The "Cellar Argument" For God

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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#21  Postby byofrcs » Mar 08, 2010 3:27 am

RichieDickins wrote:
dyet-b wrote:Well, it's not much of an argument...

ray wrote:

Yes, of course. God is not completely hidden. That would be very unfair. Anyone can see Him if they really loved to.

Are you saying that your god is hidden from anybody who doesn't "really love to" see him?
Why does the visibility of your asserted god depend on "really loving to see Him"? Can one find evidence for your god's existence through honest and critical inquiry (without any emotions clouding up judgement)?
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.


I don't speak for Ray, but I would argue (following Paul Moser and Kierkegaard) that God is "hidden" from disinterested observers. If we are talking about a perfect being, there is no reason to suspect that such a being would limit himself to or even take part in spectator evidence (which doesn't require any commitment or participation on the part of the observer). A perfect being (in virtue of his moral perfection) would will what is best for all moral agents. This would include our coming to know him freely (because moral perfection requires respect for freedom), and freely consenting to align our behavior in accordance with his will (because he wills only what is good). Spectator evidence would not accomplish these ends, and it would (as Kierkegaard suggests) establish an improper relationship between us, and create tension between God's moral perfection and our freedom. "There is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't" (Pascal)

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.


As I've suggested before, I think one could understand it as more of a testable claim than an argument. It's the claim that through honest inquiry you will find evidence that God exists. When one asks whether X exists, one must ask what sort of evidence would we expect to find if X exists, and what sort of evidence would we not expect. In this case it will be volitional, morally authoritative evidence which requires an honest intention to participation on the part of the inquirer, as opposed to the reproducible, empirical sort which would afford belief alone, without requiring any meaningful commitment or investment in the question, and thus without any transformation of the will. The reason for this is explained above.


That I am happy with - there are only two types of honest theists, the polytheist who believes in all deities and just gets down and parties, and the deist who says nothing about their god on the grounds that the gods influence have finished eons ago and there is no further influence visible in the world.

They don't though do they ?. The monotheists have wiped out polytheists as a deliberate policy and they advertise the many ways in which their god is present or has been present in this universe. When a theist presents evidence then this is what is tested.

The flaw in what Kierkegaard says is presented in the following thought exercise,

Using the two generals' problem then if god conceals themselves then we have a noisy communications channel whilst if communication from god was without loss then we have a lossless communications channel. The problem with a noisy communications channel has no solution and it is not possible to correctly make a decision. If the communications channel is not noisy i.e. messages do not get lost then there is no problem. The point is that it is proven to be impossible to solve (i.e. you can't reliably make the perfectly right decision which involves co-ordination with messages in an environment with noisy communications).

Note that this doesn't have anything to say about why you are making the decision in the first place only that the presence of god in the equation is rather pointless.

a) If communication from god is present but lossless then you still have to make a decision in the first place.
b) If god is selectively filtering messages (as when you said that "God is "hidden" from disinterested observers.") then god still places you into (a).
c) If communication from god is lossy then you still have to make a decision in the first place and you are in an even worse position then a) as your communications with god have no clear solution on when to decide.
d) If communication from god is never present then you have to make a decision in the first place.

In all cases god is actually irrelevant. The only way that we have any morality is if it has evolved without recourse to god because the other cases are that,

a) Communication from god is present and lossless and god makes the first decision.
b) If god is selectively filtering messages (as when you said that "God is "hidden" from disinterested observers.") then god still places you into (a).
c) If communication from god is lossy but initiates the first message though you are in an even worse position then a) as your communications with god have no clear solution on when to decide.
d) If communication from god is never present then you have to make a decision in the first place.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#22  Postby josephchoi » Mar 08, 2010 4:47 am

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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#23  Postby hackenslash » Mar 08, 2010 10:51 am

RichieDickins wrote:Demonstrate that claim to me a in rigorously robust style


No fucking problem. Here's the evidence:

Sure, we were discussing the Kalam argument - that's evidence


Game fucking over. I'll come back to this little gem later. You've come out with some drivel in your time, but this is special.

I don't know how that's done. All I can do as far as concepts go is give you a definition.


In other words, all you have is ex recto.

Could you demonstrate in a critically robust fashion that you have a consciousness? Or that the external world exists? No


Ah, solipsism, eh? Good fucking luck with that. That's even less useful than your apologetic bum-custard and, frankly, I have no use for it.

I generally don't think of "objection" as synonymous with "opinion" or "assertion"


And what you think is interesting because...?

I suppose I would have missed the point even if it had hit me in the face with a big fucking fish


So it would seem.

