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Old 13th March 2019, 03:11 AM   #881
David Mo
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The "Why I'm not a Christian" speech? Fair points, but hardly any major points that the atheists on the board didn't already know. I mean, (...)
And honestly, I don't think Russel was the first to figure that out either.
I don't care if you knew and if Russell is versioning an old argument (of course he did).
I do care that you realize that it is a powerful argument against the existence of God and that it is not a scientific statement.
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Old 13th March 2019, 03:14 AM   #882
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post

As I told you, I cannot reproduce all this pile of writings. It would occupy too much time and space. Many of my books are in Spanish or French and I am not very good at translating. But since there are some of them that can be found digitalized I will give you a sample of what I want to say, and we can discuss it if you want.



" When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience has been able to pro duce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku-Klux-Klan or the Fascists?
(…)
The world, we are told, was created by a God who is both good and omnipotent. Before He created the world He foresaw all the pain and misery that it would contain; He is therefore responsible for all of it. It is useless to argue that the pain in the world is due to sin. In the first place, this is not true; it is not sin that causes rivers to overflow their banks or volcanoes to erupt. But even if it were true, it would make no difference. If I were going to beget a child knowing that the child was going to be a homicidal maniac, I should be responsible for his crimes. If God knew in advance the sins of which man would be guilty, He was clearly responsible for all the consequences of those sins when He decided to create man. The usual Christian argument is that the suffering in the world is a purification for sin, and is therefore a good thing. This argument is, of course, only a rationalisation of sadism; but in any case it is a very poor argument. I would invite any Christian to accompany me to the children’s ward of a hospital, to watch the suffering that is there being endured, and then to persist in the assertion that those children are so morally abandoned as to deserve what they are suffering. In order tobring himself to say this, a man must destroy in himself all feelings of mercy and compassion. He must, in short, make himself as cruel as the God in whom he believes. No man who believes that all is for the best in this suffering world can keep his ethical values unimpaired, since he is always having to find excuses for pain and misery. "
(From Bertrand Russell:*Why I am not a Christan.)


The above from Bertrand Russell does not “show” that God does not exist.

All that quote contains are reasons why Bertrand Russell does not believe God exists. In fact, all it does is give Russell's reasons for why he finds the claims of evidence from theists to be unconvincing.

All atheists, including all those here, can give, and have given, all those same sort of reasons and many more, inc. many far more robust and detailed reasons for why they personally do not believe God exists … but none of that actually amounts to “Showing” that God does not exist.

The long pre-existing theist claim (from thousands of years before Russell) was & is that “God exists”; what you said was that philosophical wrings show that theist claim is untrue - they show that God does NOT exist. Russell's quote does not show any such thing at all. It's merely Russell giving his reasons for why he does not believe that theist claims of evidence for God are convincing to him.
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Old 13th March 2019, 03:18 AM   #883
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Russell certainly debunked a number of the arguments that had historically been put forth by the Catholic Church as proof of God and did indeed state his lack of belief in Christianity and backed such up just fine by taking aim at the premises. Off the top of my head, I'm not aware of any specific arguments of his against gods in general, though.
This is an argument against the existence of the god of monotheistic religions. For example, against the god of Dostoevsky. It is difficult to give an argument of this power for religions that think that gods did not make the world, that gods are not omnipotent, or that gods are evil. We should look for other specific ones, but I sincerely don't think that anyone cares much about that kind of beliefs nowadays.

In any case, I hope you realize that this is not a scientific argument, nor is it based on sociology, or biology, or physics, or anything like that.
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Old 13th March 2019, 03:20 AM   #884
Aridas
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Science (real science) does not rely on or use philosophy (unless you claim all conscious thinking has to be called "philosophy", but as I think we both agree, in that case the description "philosophy" is so broad as to be trivial to the point of being meaningless & without any real value).
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, I'm saying "yes it does", "yes" and respectively "yes" on the above.
I'm going to partially agree with HansMustermann here. Science (real science) rests on and requires its philosophical foundation for a few reasons, so "yes it does." Like it or not, that's the way it is. I quite disagree on the second part, though. To borrow from wikipedia for ease's sake -

Quote:
Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom") is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.
Not all thought counts as philosophy by a long shot, though much can be included.

