What if God is a provable phenomenon?
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26-01-2014, 04:22 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2014 04:48 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(26-01-2014 08:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  @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.

Yes really. You actually think Relativity and Uncertainty are intuitively "logical" ?
I may have misspoke, but should have said "intuitive. BUT Kalam is entirely built on intuitive logic. AND as usual you addressed NONE of the relevant important points. Some elements of Gravity are obvious. Some are NOT. Your entire case is built on the false assumption (as Kalam is) that Reality is "intuitive". It has been PROVEN otherwise. And BTW, you have a hell of a lot of other points you FAILED to address.

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26-01-2014, 04:55 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(26-01-2014 09:33 AM)Chippy Wrote:  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.

I would agree I should have stuck with "intuitive", but that is what the Kalam argument is. It's a sham, that masquerades as logic, and the users of it examine NONE of its assumptions, and presuppositions.

I also agree we don't know. That's not a satisfactory answer to many people, which is why it's a "cognitive closure" issue, more than anything else, in my view.

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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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26-01-2014, 10:39 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(26-01-2014 04:55 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I would agree I should have stuck with "intuitive", but that is what the Kalam argument is. It's a sham, that masquerades as logic, and the users of it examine NONE of its assumptions, and presuppositions.

I also agree we don't know. That's not a satisfactory answer to many people, which is why it's a "cognitive closure" issue, more than anything else, in my view.

Yes, I agree. Cosmological arguments in general appeal to our intuitions about causality and logical coherence and there is no good reason to believe that those intuitions are valid in the context of cosmogeny. They represent something of an over-generalization, i.e. things work this way here, here, here so they must work this way everywhere.
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27-01-2014, 03:28 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(26-01-2014 09:47 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  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.

Well, first of all, I should say that you asked me for my own beliefs. I don't claim that I can prove a lot of the stuff that I said there, it's just my own opinion based on the best information that I have available to me and my best attempts to use that information along with logic to come up with my own beliefs. That having been said, I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can.

I don't think a creator would need to come in and implant us with intelligence and reason after the fact. I think that he would be able to do that through manipulation of the initial conditions of creation (ie. he would know when he set the universe into motion that 13B years later humans with reason and intelligence would be an inevitable cause of the initial conditions with which he imbued the universe).

The way I figure it, if a conscious thinking being was powerful enough and intelligent enough to purposefully create a working universe with all it's unbelievable complexity, out of nothing, then he would have to be omniscient or pretty close to it. Certainly an omniscient creator would know that the initial conditions that he put in place would result in human intelligence, but I think it's likely that any sentient being capable of creating a working universe out of nothing would know that, too. In addition, since that being would be outside of the constraints of time, he would potentially also be able to see the end result of human reason while creating the universe (weird concept to think about, but it's also the reason why 13B years would be pretty meaningless to such a being).

Now, that isn't to say that humans are super special and should feel like we are the only thing in the universe that matters to a creator. I've heard the argument many times of "why would a creator care about minuscule beings on one planet our of eleventy-billion". Well, the answer, from my perspective, is that I am sure that the creator has plenty of other things going on in the universe to occupy his attention, but I am also sure that any being with the ability to create the universe also has the ability to pay attention to more than one thing at a time. I would expect that a being like that would be able to walk, chew gum, and pay attention to the actions of every human being on the planet at the same time, while also paying attention to many other fascinating aspects of the cosmos.

You can call me unreasonable, but if you are going on my statement, I haven't been given a convincing argument from the atheist side (the only remotely convincing ones I have heard have been from the agnostic camp) and I certainly haven't been given any proof from the atheist side. Nevertheless, I'm a curious fellow, so I still like to look for answers even if I end up coming up empty.

Your "charged with a criminal offence" analogy also doesn't hold water. If you are the one charged then you know whether you are guilty or innocent. I'm assuming that no one on this page knows the answer for sure about whether God exists or not. I happen to be a civil lawyer, so a better example might be someone who ends up on a jury of one of my cases. The person on the jury will be asked to make their decision by weighing the evidence and deciding on a "balance of probabilities" which side is more likely to be correct (ie. the jury finds in your favour if they are 51% sure that you are right). I certainly don't claim to be 100% sure of anything, but I am 51% sure of my own beliefs, so unless I find new evidence or a new argument that knocks that down to 49%...
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27-01-2014, 03:31 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(27-01-2014 03:28 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  You can call me unreasonable, but if you are going on my statement, I haven't been given a convincing argument from the atheist side (the only remotely convincing ones I have heard have been from the agnostic camp) and I certainly haven't been given any proof from the atheist side. Nevertheless, I'm a curious fellow, so I still like to look for answers even if I end up coming up empty.

Uh... that's not how it works.

Atheism is by definition a null hypothesis.

Burden of proof is one the one making positive statements.

