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Old 24th January 2013, 09:13 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
It would help if you were going to say that to consider the existence of a god is mistaken or irrational.
It would help if you tell me why an explanation is needed.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:15 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
My questions (which you didn't answer) were:

1. Which parts are unsatisfactory and why are they unsatisfactory?
2. What are the better explanations and why are they satisfactory?
I noticed the dodge too.

Last edited by dafydd; 24th January 2013 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:16 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
To the OP apparently those distinguishing characteristics don't seem to matter much. Putting all 'believers [in x]' in the one, single category is valid even if it offends your sensibilities.
Yes, it does make all the difference in the world, because the whole argument the OP is making is that he cannot have a conversation with believers because they all blindly defend their pet beliefs and are incapable of holding a rational conversation. And I'm telling him that that doesn't apply to all believers, because, as I have said a hundred times by now, not all believers are obtuse close minded people with whom a rational conversation is impossible.

You guys, on the other hand, seem to me as obtuse as any Christian Fundamentalist, as I've had to repeat and re-explain my point to you about a hundred times and you still don't get it. It basically goes like this:

You: I cannot have a rational discussion with believers
Me: Well, you're putting all "believers" in a pigeonhole and that's intellectually dishonest. Not all believers are irrational obtuse people who are incapable of questioning their own believes. There are believers with whom you can have a rational discussion. So you can't generalize about them all.
You: Yes I can generalize because in the end, they are all believers
Me: I know they are all believers, but as I said, not all believers are incapable of questioning their beliefs. So you can't put them all in the same category.
You: Yes, I can put them all in the same category: The category of people who believe in irrational stuff
Me: I'm telling you that I'm not arguing the category of "people who believe in irrational stuff". I agree that all believers believe in irrational stuff. I'm arguing that they don't all belong to the category of "People who believe in irrational stuff with whom you cannot have a rational conversation"
You: But they're all believers!!
Me: *Bangs his head against the desk*
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:18 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
So what it seems to me you're saying is that a cypher for the cause of our existence (which apparently has quite a variable definition so therefore no one outside of your head can possibly be aware of what definition it is you're using) is not a fictitious concept?

If it's fact, then it can explained easily and briefly to mystic and non-mystic alike, right? Or will you be redefining what 'fact' means as well?



Sounds to me like you're wanting to know why you're here on Earth in the first place? Why do you think the answers are found in mysticism? Why not read the Good Book; it has all the answers you need.



Not meaningfully, no.



Then it shouldn't take you long to concisely and accurately define what this infinitely large gap is. Using logic, of course.



...some non-believers consider the existence of a God/god...? LOL

Please stop redefining or using words that have commonly understood meanings to try and make your 'point'.



Apparently, there are quite a few. If you'd pretend for a moment you were unbiased, you'd see that.
There are a lot of questions there, I don't have much time, so will answer what seems most pertinent.

Rational thought recognizes that there must be some mechanism or process which results in existence as we know it. We can discuss this process, while not having a clue about what the actual process is and we can refer to it even though it might be beyond our comprehension. Or am I wrong?

The gap is infinitely large because logically our knowledge of existence is limited and we don't know to what degree. While logic has introduced the concept of infinity. The basis of our existence is entirely unknown.

And yes there are people who consider the existence of a god who don't believe and seek intellectual answers on the issue.

Last edited by punshhh; 24th January 2013 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:18 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
not all believers are obtuse close minded people with whom a rational conversation is impossible.
Only the ones we get here? I don't meet any believers so all I have to go on is this forum.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:20 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post

Rational thought recognizes that there must be some mechanism or process which results in existence as we know it.
It's called evolution.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:21 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
My position is that it is not irrational to consider a god.
Depends on what you mean by 'consider'. If by 'consider' you mean that you fully acknowledge it is among all the other fictional creations of humankind, then no, it's not irrational. If by 'consider' you are saying that a god has independent existence and it's knowable then I'd venture to say that it's irrational when there's not evidence with which to base this existence on (such as literally every other thing that humans can say 'exists'.)


Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
It would help if you were going to say that to consider the existence of a god is mistaken or irrational.
See above.


Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
How do you know? Does logic tell you?
Yes, logic informs humans of what exists or not. Evidence plays a far greater role, however.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:22 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post

The gap is infinitely large because logically our knowledge of existence is limited and we don't know to what degree.
You don't know to what degree but you know that it is infinite? A bit of a contradiction there. Please start saying I instead of we.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:24 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
Yes, it does make all the difference in the world, because the whole argument the OP is making is that he cannot have a conversation with believers because they all blindly defend their pet beliefs and are incapable of holding a rational conversation. And I'm telling him that that doesn't apply to all believers, because, as I have said a hundred times by now, not all believers are obtuse close minded people with whom a rational conversation is impossible.
I don't particularly agree with the OP, Ron (if I may call you that ); I am simply saying that to him, it's true. It's an opinion which can be held to be irrational to some and rational to others.

If it helps to say it I'll say this: there's no need to headdesk, I understand where you're coming from and I think you've made your position clear.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:29 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
I don't need any special pleading, logic has provided me with an infinitely large gap to fit any God/god into, if I wanted to hide it.

Anyway back to my point, some believers and non believers consider the existence of a God/god, which is not a fiction and may be the origin of our existence.

If fairies were comparable, then there would be folk believing in omnipotent non fictional fairies.

How many omnipotent non fictional fairies can you fit on the head of a pin? Has logic got the answer?
What people believe or don't believe has absolutely no bearing on reality. The faithful pray and die along with the non faithful, they're both thrown in the grave and life goes on as before. Their lives are as the winter winds in last years leaves making a disturbance but no difference. You seek in vain if you seek a pattern in those wind blown leaves.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:30 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
You stated that natural explanations you have heard were unsatisfactory as an alternative. I presumed you meant as an alternative explanation to supernatural ones - i.e. God(s)
Incorrect, I stated that natural explanations don't address the fact or mechanism of existence. Only how the bit of existence we're aware of works.



Quote:
1. Which parts are unsatisfactory and why are they unsatisfactory?
Science does not tell us what exists or how it comes to exist. It just tells us a few things about matter and nothing about the existence of that matter, ie its origin and the basis of its existence.
Quote:
2. What are the better explanations and why are they satisfactory?
I don't know, this is the issue with the subject of existence. No one has a clue and whatever anyone can say makes us none the wiser.

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Old 24th January 2013, 09:35 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Incorrect, I stated that natural explanations don't address the fact or mechanism of existence. Only how the bit of existence we're aware of works.


More bald statements. How do you know that there is more to existence? Please reply with some proof and not just another 'I don't know but I know'' statement.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:36 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Incorrect, I stated that natural explanations don't address the fact or mechanism of existence. Only how the bit of existence we're aware of works.



Science does not tell us what exists or how it comes to exist. It just tells us a few things about matter and nothing about the existence of that matter, ie its origin and the basis of its existence.
I don't know, this is the issue with the subject of existence. No one has a clue and whatever anyone can say makes us none the wiser.
The Big Bang.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:36 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
But they don't all believe with the same amount of blindness and unwillingness to question their beliefs. Not all believers are unable to question their beliefs. Not all believers are close minded obtuse brain washed people. That's my point: That the OP is putting them all into one single pigeonhole.
If they can question their beliefs then they're skeptics. I'd have to see some of these open minded believers.

Ir seems to me that the essence of being a believer is that you at some point dig in your heels and believe regardless of facts.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:37 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
Because it's mystical.
Does one eat mystical mush with a spiritual spoon?
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:38 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post

Anyway back to my point, some believers and non believers consider the existence of a God/god,
Non-believers consider the existence of a god? You didn't think that one through.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:39 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Does one eat mystical mush with a spiritual spoon?
Yes, while blindfolded.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:43 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Does one eat mystical mush with a spiritual spoon?
Yes, because there is no spoon!

/rimshot
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:48 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
Only the ones we get here? I don't meet any believers so all I have to go on is this forum.
Well, too bad for you. But just because you haven't taken the time to speak to more believers and see that they are not all obtuse people, doesn't mean that they are all like that. I have met my share of believers with whom a debate about their own beliefs is possible. But if all the samples you have are people who come into this forum, I'm not amazed you and the OP and others are so pessimistic, because yes, this forum has its quota of people with whom I no longer even bother trying to have a conversation, since all they do is basically talk to themselves. They're not interested in listening. Heck, I'll even give you that perhaps the majority of believers are like that. But that still doesn't change that it's not all of them, and that generalizing like that is stupid and beats the purpose of trying to give the example. Since after all, if you typecast and pigeonhole all believers and refuse to speak to any of them, you're becoming exactly what you're fighting against: The "Lalalala I'm not listening" type of Fundamentalist Mindset.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:51 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
If they can question their beliefs then they're skeptics. I'd have to see some of these open minded believers.

