The go a little easy on theists thread
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03-02-2014, 11:07 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
Vosur,
Do you think Bach's concerto for violin and oboe (1060) came into existence?
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03-02-2014, 11:25 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(03-02-2014 11:02 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  
(03-02-2014 10:54 PM)Vosur Wrote:  The whole point of this exercise was to show that the first premise of the Kalām cosmological argument is not sound because we have yet to witness the beginning of a thing's existence.

Well, obviously it is open to people to reject the first premise.
But you can also evaluate the Kalam Argument premises in terms of… how plausible is the NEGATION of those premises.

Oh, look -- the retard troll is trying to set up a STRAW MAN. How....Cute. Hobo

The Kalaam (as well as its variants) hinges on Question-Begging-, and Special-Pleading-, fallacies.

You assume the existence (question-begging) of a "gawd" that "does not begin to exist" (Special Pleading).


Go fuck yourself.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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03-02-2014, 11:25 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(03-02-2014 11:02 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  Well, obviously it is open to people to reject the first premise.
We are in agreement that it's an unsound argument then.

(03-02-2014 11:02 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  But you can also evaluate the Kalam Argument premises in terms of… how plausible is the NEGATION of those premises.

What are the possible/plausible negations of the first premise?

*That things/substance DO sometimes spontaneously come into existence. (And logically, therefore, do also sometimes spontaneously cease to exist)
*That no substance (matter/energy/information/biology/consciousness/space/time) ever comes into existence.
*That there is no such thing as “nothing” or “non-existence”.
I don't think that information, biology, consciousness, space and time fit the definition of "substance." Aside from that, all of these options are possible, though I would argue that only the second and third one are plausible, given our observations.

(03-02-2014 11:02 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  If you really want to argue for;
- an unintended,
- uncaused,
- past-eternal,
- perpetual motion,
- unguided

....universe,

- where nothing new is ever ‘created’,
- and which isn’t really expanding, because there is no “nothingness” into which it can expand,
- and where everything that can happen HAS already happened over and over an infinite number of times, (think Groundhog Day movie multiplied by infinity)

…knock yourself out. Hobo

And while you’re at it you can throw away all those now-meaningless concepts such as;

*Singularity – the big bang happens repeatedly and inevitably. Yawn.
*Abiogenesis – biology is an illusion and there never was an “origin” or genesis.
*Sentience – Relax, it’s just the chemicals in your brain just doing what they always do.
*Evolution – Nope. We haven’t come from anywhere and we aren’t going anywhere.
Gladly. Sleepy

(03-02-2014 11:07 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  Vosur,
Do you think Bach's concerto for violin and oboe (1060) came into existence?
What exactly is it that you're asking me here? None of Bach's compositions have a tangible component to them (except for the sheets of paper the melodies are written on, of course).

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03-02-2014, 11:34 PM (This post was last modified: 03-02-2014 11:39 PM by toadaly.)
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(31-01-2014 04:23 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Premise #1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause

This is highly specious, in light of virtual particles. It's possibly nevertheless true even for QM, but no reason to think it is.

Softly, softly, catchee monkey.
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03-02-2014, 11:45 PM (This post was last modified: 03-02-2014 11:53 PM by Lion IRC.)
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(03-02-2014 11:25 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(03-02-2014 11:02 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  Well, obviously it is open to people to reject the first premise.
We are in agreement that it's an unsound argument then.

If the premise is unsound then yes. But how do you determine that things always or never came into existence?

(03-02-2014 11:25 PM)Vosur Wrote:  I don't think that information, biology, consciousness, space and time fit the definition of "substance." Aside from that, all of these options are possible, though I would argue that only the second and third one are plausible, given our observations.

Yes, I understand that much of the problem is the result of defining stuff into/out of existence or plausibility. But the main point of Kalam is about contingency not substance. If you want to argue that, by definition, substance and/or 'information" cannot come into (or go out of) real existence, then you cant escape the seeming absurdity of past-eternal, perpetual motion ad infinitum, where nothing new is ever created and everything has already happened an infinite number of times.

And you are still stuck with the real-world where creative volition (free-will) is definitely observed.

(03-02-2014 11:25 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(03-02-2014 11:07 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  Vosur,
Do you think Bach's concerto for violin and oboe (1060) came into existence?
What exactly is it that you're asking me here? None of Bach's work have a tangible component to them (except for the sheets of paper the melodies are written on, of course).

