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The Apathetic God Paradox-Refuted

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  • The Apathetic God Paradox-Refuted

    http://www.strongatheism.net/library...c_god_paradox/

    This argument seems completely sound, at first. However, if put under scrutiny, one will realize that the entire argument falls flat, due to being based on an unproven premise:

    "We do things because we think we should do them – because they are moral. So to expand the question, why do we need morality? We have values because we need to pursue specific goals in order to further our life. We need morality because we are faced with choices and we have to manage our resources – be they money, time, social relationships, whatever."

    The author asserts that things such as morality, the desire to be creative, the desire for love, and the such, are completely the results of external stimuli, such as time/resource managment, social conditioning, and limits or lack of limits. What he fails to do is actually prove this premise, which he essentially whitewashes as true be default.

    Indeed, under the theistic worldview, things such as moral values, love, creativity, ect. are not things that are affected by any sort of external stimuli, such as the limits, or lack of limits, or potentiality, or lack of potentiality, and such, but are innate, inward parts of being itself.

    So, unless he can prove his materialistic viewpoint of morality and desires that validates the starting premise, his argument seems to be, for all intents and purposes, refuted.
    Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

    -Thomas Aquinas

    I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

    -Hernando Cortez

    What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

    -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

  • #2
    Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
    http://www.strongatheism.net/library...c_god_paradox/

    This argument seems completely sound, at first. However, if put under scrutiny, one will realize that the entire argument falls flat, due to being based on an unproven premise:

    "We do things because we think we should do them – because they are moral. So to expand the question, why do we need morality? We have values because we need to pursue specific goals in order to further our life. We need morality because we are faced with choices and we have to manage our resources – be they money, time, social relationships, whatever."

    The author asserts that things such as morality, the desire to be creative, the desire for love, and the such, are completely the results of external stimuli, such as time/resource managment, social conditioning, and limits or lack of limits. What he fails to do is actually prove this premise, which he essentially whitewashes as true be default.

    Indeed, under the theistic worldview, things such as moral values, love, creativity, ect. are not things that are affected by any sort of external stimuli, such as the limits, or lack of limits, or potentiality, or lack of potentiality, and such, but are innate, inward parts of being itself.

    So, unless he can prove his materialistic viewpoint of morality and desires that validates the starting premise, his argument seems to be, for all intents and purposes, refuted.
    The counter to an unproven premise is not another unproven premise.
    I'm not here anymore.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Carrikature View Post
      The counter to an unproven premise is not another unproven premise.
      Hmm . . . That may be so, but it seems to me that the advocate is now challenged to show that the second premise is not true.
      The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

      [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
        Hmm . . . That may be so, but it seems to me that the advocate is now challenged to show that the second premise is not true.
        Nonsense. The counter is not established. The advocate has nothing else to do but point this out. Shifting the burden of proof is a pointless game in the best of cases, but it's especially pointless when a real counter hasn't even been proposed.
        I'm not here anymore.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Carrikature View Post
          The counter to an unproven premise is not another unproven premise.
          My main point still stands. His premise is unproven, therefore, his argument doesn't work. It doesn't matter if my premise is also unproven.
          Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

          -Thomas Aquinas

          I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

          -Hernando Cortez

          What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

          -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Carrikature View Post
            Nonsense. The counter is not established. The advocate has nothing else to do but point this out. Shifting the burden of proof is a pointless game in the best of cases, but it's especially pointless when a real counter hasn't even been proposed.
            I don't have to establish the counter, nor did I say I would, as the point I'm supposedly countering is not substantiated in the first place.
            Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

            -Thomas Aquinas

            I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

            -Hernando Cortez

            What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

            -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
              My main point still stands. His premise is unproven, therefore, his argument doesn't work. It doesn't matter if my premise is also unproven.
              Presumably, your intent with this thread is to refute the argument. That you claim his argument unproven is mere assertion at this point since the backing you provided fails. If you've no interest in actually doing the work, why bother starting a thread on it?


              Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
              I don't have to establish the counter, nor did I say I would, as the point I'm supposedly countering is not substantiated in the first place.
              Try reading it again. I didn't say that you have to establish the counter. Truthseeker acts as if you did, and also acts as if the counter's existence requires response. Both are false. Whether or not the initial claim is substantiated is irrelevant.
              I'm not here anymore.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                My main point still stands. His premise is unproven, therefore, his argument doesn't work. It doesn't matter if my premise is also unproven.
                I do not believe he actually tries nor is able to present any actual proof. He presents his view of the problems he sees with the existence of God(s). In actuality this is very relevant to the ancient worldviews of God in ancient scripture.

                As far I have seen in the literature of arguments for the existence or non-existence of God(s), they are inconclusive and without convincing arguments, nonetheless without anything close to proofs.
                Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                go with the flow the river knows . . .

