Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
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16-05-2017, 01:27 PM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(16-05-2017 01:15 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  A contingent thing is any thing that exists, but could have not existed (as opposed to a necessary thing, which must exist). By theistic logic, God is the only necessary being, and he must exist, because everything can't be contingent -- that would require an infinite regress of causes, you see.
... Wut? Sounds circular. Are there established criteria for deciding if something that exists is contingent? What prevents me from saying that the universe is a necessary thing? No God needed.

Quote:As for cause, that's a bit tricky. You really have to familiarize yourself with Aristotelian/Thomistic terminology to know exactly what they mean by that, but it's closer to the mass/gravity thing that I mentioned a few posts back than it is to our modern notions of cause and effect.
Quite the opposite of physics. Ya know, maths/physics is pretty solid stuff. No one fucks around with endless definitions there. Causality a la Einstein or Newton is pretty clear. It's only philosophers who have these bloody fever dreams.

Looks like I'm just gonna have to settle for being allegedly wrong without knowing why, since I have zero interest in familiarising myself with Aristotelian/Thomistic terminology. Dodgy

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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16-05-2017, 01:44 PM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(16-05-2017 01:27 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(16-05-2017 01:15 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  A contingent thing is any thing that exists, but could have not existed (as opposed to a necessary thing, which must exist). By theistic logic, God is the only necessary being, and he must exist, because everything can't be contingent -- that would require an infinite regress of causes, you see.
... Wut? Sounds circular. Are there established criteria for deciding if something that exists is contingent? What prevents me from saying that the universe is a necessary thing? No God needed.

Quote:As for cause, that's a bit tricky. You really have to familiarize yourself with Aristotelian/Thomistic terminology to know exactly what they mean by that, but it's closer to the mass/gravity thing that I mentioned a few posts back than it is to our modern notions of cause and effect.
Quite the opposite of physics. Ya know, maths/physics is pretty solid stuff. No one fucks around with endless definitions there. Causality a la Einstein or Newton is pretty clear. It's only philosophers who have these bloody fever dreams.

Looks like I'm just gonna have to settle for being allegedly wrong without knowing why, since I have zero interest in familiarising myself with Aristotelian/Thomistic terminology. Dodgy

If you go back to where he said you were wrong, the only thing "wrong" is that you referred to an endless series of causes going back in time, and as I have tried to explain, the type of "cause" used in these arguments does not involve time. Otherwise, yeah, the argument basically says that there must be an uncaused cause to avoid an infinite regress -- but this is not back at the beginning of time, but at the bottom of a logical superstructure. It's hard to fully understand this without getting your mind around the Aristotelian notion of "cause" -- but the important distinction is that it does not involve time. Think of it as a vertical column of supports (i.e., "causes") (working from the bottom up), rather than a horizontal chain of cause and effect.

The bottom line, though, is that it's mostly a bunch of woo, and doesn't really prove anything, let alone God.
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16-05-2017, 01:51 PM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(16-05-2017 12:19 PM)morondog Wrote:  Ya know CC, I don't really have an interest in philosophy per se. You said I was wrong, but you didn't say why, just to read a book? When I made my argument I said why - otherwise why can't I answer you by saying "Oh, just read Richard Dawkins and you'll see I'm right"?

I was looking for "That's not the whole argument, this is what you missed." Even a few sentences.

You misunderstand the argument and what I've been posting. Someone posted an argument that a cause must always precede an effect and used this premise for proving that God cannot exist. I merely pointed out that in the thinking of some philosophers, Christians, theists and atheists this is not correct.

It's now morphed into a discussion about whether the classical proofs of God as found in Aquinas involve this type of causation. It's a fact, not an opinion, that Aquinas adopted Aristotle's views of causation. Aristotle and Aquinas both take the view that their are four causes: efficient, formal, material and final. Clearly the last is not temporally prior to the effect.

The Last Superstition is highly polemical. Feser deals with this in saying that people like Dawkins have it coming. It's meant to be insulting towards some of the New Atheists. You might try his book Aquinas if you don't like that sort of thing. Or you can simply read this to give yourself an idea:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arist...ty/#FouCau

Thinking about such things is the work of a lifetime really. I don't think referring you to a book is unreasonable nor is asking you to look it up somewhere else. Why ask me when you can get a better idea elsewhere?
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16-05-2017, 02:03 PM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(16-05-2017 01:51 PM)ColdComfort Wrote:  Thinking about such things is the work of a lifetime really. I don't think referring you to a book is unreasonable nor is asking you to look it up somewhere else. Why ask me when you can get a better idea elsewhere?

