Christian vs. Humanist Morality
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05-02-2017, 12:48 PM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2017 12:52 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(05-02-2017 12:17 PM)unfogged Wrote:  I don't know if it is that bad... if you don't think you know everything during your teens you are unusual.

I don't think it's just his age, though I'd agree it's a contributing factor.

When I left highschool to head off to the Air Force Academy, they sent us a letter specifically explaining that we should be prepared for intellectual shock. It's harder to get into USAFA (or it was back then, anyway) than to get a scholarship at most Ivy League universities. It's an elite-of-the-elites school. But few of us had considered the implications of going from a regular high school to a place where everyone else had to meet the same intellectual and academic requirements that we did.

"You're accustomed to being the big fish in a small pond", they told us, "because you are likely one of the smartest people you've ever met. But you are about to enter a much larger pond with much larger fish." [Not exact, but a fair paraphrase.]

It went on to explain that we were likely too confident in our ideas, because they had never been deeply challenged, mostly because we had never been surrounded by students who were ever bit as smart as we were. It advised humility, lest we get ourselves into a social wreck by presuming the geniuses around us were like the people to whom we had grown accustomed, for most of our lives leading up to that point.

Being hyper-smart teenagers, of course, there were several of us who did not listen (thankfully, I did) to this advice, and the crashes happened-- occasionally, quite spectacularly, as our professors were also military officers as well as PhD experts in their fields, and had little time or tolerance for fools who entered a class thinking they knew more than people who'd taken the class, let alone the person teaching it. I recall one professor starting his derisive retort with, "So you read a few books and now you're an expert, eh? ..."

Much of this kid's approach reminds me of those crashes. That's why I said what I said about smartest person he knows.

Hopefully, as I also said, he's not done learning, and won't find his academic years as painful as the experience he just had, here.

"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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05-02-2017, 12:59 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(04-02-2017 11:24 PM)Naielis Wrote:  I gave several links that go through arguments for the necessary being. Perhaps you didn't see them, but please be a bit more careful before you accuse people of fallacy.

Linking to fallacious arguments as part of your position is committing a fallacy.

(04-02-2017 11:24 PM)Naielis Wrote:  And for the last time, that simply was not special pleading. You have to prove that all things require causation. You have not.

You have to demonstrate that the universe required causation. You have not.

(04-02-2017 11:24 PM)Naielis Wrote:  I have linked arguments that show exactly why there can't only be contingent beings. I haven't exempted anything. In fact, you commit fallacy here. Category error. You treat necessary beings like contingent beings.

You have not demonstrated that "contingent beings" are even a coherent idea, let alone that the universe actually is one.

In all seriousness, Naielis, I would like you to take a moment to consider this. This is not an attack on you. I have not attacked you at any point. I have been blunt and straightforward with the issues in your reasoning, and I have been open with my disdain for most philosophers, but there have been no personal attacks.

This is not an attack. This is a constant and recurring issue in apologist philosophy, particularly as concerns Plantinga and other philosophers concerned with ontological arguments.

An "ontological argument", for those who are unfamiliar with the term, is an argument that attempts to demonstrate that a god exists using nothing but "pure reason". What this ultimately comes down to, then, is an attempt to define "god" as "something that must exist".

All ontological arguments can essentially be boiled down to that. The only difference between them is how they go about dressing up the concept in different terms - the most famous formulation, by Saint Anselm of Canterbury, says that "god" is defined as "being than which no greater can be conceived", and that a being that exists is by definition "greater" than one that does not, and therefore there must be a god.

The argument from contingency is basically a strange, freakish little crossbreed between the various ontological arguments and the argument from first cause, which says that "the universe must have been created by something, and we call this thing 'god'."

Of course, this means that it inherits all the problems of its parents. And it can't solve those problems.

Ontological arguments - all ontological arguments - fail because they are primarily concerned with definitions. They cannot actually demonstrate that anything that fits their definitions exists, and do not attempt to. They are worthless on the face of it, because the only way that they can try to show that their definitions apply to anything is bare assertion; even Plantinga, a theistic philosopher who formulated one of the modern versions of this argument, admits this.

The argument from first cause fails because "the universe needed a cause" is bare assertion. It then gets into special pleading as to why the god doesn't require a cause while the universe does, but that is ultimately secondary; even if this issue did not exist, the argument would still fail because of the lack of support for its foundational premise.

