"But I think the circumstances of the Big Bang-the fiery holocaust that destroyed the record of the past-make that extremely unlikely."Perhaps so. In that case the epistemically responsible response is simply to declare ignorance. There is nothing wrong with simply saying "I don't know".If it is the case that something caused our observable universe, and we don't know what that something is, then that is where the conversation stops, until we know more.Plugging an imaginary concept such as 'God' in the gaps of our ignorance has no explanatory power. It is worse than useless, because it is a pretend answer.I would never pretend to have answers that I don't.
Plugging an imaginary concept such as 'God' in the gaps of our ignorance has no explanatory power. It is worse than useless, because it is a pretend answer.Hi unBeguiledNot to put to fine a point on it, but when you say "I would never pretend to have answers that I don't." does that include answers about the ontological reality of God? There are, in fact, some very good reasons for the existence of a 'god' of some sort that do not reference any 'holy' book and that have never been satisfactorily refuted. The argument from a cause is only one such example. A relatively comprehensive list of the arguments may be found here;http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/20_arguments-gods-existence.htmWhat you have offered is an argument to the (assumed) virtue of ignorance. It is a "pretend answer" developed by those who wish to avoid having to deal with reality as it is.
"It is a "pretend answer" developed by those who wish to avoid having to deal with reality as it is."Isn't psychological projection wonderful.
The correct answer is HAB's project Rosa Luxemburg.
Hi Dave,I had a somewhat difficult time understanding your comments.You said "There are, in fact, some very good reasons for the existence of a 'god' of some sort".Did you mean "good reasons for believing in the existence of a 'god'"?Then you said "What you have offered is an argument to the (assumed) virtue of ignorance."But I have not offered an argument about anything.
Hi unBeguiledI do so love subjectivism...There is a very real difference betwen believing something is real and something actually being real. There are also very good reasons for rejecting materialism as an explanation for the existence of the universe. You may choose to believe otherwise but your belief can not change reality.Now there is one very easy refutation of this argument for materialism. It is simply that the premise does not entail the conclusion. For even if we grant the premise that we find no immaterial phenomena that cannot be fully explained as material phenomena, this does not logically entail the conclusion that there are no immaterial phenomena, any more than the fact that we find no convex curve in the Canadian border of America that cannot be explained as a concave curve in the American border of Canada entails the fact that there is no Canada but only America. In fact, the very same argument that the materialist uses to justify materialism can be used, with equal force, by an immaterialist, that is, by someone who believes that matter does not exist and all is mind. For we can find no material phenomena that cannot be explained as immaterial phenomena, as projections of consciousness or forms of consciousness. For as soon as you think about a thing, even if that thing is a supposedly material thing like a rock, that thing has become an ingredient in your consciousness. It is in principle impossible to think of a rock that cannot be explained as the thought of a rock.
"There is a very real difference between believing something is real and something actually being real."Amen brother.It seems like we are having a difficult time communicating.The point of my first comment was just that there is nothing wrong with saying "I don't know".I never made any kind of argument. Why are you "refuting" an argument I never made? It's weird, your behavior.
"This is reminiscent of when theories are held as orthodoxy and evidence is manipulated and made to fit the theory, rather than having the theory changed to fit the evidence."You seem to have forgotten to provide a reference here. Since you use the plural form you no doubt have many references handy. I'd be happy to see just 3 or 4 of those instances that you have in mind.I don't get how Dawkins' hope to eventually develop natural explanations for things that are not yet explained reminds you of fraud.To come up with things that contradict purpose, they tend to speculate about things they haven’t seen.I don't know who Denis Brian is [HINT: if you want to argue by authority rather than merit, you need to provide the necessary creds to establish the authority of the person who's quote you exploit; as far as I can tell Brian carries no weight here], but speculating about things we haven't seen is normal human (every animal with a nervous system does it, actually) activity and in a more formal sense in science its called "predicting" as yet unobserved phenomena. Its what we're supposed to do. Is this now a sin too?I'll just note in passing that in the quote from Brian he begins by begging the question that the world was created purposefully and then, in the next sentence, he goes on to beg another question by claiming that speculative predictions are proffered with the intention of contradicting the supposed purpose begged in the first sentence. A twofer! You'd be having kittens by now if an atheist tried a cheesy stunt like this.
