the only easy day was yesterday

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

God Arguments and Such

Cosmological, from thomas aquinas. the cosmological argument rests on the concept of causality. for every event there is a cause. the chain of cause and event cannot go on forever because we are here now, so there must be a beggining cause. that first cause must be god. oh so many problems. the most obvious one is that the first premise, that everything is caused, contradicts the conclusion, that there is an uncaused cause, god. another problem is what is called the fallacy of composition, or composition fallacy, which means that aquinas tries to apply what is true for part to the whole, that is, everything that is, that is, every event has a cause in our part, but in the universe, or rather the entirety of the universe may not follow that rule of cause and effect, therefore the argument does not prove anything. hume turned to his fork of knowledge on this issue, which i wont explain now, which said that things are either known throuh relation of ideas (bachelors are unmarried) or matters of fact (it is raining). he said that causailty could not be known through either of these facets, and thus that the cosmological argument holds no ground. for now, all i will mention of immanuel kant is that he refutes hume refutation of the cosmological argument. in kants view of spatiotemporal experience causailty is a necessary for the instance of experience in the human mind, we learn a priori the concepts of space and time and then organize causality in our minds; it is true and we must know it for experience of anything. he comes more into play later.

Teleological. its a posteriori, which means after or with experience, and it relies on empirical observations. this argument is most famously characterized in william paleys watchmaker argument. the argument pretty much says that the if you found a watch on the beach you'd be inclined to believe there mustve been an artificer because of the complexity of the design in the watch, thus, as humans and other life-forms are more complex than a watch, we must too be designed. i like to call creationists who believe in intelligent design overwhelmists, they ignore the 'atoms perspective' idea, which is that from our perspective cells and shit look overwhelmingly complex, so they must be desined, but from an atoms point of view, it is all the same, just atoms and such - overwhelmists deny that our concept of complexity is subjective. the most effective refutation of design i think is evolution, in that they both in a word transcend the common philosophic problems of knowledge and the external world and accept the sensible world as a reliable source of knowledge for argument, thus rather than being overwhelmed like paley, darwin explained it all and thats that, i think this really puts it to sleep on an empirical front. philosophically there are a few objections as well. an intuitive response to this is that, since paley thought that his argument necessitates the christian god, david hume simply says, uh no not really just because something is designed doesnt mean it was the god you have in your mind, and humans are too different from a manmade thing to make that assertion that we must be designed at all in our likeness to the comlexity of those things. the latter plays a little bit on the denial of our subjective mind. the last philosophical knock on the teleological argument is that it rests of the cosmological argument, in that it says that a complex thing needs an artificer, or something to cause it, rather than it just appearing.

the ontological argument. ive been through this so many times it gives me a headache. saint anselms version goes like this: i have the idea of a perfect thing, because i have this idea that posseses all perfections it must exist because it is the perfection, it is what everything else draws its part of perfection from, and it is greater to exist in reality that in thought thus it must exist. descartes version is this: god is perfect, god posseses all perfections, actually being is greater than just being in thought, thus god must exist.

the final death of this string of proofs for the existence of god is kant. he hates it like i hate it. well probably not. he said that existence is not a property. when i say that my computer is white it adds to the idea of it, but when i say this computer exists you still have a similarly uncertain picture in your head as when i simply say i have a computer, so arguing about god existing or not is irrelevant and inconsequential.

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