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27-01-2014, 03:40 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
It occurs to me, Cjlr and WillHop, you guys (or girls) seem to be interested in my ultimate beliefs. I am curious about yours. Care to share?

I'll tell you that at least with cjlr, I am expecting that the answer should be pure agnosticism, as your comments seem too strongly focused on what we can't know that I would be surprised if you then tried to lean one way or the other at all to declare yourself as an agnostic atheist.

If you are going to say that you are an agnostic atheist, then I would challenge either yourself or WillHop to give me anything other than "we have no proof for the existence of a creator" to justify that position over pure agnosticism (as the lack of proof proposition would have to result in pure agnosticism without anything else to push you one way or the other).
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27-01-2014, 03:44 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(27-01-2014 03:40 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  It occurs to me, Cjlr and WillHop, you guys (or girls) seem to be interested in my ultimate beliefs. I am curious about yours. Care to share?

I'll tell you that at least with cjlr, I am expecting that the answer should be pure agnosticism, as your comments seem too strongly focused on what we can't know that I would be surprised if you then tried to lean one way or the other at all to declare yourself as an agnostic atheist.

If you are going to say that you are an agnostic atheist, then I would challenge either yourself or WillHop to give me anything other than "we have no proof for the existence of a creator" to justify that position over pure agnosticism (as the lack of proof proposition would have to result in pure agnosticism without anything else to push you one way or the other).

I am a theological noncognitivist - igtheist, if you prefer.

In order for any 'god' hypothesis to be so much as considered it would have to be coherently presented and internally consistent. None are.

"We don't know [if there is a creator], therefore 50/50, therefore pure agnosticism" is a trite misrepresentation.

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27-01-2014, 03:46 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
I'm an atheist when it comes to any particular God.

I'm a pure agnostic when it comes to any conceivable god.
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27-01-2014, 03:52 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
That's fair. I obviously have a slightly different view, but I can certainly respect both of those viewpoints.
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27-01-2014, 04:11 PM
RE: What if God is a provable phenomenon?
(27-01-2014 03:28 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  
(26-01-2014 09:47 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  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.

Well, first of all, I should say that you asked me for my own beliefs. I don't claim that I can prove a lot of the stuff that I said there, it's just my own opinion based on the best information that I have available to me and my best attempts to use that information along with logic to come up with my own beliefs. That having been said, I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can.

I don't think a creator would need to come in and implant us with intelligence and reason after the fact. I think that he would be able to do that through manipulation of the initial conditions of creation (ie. he would know when he set the universe into motion that 13B years later humans with reason and intelligence would be an inevitable cause of the initial conditions with which he imbued the universe).

The way I figure it, if a conscious thinking being was powerful enough and intelligent enough to purposefully create a working universe with all it's unbelievable complexity, out of nothing, then he would have to be omniscient or pretty close to it. Certainly an omniscient creator would know that the initial conditions that he put in place would result in human intelligence, but I think it's likely that any sentient being capable of creating a working universe out of nothing would know that, too. In addition, since that being would be outside of the constraints of time, he would potentially also be able to see the end result of human reason while creating the universe (weird concept to think about, but it's also the reason why 13B years would be pretty meaningless to such a being).

Now, that isn't to say that humans are super special and should feel like we are the only thing in the universe that matters to a creator. I've heard the argument many times of "why would a creator care about minuscule beings on one planet our of eleventy-billion". Well, the answer, from my perspective, is that I am sure that the creator has plenty of other things going on in the universe to occupy his attention, but I am also sure that any being with the ability to create the universe also has the ability to pay attention to more than one thing at a time. I would expect that a being like that would be able to walk, chew gum, and pay attention to the actions of every human being on the planet at the same time, while also paying attention to many other fascinating aspects of the cosmos.

You can call me unreasonable, but if you are going on my statement, I haven't been given a convincing argument from the atheist side (the only remotely convincing ones I have heard have been from the agnostic camp) and I certainly haven't been given any proof from the atheist side. Nevertheless, I'm a curious fellow, so I still like to look for answers even if I end up coming up empty.

Your "charged with a criminal offence" analogy also doesn't hold water. If you are the one charged then you know whether you are guilty or innocent. I'm assuming that no one on this page knows the answer for sure about whether God exists or not. I happen to be a civil lawyer, so a better example might be someone who ends up on a jury of one of my cases. The person on the jury will be asked to make their decision by weighing the evidence and deciding on a "balance of probabilities" which side is more likely to be correct (ie. the jury finds in your favour if they are 51% sure that you are right). I certainly don't claim to be 100% sure of anything, but I am 51% sure of my own beliefs, so unless I find new evidence or a new argument that knocks that down to 49%...

I don't see how you get to 51% when there is no evidence for any creator, and less than no evidence for one that gives a shit about us.

N.B. Less than no evidence means there is evidence counter to the claim.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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