Logic vs. Theism
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05-03-2017, 10:45 AM
Logic vs. Theism
With the spate of recent posts by theists here I thought I'd put this out there for your consideration.

What is logic? Logic is a set of general principles to guide ones thinking, to help make sure that we can discover errors in thinking and to ensure that our ideas cohere with the fact of reality. It's fundamental law is the law of identity. Implicit in this is the principle that reality is what it is and does what it does independent of anyone's wishing, liking, wanting, asserting, or any other type of conscious activity.

When someone asks for proof, what are they essentially saying? They are saying in essence: something is not true because you say it is. You must prove it because after all the facts are what they are and they don't conform to your wishing, liking, wanting, or say so. The principle which identifies the fact that reality does not conform to conscious activity is known as the primacy of existence principle. This is the rationally undeniable precondition of logic.

Theism has as its very starting point the idea that reality has its source in, is maintained by and is alterable by a form of consciousness. This consciousness gives each thing its identity and can change it on a whim simply by desiring it. It can change water into wine, heal the sick, make water solid, move mountains, cast out demons, and all manner of other things simply by willing it. This is the opposite of the primacy of existence. This is the primacy of consciousness, that reality is dependent on consciousness in some way and conforms to it.

So whenever a theist attempts to argue for or reason to his god belief he is performatively contradicting his or herself because they all reject the primacy of existence at the most fundamental level of knowledge. They are stealing concepts when they attempt to use logic and some of them actually have the nerve to claim that God is the necessary precondition of logic. Absurd!

Just a thought for you to consider. I'll try to participate as much as possible but I'm busy all day today and for the rest of the week so if I don't respond right away that's why.

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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05-03-2017, 11:43 AM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(05-03-2017 10:45 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  What is logic? Logic is a set of general principles to guide ones thinking, to help make sure that we can discover errors in thinking and to ensure that our ideas cohere with the fact of reality. It's fundamental law is the law of identity. Implicit in this is the principle that reality is what it is and does what it does independent of anyone's wishing, liking, wanting, asserting, or any other type of conscious activity.

I wish someone would explain this to Donald Trump. Angry

What confuses people is that their *perceptions* of reality can be modified by conscious efforts -- especially selective focus -- which they then confuse with evidence that they are correct. But just because you see something a certain way doesn't mean it is that way. That is probably the greatest barrier theists have to overcome. Generally, their perceptions were trained for them before they developed any critical thinking abilities.
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05-03-2017, 02:25 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(05-03-2017 11:43 AM)Jay Vogelsong Wrote:  
(05-03-2017 10:45 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  What is logic? Logic is a set of general principles to guide ones thinking, to help make sure that we can discover errors in thinking and to ensure that our ideas cohere with the fact of reality. It's fundamental law is the law of identity. Implicit in this is the principle that reality is what it is and does what it does independent of anyone's wishing, liking, wanting, asserting, or any other type of conscious activity.

I wish someone would explain this to Donald Trump. Angry

What confuses people is that their *perceptions* of reality can be modified by conscious efforts -- especially selective focus -- which they then confuse with evidence that they are correct. But just because you see something a certain way doesn't mean it is that way. That is probably the greatest barrier theists have to overcome. Generally, their perceptions were trained for them before they developed any critical thinking abilities.

Yes but politicians are the symptom, not the disease. It's the voters who need to have it explained to them that just because they want something, that doesn't give them a right to it.

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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05-03-2017, 04:44 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(05-03-2017 10:45 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  This is the opposite of the primacy of existence. This is the primacy of consciousness, that reality is dependent on consciousness in some way and conforms to it.
That is a great way of putting it. Certainly, what appealed to me about religious faith was the implicit notion that the nasty bits of reality that I did not approve of could be altered by some combination of influencing god to agree with me, and perhaps wanting something badly enough myself. I was, in short, prone to wishful thinking (in my case, based largely on idealistic notions of how things "ought" to or "could" / "should" be).

When you think of it, the "primacy of consciousness" is a key element in most if not virtually all religious and quasi-religious ideation. Think of The Secret for example (the book and the movie) which suggests that one creates one's own reality by thinking in a certain way.

