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Old 19th December 2018, 01:25 PM   #41
Skeptic Ginger
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I agree. But the right thing to do is to discuss an idea that is presented to us for debate without entering into any considerations other than its value of truth or falsity. The merit or appreciation that the opposite ideas deserve is nothing more than a personal matter in a philosophical debate. (Provided there are no moral consequences involved).
IOW, if you don't agree with me I'm not engaging seriously.

I addressed this, you ignored it: One's interpretation of one's sensation/feeling/whatever is not evidence. The sensation/feeling/whatever is the evidence. The conclusion is not evidence.

Not to be conflated with known sensory interpretations. I know when I feel cold or pain or hear a sound. But none of those are evidence the air is cold or my pain has an external cause or the sound is coming from external noise.

I can put the two pieces of evidence together, the external evidence and the internal sensation and come to a valid conclusion about the evidence. I cannot draw a conclusion about external things based in internal sensations alone.

But you have continued to ignore my comments because they don't fit your unsupported conclusions that feeling one's inner god is evidence of an external god.
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Old 19th December 2018, 01:35 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I will have to read that article again because I have the impression that it does not fit with your use of those terms. I may be wrong.
Not a may in it.
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Old 19th December 2018, 01:43 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
That statement is entirely devoid of content. It's as meaningless as the following empty statement:
"X exists but we can't possibly know anything about what X is."

Inserting the word 'God' in place of 'X' might give some people the warm fuzzies, but it says absolutely nothing at all. What is the take-home content of the statement "God exists but human reason cannot know what God is."?

Just what is it saying exists?

What is the difference between the following statements?

God exists, but human reason cannot know what God is.
Pazuzu exists, but human reason cannot know what Pazuzu is.
X exists, but human reason cannot know what X is.
Lzzrtgh exists, but human reason cannot know what Lzzrtgh is.

I suspect the only answer forthcoming will be that the first statement gives lots of people the warm fuzzies because it contains the word 'God' therefore something something, but all four statements are as empty and meaningless as each other.
One has tried to explain this many times but the likes of David and Tommy seem incapable of understanding the concept. But I think you have expressed it well so perhaps the 2107 time will be the one!
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Old 19th December 2018, 02:10 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I agree. But the right thing to do is to discuss an idea that is presented to us for debate without entering into any considerations other than its value of truth or falsity. The merit or appreciation that the opposite ideas deserve is nothing more than a personal matter in a philosophical debate. (Provided there are no moral consequences involved).
Since you edited the message, let me address the new text too: why? What's the POINT of a debate where logic and truth values don't matter? What would you learn from such a discussion, where it doesn't matter whether the argument is even valid (which it isn't, if it breaks out of an intensional context), much less SOUND?

Not to be confused with discussing hypothetical scenarios, where basically we agree to consider some premises or axioms as true for the scope of that exercise, but at least the logic from there has to be valid.

But even then, the key is in the first part: we CAN agree on whether we want to take, say, the comics as evidence to debate who'd win a fight between Batman and Deadpool. But there is no OBLIGATION to. There is no such thing as it being "the right thing to do" for any and every topic someone might put on the table. I don't have any imperative to agree to any discussion about what if Batman were psychic, nor to one about what if my imaginary cat were real, nor to one where what if someone is really hearing God's voice instead of needing medication. I might take part if it interests me, or not if not.

But when it doesn't even have to make sense? Why?
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Old 19th December 2018, 02:28 PM   #45
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Though you're replying to Mo, I feel like what you've said here is, finally, an appropriate response to the kinds of things Tommy says in here. And I also think if he answers it won't be satisfying. He seems to be doing his own thing and posting here just to see if anyone cares to grok it.
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Old 19th December 2018, 02:35 PM   #46
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But again, not to go back to this well, "It's all like, an opinion man and there are no facts" is a pretty popular viewpoint. Tommy and David aren't the only reality deniers on this board but the former's gibberish and the latter's word salad seem to be the only defense of it we get.

