Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
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25-01-2015, 06:49 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  Recently, I was re-watching QualiaSoup's The burden of proof video when at one point several common arguments for god appeared on the screen and I realized I didn't know a single one off the top of my head. In order to better educate myself and others who may not know them as well, I'll try to explain some of the common debate arguments and how each is countered. Please add any arguments you feel us under-informed people should know about.

Ontological Argument
Ontology - The branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence or being as s
One of, if not, the first ontological arguments came from Anselm of Canterbury. He defined God as the greatest possible being we can conceive and argued that this being could exist in the mind. He suggested that, if the greatest possible being exists in the mind, it must also exist in reality. If it only exists in the mind, a greater being is possible - one which exists in the mind and in reality. In more layman terms, God is a perfect being. A perfect being must have all perfections. Existence is a perfection. Therefore, God must have existence. God must exist. To deny this is self-contradictory.

This was first refuted by Gaunilo of Marmoutiers using The Perfect Island argument. If we were to name this perfect island Serenity, and simply inject Serenity in place of God and replace being with island, we'd come to the conclusion that Serenity must exist, which it doesn't. It's a false conclusion and therefore Anselm's reasoning is flawed.

Argument from Beauty
Coming from the writings of St Augustine, beauty is something that transcends its physical manifestations. Since it transcends the physical and natural world, it must come from the supernatural, God's realm. Thus, beauty comes from the supernatural, God is supernatural, God must exist.

There's the saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." If beauty was created by God, wouldn't it be universal? Not everyone finds the same things to be beautiful, and beauty is constantly redefined by each generation (models for example). If every beautiful thing is not considered beautiful by everyone, it couldn't have come from God.

Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God (TAG)
Transcendental arguments start from some accepted aspect of experience, and then deduces what must be true for that experience to be possible.

In the case of TAG, we start with logic, reason, and knowledge. It's argued that our logic is inherently circular (we use logic to create a hypothesis and then (dis)prove that hypothesis with logic). Therefore, we must conclude God is the source of our logic in order to avoid an infinite regress.

An infinite regress in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3, ... , and the truth of proposition Pn-1 requires the support of proposition Pn and n approaches infinity.

The main response to TAG revolves around the premise: "without a god, knowledge cannot exist." If the premise is indeed accepted, it can lead to the conclusion a god does exist, but the argument provides no demonstrated necessity to accept this premise. A transcendental argument for the non-existence of God has been put forward that uses the same unsubstantiated premise that "the existence of knowledge presupposes the non-existence of God."

Argument from Complexity
This is also known as irreducible complexity (IC), which was first coined by Michael Behe. It is used by supporters of intelligent design. If something is IC it must have a creator, and that creator being God. IC posits that certain biological systems are too complex to have evolved from natural selection. Behe defines an IC system as one "composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning."

Evolutionary biologists have shown that such systems can evolve, and that Behe's examples constitute an argument from ignorance. In the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, Behe gave testimony on the subject of irreducible complexity. The court found that "Professor Behe's claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large."

For a specific example, Behe mentioned the flagella of bacteria, which functions as a type of motor, requiring the interaction of about 40 protein parts. He asserts that if any of these 40 parts were taken away, the flagella would be unable to function. It has been shown that the base of the flagella is similar to the Type III secretion system of pathogenic germs. This TTSS is used by germs to inject toxins into cells. the TTSS shows that the flagella is not IC.

Mind-Body Problem Argument
The mind-body problem concerns how, if at all, the mind and body interact. There are two main schools of thought on the problem.

Monists believe only one type of substance makes up existence (matter: electrons, neutrons, protons, quirks... etc) They believe there is no problem because the mind is part of the body and interacts as any other body part would.

Dualists believe that the mind and body are two completely separate things made of separate substances. The body is made of matter while the mind is made of something else. Theists believe that the mind may be in fact your soul. If one's personal soul exists, then the Bible is correct in that your soul either ascends to Heaven or descends into Hell when one dies. This then proves the existence of God.

One way to argue against this and the dualists is by stating that the soul has not been scientifically proven to exist and it may be impossible even it if did exist because the soul is said to be metaphysical. Also, if a soul does exist, it does not automatically lead to the conclusion that a God exists and created it.

Cosmological Argument
The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe. This First Cause is claimed by theists to be their God. The argument is usually stated as such:
  1. Every finite and contingent being has a cause.
  2. A causal loop cannot exist.
  3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
  4. Therefore, a First Cause (or something that is not an effect) must exist.
A causal loop or chain is a type of causality or causation. Causality is the relationship between an event and a second event where the second is a consequence of the first.

One variation of this argument is William Lane Craig's (WLC) Kalam Cosmological Argument. It states that:
  1. Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
  2. The universe has a beginning of its existence;
  3. The universe has a cause of its existence.
Of course WLC concludes that since the universe has a cause, it must have been God.

