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hippy4christ
Skeptic Friend

193 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2005 :  17:49:30  Show Profile Send hippy4christ a Private Message
Hello Board:

Has anyone seen "Bruce Almighty"? I thought that it was great. They had it on cable a few days ago, but the DVD, along with the deleted scenes, is way better. Anyway, this thread is here to discuss the movie. I thought that the scenes right after Bruce meets God for the first time are a good example of how far some people will go to refuse to believe that they had a supernatural experience. Of course, the flip side is also true, many people will go a long way to believe that a natural experience was divine.

Hippy

Faith is believing what you are told, whether it's by a priest or a scientist. A person's scientific beliefs are ones based on personal observation and experimentation.

Lists of Logical Fallacies

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2005 :  22:12:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Actually, it seems to me that Bruce accepted his experiences pretty quickly. I can't locate my copy of the DVD right now, but from memory Bruce only "tested" God in three or four ways before he was out on the street being God. After all, Bruce was a believer who felt betrayed by God. God's existence wasn't in question, Bruce knew God was there, he just felt that God was an asshole. This wasn't a film about an atheist being confronted by the divine, in which case one would expect to see many more "tests" before acceptance. If you feel that this is "a good example of how far some people will go to refuse to believe that they had a supernatural experience," the only conclusion I can draw is that your standards of evidence are pathetically low.

Feel free to compare and contrast Bruce's reluctance to believe that he's standing face-to-face with God, with the fact that many people in the U.S. today believe that Saddam Hussein had a personal hand in the attacks of 9/11/2001, and refuse to believe otherwise, even when presented with the historical (and not-at-all supernatural) facts.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Chippewa
SFN Regular

USA
1496 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2005 :  03:50:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Chippewa's Homepage Send Chippewa a Private Message
For a film about what might happen when human nature meets omnipetence, I recommend the British classic, The Man Who Could Work Miracles.

Diversity, independence, innovation and imagination are progressive concepts ultimately alien to the conservative mind.

"TAX AND SPEND" IS GOOD! (TAX: Wealthy corporations who won't go poor even after taxes. SPEND: On public works programs, education, the environment, improvements.)
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2005 :  04:42:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
I loved that movie. It was fun, it was happy and it was well done. But what Dave said; it's not an atheist confronted by God, it is a disenchanted believer confronted by God and brought back to faith.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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hippy4christ
Skeptic Friend

193 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  11:27:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send hippy4christ a Private Message
Dave:

quote:
Bruce only "tested" God in three or four ways before he was out on the street being God.

Okay, so if you had a guy tell you that he was God and then saw: a 100-foot drawer come out of an 18-inch file cabinet, seven fingers on one of your hands, if you walked on top of a puddle of water which had soaked you up to knee the last time you stepped on it, saw a 44-magnum appear in your hand, had cream and sugar slide across a table into your hand, had a spoon materialize in your mouth, and then parted your soup; and you still weren't convinced that you had contact with a supernatural being (i.e. one who has abilities which are impossible according to the known laws of physics) what would be the next test which you would perform to determine whether or not that guy was supernatural?

Hippy

Faith is believing what you are told, whether it's by a priest or a scientist. A person's scientific beliefs are ones based on personal observation and experimentation.

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Subjectmatter
Skeptic Friend

173 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  11:43:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Subjectmatter a Private Message
Nothing. There is no test that could convince me that something was supernatural. Those are pretty impressive tricks and I would probably at that point believe that either this person had access to very advanced technology, or someone had slipped something hallucinogenic into my drink...


Anyway, as I'm sure any serious theologian would tell you, a material god is acontradiction in terms. The search or god is not like looking for your car keys...

Not that theologians are the brightest stars in the constellation, in my experience. (Ok, I exaggerate, clearly they must be very bright. They're just misguided is all)

Sibling Atom Bomb of Couteous Debate
Edited by - Subjectmatter on 12/13/2005 11:46:38
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  13:28:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Gee, Hippy, we're talking about the movie, no? I still haven't found my copy, and I don't have perfect recall. What did Bruce do next? Oh, didn't God show up and talk to him some more? Wasn't it then that Bruce was convinced?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  18:07:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Subjectmatter:
Nothing. There is no test that could convince me that something was supernatural.


Really. So if it could be verified beyond any reasonable doubt that a mystic could indeed levitate, or that a psychic surgeon was doing exactly what he claims and people were being healed at a rate well beyond what a placebo effect could account for, or, you know, any of that kind of thing, you would not even consider a supernatural cause?

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2005 :  23:33:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
Really. So if it could be verified beyond any reasonable doubt that a mystic could indeed levitate, or that a psychic surgeon was doing exactly what he claims and people were being healed at a rate well beyond what a placebo effect could account for, or, you know, any of that kind of thing, you would not even consider a supernatural cause?



Nope.

Because, and I have been over this before, if something is creating a measurable effect in the natural world.... then it is not, by definition "supernatural". Possibly unexplained if you don't know or understand the cause..... but that is all. To attribute something as "supernatural" is to fall back on the god-of-the-gaps for an explanation!

quote:
su·per·nat·u·ral adj.

1. Of or relating to existence outside the natural world.
2. Attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural
forces.
3. Of or relating to a deity.
4. Of or relating to the immediate exercise of divine power;
miraculous.
5. Of or relating to the miraculous.



quote:
Supernatural
1 : of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil

2 a : departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature b : attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit)



If you can consitently measure and observe something in the natural world..... it isn't "supernatural".