Ir seems to me that the essence of being a believer is that you at some point dig in your heels and believe regardless of facts.
No. Your logic is the type of binary logic that doesn't actually apply in real life. Just like there are infinite types of atheism (atheists, agnostics, agonstic-theists, ignostics, etc etc etc etc), the same applies with believers. There are, as I said before, believers who even go as far as admitting that their beliefs have no actual supporting evidence, and thus, that they believe in such thing because it makes them feel good. So not all believers are close minded people with whom you can't have an argument about their beliefs.

That some of them question their own beliefs doesn't mean they're going to stop believing. It just means that some of them are open minded enough to accept that their beliefs may be wrong. But they decide to keep believing because it gives them a sense of comfort.
Bottom line, the point, for the umpteenth time: To typecast all believers, just because of the fact that they are believers, is a dumb thing. Some people who believe in weird stuff are perfectly capable of holding their beliefs to scrutiny and discussion. Some of them, might even change their minds if you speak enough sense into them. To give up the battle and say "I will never bother talking to anyone who holds an irrational belief because I won't be able to have a normal conversation with them" is stupid and intellectually dishonest.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:53 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Yes, because there is no spoon!

/rimshot
That's OK, there's no mush either, it was all a mental exercise best left for the student of the mystic realms.
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Old 24th January 2013, 10:00 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
Well, too bad for you. But just because you haven't taken the time to speak to more believers .
I would be hard put to find a believer where I live.
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Old 24th January 2013, 10:00 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
That's OK, there's no mush either, it was all a mental exercise best left for the student of the mystic realms.
Oh, but was it? Was it, really?
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Old 24th January 2013, 10:02 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
you're becoming exactly what you're fighting against: The "Lalalala I'm not listening" type of Fundamentalist Mindset.
I am listening for proof of the existence of a god from any believer. If I ever get cast-iron proof then I will be down on my knees worshiping with the best of them.
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Old 24th January 2013, 10:03 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Incorrect, I stated that natural explanations don't address the fact or mechanism of existence. Only how the bit of existence we're aware of works.



Science does not tell us what exists or how it comes to exist. It just tells us a few things about matter and nothing about the existence of that matter, ie its origin and the basis of its existence.
I don't know, this is the issue with the subject of existence. No one has a clue and whatever anyone can say makes us none the wiser.
You keep referring to the "basis of existence" while being vague on what it is.

Is this just another meaningless phrase you use to hide the fact that you have nothing?
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Old 24th January 2013, 10:09 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
If they can question their beliefs then they're skeptics. I'd have to see some of these open minded believers.

Ir seems to me that the essence of being a believer is that you at some point dig in your heels and believe regardless of facts.
Apparently my experience is not typical, but the religious people I talk to about religion do appear open-minded and intellectually honest. They can admit that they are not certain, and that their arguments are not necessarily air tight.

And, they do not reject facts, in the sense of acknowledging that a fact undermines their position but sticking to their position anyway. Some genuinely believe (as far as I can tell) that the total evidence supports the truth of their religious beliefs. So at worst, they have made a mistake in evaluating the evidence. This appears much different from steadfastly denying facts, or rejecting rationality.

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Old 24th January 2013, 10:10 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Oh, but was it? Was it, really?
I think I'm seeing turtles.
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Old 24th January 2013, 10:37 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
My position is that it is not irrational to consider a god.
Is it rational to believe in pixies?
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Old 24th January 2013, 10:38 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
You keep referring to the "basis of existence" while being vague on what it is.

Is this just another meaningless phrase you use to hide the fact that you have nothing?
This basis will be on the other side of the event horizon of the formless, no doubt.
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Old 24th January 2013, 10:40 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by BenjaminTR View Post
Apparently my experience is not typical, but the religious people I talk to about religion do appear open-minded and intellectually honest. They can admit that they are not certain, and that their arguments are not necessarily air tight.

And, they do not reject facts, in the sense of acknowledging that a fact undermines their position but sticking to their position anyway. Some genuinely believe (as far as I can tell) that the total evidence supports the truth of their religious beliefs. So at worst, they have made a mistake in evaluating the evidence. This appears much different from steadfastly denying facts, or rejecting rationality.
They ignore the bits of the total evidence that don't fit into their fantasy.
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Old 24th January 2013, 10:41 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Is it rational to believe in pixies?
If they live in your foliage, yes.
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Old 24th January 2013, 11:11 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
Yes, it does make all the difference in the world, because the whole argument the OP is making is that he cannot have a conversation with believers because they all blindly defend their pet beliefs and are incapable of holding a rational conversation. And I'm telling him that that doesn't apply to all believers, because, as I have said a hundred times by now, not all believers are obtuse close minded people with whom a rational conversation is impossible.

