I can tell. this is gonna be a long debate. I'll post it in chunks as it progresses. How am I doing so far? He's in bold.



The "God" Debate

Sat at 1:28pm | Edit Note | Delete

This will be a theologcial debate involving Tyler and myself.

Others are welcome to spectate, but I wouldn't want there to be the unfair advantage of multiple critiques. Also, if we get too many people to respond to, it will get messy.

I think it is fair that spectators may point out bullets of information for us to address.

Anyone is allowed to invite more spectators so long as they politely keep to the rules.

I don't have a problem with private counseling so long as Tyler doesn't.



I'd like to start by asking Tyler:

What reason do you have for believing in God/Jesus?

What is the use in believing in God/Jesus? I have clear objections to the dangers of the religious mindset, but I'd like to hear your opinion on what benefits a believer may have that a non-believer does not. Updated on Saturday · Comment ·LikeUnlike


Tyler:
Well Johnny, I have several reasons for believing in God. The First would be that I believe there is indeed sufficient evidence to support the existance of God excluding the Bible. Expounding on that very briefly, I find that the Trancendentalist Argument, the inner moral code and the Entropy Problem hold true to the existance of God. I can explain them if you like. While i have a personal reason to believe in God (My dad had leukemia and very nearly died) I while not bring that into the debate. I became a christian in the first place because i felt something was missing in my life. I had everything I needed-food, family, friends, love-but i was still empty. While my parents were already Christians themselves i was still taking in what i was being fed. I became a christian a while later at age 12. Did i know exactly what I was getting into? No. Could i defend my faith to someone reasonably intelligent? Not really. Around age 14, I began a journey of sorts, searching out answers and reasons as to the evidence of God himself. While I have not nor ever will conclude my search, the evidence i believe is there and waiting. We can get into that soon as well.



The use? For one the life/death issue is one. You believe that after your relatively short more or less insignificantly important life(no offense intended) that you just die? That its over? Like you had your little run of things...times up?




Johnny:
For now, I will wait for you to explain your position on the Trancendentalist argument, inner moral code, and the Entropy problem. My understanding of the TA has plenty of problems, but go ahead and defend your specific argument so I don't waste time pointing out problems with a possibly different interpretation.

“I became a christian in the first place because i felt something was missing in my life.”
Plenty of problems with that.
a) anecdotal and therefore not representative of population
b) Either one or both types of bias: confirmation and hindsight
I feel the exact same way about atheism/agnosticism. I felt something missing in my life as a Christian. I feel complete as an atheist/agnostic, but I do not assume that I am correct based on my knowledge of the way bias works (assuming I’m correct would be hindsight). It could have easily been fair debate, unbiased opinions, or any other combination of factors that actually made me comfortable since I left sheltered lifestyle. I do not say that it is necessarily my atheism that makes me comfortable.

“the evidence i believe is there and waiting.”

Ouch… an ominous precursor for confirmation bias. If you ever do find the evidence, do examine the secular argument as well.

“You believe that after your relatively short more or less insignificantly important life(no offense intended) that you just die? That its over? Like you had your little run of things...times up?”

Yep. I’m not sad about it. In fact I think it makes life more meaningful and teaches us to appreciate what we have rather than stepping on people in order to “trade up” for God’s will. It’s rather traitorous if you think about it; oppressing your fellow man in order to suck up to the dictator because you fear that he’ll send you to hell.
Achilles summed it up beautifully in Troy:
“The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”
Enjoy what you have. Love each other because life is too short to hate. Why must that be so grim? It’s touching. It resonates perfectly on the emotional level. Why be so afraid of death when we can still place our own value on life?

Yesterday at 6:55am · Delete


Johnny:

It always interests me that religious people are sad when their loved ones die... why?

It makes it seem like you don't truly believe that they are in heaven. Maybe you want to believe so bad that you try and argue for it, but if you are sad at death and earthly suffering, I'm stumped.
Religion, in fact, teaches that earthly suffering is valuable ... See Moreif one is to enter the kingdom of heaven. The people who are poor, religiously persecuted, or a victim of society otherwise should be considered the "lucky bastards" if you accept many of the religious perspectives. Their reward is in heaven, so why care about people who suffer? They'll end up benefitteing from it for eternity.


