We must have a different definition of "good." I'm assuming that a good reason would not be one that could make a sound logical argument.What is logical? If observing the facts and making the best determination of the probabilities is not logical, what’s the value in logic?
I think you misunderstood. I'm saying that fallacious reasons are not logically rigorous ones, and thus I don't consider them "good."
Preponderance of evidence requires one to be able to determine the probability of truth. There's really no way to do this unless God can be bottled into the realm of the empirical, and we have no way of knowing if that can be done.So you are hiding under the fact that God is not even defined or definable. It’s just a nebulous concept. No one can have empirical data on something for which there is no definition and zero evidence. You can’t insist on logic when the premise itself is nonsense.
I'm not hiding under anything. I'm simply stating the fact that the probability cannot be determined. Do you contest this?
I'm not working from a premise here. I'm calling yours into question.
There is no difference in these statements.
In regards to your "knowable God" Do you really want to claim that there could be a God that exists as part of the natural universe?Nope. I want to claim that there could be a God whose existence is not excluded from the natural universe.
Yes there is. The first states that God is confined to this universe. The second states that He is not barred from this universe. Those are two different things.
If I tell you "The cat is grey" and you tell someone else "The cat is yellow" and it affects that person's life, it's your fault for screwing it up, not mine. I gave you the message loud and clear, but you failed to deliver it correctly.Again, God is an incompetent communicator if you overlay your example onto the real discussion.
In the example, it would be the "you" character who is an incompetent communicator. Don't blame eBay when FedEx fails to deliver your package.
Why? Isn't it possible that the correct values don't match your values? You're rejecting the documents because you don't personally like the values they preach, and then are calling the values silly.No, I’m calling the values they preach dangerous and stupid based on the real world. It is not emotional, it is logical.
You can't apply logic to a set of values without another set of values to compare. Your "real world" is a set of values you have created based on your observations of current society, which in turn is based on which people made their values supreme at a specific time or place. When we strip away all of that extra background stuff that biases our thinking, we're logically left with a neutral set of values. Any conclusion you draw from your agreeing or disagreeing with those values is an appeal to emotion.
The Bible’s morality is pathetic – killing innocent babies, condoning slavery, demeaning women. It’s a recipe for tyranny and oppression. It causes suffering and strife which the Bible pretends to abhor. Sure, I’m using my morals as a basis for comparison. Whose morals should I use?
But that's exactly why your reasoning is illogical. If you use your morals as a basis for comparison, you're begging the question.
Example: I say "chocolate is superior to vanilla." You tell me vanilla is superior. I call your opinion pathetic, because chocolate is superior to vanilla. There's no logic in that.
Your personal morals have an important role, but not as the basis for an argument.
My purpose is to foster a cooperative, successful and productive society. Since the Bible is in opposition to that, I find it illogical to follow it.
Ok. But God not existing does not logically follow from that.
I see, it’s illogical to desire freedom from violence.
That isn't anywhere near the point I was trying to make, but that statement is actually true. Desires are not based in logic.
So when a Muslim slits your throat because you don’t believe in Allah, is that just hunky dory with you?
Appeal to emotion.
To be consistent with your logic, you must allow that he is doing something rational.
How exactly is that consistent with my logic? I have no idea how allowing that a Muslim slitting someone's throat is rational follows from pointing out a logical fallacy. I'd say "non-sequitur" here, but I'm beginning to sound like a broken record. So instead I'll go with, "What the fuck?"
You’re making the claim that God is good no matter what he does because he defines what is good.
I am? Where?
That’s circular reasoning.
If I were making such a claim, it would not be circular reasoning. It would be redundancy.
A vast amount of evidence against a proposition coupled with zero evidence for the proposition does not make rejection of the proposition illogical.
Well, at minimum it doesn't make rejection irrational. Is there a vast amount of evidence against the proposition in question?
I would be willing to bet that you use this in making determinations all the time.
What I do or do not use is irrelevant.
Try some modern scientists and don’t put too much weight in philosophical arguments.
Modern scientists practice the scientific method. The scientific method relies on empiricism, which is a philosophical argument. Your suggestion is self-contradictory.
I’d suggest a few books just off the top of my head: Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique by Michael S. Gazzaniga, The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams and God and Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade
I haven't read those, but it was my understanding that social stability and not empathy and sympathy were the impetus for morality's alleged evolution.
Calling moral codes based on theism unnecessary requires the implied premise that morality isn't necessarily found[SIC] in theism.I didn’t say it cannot be found in theism.
Whoops. My typo completely misconstrued the meaning. It should be "founded." Sorry about that. Luckily, you managed to swing back to it here: "theism is not the source of morality."
Logically, if people always use their own morality to decide what to accept from religious teachings, morality does not come from those teachings. It must precede them.
People use their own moral codes to decide what to accept. This does not preclude religious teachings from holding the "correct" moral code. When the religious speak of morality they're normally referring to what is "correct," not what Joe-Bob thinks is correct. You're attempting to mix the concepts of moral relativism and moral absolutism into the same pot and call them the same thing.
This also answers your next question. There is no such thing as absolute morality. Morality is situational, and relative.
Should I take your word for it?
The closest we come to absolute moral rules is in those things coded into our DNA. We humans have evolved the innate understanding of reciprocal altruism. It is a survival trait.
And we know that there aren't absolute moral rules beyond this because...
Religion recognizes the obvious fact that morality isn’t absolute because it also makes exceptions to every rule.
Including that one?
Well, there are some absolutes like the rule that you mustn’t worship other Gods or blaspheme.
Ok, that answers my above question.
Those are simply designed to perpetuate the religion itself. It has nothing to do with morality.