During the Scholastic era (1100-1500) St Thomas Aquinas created a predecessor to the cosmological argument; the Argument from Contingency. This argument builds on Aristotle's idea that "There must be something to explain why the Universe exists. Since the Universe could, under different circumstances, conceivably not exist (contingency), its existence must have a cause – not merely another contingent thing, but something that exists by necessity." In other words, even if the Universe has always existed, it still owes its existence to an Uncaused Cause,

This is by far one of the more difficult arguments to counter. I guess the best response would be that we currently don't have the answer, but that doesn't mean science won't figure it out, and just because it's currently unknown doesn't mean God did it. There was a time when we didn't understand what caused lightening, so we attributed it to Thor, Jupiter, and many other gods.

Lawrence Krauss has been publicizing the idea of "A Universe From Nothing." Basically, quantum fluctuations which pop in and out of existence account for most of the mass and energy, and yes, scientifically, something can come from nothing. A good video to help explain this idea can be seen here .

Argument from Degree
First proposed by St Thomas Aquinas, the Argument from Degree states: Objects have properties to greater or lesser extents. If an object has a property to a lesser extent, then there exists some other object that has the property to the maximum possible degree. Hence, there is an entity that has all properties to the maximum possible degree, and this entity is God.

Just because we can conceive of an object with some property in a greater degree does not mean that such an object exists. This reminds me of the Ontological Argument. We could also apply The Perfect Island to this argument. Islands have properties, therefore, a perfect island with all properties to the maximum degree must exist... but it doesn't. This again is a false conclusion based on flawed logic.

Argument from Reason
The most recent and one of the more famous proponents of this argument is Clive Staples (C. S.) Lewis. In Lewis' book Miracles the third chapter deals with the self-contradiction of the Naturalist.

Naturalism is defined as the world view that takes account only of natural elements and forces, excluding the supernatural or spiritual. This is the belief that all phenomena are covered by laws of science and that all the teleological explanation are therefore without value.

In its simplest form, this argument boils down to that without God, there could be no reason. We make inferences from observed facts, and we reason that our inferences are correct and sound. If reason is not absolute then reason is not reasonably logical, and all of our facts are no longer dependable nor true. So, reason must be absolute, and it must have come from God.

The best way I found to counter this is with a simple counter-example. This argument is implying that all false beliefs are formed causally, based on reason. This however is what some call a Possibility Fallacy, that is assuming that having no explanation is equivalent to not being able to have one. Simply because it just so happens that all false beliefs are formed causally, it does not follow that all causally formed beliefs are false. it's like saying "lunch meat is often baloney, therefore all lunch meat is baloney."

Anthropic Argument
The basis of this argument is the Anthropic Principle. This is the philosophical consideration that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it. In other words, the Universe is Fine-Tuned for the existence of life.

Two types of this principle are the Strong Anthropic Principle (SAP) and the Weak Anthropic Principle (WAP). SAP argues that the Universe is "compelled" or driven to eventually create life, that possibly a higher being or God is compelling or driving the Universe. WAP brings in the Multiverse theory, that there are multiple universes. Only the universes capable of supporting life will life eventually form to observe their universe, while non-life supporting universes will never be observed.

Both SAP and WAP have been dismissed as truisms or trivial tautologies, that is, statements true solely by virtue of their logical form and not because a substantive claim is made and supported by observations of reality. Such an example would be the statement "if things were different, they would be different." If WAP is right and there are multiple universes, each being different from one another, it doesn't being to describe how they would be different. I believe there have been advances in research into the makeup of different universes via super computers, but that's for another thread.

A critical term was brought up in the first paragraph, Fine Tuning. Many theists cite how the universe is so finely tuned such that if one of any innumerable constants were changed, life would not be possible. I've seen/heard them talk about the gravitational constant, the mass of a proton, and several others, but I know of two big problems with this form of argument. First off, as mentioned above, this is a truism. Yes, if the mass of a proton were different, things would be different, but we have no easy way of showing how they would be different. It's possible in one universe where the mass was different there'd be no life, but also possible in another universe with the same different mass life would still exist, albeit in a different form than we know it. Second, the Universe itself isn't very fine tuned for life. The visible matter we see only makes up a small portion of the universe. Deadly gamma radiation all throughout the cosmos. The large, vast distances between planets, stars, galaxies. The size of the Universe itself. God needed to create something so large just so we could be born and occupy one planet out of the countless others?

Moral Argument
While there are many variations of this argument, they all follow the basic outline:
  1. Either moral objectivity exists or there must be a moral order in the universe
  2. God is the best explanation for this
  3. Therefore, God exists.
The problem with this is that not everyone finds the same actions or in-actions to be moral or immoral. Some cultures still find it morally just to chop the hands off a thief while others find this to be immoral. Some find homosexuality to be immoral based on their religious beliefs while others with similar or completely different beliefs find nothing wrong with it.

