A Pastor of a Church, also teaches Philosophy.

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A Pastor of a Church, also teaches Philosophy.

I have a Religion New Testament and his name is Donald D. Reeves. Bachelor of Arts, (Double Major: [i]English/Religion) Bethel College, (TN); Master of Divinity, Vanderbilt University Other Graduate/Post-graduate work: Vanderbilt Graduate School of Management, Memphis State University of Omaha, Institute of Reality Therapy (Los Angeles, CA) (Certification as a Reality Therapist, under the tutelage of psychiatrist Bill Glasser, M.D.,founder of Reality Therapy Institute)

Minister of Education, Senior Pastor, Psychiatric Hospital Chaplain, College Vice President, USAF Chaplain/Colonel, (22years of service--8yrs Active Duty, 14 yrs, Guard & Reserve), Management Consultant, Presbytery Executive, High School & College Teacher Currently, semi-retired & teaching Philosophy, World Religions, & Biblical Survey at Northeast Alabama Community College. (www.nacc.edu) (Who's Who Among America's Teachers - 2004) (Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year [/i]- 2005)

So.......WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK!?!?!?!?!?!?!

I'm just to .


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Every Catholic priest is

Every Catholic priest is required to take four years of philosophy prior to his theology. Likewise, many Catholic philosophers who are also priests (though not necessarily pastors of churches) exist; I know many. We believe faith and reason to be fundamentally compatible because they are two aspects of the same truth.

 

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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KoRnYAtheist wrote: I have

KoRnYAtheist wrote:
I have a Religion New Testament and his name is Donald D. Reeves. Bachelor of Arts, (Double Major: [i]English/Religion) Bethel College, (TN); Master of Divinity, Vanderbilt University Other Graduate/Post-graduate work: Vanderbilt Graduate School of Management, Memphis State University of Omaha, Institute of Reality Therapy (Los Angeles, CA) (Certification as a Reality Therapist, under the tutelage of psychiatrist Bill Glasser, M.D.,founder of Reality Therapy Institute) Minister of Education, Senior Pastor, Psychiatric Hospital Chaplain, College Vice President, USAF Chaplain/Colonel, (22years of service--8yrs Active Duty, 14 yrs, Guard & Reserve), Management Consultant, Presbytery Executive, High School & College Teacher Currently, semi-retired & teaching Philosophy, World Religions, & Biblical Survey at Northeast Alabama Community College. (www.nacc.edu) (Who's Who Among America's Teachers - 2004) (Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year [/i]- 2005) So.......WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Unless your doing rinky-dink philosophy, it is very hard to be a theist and a Philosopher.  Once you see that every single argument for God's existence is fallacious, one usually abandons religion.  Some Philosophers, however, manage to reconcile this; I simply don't get it.

 

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


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StMichael wrote: Every

StMichael wrote:

Every Catholic priest is required to take four years of philosophy prior to his theology. Likewise, many Catholic philosophers who are also priests (though not necessarily pastors of churches) exist; I know many. We believe faith and reason to be fundamentally compatible because they are two aspects of the same truth.

 

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

What kind of Philosophy are priests taught?  If it's anything like the Christian Colleges around here, it consists of alot of philosophy of religion...from a Christian perspective.  And alot of philosophy by the St. Thomas, and St. Augustine.  Its all philosophy that has been basterdized into a religious context.  I doubt priests are taught serious Philosophy.  They are taught "philosophy" which is almost equivolent to theology. 

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


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We are not like "Christian"

We are not like "Christian" colleges. We study philosophical history, we study all sorts of individual philosophers from Plato to Wittgenstein and everywhere in between. My own priest, a professor in philosophy, did his thesis on Nietzsche.

However, Aquinas and Aristotle, as well as other religious philosophy, is naturally taught with a certain emphasis.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: We are

StMichael wrote:

We are not like "Christian" colleges. We study philosophical history, we study all sorts of individual philosophers from Plato to Wittgenstein and everywhere in between. My own priest, a professor in philosophy, did his thesis on Nietzsche.

However, Aquinas and Aristotle, as well as other religious philosophy, is naturally taught with a certain emphasis.

If one studies Philosophy, and after that time, still believes in God, one of two things has happened:  You didn't learn anything, or your dishonest.  Philosophy, like science, has at its very essence, rationality.  if all the arguments for God's existence are fallacious, then your belief is irrational. 

 

StMichael wrote:

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Please, show me some respect.  I don't sign off saying "yours in atheism" or "yours in reason" or "yours in science."  Please, show me the same respect. 

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


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Quote: If one studies

Quote:

If one studies Philosophy, and after that time, still believes in God, one of two things has happened:  You didn't learn anything, or your dishonest.  Philosophy, like science, has at its very essence, rationality.  if all the arguments for God's existence are fallacious, then your belief is irrational. 

Well, then, I can never win. If I study philosophy and am not an atheist, I was a bad philosopher or a liar. Wonderful dichotomy.

We call this an irrational premise.

My faith and my reason both tell me that God is rational. God calls Himself the Word and Eternal Wisdom; if this is not a statement supporting reason, I do not know what is.

Further, that signature is precisely my point. I do not need to pretend that I am not a Christian just because I am talking to someone who rejects my beliefs.

Lastly, it does no offense to you. Why should you be offended when I claim to be defending the Truth Himself?

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: If I study

StMichael wrote:
If I study philosophy and am not an atheist, I was a bad philosopher or a liar.

Yeah, pretty much.  I cannot see any other option at this point in time.  There is not one good epistemologically justified reason to believe in God.  If you study enough philosophy...and you do not see that not some...not most...but ALL the arguments for God's existence are fallacious, yet you still believe, you are wallowing in self-delusion, or you have turned into a deceptive charleton, like William Lane Craig.

Hey, if you think you have a good argument for God's existence, lets here it.  Realize, that all the usual ones are fallacious, like the ontological and cosmological argument...as well as the teleological arguments.  Moreover, I am familiar with Plantinga's Evolutionary argument against naturalism.  You need to give me an original argument for God's existence.  If you do this, and the argument is cogent...I will become a theist.

 

StMichael wrote:
We call this an irrational premise.

Really?  What are the other options?

 

StMichael wrote:
My faith and my reason both tell me that God is rational.

Go on...

 

StMichael wrote:
God calls Himself the Word and Eternal Wisdom

And you got this information from the bible, right?  How do we know the bible is reliable?  Well, because the bible says so.  To quote Sam Harris, epistemological black holes of this sort are fast draining the world of its light.

 

StMichael wrote:
if this is not a statement supporting reason, I do not know what is.

Its a statement that not only makes no sense, but is a statement no Philosopher would make.

 

StMichael wrote:
Further, that signature is precisely my point. I do not need to pretend that I am not a Christian just because I am talking to someone who rejects my beliefs.

right, as if I couldn't tell you were a Christian by your defense of Christianity.  Your sig is condesending and pretentious.

 

StMichael wrote:
Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

Yours in atheism,

Chaoslord2004 

 

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


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You go girlfriend!  That's

You go girlfriend!  That's what I'm talking about! *snaps fingers* Laughing out loud


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You go girlfriend! That's

[MOD EDIT - Removed duplicate post]


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Quote: you study enough

Quote:

you study enough philosophy...and you do not see that not some...not most...but ALL the arguments for God's existence are fallacious, yet you still believe, you are wallowing in self-delusion, or you have turned into a deceptive charleton, like William Lane Craig.

I find no reason to believe that all arguments for God's existence are fallacious.

Quote:

Hey, if you think you have a good argument for God's existence, lets here it. 

The first that I present and will defend is is the argument from motion from Saint Thomas Aquinas (which I assume you are familiar with). We see that there are things in motion. Now, nothing moves unless it is in potentiality toward a mover - an actor. Nothing can be moved from a state of potency to act except by something in a state of actuality. Now, something cannot be in act and potency in the same respect. It is thus impossible that a thing be in motion and move itself; a self-moved mover. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put into motion by another. But what is in motion would have to be put in motion by another in motion, and so on. But this cannot go on into infinity because then no motion would exist, for subsequent movers move only in so far as they are moved by the first mover. Therefore, it is necessary to arrive at a first mover put into motion by no other, and this is God.

I consider this argument logically cogent and I find no convincing arguments against it.


Quote:

StMichael wrote:
God calls Himself the Word and Eternal Wisdom

 

 

And you got this information from the bible, right?  How do we know the bible is reliable?  Well, because the bible says so. 

I never said that we found the Bible reliable because it says so. Don't put words in my mouth unnecessarily.


Quote:

StMichael wrote:
if this is not a statement supporting reason, I do not know what is.

 

 

Its a statement that not only makes no sense, but is a statement no Philosopher would make.

Why not? Many philosophers have. Unless you want to discount most of Western philosophy as "false" philosophy.


Quote:

right, as if I couldn't tell you were a Christian by your defense of Christianity.  Your sig is condesending and pretentious.

