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Seeker *
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  1. But I thought you implied that God's revelation to you was what instigated your belief in him. If God has already revealed himself to me in a way that is unmistakable, then why don't I believe in him? You said two different questions? There are 5 recognised phases of matter and 118 recognised elements. (Thanks Google)
  2. This isn't a scientific statement. I find this a strange argument against science. You don't say that cake tastes horrible even though there are hundreds of people out there who have baked dreadful cakes. The validity of the recipe is independent to the people who use the recipe. When I say that science does not require faith, I am saying that proper science does not require faith, in the same way that a proper cake recipe does not have meatballs in it. I have looked at depth into the theories of consciousness. I think it is incredibly important to analyze, and I think it will be resolved within this century considering the progress I've seen recently. The Christian viewpoint of consciousness is that it is discrete; present only in distinct locations (e.g. the brains of humans). I disagree, I think it is an elemental substrate of reality that is continuous, and weighted in regions of hyper-connective brain tissue for reasons we don't yet know. It doesn't seem to be the case that phenomenal conscious experience serves any particularly useful purpose. I'll explain why. You can conceivably imagine a person that acted the exact same as you, had a brain that worked the same way, but lacked a subjective experience. The only difference would be that this person would be far less likely to refer to their own consciousness, since they have none. Their brain would still have thoughts just as any other brain would, there just wouldn't be a subjective experience of these thoughts as they passed through the brain. My idea of consciousness might not make much sense to most Christians, who have adopted the theory of Cartesian duality in their idea of the soul. This idea suggests that, within our brain, their is a conscious agent (what you consider as the soul) that is making decisions and in general control of the brain. This is an outdated theory of consciousness but still persists in the explanation of the soul, and as a general misconception in the common intuition of consciousness. The conscious experience really has little effect on the brain, it seems to be more of a side-effect of the brain. Most of our decisions arise subconsciously before we become aware of them in the small, conscious area of our brain, where our rational framework creates a reason why we made that decision, using the deceptive linguistic construct "I". The only "I" is our brain, there is no monkey in the chair within the brain, controlling the brain. This is regressive and redundant. Wow I am rambling. It's 4am where I am I really should sleep. Thanks for your response again.
  3. So I just wait until God reveals himself to me unmistakably?
  4. Wow and a turn that was. Thanks @gordon7777 for the time and the consideration in your response. I really did appreciate the sentiment of your message. Respectfully, I feel that this could have been a bit more direct in addressing the problem I raised about faith used as evidence. I should also make it clear that, since I don't believe in God, I also don't believe that the Bible is the Word of God. I really am amazed at the breadth of your response, however, I'm sure you bring a lot of value to this forum.
  5. Is that a compliment? Hehe in all seriousness though I never intended to contribute to havoc on the website. It sounds like I may have been something of a catalyst, and for that I sincerely apologise. I might also add that I did have a glance at the posting of the atheist you refer to. I disagree strongly with anti-theist bigotry and straw-manning, and I would be happy to help shut down any atheist who posts in this way. I hope to provide some healthy dissent but am not here to troll or make light of any matter. While I'm in contact, would you know anyone that could transfer my posts onto the general discussion forum? Or perhaps another forum if more appropriate?
  6. This is a different definition. You are referring to faith as in confidence or trust. I mean faith when it is used to say "I believe in God because of faith". I'm not referring to the faith used when someone says "I have faith that God will deliver his promise".
  7. Atheist means "does not have a belief in a god". I'm not really sure why it's an "ism", since their is absolutely no claim given by default atheism. It's about as substantial as me saying that I'm a non-golfer. Agnostic means "does not claim certain knowledge". Opposed to this, gnostic means "does claim certain knowledge". So a Christian would be a type of gnostic theist. And thank you, it does store quite a large amount of soap.
  8. Just wanted to quickly address this sentence. "Labcoats" have no intention to discredit facts, they work off of facts. If instead you meant evidence, then they'll only discredit evidence as it is discreditable. If someone had faith based upon good evidence, they would never be swayed by critical thinkers, they would sway critical thinkers. "Witness" is the keyword here. You imply undeniable experience. I would call that evidence, although it doesn't really matter. If it is undeniable to you, then fair game, however I have not had such undeniable witness of God, and so I cannot hold a Christian belief in that way. 1. That's merely a word game. Love is neurological, and it is social, and it most certainly is experiential. It is all of the above. Science doesn't claim that love isn't a conscious and deeply emotional experience, imagine the bewilderment when a scientist experienced love firsthand! The apparent "gotcha" nature of that question is caused by speaking on different ontologies, or levels of description. Love is social -> emotional -> conscious -> neurological -> physical -> quantum -> so on and so forth. These are emergent levels of experience and description, just as water is wet, even though it is made of dry molecules. 2. This isn't a mystery. Hormones released during puberty alter our neuro-chemistry, changing the way we think and behave. 3. People change when they have significant life experiences, it is true. 4. Also a significant life experience. I thought these examples were to demonstrate undeniable experiences as a reason for belief. You say science can't explain these things, as though emergent properties, hormonal change, and change from significant life experiences are arcane phenomena? Love can be described. Science attempts to give a compatible description based off public evidence. All people experience love and attest to its nature. Therefore there is an extraordinary amount of evidence for love and what it is. Not only is this scientific, but descriptions of love on other levels, such as the hormonal or the neurological, are also completely compatible. Love can be described by science in many different ways. I guess then I can also say that sincere disbelief is, no one has to agree with me, it's cool, tough stuff. Hehe indeed. I believe in love because I experience it, and I have very good reason to suspect that other people also experience love, so I'm probably not experiencing a delusion. My own experience is evidence, other's experience of love is even better evidence. There is an extraordinary amount of evidence for love. If you claimed to love someone and there was no evidence for it, you obviously don't love them. I don't. And it could well happen. Here's to hoping. Thanks for taking the time to respond, I try to consider as much of what you say as possible so that it's not in vain.
