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Re: Hey peoples

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:52 pm
by Shol'va
You know ... we've been talking about "god" but this concept hasn't even been properly defined.
Usually conversations over the existence or non-existence takes for granted that it is well established what the concept of "god" is and everybody agrees on it by default, and completely ignores the numerous issues and incomprehensibility of the concept itself. The fact is "god" is just a term and usually the definition is expected to be known culturally. All of us were raised being told what god is, but upon close examination the very concept shows itself to be incomprehensible. And typically it is taken for granted that we conceptualize god as being the Judeo-Christian or Islamic idea of the deity.

So really, the debate is over the comprehensibility of the incomprehensible to be comprehensible or real.

Here's an interesting video

Here is also a good argument that puts forth that if god were to exist, then god would not create a material universe, as well as why this is. ... d-objects/

Re: Hey peoples

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:07 pm
by ThorGoLucky
Shol'va, when I'm asked about God, I ask which one, and often the person asking gets annoyed. But it seems rather pointless arguing from differing premises.

After God is defined, the question becomes "How do you know?" And the answer has been logical fallacies, scripture (just a claim, not a conclusion), and/or faith (pretending to know what's not known).

Re: Hey peoples

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:11 pm
by Shol'va
Good points, ThorGoLucky :) I also do the same in some instances. We're already well beyond that point so I think it might come across as a dishonest debate tactic, but wanted to point it out anyway. When I said "incomprehensible", I was meaning unintelligible.

Re: Hey peoples

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:24 pm
by Photosynthesis

I'll jump over what you are chatting with Shol'va.

Daniel (Da Pilgrim) wrote:
So? Isn't this exactly what I'm saying? That maybe the universe/reality it's not completely deterministic?

I am not the one claiming indeterminism lol, you seem to be. I was talking about a mythical set of particles, which then form themselves magically into a hammer, which then forces its way into the surround particles. Hence I don't believe in magical particles changing at whim like the hammer. If indeterminism is real then magical effects can happen without causes and thus make all reality indeterminate. I believe everything is interlocked and determined, influencing each other in innumerable ways. Thus my reasoning is determined by the stimuli around me and my "being's" responses to them. If my being or the stimuli were not deterministic then I would be a magical random being and would not consist of a reliable, consistent nature.
Of course you could "determine" large scale events if there is a small amount of indeterminism in the mix, but technically at the fundamental level the large event could not be determined down to its smallest parts.

And I was truly giving you the benefit of the doubt there. I already said that my position was not completely indeterministic, but not completely deterministic. I said that I don't think it's a dichotomy. That it is more like some stuff happens deterministically, but some phenomena are random. Not every phenomena, some phenomena. I already said that non-deterministic does not mean magical. Why the hell do you insist on magic? Some stuff might behave randomly, as in unpredictably. That is far from meaning magic. A lot of phenomena at least seem to have a foundational randomness, and such randomness combined with the less random stuff (the more deterministic stuff), is what makes a lot of stuff possible. Like the formation of our solar system. In these cases it's the positions of stuff at initial states that's random. It's not magically appearing stuff, it's some conditions can be random. That's all I'm saying. If it's also true, as it seems to be in quantum mechanics, that some particles do appear randomly, that's still not magically appearing hammers. That still does not mean magic happens. Just that some stuff happens at random intervals or distribute randomly in space. That's it. Please stop reading beyond what I say and try and understand instead.

As per your example of the magical hammer, this is what I was going to say, but didn't because I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Here's your main problem: how else if not deterministically are these effects propagating in your imaginary example? Doesn't that mean, therefore, that abject non-derterminism is still false? So you have refuted yourself because your example is a clear way in which non-determinism can co-exist with determinism. In other words, you'r relying on determinism to "demonstrate" that if a few phenomena were non-deterministic, nothing would be. Your example makes my point and refutes your intended conclusion.

You really hit the nail on the head GE! IMAGINATION is a fundamental development that people use to live life and decide by which paradigm they see to fit with reality. See, I think that induction or abduction is intimately connected with imagination. I hold to my point as I briefly covered with Shol'va, that none of us are neutral when it comes to paradigms. Take atheism for example, it imagines (though there are many variations) a world without God, it imagines a history where all the evidences for God are simply fabricated (or similar), it imagines that the testimonies of millions of people around the world are false, because they imagine a paradigm that limits them to thinking that their paradigm is not imagined.

This is terribly backwards. Imagination can indeed be a way to try and approach some problems, but reality should always be first. I can imagine that evolution is false if such and such stuff is true. But then I have to go back to reality and check if such and such is indeed true and if such and such being true really make evolution false. Imagination does not change reality, and reality should always be first. Otherwise you're just irrational, besides being self-refuting, since, how else can you develop your imagination if not by first experiencing reality?

Your example never shows that my position is irrational. I never said that neutrality never exists in our relation to aspects of nature, if I did somewhere then I apologise.

