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Aetheists Are Illogical - Page 2

User Thread
 43yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
I submit that no empirical statement about the existence of God can be made.


I submit that no determination can be made of your statement untill the superfluous concept of God in it is properly clarified.

quote:
You run into problems when you say that God is the unknown


I said "an" unknown. And the intended context was, "as a known fact", or even a clarified definition for that matter. An undeterminable reality one way or another like so many things beyond our current capabilities to see or understand.




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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Since you neglect to rebut my most pressing points, I'll asume you haven't read my post properly. Do so.

In the meantime, I will answer your call for a more cogent impeachment of the concept of God. Of course, it will not do to define God and then deny him. For what will this prove but that my definition is the wrong one? My point is not that definitions of God have hitherto admitted too much, or have falsely imputed to him a personality, or even that there is no God. What I want to show is simply that all talk about Him is literally senseless.

My approach, then, will be to delineate what is common to all theological propositions, and to show thereby that all impinge on the bounds of sense. The style will be compressed and dogmatic, and for this I apologise; for razing to the ground your system of belief I apologise none.

Broadly speaking, and at the risk of being presumptuous, there are two sorts of (monotheistic) theological proposition: that which reckon God to be the unknown, and therefore to stand (as it were) over and above reality; and those which transpose Him as the totality of things in the world, in line with the pantheism of Spinoza, Bruno, et al.

We'll begin with the notion that God is unknown (You say "an" unknown, but this suggests that there is more than one unknown: and surely hegemony is implicit in the idea of a God. If he is not everything, then he is not a God at all). The attendant problem here is: how can there be a referent for the unknown? How can one ostensively define the unknown? (Recall that we are trying to prove that no empirical claims about God can be logically countenanced. A referent is empirically verifiable if and only if there is a one-on-one correspondence between it and something in the phenomenal world. Thus, if no ostensive defintion can be established, we must banish it to the philosophical bestiary). Now, pay attention to what a referent does: it distinguishes one thing from another. For example, when I refer to a chair I distinguish fromk its surroundings, the room it is in, the floor, etc. And what do I distinguish the unknown from but the known? Therefore, the unknown is the not-known. But what kind of knowledge can the not-known be? - not least since it is presented in opposition to knowledge. It must by defintion be empty. It is as if someone who was blind pointed and said: "that is a chair". Since he could be pointing at anything, to all extents and purposes he points at nothing. It is logically impossible to refer to the unknown: about it we must accept our blindness and hold our peace. As Wittgenstein said: "Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent".

Next, to tackle pantheism. In philosophical jargon, the view expounded is that the things in the universe which "limit" each other are "modes" of the one "substance" - to wit, that which is self-subsistent, which can only be conceived in terms of itself. Now, the ontological configuration which this embodies seems to me to be this: that since one (infinite) substance subsumes every (finite) thing under its dominion, the universe is composite. What I mean is that if you remove a quality from the universe, you turn it into something with a different essence. (This ties in with the idealism of FH Bradley). But things can be said to be composite only within a certain frame of reference. That is, we can say: "Given conceiving a state of affairs, p, under a frame of reference, s, changing any part of p would change the overall composition of s". But we cannot say: "Given a state of affairs, p, changing any part of p would radically alter p". Why? Because p is determinate only if we blank out everything else in the universe and render a (limiting) frame of reference. Factor the rest of the universe in, and determinacy defers to the macrocosm - whilst relations between the parts become merely incidental (as opposed to composite). And we know, courtesy of relativity, that there is no priveliged frame of reference - or "ether" - which goes under the name of God.

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[  Edited by wittgensteins at   ]
 38yrs • F •
laral is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
I like to believe that there is a god but it's very hard to accept. There are and have always been to many questions and not enough answers. I have put god and all religions down to the fact that we are too clever and look for something bigger. We all hope that when we die we see a loved ones once again. This could only be possible if there is something bigger.

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"Happy days"
 43yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
Since you neglect to rebut my most pressing points, I'll asume you haven't read my post properly. Do so.


If you care to share what were "pressing points', perhaps I could help you, as of yet, I have determined none.

quote:
In the meantime, I will answer your call for a more cogent impeachment of the concept of God. Of course, it will not do to define God and then deny him. For what will this prove but that my definition is the wrong one? My point is not that definitions of God have hitherto admitted too much, or have falsely imputed to him a personality, or even that there is no God. What I want to show is simply that all talk about Him is literally senseless.


I made no call, merely an observation. As for the rest of this nonsense, feel free to make a point.

You made claims as to the ability to empirically submit evidence of god or not, if you wish to avoid explaining your definition in context of your own "beliefs" than that is your business, just don't expect others to not call you on it.

