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Tony Dowden
20-05-2010, 09:13 PM
A much better question than 'Does God exist?

Goughfather
20-05-2010, 09:53 PM
It seems to me that this question is more about epistemology than theology. One's statement that they "know that they know" that God exists, says more about the nature of that person's belief than about the existence of God, per se. At the same time, perhaps the distinction between "knowing" and "knowing that one knows" is helpful in facilitating fruitful conversation about the nature of religious belief or the lack thereof.

I expressed some of my reflections about "Truth" (as opposed to "truth") at an article I wrote about three years ago entitled "What is Truth?" (https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=37116884&postID=8064761057091201709). They are the kinds of reflections that would not sit well with Jono or his fellow literalists, so while I do not know that I know and I am sure that the ideas could be further developed and refined, I intuitively sense that I may be on the right track. Most pertinent to Tony's question are the quotes I have included from Soren Kierkegaard and Thomas a Kempis respectively:

All essential knowledge concerns existence, or only that knowledge that relates to existence is essential, is essential knowledge. All knowledge that is not existential, that does not involve inward reflection, is really accidental knowledge, its degree and compass are essentially a matter of no importance. This essential knowledge that relates itself essentially to the existing individual is not to be equated with the above-mentioned abstract identity between thought and being. But it means that knowledge must relate itself to the knower, who is essentially an existing individual, and therefore all essential knowledge essentially relates itself to existence, to that which exists. But all ethical and all ethical-religious knowledge has this essential relationship to the existence of the knower. Soren Kierkegaard per Johannes Climacus, "Subjectivity is Truth"

How happy a man is when the Truth teaches him directly, not through symbols and words that are soon forgotten, but by contact with itself. Our own way of thinking and our own impression give us only a false or limited view. - Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ: On Being Taught by Truth

Rincewind
20-05-2010, 11:30 PM
Be careful on Jono might brand you as a post-modernist. Certainly your question smacks of implying the ultimate subjectivity of truth.

I wonder if other theists are comfortable with being told "yes your god exists to you, but that doesn't make it any more "real" than the gods believed by billions of Hindus, or the different incompatible versions of the Abramaic god or the god worshiped by Satanists or the Parthenon of Greek or Roman gods, Mithra, or the nature spirits worshiped by various animists."

In short the problem with your question is avoids the issue of the multiplicity of gods by misappropriating the word "exists". All these gods can't simultaneously exist in a real sense. They might seem real to the believer, but that is no more real than a dream.

What I am interested in is where God exists in the same sense that this table that I'm writing on exists. Not whether someone has convinced themselves that their personal revelation is any more real or significant than a vivid daydream. There is just one table it has four legs and a glass top. Every rational person, regardless of their religious persuasion, can examine this table and will come to the same conclusion. That's how we know it truly exists.

antichrist
21-05-2010, 12:43 PM
Of course my God does - I say hello and it answers me every morning. It puts good waves up for me, makes the sun shine for me and make my investments strike gold.

In earlier times didn't the ancient Hebrews/Jews carry their god around in the Ark of the Convenant or some such vehicle?

Capablanca-Fan
23-05-2010, 04:08 AM
Be careful on Jono might brand you as a post-modernist.
That's old news as far as GF is concerned.


Certainly your question smacks of implying the ultimate subjectivity of truth.
I agree, as rare as this is, as far as RW is concerned.

Rincewind
23-05-2010, 10:27 AM
That's old news as far as GF is concerned.

I was more thinking about the framing of the question by TD...


Does your God exist in such a way that you know - and you know that you know?

If you take out all the subjective mumbo-jumbo we are left with

Does god exist?

morebeer
23-05-2010, 11:32 AM
A much better question than 'Does God exist?

No.

In the same way "Does your right index finger exist in such a way that you know - and you know that you know?" is not better than "Does your right index finger exist?"

Also, the "know that you know" component sounds circular.

antichrist
23-05-2010, 11:34 AM
No.

