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Is there anything in the concepts of deity that is not arbitrary?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by LuisDantas, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I think you are missing the point. Science can do a great many things. It can not however relieve us from the responsibility of our moral, sociological ecological and economic duties.

    I like fantasies about Green Lantern-like powers and unlimited psychic powers as much as the next guy, but that is no reason and no excuse for failing to be realistic when the tire meets the tarmac.
     
  2. asier9

    asier9 Member

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    Your whole comment is predicated upon a simple fallacy. Santa Claus is not a logically necessary explanation for contingent reality. However "God" is. Somebody on another thread asked if we assume for sake of argument that God existed would he be classified as part of Natural or Supernatural reality? To which I responded:

    No by definition God is the category of reality to which we are appealing in order to explain the contingency of the natural world in the first place. If God were natural then such an appeal really would be a case of special pleading. God is a loaded term but here it is simply the necessary characteristics this other reality must have in order to serve as the logically consistent explanation for the world we do experience through our senses.

    If you wish to call these characteristics "Aliens" instead of "God" then yes by definition Aliens would then be inferred to exist by logical necessity, but to believe this would paramount to establishing a proof that extraterrestrial life exists would be a fallacy of equivocation.


    Since I've read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, a long time ago and have no interest in revisiting it now I would in turn make a suggestion some suggestions for you.

    Edward Freser's Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction or Etienne Gilson's Being and Some Philosophers.
     
    #142 asier9, Apr 15, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  3. Shad

    Shad Well-Known Member

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    No actually it points out that both share a presuppositional view. For God it is the false idea of contingency which has been refuted by physics for decades. For Santa it is the same idea, presents left under the tree must be contingent on Santa. We now know these presents are left by parents not Santa. Theists are still oblivious to the issues with their contingency views.

    You can create all the definitions of God you wish. However this does not make your definition facts. Beside this it is still special pleading since you use natural causality then render God supernatural and immune to the same principle. This is the definition of special pleading.

    For Freser, I have no interest in reading the work of a person that only specialty is arguing against "atheist movements" I have read many of his exchanges and dialogues with other people which were less than impressive. Although at times I agree with some of his views regarding the "movement" this has nothing to do with the soundness of his philosophical arguments which are nonexistent or just rehashing the same refuted arguments over and over. He rehashes his books with the same non-arguments he has parroted for years. If one does not buy into Thomistic metaphysics he has no argument. Since his metaphysics is unsound the rest of his points crumble around the inability to provide sound arguments. He also uses Arisotle physics which is about 300 years out of date. *Yawn*

    Gilson's work has the same issues, if one does not accept Thomistic metaphysics the arguments collapse. Again the same issue with Freser, revelation is required for the philosophy to work, which is not sound. Due to not being sound one can reject the premise causing the argument to collapse.

    Metaphysics has the same issue regardless of views, it is unsound and mostly speculation.
     
  4. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I don't think the claim that God is necessary to explain reality fails to be arbitrary, personally.

    At the end of the day it is a combination between calling ignorance "God" and just plain being disturbed by a lack of an answer, any answer at all, for a question that may well not even make sense in the first place.
     
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  5. asier9

    asier9 Member

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    I don't know much about Freser outside of his books which I fine extraordinarily cogent. Although your confusion about Freser's appeals to Aristotle leads me to believe you are actually a much less competent thinker than you both attempt to present yourself or believe yourself to be. In fact from what you have presented I am pretty sure at this point that your whole position is predicated upon little more than your personal biases and a failure to understand the arguments you've considered. Obviously I can't disabuse you of something as simple as your continued misunderstanding over special pleading so good luck to you.
     
  6. Shad

    Shad Well-Known Member

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    Nope I have read his books. He appeals to old causation arguments and has done so in all his books about God or rebuttals against atheist moments in regards to the concept of God. You can find reviews and other articles covering his work which confirms this. You can find articles in which he throws tantrums in type. I already understand his arguments as the rebuttals to his philosophical arguments are taught in philosophy classes, right after the flawed argument is presented. Something which Freser seems to forget every time he puts pen to paper. Perhaps you should look up these rebuttals so you can figure out it is not I lacking an understanding of Freser but Freser lacking the ability to deal with his arguments failures. Also if you think Aristotle causation is still in use you need to enroll in a physic class. Beside a poor philosopher is one that still follows refuted ideas such as Aquinas 5 ways, actually 3 ways since 2 are just rehashed arguments using different words. I see little worth in the work of a man that ignores what his own field has refuted for centuries. Rehashing refuted boiler plate apologetics does not say much about how capable one is of actually making their case. Heck the man can not even quote other people correctly in his books... He creates strawman quotes to support his presupposition against a view not the view that the person quoted is actually putting forward. Look at many of his Dawkins quotes just to see how many are in fact strawman quotes.
     
    #146 Shad, Apr 26, 2015
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  7. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    And I thought you were intellecutal.

    The first is saying that one does not throw out that which has worth because it is in the company of things that don't have worth.

    I think you also wanted to know how it applies to what you said. You say there are too many rocks to be able to see which one is valuable so throw them all out but I say there is one that is valuable allthough not as obvious as an opal among quartz.

    The second says that just having something doesn't make it useful. The object becomes useful when you use it. For instance a hoe is useful to garden but if one is not using it to garden it is just sitting in the shed with no use.

    I am making an assumption that you mean the source exists. A god that is just there is not as useful as a God who can help.
     