It is neither.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: The first

StMichael wrote:
The first that I present and will defend is is the argument from motion from Saint Thomas Aquinas (which I assume you are familiar with). We see that there are things in motion. Now, nothing moves unless it is in potentiality toward a mover - an actor. Nothing can be moved from a state of potency to act except by something in a state of actuality. Now, something cannot be in act and potency in the same respect. It is thus impossible that a thing be in motion and move itself; a self-moved mover. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put into motion by another. But what is in motion would have to be put in motion by another in motion, and so on. But this cannot go on into infinity because then no motion would exist, for subsequent movers move only in so far as they are moved by the first mover. Therefore, it is necessary to arrive at a first mover put into motion by no other, and this is God.

well, this is false given modern physics.  I suggest you go put down the theology books, and go study something important...like, i donno, physics.  Anyone who has studied physics, knows this is demonstrably false.  Take entropy.  Put a motionless atom in a vacuum...and it will become chaotic.  According to quantom theory, things pop in and out of existence uncaused.

Moreover, the above argument is invalid.  "therefore, God" does not follow from the premises...if by God, you mean the God of the bible.  All the above argument implies is that SOMETHING must have started motion.  In fact, this was Aristotles conclusion when he first came up with the argument.  he ment to demonstrate with this argument that SOMETHING must have started motion.  Nowhere in Aristotles conception did he envision God.  It was St. Thomas who basterdized Aristotles argument, and turned it into a piece of crap.  Aristotles argument was reasonable during his time.  However, good ole St. Thomas turned the argument into a non-sequitor.

For a more indepth refutation of the cosmological argument, read David Humes "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion."

 

StMichael wrote:
I consider this argument logically cogent and I find no convincing arguments against it.

I find that hard to believe, since its pretty hard not to refute your argument.  You have been deluded by the metaphysics of your religion.

 

StMichael wrote:
Why not? Many philosophers have. Unless you want to discount most of Western philosophy as "false" philosophy.

many of those philosophers, like all philosophers, are a mixed bag:  Some good insights, a whole lot of nonsense.  Even my favorate philosopher, Spinoza had a fair number of nonsensical beliefs.

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Quote: well, this is false

Quote:

well, this is false given modern physics.  I suggest you go put down the theology books, and go study something important...like, i donno, physics.  Anyone who has studied physics, knows this is demonstrably false.  Take entropy.  Put a motionless atom in a vacuum...and it will become chaotic.  According to quantom theory, things pop in and out of existence uncaused.

In fact, I do study physics so don't be condescending. But this has nothing to do with the cosmological argument directly. First, I would point out that entropy further proves my point even on a natural and physical level where a closed system (such as the universe) increases in entropy over time. Unless there were some agent that was necessary for the original energy and order in the universe, it would have from all time been in a current state of 0 energy or pure entropy. But this is not the case. Hence, a Prime Mover is necessary.

Further, quantum physics already has preexisting material movers on two ends - the atom itself and space in the vacuum, both of which are not absolutely nothing. The vacillations in the atom at a quantum level have to do with the atom itself and, in the case of virtual particles, have to do with the nature of the fabric of space/time itself. In other words, the cause of these phenomenon still depends on a prior cause, ect. It is not truly uncaused something from nothing. Thus, a Prime Mover, unmoved by any other mover, is still necessary for motion to exist in the universe.

Quote:

Moreover, the above argument is invalid.  "therefore, God" does not follow from the premises...if by God, you mean the God of the bible.  All the above argument implies is that SOMETHING must have started motion. 

Not entirely true. The argument does only on face demand an unmoved mover. But an investigation of the character of what the unmover mover consists in reveals that it must be a thinking being, possessing attributes that render it omnipotent, omniscient, and the like. Further, it is identified with the God of Sacred Scripture because the God of the Christians and Jews identifies Himself as the Cause of all things (the Prime Mover or Uncaused Cause). The Christians and even Jews have thus long defended the veracity of this argument. In other words, our faith dictates that there is an identity. Also, on a more natural level, the term "god" or "divinity" refers to a cause and/or ruler of the known universe. In this sense, this unmoved mover is most properly called God as He is the cause of all existing things in general.

Quote:
 

 In fact, this was Aristotles conclusion when he first came up with the argument.  he ment to demonstrate with this argument that SOMETHING must have started motion.  Nowhere in Aristotles conception did he envision God. 

Falser than vows made in wine. Aristotle identifies the unmoved mover as God in Book XII, Chapter 7 of the Metaphysics and throughout the later part of that work. In fact, the entire 12th book is devoted to discovering the qualities of this being, God. The last line of book 12 ends, "...one ruler let there be."  

Quote:

It was St. Thomas who basterdized Aristotles argument, and turned it into a piece of crap. 

You see, we call this unjustified assertion.

Quote:
 Aristotles argument was reasonable during his time.  However, good ole St. Thomas turned the argument into a non-sequitor.

Prove that.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: In fact, I

StMichael wrote:
In fact, I do study physics so don't be condescending.

Obviously you havn't, since your argument rests upon a fundemental misunderstanding of basic physics.  In fact, the whole Cosmological argument rests upon ancient conceptions of physics.  

 

StMichael wrote:
But this has nothing to do with the cosmological argument directly.

Actually, it has everything to do with the Cosmological argument.  The cosmological argument rests upon a faulty understanding of physics.  Anyone who understood physics, would never put forth the Cosmological argument; or, they would become a charlaton like William Lane Craig.

 

StMichael wrote:
First, I would point out that entropy further proves my point even on a natural and physical level where a closed system (such as the universe) increases in entropy over time.

No, actually it proves my point.  Im suprised you think it proves your point.  Take an atom, put it in a vacuum...and guess what?  It will move chaotically as time passes.  Is any agent acting on it? no.

 

StMichael wrote:
Unless there were some agent that was necessary for the original energy and order in the universe, it would have from all time been in a current state of 0 energy or pure entropy. But this is not the case. Hence, a Prime Mover is necessary.

Like I said, you obviously don't understand physics.  If you did, you would know that energy can never be created or destroyed...this is a very basic law of theormodynamics.

 

StMichael wrote:
Not entirely true. The argument does only on face demand an unmoved mover. But an investigation of the character of what the unmover mover consists in reveals that it must be a thinking being, possessing attributes that render it omnipotent, omniscient, and the like.

no, actually it is entirely true.  Show me, how from your premises, you can deduce that the unmoved mover has the properties you described.  You can't, because the argument...in and of itself, does not revel this.

 

StMichael wrote:
Further, it is identified with the God of Sacred Scripture because the God of the Christians and Jews identifies Himself as the Cause of all things (the Prime Mover or Uncaused Cause).

This is what is claimed, but the argument does not prove this.  The argument doesn't necessarily prove the God of the bible.  If you claim it does, you have to demonstrate how it does this.  Show me how you can get that the unmoved mover is "omnipotent" from your premises.

StMichael wrote:
The Christians and even Jews have thus long defended the veracity of this argument.

So what?  Christians have also defended the Spanish Inquisition.  I care because...

StMichael wrote:
In other words, our faith dictates that there is an identity.

I don't care.  I could careless what your faith dictates.  What I care about is what you can prove.  

 

StMichael wrote:
Also, on a more natural level, the term "god" or "divinity" refers to a cause and/or ruler of the known universe. In this sense, this unmoved mover is most properly called God as He is the cause of all existing things in general.

Fallacy of Equivocation.  Your using "God" to mean two different things.  If the argument was valid and sound, all it would prove was that there was an unmoved mover.  If you want to call this being "God" fine, but then don't turn around and change the meaning to mean "the God of the bible."  The argument doesn't prove the God of the bible.

 

StMichael wrote:
Falser than vows made in wine. Aristotle identifies the unmoved mover as God in Book XII, Chapter 7 of the Metaphysics and throughout the later part of that work. In fact, the entire 12th book is devoted to discovering the qualities of this being, God. The last line of book 12 ends, "...one ruler let there be."

Fallacy of Equivocation.  He thought it was "God" as in a material mover.  Not, I repeat, not the God of the bible.

 

StMichael wrote:
You see, we call this unjustified assertion.

No, actually its a pretty basic observation.

 

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Quote: No, actually it

Quote:

No, actually it proves my point.  Im suprised you think it proves your point.  Take an atom, put it in a vacuum...and guess what?  It will move chaotically as time passes.  Is any agent acting on it? no.

This results from the nature of space itself, which is an agent acting upon the atom, as well as the composition of the atom itself (which vibrates of its own).

Quote:

Like I said, you obviously don't understand physics.  If you did, you would know that energy can never be created or destroyed...this is a very basic law of theormodynamics.

And, even if energy cannot be created or destroyed and we assumed this to be absolutely true, why would order exist at the beginning of the closed universe rather than nothing/pure entropy? Entropy, as a law, dictates that the order will eventually degrade. If this is the case, where did the original motion/order in the universe arise from? It is still necessary to posit an original mover of the universe in order to acknowledge that things exist now.

But, in specific response to whether energy is created/destroyed, this rule only applies to the universe itself, not to the cause of the universe. I cannot destroy or create energy, but that does not mean that the universe arose without a cause. It means nothing of the sort. The energy that exists likewise requires a cause according to second law of thermodynamics, as I said earlier.

In a different note, it also indicates, according to modern theories of the second law, that the universe moves according to maximize entropy production in an orderly manner, guided to the end at which entropy can be maximized. This likewise proves that a rational orderer of the universe exists, because the universe acts in such a way as unintelligently to achieve the best result. In entropy, this is what results as a logical consequence of the law of entropy, where order arises in the nature of entropy production. But to achieve ends is specifically the characteristic of an intelligent agent. Hence, the universe is guided to achieve ends by a higher intellect - God.

