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Messages - Noah Hawryshko

1
Problem of Evil / Re: The Free-Will Defense
« on: September 07, 2015, 05:44:45 am »
Hello to all! :) :) I'm having trouble with this

Do you think that  people who reject God on emotional basis (because of their suffering) will go to hell? I think many people who reject their faith, reject it just because of that. That is a lot of people! How can I blame them if the burden is too heavy? Why did God permitted that much suffering that goes beyond ones reason and lefts Him with emotional rejection? 
 
Also, is free will worthy of that? It seems to me that 90% of all people have to go to hell for eternity. So how is God all-good and all-loving if he created world permeated by evil and most of people that he created have to go to hell. You can say we all deserve hell which is true- but He created us susceptible to sin! He also knew that we would reject Him. Couldn't he create the world of free creatures but also do something like ordaining the stars in the sky to have cross shape and that due to some reactions once a year, in Easter they shine with differed colors or something similar. Isn't that worthy of salvation even just one more person than without it? Much more people would be saved I think. That is why I struggle. Majority of true Christians also have doubts from time to time. There are very few people who don't weaver- because it is hard to believe when you see al that!

The theists answer to this would be that God in having Molinist middle knowledge knows what every given person will do in every given situation, and therefore only chooses to actualize the souls of those who will reject Him no matter what evidence is given. These are the people who "have never heard". God does not "create people to go to hell", He just foreknows what they will do even if they have been given much evidence and doesn't give them the evidence, because it doesn't matter if they receive it or not.

2
Given a Christian world view, it would be incredibly more probable that instances of miracles were documented and presented with a reasonable amount of evidence as to make one justified in believing in them. No such miracles have been conjured, therefore it is more probable that Atheism/Deism is true.

Craig's response to this was (in a loose paraphrase) "God has already given us enough evidence to believe in Him, and all sincere seekers will find Him one day, why is this a problem?" But the fact of the matter is that a sound argument is one that sways the probabilistic scales toward or away from a world view, and presupposing Christianity, the hiddenness of God is something that does not give us what we'd expect.

How would one respond to this?

3
Induction doesn't "establish" things. It allows us to make probabilistic inferences based on evidence. But that aside, we don't know, a priori, that the universe is caused. Nor do we have a priori knowledge that the universe is uncaused. So the fact there was an "absence of time, space, matter, the laws of nature" (logically) prior to the instantiation of the universe doesn't raise or lower our priors. Moreover, it doesn't lead us to expect or not expect E given H1 or H2, so it doesn't affect the likelihood Pr(E|H). But then if this fact changes none of the variables, it has no impact on my Bayesian analysis. My analysis, thus, stands firm. And you've yet to cite the reason why Craig is making a hasty generalization.

EDIT: The Bayesian Analysis I'm referring to is here.

As soon as I see notation my brain stops working.  Still pragmatic may have answered your question.

Just as an aside.  I once got in to a long discussion with ontologalme about whether or not the fact that every human body ever (with the possible exception of Jesus') had not resurrected, was relevant background information on whether Jesus' body had resurrected.  (Looking back on it I guess intologicalme thought I was victim of a fallacy of hasty generalisation). 

He also used notation to "prove" that the fact that every other physical body ever had not resurrected did not, in any way, affect his Bayesian analysis assessing the probability that Jesus' body resurrected.

So I now have your demonstration that it is possible to infer from things within the time space continuum and apply it to the entirety of the time-space continuum.  And I also have ontologicalme's demonstration that I absolutely cannot use the evidence of what happened to every other human body ever when trying to figure out what happened to another human body.  Got to love Bayesian analysis!

Got to understand bayesian analysis!


For the record, I think bayesian analysis is just an informal tool, quite missleading for more subtle and precise purposes.

I would agree for the most part, but I wrote an article that used relevant background information (though my numbers were informal) to show that considering probablistic exponentiality, it is highly improbable that the disciples had mass hallucinations and by this concluded that Christ had risen. Is probability like this more sound than Bayes theorem? I'm new to probability and Bayesian inference, so I plan to learn as much as I can about it.

What would you think?

http://skepticscloset.blogspot.com/2015/07/was-origin-of-jesus-discples-beliefs.html

4
I've heard a couple. Forgive me for my ignorance.

1. Metaphysical intuition:

"Metaphysical experience tells us that something that begins to exist needs a cause."

2. Discriminatory universes:

"Why should only universes be able to begin to exist without a cause, why not root beer and Beethoven, or elementary particles?"

In my opinion, number 2 seems sound, but if anything, there may be weak reasons to believe this premise.

What evidence would you put forth as sound for premise 1 of the Kalam Cosmological Argument?

OP, Why not

3.) Induction: all things we observe to begin to exist always have a cause, therefore there is no reason to think things that begin to exist don't have causes.