    #147 Muffled, Apr 28, 2015
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  8. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    And what does that have to do with the subject matter?
     
  9. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Even from person to person within the same religion there is not consistency - and truly cannot be for 100% of aspects each tends to apply to his/her God. This points to everything about a deity being subjective and therefore unknowable for certain by any given person of that faith - meaning of any faith. And for that reason, even within a religious group it does, indeed, seem very arbitrary.

    "My God loves everyone." - How do you know this? Isn't this really just a guess or your opinion?
    "He told me." - How do you know He didn't lie?
    "He's not capable of lying." - How do you know?
    "He told me." - Hmmm...
     
  10. jtartar

    jtartar Well-Known Member

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    "luisDantas",
    Some of these imaginations could be correct, if we were not talking about the Almighty Creator, of heaven and earth, the whole creation, whether A Universe, or Polyverses.
    The simplest logic would tell us that The One who created everything has the right to give laws to His creation, both inanimate and animate.
    If you think about it, you would have to recognize that His creation NEEDS laws, to keep from chaos in the inanimate world, and trouble, at the least, and death to His living creation. Man, because he is so limited in his knowledge, needed guidence, because seems like the right path to take might very well, lead to death, in the unforeseeable future, Prov 14:12, 16:25.
    Let us think for a minute; what exactly is the definition you are using of Arbitrary.
    The usual definition is; making laws because you can or have the right to, the authority to. That is definitely not God's way. God loves His creation and gave man rules to help him live without problems, Isa 48:17-19, Deut 10:12,13.
    God did not make rules, just because He had the right, He gave rules to help his creation, because man cannot see how things will turn out in the future, unless God directed him, Jere 10:23,24. Remember, God is perfect in knowledge, Job 36:4, 37:16, and is Good in every way, Job 34:10,12, Deut 32:4, Ps 32:8,9.
    God loves those who love Him, Prov 8:17, and He has purposes to make a paradise earth for all who love Him, and His son, Jesus, Rev 21:3-7.
    Even when God judges the earth, it will be because of love for His creation. It is an impossibility to make a paradise for His people, if there are others who have no love for man or God, Rom 3:5,6. God wants all to repent and live, but the time has almost run out, we only have a short time to show God we are worthy to be preserved into the New Earth, mentioned at Rev 21:1, where even death will be done away with, 1Cor 15:26.
     
  11. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    One-True-God is not a human construct.
    His attributes are truly mentioned in His world Revealed in the original revelation, in the original language and explained well in different places of the revelation.
    The same are also exhibited in the nature if truly understood.
    There is no chance of their being arbitrary .

    Regards
     
  12. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I see no evidence whatsoever that it is not.

    I believe in your sincerity, but that is no reason for me to agree.
     
  13. FunctionalAtheist

    FunctionalAtheist Hammer of Reason

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    I think you are asking "Is there an 'objective' definition of god! Does that not require an objective demonstration of god?
     
  14. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    That is a reasonable perspective. But another, often neglected one is that people simply don't have reasonably coherent understandings of what meaning the word is supposed to have - to the point that we all would probably attain better mutual understanding without using it.
     
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  15. Disciple of Jesus

    Disciple of Jesus Veteran Member

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    Deities are cultural, and then, they are personal, as well. This is going to depend on the person, and how they relate to a religion they are brought up with, etc. A statement, like, ''I believe in such and such deity'', etc., yes, pretty much tells you nothing. In that sense, the names of deities, and even denominational adherence, is arbitrary, until one further figures out what the person means by their statements.
     
  16. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I agree.

    It actually tells me something. The odd part is that most people seem to expec the "such and such" part to be optional. Just saying that they believe in God and expecting that to be useful information is fairly normal in this society I live on.

    I find that rather weird, frankly.


    I would go a bit further than that.

    Monotheism is by its own nature very little informative in and of itself. Basically, it leaves me alone attempting to guess what the person associates with the idea of the existence of only one true god, including how deeply (if at all) the implications were considered before the decision to claim monotheism was reached.

    I guess it would be a bit different if the local social pressure were not so strongly pro-Christianity and pro-theism. People who truly make a conscious choice of adherence would be more common, and their stances might be on average a bit more well-thought out. But monotheism is by nature always in need of considerable clarification, IMO.

    By contrast, learning that someone is a devotee of, say, Shakti or Thor tells me considerably more, and gives more than a slight bit of hint of a well-reasoned attitude towards belief. At the very least, it strongly hints that the devotee realizes and accepts that other people will often not share their exact beliefs, if only because he will be given little choice.

    In any case, that is just a good starting point. To truly learn what one's beliefs are it is always necessary to go further than just learning the number and names of whatever gods are believed in.
     
  17. Disciple of Jesus

    Disciple of Jesus Veteran Member

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    That type of monotheism isn't my understanding of ''monotheism'', so someone saying they believe in thor wouldn't mean what it means to you. To be practical, I probably could ''assume'' some things about peoples stated beliefs, but I don't have the interest to do so unless in discussion.
     
  18. Disciple of Jesus

    Disciple of Jesus Veteran Member

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    Some of this is regional. In the situations where people have brought up their 'religious beliefs', like at work or something, their beliefs could be assumed, just from few words, really. Not always, but if they were trying to argue about something, or what not, yeah, could be assumed.
     
  19. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Thor-believers aren't monotheists. Well, I suppose there might be an odd duck out there.
     
  20. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    It can, but it should not. We should not disrespect the intensely personal nature of those beliefs.
     
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