Quote:

no, actually it is entirely true.  Show me, how from your premises, you can deduce that the unmoved mover has the properties you described.  You can't, because the argument...in and of itself, does not revel this.

If the unmoved mover exists, which we here assume, many properties follow. I point out a few.

First, the unmoved mover cannot have an potentiality in it, because the unmoved mover is, by definition, purely in act upon all things with no thing acting upon it. Hence, it is purely in act.

Second, this means that the UM must be utterly simple, with no division in parts or dimensions. This is because such a division would indicate that the UM has potency within it, which is impossible.

Third, there is, even further, no division in God to the extent to which He is of no genus or species. He also has no division between what He is (essence) and how He is (act of existence). He is thus pure existence.

Fourth, as the unmoved mover is pure act, it cannot but possess every perfection resulting from its pure possession of the act of being in general. This entails the possession of every convertible property of being in a supremely eminent way - God is the Good, is Truth, is Beauty, ect.

Fifth, God is infinite because, as the UM, he cannot have any potentiality in Him. But to be limited by a material body or by any qualification of the extent of His being would be to place in Him potency. Hence, God is infinite.

Sixth, God is outside of time for the same reason. God is infinite, eternal, and immutable because to deny these characteristics would be to place potency in God. But this is impossible.

Seventh, it is clear that knowledge belongs in God, because things are intelligible as they are removed from matter. But, in God, there is the supreme degree of immateriality, and hence God is supremely knowable and possesses knowledge.

Eighth, God understands Himself through Himself because the supreme actualization of the intellect is to unite itself to the one known. The intelligible species of God is God Himself, so that He knows Himself.

Ninth, as God has an intellect, God has will, because will is nothing other than the appetite of the intellect. 

Tenth, as God is an active principle in the highest degree, it is clear that there is power in God because power is to act upon something else.

Eleventh, as God's action/power is not determined by any limitation and because His essence is infinite under the category of being, it is clear that He must have the power to do all things.

And so on and so forth.

 

Quote:

This is what is claimed, but the argument does not prove this.  The argument doesn't necessarily prove the God of the bible.  If you claim it does, you have to demonstrate how it does this.  Show me how you can get that the unmoved mover is "omnipotent" from your premises.

I likewise point to the fact that the Scriptures and the teaching of the Church have consistently (and dogmatically) defined the Prime Mover/Uncaused Cause as God.

Quote:

 

Fallacy of Equivocation.  Your using "God" to mean two different things.  If the argument was valid and sound, all it would prove was that there was an unmoved mover.  If you want to call this being "God" fine, but then don't turn around and change the meaning to mean "the God of the bible."  The argument doesn't prove the God of the bible.

Then we have to work from how the Scriptures define God to the UM. "I am who am," seems a clear identification of God of Scripture with an UM whose essence is identical to His existence. Further, the multiple claims made for God to be the "cause of all things, uncaused by any other" also seems likewise to point heavily in this direction.

Quote:

Fallacy of Equivocation.  He thought it was "God" as in a material mover.  Not, I repeat, not the God of the bible.

Again, false false false. Aristotle concieved of God as immaterial. You need to read his Metaphysics if you want to make these absurd claims. It clearly states in Metaphysics Book XII, Chapter 7 again that: "...there is a substance which is eternal and unmovable and seperate from sensible things."

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael


 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote:   If the

StMichael wrote:

 

If the unmoved mover exists, which we here assume, many properties follow. I point out a few.

First, the unmoved mover cannot have an potentiality in it, because the unmoved mover is, by definition, purely in act upon all things with no thing acting upon it. Hence, it is purely in act.


I think this is a little beyond me. Can you explain why an unmoved mover cannot have potentiality?

StMichael wrote:
Seventh, it is clear that knowledge belongs in God, because things are intelligible as they are removed from matter. But, in God, there is the supreme degree of immateriality, and hence God is supremely knowable and possesses knowledge.
what does it mean to say God possesses knowledge? that seems to imply that knowledge is separate from god? I would think that if God is that he is, he doesn't possess anything.

StMichael wrote:
Eighth, God understands Himself through Himself because the supreme actualization of the intellect is to unite itself to the one known. The intelligible species of God is God Himself, so that He knows Himself.

Ninth, as God has an intellect, God has will, because will is nothing other than the appetite of the intellect.

If God is that he is, does he have will? doesn't will necessitate potentiality (Could God have chosen to be or do something else, or are all possibilities actualities?)? Perhaps i'm misunderstanding. I think that this is the root of a lot of confusion about a Christian God.


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 St. Michael, You

 St. Michael,

You wrote: 

Again, false false false. Aristotle concieved of God as immaterial. You need to read his Metaphysics if you want to make these absurd claims. It clearly states in Metaphysics Book XII, Chapter 7 again that: "...there is a substance which is eternal and unmovable and seperate from sensible things."

If Aristotle conceived of god as immaterial, why did he describe what you say he's calling God as a substance? 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Quote: Can you explain why

Quote:
Can you explain why an unmoved mover cannot have potentiality?

An unmoved mover must be purely acting upon other things without having anything acting upon it. It must be purely in act, otherwise it would not be the Prime Mover. But, in so far as it is unmoved by another, it possesses the fulness of actuality without limit. Potentialiy indicates a potential for change to something else - a potential for actuality. But the Prime Mover is pure act, and has no ability to "progress" in actuality. Hence, it is pure act and cannot have any potency.

Quote:

what does it mean to say God possesses knowledge? that seems to imply that knowledge is separate from god? I would think that if God is that he is, he doesn't possess anything.

Yes, God does not possess knowledge in the same sense we do. God is His knowledge; this is the same with His other attributes: God is His intellect, power, will, existence. He is utterly "simple" or without division or parts.

Quote:

If God is that he is, does he have will? doesn't will necessitate potentiality (Could God have chosen to be or do something else, or are all possibilities actualities?)? Perhaps i'm misunderstanding. I think that this is the root of a lot of confusion about a Christian God.

The will indicates a desire of the intellect - its tending toward a good that is known. But God's intellect exists as proven, so His will must likewise exist as His tending toward Himself (which is likewise simple - His will is His own substance).

Quote:

If Aristotle conceived of god as immaterial, why did he describe what you say he's calling God as a substance? 

God is an immaterial substance - a spirit.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

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Isn't "immaterial

Isn't "immaterial substance" an oxymoron?

 It reminds me of "hot ice" in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:

Quote:
Can you explain why an unmoved mover cannot have potentiality?

An unmoved mover must be purely acting upon other things without having anything acting upon it. It must be purely in act, otherwise it would not be the Prime Mover. But, in so far as it is unmoved by another, it possesses the fulness of actuality without limit. Potentialiy indicates a potential for change to something else - a potential for actuality. But the Prime Mover is pure act, and has no ability to "progress" in actuality. Hence, it is pure act and cannot have any potency.

When God was "in act" in moving, what role did his will play? was he tending toward himself? Sorry if this question is naive, but could there have been another case where God decided not to be in pure act? 

StMichael wrote:

Quote:

If God is that he is, does he have will? doesn't will necessitate potentiality (Could God have chosen to be or do something else, or are all possibilities actualities?)? Perhaps i'm misunderstanding. I think that this is the root of a lot of confusion about a Christian God.

The will indicates a desire of the intellect - its tending toward a good that is known. But God's intellect exists as proven, so His will must likewise exist as His tending toward Himself (which is likewise simple - His will is His own substance).

Can you explain what you mean by "tending toward Himself?" Does this mean that God is different from Himself at different times? Is there an end to His tending toward himself? Was there a beginning?


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Quote: Isn't "immaterial

Quote:
Isn't "immaterial substance" an oxymoron?

No, "immaterial" designates without matter whereas "substance" designates some thing existing (an actually existent thing, a subject).

Quote:

When God was "in act" in moving, what role did his will play? was he tending toward himself? Sorry if this question is naive, but could there have been another case where God decided not to be in pure act? 

God cannot decide not to be in pure act. It is His essence.

His will necessarily wills Himself (He tends toward Himself), but it does not necessarily will those creatures He wills through His own substance. His will and His essence are perfectly united.

Quote:

Can you explain what you mean by "tending toward Himself?" Does this mean that God is different from Himself at different times? Is there an end to His tending toward himself? Was there a beginning?

No, God's will is perfect in that it remains united to His very substance. There is no beginning or end in God, nor any division at all. His knowing Himself entails His willing Himself. He wills through Himself created things, freely creating them by His will.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

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StMichael

StMichael wrote:

Quote:

When God was "in act" in moving, what role did his will play? was he tending toward himself? Sorry if this question is naive, but could there have been another case where God decided not to be in pure act?

God cannot decide not to be in pure act. It is His essence.



Sorry for pressing this,but I want to understand. Why can't God decided not to be in pure act? Why is that not a possibility? How do you know?

 

 

 

Also, I still don't understand what you are saying about God's will. To me, will is only meaningful if something else could have occured. I asked this before but I'll ask again because I still don't get it: does will necessitate potentiality (Could God have chosen to be or do something else, or are all possibilities actualities?)?

Also what does it mean to say God's will exists as proven? I don't understand that.

Finally, can you more thoroughly explain what it means for God to tend toward himself?  

Thanks for taking me through this. I find it difficult to understand.


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 You are very correct.

 You are very correct. This is hard material and I don't want to take your questions lightly. I will try to be thorough.

