Rational Arguments for God?

#81
I've linked this before. Even if you don't agree with Massimo, it may help explain why folk who are coming from different perspectives end up talking past each other :)

It's amazing to me how so many people seem to completely misunderstand the problem and claim that they've solved the problem through brain imaging or something related. They just completely miss the point, Its like they threw a dart at a dartboard and somehow ended up with it in their shoulder..
 
#82
Why would I accept this principle?
To avoid postulating convoluted explanations of what you would like to be the case so as to avoid the straightforward explanation which is the case but which is uncomfortable for you.

If the Sun seems to rotate around the Earth, then it probably does. Except it doesn't.
All this shows is that you need a good reason to disqualify that which is apparent from being the case. Generally, the reasons given for rejecting the straightforward existence of the supernatural based on experience are not good: they are specious and motivated by desire to avoid having to admit its existence.

Edit: This is even part of the principle as quoted by the bard: "Unless we have some specific reason to question a religious experience, therefore [...]".
 
#83
Why is "Existence in reality is greater than existence in the understanding alone"?
Good question. I really don't like the Ontological Argument. I think it gives arguments for God's existence a bad name. I think it equivocates on "existence". God doesn't "exist" in the understanding - not in any relevant sense. Instead, we imagine or conceive of (in our understanding) His (real) existence. So, I would contend that the Ontological Argument - at least this version of it - is dead in the water right at the very first premise.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#84
Good question. I really don't like the Ontological Argument. I think it gives arguments for God's existence a bad name. I think it equivocates on "existence". God doesn't "exist" in the understanding - not in any relevant sense. Instead, we imagine or conceive of (in our understanding) His (real) existence. So, I would contend that the Ontological Argument - at least this version of it - is dead in the water right at the very first premise.
I think Feser manages to rescue the context of the argument while also rejecting it has being a really good argument for God.

I find the Prime Mover argument, that there is a metaphysical linchpin needed for causation at all, to be best one but then I'm still working on developing my understanding of Whithead's thought.

He seems, from my initial look, to have found a way to make a God that isn't as bizarre as the immovable point of perfection that is also spouting what look like arbitrary scriptures which can be more easily explained by reference to historical events/prejudices/etc.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#85
Why would I accept this principle? If the Sun seems to rotate around the Earth, then it probably does. Except it doesn't.

~~ Paul
Agreed, that doesn't seem like a principle one could use rationally.

I'm thinking back to Nagel pointing out that if he ever had the feeling of certainty that particular scriptures were true without any other evidence he would think himself to be going insane.
 
#86
It's amazing to me how so many people seem to completely misunderstand the problem and claim that they've solved the problem through brain imaging or something related. They just completely miss the point, Its like they threw a dart at a dartboard and somehow ended up with it in their shoulder..
What point do you think is being missed?
 
#87
I think Feser manages to rescue the context of the argument while also rejecting it has being a really good argument for God.
Hmm. I'm not so sure how much difference the context makes. I think Feser gets close to saying that Anselm - when taken in context - simply begged the question (by assuming that his definition of God had a referent in the very first premise).

I find the Prime Mover argument, that there is a metaphysical linchpin needed for causation at all, to be best one
Cool. I might check it out - have you got a handy link/reference?
 
#89
I have no problem with the idea of a person being capable of gaining a level of magical skill and power great enough to construct their own universe along with everything in it including souls. However, if that person or anyone else then tells me that I have to worship and obey that person then I'm gone. I don't care what happens to me, I'd rather not exist then be someone's pet.
 
#90
I have no problem with the idea of a person being capable of gaining a level of magical skill and power great enough to construct their own universe along with everything in it including souls. However, if that person or anyone else then tells me that I have to worship and obey that person then I'm gone. I don't care what happens to me, I'd rather not exist then be someone's pet.
Somehow I don't think you will get much of an argument against that here. Who was it who said "I can't believe in a god who requires me to worship him"? I can't believe in that kind of god either.
 
#92
What about someone's best friend ????
If someone who created the universe is holding my best friend hostage and trying to use them as collaeral to force worship. Or vice versa, if they're holding me. Then I will find a way to mercilessly torture them for treating me and anyone else as if they're property. No amount of power can make one person instrinsically "better" than anyone else. If someone forgets that, then I'll make sure they get a good reminder about how irrelevant their existence is, just like everyone elses.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#93
If someone who created the universe is holding my best friend hostage and trying to use them as collaeral to force worship. Or vice versa, if they're holding me. Then I will find a way to mercilessly torture them for treating me and anyone else as if they're property. No amount of power can make one person instrinsically "better" than anyone else. If someone forgets that, then I'll make sure they get a good reminder about how irrelevant their existence is, just like everyone elses.
Uh, I think s/he meant what if God is like a best friend?
 
