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16

もしたくさんの人はロービンさんにいじめをします、多分英語より日本語をしゃべるのほがいいと思います。:|

Arg, Kanji! Use Furigana next time! I only know Hiragana and some Katakana.

I used to be able to transliterate cyrillic too. Maybe I should look into some refreshers.

わかりました。いまどう?

17
The whole thing is silly. 
I think the funny part is something so silly can cause such drama.  I didn't think of it as bullying, just "stirring turds".  If that makes me a bad person, so bet it.


Nah. :)  Intent, I think would be more of an indication - and even then, 'good' people often do bad things.  It's part of being human.

Shaw: Good job, read your post.

18
General / Re: Christian Anarchy is the only sensible answer...
« on: January 27, 2010, 04:00:50 PM »
I apologize to you Celestion if you take my "crude" comments to be directed towards you.  Those who have read my posts over the years know that I give back what people dish out to me and all my cutting comments are to those who use such towards me (Johnson in this case)...

Accepted.

Also, I don't do the long drawn-out quote thingy as I find it very uninteresting and I know I don't bother to read all that stuff when others do it in various threads, so I avoid doing the same.  I will address what I believe to be the bulk of your objections...

Fair enough.  As someone who used to be a teacher and coach, I use this method because it provides a sense of structure and gives the reader a "reminder" of the point I'm discussing without having to search back potentially 2 to n number of posts/pages back.  I understand for many it's annoying, but I would rather be accused of that than either deliberately not addressing their points or (worse) being intellectually dishonest by either taking their points out of context, or by summarizing them in a way their hurts their position and benefits mine.

No 1.  If "dark matter" is so hard to measure or understand that only a few "gifted" and "educated" individuals can comprehend it, then I already reject it as being too "exclusive".  I've found that (certain individuals calling themselves scientists) will use this fact that no one can understand them to pull the wool over the eyes of the masses.  This is not to say that they may not indeed be correct, but if no one can understand their "correctness" then I reject it as most likely being a bunch of smoke from certain people who want to feel elevated above the others.  AGAIN - THEY MAY BE RIGHT... but I doubt it (according to my past "experiences")...

This was not a major point I was trying to make, only that would be interesting for you to take a look at WSP's video he posted in the BBS.

As far as "anarchy" I know the concept that these fictions do not exist and that we have always lived in anarchy is a difficult one to comprehend.  Let's try bringing it down a notch.  A more insignificant "fiction" is called "NIKE"...  This fiction exists because some men (real people) got together and wrote some words on a piece of paper and brought it before some other men (real people) who call themselves "Secretaries Of State" and asked them to put a pretty stamp on their papers.  This was done and within the minds of these men a new entity called "NIKE" was born.  Now if I ask you to go and grab this "NIKE" and put it in jail, what will you do??  Will you grab the warehouses and put barbed wire fences around them?  Will you grab some man who calls himself "Chairman Of The Board" and put him in jail?  His name is not "NIKE".  There are, of course shoes with "NIKE" on them.  Will you round up all the shoes and put them in jail?

So it's easy to point out that NIKE only exists in the minds of men and has no physical or spiritual existence (well, I guess we really can't prove the spiritual part).  In law, they are even admitted to being fiction as the correct term for them is "Legal Fiction".  But what about the "USA"?  All the same reasoning applies.  There is no physical (and we assume spiritual) existence of "USA".  It is a fiction that exists in the minds of men only.  When did "Babylon" cease to exist?  (It's a trick question).  Babylon never did exist but most men alive many many years ago believed it did and so they acted accordingly.  When they became enlightened to the FACT that Babylon was a fiction it ceased to exist in their minds.  The buildings, people and roads existed for many years after the belief in "Babylon" ended (I believe some of these still exist today - but don't quote me on that).

Fair enough.  However, this exact argument can be used to simply replace "government" with the any and all nouns for which we ascribe attributes to that are not physical objects. Things like:

  • Slavery
  • Love
  • Compassion
  • Morality
  • God
  • Freedom
  • Anarchy

You'll notice I put Anarchy in this list - the very thing you say is the natural state of things - but this also just a concept.  Taking your argument to it's logical conclusion - the only things that are not fiction are:

  • Physical Objects
  • The Actions of said objects

everything else is superfluous, and anarchy simply becomes a term, an "idea" in which some men will use actions to attempt to attain (which based on this argument can't happen) and which other men will use actions to attempt to prevent the acquisition thereof

So this then becomes the argument that applies to everything, and therefore for all practical purposes with the exception of the philosophical or metaphysical, applies to nothing.  This is because this argument is so broad, so general, so universally applicable that it's rendered beyond usefulness for the purposes of distinction or differentiation.


