The presumption of atheism - Flew

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Jul 11, 2012, 3:20:30 PM7/11/12
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The Presumption of Atheism - http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html

''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
�presumption of atheism� (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
�The onus of proof must lie upon the theist� .....''

How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?


''....Presumption of Innocence: All defendants are presumed innocent
until proven guilty. .....''

A defendant defined as infallible isn't presumed innocent, he is known
to be innocent can't by definition be guilty: this must be so by
logical necessity.

''.........The onus of proof must lie upon the prosecution. Flew is
thus drawing an analogy between the PoA and the legal presumption of
innocence. The main point of this analogy is Flew's claim that both
the PoA and the legal presumption of innocence are procedural. That
is, both presumptions specify how to proceed. (In the case of the PoA,
it is intended to tell us how to proceed in debates over God, and in
the case of the presumption of innocence it tells how to proceed in a
legal trial.).........''

In order to engage in sensible debates about God we need to clarify
our premises: is God fallible or infallible. If he is fallible, how
could he then be God ?


Burkhard

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Jul 11, 2012, 3:47:53 PM7/11/12
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On Jul 11, 8:20�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> �presumption of atheism� (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> �The onus of proof must lie upon the theist� .....''
>
> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> ''....Presumption of Innocence: �All defendants are presumed innocent
> until proven guilty. .....''
>
> A defendant defined as infallible isn't presumed innocent, he is known
> to be innocent can't by definition be guilty: this must be so by
> logical necessity.
>

There are two mistakes in thy our argument. The first is that in Flew'
argument, you, not God is the defendant (unless of course you think
that's the same thing). And it is your claims about God, not God him/
her/themselves that are the subject under dispute.

Second, definitions do not settle questions of fact.

I'm not a great fan of Flew's argument here, mainly because I think he
misunderstands how burden of proof allocations work in law, but your
queries miss the mark widely.

> ''.........The onus of proof must lie upon the prosecution. Flew is
> thus drawing an analogy between the PoA and the legal presumption of
> innocence. The main point of this analogy is Flew's claim that both
> the PoA and the legal presumption of innocence are procedural. That
> is, both presumptions specify how to proceed. (In the case of the PoA,
> it is intended to tell us how to proceed in debates over God, and in
> the case of the presumption of innocence it tells how to proceed in a
> legal trial.).........''
>
> In order to engage in sensible debates about God we need to clarify
> our premises: is God fallible or infallible. If he is fallible, how
> could he then be God ?

By being very powerful, but not all powerful, very knowledgeable, but
not omniscient? Was always good enough for many deities.


Slow Vehicle

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Jul 11, 2012, 4:21:57 PM7/11/12
to
On Jul 11, 1:20�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> �presumption of atheism� (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> �The onus of proof must lie upon the theist� .....''
>
> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> ''....Presumption of Innocence: �All defendants are presumed innocent
> until proven guilty. .....''
>
> A defendant defined as infallible isn't presumed innocent, he is known
> to be innocent can't by definition be guilty: this must be so by
> logical necessity.
>
> ''.........The onus of proof must lie upon the prosecution. Flew is
> thus drawing an analogy between the PoA and the legal presumption of
> innocence. The main point of this analogy is Flew's claim that both
> the PoA and the legal presumption of innocence are procedural. That
> is, both presumptions specify how to proceed. (In the case of the PoA,
> it is intended to tell us how to proceed in debates over God, and in
> the case of the presumption of innocence it tells how to proceed in a
> legal trial.).........''
>
> In order to engage in sensible debates about God we need to clarify
> our premises: is God fallible or infallible. If he is fallible, how
> could he then be God ?

Seems to me starting there skips too many steps, and includes the
assumption that there can, in fact, be "sensible" "debates" about
"god".
A debate is a formal argumentation style, the outcome of which depends
upon consensus, or adjudication, rather than the objective facts of
the matter (in fact, the most important skill for a beginning debater
to develop is the ability to argue either side of a proposition with
equal skill and conviction).
There is not an organization with the authority to declare a "winner"
in such a debate as you propose; theists are unlikely to accept a
conclusion that "god does not exist", no matter who "wins" the debate;
nor are atheists likely to accept a conclusion that "god exists".
On a different note, a 'debate" requires a clear definition of the
"issue". Such declarations as "god is infallible or fallible; if she
were fallible, how could she then be god?" assume that there is, in
fact, a god.
Probably not going to get many takers.
You can "argue" all you want, though, and you probably will--but why
here, on T.O., rather than a newsgroup about religion or philosophy?

backspace

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Jul 11, 2012, 4:31:03 PM7/11/12
to
On Jul 11, 8:47�pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
> On Jul 11, 8:20�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> > ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> > �presumption of atheism� (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> > As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> > �The onus of proof must lie upon the theist� .....''
>
> > How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> > ''....Presumption of Innocence: �All defendants are presumed innocent
> > until proven guilty. .....''
>
> > A defendant defined as infallible isn't presumed innocent, he is known
> > to be innocent can't by definition be guilty: this must be so by
> > logical necessity.
>
> There are two mistakes in thy our argument. The first is that in Flew'
> argument, you, not God is the defendant (unless of course you think
> that's the same thing). And it is your claims about God, not God him/
> her/themselves that are the subject under dispute.

> Second, definitions do not settle questions of fact.

I believe God exists and is unfalsifiable - defined as such by me -
you can't therefore raise a series of questions, my premise doesn't
allow you to raise. Since you don't believe God exists(your premise),
the only thing
under dispute is my claim about him, not your premise about his
existence or not. You can't redefine my premises.
1) Premise: My claim is that Perfection(God) is unfalsifiable, and
therefore the question as to how to make my claim falsifiable isn't
raised in the same manner that A or non-A defined as unfalsifiable
does *not allow* questions about how to make it falsifiable to be
raised. Do you agree that the best explanation doesn't need an
explanation?

Definitions of phenomena defined as possessing attributes prevents us
raising questions the definitions don't allow to be raised.

1) A phenomena is defined as possessing traits. Thus the question
isn't raised as to why it doesn't posses the traits, since the premise
defines the phenomena as possessing the traits.

> I'm not a great fan of Flew's argument here, mainly because I think he
> misunderstands how burden of proof allocations work in law, but your
> queries miss the mark widely.

This is possible. I would therefore be helpful if you could either
agree or disagree with the following:
1) The best explanation does not need an explanation. Like for example
the explanation that A or not-A is unfalsifiable.

> > ''.........The onus of proof must lie upon the prosecution. Flew is
> > thus drawing an analogy between the PoA and the legal presumption of
> > innocence. The main point of this analogy is Flew's claim that both
> > the PoA and the legal presumption of innocence are procedural. That
> > is, both presumptions specify how to proceed. (In the case of the PoA,
> > it is intended to tell us how to proceed in debates over God, and in
> > the case of the presumption of innocence it tells how to proceed in a
> > legal trial.).........''


> > In order to engage in sensible debates about God we need to clarify
> > our premises: is God fallible or infallible. If he is fallible, how
> > could he then be God ?

> By being very powerful, but not all powerful, very knowledgeable, but
> not omniscient? Was always good enough for many deities.

