What are the Benefits of Theism?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Greatest I am
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:16 pm
tillingborn wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:29 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 7:56 pmGive me an issue in which, according to you, we DO have "conclusive" knowledge.
As you say:
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:01 pmNo human knowledge is "conclusive." It's all probabilistic. That's basic epistemology, actually.
Okay, so if that's your answer, how can you fault people who believe in God for believing in something for which, as you claim, not "conclusive" evidence has been found? All knowledge is probabilistic.

And if the evidence for it is good, then Theists have good reason to believe in God.
If they did, how do you explain inquisitions and jihads and the discrimination of homophobia and misogyny against half the worlds population, --- without a just cause?

What evidence or proof do you have of a god?

If you use the bible as those, then do you see Yahweh as a good god?

Regards
DL
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Immanuel Can
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

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Greatest I am wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:31 pm how do you explain inquisitions and jihads and the discrimination of homophobia and misogyny against half the worlds population...?
I don't have to. I have already said that there are many false beliefs in the world, and what you point out points to that. We are agreed: false beliefs cause much misery. But none more horrendous than Atheism has caused, by orders of magnitude.

I have just suggested that the proliferation of falsehoods counts for nothing in the question of whether or not there is a right answer. And logically, that's how it is.
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:16 pm
tillingborn wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:29 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 7:56 pmGive me an issue in which, according to you, we DO have "conclusive" knowledge.
As you say:
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:01 pmNo human knowledge is "conclusive." It's all probabilistic. That's basic epistemology, actually.
Okay, so if that's your answer, how can you fault people who believe in God for believing in something for which, as you claim, not "conclusive" evidence has been found? All knowledge is probabilistic.
We have both stated that all knowledge is probabilistic. If we agree about that, we should also agree that belief is based on probability. I don't think it is realistic to suggest that everyone has the same threshold of probability for belief, much less that all human beings apply the same criteria and rigour to all questions. That being so, it is overwhelmingly likely that many people shape their thoughts according to pragmatic considerations and aesthetics.
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:16 pmAnd if the evidence for it is good, then Theists have good reason to believe in God.
Yes indeed, but not everyone agrees about what qualifies as a good reason; the choice is not objective, it is aesthetic.
I feel I need to repeat that I am not cynical about belief in God and that I have to add I do not "fault people who believe in God".
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Immanuel Can
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

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tillingborn wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:06 am ...it is overwhelmingly likely that many people shape their thoughts according to pragmatic considerations and aesthetics.
Which one: pragmatics or aesthetics? I might grant you that many secular Westerners today are more pragmatic than principled, perhaps; but a person who's interest in their ideology is merely "aesthetic" is a dilettante, not a serious believer in anything.

Again, can you say that YOU believe things for "aesthetic" reasons alone, even if you don't believe they're true? :shock: Of course you don't. So why would you think it would be automatic that others must?
I feel I need to repeat that I am not cynical about belief in God and that I have to add I do not "fault people who believe in God".
Well, perhaps you want to clarify your view, then.

Something is being implied when you claim (wrongly, of course) that there's "no evidence." If it's not skepticism you're expressing, then what is it?
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

Post by Dubious »

For those prone to wishful thinking together with an easy incorporation of both fear and the absurd, its benefits offer a temporary anodyne as recompense for an uncertain or miserable existence.

Absurdity lies at the very root of theistic beliefs upholding a reality only believed in and subsequently no-longer required.
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:12 amAgain, can you say that YOU believe things for "aesthetic" reasons alone, even if you don't believe they're true?
That is not my argument. Here it is again:
tillingborn wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:06 amWe have both stated that all knowledge is probabilistic. If we agree about that, we should also agree that belief is based on probability. I don't think it is realistic to suggest that everyone has the same threshold of probability for belief, much less that all human beings apply the same criteria and rigour to all questions. That being so, it is overwhelmingly likely that many people shape their thoughts according to pragmatic considerations and aesthetics.
Do you wish to retract this claim?
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:01 pmNo human knowledge is "conclusive." It's all probabilistic. That's basic epistemology, actually. Some is more probable than other things that aim to be "knowledge," but none is so certain that it is simply incapable of doubt or revision.
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

