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Is Atheism More Likely To Be True Than Deism?

 
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Mar, 2013 07:03 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

There is also an absence of a willingness to admit that not only are there things that we do not know, but that there might well be things which we, as human beings, are quite incapable of knowing or understanding.


Precisely. Despite the arrogance of some (generally unexpert) proponents of science, the likelihood is that the origin of the cosmos is beyond the domain of science, based on observation and testable hypotheses. Thomas Aquinas said more than he possibly understood himself.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Mar, 2013 07:15 pm
@medium-density,
That the scientific question of the origin of the cosmos is "not settled" is a great and very generous understatement. The matter itself is likely beyond the domain of science based on observation and testable hypotheses. Whether a singularity or an infinite manifold of quantum multiverses, or an infinite regression of expansions or collapses, the issue remains both open and likely beyond the reach of human science (how do you test your theory for a non reoccurring event?). The Higgs boson won't settle this aspect of the matter either, as I suspect you already know.

What could be more "baffling" than the claims of some physicists that they have unlocked the seccret to the existence of the cosmos?

As I indicated above, the illogical extrapolations of many deists are no argument for athiesm - any more than are the many instances of scientists who resisted new ideas that replaced their own an argument agsainst science. The story of Lord Kelvin's (the guy who codified the Second Law) energetic resistence to claims by budding geologists that the earth was perhaps billions of years old, are an amusing, but relevant point. He couldn't then figure out how the sun could last that long using sources of energy of which he could then conceive.)

The limits of human frailty and human nature apply equally on both sides of this matter. To suppose otherwise is a great and indefensible conceit.
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Mar, 2013 07:35 pm
@medium-density,
medium-density wrote:


Is there a particular parameter of deism which you think would lead one to answer "no" the title question of this thread?

I think there are many reasons to answer no. I agree it's fine to start with a such a question to start the conversation, however, I have no interest in trying to determine which one wins 1st place. What does it matter the path you choose if you are comfortable with your decision. I find the 3 possible belief systems you use all to be very interesting. You do know there are more than three, of course. But something tells me you are looking to convince someone to agree that one of the 3 is the most rational. Why does it matter to you?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Mar, 2013 08:02 pm
It seems to me the conjuring of a god is where an attempt to know everything comes in. Science just goes with what it finds. It has never seriously addressed religious thought because there is nothing to use as evidence. A god can be as large or small as the imagination. In general it matches in scope the ideas of the one believing in it.
0 Replies
 
medium-density
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2013 01:36 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
What could be more "baffling" than the claims of some physicists that they have unlocked the seccret to the existence of the cosmos?


Do deists not irrationally claim an insight into the origin of the universe? One difference between science putting forward a theory based on evidence and deists copping out by borrowing a reduced theist/creationist account is workload. Science is actually working on the question, and whether or not it turns out to be an empirically tractable one will be a discovery scientists eventually make. What is more baffling than any theory is the positing of a non-theory without any of the attendant effort.

Quote:
As I indicated above, the illogical extrapolations of many deists are no argument for athiesm


What I am arguing is that, while to conclude that either god exists or does not exist is illogical and burdensome, the two claims are not equivalently illogical and burdensome. We have better reasons to assume deism is misguided- namely the anthropomorphic criticism that Edgar and others have raised, and some of the points I have made above and elsewhere.
0 Replies
 
medium-density
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2013 01:45 am
@glitterbag,
Quote:
I think there are many reasons to answer no.


I would be interested to hear one of them!

Quote:
But something tells me you are looking to convince someone to agree that one of the 3 is the most rational. Why does it matter to you?


