Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5
Results 81 to 97 of 97

Thread: Do you believe the Christmas story?

  1. #81

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    I see you've edited your previous post just as I was about to bust your poor reading skills. Oh well, another time...

    Frankly, I despise this so-called "natural theology". It is, in short, attempt to find a niche where a god of the gaps could be placed and appear, to a layman, stable, and then go through leaps of faith to turn this idea into their god. It's short sighted and problematic. Some of basic tenets of science are, nothing is sacred and no preconceptions. Everything can be subject of scientific research, and if there is not empirical data available, it can be shelved until there are any, but never to be a priori excluded from research. The core of natural theology is to find one of these, stuff some half-baked philosophy in and call it god, creating whole heap of preconceptions about it.
    That's a mischaracterization of natural theology. The arguments don't state that something is inexplicable, therefore our God is behind it. You're congratulating yourself for refuting a silly, cartoonish version of theistic argument that no intellectually serious theist actually makes. You misunderstand both natural theology and what theists mean by God. This is a good resource:

    https://archive.org/details/FiveProo...ExistenceOfGod

    Quote Originally Posted by Noble Savage View Post
    I had heard of natural theology before but never really followed up my interest . Thank you for the link , I'll be interested to find out what my wife's minister thinks of it and read a bit more about it .
    Thanks
    I recommend starting with the book above, Ed Feser's Five Proofs of the Existence of God.

    This book provides a detailed, updated exposition and defense of five of the historically most important (but in recent years largely neglected) philosophical proofs of God’s existence: the Aristotelian, the Neo-Platonic, the Augustinian, the Thomistic, and the Rationalist.

    It also offers a thorough treatment of each of the key divine attributes—unity, simplicity, eternity, omnipotence, omniscience, perfect goodness, and so forth—showing that they must be possessed by the God whose existence is demonstrated by the proofs. Finally, it answers at length all of the objections that have been leveled against these proofs.

    This work provides as ambitious and complete a defense of traditional natural theology as is currently in print. Its aim is to vindicate the view of the greatest philosophers of the past— thinkers like Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas, Leibniz, and many others— that the existence of God can be established with certainty by way of purely rational arguments. It thereby serves as a refutation both of atheism and of the fideism that gives aid and comfort to atheism.
    Although it should be noted that belief in God doesn't necessarily lead to Christianity.

  2. #82

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Legend View Post
    That's a mischaracterization of natural theology. The arguments don't state that something is inexplicable, therefore our God is behind it. You're congratulating yourself for refuting a silly, cartoonish version of theistic argument that no intellectually serious theist actually makes. You misunderstand both natural theology and what theists mean by God. This is a good resource:

    https://archive.org/details/FiveProo...ExistenceOfGod



    I recommend starting with the book above, Ed Feser's Five Proofs of the Existence of God.



    Although it should be noted that belief in God doesn't necessarily lead to Christianity.
    I speak my mind and don't pull any punches. Let me demonstrate it on the old prima causa, central argument of Aquinas' theology and therefore included in that book of yours. I admit I read only the summary you put here, but since it mentions Thomistic proof as one of its core topics, it has to be there.

    Thomistic proof rests on causality. It argues, in essence, that infinite regression is impossible (since Aquinas couldn't imagine it I guess), therefore there has to be element not subject to causality, therefore god. It neatly shows the objections I have to the natural theology, and theology in general.

    Infinite regression, while mind-boggling, is actually possible according to our knowledge of universe. There are alternatives that Aquinas never knew or considered, like cyclical universe. The entire universe could be following the closed spacetime curve. To this, people might object, we know of Big Bang. But they do not understand what it was. At one point, the entire universe was single point containing all the energy of the universe. We don't know if there was anything before it, and we can't know it, because the information was destroyed when it became the single point, whether it was by act of creation, spontaneous appearance or, for example, the entire universe imploding. There is not just one possibility. There's infinite number of them.

    Entertaining the notion of causality violation only reveals more problems. So you think something violated causality. So, what can you tell about it? Exactly one thing. At one point it violated causality. Without causality, you don't have logic that could be used for induction. You don't have any other data about it either. Could it be god? Could. But it could also be the log I dropped into toilet this morning. The possibilities are literally infinite. There is no way to tell if it had any properties that could be corellated with a god, much less your god. You can't even tell if it existed beyond that one initial point in time or if it can violate causality again. The jump to a god is a huge leap of faith.

    Those are things symptomatic to theology. It considers something element that is a priori considered not a subject of logic and causality, and cannot be conclusively linked to any empiric data. So theologicans end up substituting that for their imagination, hopes, and end up ignoring the infinite possiblities that are just as likely as what their minds produced.

    TL;DR version. Theology in general is , and here's why.

  3. #83

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Thanks for the serious response. I think you'll really like Feser's book. Take your time to read it and let me know what you think.

