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Old 03-10-2014, 11:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopOnPop View Post
My assertion about theism being incoherent, is definitely qualified by claims of gods that are considered unknowable/uncomprehendable/outside space and time/etc. as the Judeo-Christian god is often described, but I wouldn't necessarily limit my claim to just that crowd. I believe there are plenty of non-Christian examples of people claiming to know a god that is unknowable too.
I would agree there are plenty of anthropogenic gods that are incomprehensible, in fact they probably all are, including the very word itself. The capitalized version of the word "god" usually gives me fits because it's often used in reference to one of a very few specific gods. When I see "God" I like to clarify which god we're talking about, otherwise I stick to the lower case version of the word.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Mill Valley, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
I would agree there are plenty of anthropogenic gods that are incomprehensible, in fact they probably all are, including the very word itself. The capitalized version of the word "god" usually gives me fits because it's often used in reference to one of a very few specific gods. When I see "God" I like to clarify which god we're talking about, otherwise I stick to the lower case version of the word.
I totally agree with you. I am the same way. In this case I now wish I didn't use the cap version -- the big-G was misleading to my point.

When I write the word, I too often simply default to whatever I perceive to be the least offensive. I have had too many threads side-tracked with a lower-case version leading to claims that I am offending someone's god. It's also why I always spell out the word Christmas and Christian (rather than xmas and xian). I hate to give someone in an argument a reason to side-track things on trivial nonsense like this -- and since ultimately I don't care -- I often find myself unconsciously tending to whatever is going to satisfy the least-common-denominator. On an atheist board, however, I should have realized that I needed to reset my default to lower case
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:19 AM
 
39,134 posts, read 10,857,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopOnPop View Post
As the newbie for Mystic -- I really was hoping to become his chew toy for at least a little while but I guess that's a block he already has gone around perhaps once too often with the current posters here?

But upon reading your comment Arq -- i.e. "material/physical" as the default position? really? -- I now get the sense that it would have been a rather boring and derivative conversation. Anyone who starts from a presupposition that allows them to somehow deny reality itself are tedious. I suppose I should know better given the way Mystic typically uses language -- to obscure meaning rather than communicate better. People like that often are even more incoherent than the average theist. Are my suspicions warranted?
I really don't want to talk about Mystic as though he wasn't there. But, there is an element of the need to upset 'everything that science thinks it knows' in order to (hopefully) make 'God' the only possible explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
Except that an atheist would probably not capitalize the word "nature" and can't by definition believe in or name anything a god. Once you make the leap of calling something a "god", you're by definition a theist of one sort or the other.

Also, I just read the definition of the panentheistic god, and it seems that god transcends nature and the universe, unlike the pantheistic god, which does not. While an atheist might believe nature and the material is all that exists (I'm in that camp), we certainly would not consider nature a god <(lacks much needed definition).
The two areas on which we goddlesss bastards clash with Mystic is defining 'God' and validating naturalistic materialism as the preferred (indeed the mandatory) default position.

It is a rhetorical trick, I argue, to simply label reality 'God' rather than 'nature'. And then having proved that 'God' is real, well, job done, really.

Now, we all 'know' that there is a difference between 'Nature' and 'God'. It is so 'Obvious' that we don't stop to question it and Mystic's questioning makes us do so.

Essentially, the difference comes down to whether we have evolved (got to where we are through natural forces reacting to conditions) or have been created. That is we and everything were planned ahead of the event and everything was done deliberately to achieve an outcome.

Speculations about loops of time aside 'Forward planning' is what separates 'God' from 'Nature'. And if that forward planning theory cannot be substantiated, then 'God' is not proven and 'Nature' is the default. Because the physical process that work without any apparent planning has been demonstrated. Therefore in the absence of any better alternative hypothesis, has to be the preferred one.

That is how I argue it, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I am just trying to get him/her to the same point you said you were, Arq. It is clear that there is no acceptance of the a priori nature of BOTH positions. THAT is what is unacceptable. BOTH views about a generic God are reasonable and rational given the state of knowledge. It is the absurd and irrational religious BELIEFS ABOUT God that present questionable positions amenable to refutation. I do. I thought you understood the logical reasons why I do. Both positions are a priori preferences about the inscrutable.
NO it isn't, Arq. You do not LIKE it and call it God of the gaps . . . but the gaps are still there. There is NO scientific basis for rejecting or accepting EITHER position, Arq. I accept that you have logical and rational reasons for your PREFERENCE. I thought you understood that I do as well.
And that is why you are wrong, Mystic. we DO have very good logical and evidential reasons to regard materialisticic naturalism as the default, and those 'gaps' are irrelevant. beliefs about it, are also irrelevant. If what we take to be so about nature are just 'beliefs' and are not based on sound science, prove it. Upset everything that science thinks it knows.You haven't managed to do it so far.

