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

#741 Postby mickeyd » January 14th, 2011, 12:12 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Hi animist,

"Friction causes heat" is not a logically necessary statement


Your counter-example would be valid if and only if it read "nothing causes heat is not necessarily a logically invalid statement".

I find it hard to believe in spontaneous creation of matter from nothing


Why do you find it hard?

Best,
Mick

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animist
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#742 Postby animist » January 14th, 2011, 12:22 pm

mickeyd wrote:
"Friction causes heat" is not a logically necessary statement


Your counter-example would be valid if and only if it read "nothing causes heat is not necessarily a logically invalid statement".
not sure what you mean. The statement is not "my" counter-example, and to what is it a counter-example? Come on, you asked me for chapter and verse, and I provided it. To repeat Hospers, "statements about causality are not logically necessary".

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#743 Postby mickeyd » January 14th, 2011, 12:24 pm

Hi Thundril,

Theists cannot 'prove' the existence of god by logic, and atheists cannot 'prove' the non-existence of god by logical wrangling either.


Agreed.

But then the best explanation is the one which encompasses the widest range of phenomena under consideration. Theism does an infinitely better job of explaining consciousness and moral conviction - indeed, I don't believe that atheism can explain these phenomena as I've already discussed on this thread. As the philosopher Keith Ward says about Dennett's Consciousness Explained: "Most competent philosophers were unconvinced, and privately referred to his book as 'Consciousness Explained Away'." Ward, Why There Almost Certainly Is A God, Lion 2008 p16

Mick

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#744 Postby mickeyd » January 14th, 2011, 12:32 pm

Animist,

I mean this:

The non-necessity of friction causing heat does not imply that non-existence can cause heat.

The fact that correlation doesn't prove causation is irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the law of causality. For example:

Bicycles are strongly correlated with air pollution
Therefore bicycles cause air pollution

We both reject this argument, but this doesn't imply that nothing can cause air pollution. It merely proves that correlation does not prove causation.


And you haven't answered my question: why do you find something from nothing hard to believe?


Cheers,
Mick

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animist
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#745 Postby animist » January 14th, 2011, 12:38 pm

mickeyd wrote:Animist,

I mean this:

The non-necessity of friction causing heat does not imply that non-existence can cause heat.

The fact that correlation doesn't prove causation is irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the law of causality. For example:

Bicycles are strongly correlated with air pollution
Therefore bicycles cause air pollution

We both reject this argument, but this doesn't imply that nothing can cause air pollution. It merely proves that correlation does not prove causation.


And you haven't answered my question: why do you find something from nothing hard to believe?


Cheers,
Mick

I'm deliberately not answering your question for the moment because I would like you first simply to acknowledge that you were wrong about logical necessity. You are now talking about correlation and its relation to causation, which has nothing to do with the topic we were on.

thundril
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#746 Postby thundril » January 14th, 2011, 12:47 pm

mickeyd wrote:Hi Thundril,

Theists cannot 'prove' the existence of god by logic, and atheists cannot 'prove' the non-existence of god by logical wrangling either.


Agreed.

But then the best explanation is the one which encompasses the widest range of phenomena under consideration. Theism does an infinitely better job of explaining consciousness and moral conviction - indeed, I don't believe that atheism can explain these phenomena as I've already discussed on this thread. As the philosopher Keith Ward says about Dennett's Consciousness Explained: "Most competent philosophers were unconvinced, and privately referred to his book as 'Consciousness Explained Away'." Ward, Why There Almost Certainly Is A God, Lion 2008 p16
Mick

I could suggest fairies, a game between Loki and Pan, or even luck as possible explanations for the Universe and everything in it, including the appearance of human creatures with faculties like consciousness and moral conviction. One unevidenced explanation is as good as another. Or I could just tell the truth, which is, 'As yet, I haven't a clue how these things come to be.'

thundril
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#747 Postby thundril » January 14th, 2011, 4:54 pm

mickeyd wrote:Hi Thundril,

Theists cannot 'prove' the existence of god by logic, and atheists cannot 'prove' the non-existence of god by logical wrangling either.


Agreed.

