Theism's fatal flaw
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12-02-2015, 01:50 AM
Theism's fatal flaw
There is a fundamental flaw in theism that I believe is inescapable and insurmountable.

Typically when dealing with a theist I will ask him or her to name their primaries, name the fundamental starting point of their world view. After all if the starting point can be shown to be false then the whole thing comes crashing down.

Almost invariably they will say either "God" or the words found in the Bible. I will then usually point out that this is an improper starting point.

A starting point must be undeniably true, since the rest of the hierarchy of the worldview is dependent upon its truth. If the starting point is at all questionable, then the rest will be at best questionable. "God" is not undeniably true. I can deny the existence of God without contradicting a single fact that is known to be true. So "God" as a starting point fails in this regard.

A proper starting point to knowledge must be fundamental. It must be conceptually irreducible. That means that it does not rest on any antecedent concepts. For if it does then it is not a starting point, one of the concepts it rests on is the staring point and we would have to discover which one is the most fundamental and that one would be the true starting point and we would have to make sure that this was true. In other words we can't begin our knowledge in mid stream if we want to be sure it is true. The concept "God" is not conceptually irreducible and so is not a proper starting point. It rests on antecedent concepts. It is even worse if the Bible is the starting point since it is a book consisting of Thousands of different words, each standing for a concept. So "God" fails in this regard.

A proper starting point, being conceptually irreducible and not inferred from prior knowledge must be something that is directly observable. It must be perceptually self evident. Obviously God fails this test in spades.

A proper starting point must be universal. It must be implicit in all subsequent knowledge. But we all learn many things before we ever hear about God. Since "God" is not conceptually irreducible then the concepts which must necessarily precede it do not assume its truth. Therefore "God" also fails in this respect.

But it is even worse. "God" is not only not directly observable but it is also not logically inferred from any concretes. When we look at the world we see only natural, finite, corruptible, mutable and imperfect things. We can't logically infer a supernatural, infinite, incorruptible, immutable and perfect thing. Inference from the natural can only lead to more of the natural.

But it gets still worse for the God belief. Not only is the starting point of the theistic worldview improper and logically uninferrable, but the only alternative we have if we want to apprehend "God" is to imagine it. We can't see it, taste it, hear it, touch it or smell it. We have to imagine it. It is indistinguishable from something that is merely imaginary. Imaginary things are not real and do not actually exist.

So this, I think is a fatal flaw. Theism begins with a starting point which is indistinguishable from something that is merely imaginary. What do you all think?

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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12-02-2015, 02:19 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omnisciant, loves each one of his children equally and wants us all to believe in Him so we can avoid Hell...


...but can't be bothered to have a face to face conversation. Even Satan is lacking, there are quite a few things I'd make a deal with him for, yet he hasn't shown up either. Come to think of it, why doesn't Satan just make deals with everyone when they are an impressionable child? Is that against the Demi god rule book?

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12-02-2015, 02:22 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
True.

In a nutshell, there's no evidence for god, so all talk about "him" is nothing more than imaginary.
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12-02-2015, 04:13 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 02:19 AM)Im_Ryan Wrote:  Come to think of it, why doesn't Satan just make deals with everyone when they are an impressionable child? Is that against the Demi god rule book?

He does! Haven't you heard of all the young Harry Potter fans who sold their souls for magic powers, and all the similar incidents with other franchises? Why else would Satan make all this evil, demonic children's entertainment? Hobo

Popcorn I put more thought into fiction than theists put into reality.
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12-02-2015, 06:53 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 01:50 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  So this, I think is a fatal flaw. Theism begins with a starting point which is indistinguishable from something that is merely imaginary. What do you all think?

There's a reason Christians love presuppositional apologetics.

I was actually reading one Christian talking to another, saying how he can't debate an atheist "on their terms". He said you have to rely on presupposition and not "play their game".

So, yeah, I think you're onto something. Sure, they can throw solipsism back in your face and ask you what you can really "know", but at that point, who cares? People stop caring about solipsism after the whole Plato's cave segment of Philosophy 101.
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12-02-2015, 08:01 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 06:53 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(12-02-2015 01:50 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  So this, I think is a fatal flaw. Theism begins with a starting point which is indistinguishable from something that is merely imaginary. What do you all think?

There's a reason Christians love presuppositional apologetics.

I was actually reading one Christian talking to another, saying how he can't debate an atheist "on their terms". He said you have to rely on presupposition and not "play their game".

So, yeah, I think you're onto something. Sure, they can throw solipsism back in your face and ask you what you can really "know", but at that point, who cares? People stop caring about solipsism after the whole Plato's cave segment of Philosophy 101.

At that point I tell them what my starting point is. Unlike theirs mine meets all the criteria I listed above. In fact it is the only one that does, therefore it is the only proper starting point. In fact my starting point must be true even for anyone to deny it. It is invulnerable. My starting point is a precondition for knowing anything so I'm completely secure.

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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12-02-2015, 08:25 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 02:19 AM)Im_Ryan Wrote:  God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omnisciant, loves each one of his children equally and wants us all to believe in Him so we can avoid Hell...


...but can't be bothered to have a face to face conversation. Even Satan is lacking, there are quite a few things I'd make a deal with him for, yet he hasn't shown up either. Come to think of it, why doesn't Satan just make deals with everyone when they are an impressionable child? Is that against the Demi god rule book?

