Basic question about typical arguments for existence of god(s)
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22-05-2015, 10:08 AM
RE: Basic question about typical arguments for existence of god(s)
(22-05-2015 08:13 AM)Learner Wrote:  
(22-05-2015 06:49 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Hi Learner, glad to meet you.

It is fine to ask others what they think but you shouldn't rely on it. It is OK to ask others as sort of a recon report on what they have found and learned but you should always validate the ideas you hear for yourself. Look at reality and form your own conclusions. Get some books on logic and philosophy and learn the process of reason. It's really fun.

If an argument is valid, i.e. it commits no fallacies or logical errors, and its premises are true, then the conclusion is true. If someone ever presents a valid and sound argument for the existence of a god then the existence of a god is proven. No one ever has. Every argument so far tried, fails. Once it is established that a god exists I think there would have to be further arguments to establish which one it is.

True Scotsman,

Good to meet you as well. Thank you for your input and suggestions. You said: "It is fine to ask others what they think but you shouldn't rely on it. It is OK to ask others as sort of a recon report on what they have found and learned but you should always validate the ideas you hear for yourself. Look at reality and form your own conclusions." As a new atheist and deconvert from christianity, this is something I am still very much learning, so I appreciate your input. With Christianity and dogma, a person is allowed to think only within the bounds of dogma...and discouraged from believing what honestly makes the most sense, in lieu of thinking what agrees with accepted doctrine. I think the difficult balance is recognizing my own limited knowledge in certain areas and listening to those with more knowledge in those areas...to then attempt to study and weigh the arguments on my own for not just what makes sense to me at first, but what I feel is true and corresponds with reality after examining the argument from every possible angle. When I was a christian, I distinctly remember my first break with dogma and allowing myself to be a free-thinker when I came to the conviction: "I don't care what the Bible says, no way in hell did Noah's Flood ever happen." So it's basically a growing process of courage in one's own ability to think on their own. And you are right...thinking for yourself is such a fun and freeing thing.

You said: "If someone ever presents a valid and sound argument for the existence of a god then the existence of a god is proven. No one ever has." So it sounds like you'd disagree with the question I had in the opening post? But you're right that the arguments fail...and even if they didn't fail, there's no argument that could prove a specific god.

It is going to be really hard because Christianity thrives on there being no distinction between the real and the imaginary. As soon as that distinction in acknowledged, Christianity simple falls apart in contradictions and stolen concepts. If you are just leaving that religion, you're going to have to make a special effort to always keep the distinction between what is real and what is imaginary firmly in your mind.

"So it's basically a growing process of courage in one's own ability to think on their own. And you are right...thinking for yourself is such a fun and freeing thing."

It is isn't it. You said it very well. Keep up the good work and welcome to the real world!

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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23-05-2015, 05:52 AM
RE: Basic question about typical arguments for existence of god(s)
(22-05-2015 06:58 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  
(21-05-2015 01:51 PM)Chas Wrote:  You are correct. Theology without evidence is worth no more than a bucket of spit.

I disagree.

I believe you are drastically undervaluing buckets of spit, sir.

I mean, you can pour out the spit and re-purpose the bucket to contain a different thing of higher value. Or, depending on the material from which the bucket is made, it might be worth a fair bit as melted down metal at scrap works.

Plus the bucket of spit, unlike theology, can at least provide a (somewhat off-putting) survival alternative should no fresh water sources be present.

I stand corrected. Weeping

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-05-2015, 09:25 AM
RE: Basic question about typical arguments for existence of god(s)
Learner - let's say a scientist had a dream one night that a particular unknown particle of matter existed. When he or she awoke they began to think about the ideas and concepts that would facilitate and help to explain why such a particle might exist.

He or she might come up with some very valid pieces of logic and arguments that would fit for what he or she was looking for.

The problem here is that the scientist is inventing a particle in his mind and then trying to find supporting evidence for it.

Of course maybe his intuition is correct and his experiments lead him to discover the very particle he's looking for.

When he finds it, he can provide the substantive proof that his particle exists, but until then he is simply poking around in the dark and seeing what pokes back.

I like to think most atheists , when provided with substantive, material evidence of a lightning wielding Zeus who lives on Mt. Olympus, would reconsider the myth.

Until then, we'll go on leading our happy lives without all the religious bullshit

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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23-05-2015, 07:41 PM
RE: Basic question about typical arguments for existence of god(s)
(21-05-2015 02:18 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  God cannot be proved or disproved empirically.
Invisible interventionist deities are not a falsifiable proposition, by nature.

The rational default in such cases is to withhold belief. Without a testable hypothesis, substantiation is impossible.

It is not an advantage that your particular deity is not falsifiable, not least because the burden is on you as the one positively asserting his existence, to substantiate -- not on the skeptic to disprove.

