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Dear king of avocado:

You are quite near the truth from my point of view. I was just talking in my original post about that all Gods "invented" by men somehow exist, at least in our minds.

On the other hand I am agnostic about "real" Gods, but logic would indicate they don't "really" exists outside our minds.

This logic is: since the non existence of things non perceivable by men is likely the general rule in the Universe, then someone claiming that some such thing like a God really exists should prove it and not the other way around.

By example: Someone tells me that there are tiny red persons living in holes under the grass of my backyard I would think at first that it is not true unless it is proven otherwise

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Dear king of avocado:

You are quite near the truth from my point of view. I was just talking in my original post about that all Gods "invented" by men somehow exist, at least in our minds.

On the other hand I am agnostic about "real" Gods, but logic would indicate they don't "really" exists outside our minds.

This logic is: since the non existence of things non perceivable by men is likely the general rule in the Universe, then someone claiming that some such thing like a God really exists should prove it and not the other way around.

By example: Someone tells me that there are tiny red persons living in holes under the grass of my backyard I would think at first that it is not true unless it is proven otherwise

This is bordering semantics and is very confusing unless we discriminate your objective notion of men created gods which I'll herefore call heroes, symbolic extremes (who can actually be John Galt?) from the theistic notion of a creator.

If existence exists, inexistence DOESNT exist! The moment something formerlly unknown is uncovered it enters the realm of existence, but any speculation of what might exist is conceptually futile, and essentially a bold capricious claim which only proper form of expresion is art and to make a rational point - not metaphysics.

Say, it might turn the case that something so huge is found in the universe that we call it divine, like the sun, but consider this example:

Europeans especulated with a Christian Catay but found America - Christian Catay never existed, and the reallity was better.

No need to be aaaaágnóstico Tonix :rolleyes:

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  • 2 months later...

Speaking of equivocating, what about a new Objective definition of God? What if the universe is God? It is obviously not omnipotent, because the universe cannot make a rock into a spoon (man can though, neener neener) it's mostly a course of action which led to our creation thus we could say that Earth and the Universe are our creators in the same way that H2O is the creator of the grand canyon. I present this argument not in the hopes of creating a new sort of deity that I 'need' to blame uncontrollable things on, but more just an understanding, that whenever an Oist says 'thank god' or 'please god don't do that' we're sort of asking the universe for something, even if it is without expectation of any affirmative result.

The preceeding is an example of devil's advocacy.

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Gods exist: We invented them!

As does the Giant Purple Flying Spaghetti Monster.

You are forgetting one of the basic rules: A concept does not make a truth.

The concept of gods exists, true; and many men accept that concept as a truth. That acceptance is the reality that you must deal with, not the concept.

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Even as it is true that the one making the claim has to provide the proof for his claim, the "existence" of a god(in the theist sense) is fundamentally a different question, and it doesnt require us coming this far in the argument. Russell's Teapot, while a good example of arbitrary statements that "can't" and don't need to be disproven, is still something that is in the realm of possibility and is not a good comparison to the statement of "god exists". We know teapots exists, we know that the physical space exists between Mars and the Earth, and the arbitrary part comes in only at this moment, where no proof is provided that a teapot is in that space. However, as far as i understand it, there is nothing that makes it 100% physically impossible for a teapot to orbit the sun for some period of time.

In essence, the example of the Celestial Teapot is just an arbitrary statement with no basis in reality. The onus of proof lies with the one claiming this argument to be true, and even if there are no telescopes or other instruments available for us to use to verify this statement, we can say: The space between Mars and the Earth exists. China teapots exist. Whatever our instruments are, the question "Does an object with certain characteristics, that we call a teapot, physically vacate the space between the 3rd and 4th closest planets orbiting the star we call the Sun?" has no inner contradictions, and as a question, it is completely valid.

This is not the case with the existence of a God, of an "ultimate creator". As we know, concepts are hierarchical, and some concepts rely on other concepts, and without the correct identification of this, gramatically correct "questions" can be made, without them making any logical sense. And this is the way the "existence" of a God should be fought. Not by the means of making arbitrary examples of our own, that are enormously different fundamentally, but by showing the grand theft of concepts that occurs when asking such a question in the first place.

Absolutely every concept we have, is reliant on Existence exists and A=A, and the question "Is there a God", is logically contradictory, as it uses concepts to prove the existence of something that would make the whole concept of proof and existence redundant. The word proof has no meaning to an "entity" that doesnt "adhere" to A=A and existence exists, and even the use of the words entity and adhere in this sentence is difficult, as I myself have to commit logical fallacies to even put my statement into words. No matter how you try to formulate it, it is impossible to make a non-contradictory statement of non-existant entities existing, as the whole concept of a "non-contradictory statement" relies on the A=A and existence exists.

