Arguments for the existence of god.
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19-10-2016, 01:12 PM
RE: Arguments for the existence of god.
Sirhu, if a "necessary {and presumably sentient} being" can exist without any specified cause, why not much more simple entities such as the quarks that comprise matter? They require substantially less explanation than some eternal thinker-being that likes to build universes, and the existence of quantum fluctuations indicates that yes, something can come from nothing.
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19-10-2016, 01:29 PM (This post was last modified: 19-10-2016 02:51 PM by Grasshopper.)
RE: Arguments for the existence of god.
(19-10-2016 12:58 PM)Sirhu Wrote:  Ok, so he responded Grasshoper's comment on his argument.

1 - Interesting you admit that in atheism the universe exists with literally no explanation. I do not see any sense to even think of such an idea. But either way, it's like I said, if you admit the universe as a "brute fact", then you violate the principle of sufficient reason. The problem is that the PRS (or PSR) is true (or in more modest versions) and its negation implies a series of absurd problems - you would have, for example, problems with complete skepticism (and inconsistency ultimately) ; problems with the possibility of making even science, measuring explanatory power, have evolution itself; problems with the unconformity with the empirical evidence in favor of the PSR, etc. I can not address all here now, but the explanation is there.

A necessary being has an explanation in itself, by its necessity. Literally could not not-exist. So the other alternative would be Spinozist pantheism, but this has other serious problems (including the PSR understanding).

2 - My argument is not the fine tuning, then your objection is not the answer. Still, however, your objection is wrong. Its criticism displays one of the largest and most common confusions of the fine-tuning argument; read any reputed defender - Robin Collins (leading expert on the subject, by the way), Swinburne, John Leslie and William Lane Craig, for example - and you'll find answers. There is no fallacy of "retroactive" probability; the question of the argument is not why THAT specific universe exists among others, considering that any individual universe would be extremely unlikely, but because we have a universe that is compatible with the existence and development life ( "life-PERMITTING universe") since the whole universe of this type is ridiculously less than the full universe hostile to the existence of life. The probability that our universe is hostile to life is absurdly greater than that of being a LPU like ours, and so there, there - in terms of Bayesian probability - very strong evidence against atheism or any lack of intelligence / premeditation in this case.

The correct example is not the lottery that any ticket has a small chance, but equal, to be awarded. A more proper analogy would be a lottery where you have a single black ball out of billions and billions of white balls, and you have to take the same three times black ball to survive - any white ball means you lose. And in the end you get the same black ball three times.

Any individual ball has a very small chance to be the result, but the likelihood that any ball you get is white (not black) is absurdly higher than taking the black ball.

3 - You just made assertions there. The problem with the soul is not that "yet" we do not have an explanation for X or Y, but that certain facts themselves could not be explained by neuroscience or any reduction/supervenience to matter. The semantic and rational capacity is immaterial, it involves much more than mere manipulation of symbols; It involves the abstraction of intangible universal concepts; mental causality because of propositional content of thought; etc. So we can conclude the immateriality and unique character of the rational soul (on sensitive and vegetative souls), and therefore you can ask about the origin of the soul, which in feature could not be the result of physical and chemical processes, but would require creation ex nihilo by a being analogous (rational). See the arguments of John Haldane in the book of debate "Atheism and Theism"; The arumento James Ross in "Immaterial Aspects of Thought"; the work of Victor Reppert in CS Lewis's Dangerous Idea; also what authors like Edward Feser and Swinburne wrote on the subject, etc.

I really don't know how to respond to this, so I am glad if someone could help me answer him. Huh

First, he likes to fill his responses with a lot of big words so that it's nearly impossible to understand what his point is. Dude -- try to say whatever it is in simple English. If you can't do that, then you don't have a point at all and you're just hand-waving.

On the second argument (fine-tuning), he has completely missed my point. It doesn't matter how "absurdly improbable" something was -- once it has happened, the probability is 100% that it happened.

Let me make another analogy. Imagine you're in a spaceship, traveling through space. At random times, you make random changes in direction. You do this for billions of years, with billions of random changes in direction. At the end of that time, you will be located at some definite point in space. The probability of you reaching that specific point (if calculated ahead of time) is "absurdly small" -- yet there you are. You absolutely must reach some point, just as an existing universe must take some form and have some set of physical constants, etc. It's completely fallacious, once you've reached that point, to say "oh, this couldn't have happened because it was so improbable". It did happen -- here we are. The universe could have evolved in any number of directions -- this is the way it actually did evolve. No god is needed to explain that.
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19-10-2016, 02:01 PM (This post was last modified: 19-10-2016 02:26 PM by Sirhu.)
RE: Arguments for the existence of god.
(19-10-2016 01:29 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(19-10-2016 12:58 PM)Sirhu Wrote:  Ok, so he responded Grasshoper's comment on his argument.

