the ignostic and Occam arguments

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the ignostic and Occam arguments

Ignosticism[ aka non-cognitivismCool] is the challenge that God-talke is just mumbo-jumbo backed up by double talk and obscurantism backed up by obfuscation.The agnostic Rabbi Sherwin Wine made up the name and AAJAyers used it to disparage both atheism and theism, but I use it as part of strong atheism. As Keith Parsons notes:'[God' hides our ignorance behind a theological fig leaf. Occult power wielded by a transcendent being in an inscrutable way for unfathomable purposes does not seem to be any sort of a good explanation." Indeed not, as God is just the tautology that God wills what He wills.God did it is a peudo-explanation and is the magic of let there be. However, for the sake of argument, posit God with meaning,then Occam's razor shows that natural causes [causalism] suffice whereas God requires ad hoc explanations which are not forthcoming. We no more need God  as an explanation than we need gremlins as one for car troubles.We explain the weather without invoking Thor,so why would we need God for anything? Here we have two arguments as the basis of atheology, which with the definitive refutation of the freewill argument as theodicy, we can destroy theism readily. how might we better these two.Yell

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
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Yay! Ignosticism!I think

Yay! Ignosticism!
I think that once the ignostic position is established, strong atheism follows quite naturally.
"If you don't know what God means then what are you even talking about? You might as be saying that aklsflakjgals exists."

It's also a handy way to answer people who are especially obscure over their God concept.
"We can't talk about the existence of God until you make it clear what you even mean by God. Until you show me that the word is meaningful then how can I give it any significance at all?"


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skeptic griggsy

skeptic griggsy wrote:
Ignosticism[ aka non-cognitivismCool] is the challenge that God-talke is just mumbo-jumbo backed up by double talk and obscurantism backed up by obfuscation.

I'd go further and just call it incoherent, based on a basic ontological internal contradiction: to exist is to exist as something, hence to denote an entity as 'not natural' is to create a broken term - a term that can only denote nothing.

 

Quote:

As Keith Parsons notes:'[God' hides our ignorance behind a theological fig leaf.

Seeing as the word 'god' cannot denote anything 'godlike' or 'supernatural' it can only be used anthropomorphically, or as a reference to mystery or wonder. In other words, to paraphrase St. Augustine, you can only use it to reference anything other than 'god'

 

Here are some of my essays on this subject:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/god_is_an_incoherent_term

http://www.rationalresponders.com/supernatural_and_immaterial_are_broken_concepts

 

And I discuss negative theology at the bottom of this page:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/the_omnis_the_bible_assertions_of_the_christian_gods_omnipotence_omniscience

 
By the way, I do not think that non cognitivism is an argument for strong atheism. In fact, negative theologians came up with the idea and they are at peace with a non cognitive god. All non cognitivism refutes is positive theology.

 

 

 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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Hmmmm...It seems to me that

Hmmmm...
It seems to me that these negative theologians, after recognising the limits of language, under estimated their dependence on it. Their negative characteristics appear to be presented the way we present negative characteristics on cognitive objects - with the silent assumption that 'something' will be left over that separates it from our concept of 'nothing'.

As far as I'm aware, weak atheism states "I have evidence or other form of reasoning to convince me of a God's existence" while strong atheism states "God definately doesn't exist".
The Ignostic states, "Only a coherently defined object can be said to 'exist'. God, as I understand it, is incoherent. Until the theist brings me a coherent concept of God I can only be a strong atheist."

Although a 'God' might exist regardless of the Ignostic's lack of understanding, this can only be thought by someone who does have a coherent understanding of the word God and isn't a possibility if the ignostic is correct.


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the dieftintive refutation of the free will argumentas theoidicy

     Strafio, well done and thanks! We have no more need of God than of phlogiston, Thor, gremlins or demons for explanations.[ Please,S. help @ free will as faied theodicy thread.

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
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This is very interesting.

This is very interesting. I'm going to look for more on this.


skeptic griggsy
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Todangst. I put your posts

Todangst. I put your posts into my favorites. You add to the ignotic argument. Such theists then have a problem! They confuse inchoherence with their negative theology, I think. I am so glad for serious comments as elsewhere, some play games. Thanks!

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!


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I guess I'm an ignostic.

I guess I'm an ignostic.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


skeptic griggsy
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ignostic

     Thanks everyone! Y'all are so enlightened. How could the attributes for God not make for inchoherency when considered together? Theists love to prattle that God is love and the ground of being-such obfuscation!

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!


