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  1. #161
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Well, they're not voted in like a politician, if that's what you mean by leader. They're educated in their religion, sometimes for their entire lives, live in some kind of seminary, if they're Christian, before they're allowed practice their religion, but otherwise, they have to go through some kind of qualification and nomination process of some kind. I don't think people for mainstream religions can just self-anoint themselves as any kind of recognized leader. Religious leaders are very much the spokespeople for their religion so I don't see it controversial to take their dis-beliefs of other religions as representative or 'true'.
    Seminary is religious education. It isn't a neutral evaluation of the cases for and against God.

    A Christian might make an argument against Islam that relies on premises that are acceptable to Christians but not acceptable to a neutral, reasonable observer. A person who finds the premises of the Christian's argument implausible should not consider the argument as good evidence for its conclusion.

    P6. We also know there is no framework to determine the truth value of competing religious claims thus, also like politics, it is unlikely there is anything more than a metaphysical God: especially since actual science or history rarely backs up the more supernatural claims.


    Don't we use the same framework we use for evaluating any argument? Inspect the premises, become acquainted with the relevant subject matter, and use reason?

    Indeed faith is usually a stranger driver than actual reasoning for religious truth; it's certainly a requirement when choosing one's religion amongst others.
    You're focusing on empirical facts about the psychology of particular people instead of focusing on the reasons for believing that God exists.

    P7. The usual solution in the past has been to kill believers or disbelievers or apostates
    This "solution" was usual? When? Where?

    This is a clear indication the lack of a framework to determine the truth value of religious claims and coupled with the lack of clear evidence of any religious claims, and the faith requirement for said claims; it is impossible to draw any kind of conclusion as to which religion is 'true' and which is not.
    In this case, we should be agnostic.

    C1: All this points to a human source for God or gods or deities than a natural (or extra-human) source. Basically, it smells as if it's all made up; which is the claim religions make of each other anyway. So I agree with all religionists - it's all made up! Indeed, one poster pointed out the imaginary nature of the arguments for God as a debate point!
    "It smells as if it's all made up" is not a very convincing argument.

    So let's stop with the lack of evidence line of argument. There is plenty of evidence that God is a fiction, it is well supported and every religion's mutual disbelief should provide expert opinions too. The only logical conclusion is that God doesn't exist.
    This completely contradicts your previous claim that "it is impossible to draw any kind of conclusion as to which religion is 'true' and which is not," since now you've drawn the conclusion that God is a fiction.

    Additionally, what is the reasoning that connects the existence of mutually-exclusive religious claims with the proposition that God doesn't exist?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  2. #162
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    So let's stop with the lack of evidence line of argument. There is plenty of evidence that God is a fiction, it is well supported and every religion's mutual disbelief should provide expert opinions too. The only logical conclusion is that God doesn't exist.
    You say I repeat my arguments and as I've said, it's because I keep rebutting your repeated argument. I've rebutted this argument before and will do it again.

    Something existing and also being imagined is not mutually exclusive. Again, if I imagine a rabbit in my back yard, it does not mean that there isn't a rabbit in my back yard. So evidence that people imagine God's existence is not evidence that God does not physically exist.

  3. #163

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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Seminary is religious education. It isn't a neutral evaluation of the cases for and against God.
    It is providing knowledge and expertise on the matter viz-a-viz other religions.

    A Christian might make an argument against Islam that relies on premises that are acceptable to Christians but not acceptable to a neutral, reasonable observer. A person who finds the premises of the Christian's argument implausible should not consider the argument as good evidence for its conclusion.
    That's kinda my point - that within each religion are experts that not only know the truth of their own religion but counter arguments against others.


    Don't we use the same framework we use for evaluating any argument? Inspect the premises, become acquainted with the relevant subject matter, and use reason?
    Sure - but in the case of religious arguments, the premises already set in their religious texts so it's not as if we're starting from the same positions of knowing nothing and building from there.

    I'm sure that if we started from any religious perspective, we would probably come to the same conclusions that their religions are true too. But I feel that most religious arguments are kinda circular - there's even a position that presupposes God that pops up every few months on Reddit.

    You're focusing on empirical facts about the psychology of particular people instead of focusing on the reasons for believing that God exists.
    And what reasons would those be, pray? What reasons that aren't circular (I.e. Already in religious texts) are there? Are there reasons to suspect that there is a supernatural universe where other beings, creatures, souls and states of being exist? Are there even good reasons to expect that the universe was even 'created' by a conscious being, never mind two, or many? There may well be, but that is for another debate. For this debate, we have to stick with the known universe, the one that we ALL agree exists using evidence that we ALL agree is sound and draw conclusions. Speculations about the supernatural, extra-universe and other magical powers/people/acts/places/creatures don't really belong here IMHO.

    Nevertheless, people and their artifacts and how they have behaved throughout history across the world isn't psychology - it's probably more like anthropology or sociology: we don't really know what's going on in the minds of people so psychology isn't particularly helpful here, if it can be considered a real 'science' at all.

    This "solution" was usual? When? Where?
    Killing people for their religious beliefs has been done throughout history: the Holocaust, the Crusades, even to this day: ISIS and the Yazidis, and Christian persecution around the world, even in China.

    In this case, we should be agnostic.
    Sure, if all you have is information about the religions but we have additional information we can use to discard agnosticism: I broke out a treatment of that position into RELIGION 2.


    "It smells as if it's all made up" is not a very convincing argument.
    I was looking for a pithy statement. All indications and factual evidence of human history points to gods an deities being wholly created by humans for reasons that are part psychological, part sociological, partly for societal cohesiveness. We see religions start up all the time; one's that very few would believe in - I suspect that much of the same has been going on for a long time.

    This completely contradicts your previous claim that "it is impossible to draw any kind of conclusion as to which religion is 'true' and which is not," since now you've drawn the conclusion that God is a fiction.
    Not quite. There are two things to unpack here:

    A) it is impossible for theists to do so because of their mutual disbelief but not impossible for an atheist who sees it all with disbelief.
    B) it is impossible also impossible for theists to do so because their belief is based on faith that their chosen religion is true: this fact is evidenced by the fluid nature of how people can switch religions.

    So I'm really saying it is impossible for theists and not for atheists. It's this impossibility that drives the conclusion that God is a fiction. It's kinda like writers of Harry Potter fan-fiction arguing about who Hermione should have married: if there's a Harry Potter camp vs a Ron Weasley camp then that is a similar situation to religions - there is likely Canon within the books that support one position or another so it's down to a personal choice as to which is true. To an outsider - it's all made up.

    Additionally, what is the reasoning that connects the existence of mutually-exclusive religious claims with the proposition that God doesn't exist?
    The fact that they are mutually exclusive in ways that accord with their scientific knowledge, their history, personal circumstance and credibility for the kind supernatural claims (human/animal hybrids vs a more modern deity outside of the universe) and understanding of the world. The kind of pronouncements the deity makes are culturally specific and historically consistent with their creators (e.g. Indian or aboriginal animal gods).

    That's kinda what I mean by it smells made up. There's no reason to believe that any of their claims have any merit; particularly since their deities seem suspiciously absent despite a great history of human interaction (including in some cases breeding with humans!) and also as science has replaced gods in explaining how the universe works, we see God's role shrinking to the point where some even claims he doesn't even exist in the known physical universe! This incredibly shrinking God is reverse engineering or retro-fitting to keep a religion going and points more to human creativity than any kind of divine revelation.

    A better way to look at it is to see religions along the same lines as political systems or story telling traditions - religions are very similar in their simultaneous development across nearly all of humanity. The idea of God is not a bad one if you think about it: it stops all arguments and allows us to say "I don't know how something works".


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    ---------- Post added at 05:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:18 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    You say I repeat my arguments and as I've said, it's because I keep rebutting your repeated argument. I've rebutted this argument before and will do it again.

    Something existing and also being imagined is not mutually exclusive. Again, if I imagine a rabbit in my back yard, it does not mean that there isn't a rabbit in my back yard. So evidence that people imagine God's existence is not evidence that God does not physically exist.
    And again, I have to retort that this is a bad analogy. You're not saying that there's a rabbit, you're saying there's a giant blue rabbit - you're ignoring the anti-scientific aspect of deities.


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  4. #164
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    And again, I have to retort that this is a bad analogy. You're not saying that there's a rabbit, you're saying there's a giant blue rabbit - you're ignoring the anti-scientific aspect of deities.
    That's because the argument I'm responding to does not address the anti-scientific aspect of deities. It's about whether something imagined can exist in reality.

    So again, I hold that just because something is imagined does to mean it cannot exist in reality. And the rabbit in my back yard example supports that position. Therefore one cannot logically argue that just because people imagine God, it can be concluded that God does not exist in reality.

    Forwarding a completely different argument about God within a rebuttal to this position is a red herring.

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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    [QUOTE=mican333;551773]That's because the argument I'm responding to does not address the anti-scientific aspect of deities. It's about whether something imagined can exist in reality.

    So again, I hold that just because something is imagined does to mean it cannot exist in reality. And the rabbit in my back yard example supports that position. Therefore one cannot logically argue that just because people imagine God, it can be concluded that God does not exist in reality.
    [Quote]
    You are limiting the universe of discourse without warrant. In disregarding clearly impossible things to imagine, you are excluding my argument and therefore the analogy using a rabbit is false.

    Of course things that can be imagined CAN exist in reality - no one is claiming otherwise, so you're arguing against a straw man. I am saying that imagining IMPOSSIBLE things is what we're dealing with when discussing deities so you need to imagine things in keeping what my claims rather than creating a straw man.

