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Old 27th September 2003, 07:16 PM   #41
slimshady2357
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yahweh

There are lots and lots of different kinds of science, they all work soundly with one another. With them, you can easily see how the world could have come the way it has without any aid from God.

Also, usually the best way to prove somethings nonexistence is to prove that it cannot logically exist. There are other ways to go about this, but just for the purposes of time, I'll use the famous Arguement from Evil (copied and pasted from the internet, it can be found pretty much all over the place):
1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5. Evil exists.
6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil.
7. Therefore, God doesn't exist.

Premise 5 is what makes the contradiction. Premises 1 through 6 do logically (and validly) imply Conclusion 7.

Of course, the usual way people try to go about "refuting" the Arguement from Evil is by claiming that Evil doesnt exist objectively... no s**t, but evil exists when someone's actions conflict with the teachings of Jesus Christ (refusing to turn the other cheek by hauling off and coldcocking someone would be evil). Another way is to suggest that "evil is relative to the observer, what is evil to me might not be evil to you", of course use the same Teaching's of Jesus counter and the Evil is Relative remark becomes irrelevant.

As brought up in another thread, if we "started from scratch" and began science all over again, we would have the the same science as we did before, now try that with religion.

There you go, the world of science sees no need for god, God cannot logically exist using the Arguement from Evil, and the nature of Christianity is as best on shaky grounds. It is perfectly reasonable to say "I know God does not exist".
The arguement from evil at best invalidates an omnibenevolent god and really can't even do that. There is no logical argument that is going to show the nonexistence of God. Read Leibniz, this is the best of all possible worlds

And the fact that science would evolve the same way means nothing, especially to an agnostic.

He already believes that the existence (and I would say nature) of God is unknowable, so not having religion pin it down means not much at all.

And it is perfectly reasonable to not believe in any God, however it is not perfectly reasonable to say "I know God does not exist", as you do not have the facts to support 'know' in that sentence.

Adam
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Old 27th September 2003, 07:45 PM   #42
Yahweh
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Quote:
Originally posted by slimshady2357
The arguement from evil at best invalidates an omnibenevolent god and really can't even do that. There is no logical argument that is going to show the nonexistence of God. Read Leibniz, this is the best of all possible worlds
There are other Arguements from Whatever, the point was what I stated earlier: The easiest way to prove something does not exist is to show how it cannot logically exist.

Quote:
And the fact that science would evolve the same way means nothing, especially to an agnostic.
"That's quite a claim, can you back that up with evidence. I mean, you're certainly making a positive claim here, a claim to have facts that show" science evolving the same means nothing to an agnostic. "Please present them."

(Sorry to be patronizing...)

Quote:
He already believes that the existence (and I would say nature) of God is unknowable, so not having religion pin it down means not much at all.

And it is perfectly reasonable to not believe in any God, however it is not perfectly reasonable to say "I know God does not exist", as you do not have the facts to support 'know' in that sentence.[/b]
Just semantics, it depends on how you define "know".
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Old 27th September 2003, 10:11 PM   #43
Titus Rivas
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By definition

Reasonable Doubt,
Quote:
Nor is it the "kind of being whose existence would be in principle knowable".
Well, my point is precisely that a creator is the one thing which would have to in principle be more knowable than anything else. If anythings is knowable, then certainly a creator is. That follows from the definition of a creator.

Titus
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Old 28th September 2003, 06:48 AM   #44
ReasonableDoubt
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In principle more knowable? What/whose principle is that?

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
Well, my point is precisely that a creator is the one thing which would have to in principle be more knowable than anything else. If anythings is knowable, then certainly a creator is. That follows from the definition of a creator.
Absolute rubbish. I understand that this is your point. I also understand that, despite your near religious insistence, you've offered absolutely no basis for it.

There exists a method, methodological naturalism, by which we come to "know" more and more about our surroundings. I know of no methodological supernaturalism, no method by which we may come to "know" more and more about the supernatural save one, and that 'method' is revelation: the claim that my guru/fantasy is better than your guru/fantasy because my guru/fantasy says so.

So, rather than telling us how something is "in principle ... more knowable than anything else" (whatever the hell that means), why not simply tell is what protocols you would employ to gain verifiable knowledge about it.
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Old 28th September 2003, 08:21 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by ReasonableDoubt

There exists a method, methodological naturalism, by which we come to "know" more and more about our surroundings. I know of no methodological supernaturalism...
The same problem an idealist has with dualism; i.e. nothing can exist "supernaturally".

However, a question, basically with regards to "psi" claims -- to date 100% anecdotal SFAIK -- yet in significant number.

If the sum total of, say, electrons available for study had never exceded a few billion, would qm/qed/etc have had the statistics necessary to be formulated? I make no claim one way or the other, but note that for individual "wavicles" no predicability exists in the sense, once it happened, p=1. Hmm, does that make sense?
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Old 28th September 2003, 08:49 AM   #46
ReasonableDoubt
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Quote:
Originally posted by hammegk

... nothing can exist "supernaturally".
Unknown.

