Faith is Dead

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ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Fine, then lets say I take

Fine, then lets say I take this leap of faith too. I accept that things do exists outside my own mind, not because I have evidence, but because it is impractical, and I rather believe my friends are real so I can avoid loneliness.

However, why should I trust my senses? What I perceive as sound isn't sound at all, but small variations in air pressure, as meaningless as the ripples in a pond. Every time I put my headphones on I hear an orchestra that isn't there, just by mimicking those air compressions. The retina in my eyes are a flat surface, yet the world appears three dimensional. Flat pictures appear to have depth. Not to mention we see all the colors of the rainbow, despite the fact we only carry receptors for red, blue, and green. Not yellow, pink, purple or lavender. My tongue also has about 4/5 types of receptors. The one for sugar can easily be fooled by aspartame. If you take two pins, about an inch apart, and press it against my back, I'll only perceive them as one.

All of this is without even going into brain itself, where people can experience visual and auditory hallucinations. They can experience pareidolia, where they see faces where there aren't any. They can experience a wide variety of visual agnosias. Where their eyes function fine, but for whatever reason they can't see object in their entirety, a rose is just a green cylinder with red, flattened abstract shapes accumulated at the top. Others are completely oblivious of anything to their left, they'll only eat half their plate, completely unaware that there's more to the left. What's worse is that they are delusional, its as if the idea of leftness is blotted from their existence.

Do you have evidence that my senses should be trusted? That they are in any way a meaningful representations of the external world? That color and sounds are real things, not just an illusive cascade of chemical reactions?

xenoview's picture
John do you have any proof

John do you have any proof outside the bible that moses saw god? The bible is not good evidence for god, it was written by humans, and changed overtime a new christian belief started.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
"...proof outside the bible

"...proof outside the bible that moses saw god?"

You understand that's like asking me if I have proof outside your profile info that you are truly male or an atheist? Better yet, like asking if I have proof outside of the historical record, that what I've learned in history class is true. Do you have evidence outside the scientific literature that a given finding was truly made?

Better yet, do you have evidence outside of Darwin's writings that he "saw one day a soldier striking fire with a piece of flint, which I immediately recognised as having been a part of the head of an arrow." -Voyage of the Beagle

Be skeptical all you want, just make sure you apply that skepticism to everything else, so your biases don't show.

LogicFTW's picture
I do not want to speak for

I do not want to speak for xenoview, but for me, I ask the same thing, and my response to your responses are:

1. Yes it is similar to asking if you have proof outside of my profile if I am male or atheist. Very similar, I love that analogy. You have no way of knowing for sure because there is no evidence beyond words. Words easily manipulated and can be made with an agenda.

2. There is some, (admittedly only a little,) proof outside of history books about the history, it is called archaeology. I regard all history books with A LOT of skepticism. I strongly believe in the quote "history is written by the victors." I would regard the history books with even more skepticism if they make wild claims like the flooding of the entire earth. I also look for conflicts of interest and possible motivations for distorting the truth.

3. As for science literature, I can go do it myself. That is what is so cool. I can learn about layers of rock sediment in a book, and go out and see it for myself I can dig a hole, I can find an exposed mountain/hill side etc. If I want to challenge a part of the book, I can go out and investigate the challenge for myself. True scientist always publish their work for others to test for themselves. They go into great detail exactly how they performed their experiment, and have long conversations how their findings could be in error, and they get excited when an experiment's results are different than what they thought they would be.

I have zero evidence that he saw a soldier striking fire with a piece of flint that he recognized being a part of the head of an arrow. Maybe that arrowhead is in a museum and has Darwin's fingerprint on it, but even then I would not be sure that was conclusive evidence. However, his central premise idea is not harmed by lack of evidence for a particular event he wrote about. His idea of evolution instead has been found to be overall correct by countless collaborating finds, countless test to his original idea and experiments. You can even buy a fruit fly experiment kit online, follow some instructions and see basic concepts of evolution happen in the course of a few months in your own controlled experiment.

If you really wanted to challenge evolution, you could put a crew together, dig and uncover fossils and other remnants of ancient life preserved in layers of time, and find (or not find) for yourself the increasingly complexity of various creatures from the ancient past to more recent times.

