Logic vs. Theism
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07-03-2017, 02:33 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(06-03-2017 09:03 PM)fschmidt Wrote:  
(06-03-2017 04:59 PM)Dr H Wrote:  In the cited verse God does, in fact, define Himself -- as all of existence: "I am that I am".

Elsewhere God isn't shy about defining Himself:

"...merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth" -- Exodus 34:6

"For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God." -- Deuteronomy 4:24

"...for God is judge Himself." -- Psalms 50:6


Can one be merciful, jealous, and judgmental without will?

God isn't being defined in these example. God is being described by using personification as an analogy. I explained this in earlier posts.

We could maybe quibble about the others, but "God is judge Himself" is a definition, not merely a description.

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07-03-2017, 02:34 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(06-03-2017 09:01 PM)fschmidt Wrote:  the forces of nature are human concepts.

Say what?

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07-03-2017, 03:54 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(07-03-2017 02:34 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(06-03-2017 09:01 PM)fschmidt Wrote:  the forces of nature are human concepts.

Say what?


Yeah. I saw that earlier and didn't have time to respond. He confuses a concept which is man made with the thing the concept identifies, which in the case of nature, is metaphysically given. See fschmidt, there is the thing that exists and then there is our identification of it in conceptual form. The two are not the same. It would be proper to say that the laws of nature are human concepts but not that the forces of nature are. They are concretes. The laws of nature are abstraction.

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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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07-03-2017, 04:51 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(07-03-2017 11:23 AM)fschmidt Wrote:  I agree with your definition of truth, it has predictive power. And it is on this basis that the Old Testament makes its positions. It predicts that if the Israelites follow the principles of the Old Testament, then they will do well, and if not, then they will do poorly. This has had strong predictive power, so is true. And it goes beyond the Israelites. There was one other culture that followed the principles of the Old Testament, namely the early Protestants, and they did very well.

No. The Old Testament is a bastardization of Hebrew scripture concocted so that the Roman mystery cult that would give rise to Christianity could lay claim to prophecy. You should view it with the same skepticism that you would apply to InfoWars' interpretation of quantum chromodynamics.

What the Protestants follow is Pauline Christianity aka Jewish Messianic Street Preacher for Really Gullible Gentiles by Some Fraud Who Never Even Met The Guy. And your history is dismal if you think that they did well. Kindly have a read through the long list of Protestant sects that were extinguished, largely by other Protestant sects.

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08-03-2017, 12:29 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(07-03-2017 11:49 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I haven't read it so please can you enlighten us on how Unwin established causation rather than correlation.

Also, please supply the definition of 'culture'.

In Governance, culture is simply determined by the collective behaviour of individuals. So any adjective attached to the word 'culture' i.e. declining, maturing, popular or pinkish-purple simply describes a trait recognisable amongst the individuals. So what does Unwin mean by 'declining'?

Is it safe to assume that this is a subjective value judgement?

Thanks.

Unwin never claimed to established causation. Causation can never be proven without controlled experiments, which means that things like historical forces can never be proven as cause. The same can be said for the theory of evolution, which cannot be proven with controlled experiments. However, we can use mordant's definition of truth as something with explanatory and predictive power to justify belief in evolution as cause. In Unwin's case, he never provided a good explanation, but I have here:

http://www.mikraite.org/Human-Evolution-tp17.html

Note that this was written for religious people, but intelligent atheists should be able to understand it. I don't write major articles for secular people because there are too few of them with enough intelligence to understand what I am saying.

The word "culture", like the words "table" and "chair", is concrete, so can't really be defined, only described. It is certainly much more than "the collective behavior of individuals". Similarly it should be clear what it meaning for a culture to rise or fall, but if you need a measure, you can look at the land area that the culture controls.
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08-03-2017, 12:33 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(07-03-2017 11:54 AM)M. Linoge Wrote:  
Quote: It predicts that if the Israelites follow the principles of the Old Testament, then they will do well, and if not, then they will do poorly. This has had strong predictive power, so is true. And it goes beyond the Israelites. There was one other culture that followed the principles of the Old Testament, namely the early Protestants, and they did very well.

Did very well compared to whom?
And which Old Testament principles?

Did well compared to other cultures.

The Old Testament has many principles, but a simple good measure is just keeping the Sabbath. The early Protestants were the only Christians who took the Sabbath seriously.
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08-03-2017, 12:40 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(08-03-2017 12:29 PM)fschmidt Wrote:  ...
The word "culture", like the words "table" and "chair", is concrete, so can't really be defined, only described. It is certainly much more than "the collective behavior of individuals". Similarly it should be clear what it meaning for a culture to rise or fall, but if you need a measure, you can look at the land area that the culture controls.

I gave you the (best practice) text-book description of culture. Perhaps you are thinking of 'tradition' or 'economic system'?