Not all powerful isn't my premise. Logicians concern themselves with
whether the conclusions follow logically, not whether the premises are
correct or not.


backspace

unread,
Jul 11, 2012, 4:35:45 PM7/11/12
to
On Jul 11, 8:47�pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
> On Jul 11, 8:20�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> > ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> > �presumption of atheism� (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> > As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> > �The onus of proof must lie upon the theist� .....''
>
> > How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> > ''....Presumption of Innocence: �All defendants are presumed innocent
> > until proven guilty. .....''
>
> > A defendant defined as infallible isn't presumed innocent, he is known
> > to be innocent can't by definition be guilty: this must be so by
> > logical necessity.
>
> There are two mistakes in thy our argument. The first is that in Flew'
> argument, you, not God is the defendant (unless of course you think
> that's the same thing). And it is your claims about God, not God him/
> her/themselves that are the subject under dispute.

> Second, definitions do not settle questions of fact.

Neither do premises settle questions as facts. What concerns Logicians
is whether the conclusion follow logically from the premises, not
whether they are correct or not. Thus says the Oxford online course on
logical reasoning. Don't have the link on my know.


backspace

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Jul 11, 2012, 4:47:45 PM7/11/12
to
On Jul 11, 9:21�pm, Slow Vehicle <oneslowvehi...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On a different note, a 'debate" requires a clear definition of the
> "issue". �Such declarations as "god is infallible or fallible; if she
> were fallible, how could she then be god?" assume that there is, in
> fact, a god.

Is the question raised as to how one would falsify that which is
defined as unfalsifiable? The question is not raised or that question
would induce the question as to how it would be falsified. Thus to
avoid *Infinite Regress* we designate the best answer
as not needing an answer.

Note that my entire paragraph itself isn't falsifiable. It is merely
an assumption that seems plausible, there is no infinite regress meter
we can buy to test it. Atheists are very fond of saying: I only except
science. But the sentence itself isn't scientific, why should we
accept it?

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/12/a_flower_of_chi054271.html
His atheism nonetheless had a kind of shambling boisterousness that
made Christopher Hitchens seem a Mirabeau to Richard Dawkins's Saint
Just or Sam Harris's Robespierre. Hitchens was uninterested in subtle
analysis. On the masthead of the Daily Hitchens, there is the legend:
What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. The
difficulty with this assertion is straightforward. If it has been
asserted without proof, why should it be believed, and if not, where
is the proof?
I asked Hitchens about this during a break in our debate. We had
retreated to a forlorn hotel loading ramp in order to have a
cigarette. "Well, yes," he said, "it's just a sentence."

Another variation: ''.... from the fact that something has not been
proved, no conclusion can be drawn......'' But since the sentence
itself hasn't been proved it says of itself not draw any conclusion
from it.


Slow Vehicle

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Jul 11, 2012, 4:52:15 PM7/11/12
to
On Jul 11, 2:31�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jul 11, 8:47 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jul 11, 8:20 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> > > ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> > > presumption of atheism (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> > > As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> > > The onus of proof must lie upon the theist .....''
>
> > > How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> > > ''....Presumption of Innocence: All defendants are presumed innocent
> > > until proven guilty. .....''
>
> > > A defendant defined as infallible isn't presumed innocent, he is known
> > > to be innocent can't by definition be guilty: this must be so by
> > > logical necessity.
>
> > There are two mistakes in thy our argument. The first is that in Flew'
> > argument, you, not God is the defendant (unless of course you think
> > that's the same thing). And it is your claims about God, not God him/
> > her/themselves that are the subject under dispute.
> > Second, definitions do not settle questions of fact.
>
> I believe God exists and is unfalsifiable - defined as such by me -
> you can't therefore raise a series of questions, my premise doesn't
> allow you to raise.

...which is exactly the point I raised.
Which is why you should post this on a newsgoup about belief, instead
of here.

>Since you don't believe God exists(your premise),
> the only thing
> under dispute is my claim about him, not your premise about his
> existence or not. You can't redefine my premises.

Since you already believe in god, in your mind, this "debate" is
already over. So you really should tak it to the proper newsgroup.
Have you considered finding Nando's Klubhaus? It's fit riiiiight in.
...and you have already defined your premise as demonstrating your
premise. Whee.

Slow Vehicle

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Jul 11, 2012, 5:03:52 PM7/11/12
to
On Jul 11, 2:47�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:

<snip>
> Is the question raised as to how one would falsify that which is
> defined as unfalsifiable? �The question is not raised or that question
> would induce the question as to how it would be falsified. Thus to
> avoid *Infinite Regress* we designate the best answer
> as not needing an answer.
>
> Note that my entire paragraph itself isn't falsifiable. It is merely
> an assumption that seems plausible, there is no infinite regress meter
> we can buy to test it. Atheists are very fond of saying: I only except
> science. But the sentence itself isn't scientific, why should we
> accept it?

<snip>

In other words, "I win! No matter what you say!"
...which is my original objection, still.

Burkhard

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Jul 11, 2012, 5:24:16 PM7/11/12
to
On Jul 11, 9:31�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jul 11, 8:47 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>

> > On Jul 11, 8:20 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> > > ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> > > presumption of atheism (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> > > As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> > > The onus of proof must lie upon the theist .....''
>
> > > How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> > > ''....Presumption of Innocence: All defendants are presumed innocent
> > > until proven guilty. .....''
>
> > > A defendant defined as infallible isn't presumed innocent, he is known
> > > to be innocent can't by definition be guilty: this must be so by
> > > logical necessity.
>
> > There are two mistakes in thy our argument. The first is that in Flew'
> > argument, you, not God is the defendant (unless of course you think
> > that's the same thing). And it is your claims about God, not God him/
> > her/themselves that are the subject under dispute.
> > Second, definitions do not settle questions of fact.
>
> I believe God exists and is unfalsifiable

That is not even syntactically correct. Entities like "God" "Fridge",
"Cow" are not of the type that are falsifiable or not. Only sentences
and set of sentences (theories) are.
Do you mean something like: I believe that god exists, and that the
claim "God exists" is unfalsifiable?

>- defined as such by me -

You can't define something into existence. You can "claim" that "God
exists" is unfalsifiable, But that does not and cannot prevent then
others from asking: why do you think that is the case? The sentence
has not the form of a logical tautology, so one of the more obvious
reasons why a claim can be unfalsifiable does demonstrably not apply.

What you can of course do is to inform the reader/disputant that the
claim "God exists" is so central to your belief system that you are
willing to use any number of auxiliary claims and hypithesis to refute
any offered putative falsification. That is sort of helpful, as the
disputant will then not even bother to try, but "unfalsifiable" is
then simpy a property of your belief system, not of God.

> you can't therefore raise a series of questions, my premise doesn't
> allow you to raise. Since you don't believe God exists(your premise),
> the only thing
> under dispute is my claim about him, not your premise about his
> existence or not. You can't redefine my premises.

I don;t think the above makes any sense whatsoever, not even counting
that I'm not an atheist myself. Even when you discuss with an atheist,
the only thing the above says is: "I'm unwilling to even discuss
certain claims you may want to raise, which if true would falsify my
claim that God exists"
Fine as far as it goes, just not very interesting

> 1) Premise: My claim is that Perfection(God) is unfalsifiable, and
> therefore the question as to how to make my claim falsifiable isn't
> raised in the same manner that A or non-A defined as unfalsifiable
> does �*not allow* questions about how to make it falsifiable to be
> raised.

"A or non-a" is not defined as unfalsifiable, it is unfalsifiable
(in certain systems of logic) That is an objective, testable property
the sentence has. Your claim that something is unfalsifiable is in
itself a falsifiable claim, nothing more, nothing less. OK, you can
turn (Perfection)God into an unfalsifiable claim (though doing this in
in a meaningful way in first order logic isn't straightforward.