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Subjectmatter
Skeptic Friend

173 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2005 :  03:55:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Subjectmatter a Private Message
quote:
Because, and I have been over this before, if something is creating a measurable effect in the natural world.... then it is not, by definition "supernatural". Possibly unexplained if you don't know or understand the cause..... but that is all. To attribute something as "supernatural" is to fall back on the god-of-the-gaps for an explanation!

This is a fairly close account of my understanding of the matter as well.

If someone is able to heal people with a touch, then I am going to assume he has developed some kind of cure.
If someone is levitating eels out of the sea, then it is fair to believe that they have developed a method of eel-levitation.
If someone is capable of pruducing glowing balls in their hand, then they have found a way to make glowing balls.

If someone has found a way of claiming that they are god, then they are probably sick. I've always wondered if Jesus might not have been psychotic; it would explain the hallucinations and the belief that he is god...

It is possible to convince me of the existence of the supernatural, I'm sure, but first you must disable my reasoning faculties with some kind of psychotopic drug or a lobotomy.

Sibling Atom Bomb of Couteous Debate
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1884 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2005 :  05:35:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
I thought that Bruce giving Jennifer Aniston larger breast was completely unnecessary, funny, but unnecessary. Though I found the movie entertaining, it was still just a story created by men and women. Stories involving the supernatural usually are.

I know your question is hypothetical, but having never witness the magic listed, not knowing any reliable sources who have witness the magic listed, I do not expect to see such magic. If I did I would be inclined to look for a natural explanation.

quote:
…no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavors to establish
David Hume



edited to fix quote

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
Edited by - moakley on 12/14/2005 05:37:59
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astropin
SFN Regular

USA
970 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2005 :  10:43:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message
I'm with Dude & Subjectmatter. Supernatural, by it's very definition, resides (and will always remain) in the realm of Fantasy.

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

Infinitus est numerus stultorum
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Plyss
Skeptic Friend

Netherlands
231 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2005 :  11:06:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Plyss a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

Anyway, this thread is here to discuss the movie.


It's been a while since i saw this movie. I kind-of liked it on the whole but there's one scene that really bothered me.

At one point there's this scene where Jim Carrey brings the moon closer to earth so that it appears bigger and more romantic for his date with Jennifer Aniston.
Later in the movie the effects of moving the moon on the tides are shown, in the form of a tidal wave at some other part of the world, with all the pain and destruction associated with such an event.

At that point i thought by myself how odd it was for God to allow Bruce to cause so much suffering just for the purpose of teaching one single guy a lesson about divine power.
If i were a god, i'm sure i could come up with a better way to get the message across.
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2005 :  11:10:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Geez you guys. You are not very good at hypotheticals.

While it may be that a 'God' (or The Great Excreting Fairy) would have to interact with the natural laws to change something, it is not a gauruntee. There are many definitions of omnipotent, including ones which allow for unnatural explanations.

For me it would require many people experiencing the same thing (in regards to the movie events), but of course then you just unplug from the matrix and disprove the supernatural explanation of any experience.

Sophilisms prevent absolute proof of anything.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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hippy4christ
Skeptic Friend

193 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2005 :  12:10:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send hippy4christ a Private Message
Dave:

quote:
Oh, didn't God show up and talk to him some more? Wasn't it then that Bruce was convinced?

Actually I think he was convinced when he parted his soup.

Dude:

quote:
Because, and I have been over this before, if something is creating a measurable effect in the natural world.... then it is not, by definition "supernatural".

If someone has the power to raise you from the dead and give you eternal life does it matter if we call it 'natural' or 'supernatural'?

Plyss:

quote:
At one point there's this scene where Jim Carrey brings the moon closer to earth so that it appears bigger and more romantic for his date with Jennifer Aniston.
Later in the movie the effects of moving the moon on the tides are shown, in the form of a tidal wave at some other part of the world, with all the pain and destruction associated with such an event.

At that point i thought by myself how odd it was for God to allow Bruce to cause so much suffering just for the purpose of teaching one single guy a lesson about divine power.
If i were a god, i'm sure i could come up with a better way to get the message across.

The first thing to realize is that, if there is indeed an afterlife, then the pleasures and pains of this life are insignificant. Next, everyone is going to die sometime (unless they're raptured or something) and their spiritual state is more important then their physical state. Furthermore, people must learn to be responsible for their actions. On a less dramatic scale, that's why Yahweh doesn't immediately strike down parents when they abuse their children, the parents have to learn to exercise their free will properly and responsibly, and the children have to learn to overcome adversity properly and responsibly.

Hippy

Faith is believing what you are told, whether it's by a priest or a scientist. A person's scientific beliefs are ones based on personal observation and experimentation.

Lists of Logical Fallacies
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2005 :  23:30:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

Furthermore, people must learn to be responsible for their actions.
Why? If one has "accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour," then one is "saved" and it doesn't matter one bit how irresponsible or morally reprehensible one acts after that. Just look at all the liars for Jesus there are in the U.S. today! GW Bush doesn't give a damn about the environment (or other people) because he's saved, so what happens here on this dirt-ball is, as you say, insignificant to him.
quote:
On a less dramatic scale, that's why Yahweh doesn't immediately strike down parents when they abuse their children, the parents have to learn to exercise their free will properly and responsibly, and the children have to learn to overcome adversity properly and responsibly.
Baloney. "Free Will" is only about having (or not having) faith in God. Any act can be forgiven, but a failure of faith is a ticket to Hell.

Or have you become a Catholic, Hippy?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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