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    If you walked into any church what are the most prominent types that you would see.

    It seems like most church goers tend to be a the same types.

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    False assumptions. All religions contain "something for everyone," and I'm not even joking here. Christianity, at least, contains something for everyone. I wouldn't bet on it, but it's possible that you might be able to try to sort each one of the four gospels into one of the four quadras... of course, this would be very limiting and reductive to the gospels. Anyway, there's aspects of religion that work for everyone. If you want focus on internal emotional state, affecting others' internal state, bringing joy, you've got that. If you want mystical insight and focus on something nonphysical, you've got that. If you want profound need for forceful, intentional action, you've got that. If you want focus on relationships and how they are affected by action (and behavioral rules that will maximize those relationships...), you've got that. If you want a way of looking at things that focuses on the possibilities for change, you've got that. The list goes on.

    Now, American religion *does* tend to pander to specific types. You'll notice that in that list, I didn't really have a space for Ti, even though in the age of the Scholastic philosophers, Christianity/the Church was the center of Ti activity. This is because most religion in America/the West doesn't focus on Ti, so Ti types will probably be out (this may have something to do with the fact that Protestantism totally throws tradition and hierarchy out of the window). Te types are better accounted for, in religious groups that focus on service, on active charity. So, fundamentally, it's more about what types you're more likely to find at specific churches (there are even Ti-focused churches, believe it or not. I had a high school teacher who was a very Ti-focused Christian, and who was almost LII).

    That being said, your "typical" churchgoer is probably Fi > Fe, Ne > Ni (this is the typical American church; religion in general is, I believe, associated more with Ni than with any other function, and as Jung said, without Ni there would have been no prophets in Israel), Si > Se, and Te > Ti, in order of importance. Logical types are less likely to be there. Feeling types are more likely to be there. Intuitives are more likely to be at some churches, especially those that emphasize the mystical or spiritual aspect of religion. Si is heavily valued in many churches. In general, you won't find NTs and you will find NFs. You're probably more likely to find SFs than STs, but Te types (especially ESTjs) are often attracted by the STRONG Fi found in your stereotypical American church. Some ISTjs who have bought into religion from early youth are unlikely to leave it, and can be comforted by the simple cause-and-effect relationships assumed by many churches (take action x, go to heaven; take action y, go to hell), as well as enjoying the Fe atmosphere of many Pentecostal or Baptist (black) churches. Alpha NTs are the least likely to be there, unless dragged by an ESE, who is often a "church mother" who is a big caretaker for a large group.
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

    I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.

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    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
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    Religion is gay.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOP View Post
    If you walked into any church what are the most prominent types that you would see.
    It seems like most church goers tend to be a the same types.
    You are right. Most of church goers are IEIs because most of people are IEIs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Moon View Post
    You are right. Most of church goers are IEIs because most of people are IEIs.
    That was probably the dumbest statement I've heard on this forum so far; no offense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morcheeba View Post
    That was probably the dumbest statement I've heard on this forum so far; no offense.
    What is your opinion about type statistics?

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    If alpha NTs are almost never seen in religion, how often are gamma NTs seen in comparison? Also what is the common religion/belief system of a typical INTj or INTp? (Im assuming athiest/agnostic and christian/buddhist)
    ILI (FINAL ANSWER)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crispy View Post
    If alpha NTs are almost never seen in religion, how often are gamma NTs seen in comparison? Also what is the common religion/belief system of a typical INTj or INTp? (Im assuming athiest/agnostic and christian/buddhist)
    I suppose that and are atheists mostly. and are more religious than alpha colleagues because of function.

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    wants to be a writer. silverchris9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crispy View Post
    If alpha NTs are almost never seen in religion, how often are gamma NTs seen in comparison? Also what is the common religion/belief system of a typical INTj or INTp? (Im assuming athiest/agnostic and christian/buddhist)
    Yeah, if nothing else gamma NTs are less likely to be materialists/physicalists (that is, people who believe that all that exists is matter) because of Ni's focus on the immaterial, even the mystic or spiritual. I think Ni, out of all the functions, has the highest level of abstraction away from the observable world, whereas I think Se has the highest level of attachment to the observable world (i.e., sense perceptions).

    Again, I don't think alpha NTs are generally associated with non-religious belief systems because and are irreligious functions (obviously not; look at LSIs and EIIs), but because many religions (esp. the Christian church in America) for a long time wasn't focusing on the specific needs of people with a strong rationalist bent. I think that's changing though.

    I'd imagine gamma NTs might Fi-seek in religion, so "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and such is likely to appeal to them, as is meditation, which I associate with . Alpha NTs might frequently question and try to find the logic in a given value system, as well as looking at it from a lot of different angle (possibilities).
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

    I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.