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tillingborn wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:16 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:12 amAgain, can you say that YOU believe things for "aesthetic" reasons alone, even if you don't believe they're true?
That is not my argument.
I didn't say it was YOUR argument. That argument was my argument against your suggestion that the reasons for being a Theist were "aesthetic": namely, that (unless I miss my guess) you would say that your own beliefs are not merely "aesthetic", so you have no good reason to attribute that to others.
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 4:38 am
tillingborn wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:16 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:12 amAgain, can you say that YOU believe things for "aesthetic" reasons alone, even if you don't believe they're true?
That is not my argument.
I didn't say it was YOUR argument.
My argument is not that I believe things that I don't believe are true; it is that I believe things that I don't know are true. So do you, if you believe what you say here:
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:01 pmNo human knowledge is "conclusive." It's all probabilistic. That's basic epistemology, actually. Some is more probable than other things that aim to be "knowledge," but none is so certain that it is simply incapable of doubt or revision.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

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tillingborn wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:31 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 4:38 am
tillingborn wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:16 am That is not my argument.
I didn't say it was YOUR argument.
My argument...is that I believe things that I don't know are true.
Of course...if by "know" you mean "know without possibility of doubt or revision." Nobody knows anything that well. So if that were the required standard, there would be no such thing as "knowledge" at all: nobody could ever have it.

But we still do use the word "know," and justifiably so.

We say that I "know" gravity exists. We say I "know" smoking causes cancer. We even say I "know" the Chiefs will win the Super Bowl, even when we are really meaning, "I expect, or hope." But we "know" these things with different degrees of conviction, because they have different degrees of probability. Gravity always seems to work -- so much so, that when we see something seeming to defy it, we don't believe our eyes, and go looking for an explanation. Smoking does often cause cancer: but the certainty level is not that high in any single case...maybe 70%, given enough time? And the Chiefs: well, it's pretty much 50-50 who's going to win the Superbowl, but the Chiefs are slightly favoured.

So what level of "knowing" do you have about God? You say "there's no evidence": how sure are you of that? Do you think you "know" it?
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:30 pmYou say "there's no evidence"
I have no memory of saying that and typing 'God there's no evidence tillingborn' into the search bar didn't produce anything that could be misconstrued as such. Can you point me to your source please?
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Immanuel Can
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

Post by Immanuel Can »

tillingborn wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:48 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:30 pmYou say "there's no evidence"
I have no memory of saying that and typing 'God there's no evidence tillingborn' into the search bar didn't produce anything that could be misconstrued as such. Can you point me to your source please?
Yes. You wrote: "None of the arguments for the existence of God are conclusive." It seems to me that you are signalling what you see as a "fault" there -- it has to be how you meant it, because you also agree that NO knowledge is so "conclusive" as to be beyond doubt.

Otherwise, why mention the alleged "inconclusivity" at all? It's not a reason not to be a Theist, then, anymore than its' a reason not to be a scientist.
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:54 pm
tillingborn wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:48 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:30 pmYou say "there's no evidence"
I have no memory of saying that and typing 'God there's no evidence tillingborn' into the search bar didn't produce anything that could be misconstrued as such. Can you point me to your source please?
Yes. You wrote: "None of the arguments for the existence of God are conclusive."
That is very different to "there's no evidence" which, despite your quotation marks, I have not said. It is, however, consistent with what you said. Again:
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:01 pmNo human knowledge is "conclusive." It's all probabilistic. That's basic epistemology, actually. Some is more probable than other things that aim to be "knowledge," but none is so certain that it is simply incapable of doubt or revision.
If you wish to retract that statement, then we have a point of difference, but it is futile arguing over things we agree about.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

Post by Immanuel Can »

tillingborn wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:12 pm ... it is futile arguing over things we agree about.
Agreed.

In that case, we agree that Theism is "knowledge," and is as "conclusive" as knowledge needs to be or can be...unless you have a caveat, there.
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

Post by tillingborn »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:22 pmwe agree that Theism is "knowledge," and is as "conclusive" as knowledge needs to be or can be...unless you have a caveat, there.
None. We both agree that Theism, since it is knowledge, is probabilistic. Where we disagree is that you are adamant that aesthetics has no role in decision making. Given that a group of people can agree about the evidence and arguments for God, to what do you attribute the distribution of Theists and non-Theists in any population?
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Re: What are the Benefits of Theism?

Post by Immanuel Can »

tillingborn wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:58 pm Where we disagree is that you are adamant that aesthetics has no role in decision making.
I've actually said nothing of the kind.

I haven't said there are NO people who like their religion or their Atheism for "aesthetic" reasons. I've also not said that people who actually believe their ideology can't ALSO find it "aesthetic." All I've said is that pure "aesthetics" is a lousy reason for believing anything, and one in which I'll bet you'd never indulge, yourself.

So I'm not "adamant" about what you insist I'm "adamant" about.
Given that a group of people can agree about the evidence and arguments for God, to what do you attribute the distribution of Theists and non-Theists in any population?
Decisions.
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