All you have done is to use philosophy to pull a number of rhetorical tricks. Until you can get 'God' on the table as a preferrable 'Label' for reality than '(materialistic) 'Nature' (and just being the origin of everything won't do, you need to demonstrate intent and execution) you have nothing. We have the science. I explain this time and again and you still come back with the same old faith-based claims and debunked arguments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopOnPop View Post
I totally agree with you. I am the same way. In this case I now wish I didn't use the cap version -- the big-G was misleading to my point.

When I write the word, I too often simply default to whatever I perceive to be the least offensive. I have had too many threads side-tracked with a lower-case version leading to claims that I am offending someone's god. It's also why I always spell out the word Christmas and Christian (rather than xmas and xian). I hate to give someone in an argument a reason to side-track things on trivial nonsense like this -- and since ultimately I don't care -- I often find myself unconsciously tending to whatever is going to satisfy the least-common-denominator. On an atheist board, however, I should have realized that I needed to reset my default to lower case
Semantics and definitions is a favourite dickering - area for theists because the terms are used so loosely that it is always possible to prove the atheist Wrong in any term they may use, because you can always find a different useage or definition.

The solution is 'Concepts before definitions'. It doesn't matter how some other persons use a term or even how it is defined in a dictionary (which include popular and not always correct usage of terms as well as correct and scientifically accurate ones) but what you mean. Though of course a concensus on usage saves a lot of discussion.

So, use a term and where the meaning is debatable or varied, explain what you mean by it and then, if anyone talks about something else and pretends that's what YOU are talking about, they can be given a headslap and brought to order.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 03-11-2014 at 06:19 AM..
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:07 AM
 
39,134 posts, read 10,857,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
I'd assume we're talking about the Judeo Christian god here, as is generally what the capitalized version of the word refers too. I would say that I'm very confident that this particular god almost certainly does not exist. Arq laid out some very realistic probabilities in his first post in the thread.

I would amend this to read more clearly; Why atheism/disbelief is warranted in the case of the Judeo Christian god.
That a quite different argument from the ongoing Mystical one. Mystic refers to the Gospel story at least as a current furthest advance of our spiritual development. This morphs between the real and the mythical in an odd way, but it is irrelevant, because our 'spiritual' development has moved on from mere Christianity to rational and evidence - based thinking.

The Judeo - Christian God is indeed the one we debate here and in fact, if that goes down the plug hole, then all the other Bible- based religions go with it.

Why atheists can be confident the Judeo - Christian god does not exist is because the God depicted in both testaments does not make any sense. The history aspect also looks doubtful. There is almost nothing in the OT that can be relied upon as history other than the Assyrian attacks and Babylonian exile, and even then, they are heavily slanted to make it seem that YHWH is masterminding it all.

This is no more than trying to explain away apparently purposeless disasters as some part of God's plan. It makes so much more sense if there is no such god. It makes so much more sense if one kicks the godfaith -habit that the deconvert is in no doubt that they were truly fooling themselves into believing what made no sense.

Now the NT is considered, if we doubt the flood and parting of the Red sea as fact, to be (give or take a Shekel-eating fish or a load of open tombs and zombies shanking around Jerusalem), a reliable eyewitness record of Jesus' sayings and doings.

They are not. There has been an ongoing 'natural explanation' campaign as there was with the Plagues of Egypt with red algae, rather than blood, crossing a marsh rather than a sea parting, and, more recently, the Black sea flood proving Noah.

So we got talk about supernovae and conjunctions of planets, Jesus walking along the edge of the sand with the water just over his pinkies, and supposed curative properties of a flobb and handful of dirt in the eyes.

Cobblers. If these things were natural explained events then the Bible is no more than a curiosity. But they do not work by a country mile as 'natural' events. But they do work, and very convincingly as made - up events intended by the writers to make it look like God was looking after the Jews and Jesus was a divine being.

The evidence for them being made up is glaringly obvious, but Believers have a variety of excuses. I say that they do not stand up for an instant. Not to any reasonable person. And thus we can be confident that Jesus (if there was such a person) had no divine powers. And thus the God he believed in was a figment of his imagination, just as it is for all those who believe in it.

