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Thread: NTs and God

  1. #371
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLessard View Post
    I suppose this could be no possibility to your rational mind, but have you considered that you could be spiritually dead ? That would well explain why you rationalize spiritual experience away with such arrogance.

    Jesus explained how we should love God, that is, know God, for God is love:

    -With all our heart
    -With all our soul
    -With all our strength
    -With all our mind
    (your approach)

    The Rational's worst problem (and obstination) is to get to understand God solely with their mind while knowing God requires all of our being to be at work.

    How prideful to believe that a limited human mind can understand and choose to discard the intelligence of the Universe's ultimate engineer.
    Just cut the crap already, self-sophistic buffoon.

  2. #372
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    Quote Originally Posted by Costrin View Post
    Two points.

    Occams Razor. So yes, I'm going to say "what caused God?". There is an equal amount of evidence for Big Bang theory, and Big Bang theory + God, so you take the simpler theory, which doesn't include God.

    Second, it doesn't matter whether the Big Bang or any other explanation for the universe is supported by the evidence or irrational. What matters is, is God supported by the evidence. I have yet to see any evidence in favor of God, so therefore, I don't believe in it. It's irrelevant whether any other explanation fails. In the case of no explanation being good enough, then the logical choice is to say "I don't know."
    Perhaps there's an equal amount of evidence for both God + Big Bang and Big Bang by itself (granted for the sake of argument, not because I agree with the premise), but it does not follow that Big Bang alone is the correct theory. In this case, I believe that the implications of Big Bang alone make it more complicated than God + Big Bang.

    The implications, as I see them (as always, correct me if there's a flaw in my logic) are as follows:
    1) The universe is self-created and self-sustaining. Yet no other system or individual that we have yet seen is both self-created and self-sustaining. From a purely inductive basis, this is incredibly unlikely.

    2) If this universe caused itself, there's absolutely nothing preventing several other universes, in fact, infinite numbers of universes, from causing themselves as well, requiring some sort of multiverse theory, and multiverse theories, from cosmologists to Marvel Comics, are universally agents of immense complication.

    So yes, Occham's Razor indeed: I choose God as a simpler explanation than self-generating universe + multiverse. By definition, God is self-existent. This means that he is not contingent upon anything. The Cosmological argument is intended to prove that the universe is contingent upon something, as it began to exist. Thus, the simplest explanation is to assume that the universe is contingent upon one non-contingent being.

    The argument needn't be direct evidence for God; it can merely contribute to our understanding of the universe. In its purest form, it simply states that something must have caused everything else, and that thing must be un-caused, and excludes the universe as a possibility. It creates, if you will allow me to borrow from Augustine, a God-shaped hole in our cosmology (hmmm... we need an eternal, uncreated, immaterial being... hmmm, what shall we do...?). Yes, it does not necessarily prove that it is the Christian God that fills said hole, but surely you can allow that a given argument affects our metaphysical outlook, and that in turn our metaphysical outlook can make the statement "God exists" appear more likely than the statement "God does not exist"?

    And once we get to that point I'm too lazy to figure out how to counter skepticism (the actual epistemological position, not the regular use of the word) right now, except to say ask for what reason does one not choose the most likely solution rather than to stay indifferent (crappy argument, I know. Maybe I can talk to some people smarter than me and go at it again later).


    Argument from authority. Many highly intelligent and respected people throughout history have supported the concept of God, but that doesn't mean anything. Only the quality of the arguments does, and the quality is not up to par.
    The claim that tradition means nothing is an obvious overclaim, but you're right, you totally caught me in that particular fallacy. I'll read up some and try to present some actual arguments.

    Or perhaps,

    (7) A being that of which no greater being can be conceived, does not exist.

