How Thinking is greater than God - Apologetics inspired logic to support atheism
Posted: 12 July 2012 07:27 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I got to thinking what kind of arguments we’d be hearing if rational people participated in the God debate with the same kind of arguments as apologetics do. I’m curious if you share my view: apologists use such a weird (and weak) logic that it alone is enough to keep most rational people out of the debate (like Dawkins vs. WLC). Most rational people just don’t sink to that level - or they just see it as a waste of their time, for a good reason.


If you’d want to affect apologists with some arguments you’d probably have to sink to their level of absurdity and language games, and not a lot of smart people are willing or interested in doing that. And sadly this again holds up the apologist’s own little circles without them necessarily ever even hearing a truly rational argument.


This thought came to me as I was reading Free Will by Harris.
I think you can see the influence between the lines in the video I made to illustrate the above:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkYQkI93fN8


I’m also interested in hearing if you might have any arguments similar to the Greater Thought argument, and if anyone has tried anything similar with religious people.

[ Edited: 12 July 2012 07:29 PM by incollectio]
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Posted: 12 July 2012 08:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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incollectio - 12 July 2012 07:27 PM

I got to thinking what kind of arguments we’d be hearing if rational people participated in the God debate with the same kind of arguments as apologetics do. I’m curious if you share my view: apologists use such a weird (and weak) logic that it alone is enough to keep most rational people out of the debate (like Dawkins vs. WLC). Most rational people just don’t sink to that level - or they just see it as a waste of their time, for a good reason.


If you’d want to affect apologists with some arguments you’d probably have to sink to their level of absurdity and language games, and not a lot of smart people are willing or interested in doing that. And sadly this again holds up the apologist’s own little circles without them necessarily ever even hearing a truly rational argument.


This thought came to me as I was reading Free Will by Harris.
I think you can see the influence between the lines in the video I made to illustrate the above:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkYQkI93fN8


I’m also interested in hearing if you might have any arguments similar to the Greater Thought argument, and if anyone has tried anything similar with religious people.

 


It’s difficult to prove the existence of a non-existent entity.
It’s even more difficult to prove their non-existence.

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Posted: 12 July 2012 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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It’s difficult to prove the existence of a non-existent entity.
It’s even more difficult to prove their non-existence.

Indeed. I see the “God debate” as a collective strive to try and sort out what is a reasonable position. It could be said there are a few
epistemological schools that don’t seem to be able to have a conversation since they have different standards for justification. But I think the atheist side might have an easier time to step into the apologetics view of justification than it is for apologetics to quickly adopt the scientific justification of knowledge (or, indeed, defend their position through it). It’s just that probably not many would be willing to do that, for the simple reason that it would be promoting an unsubscribed standard of justification.

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Posted: 12 July 2012 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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incollectio - 12 July 2012 08:45 PM

It’s difficult to prove the existence of a non-existent entity.
It’s even more difficult to prove their non-existence.

Indeed. I see the “God debate” as a collective strive to try and sort out what is a reasonable position. It could be said there are a few
epistemological schools that don’t seem to be able to have a conversation since they have different standards for justification. But I think the atheist side might have an easier time to step into the apologetics view of justification than it is for apologetics to quickly adopt the scientific justification of knowledge (or, indeed, defend their position through it). It’s just that probably not many would be willing to do that, for the simple reason that it would be promoting an unsubscribed standard of justification.

 

I am a successful business man.
I vote for Republicans.
I see all Democrats as delusional.

I know that all of that is irrational.
I know that all political beliefs, both liberal and conservative, are irrational.
But I still see Democrats a having a few missing chromosomes.
It seems impossible to factor any form of logic into this arena when one finds
its self in the highest tax bracket.

 

 

 

 

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Posted: 13 July 2012 03:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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It’s difficult to prove the existence of a non-existent entity.
It’s even more difficult to prove their non-existence.


And to add: Even though disproving God is impossible, maybe it’s possible to prove he is not the greatest - or something along those lines. You know, to suppose the God premise in order to demonstrate its absurdities. Which, well, kind of discards some versions of the notion. And also relating to the video, Thought is real. ;)

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Posted: 13 July 2012 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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incollectio - 13 July 2012 03:03 AM

It’s difficult to prove the existence of a non-existent entity.
It’s even more difficult to prove their non-existence.