Quote:
Originally posted by hammegk

However, a question, ...
I sure hope that you're not asking me, because I haven't a clue what you're talking about. Sorry.
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Old 28th September 2003, 10:39 AM   #47
Yahweh
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Quote:
Originally posted by hammegk
If the sum total of, say, electrons available for study had never exceded a few billion, would qm/qed/etc have had the statistics necessary to be formulated? I make no claim one way or the other, but note that for individual "wavicles" no predicability exists in the sense, once it happened, p=1. Hmm, does that make sense?
[Yahweh smiles, shakes head "No"]
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Old 28th September 2003, 11:39 AM   #48
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To traditional theists (Christians, Islamists, etc.) it doesn't really matter wether you are an atheist or an agnostic: you're still going to hell.

On the other hand, atheists aren't going to conduct their lives in an appreciably different way from agnostics (neither group is likely to spend much time in church). So if it doesn't make any difference, what really is the point of debating the distinction?
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Old 28th September 2003, 11:52 AM   #49
hammegk
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yahweh

[Yahweh smiles, shakes head "No"]
At least you didn't provide an irrelevant link or 2.

BTW, Yahweh the original might understand the question -- or at least ask for clarification -- before the answer. Somehow I don't have you in that league.
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Old 28th September 2003, 11:55 AM   #50
Yahweh
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Quote:
Originally posted by espritch
To traditional theists (Christians, Islamists, etc.) it doesn't really matter wether you are an atheist or an agnostic: you're still going to hell.

On the other hand, atheists aren't going to conduct their lives in an appreciably different way from agnostic (neither group is likely to spend much time in church). So if it doesn't make any difference, what really is the point of debating the distinction?
Its the same distinction we use when we debate the difference between a Democrat and a Republican. Both will run the country just fine, none any better than the other, yada yada yada.

Its important to debate the distinction because an Atheism is not the same as Agnosticism.

Atheism: I have no religious beliefs.
Agnosticism: I dont know, I cant decide if god exists or not.

I know I certainly dont like it when Christians tell me something like "There is either a God, or there isnt, why should we debate about it". I've never been one to leave over-reduced conclusions "as is"...
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Old 28th September 2003, 12:51 PM   #51
Titus Rivas
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Never mind

Reasonable Doubt,

You've completely missed my point.
Never mind.

Titus
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Old 28th September 2003, 01:39 PM   #52
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What I believe we need for this argument are some definitions.

The Unknowable: It is, of course possible to know that something is unknowable maybe adding... "under current, existing circumstances." We can simply put it this way: "We currently have neither the knowledge or technology to prove or disprove the existence of something we might define as a god." If a satellite landed in the midst of a group of Masai tribesmen (previous to their introduction to Western civilization) they would not know what it was or have the capacity to learn what it was.

Perception: I do feel that there probably is more going on than we've managed to hammer out so far with our laws of physics and biology but I also believe that it can be proven by preponderance of the evidence that all of the world's religions are mythology. I would be defined as an agnostic but instead I choose to call myself an atheist for the following reasons. The term "agnostic" seems wishy-washy and undecided whereas "atheist" immediately presents a strong point of view. Also when Christians hear the term "agnostic" they assume that you haven't made up your mind about Jehovah; I have, he doesn't exist.

God: Is God Unknowable? Well I guess the question is - "What is God?" If our civilization manages to bump into a civilization thousands of years in advance of ours could we call them gods? How about a God like Azathoth who simply sits at the center of the universe mindlessly spitting out the fundamentals of life? I contend that it is only pertinent to prove the existence of a known God - it is really irrelevant (right now) whether Azathoth, Superalien or the Star Trek Voyager Probe is real. I believe that if you define "God" as Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews than I think it is possible to disprove its existence.

Theists: One quick side note - when an atheist debates a theist invariably the theist will point to our enormous universe asking "You can't possibly believe that in this great expanse of billions of light years there isn't something greater than us." My answer is - "I don't know but, oh... Jehovah certainly doesn't exist!"

Well - that's my 2 cents worth.

John Templar - Agn... Atheist.
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Old 28th September 2003, 04:47 PM   #53
uruk
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Gods of religion are easy to disprove because they are man made
and self contradictory.

but on the other hand a god doesn't have to obey our preconcieved notions.

on the other hand (the third hand)

God is perfection
there is no such thing as perfection.
therefore there is no such thing as god.

on the forth hand look at the second hand.
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Old 28th September 2003, 05:18 PM   #54
ReasonableDoubt
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Re: Never mind

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
Reasonable Doubt, You've completely missed my point.
No. You wrote: "Well, my point is precisely that a creator is the one thing which would have to in principle be more knowable than anything else." What I "completely missed" was any justification for the claim.

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
Never mind.
As you wish.
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Old 28th September 2003, 05:27 PM   #55
slimshady2357
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yahweh
[b]
"That's quite a claim, can you back that up with evidence. I mean, you're certainly making a positive claim here, a claim to have facts that show" science evolving the same means nothing to an agnostic. "Please present them."

(Sorry to be patronizing...)
I did, did you not read the next line? You said that the fact that science would evolve the same and religion wouldn't mattered. But to an agnostic God is unknowable, therefore you would expect religion to evolve in various ways, because they're talking about something they don't know about. Science is knowable, it should turn out the same.