With that said, yes, if you stretch philosophy to include everything, it would, of course, become effectively worthless.
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Old 13th March 2019, 03:24 AM   #885
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post

these 12 or more philosophical statements that you claim “show God does not exist”? …

… where are the philosophical statements David? You've been asked at least 6 times now! …
The highlighted phrase is rigorously false. I will not answer until you quote exactly my own words, not yours.

You really don't see any difference between?:

...12 or more philosophical statements that ...

...more than a dozen philosophical writings that ...

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Old 13th March 2019, 03:30 AM   #886
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
The long pre-existing theist claim (from thousands of years before Russell) was & is that “God exists”; what you said was that philosophical wrings show that theist claim is untrue - they show that God does NOT exist. Russell's quote does not show any such thing at all. It's merely Russell giving his reasons for why he does not believe that theist claims of evidence for God are convincing to him.
Well, there are already several of us here who find those reasons convincing. Not you? Why?
What other reason that God does not exist is more convincing to you than this one?
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Old 13th March 2019, 03:33 AM   #887
Aridas
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
This is an argument against the existence of the god of monotheistic religions.
No. The criticisms that aren't simply demonstrating that those particular arguments for god simply fail are very specific to Christianity. Bits of it can be generalized to other Abrahamic religions, but not really to other monotheistic religions and certainly not to theism as a whole.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
In any case, I hope you realize that this is not a scientific argument, nor is it based on sociology, or biology, or physics, or anything like that.
Quite obviously. But then, as I've poked at before, logic is likely the most important and foundational of the contributions that philosophy has made.
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Old 13th March 2019, 03:44 AM   #888
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Well, there are already several of us here who find those reasons convincing. Not you? Why?
What other reason that God does not exist is more convincing to you than this one?
You misread that. IanS wasn't saying that the reasons weren't convincing there. Rather, he stated that you were mischaracterizing what Russell said. Which is... true. Russell refuted various arguments for the existence of a god and he refuted Christianity by speaking a bit on foundational flaws that play into his disbelief of its validity. He does not actually address the more abstract question of whether any god exists or can exist, he just establishes that the positive claims for the Christian God's existence fail when scrutinized.
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Old 13th March 2019, 03:50 AM   #889
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't care if you knew and if Russell is versioning an old argument (of course he did).
I do care that you realize that it is a powerful argument against the existence of God and that it is not a scientific statement.
Actually, no, not really. It's saying that the main arguments for god aren't particularly good, but that's not even remotely the same as showing there is no God.

None of the arguments in that speech exclude God (or for that matter gods) per se, they just say that God is an unnecessary entity, or sometimes not even that if you pay attention.

E.g., his doing his own version of Euthyphro on Kant's moral argument doesn't say there CAN'T be a god that is bound to do good, it say it's unnecessary. And, more importantly, something being good just because God says so isn't even excluded that way, it's just an inconvenient position for specifically Christian theologians. A god being a bit of an arbitrary dick certainly wouldn't have been even news for the Jews, and it certainly was the norm for ancient polytheists. The original Euthyphro was BASED on each god having his own arbitrary ideas of what's good.

So that's one alternative that Russel does not in fact exclude. He just doesn't need to when talking about specifically Xianity.

E.g., and this is important, he only addresses the relatively recent (at historical scales) infatuation of the church with being able to prove God by reason alone.

To fully plug the hole, actually you need to go scientific method and particularly Occam's Razor.
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:03 AM   #890
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
This is an argument against the existence of the god of monotheistic religions. For example, against the god of Dostoevsky.
Actually, no, it's not. Note that Dostoevsky's moral argument (although it doesn't originate with him by a very long shot) doesn't rest on the ACTUAL EXISTENCE of god or Jesus or the immortality of the soul. It only makes claims about how you'd act if you do or don't BELIEVE in them.

It's a literal faith-in-faith argument, really.

As such, arguments about what OTHER reasons to believe in God don't add up, don't affect it at all.


Secondly, if you had actually read Russel's speech, you would have noted that he EXPLICITLY says he's only addressing Xianity. He's not even addressing the Islam, although it's equally monotheistic. He doesn't even mention stuff like Zoroastrianism, nor the Atenism of Akhenaten, nor the monolatry of Marduk in Mesopotamia, nor any other equally monotheistic religions.

