God, gods, or none of the above?

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

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Immanuel Can
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Immanuel Can »

And ultimately what really determines the "validity" of an argument is that on which the majority of the blatherers agree.
Greylorn, this is my one point where we might disagree in what you've said. Other than that, I concur.

I'm going to say that "validity" is actually a formal property of a correctly-structured argument, and in no way depends on consensus. An argument could be valid even if none of the interlocutors present knows it. It would be valid because it is properly formed in either a categorical, disjunctive or hypothetical syllogistic way.

Philosophy views "validity" as different from the question of "truthfulness." An argument can be correct in form, but incorrect in content or truth value.

For example, the argument, below...

P1: All cats are felines.
P2: All felines are dogs.
C: Therefore all cats are dogs.


...is correct in form, and thus, in philosophical terms is called "valid." It just means that all the parts are in the right place, but does not mean that the parts themselves are all good. As you see, premise 2 is a lie, so the conclusion is also false. Thus the argument is "valid," but is P2 being not "true," the whole argument is not "sound."

And that's how philosophy prefers to describe the situation of an argument. I admit that's not the way we ordinary folk use words like "valid," but that's how philosophers do it.

Now why fuss? Because if the person you're speaking to knows this, then they'll call you on that point. And while I know what you mean, they won't give you any benefit of the doubt. They'll simply point out that deciding the "validity" of an argument on the basis of the consensus of people involved in the discussion is an example of "Bandwagon Fallacy," and that you've misrepresented "validity" as a concept. So we're best to stick to the philosophical jargon here, since it's harder to impeach.

Or anyway, that's my two cents on that. :)
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GreatandWiseTrixie
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie »

Greylorn Ell wrote:
GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:
marjoram_blues wrote: The thing is, both can answer serious questions but this time round they really want to pose their profound positions, after having chewed the fat elsewhere. It's an exclusive set-up, designed to annoy. They already have their well-rehearsed answers. What's 'experimental' - or philosophically engaging - about that kind of exchange?

The response from IC to my questions, so far, has been pretty predictable. I wish I could remember a similar 'experimental' thread which was attempted here - it involved an exchange of money...

On an open forum, interjections are to be expected. How it is managed is important. To discuss implications of God, gods - fair enough.
Then be honest - and remove the apparent invitation in the thread title to include 'none of the above'.
I agree. This conversation seems like this would be better suited as a PM fest between Greylorn and Immanuel. It seems like they wish for us to watch this broadway spectacle of theirs.
If an entity is created by a conscious being, its properties are built into it by its creators. E.g. automobiles, robots, and God-created souls. It is impossible for such entities to have complete freedom of choice, i.e. "free will." If it's a robotic or human jerk, that's because it was designed to be a jerk.

However, if the component of consciousness was the consequence of a natural event, as I propose, it can have free will.
Makes no sense. If a human creates a robot, the robot was created by a human, humans are part of nature, humans are a force of nature. If nature creates nature, how is the robot any different than a human, by definition? If humans were created by nature, by definition how could they have freewill, but robots could not?
Trix,

Kindly consider my post of 1 April 11:02 pm. Perhaps it addresses some of your questions.

Greylorn
Objection, doesn't answer my question.

What is your motive behind advocating theism? Science or because you want to give people a reason to live? Man creates God creates Man. What greater purpose is there than constructing our own Heaven?
Greylorn Ell
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

A_Seagull wrote: I draw the conclusion that IC does not answer my questions because s/he is unable to do so.

And I also infer that neither can you.

So dream on :)
Consider the alternative explanation, that neither of us finds your trivial, irrelevant rants worth a reply. There is another alternative-- that trying to exchange philosophical concepts with you would be about as productive as trying to teach differential calculus to a hamster. (That's exclusively my opinion. I.C. is too kind a person to make such a comment.)

Greylorn
Greylorn Ell
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Immanuel Can wrote:
And ultimately what really determines the "validity" of an argument is that on which the majority of the blatherers agree.
Greylorn, this is my one point where we might disagree in what you've said. Other than that, I concur.

I'm going to say that "validity" is actually a formal property of a correctly-structured argument, and in no way depends on consensus. An argument could be valid even if none of the interlocutors present knows it. It would be valid because it is properly formed in either a categorical, disjunctive or hypothetical syllogistic way.

Philosophy views "validity" as different from the question of "truthfulness." An argument can be correct in form, but incorrect in content or truth value.

