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Old 05-10-2005, 05:11 PM   #1
MarcusMaximus
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Alright, here's something I thought of in my free time. It kinda worries me since I'm not an athiest (I believe there is a god, I'm just not christian.) Anyway here it goes:
1) Nothing can exist without purpose. Anything that exists must have to exist, or it wouldnt.
2) An absolute God exists (that's right guys, a proof by contradiction)
3) There can be no higher order than an absolute god by definition of absolute.
4) there must be a reason for the absolute God to exist by #1.
5) there must be a higher order than the absolute God due to the existance of a reason for its existence.
6) contradiction between 5 and 3.
7) An absolute God doesn't exist by contradiction.

I'm kinda actually hoping for a concrete refutation of this proof. The idea of an impossibility of an absolute god slightly disturbs me. By the way, please don't post replies saying "Oh well you cant understand god or explain him with logic." (this argument is A: a cop out and B: doesn't apply to this situation since I'm not talking about something that god does but rather the reason for its existence in the first place.) or quotes from the bible unless they provide a logical reason against this. ex: "You shall not worship any gods before me." (this doesn't really provide any evidence)
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:17 PM   #2
Stained Glass
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Why aren't you an atheist, Marcus?
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:19 PM   #3
Lucretius
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The Christian God doesn't make any sense. He is omniscient omnipotent yet at the same time experiences reactionary emotions of anger and sadness. How can you be pissed about something (or upset) if you know absolutely it is going to happen? If me and my friend are tied up and some guy tells me my buddy is going to get shot, he could get away, and when that possibility proves to be wrong, I feel sadness. If I had absolute knowledge my buddy was going to die, I wouldn't have felt this reactionary emotion. How can God be shocked about something he already knows is going to happen?
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:36 PM   #4
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Lucretius,
It does get complicated to start talking about relationship of God to time and the events that take place in it. A comment about God's omniscience and your illustration about you, your friend, and your pre-knowledge about his death: it would seem that if you knew the fact that your friend was going to die, it would eliminate the possibility of surprise but not the possiblity of sadness. Knowing the result of an action does not mean that you will not be sad about the outcome
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
MarcusMaximus wrote
Alright, here's something I thought of in my free time. It kinda worries me since I'm not an athiest (I believe there is a god, I'm just not christian.) Anyway here it goes:
1) Nothing can exist without purpose. Anything that exists must have to exist, or it wouldnt.
Do you have any references for this statement? I have yet to find purpose in nature. Evolution, for example, is not teleogical; it has no goals, no purpose. It is not a random process like the Creationists/ID'ers state. It is a non-random process driven by random and non-random mechanisms.

If we can get past #1, then we can address the rest of the list. If #1 is refuted, then the rest of the list would appear to be invalid.

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Old 05-10-2005, 06:47 PM   #6
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Tenspace,
Not to start the infinite regression, but from where does the "non-random process driven by random and non-random mechanisms" come? How is it non-random without purpose?
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:11 PM   #7
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Adaptation to an environmental niche is non-random. It is driven by the conditions which favor (or disfavor) random mutations. Sexual selection is non-random, but again, random genetic mutations are responsible as the mechanism for competitive alleles.

But, in all this, there is no defined purpose. It is not a goal of evolution to be "higher up on the ladder" or food chain; that is a result of the adaptations.

If you wish to assign a purpose to evolution, it is simply to reproduce. But a purpose is defined as "intention, determination, resolution". Cells don't have a game plan, they are not deterministic. They just reproduce. I would say that the human phenotype is the first genetic result that is able to be deterministic.

But evolution, in the scientific theoretical sense, has no purpose, no future intentions. How would the genes know if they are on the right track?

Clearer? Or muddier? :)

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Old 05-10-2005, 07:23 PM   #8
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Clearer in the sense that I know better what mean. But is all that you and I are just the unintentioned forward motion of genes? At a higher level than just genes and cells, in the evolutionary model, wouldn't all of our motivations simply be self-preservation? I understand non-random by the way that you state it. I am not sure how we, as civilized humans, got our intention, determination, resolution. Would you say that it is just a refinement of our instincts?
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:36 PM   #9
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Stained Glass wrote
Clearer in the sense that I know better what mean. But is all that you and I are just the unintentioned forward motion of genes? At a higher level than just genes and cells, in the evolutionary model, wouldn't all of our motivations simply be self-preservation? I understand non-random by the way that you state it. I am not sure how we, as civilized humans, got our intention, determination, resolution. Would you say that it is just a refinement of our instincts?
Hard to say, but likely. So many of our early adaptations have been usurped for uses unique to humans. Love and other emotions are traceable to kin relationships and altruism found in early hominid populations. Anger, hate, and fear as well. It would seem that determinism and intention are byproducts of our drive to reproduce. With that comes pre-meditation, planning, forethought, communications - even respect, trust, skepticism and suspicion have been driven by our social nature.

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(For those of you who wish to claim my statements to be conjecture, I suggest you read what's available from two icons of biology and evolution, Ernst Mayr and Theodosius Dobzhansky before responding).

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Old 05-10-2005, 07:52 PM   #10
baric
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1) Nothing can exist without purpose. Anything that exists must have to exist, or it wouldnt.
What is your support for this assumption? "Purpose" in this context is a very loaded term and requires clarification. What does it mean for something to have "purpose"? Why is it a requirement for existance?

