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Thread: Logically disproving the notion of God

  1. #1 Logically disproving the notion of God 
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    (Before I go on, I must say that if anyone tells me that God is outside the bounds of logic, I will reach through this computer and smack you)

    God is technically impossible by way of Occams razor. According to the laws of physics, an energy force can only release or create energy that is less complex than the original source. If the universe was complex and they say it needed a creator, the creator would have to be more complex than the universe. Now most Christians use this argument and they just applied a characteristic to the universe. They say that there has to be a higher power and that the universe is too ordered and complex to not have a creator. However, they have to apply that standard to EVERY complex ideology. Thus, you must also apply that standard to that of God. If God needs a creator because of his complexity, then what created him? What created him and so on? It goes on forever. Now they need to really put down occams razor in this situation. What occams razor states is that usually the simplest answers are the correct ones. If they say the universe needs a creator, then God needs a creator. If they say that God does NOT need a creator, then neither does the universe. Whence commeth God if all else needs to be created by an even greater and more complex creator?

    Any opinions? Can anyone find a hole in this logic? I've been pondering for quite some time and I have yet to figure it out. (I came up with this argument btw. May not be the first person to think of it, but I did think it up myself)


    "Democracy is a problem because it treats everyone as equals." - Betty Fischer

    "back in the 50's or 60's Nicky Criuz was a gang leader who met David Wilkerson in New York City. After much discussion over months or years, i forget how long, Wilkerson's wife became pregnant. one day Cruz decides to test God, he basically prayed--God if you are real let the baby be born a boy-- it was a boy. "
    - Logic of a creationist

    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur
    ""What can be asserted without reason, can be dismissed without reason. ""
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  3. #2  
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    Yes, 3 holes :

    1. God could be something that always exists.

    2. If God does not need a creator, this doesn't mean the Universe does not.

    3. Humans are unable to comprehend God at this stage in our evolution.

    (and this is within the bounds of your thought experiment - which seem quite confined, self serving, and anti-Christian focussed)


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  4. #3  
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    God is technically impossible by way of Occams razor.
    You fail with the first sentence already. Occam's razor is not a matter of if this, then always that. It is a matter of if this, then usually that. It is a guide, not an absolute.

    Aside from that, with this train of logic you are only debunking that one justification used by theists, not the entire notion of God.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Seeing as Occams razor states that something has to be explained a simple as possible, I would say that the notion of God follows this perfectly.... He exists and always has.

    There will never be a method, not matter how logical verzen to disprove the existence of God. Its impossible. God is such a vast, complex idea that is it totally unverifiable and testable, at least scientifically.

    You can spend years of your life struggling to justify Gods existence, or to disprove it in order to help people escape their dogma, but in the end of all of it. People will stay with their memes rather than adopting a new one.

    God is so ridiculous an idea anyway you might as well have asked us to answer if Occams Razor can logically disprove the existence of the spaghetti monster that is overlord of all of space and time. It isn't the notion of ridiculousness or logic of a belief (such as God), it using the notion and belief in God to justify their own human needs, insecurities and the like. Perfectly normal human behaviour, among beta humans anyway.

    Even if you disproved God, so many people would be lost in their lives it would cause anarchy, total global meltdown. Just let people believe what they want, that goes for Muslims, Christians, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, ignositcs all the like, all of them.

    Remember also verzen, religion might be right. There may be a God, and most of the Bible and the Qu'rans text might be true.

    Personally I don't believe they are, yet religion and its texts do contain very useful and definite wise advice. Only for the lost however. Religion helps people, don't take away their crutches; let them learn to walk freely, or use those crutches themselves.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    . God could be something that always exists.
    Wrong. If they say that the universe is so complex that it needs a creator, then that argument also applies to God since God would HAVE to be moe complex then the Universe. What created God then? Your argument doesn't stand.

    2. If God does not need a creator, this doesn't mean the Universe does not.
    Logically, yes it does... If the argument you are using is that the universe is too orderly and complex to not have a creator.

    3. Humans are unable to comprehend God at this stage in our evolution.
    You are assuming God exists. This is not an argument.

