close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Clever Arguments

Discussion in 'Religious Issues' started by user, Apr 29, 2012.


  1. user

    user
    Expand Collapse
    VaLegalDefense

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    1,241
    0
    Location:
    Va. and West Va.
    I have long maintained that reason is merely a data-processing engine; good at things like logic, inference, deduction, analysis, and synthesis. But cannot perceive truth. Reason can be fooled with stuff like this:

    Max is a cat;
    all cats are green;
    THEREFORE, Max is green.

    Perfectly good syllogism, but clearly a false conclusion. Here's another example:

    If God is good; and
    if God is omniscient; and
    if God is omnipresent; and
    if God is omnipotent,
    then why is there pain (or evil) in the world?

    I think the problem is in the first premise: God is not "good". That is, God is not the sort of thing that does what I like, necessarily. Those who "eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" are people who act on the basis of their own understanding of what they like ("good") and what they dislike ("evil"). Jesus, of course, stands this definition on its head:
    Lk 18:18-19. The principle Jesus applies is basically what God said to identify himself for Moses: "I am that I am, tell them that the I AM sent you." God is what God is, and God is the only definition of what is "good", by Jesus' standard. Any deity that can be conjured to do what I like, merely because I think what I like is "good", is not God. So if the tsunami kills hundreds of thousands, that must be "good". It's how I condition my thinking about it based on my identification with the people killed and my own desire for self-preservation that's "evil".

    And, as to that latter point, Jesus consistently points out that the drive for self-preservation is the thing that will kill us spiritually: "He who would save his life shall lose it, but he who would lose his life for my sake, shall gain it."; and, "From him who has not, what little he has shall be taken away."; and, "He would be my disciple must die to self daily, take up his cross, and follow me."

    But this is not a matter of intellect or reason. Self-absorbed, self-important, self-worship is fed by clever argument and intellectual word games. The fact that some folks have an amazing capacity for rhetoric and argument has absolutely nothing to do with their spiritual health or their ability to guide others. Such people are too busy eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    Excerpt fr/"The Book of Chuang Tzu", Martin Palmer, trans.; 1996 by Penguin Books, NY NY., pp. 97-98.
    =====
     

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. ArtificialGrape

    ArtificialGrape
    Expand Collapse
    CLM

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    5,823
    0
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    You might want to review this a little more.

    Perhaps you meant:

    All cats are green.
    Max is green.
    Therefore, Max is a cat.

    -ArtificialGrape
     

    #2 ArtificialGrape, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  3. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver
    Expand Collapse
    the wrong hands

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    2,736
    0
    I'm a speck of complete insignificance here for only a short time with no purpose other than to understand what I can while I'm here simply because it pleases me to do so, according to my beliefs.

    But it was all created for you, and the master architect has a deep interest in your diet and sex life and if you play your cards right things will get even better when you die, according to your beliefs.

    Who's self absorbed and self important again? Seems to me like you may be a bit butthurt that your camp isn't as good at making a coherent argument backed by facts for your perspective as the other camp is so now you're poo pooing the very concept of making a coherent argument as... EVIL?


    Pu-leeze. :upeyes:

    Maybe would've been a whole lot more honest to just say, "You know those guys that always make more sense than us? Well that's just the devil's sharp tongue doing their talking for them." Sure is easier than considering that maybe your made story was made up with way too many holes in it.

    Keep trying to comfort yourself with the lie that your belief system is the one concept that lies outside the requirement to be reasonable and logical to be understood. Not like you've got anything else.
     
    #3 Gunhaver, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  4. WS6

    WS6
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    2,587
    41
    [​IMG]
     
  5. user

    user
    Expand Collapse
    VaLegalDefense

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    1,241
    0
    Location:
    Va. and West Va.
    What's funny in this is that my original post was really directed at the "orthodox" who rely on Aquinas' system to justify their religion on the basis of "authority", and the "fundamentalists" who think that the Bible is a science textbook. It wasn't an attack on reason, but an attempt to show that reason, like all human faculties, is designed for a purpose and it doesn't do well outside the scope of its employment. Eyeballs, for instance - mine don't see in the infrared or ultraviolet ranges so well, though I have reason to think those frequencies exist. In fact, I don't see "red" so well, either, being color-blind. Reason is a useful tool, but it does not create the perception of truth. It only makes conclusions based on what one already believes is true.

    There are people who have spiritual awareness who do have an ability to perceive truth in ways not dependent on the time/space/dimensionality universe. And some of you may think this is nonsense because you no personal experience of that perception, which proposition to me is identical in structure to my saying that "red" does not exist because I've never seen it.
     
