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Old 01-03-2017, 08:14 PM   #176
Original Position
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Re: Scientology

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I would say that it would still be hard to believe this. If we accept the Biblical accounts, there are people who witnessed and didn't believe.
It is maybe true that God couldn't convince everyone, and it is probably also true that God couldn't overcome Cartesian skepticism through direct observations. But science and direct observations don't do either of those things for any claim, so that is not really relevant.

I just find it is difficult to accept that anyone sincerely thinks that God is able to create a universe, but isn't able to persuade some measly humans that he exists by using empirical evidence, something any human can easily do. God, if he exists, has to have chosen not to do so, not have failed to do so because of its difficulty.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:52 PM   #177
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Re: Scientology

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It is maybe true that God couldn't convince everyone, and it is probably also true that God couldn't overcome Cartesian skepticism through direct observations. But science and direct observations don't do either of those things for any claim, so that is not really relevant.
Again, given the gospel accounts, it's not just that not everyone was convinced. People had other motivations that drove their way of viewing things *in spite of* empirical evidence. Those underlying psychological effects play a role beyond the merely intellectual component that you're putting forth.

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I just find it is difficult to accept that anyone sincerely thinks that God is able to create a universe, but isn't able to persuade some measly humans that he exists by using empirical evidence, something any human can easily do. God, if he exists, has to have chosen not to do so, not have failed to do so because of its difficulty.
You might find it difficult to accept, but that's not an argument. The issue is not just the empirical evidence, but the whole structure by which people combine empirical evidence with their internal logic to reach conclusions.

For example, I suspect that if God took corporeal form and walked up to certain atheists and told them, "I'm God. Watch me move the stars around to prove it to you" that they would more likely believe that it was some optical illusion or a hoax of some type instead of actually concluding that the being in front of them was God. And this isn't even classifiable as a "cognitive failure" of some sort (as if they're being illogical). It's just the mental framework that they start with is not giving them access to the particular conclusion.

But again, I'll note that your point stands. I have not addressed every single empirical possibility and shown that there's absolutely no way for purely empirical observations to conclude God's existence.

And I'll also concede that there could be a "choice" of some type involved, but the parameters of the choice are vague and unclear and I'm not sure how one would make those parameters precise. For example, I can write a computer program in such a way that it never prints the phrase "I AM GOD." Once that program is written and running, the print output will never read "I AM GOD" but that's not because of any active choice I'm making within the program. It's simply not within the program's ability to do that particular task even though it's hypothetically possible for me to write a different program in which I *CAN* do that.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:55 PM   #178
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Re: Scientology

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Again, given the gospel accounts, it's not just that not everyone was convinced. People had other motivations that drove their way of viewing things *in spite of* empirical evidence. Those underlying psychological effects play a role beyond the merely intellectual component that you're putting forth.
Some Christians claim that it is already the case that we have this empirical evidence - that the existence of God is so obvious from just looking at the world around us that atheists who claim to lack belief because of a lack of evidence are mistaken or lying about the true cause of their disbelief. I'm assuming that this is false here since it is inconsistent with your claim as well.

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You might find it difficult to accept, but that's not an argument. The issue is not just the empirical evidence, but the whole structure by which people combine empirical evidence with their internal logic to reach conclusions.

For example, I suspect that if God took corporeal form and walked up to certain atheists and told them, "I'm God. Watch me move the stars around to prove it to you" that they would more likely believe that it was some optical illusion or a hoax of some type instead of actually concluding that the being in front of them was God. And this isn't even classifiable as a "cognitive failure" of some sort (as if they're being illogical). It's just the mental framework that they start with is not giving them access to the particular conclusion.
I generally regard atheist claims like the bolded as a bit of bravado, like Bertrand Russell at the Pearly Gates telling God he didn't give him enough evidence. If you met someone who could clearly and repeatedly perform miracles, who had perfect knowledge, etc., I just don't think that except for a few exceptions humans would be able to resist that person. You're right though, this is not an argument, just a guess about how people would actually respond to the counterfactual.
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But again, I'll note that your point stands. I have not addressed every single empirical possibility and shown that there's absolutely no way for purely empirical observations to conclude God's existence.