Some of the arguments he makes might apply to some of those, but some can fail spectacularly if the apologists of those religions didn't in fact make some very specific claims. E.g., as I've mentioned before, if a religion has no problem with making something good or bad just because that's what their god arbitrarily likes, then Russel's refutation of Kant's moral argument falls flat.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It is difficult to give an argument of this power for religions that think that gods did not make the world, that gods are not omnipotent, or that gods are evil. We should look for other specific ones, but I sincerely don't think that anyone cares much about that kind of beliefs nowadays.
But then you haven't in fact disproven gods at all. You're just saying that those kinds of gods wouldn't have many worshippers, but that's a whole different issue.
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:22 AM   #891
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, I'm saying "yes it does", "yes" and respectively "yes" on the above.

You seem to operate on a definition of philosophy that excludes its subdomains. Actually it includes them.

And I wouldn't say it includes ALL conscious thought, but yea, if you think analytically about something, it's philosophy. Even if it's at the level of Butthead's "Why is it called taking a dump, when you're not taking it anywhere?"

Since you mentioned "even pets do it", yea, I'm even inclined to agree. Great grandma had a cat who caught mice three quarters of the year, but when grandma dropped by with me and my brother, she moved on to catching enough rats to feed all of us. And oh she made sure we knew it's for us. Every morning she'd line them up on the doorstep and strut around the house going "Mrrrh! Mrrrh!" You know, like they call their kittens to food. So yeah, that cat obviously thought about the problem of feeding the extra mouths, and came up with a solution.

And yes, that basically makes it meaningless when it comes to the value of any particular argument. That's what I keep telling you,

OK, well when you answer yes to the 2nd and 3rd questions, that makes a mockery of answering yes to the first question.

The first question which you answered “Yes” to, was whether or not science was actually philosophy because it involved conscious thinking (I think from memory that was the first question).

But the 2nd and 3rd questions which you also said “Yes” to, were (2) whether on that basis all thinking life-forms are practicing philosophy, and (3) whether or not that makes that definition of philosophy quite worthless …

… in which case it's quite worthless for you to answer “Yes” to the first question .

Example – if your budgerigar is actually a philosopher practicing philosophy all day long every day (because it's using conscious thought all the time), then all dinosaurs and earlier reptiles, and even the aquatic life before the first land animals, they were all philosophers too. In fact, since there may be no clear distinction between what the very first life forms were that had anything we could call “consciousness” vs. even the very first single-celled organisms, you'd have to include every living thing as quite possibly conscious and hence by that description/definition a “philosopher” that was using philosophy all day every day … that's a totally useless and worthless description/distinction/definition.

Science is not philosophy, because of the difference in the approach and methods it uses. Science relies heavily on physical experimental measurements and observations, whereas earlier philosophy did not. That difference makes one subject philosophy, and the other subject “science”.
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:26 AM   #892
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
I quite disagree on the second part, though. To borrow from wikipedia for ease's sake -



Not all thought counts as philosophy by a long shot, though much can be included.
The problem with such a definition is that it lists a few examples of what's included, but it's not actually excluding anything else or setting any boundaries. It's like if I said that "entomology is the study of insects like ladybugs, wasps, butterflies and ants." It doesn't say that praying mantises or bees are excluded just because they're not in the list of examples, and sure enough they're actually included too.

You'll note that even the Wiki page you linked doesn't take long before it gives even more examples, including politics and aesthetics.

The only somewhat arguable exclusion is that nowadays certain sub-domains are studied as separate disciplines, but I don't think that came about because anyone thought they're NOT philosophy any more.

And more importantly, philosophers themselves routinely ignore such boundaries. E.g., functionalism -- as in the school of philosophy of the mind -- quite OVERTLY trespasses upon the domain of neuroscience.
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:37 AM   #893
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
OK, well when you answer yes to the 2nd and 3rd questions, that makes a mockery of answering yes to the first question.

The first question which you answered “Yes” to, was whether or not science was actually philosophy because it involved conscious thinking (I think from memory that was the first question).

But the 2nd and 3rd questions which you also said “Yes” to, were (2) whether on that basis all thinking life-forms are practicing philosophy, and (3) whether or not that makes that definition of philosophy quite worthless …

… in which case it's quite worthless for you to answer “Yes” to the first question .
I still see no problem. All three can be true at the same time. I mean, granted, once I said "yes" to 2 and 3, then the "yes" to 1 doesn't really give you any extra information, but it's not a contradiction or anything.
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:54 AM   #894
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
No. The criticisms that aren't simply demonstrating that those particular arguments for god simply fail are very specific to Christianity. Bits of it can be generalized to other Abrahamic religions, but not really to other monotheistic religions and certainly not to theism as a whole.