So you're now agreeing with me that theists cannot 'prove' the existence of God.
Which completely contradicts your starting assertion!
mickeyd wrote:Dear fellow human beings,

Christianity cannot die because God lives, as the following proves:

RATIONAL PROOF OF GOD


Bye, Mick.

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Nick
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#748 Postby Nick » January 14th, 2011, 5:08 pm

mickeyd wrote:But then the best explanation is the one which encompasses the widest range of phenomena under consideration. Theism does an infinitely better job of explaining consciousness and moral conviction - indeed, I don't believe that atheism can explain these phenomena as I've already discussed on this thread.

Wow! That's a whole can of worms!

The fact that some proposed explanation may encompass the widest range of phenomena doesn't make it the best explanation! The fact that quantum physics is not yet compatible with Newtonian physics does not mean that saying Goddidit is better because it agrees with itself.

Theism doesn't in any way explain moral conviction whatsoever.

Why should theism provide a better explanation for consciousness than deism? Not that either is really an explanation of anything.....

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#749 Postby mickeyd » January 14th, 2011, 8:17 pm

Thundril,

I could suggest fairies, a game between Loki and Pan, or even luck as possible explanations for the Universe


This is way off track Thundril. The best explanatory hypothesis is the one whose negation involves the greatest contradiction. Re. "luck", I thought we'd already agreed that probability has no causal power; re. fairies, Loki and Pan, the idea that they could create a universe involves no contradiction whatsoever in its denial because, unlike the God hypothesis, the fictional character hypothesis attributes to them no such causal power.

Sure you can say "well God is a figment of the imagination", but the point is that God wouldn't then be an explanatory hypothesis. So are you serious about finding an explanation or not? If not, okay, well then the universe "just is", and you've got to accept, without complaint, that everything is ultimately an enigma, including yourself, love, beauty, truth, goodness etc.

Cheers,
Mick

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#750 Postby mickeyd » January 14th, 2011, 8:26 pm

Hi Nick,

Why should theism provide a better explanation for consciousness than deism?


Because (a) God did not create the universe out of himself (pantheism, which is logically invalid) and therefore it depends on his continuous creative activity every moment of its being, which is the antithesis of deism, and (b) consciousness is a creation ex nihilo within a universal creation ex nihilo, since it cannot be explained in terms of any of its unconscious antecedents; therefore, it's emergence cannot be accounted for by the deistic hypothesis.

As for the rest of your post, refer to my latest post to thundril.

Cheers,
Mick

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#751 Postby mickeyd » January 14th, 2011, 8:27 pm

Hi animist,

I would like you first simply to acknowledge that you were wrong about logical necessity


I can't acknowledge what I have no need to acknowledge. It might help you to recognize the truth of this statement if you would answer my question.

Regards,
Mick

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#752 Postby mickeyd » January 14th, 2011, 8:31 pm

Animist,

You are now talking about correlation and its relation to causation, which has nothing to do with the topic we were on.


That's exactly my point! It has nothing to do with the topic, which is whether or not existence can come (logically) from non-existence.

Mick

thundril
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#753 Postby thundril » January 14th, 2011, 9:09 pm

mickeyd wrote:Thundril,

I could suggest fairies, a game between Loki and Pan, or even luck as possible explanations for the Universe


This is way off track Thundril. [/i].

Cheers,
Mick

If you say so, Mick. But the point you chose to ignore could hardly be described as off-track, could it?
Namely;
thundril wrote:
mickeyd wrote:Hi Thundril,

Theists cannot 'prove' the existence of god by logic, and atheists cannot 'prove' the non-existence of god by logical wrangling either.


Agreed.

So you're now agreeing with me that theists cannot 'prove' the existence of God.
Which completely contradicts your starting assertion!
mickeyd wrote:Dear fellow human beings,

Christianity cannot die because God lives, as the following proves:

RATIONAL PROOF OF GOD


Bye, Mick.

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

Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#754 Postby mickeyd » January 14th, 2011, 9:19 pm

Hi thundril,

Which completely contradicts your starting assertion!