Quote:
Just semantics, it depends on how you define "know".
Yes, I agree, if you define 'know' in a trivial manner, you'll be able to 'know' God does not exist

Adam
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Old 28th September 2003, 05:42 PM   #56
ReasonableDoubt
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yahweh

Agnosticism: I dont know, I cant decide if god exists or not.
Did you read the Huxley quote presented earlier in the thread? Certainly your definition of agnosticism is a poor paraphrase/summary of that quote.
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Old 28th September 2003, 05:58 PM   #57
Yahweh
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Quote:
Originally posted by ReasonableDoubt

Did you read the Huxley quote presented earlier in the thread? Certainly your definition of agnosticism is a poor paraphrase/summary of that quote.
Sometimes I go through a thread quickly, this time I didnt happen to read the Huxley quote, I just answered a question presenting my opinion (I made no attempt to paraphrase a quote which I did not read).

I'm not the type of person who gets his rocks off by playing Definitions all day, I find it very inconvenient and annoying to nitpick which definition is good/bad/better/poor/etc.

However, I am the type of person who likes to cram things into a nutshell, it usually gets the point across much more quickly and succintly.

It should also be noted that when determining the definition of some words (in this case, words with religious significance), it is very difficult to nail down a single definite all-powerful definition. Its usually easier to think "The word agnostic is defined as, but not limited to, blah blah blah...". As it says in my signature, lets try not to throw common sense out the window.
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Old 28th September 2003, 06:00 PM   #58
ReasonableDoubt
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Quote:
Originally posted by uruk
Gods of religion are easy to disprove because they are man made
No. That does not disprove God(s). It simply shows that not all god-constructs can be correct.

Quote:
Originally posted by uruk
God is perfection
there is no such thing as perfection.
therefore there is no such thing as god.
  1. God is perfection.
    Who made up that rule? You? In fact, most Gods worshipped throughout the history of our species were not. Your building a strawman/
  2. there is no such thing as perfection
    What a remarkable claim. Prove it. You indirectly assert that which is at issue. At best, your 'argument' is reducible to: 'perfection is impossible because there is no possible perfection.' You now have a strawman living in a house of cards.
  3. therefore there is no such thing as god
    with all due respect, there is no there in your "therefore".

Quote:
Originally posted by uruk
on the forth hand look at the second hand.
With all those hands, you have shown yourself to be, in this instance, remarkably unhandy at making a case.
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Old 28th September 2003, 06:08 PM   #59
ReasonableDoubt
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yahweh

As it says in my signature, lets try not to throw common sense out the window.
You insist:
  1. Its important to debate the distinction because an Atheism is not the same as Agnosticism., and
  2. I'm not the type of person who gets his rocks off by playing Definitions all day, I find it very inconvenient.
You then present a caricature of agnosticism when compared to that of the originator of the term. Apparently, your offering is very important, while all responses are preordained as nitpicking. This, you no doubt find 'very convenient'.

Perhaps it would be best if you do not presume to be the arbiter of common sense.
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Old 28th September 2003, 06:39 PM   #60
Yahweh
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I see you managed to seperate the things I said into points.

Quote:
Originally posted by ReasonableDoubt
You insist:
  1. Its important to debate the distinction because an Atheism is not the same as Agnosticism.,

  1. Obviously. I'm sure other people might say the same thing if the words Atheism and Agnosticism were replaced with Christianity and Islam.

    Quote:
    and
    Quote:
  2. I'm not the type of person who gets his rocks off by playing Definitions all day, I find it very inconvenient.
Quote:
You then present a caricature of agnosticism when compared to that of the originator of the term. Apparently, your offering is very important, while all responses are preordained as nitpicking. This, you no doubt find 'very convenient'.
Wow, it almost looks like "contradiction" in what I said. I maintain Atheism and Agnosticism are not the same, yet I dont like nitpick definitions... I'm a scoundrel.

I dont know why I am taking the time out of my day to describe this, but since you appear to be confused, I'll make some time to clarify:
Atheism and Agnosticism are not the same.

I dont like to nitpick definitions. For instance, when I say "I think Agnosticism could be described as 'I dont know if God exists or not', I dont like to have a debate scratching at every possible definition, every possible iteration. "Agnosticism means you are undecided if God exists", "nuh-uh, it means you dont know god exists, thats not the same as 'undecided'", "wrong, it means God might exist, or he might not"...

Nitpicking, its inconvenient. I dont consider making the claim "Atheism is not the same as Agnosticism" as nitpicking.

Does that clear anything up?

Quote:
Perhaps it would be best if you do not presume to be the arbiter of common sense.
Perhaps it would be best if you closed your eyes, pictured kittens, and calm down.

I am perfectly capable of accepting negative criticism, I'm not one who likes to be insulted.
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Old 28th September 2003, 10:38 PM   #61
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Huxley in Light of Pascal's Wager

I'm not sure I see where the dispute over the definition of "agnostic" even comes from. It's basically characterised as an uncertainty of some divine being(s), either in the potential to know of his existence or whether or not he could even exist.