    (and this is within the bounds of your thought experiment - which seem quite confined, self serving, and anti-Christian focussed)
    Confined, self serving, and anti-Christian focussed? Your entire post is based off of fallacious arguments and illogical arguments.
    "Democracy is a problem because it treats everyone as equals." - Betty Fischer

    "back in the 50's or 60's Nicky Criuz was a gang leader who met David Wilkerson in New York City. After much discussion over months or years, i forget how long, Wilkerson's wife became pregnant. one day Cruz decides to test God, he basically prayed--God if you are real let the baby be born a boy-- it was a boy. "
    - Logic of a creationist

    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur
    ""What can be asserted without reason, can be dismissed without reason. ""
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  7. #6  
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    No one will ever prove the non-existence of god, neither logically nor scientifically, because it is an idea that incurs past events and incursions that will truly NEVER be known. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism, and any other religion you can think of could very well be 100% wrong, but we can't definitively PROVE that they're wrong. Occam's Razor may state that belief in it is silly, and as a logical tool yes, there is little reason to believe in a religion, however, that doesn't prove it wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Wolf
    Remember also verzen, religion might be right. There may be a God, and most of the Bible and the Qu'rans text might be true.
    This isn't likely, and in actuality, is one of the few things regarding "god" that we can safely disprove; the texts about said "god".
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    This isn't likely, and in actuality, is one of the few things regarding "god" that we can safely disprove; the texts about said "god".
    We can disprove it using psychological and evolutionary evidence that they came up with that religious dogma.

    We cannot disprove that God himself actually told them this. We can prove that they may have been hallucinating from naturally occuring gases or mental illness, yet we cannot actually disprove God itself actually spoke in their ears.

    That is what my comment there meant. By all rights I believe that they are talking rubbish and is all contrived dogma, yet I cannot prove that it was God who told them. I can suggest it was halluicinations from evidence of modern evidence, yet we cannot specifically analyse Mohammed or Jesus face to face with our scienfific methods to prove it was hallucinations, and at the same time we cannot know 'God' told them.

    The current scientific method suggests the former
    The current scientific method can only speculate the latter. God is untestable.

    Science is best off steering around religion. Religion will always exist, its human nature to have religion (solid structured supernatural beliefs) and there is nothing we can do about it. It is a waste of time, effort and energy.

    Only when it is interesting or that you are genuinley curious about religion then do dally with it scientifically, just do not expect to prove or disprove God or any other religious phenomena using science. It won't work. God is too complex a claim of existence to prove using our primitive science. Our only best hope is that religious people will see our side of the pond and understand that it is most probably hallucinations and dogma due to memes within these religious preachers...
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    1
    . God could be something that always exists.
    Wrong. If they say that the universe is so complex that it needs a creator, then that argument also applies to God since God would HAVE to be moe complex then the Universe. What created God then? Your argument doesn't stand.
    'If they say...' . Who is they ? The people you are trying to disprove ? I think you are talking about one view of God. There are many.

    2. If God does not need a creator, this doesn't mean the Universe does not.
    Logically, yes it does... If the argument you are using is that the universe is too orderly and complex to not have a creator.
    No, not using that argument.
    3. Humans are unable to comprehend God at this stage in our evolution.
    You are assuming God exists. This is not an argument.
    You think you can fit something as vast as God into your monkey brain that was designed to tell the difference between food and shit ?
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  10. #9  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    rideforever, the point is this. The essence of your argument is basically, "Something cannot come from nothing." That's really what you're presenting here. The fact remains, however, that by your own logic, god cannot come from nothing either if you choose to accept such a premise/axiom as valid.

    As for humans having monkey brains and not being able to understand god, that's just a cop-out, and is logically without basis in a conversation regarding proof of gods existence since you must assume a priori that god exists for the comment to have any merit.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    1
    . God could be something that always exists.
    Wrong. If they say that the universe is so complex that it needs a creator, then that argument also applies to God since God would HAVE to be moe complex then the Universe. What created God then? Your argument doesn't stand.
    When you recognize one additional necessary condition that things with beginnings must have causes. Since the universe had a beginning then it requires a complex and powerful cause. However as rideforever implies, things that have always existed don't require and by definition cannot have causes. So an ever present creator would not require an even more complex and powerful cause.

    Most people consider the creator the first and final cause. Thus by implication they consider God to have always existed.

