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Old 03-12-2014, 12:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopOnPop View Post
Rather than posting his own thread, a theist poster chose to rudely attempt to hijack an existing one with an unrelated post. So I thought I'd help him out by starting the thread he was too spineless to start himself. His point (paraphrased) was:

The response is painfully simple. While his point was technically true, it doesn't mean atheism doesn't remain a superior assertion over any theistic one.

"Since no one can prove or disprove God exists, atheists are wrong to assert their disbelief as truth."

[b]Since no one can know the unknowable, theism remains entirely incoherent, by definition.

So, until a theist exists who can demonstrate God, rather than simply making excuses why this can't be accomplished, ANY other assertion -- including the atheist one -- remains decidedly more plausible.

Thoughts? Disagreements?
Any reference to God, whether in recognizing or denying (religion or atheist), accepts the existence of God. The agnostic politely defines that there is no God. However, for those that choose to acknowledge the concept, the atheist's mistake is entering the debate.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:26 AM
 
354 posts, read 246,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
When considered as a totality . . . we are part of the universe and we think. Technically that means the universe taken as a single phenomenon does think.
But not as a totality. The bulk of the universe is unthinking matter and energy. At best, only an infinitesimal amount of the universe thinks.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:29 AM
 
354 posts, read 246,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieneke View Post
Any reference to God, whether in recognizing or denying (religion or atheist), accepts the existence of God. The agnostic politely defines that there is no God. However, for those that choose to acknowledge the concept, the atheist's mistake is entering the debate.
Acknowledging the concept exists in human minds in no way implies it has an external existence apart from the concept.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:13 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,361,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieneke View Post
Any reference to God, whether in recognizing or denying (religion or atheist), accepts the existence of God. The agnostic politely defines that there is no God. However, for those that choose to acknowledge the concept, the atheist's mistake is entering the debate.
So if I were to get into a debate over whether or not Superman could beat up Mighty Mouse, that somehow makes both Superman and Mighty Mouse real superheroes that exist here in the real world?

Hmm ... I don't think so.

As for the concept of God, no one, not even atheists, are denying that the concept of God exists.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:25 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
7,945 posts, read 4,748,074 times
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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.
And wouldn't there most likely be plenty of them? If we've had one, why not more?

After all, the Tao that can be marked down or spoken of is surely not the eternal Tao.
It would only be the human mind that would attempt to limit the character of these Things, Beasts, and Beings so Primordial, Unnatural, & Irrational (in it's most rooted sense).

Yet to the human-mind, any thing, beast, or person is ultimately unknowable in the end.
Doubt is such a deeply strange thing: to those who can treasure it, it's a great bounty; to those who cannot it's a shame and a pity that ignorance binds them too well into the snares of true sorrow and pain.

Really, from where are the Eternal and Unknowable to get their meaning and purpose?

But for us tiny spirits: there is an eternity in each moment, and there is more to learn at every turn.
Who is to speak of the eternal and unknowable? We are such a bunch of silly, irrational things.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:31 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
7,945 posts, read 4,748,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieneke View Post
Any reference to God, whether in recognizing or denying (religion or atheist), accepts the existence of God. The agnostic politely defines that there is no God. However, for those that choose to acknowledge the concept, the atheist's mistake is entering the debate.
Zeus doesn't exist.
the real Bugs Bunny doesn't exist.
the Ka and Ba and Karma don't exist.
The Gnostic Demiurge.
There is such an eternal, unmeaseurible list of all possible and seemingly impossible things.
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:49 AM
 
3,637 posts, read 2,701,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopOnPop View Post
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.
Not really. Your description is accurate. He just does such drive by straffing with some regularity. However even when his points have been truely decimated and debunked - he just waits some days and picks a new thread and trots out the exact same debunked points again.

The best we can do in such cases is merely address it each and every time is shows up - to ensure no one is fooled by the errors and falsehoods found in the texts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eok View Post
It's narrow minded for us....
That post was one big wad of mights - maybes - and ifs. All great stuff - and imagination is a wonderful thing - but we are still left in a position where we have no reason to think any of those things true. It would indeed be "narrow minded" to not accept the _possibility_ of any of the things you listed being true. But we should never do so while forgetting that possibility and imagination is all it is.

