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antichrist
24-01-2005, 12:00 AM
Originally Posted by Bill Gletsos
I thought it would be obvious to you starter.
If some dope makes an assertion then its is up to them to provide the evidence to support it.

A/C:
If the assertion is about God's existence/character then of course is it still up to them to provide the evidence to support it!

BG:
If I make the assertion then its up to the other person to provide evidence to disprove it.


A/C:
But if the assertion cannot be falsified (Karl Popper like) does your assertion still hold up?

Is it up to monotheists to disprove polytheists and vice-versa?

Rincewind
24-01-2005, 12:15 AM
I doubt Bill was intending his statement to be applied to all assertations everywhere. As such any discussion on Bill's consistency is moot as you have (in effect) quoted him out of context.

Regarding religion. People don't need to justify their beliefs. If they are trying to convince someone else that their worldview is superior to others then they need to appeal to that persons criteria of what makes a good worldview. This may or may not involve justification depending on the rationality of the subject.

So what is this thread about?

antichrist
24-01-2005, 12:32 AM
As you have declared yourself a person of no interest I am sure KB can put two and two togeather. Your missus would be frustrated wouldn't she, she can't even get a fight out of you. Like Heidegger you would want to forever argue the terms.

Kevin Bonham
24-01-2005, 01:25 AM
AC: Firstly I agree with Barry that you are taking Bill's comments out of context, especially as Bill doesn't really get involved in religious debates here, although I think he sometimes posts on religion threads for non-religious-debate reasons (eg commentary on what someone has said that matches his perception of their posting on the rest of the board).

That said, the intellectual onus on anyone seeking to justify a belief in God is to show at least that that God is likely. Until they do that there is no reason for the sceptic to multiply entities, and scepticism towards any given claim about the spiritual realm is the default position. This is particularly relevant when dealing with arguments that use God to explain why there is a universe, but then fail to explain why there (supposedly) is a God.

Some Christians I have debated with have tried to prove that the no-God view implies an assumption (such as that the universe came about how it did despite overwhelming odds against it turning out, or that there must be other universes) that itself is unlikely and is a form of "multiplying entities" similar to their addition of a God. However, the multiple universe view only adds more of a type of entity already known to exist, whereas the addition of God involves a completely new kind of entity. Also, the unlikely-universe arguments are generally in very poor shape, so that both the one-universe and multiple-universe views are alive and well (a bit like how Watson talks about the essential validity of the French, the dark side is not forced to walk any particular tightropes. :lol: ) All up, I don't think the attempts to put theism back on the same level as scepticism have much going for them.

I don't think Occam's Razor distinguishes between monotheists and polytheists in their arguments with each other. A point here is that the being that the monotheists call "God" is generally not the same kind of thing as what the polytheists call "gods", although it may be. Typically the God of the monotheists has far greater powers.

I'm not sure what Popper has to do with anything here.

Hope that was something like what you were after.

Cat
24-01-2005, 08:31 AM
AC: Firstly I agree with Barry that you are taking Bill's comments out of context, especially as Bill doesn't really get involved in religious debates here, although I think he sometimes posts on religion threads for non-religious-debate reasons (eg commentary on what someone has said that matches his perception of their posting on the rest of the board).

Not really, this in fact is a point of principle, and if it has genuine integrity then it should hold widely. Of course, ultimately all principles will discover exceptions, but in general if they have any substance, they should be rhobust enough to stand simple comparisons like this.

Rincewind
24-01-2005, 09:01 AM
Not really, this in fact is a point of principle, and if it has genuine integrity then it should hold widely. Of course, ultimately all principles will discover exceptions, but in general if they have any substance, they should be rhobust enough to stand simple comparisons like this.

I challenge that for a principle to have 'genuine integrity' this it should hold widely. All statements are made within an explicit and implicit context. That fact that a statements context and applicability is narrow does not affect its integrity at all as it was not MEANT to be taken widely. For example, the applicability of quantum mechanics is only a very narrow and specific field of phyisics and not applicable at the macro-mechanical scale. However, this lack of applicability does not affect the integrity of either within their own contexts.

Cat
24-01-2005, 11:25 AM
I challenge that for a principle to have 'genuine integrity' this it should hold widely. All statements are made within an explicit and implicit context. That fact that a statements context and applicability is narrow does not affect its integrity at all as it was not MEANT to be taken widely. For example, the applicability of quantum mechanics is only a very narrow and specific field of phyisics and not applicable at the macro-mechanical scale. However, this lack of applicability does not affect the integrity of either within their own contexts.

There's a difference in making a statement and asserting a principle. If you claim a wisdom and assert truth in that wisdom and that the onus is on a supposed challenger to disprove your assertion, you can hardly call foul when the same priniciple is applied in a different context. It's the principle that's ill-founded, viz. that anyone should claim to possess a divine right to wisdom.

Rincewind
24-01-2005, 12:03 PM
There's a difference in making a statement and asserting a principle. If you claim a wisdom and assert truth in that wisdom and that the onus is on a supposed challenger to disprove your assertion, you can hardly call foul when the same priniciple is applied in a different context. It's the principle that's ill-founded, viz. that anyone should claim to possess a divine right to wisdom.