You guys, on the other hand, seem to me as obtuse as any Christian Fundamentalist, as I've had to repeat and re-explain my point to you about a hundred times and you still don't get it. It basically goes like this:

You: I cannot have a rational discussion with believers
Me: Well, you're putting all "believers" in a pigeonhole and that's intellectually dishonest. Not all believers are irrational obtuse people who are incapable of questioning their own believes. There are believers with whom you can have a rational discussion. So you can't generalize about them all.
You: Yes I can generalize because in the end, they are all believers
Me: I know they are all believers, but as I said, not all believers are incapable of questioning their beliefs. So you can't put them all in the same category.
You: Yes, I can put them all in the same category: The category of people who believe in irrational stuff
Me: I'm telling you that I'm not arguing the category of "people who believe in irrational stuff". I agree that all believers believe in irrational stuff. I'm arguing that they don't all belong to the category of "People who believe in irrational stuff with whom you cannot have a rational conversation"
You: But they're all believers!!
Me: *Bangs his head against the desk*
Belief in pixies is irrational. Belief in beings like pixies is irrational. Gods are beings like pixies. If you believe in beings like pixies you are irrational.
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Old 24th January 2013, 11:35 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
There are a lot of questions there, I don't have much time, so will answer what seems most pertinent.

Rational thought recognizes that there must be some mechanism or process which results in existence as we know it. We can discuss this process, while not having a clue about what the actual process is and we can refer to it even though it might be beyond our comprehension. Or am I wrong?

The gap is infinitely large because logically our knowledge of existence is limited and we don't know to what degree. While logic has introduced the concept of infinity. The basis of our existence is entirely unknown.

And yes there are people who consider the existence of a god who don't believe and seek intellectual answers on the issue.
You seem to be using the term infinite in a strange way. If there is a process that caused existence then why must it be infinite? Why can't it have a beginning and an end and boundaries? Given that we already know something of what caused existence the gap is not infinite. And it's getting smaller the more we learn.
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Old 24th January 2013, 11:37 AM   #154
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How about this. Drop the personhood from it at all.

I have a hard time arguing with the concept of belief. I find it a faulty intellectual construct upon which to build opinions as to how the world works.
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Old 24th January 2013, 11:39 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Incorrect, I stated that natural explanations don't address the fact or mechanism of existence. Only how the bit of existence we're aware of works.

Science does not tell us what exists or how it comes to exist. It just tells us a few things about matter and nothing about the existence of that matter, ie its origin and the basis of its existence.
I don't know, this is the issue with the subject of existence. No one has a clue and whatever anyone can say makes us none the wiser.
I don't understand or don't agree.

The fact of existence is addressed. Things exist. That's a fact. What else are you looking for?

The mechanism is addressed in many ways. The explanation is not yet complete but I don't agree that science doesn't address it.

What is it you are looking for? What do you mean my 'basis of existence'?

This is sounding a lot like Pseudo-Philosophy of the Gaps to me.
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Old 24th January 2013, 11:42 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Incorrect, I stated that natural explanations don't address the fact or mechanism of existence. Only how the bit of existence we're aware of works.
Missed this bit....How are you aware that there is existence of which we are not aware that needs to be explained? It seems like you are criticising natural explanations for not answering questions that don't exist
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Old 24th January 2013, 11:47 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Belief in pixies is irrational. Belief in beings like pixies is irrational.
What about claiming that you have photographed pixies?
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Old 24th January 2013, 11:49 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
You seem to be using the term infinite in a strange way. If there is a process that caused existence then why must it be infinite? Why can't it have a beginning and an end and boundaries? Given that we already know something of what caused existence the gap is not infinite. And it's getting smaller the more we learn.
Perhaps it's nearly infinite. Apparently in mysticism there is such thing as the nearly infinite.
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Old 24th January 2013, 11:51 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post

The fact of existence is addressed. Things exist. That's a fact. What else are you looking for?

.
Things exist, quite right. It seems that he is looking for unknown unknowns but quite how he knows that these unknown unknowns exist or a reason why they should exist has never been explained.
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Old 24th January 2013, 12:21 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
What about claiming that you have photographed pixies?
That would be lying. Of course, you believe your own lies...
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