                Frank

                I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                Comment


                • #9
                  That you claim his argument unproven is mere assertion at this point since the backing you provided fails. If you've no interest in actually doing the work, why bother starting a thread on it?
                  What do you mean "the backing you provided fails"? What backing? I never provided any backing to the theistic viewpoint, I simply pointed out that people who don't already share his worldview have no reason to accept the starting premise of his argument, thus, it's not going to convince anyone who doesn't already share his worldview. 'He's' the one that needs to provide the backing, if he doesn't want his entire argument to amount to question begging. The fact that it has no objective backing in the first place means that it IS an unproven assertion.
                  Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

                  -Thomas Aquinas

                  I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

                  -Hernando Cortez

                  What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

                  -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                    What do you mean "the backing you provided fails"? What backing? I never provided any backing to the theistic viewpoint, I simply pointed out that people who don't already share his worldview have no reason to accept the starting premise of his argument, thus, it's not going to convince anyone who doesn't already share his worldview. 'He's' the one that needs to provide the backing, if he doesn't want his entire argument to amount to question begging. The fact that it has no objective backing in the first place means that it IS an unproven assertion.
                    There are several issues with what you're saying. First, he does provide backing for his claim. This is not the same thing as it being proven. Second, an unsubstantiated claim is not the same as question begging. Getting the terminology right is a necessary start to coherent discussion. Third, you did not initially state anything in reference to the argument's efficacy. Rather, you claimed that the argument was refuted. Those are different things. If you simply wish to say that the argument is unconvincing, the only real response is, "so what?" What you attempted was a refutation, but your support for the refutation is invalid. The existence of an unproven premise does not demonstrate that another unproven premise is false. That is the backing to which I've been referring.

                    You've already substantially changed your claim and this is only post #10. That's not a good sign...
                    I'm not here anymore.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First, he does provide backing for his claim.
                      No he doesn't. He just asserts his materialistic understanding of morality and innate desires, with no objective reason for people who don't share his own worldview to accept it.

                      his is not the same thing as it being proven.
                      "Backing" and "evidence" are the same thing.

                      Second, an unsubstantiated claim is not the same as question begging. Getting the terminology right is a necessary start to coherent discussion.
                      When you make an unsubstantiated premise, that people of your worldview accept, towards people with a different worldview than yours, who have no objective reason to accept said premise, then it is question begging.

                      Those are different things. If you simply wish to say that the argument is unconvincing, the only real response is, "so what?" What you attempted was a refutation, but your support for the refutation is invalid.
                      Well, now you're just trying to argue semantics. If an argument isn't logically sound, that is, if it uses a logical fallacy (such as question begging), then, yes, I would consider it "refuted". I guess you could say that "it isn't convincing" as well, but I don't see the difference.

                      That is the backing to which I've been referring.
                      I never 'said' that the other premise was proven false, I simply said that there's no objective reason to accept it, and then argument fails as a result of it.
                      Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

                      -Thomas Aquinas

                      I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

                      -Hernando Cortez

                      What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

                      -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                        No he doesn't. He just asserts his materialistic understanding of morality and innate desires, with no objective reason for people who don't share his own worldview to accept it.
                        This is false. Reread the article. He does not assert morality and desire as materialistic. Rather, he claims that desire comes from the existence of a limit. The pursuit of the desire is a goal which generates action. The deliberation of which action to take in light of multiple goals which are not all achievable gives rise to morality. This is basically end-relational ethics, and it's presented using premises that are already accepted (unless you wish to dispute that we have limits). Further, the real thrust of the article is to show that a theistic representation of God is one in which God lacks all limits and therefore lacks a reason to act. God is already 'fulfilled' or, as the authors puts it, full of 'metaphysical power'. You haven't refuted his argument if for no other reason than you've yet to substantially interact with it.


                        Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                        "Backing" and "evidence" are the same thing.
                        Please quote the entirety of my sentences as a whole. You would better see why this statement is irrelevant. That you can present evidence for a position does not mean you've successfully proven it. Perhaps more importantly, no one has even used the term evidence in this thread.


                        Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                        When you make an unsubstantiated premise, that people of your worldview accept, towards people with a different worldview than yours, who have no objective reason to accept said premise, then it is question begging.
                        This is false. An unsubstantiated claim is an assertion. Begging the question is stating the conclusion as a premise and using that premise to prove the conclusion. It's a form of circular reasoning.


                        Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                        Well, now you're just trying to argue semantics. If an argument isn't logically sound, that is, if it uses a logical fallacy (such as question begging), then, yes, I would consider it "refuted". I guess you could say that "it isn't convincing" as well, but I don't see the difference.
                        Now you're misusing still more terminology by confusing validity with soundness. An argument can be valid (the conclusion follows from the premises) without it being sound (the premises are true). There is a difference between 1) showing an argument to be invalid, 2) showing an argument to be unsound, and 3) rejecting the soundness of an argument because you don't accept the premises. You can refute an argument by achieving #1 or #2, but that isn't what you're doing. You're doing #3. That's why I say you haven't refuted the argument but rejected it.

                        By the way, 'semantics' is a word which refers specifically to meaning. If we're arguing the meaning of a word or given words, that can be extremely important. If we don't agree on meaning, we can't successfully communicate. 'Just arguing semantics' is a common pejorative that is too often misused, as it is here. I'm pragmatic enough to not argue over a definition unless I think the difference is significant. If you don't understand why I think it significant, just ask.


