Theism's fatal flaw
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12-02-2015, 11:07 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 04:47 PM)Dahlia Wrote:  Great post! Honestly, I don't know if I've ever really considered what my irreducible starting point would be, at least not in the way you described it. You've definitely given me something to think about.

It is a fascinating subject. I don't think many people have thought about these issues. They are simply taken for granted. I certainly wasn't taught the skill of thinking in essentials in school or college. I started to learn about eight years ago. Once I did I started to see the mess of contradictions in my own thinking. If you want to learn more about these principles I highly recommend a blog called Incinerating Presuppositionalism. The author is a really good writer and he has a mastery of the essentials. Plus the comments sections of his entries are a real hoot to read.

http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/

Enjoy.

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, 11:10 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 03:39 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(12-02-2015 03:21 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Not just a logical flaw. Their starting point of knowledge is demonstrably false. It is a problem of metaphysics and epistemology.

True enough, both of you, but I'm trying to emphasize the point that it doesn't MATTER whether their logic is flawed. They're still here. Pointing out flaws in logic is not generally an effective approach, except with those who are already questioning and moving away from a theistic mindset.

Sadly true. Reason is volitional. There will always be those who prefer the easy short cut to knowledge which is faith. I study these issues more for my own sake rather than to convince others.

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, 11:17 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 03:45 PM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  Scotsman,

With your permission, I would like to copy and paste this on another message board I frequent. I promise I won't take credit for it, but I just loved the original post and there are some uppity Christian's who aren't nearly as smart as they think they are that I want to see them wrap their nuggets around this.

Feel free. I can't really take credit for these ideas either. This is Objectivism 101. I was not the originator but I have validated them and integrated them for myself. The fundamental issue here is the issue of metaphysical primacy. It is the most fundamental issue in philosophy. But, if you talk to people about it their eyes glaze over and you loose them in short order. It's better to talk in terms of the real vs. the imaginary. It is the same principle but presented in a way that anyone can understand without having to spend five hours explaining metaphysical primacy.

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, 11:23 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
Excellent, ill post it up tomorrow and attach a link if you care to see some of the replies. It's a college football message board with some pretty intelligent posters, several of whom happen to suffer that heavenly delusion. They are smart enough to keep pace with me but would get eaten alive if they ventured here.
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12-02-2015, 11:26 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 04:09 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(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?

What is YOUR "universal, conceptually irreducible and not inferred from prior knowledge something that is directly observable"... what is YOUR starting point? I'll put God and the Bible to the side to arrive there with you.

Thanks.

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you Q,

My starting point is the concept "existence". It is a single word concept that references everything that exists. You can call it nature or existence or the universe. If it is stated in the form of a proposition it is: existents exist or things exists or reality exists. It really can't be thought of in isolation. When combined with its corollaries it forms a base of knowledge that is incontestably true. This is only the starting point though, the foundation for a fully integrated philosophy.

Existence does meet all of the criteria of a proper starting point. In fact no other concept does. It is undeniably true. It is the most fundamental concept. What could come before it and what would it reference if not something that exists. It is perceptually self evident. It is conceptually irreducible. It is universal, subsuming everything that exists, has existed or will exist in the future. It is implicit in all knowledge and any statement of knowledge.

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, 11:29 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 11:23 PM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  Excellent, ill post it up tomorrow and attach a link if you care to see some of the replies. It's a college football message board with some pretty intelligent posters, several of whom happen to suffer that heavenly delusion. They are smart enough to keep pace with me but would get eaten alive if they ventured here.

Great.

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
Find all posts by this user
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13-02-2015, 01:49 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 11:07 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(12-02-2015 04:47 PM)Dahlia Wrote:  Great post! Honestly, I don't know if I've ever really considered what my irreducible starting point would be, at least not in the way you described it. You've definitely given me something to think about.

It is a fascinating subject. I don't think many people have thought about these issues. They are simply taken for granted. I certainly wasn't taught the skill of thinking in essentials in school or college. I started to learn about eight years ago. Once I did I started to see the mess of contradictions in my own thinking. If you want to learn more about these principles I highly recommend a blog called Incinerating Presuppositionalism. The author is a really good writer and he has a mastery of the essentials. Plus the comments sections of his entries are a real hoot to read.

http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/

Enjoy.
Thanks, I'll check it out!
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16-02-2015, 01:20 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
Evidentialism holds that belief should rest on evidence.

Presuppositionalism holds that belief rests on presuppositions.

I'm most definitely in the Evidentialism camp. Also, one can do gedanken experiments--say there is no god then go from there.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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16-02-2015, 01:21 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(12-02-2015 11:26 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(12-02-2015 04:09 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  What is YOUR "universal, conceptually irreducible and not inferred from prior knowledge something that is directly observable"... what is YOUR starting point? I'll put God and the Bible to the side to arrive there with you.

Thanks.

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you Q,

My starting point is the concept "existence". It is a single word concept that references everything that exists. You can call it nature or existence or the universe. If it is stated in the form of a proposition it is: existents exist or things exists or reality exists. It really can't be thought of in isolation. When combined with its corollaries it forms a base of knowledge that is incontestably true. This is only the starting point though, the foundation for a fully integrated philosophy.

Existence does meet all of the criteria of a proper starting point. In fact no other concept does. It is undeniably true. It is the most fundamental concept. What could come before it and what would it reference if not something that exists. It is perceptually self evident. It is conceptually irreducible. It is universal, subsuming everything that exists, has existed or will exist in the future. It is implicit in all knowledge and any statement of knowledge.

Then what would you ask me to do in response? I find both my own person and God's to be self-evident in nature.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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16-02-2015, 01:22 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
Or put another way,

If the universe (and us inside it) just "is" how come God just "isn't"?

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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