In the same way "Does your right index finger exist in such a way that you know - and you know that you know?" is not better than "Does your right index finger exist?"

Also, the "know that you know" component sounds circular.

I am only coming into this particular point of thread without going through whole lot - but if there is no substance or such cannot be proven than it's supposed essence is irrelevant.

Tony Dowden
23-05-2010, 08:21 PM
A much better question than 'Does God exist?

;) Some interesting responses but so far they look like 'Does God exist?' responses. This thread isn't meant to be about fancy philosophy or theology or a place for clever answers. It's about your reality.

In my opinion each individual needs to experience their God ('god', if you prefer - but I'll stick with God). So, if your God is toys - lots of them: big, shiny and fancy - well you get out there and make sure you get some toys. Presumably you experience those toys and so you definitely know your God exists. You even know that you know. You are so confident that you'd even tell someone else - or at least you wouldn't mind others knowing because its just who you are.

TheJoker
24-05-2010, 11:37 AM
Tony, perhaps your question would be better framed as:

"Have you experienced events that have been influenced by the concept of a god therefore proving that said god exists?"

I think by presenting the argument in a way where existence does not rely on a physical existence, you can prove that God does indeed exist.

If you want people to share their experiences that they believe demonstrates the existence of a god then you should specifically ask for that.

Desmond
24-05-2010, 11:49 AM
Tony, perhaps your question would be better framed as:

"Have you experienced events that have been influenced by the concept of a batman therefore proving that said Batman exists?"

I think by presenting the argument in a way where existence does not rely on a physical existence, you can prove that Batman does indeed exist.

If you want people to share their experiences that they believe demonstrates the existence of a batman then you should specifically ask for that.

TheJoker
24-05-2010, 02:09 PM
Tony, perhaps your question would be better framed as:

"Have you experienced events that have been influenced by the concept of a batman therefore proving that said Batman exists?"

I think by presenting the argument in a way where existence does not rely on a physical existence, you can prove that Batman does indeed exist.

If you want people to share their experiences that they believe demonstrates the existence of a batman then you should specifically ask for that.

Batman does exist as a television, film and comic book character. What's your point?

Desmond
24-05-2010, 02:15 PM
Batman does exist are television, film and comic book character. What's your point?Well then he seems to have one up on God (unless there is a comic book I don't know about).

Of course the point was that you could substitute any imagined thing into your statement and it would hold true. If that is a meaningful tool for you to help understand the universe then we will have to agree to differ.

TheJoker
24-05-2010, 02:37 PM
Well then he seems to have one up on God (unless there is a comic book I don't know about).

Of course the point was that you could substitute any imagined thing into your statement and it would hold true. If that is a meaningful tool for you to help understand the universe then we will have to agree to differ.

If by the universe you include human behaviour, then yes I think the concept of God (and far far far far lesser extent Batman) have a great effect on human behaviour. If you are talking about universe in a cosmological sense then I'd agree it has none. But if want understand why important events like 9/11 occur you might need to understand how the concept of God and religion interact with the human psyche.

The point is that people's cognitive lens influence their behaviour. If you veiw God as supernatural force for "good". Then indeed God exists in that the mental concept of God causes many people to exhibit "good" behaviours in the absence of any obvious physical force.

As for comic books I'm sure there would be lots. I've even seen God on South Park. ;)

Hobbes
24-05-2010, 04:35 PM
Then surely an even better question is:

Does your God exist in such a way that you know - and you know that you know - and you know that you know that you know?

Perceptive readers may be able to think up even better (?) questions for themselves.

Kevin Bonham
24-05-2010, 05:24 PM
So, if your God is toys - lots of them: big, shiny and fancy - well you get out there and make sure you get some toys. Presumably you experience those toys and so you definitely know your God exists.

At this point I am imagining if the thread had been called "Does your toy exist in such a way that you know - and you know that you know" and re-parsing the above as:

"So, if your toy is God [...] well you get our there and make sure you get some religion. Presumably you experience this God and so you definitely know your toy exists".