    I can conceive of God being omni*insert stuff here* (even if not the mechanisms). I can also conceive of God existing. If in step one, you conceived of an omni*insert stuff here* being, yet failed to include the existant part, then the argument "works", but only because you were incomplete in step one.
    Hmmm... okay, then, how about the Cartesian update:

    1) A perfect being has every perfection
    2) Existence is a perfection
    3) Therefore, a perfect being is, by definition, actual, rather than possible.

    And yeah, Beauty of the Infinite is a wonderful book, from all I've read. He argues that Christian rhetoric inevitably resorts to beauty as "proof," and then says that Christian rhetoric, unlike most rhetoric, is loving rather than violent... it's very complicated and I'm not doing him justice here. It's a lot like poetry; the paraphrase is entirely insufficient to the actual thing.

  3. #373
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    Perhaps there's an equal amount of evidence for both God + Big Bang and Big Bang by itself (granted for the sake of argument, not because I agree with the premise), but it does not follow that Big Bang alone is the correct theory. In this case, I believe that the implications of Big Bang alone make it more complicated than God + Big Bang.
    As I pointed out, it's irrelevant whether Big Bang theory is correct or not. What matters is not the unlikelihood of other theories, but the evidence for God. Each theory is considered in a vacuum, away from other competing theories, the evidence and the theory locked into a battle. Then once that is done, you can compare how well it did against the evidence to how well other theories did against the evidence.

    The implications, as I see them (as always, correct me if there's a flaw in my logic) are as follows:
    1) The universe is self-created and self-sustaining. Yet no other system or individual that we have yet seen is both self-created and self-sustaining. From a purely inductive basis, this is incredibly unlikely.
    You're assuming the universe is self-sustaining. Many theories predict there to be an eventual end to the universe. Furthermore, it's no more unlikely than a self-sustaining God.

    2) If this universe caused itself, there's absolutely nothing preventing several other universes, in fact, infinite numbers of universes, from causing themselves as well, requiring some sort of multiverse theory, and multiverse theories, from cosmologists to Marvel Comics, are universally agents of immense complication.
    True!

    So yes, Occham's Razor indeed: I choose God as a simpler explanation than self-generating universe + multiverse. By definition, God is self-existent. This means that he is not contingent upon anything. The Cosmological argument is intended to prove that the universe is contingent upon something, as it began to exist. Thus, the simplest explanation is to assume that the universe is contingent upon one non-contingent being.
    And in several theories, by definition the universe is self-existent, and not contingent upon anything else.

    The argument needn't be direct evidence for God; it can merely contribute to our understanding of the universe. In its purest form, it simply states that something must have caused everything else, and that thing must be un-caused, and excludes the universe as a possibility. It creates, if you will allow me to borrow from Augustine, a God-shaped hole in our cosmology (hmmm... we need an eternal, uncreated, immaterial being... hmmm, what shall we do...?). Yes, it does not necessarily prove that it is the Christian God that fills said hole, but surely you can allow that a given argument affects our metaphysical outlook, and that in turn our metaphysical outlook can make the statement "God exists" appear more likely than the statement "God does not exist"?
    See above.

    And once we get to that point I'm too lazy to figure out how to counter skepticism (the actual epistemological position, not the regular use of the word) right now, except to say ask for what reason does one not choose the most likely solution rather than to stay indifferent (crappy argument, I know. Maybe I can talk to some people smarter than me and go at it again later).
    Not sure I understand completely what you meant to convey here. I'm assuming your asking something like this: "Why would one choose the position of "I don't know", rather than picking from one of several available options that you think is most likely?"

    If the situation is something like this (over simplified):
    Theory A has 1% chance of being right.
    Theory B has 0.5% chance of being right.
    Theory C has 2% chance of being right.
    Then I would go would say, no current explanation is likely enough, therefore, I wouldn't choose any. The numbers of course can be tweaked to whatever subjective line in the sand one chooses to draw.