It does not matter if you explicitly did this or not. Your problem is failing to understand the point of my reduction ad absurdum. What applies to deities applies to anything. That you fail to be rational about it is exactly the problem.

I gave all my examples in relation to deities, not random mountains which have no demand whatsoever on how I should live my life.

So you think that what applies to any proposal about realities does not apply to gods because of some kind of Pascal's wager? This has to be a joke. Gods or other proposals about reality are exactly the very same regardless of whether you think that some demand things from you or not. If anything is real, there should be no problem if we start with skepticism. Neutrality is still very real. Demands from gods are exactly in the same category. We can be neutral about them and wait for proof.

God is different to your example and as well as Shol'va's reference to "many possibilities". I know there are many possibilities to the origins of the universe. The problem of "neutral belief" does not arise from entities of themselves, but it arises where those entities require a response. I don't know about you but I haven't met anyone who claims to have no belief and yet worships God in church. That would be idiocy. We live out our beliefs whether we deny it or not.

Neutrality is exactly identical. How could you know that some entity requires a response if you don't know if such entities exist? You are only showing that your non-neutrality stance is even more irrational than I would have suspected.

Even at times when an entity does not demand my attention I still live my life accordingly around it, whether I know for sure it exists or not. For example, as of 2007 I had never been to Israel. I chose to act on my belief that Israel existed by travelling there. Israel never really demanded my belief, but I lived my life according to how I believe. So my point is, we never live our lives in a permanent state of non-action simply because we cannot be sure of something. We actively make choices (beliefs) everyday about phenomena's relation to us.

Again, how you live your life because of your beliefs does not change the point one bit. The point is that we can truly approach the existence of deities with a neutral stance. That means being open for evidence according to the claim. No amount of demands can make any deity any more real than any other deity. No amount of demands can make skepticism about deities any less neutral. Again, you are only showing that your non-neutrality stance is even more irrational than I would have suspected.


Re: Hey peoples

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:52 pm
by ThorGoLucky
It seems disingenuous to argue for something ill-defined, as it allows for moving goal posts and wandering arguments. After clearly defining God, it becomes clear that it is just an idea.

Re: Hey peoples

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:41 am
by Daniel (Da Pilgrim)
ThorGoLucky wrote:It seems disingenuous to argue for something ill-defined, as it allows for moving goal posts and wandering arguments. After clearly defining God, it becomes clear that it is just an idea.

Yeah, reality is hard to define isn't it, it must just be an idea.

Through the use of discussion, thought and study we more clearly are able to attempt to explain the reality we live in. Life and perception is organic, it is not a text book.

Re: Hey peoples

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:55 am
by Daniel (Da Pilgrim)
This will be my final comment on this thread, as this discussion has gone on for a good while now. I have thoroughly enjoyed the discussion, but I have got other priorities I would like to put more time into at the moment.

There are four key issues I would like to finally address:
1. Burden of proof 2. Evidence 3. Neutrality 4. Determinism

To me the burden of proof is the responsibility of both positive and negative statements. Wiki puts it quite well regarding the responsibility of the person asserting a negative (which is what atheism does). In my opinion, as soon as a person expresses a negative stance regarding a claim, they immediately step into an alternative positive claim which means that they accept a world view which is of a type that does not incorporate the positive belief that they deny.

---"When the assertion to prove is a negative claim, the burden takes the form of a negative proof, proof of impossibility, or mere evidence of absence. If this negative assertion is in response to a claim made by another party in a debate, asserting the falsehood of the positive claim shifts the burden of proof from the party making the first claim to the one asserting its falsehood, as the position "I do not believe that X is true" is different to the explicit denial "I believe that X is false"."---

One time my good friend pointed out the fact that the null hypothesis does not correlate with the God debate. It is interesting because it relates to our situation quite well. The null hypothesis only applies when there is no evidence to distinguish between the evidence for God or against the existence of God. However there is evidence for God, therefore disproving the null hypothesis. Any further action from either side (looking to prove the existence of God or not) takes on the burden of proof to disprove the evidence at hand. This is why atheists are positive in their stance of denial and agnostics bury their heads in the sand.

