putting religion in it's proper place

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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Scott Mayers wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:08 pm So, in other words, even IF we set up government as the 'secular' means of defining morality, what other than FORCE by other people is left to command how we should behave.
That's quite accurate, Scott. That's an important question, and one I have been emphasizing.
It is a valid concern of which was taken up by Neitzche and where the answer to "God is dead" is that he expects us to still set up some fake religion as a means to still assure people are compelled to behave 'morally' when no one is watching.
We must not misunderstand Nietzsche here. He said that people would be tempted to set up some system of morality even if they knew God was dead. He didn't say he thought that was a good thing. Rather, he argued that what people should do is get "beyond good and evil," as his famous book title says, and not consider either.
My arguments with him is to argue that we still have the same problem when religion is used except that for those in power, they are able to have the advantage when or where they IMPOSE religion upon others while simultaneously NOT be religious themselves in fact.

I totally agree, actually, Scott.

There is no justification for anyone -- religious or secular -- to impose on another...and no justification if they do. But what there IS warrant for doing -- as both secular and religious people realize -- is directing other people to features of reality that DO justify certain moral precepts.

The secularist says "We live in a universe with no God." The religious person says, "We live in a universe with [insert various beings here], or God," though different religions say very different things. And both consider that telling other people about their view is just fine, and any laws that are truly just and good should be premised on the way things really are in reality. They agree absolutely on that.

The problem is that they think reality is different. A reality with a God (if true) has, in it, authority and grounds for morality; a reality with no God has no grounds for morality. Then secular morality is ungrounded, unwarranted and can only be foisted on people by force.

Nietzsche saw this clearly. That's why he called for the banishing of all morality altogether. A secular moralizing would be even more unjustified and arbitrary than a religious one, even if both were arbitrary. For at least the religionist would be acting consistently with his own worldview, even if he were wrong; whereas the secularist would be acting in bad faith relative to his own worldview.
Last edited by Immanuel Can on Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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Advocate wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:47 pm Things which are not externally replicable are indistinguishable from fiction, and
Anecdote is the lowest form of evidence.
"Replicable" is a funny word there. Are you implying that something can't be real unless you can "replicate" it? If that were the case, your own birth would have to be "unreal."

Anecdote is not what's in view, in mysticism. They don't necessarily have an anecdote per se. They claim instead to having had an "illumination." But you're right, as I have said...such "illuminations" are not evidences to anyone but possibly the person who had them.
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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[quote="Scott Mayers" post_id=480925 time=1605978531 user_id=11118]
So, in other words, even IF we set up government as the 'secular' means of defining morality, what other than FORCE by other people is left to command how we [i]should[/i] behave. [/quote]

Narf! Self-interest is sufficient to produce basic morality. Add reasoning and you get ethics.
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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[quote="Immanuel Can" post_id=480938 time=1605981499 user_id=9431]
[quote=Advocate post_id=480936 time=1605980859 user_id=15238]
Things which are not externally replicable are indistinguishable from fiction, and
Anecdote is the lowest form of evidence.
[/quote]
"Replicable" is a funny word there. Are you implying that something can't be real unless you can "replicate" it? If that were the case, your own birth would have to be "unreal."
[/quote]

You don't have to justify your birth by direct replicability, you have to justify the means by which you justify your birth by direct replicability. Both empirical measurement and logic, the two ways of knowing, rest on replicable certainty. Things keep happening the same way, hence we discover laws of the universe. The evidence of your birth is logical. You are alive, all currently existing humans were born, therefore you were born.
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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Advocate wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:59 pm
Scott Mayers wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:08 pm So, in other words, even IF we set up government as the 'secular' means of defining morality, what other than FORCE by other people is left to command how we should behave.
Narf! Self-interest is sufficient to produce basic morality. Add reasoning and you get ethics.
Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?
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Immanuel Can
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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Advocate wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:59 pm Narf! Self-interest is sufficient to produce basic morality.
It isn't, actually...because all of our ethical precepts are against our inclinations.

We have a saying, "You shall not steal," because people DO desire to steal. And stealing is clearly in their immediate self-interest.

