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L&FP, 47 – i: The credibility of the concept and existence of God

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I see from News, that Egnor and Dillahunty have had a debate on the reality of God. Egnor has put on the table ten arguments to God and Dillahunty has rebutted, as News reports. Some of this caught my eye and I took pause from an ongoing life crisis to comment on some things that are key. I believe these are worth headlining as addressing logic and first principles questions.

First, on the general concept and credibility of God:

[KF, 4] >>I see:

[MD:] since I’m dealing with someone who’s a Catholic, I think we can begin with at least the qualities generally associated with the God of classical theism. We’re talking about some sort of agent that is timeless, materialless, or spaceless, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-benevolent, or whatever excessive degree of knowing power and benevolence there is within there. [00:25:30]

The problem is that I don’t know how we could demonstrate any of those. If someone came up to you and said, “I know everything,” the only thing you would ever be able to demonstrate is that they know more than you . . .

Instantly, we see utter ignorance of logic of being and modes of being related to root of reality. Scientism peeks out, backed by a philosophical fail. First, the claim that “Science” monopolises knowledge-seeking and contents is NOT a claim of science but of epistemology a branch of the obviously dismissed philosophy. It refutes itself and fails at outset. Linked, ever so many philosophical points are far more certain than any scientific theory, once the pessimistic induction is reckoned with. Where of course inductive reasoning is a matter of logic, another branch of philosophy. The department of knowledge and investigation that explores hard questions using fundamental methods of thought. Where, there is a sub branch called phil of sci which investigates science, its methods and knowledge claims.

Next, returning to the main point, notice how MD casts the question in negative terms, as though piling up conundrums and unknowns? Not only a strawman caricature but a rhetorical tactic of fostering needless doubts.

God is not merely a speculative entity, nor is he an it, a mere thing. Much to DM’s discredit lies in that little piece of unwillingness to acknowledge, He. Personhood. Rhetorical stunts and fails.

Next, God is not addressed in a vacuum, he is addressed in the context of required roots of reality involving rational, responsible, significantly free morally governed creatures [including on first duties of reason such as to truth, right reason, warrant and broader prudence, sound conscience etc.]. Multiplied by the four modes of possible being and non being: Possible vs impossible being, crossed with contingent vs necessary being, applied to here roots of reality thus of possible and actual worlds. With things like fine tuning evidence of design and the use of digitally coded algorithms in cell based life [DNA] . . . so language and goal-directed stepwise processes . . . relevant.

[I insert, a chart:]

Candidates for being may be possible or impossible. We exist and are possible, square circles cannot be in any possible state of affairs of a possible world due to contradictory core characteristics. Similarly, we are contingent and dependent on any number of causal factors, whilst there is no world in which the number 2 is not present, or begins to exist or may cease from existing. Twoness is a necessary, world-framework entity, closely connected to logic of being of worlds and to laws of logic starting with distinct identity. For that matter, this necessary being character shown by 2 is also responsible for the pervasive universality and power of core mathematics in actual and possible worlds. And I doubt that MD would so easily dismiss 2 and associated mathematical entities and properties as “timeless, materialless, or spaceless” as though such entities are ghosts extracted from denial of the contingent, concrete material entities he is familiar with.

Speaking of, MD cannot reduce his mind to a dynamic-stochastic computational substrate without fatally undermining freedom to reason and decide freely; which invites dismissing his assertions as so much accident of what happened psychosocial and genetic programming with an addition of blind chance. Minds may use brains but have dramatically diverse characteristics, on pain of fatal self-refutation pointed out by J B S Haldane:

“It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain [–> taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes] I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

The point is, to explain our existence in our world, we need an adequate, finitely remote — we cannot traverse any imagined transfinite past in finite stage causally connected steps [years, for convenience] — reality root. One, of necessary, world framework being character and one adequate to ground our moral government. Mind is required, and morally adequate mind.

Thus, we see why the framework is put on the table as candidate reality root: the inherently good, utterly wise creator God, a necessary, maximally great being. One, worthy of loyalty and of the responsible, rational, freely given service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature. This is the God of ethical theism, and he is familiar in the history of thought in our civilisation and from pages of the foundational book of that civilisation, The Holy Bible. Someone, we should not be playing rhetorical stunts of not knowing what is meant by the concept, God as Supreme Being and Creator.

Now, God is obviously a serious candidate necessary being. The real issue, then, is that the atheist has an unmet burden of proof to show God impossible of being. As, if possible, such a candidate would exist in at least one possible world as a part of its in-common framework as a world feasible of actuality. Therefore, present in any world and so too in ours. Indeed, the full panoply of possible worlds would be eternally contemplated by God.

