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How do you attempt to rationalise with the completely irrational?

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  • Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
    I'm just interested in whether Epicurus' dilemma is a valid dilemma or not.
    It very clearly is valid.

    Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
    It basically tells us theists that we have only two options to choose from, neither which are desirable from a theistic standpoint.
    What the Epicurean hypothesis actually does is to succinctly convey the paradoxical nature of these inconsistent formulations. That is, the inherent logical contradiction between the reality of suffering and evil in the world and the existence of a benign, omniscient and omnipotent deity, or as it has been described here a "good" God.

    Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
    The solution out of this dilemma is to propose a third alternative option, just like Seer and others in this thread have done. Whether or not this option is true or not is besides the point. The mere possibility shows that the. dilemma is false.
    It does not necessarily indicate that “the dilemma is false”. Epicurus’ propositions, as they are presented, cannot be adequately addressed by theists without drawing the inescapable conclusion as to the supposed nature of the deity. No theistic philosopher has ever adequately addressed them as they stand.

    Hence theists are required, as you have noted by your remark, to develop alternative hypotheses to circumvent his propositions. Some fairly ingenious solutions have been devised; but it is unclear whether any of them are effective.

    And the question still remains as to how evil and suffering exist if there is an inherent belief in a good god. If that concept of God is unlimited with omnipotence, omniscience and moral goodness, the existence of such vast amounts of evil and suffering quickly gives rise to potentially serious arguments against the existence of such a good God.

    Of course there may [or not] be a God; but he is not the God. That is to say, God as conceived within the Judaeo-Christian, and later Muslim, theistic traditions.
    "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

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    • Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
      It very clearly is valid.
      The Epicurean dilemma being valid would mean the two options it presents are the only acceptable alternatives. As has been demonstrated time and time again, that's clearly not the case.


      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
      What the Epicurean hypothesis actually does is to succinctly convey the paradoxical nature of these inconsistent formulations. That is, the inherent logical contradiction between the reality of suffering and evil in the world and the existence of a benign, omniscient and omnipotent deity, or as it has been described here a "good" God.
      I think you're trying to make Epicurus' dilemma out to be something far more complex than what it really is. At the end of the day, what it really boils down to is being presented with an artificially limited set of option deliberately constructed in such a way that the theist loses no matter which option he chooses. It's a disingenious argument that is only persuasive to those who value rhetoric over reason.

      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
      It does not necessarily indicate that “the dilemma is false”. Epicurus’ propositions, as they are presented, cannot be adequately addressed by theists without drawing the inescapable conclusion as to the supposed nature of the deity. No theistic philosopher has ever adequately addressed them as they stand.
      Why would anyone want to address the dilemma "as it stands" when it's clearly constructed in such a way that the theist loses no matter which option he picks?

      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
      Hence theists are required, as you have noted by your remark, to develop alternative hypotheses to circumvent his propositions. Some fairly ingenious solutions have been devised; but it is unclear whether any of them are effective.
      The only thing that is required for the alternatives to be "effective" is that they are even hypothetically possible.

      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
      And the question still remains as to how evil and suffering exist if there is an inherent belief in a good god. If that concept of God is unlimited with omnipotence, omniscience and moral goodness, the existence of such vast amounts of evil and suffering quickly gives rise to potentially serious arguments against the existence of such a good God.
      There may be potentially serious arguments against a good God in world where evil and suffering exists.

      The Epicurean Dilemma is not such an argument.

      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
      Of course there may [or not] be a God; but he is not the God. That is to say, God as conceived within the Judaeo-Christian, and later Muslim, theistic traditions.
      I've never seen a single good argument or reason to conclusively rule out the existence of God "God as conceived within the Judaeo-Christian, and later Muslim, theistic traditions.".
      ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
        Figure out what we are oriented towards in the traditional sense of Scholastic philosophy. This is the whole basis for virtue ethics: We can figure out what the natural ends of man are simply by studying ourselves.
        And what constitutes "natural ends" has to be grounded in an objective purpose, that man was created for a purpose. It doesn't work with materialism since there is no overriding purpose in nature. No teleology for man. Remember we went through this in your pre-Christian days.



        He isn't actually using circular logic nor begging the question, but I don't think he's providing good answers either.