Therefore it is unnecessary, but more importantly, impossible, to even arrive at the stage where the question "Is there a God?" becomes relevant. It is not a case of "your statement is arbitrary. Prove it" or "we dont have the technology to answer that question". It is an idea that contradicts itself on a very fundamental level, and it can't be even called a "question".

Obviously this is obvious to all Objectivists, but sadly not to all atheists. I can't put into words the disappointment and even anger I experienced, as I read Richard Dawkins "God Delusion", and saw his pathetic explanation of probabilities. I was honestly fuming with anger, after hearing rave reviews of the book, when I saw him call himself a "level 6" atheist, where "level 7" is the "kind of atheist" that is 100% sure that there is no God. Obviously, the "level 7 kind of atheist", is not a "kind" of atheist, but simply an atheist. What Dawkins is, is an agnostic, no matter if he isn't at the 50-50 mark. Even if he is at the 99,999999999999999999^50000M % mark, he is still not an atheist.

Now, if you claim that you believe in some superhuman, but not supernatural, "God", that is a physical being, living in the universe, that just created humans, then it is comparable to the Celestial Teapot. However, apart from the ancient Greek(and Roman) religions where the gods were just some mighty beings living on mountains, this is not what God refers to, in traditional language. Obviously those types of entities don't exist either, but the question at least is valid, and in this case the idea of "onus of proof" and "there is no evidence" applies. The existance of those entities, have to be proven for them to become existants, but more importantly they are a question that can be proven, and the only thing needed is to provide the physical evidence. In the absence of said evidence, an honest person has to conclude, that those entities do not exist.

This is the exact reason i dont feel all that optimistic about the spread of "atheism". Obviously it is preferable to be a Dawkins type agnostic compared to a muslim fundamentalist, but this is such a fundamental disagreement between the true atheist stance, and the "level 6" stance, that it has to be resolved before we can be said to both belong in the same group.....

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  • 3 weeks later...

Could you imagine a world where everything men thought of actually came into existence?

Wait...

I think i see that Flying Spaghetti Monster now. And he is RED!

Hmmmmmm what good sauce might i add.

The logic in the OP is terribly flawed. I dont even see a reason to debate such an undebatable un-logical OP.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On the other hand Ayn Rand explicitly agreed from a metaphysical point of view, with the classic concept attributed to ancient Chinese culture: "Be brave enough to change what can be changed, humble enough to leave what can't be changed and wise enough to recognize the difference".

Did she now? At least if you hadn't said explicitly, you'd be a somewhat clever liar. This way you're just an idot.

This is a 6 page thread, and even though I'm interested in the subject I decided to bail out at the third paragraph(quoted above). If any of you guys feel that you have made some valid points, please start a new thread (one that doesn't start with a blatant lie), because I, and probably many others would love to read your take on this without having to sift through garbage.

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Did she now? At least if you hadn't said explicitly, you'd be a somewhat clever liar. This way you're just an idot.

This is a 6 page thread, and even though I'm interested in the subject I decided to bail out at the third paragraph(quoted above). If any of you guys feel that you have made some valid points, please start a new thread (one that doesn't start with a blatant lie), because I, and probably many others would love to read your take on this without having to sift through garbage.

Hey: I am the starter of the topic and I would like to know what is the "blatant lie"

My main point was that we men invented Gods, and denying their existence is being blind to a big part of the human culture and history even when we objectivists don't believe in Gods, they are still an interesting (fascinating) matter to analyze. The proof is that my "stupid" topic has got a lot of discussions along the 7 months it is alive

Gods are important for a vast majority of the human race, why are you so afraid of rationally discussing about them?

Your perfect rationality doesn't want to deal with the irrational?

I have bad news for you man: A vast majority of the human race and its behavior is highly irrational, so we objectivist and rational people would do an intelligent favor to ourselves beginning to pay more attention...

Discussion is always interesting even when discussing with people with different or even "stupid" points of view. You always learn something...

I started this topic trying on purpose not to be impeccably logic or super-clear since the ultra-clear-logic kind of posts normally don't move very much o further discussion: they are closed in themselves

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Hey: I am the starter of the topic and I would like to know what is the "blatant lie"

The lie is that Ayn Rand explicitly subscribed to the qoute you said she subscribed to: "Be brave enough to change what can be changed, humble enough to leave what can't be changed and wise enough to recognize the difference".

She said no such thing. in fact she would obviously have a problem with that statement, vague as it is.