That looks every bit like an of admission of uncertainty. How are you sure then that the First premise of Kalam is more unsound, more improbable, than its negation?
BTW. A piece of paper is no more a Bach concerto than a restaurant menu is a fine meal. The ears dont ''hear'' paper and ink.
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04-02-2014, 12:34 AM (This post was last modified: 04-02-2014 12:40 AM by Vosur.)
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(03-02-2014 11:45 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  If the premise is unsound then yes. But how do you determine that things always or never came into existence?
(03-02-2014 11:45 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  How are you sure then that the First premise of Kalam is more unsound, more improbable, than its negation?
It's not within the realm of human possibilities to prove that every instance of X has property Y; the most we can show is that every observed instance of X has property Y.

For example, while it's possible that black swans exist even after observing a million white swans in a row, we have no reason to believe that they actually do until an observation confirming their existence is made.

Likewise, I have no reason to believe that things actually begin to exist until an observation confirming this notion is made.

(03-02-2014 11:45 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  Yes, I understand that much of the problem is the result of defining stuff into/out of existence or plausibility. But the main point of Kalam is about contingency not substance. If you want to argue that, by definition, substance and/or 'information" cannot come into (or go out of) real existence, then you cant escape the seeming absurdity of past-eternal, perpetual motion ad infinitum, where nothing new is ever created and everything has already happened an infinite number of times.
I don't see why you have a problem with this model; to me it seems no more absurd than the idea that an eternal entity created everything in existence ex nihilo.

(03-02-2014 11:45 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  And you are still stuck with the real-world where creative volition (free-will) is definitely observed.
If and to what extent we have free will is the topic of an unsettled, millennial discussion. I hope you're not suggesting that you (or anyone else, including me, for that matter) is able to settle that debate right here and now.

(03-02-2014 11:45 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  That looks every bit like an of admission of uncertainty.
Well, yes. I'm uncertain of the meaning of your question.

(03-02-2014 11:45 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  BTW. A piece of paper is no more a Bach concerto than a restaurant menu is a fine meal. The ears dont ''hear'' paper and ink.
And that is why I don't know what you're asking me. All that "sound" is is a series of vibrations that is usually transferred to an interpreting receiver (e.g. a human) by way of air. All a composer does (not that I'm saying that it's easy) is coming up with an instruction manual that tells people how to transmit a certain series of sounds (e.g. a melody) to a receiver by using instruments.

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04-02-2014, 12:59 AM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
I was going to avoid this resurrection of a zombie thread as I stated many pages ago but I have to vent a little. I am so tired of the theist argument that we exist because there was a creator. We humans exist because our parents fucked. Plants exist because in their way their parents fucked. Some single celled things exist because they divided. Random unexplainable shit happens.

The great sky god had nothing to do with it.

I would point out to the theists amongst us that to suggest that there are unexplainable things does not demand a great sky god. It demands simply that randomness and unexplained things exist.
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04-02-2014, 01:13 AM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(03-02-2014 09:17 AM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  
(03-02-2014 09:11 AM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  I *am* going easy. Evil_monster

And the actual thread starved to death (as it should) long ago.


Yeah you seriously disliked Alla too and I came to like her fine. It happens.
Look - how we can disagree yet be civil and remain friends.

its epic I tell ya
epic

Heart

Taken to pm.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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04-02-2014, 11:16 AM (This post was last modified: 04-02-2014 11:25 AM by lookingforanswers.)
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(03-02-2014 04:24 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  It wasn't merely my experience with the negative attitudes of religious people that drove me away from religion. Like I said, when I questioned it, religious people simply regurgitated stuff that they had been indoctrinated with their entire lives, and many times simply avoided the question altogether. Religion wasn't something that I walked away from overnight. It was a slow process, but the evidence against it's claims kept mounting, until it reached a point where I realized that I could not get a sound argument for it from people who only believed in it because they had been indoctrinated with it.

