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Thread: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

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    Re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    The FSM is presumably flying and made of pasta. This means it has a body, location, is finite, is contingent, etc. The God of classical theists is necessary, infinite, absolute, omnipresent, etc. They are very different kinds of entity.


    This is incorrect. Are you at all familiar with the literature?


    There are lots of questions about what the laws of nature are. Only if one assumes they are causal regularities that always hold would they rule out non-physical interference in the universe a priori.
    The FSM has never been detected. It is presumed to have a body and to be able to fly but no one really knows. I don't really know why it is presumed to be flying and made of spaghetti, but it is not my place to question. The believers tell me I will go to hell if I don't just accept what I am told. Regardless I do not personally subscribe to the FSM, or any other god for that matter so I will not try to defend it.

    You mean to say the classical theists god is presumed to be infinite, absolute, omnipresent. How does anyone know that? They don't know that any more than those who propose the FSM know of it's attributes or characteristics.

    Are you telling me that there is peer-reviewed scientific literature which suggests ghosts have been detected. Wow, how did I miss it.

    And finally, it is true we don't know what the laws of nature are, where they come from or why they are the way they are. Yes they are assumed to always hold true because they seem to be fundamental and have never been observed to fail. Supernatural phenomena are not describable by those laws. There are not suggestions given by those laws which compel us to search for something we can not detect in any way. We do science from a basis of previous knowledge, not from imagined possibilities not in evidence.
    Last edited by Russell797; 03-20-17 at 07:27 PM.

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    Re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell797 View Post
    The FSM has never been detected. It is presumed to have a body and to be able to fly but no one really knows. I don't really know why it is presumed to be flying and made of spaghetti, but it is not my place to question. The believers tell me I will go to hell if I don't just accept what I am told. Regardless I do not personally subscribe to the FSM, or any other god for that matter so I will not try to defend it.

    You mean to say the classical theists god is presumed to be infinite, absolute, omnipresent. How does anyone know that? They don't know that any more than those who propose the FSM know of it's attributes or characteristics.
    Let's go back to the beginning to remember just what we are debating.

    The FSM, like Russell's teapot, is supposed to show that although the FSM cannot be disproved, as there is no evidence for it, we shouldn't believe in it. It , however, ignores that God is not an entity in time and space, in the universe, as is the FSM, the teapots, quarks, or distant nebilae. The knowledge, or one important kind, that is alleged for God is very different from these sorts of entities - it is allegedly discoverable via proofs based on deductions from general observations of the world, like "there is change". Therefore you need to refute these proofs before talking about the FSM.
    Are you telling me that there is peer-reviewed scientific literature which suggests ghosts have been detected. Wow, how did I miss it.
    There certainly is on laboratory experiments by parapyschologists stretching from Rhine in the 30s until today. There was a lot of fieldwork done between the 1870s and 1939s by the SPR. The authors I mentioned are philosophers who take the evidence seriously, and are often quite legitimately scornful of most sceptics, who don't show much familiarity at all.

    And finally, it is true we don't know what the laws of nature are, where they come from or why they are the way they are. Yes they are assumed to always hold true because they seem to be fundamental and have never been observed to fail. Supernatural phenomena are not describable by those laws. There are not suggestions given by those laws which compel us to search for something we can not detect in any way. We do science from a basis of previous knowledge, not from imagined possibilities not in evidence.
    Whether they have been observed to fail is what is in question, so you simply beg the question there. There are several different philosophical understandings of scientific laws, many of which would not rule out paranormal and miraculous phenomena.
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    Re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    The point is that the FSM, like Russell Teapot (of which it is just a modification that is supposed to be make religion look ridiculous), is not the Unmoved Mover of classical theism. It is not absolute, infinite, and so on. Rather, it is a entity, like any other, that exists within the universe. It is the kind of being whose existence could only be established through empirical investigation and experience. You could replace the FSM with quark or some rare species or rare element. It is the same kind of entity, fundamentally. The God of classical theism and orthodox Christianity is not like that. I suppose the term empirical might be misleading, because there are attempted proofs of God from empirical phenomena, just as there are inductive and probabilistic proofs alongside the a priori and deductive ones (and, of course, technically there are entities in physics whose existence is deduced from other empirically discovered entities but that have not been proved experimentally). But my point was mostly that the FSM is a totally different kind of entity to the God of classical theism and orthodox Christianity.

