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Wisconsin, USA
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Oh, I should have previewed -- I didn't mean "consistent with the evidence," I mean compatible with the evidence. A disembodied Mind controlling events and manifesting itself through thoughts and emotions is not consistent with our scientific understanding, and it's not derivable from our scientific understanding. It's only "compatible with" science in the dull, vague way a dead bat on the table is "compatible with" a delicious dinner. You can only stick it there if it's understood that nobody is going to confuse the two, or really expect them to work together. At best, the dead bat, like God, is going to provide ambiance.
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Very thorough post. I'm reminded of Sam Harris' distinction between a belief being consistent with the evidence, and being derivable from it. Nobody, looking at our scientific understanding today, would conclude that there must be a disembodied Consciousness moving things about through psychokensis. But, if you start out with the need to believe in magic, you can special plead for the idea, move it around behind things, and make it vague and untestable. With enough finagling, you can still keep it around in a separate compartment from all your other beliefs. The problem is that doing this isn't open-minded. It's the opposite of open-minded.
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fletch wrote: I read your post here and I'm not really sure what you're trying to say. I'm a Christian, and of course I believe the Bible is true and I believe God exists If you read the post again, you will see that Christina is trying to talk about a group of Christians who do not believe the Bible is true, and do not believe God "exists" in the same sense that you believe God exists. She thinks these people are playing a game with themselves. You may find that you agree with her post. However, if we were to start asking you for specific descriptions and details on what you think God is, how it works, what it's made of, and so forth, you will probably understand how it can be so easy for God to turn into a metaphor, a feeling, a way of looking at the world, a symbol, a value, a person, a type of energy, a magical force, an idea, a Mind, a need for community, a sense of transcendence, and so forth, and so on. There really isn't any content behind your story-telling. That's why the concept can shift-shape so easily, from believer to believer -- and even within the believer, depending on what's needed at the time.
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