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The God Delusion: A Logical Fallacy?

Discussion in 'Spirituality & Religion' started by Solid444, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Gordon EF

    Gordon EF Moderator Staff Member

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    The conviction that there is a supernatural creator is baseless and to define your whole way of thinkng backwards from that point is arbitrary.

    How do you know they're both impossible. Maybe you should contact the wider scientifc community, I'm sure they'd love to know you've solved this problem. You'll probably get a Nobel prize.

    God is an easy shortcut on the face of it. The intellectual path of least resistance. But it doesn't serve as a satisfying solution to questions you can't answer. I don't know how the universe exists...something magicmust have made it. I don't know how th magic thing exists...something magicer must have made it. See where this leads?
     


  2. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

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    My entire point is the problem is unsolvable. Those who have put aside all things supernatural are also often guilty of not looking past the end of their noses. It's not just how this universe exists. That goes back to the big bang, but it's not like there was nothing happening before the big bang.

    When you compare creation myths, ultimately they sound no sillier than "there was nothing and then there was a big bang." This is the understanding of the scientifically minded, and it's equally absurd on the face of it. When there is nothing there is nothing to produce something. So what existed before the big bang is just unknown and different, not nothing.

    There is tremendous complexity in astronomy and physics, but it's easy to leap far beyond any current knowledge with "and before that, and before that." What sense does "there is no before that" make? None. Nature is as supernatural as God.
     
  3. peledre

    peledre Member

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    Stating something is unsolvable or unknowable, and then inserting a supernatural agent into that space is a really worn out practice.

    I don't know if we'll ever know everything, but I hesitate to declare anything "unknowable" or "unsolvable"
     
  4. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

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    I hesitate too, but we're dealing with the singular big one here. This is not manned flight. Or intergalactic space travel. Or curing death. We're talking about the origin of reality. Not gonna happen. 100% guaranteed. If anybody thinks it is, that's a leap of faith actually bigger than any religious one.
     


  5. Gordon EF

    Gordon EF Moderator Staff Member

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    You don't know that though. You just keep repeating it. That doesn't make it any more correct.

    What's at the end of our noses then? That suggests there's something obvious. Usually, "obvious" isn't a word I'd use to describe the existence of something for which there is precisely zero evidence. Maybe you have another definition though?

    And again, you're making statements about what was going on at/before the BB and about the creation of the universe when you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

    Possibly but it was you who said "there was nothing and then there was a big bang". That's probably why it sounds just as silly as the numerous creation stories.

    I'm quite sure the consensus among physicists and astronomers isn't "there was nothing and then there was a big bang" though. There is no consensus on the creation of the universe among scientists because scientists tend not to make definitive statements about things which they have absolutely no evidence for. That's why science will always be better than just making things up.

    That was my whole point. You seem to be saying that the universe is too complicated to have just come out of nothing. Now, by definition, anything which could create the universe would have to be more complicated. So, in your mind, how could this even more complicated thing have come from nothing? Well, if it didn't something even more complicated would have to have created it. Where would that come from. Your 'logic' would just lead you backwards and backwards in some ridiculous loop until you admitted that something did come from nothing or admit defeat and revert back to the, childishly, comforting "it's magic" conclusion.
     
  6. Gordon EF

    Gordon EF Moderator Staff Member

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    Again, you are the one making definitive claims. I wouldn't say solving this 'problem' is 100% going to happen or not going to happen. So I'm taking absolutely no "leap of faith". You're taking a leap of faith because you don't have enough knowledge to come to a definitive conclusion but you come to one anyway. I simply cannot be wrong on this matter. You can, so it's you making the leap of faith.
     
  7. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

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    My point is that you're making an equally irrational leap of faith when you say the origin of reality is knowable, as the religious people are.

    You refuse to even think about it yourself, independently, again just like the religious people.

    I have no idea what I'm talking about when I say what was before the big bang, and what was before that? It's a simple question where just by repeating it science is quickly out of its depth.

    No, I'm not saying that the universe is too complicated to have come out of nothing. One speck of dust can't come out of nothing.
    It has nothing to do with creationism or intelligent design, because God equally can't have come out of nothing and have no precedents.
     
  8. Gordon EF

    Gordon EF Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll repeat myself since that seems to be the way this thread is going...

    Again, you are the one making definitive claims. I wouldn't say solving this 'problem' is 100% going to happen or not going to happen. So I'm taking absolutely no "leap of faith". You're taking a leap of faith because you don't have enough knowledge to come to a definitive conclusion but you come to one anyway. I simply cannot be wrong on this matter. You can, so it's you making the leap of faith.

    Eh?

    Questions are only simple when you know the answer. We don't know the answer.

    Fair enough.

    As I said before though, "science" and scientists haven't decided that the universe came from nothing though. It's one idea that some people have put forward.

    What do you think happened?
     
  9. jmartin1966

    jmartin1966 Member

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    Why then do so many people believe something that is not logical and for which there is no proof?
     
  10. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

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    Can't be wrong on what? No proof for a deity?
     
  11. Ombak

    Ombak Moderator Staff Member

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    On "I don't know (whether the origin of the universe is a solvable problem) until I see more evidence".
     
