Theist Challenge met: I conceive of something that doesn't exist

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Theist Challenge met: I conceive of something that doesn't exist

Upon editing a show today I stumbled across a funny short segment.  I'm digging through almost 60 hours of unedited content, and working on having around 100 hours of fresh content available by years end.  Subscribers, please stick with us as I work to bring you tons of new material. 

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Sapient wrote: Eloise

Sapient wrote:

 

Eloise wrote:
MattShizzle wrote:

Dragons,

based on legends which can probably be traced back to early sightings of dinosaur remains.

 

MoreRationalEloise wrote:
hypotheticalsapient wrote:

Gods

based on legends which can probably be traced back to our early ignorance of how the world works

Ahh, but Brian you make the assumption that we are no longer ignorant of anything about how the world works. I beg to differ, but we most definitely are.

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Neverfox wrote:What about

Neverfox wrote:

What about god is such that you find it impossible to fall into a derivative line of thought?

I don't find it impossible for "god" things and "gods" to fall into derivative. My whole point here is that they should derive from something. I just don't agree with the contention that all there is, and could possibly be, to know about god concepts is done and dusted.

 

NeverFox wrote:

David Hume wrote:
What peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call thought, that we must thus make it the model of the whole universe?

 

Because there is no human modelling of the universe without thought. If you're going to question everything about human modelling, why not the first thing?

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Kevin R Brown wrote:Eloise,

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Eloise, I say this with more respect than perhaps the words will imply; put-up or shut-up.

C.S. Lewis had excellent debating skills, but he was not a scientist. Frankly, antiquity-esque hand-waving and 'deep thought' are things I've run out of patience for. I haven't heard an original theistic argument routine in quite some time.

You've said to me that you believe science and the scientific method are indeed the most voracious tools we have for understanding the world. You've also said that God can be explored through science.

That's great: so let's go exploring.

 

Step 1 / Step 2: The Problem & Hypothesis

Eloise, explain what problem it is that you think God is a suitable explanation for. We'll have to break a scientific tenet in your favor here, since we're presupposing the hypothesis (God), but we'll go ahead and give you that one. Give God a definition (even if you have to be a little vague; afterall, it's only a hypothesis).

You seem to have missed my reply to you earlier where I said I'm not trying to score points for any deity, just for the argument that conceivability necessarily relates to possibility. I don't go so far as to say that if you conceive of it it must exist in kind, I'm not the zombie type, but I do go as far as to say that human conception is inextricably tied to the real. This then must apply to myth, legend and theism equally, there is real correspondence to those human conceptions.

I haven't had this discussion here on the boards before because I find that the premise is axiomatic in conversation, a source of conception is always assumed. Basically no one really bothers to contend a point of view on whether conception is tied to realism unless confronted with it directly, like on this thread. Without the direct line of questioning, we just carry on with the implicit assumption that A thinks B based on C where C is some real phenomenon, object or entity.

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Eloise wrote:Sapient

Eloise wrote:

Sapient wrote:

 

Eloise wrote:
MattShizzle wrote:

Dragons,

based on legends which can probably be traced back to early sightings of dinosaur remains.

 

MoreRationalEloise wrote:
hypotheticalsapient wrote:

Gods

based on legends which can probably be traced back to our early ignorance of how the world works

Ahh, but Brian you make the assumption that we are no longer ignorant of anything about how the world works. I beg to differ, but we most definitely are.

Ad hoc, much?  Your assumption about some God other than those which relate back to natural phenomena that humans didn't understand at that time is really the assumption here.  In every early representation of Gods and Goddesses, they all reflect natural things.  Interesting that C.S. Lewis' God was a Storm-God originally, of a pantheon that represented dawn, dusk, sunrise, and sunset, stars, moon, sun, and earth.  Also, ironically enough, women.  (An ancient puzzle that men still have not figured out)

Can you represent a God figure from early history that is void of all naturalism?

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:Eloise

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Sapient wrote:

 

Eloise wrote:
MattShizzle wrote:

Dragons,

based on legends which can probably be traced back to early sightings of dinosaur remains.

 

MoreRationalEloise wrote:
hypotheticalsapient wrote:

Gods

based on legends which can probably be traced back to our early ignorance of how the world works

Ahh, but Brian you make the assumption that we are no longer ignorant of anything about how the world works. I beg to differ, but we most definitely are.

Ad hoc, much? 

There's no ad hoc here.

RookHawkins wrote:

Your assumption about some God other than those which relate back to natural phenomena that humans didn't understand at that time is really the assumption here. 

Tu Quoque much either, Rook?

RookHawkins wrote:

In every early representation of Gods and Goddesses, they all reflect natural things.  Interesting that C.S. Lewis' God was a Storm-God originally, of a pantheon that represented dawn, dusk, sunrise, and sunset, stars, moon, sun, and earth.  Also, ironically enough, women.  (An ancient puzzle that men still have not figured out)

We're still making assumptions in naturalism, Rook, and they can just as can easily go the way of naiive spiritisms. You're welcome to believe that you aren't ignorant of anything about how the world works, but that doesn't make you right.

RookHawkins wrote:

Can you represent a God figure from early history that is void of all naturalism?