Until recent decades, many atheists imagined that the logical problem of evils was adequate but 50 years past Plantinga shattered that and tamed the inductive form in one swoop. That is why we see the sort of stunts that are now on the table and similarly, attempts to raise the Euthyphro false dilemma to a similar state. Euthyphro fails as God is the root of reality and inherently good exponentiated by being utterly wise and maximally great. So, he expresses the good (which is intelligible to us in key part) and is its fountainhead. Good is not independent of his being nor is it arbitrary whims or diktats.

So, the atheist is in fact the one who has an unmet burden of proof. It would be interesting to see MD et al actually take it up.>>

Then, on the issue of God as all-knowing:

[KF, 5] >>MD belabours the concept of an all-knowing deity, further showing his failure to understand logic of being applied to root of reality. The answer is simple, maximally great, utterly wise, inherently good mind knows to the supreme possible degree compossible with other attributes of said greatness and goodness. That is not incoherent nor does it require proof by exhaustion of empirically investigated possible points of knowledge. That is yet another strawman stunt as MD knows just as well as we do, that we are finite, fallible and cannot complete the composition of such an examination, much less grading it. He knows or should know that the omniscience of God was not derived on that plodding inductive basis but refuses to acknowledge that Big-S Science is not the colossus dominating the field of knowledge. Appeal to prejudice of Scientism, which is self-refuting from the outset (its thesis is an epistemological claim in a lab coat), fails.>>

I think there is need to have a fresh conversation on God, one duly informed by the logic of being. END

