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Argument Based On Rationality

burden of proof naturalism

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#1 Cata

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:27 PM

Do these logically make sense? I'm working on this argument based on the rationality of the universe. I'd like to know if it has a name already--I don't expect to be original on this.

My premises are:
1. The universe is rational--it is defined by laws. Even quantum physics can be defined to an extent.
2. 2nd law of thermodynamics... logically, chaos cannot result in order without intervention.
3. Thus, the rationality if the universe demands a rational origin, hence God, who is a rational being, caused the universe.
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#2 ikester7579

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:10 AM

1) Laws cannot randomly come together fully balance to work together to cause order instead of chaos..
2) Matter cannot come from nothing, and nothing has never made anything. So something has to have always existed to make the rest. In other words a infinite universe (Heaven) has to exist in order for a finite universe to exist. Otherwise there is no natural explanation for the first cause or the first matter to exist.
3) Matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed according to science. So matter cannot just appear in a finite universe. And the energy that is needed to create the Big Bang whether someone believes it exploded or spun till it flew apart had to come from a source.
4) Compressing all matter in the universe into a dot does not work because the laws of physics will not allow it. Every gas when compressed to a certain point becomes a liquid or a semi solid. From that point forward compression is impossible. To illustrate this better, ask a scientist to compress a glass of water into a dot the size of a period on this page. It cannot be done. So if a glass of water cannot be compressed that small how does one compress a whole universe?
5) How does a star form in a vacuum that will pull apart any particles that try to get together? Stars just don't form in what's deemed as a star nursery. It would take gravity to form from nothing to draw the particles together. And it has to be the right particles and enough heat caused by very strong gravity to start the fusion process. Does gravity just appear in space from nothing to cause this?

#3 Ron

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:20 AM

Do these logically make sense? I'm working on this argument based on the rationality of the universe. I'd like to know if it has a name already--I don't expect to be original on this.

My premises are:
1. The universe is rational--it is defined by laws. Even quantum physics can be defined to an extent.
2. 2nd law of thermodynamics... logically, chaos cannot result in order without intervention.
3. Thus, the rationality if the universe demands a rational origin, hence God, who is a rational being, caused the universe.


That sounds like the "Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God" Or "TAG" sans the presuppositional.

The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God (TAG) is the argument that demonstrates God's existence because logic, morals, and science ultimately “Presuppose” a deistic worldview, and that God's absolute nature is the source of logic and morals. In other words, its goal is to prove the existence of God using “Logical Absolutes” (Laws of Logic etcetera). The “Transcendental Argument” goes as follows:

We all know logical absolutes exist, they are "Self Evident".

These logical absolutes are abstract/immaterial in construct, and are not reliant in any way upon space, time, physical properties, or human nature.

Man did not invent these absolutes, he discovered them.

They are not the consequence of the physical universe (space, time, matter), because if the physical universe were to disappear, logical absolutes would still be true.

In other words, these “Logical Absolutes” are not beholden to any physical nature; they are actually the RULES for everything we know within the nature of physicality.

As I said, these “Logical Absolutes” are not the product of human minds, because human minds are not absolute. Further, if man were to disappear (i.e. become extinct etc…) logical absolutes would still be true. So, since these logical absolutes are always true everywhere, at all times, and not dependent upon human minds, there MUST must be an “Absolute Transcendent Mind” that authored them. This mind is what Christians call “God”.

Therefore TAG proves that the Christian God is the precondition of all human knowledge and experience, by demonstrating the impossibility of the contrary... In other words; logic, reason, or morality cannot exist without God.

Transcendental arguments should not be confused with transcendent arguments, or arguments for the existence of something transcendent. T

They are distinct from both:

1- Arguments that appeal to a transcendent intuition or sense as evidence (Fideism).

2- Arguments that move from direct evidence to the existence of a transcendent thing (Classical Apologetics).

#4 Ron

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:02 AM

"The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. " Dr. Greg Bahnsen ("The Great Debate, Does God Exist" Bahnsen vs Stein)

#5 Fiver

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:07 PM

2. 2nd law of thermodynamics... logically, chaos cannot result in order without intervention.
3. Thus, the rationality if the universe demands a rational origin, hence God, who is a rational being, caused the universe.

There are two main flaws in these two latter parts of your argument. The first is that your second premise is a incorrect description of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The second is that your conclusion doesn't follow from your premises (even if you concluded that the universe demands a a rational origin, there's no reason to conclude that this rational origin is God.).

#6 Ron

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:28 AM


The second is that your conclusion doesn't follow from your premises (even if you concluded that the universe demands a a rational origin, there's no reason to conclude that this rational origin is God.).



Actually, his conclusion isn’t a non sequitur because there is no reason to conclude that this rational origin “ISN’T” God.

#7 Fiver

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:35 AM

Actually, his conclusion isn’t a non sequitur because there is no reason to conclude that this rational origin “ISN’T” God.



You're right that there's no reason to conclude that a rational origin isn't God.
I am right that there's no reason to conclude that a rational origin is God.
Either way, the conclusion doesn't follow from the premises.

#8 Ron

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:49 PM



Actually, his conclusion isn’t a non sequitur because there is no reason to conclude that this rational origin “ISN’T” God.



You're right that there's no reason to conclude that a rational origin isn't God.
I am right that there's no reason to conclude that a rational origin is God.
Either way, the conclusion doesn't follow from the premises.



Once again, you are incorrect fiver. There are many arguments that lead to a rational conclusion that the origin of this universe was caused by God, or an "Initial Causer", or whatever you want to call Him (like the Kalam Ontological argument for example). But there is absolutely NO logical, rational or empirical scientific conclusion that a materialistic/naturalistic causation is possible or probable.

