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Flaw in Assertion of God's Existence

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Cacafire, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me if I disbelieve you. I don't think you're lying, I just think that you're overstating the case.

    Okay, well perhaps you could be good enough to supply an actual example, taken from the Internet, say? Suffice to say, though, that only the most misinformed Christian would make this argument, and it's nothing against Christianity to have such an argument debunked.
     
  2. Rolling_Stone

    Rolling_Stone Well-Known Member

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    I said panentheism.
     
  3. Rolling_Stone

    Rolling_Stone Well-Known Member

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    God is not unapproachable by science not because he's "outside" the universe, but because science can only discern things it can measure. By definition, the "Christian God" is infinite. Last time I checked, science was unable to discern infinity's boundary in order to make a measurement.
     
  4. crystalonyx

    crystalonyx Well-Known Member

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    Logically, there is no "outside" of the multiverse, as the multiverse is infinite in scope, and the outside is therefore undefined. Of course, I don't believe god exists, and certainly has never verifiably(everybody agrees) detected "inside" the multiverse.
     
  5. Cacafire

    Cacafire Member

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    Perhaps. I meant to say every christian that I've gotten cornered in an argument. The argument is usually a last resort so to speak, and so dififcult to counter by the friends of mine that don't believe.
    First, might I ask, why is an argument that a theologion made on the radio not acceptable? In terms of what the religious believe, it is certainly more valid than the internet, which is filled with so much false claims that it's hard to judge what christians believe, never mind atheists. Too much propaganda.

    However, let me say this. This particular argument could be brought forward by any person, well-informed, or desperate. If you, or your religion, claims that god is inside the universe, then obviously the flaw does not apply to you so you needn't worry. I would be interested in learning why you think, or eve IF you think, god can not be at least observed through science. But obviously, if you claim that god is inside the universe, then the above flaw does not apply.

    The topic of this thread, however, is the flaws found in the argument that may or may not be advanced by anyone on this planet. If you find yourself wanting to advance the argument, you must remember this thread, as you will have to defend yourself against the observed flaws in the argument.

    But if you don't? Well, it would certainly be interesting to hear what you do claim.
     
  6. Cacafire

    Cacafire Member

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    There is no such flaw in panentheism, as well.
     
  7. Cacafire

    Cacafire Member

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    Scientific instruments are much more precise than bodily senses. I fail to see how god could be felt by a weaker instrument, yet not be felt by a stronger one.
     
  8. Magic Man

    Magic Man Reaper of Conversation

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    He's not even addressing those positions, though. Obviously this OP was directed at people who claim that God is a being outside of our universe. If you don't believe that, then he is not disagreeing with you in the OP.
     
  9. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I kinda thought something like that was going on. I can't imagine a relatively sophisticated Christian pressing such an argument.

    I guess it's acceptable, but I have to take your word for it that you're representing that speaker's argument faithfully. At least if it's in print, I can analyze the argument the speaker made, and if you've misunderstood it or are unfairly treating it, I can see that. I guess I see the argument of the OP as so sophomoric that I find it hard to believe that professional theologians (as opposed to apologetic hacks) subscribe to it.

    Okay, fair enough I suppose. I guess what I'm concerned about is the possibility that you're indirectly casting aspersions on some kinds of theists by presenting one of their apologetic arguments in strawman form. Hence my concern that you present this argument as presented by a respected theologian rather than a sophomoric apologetic enthusiast.

    I guess I reject the whole inside/outside dichotomy. I believe nature declares the glory of God. I believe God can and does act within the universe. I believe the universe and God are ontologically separate.
     
  10. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    Weak/strong, precise/rough aren't at issue. The issue is whether the instrument is designed to detect the phenomenon in question. Humans are designed to perceive God. None of our physical inventions are.
     
  11. Cacafire

    Cacafire Member

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    Logic, possibly.

    You seem to be objecting to the laws through which we subject everything. It's funny, because you say an omnipotent god could subject himself to whatever rules he wanted to, regardless of the rules we use down here! Unfortunately, the category of, "omnipotent" is formed using the rules we use down here. The fact that you are designating god as "omnipotent" shows that you are using "man-made" rules, to justify ignoring all "man-made" rules. The obvious fallacy is that since the rule you are using justifying ignoring "earth rules" is itself an "earth rule" it would be wrong. But if the rule you are using is wrong, so is your argument. more on this later.
    Just by reading this, I am utterly confused. You said that you had a common sense reason for accepting some sort of alternative explanation...? How can you say that when I have not offered any explanation? All I've done is point out a flaw in a particular argument for god's existence beyond the reaches of science.