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    With ILI I know, it's 50/50 on religious beliefs. Rather, it might be more accurate to say that they're 50/50 on theistic beliefs as most (all the ones I know) have given it thorough thought and realize that religion is complete bullshit.

    LIE I would imagine are less likely to have theistic beliefs because of their strong inclination toward empiricism.

    All alpha NTs I know are atheists.
    3w4-5w6-9w8

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    Yeah, if nothing else gamma NTs are less likely to be materialists/physicalists (that is, people who believe that all that exists is matter) because of Ni's focus on the immaterial, even the mystic or spiritual. I think Ni, out of all the functions, has the highest level of abstraction away from the observable world, whereas I think Se has the highest level of attachment to the observable world (i.e., sense perceptions).

    Again, I don't think alpha NTs are generally associated with non-religious belief systems because and are irreligious functions (obviously not; look at LSIs and EIIs), but because many religions (esp. the Christian church in America) for a long time wasn't focusing on the specific needs of people with a strong rationalist bent. I think that's changing though.

    I'd imagine gamma NTs might Fi-seek in religion, so "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and such is likely to appeal to them, as is meditation, which I associate with . Alpha NTs might frequently question and try to find the logic in a given value system, as well as looking at it from a lot of different angle (possibilities).
    all of this is reasoning and all of this will deviate from observation.

    stick to facts please instead of speculating and spreading confusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azeroffs View Post
    With ILI I know, it's 50/50 on religious beliefs. Rather, it might be more accurate to say that they're 50/50 on theistic beliefs as most (all the ones I know) have given it thorough thought and realize that religion is complete bullshit.

    LIE I would imagine are less likely to have theistic beliefs because of their strong inclination toward empiricism.

    All alpha NTs I know are atheists.
    I'm atheist, you can alter your statistics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    I'm atheist, you can alter your statistics.
    I don't get this 'atheist' thing. tell me what you think it means to be an atheist?

    To me it is almost the same as identifying as being a skeptic.

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    and Waddlesworth hates skeptics.
    OPERATION POOPLAIR

    Now conscripting, for more information come here: http://www.the16types.info/vbulletin...48#post1003048

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waddlesworth View Post
    I don't get this 'atheist' thing. tell me what you think it means to be an atheist?

    To me it is almost the same as identifying as being a skeptic.
    A rough definition would be:

    I don't believe that a God creature, created our universe and our planet, but the big bang did that. I don't believe in a heaven or after life. Being dead is sleeping forever. Nobody is watching me from the sky. Nobody intervenes with the universe, prayers don't work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    A rough definition would be:

    I don't believe that a God creature, created our universe and our planet, but the big bang did that. I don't believe in a heaven or after life. Being dead is sleeping forever. Nobody is watching me from the sky. Nobody intervenes with the universe, prayers don't work.
    But what brought about the big bang? Did you see the big bang happen? Was the 'big bang' conclusively proven to be the absolute origin or everything, if it happened at all? How do you know no one is watching you from the sky or some other place, have you checked? Do you believe in parallel universes?

    So have you ever prayed? How do you know prayers don't work? Were your prayers worthy of being answered? Were your prayers in line with higher laws, or were they selfish?

    If you believe that humans evolved from apes, can you prove this? Has the 'missing link' ever been discovered?

    See, as far as objectivity is concerned, your beliefs are no different from religious belief because they are not based upon personal experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waddlesworth View Post
    But what brought about the big bang? Did you see the big bang happen? Was the 'big bang' conclusively proven to be the absolute origin or everything, if it happened at all? How do you know no one is watching you from the sky or some other place, have you checked? Do you believe in parallel universes?

    So have you ever prayed? How do you know prayers don't work? Were your prayers worthy of being answered? Were your prayers in line with higher laws, or were they selfish?

    If you believe that humans evolved from apes, can you prove this? Has the 'missing link' ever been discovered?

    See, as far as objectivity is concerned, your beliefs are no different from religious belief because they are not based upon personal experience.
    Big bang can be concluded from looking at the movement of the stars, they originate from one point. Yes God could have made the big bang, but that's not what the bible sais. Ofcourse there can be a god, it's just very unlikely and unnecessary.

    Actually they have tested whether prayers worked. With 2 groups of sick people, 1 group got prayed for the other not. etc.

    Human have not evolved from apes, they have evolved from the same ancesters. You are not totally informed on evolution but I'm not on religeon so... '-)

    Yes atheism is a belief. It's just simply following where the evidence points. If the police worked like religious people they would catch the wrong persons, fortunately the police works with evidence, which is more reliable. Hope you get the picture. Belief is unreliable.

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    I can see where functions could have an influence on belief structures.