For example, the argument, below...

P1: All cats are felines.
P2: All felines are dogs.
C: Therefore all cats are dogs.


...is correct in form, and thus, in philosophical terms is called "valid." It just means that all the parts are in the right place, but does not mean that the parts themselves are all good. As you see, premise 2 is a lie, so the conclusion is also false. Thus the argument is "valid," but is P2 being not "true," the whole argument is not "sound."

And that's how philosophy prefers to describe the situation of an argument. I admit that's not the way we ordinary folk use words like "valid," but that's how philosophers do it.

Now why fuss? Because if the person you're speaking to knows this, then they'll call you on that point. And while I know what you mean, they won't give you any benefit of the doubt. They'll simply point out that deciding the "validity" of an argument on the basis of the consensus of people involved in the discussion is an example of "Bandwagon Fallacy," and that you've misrepresented "validity" as a concept. So we're best to stick to the philosophical jargon here, since it's harder to impeach.

Or anyway, that's my two cents on that. :)
Immanuel Can,

These are useful insights into the nature and style of philosophy. Greatly appreciated. Let's see if we disagree at heart on this, which I doubt will prove to be the case.

You should know that as a philosopher, I am a rude Philistine. I took my first and only university level philosophy course while my first book on the subject was being typeset and printed. Two chapters (about the nature of consciousness) were reprinted in a real philosopher's book and subsequently used in several philosophy courses, one in the fine nation of Singapore.

I'm a back-alley philosopher who regards the formal study of philosophy as a gang of inbred pedants jerking one another off, in round-robin style. You are an obvious exception, thank you. Your insights into the nitty details of formal philosophy are consistent with my understandings, and I will try to make use of them.

Frankly, I would simply look at the example non-sound argument you posed, declare the 2nd line an obvious falsehood, and write off whoever posed it as a pinhead. It would never occur to me to say anything favorable about the argument. It's like saying Hitler was nice to his cats.

My comment about agreement is the perspective of a philosophical outsider. What I see is several "schools of thought" that make no logical sense to me, but are connected by the agreement of philosophers subscribing to a particular school. I.e. a gang of philosophers riding a particular bandwagon. This seems identical to the styles of religious belief, in which one group of Christians agree with Baptist teachings, others with Methodists, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. None of these systems are any more logical than the others, but different belief systems strike emotional chords in different people. Trying to distinguish one from another logically is sillier than trying to convert a jazz music lover to Beethoven, using logic.

I imagine that each philosopher has a list of philosophically valid reasons for choosing his particular bandwagon, but suspect that they are more likely related to whichever bandwagon the local Philosophy Department Chairman is driving.

My background is physics, math, and engineering. My standard for a valid idea, premise, whatever is simple: Can you get it to work? Can you implement the concept? Do the mathematics derivable from your premise produce new insights, or nonsense?

I will probably be unable to recall your standards for various qualities of argument in time to implement them, but will count on you to tell me when I have my head up my ass.

A final thought. Do you know of anyone else posting on this forum, so far, who is sufficiently well-studied in philosophy to complain about my violations of the fine points you mentioned? Yes or no, I do appreciate your instruction about distinctions.

Greylorn
Greylorn Ell
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:
Objection, doesn't answer my question.

What is your motive behind advocating theism? Science or because you want to give people a reason to live? Man creates God creates Man. What greater purpose is there than constructing our own Heaven?
Trix,

By way of motives, both of your choices and more.

But please note that as I.C. pointed out, I do not advocate theism. I'm not a monotheist. Nor am I a deist, or polygamist. Beon Theory, the name I've put behind my formal thoughts, does not fit into conventional categories. I'll try to explain it as we go, unless I'm pestered with so many little complaints that I die before the job is done.

I don't care about giving people a reason to live. I do want to give them reasons to excel, to learn as much as they possibly can, to share their understandings with others, to see and accept the souls/beons of other individuals, and to leave planet earth a better place because of their efforts.

Life seems not so important, except to an individual striving to continue his. Life is inevitable, so why care overmuch about it? Thought and the development of consciousness are options, and it is those characteristics my ideas encourage.

Science is critical. It must be well integrated with any ideas about the nature of consciousness or human purpose. Else they are merely irrelevant philosophical claptrap. I believe that Beon Theory meets and exceeds this standard.

