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Old 11-13-2017, 04:49 PM   #1051
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Re: Religion and logic

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Originally Posted by chillrob View Post
I mean if they got rid of the OT completely, instead of keeping it as part of their basic sacred text.
Sometimes I think God leveled the world by adding a sappy sounding NT that rulers could get on board with, just to get the OT disseminated.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:07 PM   #1052
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Re: Religion and logic

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Meh? It seems to me like you're trying a little too hard to find a reason to be critical here.

I mean, I think I'm capable of exploring the intellectual consequences of making assumptions about the truth of various biblical propositions, although I'm not really convinced that the hypothetical "the bible is 100% true" is completely coherent. There bible is a collection of texts which don't all even agree with each other absent fairly contrived attempts at harmonization. But leaving that aside, I can work with it as a hypothetical, more or less, in some abstract way.

On the other hand, I'm not at all sure I'm really capable of adapting my view of the world to such a hypothetical, of really accepting it and changing accordingly. For moral reasons as well as purely intellectual reasons. I don't feel like this is much of a failure on my part, if it is one at all. And I would have said the same thing a couple years ago when I was a more actively practicing Christian. Having difficulty grappling with the consequences of believing a claim which is almost certainly false doesn't strike me as a problem with facing reality, even "potentially". Especially for claims which are so staggering in their implications to one's understanding of the world.
There is still a failure here. If God told me that actually 2+2 = 10, I would not know how to change my current worldview to accommodate that belief. But no one accepts that view. On the other hand, Christianity has more adherents than any religion in the world. Many of these adherents, particularly in places like the US, at least claim to believe the Bible is 100% true. If I'm unable to adjust my own beliefs to accommodate incontrovertible evidence that their worldview is correct, then I either do not understand their views now (because I am unable to form a mental model of their beliefs that is minimally acceptable as truth-oriented) or I am overly rigid in my own thinking.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:10 PM   #1053
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Re: Religion and logic

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I seriously don't get what is so hard to understand about my theoretical, I think you guys are making this way too difficult.
Or perhaps you're just oversimplifying.

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If I somehow believed that everything stated about god in the bible was true, I would hate that god.
I think it would be fair to say you hate that God already, even if you don't even believe that there's any truth to it.

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It is possible I missed a passage in which it was stated that god is all good and therefore all that is moral by definition. If so, I would have to change my conjecture to "if I believed all of the bible except that one part were true".
This is the sort of thing that suggests that you're not actually proposing a meaningful hypothetical. You're just declaring a stance of anti-allegiance towards the God of the Bible. Which is fine. You're free to do as you choose.

One of my statements still stands, though:

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Originally Posted by me
And this would also make your presentation consistent with the notion that people who don't believe in God do so because they are in active rebellion.
It may need some modification with "believe in God" to be a little more precise. Usually, there's a sense that the statement "I believe in God" (in the context of discussing the Bible) carries some connotation of accepting various theological constraints with respect to the characteristics of that God (basic Abrahamic monotheism stuffs). The wording might need to be adapted to something more like "accept God's authority" to work, but it still conveys the same underlying intent.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:18 PM   #1054
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Re: Religion and logic

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I seriously don't get what is so hard to understand about my theoretical, I think you guys are making this way too difficult.

If I somehow believed that everything stated about god in the bible was true, I would hate that god.

I.e. The god who tested Abraham by telling him to kill his son. The god who tortured Job and killed his family just to prove a point to Satan. The god who punished the Egyptian pharoah by killing lots of babies. The god who ordered genocides of non-believers.

For more terrible things, see:

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=21


https://www.alternet.org/12-craziest...-old-testament

It is possible I missed a passage in which it was stated that god is all good and therefore all that is moral by definition. If so, I would have to change my conjecture to "if I believed all of the bible except that one part were true".