And I'll also concede that there could be a "choice" of some type involved, but the parameters of the choice are vague and unclear and I'm not sure how one would make those parameters precise. For example, I can write a computer program in such a way that it never prints the phrase "I AM GOD." Once that program is written and running, the print output will never read "I AM GOD" but that's not because of any active choice I'm making within the program. It's simply not within the program's ability to do that particular task even though it's hypothetically possible for me to write a different program in which I *CAN* do that.
I think this is an implication of a pretty common part of Christian theology. Protestants will often say that the reason God didn't just plant us into heaven directly is because he gave us free will and the opportunity to make a choice to follow him. Inherent in this is that God wanted to make it possible for us to reject him, and so doesn't overwhelm us with his power and knowledge.

The reason I'm emphasizing this is because it seems to me one of the real moral disagreements between Christians and non-Christians. I don't value human free-will to such an extent that I think it's right to give people the option of eternal damnation, but obviously some Christians do.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:46 PM   #179
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Re: Scientology

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Some Christians claim that it is already the case that we have this empirical evidence - that the existence of God is so obvious from just looking at the world around us that atheists who claim to lack belief because of a lack of evidence are mistaken or lying about the true cause of their disbelief. I'm assuming that this is false here since it is inconsistent with your claim as well.
I would agree with you that this claim is false. But this is again not about empirical evidence per se, but rather the structures under which empirical evidence is processed, interpreted, and understood. I think it's reasonable that one might look at the universe and not "see" God (not just visibly, but in a cognitive sense), and that it would be a rational conclusion to reach. Yet I would at the same time assent to the idea that God has given us an impressive display of his power in the creation of the universe itself.

So take that however you want.

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I think this is an implication of a pretty common part of Christian theology. Protestants will often say that the reason God didn't just plant us into heaven directly is because he gave us free will and the opportunity to make a choice to follow him. Inherent in this is that God wanted to make it possible for us to reject him, and so doesn't overwhelm us with his power and knowledge.
I would agree that the idea of choice and free will and all of that follows from particular Christian theological assumptions. But those assumptions are not necessary for the point that the analogy is making, which is that there may well be parameters of the universe that "actively" prevent God from doing certain things within the universe. None of this would indicate that God "couldn't choose" to do those behaviors, but it would require us to posit some hypothetical universe in which the rules are different first, and then going from there.

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The reason I'm emphasizing this is because it seems to me one of the real moral disagreements between Christians and non-Christians. I don't value human free-will to such an extent that I think it's right to give people the option of eternal damnation, but obviously some Christians do.
Okay.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:02 PM   #180
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Re: Scientology

Likely my final word on this topic:
The wiki entry on "cult" uses sources that are at least 15 years behind times and much study has been made to identify cults since then. Plenty of new negative facts have emerged about Scientology since then as well.

examples of fake sciences:astrology, numerology, alchemy, homeopathy, dianetics

Examples of some other fake "religions":

Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption
Discordianism.
The Church of the Latter-Day Dude
Landover Baptist Church
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Bokononism
Church of Euthanasia
Dinkoism
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:16 PM   #181
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Re: Scientology

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Originally Posted by Pokerlogist View Post
Likely my final word on this topic:
The wiki entry on "cult" uses sources that are at least 15 years behind times and much study has been made to identify cults since then. Plenty of new negative facts have emerged about Scientology since then as well.

examples of fake sciences:astrology, numerology, alchemy, homeopathy, dianetics

Examples of some other fake "religions":

Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption
Discordianism.
The Church of the Latter-Day Dude
Landover Baptist Church
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Bokononism
Church of Euthanasia
Dinkoism
The fake religions are a different kind of fake than your fake sciences.