I am very skeptical of science that is not well vetted. You can find a million sites online talking about scientific breakthrough x that will just melt away "the fat" w/o lifting a finger in exercise or changing your diet.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I agree that the good thing

I agree that the good thing about science is that you can go replicate it. But do you? Not even scientists do so. Psychology recently had a replication problem, where articles published 50, 60, 100 years ago were taken as fact, even though their results failed to be replicated. Keep in mind we are the ones who study human cognition and behavior, we study the mistakes scientists make, the effects of their beliefs, their confirmation biases, how gender influences their results, how the time since their last mean influences their decisions. Yet in our own field, these types of mistakes went on unnoticed for half a century.

Wherever there's a human involved, there's bound to be problems. Science progresses through revolutions more than it does through accumulation. New ideas often become accepted, not because of evidence, but because the older generation dies off.

I don't know what the point of writing this is lol. I forgot what I was getting to.

LogicFTW's picture
I have replicated some basic

I have replicated some basic stuff in school, I worked my way through college chemistry 1 and 2. I went on a field trip with my school to the local dinosaur fossil discovery area back in 3rd grade. I been to the grand canyon myself and saw first hand the layers of sediment through time, I touched the sandy clay earth there at the top and the harder denser sediments as I hiked down the canyon walls that got recently exposed.

Of course I did not personally test every single scientific claim, but I have tested any that I began to doubt were not true that I was capable of testing. I put my own hair under the universities' expensive ultra powerful microscope and saw the individual cells that makes it up.

I also certainly agree a generally accepted scientific consensus has been found to be in error in the past, that is fine, science never claims to be perfect. But it seems to get it right a lot more often then it gets it wrong when it comes to the more basic stuff, the more well used stuff. Mercury reliably expands a certain amount as it approaches a certain temperature, sure enough as the mercury expands to approach 100 celsius line marker at sea level on a day with the base barometric pressure, that close to pure H2O begins to boil.

I remember in my physics class, my teacher explaining to me that certain concepts in the old text book are wrong and outdated, and new answers instead have been found. My teacher was not embarrassed, instead the class had a good discussion on the new physics proof and what it meant. Many scientist love working to show why a commonly accepted scientific theory is wrong, and how why it is wrong, and all the implications of it. The scientific method and scientific community very much embraces the fact that we are human and prone to error.

I too plenty of times get off topic and forget what I was originally writing about or what point I was making :) Usually I can re-read the discussion and pick up again my train of thought.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Well I do want to thank you

Well I do want to thank you for actually having discussions, and attempting to understand what I'm saying.

The problem is that most ppl can agree that science never claims to be perfect, but then turn around and get upset the moment you apply that to evolution, or choose to believe in something else entirely.

I don't disown science, nor have a problem with it's methods. I love it, I literally purchase textbooks for fun. Own most of Dawkins and Harris' book, and most of the books displayed in the science section at Barnes and Noble. I also have a few shelves full of other books more pertinent to my field. I've also switched my major about 5 times cause I can't decide which field I like most. That's why I've taken courses on everything from astronomy to microbiology. Science is like a girlfriend to me, which means I know what attracts me to it, but I've also become familiar with the things that are annoying, or wrong or outright ugly. She's by no means perfect. The same applies to religion, she's my second girlfriend.

However, I disagree that science has been right more than it's been wrong. We can only say we are "more" right than we've been before, if that even matters. But behind us are the carcases of a thousand discarded and misinterpreted theories and observations. And we can almost say with certainty that everything we know now will sooner or later all be as wrong as previous generations were.

I agree that science being wrong is exciting, for one it means my generation has jobs available, and things to research. Neuroscience is a relatively new field, so much so that one of my recent textbooks actually got annoying by how much it would remind us that the things we are learning are currently bring researched or still unanswered.

I agree the basics are pretty much set. But you never know when another Einstein comes out and turns all these basic things on their head.

The problem I have is when atheists who don't do research (in a lab), who seem oblivious to how uncertain things really are, and how little we know in the grand scheme of things, start having orgasms when they hear the words reason, logic, evidence, and proof as if just saying those words actually made their position any more valid. It's the Dunning-Krueger effect, and it's only when you actually start learning more and nite that you realize how much everything you thought you knew is utter garbage and inconclusive.

We're all in this boat together, we're all floating on this lonely rock trying to figure out the entire universe. Arrogance is the last thing we need.

Take the big bang theory. We're basically as primitive as ants, yet think we know how the universe actually began. Think about that. I mean actually think about that. It's insanity no matter what red-shifts or background radiation we used. We don't even know how our own language began!

The typical response is that just because we don't know something, doesn't mean God exists. And of course not! But until you do know something sit down, and be humble. Don't criticize other's beliefs, when you know your own aren't that great either (I'm speaking in general, not to you directly lol).