Tyler:
Wow. I dont really know where to start. To maximize the effectiveness of this debate, why dont you ask me something specific from your comments above and we will go from there. Its kind've hard to address multiple statments on different levels of thought.
Yesterday at 10:41pm ·


Johnny Hanley
Tyler: ok, let's take each one of your main logical justifications one by one, starting with the Transcendental argument.

Explain it thoroughly so that I make sure I understand your interpretation and then I'll respond to it.


Tyler:
ok johnny here is my view of the T.A.:
Logical Absolutes
Law of Identity
Something is what it is, and isn't what it is not. Something that exists has a specific nature.
For example, a cloud is a cloud, not a rock. A fish is a fish, not a car.
Law of Non-Contradiction
Something cannot be both true and false at the same time in the same sense.
For example, to say that the cloud is not a cloud would be a contradiction since it would violate the first law. The cloud cannot be what it is and not what it is at the same time.
Law of Excluded Middle (LEM)
A statement is either true or false, without a middle ground.
"I am alive" is either true or false. "You are pregnant" is either true or false.
Noteone: "This statement is false" is not a valid statement (not logically true) since it is self-refuting and is dealt with by the Law of Non-contradiction. Therefore, it does not fall under the LEM category since it is a self-contradiction.
Note two: If we were to ignore note one, then there is a possible paradox here. The sentence "this statement is false" does not fit this Law since if it is true, then it is false. Paradoxes occur only when we have absolutes. Nevertheless, the LEM is valid except for the paradoxical statement cited.
Note three: If we again ignore note one and admit a paradox, then we must acknowledge that paradoxes exist only within the realm of absolutes. With me so far?



Johnny:
That has nothing to do with the validity of of God. I don't yet see the link.

"Santa is Santa. Santa can not simultaneously exist and not exist." Just because we have a the ability to percieve of a man on a flying sleigh delivering presents to everyone in one night doesn't make it plausible.

If there's more, do go on. I'm familiar with the ideas you presented. Interestingly enough, I have a point about "This statement if false" later in my critique of God, so I use it to argue the opposite side... at least in arguing that he must be within the confines of logical absolutes
5 hours ago · Delete


Johnny (later):
Just to let you know, I researched the thought process that you are going down (it is rather new to me. all I've heard are horrible half-baked interpretations of it.)

TAG is a fascinating theory. It made me ponder for a bit, but after researching the counter-arguments, I have found the fallacies.

Are your ideas about TAG in accordance with Apologist Matt Slick?... See More

I was going to have you explain the argument out all the way, but just tell me if you agree with this video:

http://www.carm.org/transcendental-argument

Anyone else who is interested can look it up themselves. The response coming up in a bit.
3 hours ago · Delete


Johnny:
Actually, I'll make a jump and assume you agree with Slick's argument and go ahead and start my response to TAG.

There is a fallacy in the idea that these logical absolutes are the mind of God and here's why:

(6 in Slick's argument:...
a.Logic is a process of the mind. Logical absolutes provide the framework for logical thought processes. Therefore, Logical Absolutes are conceptual by nature.)

Uh... no. Just because the application of logical absolutes depends on the mind does not mean that the logical absolutes themselves are dependent on a mind. That is where the argument crumbles.

The assumption that is made is that if our own minds do not give rise to these logical absolutes, they do not exist, but therefore some mind HAD TO have made them in order for them to be in place?

Now I am pleased to put in my argument of logical absolutes and why they actually refute god. (Actually I knew this all along when responding to other arguments. I just didn't apply it to this one at first. Someone I researched did, which made me kick myself ;P)

Can God make a rock so big that he can not lift it, assuming also that he is omnipotent? No. According to the law of contradiction, it is impossible for god to be both able to do anything and not able to do something.
Therefore, God is subject to the law of contradiction as well as other laws. If logical absolutes are "the concept" of god, then he should not be limited to them. In this sense, logical absolutes are more powerful than God, who can not defy them.

You could then argue that he can't defy the law of contradiction because of the law of identity... well... same problem... God's subject to the law of identity too. He can't defy his nature and therefore is not truly omnipotent.

I was at first stumped by the fact that humans are limited by something objective and non-material that could possibly be defined as the mind of god, but when I realized that God is under the same limitations, the argument loses it's validity because then God needs a god and that god needs one and that one needs one.

It's a fallacy.
2 hours ago · Delete


Tyler:
Your rock anecdote has an error to it. That error is called a category fallacy. The definition of God is in part omnipotence. Therefore there is no such rock that is so big it cant possibly lifted. Therefore God is not defying the laws of contradiction and identity and thus not limited to them. I dont know where exaactly you are going with the logical absolutes. But God is not under to the same limitations. Not if he created them.
about an hour ago · Delete



Johnny:

Ok... no examples needed even if i accepted that.