  4. #84

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Legend View Post
    Thanks for the serious response. I think you'll really like Feser's book. Take your time to read it and let me know what you think.
    Since you read it, does the author make any response to arguments similar to the ones I posted here?

    Because if not, it's honestly a waste of time.

  5. #85

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Yes, in rather painstaking detail.

  6. #86

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Legend View Post
    Yes, in rather painstaking detail.
    Does he? On which page? I did a bit of random reading, started with Augistinian proof, and boy...his pro-realism argumentation is really childish and uninformed, it's obvious he made no effort to understand other views or tried to engage in argumentation with anyone holding them.

  7. #87

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    Does he? On which page? I did a bit of random reading, started with Augistinian proof, and boy...his pro-realism argumentation is really childish and uninformed, it's obvious he made no effort to understand other views or tried to engage in argumentation with anyone holding them.
    I think Chapters 1, 4, 5 and 7 are the most relevant. You could probably make do with just the first and seventh chapters, but you really should read the book in its entirety. It's only a couple hundred pages. Take your time.

  8. #88

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Legend View Post
    I think Chapters 1, 4, 5 and 7 are the most relevant. You could probably make do with just the first and seventh chapters, but you really should read the book in its entirety. It's only a couple hundred pages. Take your time.
    Read through chapter 1, and it was enough. It's the same thing. Author makes factual mistakes in argumentation, goes on wild goose chase "deriving" the qualities of god, unaware of the fact that he burned the fundamentals of his logic before in relation to it and therefore has no tools but his own imagination to derive or argument anything, then tries empirical counter to some arguments he presents in often simplified or distorted way, and his personal biases show very strongly.

    From the reading I did so far, it's really not worth my time. He should have tried cooperating and actively discussing with someone holding different opinions, it would be a huge improvement.

  9. #89

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    What specific mistakes do you see in Chapter 1? Here is the argument in full:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Let’s briefly summarize. We have seen that it cannot coherently be denied that change occurs, and we have noted that change can occur only if things have potentials which are actualized by something already actual. Hence, the hot coffee has the potential to be cooled, and that potential is actualized by the coolness in the surrounding air. We have also argued that while a linear series of changes and changers might in principle extend backward in time without beginning, the members of these series must depend at any moment at which they exist on a hierarchical series of actualizers, and that such a series must terminate in a purely actual cause or actualizer of their existence. And it has now been argued that any such cause must be one, immutable, eternal, immaterial, incorporeal, perfect, omnipotent, fully good, intelligent, and omniscient—that is to say, it must have the key divine attributes. In short, the things of our experience can exist at any moment only if sustained in existence by God.

    So far, I have stated the argument in an informal and unhurried way so as to facilitate understanding, especially among readers not used to the technicalities of academic philosophy. But now that the overall thrust of the reasoning is clear, it will be useful to have a summary presented in a somewhat more formal way. It might be stated as follows:

    1. Change is a real feature of the world.
    2. But change is the actualization of a potential.
    3. So, the actualization of potential is a real feature of the world.
    4. No potential can be actualized unless something already actual actualizes it (the principle of causality).
    5. So, any change is caused by something already actual.
    6. The occurrence of any change C presupposes some thing or substance S which changes.
    7. The existence of S at any given moment itself presupposes the concurrent actualization of S’s potential for existence.
    8. So, any substance S has at any moment some actualizer A of its existence.
    9. A’s own existence at the moment it actualizes S itself presupposes either (a) the concurrent actualization of its own potential for existence or (b) A’s being purely actual.
    10. If A’s existence at the moment it actualizes S presupposes the concurrent actualization of its own potential for existence, then there exists a regress of concurrent actualizers that is either infinite or terminates in a purely actual actualizer.
    11. But such a regress of concurrent actualizers would constitute a hierarchical causal series, and such a series cannot regress infinitely.
    12. So, either A itself is a purely actual actualizer or there is a purely actual actualizer which terminates the regress that begins with the actualization of A.
    13. So, the occurrence of C and thus the existence of S at any given moment presupposes the existence of a purely actual actualizer.
    14. So, there is a purely actual actualizer.
    15. In order for there to be more than one purely actual actualizer, there would have to be some differentiating feature that one such actualizer has that the others lack.
    16. But there could be such a differentiating feature only if a purely actual actualizer had some unactualized potential, which, being purely actual, it does not have.
    17. So, there can be no such differentiating feature, and thus no way for there to be more than one purely actual actualizer.
    18. So, there is only one purely actual actualizer.
    19. In order for this purely actual actualizer to be capable of change, it would have to have potentials capable of actualization.
    20. But being purely actual, it lacks any such potentials.
    21. So, it is immutable or incapable of change.
    22. If this purely actual actualizer existed in time, then it would be capable of change, which it is not.
    23. So, this purely actual actualizer is eternal, existing outside of time.
    24. If the purely actual actualizer were material, then it would be changeable and exist in time, which it does not.
    25. So, the purely actual actualizer is immaterial.
    26. If the purely actual actualizer were corporeal, then it would be material, which it is not.
    27. So, the purely actual actualizer is incorporeal.
    28. If the purely actual actualizer were imperfect in any way, it would have some unactualized potential, which, being purely actual, it does not have.
    29. So, the purely actual actualizer is perfect.
    30. For something to be less than fully good is for it to have a privation—that is, to fail to actualize some feature proper to it.
    31. A purely actual actualizer, being purely actual, can have no such privation.
    32. So, the purely actual actualizer is fully good.
    33. To have power entails being able to actualize potentials.
    34. Any potential that is actualized is either actualized by the purely actual actualizer or by a series of actualizers which terminates in the purely actual actualizer.
    35. So, all power derives from the purely actual actualizer.
    36. But to be that from which all power derives is to be omnipotent.
    37. So, the purely actual actualizer is omnipotent.
    38. Whatever is in an effect is in its cause in some way, whether formally, virtually, or eminently (the principle of proportionate causality).
    39. The purely actual actualizer is the cause of all things.
    40. So, the forms or patterns manifest in all the things it causes must in some way be in the purely actual actualizer.
    41. These forms or patterns can exist either in the concrete way in which they exist in individual particular things, or in the abstract way in which they exist in the thoughts of an intellect.
    42. They cannot exist in the purely actual actualizer in the same way they exist in individual particular things.
    43. So, they must exist in the purely actual actualizer in the abstract way in which they exist in the thoughts of an intellect.
    44. So, the purely actual actualizer has intellect or intelligence.
    45. Since it is the forms or patterns of all things that are in the thoughts of this intellect, there is nothing that is outside the range of those thoughts.
    46. For there to be nothing outside the range of something’s thoughts is for that thing to be ominiscient.
    47. So, the purely actual actualizer is omniscient.
    48. So, there exists a purely actual cause of the existence of things, which is one, immutable, eternal, immaterial, incorporeal, perfect, fully good, omnipotent, intelligent, and omniscient.
    49. But for there to be such a cause of things is just what it is for God to exist.
    50. So, God exists.


    In picture form:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Where is the error?
    Last edited by Prodromos; January 10, 2019 at 11:42 PM.

  10. #90
    basics's Avatar Praeses
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Scotland, UK.
    Posts
    8,791

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Gentlemen,

    The only mistake that man makes is in allowing what Adam brought on them to consume his passions enough to ignore God. It's the very reason that we have a Christmas story.

  11. #91

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    The full answer will have to wait, I'm not in the mood right now and my weekend is full. So monday or tuesday at earliest, if I'm in the mood. TBH, without proper opposition from author, this criticizing is rather boring.

    But I'll give you a teaser. At page 68, author argues that unmmovable mover is not a paradox. But in basic logic and science, it is. At elementary particle level, every interaction between particles affects both, as one particle transfers energy to the other. It's not just empirical thing. An unmovable mover would have to generate energy in the particle on which it's acting, or drain energy from it, without altering its own state. Thus, it would be violation of conservation of energy, and thus, in framework of modern science and logic, a paradox.

    To this, one might have two objections. First, there are some quantum effects, for example quantum tunelling or vacuum energy, that appear to briefly violate energy conservation in the process. But these effects do not result in the change in total energy in the universe. The energy appears to be-and I have to stress "appear", because it's a matter in which we still are not capable of proper empirical observation-to briefly increase the energy of the particle without cause, then decrease it without particle acting on any other, thus the energy level maintains conserved. Second is from, relatively, macroscopical scale. Chemical catalysts allow some rection to proceed without changing their own status. But that's only when looking at total result of the series of rections. In reaction A+B->C+D, mediated by catalyst E, A first bonds with E, creating compound F, then F reacts with B, creating compounds E, C and D. The catalyst undergoes change in every step, but one of the products is again E.

    Oh, and even if we accept the author's dubious, incoherent logic, what he proved is that his "god" cannot be called god, because it lacks sentience. His "god" is inchangeable. Sentience means change. Even the process of thought means change within the sentient entity. Inchangeable cannot be sentient. And thus, his "god" is like, for example, a black hole. Powerful, parhaps violating the laws of physics deep inside, but just a phenomenon.

  12. #92

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    The full answer will have to wait, I'm not in the mood right now and my weekend is full. So monday or tuesday at earliest, if I'm in the mood. TBH, without proper opposition from author, this criticizing is rather boring.

    But I'll give you a teaser. At page 68, author argues that unmmovable mover is not a paradox. But in basic logic and science, it is. At elementary particle level, every interaction between particles affects both, as one particle transfers energy to the other. It's not just empirical thing. An unmovable mover would have to generate energy in the particle on which it's acting, or drain energy from it, without altering its own state. Thus, it would be violation of conservation of energy, and thus, in framework of modern science and logic, a paradox.

