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  1. #201
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    The reason why I think (suspect) it is because I have put CONSIDERABLE effort myself into using logic and reason to establish the existence (conversely, the non-existence) of gods...and cannot even come close.
    Ahh, I understand now, thank you. You weren't saying it is logically impossible (like a married bachelor) you were saying that you suspect it to be impossible based on the failings in your experience. Fair enough, I appreciate the clarification.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa
    If you would like to make an argument that "at least one god exists" or "it is more likely that at least one god exists than that none do" using reason, logic, math or science...I love to hear it and discuss it.
    Sadly, at some point I have to get to work. But it might be worth your time to review: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...gical-Argument

    I think the Cosmological, Moral, and Fine Tuning arguments to be hard to escape from in an serious sense. I've certainly seen them poorly defended and poorly attacked by those, on both sides, who wade outside their depth in understanding, but all three seem inescapable the deeper they are delved into. Just a thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank
    Claiming that a god cannot be a god because the god cannot do the definitionally impossible...is a poor argument. There is no way to make a four sided triangle or a square circle without first changing the definition.
    Exploring this rabbit hole a bit; I've found a lot of poor reasoning in my life has been due to either misunderstanding a definition or applying a modern definition to an archiac usage. I'll give a fun example.

    The Catholic Church was once asked by a British cleric if eating beavers was ok on Friday when only fish was allowed. They said yes. I read an article on a site railing against the Catholic Church as corrupt because "beavers clearly aren't fish" and this was just an example of them "bending the rules for their own pleasure." The problem is, the decision was made during the period when the word "fish" had a bit more expansive meaning than today. In that time, anything that lived in the water was a fish. Oysters were fish because it was more a category than a species specific definition. [Fun fact, anything hunted was generally called a deer, and any small, hard edible thing was corn].

    It is similar, imo, to why people think the KJV has translation errors (I'm not saying there aren't any) when they see the word apple in the garden.



    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Actually no, I hadn't thought of it that way at all.
    I was more thinking no logical argument could be made against his existence as his existence was undeniable. There could be no question to his existence.
    Interesting, that is definitely a very different take (perhaps I was applying a pre-existing mental framing of the issue to my reading).

    So setting aside that interpretation (which means a lot of my last post might not be relevant at all), your argument is rather;

    P1) If God exists, no logical argument could be made against His existence.

    P2) Logical arguments exist against His existence.

    C) God does not exist.

    This would be a valid argument, but I think not a sound one.

    I'd like to set aside P1 for a moment (I need to think on it a bit as you've presented a relatively novel argument) and rather examine P2.

    If I make another assumption that you mean a logical argument is one sound (ie its structure is fine and the premises are true), then I would argue that this premise should be rejected. Like Frank, I've seen a lot of atheist argument from Russel to youtube and while there has been a lot of good back and forth on theist apologetics, I'm not aware of a serious atheist argument really being forwarded that was valid and had the potential for soundness.

    Perhaps though, that is my limited experience. I'm happy to entertain that some have been put forward, the closest I can think of is the problem of evil (though I think that is really just a poor reading of the moral argument for God's existence).


    Quote Originally Posted by Belathazor
    (I realize you are just trying for accuracy in the verbage but I drive on the white lines at roundabouts cause I'm a rebel dude!)
    Fair enough, just want to be clear (see above) so I can be sure I'm actually addressing your, quite frankly, interesting points. And I used to drive through the planting structures in the middle of roundabouts in Baghdad, how is that for rebel ;-) (also there were bombs on the road sides so it was the unconvential approach to avoiding them).


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    If "you truly know" Where does free will even fit into the equation of belief?

    I'm not sure how much my response here is relevant given your clarifcation above. Essentially, what I was putting forward based on my mistaken reading of your point was that if God were to put forward a premise that you had to accept, that was physically impossible not to believe, would He be violating our free will? I think that He would be, we can't be said to have free will and be mechanistically made to accept something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    They are all believed to be the word of God, and for the same kinds of reasons.
    All three certainly share defenses in common, but those defenses are not the sum total of their defense either.

    It isn't just their status as "word of God/Allah" that are relied on when we are conducting analysis of their reliability. We can also rely on the same techniques we apply to any Roman, Chinese, Egyptian, or other ancient text when analyzing its historicity. Those are tools that provide different answers, frankly, for texts like the Koran than they do for the New Testament.

    Without getting too deep into what exactly those are (there is a relatively good thread pinned in this forum for exactly that defense), I would simply point out that we have different warrant to accept the texts, thus they shouldn't be placed on equal footing from a purely evidence level.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Just to be clear, are you suggesting the Koran or Torah need agree with the NT to be correct?
    and
    What is "the Koran's suspect Arabic"??
    Only if we presume the NT is correct, so not really. What I'm saying is that there are historiographical tools we use to evaluate ancient texts that can be used to evaluate the historicity of text in a work.

    For example, for Herodutus, we can review his closeness to events, his liklihood for having earlier sources, the time and rate of historical or legendary accretion, external supported evidence such as archeological confirmation or independent written sources agreeing with him, linguistic analysis and textual forensics, and a whole host of other techniques to evaluate his claims.

    We can use the exact same techniques for the Torah, NT, and Koran.

    [This isn't at all meant to be exhaustive, but examples]

    The torah, for example, has one of the highest archeological support ratings of any ancient text. It's prediction of finds and specific claims about archeological matters are relatively well attested to.

    The New Testament, is an extremely contemporaneous book. Bart Ehrman has some excellent work out on just how contemporary it is. The passion sequence from Mark, for example is from a source that dates about to about 5-10 years after the crucifiction. The author of Luke's work in Acts is generally taught in historiography classes as one of the most independently validated documents from before 1000AD. There are over three dozen Roman, Jewish, Greek, and other documents that support specific facts and details in Acts.

    The Koran utilizes Arabic that linguistically could not have come from the period it is claimed to be from. I reference this point because a common Islamic apologetic for the Koran is its "perfect arabic." However, the Koran contains at least three distinctive dialects from differing periods. Sections appear to be from sources written in dialect so early and primitive it is almost a different language while others contain cognates that likely come from indo-european influence after the period of Muhammad's life. That said, the Koran does have an excellent legendary accretion analysis. We can attest that the language has remained almost completely unchanged since around 1000-1100 AD with no later additions or exagerations.



    Again, I'm not offering the above to prompt a defense or discussion on these texts specifically, but simply to highlight how historians use universal tools to conduct analysis of these texts and how they can show that they aren't necessarily all exactly the same in reliability nor do they rely solely on their status as religious works for their acceptance.
    "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.


  2. #202
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think the Cosmological, Moral, and Fine Tuning arguments to be hard to escape from in an serious sense. I've certainly seen them poorly defended and poorly attacked by those, on both sides, who wade outside their depth in understanding, but all three seem inescapable the deeper they are delved into. Just a thought.
    It seems very odd to me (almost to the point of support for non existence) to have to resort to such arguments to support God (of the three religions we are discussing) actually exists....

    ---------- Post added at 05:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:25 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Sadly, at some point I have to get to work.
    I am ready to retire right NOW [COLOR="Silver"]

    Interesting, that is definitely a very different take (perhaps I was applying a pre-existing mental framing of the issue to my reading).

    So setting aside that interpretation (which means a lot of my last post might not be relevant at all), your argument is rather;

    P1) If God exists, no logical argument could be made against His existence.

    P2) Logical arguments exist against His existence.

    C) God does not exist.

    [/QUOTE]

    Oh, there is an issue here. I believe I said:
    given what the Bible says, if the Christian God existed, God's existence would be undeniable.

    You are talkin about "any" God in general, I was specifically talking about the Bible and Christian God.

    ---------- Post added at 05:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:34 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    All three certainly share defenses in common, but those defenses are not the sum total of their defense either.

    It isn't just their status as "word of God/Allah" that are relied on when we are conducting analysis of their reliability. We can also rely on the same techniques we apply to any Roman, Chinese, Egyptian, or other ancient text when analyzing its historicity. Those are tools that provide different answers, frankly, for texts like the Koran than they do for the New Testament.
    And that would be fine if we weren't talking about God. Why would divine text not be obvious?
    IOW, you show each has some strengths and weaknesses, and to your mind, Christianity ultimately wins the most credibility (if that is a fair statement of your position...).
    "Life" (here and after you "die" {whatever the hell that is, if you still get to "live" on but in a new reality. The life after death thing kinda relegates "death" to near meaninglessness?}) depends on being able to know you are doing what God wants. That Christianity's makes a little better argument than the other two doesn't cut the mustard (I hate mustard). One needs to know they are on the right path.

    ---------- Post added at 05:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:44 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    The Koran utilizes Arabic that linguistically could not have come from the period it is claimed to be from. I reference this point because a common Islamic apologetic for the Koran is its "perfect arabic." However, the Koran contains at least three distinctive dialects from differing periods. Sections appear to be from sources written in dialect so early and primitive it is almost a different language while others contain cognates that likely come from indo-european influence after the period of Muhammad's life. That said, the Koran does have an excellent legendary accretion analysis. We can attest that the language has remained almost completely unchanged since around 1000-1100 AD with no later additions or exagerations.
    I have never heard of this before!!!
    Not that I want to go flying off topic in this thread (SINCE THIS THREAD COULD BE "THE" ONE!!). Sounds like an interesting claim to explore (in another thread perhaps...).

  3. #203
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Ahh, I understand now, thank you. You weren't saying it is logically impossible (like a married bachelor) you were saying that you suspect it to be impossible based on the failings in your experience. Fair enough, I appreciate the clarification

    Sadly, at some point I have to get to work. But it might be worth your time to review: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...gical-Argument
    Thanks for that reference. I did a review of the OP...and I think I'll pass on reading the thread.

    I've encountered dozens of arguments over the many years I've engaged in this topic over the years...and found all of them wanting. This includes the arguments of the likes of Thomas Aquinas.

    If YOU have any to make, I'd love to hear and comment on them...although this will always take a distant second place to what I deal with in those other threads I have started.

    I must say that the...

    1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
    2) The Universe began to exist.
    3) The Universe therefore had a cause.
    4) Naturalistic explanations are insufficient in comparison to God in explaining this cause.
    ...

    is particularly unpersuasive to me.




    I think the Cosmological, Moral, and Fine Tuning arguments to be hard to escape from in an serious sense. I've certainly seen them poorly defended and poorly attacked by those, on both sides, who wade outside their depth in understanding, but all three seem inescapable the deeper they are delved into. Just a thought.
    I have never been able to make a persuasive argument about "a god exists/it is more likely a god exists..."...or "no gods exist/it is more likely no gods exist..."...

    ...nor have I ever heard a persuasive argument offered from anyone.

    If you can in either direction...please do. I am not closed to hearing one...in fact, it would be a greatly welcome intellectual bonanza for me.



    Exploring this rabbit hole a bit; I've found a lot of poor reasoning in my life has been due to either misunderstanding a definition or applying a modern definition to an archiac usage. I'll give a fun example.