    In deliberately ignoring the anti-scientific aspects of deities - you are literally inventing your own argument, another straw man! You are taking a subset of things that can be imagined in order to bolster your case whereas the actual set of things we can imagine are much larger: it must include things that are impossible to exist, clearly don't exist or otherwise created by humans. Your position makes zero sense and is an obvious attempt to unfairly restrict the universe of discourse.

    You're argument is a red-herring in straw-man form.

    Forwarding a completely different argument about God within a rebuttal to this position is a red herring.
    No I'm not - by any measure, from any religion, God is a supernatural claim with supernatural realms of existence, populated with more supernatural characters, souls that provide humans with a conscious post-death continuity and moral rules.


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  6. #166
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    As an atheist, I have many reasons to believe that God doesn't exist - either the one shared by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam nor the many aspects of the Hindu deities or any other imaginary conscious creator. Today, I'd like to focus on the fact that what we understand about the universe doesn't allow for these beings to exist nor the claims made about these beings.
    I'm coming late to this thread but wanted to at least have my thoughts on it expressed.
    It'd be great to see what those 'many reasons' looked like.
    Is it really the case that the God of Judaism, Islam and Christianity is a shared one? Sure, there are points of sharing, and areas of same theology, but there are also areas of sharp disagreement, so much so they divorce themselves from each other.
    If you define God as 'imaginary conscious creator' and that was accepted as accurate then none would posit it exists in reality but the problem I see you having here is that I suspect no theist would concur with such a begging the question definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    1. Almost as a tautology, we know God doesn't exist because we don't know, or haven't proven, or shown that he does.
    There is a logical fallacy called the argument from ignorance. It has this form:

    There is no evidence for A
    Therefore A is false

    There is no evidence against A
    Therefore A is true

    I think your statement above falls into this category:

    There is no evidence that any God has existence
    Therefore it is false that any God has existence.

    There are many things we don't know, or haven't proven, or shown, e.g. existence of extra-terrestial life, how life first appeared on earth but we don't reason from this lack of knowing/evidence that such things do not exist.

    On this your (1) is fallacious and can be dismissed.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    2. The most that believers can say is that God existed at one point in time, according to ancient knowledge passed down through ancient books, likely translated badly; and written and interpreted by equally fallible people, who stand the most to gain (in power and wealth) if their claims (and their own placement in the power hierarchy) are true.
    I am a believer and I say much more than what you say believers can say, e.g. God existed timelessly or in a meta-time without the universe, God exists today and will exist forever, God created the universe.
    Also, what ancient books is the god of the philosophers predicated upon, or the God of the deists?
    What evidence do you have the the books upon which revealed religions are predicated upon are 'likely translated badly'?
    What power and wealth did the apostles have to gain in writing or inspiring the texts of the NT or did Joseph Smith gain from writing the Book of Mormon?
    There is a logical fallacy called the genetic fallacy where you dismiss an argument or claim or view because of how that originated. Why doesn't your last phrase above commit said fallacy?

    On the above your (2) is fallacious and can be dismissed.



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    3. Current evidence of God's existence is sadly lacking - imaginary (Jesus on toast), fraudulent (fakhirs floating in mid-air), historically impossible (Turin shroud), biologically impossible (virgin birth, coming back to life) implausible (Mormism's Joseph Smith claiming magic glasses), actually impossible (flying horses of Islam), illogical (walking on water), contradictory (the several stories regarding Jesus' resurrection), internally nonsensical (if Jesus was/is God then his sacrifice to himself is a little meaningless - not much more than someone chopping off their own hand in order to forgive their friends from stealing from him).
    Let me grant arguendo all of the above was good evidentiary grounds for doubting the existence of God.
    Is absence of evidence necessarily evidence of absence?
    What of all these proposed evidence?

    Kalam, Leibnizian, Thomist cosmological arguments
    Teleological arguments
    Moral arguments
    Minimalist facts about Jesus argument
    Transcendental arguments

    What the above sampling shows is that there certainly exists many proposed evidence for God and none of those are in your list so maybe it is not that there is a lack of evidence but that there is a lack of awareness by you of the proposed evidences.
    Also, what evidence would we expect to see for the existence of the god of the philosophers or of deism?

    Given the above your (3) makes no strong case and can be dismissed.

    [QUOTE=SadElephant;551490]
    4. Since none of the claims of the existence of God accord with the current physics or biology then we have to dismiss those claims as being untrue.[\quote]

    What is the field of study of physics and biology?
    Where are the written papers from these fields of study on God, or the virgin birth, or the resurrection of Jesus?
    Why has the National Academy of Science went on record to say that, on the question of the existence of God, science is neutral?
    If (4) were true, i.e. we could dismiss those claims as being untrue, then what would explain physicists and biologists who consider those claims true?

    Since the above commits the category error fallacy it can be dismissed

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    5. What's left then (if we ignore all the impossible claims) are those claims of unproven dimensions of existence (heaven/hell), magical powers (parting of seas, the flood) and vague promises of eternal bliss (even though there would be no physical body to feel such bliss!)

    In short:

    1. God doesn't exist until he is proven to.
    2. I distrust all the knowledge of the ancients, our only source of information for any of these beliefs.
    3. I distrust all current claims of knowledge because they are either outright frauds/lies/mistakes/guesses or they are entirely unproven/repeatable/verifiable.
    4. Most claims appear to be leaning towards being spectacular rather than grounded in current knowledge.

    Thoughts? Are there religious people who have provable reasons of God's existence or is faith (aka wishful thinking) the foundation of beliefs? Or do people act as if they believe (Pascal's Wager)? Or are they just stuck due to social constraints?
    As I think I have shown above you have presented no good reason at all for any rational mind to conclude God doesn't exist or that the known universe doesn't allow for God to exist.
    Do what you can, where you are, with what you have

  7. #167
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    You are limiting the universe of discourse without warrant. In disregarding clearly impossible things to imagine, you are excluding my argument and therefore the analogy using a rabbit is false.
    I am limiting them WITH warrant. I am saying that just because something is imagined does not mean that it does not exist. That is uniformly true.

    If I imagine something that is impossible (like a square circle), it is true that it does not exist but it doesn't exist because I imagined it - it doesn't exist because it's impossible. So my imagining had no bearing on whether it exists or not and therefore its impossibility has nothing to do with my position that the imagined can also exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Of course things that can be imagined CAN exist in reality - no one is claiming otherwise, so you're arguing against a straw man. I am saying that imagining IMPOSSIBLE things is what we're dealing with when discussing deities so you need to imagine things in keeping what my claims rather than creating a straw man.
    Here's the argument I was responding to.

    "There is plenty of evidence that God is a fiction, it is well supported and every religion's mutual disbelief should provide expert opinions too. The only logical conclusion is that God doesn't exist."

    There is nothing in your argument that defines God as "impossible" so I'm not creating a straw man. Your argument was not referring to the impossible and neither was my rebuttal.

    But either way, you conceded my point - You said "of course things that can be imagined CAN exist in reality" so it is agreed that God cannot be said to not exist just because people imagine God.

    And of course if God is impossible then God does not exist for the impossible does not exist. But you have not supported that God is impossible. If it is your argument that God is impossible, then support or retract that argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    No I'm not - by any measure, from any religion, God is a supernatural claim with supernatural realms of existence, populated with more supernatural characters, souls that provide humans with a conscious post-death continuity and moral rules.
    No, by definition God is "the creator and ruler of the universe". Of course religions say other things about God as well but God is defined by those two aspects.
    Last edited by mican333; June 4th, 2016 at 10:14 AM.

  8. #168

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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I am limiting them WITH warrant. I am saying that just because something is imagined does not mean that it does not exist. That is uniformly true.

    If I imagine something that is impossible (like a square circle), it is true that it does not exist but it doesn't exist because I imagined it - it doesn't exist because it's impossible. So my imagining had no bearing on whether it exists or not and therefore its impossibility has nothing to do with my position that the imagined can also exist.
    I'm not denying that this is true. I am saying you are limiting the universe of discourse to things that you know CAN exist and appearing to exclude things that cannot.

    Here's the argument I was responding to.

    "There is plenty of evidence that God is a fiction, it is well supported and every religion's mutual disbelief should provide expert opinions too. The only logical conclusion is that God doesn't exist."

    There is nothing in your argument that defines God as "impossible" so I'm not creating a straw man. Your argument was not referring to the impossible and neither was my rebuttal.
    Of course there is: other religions' claims on each other is that theirs is the only truth or the best truth and others are false. My own specific claim is that it's all made up.

    [Quote]
    But either way, you conceded my point - You said "of course things that can be imagined CAN exist in reality" so it is agreed that God cannot be said to not exist just because people imagine God.
    [Quote]
    Then I amend my statement to "things that can be imagined that are ALSO consistent with what we know about the universe, CAN exist in reality".

    And of course if God is impossible then God does not exist for the impossible does not exist. But you have not supported that God is impossible. If it is your argument that God is impossible, then support or retract that argument.
    The claims of impossibility are better argued from the perspective of other theists IMHO. I rely on their mutual disagreements to draw the conclusion they are made up, and if they are made up then they do not exist. Whether God is possible is an entirely different question and not needed to support that the analogy is a poor one.

    No, by definition God is "the creator and ruler of the universe". Of course religions say other things about God as well but God is defined by those two aspects.
    Then also BY DEFINITION, there is an outside of the universe, as well as at least one being that consciously lives there and makes rules for humans. These are clearly supernatural claims!


