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Discussion in 'Quackenbush's' started by GT WT, Dec 1, 2008.
Johnny, I can't answer for mop, but just for myself, I would find any argument satisfactory if it can be shown to adhere to the rules of deductive or inductive reasoning.
for something to be "reasonable" at a basic level it would need to be cohesive, rational and ultimately sound logically speaking. that means that you must start with reasonable premises, build an argument upon that with further premises and finally move to a conclusion. GT is more or less starting with the conclusion (as are you in this discussion) and when asked to defend it, he is saying "because" followed by references to his upbringing or appeal to what he believes should be universally accepted. my questions have struck to the heart of "Why?" i know that has annoyed you, he and NBMisha, but it is not at all unreasonable for me to ask.
my worldview, in a VERY small nutshell is this:
nature is filled with intricacies which give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.
Based upon that fact, it is at least reasonable to believe in a designer or a prime mover to use the ancient Greek's terminology. (note: i know that this is the premise that you naturally reject, but that doesn't mean it is unreasonable, just that you disagree with it...which is fine.)
Therefore i choose to believe in a designer, and it is furthermore at least reasonable to believe that the designer MAY have revealed something about him/herself.
I find some who claim that God did reveal himself to them and i consider their claims. eventually i accept (for a myriad of reasons which run the gamut from personal experiences to truth claims which i accept etc) what i believe to be this revelation from God through human agents.
Based upon that revelation i believe the planet to be more than just an amazing cosmic accident. I believe it to be a reflection of the very nature and character of God. As such, i believe we have a responsibility to God, each other and to future generations to honor all of them (God, each other and future generations) by taking care of creation.
now, regardless of whether or not you agree with me, my premises are built upon one another and start at the very foundation of my argument. the premises cohere and the conclusion naturally follows the premises. the argument is certainly "sound" by logical standards but obviously the "premises" are up for grabs in terms of who would accept them and who wouldn't.
what i am looking for as reasonable from you, GT and NBmisha is something that is holistic and internally consistent. i am not seeing that remotely.
Regaring your first fact, on what principle do you let appearances, and this particular appearance dictate your basic axiom?
"That appear to be designed by nature" looks more like a produced theorem than an axiom.
I mean this only structurally, of course
From mathmatics we know that in any axiomatic system the founding axioms and the production rules dictate the resulting theorems, sometimes called "truths" of the systems. Not so much truths, but equivalencies of the axioms under the terms of the production rules. From this it is clear that there is no real truth here outside of the coherency of the system. Whether the axiom or the production rules are "true" is another matter althogether. From an analytical perspective, this is arbitrary.
We have also learned that any suitably robust axiomatic system fails to be complete and consistent: there are obvious "true" theorems that can't be produced by the system, and there are contradictory "true" theorems that will be produced by the systems.
Now, all this is just thought, and can be used, with judgement, in application to real world situations, including human decision making. Awareness of the arbitrary nature of the whole thing, and its limiations is, in my view, important in application.
All of our human values do not meet my test of "truth. My test of truth is, that that is consistent with the universe of observations. That humans have an evolved moral sense is such a truth. What various human cultures produce as "values" from this moral sense are not "truths". That almost all people abhor murder is an observed fact, a truth. That it is therefore "wrong", is a tautology of human language and convention, not a truth of the universe. I still abhor murder, truly.
Now, I do not say there is no truth. But, I do not put values in the bucket of truth. I put them in another bucket. I do not say they are all equivalent. That is a matter for people to decide, which they agree with, and which they will act on, individually, and collectively.
I do say that people, as a rule, commonly use value driven, mulitiple criteria driven, trade off driven, forms of decision making. This is the type of decision making that dominates the world. Its our evolved method of deciding, and it works pragmatically, in the good sense of that word.
The deductive model, the axiomatic approach, is a cultural creation, which is superior in certain instances. Its products are always conditional on the axioms and production rules.
The inductive method doesn't work to produce truths. I tcan help to produce conjectures, nothing more.
Deduction's use in rhetoric suffers from the inherent weakness in any non factual axiom. We are pretending these conclusions are "solid". The process looks more elegant, and it may be a "better" argument in appearance, but we have no basis to claim truth from it compared to the "natural" approach I outline above, if it rests on a value judgement from the start. They are both approaches that may or may result in "truth". How we would know it, I don't know. They are both processes that can help with mutual understanding.