Reason doesn't provide us with ethics. Reason can only help us find some ethical principles if two things are already true: namely, that we have some sound first principles from which to reason, and secondly, that the nature of reality is such that values are objective and can be discovered through reasoning.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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Advocate wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:03 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:58 pm
Advocate wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:47 pm Things which are not externally replicable are indistinguishable from fiction, and
Anecdote is the lowest form of evidence.
"Replicable" is a funny word there. Are you implying that something can't be real unless you can "replicate" it? If that were the case, your own birth would have to be "unreal."
You don't have to justify your birth by direct replicability, you have to justify the means by which you justify your birth by direct replicability.
No, that won't work. If you replicate somebody else's birth, that doesn't provide you sufficient reason to believe in your own. That would have to be an inference, a sort of analogy that what happened in the case you "replicated" was the same as your own case. But you wouldn't have any empirical data to prove that was so.
Both empirical measurement and logic, the two ways of knowing, rest on replicable certainty.
Actually, both are untrue. Empirical measurement only increases probability estimates, not certainty. And logic doesn't rest at all on replication. It rests on basic principles like Aristotle's Laws, but doesn't make any appeal at all to replicability.
You are alive, all currently existing humans were born, therefore you were born.
This is a good example of the fallacy.

"I am alive" does not give me, "all currently existing humans were born." And both together doesn't give me "therefore I was born."

You need a first principle, something that states, "All live human beings have been born the same way." So no clones, no cyborgs, no asexual reproduction...

Then you need, "I am a human being" which we can perhaps grant...though you could still be a program or a bot, at least on this forum. And then, and only then, do you get your conclusion.

But you don't know that for certain. You just estimate that it's improbable that things like AI or clones can happen. You don't KNOW, and you certainly aren't CERTAIN. But you think the alternatives highly improbable, and invest your faith accordingly. That's not certain, though.
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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[quote="Immanuel Can" post_id=480953 time=1605986878 user_id=9431]
[quote=Advocate post_id=480939 time=1605981593 user_id=15238]
Narf! Self-interest is sufficient to produce basic morality.
[/quote]
It isn't, actually...because all of our ethical precepts are against our inclinations.

We have a saying, "You shall not steal," because people DO desire to steal. And stealing is clearly in their immediate self-interest.

Reason doesn't provide us with ethics. Reason can only help us find some ethical principles if two things are already true: namely, that we have some sound first principles from which to reason, and secondly, that the nature of reality is such that values are objective and can be discovered through reasoning.
[/quote]

If you believe self-interest isn't sufficient for morality, i encourage to see how many self-interested results you get without morality.
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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Advocate wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:39 pm If you believe self-interest isn't sufficient for morality, i encourage to see how many self-interested results you get without morality.
Oh, many, many!

I get as many possessions as I desire. I get as many women as I desire. I can act with impunity to obtain anything I desire. Without morality, self-interest carries me toward some wonderful results. On the other hand, I can play selectively "good" and fool my neighbours so that I never pay any unpleasant consequences, either.

Since it is so clearly in their self-interest to be free of moral constraint, or at least selective in their application of it so as to maximize their self-interest, how do you justify telling anybody not to steal, molest, rape, burn, pollute, violate, and so on with impunity if they believe they can?
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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[quote="Immanuel Can" post_id=480960 time=1605987800 user_id=9431]
[quote=Advocate post_id=480959 time=1605987563 user_id=15238]
If you believe self-interest isn't sufficient for morality, i encourage to see how many self-interested results you get without morality.
[/quote]
Oh, many, many!

I get as many possessions as I desire. I get as many women as I desire. I can act with impunity to obtain anything I desire. Without morality, self-interest carries me toward some wonderful results. On the other hand, I can play selectively "good" and fool my neighbours so that I never pay any unpleasant consequences, either.

Since it is so clearly in their self-interest to be free of moral constraint, or at least selective in their application of it so as to maximize their self-interest, how do you justify telling anybody not to steal, molest, rape, burn, pollute, violate, and so on with impunity if they believe they can?
[/quote]