#94
Uh, I think s/he meant what if God is like a best friend?
Then unless its an incredibly unhealthy relationship, it's not worship. Although the"god is my best friend" cliche has many other problems as well. Like determining it's actually another entity in the first place let alone a god and not just a fantasy in their mind.

I'd expect proof that they're actually a god, something big and obvious and seemingly impossible and immediate. If they're really a god it shouldn't be any effort at all for them. I've had enough experiences with spirits claiming to be gods and goddesses demanding that I worship them that I'm pretty jaded to the whole thing now. As far as I'm concerend there are no deities, only narcissists.
 
#95
Then unless its an incredibly unhealthy relationship, it's not worship. Although the"god is my best friend" cliche has many other problems as well. Like determining it's actually another entity in the first place let alone a god and not just a fantasy in their mind.

I'd expect proof that they're actually a god, something big and obvious and seemingly impossible and immediate. If they're really a god it shouldn't be any effort at all for them. I've had enough experiences with spirits claiming to be gods and goddesses demanding that I worship them that I'm pretty jaded to the whole thing now. As far as I'm concerend there are no deities, only narcissists.
Why would a God need anything from us?
 
#97
Why would a God need anything from us?
Actually that just reminded me of a story concept I read about someone spontaneously gaining total control over everything. Making them a god. Meaning they could directly control other people as well, change or erase memories, change personalities and opinions, everything. Personally I think that someone might go totally insane from loneliness if they knew they had that sort of ability. It might make them feel like nothing else actually existed. And in a desire to have some kind of companionship for their own sanity they might remove their own abilities or at least limit them so that they could have friends again. It does make me wonder if there could actually be a scenario where a god like being might reach out to a mortal for companionship in some limited way.
 
#98
Exactly, thats why I consider it just a cliche and unlikely to be true in any case whatsoever.
Again this is slipping back into the simplistic idea of an anthropomorphic god. The human in the sky. If teachers such as Jesus used words like father and lord then I have little doubt these were metaphors for simpler times when those he was speaking to were largely uneducated and unsophisticated. Yet we today seem unable to shake off the idea that the bible should be read as the literal truth. This is true for atheists too because the old man in the sky, the vengeful god, he who demands worship is an easy target. I'm always struck by the fact that what atheists seem most passionate about is their objection to worship. As far as I'm concerned, it is organised religion that demands worship, that emphasises the literal truth of the bible, koran, etc. The religious authorities would have us all remain the unsophisticated flock that we were two thousand years ago. And that seems fine by the atheists too.
 
#99
Again this is slipping back into the simplistic idea of an anthropomorphic god. The human in the sky.
Yes, and I specified that that was the only thing I was referring to in my argument. It was my operational definition of "god"

I know there's other definitions people use but I wasn't talking about those. As far as I can tell a lot of people use the same definition for "god" that I use for "reality" or "existence" which isn't what I'd ever object to. Although I still don't see there being much if any value in organized religion whatsoever. I've at least yet to see any value unique to them.
 
Yes, and I specified that that was the only thing I was referring to in my argument. It was my operational definition of "god"

I know there's other definitions people use but I wasn't talking about those. As far as I can tell a lot of people use the same definition for "god" that I use for "reality" or "existence" which isn't what I'd ever object to. Although I still don't see there being much if any value in organized religion whatsoever. I've at least yet to see any value unique to them.
Well, again, while there are some forum members of faith here, I doubt that many - if any - think that "guy in the sky" is the literal truth.

I listened to podcast interview with the physicist, Roger Penrose on a Christian Radio station. What struck me was that, although he said at the outset that he would class himself as an atheist, the more he talked the more I felt comfortable with his worldview. Basically, he was denying the god of (Abrahamic) religion but he was more open to ponder the mystery of reality and how it came about. That's honest and I respect it. I ended up thinking that his brand of atheism was far more reasonable and open than the likes of Dawkins and his chums.

I am pretty sure this was the podcast:

 
Top