But my general point, and reason for the conjecture, is that the Christian god just isn't very appealing. And sure, almost all of the bad stuff is in the Old Testament, but Christians don't throw out the OT; if they did I would have much more respect for them.
I think I understand your point. You think, based on the moral views you currently hold, that if God as described in the Bible actually existed and did the things he is claimed to have done, that you would be unable to follow him because he would be an evil god.

What I'm trying to point out is that the Bible being true involves a lot more than just some narrative claims about history being true. It also involves a cosmology where God is the creator of the entire universe. It also means that the moral view you currently hold, that allows you to criticize God on moral grounds, is false (or the functional equivalent in non-realist meta-ethical theories for wn). It also probably means that you have a moral/religious/spiritual duty as a created being to follow and worship God.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:19 PM   #1055
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Re: Religion and logic

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If I'm unable to adjust my own beliefs to accommodate incontrovertible evidence that their worldview is correct, then I either do not understand their views now (because I am unable to form a mental model of their beliefs that is minimally acceptable as truth-oriented) or I am overly rigid in my own thinking.
Part of the point I was trying to make is that it's not just a question of adjusting thinking, beliefs, or mental models. I've spent a lot of time among serious Christians, I don't think I have a problem understanding how many of them think, or following the logic of their positions, or things like that. I'm sure I make many mistakes but I think I'm at least minimally competent in that regard.

But no matter how many Christians hold certain beliefs about the world, nor how well I'm able to understand those beliefs intellectually, I doubt that I would have an easy time changing my actual way of life in a way that would match their expectations about what follows from the truth of the Bible, and I'm not convinced that this constitutes a failure of either imagination or rationality, or an excess of rigidity in any way that I should actually be concerned about.

I don't know, I appreciate the logical point of saying "aha, but if it were true, then you ought to be able to accept it", but the whole exercise seems practically useless to me simply because the probability of it being true is ~0. My inability to adapt easily to the impossible doesn't bother me too much :P
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:23 PM   #1056
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Re: Religion and logic

If I did believe that the Christian (/Jewish/Muslim) god existed, I would definitely be in active rebellion against him, and would consider anyone who wasn't to be morally deficient.

If it is possible to hate something you don't believe exists, yes I guess then I already do hate him. I hate the concept.

I don't actually feel the need for a god and think the evidence points to the lack of one. If I did want to believe in god though. I certainly wouldn't choose the god of any mainstream Christian (Jewish/Muslim) church. It greatly perplexes me that any thinking person could profess a Christian faith.

I know that most members of any religion simply follow it because that is the way they were raised, but when I see evidence of some (like a few of you guys in this thread) who seem to have put a good amount of thought into it but still believe, I do actually want to understand why. I honestly try to keep an open mind about it as well, but I have read nothing in this thread that is in any way convincing.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:23 PM   #1057
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Re: Religion and logic

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Originally Posted by well named View Post
I don't know, I appreciate the logical point of saying "aha, but if it were true, then you ought to be able to accept it", but the whole exercise seems practically useless to me simply because the probability of it being true is ~0. My inability to adapt easily to the impossible doesn't bother me too much :P
I think the ease of adaptation is irrelevant. What you're expressing is more of an unwillingness to try (because it's "useless") which kind of negates the whole hypothetical: "If X is true, then I don't care because X isn't true."
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:24 PM   #1058
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Re: Religion and logic

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Have you ever noticed Dawkins and Hitchens and their lot have a zeal about them similar to the more extreme sides of the religions they criticize? Think atheism needs some reforming.


Tunnel vision on a cause can lead to zeal.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:24 PM   #1059
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Re: Religion and logic

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Originally Posted by chillrob View Post
If I did believe that the Christian (/Jewish/Muslim) god existed, I would definitely be in active rebellion against him
Okay. I just wanted to point out that this is a logical consequence of the hypothetical put forward and your response to it.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:28 PM   #1060
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Re: Religion and logic

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I think I understand your point. You think, based on the moral views you currently hold, that if God as described in the Bible actually existed and did the things he is claimed to have done, that you would be unable to follow him because he would be an evil god.