    For me, I don't see anything wrong with the holistic 'copout' answer "all paths to God/spiritual growth/enlightenment," which is probably talking. I understand the importance of fellowship, charity, personal development, and the pursuance of a greater understanding, and I feel that I can and should partake in those activities myself.

    Now, my (atheist) ENTj brother doesn't seem to comprehend why I'd spend time with a group that pursues those activities (e.g. a Christian church group) if my beliefs don't exactly align with theirs. I wonder if that's partially due to a leading , which would want my activities and affiliations to mesh and make sense.. ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waddlesworth View Post
    ...
    oh man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    Big bang can be concluded from looking at the movement of the stars, they originate from one point. Yes God could have made the big bang, but that's not what the bible sais. Ofcourse there can be a god, it's just very unlikely and unnecessary.
    Did you study and reach this conclusion on your own? No. Are you capable of observing and making these calculations yourself? I doubt it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno
    Actually they have tested whether prayers worked. With 2 groups of sick people, 1 group got prayed for the other not. etc.
    As though "They" can be trusted. I have prayed and have found it has worked. Through this I also received a much deeper comprehension of what prayer truly is, whereas anyone that would create a study like that obviously has no interest in doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by jarno
    Human have not evolved from apes, they have evolved from the same ancesters. You are not totally informed on evolution but I'm not on religeon so... '-)
    I am quite informed on evolution, likely as much as you.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dictionary
    ape
      /eɪp/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [eyp] Show IPA noun, verb, aped, ap⋅ing.
    Use ape in a Sentence
    See web results for ape
    See images of ape
    –noun
    1. any of a group of anthropoid primates characterized by long arms, a broad chest, and the absence of a tail, comprising the family Pongidae (great ape), which includes the chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan, and the family Hylobatidae (lesser ape), which includes the gibbon and siamang.
    2. (loosely) any primate except humans.
    3. an imitator; mimic.
    4. Informal. a big, ugly, clumsy person.
    If you would prefer the statement that 'there is no proof humans evolved from primates' we can use that. My argument stands.

    Quote Originally Posted by jarno
    Yes atheism is a belief. It's just simply following where the evidence points. If the police worked like religious people they would catch the wrong persons, fortunately the police works with evidence, which is more reliable. Hope you get the picture. Belief is unreliable.
    you don't follow your own evidence though, so it means you are not really even thinking or understanding for yourself. You are merely relying on evidence given by presumed authorities(which can be lying to you deliberately).

    Religious people and atheist people are pretty much the same thing in the sense that they rely on information not gained from their own experience, but religion teaches scriptures written by spiritual people, which is different than atheism because atheism rejects this, often violently(i.e. communism).

    If you took the time to RESPECT the Bible, the Koran, the Torah and countless other spiritual texts studied by the religious, you just may learn that there is something SPIRITUAL in there which teaches HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    all of this is reasoning and all of this will deviate from observation.

    stick to facts please instead of speculating and spreading confusion.
    ...don't speculate on a socionics forum? Socionics being an inherently speculative pseudo-science, insofar as it is about the inner workings of other people, which one cannot possible have factual knowledge about? I'm a bit confused. Also, all reasoning about people's inner states deviates from observation, because people are too complex for any theory, socionics or otherwise. And who gives a flying tomato about observation?

    But yeah, besides that, a lot of what I said was probably wrong. Just thinking out loud sorta (...which is allowed because this is a forum...)


    I already did this once on this forum, so I probably shouldn't get into a big lets prove God debate, but...

    Being dead is sleeping forever.
    That's a weak metaphor, not an explanation and you know it. This has nothing to do with proving God, but I don't like it when people provide weak metaphors when people ask for a description of something. At least bother to provide a strong metaphor.

    To me it is almost the same as identifying as being a skeptic.
    Not really, if you mean classical/academic skepticism. They're very different. In fact, while it may or may not be compatible with Christianity, there are many forms of skepticism that are entirely compatible with theism (academic/classical skepticism probably not being among them, but w/e).

    If the police worked like religious people they would catch the wrong persons, fortunately the police works with evidence, which is more reliable.
    Yes, but I'm sure you can see that different questions require different approaches. It is proper to approach questions about the fundamental nature of reality, truth, life, the universe, and everything (as the existence or non-existence of God has really foundational impacts on metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, all that good stuff) in a somewhat different way than one approaches the question of whether it was Joe Bob or Jimmy Thomas that robbed the gas station. Also, there is the fact that God (under most non-pantheistic conceptions) is also an intelligent entity who presumably wants to be apprehended (albeit on his/her/its own terms), whereas Job Bob and Jimmy Thomas want just the opposite, i.e., not to be apprehended (lol. yay for puns!).