1 - Interesting you admit that in atheism the universe exists with literally no explanation. I do not see any sense to even think of such an idea. But either way, it's like I said, if you admit the universe as a "brute fact", then you violate the principle of sufficient reason. The problem is that the PRS (or PSR) is true (or in more modest versions) and its negation implies a series of absurd problems - you would have, for example, problems with complete skepticism (and inconsistency ultimately) ; problems with the possibility of making even science, measuring explanatory power, have evolution itself; problems with the unconformity with the empirical evidence in favor of the PSR, etc. I can not address all here now, but the explanation is there.

A necessary being has an explanation in itself, by its necessity. Literally could not not-exist. So the other alternative would be Spinozist pantheism, but this has other serious problems (including the PSR understanding).

2 - My argument is not the fine tuning, then your objection is not the answer. Still, however, your objection is wrong. Its criticism displays one of the largest and most common confusions of the fine-tuning argument; read any reputed defender - Robin Collins (leading expert on the subject, by the way), Swinburne, John Leslie and William Lane Craig, for example - and you'll find answers. There is no fallacy of "retroactive" probability; the question of the argument is not why THAT specific universe exists among others, considering that any individual universe would be extremely unlikely, but because we have a universe that is compatible with the existence and development life ( "life-PERMITTING universe") since the whole universe of this type is ridiculously less than the full universe hostile to the existence of life. The probability that our universe is hostile to life is absurdly greater than that of being a LPU like ours, and so there, there - in terms of Bayesian probability - very strong evidence against atheism or any lack of intelligence / premeditation in this case.

The correct example is not the lottery that any ticket has a small chance, but equal, to be awarded. A more proper analogy would be a lottery where you have a single black ball out of billions and billions of white balls, and you have to take the same three times black ball to survive - any white ball means you lose. And in the end you get the same black ball three times.

Any individual ball has a very small chance to be the result, but the likelihood that any ball you get is white (not black) is absurdly higher than taking the black ball.

3 - You just made assertions there. The problem with the soul is not that "yet" we do not have an explanation for X or Y, but that certain facts themselves could not be explained by neuroscience or any reduction/supervenience to matter. The semantic and rational capacity is immaterial, it involves much more than mere manipulation of symbols; It involves the abstraction of intangible universal concepts; mental causality because of propositional content of thought; etc. So we can conclude the immateriality and unique character of the rational soul (on sensitive and vegetative souls), and therefore you can ask about the origin of the soul, which in feature could not be the result of physical and chemical processes, but would require creation ex nihilo by a being analogous (rational). See the arguments of John Haldane in the book of debate "Atheism and Theism"; The arumento James Ross in "Immaterial Aspects of Thought"; the work of Victor Reppert in CS Lewis's Dangerous Idea; also what authors like Edward Feser and Swinburne wrote on the subject, etc.

I really don't know how to respond to this, so I am glad if someone could help me answer him. Huh

First, he likes to fill his responses with a lot of big words so that it's nearly impossible to understand what his point is. Dude -- try to say whatever it is in simple English. If you can't do that, then you don't have a point at all and you're just hand-waving.

On the second argument (fine-tuning), he has completely missed my point. It doesn't matter how "absurdly improbable" something was -- once it has happened, the probability is 100% that it happened.

Let me make another analogy. Imagine you're in a spaceship, traveling through space. At random times, you make random changes in direction. You do this for a billions of years, with billions of random changes in direction. At the end of that time, you will be located at some definite point in space. The probability of you reaching that specific point (if calculated ahead of time) is "absurdly small" -- yet there you are. You absolutely must reach some point, just as an existing universe must take some form and have some set of physical constants, etc. It's completely fallacious, once you've reached that point, to say "oh, this couldn't have happened because it was so improbable". It did happen -- here we are. The universe could have evolved in any number of directions -- this is the way it actually did evolve. No god is needed to explain that.
But what about his other points? I just ask for them to be explained in a simpler way? His arguments are mostly philosophical, so he likes to include complicated terms on his texts, but I believe there is in fact a meaning to it.
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19-10-2016, 02:44 PM
RE: Arguments for the existence of god.
(19-10-2016 02:01 PM)Sirhu Wrote:  
(19-10-2016 01:29 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  First, he likes to fill his responses with a lot of big words so that it's nearly impossible to understand what his point is. Dude -- try to say whatever it is in simple English. If you can't do that, then you don't have a point at all and you're just hand-waving.

On the second argument (fine-tuning), he has completely missed my point. It doesn't matter how "absurdly improbable" something was -- once it has happened, the probability is 100% that it happened.

Let me make another analogy. Imagine you're in a spaceship, traveling through space. At random times, you make random changes in direction. You do this for a billions of years, with billions of random changes in direction. At the end of that time, you will be located at some definite point in space. The probability of you reaching that specific point (if calculated ahead of time) is "absurdly small" -- yet there you are. You absolutely must reach some point, just as an existing universe must take some form and have some set of physical constants, etc. It's completely fallacious, once you've reached that point, to say "oh, this couldn't have happened because it was so improbable". It did happen -- here we are. The universe could have evolved in any number of directions -- this is the way it actually did evolve. No god is needed to explain that.
But what about his other points? I just ask for them to be explained in a simpler way? His arguments are mostly philosophical, so he likes to include complicated terms on his texts, but I believe there is in fact a meaning to it.