Huh? You're missing the point, and you're about the third person in the thread that has done this now. I'm not making a case for excepting any gods from naturalism, it seems to have escaped many that I am saying gods and god things must be in nature to have been conceived.

As I have said I like Lewis's stories, but I never said I agree with his dualistic conclusion, in fact I have explicity stated twice that I don't agree with his argument for christianity, only with points he brought up regarding conceivability. Would everyone please stop confusing Lewis's position with mine.

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Eloise wrote:Ahh, but Brian

Eloise wrote:

Ahh, but Brian you make the assumption that we are no longer ignorant of anything about how the world works.

No I don't.


 

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Eloise wrote:You're welcome

Eloise wrote:

You're welcome to believe that you aren't ignorant of anything about how the world works...

Stop asserting that.  It's dumb.

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Nordmann wrote:Eloise, your

Nordmann wrote:

Eloise, your post is rather esoterically written

You say that like it's a bad thing Sticking out tongue

But seriously...

Nordmann wrote:

so I must admit that, without sharing your enthusiasm for "consider this ..." or "let's take it that ..." kind of arguments, I conclude from the logic within it that you are saying that human thought, when  focused on an intention, leads to conception.

 

Well, um, yes it does. It also leads to perception, misconception, misperception and a whole host of other internal visualisations of the "empirical universe", none of which - no matter how hard I try - can I bring to bear on the probability of god existing, or something similar.

That's good, because... at risk of sounding now redundant after already having said it several times - I'm not asking you to.

Nordmann wrote:

But back to your post. Calling this intention a "lens" and then running away with the analogy so that by the end of your post it has assumed almost solid form and is merrily swivelling around on a metaphysical axis simply adds an extra layer of esotericism to your essay, so I am afraid that is yet another point where I, as a person who tries to think rationally, tend to jump off.

Well, you seem to have found satisfaction in the rest of my post so you can just ignore my information filtration analogy at your leisure, I was just advancing a thought experiment on emergence which has no great bearing on the conclusion. Regardless of how you paint emergence there is always going to be a dependence on a field of true values.

Nordmann wrote:

The sentence in your previous post was

Quote:

So either intentionality - thought is meaningful reference or naturalism - thought is direct true reference or both - thought is direct true reference and meaning is direct true reference and they can be combined in direct true reference.

which to me makes two whopping great suppositions (who says "intentionality" or "naturalism" are good descriptors for what followed in each case? And why?), and then proceeds to combine the two in order to produce no great insight at all. What is wrong with describing thought simply as a function of the human brain?

Of course you can say thought is just a function of the human brain, but it really is naiive to isolate the brain from it's environment, inasmuch rendering a nil value to the universe from which it emerged and calling it a universe unto itself, it's an implicit dualism. If you're going to separate the brain from the universe the brain conceives showing how it is separated is really rather important.

Nordmann wrote:

It is a process that to some degree can be controlled, to another degree occurs without conscious control since it is simply what the organ does, and in no way lends itself as a process to be described with any definition that includes the word "true". Truth has nothing to do with it. Survival of the animal has, I would suggest, much more.

You've misunderstood what I meant; when I said true values I was referring to boolean values, material brains don't interact with non existing things, and it is not moved to thought by nothings. 

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Eloise wrote:... it seems

Eloise wrote:
... it seems to have escaped many that I am saying gods and god things must be in nature to have been conceived.

And we're back. But even the simplest invented something (the Yogen Früz, for example) doesn't actually exist. I mean, it might be derived from something, but that doesn't help it exist.

Here's what I mean: let's say you start with a horse. Then you put a horn in the middle of its head in your imagination. It is derived from things that exist (horses and horns). Yet clearly, there's a good chance there are no unicorns.

BUT

If what you're saying is that it is in our wiring to create such god creatures, for whatever purpose, and by whatever mechanism ... then I grant you that gods are "in nature" ... and so are unicorns.

 

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Sapient wrote:Eloise

Sapient wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Ahh, but Brian you make the assumption that we are no longer ignorant of anything about how the world works.

No I don't.

Then it would be better to have jut said gods are based on ignorances, surely. I don't disagree with this, gods are based on ignorances, fears and desires, among other things. We don't need to assert that we suffer any less from those ourselves, though, it doesn't make the original point any more or less matter of fact.

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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
... it seems to have escaped many that I am saying gods and god things must be in nature to have been conceived.

And we're back. But even the simplest invented something (the Yogen Früz, for example) doesn't actually exist. I mean, it might be derived from something, but that doesn't help it exist.

Here's what I mean: let's say you start with a horse. Then you put a horn in the middle of its head in your imagination. It is derived from things that exist (horses and horns). Yet clearly, there's a good chance there are no unicorns.

BUT

If what you're saying is that it is in our wiring to create such god creatures, for whatever purpose, and by whatever mechanism ... then I grant you that gods are "in nature" ... and so are unicorns.

 

I'm saying it has got to be a bit of both in our nature and in nature. For example if a god is put down to fear it's a given that there is something real that is feared and that the conception of the god will counter that thing which is feared in it's symbolic image with parts that correspond to real things.  

