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Chit-Chat » Discord Chat? » 1/13/2018 2:35 pm

I was wondering if this forum has a chat server on Discord or some other place? If not, have you considered making one? That would be pretty nice.

Religion » Why is there God instead of Nothing? » 1/11/2018 8:21 pm

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

I understand your point, Dry and Uninspired. You are saying that Feser is showing that God must exist, but we can always why things are as they are. The problem here is the limits of discursive reasoning. What is necessary must be, but our discursive intellects have a problem assimilating that. The answer is, in fact, because God is - he is his own reason and explanation, but to fully appreciate this answer goes beyond what discursive reason can give.

 
Yeah, thanks, I think that’s about right.

Theoretical Philosophy » Do we really have a natural explanation of consciousness/qualia? » 1/11/2018 6:01 pm

RomanJoe wrote:

I really want to better understand the mind from an A-T view. My initial reactions when I first came across A-T accounts of mental experience, and how it supposedly doesn't fall victim to the hard problem of consciousness, is that it really is just a form of epiphenomenalism, no? Certain material forms can generate a rush of mental experience (qualia, intentionality, privacy) and these mental experiences can't be assessed empirically like  the third-person motions of material processes.

 
I’m no expert, but I doubt Thomists would consider it epiphenomenalism, not with the four causes system and all. I could be wrong, but under epiphenomenalism it would then basically be a part of the material cause or at least subordinate to it.

The material cause of consciousness would be the neurons involved in it, the efficient cause whatever happened to bring the neurons into existence...So we still have the formal and final causes, which are not somehow less important (which they would be if epiphenomenalism were true).

Religion » Why is there God instead of Nothing? » 1/11/2018 1:51 pm

DanielCC wrote:

Dry and Uninspired wrote:

DanielCC wrote:


The ontological argument.

 
Which one? Leibnizian?

Yes, the modal argument. More generally God is a necessary being and this necessity follows from various divine attributes such as perfection or simplicity.

Arguments such the PSR Cosmological Argument prove that a necessary being exists but they don't give an account of what it is in the nature of said being that makes it necessary. I have written about this just recently in the context of that argument:

http://ontologicalinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/five-proofs-critique-rationalist-proof.html

I agree that 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' though historically venerable is not the most illuminating way of phrasing that question. What is really meant is something like 'why do contingent beings' exist?'

I think that you might be missing the same point that Feser is here. I’m just not good enough at technical philosophy to make it more clear what it is.
 

Theoretical Philosophy » Do we really have a natural explanation of consciousness/qualia? » 1/11/2018 1:34 pm

surroundx wrote:

Whatever the epistemic difficulties in trying to give a materialistic account of consciousness, I don't at all see how positing immateriality offers any explanatory benefits whatsoever. That's my two cent(ence)s.

 
They’re not just epistemic problems; they’re metaphysical problems, The idea is that matter *on the materialistic* conception can’t account for consciousness even in principle. Asking what the “explanatory benefits” of a metaphysical argument are is kind of like asking what the “explanatory benefits” of a mathematical theorem are. The argument either works or it doesn’t.

But that’s not what the OP is talking about. I think the OP pretty much presupposes a non-materialistic conception of matter, but then asks if those aspects of minds that are material on the Aristotelian really are so.

Religion » Why is there God instead of Nothing? » 1/11/2018 1:13 pm

DanielCC wrote:

Dry and Uninspired wrote:

I’m sure there is a reason why, in fact, there has to be God instead of Nothing, but I don’t think we can really know it with our limited minds.

Am I missing something here?

The ontological argument.

 
Which one? Leibnizian?

Religion » Why is there God instead of Nothing? » 1/11/2018 12:50 pm

I read this article by Edward Feser a while ago: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.si/2013/10/why-is-there-anything-at-all-its-simple.html

The more I think about it, the more I feel that Feser is missing the point. While I agree with him on 90% of things, it seems that he is confusing things here. The question “Does God exist?”, regardless of how you answer it, is not the same question as “Why is there Something instead of Nothing?” or, once you’ve established the existence of God, “Why is there God instead of Nothing?” It would seem to me that this is one of those mysteries that only God Himself knows. After all, not even Thomists say that God is 100% intelligible to us.