    To this, one might have two objections. First, there are some quantum effects, for example quantum tunelling or vacuum energy, that appear to briefly violate energy conservation in the process. But these effects do not result in the change in total energy in the universe. The energy appears to be-and I have to stress "appear", because it's a matter in which we still are not capable of proper empirical observation-to briefly increase the energy of the particle without cause, then decrease it without particle acting on any other, thus the energy level maintains conserved. Second is from, relatively, macroscopical scale. Chemical catalysts allow some rection to proceed without changing their own status. But that's only when looking at total result of the series of rections. In reaction A+B->C+D, mediated by catalyst E, A first bonds with E, creating compound F, then F reacts with B, creating compounds E, C and D. The catalyst undergoes change in every step, but one of the products is again E.

    Oh, and even if we accept the author's dubious, incoherent logic, what he proved is that his "god" cannot be called god, because it lacks sentience. His "god" is inchangeable. Sentience means change. Even the process of thought means change within the sentient entity. Inchangeable cannot be sentient. And thus, his "god" is like, for example, a black hole. Powerful, parhaps violating the laws of physics deep inside, but just a phenomenon.
    I am starting to think you don't quite understand what God is, Sar1n. God is not some particle acting on another particle; rather, he is the cause of there being particles, energy, energy transfers, states, interactions, causes etc. at all. The cause of these things isn't one more member of the system that's caused to be, so it is irrelevant what conservation laws apply to the system, since it is not subject to these laws. This criticism is completely irrelevant to the argument and demonstrates an ignorance of what God is.

    Before I continue the discussion, I have to make sure we're on the same page, because time and time again you've demonstrated a tendency to fundamentally misunderstand the argument. Before we can discuss theology, we have to know what is meant by theos. Could you briefly define the concept of God and differentiate it from the concept of god? Once you do that, we'll continue the discussion.

  13. #93
    MaximiIian's Avatar Comes Limitis
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    12,849

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diocle View Post
    Greek-Roman Paganism did not survive history, I mean that we don't know which were the religious and intellectual basis, the deep and complex roots and values of those ancient religions.
    Yes, we do. We have extensive textual evidence about how ancient Romans and Greeks believed and practiced. There's a lot that's lost, but there's more than enough there to reconstruct from. And that's just reconstructionism; entirely modern forms of Paganism have developed that are not hidebound to historical practices.

    We don't know what actually happened during the Eleusinian Mysteries, we don't know what happened...
    The ancient mysteries are but one facet of ancient religion, and new mysteries have formed to fulfill a similar role in Modern Paganism.

    we have to accept that Paganism died once for all... and there is NOTHING we can do change this FACT, absolutely nothing, nothing at all.
    That's quite preposterous. For one, polytheistic belief and practice continued in the West well into the 6th century, and still thrived beyond the Roman cultural sphere for many centuries afterwards. And even after the presumed vanquishing of polytheistic religion in Lithuania in the 1380s, the last European country to be Christianized polytheistic revivalism would surface during the Renaissance less than fifty years later. And it would intermittently pop up during the Early Modern Period before becoming a semi-permanent fixture during the 19th century.

  14. #94

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Legend View Post
    I am starting to think you don't quite understand what God is, Sar1n. God is not some particle acting on another particle; rather, he is the cause of there being particles, energy, energy transfers, states, interactions, causes etc. at all. The cause of these things isn't one more member of the system that's caused to be, so it is irrelevant what conservation laws apply to the system, since it is not subject to these laws. This criticism is completely irrelevant to the argument and demonstrates an ignorance of what God is.

    Before I continue the discussion, I have to make sure we're on the same page, because time and time again you've demonstrated a tendency to fundamentally misunderstand the argument. Before we can discuss theology, we have to know what is meant by theos. Could you briefly define the concept of God and differentiate it from the concept of god? Once you do that, we'll continue the discussion.
    You're showing remarkable cognitive dissonance by refusing to draw simple and obvious conclusion from what you just plainly stated, which is hilarious because this conclusion is what I've been stating around here, in various forms, for quite a long time.

    The idea of god is the idea of sentient power capable of violating causality or whatever laws govern human life. Whether it is only locally, limited in scope, or absolute, this is the essence that's common to every idea of god, from Ra, Vishnu and Odin to Yahweh, God and Allah. It's not a subject to logic, because logic and science are just tools derived from human experience to describe the events and rules of the world we experience.

    Thus, any attempt at "natural theology", attempt to somehow grasp the question of existence of any god by reason, is inherently bound to accumulate factual and logical errors and produce paradoxical results, as the theologician unknowingly substitutes his biases, preconceptions and beliefs for logic at points where it's missing.

