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You also JUST BELIEVE that only what you can measure and prove would be real;
by Lynch on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 10:34:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did the drawings of the Aurignacian culture 32,000 years ago directly assist in killing aurochs, OR were they self-motivational?

Actually I think they were the beginnings of cultural algebra: where something that cannot be explained (yet) is symbolized. The main problem imho with religions is that the symbols have been venerated, instead of completing the algebraic formulation.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 11:05:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
venerated and especially personified.

it remains that more recent religions such as buddhism have reached a level of sophistication difficult to explain this way.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 08:45:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have a better way of determining what's real?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 03:26:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you ever tried to "measure" love. Is it real?
by Lynch on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 06:17:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 06:41:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends what you're talking about when you say "Love"

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 06:53:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're not answering the question. Do you have a suggestion for a way to judge what is real and what is not that is superior to parsimony and predictive power?

Oh, and you're making a category error. Love is a state of mind, not a statement about the external physical reality. It only has to be true for one person to be said to exist. Deities, on the other hand, are typically statements about physical reality. Which means that they have to be true for everyone.

It is similar to faith: If you have faith, then faith must exist as a state of mind. This does not imply that the object of your faith actually exists. Similarly, one could imagine, for instance, that a person frequenting an internet site could fall in love with a wholly fictional persona created by another user of the site. The love, being a state of mind, would be no less real for the fact that the object of the love did not, in fact, exist.

Now, if you are fine with reducing your deity of choice to a purely personal and subjective experience that does not necessarily have any more applicability to my life than my love has to your life, then I have no particular quarrel with your god. But if you make arguments that rely on your god as their premise, then I will feel free to point out that those arguments are inapplicable to anybody who happens to not agree with your personal, subjective faith.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 09:49:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"It only has to be true for one person to be said to exist. Deities, on the other hand, are typically statements about physical reality."

more precisely, statements about a spiritual universe and its impact in the physical world.
i have once read a line of a philosopher on angels, saying more or less that the access of the humans to the spiritual world is conditioned by their faith and their will to access it - the absence of the two would imply that for that person it is as if no spiritual world existed. not sure if this is in line with what the main religions dogma, but from the p of v of a believer it does have its logic re your remark.

"purely personal and subjective experience"

that happens to be shared in communities from whose position it is the unfaithful who exercises a subjective choice of not believing. this is a mirror exercise that is endless, which is why there should never be faithful-unfaithful debatesvon faith or philosophy matters. it leads nowhere.    

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 09:05:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that happens to be shared in communities

Many purely subjective personal experiences are shared in communities. That's one of the things being a trooping primate does for you. For precisely this reason, being shared among the in-group is not sufficient reason to suppose that it is part of the external reality rather than an internal ideological construct. For something to be an external constraint, it has to be true for everyone, whether they believe in it or not.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 08:16:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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