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Arguments for the existence of God

For topics that are more about faith, religion and religious organisations than anything else.
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philbo
Posts: 591
Joined: December 18th, 2009, 3:09 pm

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#281 Post by philbo » September 27th, 2010, 3:44 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

animist wrote:no way - obviously, we (maybe not you but most of us) are most definitely disconnected from God! You do not seem to be listening to Philbo etc's many attempts to make you see the variety of ethical judgments which are made - which ones come from God? Let me guess - those in the Bible, but why not the Koran or the Granth etc etc.? Apart from which (again Philbo has covered all this), the Bible is self-contradictory and highly dubious ethically.
Hey, at least *someone*'s been reading what I've written.. :)

mickeyd
Posts: 143
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#282 Post by mickeyd » September 27th, 2010, 5:53 pm

Hi Philbo,
You're missing the point - if there had been such a society, it wouldn't have lasted very long.
Agreed, but that doesn't explain (a) how morality arose if morality is necessary for survival, (b) why people believe in moral values as being something more than just prerequisites for evolutionary fitness. Biological reductionism is inadequate to explain moral conviction.

I doubt that Richard Dawkins whispers to his wife over candle-lit dinners, "Oh my darling, you must remember that my love for you is nothing more than my selfish genes being selfish."

Regards,
Mick

mickeyd
Posts: 143
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#283 Post by mickeyd » September 27th, 2010, 6:00 pm

Hi animist,

Atoms are not invisible, they can be seen for example by a scanning tunneling microscope.

Regardless, Lord Muck is trying to show a difference in visual sensation between parts and whole, as if that's dictates the conclusions of a discussion about value - he should be posting on a physics forum!

Best,
Mick

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#284 Post by mickeyd » September 27th, 2010, 6:02 pm

Hi animist,
Necessary does not mean infinite
In the context of the onto proof it does: a necessary being is an ontologically infinite being

Regards,
Mick

mickeyd
Posts: 143
Joined: September 6th, 2010, 10:54 am

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#285 Post by mickeyd » September 27th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Hi animist,
You do not seem to be listening to Philbo etc's many attempts to make you see the variety of ethical judgments which are made
I don't see a significant variety, that's correct. Who's ever heard of a culture where hate and lying were culturally sanctioned as categorically more virtuous than love and truth-telling? All moral codes have a core similarity, hence the humanist assertion that the Golden Rule is not derived from any particular age, culture or religion. Remember this is your rule, right? You're a humanist, but now you're arguing to undermine the moral force of your own rule.

Regards,
Mick

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#286 Post by mickeyd » September 27th, 2010, 6:10 pm

Hi Lord Muck,
I may well think something like that. But I am not the one who turned up here claiming to have Proof. You are.
And that is why we are asking you questions.
Part of my proof is showing the inconsistency of other positions.

Regards,
Mickey

philbo
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#287 Post by philbo » September 27th, 2010, 6:20 pm

mickeyd wrote:
You're missing the point - if there had been such a society, it wouldn't have lasted very long.
Agreed, but that doesn't explain (a) how morality arose if morality is necessary for survival, (b) why people believe in moral values as being something more than just prerequisites for evolutionary fitness. Biological reductionism is inadequate to explain moral conviction.
Like most evolutionary traits, morality could have easily come about pretty much at random, then the ones that work best when it comes to survival of the culture are the ones that pass on through the generations. Nobody has said anything about being necessary for survival, merely that some moral codes pass on more successfully than others. Why people believe is irrelevant.. Do you have any reason other than wanting to believe in a god to give us our morals for saying "Biological reductionism is inadequate to explain moral conviction."? Seems perfectly adequate as an explanation to me.
mickeyd wrote:I doubt that Richard Dawkins whispers to his wife over candle-lit dinners, "Oh my darling, you must remember that my love for you is nothing more than my selfish genes being selfish."
I doubt that, too, seeing as it would merely prove that he didn't understand his own "selfish gene" theories. Though he does have a sense of humour, so I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility.
mickeyd wrote:Hi Lord Muck,
I may well think something like that. But I am not the one who turned up here claiming to have Proof. You are.
And that is why we are asking you questions.
Part of my proof is showing the inconsistency of other positions.

Regards,
Mickey
But surely that would mean that the utter inconsistency of what's in the bible would be a disproof of any kind of biblical truth? Or are you going to be inconsistent in your demanding of consistency? Even you would have to admit that demanding consistency from everyone else while saying it doesn't matter in your own arguments could be construed as a trifle hypocritical.

