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  • posted a message on Logical Proof of God
    Quote from Valanarch »
    Either a godlike being exists because of what I said (unless if I am wrong, which I admit is always possible on MTG Salvation) or we just don't understand the mysteries of the universe and this discussion is pointless.
    (a) How godlike is "godlike" in your mind? You have made no argument that this first cause must, just to take for example one quality attributed to God, have a mind. If there were a first cause but it were mindless, would that still be a "godlike being" to you? Because if this is the route you take, then all you're basically saying is, "Whatever caused the universe, I'm just going to call it 'godlike'." Which is a pretty trivial claim; it tells us nothing about the qualities of the first cause. It's like saying, "Gremlins broke my car - and when I say that, I mean I have no idea what broke my car, but I'm just calling it 'gremlin-like' in the one respect that it's something that breaks cars."

    (b) Anyone who claims we do understand the mysteries of the universe may safely be ignored. But if we didn't talk about what we don't understand, we'd never come any closer to understanding anything. And worse still, we may end up thinking we understand something quite wrongly, because no one else is serving as a reality check.

    Quote from Taylor »
    I too like the idea of God and like the idea that--while there might not be a clear purpose for my life--there is at least a reason for existence. However, logic doesn't lead us to the conclusion of a Primum Movens. The idea that causality leads to an unmoved mover is self-contradictory. If everything must have a cause, then so must 'God.' Thus, that God isn't God. If you give an ad hoc ability to God to claim God is the start of the causality chain, such arbitrary attribute could just as easy be given to the Universe. Logic doesn't lead us to a prime mover.
    Very well put.

    Quote from Taylor »
    Some of us--like Blinking Spirit and Elvish Crack Piper--guess that this world likely wasn't created for a reason. Some of us--like myself and Highroller--guess it was created for a reason. We all know, however, that this is a guess. And, if more information does--miraculously--come to light, we will adjust that guess accordingly.
    I'm "guessing" that the universe wasn't created for a reason in the same way I'm "guessing" that zebra mussels can't speak Middle English. I have no evidence whatsoever that they can, and all the evidence I have is that the only things that can belong to a circumscribed category of entity which does not include zebra mussels - i.e., language is a distinctly human characteristic. And that's just zebra mussels. In the grand scheme of things, zebra mussels are very similar to humans, and easy to understand. How vastly less believable is it that something as absolutely alien to our experience and incomprehensible as the first cause of the universe should exhibit a quality as mundane as reasoning? The idea is a quaint, parochial anthropomorphism, and nothing more.
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on Thoughts about equality that aren't lies
    Hyalapterouslemur, italafoca has called you out on ad hominem argument and challenged you to respond directly to the claim he made. Are you capable of doing this, or do you get distracted by tangential thoughts too easily?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on What Is Your Favorite Video Game? Why?
    Civilization IV or Crusader Kings II. I play Civ 5 more than Civ 4 these days, because the unit mechanics are so much better, but as a total package I have by far the fondest memories of Civ 4. (This is also pretty much how I feel about Heroes of Might & Magic III vs. V.) Oh, and you want to talk soundtracks? Civ 4 was the first video game to win a Grammy. And the modding scene was unbelievable. I could go on for ever about Civ 4 mods, but for the sake of brevity I'll just drop two titles: "Rhy's and Fall" and "Fall from Heaven II".

    Of course, I played "Rhy's and Fall" before I discovered Crusader Kings II. That game now scratches my historical itches pretty thoroughly. Lots of games have armies marching around all over Europe, but in how many of them do you end up plotting to disinherit your eldest son because he converted to the Cathar heresy, just as an emergent part of the gameplay?


    I think it's interesting how the overwhelming majority of games listed in this thread are single-player or at most co-op experiences. All the data say we pour much more time into multiplayer, but we don't seem to invest in it the same way.
    Posted in: Other Games
  • posted a message on Logical Proof of God
    Quote from Valanarch »
    I personally believe that there is one thing that is logical proof of god. The universe was created somehow. Yes, the Big Bang happened. But what happened before that? And if you say that another universe existed before that, but then what about that one? I personally don't believe in souls, an afterlife, or a god that cares at all about humans (though I really wish that I believed all of that), but I do know that matter cannot be generated from nothingness naturally and that the concept of nothingness cannot even exist in the natural world. So either the mysteries of the universe are beyond human understanding, which is completely possible, or a supernatural force or being created the universe.
    Even before we examine the actual logic, just by looking at the conclusion we can tell that this does not constitute a logical proof of God, because it does not definitively conclude that God exists.
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on mental illness
    The take-home point is that mental disorders aren't strange and alien. Depression isn't an experience unique to depressed people. If you're a human being, you know basically what depression feels like - you just may not appreciate the cumulative effects of feeling like that day in and day out. Hell, even stuff like schizophrenia and dissociative disorders, which we tend to see as really weird, are just over-the-top versions of little brain glitches we all experience. Ever had a moment of deja vu or jamais vu? Dissociation.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Logical Proof of God
    Quote from Magicman657 »
    I do not know the specifics on how the body and soul are linked together, but I think it's pretty clear if you believe in a soul, then you also accept that the body and soul do share some sort of link to each other.
    Actually, pace Descartes and his pineal gland, a fair number of dualists would disagree. Leibniz may be the most prominent and extreme. And it's also a fairly common argument for idealism that it's incoherent for bodies and minds to interact, therefore the very existence of bodies must be some sort of illusion or misapprehension, therefore everything is mind. (In fact, this may be a better summary of Leibniz's beliefs, though traditionally he's classed as a dualist.)