    The Catholic Church was once asked by a British cleric if eating beavers was ok on Friday when only fish was allowed. They said yes. I read an article on a site railing against the Catholic Church as corrupt because "beavers clearly aren't fish" and this was just an example of them "bending the rules for their own pleasure." The problem is, the decision was made during the period when the word "fish" had a bit more expansive meaning than today. In that time, anything that lived in the water was a fish. Oysters were fish because it was more a category than a species specific definition. [Fun fact, anything hunted was generally called a deer, and any small, hard edible thing was corn].

    It is similar, imo, to why people think the KJV has translation errors (I'm not saying there aren't any) when they see the word apple in the garden.
    Yeah..or the words "on the first day." And exploring that stuff is fun. BUT...it doesn't get us very far.

    BOTTOM LINE: I assert (and recognize the danger in doing so) that one cannot establish "there is at least one god"..."it is more likely that there is at least one god than that there are none"..."there are no gods"..."it is more likely that there are no gods than that there is at least one"...

    ...using logic, reason, science, or math.

    (Mostly I use this in arguments with atheists. This is a rare case where I am using it with someone coming from what appears to be a theistic perspective. Looking forward to it...even as a second place interest.)

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  5. #204
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    God is three Persons like you, and I are both HUMAN BEINGS, yet distinct persons. I am not you, and you are not me, yet we both constitute was is human. In the same way, God the Father is not God the Son, or God the Spirit. They represent what God is. They (the three) are the one true God, just like you and I are truly human and makeup one humanity. To talk about us as humans does not mean we are the same person. To speak of God as God does not necessarily mean God is one Person. It speaks of one's nature.
    The essence and nature of you and I is a human essence. The essence/nature of God is godly/divine.
    I understand what you are saying, but I am still see you/the Christian position, promoting a "triangle with four sides".

    ---------- Post added at 10:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:23 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    You are speaking of the Mind-Body Problem. Is all we are a physical brain/body, molecular changes in the brain, or is there an essence to us that is not physical?
    It's a problem?...

    Well, again, you seem to be saying thoughts originate outside of the body and somehow get into your brain...

    ---------- Post added at 10:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:26 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    If I have taken a life and I am standing before a firing squad, and the law requires life for life, then someone volunteers their life in place of mine, the debt has been paid on my behalf because the law has been met - life for life!
    If you truly believe this, our conversation is almost over, as our viewpoints are too far off to even agree to basic humanity.

    This is taking "justice" to a perverse level.

    ---------- Post added at 10:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:34 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Simple answer: God allowed the devil to influence Adam and Eve for a purpose.
    So God chose that man would "fall".....

    ---------- Post added at 10:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:36 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    If He stopped every evil, we would be like robots, or we would be dead because of our sin. But evil is addressed in His time when we physically die.
    Yet, no evil in heaven, humans are now perfect or are robots, as you say.
    Make them perfect or robots form the beginning and save a lot of pain.


    And no, just because life is created, the creator should not "do with that life whatever they please".
    and
    the God of the Bible is unable to "do whatever he wants" with the life God created by being "all good/moral/perfect/and on.../on.../on...

  6. #205
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    It seems very odd to me (almost to the point of support for non existence) to have to resort to such arguments to support God (of the three religions we are discussing) actually exists....
    Why? What kind of defense would seem reasonable for you?


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    You are talkin about "any" God in general, I was specifically talking about the Bible and Christian God.
    No, hence the capitalization. ;-) I am referring to the Christian concept of God.


    P1) If God exists, no logical argument could be made against His existence.

    P2) Logical arguments exist against His existence.

    C) God does not exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    And that would be fine if we weren't talking about God. Why would divine text not be obvious?...One needs to know they are on the right path.
    I would argue it is pretty obvious. As I noted in the last post, these are just small samples of evidence for and against, not the sum total of the argument.

    But what I think your fundamental point gets at though is that there is room for doubt, right? That it shouldn't be the case that there is room for doubt. My response goes back to the holographic moon. We are humans, there is always room for doubt, and no such thing as certainty. There is no fact, observation, or evidence that could possibly be produced that eliminates all doubt absent removing our ability to doubt.

    If we can't even agree on the moon being there (and it is a much larger proportion than one might expect), then why should I expect us to agree on anything?


    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    ...and found all of them wanting.
    I think it would be an interesting question to ask why you found them wanting. Was it because the arguments weren't valid (logically structured), the premises weren't supported, or was it a sense that it didn't compell you to change your mind?


    Quote Originally Posted by Frank
    4) Naturalistic explanations are insufficient in comparison to God in explaining this cause.
    Small note, this premise is unnecessary, naturalistic explanations (being explanations grounded in space and time) are insufficient to explain the existence of space and time.
    "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.


  7. #206
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post

    I think it would be an interesting question to ask why you found them wanting. Was it because the arguments weren't valid (logically structured), the premises weren't supported, or was it a sense that it didn't compell you to change your mind?
    You are asking a more general question than I really want to explore here. But as to the instant example: If we were to take the initial "syllogism" of sorts, presented (the presentation I mentioned as being particularly unpersuasive} perhaps you can extrapolate from it an answer to that general question.

    The writer attempted two things I see as disingenuous. First, he attempted to detach a needed premise (which could not be supported) and then came to a conclusion that cannot be obtained. Secondly he comes to a "C" without adequate, supported major and minor premises. He seems to be making the mistake many make...attempting to make a syllogism come up with something new. That is not the function of a syllogism.

    Essentially he is doing what so many apologists for theism do...the false "C" by supposing (rather than supported) one or both of the gratuitous P's.

    All four-legged black animals are cats,
    Rover, over there, is a four-legged black animal.
    Therefore Rover is a cat.


    Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
    This he detached. Well he did. I'd hate to have the task of supporting it.


    The Universe began to exist.
    Totally unsubstantiated, despite all the "Einstein said..." nonsense. Einstein, and others, have made statements about what we humans call "the universe"...which may or may not be THE UNIVERSE.

    It may have "began to exist"...it may always have existed.

    This is a simplistic, gratuitous premise.

    The Universe therefore had a cause.
    More of the same simplistic, gratuitous stuff which should more properly be labeled a gratuitous "C" rather than a shoehorned, P2. (He even used "therefore")

    Naturalistic explanations are insufficient in comparison to God in explaining this cause....
    This is the kind of false conclusion to which Aquinas came in each of his arguments (The: This everyone acknowledges to be GOD he attached to the end of his reasoning.)

    Not sure where the OP was going (I suppose, THERE IS A GOD), but he was not doing an adequate job getting there.

    Getting to "C" is no problem...we can simply start from there.

    Let "C" be any of the following:

    C: There exists at least one god.
    C: It is more likely that at least one god exists than that no gods exist.
    C: No gods exist.
    C: It is more likely that no gods exist than that at least one god exists.

    Give me a P1 and P2 that arrives at any of them.

    I ask anyone who doubts my earlier assertion to that it seems impossible to do...to do it.









    Small note, this premise is unnecessary, naturalistic explanations (being explanations grounded in space and time) are insufficient to explain the existence of space and time.
    I have no disagreement with this.

  8. #207
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Why? What kind of defense would seem reasonable for you?
    The Christian God could make his existence undeniably known if "He" so chose....

    ---------- Post added at 05:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:57 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    No, hence the capitalization. ;-) I am referring to the Christian concept of God.


    P1) If God exists, no logical argument could be made against His existence.

    P2) Logical arguments exist against His existence.

    C) God does not exist.
    God of the Koran doesn't get capitols?....


    This is kinda what I said, and yet....no.

    Given what is in the Bible is God's word, if he existed it would/should be undeniable.

    ---------- Post added at 05:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:00 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I would argue it is pretty obvious.
    Well, obviously you do argue this sir.

    However, you are in quite the minority on this point, for the vast majority of humans that ever lived were not Christian (also, plenty of people that call themselves Christian, have little knowledge of it nor do they "practice" it, so the aren't Christian really).
    Now, normally I don't give much weight to consensus, but on this subject I think it is worth noting, because:

    The creator of the universe wants to be with humans, but the vast majority (by 2018) aren't ever going to make it.

    ---------- Post added at 05:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:08 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    If we can't even agree on the moon being there (and it is a much larger proportion than one might expect), then why should I expect us to agree on anything?
    We are getting dangerously close to "brains in a vat type of argument" here. Please steer clear....

    Can you (just a for instance) argue for me (if we were in person):
    that you aren't alive?
    Or that you have no mouth as you are speaking to me?

    I think you would find it quite difficult to make a persuasive argument (though you have surprised me before

    For God, being the "Omni", it really shouldn't be difficult at all to make his existence undeniable, since he already knows what would be undeniable to any given person.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    The writer attempted two things I see as disingenuous. First, he attempted to detach a needed premise (which could not be supported) and then came to a conclusion that cannot be obtained. Secondly he comes to a "C" without adequate, supported major and minor premises
    Your concern seems here to be with the validity of the argument. That the conclusion does not follow from the premises. I think that that is an interesting concern. I am not unfamiliar with the critiques of this argument over the last several decades and I've yet to see a professional philosopher make that attack. We can show, quite easily and formally, that the argument is a valid one. Your criticism in the following sections seems more focused on the truth value of the premises themselves however, not the structure of the argument really.

    Let's first start with the structure's validity, then move on below to the individual premises.

    P1: If something began to exist (a) then it has a cause (b). (If A then B).

    P2: The universe began to exist. (A)

    C: Therefore, the universe has a cause (Therefore B).



    I think it is hard to escape from the structure of that argument. But do you have a critique of the structure itself? (Setting aside whether the premises are supported or not for now).



    Quote Originally Posted by Frank
    I'd hate to have the task of supporting it.

    Reviewing Chad's offering I don't think it was a bad defense. It often gets short shrift in debates about this argument because it generally isn't a premise many are willing to object too. There are a couple of primary defenses for it that are relatively straight forward and can be elaborated on in depth.

    1) The Causal Principle is a basic premise of scientific inquiry. It rests at the foundation of science and is generally well accepted and defended. It underlies the experimentally verified claims of both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Thus we have good observational and inductive support.

    2) It is a basic, and widely accepted principle in philosophy. There are certainly some debates around nuance, though those don't result in ideas of spontaneous or self-caused creation.

    3) It is self-evidently true. Rejecting this claim is equivalent to maintaining the claim that; "If null, then B begins to exist." IE B requires no cause. However, the condition set, null is always and in all possible worlds true. Therefore B must exist in all possible worlds and at all possible moments. Thus it couldn't "begin to exist."

    I offerred a defense of it in a debate that, unfortunately, was never finished: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...gical-Argument


    Quote Originally Posted by Frank
    It may have "began to exist"...it may always have existed.
    Except to hold the latter is to reject all modern cosmology and scientific evidence. I don't recall if Chad referenced the Borde-Guth-Valinken theorem, but I'm sure I did at some point. Often, objections are raised that our universe is a bud from a larger multiverse. But as Prof. Sean Carroll pointed out, the conditions of that multi-verse also would hold for the BVG theorem, thus requiring it to be past finite.

    There are extensively detailed defenses of this premise, and neither cyclical, Hawking, or multi-verse models have a past eternal condition that would escape this clause.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    God of the Koran doesn't get capitols?....