The other thing is there are an infinite number of "other positions" (OK, I'm not talking kama sutra, here) - to pick one or two and say "these are inconsistent, therefore my idea is right" is bullshit. You have to show your claims to have validity, not that one or two others may be inconsistent. That's taking the path of the creationist: "there are one or two holes in the evolutionary fossil record.. therefore God did it".

Lord Muck oGentry
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#288 Post by Lord Muck oGentry » September 27th, 2010, 6:37 pm

mickeyd wrote:Hi Lord Muck,
I may well think something like that. But I am not the one who turned up here claiming to have Proof. You are.
And that is why we are asking you questions.
Part of my proof is showing the inconsistency of other positions.

Regards,
Mickey
And very interesting the discussion will be, once we have got your position clear.

Now, would you like to answer the question I put?
What we can't say, we can't say and we can't whistle it either. — Frank Ramsey

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#289 Post by mickeyd » September 27th, 2010, 6:52 pm

Hi Lord Muck,

You do surprise me. Are you really ignorant of the fact that the fallacy of composition is not automatic on the act of attributing a property, or lack thereof, to a whole in comparison to its parts, but is decided on the merits of each individual attribution and the meaning of the terms involved? Or are you just a bloody-minded debater with no hope of success but bloodymindedness?

Regards,
Mick

Lord Muck oGentry
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#290 Post by Lord Muck oGentry » September 27th, 2010, 7:05 pm

mickeyd wrote:You do surprise me. Are you really ignorant of the fact that the fallacy of composition is not automatic on the act of attributing a property, or lack thereof, to a whole in comparison to its parts, but is decided on the merits of each individual attribution and the meaning of the terms involved? Or are you just a bloody-minded debater with no hope of success but bloodymindedness?
I expect you can show me where I'm going wrong once you've answered the question.
Now, would you like to answer it?
What we can't say, we can't say and we can't whistle it either. — Frank Ramsey

Fia
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#291 Post by Fia » September 27th, 2010, 8:34 pm

philbo wrote:Hey, at least *someone*'s been reading what I've written.. :)
I know that wasn't directed at us lurkers, but despite my woeful lack of knowledge of logic I'm enjoying this thread.

At the end of the day I don't really care if god/s do or don't exist: I know that having lived my life with honesty, integrity, caring, creativity and thoughtfulness without any belief in an unnecessary infinite being, if I'm completely wrong my life will speak for itself.

OK boys.. back to it :D
:popcorn:

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#292 Post by mickeyd » September 27th, 2010, 9:02 pm

Hi Lord Muck,
I expect you can show me where I'm going wrong once you've answered the question.
Now, would you like to answer it?
I'm happy to answer your question, Lord Muck, it's just that we've already been over your method of trying to prove me guilty of the fallacy of composition with the infinite regress, and you still haven't 'got it'.

Yes, atoms are not invisible to the naked eye and mickeyd is visible to the naked eye. How does that prove you're right in thinking that humans have more value than atoms or me wrong in thinking that they don't (if indeed that's all they are)? It's irrelevant, hence my previous post to you that the fallacy or truth of composition depends entirely on the subject being discussed. The fallacy is not a fallacy of composition per se, since many compositions are manifestly true (hence my glass chess set example); it's really an empirical fallacy that involves drawing unsupportable material conclusions about a whole based on properties of its parts.

Regards,
Mick

Lord Muck oGentry
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#293 Post by Lord Muck oGentry » September 27th, 2010, 9:26 pm

mickeyd wrote:Yes, atoms are not invisible to the naked eye and mickeyd is visible to the naked eye.
There seems to be a typo there ( " not invisible"). However, I shall take it as intended. So we seem to be agreed that it is an example of the FoC.
How does that prove you're right in thinking that humans have more value than atoms or me wrong in thinking that they don't (if indeed that's all they are)?
It doesn't. And I have never said or implied that it does. My point is not about what it proves, but about what it fails to prove. The trouble with fallacies is that they cannot be relied upon to transmit truth from premisses to conclusion or to retransmit falsity from conclusion to at least one of the premisses.

Can we agree on these before we move on to the rest?
What we can't say, we can't say and we can't whistle it either. — Frank Ramsey

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Dave B
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#294 Post by Dave B » September 27th, 2010, 9:34 pm

This is beginning to sound even more abstract than the discussion as to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin!

Later: Ah - the answer
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#295 Post by mickeyd » September 27th, 2010, 9:50 pm

Hi Philbo,
Like most evolutionary traits, morality could have easily come about pretty much at random
When I use the word value, I mean something that goes beyond the explanatory dimensions of biological evolution (even if evolutionary theory could explain a mere functional cooperation, which has logical problems). Dawkins has publicly stated his inability to explain altruism. And as I've pointed out it's unlikely he regards his love for his wife as merely the imperative for propagating his genes (and the imperative remains unexplained in any case).