 

Quote:

Sorry for pressing this,but I want to understand. Why can't God decided not to be in pure act? Why is that not a possibility? How do you know?

God must of necessity will His own good in the same way we must. Our willing of our own good is a necessity of the will. Even in cases of suicide, this is to remove the self from pain or suffering, which is a good. I cannot will my own evil because my will presumes the subject as a good. The will presumes a good exists by the nature of its will, even if the good is itself. If will exists in God, He necessarily wills His own goodness in the same way and can in no wise act contrary to Himself. It would also be a contradiction to will Himself as not existing because He knows His own nature as necessarily existing, so that it would be an absolute logical contradiction from His end to do so.

God thus wills some things necessarily, such as His own good.

 

Quote:

Also, I still don't understand what you are saying about God's will. To me, will is only meaningful if something else could have occured. I asked this before but I'll ask again because I still don't get it: does will necessitate potentiality (Could God have chosen to be or do something else, or are all possibilities actualities?)?

I don't understand what you mean by "necessitate potentiality." Will does not dictate that one can will absolutely anything, because the existence of the will as a subject rules such out (which is why the will necessarily wills its own good). While will does have a free choice among goods, this is of course restricted to goods themselves. God can likewise will among goods in a free manner, as we can, so that He can will something instead of another. For example, He could create the world or He could not have created the world. It was His choice and it was not necessary. Likewise, it is a matter of choice whether He creates a rock or an angel, for instance. These are different freely willed goods. But God's will cannot reach to a non-good, including His own, because the will's object can only be the good, not the evil (even in humans this is true, and we will evil only indirectly under the appearance of a good).

But God does not of necessity thus do all things, only those things which are necessary. Thus, He was free to create or not.

Quote:

Also what does it mean to say God's will exists as proven? I don't understand that.

I just meant that I had shown it in the previous post.

As there is intellect in God, and the tending of the intellect toward its known objects is the will, so in God there is will.

Quote:

Finally, can you more thoroughly explain what it means for God to tend toward himself?

 God's intellect wills itself as it knows itself as the supreme Good. It "tends" toward itself. As in every animal, the animal non-rationally tends toward its own good (pursuing food, and the like), so in every rational creature the intellect tends toward its good. This is the will, when it exists in the intellect.

The reason God and His will are one is because this "tending" ultimately desires a perfect rest in that which is willed. In God, this willing perfectly tends toward Him and thus rests in the willed so that both are the same one thing. As He has no division in Him, we can easily see that His will is the same as His substance.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

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Keep clicking your heals together because some fairy told you you'd get home by doing that. Me I'd prefure to fly on a real plane or ride on a real bus.

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StMichael wrote:   The

StMichael wrote:

 

The first that I present and will defend is is the argument from motion from Saint Thomas Aquinas (which I assume you are familiar with). We see that there are things in motion. Now, nothing moves unless it is in potentiality toward a mover - an actor. Nothing can be moved from a state of potency to act except by something in a state of actuality. Now, something cannot be in act and potency in the same respect. It is thus impossible that a thing be in motion and move itself; a self-moved mover. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put into motion by another. But what is in motion would have to be put in motion by another in motion, and so on. But this cannot go on into infinity because then no motion would exist, for subsequent movers move only in so far as they are moved by the first mover. Therefore, it is necessary to arrive at a first mover put into motion by no other, and this is God.

I consider this argument logically cogent and I find no convincing arguments against it.

This is based on such hopelessely out-of-date ideas of motion that it doesn't get off the ground. You seriously must be joking.

Every object tends to stay in a steady state of motion, basically uniform velocity in a straight line with repect to an inertial (non-accelerated) frame of reference. This includes the case of zero velocity, what we would call motionless. There is no special distinction between a moving object and a motionless object.

What does require the action of an external force is a change in this inertial velocity, ie something tending to cause an acceleration.

Now try again using 20th century physics, please. 

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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:

In a different note, it also indicates, according to modern theories of the second law, that the universe moves according to maximize entropy production in an orderly manner, guided to the end at which entropy can be maximized. This likewise proves that a rational orderer of the universe exists, because the universe acts in such a way as unintelligently to achieve the best result. In entropy, this is what results as a logical consequence of the law of entropy, where order arises in the nature of entropy production. But to achieve ends is specifically the characteristic of an intelligent agent. Hence, the universe is guided to achieve ends by a higher intellect - God.

Now lets examine the REAL picture...

The Universe most definitely does NOT "move[s] according to maximize entropy production in an orderly manner, guided to the end at which entropy can be maximized."

It moves in a not particularly ordered manner, subject only to the constraint that total entropy cannot decrease, and due to ordinary irreversible processes, must inevitably continue to increase, at least slightly.

Ultimately, entropy encapsulates in a quantitive form the basic facts that heat always flows from a hotter body to a cooler body, unless there is an input of some other form of energy to move heat the other way, as in a refrigerator.

There is the idea of an ideal 'reversible' process, in which there are no 'losses' due to friction or turbulence. If all thermal and mechanical energy interactions took place 'reversibly', so all loss of heat from a hot body was accompanied by generation of the maximum amount of mechanical energy, and all refrigeration processes are perfectly efficient, then there would be no change of entropy.

What happens as entropy increases is that the amount of energy availbale for conversion to other forms of energy decreases by that amount. The total amount of energy in the system does not change (thinking in classic terms for the moment, ie not worrying about matter-energy conversion, it just is in less useful form, like spread out over a lot of cool matter instead of concentrated in a smaller amount of hot matter.

Useful energy is essentially just motion in some consistent direction, like a moving body, a rotating shaft, or a flow of electricity. The same particles making up those things, with the same total energy of motion, but moving randomly, is identified as thermal energy. This insight lead to the extension of the idea of entropy as a measure of disorder. There is actually a subtly different usage of the term 'entropy' as a measure of information, which understandably the layman can easily get confused by, especially as there are some associations between the concepts of order and information.

The availability of free energy allows local decreases of entropy accomanying things like the emergence and evolution of life.

All that is required in the initial Big Bang singularity is that the energy was ordered, which would be the case if, for example, expanding space was filled with a relatively evenly distribution of particles, which attracted each other gravitationally. This leads to clumps of matter forming, heating up as graviational energy is converted to kinetic and thermal energy of spinning proto-stars and proto-galaxies. This is a somewhat over-simplified scenario, but is a general idea of the sort of thing that we speculate happened.

Those particules of matter probably condensed out of the raw energy of the initial fireball.

The law of entropy, at least in thermodynamics, says nothing about any absolute value of entropy, it is only only about changes of entropy, and maximums and minimums, measured as heat flows at particular temperatures.

About the energy of the 'fireball', where did it come from? There is an idea that if you take into account the gravitational energy of the universe, the nett energy of our known Universe iz zero, since gravitational energy is treated as negative, on the basis that the gravitational energy of an extremely spread out sea of particles separated by such large distances that they don't significantly attract each other, is assumed to approach zero.

As objects separated at very large distance move towards each other under the influence of gravity, the increase in energy of motion is balanced out by an equal amount of negative gravitational energy.

So all we are left with is what 'triggered' the initial singularity to start expanding, and this would appear to have occurred at the quantum level, where things like quantum fluctuations seem to be as purely random as any process known, and therefore essentially 'causeless'.

Somehow I don't think Aquinas was quite up to speed with all this, so I think at the very least his argument would need to be entirely re-thought before we can take any account of it. Smiling

OK, now where is the logical requirement for a conscious entity in all this????

EDIT: Could you actually give a link to an article relating to one of these "modern theories of the second law" you referred to? I do read a lot of science, and that doesn't ring a bell with me, but you may well be expressing the idea in a way I don't recognise.

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Hello, thanks for answering

Hello, thanks for answering these questions. Now that I understand the terminology you defined better, I have some more questions based on the model you've set forth.

StMichael wrote:

God must of necessity will His own good in the same way we must. Our willing of our own good is a necessity of the will. Even in cases of suicide, this is to remove the self from pain or suffering, which is a good.



Does one will their own good when they choose Hell?


Did God will his own good when he allowed for the possiblity of a Hell, a place where his creatures cannot will their own good, in the world he created? Isn't it necessary for God to will his own good so that people can always will their own good, even in hell? would that render hell meaningless?

 

Does Satan will his own good? Does Satan will his own evil?

Does God have an opinion on Hell?

StMichael wrote:


I don't understand what you mean by "necessitate potentiality." Will does not dictate that one can will absolutely anything, because the existence of the will as a subject rules such out (which is why the will necessarily wills its own good). While will does have a free choice among goods, this is of course restricted to goods themselves. God can likewise will among goods in a free manner, as we can, so that He can will something instead of another. For example, He could create the world or He could not have created the world. It was His choice and it was not necessary.




Is there anything which God has done or created through his will which can be used as a point of reference with which we can consider his creation of the world?

 

StMichael wrote:
But God does not of necessity thus do all things, only those things which are necessary.


Does this mean that only what God thinks is necessary is possible?
What would the universe have been like if God were different (if God did things that weren't necessary)?

 

StMichael wrote:
The reason God and His will are one is because this "tending" ultimately desires a perfect rest in that which is willed.


When will this happen?


My final question is, of the billions and billions fopeople willing their own goods, of those whom exist now and have existed in the past, how many of them got it right?