  6. GreenDrake

    GreenDrake
    Expand Collapse
    Rip Lips

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    6,836
    241
    Location:
    North Idaho
    I haven't seen the Easter Bunny but am pretty sure he doesn't exist, same applies for any god people think exists. Modus Ponens.
     
  7. void *

    void *
    Expand Collapse
    Dereference Me!

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    6,879
    0
    Location:
    #define NULL ((void *)0)
    Well, one of the premises there is false. Why would you expect the conclusion to be true?

    The point of the argument is that one of omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent cannot be true because the fact that evil exists leads to a logical contradiction if all of "omnibenevolent, omnipotent, omniscient" are true. Stating "God isn't omnibenevolent" doesn't invalidate the argument, it just removes one of the conditions that bring about the logical contradiction. Which in a way is validating the argument.

    In other words, the argument is actually that if you take the following four premises:

    1) God is omnipotent (that is, all-powerful).
    2) God is omniscient (that is, all-knowing)
    3) God is perfectly good.
    4) Evil exists

    You can derive the statement "God is either not omnipotent, not omniscient, or not perfectly good" (i.e. "not (1 and 2 and 3)") *and* the statement "God is omnipotent, omniscient and perfectly good" (i.e. "1 and 2 and 3"), and those two statements contradict each other, meaning that premises 1 through 4 cannot all be true at the same time. Since we know premise 4 *is* true, one of the other three has to be false.
     
    #7 void *, Apr 30, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  8. WS6

    WS6
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    2,587
    41
    You haven't shown that the existence of evil necessarily precludes an omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good God.
     
  9. void *

    void *
    Expand Collapse
    Dereference Me!

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    6,879
    0
    Location:
    #define NULL ((void *)0)
    Well, first off, that doesn't change my point (that stating god is not omni-benevolent does not invalidate the argument, because the argument actually states that one of omni-benevolent, omniscient, omnipotent cannot be true). In other words, I am not necessarily arguing here that it is necessarily true that the argument is valid, I am saying that calling one of the premises false is not an invalidation of the argument, because the argument is actually that one of those premises has to be false.


    Second, I might as well just link to the full thing:

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/evil-log/

    Which leaves us with:
    (1) God is omnipotent (that is, all-powerful).
    (2) God is omniscient (that is, all-knowing).
    (3) God is perfectly good.
    (4) Evil exists.
    (5) A set of statements is logically inconsistent if and only if: (a) that set includes a direct contradiction of the form “p & not-p”; or (b) a direct contradiction can be deduced from that set.
    (6) If God is omnipotent, he would be able to prevent all of the evil and suffering in the world.
    (7) If God is omniscient, he would know about all of the evil and suffering in the world and would know how to eliminate or prevent it.
    (8) If God is perfectly good, he would want to prevent all of the evil and suffering in the world.
    (9) If God knows about all of the evil and suffering in the world, knows how to eliminate or prevent it, is powerful enough to prevent it, and yet does not prevent it, he must not be perfectly good.
    (10) If God knows about all of the evil and suffering, knows how to eliminate or prevent it, wants to prevent it, and yet does not do so, he must not be all- powerful.
    (11) If God is powerful enough to prevent all of the evil and suffering, wants to do so, and yet does not, he must not know about all of the suffering or know how to eliminate or prevent it—that is, he must not be all-knowing.
    (12) If evil and suffering exist, then God is either not omnipotent, not omniscient, or not perfectly good.

    9->11 give you 12 (which is basically "^(1 & 2 & 3)"), you derive "1 & 2 & 3" just by taking 1 and 2 and 3.
     
    #9 void *, Apr 30, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  10. WS6

    WS6
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    2,587
    41
    From your linked article:
    Okay.
    Okay.
    Okay.
    Okay.
    How so?
     
  11. cowboywannabe

    cowboywannabe
    Expand Collapse
    you savvy?

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2001
    21,002
    4,511
    wha wha what?!:rofl:
     
  12. void *

    void *
    Expand Collapse
    Dereference Me!

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    6,879
    0
    Location:
    #define NULL ((void *)0)
    Well, before we get into that, are you okay with:
    (6) If God is omnipotent, he would be able to prevent all of the evil and suffering in the world.
    (7) If God is omniscient, he would know about all of the evil and suffering in the world and would know how to eliminate or prevent it.
    (8) If God is perfectly good, he would want to prevent all of the evil and suffering in the world.

    Actually, just read the whole thing. It gets into the argument, and counterarguments, what has to be true for the argument to be false, etc. My only point was that saying "this premise is false" where the premise in question is 1, 2 or 3 is not actually a counterargument, because the argument's whole point is that one of those premises has to be false. There are formulations of the entire argument that lead to it not contradicting, the problem is we don't know if the premises that lead to those formulations are true or not.
     