For the sciences, the meaning varies; some are fake in the sense that they have been demonstrably proven to be unscientific, others are merely completely lacking in evidential support. Some involve the supernatural.

The fake religions serve a comedic purpose through parody. The meaning of the word fake here is something akin to 'not actually intended by its founder(s) to inspire true belief'.

L. Ron Hubbard wanted to inspire true belief in his followers, and so did Joseph Smith. What makes Mormonism a 'legitimate' religion but not Scientology? Is there a fundamental difference between Scientologiy's belief in Xenu and Mormonism's belief in God residing near Kolob?
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:37 PM   #182
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Re: Scientology

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Is there a fundamental difference between Scientologiy's belief in Xenu and Mormonism's belief in God residing near Kolob?
Is this comparison relevant to the following question?

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What makes Mormonism a 'legitimate' religion but not Scientology?
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:25 PM   #183
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Re: Scientology

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Is this comparison relevant to the following question?
I'm merely interested in Pokerlogist's criteria for considering a religion fake/legitimate. Depending on his criteria it could be.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:14 PM   #184
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Re: Scientology

[QUOTE=dynamite22;51487720]
L. Ron Hubbard wanted to inspire true belief in his followers,...QUOTE]


Oh come on. In the founder's own words:


"Scientology...is not a religion."
- L. Ron Hubbard, CREATION OF HUMAN ABILITY, 1954, p. 251


“…My father and I created a "religious front" only for tax purposes and legal protection 'from fraud Claims'. We almost always told nearly everyone that Scientology was really science, not a religion, but that the religious front was created to deal with the government. “
• Ron DeWolfe eldest son of Hubbard (born L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.), in an affadavit in Schaick v. Church of Scientology, US District Court Mass., No. 79-2491.



"I’d like to start a religion. That’s where the money is."
- L. Ron Hubbard to Lloyd Eshbach, in 1949; quoted by Eshbach in OVER MY SHOULDER: REFLECTIONS ON A SCIENCE FICTION ERA, Donald M. Grant Publisher. 1983


"MAKE MONEY. MAKE MORE MONEY. MAKE OTHER PEOPLE PRODUCE SO AS TO MAKE MORE MONEY."
- L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 9 March 1972, MS OEC 384

"THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them."
- L. Ron Hubbard, "Off the Time Track," lecture of June 1952, excerpted in JOURNAL OF SCIENTOLOGY issue 18-G, reprinted in TECHNICAL VOLUMES OF DIANETICS & SCIENTOLOGY, vol. 1, p. 418

Discordiansim has a website where you can donate money as well. They are just not as predatory as Scientology.


Do you see why it is ridiculous and stupefying, and likely disingenuous, that in the face of its own founder explaining that it is not a religion and that its essential purpose was to make money, that people still claim Scientology is a religion?
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:44 AM   #185
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Re: Scientology

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Oh come on. In the founder's own words:

"Scientology...is not a religion."
- L. Ron Hubbard, CREATION OF HUMAN ABILITY, 1954, p. 251

"I’d like to start a religion. That’s where the money is."
- L. Ron Hubbard to Lloyd Eshbach, in 1949; quoted by Eshbach in OVER MY SHOULDER: REFLECTIONS ON A SCIENCE FICTION ERA, Donald M. Grant Publisher. 1983

Do you see why it is ridiculous and stupefying, and likely disingenuous, that in the face of its own founder explaining that it is not a religion and that its essential purpose was to make money, that people still claim Scientology is not a religion?
You here quote L. Ron Hubbard literally saying he wants to start a religion. How is this supposed to help your case that Scientology is not a religion?

