I'm thinking about posting this to a few more religious forums, but I'd just like to hear what people have to say on here.

So, playing Devil's Advocate, and hopefully without a bunch of straw man replies, what is the best argument for God you've heard? And, if you really can't stand it, why is that argument not good enough?

My favorite is Descartes' Ontological argument- but since I don't have a clear and distinct perception of God, this one still isn't enough for me.

Excited to hear replies!

Tags: God, advocate, argument, devils, for

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Mark, am not a mathematician so I will not go into asking you what this or that axiom means. I have read your last comment where you talk about maths having proved that god exist and looked at the link you have provided. 

In it I found this short synopsis, maybe there is more

  • The G Proof — how the Axioms and Predicate Logic are used to rigorously prove a phenomenon exists that:
    1. creates itself — i.e. it causes itself,
    2. is omnipotent — i.e. it causes everything else, and
    3. is unique — i.e. it is the one and only such phenomenon.

Such a phenomenon can only be what is commonly known as “God.”

My first question is why must this be god and not the universe or rather matter? The universe is unique, I mean tell me if there is any other thing you know as unique as the universe?

It is omnipotent and I will add omnipresent. I want you to tell me where Nature is not present at all times and where it's laws doesn't apply?

Creates itself- am waiting for you to show me how to annihilate matter. When you do that, maybe you can then show me how to create matter.

As a general comment, I don't think there is anything new in this argument that is different from the Ontological argument which it tries to prove. The mistake this does is you define god into existence and then continue to insist that god exists. I don't know if you like philosophy, maybe you should read Kant's critique of pure reason where he shows the weakness of this proofs for god though at the end he says he believes in god which I don't know how he gets there.

I strongly suspect that, as a professional mathematician, Mark is aware of a number of mathematical paradoxes, Gordian knots, so to speak, and he has chosen one that can only result in one of the three responses he has predicted. When it comes to bar bets, never play another man's game.

archaeopteryx,

My experiment is GOOD SCIENCE, not a "bar bet"! I'm not "inviting" Gallup's Mirror into a "bet." He (or perhaps she, but probably he) has no choice here, rather like the guinea pigs in a lab cage... they are IN the experiment, period. The data we all see from my experiment will be very real, empirical and legitimate, and my predictions stand.  If he chooses not to "play" (as you say) by remaining silent, then his LACK of response is good data that makes my Prediction 1 come out true, although not my Prediction 2. :)

Cheers, Mark

archaeopteryx, I'm replying here to your omnipotence question above, as we are at the limit of the intent levels.

@Mark - you've tossed the word, "omnipotent" about on numerous occasions, I'd love to hear your definition of it.

Phenomenon is an undefined term, and all variables (e.g. x, y, z) are phenomena.  Causes is also an undefined term, and is a two-place predicate that joins two phenomena, e.g. "x causes y".

We define O as a one-place predicate, that takes a single variable, such as Ox, which means "phenomenon x is omnipotent."  O is formally defined as follows (using English here in lieu of predicate logic symbols not available in this text editor, at least to my knowledge):

For all x (Ox if-and-only-if, for-all y( x causes y ))

@Mark - So your definition of "omnipotent" is a mathematical one, not found in any lexicon, dictionary or thesaurus, is that what you're saying?

@Mark - So your definition of "omnipotent" is a mathematical one, not found in any lexicon, dictionary or thesaurus, is that what you're saying?

Yes.

How convenient for you.

I strongly suspect that, as a professional mathematician, Mark is aware of a number of mathematical paradoxes, Gordian knots, so to speak, and he has chosen one that can only result in one of the three responses he has predicted.

"Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter" (Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 1 Scene 1. 45–47)

Really, though. Gordian Knot? What Mark does is more like a ziplock bag. You can see right though it. Open it right up. It's disposable.

When it comes to bar bets, never play another man's game.

I'm happy to play! Mark's game is proof of God.

So far he's doing that by-- uh, whatever he's up to with this guinea pig business-- the basis and highlight of which involved a prediction that I would laugh when he metaphorically dropped his trousers.

Then he metaphorically dropped his trousers and I laughed. (It was more of a tee hee, actually.) How could I pass that up?

This is getting positively kooky, though. Look at this:

"He (or perhaps she, but probably he) has no choice here, rather like the guinea pigs in a lab cage... they are IN the experiment, period. The data we all see from my experiment will be very real, empirical and legitimate, and my predictions stand.  If he chooses not to "play" (as you say) by remaining silent, then his LACK of response is good data that makes my Prediction 1 come out true, although not my Prediction 2. :)"

*Falls down, clutching chest*

NO CHOICE... PERIOD...  I'M TRAPPED... RATHER LIKE... A GUINEA PIG... MUST AVOID HIS.... OR MAYBE HERS... BUT LIKELY HIS... POWERFUL PREDICTIONS! OTHERWISE... THEY'LL BECOME... VERY REAL... EMPIRICAL...AND TOTALLY LEGITIMATE! I'M HELPLESS BEFORE THEM... MUST AVOID THEM.. AT ALL COSTS... EVEN IF... HE DROPS.... HIS TROUSERS!