    Given what is in the Bible is God's word, if he existed it would/should be undeniable.
    It depends on what literary tradition you come from. My background training, as an historian, was more classical, so no. More relevantly, if I were referring to the diety described by the Koran, especially to a western audience, I would say "Allah."


    I think this really hinges on what you mean by "undeniable."

    Given what you had said earlier, I had interpreted that to mean that no sound arguments could exist that show He doesn't exist. Is that still an accurate understanding?

    If so, then God has made his existence "undeniable." There aren't arguments that are both valid and with true premises supporting that He doesn't exist.

    If you mean something a bit broader about doubt, that is a different discussion.

    Or, we could take a step back a bit. Let's presume, for the sake of argument, that God did exist. What would you expect there to be that we don't have now? How would you expect things to be different?


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    However, you are in quite the minority on this point, for the vast majority of humans that ever lived were not Christian
    This is a little different understanding of "undeniable" than the earlier one. This is more about our ability to believe rather than any set of specific arguments. And I don't think it holds for reasons similar to what I put forward above. The vast majority of humans hold all kinds of incorrect opinions about facts that are patently obvious. We are spectacularly good at denying the obvious. There was a similar discussion here: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...non-believers?

    But sufficed to say, relying on humans to indicate the truth of something is a bit problematic, no?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    We are getting dangerously close to "brains in a vat type of argument" here. Please steer clear....
    And yet, there are people who make exactly that argument. Who make the "the moon is a hologram" argument. Who argue the Earth is flat. Those are exactly my points. There are people that find exactly those kind of terrible, unsupported, unsound arguments persuasive.
    "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.


  10. #209
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Your concern seems here to be with the validity of the argument. That the conclusion does not follow from the premises. I think that that is an interesting concern. I am not unfamiliar with the critiques of this argument over the last several decades and I've yet to see a professional philosopher make that attack. We can show, quite easily and formally, that the argument is a valid one. Your criticism in the following sections seems more focused on the truth value of the premises themselves however, not the structure of the argument really.
    The structure of "the argument" is incoherent, Squatch...a gratuitous mix of unsubstantiated assertions that pretended to lead to a conclusion.



    Let's first start with the structure's validity, then move on below to the individual premises.

    P1: If something began to exist (a) then it has a cause (b). (If A then B).

    P2: The universe began to exist. (A)

    C: Therefore, the universe has a cause (Therefore B).
    That actually was NOT his argument, but let's deal with the argument as being yours.

    Item P1:

    Establish for me that if "something began to exist" it has a cause!

    Don't give it a lot of effort...it cannot be done. It is an assumption. It collapses into an infinitely regressing bit of non-logic.

    If whatever you are saying is the "cause"...it had to begin to be the cause.


    Item P2:

    Establish for me that "the universe began to exist."

    Einstein could not do it; Newton could not do it; Hawking could not do it...so don't spend too much time attempting it.

    We can talk about what people like Einstein, Newton, and Hawking has said about what we humans call "the universe"...but there is no way any of them asserted that what we humans call "the universe" is all that exists.

    And "what actually exists" may or may not have "begun." "What actually exists" may ALWAYS have existed in some form or another. The true nature of the REALITY of existence MAY BE...that "what actually exists is eternal." It always has been and always will be. (See conservation of mass.)

    Of course, it may be that it did not always exist...that it "began to exist."

    But you do not get to assert that in the syllogism...no one gets to assert in either direction because it cannot be established.


    Item C:

    A totally gratuitous conclusion...based on no reasonable premises.






    I think it is hard to escape from the structure of that argument. But do you have a critique of the structure itself? (Setting aside whether the premises are supported or not for now).
    I like your structure better than Chad's...MUCH BETTER.

    So what?

    All four-legged black animals are cats,
    Rover, over there, is a four-legged black animal.
    Therefore Rover is a cat.

    Perfect structure...but if Rover is actually a camel...it is worthless.






    Reviewing Chad's offering I don't think it was a bad defense. It often gets short shrift in debates about this argument because it generally isn't a premise many are willing to object too. There are a couple of primary defenses for it that are relatively straight forward and can be elaborated on in depth.

    1) The Causal Principle is a basic premise of scientific inquiry. It rests at the foundation of science and is generally well accepted and defended. It underlies the experimentally verified claims of both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Thus we have good observational and inductive support.

    2) It is a basic, and widely accepted principle in philosophy. There are certainly some debates around nuance, though those don't result in ideas of spontaneous or self-caused creation.

    3) It is self-evidently true. Rejecting this claim is equivalent to maintaining the claim that; "If null, then B begins to exist." IE B requires no cause. However, the condition set, null is always and in all possible worlds true. Therefore B must exist in all possible worlds and at all possible moments. Thus it couldn't "begin to exist."
    Since Chad is not here to discuss this with me...I'd just as soon abandon his arguments and the counter/pro arguments in that thread. If you would like to defend your syllogism...I will attack it and defend my attack.


    Except to hold the latter is to reject all modern cosmology and scientific evidence. I don't recall if Chad referenced the Borde-Guth-Valinken theorem, but I'm sure I did at some point. Often, objections are raised that our universe is a bud from a larger multiverse. But as Prof. Sean Carroll pointed out, the conditions of that multi-verse also would hold for the BVG theorem, thus requiring it to be past finite.

    There are extensively detailed defenses of this premise, and neither cyclical, Hawking, or multi-verse models have a past eternal condition that would escape this clause.
    A much better, and more logical place to land after considerations of what is being discussed here is:

    I do not know the true nature of the Reality of existence...and as to the question of the existence or non-existence of gods:

    I do not know if gods exist or not;
    I see no reason to suspect gods CANNOT EXIST...that the existence of gods is impossible;
    I see no reason to suspect that gods MUST EXIST...that gods are needed to explain existence;
    I do not see enough unambiguous evidence upon which to base a meaningful guess in either direction...

    ...so I don't.

  11. #210
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    God is three Persons like you, and I are both HUMAN BEINGS, yet distinct persons. I am not you, and you are not me, yet we both constitute was is human. In the same way, God the Father is not God the Son, or God the Spirit. They represent what God is. They (the three) are the one true God, just like you and I are truly human and makeup one humanity. To talk about us as humans does not mean we are the same person. To speak of God as God does not necessarily mean God is one Person. It speaks of one's nature.
    The essence and nature of you and I is a human essence. The essence/nature of God is godly/divine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    I understand what you are saying, but I am still see you/the Christian position, promoting a "triangle with four sides".
    Logically, please lay out your disagreement with what I am saying? Since a four-sided triangle is a logical impossibility are you saying that God cannot be three distinct Persons, united in essence, nature, and love?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    You are speaking of the Mind-Body Problem. Is all we are a physical brain/body, molecular changes in the brain, or is there an essence to us that is not physical?
    It's a problem?...
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Well, again, you seem to be saying thoughts originate outside of the body and somehow get into your brain...
    I'm asking you what you believe.

    I'm saying we are more than just brain/biological matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    If I have taken a life and I am standing before a firing squad, and the law requires life for life, then someone volunteers their life in place of mine, the debt has been paid on my behalf because the law has been met - life for life!
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    If you truly believe this, our conversation is almost over, as our viewpoints are too far off to even agree to basic humanity.

    This is taking "justice" to a perverse level.
    Please explain your reasoning further.

    If someone required you to pay debts owing and you could not afford to pay, then another person stepped in and made the payment for you, would you still owe the debt?

    Since your debt is with God (the penalty for sin is death/separation from His presence for eternity) and another has agreed to pay that debt your issue is with God if you do not accept that payment.

    Again, it boils down to the creature objecting to the terms of the Creator. That is the problem with humanity - humans living on their terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Simple answer: God allowed the devil to influence Adam and Eve for a purpose.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    So God chose that man would "fall".....
    He chose to create a creature with a will to choose, knowing full well the human being would reject his Creator. He allowed that creature to experience life on his/her terms. Look at the world. Look what happens when humanity tries to live without seeking God.

    He leaves His word (the biblical record) for them as a witness.

    With those who read His word, and cry out to Him for mercy, to those, He hears. With His understanding, they see the world for what it is, without justice far too often.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    If He stopped every evil, we would be like robots, or we would be dead because of our sin. But evil is addressed in His time when we physically die.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Yet, no evil in heaven, humans are now perfect or are robots, as you say.
    Make them perfect or robots form the beginning and save a lot of pain.
    When God gives life (spiritual birth/born again/regeneration), He opens the creatures mind and heart to his/her Creator, thus changing the creatures nature. The creature that once hated or was indifferent to his/her Maker now understands how much God loves them and they start to love God. His Word becomes alive to them, and His Spirit gives them understanding into His nature and being. They see His hand of providence upon their life and even when confronted with evil (the inhumanity of humanity) they know God will deliver them and give them a better future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    And no, just because life is created, the creator should not "do with that life whatever they please".
    and
    the God of the Bible is unable to "do whatever he wants" with the life God created by being "all good/moral/perfect/and on.../on.../on...
    Maybe you would do a better job then? (Heaven forbid)

    Look at the state of the world with humanity marching to its own beat.

    I always laugh when a limited, finite, subjective, relative human being thinks he/she knows better than God.

    Can you imagine a world in which Kim Jong-Un, Putin, or President Xi were in control of humanity as a world leader? Life was cheap under Mao, Stalin and Jong-Un's father and grandfather. Life is also cheap under these leaders. They do what they must to retain power.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/mosl...mes-world.html

    https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/DBG.TAB1.2.GIF
    https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/DBG.TAB1.4.GIF
    https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/DBG.TAB1.6.GIF

    https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE2.HTM
    II. THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
    8. The People's Republic of China: Overview
    9. 8,427,000 Victims: The Totalization Period
    10.7,474,000 Victims: Collectivization and "The Great Leap Forward"
    11. 10,729,000 Victims: The Great Famine and Retrenchment Period
    12. 7,731,000 Victims: The "Cultural Revolution"
    13. 874,000 Victims: Liberalization


    https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM
    IMPORTANT NOTE: Among all the democide estimates appearing on this website, and in the table on the lower right, some have been revised upward. I have changed that for Mao's famine, 1958-1962, from zero to 38,000,000. And thus I have had to change the overall democide for the PRC (1928-1987) from 38,702,000 to 76,702,000.

    How would you have liked to live in the Peoples Republic of China during 1928-1987? Would you want to live there now, as one of its citizens, under its governance, censored by the Communist Party and its rules?

    http://whale.to/c/death_by_government1.html
    Of course, saying that a state or regime is a murderer is a convenient personification of an abstraction. Regimes are in reality people with the power to command a whole society. It is these people that have committed the kilo and megamurders of our century and we must not lose their identity under the abstraction of "state," "regime," "government," or "communist." Table 1.4 lists those men most notorious and singularly responsible for the megamurders of this century. Stalin, by far, leads the list. He ordered the death of millions, knowingly set in train events leading to the death of millions of others, and as the ultimate dictator, was responsible for the death of still millions more killed by his henchman. It may come as a surprise to find Mao Tse-tung is next in line as this century's greatest murderers, but this would only be because the full extent of communist killing in China under his leadership has not been widely known in the West. Hitler and Pol Pot are of course among these bloody tyrants and as for the others whose names may appear strange, their megamurders are described in detail in Death By Governments. The monstrous bloodletting of at least these nine men should be entered into a Hall of Infamy. Their names should forever warn us of the deadly potential of Power.