    Also... there is evidence for God. Not physical evidence, but if you had to base all of your beliefs on physical evidence, you would believe precisely nothing, if you were consistent. And even if there were not evidence for God, rationalism is crap anyway. Reason (in the form of logical proof) only gets you so far.

    Ofcourse there can be a god, it's just very unlikely and unnecessary.
    ...no. Do you know how foundational the existence of God is to many of the beliefs you presumably hold? Read Nietzsche.

    Actually they have tested whether prayers worked. With 2 groups of sick people, 1 group got prayed for the other not. etc.
    You really consider this proof? You really don't think that if there were a rational being with omnipotent, there might not be reasons why he or she would not want to act on that obvious a provocation? Do you really think that had the second group done significantly better, you would have considered this proof that prayer works rather than a statistical anomaly? Can you know that absolutely *no one* was praying for the second group? Can you know that the people doing the praying were the sort of people whose prayers God would answer? etc. etc. etc.

    Side note: the fact that someone tried to test for the efficacy of prayer in such an infantile way (more puns!) is uproariously funny. The question and the test are utterly incommensurate.

    (btw, I believe that God doesn't have a gender, although Jesus Christ was a man, but anyway we're talking about theism in general, not the Christian God in particular so I wanted to remain as general as possible)
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

    I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverChris9
    Not really, if you mean classical/academic skepticism. They're very different. In fact, while it may or may not be compatible with Christianity, there are many forms of skepticism that are entirely compatible with theism (academic/classical skepticism probably not being among them, but w/e).
    Yes, I agree. When I say skeptic I refer to the popular use of the term, which is a denial and ridicule and devaluing of anything with a hint of the miraculous. This is from my own observations and I'll leave it at that because I have discussed it already in a recent post.

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    wants to be a writer. silverchris9's Avatar
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    Oh, okay. I still disagree somewhat, because there are fairly sophisticated forms of atheism that depend upon something beyond what is basically physicalism, but yeah, I can mostly get with what you're saying relative to most atheists. Most pop atheism does arise from (largely unquestioned) materialist/physicalist assumptions.
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

    I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    Also... there is evidence for God. Not physical evidence, but if you had to base all of your beliefs on physical evidence, you would believe precisely nothing, if you were consistent. And even if there were not evidence for God, rationalism is crap anyway. Reason (in the form of logical proof) only gets you so far.

    ...no. Do you know how foundational the existence of God is to many of the beliefs you presumably hold? Read Nietzsche.
    Could you give some examples of evidence for God?

    How foundational? Can you give it to me briefly? I've never read nietzsche, tho I'd like to at some point.
    3w4-5w6-9w8

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    God is a pillow for people who want to sleep through life.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    God is a pillow for people who want to sleep through life.
    Or it is something you haven't taken the time to understand.

    And many religious and spiritual practices require profound consciousness, so in many regards the opposite of what you claim is true.

    True, many religious people(as well as many 'atheists'/'skeptics') do "sleep through life" but to claim that religion is FOR that, in my opinion, is just meaningless.

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    I am the son of a Christian priest. I was a fanatical Jesus freak for the first 13 years of my life, and I have spoken in tongues and felt wholesome Christian ecstasy more times than you've touched your dick.

    A while back I spent a year in complete isolation (aside from my work) practicing meditation for hours and hours every day and reading many different interpretations of Buddhism (Zen and Tibetan), Hinduism, and other religions.

    I have achieved "spiritual" highs from meditation and different yoga techniques exceeding the effects of hard drugs (of which I've done plenty) that, from my readings, it takes some dedicated monks years to reach.

    And yes, I still thoroughly believe that religion is a pillow for those who want to sleep through life. It's just like drugs. Literally.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    I just think religion is one name for something that doesn't require lies to believe in or experience.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    And yes, I still thoroughly believe that religion is a pillow for those who want to sleep through life. It's just like drugs. Literally.
    Many people go to religion after living a hard life of much suffering. Though I cannot speak for all of these people it seems evident that many must struggle to survive. To claim that they 'want to sleep through life' is just absurd.

    But I suppose it isn't really something to get all bent out of shape about...
    Last edited by Waddlesworth; 12-23-2009 at 04:38 AM.

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    Well after all that struggle, I suppose it's little wonder they're tired. Some have every right to rest.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Well after all that struggle, I suppose it's little wonder they're tired. Some have every right to rest.
    But they keep struggling. I suppose you could argue that it is because they want to "go to Heaven", but that isn't so for all of them...

    But whatever. Now this is just mental gymnastics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azeroffs View Post
    Could you give some examples of evidence for God?