                        Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                        I never 'said' that the other premise was proven false, I simply said that there's no objective reason to accept it, and then argument fails as a result of it.
                        Again, what you have done is #3 while claiming to do #1 or #2. The argument has NOT been refuted, merely rejected. Those are different things, as I've shown.
                        I'm not here anymore.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This is false. Reread the article. He does not assert morality and desire as materialistic. Rather, he claims that desire comes from the existence of a limit. The pursuit of the desire is a goal which generates action. The deliberation of which action to take in light of multiple goals which are not all achievable gives rise to morality. This is basically end-relational ethics, and it's presented using premises that are already accepted (unless you wish to dispute that we have limits). Further, the real thrust of the article is to show that a theistic representation of God is one in which God lacks all limits and therefore lacks a reason to act. God is already 'fulfilled' or, as the authors puts it, full of 'metaphysical power'. You haven't refuted his argument if for no other reason than you've yet to substantially interact with it.
                          1) Well, the end-relational theory is essentially materialistic in nature, as is any attempt to explain morality that doesn't involve transcendent, objective moral values. Not to mention that the end-relational theory is just one of many, but in the article, he asserts it as if it is the proven explanation.

                          2) It does not use premises that are already accepted. I don't accept that morality is created by careful consideration of which option to take in light of multiple goals, heck, I don't even grant that morality was "created" at all, at least, not by mankind. I also do not grant that certain desires come from limit, but are innate to the being.

                          You haven't refuted his argument if for no other reason than you've yet to substantially interact with it.
                          I don't have to if he can't substantiate his claim that morality and all desires are purely the product of limits.

                          This is false. An unsubstantiated claim is an assertion. Begging the question is stating the conclusion as a premise and using that premise to prove the conclusion. It's a form of circular reasoning.
                          Alright, you're right, there.

                          Now you're misusing still more terminology by confusing validity with soundness. An argument can be valid (the conclusion follows from the premises) without it being sound (the premises are true). There is a difference between 1) showing an argument to be invalid, 2) showing an argument to be unsound, and 3) rejecting the soundness of an argument because you don't accept the premises. You can refute an argument by achieving #1 or #2, but that isn't what you're doing. You're doing #3. That's why I say you haven't refuted the argument but rejected it.
                          If the premises are not objective, then I would, indeed, consider the argument to be unsound.
                          Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

                          -Thomas Aquinas

                          I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

                          -Hernando Cortez

                          What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

                          -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Induction is the process whereby gathering evidence eventually leads to the formation of a hypothesis (or premise). The validity of induction has long been a contentious topic in philosophy. IMO induction is not logical. The relevance to the arguments in this topic is that IMO again is simply that there can never be enough evidence to "back" any assertion irrefutably. While I do suspect there are facts that are well nigh irrefutable (I exist; I eat; I sleep; etc.), they are all but irrelevant compared to the vast sea of ignorance we all are swimming in.
                            The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                            [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                              1) Well, the end-relational theory is essentially materialistic in nature, as is any attempt to explain morality that doesn't involve transcendent, objective moral values. Not to mention that the end-relational theory is just one of many, but in the article, he asserts it as if it is the proven explanation.
                              This is false. Nothing in end-relational theory requires materialism, nor is materialism required in the manner you suggest. Materialism is an ontological belief, not a moral/ethical one. The way you discuss materialism, it's as if you think that's the only option available to and/or held by non-theists. It's not.

                              It's also not the case that he asserts end-relational theory without any substantiation. He has provided a line of reasoning in support of the claim. That reasoning is logically valid. Using that same reasoning, he establishes an apathetic God. If you wish to refute the article, you need to show how the argument is either unsound or invalid. Merely saying that it is unsound is not good enough.


                              Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                              2) It does not use premises that are already accepted. I don't accept that morality is created by careful consideration of which option to take in light of multiple goals, heck, I don't even grant that morality was "created" at all, at least, not by mankind. I also do not grant that certain desires come from limit, but are innate to the being.
                              No one has said anything about morality being created. You need to be really careful to respond to what's being said without inserting your own interpretations into it. You are free to disagree that desires come from limits, but if you wish to show him wrong, you need to do more than just say so. Again, all you're doing is rejecting the argument's soundness because you don't share the premises. That is not the same thing as having refuted it.


                              Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                              I don't have to if he can't substantiate his claim that morality and all desires are purely the product of limits.
                              You're right, you don't have to refute his argument. Nonetheless, that is what you've claimed to do in the OP. If you wish to simply reject the argument, there's no point continuing the discussion. Just don't suffer under the illusion that your rejection means anything to anyone else.


                              Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                              Alright, you're right, there.



                              Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                              If the premises are not objective, then I would, indeed, consider the argument to be unsound.
                              Consider it that way all you like, but don't expect anyone else to take it seriously until you bother to substantiate it.
                              I'm not here anymore.

                              Comment

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