God can not 'not be god.' He is therefore subject to identity.
God's existence can not simultaneously true and not true, therefore he is subject to contradiction.
God is either true or not true with no middle ground, therefore he is subject to LEM.

The laws of logcial absolutes are still greater than god and can not be subject to god.

He can not be simultaneously omnipotent and have something he can't do: defy his own nature. Therefore, the idea that anything is truly omnipotent is a fallacy as well.

"Not if he created them."

If anything, even god, is not subject to the law of absolutes, then they do not exist in the absolute sense as they are claimed. It's the same flaw with the cosmologcial argument:

"Every being has a cause.
Nothing can cause itself.
A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
Therefore, a First Cause (or something that is not an effect) must exist. "

If we are to accept the premise that everything has cause, then god must also have cause. If god doesn't have cause, then the first premise is false. It's basically the same thing here. You can't say that God defys or is above or created the logical absolutes because he is subject to his own nature. He can't not be god. Therefore, he is subject to law#1.
about an hour ago · Delete

Johnny:
and actually, it was exactly my point that my example was a fallacy. If there is something that God can't do BECAUSE it is a fallacy, then he is confined by the rules of logic that define a fallacy. If he can't transcend logic, then he is not omnipotent.
about an hour ago · Delete



There it is so far. Let me know what I can do better and/or what you like. Thanks for reading!

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Comment by Johnny on November 28, 2009 at 2:29am
where did you get that poll, Vicki? I've been looking all over for reliable atheist polls like that, but haven't found any that are from reputable sources.

Thanks! I did use the countries argument, but abandoned it because I couldn't find the source and changed focus.

There is a bible verse that vaugely speaks of a "sphere." It could mean the moon, sun, or... more unlikely the earth. There are other similar passages all horribly vauge. The theist will cite these using the "at the time" argument. It's a bit of a pitfall. You gotta keep the string taut with these guys. Give em an inch and they'll take a mile and they will be past the point of no return. Best to stick to the rock solid arguments in my opinion.

Interestingly enough, I met this guy on youtube on the very video that I learned the story of Horus and Jesus. He said it proved nothing and although I agreed it proved nothing, it should at least strike him as suspicious and if he would LIKE to hear beliefs disproved he should debate me and well, here we are!

I'm definately gonna try and focus on the atrocities of the Bible. They're a great point of interest.
Comment by Johnny on November 26, 2009 at 12:49pm
Actually, you'll all be pleased to note that after a couple more back and forths, he was open-minded enough to realize the problems with both this argument and the cosmological one, which I brought up to show similar flawed thinking. I'll post the next part when I get enough dialogue.

I did use your "what could you possibly observe in the natural world to say that makes sense?" argument. Basically the creator theory makes more problems than it solves.
Comment by Richard Healy on November 25, 2009 at 4:42am
Not if he created them.

What is your evidence for this peculiar belief?

[faint ridicule but expect claims about God's nature or God's design - that's open ground to you to then challenge with 'begging the question' - if god did anything is what is at issue, he can't use that as a reason for believing. Use other creation myths for contrast, how can we tell these apart? or a question about how do we judge god's nature (since he thinks these things don't apply potency, temporality, etc) where does it say that in the bible and if it does is that reasonable?

But Duane is right, Trying to argue in terms of imaginary absolutes strikes me as futile. A theist can simply insist that God can defy all laws at will. That's the problem of trying to out-argue a definition. Definitions are only useful in terms of how they help frame something, in this case they favour the theist who can simply define god out of space, time, ethics, consequences etc. So get them onto specifics: what is their evidence for thinking that the definition is true, because plucking definitions out of the air is easy.

Inner moral code - will probably be as Duane suggests nothing like the natural morality we see, but will be a claim about free will and determinism. We know something is wrong or right because god gave us free will to choose, they'll say. More begging the question. If it comes down to it, free will is usually centred on the garden of Eden which can be torn to shreds as non functioning literally or metaphorically.
Comment by Johnny on November 25, 2009 at 2:47am
well, I got a theist that thinks. It's confirmation-biased thinking for sure, but if I can make him reason, I will. If i can't, o well. other fish in the sea.

Did I address the trancendental argument well enough?

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