This is why it makes me upset when people want to have debates with me, instead of discussions. A debate requires that both sides think they're right. But I never think I'm right, in my head I may die and never know the truth to anything. I have my convictions about what truth is, I have my beliefs about what I think ultimately the right answer is, but that is my own personal stance.

I can defend it, I can argue in it's favor, I can even argue why I think the alternatives are wrong, but at the end of the day I can't convince someone that I'm right, they need to convince themselves and make their own decision. And odds are that their conclusion is as good as mine, even if it's the complete opposite.

End of rant lol

xenoview's picture

You did just fine speaking for me. Thank you

xenoview's picture
I see you didn't answer my

I see you didn't answer my question, instead you evade it with a question.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I didn't evade it. I

I didn't evade it. I confronted its validity.

If you think your question if valid, then show me. How do you prove that Darwin saw a man use an arrow to start a fire. (Hint: There's no museum with an arrow and a fingerprint).

xenoview's picture
So not answering a simple yes

So not answering a simple yes or no question about moses, but instead you answer it with a question. So answering a question with a question is confronting it's validity? I didn't ask a question about Darwin and the arrowhead.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
No bro, evasion is a debate

No bro, evasion is a debate tactic. If there's one thing I make clear over and over in these forums its that I'm here for discussions, not debates.

No, I can't prove that Moses saw God. No one can prove that what anyone else saw is true. Even if I prove God exists, I still can't prove that Moses saw him.

But since you can't prove that Darwin did see the man that makes the fire either, there's really no point to your question. It's a judgement call whether we believe them or not, not an objective empirical decision.

xenoview's picture
I have never really read

I have never really read anything about Darwin.

LogicFTW's picture
Well we are in the "debate"

Well we are in the "debate" forums.
If you prefer discussion that is fine. I may screw up a few times, and have a post end up with more debate like properties, I am not sure how you define discussion. I personally would say debate is a form of discussion, with discussion being the more "parent" concept of communication and debate being the "child" or a form of communication that falls under discussion.

I like where this is going. You can't prove moses saw god. Just like no one can prove what darwin saw a man making a fire with an arrowhead. This is the realm I, and I believe many atheist live in. I can not even prove conclusively that Darwin was ever a real person, I never met him, I do not have access to stuff that proved his existence. But what I can do, is go verify parts or maybe even the whole of his the theory this supposed Darwin guy wrote. It is not perfect, it may have flaws, but the general concept has stood up to my experience, and to many other's experience, even people that dedicated their lives to it.

Even major world religious leaders have said they believe in, and endorse the evolution theory now, including the current pope (1), these major world religious leaders had a lot of reasons to deny evolution as it undermines what the bible and what they have been saying. But realized the evidence of the evolution theory is just too compelling. William Lane Craig is among an ever shrinking percentage wise pool of people that dismiss evolution as wrong.


ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I wrote my other comment in

I wrote my other comment in response to this, so go comment on that.

But I just want to say that I think its funny that you point to religious leaders believing in evolution. If history has taught us anything, its precisely that after religion accepts some scientific claim to be true, that it all turns to garbage. Science does a backflip and proves its own self wrong, and religion begins persecuting all the new scientists that come with the new idea.

LogicFTW's picture
I am sure there are some

I am sure there are some situations where after a religion accepts a scientific idea, "it all turns to garbage." But it would seem to me a vast majority of scientific discovery that religion accepts goes just fine. We just do not hear and think about the stuff that all works out harmoniously as nearly as often as when it all goes wrong.

Just lots of scientific discovery does not get the conversation and debate and friction some scientific ideas like evolution. Because most of these ideas can work harmoniously with the religious concepts. Religions in general accept scientific breakthroughs like harnessing electricity, the steam engine, communicating via radio waves and so on and the millions and millions of little peices that nobody really talks about or really cares about but we all benefit from.

Science is getting increasingly close to removing the need of both the male and female for reproduction. It could be fairly soon, (sooner still if there was not so much resistance to it,) that people could create clones of parts or the whole of themselves. Or even create new offspring that does not require the traditional setup of genetic material of both the male and female, and the reproduction organs of the female, in part or whole. I am willing to bet that sort of stuff will be met with fierce resistance with some calling such babies abominations, or not human. We already have babies that have "2 mothers." The genetic mother, and the mother that carried the baby to term.

