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IAmZamzam
09-02-2010, 11:53 PM
I ordinarily don’t do this. Through gradual tapering I’ve more or less stopped responding to atheists altogether, at least in forums or other places where there’s an immediate and direct back-and-forth. (This is why I may well never write another “Atheistic Chestnuts Refuted” article, for instance.) There are two reasons. First, because most of the atheists you’ll talk to respond to your arguments with nothing more than talk that is little different from the insults of an elementary schooler, and their behavior otherwise is no less immature or appalling. They even use directly childish idioms and reference points, each more puerile and needlessly obnoxious than the last. (For instance, take their cliché analogies to God: Santa Claus, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, invisible pink unicorns...stop and think for a minute how odd it is to hear this coming from the mouths of grown-ups.) Some of them try to rationalize away their constantly insulting way of speaking by saying that humor helps to open the mind or that anyone who believes the “silly” things we do deserves to be mocked ruthlessly (apparently their sense of justice is no more advanced beyond the fifth grade than their sense of humor); others make no apologies but still get just as defensive anyway when you label their horrible behavior for what it is. I’m not saying that there aren’t civil atheists out there: probably there’s a lot of them, and years ago I was close friends with one. But the more vocal ones almost always seem to be the ones who mock and deride instead of reason: this trait reaches far beyond the ubiquitous forum trolls who exist among people of every stripe and goes all the way into many if not most of their most esteemed, “professional” scholars.

The second reason is that you can’t win with these sorts anyway since they’re constantly shifting their ground or fortifying themselves with catch-22’s. The modern atheistic intellectual zeitgeist is little more than a mass of self-contradictory double standards which leave no conceivable means for even a theoretical possibility to slip in from any quarter of anything making the holders of these standards change their minds. If one or two extraordinary events happen then the skeptics say that of course that doesn’t indicate anything because it’s obviously a fluke instead of a sign or divine intervention because after all, it’s not like such unlikely things happen all the time; if they do end up happening all the time then these people say that of course it doesn’t mean anything because it’s obviously just the statistical effect called clustering: an epidemic of extraordinary things has to happen to someone eventually. A lot of these skeptics walk around saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” yet if they do see something themselves they pass it off as a hallucination or some other sort of phantasm or illusion. They complain (rightly, perhaps) of atheists always being depicted, in fiction and even in real life, as being merely prejudiced by some emotional or psychological impetus like a personal trauma or something, but at the same time they go around talking about religious faith like it is automatically and inherently a purely emotional or psychological phenomenon, or even a mental illness. Some of these atheists (many of them the same people who on other occasions demand miracles as proof) claim that if something were to break the laws of physics then that would just necessitate a redefinition of those laws—again, leaving no room for any persuasion that there was divine intervention. Something in reality that doesn’t fit your worldview? Just patch it up by redefining a word.

Most egregiously of all, they criticize creationist “science” (again, rightly) of bringing the subject of the supernatural into science when by definition science is the study of the natural world only and therefore it’s like mixing oil and water, but then many of these same people also say that they disbelieve in God because there is no scientific evidence for Him. It’s no use pointing out to them that if scientific proof of the supernatural is impossible then so is scientific disproof of the supernatural, or that it is unreasonable and irrational in the first place to say that you disbelieve in God, a supernatural Being and therefore something that wouldn’t and couldn’t yield scientific evidence of His existence even if He did exist, because there is no scientific evidence for His existence. Oh, they’ll get the self-refuting and mind-closing discrepancy involved but somehow they still won’t get what’s wrong with holding to it. Do you see my predicament now? How are you to argue with a man who insists that something can’t be in the next room behind a locked door because his methods of studying this room have disclosed no reason to think that the object is here in it, even though he very well knows this is not where the object could possibly be if it exists, and he doesn’t care (or even takes pride) in how beside the point his reasoning is? And that’s not even close to the worst thing you have to deal with when trying to reason with these folks. It’s difficult and seemingly pointless to go on—in person, at any rate.

Every now and then, though, I come across a piece of anti-theism propaganda that is so very asinine, unoriginal, and nigh unreadable behind the words FALLACY being written all over it a thousand times in giant bold letters—and yet so likely to be talked about endlessly--that I know a refutation seems necessary and even with my ordinary distaste for such things I can hardly resist anyway. Such a piece is Stephen Hawking’s recent cant about God having no role in the universe. This is one of those articles that is so drenched in illogic that it seems necessary to go through it bit by bit:

STEPHEN HAWKING: GOD HAS NO ROLE IN UNIVERSE, by Theunis Bates

LONDON (Sept. 2)—Entering the ongoing debate between faith and science, renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking claims that modern physics has now proved that God played no role in the creation of the universe.

In a new book—“The Grand Design,” co-written with American physicist Leonard Mlodinow—the theoretical physicist sets out to demolish Sir Isaac Newton’s claim that an "intelligent and powerful Being" must have shaped the universe, which he believed could not have emerged from chaos. Hawking and Mlodinow rule out the possibility of divine intervention, saying that new theories have made the idea of a supernatural creator redundant.
I refer you to what I said above. Science, the study of nature, could no more prove anything about supernature one way or the other than linguistics could prove a mathematical formula. I suppose the idea is that nauseatingly old “God of the Gaps” nonsense, which posits that the real purpose of theism is to explain things that science has not “yet” explained. I’ve always had two serious problems with this theory. First, there’s the absurd literalism and historical snobbery involved with the implications and typical explanations or supports of the idea. Second, science has, in the end, not explained diddly squat as a replacement for how nature works as opposed to divine agencies or whatever. All science has done is put the words "the forces of nature" in as a placeholder and pretend that it already is what it is a placeholder for, and for that matter that these words even have a definition in the first place—or at least one that’s specific, coherent, articulate, and meaningful enough to have any practical value whatsoever so that it really makes any difference whether the definition is there or not. The concept of “the forces of nature” is a non-explanation—indeed, it’s really a non-concept. Descriptions are not the same thing as explanations. Saying the word “force” does not supply any new information. It doesn’t even communicate anything. Science can describe, to some degree, what gravity or electromagnetism does, but not what it is, or what causes it. The laws of the universe are just patterns of consistent behavior for which science has no actual explanation whatsoever, just semantics masquerading as explanations. These people notice a common type of occurrence, affix a label to it, and then say, “There, now the occurrence is explained.” Well, maybe they don’t go so far as to put it directly into words like that: one wouldn’t want to openly reveal the malarkey for what it is and force oneself to face the reality of one’s ignorance and, worse, one’s denial.

Not to mention that even if a fact does render something redundant, that is not the same as rendering it untrue. Or that these “forces of nature” themselves form an arabesque of pattern and organization to begin with which in every other instance is an evident mark of design. We are a colony of microscopic creatures living in one isolated corner of a vast Persian rug, and once we’ve seen enough of our corner to notice some patterns in the rug which form the basis and structure that our little “world” stands on, a few of us come up with names for these patterns, pretend the names are themselves existential and causal accounts, and then, most puzzlingly of all, use these names as evidence that we must not be on a woven thing of any sort. Because consistency is a sign of lack of design, apparently. At least when you give it a name which allows people to forget that you’re not talking about anything in the first place more specific and explanatory than things behaving consistently in certain ways. Such is “the forces of nature”.

But wait, if we read on then we see that Mr. Hawking isn’t saying that: no, it’s worse. He’s saying that not only was there no weaver, the rug wove itself:

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing," the pair write, in an extract published in today's London Times. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going."
Except that there must have been something to light the paper with, and something to have ignited it and set it to the paper. It seems ridiculous that I should actually have to explain that and why things can’t create themselves, let alone out of nothing, but all right. For one thing, something has to exist before it can perform any action or function such as creation. And if it already exists to begin with, that means it’s already been created, and furthermore...oh, enough of this. Like I said, it shouldn’t bear explaining. (Additionally, even if it were not necessary to invoke God, that would not mean that He’s not there. “Necessary” and “real” are two very different concepts, and thus to say that an absence of necessity indicates an absence of reality is to speak in non-sequiturs.)

"The Grand Design," which goes on sale next week, is a significant shift away from Hawking's previous comments on the divine. In his 1988 best-seller, “A Brief History of Time,” he suggested that it was possible to believe in the concept of God as creator and also hold a scientific view of the universe. "If we do discover a complete theory...of why it is that we and the universe exist...it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we would know the mind of God," he wrote.

And in a 2007 interview, he appeared to portray himself as an agnostic. "I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science," he told the BBC. "The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws."
The “mind of God” statement is open to various possible interpretations. Indeed, many people have suspected Hawking of being a flat-out atheist all along, who didn’t want to admit to it because it would mean a drop in book sales or reputation. He has been maybe a little vague and evasive on the subject, and I do seem to remember reading at infidels.org or somewhere a few years back, in some article about how more atheistic celebrities should proudly proclaim their atheism rather than keep it a secret, that...I can’t remember the author’s name for the life of me, but whoever it was put months of “tremendous pressure” (i.e. obnoxious poking, prying and pestering instead of letting the poor man have his right to privacy) on Hawking until finally his secretary said, “When Mr. Hawking says ‘God’ he is referring to the forces of nature.” I don’t know if that’s true or not—it was only secondhand information from a secretary who may have just been trying to shut that badgering fellow up—but in any case, whatever Hawking believed Bates should not just declare a flip-flop in Hawking’s position on theism when his previous position was not at all clear and he himself has not said anything about changing his mind.

Hawking now argues that Newton's assertion that the laws of nature cannot alone explain the existence of life and the universe started to fall apart in 1992, when astronomers discovered the first extrasolar planets (planets beyond our own solar system) orbiting other sunlike stars.

"That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions—the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings," he writes.
“Just to please us”?! I’ll be generous and assume that was a silly little careless poor choice of words. As for the rest, it’s all that same endlessly repeated line about how modern knowledge of science somehow means less evidence of teleology because the individual (and usually, mostly abandoned per se) straw man argument is treated or implied as standing for all teleological thought. Usually this is done by saying that the theory of evolution itself has disproven the teleological position; now Hawking is speaking as though the likelihood of life on other planets has, and in mere reference to the ancient words of Isaac Newton. This makes Hawking no better than the creationists who attack selected, oversimplified statements written by Darwin himself as if that could refute the entire theory of evolution. I have already discussed above why the “forces of nature” are more likely to be signs of design than of undesign, and I have discussed it further, with refutations of the inevitable counter-arguments, in the other thread where I gave the excerpt from my own book in progress. If—pardon me, when—I must explain it all over again, it should be in another thread still, because to go into it here would be prolix and slightly off topic.

Hawking believes that other universes, as well as other solar systems, are also likely to exist. But if God's purpose was to create mankind, he wonders, why would He make these redundant and out-of-reach worlds?
If that doesn’t make you wonder why even the most intelligent nontheists in the world cannot formulate intelligent arguments, I don’t know what will. Apparently Hawking is one of those nontheists who automatically equate belief in God with belief that God made the world only to make humans, or mainly to make humans. Another straw man, though not at all of an uncommon stripe: nontheistic literature is replete with attacks on theism itself by way of attacking individual, select beliefs of certain groups of theists. Lots of theists do not believe that God made the world just to make mankind: indeed, the notion is explicitly denied in the Koran, which was written in the Dark Ages: “The creation of the heavens and the earth is certainly greater than the creation of humans, though most humans don’t know it.” (Surah 40, verse 57) This is one of the dangers of ignorance and stereotype: they strike even the smartest people, making them think such manifest malarkey as that “X existing in the first place=X having certain motives” is a necessary truth that is so obvious as not even to be considered. Heck, God’s role as creator and designer doesn’t even indicate that any viewpoint about His motives at all, religious or unorthodox, is necessarily correct.

Second of all, what makes other worlds redundant? The Koran, again, stated that there are many earths (surah 65, verse 12). Even if we are alone out there, the vast size of the universe beyond us—which we know we can only barely begin to detect, the detectable parts alone being unimaginably cyclopean—is anything but redundant: it just goes to show how us how great and inconceivable its Creator would be. There is nothing redundant about a master who needs nothing yet who still creates people out of the kindness of His heart coming up with a few more servants: if anything, it stands to reason. And what the heck could the worlds being out of reach of each other (if they even are, for a more technologically advanced and long-lived species than our own) have to do with it?? There may be another colony of microscopic organisms living farther away from us here on this great Persian rug than we can ever hope to reach, but that doesn’t change the fact of the arabesque in the rug itself. And besides, it’s not like the existence of intelligent life on other planets is even proven in the least yet, though Hawking seems to be taking the matter purely for granted.

Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and high-profile atheist...
Okay, stop right there. Dawkins may be high-profile in the literal sense of being famous, but only in that sense. The implication here seems to be that he is a respected member of the intellectual community and yet I don’t even know of very many atheists who take him seriously. I think very little of him myself.

...welcomed the book, telling the Times that Hawking had developed a theory of Darwinism for the entirety of nature, not simply the creatures that live within it. "That's exactly what he's saying," Dawkins told the paper. "I know nothing of the details of the physics, but I had always assumed the same thing."
I spoke too soon. It looks like they did go ahead and tow the “evolution automatically refutes a teleological view of the universe” line after all in addition to the rest. I really should have seen this coming.

However, religious commentators have criticized Hawking's theorizing, saying he can never hope to explain what is essentially unexplainable.

"If all the physical laws had been explained and proved—which is a million miles from the case—our understanding of the actions of God would not be one whit greater: his existence and his actions are of a different order," writes Quentin de la Bedoyere, science editor of the U.K.'s Catholic Herald newspaper. "Most particularly it would not touch the question of how something existing comes out from nothing. That is a question which science cannot answer, and will never answer, because nothingness is not within its domain. ... Neither [Hawking], nor you, nor I will ever explain creation, except through faith."
He was doing so well until that final sentence. But because he messed up there and said that “faith” line, he has allowed the psyches of thousands of atheists reading his words to focus on that one thing and overlook the common sense of the rest. A week after reading the quote, it will be the only thing they remember him saying.

Stephen Hawking has given many signs lately that in the best case scenario what brilliance he may have once genuinely had is slipping, and in the worst case scenario he is losing his capacity for original and rational thought, or isn’t bothering to use said capacity. One of his other most recent articles is just one long cliché about how aliens probably exist and will probably be hostile toward us and must be of vastly superior intelligence and so on. Barring all the other errors involved, you’d at least think that he of all people would understand that the only thing necessary for a race to develop interstellar travel is not superhuman intelligence but only intelligence that’s at minimum approximately human, given that the human brain has not grown definitely and noticeably more intelligent in the few thousand years we’ve been really developing our technology, and obviously still will not have if in a few more thousand years we’ve taken it to new levels like interstellar travel ourselves. It just takes a mind like our own and a lot of dedicated time and practice, not an inherently greater intellect. Perhaps it is dedicated time and practice that Mr. Hawking has fallen out of, because for the reasons I have given (and I’m really only scratching the surface) he hasn’t given any more sign of applying mental effort to the subject of theism either. As Stephen King wrote in On Writing, no one can be as intellectually lazy as a really smart person. Nevertheless, Hawking’s words are good for one thing: they go to show that even the most intelligent nontheists in the world can’t come up with any argumentation that’s even remotely new, logical, or even interesting.
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Alpha Dude
09-03-2010, 12:17 AM
:sl: Good post. I really enjoyed reading that.
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Ramadhan
09-03-2010, 04:34 AM
Originally Posted by Bedouin
:sl: Good post. I really enjoyed reading that.
ditto.


(to lengthen it to 12 chars)
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Tyrion
09-03-2010, 06:56 AM
Very nice. Thanks for taking the time to write all that up.
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Abdul Wahid
09-03-2010, 07:11 AM
:sl:

JazakALLAH-heir brother for sharing. Nice read.

God does indeed exist - Hawkings is the perfect example!

God is keeping him alive.............


Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe? Surat Al-'Anbyā' (The Prophets) (21:30) - سورة الأنبياء


And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are [its] expander. Surat Adh-Dhāriyāt (The Winnowing Winds) (51:47) - سورة الذاريات
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Trumble
09-03-2010, 11:02 AM
IMHO, it's hardly fair appropriate to accuse one of the leading scientists of our times of being 'illogical', floating strawmen and all the rest of it on the basis of somebody else's comments on his book, and a couple of small quotes. Read the book, then do it. In addition, it's very hard to take seriously any author that suggests such a person is "losing his capacity for original and rational thought" just because he happens to present an opinion the author happens to disagree with. You are obviously capable of presenting a reasonable argument without resorting to ad hominem rubbish, so why not do so?
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جوري
09-03-2010, 11:13 AM
Originally Posted by Trumble
IMHO, it's hardly fair appropriate to accuse one of the leading scientists of our times of being 'illogical', floating strawmen and all the rest of it on the basis of somebody else's comments on his book, and a couple of small quotes. Read the book, then do it. I
Does being a scientist preclude one from being illogical or even a bigot?
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle2677098.ece

all the best
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Trumble
09-03-2010, 02:43 PM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ

Does being a scientist preclude one from being illogical or even a bigot?
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle2677098.ece
Of course it doesn't. The point, though, is not whether Hawking is capable of being 'illogical', but whether his new book contains (or might be argued to contain) illogical statements . The information provided by the OP is totally insufficient to make such an assessment.
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IAmZamzam
09-04-2010, 12:18 AM
Originally Posted by Trumble
IMHO, it's hardly fair appropriate to accuse one of the leading scientists of our times of being 'illogical', floating strawmen and all the rest of it on the basis of somebody else's comments on his book, and a couple of small quotes. Read the book, then do it. In addition, it's very hard to take seriously any author that suggests such a person is "losing his capacity for original and rational thought" just because he happens to present an opinion the author happens to disagree with. You are obviously capable of presenting a reasonable argument without resorting to ad hominem rubbish, so why not do so?
Just once before I die--just one, single, lone, solitary time--I would like to hear a single person on a single occasion use the term "ad hominem" correctly. It has become as silly and impossible a dream as fantasizing about winning the lottery.