It depends on how you define rationality. I regard logic as a subset of rationality, and rationality as the entire intellectual faculty. Even though logic is inescapable, there is more to the human mind than logic. And I regard the proposition "the universe 'just is'" as ultimately non-intellectual. It's not a proposition that allows a purely logical refutation but it is, I am sure, totally counter-intuitive, and there are many millions if not billions of people on this earth who take the same view.

Cheers,
Mick

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Paolo
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#755 Postby Paolo » January 14th, 2011, 9:34 pm

mickeyd wrote:Paolo,

The same could be true of the Universe... You're ignoring the point that the origin of the Universe is not a valid argument for the existence of God, which is the point of this thread.


Yes, the universe could 'just be'. But no, I am not ignoring the point of this thread, for the very reason you've just given. I've shown that either the universe 'just is' or it's created by something that 'just is', these are the only logically viable options. "Something from nothing" is nonsense. This means that asking theists "what caused God?" is met by theists, with equal force, by the reply "what caused the universe?" And hence the smug superiority of Dawkins & Co is actually baseless.

Mick

'Something from nothing' as a concept is irrelevant to the title of this topic - it has no bearing on the existence of God. You've constructed a lovely little diversionary strawman to keep everyone busy, without actually having to provide an argument for the existence of God.

thundril
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#756 Postby thundril » January 14th, 2011, 9:58 pm

Hi Mickey.

thundril
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#757 Postby thundril » January 14th, 2011, 10:03 pm

thundril wrote:Which completely contradicts your starting assertion!

Well, yes it does.
mickeyd wrote:It depends on how you define rationality. I regard logic as a subset of rationality, and rationality as the entire intellectual faculty. Even though logic is inescapable, there is more to the human mind than logic.

You have just agreed that you cannot 'prove' the existence of God by logical argument. Chopping about with nice points about your personal interpretation of the word 'rational' is a sign of your level of desperation. I for one regard this matter as finished.

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#758 Postby mickeyd » January 14th, 2011, 10:04 pm

Thundril,

Additional comment:

The question you raise is important if one concedes that either (i) the universe 'just is' or (ii) it's created by something that possesses the power of inevitable existence, because then the rejection of the former entails belief in God. And I believe that logic rules out any other options but these two.

In my starting post on this thread I urged that non-necessity implies contingency (if the universe didn't have to exist then it must be caused (the principle of sufficient reason) - see my comments on Russell vs Copleston). I regarded this as consistent with a rational proof of God for the reasons I give in my last post to you, i.e., whilst 'the universe just is' is not illogical it is, in my opinion, irrational, since I take a broad view of rationality which includes belief in God as a Kantian Idea of Reason (although Kant himself did not extend his concept to allowing belief in God, and in this I disagree with him).

Cheers,
Mick

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#759 Postby mickeyd » January 14th, 2011, 10:06 pm

Thundril,

Chopping about with nice points about your personal interpretation of the word 'rational' is a sign of your level of desperation.


No, it's a sign that your intellectually crass and prejudiced.

Yet I welcome your desire to test my arguments, but we must accept that there is more to human rationality than logic, as any one of the well known logical paradoxes demonstrates. Human rationality is capable of conceptions that logic cannot resolve, e.g. "This sentence is false."

Mick

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animist
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#760 Postby animist » January 14th, 2011, 10:19 pm

mickeyd wrote:Hi animist,

I would like you first simply to acknowledge that you were wrong about logical necessity


I can't acknowledge what I have no need to acknowledge. It might help you to recognize the truth of this statement if you would answer my question.

Regards,
Mick

well that is really it for me; you are full of pride, Mick, and that is not good or Christian. You are not interested in learning anything or acknowledging anything, just in playing word games like your statement above, and I doubt if your co-religionists would approve of this attitude. Talk to anyone, Christian or otherwise, who has done a teeny bit of philosophy and they will confirm what I have been saying; it does not contradict any of your religious beliefs.

mickeyd
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Re: Arguments for the existence of God

#761 Postby mickeyd » January 14th, 2011, 10:36 pm

Animist,

Poppycock. Because I disagree with you I must be full of pride? Doesn't that make you full of pride?

And as I say, if you would just answer my question you might see why I have nothing to acknowledge to you. Why do you find it hard to believe that something can come from nothing?

Mick


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