Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
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29-05-2014, 05:31 PM
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
(29-05-2014 03:22 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  In general though, I rebuke at the idea of compromising my standard of reasoning in order to "win" an argument. You didn't do that in your posts, but that seemed implied, and I wanted to express my disagreement for it. As the old adage goes, "Never argue with an idiot, then will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience".

I can understand the sentiment although this forum thrives on arguing with idiots as yet another religious troll joins and comes up with the same hackneyed arguments. It's good practice for people having to deal with this in their every day life where they may not get a choice.

Anyone can avoid losing an argument by acting like a troll themselves, moving the goal posts, redefining their terms and not changing their position. Normally none of the trolls really ever leave this forum and rethink things, they just get bored and wonder why atheists are so stubborn or angry at God. Actually winning an argument with with these type of people so that they know it even if they don't admit it is an interesting challenge for me. It helps me to keep my mind active setting these type of challenges. It's no different to doing a crossword puzzle really.

But yes we probably need three versions. The original argument trotted out by the theists, the modified form that the zealous theist can understand which starts them questioning what they believe, and the more rigoress version for the atheists to agree on that doesn't contain any of the original flaws.

Rather than just telling people that there is no reason to believe in a God, I think it is a worthwhile endeavour to find ways to explain to people why there are real reasons why a god is impossible. I think the intermediate modified versions are still useful though as a stepping stone to getting people to question their beliefs.
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30-05-2014, 02:51 AM
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
Alvin Plantinga's modal ontological argument pointless tautology.

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?t...l_argument

Original

Quote:P(1): It is possible that God exists.
P(2): If it is possible that God exists, then God exists in some possible worlds.
P(3): If God exists in some possible worlds, then God exists in all possible worlds.
P(4): If God exists in all possible worlds, then God exists in the actual world.
P(5): If God exists in the actual world, then God exists.
C(1): Therefore, God exists.

My own modified version

  • P(1): It is possible that God does not exist.
  • P(2): If it is possible that God does not exist, then God does not exist in all possible worlds.
  • P(3): If God does not exist in some possible worlds, then God cannot exist in any possible world otherwise he would not be omnipresent.
  • P(4): If God cannot not exist in any possible world, then God cannot exist in the actual world.
  • P(5): If God cannot exist in the actual world, then God does not exist.
  • C(1): Therefore, God does not exist.

After figuring this one out I checked the 'rampant' thread and found that Vosur had already posted a version of this argument. I didn't want to say what I was up to at the time because I thought there was still a possibility that Jeremy might return for his boxing match.

(26-05-2014 01:10 PM)Vosur Wrote:  What's interesting about that argument is that you can turn it around by 180° and it still works. Heck, even William Lane Craig admits it.

P1: It is possible that God doesn't exist.
P2: If it is possible that God doesn't exist, then God doesn't exist in some possible worlds.
P3: If God doesn't exist in some possible worlds, then God doesn't exist in all possible worlds.
P4: If God doesn't exist in all possible worlds, then God doesn't exist in the actual world.
P5: If God doesn't exist in the actual world, then God doesn't exist.
C1: Therefore, God doesn't exist.

Q.E.D. Bowing


All arguments make the implicit assumption in step 3 that God is omnipresent and therefore exists in all possible spaces.

My biggest objection with it though is that the use of the word "possible". This word can be used to describe either ignorance about the probability of something being true, or to describe something as being physically possible but not necessarily what has happened in reality.

I tried to improve upon the original by using the word "possible" in the latter sense and being more explicit about God being omnipresent. It unfortunately relies on the implicit assumption that there are some possible worlds that God would not be able to make and therefore could not be omnipotent or omnipresent. To be honest, the argument is so shit to begin with it's difficult to try making it anything other than shit.

To me the original is a tautology along the lines of:
  • True
  • If True then True
  • If True then True
  • If True then True
  • If True then True
  • Therefore True

If anyone comes across any other theist argument for the existence of God please do post them.
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30-05-2014, 09:39 AM
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
(29-05-2014 03:05 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  I was going to use this tactic on Jeremy E. Walker in a boxing match but he flounced before I had a chance.

I have noticed that the theists will put forward philosophical arguments as proof, or even evidence taken out of context. They never talk about evidence in terms of how likely it is that a belief or hypothesis is correct or not.

No atheists ever claims to be gnostic, only ever agnostic. And that's good because technically it is true, but that's because we are treating the subject like scientists and Science is limited to falsifiable, reproducible and testable hypotheses. If we use the theist standard of 'proof' then in their eyes we're gnostic atheists not willing to stand by our convictions. After all, we can't say that a meteorite won't fall on our head and kill us but the chances of that happening are so remote as to be negligable and therefore not worth worrying about. The same applies to the question of whether God exists. In short, there is no God.

What I have found is that taking this approach every theist argument for the existance of God can not only be turned around using the same standard of reasoning to show that God does not exist, but quite often makes for a stronger case. This is because we can easily bring in the laws of Thermodynamics.

