What if God is a provable phenomenon?
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25-01-2014, 09:17 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(25-01-2014 04:21 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(25-01-2014 12:01 AM)Chippy Wrote:  One of Tourette's Chimp's less grammatical sentences. Simple idea not making it to Tourette's Chimps keyboard:

"LFA, you are still trying to avoid the burden of proof that you bear."

Tourette's Chimp is not articulate.


Tourette's Chimp does not assume good faith. Naughty Tourette's Chimp.
See, Chippy, this is exactly what Dom was talking about. You know fully well how Taqiyya is going to respond to such a condescending and provocative post and yet you decided to post it anyway.

Why don't you put him back on ignore, as announced, and be done with it?

Nothing good can come of this childish quarreling and you know it. In the worst case scenario, you are punishing others with your actions because this thread will likely end up being moved to The Colosseum.

No, these stalker posts that Chimpy is now littering the forum with, I think I am going to just let lie. They speak for themselves. And they demonstrate for everyone to see just what an immature and unreasonable angry baby he is.

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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25-01-2014, 09:43 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2014 06:13 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(23-01-2014 04:47 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  But, there is something to be said for the fact that once you get to the deist perspective you can then go further to figure out the attributes of the creator and look at those 'why' questions."

No. You have been presented before with the reasons why logic is not applicable to this question, (and the Kalam argument). At its most fundamental level, Reality has been proven to be ILLOGICAL to the human brain. The Double Slit experiment defies logic, Relativity defies logic, and a lot of math (the tensors of Dirac) defy logic. The human brain evolved to deal with Reality ONLY in a certain "bandwidth". Logic ultimately is WORTHLESS. What you need is EVIDENCE. The very term "creator" (in your world) defies logic, without invoking Special Pleading. Without Special Pleading, a creator NEEDS various elements in Reality already in place, a priori. Kalam, and logic have NO answers for that problem.

A creator which "exists" does not, "not exist". As long as that entity "existed", non-existence ALSO was part of Reality. It necessarily ALREADY participates in only PART of a presumed ALREADY in place Reality. You have not examined your assumptions, and answered the questions they raise. Kalam answers NOTHING.

In your world, the creator of this universe could be a robot created by another robot who was "created" by a set of conditions put in place by an infinite number of other Realities. You assume your "creator" HAS to be the "next step" back. Even logically, there is absolutely NO reason to assume, or presume that. Kalam does NOT show a "creator" exists. Creation has a set of presumed REQUIREMENTS which Kalam does not even address, (and neither have you). A creator which MUST have "certain qualities" (again based on the faulty notion that Logic is a way to determine ultimate Reality ... which has been proven FALSE as stated above), is "fixed" in the structure of Reality. The question then is "where did the STRUCTURE of Reality come from". Creation REQUIRES a structure ALREADY in place. There is no way around infinite regression there, and Kalam is NO and has no answer to that. Kalam says the creator, (with no demonstrated "reason") that the creator is "non-contingent". That is NOT the problem. The problem is where did the Reality of contingent vs non-contingent come from ? A creator which participates in only PART of Reality, (of necessity), cannot be its creator. Kalam is worthless, and you have never answered even ONE of the problems above. (BTW, Neuro-science has proven that decisions are made BEFORE human brains are fully conscious of ALL the elements that go into them. Free will is debunked.) Before you keep talking about this "god" thing/being, please define EXACTLY what you mean by the word. There is no coherent definition of the word, I've ever heard.

(23-01-2014 04:47 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Like always, the answer depends on which God you believe in, but as long as you believe in a God that has provided human kind with free-will then the answer is simple. If you give human beings free-will suffering is inevitable.

There is nothing about a 7 year old with Leukemia that is answered in ANY way by your (faulty) notion of "free will". Starving African children in NO way "chose" their fate, and neither did anyone who had any power to prevent it. You are delusional, if you cannot see that. There is NOTHING ANYONE can do or could have done to prevent the tsunami in Japan, two years ago, and all its attendant suffering. Your deity is evil.

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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25-01-2014, 09:56 PM (This post was last modified: 25-01-2014 11:21 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(17-01-2014 10:25 AM)Baruch Wrote:  
(16-01-2014 10:33 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  No "god' (whatever that means) is "provable". Even if it were true, what is "logically provable" to human brains is not how Reality, at it's most fundamental level, works, and THAT has been demonstrated. (Relativity, Uncertainty, the tensors of Dirac). Read my post on your other thread.
Is the Double Slit experiment "logical" ? No. Is the fact that time is relative to speed "logical" ? No.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment

The double split experiment may be logical or that time relative to speed, these are counterintuitive but logical and follow some precise testable mathematics.
You cannot contrast this with God !
You can still argue that reality as a whole (all that exists) is not knowable by one of its parts (us) and as Kant argued the numena "ultimate essence of what things really are" is out of reach to our perceptions. According to this we would have to be agnostics about God because we can never know (in principle we can have no access to such knowledge and must remain silent about it (kind of a wittgensteinian interpretation).