I have read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, and very much enjoyed it. I do not find his attitude towards creationists to be hateful, merely a hard reality check at their beliefs. I don't think that anybody deserves to get hate mail, and when I say hate mail I'm not talking about letters that say "I don't agree with you, and here is why:" or "I think you are being unreasonable". These people were writing emails to him saying "I hate your fucking guts!" and "I hope you die!" Hate is always unacceptable, and I have never seen or heard Dawkins do anything on that kind of level. The problem is that our society gives religion a free pass when it comes to criticism, and if somebody goes and criticizes religion, people lambaste that person and treat them like they are making a personal attack out of disrespect, and that is bullshit. People got infuriated with Dawkins for questioning the fact that religion is often allowed to be free from criticism - and Dawkins is right. Why should religion get a free pass? Why should it not be held to the same standards as everything else and be questioned and require proof for it's claims? One of the things I learned is that you can bet a million bucks that anything that says that it is not to be questioned is bullshit. The whole reason religion doesn't like being questioned is because it knows it will be shown to be false. If something is true, then it should be able to stand up to any kind of questioning. If any religion is right, then it's followers should have absolutely no fear of people questioning it.

I don't see anything negative about requiring evidence to believe something to be true. That is my only requirement for me to believe in a deity: good, solid evidence. The possibility of the existence of a deity goes in the same boat as the possibility for the existence of fairies, leprechauns, the sphinx, and other supernatural beings that man has claimed to exist throughout time. If it has no hard evidence, then I don't worry about it, just as I don't worry about the existence of any other supernatural beings/objects. I don't need to believe in a deity to give meaning to my life. In fact, I find it quite depressing that people actually feel that life has no meaning without the existence of a deity.

I can't disprove the existence of a deity, just like I can't disprove the existence of fairies or any other supernatural being. It doesn't mean that it gets the same credibility as science, which requires evidence. If I said that I possessed a box that had fairies that have helped me, but they are invisible and therefore can't be seen by anybody, nobody could disprove me. However, I'd be put in a nut house for making such claims. Yet, believing in some omnipotent, invisible man in the sky for which there is no hard evidence at all is completely logical? I don't get it.

I don't mean to come across as mean. I'm more than happy to answer questions by open-minded people who are questioning their belief in something, but when people come here to ask questions when they already have their mind made up on what they believe is annoying. I was, at one time, one of those people looking for answers, and I seriously hoped that I would get answers that showed my religious beliefs to be true, but it didn't work out that way. That is why I became an atheist. As far as I'm concerned, people can believe whatever the hell they want, so long as they don't try to force their beliefs on others. I'm gladly willing to change my beliefs when solid evidence is shown to me that proves me wrong.

I guess I get a bit of a different perspective of Dawkins' work than you do, and it may be the difference in perspective of a deist (and former Christian) vs the perspective of an atheist.

My problem with Dawkins has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he is questioning religion, and I would never ever say that anyone was disrespectful just for the fact of questioning religion or anything along those lines. My problem with Dawkins is the manner in which he goes about it, and the fact that he purposefully tries to push the buttons of religious people as hard as he can. If you've got a good argument, great go make it. But, you can make that argument in a respectful way or in an offensive way.

My perception of what Dawkins does is that he purposefully words his work in a manner that is as offensive to religious people as possible. Dawkins states at the very start of his book that it is meant essentially for people who are on the fence about atheism, and it may be that the book is very good at pushing those people over to his side of the fence, but it is not a book about rational argument, it is a book about appeals to emotion not reason.

If I remember correctly, Dawkins spends about two or three chapters before getting to any of his discussion about the proofs of God's existence. During that part of the book, he spends most of his time discussing religion in a contemptuous and mocking tone (I listened to the audiobook narrated by Dawkins himself). He uses implied ad hominem arguments by mocking anyone who is silly enough to believe in a religion. He implies that believing in the existence of any God at all is as silly as believing in fairies, refers to God as Santa Clause for adults, and generally paints a picture of anyone who believes in a God to be ignorant and stupid. If he wanted to have some intellectual integrity he would have started with the arguments for the existence of God, or his arguments against one. He doesn't. Instead, he lays the groundwork. He tries to convince the reader how stupid they are if they don't agree with his argument, before he makes it. Well, if your arguments are so strong, why do you need to lay that groundwork? Is he afraid to let his arguments or counter-arguments stand on their own merit?