The reason for this seemingly absurd rephrasing is to highlight something: when a believer wishes to generalise religious "experience" they may talk about pasttimes, nonreligious belief systems etc in a quasi-religious manner. But if this sort of metaphorical extension is reversed, some believers might well be offended.

If the thread's about ruling experiences then I would have to come out as some kind of polyatheist or panatheist. The whole idea of having a life governed by a single ruling idea, force or interest (whether that force is something that exists or not) is just completely alien to me.

Tony Dowden
24-07-2010, 01:11 PM
Tony, perhaps your question would be better framed as:

"Have you experienced events that have been influenced by the concept of a god therefore proving that said god exists?"

I think by presenting the argument in a way where existence does not rely on a physical existence, you can prove that God does indeed exist.

If you want people to share their experiences that they believe demonstrates the existence of a god then you should specifically ask for that.

Yes, same idea. Leaving the fancy semantics aside, I think that discussing the notion of experiencing God is more salient than debating the existence of God.

TheJoker
26-07-2010, 10:17 AM
I think that discussing the notion of experiencing God is more salient than debating the existence of God.

Tony, I have had no experiences of any God that would suggest that they are anything more than figment of people's imagination. How about you?

Capablanca-Fan
28-07-2010, 12:34 AM
My faith is not based on "experience" or emotions, but on evidence. In the New Testament, there seems to be no precedent for this modern Western tradition of "personal testimonies". Rather, the Apostles appealed to the evidence of the Resurrection, OT prophecy fulfilment and "many infallible proofs", as well as the evidence from creation (Paul on Mars Hill in Acts 17). Indeed, they would have found the concept of "personal testimonies" puzzling, because the ancients conceived of personality as static, so the idea of "personal change" was thought not to be possible. That's why the Apostles were suspicious of Paul at first. See also What is Faith? (http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatfaith.html)

An obsession with personal testimonies seems like an American phenomenon that has percolated Down Under. Don't they understand that it puts the focus on humans instead of God to say "look what God did for me"? It's like asking us to be used car salesmen ("That God, he's a beauty, he gave me many reliable years and can work well for you too") or the danger of turning off the audience from God with those who may be experiencing ongoing horrors in their life. I really think it gives despair rather than hope to those people. It's far better to talk about how Jesus died for our sins and conquered death, than how He blessed us with some material thing just when we needed it, or some such thing. That's fine to talk among friends, when you can respond to their problems personally because they have opportunity to answer (in small groups, for example, with two-way conversation).

antichrist
28-07-2010, 12:56 AM
Shouldn't the title of the thread state God in lower case rather that capital G? Just for clarity, maybe as a title upper G was used though lower case is implied.

Jono, I don't think you amswer the titile question that "a" god exists in such a way that you know. You don't really know but are just relying on (what's that word?) atheoapathetic dogma (quick learner aren't I).

See you around.

TheJoker
28-07-2010, 12:28 PM
My faith is not based on "experience" or emotions, but on evidence....

I glad you put that in italics


the evidence of the Resurrection.

Which happen to consist of a missing body (or so an account written half a century after the incident says), and a couple of personal "experiences" of having seen a ghost (all though IIRC these are missing from some of the early version of Mark).

Desmond
28-07-2010, 12:39 PM
Which happen to consist of a missing body (or so an account written half a century after the incident says), and a couple of personal "experiences" of having seen a ghost (all though IIRC these are missing from some of the early version of Mark).Could have risen as a zombie.

TheJoker
28-07-2010, 03:28 PM
Could have risen as a zombie.

You might well be right I've seen a few Jesus look-a-likes with bloodshot eyes I just thought they were stoned hippies but perhaps they were the messiah ;)

Capablanca-Fan
03-08-2010, 03:33 AM
I glad you put that in italics
Of course.


