Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Oh, God

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  • BenWilson, in reply to UglyTruth,

    All of it, barring the insults.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    Or just identify and discuss the fallacies in this statement

    I've already addressed one misinterpretation, if you think there is a fallacy there then it is up to you to show that it exists by identifying it.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    All of it, barring the insults.

    So in what way do you think that this response of mine does not address the meaning of Steve Park’s post?

    IOW, how have I (allegedly) avoided enagaging in meaningful debate in that case?

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to UglyTruth,

    So in what way do you think that this response of mine does not address the meaning of Steve Park’s post?

    Yes, that is what I think. Since Steve Park's post covers your entire comeback before it even happened. 10 hours before it happened. You cherry picked a piece of what he said, and didn't respond to the whole answer. He showed that your argument only works to say you're agnostic, queried whether you are, and covered the other possibly by referring to Moz's prior post.

    To Moz' post you just said:

    Understanding the connection between theism and English democracy involves going back the the advent of kings in the Judaic tradition. If it hadn’t been a popular idea at the time then kingship would never have been implemented.

    Which is simply a restatement of your point. It is not a reason, it is not an argument, it is just coming back to your assertion about our beliefs now being somehow dependent upon their ancient origins. Moz was challenging the rationality of basing your beliefs on cherry picked witnesses from the ancient world. You had no answer for his very, very substantive comeback, that a small bunch of witnesses claiming to have seen evidence of the Christian God are very much counterbalanced by the far, far greater number that have claimed to see all kinds of deities even if you think that believing witnesses who claim to see miracles is a good idea. It shows that even on its own standards your position is entirely illogical, and that's just the start of the problems.

    And Moz was not the first one to raise this. It was one of the first things I raised with my challenge to you that just because your God can't be logically disproven, and probably can't even be empirically disproven (since the free-will arguments weaken the meaning of the God down so much as to be as much of a ghost as your arguments are), doesn't give us any sound reason to believe that he does exist. Bare possibility is not a particularly high standard for belief in something - it applies to pretty much anything at all which is not logically self contradictory. Every fiction you care to mention is possible. Every crazed witnesses mad idea could be true. Every hallucination, every dream, every nasty thought.

    On this point you have had no answer whatsoever.

    And even then, it's all a non-sequitur, since what you were actually trying to do was link it to our laws. In that, Steve already gave you the obvious first comeback, poignantly raised 400 years before Christ, that the connection between morality and Gods is very weak. This was pointed out by the Platonic Socrates, who was, incidentally, basically a monotheist. Even if God does exist, your first point, which kickstarted this debate, is broken. God likes moral things, he doesn't make them moral. Their morality is the cause of God's love for them, not the other way around. Our laws are moral entirely independently of God's love for them, even if there is a God and he does love what is moral.

    In other words, no, you did not engage. You just handed out another pamphlet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes, that is what I think.

    Yes, but the question was in what way do you think that.

    Since Steve Park’s post covers your entire comeback before it even happened. 10 hours before it happened.

    So what do you think that the salient point is that refutes my argument?

    You cherry picked a piece of what he said, and didn’t respond to the whole answer.

    Generally I go for the crux of the argument and don’t bother with the incidentals.

    He showed that your argument only works to say you’re agnostic

    No, he didn’t show that. What my argument does is to show that existence of deity is more probable than non-existence of deity by showing that while evidence for existence exists, no evidence of non-existence exists.

    I’ve previously argued this point with Andrew Geddis and his final position (IIRC) was that the argument was of little value because it wasn’t a popular positition, which makes sense if you look at it from a civil perspective, but no sense at all from the perspective of common law.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to UglyTruth,

    Yes, but the question was in what way do you think that.

    Which I then gave a long post on.

    So what do you think that the salient point is that refutes my argument?

    I explained that.

    Generally I go for the crux of the argument and don’t bother with the incidentals.

    No, you entirely missed that the crux you chose had in fact been answered.

    No, he didn’t show that.

    Oh, but yes, he did.

    What my argument does is to show that existence of deity is more probable than non-existence of deity by showing that while evidence for existence exists, no evidence of non-existence exists.

    I know that's what you think it shows, and I just spent the last post pointing out that that had already been answered. It doesn't become a stronger argument by you repeating it. You have to actually answer the criticism, which is that the same level of evidence exists for practically every stupid non-existent thing that anyone claims to have seen. Let's go back to the poo-monster. I saw him last night in my dreams. No, really, I did. Can you prove he doesn't exist? Engage with this point.