So far I have the Kalam Cosmological argument, William Lane Craig's version of the cosmological argument, the argument by Leibniz and Alvin Plantinga's modal ontological argument changed to show that God does not exist. If anyone can suggest another then please do so.

Where possible I have tried to keep as many of the first premises exactly the same. First I figured out the flaws in the original argument and rather than arguing against them I have kept them in the modified argument. After all if it's good enough for theists to accept the idea that God exists then it's good enough for theists to accept that God does not exist. I have tried to keep them as concise as possible, sometimes they are shorter than the original version.

Let's start with my favourite so far ... the modified Kalam Cosmological argument, both classic and WLC.

  • Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
  • We know that energy cannot be created or destroyed so therefore must have always existed.
  • The universe does not have a beginning of its existence and therefore there is no cause for it


And a modification to WLC's version of it
  • An actual infinite cannot exist.
  • An infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite.
  • An infinite temporal progress of events is an actual infinite.
  • Therefore there can be no Heaven, Hell or God.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kal%C4%81m_...l_argument

You are wrong when you say "no atheist ever claims to be gnostic..."

I also take issue with something else you said.
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30-05-2014, 10:18 AM (This post was last modified: 30-05-2014 10:49 AM by Mathilda.)
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
(30-05-2014 09:39 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You are wrong when you say "no atheist ever claims to be gnostic..."

Well certainly not to the extent that theists can ever feel that they know the truth because atheism is not based on a mindset of faith.

I'm personally coming to the conclusion that the term 'Gnostic Atheist' is not particularly useful and is only ever relevant when theists try using strawman arguments when arguing about 100% absolute truth and other such ambiguous terms. Really, Gnostic Atheism should refer to the belief that God does not exist in the same way that you would say that you believe that Santa Claus doesn't exist rather than argue that there is no evidence for him. Funny how theists never argue that aSantaism is just another religion.
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30-05-2014, 12:13 PM
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
(30-05-2014 10:18 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(30-05-2014 09:39 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You are wrong when you say "no atheist ever claims to be gnostic..."

Well certainly not to the extent that theists can ever feel that they know the truth because atheism is not based on a mindset of faith.

I'm personally coming to the conclusion that the term 'Gnostic Atheist' is not particularly useful and is only ever relevant when theists try using strawman arguments when arguing about 100% absolute truth and other such ambiguous terms. Really, Gnostic Atheism should refer to the belief that God does not exist in the same way that you would say that you believe that Santa Claus doesn't exist rather than argue that there is no evidence for him. Funny how theists never argue that aSantaism is just another religion.

i do not argue that atheism is just another religion. some theists may. so what?

you said no atheist ever claims to be gnostic, only ever agnostic.

this statement is false. there are people who claim to know God does not exist. they label themselves as gnostic atheists or strong atheists.
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30-05-2014, 03:08 PM
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
(30-05-2014 12:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  i do not argue that atheism is just another religion. some theists may. so what?

you said no atheist ever claims to be gnostic, only ever agnostic.

this statement is false. there are people who claim to know God does not exist. they label themselves as gnostic atheists or strong atheists.

Yeah whatever.
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30-05-2014, 04:24 PM
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
Irrespective of causality, first causes, non duality or whatever, theists need to prove the "perfection" of God. What do they mean by this? Do they even know themselves?
The philosopher Vanini saw 'perfection' as aligned to creativity and necessarily in a state of flux.
A possible state of cosmic flux (no perfection) as a metaphysical idea is easier to relate to than a stagnant god that is somehow deemed 'perfect' for no satisfactory reason....
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30-05-2014, 05:54 PM
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
(30-05-2014 04:24 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Irrespective of causality, first causes, non duality or whatever, theists need to prove the "perfection" of God. What do they mean by this? Do they even know themselves?
The philosopher Vanini saw 'perfection' as aligned to creativity and necessarily in a state of flux.
A possible state of cosmic flux (no perfection) as a metaphysical idea is easier to relate to than a stagnant god that is somehow deemed 'perfect' for no satisfactory reason....

Yes I was wondering about this whole concept of perfection when trying to understand the Leibniz argument, specifically step 2. Step 3 just confused the hell out of me.

Quote:(2) A perfection is a simple and absolute property. (Definition)
(3) Existence is a perfection.

I came to the conclusion that the argument assumed that something is either perfect or it isn't with regard to some objective measure. Like something is unique if and only if there is one instance of it. So something could be perfect if say there was no deviation at all from a target.

Except that's not actually physically possible because you can never reach absolute zero kelvin. There's always going to be energy, deviation and entropy.
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31-05-2014, 07:13 AM (This post was last modified: 31-05-2014 07:31 AM by Mathilda.)
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
Sye Ten Bruggencate's so-called 'Proof' That God Exists



Step 1)
  • Absolute Truth Exists - go to step 3
  • Absolute Truth does not exist - go to step 4
  • I don't know if Absolute Truth exists - go to step 5
  • I don't care if Absolute Truth exists - go to step 2


Step 2) Congratulations! You may continue to live your life without worrying about some ambiguous and irrelevant concept.