    How foundational? Can you give it to me briefly? I've never read nietzsche, tho I'd like to at some point.
    Evidence for God:

    1) Cosmological argument: if you accept the fact that everything that begins to exist has a cause, then since the universe began to exist (per the Big Bang), it must have a cause. The first premise ("everything that begins to exist has a cause") may sound like bs, but really, it's as inductively likely as anything established to be true by a science, since I can provide a buttload of things that begin to exist that have a cause, whereas I can't think of any that begin to exist that don't have a cause. The argument turns on whether or not you're OK with the idea that things that don't begin to exist have a cause, but I think this is a reasonable claim to assent to, because otherwise you have infinite regress (x caused the world, y caused x, z caused y, a caused z, b caused a ad infinitum).

    So, I tend to reformulate the argument like this: something has to be eternal. According to the Big Bang Theory, that eternal thing isn't the world. So it's probably an immaterial (since matter was created/began to exist at the Big Bang), extraordinarily powerful (since it created the world out of nothing, or at least nothing material), and eternal/atemporal being. An immaterial, incredibly powerful, eternal being pretty much fits the bill for "God".

    2) Teleological argument: basically, intelligent design, but it has to do with stuff like how earth is a certain distance from the sun, the sun is a certain type of star, the cosmic background radiation is a certain wavelength, gravity is of a certain strength, etc., and without all this stuff, life couldn't exist. The probability of this happening randomly is fairly low, so it seems likely that there is a God that made all these things happen in this precise way.

    3) Moral argument: alright, this is where the foundational bit comes in. If you believe in objective morality, there has to be an objective standard for that morality. But where does the standard come from? It can't come from individuals, because then the right thing to do is whatever each individual thinks it is (solipsism). It can't come from cultures, because then the right thing to do is whatever each culture does (cultural relativism). This might seem to be okay, until you remember that this means that slavery in the United States, the gladiatorial games in Rome, this practice, known as widow-burning, are all okay because they were sanctioned by the cultures where they took place, to say nothing of Nazi Germany. So, what standard can there be for morality besides people and society? Maybe you could argue the earth as source for morality in some way, but then you get into arguments like "it is the law of the earth that the weak dominate the strong; I am strong; therefore I am justified in dominating you who are weak." So, it seems likely that there is a source for morality that transcends the individual, culture, and the world. This would appear to be God.

    4) Ontological argument: somewhat bs argument, but some thinkers have argued that God is true-by-definition, because God is that of which no greater can be conceived, and since it is greater to exist than not to exist (existence is a perfection), it follows that God must exist.

    Side note: people try to counter that argument with the "perfect island" or "perfect unicorn" argument, (a perfect unicorn must exist for the same reasons as God must, according to this argument), but that is a terrible counterargument, because, quite frankly, that perfect unicorn would be God, and would not have all the properties of a unicorn. For instance, it is one of the properties of all things that have physical existence on earth that they come into being and go out of being. One could argue that if one did not have this property, one could not be considered a thing with a purely physical existence on earth. So then the "perfect island" has a characteristic that islands cannot have, insofar as the "perfect" island would not be generated and could not be destroyed. Also, islands and unicorns both have defined physical limits, can move at finite speeds, etc., and both of these things seem like they would not belong to the greatest possible being. So yeah, that counterargument is crap.

    Some random other stuff:

    -Descartes and Augustine both think that the only proof that we are not in a matrix-like situation is a benevolent God who would not want to deceive us.
    -There's a guy named Alvin Plantiga who has a book called "God and Other Minds" that argues that we have as much reason to believe that God exists as we have to believe that other people have minds.
    -Historically, there's the problem of the transformation of the disciples, how and for what reason the disciples stopped being afraid of their hostile governments and started building the Christian church. This only works if you accept the account of the Bible, I suppose, but there are more manuscripts of the Bible closer to the original date of production than any other ancient document, for what that's worth.
    -Regarding Nietzsche, I dunno really. It's just that he has this vision of the world as, essentially, the strongest survives, lets quest after that which most enlarges life, i.e., the pursuit of glory, the pursuit of permanent achievements, etc., all regardless of morality. He would laugh at the idea of the special olympics, because for him it's absolutely uproarious that we would celebrate a group of people for being "good" at something when they are all, relative to the non-special olympics, very very bad at all of those things. This is the world without God, because the best thing after God is human life, but without God there is no obligation for someone to protect anybody else's life, rather than pursuing the fullness of life for themselves. Also, while many people pretend to be perfectly fine with the idea of personal extinction being the end of life, as Nietzsche and all of the existentialists after him realized, it causes hella problems with the meaningfulness or lack thereof of life.
    -Also, if you want to see the same arguments presented in a better form than I know how, you might look up these people: William Lane Craig, Alvin Plantiga, Richard Swineburn, and maybe even David Bentley Hart and his book "Atheist Delusions".