Everyone clearly believes that human beings have value even before they're born (abortion laws) and even after they die (desecration laws).

I was struck by the inconsistency shown in the recent furore in Scotland about the disposal of aborted foetuses as hospital clinical waste. Why all the fuss? This certainly makes the point that human beings regard themselves and others as having value beyond that which can be demonstrated by their material constitution - indeed, a value which is held to exist even for dead foetuses which are aged under the abortion time limit, by those who do not believe that abortion is murder (the complaintants included Scottish health officials and politicians). Now if this doesn't demonstrate that we think human beings have value beyond the materialist premise I don't know what does. The question for humanists then is this: you believe what your premise cannot justify, so why not reject the premise? To be consistent you must.

The simple truth is, if materialism is true, then your life is irretrievably meaningless and absurd. If it’s true, human life is the cruellest joke, a tragedy of indescribable proportions, where unique personal beings that can conceive of eternity, and of loving for eternity, will be extinguished never to return, never to be seen or heard again. Gone, not gone somewhere, just totally gone. Anyone who really believed this would be incapable of resolving grief over the loss of loved ones, ones truly loved. If time heals their wounds, it is not time that has healed, but the absence of belief in the heart of the materialism they profess with the mouth, or a remodelling of its implications to make them less appalling.

Regards,
Mick

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#296 Post by mickeyd » September 27th, 2010, 9:54 pm

Hi Lord Muck,

The trouble with fallacies is that they cannot be relied upon to transmit truth from premisses to conclusion or to retransmit falsity from conclusion to at least one of the premisses.

This is an awkward expression, but I don't it's accept it's rough and ready assertion. Fallacies are vital as a negative test for truth (showing what cannot be true). However, the fallacy of composition, where it occurs, is not a formal fallacy, but an unsupportable empirical induction.

Regards,
Mick

philbo
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#297 Post by philbo » September 27th, 2010, 10:07 pm

Dave B wrote:This is beginning to sound even more abstract than the discussion as to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin!

Later: Ah - the answer
What about how many angels can dance on the point of a pin?


..only one, and he might feel a prick ;)
Fia wrote:
philbo wrote:Hey, at least *someone*'s been reading what I've written.. :)
I know that wasn't directed at us lurkers, but despite my woeful lack of knowledge of logic I'm enjoying this thread.

At the end of the day I don't really care if god/s do or don't exist: I know that having lived my life with honesty, integrity, caring, creativity and thoughtfulness without any belief in an unnecessary infinite being, if I'm completely wrong my life will speak for itself.
:)

..but depending on which set of rules you look at, you may be more likely to get into heaven after a life of debauchery, paedophilia and murder so long as there's someone to confess your sins to before you die.
mickeyd wrote:Dawkins has publicly stated his inability to explain altruism. And as I've pointed out it's unlikely he regards his love for his wife as merely the imperative for propagating his genes (and the imperative remains unexplained in any case).
Oh, FFS, please read some of his books before you start misrepresenting what he says.
mickeyd wrote:Everyone clearly believes that human beings have value even before they're born (abortion laws) and even after they die (desecration laws).
er.. no, they don't. Not *everyone* - otherwise why do some people have (many) abortions, and lots of people (myself included) really don't give a shit what happens to their body after they die.
mickeyd wrote:I was struck by the inconsistency shown in the recent furore in Scotland about the disposal of aborted foetuses as hospital clinical waste. Why all the fuss? This certainly makes the point that human beings regard themselves and others as having value beyond that which can be demonstrated by their material constitution - indeed, a value which is held to exist even for dead foetuses which are aged under the abortion time limit, by those who do not believe that abortion is murder (the complaintants included Scottish health officials and politicians). Now if this doesn't demonstrate that we think human beings have value beyond the materialist premise I don't know what does. The question for humanists then is this: you believe what your premise cannot justify, so why not reject the premise? To be consistent you must.
You really are terminally incapable of thinking straight, aren't you? Surely the simple fact that there was a fuss & furore about aborted foetuses is clear and uncategorical proof that not all people think the same? If everybody did value dead tissue as equivalent to dead human beings, there would have been nothing for there to be a fuss about.