Quite obviously. But then, as I've poked at before, logic is likely the most important and foundational of the contributions that philosophy has made.
Indeed, as I said above the argument is conclusive with regard to religions for which divinity is creator, omnipotent, omniscient and perfectly good. I think that encompasses the major monotheistic religions of today. As I said above, if someone wants to defend a god without these characteristics, we will have to look elsewhere.
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Old 13th March 2019, 04:59 AM   #895
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, no, not really. It's saying that the main arguments for god aren't particularly good, but that's not even remotely the same as showing there is no God.

None of the arguments in that speech exclude God (or for that matter gods) per se, they just say that God is an unnecessary entity, or sometimes not even that if you pay attention....

To fully plug the hole, actually you need to go scientific method and particularly Occam's Razor.
No. Russell's argument attacks the concept of god of Christianity (and others) because it is contradictory. See my previous comments.

Occam's razor is a philosophical concept intended to give a standard of knowledge (science included). Its controversial character demonstrates that it is philosophical. In any case, Occam's razor has nothing to do with Russell's argument that points to contradiction, not simplicity of theories.
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Old 13th March 2019, 05:01 AM   #896
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
I'm going to partially agree with HansMustermann here. Science (real science) rests on and requires its philosophical foundation for a few reasons, so "yes it does." Like it or not, that's the way it is. I quite disagree on the second part, though. To borrow from wikipedia for ease's sake -



Not all thought counts as philosophy by a long shot, though much can be included.

With that said, yes, if you stretch philosophy to include everything, it would, of course, become effectively worthless.

OK, well I'm pretty sure that in my first reply to Hans I did say that what we now call science, arose from people around the time of Galileo who were then described as "philosophers", but where some individuals including Galileo started to use different methods to acquire "knowledge and understanding" of what was really the truth of things in the world around them (ie they were aiming to find the "truth" by those new methods) ... so in that sense science came out of earlier philosophy ... and eventually some who were known as "philosophers" became known instead as "scientists" (because they were using methods not previously used much, if it all, by most earlier philosophers). That was a very important difference, because it's turned out that science produces answers that philosophy could never have even dreamed of … and there are now literally millions of such answers from science in such mind boggling detail and accuracy that its' almost incomprehensible even to other scientists … and almost all of that has also been of huge and direct benefit to all of mankind … whereas nothing like that had been achieved by any of earlier philosophy (or by any methods or practices of philosophy since) … so the difference is gigantic.

But I think there's barely a hairs breadth of real difference between you, Hans and I on this. So we should not make it seem like there's some major difference that we need to argue about.
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Old 13th March 2019, 05:13 AM   #897
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post

Not all thought counts as philosophy by a long shot, though much can be included.
The problem is that the concept of philosophy (like science) has undergone many changes throughout history. This has caused current philosophy to be divided into several branches that are very different from each other.
For example: ontology, cosmology, philosophy of science, philosophy of knowledge, semantics and philosophy of language, ethics, anthropology, logic and some others that I leave behind.
To give a unitary definition is difficult. Every definition would be too vague or exclusivist.
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Old 13th March 2019, 05:14 AM   #898
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I still see no problem. All three can be true at the same time. I mean, granted, once I said "yes" to 2 and 3, then the "yes" to 1 doesn't really give you any extra information, but it's not a contradiction or anything.

OK, well we have kicked the idea around for a bit now, and “I refer the honourable gentleman to the answer I gave a moment ago” (ie my last line of the reply to Aridas, namely that the distinction is so nebulous that it's not worth us appearing to argue over it) .
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Old 13th March 2019, 05:29 AM   #899
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Pretty much what I was saying all along, so I can only agree.
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Old 13th March 2019, 07:23 AM   #900
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The problem is that the concept of philosophy (like science) has undergone many changes throughout history. This has caused current philosophy to be divided into several branches that are very different from each other.
That sounds an awful lot like "Some ways of looking at the world have shown to to actually work and the ways that don't still want to pretend they are still on the same equal footing by pretending it actually matters that they all technically fall under a term so vague it's meaningless."

It's like someone sitting in their basement trying to make a perpetual motion machine claiming legitimacy because what they are doing is technically a type of engineering.
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Old 13th March 2019, 08:01 AM   #901
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That sounds an awful lot like "Some ways of looking at the world have shown to to actually work and the ways that don't still want to pretend they are still on the same equal footing by pretending it actually matters that they all technically fall under a term so vague it's meaningless."