Essentially, you need to define" God" :(def) "a being that is
necessarily perfect", and then you get indeed the unfalsifiable: A
being that is necessarily perfect is perfect. (Leaves open though if
such a being exists)

Or, as above, you can indicate that you have a lot of auxiliary and
not yet specified premises that will allow you to refute any attempted
falsification (trivially possible) "Perfection(God)" is then
unfalsifiable relative to a larger set of sentences that you accept

>Do you agree that the best explanation doesn't need an
> explanation?

I don't think that sentence makes much sense. If you think of the
inference to the best explanation, it is of course always possible to
question for any given explanation E that claims to be the best one if
it really is the best. That is often a difficult task, and the
criteria for what counts as "best" often very controversial and in
need of support themselves. What role, if any, parsimony has to play
to make an explanation the best explanation can be for instance
debated quite controversially.

So in that sense, you will often have to explain why a suggested
explanation is in your opinion the best explanation.

Secondly, and for similar reasons, what counts as best explanation can
be very context dependent. For the purpose of a criminal trial e.g.the
statement: "the suspect stabbed the victim" may well be the best
explanation for the fact that the victim is dead and has a knife in
his back. For the purpose of sentencing however, it may not be the
best explanation for the death of the victim, it may be that we have
to go a step further and say: "The victim abused the suspect for
years, which caused the suspect to stab him eventually in fear for her
life". For a historical explanation, we may have ot go even further
back in time, e.g.:The ambitions of her mother caused Janine to marry
the future king, which resulted in years of abuse, which she ended
with a knife, thus causing the revolution.." All three can be "best
explanations" of the same set of facts, it depends on the purpose for
which you need an explanation.

> Definitions of phenomena defined as possessing attributes prevents us
> raising questions the definitions don't allow to be raised.
>
> 1) A phenomena is defined as possessing traits. Thus the question
> isn't raised as to why it doesn't posses the traits, since the premise
> defines the phenomena as possessing the traits.

Well, within reasons. If you claim e.g. that "Penguins can fly", and
when challenged your answer is: i define "Penguin" as "a big white
bird with long neck often found in rivers in the northern hemisphere",
people will point out to you that your definition deviates from normal
usage and is very unhelpful and misleading, so please don't.

>
> > I'm not a great fan of Flew's argument here, mainly because I think he
> > misunderstands how burden of proof allocations work in law, but your
> > queries miss the mark widely.
>
> This is possible. I would therefore be helpful if you could either
> agree or disagree with the following:
> 1) The best explanation does not need an explanation. Like for example
> the explanation that A or not-A is unfalsifiable.

"A or not A is unfalsifiable" is on its own not an explanation for
anything, so no idea what you mean by this as for the rest, see
above.

Burkhard

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Jul 11, 2012, 5:33:01 PM7/11/12
to
On Jul 11, 9:35 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jul 11, 8:47 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jul 11, 8:20 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> > > ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> > > “presumption of atheism” (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> > > As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> > > “The onus of proof must lie upon the theist” .....''
>
> > > How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> > > ''....Presumption of Innocence:  All defendants are presumed innocent
> > > until proven guilty. .....''
>
> > > A defendant defined as infallible isn't presumed innocent, he is known
> > > to be innocent can't by definition be guilty: this must be so by
> > > logical necessity.
>
> > There are two mistakes in thy our argument. The first is that in Flew'
> > argument, you, not God is the defendant (unless of course you think
> > that's the same thing). And it is your claims about God, not God him/
> > her/themselves that are the subject under dispute.
> > Second, definitions do not settle questions of fact.
>
> Neither do premises settle questions as facts. What concerns Logicians
> is whether the conclusion follow logically from the premises, not
> whether they are correct or not. Thus says the Oxford online course on
> logical reasoning. Don't have the link on my know.

Yes, so what? Logic only deals with the question whether a set of
sentences is consistent. That is necessary, but not sufficient for the
question whether the sentences are true. But why does this matter, or
help your cause?Are you saying that your only interest is if your
premises are consistent? If so, fine, just does not give anyone else a
good reason to accept them as fact. Nor does it prevent people from
asking what logically follows from your propositions, and then check
if these conclusions are also factually true - if they are not one or
several of your propositions has been falsified. That you call them
"premises" or even "unfalsifible premises" does not change that fact.

jillery

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Jul 11, 2012, 7:55:08 PM7/11/12
to
On Wed, 11 Jul 2012 12:47:53 -0700 (PDT), Burkhard
<b.sc...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:

>On Jul 11, 8:20 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>>
>> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
>> “presumption of atheism” (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
>> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
>> “The onus of proof must lie upon the theist” .....''
>>
>> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>>
>> ''....Presumption of Innocence:  All defendants are presumed innocent
Yeppers. After all, any science sufficiently advanced is
indistinguishable from magic. So you don't have to know everything,
just enough to make you look like you do.

jonathan

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Jul 11, 2012, 8:10:04 PM7/11/12
to

"Burkhard" <b.sc...@ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:e3e6f4bb-7fd3-4749...@k21g2000vbj.googlegroups.com...
> On Jul 11, 8:20 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>>
>> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
>> "presumption of atheism" (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
>> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
>> "The onus of proof must lie upon the theist" .....''
>>
>> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?


You have it backwards. The presumption of science is
that all is eventually knowable. Religion takes the far
more logical and humble approach that there'll always be
some knowledge beyond our objective abilities.
In particular the knowledge concerning the source
of creation.

When science answers those timeless questions, then
maybe the concept of God can be challenged.
But even then, I bet science and religion will have
converged upon the same answers.

Not that the source of creation is some bearded old man
waving a wand, no serious religious philosopher believes
that. But that the ultimate source of creation of all things
is so simple, beautiful and wondrous, that reverence will
be given by all that understand this boundless 'wisdom'
or perfection responsible for ourselves and our universe.

God is just a word for the unexplainable perfection
behind reality.


Jonathan



"To tell the beauty would decrease,
To state the Spell demean,
There is a syllableless sea
Of which it is the sign.

My will endeavours for its word
And fails, but entertains
A rapture as of legacies-
Of introspective mines."


By E Dickinson



s


jonathan

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Jul 11, 2012, 8:28:21 PM7/11/12
to

"backspace" <steph...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:6f46aea0-ce2a-451e...@cu1g2000vbb.googlegroups.com...

> This is possible. I would therefore be helpful if you could either
> agree or disagree with the following:
> 1) The best explanation does not need an explanation. Like for example
> the explanation that A or not-A is unfalsifiable.


But the problem is that the concept of God is that
the ultimate explanation of creation is unknowable
in an objective scientific way. Since science has yet
to give those answers, the concept of God stands
unchallenged. And will remain so until science comes
up with the solution.

So the logic of religion is that the observed aspects
of the universe, that it's beautiful, resilient, creative
and so on, must be reflected in the creator. That
our only knowledge of God is indirect and reflected
in those properties.

So the difference between science and religion is more
a matter of semantics, and the assumption that all
is ultimately knowable. Religion assumes a certain
level of ignorance concerning creation will always
remain. When people invoke God, they are talking
about the unknowable aspects responsible for
our existence.

The assumption of science that all can be someday
proved is not supported by the evidence.




