Theism's fatal flaw
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19-02-2015, 10:27 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(19-02-2015 10:15 AM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  Okay true scotsman,

Same poster replied back. Here's his second response:

Well, I'd point out that the above statement is absurd, as it can be argued that nothing in reality "is indistinguishable from something that is merely imaginary."

The whole long statement can be summed up in the above sentence. The premise is weak, and the author basically seems to be spending his effort in creating a logic puzzle designed to arrive at his predetermined answer.

This is grade school debate team stuff. Sorry if it's not blowing anybody's skirt up...

There is kind of a point there.

In addition to the first premise - "existence exists" - we might be said to be taking two further assumptions along with us - "I exist", and "I perceive".

The latter leaves room for argument; as human beings, our perceptions of "reality" are not perfect. The best we can ever do is check for consistency with our own accumulated prior body of experience, and with the experiences of others, insofar as we can meaningfully communicate with them.

Of course, that's still not even close to being the slightest attestation for some nonsensical and forever ill-defined "god"...

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19-02-2015, 10:32 AM (This post was last modified: 19-02-2015 10:39 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(19-02-2015 09:41 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  The fact that he exists does not tell us what his philosophical starting point is.


Well Adam's conclusion, like Bob's is based on a subjective evaluation of life itself.

Quote:If he supposes that a God created everything in existence by an act of conscious will then he does not have a proper starting point.

Notice, I didn't say anything about God in my Adam example, I reserved the question exclusively to the question of meaning, where Bob's evaluation leads him to believe there is none.

As far as I can tell using your criteria, Adam's evaluation is based on a valid philosophical starting point, which is life itself, which serves as the reality in which he evaluates and comes to the conclusions that he does, though Bob is led to a different conclusion.

Do you agree on this?

I'll repeat Adam's conclusion again, just so you have a reference point:

"His friend Adam on the other believes the opposite, based on his own perception of life, that there does seem to be some rhyme and reason for it, some sense of moral direction, as signifying something, rather than nothing. There seems to be some story here, one in which we’re all a part of, rather than a meaningless series of coincidences."
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19-02-2015, 10:56 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(19-02-2015 10:27 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(19-02-2015 10:15 AM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  Okay true scotsman,

Same poster replied back. Here's his second response:

Well, I'd point out that the above statement is absurd, as it can be argued that nothing in reality "is indistinguishable from something that is merely imaginary."

The whole long statement can be summed up in the above sentence. The premise is weak, and the author basically seems to be spending his effort in creating a logic puzzle designed to arrive at his predetermined answer.

This is grade school debate team stuff. Sorry if it's not blowing anybody's skirt up...

There is kind of a point there.

In addition to the first premise - "existence exists" - we might be said to be taking two further assumptions along with us - "I exist", and "I perceive".

The latter leaves room for argument; as human beings, our perceptions of "reality" are not perfect. The best we can ever do is check for consistency with our own accumulated prior body of experience, and with the experiences of others, insofar as we can meaningfully communicate with them.

Of course, that's still not even close to being the slightest attestation for some nonsensical and forever ill-defined "god"...

Wow. Nothing in reality is indistinguishable from something that is merely imaginary? That says it all. This guy does not recognize that there is a fundamental difference between what is real and what is imaginary. What can you say to someone like that?

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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19-02-2015, 11:03 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(19-02-2015 10:56 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(19-02-2015 10:27 AM)cjlr Wrote:  There is kind of a point there.

In addition to the first premise - "existence exists" - we might be said to be taking two further assumptions along with us - "I exist", and "I perceive".

The latter leaves room for argument; as human beings, our perceptions of "reality" are not perfect. The best we can ever do is check for consistency with our own accumulated prior body of experience, and with the experiences of others, insofar as we can meaningfully communicate with them.

Of course, that's still not even close to being the slightest attestation for some nonsensical and forever ill-defined "god"...

Wow. Nothing in reality is indistinguishable from something that is merely imaginary? That says it all. This guy does not recognize that there is a fundamental difference between what is real and what is imaginary. What can you say to someone like that?

The thing is, true scotsman, that he's right in part. We - human beings - are not objective observers. Period.

But the correct response is not "NO U LOL"; it's "so what?".

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19-02-2015, 11:54 AM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(19-02-2015 11:03 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(19-02-2015 10:56 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Wow. Nothing in reality is indistinguishable from something that is merely imaginary? That says it all. This guy does not recognize that there is a fundamental difference between what is real and what is imaginary. What can you say to someone like that?

The thing is, true scotsman, that he's right in part. We - human beings - are not objective observers. Period.

But the correct response is not "NO U LOL"; it's "so what?".

None of us observe objects? The objects we observe are not what they are independent of our observing them? Objectivity, as I inform the concept, is a volitional adherence to the principle of the primacy of existence. that things exist independently of the conscious activity by which we observe them. Adherence to this principle, which is a corollary to the axioms of existence, consciousness and identity, is what keeps our concepts grounded in an connected to reality. It means that knowledge of the world can only be gained by looking outward at the world and by correctly identifying and integrating what we perceive. Objectivity is a choice. It is a recognition that there is a fundamental distinction between the real and the imaginary.