Last edited by Original Position; 01-07-2017 at 12:46 AM. Reason: missing word
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:16 AM   #186
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Re: Scientology

He wanted to inspire true belief in order to make money. Similarly, Joseph Smith wanted to inspire true belief for personal gain (polygamy, fame, etc.)
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:35 AM   #187
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Re: Scientology

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He wanted to inspire true belief in order to make money. Similarly, Joseph Smith wanted to inspire true belief for personal gain (polygamy, fame, etc.)
Mormonism is very obviously a religion, I don't think there is any debate about that. You know who probably didn't want to start a religion? Jesus.

Last edited by Original Position; 02-07-2017 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:50 PM   #188
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Re: Scientology

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Mormonism is very obviously a religion, I don't think there is any debate about that. You know who probably didn't want to start a religion? Jesus.
Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
I agree. At least as far as what can be gleaned from what is known of the Man. At best His wish was to reform Judaism as it was then practiced. I think those are defensible assertions, debatable but also defensible.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:47 PM   #189
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Re: Scientology

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I'm merely interested in Pokerlogist's criteria for considering a religion fake/legitimate.
From the question, you appear to be suggesting a very reductive view of religion as a collection of truth claims.

That would be a pretty clumsy approach to the topic.
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Old 01-10-2017, 05:57 AM   #190
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Re: Scientology

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From the question, you appear to be suggesting a very reductive view of religion as a collection of truth claims.

That would be a pretty clumsy approach to the topic.
Clearly religion is much more than that, particularly to its adherents.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:11 AM   #191
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Re: Scientology

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He wanted to inspire true belief in order to make money. Similarly, Joseph Smith wanted to inspire true belief for personal gain (polygamy, fame, etc.)
There are tribes on pacific islands that worship mockups of airplanes. I don't think the pilots of those airplanes had any ambitions about starting religions. So the intention / lack thereof of a founder doesn't dictate if something is a religion or not.

There are religions that have practiced human sacrifice. So unethical practices or lack thereof doesn't dictate if something is a religion or not.

The term religion doesn't say if something is true, false, evil, good, moral, immoral, greedy, charitable, underhanded or honest. It merely says that it is a cultural phenomena of communal belief and worship, typically towards some claim or testimony about the order of the universe and our role in it.
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:55 PM   #192
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Re: Scientology

With the technological ability to detect the lighting of a match on the moon you'd think, as a species, we were well into the age of reason. Yet somehow these guys are getting bigger:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...ectid=11781005
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:34 PM   #193
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Re: Scientology

http://tonyortega.org/2017/02/05/sci...tery-sandwich/
They must have something when they advertise during the Super Bowl.
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Old 02-07-2017, 04:34 PM   #194
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Re: Scientology

You know who probably didn't want to start a religion? Jesus. > jesus is not real bro is just a fiction character from a book written thousands of years ago.
You guys believe in god because someone told you it makes sense to you because you guys where indoctrinated from an early age

emancipate urselves from mental slavery guys really

i believed in god til i was 32 now i am free and it is great is like waking up from the matrix

glgl
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:44 PM   #195
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Re: Scientology

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You know who probably didn't want to start a religion? Jesus. > jesus is not real bro is just a fiction character from a book written thousands of years ago.
You guys believe in god because someone told you it makes sense to you because you guys where indoctrinated from an early age

emancipate urselves from mental slavery guys really

i believed in god til i was 32 now i am free and it is great is like waking up from the matrix

glgl
Do you think Joseph Smith, L.Ron Hubbard or Muhammad were real persons?
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:05 PM   #196
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Re: Scientology

^yes OFC
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:22 PM   #197
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Re: Scientology

Then why couldn't there have been a historical person named Jesus who is the origin of Christianity?
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:31 PM   #198
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Re: Scientology

because he is only in the bible
and don't give me the Joceas argument please
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Old 02-08-2017, 03:43 PM   #199
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Re: Scientology

I never heard of Joceas and couldn't find anything on google either. Do you mean Josephus?
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Old 02-08-2017, 03:54 PM   #200
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Re: Scientology

yeah that guy
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