High unBeguiledYou may not realize it, but you did made an argument.In that case the epistemically responsible response is simply to declare ignorance.Is the argument that "if we do not know we should say we do not know" an argument with which I would agree fully.If it is the case that something caused our observable universe, and we don't know what that something is, then that is where the conversation stops, until we know more.Basically a restatement of the previous argument providing the implicit premise and again an argument with which I agree.Plugging an imaginary concept such as 'God' in the gaps of our ignorance has no explanatory power. This is the argument with which I contend. Again, it is an implicit argument, you have not provided the implicit premises, and apparently you don't even recognize it as an argument. I suspect you may consider the assertion that "God" is an "imaginary concept" axiomatic. This is the error which it was my intent to illustrate.If I may...The materialist believes that the 'natural universe' is the sum of reality. The theist believes that there is 'some thing' which preceded and caused the natural universe. For both the materialist and the theist "God" is, by definition, not part of the 'natural universe' - we may agree this far - but for the materialist the 'natural universe' is also 'all there is' so he thinks any "God" that is not part of the 'natural universe' must be imaginary. The theist does not think that the 'natural universe' is 'all there is'. The 'natural universe' is contingent, it came into being and therefore must have had a cause. Therefore, something must outside the universe must have caused the universe to come to be. That 'some thing' is what we call "God" - and that 'some thing' we call "God" is ontologically necessary.
Dave,You are reading way more into my simple comment than I think is justified.By saying:"Plugging an imaginary concept such as 'God'"I am merely criticizing god-of-the-gaps arguments:X is unexplained.Therefore, some Being beyond the reach of science must be the explanation for X.This Being we call God.I don't find that kind of "argument" compelling.
Hi unBeguiledI don't find that kind of "argument" compelling.That is exactly my point. You don't even recognize your own argument. Let me ask this;If we could recreate the precise conditions that pertained at the time of the Big Bang and let everything unfold again what would be different?
"If we could recreate the precise conditions that pertained at the time of the Big Bang and let everything unfold again what would be different?"I don't know.
Dave,I have a neighbor that whenever she loses a sock or can't find her car keys, she blames it on Fairies.The fact that she loses socks is compelling evidence for her that Fairies exist.I do not find this Fairies-of-the-gaps argument compelling.I suppose you do.
Don't take it too hard Dave. You arn't the first Creduloid to hastily capitulate to me around here.
Lol.Good to see you around again, unBeguiled, although I fear this place hasn't improved much since your last sojourn. More like it's racing itself towards the bottom.
I had to come back. No one else will play with me. I wonder why that is?I see this guy used this notion of contingency, which I am encountering more and more. Probably because it's an arcane idea and seems really sophisticated.Of course, it's total crap.A few weeks ago a priest tried to tell me that the universe was radically contingent. What could that possibly mean?Anyway, yesterday I realized that the argument from contingency is really just a bass-ackwards ontological argument.Essentially, the apologist declares or defines by fiat that the universe must have a cause, and the cause can only be a thing like God.So, the ontological argument defines God into existence, and the contingency argument defines the universe so it requires God's existence!I think it is their rank dishonesty that keeps me tangling with these hucksters.
"I had to come back. No one else will play with me. I wonder why that is?"I'm sorry to hear it. Perchance, have you stopped over at thinkingchristian.net? I believe you will find enough conversation to satiate even your formidable appetites, so long as you are able to keep your temper and avoid being banned (I was not)."I think it is their rank dishonesty that keeps me tangling with these hucksters."It's an acquired taste, I admit.
"so long as you are able to keep your temper and avoid being banned (I was not)."Literally, that made me laugh out loud.
A few weeks ago a priest tried to tell me that the universe was radically contingent. What could that possibly mean?It means that there's no doctrine so weak that it can't be improved by a dose of hyperbole.
Marauder,At the risk of being branded a sycophant, I do keep a collection of your wise zingers. Thanks for updating my compilation.