Memo from Martin P Burns of PricewaterhouseCoopers -------------------- Start of message text -------------------- Hmm - some sloppy phrasing of questions imo. Particularly a lack of definitive qualifiers like "all" or "none", and I find this actually inaccurate: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You say that if there are no compelling arguments or evidence that show that God does not exist, then atheism is a matter of faith, not rationality. Therefore, it seems that you do not think that the mere absence of evidence for the existence of God is enough to justify believing that she does not exist. This view is also suggested by your earlier claim that it is not rational to believe that the Loch Ness monster does not exist even if, despite years of trying, no evidence has been presented to suggest that it does exist. There is no logical inconsistency in your answers. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Actually, what they've just said is that there *is* consistency in my answers... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ But by denying that the absence of evidence, even where it has been sought, is enough to justify belief in the non-existence of things, you are required to countenance possibilities that most people would find bizarre. For example, do you really want to claim that it is not rationally justified to believe that intelligent aliens do not live on Mars? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bizarre or not, it's logical, despite their schoolchild level of debate. I don't think that intelligent aliens *do* live on Mars (*balance* of probability), but equally don't believe that it's *impossible* that they do. Similarly in the next section: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You are consistent in applying the principle that it is justifiable to base one's beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner conviction even when there is no external evidence for the truth of this conviction. The problem is that it seems you have to accept that people might be justified in their belief that terrible things are right. You have agreed that the rapist is justified in believing that he carries out the will of God, and in an earlier answer you indicated that you think that God defines what is good and what is evil. Therefore, to be consistent, you must think the rapist is justified in believing that he acts morally when he acts on his inner conviction. Hence, you bite the bullet and justify the rapist. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That's not actually what I said. What I said is that the rapist self-justifies, not that I justify him. And the one after: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In saying that God has the freedom and power to do that which is logically impossible (like creating square circles), you are saying that any discussion of God and ultimate reality cannot be constrained by basic principles of rationality. This would seem to make rational discourse about God impossible. If rational discourse about God is impossible, there is nothing rational we can say about God and nothing rational we can say to support our belief or disbelief in God. To reject rational constraints on religious discourse in this fashion requires accepting that religious convictions, including your religious convictions, are beyond any debate or rational discussion. This is to bite a bullet. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ By their definition, sure. But are their definitions a priori correct? They do pre-suppose a certain prejudice... Cheers Martin  The Loch Ness Monster argument has a different level of probability because the conditions for life in Loch Ness are somewhat more in question than those on Mars - the two aren't comparable. But making that comparison and appealing to 'common sense' is the level of debate heard amongst 14 year olds. Cheers Martin rudy <rudy937 at rogers.com>@lists.evolt.org on 19/02/2002 16:26:00 Please respond to thechat at lists.evolt.org Sent by: thechat-admin at lists.evolt.org To: thechat at lists.evolt.org cc: Subject: [thechat] the god game very popular at the moment http://www.philosophers.co.uk/cgi-local/god_game.cgi i bit one (1) bullet rudy _______________________________________________ thechat mailing list - home of the Hyamstuh Hunta thechat at lists.evolt.org http://lists.evolt.org/mailman/listinfo/thechat http://lists.evolt.org/thechatarchive/ ________________ I don't like living in a world where George Bush is considered a leader and David Hasselhof a singer --------------------- End of message text -------------------- This e-mail is sent by the above named in their individual, non-business capacity and is not on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers. 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