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Old 02-25-2014, 12:12 PM   #204 (permalink)
Whiskeyjack
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Originally Posted by Buster Bluth View Post
I don't like using the "God of the Gap" argument in a scientific sense, but rather a historical one. You and I clearly disagree on Jesus, but I still maintain that it's inexcusable for Jesus to cure a guy of leprosy but not drop the knowledge bomb of "hey guys, there are these things called germs and they will fuck you up. I created them. Deal with it; boil your water and wash your hands and shit. or they'll kill you. well, technically me, I did make them. Did I mention that?" Germs weren't discovered until the 19th century. Jesus could have helped us out there and bettered the lives of billions by letting us know this shit ahead of time. But of course, something something free will.
The disconnect here likely comes from your misapprehension of the Christian view of creation's purpose. God created the universe in order to provide an environment in which gods could meaningfully (i.e. free will) choose between Him and themselves. Thus, the fallen nature of this universe is necessary because of humankind's spirituality. Had Jesus simply snapped his fingers and recreated Eden here on Earth, the entire purpose of creation would have been undone.

You seem to believe that scientific progress is steadily making the world a better place. In the Christian view, mostly due to the nature of the Fall, the state of humanity never really improves. For every step forward we take in medicine and technology, we lose something equally valuable elsewhere-- social cohesion, community, etc.

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It's too bad that Christianity had a 2,000-year head start for coming up with excuses as to why literally nothing from the history of Christianity is supernatural or even abnormal.
The history of the Church is full of miracles. But if your worldview necessarily precludes any belief in such things, then it would obviously appear as you've described. A lack of empirical proof of the supernatural isn't dispositive of anything. It all comes back to faith and your first principles.

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Originally Posted by Cackalacky View Post
I understand this and agree. However we still are at the un-caused cause and what attributes this cause presently has or had in the past. Logically, something that is necessary must also have been necessarily derived, so the infinite regress applies to theological arguments as well. I think the heartburn most people have is taking the step to attribute some special power to the un-caused cause. I, like others, may be willing to accept that the fact that we may never be able to understand that initial condition and be content with understanding what we can derive through logical means. However, I also find it illogical and VERY un-necessary to attribute special privileges or powers to something that may be unknowable. Just to logically deduce that something is necessary as an initial condition, and imply therefore GOD (in whatever form) exists is as illogical as an empiricist delving into objective truth beyond the observable universe.

Maybe we (posters in the thread) should proceed from here at looking (together) at how to look beyond the infinite regress? Maybe another view would be helpful moving forward?

This is fascinating stuff and I have learned much from everyone.
I'm not arguing that theism is more logical than empiricism. My point is that empiricism cannot accept an infinite regression on its own terms, but it also can't explain the initial condition in any other way. I like the Argument from Contingency because it brings us to the point of empiricism's inadequacy via the most direct route possible. What you choose to believe at that point is a matter of faith. You can decide that the infinite regression is a threat to your world view and simply assert the necessity of the Universe (despite the fact that every material thing we've ever encountered is very clearly contingent); or you can decide that there must be something "outside the set" that put everything in motion. If you opt for the latter, regardless of how you choose to define that outside force, you're more or less a theist. And if you choose the former, your world view is no more logical than a theist's, despite the fanatical attachment to empiricism such people usually profess.

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So if I understand this, contingency arises from some necessary being (defined as God) that requires no explanation, even though that contingency does require an explaination. This is a logical fail for me.
Let me put it another way. From a theist's perspective, the infinite regression isn't problematic, because his worldview allows for the possibility of supernatural forces. For a secular materialist, who stakes everything on empiricism, the infinite regression is fatal, because it forces him to make the same sort of assertion of faith he criticizes the theist for.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:43 PM   #205 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bobbyok1 View Post
As a vocational pastor I have been digging into three questions as of late and wanted to present them to interested IE members for mutual growth. I must admit I come to this discussion with preconceived notions of the correct answers to these questions, but I do feel as though I have much more room to grow in my understanding. The questions were stirred in me as I engaged a DVD series called "True U" by Focus on the Family (a conservative evangelical para church organization). I would love to hear your ideas, feedback and dialogue about the three. Humor is welcome, but please no abusing one another through hateful, degrading or belittling speech. Thanks!

Question #1- Is there a God? (A question of origin)

Question #2- Is the Bible reliable? (That is historically)

Question #3- Who is Jesus? (Real person? Fairy tale?)

(Since these are each huge questions that do not have simple answers feel free to tackle one at a time).

