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Featured Are Religious Explanations Always Facile?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by thomas t, Jan 8, 2021.

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  1. the former

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  2. the latter

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  3. both are equally unsibstanciated

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  1. thomas t

    thomas t non-denominational Christian

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    In this video (minute 1:31:58 ) ,

    Richard Dawkins describes explanations that religions can provide as flat-out facile while he believes science is with him.

    Granted, the Sun God coming with his chariot and lighting the day every morning… is a bit facile.

    However, when Richard Dawkins says there is “probably” no God, see Atheist Bus Campaign - Wikipedia, how much less facile do you think this really is?

    When he denies the creator proposition, he automatically favors the other option according to which the world* must be eternal in case he doesn’t want to embrace the idea of a self-popping-up world.

    An eternal world or the Sun God…. what is less evidenced or more facile?

    I personally hold that both is equally facile.

    * By "world" I mean not only this universe but all the potential universes that purportedly existed before, too.
     
  2. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Dawkins believes in an eternal world and does support the Big Bang and Inflation theory of the birth of the universe. Though I do remember him mentionning he doesn't understand well enough physics to defend such theory well. The idea that the universe is static and eternal has been widely rejected by physicists after WW2.
     
  3. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    I agree that both are untenable, but I'm not sure 'facile' is the word. If I were an Egyptian living 3650 years ago, I might well accept the explanation that the sun was a divinity, mixing both benevolence and destruction and physically manifest every day in the sky. Around the world we find a LOT of sun gods.

    Equally I would likely think the only way the world could end was for someone as powerful as a sun god to destroy it, and otherwise I wouldn't know any other way it could end,

    In 2021 I have a totally different cosmology and understanding of religious beliefs to guide my answer to the questions ─ neither is true, and there is no important different in the way each is untrue, so neither is better evidenced and both fail with a zero grade.
     
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  4. thomas t

    thomas t non-denominational Christian

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    really? Oh, I though it was evident.
    In my opinion, there are solely three options theoretically:
    1. the world was created
    2. it is eternal
    3. it popped up by itself.

    There is no fourth choice, as I see it. I don't mean just this universe, I mean the universe and potential other universes before or after.

    when Dawkins says: option 1 is "probably wrong" then there needs to be option 2 or 3 that is somehow more "probable", in Dawkins' view.
    To me, this is logic. Am I wrong here?
     
  5. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

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    Yes, deeply wrong as it ignores a wealth of potential positions and explanations. The third one could even be declared a strawman of all other positions including of the 1st one.

    Your position is indeed something that could be described as facile or, more accurately in my opinion, simplistic and caricatural.
     
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  6. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    All metaphysics are unknown in practical effect.
     
  7. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    4, 5, 6... 27... 32...

    There are many hypothesis and so there are many choices. As far as i am aware only 2 (*3*) suggest a universe from nothing.

    *3* as i understand it the bible claims god did his creation trick from nothing. Or perhaps the religious meaning of "void" differs from the accepted definition.
     
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  8. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    Learn to do epistemology and include unknown. So yes, you are wrong, since you asked. You are not wrong as bad, morally wrong and what not. You are mistaken intellectually, because you don't include the unknown and don't understand the limit of logic.
    But you are in good company. A lot of humans don't understand the limit of logic and can't do unknown. And that has nothing to with religion or not.

    Regards
    Mikkel
     
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  9. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    You need to be careful. When Dawkins says there probably is no god that is not denying that a god exists. You appear to be guilty of the error that you accuse others of when you do this.
     
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  10. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    There are countless possible other explanations. We merely cannot state them right now. And strawmanning the arguments of others is always improper if one wants a serious discussion.

    How would you feel if in a serious discussion someone said that you believe an invisible sky daddy made everything with magic spells?
     
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  11. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    The original version of the ad didn't have the word "probably." It was refused by the transit agency, so they had to revise the design.
     
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  12. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    A "bit"????

    Not at all.
    People have been claiming gods for millenia. After all those millenia, not a single one of them has ever been able to come up with reasonable evidence for such entities.

    How many more millenia of failure after failure to produce rational evidence do you need, before you'll conclude that the claims are probably false?

    An eternal universe is much more likely then an eternal god, for the simple reason that at least we know for a fact that the universe exists.
     
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  13. thomas t

    thomas t non-denominational Christian

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    I'm not talking about the universe.
    I mean the world, including possible worlds before the current universe.
    Well, if the world was not created, the wealth of potential positions and explanation boils down to an uncreated world.
    If the world wasn't created, yet it came into existence, then theoretically it must have been eternal or self-creating, I think.
    There is no other option, as I see it.
     
  14. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Eh??? Selective creation. Ok

    The world is part of the universe and came about because of accretion within the solar system
     
  15. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    Number 4 is "we don't know".

    Not at all.
    That's just the false dichotomy (or trichotomy) that you have chosen to set up. You limiting it to just those 3 options is in reality merely a testament to your lack of imagination.

    To illustrate the point: scrap 2 and 3 and replace them with "we don't know".

    So the world was created, or we don't know how it came about.

    Us not knowing how it came about, in no way prevents us from evaluating the claim of 1 in terms of probability.
    The probability of that claim does NOT AT ALL depend on us having "alternative claims".

    The claim in 1 stands or falls on its own merrit.
    And its merrit is nada, zilch, nothing, zero. It makes no testable predictions, no reasonable/rational evidence exists to support it and it is unfalsifiable. What is asserted without evidence, can be rejected without evidence.

    Very very poor logic. Fallacious, actually.
     
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  16. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    How about the Sun God versus your God?
     
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  17. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    Is a tornado "self-created"? Is it "eternal"? Is it "created" by some agent?
    or none of the above?
     
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  18. thomas t

    thomas t non-denominational Christian

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    the universe is not eternal. At least scientists ascribe an age to the universe (13.4 billion years) Age of the universe - Wikipedia

    I wasn't talking about the universe... I meant the whole thing: the universe + potential other universes before and after.
     
  19. thomas t

    thomas t non-denominational Christian

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    if you say the world is probably not created by a God or any other higher force... this is identical to saying it's probably an uncreated world.
    This is logic, in my opinion.
    "uncreated" is another term for not created.
    Right?
     
  20. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    That's a measurement of the space-time continuum. ie, the expansion of space-time.
    The big bang. The big bang does not, in any way, state that the universe had a beginning. Space-time expansion had a beginning. The universe started to expand 13.7/8 billion years ago.

    We don't know if prior to that expansion, at T = 0, the (unexpanded) "universe" appeared or if it was already there.
    It could very well be that the big bang was merely a change in state of the already existing universe.

    So when and how and by whom was it established that the multi-verse actually exists?
    There are ideas in physics that predict a multi-verse, sure... Like inflation, string theory or the "many worlds" interpretation of quantum physics. But these things are hardly facts or well-established.

    But let's pretend that we know one of these is factually correct.

    Then the same point remains: an eternal multiverse is more likely then an eternal god, because then we would know for a fact that the multi-verse actually exists.

    Meanwhile, gods can't even be distinguished from non-existing things and sheer fantasy.
     
    #20 TagliatelliMonster, Jan 8, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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