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2) An absolute God exists (that's right guys, a proof by contradiction)
Fair enough.

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3) There can be no higher order than an absolute god by definition of absolute.
This is a confusing assumption. I think it's a little shaky, but I understand what you are suggesting so I'll accept it for the sake of the argument.

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4) there must be a reason for the absolute God to exist by #1.
But if you are arguing for an absolute god in #3, is it not exempt from the restrictions of #1? Otherwise, it would not be absolute.

I am sensing an inherent contradiction in #3 and think that it may not withstand scrutiny. In particular, I think that the notion of a tangible "absolute" (as opposed to the concept of "absolute") represents an unprovable infinity.

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5) there must be a higher order than the absolute God due to the existance of a reason for its existence.
6) contradiction between 5 and 3.
7) An absolute God doesn't exist by contradiction.
I believe that #5 longer follows per my comment about #4.
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:55 PM   #11
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(I can't wait for Ocmpoma and Voice-of-Reason's contributions) :D

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Old 05-10-2005, 07:58 PM   #12
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I have not read anything by Mayr or Dobzhansky, so to respond to their ideas would be beyond me. How then do you see that these emotions developed? I can understand immature love or under-developed emotion, but how can it be that these came to be from nothing? It would be helpful to ask, what would originate instinct? Where would the drive come from to survive?
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:08 PM   #13
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There are other threads on this forum where the topics were covered in detail.

Emotions didn't come from nothing; they are the result of the human social organization among populations being the best match for the environment. Instinct (take your pick as to which one) originated through natural selection as well, such as our fight or flee instinct. When threatened, our mouth becomes dry and our lips purse, or pupils dilate, our heart rate increases, and adrenaline in the bloodstream is increased. All these things prepare us to do one of two things... Stand and fight, or run like hell.

Visit Amazon.com , or search the internet for Mayr and Dobzhansky. Great reading.

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Old 05-11-2005, 08:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
MarcusMaximus wrote
1) Nothing can exist without purpose. Anything that exists must have to exist, or it wouldn’t.
OK, I'll assume that by purpose, you mean cause. So everything that exists, exists for a certain cause. The second part you seem to posit a deterministic existence, in that anything that exists, must necessarily exist. We could stop right here and claim that the existence of any particular in the universe is not necessary, but only possible, but for fun let's move on.
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2) An absolute God exists (that's right guys, a proof by contradiction)
Once again I'll give the argument the benefit of the doubt and assume you're doing something like Spinoza. God is Perfect (absolute), and existence is a perfection (Spinoza's position, not mine), therefore God necessarily exists.
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3) There can be no higher order than an absolute god by definition of absolute.
Well, yes, this obviously follows from #2. A perfect/absolute being would contain everything, so anything we would consider to be "higher" than the perfect god is already, by definition, contained within the concept of that god.
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4) there must be a reason for the absolute God to exist by #1.
Here's where stuff gets interesting. If in #1, your claims pertain to "stuff" in the universe, than #4 does nothing. If #1 is a claim for all existing things (or if we stick with our definition, the only existing thing, God), then we might have a contradiction, but not necessarily. Spinoza got around this by stating that the nature of God's perfection was cause (purpose) for the existence of God, and hence there is nothing outside of god needed for it's existence (God, necessarily, caused itself).
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5) there must be a higher order than the absolute God due to the existence of a reason for its existence.
If we stick with Spinoza, we can just reject #5, because there cannot be a higher order than God (because anything conceived as "greater than" is already included in God by definition, by #2 and #3) and the existence of a reason for existence is also contained within the perfection of God (also from #2, and explained in #4).
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6) Contradiction between 5 and 3.
7) An absolute God doesn't exist by contradiction.
Not for Spinoza. For him, God is the only thing that can exist, and everything else is just a property of God's existence. I don't know too many people who would want to run out and start worshiping Spinoza's God, though. God doesn't have a mind (minds are modes of gods existence, but not attributes), a physical form (another mode); God doesn't even do anything (because performing an action requires change, and if God could change, there would be an attribute that is not contained within God's perfection, which is logically impossible).

So, you can keep some sort of Deist God around with your initial definitions, but it would be one that doesn't care in the least about you, or anything else for that matter. Spinoza's God can be replaced with the word "Universe", and most of his arguments would stay the same. I don't know if this is what you were looking for, but I doubt it.

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Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:38 AM   #15
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Stained Glass wrote
Tenspace,
Not to start the infinite regression, but from where does the "non-random process driven by random and non-random mechanisms" come? How is it non-random without purpose?
The arrangement of elements into a "periodic table" is not random and is governed by well-tested, observable phenomenae. The demonstrable fact that these elements will tend to combine in certain predictable ways is also not an example of randomness. So yes, it may be impossible to say that this oxygen atom will combine with those two hydrogen atoms at exactly that second. Strictly speaking, that might be an example of randomness, but it's not an example of a random event to say that oxygen bonds with hydrogen to form water.

I defy you to demonstrate any "purpose" behind this observable fact.

Now extrapolate upward: Carbon's chemical properties predispose it towards certain chemical bonds. Those compounds will then have a tendancy to form other, fairly predictable compounds... and so on up the chain. At some point, our current understanding is, these reactions became self-replicating. No purpose required.

Makes perfect sense to me.
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