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  9. #169
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    I'm not denying that this is true. I am saying you are limiting the universe of discourse to things that you know CAN exist and appearing to exclude things that cannot.
    Of course. My point is that something CAN exist and also be made up so it makes no sense for me to pick something that CANNOT exist to make my point. But you've conceded that something can be imagined and also exist so the point is settled and there's no point in arguing about the qualify of the analogy, so let's move on.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Of course there is: other religions' claims on each other is that theirs is the only truth or the best truth and others are false. My own specific claim is that it's all made up.
    Which does not show that God does not exist. Again, God can be made up and also exist (per my rabbit analogy).


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Then I amend my statement to "things that can be imagined that are ALSO consistent with what we know about the universe, CAN exist in reality".
    That does not change the fact that you concede that something can exist and also be imaginary.

    But I recognize that your new statement is a different statement so I will create a new response. First off, since the "imagined" portion is settled, let's remove it to avoid unneeded complexity. So we get:

    "things that are consistent with what we know about the universe, CAN exist in reality"

    I don't challenge that statement. But that statement does not mean that things that are not consistent with what we know about the universe CANNOT exist. There is A LOT we don't know about the universe and yet these things that are not consistent with our current knowledge base exist anyway. We don't even know if ours is the only universe - many very credible scientists, like Stephen Hawking, think that there are multiple universes. So other universes could exist and it's clear that those universes are not consistent with what we know about this universe.

    So I don't see how this statement leads to support that God does not exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    The claims of impossibility are better argued from the perspective of other theists IMHO. I rely on their mutual disagreements to draw the conclusion they are made up, and if they are made up then they do not exist.
    And you have conceded that made-up things can also exist. This is why I keep repeating my arguments. You re-state your argument after I've rebutted it. Let me bold this (not for emphasis but to establish it) - and I will use your own words on the subject.

    Of course things that can be imagined CAN exist in reality



    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    Then also BY DEFINITION, there is an outside of the universe, as well as at least one being that consciously lives there and makes rules for humans. These are clearly supernatural claims!
    SUPPORT OR RETRACT. I'm not so much challenging that statement but seeking clarification. What do you mean by "supernatural" and why is it relevant to whether God exists or not?
    Last edited by mican333; June 5th, 2016 at 02:02 PM.

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    RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    If you define God as 'imaginary conscious creator' and that was accepted as accurate then none would posit it exists in reality but the problem I see you having here is that I suspect no theist would concur with such a begging the question definition.
    Forget any dictionary definition you see - I never define God for the argument - I offered one up for Mican that he could use, should he choose to but it wasn't one that I use to support the argument. And yes, it would be question begging if I did; but I didn't - that whole waste of time was to point out that it's impossible to define God in a satisfactory way for everyone.

    There is a logical fallacy called the argument from ignorance. It has this form:

    On this your (1) is fallacious and can be dismissed.
    That's my bad: it should be a conclusion to the arguments below, not a premise. I am only arguing from what I know.

    I am a believer and I say much more than what you say believers can say, e.g. God existed timelessly or in a meta-time without the universe, God exists today and will exist forever, God created the universe.
    Here's the thing, there are no 'believers' in rabbits - we know they can exist, it's indisputable that they exist. In the case of God, depending on where you get your information from, you do need to say you 'believe' because you cannot determine a priori that God exists. And you can make whatever additional claims and they would sound as plausible as any other claim you wish to make because in accepting God you are accepting a supernatural world where anything goes: there are few rules, if any, that govern what is possible or not possible.

    Surely, that's a clue that God is created by humans!

    Also, what ancient books is the god of the philosophers predicated upon, or the God of the deists?
    What evidence do you have the the books upon which revealed religions are predicated upon are 'likely translated badly'?
    What power and wealth did the apostles have to gain in writing or inspiring the texts of the NT or did Joseph Smith gain from writing the Book of Mormon?
    There is a logical fallacy called the genetic fallacy where you dismiss an argument or claim or view because of how that originated. Why doesn't your last phrase above commit said fallacy?

    On the above your (2) is fallacious and can be dismissed.
    How is it a fallacy to distrust a source on the very things that they generally lie about for their own personal gain (power, recognition, wealth, etc.)?

    We have seen many cult leaders to this day that make crazy claims about whatever gives them followers. So it using evidence to distrust religious claims and not at all fallacious.

    Let me grant arguendo all of the above was good evidentiary grounds for doubting the existence of God.
    Is absence of evidence necessarily evidence of absence?
    What of all these proposed evidence?

    Kalam, Leibnizian, Thomist cosmological arguments
    Teleological arguments
    Moral arguments
    Minimalist facts about Jesus argument
    Transcendental arguments

    What the above sampling shows is that there certainly exists many proposed evidence for God and none of those are in your list so maybe it is not that there is a lack of evidence but that there is a lack of awareness by you of the proposed evidences.
    The evidence is clear. The first is that there are competing religions and competing claims; so religions disbelieving each other is proof that God(X) does not exist. Secondly, atheists exist so not only do theists disbelieve each other but newcomers, those unconvinced about the supernatural, aren't convinced either.

    Whatever arguments you can list are entirely irrelevant and already disputed and dismissed by other disbelievers before me. Besides, we already touched upon a couple - one guy said that God was greater than can be conceived and suggested that people lack imagination: which I agreed to - yes, God is imaginary. And another theist also brought up the cosmological argument (I didn't realize there were three!) but that presupposes an extra-universe and an entity with a mind and a whole host of other things to pull off - I call this the turtles all the way down approach whereby a theist will generate even more things that are unfounded or disproven.

    Either way, I agree with you it is a lack of awareness of all the arguments but there are common ones that keep resurfacing and they have similar flaws. I wouldn't call myself well versed but just as I don't know the entire Star Wars cannon to realize it's made up, I don't see the need to know every religious argument for God: they have already been tested in the marketplace of ideas and have already failed.

    Also, what evidence would we expect to see for the existence of the god of the philosophers or of deism?
    I have no idea! There're so many crazy claims that I think it would require a totally different universe where anything can happen.


    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    4. Since none of the claims of the existence of God accord with the current physics or biology then we have to dismiss those claims as being untrue

    What is the field of study of physics and biology?
    Where are the written papers from these fields of study on God, or the virgin birth, or the resurrection of Jesus?
    Why has the National Academy of Science went on record to say that, on the question of the existence of God, science is neutral?
    If (4) were true, i.e. we could dismiss those claims as being untrue, then what would explain physicists and biologists who consider those claims true?

    Since the above commits the category error fallacy it can be dismissed
    Well, one simple claim is that dead people stay dead (unless they're not really dead). Other scientific claims are human/animal hybrids are impossible. Another, that there is no evidence of a flood.

    As to why the NAS is neutral, I think that's the NOMA proposal which I don't think is really in effect any more with prominent scientists actively speaking out for atheism.

    It isn't a category error because if the claims of religion do not accord with science or known information then we can dismiss them as being untrue. God is by definition 'supernatural', a term which you could drive a truck or two through, but it's a catch all term to describe all manner of existences, powers, creatures, events and actions. I don't think inventing more things to support a human fictional character really helps in this case.

    At some point God has to hit reality so why are all arguments avoiding reality!


    As I think I have shown above you have presented no good reason at all for any rational mind to conclude God doesn't exist or that the known universe doesn't allow for God to exist.
    Challenge accepted! I have to say that I would prefer that your arguments remain within this known universe too. As a believer, one with faith that God exists, you have to understand that I do not share your faith; I cannot take for granted the same things you take for granted.

    However, I'm sure we both agree that the natural world exists and God also exists in this natural world so I'd like you to limit arguments in our shared universe and not one which I actively disbelieve.

  11. #171
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    I am saying that the lack of consensus AND the nature of the claims point to God being made up.
    You’re making an unsupported claim here which I won’t ask you to support. There is no lack of consensus among the world religions and world religious leaders that God IS. That is one thing the world religious, through their scripture, have a consensus about, there are others. And that is not that God exists, but that God simply IS. Where they differ is on God’s aspects, which some might call the details. The big picture has consensus. Your OP is stuck in the mud of details of details and details about those details.
    Last edited by eye4magic; June 4th, 2016 at 10:07 PM.
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    You’re making an unsupported claim here which I won’t ask you to support. There is no lack of consensus among the world religions and world religious leaders that God IS. That is one thing the world religious, through their scripture, have a consensus about, there are others. And that is not that God exists, but that God simply IS. Where they differ is on God’s aspects, which some might call the details. The big picture has consensus. Your OP is stuck in the mud of details of details and details about those details.
    I believe there was a woman from a Christian school that said much the same thing! She was fired from Wheaten school I believe. So I think this is not really a widely held belief - there are still people being persecuted for their religion; just as they always had been.

    Also, my OP relies on the detailed differences about God because the details are what reveals the human nature of God. If it were a matter of describing the Sun, something we ALL agree on as humans throughout history, as a big light in the sky, then I would agree with your approach that God IS and all the rest is speculation. However, our human history of religiously inspired wars points to a story of something more than human convention on how to worship a deity that actually exists: the claims of each religion are much deeper than merely God (whose primary function is merely a figurehead anyway).

    However, we have a lot more actual claims than that - the idea of God never stops as something that just IS (whatever IS is, an unsupported challenge that I, too, won't ask you to support). The very idea of God requires the existence of another intelligent consciousness (unproven to exist - speculation at best, certainly the mono nature of this being is even more of a stretch), the existence of another physical realm for him/her/it to exist in that is separate from our universe (again unproven), and then there's still the problem of who made God to deal with (more turtles), and then there's the additional claim of souls - the actual continuity for our physical memories into another realm (even more turtles) and finally all the other physical interactions on Earth that actual geology/history does not bear out. All this really belongs in "RELIGION 3: God requires even more unsupported claims to support his existence" but it is a technique that EVERY theist has used in this thread.

