bruce culver

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2011, 09:28:50 am »

Since Hume, we know that there is no knowledge in science.


Whoa! We KNOW there is no knowledge in science? Then why go to see a doctor when ill? Why hire an engineer when building a bridge?

Also, I would say if science doesn't give us knowledge, then how much less does philosophy? So, how can you say that due to the speculations of some philosophers we KNOW anything about what science can do?

It is still a problem here that we haven't defined knowledge. Again, I've said that I believe absolute knowledge of anything is probably not possible. However, if defined as useful information, then I think science has proven itself by far the most reliable way to gain knowledge (useful beliefs?) about the physical world. Beyond that we get into metaphysics and things become much more difficult if not impossible, especially when it comes to intersubjective verifiability.

Yet, I'm not a logical positivist, so I won't deny the possibility of metaphysical knowledge. I just know that I have not yet found it.

Maybe you can argue that scientific knowledge is in the end just belief also, and again, I'd sort of agree, but then I think this is getting darned close to a reductio ad absurdum of the entire eneterprise of the human quest for knowledge.

And to what end? to replace it with divine revelation?

No, thanks.

I have no interest in returning to the days when I could be tortured or killed for questioning such supposed knowledge.

"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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troyjs

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2011, 01:23:40 am »
It is still a problem here that we haven't defined knowledge.


Knowledge, according to empiricism, is justified belief which corresponds to reality. Realists hold to the correspondence theory of truth, so that truth is any proposition which corresponds to reality, and knowledge is the justified belief in true propositions.

Also, I would say if science doesn't give us knowledge, then how much less does philosophy? So, how can you say that due to the speculations of some philosophers we KNOW anything about what science can do?

No scientific claim can be verified by using science, because to do so would be to beg the question. Also, science and all empirical laws and theories rely on induction, which commits deductive fallacies. It is always scientifically possible for a theory, or even a law to be replaced by a different one, and therefore no theory or scientific law can be justified. Because we know that we can not justify any scientific claim, we can not know if the claim is true or not, and therefore we know that there is no knowledge in science.

Again, I've said that I believe absolute knowledge of anything is probably not possible.

Are you sure you believe that? If not, then why write it?

However, if defined as useful information, then I think science has proven itself by far the most reliable way to gain knowledge (useful beliefs?)

All we could say is that science has been useful so far. We can not know that it will be useful in the future by inductively inferring that because it has been useful, then it will be useful.

And to what end? to replace it with divine revelation?

If God exists, and God does communicate knowledge to us -- why not?

I have no interest in returning to the days when I could be tortured or killed for questioning such supposed knowledge.


People are not punished for ignorance, but for sin.
Peace if possible, Truth at all costs. - Martin Luther
“Knowledge of the sciences is so much smoke apart from the heavenly science of Christ” -- John Calvin.
“I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels” -- John Calvin

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bruce culver

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2011, 07:14:32 am »
If God exists, and God does communicate knowledge to us -- why not?

   

   How can you call the justification of science circular and then propose that one can suppose God's existence to justify revelation as a source of truth?

   

   And, yes I do believe that no knowledge is absolute. For all I know, there could be an evil God that is feeding me nothing but false information. However, I am not going to waste my time worrying about it.

   

   Of course, a few non scientific assumptions have to be made to justify scientific knowledge, yet I find those assumptions quite easy to accept compared to the assumptions that must be made to accept any particular take on divine revelation, except perhaps general revelation. In other words, I accept science as the best source of knowledge of the physical world, but I don't accept

   scientism's claim that metaphysics is meaningless or that there must be a purely physical explanation of everything.

   

    As for possible understandings of God I look to general revelation and mystical experience. I also think there is revelation in scripture, but I completely reject the infallibility or inerrancy of any revelation. When it comes to metaphysics there is

   IMO only belief, not knowledge. Maybe ultimately there is only belief in science, but I think it approaches certainty much more closely than anything in metaphysics.