What I'm trying to point out is that the Bible being true involves a lot more than just some narrative claims about history being true.
Yes, this is basically what I was saying. I can understand the interpretation you just made in the second sentence, but that wasn't in my conjecture. And I find accepting all the rest of that (changing my moral instinct) to be even more difficult to imagine than my acceptance of the literal narrative truth of the bible.

Well named's latest post probably explains my thoughts on this better than I could explain them myself, thanks!
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:49 PM   #1061
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Re: Religion and logic

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I think the ease of adaptation is irrelevant. What you're expressing is more of an unwillingness to try
I didn't say anything about effort. I said I have reasons to believe I would find it difficult to accomplish, or even undesirable to accomplish, and that this doesn't worry me too much. So I find using this line of argument to suggest that chillrob's statement illustrates a flaw in his character or thinking dubious. That's leaving aside the fact that the hypothetical he meant to be setting up isn't really the one we ended up discussing.

Let me try it a different way: I don't want to either believe or act as though it were true that the genocide of the Amalekites was morally justified, and my repudiation of that view doesn't result from an inability to deal with the concept of it being objectively moral in some abstract way. Being able to abstractly grasp the concept of an objective morality doesn't make it any easier for me to overcome my fairly deeply held feelings about things like genocide. Those feelings aren't even necessarily rational or intellectual at all. I might be convinced to try to overcome my feelings on the issue (in the hypothetical), but I'm sure it wouldn't be easy.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:49 PM   #1062
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Re: Religion and logic

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I don't actually feel the need for a god and think the evidence points to the lack of one.
Every legal system/political ideology needs a way to derive authority/sovereignty. The administrators and population has to believe the system from which the laws are derived are just and the model being presented is the best possible model, otherwise the society formed from its governance will fall apart.

In essence, even without believing in a God per se, the political/legal system you support, (the laws you're ok with punishing people on account of them breaking them) fills the role of the deity.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:50 PM   #1063
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Re: Religion and logic

Sounds like Durkheim.
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:11 PM   #1064
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Re: Religion and logic

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I didn't say anything about effort. I said I have reasons to believe I would find it difficult to accomplish, or even undesirable to accomplish, and that this doesn't worry me too much. So I find using this line of argument to suggest that chillrob's statement illustrates a flaw in his character or thinking dubious. That's leaving aside the fact that the hypothetical he meant to be setting up isn't really the one we ended up discussing.

Let me try it a different way: I don't want to either believe or act as though it were true that the genocide of the Amalekites was morally justified, and my repudiation of that view doesn't result from an inability to deal with the concept of it being objectively moral in some abstract way. Being able to abstractly grasp the concept of an objective morality doesn't make it any easier for me to overcome my fairly deeply held feelings about things like genocide. Those feelings aren't even necessarily rational or intellectual at all. I might be convinced to try to overcome my feelings on the issue (in the hypothetical), but I'm sure it wouldn't be easy.
I think the expression of desire is what compounds the issue. Most people (at least at an intellectual level) should want to believe things that are true. I consider to be part of the measure of one's intellectual character. So at this level, I don't think it matters what or how you want or don't want to believe or behave.

If you somehow knew with absolute certainty that X was morally justified, I do think it reflects a type of character flaw to reject the truth of X, or to behave as if X were false.

It's true that we ended up discussing something other than chillrob's hypothetical. After his pseudo-clarification*, he has still admitted that his behaviors do fit into a well-defined category of rebellion. And that's really as far as we can get unless he actually clarifies his position.

