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 , 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