    This is not trivial. The God of classical theism is at least allegedly provable from some very general observations about the world, for example, that there is change or that there is unity. Russell's teapot is not like this. It would only discoverable by observing it specifically, or at least by deducing it from some pretty specific and complex astronomical theories - which is just what can't be done according to Russell's scenario. So God and the teapot, or the FSM, are not comparable.
    There is nothing provable about god, allegedly or otherwise, obtained by general observation in the world that there is change or that there is unity. I'm not even sure what that means. What is the change and what is the unity that is observed in the world that points to god? It makes no sense at all.
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    Re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by devildavid View Post
    There is nothing provable about god, allegedly or otherwise, obtained by general observation in the world that there is change or that there is unity. I'm not even sure what that means. What is the change and what is the unity that is observed in the world that points to god? It makes no sense at all.
    Are you not aware of the traditional proofs of God, as given by, for example, Aquinas or Plotinus and so on? I'm wondering why you'd be quite strident without even a basic familiarity with such material. Peter Kreeft gives a good summary (remember they are just that before you waste everyone's time) of twenty largely traditional proofs:

    Twenty Arguments For The Existence Of God by Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli

    Edward Feser has a good roundup on cosmological arguments, including the two varieties mentioned (those like Aquinas' First way, which really on change, and those like the neoplatonic argument based on unity).

    Edward Feser: Cosmological argument roundup
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    Re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    This is nitpicking and doesn't even make sense, as if one cannot use two adjectives expressing slightly different aspects of the same quality.
    No, nit picking would be me pointing out spelling errors. But pointing out that you are making tautologies tells me you really do not understand the meaning of the word if you have to say it twice.

    One is an observed therefor empirical the other is hypothetical. Hoa does this even connect to a god let alone offer proof of one.
    It isn't supposed to. I was criticising Russell's teapot/FSM. It is essential to keep the actual argument in mind.
    So when i ask you how your argument s relevant you reply by pointing out the teapot is not relevant. How does that work?

    You will of course be able to show this? I would love to see your refutation of even the First Way on these grounds.
    I already did. Aquinus started from the position that a god exists and he only needed an argument to prove it so. Yet he nor anyone else bothered to show why a god would exist in the first place, he just assumed it to be so.
    This is not a proper response. My point is simply that the teapot is a fundamentally different kind of entity with an allegedly fundamentally different means of knowing it, therefore Russell's claim that though it can't be disproven, there is no reason to believe in it doesn't make sense. I'm not arguing the traditional proofs are correct, simply that they are very different from the sort of knowledge one could have over the teapot. You haven't properly responded to this. Mostly you have just asserted God is like the teapot.
    No they are really no different at all. They all have the same basic problem in that they assume a god must exist and the work backwards from that to produce premises that will fit a conclusion. Aquinus especially can be dismissed for this.

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    Re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell797 View Post
    More power to you. It's your choice to contest unfavourable odds. In that case you have no reason to expect that you will be successful. You are always taking a risk, whatever you do though. No outcome is 100% certain to occur is my point.
    True, but some outcomes have an assurety by the mere reason that they are predictable. To take the first step to climb a cliff is stepping into the unknown. Once set upon the task it takes determination and an understanding of what i am doing. One is faith, the other reason.

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    Re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by soylentgreen View Post
    No, nit picking would be me pointing out spelling errors. But pointing out that you are making tautologies tells me you really do not understand the meaning of the word if you have to say it twice.
    Nonsense. You seem to have a hard time understanding coordinate adjectives, especially the use of them to express nuances. The adjectives I used were simply to express slightly different aspects of the reasoning in question for those who are not experts on the matter, and were perfectly valid to do so. At worst it shows a little wordiness (I do like my pairs or pairs of coordinating conjunctions) on my part.


    So when i ask you how your argument s relevant you reply by pointing out the teapot is not relevant. How does that work?
    The teapot is not relevant, as it stands to a critic of theism. This is what I posted above, and it suffices here:

    Let's go back to the beginning to remember just what we are debating.

    The FSM, like Russell's teapot, is supposed to show that although the FSM cannot be disproved, as there is no evidence for it, we shouldn't believe in it. It , however, ignores that God is not an entity in time and space, in the universe, as is the FSM, the teapots, quarks, or distant nebilae. The knowledge, or one important kind, that is alleged for God is very different from these sorts of entities - it is allegedly discoverable via proofs based on deductions from general observations of the world, like "there is change". Therefore you need to refute these proofs before talking about the FSM.

    I already did. Aquinus started from the position that a god exists and he only needed an argument to prove it so. Yet he nor anyone else bothered to show why a god would exist in the first place, he just assumed it to be so.
    This doesn't make sense. You say he just assumed God, and yet you also say he gave an argument. That means he still gave an argument, which should be evaluated on its merits, whatever Aquinas' psychology of belief.

