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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

http://forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?64842-Why-I-dont-believe-...

 

Hopefully you can read that.

 

I'm not sure how to respond. If anyone can help, I'd greatly appreciate it.

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Comment by Adriana on August 20, 2011 at 11:31am

On the induction problem (this concerns me since I'm a scientist and we do use induction a lot), check out the entry of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I'm just pasting a little excerpt here:

 

1.3 Can induction be justified?

There is a simple argument, due in its first form to Hume (Hume THN, I.III.VI) that induction (not Hume's word) cannot be justified. The argument is a dilemma: Since induction is a contingent method—even good inductions may lead from truths to falsehoods—there can be no deductive justification for induction. Any inductive justification of induction would, on the other hand, be circular. Hume himself takes the edge off this argument later in the Treatise. “In every judgment,” he writes, “…we ought always to correct the first judgment, deriv'd from the nature of the object, by another judgment, deriv'd from the nature of the understanding” (Hume THN, 181f.).

A more general question is this: Why trust induction more than other methods of fixing belief? Why not consult sacred writings, the pronouncements of authorities or “the wisdom of crowds” to explain the movements of the planets, the weather, automotive breakdowns or the evolution of species? We return to these and related questions in section 8.3.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

In section 8.3 and 8.4, read about creationism and intelligent design and their relationship with induction. It's pretty cool. Basically creationism abhors induction while "intelligent design" utilizes it, although they fall in a probabilistic fallacy. Like Greg said, theists tend to ignore the problem of "likelihood" . It is most inconvenient for their beliefs.

 

 

Comment by Greg Gorey on August 18, 2011 at 7:59pm

that was a very simplified response so everyone can understand it. I Hope it helps. if you want to debate with people who have read the literature of popular atheists and responses to it, you are going to have to become more philosophically literate. There is no way around it.

 

a lot of what he was doing was classic bait-n-switch were he says you have to respond to a ton of shit that was never mentioned in the first place. if you want to debate people who have read bill craig, get used to this. 

Comment by Greg Gorey on August 18, 2011 at 7:54pm

yo,

 

1) The problem of induction has been dealt with in the philosophical literature by WVO Quine who noted that the reason the problem occurs is because all human beliefs are a web. This means if you ask enough questions to anyone, you will get them to repeat themselves. 

 

2) The "denying the existence of 100%" comment is just nonsense. You existing is 100%. This is completely different than what you were talking about. Theists do a "retreat to the probable" where they will believe in God if there is any logical possibility to it at all. This disregards likeliness all together. Again, the problem of induction has already been dealt with in great detail by people like Samir Okasha (who I think solved it). 

 

3) according to modern physics, the universe never "began to exist." according to the einsteinian view of time, time is a dimension of space that extends infinitely in both directions. This has been the dominant view in physics for decades and other notions of time are viewed as very fringe within the community of experts.

 

4) he just got you on the supernatural thing. 

 

5) he is dead fucking wrong on quantum mechanics. the principles of it are long established. what people are unaware of is what they "mean (which interpretation is correct)". The overwhelming favorites are the Copenhagen (undetermined) and the Many Worlds (determined). Regardless of which is true, Quantum Mechanics being based on "ultimate uncertainty" is complete bullocks. QM yields incredibly accurate predictions. 

 

6) scientism (science is the only means to discover truth) is completely separate from naturalism (the world is just nature). A lot of theists love to straw-man the shit out of atheists by conflating the two. 

 

7) no infinite regress occurs because time is static and tenseless in modern physics. Only nutjob aplogists who use physics from 90 years ago disagree. There community of relevant experts overwhelmingly use the Einsteinian version. 

 

8) "Which you never back up and you never support." is a tuquoque fallacy (he is dodging the question by saying NO U). He is right about Feynmen, Popper, and Feyerabend (who is a complete moron on a side note) though. 

 

9) the bigger blows against omnipotent do not come from square circles, but stuff god can not do that humans can do (a morally evil act, commit suicide, etc...)

http://philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.com/2009/12/index-for-po...

 

10) his answers to the problem of evil are just embarrassing. however, you did state a really weak version of the argument. if you want some solid beginner explanations of the argument from evil in the version that is considered to be knock down, read here. 

http://philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.com/2010/09/end-of-skept...

 

11) He is completely misunderstanding the is-ought gap. It is the fact that you can not say what ought to be directly from what is. If you have a theory of epistemology or axiology, you can definitely do so. 

 

12) He is correct about math not being able to be scientifically proven. It can not be, however, logically proven (Godel proved this in the 20's and 30's). Logic can be proved because it is not robust enough to prove anything outside of itself. It is all tautology. 

 

While he is correct on some big things, he is largely speaking out of his ass. In recent years, apologists like William Lane Craig have written substantial responses to the New and older atheists for lay audiences. That guy's responses are from that type of material. If you want to debate further, I s

Comment by Adriana on August 17, 2011 at 11:24am

Ah, sorry, Nathan, I wasn't familiar with the format. The person you are discussing with think he/she is using philosophy or logic but it is only in appearance. I see this very often with educated theists. Jeff's recommendations are good websites who will help you deal with theists who like to play "philosopher". The short answer to his ramblings is that even if there is a problem of induction, or all we can do is speak in terms of "probable" in science, a belief in gos does not really solve any of these issues since it simply adds more questions that have no answers. It is only in the mind of the faithful that saying "therefore----> god" answers all those questions. It answers nothing; it only stops some people from asking further questions, which is dangerous. Asking questions is good.

 

Ask him how he knows his god and his cosmogony are the correct ones, and not those of the Hindus, for example. Let's see what kind of "logic" he uses.

Comment by Michel on August 16, 2011 at 6:44pm

This guy is way too tiresome.

He's just arguing the unreal, the un-natural, the invisible, the infinite...

He'd be caught in a shark bite and he'd try to argue his way out.

A polite "Thank you for all the fish" and move on to someone else's mind games.

Comment by Nathan Hevenstone on August 16, 2011 at 6:36pm

And Adriana... you don't have to respond directly to him. That would involve joining CARM... not something I recommend.

 

I'm just looking for help because I'm out of my depths on this one. I'm already planning to say as much, as well (unless it'd be a bad idea), but I'm not interested in backing out of the argument just yet. I'm better at the science argument, but have barely even a layman's understanding of philosophy/logic, which is what he's using.

 

I'm looking for help with the philosophy/logic angle he's coming from.

Comment by Nathan Hevenstone on August 16, 2011 at 6:33pm

The plain text is him. The text in the blue box is me. It's his post quoting me. I had hoped that would be obvious, though, but that's my fault... I assumed that everyone knew what those kinds of forums looked like...

 

This link is where our particular discussion in the thread started:

http://forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?64842-Why-I-dont-believe-...

 

Here's my response to the above:

http://forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?64842-Why-I-dont-believe-...

 

Also, I just realized... you're viewing the thread in "threaded mode". If you prefer it, that's fine. However, I find threads on such forums easier to navigate in linear mode. If that'd make it easier, just go into "Display" (on the right-hand side on the top of the thread) and select "Switch to Linear Mode"... if you want to. It shows the posts from earliest-posted to latest-posted.

Comment by Adriana on August 16, 2011 at 5:10pm

I can read it but i do not answer what you are trying to respond to; the post is all over the place.

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