    I wrote I'll bust your chops for poor reading one day, and here it is. If you re-read what I wrote, you'll see that all I did was to take author's poor argument to demonstrate exactly this. Unmovable mover is paradox in logic, and thus it either doesn't exist, the basic of logic is wrong, or it's not bound by logic. Middle option is made virtually impossible by empirical application of logic. I never stated that god is a particle.

    I think this conversation has made a beautiful full circle.

  15. #95
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Colfax WA, neat I have a barn and 49 acres - I have 2 horses, 15 chickens - but no more pigs
    Posts
    11,995

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Legend View Post
    What specific mistakes do you see in Chapter 1? Here is the argument in full:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Let’s briefly summarize. We have seen that it cannot coherently be denied that change occurs, and we have noted that change can occur only if things have potentials which are actualized by something already actual. Hence, the hot coffee has the potential to be cooled, and that potential is actualized by the coolness in the surrounding air. We have also argued that while a linear series of changes and changers might in principle extend backward in time without beginning, the members of these series must depend at any moment at which they exist on a hierarchical series of actualizers, and that such a series must terminate in a purely actual cause or actualizer of their existence. And it has now been argued that any such cause must be one, immutable, eternal, immaterial, incorporeal, perfect, omnipotent, fully good, intelligent, and omniscient—that is to say, it must have the key divine attributes. In short, the things of our experience can exist at any moment only if sustained in existence by God.

    So far, I have stated the argument in an informal and unhurried way so as to facilitate understanding, especially among readers not used to the technicalities of academic philosophy. But now that the overall thrust of the reasoning is clear, it will be useful to have a summary presented in a somewhat more formal way. It might be stated as follows:

    1. Change is a real feature of the world.
    2. But change is the actualization of a potential.
    3. So, the actualization of potential is a real feature of the world.
    4. No potential can be actualized unless something already actual actualizes it (the principle of causality).
    5. So, any change is caused by something already actual.
    6. The occurrence of any change C presupposes some thing or substance S which changes.
    7. The existence of S at any given moment itself presupposes the concurrent actualization of S’s potential for existence.
    8. So, any substance S has at any moment some actualizer A of its existence.
    9. A’s own existence at the moment it actualizes S itself presupposes either (a) the concurrent actualization of its own potential for existence or (b) A’s being purely actual.
    10. If A’s existence at the moment it actualizes S presupposes the concurrent actualization of its own potential for existence, then there exists a regress of concurrent actualizers that is either infinite or terminates in a purely actual actualizer.
    11. But such a regress of concurrent actualizers would constitute a hierarchical causal series, and such a series cannot regress infinitely.
    12. So, either A itself is a purely actual actualizer or there is a purely actual actualizer which terminates the regress that begins with the actualization of A.
    13. So, the occurrence of C and thus the existence of S at any given moment presupposes the existence of a purely actual actualizer.
    14. So, there is a purely actual actualizer.
    15. In order for there to be more than one purely actual actualizer, there would have to be some differentiating feature that one such actualizer has that the others lack.
    16. But there could be such a differentiating feature only if a purely actual actualizer had some unactualized potential, which, being purely actual, it does not have.
    17. So, there can be no such differentiating feature, and thus no way for there to be more than one purely actual actualizer.
    18. So, there is only one purely actual actualizer.
    19. In order for this purely actual actualizer to be capable of change, it would have to have potentials capable of actualization.
    20. But being purely actual, it lacks any such potentials.
    21. So, it is immutable or incapable of change.
    22. If this purely actual actualizer existed in time, then it would be capable of change, which it is not.
    23. So, this purely actual actualizer is eternal, existing outside of time.
    24. If the purely actual actualizer were material, then it would be changeable and exist in time, which it does not.
    25. So, the purely actual actualizer is immaterial.
    26. If the purely actual actualizer were corporeal, then it would be material, which it is not.
    27. So, the purely actual actualizer is incorporeal.
    28. If the purely actual actualizer were imperfect in any way, it would have some unactualized potential, which, being purely actual, it does not have.
    29. So, the purely actual actualizer is perfect.
    30. For something to be less than fully good is for it to have a privation—that is, to fail to actualize some feature proper to it.
    31. A purely actual actualizer, being purely actual, can have no such privation.
    32. So, the purely actual actualizer is fully good.
    33. To have power entails being able to actualize potentials.
    34. Any potential that is actualized is either actualized by the purely actual actualizer or by a series of actualizers which terminates in the purely actual actualizer.
    35. So, all power derives from the purely actual actualizer.
    36. But to be that from which all power derives is to be omnipotent.
    37. So, the purely actual actualizer is omnipotent.
    38. Whatever is in an effect is in its cause in some way, whether formally, virtually, or eminently (the principle of proportionate causality).
    39. The purely actual actualizer is the cause of all things.
    40. So, the forms or patterns manifest in all the things it causes must in some way be in the purely actual actualizer.
    41. These forms or patterns can exist either in the concrete way in which they exist in individual particular things, or in the abstract way in which they exist in the thoughts of an intellect.
    42. They cannot exist in the purely actual actualizer in the same way they exist in individual particular things.
    43. So, they must exist in the purely actual actualizer in the abstract way in which they exist in the thoughts of an intellect.
    44. So, the purely actual actualizer has intellect or intelligence.
    45. Since it is the forms or patterns of all things that are in the thoughts of this intellect, there is nothing that is outside the range of those thoughts.
    46. For there to be nothing outside the range of something’s thoughts is for that thing to be ominiscient.
    47. So, the purely actual actualizer is omniscient.
    48. So, there exists a purely actual cause of the existence of things, which is one, immutable, eternal, immaterial, incorporeal, perfect, fully good, omnipotent, intelligent, and omniscient.
    49. But for there to be such a cause of things is just what it is for God to exist.
    50. So, God exists.