The unicorn was a herald symbol, BTW, like angels, horse mythologies and angels share many characteristics and the unicorn is something like an angel with a sword.

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Eloise wrote:I'm saying it

Eloise wrote:
I'm saying it has got to be a bit of both in our nature and in nature. For example if a god is put down to fear it's a given that there is something real that is feared and that the conception of the god will counter that thing which is feared in it's symbolic image with parts that correspond to real things.

Okay, so a "god" is like a protective mandala in that sense: something to evoke when fearful? That's again a mechanism of mind, though.

Eloise wrote:
The unicorn was a herald symbol, BTW, like angels, horse mythologies and angels share many characteristics and the unicorn is something like an angel with a sword.

Right, but no such creature actually exists.

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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
I'm saying it has got to be a bit of both in our nature and in nature. For example if a god is put down to fear it's a given that there is something real that is feared and that the conception of the god will counter that thing which is feared in it's symbolic image with parts that correspond to real things.

Okay, so a "god" is like a protective mandala in that sense: something to evoke when fearful? That's again a mechanism of mind, though.

Yes I agree, it's a natural mechanism within which we abstract real things like fear and protection from fear into symbols. Now try relating the same way, Prometheus or Christ what do you get?

HisWillness wrote:
 

Eloise wrote:
The unicorn was a herald symbol, BTW, like angels, horse mythologies and angels share many characteristics and the unicorn is something like an angel with a sword.

Right, but no such creature actually exists.

Right, the creature doesn't exist, but the heralding that it symbolises also has some correspondence to the real world. Perhaps prognosticative dreams?

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Esoteric is bad if it leads

Esoteric is bad if it leads to confusing yourself and your correspondents in a written debate. Try plain speaking instead and see how far your theories run when they are obliged to make obvious sense.

 

Just take your last sentence in your last post. What is "heralding" when it's at home? My dictionary allows a gerund form of the verb "to herald" (with the advice that it is never used). The verb itself means to announce or intimate something that is about to happen.

 

So am I to take it from your sentence that you think the unicorn symbolises the announcement or intimation of something about to happen and that this has "some" correspondence to the real world (like "things happen" maybe)?

 

Or did you mean heraldry - quite a different word and meaning semantically? And if you did am I to understand that you think the unicorn symbolises the practise of painting emblems on shields? In fact it is the opposite - it itself is a symbol commonly used in heraldry and symbolises faithfulness in that context.

 

Sloppy stuff - and that was just your last sentence. I could point out several more throughout your posts. They allude to meaning but employ words in archaic or non-existent forms that confuse or negate whatever meaning you thought you were trying to convey.

 

So instead of criticising so many people who have been genuinely trying to follow your reasoning (and not all of whom are dumb in any sense) for getting your meaning wrong, maybe you should ask yourself are you contributing to this confusion yourself with the needlessly esoteric and often inexact terms you employ.

 

Esoteric is fine if you're using your words properly in a grammatical and semantic sense. If not, well ... you're clever enough to know what the outcome is. And you're clever enough too to know just who uses this kind of communication technique intentionally to imply that their half-baked delusional theories should be regarded as profound - something that rational atheists find themselves having to deconstruct and expose all the time. I assume you don't want to be confused with them by your audience, so I suggest you switch style. Plain speaking does not mean dumbing down, and esoterism has its place. It's a question of honesty, not intellect, and as a communicator you don't want to run the risk of being accused of dishonesty when you're trying to tell the truth.

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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
... it seems to have escaped many that I am saying gods and god things must be in nature to have been conceived.

And we're back. But even the simplest invented something (the Yogen Früz, for example) doesn't actually exist. I mean, it might be derived from something, but that doesn't help it exist.

Here's what I mean: let's say you start with a horse. Then you put a horn in the middle of its head in your imagination. It is derived from things that exist (horses and horns). Yet clearly, there's a good chance there are no unicorns.

BUT

If what you're saying is that it is in our wiring to create such god creatures, for whatever purpose, and by whatever mechanism ... then I grant you that gods are "in nature" ... and so are unicorns.

 

But, Will, the concept then does exist, even if the thing conceived of has no independent existence. Thus, unicorns exist conceptually, even if not actualized.

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Nordmann wrote:Just take

Nordmann wrote:

Just take your last sentence in your last post. What is "heralding" when it's at home? My dictionary allows a gerund form of the verb "to herald" (with the advice that it is never used). The verb itself means to announce or intimate something that is about to happen.

If your dictionary says 'heralding' as a form of 'to herald' is never used, wow, man... your dictionary really needs to read more technology press releases. I can't count the number of times I've read about this new chip or that new fabrication process 'heralding in a new era in computing'. It's not used casually, but yeah, it's definitely used.

As for the usage here... I'm guessing, given the reference to angelic heralds, that what she's referring to is unicorns as messengers, though I admit I'm not familiar with any tales of them serving that role. Gotta give him points on that one, Eloise, I think you've linguistically short-handed yourself into confusing ambiguity on that one.

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BMcD wrote:unicorns as

BMcD wrote:

unicorns as messengers, though I admit I'm not familiar with any tales of them serving that role.

Confucius.