Perhaps I gave Bates too much credit--for all I know Bates could have been citing Hawking incorrectly or misleadingly out of context--but otherwise no amount of elaboration on a stilted fallacious bit of nonsense, even a book-length amount, changes the fact of what it is. It's my fault if I didn't make it clear enough that it was said arguments themselves that are the real issue, and Hawking's existence as part of the matter is quite secondary. Were I to find that the whole article was fabricated, the only changes that would necessitate in my own article would be changes of attribution, because the whole original article was just a compendium or anthology of ill thought through anti-theistic cliches. I'd have been more concerned about whether they were what Hawking was saying or not if he was saying anything--repeat, anything--that hasn't been said a googolplex times before. Nevertheless, I suppose it might still have been unfair of me not to make this clearer in the article itself, and for that I apologize.

However, I do not appreciate being accused of saying that someone is losing his capacity for logical thought because they expressed disagreement with one of my opinions. Not only is the "losing his capacity for logical thought" part both a misquotation of me and a gross exaggeration, I neither said nor indicated anything in the actual quote (which was simply that it seems the man may have been losing some edge from his prior alleged brilliance--the "logical thought" part was explicitly stated as merely the worst-possible-case scenario, with even an implication that it's the more unlikely option) about anything being due to the man happening to hold a opinion other than my own, but instead due to his making supremely fundamental mistakes in his science and reasoning (one of which I even explained as a sample) that I would expect more from an amateur than from him—and that in any case it’s all coming from a man who, whatever his current and past level of intelligence, is not bothering to really think.

This is one of the things I hate about posing on message boards: people are constantly doing what you just did. If I said tomorrow that I thought Mustansir Mir's theological work doesn't seem to be what it used to be and I'm wondering if the man doesn't have the knack anymore that he used to have (I'm certainly not saying that, by the way: it's a purely hypothetical example), and I gave very specific reasons involving detailed mistakes in his reasoning, you can be sure that someone will make a response post saying how dare I call the man an idiot for not holding to my own view of Islam.
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Trumble
09-04-2010, 06:19 AM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
Just once before I die--just one, single, lone, solitary time--I would like to hear a single person on a single occasion use the term "ad hominem" correctly.
As you have never heard a single person on a single occasion use the term 'correctly' (other than from yourself, presumably), has the thought never occurred to you that perhaps others have it right and you have it wrong? After all, were your claim in fact true, your own conception of the term must be completely your own as you could not have obtained it from anybody else!

Perhaps I gave Bates too much credit--for all I know Bates could have been citing Hawking incorrectly or misleadingly out of context--but otherwise no amount of elaboration on a stilted fallacious bit of nonsense, even a book-length amount, changes the fact of what it is.
Rubbish. 'Book length' elaboration is not needed but to make any meaningful comment presenting the relevant steps in the arguments Hawking presents, together with any supporting evidence - even in abbreviated and/or summarized form - is. Without doing so, your claims regarding "stilted fallacious bit(s) of nonsense" are no more than totally unsupported waffle. How on earth can you judge a conclusion 'fallacious' without seeing the steps in the argument that lead to it?!

However, I do not appreciate being accused of saying that someone is losing his capacity for logical thought because they expressed disagreement with one of my opinions.
Tough. The problem is easily solved by refraining from doing it... and you did do it.

This is one of the things I hate about posing on message boards: people are constantly doing what you just did.
Ah, that would be those pesky other posters pointing out that your own contributions might be just a little less than perfect, would it? Do you not think there might just be a reason that happens 'constantly'? :)
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Hugo
09-04-2010, 04:24 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
I ordinarily don’t do this. Through gradual tapering I’ve more or less stopped responding to atheists altogether, at least in forums or other places where there’s an immediate and direct back-and-forth. (This is why I may well never write another “Atheistic Chestnuts Refuted” article, for instance.)
I assume this means you are [always?] right and they are [always?] wrong, indeed every argument can be refuted by you? Is this your position, though it is hard to see how you claim reason but without any material evidence [for God]?
It’s no use pointing out to them that if scientific proof of the supernatural is impossible then so is scientific disproof of the supernatural, or that it is unreasonable and irrational in the first place to say that you disbelieve in God, a supernatural Being and therefore something that wouldn’t and couldn’t yield scientific evidence of His existence even if He did exist, because there is no scientific evidence for His existence.
I think here you miss the point, there may well be scientific evidence for God but as yet we don't know how to unearth it and until we find a way, a test that in principle can be falsified then God remains a logical conjecture, we cannot know if its true or false. So you are right from a scientific point of view one cannot reason with anyone because the basic premises cannot be shown to be true or false. With regard to Hawking again I think you don't understand what he is saying, which is that if M-theory is correct then like any theory it can be used to predict and one such prediction is that the Universe can self-create. Its just a theory and no proof exists and as I understand it we would need a collider the size of a galaxy to actually prove it.

Science has it seems to me explained quite a lot about how nature works but like all science the outlook taken is that all results are tentative and subject to refutation. If I take what seem to be your position that of supernatural intervention then one can 'prove' anything by simply attributing it to God and you then take the position that it is not subject to refutation so it just semantics masquerading as explanations. It is also NOT true that science progresses just by observation and relativity or say the Maxwell's equations were constructed a priori in someone's mind and in both these cases it was years before any experimental evidence became available but the theories at least told us what to look for. How is it that you cannot see that scientists might notice patters and give them names as being in that sense no different than you saying you notice God and giving those instances names. I find the idea of design appealing but unsatisfactory when I think say of the Ebola or smallpox virus.
It seems ridiculous that I should actually have to explain that and why things can’t create themselves, let alone out of nothing, but all right.
You are just assuming that YOU know this absolutely and does it not strike you as a little arrogant to say to every one that you can explain it. There are self-organising structures and at least in the area of thought we can come up with a totally new idea from nowhere. So while I can see the weight of your argument for me the jury is still out and string theory wanting of experimental evidence.
If that doesn’t make you wonder why even the most intelligent nontheists in the world cannot formulate intelligent arguments, I don’t know what will.
This is it seems you arrogance emerging. The point I suppose is that whatever argument atheists might produce you simply refer to God and that ends it. Sadly, its also true that the most intelligent theists in the world can’t come up with any argumentation that’s even remotely new, logical, or even interesting.
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جوري
09-04-2010, 04:58 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
This is it seems you arrogance emerging. The point I suppose is that whatever argument atheists might produce you simply refer to God and that ends it. Sadly, its also true that the most intelligent theists in the world can’t come up with any argumentation that’s even remotely new, logical, or even interesting.
Must be a sad day for you indeed (if you certify yourself to be of that later group)--but thanks, we'll keep this and use it against your endless endeavors on the dying man/god!

all the best
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IAmZamzam
09-05-2010, 03:14 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
As you have never heard a single person on a single occasion use the term 'correctly' (other than from yourself, presumably), has the thought never occurred to you that perhaps others have it right and you have it wrong? After all, were your claim in fact true, your own conception of the term must be completely your own as you could not have obtained it from anybody else!
Have you never seen a misconception that prevalent yourself which you know to be a misconception? Do you think I'm really alone? Definition and misconceived usage are two different things. Kindly look the term up. I'm too tired of explaining it. (though I've already done it here, if you're interested).

Rubbish. 'Book length' elaboration is not needed but to make any meaningful comment presenting the relevant steps in the arguments Hawking presents, together with any supporting evidence - even in abbreviated and/or summarized form - is. Without doing so, your claims regarding "stilted fallacious bit(s) of nonsense" are no more than totally unsupported waffle. How on earth can you judge a conclusion 'fallacious' without seeing the steps in the argument that lead to it?!
I've already explained about this and apologized for not making my intentions clear in my original post.

Tough. The problem is easily solved by refraining from doing it... and you did do it.
I've already shown how I did no such thing, and anyone who, unlike you, bothered to read the OP carefully will already know that anyway. This is another reason why I'm hesitant to post at message boards now: with almost every counter-response I am forced to do nothing but repeat myself, because there are seldom responses that take into account what I've already said, or even acknowledge it. The conversation rarely truly advances.

Ah, that would be those pesky other posters pointing out that your own contributions might be just a little less than perfect, would it? Do you not think there might just be a reason that happens 'constantly'? :)
Once again, I've already explained what I meant by "what you just did" (or at least the context makes it clear). If the next response to you also involves having to do nothing but point out things you have overlooked in older posts in this thread (or forced yourself to overlook, perhaps), I don't think I'll bother, God willing. This is getting too irksome.
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IAmZamzam
09-05-2010, 03:37 PM
For some reason the machine has suddenly stopped letting me copy and paste from posts, Hugo (something may be wrong with the right mouse button), so I'll just have to go through this without quotations, leaving out the unnecessary responses to your pointless personal attacks:

1. Since science is the study of nature, the only way it could ever have anything to do with a supernatural thing like God, let alone confirm or disconfirm it, is if God is really preternatural--and if anything in the world is truly supernatural, you'd think it would be God.

2. Self-creation violates the very nature of cause and effect, the basis of all science and all reason, and in a very obvious way. That is why it should not bear explaining. But just as you accuse theists of simply referring to God in response to anything, so do a lot of people such as you just refer to purely theoretical scientific defiances of common sense and leave it at that, so there's no point pursuing this.

3. One cannot prove anything just by referring it to God, and I never said one could. I am not like scientists, who just refer to everything with a meaningless word and leave it at that. Even if “God” were as meaningless a word as is often absurdly claimed (which it is not), I still wouldn’t do that, and nowhere above, nor anywhere else, did I do any such thing. Kindly stop putting words in my mouth, or else insisting on viewing the words I have said with filters of bias and assumption over your eyes.

4. Reasoning of any kind is tentative and subject to refutation. Science doesn’t hold a monopoly on that.

5. Giving patterns names is not the same thing as inducing what they are from what they ordinarily indicate.

6. That the idea of design is “unsatisfactory” in light of unfortunate occurrences happening in the world is just another one of those ridiculous chestnuts like the ones I spoke of in the OP. Even were there not any explanation for why a God with the usual traits attributed to him would allow them, it still remains that something is designed does not make it a wholly positive design. Just look at paintings or stories with negative content.

7. “Self-organization” is not the same thing as self-creation. And anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of psychology or neurology would know that thoughts obviously do not come out of nowhere. They are caused, like any other material event.
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Trumble
09-05-2010, 06:10 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
Have you never seen a misconception that prevalent yourself which you know to be a misconception? Do you think I'm really alone? Definition and misconceived usage are two different things. Kindly look the term up. I'm too tired of explaining it. (though I've already done it here, if you're interested).
I know what the term means and have no need to 'look it up'. I used it perfectly correctly.

I've already shown how I did no such thing, and anyone who, unlike you, bothered to read the OP carefully will already know that anyway. This is another reason why I'm hesitant to post at message boards now: with almost every counter-response I am forced to do nothing but repeat myself, because there are seldom responses that take into account what I've already said, or even acknowledge it. The conversation rarely truly advances.
Frankly, I thought it such a load of desperate tosh there didn't seem any point in acknowledging it. The phrase 'when you are in a hole, stop digging', rather springs to mind.

Once again, I've already explained what I meant by "what you just did" (or at least the context makes it clear). If the next response to you also involves having to do nothing but point out things you have overlooked in older posts in this thread (or forced yourself to overlook, perhaps), I don't think I'll bother, God willing. This is getting too irksome.
I have not 'overlooked' anything. You, however, seem to have overlooked the essential point and have miserably failed to provide any explanation as to how you can judge whether an argument is sound when the only part of it you know is the conclusion. If you can do so, please try - if not any more of your froth and waffle will indeed be irksome in the extreme.
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FS123
09-05-2010, 06:27 PM
I guess OP goes against world view of few people and they simply didn't like the OP, ha ha!
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czgibson
09-05-2010, 07:28 PM
Greetings,

Let's just wait until we've had a chance to read the book, shall we? :)

Peace
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IAmZamzam
09-05-2010, 07:31 PM
"Irksome in the extreme"? Since I'm as irksome to you as you are to me, Trumble, I suggest we just stop talking to each other altogether.
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جوري
09-05-2010, 09:15 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
I have not 'overlooked' anything. You, however, seem to have overlooked the essential point and have miserably failed to provide any explanation as to how you can judge whether an argument is sound when the only part of it you know is the conclusion. If you can do so, please try - if not any more of your froth and waffle will indeed be irksome in the extreme.
How do you conclude that he failed? did you read beside the conclusion yourself to argue whether Yahya overlooked the essentials?
Perhaps you can illustrate those points for us so we can reach the same conclusion you did..
all I have read from you thus far is 'waffle' and tosh' 'failure' and pancakes but aside from that, haven't offered us any morsels yourself that we can sink our teeth into..
if you desire to defend hawkins' points then illustrate them and let us be the judge as to whether or not yahya waffled, pancaked so we too can be irked to the level that has you so in a tizzy..

all the best
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-Fallen Angel-
09-05-2010, 09:35 PM
I think the more i read about Hawking's "work", the more i find it idiotic and stupid. I mean firstly and foremost, the irony is that he's dissing God, and look at how he is.. not to be a mean person, it's still sad to see somebody trapped like that in their body.. but part of my believes "he deserves it", though obviously he's not the only one.
Moving on, what he's claiming now is just silly and pretty stupid. I mean, he's saying that gravity can cause things to be created (the universe) out of nothing, so if gravity is nothing (since there was nothing in the first place), then the universe never really was there... so it just makes no sense.. I honestly believe that just because somebody has a Phd and whatever, it does not make them an educated or a smart person, as proven by some of the teories of this guy. I wonder how he feels about what will happened after he dies, why won't he make some theories on that?... Ignorance has no bound.. but people should still be respected for their opinion no matter how crazy.. although i find this one pretty funny.

Offtopic, my first post in ages :D
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جوري
09-05-2010, 09:41 PM
actually I find his existence to be quite miraculous--ALS is a death sentence, the life expectancy is 3-5 years max, and they die a terrible death, the fact that he is here decades after the diagnosis, should really prompt him to view the miracle of his mind and existence.. It is a pity to be embittered instead of enthralled, but I suppose that is the route most people take.. I come so close to taking that route myself many times, but then it just seems silly!

:w:
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Trumble
09-05-2010, 09:41 PM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ
How do you conclude that he failed?
Because, as far as I can see, he didn't even try. If Yahya DID explain how it is possible to assess whether an argument is fallacious when you are aware only of the conclusion, do please point it out to me.

did you read beside the conclusion yourself to argue whether Yahya overlooked the essentials?
I haven't read the book, and neither has Yahya. Neither of us, therefore, have any idea what those essentials are. The only difference between us is that I acknowledge that fact.

if you desire to defend hawkins' points then illustrate them and let us be the judge as to whether or not yahya waffled, pancaked so we too can be irked to the level that has you so in a tizzy..
That is unnecessary, as not having read the book Yahya could do nothing but waffle within the framework of criticism he chose to employ. I have no great desire to defend Hawking's claim as I understand it, as doing so with committed monotheists is clearly futile. If I did, however, my first step would be to read the book, understand and assess those arguments.
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czgibson
09-05-2010, 09:44 PM
Greetings,

Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ
How do you conclude that he failed? did you read beside the conclusion yourself to argue whether Yahya overlooked the essentials?

The book hasn't been published yet, so nobody here is likely to have read it.


if you desire to defend hawkins' points...

The author's name is Stephen Hawking.


Peace
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جوري
09-05-2010, 09:50 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
Because, as far as I can see, he didn't even try. If Yahya DID explain how it is possible to assess whether an argument is fallacious when you are aware only of the conclusion, do please point it out to me.
Anyone can make a five course dinner out of lunch, the abstract/conclusion and the numbered table on the side is in fact all that is needed for one to understand the distillate of a particular article. Nonetheless that isn't what I am arguing, I am asking you to make us join you on the protest bandwagon by showing us the grave injustice yahya made by simply commenting on the conclusion.
Please share with us the entire body so we can see if his statements are a gross misrepresentation of what Hawking intended!


I haven't read the book, and neither has Yahya. Neither of us, therefore, have any idea what those essentials are. The only difference between us is that I acknowledge that fact.
Well then what are you doing here arguing against waffles and pancakes? you should in fact wow us with the patent 'tosh' yaha has been dispensing with here!


That is unnecessary, as not having read the book Yahya could do nothing but waffle within the framework of criticism he chose to employ. I have no great desire to defend Hawking's claim as I understand it, as doing so with committed monotheists is clearly futile. If I did, however, my first step would be to read the book, understand and assess those arguments.
And you can indeed do that instead of dispensing with a laundry list of adhoms that doesn't seem to elevate you to that select intelligentsia you so desire to represent.
Bring us an outline of the book point by point after you've read it and show us the errors of yahya's ways!

all the best
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جوري
09-05-2010, 09:52 PM
Originally Posted by czgibson
Greetings,
and to you!

The book hasn't been published yet, so nobody here is likely to have read it.
Then why have you graced this section with your presence?


The author's name is Stephen Hawking.
Thank God for your presence here to point that out!


Peace
Indeed!
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Trumble
09-05-2010, 10:05 PM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ
And you can indeed do that instead of dispensing with a laundry list of adhoms ..
"Just once before I die--just one, single, lone, solitary time....... ";D
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أحمد
09-05-2010, 10:29 PM
:sl:

Originally Posted by czgibson
Greetings,




The book hasn't been published yet, so nobody here is likely to have read it.





The author's name is Stephen Hawking.