Which happen to consist of a missing body
A body, which if found, or even a body roughly of Jesus' build with the clear crucifixion features, would have destroyed Christianity before it began.


(or so an account written half a century after the incident says),
No, much sooner than that, since Paul wrote 1 Cor. 15 ~20 years after the events, remind them of what he had preached much earlier.


and a couple of personal "experiences" of having seen a ghost (all though IIRC these are missing from some of the early version of Mark).
Irrelevant, since Paul referred to 500, many of whom where still alive and could be questioned. The Gospels were also written within the lifetime of witnesses (http://creation.com/gospel-dates-and-reliability), including hostile ones.

Spiny Norman
04-08-2010, 06:39 AM
My faith is not based on "experience" or emotions, but on evidence. In the New Testament, there seems to be no precedent for this modern Western tradition of "personal testimonies". Rather, the Apostles appealed to the evidence of the Resurrection, OT prophecy fulfilment and "many infallible proofs", as well as the evidence from creation (Paul on Mars Hill in Acts 17). Indeed, they would have found the concept of "personal testimonies" puzzling, because the ancients conceived of personality as static, so the idea of "personal change" was thought not to be possible. That's why the Apostles were suspicious of Paul at first. See also What is Faith? (http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatfaith.html)
Interesting. My view is that both are helpful. Without firm evidence, faith is in vain, but without personal testimony there is little evidence of the efficacy of Christian faith for ordinary people. On at least one occasion Jesus even commanded a man to give a personal testimony ... Mark 5:19 "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."

Capablanca-Fan
04-08-2010, 06:49 AM
Interesting. My view is that both are helpful. Without firm evidence, faith is in vain, but without personal testimony there is little evidence of the efficacy of Christian faith for ordinary people. On at least one occasion Jesus even commanded a man to give a personal testimony ... Mark 5:19 "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."
But what was done for him was a miracle: casting out demons. This proves my point: the NT "testimonies" included evidence of miracles. James Patrick Holding writes:


Indeed, one will find nowhere in the NT an example of missionaries, or anyone, giving their personal testimony.

This is for good reason. The ancients conceived of personality as static; the way you were born is the way you stayed. Personal change was not a focus, because it was thought impossible. This is why the church remained suspicious of Paul even after his conversion, and until Barnabas (who probably knew Paul previously) testified on his behalf.

But note well: The following is not the sort of thing one will find in the NT:


Acts 2:48-52 And Peter arose and said, Men and brethren, I testify to you that whereas I formerly smoked mustard leaves, drank wine, cursed daily, and smelled moreover of fish, when the Lord Jesus Christ entered my heart I became clean. Now I no longer smoke, I no longer drink, my language is no longer filthy, and I bathe daily. Praise the Lord!
On the contrary. Here is what we do find in the missionary preaching of the NT:


Acts 2:22-36 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved...Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear... Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Peter's primary appeal here was threefold:

He appealed to the evidence of the wonders and signs performed by Jesus;
he appealed to the empty tomb,
and he appealed to fulfillment of OT prophecy.


In short, his appeals were evidentiary. One of course might wish to dispute the validity of the evidence, but in context this is beside the point. The point is that Peter grounded belief in Christianity on evidence or, as the definition of pistis in Acts 17:31 would put it, proofs.

Now before you re-read various passages on "faith" in this light, bear in mind two things.

First, this does not necessarily mean abandoning personal testimony as a form of witness. Changed lives may be, and often are, appealed to as proofs of the Christian faith, and in our individualistic society which has lost a sense of history (to the point where many people cannot even name our Vice-President), such appeals may actually be better in some contexts than an apologetic for the empty tomb.

Second, note that in very few cases is this form of pistis, as meaning a proof, in view. The meaning does give us a clue as to the nature of other meanings. It is often used as a noun to refer to the Christian "faith" as a set of convictions. In far many more cases the meaning intended is in the sense of faithfulness, or loyalty as owed to one in whom one is embedded for service (in this case, the body of Christ).

