Atheism is the only rational position to take
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24-08-2017, 12:51 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(24-08-2017 12:35 PM)Naielis Wrote:  I think the primacy of consciousness is only problematic if one believes they can will things into existence. I don't see anything fallacious about believing an infinite mind can will things into existence.
Then it's special pleading for the infinite consciousness I guess. It's fallacious for you or I to think we can will something into existence, but not for this special case over here called "god".

The other problem of course is that no one can evidence the existence of this special case, much less that he, alone, can will things into existence.
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24-08-2017, 12:54 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(24-08-2017 12:49 PM)mordant Wrote:  Other than simply asserting god disagrees with a given theist, how would you know that is the case?

I was using the term God in the same way Rob did: the thing a theist believes to exist. What I meant was that some theists might believe in a god from a certain text but don't believe in other tenets of that doctrine. So in a sense, they don't agree with their god.

Quote:And lo and behold, if he disagrees with that other theist, my guess is that on that point, he agrees with YOU. This is the point being made here -- not a doctrinal point of some kind, just that whatever person X thinks god says, that's as far as that person is concerned what he says, because there is no objective way to determine otherwise.

The objective way of determining what a god wants changes between religions but that doesn't mean it's absent in all of them.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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24-08-2017, 12:56 PM (This post was last modified: 24-08-2017 01:00 PM by Naielis.)
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(24-08-2017 12:51 PM)mordant Wrote:  Then it's special pleading for the infinite consciousness I guess. It's fallacious for you or I to think we can will something into existence, but not for this special case over here called "god".

I think there's a common misconception of special pleading on this forum. Making distinctions for something because it is fundamentally different is not special pleading. Also, it's not fallacious for us to believe we can will things into existence. It's simply false.

Quote:The other problem of course is that no one can evidence the existence of this special case, much less that he, alone, can will things into existence.

Well I think there are some good arguments for God.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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24-08-2017, 01:02 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(02-08-2017 02:16 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  ..atheism is the only rational position to take...

Hmm...it's not quite as simple as that..Smile
Jesus said he was an alien and proved it with awesome powers, so why shouldn't we listen to an alien visitor?
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24-08-2017, 01:42 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(24-08-2017 12:40 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(11-08-2017 10:09 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I don't see any metaphysical reason why you can't posit an immaterial consciousness. Good luck demonstrating its existence, though (or any mechanism by which it can "cause" any material objects or effects)!

While it may be difficult to demonstrate the existence of an immaterial consciousness, I think it's near impossible to do so with a material consciousness. The list of predicates we use to describe conscious experience are irreducible to material predicates.

To my knowledge, no-one has ever demonstrated or detected anything that we would call consciousness outside of the context of a functioning brain. Of course this doesn't absolutely prove anything (and science doesn't work that way anyway), but it constitutes very strong circumstantial evidence that consciousness is a product of a functioning brain, and can't exist without it.

When I contrast material and immaterial consciousness, I don't mean that the consciousness itself is material or immaterial. To me, an immaterial consciousness is one that has no association whatsoever with anything material -- it can exist all by itself. We have never observed any such consciousness. True Scotsman would infer from this that there can be no such thing. I don't say that -- there very well could be. But I will start believing that there actually is one just as soon as I see some evidence of it.
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24-08-2017, 01:49 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(24-08-2017 01:02 PM)Propwash Wrote:  Hmm...it's not quite as simple as that..Smile
Jesus said he was an alien and proved it with awesome powers, so why shouldn't we listen to an alien visitor?

And Aragorn said he had Maiar blood and proved it with awesome powers, so why shouldn't we listen to a Maiar king?

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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24-08-2017, 02:15 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(24-08-2017 01:42 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  To my knowledge, no-one has ever demonstrated or detected anything that we would call consciousness outside of the context of a functioning brain. Of course this doesn't absolutely prove anything (and science doesn't work that way anyway), but it constitutes very strong circumstantial evidence that consciousness is a product of a functioning brain, and can't exist without it.

I completely agree.

Quote:When I contrast material and immaterial consciousness, I don't mean that the consciousness itself is material or immaterial. To me, an immaterial consciousness is one that has no association whatsoever with anything material -- it can exist all by itself. We have never observed any such consciousness. True Scotsman would infer from this that there can be no such thing. I don't say that -- there very well could be. But I will start believing that there actually is one just as soon as I see some evidence of it.

Ah I see. Thanks for the clarification.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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24-08-2017, 05:37 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(13-08-2017 06:46 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  God as opposed to little g- gods, as belief shared by pretty much all of the main religions, entails a belief in a created order, a teleological view of life, that life has a moral order, than men have a moral purpose and obligation. So when someone ask me if I believe in a non-specific god, not attached to a single religion, I understand that question entails such a description.

This isn't a definition. It's a loose collection of ill-conceived attributes. If you make a complete definition of your God you will very rapidly discover that it is not the God that most other people believe in. Define God as "This big, important thing!" and all theists will agree with you, though most will treat you as a simpleton. Ask your Evangelical fiends what God is then go to Riyadh and tell the Muslims there that's what Allah really is and they'll need DNA testing to identify your remains.

(13-08-2017 08:44 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Everyone that professes to believe in God, whether they be Hindhu, Buddhist...

Please, tell me more about the Buddhist's God. Popcorn

(15-08-2017 12:31 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  But I’ve been among your type for over a decade...

Pro tip: "your type" should always be followed by "lazy", "dirty" and "stupid". Seriously, put some effort into your arrogant intolerance.

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24-08-2017, 06:05 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(16-08-2017 09:13 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think you misunderstood my point. I was talking about the quantum state of a system of many microscopic objects not the quantum state of a macroscopic object.

And consciousness. Are you suggesting that your brain capacity is less than 20 micrograms?

(16-08-2017 09:33 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I noticed my point about the "burden of definition" has been misunderstood. So I'd like to express my position again, this time more clear.

This is the claim:
1. A rational agent clearly defines whatever that he is talking about
Therefore,
2. Talking about something that one cannot clearly define, is an irrational act
Also,
3. A rational agent always carries a burden of definition of what he is talking about
Also,
4. A rational agent is silent about the terms that he cannot define

#1 follows from the definition that:
5. the propositions of a rational agent can always be expressed within a finite formal system
and 6. Every symbol is clearly defined in a finite formal system
Therefore proposition #1 is true.

7. The term "God" is undefined in general.
Therefore from #2 we have:
8. Talking about God (not a definite God, but God in general) is irrational

#3 explains my point about "the burden of definition", which I think was misunderstood.

I'm also suggesting that #4 is the only rational position concerning God.

In July 1977, David Berkowitz shot 13 people because a demon posing as his neighbour's dog told him to. It's my fervent hope that neither of us can properly understand his beliefs, much less define them clearly. Despite our lack of understanding, I'm willing to bet that neither of us believes in Mr. Berkowitz' demon doggie.

Just as disproof requires only a single flaw, disbelief requires just one absurdity. The rest of the definition is moot.

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24-08-2017, 06:47 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(24-08-2017 01:49 PM)Vera Wrote:  
(24-08-2017 01:02 PM)Propwash Wrote:  Hmm...it's not quite as simple as that..Smile
Jesus said he was an alien and proved it with awesome powers, so why shouldn't we listen to an alien visitor?

And Aragorn said he had Maiar blood and proved it with awesome powers, so why shouldn't we listen to a Maiar king?

> Indeed.

> “Men of Gondor--of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship—but it is NOT this day!”

“An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the world of men comes crashing down—but it is NOT this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand—MEN OF THE WEST!” (Aragorn before the Battle of the Morannon) Consider
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