This happens every single "philosophy" thread. Plenty of people advance the "reality isn't real" opinion in more sideways, oblique ways but then the Philoso-babble Ying and Yang twins drown them out and we never get to address them because these two act as lighting rods soaking up all the criticism so nobody else has to deal with it.

Where's all the other "Science can only answer a very narrow range of question" opinions? Tommy and David aren't alone.
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Old 20th December 2018, 01:11 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The first one.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I will have to read that article again because I have the impression that it does not fit with your use of those terms. I may be wrong.
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Not much to figure out, actually, since both say the same. Just the dictionary has the more concise, dictionary style version, the other has the long philosophy course version. Plus the dictionary page points at the intensional logic if one just scrolls down.

So the question was nonsense, but I'm willing to cut him some slack, if he's not familiar with the domain. I'd probably get confused the first time too.
I'm sorry but you haven't understood what intension and extension are. These concepts have nothing to do with outside existence. They are two semantic concepts. Given a word or concept, intension refers to the meaning and extension, to the objects it designates (also called reference). But here the objective existence of things does not intervene. Designated objects can be ideal. The concept or meaning of "god" is "supernatural entity of extraordinary power" (intension) and the referents, Zeus, Yahweh, Jesus Christ, Allah, etc. (extension). Of course, these referents doesn't exist. "Object" is used here as "reference". The concept of extension also applies to logic as the quantity of a judgment: all, some, one. Nor does it have anything to do with what we are debating.

That's why I would ask you not to complicate things and to explain what you meant without using terms you don't know or use in a personal way. Thank you.
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Old 20th December 2018, 01:25 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
IOW, if you don't agree with me I'm not engaging seriously.

I addressed this, you ignored it: One's interpretation of one's sensation/feeling/whatever is not evidence. The sensation/feeling/whatever is the evidence. The conclusion is not evidence.

Not to be conflated with known sensory interpretations. I know when I feel cold or pain or hear a sound. But none of those are evidence the air is cold or my pain has an external cause or the sound is coming from external noise.

I can put the two pieces of evidence together, the external evidence and the internal sensation and come to a valid conclusion about the evidence. I cannot draw a conclusion about external things based in internal sensations alone.

But you have continued to ignore my comments because they don't fit your unsupported conclusions that feeling one's inner god is evidence of an external god.
I'm sorry I missed some of your comments. There is a lot of racking in this thread and I may have missed it.

You and I agree that a feeling is not evidence of something external. But not a Pascalian. And if we have to argue with him we will have to sharpen our wits.

I don't like to play the devil's advocate but a Pascalian could argue against you that your knowledge is also based on sensations. You distinguish between sensations and illusions according to certain rules. He would try to place feelings as different sensations. For example.

And don't try to convince me that it's not true. It would be a matter of convincing him and giving reasons. That cannot be done scientifically, even though science can help, because it is a philosophical debate. This is my point.
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Old 20th December 2018, 01:28 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I'm sorry but you haven't understood what intension and extension are. These concepts have nothing to do with outside existence. They are two semantic concepts. Given a word or concept, intension refers to the meaning and extension, to the objects it designates (also called reference). But here the objective existence of things does not intervene. Designated objects can be ideal. The concept or meaning of "god" is "supernatural entity of extraordinary power" (intension) and the referents, Zeus, Yahweh, Jesus Christ, Allah, etc. (extension). Of course, these referents doesn't exist. "Object" is used here as "reference". The concept of extension also applies to logic as the quantity of a judgment: all, some, one. Nor does it have anything to do with what we are debating.



That's why I would ask you not to complicate things and to explain what you meant without using terms you don't know or use in a personal way. Thank you.
This is a Poe right?
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Old 20th December 2018, 01:33 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
That statement is entirely devoid of content. It's as meaningless as the following empty statement:
"X exists but we can't possibly know anything about what X is."
In vain do the schools tell us that God is infinite negatively and not privatively —“formaliter et non materialiter,” that He is the first act, the middle, and the last — that He is everywhere without being in any place; a hundred pages of commentaries on definitions like these cannot give us the smallest light. We have no steps whereby to arrive at such knowledge.

