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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2020, 04:01:17 pm »
I think the capacity of religion to enable the belief of such things as this is not a point in its favour.

Why would God care what a mere human would think?

Quote from: Kurros
Besides, even though mountains move very slowly, it is nonetheless perfectly measurable. They move on the order of millimeters per year. So we can test this hypothesis if you can supply a sufficiently devout individual.

It's similar to quantum which-way information. It's not going to be available to know in advance without effecting the outcome. Besides, a mountain might move in the opposite direction for 100 years and then suddenly shift directions long after the experiment "proved" that faith didn't play a causal role in the geological direction of the mountain.

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2020, 04:08:53 pm »
Suppose that a son prays for his father's health and his father gets better. If prayer cannot change God's will, then it means God at the beginning of time has decided to kill the father unless his son has prayed hard enough for him. Would you like to live thinking that some of the bad things that happen to people you love might be because you have not asked God sincerely enough? I would not.

You should construct that argument into a formal argument. I think you might see the conclusion doesn't follow from your premises (assuming the premises are true).

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Spero

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2020, 04:14:48 pm »
I lost my best friend to a car wreck about a year and a half ago. We did just about everything together which included going to church. About two weeks after he died, I was driving down the street our church is on. I was stopped at a red light about a couple of blocks down from the church. I was in a pretty deep depression those two weeks and feeling particularly bad that day. While stopped at the light, I prayed in all sincerity for God to give me a sign that my friend was alive with Him and that I would see him again one day. His favorite hymn was “Be Thou My Vision,”  and I had the song in my head for almost the whole day. Just as I’m approaching the church, the bells started ringing out that hymn, which I never heard them do before. I pulled over, sobbed in happiness while listening to the whole thing, and then went on my way. From that moment on, the depression was gone. No doubt, you’ll think all this merely coincidental...but if it wasn’t: Did God ordain from all eternity that I be there at that exact time and place, asking Him what I asked in faith and sincerity just before the bells played the hymn, in accordance with His will from the beginning of time; or did God simply answer my prayer on the spot, miraculously ringing the bells Himself?  I believe it to be the former. This is how I believe prayer works, and it’s purpose is to draw us closer to Him...which it did. From my biblical perspective, this is the correct way to attempt to understand it.

As Harvey said, “..Part of God's causal sequence..”

But this is even worse...

Suppose that a son prays for his father's health and his father gets better. If prayer cannot change God's will, then it means God at the beginning of time has decided to kill the father unless his son has prayed hard enough for him. Would you like to live thinking that some of the bad things that happen to people you love might be because you have not asked God sincerely enough? I would not.

Jabber, a lot of times the answer is just a “No” from the very beginning for reasons I don’t understand - and may never understand - regardless of whether I pray in sincere faith or not. But whether it’s a “yes” or “no,” praying to Him still draws me closer to Him. Relationships often boil down to trust. Because of what I believe took place in the NT, I trust that He loves me, and so I accept and commit to Him. So, whatever takes place in my life, up to and including the kind of death faced by the early Christians, if I trust that it’s His plan for me, I trust it’s for a good reason even though I may never know the specifics...and this gives me a kind of constant under-the-surface peace, even when I’m going through really difficult times, that’s hard to put into words.
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

- Proverbs 16:18

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2020, 04:17:05 pm »
I lost my...

So many sad stories today on reasonablefaith forum. I am just sincerely heartbroken to hear the good and bad of your story. What a great miracle that God provided to you.

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kurros

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2020, 04:29:26 pm »
I think the capacity of religion to enable the belief of such things as this is not a point in its favour.

Why would God care what a mere human would think?

Err I don't understand how that makes sense as a response to what I said.

Quote
Quote from: Kurros
Besides, even though mountains move very slowly, it is nonetheless perfectly measurable. They move on the order of millimeters per year. So we can test this hypothesis if you can supply a sufficiently devout individual.

It's similar to quantum which-way information. It's not going to be available to know in advance without effecting the outcome. Besides, a mountain might move in the opposite direction for 100 years and then suddenly shift directions long after the experiment "proved" that faith didn't play a causal role in the geological direction of the mountain.

Ok so it is completely unfalsifiable then. Got it.

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Spero

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2020, 05:05:07 pm »
I lost my...

So many sad stories today on reasonablefaith forum. I am just sincerely heartbroken to hear the good and bad of your story. What a great miracle that God provided to you.
Thanks Harvey!
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

- Proverbs 16:18

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2020, 07:07:47 pm »
Ok so it is completely unfalsifiable then. Got it.