   

   I think maybe one big difference between you and I is I have a significantly higher tolerance for ambiguity than you. You seem to want certain answers to certain things that you find most easily in your particular revealed religion. Personally, I consider that a trap. Most people hate cognitive dissonance and therefore fall prey to those who pretend to have all the answers. I don't believe anyone has all the answers. Maybe even God cannot explain why he exists if

   he does. Even in the Bible the best he can come up with is "I am that I am."  Now, maybe that IS a revelation. But is it special? Or is it just then place where all speculation ends?
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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bruce culver

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2011, 07:56:09 am »
People are not punished for ignorance, but for sin. Peace if possible, Truth at all costs. - Martin Luther

   

   Kudos to Martin Luther for having the courage to face down the church on it's evil ways, but I lost much of the respect I had for him when I read his writing on the Jews. I wonder how much those contributed to the holocaust.

   

   Accept that metaphysical truth is not knowable and peace becomes much more possible. - tompaine
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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troyjs

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2011, 08:41:22 pm »
Do you now agree that there is no knowledge in science, or is a justification forthcoming?

Accept that metaphysical truth is not knowable and peace becomes much more possible. - tompaine

I hope you realise that this is a metaphysical statement.
“Knowledge of the sciences is so much smoke apart from the heavenly science of Christ” -- John Calvin.
“I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels” -- John Calvin

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bruce culver

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2011, 11:03:42 pm »
Do you now agree that there is no knowledge in science, or is a justification forthcoming?

   

   I only agree that there is no knowledge in science if you want to use some definition of knowledge that makes it impossible. Like I've said, or think I somewhere in this thread, I haven't come across a system of thought that doesn't have some premise that isn't supported or some apparent contradiction or difficulty in it somewhere. But that doesn't mean I think we should reject every system of thought, but we should try to understand what each system is good for and it's strengths and weaknesses.

   

   So, you want a defense of scientific knowledge, so here goes. If there is no knowledge in science, how can scientists fire a rocket from the earth and have it deliver a satellite into geosynchronous orbit? Of course, this is just one of zillions of possible such questions I could ask. Didn't I ask some before?

   

   Why are you asking me this? Oh, I didn't answer some of your points. That was not meant as a concession of scientific knowledge.

   

   
No scientific claim can be verified by using science, because to do so

   would be to beg the question.

   

   I don't see that at all. If you want to say that science in general cannot be justified by science. Fine, who cares? It is justified by it's success.

   

   
Also, science and all empirical laws and theories rely on induction, which commits deductive fallacies.
.

   

   I'd like to see you get anywhere with any system of thought that has no

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   empirical premises and uses no inductive reasoning

   

   
It is always scientifically possible for a theory, or even a law to be replaced by a different one, and therefore no theory or scientific law can be justified.

   

   Actually new laws rarely if ever overturn older ones, they usually are just more generally true. The old laws are still true to the narrower frame of reference they

   were applied to. Theories, on the other hand are not just less established laws.  Theories seek to explain how and why something happens while laws simply describe what happens in certain circumstances. Not only can scientific laws be justified, but they are justified by their omnipotence. Try breaking one and see how far you get. Theories, due to their greater complexity are more difficult to justify, but can still be accepted unless falsified.

   

   

   

   

   

   
Because we know that we can not justify any scientific claim, we can not know if the claim is true or not, and therefore we know that there is no knowledge in science.

   

   No, I disagree. Scientific claims are justified by being falsifiable, yet after extensive testing never having been falsified. OK, sure you can apply some absolutist standard and say that it cannot be proven inductively that the situation will not change. Fine I've admitted that scientific knowledge is not absolute, but it is practical and some of it is absolute in at least as far as we know. Geesh! If that's not good enough for anybody, then I question why they are so desperate to find fault with the greatest tool human reason has ever produced.

   

   Could it be desperation to discredit some scientific theory or fact that is inconvenient to one's theology? Don't tell me you are a young earth creationist.

   If you want to question whether evolution really happens just according to random mutations and natural selection, I think that is still doubtable by reasonable people. But to think the earth could be just seven or eight thousand years old is IMO like nearly as cooky  as believing the earth is flat.

   
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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bruce culver

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2011, 06:56:08 am »
Quote: Accept that metaphysical truth is not knowable and peace becomes much more possible. - tompaine

      I hope you realise that this is a metaphysical statement.  