Grandbank

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Jul 11, 2012, 11:04:30 PM7/11/12
to
On Jul 11, 5:10 pm, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Burkhard" <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
Well you have certainly got a good understanding of sophisticated
theology: Use an unnecessarily large volume of words to say
absolutely nothing about absolutely nothing. Could you explain this to
the fundies?.
>
> Jonathan
>
>      "To tell the beauty would decrease,
>       To state the Spell demean,
>       There is a syllableless sea
>       Of which it is the sign.
>
>       My will endeavours for its word
>       And fails, but entertains
>       A rapture as of legacies-
>       Of introspective mines."
>
> By E Dickinson
>
> s


KP

Grandbank

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Jul 11, 2012, 11:19:39 PM7/11/12
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On Jul 11, 5:28�pm, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "backspace" <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:6f46aea0-ce2a-451e...@cu1g2000vbb.googlegroups.com...
>
> > This is possible. I would therefore be helpful if you could either
> > agree or disagree with the following:
> > 1) The best explanation does not need an explanation. Like for example
> > the explanation that A or not-A is unfalsifiable.
>
> But the problem is that the concept of God is that
> the ultimate explanation of creation is unknowable
> in an objective scientific way.

But how could you know that?

> Since science has yet
> to give those answers, the concept of God stands
> unchallenged. And will remain so until science comes
> up with the solution.
>
> So the logic of religion is that the observed aspects
> of the universe, that it's beautiful, resilient, creative
> and so on, must be reflected in the creator. That
> our only knowledge of God is indirect and reflected
> in those properties.
>
> So the difference between science and religion is more
> a matter of semantics, and the assumption that all
> is ultimately knowable. Religion assumes a certain
> level of ignorance concerning creation will always
> remain. When people invoke God, they are talking
> about the unknowable aspects responsible for
> our existence.

You don't know many religious people, do you.
>
> The assumption of science that all can be someday
> proved is not supported by the evidence.

Where did you get the idea that science claims this? Who or what is
"science"? I have always understood it to be a methodology for testing
ideas about the real world. Typically people make claims,
methodologies don't. Do you know a person that claims this?


jonathan

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Jul 11, 2012, 11:47:22 PM7/11/12
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"Grandbank" <zetet...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:f8848f88-d412-47c1...@d6g2000pbt.googlegroups.com...
So you're claiming science does or will have all the
answers to creation then? If so your 'faith' in science
is beyond all reason. If so, perhaps I should call
you God, tell me then, what came before the Big Bang?
When will science prove that? Please point to the
very place geology first became biology? What
is the meaning of life?

'Prove' to me all these answers with your beloved
objective facts, and I'll no longer have a reason to
be reverent to any other thing except science.

My claim is simple enough for a child, that some
questions will never be answered completely.
It's up to you to prove these questions can
be answered.

I'm waiting for your reply. Is your answer "I don't know"?
Or will you dodge these questions with grade school
ridicule?




s

Robert Camp

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Jul 11, 2012, 11:57:19 PM7/11/12
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On Jul 11, 5:10 pm, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Burkhard" <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
>
> news:e3e6f4bb-7fd3-4749...@k21g2000vbj.googlegroups.com...
>
> > On Jul 11, 8:20 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> >> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> >> "presumption of atheism" (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> >> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> >> "The onus of proof must lie upon the theist" .....''
>
> >> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> You have it backwards. The presumption of science is
> that all is eventually knowable. Religion takes the far
> more logical and humble approach that there'll always be
> some knowledge beyond our objective abilities.

Actually, you have it backwards. Science does not presume what you
claim, nor do any of the major religions take a logical or humble
approach to doubt v. certainty.

> In particular the knowledge concerning the source
> of creation.

And this bit is particularly wrong. One thing about which most
religions do *not* take a humble approach is the source of creation.
Religious traditions positively abound with creation stories.

RLC

jonathan

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Jul 12, 2012, 12:06:29 AM7/12/12
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"Grandbank" <zetet...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:e6398666-23ce-4667...@f9g2000pbd.googlegroups.com...
If science believes otherwise, that the questions of meaning
might never be scientifically answered, then there's no
division between science and religion. Since you obviously
denegrate religious beliefs, I have to assume you feel
science will have these answers.

The only stretch religion makes is to take the observed
properties of the universe and assume these properties
are expressed in the creator. Just as the traits of a
parent if often expressed in their children. Nothing
illogical about that.

You can't have it both ways, either all is knowable or
giving the unknowable a suitable and reverant name
is entirely appropriate.


Jonathan

s



>
>


backspace

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Jul 12, 2012, 1:37:10 AM7/12/12
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On Jul 12, 4:19 am, Grandbank <zetetic...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Where did you get the idea that science claims this? Who or what is
> "science"?

This is what I have been saying for years science what? We know what
unfalsifiable and falsifiable is but nobody knows what science is. In
many cases science is used as the proxy for falsifiable. But in other
cases not.

backspace

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Jul 12, 2012, 1:48:08 AM7/12/12
to
On Jul 12, 1:10 am, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Burkhard" <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
>
> news:e3e6f4bb-7fd3-4749...@k21g2000vbj.googlegroups.com...
>
> > On Jul 11, 8:20 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> >> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> >> "presumption of atheism" (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> >> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> >> "The onus of proof must lie upon the theist" .....''
>
> >> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> You have it backwards. The presumption of science is
> that all is eventually knowable.

This is fallacy of appeal to abstract authority: mr. Science does not
exist. All we have is falsification and unfalsifiable claims. Take the
claim ''.....I only accept falsifiable(science) claims ....'' The
sentence itself isn't falsifiable.

> Religion takes the far
> more logical and humble approach that there'll always be
> some knowledge beyond our objective abilities.

Godel's theorem actually. He showed that we will always have to assume
something we know to be true but can't prove. Like for example this
sentence: There will always be something I know to be true but can't
prove. The sentence itself can't be proven.


Grandbank

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Jul 12, 2012, 2:59:23 AM7/12/12
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On Jul 11, 8:47�pm, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Grandbank" <zetetic...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
Interesting.

Look, I understand that your responses are kind of preprepared inside
your head in the hope that I will follow your sad little apologetic
script, but would it be too much trouble to at least try to give the
illusion that your point is somehow related to what I actually said.
How does a comment on the vapidness of your theology translate to a
claim that science can answer all questions. I mean _really_. Did you
actually think at all before you wrote that? JFC, what is wrong with
you people?
KP

Arkalen

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Jul 12, 2012, 5:00:09 AM7/12/12
to
On 11/07/12 20:20, backspace wrote:
> The Presumption of Atheism - http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> “presumption of atheism” (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> “The onus of proof must lie upon the theist” .....''
>
> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?

You mustn't. If you can't define something you can't meaningfully talk
about it. That doesn't mean you need a perfect definition - a limited
definition for the purposes of discussion that you change as needed is
perfectly appropriate as long as you keep track of it. But you need
SOMETHING.

>
>
> ''....Presumption of Innocence: All defendants are presumed innocent
> until proven guilty. .....''
>
> A defendant defined as infallible isn't presumed innocent, he is known
> to be innocent can't by definition be guilty: this must be so by
> logical necessity.

