Your Favorite God Argument
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30-03-2013, 10:42 PM
RE: Your Favorite God Argument
(30-03-2013 11:55 AM)cufflink Wrote:  My favorite is the so-called Ontological Argument, which goes back to Anselm in the 11th century. It's bullshit, of course, but at least it makes you stop and think, "Where exactly does this go wrong?" And it's apparently taken in some pretty heavy philosophical hitters, including for a short time the young Bertrand Russell.

The OA claims to prove the existence of God a priori--that is, purely through logical reasoning, without in any way having to take a look at what the world is really like. One version goes like this:

Whether or not God exists, we can certainly have the idea of God. And a key part of that idea is that God is perfect. In fact, he (she, it) is the most perfect being we can conceive of. There is no being more perfect than God. Call that conceived being G.

So the question is, does G exist or not?

Well, suppose not. In that case, we can conceive of another being, G', who has all the attributes of G but also exists! But surely a perfect being that exists is more perfect than such a being that does not exist. So G' is more perfect than G.

But now we've run into a contradiction. We started by saying that G was the most perfect being that could be conceived of, but now we're saying there's something else, G', that's more perfect than G. So we have to toss out what led us to this contradiction, namely that G does not exist.

Therefore G exists. QED. Big Grin

For anyone who's interested, much more info here.

That has got to be the most perverse use of reductio ad absurdum I've ever seen. There are so many fucking holes in it I don't even know where to start. Guess the obvious place is what the fuck does "perfect" mean?

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
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Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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30-03-2013, 10:43 PM
RE: Your Favorite God Argument
(30-03-2013 09:42 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(30-03-2013 09:30 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  I didn't offer semantics into the conversation. But to clarify, I was speaking of euphemisms. Murder is distinctly different than killing. There's no semantic correlation between those two words but, killing is often used as a euphemism for murder. Likewise, there is a remarkable difference between detaining a man who has murdered someone and kidnapping a man who is walking around with a plant in his pocket that you don't like. You used the phrase "golden rule" and that's an acceptable term but to be more accurate, I use the phrase "non aggression principle". Under your term, you would be justified in caging me if I used drugs, simply because you might want someone to cage you if you used drugs. Under the non aggression principle, you can do whatever fool thing you want to do with your own body, so long as you don't initiate aggression against another person in the process.

No I wouldn't but you just put a qualifacation on your absolute moral rule. Therefor it is not an absolute.

You wouldn't what? You wouldn't put the qualification that evidence must be observable, repeatable and universally applicable on a theist's claim that gods exist?

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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30-03-2013, 10:50 PM
RE: Your Favorite God Argument
(30-03-2013 10:43 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(30-03-2013 09:42 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  No I wouldn't but you just put a qualifacation on your absolute moral rule. Therefor it is not an absolute.

You wouldn't what? You wouldn't put the qualification that evidence must be observable, repeatable and universally applicable on a theist's claim that gods exist?

My apologies I didn't qualify my statement, I would not lock someone up for having a small amount of an illicit substance. I also find that most theist cling to absolute morality from a defined source, not the other way round. However your position is there is absolute morality and yet you have placed several qualifiers that eliminate it as being absolute. To every rule there is an exception, the world is not black and white but millions of shades all along the spectrum.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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30-03-2013, 10:52 PM
RE: Your Favorite God Argument
(30-03-2013 10:29 PM)Egor Wrote:  That's the one that gets me on an emotional level. If there is no ultimate authority for right and wrong, then truly killing 6 million people becomes as meaningless as helping the poor get something to eat. Both are just inconsequential movements of matter.

I don't need any authority to tell me that murdering people is wrong. Unless of course, I conflate empathy with authority. But even then, I only need my own authority to tell me that harming those who don't harm me is evil.

What is your experience with being punished for arbitrary transgressions?

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30-03-2013, 11:17 PM
RE: Your Favorite God Argument
(30-03-2013 10:25 PM)Egor Wrote:  You explained that one well. Simple enough that even I could understand it. Yes

Thank you.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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30-03-2013, 11:25 PM
RE: Your Favorite God Argument
(30-03-2013 10:50 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(30-03-2013 10:43 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  You wouldn't what? You wouldn't put the qualification that evidence must be observable, repeatable and universally applicable on a theist's claim that gods exist?

My apologies I didn't qualify my statement, I would not lock someone up for having a small amount of an illicit substance. I also find that most theist cling to absolute morality from a defined source, not the other way round. However your position is there is absolute morality and yet you have placed several qualifiers that eliminate it as being absolute. To every rule there is an exception, the world is not black and white but millions of shades all along the spectrum.