It's like someone sitting in their basement trying to make a perpetual motion machine claiming legitimacy because what they are doing is technically a type of engineering.
No. That means that when you talk about philosophy you often need to clarify what philosophy you are talking about. "Philosophy does this or that," is often an inconcrete expression. Some philosophies -some branches of philosophy- do and others do not.
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Old 13th March 2019, 08:08 AM   #902
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If you have to clarify what type of philosophy for the term to matter anyway, what's the point? Just use the clarifying term.

You don't go into a McDonalds and order "food" and wait for them to ask you to clarify what kind of "food" you want, you just start with what kind of food you want because there's situation in which a person at a McDonalds is going to want generic "Food."
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Old 13th March 2019, 08:45 AM   #903
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
If you have to clarify what type of philosophy for the term to matter anyway, what's the point? Just use the clarifying term.
Apply the recipe to yourself.
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Old 13th March 2019, 11:47 AM   #904
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
OK, well I'm pretty sure that in my first reply to Hans I did say that what we now call science, arose from people around the time of Galileo who were then described as "philosophers", but where some individuals including Galileo started to use different methods to acquire "knowledge and understanding" of what was really the truth of things in the world around them (ie they were aiming to find the "truth" by those new methods) ... so in that sense science came out of earlier philosophy ... and eventually some who were known as "philosophers" became known instead as "scientists" (because they were using methods not previously used much, if it all, by most earlier philosophers). That was a very important difference, because it's turned out that science produces answers that philosophy could never have even dreamed of … and there are now literally millions of such answers from science in such mind boggling detail and accuracy that its' almost incomprehensible even to other scientists … and almost all of that has also been of huge and direct benefit to all of mankind … whereas nothing like that had been achieved by any of earlier philosophy (or by any methods or practices of philosophy since) … so the difference is gigantic.
To be clear, of course, the natural philosophers very much were dealing with evidence and seeking to gather more. That includes taking advantage of tools as they became available and creating more. The main fundamental difference between them and the scientists of today is the philosophical foundation that scientists work from, which has been quite demonstrated to be very effective and much more rigorous than standards that had been in place. The matter of tools and data that has since been gathered is superficial. Important in its own right, but a distraction to the specific point at hand here.

Originally Posted by IanS View Post
But I think there's barely a hairs breadth of real difference between you, Hans and I on this. So we should not make it seem like there's some major difference that we need to argue about.
Indeed. This is a disagreement about a relatively small thing here.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The problem is that the concept of philosophy (like science) has undergone many changes throughout history. This has caused current philosophy to be divided into several branches that are very different from each other.
For example: ontology, cosmology, philosophy of science, philosophy of knowledge, semantics and philosophy of language, ethics, anthropology, logic and some others that I leave behind.
To give a unitary definition is difficult. Every definition would be too vague or exclusivist.
It's been an umbrella term from the start. That's hardly a surprise.
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Old 13th March 2019, 01:13 PM   #905
MRC_Hans
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I am surprised that you now admit that the moral decision is ultimately determined by a reasoning that depends neither on biology nor on social norms and that science cannot justify.

But if you say so...

While we're at it, did you like Russell's argument against the existence of God?
I responded positively to this post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't give a damn who said it before and who says it now. If we agree, we agree.
Biology and culture sow the seeds of morality. Personal moral decision does the rest, that is, justification. There are three things in one: the moral act.

Or if you want:
Biology gives men the emotional basis of morality.
Culture also gives us the conceptual framework.
Morality gives us the keys to personal decision.
Now, before I write you off as a simple troll, please explain how your first post justifies you second, as quoted above.

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Old 13th March 2019, 02:17 PM   #906
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The highlighted phrase is rigorously false. I will not answer until you quote exactly my own words, not yours.

You really don't see any difference between?:

...12 or more philosophical statements that ...

...more than a dozen philosophical writings that ...


No, in the context of what we are discussing, I don't see any relevant difference between asking you for "philosophical statements" vs asking for "philosophical writings". And by the way in an earlier post number 832 you yourself had called them "philosophical arguments" (not "writings").