One scenario I find fascinating is The Trolley Problem. This states: You see a trolley flying down the track and is about to run over five people. There's a switch that can be thrown to divert the trolley, but instead of killing the five people, it'll kill one person. Would you throw the switch to kill the one person and save the five? An overwhelming majority of people say that yes they would. A variation of this is The Fat Man: You're standing on a bridge and see a trolley flying down the track and is about to run over five people. A large enough mass would stop the train and save the five people. A very fat person happens to be standing near by. Would you push this fat person onto the tracks and kill him to stop the trolley in order to save the five? Nearly all who answered yes to the original problem answered no to this variation. But what's the difference? Isn't the outcome still the same? Sacrifice one to save five? It's still a "net gain" of four lives.

Conclusion
Well... for those of you who read that entire wall of text, congratulations and thank you. It took me many hours in many days to look up, research, and read all of this information. I know this might have been better as a blog post or something of the sort, but I don't have a blog, and I honestly wasn't excepting it to be this long. As I said in the beginning, please add any of your own common arguments that you hear in your debates.. Also, please correct me on any part of any argument you believe I explained wrong, or could have done better on.
Well done!
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30-01-2015, 06:57 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(17-02-2014 05:11 PM)le_bard Wrote:  "In the case of TAG, we start with logic, reason, and knowledge. It's argued that our logic is inherently circular (we use logic to create a hypothesis and then (dis)prove that hypothesis with logic). Therefore, we must conclude God is the source of our logic in order to avoid an infinite regress."

I made a post about this on reddit before, the proof/ disproof of conclusions we make based on logic has NOTHING to do with truth. The process in which we validate/verify that a conclusion is true is either through experimentation or simple observation, and all logic does is provide the conclusion for us to verify. Of course, after a while we are able to predict which axioms of logic will give us accurate and true conclusions but that was done after hundreds of thousands of years worth of application.

The whole pink elephant dilemma points this out perfectly: the whole "all elephants are pink, juanne is an elephant, therefore juanna is pink" thing shows that we can make inaccurate logical conclusions, because it depends on whether or not the axioms or presupposed statements are true. But, again, an observations of the mechanisms and tendencies of reality verifies this, making the whole sentiment that you cannot use logic to prove logic a strawman at best, and a manipulation of language at worst

do these people have any argument for god that isn't a god-of-the-gaps-shenanigans
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31-01-2015, 10:54 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(30-01-2015 06:57 AM)Ace Wrote:  
(17-02-2014 05:11 PM)le_bard Wrote:  "In the case of TAG, we start with logic, reason, and knowledge. It's argued that our logic is inherently circular (we use logic to create a hypothesis and then (dis)prove that hypothesis with logic). Therefore, we must conclude God is the source of our logic in order to avoid an infinite regress."

I made a post about this on reddit before, the proof/ disproof of conclusions we make based on logic has NOTHING to do with truth. The process in which we validate/verify that a conclusion is true is either through experimentation or simple observation, and all logic does is provide the conclusion for us to verify. Of course, after a while we are able to predict which axioms of logic will give us accurate and true conclusions but that was done after hundreds of thousands of years worth of application.

The whole pink elephant dilemma points this out perfectly: the whole "all elephants are pink, juanne is an elephant, therefore juanna is pink" thing shows that we can make inaccurate logical conclusions, because it depends on whether or not the axioms or presupposed statements are true. But, again, an observations of the mechanisms and tendencies of reality verifies this, making the whole sentiment that you cannot use logic to prove logic a strawman at best, and a manipulation of language at worst

do these people have any argument for god that isn't a god-of-the-gaps-shenanigans
The first order of business in an argument is both parties accepting the premises to be true or not. All to often premises are not accepted by one or the other party as a valid part of the argument and logic goes out of the window.
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02-02-2015, 06:48 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  Recently, I was re-watching QualiaSoup's The burden of proof video when at one point several common arguments for god appeared on the screen and I realized I didn't know a single one off the top of my head. In order to better educate myself and others who may not know them as well, I'll try to explain some of the common debate arguments and how each is countered. Please add any arguments you feel us under-informed people should know about.

I had to lol at the "countered" part.

(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  Ontological Argument
Ontology - The branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence or being as such.

One of, if not, the first ontological arguments came from Anselm of Canterbury. He defined God as the greatest possible being we can conceive and argued that this being could exist in the mind. He suggested that, if the greatest possible being exists in the mind, it must also exist in reality. If it only exists in the mind, a greater being is possible - one which exists in the mind and in reality. In more layman terms, God is a perfect being. A perfect being must have all perfections. Existence is a perfection. Therefore, God must have existence. God must exist. To deny this is self-contradictory.

