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the ignostic and Ockham arguments

 
 
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2007 07:15 am
Smile As an ignostic, I find that God means nothing:o. Theists need to buttress their description of Him with facts rather than just assume His attributes. If He is omni benevolent, He can do no wrong; but if omnipotent, He sure can. That show incoherency.

God, states atheologian Keith Parsons, "Hides our ignorance behind a theological fig leaf." As Peter notes, scientists constantly remove fig leaves to reveal knowledge. Parsons further notes, "Occult power wielded by a transcendent being in an inscrutable way for unfathomable purposes, does not seem to be any sort of a good explanation." :eek:

Explanations should clarify, not introduce unsolvable mysteries. However, God is one, surrounded by others. He wills what He wills is just an uninformative tautology, meaningless. God did it is magic. This ignostic argument joins the Ockham and the refutation of the free will defense as basic atheology. The Ockham notes that theists justify God with ad hoc assumptions that natural causes and explanations don't have to do.

The Ockham is Ockham's razor applied to God. It requires that there be no ad hoc assumptions for a proposed entity. Thus, we no more require God to explain than we require angels to explain the orbits of the planets in addition to the laws of motion:p, gremlins for mechanical problems or demons for mental illness. [I sought therapy,not exorcism, for mine!] This makes for the presumption of naturalism-causalism-that natural causes and explanations are efficient, necessary, primary, sufficient and ultimate.:cool:
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Aristoddler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2007 03:03 pm
@skeptic griggsy,
Just to clarify...you are ignostic, not agnostic, is that correct?
Judging solely by your post, I am going to assume then that you do believe that God does exist, but are actually in defiance of his strictures.
Ignostics always interest me, as they are one of the few groups who are so misunderstood, that there are multiple meanings for the term.

I'll jump into this one later, but I am going to edit your post for spelling and split it into paragraphs for easier reading in the meantime. No words will be changed, however.
I only do this, since it is a primary post, and should be as easy to read as possible.
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skeptic griggsy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2007 02:21 pm
@skeptic griggsy,
Smile Aristiddler, thanks! Ignosticism[ Rabbi Sherwin Wine] is also known as igtheism[Paul Kurtz] and noncognitivism. I know of no other meanings for the term.

I find it powerful in that theists cannot just run with the assumption that we others would find God meaningful. One should adduce reasons to show His attributes and His nature.Show that He means somethong rather than running with Him without substance. :confused:

I use the argument as part of atheism while A.JAyers and others thought it meant even atheism could be nothing if God is meaningless.

The attributes of God show incoherency and thus meaninglessness. More anon. :cool:
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Aristoddler
 
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Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2007 03:50 pm
@skeptic griggsy,
It's parallel to the idea that I believe that theists can accept the life of a Taoist, while still maintaining their faith in God, and worshiping him at the same time.
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skeptic griggsy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2007 05:34 pm
@skeptic griggsy,
Sorry for the typos.
I finally learned how to make paragraphs!
I'll have more on ignosticism when I read Nicholas Everitt's "The Non-Existence of God."

David Ramsay Steele in " Atheism Explained :from Folly to Philosophy," contends that ignosticism is a relic from sixty years ago in that God can have meaning even if incoherent. The problem is that inchoherence makes for meaninglessness in the sense of nonsense.Laughing
He faults ignostics for requiring verification. How can it be a fault to demand evidence? :perplexed:
God's properties are incompatible. How then can they be meaningful ?
This is for a conversation starter.
Double depression is ever so depressing. Your happy neurotic depressive.
Blessings to all!:bigsmile:
Solace
 
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Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2008 04:19 pm
@skeptic griggsy,
Quote:

God's properties are incompatible.