That's a child's level of morality. "Get whatever you can" has a much lower ceiling than "cooperate".
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:36 pm
Advocate wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:03 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:58 pm
"Replicable" is a funny word there. Are you implying that something can't be real unless you can "replicate" it? If that were the case, your own birth would have to be "unreal."
You don't have to justify your birth by direct replicability, you have to justify the means by which you justify your birth by direct replicability.
No, that won't work. If you replicate somebody else's birth, that doesn't provide you sufficient reason to believe in your own. That would have to be an inference, a sort of analogy that what happened in the case you "replicated" was the same as your own case. But you wouldn't have any empirical data to prove that was so.
Both empirical measurement and logic, the two ways of knowing, rest on replicable certainty.
Actually, both are untrue. Empirical measurement only increases probability estimates, not certainty. And logic doesn't rest at all on replication. It rests on basic principles like Aristotle's Laws, but doesn't make any appeal at all to replicability.
You are not treating Inductive reasoning as a subset of Logic, something that used to be ignored. Now, we call the prior Deductive-only logic of the past, "formal", to distinguish the difference of view. Formal logic (deduction) treats the conclusion as necessarily following the premises whereas, Induction (sometimes called, "informal") is a kind of inverse: a process of looking at patterns to guess what the formal logic MIGHT be. In this way, 'science' takes up Induction as its main method of determining reality by 'sensing' (origin of 'science') instances and then electing from them the most probable as the conclusion. This then is reversed to test if a formal logic using such guesses suffices to give us our original observation. This means it has to be 'repeatable'. One instance in which you 'repeat' the logic you guessed as being unable to 'predictably' give the identical output would then require rejecting.

I think of "Science" as the process of tearing apart what we see in order to try to guess at how something works. Then, if you think you've got the logic correct, you require running it forward to see if you can get it to work as you initially observed it. So "logic" is the actual forward process or mechanism that makes something work.

If you take a old clock, for instance, the 'observation' might be to see that it gives you time. But if you did not build the clock, you might try to tear it apart carefully, observing each stage of deconstruction and keep careful notes of this. This is the 'science' part. Then, if you have figured out how it works correctly, you assume doing just the opposite by reconstructing it. If you fail to get the clock working, that is 'replicability'. If your logic is correct, you should also be able to reconstruct a new clock from scratch, of which the success of the project would be the 'replication' you seek. For each of any scientific theory, the logic guessed is technically NOT the 'science' but the 'logic' guessed that leads to the expected conclusion becomes the 'theory'. Since this is possibly not completely correct, but nevertheless useful, it is kept until a better explanation comes along. However, if and where possible, the new proposal would be most effective if you could at least still use the new proposed logic with less complexity where ideal.

So 'logic' OF a 'scientific guess (hypothesis)', can be considered a replicable. Note that I DO agree about this with respect to grand theory involving the very large and small. So in context to the question of religion as being one such topic, I understand your argument. But the grand theories tend to remain 'theories' and NOT 'theorems' because many cannot be conclusively certain and are often relatively more vague than the more proximal sciences, like chemistry, biology, et cetera.

BUT, here is where you CAN use this kind of thinking to propose what may be POSSIBLE: If we can create some 'logic' that replicates God, or some property of something we thought was impossible or hard to prove, you can at least prove it 'possible', as a stepping stone to further inquiry. The cell phone, for instance, is a kind of 'mind-reading' aparatus that we thought remained science fiction at best, and supposed, "pyschic" phenomena at worse. But note that where people have proposed some 'psychic' capacity, they did so PRIOR to actual mechanisms...that is, using actual physics to demonstrate it 'repeatably'. So, even if someone recognized some potential psychic ability to communicate to anyone independently (a partial property of being 'psychic'), the lack of actual 'logic' beyond superficial religious declarations are all that the psychic can assert. They thus lack the ability to 'replicate' the phenomena from the perspective of those who require this to reasonably gamble in paying them any further attention outside of entertainment.
You are alive, all currently existing humans were born, therefore you were born.
This is a good example of the fallacy.

"I am alive" does not give me, "all currently existing humans were born." And both together doesn't give me "therefore I was born."

You need a first principle, something that states, "All live human beings have been born the same way." So no clones, no cyborgs, no asexual reproduction...

Then you need, "I am a human being" which we can perhaps grant...though you could still be a program or a bot, at least on this forum. And then, and only then, do you get your conclusion.

But you don't know that for certain. You just estimate that it's improbable that things like AI or clones can happen. You don't KNOW, and you certainly aren't CERTAIN. But you think the alternatives highly improbable, and invest your faith accordingly. That's not certain, though.
This is still what we are able to 'replicate' of things other beings. I can test this by having sex and observing whether this leads to the origin of a 'child'. This kind of question is what differentiates the question of the supposed 'miracle of Jesus born of a virgin'. If you cannot witness a normal reproduction of this sort, then the lack of replicability suggests that the story was either mistaken or misinterpreted.