There could be a god - sure. But at this time we have no reason whatsoever to think there is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
THERE is the rhetorical trick, Arq. There is no such requirement. All that is necessary is that God EXIST and that everything that exists supports that existence.
Well at least you have the decency this time to pre-acknowledge that what you were about to write was a rhetorical trick. But the above is very much a good summary of that trick - the trick you use again and again and again and again on this forum.

You are simply defining a god into existence using words. You are essentially saying nothing more than "I am going to re-label all of existence to the word "god" and since existence exists - god exists".

You really are saying nothing at all. Just changing words around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
especially our consciousness. You have no better explanation for their existence . . . do you.
Some yes. But irrelevant. Even if we did not have an explanation for the existence of these things. SO WHAT? I mean that. SO WHAT?????

Just because we have no explanation for X - this in no way makes an explanation you simply pull out of thin air useful - credible - likely - or anything but nonsense. Having one explanation for something in no way suggests that explanation is a good or valid one. You still have not got your explanation off the ground. You are attempting to claim dominance solely by exclusivity. Comical from someone pretending to have a phd in philosopy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
When considered as a totality . . . we are part of the universe and we think. Technically that means the universe taken as a single phenomenon does think.
Another one of those nonsense lines that sounds smart but is actually totally empty. Using your "thinking" here you can just as validly claim that the universe is a *****. Because the universe contains dildos. As another user on another thread pointed out - you are simply trying to sell the "fallacy of composition" to an audience that seemingly know it better than you do.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:38 AM
 
39,213 posts, read 10,895,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I thought we agreed that NEITHER view is the ONLY logical one, Arq.
THERE is the rhetorical trick, Arq. There is no such requirement. All that is necessary is that God EXIST and that everything that exists supports that existence. All the mandates (or forces) that you rely on for your "natural forces" are nothing more than that . . . those required to support the existence of God (Nature), especially our consciousness. You have no better explanation for their existence . . . do you. Your attempt to box God into a "planner" instead of an "exister" is a bogus rhetorical trick. It is incumbent on those of us who prefer the existence of God (instead of "Nature") to present our rationale (what you denigrate as philosophy). But in EITHER case . . . they are brute fact preferences . . . not scientific defaults.
And that is why you are wrong . . . because I have never tried to do so, Arq. I accept everything we have learned about God through science . . . something you refuse to acknowledge. We just disagree on what it is evidence of. You believe whatever you think nature IS . . . is not God. I believe whatever you think nature is . . . IS God. We have competing rhetorical tricks (or philosophy). Yours is the intent and execution. Mine is the existence of consciousness. If as I believe everything exists to support the existence of God . . . then our consciousness is definitely part of it. That definitely makes God consciousness . . . otherwise we would not be needed to support God. So . . . we disagree on the fundamental premises . . . it is to be expected that we would disagree on the predicates. It always comes down to consciousness, Arq.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I thought we agreed that NEITHER view is the ONLY logical one, Arq.
No. I thought we had agreed that atheism is logical - if you do not believe in 'God' to start with. Your position is logical only if you have sound reasons for supposing a god exists.

Quote:
THERE is the rhetorical trick, Arq. There is no such requirement. All that is necessary is that God EXIST and that everything that exists supports that existence. All the mandates (or forces) that you rely on for your "natural forces" are nothing more than that . . . those required to support the existence of God (Nature),
The rhetorical trick is to call 'nature' 'God'. This is just the same problem as the material default just stated differently.

Quote:
especially our consciousness. You have no better explanation for their existence . . .
Yes we do. That consciousness it itself natural and does not provide any reason to call it 'God'.

Quote:
...do you. Your attempt to box God into a "planner" instead of an "exister" is a bogus rhetorical trick.
No. It is your efforts to plant the idea of God onto a nature that isn't anything we can legitimately call 'God' You efforts to try to make all the cosmos conscious (with the dark Matter hypothesis) is what is Bogus.

Quote:
It is incumbent on those of us who prefer the existence of God (instead of "Nature") to present our rationale (what you denigrate as philosophy).
I have never done so. I have disagreed with your attempts to dress up your hypothesis is philosophical arguments to try to prove it.