    The claim that tradition means nothing is an obvious overclaim, but you're right, you totally caught me in that particular fallacy. I'll read up some and try to present some actual arguments.
    Well, that was surprisingly easy... :P

    Hmmm... okay, then, how about the Cartesian update:

    1) A perfect being has every perfection
    2) Existence is a perfection
    3) Therefore, a perfect being is, by definition, actual, rather than possible.
    This still makes several unfounded assumptions. It assumes that a perfect being must exist. Why is it necessary that there is a perfect being, and also, it assumes that existence is perfection, which is highly subjective. Also, it seems to assume in number 3, that a perfect being is even possible.

    And yeah, Beauty of the Infinite is a wonderful book, from all I've read. He argues that Christian rhetoric inevitably resorts to beauty as "proof," and then says that Christian rhetoric, unlike most rhetoric, is loving rather than violent... it's very complicated and I'm not doing him justice here. It's a lot like poetry; the paraphrase is entirely insufficient to the actual thing.
    I'm not sure how beauty can ever constitute proof. Beauty is an inherently subjective thing, same with loving. And just because something is loving (which is of course highly debatable due to the subjective nature of it), how does that prove anything?

    I suppose I should just pick up the book myself and get the arguments straight from the source!

  4. #374
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    I refute the possibility of INTJ's "firmly" believing in God. I must be observing some falsifications of personality types on par with the falsifications of religions. Any INTJ should be beyond determined to pursue truths and logically distinguish between facts and faction. Anyone knowledgable on the facts and history of these "religions" and the era of those societies could clearly see that none are legitimately reputable. Simply as that, facts are facts. History is history. Fiction is fiction.
    If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool. -Carl Gustav Jung *I-74* *N-53* *T-95* *J-89*

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    Quote Originally Posted by *Strictly_The_Facts* View Post
    I refute the possibility of INTJ's "firmly" believing in God. I must be observing some falsifications of personality types on par with the falsifications of religions. Any INTJ should be beyond determined to pursue truths and logically distinguish between facts and faction. Anyone knowledgable on the facts and history of these "religions" and the era of those societies could clearly see that none are legitimately reputable. Simply as that, facts are facts. History is history. Fiction is fiction.
    Many INTs would like to think that. But there are stupid/deluded/unhealthy INTs. It's a fact too.

  6. #376
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilen View Post
    Many INTs would like to think that. But there are stupid/deluded/unhealthy INTs. It's a fact too.
    If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool. -Carl Gustav Jung *I-74* *N-53* *T-95* *J-89*

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    Quote Originally Posted by Costrin View Post
    As I pointed out, it's irrelevant whether Big Bang theory is correct or not. What matters is not the unlikelihood of other theories, but the evidence for God. Each theory is considered in a vacuum, away from other competing theories, the evidence and the theory locked into a battle. Then once that is done, you can compare how well it did against the evidence to how well other theories did against the evidence.
    1) Isn't that an untestable epistemological hypothesis? If your position is "when determining the truth of a proposition, one must consider only the proposition and evidence for the proposition," what evidence is there for that position?

    2) It's impossible to consider anything in a vacuum; there must always be evidence for the evidence and evidence again for that, and so on and so forth.

    3) The veracity of the Big Bang is not in question. The question the Kalam Cosmological Argument asks is: "Can the universe have caused itself?" If the universe cannot have caused itself, and there's no alternative, it must be God. That is evidence. I find that your formulation essentially denies the possibility of disjunctive arguments, in the form "Either A or B, not A, therefore B." Yet these arguments have been considered valid throughout history and are still used today. I consider this an argument from consensus; the fact that centuries of philosophical doubt have not unseated this concept is evidence suggesting that it is likely that the concept is true.

    4) The statement "there is a cause for the universe which transcends time and space" is evidence for God. If the Cosmological Argument proves this statement, then how is it anything but evidence for God?