  9. This is not an example of faith. Joseph Lister had a new hypothesis that he imposed on others. Others were reasonably skeptical. His hypothesis then gained credibility as he established more evidence. If instead you mean faith as in "hope", then sure, Joseph had faith, but he certainly didn't use faith as evidence, he used evidence as evidence. If scientists used faith as evidence they wouldn't be using the scientific method and so wouldn't be scientists. This is significant, and a large part of why I'm still agnostic. You said it, you discover evidence that supports and proves God to you on a personal level. If that is the case then all I can hope is that I will someday have the hypothesis proved on my own personal level, else I continue worshiping Satan unto my death as @missmuffet would willingly have me believe. Your second sentence is interesting. You say that God is in charge of the testing, of his own existence, and we're not, the ones who are actually doing the believing. I'm not sure what to make of that really. Sincerely though I do appreciate your response, I see a lot of sense in what you're saying.
  10. To argue this would be to argue a solipsist. It is impossible to argue a solipsist and it is impossible to argue this. I wouldn't see that as a good thing.
  11. Hi pinacled and thank you for the support. I have a post in Worthy Welcome that explains why I came to the forum.
  12. That's the first I'm hearing of it. So it seems I worship Satan. I must be incredibly stupid to worship such an abhorrent being. I must say it is frustrating that I can't possibly comprehend what you mean by faith because of this disturbed faith I seem to have in the devil. May I ask how I worship Satan? My actions seem to be just about as benign and well-intended as any of my Christian friends. Perhaps you mean I believe in Satan? It would then be quite strange to think that I have no fear of eternal damnation, if I did indeed believe that hell existed and I was destined for it. I know I have expressed that I do not want to respond rudely, although I felt it was apt given such a rude accusation from one of the forum's top contributors.
  13. This is an example of the tu quoque fallacy. You say that the opposition is making the same mistake that you are, as though it redeems the mistake that you're defending. On top of this, I am not making any leap of blind faith, and nor is science, I'll explain why. Science deals in theories. Theories are not truths. they are effective truths. Meaning that they seem to be the most solid explanation we can get, we won't say it's the truth, but right now it's the most effective. That's why scientific theories change over time while remaining scientific. There are scientific theories about how the universe may have formed without a designer. I don't have to agree, nor do I have to disagree. I could say I have no opinion whatsoever, totally irrelevant. The distinction here is that you are making a positive claim. You are saying that you have the truth, that the universe was created by a designer, and all other theories are wrong. This doesn't just mean that you think your idea is the most effectively truthful, you're making the incredibly strong statement that it is the absolute truth, and every other theory is consequently bonkers. Such a strong claim has a substantial burden of proof. The scientists do not have the same burden of proof, as they do not claim to have proved their own theories, they are theories after all. All I'm asking then is, why are you right? If any scientist could corroborate such a monumental claim to truth as the one you're making, they would receive a Nobel Prize. I don't assume anything of this nature. I am agnostic. I might think that they are likely, or even unlikely, but I would never say such things are true or false. I hope this then explains why I am not required to give an explanation to the question about randomness. I don't have an explanation, and I don't even necessarily believe it. Perhaps there is an underlying order, who knows? I'm not sure it's relevant. This is exactly why the scientific method was created. Facts should not be altered by preconceived ideas. Preconceived ideas should be altered by facts. If what you said is true, and facts no longer matter, we'd live in a very confusing world.
  14. I have never had a problem with religion. In fact, the contemporary, Pentecostal environment in which I've spent my Sundays is far from ceremonial, dogmatic or traditional. My experience of Christianity has always been about the relationship with Jesus, an understanding that brought me much peace and happiness. It was not a negative experience with the religion or the faith that made me agnostic. In the way you described faith here, you used experience of hearing the Word of God to justify your belief. An experience used to justify a belief is evidence. However, as hearing the Word of God and then consequently believing in God is a strictly personal, anecdotal experience, it cannot be a justification for my belief. Unless of course I have the same experience. I am here because I want to be clear with my understanding before I come out as agnostic, but I certainly won't deny that I want to believe again, I have nothing to lose by doing so and everything to gain. What scares me isn't the absence of consciousness, but eternity. It is terrifying to think that the state of death would be never-ending. I am not scared of going to hell, for the same reason I'm not excited to go to the heaven of anti-God. I don't believe in God, and I don't believe in anti-God.
  15. The faith with which I consider there to be a problem is faith as evidence. The definitions that you give (faith as belief, faith as trust, faith as loyalty) are all valid definitions for faith, with their own context to be used in, however I know that faith is also used to justify belief in God. If this doesn't seem apparent, I'll ask a question: If you don't believe in God because of evidence, what it is that justifies your belief in God? Many Christians would say faith, if they give any other reason, it typically falls into the category of evidence, albeit what I consider insufficient evidence.
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