This was first refuted by Gaunilo of Marmoutiers using The Perfect Island argument. If we were to name this perfect island Serenity, and simply inject Serenity in place of God and replace being with island, we'd come to the conclusion that Serenity must exist, which it doesn't. It's a false conclusion and therefore Anselm's reasoning is flawed.

Everyone knows St. Anslem's version of the ontological argument is flawed, that is why we have the up-to-date Plantiga version...the Modal Ontological version.

(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  Argument from Beauty
Coming from the writings of St Augustine, beauty is something that transcends its physical manifestations. Since it transcends the physical and natural world, it must come from the supernatural, God's realm. Thus, beauty comes from the supernatural, God is supernatural, God must exist.

There's the saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." If beauty was created by God, wouldn't it be universal? Not everyone finds the same things to be beautiful, and beauty is constantly redefined by each generation (models for example). If every beautiful thing is not considered beautiful by everyone, it couldn't have come from God.

The argument from Beauty is not one that I would tote as an apologists.

(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God (TAG)
Transcendental arguments start from some accepted aspect of experience, and then deduces what must be true for that experience to be possible.

In the case of TAG, we start with logic, reason, and knowledge. It's argued that our logic is inherently circular (we use logic to create a hypothesis and then (dis)prove that hypothesis with logic). Therefore, we must conclude God is the source of our logic in order to avoid an infinite regress.

An infinite regress in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3, ... , and the truth of proposition Pn-1 requires the support of proposition Pn and n approaches infinity.

The main response to TAG revolves around the premise: "without a god, knowledge cannot exist." If the premise is indeed accepted, it can lead to the conclusion a god does exist, but the argument provides no demonstrated necessity to accept this premise. A transcendental argument for the non-existence of God has been put forward that uses the same unsubstantiated premise that "the existence of knowledge presupposes the non-existence of God."

I don't get it.

(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  Argument from Complexity
This is also known as irreducible complexity (IC), which was first coined by Michael Behe. It is used by supporters of intelligent design. If something is IC it must have a creator, and that creator being God. IC posits that certain biological systems are too complex to have evolved from natural selection. Behe defines an IC system as one "composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning."

Evolutionary biologists have shown that such systems can evolve, and that Behe's examples constitute an argument from ignorance. In the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, Behe gave testimony on the subject of irreducible complexity. The court found that "Professor Behe's claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large."

For a specific example, Behe mentioned the flagella of bacteria, which functions as a type of motor, requiring the interaction of about 40 protein parts. He asserts that if any of these 40 parts were taken away, the flagella would be unable to function. It has been shown that the base of the flagella is similar to the Type III secretion system of pathogenic germs. This TTSS is used by germs to inject toxins into cells. the TTSS shows that the flagella is not IC.

We don't necessarily need to postulate fine tuning or complexity before we can answer the questions regarding the origins of life or the origins of the universe. Cart before the horse fallacy.

(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  Mind-Body Problem Argument
The mind-body problem concerns how, if at all, the mind and body interact. There are two main schools of thought on the problem.

Monists believe only one type of substance makes up existence (matter: electrons, neutrons, protons, quirks... etc) They believe there is no problem because the mind is part of the body and interacts as any other body part would.

Dualists believe that the mind and body are two completely separate things made of separate substances. The body is made of matter while the mind is made of something else. Theists believe that the mind may be in fact your soul. If one's personal soul exists, then the Bible is correct in that your soul either ascends to Heaven or descends into Hell when one dies. This then proves the existence of God.

One way to argue against this and the dualists is by stating that the soul has not been scientifically proven to exist and it may be impossible even it if did exist because the soul is said to be metaphysical. Also, if a soul does exist, it does not automatically lead to the conclusion that a God exists and created it.

If we are using the mind to be synonymous with the soul in this case, then for you to say "the soul has not been scientifically proven to exist", well, science has also not been able to explain the natural origins of consciousness either. The question is, what is the best explanation? I would make the case that mind-body dualism is the best explanation to explain the origin of consciousness.

(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  Cosmological Argument
The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe. This First Cause is claimed by theists to be their God. The argument is usually stated as such:
  1. Every finite and contingent being has a cause.
  2. A causal loop cannot exist.
  3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
  4. Therefore, a First Cause (or something that is not an effect) must exist.
A causal loop or chain is a type of causality or causation. Causality is the relationship between an event and a second event where the second is a consequence of the first.

One variation of this argument is William Lane Craig's (WLC) Kalam Cosmological Argument. It states that:
  1. Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
  2. The universe has a beginning of its existence;
  3. The universe has a cause of its existence.
Of course WLC concludes that since the universe has a cause, it must have been God.