I personally don't see there being a god. Too much stuff is too easily and readily explainable by science, even in the absurdly limitted state that it currently exists in. However, I'm not one to jump the gun, which is basically Huxley's belief in the matter. His rationalization consists of the methodological belief that nothing can be ruled out until proven factual, yet there is also Pascal's Wager, that the odds of there being a god that we don't know of are just as good as the odds of there not being one (because neither odd can be known, thus their equal). That being the case, even if there were concrete definitions and descriptions of all aspects of perceivable reality, there's still the possibility that there is a god that made everything so that he remained imperceptible. So even on that account, you're faced with the decision of chancing an assumption when the god or whatever doesn't even have to be playing by any rules of which you can even be aware.

That just leads me to believe that even if there were indisputable evidence that all things within human perception were made without divine interference, there's still that possibility that it was made to look just like that. I guess I just take Huxley's point a few steps further using an argument that most believers throw at non-believers in an attempt to scare them into believing "just in case".
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Old 28th September 2003, 11:00 PM   #62
Titus Rivas
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Deliberate cover-up of creation

Prospero,
Quote:
That being the case, even if there were concrete definitions and descriptions of all aspects of perceivable reality, there's still the possibility that there is a god that made everything so that he remained imperceptible. So even on that account, you're faced with the decision of chancing an assumption when the god or whatever doesn't even have to be playing by any rules of which you can even be aware.
Interesting position. However, in that case we could limit the rationality of agnosticism to the claim that it is impossible to know whether there is a creator who does not want to be known by men. There is no religion or theology which holds that there is such a creator.
Pascal's position is absurd, as his was a Christian God who supposedly had done quite a lot to be known by men, i.e. apart from creating the world, giving us a holy book and divine intervention (as in Judaism and Islam), incarnating as a man. No chance of his creating a world indistinguishable from an uncreated world.
In general, creation should be adding something to what would happen anyway by simple laws of logic if there were no god. It is absurd to even speak about creation if the world does not gain in structure by this hypothetical act.
Now that I come to think of it, a creator who doesn't want to be known, does not need to create anything. The world 'created' by him, would be absolutely identical to an uncreated world. So on second thought, I don't believe such a creator deserves to be called a creator.

Titus
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Old 29th September 2003, 03:20 AM   #63
ReasonableDoubt
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Re: Deliberate cover-up of creation

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
There is no religion or theology which holds that there is such a creator.
Why continue to make baseless claims? Deism suggests an impersonal Deity uninterested in proving itself. There are more than a few arguments within the ranks of Christianity and Judaism as to why God chooses not to 'reveal' himself. Similarly, Easter religion could well argue that an obvious Pantheon or Diety would simply preempt the spiritual pursuit.

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
Now that I come to think of it, a creator who doesn't want to be known, does not need to create anything. The world 'created' by him, would be absolutely identical to an uncreated world. So on second thought, I don't believe such a creator deserves to be called a creator.
The 1st sentence is simply your impression. What established theology to your knowledge insists that God(s) act out of "need"? The 2nd sentence is a baseless assertion that has absolutely no connection to the first. The 3rd sentence expresses a petulent opinion which is, of course, your right. In my opinion, however, you would do well to reconsider the words of Huxley, i.e., "do not pretend that matters are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable".

Atheism addresses what is believable. Agnosticism addresses what is knowable. While Huxley's methodological agnosticism serves as a fine foundation for atheism, there is nothing to preclude an agnostic theist: fideists, deists, and, perhaps, daoists would fall into this category.
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Old 29th September 2003, 04:00 AM   #64
Titus Rivas
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Reasonable

Reasonable doubt,

Speaking of baseless claims ...

Quote:
Deism suggests an impersonal Deity uninterested in proving itself.
We're not talking about a creator who would be UNINTERESTED in proving itself, we're talking about a creator who would choose to prevent the occurrence of any proofs in its creation that point to its being a creation. What I meant by this, is that a creator necessarily leaves its mark on its creation, as that's what being a creator is all about. I don't understand why you continue to be so stubborn about this, as it seems obvious to me.

Quote:
There are more than a few arguments within the ranks of Christianity and Judaism as to why God chooses not to 'reveal' himself.
Sorry, but that's plain nonsense. Christianity and Judaism are religions explicitly based on revelation. So the non-revelation of God within these religions boils down to an absurdity.

Quote:
What established theology to your knowledge insists that God(s) act out of "need"?
I'm not talking about any limitations on (a hypothetical) God's actions, I'm talking about the definition of a creator. A creator who would create what would arise anyway is not a creator as commonly understood, but a superfluous entity which literally adds nothing to reality. Adding nothing is not the same as creating, I'd say. Would you call that creating. I'm talking about the coherence of the notion of a creator, not of a God. That's my argument against non-trivial agnosticism as I said before; it may claim that there could be a whole pantheon of gods that we would never know anything about, but claiming the same about a creator of our very own reality, is simply incoherent.

Quote:
The 2nd sentence is a baseless assertion that has absolutely no connection to the first.
Come on now, a world which would not change a bit by creation IS identical to an uncreated world. Are you pulling my leg?

