# We cannot choose what we believe

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yes. can know what you mean

was chatting to Arkady about the rule of beliefs. Arkady wanted scientific evidence of God at the start. was just trying to show that this an inappropriate request. Arkady finally ended saying that if not believe then this allows us to change an axiom into an assertion

we cant do this bc it breaks the rules of science and ends up with no meaningful outcome

i put the next here. just so can complete what i was trying to say abou this part

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what we believe has no place in science. i use a computer science method to try and show the difference between axiom and assertion. how to apply axiom and assertion to produce an observable result (a proof)

`axiom GOD = 0;axiom FINITY = 1000000; CheckForIntelligentDesigner(wut){   return assert(wut <= GOD);}MakeUniverse(wah){   if(CheckForIntelligentDesigner(wah))     MakeUniverseByDesign();   else     MakeUniverseRandomly();}main(){   probability = Random(FINITY);   MakeTheUniverse(probability);   LiveInTheUniverse();}`

can test for various axiomatic inputs

examples: (what happens if)

axiom GOD = 0; axiom FINITY = 1;

axiom GOD = 50; axiom FINITY = 100;

and on and on. we dont have to believe in the axioms to do the assignations. we just do it and see what happens

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when we believe or not, then end up with programs like this:

`// i believemain(){     MakeUniverseByDesign();     LiveInTheUniverse();}// i dont believemain(){     MakeUniverseRandomly();     LiveInTheUniverse();}`

from science pov (both hard and soft) they referred to as uninteresting. meaning they dont serve any useful purpose in discovering things

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

16 wrote:

edit: can try the easy one first:

assertion: there is no God

There's no way we can have an intelligent discussion on that topic without determining what sort if God there may be or not be. The word "God" can be applied to everything from old-guy-on-a-cloud who created the Universe as a sort of craft project to something like the Hindu Brahman, which is a sort of creative force so huge and incomprehensible that according to some schools it can't even be THOUGH about by our little minds - as soon as you think you're thinking about Brahman, you're actually thinking about a sort of fake or decaffeinated shadow of Brahman because we can't handle the whole thing.

It's like talking about a "door" - that sounds like an easy concept at first, but what's the nature of a door? Is the big thing on your garage a door? Very different than the one you first thought of, probably. How about a cat door? Or Ray Manzarek?

Any religion can be shot down if take the teachings literally. Metaphorically? Harder to take down. And if you look at a lot of religions when you get past a literal interpretation of the words a lot of them seem to be reaching toward something that sounds pretty similar.

when i think about God i used to start with questions like :is there a God. what is God? stuff like that. is no satisfactory answers for them. not to me personally

when i think about God now then i start with: what is our/my purpose for God? how does this affect or influence us/me?

i dont know what is the answers to these either really. it just makes it easier for me to think about it

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16 wrote:

Theresa Tennyson wrote:

16 wrote:

edit: can try the easy one first:

assertion: there is no God

There's no way we can have an intelligent discussion on that topic without determining what sort if God there may be or not be. The word "God" can be applied to everything from old-guy-on-a-cloud who created the Universe as a sort of craft project to something like the Hindu Brahman, which is a sort of creative force so huge and incomprehensible that according to some schools it can't even be THOUGH about by our little minds - as soon as you think you're thinking about Brahman, you're actually thinking about a sort of fake or decaffeinated shadow of Brahman because we can't handle the whole thing.

It's like talking about a "door" - that sounds like an easy concept at first, but what's the nature of a door? Is the big thing on your garage a door? Very different than the one you first thought of, probably. How about a cat door? Or Ray Manzarek?

Any religion can be shot down if take the teachings literally. Metaphorically? Harder to take down. And if you look at a lot of religions when you get past a literal interpretation of the words a lot of them seem to be reaching toward something that sounds pretty similar.

when i think about God i used to start with questions like :is there a God. what is God? stuff like that. is no satisfactory answers for them. not to me personally

when i think about God now then i start with: what is our/my purpose for God? how does this affect or influence us/me?

i dont know what is the answers to these either really. it just makes it easier for me to think about it

And...

http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/49/2/Religion.htm

And finally...