* I still think he's not really thought through the meaning of "The Bible is 100% true" and has even side-stepped the basic issue by adding the caveat of removing the thing he disagrees with as part of the truth he's accepting. He has negated the function of the hypothetical by not specifying the truths he's accepting as true and by explicitly selecting out the PRIMARY feature he's trying to discuss from that list of truths. The hypothetical functions as simply trying to find a stronger statement of disagreement. ("I disagree with this so strongly that even if GOD HIMSELF came and told me, I would disagree with him." I mean... okay? You can believe what you want, I guess. But it doesn't help from an intellectual perspective to create meaningless hypothetical frameworks if that's all you're trying to accomplish. You disagree with great drama. Congratulations.)
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:44 PM   #1065
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Re: Religion and logic

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It's true that we ended up discussing something other than chillrob's hypothetical. After his pseudo-clarification*, he has still admitted that his behaviors do fit into a well-defined category of rebellion. And that's really as far as we can get unless he actually clarifies his position.

* I still think he's not really thought through the meaning of "The Bible is 100% true" and has even side-stepped the basic issue by adding the caveat of removing the thing he disagrees with as part of the truth he's accepting. He has negated the function of the hypothetical by not specifying the truths he's accepting as true and by explicitly selecting out the PRIMARY feature he's trying to discuss from that list of truths. The hypothetical functions as simply trying to find a stronger statement of disagreement. ("I disagree with this so strongly that even if GOD HIMSELF came and told me, I would disagree with him." I mean... okay? You can believe what you want, I guess. But it doesn't help from an intellectual perspective to create meaningless hypothetical frameworks if that's all you're trying to accomplish. You disagree with great drama. Congratulations.)
You are completely misinterpreting everything I have posted. Since it seems to me that the correct interpretation of my postings is the simplest one, I have to believe that your misinterpretation has been deliberate, instead of you misunderstanding in any way.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:29 PM   #1066
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Re: Religion and logic

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You are completely misinterpreting everything I have posted. Since it seems to me that the correct interpretation of my postings is the simplest one, I have to believe that your misinterpretation has been deliberate, instead of you misunderstanding in any way.
Please elaborate a bit on what you mean by "believe the Bible is 100% true" by providing some examples of the truths that you would believe as a result of that statement.

Also, you were very explicit about removing some potential truths from consideration:

Quote:
Originally Posted by you
It is possible I missed a passage in which it was stated that god is all good and therefore all that is moral by definition. If so, I would have to change my conjecture to "if I believed all of the bible except that one part were true".
What is the value of creating these exceptions when you initiate the conversation with "100% true"? Why exclude this one thing and not the other things?

I don't think it so much a misrepresentation as it is following the logic of the assumption. I'm in search of logic and not in search of your feelings. It doesn't bother me if you hate God or the concept of the Old Testament God or whatever. I want to see you execute the logic of your hypothetical. I don't think you've adequately thought this through. You just want to find a way to reach your desired conclusion of expressing discontent/disagreement with God.

At this point, my perspective is that you're putting forth a rather naive perspective grounded more in an emotional reflex than something that resembles a thoughtful analysis of the thing you're saying.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:49 PM   #1067
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Re: Religion and logic

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Originally Posted by d2_e4 View Post
I've never posted in this thread sober. That's your hidden variable.

So, no, I am not angry, or frothing at the mouth. Tonight, I am mostly just drunk & bored.
At least now we know why you've said almost nothing intelligent in this 1000+ post thread. Thank you for your honesty.

addendum: I'm sober, so I don't know what my excuse is for posting nothing intelligent in this thread.

Last edited by lagtight; 11-14-2017 at 02:52 PM. Reason: added something
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:21 PM   #1068
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Re: Religion and logic

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Originally Posted by batair View Post
No the Koran does not teach that and its cherry picking to say it does. Just like i can cherry pick the bible to make it look bad. Kill the infidels is reserved for infidels who they are at war with not neighbors they are living in peace with.

Oh yes it does teach that, and so did Mohammad. You need to do
your homework.

Qur'an 9:73 - Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them. (This verse is used by Islamic militants to kill other muslims, because they are hypocrites)

Qur'an 9:123 - Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you, and
let them find in you hardness.

