Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

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RickLewis
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Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by RickLewis » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:10 pm

The new issue is up on our website now.

http://philosophynow.org

It features articles from theists, atheist and agnostics about God and belief. Contributors include Professors William Craig Lane on eight reasons to believe in God, Prof Timothy Chappell on religious experience, the radical theologian Prof Daphne Hampson on Kierkegaard, Prof Van Harvey writes about T.H. Huxley's agnosticism, Jimmy Alfonso Licon on the Problem of Evil and Prof Simon Blackburn on being an infidel.

We'll be sending out the paper magazine to subscribers over the next few days.

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Felasco
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by Felasco » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:39 pm

Good luck with the issue Rick. I just finished reading the article by William Lane Craig that you posted in the other thread, thanks for that.

While the William Lane Craig article, and the others I'm sure as well, are intelligent, articulate and well reasoned it seems (correct me if I'm wrong here) that they all share the same fundamental assumption that continuing a philosophic investigation of God that's been going on for thousands of years will somehow lead to some result other than what we already have.

Where is the philosopher who will challenge not just this or that theory of God, but the process itself? Such as, where is the evidence that this process is leading anywhere?

I thought philosophy was supposed to be a means to an end. I get the sense that for many writers it's become an end in itself, and no longer serves any purpose beyond it's own self perpetuation.

I don't have a philosophy education, and so will welcome your guidance here. Are there philosophers who are willing to actually face the evidence, or is that just a nice slogan?

Felasco
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by Felasco » Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:12 pm

Imagine that my Dad I gave me a special tool on my 16th birthday. It's a hammer that's been passed down through my family for generations. My Dad taught me carpentry with this hammer, there's many happy memories of us together, so this tool is filled with much meaning for me.

Now imagine that I have a flat tire on my truck.

"Ah ha!", I think to myself, "A chance to use my favorite tool!"

And so I start beating the flat tire with my special hammer. WHACK, WHACK, WHACK!! I love this hammer, so I'm sure this process will somehow fix the flat tire. Wouldn't that be great?!

After a few minutes, maybe a couple centuries, or even a few thousand years, it starts to dawn on me that maybe my special hammer is not the right tool for fixing flat tires. Oh no, that can't be right, I hate this idea, and I so love my special hammer, so I keep on pounding, pounding, pounding.

The process above is called tool bias. Tool bias occurs when the user values the means over the end. A victim of tool bias will keep on applying the same action over and over and over again without result, so long as that action involves their preferred tool.

Tool bias could be declared rational if the user is performing this action with an understanding and acceptance that they are not reaching their stated goal. Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination etc.

Tool bias can be declared irrational if the user persists in the fantasy that continuing to do the same thing over and over again will somehow lead to a different result.

thedoc
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by thedoc » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:12 pm

Tool bias can work both ways,

Years ago I worked with another person who claimed that they would not have a Hammer in their tool box. When questioned why, they stated that a hammer was an "Implement of destruction". Another question came up, "What if you wanted to hang a picture on the wall and needed to drive in a nail?", to which they said they would drive it in with their clog. This person condoned the act of hammering a nail but condemned the proper tool for the job, Just a bit of a contradiction, in my mind.

I believe I see what you were getting at, and that is that some people will use the same form of argument or reasoning to justify many different beliefs, just as some will use the same form of argument to condemn many beliefs or ideas. In the realm of ideas and beliefs, arguments are the tools used to support or deny the concept in question.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by Arising_uk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:37 am

Felasco wrote:...

Where is the philosopher who will challenge not just this or that theory of God, but the process itself? ...

I don't have a philosophy education, and so will welcome your guidance here. Are there philosophers who are willing to actually face the evidence, or is that just a nice slogan?
His name was Immanuel Kant. You'll find his solutions and philosophy in "The Critique of Pure Reason".

spike
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by spike » Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:35 pm

I'm thinking this issue should have been titled not The God Issue but "The Issue of God".

kowalskil
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by kowalskil » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:15 pm

spike wrote:I'm thinking this issue should have been titled not The God Issue but "The Issue of God".
The word "God" means different things to different people.

yiostheoy
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by yiostheoy » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:53 pm

thedoc wrote:Tool bias can work both ways,

Years ago I worked with another person who claimed that they would not have a Hammer in their tool box. When questioned why, they stated that a hammer was an "Implement of destruction". Another question came up, "What if you wanted to hang a picture on the wall and needed to drive in a nail?", to which they said they would drive it in with their clog. This person condoned the act of hammering a nail but condemned the proper tool for the job, Just a bit of a contradiction, in my mind.

I believe I see what you were getting at, and that is that some people will use the same form of argument or reasoning to justify many different beliefs, just as some will use the same form of argument to condemn many beliefs or ideas. In the realm of ideas and beliefs, arguments are the tools used to support or deny the concept in question.
You, Doc, are the oldest surviving participant in this very short discussion from several years ago about the classic proofs of God.

Rick the Editor is of course still around naturally, although his imprint is on many things from the magazine. He still welcomes people at least.

One neophyte unschooled in Philosophy had asked what sense do these arguments make since they have seemed to be inconclusive -- at least to him -- for all time or at least since the issue had first come up with Augustine. That plebe is gone now from the website however.

I think the plebe was in error with his basic assumption that because an issue has seemed to be unresolved at least to him for several centuries now that it bears no merit any longer.

That strikes me as foolishness since an unresolved issue is still a current issue.

The classic proofs of God are still relevant because they still deal with the relevant issues of paradoxes of existence.

When did existence begin in the Universe? Well, Hubble the space telescope give us data that suggest (data are plural) that it began 15 billion years ago. So that much is settled. At some finite point in time in the past existence began.

