The God Delusion - Chapter 4

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The God Delusion - Chapter 4

Post #1

Post by otseng »

What arguments does Dawkins present that God does not exist?
Are they valid arguments?

McCulloch's questions:
Does evolution by natural selection demonstrate that the argument from design is wrong? He suggests that a hypothetical cosmic designer would require an even greater explanation than the phenomena that they intended to explain.

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Post #51

Post by Confused »

jjg wrote:Confused, you are confusing metaphysics with physics. To see the difference, I've explained it in the Chapter 3 posts.
Exactly how am I muddling the metaphysical with the physical? Do you consider theoretical physics metaphysical? Higgs particle? What?
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Post #52

Post by jjg »

Go to the discussion of chapter 3 and read my post # 35.

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Post #53

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jjg wrote:Go to the discussion of chapter 3 and read my post # 35.
Now I remember. I followed it along with your unprofessional and rude comments to those who questioned or commented on it and decided your credibility wasn't worth following. But thanks for the information.
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Post #54

Post by jjg »

Sure Confused, stay confused.

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Post #55

Post by Confused »

jjg wrote:Sure Confused, stay confused.
I will, but thanks for trying to help.
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Post #56

Post by otseng »

jjg wrote:Sure Confused, stay confused.
Moderator note: please do not make comments directed at another poster.

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Post #57

Post by otseng »

Confused wrote:Now I will admit, the improbable context need not have been inserted here, and by doing so, it diminished the impact of the statement.
And this is one of the points I'm making. His argument does nothing to support the improbability of God since no probability value can be assigned to his argument.
The issue is that by invoking God, we haven't really answered the question have we? We just generate more. This, by scientific standards, is considered horrible.
Only naturalistic science would consider it unacceptable.
On page 147 Dawkins sums it up by saying: "how do they (religious physicists) cope with the argument that any God capable of designing a universe, carefully and foresightfully tuned to lead to our evolution, must be a supremely complex and improbable entity who needs and even bigger explanation than the one He is suppose to provide".
Again, this presumes two assumptions. One is that God is caused. Two is that it is caused by some random non-intelligent cause. And both of these assumptions are only claimed by atheists. So, he is not arguing against any god that theists (particularly Abrahamic religions) are claiming. If he is not arguing against a theist God, then he has not provided any argument that the God of Christianity does not exist.
Susskind sums it up nicely in some of his books in which he addresses that the theory itself may be complex, but the forumula that makes it work is short and simple.
Yes, my point is that very few people truly understand the derivation of the theory. But, people can grasp the final product of the theory.

And I think God is kinda similar. We are able to have a conceptual grasp of God. But to understand how God was "derived" is beyond mortals.
Is theoretical physics not science? Is experimental physics not science? Have we any empirical data for the Higgs particle yet?
Theoretical physics would be science since it is based on math. But, theoretical physics would only be validated (or invalidated) by empirical data. Experimental physics is definitely based on empirical data. Higgs particle will only eventually be validated/invalidated through empirical data.

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Post #58

Post by FinalEnigma »

jjg wrote:Confused, you are confusing metaphysics with physics. To see the difference, I've explained it in the Chapter 3 posts.
jjg. please stop telling people to re-read your post. if someone is asking you to explain something, then your post probably does not contain the answer. Or they wouldnt be asking you. Your post didnt make sense to me the first time around, and it still doesnt entirely. Could you at least explain a few parts to make them more understandable?

music assumes mathematics and mathematics assumes metaphysics.
How does music assume mathematics? and mathematics metaphysics? and doesnt this line put music as the highest science? and what about the fact that physics assumes mathematics?
The mind can also deal with things not inasmuch as they are quantitative, but inasmuch as they are or have being. The qualitative aspect of knowledge.
Im going to assume from here on out that by 'being' you meant exist or have exixtence, because its difficult to make sense of anything else otherwise.
The basis for judging a heirarchy of science is the universality of the science.

All the science disciplines are concerned with being, for that is the common element in which all knowledge bathes. Every particular science adds something to being. Biology adds organism to being. Anthropology adds human origin to being and physics adds matter or energy to being.

The one supreme science whose object is not limited to being of a particular category, but being as being, is metaphysics.

Because the sciences are differentiated by the degree of abstractions in which a particular aspect of being is studied, the methods used in each science is different.

Sciences that are more restricted in their study of being cannot have their methods applied to more universal sciences.

Math can be applied to physics but not vice versa.

This is why physics cannot apply its methods to the most supreme science of metaphysics.
This whole thing sounds like a lecture. that isn't necessarily relevent. Draw some relevent conclusions please.

And doesnt your heirerarchy end up like this? Math<physics<metaphysics<math<physics<metaphysics....and on and on?
Or does assuming something for a given science to work mean it is higher than yourself in the heirerarchy? which wouldnt make sense concering your earlier parts of your post.

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Post #59

Post by jjg »

Final, this is all I have been trying to force you guys to do is to engage me in an actual debate instead of writeoff comments.