The nutbag thinks this is science. Good science. Good empirical data. Good evidence. He fucking MEANS it. 

Mark, you go right on "proving" God this way! I wouldn't miss it for the world!

FALSE. We are most certainly NOT done. In due course I will address each and every point you have made.

Maybe you'll address them. Likely not.

But you won't do what matters: produce empirical scientific evidence to back your claim that God exists.

So we really are done. The rest is me playing along for the entertainment value you provide.

Accordingly, I am right now, via this post and its follow up posts, conducting a scientific experiment that will produce empirical data.

Unless this so-called "scientific experiment" produces empirical evidence to back your claim that God exists, it's irrelevant.

And the subject of the experiment (i.e. the "guinea pig") is YOU.

Our subject is your extraordinary claim to have proof of God. The rest of "experiment" is you stalling to avoid dealing with that.

For example, to demonstrate that 5+8=13, we can put 5 blocks in one pile, 8 blocks in another pile, and count each pile to confirm (yes, 5 in the first, 8 in the second). Then we can move them all together into a single pile, and count it. Lo and behold, the count is 13. This constitutes empirical, scientific evidence that 5+8=13.

In this example there is empirical evidence, Mark. 5+8=13 alone, all by itself did not prove there were two piles of blocks, moved together to make 13 blocks. You showing me the blocks in the piles, moved from place to place, did that: observable evidence.

In contrast there is no empirical evidence at the foundation of your "proof" for God. Where is the "God" block?

That's the difference. That's why your claim ("proof that no scientist can reasonably deny") is dishonest. It amounts to a claim that you have scientific evidence capable of withstanding a working-over by the scientific method. You do not.

MY HYPOTHESIS: You are harboring inconsistent beliefs to support your atheism, and you lack the emotional maturity to admit you are doing so.

My hypothesis: Mark figures he can control my response if he asks leading questions, writes the answers for me himself, and demands I choose one of them. He lacks the intelligence to realize how transparent (and ridiculous) this kind of dishonesty is.

Question 1 (Multiple Choice): Do you believe the square root of 2 exists?(a) No.(b) Yes, because I have empirical evidence that the square root of 2 exists.(c) Yes, but I admit I have no empirical evidence that the square root of 2 exists.

My answer: None of the above. I'll respond for myself, thank you.

The square root of two does not exist in the sense that the word exist is generally used, which is: to have actual being, to be.

Harry Potter does not exist. Neither do leprechauns. They are abstract concepts in the imagination. So too with the square root of two. And with the paradoxical meaning of: "This statement is false." 

God exists in the same sense that leprechauns exist, and the square root of two exists: conceptually, abstractly, in the imagination. 

But tell me that God, Harry Potter, leprechauns, or the square root of two have actual being (empirical being)-- that they're floating up in the sky, propping up the universe, or sitting in your living room-- and you need actual evidence (empirical evidence) to back that claim at the very least.

And that evidence you do not have. So in your vehemence and insistence despite this lack, I'm quite reasonable in concluding you are (and you'll like this because it's multiple choice):

a) A loon
b) A liar
c) A fool
d) A guinea pig (or some other animal known for being maimed or destroyed in laboratory experiments)

Question 2(a)(b)(c), to be answered only if your answer to Question 1 is (a)(b)(c).

Thank you for writing my answers to question 2 for me, Mark. But my answer to question one was not (a)(b) or (c) so there's no need for me to answer Question 2 at all.

Prediction 1. You will fail to answer my two questions before the deadline.

Prediction 2. You will post a rant in reply to this post that EVADES answering my two questions (and does NOT answer them), and instead attacks my questions (without answering them), and/or addresses other material I have posted that is unrelated to my two questions, and/or assassinates my character, and/or ridicules me or my website, and/or poses another experiment.

Evasion is your schtick, Mark. ("In due course I will address each and every point you have made.") I'm the audience watching your hijinks with popcorn and soda. I'm the one you're trying to convince, waiting to see scientific evidence I cannot reasonably deny. And waiting. And waiting.

And of course I'm going to ridicule your argument, your website, your questions, and your character. The dishonest and the ridiculous deserve to be ridiculed, satirized, and teased mercilessly. I lay out the reasoning behind it too, Mark. It's supported and on target, not "unrelated".