I don't have to be able to disprove god in any case. I can look at the lack of evidence, the nature of the claims, the invalidity of the arguments for god, compare theistic ideology to actual reality as it presents itself, tie it all together in a bow and call BS on it.
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23-05-2015, 07:49 PM
RE: Basic question about typical arguments for existence of god(s)
(22-05-2015 08:07 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  This is a call for perpetual skepticism. I think this is so prevalent because we have all been told all of our lives "don't be certain, you can't be certain of anything". Either logic is a valid means to certainty or it isn't.
It's true that there's no such thing as 100% certainty or 100% objectivity. That doesn't mean that there's not enough certainty or objectivity to draw rational and supportable conclusions, or that logic has no value. I just would not advertise it as a foolproof path to total certainty. More like a very reliable path to 99.99% certainty when correctly done. I think that's the correct amount of epistemological humility.
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24-05-2015, 08:19 AM
RE: Basic question about typical arguments for existence of god(s)
(23-05-2015 07:49 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(22-05-2015 08:07 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  This is a call for perpetual skepticism. I think this is so prevalent because we have all been told all of our lives "don't be certain, you can't be certain of anything". Either logic is a valid means to certainty or it isn't.
It's true that there's no such thing as 100% certainty or 100% objectivity. That doesn't mean that there's not enough certainty or objectivity to draw rational and supportable conclusions, or that logic has no value. I just would not advertise it as a foolproof path to total certainty. More like a very reliable path to 99.99% certainty when correctly done. I think that's the correct amount of epistemological humility.

We can be certain about some things. The axioms and the primacy of existence are incontestably true. Starting with this as a base we can validate new knowledge in an ever widening spiral. Of course we can make mistakes in reasoning but if we integrate our knowledge with these fundamental principles then any errors will show up sooner rather than later. What I mean by perpetual skepticism is the view that we can never know anything for certain which means that we can never prove anything. Omniscience is an irrational standard. All knowledge is contextual and if we examine the full range of the relevant facts available in a given context, and we validate our conclusions with logic, then we can be certain within that context that our knowledge corresponds to reality.

Christianity makes certain claims about the fundamental nature of the universe. In the full context of the knowledge available to us we can say without a doubt that "God" contradicts what we can be certain is true about the fundamental nature of the universe, therefore we can be certain there is no "God".

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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07-06-2015, 12:43 PM
RE: Basic question about typical arguments for existence of god(s)
(21-05-2015 02:11 PM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  This may be a different headed down a slightly different route from where you were going but it's still enlightening.
Even if their was evidence (which there is not) of some sort of "something" that created the universe and everything evolved from that, there is a huge chasm between a deism and theism and then the christian god.

Hitchens made a great point when he said, given the main arguments for a god, Teleological, Kalam Cosmological or Ontological, you are still only left with a deity. The leap to theism from there is so substantial and any arguments I've heard for a theistic god are null and void.
There are no logically consistent arguments for the mainstream gods of the typical religion. MLike Allah, Yahwe, Vishnu etc. Most just rely on scripture.

The theists that are invested in logic, usually try to make philosophical arguments that are logically consistent with a creator. A creator is usually conflated with a deity.

But a creator can just as well be a non-sentient hypothetical realm that is a primordial soup for everything. With the same properties of eternity usually granted to deities.

I am yet to see any argument supporting one or the other. Either way, it is not a logical argument for a deity.

I believe the strongest philosophical arguments for God are the ones typically promoted by the Roman Catholic church.

Kalam's cosmological argument, argument from contingency etc. BVG theorem is very popular because they believe it lends support the cosmological argument.

Either way, it does not follow that having a beginning proves anything about deities. The most it proves that there is something with unknown properties that may have caused the universe to begin.

The arguments, intriguing they are. And they leave you at the same place you started. Without a logical leap to the necessity for a god.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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07-06-2015, 01:18 PM
RE: Basic question about typical arguments for existence of god(s)
(22-05-2015 06:49 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Maybe this is a really dumb question...and I may not be formulating this question best, but would it be true to say that even in if the typical logical arguments for the existence of god were somehow sound, it still wouldn't prove the existence of a god because it still doesn't provide any evidence?

True scotsman started to expound on this but I think it needs further emphasis. There are 2 aspects of an argument, its soundness and its validity. A deductive argument is valid iff the conclusion cannot be false if the premises are true. Validity is the low bar. A deductive argument is sound iff it is valid and its premises are self-evident and indisputable. If an argument for the existence of god was sound I would accept it without further evidence. The Christian apologists like C.S. Lewis are very adept at making valid arguments but their premises are far from being self-evident and indisputable so their arguments are not sound. Let's assume for the sake of argument I have a 12" penis ... ergo God. Q.E.D.

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07-06-2015, 01:19 PM (This post was last modified: 07-06-2015 01:23 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Basic question about typical arguments for existence of god(s)
(21-05-2015 02:18 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  God cannot be proved or disproved empirically.

(22-05-2015 06:58 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  aka cannot be proved/disprove via empirical evidence.

And I have yet to see it be done analytically.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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07-06-2015, 01:25 PM
RE: Basic question about typical arguments for existence of god(s)
(07-06-2015 01:18 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(22-05-2015 06:49 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Maybe this is a really dumb question...and I may not be formulating this question best, but would it be true to say that even in if the typical logical arguments for the existence of god were somehow sound, it still wouldn't prove the existence of a god because it still doesn't provide any evidence?

True scotsman started to expound on this but I think it needs further emphasis. There are 2 aspects of an argument, its soundness and its validity. A deductive argument is valid iff the conclusion cannot be false if the premises are true. Validity is the low bar. A deductive argument is sound iff it is valid and its premises are self-evident and indisputable. If an argument for the existence of god was sound I would accept it without further evidence. The Christian apologists like C.S. Lewis are very adept at making valid arguments but their premises are far from being self-evident and indisputable so their arguments are not sound. Let's assume for the sake of argument I have a 12" penis ... ergo God. Q.E.D.

Very much this.

The fucking trainwreck Kalam, after all, is a logically valid argument. The conclusion follows from the stated premises. On the other hand, the premises are ass-backward unsubstantiated incoherence incarnate, rather limiting its soundness to the realm of the fevered delusions of madmen.

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