Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
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01-01-2017, 11:22 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
Uncaused existence needs no Cause.
Complexity and chaos are contingent on fundamental order.
Unity. One. The concept 1 + 1 = 2, why would that need a god?
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06-01-2017, 10:05 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
I'm a newbie here and gravitated to your post almost immediately. A LOT of good stuff in here. Just a couple of comments (I hope I'm not repeating anyone here since there are 50 pages to wade through and I may have not seen every reply):
(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.
An argument can be made that beauty is, in fact, a universal norm. We have all heard about the Golden Ratio which is probably as close as we have come to defining something that is visually appealing. As well, certain musical patterns are universally considered pleasant, others universally unpleasant (discordant).

None of that, mind you, presupposes a divine superintelligence, but a case can be made for the universality of beauty.
Quote: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.

This is, essentially, a Cartesian argument (from Rene Descartes).

In a wonderful talk given by Sean Carroll (one of my favourite smart people) he discusses a correspondence between Descartes and a Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia in which they argue this at length. In short, Elizabeth wanted to know the mechanism by which an ineffable "soul" or "spirit" would be physically able to interact with matter. Descartes danced around her question and could never really answer it.
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06-01-2017, 09:21 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(06-01-2017 10:05 AM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  
(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.
An argument can be made that beauty is, in fact, a universal norm. We have all heard about the Golden Ratio which is probably as close as we have come to defining something that is visually appealing. As well, certain musical patterns are universally considered pleasant, others universally unpleasant (discordant).
I think the Argument From Beauty is a complete fail even if there were any way to argue for objective beauty. Because its point is an incoherent false equivalence that if beauty "transcends its physical manifestations", that somehow means it must therefore transcend nature and be supernatural.

First, beauty is an observation about / reaction to a physical object. It does not "transcend" anything. It notices. It comments favorably upon a thing.

Secondly, the supernatural is an inherently useless concept. Anything supernatural is above / outside of nature. We are natural beings, therefore, no observation or comment can be made about that which is outside nature. As soon as you can describe something that is supposedly outside of the natural world (a god, an angel, or some abstract concept of beauty) then it has just become part of the natural world. The supernatural is not a workable concept, to the point that there's no point in discussion of it and no point in attempting to prove that it exists, whether through this lame argument or any other.
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Yesterday, 06:51 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(01-11-2016 08:39 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  A Universe From Nothing is quite literally the title of a recent book by atheist and top-level physicist Lawrence Krauss, explaining how it can happen, based on what we already know and are recently starting to learn about the universe's basic nature.

OK, this is an old post, but I think it merits a reply since it is a commonly-used argument.

The title of Krauss' book is misleading. (This may not be his fault, as publishers choose titles, and titles that promise more tend to make more money.)

Krauss never explains why there is something rather than nothing. And near the end of the book he admits this.

What he does is to explain why, given the laws of nature and the existence of things as they are, there is a tendency for the existence of the universe to continue.

When he talks about getting something from nothing, he doesn't start with nothing. He starts with the existing laws of nature, which are something.

It's as if he denies that it's turtles all the way down, and to prove it he starts with the turtle he's comfortable talking about, and works up from there.

It's an interesting book about physics, but it doesn't do what it says on the tin.
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Today, 05:03 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(Yesterday 06:51 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(01-11-2016 08:39 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  A Universe From Nothing is quite literally the title of a recent book by atheist and top-level physicist Lawrence Krauss, explaining how it can happen, based on what we already know and are recently starting to learn about the universe's basic nature.

OK, this is an old post, but I think it merits a reply since it is a commonly-used argument.

The title of Krauss' book is misleading. (This may not be his fault, as publishers choose titles, and titles that promise more tend to make more money.)

Krauss never explains why there is something rather than nothing. And near the end of the book he admits this.

What he does is to explain why, given the laws of nature and the existence of things as they are, there is a tendency for the existence of the universe to continue.

When he talks about getting something from nothing, he doesn't start with nothing. He starts with the existing laws of nature, which are something.

It's as if he denies that it's turtles all the way down, and to prove it he starts with the turtle he's comfortable talking about, and works up from there.

It's an interesting book about physics, but it doesn't do what it says on the tin.
I think what it boils down to is that the claim isn't really something from nothing but rather an eternal something. Increasingly, physics teaches us that time has no meaning as you approach the extremes of the big bang on one hand or heat death on the other. And that seeking a First Mover is likely to be an expression of asking entirely the wrong questions, based on the assumption of linear timelines.
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