If you want to have a rational argument, you need to rely on facts, you can't provoke a rational argument by making something like this up.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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The lie is that Ayn Rand explicitly subscribed to the qoute you said she subscribed to: "Be brave enough to change what can be changed, humble enough to leave what can't be changed and wise enough to recognize the difference".

She said no such thing. in fact she would obviously have a problem with that statement, vague as it is.

If you want to have a rational argument, you need to rely on facts, you can't provoke a rational argument by making something like this up.

Your are almost totally wrong, she in fact was referring in her essay to some example of the Anonymous Alcoholic Association if I don't remember wrong, but the meaning of the phrase was exactly the same

I am on travel but I will look tonight at the hotel on my Ayn Rand's library and will give you tomorrow the exact book and page of my quotation

I am reading just now "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" but it is not the book I am talking about, perhaps The Romantic Manifesto...

More news tomorrow

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Don't bother. That chinese quote is way too vague to have any meaning. Obviously if you can't change something you shouldn't bother trying. What that has to do with being humble is anybodies guess. It's like saying "You have to be humble enough to stop banging your head against the wall" or running for president on "Change we can believe in".

It's an empty slogan, so you won't find it in Ayn Rand's works.

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Your are almost totally wrong, she in fact was referring in her essay to some example of the Anonymous Alcoholic Association if I don't remember wrong, but the meaning of the phrase was exactly the same

IIRC it's the article she wrote about "The Metaphysical vs. the Man-made", in which case it's probably in Philosophy: Who Needs It. It's the official motto of Alcoholics Anonymous and it reads thus: "God grant me the strength to change what can be changed, the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference." (She also said that she disapproved of the form of a prayer, but otherwise agreed with the statement.) However, this is *not* the same as praising *humility*, which she would likely have laughed at.

I swear I need to monitor the debate section more thoroughly. :lol:

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Don't bother. That chinese quote is way too vague to have any meaning. Obviously if you can't change something you shouldn't bother trying. What that has to do with being humble is anybodies guess. It's like saying "You have to be humble enough to stop banging your head against the wall" or running for president on "Change we can believe in".

It's an empty slogan, so you won't find it in Ayn Rand's works.

Dear Jake:

As you see in JMeganSnow's response Ayn Ray YES wrote about this, (JMeganSnow is right about "humility" my mistake sorry)

And about slogans they are not necessarily "empty words", sometimes they carry important conceptual synthesis

What are most of the times "empty" are the minds of the people repeating them without really thinking

Words and phrases are epistemologically valuable (ones more than others) since they represent and transmit ideas and concepts

What is sad is the modern trend to use some important words for anything, stealing they meaning (meaning anything is mean nothing)

or using phrases thought by other people without analyzing their real significancy...

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I will do even more to get attacked by classical-traditional Objectivists :)

(sometimes too small minded for my taste)

I propose an interesting exercise:

Worshiping The Nine Divines (an invented mythology of the video game Oblivion).

Isn't it funny sometimes inventing some magic around us?

As long as we keep in mind that it is our invention?

It isn't interesting to exercise a little our "mystic muscle" in order to better understand first hand what believers really believe in?

What they feel when they deposit a coin in the shrine of some forgotten God, with the ancestral hope of being helped?

In the shrine of someone-something in the sky that can take care of the matters that he or she can't control?

This pantheon represents the essence of nine important ideas that are for me fundamental aspects of the human culture

and thus interesting concepts to always remember:

Akatosh: Creator of the Universe and soul of World

Arkay: God of the cycle of birth and death

Dibella: Goddess of beauty and arts

Julianos: God of wisdom and science

Kynareth: Goddess of the air and the ghosts

Mara: Mother Goddess of love

Stendarr: God of mercy

Talos: The Man-God, the Emperor, the Warrior

Zenithar: God of work and commerce

Enjoy! :)

Edited by Tonix777
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  • 4 weeks later...
Akatosh: Creator of the Universe and soul of World

To paraphrase an Objectivist addressing a similar theme (I unfortunately forgot the gentleman's name, but he is likely well-known on these forums I would bet):

1) If the Universe has a Creator, then the Primacy of Consciousness is true.

2) The Primacy of Consciousness is false.

3) Therefore, the Universe has no Creator.

Ayn Rand has addressed the PoC for humans. Let's address the PoC for a Divine Creator. First, note that Premise (1) is a correct statement, since the PoC for a Divine Creator would exactly fit the fact that such a being constructed everything that exists, by definition of "Divine Creator."

For premise (2) as applied to a Divine Creator, I argue as follows (this may differ a bit from the gentleman who authored this argument; I am not able to find his original article for verification, so if this is in fact stated by that gentlemen, I hereby additionally give nods to him):

We will proceed with a proof (by contradiction) of Premise (2) accordingly:

2a) Assume the PoC is true for a Divine Creator.