    Speaking as someone who has a strong personal belief in the existence of God...there exists no indisputable evidence for God or any objective evidence that would and could be recognized universally by humans, period. You either believe it or don't for your own reasons.
    Technically, I agree with this. I don't think you can establish fully rationalist proof for anything. But I don't think God is any less reasonable to believe in than anything else, and some people think that God is less reasonable to believe in than what is available to their senses, which, from a rationalist perspective, is 100% wrong, since we can't furnish any proof for the veracity of sense experience, and certainly not any scientific proof.

    God is a pillow for people who want to sleep through life.
    1. Most conceptual systems of the world are.
    2. Yes, for some people, but I would argue that those people haven't been reading very deeply in their sacred texts. The Bible, at least, is a very disturbing book to pretty much anyone. It shouldn't make you comfortable.

    Regardless, your history with religion is very interesting (and seems to provide some good reasons not to believe) and it is definitely a question worth asking what the difference is, if there is any difference, between the personal religious ecstasy to which you inspired yourself (presumably), and "true religion" (if that exists). Also, you're a pk (preacher's kid). That explains everything. . I also "grew up in the church." My stepmom's a preacher, although not full-time or anything, and both my stepmom and my dad have worked at one of those "megachurches" since I was really really young, so I've been around pastors and the like since forever. Not really relevant to the discussion, but I figured I'd talk about it.
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

    I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    I have spoken in tongues and felt wholesome Christian ecstasy more times than you've touched your dick.
    Hehe! Good one!

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    The problem with these arguments is that they 'prove' god when they have apparently found something which allegedly cannot be explained satisfactorily by other means.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    Evidence for God:

    1) Cosmological argument: if you accept the fact that everything that begins to exist has a cause, then since the universe began to exist (per the Big Bang), it must have a cause. The first premise ("everything that begins to exist has a cause") may sound like bs, but really, it's as inductively likely as anything established to be true by a science, since I can provide a buttload of things that begin to exist that have a cause, whereas I can't think of any that begin to exist that don't have a cause. The argument turns on whether or not you're OK with the idea that things that don't begin to exist have a cause, but I think this is a reasonable claim to assent to, because otherwise you have infinite regress (x caused the world, y caused x, z caused y, a caused z, b caused a ad infinitum).

    So, I tend to reformulate the argument like this: something has to be eternal. According to the Big Bang Theory, that eternal thing isn't the world. So it's probably an immaterial (since matter was created/began to exist at the Big Bang), extraordinarily powerful (since it created the world out of nothing, or at least nothing material), and eternal/atemporal being. An immaterial, incredibly powerful, eternal being pretty much fits the bill for "God".
    If time is merely a property of this universe, then why does anything necessarily precede it? If time existed before the universe, then how do you show it? If there has always been time, then why is it not plausible that out of everything came nothing with no need for a cause?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    3) Moral argument: alright, this is where the foundational bit comes in. If you believe in objective morality, there has to be an objective standard for that morality. But where does the standard come from? It can't come from individuals, because then the right thing to do is whatever each individual thinks it is (solipsism). It can't come from cultures, because then the right thing to do is whatever each culture does (cultural relativism). This might seem to be okay, until you remember that this means that slavery in the United States, the gladiatorial games in Rome, this practice, known as widow-burning, are all okay because they were sanctioned by the cultures where they took place, to say nothing of Nazi Germany. So, what standard can there be for morality besides people and society? Maybe you could argue the earth as source for morality in some way, but then you get into arguments like "it is the law of the earth that the weak dominate the strong; I am strong; therefore I am justified in dominating you who are weak." So, it seems likely that there is a source for morality that transcends the individual, culture, and the world. This would appear to be God.
    Not all people believe in objective morality, does that mean that god only partly exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    4) Ontological argument: somewhat bs argument, but some thinkers have argued that God is true-by-definition, because God is that of which no greater can be conceived, and since it is greater to exist than not to exist (existence is a perfection), it follows that God must exist.