That is, how many wills willed the reality of good (like you, I'm assuming) and not the appearance of good (like the people who commit suicide)? The pool of those people like you, the ones going to heaven, must consist of only those who have labeled themselves (in one language or another) Christian right? And within this pool of people who call themselves Christian, what percent of them have it right? What percent of people who call themselves Christians are in fact going to hell?

And then, how does the naive believer distinguish between a Christian who is right about the world and one who is going to hell?


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StMichael wrote: You are

StMichael wrote:
Everything that is in motion is being moved by a mover.
This is not just pre-Einsteinian, it is pre-Newtonian physics. Nobody believes it today except creationists who are desperate to have an argument, any argument, no matter how hopeless.

God had no time to create time.


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St. Michael, From what I

St. Michael,

From what I have been able to gather from your postings here and other places, it appears that your view is a combination of Occasionalism and enough statements that sound like science to prove your point. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Occasionalism always seemed a lazy philosophy to me. Just being able to say "God did it" and never bothering to search for answers as to why or how is rather useless, in my opinion (yes, I know that's all it is).

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The philosophy involved in

The philosophy involved in these arguments, and much of the science for that matter, seems like stuff from the early history of those subjects, rather than actually current understanding. I think someone has mistaken a course on the history of philosophy for the actual discipline itself... Smiling

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StMichael wrote: First,

StMichael wrote:

First, the unmoved mover cannot have an potentiality in it, because the unmoved mover is, by definition, purely in act upon all things with no thing acting upon it. Hence, it is purely in act.

Second, this means that the UM must be utterly simple, with no division in parts or dimensions. This is because such a division would indicate that the UM has potency within it, which is impossible.

Third, there is, even further, no division in God to the extent to which He is of no genus or species. He also has no division between what He is (essence) and how He is (act of existence). He is thus pure existence.

Fourth, as the unmoved mover is pure act, it cannot but possess every perfection resulting from its pure possession of the act of being in general. This entails the possession of every convertible property of being in a supremely eminent way - God is the Good, is Truth, is Beauty, ect.

Fifth, God is infinite because, as the UM, he cannot have any potentiality in Him. But to be limited by a material body or by any qualification of the extent of His being would be to place in Him potency. Hence, God is infinite.

Sixth, God is outside of time for the same reason. God is infinite, eternal, and immutable because to deny these characteristics would be to place potency in God. But this is impossible.

Seventh, it is clear that knowledge belongs in God, because things are intelligible as they are removed from matter. But, in God, there is the supreme degree of immateriality, and hence God is supremely knowable and possesses knowledge.

Eighth, God understands Himself through Himself because the supreme actualization of the intellect is to unite itself to the one known. The intelligible species of God is God Himself, so that He knows Himself.

Ninth, as God has an intellect, God has will, because will is nothing other than the appetite of the intellect. 

Tenth, as God is an active principle in the highest degree, it is clear that there is power in God because power is to act upon something else.

Eleventh, as God's action/power is not determined by any limitation and because His essence is infinite under the category of being, it is clear that He must have the power to do all things.

And so on and so forth.

 None of these properties follow from the argument.

 

StMichael wrote:
I likewise point to the fact that the Scriptures and the teaching of the Church have consistently (and dogmatically) defined the Prime Mover/Uncaused Cause as God.

i'm not even going to deal with such nonsense.  It is obvious to me that you have never studied philosophy or rational argumentation.  I beg you, please, go study what you talk about before further posting.  This kind of dribble is fallacious on many levels.

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BobSpence1 wrote: Now try

BobSpence1 wrote:

Now try again using 20th century physics, please.

It boggles my mind that this fellow expects his argument to be compelling, even though it rests upon Medieval conceptions of matter and motion.  Medieval conceptions of matter and motion have not been accepted since Newton wrote his Principia Physica (I think thats what it was called) in the 1500's.

 

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BobSpence1 wrote: The

BobSpence1 wrote:
The philosophy involved in these arguments, and much of the science for that matter, seems like stuff from the early history of those subjects, rather than actually current understanding. I think someone has mistaken a course on the history of philosophy for the actual discipline itself... Smiling

Indeed he has.  As I said earlier, most philosophers that are studied had a few good ideas...some great, and the rest of the ideas were totally wacky.  Its not just the medievels or the moderns (St. Thomas, St. Augustine - Descartes, Spinoza, Kant) but also some 20th century Philosophers, like Sarte.  Sarte though that conciousness was not self-identical...pretty wacky, and pretty false.  But, like all of them, they all had atleast 1 good idea, or made atleast 1 good point. 

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Quote: Every object tends

Quote:

Every object tends to stay in a steady state of motion, basically uniform velocity in a straight line with repect to an inertial (non-accelerated) frame of reference. This includes the case of zero velocity, what we would call motionless. There is no special distinction between a moving object and a motionless object.

What does require the action of an external force is a change in this inertial velocity, ie something tending to cause an acceleration.

Motion, in the Aristotelian sense, is merely the movement of a thing from potency to act or vice-versa. Local and material motion is one sense of motion which likewise requires a mover. But the same is true of any change.

Further, I believe the proof likewise stands on its own assuming modern theories of motion. In reference to other things, an object is in motion. But this does not negate the fact that a thing cannot be in motion without a mover. Nor does it negate the fact that things are in motion (even if relative to us, they are in motion). These last two are all that is needed to deduce an unmoved mover. 

 

 

Quote:

The Universe most definitely does NOT "move[s] according to maximize entropy production in an orderly manner, guided to the end at which entropy can be maximized."

It moves in a not particularly ordered manner, subject only to the constraint that total entropy cannot decrease, and due to ordinary irreversible processes, must inevitably continue to increase, at least slightly.

This last phrase indicates entropy is a one-way street which required an original phase of order. It likewise indicates a mover of the universe, otherwise the "movement" of entropy "forward" would not exist; it requires a mover to set the universe in motion for entropy to exist.

Quote:
 

Ultimately, entropy encapsulates in a quantitive form the basic facts that heat always flows from a hotter body to a cooler body, unless there is an input of some other form of energy to move heat the other way, as in a refrigerator.

Maximum entropy production was a modern discovery that the movement of heat always flows in the way that best accomplishes the heating of the object in question. In other words, a rational order.

 

Quote:

All that is required in the initial Big Bang singularity is that the energy was ordered, which would be the case if, for example, expanding space was filled with a relatively evenly distribution of particles, which attracted each other gravitationally. This leads to clumps of matter forming, heating up as graviational energy is converted to kinetic and thermal energy of spinning proto-stars and proto-galaxies. This is a somewhat over-simplified scenario, but is a general idea of the sort of thing that we speculate happened.

Which indicates that the universe must have had a mover. Otherwise, the Big Bang singularity would not have been ordered at all.

Quote:

The law of entropy, at least in thermodynamics, says nothing about any absolute value of entropy, it is only only about changes of entropy, and maximums and minimums, measured as heat flows at particular temperatures.

Precisely my point. It only dictates a decrease in order in a given system. Which begs the question that, if there is order now and order inevitably decreases with life of the system, there must have been a first mover to cause order in the system.

 

Quote:

About the energy of the 'fireball', where did it come from?

I don't know what you mean by "fireball" but I assume the Big Bang is here indicated.

Quote:

There is an idea that if you take into account the gravitational energy of the universe, the nett energy of our known Universe iz zero, since gravitational energy is treated as negative, on the basis that the gravitational energy of an extremely spread out sea of particles separated by such large distances that they don't significantly attract each other, is assumed to approach zero.

As objects separated at very large distance move towards each other under the influence of gravity, the increase in energy of motion is balanced out by an equal amount of negative gravitational energy.

Which begs the question of why the things existed in that way in the first place.  

Quote:

OK, now where is the logical requirement for a conscious entity in all this????

 

Not there yet. Hold your pants on.

Quote:
 

EDIT: Could you actually give a link to an article relating to one of these "modern theories of the second law" you referred to? I do read a lot of science, and that doesn't ring a bell with me, but you may well be expressing the idea in a way I don't recognise.

 

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v436/n7053/full/436905a.html

This is an article about MEP.

 

Quote:
 


Does one will their own good when they choose Hell?

In a manner. They choose an apparent good.

Quote:
 

Did God will his own good when he allowed for the possiblity of a Hell, a place where his creatures cannot will their own good, in the world he created?

God never created hell. I don't see how God's goodness factors into the possibility of hell in the first place. Further, His creatures do will their own good in the world; there is no question that they do (assuming they are rational and have wills).

 

Quote:
 

Isn't it necessary for God to will his own good so that people can always will their own good, even in hell? would that render hell meaningless?

No, you are misreading what it means to will ones own good. Everyone wills some good to themselves. One could will that one drinks a cup of water because one is thirsty. The water is a good because it satisfies the thirst. The people in hell still will their own good, and this is fundamentally what causes them pain because they have forever lost the Good itself.

 

Quote:

Does Satan will his own good?

Yes, in the sense that, for example, he wills to be like God in such a way that he is prideful. It is a good to be like God in general, but his will is evil in willing this thing in a wicked way. For he willed to be like God in obtaining beatitude not through God's grace but by his own power, or by desiring some good which he could obtain by his own natural powers rather than the supernatural beatitude offered by God. In either case, he turned his will from God and thence sinned.  

Quote:

Does God have an opinion on Hell?

I would suppose that He hates it.

