Is There Any Good Reason to Believe in God?

This truly is a superb talk by Dan Dennett and explains the state of God Belief, the reason for god belief and what is really going on.

I thoroughly recommend this video and I’d like to especially dedicate it to  Mel.

Grab a coffee and a sandwich and listen to the words from one of the best minds around.

A real gem of a talk.

Ark.

 

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37 thoughts on “Is There Any Good Reason to Believe in God?

    1. I honestly believe Mel could relate to this talk and probably a great many self-confessed Christians and other religious people as well, and should give it a listen. Dennett’s reasoned approach is spot on.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Dennett explains this as well, and shows how most people very likely only have a belief in the belief in God and maintain this position to avoid what he calls catastrophic collapse , among other reasons and also the Concorde condition.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I clicked on your link to Mel, and even read through some of the comments. From the outline of his post and how he lays out his arguments, do you not get the immediate impression that his ability to process information isn’t bound by logical rules?
    If someone can believe X based on no evidence, and they can dismiss Y despite substantial evidence, then there’s no way to debate with them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Spot on!
      He does what so many theists do: finds an angle he feels comfortable that no atheist can truly assail, and then refuses to discuss outside these parameters until the ”Gotcha” point arrives.
      William Lane Craig is notorious for adopting this method of debate and even when he has been exposed he will glibly ignore his opponent’s refutation and plow on as though nothing has happened.
      It’s like listening to an actor recite a script verbatim and him being unaware that the director has instructed all the other actors to ad lib.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Exactly, and allows Dipshits like William Lane Craig to remain employed!

          Not mattering, of course that A may not lead to B.

          More disconcerting, that A does not even exist and they know this only too well!
          Dennett also explores this.
          He is a very clever chap.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. I sincerely doubt Mel would be willing to even entertain any of the many salient points Dennett raises and defends – waved away and rejected out of hand because Mel already knows his beliefs are undoubtedly true, you see – and I think he lacks the courage and fortitude to face his own fear any such consideration – if honestly done – would necessarily entail.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hello All. Ark speaking of A not being there in the first place… I remember the conversation you tried to have with Mel about if Christ was really a person. I am glad I read it as it gave me a bit of grounding for this YouTube video on the subject. Not only does it seem to clearly prove the points you made, it also talks of the very lack of writings by contemporaries that Mels seemed to be OK with. If anyone watches it, I would be very interested in your thoughts about it. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting. I had heard most of this of course, though I had not realised Josephus had been so highly critical of Herod.
      Excellent video, Scottie.
      I loved the frame featuring the Monty Python team in Life of Brian! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. See the conversations you and others have with the religious …. people do work, if not on them then on people like me reading along. I get to learn a lot, and when possible I file it away to explore more when I can find it. It is easier for me to learn by video but even reading is OK if done a few times. I think that is why you frustrate people like Mel and UnkleE. They are not worried about you getting them to think about the subjects you bring up. They are practiced at not hearing what you are saying so clearly. Instead they worry about people reading the comments. People like me are learning the faults and falsehoods of the religions. We are getting information we can use to see things the religious people want to keep hidden. It also gives people like me understanding and information to refute the base statements of some of these religious pushers. Basicly you guys make their job harder, you create people able to stand up to them and refute them. They hate that. So they try to keep you moderated, contained, marginalized, and never answer your topics. Thanks. Hugs

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              1. I have spent the time since I talked with you reading and watching the videos at Mels, and combing through YouTube trying to learn enough on entanglement theory to show it doesn’t equal a god. To me the videos he showed have a lot of presupposition in them. The whole philosopher method is presumptions. Any time he gets to what is not in natural world and science he presupposes a god in a dimension and uses it to prove his theory. Hey Tildeb if you are out there today, I need a video that refutes this quantum entanglements prove god stuff. Thanks. Hugs

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                1. Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum STATE of each particle cannot be described independently of the others, even when the particles are separated by a large distance—instead, a quantum state must be described for the system as a whole. (Emphasis mine)

                  We are talking about a relationship between two things. This is a ‘state’ we can measure.

                  Mel doesn’t get this. He continues to export this understanding into the classical physics of ‘forces’. Entanglement is not a force. It is a state describing a relationship of two things such that when you measure the state of one, you automatically know the state of the other. He thinks this describes a kind of Star Trek-ian beam-me-up-Scotty mystical teletransporter through a different reality. But because the measurement will yield random results for the first, we cannot say it ‘transports information’ to the other. This is his fundamental misunderstanding.

                  Now, because the subject involves the important question, “How can we know?” the following video seems more complex than it really is because the narrator has to take the time to explain how the experiments are done. So, bear with it and keep in mind that he’s talking about the steady relationship of entangled particles but captured for measurement in different ways.

                  The results are about comparing the different ways one state of these particles is measured (spin) and it is here where the spookiness appears because the comparison should yield one probability using classical physics but produces another probability using quantum physics.

                  And this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for: How do we INTERPRET these results?