I regard the "creating of heaven" as a trivial human fantasy. No one has invented a "heaven" I'd care to enter, or whose gatekeeper would let me in.

Greylorn
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GreatandWiseTrixie
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie »

Greylorn Ell wrote:
GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:
Objection, doesn't answer my question.

What is your motive behind advocating theism? Science or because you want to give people a reason to live? Man creates God creates Man. What greater purpose is there than constructing our own Heaven?
Trix,

By way of motives, both of your choices and more.

But please note that as I.C. pointed out, I do not advocate theism. I'm not a monotheist. Nor am I a deist, or polygamist. Beon Theory, the name I've put behind my formal thoughts, does not fit into conventional categories. I'll try to explain it as we go, unless I'm pestered with so many little complaints that I die before the job is done.

I don't care about giving people a reason to live. I do want to give them reasons to excel, to learn as much as they possibly can, to share their understandings with others, to see and accept the souls/beons of other individuals, and to leave planet earth a better place because of their efforts.

Life seems not so important, except to an individual striving to continue his. Life is inevitable, so why care overmuch about it? Thought and the development of consciousness are options, and it is those characteristics my ideas encourage.

Science is critical. It must be well integrated with any ideas about the nature of consciousness or human purpose. Else they are merely irrelevant philosophical claptrap. I believe that Beon Theory meets and exceeds this standard.

I regard the "creating of heaven" as a trivial human fantasy. No one has invented a "heaven" I'd care to enter, or whose gatekeeper would let me in.

Greylorn
You think of humans as they, what is but not what will be. You do not see my vision. You are wading about in stagnacy, what great purpose and achievement you have is none at all. You offer them mere knowledge and learning, but for what! Knowledge and learning is worthless without purpose! Yes, you offer them no salvation from this burden, but only thoughts and knowledge! You do not see Heaven as I do, yes you have lost your faith so much that all you can see is a mere toy created by meddling apes, meddling humans, wading about as you do now. The Heaven I refer to is much more grand, for the Heaven I have in mind is beyond all comprehension!
Greylorn Ell
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:
GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:
Objection, doesn't answer my question.

What is your motive behind advocating theism? Science or because you want to give people a reason to live? Man creates God creates Man. What greater purpose is there than constructing our own Heaven?
Trix,

By way of motives, both of your choices and more.

But please note that as I.C. pointed out, I do not advocate theism. I'm not a monotheist. Nor am I a deist, or polygamist. Beon Theory, the name I've put behind my formal thoughts, does not fit into conventional categories. I'll try to explain it as we go, unless I'm pestered with so many little complaints that I die before the job is done.

I don't care about giving people a reason to live. I do want to give them reasons to excel, to learn as much as they possibly can, to share their understandings with others, to see and accept the souls/beons of other individuals, and to leave planet earth a better place because of their efforts.

Life seems not so important, except to an individual striving to continue his. Life is inevitable, so why care overmuch about it? Thought and the development of consciousness are options, and it is those characteristics my ideas encourage.

Science is critical. It must be well integrated with any ideas about the nature of consciousness or human purpose. Else they are merely irrelevant philosophical claptrap. I believe that Beon Theory meets and exceeds this standard.

I regard the "creating of heaven" as a trivial human fantasy. No one has invented a "heaven" I'd care to enter, or whose gatekeeper would let me in.

Greylorn
You think of humans as they, what is but not what will be. You do not see my vision. You are wading about in stagnacy, what great purpose and achievement you have is none at all. You offer them mere knowledge and learning, but for what! Knowledge and learning is worthless without purpose! Yes, you offer them no salvation from this burden, but only thoughts and knowledge! You do not see Heaven as I do, yes you have lost your faith so much that all you can see is a mere toy created by meddling apes, meddling humans, wading about as you do now. The Heaven I refer to is much more grand.
Trix,

Are not knowledge, understanding, and wisdom essential precursors to one's sense of a long-term purpose?

My job is not to offer anyone salvation. If I knew how to do that and tried it, my reward would be a set of experiences that would make Christ's final hours seem like a stroll in the park.

Obviously you have developed definite opinions. Once again, I invite you to present them and your justifications for them on a thread of your own. I'll not discuss them here because I did not find your first attempt at a thread hijack either interesting or coherent. Please take that as an honest expression of disinterest, not as an insult.

Start your thread. Do your thing. Good luck with it.