Quote:

 

Is there anything which God has done or created through his will which can be used as a point of reference with which we can consider his creation of the world?

We can create a bench from wood, and this term we use "to create" is likewise applied to God in a supereminent way when we speak of His creation of the universe. I don't know if this is what you mean, so ask differently if you mean something different.

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Does this mean that only what God thinks is necessary is possible?

I am not sure what this means, but I think the answer is "No."

God only necessarily wills certain things, such as His own goodness (as we likewise will our own goodness). Outside of those, however, He is free to create or not create. Possibility still exists. It would have been possible for God to do something differently.

 

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What would the universe have been like if God were different (if God did things that weren't necessary)?

 

I don't know.

 

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When will this happen?

When will what happen? God is constantly perfectly united with His own will.

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My final question is, of the billions and billions fopeople willing their own goods, of those whom exist now and have existed in the past, how many of them got it right?

I couldn't say. Only God, who knows hearts, could.

Quote:
 

That is, how many wills willed the reality of good (like you, I'm assuming) and not the appearance of good (like the people who commit suicide)? The pool of those people like you, the ones going to heaven, must consist of only those who have labeled themselves (in one language or another) Christian right? And within this pool of people who call themselves Christian, what percent of them have it right? What percent of people who call themselves Christians are in fact going to hell?

To know the good requires a properly formed conscience, which is accomplished by investigating the right and evalutating morality rationally. I would point out, however, that God made this considerably easier by Revelation, where He reveals a good deal about what we could naturally know about moral action and a good deal more that we could not know about how to attain salvation through Christ. By original sin, human knowing has been impaired and becomes filled with error. This is one reason why God revealed these truths: to make them certainly known by all men so that they can easily attain salvation.

I personally have no idea who gets to heaven. Christians and Jews have a naturally higher chance because they both possess the moral law revealed by God and hence are surer here. Christians further possess greater aids through the teaching of the Church, Scripture, and the grace of the Sacraments, all of which makes their chance of going to heaven much more probable. But it does not guarantee it, as is evident from apostasy and sin among Christians.

It is, however, a truth that God offers to all men at all time sufficent grace to come to salvation. This might mean an opportunity to accept baptism in the Catholic Church, or to hear the Gospel preached, or merely to discover the moral law naturally (without knowledge of the Gospel). And so, all men can be saved even naturally if they obey the voice of conscience. But all of this is oriented toward the Church and draws one into it, because God established it as the sure, certain, and ordinary means of salvation. It likewise becomes harder to follow the moral law and to know God outside of the Church, without the help of the Church's teaching and grace in the Sacraments. We cannot say for sure, but we firmly believe that God wills all men to be saved and that no one is saved outside of the Catholic Church. Thus, we preach the Gospel and evangelize to bring all men to salvation.   

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And then, how does the naive believer distinguish between a Christian who is right about the world and one who is going to hell?

Well, I suppose this is a rather complex question on two levels. First, it is definitely not in our power to know whether a person is going to heaven or hell, as God decides this according to His judgement about their soul (which only He knows). Second, there is, however, of course a probable knowledge we could have based on such things as whether the person is an orthodox Catholic and performs works of charity, prayer, ect. recieving the sacraments, and the like. But I don't think it wise or helpful to speculate on whether some particular person is going to heaven or hell. If you want to know how you can avoid hell, there are clearly two commands from God: to love God above all things and your neighbor as yourself. If you fulfill the first, this entails such things as: prayer, fasting, recieving the sacraments, orthodox belief in union with the whole Catholic Church, ect. If you fulfill the second, this entails such things as: almsgiving, prayer for the dead, works of corporeal mercy, ect.   

If you have further questions about these things, I suggest you ask a Catholic priest in your area, as he could help you better "face-to-face" than I can over the computer. 

May almighty God keep you in His care, and may His Blessed Mother pray for you. 

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

 


 

 

Occasionalism is not involved here. Nor do I espouse such a theory.

 

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


drummermonkey
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I wholeheartedly disagree

I wholeheartedly disagree with whoever says "if you hold a belief in God and are a student of philosophy or teach philosophy then you are doing 'rinky dink philosophy' or even worse are a rinky dink philosopher". Now, philosophy of religion I will not deny is a philosophical goldmine, but if you’re a theist and a philosopher you can still be brilliant in philosophy, and rational.

Some contemporary philosophers of religion are as follows: Alvin Plantinga (of course), Richard Swinburne, Philip Clayton, alot of philosophers interested in strong emergent theories are theists, Rene Girard, Paul Ricoeur, Richard Kearney, Jean Luc Marion, Howard Wettstein, Dallas Willard, William Dembski, Neil Manson, Robert Koons, Alan Wood, George Ellis....and there is a lot more. It is simply not the case that "God" is a dead intellectual letter, especially in contemporary philosophy. And it is specifically not the case that there are not good philosophers who are theists. 

A second point is that the belief in God is irrational. Some philosophers who make this charge have irritatingly high standards for rationality, which probably casts a lot of theists, and non-theists, in the vicinity of irrationality. Perhaps they hold a maxim close to "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", riiight “extraordinary evidence“? what the heck is that?

It would profit anyone who charges a large population with irrationality to think more about what is presupposed the ontology of a belief is, further what they count as "sufficient evidence", and further what they think is rational. A lot of the time what counts as "sufficient evidence" is ambiguous, what is counted as rational is self defeating, and the ontology of what they say a belief is, is suspect.

If you actually think that being rational is only holding a belief that you can prove through logical argument, then why don’t you prove that presupposition true using a logical argument? Certainly you can argue it effectively into place. Unless of course you think that rationality is by definition holding a belief that you can prove through logical argument, so it is a belief that is just tautologically true. If that’s the case then there is something that you don’t have to prove logically, then by definition this belief is “irrational“, including what a lot of modest foundationalist count as a “basic belief‘, seems to be shockingly close to a irrational belief.

Whew I got a little off track there, but I think you get my point. It is simply not the case that you are practicing "rinky dink philosophy" if you are a theistic philosopher or are interested in philosophy of religion. There can be a lot of atheistic philosophers too, I am not disputing that. But, theistic philosophers are not really philosophers? That is completely wrong, and, dare I say, irrational and close minded.


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As an atheist who is very

As an atheist who is very interested in philosophy, I will readily admit that I have learned a great deal from theist philosophers, teachers, and authors.  Thinkers like Kierkegaard and Levinas have contributed a great deal to philosophy, and one of the greatest philosophical attacks on the proofs for god's existence came from a theist: David Hume's "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion." 

My undergraduate philosophy professor, who made a major impact on my thinking and introduced me to many great books and thinkers, was a christian.  As a great teacher, of course, he encouraged me to explore my own interests and thoughts. 

 

 


todangst
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drummermonkey wrote:  

drummermonkey wrote:

 
Some contemporary philosophers of religion are as follows: Alvin Plantinga (of course), Richard Swinburne,

Plantinga and Swinburne do not make very good arguments. 

Quote:

It is simply not the case that "God" is a dead intellectual letter, especially in contemporary philosophy.

Nothing is really 'dead' in philosophy, that's why it's philosophy.

What really matters is who is really taking the lead and moving others? It's not the theists.

And, even more importantly,what really does matter is that supernatural claims are dead in science. No one takes them seriously anymore. 

 

Quote:

A second point is that the belief in God is irrational.

Theistic faith is irrational by definition. You cannot hold to a supernatural claim through any rational methods, because there can be no causal or logical argument in support of their very antithesis, the supernatural.

Quote:
 

Some philosophers who make this charge have irritatingly high standards for rationality, which probably casts a lot of theists, and non-theists, in the vicinity of irrationality. Perhaps they hold a maxim close to "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", riiight “extraordinary evidence“? what the heck is that?

 

Asking a person to hold to an extraordinary claim based on a person's 'faith' is asking them to overturn naturalistic observations based on trillions of observations by billions of people over thousands of years.

There can be no logical or causal argument to support the existence of a 'realm' beyond logic or causality!  

Unless you want to to turn your 'god' into a natural entity, and leave theism altogether for pantheism, there's nothing you can do here but argue from ignorance, and then special plead from this ignorance to a god of your upbringing.

That's not rational. That's "faith" and faith is unjustified hope. Nothing more.  

  

Quote:

If you actually think that being rational is only holding a belief that you can prove through logical argument, then why don’t you prove that presupposition true using a logical argument?

Because your request is preposterous. To demonstrate the 'validity' of an axiom would require even more 'basic axioms' as the foundation for the argument!  Which would mean that they weren't axioms in the first place!

Logic is the very method we use for demonstrating proofs in the first place. So, are axioms merely assumed with no reason? no.  Axioms are defended through retortion, not argument. 

Anyway, rationalism doesn't require that every belief be held upon a deductive proof,  it merely requires what I will delineate below.

 But before I begin, I want to stress that any attempt to justify theistic claims by arguing: 'since rationalism must make certain presumptions' then "I am justified in assuming whatever I please" is just arguing that since your view shares a supposed WEAKNESS with mine that they should be held equivalent!

How naturalistic assumptions really work

1) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would only justifies what is required in order to begin knowing the world.

If, for example, there is in fact a need to assume the existence of other first person ontology other than my own, this assumption only allows me to assume whatever is needed to unpack first person ontology, nothing more.

2) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world naturally would not justify ever holding to an assumption that fails to adequately account for reality.