I may agree with "counter-intuitive", but the fact that Reality has been proven to BE counter-intuitive demonstrates that what humans perceive as "logical", (which is what Kalam attempts, and how LFA is arguing) is worthless in the absence of evidence.

Edit : (addition)
What this IS about, it seems, is "cognitive closure", (which is a psychological issue, not a philosophical, or ontological issue).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambiguity_tolerance



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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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25-01-2014, 10:17 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
Errrr ... fascism ... anyway ... if God exists then ... he hasn't shown Himself lately .... nor has the Phoenix or the Minataur.
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26-01-2014, 08:31 AM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
@Cjlr, there is a saying that an argument convinces reasonable men, while proof convinces unreasonable men. Your statement that there is no "proof" of any of the premises of the cosmological argument makes me think that you may fall into the latter category. Seriously, is the statement that "Everything that begins to exist has a cause" really that controversial? I don't know how old you are, but I've got about 32 years worth of evidence for that proposition. I have seen any number of things begin to exist and as far as I can recall there was always a cause (the person's parents got it on, the movie had a director, the product was made by a company, etc). In fact, I think that premise is the reason why so many atheists disbelieve the virgin birth. You can't prove any theory. The scientific theories we have right now are just the best ones we have to date to explain the scientific data. That having been said, I'm more than happy to base my beliefs on logic and premises that seem pretty solid like "Everything that begins to exist has a cause".

As for my own beliefs, to the extent that it matters, I do believe in the existence of a creator who is an agent (ie. has free will) and created the universe and everything in it. I'm not sure on this next point, but my general view is of a creator who does not micromanage reality, and who's intervention in reality was done only (or mostly) through manipulation of initial conditions (so, not a traditional interventionist God). I also believe that the creator gave us intelligence and reason because he intended us to use it (my biggest beef with most modern religions is the emphasis on blind faith, I think that is likely not what any creator intended and is a method with which humans misuse religion to manipulate others for their own means). I believe that we can use our reason to look at the evidence of the world around us and figure out moral questions and things like that. We don't need the creator to come down and tell us what is moral and what is not (and a reasonable man would doubt the proclamations of others who claim to have heard the voice of God) because we have each been given the tools by the creator to figure it out for ourselves.

You can tell me what category that set of beliefs lands me in.

@ WillHop, I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I still disagree with the idea of it being a special pleading for the reasons previously stated.

@Bucky, really? Reality has been proven to be illogical? Logic is worthless, you need evidence? So, then without logic how do you get from the evidence to anything? I've got the evidence that I can drop a book and it will fall. How do I get to the concept of gravity without logic? Reality hasn't been proven to be illogical, it has just been proven to be complex. If things don't logically make sense in reality it means that we have been working with incorrect premises, not that logic is worthless. Seriously, I can't believe that I am actually writing a response defending the usefulness of logic, lol.
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26-01-2014, 09:33 AM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(25-01-2014 09:43 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Logic ultimately is WORTHLESS. What you need is EVIDENCE.

I think you are over-reaching here. That is actually a self-refuting and paradoxical argument that you have presented.

Your statement "Logic ultimately is WORTHLESS" is a deductive conclusion, i.e. you used logic to arrive at your claim that "Logic ultimately is WORTHLESS". Your premises were about the double slit experiment and time and their illogicality and you concluded from those that "Logic ultimately is WORTHLESS".

You first make an implicit inductive argument:

P1. Results of double-slit experiment are "illogical".
P2. The relativity of time to speed is "illogical".
C1. The universe displays some illogicality.

You equivocate in relation to C1. Your observations justify only C1 but you smuggle in a more ambitious conclusion:

C2. The universe is illogical.

Then you make a deduction.

P3. if the universe is illogical then logic is worthless.
P4. The universe is illogical (C2)
C3. Logic is worthless.

You also equivocate between intuitive and logical, the two can't be used interchangeably. Most of our intuitions are actually illogical, e.g the Monty Hall problem.

Aside from the smuggling in of C2, if logic doesn't work then your conclusions are invalid because you used induction and deduction to produce them.

The self-referentiality of your argument introduces a paradox: if your argument is true it is false and if it is false it is true. So you argument is self-refuting.

Also your conception of logic is simplistic. There is no such thing as logic there are logics (plural). When most people talk of logic they mean classical logic. With that we can correct your inductive argument:

P5. Results of double-slit experiment are inconsistent with classical logic.
P6. Quantum behaviour is inconsistent with classical logic.
...
C4. The universe displays some some behaviour that is inconsistent with classical logic.