Many have dismissive emotions associated to the word creationism. But creationism is just the alternative to materialism. Where materialism only validates the concept of fact, creationism validates both concepts of opinion and fact, each in their own right. Creationism just validates both the fact that the earth exists, and the opinion that the earth is beautiful (or ugly). 1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion 2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact We should all support the creationist conceptual scheme because: 1. Everyone should learn the difference between opinion and fact, as part of basic education, and the creationist conceptual scheme explains it perfectly. So it can be put to immediate effect in school and university. It is ready to go. 2. It is obvious that how atheists are disgusting, is in their rotten personal opinions. Which is because they do not pay dedicated attention to subjective issues, because they deny the entire subjective part of reality. They reject the ordinary subjective human spirit, besides rejecting God the holy spirit. 3. And the rotten personal opinions of atheists, now again threaten everyone with various forms of socialism, nazism, racism, fascism and whatever. Especially at universities. It could really work a charm to teach the difference between opinion and fact in school, with the creationist conceptual scheme. It could actually work to be a total gamechanger. mohammadnursyamsu
So who is your audience here? The choir? Atheists? People on the fence. (Unlikely. Maybe that one lost sheep?)
All of the above. There's nothing wrong with helping the choir to gain more certainty about their belief. The main target should be materialist-atheists. Getting atheist-immaterialists on-board is a much bigger problem and probably ID is not well-suited for that. Another group within the audience is "scientific materialists" - whether atheist or not.
I dunno. Seems like a waste of time.
If you spend time trying to convince people that there is evidence of design in nature, you will discover that this site has immense value and the effort is not a waste of time. Some of the activity here is driven by a Christian-evangelization (at least attitude) that sees the urgent necessity (and calling from God) to spread truth and teach people about God (first, then Christ). Otherwise, it would be enough for people just to say "ok, I see ID is good" and then just leave it at that. But the ID movement is evangelical and tries to change the culture and the public. Silver Asiatic
It’s easier to fool a person than to convince them they are a fool Mark Twain
Ram, it is important to track where atheists have gone with their arguments. At minimum because they tend to clothe themselves in lab coats and to suggest that if one is bright, informed and of sound mind one will be an atheist. This is also an opportunity to see the importance of logic of being and of wider philosophy for fundamental issues about roots of reality. Not everyone's cup of tea but actually key to the agenda of our civilisation. And to its success. KF PS: Given the certainty of hostile scrutiny in the penumbra, silence or near silence from that quarter is instructive. kairosfocus
Well, I think a super-duper-creator intelligence exist. I think I may a part of it. For a lotta reasons. But you probably won't convince anyone if they don't want to be conviced. So who is your audience here? The choir? Atheists? People on the fence. (Unlikely. Maybe that one lost sheep?) I dunno. Seems like a waste of time. ram
Jerry, William of Orange. My point is, there were multiple streams going in one direction and intersecting. KF kairosfocus
Many just venture faith arbitrarily, just begin to talk to God in worship, on account that if God exists. But everyone has the feelings for what is divine, and those feelings are what makes it not arbitrary. And obviously worshipping the objective = worshipping the creation. There is no doubt about it that the creation is objective. The fundamental distinction is not between objective and fantasy, the fundamental distinction is between objective and subjective. Emotions, personal character, God, the soul, the spirit, they are all in the subjective category, because they are all defined in terms of that they are on the side of what makes a choice. Therefore they can only be identified with a chosen opinion. And every choice people make is from emotion, personal character, feelings. mohammadnursyamsu
All because of religious war amongst Protestants.
That trajectory in the conflict and fight for religious freedom continued through the founding of America through the French Revolution, to present-day America. It moved from liberation from Church to liberation from religion to a secular republic. Through freemasonry - and now to atheism. ID is one attempt in trying to put things back together. It's actually just trying to get back to Deism from materialist-atheism. Pantheism, paranormal, panpsychism are some halfway-points to Deism. Silver Asiatic
Holland intervened in the UK decisively in 1688
No! Mary was invited by members of Parliament to come and be queen. She was the current king’s daughter. Her husband was William who came along and given power because he was a man. Both were descendants of Charles I. They were kissing first cousins. They were both in line for the throne but Mary was the current king’s daughter and had priority. The movement for freedom arose much earlier during the English civil war mostly fought by Puritans on one side and loyalist of then King Charles on the other. Cromwell who had become a Puritan led the army for Parliament. During that time many of his army which were common people were striving for equal rights. As an example, the speech by Rainsborough in 1648
I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he; and therefore truly, Sir, I think it's clear, that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not bound in a strict sense to that government that he hath not had a voice to put himself under.
The horse was out of the barn though even Rainsborough‘s ideas were too extreme at the time for the Puritan elite. William Penn received land in the colonies as payment by Charles II for his father’s help in restoring the monarchy. Penn who had become a Quaker then turned it into the “Poor man’s country” in the early 1680’s. Neither William and Mary or Mary’s sister who became Queen Anne produced children that lived which led to the importing of German royalty to be the kings of England. But by this time the average person was able to succeed and receive financial reward for their efforts. Because England was so much richer than its colonies the Industrial Revolution started there first but really took off in the new colonies after the US was formed. All because of a religious war amongst Protestants. If one Protestant religion ruled an area this did not happen. Nothing to do with Protestantism or printing presses. The rest of Europe had printing presses. It was a once in history happenstance. jerry