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thanks (:

i already read a bit about what this man is saying. i will watch the vids and see if i can understand more about how he construct his arguments

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for me i am way more interested in the how right now. i think if i can better understand how is put together then can make more sense of whatever is the answers/outcomes

is like when i see stuff like: assert(TRUE) or assert(FALSE) and thats all. whats the use of that !!! i wants to scream sometimes. like wut wut wut wut wut wut wut wut !!! how is that helpful to me

might as well just say assert(TRUE | FALSE) for all the use they are

(:

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16 wrote:

assertion: there is no God

Assertion: there is a god.

Assertion: there are many gods.

Assertion, we live on a flat disc disc on the back of four elephants, who are in turn on the back of a giant turtle.

Assertion: the tooth fairy exists.

...

Anyone can play that game, it is meaningless.

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Assertion: The existence of God can not be proven or disproven.

Many have tried.  But I think the more important question is Why does God need a space ship?

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16 wrote:

assertion: there is no God

Assertion: there is a god.

Assertion: there are many gods.

Assertion, we live on a flat disc disc on the back of four elephants, who are in turn on the back of a giant turtle.

Assertion: the tooth fairy exists.

...

Anyone can play that game, it is meaningless.

good

they are not assertions are they as they say: assert(TRUE). when something is always TRUE then its an axiom

axiom: there is a God

axiom: there are many Gods

axiom: there is a tooth fairy

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the turtles is an assertion tho: it can be proofed. can fly up and view the planet. no turtles

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back to the original:

assertion: there is no God

assert(there is no God)

what does it resolve to?

result = assert(NEGATION);

result = TRUE

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edit more: to complete

there is an association in the assertion that can be proofed

result = assert((world == flat) && (turtle))

result = FALSE

why? bc the world is not flat

there maybe a flat world somewhere somehow. but not the one we living on

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bejjinks wrote:

Are you making up evidence to support what you want to believe? Are you dogmatically holding on to what you believe and refuse to look at evidence that suggests you might be wrong?

I have examined the evidence for myself. I have taken the responsibility and in wisdom acknowledged that I don't have all the answers.

So you could be wrong?

Are you making up evidence to support what you believe?

I especially love the part where you say you don't have all the answers.

Intermission

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. it is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous. (So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new bamboozles rise.) [Carl Sagan, The Fine Art of Baloney Detection]

In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. [Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP keynote address]

Without using coercion, perhaps you'd be so kind as to bestow upon us simpletons this amazing evidence you have for us to examine, since as you say, having examined the same evidence you have we would come to the same beliefs as you have.

The entire flaw in your position is that troublesome issue of "Belief"

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Jenny Siddeley wrote:

It looks like there is a misunderstanding about what "choose what we believe" means.

I'm agnostic, and I would love to believe in God, but I just can't, the idea of the existence of God doesn't make sense to me.

If I could choose, I would believe in God, believing in an afterlife and knowing we go somewhere after we die is much more attractive to me, but like I said, I can't believe in it.

My logic makes me unable to believe in what I want to believe in, and I think that's what the OP meant, we cannot choose what we believe in, just like we don't choose what our favourite color is, or what food or music we prefer, etc.

In the case of religion, it can only change through self-convincing ourselves by reading others opinions and arguments, and not just because we want it.

I think it's just the way we are and the way our brains acknowlege and understand the different informations or 'evidences' coming from all sides. We don't choose our tastes and appreciations of things deep inside of ourselves.

Now, if what you believe in is exactly what you want to believe in, of course you will have the illusion that you chose what you believe in, but I don't think it's that simple.

While I don't share the OP's beliefs, I think this is what he meant. Or maybe I'm just an unlucky person with the inability to choose...

Jenny, being unable to choose a particular belief does not mean you can't chose others. I don't know that I'd like to believe in God and an afterlife, particularly if everybody there knows all about me when I arrive ;-)

I do wish I could have the purported health benefits that accrue to people of faith, as hinted at in scientific studies. And maybe I can, by joining social groups that might fullfill whatever needs I don't recognize in myself.

And right there is a fairly recent belief I've come to have, that my mental/physical health may be more dependent on my interactions with others than I'd long thought.

So, while you and I may not be able to choose to believe in God and the hearafter, there's a lot of other cool stuff we can choose to believe in... or not.

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I'm sorry, but I can't find any proof or sense in anything you say, it's just made-up mumbo-jumbo in an attempt to bamboozle others into thinking you know what you're talking about.