    If you are proposing an alternative argument for why god is outside the reaches of science, then I haven't heard it. I'll go back and look at the previous posts, though. I could have missed something.

    Also, you just said, right here, that you are not arguing that god is outside the universe. You seem to not understand that I was using the term, "you" as a class pluralitive, which translates better as, "if anyone". I was simply tired from typing so much, and "you" was much shorter.

    I'm glad you are not advancing the above argument. But then I am not attacking you. I am only pointing out flaws in that very same argument. Since you are not advancing it, you could hardly be expected to defend it!



    I have pointed out numerous times that I never took the first principle to be true. Never. Not once. The keyword is IF someone takes a principle as true, then they have to take that principle as true in all instances where that principle comes into play. I don't know why you think that that can not be true. Is this computer grey when it's on my desk, but then vibrantly red in the ocean?

    Jayhawker, I know you pride yourself on scholarship. But then, can you honestly say that it is acceptable to believe in the validity principle only when it suits your interests?

    I don't see how you can maintain that. I've said it once. And I know what you think about saying it multiple times, but I'm still going to say it again, because there is no escaping it, there is no way to have an honest discussion with you if you are going to maintain that you can accept a principle as valid in one instance, and wrong in another.

    Now, you said before that you did not believe in the validity of the principle of god being outside the universe and therefore outside of science. Then the argument does not apply to you.
     
  12. Cacafire

    Cacafire Member

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    I'm afraid that is wishful thinking, Dunemeister. The brain, as well as the senses, are only good at percieving material reality. If we were "designed" to percieve god, then we would not make graven images. And god would not have needed to turn himself into a man in order to get us to figure it out. (I don't even believe jesus really was the son of god, though. Just a charismatic figure who got people to believe in him)

    But the human body and mind is not an instrument "designed" for percieiving god. Yes people say we can percieve him. If that is the case, then so can scientific instruments, which are tuned to the same phenomena, and hundreds of times more accurate.
     
  13. Magic Man

    Magic Man Reaper of Conversation

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    Pollute elsewhere.
     
  14. Cacafire

    Cacafire Member

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    Ah. You're right. I will try to find this argument in print.
    I think you are mistaking what constitutes a "straw man" form of reasoning. In my opinion(thus I could be wrong), a straw man is an argument that ignores wether an argument is true or not, and focuses on some drawback that would result from it.

    My argument is not saying that the christian would have to believe in an impotence of god if he believes the principle, and therefore shouldn't believe the first principle. I am not saying that. I am arguing only that if the principle be stated as true in one instance, it must be taken as true in all instances. If you believe god is outside the universe(remember: "if"), then the principle behind that statement should always be true. I think, with a strawman, the conclusion is taken to mean that the first principle can not be true. But I am not arguing that. Actually, I am making no claims at all to the validity of the statement that "god is outside the universe, and therefore unable to be detected by science". That may, or may as well be true. But if you accept the principle behind the statement, then you must accept it in all instances, and that principle would lead us to also advance that god can not access the universe he is apart from.

    But I am not claiming that the argument is true, or untrue, so I fail to see how it can be a straw man. I only wish to point out an inconsistency in following principles.
    I reject the whole inside/outside dichotomy as well. :) It was for those people that might advance this argument that I am pointing out the flaw. Don't worry about it. :)
     
  15. UnTheist

    UnTheist Well-Known Member

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    Actually, a Strawman is a misrepresentation of a proponent's claim
     
  16. Cacafire

    Cacafire Member

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    I didn't think that I was misrepresenting the claim advanced in the argument. Was I?
     
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  17. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    The "strawman" is an argument built of straw for the purpose that it can more easily be burned down.

    In this thread both the theist and the scientist are presented with their arms waving in the wind.
     
  18. crystalonyx

    crystalonyx Well-Known Member

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    I'd say humans are designed to create god.
     
  19. Rolling_Stone

    Rolling_Stone Well-Known Member

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    Logically, there's no outside God, either.

    The multiverse theory isn't science: it's not falsifiable and "has never been verifiably (everybody agrees) detected."
     
    #99 Rolling_Stone, Jul 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  20. Rolling_Stone

    Rolling_Stone Well-Known Member

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    That's the point. Christianity is a kind of panentheism even if many of its practitioners don't regard it as such. (Just follow the link I gave.) Plenty of references in both the OT and NT.
     
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