If there was a fundamental thing that allowed me to pry religious faith out of my brain, it was deciding to accept bare-metal reality at face value -- the primacy of existence. At root, that is, I'm sure, what most theists are fighting. They've been told that reality is intolerable and unthinkable and unendurable, and they must be cushioned from it by the various value propositions of religious faith.
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05-03-2017, 06:55 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(05-03-2017 04:44 PM)mordant Wrote:  If there was a fundamental thing that allowed me to pry religious faith out of my brain, it was deciding to accept bare-metal reality at face value -- the primacy of existence. At root, that is, I'm sure, what most theists are fighting. They've been told that reality is intolerable and unthinkable and unendurable, and they must be cushioned from it by the various value propositions of religious faith.

For many theists, reality is in conflict with their God concept since their God is all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful and evil and disasters are obviously so wide-spread on Earth. So they blame people for that reality. Thus theists are always trying to figure out some way to bring back God's kingdom to Earth -- "on Earth as it is in Heaven" as they say.
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05-03-2017, 07:26 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(05-03-2017 06:55 PM)Jay Vogelsong Wrote:  For many theists, reality is in conflict with their God concept since their God is all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful and evil and disasters are obviously so wide-spread on Earth. So they blame people for that reality. Thus theists are always trying to figure out some way to bring back God's kingdom to Earth -- "on Earth as it is in Heaven" as they say.
Or ... "as above, so below" per the old hermetic formula that predates Christianity.
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05-03-2017, 08:42 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(05-03-2017 10:45 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  ...
The principle which identifies the fact that reality does not conform to conscious activity is known as the primacy of existence principle.
...
the opposite of the primacy of existence. This is the primacy of consciousness, that reality is dependent on consciousness in some way and conforms to it.
...

Last year (après Trump), I accidentally found myself at a Meetup group in Singapore and the level of woo boggled the mind.

The group is called:
CHAT ABOUT TOPICS WHICH SCIENCE STILL CANNOT EXPLAIN
And the description goes:
Quote:spiritual healing, ghosts, religion, new age spirituality, big foot, origins of universe, quantum physics, evolution of life, aliens, UFOs, angels, demons, exorcism, ouija boards, seances, Catholic mysticism, sorcery, hypnotism, reincarnation, tarot cards, divination, blessings, curses, dogman, lochness monsters, ancient stone structures, giants, nephilim, spells, prayer, karma, meditation, mermaids, astrology, space exploration, illuminati, intuition, near death experience, auras and psychic powers.

"space exploration" Laughat That's right, science can't explain that! FFS! Facepalm

Problem is that the existence / consciousness argument might as well be in a foreign language to the well-meaning and wholly pleasant people who attended.

I'm going to go back another time (diary permitting) and try a simplified approach:

You've got:
Existing and conscious
"I am" and "I think"
Phenomenon and noumenon
Real and imagined
Being and hoping/wishing
Red pill and blue pill

It's not a matter of dismissing the 'blue' words as not important or non-existent, it's just a matter of pointing out that the 'blue' things can't exist at all without the 'red' things.

(05-03-2017 04:44 PM)mordant Wrote:  ...
Think of The Secret for example (the book and the movie) which suggests that one creates one's own reality by thinking in a certain way.
...

In a way, this is true. But only if one is flexible in one's interpretation of the definitions of "create" and "reality" i.e. objective vs. subjective experience of reality.

I have a photo stored on an old phone somewhere of an Aussie airport (Melbourne, I think) when The Secret was hot cakes.

Right at the front of the airport bookshop were two large display tables where the major books of the week were stacked (flat on their backs) in an enormous pyramid.

The Secret was one of the hot books and the pyramid was half gone.

The other, almost empty display, was The God Delusion.

Thumbsup

(05-03-2017 04:44 PM)mordant Wrote:  ...
At root, that is, I'm sure, what most theists are fighting. They've been told that reality is intolerable and unthinkable and unendurable, and they must be cushioned from it by the various value propositions of religious faith.

Don't we all want that cushioning?