Tony Dowden
10-11-2010, 08:12 PM
Tony, I have had no experiences of any God that would suggest that they are anything more than figment of people's imagination. How about you?

Hi TJ,

I just saw this message addressed to me - so sorry I didn't answer it earlier.

First can I ask what you mean by 'experience' as such? (Are you expecting something supernatural or spooky?)

antichrist
20-01-2011, 11:30 PM
Hi TJ,

I just saw this message addressed to me - so sorry I didn't answer it earlier.

First can I ask what you mean by 'experience' as such? (Are you expecting something supernatural or spooky?)

well Joker, Tony is still waiting for his reply, patient person he is

Kevin Bonham
20-01-2011, 11:35 PM
TheJoker has been offline here since 15 Sep 2010. No idea why.

antichrist
23-01-2011, 04:40 AM
.....
Rather, the Apostles appealed to the evidence of the Resurrection, OT prophecy fulfilment and "many infallible proofs", as well as the evidence from creation (Paul on Mars Hill in Acts 17).

).
Rather, the Apostles appealed to the evidence of the Resurrection, OT prophecy fulfilment and "many infallible proofs", as well as the evidence from creation (Paul on Mars Hill in Acts 17).

AC
but at the time Jesus was not accepted as fulfilling OT prophecy, otherwise the Jews would not be calling for His blood to be upon them and their children.


Jesus, if existed, was no different from that Schneerson (?) guy from US Jewry who was claimed to be the messiah. The great majority at the time did not accept either and were considered fakes. At least the Schneereson guy had the good sense to life a complete life. If he had guts but he would have went to churches and preached that they were heretics.

Jono
An obsession with personal testimonies seems like an American phenomenon that has percolated Down Under. Don't they understand that it puts the focus on humans instead of God to say "look what God did for me"? It's like asking us to be used car salesmen ("That God, he's a beauty, he gave me many reliable years and can work well for you too") or the danger of turning off the audience from God with those who may be experiencing ongoing horrors in their life. I really think it gives despair rather than hope to those people. It's far better to talk about how Jesus died for our sins and conquered death, than how He blessed us with some material thing just when we needed it, or some such thing. That's fine to talk among friends, when you can respond to their problems personally because they have opportunity to answer (in small groups, for example, with two-way conversation

AC
Jono, stating that Jesus died for our sins is no better than personallising, it is the same only in a collective sense. It is still being self-centered. Jesus, if existed, didn't believe this scenario coz why he crying out "father, why has thou forsaken me".

And if you accept Jesus saying that coz in the Bible it creates problems for RW as it demands more than one god - Father and cross-bred semi-god son

As we cannot disprove one god also we cannot disprove many gods, and as people "know" their god exists then we must accept all gods existing, otherwise we would be hypocritical.

antichrist
23-01-2011, 05:00 AM
as Jesus has 2 million friends on his facebook, he must exist, and those 2 mill know that they know, otherwise they would not sign up. I wonder if are just hanging around for a repeat of loaves and fishes free feed?

Kevin Bonham
23-01-2011, 12:43 PM
as Jesus has 2 million friends on his facebook, he must exist, and those 2 mill know that they know, otherwise they would not sign up. I wonder if are just hanging around for a repeat of loaves and fishes free feed?

Actually the 2 million is not "friends" but the number who "like" the site. I also notice there are a number of different "Jesus Christ" pages on Facebook.

By the way 27 million "like" Michael Jackson's page, and I believe he stopped existing as such a few years ago.

Tony Dowden
11-03-2011, 09:50 PM
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all your very interesting posts :clap: :clap: :clap:

On reflection I think that my initial question is indeed more epistemological than theological. (Thanks for that insight Goughfather).

And, for many of the arguments posted, I think I have a lot to try and assimilate before I'm ready to sensibly attempt to argue a case. I think I'm still on to something though :lol:

Cheers, Tony

antichrist
12-03-2011, 06:58 PM
Does your God not exist in a way that you don't know, and you don't know that you don't know?

