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Okay, so let's get to the bottom of this

#141Moorish_IdolPosted 5/2/2013 2:58:39 PM
JonWood007 posted...
When we talk about "God", we are most likely thinking of a conscious being. When going into the concepts of imaginary time, you're talking about SOMETHING that is nonphysical. It could be God, but it could be something else. [...]

I can only speak for the deistic god. The thing is, is that it is largely undefined outside of the absolutes (specifically timeless, spaceless). This is because our god doesn't interact, so we have no means to interpret character. Because of this, the supposed billions of other theories (although, honestly, I think the amount of possibilities of what existed before the physical universe is a smaller number than you may think) don't inherently discount god. What we know as "god" could very well be those metaphysical unicorns you talk about. What we know as "god" could very well be simply the quantum forces that may have always existed.

Defining god only becomes an necessity when you are choosing to worship it, or if there is some catch like "You'll go to hell if you don't believe me." That is where religion comes in. Determining if god exists is (or should be) the first step; determining which religion, if any, is true (or if truth can even be determined) is whole other topic.

Defining god becomes an area of interest when you wish to know more about this eternal force you've chosen to believe. I have defined my god beyond the absolutes (although, considering other theists, my god remains comparatively largely undefined) through philosophical discourse because I became interested in what this being or non-being is. But I didn't feel an obligation to define it.

Why do I think god is more plausible than other theories like eternal quantum mechanics? Because, personally, it's hard for me to subscribe to a belief that argues the universe always was; that the physical laws always were, and are arbitrary. I'm not arguing that this universe is fine-tuned for humanity. But it certainly seems to be fine-tuned for physical existence. If the universe was in a quantum non-physical state prior to the Big Bang, then why did it carry the laws and properties by which physicality was made probable? It seems like it carried a lot of superfluous information for no real good reason.

Not to mention looking a little into the idea of imaginary time, it looks like it's another dimension of time. Apparently it's derived from some equations, and Stephen Hawking cites that it predicts many effects we have observed in this universe. [...]

I don't think it's unfair to compare two theories regarding pre-Big Bang (god vs. non-physical properties). Imaginary time has been used to demonstrate physical properties, and from that it is inferring what non-physical properties would be like. But it can't necessary say what the non-physical is, factually, just that some properties may be plausible.

Inferring god existed is equally untestable, and while it lacks mathematical backing (which I don't see as a problem, but I know you do) it regardless doesn't lack equal plausibility simply due to the fact that it, like non-physical quantum hypotheses, can be inferred but not directly observed.
#142Moorish_IdolPosted 5/2/2013 2:58:42 PM
I'm biased against philosophy because on this topic, it is often used to manipulate the heck out of words and premises in order to reach bad conclusions. [...]

I don't want to get into another empiricism vs. non-empiricism debate because we've had like ten of them already on this board.

I will say this though: I am not sure your expectations for this topic are fair. The concept of god (and theists' reasons for belief) are largely, or wholly, based on philosophical discourse. To expect us to be able to cater our arguments to your naturalist worldview is unfair.

Let me put it this way: let's say you were telling a Creationist about evolution. He looks at you and says, "My worldview incorporates God, so in order for me to believe in evolution you have to tell me how God did it." Would you concede? No, you'd say, "I can't fulfill that request."

(Note: I'm not saying I think god was involved at all in evolution; it was just the first example to come to mind.)

In the same way, you are asking us to give you arguments for god that are applicable to your naturalist worldview. We can't do that. Our worldview incorporates theological and philosophical discourse. And, for me in particular, these things are in addition to naturalism. We can't fulfill your request for natural proof of god because the concept of god is more than that.

And I'd argue once you begin getting beyond defining conscious beings as God, the entire term loses its meaning.

It doesn't lose its meaning; it just becomes more open. God will always be timeless and spaceless, no matter what other qualities it has. Also just to make sure, I added a late edit to my earlier post regarding its sentience if you missed that.
#143JonWood007(Topic Creator)Posted 5/2/2013 3:26:21 PM

I can only speak for the deistic god. The thing is, is that it is largely undefined outside of the absolutes (specifically timeless, spaceless). This is because our god doesn't interact, so we have no means to interpret character. Because of this, the supposed billions of other theories (although, honestly, I think the amount of possibilities of what existed before the physical universe is a smaller number than you may think) don't inherently discount god. What we know as "god" could very well be those metaphysical unicorns you talk about. What we know as "god" could very well be simply the quantum forces that may have always existed.