Peace
Release date: 9th September 2010, available for pre-order http://www.amazon.co.uk/Grand-Design.../dp/0593058291

:wa:
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IAmZamzam
09-05-2010, 10:31 PM
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Gratuitous verbal abuse or "name-calling" itself is not an ad hominem or a logical fallacy.

This is not to be confused with a true fallacy, which would be "X is idiotically ignorant [of politics], so why should we listen to him now?"
And don't give me the old "you can't trust Wikipedia" line. I've yet to see any exposition on the fallacy in a list or other source that disagrees, yet I've also yet to see any other person use the term in accordance with what these all universally say.
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Trumble
09-05-2010, 11:25 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
And don't give me the old "you can't trust Wikipedia" line. I've yet to see any exposition on the fallacy in a list or other source that disagrees, yet I've also yet to see any other person use the term in accordance with what these all universally say.
What point are you actually trying to make? Both Lily and I are perfectly well aware of what an ad hominem fallacy is.

You stated that

Stephen Hawking has given many signs lately that in the best case scenario what brilliance he may have once genuinely had is slipping, and in the worst case scenario he is losing his capacity for original and rational thought, or isn’t bothering to use said capacity.
with the obvious and deliberate implication that his conclusions are suspect because of one or all of 'slipping brilliance', a lost capacity for rational thought, or a recent history of not using same. None of those things is relevant to the specific conclusions in the new book, and the only possible reason for that making statement is to suggest those conclusions should not be taken seriously because of certain characteristics you assign to their author.. i.e an almost paradigmatic ad hominem.

If that statement is not an ad hominem, it can only be one thing... the very 'gratuitous abuse' you are accusing everybody else of confusing with an ad hominem fallacy!
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IAmZamzam
09-05-2010, 11:43 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
What point are you actually trying to make? Both Lily and I are perfectly well aware of what an ad hominem fallacy is.
Whether you knew it or not, you gave no sign of using the term correctly.

with the obvious and deliberate implication that his conclusions are suspect because of one or all of 'slipping brilliance', a lost capacity for rational thought, or a recent history of not using same. None of those things is relevant to the specific conclusions in the new book, and the only possible reason for that making statement is to suggest those conclusions should not be taken seriously because of certain characteristics you assign to their author.. i.e an almost paradigmatic ad hominem.

If that statement is not an ad hominem, it can only be one thing... the very 'gratuitous abuse' you are accusing everybody else of confusing with an ad hominem fallacy!
I did not say that his slipping of whatever-the-case-may-be was an indication of how fallacious the article's quotations were, but that the fallacies were a further indication of the slipping, and not the first. If I had done the former, then you could have accused me of an ad hominem.
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Karl
09-06-2010, 01:15 AM
I think people think too hard. If you analyze everything you will find it to be subjective as objectivity is relative and not a constant and is in flux. eg light was thought to travel at a certain velocity it was a constant that the scientists clung to. Now we know that it's velocity can be slowed by gravity and it can be bent by gravity and so can time slowed down. So the trouble with reason is it cannot be proved but only by observation in any given time. eg 2+2 =4 is an objective fact but only for the here and now. That is the problem with science and philosophy and the laws of physics they are all really just observations that can change. That is why religion is better, no one has ever got their head around God as the comprehension of God can only be comprehendid by God. This is humility and is very important for ones sanity for if you try too hard to work out the truth and nuts and bolts of everything you will go mad. You will become a nilhilist that believes in nothing, you wont even believe you don't believe.
So all the pontificators out there, the scientists, philosophers and religious leaders you are as simple children in the scheme of things.
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Trumble
09-06-2010, 03:27 AM
Sorry, duplicate post.
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Trumble
09-06-2010, 03:33 AM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
Whether you knew it or not, you gave no sign of using the term correctly.
I used it perfectly correctly, as I suspect you are perfectly well aware.

I did not say that his slipping of whatever-the-case-may-be was an indication of how fallacious the article's quotations were, but that the fallacies were a further indication of the slipping, and not the first. If I had done the former, then you could have accused me of an ad hominem.
Who exactly are you trying to fool, here? As is transparently obvious to anyone reading your OP You DID do the former, something unchanged by the fact that towards the end of the same (your final) paragraph you might have done the latter as well. I suppose you could claim it was only heavily implied rather than explicitly stated, but an explicit statement was hardly necessary.

And, of course, you have still failed to explain how you can possibly know they are 'fallacies' when you are ignorant of the arguments that produced them. The only justification that you offer for that belief is precisely the ad hominem that you deny making! Perhaps you need to go look up the meaning of 'fallacy', as you give no sign of using the term correctly?
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Trumble
09-06-2010, 03:34 AM
Duplicate post again, sorry. Not quite sure what happened there!
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FS123
09-06-2010, 06:16 AM
As said before, if Theunis Bates has misquoted and misrepresented Hawkings, then it will doesn't change a thing except the name of Hawkings in the OP. The argument is on the line of reasoning quoted and represented in Theunis Bates article. All I see is comments on the OP like forth, waffle, irksome, miserably failed, not read the book which are just attack on the OP without substance and attempt to dodge the actual arguments in the OP... interesting!
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Trumble
09-06-2010, 07:18 AM
Originally Posted by FS123
As said before, if Theunis Bates has misquoted and misrepresented Hawkings, then it will doesn't change a thing except the name of Hawkings in the OP. The argument is on the line of reasoning quoted and represented in Theunis Bates article. All I see is comments on the OP like forth, waffle, irksome, miserably failed, not read the book which are just attack on the OP without substance and attempt to dodge the actual arguments in the OP... interesting!
Did you actually read the OP? If so, perhaps you could point out the 'line of reasoning' to which you refer? I see none either quoted or 'represented' by Bates. The only 'argument' presented regarding Hawking's new book is that of the OP himself in response to one quoted passage, i.e.

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing," the pair write, in an extract published in today's London Times. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going."
That is a representation of a claim (which we can assume represents one of Hawking's conclusions) not a 'line of reasoning'. WHY does the existence of "a law such as gravity" mean that the universe "can and will create itself from nothing"? That is presumably, among other things, what one of the world's foremost cosmologists sets out to explain (*), and any meaningful criticism of the book must address the lines of reasoning it uses to do so. I'm afraid just stating that Hawking must be wrong, that the reason why is so obvious it doesn't need explaining, and suggesting Hawking's conclusions are the result of fallacious reasoning when in complete ignorance of what that reasoning actually is, just won't do. Does that have enough 'substance' for you?!

(*) presumably in terms intended to be comprehensible to the layman as this seems to be a 'popular science' book.
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Hugo
09-06-2010, 01:36 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
1. Since science is the study of nature, the only way it could ever have anything to do with a supernatural thing like God, let alone confirm or disconfirm it, is if God is really preternatural--and if anything in the world is truly supernatural, you'd think it would be God.
You are essentially committing a fallacy here because you are making definitions and simply assuming them to be true. So for example, I don't feel your definition of science is adequate and indeed it is likely that all we or anyone else could do is arrive at a consensus not truth.

2. Self-creation violates the very nature of cause and effect, the basis of all science and all reason, and in a very obvious way. That is why it should not bear explaining. But just as you accuse theists of simply referring to God in response to anything, so do a lot of people such as you just refer to purely theoretical scientific defiances of common sense and leave it at that, so there's no point pursuing this.
I tend to agree with you re cause/effect but what I was saying was that one implication of M-Theory as I understand it is self-creation. But in science everything is provisional and subject to falsification. I don't think you can use the argument of common sense as lot's of science seem to defy that idea - quantum mechanics and many ultimately solid scientific ideas would have been cast on the scrap heap if that was an acceptable criteria - if one is not careful you/we make our own tiny minds the measure of all things. My point about God is that it is possible to invoke him and when you do that everything becomes possible but not as you say provable. But ultimately in religion we have to rely on revelation but by its nature all revelation is hearsay because we cannot check it with the source - at least I know of no way of doing that.

4. Reasoning of any kind is tentative and subject to refutation. Science doesn’t hold a monopoly on that.
This I think is not quite true in that one might reason flawlessly but have unprovable hypothesis - though you may have meant that. But science ultimately tries to prove its premises and generally it tells us how that might be done - if you like it tells us what data to go looking for whereas with the supernatural as yet it does not tell us what data we might go looking for.

5. Giving patterns names is not the same thing as inducing what they are from what they ordinarily indicate.
We have to give things names but you might note that we might also deduce in an a priori fashion also. But at least in science one can in principle predict outcomes and that of itself is how one might validate a falsify/theory

6. That the idea of design is “unsatisfactory” in light of unfortunate occurrences happening in the world is just another one of those ridiculous chestnuts like the ones I spoke of in the OP. Even were there not any explanation for why a God with the usual traits attributed to him would allow them, it still remains that something is designed does not make it a wholly positive design. Just look at paintings or stories with negative content.
You might be right but when one trusts in a God who is holy it is hard to then see how or why in your words non positive design occurs, it just seem unfair is all I am saying.

7. “Self-organization” is not the same thing as self-creation. And anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of psychology or neurology would know that thoughts obviously do not come out of nowhere. They are caused, like any other material event.
Well if any area of science is rudimentary it is psychology and neurology and any one with an iota of common sense knows that. The 'fact' seem to be that we just don't know how thoughts and ideas arise; if we did we could all generate brilliant ideas algorithmically. Consider Einstein or Maxwell in the early part of the last century both had theories that predicted phenomena that had not be observed by anyone so however they generated those ideas it was not from anything they actually knew about or where able to observe. So I don't know how these brilliant men thought but it seems more than just having the logic or mathematical skills (because plenty of others had those) and I don't know what one might call it: genius, insight, brainwave - who knows?
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IAmZamzam
09-06-2010, 11:26 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
You are essentially committing a fallacy here because you are making definitions and simply assuming them to be true. So for example, I don't feel your definition of science is adequate and indeed it is likely that all we or anyone else could do is arrive at a consensus not truth.
If science is not the study of the natural world, then what is it? How can the supernatural enter into it? This sort of purported ambiguity in the very notion of science is the sort of thing that allows young earth creationist pseudo-science to thrive.

I tend to agree with you re cause/effect but what I was saying was that one implication of M-Theory as I understand it is self-creation. But in science everything is provisional and subject to falsification. I don't think you can use the argument of common sense as lot's of science seem to defy that idea - quantum mechanics and many ultimately solid scientific ideas would have been cast on the scrap heap if that was an acceptable criteria - if one is not careful you/we make our own tiny minds the measure of all things.
It is simply amazing how so many people can boast rather than blush at the idea of modern science, by their own admission and interpretation, defying common sense. Our minds are the measure of what we conclude only--or should be the primary measure if not the sole one. Logic is the foundation of science, and therefore a necessary thing in it not to be faulty. If scientific "proofs" were to be produced that there are circles which are not round or seven-sided quadrangles, that would only mean that we should conclude it's the alleged proofs which are wrong, not our notion of the very mathematical and linguistic fundamentals of reason it defies.

My point about God is that it is possible to invoke him and when you do that everything becomes possible but not as you say provable. But ultimately in religion we have to rely on revelation but by its nature all revelation is hearsay because we cannot check it with the source - at least I know of no way of doing that.
If checking claims with the original source were the only means of confirming them, courtrooms and historians would have a lot harder time than they do.

This I think is not quite true in that one might reason flawlessly but have unprovable hypothesis - though you may have meant that. But science ultimately tries to prove its premises and generally it tells us how that might be done - if you like it tells us what data to go looking for whereas with the supernatural as yet it does not tell us what data we might go looking for.
Because it couldn't--any more than religion can tell us what data to look for in the secular sciences. And once again, slapping the label "force" on things doesn't prove a [bleep] thing, it just changes the semantics and creates (as perhaps intended to) the safe illusion of something real being communicated.

We have to give things names but you might note that we might also deduce in an a priori fashion also. But at least in science one can in principle predict outcomes and that of itself is how one might validate a falsify/theory
Predicting outcomes is proving things now? Throwing around the term "a priori" like that is just as pointless and inapplicable as throwing around the term "ad hominem". Scientific deductions have nothing whatever to do with the "slapping the lable 'force' on things and leaving it at that" issue: indeed, it seems to exist to prevent any deductions from being made. It's a lazy gloss-over.

You might be right but when one trusts in a God who is holy it is hard to then see how or why in your words non positive design occurs, it just seem unfair is all I am saying.
Your very words betray the emotional nature of your rationale. And were said rationale correct, it would still be starkly, even evasively, beside the point as far as this discussion goes. Even if God were an utter sadist and His design for the sole purpose of driving us crazy, it would not erase His existence. When we can agree to have established that rudimentary fact, then we can move on to the ethics of the being in question. It is useless to consider your opinion of a person's character when the issue at hand is whether he is real at all. And in this thread, very off topic.

Well if any area of science is rudimentary it is psychology and neurology and any one with an iota of common sense knows that. The 'fact' seem to be that we just don't know how thoughts and ideas arise; if we did we could all generate brilliant ideas algorithmically. Consider Einstein or Maxwell in the early part of the last century both had theories that predicted phenomena that had not be observed by anyone so however they generated those ideas it was not from anything they actually knew about or where able to observe. So I don't know how these brilliant men thought but it seems more than just having the logic or mathematical skills (because plenty of others had those) and I don't know what one might call it: genius, insight, brainwave - who knows?
We may not know how they arise, but they are still definitely caused events and not self-creating. We've been over the reasons why.
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IAmZamzam
09-06-2010, 11:35 PM
Originally Posted by FS123
As said before, if Theunis Bates has misquoted and misrepresented Hawkings, then it will doesn't change a thing except the name of Hawkings in the OP. The argument is on the line of reasoning quoted and represented in Theunis Bates article. All I see is comments on the OP like forth, waffle, irksome, miserably failed, not read the book which are just attack on the OP without substance and attempt to dodge the actual arguments in the OP... interesting!
Thank you for doing the job of repeating myself yet again for me.
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Bintulislam
09-07-2010, 01:32 AM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ

and to you!


Then why have you graced this section with your presence?



Thank God for your presence here to point that out!



Indeed!

do you think it would be rude to -LOL!!!
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Trumble
09-07-2010, 10:27 AM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
Thank you for doing the job of repeating myself yet again for me.
I don't suppose there's any chance of you pointing out this 'line of reasoning' supposedly quoted from Hawking and/or 'represented' by Bates (see #36) for the first time, is there?! :rollseyes
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Hugo
09-07-2010, 02:10 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
If science is not the study of the natural world, then what is it? How can the supernatural enter into it? This sort of purported ambiguity in the very notion of science is the sort of thing that allows young earth creationist pseudo-science to thrive.
Who can say - my point was that it was your definition of science and as far as it goes I would go along with it but I remain open minded. I suppose what I am saying is that in say mathematics we can probe beyond what we can 'see' and this indeed is one of the reasons science exploded over the last 300 years - we don't have to sit around waiting and hoping for some data we can theorise about it and predict what data might be there and I gave a number of examples where this was true. Of course all this can be misused or misapplied but as always we fight reason or supposed reason with reason. So if someone holds to some theory or other that is fine as long as they appreciate it is always provisional and allow for the possibility of falsification.
It is simply amazing how so many people can boast rather than blush at the idea of modern science, by their own admission and interpretation, defying common sense. Our minds are the measure of what we conclude only--or should be the primary measure if not the sole one. Logic is the foundation of science, and therefore a necessary thing in it not to be faulty.
Not entirely sure what you mean here: If you mean all science is provisional then I agree but if you are saying all science defies common sense then that sounds like stupidity? Take for example, Paul Dirac, one of the founders of Quantum mechanics though perhaps most widely know for his famous equation and without that you would not for example have your mobile phone today.
If checking claims with the original source were the only means of confirming them, courtrooms and historians would have a lot harder time than they do.
In a court of law then we might very well look at the weight of evidence and balance of probabilities. But no one could go into a court of Law and cite God as a witness s what I have been saying. If I say God has spoken to me then you or anyone can take it or leave it there is no compulsion whatever to believe it or what I tell you God said. So I might say that God has told me that Bill is demon possessed and that is why he is acting strangely but although this indeed may be correct explanation there is no way I or anyone can show it to be true or false. If you know of some way of identifying when shall I say God speaks then share it with us?
Predicting outcomes is proving things now? Throwing around the term "a priori" like that is just as pointless and inapplicable as throwing around the term "ad hominem". Scientific deductions have nothing whatever to do with the "slapping the lable 'force' on things and leaving it at that" issue: indeed, it seems to exist to prevent any deductions from being made. It's a lazy gloss-over.
Again I am at a loss here. The whole point one supposes of a theory is that it is predictive. So If I quote Ohms law then I can a priori work out values of voltage, resistance and current and then go to the lab and see if it holds up to direct inspection. So here I am unsure if you understand the notion of deduction itself?
Your very words betray the emotional nature of your rationale. And were said rationale correct, it would still be starkly, even evasively, beside the point as far as this discussion goes. Even if God were an utter sadist and His design for the sole purpose of driving us crazy, it would not erase His existence. When we can agree to have established that rudimentary fact, then we can move on to the ethics of the being in question. It is useless to consider your opinion of a person's character when the issue at hand is whether he is real at all. And in this thread, very off topic.
To make any judgement at all one unavoidably needs emotions. I am not saying that our shall I say visible emotions are at work but it does seem to be inescapable (always happens) that the brain processes stimuli via the thalamus, neocortex (the "thinking brain") and then routed to the amygdala (the "emotional brain"). It is also I think known that if the amygdala is damaged in some way patients loose all ability to react normally or make decisions. If something can be simply analysed rationally it seems to me we should all come to the same conclusions but that does not seem to be the case does it even when we have exactly the same evidence? I think Mozart is sublime but my wife thinks all his pieces sound the same. So it seems to me your words betray a lack of understanding of how judgements are made.