We feel that we are under the hand of an invisible being; this is all; we cannot advance one step farther. It is mad temerity to seek to divine what this being is — whether he is extended or not, whether he is in one place or not, how he exists, or how he operates. (Voltaire: Dictionary of Philosophy, "God")
I don't see any contradiction in saying that I've heard a noise and I don't know what it is exactly. It's a kind of feeling that we get very often.
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Old 20th December 2018, 01:55 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Since you edited the message, let me address the new text too: why? What's the POINT of a debate where logic and truth values don't matter? What would you learn from such a discussion, where it doesn't matter whether the argument is even valid (which it isn't, if it breaks out of an intensional context), much less SOUND?

Not to be confused with discussing hypothetical scenarios, where basically we agree to consider some premises or axioms as true for the scope of that exercise, but at least the logic from there has to be valid.

But even then, the key is in the first part: we CAN agree on whether we want to take, say, the comics as evidence to debate who'd win a fight between Batman and Deadpool. But there is no OBLIGATION to. There is no such thing as it being "the right thing to do" for any and every topic someone might put on the table. I don't have any imperative to agree to any discussion about what if Batman were psychic, nor to one about what if my imaginary cat were real, nor to one where what if someone is really hearing God's voice instead of needing medication. I might take part if it interests me, or not if not.

But when it doesn't even have to make sense? Why?
It is clear that I have expressed myself badly because what I am saying is that in the debate on the existence of God one must be only concerned about whether the arguments are logical and true, leaving aside the qualifications that we attribute to adversaries.

In Spain we say not to add fuel to the fire.

In the debate that we have been dragging on indefinitely it is impossible not to raise the hypothesis of a rival that defends the existence of gods because it is the subject. The Batman thing is beside the point. Nobody forces you to discuss comics.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:34 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I'm sorry but you haven't understood what intension and extension are. These concepts have nothing to do with outside existence. They are two semantic concepts. Given a word or concept, intension refers to the meaning and extension, to the objects it designates (also called reference). But here the objective existence of things does not intervene. Designated objects can be ideal. The concept or meaning of "god" is "supernatural entity of extraordinary power" (intension) and the referents, Zeus, Yahweh, Jesus Christ, Allah, etc. (extension). Of course, these referents doesn't exist. "Object" is used here as "reference". The concept of extension also applies to logic as the quantity of a judgment: all, some, one. Nor does it have anything to do with what we are debating.

That's why I would ask you not to complicate things and to explain what you meant without using terms you don't know or use in a personal way. Thank you.
Actually, it seems to me like YOU haven't yet understood it.

Yes, intension refers to the meaning, and yes, it has nothing to do with whether something exists or not (Superman from my example also doesn't exist). BUT the point is that each person can have a different meaning to it, including different behaviours, attributes, etc. And yes, whether they think it exists or not. That's the intensional context.

And that's WHY when you add "X thinks", "X says", etc, you automatically have an intensional context. Which, really, even the text you linked (and presumably read) tells you.

And the point is that you can't really mix the two in an argument.

To use a less comic-book entity as an example, the text you linked gives the example of the morning star and the evening star right at the start. Well, nowadays we know that both are Venus, but in ancient times they were thought to be different stars. The Greeks for example called the evening star Hesperus, and the morning star Phosphorus or Heosphoros. And basically what you can't do is something like this:

P1: X thought you can't see Hesperus in the morning.
P2: Hesperus is Venus.
P3: Venus is Phosphorus.
therefore
C: X thought you can't see Phosphorus in the morning.

Actually, if X lived in those times and saw those as different stars, as illustrated in P1, he most certainly would have thought that you jolly well CAN see Phosphorus in the morning. Essentially what we just did is an ad-absurdum on that mixed mode of reasoning across context borders.

Why is that relevant to our talk?