My argument is that objective, secular morality does exist outside the constraints of a deity. I don't offer exceptions, I offer that there are amoral actions as well as moral and immoral actions. If you want to see exceptions to morality, consult a theist or a statist. To wit: God murders and it's "works in mysterious ways", Barack Obama murders and it's "national defense".

I don't know about you but I'm not frightened of gays, prostitutes, apostates, blasphemers, adulterers or brown people from another part of the planet. What I am frightened of is people who think that initiating force against others can be morally justified.

You can argue that morality is shades of gray if you like but, in doing so you are implicitly condoning all of the atrocities that humans have inflicted upon one another and this planet.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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30-03-2013, 11:41 PM
RE: Your Favorite God Argument
(30-03-2013 10:42 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(30-03-2013 11:55 AM)cufflink Wrote:  My favorite is the so-called Ontological Argument, which goes back to Anselm in the 11th century. It's bullshit, of course, but at least it makes you stop and think, "Where exactly does this go wrong?" And it's apparently taken in some pretty heavy philosophical hitters, including for a short time the young Bertrand Russell.

The OA claims to prove the existence of God a priori--that is, purely through logical reasoning, without in any way having to take a look at what the world is really like. One version goes like this:

Whether or not God exists, we can certainly have the idea of God. And a key part of that idea is that God is perfect. In fact, he (she, it) is the most perfect being we can conceive of. There is no being more perfect than God. Call that conceived being G.

So the question is, does G exist or not?

Well, suppose not. In that case, we can conceive of another being, G', who has all the attributes of G but also exists! But surely a perfect being that exists is more perfect than such a being that does not exist. So G' is more perfect than G.

But now we've run into a contradiction. We started by saying that G was the most perfect being that could be conceived of, but now we're saying there's something else, G', that's more perfect than G. So we have to toss out what led us to this contradiction, namely that G does not exist.

Therefore G exists. QED. Big Grin

For anyone who's interested, much more info here.

That has got to be the most perverse use of reductio ad absurdum I've ever seen. There are so many fucking holes in it I don't even know where to start. Guess the obvious place is what the fuck does "perfect" mean?

Well, yeah, "perfect" isn't exactly well defined. I wonder, though, if the argument can be dismissed simply because of that. Suppose instead of "perfect," the argument used some undefined "Property X," with the stipulation that whatever Property X is, when two conceived entities A and B differ only in that B exists and A doesn't, then B has more of property X than A does. Would that argument be any less valid logically than the original one? To put it another way, do you need to know exactly what "perfect" means in order to evaluate the logic of the argument?

If it's not already obvious, I'm getting out of my depth here, so I'd better stop. Smile

But if you haven't already, GM, take a look at the site I linked to. It's amazing how much ink has been spilled over the course of a thousand years on various versions and formulations and tweakings of this argument, including by none other than Kurt Gödel!

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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30-03-2013, 11:56 PM
RE: Your Favorite God Argument
(30-03-2013 11:25 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(30-03-2013 10:50 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  My apologies I didn't qualify my statement, I would not lock someone up for having a small amount of an illicit substance. I also find that most theist cling to absolute morality from a defined source, not the other way round. However your position is there is absolute morality and yet you have placed several qualifiers that eliminate it as being absolute. To every rule there is an exception, the world is not black and white but millions of shades all along the spectrum.

My argument is that objective, secular morality does exist outside the constraints of a deity. I don't offer exceptions, I offer that there are amoral actions as well as moral and immoral actions. If you want to see exceptions to morality, consult a theist or a statist. To wit: God murders and it's "works in mysterious ways", Barack Obama murders and it's "national defense".

I don't know about you but I'm not frightened of gays, prostitutes, apostates, blasphemers, adulterers or brown people from another part of the planet. What I am frightened of is people who think that initiating force against others can be morally justified.

You can argue that morality is shades of gray if you like but, in doing so you are implicitly condoning all of the atrocities that humans have inflicted upon one another and this planet.

Be that as it may just because we wish something was so does not make it so. That is the deffinition of magical thinking. You have yet to show an absolute moral law that does not have a qualifier or an exception.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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31-03-2013, 12:06 AM
RE: Your Favorite God Argument
That one where they fail to meet the burden of proof, that's always a riot.

Oh wait.

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31-03-2013, 12:40 AM
RE: Your Favorite God Argument
(30-03-2013 11:41 PM)cufflink Wrote:  Suppose instead of "perfect," the argument used some undefined "Property X," with the stipulation that whatever Property X is, when two conceived entities A and B differ only in that B exists and A doesn't, then B has more of property X than A does.

You place too high a premium on existence, brother.Tongue

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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