Religious proofs are nonsensical

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Dinosaur, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    A logical proof is based on axioms assumed to be true.

    Any axioms used for religious proofs would surely beg the question.
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    That pretty much encapsulates the whole rationalist/believer disagreement.

    Believers are satisfied there is sufficient evidence that the postulates are true. Rationalists/skeptics/atheists are not. Many rationalists/skeptics/atheists can still discuss religion - they simply recognize that the postulates are conditional.

    Fun fact: axiom is essentially synonymous with postulate.
     
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  5. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    While this is true, something you may not have realised is that the converse is also equally true : any axiom used to disprove religion can surely beg the question.

    (I use the word "can", because sometimes discussions of religion turn out to be discussions of politics or historiography or something)

    Thats because the core claims in religion pertain to the self (either the self as an individual or God as the supreme individual) and are therefore self evident.

    A logical argument for a self-evident conclusion would demonstrate only an ignorance of the purpose of persuasively arguing for the conclusion based on one or more premises that differ from it (see ignoratio elenchi and begging the question).

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-evidence

    So to take the topic outside of a religious context (which is often helpful to focus on the philosophical content at hand), take the claim "I do not feel hungry." There is no test one can perform, external of the individual making the claim, to disprove (or prove) it. In fact, if we were to try to make a test to determine if someone felt hungry, we would be relying on their testimony as a framework for establishing relevant data points.

    To bring the topic back to the OP, one may claim that because it sometimes rains on the ocean (an act that apparently serves no purpose) this proves that God is irrational or somehow imperfect as a creator. There are several questionable axioms at work here (the most obvious one being that human notions of functionality are sufficient to determine the merit of an ecosystem), but the main, over-arching one (one that gets repeated ad nauseum) appears to be the notion that observations of necessary relationships of cause and effect are sufficient to reveal the identity of the self (in this case, the self of God)......"For God to exist, He would have had to do things this way."

    The very nature of having a self is that we can do things, according to our power, any one of many ways. The more power, the more numerous the options. Coming to a personality who is attributed with all power means they are practically insccessible to all investigations of necessary cause and effect.

    So while a study of the book of nature, can offer some suggestion of the im/plausible nature of God, a mere investigation of necessary cause and effect can not go the distance.

    tl:dr ... if you can bring an axiom to prove an axiom, you didn't have an axiom to begin with.
     
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  7. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Postulates can (potentially) be reduced. Axioms cannot.

    For instance
    a+b=c
    can be reduced to
    1+1=2
    as an example of but one possible reduction.

    Due to it's self evident nature, 1+1 = 2 cannot be further reduced.
     
  8. Vociferous Registered Senior Member

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    To completely different magisteria.
    Religious proof just tends to be anecdotal.
     
  9. Michael 345 Bali in Nov closer Valued Senior Member

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    No such animal and yes
    and non repeatable

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  10. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Not quite true.
    Axioms might merely be that which is accepted by all parties to the discussion as being true.
    They need not be irreducible.
    Yes, it can.
    It has actually been proven from more fundamental principles by Russell in his Principia Mathematica.
    Admittedly it took 360 pages or so...


    Further, do not confuse something you might find as being self-evident for something being true for everyone.
     
  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Aunt Sally alert: surely nobody sensible attempts religious proofs, do they? Religious belief is all about faith. You do not need faith if something can be proved!
     
  12. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    That is a postulate. In short, if you can have "if/then" discussions after the rules have already been set, then you are working with postulates. Axioms (at least in the philosophical sense) have no "if" element (or at least for the purposes of discussion, they have no "if" element).

    It would be a bit erroneous to say he wrote tomes just to prove 1+1 =2. Rather it proved many things, amongst which 1+1=2.

    However, if ( there's that word) one wants to start playing with sets, the symbol of "1" can be used to make 1+1 = 10 (binary) or 1+1 = 11 (unary) ... what to speak of "+ & = & 2".
    We can also change the word "hello" to mean "goodbye" or the word "Baldee" to mean "I agree with everything Musika says". It just depends who we can bring to the party. Once we have closed, for all intents and purposes, all the "if's" down, then you are dealing with axioms.

    At the very least, financial institutions are not open to the whims of their customers to suddenly interpret transactions of decimal symbols in terms of binary.

    The very statement "you might find as being self evident" doesn't make sense. There is no "might" (or, if you prefer, "if" ... there's that word again ) in self evident claims. If ( there's that word again ) we can agree on the usage of decimal mathematics and associated symbols, does 1+ 1 give you (or even Bertrand Russell) a different answer than =2?
    If (there's that word again ) I do not feel hungry, do I require a certificate from you (or Bertrand Russell) to make it true?
     
  13. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    1,908
    The numbers are probably at the same ratio as those who attempt religious disproofs.

    Provided one's faith in the proof is unshakable.
    What is the ratio of people who accept something claimed to be proven with an electron microscope compared to those who have walked within 3 metres of one?
     
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not aware that an electron microscope has proven anything. It can provide evidence for a hypothesis, as all scientific observation does.
     
  15. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not aware what this has to do with anything I wrote.
    If I say, "I came 50 miles to town with a car", is your immediate response to think that my shoulders must be tired?
     
  16. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Haha, very good.

    Perhaps you could explain what your point was, in your analogy of the electron microscope. I am obviously missing it.
     
  17. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Not that I mentioned any subsequent "if/then" discussion after the rules have been set, in modern mathematics the terms are interchangeable, and it is really just the particular branch that you are working in that would determine which you use.
    Or postulates, depending on which circle you are dealing with.
    You seem to have misinterpreted the purpose of "might"?
    The "might" is not in relation to whether you find the claim self-evident or not, but in relation to the event ever occurring that you would consider self-evident.
    You might one moment declare that you are self-evidently hungry, for example.
    This is something that "you might find as being self-evident".
     
  18. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    If I make the claim "I do not feel hungry", how is that not true for everyone? What test can a 2nd party perform to invalidate that truth, and thus prove it isn't true for everybody?
    Or if Bertrand Russel wrote a 360 page book that inadvertently proved 1+1 does not =2, would he have succeeded in redefining mathematical axioms? Or would he be advised to go back to the drawing board (or the equivalent of sciforums discussion boards of the era)?
     
  19. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Proof requires specialist skills, not just in terms of collecting data, but interpreting what the data says.
    If something can be proved, how do those who lack the specialist skills required approach the claim?
     
  20. Michael 345 Bali in Nov closer Valued Senior Member

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    I would have thought "self evident" would only really apply if something was being explained TO you

    In other words the person doing the explaining appears to KNOW what it is and probably puzzled by YOUR inability to understand the detail

    Obviously many times the person doing the explaining is incorrect when using the "self evident" tactic (by design or ignorance) and requires the other person to explain why the subject matter in NOT self evident

    Internal or self reflection surely does not require being labelled self evident?

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  21. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Obviously a case of mistaken identity on your behalf if you think there is a connection between "self evident" and "self reflection" because they both have the word "self".

    I imagine it must be embarrassing to be schooled in english at your age by a "foreigner".
     
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    By relying on the judgement of those with the skills to evaluate it (having considered their rationale with all due care).

    But I do not see what bearing this has on my original point, which is that religious believers do not generally seek proof of their beliefs, relying as they do on faith.
     
  23. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    It was more to do with your comment you don't need faith if something can be proved.

    It appears that if the claim is outside one's skillset, one certainly does require it.
     

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