Sunday School

Sunday School January 13th 2019

This topic contains 37 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 2 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 38 total)
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  • #25113

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    How can not believing in an interventionist god be wishful thinking?

    Both definite positions, for or against, are wishful thinking, because neither can be proved.  I act as if God doesn’t exist (e.g. I don’t go to church, don’t pray, don’t believe the Bible stories etc.) but I still keep an open mind.

    Then offer me something supernatural that exists.

    “∴ the supernatural does not exist, only the unexplained. Even if it did we have no method of detecting it.

    – I agree with this position.

    Existence is not a predicate. (Kant).

    What does he mean by this?

     

    #25117

    Simon, not believing in a celestial teapot does not require proof. Claiming one exists in actuality does. It is not “wishful thinking”.  I don’t require proof for or against the existence of fairies at the end of my garden. I don’t act as if no fairies or teapot exist. I don’t act as if a god does not exist. I don’t act as if a god does exist. Neither position crosses my mind when I carry out an action.

    A god, if one or more were to exist, would be a supernatural entity.  You agree with my deduction above that the supernatural does not exist, only the unexplained. Do you consider that a position of “wishful thinking”?

    The theist sees a supernatural world and fills in the gaps in their knowledge with god. The atheist sees a natural world and investigates these gaps until a reasonable explanation or understanding is reached.

    I do not need to keep an open mind that someday we might discover evidence for a god. I do not believe any god exists. I do not try looking for one. If a theist has evidence for one, then show it. If not then please leave me alone and stop bothering me with 16th century idiocy. But maybe it is just wishful thinking on my part that they will.

    #25118

    Re Kant and “existence is not a predicate”

    The essence of the Ontological Argument is that it offers a “proof” for the existence of god because there must exist a being of which nothing greater can be conceived of.

    The fault with this line of thinking is that it defines a property (existence) of an entity (god) that has not been shown to exist.

    I will rehash my Dr. Bob argument here. He tried this approach as a proof of (his) God’s existence. He called it the “Concept of God”. Nothing greater can be conceived of because it would be greater than god and nothing can be greater than God.

    My reply was that a concept is just that, a concept. It exists in the mind. If a God existed in the physical world then it would be greater that the God he conceived of because it actually existed. It was “real” and not just a concept.

    But to claim God is real and actually exists you need to show proof. The proposition no longer exists as a concept or statement of faith if you are claiming God is real. God must first exist before He can have any attributes.

    I am still at work and might revisit this as metaphysics and an empty stomach are not good friends 🙂

    #25119

    Davis
    Participant

    Both definite positions, for or against, are wishful thinking, because neither can be proved.

    Yikes. That’s not a good way for any approach on knowledge and the existence of things. The default approach is skepticism. If all the evidence points to your dog having eaten your shoes, you aren’t going to buy some story your wife tells about aliens transporting into your house, chewing on your shoes and then leaving while the dog and wife watch gobsmacked. It’s preposterous. There isn’t a shred of evidence for this and it is so outlandish that most people won’t even entertain it (which is a pretty good way to avoid wasting time). It is definitely wishful thinking if you prefer to pretend your dog is still perfect and that the aliens came down and ate your shoes, your dog could do nothing wrong after all, and now that you think of it you did hear strange noises last night!!! It’s wishful thinking because it helps you maintain an outlandish delusion about your perfect dog and about mystical beings and how you see the world, even if the story behind it is preposterous. It is NOT  wishful thinking to reject this explanation. If you were given this terrible excuse of a story, you’d reject it and I’m sure you’d be very cross with your dog, not with the “aliens”. The lack of evidence in this and so many supernatural claims is absolute, zero evidence. The story is outlandish and for most people it doesn’t fit in with anything you’ve observed or experienced.