You can define something into having whatever attributes you want, but
you can't define something into *existing* (well, you can, but then its
attributes are limited by what actually exists, not your definition)

Burkhard

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Jul 12, 2012, 5:32:12 AM7/12/12
to
On Jul 12, 6:48 am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jul 12, 1:10 am, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > "Burkhard" <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
>
> >news:e3e6f4bb-7fd3-4749...@k21g2000vbj.googlegroups.com...
>
> > > On Jul 11, 8:20 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >> The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> > >> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> > >> "presumption of atheism" (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> > >> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> > >> "The onus of proof must lie upon the theist" .....''
>
> > >> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> > You have it backwards. The presumption of science is
> > that all is eventually knowable.
>
> This is fallacy of appeal to abstract authority: mr. Science does not
> exist. All we have is falsification and unfalsifiable claims. Take the
> claim ''.....I only accept falsifiable(science) claims ....'' The
> sentence itself isn't falsifiable.

You made that strange claim before, it was demonstrably wrong then, it
is still wrong now.
The claim "I only accept falsifiable(science) claims" made by person X
is easily falsifiable just by observing person X and ask him
questions about his beliefs. If he answers for instance "Yes" to the
question: "Do you accept that murder is wrong", his claim that he only
accepts scientific statements is falsified.

>
> > Religion takes the far
> > more logical and humble approach that there'll always be
> > some knowledge beyond our objective abilities.
>
> Godel's theorem actually. He showed that we will always have to assume
> something we know to be true but can't prove.

Your misrepresentations of Goedel's theorem also don;t improve through
repetition. Goedel's theorem (only) says that there can't be a finite
axiomatic system so that all and only true statements of arithmetic
can be derived through a finite, decidable proof.


> Like for example this
> sentence: There will always be something I know to be true but can't
> prove. The sentence itself can't be proven.

Sure can. I'll always know e.g. that I had a bad headache four days
ago, but will never be able to prove it.

Attila

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Jul 12, 2012, 5:34:59 AM7/12/12
to
backspace wrote:

> The Presumption of Atheism - http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> “presumption of atheism” (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> “The onus of proof must lie upon the theist” .....''
>
> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
>
> ''....Presumption of Innocence: All defendants are presumed innocent
> until proven guilty. .....''
>
> A defendant defined as infallible isn't presumed innocent, he is known
> to be innocent can't by definition be guilty: this must be so by
> logical necessity.
>
> ''.........The onus of proof must lie upon the prosecution. Flew is
> thus drawing an analogy between the PoA and the legal presumption of
> innocence. The main point of this analogy is Flew's claim that both
> the PoA and the legal presumption of innocence are procedural. That
> is, both presumptions specify how to proceed. (In the case of the PoA,
> it is intended to tell us how to proceed in debates over God, and in
> the case of the presumption of innocence it tells how to proceed in a
> legal trial.).........''
>
> In order to engage in sensible debates about God we need to clarify
> our premises: is God fallible or infallible. If he is fallible, how
> could he then be God ?
That's very interesting, Backspace. Would you be kind enough to answer two
quick questions? I'll assume yes since you opened this thread.
Question 1: Are you (i.e. Backspace) infallible? <yes/no>
Question 2: Assuming that you answered "no" for question 1, can you list 5
points on which you disagree with god.
Thanks for helping to clear up this issue.

Burkhard

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Jul 12, 2012, 5:37:02 AM7/12/12
to
On Jul 12, 1:10 am, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Burkhard" <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
>
> news:e3e6f4bb-7fd3-4749...@k21g2000vbj.googlegroups.com...
>
> > On Jul 11, 8:20 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> >> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> >> "presumption of atheism" (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> >> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> >> "The onus of proof must lie upon the theist" .....''
>
> >> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> You have it backwards.

You got the attribution wrong, I didn't say that, that was backspace



>The presumption of science is
> that all is eventually knowable. Religion takes the far
> more logical and humble approach that there'll always be
> some knowledge beyond our objective abilities.

Which religion? Are you claiming all of them? Cites please to back up
this claim

> In particular the knowledge concerning the source
> of creation.


Depends what you mean with "source of creation".

> When science answers those timeless questions, then
> maybe the concept of God can be challenged.
> But even then, I bet science and religion will have
> converged upon the same answers.
>
> Not that the source of creation is some bearded old man
> waving a wand, no serious religious philosopher believes
> that. But that the ultimate source of creation of all things
> is so simple, beautiful and wondrous, that reverence will
> be given by all that understand this boundless 'wisdom'
> or perfection responsible for ourselves and our universe.
>
> God is just a word for the unexplainable perfection
> behind reality.

I have no problems with a "non-referring" use of religious vocabulary
like this. The argument from perfection however does not hold water if
you look more closely at our far from perfect world.

Slow Vehicle

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Jul 12, 2012, 8:04:52 AM7/12/12
to
I pointed out the paucity of your "argument" at the very beginning.
Why not just say, "I believe god exists and nothing you say can change
that"?
And why not say it on a religion newsgroup, or a philosophy newsgroup?

backspace

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Jul 12, 2012, 10:20:08 AM7/12/12
to
On Jul 12, 10:34 am, Attila <jdkay...@gmail.com> wrote:
> backspace wrote:
> > The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
you'l have to make your point if you have one, i am afraid my sarcasm
tolerance isn't so good this afternoon. (hint: look at how Prof.
Burkhard replies to me and to everybody else he disagrees with -
civility ).

John Stockwell

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Jul 12, 2012, 12:04:08 PM7/12/12
to
On Wednesday, July 11, 2012 1:20:30 PM UTC-6, backspace wrote:
> The Presumption of Atheism - http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> &#39;&#39;......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> �presumption of atheism� (which I&#39;ll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> �The onus of proof must lie upon the theist� .....&#39;&#39;
>
> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can&#39;t define it?

How about staying on topic? If you cannot defined "God" or "Perfection"
or whatever you want to talk about, then you have nothing. Atheism is simply
the position that if you have a piece of paper that is supposed to be about
"God" then that page is blank.



>
>
> &#39;&#39;....Presumption of Innocence: All defendants are presumed innocent
> until proven guilty. .....&#39;&#39;
>
> A defendant defined as infallible isn&#39;t presumed innocent, he is known
> to be innocent can&#39;t by definition be guilty: this must be so by
> logical necessity.

The page is still blank....



>
> &#39;&#39;.........The onus of proof must lie upon the prosecution. Flew is
> thus drawing an analogy between the PoA and the legal presumption of
> innocence. The main point of this analogy is Flew&#39;s claim that both
> the PoA and the legal presumption of innocence are procedural. That
> is, both presumptions specify how to proceed. (In the case of the PoA,
> it is intended to tell us how to proceed in debates over God, and in
> the case of the presumption of innocence it tells how to proceed in a
> legal trial.).........&#39;&#39;
>
> In order to engage in sensible debates about God we need to clarify
> our premises: is God fallible or infallible. If he is fallible, how
> could he then be God ?

It's pretty clear that God is something people made up.

Attila

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Jul 12, 2012, 12:46:39 PM7/12/12
to
I'm afraid your sarcasm detection is faulty. I asked two simple questions. I
have a point to make but I'd need those answers to do so.
I assume that the sarcasm business was not a pretext to avoid answering the
questions. You seem quite at ease presenting your views on this ng.

Slow Vehicle

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Jul 12, 2012, 4:41:38 PM7/12/12
to
Examples?
Citations?

Slow Vehicle

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Jul 12, 2012, 4:46:03 PM7/12/12
to
You're being sarcastic, right?

backspace

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Jul 12, 2012, 5:14:59 PM7/12/12
to
http://cogweb.ucla.edu/EarlyModern/Maupertuis_1745.html

first evolutionary view presented says wilkins , double click tag to
find ref.