    Now, consider why you should reject the poo-monster's existence, even though you can't prove it. You evoke Occam's razor. Well, I invoke the same thing on God. Everything can be explained without him. The Universe. Morality. Laws. Goodness. You. Me. Goodbye God, you might exist, so might the poo-monster. Who cares, really?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    Which I then gave a long post on.

    How is that relevant?

    "So what do you think that the salient point is that refutes my argument?"

    I explained that.

    In which post?

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to UglyTruth,

    How is that relevant?

    Because it directly answers your question. That's virtually the definition of relevant.

    In which post?

    Eh??? Seriously???? It fucking happened an hour ago, how can you have already forgotten? this post. This kind of obtuseness is exactly what I mean by you not engaging. It's right there a few inches above where you type.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to BenWilson,

    The fallacy I fell into is “don’t compare a forum to a dojo, because some people are completely immune to all intellectual influence, and may not even be there for the martial arts”. Also known as the fallacy of feeding the troll.

    Me, also. Regrets.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to BenWilson,

    In other words, no, you did not engage. You just handed out another pamphlet.

    Haven't you run out of feed yet?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to nzlemming,

    Getting there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    Because it directly answers your question.

    No, it doesn't. My question was: "in what way do you think that this response of mine does not address the meaning of Steve Park’s post?"

    To which you replied:

    "Yes, that is what I think. Since Steve Park’s post covers your entire comeback before it even happened. 10 hours before it happened."

    Yeah, so what? There's no argument of substance there.

    "You cherry picked a piece of what he said, and didn’t respond to the whole answer."

    Like I said before, I genrally go for the crux and don't bother with the incidentals. It's not cherry picking when there's no other relevant line of reasoning.

    "He showed that your argument only works to say you’re agnostic ..."

    No, he didn't show that.

    "... queried whether you are, and covered the other possibly by referring to Moz’s prior post. "

    Referring to another post doesn't directly address the actual meaning.

    So, Ben, there's nothing there that truthfully answers the question of the way to Steve Parks did not address the meaning of his post."

    Remember, Ben, your original allegation was that I "don’t engage in a meaningful way with any criticism", but apparently there isn't any meaningful criticism here for me to engage in.

    I've identified what I believe to be the crux of Steve's argument. If you think that I'm avoiding the argument then it's up to you to specfically identify the true crux.

    To make it perfectly clear, the crux of the issue is that it is more rational to believe that deity exists than not because evidence exists that supports such existence, but no evidence to the contrary has been shown.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    Haven’t you run out of feed yet?

    Are you trying to imply that I'm trolling to deflect attention from the fact that you can't explain why Blackstone contradicts the NZ state's secular description of the common law, nzlemming?

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to UglyTruth,

    You're showing no signs of having worked your assignment. I'm disappointed.

    it is more rational to believe that deity exists than not because evidence exists that supports such existence, but no evidence to the contrary has been shown.

    One question- if this ludicrous proposition were true - wouldn't that be a beautiful truth?
    Unless the deity happens to be very ugly. Is that what you're trying, obliquely, to say- look out for the evil god?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to UglyTruth,

    To make it perfectly clear, the crux of the issue is that it is more rational to believe that deity exists than not because evidence exists that supports such existence, but no evidence to the contrary has been shown.

    You used to be JTB on Realms of Insanity, didn't you?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to UglyTruth,

    Yeah, so what? There’s no argument of substance there.

    FFS, that's because you just cherry picked the argument off it. Following the snippet you just quoted are hundreds of words of argument, referring back to the thousands of words of argument that you still haven't done a damned thing to address.

    Like I said before, I genrally go for the crux and don’t bother with the incidentals. It’s not cherry picking when there’s no other relevant line of reasoning.

    Yes, but it is cherry picking when there is another line of reasoning and that is what you have repeatedly done, and are still doing. Everyone can see you're doing it.

    Referring to another post doesn’t directly address the actual meaning.

    Yes, it does. You're just too lazy to read the other post and understand that, or too disingenuous. I don't know which it is. It's not on me to rewrite the entire argument every single time you obtusely refuse to answer it. It's quite sufficient to refer to it.

    but apparently there isn’t any meaningful criticism here for me to engage in.

    There's thousands of words worth of meaningful criticism. You're just too lazy or disingenous or maybe just too dumb to bother with them. It's impossible for me to know which is true.

    I’ve identified what I believe to be the crux of Steve’s argument. If you think that I’m avoiding the argument then it’s up to you to specfically identify the true crux.

    That's been asked and answered several times now. You find where, it's not hard.

    Argument S

    the crux of the issue is that it is more rational to believe that deity exists than not because evidence exists that supports such existence, but no evidence to the contrary has been shown.