Step 3) Knowledge
  • - I know something to be true - go to step 6
  • - I don't know anything to be true - go to step 7


Step 4) Absolute Truth Does Not Exist
  • - Absolutely true - go to step 20
  • - False- go to step 21


Step 5) I Don't Know If Absolute Truth Exists
  • - Absolutely true - go to step 22
  • - False- go to step 23


Step 6) Logic

You have acknowledged that absolute truth exists, and that you know some things to be true. The next step towards the proof that God does not exist is to determine whether you believe that logic exists. Logical proof would be irrelevant to someone who denies that logic exists. An example of a law of logic is the law of non-contradiction. This law states, for instance, that it cannot both be true that my car is in the parking lot and that it is not in the parking lot at the same time, and in the same way.
  • - Logic exists go to step 8
  • - Logic does not exist go to step 9


Step 7) I Don't Know Anything To Be True?
  • - True -go to step 18
  • - False -go to step 19


Step 8) Nature of Logic (a)
To reach this page you have acknowledged there is absolute truth, that you know some things to be true, and that logic exists. Next we will examine what you believe about logic. Does logic change?
  • - Logic does not change - go to step 10
  • - Logic changes go to step 11


Step 9) Logic Does Not Exist?

One interesting aspect of denying logic, is that since you DO NOT believe in logic, you actually DO believe in logic. If there is no logic then contradictions like that one must be allowed in your worldview.
  • - I used logic to conclude that logic does not exist - go to step 24
  • - I came to the conclusion about logic arbitrarily - go to step 24


Step 10) Nature of Logic (b)

To reach this page, you have acknowledged that absolute truth exists, that you know some things to be true, that logic exists and that it is unchanging. The next question is whether you believe that logic is material, or is it immaterial? In other words, is logic made of matter, or is it 'abstract'?
  • - Logic is not made of matter - go to step 12
  • - Logic is made of matter - go to step 13


Step 11) If you believe that logic can change, then for all you know, logic has changed and contradictions are now valid. In that case you could have no problem with contradictionsRevert back to previous step


Step 12) The Nature of Logic (c)

To reach this page, you have acknowledged that absolute truth exists, that you know some things to be true, that logic exists, that it is unchanging and not made of matter. The next question is whether you believe that logic is universal or up to the individual. Are contradictions invalid only where you are, and only because you say they are, or is this universally true?
  • - Logic is universal go to step 16
  • - Logic is person relative - go to step 17


Step 13) Nature of Matter
  • - Matter changes - go to step 14
  • - Matter does not change - go to step 15


Step 14) You have admitted that logic does not change, and say that logic is made of matter which changes. This is a contradiction, please try again


Step 15) Seriously? If you believe that matter does not change, there is no point in continuing. You would have to believe that you are never going to die, and in that case, you need more help than this site can offer.


Step 16) The 'Proof' ...
To reach this page you have admitted that absolute truth exists, that you can know things to be true, that logic exists, that it is unchanging, that it is not made of matter, and that it is universal.

Truth, knowledge, and logic are necessary to prove ANYTHING. We only obtain knowledge by obtaining evidence. There is no evidence for God but there is plenty of evidence for simpler and more plausible explanations historically attributed to God. The gap that we can fit a god into is decreasing over time. There is no reason to think this won't continue.


Step 17) Logic is Relative?
If you believe that logic is relative, then you don't. If logic does not apply universally, then it does not necessarily apply to this site, and you could have no problem with any contradictions


Step 18) Go back two steps
Step 19) Go back two steps
Step 20) Start again
Step 21) Start again
Step 22) Go back to beginning
Step 23) Go back to beginning


Step 24) If you used logic to conclude that logic does not exist you have refuted yourself and made the wrong choice- please try again.
If you chose "logic does not exist" arbitrarily, then next time you may arbitrarily choose the other option and continue with the proof.
Go back two steps
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31-05-2014, 07:35 AM
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
(30-05-2014 04:24 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Irrespective of causality, first causes, non duality or whatever, theists need to prove the "perfection" of God. What do they mean by this? Do they even know themselves?
The philosopher Vanini saw 'perfection' as aligned to creativity and necessarily in a state of flux.
A possible state of cosmic flux (no perfection) as a metaphysical idea is easier to relate to than a stagnant god that is somehow deemed 'perfect' for no satisfactory reason....

To say that God is perfect is to say that He is the Greatest Conceivable Being, a la Anselm.

It is to say that there is nothing greater than God. Nothing more knowledgeable, nothing more powerful, nothing more Good.

It is to say that in your mind, whatever you can conceive of as being great, God would be the terminus and possess all great-making properties. Now what these properties are is debated. In general there are three that are not debated i.e. God's unparalleled knowledge, His unparalleled power, and His unparalleled Goodness.
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