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Everything posted by WalterP

  1. Thank you for this considered and thoughtful reply, Edgarcito. I take your point about the limitations of our capabilities and agree with it. Perhaps, whatever we say about the nature of reality, be it balanced or unbalanced, broken or unbroken, is likely to fall well short of being accurate - because of our limited capabilities. The reason I persisted in pressing on the issue wasn't so much about what the true nature of reality but about the way you sought to change the meaning of your words retroactively, upon being challenged. If someone points out a logic problem in your argument or a flaw in your reasoning, how are you going to gain any benefit from their input if you double down on the issue and **** around with the meaning of your words? Wouldn't it be better to take it on the chin, learn from the experience and do better next time? Edgarcito, I'm wouldn't ask you to do something that I haven't done myself, ok? That would be totally improper. So, here's an example of where I messed up, where someone put me right and where I thanked them for doing so. https://www.ex-christian.net/topic/85496-semmelweis-reflex/?tab=comments#comment-1240814 If you take a look, midniterider spotted where I made a blunder about 'proof' and called me out on it. When that happens I (metaphorically) sing and dance for joy. It gives me the chance to learn and grow and do better next time. It also gives me an opening to thank whoever helped me, thereby strengthening the bonds of camaraderie and trust within the forum. You say that ideas and thoughts keep popping into your head? Well, that's great! Keep doing that! Sadly, all too many people go through their lives NOT thinking about anything much beyond what's for dinner tonight. This puts you into the minority of those with imagination and creativity and the will to push themselves forward. But please don't get downhearted or angry if most of these thoughts and ideas don't pan out. This is where we (everyone here in Ex-C) can help each other out. Bob over there might be stunningly imaginative, but he might need Alice's cool-headed logic to help him work through his new idea and see if it really does hold water. If it doesn't, then try again and keep on trying. Thank you. Walter.
  2. David, If I were you I'd take what the RedneckProfessor has told you to do, very seriously. He's a scientist specialising in epidemiology. Think about it.
  3. As many times as demanded by the arrival of new evidence. You are making a strawman argument David, if you are suggesting that science deals in absolute truth. Science never, ever deals in that and never, ever claims to. Science is imply the best explanation of a given thing, according to the currently available evidence. No more and no less than that. It is religion that claims to have a lock on absolute truth. Do not impute to science that which religion claims for itself! This is false and you are wrong. Any scientist worth their salt will acknowledge that science is a dynamic, everchanging process. Sure, certain scientists claim that this or that is currently not possible. But science is a human endeavour and humans are inherently fallible. Yesterday's scientific principles are overturned by today's discoveries. So what? Not going to be drawn into any conspiracy theory talk by you. Does the number 176 have any significance for you, David? No? Well, that's the number of times you've CONFIDENTLY used science to make posts in this forum. You see? You rely upon it ALL THE TIME. You're a man living a double life. Hourly using, relying and depending upon the very thing you claim to have little or no confidence in and doing it 24/7, all year round. The true measure of what a person really trusts isn't what they say, it's how they live. Claim that you don't trust in and live by all the benefits science gives you and you'll be a... ...liar and a hypocrite. Walter.
  4. I'm sorry David but you are wrong here. Science does not speculate about prehistory. It infers what prehistory was like from the available evidence. These inferences are then tested by the making of predictions. If these predictions are confirmed then that is taken to be valid knowledge about prehistory. Here is a famous example. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_microwave_background https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_microwave_background#/media/File:Cmbr.svg The black body spectrum of the cosmic microwave background (blue line) was calculated from first principles, working on the assumption that the universe is many billions of years old. The series of red crosses following that line are the data from the COBE satellite. You will see that the calculated prediction and the observed data match exactly. From this exact match scientists infer that the very early universe was exactly as was predicted. Therefore, the universe itself is telling us from its most ancient light, that it is 13.7 billion years old. If the Bible says that the universe is any other age, then the Bible and science do not agree. One will negate the other. If this is ideology, then you share in it and use it every day, David. How do you think you are reading these words, if not by the application of the scientific principles used the world over, by billions of people. They both seem to have conflicting things to say, David. My question was not about ones freedom to choose, but about which was more trustworthy... and why. By the definition given in Hebrews 11 : 1 - 3, things not seen by human eyes must be accepted as true by faith. But when such things are challenged by the confirmed predictions of science, what should one do? That is what my question seeks to explore. I respect your choice to believe what you want David, but surely by depending upon science every hour of the day, you are actually demonstrating your trust in it? By depending upon it to live as you choose to do? Then how do you reconcile what science says about the age of the universe and what scripture says about the same thing? I never asked for your approval or anyone else's. Stop putting words in my mouth. And stop imputing to me motives and agendas that spring solely from your own mind. I do not seek or need you to inspire me. Once again you are assuming that you are superior to me and that you have some right to dictate how I should be inspired on your terms. We are equals in this forum, David. I don't tell you what should inspire or motivate you and you don't do the same to me, ok? But, if you really want to see something I've written about the relationship of science and the bible, then please go here. Thank you. Walter.