If we are going to reject induction, then that means rejecting science (a methodology entirely based on induction) and thus we cannot use scientific claims to establish that the universe didn't have a beginning..

On the B theory of time also, we notice that things that exist in t=x always have causes that exist at t=x or before t=x.

What things have we observed that have begun to exist? Isn't this question begging?

It seems as if you are saying "everything we have seen that begins to exist has a cause, therefore it is reasonable to believe that everything that begins to exist has a cause" which I would agree with, but what things have we seen that have begun to exist? And what cause have we observed that will lead us to a generalization that all things that begin to exist have a cause?

5
Wether he raised Jesus from the dead or hallucinated the disciples into believing he did, the end goal of God is still the same.

Of course, but if Jesus had not actually rose from the dead, than God is a liar in claiming that a resurrection happened, automatically invalidating His position as the Christian God.

Moreover, there is no forgiveness of sins and no exaltation of Christ nor evidential propitiation of His victory over death.

6
But this answer begs the question in favor of Christianity, that's the thing. It seems there really is no reason to think that God would raise Jesus from the dead rather than do a different random miracle unless one resorts to special pleading.

This is what you wrote, "If God exists, why think that He specifically raised Jesus from the dead, rather than something else? Why couldn't He have given the disciples hallucinations or made everybody believe Jesus had a twin brother?"

Which lead me to believe we were talking about the Christian God. If we are talking about the Christian God then how is it question begging to say that this God would fulfill His promises found in the Old Testament, especially in light of how He is defined in the Bible as a whole?

Or are you now saying that you've been talking about a generic god who decided to focus its attention on a group of people who were worshipping something called Yahweh, that may not have existed, and this god decided to mess around with Jesus and his followers, inducing hallucinations that lead to Christian beliefs?

But then one has to presuppose that scripture is the word of God, and then the bible becomes the basis of our beliefs, rather than a contingent doctrine.

7
Quote
How is the witness of the Holy Spirit, if experienced, any different than the reality of the external world or the existence of moral experience with which we can say that objective moral values exist regardless of our world view?
Isn't there a difference in that if I experience a reality in the external world (ex., a tree) other people can see it, too? But my "witness of the Holy Spirit" may tell me Catholicism is the One, True Church while yours may say something different. And people have the same disagreements over objective moral values.

But you would be begging the question in favor of physical realism, because when you assume that others can see the tree that you can see, you also assume prima facie that the people are real, and it is entirely possible that they are just as fake as the tree they are telling you they observe with you.

Does that make sense?

8
Quote from: Bertuzzi
So it seems that you're saying, sure, (1) might be false, but the universe, as the "controlling factor", doesn't allow things to pop into being uncaused, so it is unsurprising why we don't see anything popping into being uncaused. The problem is, if (1) is false, there's no metaphysical system or truth in place that prevents the possibility of things popping into being uncaused out of nothing. You can't appeal to the laws of nature, since they are mere descriptions of regularities in behavior. They can't "prevent" anything. Moreover, the thing coming into being is literally uncaused, so prior to it's instantiation it obeys nothing. So I don't really see this as a live option.

What I'm saying is that, for whatever reason, the world may work like this: space-times can pop into existence out of nothing, but physical things within space-times cannot (ignoring quantum physics for the time being)
Actually, the Craig-Carroll debate has some interesting reflections on virtual particles and their probability within the quantum mechanic paradigm.

Carroll (and Craig) hold that the "virtual particles" observed popping in and out of existence only pop in and out of existence if the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is true. If a different, more unifying theory of quantum mechanics arises, or if one is a proponent of a different theory and thinks that it is more probable, then virtual particles are not a problem. Carroll had even remarked (at some point in the debate which I don't specifically remember) that "this is just something we teach to our undergrads", implying that Carroll himself isn't a Copenhagenian.

9
If naturalism is true then the probability of mass hallucination is tiny, but still more probable than a miracle by definition given that miracles are impossible under naturalism.  A possibility is always more probable than an impossibility, however tiny that possibility may be.
I think it has been firmly established by the medical profession that mass hallucinations simply do not happen p=0 with zero reported medical cases.  Mass hallucinations it is not in the medical diagnostic manuals and I can't imagine that your family doctor/shrink would take a report seriously.  It is well accepted that sense thought transmission and sense thought sharing isn't possible even with current technology and if it occurred it would be considered either paranormal or a miracle. 

To check this, I performed a bunch of searches for psychology/psychiatry mass hallucinations or reports and found nothing. 

Additionally, my understanding is that the peer reviewed academic experts in the history for the period dropped mass hallucination theories more than 20-30 years ago and it is no longer considered a viable theory.

I think you are trying to split a hair that won't split. There are no cases and the are is no speculation as to how such a things could occur. Can you provide a serious source supporting the medical possibility?