Quote:
But in EITHER case . . . they are brute fact preferences . . . not scientific defaults.
No. because we have understanding of many of the natural workings of nature without the need for anything that can legitimately call'God'.
Quote:

And that is why you are wrong . . . because I have never tried to do so, Arq. I accept everything we have learned about God through science . . . something you refuse to acknowledge.
We haven't learned anything about 'God' through science - only that it is probably a human delusion. What we have learned about is Nature. Labelling it God without better reason than it exists and you believe it is all conscious (rather than working through physical processes) is the bogus rhetorical trick.

Quote:
We just disagree on what it is evidence of.
We do. But which is the correct default (material or ...what you believe) is not a question of what we think. It is the mandatory default unless you can show something we can call God other than just a bogus label implying a conscious universal mind to something that you have not proved to be so. I know, because you have tried.

Quote:
You believe whatever you think nature IS . . . is not God. I believe whatever you think nature is . . . IS God. We have competing rhetorical tricks (or philosophy). Yours is the intent and execution. Mine is the existence of consciousness.
But the existence of consciousness- our consciousness is only evidence of our consciousness. It is not evidence of God. Your argument that existence is itself conscious is as bogus as an argument that because we are alive, all the Universe is alive. There is a difference between non living natural forces that give rise to life and to unthinking natural forces that give rise to thought. Consciousness has likely evolved along with life.

With the materialist default to be preferred, you need to upset that - 'everything that science thinks it knows' as I said, in order to make the universe of matter conscious. I have identified 'forward planning' as the obvious way of seeing a difference between a mind and a cosmos of matter working to unthinking processes.

Quote:
If as I believe everything exists to support the existence of God . . . then our consciousness is definitely part of it. That definitely makes God consciousness . . . otherwise we would not be needed to support God. So . . . we disagree on the fundamental premises . . . it is to be expected that we would disagree on the predicates. It always comes down to consciousness, Arq.
Essentially it does. Until you have made a case for a conscious universe, your predicate is invalid as a starting point. Mine - or the materialist or the atheist starting point - is valid.

You have said it exists and that is enough to call it the God you see as a conscious mind apart from our individual minds. I say that it is a rhetorical trick to do so, unless you can upset the materialist default as the preferred one.

You know this, because you have tried to do it by ignoring what we do know about it and pointing to what we don't - as I have said, no more legitimate than dismissing evolution as the preferable explanation for the emergence of life, just because we can't prove how it began.

You have tried to do so by dismissing it as 'beliefs' about nature. You know that we have reliable knowledge about it. Not complete, but enough to be the preferred explanation.

You have tried to pee over the 'preferred explanation' by sneering at 'The friar's dictum' though I demonstrated that it is as based in reliable fact as much as any other form of logic.

You have tried to wangle God onto the table by arguing that a 'Will' was needed to begin everything (but not for a long time, I concede)

And you have attempted to use the Hard Question to prove that a consciousness exists outside of and apart from the individual human ones. This turn out to be based on fallacy, in fact. Just because we can't explain it all in 100% material terms does not mean that it is impossible. It was just another attempt to play the 'unknowns' card which I am sure you know is false logic.

Unknown or unexplained is NOT evidence of anything one way or the other. But what we do know - which is all material without any evidence of this conscious God leaves the material default as the best explanation until you can substantiate your case.

That old mate, is why you are wrong, why your beliefs are unsubstantiated and why the burden of proof is on you to substantiate your case.

Labelling 'God' a reality which is better explained in materialist terms is the rhetorical trick. And it is bogus. And so is your attempt to try on the 'agree to differ'. trick with the implication that your view is as valid as mine. Or rather the materialist or perhaps atheist one.

Remember we do not say that your God does not and cannot exist- only that we do not believe your hypothesis until you have substantiated it. This you have failed to do. Random factors knows, you have used up tons of bandwidth trying to. (there you go)

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 03-12-2014 at 05:54 AM..
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Mill Valley, California
275 posts, read 393,738 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
Then we've come to an understanding at least on what you were going for in the original assertion. We can probably have an interesting discussion on your original point now. How about this...
Instead of the original...