Yeah but don't you understand that when you expand your definition of god so much, that no matter what it turns out to be, you call it "God"? By such logic, everyone is a theist.

As for a more specific version of God, which i would argue is some sort of conscious being, I'd argue that the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate it. I don't have to discount it. You have to show me why accept that theory? When you claim to be a deist or a theist, I would argue you must hold some partiality to such a theory.

Why do I think god is more plausible than other theories like eternal quantum mechanics? Because, personally, it's hard for me to subscribe to a belief that argues the universe always was; that the physical laws always were, and are arbitrary. I'm not arguing that this universe is fine-tuned for humanity. But it certainly seems to be fine-tuned for physical existence. If the universe was in a quantum non-physical state prior to the Big Bang, then why did it carry the laws and properties by which physicality was made probable? It seems like it carried a lot of superfluous information for no real good reason.


And I disagree. I really don't hold a strong position either way. I kinda see agnostic atheism is a reasonable "default position" to the question at hand. It may exist, it may not, what evidence is out there? And I'm not sure fine tuning is a good argument.


I don't think it's unfair to compare two theories regarding pre-Big Bang (god vs. non-physical properties). Imaginary time has been used to demonstrate physical properties, and from that it is inferring what non-physical properties would be like. But it can't necessary say what the non-physical is, factually, just that some properties may be plausible.


True.


I don't think it's unfair to compare two theories regarding pre-Big Bang (god vs. non-physical properties). Imaginary time has been used to demonstrate physical properties, and from that it is inferring what non-physical properties would be like. But it can't necessary say what the non-physical is, factually, just that some properties may be plausible.


I'd argue the lack of math makes all the difference. We actually have a reason to believe that imaginary time exist, the mathematical models fit. I'd argue that "God" doesn't necessarily fit. it CAN fit, but while imaginary time to me comes off as a legitimate missing piece from the puzzle, the whole God thing can go either way. Also, considering I don't consider non conscious things to be God, even if we did find such a concept to be necessary, it doesn't mean its a conscious god.
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#144JonWood007(Topic Creator)Posted 5/2/2013 3:27:52 PM
I'm biased against philosophy because on this topic, it is often used to manipulate the heck out of words and premises in order to reach bad conclusions. [...]

I don't want to get into another empiricism vs. non-empiricism debate because we've had like ten of them already on this board.

I will say this though: I am not sure your expectations for this topic are fair. The concept of god (and theists' reasons for belief) are largely, or wholly, based on philosophical discourse. To expect us to be able to cater our arguments to your naturalist worldview is unfair.......


Well, what I'm gonna say to this is "tough crap". Seriously. I'm tired of the complaining. I don't care any more.

The key difference between my worldview and a theistic one is that I start out assuming NOTHING. I build up from there. I attempt to demonstrate I exist, and then I attempt to demonstrate the world around me. As for what is beyond this world, we don't know, we can't know. And in order to speculate, you need to understand this world first. Philosophers often don't. William lane craig says some crap about causes and blah blah blah, and it doesn't matter because the world of quantum and relativistic physics doesn't bow down to such an infantile way of understanding the universe. We honestly can't know whether the universe is fine tuned or not. IMO, it's a nonstarter as far as God goes, because honestly, the universe could theoretically be more or less fine tuned. The argument for morality is a major cluster**** as well. Look, the reason I reject philosophy has more to do with the crappy ways philosophers and theologians use it than philosophy in itself. The people making these arguments dont understand how the world works. Who understand how the world works the most as far as humans go? Not philosophers, but scientists. Not to mention, as I said before, philosophy can be manipulated, and it can be used to come to strange abstract conclusions that are not necessarily true. the thing is, it's not a reliable way to determine truth on issues like this. And I dont think we can know until our knowledge is a lot more advanced than it currently is. IMO, philosophers who try to comment on this topic are just making fools of themselves.

What I reject, I only reject because they are unreliable means to come to unreliable conclusions.

It doesn't lose its meaning; it just becomes more open. God will always be timeless and spaceless, no matter what other qualities it has. Also just to make sure, I added a late edit to my earlier post regarding its sentience if you missed that.