    You're assuming the universe is self-sustaining. Many theories predict there to be an eventual end to the universe. Furthermore, it's no more unlikely than a self-sustaining God.
    True. I'll abandon self-sustaining. One point though: if you're going to rely on these theories as part of your argument, aren't you obligated to provide proof for theories that are highly contested throughout the scientific community? This seems to contradict your idea that no choice is better than an uncertain (or arbitrarily unlikely) choice. Just take self-creating. Provide me with an example of anything that is its own efficient, material, and final cause.

    And in several theories, by definition the universe is self-existent, and not contingent upon anything else.
    1) This does not address the Ockham's Razor argument. Are these theories any simpler or any likelier than the theory that God exists?

    2) The first premise of the argument anticipates the objection "the universe is self existent". "Everything that begins to exist has a cause." In fact, let me update this for clarity: "Everything that begins to exist has an external cause; that is, a cause that is not itself". The argument stands until one disproves either this principle or the Big Bang. It would be logically inconsistent to affirm "everything that begins to exist has an external cause," "the universe began at the Big Bang," and "the universe is self-existent." One may maintain any two of the three and remain logically coherent, but to affirm all three is logically impossible.


    Not sure I understand completely what you meant to convey here. I'm assuming your asking something like this: "Why would one choose the position of "I don't know", rather than picking from one of several available options that you think is most likely?"

    If the situation is something like this (over simplified):
    Theory A has 1% chance of being right.
    Theory B has 0.5% chance of being right.
    Theory C has 2% chance of being right.
    Then I would go would say, no current explanation is likely enough, therefore, I wouldn't choose any. The numbers of course can be tweaked to whatever subjective line in the sand one chooses to draw.
    Sorry. You encapsulated my argument pretty well. I provided a (hopefully) more coherent objection above.

    Well, that was surprisingly easy... :P
    Hey, when you lose one, you lose one, right?

    This still makes several unfounded assumptions. It assumes that a perfect being must exist. Why is it necessary that there is a perfect being, and also, it assumes that existence is perfection, which is highly subjective. Also, it seems to assume in number 3, that a perfect being is even possible.
    It does not assume that a perfect being exists. It assumes that a perfect being can be conceived of, which you conceded.

    No, it assumes that existence is a perfection. The premise is not "existence = perfection," it's "to exist is better (more perfect) than to not exist". In my book, one is free to dispute that claim, although it requires one to disregard the majority of both internal and external evidence one accumulates throughout one's life.

    And regarding the conclusion, just replace the word "possible" with the word "imaginary". It's the same argument. Or better yet, remove the word possible altogether.

  8. #378
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    silverchris, your argument still precludes the existence of God. If we accept that "nothing comes from nothing", reality must, in fact, be infinite. Consequently, a deity could not exist as it would be separate and distinct from reality, rendering reality finite.

    You could say that "reality is God", but this differs from every definition of God which is commonly used.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  9. #379
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    1) Isn't that an untestable epistemological hypothesis? If your position is "when determining the truth of a proposition, one must consider only the proposition and evidence for the proposition," what evidence is there for that position?
    If you want to argue about arguing, then fine. There is no evidence for this, any more than there is evidence for 2 + 2 = 4. It just makes sense.

    2) It's impossible to consider anything in a vacuum; there must always be evidence for the evidence and evidence again for that, and so on and so forth.
    Note that I said "away from competing theories", of course you need evidence for the evidence, but that's assumed.

    3) The veracity of the Big Bang is not in question. The question the Kalam Cosmological Argument asks is: "Can the universe have caused itself?" If the universe cannot have caused itself, and there's no alternative, it must be God. That is evidence. I find that your formulation essentially denies the possibility of disjunctive arguments, in the form "Either A or B, not A, therefore B." Yet these arguments have been considered valid throughout history and are still used today. I consider this an argument from consensus; the fact that centuries of philosophical doubt have not unseated this concept is evidence suggesting that it is likely that the concept is true.
    Can God have caused itself? If God cannot have caused itself, and there's no alternative, then it must be something greater than God. Either A or B is a false dichotomy, there are many many theories as to how life and the universe began, and such arguments are never valid, unless of course there really is only two positions, and that one of them must be true.