        I answer that it is good to survive, because humans are oriented towards staying alive. Being alive is our natural state. It is really that simple. In fact I'd consider it so obvious that it is up to you seer to provide good reasons why should doubt it. That the conclusion is based on human observations and reasons, which might be wrong, is not enough of an argument. Calling it merely a subjective opinoin is also doesn't work as a response, I am talking here of objective features of humanity. They're easily studied, easily verified and there's nothing controversial about this. Furthermore for humans there is even greater reasons to stay alive than for animals (who also mostly try to avoid death). Our minds are oriented towards seeking truth and finding meaning. If a human dies, then this will private the possibility of that and prevent a human from acquiring its good.
        Leonhard the housefly is oriented towards staying alive, that doesn't mean its survival is a moral good. Having more intelligence does not change the subject nature of that question. Look at it this way, if an advanced alien race came to earth and began harvesting us for food, have they done a moral wrong? To us yes, to them no - subjective.
        Last edited by seer; 08-05-2020, 09:47 AM.
        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

        Comment


        • Originally posted by seer View Post
          Again Jim, I may subjectively want exist or survive but that doesn't make it a moral good.
          Survival, non suffering, is a "good" seer, not a moral good. Morality has to do with human principles of behavior that pertain to what is "good" or "evil" with respect to those human ends.

          And you keep avoiding the question: Why is the survival of humanity a moral good? Your only possible answer is because we say so or you say so, just what you accuse God of.
          Again, survival is a "good" not a moral good. It's a good because it is our desire, it's in our best interests to survive, to not suffer. Morality defines the behaviors, the right or wrong behaviors, that effect those desires. In other words it's not the losing of ones life or property etc. that is morally evil, it's the taking of life or property etc. that is what we consider to be evil.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by seer View Post
            And what constitutes "natural ends" has to be grounded in an objective purpose, that man was created for a purpose. It doesn't work with materialism since there is no overriding purpose in nature. No teleology for man. Remember we went through this in your pre-Christian days.
            You do realize that materialism is not the only position, right? You also realize I am talking to you as a a theist and not as an atheist? And finally it doesn’t matter what follows from the premise of atheism, it is possible still for an atheist to learn about morality through observation and sound reasoning, whether or not this is consistent with his worldview.

            Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean I ever thought that approach of yours was sound or good seer. It seems as narrow and presuppositionistic today as it did then. As well as just contradicting common sense.

            Leonhard the housefly is oriented towards staying alive, that doesn't mean its survival is a moral good.
            There is a difference between natural evil and moral evil. In order for an act to be moral evil, it would have to be an intentional act that privates a final end. Killing an animal in order simply to kill it would be something like that, clearly wrong even if it is a fly. Whether killing a fly that is buzzing around a room is permissible is a different discussion.

            Start with more obvious cases before we move to less obvious cases. From the reasoning I laid out I showed that killing a man, intending with the final cause of your decision to kill him would be a moral evil: A conflict of his final cause to live with the final cause of your intent to kill him. Such a conflict is evil, insofar as it is willful it is moral evil.


            Having more intelligence does not change the subject nature of that question. Look at it this way, if an advanced alien race came to earth and began harvesting us for food, have they done a moral wrong? To us yes, to them no - subjective.
            Yes they would have done an evil as per the argument I laid out. If we are killed by an irrational alien species what does that prove other than they are irrational and xenophobic?
            Last edited by Leonhard; 08-05-2020, 11:15 AM.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
              You do realize that materialism is not the only position, right? You also realize I am talking to you as a a theist and not as an atheist? And finally it doesn’t matter what follows from the premise of atheism, it is possible still for an atheist to learn about morality through observation and sound reasoning, whether or not this is consistent with his worldview.

              Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean I ever thought that approach of yours was sound or good seer. It seems as narrow and presuppositionistic today as it did then. As well as just contradicting common sense.
              Leonhard, and you realize that I'm speaking to JimL who is an atheist and is approaching these questions from that worldview. Your argument requires a teleology for man, he can not offer that - whether he can divine certain principles or not is not the point, his worldview is bankrupt.


              There is a difference between natural evil and moral evil. In order for an act to be moral evil, it would have to be an intentional act that privates a final end. Killing an animal in order simply to kill it would be something like that, clearly wrong even if it is a fly. Whether killing a fly that is buzzing around a room is permissible is a different discussion.

              Start with more obvious cases before we move to less obvious cases. From the reasoning I laid out I showed that killing a man, intending with the final cause of your decision to kill him would be a moral evil: A conflict of his final cause to live with the final cause of your intent to kill him. Such a conflict is evil, insofar as it is willful it is moral evil.

              Yes they would have done an evil as per the argument I laid out. If we are killed by an irrational alien species what does that prove other than they are irrational and xenophobic?
              But all this requires a teleology, something not open to Jim, the only final end in an atheistic universe is death. Because as far as I know the natural end for man is to Glorify God. So killing me, as a Christian, does not private my final end.
              Last edited by seer; 08-05-2020, 12:34 PM.
              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

              Comment


              • Originally posted by JimL View Post
                Survival, non suffering, is a "good" seer, not a moral good. Morality has to do with human principles of behavior that pertain to what is "good" or "evil" with respect to those human ends.