Well, because God also has different meanings and thus attributes and behaviours to different people. E.g., that it talks to them. That's their own intensional context.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:36 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It is clear that I have expressed myself badly because what I am saying is that in the debate on the existence of God one must be only concerned about whether the arguments are logical and true, leaving aside the qualifications that we attribute to adversaries.
Well, it seems I may have mis-read, so my apologies. That said, rest assured that I'm only interested in whether an argument is SOUND. That is it's only value that is interesting.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:59 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
In vain do the schools tell us that God is infinite negatively and not privatively —“formaliter et non materialiter,” that He is the first act, the middle, and the last — that He is everywhere without being in any place; a hundred pages of commentaries on definitions like these cannot give us the smallest light. We have no steps whereby to arrive at such knowledge.

We feel that we are under the hand of an invisible being; this is all; we cannot advance one step farther. It is mad temerity to seek to divine what this being is — whether he is extended or not, whether he is in one place or not, how he exists, or how he operates. (Voltaire: Dictionary of Philosophy, "God")
I don't see any contradiction in saying that I've heard a noise and I don't know what it is exactly. It's a kind of feeling that we get very often.
The idea isn't even originating from Voltaire, nor particularly an attribute of Deism. In fact, you'll find it in the very theistic writings of Philo of Alexandria. He builds up the God's Logos to an anthropomorphic second deity, because we can't possibly comprehend God.

Hell, it's even in Paul's 1 Corinthians on the first page. Paraphrased, ah, the wise men say it's stupid, but even God's stupid is too smart for them. So I don't see how something that's even in the Bible could be considered an attribute of Deism.

It's really just a standard retreat in the face of increasing evidence that god doesn't really make any sense. "Ah, but see, it's your mortal mind can't make sense of it." Some retreat all the way to deism, some just dig their trenches and put up their barricades half way across theism, and some just really fake it, in that THEY can but YOU can't.


That said, I am more like talking about modern deism, where such traces left at creation are actually explained by science instead of being traces of God. In fact, where we have found no such traces that can't be explained by science.

Sure, in Voltaire's time it may have seemed that this or that phenomenon is evidence of a divine creator. I mean, a contemporary is Newton who basically gave up on trying to solve why the planet orbits are stable, and said it was such evidence of a creator God. I can't completely fault people BACK THEN, who were't even as big geniuses as Newton, for finding such unexplainable phenomena and thinking, "that's because GOD." Sure, they didn't know any better.

My issue, and I should have probably qualified it better, is with deists in the 21st century. Their non-intervening non-revealed God doesn't have such excuses. Nor is it an excuse to cite 17'th century texts as their reason to believe in one. Turning back the clock by 4 centuries and pretending that all the knowledge in the meantime didn't happen is just stupid.

It's in fact as stupid as still believing the miasma or humour imbalance theories of disease, because one can find some old texts from way back when that was the peak of medical knowledge.
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Old 21st December 2018, 12:07 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Why is that relevant to our talk?

Well, because God also has different meanings and thus attributes and behaviours to different people. E.g., that it talks to them. That's their own intensional context.
Well, I understand this and it seems to me to be an argument against those who pretend that their feelings are a test of their faith. But some of them, like Voltaire, may counterargument by saying that the diversity of gods is due to accidental (historical) causes, while belief in a god is natural.
I insist that these reasons do not convince me. I do not try to discuss them. What I am trying to demonstrate here is that they imply a debate that is not scientific, but philosophical.
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Old 21st December 2018, 12:20 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It's in fact as stupid as still believing the miasma or humour imbalance theories of disease, because one can find some old texts from way back when that was the peak of medical knowledge.
I don't know any 21st century deist, but I wouldn't call the deists of previous centuries stupid. I think that the theories of God's silence or incomprehensibility reflect a kind of existential anguish (like Kierkegaard) or an attempt to appease it (like Voltaire, who said that every time he thought about the problem of evil his stomach hurt). But I don't think "stupid" is a suitable word for Kierkegaard or Voltaire. Let's say that his way of reasoning deviates at one point and goes down paths other than ours. And that we don't think that they face the problem that overwhelms them --and sometimes us-- with courage or lucidity.
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Old 21st December 2018, 01:19 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I'm sorry I missed some of your comments. There is a lot of racking in this thread and I may have missed it.

