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If Theism isn't a Delusion, Then What Is It? 
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Post Re: If Theism isn\'t a Delusion, Then What Is It?
Frank 013: Why the personal slight? Are you offended by the word faulty?

No; I'm frustrated at constantly seeing you try to fit my arguments into some mold that they weren't intended for. You've decided somewhere along the line that I think our senses are inherently faulty, logic is inherently faulty, we ought to behave as though we can't trust either, religion is blameless and science is worthless. And it doesn't matter how often I connect my actual arguments to more moderate viewpoints, you continue to argue as though I were arguing for those extreme points of view.

me: What I'm saying is that a is arational.
Frank: But only if you assume that it is somehow flawed. There is no evidence that it is in anyway flawed or lacking.

No; you don't have to assume that it is somehow flawed. Arationality is a flaw only if you assume that total rationality is a pre-requisite for any practical application of logic. If that were the case, then having an arational premise would be a flaw. But I don't make that assumption; neither does logic as a philosophical discipline. It's an unreasonable exectation to have, because we are, as finite beings, incapable of building a logical argument on a completely logical foundation.

The premise is only alogical if there is reason to believe that it is incomplete, there are no such reasons, not through our senses, not through our technology and not statistically.

I get the feeling that you're not understanding what I mean by alogical. I don't mean illogical -- that would imply that the premise contradicts itself in some way. What I mean by alogical is that the premise is supplied by something other than logical argument. Sense datum is, in that sense, alogical -- it's provided by sensory perception rather than logical thought. Hypotheticals and assumptions are also alogical.

You can look at logic as a kind of machine -- a copy machine, say. It performs a specific function, and does that consistently, but it requires external input. That input can be, itself, a photocopy (that is, a premise arrived at by logical argument), but that photocopy is of something that was not itself a photocopy. And in this analogy, whatever was not a photocopy (that is, not made by the machine of logic) is alogical.

That's what I mean when I say that we don't have access to a purely logical argument. We can't make an argument that doesn't ultimately derive from something provided by some faculty other than logic.




Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:36 pm
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Post Re: If Theism isn\'t a Delusion, Then What Is It?
Mad
I get the feeling that you're not understanding what I mean by alogical.

I think you are correct, I thought you were explaining it as I was debating against.

And I agree with the premise, except when it is used in a debate to allow for logic leaping.

Later




Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:43 pm
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Post Re: If Theism isn\'t a Delusion, Then What Is It?
Dawkins emphasises the definition of theism as 'supernaturalism'. Supernaturalism most certainly is delusional, as natural evolutionary science provides a sufficient explanation for truth without postulating miracles or a Creator being who is more complex than the creation.

I saw a review of The God Delusion in the New York Review of Books where the critic elides from rational natural theology (God as Einsteinian ground of being, etc) into illogical and baseless beliefs in supernaturalism. You cannot use arguments for a naturalistic God (= universe) to critique Dawkins' demolition of supernaturalism!

I am convinced that Christianity still has not come to terms with Copernicus, as the idea of "salvation = going to heaven" only makes sense in a flat earth universe. Since Luther described Copernicus as "an upstart astrologer" Protestantism has remained in thrall to a delusional idea of heaven. And the Catholics are worse - eg limbo.

Despite these comments, I continue to call myself a Christian, because we need a new naturalistic concept of salvation, understood as evolutionary adaptation. The story of Jesus is to me at the centre of human history, in terms of the confrontation between truth and power. Taking this story in natural terms, I believe we can re-write Christian theology to exclude supernaturalism while retaining the Einsteinian God. For example, Jesus taught us (Matt 6:10) to pray 'thy will be done on earth as in heaven'. This can be interpreted to mean that heaven is our ideal vision of love and justice and wholism, so our efforts should go to transforming the earth to align it with this vision. Similarly, Jesus said (John 3:17) 'I came not to condemn the world but to save it'. This idea of saving the world (not saving souls) entirely conflicts with the supernaturalist error, and with its crazy ideas such as the rapture. As Paul said (Rom 8:22), 'creation groans in travail' - meaning the eschaton should be expected as a rupture in our current world view, not a magical rapture. And when Malachi (3:2) speaks of the refiners fire, it is precisely the Dawkinsian robust and rigorous focus on truth that the prophet is demanding.




Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:44 am
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Post Re: If Theism isn\'t a Delusion, Then What Is It?
Niall001 wrote:
Frank, that\'s because there isn\'t really a definition for delusion. It means whatever the speaker wants it to mean most of the time.Generally, something is thought of as being a delusion if it is an uncommon perception, which brings into focus the fact that when people speak of reality, they generally speak of a bunch of things the vast majority of people agree about.


I think there is a clear definition of the word "delusion"
Oxford Dictionary:

an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder:

From the mouth of a scientist in particular, the word is clearly being utilized with the intent to both ridicule and dismiss religion as anything but an irrational meme.
Why don't scientists dismiss string and M theory as "delusional" guess work till direct evidence becomes available?


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Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:52 am
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Post Re: If Theism isn't a Delusion, Then What Is It?
All semantic games aside, and all of the "What the bleep do we know" type of BS aside, it's rather obvious that supernaturalism is a delusion world view. It may even be a dominant world view at present, but that doesn't make it any less delusional. It does represent a psychological problem in the mind of the person believing it. Science may be struggling to completely understand the structure of matter but that in no way puts the scientist on the same delusional grounds as the supernatural religionist.

The creation story contradicts itself as of the first day of creation (see signature below). The creation story is completely unsupported when observing the actual geological record of the earth. The earth is very old, plain and simple. The only position warranted towards religious claims is an agnostic one, as Interbane has demonstrated time and time again on these forums. There isn't enough information to move past an agnostic position.

Can the same be said of the structure matter? What exactly are we talking about here in terms a - z? Does a represent space, or matter, or some type of Aether / substance theory? I'd like to better understand where that argument is coming from.


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Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:53 am
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Post Re: If Theism isn\'t a Delusion, Then What Is It?
Robert Tulip wrote:
Despite these comments, I continue to call myself a Christian, because we need a new naturalistic concept of salvation, understood as evolutionary adaptation.


A very strange view indeed! How many atheist Christians (is that an accurate label?) are there in the world besides yourself?



Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:55 am
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