We may not know how they arise, but they are still definitely caused events and not self-creating. We've been over the reasons why.
How are you so sure? Quantum theory is used all the time to make precise calculations so its reliable but Quantum field theory tells us that short-lived pairs of particles and their antiparticles are constantly being created and destroyed in apparently empty space - out of nothing. Now we still wait for evidence but if you take the position this can never be true you have effectively closed your mind and made it the measure of all things.
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Zafran
09-07-2010, 10:45 PM
Salaam

although it is still ramadan - I have to add that most of science is inductive and not deductive. Any theory or "reliable" experiment relies on inductive reasoning. Another point I would like to add is that science clearly does not have all the answers - there are simple things that we humans believe to be preety accurate although science would not be able to empirically verify it - For example the past ancestor times 1000 with no empirical (or historical) proof to back up for there existence. Even though we cannot empirically prove that the ancestor existed - most of us would be certian that there was one.

peace
Reply

IAmZamzam
09-11-2010, 04:29 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
Who can say - my point was that it was your definition of science and as far as it goes I would go along with it but I remain open minded. I suppose what I am saying is that in say mathematics we can probe beyond what we can 'see' and this indeed is one of the reasons science exploded over the last 300 years - we don't have to sit around waiting and hoping for some data we can theorise about it and predict what data might be there and I gave a number of examples where this was true. Of course all this can be misused or misapplied but as always we fight reason or supposed reason with reason. So if someone holds to some theory or other that is fine as long as they appreciate it is always provisional and allow for the possibility of falsification.
You seem to be awfully conversant about a subject that is supposedly so hard to define.

Not entirely sure what you mean here: If you mean all science is provisional then I agree but if you are saying all science defies common sense then that sounds like stupidity? Take for example, Paul Dirac, one of the founders of Quantum mechanics though perhaps most widely know for his famous equation and without that you would not for example have your mobile phone today.
I am saying exactly what I said. "Provisionality" doesn't even begin to enter into it. Stop trying to read between the lines: more often than not, they are exactly the blank space they look like.

In a court of law then we might very well look at the weight of evidence and balance of probabilities. But no one could go into a court of Law and cite God as a witness s what I have been saying. If I say God has spoken to me then you or anyone can take it or leave it there is no compulsion whatever to believe it or what I tell you God said. So I might say that God has told me that Bill is demon possessed and that is why he is acting strangely but although this indeed may be correct explanation there is no way I or anyone can show it to be true or false. If you know of some way of identifying when shall I say God speaks then share it with us?
How did I just know you would tow that line? Hyper-focus on one word of my analogy and use it to evade the point with one of your own which happens to share the same keyword? The law does not recognize the supernatural, because it is based in material sorts of evidence only, and so your courtroom question is as loaded as it is irrelevant. All I said is that checking a claim with its original source is not the only means of verifying it, and I'm not going to let you sidetrack us from that, because it is a simple fact that you know very well is true. (Besides, even if you could check a claim with its original source, that doesn't automatically verify it anyway: the reliability of the source would be another question. We have to use our reason first and foremost.)

Again I am at a loss here. The whole point one supposes of a theory is that it is predictive. So If I quote Ohms law then I can a priori work out values of voltage, resistance and current and then go to the lab and see if it holds up to direct inspection. So here I am unsure if you understand the notion of deduction itself?
Whatever. But you'll never be able to get far with a deduction (that of self-causation) which goes against the very basis of all logic in the first place. You may as well be trying to write a dissertation disproving linguistics itself. I have already explained in my OP why it is logically impossible (not merely against "common" sense, IMPOSSIBLE) for that to occur, and you have still yet to show me how it is wrong. And you never will.

To make any judgement at all one unavoidably needs emotions.
Maybe the way your mind works. Or the way you think it does.

I am not saying that our shall I say visible emotions are at work but it does seem to be inescapable (always happens) that the brain processes stimuli via the thalamus, neocortex (the "thinking brain") and then routed to the amygdala (the "emotional brain"). It is also I think known that if the amygdala is damaged in some way patients loose all ability to react normally or make decisions.
You do not understand the complex and extremely interconnected way the brain works. Needless to say, the different parts of the brain are not as segregated as you depict. It's one thing to see one of them at a time being stimulated in a CAT scan; it's another thing altogether to see how they operate with each other. Taking a route through a country on a car trip does not automatically entail picking up someone on the road there and taking them with you the rest of the way. My father is a psychiatrist, he could explain it better than I can. Maybe if you request I could consult him the next time I see him?

If something can be simply analysed rationally it seems to me we should all come to the same conclusions but that does not seem to be the case does it even when we have exactly the same evidence? I think Mozart is sublime but my wife thinks all his pieces sound the same. So it seems to me your words betray a lack of understanding of how judgements are made.
You seem to be saying that all matters of fact in the world are really only an illusory opinion. If that's the case, why do you hold any definite beliefs of your own at all? Do you really think that ten people reasoning on the same subject with their minds entirely drained of emotion at the moment will always come to the same conclusion? That emotion is the sole source of fallacy? We are not constructed to be that infallible in our mental processes on any level.

How are you so sure? Quantum theory is used all the time to make precise calculations so its reliable but Quantum field theory tells us that short-lived pairs of particles and their antiparticles are constantly being created and destroyed in apparently empty space - out of nothing. Now we still wait for evidence but if you take the position this can never be true you have effectively closed your mind and made it the measure of all things.
Your mind is just as much the measure of all things as my own. So is everyone else's. Were that not true, science itself neither could exist nor could have any reason to. Atheistic science touters have decided that until further evidence disproves it they'll assume that the unknown cause of certain fundamental quantum things is nonexistent. I assume that until the notion is disproved they are all just one more thread on the rug each, ultimately caused by the Weaver. They have their ghost in the machine: I have mine. The problem is, (a) I'm the one of us assuming what goes in accordance with easily demonstrated fundamentals of reasoning, and (b) while we theists are often labeled "delusional" by the sorts of skeptics I spoke of in the OP's opening paragraphs, we're still the only one of the two parties who accepts that we see a ghost in the machine, while the other make believes that theirs is just the machine itself.

P.S. I'm no physics expert (not by a mile) but I seem to remember an atheist fairly convincingly refuting Quantum Field Theory at infidels.org. It's one of the few convincing things you'll ever find there.
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CosmicPathos
09-11-2010, 04:42 PM
When Antony Flew changed his position regarding God, atheists attributed it to the decline in his mental faculties. In the same way we can attribute the change in Hawking's position to be a decline in mental faculties, more so when he has been struck with a disease of neurological nature.
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Hugo
09-11-2010, 07:48 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
I am saying exactly what I said. "Provisionality" doesn't even begin to enter into it. Stop trying to read between the lines: more often than not, they are exactly the blank space they look like.
I don't follow you here - do you agree that all science is provisional in that we one supposes will never know everything so must be open for what might be round the corner? But do you have any confidence in science?
All I said is that checking a claim with its original source is not the only means of verifying it, and I'm not going to let you sidetrack us from that, because it is a simple fact that you know very well is true. (Besides, even if you could check a claim with its original source, that doesn't automatically verify it anyway: the reliability of the source would be another question. We have to use our reason first and foremost.)
Well you will have to explain what you mean. Now if its a scientific claim then I can check it scientifically. If its about what happened or what someone said ones first recourse is to find and verify the source or the original if that is possible and if not get as close to it as one can. Now I am not sure but you may be alluding to the point that it might be possible to say verify what someone said but at the same time what they said may be untrue or itself require verification. So you might be able to verify that I said "there are fairies at the bottom of my garden" but such verification does not make what I said true - is this your point?
But you'll never be able to get far with a deduction (that of self-causation) which goes against the very basis of all logic in the first place. You may as well be trying to write a dissertation disproving linguistics itself. I have already explained in my OP why it is logically impossible (not merely against "common" sense, IMPOSSIBLE) for that to occur, and you have still yet to show me how it is wrong. And you never will.
It make no sense to me to say that deduction goes against the basis of logic. Like any logical construct it falls or stand by the truth of its premises and this is I suppose what you mean. But surely there is nothing wrong in forming premises as say Einstein did with relativity and look for their proof later - that is what theorisation is.
You do not understand the complex and extremely interconnected way the brain works. Needless to say, the different parts of the brain are not as segregated as you depict. It's one thing to see one of them at a time being stimulated in a CAT scan; it's another thing altogether to see how they operate with each other. Taking a route through a country on a car trip does not automatically entail picking up someone on the road there and taking them with you the rest of the way. My father is a psychiatrist, he could explain it better than I can. Maybe if you request I could consult him the next time I see him?
Well I doubt anyone knows exactly how the brain works although what I presented is what is thought to be how the brain acts and one kind of proof is that if the amygdala is damaged a person loses all ability to make judgements even though they can reason perfectly well. Speak to you father and I am sure he will tell you that apart from damage to the brain almost nothing is known as to what causes mental illness and all psychiatrists do is treat symptoms.
You seem to be saying that all matters of fact in the world are really only an illusory opinion. If that's the case, why do you hold any definite beliefs of your own at all? Do you really think that ten people reasoning on the same subject with their minds entirely drained of emotion at the moment will always come to the same conclusion? That emotion is the sole source of fallacy? We are not constructed to be that infallible in our mental processes on any level.
No I don't think I said that but I do hold the view that a fact does not necessarily always lead to the same conclusion. There are of course natural facts like gravity which we cannot avoid and nominal facts which we can. So you might treat God as a fact but I might not. So fallacies arise either because the premises cannot be established or the reasoning itself is faulty and if emotion is there it show itself perhaps in what one might accept as true so we are back to judgement again since we cannot 'drain' ourself of it. But we could be here for days discussion the hundreds of fallacies that we know about.

Of course we are all limited by our mind but that is not the question, the question is do I know it, do you know it and is that awareness evident in what we say?
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IAmZamzam
09-11-2010, 11:31 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
I don't follow you here - do you agree that all science is provisional in that we one supposes will never know everything so must be open for what might be round the corner?
I agree with it, but it has nothing to do with what I said.

But do you have any confidence in science?
Like so many academic fields it's headed by corrupt intelligentsia, and is often little more than a bloodthirsty race to get your results published first. But that doesn't change the fact that it does sometimes yield truth; however, one must remember that its starting with only secular premises, while necessary, is also potentially misleading. In short, I have more confidence in science in the abstract than I do in scientists.

Well you will have to explain what you mean. Now if its a scientific claim then I can check it scientifically. If its about what happened or what someone said ones first recourse is to find and verify the source or the original if that is possible and if not get as close to it as one can. Now I am not sure but you may be alluding to the point that it might be possible to say verify what someone said but at the same time what they said may be untrue or itself require verification. So you might be able to verify that I said "there are fairies at the bottom of my garden" but such verification does not make what I said true - is this your point
I'm very tired of explaining what I mean and very sorry that I can't make it clear to you, but you're in the ballpark.

It make no sense to me to say that deduction goes against the basis of logic. Like any logical construct it falls or stand by the truth of its premises and this is I suppose what you mean.
I said nothing of deduction itself, only of its use to a premise that goes against the foundation of logic that it stands on.

But surely there is nothing wrong in forming premises as say Einstein did with relativity and look for their proof later - that is what theorisation is.
You can theorize about anything, but that don't make it so. Do I have to repeat what I said in my opening post about why self-causation is impossible? Are you so unwilling to scroll up there and read it again? Or is your silent absence of refutation of it telling enough by itself?

Well I doubt anyone knows exactly how the brain works although what I presented is what is thought to be how the brain acts and one kind of proof is that if the amygdala is damaged a person loses all ability to make judgements even though they can reason perfectly well. Speak to you father and I am sure he will tell you that apart from damage to the brain almost nothing is known as to what causes mental illness and all psychiatrists do is treat symptoms.
He is always the first to say that psychiatrists don't really know much for sure, yes. A lot of psychiatrists are like that, I think. If only most of the other scientists would catch up. Lip service in the direction of the obvious does not amount to sincere recognition of it, and I perhaps see more dogmatism from quantum physics (or at least from those who tout it) than anything else in all of scholaticism despite it supposedly being the least certain of all. It's a favorite ploy of atheists. (To them, just to give one example, "quantum fluctuation" is magically transformed into a synonym for "uncaused event". But let's not get into that right now. I'm sick of it.)

No I don't think I said that but I do hold the view that a fact does not necessarily always lead to the same conclusion. There are of course natural facts like gravity which we cannot avoid and nominal facts which we can. So you might treat God as a fact but I might not.
Either He exists, or He does not. That is a fact. There is no escaping the dichotomy. A or not-A. It's not like just "sort of" exists or anything.

So fallacies arise either because the premises cannot be established or the reasoning itself is faulty and if emotion is there it show itself perhaps in what one might accept as true so we are back to judgement again since we cannot 'drain' ourself of it. But we could be here for days discussion the hundreds of fallacies that we know about.
Something tells me we're going to be here for days anyway.

Of course we are all limited by our mind but that is not the question, the question is do I know it, do you know it and is that awareness evident in what we say?
I already said that I know it, and so did you. Question asked, question answered. Jeez.
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IAmZamzam
09-11-2010, 11:37 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
For one thing, something has to exist before it can perform any action or function such as creation. And if it already exists to begin with, that means it’s already been created.
End of story. No soup for you. NEXT!
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Trumble
09-12-2010, 07:42 AM
You are very casual in assuming that 'a law like gravity' falls within the set of things that can be (and therefore, according to you, must have been) 'created' according to the laws of cause and effect. We know that another set of things exists, with at least one member, causality itself as the idea that could have been 'created' is obviously absurd, as well as being denied by your own logic. You claim that set has another member, God. So why not gravity?
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Hugo
09-13-2010, 05:24 PM
Bit puzzled, in all your post you display a kind of authority about what you say, can you say why you are so sure? The trouble with certainty or wanting certainty is that whilst it might be comforting to ones ego if nothing else it can shut down your mind.

Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
Like so many academic fields it's headed by corrupt intelligentsia, and is often little more than a bloodthirsty race to get your results published first. But that doesn't change the fact that it does sometimes yield truth; however, one must remember that its starting with only secular premises, while necessary, is also potentially misleading. In short, I have more confidence in science in the abstract than I do in scientists.
This is the kind of thing I mean - where is your evidence? Of course there is corruption and bad science and fraud but the very fact we know about them testifies that in the end the truth will emerge, but give us some references so we can see where you base this allegation. Do you extend this idea outside science to say theologians? I have no idea what a 'secular premise' is supposed to be, it sounds like you are saying that there is a secular gravity or ohms law - can you explain?
I said nothing of deduction itself, only of its use to a premise that goes against the foundation of logic that it stands on.
Can you give an example? Logic might be described as a process of deciding when an argument is valid and part of that is the premise (starting points, things that we accept as true as far as the argument is concerned. Premises may be descriptive (Hugo is a man) or prescriptive (Hugo must become educated) and from this we can reach conclusion. There of course some standard forms according to Aristotle: Modus Ponendo Ponens, Modus Tollendo Tollens etc. Now the point is that any argument is valid when there is no way (meaning no possible way) that the premises could be true without the conclusions also being true. However, when one argues inductively it is unfortunately true that the premises can be all true and yet the conclusion false and that is why deduction is to be preferred. So what you say make no sense to me unless you have other foundations for logic or perhaps you take the Russell position that all logic is ultimately flawed?
You can theorize about anything, but that don't make it so. Do I have to repeat what I said in my opening post about why self-causation is impossible? Are you so unwilling to scroll up there and read it again? Or is your silent absence of refutation of it telling enough by itself?
Yes of course but theorisation is just one way of exploring a topic effectively, no one pretends that the very act of theorisation make something true, that would be absurd. I cannot see you have shown self-causation is impossible by telling us that a rug can't weave itself. You may be right and all that I think anyone else is saying that certain kind of theorization might suggest otherwise so the jury so to speak is out and we just have to wait and see - but that is the game we are in we need to theorise and at the same time be sceptical and I cannot see what is wring with that?
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IAmZamzam
09-13-2010, 10:35 PM
As someone said above, it is highly indicative that no one has been responding to the actual arguments I made in the paper. Every question, every counter, every back-and-forth, has only been an off topic sidetrack. I reiterated this with my last post, and of course everyone is still ignoring it, as they will if I make nine more posts in a row giving the same quote (or any other from the OP). I am tired of indulging your evasions. If you want to talk about why gravity is caused or anything like that, start another thread. Unless I finally see some on-topic responses here, I'm out of this one.
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جوري
09-13-2010, 10:52 PM
actually Hugo is perpetually confused .. whatever it is you are arguing for or against, he'll find a way to have a polarized view, just to cement his otherwise useless presence on the forum...
and now the latest, he was so certain, but now he is deeply troubled by your certainty and your authority sounding display of it.. it is tedious and at times plenty hilarious.. if you enjoy useless back and forth drivel then welcome to his playground!

:w:
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Trumble
09-14-2010, 09:12 AM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
As someone said above, it is highly indicative that no one has been responding to the actual arguments I made in the paper. Every question, every counter, every back-and-forth, has only been an off topic sidetrack. I reiterated this with my last post, and of course everyone is still ignoring it, as they will if I make nine more posts in a row giving the same quote (or any other from the OP). I am tired of indulging your evasions. If you want to talk about why gravity is caused or anything like that, start another thread. Unless I finally see some on-topic responses here, I'm out of this one.
Oh, please., spare us the sanctimonious twaddle. :rolleyes: 'Why gravity is caused or anything like that', if you are referring to my post above, is about as on-topic as you can get, assuming of course you still wish us to believe your 'arguments' in the OP have anything to do with those of Hawking, to which you claim to be 'responding'. Hawking is talking about, amazingly enough, GRAVITY!