If he's not conscious, IMO, there's no reason to call it God. Like, let's look at this in terms of religion as well. Can a nonconscious thing require worship? Can it tell us how to live? IMO, such a thing is pointless and irrelevant. All throughout history, gods have been conscious, whether they be zeus, or yahweh, or baal. What you're describing is simply another natural process of some kind, although it may be outside the universe.
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#145Moorish_IdolPosted 5/2/2013 4:34:11 PM(edited)
JonWood007 posted...
Yeah but don't you understand that when you expand your definition of god so much, that no matter what it turns out to be, you call it "God"? By such logic, everyone is a theist.

Okay, I will concede to that. God would have to be different. Sentience, I suppose, is what separates god from other non-sentient possibilities. I personally believe god is sentient, so I wouldn't defend a non-sentient god -- I will leave that to the others.

See? I learned something!

You have to show me why accept that theory? When you claim to be a deist or a theist, I would argue you must hold some partiality to such a theory.

I explained why. And you said you disagreed. Why would I push it any further? I'm not here to convert you to my beliefs. It doesn't matter to me at all if you choose to not believe what I do.

I'd argue the lack of math makes all the difference. We actually have a reason to believe that imaginary time exist, the mathematical models fit. I'd argue that "God" doesn't necessarily fit. it CAN fit, but while imaginary time to me comes off as a legitimate missing piece from the puzzle, the whole God thing can go either way.

I'm surprised that a concept as philosophical as non-physical time appeals to you. Then again, it's a scientist who said it and not a theologian, right?

Well, what I'm gonna say to this is "tough crap". Seriously. I'm tired of the complaining. I don't care any more.

Ah, and here we see your true colors. It's "tough crap" that we can't explain god to you in a naturalist way? Why? It's "complaining" when our worldview doesn't mesh with yours? Why?

Don't tell me, I'll explain:

You are not here to learn. You are here to convince yourself that you are right.

You have the presupposition that naturalism is the only way to learn about things, and therefore when we say we can't use natural means to prove god to you, oh boy that means victory for Jon!

You are taking such a cowardly approach to this. You know for a fact, because we have told you several times, that a naturalist worldview alone does not and cannot contain evidence for god. And yet, "tough crap, I want you to demonstrate god with naturalism."

How many times do we have to say naturalism is not applicable to god before you understand that?

It's not complaining; it's not whining. It's you preventing us from giving you evidence so that you can turn around and say, "See! I was right all along!"

Stop lying to yourself about wanting to learn about our beliefs and just admit you're here to make yourself feel like you're right.
#146JonWood007(Topic Creator)Posted 5/2/2013 5:46:38 PM
I'm surprised that a concept as philosophical as non-physical time appeals to you. Then again, it's a scientist who said it and not a theologian, right?


Exactly. So many theoretical concepts have increased our understanding of science, and they came from math, much like nonphysical time. And then they turn out to be true. Even if the concept is wrong in part, scientists are on to something in predicting something like that.

Ah, and here we see your true colors. It's "tough crap" that we can't explain god to you in a naturalist way? Why? It's "complaining" when our worldview doesn't mesh with yours? Why?


Because you have not justified your worldview. You're right in a way when i say you must show your worldview is right from mine, but ONLY because I have built up my worldview from scratch, and that which my worldview is based upon is solid. To use a religious analogy, my worldview is built on the rock, yours from shifting sand. I only reject methods that I deem to be unreliable at finding truth. if the method is unreliable, the conclusion is unreliable. And to show your method is reliable, you should probably use a method that we know works, which is science.


Don't tell me, I'll explain:

You are not here to learn. You are here to convince yourself that you are right.

You have the presupposition that naturalism is the only way to learn about things, and therefore when we say we can't use natural means to prove god to you, oh boy that means victory for Jon!


I'm not that vain. I'm just tired of being told I'm wrong in other topics without people explaining why I'm wrong. So I'm forcing my hand here and making you give your best evidence for God. And people are too busy whining about how my methods are too tough or that I'm too closed minded in explaining my point of view. No. I'm. Not. I only reject methods that are demonstrably unreliable.

Why should I accept philosophical arguments based on flawed premises, or are out specifically to prove a certain conclusion?

Why should I accept arguments that require me to prove them wrong, when they don't even offer valid support for them?

Why should I accept obvious logical fallacies?

Why should I accept vague answers that do a poor job at answering my question?

Why should I believe something to believe something? That's a combination of circular logic and confirmation bias.