Maupertuis' work is an early attempt at a materialistic explanation of
the origin of species, anticipating Darwin by a century.
Excerpt: Natural variation and selection give rise to functional
design
"Could one not say that, in the fortuitous combinations of the
productions of nature, as there must be some characterized by a
certain relation of fitness which are able to subsist, it is not to be
wondered at that this fitness is present in all the species that are
currently in existence? Chance, one would say, produced an innumerable
multitude of individuals; a small number found themselves constructed
in such a manner that the parts of the animal were able to satisfy its
needs; in another infinitely greater number, there was neither fitness
nor order: all of these latter have perished. Animals lacking a mouth
could not live; others lacking reproductive organs could not
perpetuate themselves... The species we see today are but the smallest
part of what blind destiny has produced..." (my translation).


Did the translater use chance as the opposite of non-random. Other
than that Maupertuis ideas are similar tot that of Aristotle where he
probably lifted it from. http://tautology.wikia.com/wiki/Aristotle

Earle Jones

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Jul 13, 2012, 12:55:58 AM7/13/12
to
In article <341a2548-9761-4c97...@googlegroups.com>,
*
"Man created God in his own image."

--Marvin 3:16

Attila

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Jul 13, 2012, 2:44:38 AM7/13/12
to
I find that claim extremely offensive. No, not concerning god whatever that
is, but concerning man or at least some of us. I neither hate homosexuals
nor emit microwave radiation.

backspace

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Jul 13, 2012, 1:18:47 PM7/13/12
to
What is beyond this finite must be assumed, known to be true but can't
be proven.
Sentences are converted to Godel numbers, by showing there is
something about the arithmetic we must assume, there is therefore
something about the sentence we must assume but know to be true.

reply to you other issue in this thread on infinite regress:
http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/who-designed-the-designer/

This reminds me of a parable Michael Scriven once told me when he was
visiting UNLV in the mid-90s and I was on the faculty there. Here’s
what he said. Suppose someone asks you, “where’s 7-Eleven,” and you
answer, “4th and Vine.” And then you are asked, “where’s 4th and
Vine.” And you answer, “In Los Angeles.” You then answer every
subsequent “where” question in the following way:
“Where’s Los Angeles?” In California
“Where’s California?” In the U.S.
“Where’s the U.S.” In Norht America
“Where’s North America?” On Earth
“Where’s Earth?” Third planet from the sun in our solar system.
“Where’s the solar system?” In the Milky Way Galaxy.
“Where’s the Milky Way Galaxy?” In the universe.
“Where the universe?” Uhhh!
“See, I knew you couldn’t tell me where 7-Eleven is.”

Frank

Burkhard

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Jul 13, 2012, 1:46:49 PM7/13/12
to
I have no idea what you mean with this.


> Sentences are converted to Godel numbers, by showing there is
> something about the arithmetic we must assume, there is therefore
> something about the sentence we must assume but know to be true.

There is nothing much about the arithmetic we must assume. For almost
all sentences or arithmetic, we can prove them, and also prove that
the proof is correct. For almost all proofs, nothing further needs to
be assumed. We just know that there will be some sentences (typically
self-referential sentences) that through a simple semantic argument we
can show to be true, but which we can't prove with the means of the
system itself.


>
> reply to you other issue in this thread on infinite regress:http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/who-designed-the-de...

Kermit

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Jul 13, 2012, 3:14:40 PM7/13/12
to
On Jul 11, 5:10 pm, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Burkhard" <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
>
> news:e3e6f4bb-7fd3-4749...@k21g2000vbj.googlegroups.com...
>
> > On Jul 11, 8:20 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> >> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> >> "presumption of atheism" (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> >> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> >> "The onus of proof must lie upon the theist" .....''
>
> >> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> You have it backwards. The presumption of science is
> that all is eventually knowable.

No, science goes on the working assumption that anything which can be
understood about how the universe works is best approached by studying
the universe. Since humans are fallible, the evidence should be
verifiable and any explanatory models need to be testable (i.e., they
make predictions of verifiable data).

I know of no scientist who has said that all things will be knowable
in time, although there may be a few.

> Religion takes the far
> more logical and humble approach

<snort>

> that there'll always be
> some knowledge beyond our objective abilities.
> In particular the knowledge concerning the source
> of creation.

And yet being raised Southern Baptist I was told over and over all
about the creation, its purpose, and its source. From what I hear the
Muslims and Catholics are pretty sure of themselves also.

>
> When science answers those timeless questions, then
> maybe the concept of God can be challenged.

What? How about, when you have verifiable evidence for gods, then I
will take the concept seriously.

Seriously, my best buddy in college was a devout Christian, but he
didn't try to convince me because he knew he had nothing to show me.

> But even then, I bet science and religion will have
> converged upon the same answers.

If the gods produce observable evidence, then perhaps one of the
religions will converge on science.

You say "religion" as though it is homogeneous.

>
> Not that the source of creation is some bearded old man
> waving a wand, no serious religious philosopher believes
> that. But that the ultimate source of creation of all things
> is so simple, beautiful and wondrous, that reverence will
> be given by all that understand this boundless 'wisdom'
> or perfection responsible for ourselves and our universe.
>
> God is just a word for the unexplainable perfection
> behind reality.

I have no idea what is supposed to be "behind" reality. I can't
imagine how you know it's perfect. If That Which is Behind Reality
were imperfect, what observations would be different?

>
> Jonathan
>
>      "To tell the beauty would decrease,
>       To state the Spell demean,
>       There is a syllableless sea
>       Of which it is the sign.
>
>       My will endeavours for its word
>       And fails, but entertains
>       A rapture as of legacies-
>       Of introspective mines."
>
> By E Dickinson
>

Kermit

“If I'd known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better
care of myself. ”
-- Eubie Blake


Kermit

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Jul 13, 2012, 3:24:44 PM7/13/12
to
On Jul 11, 10:48 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jul 12, 1:10 am, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> > "Burkhard" <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
>
> >news:e3e6f4bb-7fd3-4749...@k21g2000vbj.googlegroups.com...
>
> > > On Jul 11, 8:20 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >> The Presumption of Atheism -http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html
>
> > >> ''......Flew claims that debates about God should begin from a
> > >> "presumption of atheism" (which I'll abbreviate as the PoA.)
> > >> As he puts it, the PoA amounts to the claim that:
> > >> "The onus of proof must lie upon the theist" .....''
>
> > >> How must I prove or disprove perfection if I can't define it?
>
> > You have it backwards. The presumption of science is
> > that all is eventually knowable.
>
> This is fallacy of appeal to abstract authority: mr. Science does not
> exist.

Mr. Science told me this was stuff and nonsense. "Science" is a
shorthand reference to the scientific community and to the scientific
methodology which they use in their daily work. And Mr Science makes
no claims whether "it all" is knowable or not; we have no way of
knowing at this point. One of the important differences between
science and other communities making claims about reality (such as
politics, or say, religion) is that scientists will say "I don't know"
if they, in fact, do not know.

>All we have is falsification and unfalsifiable claims. Take the
> claim ''.....I only accept falsifiable(science) claims ....'' The
> sentence itself isn't falsifiable.

If it's not falsifiable in principle, then it is not a scientific
claim.

>
> > Religion takes the far
> > more logical and humble approach that there'll always be
> > some knowledge beyond our objective abilities.
>
> Godel's theorem actually. He showed that we will always have to assume
> something we know to be true but can't prove. Like for example this
> sentence: There will always be something I know to be true but can't
> prove. The sentence itself can't be proven.