                  What Mel doesn’t get (won’t get) is that the solution seems to be non-locality, a term which describes no difference in the state of time (instantaneous). Mel assumes that the distance between points of measurement is real (which is how we think of any two things occupying different locations in space). But remember, we’re talking about states being measured here and not things.

                  The term non locality refers to NO difference in the state of time! And that means there can be no difference in distance (because distance means two things in time which cannot occupy the same space. If they do, then the ‘they’ become an ‘it’, becomes one thing. And there is no entanglement with one thing; entanglement means a relationship of STATE between two particles. This is why I keep repeating that he doesn’t get it, that he’s trying to use the spookiness of quantum mechanics (meaning intriguing probability sine wave rather than a straight probability arrow) to suggest things can be equally weird, equally found to be in two places at once, that particles can go from this reality into some other reality and then reemerge back into this reality in a different place. It’s all woo he’s trying to sell to make room for Jesus walking through walls. It’s not quantum mechanics, not quantum physics. His understanding is lacking and so his conclusions, the base for his magical hypotheses for miracles, is equally lacking. That’s why I keep telling him quantum mechanics is not his friend.

                  Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes it did. However, some themes aren’t set up for certain HTML codes for some reason. Can’t help you there.
      You could ask the WordPress Admin. staff if there’s a way to sort this?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps. I didn’t know some themes don’t support HTML codes, but what’s even weirder is that and both work (italicizing and bolding) but the quote doesn’t so far as I’m concerned. It’s strange. Thanks a ton.

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  4. @ Tildeb. Thank you for your reply to my question. I spent yesterday in the time I had looking up YouTube videos that gave basic quantum information I could use to make sense of the Mel position. Even looking up the famous atheist scientist did not give me much on this entanglement issue. They simply don’t describe it as Mel does. I read a science paper note that overseas they managed to send information on state of a particle from the earth to a satellite. They made it clear that this was not transporting anything physical. Just information. Just the state of the particle. I am sorry I don’t quite understand that fully. However it does give me a sort of answer to the Mel position. I couldn’t find any videos that said the particles came from other dimensions or that one was in our dimension and the other in another dimension. They did not say where the particles started from other than the point of the experiment. such as the lab location or such. They did not mention having to pull the particles from somewhere. So I think from what little I understand Mel is fudging it sort of like adding two apples and three oranges to get five bananas. He says it makes it possible for his god to come from somewhere and interact with our reality and change the physics of our reality to do miracles. That the quantum particles information change shows this teleportation thing from another dimension. If I have his position correct he has to add a lot of presupposition to the equation to make it come out his way at all. I listened to videos all day and I admit I am not a scientist, but I never seen a place where you needed to insert god. There are gaps in our knowledge, and in those places we can insert more study needed. But Mel goes to those places and inserts his god as if it is normal for it to be there. There is the possibility he says. Yes so are millions of other things, but they are not probable and not needed for an explanation. We don’t know yet doesn’t equal place god here, unless you want god there in the first place. Do I have this part of it correct? If not how much do I understand? I found there was not much out there on this subject by atheist but a lot of ones by theist claiming this particle thing proves god. Not makes it possible because we don’t know, but down right proves the deity. If you or anyone knows of a atheist response to the quantum thing please let me know. Hugs

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    1. Scottie, you can’t go wrong going to the source. And when it comes to communicating complex physics to the masses, I cannot think of a better person than Sean Carroll… who also just happens to be an atheist (for what he explains are compelling reasons!). So although easy to understand videos are the exception when it comes to anything in quantum physics, I think Sean does a really good making this very difficult subject understandable. For example, when it comes to entanglement and what this means, you might want to try this out.

      I wanted to mention you grasp the gist of where Mel goes wrong: this notion of retreating from this reality into that one, shifting ‘locations, so to speak, and then – POOF! – reappearing somewhere else. He then claim ‘quantum physics’ is where he gets this probability. Well, he’s wrong. Also, you get the point that quantum mechanics is all about calculating probabilities. So when Mel insists that this POOF!ing might be possible – and then uses quantum mechanics to try to back up this assertion – he’s not interpreting the results correctly. As you’ve noted, yes, the possibility in the wave function is not zero but it sure as hell isn’t in the same ballpark, correction, the same universe, as ‘probable’ (meaning greater than P=.5… a 50-50 proposition), which is what he incorrectly concludes and then tries to hide behind ‘quantum physics’ as if this back him up when it does exactly – exactly – the opposite.