The argument from contingency, then attempts to define "god" as "something that doesn't need a cause", and "universe" as "something that needs a cause", and then states that, therefore, there must be a god to create our universe. But, like its parents, it fails right out of the gate, because it cannot demonstrate that its definitions actually apply to anything. It is nothing but bare assertion and formalized special pleading.

It is, therefore, dismissed.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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05-02-2017, 01:02 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(04-02-2017 11:44 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Lack of physical evidence is simply not relevant in this instance. We're talking about an immaterial being. I don't think you're working within my epistemology here.

Immaterial things can still be demonstrated to exist (e.g., gravity, electromagnetism).

Presumably, what you meant was that this entity is undetectable - but this renders it a garage dragon, and means that it does not exist by definition.

If your epistemology allows for the existence of garage dragons, it is invalid.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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05-02-2017, 01:03 PM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2017 01:07 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(04-02-2017 11:31 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(04-02-2017 10:54 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  He's had a hardon for the problem of induction for like 50 posts now. Not sure why he keeps going on and on about it. It's become tedious.

Perhaps it's because you and others tend to ignore it.

Seems to me if you're arguing for a "first" cause or a "necessary" cause you're the one ignoring it.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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05-02-2017, 01:07 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(05-02-2017 08:49 AM)adey67 Wrote:  
(05-02-2017 08:37 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  @Rocket Surgeon

I would say that his "arguments" doesn't sound good even to layperson. It's just big pile of bullshit hidden behind fancy language.

“If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” - this sums up newest snowflake perfectly.


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I'm afraid as a layperson I have to agree with you Szuchow I like a good standard of language use, but I'm always a little suspicious of overly polysyllabic jargon and word salad, it can be used as camouflage for poor content or as a way to either intimidate or obfuscate quite often.
Academic really as I believe snowflake has left the building. Tongue

Some think that "big words" are good veil behind which lack of knowledge can be hidden.

As for him leaving - no loss here.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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05-02-2017, 01:13 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(05-02-2017 01:03 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(04-02-2017 11:31 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Perhaps it's because you and others tend to ignore it.

Seems to me if you're arguing for a "first" cause or a "necessary" cause you're the one ignoring it.

It's also not true that anyone else has ignored it. I've dealt with it multiple times.

For the moment, I am willing to extend the benefit of the doubt and say that he either didn't see those various posts. It is a crowded thread.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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05-02-2017, 01:17 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(05-02-2017 01:13 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(05-02-2017 01:03 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Seems to me if you're arguing for a "first" cause or a "necessary" cause you're the one ignoring it.

It's also not true that anyone else has ignored it. I've dealt with it multiple times.

For the moment, I am willing to extend the benefit of the doubt and say that he either didn't see those various posts. It is a crowded thread.

To be fair, I missed that post too. It's good. Thumbsup Speaking as a manic depressive myself, this thread is an excellent example of what my manic phase looks like. Good times. Big Grin

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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05-02-2017, 02:00 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
There is no Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Jewish or Buddhist OR Humanist morality, there is simply one species that fails to accept that every nation has traffic lights, hospitals and prisons. There are political and economic conservatives and political and economic liberals worldwide. OUR species morality is in the individual, not our nationalities or religions or skin tones.

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05-02-2017, 07:45 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(04-02-2017 11:46 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(04-02-2017 11:40 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The argument regarding causation is not First Cause.
Is simply "proximate cause", (or "nearest cause"). An omnipotent deity could have created universe makers... which might explain why it has such a piss poor design.

Well I would agree that the necessary being could have created the universe indirectly through other beings. But I still think the necessary being would have to be the first cause.

You go right ahead and think that if you wish. But you have presented no evidence or even a convincing argument for it. Especially the 'being' part of it.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-02-2017, 07:51 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(05-02-2017 12:14 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(05-02-2017 12:09 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I already brought this up. He ignored it, per his usual MO.
He thinks it's reasonable to slap the known properties of the macro universe we can observe to other situations. There is no justification for that.

Well now I'm not sure whether Nailthis sees the problem of induction as a problem or not. I was under the impression he did. No? If you accept the implications of the problem of induction on causality then debating over a "first" cause or a "necessary" cause is just a metaphysical circle jerk where nobody gets off.

There is no problem with induction, per se. It is perfectly valid.

The trouble arises when it is used inappropriately.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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