Strafio
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To be fair to them, other

To be fair to them, other concepts like morality have also threatened incoherence by similar investigations, e.g. Mackie's error theory and Ayer's non-cognitivism of morals. For the same reason we intuitively know that there's something to morality and were justified in having 'faith' in it when we hadn't figured out the concept, I think theologians can be justified in 'keeping at' God.

The difference is, morality is on the verge of being vindicated by philosophy while religion is about to have it's lights out. Another difference is that the use of morality is justified by our experience in life - I'm certain we have all experienced bad situations caused by someone's lack of morality.
Experience of religion shows that it tends to be harmful rather than helpful... although I think there are ways that religion has shined.

e.g. Religion's psychological effects have often succeeded in taking the follower's 'worship' of everyday things like money and business. This means that religious people have had a history of being more resistant to the pitfalls of greed and the other things that 'worldly' people are likely to fall for.

The archetype of the religious man is one who can be trusted to be righteous in doing what is right rather then doing it for material gain. (although some have been frauds in this respect, they are the ones who fail to fit the archetype)
I think this archetype is what people are thinking of when they believe that religion is socially necessary and can still do good.

That's why I think religions like Buddhism are so appealing to the modern westerner - they offer all the benefits like the 'righteous spiritual man' archetype (Kwai Chang Caine!!) while minimising the anti-freethinking elements - especially as modern Buddhist 'popularisers' encourage you to 'pick and choose' as to what fits your common sense!


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todangst I've just read

todangst I've just read your first essay

http://www.rationalresponders.com/god_is_an_incoherent_term

Wow quite brilliant

Your style of writing is quite academic. hard work for somebody as un-edumercated as wot i am

I look forward to reading your other essays Smiling

 


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    Again, thanks! Just

    Again, thanks! Just how does one know that God is eternal and  not a series of gods one after another? Immperfections suggest a limited one or many at cross purposes.To assert that He is a designer begs the question that he had us in mind and that natural selection is not a power unto itself , not run by anything else as evidence shows. God is merely a word without reference to reality! [One might educate the folks @ skeptical community and freethought forum on this subject.] A good place for naturalists is the religious site Theology Web.  Theists merely feel that there has to be a power beyond nature.Thye use anthropomorphic pareidolia to see  a divine mind which as Victor Stenger shows is not there. And everyday I receive blessings without divine intervention!

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!


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When to Occam's Razor gain

When to Occam's Razor gain status as a law of reality? As I understand it, it simply says that the simplest solution is likely the correct one. It does not guarantee this to be the case. It certainly seem unequal to something like the Law of Contradiction and yet is consistently used as 'proof'  of a position.


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  Here it so aptly applies

  Here it so aptly applies as the god-notion requires ad hoc assumptions that mean nothing while natural causes mean everything. God did it is just a cop-out! He brings forth no useful knowledge as natural selection does. A hypothesis or theory should mean something, not just be a guess! How can the meaningless add to explanations? Hume and Kant long ago defeated God as an explanation[ although Kant wanted God to be a moral one]. God adds only obfuscation!

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!


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skeptic griggsy wrote:

skeptic griggsy wrote:
Here it so aptly applies as the god-notion requires ad hoc assumptions that mean nothing while natural causes mean everything. God did it is just a cop-out! He brings forth no useful knowledge as natural selection does. A hypothesis or theory should mean something, not just be a guess! How can the meaningless add to explanations? Hume and Kant long ago defeated God as an explanation[ although Kant wanted God to be a moral one]. God adds only obfuscation!

 

You didn't answer the question. I understand *why* it is invoked in arguing against theism. But Occam's Razor has no logical force. Call it an Appeal to Elegance. It isn't even necessary if an argument is logical.


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Strafio wrote: As far as

Strafio wrote:

As far as I'm aware, weak atheism states "I have evidence or other form of reasoning to convince me of a God's existence" while strong atheism states "God definately doesn't exist".

I'm assuming you meant:

Quote:

As far as I'm aware, weak atheism states "I DON'T have evidence or other form of reasoning to convince me of a God's existence" while strong atheism states "God definately doesn't exist".

It seems to me that one can be an agnostic (no proof/knowledge) ignostic (god is incoherent) atheist... or would ignostic supersede agnostic since you need a coherent definition before proof can be presented? 

-Triften 


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I'm with todangst on this

I'm with todangst on this one Skeptic_grisly. For a full overview of Noncognitivism, you can read my essay here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/kill_em_with_kindness/7720

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


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It's a good article, but it

It's a good article, but it doesn't address the question of this topic, whether non-cognitivism implies strong atheism.