Science works. It is shown to work. if it did not work, we would still be in the freaking dark ages or worse. Your methods...well....let's see, philosophy is thousands of years old, and philosophical arguments are at best based on our understanding of the universe at the time. Theistic arguments, IMO, lag behind the times. Many of these arguments have their roots from centuries ago, and so much has changed in our understanding from then to now. Even now, our understanding of many concepts is far from perfect. We're improving them...through science, but philosophy doesn't get you very far. In a lot of ways, conclusions from many philosophical arguments contradict science. Just look at dualism and compare it to disciplines like biology or psychology.

I'm using what works. I'm using what comes to the best conclusions. If you don't like that, then yeah, I'm gonna say tough. This topic is supposed to be about bringing forth good arguments for God, and you and many others are too busy arguing that I'm closed minded for the umpteeth time, even though you can't demonstrate it without using one of the many unreliable methods that I've blacklisted.
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#147JonWood007(Topic Creator)Posted 5/2/2013 5:46:49 PM
You are taking such a cowardly approach to this. You know for a fact, because we have told you several times, that a naturalist worldview alone does not and cannot contain evidence for god. And yet, "tough crap, I want you to demonstrate god with naturalism."

How many times do we have to say naturalism is not applicable to god before you understand that?

It's not complaining; it's not whining. It's you preventing us from giving you evidence so that you can turn around and say, "See! I was right all along!"


Even if science is not that good at tackling these kinds of arguments, it doesn't mean any of the methods that I've rejected are any better. I'd argue they're even worse. Science may make a few type II errors once in a while, but your methods' conclusions will be riddled with type I errors. No method is perfect, but I'm sticking with what is shown to work. Yours haven't been shown to work. I can't trust any conclusion that comes from them. What part of this don't YOU understand?
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#148Moorish_IdolPosted 5/2/2013 6:19:25 PM
JonWood007 posted...
Because you have not justified your worldview. You're right in a way when i say you must show your worldview is right from mine, but ONLY because I have built up my worldview from scratch, and that which my worldview is based upon is solid.

This is a two-way road. You have yet to show your worldview is right. And of course you think your worldview is solid; everyone thinks their worldview is.

I'm not that vain. I'm just tired of being told I'm wrong in other topics without people explaining why I'm wrong. So I'm forcing my hand here and making you give your best evidence for God. And people are too busy whining about how my methods are too tough or that I'm too closed minded in explaining my point of view. No. I'm. Not. I only reject methods that are demonstrably unreliable.

We've explained why you are wrong in your approach. I don't think anyone has ever said you're wrong to doubt the existence of god outside of the trolls like LMS or PC.

You make posts demanding empirical proofs for things of which that we can't provide empirical proofs. Repeatedly. After numerous people telling you this can't be done.

If you want to discount the theistic worldview because you don't want to consider anything that is not naturalistic, fine. But it becomes a problem when you go on to make topics like this asking us to provide naturalistic proofs, knowing full well that we can't. Definably a trap topic, which was recognized all the way back in the second post. And then you go on to say we are whining when we can't comply? Please.

If you were to be honest and say, "I am strictly a naturalist and refuse to consider anything else," then we'd leave you alone. It's when you bring us into it by saying our beliefs are invalid, illogical, irrational, etc., that we "complain" about your methods, because you are painting a picture of us that is wholly false simply because it makes your worldview look pristine.

I've known several pure naturalists in my life, since my line of work is full of them, but none of them do what you do. When told that god is a philosophical concept, they say, "Oh, I will look at the philosophical concepts then," or "Oh, well they haven't convinced me yet." They never go on to say, "Too bad, tough crap, I don't care if it's not applicable, I demand evidence that isn't philosophical or you are irrational." Because that's just being a pretentious ego-stroker.

Even if science is not that good at tackling these kinds of arguments, it doesn't mean any of the methods that I've rejected are any better. I'd argue they're even worse. Science may make a few type II errors once in a while, but your methods' conclusions will be riddled with type I errors. No method is perfect, but I'm sticking with what is shown to work. Yours haven't been shown to work. I can't trust any conclusion that comes from them. What part of this don't YOU understand?

This topic is utterly useless then. You have already decided that you will reject any arguments that aren't equivalent to your worldview. This topic was done before it began.