    The major and better known episodes and institutions for which these and other murderers were responsible are listed in table 1.5. Far above all is gulag--the Soviet slave--labor system created by Lenin and built up under Stalin. In some 70 years it likely chewed up almost 40,000,000 lives, over twice as many as probably died in some 400 years of the African slave trade, from capture to sale in an Arab, Oriental, or New World market.

    In total, during the first eighty-eight years of this century, almost 170,000,000 men, women, and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed, or worked to death; or buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed, or killed in any other of the myriad ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens or foreigners. The dead even could conceivably be near 360,000,000 people. This is as though our species has been devastated by a modern Black Plague. And indeed it has, but a plague of Power and not germs.


    http://necrometrics.com/all20c.htm#Total
    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/atrox.htm
    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/tyrants.htm

    Which of these countries would you like to live in:

    NOT FREE (authoritarian regimes/dictatorships) Countries In 2017:
    1. Afghanistan – Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, President of Afghanistan
    2. Algeria – Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria
    3. Angola – João Lourenço, President of Angola (since Sept 26, 2017; replaced Jose Eduardo dos Santos)
    4. Azerbaijan – Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan
    5. Bahrain – King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain
    6. Belarus – Aleksandr Lukashenko, President of Belarus
    7. Brunei – Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah
    8. Burundi – Pierre Nkurunziza, President of Burundi
    9. Cambodia – Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia
    10. Cameroon – Paul Biya, President of Cameroon
    11. Central African Republic – Faustin Archange Touadera
    12. Chad – Idriss Deby, President of Chad
    13. China – Xi Jinping, President of China
    14. Congo, Dem. Rep. of – Joseph Kabila, President of Congo
    15. Congo, Rep of (Brazzaville) – Denis Sassou Nguesso, President
    16. Cuba – Raul Castro, President of Cuba
    17. Djibouti – Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti
    18. Egypt – Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, President of Egypt
    19. Equatorial Guinea – OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO, President
    20. Eritrea – Isaias Afwerki, President of Eritrea
    21. Ethiopia – Girme Wolde Giorgis, President of Ethiopia
    22. Gabon – Albert-Bernard Bongo, President of Gabon
    23. Gambia – Adama Barrow, President of Gambia
    24. Iran – Hassan Rouhan, President of Iran
    25. Iraq – Muhammad Fuad Masum, President of Iraq
    26. Kazakhstan – Nursultan Nazarbaev, President of Kazakhstan
    27. Laos – Bounnhang Vorachith, President (elected on Apr 19, 2016)
    28. Libya – Nouri Abusahmain, President
    29. Mauritania – Mohamed Ould Abd Aziz, President of Mauritania
    30. North Korea – Kim Jong-un, President of North Korea
    31. Oman – Qaboos bin Said Al-Said, Prime Minister of Oman
    32. Qatar – Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani
    33. Russia – Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
    34. Rwanda – Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda
    35. Saudi Arabia – King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia
    36. Somalia – Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of Somalia
    37. South Sudan – Salva Kiir Mayardit, President
    38. Sudan – Omar H.A. Al-Bashier, President of Sudan
    39. Swaziland – Mswati III, King of Swaziland
    40. Syria – Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria
    41. Tajikistan – Emomalii Rahmon, President of Tadjikistan
    42. Thailand – Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand
    43. Turkmenistan – Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, President of Turkmenistan
    44. United Arab Emirates – Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
    45. Uzbekistan – Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Uzbekistan
    46. Venezuela – Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela – CHANGED
    47. Vietnam – Tran Dai Quang, President of Vietnam
    48. Yemen – Ali Abdallah Salih, President of Yemen
    49. Zimbabwe – Robert (Gabriel) Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe
    https://planetrulers.com/current-dictators/

    ***

    (My opinion for the above)

    Socialism at its best!!! Big government!!!

    Yay, corruption!!! Yay, censorship!!! Yay, liberalism!!! Yay, fanaticism!!! Yay, Social Darwinism!!! Yay, subversion!!! Yay, leftists!!! Yay, Democrats!!!

    Dictators blind the people with lies, spin, and half-truths.

    Michael Moore filled his rebuke with vitriol tone and hateful demeanor in addressing Trump's State of the Union speech last night:

    "As we seek to rid ourselves of Trump we must also cleanse our American soul of its white male privilege, its voracious greed, and its enforced ignorance."

    Okay, Michael, you first!

    He is villanizing a whole group of people.

    Michael Moore is a man who uses racially charged language like "rid" and "cleanse" in picking apart white males and the Trump presidency. He paints a false narrative while overlooking all the data that does not support his hateful banter.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know...protest-in-nyc

    Peter

  12. #211
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Given what you had said earlier, I had interpreted that to mean that no sound arguments could exist that show He doesn't exist. Is that still an accurate understanding?
    I was thinking more along the lines of God's existence would be undeniable (or so obvious) that no arguments would be needed for his existence.

    Remember, we are not talking about a human being trying to convince another human of something (religions do this). Your moon example fails for this reason.

    This is God allowing his existence to be known in an undeniable way, so that those who wanted to fallow would know what they were choosing and doing so freely.

    ---------- Post added at 05:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:11 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Or, we could take a step back a bit. Let's presume, for the sake of argument, that God did exist. What would you expect there to be that we don't have now? How would you expect things to be different?
    Big question...

    I, for instance (if we are still on Christianity), would expect that I could know for sure that there was a God if nobody else told me, since God made me to have a relationship with. How would I even come up with the concept except from another human?

    ---------- Post added at 05:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:18 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think it would be an interesting question to ask why you found them wanting. Was it because the arguments weren't valid (logically structured), the premises weren't supported, or was it a sense that it didn't compell you to change your mind?
    When discussing the Christian God, starting with a position like:
    "the universe had a beginning"
    for his necessary existence is an issue. We have no idea what was "before time". All known "physical laws" that we are aware of break down prior to the "big bang", so what can we decipher using those laws? The plain fact is "we" do not know.....

    Given what is in the Bible, it is hard to believe God would only make himself "known" only in the distant past (he used to have "his fingers in everybody's pie" after all......well, ONLY if you lived in the mid-east, the rest of the world was totally unaware of God at all,... funny way to attract followers....)

    ---------- Post added at 06:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:28 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Logically, please lay out your disagreement with what I am saying? Since a four-sided triangle is a logical impossibility are you saying that God cannot be three distinct Persons, united in essence, nature, and love?
    Yes, being three distinct individuals, and one individual at the same time.

    ---------- Post added at 06:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:15 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I'm asking you what you believe.

    I'm saying we are more than just brain/biological matter.
    Though you may be correct and I am open to possibilities, I have seen/heard of no reason to believe thoughts originate somewhere other than the brain.

    ---------- Post added at 06:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:18 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Please explain your reasoning further.

    If someone required you to pay debts owing and you could not afford to pay, then another person stepped in and made the payment for you, would you still owe the debt?
    We weren't talking about debt where we? You said if you murdered someone, someone else was punished and what justice would be. And if this is your idea of justice, I am struggling how we are ever going to come to any kind of understanding.....

    ---------- Post added at 06:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:23 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    He leaves His word (the biblical record) for them as a witness.
    Now, if he just had done something as simple as showing that the Bible WAS his word, you would have a point.

    ---------- Post added at 06:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:25 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Maybe you would do a better job then? (Heaven forbid)
    Maybe we should try, after all, God could change it back after the experiment as if it never happened......

    ---------- Post added at 06:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:26 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    When God gives life (spiritual birth/born again/regeneration), He opens the creatures mind and heart to his/her Creator, thus changing the creatures nature. The creature that once hated or was indifferent to his/her Maker now understands how much God loves them and they start to love God. His Word becomes alive to them, and His Spirit gives them understanding into His nature and being. They see His hand of providence upon their life and even when confronted with evil (the inhumanity of humanity) they know God will deliver them and give them a better future.
    Yet, if God had done this in Eden, we wouldn't be having this discussion.......

    ---------- Post added at 06:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:28 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I always laugh when a limited, finite, subjective, relative human being thinks he/she knows better than God.
    This is a bit disrespectful, since it surely is not certain ANY God exists.....
    I wouldn't "laugh" at theists just because I think they may be incorrect!!

    Making fun of the "ignorant" hardly seems the "Christian" position....

    ---------- Post added at 06:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:31 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Can you imagine a world in which Kim Jong-Un, Putin, or President Xi were in control of humanity as a world leader? Life was cheap under Mao, Stalin and Jong-Un's father and grandfather. Life is also cheap under these leaders. They do what they must to retain power.
    With all due respect, I have no idea why you posted the rest of this as it does not apply to ANY of my comments.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    Item P1:

    Establish for me that if "something began to exist" it has a cause!

    We need to distinguish between two separate parts of the argument, its structure, and the premises' truth value. Ie is it valid, and is it sound.

    A deductive argument is said to be valid if and only if it takes a form that makes it impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion nevertheless to be false. Otherwise, a deductive argument is said to be invalid.

    A deductive argument is sound if and only if it is both valid, and all of its premises are actually true. Otherwise, a deductive argument is unsound.
    http://www.iep.utm.edu/val-snd/


    So the first question is, is the structure of the argument valid? Set aside whether the premises are true or correct for just a moment, you'll get a chance on those in just a minute. Is the structure of this argument valid?

    P1: If something began to exist (a) then it has a cause (b). (If A then B).

    P2: The universe began to exist. (A)

    C: Therefore, the universe has a cause (Therefore B).



    Quote Originally Posted by Frank
    All four-legged black animals are cats,
    Rover, over there, is a four-legged black animal.
    Therefore Rover is a cat.

    Perfect structure...but if Rover is actually a camel...it is worthless.
    Right, the argument here is valid, but unsound. For a conclusion to be true, the argument must be both. So the first question is it valid? The answer is, via the transitive property, yes it is valid. But premise 1 (at least) is incorrect. Thus the conclusion isn't sound.

    If we can agree that the above argumetn is valid, it lets us hone in a bit more on disagreements rather than broad issues with little room for discussion.




    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    I was thinking more along the lines of God's existence would be undeniable (or so obvious) that no arguments would be needed for his existence.
    I think that that is exactly why the moon example works so well. It isn't a human being trying to convince another human being. It is a giant, objective fact. Hanging there in the sky for anyone to verify with his own eyes. Or if one wanted to go deeper, she could go to an observatory, learn physics and astrophysics, etc. There is both depth possible in this conviction, or the relying on of a giant observable fact.

    But yet, there are still sizable portions of the population that think it doesn't exist. Not because some argument failed, or they live underground, etc. If the giant, objective fact of the moon has dissent, what exactly do we suppose God could do in order to be undeniable?
    "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: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    We need to distinguish between two separate parts of the argument, its structure, and the premises' truth value. Ie is it valid, and is it sound.