-Keith
Mass hallucination does seem unlikely, although it's debatable as to whether this implies they should be deemed less probable than miracles - I don't know how you would establish that.  Regardless, it's still more likely that the experiences were subjective, even if we can't identify specifically what it was.  Further, not everyone necessarily had the same experience.  The experiences could have included: sensing the presence of Jesus (as many Christians do during Church services), dreams (it was a common belief at the time that dreams were veridical experiences), a "sign" such as a dancing sun - an illusion that occurs from staring directly at the sun), a "charismatic" experience (such as Pentecostals have) - which I regard to be due to a state of mind. 

Also consider that the group of "500" (which shouldn't be taken too literally, so I'd read it as "a lot of people") would have to have been gathered together - by whom?  James and or Peter, probably.  It seems likely they would have been told to expect Jesus.  Imagine such a gathering of people who were told to expect to experience (see/hear/feel) Jesus' presence.  A proper setup ("if you really believe, you will 'see' him") would virtually guarantee that some would have some sort of experience, just as stage hypnotists get people to believe they have to do what they are told (and just as the receivers of Communion in Catholic and Anglican Churches feel Jesus' closeness).  And of course, it needn't be that everyone had an experience - that can simply be the assumption of the leaders who told about it.

I just wrote an article about this on my blog. It was a post I made that I made into an article. Keep in mind that I use psuedo-probability, I don't do anything formal like Bayes theorem or anything.

http://skepticscloset.blogspot.com/2015/07/was-origin-of-jesus-discples-beliefs.html

Let me know if you think these results are exaggerated, but I think this is a good probability of a mass hallucination.

10
To summarize the argument and follow the logic, the question goes basically "If God exists, why think that He specifically raised Jesus from the dead, rather than something else? Why couldn't He have given the disciples hallucinations or made everybody believe Jesus had a twin brother?" Basically, if we can invoke God for raising Jesus from the dead, then we can also invoke God to make all the super improbable naturalistic explanations probable, because God would orchestrate them.

Let's say this is true. God exists and He made the followers of Jesus hallucinate or whatever. This would mean naturalism and atheism are false and there exists a God who made a certain group of people hallucinate certain things, leading them to create and believe in Christianity. The only difference between this hypothetical and what happened is God didn't flex His muscle as much as He would have if He had actually raised Jesus from the dead. One would also have to wonder why God did things this way, especially in light of the promises He had made in the Old Testament. Regardless, I would chalk this up as a win for Christianity.

Moreover, there is a negative connotation attached to hallucinations because when people talk about them they're typically referring to a state of mind induced by hunger, drugs, a brain tumor, etc.; therefore, normally, they do not reflect what's going on in reality or a new revelation about reality--and if they do it is most likely coincidental.

But what if the hallucination is induced by the God of the universe? In that case the hallucination would most certainly mean something and it would be cause for self-reflection and even action.

Quote
Why think that God would be biased towards raising Jesus from the dead?

To fulfill what He had promised in the Old Testament.

But this answer begs the question in favor of Christianity, that's the thing. It seems there really is no reason to think that God would raise Jesus from the dead rather than do a different random miracle unless one resorts to special pleading.

11
Is she hot?

Her hotness is in exact proportion to the adorableness of the mice. Now what do you do now, hotshot? What - Do - You - Do?

Well if there are 200,000,000,000 mice that are equally as adorable as one hot girl, then doesn't choosing the 200,000,000,000 mice make you, on average, choose the choice that is 200,000,000,000 times more adorable?

I say let her burn :)
(take that last comment with a grain of salt, it was satire.)

12
So, me and emuse were talking, and I said that if we have independent evidence that it is more probable than not that God exists, then we are justified in invoking supernatural explanations in our attempt to figure out the best explanation of the facts of Jesus resurrection. But then emuse said (and I'm paraphrasing) "If God can be invoked to raise Jesus from the dead, why can't God be invoked to give the disciples hallucinations?" And I couldn't figure out a way to rebut it.

To summarize the argument and follow the logic, the question goes basically "If God exists, why think that He specifically raised Jesus from the dead, rather than something else? Why couldn't He have given the disciples hallucinations or made everybody believe Jesus had a twin brother?" Basically, if we can invoke God for raising Jesus from the dead, then we can also invoke God to make all the super improbable naturalistic explanations probable, because God would orchestrate them. Why think that God would be biased towards raising Jesus from the dead? If He can do all things, maybe He just made people believe Jesus had a twin or made the disciples have hallucinations, because God can do all things. It's 3:00 A.M. right now, and this might be worded horribly. My apologies.

It begs the question in favor of naturalism, that's why. From personal Divine revelation(The Bible) - God is changless from eternity in His essential nature, He also doesn't lie ; He has given prophecies about the resurrection of His Son - Jesus. So, follow the pattern: God is changeless from eternity> God doesn't lie, His words are truth> God gives prophecy that He'd raise His Son from the dead, on the third day.

So, for the question at hand - the resurrection - if we are to go with the background story and context, definitely, God raised Him in actuality and objective reality, and not merely in the Disciples' minds.


This is mainly rhetoric, without much force, but with the purpose to shed doubt upon the matter at hand. I don't think Emuse has really thought this through, as it doesn't even withstand Biblical scrutiny, to begin with.



If we are to go from a purely naturally theological position, without personal revelation, then anything can be a grand scheme of deception for all we know. But it's hardly an objection to anything, since there's an epistemological distance in basically, any matter we undergo. For all we know, scientists may be exploring a matrix universe, or a hologram of a universe. However, it barely serves as an objection to naturalism, or the scientific method. I don't know why it would do to God and the resurrection. In short words - a mere possibility doesn't do anything to undermine a well supported explanation, especially when that very possiblity in question itself isn't very well supported.

An argument which suggests that the resurrection could have been a divinely authorised deception obviously doesn't presuppose naturalism and isn't arguing in favour of it.  The purpose of the argument was to challenge that type of false dichotomy.

Hey again. Just to clarify, did I represent your objection well, or did I mess it up? It seems to me that this is what you were saying. Please let me know if it's a strawman, thanks!

13
Is she hot?

LOL. You just brightened up my day.

14
From the standpoint of a biblical inerrantist, is it possible to be faithful to the word of God and hold the position that those who haven't heard will go to heaven? I'm not worried about children, because the bible allows for that, but it's strangely silent on making exceptions for those who just simply never hear about Jesus and die. Surely if a child who cannot rationally accept Christ or an aborted baby can be let into heaven, then one who sins but never hears about Jesus would also be, correct? I always hear preachers say "Only people who reject Jesus will go to hell" but I'm never at ease with that, because I don't know where the bible stands on those who aren't saved.

It's been bugging me a lot. It's an emotional objection, sure, but it's still there.

Any Christian brothers and sisters who are biblical inerrantists want to share their view on those who haven't heard the gospel?

15
If you're wondering, this is stemming off of a question in the thread "There HAS to Be a Problem With the Resurrection Argument, What Is It?" That I started a couple days ago. This can be found here:

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/choose-your-own-topic/there-has-be-problem-with-resurrection-argument-what-is-it-6031529.0.html

So, me and emuse were talking, and I said that if we have independent evidence that it is more probable than not that God exists, then we are justified in invoking supernatural explanations in our attempt to figure out the best explanation of the facts of Jesus resurrection. But then emuse said (and I'm paraphrasing) "If God can be invoked to raise Jesus from the dead, why can't God be invoked to give the disciples hallucinations?" And I couldn't figure out a way to rebut it.

To summarize the argument and follow the logic, the question goes basically "If God exists, why think that He specifically raised Jesus from the dead, rather than something else? Why couldn't He have given the disciples hallucinations or made everybody believe Jesus had a twin brother?" Basically, if we can invoke God for raising Jesus from the dead, then we can also invoke God to make all the super improbable naturalistic explanations probable, because God would orchestrate them. Why think that God would be biased towards raising Jesus from the dead? If He can do all things, maybe He just made people believe Jesus had a twin or made the disciples have hallucinations, because God can do all things. It's 3:00 A.M. right now, and this might be worded horribly. My apologies.

I thought of two possible rebuttals, neither of which I find convincing, but here they are. They, specifically, are reasons one could postulate to advance the argument that it's more probable that God raised Jesus from the dead than that He sort of "compensated" for a normally improbable naturalistic explanation. Here they are:

1. Occam's Razor: I could say that God raising Jesus from the dead would involve less complexity and cause, and on top of that say that, on average, if there are more natural causes to events than supernatural, then it is more probable that 1 supernatural cause was invoked, favoring the resurrection.

2. Supernatural motive: If supernatural miracles are not something that happen everyday or are observed with evidence strong enough to believe them, then it is rational to think that miracles do not happen often or randomly. The supposed resurrection seems to me to be more probable as a miracle than mass hallucination because if the resurrection happened, then there was a supernatural end in mind with which the Creator intervened in His creation. If there was no supernatural end in mind and miracles are not common, then it seems to me the creator has no motive for performing the miracle, favoring the resurrection. What supernatural end would a random mass hallucination that deceived people and caused them to believe in a risen savior accomplish?

Thoughts? How would you respond to this argument? Why think God would raise Jesus from the dead, rather than orchestrating and helping along a less naturalistically probable explanation that didn't involve raising Him at all? If God can do all things, why assume He would be moved one and not the other?

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