Now the "effect" you see in your life (taxes, jail, fines, etc) that everyone attributes to "government" is not proof of "government".  It is only proof of the existence of the IDEA of government in the minds of men.  It's MEN who put you in jail, take your money from you and tell you to salute, not "government".  Sure, these men BELIEVE they are acting on behalf of this "government", but that belief is no more valid than them believing they are acting on behalf of the Easter Bunny (hey, I like the Easter Bunny better anyway...)

If you still believe in government, can you please grab the "USA" for me and give me back some of the green pieces of paper some men stole from me??

Cute.  Tell you what - as soon as you can come back with the guy/thing named "Anarchy" - or even just a handful of it - then I'll see what I can do about your "USA."

As far as "Christianity" you are right.  I cannot prove the existence of The Creator and have admitted as much many times.

Fair.

But His existence is either a fact or it's not.

Agreed.

If it's a fact, then us men denying it will not make His existence cease. 

Nor would continually affirming His existence cause Him to exist if it is indeed not a fact.

I use Christianity as a means to acknowledge my belief in The Creator and to hopefully gain some direction to how I should live my life.

Fair and 100% valid.


As far as your fallacy, do you think I should rely on the experiences of other men above my own experiences?  Or am I just to consider their experiences as ancillary to my own perceptions?

I would not presume to tell you how to live your life; I merely disagreed with your denial of the Fallacy of Personal Experience

For my own life, I have to constantly remind myself that in many ways, I am in fact, ignorant; simply because I do not know, see, or have the intelligence to verify x does not necessarily mean it's false or worthy of summary dismissal.  Understanding this, I try to do my best to apply a modicum of balance.  Verifying what I can, when I can - and if necessary, acknowledging that I am not qualified or am in a position to either dismiss or "jump on board" with an idea.  It is because of this that I have to admit that I am not qualified, nor probably ever will be to either dismiss or factually claim the existence of God,  and therefore, I am incapable of "believing" or "disbelieving."

I can Hope God exists, but even this is a significant distinction; I am acknowledging that any feelings I have regarding God(s) would be completely and 100% internally driven and personally motivated.


edit: removed a portion of the post that was accidentally copied twice.

19
what's that mean? I don't get it.

It says:

"if people are are going to (continue to) bully robin over this, then perhaps it's better to be speaking Japanese as opposed to English." 

Sure, some of it for the LOLZ; I get it - and I think the posts (like yours) that show no malicious intent are similarly obvious.  At same time, I think by her posts it's fairly evident that robin doesn't garner the same level of amusement at what I think she (correctly) see's as an unjustified attempt at humiliation - and again for what exactly:

Cus it is funny.

Nice.  It is a BBS, so if making someone feel bad is what you want to do in order to feel good, then fine - no one here is going to be able to stop you.  It's just not surprising that there will be individuals that will be less than impressed by the action.

Kinda goes back to the first couple sentences of my first post in this thread.

20

もしたくさんの人はロービンさんにいじめをします、多分英語より日本語をしゃべるのほがいいと思います。:|


UR SO COOL DUDE

My point exactly.  :lol:

21

もしたくさんの人はロービンさんにいじめをします、多分英語より日本語をしゃべるのほがいいと思います。:|

22
 
:lol: Relax, guys - different strokes for different folks.  That thread does make some valid points: There is quite a bit of trolling here, and there does seem to be individuals who seem to derive their satisfaction on this BBS by making other participants as miserable as they are able.

...but this is what happens when you push for a virtually unmoderated BBS.  Sometimes freedom produces results that you might not have anticipated or particularly enjoy, but at the very least this BBS is true to its advertisement.

(shrugs) at the end of the day, this is just a BBS - and I hope what's written shouldn't take cause too much grief/anger in your life.  If robin.m feels that freeKeene forums are a "smarter" group of individuals, that's fine - it doesn't factually cause you (or someone else on this BBS) to suddenly be smarter or less intelligent as a result of discovering her opinion.



I'm sure I'm being way too straight-faced for what I gather is more of a "lolz thread."