This doesn't mean that "Logic ultimately is WORTHLESS". It just means that classical logic is inapplicable to quantum phenomena and that is why quantum logic was developed.

Most of what we have observed of the physical universe conforms to classical logic but obviously we have observed only a very small part of it so we don't know exactly what proportion of it conforms to classical logic. But regardless of that classical logic is here to stay because almost everything we care about conform to classical logic.

You said: "Logic ultimately is WORTHLESS. What you need is EVIDENCE."

This is suggestive of a false dichotomy. The concept of evidence relies on some conception of logic. The notion of evidence is nothing more than the idea that some facts imply (or render more probable than not) other facts. That again is deduction or induction. There is no avoiding logic.

I suspect what you mean to say is that more data is required and that the matter can't be settled deductively using just reason.

The general problem of all cosmological arguments is that it is unclear whether the laws of classical logic and principles of causality apply to the origin of the universe. We can't say a priori that they don't but at the same time we can't insist that they do. We just don't know.
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26-01-2014, 09:47 AM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(26-01-2014 08:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  As for my own beliefs, to the extent that it matters, I do believe in the existence of a creator who is an agent (ie. has free will) and created the universe and everything in it. I'm not sure on this next point, but my general view is of a creator who does not micromanage reality, and who's intervention in reality was done only (or mostly) through manipulation of initial conditions (so, not a traditional interventionist God). I also believe that the creator gave us intelligence and reason because he intended us to use it (my biggest beef with most modern religions is the emphasis on blind faith, I think that is likely not what any creator intended and is a method with which humans misuse religion to manipulate others for their own means). I believe that we can use our reason to look at the evidence of the world around us and figure out moral questions and things like that. We don't need the creator to come down and tell us what is moral and what is not (and a reasonable man would doubt the proclamations of others who claim to have heard the voice of God) because we have each been given the tools by the creator to figure it out for ourselves.

You can tell me what category that set of beliefs lands me in.

You are without a doubt an agnostic theist. You seem to want to be a deist, but you keep slipping in little remarks that clearly put you in a theist camp. You say you believe some creator put the wheels in motion for the universe and doesn't care to micromanage it, but then say this creator gave us intelligence and reason. Why? Why would a deity/creator/fleem who doesn't micromanage his creation reach out from his timeless/spaceless/illogical throne and implant us with these attributes? And if that isn't the very definition of micromanaging and wishful thinking and special pleading I don't know what is. You also have what appears to be creationism in your veins. For if your creator just built the universe, then he/she/it built it knowing it would take about 13B years for Homo sapiens to inhabit this tiny spec of cosmological dust and then at that point impart us with reason, morality, etc.

You seem to want to special plead your special pleading too much to really be lookingforanswers. I would re-read the opening line of your most recent post: an argument convinces reasonable men while proof convinces unreasonable men. You, sir, are unreasonable because you can't let go of special pleading and your god.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with demanding proof and/or evidence to believe something. If you were completely innocent of some heinous crime but were charged anyway and faced life imprisonment, would you accept the sentence if the prosecutors used a variation of WLC's dime-store syllogism, or would you hire a rational lawyer who would prove your innocence?

We're talking about our lives here, so why would we entrust them to something we can't prove, and rely on a philosophical point to guide us forever? That sounds "unreasonable" to me.

Check out my atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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26-01-2014, 09:58 AM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(25-01-2014 09:43 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  No. You have been presented before with the reasons why logic is not applicable to this question, (and the Kalam argument). At its most fundamental level, Reality has been proven to be ILLOGICAL to the human brain. The Double Slit experiment defies logic, Relativity defies logic, and a lot of math (the tensors of Dirac) defy logic. The human brain evolved to deal with Reality ONLY in a certain "bandwidth". Logic ultimately is WORTHLESS. What you need is EVIDENCE.

I hope what you mean here is something like "a logical argument without evidence is ultimately worthless."

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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26-01-2014, 12:12 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2014 03:06 PM by GaëlK7.)
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
Lookingforanswers Wrote:I don't know how old you are, but I've got about 32 years worth of evidence for that proposition.

Ad hominem AND argumentum ad antiquitatem in one single phrase. You're going to need to do better than this.

You're the one that brought up new science as the basis for your argumentation.
New science in close relationship with the beginning of the universe is highly likely to be quantum physics. So your question really is: "does quantum physics accept for events to happen without a cause?"
If, despite everything you hold for true (and you can be wrong), regardless of how long you believed it, stuff can happen outside of causality, then that one assumption from the Kalam argument doesn't hold. Fair warning: as you were already told, none of its premises are confirmed scientifically at this point.

