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Cogito ergo sum

Here in the Philosophy forum we will talk about all the "why" questions. We'll have conversations about the way in which philosophy and theology and religion interact with each other. Metaphysics, ontology, origins, truth? They're all fair game so jump right in and have some fun! But remember...play nice!

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Arguments that You Find Unpersuasive and/or Faulty

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  • Arguments that You Find Unpersuasive and/or Faulty

    Thread title says it all. List arguments (on any subject, theology, philosophy, science/creationism etc.) that you find unpersuasive and/or faulty and that you think should not be used, along with your reasoning on why you find said argument deficient. It should go without saying that there's nothing stopping you from posting examples of arguments from both sides of the issue. Also, please give examples only of actual arguments (i.e where a reason is given, however faulty, in support of the claim) and not things like pure assertion, as we all know (or atleast should know) that such things should convince no one.

    I'd ask everyone to limit the discussion/debate of the arguments and their validity presented here to a minimum. I have nothing against having a little debate here about whether or not the arguments are faulty or not, but I would prefer it if the main focus could stay on the "presenting" side, and not the "debating" side.

    Lastly, this is a thread about the validity/invalidity of the arguments, not about what side of any specific issue is the right one, so I'd prefer if debates about such things were kept out of this thread. Thank you.

    I'll start off with two arguments that I encounter relatively frequently when it comes to the issue of whether or not Genesis 1 describes a literal 6-day 24h creation.

    1. "God has a different concept of time, so to God a day might not signify the same thing to Him as it does to us."

    Even if we accept the basis for the argument (which I do not. God having a different concept of time in no way means that He understands a day in a different fashion than we do.) it would still be faulty, for the sole reason that the target audience of Genesis (and the Bible as a whole) is not God, but us humans. Using a word in a sense that the intended audience never understood or likely could not even understand would do nothing but introduce needless confusion and would serve no purpose, regardless if you believe the Bible describes a literal 6-day creation, or hold to one of the myriads of other viewpoints on this issue.

    2. "There was no sun or moon until the 4th day, and so the days could not have been literal 24h days."



    This argument is so ridiculous I'm not really sure where to begin. If one holds the view that God in some way directly inspired the writing of the Bible this argument fails terribly, because it would imply that God is incapable of keeping check on when a ~24h period has elapsed, without the help of the sun, which is ludicrous to the extreme. And even if the argument is trying to argue that the days could not have been 24h days because "days" (with periods of light and darkness) as we understand them require the existence of the sun and the rotation of the earth around it's own axis it would still be faulty. One reason why (among others) would be that even if actual days as such couldn't/didn't exist until the fourth day, the concept still existed (in God's mind, if nowhere else) and as such could be applied retro-actively to 24-hour periods preceding the creation of the luminaries.

    Right, that's my contribution to the thread for now. Please feel free to present examples of your own.
    ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

  • #2
    In arguing against the existence of God - Why is there no scientific evidence? A pretty stupid objection if one is referring to the Christian God or any actual creator who is not a part of the creation.
    Last edited by Jedidiah; 02-06-2014, 08:56 PM.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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    • #3
      I believe in a Source some call god(s), but I realize that the traditional logical arguments for the existence of God are weak, and the arguments for the existence of any one of the diverse assortment of Gods of different religions are weaker still and very unlikely to say the least.
      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.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
        I believe in a Source some call god(s), but I realize that the traditional logical arguments for the existence of God are weak, and the arguments for the existence of any one of the diverse assortment of Gods of different religions are weaker still and very unlikely to say the least.
        This is all well and good, but this thread is for presenting specific arguments (on various issues) that you find to be faulty, along with your reasoning why, not a place for you to present your general viewpoint on said issues.
        ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

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        • #5
          thinking
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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          • #6
            ECREE in any variation. Let's pretend that evidentiary sufficiency is somehow miraculously controlled by probability - and move the dang goal post so far out of the stadium that there's no possible way to actually see it, let alone meet it. When we get called on the obvious shortcomings, we'll pretend we only meant for individuals to use ECREE - as if the intellectual equivalent of shoving your fingers in your ears and singing 'la la la' at the top of your lungs is somehow more rational if you do it in private.

            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


            "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

            My Personal Blog

            My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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            • #7
              "It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" Find a real argument.

              Since we're talking about the origins debate... as for the TE side, appealing to Galileo is cringeworthy because his experience is more complicated than people generally understand. On the creationist side, I hate the "if you can't trust the literal biblical account on X, how can you trust it on anything including the resurrection", because it's a slippery slope argument that doesn't take into account differences in genres. I also hate the argument that evolution leads to racism, because it does not objectively address the merits of the evidence for/against evolution at all; it's a red herring.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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              • #8
                Originally posted by http://theweek.com/article/index/254941/memo-to-atheists-godrsquos-not-dead-yet
                On the contrary, according to the classical metaphysical traditions of both the East and West, God is the unconditioned cause of reality — of absolutely everything that is — from the beginning to the end of time. Understood in this way, one can’t even say that God "exists" in the sense that my car or Mount Everest or electrons exist. God is what grounds the existence of every contingent thing, making it possible, sustaining it through time, unifying it, giving it actuality. God is the condition of the possibility of anything existing at all.
                This. It's not that the argument is faulty in itself, but that it removes the ability for there to be any discrimination in terms of religion and belief and good/bad. All things are grounded in God. Hence, anything that attempts to say "this not that" has already stepped its limits, implying that some things grounded in God are ultimately still bad.