In response to Wave Freak, I agree that Occam's can never support strong atheism as it is an appeal to practicality rather than absolute truth, and would use a different approach from ignosticism to strong atheism. I would appeal to arguments from linguistic philosophy to show that only coherent objects can be considered as existing.

triften wrote:

It seems to me that one can be an agnostic (no proof/knowledge) ignostic (god is incoherent) atheist... or would ignostic supersede agnostic since you need a coherent definition before proof can be presented?

-Triften


I go for the latter.
The way I see it, the agnostic says that the truth/falsity of God propositions is unknowable but they atleast conceed that we know what we are talking about. They say that God's a possibility, the truth of which is unknowable. The Ignostic can deny there even being a possibility as the words don't really mean anything.

But I guess that depends on your philosophy of language.


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the ignostic-Ockham challenge

 

  We ignostics find that God's  properties are incompatible such that He cannot exist. German journalist Alexander Smoltczyk declares that God in neither a principle, nor a    being nor an entity but the answer to Leibniz's why is there something rather than nothing? We ignostics then ask how can that answer count when there is no there there-just a meaningless pseudo-question. So, again God is fatuous, nebulous,otiose and vacuous= without meaning. It is so meaningless to call God the first cause and the designer as it is meaningless to ask for the cause of  eternal Existence and  it is meaningless to find design when there are only patterns. Contrary  to A.J. Ayer, ignosticism is  definitely part of atheism , finding itself involved in arguments for God. [ Cosmological and teleological arguments beg the question by the way.].

   I will derive points from Michael Martin and Nicholas Everitt and Kai Nielsen on the  incompatability of His properties anon.

 Double depression is ever so depressing. Your happy neurotic depressive.


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meaninglessness of God

  Contrary to A.J. Ayer, ,I find that ignosticism is indeed a part of atheism; it intrudes into the arguments for God. It is meaningless to ask for the first cause as Existence  is all, and nothng can therefor be  behind it to be meaningful. It is ever so meaningless to speak of  design when all we see are patterns in nature; to see design is to use pareidolia like seeing Yeshua in a tortilla and as meaningless.

  Then it takes convoluted ad  hoc assumptions, even granted meaning, to find God an explanation as shown from the quote from Parsons, much less a personal one as Richard Swinburne so thinks.

  Nicholas Everitt, Michael Martin and Kai Nielsen note that God's properties are so incompatible that He cannot exist.

 Double depression is ever so depressing! Your happy neurotic depressive. Thanks to all.

 

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!


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I can't tell you how excited

I can't tell you how excited I am that NC is being discussed.  I came across it a few years ago (on StrongAtheism) and have been trying to work through it and see how it holds up. Unfortunately, it gets pretty technical at the extremes (Stanford has a great piece on it with regard to Theological and Moral NC).

I would love to know what other atheists feel about it, and so I am exceited its being discussed.  The hard thing for me is to define it in "english". I tried explaining it to my girlfriend and it took forever to work through it.  It's so important to avoid the problem that it isn't about what you can imagine to be possible, but what is metaphysically possible.

To me, it really is the strongest argument for atheism, and against theism.  Once the theist recognizes they are speaking gibberish, then they must also realize that their "warm fuzzy feeling" of revelation may just be, in fact, a delusion.

Not good if your a theist intent on keeping your belief system, but good for a theist if they wish to experience the real world.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


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ignosticism

 

  Daedalus. I'm glad for us1

  I find that ignosticism pervades arguments for Him. The first cause is meaningless in that it has no application to reality. The designer is out of the question , for that requires begging the question of design and so  meaningless.Iit is so meaningless to find God doing miracles as they have natural causes.

 In ' Atheism Explained: from Folly to Philosophy," David Ramsay Steele, argues that the term God can be meaningful and  states that ignosticism is dated, not popular since sixty years ago. he doesn't equate meaninglessness with incoherence. I  accept Michael  Michael Martin's notion of meaninglessness in '"Atheism: a Philosophical Justification."

   The God-notion is no  more meaningful  than phlogiston!

 

  Thanks to all!


skeptic griggsy
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Dr. Corey to the rescue!

 The atelic argument that the weight of evidence shows no cosmic teleology, thus no divine input, rules out teleological arguments and the First Cause [ super mind], in accordance with the Razor.

  Centureis ago, Percy Bysshe Shelley noted  so  presciently :"To suppose that some existence beyond, or above them [ laws of nature,sg.] is to invent a second and superfluous hypothesis to account for which is already accounted for by the laws of nature and the properties of matter.The hypothesis of a Deity adds a gratuitous  difficulty , which is so far from alleviating  those which it is adduced to explain requires new hypotheses for the elucidation of its own contradictions.:

 This poet saw so ludicly what theists cannot see: God adds nothing- the Razor-and the contradictions [incompatibilities] of His properites. He thus affirms the presumption of naturalism.