Besides that, if you're going to try and pry some divinity into science of the future, you can't do away from science when it's not going the way you'd like it to. Science is based on empiric evidence, testing and falsifying hypothesis. So far the divine postulate fails to even become an hypothesis, let alone a theory.
Even though quantum physics, in its current iteration doesn't allow a Theory of Everything, its predictions, its practical use and the failed attempts to falsify it lead to acknowledge its evidences may not be too far off The Truth.
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26-01-2014, 02:33 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(26-01-2014 08:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  @Cjlr, there is a saying that an argument convinces reasonable men, while proof convinces unreasonable men. Your statement that there is no "proof" of any of the premises of the cosmological argument makes me think that you may fall into the latter category.

So, if anyone disagrees with your arguments, the problem is with them and not the arguments?

That's not a particularly charitable viewpoint...

Of course there is no proof. That's what makes it an unscientific question. As per the OP - if such matters were amenable to scientific investigation it would be a different matter; there may well be such a point in the future.

But the premises you provide are not compelling. You cannot simply declare, on the basis of mere naive intuition, that you know anything at all about what sort of conditions would preside outside the universe. That does not make sense.

(26-01-2014 08:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Seriously, is the statement that "Everything that begins to exist has a cause" really that controversial?

Seriously. Stop and think about that for a second.

Causality is a principle we recognize within the universe as we understand it. The origin of the universe itself cannot be said to be an occurrence within the universe as we understand it.

If what you are, in fact, saying, is that causality as we understand it then must apply to whatever preceded and led to our universe - a proposition in support of which there is literally nothing whatsoever - then you are, in fact, going turtles. Because you are then asserting that causality must apply to the universe's origin, and it must not apply to the universe's creator, because JUST BECAUSE OKAY - it is an argument from assertion. Granting the premises, the conclusion trivially follows. There is no reason to grant the premises. There is no reason at all to make such assertions other than to provide an answer. It is not the only possible answer. It is far from the only possible answer.

It is merely the answer you like.

(26-01-2014 08:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I don't know how old you are, but I've got about 32 years worth of evidence for that proposition. I have seen any number of things begin to exist and as far as I can recall there was always a cause (the person's parents got it on, the movie had a director, the product was made by a company, etc).

That's asinine. The rules of the universe apply to the universe. The rules of the universe do not apply to the universe's antecedent, whatever that may be.

(26-01-2014 08:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  In fact, I think that premise is the reason why so many atheists disbelieve the virgin birth.

Dodgy
Looks like I won't have to eat that hat after all.

(26-01-2014 08:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  You can't prove any theory. The scientific theories we have right now are just the best ones we have to date to explain the scientific data. That having been said, I'm more than happy to base my beliefs on logic and premises that seem pretty solid like "Everything that begins to exist has a cause".

Causality as we understand it is a property of the universe. There are no grounds for assuming anything within the universe to apply without.

I am not clear on why that should be so difficult to grasp.

Basic physical intuition - what seems to be your only basis for even making such bald assertions - will not answer. Your intuition is profoundly flawed. As is mine. "It feels like it should", or even "it stands to reason", are woefully inadequate starting points to learning anything about how the universe works.

Your intuitive understanding of statistics is terrible. Your intuitive understanding of physics is terrible. Your intuitive understanding of logic is terrible. As is mine. As is that of all human beings.

(26-01-2014 08:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  As for my own beliefs, to the extent that it matters, I do believe in the existence of a creator who is an agent (ie. has free will) and created the universe and everything in it. I'm not sure on this next point, but my general view is of a creator who does not micromanage reality, and who's intervention in reality was done only (or mostly) through manipulation of initial conditions (so, not a traditional interventionist God).

Thank you for answering.

Is it only? Or is it mostly? Those are very different propositions.

(26-01-2014 08:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I also believe that the creator gave us intelligence and reason because he intended us to use it (my biggest beef with most modern religions is the emphasis on blind faith, I think that is likely not what any creator intended and is a method with which humans misuse religion to manipulate others for their own means).

Such is not directly compatible with non-interventionism. A non-intervening creator cannot give anything. Nor is the universe deterministic; the existence of any specific thing within the universe cannot be attributed to any putative creator, and any teleological insight is purely phantasmal.

(26-01-2014 08:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I believe that we can use our reason to look at the evidence of the world around us and figure out moral questions and things like that. We don't need the creator to come down and tell us what is moral and what is not (and a reasonable man would doubt the proclamations of others who claim to have heard the voice of God) because we have each been given the tools by the creator to figure it out for ourselves.

One might as well say we are equipped to figure things out ourselves without the additional assumption that such ability is necessarily given somehow, no?

(26-01-2014 08:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  You can tell me what category that set of beliefs lands me in.

Actually, I can't. You were still rather vague...

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