BMcD wrote:

Gotta give him points on that one, Eloise, I think you've linguistically short-handed yourself into confusing ambiguity on that one.

The symbol of the messenger is more specifically the horse; horns, wings colours etc are additional symbols.

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Eloise wrote:BMcD

Eloise wrote:

BMcD wrote:

unicorns as messengers, though I admit I'm not familiar with any tales of them serving that role.

Confucius.

Ehhhn.. I dunno. See, the critter usually referred to by westerners as a 'unicorn' in chinese folklore is a qilin, which is nothing like a western unicorn. For starters, it's got two horns. Antlers, really, on a lion's head. And scales. And more recently, it's been identified with the giraffe after Zheng He brought two of 'em back from Africa in the 1400s.

Eloise wrote:

BMcD wrote:

Gotta give him points on that one, Eloise, I think you've linguistically short-handed yourself into confusing ambiguity on that one.

The symbol of the messenger is more specifically the horse; horns, wings colours etc are additional symbols.

Yeah, but unicorn-as-horse is a fairly recent thing, going back maybe to the 1200s. Classical and biblical references certainly don't give that impression. The creature the KJV first translated as 'unicorn' is a symbol of strength, and following the descriptions and symbolism used in the neighboring cultures, probably a bull or an auroch (which, shown in profile as they often were, display a single horn). Other references either make the 'unicorn' much smaller than a horse, probably a goat (cloven hooves, bearded... fits pretty well), or a creature called an 'indian wild ass', which Pliny described as having a stag-like head, feet like an elephant, a horse-like body, and a tail like a boar. Now, given the fauna of the indian subcontinent, and the general shape of each of those components... narrowing head w/a small mouth, tufted tail, broad feet, and a basically (if much larger and heavier) horse-shaped body... and one horn... that's a rhinoceros.  Aelian even tells us that the 'monoceros' (unicorn) was also called the 'cartazonon', which is suspiciously similar to the Sanskrit word 'cartazoon' or 'karkadann' in Arabic... which is rhinoceros.

 

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Even if the unicorn was ever

Even if the unicorn was ever understood to be symbolic of heralding (without a subjective noun "heralding" should never be left floating around as a gerund BMcD), then the sentence in which Eloise employed both the mythical animal and the wrong gerund is still nonsensical.

 

Which is not to say that she's thinking nonsense - just speaking it. Without clear communication there is no point trying to relate simple ideas, and complex ones are a complete non-starter.

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Nordmann Wise you are ,

Nordmann  

Wise you are , but Eloise's writing style brings out the way we are, as we use all the constructs of language, mythology and science that have come before us. 

 .... and she is not dishonest , but good at it .... go teacher Eloise.    

   I appreciate Eloise for her appreciation of what we are .... so rooted in concepts and words .... go communication .... lol you all ....


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Are you saying then that she

Are you saying then that she is intentionally nonsensical? And that this is meant to be a lesson to us all?

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Yeah , kind of ....

  Yeah , kind of .... Eloise mocks so much of how we think and why ..... and that is a  lesson indeed, at least for me.     I would love to go fishing with her ! No no , camping and relaxing around the fire  .... looking at the stars .... and pondering it all  ....


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I did not get the impression

I did not get the impression she was mocking us.

 

Is that true, Eloise?


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Nordmann wrote:Even if the

Nordmann wrote:

Even if the unicorn was ever understood to be symbolic of heralding

But this is the point Nordmann, mythological and legendary concepts need to be understood as symbolic shorthands or renderings and they're all too frequently not.

Nordmann wrote:

(without a subjective noun "heralding" should never be left floating around as a gerund BMcD), then the sentence in which Eloise employed both the mythical animal and the wrong gerund is still nonsensical.

I was going to put 'birth' there but I had second thoughts realising that would take way too much defending and I'm frankly not that committed to this argument right now, so I left a blank space there instead, sorry Nordmann, didn't expect the grammar police to be dropping by today .

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Eloise could slay many a

Eloise could slay many a man, but that ain't her style .... YET !  Wish she and her girl friends would pull out the whips .... The boys got it coming .... and need a whipping .... it is time the girls get revenge ! .... evolution .... 

      


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Ah, but without the grammar

Ah, but without the grammar police you would never have explained what on earth you were on about. Now at least I know that all you meant to say was that mythology and legend often contain shorthand references. This is true, though insignificant since one could say the same about any narrative, or indeed language itself, so it needs to be expanded on in order to make a point.

 

And it is interesting to see that you feel it is ok to posit arguments that you admit you have not much faith in. That is always useful to know when discussing ideas with someone.

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Nordmann wrote:I did not get

Nordmann wrote:

I did not get the impression she was mocking us.

 

Is that true, Eloise?

No, I'm not doing any of this to mock anyone, I think IAM is referring to some of my other posts, I have a sense of humour influenced by many young years of British comedy, I make much fun of foibles.

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Sharping foibles is good !

Sharpening foibles is good !


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Quote:I make much fun of

Quote:

I make much fun of foibles

 

Making fun of minor weaknesses of character is too modest a target, I would suggest, Eloise. Raise your sights a little and ridicule those who really deserve it, the delusionists, and especially those who profit from deluding others.

