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ctrl y

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ctrl y last won the day on July 7 2011

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  1. There are worse ways to relax than to spend time on an internet forum. It's pretty similar to playing online multiplayer video games, but the participants get to be intellectual while they are shooting down bad guys. You're welcome to leave if you've found a more enjoyable diversion, of course.
  2. Saying "open your eyes" to someone is not normally a begging the question fallacy (when you're trying to prove something mundane, like the claim that your house is a certain color), but it certainly is when you're arguing for the existence of the external world itself. A skeptic would obviously reply, "but how do you know it's an external world you're seeing?"
  3. There's nothing wrong with sensory evidence. What I was saying in that post is simply that not all beliefs have to be supported by sensory evidence. By analogy, pizza is good food, but not all good food is pizza.
  4. That's not non-question-begging evidence for an external world, though. That's not non-question-begging evidence for an external world, though. The skeptic would deny that what you are seeing every time you open your eyes is indeed an external world.
  5. So, is your skepticism applied consistently? Are you as skeptical about, say, the existence of the external world, as you are about the existence of God? The non-question-begging evidence for the existence of the external world is rather lacking. You know, Richard Rorty has compared the idea of an objective reality to the idea that God exists, and suggested that we should reject both as unsupportable superstitions.
  6. If God doesn't exist, then they are probably just feelings. That can be reversed, though: If God exists, then what you're calling "feelings" are probably the stirrings of the sensus divinitatis. Classifying it as a mere emotion with no deeper significance is what Paul called suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. That may not be what's going on in your particular case, of course. Anyway, I agree that Bob's belief in God will not be rational according to the atheist's set of rules of inference. I am saying that to impose those rules of inference on the theist, without some justification that is binding on the theist, is arbitrary intellectual imperialism. A theist will say that Bob's belief in God is not only rational, but one of the paradigm cases of rationality which any satisfactory set of inference rules must take into account. (And you should be able to see why a theist would think this - it is quite plausible to think that someone awestruck by the night sky could form a rational belief in a creator.)
  7. It's not a "conclusion" properly speaking, but it comes from what Calvin called the sensus divinitatus. When Bob looks at, say, a mountain range or the night sky, Bob might spontaneously form a belief that God exists. There is neither sufficient sensory evidence nor a chain of inference supporting Bob's belief in God, so formed, but nevertheless he is rational to hold it.
  8. Okay, I acquired the concepts of "God" and "belief" by using my senses in the world. How do you get from there to the conclusion that a belief in God's existence has to be supported by sensory evidence?
  9. You are asserting that all beliefs must be supported by sensory evidence, and rejecting the belief that God exists on that basis. So, why can't I do the reverse, and reject your assertion that all beliefs must be supported by sensory evidence on the basis of my belief that God exists? One man's modus ponens is another man's modus tollens, as they say.
  10. Dualism is actually pretty tenable. http://users.ox.ac.uk/~orie0087/pdf_files/General%20untechnical%20papers/Mind-Body%20Dualism.pdf
  11. Thanks for the link, Mister A. I'd be interested in seeing somebody respond to what I saw as one of the main claims of the article. I interpret it thusly: "Students typically get their first serious reality check about their intelligence and ability in college, so they are particularly vulnerable to Rand's worldview, which allows them to have self esteem and a sense of certainty. As a byproduct of their adoption of Rand's worldview, they lose some creativity and, to some extent, the ability to think critically."
  12. What percentage of Objectivists stay Objectivist after high school and college, do you figure? Is there any way to determine this? Please enjoy the video below while pondering your response to my questions.
  13. Thanks for the link, but the Swinburne referred to in those posts appears to be a poet popular among Objectivists - distinct, of course, from the theologian Richard Swinburne. Sorry about the title. I don't think I can change the title of the thread, since my ability to edit the OP has expired. Maybe a moderator could do that. (Mods, if you're there...?)
  14. Cool. I'm glad we got past that. My bad. The one I referred to is the second from the bottom, entitled "Response to Dawkins' The God Delusion."
  15. Thanks for the reply, TLD. My argument based on my interpretation of the argument of Richard Swinburne in his trilogy The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God, and Faith and Reason. I do not know of any passage in Rand that covered Swinburne's theology (or could be applied effectively to Swinburne's theology). Perhaps you, or another of the many learned members of this forum, could point me to such a passage in Rand. I'm surprised to hear that Rand refuted theism, since I have been referred to non-Objectivist authors a couple of times when I asked an Objectivist where I could find a refutation of the case for theism developed by Swinburne. Likewise, I'm surprised to hear that Swinburne has been covered on this forum. But perhaps you could post a link to the thread in which the reasoning in Swinburne's trilogy was covered. Edit: I did a search for "Swinburne" on this forum, and the results I got were posts that I have authored in the past. Of course, none of the posts that I wrote on Swinburne were refutations of his reasoning.
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