Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

The Law of Identity and God

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

I would not accept an argument from logical necessity as it means I have to accept something as fact simply because no logical alternative currently exists. This might be a good exercise for scientific evaluation or even individual research but the purpose of that is to see if a proposition can be validated. Validating something does just that - validate it. Shrugging and saying I don’t know so it must be “x” because nothing else fits, including “x” evidently since you can’t validate it to begin with, is a pretty big intellectual slippery slope to me.

The typical Atheist has a philosophy that says "miracles are logically impossible and therefore have never happened”

Actually, I am saying that there is no proof that any miracle has ever happened and further miracles contradict known facts of the universe, ergo miracles are logically impossible and will never happen. I know miracles don’t exist while the other method starts with an assertion and building a case around it, which truth be told is no different then the Theist position. I’m Joe Friday – "Just the facts ma’am". It is not a circular argument since there is an end and beginning. It hasn’t happened, the basic observable facts of reality show they it can’t happen, ergo it won’t happen.

Lets be real here, the only miracles that get reported are bleeding eyes from statues, images on a grilled cheese, and the occasional claim of healing which has never been proven. If miracles did exist we would have direct evidence wich in today’s world would be on youTube and Good Morning America. It sort of like how UFO sightings always happen in rural trailer parks so there is no way to validate them. Besides, if miracles were real you would think God would do something useful like cure cancer or make bacon a health food.

As for my original post, yes that was the real issue. Everything else was just me piling it on to show how frustratingly unbelievable the whole concept really is. I claim that it is logically impossible for God to be infinite, omniscient, or omnipotent. Each contradicts basic axioms which mean God, as defined by his supporters, cannot exist. Unless you want to assert he can exist outside of existence, which is simply another contradiction if one wants to bother to go that far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I would not accept an argument from logical necessity as it means I have to accept something as fact simply because no logical alternative currently exists. This might be a good exercise for scientific evaluation or even individual research but the purpose of that is to see if a proposition can be validated. Validating something does just that - validate it. Shrugging and saying I don’t know so it must be “x” because nothing else fits, including “x” evidently since you can’t validate it to begin with, is a pretty big intellectual slippery slope to me.

The way that I am using it, "logical necessity" does not mean "no logical alternatives currently exist". Rather, it means "the only possible alternative is self-contradictory".

When there are only two alternatives (A or ~A), if one of those is contradictory, then the other is necessarily true. That is what I mean by logical necessity.

With that explanation, would you still reject an argument from logical necessity (the way that I mean it here)?

The typical Atheist has a philosophy that says "miracles are logically impossible and therefore have never happened”

Actually, I am saying that there is no proof that any miracle has ever happened and further miracles contradict known facts of the universe, ergo miracles are logically impossible and will never happen.

This equates "what we've experienced" with "all that is logically possible".

Lets be real here, the only miracles that get reported are bleeding eyes from statues, images on a grilled cheese, and the occasional claim of healing which has never been proven. If miracles did exist we would have direct evidence wich in today’s world would be on youTube and Good Morning America. It sort of like how UFO sightings always happen in rural trailer parks so there is no way to validate them. Besides, if miracles were real you would think God would do something useful like cure cancer or make bacon a health food.

Remember, I'm not really making a positive argument for any particular mircales here or for miracles in general. I'm showing that the premise of "miracles being impossible" - which Atheists use as an argument against Theism - is an unsupported premise.. it is an assumption with no scientific or philosophical backing.

If you'd like a picture illustration, I am not so much building my castle (proving my worldview) here as much as I am demolishing yours (showing that you don't have quite as much "reason" on your side as you think). OR, you could say that I am disarming the weapons (arguments) that you (Atheists in general) are attempting to use against my castle (Theism).

If you wish to prove that miracles are IMPOSSIBLE, arguments like "I've never seen one" or "I want one like this" won't cut it. You must prove that miracles, as such, are impossible. Apart from that, you could justifiably say that they are highly unlikely, but you have no just backing for the assumption that they are impossible.

As for my original post, yes that was the real issue. Everything else was just me piling it on to show how frustratingly unbelievable the whole concept really is. I claim that it is logically impossible for God to be infinite, omniscient, or omnipotent. Each contradicts basic axioms which mean God, as defined by his supporters, cannot exist. Unless you want to assert he can exist outside of existence, which is simply another contradiction if one wants to bother to go that far.