What you should have done: "My worldview disagrees with theists" and moved on. What you did: "My worldview disagrees with theists, and I'm damn sure going to let them know how invalid I think they are." Who's whining, honestly?
#149JonWood007(Topic Creator)Posted 5/2/2013 6:50:56 PM
This is a two-way road. You have yet to show your worldview is right. And of course you think your worldview is solid; everyone thinks their worldview is.


What exactly do you want to know? I was under the impression most theists already believe that they exist, that the world exists, and that they can use science to reliably obtain information about the world. I mean, if we could not do these things, then we couldn't even talk to each other. Computers and internet are a product of this method. To quote Dawkins yet again, "it works, *****es!" Unless you do not believe this world exists, unless you don't believe you exist, or unless you don't believe science works, I fail to understand what I am lacking in demonstrating my worldview. I was under the impression that we both recognize these methods.

The question for me is, where do we go from here? And you guys are just complaining about me being closed minded because I think you're making awful leaps in logic that you haven't justified in claiming to be able to know things for certain through other methods. Again, I'm not 100% anti philosophy, but I will say much of the discipline is speculation rather than hard facts. The thing is, as long as philosophers play around with semantics and premises, as long as they come to diverse and conflicting conclusions based on their premises (a major problem with philosophy), and as long as they don't offer anything more than idle speculation for how we know their argument is the right one, then no, I'm not gonna respect conclusions derived from philosophy alone. Philosophy can make a theoretical roadmap, but until you take your car out of the driveway and examine the roads for yourself, you can't know if your map is right. Philosophy without science is about as reliable as apple maps, while what I want is a google earth approach to things, I not only want to know where the roads are, but it's nice to have that little camera car actually document these things.

Anyway, turning this around on me doesn't help you much.


I've known several pure naturalists in my life........


How many of them come from a strong religious background that they then rejected? The thing is, being a former theist, I've developed an "immunity" toward those kinds of arguments.

This topic is utterly useless then. You have already decided that you will reject any arguments that aren't equivalent to your worldview. This topic was done before it began.

What you should have done: "My worldview disagrees with theists" and moved on. What you did: "My worldview disagrees with theists, and I'm damn sure going to let them know how invalid I think they are." Who's whining, honestly?


Actually, I asked for evidence, you're the one starting an argument yet again about why I'm wrong for approaching topics the way I approach them. Once again, I think my approach here is perfectly reasonable. I'm rejecting methods I explicitly think don't work. I have reasons for why they don't work. I've explained them.

Answer these questions:

Why should I accept philosophical arguments based on flawed premises, or are out specifically to prove a certain conclusion?

Why should I accept arguments that require me to prove them wrong, when they don't even offer valid support for them?

Why should I accept obvious logical fallacies?

Why should I accept vague answers that do a poor job at answering my question?

Why should I believe something to believe something? That's a combination of circular logic and confirmation bias.


It's one thing to say I'm wrong, but you completely evaded those questions.Why should I accept your ways of thinking? Why? Explain that.
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#150Julian_CaesarPosted 5/2/2013 7:34:25 PM
From: GuideToTheDark | #125
The assumption is based on basic observation, at the very least.


Not exactly. Basic observation tells us that those things which can be observed will always act in accordance with scientific laws. In order for Faust's worldview assumption to be true, we would have to be capable of saying that all things which can possibly exist will always act in accordance with scientific laws. And since observation cannot observe those things which are un-observable by definition (like deities), then the assumption fails because observation cannot observe all things which can possibly exist.

It's a hard thing to work through because we've been trained from a young age to trust the scientific process. Which is a good thing to be trained in, don't get me wrong. It's not about proving that science is the wrong thing to use...it's about understanding science's limitations.

In many ways, it's like understanding a closed system. If the universe is the Perfect Styrofoam Calorimetry Cup, then God is the lab teacher who made it. Science (the energy inside the system) is fully capable of understanding everything inside the universe; nothing goes in or out. So is it reasonable for science to conclude that nothing outside the cup exists? Partially, insofar as the energy inside the cup cannot interact with energy outside the cup. Thus we have no "reason" to suspect that anything outside the cup exists. But can science actually make that claim by scientifically proving the non-existence of the lab teacher? According to its own rules of energy interaction? It can't, because by definition the "science" (energy in the cup) can't interact with the lab teacher or lack thereof (energy or non-energy state outside the cup). Thus, science can only conclude that the existence of any "super-cup" beings is not provable OR disprovable. While there is no reason to suspect that the lab teacher exists, there is also no basis for declaring that the teacher can't exist at all.
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