No, because unfalsifiable implies that faith is a science which it isn't. By those standards the "scientific method" is itself unfalsifiable since the philosophy of science is itself not a science.

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kurros

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2020, 07:21:05 pm »
Ok so it is completely unfalsifiable then. Got it.

No, because unfalsifiable implies that faith is a science which it isn't. By those standards the "scientific method" is itself unfalsifiable since the philosophy of science is itself not a science.

Of course the scientific method is not falsifiable. It isn't a hypothesis, it is a method. But you are talking about something that sounds to me to be very much a hypothesis, about causal influences in the world. So the concept of unfalsifiability very much applies. You could say that you will believe in it regardless due to faith, but that doesn't change the unfalsifiable nature of your hypothesis.

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2020, 09:54:37 pm »
Of course the scientific method is not falsifiable. It isn't a hypothesis, it is a method.

Yes, it's a method but it is also a claim that it produces true results based on our intuitive insights that that method works in terms of producing truths (although instrumentalists and other scientific anti-realists deny that). Similarly, people who live by faith have their own intuitive insights that faith works in that regard as well. We could say the same about scientism which many atheists whole-heartedly believe even though it's not a scientific hypothesis (but it does relate to scientific evidence as does the "scientific method").

The reason faith can't be tested by science is that if it could be proven that mountains move in the direction of a faith-based belief then it would stop being faith and just a proven outcome associated with certain thoughts. But faith is the belief in things not proven with sufficient evidence.

Quote from: kurros
You could say that you will believe in it regardless due to faith, but that doesn't change the unfalsifiable nature of your hypothesis.

Just from a natural selection perspective this is false. Faith exists because natural selection favored religious belief, or at least the neural circuits that underlie faith. If faith were useless or detrimental, then natural selection would have perhaps not selected the genes that make the neural correlates of faith possible.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 10:13:45 pm by Harvey »

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kurros

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2020, 10:50:07 pm »
Of course the scientific method is not falsifiable. It isn't a hypothesis, it is a method.

Yes, it's a method but it is also a claim that it produces true results based on our intuitive insights that that method works in terms of producing truths (although instrumentalists and other scientific anti-realists deny that). Similarly, people who live by faith have their own intuitive insights that faith works in that regard as well. We could say the same about scientism which many atheists whole-heartedly believe even though it's not a scientific hypothesis (but it does relate to scientific evidence as does the "scientific method").

The reason faith can't be tested by science is that if it could be proven that mountains move in the direction of a faith-based belief then it would stop being faith and just a proven outcome associated with certain thoughts. But faith is the belief in things not proven with sufficient evidence.

Quote from: kurros
You could say that you will believe in it regardless due to faith, but that doesn't change the unfalsifiable nature of your hypothesis.

Just from a natural selection perspective this is false. Faith exists because natural selection favored religious belief, or at least the neural circuits that underlie faith. If faith were useless or detrimental, then natural selection would have perhaps not selected the genes that make the neural correlates of faith possible.

I'm not talking about faith in general, just your claim that faith can literally move mountains. On the face of it this is a relatively simple claim that can be tested (even when restricted to geological speeds) and yet, almost as if you know perfectly well that it would not stand up to such tests, you have now hedged it so much that it both predicts nothing and is completely untestable. I only wonder what value there is in even bothering to consider a hypothesis like this.

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2020, 11:26:44 pm »
I'm not talking about faith in general, just your claim that faith can literally move mountains. On the face of it this is a relatively simple claim that can be tested (even when restricted to geological speeds) and yet, almost as if you know perfectly well that it would not stand up to such tests, you have now hedged it so much that it both predicts nothing and is completely untestable. I only wonder what value there is in even bothering to consider a hypothesis like this.

Why can't you test the "scientific method" or test scientism? The reason is that these concepts cannot be falsified with competing views of truth without presupposing the view you are trying to show is correct. In other words, they are not observable in principle. Similarly we can't falsify a mountain will move into that location or become flattened because there is no way to observe the distant future. As an example, the Appalachians were once almost as high as the Himalayas when pre-African/European continent hit the pre-North American/South American continent then flattened out around the Mesozoic and then formed into mountains again when again hit by the pre-African contintent. Faith moving mountains might refer to someone living 320 million years ago (maybe an alien) who says for that mountain to be cast into the ocean which might happen after the second round of mountain building is completed. There is no way to measure the movement of a particular mountain 320 million years ago and determine it will someday become part of an ocean using those measurements. There are unpredictable events (e.g., meteor collisions, future volcanic hot spots, human terraforming) that scientific evidence cannot determine. But, a person of faith can know that God may answer their prayer as Spero's example shows (which you should believe and it is salvifically wreckless on your part not to do so).

In any case, we seem to agree that Jesus was right that mountains can move. That's pretty amazing given how slow they move and how much time we're talking about. That's something the Christian skeptic cannot account for.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 11:31:08 pm by Harvey »

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kurros

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2020, 12:51:13 am »
I'm not talking about faith in general, just your claim that faith can literally move mountains. On the face of it this is a relatively simple claim that can be tested (even when restricted to geological speeds) and yet, almost as if you know perfectly well that it would not stand up to such tests, you have now hedged it so much that it both predicts nothing and is completely untestable. I only wonder what value there is in even bothering to consider a hypothesis like this.

Why can't you test the "scientific method" or test scientism? The reason is that these concepts cannot be falsified with competing views of truth without presupposing the view you are trying to show is correct. In other words, they are not observable in principle. Similarly we can't falsify a mountain will move into that location or become flattened because there is no way to observe the distant future. As an example, the Appalachians were once almost as high as the Himalayas when pre-African/European continent hit the pre-North American/South American continent then flattened out around the Mesozoic and then formed into mountains again when again hit by the pre-African contintent. Faith moving mountains might refer to someone living 320 million years ago (maybe an alien) who says for that mountain to be cast into the ocean which might happen after the second round of mountain building is completed. There is no way to measure the movement of a particular mountain 320 million years ago and determine it will someday become part of an ocean using those measurements. There are unpredictable events (e.g., meteor collisions, future volcanic hot spots, human terraforming) that scientific evidence cannot determine. But, a person of faith can know that God may answer their prayer as Spero's example shows (which you should believe and it is salvifically wreckless on your part not to do so).

In any case, we seem to agree that Jesus was right that mountains can move. That's pretty amazing given how slow they move and how much time we're talking about. That's something the Christian skeptic cannot account for.

I'll address the rest later, but as for the last bit, I think it is easily accounted for. Jesus had no idea that mountains indeed do move, and he picked an example of something that everyone believed was not possible to make a rhetorical point. I think your argument only undermines what he was trying to say.

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Jabberwock

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2020, 03:37:07 am »
Jabber, a lot of times the answer is just a “No” from the very beginning for reasons I don’t understand - and may never understand - regardless of whether I pray in sincere faith or not. But whether it’s a “yes” or “no,” praying to Him still draws me closer to Him. Relationships often boil down to trust. Because of what I believe took place in the NT, I trust that He loves me, and so I accept and commit to Him. So, whatever takes place in my life, up to and including the kind of death faced by the early Christians, if I trust that it’s His plan for me, I trust it’s for a good reason even though I may never know the specifics...and this gives me a kind of constant under-the-surface peace, even when I’m going through really difficult times, that’s hard to put into words.

I am talking about the causal relationship of the prayer. Either the healing depends on the prayer - but then the life of the healed depends on whether you pray or not - or it does not, but then the prayer is causally irrelevant.
First learn to spell "ironic discussion"...

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2020, 05:28:17 am »
I think it is easily accounted for. Jesus had no idea that mountains indeed do move, and he picked an example of something that everyone believed was not possible to make a rhetorical point. I think your argument only undermines what he was trying to say.

How so? If people at the time (and I mean everyone) believed mountains are eternally fixed in place, but Jesus argued 'not so mountains can not only move but they can become part of the sea" which would have sounded completely absurd to those peoole at the time, then how is this not evidence for a,Christian God? I could argue how a beginning was seen as perhaps absurd to Aristotle (but in any case not believed by him) which the Christian view held to be a revelation from God. At what point can we acknowledge that the Christian view shaped a different way to conceive of nature? It wouldn't surprise me if Jesus' statement about mountains moving had an impact on how natural philosophers began to see and understand the natural world. But, that's conjecture on my part.

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2020, 05:31:37 am »
I am talking about the causal relationship of the prayer. Either the healing depends on the prayer - but then the life of the healed depends on whether you pray or not - or it does not, but then the prayer is causally irrelevant.

Like I said, provide the formal argument. I don't think either Spero or myself come to that same conclusion.