My effort in this thread has been to get the axiomatic side off the high horse and recognize the the context I've describe and spare us the condecending treatment. You do not own the thinking process for the human species. You can understand and appreciate something other than the deductive method. Rejecting other forms of thinking means rejecting understanding.
Get down with diversity.
mop - so basically your beliefs have been formed and shaped by your life - including your experiences, your observations, and things you've been taught?
your answer was a joke...and not just because i think your religion is silly, but because it contained no substance at all.
you said it's reasonable to believe that there is a creator. why is it reasonable? you cite the "fact" that there are things in nature which give rise to this belief. that's a fact huh? really?
then you say it's reasonable to believe the designer may have revealed himself. why is it reasonable to believe this?
then comes the best one....you accept the claims of people based on, as you said, "reasons which run the gamut from personal experiences to truth claims which i accept". that sounds REALLY close to what you were hammering GT on - "that's how i was raised".
then you say that your argument is good because it is "built upon one another and start at the very foundation of my argument". what is the very foundation of your argument? the "fact" that nature leads to a "reasonable" belief in a creator. hmmm....well, not only do i dispute the fact, i dispute the reasonableness.
GT made the best point yesterday. you believe we should be good stewards of creation because you believe we owe that to God....not necessarily to creation. GT and I believe we owe it to the planet, and we do not need a theological reason for that belief.
and then you say that WE are the ones with no reasonable argument for our belief, when your argument is full of "facts" and "reasonableness" which you have deemed facts and reasonable. ha.
you are suggesting that GT's beliefs are his beliefs only because that is how he was raised...and thus you are incorrectly assuming that anything he was taught growing up, he now believes. i am going to go out on a limb here (GT, correct me if i'm wrong), but GT likely does not believe everything he was "taught" growing up, nor do you, nor do i. however, his overall worldly view was molded by his upbringing, just as yours was.
just so we're clear, i'm talking about this:
A. A belief X is true if it reflects how a person was raised
B. Perrson A was raised to believe X
C. Therefore belief in X is valid.
GT has never suggested that everything he was taught in childhood is true, nor has he argued that being taught something makes it true. he's simply saying that his current view of the world was molded by his upbringing. there is a huge difference there and you're just assuming that he believes everything he was taught as truth, which is simply not the case.
and as someone else asked earlier....what exactly are you and C trying to get at here? let's say for a moment that i only believe we should take care of the earth because i believe it is our home and, just like i expect people to respect my house, i expect humans to respect their house, the planet. what if that's the only basis for my belief....what then? is that not ok? what exactly are you trying to "prove" here?
In reply to:
you've only not succeeded because you do not want to succeed. the evidence is there, you're just ignoring it (per usual). and your arrogance is REALLY grating.
wrong johnny....we have rather patiently asked for clarification for days and you and GT have stubbornly repeated a rather shallow argument without making it more substantial. as i have said multiple times, we agree with the conclusion (and the one premise) but beyond that, the arguments have been lacking in substance. i have even showed why but you have not engaged that. i have set up syllogisms to show you what i mean but you have continued on misunderstanding (or misrepresenting...i am not sure which) my arguments ad infinitum.
by the way, i did remove a unnecessarily harsh statement i made in the past thread. i hope it comes off as less arrogant. when i am debating i can get frustrated and say things that are not loving or kind. i hate that about myself and i continue to strive for higher ground.
>>nature is filled with intricacies which give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose
And what are these "intricacies"? Just because something is complex to the extent that it is imcomprehensible with our current knowledge somehow leads to a "designer"? What is seemingly intricate today could very well be a subject for 5th-graders 50 years later. What will you do then -- shift your definitition of "intricate"? Unless oneday we manage to know everything there is to know in the universe, there will be always be something intricate. So a person is supposed to latch onto this fact to believe in a 'designer'?
GT...yes, that was a good example from the Old Testament. so the question for me becomes, is it possible for that to happen again based on my beliefs? i won't bore you with my reasoning on that, but i don't believe it is for a host of reasons Biblically and otherwise. nonetheless, your point is valid and there are MANY other such passages from the OT.
and there's mop's arrogance again.
perhaps GT and I are comprehending the argument/discussion fine...you just don't like our opinions on it? perhaps it is you and C who are not comprehending the discussion that GT and I are trying to have?
Good luck Johnny. I applaud your patience. I'm going to go argue with my cat. She's a smart cat. Thyat will be a good change.
You can ignore the thread. You'll have a more difficult time ignoring its implications.
Have fun with your cat.
TTT, for Fondren Road.