    2. If God does not need a creator, this doesn't mean the Universe does not.
    Logically, yes it does... If the argument you are using is that the universe is too orderly and complex to not have a creator.
    Again no. The exception would be if you could demonstrate that the universe had no beginning or if you could show that it is impossible for something external to the universe to have always existed. i suggest that you will not succeed at either.
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  12. #11  
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    This is really more of a philosophical issue than scientific. If you don't mind, I'm moving it to Philosophy.
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  13. #12  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    @ Cypress - What a bunch of handwaving. You could equally assert that a Cambodian midget porn star always existed and created the universe... your assertion alone doesn't make it valid, nor does it serve as either proof or mandate of existence... It just shows how willing you are to abandon your own logic structures to rationalize your deity in the complete absence of any evidence (let alone a clear definition of the ambiguously defined three letter word which is god).
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    @ Cypress - What a bunch of handwaving. You could equally assert that a Cambodian midget porn star always existed and created the universe... your assertion alone doesn't make it valid, nor does it serve as either proof or mandate of existence... It just shows how willing you are to abandon your own logic structures to rationalize your deity in the complete absence of any evidence (let alone a clear definition of the ambiguously defined three letter word which is god).
    inow quit embarrassing yourself with silly logical errors. Anything that is a product of this universe cannot logically have always existed unless the matter, energy, time and space has always existed.

    Please also point out which of my assertions is faulty and then clearly explain any logical flaw I have made and what aspect of logic I have abandoned.

    As far as evidence for a creator, just because your prior commitment allows you to dismiss all evidence that does not conform to your world view does not mean that others should not see and interpret the evidence for a cause of this universe and the structures within it differently than you. Your ego may be big enough to create this universe.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    @ Cypress - What a bunch of handwaving. You could equally assert that a Cambodian midget porn star always existed and created the universe... your assertion alone doesn't make it valid, nor does it serve as either proof or mandate of existence... It just shows how willing you are to abandon your own logic structures to rationalize your deity in the complete absence of any evidence (let alone a clear definition of the ambiguously defined three letter word which is god).
    inow quit embarrassing yourself with silly logical errors. Anything that is a product of this universe cannot logically have always existed unless the matter, energy, time and space has always existed.

    Please also point out which of my assertions is faulty and then clearly explain any logical flaw I have made and what aspect of logic I have abandoned.

    As far as evidence for a creator, just because your prior commitment allows you to dismiss all evidence that does not conform to your world view does not mean that others should not see and interpret the evidence for a cause of this universe and the structures within it differently than you. Your ego may be big enough to create this universe.
    Cypress

    Welcome to the philosophy sub-forum. Here the rules are rules of logic and thought - philosophy is not really about the empirical, as we leave that to the scientists.

    Here are some of the issues (and I hope to address some of verzen's points along the way too).

    1. If we establish or accept a logical principle, then we either apply it consistently in all imagined circumstances (thought experiments, arguments, what have you) or we are being illogical.

    2. If the first principle established is that all things need to have a cause, then this must apply to any thing, being, entity or idea, including any notion of god being argued for or against. To posit that a particular entity escapes this rule is simply to say that you wish for an exception. But you have not shown why, in principle, your particular exception should be chosen.

    3. To posit this exception on the grounds that this particular entity, or at least one particular entity, has been forever in existence ("turtles all the way down") does not solve the problem, because that exception could apply to the universe as much as to any imagined entity (and I used imagined in the sense of this: we have experiential, and inter-subjectively verifiable, knowldge of the universe, but not of any individual's notion of 'god').

    4. Saying that science 'proves' that the universe had a beginning is a non sequitur in this case, as I have already pointed out that the empirical is the scientific realm, but here we're doing philosophy. In philosophy, there is no logical inconsistency in pointing out that the universe could have existed forever, it's just that the scientists cannot tell you about its history.

    5. Verzen: this does not, however, disprove the notion of a god in general; only the argument for god that relies upon the notion of causal succession. As Hume pointed out with his problem of Induction, even that notion or axiom, is one created by humans - we do not have logical proof that causality is true.

    6. All we can say, therefore, is that any argument for god that relies upon causality, has problems, and is not a proof of the existence of god.

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    On a different track :

    I don't think you can logically disprove the notion of God, because you can't logically prove that human logic is foolproof.

    We can see gaps and problems with the way we think and limits to what our minds can capture. Knowing that there will always be a possibility of something beyond us. A large possibility really.