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Guys, give up...

There is no point in debating anything with a relgion freak as they are always right and we are always wrong, no matter...

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Alicia Sautereau wrote:

Guys, give up...

There is no point in debating anything with a relgion freak as they are always right and we are always wrong, no matter...

oh there is only right and wrong in each persons mind..

there are no minds being changed here..it's all about the show bebee..

we get to strut just as they do..

if someone came here trying to change someones mind..they are gonna leave disapointed..

i'm just here to let my beliefs be heard...

i'm natures child born to be wild..free as a bird and  my voice will be heard..

don't waste the taste..

refill your cup while i turn it up *winks*

\o/*passes the lightning to the left,,

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Alicia Sautereau wrote:

Guys, give up...

There is no point in debating anything with a relgion freak as they are always right and we are always wrong, no matter...

When I look at what people are saying here, it's the athiests who are coming across as the most "fundamentalist."

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Oh, anything from that, there can be a god, there can be several, they can be aliens or the creator her self

The thing is, when some one says:

bejjinks wrote:

But I will only stand against coercion
because I believe that if people would honestly look at the evidence without dogma, without bias, without coercion, than people would come to the same beliefs I have
."

That`s just asking asking for it, it has nothing to do with other believes but to mock with them as by her words, those believes do not exist
So here i am, helping to set some "facts" right...

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

Alicia Sautereau wrote:

Guys, give up...

There is no point in debating anything with a relgion freak as they are always right and we are always wrong, no matter...

When I look at what people are saying here, it's the athiests who are coming across as the most "fundamentalist."

i haven't seen anyone trying to inhibit the op from their beliefs..

just defending theirs from the OP that felt their beliefs are the only true beliefs..

when people push other peoples freedoms around there is bound to be some defense going on..

if people want to practice freedom of religion hey that's great..but they best learn to not kick other peoples beliefs around when they do or they will get feedback..it becomes and abuse of a freedom and people get touchy about their freedoms..

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If a man says something and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?

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Yes, because he can hear her in his mind...

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Should we treat people who believe in God as people who are mentally disabled? If you see an adult who still truly believes in Santa Claus you would immediately discount them as having some kind of mental ilness and certainly functioning as a truly lesser person. All kidding aside, to all the atheists here, why must we continue this charade that somehow these 'believers' possess something that we should we even discuss with them. How long must we talk with these child-minds? If I were to see a normal person constantly arguing the existence of Santa Claus with a crazy person, how long til you think that the normal person has a problem as well? That is us, the sane person, constantly holding a conversation with the ill. It's time to just stop. Treat them as they truly are. Show them compassion for their folly but do not let them eat at the adult table.

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Bree Giffen wrote:

Should we treat people who believe in God as people who are mentally disabled? If you see an adult who still truly believes in Santa Claus you would immediately discount them as having some kind of mental ilness and certainly functioning as a truly lesser person. All kidding aside, to all the atheists here, why must we continue this charade that somehow these 'believers' possess something that we should we even discuss with them. How long must we talk with these child-minds? If I were to see a normal person constantly arguing the existence of Santa Claus with a crazy person, how long til you think that the normal person has a problem as well? That is us, the sane person, constantly holding a conversation with the ill. It's time to just stop. Treat them as they truly are. Show them compassion for their folly but do not let them eat at the adult table.

I completely disagree with your comment. Couldn't disagree more. Spiritual beliefs are based on faith and feelings. The fact that there is no scientific way to prove or disprove those beliefs is not relevant.

I don't believe God exists. That's what I BELIEVE. I don't have any scientific evidence to back that up. There is none, nor is there any to suggest the opposite. For you to call people who have beliefs that oppose yours 'children' is incredbly insulting, and says very unflattering things about you.

Edited to replace the word 'contemptible' (which was admittedly over the top) with a longer explanation.

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Alicia Sautereau wrote:

Yes, because he can hear her in his mind...

jejejejejejee (:

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Dillon, you are participating in the shared madness. Would you allow a person who has a lifelong belief in Santa Claus to judge you in your behavior? Would you allow this Santa Claus believer to speak with any kind of authority? How long before you eventually decide that you really need to just stop talking to this person. It's the exact same thing when a person says they believe in any other fantasy. I'm not saying we should treat them badly. I'm saying they should be politely excluded from any kind of serious conversation.