Whatever you call that quote from Russell, he is not giving an argument that actually "shows God does not exist". He's merely explaining why he thinks that the God claimed by theists as so loving and caring etc. is incompatible with such things as cruelty to children, tragic illnesses or natural disasters etc. That's only a set of opinions from Russell explaining why he thinks the claims of theists are wrong when they claim God is "all loving & all powerful" etc.

If that refutes or rejects anything, it's refuting, or actually just rejecting, only what theists have claimed about the character and capabilities of God.

It is certainly nowhere near "showing that God does not exist", as you had repeatedly claimed.

If people find Russell's arguments convincing as explanations of why God does not exist, then that's a matter of anyones personal opinion and their standards of what they will accept to be convincing as evidence. However, personally I think the discovery of evolution is far more convincing, because it shows that the central claim on which the entire belief in God was founded, ie that God was the explanation for the existence of Mankind as his special and entire purpose for universe, is untrue ... evolution shows that Mankind evolved from apes and was not created by a miracle from God.

If you don't believe that the discoveries from modern science, rather than the "writings" from more ancient philosophy, are the main reason for decreasing religious belief since the time of Galileo, through to the time of Newton, and then Darwin on to Einstein and Heisenberg and many more scientists with many more discoveries about the universe since Heisenberg, then I would say that (a) it's obvious that religious belief has declined as scientific discovery & scientific explanation has increased over that time, so I think there's an obvious correlation there, (b) when Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, many academics derided his discovery and he was widely mocked and made fun of precisely upon the fact that his theory lead to the inescapable conclusion that God had not made Mankind after all, and then (c) if you look at major polls amongst leading scientists over the last 20 or 30 years, asking if they believe in an intelligent God who created the universe, there is a very obvious disparity between what the scientists say about that belief vs. what the non-scientist population around them (ie in the same nation) say and believe about God.

I think it's inescapable that our increasing knowledge of science and how science has explained almost everything that was once claimed to be caused by miracles from God, has been a very big part of why religious belief has declined in more highly educated populations, and particularly amongst those more highly educated in core science.

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Old 13th March 2019, 03:05 PM   #907
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
It's been an umbrella term from the start. That's hardly a surprise.
I can somewhat see IanS's problem too, though.

The problem is that people can and will do the "nothingburger" (as Joe called it) parts that are left after you subtract the more rigorous parts, and then pretend that it shares the merits of those parts anyway. E.g., start yet another post-modernist "but what if reality isn't real" detour in other threads, but then pretend that

A) what they're doing is just as valuable as logic or science, because they're philosophy too, and

B) that it therefore gives any nonsense argument some value, because it's PHILOSOPHY.

Or, hell, just look at the present detour, and you'll see both in action.

Essentially at least on this board, it's nothing more than an excuse to do a glorified association fallacy. Whoever has an argument from the more rigorous parts, like actually have a scientific paper as their source, will just call it that. In fact, they'll not even call it science, they'll say WHICH science it's from. Whenever someone starts with saying it's philosophy, you know which parts they'll do, but then pretend that hey, it's as much philosophy as the guy citing a quantum mechanics paper, so it's good too, right?

Also, really B is the part I was getting at when saying that, yeah, "philosophy" as a general umbrella term is meaningless FOR THAT.
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Old 13th March 2019, 03:20 PM   #908
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I am using the term "proof" in the sense of evidence obtained through scientific means. It is a common use and one that many scientists use. It has nothing to do with its famous 100%. By the way, it is a concept of "proof" used by the creationist mob. It is obvious that in this sense you pretend that science gives proofs that refute belief in God.

.

Someone should have immediately called you out on the above - "proof" is most definitely not remotely the same thing as "evidence".

The "evidence" of something is the raw data or physical observations ... things such as fossils, numerical measurements etc. As you must actually know, science does not claim "proofs", but an actual "proof" is an explanation that is said to be completely unarguable i.e. a "certainty".

To take Darwin as an example ; his observation of differences in bird species constitutes his "evidence", his explanation for those differences was evolution ... that explanation of what evolution is, formed his "Theory" (ie his explanation for the observed evidence) ... it was not recoded to be, or claimed to be, a "proof" meaning literal certainty.
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Old 13th March 2019, 08:44 PM   #909
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I can somewhat see IanS's problem too, though.