PS: Rom 1 >>19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions . . . 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.>> kairosfocus
MNY no, it is not. If God is not objectively real he is an imaginary figure. That God is an agent, a person and so a self-aware conscious being we can interact with is tied to his being real. We don't just choose to believe in him arbitrarily. Just a note, I am dealing with a life crisis. KF kairosfocus
KF, that is just the exactsame corruption as materialists refusing to acknowledge the reality of any of what is subjective. Logic dictates how subjectivity works. You must follow it's rules. You are not following rules. A subjective opinion is chosen, and expresses what it is that makes a choice. Which means all what is on the side of making a choice, is subjective. So if the name God is defined in terms of that He makes choices, then God must therefore be subjective, according to the rules. That the earth is objectively real, means you can make 1 to 1 corresponding model of it, in the mind, forced by the evidence of it. God is not like the earth, objectively real. God is not a creation. mohammadnursyamsu
MNY, that God is objectively real means that his existence can be warranted beyond the flawed error-prone, fallacy-haunted subjectivity of individuals and groups. That God is personal, an agent who freely acts, is a separate category. Just a note. KF kairosfocus
The majority of intelligent design supporters are just as well corrupt as evolutionists are, in that they assert God is objective. What's the difference between an evolutionist asserting emotions and personal character are objective, and a creationist asserting that the human spirit and soul are objective? Absolutely nothing. They are both equally corrupt. Denying the entire subjective part of reality. Really we must go back to the history of the holocaust. As is normal for any catastrophy, one would question how it could have been prevented. The analysis of what went wrong in regards to the holocaust, is that personal character of people was asserted as a matter of biological fact. Leading to measuring and calculating attitudes in respect to the worth of people, which attitudes were the basis for warmongering and genocide. So the answer to the question of how the holocaust could have been prevented, is robust and precise, acceptance of the validity of subjectivity, with the creationist conceptual scheme. The response of intellectuals to the holocaust has already been to promote subjectivity, in popularizing post-modernism. Postmodernism asserts that subjectivity is inherent in statements of fact. This succefully softened up the ruthless, emotionsless attitudes, in regards to people's personal character. But postmodernism does not really validate subjectivity, postmodernism just assumes subjectivity without explanation. The creationist conceptual scheme validates subjectivity, and objectivity, each in their own right. The creationist conceptual scheme can be taught in school everywhere right now, because it is already an established education goal to teach the difference between fact and opinion. And the creationist conceptual scheme explains that difference perfectly. mohammadnursyamsu
Jerry, all that is needed is to recognise that by creating a world in which love, virtue and right reason guiding right action are possible, there is opened up a qualitative leap in potential for the good. Each of these requires freedom to fulfill, and freedom further implies responsibility. In that context, would-be objectors fall under the problem of the good, i.e. they are using their freedom to try to undermine itself. Saw off the branch on which we sit territory, again. KF PS: I suggest, the rise of heightened freedom in aftermath of the printing-literacy revolution, enhanced diversity due to the division of Europe over Luther's 95 theses (and other incidents of like order for centuries), the ferment of liberated thought, publication, reading and discussion (think here coffee houses), and so forth were a bit more robust than you suggest. Yes, particularities of Britain shaped the actual course, but note the course of events in Holland which had become in effect freest country in Europe. Indeed, Holland intervened in the UK decisively in 1688: William of Orange, husband of Mary of the House of Stuart and the Glorious Revolution thence Locke. By that generation, the ferment reached the threshold that enabled modern democracy and yes American colonies were pivotal, then the American Revolution. kairosfocus
There is a another idea that flows from the Christian God, namely, is this the best of all possible worlds as proposed by Leibniz? How could the Christian God create anything less than the best world? But few, even Christians believe this. Why? Voltaire wrote a highly successful book, Candide, mocking Leibniz on this idea. Is it that there must be disbelief for belief to have any meaning? Because of this must part of the belief system always be based on faith? Will there always be an alternative belief pushed forward as more likely? Will there always be believers and unbelievers? Is this necessary for a meaningful world? Is this why apparent flaws in our world are necessary for it to be to be the best of all possible worlds. Is our world, the perfect imperfect and are so many apparently imperfects why so many don’t believe in God? Because it’s plausible not to believe in God because an apparently imperfect world could not come from a perfect God? jerry
There are four separate important ideas that flow from the existence of God argument which are all important in their own right but not all related to this OP. (1) the existence of a certain type of God has implications for how well a society can function. Certain types of Gods bring with them a moral set of rules or a correct way of acting. And since this God is all powerful, He knows when we are adhering to this moral set of rules. This will affect our actions. Here is an example I came across a couple days ago on how our medical community has essentially silenced doctors and are preventing them from making moral choices about the health of their patients.
Why Do Doctors Go Along with COVID Panic Porn and CDC Prescriptions?