During the Scholastic era (1100-1500) St Thomas Aquinas created a predecessor to the cosmological argument; the Argument from Contingency. This argument builds on Aristotle's idea that "There must be something to explain why the Universe exists. Since the Universe could, under different circumstances, conceivably not exist (contingency), its existence must have a cause – not merely another contingent thing, but something that exists by necessity." In other words, even if the Universe has always existed, it still owes its existence to an Uncaused Cause,

This is by far one of the more difficult arguments to counter. I guess the best response would be that we currently don't have the answer, but that doesn't mean science won't figure it out, and just because it's currently unknown doesn't mean God did it. There was a time when we didn't understand what caused lightening, so we attributed it to Thor, Jupiter, and many other gods.

You are advocating naturalism, by implying that we should only believe what can be scientifically proven and all other methodologies and ways of knowledge is insufficient, which is circular reasoning. You will wait on science to figure it out, and I will wait on Jesus to return..and we shall see which one happens first.

(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  Lawrence Krauss has been publicizing the idea of "A Universe From Nothing." Basically, quantum fluctuations which pop in and out of existence account for most of the mass and energy, and yes, scientifically, something can come from nothing. A good video to help explain this idea can be seen here .

1. This is all speculation on Krauss' part. We have no knowledge of any universe out there besides our own...we cannot see beyond the observable universe and to postulate such is to rely on the unseen, the unobservable, which is...faith.

2. Krauss has already been called out on equivocating the word "nothing", by making it mean "something". For a universe to pop in to existence out of nothing, one will have to presuppose a pre-existing space-time for it to be placed in...so then the question would become where did the pre-existing space come from?

3. The "infinity problem" is a philosophical problem that is independent from physics, which means that no matter what cosmological model one postulates, it will be subject to "infinite duration", which is irrational on its own merits.

4. If something can come from nothing, then the question will become why doesn't anything and everything pop in to being from nothing? The state of "nothingness" doesn't have any pre-conditions or rules that will only allow particles or universes to come into being and not other things like money, cars, horses, etc.

(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  Moral Argument
While there are many variations of this argument, they all follow the basic outline:
  1. Either moral objectivity exists or there must be a moral order in the universe
  2. God is the best explanation for this
  3. Therefore, God exists.
The problem with this is that not everyone finds the same actions or in-actions to be moral or immoral. Some cultures still find it morally just to chop the hands off a thief while others find this to be immoral. Some find homosexuality to be immoral based on their religious beliefs while others with similar or completely different beliefs find nothing wrong with it.

Well, the argument is basically if you believe that moral values DO exist, then a transcendent lawgiver is necessary. Now, if you reject the concept of objective moral values, then that implies that all moral values are subjective and we are living in a world of moral relativism.

(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  One scenario I find fascinating is The Trolley Problem. This states: You see a trolley flying down the track and is about to run over five people. There's a switch that can be thrown to divert the trolley, but instead of killing the five people, it'll kill one person. Would you throw the switch to kill the one person and save the five? An overwhelming majority of people say that yes they would. A variation of this is The Fat Man: You're standing on a bridge and see a trolley flying down the track and is about to run over five people. A large enough mass would stop the train and save the five people. A very fat person happens to be standing near by. Would you push this fat person onto the tracks and kill him to stop the trolley in order to save the five? Nearly all who answered yes to the original problem answered no to this variation. But what's the difference? Isn't the outcome still the same? Sacrifice one to save five? It's still a "net gain" of four lives.

I would save the five and kill the one, you know why, because according to Christianity, one man died to save the entire WORLD. Hmmmm.
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03-02-2015, 06:49 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(02-02-2015 06:48 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  I would make the case that mind-body dualism is the best explanation to explain the origin of consciousness.

Except that there is no evidence of a mind existing without a brain so there is no reason I can find to think that minds are not products of brains.

Quote:You are advocating naturalism, by implying that we should only believe what can be scientifically proven and all other methodologies and ways of knowledge is insufficient, which is circular reasoning.

Methodological naturalism is the only method we have that consistently increases our knowledge. When some other method is shown to work reliably I will incorporate it into my reasoning.

Quote:1. This is all speculation on Krauss' part. We have no knowledge of any universe out there besides our own...we cannot see beyond the observable universe and to postulate such is to rely on the unseen, the unobservable, which is...faith.

There is a difference between hypothesizing and faith. Krauss is not saying he can demonstrate his speculations to be true, just that they are avenues for investigation. He's also showing that there are options to consider other than "magic man did it". I will sy that it is good to see that you recognize that faith is unreliable.

Quote:2. Krauss has already been called out on equivocating the word "nothing", by making it mean "something". For a universe to pop in to existence out of nothing, one will have to presuppose a pre-existing space-time for it to be placed in...so then the question would become where did the pre-existing space come from?