23
General / Re: Christian Anarchy is the only sensible answer...
« on: January 26, 2010, 11:51:40 PM »
:| (sigh)  Let's see if we can steer this back in a more positive direction.



I certainly don't have time to write a book to respond to all of the above but I would like to point out Johnson's preconceived error regarding the Bible.

Take your time, Gene.  If my posts (both present and past) have shown anything, it's that I'm patient; I'll be more than willing to continue down this path of intellectual discourse as far and as long as you have stamina to take it.  Take the time you need to fully articulate what you need to say if you feel it's beneficial or necessary.

It appears that both of you put a lot of confidence in the high priests of science and that's your choice.

I made no claims about the [in]validity of science - merely that I disagree with your rejection of the Fallacy of Personal Experience for the reasons I outlined in my previous post.  One does not need to be a scientist or have a command of scientific theory or higher mathematics to show that making generalizations about a broad group or concept based upon the limited experience of a single person is very often sketchy at best - and a commonly used tool to attempt the rationalization for some of Humanity's most atrocious acts at worst.

I will be frank with you, Gene:  I'm a little less than impressed with the attempt at condescension you levy in my general direction with the "high priests of science" bit - I have niether explicitly nor implicitly laid Ad Hominems on your doorstep, and while you're tone may be more civil than Johnsons, the jist (in my opinion) is no less pernicious - further complicated by the fact that in your previous paragraph you had doled out the chastisement for leaning more towards ridicule rather than discussion.

I'm hopeful that this is merely a misinterpretation on my part.

I have determined from my own experience that those involved in the theoretical sciences are pretty unreliable.

Fine - though I will remind you again that I never made this accusation.

Of course I depend on REAL science.  The physical sciences are quite sound and when I can duplicate the results in my garage with simple experiments then I have no problem believing the published results.  Where I have a "problem" is when someone tells me they've "discovered" an invisible, unmeasurable mass called "dark matter" that they can "demonstrate" is there because all the formula regarding the mass of the universe are katy-wompus (a technical term you may not be familiar with) unless this matter exists - therefore it exists (give me a break).

I would encourage you to check out the thread WideSpreadPanic posted in General talking about the Universe coming from Nothing - there are some interesting claims that this "dark matter/energy" has been measured.  I am niether endorsing nor dismissing the claim as fact - merely that it might be something to look at and see if there is some other material that could confirm/deny the supposition.

Of course any of the "science" regarding cosmology or evolution is so convoluted with this kind of thinking it's laughable to any who have not become converted into the "cult", but don't try to tell that to the glassy-eyed cult members because they will immediately label you a "heretic" and call you names to belittle you in front of the masses (a tried and true tactic to keep the sheeple in line)...

Again, Gene - disappointing.  I'm not quite sure taking a position lambasting the (a label that summarizes what I think you seek to describe) Dogmatic Petitioners of Science while at the same time doing the very same thing (belittling them for their alleged quasi-religious behavior), is beneficial to make your case. :| This again has nothing to do with my response to your assertions, however, because you engaged in the Fallacy of Association - I feel that unfortunately I need to address any position that you have not explicitly qualified for Johnson.


Celestrian, you misunderstand my position on government and anarchy (and God).  Although the title of this thread is slightly erroneous (I've discussed this in the past) you can read in my first couple of posts in 2005 that my position that "government" does not exist has not changed.

I'll address this in a second.

A fiction can not be forced on anyone.  A fiction is nothing more than an "idea" that causes REAL men to act and commit violence against other REAL men.  My position is that "anarchy" is not to be strived for, but this is the state we currently (and always) are in.  There is no "government", never has been and never will be.  

Yet amazingly - this concept of Government is forced upon us - and what's more ironic is you laid out the argument perfectly with your own words.

  • Men can use violence to against other men
  • Men can use that violence to force capitulation
  • Men who believe in Government use violence against other men.
  • Government is the idea of a group of people using violence to force capitulation

therefore

  • Men who use violence to impose their will upon others is Government

It's amazing - I can see and measure the effects of this fiction and it's impact on my life.  How can something that doesn't exist have objectively observable and verifiable effects?  The funny thing: other individuals, not just myself, can observe those effects upon my life - physically, socially and economically.  More to the point, what if Johnson or someone else used the exact same argument on you, but replaced the word "Government" with "God?"  Would you then acquiesce to him/her that they make such a compelling and consistent argument, that you would have no choice but to acknowledge this irrefutable truth and renounce your faith?