  12. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

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    Evidence. lol. Like I said, you'll be waiting a long, long time for that. BTW, the origin of this universe is the big bang. But that's not the beginning I'm talking about. I won't repeat this anymore, but evidence can't keep up with the question "and what came before that?" when repeated enough times.
     
  13. Ombak

    Ombak Moderator Staff Member

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    Once again, you're making a statement of absolute certainty - that we won't reach a point where there is no "before that". Who knows? Not I and not you, but there's nothing wrong with basing answers on evidence and saying I don't know when you don't.
     
  14. Solid444

    Solid444 Member+

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    If faith is defined as belief without evidence, then everyone has faith in something.

    I am NOT saying that you should believe in a god because of faith, all I am saying is that people who claim ¨you should not have faith in anything¨ or ¨I don´t have faith in anything, everything that I believe is based on evidence¨ have either not thought about it long enough or have some rare epistemology that I would be interested in hearing about.
     
  15. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

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    So true. Even evidence often leads to misplaced faith in some overgeneralized concept.
     
  16. The Guardian

    The Guardian Member

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    Just in case nobody has mentioned it The God Delusion is on again at 9.00 on More 4 tonight (Wed).
     
  17. Gordon EF

    Gordon EF Moderator Staff Member

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    Like so many of these debates, a lot depends on slightly differing definitions of the same word. I can have 'faith' in my parents to help me if I'm in trouble, I can have 'faith' in my girlfriend not to cheat on me, I can have 'faith' that what I'm being taught in school or university is the truth or I could have 'faith' in a god.

    To me, all these different kinds of faith are not the same and whilst none can ever be proven to be the case 100%, there is some evidence that would lead you to have that faith in some of these circumstances. In other circumstances you just have that faith because you want to.
     
  18. Solid444

    Solid444 Member+

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    I was actually refering to something else entirely. I was refering to certain axioms that cannot be proven to be true, but that we take to be true without evidence. There could not possibly be evidence for these beliefs because they need to exist to even get off the ground and examine evidence. We have to believe these things without evidence, with faith.

    These include metaphysical and logical truths. There is no way to prove that the external world is real, that you senses are consistent, the law of identity, the law of non contradiction, the law of excluded middle, etc. The only way to attempt to prove these is to assume these things are true to begin with, but that would be circular. The foundation of all of our beliefs are based on faith.

    This shows that the belief ¨you have faith in X, therefore, it is invalid to believe in X¨ is not only wrong but it is also self defeating.
     
  19. Gordon EF

    Gordon EF Moderator Staff Member

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    True but to actually believe that "You can't prove the external world is real so your 'faith' that it is real and my faith in the fact that Odin exists are equivalent" is a bit weird.
     
  20. Naughtius Maximus

    Naughtius Maximus Member+

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    'Before implies time as we perceive it. If there was no time, there's no before... therefore the question's meaningless.
     
  21. argentine soccer fan

    argentine soccer fan Moderator Staff Member

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    As who perceives it? Human beings?
     
  22. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

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    The question is actually the same. How would "no time" ever turn into time? People have such blind faith in science that they don't realize that everything or even anything is not as knowable as they assume. When you think you have an acceptable answer and there are no more questions to be asked in a certain direction, there is very little difference between that and simplistic religious faith.
     
  23. benztown

    benztown Member+

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    That question can be answered:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5667803493810086553#
     
  24. revelationx

    revelationx Member+

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    People do not have 'blind faith in science'. Science is based on theories being backed up by evidence. Religions rely on faith because they lack evidence.

    Every clergymen or religious preacher would much prefer to have irrefutable evidence that their religious teaching are true, however they strangely all lack this evidence and have to rely on blind faith. They even often attempt to make out as if having to take a position based on faith alone (due to lack of evidence) is somehow a position of strength when it is clearly a position of weakness when proselytizing.

    So in effect you have a multitude of different preachers all claiming that they are telling the truth despite contradicting each other and all of them offering zero evidence that they have it right and the others are mistaken. Zero evidence is hardly a compelling argument imo in helping to determine the truth.

    If some deem that there is not enough compelling evidence for the Big Bang Theory to accept it then fair enough. However it is not intellectually honest to then assert that God must have been the initiating force as there is zero evidence of this. Wishful thinking does not count as evidence. The truth of the cause of the Big Bang is currently unknown. It is not satisfactory to simply explain the unknown as being the work of God. It was this false reasoning that led many to believe supernatural explanations for various previously unexplained phenomena such as wind, the tides, earthquakes, eclipses etc.
     
  25. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

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    I can't really follow this, but this guy makes very clear that nobody knows what happened before the Big Bang, experts don't even know how to begin to talk about it yet, and that his own wild ass guesses are purely speculative and require "leaps of faith"--he uses those very words.

    People do have blind faith in science. Most scientifically-minded people take it for granted that reality ultimately has a coherent explanation, and from that standpoint call the idea of a god, irrational. But it's pure faith to think that the orderliness we perceive exists anywhere outside our bubble of perception, instrumental or otherwise. Or even that the seeming coherency is not just a function of homo sapien consciousness.
     

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