Religious Epistemology

Presumption of Atheism

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H.H.

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #45 on: April 13, 2015, 11:21:08 pm »
And the question at the end of the excerpt stands.

I don't think it does though because the question is rationally illicit. You may believe in God because you've had a mystical experience but that doesn't qualify you to explain the metaphysics of God's existence or the nature of God's metaphysical relation to the phenomenal universe. So you can basically just chuck all of natural theology right out the window because while it is a very impressive system of human reasoning(and I do admire it immensely for that), it's ultimately a brilliant but misguided attempt to explain what is fundamentally unexplainable.
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Booger

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2015, 01:14:13 am »
The author of the book concedes, and indeed insists, that the Absolute, the One, the Great Mystery, or whatever cannot be anything other than an abstract hypothetical. But unless you want to disengage from the rational mind entirely, there are certain things that can be ascertained from the sheer fact that there is something that cannot not exist, aseity, for example, and we can be just as certain of an overarching unifying principle. They are what MUST be in order for what is to be as it is.

I realize that this is getting into unexplored territory for a typical atheist, an atheist who claims (and it is just a claim) to rely solely on empirical evidence, material evidence or the lack thereof, in deciding on what to believe. I also realize that it takes courage to move past the fear of going where uncertain reason leads. I suggest yet another book to read: The Psychic Grid by Beatrice Bruteau.

I agree that mysticism based on mystical experience is not qualified to explain the metaphysics of God's existence. It doesn't claim to, nor does it claim to explain God's metaphysical relation to the universe. It doesn't try to convey facts or beliefs, either. It does not try to teach what cannot be taught. What it does do is point.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 02:39:28 am by Booger »
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H.H.

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2015, 08:12:17 pm »
The author of the book concedes, and indeed insists, that the Absolute, the One, the Great Mystery, or whatever cannot be anything other than an abstract hypothetical. But unless you want to disengage from the rational mind entirely, there are certain things that can be ascertained from the sheer fact that there is something that cannot not exist, aseity, for example, and we can be just as certain of an overarching unifying principle. They are what MUST be in order for what is to be as it is.

Aseity in the sense of being without cause seems extremely difficult to argue against, aseity in the sense of of something being the self-substantiating sufficient reason for its own existence seems incoherent, or at least far less certain.

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I realize that this is getting into unexplored territory for a typical atheist, an atheist who claims (and it is just a claim) to rely solely on empirical evidence, material evidence or the lack thereof, in deciding on what to believe. I also realize that it takes courage to move past the fear of going where uncertain reason leads.

I accept rational proof, it's just that most rational proofs for God either depend on premises that result in incoherent absurdities when taken to conclusion, as in the PSR. Or their are alternative explanations which serve as well as or better than theism, as in the case of the multiverse  v design. 


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I agree that mysticism based on mystical experience is not qualified to explain the metaphysics of God's existence. It doesn't claim to, nor does it claim to explain God's metaphysical relation to the universe. It doesn't try to convey facts or beliefs, either. It does not try to teach what cannot be taught. What it does do is point.

So why not just stop there? Isn't communion enough? Why insist on the validity of natural theology when it has failed to rationally demonstrate anything about God's existence, and all it really amounts to is an elaborate system of metaphysical speculation based off extremely dubious premises?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 08:15:19 pm by H.H. »
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Booger

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #48 on: April 17, 2015, 12:21:54 pm »
The author of the book concedes, and indeed insists, that the Absolute, the One, the Great Mystery, or whatever cannot be anything other than an abstract hypothetical. But unless you want to disengage from the rational mind entirely, there are certain things that can be ascertained from the sheer fact that there is something that cannot not exist, aseity, for example, and we can be just as certain of an overarching unifying principle. They are what MUST be in order for what is to be as it is.

Aseity in the sense of being without cause seems extremely difficult to argue against, aseity in the sense of of something being the self-substantiating sufficient reason for its own existence seems incoherent, or at least far less certain.
The only difference is semantics. Inexplicable though it might be, if anything at all is coherent, we MUST assume an overarching unifying principle.

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I realize that this is getting into unexplored territory for a typical atheist, an atheist who claims (and it is just a claim) to rely solely on empirical evidence, material evidence or the lack thereof, in deciding on what to believe. I also realize that it takes courage to move past the fear of going where uncertain reason leads.

I accept rational proof, it's just that most rational proofs for God either depend on premises that result in incoherent absurdities when taken to conclusion, as in the PSR. Or their are alternative explanations which serve as well as or better than theism, as in the case of the multiverse  v design. 
I'm not talking about God at all, much less any rational proofs of God's existence. I'm sticking to the subject. I'm talking about logical necessities derivable from the "one impossible fact."