    I suppose that unless we can be sure that we are God (all knowing) then we can't be sure.

    Whether the things that escape us include UFOs, or God, or not ... I can't say, but these are all possibilities.

    The mind is certainly limited and noisy (try telling it to shut up) which is why in the east the goal is to try to go beyond it somehow. My experience is that the more you examine your own mind the more illusion you find, and your certainty diminishes.

    Certainty of objective reality is not possible for us. The best we can do is create a framework and entities within the framework that are consistent. But this is not objective reality. When you feel a need for objective certainty (or objective certainty itself) this is a trick of the mind, that is performing an evolutionary goal - and it takes effort to see it in action.
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    Sunshinewarrior,

    Thank-you for the welcome. And thanks, I stand corrected.
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  18. #17 Re: Logically disproving the notion of God 
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    [quote]
    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    (Before I go on, I must say that if anyone tells me that God is outside the bounds of logic, I will reach through this computer and smack you)

    God is technically impossible by way of Occams razor.
    Occam's Razor, also known as Aquinas' objection #2.

    According to the laws of physics, an energy force can only release or create energy that is less complex than the original source. If the universe was complex and they say it needed a creator, the creator would have to be more complex than the universe.
    God, at least in classical Thomist thought, is not conceived as matter or energy; he isn't composed, or "made" of anything. It is in this sense that God is absolutely simple. Complexity is a sign of plurality in being; if a being is, for instance, spread out in space, like a material being, it is in more than one place, and in that sense, more than one. Unity qua unity, in terms of essence, cannot be in any way more than one.

    Now most Christians use this argument and they just applied a characteristic to the universe. They say that there has to be a higher power and that the universe is too ordered and complex to not have a creator.
    It is complex in terms of composition and in terms of contingency; material things do not have within themselves a way to sufficiently account for their existence. Since things do exist, there must be something for which its very nature is to "be". Which is to say, something that is a sufficient explanation of itself. It is in reasoning what such a being would by logical necessity have to be that Aristotle came to a philosophical monotheism (even if he remained religiously a polytheist). That is also why stopping at St. Thomas' "Five Proofs" will not give anyone a good idea of what his argument actually is.

    However, they have to apply that standard to EVERY complex ideology. Thus, you must also apply that standard to that of God. If God needs a creator because of his complexity, then what created him? What created him and so on? It goes on forever.
    Sure, that's what St. Thomas' #2 objection is all about. The reason the objection doesn't speak to his argument is that God, if he exists, could only be pure simplicity. God isn't complex in any way. Material things are complex insofar as they lack being; complexity comes from having less than complete being.
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  19. #18 Re: Logically disproving the notion of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by delsydebothom
    God, at least in classical Thomist thought, is not conceived as matter or energy; he isn't composed, or "made" of anything. It is in this sense that God is absolutely simple. Complexity is a sign of plurality in being; if a being is, for instance, spread out in space, like a material being, it is in more than one place, and in that sense, more than one. Unity qua unity, in terms of essence, cannot be in any way more than one.
    This is similar to Buddhist thought on contingency and complexity. They, however, use this notion to take a different tack on things, by using it as a disproof of any notion that there are 'real' things, including god (Buddhism tends to be atheist, or to ignore the point altogether as nothing useful can be said about the notion of god.)

    Quote Originally Posted by delsydebothom
    It is complex in terms of composition and in terms of contingency; material things do not have within themselves a way to sufficiently account for their existence.
    But this could equally be a relic of the way in which humans think - the need for something to be able to 'account for' its existence. As Kant pointed out, "Existence is not a predicate".
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  20. #19 Re: Logically disproving the notion of God 
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    This is similar to Buddhist thought on contingency and complexity. They, however, use this notion to take a different tack on things, by using it as a disproof of any notion that there are 'real' things, including god (Buddhism tends to be atheist, or to ignore the point altogether as nothing useful can be said about the notion of god.)
    Buddhist philosophy seems to align somewhat with that of Heraclitus of Ephesus. He thought that change is the only reality--that everything is the the constant state of becoming nothing other than something else changing. Parmenides of Elea's thought is the precise antithesis of this: in his framework, "being" is the only reality, and change is the illusion. Both philosophies have to overcome the seemingly irrefutable evidence of common experience, though: everyday we encounter things which look for all the world like real things, and yet look for all the world like they change.