    A deductive argument is said to be valid if and only if it takes a form that makes it impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion nevertheless to be false. Otherwise, a deductive argument is said to be invalid.

    A deductive argument is sound if and only if it is both valid, and all of its premises are actually true. Otherwise, a deductive argument is unsound.
    http://www.iep.utm.edu/val-snd/


    So the first question is, is the structure of the argument valid?
    The structure of YOUR argument IS valid. The structure of his argument is incoherent...or if you prefer, incoherence. Your argument and his are not A = B.

    So I acknowledge that the structure of your argument IS VALID.

    But your P1 and P2...are of the value of the P1 that ended up with Rover being a cat.

    Can we get to that?



    Set aside whether the premises are true or correct for just a moment, you'll get a chance on those in just a minute. Is the structure of this argument valid?

    P1: If something began to exist (a) then it has a cause (b). (If A then B).

    P2: The universe began to exist. (A)

    C: Therefore, the universe has a cause (Therefore B).
    Okay, Squatch...asked and answered.





    Right, the argument here is valid, but unsound. For a conclusion to be true, the argument must be both. So the first question is it valid? The answer is, via the transitive property, yes it is valid. But premise 1 (at least) is incorrect. Thus the conclusion isn't sound.

    If we can agree that the above argumetn is valid, it lets us hone in a bit more on disagreements rather than broad issues with little room for discussion.
    That is what I would like to get to.

    What say we do it?

    ---------- Post added at 01:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:37 PM ----------

    When I went back, I realized I left out an important word in my challenge earlier..."therefore."

    So here is the challenge corrected:

    Getting to "C" is no problem...we can simply start from there.

    Let "C" be any of the following:

    C: Therefore, there exists at least one god.
    C: Therefore, it is more likely that at least one god exists than that no gods exist.
    C: Therefore, no gods exist.
    C: Therefore, it is more likely that no gods exist than that at least one god exists.

    Give me a P1 and P2 that arrives at any of them.

    I ask anyone who doubts my earlier assertion to that it seems impossible to do...to do it.

  15. #214
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Logically, please lay out your disagreement with what I am saying? Since a four-sided triangle is a logical impossibility are you saying that God cannot be three distinct Persons, united in essence, nature, and love?
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Yes, being three distinct individuals, and one individual at the same time.
    It is obvious you do not understand the concept of the Trinity. I NEVER argued that the three distinct Persons were one Person. I explained that the three different Persons are (the one) God. There is no other God. Everything else is human-made idols, images made in man's image.

    You are a human. I am a human. We are not the same person yet we share the nature of humanness. How does my being a separate person from you make me any less of a human being?

    How does the Son being a different Person than the Father make His nature other than God?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    I'm asking you what you believe.

    I'm saying we are more than just brain/biological matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Though you may be correct and I am open to possibilities, I have seen/heard of no reason to believe thoughts originate somewhere other than the brain.
    You will have to identify your particular worldview below so we can talk about it more, but out of curiosity how much does your thought weigh and how long is it? All states of matter have a physicality to them. Are you more than matter?

    What is consciousness? Is it just neurons firing in the brain, a state of the brain? How do you grab hold of a thought? Can you prove to me it is a physical thing?

    Moreland also breaks up the consciousness into five areas: sensations, thoughts, beliefs, desires, and volitions or acts of free choice.

    http://www.newdualism.org/papers/J.M...f_the_soul.pdf

    How can something be invisible if material/matter is all there is?

    We see the effects of gravity, but I challenge you to grab hold of it. In the same way, is your identity (what makes you the person you are) something that is physical? If everything derives from material then why are some things non-material? How can that be? Do you have a reasonable explanation?

    If "nature" is what governs our minds (determinism), there is no free will. Our brains are directed by our environment and genetics so that good and evil cannot be charged against us - we are just biological bags of atoms responding to our surroundings. (Goodbye morality) All my choices have been predetermined for me by these physical factors so how can I be held responsible for what my body does? It is just reacting to its environment.

    In the above scenario, you borrow from my worldview every time you say something is right or wrong. You employ something alien to what makes your worldview tick, the making sense of morality. This borrowing shows an inconsistency with the way you think about life. Your worldview, alone, cannot make sense of itself. You can't hold someone responsible for their actions if all they are is matter responding to their environment. If the atheist worldview were correct what Hitler did to 11-12 million undesirables was just the brain and genetics reacting to its environment. He responds one way, you another. What is good or bad about that?

    According to J.P. Moreland (regarding Penfield mapping the human brain and probing the cerebral cortex), no place Penfield probed makes a person believe or decide. According to J.P. Moreland, Roger Sperry discovered the mind had a causal power apart from the brains activities.

    https://verticallivingministries.com...-j-p-moreland/

    The article (an interview by Lee Stroebel he documented in his book) goes on to make a point about truth being independent of each mind. Thoughts are true or false independent of the thinker.

    "No scientist can look at the state of my brain and say, ‘Oh, that particular brain state is true and that one’s false.’ So there’s something true of my conscious states that are not true of any of my brain states, and consequently they can’t be the same thing. “Nothing in my brain is about anything. You can’t open up my head and say, ‘You see this electrical pattern in the left hemisphere of J. P. Moreland’s brain? That’s about the Bears.’ Your brain states aren’t about anything, but some of my mental states are. So they’re different."

    Think about that.

    Moreland goes on to talk about the "binding problem." He contends that no SINGLE part of the brain activates corresponds to the experience you get when you absorb a room and its content.

    Which view from the following do you subscribe?
    http://www.theologylived.com/wordpre...-The-Mind1.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Please explain your reasoning further.

    If someone required you to pay debts owing and you could not afford to pay, then another person stepped in and made the payment for you, would you still owe the debt?
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    We weren't talking about debt where we?
    Sure we are. If you have wronged someone you have a debt to pay to compensate for those wrongs/ed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    You said if you murdered someone, someone else was punished and what justice would be. And if this is your idea of justice, I am struggling how we are ever going to come to any kind of understanding.....
    Who have you wronged? Sin wrongs God. He says the penalty for sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:21-26; Romans 4:4-5; Romans 6:23)

    A gift is not something you work to achieve. You receive it graciously!

    If a person thinks they can stand before God in their righteousness, the merit they have earned, once breaking the law of God (and His perfection) they have got it wrong. That is why He sent His Son. He sent Him to do the works of God, the works that no man had been able to do and none have since by their ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    He leaves His word (the biblical record) for them as a witness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Now, if he just had done something as simple as showing that the Bible WAS his word, you would have a point.
    He has.

    Frank does not want to see the evidence. I've laid out one aspect for you all briefly (prophecy) and challenged you all (and many others) to dispute it. They never do. Their lack of knowledge is pathetic. Their mantra is there is no evidence (a tired fiction). How do you convince someone who does not want to see it? You can't. Their confirmation bias prevents them seeing the forest for the trees. It would be pointless to show someone the evidence in such a case. They would make up one excuse after another, always justifying their point of view, even though it conflicts with the definition of evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Maybe you would do a better job then? (Heaven forbid)
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Maybe we should try, after all, God could change it back after the experiment as if it never happened......
    God is entirely pure and holy. Why would He allow beings in His presence who have sinned against Him and will continue to do so?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    When God gives life (spiritual birth/born again/regeneration), He opens the creatures mind and heart to his/her Creator, thus changing the creatures nature. The creature that once hated or was indifferent to his/her Maker now understands how much God loves them and they start to love God. His Word becomes alive to them, and His Spirit gives them understanding into His nature and being. They see His hand of providence upon their life and even when confronted with evil (the inhumanity of humanity) they know God will deliver them and give them a better future.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Yet, if God had done this in Eden, we wouldn't be having this discussion.......
    He let humanity see the consequences of choosing to live apart from Him and His goodness. We have spoken of morality before, and I always like to know how a person, apart from God, can make sense of morality. I have not found a satisfactory answer without first presupposing God. It boils down to why your relative, subjective OPINION is any better than any other subjective opinion. Justify that it is without an ultimate revealed source/reference point.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    I always laugh when a limited, finite, subjective, relative human being thinks he/she knows better than God.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    This is a bit disrespectful, since it surely is not certain ANY God exists.....
    I wouldn't "laugh" at theists just because I think they may be incorrect!!
    I apology for being blunt but the atheist denies his/her Creator. Many times in my years of disputing the subject of God atheists have been very arrogant in speaking of Someone who they deny as if they know more than the Christian about the God Christians worship and love. I do not include you as being in that category of arrogant. I have found you have been very respectful.

    No surety for YOU. I am sure God is. I do not doubt His existence. You could argue that no human can be sure/certain, but that begs the question of how a person who is uncertain can know. What is NECESSARY for surety? My worldview has what is necessary.

    I think when someone puts forth their subjective ideas as better than (any) other subjective opinion but has no certainty, it kills their argument for it is self-refuting/defeating. When there is no objective, ultimate, universal source that is best better it is just ludicrous. Better in whose eyes - Kim Jong-Un?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Making fun of the "ignorant" hardly seems the "Christian" position....
    My position is that of Romans 1:

    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    When a person looks at the world and the universe and thinks that random, chance, unintelligent, purposely happenstance is responsible for this complexity and diversity, I believe they suppress the truth of God for a lie. They drown out God's revelation.

    When a person continually hardens their heart/mind to God, He gives them over to their immorality, lets them do what ought not to be done.

    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    Jesus always had a caveat; those who have ears, let them hear. Not everyone will listen. They are intent on showing up God if that were possible. They continually strive against their Creator, knowing the penalty for doing so. I speak of these things because God is merciful. He has been gracious to me! I do not deserve His goodness.

    God is very plain with us - all have sinned and fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:9-18).

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Can you imagine a world in which Kim Jong-Un, Putin, or President Xi were in control of humanity as a world leader? Life was cheap under Mao, Stalin and Jong-Un's father and grandfather. Life is also cheap under these leaders. They do what they must to retain power.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    With all due respect, I have no idea why you posted the rest of this as it does not apply to ANY of my comments.
    I wanted to show you that when humanity lives outside of God's goodness, all hell breaks loose - that simple.

    Peter

  16. #215
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think that that is exactly why the moon example works so well. It isn't a human being trying to convince another human being. It is a giant, objective fact. Hanging there in the sky for anyone to verify with his own eyes. Or if one wanted to go deeper, she could go to an observatory, learn physics and astrophysics, etc. There is both depth possible in this conviction, or the relying on of a giant observable fact.

    But yet, there are still sizable portions of the population that think it doesn't exist. Not because some argument failed, or they live underground, etc. If the giant, objective fact of the moon has dissent, what exactly do we suppose God could do in order to be undeniable?
    This is still a human arguing with another human what the moon actually "is". They both agree something is there be it a hologram or something else..
    Also, obviously the people that are denying the moon is "real" believe that other things are real. So we are back to different people need different levels of evidence. If the hologram people could actually stand on the moon (for instance) most would agree it's there and "real".

    Now God knows what it would take to convince any given person and if he can create a universe on a whim, he surely can convey that he exists to humans.

    You didn't answer me that if we were in person talking, do you think you could make a convincing argument that you don't exist?

    I still see no reason why if the Christian God exists that any argument would be needed to show that it was so???