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Hey is there someone on here

Hey is there someone on here with artistic ability that can put up a picture of a furgo-argorock?


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BMcD wrote:But, Will, the

BMcD wrote:

But, Will, the concept then does exist, even if the thing conceived of has no independent existence. Thus, unicorns exist conceptually, even if not actualized.

Oh you.

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Nordmann wrote:This is true,

Nordmann wrote:

This is true, though insignificant since one could say the same about any narrative, or indeed language itself,

Er, insignificant? Are you projecting an intention to prove god with this argument on me again? 

Is it not enough for you I point out the special plead in declaring that theology is not a narrative like any other with reference to the real, just because 'gods' are involved in some form known not to exist? I mean would anyone who is happy to accept that Orwell's 1984 was a meaningful commentary not be a hypocrite in suggesting that the The Twelve Trials of Heracles cannot refer meaningfully to the existing world?

 

Nordmann wrote:

And it is interesting to see that you feel it is ok to posit arguments that you admit you have not much faith in. That is always useful to know when discussing ideas with someone.

I do, but that's not really the case here. I'm just more committed to something else right now and I'm trying to keep it short in this thread, which hasn't been easy.

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I'm not "projecting"

I'm not "projecting" anything except a desire that you speak normally. "Plead" is not a noun. No one said that Heracles or any other part of any other mythology cycle do not represent euphemisms for real life, and I am not even sure from your comment that you don't agree with me there.

 

Just talk normally, Eloise, or risk losing sensible people to talk to.

 

Now, what is it you're trying to say?

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Nordmann wrote:I'm not

Nordmann wrote:

I'm not "projecting" anything except a desire that you speak normally. "Plead" is not a noun.

Special plead is a colloquial noun referring to a logical fallacy.

 

Nordmann wrote:

No one said that Heracles or any other part of any other mythology cycle do not represent euphemisms for real life,

Uh? Um.. hello.. "God"

Now you really are being such a pedant here that we're not even having a discussion anymore, you're just gratifying your condescending sense of self importance and I'm having no part of it.  Enjoy talking yourself up to someone else.

 

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Hee Hee, Eloise punches our

Hee Hee, Eloise punches our friend Nordmann in the nose ....  

  "God" just means unknown, so to then deny god is silly. However to say "God of Abe" is lame, is an understatement. God of of abe is a real problematic delusion riddled concept indeed. I think Eloise is wise as she does not deny the unknown (god) and works at the "how and why" we think what we do.

We need to do more than simply deny "god", but instead re define it, by understanding how concepts are created and communicated etc etc. Eloise is my good teacher.   


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Eloise wrote:Kevin R Brown

Eloise wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Eloise, I say this with more respect than perhaps the words will imply; put-up or shut-up.

C.S. Lewis had excellent debating skills, but he was not a scientist. Frankly, antiquity-esque hand-waving and 'deep thought' are things I've run out of patience for. I haven't heard an original theistic argument routine in quite some time.

You've said to me that you believe science and the scientific method are indeed the most voracious tools we have for understanding the world. You've also said that God can be explored through science.

That's great: so let's go exploring.

 

Step 1 / Step 2: The Problem & Hypothesis

Eloise, explain what problem it is that you think God is a suitable explanation for. We'll have to break a scientific tenet in your favor here, since we're presupposing the hypothesis (God), but we'll go ahead and give you that one. Give God a definition (even if you have to be a little vague; afterall, it's only a hypothesis).

You seem to have missed my reply to you earlier where I said I'm not trying to score points for any deity, just for the argument that conceivability necessarily relates to possibility. I don't go so far as to say that if you conceive of it it must exist in kind, I'm not the zombie type, but I do go as far as to say that human conception is inextricably tied to the real. This then must apply to myth, legend and theism equally, there is real correspondence to those human conceptions.

I haven't had this discussion here on the boards before because I find that the premise is axiomatic in conversation, a source of conception is always assumed. Basically no one really bothers to contend a point of view on whether conception is tied to realism unless confronted with it directly, like on this thread. Without the direct line of questioning, we just carry on with the implicit assumption that A thinks B based on C where C is some real phenomenon, object or entity.

Eloise, you're prancing around and telling everyone that every human conception is tied to reality in some way (nevermind that you can't do this with a concept like a Shootle, which can't be tied to reality at all, as we just finished establishing): and now you're saying that you aren't even willing to subject this claim to scrutiny?

Pray tell: how is this any different from a fundamentalist who insists that their literalist biblical worldview doesn't have to adhere to any logical standard?

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote:Eloise

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Eloise, I say this with more respect than perhaps the words will imply; put-up or shut-up.

C.S. Lewis had excellent debating skills, but he was not a scientist. Frankly, antiquity-esque hand-waving and 'deep thought' are things I've run out of patience for. I haven't heard an original theistic argument routine in quite some time.

You've said to me that you believe science and the scientific method are indeed the most voracious tools we have for understanding the world. You've also said that God can be explored through science.

That's great: so let's go exploring.