   

   Hmmmm. Nice try, because if it were a metaphysical statement, it would be self refuting, but I am not actually making a statement about metaphysical truth. I am making a statement about what I believe would be the result of people accepting that metaphysical truth was unknowable.
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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FNB - Former non-believer

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2011, 03:27:30 am »
tompaine wrote:
Quote: Accept that metaphysical truth is not knowable and peace becomes much more possible. - tompaine
  I hope you realise that this is a metaphysical statement.  


Hmmmm. Nice try, because if it were a metaphysical statement, it would be self refuting, but I am not actually making a statement about metaphysical truth. I am making a statement about what I believe would be the result of people accepting that metaphysical truth was unknowable.


I think he might be right. You are saying that metaphysical truth has a property that makes it such that we cannot know it. If we cannot know it there must be a reason. Either metaphysical truth does not exist, or it does exist and is of such a nature that we cannot know it. If the first or second is true, then you were making a self-refuting statement.

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bruce culver

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2011, 05:50:22 pm »

Originally Posted by tompaine
Quote:
Quote: Accept that metaphysical truth is not knowable and peace becomes much more possible. - tompaine
I hope you realise that this is a metaphysical statement.


Hmmmm. Nice try, because if it were a metaphysical statement, it would be self refuting, but I am not actually making a statement about metaphysical truth. I am making a statement about what I believe would be the result of people accepting that metaphysical truth was unknowable.


I think he might be right. You are saying that metaphysical truth has a property that makes it such that we cannot know it. If we cannot know it there must be a reason. Either metaphysical truth does not exist, or it does exist and is of such a nature that we cannot know it. If the first or second is true, then you were making a self-refuting statement.



You don't get what I am saying. I don't know whehter metaphysical truth is knowable or not. My statement is not about metaphysical truth, it is about what the result would be if people accepted that it was.

Anyway, it is possible for "self-refuting" statements to be true. Imagine that metaphysical truth was unknowable. Now, if  I said metaphysical truth was unknowable, it would be self-refuting, but true. Or maybe it's not really self- refuting. Maybe metaphysical truth is unknowable and the truth of the statement that it is unknowable is unknowable, but it might just happen to be true. It certainly can't be that just saying some category of truth is unknowable in and of itself makes it knowable.


"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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FNB - Former non-believer

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2011, 07:42:42 pm »
tompaine wrote:

Originally Posted by tompaine
Quote:
Quote: Accept that metaphysical truth is not knowable and peace becomes much more possible. - tompaine
I hope you realise that this is a metaphysical statement.


Hmmmm. Nice try, because if it were a metaphysical statement, it would be self refuting, but I am not actually making a statement about metaphysical truth. I am making a statement about what I believe would be the result of people accepting that metaphysical truth was unknowable.


I think he might be right. You are saying that metaphysical truth has a property that makes it such that we cannot know it. If we cannot know it there must be a reason. Either metaphysical truth does not exist, or it does exist and is of such a nature that we cannot know it. If the first or second is true, then you were making a self-refuting statement.



You don't get what I am saying. I don't know whehter metaphysical truth is knowable or not. My statement is not about metaphysical truth, it is about what the result would be if people accepted that it was.

Anyway, it is possible for "self-refuting" statements to be true. Imagine that metaphysical truth was unknowable. Now, if  I said metaphysical truth was unknowable, it would be self-refuting, but true. Or maybe it's not really self- refuting. Maybe metaphysical truth is unknowable and the truth of the statement that it is unknowable is unknowable, but it might just happen to be true. It certainly can't be that just saying some category of truth is unknowable in and of itself makes it knowable.




I think you are incorrect to say that a self-refuting statement could be true. Your example is a bit tricky, but I think I found its flaw.

The statement you are actually making is this, "[I know that... or it is true that] metaphysical truth is unknowable." That is why it is self refuting, because the person making this statement is claiming to know that which is, according to the statement itself, unknowable.

I believe that self-refuting statments being necessarily false is about certian as 1+1=2, and I bet almost all philosophers would agree. This is why logic can be represented in symbols just like math.

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bruce culver

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2011, 08:38:49 am »
I think you are incorrect to say that a self-refuting statement could be true. Your example is a bit tricky, but I think I found its flaw.