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/09/why_do_doctors_go_along_with_covid_panic_porn_and_cdc_prescriptions.html I am sure we can think of numerous other examples. (2)the Evolution debate and the widespread belief that Darwin’s ideas vitiate the need for a creator. While it is not a hard fast correlation, it is big enough to have a widespread acceptance. Yet everyone here, including the ID criticizers know it is bogus. Laid out more at https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/evolution/at-quanta-mathematical-analysis-of-fruit-fly-wings-hints-at-evolutions-limits/#comment-737632 (3) that there is a extremely logical argument for the basis of Christianity which includes the existence of God. We all know this acceptance has waned dramatically in recent decades and is a shadow of what it once was. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/lutheran-religious-studies-prof-asks-is-methodological-naturalism-racist/#comment-737276 (4) the fourth is a little far afield. Namely, that the modern world is due to Protestant religious wars mainly in 17th century England which led to freedom for the common man. A slow process in England but greatly accelerated in some of its colonies. This one time only happenstance in the history of mankind was a fluke and anything but inevitable. And it is being threatened by the lack of belief in God in the modern world. Look at (1) above. jerry
Scientism is a result of fundamentally conceiving of making a choice, in terms of figuring out the best option, instead of conceiving it in terms of spontaneity. Because then the result of the choice is a consequence of the facts about what is good and bad, which are used to evaluate the options with, and the subjective spirit is thrown out from the concept of making a choice. Basically choice then becomes as like a chesscomputer caluclating a move. The whole subjective part of reality, the part of reality that makes choices, is then denied. So then in college, pushing everyone to be the best of the best, they lose sight of the concept of choice in terms of spontaneity, and lose sight of the subjective spirit making the choice. Which means they become materialists. And the political application of materialism is socialism. In socialism, socialism rules. The poltical theory becomes as like an organic being with free will, ruling over people. mohammadnursyamsu
ZW, in short, Scientism. Which falls apart on even the simplest examination, but it is the mood of the times we are dealing with, KF kairosfocus
People like Dillahunty don't want to bear any burden of proof but prefer hyper skepticism. They also swallow Darwin down without any problems. zweston
I have seen many data sets showing that belief in God or gods has always been the majority position. A massively significant supermajority. If there were any merit to the "truth seeking" claims of science in its current materialist manifestation then there would be some acknowledgement that dealing with reality as it is provides survival advantage ("increases fitness") while attempting to deal with reality as it is not provides survival disadvantage ("decreases fitness"). If reality itself, through the process we call "natural selection" acts as a negative selection pressure on those who refuse to deal with it as it is, there ought to be a visible decline in the prevalence of believers. Assuming that belief in what is loosely called the supernatural is merely primitive superstition having no value as an avenue to knowing reality ("truth seeking"). But given the data, and the overwhelmingly ubiquitous and unidirectional content of that data, why would anyone assume such a thing? One would have to be a ... a ... fantasist? ScuzzaMan
The name God is defined in terms of that He is a creator. The creationist conceptual scheme shows that any creator is subjective. 1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion 2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact The proof of the creationist conceptual scheme can be found in the rules that are used in common discourse with subjective words, like the word beautiful. Subjective words are chosen, and they express what it is that makes a choice. Which means all what is on the side of making a choice, is subjective. And subjective means that it can only be identified with a chosen opinion. And choice is the mechanism of creation, how a creation originates. So the subjective part of reality, is the creator part of reality. Subjective words, like the word beautiful, can really only be propely understood by having the feeling associated to the word. Therefore to find out whether or not God exists, one just has to feel what is in the spiritual domain, the subjective part of reality, and if God is in there. Subjective phrases like, oh my god, the food tastes divine, these phrases point towards the proper feeling for the deity. And then based on your feeling you choose the opinion whether or not God is real. And either opinion that God is real, or that God is not real, would be a logically valid opinion. But being forced to the conclusion that God is real or not real, provides an invalid personal opinion. Same as it provides an invalid personal opinion to be forced to say a painting is beautiful. So then say the opinion that God is real is chosen, then next talk to God, within the bounds of prayer worship. mohammadnursyamsu
F/N: MD's pattern continues, here is a bit more:
When it comes to God, we barely get a definition. I didn’t really hear a definition tonight, just that this is what all men call God. Well, I’m standing here, obviously, or sitting here, obviously, as someone who doesn’t call those things God. But we don’t see physical evidence or strong arguments; what we get are assertions and fallacies. Does God exist? Not as far as I can tell, not as far as science can tell, which is a troubling problem for many. In order to even begin to claim some God exists, you have to depart from sound epistemology, rational argument founded on evidence, and the facts of reality, and start claiming things that aren’t demonstrable.
As a reasonably educated person he can readily see a dictionary if he refuses to go further. The idea about want of clear conception and description fails, badly. So badly, it puts him in a poor light. As for we go to science, that is little more than confession to evolutionary materialistic scientism as driving ideology. Which begs the question and is itself incoherent. Somewhere he has managed to overlook what mathematics has to tell about evidence, abstract entities and relationships, warrant etc. The notion that to claim God exists one has to depart from epistemology into fallacies speaks further volumes on the controlling ideology. Accordingly, I note on Lewontin's infamous cat out of the bag admission on behalf of the reigning orthodoxy:
. . . to put a correct [--> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people's heads
[==> as in, "we" the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making "our" "consensus" the yardstick of truth . . . where of course "view" is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]
we must first get an incorrect view out [--> as in, if you disagree with "us" of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [--> "explanations of the world" is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised "demon[ic]" "supernatural" being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,