      And Mel’s not alone. Woo meisters from all kinds of areas try to use QM this way, which is why John refers to Deepak Chopra…. a man who is probably the best known and highly successful woo meister who uses this tactic to great effect to line his own pocket. But we have Dr Oz supported by Oprah doing the same woo, Gwyneth Paltrow making a fortune with this kind of bullshit, and the list – sadly, a very long list – of woo meisters appropriating this difficult-to-grasp subject continues to grow… so kudos to you for trying your best to figure out what the hell people are really talking about… woo or science. Mel is talking pure woo.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I think it comes down to they start with the conclusion. God. Then they look for a way to prove god. Well if something is not well understood and it has not yet been determined to clearly and complete rule out their god need, they latch on to the parts of it they need. That part may not even say what they want it to but may seem like it does. My question , and I ask you to be as objective as possible, do you think Mel misrepresents the science to show his god may be possible on purpose? Not that he doesn’t understand the material, but that he is deliberately misrepresenting the results, he is cherry picking the data, to mislead people? Or does he really not understand after you tried to talk to him about it, and he wants so much to have his god he is convinced himself what he hopes is true? You seem to have a knowledge of the subject. He says he has read up on it and understands it. Hugs

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        1. Scottie, you ask if I think Mel misrepresents the science to show his god may be possible on purpose?
          My answer is yes, but not because I am biased toward the difference in conclusions or desire to prove him wrong. My answer is yes because I think I’ve given him enough informed reasons to thereby reasonably question his conclusions, or at least want to examine the subject a little closer to see if maybe he might have misused or misunderstand any of the terms, or might have gone astray somewhere in his reasoning. And he hasn’t done any this; rather, he has doubled down on his assertions which he misconstrues to be logical conclusions… refusing to alter his justification on calling upon QM to give him a sciency-sounding bit of support, which I think any reasonable person would willingly question considering just how mind-boggling – and you know this firsthand – and confusing the subject matter is.

          So this raises in my mind that he has an agenda other than trying figure this out, an agenda not open to reasoned argument, an agenda other than coming to better or more informed understanding, an agenda other than to figure out what is actually the case, an agenda squarely intended to come up with a reasonable explanation of Jesus performing his passing-through-a-wall miracles while refusing any other reasonable explanation that the claim is likely false.

          Mel’s agenda sets the truth value he – not reality – is willing to grant. And this agenda is Christian apologetics, to try to make the unbelievable believable.

          And so whatever appears to support his agenda – specifically predetermined – is to be considered ‘correct’ no matter how valid any other considerations that do not support the agenda may be. And I think Mel demonstrates this by his intransigence.

          So let’s compare.

          You notice even Sean Carroll who teaches Quantum Physics at a distinguished university and is a working quantum physicist with a fistful of popular books communicating about science readily admits what Mel will not: “Let me try to explain this as I understand it, but I’ll confess up front this is a bit outside my comfort zone so real experts should chime in.” That’s coming from a recognized expert!

          Now the question we have to ask ourselves is this: Does Sean Carroll’s willingness to grant deference to greater scientific authority sound biased to you? Does it sound like the kind of entrenched white-knuckled position Mel holds? If the answer is no, then the next reasonable question is why. And this is where Christian apologetics makes perfect sense.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. We all know the supposed reasoned argument for Christian Belief proceeds from the Emotional one.
            But because the guilt trip is already well and truly established it becomes the Concord Fallacy,
            ”Can’t back out now….”
            So it becomes a desperate struggle to find something …. any damn thing … to bolster the Faith at All Costs nonsense.

            He’s no child born-again believer but like Bruce, came to it as an adult and now he is a minister in a church.
            I doubt encountering hard-core atheism was on his radar and he is very likely shitting bricks!
            And when a Giant Nob like Wally comes over to ”support” him he must surely cringe every which way but loose.
            Wait until he goes head to head with Professor Taboo!

            I truly believe it wouldn’t be that hard for him to turn it all in and say
            ”Nah, this is bullshit … atheism is much more fun!”
            But I’m not the person to make him reconsider, my knowledge and understanding of this stuff is junior level compared to someone like your or Proff,

            But he simply needs to go one-on-one with someone who knows the theology and the bible inside out and backwards and has been where he is now.
            I reckon he would fold his hand and call it quits without too much of a fight if a safe alternative to god belief was offered.

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              1. His bio has all the sex drugs and rock n’ roll we are familiar with, but there is likely a guilt trip hidden there as well.
                He might be stubborn but he isn’t a vicious fundy and he isn’t a fool either.

                Liked by 1 person

          2. Hello Tildeb. I have spent most of today reading about quantum physics. I did not get the article at the link you gave me. But I did find this which seems to me to shatter Mel’s whole god in a different local argument.

            In theoretical physics, quantum nonlocality most commonly refers to the phenomenon by which measurements made at a microscopic level contradict a collection of notions known as local realism that are regarded as intuitively true in classical mechanics.
            Quantum nonlocality – Wikipedia
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_nonlocality

            So Mel tries to say that because nonlocality means a different dimension and something acting from there on our dimension which he claims explains miracles. But he seems to not understand what nonlocality means in this context. I admit I do not understand all of this, nor do I have an educational background to grasp all of what I read. But I did read enough to see that he seems be using the unknown parts to add in his own wishes. Thanks for your help. If I don’t have it quite correct feel free to let me know. Now how to show this to Mel that he will listen to. Hugs

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