    But the real problem with what you're saying is that you're just starting with, "if you're a dualist..." That's a big "if". Can't you say anything about why we should or should not be dualists?
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on mental illness
    Quote from magickware99 »
    You wrote "basically exaggerated versions of experiences that everybody has some of the time". Define some of the time.
    "Some of the time" as in "I feel hungry some of the time." Experienced for a small fraction of the day, and triggered appropriately by body/environmental stimuli. It would be a disorder if you were ravenously hungry all day, even when you've just eaten. Similarly, everybody feels sad and tired, or angry, or out-of-focus, occasionally as they go about their lives. But when those experiences are constant and inappropriate, they're mental disorders.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Is it wrong to think first world people are worth more then third world people?
    Quote from Golden »
    It really depends on your, or society's, goals. The notion of "worth" is extremely subjective.
    Is there nothing that can be said against notions of "worth" that overlook or even encourage the mistreatment of certain groups of people?
    Posted in: Philosophy
  • posted a message on Logical Proof of God
    In this apple based mathematics, doesn't that imply a hard upper limit on numbers though?
    It's a good thing mathematics isn't based on apples, then.

    But if we're going to be facetious, you'll note that I never specified the size of the table.
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on Logical Proof of God
    Numbers' only value is relative value. That is to say, 2 is the same thing as 1+1, and means nothing without 1 to go before it and 3 to go after and so on.
    If we accept that 2 and every higher natural number is defined relative to 1, that still leaves the question of what 1 is. You have just ignored this. If 1 is absolute, then every number defined relative to it likewise snaps into the absolute by induction. And 1 is absolute. There can be no debate over whether you have one of a given well-defined thing or not. If we have consensus on what an apple is, and I put one apple on the table, nobody can reasonably say, "I believe that there are two apples." So then if I continue to add apples to the table one by one, we find that all the natural numbers are likewise absolute.

    Thus, numbers have no intrinsic value of their own.
    Numbers are value. When you ask what the value of something is, you are asking for a number. The problem with your logic is that you're treating value like a single, monolithic, absolute concept. But in fact there are many, many different forms of value, so a pure number is not meaningful - when you just say "three" that's not useful information. This is not because the number is valueless; it is because you have failed to specify what you have three of. Three apples? Three dollars? Three meters? Three aspects of the Godhead? The unit answers the question "what?" and the number answers the question "how much?" Quality and quantity. You need both to say something meaningful about the world.

    With no anchor point the whole structure is supported by things that do not exist, and thus the structure itself can be said not to exist. Our physical universe functions on mathematics, and obviously exists.
    Frankly, this is so confused I'm having a hard time deciding where to start with it.

    Okay. Existence. There's a whole field of metaphysics called ontology that is dedicated to puzzling over what's up with existence, and you're just breezing right through it with some huge assumptions. What is an "anchor point" and why does the number system need one? Does it even make sense to ask the question of whether an abstract system "exists", or is it a category error, like asking what color Tuesday is? When you say our physical universe functions on mathematics, what does that mean? Can mathematics, by its nature as an abstract system, stand in a relationship of ontological priority to the universe? Is it perhaps ontologically posterior instead? Or do they have a different relationship entirely? And why would it matter if they did?

    Thus it can be said there must be something which gives these numbers their real value, and this thing cannot itself be a number or governed by them (this means it cannot be a physical thing).
    The only way you've ruled out these possibilities is by assuming they can't be true. Again, you've simply ignored the question of the number 1, as well as the relationship between numbers and the physical things they quantify.

    Such a force would not be required by anything outside itself to create (give value to) the physical world. Thus, this force made a choice.
    This is just a complete non sequitur. Even assuming your premise that the "force" (and what do you mean by "force", anyway? surely not mass times acceleration) must not have had external impetus, how on earth does this imply mental choice?

    You have also just equivocated between "create" and "give value to". Who's to say that those two acts are the same, or even in any way related?

    Thus it can be said the universe was created by a thinking being which is complete unto itself and independent of any governance.
    This is not quite proof of the Abrahamic God, but it's getting very close, assuming all the logic can stand.
    No, it's still a long way away from the Abrahamic God. You've got to get all the way from "sapient creator being" to "being who cares about humanity and intervenes in human history, selected the Jews as his Chosen People, talked to the various prophets, talked to or incarnated himself as Jesus Christ, and maybe talked to Muhammad."
    Posted in: Religion
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