How would you calculate the land mass controlled by e.g. football culture?

Your thinking seems a little woolly to me.

Dodgy

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08-03-2017, 01:01 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(07-03-2017 12:12 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(07-03-2017 11:23 AM)fschmidt Wrote:  I agree with your definition of truth, it has predictive power. And it is on this basis that the Old Testament makes its positions. It predicts that if the Israelites follow the principles of the Old Testament, then they will do well, and if not, then they will do poorly. This has had strong predictive power, so is true.
Please demonstrate how this was strongly predictive, and therefore true.

Please keep in mind that in order to do this you will have to demonstrate, not that the OT predicts X and then reports it later. This is not proof even if one can determine conclusively through manuscript dating that the fulfillment post-dates the prediction(s). One would need non-OT and preferably mundane secular sources (like government or business transaction records) with no skin in the game of whether or not the events (1) actually happened and (2) what the events are "supposed to" mean. In other words low probability of invented stories and high probability of accurate reporting without inserted opinion.

I am not claiming that the Old Testament is provably true. All I said is that it makes its arguments based on the claim of predictive power, which means that its way of reasoning is in line with your and my view of truth. But we do not have enough data yet to fully verify its claims.

There are 2 specific cases where the Old Testament was followed. One is ancient Israel. But because this is so old, we cannot fully verify what happened from external sources. The other case is early protestantism. This is clear anecdotal evidence in support of the Old Testament claim, but is still insufficient as proof.

What I can prove beyond a doubt is that religion of some kind is a necessary condition for a successful culture. The historical evidence for this is overwhelming. So that leaves me to pick a religion. Which religion I actually pick is subjective. Because I love the Old Testament, this is the religion I chose.


Quote:Except that correlation is not the same as causation.

Nor is the definition of "rising culture" and "declining culture" objective. Right now for example there are people who would consider a progressively egalitarian and inclusive culture to be "rising", others who would regard it to be "declining". And people who regard an insular, closed, xenophobic culture to be rising, others consider it very much in decline.

So while JD Unwin's work you cite is well-regarded, I am suspicious that it is looking through the lens of what was known and commonly accepted four plus generations ago as a starting-point, so I would want to examine his definitions of rising and declining, and how subsequent credible research and thinking has supported or debunked his conclusions.

Not that I would particularly mind if it can be shown that sexual restraint is generally good for society; I strongly suspect that, done for the right reasons / motivations in the right contexts, it actually is. I have no personal need or desire for sexual license, nor any sort of admiration for it as such. It's just that this smells to me like overdetermined dogma; seldom is any question of what makes or breaks an entire society / culture traceable to one simple factor that one must either do or not do.

And that brings me to the final point, which is that being sexually libertine can come from a number of different motivations and in addition it is not a binary question either. Did Unwin consider the possibility that stricter sexual mores might be better for some cultures (or the same culture at particular stages) and not others? I rather doubt it. Did he control for the possibility of future cultures like ours where instant communication, information technology and rapid travel have transformed cultural norms and influences? I realize that there's danger in assuming that "the rules" don't apply to you, but there's danger in assuming that they do, too. Assuming, of course, that the proposed "rules" are even real and valid.

I covered the correlation/causation issue in a post above. Also rising/declining culture. This issue should be completely obvious in hindsight. So while modern culture can't be judged today, it will be easily judged in 200 years.

I encourage you to read "Sex and Culture" for yourself. Unwin was a liberal and expected the opposite results. But he was from a time when liberals were still honest, so he reported what he actually found.

The argument that "this time is different, so the past doesn't apply" is typical modern reasoning, rejecting inductive reasoning. I will leave you with a quote from my favorite book:

Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 Wrote:What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Can one say about anything,
“Look, this is new”?
It has already existed in the ages before us.
There is no remembrance of those who came before;
and of those who will come after
there will also be no remembrance
by those who follow them.
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08-03-2017, 01:06 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(07-03-2017 02:33 PM)Dr H Wrote:  We could maybe quibble about the others, but "God is judge Himself" is a definition, not merely a description.

No, it is descriptive in the sense that "let history be the judge" describes an idea, not defines history. Saying "God is judge" is basically the same as saying "history is judge".
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08-03-2017, 01:31 PM
RE: Logic vs. Theism
(06-03-2017 01:48 AM)fschmidt Wrote:  
(06-03-2017 01:31 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  then by what standard do you judge your own statement to be true?

My definition of truth is different from yours (Plato's), so naturally my standard will also be different. My standard of a true statement is one that remains consistent with my experience over time.

Then given your standard, you can not judge wether anything in the Old Testament is true since you weren't alive to experience any of it over time. So your belief is without any judgement. Much like your god's plan lacks any conscious intention.

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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