Anyway, a better line of reasoning for the OP would have been be something like:

Premise 1 – The universe displays rationality--It is defined by self-evident laws (Laws of Logic, Laws of Mathematics etc…).
Premise 2 – These self-evident laws cannot be denied
Premise 3 – These self-evident laws were not created by man, they were discovered (as having already existed).

Premise 4 – These rational laws did not create themselves (as that would be illogical), they demand a Rational “Law Giver”.
Premise 5 – Rationality cannot spring fourth form irrationality because “ex nihilo nihil fit”.

Conclusion – Since the rationality if the universe demands a rational Law Giver, and rationality cannot spring fourth form irrationality; A logically rational being must have created these laws. The Christian Theist calls this rational law giver God.

#9 Ron

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:58 PM

I must admit though, this is one of my favorite arguments from rationality:
1- ( B is )
2- ( B is B )
3- ( B is Not Non-B )
4- (Either B or Non-B )
5- (Non-B > B )
6- (Bc > Bc)
7- (Bn → Bc )
8- (Bn > Bn )
9- (Bn → Bc )
10- (Bn exists)
11- (Bc exists)
12- (Bn — similar → Bc)
(Bn) by its very nature, has no potential not to be.
Only ( Bn ) can produce ( Bn )
(Non-B cannot produce anything “ex nihilo nihil fit”.
( B ) cannot produce (Bc)
( B ) cannot produce (Bn)
(Bc) cannot produce another (Bc)
(Bn) cannot produce another (Bn)

Conclusion: Since nonbeing cannot produce being (5) “ex nihilo nihil fit”, only being can produce being. But a contingent being cannot produce another contingent being (6). And a necessary being cannot produce another necessary being (8). So only Necessary Being can cause or produce only a contingent being. For to “cause” or “produce” being means to bring something into being. Something that comes into being, has being. A cause cannot bring nonbeing into being, since being is not nonbeing (4). The fact that Being produces being implies that there is an analogy (similarity) between the cause of being and the being it causes (8). But a contingent being is both similar and different from a Necessary Being. It is similar in that both have being. It is different in that one is necessary and the other is contingent. But whatever is both similar and different is analogous. Hence, there is an analogy between Necessary Being and the being it produces.

Two things, then, are entailed in the principle that Necessary Being causes being:

First, the effect must resemble the cause, since both are being. The cause of being cannot produce what it does not possess.

Second, while the effect must resemble its cause in its being (i.e., its actuality), it must also be different from it in its potentiality.

For the cause (a Necessary Being), by its very nature, has no potential not to be. But the effect (a contingent being) by its very nature has the potential not to be. Hence, a contingent being must be different from its Cause. Since, the Cause of contingent beings must be both like and different from its effect, it is only similar. Therefore, there is an analogical likeness between the Cause of a contingent being and the contingent being it causes to exist.


#10 Ron

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:15 AM


You're right that there's no reason to conclude that a rational origin isn't God.
I am right that there's no reason to conclude that a rational origin is God.
Either way, the conclusion doesn't follow from the premises.



Further, your reasoning fails, because we cannot BOTH be right (See: Law of Non-contradiction) at the same time, in the same sense because “opposite assertions cannot be true at the same time” for the person who claims that “opposites can both be true” does not hold that the opposite of this statement is true.

#11 Ron

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:11 AM

I really didn't think I'd get a rational response. Is anyone else up to the challange?

#12 Sporktastic

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:24 PM

Ron: I have to admit that my eyes glazed over a little bit looking at your formal proof o.O. I understand your conclusion to be that the universe was caused by a Necessary Being, distinct from but in some ways similar to everything in the universe. Is that fair? From the OP, I also gather that this Necessary Being must also be a rational being.

I agree this proves that the "cause" of the universe must have been something nonphysical. (That is why I never posted a detailed reply to the Materialism thread) Fiver is right, though: there is no reason to conclude that this cause must have been God. It may have been God, sure. I believe it was God, for unrelated reasons. It may also have been some fundamental law of nature that explains why a universe must exist, and how it must behave. Such a law is definitely rational, and it could be necessarily true for inscrutable reasons, in the same way that you can say God necessarily Is but no one can ever know why. So the transcendental argument proves the existence of the nonphysical, but not the existence of God.

You also mentioned other arguments, like the ontological argument, that attempt to prove God. I'd love to discuss any of those as well, but they don't have any bearing on whether the transcendental argument is valid.

#13 Ron

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:30 PM


Ron: I have to admit that my eyes glazed over a little bit looking at your formal proof o.O. I understand your conclusion to be that the universe was caused by a Necessary Being, distinct from but in some ways similar to everything in the universe. Is that fair?


This is a 12 step syllogism using the twelve basic First Principles. And no, that is NOT the conclusion, therefore it is not fair (as it doesn’t follow from the premeses). It does indeed conclude that the universe was caused by a ‘Necessary Being’, and said ‘Necessary Being’ would indeed be distinct from that which was created. But the similarities would be restricted to ‘Contingent Beings’ (Biblically speaking, that would be those ‘Contingent Beings’ created IN the image of the ‘Necessary Being’).


From the OP, I also gather that this Necessary Being must also be a rational being.


Indeed, as intelligence cannot spring forth from non-intelligence.


I agree this proves that the "cause" of the universe must have been something nonphysical. (That is why I never posted a detailed reply to the Materialism thread) Fiver is right, though: there is no reason to conclude that this cause must have been God.


Actually, there is every reason to conclude that this cause must have been God, as there is no other rational explanation, and the argument I provided, along with many other lines of reasoning (logic and science) support said evidence. AND we know that logically, rationally, and scientifically “ex nihilo nihil fit” which destroys ANY materialistic attempts at origins.

Further, Fiver’s argument fails because OF the Law of Non-contradiction (principle #3 of the first principles); as the explanation cannot be God and NOT God at the same time in the same sense (this would be covered in both doxastic and semantic variations as described by Aristotle). In other words, IF all the evidence points TO God (you can call Him the ‘Necessary Being’ if you wish, I’ll continue to call Him God.), and absolutely NO evidence refutes this conclusion, then it is logically and scientifically follows that there cannot be A God, and NO God (just as one cannot conclude the rational origin isn't God AND one cannot conclude the rational origin is God, at the same time, in the same sense).


It may have been God, sure. I believe it was God, for unrelated reasons. It may also have been some fundamental law of nature that explains why a universe must exist, and how it must behave. Such a law is definitely rational, and it could be necessarily true for inscrutable reasons, in the same way that you can say God necessarily Is but no one can ever know why.



First – There is absolutely NO fundamental law of nature that explains why THIS universe must exist. As we are speaking of THIS universe, not some hypothetical universe, therefore we are speaking from evidences for THIS universe.

Second – Such law for some hypothetical universe is a non sequitur within the context of this conversation, and is therefore NOT rational because it does not follow form the premises within this conversation.

Third – I can say “God necessarily IS” because I am using evidences FOR THIS UNIVERSE that says He IS.

Fourth – According to “God’s Word” suggest that one day we WILL know why, therefore your “but no one can ever know why” assertion does not follow as well.


So the transcendental argument proves the existence of the nonphysical, but not the existence of God.



First – I, at no time, used the TAG (Transcendental Argument for God). Although I did advise Cata that this was the argument he was attempting to use.

Second – The TAG is not used to prove “the existence of the nonphysical”(as that is way too vague a reference); but it is a very powerful logical argument FOR the existence of God. I suggest you brush up on it a bit before you attempt to reference it next time (IMHO).


You also mentioned other arguments, like the ontological argument, that attempt to prove God. I'd love to discuss any of those as well, but they don't have any bearing on whether the transcendental argument is valid.



Actually, you may want to brush up on the use of those as well, as it seems that you don’t understand the interrelation of these lines of argumentation. Further, I never use only ONE of these as they all tie together quite nicely. Personally I also prefer to link the logical argumentation with the scientific and historical data as well; although I must admit that my favorite is the historical data.

And, I must add; you at no time refuted my “Rationality Argument for God” (post # 8), or my “First Principles Argument for God” (post # 9). You may want to attempt that before tackling other arguments.

#14 Sporktastic

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:58 PM

Keeping track of so much at once is tough. I'm going to try and break my response up into two categories, which will be a little out of order:
Misunderstandings

This is a 12 step syllogism using the twelve basic First Principles. And no, that is NOT the conclusion, therefore it is not fair (as it doesn’t follow from the premeses). It does indeed conclude that the universe was caused by a ‘Necessary Being’, and said ‘Necessary Being’ would indeed be distinct from that which was created. But the similarities would be restricted to ‘Contingent Beings’ (Biblically speaking, that would be those ‘Contingent Beings’ created IN the image of the ‘Necessary Being’).

My mistake. I misunderstood the "created in the image of" part of what you originally posted.

First – I, at no time, used the TAG (Transcendental Argument for God). Although I did advise Cata that this was the argument he was attempting to use.

My mistake again! I looked at your posts again and compared them to some definitions from Wikipedia. It seems like your argument in post 8 is a form of the Transcendental Argument, while your argument in post 9 is a form of the Cosmological Argument. Does that sound correct? (It doesn't affect the debate either way, but I'm curious)

And, I must add; you at no time refuted my “Rationality Argument for God” (post # 8), or my “First Principles Argument for God” (post # 9). You may want to attempt that before tackling other arguments.

My whole post was actually responding to both arguments. I agreed that in post 9 you proved that the origin of the universe must be tied to some nonphysical, Necessary Being. I also agreed that in post 8 you showed that the Necessary Being had to be rational. The rest of my response, which I will elaborate on in a moment, was explaining why neither argument proved that the Necessary Being had to be God.
Arguments

Actually, there is every reason to conclude that this cause must have been God, as there is no other rational explanation, and the argument I provided, along with many other lines of reasoning (logic and science) support said evidence. AND we know that logically, rationally, and scientifically “ex nihilo nihil fit” which destroys ANY materialistic attempts at origins.

I agree that there is no materialistic explanation for the origin of the universe. But God is not the only non-materialistic option. I am trying to show one other such option. As for the "many other lines of reasoning", if you bring up any particular line of reasoning I'd be happy to discuss it. For now I'm just saying that this particular line of reasoning does not prove that the Necessary Being must be God.

Further, Fiver’s argument fails because OF the Law of Non-contradiction (principle #3 of the first principles); as the explanation cannot be God and NOT God at the same time in the same sense (this would be covered in both doxastic and semantic variations as described by Aristotle). In other words, IF all the evidence points TO God (you can call Him the ‘Necessary Being’ if you wish, I’ll continue to call Him God.), and absolutely NO evidence refutes this conclusion, then it is logically and scientifically follows that there cannot be A God, and NO God (just as one cannot conclude the rational origin isn't God AND one cannot conclude the rational origin is God, at the same time, in the same sense).

The Law of Non-contradiction does show that the Necessary Being cannot be both God and not-God. But I'm saying something different: that based on the proofs you gave, we cannot say for certain whether the Necessary Being is God or not-God. The Law of Non-contradiction guarantees that it is one or the other, but says nothing about which one it is. Again, if you have other evidence that indicates God as opposed to some other necessary and non-physical entity, you can bring it up. I may have missed something, but I have not seen any so far.

First – There is absolutely NO fundamental law of nature that explains why THIS universe must exist. As we are speaking of THIS universe, not some hypothetical universe, therefore we are speaking from evidences for THIS universe. Second – Such law for some hypothetical universe is a non sequitur within the context of this conversation, and is therefore NOT rational because it does not follow form the premises within this conversation.

I will modify the nature of this hypothetical law, then. There might be some law of nature that explains why a universe must exist, but it might be less clear why this universe exists as opposed to some other, similar universe. This is analogous to how you would say God must necessarily exist, but there is no obvious reason why He had to create this universe as opposed to some other, similar universe. The basic law of nature could be a fundamental, necessary starting point for all reasoning, just as you consider God to be a fundamental, necessary starting point for all reasoning. Is there a flaw in my analogy, or any reason why such a basic law could not exist?

Third – I can say “God necessarily IS” because I am using evidences FOR THIS UNIVERSE that says He IS.

What evidences are you referring to?

Fourth – According to “God’s Word” suggest that one day we WILL know why, therefore your “but no one can ever know why” assertion does not follow as well.

This surprises me. I know it's a little off topic, but where in the Bible is it implied that we will one day know why God exists? Regardless, I think I can still say that we can never deduce why God exists from more basic principles - if we will ever know, it will be because He tells us. The basic law I'm hypothesizing would also not be deducible from more basic principles. I think the analogy still holds for this reason.

Second – The TAG is not used to prove “the existence of the nonphysical”(as that is way too vague a reference); but it is a very powerful logical argument FOR the existence of God. I suggest you brush up on it a bit before you attempt to reference it next time (IMHO). Actually, you may want to brush up on the use of those as well, as it seems that you don’t understand the interrelation of these lines of argumentation. Further, I never use only ONE of these as they all tie together quite nicely. Personally I also prefer to link the logical argumentation with the scientific and historical data as well; although I must admit that my favorite is the historical data.

Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you're saying to me: "You would know that the TAG proves the existence of God specifically if you bothered to study it more carefully, and there are many other related arguments that also prove the existence of God specifically." I have looked through the TAG in some detail, and I don't think it proves anything more than the existence of a rational, necessary entity, for all the reasons I posted. As for the other arguments that all tie in together, please explain to me how one (or more) of them is tied into the argument you just made such that each argument cannot be addressed separately. It seems to me that if you have an argument proving that God exists, it can stand on its own without the TAG to back it up. If you have an argument that does not prove that God exists, combining it with the TAG will not help. Again, if you have a counter-example, please explain it to me in some detail

#15 Ron

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 06:53 PM


Keeping track of so much at once is tough. I'm going to try and break my response up into two categories, which will be a little out of order:
Misunderstandings

This is a 12 step syllogism using the twelve basic First Principles. And no, that is NOT the conclusion, therefore it is not fair (as it doesn’t follow from the premeses). It does indeed conclude that the universe was caused by a ‘Necessary Being’, and said ‘Necessary Being’ would indeed be distinct from that which was created. But the similarities would be restricted to ‘Contingent Beings’ (Biblically speaking, that would be those ‘Contingent Beings’ created IN the image of the ‘Necessary Being’).


My mistake. I misunderstood the "created in the image of" part of what you originally posted.



The “Created in His image” comment is only analogues to the similarity between the Necessary Being and the Contingent Being (this is in reference to a point YOU inserted into the conversation, not the main point of the argument. Further, it was to correct a misunderstanding of yours).

The crux of the argument is in support of the existence of the Necessary Being; everything else follows.



First – I, at no time, used the TAG (Transcendental Argument for God). Although I did advise Cata that this was the argument he was attempting to use.


My mistake again! I looked at your posts again and compared them to some definitions from Wikipedia. It seems like your argument in post 8 is a form of the Transcendental Argument, while your argument in post 9 is a form of the Cosmological Argument. Does that sound correct? (It doesn't affect the debate either way, but I'm curious)



The TAG is nothing like the Cosmological Argument, the “First Principles” argument OR my “Argument from Rationality” or any other logical argument. The crux of the TAG is that “without God, nothing else is possible”, but it is an ‘a priori’ argument (in that it assumes God); ALL of the other arguments are ‘a posteriori’ (they prove FROM the evidences TO God).

My ‘First Principles’ argument can be considered a type of cosmological argument, but its basis is the First Principles.



And, I must add; you at no time refuted my “Rationality Argument for God” (post # 8), or my “First Principles Argument for God” (post # 9). You may want to attempt that before tackling other arguments.


My whole post was actually responding to both arguments. I agreed that in post 9 you proved that the origin of the universe must be tied to some nonphysical, Necessary Being. I also agreed that in post 8 you showed that the Necessary Being had to be rational. The rest of my response, which I will elaborate on in a moment, was explaining why neither argument proved that the Necessary Being had to be God.
Arguments



That would be incorrect Spork, you did make claims, but you didn’t refute anything. Yes, you did agree on a few points, but then you went on to opine, not refute.



Actually, there is every reason to conclude that this cause must have been God, as there is no other rational explanation, and the argument I provided, along with many other lines of reasoning (logic and science) support said evidence. AND we know that logically, rationally, and scientifically “ex nihilo nihil fit” which destroys ANY materialistic attempts at origins.


I agree that there is no materialistic explanation for the origin of the universe. But God is not the only non-materialistic option. I am trying to show one other such option. As for the "many other lines of reasoning", if you bring up any particular line of reasoning I'd be happy to discuss it. For now I'm just saying that this particular line of reasoning does not prove that the Necessary Being must be God.



Ahhh, but you have provided absolutely NOTHING yet. You claim that God “MAY” not be the answer, but you haven’t provided “WHY” He isn’t, you’ve simply made illusory claims. Further, I also said “the argument I provided, along with many other lines of reasoning (logic and science) support said evidence.” I, at no time said that I am relying ONLY on said argument. YOU really must read what I said (in the meantime, I’ll keep reminding you of the fact).



Further, Fiver’s argument fails because OF the Law of Non-contradiction (principle #3 of the first principles); as the explanation cannot be God and NOT God at the same time in the same sense (this would be covered in both doxastic and semantic variations as described by Aristotle). In other words, IF all the evidence points TO God (you can call Him the ‘Necessary Being’ if you wish, I’ll continue to call Him God.), and absolutely NO evidence refutes this conclusion, then it is logically and scientifically follows that there cannot be A God, and NO God (just as one cannot conclude the rational origin isn't God AND one cannot conclude the rational origin is God, at the same time, in the same sense).


The Law of Non-contradiction does show that the Necessary Being cannot be both God and not-God. But I'm saying something different: that based on the proofs you gave, we cannot say for certain whether the Necessary Being is God or not-God. The Law of Non-contradiction guarantees that it is one or the other, but says nothing about which one it is. Again, if you have other evidence that indicates God as opposed to some other necessary and non-physical entity, you can bring it up. I may have missed something, but I have not seen any so far.



Once again, I at no time said that the “Law of Non-contradiction” alone proves God; you really must read WHAT I said, then respond in kind, not put words in my mouth. What I said was that Fiver’s comment (that you agreed with, but failed to provide validation for) was refuted by said Logical Law.

Further, you keep claiming that you have evidence that God “may” not be the answer, yet you continue to refuse to provide said evidences. All you have done is make assertions. If you’re going to make an argument, please do so, as this is a conversation, not a one-way street.




First – There is absolutely NO fundamental law of nature that explains why THIS universe must exist. As we are speaking of THIS universe, not some hypothetical universe, therefore we are speaking from evidences for THIS universe. Second – Such law for some hypothetical universe is a non sequitur within the context of this conversation, and is therefore NOT rational because it does not follow form the premises within this conversation.


I will modify the nature of this hypothetical law, then. There might be some law of nature that explains why a universe must exist, but it might be less clear why this universe exists as opposed to some other, similar universe. This is analogous to how you would say God must necessarily exist, but there is no obvious reason why He had to create this universe as opposed to some other, similar universe. The basic law of nature could be a fundamental, necessary starting point for all reasoning, just as you consider God to be a fundamental, necessary starting point for all reasoning. Is there a flaw in my analogy, or any reason why such a basic law could not exist?



First – You are positing a non sequitur, as there is absolutely NO evidence for ANY OTHER universe. Your hypothetical “other” universe, then, is nothing more than a “red herring”. I would suggest that you keep on point.

Second – You should be spending your time making a case against or for the context of THIS conversation, not attempting to interject hypothetical red herrings into the conversation.

Conclusion: YES there are some major flaws in your argumentation.



Third – I can say “God necessarily IS” because I am using evidences FOR THIS UNIVERSE that says He IS.


What evidences are you referring to?

Fourth – According to “God’s Word” suggest that one day we WILL know why, therefore your “but no one can ever know why” assertion does not follow as well.


This surprises me. I know it's a little off topic, but where in the Bible is it implied that we will one day know why God exists?


First – It is given in numerous scriptures where we shall converse WITH GOD in heaven (analogues to God’s conversing with Adam and Eve in the Garden), and at that time the believer will have the ability ask all the “why’s” he wishes. But, specifically in 1 Corinth Chapter 13 the Apostle Paul directly addresses how in this life we are bereft of information (knowledge), but when we are “face to face” we will have the opportunity to have ALL questions answered.

Second – When we are “face to face” I would desire anyone to question God’s existence.


Regardless, I think I can still say that we can never deduce why God exists from more basic principles - if we will ever know, it will be because He tells us.


First – Nowhere in our discourse did I assert that we would know WHY in this life, nor does ANY argumentation utilized in this thread claim to answer WHY.

Second – My main point in the previous discourse claims that we won’t know until that day.


The basic law I'm hypothesizing would also not be deducible from more basic principles. I think the analogy still holds for this reason.



You have yet to provide ANY basic Law, let alone ANY reasoning why said “basic law” would be MORE reasonable than what you are attempting to argue against. Therefore NOTHING you have posited thus far “holds”.



Second – The TAG is not used to prove “the existence of the nonphysical” (as that is way too vague a reference); but it is a very powerful logical argument FOR the existence of God. I suggest you brush up on it a bit before you attempt to reference it next time (IMHO). Actually, you may want to brush up on the use of those as well, as it seems that you don’t understand the interrelation of these lines of argumentation. Further, I never use only ONE of these as they all tie together quite nicely. Personally I also prefer to link the logical argumentation with the scientific and historical data as well; although I must admit that my favorite is the historical data.


Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you're saying to me: "You would know that the TAG proves the existence of God specifically if you bothered to study it more carefully, and there are many other related arguments that also prove the existence of God specifically." I have looked through the TAG in some detail, and I don't think it proves anything more than the existence of a rational, necessary entity, for all the reasons I posted.



Yes… You are wrong…

YOU somehow STILL misunderstand what the Transcendental Argument is all about, and I’m confused as to HOW you can be so misled in it since you claim to have put some time into it. So, here it is in a nut shell (although this simplistic explanation isn’t going to do it justice):

The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God is the argument that demonstrates God's existence BECAUSE logic, morals, and science ultimately “PRESUPPOSE” a deistic worldview, and that God's absolute nature is the source of logic and morals. In other words, its goal is to prove the existence of God using “Logical Absolutes” (Laws of Logic etcetera).

Now, the other logical arguments (Ontological, Teleological, etc…) argue in for God using Laws of Logic etcetera, BUT they DO NOT presuppose God BEFORE making the argument, they use the lines of evidence to LEAD TO GOD!


As for the other arguments that all tie in together, please explain to me how one (or more) of them is tied into the argument you just made such that each argument cannot be addressed separately. It seems to me that if you have an argument proving that God exists, it can stand on its own without the TAG to back it up. If you have an argument that does not prove that God exists, combining it with the TAG will not help. Again, if you have a counter-example, please explain it to me in some detail




Here, all I can say is WOW! Here’s what you need to do Spork; GO BACK THROUGH THE THREAD AND PROVIDE WHERE I EVER USED THE “TAG”!!!!!

Once again, I only commented on it in explanation to another poster. YOU keep attempting to interject it into my conversation. YOU really need to get your act together. I personally DO NOT USE the TAG. But I can tie it into my argumentation at any time as I ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS!

But that isn’t the main problem here. The main problem is that YOU claim to have an argument (From Nature???) that you keep postulating on, but you have totally failed to provide it!

Oh, you keep saying that I need to bring OTHER arguments into the conversation, but YOU have yet to refute what I have provided thus far. So, my question becomes “WHY SHOULD I DO ANY MORE THAN I HAVE ALREADY DONE?” You haven’t even touched them yet.

If you want to remain in this conversation:

First – Provide ANYTHING that refutes my assertions (as you have failed to do so yet).
Second – Provide these lines of evidence that you claim to have (as you have failed to do so yet).
Third – PLEASE!!! Get a better understanding of the TAG, and quit attempting to claim that I am using it!

#16 Sporktastic

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:20 PM

I'm going to try and take a step back. There are a lot of issues flying around that have little or no bearing on the main point of the thread. This is largely my fault, since I talked about the TAG way more than I had any reason to. I did so because I am interested in the nomenclature of arguments for God, but I let the issue get way out of hand. Sorry.

You say you want me to refute your assertions and provide some evidence of my own. There is a lot of text in this thread, and to keep things clean I want to make sure I know exactly what I am supposed to be arguing for. So before I actually do any arguing, please tell me exactly what claim you are trying to defend in this thread:
1. God exists (I would not disagree with this assertion)
2. It can be logically proven that God exists (I am prepared to argue against this, although you may have a sound proof up your sleeve that I had not thought of yet)
3. Your Rationality Argument and/or First Principles Argument prove that God exists (I think that I can refute this claim)
4. Something else (please specify)
I realize that you might believe more than one of these things. But to stay clear, I think each thread should have one particular claim under debate, so please choose which one you think this thread is/should be devoted to discussing. Once I know exactly what I am arguing against, I will provide my refutations and evidence. Thank you!

#17 Ron

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 05:06 AM


You say you want me to refute your assertions and provide some evidence of my own.


No, I’m saying that if you are going to MAKE an assertion, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to provide the substantiation for said assertion. Otherwise you are merely opining (i.e. Assertum Non Est Demonstratum).


There is a lot of text in this thread, and to keep things clean I want to make sure I know exactly what I am supposed to be arguing for.


It doesn’t matter to me what you argue ‘for’ or ‘against’ Spork. But, thus far all you have done is make claims sans ANY actual formal (or even a cogent informal) argument one-way or the other. You have claimed that you can refute my syllogisms, and you have yet to do so. You also said you have a better argument, yet you have failed to provide it (them).

I, on the other hand, have provided at least TWO formal arguments. And I am still awaiting your formal rebuttal against EITHER or BOTH; other than your assertions that you can do so.


So before I actually do any arguing, please tell me exactly what claim you are trying to defend in this thread:


Spork, since you’ve been in this thread, you have attempted to argue; the problem is that you have failed to actually provide anything other than assertions and other baseless folderol. I, on the other hand have provided formal arguments that you have yet to refute. What is even more interesting, is that you would even submit that you ‘don’t understand what I am trying to defend”. Further, you have drug such meaningless conversations on for three days now. These are all typical TROLLING tactics (i.e. attempting to make a spectacle). Now, is this really where you want to go? And is it because you really don’t have an argument?


God exists (I would not disagree with this assertion)



Okay…


2. It can be logically proven that God exists (I am prepared to argue against this, although you may have a sound proof up your sleeve that I had not thought of yet)


First – Yes, it CAN be logically proven that God exists (see LOGIC 101)
Second – You claimed to be prepared, but you have failed to do so.
Third – I don’t need anything up my sleeve, as you haven’t provided cogent (rationally persuasive, forceful, coherent, sound) argument refuting any of my points thus far!


3. Your Rationality Argument and/or First Principles Argument prove that God exists (I think that I can refute this claim)


You keep making this claim, but you have yet to provide where you can (Assertum Non Est Demonstratum).


4. Something else (please specify)


Thus far, I have absolutely no need to provide anything else.


I realize that you might believe more than one of these things. But to stay clear, I think each thread should have one particular claim under debate, so please choose which one you think this thread is/should be devoted to discussing. Once I know exactly what I am arguing against, I will provide my refutations and evidence. Thank you!



Spork, YOU are the one who claimed to be able to refute the logic I have provided (in other words “you might believe you can refute more than one of these things”. Therefore it is up to you to back up your words.

To be clear, you have refuted ‘exactly NONE’ of my assertions; and now you are posturing to limit is to one of them, in order to make it easier on you? Spork, I don’t care which one you want to attempt to refute, nor is it my obligation to pick one. You, on the other hand, are claiming to have the ability to refute BOTH (and have failed, thus far, to do so), AND provide your own (and have failed, thus far, to do so). I might suggest you cease the posturing, and do something.


I might also suggest that you further cease vacillating on providing what you claim the ability to provide; as this seems disingenuous at best. You will not be allowed to continue playing such a game in this thread, or this forum.

#18 Sporktastic

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:29 PM

It doesn’t matter to me what you argue ‘for’ or ‘against’ Spork. But, thus far all you have done is make claims sans ANY actual formal (or even a cogent informal) argument one-way or the other. You have claimed that you can refute my syllogisms, and you have yet to do so. You also said you have a better argument, yet you have failed to provide it (them). I, on the other hand, have provided at least TWO formal arguments. And I am still awaiting your formal rebuttal against EITHER or BOTH; other than your assertions that you can do so.


Ok. To be clear, then, I am attacking your formal proofs in posts 8 and 9. The purpose of this post will be to show that neither your Argument from Rationality nor your Argument from First Principles (nor both together) prove that God exists. I spent a post clarifying this because it means something important: you cannot refute my argument by saying "The existence of God can be shown through other arguments/evidences." That may be true, but the point I am about to make is that the two proofs you offered in this thread are invalid. If you have other proofs, that is fine, and we can discuss them later. They have no bearing on the validity of these proofs.

Now for my actual argument. Collectively, the two proofs you posted show that the cause of the universe must have been some necessary, rational being. I accept that. But saying "it had to be a necessary, rational being" is not the same as saying "it had to be God", because that would ignore the possibility that it was a necessary, rational being other than God. I combed through your previous posts as best I could, and found two basic reasons why you say it had to be God specifically. I will respond to both of them here. If I missed a reply, I apologize. Please point out any missed replies to me, and I will respond to them.

[T]here is every reason to conclude that this cause must have been God, as there is no other rational explanation, and the argument I provided, along with many other lines of reasoning (logic and science) support said evidence.
...
I can say “God necessarily IS” because I am using evidences FOR THIS UNIVERSE that says He IS.
...
(several other, similar comments)

You repeatedly appeal to other lines of reasoning that show the necessary being must be God. But just because a conclusion is true does not mean that a proof concluding with it is valid. In this case, other arguments for or against God do not make the two proofs you posted any more or less valid. A proof that does not stand on its own is no proof at all.

[Y]ou keep claiming that you have evidence that God “may” not be the answer, yet you continue to refuse to provide said evidences.

Proofs do not work that way. If it is not obvious from your proofs that God is the only possibility, then God is not a valid conclusion from the proofs. Period. You cannot just assume that God is the only option until I prove that there are alternatives.

Even so, I do offer one alternative. The necessary, rational cause of the universe may have been some basic law of nature that explains why a universe must exist. To defend the reasonability of a basic law like that, I will compare its important features with the important features of God. Both would simply Be, in the sense that we could not explain their existence from more basic principles. Both would lead to a universe, although it is less clear why the universe they led to would be exactly the way it is. Both would be necessary, rational, and irreducible starting points for all reasoning. In short, both would play similar roles and require similar assumptions, so both seem like reasonable options. Again, you may have other arguments why God is the better choice, but neither proof you offered here seems to contain any such arguments, so on their own they are not valid proofs that God, specifically, exists.

#19 Ron

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 07:53 PM



It doesn’t matter to me what you argue ‘for’ or ‘against’ Spork. But, thus far all you have done is make claims sans ANY actual formal (or even a cogent informal) argument one-way or the other. You have claimed that you can refute my syllogisms, and you have yet to do so. You also said you have a better argument, yet you have failed to provide it (them). I, on the other hand, have provided at least TWO formal arguments. And I am still awaiting your formal rebuttal against EITHER or BOTH; other than your assertions that you can do so.



Ok. To be clear, then, I am attacking your formal proofs in posts 8 and 9. The purpose of this post will be to show that neither your Argument from Rationality nor your Argument from First Principles (nor both together) prove that God exists. I spent a post clarifying this because it means something important: you cannot refute my argument by saying "The existence of God can be shown through other arguments/evidences."


Spork, provide where I claimed that I used the argument "The existence of God can be shown through other arguments/evidences.". And please, KEEP it in context with the conversation, don’t attempt to cherry pick it as you have above.


That may be true, but the point I am about to make is that the two proofs you offered in this thread are invalid. If you have other proofs, that is fine, and we can discuss them later. They have no bearing on the validity of these proofs.



Once again, you have, at NO TIME proved EITHER argument to be INVALID. Further, other proofs only strengthen the arguments I have already provided. Now, do you think you can do something other than make bold claims from no solid footing??


Now for my actual argument. Collectively, the two proofs you posted show that the cause of the universe must have been some necessary, rational being.


Fair enough… Yes, indeed, I did posit such.


I accept that.


Smart on your part, as the logic holds.


But saying "it had to be a necessary, rational being" is not the same as saying "it had to be God", because that would ignore the possibility that it was a necessary, rational being other than God.



I never said it did… Although I did say that the evidences point directly to what Christian Theists call God. But, if you can find evidence for a necessary, rational being other than God, I’d love to hear about it!


I combed through your previous posts as best I could, and found two basic reasons why you say it had to be God specifically. I will respond to both of them here. If I missed a reply, I apologize. Please point out any missed replies to me, and I will respond to them.


Okay…



[T]here is every reason to conclude that this cause must have been God, as there is no other rational explanation, and the argument I provided, along with many other lines of reasoning (logic and science) support said evidence.
...
I can say “God necessarily IS” because I am using evidences FOR THIS UNIVERSE that says He IS.
...
(several other, similar comments)


You repeatedly appeal to other lines of reasoning that show the necessary being must be God. But just because a conclusion is true does not mean that a proof concluding with it is valid. In this case, other arguments for or against God do not make the two proofs you posted any more or less valid. A proof that does not stand on its own is no proof at all.



I haven’t “appealed” to ANY lines of evidence other than what I’ve formally provided in this thread; therefore YOU are dragging a “Red Herring” through this conversation. I have indeed mentioned that there ARE other lines of evidence, BUT I also said that I wasn’t using them, because YOU have failed to refute or disprove what I have provided thus far (have you NOT been reading?). You really need to review LOGIC 101 (specifically concerning “truth” and “Validity”). Setting that aside, what I have provided (the two formal arguments) indeed STAND ON THEIR OWN! And, if YOU claim that they do not, it is YOUR responsibility to show where they DO NOT! You have failed completely to do so thus far. All you have done (again, EVEN in THIS posting) is make bold claims sans ANY cogent argumentation.



[Y]ou keep claiming that you have evidence that God “may” not be the answer, yet you continue to refuse to provide said evidences.


Proofs do not work that way.


Actually YES it does. And here is how that works… If YOU make a claim (i.e. such as claiming that my syllogisms/logic are/is invalid or fallacious), it is YOUR responsibility to provide the evidence to back your claims.

And this is the last time, at this forum you will get that warning. What you are doing is known as “Clear cases of misrepresentation”. It is also a type of “Trolling”. I have warned you about this no less than TWO other times.






If it is not obvious from your proofs that God is the only possibility, then God is not a valid conclusion from the proofs. Period.


Not only is that incorrect Spork, it is fallacious as well. Even if the name “God” were not the “obvious” conclusion from my syllogisms, it does not follow that the name “God” is not a valid conclusion. Once again, you need to review Logic 101. The name “God” CAN INDEED be synonymous with the name “Necessary Being”, or even “Rational Law Giver” in the conclusion.



You cannot just assume that God is the only option until I prove that there are alternatives.


You are correct, I cannot “just assume”, and neither can you. But I am NOT just assuming, as I have provided just two (of MANY) tightly formed logical syllogisms that point directly to “GOD”, (Necessary Being, and Rational Law Giver etc…) as the conclusion. Further, I don’t have to “WAIT” for you do to anything (and it is mighty cheeky of you to presume that I did!) . In fact, if you THINK you have an alternative; it is up to you to provide the evidences (tightly formed logical syllogisms, scientific facts, historical facts etc…).


Even so, I do offer one alternative. The necessary, rational cause of the universe may have been some basic law of nature that explains why a universe must exist.


Really? That’s amazing! Is this your evidence? Can you then explain how a “basic law of nature” can CREATE anything? Can you please explain how a “Law” can BE without a “Law Giver”? Oh, and by the way, use actual FACTS, the the mere opinions you been suing thus far.

You see your illogic fails because a “Law” can be “cause”, but a “Law” cannot be a “causer”. (GO back to my post #9, and provide how a “Law” can be a “Necessary Being”). A “Law” requires a “Law Giver”. Without a “Law Giver” a “Law” cannot exist.

Until, and ONLY until, you reconcile your fallacious logic; the entire statement below is moot.


To defend the reasonability of a basic law like that, I will compare its important features with the important features of God. Both would simply Be, in the sense that we could not explain their existence from more basic principles. Both would lead to a universe, although it is less clear why the universe they led to would be exactly the way it is. Both would be necessary, rational, and irreducible starting points for all reasoning. In short, both would play similar roles and require similar assumptions, so both seem like reasonable options.


I would suggest you not even post in this thread again until you have done so.

#20 Sporktastic

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 11:22 PM

One part of your response really caught my attention. In this post, I am pausing for a minute and asking an honest question about the rules of this forum. I was not sure whether to post it here or start a new topic. If I should have started a new topic, I apologize in advance.

The name “God” CAN INDEED be synonymous with the name “Necessary Being”, or even “Rational Law Giver” in the conclusion.


This statement really surprised me. I have taken Logic 101, and I have spent a not insignificant amount of time looking through logical proofs of God's existence. I have never heard anyone say that "God" is synonymous with "Necessary, Rational Being". Rather, every definition I have heard has classified God as a very special subset of Necessary, Rational Beings. In fact, until today, if I had heard anyone claim that the two terms were synonymous, I would have labeled them a hardcore deist. Treating the two terms as synonymous changes everything, to the point that I am not even sure I disagree with your proofs anymore. Under this definition, I can see how several of my arguments stop being valid. I do not know how much unproductive bickering could have been avoided had I known exactly what you meant by "God", but I am sure it would have been a lot. And until the most recent post, you never explicitly told me that you were treating "God" and "Necessary, Rational Being" as synonyms.

When I tried to take a step back and make sure we were on the same page on post 16, this is exactly the kind of confusion that I was trying to do away with, but you accused me of trolling and intentionally stalling the debate. When I made points that were valid under every definition of "God" I had ever heard before today, you accused me of making baseless assertions and raising red herrings. In short, your worldview and definitions are very different from mine, and I can make an argument in good faith that is valid by my definitions but fallacious by yours. So my question is: If I want to make a post that I know you will disagree with, how can I know in advance whether it will count as fair debate or bannable time-wasting? And don't say that I should only post valid arguments rather than unsupported opinions, because the arguments I made were valid according to every definition of God I had ever heard until you gave me a new definition and threatened to ban me in the same post.

In particular, your last post made some good points about my "law of nature" alternative. I have what I think are some good responses, and I want to present them in a good faith effort to foster productive discussion. Given the current state of things, I probably won't post them, because I have no idea whether you will consider them valid arguments. Is there a reliable way for me to know what counts as a valid argument, even though I don't always know in advance what definitions and assumptions you are working with? If there is not a reliable way, I will not clutter up this thread any more, and I will pick my debates more carefully from now on. But I think the question we are discussing is an interesting one, so at least from my perspective, that would be a shame.




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