# There are no logical arguments against God!

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Light Travelling, Aug 3, 2005.

1. ### Light TravellingIt's a girl O lord in a flatbed FordRegistered Senior Member

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No - logic is a good thing. It has its place and its uses. I do not want to discard it. (I use it myself)

What I am saying is logic cannot be used to prove non existence of god. Logic can only be applied to definitions we give god. We cannot possibly define god by any concept we may begin to form of it, therefore all our definitions will obviously fall short of the mark. Therefore logic cannot be used as an argument to disprove god. It can only ever prove we have mis-defined god.

In any case, logic is a man made concept that a certain part of our brain makes use of. There is no reason to suppose that any god would have to subscribe to the rules of man made logic.

3. ### SilasasimovbotRegistered Senior Member

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That is incorrect - not all logic is man made. We make use of mathematics which is grounded in logic, and if logic were not absolute and universal, the mathematics which helps us every day would not work.

5. ### Horseman42Registered Senior Member

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It's funny that theists use logic like taxis cabs. They simply use it and dismiss it whenever it suits them best.

If you cannot define god then how can logic be used to disprove anything? I could for example say that Zeus exists, the Easter bunny, or even transdimensional aliens and you logically cannot dispute that either, because any of our definitions of such things "would obviously fall short of the mark".

I suppose that's what you get though when you discard logic.

7. ### Raithereplagued by infinitiesValued Senior Member

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This is invitation to a logical argument. You're saying that god cannot be logically disproved because you can't use logic. We're either playing by the rules of logic or not. You can't win a logical argument by not using logic... doesn't work that way.

You must be precise with your language here. Unknowable is not the same thing as unintelligible and neither is the same as ineffable. If something is unknowable, it cannot be known. If you are stating that God is unknowable then you've already lost because something that cannot be known doesn't exist.

Wrong. Logic is a tool not a part of the mind. It's a method for determining the validity of a proposition.

An undefined term is meaningless and therefore does not exist in a logical paradigm. You might as well be saying, "You cannot prove that blevuiminanium doesn't exist." But since blevuiminanium mean anything you're talking about nothing.

You're simply being dishonest. You have very specific notions about what the term "God" entails; you just refuse to define it because you know that it is very likely that any definition you give can be picked apart.

Yes. It does.

No, it doesn't. An undefined term references nothing, not the concept of nothing (which is something), but literally nothing. Nothing is non-existence.

~Raithere

8. ### Go Down MosesRegistered Senior Member

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Those who have watched certain West Texas sunsets from the top of Guadalupe Peak know that God exists.

9. ### Logically Unsoundwwaassuupp and so onRegistered Senior Member

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No, they are overcome by awe due to the rapant design flaws and basic weediness of humans in general. Then they get overcome and blame it all on some fictional end all jimmy-fix-it.

10. ### Light TravellingIt's a girl O lord in a flatbed FordRegistered Senior Member

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Not so, mathematics is just a language we have created to help us to descibe and analyse the unviverse. Logic is a concept we created again to describe and analyse the universe. Neither logic nor mathematics have inherent existence, although it is true that they both are means of describing observable phenomona in the universe that do actually exist.

Your own argument defeats you here. Mathematics does not work absolutley, mathematics has holes in it - it has to be patched up because the universe (annoyingly) doesn't always want to fit with the system of logic and math that we have created.

Look at complex numbers for a simple example of mathematics having to be patched over because it doesn't work absolutely and universally.

The universe is now being explained in terms of random events and chaos theory. Logic as the basic building block of the universe is being stretched to its limits - if not overrun completely to cope with such things. The universe is not always logical. Is it logical it just 'came' into being or that it has just 'always' been there. No this is not logic at all. But these are the sort of statements that materialists are forced to make to 'logically' disprove god and the spiritual.

11. ### Light TravellingIt's a girl O lord in a flatbed FordRegistered Senior Member

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To be more precise then;
God may be ineffable - not capable of being properly expressed
God may be intelligible - not capable of being understood by the intellect
God may be unknowable - Not capable of being known by humans

God may (or may not) exist under any of the above conditions. My argument is that if god does exist under any of these conditions - logic is not an appropriate tool to disprove it. Because logic would require its subject to be expressable, intelligible and knowable in order to be able to interrogate it. It is only when people people try to grag the concept of god down to the level of intelligibility and definition than logic can be applied, but then accept that the logic is only being applied to the (always inadequate) definition given. Not to god itself.

