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61
Science / Re: Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?
« Last post by Jag on Yesterday at 07:54:31 PM »
Ah yes, selective science, a game that never gets old.

Meanwhile, here's a great story about useful science stuff: Mayo Clinic staff and the bionic eye patient and lots of other people along the way all trusted science and look how well it turned out!
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Why not produce God and end the debate?
« Last post by jaimehlers on Yesterday at 07:37:11 PM »
Maximal simply means the highest or greatest amount possible, which may happen to be infinite or unlimited. No defined limit is necessary in order to describe something as maximal. You are applying an inaccurate definition. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/maximal)
Incorrect.  1 : being an upper limit.  You will note that the basic definition is the same for both dictionaries, while the one I selected incorporates a fuller definition to provide better meaning.  In short, limits are inherent in the definition of maximal.  Instead of using a word that's inappropriate, you should find a better word to use.

Quote from: PhilosoB
You have conveniently combined your definition of maximal greatness with my definition of maximal greatness, and then declared that I have committed a logical contradiction. Very clever. But irrelevant and a bit misleading.
Listen to yourself.  "My definition of maximal greatness".  Since when is this about personal definitions of words?  I am not utilizing a personal definition here; I am utilizing what the word maximal actually means.  If it doesn't mean what you want it to mean, then you need to find a word that does, or coin one, instead of insisting that it does somehow mean what you want it to mean.

Furthermore, my statement that your logic is contradictory is completely relevant, because maximal refers to a limit.  You cannot have an unlimited limit in logic, because it is contradictory.  If your logic is contradictory, saying so is hardly irrelevant, never mind misleading.  If anything, your use of a logical contradiction in your argument makes your argument invalid.  I will not presume whether or not you did this with an intent to mislead, as you did to me.  Instead, I will simply tell you that you need to review your logic instead of insisting that it's correct despite being told otherwise.

Quote from: PhilosoB
It takes time to develop a relationship but very little time to enter a relationship. If a stranger pulled you out of the way of a bus saving your life, I venture to guess you might enter into a relationship very quickly and perhaps develop and maintain that relationship over time. Once someone grasps what the God of Christianity has done to save them, one enters into a saving and loving relationship which develops and deepens over time.
A relationship can hardly be described as "loving" and "saving" unless it is a substantial relationship, which you cannot have with a small amount of time and effort.  In short, a person cannot enter into a loving and saving relationship with anyone without a considerable amount of time and effort on the part of both parties.  As to your example with a stranger pulling me out of the way of a bus, there was no relationship between us at the time when he saved my life, and it was his effort that created any such relationship, not mine.  That isn't analogous to the relationship you think your god wants with humans, because the person supposedly needing 'saving' has to agree to the relationship in order to be 'saved'.  If they don't accept his terms, they aren't 'saved'.  That's a lot closer to extortion than love, if you ask me, even assuming there's anything to 'save' humans from in the first place.

Quote from: PhilosoB
Your unrelated argument about God valuing the relationship less than we do is a baseless conjecture. I see no reason why a maximally great being would not value a relationship with us just as much if not more than we would. While we must divide our time and attention, a maximally great being is not so constrained (as if the amount of time spent on a relationship is the only measure of importance to said relationship).
If your god truly has a limitless capacity for relationships, then how could it possibly value any given relationship as much as a human would?  That would be like expecting someone who could wish money into existence to value what is purchased with that money as much as someone who has tightly-limited resources.  So there is every reason to conclude that your god does not value a relationship as much as a human can.  This is hardly "baseless conjecture", as you disparagingly refer to it.  If anything, all that shows is your lack of understanding.

Quote from: PhilosoB
All the clarification has done has moved from a "maximally great being that exists in all possible worlds" to a "maximally great being with the exception that he does not exist in one possible world". Given the nearly infinite number of possible worlds, it would still make his existence a practical certainty which is more than satisfactory for my argument. Besides, as stated, I prefer the latter option.
In short, this is pure sophistry on your part.  The only reason you made this 'clarification' is so you could get your logic accepted as valid; as you state here, you're still operating under the presumption that a "maximally great being" actually exists.  However, you have not shown that a maximally great being actually exists in any world.  Even if you managed to get the logic accepted as valid, you would still have to show that it's sound, and you cannot do that with logic alone, because using a logical argument to 'prove' that a premise of another logical argument is true means that the argument is now dependent on additional premises being true.

Quote from: PhilosoB
Nearly every argument or fact relies upon another argument or fact (the self-evident truth of the law of non-contradiction would be a foundational fact). This is how knowledge grows and is supported. The better a system of knowledge or facts about the world (worldview) cohere together and correspond to reality, the more likely it is that such a worldview is correct. The fact that I can produce nine supporting and coherent arguments for my position further strengthens the soundness of my present argument.
Incorrect.  Even if all of those arguments agree with each other, it does not mean that they are sound, that they match reality.  The only way you can show that an argument is sound is by proving it true against reality, and not a single one of those arguments you raised has actually been proven true, to the best of my knowledge.  In fact, unless those supporting arguments are individually proven to be sound, then claiming that the arguments are coherent is wrong.  What you actually mean is that they're consistent with each other.  And simply having consistent arguments is nothing special; you are essentially claiming that the arguments are made more sound because they agree with each other, but that isn't how it works.

Quote from: PhilosoB
I have presented and defended two premises which then, following the rules of logic, have led to three deductive conclusions. Certainly, for an argument to be sound the premises have to be true or, as in these cases, more plausibly true than false. Since neither of us can present undeniable proof for our position all I need to demonstrate in order for the argument to hold is that the premises are more plausibly true than not true. I think I have done so (though I'm sure not everyone agrees but that is not required).
The thing is, you have not actually demonstrated that your premises are more plausibly true than not true.  In fact, stating that this "maximally great" being of yours has an unlimited capacity to form relationships is actually contradictory, as I stated above; this reduces the plausibility of your argument to practically nothing.  Until you correct the flaws in your argument, instead of trying to argue that those flaws don't exist because they aren't part of whatever definition you're using, it will remain implausible.

Quote from: PhilosoB
This last statement you make is a philosophical statement that cannot be defended by science alone. Logic (and more broadly speaking, philosophy) can be used effectively without physical evidence through science; in fact, it is science that cannot be accomplished without the underpinnings of logic and philosophy.
Certainly, you can use logic without physical evidence.  However, logic that is not based on evidence isn't grounded on anything.  It is basically speculation.  Speculation that may be valid, but speculation nonetheless, which can never be shown to be truly sound without solid evidence to base it on.  If logic is the blueprint, evidence is the building materials.  You can make all the blueprints you want, but unless you have the building materials, all you end up with is a fancy drawing which doesn't accomplish much but look pretty.  And it's not until you actually start making the building that you can find out if the blueprint is flawed or not.

Quote from: PhilosoB
Is there an external world? Can be know the world objectively? What is life and how is it different from non-life? How should we test and form scientific theories? What counts as good evidence? These are questions that science cannot answer and yet science requires answers to these questions and many more before science can be considered useful for describing reality. Philosophy and logic is used to answer these foundational questions.
Philosophy and logic cannot provide good answers to those by themselves, you know.  It's an incremental process; you use logic to start collecting evidence, then you use the evidence to refine your logic, and so on and so forth.  That's the basic problem with your argument here; you're basically claiming that in a situation where there is no evidence, you can justifiably use logic by itself as long as it's internally valid.  But all that amounts to is speculation.  You need evidence to support it.  Even the Higgs field, which most scientists accepted as a good explanation for the existence of mass long before anyone could do experiments to test it, still needed to be tested and confirmed using evidence.  Even plausible explanations still need to be capable of being tested.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: best of bad arguments
« Last post by Jag on Yesterday at 07:28:34 PM »
I came across this one a couple years ago:
Quote
1. The pattern in DNA is a code.