And to add: Even though disproving God is impossible, maybe it’s possible to prove he is not the greatest - or something along those lines. You know, to suppose the God premise in order to demonstrate its absurdities. Which, well, kind of discards some versions of the notion. And also relating to the video, Thought is real. wink

Religious thinking doesn’t seem to respond to logic even in small doses.
Most of those who break free of Scientology leave because of disagreements with the leaders not because they see the lunacy of the beliefs themselves.
Most of then remain faithful Scientoligists.
The same is true for those who abandon the JWs and The Mormon church.
They usually fall back into believing in the one “true Christ”.

 

[ Edited: 13 July 2012 02:54 PM by toombaru]
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Posted: 26 July 2012 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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incollectio - 12 July 2012 07:27 PM

I got to thinking what kind of arguments we’d be hearing if rational people participated in the God debate with the same kind of arguments as apologetics do. I’m curious if you share my view: apologists use such a weird (and weak) logic that it alone is enough to keep most rational people out of the debate (like Dawkins vs. WLC). Most rational people just don’t sink to that level - or they just see it as a waste of their time, for a good reason.


If you’d want to affect apologists with some arguments you’d probably have to sink to their level of absurdity and language games, and not a lot of smart people are willing or interested in doing that. And sadly this again holds up the apologist’s own little circles without them necessarily ever even hearing a truly rational argument.


This thought came to me as I was reading Free Will by Harris.
I think you can see the influence between the lines in the video I made to illustrate the above:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkYQkI93fN8


I’m also interested in hearing if you might have any arguments similar to the Greater Thought argument, and if anyone has tried anything similar with religious people.

Interesting video. I don’t think you need to resort to such complexities to disprove the existence of god however. To do that you simply need to refer to the only evidence for god, which is the bible and point out the many faults and contradictions in it.
Most christians believe because they don’t know of these contradictions nor do they know about the explanations for natural phenomenon for which science readily provides(the origin of species for example). Pointing out these usually will have the greatest effect.

Resorting to arguments based on complex premise can never prove or disprove anything. The only way we can know things with any level of certainty is through the scientific method. Even maths at its core is based on this.

 

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Posted: 27 July 2012 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Geeseman - 26 July 2012 10:33 PM
incollectio - 12 July 2012 07:27 PM

I got to thinking what kind of arguments we’d be hearing if rational people participated in the God debate with the same kind of arguments as apologetics do. I’m curious if you share my view: apologists use such a weird (and weak) logic that it alone is enough to keep most rational people out of the debate (like Dawkins vs. WLC). Most rational people just don’t sink to that level - or they just see it as a waste of their time, for a good reason.


If you’d want to affect apologists with some arguments you’d probably have to sink to their level of absurdity and language games, and not a lot of smart people are willing or interested in doing that. And sadly this again holds up the apologist’s own little circles without them necessarily ever even hearing a truly rational argument.


This thought came to me as I was reading Free Will by Harris.
I think you can see the influence between the lines in the video I made to illustrate the above:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkYQkI93fN8


I’m also interested in hearing if you might have any arguments similar to the Greater Thought argument, and if anyone has tried anything similar with religious people.

Interesting video. I don’t think you need to resort to such complexities to disprove the existence of god however. To do that you simply need to refer to the only evidence for god, which is the bible and point out the many faults and contradictions in it.
Most christians believe because they don’t know of these contradictions nor do they know about the explanations for natural phenomenon for which science readily provides(the origin of species for example). Pointing out these usually will have the greatest effect.

Resorting to arguments based on complex premise can never prove or disprove anything. The only way we can know things with any level of certainty is through the scientific method. Even maths at its core is based on this.


Read Michael Brooks “Free Radicals -The Secret Anarchy of Science”
Twenty percent of scientists world wide admitted taking drugs.
The actual amount is probably much higher.
The man renown for his work on DNA did his research on LSD.
Among scientists there is the normal amount of human cheating and rancor.
Most “scientific” studies turn out to be completely wrong.
Coffee is bad for us and then turns out to be good for us.
Recent research concluded that children who are raised with cats and dogs are healthier than those raised in petless homes.
The “scientists” speculated that the pets introduced bacteria to the children who then produced more antibodies.
What they didn’t factor in was the infinite number of other variables to which their subjects were exposed.
Don’t trust those silly scientists too much.
In their studies, they almost always get the results they expect.

