Brent and Rex:
after many many discussions I suffered along - reading utter stupidity, this
one is a refreshingly reasonable one.
Most assign to so called atheists arguments of 'almost believeing'
superstitionists. I don't call myself 'atheist',
with the name requiring a 'god' to not-believeing in. Also not a
physicalist, who requires 'physical' reasons to start
the universe (whatever). Nor any 'supernatural' since I find it 'natural' no
matter how esoteric an idea of the
beginnings may be (it belongs to nature, ha ha).

The question: *"**Who said God is omnibeneficient?" * is a precondition of
religious neoief, except for the Satanaites.
Beneficient as much, that the warring opponents, believeing in the 'same'
god expect it to desstroty the 'other one'
i.e. both do so. Of course it depends waht behavior would a certain culture
call 'beneficient'.
Upon the 'supernatural' argument SPK gave a good answer, unless we are
willing to call comp supernatural<G>.

*"...*but* the vast majority of people are already religiously inclined...."
*
*ALREADY?* rather *still,* since it is the mental evolutionary beginning
based on fear or on exalted and/or/ exploitive
arguments. Or we may call it a 'hereditary' gullibility of hearsay stories.
Let's forget about a popularity contest among
ignorant, gullible, or a plain mindless intimidated hearsay-ridden crowd.
Then comes enlarging our cognitive inventory:
Explaining the (still) mysterious, what is also covered by 'miraculous'.
Once we have learned the 'inner'(?) actions
(originative mechanism) it's not mysterious/miraculous anymore. Till then I
claim ignorance and call my own ignorance
an agnostic stance. Sounds more scientific.

Then again in 'physicalistic view': *infinite universe*? who identified
physically the* 'infinite'* (beyond the joke of a circle)?


















On 9/4/10, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
>
> On 9/4/2010 12:45 AM, Rex Allen wrote:
>
> On Sat, Sep 4, 2010 at 2:58 AM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> 
> <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
>
>
> You've made up some just-so stories about how some other quasi-physical
> explanation *might* be adopted.
>
>
> In what way are my proposed explanations "quasi-physical" instead of
> just physical?
>
>
>
> Brain-in-vat and the-universe-as-a-computer-simulation are not really
> physical theories since they assume that everything we consider physical
> just exists at the whim of some mad scientist.
>
>    You haven't show that they *would* be
> preferred to supernatural ones.
>
>
> I don't need to show that they would be preferred.  I just need to
> show that physicalism is still a live option, and thus not
> falsifiable.
>
> And honestly I find my proposed explanations more plausible than
> supernatural ones.  While God would explain the Sikhs prayer thing,
> that also runs into the problem of evil.
>
>
>
> Who said God is omnibeneficient?
>
> The simulation argument alone is enough to see off any God-based
> competition.
>
>
> No, it's just a another conception of God - the world is still created and
> formed by a supernatural agent.
>
> Anyone who already leans in that direction would
> probably take this option over God in the event of an outbreak of
> miracles.
>
> Initially I'm sure the vast majority of people would be convinced of a
> supernatural explanation for OBEs or healing prayer...*but* the vast
> majority of people are already religiously inclined.  So I'm not sure
> that a popularity contest counts.
>
> I'd bet that the majority of atheists would choose one of my
> proposals, or maybe come up with an even better physicalist
> alternative.
>
>
>
>
> You can always speculate that any
> regularity we note is just a false positive  that in inevitable in an
> infinite universe - but that will convince no one.
>
>
> "No one" is way too strong.  It would convince some.
>
> Also you could conclude that we'd wondered into a low-probability
> branch of the universal wave function a-la the many worlds
> interpretation.
>
> I think all "many worlders" would take this interpretation of events
> if there were an outbreak of miracles.  Do you disagree?
>
> And the many world interpretation isn't that different than the
> infinite universe option.
>
>
>
> That's one of the criticisms of many-worlds.  If the theory can't derive
> the Born rules then it's not falsifiable, even in a probabilistic sense.
>
> I think this argument though is ill defined.  "Physicalism" or "naturalism"
> isn't a particular theory anymore that "supernaturalism" or "everythingism"
> or "Platonism" is.  It's kind of metaphysics which says some things exist
> and some don't, and things that exist are ones we can in some sense interact
> with (If you kick it, it kicks back. is the slogan).  But generally
> metatheories aren't testable in the same sense that theories are.  If you
> want to test whether God exists, you first need to make your definition of
> "God" sufficiently precise to make some inferences about what would or
> wouldn't be the case if God did or didn't exist.
>
> Brent
>
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