    #12 void *, Apr 30, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  13. WS6

    WS6
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    2,587
    41
    What necessitates the curtailment of evil immediately in the here and now, to prove that God is an omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good being?
     
  14. IndianaMatt

    IndianaMatt
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    3,621
    40
    Yes, Max is green.

    Lols. The thread that proves exactly what it set out to disprove.
     
  15. void *

    void *
    Expand Collapse
    Dereference Me!

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    6,879
    0
    Location:
    #define NULL ((void *)0)
    If he can't curtail it in the here and now (actually, to be more precise, if he couldn't curtail it long, long ago), how is he omnipotent?
    If he didn't want to curtail it long, long ago, how is he omnibenevolent?
    If he didn't know how to curtail it long, long ago, how is he omniscient?
     
    #15 void *, Apr 30, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  16. muscogee

    muscogee
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    5,860
    0
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    The Riddle of Epicuris again.
     
  17. void *

    void *
    Expand Collapse
    Dereference Me!

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    6,879
    0
    Location:
    #define NULL ((void *)0)
    user, I read another post in another thread that leads me to think you are not actually saying 'omni-benevolence is not true', but that 'evil does not exist'. Is that accurate, or am I missing something?
     
  18. user

    user
    Expand Collapse
    VaLegalDefense

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    1,241
    0
    Location:
    Va. and West Va.
    I reckon that proves my point about "clever arguments". People go on and on about what makes sense logically, based entirely on reason, and having no perception of truth through the Holy Spirit. Or "gut instinct", "intuition", or "Henry", or whatever you choose to call the communications link between our spiritual awareness and the Mind of God - it doesn't care what you call it, it works the same for everyone who uses it. Thing is, unless one "knows" the truth value of the proposition, "all cats are green", one is led to a false conclusion by the syllogism.

    The point of the good and evil thing is summed up in the story from Genesis: Adam and Eve "ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil"; in other words, they consumed the product of their ability to distinguish between what they like and what they don't like. Both "good" and "evil" are products of one's worldview, his own personal model of the Universe he keeps in his head that provides a software interface to the hardware of reality. People who start talking as if "good" and "evil", the products of their own imagination, had an existential reality in and of themselves, are simply indulging in self-absorbtion. In other words, they're "eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." And to assert that The God is somehow limited by constructs of their own mental databases suggests that the god they recognize is also a construct of their own imagination. I'm convinced that some people who call themselves "atheists" are simply reacting to the hogwash other people parade around as "god", and assert that, because no such entity has shown up in their own models, it does not exist. Sort of like the Easter Bunny, in one person's example.

    The real problem here is the failure to recognize that one's personal model of the universe is merely a model, and not the "real" universe. In Hinduism, this error is called, "Maya", the "wall of illusion". We indulge in the illusion that our personal world is real and that there is no reality apart from it. We assume that things that are bad for people are "evil" because we identify with the people who suffer. The eruption of Vesuvius, for example.

    Unless one can recognize that God is the source of all reality and the ground of all being, and that whatever God does is "good", whether we like it or not, he is merely indulging in self-worship. That's the way original sin is, "eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil": self-indulgence, self-absorbtion, self-worship, due to an ego-centric worldview. Such people will not survive the transition, regardless of their clever arguments or religious mumbo-jumbo.
     
  19. void *

    void *
    Expand Collapse
    Dereference Me!

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    6,879
    0
    Location:
    #define NULL ((void *)0)
    So, is that a yes or a no to my question?
     
  20. user

    user
    Expand Collapse
    VaLegalDefense

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    1,241
    0
    Location:
    Va. and West Va.
    Uh, sorta. If by "omni-benevolence is not true", we mean that God's operative principle is not love, then you're right, I'm not saying that. On the other hand, God is not a human, and my use of the word, "love", to describe or attribute a characteristic to God is merely an analogy. But it's as close as I can get to expressing the truth in human language.

    On the other hand, I don't really believe that "evil does not exist"; what I think is that what we think of as "evil" has no independent existential reality, it's a construct of the mind, and means, "that which I dislike". On the other hand, Jesus redefined the word, "good", in a way that creates new meaning for "evil": "I wonder why you call ME 'good', for no man is 'good', only God is good.", he said. Lk. 18:19. When he makes that statement, he's asserting that our personal values that we call "good" and "evil" are pointless, futile, void, useless. If only God is "good", then that which we do that keeps us apart from God is the only "evil". Doesn't matter whether we like it or not, it is what it is. Exodus 3:14.

    People who worship a "good" god are merely worshipping an idol, a creation of their own mind, a being that only does what they like.