  Fideism, while decrying natural theology,  rests on it for its notion of Creator- First Cause and Designer, which Shelley shows as nonsense. Faith, the we just say so of credulity, cannot overcome  all  this.

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!


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Interesting thread, thanks

Interesting thread, thanks for posting skeptic. I will simply say as regard to the many  definitions of god, "I am not even a bit agnostic, I am god as you, as all is one, and therefore atheist." The god definitions of the traditional God of Abe theists are a harmful barbaric menace of separatism and idol worship.

  I needed this, thanks, and it goes nicely with my little  Occam's Razor brain ....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignosticism


skeptic griggsy
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The ignnostic-Ocham

        I find that terms for Him like the First Cuase have no meaning in the sense of reference to reality as I'll pose that @ Arguments about Him-that square circle. Yes,, being a non--concept , He is as a square circle or a married bachelor. This point that those  terms are thus is mine alone so far. Others here might disagree.

      Mr. David Ramsay Steele, my friend, disagrees with me on the point that He and the terms are meaingnless. He states that we can comprehend them, but I maintain that since they have no reference to  reality , they are indeed meaningless. Is this a matter of semantics?

     He states that   verificationism requires that  for investigators to affirms a claim, they should in principle be able to find it. Then he contradicts himself  by stating had scientists use this principle , they would  not have found atoms and never would be able to find superstring s. In principle, no one could ever find Him, but in principle it is just a matter of the thechnology available at the time. Do I err?

      Dr. Paul Draper, my friend, in an email to  me finds that Lord Rusell's cosmic tea pot as an illustration of the God-noncepts fails. Dr. Alister McGrath, Dr. Clinton Richard Dawlins, my friend, agrees,finding the analogy [ using Santa instead] superficiial as no  one believes in the tea pot. Nay, it isn't who believes or not and the matter of sucstance, but the point  is that both itmes are meanignless in reference to reality So, how do you find this point?

   I find that theists just accept their ideas of Him as basic as Dr.A lvin Platinga claims that God is a baic idea llike other minds and external reality. None of that is basic , but the it must be's and guesses.

  Again, the God-non-concept requires convolluted ad hoc  assumptions without any evidence whereas  real concpepts  are evidential. So, these two challenges work together against His existence. And the Ockham underscores science not requiring Him .And the teleonomic argument that I'll give @ Argumenta about Him-that square circle will underscore both the  Ockhand and methodological naturalism in not requiring Him as an    explanantion. The quote from Dr.Parsons reveals no    there there for Himb eing an an explanation.

 

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!


skeptic griggsy
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The ignostic-Ocham

        I find that terms for Him like the First Cuase have no meaning in the sense of reference to reality as I'll pose that @ Arguments about Him-that square circle. Yes, being a non--concept , He is as a square circle or a married bachelor. This point that those  terms are thus is mine alone so far. Others here might disagree.

      Mr. David Ramsay Steele, my friend, disagrees with me on the point that He and the terms are meaingnless. He states that we can comprehend them, but I maintain that since they have no reference to  reality , they are indeed meaningless. Is this a matter of semantics?

     He states that   verificationism requires that  for investigators to affirms a claim, they should in principle be able to find it. Then he contradicts himself  by stating had scientists use this principle , they would  not have found atoms and never would be able to find superstring s. In principle, no one could ever find Him, but in principle it is just a matter of the thechnology available at the time. Do I err?

      Dr. Paul Draper, my friend, in an email to  me finds that Lord Rusell's cosmic tea pot as an illustration of the God-noncepts fails. Dr. Alister McGrath, Dr. Clinton Richard Dawlins, my friend, agrees,finding the analogy [ using Santa instead] superficiial as no  one believes in the tea pot. Nay, it isn't who believes or not and the matter of sucstance, but the point  is that both itmes are meanignless in reference to reality So, how do you find this point

   I find that theists just accept their ideas of Him as basic as Dr.Alvin Platinga claims that God is a baic idea llike other minds and external reality. None of that is basic , but the it must be's and guesses.

  Again, the God-non-concept requires convluted ad hoc  assumptions without any evidence whereas  real concpepts  are evidential. So, these two challenges work together against His existence. And the Ockham underscores science not requiring Him. And the teleonomic argument that I'll give @ Argumenta about Him-that square circle will underscore both the  Ockhand and methodological naturalism in not requiring Him as an   explanantion. The quote from Dr.Parsons reveals no    there there for Himb eing an an explanation.

 

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!