The only poster evading anything is you; I doubt you are even fooling your cheerleader any more (if you ever were!) Try answering the point raised in #49. Try telling us what arguments you are actually 'responding' too as well.. yes, I'm repeating myself yet again, but sadly you keep refusing to give an answer. It is rather traditional in debating a response to a position to know what that first position actually is, after all.. wouldn't you agree?
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Hugo
09-14-2010, 02:21 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
As someone said above, it is highly indicative that no one has been responding to the actual arguments I made in the paper. Every question, every counter, every back-and-forth, has only been an off topic sidetrack. I reiterated this with my last post, and of course everyone is still ignoring it, as they will if I make nine more posts in a row giving the same quote (or any other from the OP). I am tired of indulging your evasions. If you want to talk about why gravity is caused or anything like that, start another thread. Unless I finally see some on-topic responses here, I'm out of this one.
Well just present your questions/arguments one at a time and let see how we go. But in the meantime perhaps you would like to consider the following list where each theorisation was met by it seems people like you who are so sure of themselves and all subsequently proved true and momentous.

1. Electromagnetism by Faraday in 1821
2. Bayes theorem in 1764
3. Gyroscopes in 1903
4. Imaginary numbers in 1560
5. Epigenetics in 1926
6. Prions in 1972
7. Heliciobacter pylori as a cause of ulcers in 1984
8. Digital telecommunications in 1930
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جوري
09-14-2010, 03:55 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
Well just present your questions/arguments one at a time and let see how we go. But in the meantime perhaps you would like to consider the following list where each theorisation was met by it seems people like you who are so sure of themselves and all subsequently proved true and momentous.

1. Electromagnetism by Faraday in 1821
2. Bayes theorem in 1764
3. Gyroscopes in 1903
4. Imaginary numbers in 1560
5. Epigenetics in 1926
6. Prions in 1972
7. Heliciobacter pylori as a cause of ulcers in 1984
8. Digital telecommunications in 1930
perhaps you'd like to consider the following theorized true proven laughable and hilarious.

1- the belief was that the failure to menstruate caused the uterus to travel around the body, eventually negatively influencing the brain as such the treatment for 'hysteria' was a hysterectomy!
2-August Breisky rejecting the idea of washing hands before delivering infants as a way to reduce mortality further calling the idea as "the Koran of puerperal theology'' amusingly pompous on top of ignorant. which isn't uncommon amongst westerners!
3-Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier discovery of the 'vulcan' the non-existing planet
4-Anaximander, Hippolytus, and Anaxagoras hypothesis on spontaneous generation
5- Johan Joachim Becher phlogiston theory
6-Einstein’s Static Universe

amongst many, I don't have the time to list failed theories and Quakeries to make a non-point as they can all be so easily googled.. Question is do you have a point? have you ever had a point? Will you ever get a point and make it worthwhile instead of taking up web-space on unrelated drivel both to the topic and to the person(s) of whom you are addressing.. So strange how we notice this from you on almost every thread. I hope to God you can find a vocation that offers some service to mankind, as I can think of no greater ill than to be an ignoramus and fancying yourself an Illuminati!


all the best
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Hugo
09-14-2010, 05:00 PM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ
perhaps you'd like to consider the following theorized true proven laughable and hilarious.

1- the belief was that the failure to menstruate caused the uterus to travel around the body, eventually negatively influencing the brain as such the treatment for 'hysteria' was a hysterectomy!
2-August Breisky rejecting the idea of washing hands before delivering infants as a way to reduce mortality further calling the idea as "the Koran of puerperal theology'' amusingly pompous on top of ignorant. which isn't uncommon amongst westerners!
3-Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier discovery of the 'vulcan' the non-existing planet
4-Anaximander, Hippolytus, and Anaxagoras hypothesis on spontaneous generation
5- Johan Joachim Becher phlogiston theory
6-Einstein’s Static Universe
You should try to read what people wrote and if you had done that you would see that I mentioned things that were thought by the establishment to be of no value but subsequently they were all proved right. You in contrast mentioned things that were thought to be true and subsequently shown to be wrong - though how you considered them "..true proved.." is anyone's guess. It is not unusual to get things wrong and almost every scientist does that sometime and here one might point to the great Muslim polymath Ibn Sina and his The Canon of Medicine which of course now is of little value to anyone but he would have understood that science progresses by seeking knowledge whatever its source. The point is one has to sceptical, one has to see each result as provisional with an open mind but not at the same time be so arrogant about what you know that you miss what others are saying.
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جوري
09-14-2010, 05:26 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
You should try to read what people wrote and if you had done that you would see that I mentioned things that were thought by the establishment to be of no value but subsequently they were all proved right. You in contrast mentioned things that were thought to be true and subsequently shown to be wrong
I have read what you've written, hence my comment, did you have a point with what you've spewed here? Who are you in the scheme of things to render something dynamic or ludicrous? any theory can be phenomenal or can fizzle and we've seen how they have fizzled, only you seem to believe that you hold the secret to finding out what is phenomenal and what is ludicrous, in an equally absurd fashion to the turd who made the 'koran' akin to naivete.. apparently the naivete with his to keep and twice as he'll not escape from history which has highlighted his name a synonym to stupidity and perhaps your name some day if you are so lucky to make your foolishness more public!
You aren't anymore enlightened or theoretically accurate than anyone who theorizes, you seem to think that putting English words together has some value but in all actuality outside of the all too frequent refuse you part with, you are unable to think of an original idea or challenge one.. All you do is list ISBN's to books I guarantee you haven't read as is obvious from what you write and what we have caught you writing previously. You have NO credibility, none whatsoever!

- though how you considered them "..true proved.." is anyone's guess.
I imagine that to be a mutual thing, although at least I have a higher education with which to discern the bull, what about you, what do you have to consider something proven true or false? you couldn't even get two statistics questions correctly on a thread that you've preferred to otherwise drown in unrelated logorrhea!
It is not unusual to get things wrong and almost every scientist does that sometime and here one might point to the great Muslim polymath Ibn Sina and his The Canon of Medicine which of course now is of little value to anyone but he would have understood that science progresses by seeking knowledge whatever its source. The point is one has to sceptical, one has to see each result as provisional with an open mind but not at the same time be so arrogant about what you know that you miss what others are saying.
What you say and repeatedly is of no value and that is the point we have been collectively trying to make, and collectively showcasing why.. as to why these morsels are obvious to everyone but you is truly anyone's guess...

good luck with all of that!
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czgibson
09-14-2010, 09:12 PM
Greetings,

Yahya Sulaiman, perhaps you could read the following and clarify for us:

Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ
I have read what you've written, hence my comment, did you have a point with what you've spewed here? Who are you in the scheme of things to render something dynamic or ludicrous? any theory can be phenomenal or can fizzle and we've seen how they have fizzled, only you seem to believe that you hold the secret to finding out what is phenomenal and what is ludicrous, in an equally absurd fashion to the turd who made the 'koran' akin to naivete.. apparently the naivete with his to keep and twice as he'll not escape from history which has highlighted his name a synonym to stupidity and perhaps your name some day if you are so lucky to make your foolishness more public!
You aren't anymore enlightened or theoretically accurate than anyone who theorizes, you seem to think that putting English words together has some value but in all actuality outside of the all too frequent refuse you part with, you are unable to think of an original idea or challenge one.. All you do is list ISBN's to books I guarantee you haven't read as is obvious from what you write and what we have caught you writing previously. You have NO credibility, none whatsoever!

I imagine that to be a mutual thing, although at least I have a higher education with which to discern the bull, what about you, what do you have to consider something proven true or false? you couldn't even get two statistics questions correctly on a thread that you've preferred to otherwise drown in unrelated logorrhea!
What you say and repeatedly is of no value and that is the point we have been collectively trying to make, and collectively showcasing why.. as to why these morsels are obvious to everyone but you is truly anyone's guess...

good luck with all of that!
Now THAT is what I call an ad hominem. What do you think?

Peace
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جوري
09-14-2010, 09:17 PM
Originally Posted by czgibson
Greetings,

Yahya Sulaiman, perhaps you could read the following and clarify for us:



Now THAT is what I call an ad hominem. What do you think?

Peace
To the readers at large, is what I call a 'deus ex machina'!
what do you think? the minute the poor sap is at a loss of something substantial as pertains to the topic, he'll focus on 'English' or derail the thread in an attempt to save another sap's ill-thought refuse.. and then PM you if your lucky to protest your observations on his asthenic logic in a public fashion as deserved!

:w:
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IAmZamzam
09-14-2010, 09:24 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
Oh, please., spare us the sanctimonious twaddle. :rolleyes: 'Why gravity is caused or anything like that', if you are referring to my post above, is about as on-topic as you can get, assuming of course you still wish us to believe your 'arguments' in the OP have anything to do with those of Hawking, to which you claim to be 'responding'. Hawking is talking about, amazingly enough, GRAVITY!
Such misrepresentation. I wonder if you read the entire OP at all. This is what it said:

“’Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,’ the pair write, in an extract published in today's London Times. ‘Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.’”

Except that there must have been something to light the paper with, and something to have ignited it and set it to the paper. It seems ridiculous that I should actually have to explain that and why things can’t create themselves, let alone out of nothing, but all right. For one thing, something has to exist before it can perform any action or function such as creation. And if it already exists to begin with, that means it’s already been created, and furthermore...oh, enough of this. Like I said, it shouldn’t bear explaining. (Additionally, even if it were not necessary to invoke God, that would not mean that He’s not there. “Necessary” and “real” are two very different concepts, and thus to say that an absence of necessity indicates an absence of reality is to speak in non-sequiturs.)
It’s not enough that the word “gravity” is in it. The whole thing (in that part of the paper, anyway) was about self-creation. My point would have remained the same had Hawking said, instead of “gravity”, “the electro-weak force”, “the strong nuclear force”, “the mathematical transitive law”, or “Eat at Joe’s”.

Originally Posted by Trumble
The only poster evading anything is you; I doubt you are even fooling your cheerleader any more (if you ever were!) Try answering the point raised in #49. Try telling us what arguments you are actually 'responding' too as well.. yes, I'm repeating myself yet again, but sadly you keep refusing to give an answer. It is rather traditional in debating a response to a position to know what that first position actually is, after all.. wouldn't you agree?
The irony kills me. If that question doesn’t prove you didn’t read the article, nothing can. Not only did I say what arguments I was responding to every time, I used direct quotations. If it helps to ignore all proper nouns in the article, or replace them with “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt”, feel free to do so. I cannot aid a lack of reading comprehension. You’re just going to have to deal with that on your own.
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IAmZamzam
09-14-2010, 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by czgibson
Now THAT is what I call an ad hominem. What do you think?
More or less. In any event I'll bet it's in violation of the board rules. vale's lily needs to pipe down a little.
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IAmZamzam
09-14-2010, 09:32 PM
All this calling for me to "present my arguments", while quite deliberately ignoring my gratuitous repetition of one of them, though they were all laid out there in black and white from the start. Not that I think it will be any less ignored if I repeat it again, but fool that I am, here goes:

SOMETHING HAS TO EXIST FIRST BEFORE IT CAN PERFORM ANY SORT OF ACTION OR FUNCTION, BE IT CREATION OR ANYTHING ELSE. AND IF IT ALREADY EXISTS, IT HAS ALREADY BEEN CREATED. THEREFORE, SELF-CREATION IS IMPOSSIBLE.
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جوري
09-14-2010, 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
In any event I'll bet it's in violation of the board rules.
That is a question for the mods considering a long history of posts from the parties involved and not a mere thread!

and even though the edited version is now reflected in your post excluding the part of interest, I was neither your 'cheer leader' as per Trumble, in fact I merely questioned the validity of his claims rather than his comments on yours, nor am I taking your side, in fact my objection comes from a long history of vehemence and exasperation as often expressed by both parties simply to oppose any Muslim!

:w:
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IAmZamzam
09-14-2010, 09:46 PM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ
Even though the edited version is now reflected in your post excluding the part of interest, I was neither your 'cheer leader' as per Trumble, in fact I merely questioned the validity of his claims rather than his comments on yours, nor am I taking your side, in fact my objection comes from a long history of vehemence and exasperation as often expressed by both parties simply to oppose any Muslim!
I know what it's like to feel that way. But you did more than question. You've, in fact, done little but insult people most all the way through. I appreciate your position and your effort, but you need to either dampen your passion, perhaps by taking a step back and giving yourself time for a metaphorical deep breath and then maybe coming back here after a few days, or else channel your passion through something other than venom.
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جوري
09-14-2010, 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
I know what it's like to feel that way. But you did more than question. You've, in fact, done little but insult people most all the way through. I appreciate your position and your effort, but you need to either dampen your passion, perhaps by taking a step back and giving yourself time for a metaphorical deep breath and then maybe coming back here after a few days, or else channel your passion through something other than venom.
This is the way I express my 'passion' I don't see it as an insult as it is an observation and more so of what is written than the individual, again from a long history of events of which you weren't present-- and I find this a good outlet for such expressions as to what goes on in daily life against Islam and Muslims by like minded individuals.. My being here is separate from your personal efforts for you to appreciate it in any regards (thanks either way) simply because someone made a comment that you feel links your posts to mine, doesn't make it so, it doesn't mar your endeavors as disjoined from mine. It is otherwise a public forum for each to express their views!

:w:
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IAmZamzam
09-14-2010, 10:11 PM
Originally Posted by the vale's lily
This is the way I express my 'passion' I don't see it as an insult as it is an observation and more so of what is written than the individual, again from a long history of events of which you weren't present-- and I find this a good outlet for such expressions as to what goes on in daily life against Islam and Muslims by like minded individuals.. My being here is separate from your personal efforts for you to appreciate it in any regards (thanks either way) simply because someone made a comment that you feel links your posts to mine, doesn't make it so, it doesn't mar your endeavors as disjoined from mine. It is otherwise a public forum for each to express their views!
Saying "if you enjoy useless back and forth drivel then welcome to his playground" is not merely making observations: it is making fun of someone, plain and simple. But it's an issue for the mods and we're getting sidetracked again. Not that it much matters, I suppose, since my disproof of self-causation (probably along with every other individual point I made in the OP) will go unaddressed till kingdom come. Which wouldn't be a bad thing, only (mark my words) three pages from now, if this thread goes on that long (please God no), trumble and Hugo will still be insisting that they're not the ones dodging anything because they'll still be continuing to act as though I haven't made myself clear. It's an ancient debating tactic: ask for clarification where things have been clear from the start, justifying it by completely ignoring what was said from the first, and just keep pretending that the references to and repetitions of these original statements that are the only answers possible in such a situation are dodges. Repeat as often as necessary. I really should keep to what I said a page ago and not post again unless there is finally something on-topic to post about.
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جوري
09-14-2010, 10:18 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
Saying "if you enjoy useless back and forth drivel then welcome to his playground" is not merely making observations: it is making fun of someone, plain and simple.
Not at all, again, if you should follow each of his posts/threads, you'd have in fact ended up thanking me for such an observation for the exact same conclusion that you've reasoned out in the end.
be that as it may, I didn't intend you with that comment otherwise I'd have quoted you-- it was meant as a general rule for those entering into this with the desire to a sound distillate rather than engage in endless vain discourse.. not unlike what is going on at the moment!

:w:
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czgibson
09-14-2010, 10:41 PM
Greetings,

Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
Not that it much matters, I suppose, since my disproof of self-causation (probably along with every other individual point I made in the OP) will go unaddressed till kingdom come.
I inevitably disagree with much of what you wrote in your opening post, but I will address this point, seeing as you feel it's being ignored, only to say that I am also suspicious of Hawking's reasoning here - at least on the evidence I've seen so far. I've not read the book yet; I've just seen a few reviews (and to be honest, though I hope to read it one day, there are many things on my reading list before it). Self-causation is a huge thing to suggest and attempt to explain - I've certainly never been able to accept it whenever it features in theistic arguments - and from what I can gather he's basing his explanation in part on results that he hopes will arrive in the future.

Having said that, quotes like the following give such a bald and brief statement of what simply must be a larger argument that it's difficult to form any firm conclusion about the argument's validity:

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing," the pair write, in an extract published in today's London Times. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going."
There are so many assumptions there that nobody could reasonably use it in this form as an argument for atheism. I think it's also premature to attempt to refute such an argument before reading it in full.

Peace
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CosmicPathos
09-14-2010, 10:42 PM
hawking has lost it. that is what happens when ego reaches ones head.
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Trumble
09-15-2010, 01:08 AM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
Such misrepresentation. I wonder if you read the entire OP at all.
Just to put your mind at rest, yes I did.

It’s not enough that the word “gravity” is in it. The whole thing (in that part of the paper, anyway) was about self-creation. My point would have remained the same had Hawking said, instead of “gravity”, “the electro-weak force”, “the strong nuclear force”, “the mathematical transitive law”, or “Eat at Joe’s”.
Feel free to substitute any of those things for 'gravity' (with the possible exception of the diner), and try and answer my point in #49?

Not only did I say what arguments I was responding to every time, I used direct quotations.
Yes, you used direct quotations. Unfortunately none of those quotations include arguments, nor is any summary of Hawking's arguments anywhere to be seen. I'm assuming you actually know what an argument is?

I cannot aid a lack of reading comprehension. You’re just going to have to deal with that on your own.
Oh, dear.. waffle time. My reading comprehension is just fine, thank you.


SOMETHING HAS TO EXIST FIRST BEFORE IT CAN PERFORM ANY SORT OF ACTION OR FUNCTION, BE IT CREATION OR ANYTHING ELSE. AND IF IT ALREADY EXISTS, IT HAS ALREADY BEEN CREATED. THEREFORE, SELF-CREATION IS IMPOSSIBLE.
Shouting won't make any difference. That is, indeed, an argument although it's relevance to Hawking remains obscure. Which takes us back to #49 (which you clearly didn't read - now that is ironic!) Let me clarify, in case that is needed. Your second premise is that if something already exists, it has already been created. I have pointed out to you that there is at least one thing that exists that according to your own logic cannot have been created, causation itself. You have said there is another entity that also was not created, God. We now have two very different counter examples to show that that premise cannot be universally true, as well as no reason not to suspect there might be more (including the fundamental physical forces, which would seem not unpromising candidates), therefore your argument is invalid.

