The "Cellar Argument" For God

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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#41  Postby katja z » Mar 08, 2010 9:44 pm

Sphynxcat wrote:I think the Cellar 'Argument' can and should be modified: I'll call it the Top-Floor argument. It goes something like this:

Imagine a building. Upon the rooftop of this building are a number of people looking at the stars. These stars are very beautiful; and the sky is so clear that the milky way can bee seen quite easily, as can a faint indication of Orion's nebulae. But it's cold up there, and breezy. Peer too far over the edge of the building, and you risk a fall, too. And it's a little sad up there, too. Stars so far away that we cannot yet conceive of visting them. Seems a bit a of a shame really. But what is there is enough. And it's inspiring too; makes the people there want to learn more about it all, on the offchance that they might find a way to reach these stars.

But on the floor directly beneath them are another group of people. And an odd lot they are, it has to be said. You see, in each of the rooms they inhabit, they have painted a number of murals on their respective ceilings. These murals are often bright and colourful; some are similar to one another - indeed, some have inspired others. Strangely, there are some disturbing aspects to these murals, but the people there don't seem to mind. Most peculiarly, these people think that their murals represent the real sky. Of course, they have been told about the genuinely real sky above, but many don't like it up there, because they find it a little cold, a little scary and a little sad, whereas their rooms are warm and safe. Even more peculiarly, many amongst them seem to think that the genuine sky above is the pretend one, with their own mural in their own rooms being the correct one - this often leads to conflict with people in some of the other rooms, who also think that their mural is the right one. They're a funny lot, these people on the upper floor. But they have their safety and comfort, at least when they're not fighting one another over whose mural is the right one, nor severely punishing one of their own for scratching the paintwork a little. But there you go.


:clap: :clap:

This and dyet-b's revolutionary concept of ljhgiafvyfjtbgn are the real gems of this thread. Or stars, or whatever :)
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#42  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 09, 2010 12:51 am

ray wrote:
UnderConstruction wrote:

So tell me ray,

which roof should I be climbing to? The Christian one? The Islamic one? Buddhist, perhaps?

I also notice that there are quite a few roofs that claim to give the best view of the same stars.

They can't all be right, surely?



Exactly.

Which is why you need to get out of dearly beloved cellor, and go and apply your chosen scientific method.



Chosen scientific method? There's a choice? Please do elucidate, I have been labouring all this time under the illusion that there is 1 scientific method, and lots of pseudoscience that completely fails to establish robust self-checking mechanisms.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#43  Postby Onyx8 » Mar 09, 2010 1:00 am

The 'celler [sic] argument for God' is essentially: "I can see God and if you were me you could too". Is that about it?
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#44  Postby dyet-b » Mar 09, 2010 1:07 am

ray wrote:
dyet-b wrote:

Are you saying that your god is hidden from anybody who doesn't "really love to" see him?



Isn't all evidence "hidden" from those who do not want evidence?

No, it isn't. As much as you would not like to have evidence for the hole in your tooth, the persistent toothache is there. Not wanting to feel the toothache doesn't make it go away.


Why does the visibility of your asserted god depend on "really loving to see Him"?


Because evidence is seen only by those who desire evidence.

No. See above.

Can one find evidence for your god's existence through honest and critical inquiry (without any emotions clouding up judgement)?


That's what is called taking the elavator to the roof.

So according to you, on one hand emotions ("really loving to see Him") are required to see the evidence, and on the other hand critical inquiry without emotions is the way to gather the evidence? So are emotions required, or not?

You don't describe what it is that I should be looking for, and you blame me for not seeing it. That is completely unfair.


You yourself have described that thing already.

I was mentioning stars on one hand, and unevidenced wishful thinking on the other hand. Which one of these is your deity?

You refer to the stars, but I know what you refer to because I know myself what stars are. You are describing something that is known to me, I just simply cannot see it in this moment, since I'm in the basement (according to your analogy), presumably without windows. But I still know what stars are, I have seen them before.


You know the stars, thats why when you hear of the biggest Star, you want to see that one too.

So your purported deity is a natural celestial body? Are you an idolator?

Seeing the stars on a clear night is not a big deal, and does not depend on me "really loving to see the stars", as you claimed before. I would see the stars even if I didn't "really love to" see them, but somebody took me to the roof while I was asleep, and woke me up. I would see the stars even if I completely hated to see them.


Which is why star haters dont discover the Real Gem in the sky.

So some people who don't like celestial bodies of a certain category don't notice your asserted god? What do celestial bodies have to do with your god? You do know that stars and anything else in this universe came to existence after the universe came to existence, don't you? Are you claiming that your deity came into existence after the universe "materialized"?

For you analogy to work, I think you would need to be standing on the roof and pointing at ljhgiafvyfjtbgn (which I don't know what is, I just made it up).