NOTE: I accept that there is an absolute 'unknowable' which would mean not able to be known by anything, which may indeed mean non existence. I meant a relative 'unknowable' in that it is no knowable by humans, which still allows existence. This may not agree with any religion, but it is still a theoretical condion under which god may exist.

Yes, your absolutely correct - my mistake.

I suppose I am being a little dishonest, but not as much as you suppose. I define god as existing! I define god as being inherent in us and through out the universe, as being the source of everything. But at the same time I know these definitions are inadequate. I do not seek to define god fully or further. I do believe god is not fully definable by us or intelligible by us. But we may come to a knowledge of god through full realisation of self. Which is something that happens over many lifetimes.

But this vague definition still allows me to make by original statement, that logical argument against god requires a specific definition, it requires the subject to be fully known so it can be logically analysed. As god is not fully known or understood it cannot be logically analysed.

As I have said logic will prove definitions of god to be incorrect - but it cannot prove that god per se does not exist.

12. ### superluminalI am MalcomRValued Senior Member

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God is a poopie-head, logically speaking.

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Well Done

14. ### Raithereplagued by infinitiesValued Senior Member

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I concur. My objection is that the assertion that God exists becomes likewise unprovable. It's simply an unfounded declaration. In which case the dilemma is upon what grounds does one select between infinite numbers of unfounded assertions? You might presume anything at all; why God?

Full understanding is not necessary, just a few predicates upon which to base an argument. Unfortunately those needed to found an argument for existence upon are never provided.

And you evidence for this is?

Again, no. I don't believe it can be said that we have a full understanding of anything real. We are only able to fully define artificial constructs. This is why, when dealing with the real, we have to form a base set of assumptions from which to work.

I will reiterate my initial point. Without any definition the term is meaningless.

~Raithere

15. ### panopticon707PanopticonRegistered Senior Member

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I don't mean to be a nitpicker, but your logic is flawed from the start. Words refer to concepts and objects, but concepts and objects don't have to physically exist. Your argument could be used to say that "love" doesn't exist, or "truth," or "being left-handed" etc. Plus step 3 doesn't follow from step 2. If you don't mind my saying so, it's a bit audacious to think that you came up with a logical argument for the non-existence of God. You don't think someone would have thought of that by now? You can't logically prove or disprove the existence of God, the same way you can't logically prove or disprove that what you see is reality and not deceptions put before you by a demon.

16. ### Light TravellingIt's a girl O lord in a flatbed FordRegistered Senior Member

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True, there could be an infinite number of other unfounded assertions, until you apply the other critera that the god concept carries with it;

*The concept appears in all human cultures and in all parts of the world
*And at all times in history for at least 5000 years
*There are thousands of 'witnesses' through time who claim communication from or experience of god.
*The concept of god has fundamental implications for the nature of reality, life and us.

Now when you apply this critera to all those other unproven assertations it really doesn't leave you with many does it. So that goes some way to answereing your question on how one selects what to believe.

So call god a base assumption then. I mean if we look at all the theories we have for how energy and matter first came to be in the universe (before the big bang), and more importantly why. We can then analyse the different theories and come up with what we consider the most likely, we then use this as our base assumption to work with.

OK so lets make a list of all the possible theories that have been put forward;

1. Some form of god / creator / supreme being / geater consciousness brought it into being.

2.

Now choose what you would like to use as your base assumption.

17. ### Raithereplagued by infinitiesValued Senior Member

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panopticon707:

I think you need to re-read my posts because none of this addresses what I said. To reiterate:

If a word is left undefined it doesn't refer to anything, it references literally nothing. Nothing is non-existence.

This argument cannot be used for "love", "truth", or "being left-handed" because there are definitions for all of these words which can then be argued for or against upon the scope of their definitions. Nor is it an argument against the concept of God, generally speaking, because the concept has been defined in numerous ways. Once again, one would argue for or against the term based upon the specific definition being used in the argument. But to post the assertion that God cannot be refuted because I refuse to define it is illogical to begin with. You cannot build an argument upon it.

So no, I am not positing an argument here against the existence of God as a defined term (although there are many such arguments based on the various definitions). I am specifically addressing LT's assertion.

~Raithere

18. ### Raithereplagued by infinitiesValued Senior Member

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* The concept appears in all human cultures and in all parts of the world
This is incorrect, there have been and are many cultures that do not have a "God" concept.
Buddhism and Taoism, for instance, do not contain a belief in God. There also have been many animist religions without a central "God".