    Side note: people try to counter that argument with the "perfect island" or "perfect unicorn" argument, (a perfect unicorn must exist for the same reasons as God must, according to this argument), but that is a terrible counterargument, because, quite frankly, that perfect unicorn would be God, and would not have all the properties of a unicorn. For instance, it is one of the properties of all things that have physical existence on earth that they come into being and go out of being. One could argue that if one did not have this property, one could not be considered a thing with a purely physical existence on earth. So then the "perfect island" has a characteristic that islands cannot have, insofar as the "perfect" island would not be generated and could not be destroyed. Also, islands and unicorns both have defined physical limits, can move at finite speeds, etc., and both of these things seem like they would not belong to the greatest possible being. So yeah, that counterargument is crap.
    If the "perfect island" counterargument can't be used, and those who spout the ontological argument insist on doing so, then the next line of attack is to ask such people to prove that existence does in fact exist as a property. It's all very well god existing, but what about us?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    Technically, I agree with this. I don't think you can establish fully rationalist proof for anything. But I don't think God is any less reasonable to believe in than anything else, and some people think that God is less reasonable to believe in than what is available to their senses, which, from a rationalist perspective, is 100% wrong, since we can't furnish any proof for the veracity of sense experience, and certainly not any scientific proof.
    We may not be able to prove definitively that our senses exist, but surely it's better to go along with what our senses are telling us than not to do so?
    Last edited by Subteigh; 12-23-2009 at 01:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    The problem with these arguments is that they 'prove' god when they have apparently found something which allegedly cannot be explained satisfactorily by other means.
    ...not all of them. The cosmological argument isn't concerned with something that cannot be explained by any other means. If you accept premise one ("everything that begins to exist has a cause") and premise two (basically, the big bang), premise three isn't "the best possible explanation" it's the logical conclusion: an immaterial, super-powerful, atemporal thing. You don't have to call it God, but that seems to be the best name for it that we have. Granted, this does not prove a personal God, a loving God, a good God or any of that; it basically proves a deistic God, if you assent to the first two premises.

    If time is merely a property of this universe, then why does anything necessarily precede it? If time existed before the universe, then how do you show it? If there has always been time, then why is it not plausible that out of everything came nothing with no need for a cause?
    Hmmm... that's a good thought. I suppose the implication is that causation is not necessarily dependent upon temporality. The argument is not that there was time before the big bang. The argument is that there was causation before there was time.
    Not all people believe in objective morality, does that mean that god only partly exists?
    No. It means that people who do believe in objective morality (which is most people, including most of those who claim that they do not) need God (or at least a "source of morality that transcends the individual, culture, and the world") to make their belief system coherent. The argument takes it for granted that objective morality does exist.

    If you're interested, the formal version of the argument is something like "If objective morals exist, then they have a source that transcends culture, the individual, nature, etc. Objective morals do exist. Therefore, there is a transcendent source." Premise 2 is hard to prove, so generally when using this argument, Christian apologists just rely on the assumption that most people hold that objective morality exists.

    If the "perfect island" counterargument can't be used, and those who spout the ontological argument insist on doing so, then the next line of attack is to ask such people to prove that existence does in fact exist as a property. It's all very well god existing, but what about us?
    Ah, good point. This is where the rationalism breaks down (the limits of pure reason, if you will), because we cannot prove our own existence satisfactorily, except perhaps to say something equivalent to "I think therefore I am" (that is, I cannot doubt that I exist, because even if I were to doubt that I exist, I would still be doubting). Still, I doubt you're going to find very many people willing to disbelieve in existence is indeed a property, a thing, that it is possible to have.

    We may not be able to prove definitively that our senses exist, but surely it's better to go along with what our senses are telling us than not to do so?
    Certainly. But if you accept this, then you've already departed from pure rationalism. If we can accept the veracity of the senses on grounds apart from scientific verification or logical verification, what separates the intuitive acceptance of the proposition "sense experience is reliable" or at least the assumption that it is good to live in a way that acts as though sense experience is reliable, from the intuitive assumption that "God exists" or that "nature did not arise by chance"? I just bring up the sense experience point to demonstrate that pure rationalism doesn't work, and at some point we must accept non-rational (not necessarily irrational, but non-rational) criteria for assenting to propositions (not just "sense experience is reliable" but "cause and effect exist," "time exists," etc.), as many Christians and other religious people do. Lots of people make arguments that I don't like very much about how its foolish to believe in God because we cannot test for His existence or prove him scientifically (falsifiability and all that jazz), and the argument that sense experience is in the category of things for which no firm rational or scientific proof is necessary for assent establishes that there is such a category. It follows that God "could" be such an entity.
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

    I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    ...not all of them. The cosmological argument isn't concerned with something that cannot be explained by any other means. If you accept premise one ("everything that begins to exist has a cause") and premise two (basically, the big bang), premise three isn't "the best possible explanation" it's the logical conclusion: an immaterial, super-powerful, atemporal thing. You don't have to call it God, but that seems to be the best name for it that we have. Granted, this does not prove a personal God, a loving God, a good God or any of that; it basically proves a deistic God, if you assent to the first two premises.
    "everything that begins to exist has a cause" is used by many as the best way to determine how things came about. It is not a proof in itself. If an alternate methos method was used to determine how things came about and just so happened to draw the same conclusions as the first, which would you believe was the most valid?

    "everything that begins to exist has a cause" is a maxim by which many humans try to establish how things came about - the conclusions we draw may not be an actual explanation of what happened.