    God knows what it woud take

    ---------- Post added at 05:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:01 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    P1: If something began to exist (a) then it has a cause (b). (If A then B).
    Please show what was before time began?

    Or IOW,

    No one has any real idea what was before "the big bang" (when time began), since nothing about our current physical laws would apply.

    ---------- Post added at 06:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:07 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    It is obvious you do not understand the concept of the Trinity. I NEVER argued that the three distinct Persons were one Person. I explained that the three different Persons are (the one) God. There is no other God. Everything else is human-made idols, images made in man's image.
    It is "obvious" indeed Peter

    You and I being human in no way at all equates to we are also "one" at the same time. This analogy fails.

    Three distinct individuals/persons/entities/whatever the noun, can not also be "one" individual etc, at the same time. Logical impossibility.

    Plus, the people chosen to spread "the message" disagree this is the case. You say they are mistaken, but why are they the "chosen", if they are spreading a false message?

    ---------- Post added at 06:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:23 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    You will have to identify your particular worldview below so we can talk about it more, but out of curiosity how much does your thought weigh and how long is it? All states of matter have a physicality to them. Are you more than matter?

    What is consciousness? Is it just neurons firing in the brain, a state of the brain? How do you grab hold of a thought? Can you prove to me it is a physical thing?
    I will do my best to tell you my world view, but it has some "I don't know's in it".

    A functional MRI can "grab" hold of your thoughts as you think them. If you think of a cat, it can be shown on such a machine, the image you are seeing in your mind.
    It's a fascinating (yet scary) thing if you haven't heard of it before.

    ---------- Post added at 06:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:27 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    He has.

    Frank does not want to see the evidence. I've laid out one aspect for you all briefly (prophecy) and challenged you all (and many others) to dispute it. They never do. Their lack of knowledge is pathetic. Their mantra is there is no evidence (a tired fiction). How do you convince someone who does not want to see it? You can't. Their confirmation bias prevents them seeing the forest for the trees. It would be pointless to show someone the evidence in such a case. They would make up one excuse after another, always justifying their point of view, even though it conflicts with the definition of evidence.
    Yes, and most humans that have ever lived disagree with you.

    If the Bible was God's word, why would a human have to tell me it was so?
    Why would it not be self evident?

    ---------- Post added at 06:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:30 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    God is entirely pure and holy. Why would He allow beings in His presence who have sinned against Him and will continue to do so?
    Perhaps because he knew we would be this way, before he created us (this way).
    That we turned out the way he already knew we would, is no reason to punish anyone....

    ---------- Post added at 06:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:32 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I apology for being blunt but the atheist denies his/her Creator. Many times in my years of disputing the subject of God atheists have been very arrogant in speaking of Someone who they deny as if they know more than the Christian about the God Christians worship and love. I do not include you as being in that category of arrogant. I have found you have been very respectful.
    It wasn't blunt, it was smug and insulting.
    Telling you it was smug and insulting was blunt, a fairly large difference...

    I appreciate you acknowledge my behavior as respectful.

    ---------- Post added at 06:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:34 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    He let humanity see the consequences of choosing to live apart from Him and His goodness. We have spoken of morality before, and I always like to know how a person, apart from God, can make sense of morality. I have not found a satisfactory answer without first presupposing God. It boils down to why your relative, subjective OPINION is any better than any other subjective opinion. Justify that it is without an ultimate revealed source/reference point.
    This doesn't even come close to answering why humans will suddenly be sinless (whatever that is) in heavan, but it is unattainable on earth!?!?!?!?!?!?

    ---------- Post added at 06:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:38 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    My position is that of Romans 1:
    Your position is "the Bible is God's word", now if we could get God to acknowledge you are correct, I would be completely satisfied
    Last edited by Belthazor; February 1st, 2018 at 06:20 PM.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    The structure of YOUR argument IS valid.
    Pefect, thank you for your patience, I just wanted to hone in on the disagreement to prevent us talking past each other.

    Ok, let's put forward a defense of P1 and P2.

    Premise 1

    This is generally considered a relatively fundamental law of causation. Changes in state (going from not existing to existing) require causation. We should consider that any effect that lacks a cause becomes, by definition "necessary." And self sufficient effects cannot, by definition "begin." It is also self-evidently true. Rejecting this claim is equivalent to maintaining the claim that; "If null, then B begins to exist." However, the condition set, null is always and in all possible worlds true. Therefore B must exist in all possible worlds and at all possible moments. Thus it couldn't "begin to exist."

    In the past, some have sought to object to this premise by forwarding different aspects of Quantum Mechanics. These fail however because the causal mechanism still exists, it is the quantum wave function. The confusion often arises because we confuse a probabilistic cause for no cause at all. If there was a random number generator that killed a cat on odd numbers, we wouldn't say that the cat's death was uncaused.



    Premise 2

    This premise also is generally scientifically accepted. Inflationary cosmology dictates that the universe began from a near singularity. I think it is important here to point out that time is a physical dimension of our universe, just like the other dimensions. Just as they expanded from a singularity, so did the temporal dimension of our universe. This necessitates a beginning of the universe when the temporal dimension was a singularity as well.

    Objections to this premise are usually in the form of alternative hypotheses about our current universe. Historically, the steady state universe was used. That is to say, it was argued until recently that the universe is eternal, that it had always been. This is problematic for several reasons. Primary amongst them is the evidence indicating the universe is expanding. It is for this reason that virtually no cosmologist holds to steady state theory today. The historic objection also still holds. If the universe was eternal, we would expect that all the stars and galaxies to have burned out by now. If there is an infinite past, an infinite amount of time would already have occurred, which is far greater than the possible time limit on all the fission of all the matter in the universe.

    The first modification of this theory to deal with the expansion of the universe came with the cyclic model. In which the universe expands, collapses and expands again. This theory however fails because it also cannot recede into the infinite past. Entropy between cycles would build up causing later cycles to be high entropy states and prohibit matter and star formation[I. D. Novikov and Ya. B. Zel’dovich (1973) Physical Processes Near Cosmological Singularities Annu. Rev. Astro. Astrophys. 11 387-412]. Again, if the universe were infinitely old, this would have already occurred and we could not observe star formation now.

    Finally, the most modern objection arises from an appeal to a multiverse or multiple universes. This objection also fails for two reasons. One, since it produces a temporal effect, the multiverse itself would need a temporal component (non intentful causes cannot act outside of a dimension they exist in), making it open to the same appeals to an infinite past that we have above. Two, a multi-verse hypothesis would need to be reconciled to the Borde-Vilinken-Guth Theorem which prohibits low entropy, expanding universes (ie the kind we live in) from any multiverse. To date, no reconciliation has been put forward, with Stephen Hawking noting that this is the single greatest objection to his views.


    While I recognize that this argument does not yet result in one of the conclusions you put forward, please bear with me, we'll get there.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    This is still a human arguing with another human what the moon actually "is".
    Well not exactly. My point is that even absent any other person, there is some set of people that would look at the moon and generate a belief that counter to obvious fact. We have the same principle with reptilian conspiracies, WWII, the holocaust, the JFK assassination, the flat earth etc. etc. People, on their own, reject clear, blatant, obvious evidence and conclusions based on their own paradigms, congitive biases, and preconceptions.

    I think you are almost there when you say that people require different levels of evidence. I would only add that some people require a progressively different level of evidence based on what is presented. You said that if we could fly those people to the moon they would drop the holographic moon theory. However, we've seen something similar where, when presented with evidence of the moon's physical existence, they shift their story to the sattellite moon theory, etc, etc. When we are talking about what is feasible for God to do, we need to not underestimate exactly how stubborn of beings humans really are.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Now God knows what it would take to convince any given person and if he can create a universe on a whim, he surely can convey that he exists to humans.
    He could certainly actualize a state of affairs necessary to convince any given person, but that is different ask from saying that he could actualize a state of affairs with every single person simultaneously. That claim doesn't seem very obvious to me. We would have to be sure that none of those criteria are mutually exclusive. And that none of those criteria violate God's goodness. And that none of those criteria lead others to unbelief (or just as importantly, to rejection in belief). And that those criteria, when simultaneously executed don't produce a net worse moral world. I'm not sure all of those conditions are possible to show and it doesn't seem intuitive (given how I understand humanity's history) that these would be the case.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    You didn't answer me that if we were in person talking, do you think you could make a convincing argument that you don't exist?
    I didn't think it was relevant to my point as stated, so I skipped it. To elaborate, this is a different hurddle than the one we are putting on God. The question isn't could I convince you that I don't exist, rather it would be; "If I was standing face to face with someone who believes the brain in the vat theory, could I make a convincing argument that I do exist?"

    I'm not sure I can. They already discount any evidence I provide based on their underlying assumption that that evidence is from a non-real source. If we are going to start with that limitation, is there something I can really do?



    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor
    Please show what was before time began?
    It depends greatly on what you mean by "before."

    If you mean "before in time" then the question is meaningless, there is no "time before" the big bang, since that is the point our temporal dimension began to exist.

    If you mean causally before, ie a pre-existing cause, then we can suss out some details. (Sorry this is somewhat long winded)

    Given that we are talking about causally before the big bang, we would need to establish what is causally required in order to elicit the effect (the big bang) and we would need to understand what limitation would need to be in effect.

    Since, in this state of affairs there are no physical or temporal dimensions (those are internal to our universe), it would need to be both aphysical and atemporal. Both of these terms mean that the item in question lacks physical and temporal characteristics. Given that both time and space are properties of this universe and that an effect cannot be its own cause (a logical paradox), we see that the cause defined in our conclusion cannot exhibit properties of its own effect.

    Since the universe is temporally finite (it begins to exist at the big bang), we know that the cause cannot be a mechanistic cause (IE if the cause exists the effect exists) because we can describe a state of affairs where the cause exists, but the effect does not. Likewise, we can say that the cause is not a probabilistic cause either. Probabilistic causes require a dimension to act along. IE along a temporal dimension (chance over time) or a physical one (chance over distance). However, all probabilistic causes must act along the dimensions that they elicit effects within. IE, a quantum wave function acts along a temporal and physical dimension to create an effect in both (a particle’s location). You cannot have a quantum wave function (or any other probability function) that only discusses time, but produces a physical effect. Given now that we’ve ruled out those two methods of causation we are only left with intent. Only a cause that has an intent can demonstrate the attributes labeled above. Only an intentful cause can create information that is not found within itself. IE all causes except intentful ones have temporal information within them if they act temporally, physical information within them if they act physically, etc.

    In order for a cause to be sufficient to cause the universe, it must be able to actualize states of affairs related to all the specifics of our universe. It must be able to affect physical laws, physical constants, and dimensionless constants. This ability fits the definition of omnipotent as usually defined within philosophy.
    "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: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Pefect, thank you for your patience, I just wanted to hone in on the disagreement to prevent us talking past each other.

    Ok, let's put forward a defense of P1 and P2.