As a comparable 'theory' on what was meant by the origin of the story, one could propose that the original referred to Mary as having a child out of formal wedlock. The name 'Mary', also hints at this. It was the term for the female stage PRIOR to having children. You needed to "get married BEFORE you had a child or the child was considered "illegitimate" or accidental. In the case of Jesus, the nature of its 'accident' would be a type of 'theory' we can guess that has the ability to be tested by its logic. The logic (as a guessed mechanism of reasoning) in the cas of Jesus birth, here, then has a more 'sound' justification than the belief that Mary didn't actually have sex.
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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Advocate wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:39 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:27 pm
Advocate wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:59 pm Narf! Self-interest is sufficient to produce basic morality.
It isn't, actually...because all of our ethical precepts are against our inclinations.

We have a saying, "You shall not steal," because people DO desire to steal. And stealing is clearly in their immediate self-interest.

Reason doesn't provide us with ethics. Reason can only help us find some ethical principles if two things are already true: namely, that we have some sound first principles from which to reason, and secondly, that the nature of reality is such that values are objective and can be discovered through reasoning.
If you believe self-interest isn't sufficient for morality, i encourage to see how many self-interested results you get without morality.
I'm with Immanual Can on this. At least, the way you word this is itself circular.

I happen to understand why, even as an atheist, the religious person's argument as you can read above with my correspondence with Immanuel. I think we CREATE 'morals' and that no such particular statement of ideal conduct would be guaranteed to be shareable. This is because dillemmas exist whereby what is relatively favorable to one, can (and is more often) assured to be unfavorable to another, not matter how well intended the rule proposed is. I think morality is 'political' or, for smaller groups or individuals, negotiated social contracts that cannot possibly favor all.

Note that your point about being 'selfish' is correct but lacks an ability to justify whether one's particular selfishness suffices to favor others. Morals are 'conditional' and yet are also not guaranteed. If they are NOT guaranteed, this suffices to assert them as non-deductive (not formally logical). The are nevertheless inductive patterns that derive FROM each of our initial experiences. Collectively though, there cannot be even the assumption of something 'altrustic' because what does this mean if what is deemed BEST for all people but one IF you happened to be that lone one out? Being non-religious, I know that if I was the one left out and all others simply hated me AND I had the 'selfish' nature properly in check, I might appropriately choose to save myself at the expense of all the rest. That is more 'natural' when considering self interest alone.
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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Scott Mayers wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:33 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:36 pm
Advocate wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:03 pm

You don't have to justify your birth by direct replicability, you have to justify the means by which you justify your birth by direct replicability.
No, that won't work. If you replicate somebody else's birth, that doesn't provide you sufficient reason to believe in your own. That would have to be an inference, a sort of analogy that what happened in the case you "replicated" was the same as your own case. But you wouldn't have any empirical data to prove that was so.
Both empirical measurement and logic, the two ways of knowing, rest on replicable certainty.
Actually, both are untrue. Empirical measurement only increases probability estimates, not certainty. And logic doesn't rest at all on replication. It rests on basic principles like Aristotle's Laws, but doesn't make any appeal at all to replicability.
You are not treating Inductive reasoning as a subset of Logic,
That's not so. I'm merely pointing out that empirical methods only ever lead to probability, not certainty. And that's the case. As for "replication," it's not a requirement of deductive, inductive or even abductive logics.

I think of "Science" as the process of tearing apart what we see in order to try to guess at how something works. [/quote]
To "guess." Yes, indeed. That's what a hypothesis is...and informed estimation that the experiment will yield the expected results...but by no means is it a certainty. If it were, the experiment would be redundant and unnecessary altogether.