    I'm naming this to save you requoting it later. Argument S, and why it's ridiculous:

    1. You can't logically or empirically PROVE a generalized negative existence claim.

    No one disputes this. It's simply impossible. Which is WHY it's not the basis of rationality. Because you CAN'T use it. No one can use that method for anything at all. It's not a useful method. Therefore, it's not an effective argument about the subject at all.

    To elucidate this, you have been given many examples of such claims, all of which you can't refute. But you also haven't ADDRESSED any of them. You haven't because you CAN'T. Because that line of argument is WORTHLESS.

    Since everything after the "but" in Argument S is unnecessary to the point of WORTHLESSNESS, let us proceed by ignoring it. Nobody disputes it. Then we come to your ONLY argument <continued in next post>

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to UglyTruth,

    <continued>
    "because evidence exists that supports such existence"

    2. The evidence that exists to support the claim is not credible.

    The only evidence you gave is to say that "given the number of witnesses who support the idea of theism". You said nothing about those witnesses, or what they witnessed. So you were challenged on the only piece of information about them given, that there are many of them, and why that should matter. Moz's approach was an obvious one. There are also many witnesses against. That instantly makes it an argument that you need to flesh out more. You'd have to say how many, what they witnessed, etc. Of course you didn't bother.

    But it still doesn't address the other most important thrust of Moz, which was obvious from the tone when he laughed at you for saying your God's existence is democratic, which is that the existence of large numbers of people believing something is not evidence at all for the truth of that thing. God didn't come into existence when the first person believed in him, nor will he disappear after the last one stops. His existence or non-existence is not contigent on the number of believers. Large numbers of people have believed things that are empirically known to be false now. They were wrong. Indeed even now you'll find that an enormous number of people believe things to be true that are false a priori because they're not so hot on the logic. It's a specialist subject after a certain point and easy to get wrong. Completely, totally, logically wrong.

    And that's it. The crutch of your argument, addressed again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    You’re showing no signs of having worked your assignment. I’m disappointed.

    I'm skeptical.

    " it is more rational to believe that deity exists than not because evidence exists that supports such existence, but no evidence to the contrary has been shown."

    One question- if this ludicrous proposition were true...

    Logical propositions are not ludicrous. If it were illogical then you shoulde be able to identify a fallacy.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    “Yeah, so what? There’s no argument of substance there.”

    FFS, that’s because you just cherry picked the argument off it.

    No, I didn’t cherry pick anything, there wasn’t any alternative line of reasoning. A wall of words based on fictions, assumptions, and irrelevances is not an actual argument.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    1. You can’t logically or empirically PROVE a generalized negative existence claim.

    Irrelevant, it doesn’t change the fact that the there is no available evidence against the proposition that deity exists. Either deity exists or it doesn't, there are no other rational positions to take.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Flying Spaghetti Monster. Sayin.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    But it still doesn’t address the other most important thrust of Moz, which was obvious from the tone when he laughed at you for saying your God’s existence is democratic

    I never said that.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to UglyTruth,

    it doesn’t change the fact that the there is no available evidence against the proposition that deity exists.

    I'm sure you meant "for or against the existance...", because that is after all the more accurate statement.

    There's a name for the "no evidence therefore..." fallacy, but most of us know it as Occam's Razor (you claimed that was valid back on page 6). In the absense of proof, the simpler explanation is more likely. Does the FSM or whatever deity you care about exist? There's no evidence either way, so it's more likely that it does not.

    Even using your non-factual criteria of "who beleives", it was about 100 comments ago that I pointed out that the overwhelming majority of both theists and atheists beleive that every single deity does not exist. I doubt there are many Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or Chuthulu cultists who believe that the Flying Spagetti Monster exists, for example, so we can rule that right out. How about Jesus the incarnation of God on Earth? Nope, Jews, Muslims, Hindus etc all agree, not the Son of God. So that's right out. Shiva? Similar problem, just about every theist agrees that Shiva does not exist.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to UglyTruth,

    Either deity exists or it doesn’t, there are no other rational positions to take.

    Oh dear. Agnostics everywhere will be shamed by this.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to UglyTruth,

    there is no available evidence against the proposition that deity exists.

    Argument from evil. If a deity that is powerful, knowledgeable and good exists, you'd expect there not to be pointless suffering in the world they've created. It's easy to prove there's pointless suffering, therefore if there's a deity, they can't be powerful, knowledgeable and good.

    Anyway, I'm bored and nobody's actually getting anywhere useful with this. Could we not agree to disagree and move on to more interesting subjects?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

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