This is where pragmatism enters into any foundationalist approach to justifying knowledge. No naturalist would continue to hold to an assumption that simply failed to work.

3) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would not justify making any assumption that violated what we know of the world through rational-empirical methods.

Consider Stephen Hawkings here, in his description of speculative cosmological theory:

There are cosmological models that have as much evidence going for them as astrology. They differ from astrology, however, in that they do not violate what we already know of the universe. - Universe in a Nutshell.

4) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would not justify any supernatural or 'transcendent' assumption. Why? Because these terms, "supernatural" andr 'transcedent are defined from the outset, in such a way that they preclude the possibility of holding to them as 'properly basic beliefs' because each definition is a negative definition, devoid of any universe of discourse.

To clarify further:

A negative definition requires a universe of discourse for it to be able to tell us 'anything'. For example, if I hold out a box with two objects, a penny and a pencil and rule out the penny as the object I want to point out to you, the universe of discourse (items in the box) provides you with information concerning what the object in question 'is" - the pencil.

However, a negative definition devoid of any universe of discourse is necessarily meaningless. There's 'nothing' left over for it to 'be', so the definiton cannot provide any ontological status. So, to go right to the heart of the matter, to say that the 'supernatural' is the antithesis of nature is to render the concept meaningless.

Review:

So, to review: a naturalist only assumes what is needed in order to active a particular system of thought, she drops any any assumption that is falsified*, she does not asume what appears to contradict what we know of the world, and she never assumes what violates basic ontology itself.  In addition, a naturalist recognizes that while any assumption is open to doubt, sheer doubt in of itself is not a reason to reject any claim.

So, in finally answer the question: are these beliefs unjustified, I can say this: Yes, these beliefs are basic and they are unjustified in the epistemological sense in that there is no set of proofs or inductive evidence for them. But the claim that these beliefs are 'unjustified' in the colloquial sense of the word: (i.e. that there's NO reason to hold to them! They are taken on faith!&quotEye-wink, is rendered nonsensical.

* A clever reader might say: "aha, but falsification itself appears to be an assumption!" Even if this is so, think this point through: are you trying to argue that a naturalist ought to reject falsification if falsification is falsified? Smiling

 

 

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


drummermonkey
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todangst wrote: Plantinga

todangst wrote:
Plantinga and Swinburne do not make very good arguments.

I disagree Plantinga and Swinburne make good arguments, perhaps not sound arguments, but they are valid arguments. There are a few questions that come to mind, what constitutes a good argument? Further what constitutes a good philosopher? I don't think the two walk hand in hand, I disagree with most of what Descartes argues but I still think he is a good philosopher. Plantinga is still even recognized, widely, as a good philosopher; take a philosophy of logic course and you are bound to discuss him on modalities, and necessity; take an epistemology course and you are most likely going to talk about proper function theory; Even now he has just published an article for the Stanford encyclopaedia of philosophy on Religion and Science, so it is not the case that his ideas are not being recognized as in the range of "good".

Swinburne is a well known public intellectual, and I think he is a good philosopher, I don't agree with him, but he is still a good thinker and makes valid points, and writes good books. In addition there are several other thinkers I have listed there, several of them have won awards for their work in philosophy... I still maintain you can be a good philosopher and a theist.

Quote:

Nothing is really 'dead' in philosophy, that's why it's philosophy.

I don't know, Cartesian foundationalism has seen better days. And logical positivism seems to have run it's course.

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What really matters is who is really taking the lead and moving others? It's not the theists.

Again I will have to disagree, and it's questionable what constitutes "moving others". I think Alan Wood is a pretty good epistemologist and is paving the way for some good ideas in virtue epistemology. In addition Philip Clayton has recently won the Templeton prize, and George Ellis has received the same prize (this prize is noted for being larger than the noble prize, so that suggests that his ideas are moving people).

 There's also Keith De'Rose, a leading contextualist philosopher at Yale. And the list goes on and on.

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And, even more importantly,what really does matter is that supernatural claims are dead in science. No one takes them seriously anymore.

Well, that depends what you take supernatural claim to be. If by supernatural you mean theistic claims, or strong emergence claims then I disagree. Certainly Dawkins and Dennett don't take them seriously, two people are not every person. Philip Clayton and Paul Davies recently explored the emergence hypothesises, Clayton and Davies both took each others claims seriously and had a dialogue about Science, Emergence and Religion; Clayton is a theist, Davies is not. So I don't think that theists and scientists are out of the realm of having a dialogue with each other and take each other's claims seriously, provided they can agree that each other is rational. If they didn't think each other were rational thinkers then I don't think dialogue can even happen.

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Theistic faith is irrational by definition. You cannot hold to a supernatural claim through any rational methods, because there can be no causal or logical argument in support of their very antithesis, the supernatural.

I disagree, holding a religious belief is not necessarily irrational, some hold their religious beliefs based on reason. Now the reasoning may not be sound but a reasoned case can still be made for a theistic belief. If you define rationality to simply not include holding a religious belief, then that is an ad hoc theory of rationality, philosophical theorizing goes wrong when you cling to ad hoc principles like that.

In response to your position on "supernatural" and causality, it depends what you take to be supernatural. There are philosophers who find natural, reductionism methodology extremely lacking (I am one of them), for example you cannot say as a scientist, what I ought to do in Iraq today. That is to say you can't ask a scientist as a scientist "what do scientists say what we ought to do in Iraq?", it is completely out of the domain of scientists. There are also metaphysical issues that seem to lie outside the domain of natural science; so there seems to be some basis for arguing for transcendence, if that's supernatural then so be it.

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Asking a person to hold to an extraordinary claim based on a person's 'faith' is asking them to overturn naturalistic observations based on trillions of observations by billions of people over thousands of years.

There can be no logical or causal argument to support the existence of a 'realm' beyond logic or causality!

It depends what you mean by "realm" of causality and logic. If what you mean is a particular domain then you seem to be arguing along similar lines as a logical positivist. What about a domain for ethics, or aesthetics? Even metaphysics seems to a lost cause according to such a hypothesis.

Quote:

Unless you want to to turn your 'god' into a natural entity, and leave theism altogether for pantheism, there's nothing you can do here but argue from ignorance, and then special plead from this ignorance to a god of your upbringing.

That's not rational. That's "faith" and faith is unjustified hope. Nothing more.

This seems to be ad hominem, if it is an argument at all. My thesis is that Philosophers who are theists can be good philosophers and rational. You define rationality as not including faith, I take this to be holding a religious belief, thus anyone who holds a religious belief is guilty by association.

Quote:

Because your request is preposterous. To demonstrate the 'validity' of an axiom would require even more 'basic axioms' as the foundation for the argument! Which would mean that they weren't axioms in the first place!

Logic is the very method we use for demonstrating proofs in the first place. So, are axioms merely assumed with no reason? no. Axioms are defended through retortion, not argument.

Anyway, rationalism doesn't require that every belief be held upon a deductive proof, it merely requires what I will delineate below.

But before I begin, I want to stress that any attempt to justify theistic claims by arguing: 'since rationalism must make certain presumptions' then "I am justified in assuming whatever I please" is just arguing that since your view shares a supposed WEAKNESS with mine that they should be held equivalent!

How naturalistic assumptions really work

1) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would only justifies what is required in order to begin knowing the world.

If, for example, there is in fact a need to assume the existence of other first person ontology other than my own, this assumption only allows me to assume whatever is needed to unpack first person ontology, nothing more.

2) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world naturally would not justify ever holding to an assumption that fails to adequately account for reality.

This is where pragmatism enters into any foundationalist approach to justifying knowledge. No naturalist would continue to hold to an assumption that simply failed to work.

3) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would not justify making any assumption that violated what we know of the world through rational-empirical methods.

Consider Stephen Hawkings here, in his description of speculative cosmological theory:

There are cosmological models that have as much evidence going for them as astrology. They differ from astrology, however, in that they do not violate what we already know of the universe. - Universe in a Nutshell.

4) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would not justify any supernatural or 'transcendent' assumption. Why? Because these terms, "supernatural" andr 'transcedent are defined from the outset, in such a way that they preclude the possibility of holding to them as 'properly basic beliefs' because each definition is a negative definition, devoid of any universe of discourse.

To clarify further:

A negative definition requires a universe of discourse for it to be able to tell us 'anything'. For example, if I hold out a box with two objects, a penny and a pencil and rule out the penny as the object I want to point out to you, the universe of discourse (items in the box) provides you with information concerning what the object in question 'is" - the pencil.

However, a negative definition devoid of any universe of discourse is necessarily meaningless. There's 'nothing' left over for it to 'be', so the definiton cannot provide any ontological status. So, to go right to the heart of the matter, to say that the 'supernatural' is the antithesis of nature is to render the concept meaningless.

Review:

So, to review: a naturalist only assumes what is needed in order to active a particular system of thought, she drops any any assumption that is falsified*, she does not asume what appears to contradict what we know of the world, and she never assumes what violates basic ontology itself. In addition, a naturalist recognizes that while any assumption is open to doubt, sheer doubt in of itself is not a reason to reject any claim.

So, in finally answer the question: are these beliefs unjustified, I can say this: Yes, these beliefs are basic and they are unjustified in the epistemological sense in that there is no set of proofs or inductive evidence for them. But the claim that these beliefs are 'unjustified' in the colloquial sense of the word: (i.e. that there's NO reason to hold to them! They are taken on faith!&quotEye-wink, is rendered nonsensical.