But even if you did 20 experiments testing the hypothesis, and even if you tried to cover every variable and contingency that might change the outcome of your experiment set, you never know if you got them all, or what would happen on the 21st, 22nd or 23rd try. Since nobody in the history of the world has ever done the complete set of possible experiments for even one hypothesis, you are always left with only a probability estimate...but something considerably less than absolute certainty.
For each of any scientific theory, the logic guessed is technically NOT the 'science' but the 'logic' guessed
Logic doesn't "guess." People "guess," and then try to reason from that guess, hoping they're correct. Logic is just a disciplining of that reasoning process...but it doesn't generate the "guess" or the hypothesis. That comes purely from the experimenter, by his intuition.
....if we can create some 'logic' that replicates God,

Logic doesn't "replicate," just as mathematics doesn't "replicate" things. Both are processes, not products.
I can test this by having sex and observing whether this leads to the origin of a 'child'.
No, you can't. The child will not be "you." So you will know something about the child's origin, but nothing about yours...unless you are confident that a perfect analogy can be made between your birth and the child's. But you don't really know that. You could be a clone, or have come from asexual reproduction, or some other method. No number of other children will tell you for certain about yourself. You'll have to trust the analogy. You'll have to have faith that the child is relevantly the same as your own case. But you won't have certainty.
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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Scott Mayers wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:51 pm Being non-religious, I know that if I was the one left out and all others simply hated me AND I had the 'selfish' nature properly in check, I might appropriately choose to save myself at the expense of all the rest. That is more 'natural' when considering self interest alone.
That's very frank. Thank you, Scott. I might well say the same of myself. If I were secular person, and if I felt it would be to my advantage to be only selectively moral, or perhaps downright immoral on occasion, I would see no logical reason why my "self-interest" would not prevail, and should not prevail.

Now, I might be too chicken to do the thing I was thinking of, or fear the social consequences and not act; but I'd feel no better for that: for "brave men die but once, but cowards die a thousand times," as the old saying goes. I would feel myself a coward for NOT being willing to take the initiative to seize what I wanted, and for being held back by scruples and fears I felt we're not objectively necessary.
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Re: putting religion in it's proper place

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[quote="Immanuel Can" post_id=480976 time=1605991897 user_id=9431]
[quote="Scott Mayers" post_id=480973 time=1605990811 user_id=11118]
[quote="Immanuel Can" post_id=480955 time=1605987365 user_id=9431]

No, that won't work. If you replicate somebody else's birth, that doesn't provide you sufficient reason to believe in your own. That would have to be an inference, a sort of analogy that what happened in the case you "replicated" was the same as your own case. But you wouldn't have any empirical data to prove that was so.


Actually, both are untrue. Empirical measurement only increases probability estimates, not certainty. And logic doesn't rest at all on replication. It rests on basic principles like Aristotle's Laws, but doesn't make any appeal at all to replicability.[/quote]
You are not treating Inductive reasoning as a subset of Logic, [/quote]
That's not so. I'm merely pointing out that empirical methods only ever lead to probability, not certainty. And that's the case. As for "replication," it's not a requirement of deductive, inductive or even abductive logics.

I think of "Science" as the process of tearing apart what we see in order to try to guess at how something works. [/quote]
To "guess." Yes, indeed. That's what a hypothesis is...and informed estimation that the experiment will yield the expected results...but by no means is it a certainty. If it were, the experiment would be redundant and unnecessary altogether.

But even if you did 20 experiments testing the hypothesis, and even if you tried to cover every variable and contingency that might change the outcome of your experiment set, you never know if you got them all, or what would happen on the 21st, 22nd or 23rd try. Since nobody in the history of the world has ever done the complete set of possible experiments for even one hypothesis, you are always left with only a probability estimate...but something considerably less than absolute certainty.

[quote]For each of any scientific theory, the logic guessed is technically NOT the 'science' but the 'logic' guessed [/quote]
Logic doesn't "guess." People "guess," and then try to reason from that guess, hoping they're correct. Logic is just a disciplining of that reasoning process...but it doesn't generate the "guess" or the hypothesis. That comes purely from the experimenter, by his intuition.

[quote]....if we can create some 'logic' that [i]replicates[/i] God,[/quote]
Logic doesn't "replicate," just as mathematics doesn't "replicate" things. Both are processes, not products.

[quote]I can test this by having sex and observing whether this leads to the origin of a 'child'.[/quote]
No, you can't. The child will not be "you." So you will know something about the child's origin, but nothing about yours...unless you are confident that a perfect analogy can be made between your birth and the child's. But you don't really know that. You could be a clone, or have come from asexual reproduction, or some other method. No number of other children will tell you for certain about yourself. You'll have to trust the analogy. You'll have to have faith that the child is relevantly the same as your own case. But you won't have certainty.
[/quote]

Certainty, like all words that reference the transcendent, can only refer to certain Enough. There is no ultimate certainty, and that's ultimately not important.
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