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Search found 18 matches

by Matthew
September 16th, 2010, 3:46 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

So it's not your belief that P is true? It is my belief if and only if I exist. Of course, the most certain thing I can believe (if I do exist) is that it is me doing the believing. But the notion of absolute certainty with respect to a proposition Q seems to require the impossibility of Q being fa...
by Matthew
September 16th, 2010, 6:41 am
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

P: I am not absolutely certain that I exist B: Your belief that P is true If B does not exist you do not believe P. But you do believe P. Therefore B exists. Therefore you exist, because you are the referent of "I" in P. By defining B as " your belief that P is true" you are the begging the questio...
by Matthew
September 15th, 2010, 9:45 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

On your own premises, "certain as one can be" does not equate to 'absolute certainty'. So you must think it possible that you do not exist. But your non-existence is impossible, because in that case you would not exist to think it possible. But you clearly do think it possible ("certain as one can ...
by Matthew
September 15th, 2010, 9:03 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

Are you absolutely certain that you exist? If not, then who is writing your posts? I am as certain as one can be that the referent of 'I' in this sentence exists. But it is logically possible that the referent of 'I' in the previous sentence does not exist. Circular reasoning abounds in the world o...
by Matthew
September 15th, 2010, 6:18 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

Certainty is certainty, your qualifier "absolute" is irrelevant. So I ask again, are you certain of your conclusion that no conclusion can be certain? Then perhaps this is our fundamental disagreement. I am certain that no conclusion can be absolutely certain. The natural meaning of 'certain' is 'c...
by Matthew
September 15th, 2010, 4:14 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

Are you certain of this? Mick Not absolutely certain, because it's logically possible that I could be wrong. But "absolutely" is the key qualifier. One can be certain (convinced based on assessment of reasons and evidence) without being absolutely certain. For example, I'm not absolutely certain th...
by Matthew
September 15th, 2010, 12:45 am
Forum: Culture Club
Topic: Hawking's new book says creator redundant
Replies: 27
Views: 4014

Re: Hawking's new book says creator redundant

I too would be interested to know what he means by that. Philosophy has so many branches of inquiry, it seems very unlikely that a new understanding of the universe would make all of them redundant. Quite. And from what I can tell, there's not a great deal of new understanding at all. The most char...
by Matthew
September 15th, 2010, 12:37 am
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

What if every counter argument is illogical? I quote from my last posting: "our acceptance of logic is a common sense necessity that finds its ultimate validation in God." This isn't really a response to what I said. And, by the way, there is more than one "logic": for example, Plantinga's ontologi...
by Matthew
September 14th, 2010, 6:20 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

So one of them is sound (compelling). But then you can't argue that no arguments can be sound by the nature of arguments, since in that case neither of the arguments could be sound. With respect Matthew, I think there is a contradiction in your position here. I don't think I've ever stated that no ...
by Matthew
September 14th, 2010, 4:19 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

Hi Matthew, Re. the MA: If the first syllogism proves the existence of God then we're done, God exists. That's what proof means. You cannot then have another syllogism which disproves God's existence. There is no tertium quid , existence and non-existence are contraries. Therefore the second syllog...
by Matthew
September 14th, 2010, 6:46 am
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

Interesting last post, Matthew. Thanks. :) Similarly, is goodness good because your god says so, or does your god say things are good because they are good? If the former, then there is no such thing as goodness. If the latter, your god is not the measure of goodness. The very simple moral argument...
by Matthew
September 13th, 2010, 11:41 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

I'm not aware of a weak sense of the word. 'Probabilistic proof' is a contradiction in terms. Well the strong sense of proof means establishing a conclusion with absolute certainty (as in Mathematics, given certain axioms). The weaker senses of proof (as used in Science, History, Law, most other di...
by Matthew
September 13th, 2010, 11:23 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

I've stated the ontological proof several times on this forum; I invite you to consider what I've said and state precisely what you disagree with. The only point I make here (see my original post) is that the Anselmian version of the proof is incomplete. It is difficult to interpret and evaluate a ...
by Matthew
September 13th, 2010, 11:01 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

mickeyd wrote:Do it now, why not? Conceive of a necessary being; now try and conceive of its non-existence. You can’t; no-one can.
What are the premises of your (Anselmian) ontological argument (stated as clearly as possible)?
by Matthew
September 13th, 2010, 10:17 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

“Mickeyd, in which dictionary did you find a definition for the phrase, "absolute being" please? I can't find it in my Oxford Dictionary of English.” A strange question. I might as well ask “In which dictionary did you find a definition for the phrase “atheism is true””? Presumably you would look u...
by Matthew
September 13th, 2010, 8:53 pm
Forum: Culture Club
Topic: Hawking's new book says creator redundant
Replies: 27
Views: 4014

Re: Hawking's new book says creator redundant

Has anyone read the book yet? I'm highly intrigued about "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing." Prima facie , what he's saying is incoherent. Does the book make clear what Hawking means by this? Also, I'm interested about what you think about ...
by Matthew
September 13th, 2010, 8:46 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Arguments for the existence of God
Replies: 807
Views: 135361

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

Mickeyd, do you really think that these are "proof" of God's existence in the strong sense of the word? Even if you had expressed your arguments more carefully, they are still only that - arguments - the force of which depend entirely on each individual's judgement of the premises.
by Matthew
September 3rd, 2010, 8:29 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: atheism versus agnosticism
Replies: 180
Views: 14106

Re: atheism versus agnosticism

How would you demonstrate that utilitarianism constitutes an objective morality? What is the source of utilitarianism's moral values, if not the (subjective) human mind? ... Hmm. I'm wondering whether these posts could be pared off into a new thread on utilitarianism in the Humanist Ethics and Mora...