Even if the multiverse hypothesis (it's really not even a theory) is correct, there still must be an overarching unifying Principle for any one of them to exist, something that necessitates stable atomic values.

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I agree that mysticism based on mystical experience is not qualified to explain the metaphysics of God's existence. It doesn't claim to, nor does it claim to explain God's metaphysical relation to the universe. It doesn't try to convey facts or beliefs, either. It does not try to teach what cannot be taught. What it does do is point.

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So why not just stop there? Isn't communion enough? Why insist on the validity of natural theology when it has failed to rationally demonstrate anything about God's existence, and all it really amounts to is an elaborate system of metaphysical speculation based off extremely dubious premises?
Again, I'm not trying to demonstrate anything at all about God's existence. I'm just trying to show that if something exists necessarily, certain things follow that are equally necessary.

There is nothing in the possible whereby it can become Being: in and of itself, possibility cannot actualize. There is nothing between these two logical terms, possibility and being, to connect them. The copula that gives passage from the possible to being, from the abstract to the real, must be something very remote from the distinct categories. It doesn't matter whether the "something" is an act of Will with an aspect of subjective desire or an objective Force: it must ever be a self-organizing Principle of motion.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 11:48:56 pm by Booger »
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Interest12345

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #49 on: May 12, 2015, 10:00:20 pm »
Whether one is an atheist, theist, or agnostic the inescapable reality is that Something exists without a somehow.  That is, something, whether it be God or the physical universe, ultimately has no natural, logical explanation for its existence - it just is. Something that is not merely unexplained as of yet, but something for which there is no explanation at all, not even in principle. It seems to me that something that exists as a brute fact without any underlying physical principle, property, dynamic, or process to account for its existence is the very definition of supernatural.   
Both atheists and theists have to accept that there is something rather than nothing. The theist invokes an all powerful being, whereas the atheist accepts things for how they are. It's the theist who has the inescapable problem that can't be explained...How could an all powerful being simply exist, by brute fact, without any explanation whatsoever? It seems impossible. If we have to accept that something exists, let's accept what we can actually observe. It's not reasonable to observe our universe and invoke an all powerful designer to explain reality. You are then left with what seems to be an impossibility...that a highly ordered, all powerful, all intelligent being just happens to exist without a cause or an explanation.

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H.H.

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #50 on: May 13, 2015, 02:04:04 am »
Whether one is an atheist, theist, or agnostic the inescapable reality is that Something exists without a somehow.  That is, something, whether it be God or the physical universe, ultimately has no natural, logical explanation for its existence - it just is. Something that is not merely unexplained as of yet, but something for which there is no explanation at all, not even in principle. It seems to me that something that exists as a brute fact without any underlying physical principle, property, dynamic, or process to account for its existence is the very definition of supernatural.   
Both atheists and theists have to accept that there is something rather than nothing. The theist invokes an all powerful being, whereas the atheist accepts things for how they are. It's the theist who has the inescapable problem that can't be explained...How could an all powerful being simply exist, by brute fact, without any explanation whatsoever? It seems impossible. If we have to accept that something exists, let's accept what we can actually observe. It's not reasonable to observe our universe and invoke an all powerful designer to explain reality. You are then left with what seems to be an impossibility...that a highly ordered, all powerful, all intelligent being just happens to exist without a cause or an explanation.

I basically agree with that, but it's beside the point. The point is that no matter how you dice it, there's at least one impossible fact, so anyone who isn't experiencing utter existential astonishment at least twice a day is kind of dense.   
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H.H.

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #51 on: May 25, 2015, 07:45:50 pm »
"too bold ever to carry conviction with it to a man, sufficiently apprized of the weakness of human reason, and the narrow limits to which it is confined in all its operations. Though the chain of arguments which conduct to it were ever so logical, there must arise a strong suspicion, if not an absolute assurance, that it has carried us quite beyond the reach of our faculties, when it leads to conclusions so extraordinary, and so remote from common life and experience. We are got into fairy land, long ere we have reached the last steps of our theory; and there we have no reason to trust our common methods of argument, or to think that our usual analogies and probabilities have any authority. Our line is too short to fathom such immense abysses. And however we may flatter ourselves that we are guided, in every step which we take, by a kind of verisimilitude and experience, we may be assured that this fancied experience has no authority when we thus apply it to subjects that lie entirely out of the sphere of experience."
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H.H.

