Welcome to the Free Talk Live bulletin board system!
This board is closed to new users and new posts.  Thank you to all our great mods and users over the years.  Details here.
185859 Posts in 9829 Topics by 1371 Members
Latest Member: cjt26
Home Help
+  The Free Talk Live BBS
|-+  Free Talk Live
| |-+  General
| | |-+  A Question to Agnostics
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5]   Go Down

Author Topic: A Question to Agnostics  (Read 13010 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Rillion

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6804
    • View Profile
Re: A Question to Agnostics
« Reply #60 on: October 18, 2009, 12:22:02 AM »

Faulty logic there Rillion.

Will the universe last forever? We don't know. Does the universe exist? Yes.

Oh, for fuck's sake.  I'm about ready to give up on this.

Is the universe defined as something infinite?  No.   Is God defined as something infinite?  Yes. 

If the universe were defined as something infinite, and you said "The universe exists," would you be correct?  No.  Why?  Because you can't tell if it really is infinite.   All you would be able to tell is that the other properties you ascribe to the universe apply.  Which is no small thing,  but if infinity was an intrinsic property of the universe, then you cannot demonstrate that the universe exists if you cannot demonstrate that it's infinite.

Modus tollens:

If A, then B
Not B
Therefore, not A

B = demonstrable infinity
A= demonstrable [anything which is defined as infinite]
Logged

fatcat

  • Guest
Re: A Question to Agnostics
« Reply #61 on: October 18, 2009, 09:57:42 AM »

I already said before, I don't think its important whether god can be proven to exist for an infinite time or not, such thing would be improvable even if it was infinite.

This does not mean its existence can't be proven.

Infinite is a property of something, not something in itself. Whether the god is infinite or not, we wouldn't be able to distinguish between an infinite god or a finite god if any proof did surface.

You can prove something exists without proving every property of it. There are many things (like my atom example) that we only knew a fraction of things about compared to what we know now, but we still had good solid empirical evidence to prove they exist.

Personally I don't draw any meaningful distinction between a god that is truly infinite (not that i think such a thing is possible), and one that appears to be infinite. I'm sure most theists don't either.

Going back to my example, if a being turns up, spontaneously creates life, and can do everything the god in the bible can do, thats good enough in all practical terms to count as proof as god.

What would be the point in claiming "thats not really proof of god, its just proof of something really similar to god"? Is there really a meaningful distinction?

This seems to be on the same pedantic ground as single label agnosticism in general. At a push yes its not possible to 100% claim god does not exists, but that is on such a non useful level of thinking its pointless even to bring it up in conversation. Its not 100% possible to claim that the sun exists, or anything if you take a notion of absolute certainty to its full extent. What's the opposite of reductio ad absurdum?

If we talk about proving god as a concept as whole, including infinite properties, then yes you are right, you can't prove it. But if we talk about all the important parts besides the infinite properties, (especially when you consider there's no useful distinction between infinite and a large enough sample of finite god powers), then its irrelevant.

The whole idea of having to prove infinite to prove a gods existence is intellectually clumsy, its far more practical simply to require the proof of god-like powers. Thats really all that people care about in the god concept. Some theists don't even agree that "infinite power" is a practical idea cause that leads to all kind of "can god make a rock so heavy he can't move it" type situations.

Since billions of people actually do believe in this super magical being, we might aswell address it on practical terms.
Logged

Rillion

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6804
    • View Profile
Re: A Question to Agnostics
« Reply #62 on: October 18, 2009, 11:27:54 AM »

If we talk about proving god as a concept as whole, including infinite properties, then yes you are right, you can't prove it. But if we talk about all the important parts besides the infinite properties, (especially when you consider there's no useful distinction between infinite and a large enough sample of finite god powers), then its irrelevant.

I think it's relevant because most people who believe in God also believe that they get their morality from him, and that the only fitting source for a morality is an entity who is absolute and perfect.  I don't think most people who have a "God says so" kind of morality would be okay with getting their morality from someone who has merely been around for a really, really long time and is really, really powerful.  To you and me the difference is not that important, but then we don't rely on "God says so" for anything.  It's kind of like how we don't mind talking about which things in the Bible are true or false, but a fundamentalist will tell you that if one part is wrong, you might as well throw the whole book away.   It's not because I'm  an absolutist that I think God's infinitude is such an important characteristic, but because they are. 
Logged

mikehz

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8033
    • View Profile
    • Day by Day
Re: A Question to Agnostics
« Reply #63 on: October 18, 2009, 12:32:38 PM »

In any case, it's all beside the point, since people don't accept the concept of god for logical reasons. They cling to religion for emotional reasons; because god satisfies some emotional need.

It's fairly easy to disprove the traditional Christian idea of god. One would think that this means no one exists who still believes in that old fairy tale. But, millions of people still cling to it. That's because people don't care if it makes any sense. They want it to be true, and so mentally reject any disproof, no matter how valid.
Logged
"Force always attracts men of low morality." Albert Einstein

Rillion

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6804
    • View Profile
Re: A Question to Agnostics
« Reply #64 on: October 18, 2009, 01:19:34 PM »

It's fairly easy to disprove the traditional Christian idea of god. One would think that this means no one exists who still believes in that old fairy tale. But, millions of people still cling to it. That's because people don't care if it makes any sense.