2. All codes we know the origin of are designed.

3. Therefore we have 100% inference that DNA is designed and 0% inference that it is not.

I think I have a way to counter this, and you don't have to be particularly good with science to shut it down. It looks like another case of mistaking the "thing" for the concept.[1]

We describe DNA as a code because that word fits a pattern we invented and call code. We haven't yet identified all the possible interpretations so we call it coded - we fully expect to "de-code" it. Code is a descriptive part of the definition of DNA, not the other way around. "Code" is just a label, not an actual thing, although we also use the word code to describe the output of computer programmers. And DNA has exactly the same things in common with both kinds of "code". It would be just as accurate to describe DNA as an "executable program".

The "action" of DNA is a sequence of events that ends in a predictable outcome[2] - we do not yet have the capability of predicting more than a tiny fraction of what is possible. At present, we haven't mapped everything that is happening, but we gain new information constantly.
***
And just like that, you've set the stage to argue that a "God as an observing, non-participating scientist is at least as likely as your idea" and you have lots of evidence that a hands off deity fits observable reality.

EDITED TO ADD: tl;dr - it's a code because we decided to call it a code
 1. This seems to happen a lot with theists, and I suspect it's due in part to the way religion uses language. Tons of rhetoric and endless metaphors. Aside from the stuff God says he'll kill you for doing, that's usually pretty direct.
 2. Am I overstating the case here?
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Religion & Society / Re: How Private is a Prayer (in Canada)?
« Last post by Nam on Yesterday at 07:20:33 PM »
You can't rehabilitate prisoners unsegregated. Putting petty criminals in with murderers and rapists just turns some of the petty criminals into murderers and rapists.

-Nam
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General Religious Discussion / Re: best of bad arguments
« Last post by One Above All on Yesterday at 06:50:25 PM »
The one that gets me is:

Humans cannot comprehend god.

What the F?

Then how did you come to the conclusion he exists?

Faith is the answer to all things. &)
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General Religious Discussion / Re: best of bad arguments
« Last post by Nick on Yesterday at 06:49:54 PM »
Well, Bill was hanging on the cross next to Jesus when He was nailed.  Had to get that last interview.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: best of bad arguments
« Last post by stuffin on Yesterday at 06:49:41 PM »
The one that gets me is:

Humans cannot comprehend god.

What the F?

Then how did you come to the conclusion he exists?
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General Religious Discussion / Re: best of bad arguments
« Last post by DVZ3 on Yesterday at 05:50:31 PM »
Bill OR is an utter spin doctor and loves to use god and the constitution as if either are relevant to our social progress (or lack thereof) and our exponential growth with technology. Can we please stop acting as if our forefathers were perfect (god syndrome!?) and can't be questioned with our society present day. Side note: Could you imagine the internet and media coverage of information we do today with the prestigious and iconic figures we honor today such as our forefathers!? Most of their respect and reverence would be tossed aside like that of Brian Williams and Bill Cosby; both long admired and trusted for years! Now....

Oh,not to mention the bible was written years after said events took place and the events and words are supposively perfect. We can't even get video filmed events correct or agreed upon today and people expect us to take the bible seriously!?

Countless people admired for years and then how quickly their reputation tossed in the trash... You think the notion of Jesus/god could finally be tossed in the.... You get the idea.

I digress....

Anyways, here's a related link with regards to how the rich/conservatives in power are getting away with what should be criminal....

Gerrymandering explained
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/03/01/this-is-the-best-explanation-of-gerrymandering-you-will-ever-see/
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General Religious Discussion / Re: best of bad arguments
« Last post by nogodsforme on Yesterday at 05:14:06 PM »
They fob themselves off on the public as political experts and news commentators, but when they get caught making sh!t up, they fall back on the "I am only an entertainer" excuse.

Liberal entertainers fund raise for progressive causes and tell people to go vote. How many liberal entertainers are seriously consulted by major political leaders, and attend high-level policy meetings?
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Religion & Society / Re: How Private is a Prayer (in Canada)?
« Last post by Graybeard on Yesterday at 05:00:20 PM »
Like, what's the fucking point of even having a more severe sentence, then?
The theoretical basis of imprisonment is "to punish, educate and reform."

What do you think the point is?

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