   

   The statement you are actually making is this, "[I know that... or it is true that] metaphysical truth is unknowable." That is

   why it is self refuting, because the person making this statement is claiming to know that which is, according to the statement itself, unknowable.

   

   I believe that self-refuting statments being necessarily false is about certian as 1+1=2, and I bet almost all philosophers would agree. This is why logic can be represented in symbols just like math.

   

   Well, again, if you look at the original statement, you will see that it is actually a statement about what could happen if people accepted that absolute truth or metaphysical truth was unknowable, not a claim that it is fact that such is true. Nevertheless, again, think: Imagine metaphysical or absolute truth were unknowable...it isn't hard to do...would it be false to make the statement just because it appears self-refuting. Maybe, it isn't self refuting because the satement isn't about absolute truth, but about our ability to know it. I can say the future is unknowable, right? Is that a self-refuting statement about the future? If it were, would that make the future knowable somehow?
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FNB - Former non-believer

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“God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2011, 11:11:26 am »
tompaine wrote:
I think you are incorrect to say that a self-refuting statement could be true. Your example is a bit tricky, but I think I found its flaw.

The statement you are actually making is this, "[I know that... or it is true that] metaphysical truth is unknowable." That is
why it is self refuting, because the person making this statement is claiming to know that which is, according to the statement itself, unknowable.

I believe that self-refuting statments being necessarily false is about certian as 1+1=2, and I bet almost all philosophers would agree. This is why logic can be represented in symbols just like math.


Well, again, if you look at the original statement, you will see that it is actually a statement about what could happen if people accepted that absolute truth or metaphysical truth was unknowable, not a claim that it is fact that such is true. Nevertheless, again, think: Imagine metaphysical or absolute truth were unknowable...it isn't hard to do...would it be false to make the statement just because it appears self-refuting. Maybe, it isn't self refuting because the satement isn't about absolute truth, but about our ability to know it. I can say the future is unknowable, right? Is that a self-refuting statement about the future? If it were, would that make the future knowable somehow?


Tompaine, I appreciate the response. I am pretty familiar with this specific type of self-refuting statement as it was an example in a technical book I was reading on the philosophy of science, so please bear with me.

The statement itself, if you only consider the structure of the sentence and nothing else, is not self refuting. As you said, it could be the case that metaphysical truth is unknowable. A self refuting statment is more like, "there is no such thing as an english sentence."

What makes it self refuting is if it is being offered as a claim to knowledge. But if you think about it, why would you say, "metaphysical truth is unknowable" unless you were offering it as a truth claim.
          - Since its extremely rare that someone would say this statement without offering it as a claim to knowledge, we assume they are offering as a claim to knowledge. As such, what they are really saying by implication is...

"I know that metaphysical truth is unknowable."

Which I am sure you can see just by the nature of the sentence itself, can never be true.

However, if it is just someone pondering the statement "metaphysical truth is unknowable," without offering it as a knowledge claim  it is not self-refuting.

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jayceeii

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Re: “God does not exist” is a contradiction
« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2020, 11:32:35 am »
This one is a little interesting, since it purports a different character to the statement “The Creator does not exist,” than statements about what is in creation, for instance, “Trees do not exist.” The latter is a false proposition, but the former is not only false, it is illogical.

The statement “Trees do not exist” is shown false by examining instances of trees, which after all was invented as a word to represent actual trees. The statement “God does not exist” is not shown false by examining God, who is Invisible and unreachable by creatures. Trees don’t have an inherent existence. For instance on the moon, the statement becomes true. But if God shines forth in His creation, wherever you turn you see He exists.

Obviously humans are not agreed about this. If you showed them a pot, they would agree the statement, “The potter does not exist,” is not only false but illogical from examining the pot. That type of thing just doesn’t happen without an intelligence creating it. Some like WLC claim to see the Creator’s hand behind the creation, though so far being unable to convince the rest of the humans.

According to Christian doctrine, God can also be seen in the Lord. (“If you have seen me, then you have seen the Father.”) If you could find the Lord and quiz Him, He could prove that He is not like a man, and the one who is striding around this planet but not a man is the only one who could be the Creator embodied. Such proofs were avoided in the religions.