The problem is that people can and will do the "nothingburger" (as Joe called it) parts that are left after you subtract the more rigorous parts, and then pretend that it shares the merits of those parts anyway. E.g., start yet another post-modernist "but what if reality isn't real" detour in other threads, but then pretend that

A) what they're doing is just as valuable as logic or science, because they're philosophy too, and

B) that it therefore gives any nonsense argument some value, because it's PHILOSOPHY.

Or, hell, just look at the present detour, and you'll see both in action.

Essentially at least on this board, it's nothing more than an excuse to do a glorified association fallacy. Whoever has an argument from the more rigorous parts, like actually have a scientific paper as their source, will just call it that. In fact, they'll not even call it science, they'll say WHICH science it's from. Whenever someone starts with saying it's philosophy, you know which parts they'll do, but then pretend that hey, it's as much philosophy as the guy citing a quantum mechanics paper, so it's good too, right?

Also, really B is the part I was getting at when saying that, yeah, "philosophy" as a general umbrella term is meaningless FOR THAT.
Ehh. These are fair points. I didn't consider them to be directly relevant to what was actually said, though, so I didn't point them out myself. I don't think I've seen anyone in this thread actually try to claim either A or B, with that said. David Mo, for example, tried to claim that the logic in his presented arguments based on Dostoevsky's work were worthwhile and relevant based on their own merits, not just because it was philosophy. He made a lot of different errors at various points, but I didn't notice those two among his errors (naturally, it's possible that I missed it). By the look of it, what David Mo was taking exception to when it came to philosophy, specifically, was the attempts to overgeneralize ad absurdum what's included in "philosophy" and the attempts to call it worthless, which usually involves a bunch of cherry picking to get to that claim.

To address B more directly myself, though, any argument that something has validity simply because it's philosophy is ridiculous. There's a lot of philosophy that is simply wrong, after all, for all kinds of reasons. That simple fact, alone, is enough to completely negate B, and there's no need to continue after that.
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Old 14th March 2019, 12:23 AM   #910
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
I responded positively to this post:



Now, before I write you off as a simple troll, please explain how your first post justifies you second, as quoted above.

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Old 14th March 2019, 12:33 AM   #911
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You'll excuse me if I've offended your fine sensibilities. Maybe I mistook you for someone else who looks like you.
That's still dodging the question of how you can reconcile the two quoted positions, because as they're worded they contradict each other.
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Old 14th March 2019, 12:57 AM   #912
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
No, in the context of what we are discussing, I don't see any relevant difference between asking you for "philosophical statements" vs asking for "philosophical writings". And by the way in an earlier post number 832 you yourself had called them "philosophical arguments" (not "writings").

Whatever you call that quote from Russell, he is not giving an argument that actually "shows God does not exist". He's merely explaining why he thinks that the God claimed by theists as so loving and caring etc. is incompatible with such things as cruelty to children, tragic illnesses or natural disasters etc. That's only a set of opinions from Russell explaining why he thinks the claims of theists are wrong when they claim God is "all loving & all powerful" etc.

If that refutes or rejects anything, it's refuting, or actually just rejecting, only what theists have claimed about the character and capabilities of God.

It is certainly nowhere near "showing that God does not exist", as you had repeatedly claimed.

If people find Russell's arguments convincing as explanations of why God does not exist, then that's a matter of anyones personal opinion and their standards of what they will accept to be convincing as evidence. However, personally I think the discovery of evolution is far more convincing, because it shows that the central claim on which the entire belief in God was founded, ie that God was the explanation for the existence of Mankind as his special and entire purpose for universe, is untrue ... evolution shows that Mankind evolved from apes and was not created by a miracle from God.

If you don't believe that the discoveries from modern science, rather than the "writings" from more ancient philosophy, are the main reason for decreasing religious belief since the time of Galileo, through to the time of Newton, and then Darwin on to Einstein and Heisenberg and many more scientists with many more discoveries about the universe since Heisenberg, then I would say that (a) it's obvious that religious belief has declined as scientific discovery & scientific explanation has increased over that time, so I think there's an obvious correlation there, (b) when Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, many academics derided his discovery and he was widely mocked and made fun of precisely upon the fact that his theory lead to the inescapable conclusion that God had not made Mankind after all, and then (c) if you look at major polls amongst leading scientists over the last 20 or 30 years, asking if they believe in an intelligent God who created the universe, there is a very obvious disparity between what the scientists say about that belief vs. what the non-scientist population around them (ie in the same nation) say and believe about God.