Another example of science bending the traditional "rules": in the last 100 years, a 2 month premature baby was a death sentence for the baby, where now, a 2 month premature baby actually has a real chance at a normal life if the premature baby has access to the right facilities and doctors. It is expected that this ability to handle premature births will continue to roll back further and further, all the way to the moment of fertilization. We certainly already have the ability to greatly help along fertility as well that will also only continue to get better.

Randomhero1982's picture
Thats always my point

Thats always my point xenoview, theists always leap to their holy book which is not proof and pretty much all of those instances have been disproven.

Alembé's picture
Back when I was a teenager

Back when I was a teenager taking confirmation classes, the vicar told us that if God were proved to exist then there would be no need for religion.

Daniel's picture
I was just given an old book

I was just given an old book by a wizened holy man. Its titled "The Book of Shit". In it I read about the creator of our universe, the almighty Shit Stain. One day, long ago, the Shitster was climbing Mt. Poop, and he actually met the almighty Shit Stain, who proceeded to tell him all about the creation of the universe, and how we should live.

Now what if peopled believed this, and a hundred years from now when a curious sceptic asked for proof, the shit stain worshiping theist said, "I believe because the Shitster said he saw the almighty Shit Stain". Should that count as a reasonable reason to have faith?

chimp3's picture
I have heard Christians use

I have heard Christians use the word faith as meaning a belief in something there is no evidence for. That is the context in which I meant it on this thread. Perhaps my heathen brain does not grok the believers mind accurately.

This Christian Web page seems to agree with me though:

"Question: "What is the definition of faith?"

Answer: Thankfully, the Bible contains a clear definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Simply put, the biblical definition of faith is “trusting in something you cannot explicitly prove.”"

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Hilarious, I'm glad you found

Hilarious, I'm glad you found this link, but a bit upset that you didn't read it.

"Many people believe certain facts about Jesus Christ. Many people will intellectually agree with the facts the Bible declares about Jesus. But knowing those facts to be true is not what the Bible means by “faith.” The biblical definition of faith requires intellectual assent to the facts and trust in the facts."

You should read the rest.

chimp3's picture
I read the whole thing. Read

I read the whole thing. Read the paragraph you just posted : "But knowing those facts to be true is not what the Bible means by “faith.” The biblical definition of faith requires intellectual assent to the facts and trust in the facts.""

"intellectual assent" = Belief. Not Knowing.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Right, that is the way it has

Right, that is the way it has been preached to me, 100's of times by Christians; from many different major denominations. Maybe Breezy is right, and that it shouldn't be preached that way (I don't have a dog in that fight); but the fact remains that is how it is commonly preached.

chimp3's picture
Yes, and notice I did not use

Yes, and notice I did not use the word Christian in my OP. We have Muslims, Jews, and Hindus that have come here with their "proofs". What does the Christian definition of faith have to do with them? This will get more sloggy as we go along , I am sure.

Nyarlathotep's picture
good point, that is my

good point, that is my Western bias sneaking in

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Right, but you're beginning

Right, but you're beginning to muddle terms together. The difference between belief and knowing is subjective, no one ever believes something they know to be false.

But none of that affects faith. "Intellectual assent to the facts" clearly depends on what you believe are the facts. This is why I said earlier, that you can't have faith in something you don't believe exists. Thus why its not until Moses comes to know God exists, that he can begin walking by faith. And why faith doesn't die, once you have proof.

But I do agree faith has a "not knowing" component. But its different from the way you are implying. They gave the chair example, I'm gonna give the parachute example. What are some facts about parachutes? Well, they're supposed to open up so you don't die jumping off a plane. If I don't believe this or don't know this, and I jump off a plane, I'm technically insane or borderline suicidal.

Great so lets assume I do know what parachutes do. Knowing that doesn't mean I know the parachute will in fact open up. There are no facts once I jump off the plane, only statistics. Faith is the act of trusting the parachute.

chimp3's picture
Moses did not have a

Moses did not have a parachute and you have never seen gods backside.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Great, and we can argue and

Great, and we can argue and debate that as we've always done. So long as you understand that faith is irrelevant to that conversation.

Or have you ever heard me justify my beliefs by saying its based on faith?

chimp3's picture
Faith is the topic of this

Faith is the topic of this conversation. That is why I titled it "Faith is Dead". If your definition of faith does not pertain to this conversation I guess I did not direct it at you.

xenoview's picture
I wonder if faith is the only

I wonder if faith is the only way a theist can prove their god is real? When you ask them for testable evidence, they never give any to be tested.


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