Well, I would say rather that the properties that have been attributed to God are incompatible. Personally, I don't go in for the whole "omni-benevolence" thing. Anyone who has ever written a story has some idea of what it is to be God. If you apply the attributes of an author to God, you might just come up with something resembling the real thing. For instance, when you write, you might really like a particular character, but that doesn't mean you're only going to have good things happen to him. Makes for a kind of boring read. Well, if God exists, he's the only real thing in existence, the rest of us are just figments of his imagination... and suffice it to say, he's really bored. So expect a more interesting read.
Khethil
 
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Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 03:55 am
@Solace,
Just a side note here - what I think to be an important differenciation...

... I move that in all discussions (everywhere, for everyone!) where the theme is "Do You Believe in Blah", one must - right up front - specify whether their belief is one of the following: [INDENT]1. I believe yada really exists in objective reality, let's get into the details of 'evidence' - down and dirty!
[/INDENT][CENTER]-or- [/CENTER]
[INDENT]2. I believe yada exists, but I can't make any claims on it since my belief is based on a feeling or hope; it is but a thread of desire so don't go asking me for proof since my position admits to none.
[/INDENT]It'd make these discussions go a lot smoother!

<runs for cover>
Solace
 
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Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 05:03 am
@Khethil,
eerr... I'm not quite sure what yer getting at Khethil...

but, though I may say things like "IF God exists" let me make it clear, for the record, as you say, that I believe God exists. And yes, that also means that I believe we are just figments of his imagination. And yes, God's a dude. I'm sexist! :poke-eye:
skeptic griggsy
 
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Reply Fri 26 Sep, 2008 06:11 am
@Solace,
Smile Klethil, and the via negativa,the negative way, katapathic,that one cannot explain what God is, only what He isn't, doesn't help to make God meanngful. Paul Tillich ,in his stating that to affirm His existence is as atheistic as to deny His existence, and his Ground of Being and Depth of Being are ever so fatuous.Laughing
Now as Alexander Smoltczyk states that He is neither a principle nor an entity nor a being,but only the Ultimate Explanation for Existence, then he affirms ignositicm as how can God act if He not be an entity nor a person?:surrender:
As theology is ever a series of guesses about the Great Mystery that putatively is the Ultimate Explanation but really explains nothing,:brickwall: the ignostic challenge affirms itself.:rolleyes:
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Khethil
 
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Reply Fri 26 Sep, 2008 10:59 am
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
eerr... I'm not quite sure what yer getting at Khethil...


Sorry 'bout that, I probably didn't state it very clearly.

I think its all silliness, but folks have a right to believe what they will. For some, their belief is just that - a hope. For others, they say "believe" but argue the point as if its 'fact'. They'll point to this or that as 'proof'. At the risk of generalizing, I'd put believers into these two very-broad categorizations:

  • For the former, there isn't any real argument (e.g., Bill just believes and doesn't really try to prove anything since he's just got, "... this feeling"). How might you tell someone, who's given you no 'justification' that what they 'hope for' is 'incorrect'? These folks make no claim to fact, knowledge or absolute existence of deities. Thus, there really isn't an argument to make - it's how they feel, that's all.


  • For the latter, debate takes on a whole different tenor (e.g., Where's the beef?!). We can engage, compare interpretations, elements of support, dumbness of arguments and the like.

Making the distinction, for the purpose of communication, can really help us not run around chasing our tails. For our ignostic folk (a orientation I very much like), engaging folks from the 2nd category above - if such broad categorizations are indeed fair - can be healthy and revealing.

This make the idea any clearer?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Sep, 2008 11:14 am
@Khethil,
Surely God must mean something, at least to some people.

This might be a bit of a surprise, but as a theist I embrace the application of Ockham's Razor to the notion of God, and the obviously conclusion is that the notion of God is not necessary to explain reality in rational terms.

But let me ask you this - so what? It seems to me that all we have done is remove God from the field of science and reason. But I'm not sure God was ever supposed to be in those fields.

Speaking of the attributes of God, what do they mean? Are we to take the attributes so often applied to God as literal, or as attributes derived from human perspective which are used to help point to God?
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Sep, 2008 12:29 pm
@Khethil,
Quote:

This make the idea any clearer?