Your conclusion might still be true, of course, despite that. Which is why, in the context of what the thread is supposedly about, we really should consider whether gravity (or any other forces) that Hawking or anybody else may claim are responsible for 'creation' do, indeed, need to have been created themselves. As there seems to be no reason to assume that is the case, the relevance or otherwise of that conclusion to what Hawking is saying can be assessed only against the background of his arguments. Self-creation of exactly what? And why is that dependent on the existence of gravity? Who knows? Those who have read the book, presumably. If, as the quote suggests, his claim is that the universe can "create itself from nothing" because of the existence of a force like gravity, in what way does that differ logically from a claim that the universe can create itself from nothing because of the existence of God?!
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IAmZamzam
09-15-2010, 09:56 PM
Uncreated and self-created are two different concepts, Trumble. As for "causation itself", that is merely semantics, because "causation" as a collective noun is not a single thing but just a type of thing that happens. It's like asking me how I explain the cause of running. There is no one cause of running, only what caused any individual person to begin any individual act of swiftly and alternatingly putting one foot before the other on any given occasion in which running occurs. Likewise, there is no single cause of causation "itself", only the causes of individual instances in that all but perpetual string--the dog chased the cat, the cat chased the rat, the rat ate the cheese, you know how it goes--that interconnected web of causation stretching back toward the Big Bang or whatever, in which all spacetime events themselves equally ultimately stem from an omnitemporal, omnipresent Causer whose absence of a definite point in spacetime and material reality removes Him from causal necessity. The universe never created itself from nothing, nor could it. Only something itself not found in the physical cosmos could have created it.

Self-creation of what? Who cares. I've shown about a googolplex times that nothing can create itself and my logic is so irrefutable that no one's even pretended to try to refute the argument itself. Would it help if I made the terms broader and simpler to get people to stop overlooking it?

1. In order for something to perform an action (causation/creation or anything else), it has to exist. Nonexistent things can't do anything. Because they're not even there in the first place.
2. If something already exists, it has already been caused or created.
3. Therefore, nothing can cause/create itself, since in order to do so it would have had to perform actions before it existed.
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Trumble
09-16-2010, 04:07 AM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
As for "causation itself", that is merely semantics, because "causation" as a collective noun is not a single thing but just a type of thing that happens.
There is no such thing a 'merely semantics'. And it is totally irrelevant whether it is a single thing ('the law of cause and effect') or a type of thing, it is still a single thing or a type of thing that was neither created nor caused. Just like God. And just like, well... what else? You seem to have some sort of block on addressing that point.

Self-creation of what? Who cares.
That rather depends on how interested you actually are in the supposed topic which in your case, apparently, is not in the slightest. Hawking is (presumably) not offering an abstract philosophical argument as to whether things in general can create themselves or appear 'out of nothing', but a specific scientific and mathematical one in relation to the creation of the universe. It is therefore essential to examine what he actually means.

I've shown about a googolplex times that nothing can create itself and my logic is so irrefutable that no one's even pretended to try to refute the argument itself. Would it help if I made the terms broader and simpler to get people to stop overlooking it?
As I have already explained, '2' is not universal (due to the existence of counter examples) and therefore your argument is unsound; I'm afraid it's not me doing the 'overlooking'. So, no, yet another repetition of your 'irrefutable logic' doesn't 'help' in the slightest.
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IAmZamzam
09-16-2010, 05:19 AM
Originally Posted by Trumble
There is no such thing a 'merely semantics'.
I beg to differ! So, I think, would anyone else, would everyone else.

And it is totally irrelevant whether it is a single thing ('the law of cause and effect') or a type of thing, it is still a single thing or a type of thing that was neither created nor caused. Just like God. And just like, well... what else? You seem to have some sort of block on addressing that point.
And yet you claim you read my posts carefully! I said:

Originally Posted by Me
Uncreated and self-created are two different concepts...There is no single cause of causation "itself", only the causes of individual instances in that all but perpetual string--the dog chased the cat, the cat chased the rat, the rat ate the cheese, you know how it goes--that interconnected web of causation stretching back toward the Big Bang or whatever, in which all spacetime events themselves equally ultimately stem from an omnitemporal, omnipresent Causer whose absence of a definite point in spacetime and material reality removes Him from causal necessity. The universe never created itself from nothing, nor could it. Only something itself not found in the physical cosmos could have created it.
That was ONE POST AGO. And here you go speaking as though I have a block on the issues of what couldn’t have been caused, why and how it’s the only thing in that set, and about that “the cause of causation” blather. I’m telling you, I am teetering on the edge of ceasing to bother responding to you at all.

That rather depends on how interested you actually are in the supposed topic which in your case, apparently, is not in the slightest. Hawking is (presumably) not offering an abstract philosophical argument as to whether things in general can create themselves or appear 'out of nothing', but a specific scientific and mathematical one in relation to the creation of the universe. It is therefore essential to examine what he actually means.
No it’s not, unless he means something other than what he said, which claimed that anything could ever be self-creating, and that’s exactly what I was disproving. Whether an argument is scientific, philosophical, abstract, non-abstract, or anything else, if it claims something provably impossible, it is equally out in all cases.

As I have already explained, '2' is not universal (due to the existence of counter examples) and therefore your argument is unsound; I'm afraid it's not me doing the 'overlooking'.
Since the only reasons you gave as a counter to #2 are themselves things I did indeed address and which you staunchly continue to pretend I haven’t, there is no possible conclusion anyone reading this could make (or probably has made, unless that person is you) but that you are indeed the one doing the overlooking. Even if gravity were uncaused, we were talking about self-causation, not uncausation, which is not only an entirely separate concept but also mutually exclusive.

So, no, yet another repetition of your 'irrefutable logic' doesn't 'help' in the slightest.
And oddly enough, still yet no one has refuted it.
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tango92
09-16-2010, 05:30 AM
something which is uncreated should have no boundaries. gravity, always acts a certain way, is based on rules etc one asks where did those rules come from? why are they the way they are?
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Trumble
09-16-2010, 07:12 AM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
Since the only reasons you gave as a counter to #2 are themselves things I did indeed address and which you staunchly continue to pretend I haven’t
No, you haven't. I'm not 'pretending' anything. You just cannot escape your own pomposity long enough to accept that as you pretend to be responding to Hawking your 'argument' cannot be addressed except in relation to what Hawking says.


And oddly enough, still yet no one has refuted it.
Oddly enough, I have.


I’m telling you, I am teetering on the edge of ceasing to bother responding to you at all.
Probably just as well. You seem to have nothing else to say.
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Hugo
09-16-2010, 12:39 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
... web of causation stretching back toward the Big Bang or whatever, in which all spacetime events themselves equally ultimately stem from an omnitemporal, omnipresent Causer whose absence of a definite point in spacetime and material reality removes Him from causal necessity. The universe never created itself from nothing, nor could it. Only something itself not found in the physical cosmos could have created it.
One can see you point but it is no more than speculation and unprovable as there seems no way to show that something not in the cosmos exists.

Now it is easy to agree with you say that in physics the notion of cause and effect and the presumption that something from the future cannot influence something in the past. But there are some cracks, for example radioactivity. An atom, such as radium will eventually decay, and in the process it will emit energy. But there is no known triggering event that could serve as the cause of this decay event. In a large collection of radium atoms the rate of decay can be accurately predicted, but the identity of the decayed atoms cannot be determined beforehand. Their decay is random and uncaused.

Another crack in this belief system has been produced by quantum mechanical events such that the same sequence of causal events (or causal factors) regularly produces different effects (i.e. results), but the results may repeat themselves in some random (unknowable) sequence. You can argue of course that there must be a cause but unless you can find it all we can say is the evidence so far does not in the cases I mentioned support the causation idea.
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Argamemnon
09-16-2010, 01:31 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
IMHO, it's hardly fair appropriate to accuse one of the leading scientists of our times of being 'illogical', floating strawmen and all the rest of it on the basis of somebody else's comments on his book, and a couple of small quotes. Read the book, then do it. In addition, it's very hard to take seriously any author that suggests such a person is "losing his capacity for original and rational thought" just because he happens to present an opinion the author happens to disagree with. You are obviously capable of presenting a reasonable argument without resorting to ad hominem rubbish, so why not do so?
Scientists are not always honest or knowledgeable. Here is an amazing admission by Professor Richard Lewontin who is one of the world's leaders in evolutionary biology.

"‘We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen [but see the difference between origin and operational science—Ed.]."
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IAmZamzam
09-16-2010, 08:57 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
One can see you point but it is no more than speculation and unprovable as there seems no way to show that something not in the cosmos exists.

Now it is easy to agree with you say that in physics the notion of cause and effect and the presumption that something from the future cannot influence something in the past. But there are some cracks, for example radioactivity. An atom, such as radium will eventually decay, and in the process it will emit energy. But there is no known triggering event that could serve as the cause of this decay event. In a large collection of radium atoms the rate of decay can be accurately predicted, but the identity of the decayed atoms cannot be determined beforehand. Their decay is random and uncaused.

Another crack in this belief system has been produced by quantum mechanical events such that the same sequence of causal events (or causal factors) regularly produces different effects (i.e. results), but the results may repeat themselves in some random (unknowable) sequence. You can argue of course that there must be a cause but unless you can find it all we can say is the evidence so far does not in the cases I mentioned support the causation idea.
I repeat: you have your ghost in the machine, I have mine. Both ghosts are things outside of what our personal knowledge shows to be the norm: at least the theistic one is not obligated to be otherwise by its own logic.

Or pardon me, nontheists have their ghost and we have ours. Really, you've been talking so much like one and taking their side so consistently that I have honestly forgotten on several occasions when responding to you that you're a Christian. That's not a quip or an exaggeration: it's the literal, serious truth.
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Karl
09-17-2010, 12:05 AM
If you believe in the cosmos then you believe in God. As the old Greek ancients said the time before God was the chaos. God gave order to the universe creating the cosmos. So without God there would only be eternal chaos.
God creating order out of the chaos is called the creation of the cosmos. So if you don't believe in God you must believe the creation never happened and we are still in a state of chaos. Which is impossible as a state of chaos means totally unstable atomic bonds, time and space random mayhem, all waves of energy totally random total disorder on all levels. So we could not exist in that state. So God must exist but I suppose the argument could be what exactly is God? I think we can't really get our heads around that one. So we have many religions and squabble about what is the truth like little children fighting over toys.
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Hugo
09-17-2010, 12:24 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
I repeat: you have your ghost in the machine, I have mine. Both ghosts are things outside of what our personal knowledge shows to be the norm: at least the theistic one is not obligated to be otherwise by its own logic. Or pardon me, nontheists have their ghost and we have ours. Really, you've been talking so much like one and taking their side so consistently that I have honestly forgotten on several occasions when responding to you that you're a Christian. That's not a quip or an exaggeration: it's the literal, serious truth.
Try not always to be so sure of yourself especially when you think about what others might say or do or belive. I know nothing of any ghost in my machine and all I ever do or at least try to do is separate what is scientific from what is lets call it supernatural as I don't think the two mix, especially the supernatural with science. So my stated position is that I see nothing wrong with cause and effect but I am also aware there are what I called cracks in the idea and so there are areas were I simply don't know.

Just as an example, if I were say looking at the authenticity of Biblical or Qu'ranic text then my position is that I have to shut out of my mind any notion that these are or might be from God because to do so is to pre-judge the issue and impose a view that cannot be verified. So instead I take the scientific route and can carbon date the papers, looking at the form of writing, the ink used, the thickness of the ink, history of transmission and so on. I might also use textual criticism or compare it with literature of the time. But ALL I am doing is grounded if that is the right word in establishing that the text is authentic from the period and I offer no opinion one way or the others as to its putative supernatural author. This of course does not mean I will not treat it from a personal point of view as God given but I MUST separate out that from what can be established in terms let's call it material evidence.
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Argamemnon
09-19-2010, 09:00 AM
Originally Posted by Karl
If you believe in the cosmos then you believe in God. As the old Greek ancients said the time before God was the chaos. God gave order to the universe creating the cosmos. So without God there would only be eternal chaos.
Modern science has disproved materialism. The Big Bang proves God's existance because everything was created out of nothing. Something can not come out of nothing.
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Argamemnon
09-19-2010, 09:14 AM
Originally Posted by Hugo
as I don't think the two mix, especially the supernatural with science. So my stated position is that I see nothing wrong with cause and effect but I am also aware there are what I called cracks in the idea and so there are areas were I simply don't know.
Don't forget that scientists are human beings who are influenced by their personal views and ideologies and cultural backgrounds. Most people tend to blindly believe scientists only because they are able to utter some unpronounceable words.
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Zafran
09-19-2010, 03:26 PM
Originally Posted by Argamemnon
Don't forget that scientists are human beings who are influenced by their personal views and ideologies and cultural backgrounds. Most people tend to blindly believe scientists only because they are able to utter some unpronounceable words.
Salaam

good point - most of us have to have faith in these scientists and what they say is actually true even though we ourselves are probably not qualified to find out. The same applies with Religion.

peace
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Hugo
09-19-2010, 08:23 PM
Originally Posted by Argamemnon
Modern science has disproved materialism. The Big Bang proves God's existance because everything was created out of nothing. Something can not come out of nothing.
It is best if you read the whole thread and if you do you will see that this may not be the whole story
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Hugo
09-19-2010, 08:26 PM
Originally Posted by Argamemnon
Don't forget that scientists are human beings who are influenced by their personal views and ideologies and cultural backgrounds. Most people tend to blindly believe scientists only because they are able to utter some unpronounceable words.
Why single out scientist here, we are all influenced by personal views and ideologies and Muslims or anyone else is not exempt, you I guess believe blindly all things Muslim?
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IAmZamzam
09-23-2010, 01:23 AM
Originally Posted by Argamemnon
Don't forget that scientists are human beings who are influenced by their personal views and ideologies and cultural backgrounds.

Most people tend to blindly believe scientists only because they are able to utter some unpronounceable words.
And because they're trained professionals and therefore anyone who disputes ANYTHING they say is therefore either an ignoramus or a know-it-all. You see this in all walks of life, including if not especially in Islam, wherein anyone who questions a scholar is treated like they're at least as much a heretic as if they had questioned one of the prophets of Allah. Apparently anyone who has degree in something (or the equivalent) is an infallible deity among men. Whereas in reality every branch of academia is taught on the (frequently false or fallacious) premises of particular biases common to the profession and therefore treated as a natural part of it. Think about it: how often have you ever seen a textbook in your life that wasn't biased or slanting about something? Or an intellectual profession where the general philosophy behind it all in the modern zeitgeist is not taught as being beyond reproach? So it is with scientists. They are taught what is perfectly reasonable yet what also must not be mistaken for an automatic way of reaching truth, that they must be secular in their work. And therefore it proves nothing that something starting with secular premises comes to a secular conclusion. Indeed, it is inevitable.

Other people, among the nontheistic and the nonreligious, automatically believe scientists because they don't think and therefore automatically presume science to be the natural, default, automatic, unavoidable replacement of religion. Just because everyone else of the sort they see does and, once again not thinking, they presume that it's therefore a package deal. I even saw someone or other (another guy at infidels.org whose name I don't remember through the mists of time--I'm sure you could do a search there if you had to) say that he would define atheism not as the disbelief in God but as the belief in science as the final word.
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IAmZamzam
09-23-2010, 01:36 AM
Originally Posted by Hugo
Try not always to be so sure of yourself especially when you think about what others might say or do or belive.
What are you even talking about?! I didn't accuse you of believing anything.

I know nothing of any ghost in my machine and all I ever do or at least try to do is separate what is scientific from what is lets call it supernatural as I don't think the two mix, especially the supernatural with science.
Separate it? When had it not been separated in your discourse with me? Even my still-ignored opening post explicitly explicitly established the separation already. I speak only of reason.

So my stated position is that I see nothing wrong with cause and effect but I am also aware there are what I called cracks in the idea and so there are areas were I simply don't know.
We've been over this already. The only "cracks" are jumps to conclusions at worst and probabilistic fallacies at best: "We haven't yet found a cause = there is no cause." Bah. There have always been, and always will be, things in this world whose causes we don't know. It happens to us even in our own lives most every day. That is no reason to doubt cause and effect itself.

Just as an example, if I were say looking at the authenticity of Biblical or Qu'ranic text then my position is that I have to shut out of my mind any notion that these are or might be from God because to do so is to pre-judge the issue and impose a view that cannot be verified. So instead I take the scientific route and can carbon date the papers, looking at the form of writing, the ink used, the thickness of the ink, history of transmission and so on.
What happened to separating science and the supernatural?

I might also use textual criticism or compare it with literature of the time.
If by all means. In fact, it is not a bad means at all to prove the divine inspiration of the Koran.