But the argument itself is fallacious (argument from popularity). Truth is not determined by democratic vote or poll. If 6 billion people believe something that is false, it is false despite their belief.

*And at all times in history for at least 5000 years
Again wrong (see above).

*There are thousands of 'witnesses' through time who claim communication from or experience of god.
Testimonial evidence is terribly weak and prone to tremendous errors. Few, if any, can completely agree upon the specifics of these supposed communications which does not speak towards their validity.

*The concept of god has fundamental implications for the nature of reality, life and us.
Argument from consequence is a logical fallacy. Implications do nothing to verify the truth or falsehood of a statement.

I've already demonstrated why they are problematic, but let's examine:

The concept that the Earth is flat has existed in most human cultures, all over the world.
And at all times in history for over 5000 years.
There are billions of 'witnesses' that can testify that the Earth appears flat.
The concept of a flat Earth has fundamental implications on the nature of reality, life, and us.

As you can see here, none of your "criteria" have any relevance to the truth or falsehood of a flat Earth.

First of all, scientifically, this is not a theory. It's not even really a hypothesis as there is no way to disprove it.

Secondly, this answer tells us nothing. There is no information to be drawn from it. It does not explain where the energy and being-ness came from, it merely states that it pre-existed in God. It does not explain what God is, how God came to be, or what God is doing now. It carries no predictions upon what might happen in the future. It is basically a useless assertion unless one tacks on a bunch of other concepts.

Alternatively we can look at the Zero Point Energy theory or Brane theory. While they are on par with the God hypothesis as to source of origination, both of these theories are extrapolations of factual evidence. And they not only are capable of explaining the current state of the Universe but are predictive as well.

Matching point for point I have to go with ZPE or Brane theory over the God hypothesis.

~Raithere

19. ### Light TravellingIt's a girl O lord in a flatbed FordRegistered Senior Member

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Well this comes down to definition again, which of course is the point of this thread. Buddhism and Taoism are not atheism, there is no personality god sure. But there is a sense of spirutual existence and of the existence of a greater consciousness. The tao is the essential energy of life that is all pervading, but tao and engergy (as we understand the term) are not synonomous; tao is more a concept of a undefined god than a deniel of one. We also have various sects of mystical and shamanic taoism that do actively belief in spirits and deities. On enlightenment in buddhism one merges into the universal stream of life cosciousness - what is that if not a description of god. Reincarnation does not exactly lend itself to materialist and physical science either.

In any case the above examples make use of an unseen and unproven(physically) world of energy / spirit and contain a very loose concept of god. In fact the taechings of buddha are a case in point for what I am talking about. Buddha did not define god, but he also went to great lengths to ensure that he never denied the existence of a god!!

What! you will not allow any witness testimony at all. What sort of Kangaroo Court are you running here ?!?

Ahh - but thats not what you asked me. You asked what made one choose god from an infiniate range of possibilities. I was explaining why the choice was more attractive than the others (its implications). I was not trying to prove god in this manner.

Therefore you are refuting a point that I was never trying to make.

Zero point energy identifies energy as existing in places science (previously) thought it could not be found. It does not even infer a creation theory as there has never been any suggestion that ZPE can act spontaneously on it sown i.e. with consciousness. Apart from another case of science proving its 'absolute and concrete knowledge' wrong, I have only heard zero point theory used to prove the existence of the unseen and hitherto unprovable world of spirit. Scienece has always said matter has to be present for one thing to act on another. ZPE says it does not. I have heard ZPE used to try to prove aether theory and stuff like that but never as an alternative to god.

I know less about brane theory. But I believe it uses extra dimensions to reality. Like a 5th dimension. But again once you start introducing unseen and unproven dimensions, this would seem to play into the hands of allowing soul, spirit or god to exist.

But of course whenever science discovers something new (to it) it seeks to claim it as its won. Even if it is something people have known or talked about for millenia. One day science will 'discover' humans have a spirit part of them, but of course instead of spirit science will call it the deltafx2 body; the alpaha energy bio shpere or something equally as stupid, claim it as its own and try to deny all connection with the spirit and soul that religion has been talking about for thousands of years. Why - down to arrogance and ego I guess.

20. ### Raithereplagued by infinitiesValued Senior Member

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I disagree. Here's a reference, granted it's a particular POV but from my study it's generally accurate.

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/qanda03.htm

If you can reconcile this with any notion of god then I would suggest the label of god does not apply.

Since Siddhartha has come up I must reference my all time favorite quotation:

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that which agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. - Siddhartha Gautama - the Buddha, 563-483 B.C.