I would like to see that one answered by theists

morebeer
17-03-2011, 01:05 PM
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all your very interesting posts :clap: :clap: :clap:

On reflection I think that my initial question is indeed more epistemological than theological. (Thanks for that insight Goughfather).

And, for many of the arguments posted, I think I have a lot to try and assimilate before I'm ready to sensibly attempt to argue a case. I think I'm still on to something though :lol:

Cheers, Tony

As a belated addition, you may wish to review Kant's critique of the ontological argument as he raised some difficulties when using the concept of existence as a predicate as in the phrase "Does your God exist".

The below link is very brief outline of Kant's, and others, position on the notion of existence from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existence/

antichrist
17-03-2011, 01:14 PM
As a belated addition, you may wish to review Kant's critique of the ontological argument as he raised some difficulties when using the concept of existence as a predicate as in the phrase "Does your God exist".

The below link is very brief outline of Kant's, and others, position on the notion of existence from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existence/

MOre beer, thanks for the intellectualism, of course the intellectuals should lead society, but it is the opposite due to power of religious tricksters. It is only when rebelling that the ordinary folk get some power over their lives and state.

The religious dont care too hoot for intelligence and intellectualism - look at Jono for example and the tens of thousands of churchs pushing out rubbish each sunday. and their schools get subsidies for doing so - who are the fools.

morebeer
17-03-2011, 01:18 PM
The religious dont care too hoot for intelligence and intellectualism ...

In the seven seconds it has taken me to type this I can think of a dozen Alpha intellects who were religious - Kant being one of them.

antichrist
17-03-2011, 01:25 PM
In the seven seconds it has taken me to type this I can think of a dozen Alpha intellects who were religious - Kant being one of them.

Correct, but they are always chasing their tail.

Like religious schientists who believe that God set evolution in place than took a long holiday

antichrist
17-03-2011, 04:51 PM
In the seven seconds it has taken me to type this I can think of a dozen Alpha intellects who were religious - Kant being one of them.

Decades ago I read completely through Bertrand Russell's "A History of Western Philosophy", I was giving a bit of a speech on it and remarked how at the end of the book Russell stated that the trouble with all these philosophers is that they adopted the position that God exists and then tailored their philosophy to come to that conclusion. Also if I had known that I would not wasted my time reading the book - to which a smart alec yells out: you should have began at the back of the book first.

That is the complete picture of how all western thinking was corrupted by religion. And people wonder why I am against religion.

Rincewind
17-03-2011, 05:38 PM
Decades ago I read completely through Bertrand Russell's "A History of Western Philosophy", I was giving a bit of a speech on it and remarked how at the end of the book Russell stated that the trouble with all these philosophers is that they adopted the position that God exists and then tailored their philosophy to come to that conclusion. Also if I had known that I would not wasted my time reading the book - to which a smart alec yells out: you should have began at the back of the book first.

That is the complete picture of how all western thinking was corrupted by religion. And people wonder why I am against religion.

Certainly in his Essay Why I am not a Christian (http://www.users.drew.edu/~jlenz/whynot.html) Russell said


Now we reach one stage further in what I shall call the intellectual descent that the Theists have made in their argumentations, and we come to what are called the moral arguments for the existence of God. You all know, of course, that there used to be in the old days three intellectual arguments for the existence of God, all of which were disposed of by Immanuel Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason; but no sooner had he disposed of those arguments than he invented a new one, a moral argument, and that quite convinced him. He was like many people: in intellectual matters he was skeptical, but in moral matters he believed implicitly in the maxims that he had imbibed at his mother's knee. That illustrates what the psychoanalysts so much emphasize -- the immensely stronger hold upon us that our very early associations have than those of later times.