Now, I have no problem with someone attacking religion or the existence of God, but all of the mockery is unnecessary. Not only that, but you have to be honest with your analysis. When Dawkins does finally get to dealing with the proofs of God's existence he spends an unbelievable about of time on the most ridiculous arguments for the existence of God, and even uses proofs that were never meant to be proofs. Seriously, has anyone ever used Pascal's Wager as a proof of God's existence? Yet, when he finally gets to the cosmological argument (probably the most important proof for him to discuss) he glosses over it and never actually addresses it. He admits that the argument proves the existence of an intelligent creator, and his only counter is to say that the argument does not also prove that this creator has certain attributes such as listening to prayers, reading innermost thoughts, etc. Of course, the argument was never meant to address those issues at all, so the counter is irrelevant. I don't think it is possible to do an intellectually honest review of the proofs of God's existence while spending more time on Pascal's Wager than the Cosmological argument. The only reason to do so is to support his previous implications that "you are stupid if you don't agree with me".

Not only that, he uses ridiculous arguments that I've never heard anyone ever put forth in support of religion. He seems to use a pretty see-though strawman with his use of the argument that "smart people believe in God so it must be true" (sorry, can't remember the specific words he used). He spends more time discussing this one than the cosmological argument, which seems absurd, and the only reason that he seems to use it is so that he can spout his statistics about how many scientists are atheists. Of course, Dawkins would never say outright, "you should be an atheist because smart people are atheists," so instead he strawmans religious people so he can imply his ad hominem argument without actually stating it.

Sorry, I tend to rant when I talk about Dawkins, but the reason is because he just annoys me so much because his approach is an appeal to emotion, not an appeal to reason. If he wanted to really do a work focused on appealing to reason he could approach the task in a more scientific manner, carefully dissecting arguments using logic. If you've got a strong logical argument you don't need to resort to mockery, you don't need to resort to ad hominem arguments or insults. It is the same tactic that fundy Christian preachers use. They preach to the choir, use appeals to emotion over reason, give their congregation a feeling of superiority by making them feel good about the fact that they have "found the truth" and are no longer a member of the "ignorant masses".

If you want my opinion, Dawkins specifically wrote that book the way he did because he wanted to get hate mail. He deliberately put in the words that he knew would push the buttons of religious people (such as calling Yahweh "a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully"). Forget for a second whether or not you think the statement is justified, you can't argue that it is meant to be inflammatory. He pushed those buttons for the same reason that Miley Cyrus does: to get more publicity for himself and his work. So, don't feel bad for Richard Dawkins, because I guarantee you that he relishes every piece of hate mail he gets, and likely would have been hugely disappointed if none had arrived in the first place.

Dawkins is a shameless self-promoter, who is the intellectual equivalent of Howard Stern (in that he uses inflammatory statements in order to piss people off and promote himself) and he avoids supporting his opinion through legitimate intellectual debates with anyone who he knows can actually fight back. Seriously, refusing to debate William Lane Craig on the existence of God using the cover of Craig's beliefs on a completely unrelated matter? Since when has "I refuse to debate that person because he disagrees with me on an unrelated matter" been a legitimate excuse for running from a debate? Meanwhile, Dawkins seems to have no problem in his videos engaging with people like uneducated fundy Muslims, who he knows he can make to look like fools. Intellectually, he is the equivalent of a bully who doesn't like to pick on anyone his own size.

And yes, I would love it if Dawkins read the above and sent me some hatemail, lol.
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04-02-2014, 11:21 AM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(04-02-2014 11:16 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I guess I get a bit of a different perspective of Dawkins' work than you do, and it may be the difference in perspective of a deist (and former Christian) vs the perspective of an atheist.

My problem with Dawkins has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he is questioning religion, and I would never ever say that anyone was disrespectful just for the fact of questioning religion or anything along those lines. My problem with Dawkins is the manner in which he goes about it, and the fact that he purposefully tries to push the buttons of religious people as hard as he can. If you've got a good argument, great go make it. But, you can make that argument in a respectful way or in an offensive way.

You bastards need your buttons pushed. You don't respect us. Why the fuck should we respect you.

Quote:Blah blah blah...
Sorry, I tend to rant when I talk about Dawkins, but the reason is because he just annoys me so much blah blah blah.....

Good! You NEED annoying.


Quote:He deliberately put in the words that he knew would push the buttons of religious people (such as calling Yahweh "a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully"). Forget for a second whether or not you think the statement is justified, you can't argue that it is meant to be inflammatory.


Yeah. Deal with it.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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