                Again, survival is a "good" not a moral good. It's a good because it is our desire, it's in our best interests to survive, to not suffer. Morality defines the behaviors, the right or wrong behaviors, that effect those desires. In other words it's not the losing of ones life or property etc. that is morally evil, it's the taking of life or property etc. that is what we consider to be evil.
                Jim "It's a good because it is our desire" - right and completely circular. Why is it a good? Because it is our desire. But why is our desire a good? Because it is ours?
                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                Comment


                • Originally posted by seer View Post
                  Leonhard, and you realize that I'm speaking to JimL who is an atheist and is approaching these questions from that worldview. Your argument requires a teleology for man, he can not offer that - whether he can divine certain principles or not is not the point, his worldview is bankrupt.
                  As a conclusion leading what his worldview? Yes. However, I do believe he has eyes in his forehead and a brain to think with. Anyway I was only examining a point. Don't get distracted by me if you just wanna slug it out with him.

                  But all this requires a teleology, something not open to Jim, the only final end in an atheistic universe is death. Because as far as I know the natural end for man is to Glorify God. So killing me, as a Christian, does not private my final end.
                  Another minor scholastic quibble from me before I leave: Your natural end isn't God, but you received your natural end from God. However your supernatural end, which goes far beyond your human life is God and loving him.

                  I'm out.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by seer View Post
                    But why am I even arguing with someone who doesn't believe that the law of contradiction holds universally? Where two opposite claims can be true?
                    Why would I play chess with someone who doesn't believe that the rules of chess hold universally?

                    Because all we need in order to have a nice game of chess is to agree on the rules that will apply for the duration of that game.

                    Similarly, I can argue with someone who doesn't believe that the law of contradiction holds universally as long as they agree to respect the law of contradiction for the duration of that argument. Of course, this also applies to any other laws of logic. They work fine even if they are merely conventional.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Stoic View Post
                      Why would I play chess with someone who doesn't believe that the rules of chess hold universally?

                      Because all we need in order to have a nice game of chess is to agree on the rules that will apply for the duration of that game.

                      Similarly, I can argue with someone who doesn't believe that the law of contradiction holds universally as long as they agree to respect the law of contradiction for the duration of that argument. Of course, this also applies to any other laws of logic. They work fine even if they are merely conventional.
                      Well no, since no conclusion or argument could actually be true or right. It is irrational. If I make the argument that 2+2=4 that can not be a truth claim - is it merely conventional? And in my argument with Whatever he is not accepting the laws of logic even in the conventional sense.
                      Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by seer View Post
                        Well no, since no conclusion or argument could actually be true or right. It is irrational.
                        The laws of logic don't guarantee that the conclusion is true; just that it follows from the premises. If your discussion partner provisionally accepts your premises, and the laws of logic, then he will agree with your conclusion, for now.

                        Maybe tomorrow he will disagree with your conclusion, either because he's changed his mind about your premises, or about the laws of logic. But that's just how it goes.

                        If I make the argument that 2+2=4 that can not be a truth claim - is it merely conventional?
                        If follows from the axioms of arithmetic, and the meanings of the symbols. So as long as one accepts those axioms, and those meanings, it is "true".

                        Alternatively, we note that whenever we combine two items with two more items, we end of with four items. So we can argue inductively that this is always the case. Inductive arguments don't generate rational certainty, but Bayesian probability lets us get close enough to certainty for government work (as long as we accept certain axioms).

                        And in my argument with Whatever he is not accepting the laws of logic even in the conventional sense.
                        I haven't been following that argument, so I don't know where he has said that.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Stoic View Post
                          I haven't been following that argument, so I don't know where he has said that.
                          We were arguing whether the laws of logic were absolute or not. So which conventional rules do we follow then?
                          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by seer View Post
                            Jim "It's a good because it is our desire" - right and completely circular.
                            You're playing semantical word games, seer. Morality isn't a thing in itself that is good or evil, morality is simply the term we use to define the principles or laws that determine whether an act is "good or "evil" with respect to the best interests of human beings, human society. Survival, non-suffering etc. is "good" not because it's morally good, but because to survive, to not suffer etc is in our best interests.


                            Why is it a good? Because it is our desire. But why is our desire a good? Because it is ours?
                            You are confusing why a thing is good or evil, which has to do with the best interests of human society with the moral priciples or laws that define whether an act violates those interests..

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by JimL View Post
                              You're playing semantical word games, seer. Morality isn't a thing in itself that is good or evil, morality is simply the term we use to define the principles or laws that determine whether an act is "good or "evil" with respect to the best interests of human beings, human society. Survival, non-suffering etc. is "good" not because it's morally good, but because to survive, to not suffer etc is in our best interests.
                              OK Jim, then why is our survival a good?
                              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by seer View Post
                                OK Jim, then why is our survival a good?
                                Already went through that with you, it's in your best interest to survive, it's in your best interests not to suffer unecessarily. Or do you disagree with that?

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