* A clever reader might say: "aha, but falsification itself appears to be an assumption!" Even if this is so, think this point through: are you trying to argue that a naturalist ought to reject falsification if falsification is falsified? Smiling

I take your point, however I did not argue that axioms were unjustified, just that a definition of rationality needs to be modified, I think you agreed with me there and that was the basis of my point.

If irrationality is accepting into one's ontology anything that is not proven using logical argument, then by definition logicians who accept axioms into their ontology and modest foundationalist who accept something along the lines of prima facie justification of basic beliefs are irrational. It is not the case that logicians who accept axioms into their ontology and modest foundationalist who accept something along the lines of prima facie justification of basic beliefs are irrational (there are practical reasons as you've listed above to accept axioms into one's ontology), Thus irrationality is not defined as accepting into ones ontology anything that is not proven by logical argument (via modus tollens).

A latter concern is that you think basic beliefs are unjustified in the epistemological sense, I disagree, I think basic beliefs are justified non-doxastically (this is just nit picking though), I tend to think that basic beliefs are also fallible but that's just my opinion.

Although I have yet to argue for a non-materialist view, yet, my point was to argue that you can be a theist and good philosopher, and rational. We however have different opinions on what constitutes rationality, which is fine, but I'm not sure that anyone has really laid out a really good definition for rationality except positing what it is not. I'm more interested in hearing what rationality IS, and arguments for what rationality is.

Now you somewhat argue that naturalist rationality is "dropping anything that is falsified", but even Karl Popper argues that religious belief cannot be falsified (scientifically), so it's not clear why you would drop God in your ontology. You might argue that since God cannot be falsified it should be dropped from your ontology, but if it is the case that anything that cannot be falsified should be dropped then we should also drop “I ought to keep my promises” , or perhaps any ethical principle from one’s ethical ontology, since they cannot be falsified either.

Let me be clear I am not positing God as a scientific hypothesis, I think this is a wrong approach, I am discussing philosophical opinions on rationality and the belief in God, and this is in the domain of philosophy.

Anyways, I may post an argument or two on non-materialism in the future, but not right now, I have a few papers to write; I just thought I'd post a slight rebuttle.


todangst
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drummermonkey

drummermonkey wrote:

todangst wrote:
Plantinga and Swinburne do not make very good arguments.

I disagree

Sorry, I just can't take Plantinga and Swinburne seriously. They have serious flaws in their arguments, yet they repeat them, oblivious to the flaws.

Quote:

Nothing is really 'dead' in philosophy, that's why it's philosophy.

Quote:

I don't know, Cartesian foundationalism has seen better days. And logical positivism seems to have run it's course.

Wait a few decades.

Quote:

What really matters is who is really taking the lead and moving others? It's not the theists.

Quote:

Again I will have to disagree,

Come on, it's not the theists. What year is on your calendar, 1622?

Quote:

Theistic faith is irrational by definition. You cannot hold to a supernatural claim through any rational methods, because there can be no causal or logical argument in support of their very antithesis, the supernatural.

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I disagree,

Faith is irrational by definition as explained above, if you have anything that actually counters the above, let me know.

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In response to your position on "supernatural" and causality, it depends what you take to be supernatural.

There can be only one definition that does not steal from naturalism: 'not nature'.

Quote:

There are philosophers who find natural, reductionism methodology extremely lacking

Because naturalism deprives them of all their fantasies. The fact that people complain about reductionism doesn't mean that they've actually offered anything better.

Quote:

Asking a person to hold to an extraordinary claim based on a person's 'faith' is asking them to overturn naturalistic observations based on trillions of observations by billions of people over thousands of years.

There can be no logical or causal argument to support the existence of a 'realm' beyond logic or causality!

Quote:

It depends what you mean by "realm" of causality and logic.

Nature. As opposed to beyond nature - supernaturalism.

Quote:

Unless you want to to turn your 'god' into a natural entity, and leave theism altogether for pantheism, there's nothing you can do here but argue from ignorance, and then special plead from this ignorance to a god of your upbringing.

That's not rational. That's "faith" and faith is unjustified hope. Nothing more.

 

Quote:

This seems to be ad hominem, if it is an argument at all.

It's a deductive argument, not an attack. . The point is that  anything defined as beyond nature cannot have an ontology.

Quote:

Because your request is preposterous. To demonstrate the 'validity' of an axiom would require even more 'basic axioms' as the foundation for the argument! Which would mean that they weren't axioms in the first place!

Logic is the very method we use for demonstrating proofs in the first place. So, are axioms merely assumed with no reason? no. Axioms are defended through retortion, not argument.

Anyway, rationalism doesn't require that every belief be held upon a deductive proof, it merely requires what I will delineate below.

But before I begin, I want to stress that any attempt to justify theistic claims by arguing: 'since rationalism must make certain presumptions' then "I am justified in assuming whatever I please" is just arguing that since your view shares a supposed WEAKNESS with mine that they should be held equivalent!

How naturalistic assumptions really work

1) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would only justifies what is required in order to begin knowing the world.

If, for example, there is in fact a need to assume the existence of other first person ontology other than my own, this assumption only allows me to assume whatever is needed to unpack first person ontology, nothing more.

2) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world naturally would not justify ever holding to an assumption that fails to adequately account for reality.

This is where pragmatism enters into any foundationalist approach to justifying knowledge. No naturalist would continue to hold to an assumption that simply failed to work.

3) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would not justify making any assumption that violated what we know of the world through rational-empirical methods.

Consider Stephen Hawkings here, in his description of speculative cosmological theory:

There are cosmological models that have as much evidence going for them as astrology. They differ from astrology, however, in that they do not violate what we already know of the universe. - Universe in a Nutshell.

4) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would not justify any supernatural or 'transcendent' assumption. Why? Because these terms, "supernatural" andr 'transcedent are defined from the outset, in such a way that they preclude the possibility of holding to them as 'properly basic beliefs' because each definition is a negative definition, devoid of any universe of discourse.

To clarify further:

A negative definition requires a universe of discourse for it to be able to tell us 'anything'. For example, if I hold out a box with two objects, a penny and a pencil and rule out the penny as the object I want to point out to you, the universe of discourse (items in the box) provides you with information concerning what the object in question 'is" - the pencil.

However, a negative definition devoid of any universe of discourse is necessarily meaningless. There's 'nothing' left over for it to 'be', so the definiton cannot provide any ontological status. So, to go right to the heart of the matter, to say that the 'supernatural' is the antithesis of nature is to render the concept meaningless.

Review:

So, to review: a naturalist only assumes what is needed in order to active a particular system of thought, she drops any any assumption that is falsified*, she does not asume what appears to contradict what we know of the world, and she never assumes what violates basic ontology itself. In addition, a naturalist recognizes that while any assumption is open to doubt, sheer doubt in of itself is not a reason to reject any claim.

So, in finally answer the question: are these beliefs unjustified, I can say this: Yes, these beliefs are basic and they are unjustified in the epistemological sense in that there is no set of proofs or inductive evidence for them. But the claim that these beliefs are 'unjustified' in the colloquial sense of the word: (i.e. that there's NO reason to hold to them! They are taken on faith!&quotEye-wink, is rendered nonsensical.

* A clever reader might say: "aha, but falsification itself appears to be an assumption!" Even if this is so, think this point through: are you trying to argue that a naturalist ought to reject falsification if falsification is falsified? Smiling

 

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I take your point,

Good.

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 however I did not argue that axioms were unjustified, just that a definition of rationality needs to be modified, I think you agreed with me there and that was the basis of my point.

If irrationality is accepting into one's ontology

STOP. The entire point before you is that the supernatural has no ontology.

This makes everything else you say here moot.

 

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A latter concern is that you think basic beliefs are unjustified in the epistemological sense, I disagree,

I've given you an argument as to why I hold to my position.

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Now you somewhat argue that naturalist rationality is "dropping anything that is falsified", but even Karl Popper argues that religious belief cannot be falsified (scientifically)

Problem: "god' cannot have any ontological status in the first place, ergo all of this is moot.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


Strafio
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todangst wrote: There can

todangst wrote:
There can be only one definition that does not steal from naturalism: 'not nature'.

I think this is the point you need to concentrate on.
The rest of your argument follows from 'your' definition of supernatural.
The reason why I say it's 'your' definition is because that how it looks to someone on the outside. The definition of supernatural is very counter-intuitive to people who come across it for the first time and most people have something very different in mind when they say supernatural.

The supernatural they are thinking of might be ontologically natural but physically supernatural. i.e. not beyond all comprehension, just beyond the contingent laws of physics. (remember that 'God of the Sims' that I used to bring in when we used to argue about this?)

I think that may 'theists' think of supernatural in this way.
Perhaps the best approach here would be to explain what you mean by supernatural (i.e. totally transcendent) and what the logical implications are (i.e. no chance of comprehensibility let alone epistemology) and then if he disagrees then ask him what he means by supernatural. If he gave us a coherent definition then we could see what logically follows from it - perhaps it'll put intolerable limits on his God concept?

I think it'll be an important project as I think most amature apologists rely on a fuzzy definition of supernatural and it would be good to establish a clear proof on what kind of 'supernatural' that God must be.