  5. Earlier somewhere on the forum I posted a 2009 conversation I had on the SAB forum with my favorite and most skilled atheist adversary Rambo. I posted as guest in this thread about Bible Chronology, dating and secular confirmation. Show me what you've posted, if you would please. If not, respond to my testing and measuring displayed in that thread. You people (collectively the regular posters here on this forum) keep presenting me as being tyrannical, myopic, uneducated and uninformed simply because I don't come to the same conclusion you have come to, apparently. I have only my own words to defend myself because I have seen nothing but criticism from you. No alternative. To me, your message seems to be directed at those who you perceive as entering recently into the paradigm you yourself appear, and I mean only appear, to be confident in. I'm not hearing your side of the story and that's why I'm here. I'm looking for exchange, not a doctorial rule on truth and trustworthiness. Do I appear to anyone here to be presenting myself in a manner which says: 'Trust me.' Am I all pleasantries and a wolf in sheep's clothing? My fangs are clearly exposed but my ears are standing straight up but you aren't my enemy. Religion, the opiate of the masses is. ------------------------------------------------------------- David, I put a relatively simple and straightforward question to you that was brief and succinctly stated. Asking me to visit a different forum and read through 47 posts doesn't seem to me to be any kind of answer to it. Instead of applying yourself to the task of composing an answer to my question you've transferred the workload over to me. It seems that rather than treating this dialogue as a meeting of equals where we do each other the common courtesy of answering each others questions, you appear to be trying to wrest control of it by making me do something you are quite capable of. In that spirit, I won't be showing you what I've posted and asking you to work your way through it. 'No alternative?' Who are you to dictate the terms and conditions under which our dialogue takes place? We are equals in this forum and neither you nor I have the right or the authority to dictate how the other should or shouldn't conduct themselves. David, you aren't hearing my side of the story because I'm not interested in yours and so, treating you as an equal, I won't be telling you anything much about me. You say that you're looking for exchange and not a doctorial rule on truth and trustworthiness. But my question is all about trustworthiness, so once again, you seem to be railroading the topic into what you want it to be be, avoiding what is actually being asked. If you aren't prepared to answer it, that's fine. I can live with that. Thank you. Walter.
  6. Or Buddhist, Confucianist, Hinduist, Scientologist, Shinto or Taoist. The more important question might be why should they strive to negate another's understanding instead of embrace the understanding? Are your questions designed to increase my understanding or promote your own above those you appear to defend? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- David, It seems that once again we are back at the level playing of things not seen by human eyes but believed by faith. There being no viable way to choose from a multitude of options. I cannot answer your question about any of the belief systems listed above. If anything, an answer would seem to spring from your declaration that each person is solely responsible for what they believe. That being so, to discover why each of these different types of believer strive to negate each other's understanding, you would have to question each one of them, individually, asking them why their beliefs require them to negate the understanding of others. As to your last question, you have phrased it as false dilemma. https://fallacyinlogic.com/false-dilemma-definition-and-examples/ You offer me two options, when there are more. Perhaps you should rephrase your question in a less fallacious way? Thank you. Walter.
  7. 8 hours ago, WalterP said: 1. Why should his faith-based understanding of prehistory be any more accurate than that of another Christian's faith-based understanding of the same period? It shouldn't. One should never attempt to silence one's own critics. To do so says perhaps more than one's own words. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Thank you for your honesty, David. So what we have here is a level playing field, populated by many, many people claiming to have a 'true and correct' faith-based understanding of the prehistoric period that their understanding of the bible is based upon. That being so, I wonder why I should accept your understanding over anyone else's? If you can offer me nothing more than self recommendation and your disparagement of the others, then, because all of the others can and have done the same things, I'm still faced with a multitude of equally plausible options. Any ideas how we can proceed? Thank you. Walter.