Their responses to points #1 and #3 are so full of jargon that I can't tell what they're saying. They can call it "philosophical" -- I call it obfuscation. "If we wave our hands around and use a lot of big words, nobody can refute us." I'm not even going to try to refute them until they can state their case in normal English that someone without a philosophy degree can understand.

But basically, if their precious "necessary being" needs no explanation, neither does the universe. And manufacturing a "God of the gaps" because we don't fully understand "the soul" (i.e., consciousness) yet is still just a "God of the gaps". It doesn't impress me. Why not just say "we don't know"? I'm not 5 years old anymore. I don't need to have all the answers right now (foot stomp).
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19-10-2016, 04:11 PM
RE: Arguments for the existence of god.
Sirhu - your best response to all of that bullshit is to call it bullshit.

Can he make the same argument using different terms ?
Can he replace the word god with a magical pink unicorn and it works the same ?
The answer is YES

You now know that anything he says applies to imaginary things that don't exist.

If you change the soul to an invisible, intangible micro memory chip that exists in the 10th dimension that houses all of our memories, then guess what, all those arguments also apply to imaginary things that don't exist.

Arguments need to contains facts about reality and those facts damn well NEED to have evidence.

"Evidence is necessary"

I'm putting that on a shirt.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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19-10-2016, 04:52 PM
RE: Arguments for the existence of god.
(19-10-2016 04:11 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  "Evidence is necessary"

I'm putting that on a shirt.

I want this on a shirt:

[Image: b30bf359242eef24575ff19bfd7f9400.jpg]

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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19-10-2016, 05:06 PM (This post was last modified: 19-10-2016 05:09 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Arguments for the existence of god.
To be honest, I don't know why theists tend to consider this a "gotcha, atheists!" argument.

We don't know what the cause of the universe is, or why the constants are the way they are, but there's no serious reason to think that magic or some extra-universal willpower was involved. None. We simply don't know the mechanism by which it happened, yet. Hardly surprising, since this field of research is less than a century old. We've only known other galaxies existed since 1925. The redshift which led us to realize there was a Singularity wasn't discovered until four years after that.

The really advanced stuff, by which ideas like the multiverse and other variations on "what is the actual nature of the universe in which we live", is really young even compared to that, and we don't even have enough information to solidly determine what the question is, yet, let alone answer it.

The fine-tuning argument is especially asinine, when it comes to positing a deity's intervention. Maybe this is the only way those figures could be, given the way atomic particles interact, in which a universe would actually form-- maybe those other billions of "unworkable" options happen all the time, and simply don't form stable universes. Or perhaps there are multiple universes. Or perhaps we just got lucky in the astronomical (literally) lottery. Maybe we haven't even figured out the possibility that is the correct answer. But again, there's no reason to insert "magical being did it... because magic" into our set of considerations.

It gets even worse when theists propose their favorite "cart before the horse" argument, and start suggesting the universe was "fine tuned" in order to produce humans. Really? Your God thought to himself, "Self, I think I'll fiddle with a bunch of physics constants until I find one that will, in a bit over 10 billion years from now, form a planet on which life can form, and four and a half billion years after that, I will look down on one species--I think I will call them Great Apes, specifically the ones I'll call "humans"--and will finally have completed my work. Okay, done. Now to wait. A lot."

It's so clearly egocentric (anthropocentric), it would be hilarious if they didn't deliver it with such sincerity and forcefulness. Not only did this God of the Universe create EVERYTHING JUST FOR US, but he also has very specific instructions about our genitals (which sound suspiciously like human-made codes for social order enforcement of a particular type, pushed by the priest class) that it's really important we follow.

I think this graphic sums it up best:

[Image: e9DJjCo.jpg]

(ETA: Decided to "spoiler tag" the image, because it's really big. Sorry to those I spammed.)

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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19-10-2016, 06:37 PM
RE: Arguments for the existence of god.
At times, this god they believe in seems finely tuned to have all the powers & knowledge to be able to create a universe.
That couldn't have happened by accident. He had to have been created to have everything he needs to be able to do that.

I mean, when you look at all the complexity of a god, if you change any of those powers, he wouldn't even be able to maintain his imaginary existence.

He had to have been created. There is no other explanation. After all, theists can't explain how their god began to exist.
They just don't know. They try to say that he's always existed, but since it's necessary that he had to be created, always existing isn't possible.

Big Grin

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20-10-2016, 08:21 AM
RE: Arguments for the existence of god.
(18-10-2016 04:23 PM)Sirhu Wrote:  Recently, I've been debating with a theist and he presented 3 arguments that I found really interesting, .........

He has the level of Steven Hawking Smartass, as it seems. Could you give us link to the interesting debate? Smile
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20-10-2016, 10:55 AM
RE: Arguments for the existence of god.
(20-10-2016 08:21 AM)theBorg Wrote:  
(18-10-2016 04:23 PM)Sirhu Wrote:  Recently, I've been debating with a theist and he presented 3 arguments that I found really interesting, .........

He has the level of Steven Hawking Smartass, as it seems. Could you give us link to the interesting debate? Smile

Well, it's in portuguese, and I am just translating what he is saying.
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