Qur'an 9:29 - Fight those who believe not in Allah... until they pay the Jizyah (tax for not being Muslim) will willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Sahih Al-Bukhari 6924 - Mohammad said "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: La Ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)

Sahih Muslim 30 - Mohammad said "I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no God but Allah"

Sahih Muslim 4366 - Mohammad says "I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will leave none but Muslims"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERou_Q5l9Gw&t=912s
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:36 PM   #1069
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Re: Religion and logic

Sigh.
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:42 PM   #1070
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Re: Religion and logic

I said I would have to remove that one truth if it were stated in the bible. However, I don't believe that it is there, and you have not even stated it is, you just brought in general Christian theology from sources other than the bible. You did mention a passage stating that god is holy, but the word holy is meaningless to me and does not imply moral correctness. I was including all that I remembered of the bible, both good and bad parts.

I don't know why you are searching for any particular logic in a post you knew you would disagree with before reading it. I have searched for logic in your posts and those of other Christians and have never found any. In fact Christian theology states it is based on faith, not logic. I find statements about the bible to internally consistent, but I can't back them up with logical arguments any better than many other atheists have made and I'm sure you also reject. I would just posit that whatever "faith" in god you feel, I feel exactly the opposite, and neither feeling really requires logic. If you don't care about my feelings, please refrain from replying to my posts.

Last edited by chillrob; 11-14-2017 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:41 PM   #1071
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Re: Religion and logic

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However, I don't believe that it is there, and you have not even stated it is, you just brought in general Christian theology from sources other than the bible.
Not really. One can develop a pretty hefty systematic theology strictly using passages from the Bible.

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You did mention a passage stating that god is holy, but the word holy is meaningless to me and does not imply moral correctness.
Oh, so what you're *really* saying is that even if you "believe the Bible is 100% true, but don't actually know what the words in it mean."

Quote:
I was including all that I remembered of the bible, both good and bad parts.
So... for the things you don't remember, they aren't part of the Bible that you believe is 100% true for this scenario? (Furthermore, what of the things you remember, but remember incorrectly? Are those things also true in your scenario?)

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I don't know why you are searching for any particular logic in a post you knew you would disagree with before reading it.
Because you're clearly demonstrating the lack of thought that I had anticipated. You've reduced yourself to throwing out things you disagree with AND throwing out words that you don't understand.

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I have searched for logic in your posts and those of other Christians and have never found any.
By all means, point out the places where you think the logic presented is deficient.

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In fact Christian theology states it is based on faith, not logic.
This would be yet another example of a poor understanding of words leading to a poor understanding of the thing you're talking about. Christian theology is not based on faith. You can disagree with everything in the Bible and be a non-Christian but still agree that theological concepts are either consistent or inconsistent with the particular interpretation of the Bible being discussed.

Quote:
I find statements about the bible to internally consistent, but I can't back them up with logical arguments any better than many other atheists have made and I'm sure you also reject. I would just posit that whatever "faith" in god you feel, I feel exactly the opposite, and neither feeling really requires logic.
You're welcome to posit whatever you want. And you're free to post illogical things. I'm just going to point it out when you do.

Quote:
If you don't care about my feelings, please refrain from replying to my posts.
If you want to post pissy feelings about things, you may do so freely, just as I may freely choose to respond to them.

Last edited by Aaron W.; 11-14-2017 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:13 PM   #1072
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Re: Religion and logic

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Originally Posted by chillrob View Post
If it somehow were revealed to me that the bible was 100% true and that I would burn in hell for eternity if I didn't profess, I would just go to hell in protest because the god of the bible is such an a**hole that I wouldn't want to be in heaven with him.
This hypothetical is impossible. You are not capable of knowing absolute truth, and if you were, then there would be no need for any guidance from an external source, meaning no truth can be revealed to you to reject.
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:52 PM   #1073
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Re: Religion and logic