I'm not a physicist and don't pretend to understand all of what Krauss is saying but I don't see that he is pre-supposing space-time. He is proposing that space-time came from nothing and was not "placed in" anything. It is definitely a mind-bending concept but no more so than a universe being created by a deity that pre-existed in some other space-time that didn't have to be created because it always existed. Krauss' proposal is certainly simpler since it doesn't start with an incredibly complex and powerful being.

Quote:4. If something can come from nothing, then the question will become why doesn't anything and everything pop in to being from nothing? The state of "nothingness" doesn't have any pre-conditions or rules that will only allow particles or universes to come into being and not other things like money, cars, horses, etc.

Please elaborate on the defined properties of the state of nothingness and how you know what can and can't come into existence ex-nihilo. Speculating that energy could appear seems to me to be the simplest option and the minimum requirement; from that the rest follows given time.

Quote:Well, the argument is basically if you believe that moral values DO exist, then a transcendent lawgiver is necessary.

I'm assuming you mean "if you believe that OBJECTIVE moral values so exist".

Quote:Now, if you reject the concept of objective moral values, then that implies that all moral values are subjective and we are living in a world of moral relativism.

Subjective morals and moral relativism are not the same thing. Given a defined goal, various subjective moral beliefs can be evaluated and accepted or rejected based on how well they advance you towards the goal. Given a society with generally agreed on goals, subjective morals are all that is needed. It is also all that has ever been demonstrated.

Quote:I would save the five and kill the one, you know why, because according to Christianity, one man died to save the entire WORLD. Hmmmm.

According to Christianity, one man committed suicide by cop in order to be a blood sacrifice of himself to himself in order to allow himself to forgive the people he created because they didn't make the choices that he wanted them to despite being omniscient and omnipotent. It is a house of cards that doesn't stand up to the smallest amount of scrutiny. Hmmmm indeed.

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03-02-2015, 12:58 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Except that there is no evidence of a mind existing without a brain so there is no reason I can find to think that minds are not products of brains.

I think there is evidence of the mind being independent of the brain, and second, just for arguments sake, there is also no evidence that the brain is the origin of the mind...at best you can show that there is correlation, but correlation is not necessarily the same as causation.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Methodological naturalism is the only method we have that consistently increases our knowledge. When some other method is shown to work reliably I will incorporate it into my reasoning.

Well, consider other methods of knowledge...you know, like mathematical proofs, moral proofs, philosophical proofs, proof from experience, etc. Science is only one method amongst many.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  There is a difference between hypothesizing and faith. Krauss is not saying he can demonstrate his speculations to be true, just that they are avenues for investigation.

The God Hypothesis is also an avenue for investigation, but if you are only using empirical methods for this avenue, then you won't get far.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  He's also showing that there are options to consider other than "magic man did it". I will sy that it is good to see that you recognize that faith is unreliable.

Well, until science can give a naturalistic explanation for the orgin of the universe, the origin of consciousness, and the origin of life, then I am perfectly rational to postulate a transcendent cause for all three of these things.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I'm not a physicist and don't pretend to understand all of what Krauss is saying but I don't see that he is pre-supposing space-time. He is proposing that space-time came from nothing and was not "placed in" anything.

If the universe popped in to being out of nothing, then there had to be preexisting space for it to exist in...if there was no space, then where would you put it??? If you are moving furniture into a house, you are moving it in to preexisting space, right? Well, how much more is this the case for an entire universe?

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  It is definitely a mind-bending concept but no more so than a universe being created by a deity that pre-existed in some other space-time that didn't have to be created because it always existed. Krauss' proposal is certainly simpler since it doesn't start with an incredibly complex and powerful being.

So saying that the universe popped in to being out of nothing is more simplier than a causal agent?? Okkkk.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Please elaborate on the defined properties of the state of nothingness and how you know what can and can't come into existence ex-nihilo.

So if I asked you what did you have for lunch, and you say "nothing", what do you mean by nothing? If you don't mind, I'd like to answer your statement with a question of my own.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Speculating that energy could appear seems to me to be the simplest option and the minimum requirement; from that the rest follows given time.

So you find the concept that energy could apear from a state of nothingness more plausible than a causal agent??? Is that the price of non-belief? And as I said before, the state of nothingness doesn't have any pre-conditions or rules that will allow only universes or particles to exist and not other things like cars, money, or horses...so why just universes? What is the rule which state that only universes can come in to being? And what kind of rule would this be? A natural law?

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Subjective morals and moral relativism are not the same thing.

Actually, both terms mean the same thing...and if you think otherwise, please define both.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Given a defined goal, various subjective moral beliefs can be evaluated and accepted or rejected based on how well they advance you towards the goal.