Quote:
agnostic theist: fideists, deists, and, perhaps, daoists would fall into this category.
What are you talking about? Deists DO believe there is a god, so calling them agnostics (either in the trivial or in the non-trivial sense) is nonsense.
Fideists base their beliefs on non-rational grounds, but they can't be called agnostics either, unless you want to limit agnosticism to the possibility of reaching knowledge through empirical (or rational) means. In the strict, general sense of the word they claim to know that there is a God.
Daoism comprises various branches, but there's no clear-cut notion of a creator (which is what I was talking about), so the question of agnosticism seems pretty irrelevant here.

Perhaps your misunderstanding is based on limiting agnosticism to the claim that it is impossible to know anything about the existence of a creator on empirical grounds. Whereas I define agnosticism as the claim that it is impossible to know anything about the existence of a creator on any ground whatsoever (including ontological analysis, spiritual experiences, etc.). In other words, I define agnosticism as a general claim about the inability to know if there is a god or not. That's why by my definition it is impossible that somebody is both an agnostic and a theist, or an agnostic and an atheist.

Just a general tip: take your opponents a little bit more seriously.

Titus
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Old 29th September 2003, 04:18 AM   #65
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Re: Reasonable

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
Just a general tip: take your opponents a little bit more seriously.
Just a specific suggestion: provide some reason to do so.
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Old 29th September 2003, 04:21 AM   #66
Titus Rivas
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For your own good

Reasonable Doubt,

Quote:
Just a specific suggestion: provide some reason to do so.
Well, for one thing, it's in your own interest

Titus
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Old 29th September 2003, 05:28 AM   #67
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Uh... I´m an agnostic. So what?

Is my position related to the "just in case" fear? Is it related to the fear of breaking social and cultural conventions? Maybe at least in part.

Most arguments that have been made point to a God like that from the Bible, one for against whose existence there are plenty of valid arguments. The same is valid for the God (or Gods) from the many religious traditions we have (even though some Buddist texts are very interesting to me). So, in respect to that God, I am an atheist. The way I see, all our notions of God are a construct. In this sense, Mankind created God at its own image. However, when it comes to other possibilities, or other definitions (OK, how can one define what can not be defined?) I keep an open mind. And for these cases, I am not sure if there is a God or not, and in respect to it, I am an agnostic.

I am not sure if God exists or not (even though I tend to the "no" side, but again, I am nor sure), and also, for example, admiting the possibility that there is a God, I am not sure if it is an external or internal reality. Maybe there is a God, but maybe its just a construct of our mind, that sometimes under the right conditions manifests itself (eg- the many different "mystical experiences"). In this case, God would be just a pshycological (or neural) feature, perhaps a trait evolved to help mankind go ahead.

But there may be something else. Our cosmology does not need a God, but also it does not completely excludes the possibility of the existence of something that could be (perhaps quite loosely) called "God" (again, not the biblical God- if that one is real, its easy to understand why Lucifer rebelled), something that we just can not understand and may be quite different from our current notions (maybe it may not have created the universe, for example). Is is vague? Yes. Are there evidences? No. I am just keeping an open mind, even though the odds seem to weight much more on the "no existence" side.

In the end, as someone here pointed out, in an agnostic point of view, it really doesn´t matter if there is or not a God.
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Old 29th September 2003, 06:13 AM   #68
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Re: Huxley in Light of Pascal's Wager

Quote:
Originally posted by Prospero


I personally don't see there being a god. Too much stuff is too easily and readily explainable by science,
Wholly irrelevant unless your idea of God is exclusively one of the God of the gaps. Actually it most probably will be since atheists insists this is the only legitimate definition of "God". As I keep saying, no wonder atheists are atheists!
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Old 29th September 2003, 08:40 AM   #69
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Re: Reasonable

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
I'm not talking about any limitations on (a hypothetical) God's actions, I'm talking about the definition of a creator. A creator who would create what would arise anyway is not a creator as commonly understood, but a superfluous entity which literally adds nothing to reality.
You assume something here, that the world would arise anyway.

Basically, you're assuming that some world would arise without a creator. Why can a creator not create a world that looks like it had no creator simply because no world would have existed otherwise?

Quote:
Come on now, a world which would not change a bit by creation IS identical to an uncreated world. Are you pulling my leg?
It's identical to a hypothetical world that was not created, but the difference is that the one is real and the other not. Once again, you assume that some world would exist if not a created one.

You forget that even if a creator creates a world that looks exactly like one that wasn't created (just came to be), he is possibly adding something still, existence as a reality.

Quote:
Perhaps your misunderstanding is based on limiting agnosticism to the claim that it is impossible to know anything about the existence of a creator on empirical grounds. Whereas I define agnosticism as the claim that it is impossible to know anything about the existence of a creator on any ground whatsoever (including ontological analysis, spiritual experiences, etc.). In other words, I define agnosticism as a general claim about the inability to know if there is a god or not. That's why by my definition it is impossible that somebody is both an agnostic and a theist, or an agnostic and an atheist.
Hmmm, I see what you're saying, but what if a Deist doesn't 'know' by any of those methods either? What if a Deist was to admit that they only believe in a God, but that they recognize that under no definition of 'to know' (empirical observation, logical analysis, subjective experience, etc.) do they 'know' there is a God?