Not sure if that is the quote you are thinking of. I too have read HWP but I can't recall a similar quote in there. But hardly surprising as it was more than a decade now since I read it.

antichrist
17-03-2011, 05:41 PM
Certainly in his Essay Why I am not a Christian (http://www.users.drew.edu/~jlenz/whynot.html) Russell said


Now we reach one stage further in what I shall call the intellectual descent that the Theists have made in their argumentations, and we come to what are called the moral arguments for the existence of God. You all know, of course, that there used to be in the old days three intellectual arguments for the existence of God, all of which were disposed of by Immanuel Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason; but no sooner had he disposed of those arguments than he invented a new one, a moral argument, and that quite convinced him. He was like many people: in intellectual matters he was skeptical, but in moral matters he believed implicitly in the maxims that he had imbibed at his mother's knee. That illustrates what the psychoanalysts so much emphasize -- the immensely stronger hold upon us that our very early associations have than those of later times.

Not sure if that is the quote you are thinking of. I too have read HWP but I can't recall a similar quote in there. But hardly surprising as it was more than a decade now since I read it.

I still my copy stored in the attic, I will drag down one day, But I remember now it was half wrecked in a below ground basement flood when the pump was sending the water in a circle, that is down another entrance instead of out onto the street.

Rincewind
17-03-2011, 05:53 PM
I still my copy stored in the attic, I will drag down one day, But I remember now it was half wrecked in a below ground basement flood when the pump was sending the water in a circle, that is down another entrance instead of out onto the street.

I have a perfectly readable copy on my shelf in my study. I'll scan the pages on Kant sometime to see for something similar. However the quote above contains the kernel of the same notion.

Another good Russell quote is "It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this."

Intellect is a poorly defined property and it certainly is not the same thing as rationality. However while Kant certainly have claims to a good degree of rationality, for some reason he seemed to think either morality was beyond reason or else he suffered from a rationality blind spot in this regard.

Although Kant came after Hume and in fact was strongly influenced by him, in some ways it seems that Kant was not as sharp as Hume on religious matters. Certainly some of Hume's critiques of religious arguments appear very modern and fresh despite being written 250 years ago.

antichrist
17-03-2011, 05:56 PM
was it Hume who put up the blind watchmaker argument and demolished it, then about a hundred years later it was picked up some religious philosopher as a justification for believing?

Rincewind
17-03-2011, 11:06 PM
I still my copy stored in the attic, I will drag down one day, But I remember now it was half wrecked in a below ground basement flood when the pump was sending the water in a circle, that is down another entrance instead of out onto the street.

I had a quick scan through the chapter on Kant and can't find the part you mean.

Oepty
17-03-2011, 11:09 PM
I had a quick scan through the chapter on Kant and can't find the part you mean.

Don't worry it is typical of AC that he Kant get things right. Me too I guess
Scott

morebeer
18-03-2011, 08:01 AM
was it Hume who put up the blind watchmaker argument and demolished it, then about a hundred years later it was picked up some religious philosopher as a justification for believing?

Try Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion - although here Hume uses the analogy of a house when talking about arguments from design.

Pretty sure Hume died 30 odd years before Paley raised his watchmaker analogy, so addressing it directly was a little problematic.

morebeer
23-04-2011, 02:16 PM
Although Kant came after Hume and in fact was strongly influenced by him, in some ways it seems that Kant was not as sharp as Hume on religious matters. Certainly some of Hume's critiques of religious arguments appear very modern and fresh despite being written 250 years ago.

Just caught the first in a four part series about Hume on Radio National's The Philosopers Zone. Worth a listen.

It might surprise some, but Hume did not consider himself an atheist.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/philosopherszone/stories/2011/3190367.htm

Rincewind
23-04-2011, 02:39 PM
It might surprise some, but Hume did not consider himself an atheist.

It is very difficult to know what Hume considered himself to be. However he was certainly not an outspoken atheist. He was critical of a lot of religious superstition and fundamentalism but that does not make him atheist either. My impression is that Hume was an agnostic due to the lack of evidence for a god while, at that time, insufficient explanation for the apparent order of Nature.