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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19-02-2015, 12:57 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(19-02-2015 11:54 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(19-02-2015 11:03 AM)cjlr Wrote:  The thing is, true scotsman, that he's right in part. We - human beings - are not objective observers. Period.

But the correct response is not "NO U LOL"; it's "so what?".

None of us observe objects?

I can't recall objecting to that, actually...

(19-02-2015 11:54 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  The objects we observe are not what they are independent of our observing them?

It is of great utility to assume so, but relatively trivial to establish that they are not necessarily so.

Can you convince a hallucinating psychotic that their perceptions are not valid? Notwithstanding what a trivial trick it is to fool our own senses; it is incredibly easy to cause oneself or others to observe objects which are entirely artifacts of perception...

After all, a single observer's perceptions are meaningless - there's no possible means to assess their validity, even assuming (quite reasonably) that they might be valid or invalid in the first place. Only collectively and in aggregate can we draw some informed conclusions about what might be said to exist, and how we relate to it.

(19-02-2015 11:54 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Objectivity, as I inform the concept, is a volitional adherence to the principle of the primacy of existence. that things exist independently of the conscious activity by which we observe them.

From which, again, on its own, nothing else follows. Existence exists. So what?

Having begun by emphasising the need for making clear your initial assumptions, I thought you'd thus want to acknowledge the difference between existence and perception. Maybe you did and I missed it.

(19-02-2015 11:54 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Adherence to this principle, which is a corollary to the axioms of existence, consciousness and identity, is what keeps our concepts grounded in an connected to reality. It means that knowledge of the world can only be gained by looking outward at the world and by correctly identifying and integrating what we perceive.

How do you know whether you are doing so "correctly"? I am confident in asserting that you have been wrong before and will be wrong again. I sure have been.

Do note that this is essentially the same question you hold up as a gotcha to theists.

In any case, if you are constructing your axioms based on what feels right to you, then you don't really have any basis for arguing with someone who feels differently. For some theists, the existence of god is as self-evident to them as your assumptions are to you. Then what; a feels-off?

(19-02-2015 11:54 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Objectivity is a choice. It is a recognition that there is a fundamental distinction between the real and the imaginary.

But that's irrelevant, by itself. It does not follow from that assumption that our perception has any relation to any independent external existence. I can freely choose to assume a coherent, consistent, and understandable external reality - that's that the scientific method necessarily entails, after all - but that doesn't lend any degree of objectivity to my observations and conclusions thereof. Unless, as you seem to be doing, you're defining objectivity only in terms of adherence to that assumption itself, which makes it rather a useless term.

I am not denying the distinction, although I think it needs some clarification (e.g., are social constructs real or imaginary?).

I am saying that the truly interesting matter is in how we, as flawed observers, attempt to tell the difference, and that it seems to me that perhaps you are glossing over that problem.

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19-02-2015, 01:59 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(19-02-2015 10:32 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(19-02-2015 09:41 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  The fact that he exists does not tell us what his philosophical starting point is.


Well Adam's conclusion, like Bob's is based on a subjective evaluation of life itself.

Quote:If he supposes that a God created everything in existence by an act of conscious will then he does not have a proper starting point.

Notice, I didn't say anything about God in my Adam example, I reserved the question exclusively to the question of meaning, where Bob's evaluation leads him to believe there is none.

As far as I can tell using your criteria, Adam's evaluation is based on a valid philosophical starting point, which is life itself, which serves as the reality in which he evaluates and comes to the conclusions that he does, though Bob is led to a different conclusion.

Do you agree on this?

I'll repeat Adam's conclusion again, just so you have a reference point:

"His friend Adam on the other believes the opposite, based on his own perception of life, that there does seem to be some rhyme and reason for it, some sense of moral direction, as signifying something, rather than nothing. There seems to be some story here, one in which we’re all a part of, rather than a meaningless series of coincidences."

I see Tomasia. Your point was that two people can come to opposite conclusions and both of them can be right. Is that what you were meaning?

I still contend that we can not tell what their starting point is from your example but lets assume they both begin with a proper starting point, existence exists, and they come to two opposing conclusions. Evaluations like this depend greatly on what values a person holds. Values are chosen. On the surface it may seem that all values are subjective but they are not. To get to the concept of the objectivity of values is a looong discussion and I don't think it would be good to go down that rabbit whole here. If you want to start a thread on objective values I'll be glad to come and join in the discussion.

But this issue has no bearing on what I said in the opening post. It does not relieve theism of its improper starting point.

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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19-02-2015, 02:04 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(19-02-2015 12:57 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(19-02-2015 11:54 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  None of us observe objects?

I can't recall objecting to that, actually...

(19-02-2015 11:54 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  The objects we observe are not what they are independent of our observing them?

It is of great utility to assume so, but relatively trivial to establish that they are not necessarily so.