[ --> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying "our" elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to "fix" the widespread mental disease]
and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth
[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]
. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [--> "we" are the dominant elites], it is self-evident
[--> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]
that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [--> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [--> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [--> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [--> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is "quote-mined" I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]
We need a fresh conversation, that does not impose such at outset. KF kairosfocus
AmHD: >>1. God a. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions. b. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.>> Passable, and I think atheists can readily consult such dictionaries as a start. KF kairosfocus
My experience is that no atheist has a coherent explanation for their beliefs on God or science. Either they are stupid or are not embarrassed by the contradictions implied. Their beliefs seemed to be based on negative feelings towards those who hold theistic beliefs. jerry
F/N: On following up links at MM, I find more from MD: >>I can’t actually address the ontology of God>> 1: Kindly see above on logic of being, we can examine that, which is of course the relevant ontology. 2: We are seeing here a foreshadowing of further scientism and selective hyperskepticism, neither of which is defensible both being self-referentially incoherent. >> because there’s not a God in front of me to assess.>> 3: Little more than declarative question-begging. 4: This is again scientism on the fail. >>There’s not even been a God defined for me to begin to assess.>> 5: Competent descriptions of the concept of God are commonplace and they are far from meaningless. 6: One suspects, a subtext of allusion to the self-refuting verifiability [principle of anaslytic statements and operational procedures that fails its own test of meaningfulnes. This has been dead for over fifty years, in philosophy. >> And so the question is kind of ill-formed. [00:21:30]>> 7: You wish, the better to dismiss. Actually, the idea of God in the context of logic of being is well understood and widely seriously discussed with profit. Before, we get to the millions who have met him and been transformed for the good through such encounter. 8: And if you wish to write such off as generally delusional, that such deep delusion is that widespread would bring the credibility of reasoned thought into doubt. >> Note: Ontology: “a theory about the nature of being or the kinds of things that have existence” – Merriam–Webster>> 9: Not just a theory, a province of study in philosophy and related disciplines. The logically guided study of being. >>And we’re going to be fine with that because Dr. Egnor already presented arguments from natural theology that he feels are compelling evidence for concluding that a God does in fact exist.>> 9: Actually, much broader than natural theology. He has raised worldviews issues including, in a brief outline of logic of being issues. As in:
The ninth proof is sometimes called the rationalist proof. And the rationalist proof, which was championed by Leibniz several hundred years ago, is the notion that everything that exists necessarily has some explanation for why it exists the way it does. That is that things don’t exist for no reason. [00:14:30] That doesn’t mean that we can know the reasons, the reasons may be obscure. But it doesn’t make any sense to say that something exists and there is no reason for it. And that implies that there is an ultimate explanation that is outside of nature and is in itself not in need of explanation. And that is God. [00:15:00]
>> But we can’t conclusively disprove an unfalsifiable proposition.>> 10: Little more than an attempt to dodge addressing the issue of God as necessary, world framework being. There is a way to refute and falsify that a candidate necessary being is real. One show it is not a serious candidate (which you try to assert but cannot substantiate), two, show core incoherence, as was formerly attempted by the logical form problem of evils. 11: Of course that failed and what we have here is a ghost of an unacknowledged failure of once confidently asserted argument that omniscience, omnibenevolence and omnipotence are mutually contradictory so there is no possible God of ethical theism. >> And that is what most “God” definitions, at least as far as I can tell, are. >> 12: Assertion without merit. That God is the inherently good, utterly wise creator, a maximally great, necessary being is neither incoherent nor meaningless nor unfalsifiable, and this framework leads straight to the framework of understanding God found in say Bible-anchored systematic theology. >>There’s no way to just prove it,>> 13: Worldviews are not subject to mathematical proof, but are evaluated on comparative difficulties across live options. 14: Besides, post Godel and Chaitin et al, there are endless mathematical truths beyond the reach of any finite, consistent axiomatisation in math, so proof itself is under the ambit of the worldviews challenge. >>which is unfortunate for its advocates because it also makes it a wholly untenable position.>> 15: Do you wish to imply that math post Godel is untenable? >> To say that you are convinced that an unfalsifiable proposition is true is no more tenable than saying you’re convinced that an unfalsifiable position is not true. >> 16: A question begging assertion building on a clearly false notion, there are ways to disprove existence of necessary being candidates, only, the traditional atheist's heavy artillery in this department had to be retired after Plantinga's counterbattery fire. >>Because then you would claim to be falsifying that which can’t be. [00:22:00]>> 17: Empty repetition of unfalsifiable so meaningless. That your main attempt to falsify failed as history of ideas fact does not warrant resort to the failed rhetoric of verifiability vs meaninglessness. The real challenge is to show that God is impossible of being, which atheists imply knowing. As they imply knowledge of the non existence of God. And subterfuges over unfalsifiability or burden of proof shifting with hyperskeptical demands for levels of proof no longer accessible even to math, show that something is deeply flawed with these objections to God's actuality. KF kairosfocus
I headline, regarding the credibility of the concept and existence of God, following up from the debate News reports on.. kairosfocus

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