I'm looking to argue that, of the three ideas we're discussing, the order of rationality might actually run:

1. Agnosticism
2. Atheism
3. Deism

I other words, as I said in reply to georgeob1, atheism and deism are not equivalently illogical, and we have better reasons to be skeptical of deism than atheism. I'm interested in counter arguments, in making them and hearing them, but not in convincing people. I'm not that kind of atheist, I don't think.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2013 01:48 am
O'George, like most of the more intelligent theists here, trots out arguments on the basis of what he can get away with. If sufficient intelligent objections are raised to his arguments, he retreats further and further until, cornered at last, he trots out Pascal's wager. He really has nothing of substance to offer. At least, however, he is intelligent enough not to default to a claim that agnostics and atheists are morally bankrupt because they don't believe in the Big Sky Daddy.
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2013 06:30 pm
@Setanta,
No, you are wrong (or perhaps just reaching to find something to criticize). I have simply offered convincing proofs that an entirely materialist explanation of our existence is beyond the reach of science - that is unless one postulates that nothing beyond the reach of science even exists ( for example Thomas' weak explanation that asking what came before or caused the big bang is like asking what is north of the North Pole). That, of course begs the entire question.

The fact remains, as Lustig and I previously outlined it: Neither theism nor atheism can be proven to those who disagree. For me, theism makes much more sense and requires far less in the way of acts of faith than does atheism. To paraphrase Kierkagard, the blind leap of faith to God is a smaller (and, according to Pascal, safer) leap than its alternative.

By the way thanks again for introducing me to Bryn Terfel. Not only a great version of Carrickfergus, but also an artist with other very good works with which I was entirely unfamiliar.
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2013 07:05 pm
@georgeob1,
Oh, fuddlededuddy. Whether or not there is a god is not the salient question, in my opinion. The correct question might be whether any god that would exist give credence to the dualistic belief in a non-materialistic "soul." And, that comes from religion, which is man made. Pure confabulation, in my opinion.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2013 07:21 pm
@Foofie,
I think you're missing the point of this discussion by a country mile, Foofie.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2013 03:07 am
@georgeob1,
O'George, you wrote:

Quote:
As I indicated above, the illogical extrapolations of many deists are no argument for athiesm . . .


That assumes that people are atheists because of illogical estrapolations of deism. By the way, as atheists are atheists because of what they don't believe, the use of "atheism" is rather silly. It's not a belief set, you know. In my personal experience, people become atheists because they reject a specific creed, or the general propositions of an overarching religious body (such as christianity in general, or judaism in general, etc.), and not because of any reaction to deism. Hell, i suspect that many, and possibly most, atheists don't even know what deism means. While acknowledging that this is anecdotal evidence on part, i'd point out that absent any stated creed, there is really no other way to approach the subject. We can't even be sure how many atheists there are in the world, let alone what motivates them. Both Ipsos-Reid in Canada and Pew in the United States altered their survey questions in recent years, and find nearly 10% of those adhering to Catholicism or Protestantism say the don't believe that there is a god. One is always on shifting ground when one tries to claim that one knows what atheists think, or to allege that there is any such thing as atheism.

*************************************************

The Girl got me a lovely gift, a DVD of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro with Bryn Terfel singing the title role. I've had to refrain from playing it again and again so as not to drive The Girl crazy.
medium-density
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2013 03:11 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
I have simply offered convincing proofs that an entirely materialist explanation of our existence is beyond the reach of science


I don't mean to be pedantic but, no you very haven't.

Quote:
To paraphrase Kierkagard, the blind leap of faith to God is a smaller (and, according to Pascal, safer) leap than its alternative.


Not sure you can simply quote a philosopher without reference to the specific point they make as a substitute for argument. Why is the blind leap of faith to god smaller?

Quote:
For me, theism makes much more sense and requires far less in the way of acts of faith than does atheism.


Obviously you are unmoved by the anthropomorphic criticisms that have been made of the god hypothesis... I'm now wondering how far you take this. You seem to say you are a theist, which would suggest a belief in a personal god beyond that which is posited by deism?
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2013 11:18 am
@Setanta,
I clearly acknowledged the variable definitions of the term atheism and, because of that, explicitly confined myself to a central question, which for me is the essence of the matter: namely whether an entirely materialistic view of our existence is provable by science. The answer to that one is also clear.

My comments about the relative degrees of credulity required for the opposing views had to do with the questions of existence and creation, and they reflect my interpretation of the result.