You and I agree that a feeling is not evidence of something external. But not a Pascalian. And if we have to argue with him we will have to sharpen our wits.

I don't like to play the devil's advocate but a Pascalian could argue against you that your knowledge is also based on sensations. You distinguish between sensations and illusions according to certain rules. He would try to place feelings as different sensations. For example.

And don't try to convince me that it's not true. It would be a matter of convincing him and giving reasons. That cannot be done scientifically, even though science can help, because it is a philosophical debate. This is my point.


Sorry, not buying your name dropping crap any more than I buy Pascal's wager which I find quite ignorant if you think about it. Believe in a fantasy just in case it might be real? You think this man who cannot see what he misses out on in real life, who can only see an imaginary heaven and a hell that he fears not believing in, is someone whose philosophy is worth listening to?

I certainly don't.
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Old 21st December 2018, 01:23 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Well, I understand this and it seems to me to be an argument against those who pretend that their feelings are a test of their faith. But some of them, like Voltaire, may counterargument by saying that the diversity of gods is due to accidental (historical) causes, while belief in a god is natural.
I insist that these reasons do not convince me. I do not try to discuss them. What I am trying to demonstrate here is that they imply a debate that is not scientific, but philosophical.
Actually, I was just saying that what some person feels is not really an argument for another person. That's where the different intensional contexts were coming in. And even basic intension, really. What one person calls the voice of God, I might call a hallucination, for example.

It doesn't prove that God doesn't exist, mind you, and yes intension isn't about whether it exists or not. Just, unless we find stuff that's shared in both my and their contexts to base it on, it doesn't make their argument particularly good.

Ideally we would have some verifiable and preferably repeatable data, like, you know, science requires. If the behaviour or attribute needing explanation exists only in someone's beliefs, well, that's in their context only. Another guy may feel or believe something entirely different. But if I can test that for example, yep, the evening star and the morning star fit the same equation, then we have something to talk about.

Is all I was saying, really.
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Old 21st December 2018, 01:28 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't know any 21st century deist, but I wouldn't call the deists of previous centuries stupid. I think that the theories of God's silence or incomprehensibility reflect a kind of existential anguish (like Kierkegaard) or an attempt to appease it (like Voltaire, who said that every time he thought about the problem of evil his stomach hurt). But I don't think "stupid" is a suitable word for Kierkegaard or Voltaire. Let's say that his way of reasoning deviates at one point and goes down paths other than ours. And that we don't think that they face the problem that overwhelms them --and sometimes us-- with courage or lucidity.
Well, as I was explicitly saying, I wouldn't call the people BACK THEN stupid. Sure, in Voltaire's time there was enough stuff that couldn't be explained, and even very smart people like Newton in the same century thought that it was evidence of God, because they had no other explanation. Sure, I'll give them a pass.

But we actually did have at least one professed deist on the board in the 21st century, plus the argument about a non-intervening god still DOES pop up now and then. And all I'm saying is that nowadays that excuse doesn't apply any more. What Voltaire or Newton didn't know back then, and thus attributed to God, is no longer the case today. Today those still proposing a creator non-intervening God, just raise the question: well, how do they know about that god, then? WHAT phenomenon points to it? For Newton, for example, it was that the planet orbits are stable, but in the meantime that's no longer a sign of God. In fact we know they can't be anything but stable. So what is the evidence that needs such a god as explanation nowadays?
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Old 21st December 2018, 10:03 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
. . . Today those still proposing a creator non-intervening God, just raise the question: well, how do they know about that god, then? WHAT phenomenon points to it? For Newton, for example, it was that the planet orbits are stable, but in the meantime that's no longer a sign of God. In fact we know they can't be anything but stable. So what is the evidence that needs such a god as explanation nowadays?
On paper, as long as there is a reality and the notion of a creator / sustainer of said reality has utility - there will be those claiming there is a god. Even if that 'creator' is found to be a quivering QM field or whatever - both science and religion can and will claim it.
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Old 21st December 2018, 10:17 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
On paper, as long as there is a reality and the notion of a creator / sustainer of said reality has utility - there will be those claiming there is a god. Even if that 'creator' is found to be a quivering QM field or whatever - both science and religion can and will claim it.
Gibberish, false equivocation, and then more gibberish.
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Old 21st December 2018, 10:54 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Gibberish, false equivocation, and then more gibberish.
more hillarity from JoeM - exhausting as well
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Old 22nd December 2018, 12:53 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
On paper, as long as there is a reality and the notion of a creator / sustainer of said reality has utility - there will be those claiming there is a god. Even if that 'creator' is found to be a quivering QM field or whatever - both science and religion can and will claim it.
Well, I don't think anyone would call a QM field a god, unless it turns out to be sentient somehow (e.g., a Boltzmann brain.) More accurately, both will claim a CAUSE. For one it's a god, for the other, yeah, it could well be a quivering QM field.