 

Step 1 / Step 2: The Problem & Hypothesis

Eloise, explain what problem it is that you think God is a suitable explanation for. We'll have to break a scientific tenet in your favor here, since we're presupposing the hypothesis (God), but we'll go ahead and give you that one. Give God a definition (even if you have to be a little vague; afterall, it's only a hypothesis).

You seem to have missed my reply to you earlier where I said I'm not trying to score points for any deity, just for the argument that conceivability necessarily relates to possibility. I don't go so far as to say that if you conceive of it it must exist in kind, I'm not the zombie type, but I do go as far as to say that human conception is inextricably tied to the real. This then must apply to myth, legend and theism equally, there is real correspondence to those human conceptions.

I haven't had this discussion here on the boards before because I find that the premise is axiomatic in conversation, a source of conception is always assumed. Basically no one really bothers to contend a point of view on whether conception is tied to realism unless confronted with it directly, like on this thread. Without the direct line of questioning, we just carry on with the implicit assumption that A thinks B based on C where C is some real phenomenon, object or entity.

Eloise, you're prancing around and telling everyone that every human conception is tied to reality in some way (nevermind that you can't do this with a concept like a Shootle, which can't be tied to reality at all, as we just finished establishing): and now you're saying that you aren't even willing to subject this claim to scrutiny?

Pray tell: how is this any different from a fundamentalist who insists that their literalist biblical worldview doesn't have to adhere to any logical standard?

Kevin, we started to do what you're asking in the debate already, and I'm trying to point out to you that it has nothing much at all to do with the subject of this thread which is the conceivability argument.

I've also said time and again I'm not arguing from conceivability to God. Nothing I've said here even vaguely resembles going from modal ontology to a metaphysical claim of supernatural beings. I'm really just attempting to discuss the implications of conceivability of itself, with maybe the hope that I might sneak in an extra point about the nature of theology, but what more can I say about that? Nobody wants to believe that a theist isn't wont to usurp any random philosophical point that comes her way for the sake of staking "god exists'??? Well no, that's not true there are plenty of atheists in this thread who aren't doing that, sorry BMcD, IAM, Will, Thingy.

Anyhow, Kevin, I'm more than happy to answer your questions in another thread, but I think you should know that they aren't going to be answered in relation to conceivability because conceivability doesn't relate to the existence of god so much as to the existence of epistemic value in theological/mythological tract.

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Eloise wrote:Nordmann

Eloise wrote:

Nordmann wrote:

I'm not "projecting" anything except a desire that you speak normally. "Plead" is not a noun.

Special plead is a colloquial noun referring to a logical fallacy.

 

Nordmann wrote:

No one said that Heracles or any other part of any other mythology cycle do not represent euphemisms for real life,

Uh? Um.. hello.. "God"

Now you really are being such a pedant here that we're not even having a discussion anymore, you're just gratifying your condescending sense of self importance and I'm having no part of it.  Enjoy talking yourself up to someone else.

 

 

"Special plead" is not a colloquial noun, unless a typo can be described as such. Google it and - hey presto - the typo is found on a website transcribing Carl Sagan's rules for sceptical thought as listed in his book "The Demon Haunted World". But yet you have obviously found this typo and chosen to claim it as real, you have even graced it with a title, calling anyone who doubts you a pedant. Now what type of person - I ask myself - normally exhibits such a cavalier attitude to meaning and a dogmatically judgmental attitude towards those who object to it?

 

And what's with the "Uh -um, hello... God" comment? God fits right in there with all the rest of the old myths which addressed the dichotomy between humans' ignorance and the need to master the reality of their universe. Why wouldn't it? It's one of the biggest examples of personification and glorification of ignorance there is.

 

My importance, self or otherwise, is no less or greater than yours, Eloise. We both set out our words and meanings here in the same manner and with the same general intent, that they be believed. I just like to keep mine real. I judge only the accuracy of your points, not you. If that is pedantry, then long live pedants. The alternative is that any old crap wll be put forward as having equal merit to rationally deduced fact. And that's simply a retreat into ignorance.

 

 

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Drats! This was just the

Drats! This was just the kind of detail I was hoping not to get myself caught up in, I should have said nothing on it. I should have just bit the bullet in making my original post and concentrated harder, too late now.. Oh well.... LOL..

BMcD wrote:

Eloise wrote:

BMcD wrote:

unicorns as messengers, though I admit I'm not familiar with any tales of them serving that role.

Confucius.

Ehhhn.. I dunno. See, the critter usually referred to by westerners as a 'unicorn' in chinese folklore is a qilin, which is nothing like a western unicorn. For starters, it's got two horns. Antlers, really, on a lion's head. And scales. And more recently, it's been identified with the giraffe after Zheng He brought two of 'em back from Africa in the 1400s.

That's a fair criticism, the similarity doesn't bear out as strongly in the creatures description as it does in the comparative myth of visitation/inauguration from a fantastic realm to the pure mother/honourable father of a legendary hero.

BMcD wrote:

Eloise wrote:

BMcD wrote:

Gotta give him points on that one, Eloise, I think you've linguistically short-handed yourself into confusing ambiguity on that one.

The symbol of the messenger is more specifically the horse; horns, wings colours etc are additional symbols.