Allow me to demonstrate:

A fiction can not be forced on anyone.  A fiction is nothing more than an "idea" that causes REAL men to act and commit violence against other REAL men.  My position is that "anarchy" an atheistic model of the Universe is not to be strived for, but this is the state we currently (and always) are in.  There is no "government" God, never has been and never will be.  



I add to this "Christianity" as a voluntary association with He who created us (I perfer to call Him simply "The Creator" to avoid doctine (interpretations of men).  

Fair.  Your reasons are your own - and I know that the question, "Then shouldn't it just say 'Anarchy is the only sensible answer,'" has also been raised in the past.  If you honestly believe Christianity is not the interpretations of men on the will/motivations/nature/existence of The Creator, then that's fine too; nothing I could possibly ever say, ask or demonstrate would change your belief in this.

...and that's okay.  I am no more qualified to prove or disprove the existence of God than you or anyone else, nor have I ever made or attempted to make such an allegation.



edit: cleaned up some typos and expounded on the Government as Fiction point
edit: fixed "you're" -> "your"

24
General / Re: Christian Anarchy is the only sensible answer...
« on: January 26, 2010, 11:13:41 AM »
Partially true.  I believe it is logically consistent to conclude that it "rains in Chicago every Sunday" given those circumstances, however that conclusion would be incorrect...

Unfortunately, Gene, I can't agree with this assertion.  The whole point of logical fallacies is that they show that conclusions are incorrect or that the logical argument is inconsistent, meaning all cannot be true at the same time.  A good, and often used example of this, is Reductio Ad Absurdum - whereby a superficially consistent argument produces absurd results.  Alarmist arguments of Climate change that I think you're referencing later (we don't call it "global warming" anymore because heat may actually not be the result, remember?) could fall under this category.

More distubingly, your supposition would then mean that it's possible for:

  • Racism
  • Bigotry
  • Murder
  • Genocide
  • Aggressive, coercive violence
  • Forced Governance

...all to be logically consistent if the fallacy of Personal Experience is indeed not a fallacy; a supposition you often contradict by (correctly) claiming that forced government is indeed logically backwards.  In fact, the title of this thread makes that very same assertion be claiming (a form) of Anarchy is the only sensible (read: rational) answer - thus making all other forms of government nonsense (read: irrational).

Don't believe me?


  • Every Japanese person I have met has been dropping bombs on my house
  • Dropping bombs is trying to kill me

therefore:

  • All Japanese people are trying to kill me
  • It's okay to kill all Japanese people because it's self defense.


If you honestly believe these kind of arguments are logically consistent - with or without quotations, then I'm not sure if we'll have really have a point of departure to discuss anything relevant. :|  . . .and that's extremely unfortunate.

Just like it was "logically consistent" for the majority of "scientists" of the world to conclude that there was a thing called "man made global warming" (something my life experiences proved to me to be false) given the manipulated data they were examining...

One thing my "life's experiences" have taught me is that men called "scientists" are no more dependable than anyone else...

When I start seeing a lot of quotations around commonly understood words, that tends to raise a red flag for me. This is because it tends to indicate that the "meaning" of the "word" being "used" is not something "others" typically associate with the "word." If indeed the scientists willfully manipulated the data - then their argument is in fact not logically consistent because at least one of their assumptions (the data) is objectively and verifiably false. End of Story.  Fallacious assumptions produce fallacious conclusions.



I have to imagine, Gene, that after listening to you call the show numerous times, that this cannot be a correct reflection of your intellectual and personal predilections.  So how can we adjust the position as you've written it to make it maintain the core sentiment of your argument (it's never smart to take anything anyone says at face value), but to get rid of all the nasty hangers-on that end up muddying the moral and logical worthiness of your position?

(edit prior to posting): I see Johnson took the hard line in answering your position. His sentiments and the points he makes when you get past the third paragraph is why I would consider this a very dangerous position for you to hold as you've expressed; the risks of having the good things you have to say being summarily dismissed as crack-pottery is significant and profound.




edit: added missing word "position"
edit: changed "results" to "conclusions" to more accurately reflect the point.