                On its own, it's not a bad belief. I just think it invalidates any claim to religious exclusivity.
                I'm not here anymore.

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                • #9
                  The faulty argument that I like, from the skeptic who wants to undermine the existence of the Christian God: "If God can do anything, then why can't He create a rock bigger than He can move?"

                  Faulty because the assertion that such an unqualified "God can do anything" is not found in the Bible, but rather the Bible teaches that God cannot lie, God cannot break a promise, God cannot sin, God cannot be foolish, God cannot change. All the verses which indicate that God can do all things come with a qualifying context, namely that God is able to keep His promises regardless of how impossible such promises may seem to those to whom He makes them.

                  What I like about this faulty argument, though, is that in making it, the skeptic just can't help but talk about Jesus. Because it is Jesus who is the rock whom God moved...from His position in glory to become a servant, led like a lamb to the slaughter, lifted up on the cross – for our transgressions, raised from the dead, and ascended to His place in glory...yet Jesus is and always was our steadfast foundation, the corner stone.

                  So what promise does the skeptic find impossible for God...that if he believes on Jesus he will have eternal life? God has proven that He keeps His promises, so we can trust Him to keep this one, and He is able. So how do you "believe on Jesus"? Like this: If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Carrikature View Post
                    This. It's not that the argument is faulty in itself, but that it removes the ability for there to be any discrimination in terms of religion and belief and good/bad. All things are grounded in God. Hence, anything that attempts to say "this not that" has already stepped its limits, implying that some things grounded in God are ultimately still bad.

                    On its own, it's not a bad belief. I just think it invalidates any claim to religious exclusivity.
                    Carrikature, I am not sure I really understand your objection here. I know this response is a bit late in coming, but it bugs me not to understand the point. What is wrong with an argument that cannot claim "religious exclusivity?" And what exactly is "religious exclusivity?" In other words what is it about this argument that is "Unpersuasive and/or Faulty?"
                    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                      Carrikature, I am not sure I really understand your objection here. I know this response is a bit late in coming, but it bugs me not to understand the point. What is wrong with an argument that cannot claim "religious exclusivity?" And what exactly is "religious exclusivity?" In other words what is it about this argument that is "Unpersuasive and/or Faulty?"
                      I didn't think universalism / pantheism either one claimed any type of exclusivity.

                      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                      My Personal Blog

                      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "On the contrary, according to the classical metaphysical traditions of both the East and West, God is the unconditioned cause of reality — of absolutely everything that is — from the beginning to the end of time. Understood in this way, one can’t even say that God "exists" in the sense that my car or Mount Everest or electrons exist. God is what grounds the existence of every contingent thing, making it possible, sustaining it through time, unifying it, giving it actuality. God is the condition of the possibility of anything existing at all."

                        Originally posted by Carrikature View Post
                        This. It's not that the argument is faulty in itself, but that it removes the ability for there to be any discrimination in terms of religion and belief and good/bad. All things are grounded in God. Hence, anything that attempts to say "this not that" has already stepped its limits, implying that some things grounded in God are ultimately still bad.

                        On its own, it's not a bad belief. I just think it invalidates any claim to religious exclusivity.
                        It's not a faulty argument. It's not even an argument. It's just good old fashioned apophatic theology, essentially a statement of faith seeking understanding and not being satisfied with any god that can be understood or defined by the human intellect.

                        Now, I readily concede that some will not find meaningful any idea or concept that cannot be defined. But, on the other hand, many do find God meaningful and more than merely an idea or concept. Is it purely subjective? Perhaps, but I would say it is inter-subjective, because it is meaningful within communities, and believed to be Personal with a capital 'P', which traditionally means Interpersonal. Something more than objective and, hopefully, more than merely subjective.

                        I do not think it removes the ability for there to be any discrimination in terms of religion and belief. It discriminates against limited and thereby unworthy religious belief and practice.

                        The fact that it is not exclusivist is a good thing, in my opinion, representing what should be an openness to otherness.

                        Yes, as with all non-dualist Neo-Platonist metaphysics, from which it is derived, it suffers from an insufficient explanation or 'appreciation' of the problem of evil. But I think, epistemologically, the apophatic impulse should ultimately reject its own origins within Neo-Platonism or any metaphysical 'system'.
                        Last edited by robrecht; 05-03-2014, 05:13 PM.
                        βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                        ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                        אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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