    The default approach to knowledge is skepticism of claims for a good reason. Maintaining that skepticism until evidence or a good argument presents itself is not wishful thinking. Only the opposite is the case. Accepting something fantastical without evidence yet and VERY unlikely to ever come is the definition of wishful thinking. Rejection of these claims is simply rational, sensible and pretty important if knowledge and sanity are important to you. It doesn’t matter if it can ever be proven or not. Skepticism is still the obvious position to take on incredible claims. It’s not outlandish to state that there aren’t little elves that live in my sock drawer. Nor is it wishful thinking to claim my grandparents won’t raise from their graves and come have tea with me tonight. Otherwise “wishful thinking” as a term is totally meaningless. God claims and supernatural claims are no different to the alien story nor drawer elves or risen grandparents, regardless of how normalized they have become through religion and western culture and how familiar you are with them or when it was written in a book. There’s no evidence for any of it and they’re equally preposterous and wishful thinking.

    An intervening God is a fantastical claim and with a lack of evidence it IS wishful thinking to accept it. Rejecting this claim until evidence comes is not wishful thinking, its completely rational (regardless of if evidence will ever come), sensible and the best approach to knowledge.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Davis.
    #25122

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    The fault with this line of thinking is that it defines a property (existence) of an entity (god) that has not been shown to exist.

    In that case, the argument is so flimsy as to be laughable.  But if that’s the case, why did the computer prove the argument to be true?

    #25123

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    a lack of evidence

    I’ve had at least one experience that looks like God intervened.  I wanted to buy someone a book to help them with being bullied, but had no money, and set out anyway, hoping for the best.  Within half an hour I had found the required cash on the ground in a busy shopping centre, so I was able to buy it.

    The interesting point was, I thought this would probably happen because of previous experiences I’d had.  It’s just that this one stood out clearly.

    If you find yourself in some kind of remotely similar situation, see what happens.  These situations don’t come up very often, it’s true, so it’s hard to do an experiment.

    #25124

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    An intervening God is a fantastical claim

    That in itself is purely a matter of opinion and no reason to reject it.  Quantum physics is fantastical, for example.

    #25125

    Quantum physics is fantastical.

    I don’t think so.

    I’ve had at least one experience that looks like God intervened.

    Is it not more likely that someone accidentally dropped the money rather than the Creator of the Universe placing it there for you to find? BTW, which god did you credit for this event?

    #25126

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Quantum physics is fantastical.

    I don’t think so.

    My point is that we can’t reject an idea just because it sounds wacky.  That would be silly and closed-minded.  It amounts to “believing what we like”.

    which god did you credit for this event?

    I didn’t.  I’m just saying that there are times when a hypothetical interventionist God is a suitable alternative explanation.  But I remain an atheist.

    #25127

    I’m just saying that there are times when a hypothetical interventionist God is a suitable alternative explanation…

    I disagree. I would suggest that it is much more likely that the money was accidentally dropped, especially as you found in “on the ground in a busy shopping centre”, a place where most of the people present are likely to be carrying cash.

    #25128

    My point is that we can’t reject an idea just because it sounds wacky. That would be silly and closed-minded…

    The idea of a personal god does not sound wacky to you, especially in the way theists present the proposition? What is even wackier is that to them it is not just an idea but actual reality. That is why it is called the “God Delusion”.

    #25129

    Noel
    Participant

    “What is even wackier is that to them it is not just an idea but actual reality. That is why it is called the “God Delusion”.”

    what a great book!  Think I’ll read it again for the fourth time.

    So many gods so little time! How to choose? I like the one that leaves me presents! LOL

    #25130

    @Noel – There is now a new god to consider. He is called McJesus but I think his burgers are made from reconstituted meat that has been cured for only 3 days.

    #25131

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Does middle-age make us better philosophers?

    – Kieran Setiya seems to be perpetually living in the future, and when he gets there, he then sees no more future.  But he gives an answer to his problem:  “invest more fully in the process“, “live in the present“.  I think the Buddhist idea of “non-striving” – i.e. that the journey is as important as the destination, and we should stop and smell the roses – has a lot going for it.

    #25132

    Although adages like “live in the present” have become cliques, there is a certain “wisdom” to them once they are given meaningful consideration. I don’t care for the destination. It does not compare to the journey.

    I don’t care too much about acquiring unnecessary possessions. I have just what I need and anything extra I end up with is shared or given away. I might keep a few spare packets of Vera Lynn’s though for when the no deal Brexit happens tonight. 🙂

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