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There is still a failure here. If God told me that actually 2+2 = 10, I would not know how to change my current worldview to accommodate that belief. But no one accepts that view. On the other hand, Christianity has more adherents than any religion in the world. Many of these adherents, particularly in places like the US, at least claim to believe the Bible is 100% true. If I'm unable to adjust my own beliefs to accommodate incontrovertible evidence that their worldview is correct, then I either do not understand their views now (because I am unable to form a mental model of their beliefs that is minimally acceptable as truth-oriented) or I am overly rigid in my own thinking.
The religious world is about actions, not facts. Therefore, the only way incontrovertible evidence is encountered is through direct experience resulting from meaningful behavior.
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:35 AM   #1074
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Re: Religion and logic

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Part of the point I was trying to make is that it's not just a question of adjusting thinking, beliefs, or mental models. I've spent a lot of time among serious Christians, I don't think I have a problem understanding how many of them think, or following the logic of their positions, or things like that. I'm sure I make many mistakes but I think I'm at least minimally competent in that regard.

But no matter how many Christians hold certain beliefs about the world, nor how well I'm able to understand those beliefs intellectually, I doubt that I would have an easy time changing my actual way of life in a way that would match their expectations about what follows from the truth of the Bible, and I'm not convinced that this constitutes a failure of either imagination or rationality, or an excess of rigidity in any way that I should actually be concerned about.
A status-quo bias in moral beliefs and attitudes is probably useful. However, being unwilling to revise moral beliefs, however difficult you find it, when you know they are false, is not truth-oriented behavior. People often have an underlying assumption that moral statements if true are necessarily true. Thus, they have a difficult time imagining possible worlds where different moral statements are true, or even think they are impossible. Maybe this is true metaphysically (I'm doubtful), but it certainly isn't true epistemically. Before solving a math proof, I have the epistemic space to imagine that A, B, or C is true, even if necessarily only one of them is true.

Here's another way of putting it. If I hypothesize a possible world and stipulate that it is moral for God to command genocide, would chillrob (this isn't really about chillrob, who was just making a throwaway remark) still claim that it is immoral in that world? If not, how does that differ from the possible world where the Bible (which seems to have this viewpoint) is 100% true? If so, then isn't this a rejection of reality (in that possible world)?

Quote:
I don't know, I appreciate the logical point of saying "aha, but if it were true, then you ought to be able to accept it", but the whole exercise seems practically useless to me simply because the probability of it being true is ~0. My inability to adapt easily to the impossible doesn't bother me too much :P
We've argued about this before, but I think you overestimate our certainty about moral claims.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:09 AM   #1075
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Re: Religion and logic

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Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
Here's another way of putting it. If I hypothesize a possible world and stipulate that it is moral for God to command genocide, would chillrob (this isn't really about chillrob, who was just making a throwaway remark) still claim that it is immoral in that world? If not, how does that differ from the possible world where the Bible (which seems to have this viewpoint) is 100% true? If so, then isn't this a rejection of reality (in that possible world)?
Sure. My first objection was that it was clear that this wasn't exactly what rob meant by the hypothetical, so that the objection seemed unfair. I think you agree that it's not what he meant given your parenthetical.

My second point was that I thought it was understandable that people find it very difficult to adjust to realizations which turn their entire existing worldview/ethics upside down, and probably more so when it's a hypothetical they judge to be highly unlikely. That's more by way of explaining why someone would make the "throwaway comment" to begin with. Incidentally, I'm currently working on a research project involving deconversion narratives and the same idea applies there, although maybe more practically. I don't disagree with your (or Aaron's) logic per se, I just think the importance of the hypothetical is overstated. I think Aaron's attempt to bludgeon rob with it is dubious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
We've argued about this before, but I think you overestimate our certainty about moral claims.
Probably. I find meta-ethics pretty vexing. In this case though my assessment of the probability of the Bible being "100% true" is based more on historical or metaphysical content than moral content. I highlighted a moral problem as an example of something I would have trouble accepting even accepting the hypothetical, but it's not as important to the question of whether or not I think it's possible that the Bible is true.
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