That's how I view agnosticism, as compatible with Deism, or even theism. Just because it strictly has to do with knowledge, not belief.

What do you think?

Adam
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Old 29th September 2003, 12:46 PM   #70
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Quote:
quote:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by uruk
Gods of religion are easy to disprove because they are man made
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------quote:

No. That does not disprove God(s). It simply shows that not all god-constructs can be correct.
Wow.I guess facetiousness really does'nt transfer though the internet.

If you read my sentence carefull you'll notice I said "gods of religion" I guess I meant to write "religions".

Besides all human notions of god are man-made constructs. That's why there are all the imperfections and contradictions. (i.e.The christitian god is a god of absolute love, yet he continually tells his chosen people to smite those around them. also the burn in hell thingy)

I noticed that you didn't comment on my statement
"but on the other hand a god doesn't have to obey our preconcieved notions. "

The logical argument that follows:

Quote:
______________________________________________
God is perfection.

Who made up that rule? You? In fact, most Gods worshipped throughout the history of our species were not. Your building a strawman/
__________________________________________________
.
Who made up that rule? Just about every religion that I know of .
I remember going to church (roman catholic) and hearing that all through the sermon. Which religion do you know claims that god isn't perfect?

__________________________________________________ __

Quote:
there is no such thing as perfection

What a remarkable claim. Prove it. You indirectly assert that which is at issue. At best, your 'argument' is reducible to:
'perfection is impossible because there is no possible perfection.'
You now have a strawman living in a house of cards.

"..
__________________________________________________ .Well, name me something that is perfect. Perfection, I think, is objective. Like truth, and good/evil there is no one definitive answer. Perfection is an abstract ideal, which in reality does not exist. So I indirectly dissagree with your indirect assertion of what my indirect assertion is.
__________________________________________________ __

Quote:
therefore there is no such thing as god

with all due respect, there is no there in your "therefore...
Well, My intention was to show that "logical" arguments
are based on assumptions.

I believe that problem with an argument for or against a god is that these arguments are based on assumptions of something we know absolutley nothing about. There is no "frame of reference to go on. I argue that using religious texts as a reference for the existance of god is shakey at best because those text are a construct of man. All the philosophical ruminations of god through the eons are also at best just guessing. The observational fact remains that if there is a god it has "chosen" to make it's presence obscure to us. Most events which are claimed to be miracles, which would presummably be an indication of it's existance, can normaly be explained as being caused by means other than a diety. I know this doesn't nessissarily prove the non-existance of a diety. it might mearly shows that it does not want to revel its existance to us for some unfathomable reason. hence my "does not need to conform..etc"
statement. But that is the point. God's inscrutablity.

So if there is a god, it doesn't seem to care if we acknowledge it's existance. Or does it want us to search for it? If so what for? Is it a game? Hide and seek? Why the hiding game? If it wanted to be worshiped, then why not make it's existance undeniable to us?
Is a god that doesn't want to be found any different from a god that doesn't exist? Or are we missing the forest for the trees.

See, no answers. Just guesses.

That's why I'm an agnostic (for lack of a better word)
I simply don't know. All arguments for or against god are just
assumptions based on guesses. or guesses based on assupmtions. Or strawmen as you put it
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Old 29th September 2003, 07:15 PM   #71
ReasonableDoubt
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Quote:
Originally posted by uruk
Who made up that rule? Just about every religion that I know of .
The idea of God as a perfect omnimax is relatively new. The members of the Sumerian pantheon were not perfect, nor were those of Babylonia, Canaan, Egypt, Greece or Rome. One could make a good case that the object worshipped by early Jewish henotheism was not perfect, simply more powerful than His counterparts. Finally, I would be surprised to find that all of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses had attained perfection.
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Old 29th September 2003, 11:26 PM   #72
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Quote:
The idea of God as a perfect omnimax is relatively new...etc
Well, I did some searching in summerian and bablonyian religion.
Here are some links if anyone is interested.

http://www.cwru.edu/UL/preserve/Etana/Etana.html
http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/enuma.htm
http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/stc/index.htm

I have to admit That could not find a direct mention to the perfection of a god. But they do mention qualities that we assign to our modern day "perfect" gods. (i.e. supreme, all knowing, all powerful..etc.)


I haven't looked too hard at hindu or ancient judaism.
But I seem to remember the Bhagavad Gita or the Mahabharata saying something about Krishna being perfect. (I could be wrong)
And the old testament does allude to god being perfect. I don't know about the tora. And I've only read portions of the Koran.

Anyhoo, I don't think there is anyone who still seriously worships or believe in ancient summerian and bablonian gods.
Most of our modern religions consider their god/s as being infallable and perfect. And when most believers argue for the
existance of a god, I believe they'll say that their god is perfect and infallable.
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Old 30th September 2003, 03:08 AM   #73
ReasonableDoubt
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Quote:
Originally posted by uruk
I haven't looked too hard at hindu or ancient judaism.
But I seem to remember the Bhagavad Gita or the Mahabharata saying something about Krishna being perfect.
And, presuming that your memory is accurate, what of the remaining deities?