    Premise 1

    This is generally considered a relatively fundamental law of causation. Changes in state (going from not existing to existing) require causation. We should consider that any effect that lacks a cause becomes, by definition "necessary." And self sufficient effects cannot, by definition "begin." It is also self-evidently true. Rejecting this claim is equivalent to maintaining the claim that; "If null, then B begins to exist." However, the condition set, null is always and in all possible worlds true. Therefore B must exist in all possible worlds and at all possible moments. Thus it couldn't "begin to exist."

    In the past, some have sought to object to this premise by forwarding different aspects of Quantum Mechanics. These fail however because the causal mechanism still exists, it is the quantum wave function. The confusion often arises because we confuse a probabilistic cause for no cause at all. If there was a random number generator that killed a cat on odd numbers, we wouldn't say that the cat's death was uncaused.
    Not even close, Squatch!

    We'll take this piece by piece...dealing with this first part until we reach agreement...and then move on to the other elements of your argument.

    Your P1 is: If something began to exist (a) then it has a cause (b). (If A then B)...which I see as a totally unsubstantiated assertion (and probably unsustainable)...gratuitously asserted in order to arrive at a C at which you want to arrive.

    Anyway, forgetting for a second that the conditional in a syllogism can be (may be) okay in a C...it is totally inappropriate in a major or minor premise unless you are willing to have your C include the introductory words, "Therefore it is possible that... . Your C does not have such a conditional prefix. If you are willing to have your C be reworded to, "Therefore it is possible that the universe has a cause"...I buy it completely. In fact, no need for all this writing. I am willing to concede up front that it is possible that the universe has a cause...and I am even willing to concede that the "cause" is a personal GOD.

    What good is that?

    But putting all that aside...the problem one runs into with the "If something exists" or (in my opinion, failed) attempt to make it more logical "IF something began to exist..." then it has a cause...is that it demands an infinite regression. If you can find an exception...and merely introducing the assertion REQUIRES an exception...it contradicts itself.

    Even if one could sell the notion "If a thing exists..." or "If a thing begins to exist..." it has to have a cause...one would also have to assert that any cause found...itself had a cause...or in that latter case, never "began" to exist. If there is an uncaused cause...the argument defeats itself.

    Talk to me more about that...

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think you are almost there when you say that people require different levels of evidence. I would only add that some people require a progressively different level of evidence based on what is presented. You said that if we could fly those people to the moon they would drop the holographic moon theory. However, we've seen something similar where, when presented with evidence of the moon's physical existence, they shift their story to the sattellite moon theory, etc, etc. When we are talking about what is feasible for God to do, we need to not underestimate exactly how stubborn of beings humans really are.
    Most "holgrammers" would believe the moon was there if they were standing on it.

    But God has all aces in his hand. If he can create molecules and their interactions (for instance), the absurd complexity that is biology just by a "thought", surely he can communicate his existence so that all who care would know and accept it.
    God knows the future/past. He knows what you will do next before you do.

    Now
    1. I have been given no reason to expect that he could not make his existence "clear"

    and more importantly (to me anyway)

    2. I am not such a person that denies the incredibly obvious and God is not "clear" to me at all. I would be genuinely interested to know that he existed and to be honest, I have no interest in denying any truth, especially if it affected my world view. I am SURE I believe things that are not true, and I am actively searching them out. So, again, you "Moon" analogy isn't working for me (in this case).

    ---------- Post added at 05:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:07 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post

    I didn't think it was relevant to my point as stated, so I skipped it.
    I did or I wouldn't have wasted my time typing it, nor your time reading it

    ---------- Post added at 05:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:09 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I didn't think it was relevant to my point as stated, so I skipped it. To elaborate, this is a different hurddle than the one we are putting on God. The question isn't could I convince you that I don't exist, rather it would be; "If I was standing face to face with someone who believes the brain in the vat theory, could I make a convincing argument that I do exist?"
    Depends on the point you are trying to make I guess.

    I still think it's a fair question, care to answer it...

    ---------- Post added at 05:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:12 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post

    It depends greatly on what you mean by "before."
    Exactly.
    "What happened before time began?" is a lot like asking "what is north of the north pole?"

    When you discuss the "cause" of the universe you are discussing what happened at a "time before time began"....this seems problematic...

    I believe you said the universe was a "near singularity" prior to the Big Bang and then expanded. So all of the current amount of mass and energy was contained at that point.

    It sounds like the only thing that "began" at the Big Bang was "time", as the matter and energy of the universe existed, just incredibly small point in space. The expansion just allowed our current physical laws to develop.

    ---------- Post added at 05:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:33 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Given that we are talking about causally before the big bang, we would need to establish what is causally required in order to elicit the effect (the big bang) and we would need to understand what limitation would need to be in effect.
    However, given that EVERYTHING we "know" does not apply prior to the Big Bang, how can you say these things???

    Your "law of causation" (to paraphrase) may apply to the current state of our current universe, but means very little in the pre Big Bang era where all "known physical laws" no longer exist.

    QM shows us that "illogical" things happen whether it makes sense to humans or not and that works in the here and now. This wouldn't even apply pre-Big Bang era!
    Nothing "we know" would apply. You just can't make informed predictions in such a state of affairs.....
    Last edited by Belthazor; February 2nd, 2018 at 05:13 PM.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    It is obvious you do not understand the concept of the Trinity. I NEVER argued that the three distinct Persons were one Person. I explained that the three different Persons are (the one) God. There is no other God. Everything else is human-made idols, images made in man's image.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    It is "obvious" indeed Peter

    You and I being human in no way at all equates to we are also "one" at the same time. This analogy fails.
    I hope you are not misunderstanding or misrepresenting the analogy in your mind that I used. I have not argued that you and I are the same person. Do you understand that? I specifically noted that you are not me, and I am not you, yet you seem to equate from what I said that 'we' are 'one' (in person), OR that we don't share the ONE nature - that of humanness. How are you reading what I said?

    I explained that we both have the same nature - that of humanness, we belong to one humanity. Do you deny this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Three distinct individuals/persons/entities/whatever the noun, can not also be "one" individual etc, at the same time. Logical impossibility.
    You keep reading three individuals equals one individual. Where have I ever said that?

    As you are not me, and I am not you (we are separate people), so the Father is not the Son, nor the Son the Father. They are distinct, different, unique Persons. You are human; I am human; the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. How is that illogical?

    What do you class as a human being? Is it not those who share a human nature?

    The classification of God would be a Person, or Persons, who has/have the nature of God.

    The Bible, specifically the NT, classifies God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three Persons share the SAME nature - God. In essence, they are all omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, eternal. That is the nature of God.

    The three Beings are the one and only true God. All humans are one humanity.

    Would you like me to identify for you in Scripture that each of these three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all share the same attributes that only God has?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Plus, the people chosen to spread "the message" disagree this is the case. You say they are mistaken, but why are they the "chosen", if they are spreading a false message?
    This is not true. The apostles and writers of the NT continually reveal the Son is God, just as the Father is God. They continual teach the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father.

    John 1:1-2 (NASB)
    The Deity of Jesus Christ
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.
    The Word Made Flesh
    14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the [b] only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

    [b] John 1:14 Or unique, only one of His kind

    Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB)
    5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.


    If He exists in the form of God, then He is God, yet He is not the Father. Therefore, God is more than the Father. The THREE Persons are the ONE true God. They make up the godhood, like you and I and every other human being makes up the one humanity.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    You will have to identify your particular worldview below so we can talk about it more, but out of curiosity how much does your thought weigh and how long is it? All states of matter have a physicality to them. Are you more than matter?

    What is consciousness? Is it just neurons firing in the brain, a state of the brain? How do you grab hold of a thought? Can you prove to me it is a physical thing?
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    I will do my best to tell you my world view, but it has some "I don't know's in it".

    A functional MRI can "grab" hold of your thoughts as you think them. If you think of a cat, it can be shown on such a machine, the image you are seeing in your mind.
    It's a fascinating (yet scary) thing if you haven't heard of it before.
    It shows an area of brain activity where electrons are firing.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    He has.

    Frank does not want to see the evidence. I've laid out one aspect for you all briefly (prophecy) and challenged you all (and many others) to dispute it. They never do. Their lack of knowledge is pathetic. Their mantra is there is no evidence (a tired fiction). How do you convince someone who does not want to see it? You can't. Their confirmation bias prevents them seeing the forest for the trees. It would be pointless to show someone the evidence in such a case. They would make up one excuse after another, always justifying their point of view, even though it conflicts with the definition of evidence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Yes, and most humans that have ever lived disagree with you.
    Because most people disagree does not make it false. I have asked people who disagree with the evidence to disprove it. What I find is that these people do not have a good understanding of the themes of Scripture and the history of the times. Thus, I continually ask those who doubt the evidence to show from their worldview stance that the evidence is unreasonable and illogical. THEY CAN'T do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    If the Bible was God's word, why would a human have to tell me it was so?
    Why would it not be self evident?
    When you look at the universe, you see evidence of purpose and meaning in it. You continue to search for meaning and purpose. That is what you do here. If the universe is meaningless and purposeless why would we find meaning and purpose in it?

    So God has given the physical universe as a revelation of His existence (Romans 1:19-20).

    19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

    He has also given us His written word.

    I have explained this via Scripture. It is because people deny the truth of God to do their own thing.

    21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened....23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

    When people refuse to acknowledge God, repeatedly, He gives them over to their own desires.

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen...
    26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,...
    28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

    So, in these passages, you see that human beings are unwilling to acknowledge God. Thus, God gives them over to their degradation. This depravity is what you witness every day in this world in the inhumanity you see over and over again.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    God is entirely pure and holy. Why would He allow beings in His presence who have sinned against Him and will continue to do so?
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Perhaps because he knew we would be this way, before he created us (this way).
    That we turned out the way he already knew we would, is no reason to punish anyone....
    So, if your child misbehaves and destroyed something very precious to you, there would be no reason to warn it or punish it? Adam disrespected something very precious to God, purity and goodness.

    Even though God gave Adam free will, the ability to choose, God gave Adam warnings of the consequences. A parent does the same thing with a child - "Don't touch the hot stove or you will get burnt." The child finds out for themselves that something is hot at their peril by disregarding theirparent's command.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    I apologize for being blunt but the atheist denies his/her Creator. Many times in my years of disputing the subject of God atheists have been very arrogant in speaking of Someone who they deny as if they know more than the Christian about the God Christians worship and love. I do not include you as being in that category of arrogant. I have found you have been very respectful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    It wasn't blunt, it was smug and insulting.
    Telling you it was smug and insulting was blunt, a fairly large difference...
    Sure, it was blunt. It was true to the account the Bible gives. I laid that argument out in Romans 1. God is evident to all, but people deny the truth of God because of their unrighteousness. That denial hardens their hearts to God. That was true of me and every other human being. By ignoring God and His revelation are you not being smug also? Do you not see your position as morally superior to what you perceive as the biblical position? Are you not contending with your Maker, and refuse to acknowledge this? According to a biblical view you are. So, my position reflects what the Bible says about humanity, and more specifically you.

    SMUG: showing a superior attitude

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    I appreciate you acknowledge my behavior as respectful.
    I do not hold ill-will towards you.