But ALL I am doing is grounded if that is the right word in establishing that the text is authentic from the period and I offer no opinion one way or the others as to its putative supernatural author. This of course does not mean I will not treat it from a personal point of view as God given but I MUST separate out that from what can be established in terms let's call it material evidence.
Yet material evidence is all you’ve been going on with from the start. In fact, you’ve talked about rather little else.
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Insecured soul
09-23-2010, 02:25 AM
Originally Posted by Karl
If you believe in the cosmos then you believe in God. As the old Greek ancients said the time before God was the chaos. God gave order to the universe creating the cosmos. So without God there would only be eternal chaos.
God creating order out of the chaos is called the creation of the cosmos. So if you don't believe in God you must believe the creation never happened and we are still in a state of chaos. Which is impossible as a state of chaos means totally unstable atomic bonds, time and space random mayhem, all waves of energy totally random total disorder on all levels. So we could not exist in that state. So God must exist but I suppose the argument could be what exactly is God? I think we can't really get our heads around that one. So we have many religions and squabble about what is the truth like little children fighting over toys.
Brother karl i enjoy reading ur inputs

Originally Posted by Argamemnon
Modern science has disproved materialism. The Big Bang proves God's existance because everything was created out of nothing. Something can not come out of nothing.
Thats one of many power of allah azzawajal to create something out of nothing, i guess its understood when he wants to create something he says be and it becomes



Originally Posted by Argamemnon
Most people tend to blindly believe scientists only because they are able to utter some unpronounceable words.
lol, yeah may be and we shoudnt trust science completely as it take a complete U turn sometimes


Originally Posted by Hugo
you I guess believe blindly all things Muslim?
No we dont and when a person worship allah azzawajal can never be blind
Reply

OurIslamic
09-23-2010, 03:33 AM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
I ordinarily don’t do this. Through gradual tapering I’ve more or less stopped responding to atheists altogether, at least in forums or other places where there’s an immediate and direct back-and-forth. (This is why I may well never write another “Atheistic Chestnuts Refuted” article, for instance.) There are two reasons. First, because most of the atheists you’ll talk to respond to your arguments with nothing more than talk that is little different from the insults of an elementary schooler, and their behavior otherwise is no less immature or appalling. They even use directly childish idioms and reference points, each more puerile and needlessly obnoxious than the last. (For instance, take their cliché analogies to God: Santa Claus, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, invisible pink unicorns...stop and think for a minute how odd it is to hear this coming from the mouths of grown-ups.) Some of them try to rationalize away their constantly insulting way of speaking by saying that humor helps to open the mind or that anyone who believes the “silly” things we do deserves to be mocked ruthlessly (apparently their sense of justice is no more advanced beyond the fifth grade than their sense of humor); others make no apologies but still get just as defensive anyway when you label their horrible behavior for what it is. I’m not saying that there aren’t civil atheists out there: probably there’s a lot of them, and years ago I was close friends with one. But the more vocal ones almost always seem to be the ones who mock and deride instead of reason: this trait reaches far beyond the ubiquitous forum trolls who exist among people of every stripe and goes all the way into many if not most of their most esteemed, “professional” scholars.

The second reason is that you can’t win with these sorts anyway since they’re constantly shifting their ground or fortifying themselves with catch-22’s. The modern atheistic intellectual zeitgeist is little more than a mass of self-contradictory double standards which leave no conceivable means for even a theoretical possibility to slip in from any quarter of anything making the holders of these standards change their minds. If one or two extraordinary events happen then the skeptics say that of course that doesn’t indicate anything because it’s obviously a fluke instead of a sign or divine intervention because after all, it’s not like such unlikely things happen all the time; if they do end up happening all the time then these people say that of course it doesn’t mean anything because it’s obviously just the statistical effect called clustering: an epidemic of extraordinary things has to happen to someone eventually. A lot of these skeptics walk around saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” yet if they do see something themselves they pass it off as a hallucination or some other sort of phantasm or illusion. They complain (rightly, perhaps) of atheists always being depicted, in fiction and even in real life, as being merely prejudiced by some emotional or psychological impetus like a personal trauma or something, but at the same time they go around talking about religious faith like it is automatically and inherently a purely emotional or psychological phenomenon, or even a mental illness. Some of these atheists (many of them the same people who on other occasions demand miracles as proof) claim that if something were to break the laws of physics then that would just necessitate a redefinition of those laws—again, leaving no room for any persuasion that there was divine intervention. Something in reality that doesn’t fit your worldview? Just patch it up by redefining a word.

Most egregiously of all, they criticize creationist “science” (again, rightly) of bringing the subject of the supernatural into science when by definition science is the study of the natural world only and therefore it’s like mixing oil and water, but then many of these same people also say that they disbelieve in God because there is no scientific evidence for Him. It’s no use pointing out to them that if scientific proof of the supernatural is impossible then so is scientific disproof of the supernatural, or that it is unreasonable and irrational in the first place to say that you disbelieve in God, a supernatural Being and therefore something that wouldn’t and couldn’t yield scientific evidence of His existence even if He did exist, because there is no scientific evidence for His existence. Oh, they’ll get the self-refuting and mind-closing discrepancy involved but somehow they still won’t get what’s wrong with holding to it. Do you see my predicament now? How are you to argue with a man who insists that something can’t be in the next room behind a locked door because his methods of studying this room have disclosed no reason to think that the object is here in it, even though he very well knows this is not where the object could possibly be if it exists, and he doesn’t care (or even takes pride) in how beside the point his reasoning is? And that’s not even close to the worst thing you have to deal with when trying to reason with these folks. It’s difficult and seemingly pointless to go on—in person, at any rate.

Every now and then, though, I come across a piece of anti-theism propaganda that is so very asinine, unoriginal, and nigh unreadable behind the words FALLACY being written all over it a thousand times in giant bold letters—and yet so likely to be talked about endlessly--that I know a refutation seems necessary and even with my ordinary distaste for such things I can hardly resist anyway. Such a piece is Stephen Hawking’s recent cant about God having no role in the universe. This is one of those articles that is so drenched in illogic that it seems necessary to go through it bit by bit:



I refer you to what I said above. Science, the study of nature, could no more prove anything about supernature one way or the other than linguistics could prove a mathematical formula. I suppose the idea is that nauseatingly old “God of the Gaps” nonsense, which posits that the real purpose of theism is to explain things that science has not “yet” explained. I’ve always had two serious problems with this theory. First, there’s the absurd literalism and historical snobbery involved with the implications and typical explanations or supports of the idea. Second, science has, in the end, not explained diddly squat as a replacement for how nature works as opposed to divine agencies or whatever. All science has done is put the words "the forces of nature" in as a placeholder and pretend that it already is what it is a placeholder for, and for that matter that these words even have a definition in the first place—or at least one that’s specific, coherent, articulate, and meaningful enough to have any practical value whatsoever so that it really makes any difference whether the definition is there or not. The concept of “the forces of nature” is a non-explanation—indeed, it’s really a non-concept. Descriptions are not the same thing as explanations. Saying the word “force” does not supply any new information. It doesn’t even communicate anything. Science can describe, to some degree, what gravity or electromagnetism does, but not what it is, or what causes it. The laws of the universe are just patterns of consistent behavior for which science has no actual explanation whatsoever, just semantics masquerading as explanations. These people notice a common type of occurrence, affix a label to it, and then say, “There, now the occurrence is explained.” Well, maybe they don’t go so far as to put it directly into words like that: one wouldn’t want to openly reveal the malarkey for what it is and force oneself to face the reality of one’s ignorance and, worse, one’s denial.

Not to mention that even if a fact does render something redundant, that is not the same as rendering it untrue. Or that these “forces of nature” themselves form an arabesque of pattern and organization to begin with which in every other instance is an evident mark of design. We are a colony of microscopic creatures living in one isolated corner of a vast Persian rug, and once we’ve seen enough of our corner to notice some patterns in the rug which form the basis and structure that our little “world” stands on, a few of us come up with names for these patterns, pretend the names are themselves existential and causal accounts, and then, most puzzlingly of all, use these names as evidence that we must not be on a woven thing of any sort. Because consistency is a sign of lack of design, apparently. At least when you give it a name which allows people to forget that you’re not talking about anything in the first place more specific and explanatory than things behaving consistently in certain ways. Such is “the forces of nature”.

But wait, if we read on then we see that Mr. Hawking isn’t saying that: no, it’s worse. He’s saying that not only was there no weaver, the rug wove itself:



Except that there must have been something to light the paper with, and something to have ignited it and set it to the paper. It seems ridiculous that I should actually have to explain that and why things can’t create themselves, let alone out of nothing, but all right. For one thing, something has to exist before it can perform any action or function such as creation. And if it already exists to begin with, that means it’s already been created, and furthermore...oh, enough of this. Like I said, it shouldn’t bear explaining. (Additionally, even if it were not necessary to invoke God, that would not mean that He’s not there. “Necessary” and “real” are two very different concepts, and thus to say that an absence of necessity indicates an absence of reality is to speak in non-sequiturs.)



The “mind of God” statement is open to various possible interpretations. Indeed, many people have suspected Hawking of being a flat-out atheist all along, who didn’t want to admit to it because it would mean a drop in book sales or reputation. He has been maybe a little vague and evasive on the subject, and I do seem to remember reading at infidels.org or somewhere a few years back, in some article about how more atheistic celebrities should proudly proclaim their atheism rather than keep it a secret, that...I can’t remember the author’s name for the life of me, but whoever it was put months of “tremendous pressure” (i.e. obnoxious poking, prying and pestering instead of letting the poor man have his right to privacy) on Hawking until finally his secretary said, “When Mr. Hawking says ‘God’ he is referring to the forces of nature.” I don’t know if that’s true or not—it was only secondhand information from a secretary who may have just been trying to shut that badgering fellow up—but in any case, whatever Hawking believed Bates should not just declare a flip-flop in Hawking’s position on theism when his previous position was not at all clear and he himself has not said anything about changing his mind.



“Just to please us”?! I’ll be generous and assume that was a silly little careless poor choice of words. As for the rest, it’s all that same endlessly repeated line about how modern knowledge of science somehow means less evidence of teleology because the individual (and usually, mostly abandoned per se) straw man argument is treated or implied as standing for all teleological thought. Usually this is done by saying that the theory of evolution itself has disproven the teleological position; now Hawking is speaking as though the likelihood of life on other planets has, and in mere reference to the ancient words of Isaac Newton. This makes Hawking no better than the creationists who attack selected, oversimplified statements written by Darwin himself as if that could refute the entire theory of evolution. I have already discussed above why the “forces of nature” are more likely to be signs of design than of undesign, and I have discussed it further, with refutations of the inevitable counter-arguments, in the other thread where I gave the excerpt from my own book in progress. If—pardon me, when—I must explain it all over again, it should be in another thread still, because to go into it here would be prolix and slightly off topic.



If that doesn’t make you wonder why even the most intelligent nontheists in the world cannot formulate intelligent arguments, I don’t know what will. Apparently Hawking is one of those nontheists who automatically equate belief in God with belief that God made the world only to make humans, or mainly to make humans. Another straw man, though not at all of an uncommon stripe: nontheistic literature is replete with attacks on theism itself by way of attacking individual, select beliefs of certain groups of theists. Lots of theists do not believe that God made the world just to make mankind: indeed, the notion is explicitly denied in the Koran, which was written in the Dark Ages: “The creation of the heavens and the earth is certainly greater than the creation of humans, though most humans don’t know it.” (Surah 40, verse 57) This is one of the dangers of ignorance and stereotype: they strike even the smartest people, making them think such manifest malarkey as that “X existing in the first place=X having certain motives” is a necessary truth that is so obvious as not even to be considered. Heck, God’s role as creator and designer doesn’t even indicate that any viewpoint about His motives at all, religious or unorthodox, is necessarily correct.

Second of all, what makes other worlds redundant? The Koran, again, stated that there are many earths (surah 65, verse 12). Even if we are alone out there, the vast size of the universe beyond us—which we know we can only barely begin to detect, the detectable parts alone being unimaginably cyclopean—is anything but redundant: it just goes to show how us how great and inconceivable its Creator would be. There is nothing redundant about a master who needs nothing yet who still creates people out of the kindness of His heart coming up with a few more servants: if anything, it stands to reason. And what the heck could the worlds being out of reach of each other (if they even are, for a more technologically advanced and long-lived species than our own) have to do with it?? There may be another colony of microscopic organisms living farther away from us here on this great Persian rug than we can ever hope to reach, but that doesn’t change the fact of the arabesque in the rug itself. And besides, it’s not like the existence of intelligent life on other planets is even proven in the least yet, though Hawking seems to be taking the matter purely for granted.



Okay, stop right there. Dawkins may be high-profile in the literal sense of being famous, but only in that sense. The implication here seems to be that he is a respected member of the intellectual community and yet I don’t even know of very many atheists who take him seriously. I think very little of him myself.



I spoke too soon. It looks like they did go ahead and tow the “evolution automatically refutes a teleological view of the universe” line after all in addition to the rest. I really should have seen this coming.



He was doing so well until that final sentence. But because he messed up there and said that “faith” line, he has allowed the psyches of thousands of atheists reading his words to focus on that one thing and overlook the common sense of the rest. A week after reading the quote, it will be the only thing they remember him saying.

Stephen Hawking has given many signs lately that in the best case scenario what brilliance he may have once genuinely had is slipping, and in the worst case scenario he is losing his capacity for original and rational thought, or isn’t bothering to use said capacity. One of his other most recent articles is just one long cliché about how aliens probably exist and will probably be hostile toward us and must be of vastly superior intelligence and so on. Barring all the other errors involved, you’d at least think that he of all people would understand that the only thing necessary for a race to develop interstellar travel is not superhuman intelligence but only intelligence that’s at minimum approximately human, given that the human brain has not grown definitely and noticeably more intelligent in the few thousand years we’ve been really developing our technology, and obviously still will not have if in a few more thousand years we’ve taken it to new levels like interstellar travel ourselves. It just takes a mind like our own and a lot of dedicated time and practice, not an inherently greater intellect. Perhaps it is dedicated time and practice that Mr. Hawking has fallen out of, because for the reasons I have given (and I’m really only scratching the surface) he hasn’t given any more sign of applying mental effort to the subject of theism either. As Stephen King wrote in On Writing, no one can be as intellectually lazy as a really smart person. Nevertheless, Hawking’s words are good for one thing: they go to show that even the most intelligent nontheists in the world can’t come up with any argumentation that’s even remotely new, logical, or even interesting.
I like you.

By the way, I'm pretty sure this is just a ploy to sell more books.
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Argamemnon
09-23-2010, 09:15 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
Why single out scientist here, we are all influenced by personal views and ideologies and Muslims or anyone else is not exempt
Nobody was singling out scientists. The problem is that most people seem to think that scientists are always right (and righteous), which can't be further from the truth.
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Argamemnon
09-23-2010, 09:25 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
And because they're trained professionals and therefore anyone who disputes ANYTHING they say is therefore either an ignoramus or a know-it-all. You see this in all walks of life, including if not especially in Islam, wherein anyone who questions a scholar is treated like they're at least as much a heretic as if they had questioned one of the prophets of Allah. Apparently anyone who has degree in something (or the equivalent) is an infallible deity among men. Whereas in reality every branch of academia is taught on the (frequently false or fallacious) premises of particular biases common to the profession and therefore treated as a natural part of it. Think about it: how often have you ever seen a textbook in your life that wasn't biased or slanting about something? Or an intellectual profession where the general philosophy behind it all in the modern zeitgeist is not taught as being beyond reproach? So it is with scientists. They are taught what is perfectly reasonable yet what also must not be mistaken for an automatic way of reaching truth, that they must be secular in their work. And therefore it proves nothing that something starting with secular premises comes to a secular conclusion. Indeed, it is inevitable.

Other people, among the nontheistic and the nonreligious, automatically believe scientists because they don't think and therefore automatically presume science to be the natural, default, automatic, unavoidable replacement of religion. Just because everyone else of the sort they see does and, once again not thinking, they presume that it's therefore a package deal. I even saw someone or other (another guy at infidels.org whose name I don't remember through the mists of time--I'm sure you could do a search there if you had to) say that he would define atheism not as the disbelief in God but as the belief in science as the final word.
Well said brother, I agree.

:w:
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Hugo
09-25-2010, 03:25 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
And because they're trained professionals and therefore anyone who disputes ANYTHING they say is therefore either an ignoramus or a know-it-all. You see this in all walks of life, including if not especially in Islam, wherein anyone who questions a scholar is treated like they're at least as much a heretic as if they had questioned one of the prophets of Allah. Apparently anyone who has degree in something (or the equivalent) is an infallible deity among men. Whereas in reality every branch of academia is taught on the (frequently false or fallacious) premises of particular biases common to the profession and therefore treated as a natural part of it. Think about it: how often have you ever seen a textbook in your life that wasn't biased or slanting about something? Or an intellectual profession where the general philosophy behind it all in the modern zeitgeist is not taught as being beyond reproach? So it is with scientists. They are taught what is perfectly reasonable yet what also must not be mistaken for an automatic way of reaching truth, that they must be secular in their work. And therefore it proves nothing that something starting with secular premises comes to a secular conclusion. Indeed, it is inevitable.

Other people, among the nontheistic and the nonreligious, automatically believe scientists because they don't think and therefore automatically presume science to be the natural, default, automatic, unavoidable replacement of religion. Just because everyone else of the sort they see does and, once again not thinking, they presume that it's therefore a package deal. I even saw someone or other (another guy at infidels.org whose name I don't remember through the mists of time--I'm sure you could do a search there if you had to) say that he would define atheism not as the disbelief in God but as the belief in science as the final word.
Do you have any biases?
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IAmZamzam
09-29-2010, 04:01 AM
Originally Posted by Hugo
Do you have any biases?
Everyone has biases, for better or worse. Mine, at least, are (so far as I know) never the result of mindlessly adhering to a general atmosphere of thought or unquestioningly accepted general philosophies around something. And if it ever is, I hope myself or someone else can spot it so that I can thoroughly re-examine the bias.
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FS123
10-03-2010, 12:45 AM
Hugo you are a Christian? You sound like agnostic or atheist.
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IAmZamzam
10-03-2010, 09:08 PM
Originally Posted by FS123
Hugo you are a Christian? You sound like agnostic or atheist.
As I said above. I suppose I believe him if he says he’s a Christian (he doesn’t seem the sort who would hide his nontheism if he had any in the first place), but I’m willing to bet that he, like many theists who talk like nontheists and even seem to take their side, is one of those “no contest” theists, as I call them. People who do not deny that human knowledge and reason is against theism yet still believe in it all the same because they buy into the ignorant stereotype that faith is some sort of undefinable, nebulous, emotional/intuitive thing and must be kept separate from reason and academia at all times and in all capacity.
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Hugo
10-10-2010, 07:04 PM
Originally Posted by FS123
Hugo you are a Christian? You sound like agnostic or atheist.
Christian, but if one is going to discuss faith one has to see the other persons position or argument - you cannot just assume or worse know that you are right can you?
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جوري
10-10-2010, 07:17 PM
ugh.. wasn't this guy banned?
this forum is much too lenient- if he comes back then surely Islamirama and mad-scientist should be allowed to come back as well.

