• BC
    13.4k
    If you are an atheist, EDIT: isn't there some burden of proof for you to bear?
  • unenlightened
    8.9k
    ↪unenlightened You may be interested in this.Agustino

    Yes, I was.
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    Nobody understands that what is real and what exists are not the same.
  • geospiza
    113
    ↪unenlightened You may be interested in this.
    — Agustino

    Yes, I was.
    unenlightened

    Which was William James' infamous reply to this.
  • Wosret
    3.4k
    In the beginning the world was formless and void, and then there was the word, and the word was God, and the word was with God.

    It goes something like that right? God is the logos. There is a reason that Aristotle was such a big deal to the church founders. Adam gave everything it's name. Adam was in communion with God in the garden and gave everything it's name. Jesus attained the kingdom again, and become the second adam.

    The meaning, the forms the word, the categories. The unintelligible through which all else is rendered intelligible. The ground.

    Read a book... don't listen modern rabble rousers.
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    Yes, I was.unenlightened
    :D And what did you think?
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k
    Nobody understands that what is real and what exists are not the same.Wayfarer

    Could you say more about this, and in what sense you meant it? I am having a little difficulty (in this thread) detecting irony. And figuring out when aphorisms are demonstrating an example of a "wrong" approach, or are simple statements of one's particular belief. In any case, yours is an interesting point. Thanks! (Y)
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    First post on 'old' forum, January 2009:

    "Here I want to consider whether there is a difference between what is real and what exists.

    'Exist' is derived from a root meaning to 'be apart', where 'ex' = apart from or outside, and 'ist' = to stand, to be. Ex-ist then means to be a separable object, to be 'this thing' as distinct from 'that thing'. This applies to all the existing objects of perception - chairs, tables, stars, planets, and so on - everything which we would normally call 'a thing'. So we could say that 'things exist'. No surprises there, and I don't think anyone would disagree with that proposition.

    Now to introduce a metaphysical concern. I was thinking about 'God', in the sense understood by classical metaphysics and theology. Whereas the things of perception are composed of parts and have a beginning and an end in time, 'God' is, according to classical theology, 'simple' - that is, not composed of parts- and 'eternal', that is, not beginning or ending in time.

    Therefore, 'God' does not 'exist', being of a different nature to anything we normally perceive. Theologians would say 'God' was superior to or beyond existence (for example, Pseudo-Dionysius; Eckhardt; Tillich; also here.) I don't think this is a controversial statement either, when the terms are defined this way (and leaving aside whether you believe in God or not, although if you don't the discussion might be irrelevant or meaningless.)

    But this made me wonder whether 'what exists' and 'what is real' might, in fact, be different. For example, consider number. Obviously we all concur on what a number is, and mathematics is lawful; in other words, we can't just make up our own laws of numbers. But numbers don't 'exist' in the same sense that objects of perception do; there is no object called 'seven'. You might point at the numeral, 7, but that is just a symbol. What we concur on is a number of objects, but the number cannot be said to exist independent of its apprehension, at least, not in the same way objects apparently do. In what realm or sphere do numbers exist? 'Where' are numbers? Surely in the intellectual realm, of which perception is an irreducible part. So numbers are not 'objective' in the same way that 'things' are. Sure, mathematical laws are there to be discovered; but can you argue that maths existed before humans discovered it?

    I started wondering whether this was related to the platonist distinction between 'intelligible objects' and 'objects of perception' 1 . Objects of perception - ordinary things - only exist, in the Platonic view, because they conform to, and are instances of, laws. Particular things are simply ephemeral instances of the eternal forms, but in themselves, they have no actual being. Their actual being is conferred by the fact that they conform to laws (in the original sense of 'logos'). So mere existence , and I think this is the sense it was intended by the Platonic and neo-Platonic schools, is illusory. Earthly objects of perception exist, but only in a transitory and imperfect way. They are 'mortal' - perishable, never perfect, and always transient. Whereas the archetypal Forms exist in the One Mind and are apprehended by Nous: while they do not exist they provide the basis for all existing things by creating the pattern, the ratio, whereby things are formed. They are real, above and beyond the existence of wordly things; but they don't actually exist. They don't need to exist; things do the hard work of existence.

    So the ordinary worldly person is caught up in 'his or her particular things', and thus is ensnared in illusory and ephemeral concerns. Whereas the Philosopher, by realising the transitory nature of ordinary objects of perception, learns to contemplate within him or herself, the eternal Law whereby things become manifest according to their ratio, and by being Disinterested, in the original sense of that word."
  • Reformed Nihilist
    279
    There are no philosophical arguments for the existence of the god that people go to church to worship.
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    true, and it's not something I do.

    //ps//but then, this is a philosophy forum.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    279
    Do you think that philosophy is, or should be, detached from the everyday activities of our lives? If so, I disagree, and wonder why you would think so?
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    ↪Wayfarer Do you think that philosophy is, or should be, detached from the everyday activities of our lives? If so, I disagree, and wonder why you would think so?Reformed Nihilist

    It's not detached from the living of life, but you need to detach yourself from 'what everyone thinks', the consensus reality, to pursue it. Most people to be honest would neither understand nor care about philosophical questions.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    279
    I guess that what I'm saying is that philosophy directly informs my everyday approach to religion, spirituality, and theism. Namely, it informs my rejection of all of the above. Religion, as it is commonly practiced, is at best (by my reckoning, informed by philosophy) a waste of time and a distraction, commonly is a means to romanticize irrationality, and at worst a means to subvert critical thinking in morally charged situations. That means that (again, by my reckoning), I am to some degree morally obligated to speak out.

    By the same reasoning, how would the ontological argument or the first mover argument obligate someone to go the their local church?
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    I guess that what I'm saying is that philosophy directly informs my everyday approach to religion, spirituality, and theismReformed Nihilist

    Mine also.

    Religion, as it is commonly practiced, is at best (by my reckoning, informed by philosophy) a waste of time and a distraction, commonly is a means to romanticize irrationality, and at worst a means to subvert critical thinking in morally charged situations.Reformed Nihilist

    It depends a lot on the individual practicing it.


    how would the ontological argument or the first mover argument obligate someone to go the their local church?Reformed Nihilist

    Again, varies a lot from person to person. I imagine in any congregation, there's philosophical types, who read and contemplate theological doctrines, and others whose practice consists of helping out at the Church fair and probably never give any thought to such things.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    279
    I am skeptical that anyone's religious practices are products of the first mover argument (or it's analogues). There is exactly zero reason to conclude that the first mover, God of the ontological argument, God of Pascal's wager, et al, are the commonly worshipped God from whatever neighborhood you live in or grew up in. In most cases, there's no line of reasoning that the God in question even has most of the properties we commonly associate with gods, like intentionally, moral goodness (being worthy of worship), or interest in our behaviours.
  • lambda
    76
    There is exactly zero reason to conclude that the first mover, God of the ontological argument, God of Pascal's wager, at al, are the commonly worshipped God from whatever neighborhood you live in or grew up in. In most cases, there's no line of reasoning that the God in question even has most of the properties we commonly associate with gods, like intentionally, moral goodness (being worthy of worship), or interest in our behaviours.Reformed Nihilist

    The ontological argument entails the existence a morally perfect being. And a morally perfect being would be worthy of worship. A morally perfect being would also be concerned with the well-being of His creatures and therefore have an interest in our behaviors (and consequently must have intentionality as well). So it looks like you're wrong on all three counts. The 'argument from religious experiences' is another argument for a God worthy of worship too.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    279
    Sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear. When I said "in most cases", I was making an allowance for the ontological god to be worthy of worship. None the less, the ontological argument doesn't imply an intentional god that has interest in our behaviors (so still a god that doesn't resemble the one most people worship in their churches, mosques or synagogues). The first mover, Pascal's wager doesn't imply a worthy, intentional or caring god.

    I'm not sure how you conclude that "A morally perfect being would also be concerned with the well-being of his creatures and therefore have an interest in our behaviors (and consequently must have intentionality as well)". That just sounds like an intuition that meets your personal image of god and perfection (which is really the problem with the ontological argument, and why Aquinas rejected it... it requires someone's conception of perfection, so god becomes contingent on man's mind).

    Is there another philosophical argument for god that offers evidence for Jehovah/Yaweh/Elohim/Allah as described in various texts?
  • lambda
    76
    the ontological argument doesn't imply an intentional god that has interest in our behaviorsReformed Nihilist

    I disagree since a being who is uninterested in the welfare of others obviously wouldn't be morally perfect....

    The first mover ... doesn't imply a worthy, intentional or caring god.Reformed Nihilist

    I agree.

    Pascal's wager doesn't imply a worthy, intentional or caring god.Reformed Nihilist

    I disagree since Pascal's wager is specifically an argument for Christianity and I would say the God described in the Sermon on the Mount is morally perfect (and therefore worthy of worship), intentional, and caring.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    279
    I disagree since a being who is uninterested in the welfare of others wouldn't be morally perfect.... — lambda

    Sorry again. Added on edit: "I'm not sure how you conclude that "A morally perfect being would also be concerned with the well-being of his creatures and therefore have an interest in our behaviors (and consequently must have intentionality as well)". That just sounds like an intuition that meets your personal image of god and perfection (which is really the problem with the ontological argument, and why Aquinas rejected it... it requires someone's conception of perfection, so god becomes contingent on man's mind).".

    I disagree since Pascal's wager is specifically an argument for Christianity and I would say the God described in the Sermon on the Mount is morally perfect, worthy of worship, intentional, and caring.

    The historical context of Pascal's wager was the christian god, but the argument itself makes no distinction. It is as compelling (or not) an argument for any god who requires belief in order to achieve eternal happiness or avoid eternal punishment. Edit: It's also morally sketchy in itself, as it proposes subjugating a desire for truth to a desire for personal gain. A god that rewarded this prioritization could reasonably be considered a little morally sketchy as well.
  • Mariner
    374
    By the way, I editted the OP to include many contributions from the thread. It's growing to be a nice User's Manual :).
  • S
    11.7k
    What a surprise! Nothing I contributed made the cut.

    Other suggestions were not specific to religious discussions.Mariner

    Okay, that's true of mine, although the suggestion was that it is especially good advice when it comes to religious discussions.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    279
    What a surprise! Nothing I contributed made the cut.Sapientia

    Nor I, and I thought my comment about theological arguments not proving the existence of any god people actually worship at a church was particularly insightful (to toot my own horn).
  • Mariner
    374
    Both comments were added now (I didn't think that RN's comment was supposed to be an addition to the list. My mistake).
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