You still seem to be ignoring the issue of context. All statement are made in a context, outside of which they do not apply. If you don't believe me please assert noe of these principles of 'genuine integrity' and I will demonstate a context in which it does not apply.

antichrist
24-01-2005, 12:38 PM
AC: Firstly I agree with Barry that you are taking Bill's comments out of context, especially as Bill doesn't really get involved in religious debates here, although I think he sometimes posts on religion threads for non-religious-debate reasons (eg commentary on what someone has said that matches his perception of their posting on the rest of the board).

AC: As David Richard has already posted and I will will further qualify, a philosophical principle should hold up in all circumstances to have value, as opposed to the physical sciences such as Quantum Theory. Bill had seen fit to made a statement which had philosophical implications so he should have seen fit and be able to make a defense of it. (which he may be very able to do)

___________________________________________
A/C:
But if the assertion cannot be falsified (Karl Popper like) does your assertion still hold up?

KB:
I'm not sure what Popper has to do with anything here.

AC: Didn't our mate Karl say something like (without having my books near me) that if there is not a test available to test the validity of something, i.e., not the chance to falsify the idea then it does not or does not necessarily hold up. Wasn't called Popper's Theory of Falsification or something? The idea that cannot be falsified is the existence of a "god", though the definitions of god provided can be undermined, which should mean in affect (effect) that all worship is ridiculous but worshippers don't have the intelligence and/or integrity to digest this point.




AC:
Is it up to monotheists to disprove polytheists and vice-versa?

ACs reply: I was not referring to Ocam's Razor, as with Gillette's it probably has evolved into multi-bladed Inquisitor's tool that could handle the most endowed polytheistic heretic.

By definition aren't monotheists saying that polytheism is wrong and vice versa? Therefore the onus is on these groups individually to disprove the other. As they (together) are a contradiction they both cannot be correct. If they do not conduct this rigourous exercise they are not showing integrity.


KB:
Hope that was something like what you were after.

AC: On your second try I am sure you will either prove that my memory is gone or you will prove an important point in a professional manner.

Where is Bruce to help out when we need him. Come on Bruce break out of that religious eggshell and truly join the rationalist world.

Kevin Bonham
24-01-2005, 08:14 PM
antichrist, please learn how to break up text by inserting "{quote}" and "{/quote}" through it when replying (only use square brackets not curly ones to do so) - picking through that to work out which bits were mine and which yours was a nightmare.


Didn't our mate Karl say something like (without having my books near me) that if there is not a test available to test the validity of something, i.e., not the chance to falsify the idea then it does not or does not necessarily hold up. Wasn't called Popper's Theory of Falsification or something? The idea that cannot be falsified is the existence of a "god", though the definitions of god provided can be undermined, which should mean in affect (effect) that all worship is ridiculous but worshippers don't have the intelligence and/or integrity to digest this point.

For Popper if a statement was not falsifiable then it was not scientific. This did not necessarily mean it was not true or not meaningful, it just meant that it was outside the scientific process. For more read Wikipedia article here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability). The relevant summary re God is:


On the view of some, theism is not falsifiable, since the existence of God is typically asserted without sufficient conditions to allow a falsifying observation. God being a transcendental being, beyond the realm of the observable, claims about its existence can neither be supported nor undermined by observation. It is quite consistent for a theist to agree that the existence of God is unfalsifiable, and that the proposition is not scientific, but to still claim that God exists. This is, of course, a matter of interest for anyone who places stock in natural theology--the argument from design and other a posteriori arguments for the existence of God. (See non-cognitivism.) However, arguments relating to alleged actions, rather than the existence, of God may be falsifiable.


By definition aren't monotheists saying that polytheism is wrong and vice versa? Therefore the onus is on these groups individually to disprove the other. As they (together) are a contradiction they both cannot be correct. If they do not conduct this rigourous exercise they are not showing integrity.

If either of them could establish an Occam's Razor priority (which I think is impossible) then that onus would no longer exist - whichever of them could do it could say "we're in the pole position, if you want to convert us, you prove your bit". As it is I think any monotheist or polytheist who wanted to establish their belief as the lead candidate would indeed need to not only eliminate atheism but also explain why they were the leading alternative not just one of many. So I basically agree with you here.

Cat
24-01-2005, 09:31 PM
You still seem to be ignoring the issue of context. All statement are made in a context, outside of which they do not apply. If you don't believe me please assert noe of these principles of 'genuine integrity' and I will demonstate a context in which it does not apply.


Bugger the context, it could be in the same context. If your only defence is to demand incontravertable truth to the contrary, then one could just as easily take the diametrically oppossed view and demand the same. If one side is black and white, there is a solution - but this is pretty unusual. Instead all that results is an impass. A gridlock, no progress, no discussion, stasis. Rather like 2 ostriches!

Rincewind
24-01-2005, 09:57 PM
Bugger the context, it could be in the same context. If your only defence is to demand incontravertable truth to the contrary, then one could just as easily take the diametrically oppossed view and demand the same. If one side is black and white, there is a solution - but this is pretty unusual. Instead all that results is an impass. A gridlock, no progress, no discussion, stasis. Rather like 2 ostriches!

Am I supposed to reply to this?

Cat
25-01-2005, 12:05 AM
Am I supposed to reply to this?

You have the choice and if your opinion differs from mine I will regard it on it's merits. Bill's approach is simply Chauvinism - in any context.