    What is interesting is how, at least according to Aristotle, Parmenides tried to correct the thought of Heraclitus. Though his work is lost, Parmenides would have been the very first man to discuss "being qua being" in writing. Which is to say, Parmenides wrote about "isness", and worked to find a factual definition of the word "is". The mistake he made is understandable: If being as being exists, it is totally unified, simple, eternal, without potential (so it cannot change), undividable, and having within itself every perfection. In other words, it is God. Since, in Parmenides' mind, all is being, his philosophy, if true, would imply that all is God.

    I disagree with Parmenides on the ground that I can see things change. Philosophy, if it is to be used to investigate the world with any objectivity, must be firmly grounded in what the senses tell us. The senses, after all, are the only source of information humans have about reality.

    But this could equally be a relic of the way in which humans think - the need for something to be able to 'account for' its existence. As Kant pointed out, "Existence is not a predicate".
    There's no way to escape the problem of being a human. No matter how one tries to circumvent it, one will always think like what he is. Now, if truth is configured towards knowing minds, and humans have knowing minds, this isn't a problem; thinking like a human is what, with enough work, will get one's mind into conformity with reality. If this isn't the case, then we can't know anything anyway, and the question of God in the the same category of unknowability as everything else.
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  21. #20 Re: Logically disproving the notion of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by delsydebothom
    Though his work is lost, Parmenides would have been the very first man to discuss "being qua being" in writing. Which is to say, Parmenides wrote about "isness", and worked to find a factual definition of the word "is". The mistake he made is understandable: If being as being exists, it is totally unified, simple, eternal, without potential (so it cannot change), undividable, and having within itself every perfection. In other words, it is God. Since, in Parmenides' mind, all is being, his philosophy, if true, would imply that all is God.
    This is why I ventured to mention Kant: existence is not a predictae. The notion of being 'as' being is incoherent, since it is indistinguishable from nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by delsydebothom
    There's no way to escape the problem of being a human. No matter how one tries to circumvent it, one will always think like what he is.
    There seems to be an aspect of incorriginility, or even irredentism, to this statement. Are you sure you meant it to have such a strong flavour?

    Quote Originally Posted by delsydebothom
    Now, if truth is configured towards knowing minds, and humans have knowing minds, this isn't a problem; thinking like a human is what, with enough work, will get one's mind into conformity with reality. If this isn't the case, then we can't know anything anyway, and the question of God in the the same category of unknowability as everything else.
    Ah...

    As I suggested above, the notion of incorrigibility is what will get you every time.

    Human minds may have limitations, but they are not without capacity for change. Therefore the question is not all or nothing. The mere fact that we can ask if one particular behaviour (the 'need' for there to be something that is "isness") is warranted or reliable, demonstrates that it is possible for us to take the meta-view on matters like these. If so, your argument fails.
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  22. #21 Re: Logically disproving the notion of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    (Before I go on, I must say that if anyone tells me that God is outside the bounds of logic, I will reach through this computer and smack you)

    God is technically impossible by way of Occams razor. According to the laws of physics, an energy force can only release or create energy that is less complex than the original source. If the universe was complex and they say it needed a creator, the creator would have to be more complex than the universe. Now most Christians use this argument and they just applied a characteristic to the universe. They say that there has to be a higher power and that the universe is too ordered and complex to not have a creator. However, they have to apply that standard to EVERY complex ideology. Thus, you must also apply that standard to that of God. If God needs a creator because of his complexity, then what created him? What created him and so on? It goes on forever. Now they need to really put down occams razor in this situation. What occams razor states is that usually the simplest answers are the correct ones. If they say the universe needs a creator, then God needs a creator. If they say that God does NOT need a creator, then neither does the universe. Whence commeth God if all else needs to be created by an even greater and more complex creator?

    Any opinions? Can anyone find a hole in this logic? I've been pondering for quite some time and I have yet to figure it out. (I came up with this argument btw. May not be the first person to think of it, but I did think it up myself)
    Well there's a few holes in this logic

    - God is never defined as complex by any major religion

    - Biology claims that complex organisms arise from simple organisms (by natural selection and evolution), the simple become complex

    - If something complex is required to create the universe, and nature created the universe, wouldn't that make nature complex? So nature couldn't have created the universe?