I don't really think that's true.  If people didn't care if it made sense, there wouldn't be an ongoing search for Noah's Ark.  The shroud of Turin wouldn't have gotten people so excited.  Christians wouldn't be making pilgrimages to Jerusalem.  It's not that they're not concerned with it making sense-- they just don't judge whether things make sense by your (and my) standards.  Yes, there are some Christians who say "I believe in spite of it being unbelievable" or "I believe because it's unbelievable," but I don't think they're the majority.  Faith is more of a stop-gap than a foundation-- most Christians seem to only rely on fideism when they've run up against something they can't explain.  The rest of it is stuff they think makes sense, even if you do not. 
Logged

mikehz

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8033
    • View Profile
    • Day by Day
Re: A Question to Agnostics
« Reply #65 on: October 18, 2009, 05:37:22 PM »

The "ark" seems to be found--and disproven--every few years, and the Shroud has been a known fraud for years. Did the exposure of either ever result in ONE Christian saying, "Oh--I guess it's all fake, after all." Of course not, because their acceptance of the religion isn't based on reason but on emotion.
Logged
"Force always attracts men of low morality." Albert Einstein

Rillion

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6804
    • View Profile
Re: A Question to Agnostics
« Reply #66 on: October 18, 2009, 06:06:30 PM »

The "ark" seems to be found--and disproven--every few years, and the Shroud has been a known fraud for years. Did the exposure of either ever result in ONE Christian saying, "Oh--I guess it's all fake, after all." Of course not, because their acceptance of the religion isn't based on reason but on emotion.

I know this, Mike. What I'm saying is that they think  their belief is evidence-based, even though it's not.  If they didn't think that, they wouldn't care about the ark, or the shroud, or make up silly theories about how God (or the devil, pick your poison) planted fossils to "test our faith." 

Of course, there are loads of Christians who don't give a damn about any of those things.  Those are the ones who honestly don't subject their faith to evidence at all.  Ken Miller, the famous evolutionary biologist, is one of them.  Seemingly paradoxically, these Christians seem to be the more rational sort. 
Logged

freeAgent

  • pwn*
  • FTL AMPlifier
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3660
    • View Profile
Re: A Question to Agnostics
« Reply #67 on: October 18, 2009, 10:12:11 PM »

The "ark" seems to be found--and disproven--every few years, and the Shroud has been a known fraud for years. Did the exposure of either ever result in ONE Christian saying, "Oh--I guess it's all fake, after all." Of course not, because their acceptance of the religion isn't based on reason but on emotion.

I know this, Mike. What I'm saying is that they think  their belief is evidence-based, even though it's not.  If they didn't think that, they wouldn't care about the ark, or the shroud, or make up silly theories about how God (or the devil, pick your poison) planted fossils to "test our faith." 

Of course, there are loads of Christians who don't give a damn about any of those things.  Those are the ones who honestly don't subject their faith to evidence at all.  Ken Miller, the famous evolutionary biologist, is one of them.  Seemingly paradoxically, these Christians seem to be the more rational sort. 

Exactly.  There are very few people out there (at least in my opinion) who are satisfied with faith.  Most religious people look for evidence to validate their beliefs whenever possible.
Logged

AOD_Horseman

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 115
  • Yours Truly
    • View Profile
Re: A Question to Agnostics
« Reply #68 on: October 21, 2009, 08:14:39 AM »

Firstly, I didn't read through everything, just thought I'd drop in my position.

As a theist-agnostic, through my life's experiences I've felt a sort of contact with the divine, whatever it may ultimately be. In particular, I had a very intense moment in which I can only describe myself as having "Momentarily achieved Nirvana." As soon as I noticed, it was gone.

Anyhow, I couldn't justify taking part in a particular religious practice "just in case." Seeing what I've seen, feeling what I've felt, all my life experiences lead me to believe that if there is something otherworldly out there, it's beyond my scope of definition. Being unable to satisfactorily identify "what lies beyond," all I have are my life experiences, which include a limited -- though far more thorough than most truly religious individuals -- self-education of various practices and beliefs. All I can say is none of it feels right. All that feels right is living my life as positively as possible.

One thing I've told a Christian friend is, I don't pray, I just work for what I want or need... Which is exactly what you do, but I take credit for achieving goals instead of giving it away. Some may call it Hubris, I suppose, but I need a deity as much as a deity needs me.

I hope this is clear, I've low on sleep and full of Mountain Dew. I'll cut it there before I end up writing an essay.

Edit: I forgot to mention yesterday that I was NOT, in fact, taking any drugs in the aforementioned experience. I don't do anything mind-altering/expanding/muddling/what-have-you, so in case you were wondering, there ya go.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 04:28:48 AM by AOD_Horseman »
Logged
Bushi no ichi-gon
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5]   Go Up
+  The Free Talk Live BBS
|-+  Free Talk Live
| |-+  General
| | |-+  A Question to Agnostics

// ]]>

Page created in 0.025 seconds with 32 queries.