Bring all the testimonials you can find. When you find a consensus among them, I'll accept them as evidence. Until then, I take conflicting testimonies as no evidence at all.

So you base your belief upon what you find personally appealing. I respect the admission. But I seriously doubt the accuracy of this method.

Actually, it does.

http://thegreatlearning.tripod.com/vaccum-physics.htm

You can also google "Casimir Effect".

What are "soul", "spirit", and "god"? You leave them undefined and then pretend you're talking about something. Then if science happens to discover something that bears any similarity to these nebulous ideas you can jump up and shout, "That's what I was talking about all along". Pure BS. Other than some vague notion that there's something besides what is eminently perceivable what do you mean?

~Raithere

P.S. Here's an entertaining and informative article on brane theory:
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/bigbang_alternative_010413-1.html

21. ### Light TravellingIt's a girl O lord in a flatbed FordRegistered Senior Member

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Yes but your site also talks of devotional chanting, hymns and reincarnation. Try this one, again it says that there is no god in Buddhism but then goes on to say this

http://www.buddhistinformation.com/buddhist_attitude_to_god.htm

"Buddhism speaks of the existence of category of beings called devas. This term is generally translated as "gods" (with a simple g' and in the plural). The term deva literally means a shining or radiant being, and describes their physical appearance rather than their supernatural powers (as the translation "gods" seems to imply). To prevent confusion with the notion of a supreme personal God we shall refer to these beings of Buddhist cosmology as devas. Many other religions also postulate the existence of non-human beings who are referred to as gods' or `angels' if they are considered to be in a better position than humans (with respect to their material conditions of existence). Buddhist cosmology recognizes thirty-two planes of existence some of the higher planes being either states of meditative abstraction or actual domains for the devas. Generally we have direct experience of only two of these 32 planes (those of humans and animals). Planes of existence below these two realms are also said to exist and are characterized by greater degrees of suffering and discomfort. The actual physical location of these planes need not concern us here because the dimensions of the Buddhist universe are even greater than those envisaged by modern astronomy and will contain enough places to accommodate all these planes of existence."

Clearly we can see that although Buddhism has no theist concept of god it does have concept of a spiritual world and a continued existence of life. Although they say on this website that modern science explains the universe for them, much Buddhist teaching would seem to contradict this. It would seem this is Buddhism 'popularizing ' itself. It is also interesting to discuss with Buddhists where they see Buddha’s ending up after freeing themselves from the cycle of birth and death. There seems to be the same confusion amongst modern Buddhists as there is modern Christians.

I believe that to understand Buddhism one need to understand the Hinduism from which it arose and understand why Buddha was saying the things he was, which was in order to counteract the error of overemphasis on self, deity and sacrifice that the Hindus were falling into. Buddha was apparently heavily influenced by the upanishads.

Of course you have to understand that at the time science was intertwined with and the same as religion. You can apply this to religion, but you must also apply it to science. To a large extent I agree to what is said except that if you follow it to its logical conclusion you have to start all learning from scratch at the start of every lifetime and try to prove everything again. Which none of us do and of course is completely impractical. Again you have to take Buddha’s comments in the context of the Hinduism of the time that he was referring to.

Interesting links BTW but heres a quote from the brane theory link you gave - seems science is getting more abstract than philosophy and religion put together.

“These membranes, or "branes" as theorists call them, would have floated like sheets of paper through a fifth dimension that even scientists admit they find hard to picture intuitively.”

22. ### antifreezedefrosting agentRegistered Senior Member

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light,
perhaps we are going about this in the wrong way. there is no arguing logically about some god thing, but there is something else. there is the fact that some people believe in god, and others disbelieve. why is that? and calling atheists ignorant simply doesn't cut it. [i guess i may have to clarify...]

23. ### Raithereplagued by infinitiesValued Senior Member

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Buddhism does not teach doctrine and is well suited to change. So yes, there is much that is contradictory if you scan through the various teachings and quotations. Read Siddhartha's quote again. Quotations, concepts, teachings are merely tools to orient the Buddhist along the right path. A Buddhist admonition is, "If you meet Buddha on the path, kill him."

Buddhism can be understood on it's own but it never hurts to study the history of a religion as well.

This point is somewhat lost on me. I don't adhere to Buddhism. But I do admire its philosophy and find much of it useful.

We're dealing with mathematical constructs at this level. So yes, it does become extremely abstract. The formula, however, are based solidly upon fact.

~Raithere