And who is to say whether the goal itself is a morally benevolent goal? What determines this? The individual? The society? Right back to the world of subjectivity.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  According to Christianity, one man committed suicide by cop in order to be a blood sacrifice of himself to himself in order to allow himself to forgive the people he created because they didn't make the choices that he wanted them to despite being omniscient and omnipotent. It is a house of cards that doesn't stand up to the smallest amount of scrutiny. Hmmmm indeed.

And according to naturalism or any other "I don't believe in God" worldview, inanimate either suddenly or gradually came to life and began talking, thinking, and having sex. To me, that is a house of cards that doesn't stand up to the smallest amount of scrutiny either.
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03-02-2015, 01:17 PM (This post was last modified: 03-02-2015 01:55 PM by DLJ.)
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(03-02-2015 12:58 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  ...
I think there is evidence of the mind being independent of the brain,
...

[Citation needed]

Please present it. That would be very important stuff. Like... Nobel Prize winning stuff.

Thanks.

(03-02-2015 12:58 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  
(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Methodological naturalism is the only method we have that consistently increases our knowledge. When some other method is shown to work reliably I will incorporate it into my reasoning.

Well, consider other methods of knowledge...you know, like mathematical proofs, moral proofs, philosophical proofs, proof from experience, etc. Science is only one method amongst many.

'Amongst' I love that word. More people should use that word.

Only Maths and alcohol have proofs.

The others would be 'arguments'.


(03-02-2015 12:58 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  The God Hypothesis is also an avenue for investigation, but if you are only using empirical methods for this avenue, then you won't get far.

Unless you use metaphysical distances... then you can go as far as you can conceive. Laughat

(03-02-2015 12:58 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  Well, until science can give a naturalistic explanation for the orgin of the universe, the origin of consciousness, and the origin of life, then I am perfectly rational to postulate a transcendent cause for all three of these things.

God of the gaps or argument from incredulity? Take your pick. Big Grin

I'm OK with the hypotheses that 'consciousness' and 'life' didn't originate, at least not in any magical sense... they are simply products of evolution. So perhaps the same could be said of the universe? Not sure about that one.

Consider

(03-02-2015 12:58 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  ...
If the universe popped in to being out of nothing,
...

You know how air escapes from a leaking inner tube or water squirts out from a leaking pipe? Really fast and less fast as it dissipates. Right?

Our universe is just the leaking out through the Onmiverse's black hole. That explains the rapid expansion bit. Of course, this Omniverse will probably turn out to be infinite turtles.

Highly plausible IMHO. Big Grin

(03-02-2015 12:58 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  ...
(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Subjective morals and moral relativism are not the same thing.

Actually, both terms mean the same thing...and if you think otherwise, please define both.
...

Nope. Any and all morality is subjective (even a god's morality). It simply means 'not objective'. It makes no claims as to the truth or falseness of any moral position.

Moral Relativism is the position that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others.

Subjective morals can become relative once an objective axiology has been established.

Smartass

(03-02-2015 12:58 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  ...
And who is to say whether the goal itself is a morally benevolent goal? What determines this? The individual? The society? Right back to the world of subjectivity.
...

There ya go Clap Now you've got it. Big Grin

(03-02-2015 12:58 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  ...
And according to naturalism or any other "I don't believe in God" worldview, inanimate either suddenly or gradually came to life and began talking, thinking, and having sex. To me, that is a house of cards that doesn't stand up to the smallest amount of scrutiny either.

Argument from incredulity, again?

Would you like a reading list?

Yes

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03-02-2015, 01:41 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(03-02-2015 12:58 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  
(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Except that there is no evidence of a mind existing without a brain so there is no reason I can find to think that minds are not products of brains.

I think there is evidence of the mind being independent of the brain, and second, just for arguments sake, there is also no evidence that the brain is the origin of the mind...at best you can show that there is correlation, but correlation is not necessarily the same as causation.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Methodological naturalism is the only method we have that consistently increases our knowledge. When some other method is shown to work reliably I will incorporate it into my reasoning.

Well, consider other methods of knowledge...you know, like mathematical proofs, moral proofs, philosophical proofs, proof from experience, etc. Science is only one method amongst many.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  There is a difference between hypothesizing and faith. Krauss is not saying he can demonstrate his speculations to be true, just that they are avenues for investigation.

The God Hypothesis is also an avenue for investigation, but if you are only using empirical methods for this avenue, then you won't get far.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  He's also showing that there are options to consider other than "magic man did it". I will sy that it is good to see that you recognize that faith is unreliable.

Well, until science can give a naturalistic explanation for the orgin of the universe, the origin of consciousness, and the origin of life, then I am perfectly rational to postulate a transcendent cause for all three of these things.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I'm not a physicist and don't pretend to understand all of what Krauss is saying but I don't see that he is pre-supposing space-time. He is proposing that space-time came from nothing and was not "placed in" anything.