Quote:
Originally posted by uruk
And the old testament does allude to god being perfect. I don't know about the tora.
The OT also alludes to a jealous God who promotes genocide and changes his mind. The Torah is the Pentateuch - the "Five Books of Moses" in the OT.

Quote:
Originally posted by uruk
Most of our modern religions consider their god/s as being infallable and perfect. And when most believers argue for the
existance of a god, I believe they'll say that their god is perfect and infallable.
You apparently know more about Hinduism and Daoism than I.

Tell me, do you limt the scope of atheism/agnosticism to the God(s) as defined by "most people"? If you claim to be an atheist and/or agnostic, are you less so with respect to an imperfect deity?
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Old 30th September 2003, 04:04 AM   #74
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2. The existence of a creator supposedly would make a lot of difference, even all the difference "in the world" , for the structure of manifest reality.
2a. A world created by a divinity would have to be fundamentally different from a uncreated world.


Well, no. Once you postulate a God, a being that is not bounded by reality and in fact has total control over reality, then this God can create a world that looks exactly like one ruled by natural laws only. This God can create a universe that looks exactly like it is billions of years old, when in fact it was created a few thousand years ago. Such a God, being omnipotent, can in fact hide completely from its creation. If this God does exist, then it seems to be doing exactly that. Unless this God decides to come out of hiding and manifest itself to us, then we'll never know.

When it comes to any one religion or culture's definition of their God, I am atheist. Every culture has put faces and names to their own particular religion, and believed they held the divine truth of the matter. We are no different. Our revealed truth will seem like silly fantasy to some future culture. And they'll have their own silly fantasy that they will insist is the genuine Godhead.

When it comes to the concept of an otherwise unspecified God, I am agnostic. This God has been defined as a being outside of reality as we experience it. It cannot even be said to exist, because opposites like exist/nonexist don't apply to it. Logic doesn't even apply to the concept. It's like asking what existed before the universe.
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Old 30th September 2003, 04:28 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yahweh

1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
Why?

I can easily imagine that there exists a God that is not omnipotent, not omniscient, and not morally perfect. So the proof falls flat at the first proposition since it is not at all certain that the implication holds.

Quote:
Also, usually the best way to prove somethings nonexistence is to prove that it cannot logically exist.
P1: The proposition P1 is false.
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Old 30th September 2003, 05:06 AM   #76
Correa Neto
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Quote:
Originally posted by uruk


...
So if there is a god, it doesn't seem to care if we acknowledge it's existance. Or does it want us to search for it? If so what for? Is it a game? Hide and seek? Why the hiding game? If it wanted to be worshiped, then why not make it's existance undeniable to us?
Is a god that doesn't want to be found any different from a god that doesn't exist? Or are we missing the forest for the trees.

What raises a point that has always intrigued me- Why would God need to be worshiped if he/she/it is so great?

Or perhaps the question should be putted as- Assuming that there is a God, does he/she/it really want to be worshiped?

Some people say this "absence" of God is proposital, intended to not interferr with our freewill and evolution. God would be distant, and want (can we actually say "God wants?"- unless we are speaking on figurative terms, I belive not, for we would be giving God a human attribute) us to evolve on our own.

Quote:
Originally posted by uruk

...
Anyhoo, I don't think there is anyone who still seriously worships or believe in ancient summerian and bablonian gods.
Most of our modern religions consider their god/s as being infallable and perfect. And when most believers argue for the
existance of a god, I believe they'll say that their god is perfect and infallable.
Maybe... But there are many people around the world that still worship what could be called "minor" or "imperfect" Gods or spirits, not completely unlike these ancient deities (animists, for example), and in some cases they may even actually be actually "theological variants" or descendants from them. regardless what people from moderne religions say, a God that comes and say something like "kill the ones who do not belive in me" is far from perfect IMHO.

Quote:
Originally posted by ReasonableDoubt
Tell me, do you limt the scope of atheism/agnosticism to the God(s) as defined by "most people"? If you claim to be an atheist and/or agnostic, are you less so with respect to an imperfect deity?
It is my opinion that one can be rotulated as an atheist regarding certain concepts of god and an agnostic regarding others.
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Old 30th September 2003, 01:14 PM   #77
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Quote:
And, presuming that your memory is accurate, what of the remaining deities?
Weren't the other 330 million gods (including brahma, shiva vishnu, naga, hanuman, ganesh..etc) just different incarnations of the same one? Besides, as stated before my memory is not infallible.

Quote:
The OT also alludes to a jealous God who promotes genocide and changes his mind. The Torah is the Pentateuch - the "Five Books of Moses" in the OT.
True, so does the Christian god (who is the same god by the way) But that doesn't stop the believers from claiming that their god is "perfect". The prayers and hymnals either directly or indirectly proclaim this. Dispite what we (the non-belivers or questioners) may see as the fallibility of god/s. The believers I have been in discussion will invariably say that god is perfect. (my own mother too!. She's a devote roman catholic.)

Like you said before:
Quote:
The idea of God as a perfect omnimax is relatively new.
I've yet to have a discussion with a Marduk worshipper. So I can't comment on what they may say about their god.