The difference is that science will show the evidence for that quivering QM field, and in the process give some useful information about how the world works and how we can use that. E.g., GR is one reason why your GPS works, while QM is all around why you have a computer to write that on.

Meanwhile religion just goes "god did it", doesn't even touch any usable "how?" questions, and it leaves you with exactly 0 useful predictions to work with. There are exactly 0 computers designed based on how much divine intervention it takes for a transistor to switch.

Hell, religion bats pretty much zero even for its moral claims across history. Which is kinda funny for something that now claims magisterium over that domain. It's like giving Pixie Of Key magisterium over physics

So, yes, humans will always want to know how and why it all started, and will be looking for answers, but one of those gives some useful answers, while the other doesn't even answer the right questions. You know, the "how?" and "why?".
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Old 22nd December 2018, 01:54 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, as I was explicitly saying, I wouldn't call the people BACK THEN stupid. Sure, in Voltaire's time there was enough stuff that couldn't be explained, and even very smart people like Newton in the same century thought that it was evidence of God, because they had no other explanation. Sure, I'll give them a pass.

But we actually did have at least one professed deist on the board in the 21st century, plus the argument about a non-intervening god still DOES pop up now and then. And all I'm saying is that nowadays that excuse doesn't apply any more. What Voltaire or Newton didn't know back then, and thus attributed to God, is no longer the case today. Today those still proposing a creator non-intervening God, just raise the question: well, how do they know about that god, then? WHAT phenomenon points to it? For Newton, for example, it was that the planet orbits are stable, but in the meantime that's no longer a sign of God. In fact we know they can't be anything but stable. So what is the evidence that needs such a god as explanation nowadays?
The only 21st century deist I know who deserves my consideration is Antony Flew. I'm going to take a look at his latest book to get an idea of his arguments.
If you don't mind, I postpone this debate until I have an idea.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 02:12 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The only 21st century deist I know who deserves my consideration is Antony Flew. I'm going to take a look at his latest book to get an idea of his arguments.
If you don't mind, I postpone this debate until I have an idea.
An original one, or...?
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Old 22nd December 2018, 03:10 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The only 21st century deist I know who deserves my consideration is Antony Flew. I'm going to take a look at his latest book to get an idea of his arguments.
If you don't mind, I postpone this debate until I have an idea.
Well, I'm not particularly talking about reputable philosophers here, mind you. It seems less popular among philosophers and more among the random masses than it was way back in Voltaire's time.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 03:18 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, I'm not particularly talking about reputable philosophers here, mind you. It seems less popular among philosophers and more among the random masses than it was way back in Voltaire's time.
I know some people who say deism comes closest to describing their religious beliefs or religious suspicions. "It just feels correct" is their only real argument. The most hard-core deist I ever knew was basically just arguing the "Argument from Incredulity" fallacy - she overtly said a universe with no afterlife or justice was just too awful to seriously contemplate. It is kind of brutal, so I just let it go, since she was a friend.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 08:53 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I know some people who say deism comes closest to describing their religious beliefs or religious suspicions. "It just feels correct" is their only real argument. The most hard-core deist I ever knew was basically just arguing the "Argument from Incredulity" fallacy - she overtly said a universe with no afterlife or justice was just too awful to seriously contemplate. It is kind of brutal, so I just let it go, since she was a friend.
I think this is at the root of deism and much of the philosophical tap-dancing to try and keep the notion of a god alive. On the one hand actual religions are a confused and contradictory mess, and how exactly would you distinguish the right one anyway? On the other hand the idea that your existence will end one day is just incomprehensible, so Deism offers a way out of the dilemma by removing the need to follow any particular set of beliefs or rules.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 09:10 AM   #69
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Lol! Over his life my dad was in five one true churches. Each one apocalyptic and exclusive to just a small number of souls making it to glory. The early ones were racist and the last a black Jewish like cult. An odd dream for an old white guy. He now has bad dementia but I hope he makes it anyway. To wherever he hoped to go.

