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Everything posted by stemelbow

  1. Atheism is simply agnosticism--it's merely the lack of belief either way. Atheism simply suggests there is no evidence for the proposition that God exists. Aganosticism simply suggest there is no evidence for the proposition that god exists therefore we don't know. It's the same. The default is simply to accept the non-existence until there is reason to accept the existence...of anything. It is the default position there is no bigfoot until there is reason to accept his existence. Or the default position is scientology is not true until there is reason to accept it. Positive claims of s
  2. In truth, when it comes to religion, many will not believe. Indeed, as we move forward it seems more people will fail to believe religion than believe it. It may be there is spiritual power in the story that Abraham was shown intelligences before the world was. It also may be that there is no significance. What if Abraham was never shown as much? That may not matter if the principle is true, I suppose. What if it's not true? What if there was no noble and great ones gathered amongst the rest of us losers? I think you are correct in trying to frame this all as spiritual vs what sec
  3. Let me clarify my position. I say God does not exist as a default position substituting the more accurate position I hold which is there is not sufficient evidence and reason for God's existence. On the other hand to claim God does exist is a positive claim that requires a burden of proof. He also said, "I feel the burden of proof has been met by a combination of spiritual and scientific evidence." So i'm curious what constitutes scientific evidence as he's sees it. Ok. So if you have provided evidence and I do not think it's evidence for God at all, what else might I
  4. So you are saying if what you claim is evidence is not accepted as evidence from someone else that is a good example of a No True Scotsman fallacy? I don't think you understand that fallacy. THat's not evidence. Evidence is "the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid." Is your spiritual witness a fact? Is it information? Calling your spiritual witness of something that is not even the topic at issue is evidence seems to misunderstand what evidence is. Ok. THe question is not how would you try and get someone t
  5. Robert, I much prefer your approach to that of Smac's, but I hope you realize a few things. If someone has an opinion on the BoA and is not Mormon or does not go to Church, it is likely they have been to Church and might have even discussed it there, only to find there is nothing useful in such a pursuit. So if critics says to you that JS couldn't translation Egyptian, and you respond "ok, want to come to church with me and discuss it"? They'll most likely think that's a silly idea. Church doesn't really give you place to discuss the difficult issues. There's really no room to look criti
  6. Ok. Sounds good. I would not suggest God does not exist in that it's proven he is not there. I'd say he does not exist because there is no valid reason to show he does exist. So by default there is no reason to believe there's a god. IF at some point a reason appears, then perhaps I'd have to re-evaluate the notion. I don't know that it's worth getting into but it's interesting you would suggest there is scientific evidence. As I see the arguments to propose such scientific evidence I don't understand how someone would see it opposite.
  7. And here is the point one might say, then show me at least one piece of evidence. And you will show something and it will be that critics have already addressed it and it has been shown to not be evidence at all. And you will respond with something like "well Gee says it's possibly evidence so that's good enough for my faith" or something...and we'll have found no evidence. Or You will give as a response a paper or two or three, four or a hundred...and many will argue that faith is a required assumption. And we can get caught up in that dispute if you like. Shall we go do
  8. Turning around the burden of a claim onto another is a very common practice, I realize. I find it a problematic practice and lacking logical reason. If you claim God's existence then it's your burden to support the claim, it's not my burden to disprove it. That's simply not how it works. To say his existence is provable because people say they believe him, then you simply have punted. That's not evidence for the claim. Admittedly I'm not following your point on whether inebriated or not. To me it seems it's a deflection. If you wish to argue God is an abstract concept,
  9. I don't understand why you are complaining critics don't listen. As Muhlestein says, "I believe all parties agree that Joseph Smith could not translate Egyptian via conventional methods." If Joseph Smith could only "translate", a particularly undefinable word as it turns out in Mormonism, by God's gift, then it is simply an unfalsifiable claim. If it is unfalsifiable then there is no support for the claim, then the burden has yet to be met. And it's essentially saying, it can't be met. Says Muhlestein: Invoking faith in an attempt to provide evidence is simply g
  10. Sure. Science can't be used to find the existence of things that do not exist, like God. Until there is some way to verify God does, I suppose we're left guessing, or assuming our personal baises are the best method to accept these religion notions; or we can simply say, these ideas lack evidence, and as such there is no reason to believe them. To each their own, huh?
  11. Sure, on this reasoning, anything's possible. But that hardly means there's good evidence or something significant to consider the claim that the BoA tells a true story of some guy named Abraham, written by him.