It's not clear that Godel's Theorem applies to anything but math.
Perhaps.

But if so, the proper response is still not "Therefore, let's use word
magic and play pretend rather than trying to learn honestly how things
work."

Kermit


Perseus

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Jul 13, 2012, 5:11:08 PM7/13/12
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On Jul 12, 1:28 am, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "backspace" <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:6f46aea0-ce2a-451e...@cu1g2000vbb.googlegroups.com...
>
> > This is possible. I would therefore be helpful if you could either
> > agree or disagree with the following:
> > 1) The best explanation does not need an explanation. Like for example
> > the explanation that A or not-A is unfalsifiable.
>
> But the problem is that the concept of God is that
> the ultimate explanation of creation is unknowable
> in an objective scientific way.  Since science has yet
> to give those answers, the concept of God stands
> unchallenged. And will remain so until science comes
> up with the solution.
>
> So the logic of religion is that the observed aspects
> of the universe, that it's beautiful, resilient, creative
> and so on, must be reflected in the creator. That
> our only knowledge of God is indirect and reflected
> in those properties.
>
> So the difference between science and religion is more
> a matter of semantics, and the assumption that all
> is ultimately knowable. Religion assumes a certain
> level of ignorance concerning creation will always
> remain. When people invoke God, they are talking
> about the unknowable aspects responsible for
> our existence.
>
> The assumption of science that all can be someday
> proved is not supported by the evidence.

I postulate the idea, that science would never be able to know it all,
or to reply to all answers. Because as science goes deeper, it is
more difficult to go farther, for the problems are more and more hard
to solve.

After this confession on impotence, on my part, about science, I do
not see any reason to postulate a creator. The very idea of a creator
comes mostly from the book of Genesis of the Jews. The Greeks
considered their gods as a secondary part of the Cosmos. Like some
sort of creatures with superpowers, that came out to life by an order
of cosmos, or something like that. In this approach the cosmos is the
first thing, that existed before the gods.
So, as religious scholars had more and more time to refine their
mythology and their theologies, they were distilling something similar
to spirit of god. There were not several gods, but one, even if it
had three heads, like the dog Cerberus of the Hades.
Any way, our modern and sophisticated theology, has little to do with
an angry and murderous god that send the Black Pest to humanity, or
the Universal Flood, to drown the whole humanity. We had passed from
a murderous nasty god, to an abstract one, we cannot challenge because
it is... unknowable and unprovable and... unfathomable. The idea of
god is invulnerable, because is invisible and unprovable. Unprovable
in the sense that it cannot be proved.

Then, the people with a religious feeling can sleep in peace for
nobody can challenge to them over the unprovability of god.

The fact is that we can believe in many things. There is people that
believe in UFOS. I had seen recently in a satellite channel that some
people believe the myths of gods and angels and giants, are some
archaeological mythological remains of the extraterrestrials visiting
the earth.

Other movies talk about spirits, poltergeist, vampires, and all sort
of supernatural beings of a lesser rank than god.

I remember a conversation I had with a young companion about his
religious experience. He confessed that he do not believed in god,
but sometimes he had, he said, he had doubts. Doubts of the sort,
what if he exists? Then, I presented to him a long chain of reasoning
trying to prove that our idea of god, is related to ancient myths over
a messenger that was carrying instructions from god. God never
communicated directly with people but only through some
intermediaries.
Then, I told him. If really exists a god and he wants to send a
message to humans, what problem he has to make his messenger clearly
seen for all humanity to watch? That considering that god had some
repugnance to treat with humans directly. Then, if there many many
messengers of god, with what different messages, this tells me that
this sort of god does not exist. That all these stories about god
sending us messages were false.
Then, I told him that if a god existed, he could be necessarily a just
god, not like god of the Ancient Testament, of the gods of the ancient
Greeks, or others. Then, if god created the humanity, I said, he had
given us an intelligence to discern the probably true from the
probably false. Then, if we with our limited intelligence had
determined that this story about this god, or any other are false, he
has to be happy, that we had put our brains to work. He cannot throws
in Hell, for not believe these stories that looked mostly as fake.
Then, he replied to me something this:
"All you had said is quite reasonable, and very well explained. But I
am not so sure that god could be just, and he would not attend to this
idea of I was using my intelligence in good faith. Then, if I do
believe he could condemn me to eternal suffering in hell."
Well, we had made god at the image of our own father, and to the image
of the king, or the governor, that can punish us harshly for some
trifle infraction or misdemeanor. Then if our dear father is a son
of a bitch we cannot hope better from god, that is called also our
father. An earthly father can punish us for nothing, for a whim he
has one day. He can also abandone us in cross road, or a lone path in
the woods. The same way, we can imagine our heavenly father as a
nasty and cruel father, that could not care less for our misfortune
and suffering.

This is the problem we can have by fabricating a god as image of out
earthly father.

Perseus

Perseus

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Jul 13, 2012, 5:26:01 PM7/13/12
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On Jul 12, 4:47 am, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Grandbank" <zetetic...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
Oh, my god!
We only can have faith in science only when we do not understand a
word about science. Once you had a faint idea of what science can be,
you know that almost nothing can be granted as certain. A nice and
sound theory we are worshiping now, it would be risible in the near
future, or some decades after the present.

Science is an intent, a honest intent, to understand a small piece of
reality. But even if we shrink a field of inquire to the minimum
size, we are clashing with unsurmountable problems. As we are
gathering more and more data, more complex the small field of research
we had become even more difficult to grasp.

We has succeed in building many huge and outstanding works of
technology. Our maths had been refined to some outstanding degree,
specially with the help of computers. But we are not much advance in
maths than some genius of 19 century. We are fighting with the
limits.
Of course other people is more optimistic than me. The professionals
of science cannot utter such pessimistic messages, for their are
risking their salary. And so far they are humans, and need to eat
daily and feed a family.

We are nothing higher than the hunter gatherers, but with a more
advanced technology. As far as our philosophical thinking is not
more sophisticated than the hunter gatherers of the Kalahari or the
sheep herders of the mountains of Israel.
I am talking of the average thinking of people.
Perseus

Perseus

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Jul 13, 2012, 5:27:30 PM7/13/12
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On Jul 12, 5:06 am, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Grandbank" <zetetic...@hotmail.com> wrote in message

Perseus

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Jul 13, 2012, 5:52:09 PM7/13/12
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On Jul 12, 4:47 am, "jonathan" <mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Grandbank" <zetetic...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>
you are utterly confused with science. In science there is not any
sense to present a question unless you think to have some prospect to
find an answer. To think we can find the answer for a question is a
risky matter. There is more probabilities that our intent would fail
that not. But the aim and the vocation of scientist is to confront a
small piece of reality, and dig in to understand it, and to find some
meaning.
It has surprised me often the petulance of religious people telling
us, that science cannot answer all the questions. It looks absurd,
for as scientist, even amateur scientist as me, we are quite sure of
our limited capabilities.

It is religious people that pretend to know a lot of fake stories, and
that the know that god created the world and the whole humanity and
all that.
The gullibility of religious people cannot be understood, unless you
thing they do not believe any of this, but are simple liars.