    In picture form:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Where is the error?
    Point 11 'fist spoiler' is an assertion w/o proof after that you a list of assertions that are complexity for the sake of impressive obfuscation and nominal eruditeness. There is no definition time in that chain but time is used to move the logic along. At best you have a rather tedious version of logic getting you to Aristotle's prime mover - not much of a god and one rather disinterested in the world it moved to creation.
    Overall you got a nice Chewbacca defense but not QED.
    Last edited by conon394; January 12, 2019 at 10:31 AM.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  16. #96

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    You're showing remarkable cognitive dissonance by refusing to draw simple and obvious conclusion from what you just plainly stated, which is hilarious because this conclusion is what I've been stating around here, in various forms, for quite a long time.

    The idea of god is the idea of sentient power capable of violating causality or whatever laws govern human life. Whether it is only locally, limited in scope, or absolute, this is the essence that's common to every idea of god, from Ra, Vishnu and Odin to Yahweh, God and Allah. It's not a subject to logic, because logic and science are just tools derived from human experience to describe the events and rules of the world we experience.

    Thus, any attempt at "natural theology", attempt to somehow grasp the question of existence of any god by reason, is inherently bound to accumulate factual and logical errors and produce paradoxical results, as the theologician unknowingly substitutes his biases, preconceptions and beliefs for logic at points where it's missing.

    I wrote I'll bust your chops for poor reading one day, and here it is. If you re-read what I wrote, you'll see that all I did was to take author's poor argument to demonstrate exactly this. Unmovable mover is paradox in logic, and thus it either doesn't exist, the basic of logic is wrong, or it's not bound by logic. Middle option is made virtually impossible by empirical application of logic. I never stated that god is a particle.

    I think this conversation has made a beautiful full circle.
    You've demonstrated no conflict between logic or science and God, Sar1n, but only a profound ignorance of what God even is. Once again, gods (and any supposed conflicts they might have with physical reality) are irrelevant to the argument. The capital-G God, and little-g gods, are entirely different concepts. Your inability to understand the concept of "the Theos" is the source of your theological errors.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Admittedly, I suppose, it is possible to mistake the word “God” for the name of some discrete object that might or might not be found within the fold of nature, if one just happens to be more or less ignorant of the entire history of theistic belief. But, really, the distinction between “God”—meaning the one God who is the transcendent source of all things—and any particular “god”—meaning one or another of a plurality of divine beings who inhabit the cosmos—is one that, in Western tradition, goes back at least as far as Xenophanes.

    And it is a distinction not merely in numbering, between monotheism and polytheism, as though the issue were simply how many “divine entities” one thinks there are; rather, it is a distinction between two qualitatively incommensurable kinds of reality, belonging to two wholly disparate conceptual orders. In the words of the great Swami Prabhavananda, only the one transcendent God is “the uncreated”: “Gods, though supernatural, belong . . . among the creatures. Like the Christian angels, they are much nearer to man than to God.”

    This should not be a particularly difficult distinction to grasp, truth be told. To speak of “God” properly—in a way, that is, consonant with the teachings of orthodox Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Bahá’í, much of antique paganism, and so forth—is to speak of the one infinite ground of all that is: eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, uncreated, uncaused, perfectly transcendent of all things and for that very reason absolutely immanent to all things.

    God so understood is neither some particular thing posed over against the created universe, in addition to it, nor is he the universe itself. He is not a being, at least not in the way that a tree, a clock, or a god is; he is not one more object in the inventory of things that are. He is the infinite wellspring of all that is, in whom all things live and move and have their being. He may be said to be “beyond being,” if by “being” one means the totality of finite things, but also may be called “being itself,” in that he is the inexhaustible source of all reality, the absolute upon which the contingent is always utterly dependent, the unity underlying all things.