  12. Cool. I thought I was done some time back and I came back. This is my take as a simple summary of my position. Everyone will base their morality on well being. If ever they say something is moral, if we can ask why and trace it back, I'd wager its based on well being (inadequately defined sure). To me it's simply objectively true that humans with their conscious minds are innately determined to pursue well being. Certainly that does not mean we do it well, or correctly (which is the subjectivity you've been arguing for). But the pursuit of well being just is as a very part of nature
  13. I think that's kind of what Ritner is thinking. The research has been done and the apologists seem intent on mischaracterizing what has been settled and what has not. So Ritner's desire to have a conversation seems far more appropriate and far more useful. It seems everyone agrees, though, that Joseph didn't know how to translate Egyptian. The apologist position seems to be that the English story happened to magically (God caused the words to appear in his mind or something) plop into his head. So it appears if it's shown without question that there was absolutely no Abraham story
  14. I don't think so. Morality is well being is objective. As it is, morality depends on a conscious mind. A conscious mind is a product of nature. Thus outside personal opinion it is possible to find answers to right and wrong in regards to morality in nature. But we've been over this stuff and you are dogmatically asserting your opinion in response. Great. I apologize if I haven't been all in on this. I have lost interest and yet keep coming back for some reason (mostly because I get a red spot in the upper right of my screen when I show back up on this site). No doubt it's cau
  15. In spite of this concern, Calm, medicine remains in the realm of being a hard science. It appears Pogi is moving away from his desire in making it a soft science to calling it an applied science, which fits much better, to his credit.
  16. That, I can agree with. And yes, the is what is being described as a science of morality. Ok. Look. You are caught up on a distraction again. Have fun applying that to all of science. Physical health is______ is not falsifiable therefore any science dealing with physical health is not really science, apparently. In other words I find your reasoning and premises faulty. The point is its science. That's the point under consideration here. I figured you agreed, you simply weren't willing to say so. And? We've been through this too. Now you
  17. Surely I'm not. But Science IS the final arbiter of what constitutes scientific evidence. I disagree of course. um....did you intend this as a joke considering your next line: If not a joke, then your CFR is met by this very next line you offer.
  18. I disagree. But I realize if challenged for the burden taken upon itself it calls evidence things that I nor science would ever call evidence. And then we get stuck with things like "how is your personal subjective internal witness, as you call it, evidence for BoM historicity"? I only offer that as an example because at one point that's what you gave me, at least as one point of evidence, when I said the burden is upon you to provide evidence. So you may call that evidence...but alas, I don't think it can reasonably be said to be such. You could be mistaken, lying, or treating personal b
  19. Thanks Ahab. I think what you describe would be the problem if there were no verifiable science behind it. If its shown scientifically what works and what doesn't, then we can simply follow that as objective reasons to accept the one and reject another. Of course, also, there is assumed a moral landscape with some number of peaks and even great number of valleys. The peaks represent well being and the valleys represent suffering. But not all peaks, nor valleys for htat matter, are equal. There may be many answers to object moral good on these scene.
  20. Perhaps, and well sure...there may be overlap between the scientific disciplines concerned with both moral health and physical health. And what you say here is exactly why I feel less concerned, and even shied away from it in the other thread, about naming the science of morality something objective. I think it falls right in that realm of objective. But it feels too you are under the impression that objective means it has to have a goal of perfection or something. I like the landscape mindset on both topics--medical science is a science and it is objectively practiced, I'd say, even if ou
  21. huh? That's not my point. Your test is fault because your premise is. My personal observation of what is moral is subjective, sure. What is proposed here though is we don't have to rely on our personal subjective determinations of what is moral and what is not. I know you don't like to hear it, but it's the same thing as physical health. My own personal notion of what it means to be in good physical health is simply my subjective determination. That does not mean there is no medical science making measures relying on how to achieve good physical health. It certainly does
  22. If true, then the Church would drop it's dependence on things like BoM historicity, and BoA for that matter. But alas, the Church is stuck in the dogma it set up all the way up until the point it simply can't survive with such dogma. It has always been so with religion and will likely always be so. I know the definition of dogma, its just that it turns out the result of prescribed doctrine proclaimed as unquestionably true is truth claims without evidence or reason.
  23. Agreed. And I don't think that's much different than other branches of science. I keep going back to physical health ala medical science--but that is precisely what we have. There is not one way to achieve good physical health. There is not one way to stay out of the pits of the valley wherein one's health is so bad it's near death. It may be someday we unlock a little more insight on how to maintain health, or we may raise the bar as to what it means to be healthy...but I don't see how that would suggest everything's subjective. One person could do one thing and lack health because of i
  24. Thanks Robert. I think you offer a good though. If "intelligence" can be said to be the groupings known to us as the fundamental particles that are fundamental to everything, then what does that mean? People are simply compositions of these particles, and so are rocks, trees, clouds, air...and the like. Dark matter is something we don't know. Is it unformed intelligence, or is it something else since it's not made for this world? Or something?
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