Well, there's a finite amount of life in me, and reading tricksy books by people with strange ideas isn't particularly my idea of fun. I thought given that you were so sure of yourself you might be able to explain somewhat of it. Because frankly my belief is that if someone can't explain something themselves then they don't understand it themselves. I'll take a look at your link.

We'll love you just the way you are
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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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16-05-2017, 02:11 PM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
I love me some Aquinas. Yes
I was at Gethsemani Abbey visiting my Abbott friend, (who thinks he'll convert me), when I read two of Aquinas' gems, (and laughed out loud, in a place that's very quiet).

1. “The blessed in the kingdom of heaven will see the punishments of the damned, in order that their bliss be more delightful for them.”
― St. Thomas Aquinas

2. "The reason the tempter went to Eve first, was because the light of reason shone less brightly in her", (as she was a woman, and despite the fact she was preternaturally perfect....oops). Facepalm (from the Compendium of Theology).

Aquinas was censured for his views by the Archbishop of Paris is his earlier life, before he morphed into the "angelic doctor". Unsure

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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16-05-2017, 02:19 PM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(16-05-2017 02:03 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(16-05-2017 01:51 PM)ColdComfort Wrote:  Thinking about such things is the work of a lifetime really. I don't think referring you to a book is unreasonable nor is asking you to look it up somewhere else. Why ask me when you can get a better idea elsewhere?

Well, there's a finite amount of life in me, and reading tricksy books by people with strange ideas isn't particularly my idea of fun. I thought given that you were so sure of yourself you might be able to explain somewhat of it. Because frankly my belief is that if someone can't explain something themselves then they don't understand it themselves. I'll take a look at your link.

Grasshopper gets what I've been saying. If I knew nothing about a subject. If it was as if I had never heard of it before this would be one of the last places I'd look for a good explanation. Internet discussion boards aren't generally filled with experts on whatever the particular subject is. And posters have hard opinions.
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16-05-2017, 02:26 PM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(16-05-2017 02:19 PM)ColdComfort Wrote:  
(16-05-2017 02:03 PM)morondog Wrote:  Well, there's a finite amount of life in me, and reading tricksy books by people with strange ideas isn't particularly my idea of fun. I thought given that you were so sure of yourself you might be able to explain somewhat of it. Because frankly my belief is that if someone can't explain something themselves then they don't understand it themselves. I'll take a look at your link.

Grasshopper gets what I've been saying. If I knew nothing about a subject. If it was as if I had never heard of it before this would be one of the last places I'd look for a good explanation. Internet discussion boards aren't generally filled with experts on whatever the particular subject is. And posters have hard opinions.

So, you DO understand it then? So why is wrong of me to ask you, when you are saying "You don't understand this" to say why?

I'm not asking you to explain it in the greatest of detail. But if you could for example just state in your own words the argument (is it Kalaam?), then I can say "that bit makes no sense" and you're free to rebutt. As it is I'm saying "that bit makes no sense" and you're just saying "go read a book n00b". It's not very convincing.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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16-05-2017, 02:30 PM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
And yes, I do have an opinion. But just like if you showed me a mathematical argument and I accepted the premises and the logic, I would be convinced, I will definitely change my opinion if I follow your reasoning. What I will not do, is change my opinion based on being told to run along - instead I will form the opinion that you're the same as every other Christian apologist: full of big words but no substance.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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16-05-2017, 03:39 PM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(16-05-2017 02:30 PM)morondog Wrote:  And yes, I do have an opinion. But just like if you showed me a mathematical argument and I accepted the premises and the logic, I would be convinced, I will definitely change my opinion if I follow your reasoning. What I will not do, is change my opinion based on being told to run along - instead I will form the opinion that you're the same as every other Christian apologist: full of big words but no substance.

Big words but no substance does seem to be the apologist's bread-and-butter... oh, and making utterly irrational proclamations about atheists that fit the data in not even the slightest measure. The more they talk about philosophy and use long words for simple concepts, the more I know they're full of shit.

I think that's what's called a "necessary contingent-definitional argument". Or something like that.

"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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16-05-2017, 03:41 PM
Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(15-05-2017 05:10 PM)ColdComfort Wrote:  Yeah. That's all I meant. Perhaps a better example. I throw a brick at a window and the glass breaks. Me throwing the brick is a cause if you regress in the sequence a bit. The causes exist when the brick hits the window. The brick has enough force and the window has the potential to be shattered when struck by that force. A steel wall doesn't. Isn't this simultaneous? The window and the brick come into contact at the same time.

It's not simultaneous. The motion of the brick preceded the striking of the window. The kinetic energy of the brick in motion caused the window to shatter.
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