    To speak of “gods,” by contrast, is to speak only of a higher or more powerful or more splendid dimension of immanent reality. Any gods who might be out there do not transcend nature but belong to it. Their theogonies can be recounted—how they arose out of the primal night, or were born of other, more titanic progenitors, and so on—and in many cases their eventual demises foreseen. Each of them is a distinct being rather than “being itself,” and it is they who are dependent upon the universe for their existence rather than the reverse. Of such gods there may be an endless diversity, while of God there can be only one. Or, better, God is not merely one—not merely singular or unique—but is oneness as such, the sole act of being by which any finite thing exists and by which all things exist together.

    Obviously, then, it is the transcendent God in whom it is ultimately meaningful not to believe. The possibility of gods or spirits or angels or demons, and so on, is all very interesting to contemplate, but remains a question not of metaphysics but only of the taxonomy of nature (terrestrial, celestial, and chthonic)

    ...

    Well, as I say, this should not be all that difficult to grasp. And yet any speaker at one of those atheist revivalist meetings need only trot out either of two reliable witticisms—“I believe neither in God nor in the fairies at the bottom of my garden” or “Everyone today is a disbeliever in Thor or Zeus, but we simply believe in one god less”—to elicit warmly rippling palpitations of self-congratulatory laughter from the congregation. Admittedly, one ought not judge a movement by its jokes, but neither should one be overly patient with those who delight in their own ignorance of elementary conceptual categories. I suppose, though, that the charitable course is to state the obvious as clearly as possible.

    So: Beliefs regarding fairies concern a certain kind of object that may or may not exist within the world, and such beliefs have much the same sort of intentional and rational shape as beliefs regarding the neighbors over the hill or whether there are such things as black swans. Beliefs regarding God concern the source and end of all reality, the unity and existence of every particular thing and of the totality of all things, the ground of the possibility of anything at all. Fairies and gods, if they exist, occupy something of the same conceptual space as organic cells, photons, and the force of gravity, and so the sciences might perhaps have something to say about them, if a proper medium for investigating them could be found.

    God, by contrast, is the infinite actuality that makes it possible for photons and (possibly) fairies to exist, and so can be “investigated” only, on the one hand, by acts of logical deduction and conjecture or, on the other, by contemplative or spiritual experiences. Belief or disbelief in fairies or gods could never be validated by philosophical arguments made from first principles; the existence or nonexistence of Zeus is not a matter that can be intelligibly discussed in the categories of modal logic or metaphysics, any more than the existence of tree frogs could be; if he is there at all, one must go on an expedition to find him.

    The question of God, by contrast, is one that must be pursued in terms of the absolute and the contingent, the necessary and the fortuitous, act and potency, possibility and impossibility, being and nonbeing, transcendence and immanence. Evidence for or against the existence of Thor or King Oberon would consist only in local facts, not universal truths of reason; it would be entirely empirical, episodic, psychological, personal, and hence elusive. Evidence for or against the reality of God, if it is there, pervades every moment of the experience of existence, every employment of reason, every act of consciousness, every encounter with the world around us.


    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Point 11 'fist spoiler' is an assertion w/o proof after that you a list of assertions that are complexity for the sake of impressive obfuscation and nominal eruditeness. There is no definition time in that chain but time is used to move the logic along.
    The argument relies on a rational understanding of reality; that is, there must be a rational explanation for everything. One could conceivably reject the argument on the ground that this premise is false, but this would naturally be a rejection of rationality.

    An infinite regress defies rationality because it doesn't actually explain anything, but simply keeps passing the explanatory buck infinitely. Longer explanation:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    In any case, as I emphasized above, while the analysis of change leads us to the distinction between actuality and potentiality, that distinction has application not only to the changes things undergo through time, but also to their very existence at any moment of time. So, questions about the duration of the events in which change occurs and about whether any such events are simultaneous are not really to the point. We could ignore all that and just focus on the sheer existence of something at any instant, such as the existence of the water of our earlier example. For even its very existence—the fact that its atoms constitute water rather than discrete quantities of oxygen and hydrogen— involves the actualization of a potential and thus requires something to do the actualizing.

    I also noted that what makes such a causal series hierarchical rather than linear is not simultaneity per se, but rather the fact that all the members in such a series other than the first have their causal power in a derivative or instrumental rather than inherent or “built-in” way. This, you will recall, is why linear series of causes can in principle extend backward to infinity, while hierarchical series of causes cannot. Since each member of a linear series has its causal power inherently rather than derivatively, there is no need to trace any member’s action back to a first member, which imparts to it its power to act.38

    Hence, such a series need not have a beginning. By contrast, a hierarchical series is hierarchical precisely insofar as each member other than the first can act only insofar as its power to act is imparted to it from outside. If D is actualized by C only insofar as C is in turn being actualized by B and B in turn by A, then until we get to something which can actualize everything else in the series without having to be actualized itself—that is to say, to something which can impart causal power without having to derive it—then we will not really have explained anything. We will just keep passing the explanatory buck. A first actualizer who is the source of the actualizing power of the others is a precondition of there being a hierarchical series in the first place. A hierarchical series without such a first member would be like an instrument that is not the instrument of anything, a series of causes which have derivative causal power without anything from which to derive it.