Feser writes about divine simplicity, classical theism, the ultimate source, actuality and potentiality etc., which is all well and fine, but what does it have to do with the question here? If there were Nothing, there would be no source or anything at all, simple or composite, actual or potential. We can argue to God precisely because, the way things are, we see that there are composites and potentialities, but what does that have to do with the absence of Everything, where there would simply be Nothing instead of Pure Actuality or The One, etc.?

I’m sure there is a reason why, in fact, there has to be God instead of Nothing, but I don’t think we can really know it with our limited minds.

Am I missing something here?

Religion » How to speak with atheists » 1/07/2018 4:46 pm

nojoum wrote:

Dry and Uninspired wrote:

Update on Adventures with Atheist Parents:

My dad keeps saying that the Church expects people to believe in God blindly, but I’ve told him several times that there are serious arguments given for His existence, and that whether he agrees with them or not, it’s not true that noone has ever given them.

But today, again, he starts talking about religion and says that, you guessed it, the Cruch expects you to believe blindly and that’s how it was when he went to church and it’s why he left. I said that it may be true that, unfortunately, noone at church ever presented them to him, but I said, again, that, if you want to know the best defense of a certain worldview, you should try to figure out what its greatest thinkers have said.

But then he more or less ignored it and went on about how sorry he feels for people being raised in the church.

Is there any getting through to someone like this?

I'm not sure if it helps you but what's so great about God? What do we miss in our life here if we forget about God? What's the role of God in our life? I think if you can make the case that we miss the true purpose of our life by ignoring God, then you would not even need to give arguments for his existence.

 
If I go in a direction sort of like that, then the problem of evil generally comes up. And he says that, even if God exists, he’d rather go to Hell than worship someone who allows all this suffering, and that nothing could convince him that a good God could allow it.

Religion » How to speak with atheists » 1/07/2018 8:57 am

Update on Adventures with Atheist Parents:

My dad keeps saying that the Church expects people to believe in God blindly, but I’ve told him several times that there are serious arguments given for His existence, and that whether he agrees with them or not, it’s not true that noone has ever given them.

But today, again, he starts talking about religion and says that, you guessed it, the Cruch expects you to believe blindly and that’s how it was when he went to church and it’s why he left. I said that it may be true that, unfortunately, noone at church ever presented them to him, but I said, again, that, if you want to know the best defense of a certain worldview, you should try to figure out what its greatest thinkers have said.

But then he more or less ignored it and went on about how sorry he feels for people being raised in the church.

Is there any getting through to someone like this?

Religion » How do I choose a denomination? » 1/05/2018 8:06 pm

lacktone wrote:

Dry and Uninspired wrote:

lacktone wrote:

Remaining non-denominational is not acceptable? There are non-denominational houses of worship you could test. I was married in one and to me the absence of the (unnecessary) pageantry and ceremony marking other legacy religions was refreshing. 

 
Non-denominational in what sense? Aren’t so-called non-denominational churches generally Evangelical?

Also, I’m not sure if we actually have any where I live (Slovenia).

That's not for me to know. If I was asked to opine about religion in general I'd say that their individual survivals are all based in evangelism to a greater or lesser extent. In other words, all have a character to them that can be irritating with enough exposure. I don't champion any of them. I consider the notion of worshiping a deity a one-on-one primacy with no reason in logic to channel it through a religion, or middleman so-to-speak. What I will acknowledge is the sense of community innate in religion and that, IMO, is a secular attraction first and spiritual one second.

Anyway, the non-denominational entry I experienced dispensed with the ceremony in its worship sessions and focused on the community with emphasis on the welfare of it's members. Being an atheist (wife a theist) it was a compromise I was comfortable making only because of its secular approach to worship. While in their company I got the feeling that it was a place where the congregation was comprised of people who were done with the more traditional, legacy religions. My upbringing was Catholic and by 8 years old I wanted out of it. I can't possibly be the only person who felt that way. That's how I can contrast the non-denominational I experienced.

 
Oh I see. That’s really interesting.

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