how about...
Quote:
Why atheists can be confident that gods do not exist...
You've already laid out one very strong argument why the second is most likely true. We can be very confident that the human ideas of god do not exist as an external entity, because the concept seems intentionally designed to be unknowable.
That's it exactly. When we introduce the idea of an unknowable, we introduce a kind of event-horizon (but unlike the one around singularities it applies both ways -- nothing can cross it form either side). Thus, postulating entities (or anything) beyond the event horizon becomes merely a task that produces meaningless information -- ideas that either (as in theoretical physics like the "many worlds" hypothesis) merely makes someone's hypothetical model work out in a nice neat way, or (as in theology) satisfies some emotional and irrational need of the believer. Its at that moment the unknowable is introduced that the conversation has to end. To believe in an incoherent idea is not rational once the incoherency has been brought to light. Likewise, when people start defining concepts like the supernatural, or talking about beyond spacetime, they are usually just smuggling in an "unknowable by another name" without explicitly calling it as such. Hypothesizing about things forever beyond our comprehension and outside out experiential realm cannot ever make any meaningful contribution to our knowledge. We can never validate such things, nor distinguish them from wholly fictional ideas.

Quote:
This is almost certainly why there is no reasonable definition of what a god is. Sure, the theist will gleefully inform us of things the god supposedly does, but never what it is or how it would interact to do the things it supposedly does. God is always a convenient mystery not to be tested, examined or questioned.
Essentially, any one with a God belief that doesn't try to grab the whole pie of creation actually avoids this one blatant incoherency issue. If their God concept is safely contained inside the knowable universe that mankind also is contained in and simply, at this time, remains unknown (rather than unknowable) -- so we can at least theoretically gather evidence to validate such a hypothesis -- can at least be intellectually entertained long enough to get to the first real disagreement rather than being dismissed out of hand for being incoherent. For example, pantheism doesn't make the above incoherency error, nor does any belief that adheres to what one might refer to as the "more ancient form of God belief" -- like that found in ancient Greece and Rome -- when many God beliefs were thought to be merely superior, magical human beings.

Personally, I find the pantheistic concept of god to be the better of the two hypotheses -- even one's that also asserting that nature/God is a "thinking universe" (something similar to what Mystic just claimed) that arose prior to and separate from the human brain. At least on the surface, such a hypothesis steps past this pitfall outlined here.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Mill Valley, California
275 posts, read 393,738 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
And wouldn't there most likely be plenty of them? If we've had one, why not more?

After all, the Tao that can be marked down or spoken of is surely not the eternal Tao.
The eternal Tao is either unknowable or its merely a human ideal that is comprehensible but merely unachievable. If we are talking the latter, we might represent the eternal Tao as a geometric shape -- such as a perfect circle -- for which humans will forever remain unable to ever achieve in reality, but as a concept the perfect circle is fully captured in human mathematics and comprehensible to the human mind == which is not the same thing as an unknowable concept.

On the other hand, if your notion of the eternal Tao is, in fact, ultimately an unknowable ideal for all time, how can we ever claim we know of it in the first place, to event attempt to achieve it? Such a notion is not coherent with the idea of being unknowable.

Quote:
Yet to the human-mind, any thing, beast, or person is ultimately unknowable in the end.
This is merely a conflation between unknowable and the unknown, There is no justification to think that ultimately anything we now know in part, is ultimately, going to have some component we do not ultimately understand -- unless we are willing to concede that investigative effort and time cannot both be infinite.

Quote:
Doubt is such a deeply strange thing: to those who can treasure it, it's a great bounty; to those who cannot it's a shame and a pity that ignorance binds them too well into the snares of true sorrow and pain.
Despite the value of your beautifully poetic expression here, the point you make is fairly obvious. If by mentioning such a notion here, however, you are implying something about the nature of the discussion, I would ask you why then do you choose to participate in it? The negative inferences one may draw from this expression here reflects rather poorly upon your motive and character.

Quote:
Really, from where are the Eternal and Unknowable to get their meaning and purpose?
I do not know. I do not even know from where you get your meaning and purpose. All I can know is from where I get my meaning and my purpose. Are you implying that meaning and purpose are objective things?

Quote:
But for us tiny spirits: there is an eternity in each moment, and there is more to learn at every turn.
Who is to speak of the eternal and unknowable? We are such a bunch of silly, irrational things.
You are implying that as tiny spirits who are often silly and irrational, humans are unable to understand their own concepts -- like "eternal" and "unknowable" == and that is demonstrably false. You are correct, we cannot ever understand things that are unknowable (by definition) but we most certainly can understand what we mean when we say something is unknowable (which, by discussing them with others, is all that I am attempting to do here). Eternal is another issue altogether outside this discussion, but do you at least understand the distinction I am discussing in regard to the 'unknowable'?
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