25
General / Re: Questions for the believers
« on: January 25, 2010, 11:08:31 PM »
I urge you when you free time to watch the video posted on the Universe is flat and came out of "nothing".  An interesting perspective you should view.  Seems more believable than string theory.  The guy talks about string theory too.

I will do so now and respond accordingly, even if just to let you know my initial impressions.



edit:  I just finished watching it - very interesting and compelling.  Let me think on it overnight before providing more detail on my impressions in its thread.

26
General / Re: Why giving aid to Haiti will help and not "enable" poverty
« on: January 25, 2010, 08:50:15 PM »
That said there is something I can impose on you without your consent, and I have every right to do so, even if you don't like it. If I knew you personally and you shared with me this opinion, I have every right to discontinue association with you and there is nothing you could do about it. I imagine many others would feel the same way and this would lead to you either deciding to change, or become lonely.

You could, because you chose to do this - but in the end this assumes 100% compliance with ostracization.  In the end all this would do is create a black market anyway - as someone would be willing to associate with the individual (personal or otherwise) either for the extra personal or economic gain it brings them.


I also don't believe you should call because you would want others to do so if you were in that situation, because all you would have to say in response is "I am selfish". Its also an emotional appeal anyways.

Not so sure if I agree - but I think this is a result of a difference of opinion of "where morality comes from."  If someone believes morality is something that starts within the individual whose foundation is built upon treating others in a manner you would wish yourself (or the person whom you care about/love/value most if not yourself) to be treated - that would then make this:

Quote
because all you would have to say in response is "I am selfish".

A non-sequitur.  Of course I'm selfish, and therefore it's in my best interest (and those people I care about) to show others the same level of compassion that I would like myself or my loved ones to receive because in the long term it's only positive.  I know you believe morality/ethics spawns from faith/religion, but then how does that explain the multitudes of atheists and otherwise "amoral" individuals following what looks by all accounts to be a "good Judeao-Christian type morality," which may include giving to charity and volunteering their time?

27
General / Re: Christian Anarchy is the only sensible answer...
« on: January 25, 2010, 06:39:19 PM »
Just to nitpick:

And I don't believe in this "Fallacy of Personal Experience" since this is all we have on this planet. 

So are you saying that you believe that is both logically consistent and correct to make general declarative statements of fact based upon your personal experience?

example:

  • It has rained every time I have been in Chicago on a Sunday.

therefore:

  • It rains in Chicago every Sunday.

28
General / Re: Questions for the believers
« on: January 25, 2010, 06:32:29 PM »


Absolutely, and this does touch an interesting consequent; there is an ultimate, factual answering the existence or lack thereof of God; either He/She/It exists or He/She/It doesn't.

What makes you think that there's only one god though?

Excellent point.  Merely because it is the most talked about model of theism in our contemporary context.  Feel free to replace singular pronouns with plural ones if it suits your purposes better. :)

29
Your patience is appreciated.  I wanted to take some time to digest what you're saying here to ensure I can get the best possible readings of what you've written to make your case.  I think you have interesting points here, so I'll be sure to point those out as I go over this.  I will also endeavor to keep the context of things I'm quoting as whole as possible.



Whether people claim to "feel God's presence" or not has never interested me. I think that just by existing you are feeling God's presence.  Whether one is sensitive to the fact or not is another question.

This is an interesting position again because I think this skirts dangerously close to affirming the consequent:

  • If God exists, you feel God's presence because you are part of God
  • God exists.

therefore:

  • You feel God's presence.

What about those, like Moses, who God (allegedly) spoke to directly? Is existing the only way to feel God's presence?  Is there a stratification in feeling/not feeling his presence?

I understand the jist here, and I also acknowledge that you properly qualify this as a personal opinion, but this first two statements would seem to fly in the face of individuals that resolutely deny the physical/spiritual/tangential/etc experience of God in any shape or form - and thus making the third statement both unnecessary and impossible.  I also understand why the possibility of someone not feeling God's presence is of no Interest/consequence to you, because you have already made that assertion for them in your second statement.

Can a portion of God deny its existence?  I'm reticent to use any analogies because I suspect they would be summarily dismissed as "ascribing human emotions/logic/parameters to the discussion," but it raises some interesting questions.  Now, more overtly pantheistic faiths (like Hindu) *do* ascribe to this, as the Brahman deliberately splinters it's consciousness ("gets lost in itself") for a period 3 Kalpas (a deliberately and absurdly long number), after which is coalesces, takes a "breather," and goes at it again.