Greylorn
marjoram_blues
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by marjoram_blues »

GL: Unlike a regular trial, jurors may express relevant objections. And since we have no judge, both I.C. and I must take turns at that duty. He'll be fair.
Perhaps the experiment is coming together?
If so, our respective jobs are to present our cases and get out of here, leaving any remaining jurors to deliberate the outcome. I really want to send NOTA to the clink.
A set-up indeed.
Both of you trying to sell your wares and those not buying are sent to jail.

It is standard procedure in philosophy to raise objections and examine all possible replies, using the principle of charity:
http://philosophy.lander.edu/oriental/charity.html

On a forum, such as this, there is more informality. Communicating clearly for a better understanding can sometimes be difficult. Most do their best. At times, it frustrates all parties.

Previously, I laughed at your characterising my response as 'bitching and whining', that was wrong of me. In addition, your attitude to others as 'blathering pseudo-intellectuals' - all such should be nipped in the bud.

We are all learning as we go. Be very careful.
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Greylorn Ell wrote: Those who accept the idea of a God-created or at least intelligently engineered universe also assume that human consciousness survives biological death. Something must convey consciousness, even if one's brain ends up in a pickle jar. "Soul" is the term given to whatever that mechanism might be.

Utter hogwash.
No, I did not mention soul, NO, I did not imply it, and NO, there is no necessary connection between believing in a god and an immortal soul.
There is no prima facie reason why a god, whilst designing the universe also designs a soul of any kind.
QED: a prime example you you going about the question arse about face.
All you are trying to do is shoe-horn an existing idea of god into the nature of reality, rather than examine nature and decide what sort of god is characterised by examining the book of nature.
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Moreover, between God and soul, soul is the most important notion from the human perspective. It is what leads men to define and worship a God whose intentions might give the soul some purpose. Do you think that people would attend churches that denied the existence of soul or any possibility of an afterlife?



You are no longer asking "god, gods, or none of the above", and really you were never interested in that question.
Are you mad?

Greylorn Ell wrote:

These considerations lead to an answer to your last question. Any God-concept, I.C.'s or mine, has one primary purpose, to offer an explanation for the creation of man and his soul. I tend to take this a bit further than conventional religions, thinking that a valid God-concept must be consistent with principles of physics.

Greylorn
No, no, and especially no.
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A_Seagull
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by A_Seagull »

Immanuel Can wrote:
I draw the conclusion that IC does not answer my questions because s/he is unable to do so.

And I also infer that neither can you.
Look elsewhere, in other threads, and you'll draw better conclusions.

Glad I could help.
Thank you for your belated response.

It entirely validates my conclusion cited above. :)
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A_Seagull
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by A_Seagull »

Greylorn Ell wrote:
A_Seagull wrote: I draw the conclusion that IC does not answer my questions because s/he is unable to do so.

And I also infer that neither can you.

So dream on :)
Consider the alternative explanation, that neither of us finds your trivial, irrelevant rants worth a reply. There is another alternative-- that trying to exchange philosophical concepts with you would be about as productive as trying to teach differential calculus to a hamster. (That's exclusively my opinion. I.C. is too kind a person to make such a comment.)

Greylorn
What you suggest may well be an alternative explanation, but it does not influence my original conclusion by one iota.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Immanuel Can »

it does not influence my original conclusion by one iota.
Somehow this news fails to concern me. :D
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A_Seagull
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by A_Seagull »

Immanuel Can wrote:
it does not influence my original conclusion by one iota.
Somehow this news fails to concern me. :D
Ditto! :)
Greylorn Ell
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

marjoram_blues wrote:
GL: Unlike a regular trial, jurors may express relevant objections. And since we have no judge, both I.C. and I must take turns at that duty. He'll be fair.
Perhaps the experiment is coming together?
If so, our respective jobs are to present our cases and get out of here, leaving any remaining jurors to deliberate the outcome. I really want to send NOTA to the clink.
A set-up indeed.
Both of you trying to sell your wares and those not buying are sent to jail.

It is standard procedure in philosophy to raise objections and examine all possible replies, using the principle of charity:
http://philosophy.lander.edu/oriental/charity.html

On a forum, such as this, there is more informality. Communicating clearly for a better understanding can sometimes be difficult. Most do their best. At times, it frustrates all parties.