In fact, isn't that the whole point of civilisation (as opposed to barbarism)?

Reality is very hard to tolerate and ultimately cannot be endured ... it's just that the comfort blanket that religions offer is a fallacious cushion.

Consider

And if Fallacious Cushion isn't a band name already, it bloody well should be!

Yes

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05-03-2017, 09:50 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
Yeah, once cornered many theists just say God isn't subject to logic. If that's the case, then they should stop pretending to have any logical reason for belief, and stop making any logical arguments about its existence and such. In fact, they should pretty much stop discussing it at all, because virtually every statement is going to be meaningless.

I wish people would better educate themselves about the common logical fallacies, because they are such powerful mind traps. I've tried really hard to get certain people to see the fact that they constantly use a fallacy, such as the argument from ignorance, but they either can't or won't see it; even when I use that same argument to "prove" them wrong, and to prove Lord of the Rings is real.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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05-03-2017, 09:53 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
I have a (hopefully) user-friendly guide to identifying logical fallacies on my website, if anyone is interested:

http://robvalue.wixsite.com/atheism/logical-fallacies

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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05-03-2017, 11:22 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(05-03-2017 08:42 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(05-03-2017 10:45 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  ...
The principle which identifies the fact that reality does not conform to conscious activity is known as the primacy of existence principle.
...
the opposite of the primacy of existence. This is the primacy of consciousness, that reality is dependent on consciousness in some way and conforms to it.
...

Last year (après Trump), I accidentally found myself at a Meetup group in Singapore and the level of woo boggled the mind.

The group is called:
CHAT ABOUT TOPICS WHICH SCIENCE STILL CANNOT EXPLAIN
And the description goes:
Quote:spiritual healing, ghosts, religion, new age spirituality, big foot, origins of universe, quantum physics, evolution of life, aliens, UFOs, angels, demons, exorcism, ouija boards, seances, Catholic mysticism, sorcery, hypnotism, reincarnation, tarot cards, divination, blessings, curses, dogman, lochness monsters, ancient stone structures, giants, nephilim, spells, prayer, karma, meditation, mermaids, astrology, space exploration, illuminati, intuition, near death experience, auras and psychic powers.

"space exploration" Laughat That's right, science can't explain that! FFS! Facepalm

Problem is that the existence / consciousness argument might as well be in a foreign language to the well-meaning and wholly pleasant people who attended.

I'm going to go back another time (diary permitting) and try a simplified approach:

You've got:
Existing and conscious
"I am" and "I think"
Phenomenon and noumenon
Real and imagined
Being and hoping/wishing
Red pill and blue pill

It's not a matter of dismissing the 'blue' words as not important or non-existent, it's just a matter of pointing out that the 'blue' things can't exist at all without the 'red' things.

Yes you are right about that and there is a way to simplify it for those who are not philosophically literate. The real vs. imaginary is the best one. You can simply ask how one can reliably distinguish god from something that is merely imaginary. It can't be done on the basis of the primacy of consciousness because the distinction only obtains on the basis of the primacy of existence. They can't do it because their god is literally in their imagination. It's imaginary. Sye Ten Bruggencate was asked this question and he failed miserably. He made a very half hearted attempt and then fled. The guy with all the answers and the supposedly bulletproof debating tactics ran. I've never seen a theist come close to succeeding. They usually try to shift the discussion away from this issue as fast as possible without ever answering. Try it some time and just sit back and watch what happens. Remember Call of the Wild? He conceded that it couldn't be done when I asked him the same question. His exact answer was that "you probably can't".

Another way of couching the issue is the inner vs. the outer. Does the outer (the real world) have primacy over the inner (ones feelings, emotions, wants, wishes, prayers) or does the inner have primacy over the outer. That's another way but I think the real/ imaginary distinction is the best. Reason is the looking outward model of knowledge. Reason works with facts and adheres to the primacy of existence consistently. It's the corollary of the primacy of existence in epistemology. Faith is the looking inward model of knowledge. It works with emotion, feelings, and the imagination and so called "revelations". Its the corollary of the primacy of consciousness in epistemology.

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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