    No they are really no different at all. They all have the same basic problem in that they assume a god must exist and the work backwards from that to produce premises that will fit a conclusion. Aquinus especially can be dismissed for this.
    This is just fallacious. You are assuming that Aquinas' argument can be dismissed because you don't like his means of invention, his finding of premises. That is just a material fallacy - it isn't relevant to the argument. The argument stands or falls on its merits. It doesn't even matter if it is Aquinas' - if we found it was really written by his valet it wouldn't change anything. And, anyway, even if Aquinas' arguments were fallacious wrong, it wouldn't change the soundness of my argument.
    Last edited by Wessexman; 03-21-17 at 12:56 AM.
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    Re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Nonsense. You seem to have a hard time understanding coordinate adjectives, especially the use of them to express nuances. The adjectives I used were simply to express slightly different aspects of the reasoning in question for those who are not experts on the matter, and were perfectly valid to do so.
    Again not nit picking to point out that when you say the same thing twice you do not really know the word you are trying to use.


    The FSM, like Russell's teapot, is supposed to show that although the FSM cannot be disproved, as there is no evidence for it, we shouldn't believe in it. It , however, ignores that God is not an entity in time and space, in the universe, as is the FSM, the teapots, quarks, or distant nebilae. The knowledge, or one important kind, that is alleged for God is very different from these sorts of entities - it is allegedly discoverable via proofs based on deductions from general observations of the world, like "there is change". Therefore you need to refute these proofs before talking about the FSM.
    And have already refuted them. Also it is your claim that the fsm is an entity. As it really is nothing more than a concept used to ridicule a belief in god it can also serve as a something only discerned by deduction as well.
    This doesn't make sense. You say he just assumed God, and yet you also say he gave an argument. That means he still gave an argument, which should be evaluated on its merits, whatever Aquinas' psychology of belief.
    Except that he based his argument on the idea that a god must exist and then fitted his premises to suite that belief. The argument has no merit because it is simply a self serving devise. Your basic circular argument, god must exist because there is change, how do we know things change because god must exist.
    This is just fallacious. You are assuming that Aquinas' argument can be dismissed because you don't like his means of invention, his finding of premises. That is just a material fallacy - it isn't relevant to the argument. The argument stands or falls on its merits. It doesn't even matter if it is Aquinas'. Try not to commit gross fallacies. It makes it hard to get to reason properly. And, anyway, even if Aquinas' arguments were fallacious wrong, it wouldn't change the soundness of my argument.
    No the only fallacious argument here is yours in assuming you know how i feel by saying i do not like something. Address instead the fact that not one good reason was given by aquinus or anyone else for that matter to first establish a good reason for bringing a god into existence in the first place. Aquinus like any theist starts from the proposition that a god must exist. Then attempts to work out ways of proving it to be so. This is simply self fulfilling prophesying not good reasoning.

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    Re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by soylentgreen View Post
    Again not nit picking to point out that when you say the same thing twice you do not really know the word you are trying to use.
    Who says? If someone says, "Yes, yes..." They then must not know what yes means? If they use adjectives to describe slightly different aspects of something, they must not know what those words mean? What utter nonsense.


    And have already refuted them. Also it is your claim that the fsm is an entity. As it really is nothing more than a concept used to ridicule a belief in god it can also serve as a something only discerned by deduction as well.
    Nowhere did I say it was an actually existing entity. It should be reasonably obvious from context and common sense that I didn't mean that, nor are my words illegitimate for the meaning I was expressing.

    Except that he based his argument on the idea that a god must exist and then fitted his premises to suite that belief. The argument has no merit because it is simply a self serving devise. Your basic circular argument, god must exist because there is change, how do we know tings change because god must exist.
    This is just gross fallacy, apart from being baseless, unsupported (please forgive me for using coordinating conjunctions to express nuanced meaning again!) assertions. It is a simply a genealogical fallacy - a material fallacy of relevance. His arguments stand or fall on the soundness, not on your psychological and historical speculations.
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    Re: Atheism is a religion [W:1586,2242]

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Who says? If someone says, "Yes, yes..." They then must not know what yes means? If they use adjectives to describe slightly different aspects of something, they must not know what those words mean? What utter nonsense.
    .
    Saying yes, yes is just repeating yourself. Using two different words with the same meaning is a tautology.


    Nowhere did I say it was an actually existing entity. It should be reasonably obvious from context and common sense that I didn't mean that, nor are my words illegitimate for the meaning I was expressing.
    I did not use the word existing i only used the word you used, entity.


    This is just gross fallacy, apart from being baseless, unsupported (please forgive me for using coordinating conjunctions to express nuanced meaning again!) assertions. It is a simply a genealogical fallacy - a material fallacy of relevance. His arguments stand or fall on the soundness, not on your psychological and historical speculations
    It is not sound at all as it relies on a premise that cannot be proven to be true. that a god does exist and therefor change can happen. The best you can say about it is that it is valid.

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