    Therefore, I cannot trust your apparent logical conclusion of "an immaterial, super-powerful, atemporal thing" being the creator of this universe. If such a creator is independent of the rules of this universe, then I would think it would be at least as plausible to say that out of nothing, came everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    Hmmm... that's a good thought. I suppose the implication is that causation is not necessarily dependent upon temporality. The argument is not that there was time before the big bang. The argument is that there was causation before there was time.
    You can't have causation independent of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    No. It means that people who do believe in objective morality (which is most people, including most of those who claim that they do not) need God (or at least a "source of morality that transcends the individual, culture, and the world") to make their belief system coherent. The argument takes it for granted that objective morality does exist.

    If you're interested, the formal version of the argument is something like "If objective morals exist, then they have a source that transcends culture, the individual, nature, etc. Objective morals do exist. Therefore, there is a transcendent source." Premise 2 is hard to prove, so generally when using this argument, Christian apologists just rely on the assumption that most people hold that objective morality exists.
    This argument seems to be "It is because it is". Does a triangle have three sides because it does, or does it have three sides because it has been defined that way?

    Also, which is the greater objective evil?: the act of murder or the lack of belief in a particular god? The major god-based religions say that murder is a sin against god, and yet not believing in a particular god is generally considered the greater evil. If not believing in god is not an objective evil, why not? It seems you are saying that there are many who believe in objective evil and do not commit objective evil, and yet think that others who believe they should not commit objective evil should be punished for all eternity for their subjective inklings. If there is any such thing as an objective evil, then holding such a belief must be it incarnate.

    Why is it so hard to believe that there are those who do not go round killing people indiscriminately because they fear reappraisal, or simply because it's not something they are fond of?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    Ah, good point. This is where the rationalism breaks down (the limits of pure reason, if you will), because we cannot prove our own existence satisfactorily, except perhaps to say something equivalent to "I think therefore I am" (that is, I cannot doubt that I exist, because even if I were to doubt that I exist, I would still be doubting). Still, I doubt you're going to find very many people willing to disbelieve in existence is indeed a property, a thing, that it is possible to have.
    Some people do doubt their very existence , and I find the notion of a god who would punish for all eternity those who do not believe in that god AND scrupulously follow all the tenets of whatever religion to be immoral.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    Certainly. But if you accept this, then you've already departed from pure rationalism. If we can accept the veracity of the senses on grounds apart from scientific verification or logical verification, what separates the intuitive acceptance of the proposition "sense experience is reliable" or at least the assumption that it is good to live in a way that acts as though sense experience is reliable, from the intuitive assumption that "God exists" or that "nature did not arise by chance"? I just bring up the sense experience point to demonstrate that pure rationalism doesn't work, and at some point we must accept non-rational (not necessarily irrational, but non-rational) criteria for assenting to propositions (not just "sense experience is reliable" but "cause and effect exist," "time exists," etc.), as many Christians and other religious people do.
    Ah, but it isn't my belief that humans can be purely rational beings - and I can also forgive humans for not being so...my real issue is that many gods require humans to make determinations about the way things are through either an incomplete and rational process or through irrational means (how ever defined), and punish those who do not come to the right conclusions.

    I prefer my approach which is forgiving and just and which seemingly results in progress (which is why I follow it).

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    Awesome that some people think they can defend religion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    Awesome that some people think they can defend religion.
    They can and they do. Your arguments seem equally wrong to me. As a matter of fact, in my opinion your perspectives are the most dull, uninspired, boring, worthless, tiresome one's on the forum. You make a point to argue against religion but you don't even respect its origins or understand its motives. Your knowledge about religion and its many manifestations/common lineage almost seems more shallow than my own!

    Of course my posts also suck and I am equally annoying if not more-so, etcetera. But still, if I had to choose the biggest numbskull on the forum, it would be you. Counted myself out, of course, because I am obviously the biggest numbskull on the forum for many obvious reasons we need not get into.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waddlesworth View Post
    They can and they do. Your arguments seem equally wrong to me. As a matter of fact, in my opinion your perspectives are the most dull, uninspired, boring, worthless, tiresome one's on the forum. You make a point to argue against religion but you don't even respect its origins or understand its motives. Your knowledge about religion and its many manifestations/common lineage almost seems more shallow than my own!

    Of course my posts also suck and I am equally annoying if not more-so, etcetera. But still, if I had to choose the biggest numbskull on the forum, it would be you. Counted myself out, of course, because I am obviously the biggest numbskull on the forum for many obvious reasons we need not get into.
    ow actually I do acknowledge the use of religion, for example, I've read an experiment in which religious people kept there cool better because of their (unjustified) reliance on a god to help them out.

    Yet defending religious is like defending santa claus. You can always come up with arguments like, he exists you just can't see him because he's invisible etc.

    Santa claus is easy defendable too. But yet, deep inside, we all know that he's only a myth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Religion is gay.
    This.

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