2b) Then, any potential Divine Creator, before anything exists, must know at least some Universal objects, causations, and properties that have existed, exist, and will exist.

2c) But a Divine Creator has no referent to form His concepts, since nothing but His consciousness exists prior to Creation for which to form these concepts. We have a contradiction.

2d) Therefore, the PoC is false for any Divine Creator, and Premise (2) follows.

One may object to (2c) that the Divine Creator is outside of time. But the Universal Creation must be a referent point, so any Divine Creator will exist in time before Creation. A second objection would be that the Divine Creator does not know He will create before He actually creates; however, He would then have no motive to construct the Universe even granted that such a notion is possible. A third objection to (2c) would be that a Divine Creator knew all Universal things at all times before He created, pardoning Him from having to engage in concept-formation. But He would have had to have known a future state in which He creates the Universe, and since before Creation He has no actual referent than Himself, He would have no epistemological reason to withhold (or engage!) this decision to Create. Such a notion of a Divine Creator which the latter sentences describe is therefore impossible. So Premise (2) is sound against all counterargument.

A different definition for God is that His decision to Create *and* actual act of Creation coexist in the sense that they are not described by time. But this implies that God began to exist with the Universe, meaning He couldn't have Created it, or that the Universe is eternal (given God's *act* of creation is present in this definition), disproved by modern cosmology.

All objections answered, the existence of a Universal Creator is thereby positively disproved, i.e. a proof for the nonexistence of a Divine Creator has been given. In this particular definition of God, so-called "positive" atheism holds.

Arkay: God of the cycle of birth and death

The Second Law of Thermodynamics demands a finite history of *any* Universal system convergent on a limit point t=0 under *any* epistemological timescale with constant unit t (interesting sidenote: the necessary finiteness of both space AND time, coexistent together, was put forth by Ayn Rand LONG BEFORE the Big Bang theories were accpeted!). This is accepted in all modern physics, proven by Alexander Vilenkin. Therefore a birth/death "infinite cyclic" God is positively disproved under any definition. To disprove a notion of a God responsible for a finite-cyclic sequence of birth and death, one must first define how a Divine hand can be seen in the birth/death process. Otherwise, the assertion is empty, i.e. begs the question, and is positively disproven.

Dibella: Goddess of beauty and arts

1) If a Goddess of beauty and arts existed, then man has not created all art and beauty from reality by means of his natural talent and free will (or, in the case of beauty in the natural sense, by means of evolutionary remnant).

2) Man has created all works of art on his own talent and free will from his observation of reality, and his notion of natural beauty can be explained as a remnant of evolutionary processes.

3) Therefore, a Goddess of beauty and arts cannot exist.

Julianos: God of wisdom and science

Disproof is similar to the one for beauty and arts.

Kynareth: Goddess of the air and the ghosts

Again, similar disproof. Note specifically that air can be explained by purely physical means, and there exists no life after death, disproving ghosts absolutely. In fact, the rest of the Gods are disproven similarly:

Mara: Mother Goddess of love

Stendarr: God of mercy

Talos: The Man-God, the Emperor, the Warrior

Zenithar: God of work and commerce

Enjoy! :)

The last God is an especially heinous notion, in my opinion. ;)

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Dear Flagg:

Thanks for take your time and energy in answering my previous post

The thing is that I don't believe in God/s as supernatural beings that created anything

I was referring in my post to the exact inverse notion:

We, men, created Gods. All of them.

But we, the human kind, created different kinds of Gods along the history

and they are NOT all the same type

Y like to think that the Greek Pantheon by example is far more beautiful that

the sinister christian God of the Bible who basically represents punishment

and irrationality and in which name the Church made in the past so much atrocities

(The same goes for other modern Gods like Muhammad or whatever)

In my opinion, Gods from polytheist Pantheons represent more interesting

concepts of men's life, society, virtues, values, etc.

So even when the Pantheon of the Nine Divines is clearly invented

(by the team at Bethesda that created Morrowind for Xbox), I like it a lot.

Probably because I liked so much to play the game some years ago...

So I "worship" these nine Gods that for me represent interesting concepts

to keep in mind in the everyday life

Edited by Tonix777
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  • 3 weeks later...
Time is an energy in the natural world. God is in the supernatural. They are on two different planes. So conciousness and existence both exist now. That is a fact you can't refute. It could be one way but it isn't. And how do you now that the world would continue to exist. Prove it. O wait you can't because there is no consciousness.

again natural versus supernatural and the bible at least to me is not to be taken literally. So what physical laws are you talking about. The gateways are love, the moral code and the fundamental desire for God. In answer to the last one, you cannot contradict that yet because you have yet to truly step away from every day life and feel that desire

Hello allow me to introduce myself. My name is William. I have been following this very interesting debate and although I joined all of ten minutes ago, I am going to throw my hat into the area.