Can you convince a hallucinating psychotic that their perceptions are not valid? Notwithstanding what a trivial trick it is to fool our own senses; it is incredibly easy to cause oneself or others to observe objects which are entirely artifacts of perception...

After all, a single observer's perceptions are meaningless - there's no possible means to assess their validity, even assuming (quite reasonably) that they might be valid or invalid in the first place. Only collectively and in aggregate can we draw some informed conclusions about what might be said to exist, and how we relate to it.

(19-02-2015 11:54 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Objectivity, as I inform the concept, is a volitional adherence to the principle of the primacy of existence. that things exist independently of the conscious activity by which we observe them.

From which, again, on its own, nothing else follows. Existence exists. So what?

Having begun by emphasising the need for making clear your initial assumptions, I thought you'd thus want to acknowledge the difference between existence and perception. Maybe you did and I missed it.

(19-02-2015 11:54 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Adherence to this principle, which is a corollary to the axioms of existence, consciousness and identity, is what keeps our concepts grounded in an connected to reality. It means that knowledge of the world can only be gained by looking outward at the world and by correctly identifying and integrating what we perceive.

How do you know whether you are doing so "correctly"? I am confident in asserting that you have been wrong before and will be wrong again. I sure have been.

Do note that this is essentially the same question you hold up as a gotcha to theists.

In any case, if you are constructing your axioms based on what feels right to you, then you don't really have any basis for arguing with someone who feels differently. For some theists, the existence of god is as self-evident to them as your assumptions are to you. Then what; a feels-off?

(19-02-2015 11:54 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Objectivity is a choice. It is a recognition that there is a fundamental distinction between the real and the imaginary.

But that's irrelevant, by itself. It does not follow from that assumption that our perception has any relation to any independent external existence. I can freely choose to assume a coherent, consistent, and understandable external reality - that's that the scientific method necessarily entails, after all - but that doesn't lend any degree of objectivity to my observations and conclusions thereof. Unless, as you seem to be doing, you're defining objectivity only in terms of adherence to that assumption itself, which makes it rather a useless term.

I am not denying the distinction, although I think it needs some clarification (e.g., are social constructs real or imaginary?).

I am saying that the truly interesting matter is in how we, as flawed observers, attempt to tell the difference, and that it seems to me that perhaps you are glossing over that problem.

Hi CJLR,

Thank you for your comments. This is going to be a long response and I want to do them justice so I'll respond tonight as I don't have time on my lunch break. I definitely have some thoughts though and will get back to you this evening.

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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19-02-2015, 02:41 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(18-02-2015 09:13 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(17-02-2015 11:46 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  No, no, no, no, no. Observable, corporeal (in the person of Jesus, for one notable example) and provable. But you have to step forward and be counted.

No, No, No, No, No. Not provable. There is only one source to look to for the story of Jesus, the Bible. A claim can not be evidence of its own truth. You should know that. And when I read about Jesus raising people from the dead, turning water into wine, being resurrected and talking to his disciples after three days, there is no alternative for me but to imagine these things. I can't verify that these things happened. I can't investigate in any way other than to read the Bible and just accept it on faith without evidence. When I'm imagining Jesus turning water into wine how is what I'm imagining not imaginary?

May I kindly tell you how you just shifted the goalposts? Because YOU wrote:

"By their own description of God, it is un-observable, incorporeal, supernatural and therefore neither provable or dis-provable."

By WHOSE own description? Every Christian, sane or nutty, ever at TTA, says Jesus is God in corporeal FLESH. Now, while even Peter himself said that having seen Jesus in the flesh and beholding His glory and so on, there was better proof in the form of fulfilled prophecy, you are just putting words in my mouth. They don't taste good, but I'll pass them eventually. Smile

And regarding the new goalposts, it IS provable and the Bible consistently offers proof. But your lack of desire to test and prove and know is neither my own fault nor the Bible's. We are both trying. Smile

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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19-02-2015, 03:04 PM
RE: Theism's fatal flaw
(19-02-2015 01:59 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  I see Tomasia. Your point was that two people can come to opposite conclusions and both of them can be right. Is that what you were meaning?

No, while they both came to two different conclusions, only one of them could be right.

Quote:I still contend that we can not tell what their starting point is from your example but lets assume they both begin with a proper starting point, existence exists, and they come to two opposing conclusions. Evaluations like this depend greatly on what values a person holds.

I don't find it to be a question of values, though they do likely play a role here. Rather, one of them might have a more expansive view of life, based on what they've seen and been through, one of them might have a better capacity to take their experiences in, to evaluate them, to gather in which direction they point. One of their perspectives on life rather being representative of the whole, might be quite partial, while the other's might not have the same limitation.

While the both have been led to different conclusions, only one them can be right, and the one that is right, is likely the one who perspective is more encompassing than the other, less myopic than the other.

Either way they've both started at a valid philosophical starting point. I don't see how you'd be able to deny this. But I just want to ensure that you do in fact agree.
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