If the universe popped in to being out of nothing, then there had to be preexisting space for it to exist in...if there was no space, then where would you put it??? If you are moving furniture into a house, you are moving it in to preexisting space, right? Well, how much more is this the case for an entire universe?

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  It is definitely a mind-bending concept but no more so than a universe being created by a deity that pre-existed in some other space-time that didn't have to be created because it always existed. Krauss' proposal is certainly simpler since it doesn't start with an incredibly complex and powerful being.

So saying that the universe popped in to being out of nothing is more simplier than a causal agent?? Okkkk.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Please elaborate on the defined properties of the state of nothingness and how you know what can and can't come into existence ex-nihilo.

So if I asked you what did you have for lunch, and you say "nothing", what do you mean by nothing? If you don't mind, I'd like to answer your statement with a question of my own.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Speculating that energy could appear seems to me to be the simplest option and the minimum requirement; from that the rest follows given time.

So you find the concept that energy could apear from a state of nothingness more plausible than a causal agent??? Is that the price of non-belief? And as I said before, the state of nothingness doesn't have any pre-conditions or rules that will allow only universes or particles to exist and not other things like cars, money, or horses...so why just universes? What is the rule which state that only universes can come in to being? And what kind of rule would this be? A natural law?

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Subjective morals and moral relativism are not the same thing.

Actually, both terms mean the same thing...and if you think otherwise, please define both.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Given a defined goal, various subjective moral beliefs can be evaluated and accepted or rejected based on how well they advance you towards the goal.

And who is to say whether the goal itself is a morally benevolent goal? What determines this? The individual? The society? Right back to the world of subjectivity.

(03-02-2015 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  According to Christianity, one man committed suicide by cop in order to be a blood sacrifice of himself to himself in order to allow himself to forgive the people he created because they didn't make the choices that he wanted them to despite being omniscient and omnipotent. It is a house of cards that doesn't stand up to the smallest amount of scrutiny. Hmmmm indeed.

And according to naturalism or any other "I don't believe in God" worldview, inanimate either suddenly or gradually came to life and began talking, thinking, and having sex. To me, that is a house of cards that doesn't stand up to the smallest amount of scrutiny either.

I'm convinced that god exists with your arguments. Odin is the god that exists, he swore to get rid of the ice giants, you don't see any around do you?

[Image: IceGiants.jpeg?width=737&height=573]

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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03-02-2015, 02:17 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(03-02-2015 01:17 PM)DLJ Wrote:  [Citation needed]

Please present it. That would be very important stuff. Like... Nobel Prize winning stuff.

Thanks.

Look up mind/body dualism. Google can be your friend if you give it a chance.

(03-02-2015 01:17 PM)DLJ Wrote:  'Amongst' I love that word. More people should use that word.

Only Maths and alcohol have proofs.

The others would be 'arguments'.

You are correct. Substitute 'arguments' for 'proofs' and my point will still stand.

(03-02-2015 01:17 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Unless you use metaphysical distances... then you can go as far as you can conceive. Laughat

And once you conceive an absolutely necessary supernatural being that is the First Cause and Creator of everything that was made, you don't need to go any further than that.

(03-02-2015 01:17 PM)DLJ Wrote:  God of the gaps or argument from incredulity? Take your pick. Big Grin

I got one for you...something called "Argument from the best explanation". I have two options, either Goddidit, or Naturedidit, and I conclude that based on all of the evidence that has been presented to me, that theism is the best explanation to explain these things.

That is about as fair and balanced as you can get right there Big Grin

(03-02-2015 01:17 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I'm OK with current hypotheses that 'consciousness' and 'life' didn't originate, at least not in any magical sense... they are simply products of evolution. So perhaps the same could be said of the universe? Not sure about that one.

You can conclude that those things are a product of evolution, but you sure as hell aren't using science to draw that conclusion...you are relying on faith...the unseen...sounds kinda...religious to me lol.

(03-02-2015 01:17 PM)DLJ Wrote:  You know how air escapes from a leaking inner tube or water squirts out from a leaking pipe? Really fast and less fast as it dissipates. Right?

Our universe is just the leaking out through the Onmiverse's black hole. That explains the rapid expansion bit. Of course, this Omniverse will probably turn out to be infinite turtles.

Highly plausible IMHO. Big Grin

I don't have enough faith to believe that, sorry.

(03-02-2015 01:17 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Moral Relativism is the position that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others.

Ok, lets slow this down...if someone say "Whether or not homosexuality is wrong is completely subjective", what does that mean?
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03-02-2015, 02:37 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(03-02-2015 02:17 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  And once you conceive an absolutely necessary supernatural being that is the First Cause and Creator of everything that was made, you don't need to go any further than that.

[Image: odin-delivers1.jpg]

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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