Yes, yes, and God the Son.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:48 PM   #206 (permalink)
Cackalacky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskeyjack View Post
I'm not arguing that theism is more logical than empiricism. My point is that empiricism cannot accept an infinite regression on its own terms, but it also can't explain the initial condition in any other way. I like the Argument from Contingency because it brings us to the point of empiricism's inadequacy via the most direct route possible. What you choose to believe at that point is a matter of faith.
I guess my whole point is that I claim I personally do not know what happened prior to the initial condition. From all the scientific understanding I know and can cite from an infant-like understanding says from an observer's stand point time and space as well as the physical properties of the universe began at a point no larger than a Plank's length and that (most likely) the universe is moving towards ripping itself apart and therefore there will be no more observers. At these points I can no longer claim knowledge and I yield that fact. I am fine with that and I sleep well as at this point everyone has to make a leap of faith logically. The leap being what is outside this event (as you have pointed out several time Whiskeyjack).


(Anyone who wishes to respond please do)
I am in an exploration mood today and as I also see the contingency argument very useful and compelling, I want to move into this realm. Are contingencies defined by a "reason" or can they just be causal (one therefore the next)? What is "necessary?" Also the Argument of Contingency implies that something is necessary and this is not initially posited as part of the argument. Is this an axiom that is assumed to be true with regards to contingency? It seems so from the link above but I want to make sure I am correct before proceeding.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:54 PM   #207 (permalink)
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Supernatural is the demarcation of the interchange between you. On the rational side of supernatural, you all do fine. Beyond that, not so much.

Watching the video posted in # 203, or in listening to the arguments here, sooner or later you come down to "cause beyond our understanding or observation." Either definition of cause is okay. (My earlier fog analogy.)

You all have do agree, first, on whether or not an unseen, or supernatural cause is relevant. Or if it is more problematic than provable.

I maintain that with anything spiritual, found with, there is first a paradox. And there is here too. The paradox here is that non-deists cannot prove or disprove it because its lack of existence is necessary to their argument. Soup to nuts, a non-deist does not need, cannot have an entity with any kind of attachment to our real tangible word. It crashes every argument that any non-deist has ever made. So non-deists cannot even go there!

Deists cannot prove it either, because based upon all human limitations, proving or supposing the motivation of a being, that is beyond calculation by our own best methods, is irrational and impossible by its own definition. After all, deists continually insist that science in inadequate to measure God in any sense.

Deists can not define God's will in a string of occurrence of events unless all or none of them are "God's will." And if that is the case, the sum total of all events sooner or later disproves the concept of "God's will" being a possibility of an engaged supernatural being active in our world. So there then lies the deists fatal flaw.
 
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:58 PM   #208 (permalink)
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Question #1- Is there a God? (A question of origin)
- Maybe. I believe this is the very purpose of having faith. We think or believe that God exists, but we cannot prove it.

Question #2- Is the Bible reliable? (That is historically)
- In some ways. There are some events that can be traced historically, and other that we can't. Does that mean they didn't happen? No, it just means we can't prove them.

Question #3- Who is Jesus? (Real person? Fairy tale?)
- Real person. Jesus has been shown to exists through historical records. Was he the son of God? See answer #1.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:32 PM   #209 (permalink)
Cackalacky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogtrotter07 View Post
Supernatural is the demarcation of the interchange between you. On the rational side of supernatural, you all do fine. Beyond that, not so much.

Watching the video posted in # 203, or in listening to the arguments here, sooner or later you come down to "cause beyond our understanding or observation." Either definition of cause is okay. (My earlier fog analogy.)

You all have do agree, first, on whether or not an unseen, or supernatural cause is relevant. Or if it is more problematic than provable.

I maintain that with anything spiritual, found with, there is first a paradox. And there is here too. The paradox here is that non-deists cannot prove or disprove it because its lack of existence is necessary to their argument. Soup to nuts, a non-deist does not need, cannot have an entity with any kind of attachment to our real tangible word. It crashes every argument that any non-deist has ever made. So non-deists cannot even go there!

Deists cannot prove it either, because based upon all human limitations, proving or supposing the motivation of a being, that is beyond calculation by our own best methods, is irrational and impossible by its own definition. After all, deists continually insist that science in inadequate to measure God in any sense.

Deists can not define God's will in a string of occurrence of events unless all or none of them are "God's will." And if that is the case, the sum total of all events sooner or later disproves the concept of "God's will" being a possibility of an engaged supernatural being active in our world. So there then lies the deists fatal flaw.
Good summation Bogs. I found this video earlier and it pretty much agrees with what you say. Interesting to say the least:
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:41 PM   #210 (permalink)
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Thank you. And might I add, you are incredibly deep. As are some others that have posted on this thread.

Even Fuisce, even though he doesn't speak a word of Irish.




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