Nah not really...:whistling:

I dunno, I guess I'd put myself sort of in both categories. There is no way to prove what I believe; that sort of goes without saying when it comes to any discussion about God. But sure I can debate what I believe, philosophically, scripturally, logically even, whatever. What I believe is rooted in scripture, but it isn't bound to it. I prefer to debate God in a more open manner, through analogy and such, than via scripture. Partly because a lot of people don't care much for scripture, but also because I don't want my argument to be bound by the limits of what is actually written down in scripture. Scripture can be useful to reinforce a point, but I won't default my argument simply because I can't find a scripture that has the point I'm trying to make.

Anyway, I don't know if any of this helps...
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skeptic griggsy
 
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Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2008 07:51 pm
@skeptic griggsy,
Khethisl thanks for the cogent comment.God's propoerties are incompatible with each other that He cannot exist. The notions of First Cause and the Great Designer have no roots in reality, that He cannot exist [ @ the thread do you believe in God, I show why no reality for the former and will show there none for the latter anon.:detective:]
Naturalist methodology in fact uses the Ockham. I now add that to use God as a personal explanation as Richard Swinburne does, is to have to use convoluted ad hoc assumptions that require more to be shown.:brickwall: The presumption of naturalism [ also @ that thread] holds for all explanations, not just for science.
urangutan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Oct, 2008 12:55 am
@skeptic griggsy,
Ockham believes in the God, when it can be deduced from the 'Universals', that even all things are grouped as a particular thing and in saying, at one time all things were one thing, of which nothing is a part.

This rationale is great at deducing the growths from nothing and science is working on the growths from something but if you believe that there are things that came from nothings, that is faith or religion if you like, hypothesis in science.

Farfetched notions exist in all camps and while asserting your faithful claims, may resolve ones own satiability for closure, it simply opens the door for question or even denial.
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Khethil
 
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Reply Sat 18 Oct, 2008 04:50 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
But let me ask you this - so what? It seems to me that all we have done is remove God from the field of science and reason. But I'm not sure God was ever supposed to be in those fields.


Ahh yes, very nice. Bless you.

... and this is as it should be, I think. It's almost as if many belief systems aren't content to remain as such; that in order to be legitimate, they must somehow make that transition. Given the over-emphasis much of western culture places on science, I suppose this isn't so hard to understand.

I'm of the opinion that what we think we know (facts) constitutes as much of our conscious-world as what we belief (hope) - that the supposed lack of the empirical in the latter decreases its worth, or relevance, not one iota. It is all part-and-parcel to the human experience. We lose part of our potential for living when we kneel at the feet of the God of Science to the exclusion of all else.