    - Simple things can cause seemingly complex things, humans will likely create more complex things than humans in the future

    - Lots of things in science are causeless like energy and the universe, if God is something all-pervading like energy, then why can't it be causeless?
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  23. #22 Re: Logically disproving the notion of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by delsydebothom
    There's no way to escape the problem of being a human. No matter how one tries to circumvent it, one will always think like what he is. Now, if truth is configured towards knowing minds, and humans have knowing minds, this isn't a problem; thinking like a human is what, with enough work, will get one's mind into conformity with reality. If this isn't the case, then we can't know anything anyway, and the question of God in the the same category of unknowability as everything else.
    Isn't there ? Maybe you aren't trying hard enough. Being human is not solvable unless you understand who is asking the question ? There are many layers to your feeling of being - even a cursory examination will show you this. Most of them are flexible and given by the outside. But if you dig deep to the core will you find something permanent and unchangeable ?

    You say that you see things change so you don't believe there is something at the core that is fixed ... but what you are seeing is the mind, which with a little examination you can see to be very unreliable - sure it changes, like programs on the TV change.

    'with enough work' ... expending further energy into understanding the mind is a mistake, it will lead you round the houses until the day you die if you want ... you won't take one step forward.
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  24. #23 Re: Logically disproving the notion of God 
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    This is why I ventured to mention Kant: existence is not a predictae. The notion of being 'as' being is incoherent, since it is indistinguishable from nothing
    .

    We can view and understand being to a certain extent. We cannot understand "nothing", since there is "nothing" to understand.

    For instance, we can examine things such as "unity", "thingness", "identity as something apart", "truth", and "goodness", all of which are aspects of existence. The degree something "is", is the degree that it is one, is real, is intelligible, and is good.

    The only way "nothing" manifests itself is when we see that something lacks something it ought to have; when something "does be" less than it ought to. Being, on the other hand, is manifest is all sorts of things. It is the first thing we know; we know, in some basic way, that there is an "is" even before we know there is a "me". This causes grammatical troubles, but that's okay: grammar merely allows us to codify ideas, and we do not know ideas directly anyway. We know things directly, by means of the senses. The ideas we abstract put us in contact with things, not with themselves. We know our ideas by means of the things they put us in contact with.

    There seems to be an aspect of incorriginility, or even irredentism, to this statement. Are you sure you meant it to have such a strong flavour?
    Hardly. I merely meant this: humans think humanly. Whenever a human thinks, he or she does so in a human way. There is no way for a human to think other than the ways in which a human can think.

    Ah...

    As I suggested above, the notion of incorrigibility is what will get you every time.

    Human minds may have limitations, but they are not without capacity for change. Therefore the question is not all or nothing. The mere fact that we can ask if one particular behaviour (the 'need' for there to be something that is "isness") is warranted or reliable, demonstrates that it is possible for us to take the meta-view on matters like these. If so, your argument fails.
    [/quote]

    I don't think incorrigibility is an accurate way of viewing the world. I merely meant to point out that we cannot use the "humanness" of a particular way of viewing things as an argument against that way's validity. Doing so is one of those suicidal arguments: it kills itself by means of the premises upon which it is built.
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  25. #24 Re: Logically disproving the notion of God 
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    Isn't there ? Maybe you aren't trying hard enough. Being human is not solvable unless you understand who is asking the question ? There are many layers to your feeling of being - even a cursory examination will show you this. Most of them are flexible and given by the outside. But if you dig deep to the core will you find something permanent and unchangeable ?
    To the core of what? All knowledge comes from without, so I suppose you mean "the core of sensible objects". I'm not sure, though. Could you clarify?
    You say that you see things change so you don't believe there is something at the core that is fixed ... but what you are seeing is the mind, which with a little examination you can see to be very unreliable - sure it changes, like programs on the TV change.
    I actually didn't say that, or at least I didn't mean to. I see that things change, but I also see that things remain the same. I therefore accept both as aspects of reality. For instance, when I eat a pear, it changes. Eventually, somewhere in the process of chewing, digesting, allocation of nutrients, and the expelling of the remainder as waste, it changes so much that it isn't a pear anymore. It loses its "pearness", and the primary matter from which it was composed becomes one or more other substances. Throughout the entire process, however, the primary matter remained the same. What's more, whatever it was that made it a pear to begin with remained the same; other things will still be pears for the same set of reasons the thing I ate was a pear. "Pearness" has therefore always existed as a potential in matter. That is, after all, what "matter" is: being in its potential to be something else.