    As this indicates (and as I also noted earlier), what is meant by a “first” cause in this context is not merely “the cause that comes before the second, third, fourth, and so on”, or “the one which happens to be at the head of the queue”. Rather, a “first cause” is one having underived or “primary” causal power, in contrast to those which have their causal power in only a derivative or “secondary” way. Thus, even if for the sake of argument we allowed that there could be an infinitely long hierarchical series—D actualized by C, which is in turn actualized by B, which is in turn actualized by A, and so on ad infinitum —there would still have to be a source of causal power outside the series to impart causal power to the whole. Again, even an infinitely long paintbrush handle could not move itself, since the wood out of which it is made has no “built-in” power of movement. The length of the handle is irrelevant. Or consider a mirror which reflects the image of a face present in another mirror, which in turn reflects the image of a face present in another, and so on ad infinitum. Even if we allowed that there could be such a series of mirrors, there would still have to be something outside this infinite series—the face itself—which could impart the content of the image without having to derive it. What there could not be is only mirror images and never any actual face. By the same token, even an infinitely long series of instrumental causes could not exhibit any causality at all unless there were something beyond the series whose instruments they were.

    In this light, some objections sometimes raised against the idea that a hierarchical series of causes must have a first member can be seen to miss the point.39 It is no good, for instance, to point to infinite mathematical series as counterexamples, because these do not involve instrumental and primary causes, or indeed any causality at all. Aristotelians do not in any event rule out all infinite series as such. They allow not only for infinite mathematical series, but, as has already been noted, generally agree that linear series of causes extending backward in time (which also do not involve instrumental and primary causes) could at least in principle lack a beginning. That is why it misses the point to raise against the argument of this chapter the objection that there are cosmological models favoring a universe, or at least a “multiverse”, without a beginning.

    It is also sometimes objected that the argument for a first member of a hierarchical series begs the question, insofar as characterizing other causes as instrumental itself presupposes that there is such a first member.40 But there is no begging of the question. To characterize something as an instrumental cause is merely to say that it derives its causal power from something else. There is nothing in that characterization that presupposes that a series of such causes cannot regress to infinity or that there must be some cause which has underived causal power. Even the skeptic can perfectly well understand the idea that a stick cannot move the stone under its own power, whether or not he goes on to agree that a regress of such moved movers must terminate in a first member.

    38 More precisely, each member of a given linear series has its causal power inherently relative to the other members of that series. But it doesn’t have it inherently full stop. Consider Al, who has a son named Bob, who in turn has a son of his own named Chuck. Each member of this series has the power to beget a son inherently rather than in a derivative way, in the sense that Bob can beget Chuck whether or not Al is still around, just as Al was able to beget Bob whether or not his own father was still around, and just as Chuck will be able to have a son of his own whether or not either Al or Bob is still around. Their power to beget sons is not instrumental or derivative in the way that the power of a stick to move a stone is derivative. It is Bob who begets Chuck, not Al who begets Chuck using Bob as an instrument. But of course, there are other senses in which they do not have inherent causal power of this or any other sort. For one thing, none of them would have the power to beget sons had they not inherited that power from their parents. And most importantly for present purposes, neither Al nor Bob nor Chuck could beget or do anything else even for an instant unless the potential of the atoms that make up their bodies to constitute bodies, specifically, is actualized here and now, which in turn requires that the potential of the relevant subatomic particles to constitute atoms of that sort, specifically, is actualized here and now, and so forth. And of course, none of that is in Al’s (or Bob’s or Chuck’s) power. Again, each stage in a linear series itself presupposes hierarchical series of causes, which do involve derivative rather than inherent causal power.


    At best you have a rather tedious version of logic getting you to Aristotle's prime mover - not much of a god and one rather disinterested in the world it moved to creation.
    Overall you got a nice Chewbacca defense but not QED.
    The argument doesn't aim to demonstrate that God is interested in the world, and certainly not that God is a god, but only that he exists.
    Last edited by Prodromos; January 12, 2019 at 08:31 PM.

  17. #97
    basics's Avatar Praeses
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Scotland, UK.
    Posts
    8,791

    Default Re: Do you believe the Christmas story?

    Theologians come and go yet God remains the same as does His word just as Jesus said. God's interest in the affairs of men has never wavered simply because these interests are bound up in His plan to establish His Kingdom where man plays an integral part. The worst thing a man, any man, can do is mess around with God's word as we now find with all the various versions of that called bibles. There's nothing wrong with enquiry as a man wouldn't be a man if he did not indulge his mind in that way but what need is there to enquire anything of God when He has given us all that we need to know about Himself and His Salvation.

Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •