• DPKING
    8
    First Post – Take it easy on me

    Regarding the multitude of arguments for theism and atheism, is it reasonable for both sides to hold the positions they hold? I wonder how much each side would be willing to answer “yes” to this question. In my experience, which side you find yourself on typically leads you to believe that the other side is “unreasonable” to believe what they believe. This is best displayed by militant forms of Christianity/Islam/Atheism that try to convince the other side they are completely irrational. I want to write it out in form and see what y’all think, because if this is worth asking, it raises some questions in my mind about how we understand belief and non-belief.

    For this post, I understand “reasonable” to mean, “justifiable by logical inference” (if this is a bad definition of reasonable, correct me)

    1 – If a belief has valid, though non-conclusive, arguments defending it, then it is reasonable to hold said belief
    2 – Though they inherently contradict one another, both atheism and theism have valid arguments that defend their position on the (non)existence of God,
    C – It is reasonable to believe in either atheism or theism

    It seems to me like this all goes without saying, but I figure most atheists and theists might leap to say that P2 is wrong, and then list which arguments of the other side are invalid and why. While I don’t want to make some argument from ignorance, I just can’t see how one side is built upon invalid arguments if both sides have been so inconclusive in dismissing their opposition’s arguments. In my understanding, if it is reasonable to believe in either atheism or theism, then the matter of actually holding one of these beliefs, or living as though it is true, shifts to matters separate from “reasonableness”. I mean that the atheist and the theist both hold reasonable grounds for their beliefs, and thus have confidence in their side, and only further fuel this confidence by the way that they live their lives. It seems to me like both sides make pretty sturdy defenses, and then people choose to stay on their side more on the basis of experiences, intuitions, desires, or perceptions. I don’t think this is a bad thing either, but perhaps an even better way to approach the question without believing that one side should be presumed or the “privileged” position.

    Does this make sense, or is there some relevant literature to this question that you all might recommend? I’m new to this stuff and would appreciate some feedback. Hope anyone who reads this has some answers for me!!
  • Kenosha Kid
    900
    If neither side agree that the other is being reasonable, how do you know they both mean the same thing by 'reasonable'? Case in point, I've never seen a critique of Darwinism that refuted one of its postulates, or its derivation, or provided empirical evidence that didn't turn out to be false, or refuted empirical evidence in a sensible way. The overall anti-Darwinist thrust is not that Darwin made a mistake, but that his conclusions are obviously wrong because we know that God created all the animals. This can never be described by an atheist as a reasonable argument: knowing the answer in advance is not a process of reason. But I imagine to the theists making such arguments, it seems perfectly reasonable.
  • Cobra
    34
    What sound arguments does theism have?
  • DingoJones
    2k
    1 – If a belief has valid, though non-conclusive, arguments defending it, then it is reasonable to hold said beliefDPKING

    What do you mean by “non-conclusive“?

    2 – Though they inherently contradict one another, both atheism and theism have valid arguments that defend their position on the (non)existence of God,DPKING

    There are no valid arguments for theism being true. The best theism can do is argue that theism should be treated as true for practical benefit and even those arent really good arguments.

    C – It is reasonable to believe in either atheism or theismDPKING

    I would say that whether something is reasonable isnt based on what it concludes but rather the reasoning itself.
    One could be and atheist for poor reasons, and accurately be called unreasonable even though they reached the right conclusion (atheism). Likewise with theism if you think theism is true, one could have poor reasons and be right by accident.
    Its not the conclusion that can be measured by reason, its the process that can be measured by reason.
  • Philosophim
    292
    I would say that whether something is reasonable isnt based on what it concludes but rather the reasoning itself.
    One could be and atheist for poor reasons, and accurately be called unreasonable even though they reached the right conclusion (atheism). Likewise with theism if you think theism is true, one could have poor reasons and be right by accident.
    Its not the conclusion that can be measured by reason, its the process that can be measured by reason.
    DingoJones

    Seconded.
  • tim wood
    5.4k
    arguments for theism and atheism,DPKING
    Theism is an affirmative belief. To establish the substance of that belief as real when that "substance" is not self-evident is the burden of the folks who hold it real. Notable - and to my way of thinking conclusive within its ambit - is that Christians simply aver their belief and are explicit in this, in their, "We believe...".

    Atheism is not an affirmative belief, nor any belief at all. Atheism is simply the expression that the claims of theism to certain kinds of real being are not proved. Atheism, then, has zero need of any argument. If Atheism is subject to any obligation, it is only to reasonably clear thought and thinking.

    Further, in claiming certain kinds of "reality" for their beliefs, theists make manifest their own failure to understand their own beliefs both in substance and detail.
  • tim wood
    5.4k
    1 – If a belief has valid, though non-conclusive, arguments defending it, then it is reasonable to hold said beliefDPKING

    Valid/non-conclusive? Best you review the meaning of valid.
    All men are mortal
    All mortals are avocados
    Socrates is a man
    Socrates is an avocado.

    Further, one needs no arguments to believe anything; anyone can believe what they like.

    Though they inherently contradict one another, both atheism and theism have valid arguments that defend their position on the (non)existence of God,DPKING
    Atheism as argument is not on any position regarding God, it is instead a pointing out of the inadequacy of the arguments of theists.

    C – It is reasonable to believe in either atheism or theismDPKING
    Atheism itself is not a belief. Atheism is a reasoned and principled reaction to unproven claims of others.

    It is best to understand the elements of discussion before discussing them.
  • DPKING
    8


    Hey Dingo,

    What do you mean by “non-conclusive“?DingoJones

    Thanks for catching this, I think I meant to say, “ If a belief has valid arguments defending it, though they are non-conclusive, then it is reasonable to hold said belief“

    I used non-conclusive in a judicial sense, where the arguments are valid (if the premises are true, the conclusion can’t be false) but they do not necessarily sway the “jury” one way or the other. The resulting back and forth of counter-examples and counter-counter-examples make the premises a war zone of no-this and no-that. Which is not a bad thing, and a necessary part of the discourse. The main arguments for Theism that I see for this are FTA and some combination of the Cosmological arguments. For atheism, the problem of evil and hiddenness are top of the list for me.

    I would say that whether something is reasonable isnt based on what it concludes but rather the reasoning itself.
    One could be and atheist for poor reasons, and accurately be called unreasonable even though they reached the right conclusion (atheism). Likewise with theism if you think theism is true, one could have poor reasons and be right by accident.
    Its not the conclusion that can be measured by reason, its the process that can be measured by reason.
    DingoJones

    Hmm this is a great point, probably need to rework my thoughts with this in mind. I think that both sides are reasonable in the way that they come to their conclusion, both use proper reasons. But if you affirm (like I said in my initial post) that P2 is wrong because there is no valid argument for Theism/atheism, then the conclusion wouldn’t follow anyways. Thank you for your insights!!
  • Gnomon
    912
    C – It is reasonable to believe in either atheism or theismDPKING
    Yes. Both Theists and Atheists are reasonable in the sense that they each have reasons to support their pro or con conclusion. The problem is that Atheists don't accept the proposed "evidence" in favor of god-belief (miracles, moral stance, etc). So, it's not the reasoning that makes a difference in conclusions, but the initial motivation, which defines acceptable evidence. The conclusion is inherent in the initial assumption.

    For example, Theists tend to feel that a supernatural deity is necessary to explain the very existence of our temporal conditional world. Atheists, though, seem to be un-bothered by the open question of bare existence. Yet in both perspectives, eternal existence of something (God or Multiverse) is, perhaps subconsciously, taken for granted --- as an unproven Axiom. That timeless unconditional fundamental power-to-be is what I call BEING. It's a logical necessity that any reasoning about ultimate questions must build upon. So, how about essential BEING as a starting point for reasoning about otherwise open-ended philosophical questions? :smile:
  • DPKING
    8


    Hi Tim! Yeah i think I didn’t make it clear what I meant with valid and non-conclusive. In my response to Dingo I think I clarified what I meant a little more.

    Atheism itself is not a belief. Atheism is a reasoned and principled reaction to unproven claims of others.tim wood

    Hmm, I hear this all the time but I don’t know if I agree that atheism is “not on any position regarding God” as you say. How atheism is actualized and defended, it seems to actually be a metaphysical claim/belief that “there is no God” not just a denial of other claims. I think this is what Flew talks about as positive and negative atheism. I know that Flew is a major figure on non-belief atheism, but who else would you recommend to read to get a better picture?
  • DPKING
    8


    Hi Gnomon,

    For example, Theists tend to feel that a supernatural deity is necessary to explain the very existence of our temporal conditional world. Atheists, though, seem to be un-bothered by the open question of bare existence.Gnomon

    What if it’s not a matter of feeling that a God is necessary, but that alternative theories about existence don't seem to be satisfactory for theists. It’s the same thing for atheists, they see the universe as the result of natural causes and don’t see the claims of theists about a God being necessary as satisfactory.

    Yet in both perspectives, eternal existence of something (God or Multiverse) is, perhaps subconsciously, taken for granted --- as an unproven Axiom. That timeless unconditional fundamental power-to-be is what I call BEING. It's a logical necessity that any reasoning about ultimate questions must build upon. So, how about essential BEING as a starting point for reasoning about otherwise open-ended philosophical questions? :smile:Gnomon

    This is really well stated, thank you for being so straightforward and helpful! I agree, and I hope the most others would too!
  • tim wood
    5.4k
    I think this is what Flew talks about as positive and negative atheism. I know that Flew is a major figure on non-belief atheism, but who else would you recommend to read to get a better picture?DPKING
    Fair enough. But I don't think you need look further than - in this case - the word itself. Beyond that there's no accounting for what some people think or believe. And why would anyone undertake to prove a negative, and how would they do it?

    Do you accept the proposition that belief is in itself unassailable? Of course beliefs can be challenged on all kinds of grounds, but essentially not as beliefs.

    Belief in g/God(s) I hold to be unassailable. Theism, then, as belief, is safe. How is there a problem? When ignorant theists - now including all members of all religions who make a similar claim - claim their g/God(s) are real. It's their claim; their's to demonstrate. Its that simple. Claiming atheism is a belief on the same footing as theism is simply a tactic of evasion and attempted deflection, which in most cases and for most purposes is vicious.
  • tim wood
    5.4k
    is what I call BEINGGnomon
    Great, call it what you like. But on what basis do you say anything about it? And, what answers the question of where the multi-verse came from, or being itself? If we're talking about belief, these are relatively trivial questions. If what is real, not so easy.
  • Judaka
    911

    I just can’t see how one side is built upon invalid arguments if both sides have been so inconclusive in dismissing their opposition’s argumentsDPKING

    It seems to me that this is where you're going to get the most disagreement. There are a set of very contentious issues such as global warming where the science is absolutely clear and yet by your definition of inconclusive - it's actually unclear whether there's global warming or not. Since many people still believe it's a hoax, the arguments in favour of global warming existing must be inconclusive? We can't judge the veracity of an argument based on how many people remain unconvinced by it.

    The other concept here is validity and one can certainly make valid arguments for either side but what does that actually mean? We have a set of standards for epistemological rationality as an example, making a valid argument using the highest standards creates a powerful argument but what if these standards aren't used? One can make an argument like "better safe than sorry" and it can be a valid one but is that a reasonable attitude? What are the consequences of that kind of logic being applied outside of this context? It becomes silly.

    When it comes to reasonableness, we might also ask what does it mean if a belief is correct? There are many concepts that I dislike from Islam but from the perspective of a Muslim, it's God's divine law, not to be challenged by mortals. Even if you hold the position that it's "inconclusive", what does that mean in the real world? You want to both respect Islamic Divine Law as well as think people who disagree are reasonable in doing so? That is a weak position of neutrality and it will certainly be attacked by either or both sides.
  • EricH
    255
    Atheism as argument is not on any position regarding God, it is instead a pointing out of the inadequacy of the arguments of theists.tim wood

    Ah - back to the Definition Wars.

    According to wikipedia:
    Atheism is in the broadest sense an absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.
    So according to wikipedia you use the term atheist in the broadest sense. Atheist.org also takes this stance.

    However, if we look in dictionary.com, we see that atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no God. A quick google search will find similar definitions in many places.

    The broad definition also invalidates the commonly accepted definition of agnosticism - agnosticism was coined as a term coined by Huxley specifically to differentiate his thinking from atheism - but with this "broad" definition of atheism, agnosticism is simply a subset of atheism.

    My take on this is that the "broad" definition of atheism is too broad - and it goes against the commonly accepted definition of the terms. If you ask the average person on the street what these terms mean they'll say atheists deny that god exists (the less broad or narrow sense) and agnostics aren't sure (i.e. agnostics are not atheists).

    And all this this leaves me - a lonely ignostic - out of the conversation altogether. :smile:
  • tim wood
    5.4k
    Ah - back to the Definition Wars.EricH

    Look at the word. Do you understand the word? What some groups of people think it means or take it to mean is not relevant. There are people, for example, who are convinced Covid-19 is a hoax, and there others who deny climate change and global warming. Are they right because of their beliefs?

    I suppose the question is, on the question, a) what you believe, and b) what you represent as being true. Believe what you like. In the marketplace of ideas, knowledge, and information, be prepared to offer value if you're selling something.
  • DPKING
    8


    It seems to me that this is where you're going to get the most disagreement. There are a set of very contentious issues such as global warming where the science is absolutely clear and yet by your definition of inconclusive - it's actually unclear whether there's global warming or not. Since many people still believe it's a hoax, the arguments in favour of global warming existing must be inconclusive? We can't judge the veracity of an argument based on how many people remain unconvinced by it.Judaka

    Hey Judaka,

    That’s a good point, I definitely don’t think a climate change denier should be off the hook because of “inconclusiveness”. the reasonableness of an argument does not rest solely on the resulting amount of people convinced, so you are totally right to point that out.

    I am trying to think of a way in which it could be a combination of this and some of the other factors of reasonableness mentioned by other commenters. It is overwhelmingly important that the validity of the argument be first in this process, but when both sides make good cases and defend themselves well, is there room for anything else?

    Maybe the difference between the issue of climate change and this one is the metaphysical nature of these claims/beliefs. I agree that the science shows global warming, and the evidence makes the best case for it. With theism/atheism, it’s a little more up in the air (to me at least, I think many would disagree with me on this). This may lead us to a discussion of evidentialism, but in all honesty, I am still fairly confused about the arguments for and against it and what they mean for all sorts of other issues.

    Maybe a better parallel to my argument in terms of contentious topics is the state of political parties in the US right now. Surely both the left and the right have valid, reasonable beliefs about what will help the country the most, but they in large part still disagree. They site some of the same evidence as reasoning for their beliefs, and reject the other sides claims as a “unreasonable” conclusion of the evidence in front of them.

    Thanks for taking the time to work through this with me!

    *also Not trying to defend Trump or any specific political stance by bringing this up, just think it might fit*
  • Judaka
    911

    Both atheists and agnostics can agree that we can't prove God doesn't exist and both agree we can't prove God does exist. The difference is what that means, for the atheist, the burden of proof is on the "proving" and if you can't back up the claim that God exists then there's no reason to believe he does. The agnostic says "well, can't prove either way, therefore I haven't made up my mind".

    Whether the atheist doesn't believe in God because there's a lack of proof for God or because they believe they can prove there's no God isn't distinguished between in the definition.


    So, you would not forgive climate change deniers, their existence does not prove the inadequacy of the argument for climate change. You say "the evidence makes the best case for it". Yet this is often the position of the theist and atheist. You have not answered what the "evidence makes the best case for" and instead simply relied on this notion of "inconclusiveness".

    Similarily for political or moral issues, you just won't take a stance because a debate has two sides? That is silly, surely you can agree?

    Personally, I think agnosticism is epistemologically flawed, if you really have no idea whether God exists or not after hearing all the evidence then the logical conclusion is atheism. All atheism means here is the equivalent of saying that I maintain a stance of non-belief until being given sufficient evidence to believe.

    If I said I conversed with a fairy, would you be uncertain because you could neither prove or disprove the claim or would you ask for proof? In this circumstance, you would likely not even adopt a stance of non-belief but actually you would actively reject the plausibility of my claim. I think here, basically, there are billions of people who do believe I conversed with a fairy and so you hesitate and that's fair but does that logic really hold up upon closer examination?
  • DPKING
    8

    So, you would not forgive climate change deniers, their existence does not prove the inadequacy of the argument for climate change. You say "the evidence makes the best case for it". Yet this is often the position of the theist and atheist. You have not answered what the "evidence makes the best case for" and instead simply relied on this notion of "inconclusiveness".
    Judaka

    You are right about the first part here. I haven't offered my own beliefs on the topic, not because I seek to defend agnosticism and the "inconclusiveness" of it all, but because I am not trying to elaborate on the specific arguments in favor of theism/atheism and then deduce how much evidence is in favor of each side. That is done aplenty on other posts and by far more capable people than I. The original purpose of my post was to explore a common ground in which both parties might see the "reasonableness" of the other side, and the responses are sharpening up what I might mean by "reasonable." I think this reasonableness is good thing, and might land us in the realm of "friendly atheism" and "friendly theism"

    If I said I conversed with a fairy, would you be uncertain because you could neither prove or disprove the claim or would you ask for proof? In this circumstance, you would likely not even adopt a stance of non-belief but actually you would actively reject the plausibility of my claim. I think here, basically, there are billions of people who do believe I conversed with a fairy and so you hesitate and that's fair but does that logic really hold up upon closer examination?Judaka

    Do you think that this fairy convo is just a repackaging of the "teapot" argument? I don't know if the fairy is necessarily analogous with the God that theists argue for, because of all the major effects/implications that the existence of a God would have when compared to the fairy you mention. I also don't know if the two decisions you offer (be uncertain and ask for proof) are mutually exclusive. But if you disagree let me know.

    Similarily for political or moral issues, you just won't take a stance because a debate has two sides? That is silly, surely you can agree?Judaka

    That is a pretty silly thing to do, because all debates have sides and we typically pick one whether or not we think we do. But i don't think that I am suggesting that. Continuing with this political/moral framework, I see that the debate has two sides, and each side cites different pieces of evidence (sometimes overlapping evidence) to make a case for their platform. Both sides came to their conclusions in a reasonable way, and the reason why we pick a side is because certain arguments hold greater weight/value in our decision making process.
  • Judaka
    911

    The fairy example is not a criticism of theism, it is a criticism of agnosticism. A theist's beliefs will not operate as I described. The difference between atheism (or part of it) and agnosticism is "uncertainty" and what do you do with it or how do you characterise it. The agnostic can know there is no proof and that there will be no proof but decided to remain neutral (either side could be correct) while the atheist says (no proof, no reason to believe and thus it is wrong to believe). As far as the agnostic is concerned, what is the difference between God and the fairy? Each is equally impossible to prove or disprove. From that perspective, it is a fair comparison but change fairy with an angel if you want, or God himself doesn't matter. What matters is we can't prove/disprove the claim.

    I think the reasonableness which leads to "friendly atheism" and "friendly theism" basically lies in "to each his own". The problem is when that isn't possible, issues such as abortion or gay marriage and that cause friction. Often in philosophy, entire positions are justified or dismantled based on religious belief and that makes things hard too. There comes a time for people where we can't just say "to each his own", you have your moment with global warming and others have theirs with atheism/theism.

    Personally, I don't care about whether you believe in God or not but what the belief or non-belief produces. If your beliefs bring you comfort, happiness and encourage you to be kind and generous then great but if it leads you to oppress others or cause you to be anti-science or to have crazy ideas then that's not good. I think that's the attitude of the non-militant and where we can draw the line between civil disagreement and something more serious.
  • Gnomon
    912
    What if it’s not a matter of feeling that a God is necessary, but that alternative theories about existence don't seem to be satisfactory for theists.DPKING
    What "alternative theories about existence" did you have in mind? Most atheists seem to just take the existence of "Reality" for granted. Hence, the Multiverse theory is merely an extension of the pre-Big-Bang assumption of an eternal material universe. Variations on that immortal-matter theme were cyclical temporary universes, and ongoing natural creation of matter to replace the stuff lost to Entropy. A recent Hypothesis to fill the gaps in Inflation Theory is Eternal Inflation. Are such turtles-all-the-way-down theories not satisfactory for you?

    My primary problem with those alternative theories of a self-existent Reality is that the only example of a real-world we have experience with has been "proven" by scientific evidence to be temporary, with a definite beginning and a fade-out end. For all we know, Time began at the Big Bang. And there is no known mechanism for relighting the fuse after the Big Fizzle. Speculations on Black Holes and Worm Holes and Branes are no more scientific than speculations on creative deities, except that they remain loyal to faith in Materialism/Physicalism. Each new discovery of the overall nature of Nature, requires faith-inspired creative thinking to maintain the modern facade on the ancient dogma of Materialism.

    However, my personal dissatisfaction with hypothetical alternatives to intentional creation is that they typically ignore the immaterial and holistic phenomena that have emerged as matter-manipulating powers in our Real world : e.g Life & Mind & Intentions. Without a theory to explain how those world-changing Metaphysical realities emerged from Physical processes, the non-physical aspects of Reality, that are most important to non-scientists, are left out of the recurring reality equation. That's why I have developed my own personal hypothesis, that is not beholden to Biblical or Physical doctrine. It is instead based on the ubiquity of Information, which is both physical & metaphysical, both material & mental. :nerd:


    Materialism : the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.

    Metaphysicalism : Physicalism differs with naturalistic metaphysicalism in at least one specific concept. Physicalism holds that nothing is greater than the sum of its parts.
    http://freeassemblage.blogspot.com/2009/01/physicalism-and-metaphysicalism.html
    Note -- this site is new to me, but the notion of Metaphysical Naturalism sounds like it might be amenable to my own concept of Enformationism.
  • Gnomon
    912
    is what I call BEING — Gnomon
    Great, call it what you like. But on what basis do you say anything about it? And, what answers the question of where the multi-verse came from, or being itself? If we're talking about belief, these are relatively trivial questions. If what is real, not so easy.
    tim wood
    BEING is a personal neologism, coined to encapsulate the notion of fundamental essential existence that is logically necessary, and not beholden to any traditional belief system --- including Theism and Physicalism. What theory of Reality do you believe in? :joke:

    BEING : In my own theorizing there is one universal principle that subsumes all others, including Consciousness : essential Existence. Among those philosophical musings, I refer to the "unit of existence" with the absolute singular term "BEING" as contrasted with the plurality of contingent "beings" and things and properties. By BEING I mean the ultimate “ground of being”, which is simply the power to exist, and the power to create beings.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page10.html
    NOTE : "So, how about essential BEING as a starting point for reasoning about otherwise open-ended philosophical questions?"

    On what basis? : I talk about Ontology on the same basis that all philosophers do, my knowledge of the world, and my personal theory of reality, guided by the traditional rules of Logic.

    Why Coin Tech Terms? : http://bothandblog4.enformationism.info/page6.html

    What is real? : Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary
    NOTE : Tim, what is your belief system, Materialism, Physicalism? How much of that system is hypothetical, axiomatic, and unproven?

    Reality is a Theory : http://bothandblog5.enformationism.info/page15.html

    The Case Against Reality : http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page21.html
  • batsushi7
    45
    Going to prove that theism is false, with my back-pain analysis.

    If, God is all-loving, omnipotent, all-powerful being.

    Then the reason i have back-pain, must be, God isn't all-loving, omnipotent, or all-powerful being. He doesn't love me, what makes him not all-loving, secondly God doesn't have power/will to fix my back, what eliminates his rational mind, and omnipotence. If God truly exist, and had power to fix my back, I wouldn't have back-pain.

    Atheism is true, because I do have back-pain, and if there was "God" with such features, he would have already fixed my back-problems.

    I would believe God, if he actually did solve every problem that mankind ever had.

    God loves to see people suffer.
  • tim wood
    5.4k
    NOTE : Tim, what is your belief system,Gnomon
    What theory of Reality do you believe in?Gnomon
    Who cares? Part of my point is that beliefs are sanctuary from rigor - and at least some rigor is what we ought to be trying for. As being is a matter of what is, why not think in terms of what is? And as what is, we have no need of personal pronouns to distinguish between what your is is, and mine.

    Do we know the how of what is? In many cases. Do we know the why? Not so much, except in limited cases and usually in terms of the how. When we do not know something, do we then know? Only a fool says so, but many act the fool.

    You seem to have your own "philosophizing" as about your beliefs. Fine, for your personal entertainment. But to my way of thinking as an approach to any kind of knowledge that's wrong and upside down. You can start with a belief, call it a hypothesis, and subject it to test, a matter of science, which is a kind of thinking. If your science is any good, then you have some knowledge, subject to refinement under further science.

    But maybe you want to think about your science in general; you want to think about your thinking. And just that thinking is philosophy, thinking about thinking. Belief enters only at the start, as grist for the mill of science. If science can't touch it, then it never becomes knowledge, but as belief remains entertainment.

    Or another way. to be substantive, philosophy must touch ground somehow, somewhere, some way. Or "bake bread," as is sometimes expressed. If the subject of any philosophy is never substantive in any sense, nor can be, then it's a pastime - not necessarily itself a bad thing - but of less value than, say, whittling or pitching pennies.
  • 3017amen
    2.6k
    Regarding the multitude of arguments for theism and atheism, is it reasonable for both sides to hold the positions they hold?DPKING

    Reasonableness generally means treating like cases likely, and different cases differently. As such, the atheist seems to be more ignorant to common sense. Meaning, there seems to be a denial or animosity toward both naturally occurring metaphysical phenomena and the existential human experience.

    I would say to the atheist, if you feel strongly about your belief system, perhaps In God we Trust is not the place for you. Feel free to leave!
  • tim wood
    5.4k
    naturally occurring metaphysical phenomena3017amen

    Gosh, sounds like word salad to me. Can you maybe provide an example?
  • 3017amen
    2.6k


    Gosh, you know Tim, just regular stuff that relates to conscious existence. Stuff you're really not interested in... .

    Be well!
  • tim wood
    5.4k
    naturally occurring metaphysical phenomena
    — 3017amen

    Gosh, sounds like word salad to me. Can you maybe provide an example?
    tim wood
  • 3017amen
    2.6k


    ....have you a renewed interest? Don't take this the wrong way, but it's been my experience that Atheists on this site don't usually seem to be that intuitive, but if you care to parse any of the following concepts, I may provide for some insight:

    List of pragmatic, existential, metaphysical and cognitive phenomena, including cosmology and logic

    Logic/epistemology:

    1. logical possibility
    2. logical necessity
    3. a priori v. a posteriori
    4. synthetic a priori knowledge
    5. binary v. dialectic reasoning
    6. reason and belief

    Phenomenology/Metaphysics:

    1. consciousness
    2. subjective truth v. objective truth
    3. the religious experience
    4. revelation
    5. NDE
    6. music
    7. math
    8. love
    9. instinct
    10.sentience

    Metaphysics:

    1. consciousness
    2. self-awareness
    3. the will
    4. the sense of wonder
    5. causation
    6. sentience

    Cosmology:

    1. the illusion of time
    2. holographic principle
    3. participatory anthropic principle
    4. energy
    5. gravity
    6. causation
    7. Panentheism
  • tim wood
    5.4k
    A substantial list. But all I wanted was an example. What about any item on your list makes it a "naturally occurring metaphysical phenomenon." This goes to the meaning of the words, it being my hope that an example will provide a clue as to that meaning. Or you could just say directly.
  • 3017amen
    2.6k
    What about any item on your list makes it a "naturally occurring metaphysical phenomenon."tim wood

    Well, in a word, consciousness. For example, most atheist's rely on logic to support their belief system. And as such, can deductive logic explain consciousness? Is that logically possible?

    Alternatively, don't take this the wrong way, but I consider you one of those fanatical atheists (that Einstein talked about), and so I'm compelled to ask, how does deduction explains things like : the Will, Love, wonderment, synthetic a priori knowledge, et al.

    Please share your thoughts if you can, using your sense of reasoning.
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