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #52 on: May 25, 2015, 07:52:44 pm »
"But when we look beyond human affairs and the properties of the surrounding bodies: when we carry our speculations into the two eternities, before and after the present state of things; into the creation and formation of the universe; the existence and properties of spirits; the powers and operations of one universal Spirit existing without beginning and without end; omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, infinite, and incomprehensible: we must be far removed from the smallest tendency to scepticism not to be apprehensive, that we have here got quite beyond the reach of our faculties. So long as we confine our speculations to trade, or morals, or politics, or criticism, we make appeals, every moment, to common sense and experience, which strengthen our philosophical conclusions, and remove, at least in part, the suspicion which we so justly entertain with regard to every reasoning that is very subtile and refined. But, in theological reasonings, we have not this advantage; while, at the same time, we are employed upon objects, which, we must be sensible, are too large for our grasp, and of all others, require most to be familiarized to our apprehension. We are like foreigners in a strange country, to whom every thing must seem suspicious, and who are in danger every moment of transgressing against the laws and customs of the people with whom they live and converse. We know not how far we ought to trust our vulgar methods of reasoning in such a subject; since, even in common life, and in that province which is peculiarly appropriated to them, we cannot account for them, and are entirely guided by a kind of instinct or necessity in employing them."
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 07:56:43 pm by H.H. »
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LADZDAZL

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #53 on: May 25, 2015, 11:45:15 pm »
Quote
anyone who isn't experiencing utter existential astonishment at least twice a day is kind of dense.   

+1

I'm tempted to steal that as part of my signature line.
Life is a box of chocolates!

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Alexander

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #54 on: June 02, 2015, 10:29:43 pm »
I don't necessarily agree with everything you said, but it would be nice if we could all agree that no matter what is true, it is going to be the most amazing/improbable thing to have ever happened...at least that's how it seems to me. But at the same time this doesn't mean that all outcomes are equally possible.

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Wretch

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2019, 07:15:00 am »
H.H.

In you OP you commented concerning atheistic world views that "Let's be clear, these explanations are all just as good as the theistic explanation..."

That is highly questionable, for on what basis does a naturalistic or materialistic world view justify absolute or objective facts/truth, objective morality, certainty in knowledge, our consciousness and free-will, valid reasoning, valid observation, and the universal laws of logic?

Only theism provides a sound basis for all those features of our existence.

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jayceeii

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2019, 02:26:40 pm »
H.H.

In you OP you commented concerning atheistic world views that "Let's be clear, these explanations are all just as good as the theistic explanation..."

That is highly questionable, for on what basis does a naturalistic or materialistic world view justify absolute or objective facts/truth, objective morality, certainty in knowledge, our consciousness and free-will, valid reasoning, valid observation, and the universal laws of logic?

Only theism provides a sound basis for all those features of our existence.
Theism does not provide these things yet, only a “shout out” that, “God made it.” Why haven’t the creatures been examining themselves? Who enquires to see if there is a soul? God has evidently so far only made people that can read scriptures, not know themselves. The atheist view is all these things you list came to them naturally by evolution, but neither theists nor atheists take a close look at these things, to see what they really are. Is man merely the “rational animal,” or can he discover his mind is from a higher source?

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Wretch

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #57 on: March 20, 2019, 10:15:04 pm »
Creation requires a creator.  Pretty simple.  To recognize the necessity of God is not to say "God made it"; it's to say that every painting has a painter, and every building a builder, and every creation a creator.  Simple.  Absent God you have only absurdity, the notion that absolutely nothing creating everything. 

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jayceeii

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2019, 09:41:05 am »
Creation requires a creator.  Pretty simple.  To recognize the necessity of God is not to say "God made it"; it's to say that every painting has a painter, and every building a builder, and every creation a creator.  Simple.  Absent God you have only absurdity, the notion that absolutely nothing creating everything.
Did you take high school or college physics? Have you read about Einstein’s theories and how this math and related math generated by thousands of other physicists points to a “big bang?” Why are you ignoring science, such as it is? You likely have a cell phone, that relies on other results of this math, even as you assert there couldn’t be a big bang! Throw out your cell phone then, denying that it works! You don’t know the creation is a painting, you don’t know it is a building. Saying the creation is like a painting begs the question. Advanced math says it’s a random event, beside which the Bible is superstition.

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Tom Paine

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Re: There is at least one impossible fact
« Reply #59 on: July 11, 2019, 06:51:46 pm »
Creation requires a creator.  Pretty simple.  To recognize the necessity of God is not to say "God made it"; it's to say that every painting has a painter, and every building a builder, and every creation a creator.  Simple.  Absent God you have only absurdity, the notion that absolutely nothing creating everything.

Not if the initial condition of the Universe,"Creation," is uncaused and hence uncreated.