mickeyd wrote:The simple truth is, if materialism is true, then your life is irretrievably meaningless and absurd. If it’s true, human life is the cruellest joke, a tragedy of indescribable proportions, where unique personal beings that can conceive of eternity, and of loving for eternity, will be extinguished never to return, never to be seen or heard again.
Meaningless and absurd - yes, absolutely. Tragedy of indescribable proportions? No, that's hyperbolic rubbish. It's tragic, comic and all the absurdities in between. Making shit up to make oneself feel better about it doesn't work for me, though.
mickeyd wrote:Gone, not gone somewhere, just totally gone. Anyone who really believed this would be incapable of resolving grief over the loss of loved ones, ones truly loved. If time heals their wounds, it is not time that has healed, but the absence of belief in the heart of the materialism they profess with the mouth, or a remodelling of its implications to make them less appalling.
Far better that they're just gone than spending an eternity in the fiery pit of hell, though. And seeing as the rules on who gets into heaven are so fickle and depend on which particular interpretation of the most ambiguous book ever written, you, I and the rest of the planet will be far better off if once we die we simply cease to exist any further on any plane.

In the name of God the semantic logic-chopper, God the hole-filler and God the holy comfort blanket...

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grammar king
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#298 Post by grammar king » September 27th, 2010, 10:23 pm

You guys really need to get some avatars to make this thread easier to follow.

Fia
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#299 Post by Fia » September 27th, 2010, 10:26 pm

cross posted with philbo, so:
..but depending on which set of rules you look at, you may be more likely to get into heaven after a life of debauchery, paedophilia and murder so long as there's someone to confess your sins to before you die.
Quite. I'd rather live a good life because it's the right thing to do. I don't need god/s to tell me or forgive me. I'll stand for my own actions, thank you :)
The simple truth is, if materialism is true, then your life is irretrievably meaningless and absurd. If it’s true, human life is the cruellest joke, a tragedy of indescribable proportions, where unique personal beings that can conceive of eternity, and of loving for eternity, will be extinguished never to return, never to be seen or heard again. Gone, not gone somewhere, just totally gone. Anyone who really believed this would be incapable of resolving grief over the loss of loved ones, ones truly loved. If time heals their wounds, it is not time that has healed, but the absence of belief in the heart of the materialism they profess with the mouth, or a remodelling of its implications to make them less appalling.
Sorry to butt in again but the above is completely contrary to my experience.
I'm unsure if materialism is a concept beyond being solely concerned with material goods, but if it is only that then of course it is meaningless and absurd, just as I find the celebrity and acquisitive culture.

Yes, I believe that when we die we are
extinguished never to return, never to be seen or heard again
. I'm damn sure it's easier and more comfortable to think that the deceased have gone somewhere to look down and still be a part of our lives. This concept has been mightily useful in religions to legitimise inequality - be obedient now and be rewarded in the afterlife.

The way that our deceased loved ones remain in our godless hearts and minds is not by pretending they are really still there, somewhere. It's accepting they are no longer, celebrating, reflecting and understanding their part in our lives, and carrying their memory in our hearts, minds and actions. Absence of belief may make the initial process for the bereaved more difficult - gone forever is jolly hard - but we know the only way to celebrate their lives is to incorporate the love and lessons of their lives into our own.

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grammar king
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#300 Post by grammar king » September 27th, 2010, 10:29 pm

mickeyd wrote:This is an awkward expression, but I don't it's accept it's rough and ready assertion. Fallacies are vital as a negative test for truth (showing what cannot be true). However, the fallacy of composition, where it occurs, is not a formal fallacy, but an unsupportable empirical induction.
Absolute cack. If you use a fallacy to prove something, you don't prove its opposite, you prove nothing. Fallacies aren't vital at all. If you're saying as I believe you did earlier that your proof consists of disproving other explanations, then don't bother, that's just an argument from ignorance. We are not aware of all the possible explanations.

lewist
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#301 Post by lewist » September 27th, 2010, 10:50 pm

Just to add to what Fia said, religion was and still is a political device for maintaining privileged social order, a kind of jam tomorrow philosophy, used to persuade working people to put up with dire circumstances in the hope they would benefit hereafter.

My lovely wife is dead; gone. However, she lives on in her three grown up children and the lovely grand daughter she never knew. She lives in the memories of those who knew and loved her. That's tough but it's better and more honest than lying to ourselves about heaven and getting back together in an afterlife.

As a Humanist, I don't really care if there is a god. It's unlikely but if there is then that god is off doing a David Murray. He is a millionaire who owned and ran a basketball team where I used to live but then got the chance of a bigger toy. When he got the chance to buy a controlling share in Glasgow Rangers you couldn't see him for dust. Your god - if she exists - is god the gone away, god the utterly indifferent. She's got a new project.

Mickeyd! Do you really believe in an old guy with a beard sitting on a cloud surrounded by angels? (Ok, I've done a gender shift.) You've been arguing tortuous logic for weeks. Maybe it's time to come clean and tell us what you do believe, or point me back to it if you have already done so.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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