You cannot make a sensible determination of the existance of or the empirical data to confirm or deny an entity you refuse to define. I did not speak of the definition of others, but of your own in context of your own statements.

And if you cannot handle that you must define to deny, or otherwise, than that is your problem to deal with, not ours.

quote:
that which reckon God to be the unknown, and therefore to stand (as it were) over and above reality


An unknown entity with a known position? Come now, this is uncharacteristic of the intellect you attempt to project.

quote:
surely hegemony is implicit in the idea of a God.


For one claiming to avoid assumptions, you have failed.

quote:
The attendant problem here is: how can there be a referent for the unknown? How can one ostensively define the unknown?


Where would scientific theory be without your theory of the impossibility of imagination and possibility?

What does this mean? Do you you acknowledge the unknown or claim to be able to refute an unacknowledgable unknown?

quote:
Recall that we are trying to prove that no empirical claims about God can be logically countenanced
.

Speak for yourself.

quote:
A referent is empirically verifiable if and only if there is a one-on-one correspondence between it and something in the phenomenal world.


And if our lacking knowledge and understanding cannot provide such clarity, does this mean that empirical evidence does not exist?

quote:
It is logically impossible to refer to the unknown


Bullshit, the term unknown would not exist if this were the case.

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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
It is logically impossible to refer to the unknown


quote:
Bullshit, the term unknown would not exist if this were the case


Since the term "Father Christmas" exists, am I to assume that we can logically refer to him as well?

Are you saying that if a referent exists, then, logically, it must refer to something? Well, what if I make up a word: rapoosta. Doesn't this refer to nothing at all?

And if, likewise, the unknown also refers to nothing, isn't it a redundant referent?

You say that I need to define in order to deny, but, as I've said, believers will simply say that I've used the wrong definition. In order to circumvent this claim, I elected to paint, in broad strokes, the general characteristics of theological propositions. That I achieved only limited success I cannot deny.

It is as if we had an argument about whether dolphins exist. You say that they do, I say that they don't: so you ask me to define what a dolphin is. I say that a dolphin is a genie with the power to grant someone three wishes. Since nothing in the world corresponds to this description, can I therefore assert that dolphins do not exist?

Of course not. What I can say is that none of the proffered descriptions of God have phenomenal analogues. If I were to list all the things in the world, God wouldn't be one of them - unless, of course, we developed a radically different understanding of what God meant. And this is instructive. For in empirical parlance, a name is simply an arbitrary sign which stands for something. The bundle of properties which go with them are partitioned off into sets. The set of a person, for example, is contained in the set of the world. Sets are heirarchical; they are also finite in number. To say that signs are arbitrary is to say that they are interchanagble, and to say they are interchanagble is to say that they range over varying numbers of sets. So the question of whether God exists is really the question: what sets does God range over? If he does correspond to a set, the referent "God" is valid, and God can be said to exist. But, as far as I can see, this would be to radically change what we meant by God, such that He would - in effect - have simply been collapsed into the definition of what we would (previously) understand as something else.


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[  Edited by wittgensteins at   ]
 43yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
Since the term "Father Christmas" exists, am I to assume that we can logically refer to him as well?


As a conceptual idea, damn skippy.

quote:
Are you saying that if a referent exists, then, logically, it must refer to something?


Of course, even if only as a concept or idea. Even if "incorrectly".

quote:
Well, what if I make up a word: rapoosta. Doesn't this refer to nothing at all?


Only if the meaning you delineate to the word is indeed the concept of nothing at all. Otherwise, at the very least, it is a direct reference to the grouping of letters themselves, they exist do the not? I'm looking at them, empirical data is available.

quote:
And if, likewise, the unknown also refers to nothing, isn't it a redundant referent?


No, sooner or later you will understand the concept of that which is unknown to us feeble humans. Nothing (a concept not even fully conceivable to the human brain mind you), is but one of infinite possibilies of an unknown.

quote:
You say that I need to define in order to deny, but, as I've said, believers will simply say that I've used the wrong definition.


Look, if you want anyone to understand your posistion, which is what I am trying to do, you must clarify yourself. Stop worrying about people telling you your wrong or being annoyed by their inability to speak with their own mind.

You made the claim that no evidence for the existance of "god" (whatever that means to you) can be found.

I stated that evidence could indeed be all around us and we may not know it, perfectly legitimate response.

But I also understand that your posistion, so far as you've been willing to submit, is a possibility, especially if directly referencing a religious definition of god. Hence my asking you to define the god you directly refered to, but seem utterly unwilling to specifiy.

quote:
It is as if we had an argument about whether dolphins exist. You say that they do, I say that they don't: so you ask me to define what a dolphin is. I say that a dolphin is a genie with the power to grant someone three wishes.


Had this been anywhere near the case, this would be where I would have stopped you and told you that you are either an idiot or intentionally trying not to have a constructive conversation.

Dolphin has a clear definition, god does not. So this analogy is not an accurate representation.

quote:
Since nothing in the world corresponds to this description, can I therefore assert that dolphins do not exist?


I beg to differ. I could name countless things that could match this discription. Anyone or anything that could grant you three things that you may indeed wish you had.

Does this mean dolphins are god but don't exist? Or is it ok to let go of the analogy now?

quote:
If I were to list all the things in the world, God wouldn't be one of them


Nor would a plethora of things you don't know exist, could not remember, or could live long enough to list.

quote:
unless, of course, we developed a radically different understanding of what God meant.


I'd settle for any definition from you to understand the context of your assertions.

quote:
But, as far as I can see, this would be to radically change what we meant by God


Feel free to share what we meant by god, or do you prefer to talk to yourself, is this the "we" to which you refer?

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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Are you a freakin' simpleton or something?

I'm getting tired of this now... My writing has thus far been unhappily terse, and because of that I'm prepared to make an allowance for your misunderstanding. Let me spell it out for you in the simplest terms possible. What I am committed to saying is that none of the concepts which are conventionally subsumed under the heading "God" can be logically countenanced. You ask me to adumbrate my understanding of God, but I have none. That is because I believe he doesn't exist. For that reason, it would be otiose in the extreme to map out an ad hoc definition of God and then refute it - for it would be arbitrary to pick one rather than another. It is a further point of mine that there is a continuity in (monotheistic) theological thought such that I can generalise, admittedly at the risk of truncation, their more salient points, and thereby bring about their demolition, highlighting as I go where their empirical improprieties lie. On reflection, I still see this as the most expedient approach. I'll admit that I may not have painted a comprehensive picture of the errors which I seek to debunk, but the burden of proof is on the believer.

Do you understand? God is a fiction in the same way that father christmas or unicorns are. If I seek to apply the label "unicorn" to a table, it is no longer a fiction, but I only do this by radically altering what I mean by Unicorn. In order to prove that unicorns do not exist, I need not embark on a detailed exegesis of what one is: all I need to do is say that none of the stipulated definitions correspond to anything in the world.

Definitions hold in so far as they model reality. Those that do not are vacuous. God can be made to model reality, but only if we arbitrarily alter the definition in such a way that it would jar with conventional defintions. I'm repeating myself now. I only hope you'll stop propagating the sophistic nonsense that has henceforth issued from your keyboard. Continue to peddle the same tired line, and, well, I'll have to assume that you're a hopeless fool. For which I am sincerely sorry, so I'll give you some advice: read a little more philosophy and fewer comic books.

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[  Edited by wittgensteins at   ]
 43yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
I'm getting tired of this now...


Oh, so you are finally catching up. This was annoying some time ago.

quote:
What I am committed to saying is that none of the concepts which are conventionally subsumed under the heading "God" can be logically countenanced.


And what I have had to commit to saying is that this was vague and subjective and was in need of clarification. Because regardless of what YOU considered conventional there is a seemingly infinite degree of variation to the concept of god, even to those who share the same religion. Some of which are quite scientifically possible but are beyond any ability to currently prove or disprove, a concept that can be countenanced as theory or possibility, even if as something that needs to be disproven for any other theory to prevail.

quote:
You ask me to adumbrate my understanding of God, but I have none.


Actually I had asked you to specify the understanding of others that you were attempting to refute. Because of the ambiguity enabled by your expression of subjective and unclarified arguments that no one but you were able to understand your full meaning or intent. And then yes, I was indeed curious as to your own conceptual beliefs, but you had not provided any such thing as this either.

quote:
That is because I believe he doesn't exist.


And this is the first time you have even bothered to mention such a thing. Interesting how something you don't believe in still expresses a gender qualifier.

But I'm afraid I must point out something.

quote:
You ask me to adumbrate my understanding of God, but I have none. That is because I believe he doesn't exist.


One of the most generic qualities used to define any interpretation of a singular god is as the creator of the universe and known existance.

You believe existance and the universe exist, correct? Do you believe there was any source or force of creation, a beginning, intentional or not? Then you very well may share the same core belief of many who claim belief in a god.

This is why I needed to know what specific definition of god you were working with. God is an ambiguous term.

There is a difference between claiming that qualities and history attributed to god are unfounded and telling people god doesn't exist. Especially in reference to those who assume that known existance came from somewhere probably other than themselves and that either that source, or indeed existance itself, is termed as god, the creator, the source.

And since the source of creation is as of yet unknown, this is why it is perfectly logical to call god an unknown. Even a simpleton should be able to understand this.

What is stupid, is to deny the existance of something you claim no understanding of. Saying you don't know makes perfect sense, claiming knowledge of that which you yourself express no understanding is indeed, beyond assinine.

quote:
Do you understand? God is a fiction in the same way that father christmas or unicorns are.


No, god is a term with no consensus, fiction about god is indeed fiction. The distinction is very basic, but all important. Please try to keep up.


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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
[  Edited by Ironwood at   ]
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"Broadly speaking, and at the risk of being presumptuous, there are two sorts of (monotheistic) theological proposition: that which reckon God to be the unknown, and therefore to stand (as it were) over and above reality; and those which transpose Him as the totality of things in the world, in line with the pantheism of Spinoza, Bruno, et al."

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 43yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wizardslogic is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Deep. Couldn't the two concepts be merged? I like them both.

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"Each conscious mind is alone in the universe!"
 31yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that MugenNoKarayami is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
So why are you attempting to state it is illogical to refer to God with any knowledge of what he or she is? You have already done that, as everyone here has done that.


I have not said any such things. I believe I have merely recalled certain "facts" about what to think about God and brought up points that have still gone unacknowledged and concluded to "my own opinion" to the best of my ability from what I have gathered(that might have been my problem). maybe because they beg the question, therefore becoming meaningless.

anyone wanna take a swing at my questions and reflect on why or how God might be real in a mental state, instead of a physical state, which just about everyone appears to be bent on? Because without our -mind- anything pertaining to that of physicality might not exist, right?

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"I'm a human being, God Dammit!! My life has value!!!"
 31yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that MugenNoKarayami is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
So if we weren't able to use our brains as we can now, do you think we would even have the idea of believing in God?


I don't think there's a God because it's just a coping device we've created because we're so much in denial that there might not be an existence beyond the one we perceive now. The will to reproduce and carry on life knowing there's nothing after this would be diminished.




then is my question and -theory- invalid?


And no, I don't have a concept of what god is, however, I DO have a concept of what "God" is to me. See, by using the form of "is" or "being" I would then be speaking for everyone, this isn't the case. The only time(s) I used "is" was when I spoke for my own thoughts on the matter; holding true to me in some sense.

ex. notice the difference in the following statements:

God is real - seems invalid

God appears real to me - seems valid


I'm still sticking with the idea of 'meaningless' for this topic though, because everyone's ideas are true and false at the same time with everything inbetween to me.

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"I'm a human being, God Dammit!! My life has value!!!"
 43yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
anyone wanna take a swing at my questions and reflect on why or how God might be real in a mental state, instead of a physical state, which just about everyone appears to be bent on? Because without our -mind- anything pertaining to that of physicality might not exist, right?


Can you have a mind without a physical brain? I don't think there is as much of a difference between mental and physical as generally perceived.

But regardless of any particular state of being, a god thing could or could not exist in any all or none of them.

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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
 31yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that MugenNoKarayami is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
Can you have a mind without a physical brain? I don't think there is as much of a difference between mental and physical as generally perceived.


I was trying to ask, if we didn't think like we do or can now, would we still know or believe in 'God'? It seems like gift and a curse to be able to think "freely" because now we're all worked up and worried about the complexities of the universe and where it came from.

If we couldn't, and if 'God' does exist, would we still be punished for our 'obliviousness' to sin?

I just think that he/she/it is a tool to promote good will and obedience. If everyone in this world tomorrow were to find out and believe that there is no 'God' and there's nothing after this life, what do you think would happen? People would wake up and live their lives like it's their last and wouldn't care about a damn thing because they know there's no point to life anymore. The very well established illusion of what "God" wants us to do would be in ruins, and in my opinion, everyone would just start killing eachother for what ever reason they could find knowing we would all be going to the same place anyway... no where.



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"I'm a human being, God Dammit!! My life has value!!!"
 43yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
I just think that he/she/it is a tool to promote good will and obedience.


God is not the tool you speak of, religion is. These are separate.

quote:
People would wake up and live their lives like it's their last and wouldn't care about a damn thing because they know there's no point to life anymore.


Not necessarily, if people thought this was it, they might just charish their time here a little more.

Regardless of any possible meaning to life, or any possible afterlife, pain and joy exist in this one now. We would care about this life the moment we were reminded that we need to care about our next meal. We understand that our actions affect others, especially loved ones. We know that our childrens futures are in our hands today.

Basic survival instincts would and do keep us grounded, not organized religion.

Despite what some would have you believe, belief and dependance upon religion or an afterlife do not determine the will of the masses to live or live happily.

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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
Aetheists Are Illogical - Page 2
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