    4) The statement "there is a cause for the universe which transcends time and space" is evidence for God. If the Cosmological Argument proves this statement, then how is it anything but evidence for God?
    That statement doesn't prove anything, it just states a position with no support.

    True. I'll abandon self-sustaining. One point though: if you're going to rely on these theories as part of your argument, aren't you obligated to provide proof for theories that are highly contested throughout the scientific community? This seems to contradict your idea that no choice is better than an uncertain (or arbitrarily unlikely) choice. Just take self-creating. Provide me with an example of anything that is its own efficient, material, and final cause.
    I am not relying on these theories as my argument. If I recall, you are the one who brought them up in the first place, while I continually asserted their irrelevance to the question of God.

    [quote]
    1) This does not address the Ockham's Razor argument. Are these theories any simpler or any likelier than the theory that God exists?[/quote

    If the universe has always existed, then there is no need to prove a cause for it, as one would not exist. This is identical to your argument for God, except that here I "cut out the middleman" so to speak.

    2) The first premise of the argument anticipates the objection "the universe is self existent". "Everything that begins to exist has a cause." In fact, let me update this for clarity: "Everything that begins to exist has an external cause; that is, a cause that is not itself". The argument stands until one disproves either this principle or the Big Bang. It would be logically inconsistent to affirm "everything that begins to exist has an external cause," "the universe began at the Big Bang," and "the universe is self-existent." One may maintain any two of the three and remain logically coherent, but to affirm all three is logically impossible.
    See above, there is a possibility that the universe has always existed. Then of course you are left in the same position as theistic theories of having no evidence. However, I again stress that just because one theory does not prove another.

    Sorry. You encapsulated my argument pretty well. I provided a (hopefully) more coherent objection above.



    Hey, when you lose one, you lose one, right?
    Heh. I enjoy debating with you. You are willing to admit when you're wrong, and provide some counter arguments that I have not encountered much before.


    It does not assume that a perfect being exists. It assumes that a perfect being can be conceived of, which you conceded.

    No, it assumes that existence is a perfection. The premise is not "existence = perfection," it's "to exist is better (more perfect) than to not exist". In my book, one is free to dispute that claim, although it requires one to disregard the majority of both internal and external evidence one accumulates throughout one's life.

    And regarding the conclusion, just replace the word "possible" with the word "imaginary". It's the same argument. Or better yet, remove the word possible altogether.
    I see, it's all clicking together now. I did not fully understand this argument until now. The misunderstanding especially arose in a different definition of 'conceive'. When I conceive a perfect a being, I don't imagine anything really, it's like a book telling me "a perfect being exists in this story", but does offer any explanation as to it's properties. Basically, it's like when I accept a premise given by an opponent in a debate as true for the sake of argument. In that capacity, I can conceive of a perfect being. However, if such a being actually existed, it would have no form, no properties, would not effect the world. Clearly, this is not what this argument is trying to achieve.

    Let's take a hypothetical situation. I am imagining a pile of 1 million dollars, right next to me. This pile is the perfect pile of 1 million dollars, and that includes the property of being existent. However, I do not see a pile of 1 million dollars beside me. Hopefully this should illuminate the faultiness of this argument.

    Also, what evidence internal and external evidence do you refer to?
    Last edited by Costrin; 01-23-2009 at 05:00 PM. Reason: forgot stuff

  10. #380
    Senior Member lazyhappy's Avatar
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    I dont believe in god nor do I disbelieve in god.
    I am not one to draw conclusions like "it" does or doesnt exist for it hasnt been completeley proven to me on either side. Like the description, Ps need to gain alot of info on whether they draw a conclusion on such a subject. So, out of habit, I apply my perceptive behavior to mostly everything or just philisophical things.

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