Whatever the case I suggest members not reply but report him at the first sign of venom, which should be rather soon as I know he can't help himself!

:w:
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Hugo
10-10-2010, 07:56 PM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ
ugh.. wasn't this guy banned? this forum is much too lenient- if he comes back then surely Islamirama and mad-scientist should be allowed to come back as well. Whatever the case I suggest members not reply but report him at the first sign of venom, which should be rather soon as I know he can't help himself!
I wonder if you have ever read these words by John Bury in his book "A history of the freedom of thought" (easy to get as a free ebook) or if Islam totally disavows them ?

There is a peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.

First: the opinion which it is attempted to suppress by authority may possibly be true. Those who desire to suppress it, of course deny its truth; but they are not infallible. They have no authority to decide the question for all mankind, and exclude every other person from the means of judging. To refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility. Its condemnation may be allowed to rest on this common argument, not the worse for being common.

There is the greatest difference between presuming an opinion to be true, because, with every opportunity for contesting it, it has not been refuted, and assuming its truth for the purpose of not permitting its refutation.

The steady habit of correcting and completing his own opinion by collating it with those of others, so far from causing doubt and hesitation in carrying it into practice, is the only stable foundation for a just reliance on it: for, being cognizant of all that can, at least obviously, be said against him, and having taken up his position against all gainsayers knowing that he has sought for objections and difficulties instead of avoiding them, and has shut out no light which can be thrown upon the subject from any quarter—he has a right to think his judgement better than that of any person, or any multitude, who have not gone through a similar process. To think that some particular principle or doctrine should be forbidden to be questioned because it is so certain, that is, because they are certain that it is certain.

It is the undertaking to decide that question for others, without allowing them to hear what can be said on the contrary side. In so doing, he prevents the opinion from being heard in its defence, he assumes infallibility. No one can be a great thinker who does not recognize, that as a thinker it is his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead.

Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think. There have been, and may again be, great individual thinkers, in a general atmosphere of mental slavery. But there never has been, nor ever will be, in that atmosphere, an intellectually active people.

Where there is a tacit convention that principles are not to be disputed; where the discussion of the greatest questions which can occupy humanity is considered to be closed, we cannot hope to find that generally high scale of mental activity which has made some periods of history so remarkable. However unwillingly a person who has a strong opinion may admit the possibility that his opinion may be false, he ought to be moved by the consideration that however true it may be, if it is not fully, frequently, and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma, not a living truth.

There is a class of persons (happily not quite so numerous as formerly) who think it enough if a person assents undoubtingly to what they think true, though he has no knowledge whatever of the grounds of the opinion, and could not make a tenable defence of it against the most superficial objections. Such persons, if they can once get their creed taught from authority, naturally think that no good, and some harm, comes of its being allowed to be questioned.
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جوري
10-10-2010, 08:09 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
I wonder if you have ever read these words by John Bury in his book "A history of the freedom of thought" (easy to get as a free ebook) or if Islam totally disavows them ?
I do wonder if you read any book yourself past the title and the parts of interest!
There is a peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.
I don't think any members here aside from your ilk find anything enlightening or of substance in what you spew, further compounded by your total lack of interest to the writing of anyone aside from your own person. Your opinion is seldom right, and when corrected, you are apt at either deflecting the topic, so that folks wouldn't be on to the ignorance covered by bombast. But for the most part you have no interest in being of correct opinion all together, as you often recoup by re-presenting points that have already been addressed. You stifle others, you tire them and then bore them with irrelevant tirade!


Do us all a favor and enroll yourself in some institution where needless incoherent logorrhea is better appreciated by individuals who seem to collectively talk at the same time with no interest in exchange with others. Not only will you feel king for your stay but you might also purge your soul from all that declamatory talk that seems to have you almost burst at the seams if not let out..

Thank you for giving us yet another reason to report you..

try to enjoy your brief stay with us without getting so painfully crazed ..

all the best
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IAmZamzam
10-10-2010, 09:30 PM
vale's lily: take a chill pill.

Hugo: All that sounds nice and fancy, but what it really amounts to is a euphemistic admission of deliberately wasting our time by playing devil's advocate. If you're so concerned for our open-mindedness then by all means "enlighten" us sincerely from your own true viewpoint. It's not like we had any shortage of dissenting parties in this thread already. We didn't need a poseur dissenter.
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Ramadhan
10-10-2010, 09:40 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
Christian, but if one is going to discuss faith one has to see the other persons position or argument - you cannot just assume or worse know that you are right can you?
You only like being devil's advocate in atheism debate, but I don't see you do much critical thinking, if at all, when it comes to your bible or the idea of a man-god.

By the way, you are out of the sin bin already?
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Ramadhan
10-10-2010, 09:43 PM
Funny, I actually didn't read yahya sulaiman's last post when writing my above post.
So some other people also saw that hugo just like playing devil's advocate just for the hell of it.
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Zafran
10-11-2010, 05:19 AM
Originally Posted by naidamar
Funny, I actually didn't read yahya sulaiman's last post when writing my above post.
So some other people also saw that hugo just like playing devil's advocate just for the hell of it.
Salaam

Yes he does - if you give him the taste of his own medicine you'll see the venom in him. Hes clearly not here for any serious discussion but to ram down his own old views which ultimatly are hypocritical because he doesnt dare to apply the same thinking to his own religion or views.

peace
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Trumble
10-11-2010, 09:29 AM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman

Hugo: All that sounds nice and fancy, but what it really amounts to is a euphemistic admission of deliberately wasting our time by playing devil's advocate. If you're so concerned for our open-mindedness then by all means "enlighten" us sincerely from your own true viewpoint.
IMHO playing devil's advocate is perfectly legitimate here, or in 'Comparative Religion'. What matters most is the quality of the arguments presented, not personal 'viewpoints', although of course those do have their place. The aim of such forums is mutual understanding and seeking to define the boundaries of disagreement, not proselytizing. There are other forums for muslims to do that, and anybody else shouldn't do it here at all.
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Ramadhan
10-11-2010, 10:06 AM
Originally Posted by Trumble
IMHO playing devil's advocate is perfectly legitimate here, or in 'Comparative Religion'. What matters most is the quality of the arguments presented, not personal 'viewpoints', although of course those do have their place. The aim of such forums is mutual understanding and seeking to define the boundaries of disagreement, not proselytizing. There are other forums for muslims to do that, and anybody else shouldn't do it here at all.
Apparently you haven't seen hugo's other posts apart from the ones in this thread.
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Zafran
10-11-2010, 02:54 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
IMHO playing devil's advocate is perfectly legitimate here, or in 'Comparative Religion'. What matters most is the quality of the arguments presented, not personal 'viewpoints', although of course those do have their place. The aim of such forums is mutual understanding and seeking to define the boundaries of disagreement, not proselytizing. There are other forums for muslims to do that, and anybody else shouldn't do it here at all.
Devils advocate is just plain fooling around - your making an argument that you dont even believe in. The aim of mutual understanding cannot be reached like that - that can only be reached through sincerity and actaully having the courage to walk away when the disagreements are shown. With Hugo this has happend many times with the same arguments which end up with the same conclusion - Thats called wasting peoples time.
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FS123
10-12-2010, 04:05 AM
Originally Posted by Hugo
Christian, but if one is going to discuss faith one has to see the other persons position or argument - you cannot just assume or worse know that you are right can you?
Well, faith shouldn't be blind faith, but, I knew a guy who started to play devil's advocate for a serial killer then he started to build justification for serial killing. Later his mind started to believe serial killing is ok depending in certain circumstances. He is not a killer so as far as I know he haven't killed anyone, but he still believes serial killing is ok. No wonder, some people were complaining over the drama Dexter, in which, a serial killer is portrayed as a hero.

One friend of mine, wanted to try everything, it is not exactly trying to be devils advocate, but his thinking was along similar lines. So he tried heroin just to try it out and ruined his life. I guess trying everything isn't such a good thing.

Anyhow, i don't how to frame it in the current context, but I thought it those two cases were interesting and relevant in just trying to be devils advocate. But one thing i can say for sure, satan has many tricks to pollute the mind -- as the saying goes: "never give devil a ride, he will always want to drive."
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Trumble
10-12-2010, 12:45 PM
Originally Posted by FS123
Anyhow, i don't how to frame it in the current context, but I thought it those two cases were interesting and relevant in just trying to be devils advocate. But one thing i can say for sure, satan has many tricks to pollute the mind -- as the saying goes: "never give devil a ride, he will always want to drive."
'Devil's advocate' has nothing to do with Satan, at least in the modern context, nor does it imply anything about the morality or otherwise of the arguments used. It's a perfectly respectable philosophical tool in which someone takes a position that they do not necessarily agree with, in order that the implications of that position can be considered and the argument as a whole progressed. Most, if not all, philosophers play devil's advocate within their own thought and writing both to test the soundness of their ideas, and to answer possible objections they have anticipated in advance.
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FS123
10-12-2010, 12:52 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
'Devil's advocate' has nothing to do with Satan, at least in the modern context, nor does it imply anything about the morality or otherwise of the arguments used. It's a perfectly respectable philosophical tool in which someone takes a position that they do not necessarily agree with, in order that the implications of that position can be considered and the argument as a whole progressed. Most, if not all, philosophers play devil's advocate within their own thought and writing both to test the soundness of their ideas, and to answer possible objections they have anticipated in advance.
Take deep breathes and slowly read again what i said, before you misconstrue the post and write something.
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IAmZamzam
10-12-2010, 04:48 PM
Playing devil's advocate, at least when you haven't made it clear from the start that you are outwardly making no mistake of the fact that you're doing it, is insincere, dishonest, pretentious, and accomplishes nothing that cannot just as easily be accomplished via other means (such as hypothetical questions). And if anything, it's all the more reason not to do it if philosophers do it too.
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Hugo
10-12-2010, 05:27 PM
There seems to be an interesting, well to me at lest line of discussion here. Let me state it as best I can.

1. One cannot have a discussion with anyone if they are convinced that they KNOW they are right and whatever answer they give is also always right and indeed indisputable and whatever you say is indisputably wrong? Is this the usual Muslim position or are they open minded; ready to listen to counter arguments or opinions, willing to be critical; which in itself means being at least being open to the possibility they may be wrong?

2. It is no secret that most if not all Muslim majority countries silence contrary opinion of all kinds and indeed go much further and punish it in law. But as others have said, there is a peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; of hearing those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.

So two questions and I invite your views/answers?
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IAmZamzam
10-12-2010, 08:03 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
There seems to be an interesting, well to me at lest line of discussion here.
I’m glad that at least one of us finds it interesting.

One cannot have a discussion with anyone if they are convinced that they KNOW they are right and whatever answer they give is also always right and indeed indisputable and whatever you say is indisputably wrong?
I can’t even tell whether that’s a statement or a question, let alone what it’s saying. My response is thus, to the degree that I know what you're talking about: you’re on a message board. If you don’t want to see people acting in the way you’ve described, stop attending message boards, because you’re living in a dream world if you think you can escape it. The thing bothers me too. You know what I usually do when I’m faced with it in a thread of conversation I have no natural, sincere quarter in? I stay the eff out and mind my own business. I leave the people of the thread to handle themselves, and God to handle them all individually for their sins. I suggest you do the same.

Is this the usual Muslim position or are they open minded; ready to listen to counter arguments or opinions, willing to be critical; which in itself means being at least being open to the possibility they may be wrong?
This has nothing to do with “the Muslim position” on anything, but only with the way you misled us with your insincerity. There’s a reason why people usually say something like “if I may play devil’s advocate here” before they do it: because to do otherwise is tantamount to deception.

It is no secret that most if not all Muslim majority countries silence contrary opinion of all kinds and indeed go much further and punish it in law. But as others have said, there is a peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; of hearing those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.
What are you, a speechmaker for a politician? None of the above paragraph has anything to do with anything.
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Hugo
10-12-2010, 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
I can't even tell whether that's a statement or a question ...
Fair enough so I will make it more plain but as usual you responses are full of the usual ad hominems. So my question to you is do you agree with the following propositions:

1. There is a peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion for it robs the human race of hearing those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it.

2. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
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IAmZamzam
10-12-2010, 09:37 PM
Nobody is silencing anyone and nobody is exchanging anything for anything: we're just tired of you arguing with us for the sake of it (as I am tired of you and others misusing the term "ad hominem"), and while what you said in your last post is true, it has no bearing on anything whatsoever. Nothing. To. Do. With. Anything. Unless it's just as an excuse for you to be argumentative.
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Hugo
10-15-2010, 05:51 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
Nobody is silencing anyone and nobody is exchanging anything for anything: we're just tired of you arguing with us for the sake of it (as I am tired of you and others misusing the term "ad hominem"), and while what you said in your last post is true, it has no bearing on anything whatsoever. Nothing. To. Do. With. Anything. Unless it's just as an excuse for you to be argumentative.
If it is true as you affirm here that there should always be full and free exchange of opinion then its hard to see that it has, as you say "no bearing on anything" but surely it implies that one should never silence opinion. So can you explain why in Islam that freedom of expression is so limited. For example, why cannot one say and publish openly in an Islamic country (if I can put it like that) that they consider the Qu'ran to be nothing more than fable and then offer an explanation? There need be no intention to insult (though I would not even see that as a barrier) anyone just a free expression of a considered opinion?

I suppose what I am saying is that if a man’s thinking leads him to call into question ideas/customs which regulate the behaviour of those around him, to reject beliefs which they hold, to see better ways of life than those they follow, it is almost impossible for him, if he is convinced of the truth of his own reasoning, not to betray by silence, chance words, or general attitude that he is different from them and does not share their opinions. Some, like Socrates, would prefer to face death rather than conceal their thoughts. Thus freedom of thought, in any valuable sense, includes freedom of speech?

Note. Ad Hominem
You commit this fallacy if you make an irrelevant attack on the arguer and suggest that this attack undermines the argument itself. It is a form of the Genetic Fallacy. This attack may undermine the arguer's credibility as an authority, but it does not undermine their reasoning because the reasoning stands or falls on the evidence. The major difficulty with labelling a piece of reasoning as an ad hominem fallacy is deciding whether the personal attack is relevant. For example, attacks on a person for their immoral sexual conduct are irrelevant to the quality of their mathematical reasoning, but they are relevant to arguments promoting the person for a leadership position in the church/mosque. (In you post you suggest that I am arguing for the sake of it which may or may not be true but but clearly it vis irrelevant to any evidence I bring.)
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IAmZamzam
10-15-2010, 08:20 PM
FREEDOM OF THOUGHT IS NOT THE TOPIC. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING. YOU ARE SIMPLY TRYING TO DEFLECT ATTENTION AWAY FROM YOUR OWN EXPOSURE.

You want to argue for the sake of it and I'm not going to grant your wish any further. Have you not noticed that I'm the last person in this thread foolish enough to still be talking to you (though no more!)? Have you not noticed how many different people in this and other threads have told you that they're not indulging you anymore because they know what you're trying to do? Everyone knows what you're about, not just we in this thread! Why don't you just find a new message board to troll on? You're busted here.
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Hugo
10-15-2010, 09:50 PM
Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman
FREEDOM OF THOUGHT IS NOT THE TOPIC. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING. YOU ARE SIMPLY TRYING TO DEFLECT ATTENTION AWAY FROM YOUR OWN here.
Well you have made your point clear, for you freedom of thought even has nothing to do with anything. So how could you possibly discuss Hawkin's view or any other since you deny the very principle that makes any learning of value. Perhaps you are right, there is nothing in this board for me because there is nothing to doubt, nothing to explore, it's all been decided.
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جوري
10-15-2010, 11:40 PM
Originally Posted by Hugo
there is nothing in this board for me
Have a good one--so long-- hope you are man enough to actually fulfill your word!
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IAmZamzam
10-16-2010, 01:06 AM
Technically, lily, he never gave it. And I personally don't expect him to leave this board anytime soon, if ever. He seems to have some compulsion to pick fights with people so that he can get pseudo-intellectual and speech-y about it when called for it and (in his own mind) feel/look superior to everyone else.
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جوري
10-16-2010, 01:34 AM
People are as smart as they are educated-- if peddling in common ''persuasive'' rhetoric from lowly islamophobic site as a reflection of intellect, it would leave our dear friend Hugo with a few dilemmas the most obvious is his cognitive conservatism and the second is his manipulative sociopathy. Neither which is welcome on this forum.. I can't for the life of me figure why his ban was week long only considering his patent seething hatred and preferred display of ignorance despite repeated attempts from most members to correct him. I think he is best suited for a KKK type site where like minded ignoramuses and certainly not teaching in so-called Islamic countries where he reaps Muslims Money while leaving his stinking droppings wherever he treads.

Of course he can't help himself.. he is a lurker and a troll!

p.s by no means is my comment a reply to Yahya..
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