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About Frank

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  1. Languages, Islam And The Holy Bible.

    Does anyone claim there are alterations other than in translation? If not, the Koran has undergone exactly the same alterations, as has any translated text. Also, the teachings of Paul are exactly equivalent to the Islamic hadiths, which create from nothing mater that is not covered in the Koran. edit by admin: This post violated forum rule #14. Kindly read our forum rules for details.
  2. Languages, Islam And The Holy Bible.

    There seems to be a misunderstanding here. Most of the bible is tribal history, written by humans. Some of it is contemporary news (of the life of Jesus), also written by humans. Some of it is 'prophecy', supposedly divinely inspired but it is not claimed that it is divinely dictated. AFAIK very little (or none?) of the bible is supposedly the direct word of god unmediated by a 'reporter'. So 'changeability' is not really an important criteria for the 'truth' of the bible. Also, there are books much older than the Koran which are 'unchanged' (Epic of Gilgamesh, Greek plays, etc).
  3. Men and women in Russia, China, India and Japan (and probably one day South Africa and Nigeria) are building 'rocket ships'. Do they use this non-western empiricism you have just invented?
  4. Languages, Islam And The Holy Bible.

    Sorry, no, you haven't answered it.
  5. Languages, Islam And The Holy Bible.

    You respond with an attack. How about answering the question instead?
  6. Languages, Islam And The Holy Bible.

    Just as a matter of interest, in what way is this less insulting to a Christian than the Belgian TV ad playing with the cultural image of the relationship between two parts of the Trinity?
  7. Saying that empiricism is a mean old Western innovation is silly. For example, if two teaspoons of salt in the water used for boiling rice makes it too salty (a cook tasting food is making an empirical enquiry), and one teaspoon makes it not salty enough (another empirical discovery), how do you decide what to do next? Do you add 6 teaspoons? No teaspoons? Do you consult the Unchangeable Hard-Core Facts of the Universe? of course not. You apply simple logic to your empirical evidence and try something between one and two. You use empiricism every time you modify a recipe. But, anyway, just how do you know that a malaevolent or mischievious god isn't fooling you?
  8. For the last time: 1. whether or not I have faith in my mother is not relevant to the topic of this thread. 2. I repeat for the nth time, I do not have blind faith in my mother or anyone or anything else. Nor do I have "indisputable proof" about anything. I have testable hypotheses which are constantly being refined and challenged. Yes! You've got it! I don't know that I'm not being fooled. I can form workable hypotheses, though. How do you do that about a god? When did I say I used intuition? I didn't. And I HAVE NEVER CLAIMED TO BE A MIND READER. Why do you keep bringing it up? I have never claimed to know anything for certain and have said this many times/. Why do you keep bringing it up? Yiou really don't give the impression of having very good reading comprehension. I have never claimed to know another human's "true nature"! Why do you keep saying I do? This is bordering on lies, tut tut. Also, if you'd READ what I wrote, you would see that I KEEP SAYING that we can learn things about other humans by experience and experiement. I keep saying that you can't do this with a god. No? You're being untruthful here.
  9. Umm, no, YOU do, apparently. I have never said that I lack evidence. I keep saying that our understanding of other humans is based on experience and experiment, including our understanding of mommies. You've started this "true nature" red herring, which I've gone along with, but I've never agreed that my undertanding of other humans (including mommies) is not dependent on experience and experiment. I've never called for indisputable evidence. I have constantly talked about empirical evidence and modifying hypotheses as new evidence becomes available. I perhaps DID use "nothing more than faith" in my relationship with my mommy when I was an infant (although I bet that even infants are able to learn if their faith is misplaced) but progressively it has been replaced by hypotheses based on experience and experiment. I certainly don't have mere evidence-free faith in my mother now. Your entire argument seems to be (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that I am hypocritical for having faith in mommies but criticising others' faith in gods. I disagree that I have evidence-free faith in mommies, but even if that was the case, so what? You'd get to call me a hypocrite but that gets you absolutely no farther with the problem of knowing if a god is fooling you. This is not a call for 'absolute' evidence (although if you're basing your chances in the afterlife on it you'd think that you'd want a bit of intellectual rigour) it's a call for a method by which evidence - even empirical evidence - might be obtained.
  10. Rather than petulantly throwing around insults, why don't you tell me the point? To use your sort of language, you do a lot of dancing around but precious little honest argument. OK (ignoring the fact that I have agreed with you that "true nature" - whatever that is - cannot be known with certainty) so can I take from this that you believe that you can know the "true nature" of a god based on faith? You think that your faith is proof against a god fooling you? But you aren't going to give any reasons for this?
  11. 1. "Hard-core facts" are quite rare. We didn't have "hard-core facts" that the moon wasn't made of green cheese until we landed on it. But we did have a good working hypothesis that it wasn't. Likewise, we might not have "hard-core facts" about what a person is thinking, but we can have good working hypotheses, which can be modified when experiments produce results that don't fit the hypotheses. You can't do this with a god. 2. However, even if you are correct - that no human can know (using 'know' is an unrealistically strong sense) if another human is lying to them - so what? I have several times agreed that when I was a young child my mother no doubt fooled me. 3. All you are saying is that you don't believe that a god could fool humans, without actually advancing any arguments for this. Fine, but why do you stay in the thread?
  12. Yes? So what? They are opinions based on experience and experiment. I repeat (again!) that I haven't claimed to know with certainty what humans are thinking, and the fact that humans can fool humans tends to support my contention that a god could fool humans. You are on a futile side-track here.
  13. Erm, I'm not arguing that I'm a mind-reader. I'm reporting that, like all humans, I form opinions about humans and make predictions about how they will behave. These will necessarily be imperfect, but by experience and testing they get better. I really don't unnderstand what you are getting at. I have never claimed to "truly know what is going on inside", and why would I? If people can't even know what other people are "truly" like, how could they hope to know what a god is like? I don't lack empirical evidence. I know by experiment that, say, person A usually responds to loud noises by squealing and person B usually doesn't. There is no equivalent way of testing gods. Even if I will never "truly know" the motives and intentions of people, so what? That has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that (and even supports the argument that) humans cannot know if a god is fooling them. I totally agree that there cannot be absolute knowledge about humans. But we are stuck with them, so we do the best we can to understand ourselves and others, imperfectly as it may be. We do a pretty good job, on the whole - being totally surprised by the way another human reacts isn't a daily occurrence, in my experience. There is no equivalent way of interacting with a god, nor any way of knowing if a god is fooling us.
  14. Yes, I understand how the ontological argument works, and I also know that (but only dimly understand why - I'm not a professional philospher) most current philosphers (and many philosphers through history) reject it. However, even it it was correct, and a 'necessary' perfect being existed, we know nothing of the attributes of that being except that they are 'perfect'. Except perhaps the concept of Nirvana, no human religion seems to postulate anything that remotely approaches perfection. The sulky, vengeful gods of monotheism perhaps least of all.
  15. Athsit1 - sorry, I do now see the point of your para that I quoted. But that still leaves us with the problem of the attributes of the 'necessary' being. Can you state what you think are the 'necessary' attributes and why?