Thanks
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skeptic griggsy
 
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Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2008 03:46 pm
@skeptic griggsy,
:bigsmile:Urangutan, however, as Khethil notes, one should provide evidence. There is none for Him and as these two challenges reveal is that no one can provide evidence as He is either nebulous, lacking meaningful substance, or uselessly redundant, contrary to Alister McGrath. Now, we naturalists, with the atheologian Michael Martin, have the ignostic-Ockham as our first line of defense but if others fault them, then we have our other positive arguments like the problem of Heaven, the presumption of Heaven, the hiddenness problem , the atelic challenge as well as our negative analysis of theists arguments. :cool:
What can Smotczyk mean if God is a mere answer : how could He have any relation then with Existence? Explanations depend on action from an actor- an entity or person. How can Paul Tilliich make sense with his Ground or Depth of Being ? And what relation does God have according to Bishop John Shelby Spong? To state that He is love is to reify love: making an object when it is an action.:perplexed:
Jakos Miklos faults Martin herewith:"Martin claims that if God is defined as a spirit, therefore he has no body, and therefore cannot know what it is like to be a human, and therefore cannot be omniscient,and therefore God is a contradictory concept which cannot exist in reality." That is just a smidgen of Martin's findings. He notes that God cannot know how to swim as he is disembodied, so He cannot be omniscient. If He be omniscient, then that property conflicts with him being perfectly good as omniscience implies feeling envy and such.And that omniscience including fear and such also conflicts with him being omnipotent. He finds counters to these objections fallacious.:surrender:
We only know of embodied minds. Theologians, as Jakos states, merely guess as to His properties. :lol:One feels that He must be disembodied but no one gives evidence of disembodiness. Some atheists argued that He has a body that no one can find. Atheologian Paul Edwards in his essay on atheism in the "Encyclopedia of Philosophy,' states that is an ignoratio elenchi- beside the point. Mature theists do not see Him so. Now I find that question begging in that one does not know his properties without giving evidence for them. Again, where is the evidence for disembodied mind? One can define Him as one wants , but without evidence of a property, one cannot use that property to define Him! And many theists see Him as the man upstairs! Oh, they do not necessarily see Him as an old bearded man but as a person nonetheless. The more mature concepts themselves have problems! And furthermore, to allege this property exemplifies the argument from ignorance. So Martin makes more sense than Edwards. :whoa-dude:
Now Jakos makes the absurd assumption that we naturalists err in finding those incompatibilities as God makes logic! Nay, whatever the logic, terms still stand in the same relationship with each other, so in whatever logic, those properties would still conflict with each other. He just guesses! :brickwall:
Kai Nielsen and Nicholas Everitt are other atheologians who find conflicts among His properties. Now David Ramsay Steele in 'Atheism Explained: from Folly to Philosophy," that the ignostic position is wrong but we so disagree.
The Ockham reveals that he requires convoluted ad hoc assumptions,which again for which no one can give evidence. Contrary to Alister McGrath, as a redundancy, He adds no explanation to anything whatsoever.
Theists allow that He is not the god of the gaps but then if one sees Him as the sufficient reason, then He is an explanatory gap! Smoltczyk and Swinburne provide no reason to find Him necessary as the ultimate explanation. It is just a series of guesses about Him to be that explanation when the presumption of naturalism holds that natural causes and explanations give information : even if one does not, in effect, state than He did it, she still gives no explanation. Smoltczk's God is so fatuous!
See the new thread the presumption of naturalism and arguments about God. I find that the arguments for Him play into ignosticism! I have such a fertile mind, albeit so defective! Laughing
What say ye about His properties? Can one reconcile them after all? :detective:
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skeptic griggsy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 03:16 pm
@skeptic griggsy,
Klethil, one cannot postulate into existence as Lord Russell notes about some other matter but would indeed find it true here or as Dr. Jonathon Harrison notes under the rubric of theological meaninglessness that one cannot define into existence God, and that is not only about the ontological argument! :detective:
Mr. Steele posts @ Amazon Religion Discussions but hasn't yet responded to my taking him on the term meaning there.
Now it is hughes.net that crashes due to the weather or other matters.
Klethil and John Kelly,
hello! :bigsmile: :flowers:
skeptic griggsy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Aug, 2010 05:05 am
@skeptic griggsy,
I've added another point to ignosticims: as each argument for Him fails and each against Him succeeds, He loses a referent and thus cannot possibly exist! And as noted, with contradictory, incoherent attributes the same.
We naturalists must ever require supernaturalists to evidence their claims rather than make the it must be or it might be lacking that evidence of guesswork!
Karen Armstrong maintains that the Eastern Orthodox rightly maintain their apophaticism- negative theology - that no one can describe Him. This seems to me to be agnostic theism. Yet, to non-define Him affirms ignosticism[-igtheism] Thereby, in denying any attributes to Him, apophaticism leads to atheism!
Apophaticism is positive theology, which we ignostic,s as noted, eviscerate also.

rationalist@ wordpress.com [was supposed to be rationalist griggsy]
skeptic griggsy ditto
[email protected]
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Sentience
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Aug, 2010 01:21 pm
Ockham's Razor should be applied to God proper. I have seen no real arguments as to why the 'first cause' idea must be sentient at all. Why call God a him or a her if it is no more an identity then gravity, or electromagnetism?
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