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  1. #1
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    Things beyond logic and reason

    It has been proposed by theists in their last throes to prove that their god in question exists that said god is not bounded by logic or reason.

    If this is true, does this not also open up the possibility of other things being outside of logic and reason? And how exactly is it that theists arrive at the conclusion that their particular god--or indeed anything at all--can exist outside of our comprehension as humans.

    I propose we take this line of thought further. Seeing as there is no objective scientific proof of the existence of any particular god, the claims that any gods exist are built upon equal ground. Theists cling to an abstract, intuitive faith they have which they claim gives them direct inside knowledge that their god/gods exist. The other big validation is of course holy books. But let us focus on the rather vague and mysterious realm of intuitive faith and the idea that god/gods are not able to be understood by anything a human could use to understand them, i.e. logic and reason.

    Apart from the problem of having no way to know or be sure that more than one being operates outside of logic and reason--Jesus, Krishna, and Thor could all possibly exist and all also be outside our understanding--another problem exists using this grasping at straws to try and show that a particular god exists. This is that why should one stop at god/gods that exist outside of our universe and outside of our understanding?


    45738749 blah blah blah gaa gaa gaa 232411111 lskjiengiowinieini owihjtn 2848 sanwog.


    The above sentence proves, absolutely and perfectly, that the Christian god does not exist. How exactly it does this however is beyond any human comprehension or understanding, as it operates outside of logic and reason. I am sure about the existence and ultimate conclusion of this proof because of an indescribable, abstract, intuitive feeling I get after reading this specific combination of seemingly random numbers and letters.

    Trying to understand the details of this perfect disproof of the Christian god, or trying to unlock any cryptology contained in it, would only prove to be futile. It would be like an amoeba trying to understand or comprehend calculus.


    Just a thought experiment I wanted to flesh out a bit. Hope you are happy now LP!

  2. #2
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    May I point out to you PZ, that your argument is a Strawman, that no Christian that I am aware of has made any such claim. If such a Christian has made a claim like this, would you mind naming them and showing us where they made this claim?

    The supposed claim you are referring to, I am assuming is the thread made by thrashee. Well, you have misunderstood him as I pointed out in that thread.

    God is not beyond logic or reason. The claim rather is that mankind's capabilities are not boundless, so that there may be things beyond our ability to reason.

    This is equivalent to the fact that a basic calculator cannot compute high order mathematics or how a mouse cannot understand Aristotle.

    I clarified this issue in the thread which you are referring to and that thread's author, Thrashee, agreed that this was the message he was trying to get across.

    Here, read up on my clarification of this issue, since I am assuming that you did not see it:

    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...0&postcount=43

    Saying that mankind is limited in his capabilities of thought is not at all equivalent to saying that logic and reason are moot.

    We know that there are smart and dumb people alike, so we know that there are limitations to any person's mental abilities.

    Now if you want to dispute how limited man's abilities are that is certainly debatable, but it is a distinct issue from the one your argument is based upon.

    Whether or not man is limited =/= whether there are things beyond logic and reason.

    So your OP = strawman.

    Strawman = FAIL.

    And I must admit, I've never seen so many rep points handed out to what is so obviously a fallacious argument. Many of them even know this is the case because they have read my clarification of thrashees argument.
    Last edited by chadn737; January 25th, 2009 at 12:03 PM.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  3. #3
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Saying that mankind is limited in his capabilities of thought is not at all equivalent to saying that logic and reason are moot.
    Yes, but saying that something apparently horrific and immoral is right and good because God understands and we can't is the same as saying nothing at all, which is an appeal to ignorance, which is what you people do, which is why we're left with nothing but gibberish.

  4. #4
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by Dio
    Yes, but saying something apparently horrific and immoral is right and good because God understands and we can't is the same as saying nothing at all, which is an appeal to ignorance, which is what you people do, which is why we're left with nothing but gibberish.
    I disagree that this is gibberish, but its irrelevant to the OP. And I'm not going to diverge into something off-topic just so attention can be diverted from a fallacious OP and all those who willingly agreed with it.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  5. #5
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    I disagree that this is gibberish, but its irrelevant to the OP. And I'm not going to diverge into something off-topic just so attention can be diverted from a fallacious OP and all those who willingly agreed with it.
    The gibberish is at the very heart of the issue, Chad. But I can appreciate why you want to avoid it, so very well.