Bingo.

So now you are not pointing at stars, but something else? Describe what is it that you are pointing at.

And even if I went up to the roof, you would still need to explain how do I detect ljhgiafvyfjtbgn.


Bingo.

Well, if you agree that you would need to explain how to detect ljhgiafvyfjtbgn, then start explaining!

You would need to show evidence that ljhgiafvyfjtbgn exists.


Besides the sighting?

Since you haven't pointed out what ljhgiafvyfjtbgn is, we cannot talk about sightings. First you would need to tell what ljhgiafvyfjtbgn is, and point it out. Then it will become a sigting.

Evidence like clearly pointing it out, so that it is distinct from anything else.


:)

So when are you going to point out ljhgiafvyfjtbgn?

Evidence that accounts for every property of the asserted entity.


:)

You have been repeatedly been asked to show some evidence.


I have given the you the floor level of the building.

I can further provide the police officers with exact zip, post code.

I am sorry. I cannot bring the sky down to the cellor. Its beyond my power.

I would really love to see evidence for the existence of any deities, including yours.


Oh really?

:)

To follow your analogy, there is no obvious staircase or elevator leading to the roof.

You providing the evidence is like showing where the stairs are.


I see, you have never been even to the first floor. Sure, there is a first time for everyone.

You haven't managed to show that there is a staircase or elevator. That would be the evidence you still haven't given. Any time you are ready...

When will you start providing the evidence? Do you have any at all?


See above.

I did look above, and all I saw were the sky, some clouds and the usual, completely natural celestial bodies. No signs of anything supernatural. Or do you have evidence that there is something else there?

Yours is not an argument for god, it is rather a "No True Scotsman" logical fallacy mixed with blaming the victim, followed by a bad analogy.


I see, you dont actually want to leave the cellor even after claiming "I would really love to see evidence".

:)

Do you mean that me rejecting logical fallacies and bad analogies means that I don't want to see evidence? How did you deduce that?
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#45  Postby dyet-b » Mar 09, 2010 1:12 am

Onyx8 wrote:The 'celler [sic] argument for God' is essentially: "I can see God and if you were me you could too". Is that about it?

Well, it has not been established whether ray can see God or not. Nor has it been established what it is that he sees, if he sees anything at all. He claims to see stars, but that is of no importance: the question is not the evidence for stars, but for the existence of his asserted deity.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#46  Postby xrayzed » Mar 09, 2010 1:16 am

Sphynxcat wrote:I think the Cellar 'Argument' can and should be modified: I'll call it the Top-Floor argument. It goes something like this:

Imagine a building. Upon the rooftop of this building are a number of people looking at the stars...

But on the floor directly beneath them are another group of people. And an odd lot they are, it has to be said. You see, in each of the rooms they inhabit, they have painted a number of murals on their respective ceilings... Most peculiarly, these people think that their murals represent the real sky. Of course, they have been told about the genuinely real sky above, but many don't like it up there, because they find it a little cold, a little scary and a little sad, whereas their rooms are warm and safe...

Excellent. This is actually a much better metaphor because it provides a lovely analogy to how all the different belief systems can look up and see things so differently, a point the OP fails at.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#47  Postby hackenslash » Mar 09, 2010 1:43 am

dyet-b wrote:He claims to see stars,


[OT]

In the new Series on the Beeb with Brian Cox, he was visiting one of the world's highest observatories, and he was given a pamphlet about the symptoms of altitude sickness, which he read out. It said that a paramedic shoud be informed immediately in the event of any of the following symptoms:

1. Headache.
2. Dizziness.
3. Seeing stars!

[/OT]

:lol:
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#48  Postby dylan » Mar 09, 2010 3:38 am

ray wrote:
Isn't all evidence "hidden" from those who do not want evidence?

Actually I want evidence. I've looked and looked and am still looking. I've yet to see any though. So until I see some I guess I lack the belief in god.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#49  Postby byofrcs » Mar 09, 2010 6:21 am

IanS wrote:
byofrcs wrote: Atheists are only Atheists pretty well because we have not yet seen credible evidence for god (or gods).


.....(snip).....

So it's not merely a case of lack of evidence in favour of gods or religious claims. But instead it’s the positive and irrefutable evidence from centuries of modern science, which is all in complete contradiction to the traditional claims of religion.

Continued belief in religion and miraculous gods is not simply belief despite the absence of any evidence, but actually belief in complete contradiction to all known evidence. And that really is "blind faith".

Ian.


But it matters little to the average person in the street if they believe of not. They never have to make decisions that would be significant beyond their near network. Someone else though, a scientist or a researcher, or even a civil servant, must not rely on supernatural intervention or causes because the decisions they make have far greater reach and to date there has been no examples of the supernatural that have not had a better natural explanation.