I do not know if it is a gift or a curse to be able to accept the future is unknown . It does eliminate the fear of ' what is next ' or one NEEDING to find something/anything to fill that hole when your clock stops. I see it as just the next step of this great adventure called life.
Bring it on. We made it this far so why not expect we can do more?
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Old 24th December 2018, 12:19 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The only 21st century deist I know who deserves my consideration is Antony Flew. I'm going to take a look at his latest book to get an idea of his arguments.
If you don't mind, I postpone this debate until I have an idea.
Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
An original one, or...?
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, I'm not particularly talking about reputable philosophers here, mind you. It seems less popular among philosophers and more among the random masses than it was way back in Voltaire's time.
I've read the first part of Flew/Varghese's book. It repeats old things like the design argument but worse said. Something pathetic.

Besides, he is not defending deism, which is what I was looking for, but a kind of abstract theism.

A disappointment.
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Old 24th December 2018, 05:20 AM   #71
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I must confess I haven't read it myself, but it's not unexpected. As I was saying, the "evidence of god" has been shrinking, so I didn't really expect anyone to have more than Kalam these days.

There was a LOT that couldn't be explained in Aquinas's time, a lot less in Voltaire's time, and pretty much none today. E.g., Aquinas's "unmoved mover" was a reasonable position back in the 13'th century, but by the 17'th the best argument from the planet orbits was that someone must have started them in a way that's improbably stable, but it was hands off from there. Fast forward a century, and even their being stable isn't an argument any more, just that they kinda wobble when they shouldn't. Fast forward to early 20'th century, and we knew both how the planets got there and why there's an orbital precession, without needing any gods.

So, yeah, I didn't expect anyone with any claim to being an intellectual to really have anything else than Kalam by now. The less intellectual, of course, can and occasionally do even still rehash Aquinas and pretend that we're still at that level of knowledge about the planets. But I'd expect that that wouldn't get one too far as a philosopher these days, even in postmodernism.
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Old 24th December 2018, 12:50 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I must confess I haven't read it myself, but it's not unexpected. As I was saying, the "evidence of god" has been shrinking, so I didn't really expect anyone to have more than Kalam these days.

There was a LOT that couldn't be explained in Aquinas's time, a lot less in Voltaire's time, and pretty much none today. E.g., Aquinas's "unmoved mover" was a reasonable position back in the 13'th century, but by the 17'th the best argument from the planet orbits was that someone must have started them in a way that's improbably stable, but it was hands off from there. Fast forward a century, and even their being stable isn't an argument any more, just that they kinda wobble when they shouldn't. Fast forward to early 20'th century, and we knew both how the planets got there and why there's an orbital precession, without needing any gods.