Evidence to me is how wiki puts it:
---"Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of an assertion. This support may be strong or weak. The strongest type of evidence is that which provides direct proof of the truth of an assertion. At the other extreme is evidence that is merely consistent with an assertion but does not rule out other, contradictory assertions, as in circumstantial evidence."---

Thus to claim that there is no evidence for God such as Shol'va tries to erroneously say, is simply a denial of or a shift in the meaning of evidence. There is loads of evidence for God (especially the God of the Bible), and it is important to view the evidence as on a continuum in order to be intellectually honest about one's position.
I actually cannot see the difference between an agnostic and a weak atheist (a negative atheist who seems to try to claim that God is a null hypothesis). Personally, (and I am being bold here) I take it further to the point where I am not so sure that agnosticism even exists. I see that we live our lives as an assertion of "HOW" we see the world with all its shades of grey, with all its evidence sometimes pointing towards opposite conclusions. As to whether God is posited or not depends on how we see the evidence for, and the phenomena of our existence (reality). If I accept God, I see phenomena with a shade of glasses where it is seen as meaningful and points towards Him. If I do not, then I will automatically see phenomena with differently tainted glasses telling me there is a certain type of significance about the phenomena that does not seem to incorporate a god. Thus, our world views always taint how we see the world. We cannot neutrally wander around it. We also cannot separate ourselves very well from our desires, culture and everything else that influences our positive opinions about “positive” or “negative” assertions.

Coming back to the key issue of neutrality, I do not see that our lives (especially parts that are of extreme importance) consist of negative statements of anything, but really are positive statements of a world view which correlates to our actions. If some scientists claimed that an asteroid was going to hit and destroy earth and thus stressed the importance of getting into bunkers or whatever, what my decision would be (to act or not) would demonstrate how I would interpret the data or message sent by the scientists. There is NO middle position. If I ignore the issue and say that there is insufficient evidence, I then chose to live in an world view where there is no asteroid coming to earth. On the other hand I could accept the assertions as probably true and take their advice. Now if I take their advice or not, the degree to which I cognitively accept or reject their word is still on a continuum. But that continuum consists of two sides with no middle "action" (no action-----action).

I really don't get your problem GE regarding determinism. It really is a dichotomy I am afraid. For example, your quantum physics observation of random/patterned electrons hitting the back wall has not been explained. However there really is only two cognitively possible conclusions that I can think of anyway. Something is causing us to perceive these electrons to be truly random, that they are "magically" directing themselves in particular directions, or they are simply being caused to act in that "random" fashion by something unknown to us.
Because I cannot even cognitively conceive what true randomness/magical indeterminism really is I believe that determinism is the only logical answer. Also as I said before, if you insert or admit indeterminism into a system of determined results (at fundamental levels) the system immediately becomes indeterminate because of the unpredictable nature by which the indeterminate particles will affect the determinate particles. Of course any indeterminate particles may be so few that it has a small impact on the larger scheme of things thus giving the larger scheme of things an "apparent" form of predictability, but really at its fundamental parts it is being made indeterminate. As I mentioned earlier, any injection of indeterminism into the causal system would make the system unpredictable, thus making science unpredictable. If you claim that science does not deal with perfectly repeatable causal data but that it is a best guess scenario then I applaud you (at times you already have). But with this admittance, comes a responsibility to admit that your faith in science is questionable and therefore demands a recurrence from dogmatic faith in science. Even if determinism were true, science would still be questionable because we simply cannot see all the variables in a given experiment, including but not limited to subjective bias.

Pragmatism I think is quite relevant (as far as I can tell) to how you see the world.
---“Pragmatism is a rejection of the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality. Instead, pragmatists develop their philosophy around the idea that the function of thought is as an instrument or tool for prediction, action, and problem solving. Pragmatists contend that most philosophical topics—such as the nature of knowledge, language, concepts, meaning, belief, and science—are all best viewed in terms of their practical uses and successes rather than in terms of representative accuracy.” --- Wiki
An important aspect in a pragmatist viewpoint (as it sounds like your own is of this type) is the responsibility to respect pragmatic viewpoints that have practical explanatory power in regards to the phenomena surrounding us.
AND that is not a monopoly held by atheistic naturalism.

Cheers and thanks for the long discussions guys and gals! All the best on your search for truth :D


Re: Hey peoples

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:29 pm
by E-lad
Thus to claim that there is no evidence for God such as Shol'va tries to erroneously say, is simply a denial of or a shift in the meaning of evidence. There is loads of evidence for God (especially the God of the Bible), and it is important to view the evidence as on a continuum in order to be intellectually honest about one's position.

Proposition: I feel that eating horseshit is good for your health.

A; Weak evidence that eating horseshit is good for your health

Conclusion: You should start eating horseshit.

Re: Hey peoples

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:23 pm
by ThorGoLucky
When it comes to the God of the Bible, it collapses under its own contradictions; it logically does not exist, especially without any strong evidence for it.

Re: Hey peoples

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:18 pm
by Shol'va
Daniel (Da Pilgrim) wrote:To me the burden of proof is the responsibility of both positive and negative statements.

No. And you are misrepresenting the Wiki entry. This might help clarify it for you. Watch the whole thing.

I take it further to the point where I am not so sure that agnosticism even exists.

That is because you do not understand what agnosticism is and how it is different from atheism.
Atheism is a proposition of belief, agnosticism is one of knowledge.

You're right, best we conclude it since you're going round and round.
Still no evidence whatsoever for god presented, just bold assertions.