Yeah, but unicorn-as-horse is a fairly recent thing, going back maybe to the 1200s. Classical and biblical references certainly don't give that impression. The creature the KJV first translated as 'unicorn' is a symbol of strength, and following the descriptions and symbolism used in the neighboring cultures, probably a bull or an auroch (which, shown in profile as they often were, display a single horn). Other references either make the 'unicorn' much smaller than a horse, probably a goat (cloven hooves, bearded... fits pretty well), or a creature called an 'indian wild ass', which Pliny described as having a stag-like head, feet like an elephant, a horse-like body, and a tail like a boar. Now, given the fauna of the indian subcontinent, and the general shape of each of those components... narrowing head w/a small mouth, tufted tail, broad feet, and a basically (if much larger and heavier) horse-shaped body... and one horn... that's a rhinoceros.  Aelian even tells us that the 'monoceros' (unicorn) was also called the 'cartazonon', which is suspiciously similar to the Sanskrit word 'cartazoon' or 'karkadann' in Arabic... which is rhinoceros.

 

All good, BMcD, cause I was meaning, sorry if I confused you, that horse - specifically in the western conception of unicorn, is the part symbolising 'herald'. Not to be confused with the idea that a unicorn or a messenger symbol is always a horse. The Greeks and Romans tended to prefer the idea of an oracle but other cultures employ an altogether different form of chimeric beastie up to and including human chimera such as angels.

Regarding the discoveries of actual beasties on which the unicorn is suggested to be possibly based, I concede without hesitation that their images (and possibly also reputations) probably have played a part in the formation of these legends.

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Nordmann wrote:"Special

Nordmann wrote:

"Special plead" is not a colloquial noun, unless a typo can be described as such. Google it and - hey presto - the typo is found on a website transcribing Carl Sagan's rules for sceptical thought as listed in his book "The Demon Haunted World". But yet you have obviously found this typo and chosen to claim it as real, you have even graced it with a title, calling anyone who doubts you a pedant. Now what type of person - I ask myself - normally exhibits such a cavalier attitude to meaning and a dogmatically judgmental attitude towards those who object to it?

How many examples shall I link to demonstrate to your satisfaction that you are mistaken?

here

"A case against ‘anything goes’ epistemology, and the difficulties of the special plead"

second post down

Here's one that might surprise you

"Often this ad hoc explanation is nothing more than a special plead, dressed up to look like an argument."

 

Nordmann wrote:

And what's with the "Uh -um, hello... God" comment? God fits right in there with all the rest of the old myths which addressed the dichotomy between humans' ignorance and the need to master the reality of their universe. Why wouldn't it? It's one of the biggest examples of personification and glorification of ignorance there is.

I'm not going to say that has not, at least in some ways, got merit as an explanation, but it's still special pleading.

Nordmann wrote:

My importance, self or otherwise, is no less or greater than yours, Eloise. We both set out our words and meanings here in the same manner and with the same general intent, that they be believed. I just like to keep mine real. I judge only the accuracy of your points, not you. If that is pedantry, then long live pedants. The alternative is that any old crap wll be put forward as having equal merit to rationally deduced fact. And that's simply a retreat into ignorance.

I mentioned pedantry when you ignored the accuracy of my statements in order to make whimsy about their presentation and then launch from that into yet another comment aimed at questioning my mental health. But, what the hell, have it your way, my idea of pedantry is you making a valid counterpoint.. Okay... moving on..

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Eloise. This confused me as

Eloise. This confused me as you wrote,

"Nobody wants to believe that a theist isn't wont to usurp any random philosophical point that comes her way for the sake of staking "god exists'??? Well no, that's not true there are plenty of atheists in this thread who aren't doing that, sorry BMcD, IAM, Will, Thingy".   /////

Please say in other words.

To add some sloppy notes of mine. God is kind of an oxymoron. "God is everything, [I agree] but god is not God of Abe. [I agree again] " See the  problem  ???                     Just reminding you.  

    I think we must work at saying what god is not ..... and I think you could help with this and would be especially helpful to the traditional theists.  

I have no proof of the "eternal", yet I never needed nor longed for proof, and that is basically the whole of my atheist argument. "I am One with the father"  Yep, just as you and as everything is (god) connected, ONE, and equal. The nature of consciousness is all a "science" question for me. 

  Q - Is science god?" 

   A - Of course, 100%. What ain't gawed !!!? Ahh yes , I see the confusion. Well dogma is the innate part of god that blinds us from gawed of "Oneness" , the "eternal" and the "all is equal connected saving message that bad religion cleverly and foolishly creates fueled by our innate fear, greed, etc, causing separation and patriotism and unnecessary suffering.

   A - Sure I believe in gawed, but not the "god" most assume. I believe in awe and eternal infinity as I am what I am, 100% gawed stuff !   ..... damn freaking babel, god dammit  !

   

  a "What is gawed not?" thread, debate , challenge , might be cool and educational...

   Sometimes I say god , sometimes gawed. There is a difference and sometimes I forget to make the distinction. Geezzz, all those posts of mine where I goofed!   

  I must get me a hot secretary, one who really loves me for who I am .....     

  She asked, why not just drop the god word all together,  and my reply,  "I would if they would" .....  