I'm sure the proof for this accusation was too long to fit in the margin.
Is it a different point in the evolution of morality or a different point in the discovery of morality? Is there any way to tell the difference?For that hypothesis you would have to find some source from which they discover morality.
I didn't make a hypothesis. I asked a question, which is the step before making a hypothesis.
No, I’m listing facts which I think will cumulatively lead an honest person to conclude the probability of a claim for the existence of God is virtually nil. The preponderance of evidence leads me to this conclusion but I make no claim that other facts cannot supersede them. Using the scientific method, I am supporting my hypothesis with evidence and experiment. And by that same methodology I am willing to follow all evidence where it leads. If you have contradictory evidence, why don’t you provide it?
What exactly have you provided that is evidence? Unfavorable consequences of God's existence are not evidence!
It does precisely the opposite of what it says it is supposed to do.
My use of this addresses the assertion of religion that it leads to certain good consequences which it does not.
Which consequences does it claim that it leads to, and how does it fall short?
First of all, other primates and even other animals have unciform joints.
Unciform joints are a human adaptation to standing upright.
We share 98 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees.
And the other 2% is all ours! That makes it special!
Boobies? Please! Size of anatomy is not consistent among humans so it is not useful in this context.
Neither is brain development, but I let you have that one
I have no idea what species specific diseases have to do with anything here.
They make us special! Just think: no other organism in the known universe can be infected by smallpox! Doesn't that make you feel special?
It’s not a trait of ours.
Susceptibility to diseases is not a trait?
Barney and Jesus are fictional characters.
One of which can be shown to be a fictional character.
A supernatural God could not logically have made us in his image because he must be completely different in kind from us.
Maybe he's into caricatures.
You should have figured out by now I'm lampooning the fact that you used a vague and subjective word as "special" in an argument and actually expected me not to run with it. Since you seem to enjoy science, here's a hint: evolution doesn't see your brain as "special." The universe doesn't see your brain as "special." My dog doesn't see your brain as "special." You and I see your brain as "special," but only you do in the context that you meant.
It's a hasty generalization. The Catholic Church, for instance, does not teach this.The Bible does and they use the Bible.
Nice dodge. I repeat: The Catholic Church does not teach this.
TRUE OR FALSE?
So you are saying that empirical data of humans is less ambiguous than the “Word of God”? Well, thanks for proving my point.
Yes I am. What point of yours does that prove?
4) The people didn't all have the same information at the same time in the same conditions?Very well. So whose fault is that? I’d say it was the fault of this supposedly perfect God. Like I said, he is simultaneously a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient being and an incompetent boob or he doesn’t exist. It is more parsimonious to go with the latter conclusion.
If 4) is true, why must it necessarily be a fault?
Just because you are unaware of the fact that people can’t truly grasp infinity, doesn’t make it a problem for me. This is based on my experience talking with people and reading a lot on the subject.
Instead of responding to this one, I invite you to replace "people can't truly grasp infinity" with something ludicrously silly. Then read those two sentences to yourself as if someone were saying that to you.
Think about it yourself. What is your understanding of the concept?
My personal understanding is not representative of humanity. But just for shits and giggles, if I could grasp it and you couldn't, how would you know whether I could grasp it if you couldn't grasp my explanation?
I completely disagree. Pomp and ceremony are deeply routed in our culture, and if God is exists then using them is highly appropriate given our standards for pomp and ceremony. Whether God needs them is as irrelevant as whether the dead guy at the funeral needs an expensive coffin.Culture and tradition have long been used as an excuse for perpetuation of nonsense and injustice. Many people argued that slavery was deeply rooted in our culture and tradition. It is still wrong. It is relevant to ask if God needs such things.
You're comparing apples to oranges. I said that using pomp and ceremony with respect to God is consistent with our current use of pomp and ceremony. I never said that culture and tradition justify pomp and ceremony, so your slavery analogy doesn't fit. If pomp and ceremony are bad practices, your criticism should be levied against them, and not against religion or funerals or the Lincoln Memorial or celebrations or any other thing that is consistent with the current notions of pomp and ceremony.
The Bible specifically tells people to avoid such vanity and frivolity. The hypocrisy of religion rears its ugly head again.
Only if pomp and ceremony are indeed nothing more than vanity and frivolity.
The fact that theism puts God above people thereby making people subservient, unimportant and expendable is not about the truth value of God. It is about the desirability of such a God. Part of my reasoning is not just that I think God does not exist but that I don’t find the God of any religion to be worthy of worship. If such a God exists, I don’t care enough to give it the time of day.
So then they'd be reasons to not care if God exists?
It is not empirical if it cannot be tested.
Why must God be empirical?
There's nothing to refute. If someone says, "I have a cat. Thus, turtles must eat deer poo," the only real refutation is "that makes no sense" or "non-sequitur." So you do know the proper response to illogical claims like God.
I've seen this rhetorical tactic before, but I'm not sure where.
Oh, now I remember. It's quite popular with 1st and 2nd graders, though not quite as effective as "I know you are but what am I?"
Argumentum ad Populum
There is nothing logical or rational about believing in an invisible being that is eternal, omnipotent and omniscient. It's an obvious fairy tale.So obvious that billions of people miss it.
I predicted this response. Unfortunately, it is invalid. An argumentum ad populum occurs when one argues that a proposition is true or false because the majority identifies it as such. I'm not doing that.
You are claiming that God as fairy tale is "obvious." My counter that billions of people fail to recognize God as fairy tale shows that it's not obvious by definition.
Using statistical evidence to show that your claim does not meet the definition of "obvious" is legitimate. Were I to conclude that they were right, then
I would be making an argumentum ad populum.