That's the thing young earther's have isn't it? That's not my view.


No, it isn't restricted young Earthers, although they do suffer pretty badly from it. It applies to anyone whose preconceptions blind them from evidence from reality.

Insofar as the assumption of theism would lead you to expect to find robust evidence, then yes it's evidence against theism. But since you say all of theism's claims are untestable, you would expect to find no robust evidence if it were true, in which case the lack of evidence (if there is such a lack) isn't evidence against theism.


There you go putting words in my mouth again. I never said any such thing and, indeed, I pointed out that all of your stutpid fucking mythology's testable claims have been pretty much falsified. Perhaos you need to work harder at reading comprehension here, because it seem to be giving you a great deal of trouble. It's probably all that time spent reading the work of navel-gazers. It happens a lot.

Sure, we were discussing the Kalam argument - that's evidence


So, the Kalam is evidence, is it? Absolute fucking bollocks. The KCA is a rectally extracted pile of wibble based on a priori assumptions and totally unsupported and unsupportable premises. Further, it is one of the worst cases of equivocation this commentor has ever come across, in the form of the bait and switch from 'cause' to 'causal agent'. This particular bit of fuckwittery on your part in classifying this as evidence is so wingnutted that I am sorely tempted to rename the Dunsapy in your honour. At the very least, it deserves a double award. Congratulations on finally losing the fucking plot.

ImageImage

But aren't you a determinist? (with respect to free will, not causality in general - I assume you don't think quantum indeterminacy is a means for freedom).


No, I'm not a determinist. Your qualification in this instance is very wise, but the label isn't. We don't have free will, but that doesn't mean that I accept determinism. Laplacian determinism is not viable, although it is clear that there is a degree of determinism at play in the cosmos. How far this goes is unclear, especially given such principles as the three body problem. In any event, being a product of our experiences, human behaviour is almost certainly a stochastic system, rendering determinism very difficult to pin down.

Either way, stop attempting to put words in my mouth, and most definitely don't apply labels. My one and only label is hackenslash.

I guess it's the part where you stated a claim without any support. I want to see some evidence for that.


Again?

Sure, we were discussing the Kalam argument - that's evidence


If that constitutes robust evidence, then I've got all kinds of support for theism.


You don't get it, do you? You have clearly demonstrated that you go into every single situation with your a priori conclusion and that this impairs your vision with regard to reality, as demonstrated above. This evidence is unequivocal and damning.

I'm going to leave you to your amusement now, as I have no use for discussing further with somebody who thinks that an unsound argument constitutes evidence. Once again, you have demonstrated that navel-gazing is of no use other than to discover the colour of the lint in one's belly-button, and that as soon as you allow it to tell you what to think, you've completely missed the fucking point.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#24  Postby ray » Mar 08, 2010 12:26 pm

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?


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


Bingo.

You would need to show evidence that ljhgiafvyfjtbgn exists.


Besides the sighting?

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


:)

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.

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


See above.

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".

:)
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#25  Postby ray » Mar 08, 2010 12:30 pm

stijndeloose wrote:

ray wrote:
jim wrote:

While I am an atheist and I would welcome a compelling and well thought out argument, this isn't one of them.



That is nothing new.

No argument is compelling enough for you. Which is why you are where you are.




Err... ray, in what way is that an argument? It's an allegory, yes.
But you haven't demonstrated that it corresponds to reality in any way.



Does your "THAT" refer to my reply to jim, or to my argument?

Hence, I do not which reality you are talking about.

Please, be clear with your questions so that I can respond the best I can.


By the way,

Thanks RichieDickins.

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

#26  Postby stijndeloose » Mar 08, 2010 12:32 pm

ray wrote:Does your "THAT" refer to my reply to jim, or to my argument?


Your argument:

Yes, of course. God is not completely hidden. That would be very unfair. Anyone can see Him if they really loved to.

Its like a tall building, and I am standing on the top roof. I can only describe the stars to you. You chose to remain in the basement cellor. You simply need to get to the top floor to see the sky for yourself. How you get up there is entirely up to you.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#27  Postby ray » Mar 08, 2010 12:37 pm

Ok. Thanks.

stijndeloose wrote:

Err... ray, in what way is that an argument?

It's an allegory, yes.

But you haven't demonstrated that it corresponds to reality in any way.



Not correspond to reality in anyway?

Wow. Please. Come on.

How can you say that, stijndeloose.

You are a thinking manager and moderator on this forum.

Are you saying that the ladies on the roof are unreal?