Music is mathematical by ature through its texture etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_and_mathematics

See this link on music theory, especially the part of music and mathematics.

Math on the other hand doesn't assume music and therefore is above music theory as science.

See the link dealing with mathematics and metaphysics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics

See the link below for an understanding of being.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being

After you've looked at the links and at least have some understanding of the topics, I'll engage any debate you wnat.

The last comment is the typical writeoff statements that I've seen so ar. If you don't understand something, point it out and I will clarify.

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Post #60

Post by Confused »

otseng wrote:
Confused wrote:Now I will admit, the improbable context need not have been inserted here, and by doing so, it diminished the impact of the statement.
And this is one of the points I'm making. His argument does nothing to support the improbability of God since no probability value can be assigned to his argument.
This is going to take much pasting here so bare with me.
Confused wrote:
otseng wrote:
Confused wrote:We raise more questions than we answer. This is unsatisfactory by scientific standards.

I'm not so sure that raising more questions is unsatisfactory by scientific standards. I would think that many scientific discoveries leads to generating many more questions.

The issue is that by invoking God, we haven't really answered the question have we? We just generate more. This, by scientific standards, is considered horrible. On page 147 Dawkins sums it up by saying: "how do they (religious physicists) cope with the argument that any God capable of designing a universe, carefully and foresightfully tuned to lead to our evolution, must be a supremely complex and improbable entity who needs and even bigger explanation than the one He is suppose to provide". Now I will admit, the improbable context need not have been inserted here, and by doing so, it diminished the impact of the statement. But the statement is still quite relevant.
Confused wrote:True, but the probability of it being God based on scientific standards diminishes the more complex we make Him. On page 148 Dawkins states "how can Swinburne maintain his hypothesis of God keeping a gazillion fingers on wayward electrons as a simply hypothesis". He does so by invoking the concept of God being only a "single substance". More on this in next reply down.]The more complex something is, the less probable it is correct by scientific standards.
Confused wrote:I think this is why Dawkins continually uses the term "highly statistically improbable" for Gods existence.

This is all the original discussion. I don't think it is necessary to apply a specific value to determine the probability or improbability. The evidence that he is providing is weighing heavier towards the improbability side simply by scientific standards. This is why I think Dawkins put it under a scientific microscope. Because by sheer probability, the odds that one singular simple substance can possibly do all that the theist God is being credited with doing, is statistically improbable. But you are right, there is not empirical value given to the statistical improbability, hence it isn't so empirical in that sense. But by the value of the weight of information he provides, it does still support his view. Though as I learned, much to my own humiliation, in Chpt one, Dawkins may be slanting more that what I had originally thought. Weighing only what was provided, he did support his case.
otseng wrote:
Confused wrote:]The issue is that by invoking God, we haven't really answered the question have we? We just generate more. This, by scientific standards, is considered horrible.
Only naturalistic science would consider it unacceptable.
By puting his evaluation in the scientific standards, it need only apply to the naturalistic sciences.
otseng wrote:
Confused wrote:On page 147 Dawkins sums it up by saying: "how do they (religious physicists) cope with the argument that any God capable of designing a universe, carefully and foresightfully tuned to lead to our evolution, must be a supremely complex and improbable entity who needs and even bigger explanation than the one He is suppose to provide".
Again, this presumes two assumptions. One is that God is caused. Two is that it is caused by some random non-intelligent cause. And both of these assumptions are only claimed by atheists. So, he is not arguing against any god that theists (particularly Abrahamic religions) are claiming. If he is not arguing against a theist God, then he has not provided any argument that the God of Christianity does not exist.
He is addressing the issues that specific thesitic scientists have given as plausible reasons for the existence of God. In regards to the either/or issue, this i think, is where he is splitting the anthropic principle (both cosmological and planetary application) reason and the God reason. I don't think he is attempting to apply that God is caused . He issues are with the causation of the universe or the cosmos. He addresses cosmological principles as well as biological and chemisty. He then looks at the probability of the God that scientistifc theists claim exists by their own definition of him. I don't know where the "God is caused" assumption comes from. I didn't find it in the chapter. I only found one reference to it, that is in terms of why God as a answer to the creation of the universe is an unsatisfactory answer by scientific standards. Simply because it creates more questions without truly explaining how it answers the first one
otseng wrote:
Confused wrote:]Susskind sums it up nicely in some of his books in which he addresses that the theory itself may be complex, but the forumula that makes it work is short and simple.
Yes, my point is that very few people truly understand the derivation of the theory. But, people can grasp the final product of the theory.

And I think God is kinda similar. We are able to have a conceptual grasp of God. But to understand how God was "derived" is beyond mortals.
But his isn't addressing how God is derived. Only why He is a scientifically unsatisfactory answer. This again is why I think he opted to apply scientific standards.
What we do for ourselves dies with us,
What we do for others and the world remains
and is immortal.

-Albert Pine
Never be bullied into silence.
Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
Accept no one persons definition of your life; define yourself.

-Harvey Fierstein

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