Science is the key to our future Bill Nye

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Comment by anti_supernaturalist on May 6, 2011 at 1:30pm
<b>conceptual clarity, not science, puts an end to the near eastern 1-god</b>

The death of “God” while a sociological and historical fact -- isn’t established by any science. Since “God” never existed -- moreover, that “He” could logically never exist -- can be established by no empirical science, but only by conceptual clarification which is the central task of philosophy in the English speaking world.

The word ‘philosophy’ is simply too ambiguous (has too many dictionary meanings) for “philosophy” as even an academic study to be praised or condemned as a whole.

For example, is Zermelo-Frankel set theory a legitimate area within modern (post 1900) philosophy or does it “really” belong to modern foundations of mathematics? ZF set theory belongs to both, historically and conceptually.

Two of the greatest thinkers on the foundations of mathematics were Russell and Whitehead who created a new type of philosophizing -- bringing conceptual clarity to the foundations of mathematics where only inconsistency had reigned before. But, Russell built on, and put an end to, the freewheeling methods of the mathematician, Frege. Where do we put Goedel or Tarski or Turing?

Without a background in formal systems within logic, like 1st-order predicate calculus, modal logic, and Bayesian statistics, modern anglophone philosophy would not exist.

As a simple example of using conceptual analysis, elementary logic, and even more elementary geometry, I can show that the near eastern “god” of zoroastrianism, judaism, xianity, and islam can not exist. Moreover, I can show that certain common notions of god are actually conceptually inconsistent or incoherent. To the theist, I say put up your concept of god, or shut up.

** The "God" of the Big-3 Monster Theisms cannot exist **

No need to agree with theists or deists or agnostics that "God's" non-existence cannot be established. When they refer to god(s) to what (if anything) are they referring?

The incomplete phrase - 'something exists' by itself is meaningless. In formal logic that phrase states only "There is at least one X such that X is . . . .”  (From formal logic -- the jargon phrase is “existence is not a predicate” -- it is a logical operator.)

We can say the same thing about the number zero (0): "There exists one and only Z such that Z is zero." But, zero can be defined. In the complex number system the statement about zero is true by definition. Zero is the additive identity element: for any number a, a+0=a.

What kind of entity is God? And what attributes or characteristic does God have that nothing else can share? What makes God a god; moreover what is unique about God that sets it aside from supernatural fictions.

• Claimants to god-talk must specify just what concept of god they're playing with. (Dealing with non-rational defenses of “God” requires different approaches not discussed here.)

Some concepts are simply inconsistent. For example is the concept of god X just like the concept of the round-square? "The" round-square does not exist because its (supposed) concept is incoherent.

In the Middle Ages an attempt was made to explicate "the" concept of God's omnipresence by recourse to an analogy drawn from plane geometry. God is like . . . a circle whose circumference is nowhere and whose center is everywhere. Clever stuff.

But there can be no such circle. Among closed plane figures, the circle shares the property of always being finite. The analogy backfires -- well if God's omnipresence is like that; then, “omnipresence” or “God” or both need a fresh conceptual analysis.

Another medieval conundrum displaying conceptual limits for any concept of God: "Can an omnipotent God create a stone too big for Him to lift?" To say either yes or no immediately implies that God is not omnipotent. If God's omnipotence
Comment by anti_supernaturalist on May 6, 2011 at 1:35pm

(OK, it's too long) This part 2/2

 

Another medieval conundrum displaying conceptual limits for any concept of God: "Can an omnipotent God create a stone too big for Him to lift?" To say either yes or no immediately implies that God is not omnipotent. If God's omnipotence is like that; then, “omnipotence” or “God” or both need a fresh conceptual analysis.

• Stretching language past it limits is a commonplace in discourse about gods.

Modern philosophy demonstrates that attempts to create a coherent concept of God often fail to appreciate the limits of ordinary language. Adjectives are always relative to some context. A context free absolute adjective describes nothing.

In some contexts an absolute adjective also can describe nothing. There exists no greatest integer -- since for all integers n, there is a unique successor integer n+1. This is one of Peano's axioms for arithmetic.

Can there exist a "greatest" god? In what context would a reply be made? And why would anyone identify this hypothesized god with God or Allah or YHVH?

A related gambit is to claim that the word 'good' when applied to some alleged divinity does not mean the same thing as 'good' when applied to human acts. This vulgar trick exemplifies the fallacy of equivocation or ambiguity.

At this point, god-talk veers into a claim that “human” language cannot describe God without falling into “paradox.”

• Most theists, deists, agnostics have no clear concept of “God”. Though the panto-god: all powerful, all knowing, all merciful, will often make its (his, her) appearance. This conjunction of attributes is easy to undermine. Its individual components are conceptually incoherent.

Epicurus took on the gods by reductio ad absurdum -- 300 years BCE --  by showing that a faith-based panto-god must be a moral monster. The existence of a panto-god is logically inconsistent with "evil".

The gods, said Epicurus, do exist, but they lead a perfect life removed from human concerns. This is a form of thinking which deists would take up and modify. That was 350 years before xian anti-intellectualism became de rigeur. Too bad Jesus’ “Father” did not allow him to get a proper education in Aristotle’s logic, Stoic logic, and Epicurean philosophy.

Xianity has spent so much time lying to shore up its failed concept of a “pantocrator” that there is even a name for this branch of theological special pleading, theodicy.

Can the negation of an existential claim be proved? Sure. YHVH, God, and Allah simply do not exist because they cannot exist. At the core of the Big-3 lies, not exalted "paradox" as Kierkegaard claims, but logical incoherence.

There is no rational defense for irrationalism.

the anti_supernaturalist

 

 

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