There are other factors that incline me to believe in the existence of God, but I haven't raised them here, and I don't believe they alone would constitute a proof or useful argument. Hence the omission. In keeping with this I have made no effort or presumption to know what 'atheists think' aboiut this or what may be their reasons for it.

I have also been clear that I don't believe that the issue is practically proveable to either side, and I made no effort to prove anything other than the limitations of science to you or anyone.

All that said, I believe you are flailing about on, at best, peripheral issues and others I didn't raise at all.

Nothing I wrote will have meaning to those you iderntified as having no interest in it at all. Be aware that has equal applicability to your words as well.

I think you are just looking for something to say.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2013 11:22 am
@medium-density,
medium-density wrote:

Quote:
I have simply offered convincing proofs that an entirely materialist explanation of our existence is beyond the reach of science


I don't mean to be pedantic but, no you very haven't.


Suddenly you are very specific.

Do you believe the standard cosmological model or any of its current quantum variants is a sufficient explanation for the existence of the cosmos?

If so please explain the singulatities and the possible infinite regressions of cause and effect it involves. Do they constitute explanations? If your answer is yes, please explain how science can verify them.

If not, then please explain how science based on observation and testablke hypotheses is able to explain a nonreoccurring event.
medium-density
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2013 04:54 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Do you believe the standard cosmological model or any of its current quantum variants is a sufficient explanation for the existence of the cosmos?


I haven't the education or talent to interrogate such a question. I think physicists have said that they're a long way from whatever could constitute a "sufficient explanation", but they're working on it.

Quote:
If not, then please explain how science based on observation and testablke hypotheses is able to explain a nonreoccurring event.


I trust that those engaged with these questions professionally aren't doing so in a state of total folly. The fact that the LHC was/is invested in by the billions, administered by an international group of scientists and engineers from over a hundred countries, and represents the largest scientific experiment ever conducted gives me some hope that scientists are able to get closer to explaining what you contend has been convincingly proved as not-explainable... by you.

I would never say the universe is certain to fully yield to scientific enquiry, but you say it certainly will not and that you have proved as much on this forum. I can see why the leap of faith to a theistic god is small potatoes to you.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2013 05:33 pm
@medium-density,
You are simply hiding behind your own acknowledged ignorance and refusing to think about the ideas put forward. If the universe had an initiating event then science cannot explain it in that no hypothesis about it can possibly be verified. If it did not and the scientific model involves an infinite regression or an infinite manifold of parallel quantum universes (or both), and science cannot in principle explain either. Either way the answer is beyond the domain of science. One doesn't need a PhD in physics to know that.

However you do confirm my point about the greater unthinking credulity of atheists (here I use the definitionof atheist as one who denys the existence of a transcendent god).
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2013 06:06 pm
O'George, you wrote:
As I indicated above, the illogical extrapolations of many deists are no argument for athiesm . . .


If that's not a presumption of what atheists think, i'd be interested in what would be. Who has claimed that is an argument for what you are pleased to call "atheism?" You're also using tendentious language such as when you talk about me flailing. You convince of nothing other than an unwillingness to agree with anyone here.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2013 06:30 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
It's not evasion if you don't know.
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2013 07:18 pm
@Setanta,
Sha boom.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2013 09:11 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

O'George, you wrote:
As I indicated above, the illogical extrapolations of many deists are no argument for athiesm . . .


If that's not a presumption of what atheists think, i'd be interested in what would be. Who has claimed that is an argument for what you are pleased to call "atheism?" You're also using tendentious language such as when you talk about me flailing. You convince of nothing other than an unwillingness to agree with anyone here.


You are partly right, but the statement does not purport to address what all atheists think. I was instead referring to earlier specific references to contradictions in the beliefs of many religious, made by some self-professed atheists on this thread. Such contradictions do indeed exist, but that alone (as I'm sure you will agree) is not alone a compelling argument for atheism. So I was responding to arguments put forward by some self professed atheists, not prejudging what all of them may think.

I think that should be pretty clear.
 

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