I think it's inescapable that our increasing knowledge of science and how science has explained almost everything that was once claimed to be caused by miracles from God, has been a very big part of why religious belief has declined in more highly educated populations, and particularly amongst those more highly educated in core science.
You're wrong. In my comment #832 I don't say 12 arguments, but "the arguments". (Actually there may be 12 arguments. I have never counted them).
When I wrote that comment I had already explained the issue to you a couple of times, so don't say that's what fooled you.

To say that it is impossible for an individual to have all the properties that some claim is to say that the individual they speak of does not exist. In any case, there will be something else. And to deny the existence of the God of monotheistic religions -those existing in our world- seems to me a broader point than to say that the appearance of man on Earth was not as monotheistic religions narrate. As I said, there are many Christians who admit the theory of evolution and do not cease to be Christians because of it.


If you find that it is an opinion to say that A and B are contradictory, logic is a matter of opinions. If you mean that Russell's "opinion" is not 100% true, I remind you that for you science is not 100% true. In fact the less fanatical Creationists do not need the story of Adam and Eve to affirm that God intervened in creation by designing the laws that made evolution or the universe as a whole possible.

I believe that both modern science and modern philosophical atheism have driven the slow retreat of religions from the 18th century until now. But churches are more comfortable admitting science than philosophical atheism. The difference is that they can look for ways to accommodate their belief in God with science - even if they are tortuous. But it is impossible to negotiate with philosophical atheism.
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Old 14th March 2019, 01:10 AM   #913
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Someone should have immediately called you out on the above - "proof" is most definitely not remotely the same thing as "evidence".

The "evidence" of something is the raw data or physical observations ... things such as fossils, numerical measurements etc. As you must actually know, science does not claim "proofs", but an actual "proof" is an explanation that is said to be completely unarguable i.e. a "certainty".

To take Darwin as an example ; his observation of differences in bird species constitutes his "evidence", his explanation for those differences was evolution ... that explanation of what evolution is, formed his "Theory" (ie his explanation for the observed evidence) ... it was not recoded to be, or claimed to be, a "proof" meaning literal certainty.
See this: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/189/4205/806. Or this: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2399465...n_tab_contents

One example between many others that many scientists use "proof" and "evidence" a synonims.

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Old 14th March 2019, 01:15 AM   #914
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
That's still dodging the question of how you can reconcile the two quoted positions, because as they're worded they contradict each other.
In both I say the same thing: biology and society give the basis, but the final form of the decision is given by our personal morality, which is what determines the final result. It is you who decide to repress, sublimate or channel a biological impulse. You are the one who decides to choose one or another of the alternatives that society presents to you --or making a personal synthesis. That's morality.
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Old 14th March 2019, 01:20 AM   #915
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Where did you get the idea that any of us represses biology? I'm pretty sure I mentioned the self-preservation instinct.
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Old 14th March 2019, 03:18 AM   #916
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Where did you get the idea that any of us represses biology? I'm pretty sure I mentioned the self-preservation instinct.
The repression of instincts is self-evident. It is so evident that Freud included it in the center of his theory. Others, like the Behaviourists, claim that instincts do not operate in the human species but are replaced by social learning. I am not in favor of either theory, but I think it is evident that the very existence of culture is explained by the repression and channeling of instincts or natural impulses.

The instinct of conservation, by following your example, is repressed by all those who sacrifice themselves for other people or for ideas. The most publicized case in our culture is that of Christian martyrs, but there are "martyrs" in all ideologies.
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Old 14th March 2019, 12:29 PM   #917
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You'll excuse me if I've offended your fine sensibilities. Maybe I mistook you for someone else who looks like you.
Ah. So, troll it is. No problem. Ta.

Hans
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Old 14th March 2019, 11:42 PM   #918
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Ah. So, troll it is. No problem. Ta.

Hans
That's a bad excuse for a very dishonorable retreat.
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Old 15th March 2019, 01:42 AM   #919
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
See this: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/189/4205/806. Or this: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2399465...n_tab_contents

One example between many others that many scientists use "proof" and "evidence" a synonims.
I'm pretty sure though that most scientists are aware that absence of evidence is generally not evidence of absence. (Unless you can exhaustively eliminate the necessary implications of something.) I.e., they wouldn't confuse Russel's saying that there's no evidence of a very specific God, with having proof there's no god.
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Old 15th March 2019, 01:55 AM   #920
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Mortality and facing the notion that one's existence is irrelevant.
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