Previously, I laughed at your characterising my response as 'bitching and whining', that was wrong of me. In addition, your attitude to others as 'blathering pseudo-intellectuals' - all such should be nipped in the bud.

We are all learning as we go. Be very careful.
I studied the link you offered, which is a concise distillation of ideas expressed previously in Dr. Mortimer Adler's, How to Read a Book. Perhaps you should study the same link again, for you seem to have made up some ideas about what it says that are different from its actual content.

The essay you offered advises that someone examining new ideas should begin by provisionally letting them into his mind with a view to understanding them before objecting to them.

Adler pointed out that the mind's natural tendency is to object to new and strange ideas. I've found this to be true even when the new and strange ideas came from within my own mind. His advice, echoed in the essay you provided, was to first allow them entry into your mind-- not to agree or disagree, but to bring them in together for coherent evaluation.

I liken the process to cooking a fine beef stew. The ingredients (ideas) must be assembled in a common pot (your mind), and allowed to either simmer, ferment or fester-- according to your temperament. When the stew has cooked (ideas integrated), then it is time to turn off the burner and have a taste.

At that point one might delight in a well-integrated dinner, throw in a few more spices and cook some more, or feed it to the next family of passing javelinas.

However the charitable process of evaluating a new idea does not include introducing other ideas outside the set you are evaluating.

Imagine that you are in a magical library having a fine conversation with Descartes, who is patiently explaining his unique ideas about the nature of mind, his mind-brain dualism. You are trying to focus on him, so as to learn those ideas. Suddenly your conversation is interrupted by a brick smashing through the library window. A fellow with a woman's long, curly black hair, wearing a clergyman's frock, sticks his face through the broken glass and says, "Descartes, you are surfeit with pig feces! The human mind is a part of the infinite intellect of God."

And while you sit dumbfounded, unsure how to deal with both Descartes and Spinoza, the library door opens and in comes Daniel Dennett, bearded and wartty atop a handsome potbelly, who declares, "Whoa! All you guys need to hear about my multiple drafts model of consciousness.

If you are stupid enough to let all three of these guys into the conversation, no matter how brilliant each might be, you will remain stupid because your mind cannot absorb all that bullshit, all at once. Imagine them talking at once like a gang of nitwit commentators on Fox News or The View, and you trying to glean some sense from it. Won't happen.

The smart thing to do from the library-conversation analogy would be nail a piece of plywood over the window and tell Spinoza that you'll get back to him later. Give Dennett an engraved image of Alexander Hamilton, escort him from the room and tell him that there is a tavern serving cheap beer a block down the road, where you'll meet him later. Then lock the door, and build a fire in the hearth so that Santa Claus cannot come down the chimney and interrupt your uncluttered conversation.

Perhaps by now you can understand why Trixie's and Gee's ideas, however brilliant and insightful they might be, need to be on a thread of their own. I will support their efforts by not introducing my ideas into their threads. I've been guilty of this with Gee.

So please peruse the information on the excellent link you provided, and take it home. Don't invent stuff that is not there. If I were running a forum myself, one requirement would be that every poster study those principles and abide by them.

Thanks,
Greylorn
marjoram_blues
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by marjoram_blues »

My point in introducing the 'principle of charity' (and one of many explanatory links) was a simple one.
It is not necessary to enter GL's virtual courtroom with its legalese shouts of 'Objection!' which a judge ( him or IC) can over-rule. Entertaining as that might be, it is inherently biased.

An idea, or ideas, can be explained and evaluated in turn. Clearly, it is better to focus on one view/theory and its justifications at a time. This will enable the 'seller' of the idea to clarify and explain his 'product' before any would-be customer decides to buy.

If I've got this right, IC wants to discuss the implications of the acceptance of the idea of a Creator/creators and GL has his beon theory to sell. And the process is to be 'experimental'.

So, who is judging who?
Well, we are all judge and jury here, as customers in an open market-place. Let IC and GL set out their stalls so that we can examine the produce and decide.

This could be done in a fairly, standard - traditional way. Perhaps easier to view and examine one at a time?
It could be a head-to-head debate. GL stating his view/reasons and IC examining, analysing and judging - and then v.v.

However, the issues seem to have been set-up so that it is 'None of the above' or the 'Undecided' that are on trial. The judges are the very people who wish to sell us their ideas. If we're not buying it, the judge GL wants to send us to jail.

So far, so confused?
Last edited by marjoram_blues on Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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