  6. #6
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    The gibberish is at the very heart of the issue, Chad. But I can appreciate why you want to avoid it, so very well.
    Your claim of gibberish applies to my clarification of thrashees argument.

    The OP is an argument against logic/reason being limited, not human ability.

    So your accusation, does not apply to the OP and therefore is not at the heart of any issue in this thread.

    I know how things work around here Dio. Seemingly relevant issues are brought up to divert from bad posts and arguments. We all do it, even I. I did it in the thread about society being a basis for morality.

    Because I know how things play out around here, I'm not letting it go. A thread based upon a fallacious OP should simply die rather than be diverged off-topic where the truth of the original claim gets lost.

    I'm going to kill this thread, unless somebody wants to actually argue that Christians made such a claim about logic.

    We could discuss the whole gibberish issue in another thread if you prefer, but not in this one.

    And as a sidenote, this whole Image verification thing is starting to anger me.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  7. #7
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Your claim of gibberish applies to my clarification of thrashees argument.

    The OP is an argument against logic/reason being limited, not human ability.

    So your accusation, does not apply to the OP and therefore is not at the heart of any issue in this thread.
    That's a rather bold and presumptuous claim. You're assuming it has to do with Thrashee, when my immediate reaction when I read it is the stupid appeal to ignorance theists invoke every single time we reach a ceiling on the Problem of Evil. I didn't see PZ mention DICK about Thrashee OR his thread. So which assumption is right, Oh Learned One of Much Understanding? Yours or mine?

  8. #8
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    That's a rather bold and presumptuous claim. You're assuming it has to do with Thrashee, when my immediate reaction when I read it is the stupid appeal to ignorance theists invoke every single time we reach a ceiling on the Problem of Evil. I didn't see PZ mention DICK about Thrashee OR his thread. So which assumption is right, Oh Learned One of Much Understanding? Yours or mine?
    Lets not get personal here. I have made bold statements, but I have not said anything like "Oh Learned One of Much Understanding." If you're going to start that little game then this is done.

    You are making a hasty generalization in accusing Christians of this supposed appeal to ignorance. Few Christians here counter the Problem of Evil with the assumption that its beyond logic or reason.....in fact none of them do. Typically they claim stuff like Free Will defense. Or if you are referring to the idea of Suffering, which is not synonymous to evil, then they may argue that suffering can be a good thing.

    What they do not claim is that logic or reason does not apply to it. That argument is patently false and it is not used by the Christians here. Some may use the argument that God's reasons are beyond man's ability to comprehend, but I have demonstrated in already that this is not equivalent to the claim that something is beyond logic.

    So even if that is the reason PZ made this thread, its still a strawman, because the Christians here will not argue that logic does not apply to Suffering or Evil.

    Even on the issue of omnipotence, I can't think of any Christians here who would say that omnipotence includes the ability to do that which is logically impossible.

    But if I am wrong in this Dio, I would appreciate you showing me where any ODN Christian has claimed that logic does not apply to this or that.


    If such an argument exists, then PZ would have an argument, but I know the Christians of ODN, I would actually be shocked if one of them did it.

    That being said, there is good reason to assume that this is in response to thrashee.

    His thread is the only current one where something resembling this claim has been presented. PZ was involved in that thread recently and PZ responded in that thread under the assumption that thrashee was arguing that God is beyond logic and reason.

    So I think I am safe in assuming that this is in response to thrashee.
    Last edited by chadn737; January 25th, 2009 at 12:29 PM.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  9. #9
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Lets not get personal here. I have made bold statements, but I have not said anything like "Oh Learned One of Much Understanding." If you're going to start that little game then this is done.
    Come on, dude. You know me well enough to know so-called "bold" statements won't do anything but provoke me. You ought to know better after nearly five years.

    Now, I'm fine with being wrong. I might very well be. But whatever case, I responded to what I believed this to be all about, and YOU responded to YOU believed this to be all about. Instead of responding to what I said, you went on to tell me how right you are and how wrong I am, so I responded in kind. If I'm wrong, screw it. I'm wrong. But do me a favor and don't presume to just swoop down and TELL me I am, especially when you made just as much of an assumption as I did: one based on our individual experiences in the forums.
    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    You are making a hasty generalization in accusing Christians of this supposed appeal to ignorance. Few Christians here counter the Problem of Evil with the assumption that its beyond logic or reason.....in fact none of them do. Typically they claim stuff like Free Will defense.
    Which IS an appeal to ignorance, once you boil off all the ********.
    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Or if you are referring to the idea of Suffering, which is not synonymous to evil, then they may argue that suffering can be a good thing.
    Right, but only on a superficial level. Once the idea gets pushed around a little bit, the concept of "we don't know God's intentions" gets trotted out every, single time. If you deny this, well, I'd be floored, frankly.
    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    But if I am wrong in this Dio, I would appreciate you showing me where any ODN Christian has claimed that logic does not apply to this or that.
    You may be right. That's fine. Don't care. What I'm talking about is the statement BY you I quoted, which talks about logic and reason. The ONLY reason these things ever become an issue is because we invariably hit a ceiling in trying to understand and reconcile the apparently conflicting nature of God while trying to understand the world and our place it in. WHEN it becomes an issue theists invariably absolve God of any accountability by appeals to ignorance, appeals to authority, or by abdicating logic and/or reason altogether.

    If that's for another thread, then fine. No problem. I'll see you there.

  10. #10
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    What they do not claim is that logic or reason does not apply to it. That argument is patently false and it is not used by the Christians here. Some may use the argument that God's reasons are beyond man's ability to comprehend, but I have demonstrated in already that this is not equivalent to the claim that something is beyond logic.
    And I'm sorry but I just don't see the emboldened statement and the underlined statement as being different from each other. Let me put it this way. If I told you that lions were strict, obligate carnivores while simultaneously arguing that they were the only vegan members of the feline family, would you argue that I was being illogical or simply stating things that were beyond your human ability to comprehend, and why?

  11. #11
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    May I point out to you PZ, that your argument is a Strawman, that no Christian that I am aware of has made any such claim. If such a Christian has made a claim like this, would you mind naming them and showing us where they made this claim?

    The supposed claim you are referring to, I am assuming is the thread made by thrashee. Well, you have misunderstood him as I pointed out in that thread.

    God is not beyond logic or reason. The claim rather is that mankind's capabilities are not boundless, so that there may be things beyond our ability to reason.

    This is equivalent to the fact that a basic calculator cannot compute high order mathematics or how a mouse cannot understand Aristotle.

    I clarified this issue in the thread which you are referring to and that thread's author, Thrashee, agreed that this was the message he was trying to get across.

    Here, read up on my clarification of this issue, since I am assuming that you did not see it:

    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...0&postcount=43

    Saying that mankind is limited in his capabilities of thought is not at all equivalent to saying that logic and reason are moot.

    We know that there are smart and dumb people alike, so we know that there are limitations to any person's mental abilities.

    Now if you want to dispute how limited man's abilities are that is certainly debatable, but it is a distinct issue from the one your argument is based upon.

    Whether or not man is limited =/= whether there are things beyond logic and reason.

    So your OP = strawman.

    Strawman = FAIL.

    And I must admit, I've never seen so many rep points handed out to what is so obviously a fallacious argument. Many of them even know this is the case because they have read my clarification of thrashees argument.
    Respectfully, I disagree that the OP is a strawman. It may be true that PZ's original statement that some theist posit that God is not bounded by logic or reason isn't entirely accurate. It is certainly true that thrashee's OP in the thread you link to only extended to saying what could probably be fairly summarised with the following abstract from thrashee's OP:

    Is it not rational to assume that, if there truly is a God, that God would be privy to, and would exhibit, characteristics about which we truly could not fathom? If God really exists, and God really created the whole of the universe, would we rationally expect to understand such an entity solely based upon man's rationality?

    (emphasis added)

    The central point here is our inherent inability to rationally comprehend such an entity as he refers to. I believe PZ's OP addresses nothing other than that very concept.

    What's a strawman?

    The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of "reasoning" has the following pattern:


    Person A has position X.
    Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
    Person B attacks position Y.
    Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

    This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself. One might as well expect an attack on a poor drawing of a person to hurt the person.


    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/straw-man.html

    Is PZ's inaccuracy such an inaccuarcy that he is attacking a position other than that put by thrashee?

    I don't think it is, if you consider the very thrust of his reasoning and that of thrashees.

    You see, at the very heart of PZ's proposition lies the concept of something being "beyond any human comprehension or understanding". Whether the reason for this is because the thing in question is beyond ALL LOGIC OR REASON or simply beyond THE LIMITATIONS OF HUMAN LOGIC OR REASON, the result of it is the same. And the result is that the entity or thing in question is such that it is not bounded by reason or logic AS WE KNOW IT. Now, what kind of reason or logic could PZ have in mind in his OP, other than precisely that very concept; the concept of human logic and reason AS WE KNOW IT?

    Isn't PZ discussing the very concept of humans being inherently unable to comprehend the nature of the thing in question PRECISELY because of our limitations? Whether the thing in question is bound by some type of reason and logic that is so beyond ours that we will never be able to comprehend it or whether it is bound by no limits of reason or logic at all makes no difference as far as our ability to reason about the thing in question goes.

    The gist of the problem is that the logic the thing is bound by is so far advanced ahead of ours that we will never be able to comprehend it and hence, for all intents and purposes, it is to us the same as saying it isn't bound at all. We don't know that logic (that is beyond ours) and therefore we don't know what limitations (if any) that our logic would place on the thing in question still apply within the realm of the logic that does bound the thing. Thus, we are inherently unable to comprehend or even describe the entity in question.

    In my respectful opinion, PZ is arguing against precisely the position that thrashee has put forward. Your objection isn't based on the meaning of the OP but merely on PZ's lack of clarification that logic and reason would have to mean "human logic and reason". However, isn't that something that could easily be taken for granted, given that it makes no difference whatsoever?

    We could remedy the small inconsistency (if any) in the OP by simply adding 4 words ("as we know it"). It won't change PZ's argument at all. The restated OP would be as follows:

    It has been proposed by theists in their last throes to prove that their god in question exists that said god is not bounded by logic or reason as we know it.

    If this is true, does this not also open up the possibility of other things being outside of logic and reason as we know it? And how exactly is it that theists arrive at the conclusion that their particular god--or indeed anything at all--can exist outside of our comprehension as humans.

    I propose we take this line of thought further. Seeing as there is no objective scientific proof of the existence of any particular god, the claims that any gods exist are built upon equal ground. Theists cling to an abstract, intuitive faith they have which they claim gives them direct inside knowledge that their god/gods exist. The other big validation is of course holy books. But let us focus on the rather vague and mysterious realm of intuitive faith and the idea that god/gods are not able to be understood by anything a human could use to understand them, i.e. logic and reason.

    Apart from the problem of having no way to know or be sure that more than one being operates outside of logic and reason as we know it--Jesus, Krishna, and Thor could all possibly exist and all also be outside our understanding--another problem exists using this grasping at straws to try and show that a particular god exists. This is that why should one stop at god/gods that exist outside of our universe and outside of our understanding?


    45738749 blah blah blah gaa gaa gaa 232411111 lskjiengiowinieini owihjtn 2848 sanwog.

    The above sentence proves, absolutely and perfectly, that the Christian god does not exist. How exactly it does this however is beyond any human comprehension or understanding, as it operates outside of logic and reason as we know it. I am sure about the existence and ultimate conclusion of this proof because of an indescribable, abstract, intuitive feeling I get after reading this specific combination of seemingly random numbers and letters.

    Trying to understand the details of this perfect disproof of the Christian god, or trying to unlock any cryptology contained in it, would only prove to be futile. It would be like an amoeba trying to understand or comprehend calculus.


    Just a thought experiment I wanted to flesh out a bit. Hope you are happy now LP!


    The above OP has the exact same meaning as the previous OP. It makes no difference whether there is some limitation of logic and reason on the entity in question (but we can't be capable of understanding the same) or whether there isn't one at all.
    Last edited by Allocutus; January 26th, 2009 at 03:41 AM.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    "If you could rationalize with Religious people there would be no more Religious people" -Gregory House

  12. #12
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    A couple of thoughts:

    First, anything that is beyond human ability to comprehend is equally beyond human ability to engage in discourse thereof. So if God is beyond human comprehension, God is also beyond human discourse. This means that any attempt to talk about God, let alone (dis)prove the existence of God, is meaningless.

    Second, there is a difference between saying that, because something is beyond human comprehension, it must exist, and saying that, because it is beyond human comprehension, it could exist. On the other hand, talking about it in any way suggests that it is not (completely) beyond human comprehension.
    ďWhen men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I donít care if they are shot themselves."

    - Herbert Spencer

  13. #13
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    I am giggling because Prime Zombie received SIX positive reps for a post that...is CRAP. Hahaha. Come on. I can't be the only one (besides Chad) who can see how crappy that post is.

    He is basing his entire OP on a claim that only fundamentalist wackos make. First, we don't have any (or many) of those here at ODN who make that claim. And second, yeah...it's a really, really hard challenge to beat one of THOSE in debate. Gosh if winning a debate were the most important thing to me, I'd TOTALLY switch sides and become an atheist. It's like...wayyyyy easier.

    Repping him for that post is like giving your first grader a gold star for his drawing of stick figures. Yeah, it might be a great drawing for his limited ability, but it certainly does not demonstrate an overall understanding of line and form.

    Most theists here recognize the difference between belief and fact and accept that having faith in God is something which, at this time, can not be explained by logical terms. It doesn't mean it is beyond logical understanding. It means it is beyond human logical understanding at this time.

    It means humans are stupid. And that idea continually gets supported when atheists, time after time, misconstrue and fail to understand the theists argument.

    Every time we see these arguments:

    Quote Originally Posted by PZ
    45738749 blah blah blah gaa gaa gaa 232411111 lskjiengiowinieini owihjtn 2848 sanwog.

    The above sentence proves, absolutely and perfectly, that the Christian god does not exist. How exactly it does this however is beyond any human comprehension or understanding, as it operates outside of logic and reason. I am sure about the existence and ultimate conclusion of this proof because of an indescribable, abstract, intuitive feeling I get after reading this specific combination of seemingly random numbers and letters.
    Or the, "Well then unicorns exist. And trolls. And my pinky is God" arguments from atheists, it only shows the weak aptitude atheists have for having an original idea. Come up with something new and exciting already! Sheesh.

    Almost all religious debates on any forum you go to are based on atheists misconstruing a religious belief as if the religious base it on scientific fact and the religious attempting to help them understand where they are coming from.

    THERE'S NO CONCLUSIVE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. WE GET IT. AND WE DON'T CARE.


    Why is that so hard for you atheists to wrap your minds around?
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady View Post
    THERE'S NO CONCLUSIVE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. WE GET IT. AND WE DON'T CARE.
    If you are correct, why do people continue to believe in something that has no evidence?
    HINT: This is a trick question

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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithran View Post
    If you are correct, why do people continue to believe in something that has no evidence?
    I just want to clarify that I said no "conclusive scientific evidence." That's different than just evidence.

    Belief is a conscious choice that one makes based on some kind of evidence whether it be a prayer answered at the right moment or the influence of peers, etcetera. People choose to believe in something because it is a logical construct within their world to do so.
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Ah, HappyLady. You know you're one of my favorite opponents, right? Seriously, I think I'm starting to enjoy you more than Aspo (shhhh, don't tell her I said that, though). Anyway, let's see what you have today, shall we?

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady View Post
    Most theists here recognize the difference between belief and fact and accept that having faith in God is something which, at this time, can not be explained by logical terms. It doesn't mean it is beyond logical understanding. It means it is beyond human logical understanding at this time.
    That's questionable. This poll taken by Chad in 2006 states that 68 percent of theists here on ODN believe their faith is based on logic. Has the believe in faith here on ODN changed that much? If so, prove it.
    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...ead.php?t=5987

    Every time we see these arguments:
    Or the, "Well then unicorns exist. And trolls. And my pinky is God" arguments from atheists, it only shows the weak aptitude atheists have for having an original idea. Come up with something new and exciting already! Sheesh.
    Did you ever here the old saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"?

    Almost all religious debates on any forum you go to are based on atheists misconstruing a religious belief as if the religious base it on scientific fact and the religious attempting to help them understand where they are coming from.

    THERE'S NO CONCLUSIVE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. WE GET IT. AND WE DON'T CARE.
    Again let me use Mr. Chad as an example:

    "While the Cosmological Argument in itself provides a powerful argument for Godís existence, that is nothing compared to the power of this argument combined with that of the Teleological Argument. I have touched to a small extent on the Teleological Argument in this thread where appropriate, but will address it in depth in my next installment of this series of arguments. Combined, these two arguments provide an undeniable case for Godís existence, one that has convinced even the most die-hard atheists, such as the philosopher Dr. Anthony Flew. Until I begin my work on the Teleological Argument, however, you will have to suffice with the Cosmological Argument alone. I hope this will be an enjoyable debate for all of us."
    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...ad.php?t=15307

    Obviously, some people here ARE trying to make the argument that God, in fact, does exist.

    Why is that so hard for you atheists to wrap your minds around?
    :undecided
    You've given us little reason to.

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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady View Post
    I just want to clarify that I said no "conclusive scientific evidence." That's different than just evidence.
    If itís not conclusive, can it really be called evidence?


    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady View Post
    Belief is a conscious choice that one makes based on some kind of evidence whether it be a prayer answered at the right moment or the influence of peers, etcetera.
    Such evidence as you indicated would be rational, and testable. If it is testable than it must be falsifiable, yes? Is the evidence that theists present falsifiable?

    You may provide what answer you think is correct for that question of course, but I will venture to guess that the answer is no. If your evidence is not falsifiable then it is not evidence, and it then becomes by its own admission: not logical.


    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady View Post
    People choose to believe in something because it is a logical construct within their world to do so.
    People believe all sorts of things for very different reasons than logic. I am studying sociology right now, and it will literally blow your mind how many things people "think" is the case based on popular notions and folk knowledge that couldnít be further from the truth. People believe things because it fills a need (or a supposed need) in their life. It doesnít necessarily have anything to do with logic, or reason, or evidence, in the vast majority of cases.

    The question isnít whether or not theists have fancy rationalizations for their beliefs that help them to believe. The question is: are their claims about the truth about reality correct? They claim that their "truth" has severe consequences for all of us, would it not be prudent to establish the truth or falsity of their claims?
    HINT: This is a trick question

  18. #18
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus
    Respectfully, I disagree that the OP is a strawman. It may be true that PZ's original statement that some theist posit that God is not bounded by logic or reason isn't entirely accurate. It is certainly true that thrashee's OP in the thread you link to only extended to saying what could probably be fairly summarised with the following abstract from thrashee's OP:

    Is it not rational to assume that, if there truly is a God, that God would be privy to, and would exhibit, characteristics about which we truly could not fathom? If God really exists, and God really created the whole of the universe, would we rationally expect to understand such an entity solely based upon man's rationality?

    (emphasis added)

    The central point here is our inherent inability to rationally comprehend such an entity as he refers to. I believe PZ's OP addresses nothing other than that very concept.
    Respectfully, I disagree.

    PZ's argument is only valid if the claim in question is that there exists something that logic/reason cannot apply to.

    This was not Thrashee's argument. Thrashee's argument is exactly as I stated it.

    He confirmed that point here:

    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...7&postcount=31

    Since he is speaking of man's limitations rather than any of logic or reason, then PZ's argument does not apply to thrashee's.

    It may very well be that PZ did not understand thrashee. A great many of the atheists who debated against him didn't seem to. I don't know why, I grasped exactly what he was trying to say from his opening post. Perhaps that speaks more to the difference between atheists and Christians. The atheist thinks that man is unlimited in his ability to obtain knowledge and understand while the Christian sees mankind a woefully limited (probably because when comparing the mind of mankind to that of an all-knowing God, you are more aware of how limited you are). If that is the problem, then I would suggest that the title of thrashee's thread "The hubris of atheism" is aptly named.

    Regardless of whether or not PZ understood thrashee or not. His argument does not apply to either thrashee or any Christian at ODN.

    I challenged Dio to support the claim that we Christians think that there are things which logic and reason do not apply. I know he looked, I watched him do the search through the "whos online thingy." He didn't present any posts, so I must assume that its because he didn't find any.

    Now if PZ truly did not understand what he was arguing against, then I would admit that his OP was not a strawman, but merely a case of ignorance. If he did understand (which my clarification came before this posting) then my claim holds and it is a strawman.

    The thing that annoys me though, is that certain individuals.....cough...czahar....cough....saw my clarification of thrashee's argument and responded to it. Czahar even gave me a pos rep for my defense of it. So I know, that he knew when he repped PZ and that this argument was not applicable.

    You see, at the very heart of PZ's proposition lies the concept of something being "beyond any human comprehension or understanding". Whether the reason for this is because the thing in question is beyond ALL LOGIC OR REASON or simply beyond THE LIMITATIONS OF HUMAN LOGIC OR REASON, the result of it is the same. And the result is that the entity or thing in question is such that it is not bounded by reason or logic AS WE KNOW IT. Now, what kind of reason or logic could PZ have in mind in his OP, other than precisely that very concept; the concept of human logic and reason AS WE KNOW IT?
    They are not the same.

    And I'll demonstrate why for the umpteef time.

    Take a retarded individual with an I.Q. of 20 or something. It doesn't matter, the point is you have a really dumb person who stuggles to even understand basic concepts.

    This is a human is it not?

    Now I think it is abundantly clear to you, that this person cannot understand squat. There is no chance in hell that they will ever do theoretical physics, the mathematics is something far beyond their comprehension and understanding.

    Now, if what you say is true, and that man's ability to understand is no different (i.e. the same as) logic. Then the fact that this person cannot comprehend quantum theory effectively disproves quantum mechanics.

    After all, if logic is equivalent to human understanding, then that which a human cannot understand or reason is no longer logical. So if this retarded person cannot make sense of quantum mechanics, then quantum mechanics is not logical.

    Isn't that the most absurd garbage you have ever heard? But if we accept your premise, that human understanding and logic are one and the same, then the conclusion logically follows, because anything beyond our mental capability becomes illogical.

    In arguing for their equivalency, you have made logic, which is supposed to be objective, subjective. The end effect being that you have completely negated logic.

    Its a fact, that humans are limited in their abilities. We know this is fact because we know that humans differ in their abilities. As a result, we are forced to either negate logic (as you have done) or accept that logic is unbounded and we are limited in our ability to comprehend.

    Isn't PZ discussing the very concept of humans being inherently unable to comprehend the nature of the thing in question PRECISELY because of our limitations? Whether the thing in question is bound by some type of reason and logic that is so beyond ours that we will never be able to comprehend it or whether it is bound by no limits of reason or logic at all makes no difference as far as our ability to reason about the thing in question goes.
    Considering that he explicitly said that "things being outside of logic and reason?"

    I'd say no.

    He further emphasizes this by saying:

    "not able to be understood by anything a human could use to understand them, i.e. logic and reason."

    So by his argument, humans are able to understand logic and reason and the claim which he is attacking is that logic and reason does not apply to these "things" (such as God).