Amazing isn't it. How can anyone believe in it. I guess they are just really good at evading facts like the ones you pointed out. I guess I was once one of those evaders so I can't be too hard on them.

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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12-02-2015, 08:34 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 02:22 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  True.

In a nutshell, there's no evidence for god, so all talk about "him" is nothing more than imaginary.

Yep. Consider also that when you imagine something it goes away as soon as you stop imagining it. Real things are there whether I'm thinking about them or not. I can imagine something I've actually seen in great detail. But when I imagine God I am taking selected features of man and projecting other impossible traits that don't appear in nature. The imagination is the only place where contradictions can exist.

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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12-02-2015, 08:57 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 01:50 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Typically when dealing with a theist I will ask him or her to name their primaries, name the fundamental starting point of their world view. After all if the starting point can be shown to be false then the whole thing comes crashing down.

A proper starting point, being conceptually irreducible and not inferred from prior knowledge must be something that is directly observable. It must be perceptually self evident. Obviously God fails this test in spades.

I have done just this several times and pretty much what happens is they either fail to see the failure of their logic, or they simply don't care. I have spoken to several christians who, when asked whether if their god is the wrong god would they want to know, have responded "no". Now some have quickly answered "yes", but the fact that there are people who say that they care about truth yet completely admit that they aren't actually interested in truth is where the real problem lies IMO. They are only interested in THEIR truth. I think that pointing out the serious foundational problems is rather simple. The difficulty arises in whether they want/can see the implications. It's like the people who openly say that the story of Adam and Eve is only a story and not necessarily true but completely miss the implication of without that story, there is NO basis for their entire belief system. I'm looking at you Dr. Collins.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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12-02-2015, 08:59 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 01:50 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  There is a fundamental flaw in theism that I believe is inescapable and insurmountable.

Typically when dealing with a theist I will ask him or her to name their primaries, name the fundamental starting point of their world view. After all if the starting point can be shown to be false then the whole thing comes crashing down.

Almost invariably they will say either "God" or the words found in the Bible. I will then usually point out that this is an improper starting point.

A starting point must be undeniably true, since the rest of the hierarchy of the worldview is dependent upon its truth. If the starting point is at all questionable, then the rest will be at best questionable. "God" is not undeniably true. I can deny the existence of God without contradicting a single fact that is known to be true. So "God" as a starting point fails in this regard.

A proper starting point to knowledge must be fundamental. It must be conceptually irreducible. That means that it does not rest on any antecedent concepts. For if it does then it is not a starting point, one of the concepts it rests on is the staring point and we would have to discover which one is the most fundamental and that one would be the true starting point and we would have to make sure that this was true. In other words we can't begin our knowledge in mid stream if we want to be sure it is true. The concept "God" is not conceptually irreducible and so is not a proper starting point. It rests on antecedent concepts. It is even worse if the Bible is the starting point since it is a book consisting of Thousands of different words, each standing for a concept. So "God" fails in this regard.

A proper starting point, being conceptually irreducible and not inferred from prior knowledge must be something that is directly observable. It must be perceptually self evident. Obviously God fails this test in spades.

A proper starting point must be universal. It must be implicit in all subsequent knowledge. But we all learn many things before we ever hear about God. Since "God" is not conceptually irreducible then the concepts which must necessarily precede it do not assume its truth. Therefore "God" also fails in this respect.

But it is even worse. "God" is not only not directly observable but it is also not logically inferred from any concretes. When we look at the world we see only natural, finite, corruptible, mutable and imperfect things. We can't logically infer a supernatural, infinite, incorruptible, immutable and perfect thing. Inference from the natural can only lead to more of the natural.

But it gets still worse for the God belief. Not only is the starting point of the theistic worldview improper and logically uninferrable, but the only alternative we have if we want to apprehend "God" is to imagine it. We can't see it, taste it, hear it, touch it or smell it. We have to imagine it. It is indistinguishable from something that is merely imaginary. Imaginary things are not real and do not actually exist.

So this, I think is a fatal flaw. Theism begins with a starting point which is indistinguishable from something that is merely imaginary. What do you all think?

I was thinking something along similar lines, there is a presuppositional stack of unproven assertions that believers have, this list can have variations, depending on which faith exists, for Christianity these are the presuppositions, and there very well could be more:

1. A god exists.
As long as you ignore rationality and science, it all makes sense.

2. My god exists.
Out of millions? Lucky you for picking the right one which was the same one your parents or community believed.

3. My version of my god exists.
Jews don't care for your Jesus, the Catholics don't care for Protestants, 40,000+ denominations can't be wrong and the one I'm in is right, of course.

4. My book that describes my version of god is correct and accurate. -I'll take a big heaping cup of interpolations, pseudepigrapha, and ancient myth plagiarizing for the win Alex.

5. My interpretation of my book is correct and accurate. -Is your name Jim Jones?

Any one of these assertions are an unfalsifiable mess, to even begin to untangle the mess, they would have to provide actual, external evidence for the validity of any of these assertions. If any of these assertions are not true, it renders their entire viewpoint invalid. Each one is an insurmountable mountain to climb.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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