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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Agnosticism is always the wrong stance to take, and not one that can be taken in practical matters. In short, the statement 'there exists a God' is either true or false, but not both or neither, and so while a theist or atheist might be correct, the agnostic is always wrong. Moreover, in practical matters it is impossible to behave as though neither theism or atheism is true, since it is not possible to act on the assumption that a statement is neither true nor false, and so the majority of "agnostics" might as well just admit their atheism which is betrayed every Sunday when they do not attend church.
    Hmmm. Yes, there has to be an absolute truth to the matter, but whether that truth is attainable because of the limitations set by our Perception is the question in the mind of an Agnostic (I'm not agnostic btw). At this point in time, with the knowledge at hand, I think that an Agnostic is just in their belief, because it is always possible for him/her to change from his/her neutral position when new information/evidence is discovered for either the theists or atheist's case.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Didums View Post
    Hmm, what I understood as the definition of Agnostic is this: Human perception limits us from knowing whether or not a God exists, it is Unknown and Unknowable. Therefore, they do not take a stance in favor of a belief in God, they remain neutral.
    That is how I understand it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Didums View Post
    However, in being Neutral, they are still not believing in God, they lack the belief, if they had the belief, they would be Theists.
    Here we diverge. In being neutral I can't prove there is not a God either. I don't believe that God doesn't exist. I don't believe that God does exist. It is unprovable. I try to listen to all sides. I don't try to unconvert believers or convert nonbelievers. I just want to understand how they came to the decision they made.


  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Didums View Post
    Theism's purpose itself is to define Purpose and used to try to explain natural phenomenon (through God ironically).
    Through natural philosophy.

    Take an objective look at the concept of Purpose, if you can, being a Theist may have you jump to the idea of God right away to explain Purpose, but I think that you are capable of taking an objective look at it, purpose itself is a very loose concept.
    Purpose cannot exist without a first cause.

    Subjectivity ahoy.
    Well as Kierkegaard stated, "Subjectivity is truth".

    Here is what I said when Owl essentially asked me the same question
    You didnt answer my question here. My question actually regarded the historical record of how the Christian mindset contributed to scientific developments.

    Yes, miracles are in no way explanation of natural phenomena, they are actually contradictory to that, because most 'miracles' go against what we know to be natural phenomena.
    Yes that's basically what I said. The very concept of a miracle is an unusual event that goes contrary to normal natural phenomena.

    These two philosophies are not entirely separate, they both fall under Naturalism as a whole.
    By that definition, so does Theistic Naturalism.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    There is an often repeated claim that the existence of God is improbable. The purpose of this thread is to discuss and criticise this claim. The view to be presented here is that the claim is nonsense. However, this should not be taken to imply that the existence of God is probable, as that would also be nonsense, something that will hopefully become clear. There are two arguments associated with the claim that the existence of God is improbable and a common error between the two regarding the use of probability, each to be addressed separately.
    I think Dawkins' "Ultimate 747" argument is deeply flawed, but for somewhat different (or rather additional) reasons.
    The argument is clearly designed as a direct counter to the common "intelligent designer" argument. That one has already been demolished on multiple levels, by scientific discoveries and the Anthropic Principle. I understand that it is still used by many, but I do not think it is proper form to bother structuring around it what is supposed to be a convincing counter to the God Hypothesis in general.
    The style of the Ultimate 747 argument causes it to collapse upon objective scrutiny (that is, scrutiny that is not based in the flawed ID argument in the first place). It's big point is that it makes no sense to try to account for complex creation by postulating an even more complex creator. Right away this stumbles over its own terms. The idea of "complexity" is difficult to pin down when not applied to our familiar physical structures. Furthermore, even if we call God complex for argument's sake, there is nothing that dictates that such complexity in a spirit would have anything to do with a need for another designer. The major problem with the argument is that our notions of complexity and the need for some process or designer to create it fall apart when we stop talking about particles. We know that our atoms have not always been around, and that they have not always been arranged as they are now. We know that matter necessarily undergoes change, so when he see an intricate and functional piece of matter like a toaster, we know that it had to be designed, because we know that the toaster could not have always been that way. There was a time when the atoms were scattered, so there must have been some organization when they were assembled to create this piece of machinery.
    When we consider God, however, His presumed "complexity" has no inherent meaning. As far as we know, he could be eternal and unchanging, without any need for genesis of His own. In fact, Occam's razor dictates that we should assume this (given that we are already assuming the existence of a God), because it would be the simplest solution. We would need a special reason to believe that He was not eternal.

    However, the refutation of the Ultimate 747 argument does not mean that God is not improbable. The argument was just a bit misdirected and overly complex. Instead the point should be made that God is inherently improbable, regardless of His properties, simply because His existence is a hypothesis. Any hypothesis that you invent is highly improbable unless and until you produce some evidence that renders it probable. If such evidence is not present for God, then He is very improbable.
    Whether that evidence exists, or whether it is sufficient to make Him probable, is the area that is open for debate. So the question stands: is there a reason to believe God is not highly improbable?

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of York View Post
    I think Dawkins' "Ultimate 747" argument is deeply flawed, but for somewhat different (or rather additional) reasons...[tl;dr]
    Well if your debate opponent refuses to acknowledge the evidence already presented, it makes sense that the next step would be attacking the opposing case. This seems obvious to me, but maybe it isn't to everyone.

  6. #26
    Senior Member TheLastMohican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    Well if your debate opponent refuses to acknowledge the evidence already presented, it makes sense that the next step would be attacking the opposing case. This seems obvious to me, but maybe it isn't to everyone.
    I get that Dawkins debates some pretty hard-headed characters, and the Ultimate 747 argument might be what gets through to them. It is still a lame argument, however. In most cases it should suffice to just point out that the onus of proof is upon those who hold the belief, and if they do not present convincing evidence, consider the debate won.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Through natural philosophy.
    We've got modern science now.

    Purpose cannot exist without a first cause.
    Wrong. One can create purpose for themselves, it needs no 'first cause'.

    Well as Kierkegaard stated, "Subjectivity is truth".
    Irony. (you're appealing to the authority of a Christian philosopher.)

    You didnt answer my question here. My question actually regarded the historical record of how the Christian mindset contributed to scientific developments.
    I was responding to this: "God wants us to understand him and understand his creation." I understand that there are Christian scientists, however it has no bearing on Christianity, they were Scientists. Were they at church or in the lab when made their contributions to scientific knowledge?

    Yes that's basically what I said. The very concept of a miracle is an unusual event that goes contrary to normal natural phenomena.
    Yes, but there is no Solid evidece for them. ECREE, because for a miracle to happen one must revoke (/edit/adjust) former scientific knowledge to explain the phenomena, theories must evolve according to observation correct?

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