.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#28  Postby stijndeloose » Mar 08, 2010 12:39 pm

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

#29  Postby ray » Mar 08, 2010 12:44 pm

stijndeloose,

We dont want to upset the ladies. No way.

Hell has no fury like women labelled unreal.

;)
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#30  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 08, 2010 12:59 pm

RichieDickins wrote:I don't speak for Ray, but I would argue (following Paul Moser and Kierkegaard) that God is "hidden" from disinterested observers.


Haven't we spanked this one to the ground numerous times already Richie?

First, numerous interested observers fail to observe their culturally or socially acquired god - so the odds scenario is right out of whack immediately as this being most certainly does not appear to a significant percentage of its own adherents.

Secondly, the vast majority of interested observers who do claim to have seen their god(s) just so happen to see the one(s) they already believed in. Coincidence?

Third, the fact that numerous interested observers who claim to have seen their god(s) cannot agree on any of the characteristics or descriptions of these observed beings indicates that there's a rather large gaping hole in the God Hypothesis.


As for Plato's cave.... :think: You could as easily say it's an explanation for believers in non-existent beings. The reason the analogy doesn't fit well with any empirical perspective is because of the use of a methodology of interested falsification - errors get scrapped rather than be retained because of tradition and the cherished position that belief holds.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#31  Postby xrayzed » Mar 08, 2010 1:00 pm

RichieDickins wrote:
I don't speak for Ray, but I would argue (following Paul Moser and Kierkegaard) that God is "hidden" from disinterested observers.

Even if I thought this anything other than excuse making for the lack of evidence, it still wouldn't explain a) why God hides from honest seekers, and b) why he can't consistently communicate to those people who claim to have found him.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#32  Postby UnderConstruction » Mar 08, 2010 4:00 pm

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?

Your rooftop analogy does have one use. You see, religions are kind of like rooftops in one respect. There is rather a lot of them around.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#33  Postby ray » Mar 08, 2010 5:01 pm

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.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#34  Postby UnderConstruction » Mar 08, 2010 5:13 pm

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.


Are you suggesting there is scientific evidence for God? More to the point, do you claim there is scientific evidence as to which is the true god?

Because scientific evidence does not require that you "open your heart" and all that shite that so many theists so often spout. Considering your "out of the cellar" nonsense is clearly nothing but a metaphor for this, we can therefore safely consider it to be irrelevant. Science it at it's best when the practitioner is free of presuppositions, yet you wish for us to impose them upon ourselves.

So if you have such evidence, lay it on the table.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#35  Postby Mojzu » Mar 08, 2010 6:22 pm

ray wrote:Exactly.

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


I already have, several times and found no reason why I should believe any particular deity exists. I've re-evaluated that position many times, and try to do so every time I am presented with a new argument. But thus far, every time I have examined those arguments I've found logical and historical inconsistencies, as well as many things that I utterly disagree with from a moral and ethical standpoint.

If I apply my chosen methods, and still come up blank am I doing something wrong?

Also your analogy is flawed, wouldn't agnosticism be 'in the basement' whilst those who made a decision would be on a roof of their choice? So surely Atheism would have its own roof, with a high powered telescope, preferably where there won't be much atmospheric interference.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#36  Postby josephchoi » Mar 08, 2010 7:45 pm

what's more likely the case with the whole cellar "argument" is a bunch of people standing around in the same level claiming they're really standing on the roof, and babbling some nonsense that follows.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#37  Postby IanS » Mar 08, 2010 7:51 pm

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


True. But it’s actually a lot worse than that for theists.

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).

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

The most obvious example is of course the fact that it's now perfectly clear from 150 years research into evolution, that God definitely did no make man.

But more generally, in all the many millions of things science has discovered and explained, not a single one has ever turned out to require any kind of religious explanation at all. On the contrary everything we have ever discovered and investigated in the this world has turned out to have a completely natural explanation, with no god or miracles involved at any stage.

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".

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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#38  Postby byofrcs » Mar 08, 2010 8:11 pm

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.


Well to date they have all been tested and have all failed. Any new evidence would be nice. I suspect that you are not looking at star's ray but glowworms. Ray, get out of the cave.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#39  Postby Sphynxcat » Mar 08, 2010 8:15 pm

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.
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Re: The "Celler Argument" For God

#40  Postby Harmless Eccentric » Mar 08, 2010 8:43 pm

Thats not really an argument for the existence of god, in the sense of providing any evidence or logic in support of a deity's existence. It's more of a hypothesis that people who already believe in god can use to justify their belief in the face of an overwhelming absence of evidence. Useful for believers, but the 'argument' doesn't really have any purpose for nonbelievers.
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