1. Donationbbarr
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    27 Dec '07 20:56
    So, suppose I have good pragmatic reasons to believe that God exists (perhaps because it will benefit me, or harm me if I don't). These reasons are not of the sort that exert a rational constraint on belief formation. Belief formation typically (in everyday cases) proceeds via the consideration of evidential reasons, not pragmatic ones. If I was assured that I could win a shedload of money if I could get myself to believe that there was a killer in my closet, I would not be able to do it. We simply don't have that sort of control over what we come to believe. But I could certainly come to believe that there was a killer in my closet if I opened the closet door and a killer jumped out. The difference between these two sorts of reasons is that only the second sort of reason (the epistemic reason) bears on the actual truth of the proposition that there is a killer in the closet. The upshot is this: Pragmatic arguments for the existence of God are absolutely immaterial in the context of debates like those that rage through these threads. The only reasons that theists should present, if they are sincerely out to save others, are reasons that directly bear on the truth of propositions like "God exists", "Jesus rose from the dead", etc. What say you?
  2. Illinois
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    27 Dec '07 21:00
    Originally posted by bbarr
    So, suppose I have good pragmatic reasons to believe that God exists (perhaps because it will benefit me, or harm me if I don't). These reasons are not of the sort that exert a rational constraint on belief formation. Belief formation typically (in everyday cases) proceeds via the consideration of evidential reasons, not pragmatic ones. If I was assured tha ...[text shortened]... e truth of propositions like "God exists", "Jesus rose from the dead", etc. What say you?
    Agreed.
  3. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    27 Dec '07 21:291 edit
    Originally posted by bbarr
    So, suppose I have good pragmatic reasons to believe that God exists (perhaps because it will benefit me, or harm me if I don't). These reasons are not of the sort that exert a rational constraint on belief formation. Belief formation typically (in everyday cases) proceeds via the consideration of evidential reasons, not pragmatic ones. If I was assured tha e truth of propositions like "God exists", "Jesus rose from the dead", etc. What say you?
    Of course. It won't happen though.
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    27 Dec '07 21:58
    Originally posted by bbarr
    So, suppose I have good pragmatic reasons to believe that God exists (perhaps because it will benefit me, or harm me if I don't). These reasons are not of the sort that exert a rational constraint on belief formation. Belief formation typically (in everyday cases) proceeds via the consideration of evidential reasons, not pragmatic ones. If I was assured tha ...[text shortened]... e truth of propositions like "God exists", "Jesus rose from the dead", etc. What say you?
    It has been said that, "he who defines the terms wins the argument."

    God's existence is not dependant on whether one believes or not.
    The evolutionist believes that what exists is evidence for evolution.
    The theist believes that what exists is evidence for a creator.

    Round and round we go!
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    27 Dec '07 22:00
    Originally posted by bbarr
    So, suppose I have good pragmatic reasons to believe that God exists (perhaps because it will benefit me, or harm me if I don't). These reasons are not of the sort that exert a rational constraint on belief formation. Belief formation typically (in everyday cases) proceeds via the consideration of evidential reasons, not pragmatic ones. If I was assured tha ...[text shortened]... e truth of propositions like "God exists", "Jesus rose from the dead", etc. What say you?
    What if there was evidence that the belief or 'arena of belief' conferred an advantage on the believee? Any such evidence would be wholly removed from the exact nature of the belief but would in itself be pragmatic...
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    27 Dec '07 22:02
    Originally posted by josephw
    It has been said that, "he who defines the terms wins the argument."

    God's existence is not dependant on whether one believes or not.
    The evolutionist believes that what exists is evidence for evolution.
    The theist believes that what exists is evidence for a creator.

    Round and round we go!
    God's existence is not dependant on whether one believes or not.

    I trust you are a theist?
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    27 Dec '07 22:12
    Originally posted by snowinscotland
    [b]God's existence is not dependant on whether one believes or not.

    I trust you are a theist?[/b]
    Doesn't that make sense to you?
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    27 Dec '07 22:27
    Originally posted by josephw
    Doesn't that make sense to you?
    It tells me you are starting from a proposition...
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    27 Dec '07 22:36
    Originally posted by snowinscotland
    It tells me you are starting from a proposition...
    How's that. It was a reply to bbarrs' post.
  10. Standard memberRed Night
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    27 Dec '07 22:41
    Originally posted by bbarr
    So, suppose I have good pragmatic reasons to believe that God exists (perhaps because it will benefit me, or harm me if I don't). These reasons are not of the sort that exert a rational constraint on belief formation. Belief formation typically (in everyday cases) proceeds via the consideration of evidential reasons, not pragmatic ones. If I was assured tha ...[text shortened]... e truth of propositions like "God exists", "Jesus rose from the dead", etc. What say you?
    But if you believe that there is a killer in your closet you will react a certain way regardless of whether or not there is a killer in the closet.

    Conversely, the presence of a killer in the closet without your knowledge would cause you no concern at all. You would be blithely unaware.

    If someone told you there was a killer in your closet, you would probalby laugh and say something like, "right next to the flying spagetti monster I presume? "

    If eyeryone in the house believed there was a killer in the closet and you didn't and you set out to prove yourself right by opening the closet and going inside, would there now be a killer in the closet?

    Suppose 20 years earlier a killer had hidden in the closet, only to be arrested. Is there a killer in closet? Just not in this time dimension?
  11. Donationbbarr
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    27 Dec '07 23:10
    Originally posted by josephw
    It has been said that, "he who defines the terms wins the argument."

    God's existence is not dependant on whether one believes or not.
    The evolutionist believes that what exists is evidence for evolution.
    The theist believes that what exists is evidence for a creator.

    Round and round we go!
    How is this relevant to the original post? I certainly did not claim that God's existence is dependent upon belief. My claim was that we do not have the sort of doxastic control that is presumed by the expectation of some theists that pragmatic reasons for belief will be persuasive.
  12. Donationbbarr
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    27 Dec '07 23:10
    Originally posted by snowinscotland
    What if there was evidence that the belief or 'arena of belief' conferred an advantage on the believee? Any such evidence would be wholly removed from the exact nature of the belief but would in itself be pragmatic...
    I can't parse this.
  13. Donationbbarr
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    27 Dec '07 23:13
    Originally posted by Red Night
    But if you believe that there is a killer in your closet you will react a certain way regardless of whether or not there is a killer in the closet.

    Conversely, the presence of a killer in the closet without your knowledge would cause you no concern at all. You would be blithely unaware.

    If someone told you there was a killer in your closet, you woul ...[text shortened]... closet, only to be arrested. Is there a killer in closet? Just not in this time dimension?
    Yes, I would.

    Yes, I would.

    No, I would ask for reasons.

    That depends on whether there is in fact a killer in the closet.

    That depends on whether there is in fact a killer in the closet.

    How is any of this relevant to the original post?
  14. Standard memberRed Night
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    27 Dec '07 23:53
    Originally posted by bbarr
    Yes, I would.

    Yes, I would.

    No, I would ask for reasons.

    That depends on whether there is in fact a killer in the closet.

    That depends on whether there is in fact a killer in the closet.

    How is any of this relevant to the original post?
    I guess that went way over your head.
  15. Donationbbarr
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    27 Dec '07 23:57
    Originally posted by Red Night
    I guess that went way over your head.
    If you don't have anything to add to the discussion, please desist from cluttering the thread. Only you think that your posts are anything other than tangential nonsense.
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