I don't wish to assert that He exists outside of existence. I do hold that God is infinite, omniscient, and omnipotent. I do not see how these contradict the basic axioms. Could you elaborate?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you'd like a picture illustration, I am not so much building my castle (proving my worldview) here as much as I am demolishing yours (showing that you don't have quite as much "reason" on your side as you think). OR, you could say that I am disarming the weapons (arguments) that you (Atheists in general) are attempting to use against my castle (Theism).

That's funny. A benefit I received from engaging with you in these threads was more like a re-examination of the Objectivist foundations, discovering just how much more structurally sound it is than I initially realized. If anything, Objectivism bolsters the intellectual immune system against the various irrationalities that infect much of the so called "thinking" that is prevalent today. I left the rubble of theism (some call those ruins a castle) as I began to understand what made the skyscrapers, automobiles and the introduction to the conquest of space possible. What seems almost miraculous today is that mysticism is still considered plausible by so many - but even this fact is simply more testimony to the power philosophy wields, be it acknowledged, or even more so, unacknowledged.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reality has a definite and knowable nature; God doesn't. But what is curious, more so than God's lack of identity, is the persistence of faith in a concept of God held by a majority of individuals who ought to know better by now. The fact that faith in God remains long after Santa, et al, have been vanquished suggests to me that God is less the result of mysticism, than a need shared by most individuals to believe in something rather than nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reality has a definite and knowable nature; God doesn't. But what is curious, more so than God's lack of identity, is the persistence of faith in a concept of God held by a majority of individuals who ought to know better by now. The fact that faith in God remains long after Santa, et al, have been vanquished suggests to me that God is less the result of mysticism, than a need shared by most individuals to believe in something rather than nothing.

Need is a relative term. What is this need for? To accomplish what purpose?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Need is a relative term. What is this need for? To accomplish what purpose?

Knowledge, too, is a relative term. Knowledge presupposes freewill, which presupposes causality which presupposes consciousness, which presupposes existence. The need shared by all individual to believe in something leaves open the question: Are your beliefs organized or disorganized, consistent or inconstant, integrated or disintegrated, based on reality having a definite and knowable nature or based on a some mystical realm that is indefinite and unknowable?; and underscores the fact that "[p]hilosophy is a human need as real as the need for food" (OPAR, pg. 2)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Knowledge, too, is a relative term. Knowledge presupposes freewill, which presupposes causality which presupposes consciousness, which presupposes existence. The need shared by all individual to believe in something leaves open the question: Are your beliefs organized or disorganized, consistent or inconstant, integrated or disintegrated, based on reality having a definite and knowable nature or based on a some mystical realm that is indefinite and unknowable?; and underscores the fact that "[p]hilosophy is a human need as real as the need for food" (OPAR, pg. 2)

That's not what I mean by relative.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The need to know. To accomplish the purpose of being sapient.

Ok, that's an easily verifiable statement on the human condition. You are saying that faith in God is a necessary condition of sapience.

Now you need to go out in the world and verify your hypothesis. Talk to some people who don't have faith in God, see if they're sapient or not.

I'm one of those people. Am I not sapient? Go ahead, test me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm saying that faith in something (God for lack of a better description) is an apparent attribute of sapience. Statistical evidence shows that non-belief remains somewhere between 10-25%* ** of the world's population despite advances in science, efforts by various governments efforts to abolish the practice of religion, and Objectivism's consistently logical rebuttal of the definition of God. Taking into account the fear of pesecution for being identified as either believing or non-belief, a substantial majority of individuals persist in believing in something greater than Man, be it God, Nature's God, an afterlife, souls, spirituality, or whatever. I would even argue that "Man as a heroic being" meets some approximation of a God within Man, given the greek definition of hero, i.e. of divine origin, and the actual nature of Man, which on the whole is certainly less than heroic. This suggests to me that the concept of something like God is a necessary aspect of sapience, as a response to a common need to identify something greater than ourselves.