  8. When talking about the Bible the Bible is the only credible source there is... But what about interpreting the bible? What is the only credible way of doing that? ?
  9. Bumped for Edgarcito's attention and answer.
  10. Posted June 11 God created Michael first. Then Michael, as Jehovah's master worker, created everything through Jehovah's Holy Spirit or active force. The word Holy means sacred, or belonging to God. Spirit means an invisible active force, like wind, breath, mental inclination. Something that we can't see but that produces results that we can see. The first thing that was created was the spiritual heavens. This was followed by the spirit beings, often called angels. Then the physical heavens, or space as we know it, including Earth, the stars, sun and moon. Then everything on Earth eventually concluding with Adam and Eve. The angels existed for a very long time before man was created, and they had time to mature, like children, so that they knew what was good and bad from their creator. It is important that you understand that being created perfect is much like being born a baby. Parents see their newborn children as perfect, but think about it. They can't walk, talk, feed themselves, go to the bathroom properly - they are bald, toothless, chubby, defenseless little creatures. Perfect in the sense that they have great potential and innocence. By the time man was created the angels had already reached their potential. On the seventh day, when the creation was complete, God "rested." This doesn't mean that God was tired or that he stopped working, it means he set aside a period of time in which we were allowed to mature, as the angels had done. When we would have accomplished this we could, as the Bible says, enter into God's day of rest. In other words, the seventh "day" or more accurately, period, of creation continues to this day. So the knowledge of what is good and what is bad is the eventual possession of that maturity. The ability to decide for ourselves what was good and what was bad, predicated upon an acknowledgement of our own accord, of our creator, Jehovah's rightful sovereignty. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hebrews 11 : 1 - 3, King James Version 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. The above portion of Semmelweis Reflex's opening post comes under the scope of Hebrews 11 : 1 - 3. None of the events described above were seen by human eyes. Things not seen by human eyes are accepted as true and real by faith. There exists no physical evidence to corroborate or authenticate them. That is why faith is used by believers to understand how the worlds were framed (created) by god speaking them into existence. According to faith, the things which human eyes do see (the physical world around us) were formed by unseen things. Specifically, god. The upshot of applying Hebrews to Semmelweis Reflex's introduction is simply this. Everything he writes about, everything he claims happened and everything he explains rests upon the foundation of his faith. Not on facts. Not on physical evidence. Not on anything that can be verified, authenticated of confirmed from scientific investigation. Not on the basis of any oral history and not on the basis of any eyewitness accounts. No human saw the the events he believes in by faith. And since the physical world which we can see and touch and examine was, according to scripture, made from unseen things, there is no possibility of ever using what we can see, touch and examine to discover if Semmelweis Reflex's belief are true. This immediately flags up three questions. 1. Why should his faith-based understanding of prehistory be any more accurate than that of another Christian's faith-based understanding of the same period? 2. Why should his Christian faith-based understanding be any more accurate than that of the faith-based understanding of a Muslim, a Sikh or a Jew? 3. Which is more likely to be objectively true and trustworthy - a faith-based understanding of prehistory that cannot be tested or measured or a scientific understanding that relies upon testing and measurement? Thank you. Walter. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Re-bumped for David's attention.
  11. Then why did you make the accusation?
  12. As an atheist why would I be defending any religious teachings, as per your accusation?
  13. But that's not the entire story, is it David? If you were just interested in why people believe what they believe then you'd engage with them politely and courteously, treating them as equals. The fact that you disparage others, mock them and insult them means that there's more going here on than you say. If you just enjoyed religious discussion for its own sake then you'd confine yourself to just that, without the ad hominems. But there's another agenda behind your stated one, isn't there? I wonder what it could be? ?
  14. No DB, Walter would not be interested in doing that. That's because SR and I cannot agree the terms under which we would debate. Game over. Or rather, game not even begun. Thank you. Walter.