And speaking of ridicule?

Multiple choice questions? About the nature of existence? As though you actually know all the answers authoritatively and my only choice is pick one or I'm evading? *Laughing* Did you actually think I wouldn't jeer at something that mind-bogglingly stupid just to avoid your prediction that I would? No deal, Mark! That's the fall-down-in-screaming-laughter part: you fucking knew you were dropping your trousers and you did it anyway. That's one magic 8-ball prophecy I'm happy to fulfil.

"5+8=13 alone, all by itself did not prove there were two piles of blocks, moved together to make 13 blocks."

This.  A thousand times.  

No matter how rigorous and correct the mathematical proof, it ultimately is only proof that the math is correct.  If none of the components of the formula actually have some tie or basis in real empirical evidence, then the formula (no matter how mathematically correct it may be!) has no ties whatsoever to reality.

All you've done is prove that you could pull up some arbitrary values, plug them into a complex formula, and solve that formula.  And presto; God!

Nope.

As another poster also points out, the axioms you're using to prove God exists can simply be applied to the universe itself/"nature".  There is nothing in the proof that says that a God is necessary, because one isn't.  Now, perhaps, one might say, "but the universe IS God!", but we simply shrug off the need to add that extra, arbitrary (and rather silly) layer.

Mark, am not a mathematician so I will not go into asking you what this or that axiom means. I have read your last comment where you talk about maths having proved that god exist and looked at the link you have provided. 

In it I found this short synopsis, maybe there is more

  • The G Proof — how the Axioms and Predicate Logic are used to rigorously prove a phenomenon exists that:
    1. creates itself — i.e. it causes itself,
    2. is omnipotent — i.e. it causes everything else, and
    3. is unique — i.e. it is the one and only such phenomenon.

Such a phenomenon can only be what is commonly known as “God.”

My first question is why must this be god and not the universe or rather matter? The universe is unique, I mean tell me if there is any other thing you know as unique as the universe?

It is omnipotent and I will add omnipresent. I want you to tell me where Nature is not present at all times and where it's laws doesn't apply?

Creates itself- am waiting for you to show me how to annihilate matter. When you do that, maybe you can then show me how to create matter.

As a general comment, I don't think there is anything new in this argument that is different from the Ontological argument which it tries to prove. The mistake this does is you define god into existence and then continue to insist that god exists. I don't know if you like philosophy, maybe you should read Kant's critique of pure reason where he shows the weakness of this proofs for god though at the end he says he believes in god which I don't know how he gets there.

In due course I will address each and every point you have made.

You can start with this one point, which is partially re-posted between the bold lines below, and continued below that.

And I didn't make point, Mark. YOU made it. You have it plastered in big bold letters across the top of every page on your web site.

One wonders what is the "due course" to address that.

---------------------------------------------

[...] [T]he Universe is NOT random...that there is a vast order in things that comes from a unseen source that is NOT merely the laws of physics... that there is an absolute, unseen source behind things like biological evolution and DNA.

Crackpot: God exists!
Me: Evidence, please.
Crackpot: There is none.
Me: I don't believe you.

Same lyrics, different tune, Mark.

Because emperical evidence is not needed in mathematics, which is entiely absract. You fail to understand the distinction between science and mathematics.

You attribute failure to grasp science versus mathematics to me yet every page on your site screams of mathematical proof that no scientist can deny.

You don't see why that's funny, Mark?

Shouldn't you avoid the crossover between empirical science and abstract mathematics -- considering you just admitted the distinction-- and boast instead of having proof that no mathematician can deny?  

Failing in that, you are challenging scientists. Scientists employ the scientific method, which requires (among other things) empirical evidence;  knowledge acquired by means of observation or experimentation, and falsifiability.

You admit your work is entirely abstract and you have no empirical evidence. On that basis alone any scientist can properly and reasonably deny your work is scientific proof of God or anything else. There is no data.

---------------------------------------------

So address this, Mark.

You claim your "proof of God" can withstand the scrutiny of scientists, i.e. the scientific method. (Otherwise, why not gush of proof that no landscaper can deny, or no dental hygienist can deny?) This scientific proof of God also has be scientifically proven to be behind the laws of physics, evolution, and DNA.

That all requires, for starters, empirical evidence. Then no scientist can reasonably deny your proof.

By the way, Mark. Be specific here.

How many actual scientific experts have you run this incredible discovery by so far who found themselves unable to deny it?

Which of the reputable scientific journals have you submitted your work for publication in, since you've got undeniable scientific proof that God exists and is behind physics, evolution, and DNA?

Journal of Theoretical Biology? Journal of Molecular Biology? Astronomy and Astrophysics? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society? American Journal of Physics? Others?

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