However, I don't think that would be representative of Judaism, would I be incorrect in this statement?


The Whole vs. The Artifact


I acknowledge your position (and DTC's as well) that you believe anthropomorphizing God is fallacious.  However, would it be that inaccurate when the Book of Genesis (I believe) describes that God gave Adam and Eve a soul "not unlike his own?"  If our eternal soul is not unlike his, then is it really that far-stretched that some traits would be off?

... or is this an inaccurate translation/misinterpretation?  At this point I want to ensure that all bases are covered rather than make an assumption.

However, what I'm struggling with here is this duality of God both as discrete Creator/Architect and as the Artifact itself.  Let me show the statements that I think is best representative of this:

God as the Whole
Humans are part of God just as much as everything else in the universe is part of God.
God is the whole.
God "hardening Pharaoh's heart" to Moses' petitions.  I believe that God here is simply just the universe...[truncated for relevance]

God as the Architect
Quote from: Admiral Naismith
However I believe that when the laws of physics were set God then essentially stepped back and let things unfold how they would unfold.
There's no maintenance involved because the universe is self maintaining so far as I understand.
But I do suppose that the universe was created, the physical unbreakable laws were set, and things unfolded so that we exist today with free will and that the Torah is a written "history" of the Jewish/Hebrew people.

I will also freely admit that this could simply be a result of my lack of understanding, but it does seem that the pantheistic position is used as a good "catch all" when potentially sticky subjects like the seemingly emotional motivation of God are raised, but then at the same time, God is then spoken (as you have in some of the quotes above) as being seperate from the artifact that is the Universe, when relating to questions regarding to God's Omni properties - as when you said:

Quote
However I believe that when the laws of physics were set God then essentially stepped back and let things unfold how they would unfold.

How can something "step back" from itself?  Can you step back from your being/physicality?  I can understand stepping back from a situation, a location, but when I have read your posts, I start to see/read a resulting postion/truth statement like the one below: 


"When the All-knowing, All-powerful God created God, God stepped back from God and let the laws of God maintain God, as God is self-sustaining."


Right? Because "God is the Universe," I should be able to use the two terms interchangeably without any loss/conflict in meaning or consistency.  Perhaps, again as I mentioned, this doesn't read strange to you, but again I'm having a hard time reconciling the two positions, since other pantheistic faiths do not ascribe God as a discrete creator either in their texts or their language structure when speaking of God(s).



This is a very interesting discussion - hopefully we can continue working through these point and see if I might be able to glean a little bit more understanding of the aforementioned points.




edit: conscious -> consciousness


30
General / Re: Questions for the believers
« on: January 25, 2010, 05:16:37 PM »
Celestrians point seemed to be, that if someone said to you that:

"String Theory G-d is nutty cult crap for physicists believers.  I don't buy it."

That it wouldn't be constitute a very good argument.

Score++ for you.  This is the main thrust, but it also goes beyond that which I'll cover in your secondary point.

And that non believers in this thread generally haven't just said "religion is stupid/for stupid people", but have actually tried to engage the religious beliefs with a bit of depth and understanding.

And that it would be nice if it worked both ways.

You touch the other point here, and part of it the response the such a statement from the non-religious would receive.  The typical response to "G-d is wacky crap," is generally one of (understandable) anger and indignation for the Ad Hominem based [counter]argument.

My point was that these statements seem to be the very kinds of arguments that I have often heard rejected by the religious as overtly pernicious and off-point, and were the positions reversed - the individuals making these statements might not take too kindly to them.

Saying that,
You're right that its not proven, but it doesn't mean that it can't be, and that there isn't interesting work being done in String theory.

Although I'm not sure Celestrian was making a point beyond this.

Nope - like my position on God, I make no statements of fact concerning the validity of String Theory, merely was used to point out another potential viewpoint held by some, that "another brick" in their wall of faith was the fact that despite all of the things/processes that science claims to have solved, there are still "gaps" in our understanding (ex. pre-big bang) - hence the "God of the Gaps" position.

For the record, as a Strong Agnostic, my position is I have no position, but will gladly follow anyone down the path of exploration to determine what my position might be.

There was theory for black holes long before any physical evidence.

Absolutely, and this does touch an interesting consequent; there is an ultimate, factual answering the existence or lack thereof of God; either He/She/It exists or He/She/It doesn't.

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