    To ignore these details is to ignore that God is a at best an effective meme: one likely born out of some social/psychological need, much like politics, family and other organizing principles humans have similarly independently invented/discovered. (RELIGION 4: God is a meme). I think that's a much better explanation than the claim such a being exists. Never mind the additional weird demand from theists that such a being should be worshipped, sacrificed to and prayed to regularly and otherwise obeyed (RELIGION 5: Huh?)

    I'd like to address RELIGION 3-5 at some point in the future but for this one we are examining whether the different details about God point more towards a human creation than an actual physical being.
    Here we are highlighting the turtle-ness of God and that the devil really is in the details so I don't think they should be so easily dismissed. At best, there should be a theist explanation as to why these differences exist in the first place but theists are generally more interested in supporting their own notions of God than assist in bolstering others.

    Another major point I make here is that the actual experts in these matters, from common theists all the way to the high priests, professional apologists and theologians, haven't been able to come up with anything that convinces believers of another religion: even within their own metaphysical/theological/physical doctrines of their imaginary supernatural universe doesn't support religions/gods other than their own. I think that is a very strong argument for a human genesis of God than a God-based genesis of humans.



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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    The weak point of this argument, I think, is (1). Religious leaders are chosen for many reasons--sociological, political, economic, etc.--that do not necessarily bear on that person's expertise in sorting religious fact from religious fiction. Convincing a group of people to follow you isn't just about exhibiting excellent judgement with regard to the truth value of religious propositions; it's about being charismatic, charming, persuasive, etc. And you don't have to be correct to be persuasive.

    If we agree to (3), which seems generally plausible (we generally trust physicists about physics, doctors about medicine, etc.), then the question is "Who are the experts in evaluating arguments?" Generally, the answer is philosophers. So the relevant group of experts would be philosophers who have extensively studied religious arguments.
    Good points, I was attempting to cover that in P3. SE makes a similar correction below, so I will update the argument structure to better reflect that detail. I hope you don't mind, but I'll use his verbate (since it is his argument).

    You also raise two excellent points here, one of which occurred to me as I was reading your response the second occurred to me seemingly independently a bit later, only to realize that I had come to your second point. So all credit on that to you.

    To re-write them:

    1) Religious Leaders are not, in any way, assumed to be be the best evaluators of the truth value of religious arguments, they are leaders of the religious followers. To the extent that there are evaluators of the religious claims they would be religious apologists, historians, and philosophers.

    2) And even if we were to assume religious leaders were good evaluators it isn't necessarily clear that they would be good evaluators of the religious claims of others. I think the categorization of "religion" here creates the same disservice as the categorization of "science." Sean Carroll is probably an excellent judge on the physics claims of Lawrence Krauss. I don't think he is a great judge of the the drift rates of mitocondrial DNA. By grouping these two fields into very broad buckets you end up masking appeals to authority.


    I think there is an additional problem with 3 as well (at least in the sense that 4 does not follow from 1,2,3). While I agree that on the face of it, the premise seems plausible, there is an issue when we apply the reasoning to other fields. As I pointed out earlier to SE, there are many experts in QM that find each specific interpretation of QM to be implausble in favor of their own interpretation (we can replace QM here with virtually any field, this is a pretty common problem) it does not mean that we can therefore reject all interpretations of QM. Dissent amongst a group does not mean that the entire category of claims is unlikely.

    To use an even more extreme example, there was a point when tectonic drift was massively controversial. Each side dismissed the other as "loons" and found the theories to be beyond implausible into the realm of ludicrous. And these were all expert geologists. That doesn't mean we should then find both the idea of continental drift and the idea of stable tectonic plates implausible.


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    I disagree P4 is quite how I'd put it. I would say that P4: many of the claims are counter to what how we understand the natural world; and are either impossible (dead coming back to life) or hypothetical (existence of souls, etc.)

    P5: also appears to be a little loaded - I would translate my words as: P5: consistency with the known, observed, or proven universe is a measure of objective truth.


    C3 should really be P6: religious claims (in aggregate) from a specific religion, are mutually determined by non-believers of a particular religion, to be false since religions disbelieve each other.

    I would also add:
    P6: the nature of the religious claims appear to be in keeping with the society's scientific knowledge (God of the Gaps) and anthropomorphism of natural acts are also common in pre-scientific times.
    Excellent, I appreciate the clarifications. I've updated the argument as follows incorporating your feedback. (My comments on the status of premises are in green)

    I modified your wording of P6 a bit and added it as P3a, since it is a related premise. I tried to include the point that both you and CS made by adding P3b. I had originally incorporated that into P3 (since if two claims are mutually exclusive, by holding one you affirm the invalidity of the other), but I'll call it out specifically here.

    I also didn't include your additional P6 quoted above. I'm not sure where it fits into the argument. It seems an extraneous objection to this particular structure. Which conclusion would you say it is relevant to?

    P1) There exist multiple, mutually exclusive claims as to the entire set of traits god exhibits. Agreed
    P2) No single claim has convinced all believers. Agreed
    P3) The existence of multiple, mutually exclusive claims subscribed to by religious leaders Agreed
    P3a) Religious leaders affirm that all other mutually exclusive claims are false. Agreed more or less, it isn't actually the case, but it is sufficient for this discussion
    P3b) Religious leaders are a good measure of the objective truth of other religious claims. Old Objection D, I will reword with the new argument
    C1) In aggregate, all religious claims are held as invalid by some religious leader (from P2, P3, P3a) Agreed

    P4) Many of the claims are counter to what/how we understand the natural world; and are either impossible (dead coming back to life) or hypothetical (existence of souls, etc.) Old Objection B, I'll reform it with this new wording

    C2) There exists no universally subscribed to set of exhaustive traits for god (from P1 & C1). Agreed

    C3) Therefore no clear definition of god exists (from C2 and C1). Objection A2

    P5) Consistency with the known, observed, or proven universe is a measure of objective truth. Old Objection C, I'll reform with the new language


    C4) All "religious" claims are false. (from C1, P4, C2, P5). Objection A3

    C5) Therefore no god exists (from C3 and C4). Objection A1




    [Objection A1]

    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    Agreed. However, when the description of an object is so haphazard and mutually disagreed upon AND it appears that the object's properties makes no sense, then I think it is a fair conclusion. For example, if someone said Pluto was triangular shaped or made out of cheese then we have warrant to dismiss those claims.
    I think to refine this point a bit, you could say "Pluto, defined as a triangular shaped object made of out of cheese orbiting the sun at X number of miles does not exist."

    There are two problems with that conclusion. 1) it is unsupported. As ridiculous as it seems, that emotional reaction is insufficient to say that the object doesn't exist. You could, pretty easily, create an argument showing that said object does not exist.

    P1) Cheese is defined as fermented milk.
    P2) Milk can only be obtained from mammals.
    P3) Mammals only live on earth.
    P4) Cheese cannot maintain a shape in space due to centripital forces and vaccuum.
    C1) Therefore, the object defined above cannot exist (from P2, P3, P4).

    2) It does nothing to show that the object, Pluto (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/pluto), defined as "a dwarf planet having an equatorial diameter of about 2100 miles (3300 km), a mean distance from the sun of 3.674 billion miles (5.914 billion km), a period of revolution of 248.53 years, and one known moon, Charon" does not exist right?

    This gets to a point I will describe more in depth later, but sufficed to say, the existence of one rejected argument has not bearing on a separate argument.



    [Objection A2]

    I think this objection depends somewhat on what you mean when you've said "clear definition" in the past.


    It could either mean a definition that is clearly defined (which is what I took you to mean), or a definition that is universally held.


    The former is clearly not the case based on the premises forwarded. Disagreement with a definition does not mean that it is not clear. For example;


    A Tomato is a vegetable.

    A Tomato is a fruit.

    Those are two different definitions held by different groups. Both are technically correct depending on the context of the statement, each group that holds the individual claim would deny the truth of the opposite claim. But neither definition is unclear, right?


    If, rather you mean there is no universally held definition, then the conclusion could be removed from the argument because it is covered in C2. More importantly, if it remains and is support for either C4 or C5, then it remains an appeal to popularity fallacy.

    Because no definition is universally held is not a valid support for why the underlying object or entity would or would not exist, nor good reason to reject any specific or aggregate claims.



    Objection A3

    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    And yes, it is POSSIBLE that there is a definition of God in one of the millions of religions that could match the right one.
    Which means that Conclusion C4 does not follow from the premises offered, correct? You cannot rationally conclude that all religious claims are false if you simultaneously admit that there is a possibility that some claim, somewhere is true.

    So we can at least say that conclusion C4 does not follow from the premises offered.





    [Objection B]
    I appreciate the rewording of this premise. As it currently stands, this premise has two fallacies.

    1) It is a bare assertion fallacy. It would need to be shown how resurrection is metaphysically impossible. It is insufficient to say that it doesn't comport with our current experience. That might speak to a specific event's probability, it doesn't not speak to its possibility. It was unheard of that anyone could set foot on the moon in 1968, it doesn’t mean the act of doing so was "impossible."

    2) Hasty generalization fallacy (to be fair, this is partly because of 1)). The premise references "many" claims, however it only details two examples, and then uses that premise to reject "all" religious claims.

    Additionally, you add the word "hypothetical" into the premise, but I'm not sure why it would belong there. What relevance does something being "hypothetical" have? It would also be an incorrect statement. Being "hypothetical" refers to a premise forwarded from an inductive argument. It isn't at all clear that all religious arguments are inductive in nature. Nor, if they were, why that would be a problem, given that science is inductive in nature.


    Objection C

    Ok, there are a couple of issues with this premise.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "proven universe." Do you mean physical laws in the universe that we are relatively confident in? There is no such thing as a proven inductive argument, just a supported one.
    I'm also not really sure it is a supported statement given the overwhelming bias imparted by our observational limitations as listed, in detail, earlier.