    I just happen to speak my mind as I reflect on the biblical position. As Paul said to his 1st-century audience of address:

    14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. - 1 Corinthians 2:14-16)

    Paul was directly speaking about those of his day who were trying to understand everything in a naturalistic light. Israel was looking for a physical conquerer and king who would sit on a throne in the physical Jerusalem. Yet Jesus said:

    John 4:23-24 (NASB)
    23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    2 Corinthians 3:14
    But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.

    Ephesians 1:3
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    He let humanity see the consequences of choosing to live apart from Him and His goodness. We have spoken of morality before, and I always like to know how a person, apart from God, can make sense of morality. I have not found a satisfactory answer without first presupposing God. It boils down to why your relative, subjective OPINION is any better than any other subjective opinion. Justify that it is without an ultimate revealed source/reference point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    This doesn't even come close to answering why humans will suddenly be sinless (whatever that is) in heavan, but it is unattainable on earth!?!?!?!?!?!?
    We, as humans only stand sinless before God because of the perfect sacrifice for sin, not of our accord/merit. If you try to live by your merit, you will be judged on that merit.

    Have you ever sinned? Then you will have to pay the penalty if you do not accept the gift God offers you.

    For those who believe God, via Jesus Christ, He gives a new spirit, a spirit of understanding in which we can see what God has done for us; a spirit that loves God instead of hates Him or is indifferent to Him. That eye-opening event (being born again, regeneration) changes our nature, our disposition towards God. It is by His grace, in the form of His Word, by the actions of His Spirit, and by the works and mercy of His Son, that we believe.

    We, as Christians, always, have an Advocate before the Father that has paid the penalty of our sin, received God's wrath for our wrongs, and met God's righteousness by living a just and perfect life before God. When God looks at us, He sees His Son because we are IN Christ, in His Son. I do not think you understand the significance of those two words "in Christ" so I include some verses for anyone who is interested in contemplating the meaning:

    Romans 3:22
    even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

    Romans 3:24
    being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

    Romans 5:17
    For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

    Romans 5:21
    so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 6:3-4
    Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
    Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

    Romans 6:11
    Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

    Romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Romans 8:1-2
    [ Deliverance from Bondage ] Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

    Romans 8:9
    However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

    Romans 15:17
    Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God.

    1 Corinthians 1:2
    To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:


    Our holiness is in Christ Jesus, in what He did! There is no credit in what we have done to save ourselves. We can't save ourselves. Salvation is by Jesus Christ.

    Ephesians 2:8-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
    11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands—

    1 Corinthians 1:4
    I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,

    2 Corinthians 5:17
    Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

    2 Corinthians 5:19
    namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

    2 Corinthians 11:10
    As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia.

    2 Corinthians 12:2
    I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.

    2 Corinthians 13:5
    Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?

    Galatians 2:16
    nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

    Galatians 2:20
    I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

    Galatians 3:22
    But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

    Galatians 5:6
    For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

    Ephesians 1:10
    with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him

    Ephesians 2:6-7
    and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.


    Our standing before God, in heaven, is in Christ Jesus, in what He did, not in what we do. In a court of law, how can you be tried twice for the same crime and pay the penalty twice? Now, since Christ lived a life free of sin on behalf of those who believe how will God condemn a truly righteous Man? There are no grounds to do so, and God is just.

    That action has been done not by us but by Jesus Christ - in Him!

    Hebrews 10
    15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,
    16
    “This is the covenant that I will make with them
    After those days, says the Lord:
    I will put My laws upon their heart,
    And on their mind I will write them,”
    He then says,
    17
    And their sins and their lawless deeds
    I will remember no more
    .”
    18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.


    Where there is forgiveness is in Jesus Christ, in trusting in Him, in what He did!

    In Christ, God no longer counts our sins against us. He has tallied them against another, against His Son who paid the penalty. We are justified through the works of another!

    https://www.biblegateway.com/quickse...egin=47&end=73

    Romans 3:28
    For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

    If you try to live by the works of the law, by being "Good" as you see goodness, you will be judged by those works. Every time you do evil - you lie, you steal that pen from work, you look lustfully at a woman other than your wife - you will be judged by those actions because they are an offense to God.

    God took out of the way that old system of worship which included the Law, and atonement for sins in A.D. 70. There was a better offering for those who believe!

    [QUOTE+PGA2]My position is that of Romans 1:[/QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Your position is "the Bible is God's word", now if we could get God to acknowledge you are correct, I would be completely satisfied
    How could I ever do that except by appealing to His Word? What higher authority could I appeal?

    He has spoken to you via 66 different human authors, all inspired by His Spirit. Many of these authors quote from God at times, laying out His revelation to humanity. You do not accept His authority. You want God to reveal Himself in some other way, other than what He has chosen. That is your problem, not mine.

    God does not bow to our requirements of Him as if He needs to justify His righteousness before His creation. But He has been gracious in telling us about His righteousness, who He is, and what He has done. You either accept that testimony or you reject it. You understand the consequences by His words. He has given us a means of acceptance to be in His presence. If we don't receive that means of justification, He rejects us from His presence for the reason that God is just/holy.

    Peter

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post

    You keep reading three individuals equals one individual. Where have I ever said that?
    Because you keep saying three individuals make up "Godhood". And "Godhood" is NOTHING like you and I are part of "humanity".

    ---------- Post added at 05:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:26 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post

    This is not true. The apostles and writers of the NT continually reveal the Son is God, just as the Father is God. They continual teach the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father.
    This is with NO doubts true!!
    Judaism denies Jesus is God. They believe he is just a man as you and I. Since they are the "chosen" it makes no sense they are spreading the wrong message????

    ---------- Post added at 05:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:30 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    It shows an area of brain activity where electrons are firing.
    Not at all!!

    A fMRI can actually show a picture of the actual cat you at thinking about. IOW, seeing what you are seeing in your mind! Not just blood flow or neurons firing, but the picture you see in your own mind when you think of a cat (or whatever).
    Very cool and scary stuff, but definitely your thoughts can be "read" by machines!

    ---------- Post added at 05:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:34 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Because most people disagree does not make it false.
    Of course it does not normally. But in this case it is God's wishes to be with humans and most humans that have ever lived are not going to be with him and he knew it would be so when he decided to create us!!

    ---------- Post added at 05:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:37 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Sure, it was blunt.
    You are correct, I only said smug because you did. I should have said it was arrogant and insulting. Not that I'm immune from making such comments, but it's not a type of commentary I aspire to make and rarely defend when I do.....

    ---------- Post added at 05:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:42 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I just happen to speak my mind
    As do I, but as I age, I attempt to argue in a respectful manner.

    ---------- Post added at 05:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:44 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Have you ever sinned?
    Not that I'm aware of.

    ---------- Post added at 05:47 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:45 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    He has spoken to you via 66 different human authors, all inspired by His Spirit. Many of these authors quote from God at times, laying out His revelation to humanity. You do not accept His authority. You want God to reveal Himself in some other way, other than what He has chosen. That is your problem, not mine.
    Why is it such a BIG deal for God himself to acknowledge the Bible is his word instead of having to rely on humans telling me it is so?????

    ---------- Post added at 05:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:47 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    God does not bow to our requirements of Him as if He needs to justify
    I have not asked that he "justify" anything. How is allowing those who may want to fallow you, actually know that you exist, equate to "justifying" anything?

    ---------- Post added at 06:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:49 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    If I have taken a life and I am standing before a firing squad, and the law requires life for life, then someone volunteers their life in place of mine, the debt has been paid on my behalf because the law has been met - life for life!
    Oh good, as long as I can get somebody to take my punishment for me, I can do whatever I want and no worries and God is happy with me. I need do nothing good and can live life however I want as long as "someone" gets punished!!

    Charlie Manson (among many, many others...) did this. Get people to fallow you. Many will give their lives for you if you are convincing enough!

    I absolutely can not figure how you can see justice in this statement!! Utterly ridiculous.

    How can the taking of a second innocent life (the person taking your punishment for you) equal out the taking of the first innocent life (the innocent person you killed) in the "eyes" of God????

    ---------- Post added at 07:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:03 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Pefect, thank you for your patience, I just wanted to hone in on the disagreement to prevent us talking past each other.

    Ok, let's put forward a defense of P1 and P2.

    Premise 1

    This is generally considered a relatively fundamental law of causation. Changes in state (going from not existing to existing) require causation. We should consider that any effect that lacks a cause becomes, by definition "necessary." And self sufficient effects cannot, by definition "begin." It is also self-evidently true. Rejecting this claim is equivalent to maintaining the claim that; "If null, then B begins to exist." However, the condition set, null is always and in all possible worlds true. Therefore B must exist in all possible worlds and at all possible moments. Thus it couldn't "begin to exist."

    In the past, some have sought to object to this premise by forwarding different aspects of Quantum Mechanics. These fail however because the causal mechanism still exists, it is the quantum wave function. The confusion often arises because we confuse a probabilistic cause for no cause at all. If there was a random number generator that killed a cat on odd numbers, we wouldn't say that the cat's death was uncaused.



    Premise 2

    This premise also is generally scientifically accepted. Inflationary cosmology dictates that the universe began from a near singularity. I think it is important here to point out that time is a physical dimension of our universe, just like the other dimensions. Just as they expanded from a singularity, so did the temporal dimension of our universe. This necessitates a beginning of the universe when the temporal dimension was a singularity as well.

    Objections to this premise are usually in the form of alternative hypotheses about our current universe. Historically, the steady state universe was used. That is to say, it was argued until recently that the universe is eternal, that it had always been. This is problematic for several reasons. Primary amongst them is the evidence indicating the universe is expanding. It is for this reason that virtually no cosmologist holds to steady state theory today. The historic objection also still holds. If the universe was eternal, we would expect that all the stars and galaxies to have burned out by now. If there is an infinite past, an infinite amount of time would already have occurred, which is far greater than the possible time limit on all the fission of all the matter in the universe.

    The first modification of this theory to deal with the expansion of the universe came with the cyclic model. In which the universe expands, collapses and expands again. This theory however fails because it also cannot recede into the infinite past. Entropy between cycles would build up causing later cycles to be high entropy states and prohibit matter and star formation[I. D. Novikov and Ya. B. Zel’dovich (1973) Physical Processes Near Cosmological Singularities Annu. Rev. Astro. Astrophys. 11 387-412]. Again, if the universe were infinitely old, this would have already occurred and we could not observe star formation now.

    Finally, the most modern objection arises from an appeal to a multiverse or multiple universes. This objection also fails for two reasons. One, since it produces a temporal effect, the multiverse itself would need a temporal component (non intentful causes cannot act outside of a dimension they exist in), making it open to the same appeals to an infinite past that we have above. Two, a multi-verse hypothesis would need to be reconciled to the Borde-Vilinken-Guth Theorem which prohibits low entropy, expanding universes (ie the kind we live in) from any multiverse. To date, no reconciliation has been put forward, with Stephen Hawking noting that this is the single greatest objection to his views.


    While I recognize that this argument does not yet result in one of the conclusions you put forward, please bear with me, we'll get there.
    Can you support that "something/anything" can be eternal and without cause?

    You claim the universe can not, but God can.
    Can you support God can be eternal and not require a cause?
    (no brain in a vat stuff here

 

 
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