1. God is considerered a supernatural being by most religions. He is unknowable by definition, since we humans live within the natural order of things and cannot percieve such a being if he existed. Therefore a god belief exist is of something outside of natural order of our perception and experience, or restated god is supernatural and therefore unknowable, any descriptin of such a being wouild by necessity be based upon faith and subsequently based on some authority; family, bible, koran, etc/ All having been written by humans would also be just a matter of conjecture. To use attributes of love, giver of moral code, etc. changes nothing. Attributes given to the unknowable are only conjecture based upon opinion and faith, not reason.

2. An agnostic's position would be that he cannot perceive god, but cannot say he doesn't exist somewhere, sometime in all the univeres.

But the same position would be true for the belief in unicorns, elfs, fairies, etc. Any rational man would not expect him to harbor such a belief without proof.

3. An athiest, is one without theistic belief. It is not necessary for him to prove or disprove the existence of god since he isn't the one holding the belief. The believer is the one who by necessity of his position needs to prove his belief.

Also common sense would point out that the label of athiest was established by aomeone of theistic belief. It is not a name that someone without such a belief would choose, since the god concept would not be one of his/her referents. Therefore the term athiest is a label used by a monotheiest to describe someone who doesn't share his point of view, consequently that places the necessity of proof on the person with that viewpoint not the person without it.

In a sense, the agnostic is an athiest - since he is also without theistic belief.

Conclusion: An interesting idea, if a believer could prove the existence of god (as an existent, identity) then that god would not be supernatural and therefore would then not be a god (by common definition), since he would not be supernatural and would have identity and be knowable. Therefore, to kill this god concept we need to support the believer into proving the existence god.

A. If god exist he is both supernatural and unknowable, by definition

B. Any knowledge claim is based upon faith in authority and/or conjecture

C. The world can only be known by man through the rational use of his mind

Edited by William
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Hello allow me to introduce myself. My name is William. I have been following this very interesting debate and although I joined all of ten minutes ago, I am going to throw my hat into the area.

In a sense, the agnostic is an athiest - since he is also without theistic belief.

You are so very wrong, of course, but you do have good intentions. I don't believe though that the best way to learn he error of your ways is on an online forum: you should check out Objectivist Epistemology( Introduction to Obj. Epist., by Rand, OPAR by Peikoff), and Peikoff's DIM theory to really understand the difference between an agnostic and an atheist.

Speaking of which, does anyone know where I could find stuff on DIM theory? (I listened to his lectures on the ARI page back when they were available for free, so I won't order those, I'm looking for a recommendation for something in written form. )

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Dr. Peikoff is working on a book, I *think* it's expected out in about two years. (Someone who knows better please correct/update me.)

An agnostic--properly used--is someone who believes it is inherently, in principle unknowable whether there is a God. I tend to allow people who themselves do not know but *do* believe that it is knowable, to call themselves agnostic without jumping them for it--though I do try to get them to clarify whether they think it's inherently unknowable or just that they themselves don't know.

Usually the "I don't know" crowd can be persuaded as far as "it's very. very, very unlikely" (i.e., Richard Dawkins' position); unfortunately most people are too epistemologically corrupted to see that the logical contradictions involved in the God-of-the-Bible concept make it not just very, very, unlikely, but downright impossible for him to exist. (I have a different argument against believing in Zeus as opposed to Yahweh, but let's not go into the problem with arbitrary claims this post.)

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Tonix777,

The closest you come to reality in your argument is in the fact that the CONCEPT of god is real. But a god or gods do not exist, as far as we know. Same goes for vampires or werewolves. They are make believe, not actually existing.

Rob

Edited by Hazmatac
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You are so very wrong, of course, but you do have good intentions. I don't believe though that the best way to learn he error of your ways is on an online forum: you should check out Objectivist Epistemology( Introduction to Obj. Epist., by Rand, OPAR by Peikoff), and Peikoff's DIM theory to really understand the difference between an agnostic and an atheist.

Speaking of which, does anyone know where I could find stuff on DIM theory? (I listened to his lectures on the ARI page back when they were available for free, so I won't order those, I'm looking for a recommendation for something in written form. )

I have never been comfortable with anyone saying I was wrong without the benefit of an explanation. Also, I have read everything that Ayn Rand has written including the "Objectivist Newsletter" which believe or not, I still have in my possession.

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