 

[ Edited: 27 July 2012 08:42 PM by toombaru]
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Posted: 07 August 2012 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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toombaru,

If you haven’t already read it, I suggest the book “Making Social Science Matter” by Bent Flyvbjerg which discusses many of the points you raise. Much of the human experience is value-based and arational which actually is advantageous (ask any economist). The scientific method is typically a masquerade of sorts when attempting to categorize people and reify inner states, and as you say, it is a masquerade that always chooses its own costume by getting exactly what it was looking for every time.


It was one the creators of the modern statistical method, John Tukey who said, “When the right thing can only be measured poorly, it tends to cause the wrong thing to be measured, only because the wrong thing can be measured well.” He then concluded by saying, “An approximate answer to the right question is far better than the exact answer to the wrong question, because the exact answer to the wrong question can always be made precise.”


Tukey saw the coming of a time when people would trade in their common sense for a statistical “sure thing.” That time is now. The scientific method is the right horse to back in many instances. It’s a losing horse in many others. Wise people know this and avoid all extremes. After a few days looking around these forums, I’ve not seen too many wise people.


ETA: I apologize for derailing this thread, which raises good questions. My response to the OP would be to check out C.S. Lewis’ essay on Futility. It might be hard to find. In it, Lewis gives numerous examples regarding what reason can and can’t do, especially as a rising, conscious substrate of Nature. For example, the Gulf Stream produces measureable temperature changes of the ocean. What it doesn’t give us are maps of the Gulf Stream. In fact, a map of the Gulf Stream means nothing to the Gulf Stream at all. It is a wholly other category of meaning.

[ Edited: 07 August 2012 05:45 AM by Stamen]
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“If we present man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present him as an automation of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instincts, heredity, and environment, we feed the despair to which man is already prone.”  ~ Victor Frankl

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Posted: 07 August 2012 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Stamen - 07 August 2012 05:38 AM

toombaru,

If you haven’t already read it, I suggest the book “Making Social Science Matter” by Bent Flyvbjerg which discusses many of the points you raise. Much of the human experience is value-based and arational which actually is advantageous (ask any economist). The scientific method is typically a masquerade of sorts when attempting to categorize people and reify inner states, and as you say, it is a masquerade that always chooses its own costume by getting exactly what it was looking for every time.


It was one the creators of the modern statistical method, John Tukey who said, “When the right thing can only be measured poorly, it tends to cause the wrong thing to be measured, only because the wrong thing can be measured well.” He then concluded by saying, “An approximate answer to the right question is far better than the exact answer to the wrong question, because the exact answer to the wrong question can always be made precise.”


Tukey saw the coming of a time when people would trade in their common sense for a statistical “sure thing.” That time is now. The scientific method is the right horse to back in many instances. It’s a losing horse in many others. Wise people know this and avoid all extremes. After a few days looking around these forums, I’ve not seen too many wise people.


ETA: I apologize for derailing this thread, which raises good questions. My response to the OP would be to check out C.S. Lewis’ essay on Futility. It might be hard to find. In it, Lewis gives numerous examples regarding what reason can and can’t do, especially as a rising, conscious substrate of Nature. For example, the Gulf Stream produces measureable temperature changes of the ocean. What it doesn’t give us are maps of the Gulf Stream. In fact, a map of the Gulf Stream means nothing to the Gulf Stream at all. It is a wholly other category of meaning.

 

A very thoughtful response.
Sentient life is programmed to survive and reproduce.
The fundamental essence of the conceptual mind originates in fear and insecurity.
The mind of man is driven to seek security within its own conceptual overlay and that which it has labeled “the scientific method” is merely another attempt to make sense out of a frightening world.
Science is the most effective method in the attempt to define the mind’s conceptuall reality and predict the possible future effects of its actions.
But science is essentially useless when it is applied to its imaginary (non-material) world.
Science cannot be applied that to things that exist only in the objectifying mind.
Science cannot study love, morals or happiness simply because they do not exist.

 

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