    Separately, I'm not sure what this premise has to do with the argument you are making here. Since you have deliberately eschewed any specific argument for God's existence, positing a metric to evaluate the soundness of its premises seems unnecessary.

    Your argument wouldn't seem to care if the premise put forward was completely consistent with known physics or not, the reason it would be rejected (according to the structure) is because of other conflicting premises.

    So I'm not really sure it is a necessary premise for the argument you've forwarded.

    The only angle I can see this premise coming into play is, as I initially phrased it, as a further support that we can dismiss all religious claims.

    In that sense the premise is a division fallacy (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/division.html) since you are imputting a deduction about a group of the claims to the entire group of claims. And to the extent that you have offered examples within this thread of claims that are "impossible" you generally have meant "different than you expect" which is a normalcy bias error. To show them "impossible" you would need a much more robust argument than you have provided.


    Ojbection D

    I should note that this premise would seem to conflict with P5, since you claim that only observed results are the objective measure of truth. We would need to see how those two statements coincide for this argument to be coherent.

    More importantly, this is a form of appeal to authority fallacy. As pointed out by others here, it isn't clear at all that religious leaders are experts on the theology or apologetics for their own religions. Religious leaders can be picked for a variety of reasons from mutual consent, charisma, divine inspiration, heredity, or education.

    What's more, even if they were experts on their own religions apologetics, what makes them experts on the apologetics of other religions? Why would a Baptist preacher be an expert on the claims of the Hindu brahman?

    So the fact that a Catholic Priest says that the Shinto understanding of the afterlife is incorrect because he is a priest, that should be an uncompelling argument and absolutely no reason to reject Shintoism.

    Now, if he said the Shinto understanding of the afterlife is incorrect because of X,Y, and Z and those were valid objections, then we would be warranted in objecting to Shintoism, but not because the speaker was a priest, but because his argument was sound.

    Therefore, simply pointing out the multitude of religions that exist in the world isn't a valid objection to the claims of all religions as a whole. Nor is pointing to the bare assertion of a religious leader from a different sect. Just as I wouldn't cite Thomas Sowell to prove that Albert Einstein was wrong. They live in two different disciplines.






    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    That said, if the origin of a set of claims is religious then I think it is sufficient reason to disbelieve them, if not outright dismiss them.
    Which, as you've worded it here, is a classic genetic fallacy. The origin of a claim is 100% irrelevant to the veracity of the claim itself. http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...c-fallacy.html

    What you seem to mean is something quite different though. You aren't concerned with origin of the argument so much as its nature. You've defined a set of claims as "religious" and detailed them as suspect, but not given any specific reasoning or support as to what distinguishes a "religious" claim from a non-religious one.

    Perhaps you could expound on that? "There is an apple in that tree." Is that a religious claim or not, if not, why not?


    This might seem like a bit of a silly exercise to you, but I am engaging in it here because I think you've hidden some assumptions of your argument into this classification, and we need to tease those out in order to fully write down what you're saying for everyone.


    Quote Originally Posted by SE
    But I'm not saying that. I am saying that if claims are being made then they have to kinda make sense in some way; and if all claims just appear too tribal and clearly out of ignorance, then I think it's a completely fair conclusion to draw that God is a made up;
    Which is appealing to intuition here, right? You are saying the feel tribal or appear to made out of ignorance (as distinct from a specific argument from ignorance fallacy). That is an appeal to how the argument strikes you emotionally, which thanks to the magic of cognitive biases isn't a very good measure of objective truth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

    I would encourage a review of any of Oliver Sachs' work, or the great podcast "You are not so smart." https://youarenotsosmart.com/podcast/ Both of these show how the mental shortcuts our mind takes can be problematic when not critically reviewed.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    I believe there was a woman from a Christian school that said much the same thing! She was fired from Wheaten school I believe. So I think this is not really a widely held belief - there are still people being persecuted for their religion; just as they always had been.
    That has nothing to do with the fact that the world religions through their scriptures have a consensus on the existence of a Creator. What religious leaders and their religions do with the details and their belief has nothing to do with the consensus they share on the Creator's existence.

    To ignore these details is to ignore that God is a at best an effective meme
    You’re welcome to debate details about God, but details about God does not negate the fact that the world religions have consensus on God’s existence. A basic academic course in comparative religions would teach you this.

    the different details about God point more towards a human creation
    Human, small sliced perceptions tends to point to human small sliced details. Here are some common accepted details from the world religions on the nature of God.

    Islam. Qur'an 2.255: The Throne Verse
    God! there is no God but He,
    the Living, the Everlasting.
    Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep;
    to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth.
    Who is there who shall intercede with Him
    save by His leave?
    He knows what lies before them
    and what is after them,
    and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge
    save such as He wills.
    His throne comprises the heavens and earth;
    the preserving of them oppresses Him not;
    He is the All-high, the All-glorious.


    Hinduism. Isha Upanishad 4-8
    The Self is one. Ever still, the Self is
    Swifter than thought, swifter than the senses.
    Though motionless, he outruns all pursuit.
    Without the Self, never could life exist.
    The Self seems to move, but is ever still.
    He seems far away, but is ever near.
    He is within all, and he transcends all.
    The Self is everywhere. Bright is the Self,
    Indivisible, untouched by sin, wise,
    Immanent and transcendent. He it is
    Who holds the cosmos together.

    Taoism. Tao Te Ching 25
    There was something undifferentiated and yet complete,
    Which existed before heaven and earth.
    Soundless and formless, it depends on nothing and does not change.
    It operates everywhere and is free from danger.
    It may be considered the mother of the universe.
    I do not know its name; I call it Tao.
    If forced to give it a name, I shall call it Great.
    Now being great means functioning everywhere.
    Functioning everywhere means far-reaching.
    Being far-reaching means returning to the original point.

    Christianity. Bible, 1 Corinthians 12.4-7
    Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

    Judaism. Midrash, Pesikta Kahana 109b-110a
    God said to Israel, "Because you have seen me in many likenesses, there are not therefore many gods. But it is ever the same God: I am the Lord your God." Rabbi Levi said, "God appeared to them like a mirror, in which many faces can be reflected; a thousand people look at it; it looks at all of them." So when God spoke to the Israelites, each one thought that God spoke individually to him.

    Buddhism. Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 12
    The Tathagata... is the essence which is the reality of matter, but he is not matter. He is the essence which is the reality of sensation, but he is not sensation. He is the essence which is the reality of intellect, but he is not intellect. He is the essence which is the reality of motivation, but he is not motivation. He is the essence which is the reality of consciousness, yet he is not consciousness. Like the element of space, he does not abide in any of the four elements. Transcending the scope of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind, he is not produced in the six sense media... He abides in ultimate reality, yet there is no relationship between it and him. He is not produced from causes, nor does he depend on conditions. He is not without any characteristic, nor has he any characteristic. He has no single nature nor a diversity of natures. He is not a conception, not a mental construction, nor is he a non conception. He is neither the other shore, nor this shore, nor that between. He is neither here, nor there, nor anywhere else....


    At best, there should be a theist explanation as to why these differences exist in the first place
    Are you assuming there is a problem with differences? What specifically is wrong with differences in how people worship, believe and relate to their Creator with the majority of followers?

    Another major point I make here is that the actual experts in these matters, from common theists all the way to the high priests, professional apologists and theologians, haven't been able to come up with anything that convinces believers of another religion: even within their own metaphysical/theological/physical doctrines of their imaginary supernatural universe doesn't support religions/gods other than their own.
    Why do you think that is important or relevant to a meaningful, purposeful life? If let’s say 20 million believers, just as an example, believe and embrace the Divinity of Jesus Christ and lead a moral and purposeful life using Biblical teachings, and 20 million Muslims believe and embrace the Divinity of Allah and lead a moral and purposeful life using the principles from the Koran, and 20 million Hindus or Buddhists believe and embrace the Divinity of Brahama and lead a moral and purposeful life using the principles from the Upanishad --- why are you assuming religious leaders should be obligated to convince other religious followers to convert to their religion? BT, that is not the fundamental purpose of religion.

    We’re talking about the majority of religious adherents here, not the minority of fanatics in any religion.
    Last edited by eye4magic; June 8th, 2016 at 02:36 PM.
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    That has nothing to do with the fact that the world religions through their scriptures have a consensus on the existence of a Creator. What religious leaders and their religions do with the details and their belief has nothing to do with the consensus they share on the Creator's existence.
    I think you overstep your bounds when you say there is a consensus on "the Creator" as opposed to "a creator". It's a subtle trick but going from the general to a specific to magic away the differences so I must therefore ask that you support that all the world religions are sharing the same exact entity.

    You’re welcome to debate details about God, but details about God does not negate the fact that the world religions have consensus on God’s existence. A basic academic course in comparative religions would teach you this.
    Again, please support that despite all the differences throughout time and place and culture, all religions are referring only to a single entity.

    Human, small sliced perceptions tends to point to human small sliced details. Here are some common accepted details from the world religions on the nature of God.
    That's just more turtles - additional metaphorical supernatural claims that brings us no closer to either truth nor the commonality you claim:

    Islam. Qur'an 2.255: The Throne Verse
    God! there is no God but He,
    the Living, the Everlasting.
    Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep;
    to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth.
    Who is there who shall intercede with Him
    save by His leave?
    He knows what lies before them
    and what is after them,
    and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge
    save such as He wills.
    His throne comprises the heavens and earth;
    the preserving of them oppresses Him not;
    He is the All-high, the All-glorious.
    God doesn't slumber or sleep but he did rest on the 7th day or creation. Also, if he has a throne then he must necessarily have a buttocks onto which to sit on this throne. Yet, if the throne literally comprises of heaven (note the turtle-claim of a separate physical existence ) AND earth then is he sitting on us!

    Hinduism. Isha Upanishad 4-8
    The Self is one. Ever still, the Self is
    Swifter than thought, swifter than the senses.
    Though motionless, he outruns all pursuit.
    Without the Self, never could life exist.
    The Self seems to move, but is ever still.
    He seems far away, but is ever near.
    He is within all, and he transcends all.
    The Self is everywhere. Bright is the Self,
    Indivisible, untouched by sin, wise,
    Immanent and transcendent. He it is
    Who holds the cosmos together.
    Not a big deal that he is fast: computers and machines are also fast. However, there is a turtling contradiction in that he moves but is also still - what does that even mean? What does it mean that he HOLDS the cosmos together? Is this a new turtle-force like gravity?


    Taoism. Tao Te Ching 25
    There was something undifferentiated and yet complete,
    Which existed before heaven and earth.
    Soundless and formless, it depends on nothing and does not change.
    It operates everywhere and is free from danger.
    It may be considered the mother of the universe.
    I do not know its name; I call it Tao.
    If forced to give it a name, I shall call it Great.
    Now being great means functioning everywhere.
    Functioning everywhere means far-reaching.
    Being far-reaching means returning to the original point.
    That could just as easily describe gravity or any natural force or phenomena. What does it mean to be the turtle-mother of the universe!? That we were birthed from some mega sized vagina?


    Christianity. Bible, 1 Corinthians 12.4-7
    Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
    Good old Christianity staking claim over other religions. Shame no other religion believes in this claim! And shame that Christians still feel the need to get people to accept Christ! Kinda contradictory.

    Ian

    Judaism. Midrash, Pesikta Kahana 109b-110a
    God said to Israel, "Because you have seen me in many likenesses, there are not therefore many gods. But it is ever the same God: I am the Lord your God." Rabbi Levi said, "God appeared to them like a mirror, in which many faces can be reflected; a thousand people look at it; it looks at all of them." So when God spoke to the Israelites, each one thought that God spoke individually to him.
    [/Quote]
    Again a retcon to justify a single deity with zero evidence or support.

    Buddhism. Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 12
    The Tathagata... is the essence which is the reality of matter, but he is not matter. He is the essence which is the reality of sensation, but he is not sensation. He is the essence which is the reality of intellect, but he is not intellect. He is the essence which is the reality of motivation, but he is not motivation. He is the essence which is the reality of consciousness, yet he is not consciousness. Like the element of space, he does not abide in any of the four elements. Transcending the scope of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind, he is not produced in the six sense media... He abides in ultimate reality, yet there is no relationship between it and him. He is not produced from causes, nor does he depend on conditions. He is not without any characteristic, nor has he any characteristic. He has no single nature nor a diversity of natures. He is not a conception, not a mental construction, nor is he a non conception. He is neither the other shore, nor this shore, nor that between. He is neither here, nor there, nor anywhere else....
    Yeah. A bunch of contradictions really saying nothing.

    Are you assuming there is a problem with differences? What specifically is wrong with differences in how people worship, believe and relate to their Creator with the majority of followers?
    It means nothing wrong to the followers since they depend on faith to justify their religion. It just points more towards the fact of human creation.


    Why do you think that is important or relevant to a meaningful, purposeful life? If let’s say 20 million believers, just as an example, believe and embrace the Divinity of Jesus Christ and lead a moral and purposeful life using Biblical teachings, and 20 million Muslims believe and embrace the Divinity of Allah and lead a moral and purposeful life using the principles from the Koran, and 20 million Hindus or Buddhists believe and embrace the Divinity of Brahama and lead a moral and purposeful life using the principles from the Upanishad --- why are you assuming religious leaders should be obligated to convince other religious followers to convert to their religion? BT, that is not the fundamental purpose of religion.

    We’re talking about the majority of religious adherents here, not the minority of fanatics in any religion.
    It's not important to anyone's lives what other people believe in. Or at least it shouldn't.

    In the case of Christianity and Islam however, we all know that there is a direct need to preach and convert or take over everything. And it's not just fanatics - it's a built in obligation to some religions.

    But that's only one side of the discussion on beliefs. Adherents also switch religions and go back and forth between agnosticism or atheism. It's just an easy choice because there are no facts either way: just, as you put it, so long as people feel fulfilled. Much like MindTrap's argument that God requires imagination (which I agree to by the way) I also agree with you that religion fulfills an emotion need for some people.

    However, I'm not arguing against the benefits of religion; I am arguing the truth of their claims.



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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    i think most people have been arguing a different op imho. nevertheless, my op remains as is, i haven't felt i had to change anything yet so i'm not sure what you mean here.
    You have changed your arguments multiple times in both your threads, but my favourite example is in your very first response:
    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    1. Almost as a tautology, we know God doesn't exist because we don't know, or haven't proven, or shown that he does.
    This is a claim that we can "know God doesn't exist" to which KingDavid replied with perfect accuracy:
    Quote Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
    So unless something is absolutely proven to be true, we know it's false? Seriously?
    Your response:
    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying, you can't say it is true.
    KingDavid replied directly criticizing a specific point in your OP, and you replied directly to his criticism by changing it.

    So, based on the above example from just your first response:
    No, people haven't been arguing a different OP, and no, your OP does not remain as is.

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    RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    You have changed your arguments multiple times in both your threads, but my favourite example is in your very first response:
    This is a claim that we can "know God doesn't exist" to which KingDavid replied with perfect accuracy:
    Your response:

    KingDavid replied directly criticizing a specific point in your OP, and you replied directly to his criticism by changing it.
    The claim you're describing is really a conclusion. I wrote it first because it was the most important point and I followed up with reasons why I believe it to be true. I explain this in more detail with my reworking of the argument with explicit premises and conclusions; I'm separately addressing that with Squatch.

    So, based on the above example from just your first response:
    No, people haven't been arguing a different OP, and no, your OP does not remain as is.
    Um, that's not why I believe people have been arguing a different OP. That charge is addressed to people who are inventing their own personal versions of God rather than arguing the reality of God: what is actually believed on the ground. Which is fine and dandy but it's a bit of a strawman to do so.

    I suggest rather than these weird interjections, amusing though they are in their pointlessness, poor delivery and ineffectiveness you contribute towards the argument on either side. Rehashing points that have long been abandoned by people who have left the discussion Isn't exactly helpful: perhaps having some ideas of your own instead of eating off people's leavings would provide for a slightly richer experience.



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    ---------- Post added at 07:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:17 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post

    1) Religious Leaders are not, in any way, assumed to be be the best evaluators of the truth value of religious arguments, they are leaders of the religious followers. To the extent that there are evaluators of the religious claims they would be religious apologists, historians, and philosophers.

    2) And even if we were to assume religious leaders were good evaluators it isn't necessarily clear that they would be good evaluators of the religious claims of others. I think the categorization of "religion" here creates the same disservice as the categorization of "science." Sean Carroll is probably an excellent judge on the physics claims of Lawrence Krauss. I don't think he is a great judge of the the drift rates of mitocondrial DNA. By grouping these two fields into very broad buckets you end up masking appeals to authority.
    I know that this isn't addressed to me but it appears that there is a little too much weight based on my choice of word of 'leader' to describe the thought leaders and directors of doctrine within a religion.

    Excellent, I appreciate the clarifications. I've updated the argument as follows incorporating your feedback. (My comments on the status of premises are in green)
    ...
    I appreciate the reworking - let's see if it matches my thinking.
    P3a) Religious leaders affirm that all other mutually exclusive claims are false. Agreed more or less, it isn't actually the case, but it is sufficient for this discussion
    As explained above, by leader, take it to mean the people that have most influence in directing the doctrine of the religion.

    P3b) Religious leaders are a good measure of the objective truth of other religious claims. Old Objection D, I will reword with the new argument
    Ditto here regarding leaders.

    [Objection A1]

    I think to refine this point a bit, you could say "Pluto, defined as a triangular shaped object made of out of cheese orbiting the sun at X number of miles does not exist."

    There are two problems with that conclusion. 1) it is unsupported. As ridiculous as it seems, that emotional reaction is insufficient to say that the object doesn't exist. You could, pretty easily, create an argument showing that said object does not exist.

    P1) Cheese is defined as fermented milk.
    P2) Milk can only be obtained from mammals.
    P3) Mammals only live on earth.
    P4) Cheese cannot maintain a shape in space due to centripital forces and vaccuum.
    C1) Therefore, the object defined above cannot exist (from P2, P3, P4).
    Right, and in the same way to make a claim of an extra-universal intelligence with special properties living outside of our universe, which we have zero evidence of, and is also claimed to have mated with humans and caused 'miracles' (e.g. The Flood) that have no geological evidence, can also be defined as not to exist too.

    However, a religious person would say that this is special cheese made on an undiscovered planet and shipped in via a spaceship from an alien along with special force generators to keep its shape. A religion person would create an even more spectacular reason to support the original.

    [Quote]
    2) It does nothing to show that the object, Pluto (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/pluto), defined as "a dwarf planet having an equatorial diameter of about 2100 miles (3300 km), a mean distance from the sun of 3.674 billion miles (5.914 billion km), a period of revolution of 248.53 years, and one known moon, Charon" does not exist right?
    [Quote]
    Right, because other than a general property of something rotating around the Sun, there is very little in common with the actual Pluto and the cheesy one.

    This gets to a point I will describe more in depth later, but sufficed to say, the existence of one rejected argument has not bearing on a separate argument.
    Correct but that's because the only thing keeping the two claims together is the coincidence of name. The first, along with my additional turtles is akin to a religious arguments, whilst the latter is a scientific statement of verifiable fact. I look forward to a non-turtle explanation of God that is also verifiable.

    In short, A1 doesn't address the central problem that throwing out turtles, (impossible/undefined/unproven things) and explaining them with more turtles doesn't bring us any closer. Claiming that the original turtle really exists anyway also needs some kind of support and a direct link as to why this actual turtle is related in some way. And all of it needs to be done without more turtles.

    [Objection A2]

    I think this objection depends somewhat on what you mean when you've said "clear definition" in the past.

    It could either mean a definition that is clearly defined (which is what I took you to mean), or a definition that is universally held.

    ...

    If, rather you mean there is no universally held definition, then the conclusion could be removed from the argument because it is covered in C2. More importantly, if it remains and is support for either C4 or C5, then it remains an appeal to popularity fallacy.

    Because no definition is universally held is not a valid support for why the underlying object or entity would or would not exist, nor good reason to reject any specific or aggregate claims.
    I'm not sure if 'clear' is a good word but my thought along the lines of a 'definition' is always to maintain that there is no complete description that satisfies every religion. The point being that there are so many different competing claims regard the nature of God (one vs three vs many aspects/entities) along with the supporting cast (Angels/Devils/etc), actions on Earth (miracles/hybrid God-humans-animals); that it is a clearly impossible task.

    A word-definition is a very poor way to look at God (other than generically as the conscious focus of a religion) since that automatically removes the key differences between how different cultures perceive their deity and how that deity operates within their religion's universe.

    A2 misquotes or misconstrues the intent of my argument that there are different very personal, culturally specific and scientifically unsurprising independent creations of a deity that are better explained that they are human creations in the same way that politics and sports are human inventions.



    Objection A3

    Which means that Conclusion C4 does not follow from the premises offered, correct? You cannot rationally conclude that all religious claims are false if you simultaneously admit that there is a possibility that some claim, somewhere is true.

    So we can at least say that conclusion C4 does not follow from the premises offered.
    Sure, there could be a religion that claims that an alien species created the universe and a single planet in order to study an artificial life-form. If that exists and the claims made are consistent with the known universe then yes, I think that could be possible. I believe Scientology is a religion that sort of works along those lines - it's somewhat science-based and it's claims possible.

    On the other hand, all religions tend to veer towards the fantastic using supernatural powers to explain them. And let's not forget at this point that the purpose of religions and gods is also to provide us a continuity into a separate conscious existence after we have died. This is a key claim that is practically four or five layers of turtles.

    A3 fails because it forgets that we have to remain within the known parameters of our own universe and not have to resort to more turtles in order to support itself. A3 mainly fails in that there are plenty of possibilities for God without having to resort to turtles.



    [Objection B]
    I appreciate the rewording of this premise. As it currently stands, this premise has two fallacies.

    1) It is a bare assertion fallacy. It would need to be shown how resurrection is metaphysically impossible. It is insufficient to say that it doesn't comport with our current experience. That might speak to a specific event's probability, it doesn't not speak to its possibility. It was unheard of that anyone could set foot on the moon in 1968, it doesn’t mean the act of doing so was "impossible."
    Well, we know that dying starts the decaying of the human body with rigor mortis and cell breakdown beginning very quickly. Also, with the lack of oxygen to the brain (since the heart isn't beating and the lungs non-functional anyway) there is little chance of the brain recovering.

    In order for any claims of resurrection (dying and returning back to life) to be true, the person couldn't have technically died in the first place: they could just have been severely injured, diagnosed poorly, or there could have been collusion with sympathetic doctors to mask perhaps a drugged person.

    So if you're really saying that someone like Jesus faked his death, then I would agree with that as a possible explanation as to his resurrection. It's also possible that he had a doppelgänger or a twin or that an imposter died in his stead. Those are also scenarios that are well within our reasonable expectations.

    On the other hand, to claim that Jesus actually died, and resurrected several hours later, is not likely possible without invoking magical turtle powers, etc.


    2) Hasty generalization fallacy (to be fair, this is partly because of 1)). The premise references "many" claims, however it only details two examples, and then uses that premise to reject "all" religious claims.

    Additionally, you add the word "hypothetical" into the premise, but I'm not sure why it would belong there. What relevance does something being "hypothetical" have? It would also be an incorrect statement. Being "hypothetical" refers to a premise forwarded from an inductive argument. It isn't at all clear that all religious arguments are inductive in nature. Nor, if they were, why that would be a problem, given that science is inductive in nature.
    I don't think the examples need to be exhaustive - it's clear I don't reject claims that are possible - such as Moses brought down ten tablets with writing on them or that Joseph Smith existed.

    In using the word hypothetical to describe 'souls'; this claim of their existence is based on a post-death continuity into a realm controlled by the deity making demands of the pre-death human. It is derived as an explanation as to how the deity's demands would be rewarded or punished. Without God, there would be no need for souls, right?

    I don't think Objection B is valid any longer since I have provided the needed support to over-ride bare-assertion and hasty generalization fallacies.


    Objection C

    Ok, there are a couple of issues with this premise.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "proven universe." Do you mean physical laws in the universe that we are relatively confident in? There is no such thing as a proven inductive argument, just a supported one.
    I'm also not really sure it is a supported statement given the overwhelming bias imparted by our observational limitations as listed, in detail, earlier.
    By proven, I mean verifiable and repeatable observation and understanding of the universe. Not necessarily rising to the confidence level of laws but at least relatable to scientific canon to date.

    And we may well have 'over helming bias imparted by our observation limitations' but it is all still better than inventing more turtles. Our senses and collective agreed upon knowledge of the universe is basically all that we have that we can universally agree upon. I mean this to stop the stacking of turtles as religious arguments are wont to do.

    Separately, I'm not sure what this premise has to do with the argument you are making here. Since you have deliberately eschewed any specific argument for God's existence, positing a metric to evaluate the soundness of its premises seems unnecessary.

    Your argument wouldn't seem to care if the premise put forward was completely consistent with known physics or not, the reason it would be rejected (according to the structure) is because of other conflicting premises.

    So I'm not really sure it is a necessary premise for the argument you've forwarded.
    I have not eschewed all arguments for God's existence! Find a claim that is a consistent with the material universe as we understand it and prove it with arguments that are also consistent with said universe. There are millions of claims that can be used from likely every religion! The flood; the existence of Jesus' miracles of feeding the 5,000; why is promiscuity/homosexuality/abortion immoral.

    If a religion is based too much on the supernatural or further unprovable things or things against our understanding of the universe then that's hardly any reason to believe in it further is it?


    The only angle I can see this premise coming into play is, as I initially phrased it, as a further support that we can dismiss all religious claims.

    In that sense the premise is a division fallacy (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/division.html) since you are imputting a deduction about a group of the claims to the entire group of claims. And to the extent that you have offered examples within this thread of claims that are "impossible" you generally have meant "different than you expect" which is a normalcy bias error. To show them "impossible" you would need a much more robust argument than you have provided.
    I don't even think we even need to discuss impossible acts yet - e.g. Animal-human hybrids and flying horses. We're not even pass the stage whether the religious claims even pass scientific muster: even something as simple as a resurrection could have plenty of other actual natural explanations given our knowledge (there could be a clone of Jesus or could have been an android like in the movie Avatar, or he could have been a robot (and God could be the same robot).

    Instead religious claims tend towards the fantastic with fantastic explanations; disregarding other more boring explanations for the same effect.

    I reject Objection C since it attempts to undermine the use of known science and our current understanding of the universe to explain God and religious claims.


    Ojbection D

    I should note that this premise would seem to conflict with P5, since you claim that only observed results are the objective measure of truth. We would need to see how those two statements coincide for this argument to be coherent.

    More importantly, this is a form of appeal to authority fallacy. As pointed out by others here, it isn't clear at all that religious leaders are experts on the theology or apologetics for their own religions. Religious leaders can be picked for a variety of reasons from mutual consent, charisma, divine inspiration, heredity, or education.

    What's more, even if they were experts on their own religions apologetics, what makes them experts on the apologetics of other religions? Why would a Baptist preacher be an expert on the claims of the Hindu brahman?

    So the fact that a Catholic Priest says that the Shinto understanding of the afterlife is incorrect because he is a priest, that should be an uncompelling argument and absolutely no reason to reject Shintoism.

    Now, if he said the Shinto understanding of the afterlife is incorrect because of X,Y, and Z and those were valid objections, then we would be warranted in objecting to Shintoism, but not because the speaker was a priest, but because his argument was sound.

    Therefore, simply pointing out the multitude of religions that exist in the world isn't a valid objection to the claims of all religions as a whole. Nor is pointing to the bare assertion of a religious leader from a different sect. Just as I wouldn't cite Thomas Sowell to prove that Albert Einstein was wrong. They live in two different disciplines.
    I think I've explained that the use of the word leader was a mistake; I agree on that it doesn't always mean a chosen leader of men but I meant it as a leader of thought; more in line with theologians and other experts. It's a minor point that relies on an uncharitable interpretation of leader IMHO.

    Although this is indeed an appeal to authority, it isn't necessarily a fallacious one - if a group of religious scholars decide on something and it is consistent with their understanding of the religion then there is no-one else to gain say them if they have the authority to define doctrine. It's their job and their duty to interpret the modern world and help guide people on how to live their lives according to their religious precepts.

    On the other hand, if a Catholic priest rejects Shintoism, then according to Catholic world view only, then Shintoism is wrong. A believer in that religion should, if the priest made a good argument using the precepts of Catholicism, accept that view. And similarly, each religion places their own beliefs as primary over all the others.

    Where things get tricky, and where your argument falls apart, is that there is no objective argument as to why the Shinto religion is false; if there were then there should be no followers of that religion - surely, if they were to preserve their after life, they need to flee immediately I to the next most plausible religion. So one must assume that there are reasons, from a Shinto perspective, to continue to follow that religion.

    This leads to my other point that faith is what drives religion and not arguments and reasoning. The multitude of religions isn't also due to the fact that there is no way to determine the truth value of one religion vs another but that such a framework is impossible. Just as determining whether one political party is objectively better than another is largely an impossible task; ultimately people go with their gut feelings and emotions.

    Object D assumes that there is an objective framework to determine truth value between religions, yet fails to provide one. It is clear no such framework exists hence Catholics and followers of the Shinto
    religion are quite comfortable within their own world view, supported by their general cultural heritage and history.

    Which, as you've worded it here, is a classic genetic fallacy. The origin of a claim is 100% irrelevant to the veracity of the claim itself. http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...c-fallacy.html

    What you seem to mean is something quite different though. You aren't concerned with origin of the argument so much as its nature. You've defined a set of claims as "religious" and detailed them as suspect, but not given any specific reasoning or support as to what distinguishes a "religious" claim from a non-religious one.
    I agree this does border on the genetic fallacy but this is really for practical reasons to avoid having to argue 20 levels of turtles and still getting nowhere. However, elsewhere, I do clarify that we need to stick to what we know about the universe (including what we know about human nature and history) in order to judge claims - religious or not. Ghosts, souls, Devils, Gods, their miracles, the realms in which they (and we) exist, and all manner of supernatural claims I think can be wholly dismissed without further discussion.

    My warrant to do so is that we are talking about whether God and all the contingent claims directly connected to God really exist or not. Certainly God and his proxies have interacted with this world, and people continue to expect God to interact constantly (from winning a football game, passing an exam or simply rain). So it is not unreasonable to hold believers to account by tying them to arguments and support that are also natural.

    Perhaps you could expound on that? "There is an apple in that tree." Is that a religious claim or not, if not, why not?

    This might seem like a bit of a silly exercise to you, but I am engaging in it here because I think you've hidden some assumptions of your argument into this classification, and we need to tease those out in order to fully write down what you're saying for everyone.
    No, I would not say that this is a religious claim because it does not appeal to God, make a moral statement, nor refer to something that is supernatural. It is also not talking about something unusual or unnatural or impossible. Neither is it referring to more turtles to support that there is an apple, or a tree, or that the apple is in the tree.

    All portions of this sentence is not religious. Even if it were in a religious text, it still wouldn't be a religious claim per se - the fruit of the tree of life in Genesis, could well have existed in reality. Where it becomes religious is the claim that it is 'the tree of life', whatever that's supposed to mean and that eating it would bring knowledge (however that's supposed to happen).

    Which is appealing to intuition here, right? You are saying the feel tribal or appear to made out of ignorance (as distinct from a specific argument from ignorance fallacy). That is an appeal to how the argument strikes you emotionally, which thanks to the magic of cognitive biases isn't a very good measure of objective truth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

    I would encourage a review of any of Oliver Sachs' work, or the great podcast "You are not so smart." https://youarenotsosmart.com/podcast/ Both of these show how the mental shortcuts our mind takes can be problematic when not critically reviewed.
    Nope - there is no intuition needed to see that an aborigine thinking that the Sun controls how much he has to eat that day unless he walks around some tree 8 times, is making stuff up.

    I may have been glib in how I made that argument but it always boils down to a judgement based on what we know and the number of levels of turtles required to further to explain the claim.


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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by SadElephant View Post
    ]so I must therefore ask that you support that all the world religions are sharing the same exact entity.
    The main world religions, let’s consider the top five based upon the most adherents, (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism) are supported and are based on their scared scriptures. This is where you will find consensus of a Creator (supreme reality). I quoted in my last post from some of the different world scriptures that supports the existence of a Creator/ultimate supreme reality. I can quote much more if you wish.

    Source: http://www.infoplease.com/toptens/or...religions.html

    That's just more turtles - additional metaphorical supernatural claims that brings us no closer to either truth nor the commonality you claim:
    Whether or not you accept, reject, consider, understand or not understand the different world scriptures is irrelevant to the fact that the world sacred scriptures share in not only claiming a Supreme Ultimate Reality/God existence, but in many cases they quote the Divine. Human rejection of such text does not affect the consensus the world sacred scripture have about the Creator’s existence.

    It means nothing wrong to the followers since they depend on faith to justify their religion. It just points more towards the fact of human creation.
    As above so below. It could also point to the possibility that differences are a necessary process whereby man is given the opportunity through his/her culture to evolve to a closer communion with God. When God works through men, human creation can be amazingly profound.

    I am arguing the truth of their claims.
    What claims?
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    RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    The main world religions, let’s consider the top five based upon the most adherents, (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism) are supported and are based on their scared scriptures. This is where you will find consensus of a Creator (supreme reality). I quoted in my last post from some of the different world scriptures that supports the existence of a Creator/ultimate supreme reality. I can quote much more if you wish.

    Source: http://www.infoplease.com/toptens/or...religions.html
    Not to be pedantic, but I did actually ask for all religions throughout time and history not just the top 10 that happen to be popular today.

    Also, the Wiccan religion is centered on the Horned God & Mother Goddess and there isn't a central creation story in that religion so you can't just pick the top ten. This discussion is about all of them otherwise, you'd be committing the fallacy of popularity.

    Just to save you the trouble, I already know there are multiple creation stories from different religions; some that require a God, some more than one and some none at all.

    Your claim that the world's religions share a single God is unsupported and you should retract it.

    Whether or not you accept, reject, consider, understand or not understand the different world scriptures is irrelevant to the fact that the world sacred scriptures share in not only claiming a Supreme Ultimate Reality/God existence, but in many cases they quote the Divine. Human rejection of such text does not affect the consensus the world sacred scripture have about the Creator’s existence.
    Well, you really will have to support the "FACT that the world's scriptures" share this claim because not EVERY religion makes that claim.

    For example, the Korean creation story suggests that it just happened: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheonjiwang_Bonpuri - The myth starts with the creation of the world, when the sky and the earth were one (This concept can be found in most other creation myths; see Chaos and Ginnungagap). As there were no sky nor earth, as a result, there was only an empty void. However, one day, a gap formed in the void. All that was lighter than the gap headed upwards and formed the sky. All that was heavier than the gap fell down to become the earth. From the sky fell a clear blue drop of dew, and from the earth rose a dark black drop of dew. As these two drops mixed, all that existed, except the sun, moon, and the stars, came to be. From these two drops came humans and even the gods.

    So you cannot say that there is a single conscious entity that created the universe at all.

    Also, I see you are introducing more turtles (Questions you needn't answer):

    T1: "sacred scriptures" - being sacred means nothing as far as truth value - only that it is venerated. For example, I believe that the Turin Shroud is still venerated but it has been shown to be a fake.

    T2-T6: "Supreme Ultimate Reality" - also a new term in our growing lexicon for supporting a shared deity. Is this another name for God? Is God now not only a conscious entity but also a 'reality' (T3) that is somehow both 'supreme' (T4 - whatever that means) and 'ultimate' amongst all the other realities somehow (T5) - as if there were more than one reality (T6)?

    T7: "quote the Divine" - what does that mean? Who or what is "the Divine"? If it's God, why do you really another term? Isn't that his name?

    Not only have have you not supported consensus but you have managed to introduce 7 turtles into the debate.


    As above so below. It could also point to the possibility that differences are a necessary process whereby man is given the opportunity through his/her culture to evolve to a closer communion with God. When God works through men, human creation can be amazingly profound.
    Sure, more turtles:
    T1: the idea that all the world religions are false stories planted by some cunning God. The problem with that it raises the question why then, not ALL the religions support the idea of one God.
    T2: How does God "work through" man? What does that even mean?
    T3: What does profound have to do with being true?

    What claims?
    All of them but especially the supernatural ones or the ones that require more turtles to explain them.
    Last edited by SadElephant; June 9th, 2016 at 09:23 AM.

  20. #180
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    Re: RELIGION 1: Does the known universe allow God to exist?

    Right, and in the same way to make a claim of an extra-universal intelligence with special properties living outside of our universe, which we have zero evidence of, and is also claimed to have mated with humans and caused 'miracles' (e.g. The Flood) that have no geological evidence, can also be defined as not to exist too.
    Let's take a closer look at the reasoning that you're using here.

    You say that we have "zero evidence" that...what, exactly, vis-a-vis intelligence? That there exist non-human intelligent entities? That there exist entities not made of matter?

    Additionally, there's an issue of scope. The geological evidence regarding whatever kind of flood you're talking about is only relevant to theism specifically, rather than Christianity (or whatever religion), insofar as theism requires that the flood has occurred. And it's not clear that theism has such a requirement. So it's not clear that you're providing an argument against theism rather than an argument against Christianity (or whatever religion).

    Finally, I'm not a geologist (or hydrogeologist in particular), so I'm not staking out a strong claim in this area, but couldn't it be the case that a flood-like event could happen over some significant land area, but ensuing geological events made the flood difficult or even impossible to detect thousands of years later? Take for instance the example of someone writing a journal thousands of years ago. If the paper degrades completely in a few centuries, then we'd have no evidence of the journal-writing event even though it definitely occurred. [This of course doesn't automatically mean that it's reasonable to believe the journal-writing event occurred. You'd have to, say, rely on the prevailing evidential standards of historical geology or acquire expertise in the relevant fields of study and come to your own conclusion supported by that expertise.]
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