It like all other Empirical Scientific discoveries only leads to new questions from there however.

How did existence begin? Presumably from some kind of Big Bang -- this is the common modern notion.

What caused it? We still don't know.

Did the First Cause create itself? Or was It created by Someone Or Something else? Well we know that before 15 billion years ago nothing that we can see with our eyes or our telescopes existed. So now we are back in Metaphysics and the invisible unseen world -- IF that truly exists.

These issues are unresolved and persistent, and as such are still current issues.

Ignoring issues because they are unresolved is idiotic if not satanic.

yiostheoy
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by yiostheoy » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:56 pm

Felasco wrote:...

I don't have a philosophy education...
That's the main problem with this neophyte.

Anyway he is gone now.

osgart
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by osgart » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:46 am

shouldnt a belief in God come from evidence of divine intervention in reality. And there is none to be found.
I got straight A s in philosophy in college but i dont use a spit of it.

surreptitious57
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by surreptitious57 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:42 am

osgart wrote:
shouldnt a belief in God come from evidence of divine intervention in reality
No because belief is a condition of faith and faith requires zero evidence

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:10 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:...faith requires zero evidence
I see this absurd claim repeated often. I cannot imagine where it comes from. Maybe from people who think they have no faith, as those who have no faith in science, or have no faith in the fidelity of their partners, or have no faith in the sun coming up tomorrow. Or maybe people are channelling Kant on this. But this is another point on which Kant was seriously wrong.

Of course faith requires evidence...if it's rational faith. And no other faith is worth having, since irrational faith is, by definition, delusion.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:12 pm

thedoc wrote:Tool bias can work both ways,

Years ago I worked with another person who claimed that they would not have a Hammer in their tool box. When questioned why, they stated that a hammer was an "Implement of destruction". Another question came up, "What if you wanted to hang a picture on the wall and needed to drive in a nail?", to which they said they would drive it in with their clog. This person condoned the act of hammering a nail but condemned the proper tool for the job, Just a bit of a contradiction, in my mind.

I believe I see what you were getting at, and that is that some people will use the same form of argument or reasoning to justify many different beliefs, just as some will use the same form of argument to condemn many beliefs or ideas. In the realm of ideas and beliefs, arguments are the tools used to support or deny the concept in question.
Nice analogy. That's also pretty funny. :lol: Imagine being afraid to use a tool because it's an "implement" of anything...now, that's superstition!

thedoc
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by thedoc » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:37 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
thedoc wrote:Tool bias can work both ways,

Years ago I worked with another person who claimed that they would not have a Hammer in their tool box. When questioned why, they stated that a hammer was an "Implement of destruction". Another question came up, "What if you wanted to hang a picture on the wall and needed to drive in a nail?", to which they said they would drive it in with their clog. This person condoned the act of hammering a nail but condemned the proper tool for the job, Just a bit of a contradiction, in my mind.

I believe I see what you were getting at, and that is that some people will use the same form of argument or reasoning to justify many different beliefs, just as some will use the same form of argument to condemn many beliefs or ideas. In the realm of ideas and beliefs, arguments are the tools used to support or deny the concept in question.
Nice analogy. That's also pretty funny. :lol: Imagine being afraid to use a tool because it's an "implement" of anything...now, that's superstition!
It's been many years since that incident, more than 30, but it seems to me that the other person stated that it was a college professor who made that statement. I would now guess that the college professor was under the influence of "Publish or Perish" and as a result published any outrageous idea that he could think of, and the student thought he was serious. When I attended college I was lucky to have a real "Man of Letters" as a professor. Hammerin' Hank Kaufman had written and published a book "The History of the Pennsylvania/Kentucky Rifle", he also produced the Mace used in college ceremonies, and a Harpsichord that he presented to the music department. He got his nickname from his habit of carrying a hollow rubber ball peen hammer, and throwing it at people to get their attention. One of the wood shop professors had just joined the staff, and went to Hank's metal shop for something. When he went in, Hank threw the hammer at him and he turned just in time to see the hammer coming at him. He remembered thinking of all the things he was going to do to Hank when he woke up, then the rubber hammer hit him and bounced off.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Issue 99 - God, Belief and Disbelief

Post by Immanuel Can » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:28 am

thedoc wrote:When I attended college I was lucky to have a real "Man of Letters" as a professor. Hammerin' Hank Kaufman had written and published a book "The History of the Pennsylvania/Kentucky Rifle",
I like the man already.
...he also produced the Mace used in college ceremonies, and a Harpsichord that he presented to the music department. He got his nickname from his habit of carrying a hollow rubber ball peen hammer, and throwing it at people to get their attention.
Nice. So a true Renaissance Man, then. :lol:
One of the wood shop professors had just joined the staff, and went to Hank's metal shop for something. When he went in, Hank threw the hammer at him and he turned just in time to see the hammer coming at him. He remembered thinking of all the things he was going to do to Hank when he woke up, then the rubber hammer hit him and bounced off.
What a character! He must have been fun.

All I got was a guy with an eidetic memory. He used to say to me, "There's something relevant to your research you'll find in that text on my left top shelf...it's page 98, half way down..." He could pull of that sort of trick anytime. That was pretty intimidating, let me tell you.

He used to walk home every day, about a mile and a half, while simultaneously reading a scholarly book, a novel or a collection of essays; he became famous for that, and nobody could figure out how he could walk so briskly and read at the same time. All the members of his department said his name in hushed tones, like he was a Pope or something, or as if he might overhear them taking his name in vain.

He was a good guy though. Smart man. Gone now.

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