Science is always challenging the dominant theories, the most popular
paradigms. Science is always challenging the received wisdom.
Moreover, in science we do not use the word "truth" like in the
religious arguments. Thing are not true of false, but putative
possibilities. Data can be verifiable or it can not. But theories
never are a truth. Theories are only popular, or widely accepted, but
no one will tell you this theory is a truth.
I accept that some writers in this forum are super-optimist about
science, and like to say this or that is true, or this or that has
been proved.
In science nothing is true and nothing is proved either.
Anything can look like being true, we have some confidence that is
true, but it is only a feeling. And feelings are not the stuff of
science.

We feel more sure in science when we can measure the elements we are
searching. That is why is so popular physics, or astrophysics. But
they had a lot of problems to get through in spite of they are
measuring so much. Take as an example the NIF in California. I think
it is in California. This NIF try to fuse atoms of deuterium and
tritium to emulate the atomic fusion of the core of our son. They had
been working of this since 45 or 50 years ago. If they eve succeed in
fusing these atoms, it is said we would have solve all our problems
of energy. The sad question is that if we do not achieve this atomic
fusion we are bound to a spectacular collapse of this might
civilization. We will end at the same level as the rats or
cockroaches.

There will be not any god father that would come to rescue us from an
almost total extermination.

Desertphile

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Jul 24, 2012, 12:32:06 AM7/24/12
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On Wed, 11 Jul 2012 12:20:30 -0700 (PDT), backspace
<steph...@gmail.com> wrote:

> The Presumption of Atheism - http://www.unc.edu/~theis/phil32/flew.html

That's hilarious. Thank you. All them babies, born atheists, are
merely PRESUMING they lack belief in the gods.


--
"[Denialists] will immediately reject the facts when they glance at them." -- Desertphile
"We will always reject your facts." -- Tunderbar

Dale

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Jul 24, 2012, 12:52:52 AM7/24/12
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On 07/11/2012 03:20 PM, backspace wrote:
> In order to engage in sensible debates about God we need to clarify
> our premises: is God fallible or infallible. If he is fallible, how
> could he then be God ?

in order to allow for free will, he must allow for suffering


--
Dale

Mark Isaak

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Jul 24, 2012, 2:06:06 AM7/24/12
to
That is a lie that preachers use to satisfy people who do not think.

First, an omnipotent god could provide alternatives that do not cause
suffering, thus preserving free will. Second, much suffering is
unavoidable with or without free will, so free will cannot count as an
excuse.

--
Mark Isaak eciton (at) curioustaxonomy (dot) net
"It is certain, from experience, that the smallest grain of natural
honesty and benevolence has more effect on men's conduct, than the most
pompous views suggested by theological theories and systems." - D. Hume

Ernest Major

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Jul 24, 2012, 2:47:43 AM7/24/12
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In message <5qhv8q....@news.alt.net>, Dale
<inv...@invalid.invalid> writes
Is there free will in heaven? Is there suffering in heaven. The average
Christian will answer yes to the first question, and no to the second,
implying that free will can exist without suffering.

(I forget, if I ever knew, who first made that argument.)
--
alias Ernest Major

Dale

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Jul 24, 2012, 4:28:28 AM7/24/12
to
On 07/24/2012 02:06 AM, Mark Isaak wrote:
>
> That is a lie that preachers use to satisfy people who do not think.

social morals must become values before you can live in a utopia with others


--
Dale

Dale

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Jul 24, 2012, 4:29:56 AM7/24/12
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On 07/24/2012 02:47 AM, Ernest Major wrote:
> Is there free will in heaven? Is there suffering in heaven. The average
> Christian will answer yes to the first question, and no to the second,
> implying that free will can exist without suffering.

I'm not a Christian, I waiver between secularism and Vedanta


--
Dale

jillery

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Jul 24, 2012, 10:17:50 AM7/24/12
to
On Mon, 23 Jul 2012 23:06:06 -0700, Mark Isaak
<eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net> wrote:

>On 7/23/12 9:52 PM, Dale wrote:
>> On 07/11/2012 03:20 PM, backspace wrote:
>>> In order to engage in sensible debates about God we need to clarify
>>> our premises: is God fallible or infallible. If he is fallible, how
>>> could he then be God ?
>>
>> in order to allow for free will, he must allow for suffering
>
>That is a lie that preachers use to satisfy people who do not think.
>
>First, an omnipotent god could provide alternatives that do not cause
>suffering, thus preserving free will. Second, much suffering is
>unavoidable with or without free will, so free will cannot count as an
>excuse.


WRT suffering, and assuming you're thinking of suffering caused by
events beyond the control of humanity, would you give an example of
how an omnipotent god could prevent suffering in a rational universe
that still allowed for the existence of life which suffers?

Harry K

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Jul 24, 2012, 11:04:24 AM7/24/12
to
And social morals are a product of the society. Religion did not
invent "morals". There is not "universal moral" What is moral in one
society may be anathema in another.

Harry K

John Stockwell

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Jul 24, 2012, 11:15:15 AM7/24/12
to
On Monday, July 23, 2012 10:52:52 PM UTC-6, Dale wrote:
> On 07/11/2012 03:20 PM, backspace wrote:
> &gt; In order to engage in sensible debates about God we need to clarify
> &gt; our premises: is God fallible or infallible. If he is fallible, how
> &gt; could he then be God ?
>
> in order to allow for free will, he must allow for suffering

Not at all. It appears that suffering is *required*.


>
>
> --
> Dale

Mark Isaak

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Jul 24, 2012, 11:30:06 AM7/24/12
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Why that allowance? Why would an omnibenevolent god want life which
suffers?

jillery

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Jul 24, 2012, 12:31:01 PM7/24/12
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On Tue, 24 Jul 2012 08:30:06 -0700, Mark Isaak
<eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net> wrote:

>On 7/24/12 7:17 AM, jillery wrote:
>> On Mon, 23 Jul 2012 23:06:06 -0700, Mark Isaak
>> <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net> wrote:
>>
>>> On 7/23/12 9:52 PM, Dale wrote:
>>>> On 07/11/2012 03:20 PM, backspace wrote:
>>>>> In order to engage in sensible debates about God we need to clarify
>>>>> our premises: is God fallible or infallible. If he is fallible, how
>>>>> could he then be God ?
>>>>
>>>> in order to allow for free will, he must allow for suffering
>>>
>>> That is a lie that preachers use to satisfy people who do not think.
>>>
>>> First, an omnipotent god could provide alternatives that do not cause
>>> suffering, thus preserving free will. Second, much suffering is
>>> unavoidable with or without free will, so free will cannot count as an
>>> excuse.
>>
>> WRT suffering, and assuming you're thinking of suffering caused by
>> events beyond the control of humanity, would you give an example of
>> how an omnipotent god could prevent suffering in a rational universe
>> that still allowed for the existence of life which suffers?
>
>Why that allowance? Why would an omnibenevolent god want life which
>suffers?


You previously posited an omnipotent god. Now you posit an
omnibenevolent one. The two are not the same, nor does one infer the
other. In order to avoid what could be considered goalpost shifting,
would you specify your requirements for your god?

I presume a rational universe and the existence of intelligence in
order to construct a meaningful case. Hopefully you don't object to
that.

You asserted that an omnipotent god could provide alternatives that do
not cause suffering. If only for the sake of knowing what you have in
mind, I ask again how?

Ernest Major

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Jul 24, 2012, 5:22:34 PM7/24/12
to
In message <5qibv6....@news.alt.net>, Dale
<inv...@invalid.invalid> writes
That's irrelevant - the point stands that it is not universally agreed
that free will requires the possibility of suffering.

--
alias Ernest Major

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