The problems with politicians though is that they are elected by the people. The politician must pander to the people. So though reason guides the majority of those that make decisions there are some significant influencers who are doomed to follow whatever faith gets them into office.

Which is why we must educate the people and given that they have no incentive to believe either way then we must identify reasons why they should adopt reason and a naturalistic worldview in a non-coercive way. Whomever works out that trick changes humanity forever. The tower of cards that supernatural-based religions are with their legal and taxpayer funded protections will and should collapse. One of the biggest, if not the main reason, why religions persist is that it is profitable to do so. They are profitable because the first thing religions do is protect themselves legally through aligning themselves with the rulers of a nations, which in our democracies are the elected politicians. Democracy will be the undoing of religion but only if we educate the people and make them want to believe that reason offers a greater reward.

To date though if you wander around the average non-religious forum you would find fuck-all clues that would be an incentive the average voter on the street.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#50  Postby mark1961 » Mar 09, 2010 7:00 am

RichieDickins wrote:

Hackenslash wrote:Morally authoritative? I only know of one moral authority, and the magic man whose knob you seem so eager to polish is not it, and doesn't remotely come close to meeting its standard.


What's your moral authority? And don't say yourself - you can't issue a moral law to yourself, I don't care what Kant says.


You have to decide what's right and wrong for yourself. It's everyone's responsibility to do so.

Striving to reach the roof of this metaphorical building to look through the telescope is a matter of personal choice however-IMO. Where (of course) it doesn't inhibit the above.

An unfortunate choice of metaphors IMO. Considering the trend over recent centuries of Scientific discovery progressively revealing dearly held Christian beliefs as being merely another mythology.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#51  Postby IanS » Mar 09, 2010 9:03 am

byofrcs wrote:
IanS wrote:
byofrcs wrote: Atheists are only Atheists pretty well because we have not yet seen credible evidence for god (or gods).


.....(snip).....

So it's not merely a case of lack of evidence in favour of gods or religious claims. But instead it’s the positive and irrefutable evidence from centuries of modern science, which is all in complete contradiction to the traditional claims of religion.

Continued belief in religion and miraculous gods is not simply belief despite the absence of any evidence, but actually belief in complete contradiction to all known evidence. And that really is "blind faith".

Ian.


But it matters little to the average person in the street if they believe of not. They never have to make decisions that would be significant beyond their near network. Someone else though, a scientist or a researcher, or even a civil servant, must not rely on supernatural intervention or causes because the decisions they make have far greater reach and to date there has been no examples of the supernatural that have not had a better natural explanation.

The problems with politicians though is that they are elected by the people. The politician must pander to the people. So though reason guides the majority of those that make decisions there are some significant influencers who are doomed to follow whatever faith gets them into office.

Which is why we must educate the people and given that they have no incentive to believe either way then we must identify reasons why they should adopt reason and a naturalistic worldview in a non-coercive way. Whomever works out that trick changes humanity forever. The tower of cards that supernatural-based religions are with their legal and taxpayer funded protections will and should collapse. One of the biggest, if not the main reason, why religions persist is that it is profitable to do so. They are profitable because the first thing religions do is protect themselves legally through aligning themselves with the rulers of a nations, which in our democracies are the elected politicians. Democracy will be the undoing of religion but only if we educate the people and make them want to believe that reason offers a greater reward.

To date though if you wander around the average non-religious forum you would find fuck-all clues that would be an incentive the average voter on the street.


If you mean to say it's a failing of government that many politicians are apparently quite ignorant of science, and actually ignorant of why science is so important as our best way of understanding things (anything), then that's something I have myself pointed out several times before on RDF.

But you can't force people to be educated in science.

Though none of that changes the essential "fact" that modern science has long since debunked almost every major claim of religion many times over ... the claims of religion simply do not stand up to scientific scrutiny ... and if anyone thinks there is some other valid form of un-scientific scrutiny, then I'd like to know what that possibly might be :? .

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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#52  Postby Byron » Mar 10, 2010 1:20 am

Sphynxcat wrote:But on the floor directly beneath them are another group of people. And an odd lot they are, it has to be said. You see, in each of the rooms they inhabit, they have painted a number of murals on their respective ceilings. [...] Of course, they have been told about the genuinely real sky above, but many don't like it up there, because they find it a little cold, a little scary and a little sad, whereas their rooms are warm and safe.