We are on our own. We are responsible and whether we can learn to survive in peace, or whether we carry on trashing the planet and banging our heads together, confident that it is all God's Plan unfolding, depends on the message getting out.

'There ain't no (Bible) God'.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 03-11-2014 at 06:28 AM..
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:21 AM
 
3,637 posts, read 2,698,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
BOTH views about a generic God are reasonable and rational given the state of knowledge.
Given our current knowledge and state of knowledge - the only reasonable and rational position there is on the subject of "god" is that there is no reason whatsoever to think there is one.

Does that mean there is no such thing? No. It just means - as I just said - that we have no reason to think there is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
It is the absurd and irrational religious BELIEFS ABOUT God that present questionable positions amenable to refutation.
Such as your absurd and irrational believe about god that it even exists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Arq. You do not LIKE it and call it God of the gaps . . . but the gaps are still there.
Of course they are still there. You could not play your usual god of the gaps trickery if the gaps were not there to play in. The reason you play the god of the gaps game is percisely because there are gaps in which to do so. If there is something we do not know or understand you simply stick "goddunit" in the gap and act like you have made a point.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:09 AM
 
39,134 posts, read 10,857,554 times
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Indeed. Mystic, we know your arguments. We know why they they are not logically sound. We have repeatedly explained it to you. We have argued through all your attempts to make them stand up. They do not. Why are you still trying them on?

It can only a be a new Mark whom you consider unwary.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Mill Valley, California
275 posts, read 393,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I really don't want to talk about Mystic as though he wasn't there. But, there is an element of the need to upset 'everything that science thinks it knows' in order to (hopefully) make 'God' the only possible explanation.
You are right. I apologize to Mystic (if my jibe had offended you, Mystic, it was not my intention, I thought you had abandoned the thread and I was merely copping the "dumped lover" attitude). I did not realize he is more of a regular here. I had assumed he was more of the typical theist visitors common to every atheist hang-out on the Internet -- merely doing a drive-by verbal strafing and leaving, never to hear anyone's reply. I see now that Mystic is different.

Last edited by HopOnPop; 03-11-2014 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:24 PM
 
39,134 posts, read 10,857,554 times
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Oh no.No no. Mystic is one of our grand and terrible Old Men who eat newbies for elevensies. He is a highly erudite Phd ex-professor emeritus lecturer in philosophy. He puts all his knowledge and erudition to the service of God - the pet one he keeps in his own head at least - and it a pretty tough proposition.

The only way we minor mortals can deal with him is to avoid being drawn to fight on his ground and keep him operating on the 'Keep it real and simple' ground. That way, while he will certainly upend buckets of toxic venom over our verbal attacks, they are simple and understandable enough (a virtue that Mystic's posts sometimes lack) that the reader can see that what we say makes logical sense.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:42 PM
eok
 
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It's narrow minded for us to believe our universe is the only one, or that our reality is the only reality. For all we know, some universes have gods, and some don't. Or God may exist, and be all powerful, but not in the same reality in which we exist. And it may even turn out that in the reality in which God exists, we don't really share that existence, but are only figments of God's imagination. Our whole reality might be a figment of His imagination. And He might not even know that. He might think we're real. Or He might have heated arguments with His friends, about whether we're real, or whether there are different realities, and whether we might be more real than Him in some of those realities. He might not even remember whether He created us or not, and might have heated arguments with His friends about that issue. Assuming He has any friends. If I were that powerful, all my friends might be scared away from me, and I might be all alone.

God has to be human-like, if you define human-like to be having a tendency to pass and enforce laws and rules. Because, if he doesn't have that tendency, where did the laws of nature come from?

If God changes the laws of nature, are we going to know it? We might not, because He might rewind our reality, to start over with the new laws of nature. He might have rewound us zillions of times, and our present reality might be the playback of one of those rewinds.
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Mill Valley, California
275 posts, read 393,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Oh no.No no. Mystic is one of our grand and terrible Old Men who eat newbies for elevensies. He is a highly erudite Phd ex-professor emeritus lecturer in philosophy. He puts all his knowledge and erudition to the service of God - the pet one he keeps in his own head at least - and it a pretty tough proposition.
Excellent to hear. Too often the biggest failures of theists is not found in what they believe but their inability to engage long enough as to bring something of worth to the table. Its a relief in fact for me to be told that Mystic is one that can not only present an argument (right or wrong) but do so in a way that makes people think. On that recommendation, then, I shall put more of an effort into slogging through some of his past posts and to bring myself up to speed.

Last edited by HopOnPop; 03-11-2014 at 02:10 PM..
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