    The argument is clearly not aimed at any sort of human ability, but solely logic and reason.
    The gist of the problem is that the logic the thing is bound by is so far advanced ahead of ours that we will never be able to comprehend it and hence, for all intents and purposes, it is to us the same as saying it isn't bound at all. We don't know that logic (that is beyond ours) and therefore we don't know what limitations (if any) that our logic would place on the thing in question still apply within the realm of the logic that does bound the thing. Thus, we are inherently unable to comprehend or even describe the entity in question.
    Refer back to my argument for why human limitations is not equivalent to saying something is not bound by logic.
    In my respectful opinion, PZ is arguing against precisely the position that thrashee has put forward. Your objection isn't based on the meaning of the OP but merely on PZ's lack of clarification that logic and reason would have to mean "human logic and reason". However, isn't that something that could easily be taken for granted, given that it makes no difference whatsoever?
    I object to the idea of "human logic and reason." There is simply logic, there is no human variation on it.

    Thats like saying that a basic calculator utilizes a logic unique from that of a supercomputer or us humans. It doesn't just because it doesn't have the computational capacity, does not mean that there is a unique logic being utilized.

    Understand, that this limitation has nothing to do with logic. It has only to do with computational ability. Humans have a finite computational ability (hence the reason we refer to some people as dumb and others as smart). If human computational ability were infinite, then there would be no smart people or dumb people and we would be like God, all omniscient.

    Logic simply is. Human's are only so smart. Part of the problem is that you are confusing the two and trying to force them together as being equivalent.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  19. #19
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Isn't that the most absurd garbage you have ever heard? But if we accept your premise, that human understanding and logic are one and the same, then the conclusion logically follows, because anything beyond our mental capability becomes illogical.
    Um no. Anything beyond our mental capability becomes: beyond our mental capability. It is not illogical, since it cannot be tested by logic. It is neither logical, or illogical, it is simply an unknown. It is however a unknown without any reference to the know (since it is so beyond us), and as such no different than pure fantasy.

    However, theists are never simply going to accept that vauge and substantially inadequate level of epistimic commitment about their beloved idea of God now are they? You know it, and I know it.

    It matters little if there is red fire engine the size of a supernova on the far side of the universe in "truth," if there is no possible way we could ever discover it (this includes any interaction on a causal level with what we can observe)

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Refer back to my argument for why human limitations is not equivalent to saying something is not bound by logic.
    Although this may be semantically true, it is pragmatically a non starter. The red fire engine might very well be logical to those non-humans that know about it, but this means nothing if it can never be observed or verified by us.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    I object to the idea of "human logic and reason." There is simply logic, there is no human variation on it.
    I have some Anthropologist friends that would fight you tooth and nail on this one, but I am not prepared to adequately make their case. There seems, as far as I can gather from their eclectic minds, to be differences in "logic" in different cultures.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Logic simply is. Human's are only so smart. Part of the problem is that you are confusing the two and trying to force them together as being equivalent.
    You also have an additional problem here. Can you support the notion that there is no upward external limit to knowledge? Can you support an infinite regress of ever increasing computational power?
    HINT: This is a trick question

  20. #20
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    Re: Things beyond logic and reason

    Quote Originally Posted by czahar View Post
    Ah, HappyLady. You know you're one of my favorite opponents, right? Seriously, I think I'm starting to enjoy you more than Aspo (shhhh, don't tell her I said that, though). Anyway, let's see what you have today, shall we?
    Nice try Czahar, nothing gets passed me. You can and probably will be punished for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady View Post
    I am giggling because Prime Zombie received SIX positive reps for a post that...is CRAP. Hahaha. Come on. I can't be the only one (besides Chad) who can see how crappy that post is.

    He is basing his entire OP on a claim that only fundamentalist wackos make. First, we don't have any (or many) of those here at ODN who make that claim. And second, yeah...it's a really, really hard challenge to beat one of THOSE in debate. Gosh if winning a debate were the most important thing to me, I'd TOTALLY switch sides and become an atheist. It's like...wayyyyy easier.
    Some of us saw it, but don't necessarily feel the need to jump in if another member already pointed out the fallacy.

    There is no point in getting involved in an argument that is already fallacious.

    I can also guarantee you that if you search hard enough you will get a Christian who made similar if not worse wacky fundamentalist claims.

    I still agree with Chad in this regard and feel that this thread is doomed.
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