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Sorry if I haven't responded in a while, I've been a little busy with real life. You'll just have to entertain yourselves for a while.

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Lori492 you are right on target.

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Bree Giffen wrote:

Dillon, you are participating in the shared madness. Would you allow a person who has a lifelong belief in Santa Claus to judge you in your behavior? Would you allow this Santa Claus believer to speak with any kind of authority? How long before you eventually decide that you really need to just stop talking to this person. It's the exact same thing when a person says they believe in any other fantasy. I'm not saying we should treat them badly. I'm saying they should be politely excluded from any kind of serious conversation.

So Bree, that means that Francis Pharcellus Church is talking nonsense?

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. "Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. "Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' "Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

"VIRGINIA O'HANLON. "115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

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Solaria Goldshark wrote:

Without using coercion, perhaps you'd be so kind as to bestow upon us simpletons this amazing evidence you have for us to examine, since as you say, having examined the same evidence you have we would come to the same beliefs as you have.

The entire flaw in your position is that troublesome issue of "Belief"

The problem is that it is not my attempt to prove anything to you and it was never my attempt in the first place. My real objective is to ask whether people of differing beliefs can be friends or not. I used to believe that people of differing beliefs could be friends but the more feedback I get from the forum, the more I begin to doubt that people of differing beliefs can be friends. The more aggressive people are to try to get me to change my beliefs, the more I wonder if it's even possible for a Christian, an Atheist, and a Muslim to have a CIVIL conversation.

I will share my evidence, not in any attempt to coerce you or force you to believe as I do, but just out of hopefully friendly dialogue. I cannot share all the evidence I have because there's just too much but I'll share some of the most memorable.

For nearly my entire life, I have had respiratory problems. My nose was nothing but problems. I went to doctors and their treatments helped. I even had surgery but the doctors said that some of the problems were too deep and they didn't want to risk trying to fix it. So I was resigned to live the rest of my life with repiratory problems. I was not seeking a healing. I was not looking up any miracle workers. I'd given up. Then three people from church spontaneously prayed for my nose and within a week, the problem went away and has never come back. Not only can I breath, I can smell things that I never could smell before.

Before October 3, 2008, I was in major financial trouble. I was regularly coming up in debt at the end of each week despite all my best efforts to manage my money. It was supernatural why I was in so much debt. All the searching I did through my records could not find where the money was disappearing to. It was just disappearing. On October 3, 2008 I had a life changing encounter with God. The next week, I had thirty dollars left at the end of the week. The week after that, I had three hundred dollars left at the end of the week. The next week after that, I had six hundred dollars at the end of the week. I'm not wealthy but God has helped me not be so desperately poor.

God has also spoken to me. Now I'm sure several of you are gonna accuse me of being schizophrenic but this was not a delusion. God didn't speak in audible words. He's a spirit. But it was absolutely convincing that it was God and not a demon or my imagination.

Frequently, I have also been impressed by God's timing. I've gotten sick at the best times I could have gotten sick. God is not similar to Santa Claus in any way. God makes it rain on everyone, good or evil. But . . .

Romans 8:28 NASB And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

In other words, God doesn't prevent Christians from suffering but directs the suffering for our benefit. I have seen this time and time again in my life. I've had some horrible things happen in my life but do to timing or some other circumstance, even the most horrible thing wound up benefitting me. I'm not just talking about "that which doesn't destroy us makes us stronger" I'm talking about it as if God was an athletic trainer purposefully controlling when I hurt so that I would get the most benefit from it. That has been one of the most significant miracles in my life, the amazing timing of God.

I'm not a great person. I struggle a lot. I have faith though that God will see me through this year. If God doesn't exist, I'm going to wind up homeless because I don't have enough of an income to keep paying the rent. In fact, if it wasn't included in the rent, I wouldn't have internet and wouldn't be able to write to you. My life is scary right now but God has seen me through scary times in the past so I know he will continue to see me through.

There is my evidence of why I believe. The reason I can't convince you is because it's all experiential and you've had different experiences. I respect that. So I'm not even going to try to convince you of anything. I'm only asking that you respect my experiences.

My experiences are my own.

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