    This, incidentally, is why I am able to accept both Darwin's theory of evolution and believe in the immutability of species.

    'with enough work' ... expending further energy into understanding the mind is a mistake, it will lead you round the houses until the day you die if you want ... you won't take one step forward.
    I disagree. Philosophy can tell us much about the mind (albeit indirectly) by allowing us to examine how we come to know things. It won't tell us the mechanics of the brain, sure, but it can tell us how the mind "works" at a more primary level than a bare biological description.
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  26. #25 Re: Logically disproving the notion of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by delsydebothom
    This is why I ventured to mention Kant: existence is not a predictae. The notion of being 'as' being is incoherent, since it is indistinguishable from nothing
    .

    We can view and understand being to a certain extent. We cannot understand "nothing", since there is "nothing" to understand.

    For instance, we can examine things such as "unity", "thingness", "identity as something apart", "truth", and "goodness", all of which are aspects of existence. The degree something "is", is the degree that it is one, is real, is intelligible, and is good.

    The only way "nothing" manifests itself is when we see that something lacks something it ought to have; when something "does be" less than it ought to. Being, on the other hand, is manifest is all sorts of things. It is the first thing we know; we know, in some basic way, that there is an "is" even before we know there is a "me". This causes grammatical troubles, but that's okay: grammar merely allows us to codify ideas, and we do not know ideas directly anyway. We know things directly, by means of the senses. The ideas we abstract put us in contact with things, not with themselves. We know our ideas by means of the things they put us in contact with.
    This is just Kant's point in a different way - none of what is stated here is about the quality of 'being', but rather about aspects - unity, identity as something apart, and so on, of objects, entities and ideas. It is these aspects that allow us the inference of existence. But existence itself, I repeat, is not a predicate - it is not in itself a quality that can be apprehended or experienced.

    Quote Originally Posted by delsydebothom
    There seems to be an aspect of incorriginility, or even irredentism, to this statement. Are you sure you meant it to have such a strong flavour?
    Hardly. I merely meant this: humans think humanly. Whenever a human thinks, he or she does so in a human way. There is no way for a human to think other than the ways in which a human can think.
    One way to take this is that it is true by definition, any human thought is by definition a human way of thinking.

    But that is hardly what I thought either you or I were saying.

    I believed that we were discussing the fact that humans can frequently think in characteristically human ways and it sometimes takes another human, or a different perspective, to allow them to see that.

    This way of looking at it both points up the limitations of the characteristic human ways of thinking (anthropomorphisation, personification, polarisation et al) abd at the same time allows us to ensure that we have some way of seeing tese limtiations and trying to work our way around them.

    Quote Originally Posted by delsydebothom
    Ah...

    As I suggested above, the notion of incorrigibility is what will get you every time.

    Human minds may have limitations, but they are not without capacity for change. Therefore the question is not all or nothing. The mere fact that we can ask if one particular behaviour (the 'need' for there to be something that is "isness") is warranted or reliable, demonstrates that it is possible for us to take the meta-view on matters like these. If so, your argument fails.
    I don't think incorrigibility is an accurate way of viewing the world. I merely meant to point out that we cannot use the "humanness" of a particular way of viewing things as an argument against that way's validity. Doing so is one of those suicidal arguments: it kills itself by means of the premises upon which it is built.
    As I have pointed out above, I think we can. Perhaps you and I will disagree on this no matter what...
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  27. #26  
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    Not sure if anyone has asked this but can anyone empirically prove the existence of logic?
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Not sure if anyone has asked this but can anyone empirically prove the existence of logic?
    You mean like TAG?
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    No idea what TAG is, but since logic is used as the footrule here, I was wondering if anyone had standardised the instrument for validity.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    No idea what TAG is, but since logic is used as the footrule here, I was wondering if anyone had standardised the instrument for validity.
    Nope.

    It's axiomatic only - not an empirically testable notion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior

    Nope.

