Welcome


Thank you for visiting our new forum! To start posting again please follow the link below to create a new password. First time forum users please follow the link to register. CFI thanks you for continuing the discussion on evidence-based thinking and humanist values.

How do you define atheism for your purposes?


Forums Forums Humanism How do you define atheism for your purposes?

This topic contains 222 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  3point14rat 4 days, 20 hours ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 211 through 223 (of 223 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #306970

    Sherlock Holmes
    Participant

    @lausten

    The proof that no such theory can ever be devised is a proof by contradiction, this kind of proof often begins by assuming the opposite of what we want to prove.

    Let’s assume someone has devised such a theory, the theory is written in human readable language like all theories in physics, the text consists of words, equations, pictures etc. it can be printed on paper and read.

    It’s on my desk “The theory of everything” by Prof. K. N. Owledge.

    It begins as most theories must, by stating axioms.

    The axioms in this case is we read:

    In the beginning there was something that had properties.

    Hmm, right away we can reject the theory, we know that the only axiom that is possible is this one:

    In the beginning there was nothing.

    Unless the theory has that as an axiom then it will not be explaining where the universe (i.e. the totality of all physical properties) arose because it requires it to already be present.

    No of course our theory might actually begin with that axiom:

    In the beginning there was nothing.

    But having stated that axiom we cannot go any further, we cannot write down any relationships or equations or state anything more, because there was nothing there can be no change and so it would remain as nothing forever.

    That’s it as far as a scientific theory goes, we cannot logically ever write one down. But there could still be an explanation, but not a scientific one, for example here’s an old explanation that you may have seen before:

    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

    Hmm, this is interesting. It is an explanation but not a scientific one, it doesn’t rely on an already existing material realm, quantum vacuum etc. It relies on something else that it calls “God” whatever that might be.

    This is an explanation, it is an explanation that doesn’t rely on pre-existing physical particles or fields.

    Since a scientific explanation has been proven to be a logical impossibility there is either no explanation (in which case the universe is not comprehensible to science) other than an non-scientific one, Genesis is such an explanation, it cannot be explained any other way to us because we limit our explanations to scientific ones yet in this case there never can be a scientific one.

     

     

     

     

    #306977

    Lausten
    Participant

    I get that. I understood that from your first post on this forum. There’s really no need to discuss that any further. Is there anything I can do with that explanation? Does it provide us with any predictive power? Does it help explain the rest of the book of Genesis, or any of the other books of the Bible? Does it help us live better lives? If it does, I’d be very interested.

    #306987

    LoisL
    Participant

    Any argument that can be advanced that supports the idea that the earth needs a creator can be used to advance the argument that god needs a creator. So where does that leave us but trapped  inside a circular argument?

    #307026

    Lausten
    Participant

    I’m no expert at logic, but what I’m hearing is something like this:

    Premise 1: Nothing

    Conclusion: Nothing

    Logical

    But, here we are, in something, so where did it come from?
    Premise 1: Everything has to come from something.

    Conclusion: There must be something that came before everything else.

    This is sometimes referred to as the “logically necessary being.”

    However, at what point did the logic say it was a being? Or that the being has intelligence? Or has purpose? Or that its purpose is good? Or that it cares about what I do when no one is looking?

    But, the question still remains, how did this something get here?

    Premise 1: Everything has to come from something.

    Premise 2: There are things we don’t understand, can’t see, and can’t experiment on.

    Conclusion: We don’t currently know how the universe got here.

    That’s logical, and I’m perfectly fine with it. I’m also fine with people trying figure it out.

    #307029

    TimB
    Participant

    Ah, sweet sweet logic.

    #307109

    3point14rat
    Participant

    Isn’t, “Premise 1: Everything has to come from something.”, impossible?

    If everything comes from something, the original something had to come from something. But the first something had nothing before it, so how did it get there?

    #307124

    LoisL
    Participant

    Theistic religions have an answer for that: god is different and is not subject to the rules of the universe. Gullible people find it convenient to believe this.

    #307126

    3point14rat
    Participant

     “…god is different and is not subject to the rules of the universe…”

    Is there any logical justification for that line of reasoning?

    I’m asking for someone to play devil’s advocate here.

    #307128

    Lausten
    Participant

    Isn’t, “Premise 1: Everything has to come from something.”, impossible?

    Oh no! You hacked the system! We don’t exist.

    These two compliment each other nicely. The premise is one that people have used for centuries, but it’s flawed. We use it because we came into existence in a cause and effect world. Of course we evolved to understand it that way. It took us billions of years to figure out that there are even other galaxies, and we are just figuring out that the universe, the actual universe, is not time bound, things happen without a cause, at least not in the way we understand the word. We don’t have words for it and we can’t imagine it, it’s not intuitive. Physical spacetime universes can pop in and out of existence. Some of them have just the right mix of physical laws that they hang around long enough to create elements and creatures with memories and emergent properties of their own.

    #307129

    LoisL
    Participant

    3point14 rat:

    Is there any logical justification for that line of reasoning?

     

    No. But billions of  people use it for comfort.

    #307131

    3point14rat
    Participant

    Me: Is there any logical justification for that line of reasoning?

    LoisL: No. But billions of  people use it for comfort.

    I agree. But how do ID proponents and all other religious people get away with using it? Is there a logical loophole?

    There are so many educated theists that there must be some grey area that they cling to that allows them to keep saying the same false reasoning for decades, if not centuries (I have no idea how long that justification for belief has been clogging up the debate).

    #307173

    Lausten
    Participant

    3; I think the grey area is people not understanding logic. So when they hear, “logically necessary”, they think logic has just proven something. What that really means is, there is a hole in the logic, something that can’t be proven, yet we exist so we need a starting point, so we’ll put a place holder there. Of course, if physicists come up with a placeholder like “dark matter”, they’re all over that as if it’s cheating.

    The other neat trick is confusing possibility with probability. Scientists will admit the possibility of something unknown to any theory, something that the methods of science can’t explain. They will also have ways to demonstrate the extremely low probability that such a thing exists. Theists will wave their hands and obfuscate at that point, reassuring their believers that their god is safe from science.

    #307176

    3point14rat
    Participant

    …people not understanding logic.

    I used to think so too, but my gut tells me there’s something else to it.

    The only real arguments for a god are philosophical, so does every theist really not understand logic? I’ll admit that some things in logic aren’t exactly intuitive, but they are all logical and can be understood. How can person with a doctorate in philosophy not get it? (I get it for crying out loud!!)

    The human mind is amazing in how it screws up lots of things due to intuition and ‘common-sense’, but this is something that years of education seems unable to overcome. I have a very hard time just tossing it on the pile of unavoidable human foibles.

     

Viewing 13 posts - 211 through 223 (of 223 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.