So, yeah, I didn't expect anyone with any claim to being an intellectual to really have anything else than Kalam by now. The less intellectual, of course, can and occasionally do even still rehash Aquinas and pretend that we're still at that level of knowledge about the planets. But I'd expect that that wouldn't get one too far as a philosopher these days, even in postmodernism.
The Big Bang seems to be the ultimate fallback position for Theists/Deists. Since science can't describe what happened 'before' the Big Bang its the perfect refuge, so long as you can ignore the fact that before isn't necessarily a meaningful concept in relation to the Big Bang.
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Old 24th December 2018, 01:16 PM   #73
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Indeed. That's why I meant when I said that they're more or less reduced to the Kalam argument.
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Old 24th December 2018, 01:26 PM   #74
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Again the Deist fallacy, if a god initiated things and now doesn't interact with the Universe:
no one would know about such a god
such a god would be irrelevant
and it doesn't really answer anything about the BB, it merely adds a meaningless layer
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Old 24th December 2018, 01:57 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
The Big Bang seems to be the ultimate fallback position for Theists/Deists. Since science can't describe what happened 'before' the Big Bang its the perfect refuge, so long as you can ignore the fact that before isn't necessarily a meaningful concept in relation to the Big Bang.
Every position has been the ultimate fallback position for theist/deist.

It's been made abundantly clear that "God of the Gaps" is going to keep getting used even on Gaps that have already been filled in.

I mean at this point intellectual defenses for God have been reduced to "What if there's some undefined thing doing undefined things via undefined methods in a special pocket universe that can never interact with our universe..."

If that's "Doesn't exist" I don't know what is.

The only Gap left is the gap between the argument they are making and the God they are actually trying to sneak back into the discussion.

We've actually let them make a really dishonest shift in their discussion and haven't properly called them on it. The gaps they are claiming we need God to fill in don't exist anymore.

I shouldn't be as surprised as I am that "Distinction without Difference" is the last gap the God of the Gaps lives in.
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Old 24th December 2018, 04:36 PM   #76
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Actually, personally I'd say it's more like "fully irrelevant, then" and also "then we don't know anything about it" than "doesn't exist."

I'd also point out that this unknown and undefined god is not the god that most theists worship. I mean, it's a pretty useless god all around, innit? It's not going to bring you much comfort to pray that, say, your sick kid gets better, if you've REALLY accepted that your god doesn't DO that kind of intervention. Nor any other kind, really.

In fact, it's pretty useless even as a hope for an afterlife or post-mortem justice like kellyb's friend, since you don't actually know if such a god even has an afterlife, nor what he wants you to do to get your big prize.

You could assume he wants you to be "good," sure. But... "good" by what rules? Odin for example only wanted you to die fearlessly, preferably in battle for example, but any other death goes. That's what he considers "good". So kellyb's friend will PROBABLY not make the list for Odin, while some murderer who dies in a shootout with the cops would.

And the space what gods could be imagined -- and if you can't disprove one, you can't disprove any of them -- is immense. The one true creator God could be, for example, Gaylord The Gay Lord, who'll let you into his heaven only if you're, you guessed, FABULOUSLY gay. If he never revealed himself to anyone, how would you know?

Pretty useless god all around, as I was saying.
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Old 25th December 2018, 04:36 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I must confess I haven't read it myself, but it's not unexpected. As I was saying, the "evidence of god" has been shrinking, so I didn't really expect anyone to have more than Kalam these days.

There was a LOT that couldn't be explained in Aquinas's time, a lot less in Voltaire's time, and pretty much none today. E.g., Aquinas's "unmoved mover" was a reasonable position back in the 13'th century, but by the 17'th the best argument from the planet orbits was that someone must have started them in a way that's improbably stable, but it was hands off from there.
Aristotle's theory of prime movers or unmover movers (they were more than one) has little to do with the planets moving this way or another. The immutability of the sidereal movements was not deduced from the concept of motionless motor but from the almost divine nature of the supralunar world. It is something different.

I have heard one of my teachers (quite old) defend the argument of the Immobile Motor (Aquino) in the middle of the 20th century. And I'm sure he knew that planets are not perfect bodies. It had become a metaphysical theory, not an astronomical one. A well nknow effect of modern criticism.

The theory lost its strength with the crisis of the Catholic Church and metaphysics in Europe and became something like an historical issue.

I suppose it would continue in some Catholic universities and diocesan seminaries. And Internet, of course.

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Old 25th December 2018, 12:24 PM   #78
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Oh, I meant the Aquinas version. In his version there was just one mover that pushed all planets, and it was God.
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