   


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I AM GOD AS YOU

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Eloise. This confused me as you wrote,

"Nobody wants to believe that a theist isn't wont to usurp any random philosophical point that comes her way for the sake of staking "god exists'??? Well no, that's not true there are plenty of atheists in this thread who aren't doing that, sorry BMcD, IAM, Will, Thingy".   /////

Please say in other words.

It was just a little mad rant IAM, it's not really important, but anyhow what I'm saying there is that it seems like it might be just too hard for some atheists to believe, because I am identifying as theist, that I would argue any subject without intending to end saying "therefore God exists".

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

To add some sloppy notes of mine. God is kind of an oxymoron. "God is everything, [I agree] but god is not God of Abe. [I agree again] " See the  problem  ???                     Just reminding you.  

    I think we must work at saying what god is not ..... and I think you could help with this and would be especially helpful to the traditional theists.  

I admit having some feeling for that idea IAM, I tend to believe people are more receptive to purging unreasonable beliefs in pieces rather than wholes. God belief especially can have so much of a traditional theists sense of acumen founded on it that ends up being just plain buried in Ad Hoc reinforcement, I don't think it's such a bad idea to target the reinforcement rather than the core belief.

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I am not ignoring accuracies

I am not ignoring accuracies - I am querying inaccuracies in your posts, Eloise. And they abound.

 

This is not pedantry - this is a reasonable demand that assertions not override fact.

 

Take this for example from your last reply to BMcD;

Quote:

All good, BMcD, cause I was meaning, sorry if I confused you, that horse - specifically in the western conception of unicorn, is the part symbolising 'herald'.

 

Now where does that come from? What does it mean? Are you saying that you have found evidence to support a view that the western idea of a unicorn includes the notion that the horse part symbolises a messenger? Where did you find it? I studied mythology as part of my classics course some years ago and have never heard of this. We learnt then that the unicorn has a long pedigree in western myth, and in fact has its roots in various separate cycles. Its symbolism has indeed developed through its usage by various cultures but at no point has it ever symbolised "herald", at least to my knowledge. Instead of just chucking out this statement and expecting us all to accept it as true, even when it flies in the face of accepted wisdom on the matter, can you not justify it?

 

That's the kind of thing I mean, Eloise. You come up with loads of them.

 

My description of god as belonging to myth is not "special pleading" either. I claim no exemption from criticism in making that statement and welcome a logical challenge to it. I have yet to hear one, but that does not make it a fallacy in the meantime. In fact the longer it remains unrefuted logically the less likely it is to be a fallacy. But be my guest - instead of calling it "special pleading" and just hoping everyone is impressed by the assertion, demonstrate your belief that my observation is made with a proviso that it cannot be challenged legitimately. That, after all, is how that particular fallacy works.

 

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Thanks E. That helped. I was

Thanks E. That helped. I was thinking of re-writing (or re-working) some of your sentences etc, to increase prosperity !  Don't know if I will get around to it , but you have helped me in trying to be a uniter, and divider of rational and non-rational  thinking.

My skill is not much up to the task, but some might benefit .... Hope I am not giving any one brain cancer !   

I prefer jamming live vocally with words.  Maybe I will get a little digital recorder for that. Typing and live are so different and all so fun.

LOL,  E      


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"Herald"  Definitions of

"Herald" 

Definitions of herald on the Web:

  • announce: foreshadow or presage
  • (formal) a person who announces important news; "the chieftain had a herald who announced his arrival with a trumpet"
  • acclaim: praise vociferously; "The critics hailed the young pianist as a new Rubinstein"
  • hail: greet enthusiastically or joyfully
  • harbinger: something that precedes and indicates the approach of something or someone       
  •           and a buddha says "Fix my Words", darn this confounded babel ....      
  •  


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    Didn't see "horse" in there

    Didn't see "horse" in there anywhere?


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    H. P. Lovecraft

    I love C.S. Lewis/that caller's logic. If that is true then all the horrors that H. P. Lovecraft conceived of are real. If I have this argument right then anything that we can conceive of exists. H. P. Lovecraft conceived of beings such a Cthulu, Yog Soggoth and Dagon. Therefor these world-ending and mankind destroying beings exist.

    "The thing can not be described - there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy."

    "I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space."

    It seems in these quotes that Lovecraft has conceived of some screwed up stuff. Thankfully the 'if you can conceive of it, then it is real' argument is indefensible, so we are all safe from Lovecraft's fictional beings. So I guess that leaves us with God and Cthulu both being conceivable, but still imaginary.

    "You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
    British General Charles Napier while in India


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    Well, some can, some not

    Well Nordmann,  some can, some not  .... it's way blurry for me, but I sense something there !

          Symbols announce many things, even Heralds

          Umm, is consciousness real ?

       ... glad to know that tap, on the nose, isn't sore !   


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    Jormungander  H. P.

    Jormungander  

    H. P. Lovecraft

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._P._Lovecraft

                             

     


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    Yes, horse sounds like it

    Yes, horse sounds like it should be a herald of sorts symbolically speaking, or at least carry one around now and again in Paul Revere fashion. But nope - apparently not, not even chimeratic horses.

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