Quoted for truth. ("What is truth?" Oh shove off, Pilate, you imperialist hired-hatchet, you.) Nice one! :smoke:

Another take. A person leaves the cellar and climbs to the top floor. Once he's got his breath back, he looks around, and sees a flock of birds. He walks over to a fellow roof-person, and she says that she's a twitcher, who's identified the birds as puffins. The newcomer thinks he knows what a puffin looks like, and that ain't it. When asked for proof, the twitcher produces her birdwatching guide, with, sure enough, a picture and description of a puffin that matches the the flock, but there's no publisher's info. When asked, the twitcher says simply that she trusts her guidebook.

The person descends, and finds more birdwatchers on the floor below. They call cormorants, and have the books and pictures to prove it. Again, no publishing details, tho.

And so on, back to the basement. The people there have no guidebook. But they do have Bill Oddie's number.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#53  Postby byofrcs » Mar 10, 2010 4:22 am

Ray, we'd like to join you in your star gazing but unfortunately some Muslims have driven a few planes into the upper stories. Lifts are out.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#54  Postby xrayzed » Mar 10, 2010 5:45 am

byofrcs wrote:Ray, we'd like to join you in your star gazing but unfortunately some Muslims have driven a few planes into the upper stories. Lifts are out.

Ouch.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#55  Postby ray » Mar 10, 2010 1:06 pm

Thats ok xrayzed. Some people need any excuse to stay in the dark.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#56  Postby ray » Mar 10, 2010 1:06 pm

dylan wrote:

Actually I want evidence. I've looked and looked and am still looking. I've yet to see any though.


Carry on climbing and you simply cannot miss the roof.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#57  Postby ray » Mar 10, 2010 1:07 pm

dyet-b wrote:

As much as you would not like to have evidence for the hole in your tooth,
the persistent toothache is there. Not wanting to feel the toothache doesn't make it go away.



Painful tooth is no evidence of a hole. If you want to see a hole, you will have to look at it.

So according to you, on one hand emotions ("really loving to see Him") are required to see the evidence,
and on the other hand critical inquiry without emotions is the way to gather the evidence?

So are emotions required, or not?


Scientists who are not keen often fail to see, or evaluate correctly, the evidence right in front of them.



"star haters dont discover the Real Gem in the sky"

So some people who don't like celestial bodies of a certain category don't notice your asserted god?

What do celestial bodies have to do with your god?



Please get some sunshine. Basement darkness is known to cause debasement in logic.

And even if I went up to the roof, you would still need to explain how do I detect ljhgiafvyfjtbgn.



Bingo.



Well, if you agree that you would need to explain how to detect ljhgiafvyfjtbgn, then start explaining!


But you are still in the cellor. How can I tell you how to set up the Telescope.

Try to remember your "if" ?




Since you haven't pointed out what ljhgiafvyfjtbgn is, we cannot talk about sightings.
First you would need to tell what ljhgiafvyfjtbgn is, and point it out. Then it will become a sigting.


You brought ljhgiafvyfjtbgn up. Have you forgotten what you were talking about?

So when are you going to point out ljhgiafvyfjtbgn?


The moment you reach the roof with your telescope. No tripod necessary.

You haven't managed to show that there is a staircase or elevator.
That would be the evidence you still haven't given. Any time you are ready...


For disable people, staircase is useless.

I am ready to bring you up myself, even if I have to carry you on my own shoulders.


Do you mean that me rejecting logical fallacies and bad analogies means that I don't want to see evidence?

How did you deduce that?


When good cops want to see the evidence they dont blame bad cops for bad investigation. They just get up and look at it for themselves.

Justice is done only by the Just.

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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#58  Postby ray » Mar 10, 2010 1:08 pm

Onyx8 wrote:

The 'celler [sic] argument for God' is essentially:

"I can see God and if you were me you could too".

Is that about it?


No. Its not about me.

The Cellor Argument is about equipment and position.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#59  Postby ray » Mar 10, 2010 1:08 pm

Spearthrower wrote:

ray wrote:

Exactly.

Which is why you need to get out of dearly beloved cellor, and go and apply your chosen scientific method.



Chosen scientific method? There's a choice? Please do elucidate, I have been labouring all this time under the illusion that there is 1 scientific method, and lots of pseudoscience that completely fails to establish robust self-checking mechanisms.


One man's science can be another man's junk.

That is why I said apply the one you trust all the time.

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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#60  Postby ray » Mar 10, 2010 1:09 pm

IanS wrote:

It's not just that rational educated people have asked to see credible evidence for the amazing claims of religions, and found no such evidence (despite 2000 years of looking).


Even from the cellor, you will see that some of the greatest thinking minds are on the roof.

Maybe you dont like the fact that they moved out of your cellor?



But far worse - all the traditional major claims of religion have been completely undermined by undeniable scientific discoveries and explanations to the contrary.


It was these discoveries that made some great Scientists go to the top and make the greatest of all discoveries.

Educated men and women are rational all the time.

Logical humans dont pick and choose when to apply their intellect.

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