I believe that "most believers" have an anthropomorphic view of
their god. This seems to be the way they relate to their god. He was lonely, angry, jealous, horny, whatever. We see this as a
fallibility, they do not. The human emotions fit in to their view of
a "perfect" god. If god gets angry and smites a whole race, it's
probably because they were asking for it. God is jealouse, why not he's god he deservers our worship.

Have you had any disscusion with believers who did not believe
thier god is perfect? Which religion is it? Could you give me an example? Oh wait, the Jewish Henothezim.

Oops, got caught by the boss. I'll finnish later
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Old 30th September 2003, 01:28 PM   #78
Titus Rivas
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An answer for slimshady2357

Hi Adam,

Quote:
Hmmm, I see what you're saying, but what if a Deist doesn't 'know' by any of those methods either? What if a Deist was to admit that they only believe in a God, but that they recognize that under no definition of 'to know' (empirical observation, logical analysis, subjective experience, etc.) do they 'know' there is a God?
Interesting point. In general you could be right about common believers who might admit they (really) believe in God (or gods) but still may have their doubts now and then. However, a (philosophical) theist, atheist and deist all claim to know something, namely that it is reasonable (for whatever particular reasons) to believe that there is or is not a God. Atheism in the philosophical sense is the claim that (one knows that) there is no God. Similarly, theism in the philosophical sense, is the claim that (one knows that) there is a God. This is not a matter of 'mere' religious belief, but of philosophical conviction.
Likewise, Deism is the position that (one knows) there is a God who created this world, but didn't interfere with its evolution ever since. As far as I know Deism is not so much a religious stance, but a philosophical position about the origin of this world.


Quote:
It's identical to a hypothetical world that was not created, but the difference is that the one is real and the other not. Once again, you assume that some world would exist if not a created one.

You forget that even if a creator creates a world that looks exactly like one that wasn't created (just came to be), he is possibly adding something still, existence as a reality.
You're absolutely right, I should have added that possibility. But then again, it can be included in my argumentation. Namely that an uncreated reality would be NO reality whatever. It may well be that say the Big Bang or whatever other cosmological beginning (of this universe) is inconceivable without the concept of a creator. Now, that (a creation ex nihilo) would certainly be leaving a mark, wouldn't it?
However, if it is logically possible that this universe could have arisen without a creator, its mere creation as such would not count as adding anything.

Best wishes,

Titus
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Old 30th September 2003, 01:49 PM   #79
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Necessary versus arbitrary

Quote:
Well, no. Once you postulate a God, a being that is not bounded by reality and in fact has total control over reality, then this God can create a world that looks exactly like one ruled by natural laws only.
I was not talking so much about natural laws, but about what I've already termed logical laws. What I mean by that is that the world could not logically be otherwise, meaning that a world structured otherwise would be incoherent. Now, if the world would be just the way it should be from such a logical point of view, it is in my view absurd to postulate that a God might have added exactly such a type of laws to reality which would arise by sheer logic alone. If the laws would arise automatically without any creation, where's the creating? It's like saying 2+2=4, but that this might be created by God (whereas it obviously is an analytical truth, of the kind I'm referring to here).

Quote:
This God can create a universe that looks exactly like it is billions of years old, when in fact it was created a few thousand years ago. Such a God, being omnipotent, can in fact hide completely from its creation. If this God does exist, then it seems to be doing exactly that. Unless this God decides to come out of hiding and manifest itself to us, then we'll never know.
Well, again, I obviously was talking about a different type of natural order than you, namely an order arising out of necessity rather than an order that seems arbitrary and in this logical sense artificial or brought about by other factors than necessity. If this world was artificially created rather than arising out of blind logical necessity, there should be markers of it. Of course, there are several scholars, both Christians, Hindus, Muslims, etc. and Rationalistic Deists, etc. who claim that such markers really exist and can hardly be overlooked.

In my definition, a creator cannot possibly hide from its creation.
In this sense, omnipotence is an incoherent notion. Not even a God can do the logically impossible. Omnipotence should refer to all logically possible actions and to no logically impossible ones. Logical impossibility is very different from practical impossibility. There's nothing logically possible which can't be done by an omnipotent being. What's logical impossible is what can't happen, by any standards.

Titus
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Old 30th September 2003, 08:38 PM   #80
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Re: Re: Huxley in Light of Pascal's Wager

Quote:
Originally posted by Interesting Ian


Wholly irrelevant unless your idea of God is exclusively one of the God of the gaps. Actually it most probably will be since atheists insists this is the only legitimate definition of "God". As I keep saying, no wonder atheists are atheists!
A god of the gaps; I like that. However, I would ask you to propose a contrary purpose as to god's existence. There is certainly no concrete evidence of undeniable authority that he exists, much less serves a purpose. If god exists and created it all, what is accomplished in letting the world run wild on the off chance that a religion he introduced millennia ago will one day be in a position of world dominance and create a, what, utopia where god is revered by all and life is wonderful? That's utterly absurd. If that was the end result he was working towards, he could have just started there. He didn't have to kick Adam and Eve out of the garden. I'm sure he could have just turned them back into dust and start over. It was all his prerogative, after all. Either god is an entirely illogical being or does not exist. There are no logical alternatives.
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