like a lot of otherwise sane people are making some crazy claims.
Yes. Religion does that to people. To borrow a metaphor from Kurt Vonnegut (he was actually talking about Nazis), religious people are like clocks with a tooth missing from one of the cog wheels. They tell the time perfectly most of the time, but every so often, the hands will jump forward or backwards.
Exactly what Nyarlathotep said...
The video is to long to watch.
Supernatural events requires objective evidence that they happen.
Science and religion are not complimentary, because religious dogma is held to be true even when there is evidence that shows it to be false.
Sapporo: "Science and religion are not complimentary, because religious dogma is held to be true even when there is evidence that shows it to be false."
And to add, science is considered false until overwhelming evidence proves it to be true.
I know some religions hold to this, but not all. In this respect, I think the evangelical community has done most a lot damage in the secular community. Many people believe that most people interpret the Bible as a strict work of history/science when in reality that is only a recent method of interpreting it. St Augstine in the 4th century I believe pointed out how thankful he was to learn that wasn't the way scripture was to be interpretted since he could see flaws in that type of reading of scripture as well.
You mean the Bible doesn't mean what it obviously says and needs to be interpreted in some special way?
Not at all, I mean portions of the Bible were written and interpreted correctly for 2000+ years and only recently did people come in and decide that they wanted to take everything literally. That wasn't/isn't the correct way to read it and never has been. That started towards the mid-1800's I believe.
Parts are historical, parts are poetic, etc. People have stopped placing themselves in the mind of the original writer/reader when they interpret the Bible. Its frustrating to read some of the interpretations for Christians as well, I can assure you.
Heck a lot of the time if you read it that way it makes no sense and areas become completely contradictory. I don't know why the loudest Christians seem to have migrated that way, but I suppose the loudest in all areas are typically the most ignorant.
Christian_Engineer, not taking the Bible literally means you would have to interpret it in some way. That's exactly what I meant.
Christian_Engineer, you wrote, “Parts are historical, parts are poetic, etc”
Is there a chart somewhere that indicates which is which?
@ Christian Engineer
Would you believe that EVERY story in the Bible can be proven to be plagiarized and re-written from FAR! older myths and legends? Many thousands of years older than the Bible?