* "The world population of non religious** ranges anywhere from 850 million to 1.1 billion making up 15 to 26.8%" ~ http://atheistempire.com/reference/stats/index.php (presented as a sample of stastical evidence)

** "Between 500,000,000 and 750,000,000 humans currently do not believe in God." ~ http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Ath-Chap-under-7000.pdf (presented as a sample of stastical evidence)

Current world population equals 7,026,625,467 ~ http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm saying that faith in something (God for lack of a better description) is an apparent attribute of sapience. Statistical evidence shows that non-belief remains somewhere between 10-25%* ** of the world's population despite advances in science, efforts by various governments efforts to abolish the practice of religion, and Objectivism's consistently logical rebuttal of the definition of God. Taking into account the fear of pesecution for being identified as either believing or non-belief, a substantial majority of individuals persist in believing in something greater than Man, be it God, Nature's God, an afterlife, souls, spirituality, or whatever. I would even argue that "Man as a heroic being" meets some approximation of a God within Man, given the greek definition of hero, i.e. of divine origin, and the actual nature of Man, which on the whole is certainly less than heroic. This suggests to me that the concept of something like God is a necessary aspect of sapience, as a response to a common need to identify something greater than ourselves.

* "The world population of non religious** ranges anywhere from 850 million to 1.1 billion making up 15 to 26.8%" ~ http://atheistempire...stats/index.php (presented as a sample of stastical evidence)

** "Between 500,000,000 and 750,000,000 humans currently do not believe in God." ~ http://www.pitzer.ed...-under-7000.pdf (presented as a sample of stastical evidence)

Current world population equals 7,026,625,467 ~ http://www.census.go...w/popclock.html

You are confusing the idea of hero worship as a form of artistic benefit versus a Bronze Age belief in witch doctors. One is healthy to eat while the other is not (and long past its expiration date).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are confusing the idea of hero worship as a form of artistic benefit versus a Bronze Age belief in witch doctors. One is healthy to eat while the other is not (and long past its expiration date).

I don't think so... Whether one is seeking "a form of artistic benefit", or consulting "witch doctors", the primary motivation is most likely the result of responding to the question, "Is there something greater to aspire to?". Non-belief typically responds, "Things are what they are", which appears unsatisfactory, or incomplete to a majority of individuals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm saying that faith in something (God for lack of a better description) is an apparent attribute of sapience.

That statement is just as easily verifiable as your previous one. Check if people who don't have faith are sapient or not. If they are, then you're wrong, faith has nothing to do with sapience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That statement is just as easily verifiable as your previous one. Check if people who don't have faith are sapient or not. If they are, then you're wrong, faith has nothing to do with sapience.

Unless you're asserting that all humans aren't sapient, we're both presuming that even those who claim atheism are sapient, yes? However an atheistic vote for "none of the above" implies that a choice has been considered and made, and that application of wisdom validates sapience; not the resulting expression of faith or non-belief. You might as well argue that the ability to apply common sense isn't an aspect of sapience because not all sapient individuals apply common sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you suggesting they are all valid means of acquiring knowledge to provide this "application of wisdom"?

Definition for sapience: Web definitions: wisdom: ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight.

wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

I'm suggesting that the concept of God, even without identity, is likely a product of being sapient.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm suggesting that the concept of God, even without identity, is likely a product of being sapient.

Well, whether it's a product of "being sapient" or not is sort of irrelevant. The relevant question is this: Is it TRUE or not? And on what grounds?

Atheists (obviously) say that it is not true, and they base that on certain grounds, some of which are "logical arguments against the existence of God" or instances in which they claim that the concept of God violates the Law of Identity.

The purpose of this thread is to discuss those particular arguments/claims.

Would you like to contribute to that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ummm, not to interrupt or anything but how the discussion in the last 8-10 posts relevant to the topic of the thread....?

I was responding to the original post, "Does the Law of Identity contradict the existence of God?" It does, but a God without identity seems no less credible to roughly 80% of the global population. Anyway, carry on...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, whether it's a product of "being sapient" or not is sort of irrelevant. The relevant question is this: Is it TRUE or not? And on what grounds?

Atheists (obviously) say that it is not true, and they base that on certain grounds, some of which are "logical arguments against the existence of God" or instances in which they claim that the concept of God violates the Law of Identity.

The purpose of this thread is to discuss those particular arguments/claims.

Would you like to contribute to that?

Actually, the purpose of this entire forum, including this thread, is to answer questions from an Objectivist perspective. Not to debate some troll about how his religion is logical.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definition for sapience: Web definitions: wisdom: ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight.

wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

I'm suggesting that the concept of God, even without identity, is likely a product of being sapient.

Alright, so with your definition in mind, what knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense or insight was applied to produce the concept of God? And what was said knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense or insight applied to?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...