    It's axiomatic only - not an empirically testable notion.
    So is it a reliable instrument for proving or disproving God? Because according to Poincare:

    If all the assertions which mathematics puts forward can be derived from one another by formal logic, mathematics cannot amount to anything more than an immense tautology. Logical inference can teach us nothing essentially new, and if everything is to proceed from the principle of identity, everything must be reducible to it. But can we really allow that these theorems which fill so many books serve no other purpose than to say in a roundabout fashion A=A?


    its not good enough for mathematics
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    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Sounds interesting, but I was looking at ontology rather than religion.

    It is the philosophy forum right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Sounds interesting, but I was looking at ontology rather than religion.

    It is the philosophy forum right?
    Sure. Ontology is all over that one. I just thought it would be interesting in a thread titled "Logically disproving the notion of God" to look at an argument that uses the ontology of logic to prove it.
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    Ideally, it requires a separate thread, on the validation of logic as an instrument of proof.

    Or is that circular logic?
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    Ideally, it requires a separate thread, on the validation of logic as an instrument of proof.
    Which is the question you first asked and to what I responded. I suppose we could open a new thread, or we can conclude "yes, that is circular logic" and move on. 8)
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior

    Nope.

    It's axiomatic only - not an empirically testable notion.
    So is it a reliable instrument for proving or disproving God? Because according to Poincare:

    If all the assertions which mathematics puts forward can be derived from one another by formal logic, mathematics cannot amount to anything more than an immense tautology. Logical inference can teach us nothing essentially new, and if everything is to proceed from the principle of identity, everything must be reducible to it. But can we really allow that these theorems which fill so many books serve no other purpose than to say in a roundabout fashion A=A?


    its not good enough for mathematics
    It isn't, philosophically speaking (Ayer makes this point most clearly in his Language, Truth and Logic). For the mathematicians, however, as long as there are further, and useful, ways in which to formulate the A=A (think of the various identities in trigonometry that allow for the solution of various problems) it still allows for fertile ground. Unless every single possible equation s known, the circularity of the identity issue will not be a problem.

    By all means have fun with the TAG, or ontological issues, in the philo sub-forum - that's what it's here for. But it might be a good idea to start a new thread as the OP on this one concerned a particular 'proof' of the existence of god, and the various arguments surrounding it.
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    I agree. Its just that people throw around words like logic, rational, proof, physical, transcendental and I've recently come to realise that simply because I like to know the meanings of words before I use them, is no guarantee that other people do too.

    Just thought I'd throw it in there.

    Carry on with the topic.

    edit: to bring it back on topic

    We need an argument to validate if we are going to use logic, since logic requires that we use inference to find the conclusion from the premise

    What is the argument here?
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    I agree. Its just that people throw around words like logic, rational, proof, physical, transcendental and I've recently come to realise that simply because I like to know the meanings of words before I use them, is no guarantee that other people do too.

    Just thought I'd throw it in there.

    Carry on with the topic.

    edit: to bring it back on topic

    We need an argument to validate if we are going to use logic, since logic requires that we use inference to find the conclusion from the premise

    What is the argument here?
    Not necessarily. We use logic as we do not have an alternative. This does not mean that logic has any absolute validity, just that discussion or discourse, on a board like this, is impossible without the rules of logic (from wherever they may stem).

    If you'd like to read more about the logical problems with logic (as it were) Hofstader's Godel, Eschar and Bach is wonderful, playful and inventive.

    If you're simply like not to use logic, perhaps you'd do better talking to post-modernists.

    As a philosopher once put it: "Having a discussion without the use of logic is like playing tennis with the net down".
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  40. #39  
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    I'm all for inferential analysis, and I agree that a valid claim need not be a true one [Some philosophers are existentialists, some mathematicans are philosophers, therefore some mathematicians are existentialists]

    The OP started with the false premise of using Occams Razor to "simplify" God [Occam himself was a theist and specifically excluded God from his razor - For nothing ought to be posited without a reason given, unless it is self-evident (literally, known through itself) or known by experience or proved by the authority of Sacred Scripture. link]. Following that I read about a "first principle" which postulated an exclusively causal hypothesis [which ignores the Casimir effect in quantum mechanics]. It seemed to be a devolution into reductionism. I wondered if God was assumed to be a reducible complexity in the strict limits imposed here.

    And what this seemingly arbitrary assumption was based on.
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