  15. I don't know what you mean by the term zealous pagan Christians, David. Could you explain please?
  16. Not when you interpret anything on the internet any way you want... and claim that everyone else does the same.
  17. Yes, you are overlooking something, vl24. Because you are citing examples from medical science you are therefore constrained to follow the rules that apply to all science. It's a common misunderstanding that science proves things. This is not so. Proofs in science are only employed in mathematics. Every other branch of the sciences, including the medical sciences, employs evidence. Not proof. In math something can be absolutely and finally proven. Once that is done, NOTHING can ever overturn or refute that proof. Whereas, in biology or geology or physics, or any of the empirical sciences theories and hypotheses are only ever supported by a body of evidence. New evidence can overturn or refute a theory. That's why scientific theories like phlogiston or cold fusion have been discarded. They have been refuted by new research and new evidence. Please read these find out more. https://theconversation.com/wheres-the-proof-in-science-there-is-none-30570 https://www.livescience.com/46254-proof-theorem-axiom.html https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200811/common-misconceptions-about-science-i-scientific-proof https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/11/22/scientific-proof-is-a-myth/?sh=5e6856b42fb1 https://thelogicofscience.com/2016/04/19/science-doesnt-prove-anything-and-thats-a-good-thing/ So, medical science is capable of providing evidence to support the benefits of prayer. But medicine can never prove this. Therefore, if medical science did provide evidence to support the benefits of prayer this would not be any kind of proof for Christianity. If it's not a proof in medicine, then it can't be a proof anywhere else. Thank you. Walter.
  18. No, this is quite wrong. In collective enterprises like language personal choice takes a back seat to collective agreement. There are rules of language that are collectively agreed with and adhered to for the sake of better communication. Personal points of view yield to collective agreement on the meaning of words and the internal logic of language. Even though you will probably dispute this Ed, you have been abiding by these rules in this forum for years now. Words have specific meanings. When in dialogue with others we do NOT assign these words with our own personal choices of what they mean without saying so. Instead, we abide by the meanings and rules of how these meanings are to be applied. This should be so obvious that I won't even bother citing examples to make my case. Moving on to the specifics. Something that is broken is not unbroken. Something that is unbroken is not broken. These are two mutually exclusive conditions that do not yield to personal choice. The same rule applies with balanced and unbalanced. Ditto with married and unmarried. Since you seem interested in the concepts of absolutes Ed, the meaning these words are absolute. Sure, they can be understood in non-absolute ways, like metaphorically or symbolically. But if you are going to do that then you need to make it abundantly clear that you are doing so. Trying to sneak a non-absolute meaning in under the radar is disingenuous. Doing that is trying to justify your case retrospectively. If you want to change these meanings and the rules under which these words operate in language then that's fine. But you need to declare that you are doing this. Pretending that this change is a normal and accepted part of communication is not ok. You need to say that you are doing it. You are in communication with me and with other people in this thread, Edgarcito. So, are you going to continue putting your own personal and subjective choices about words and meanings first or will you do as the rest of us do and abide by the rules of language for the sake of better communication? Thank you. Walter.
  19. Matthew 12 : 25 & 26. 25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? Anything divided against itself cannot stand. Your argument is divided against itself by its self-contradiction. Therefore, your argument cannot stand. Edgarcito, Up until I logged on and read your reply I'd been thinking about offering you some help. To help you be more consistent in what you write. Now I've changed my mind. Thank you. Walter.
  20. Then your perspective contradicts what you wrote earlier in this thread. Good question. I'm thinking at this point, after my "debate" with Josh regarding spirituality, that there might be an innate something in us that recognizes the balance that is existence, i.e. a part of the natural world.....and that we also want to do that, the justice that is balance, in our consciousness as part of that creation/existence. In other words, some people see the balance in physics, chemistry, and the universe......and I'm thinking this balance is similar in our consciousness. By justice, I mean we either like or dislike, agree or disagree, associate or disassociate, given our needs. BUT, the need for balance still remains in us. Seeing empathy for the homeless but anger for them not working might be an example. New thoughts to me actually....but I think marginally cool. Do you see how your personal perspective contradicts this, Edgarcito? According to you today there is no balance in existence - existence is unbalanced. According to you today the natural world is not balanced - it is broken.
  21. It's not up to me to do that because in you introduced the concept. I'm just pointing out where you are contradicting yourself. And btw, the call is still yours. So, which is it? Do we live in your balanced and unbroken universe or your broken and unbalanced one? You introduced both of these options Ed and they contradict each other. Which side are you going to come down on?
  22. I'm not the one who introduced the concept of a balanced and unbroken universe into this thread. You did that. I'm simply pointing out that you've persistently argued that the universe is unbalanced and broken due to sin. So, you've introduced both concepts. I didn't introduce either. I'm only pointing out that you seem to holding to two mutually exclusive concepts. Put simply, you're contradicting yourself.
  23. Then you expect wrong. Science is an agnostic way of investigating the only the natural universe, using only natural explanations to do so. Anything religious/supernatural/spiritual is automatically excluded.
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