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Philosophical proofs of God
09-17-2013, 05:50 PM
Post: #1
Philosophical proofs of God
I'm sure some of you guys know philosophy by academic education standards better than I do.

If you can share proofs of God from philosophy, share here.

Don't posts proofs against God's existence though, except when proofs are first shared, for you to then to disprove with the proofs against God.

I've seen enough proofs against God's existence since those are very popular. The few proofs for God's existence are the ones everyone easily can disprove, or so it seems. But there's some others that no one discusses. I want to learn about them and discuss those, so if you guys know any, share them.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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09-17-2013, 10:58 PM
Post: #2
RE: Philosophical proofs of God
There is no such thing as a "philosophical proof". This seems to be a made up term to try and prove something for which there is no actual proof.
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09-17-2013, 11:22 PM
Post: #3
RE: Philosophical proofs of God
(09-17-2013 10:58 PM)The_Squid Wrote:  There is no such thing as a "philosophical proof". This seems to be a made up term to try and prove something for which there is no actual proof.

I didn't make it up, if you're suggesting that.

"Proof" is what you call these things. Whether you agree they are proof in the sense of justification or something, is irrelevant to the name these things have (that is, "proofs").

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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09-18-2013, 02:55 PM
Post: #4
RE: Philosophical proofs of God
Variant of the "Argument from Change", itself a variant of the Cosmological Argument:

1. Within space and time, there are organizations of matter and energy.
2. At time A, space as a whole (contents included) is in organization A. At time B, space is in organization B.
3. Time A is distinct from time B, and organization A is distinct from organization B.
4. Procession from organization A to B as time A proceeds to time B is called "change".
5. All observable change within space-time occurs as a result of a factor beforehand.
6. Change itself changes, that is, the change from time A to time B in organization (from organization A to B) differs from that from time B to time C in organization (from organization B to C).
7. The idea of "change", instead of instances of "change", is what permits the instances of "change" to themselves "change".
8. Since the idea of "change" itself permits instances of change to change themselves, it is an example of change.
9. This example of change, the idea of change itself which permits change to change, ought to have a factor influencing it, as premise 5 suggests.
10. If "nothing" causes the idea of "change" to exist, then "nothing" causes "change" to exist.
11. "Nothing" causes nothing in all observable instances ("ex nihilo nihil fit").
12. The idea of "change" exists.
13. Therefore, "change" did not come from "nothing", or else "change" should not exist.
14. Since the idea of "change" exists within space and time, the thing that causes it must lies outside it.
15. Something outside space and time would be defined as unchanging, eternal, and unspatial.
16. "Change" can only exist if something unchanging (because it lies outside space-time) factored into causing it, not by virtue of changing from non-causing it to causing it, but by mere existence causing it.
17. Such unchanging, eternal, unspatial entity must exist or else the idea of "change" should not exist, and it most certainly exists.

Thus the Prime Mover of Aristotelianism is proven with this "proof".

Problems that arise only arise if this God of philosophy is afterward equated with the God of Abraham: namely, how can an unchanging being answer prayers except he be a changing being (can't be because of this proof) or our actions and his "responses" were predestined (brings up problem of predestination, which leads to problem of evil being God's fault, which contradicts the nature of the doctrines concerning the God of Abraham).

Remember: "proof" is just what these sort of things are called, and they work within rationalism, not necessarily empiricism.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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09-18-2013, 03:39 PM (This post was last modified: 09-18-2013 03:44 PM by legend.)
Post: #5
RE: Philosophical proofs of God
To avoid confusion over words, I would suggest that you use the word "argument" rather than "proof." I think there are word senses for proof that make your use acceptable, but is simply more ambiguous than "argument."

As far as the above argument, premise 2 is already known to be false. There is no such thing as an absolute time for the universe; time is relative to the frame of reference.


I disagree that these arguments work for rationalism. Even if they are valid arguments they are not sound unless their premises are *known* to be true. While the extreme rationalists think that ultimately everything can be deduced, until they can establish absolute a priori truths from which everything is derived, they cannot use it, which is why people like Spinoza were rationalists in theory, but empiricists in practice; that is, even if rationalism is true, no one can currently use it for the real world.
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09-18-2013, 04:14 PM
Post: #6
RE: Philosophical proofs of God
Okay I'll use the word "argument".

Even if time is accepted as relative, it is viewed as part of the very fabric of the universe. I'm wondering how your statement falsifies the argument I presented. I'm not saying you're wrong: I want to see, though, your logical procession developed here, it doesn't appear clear to me.

When it comes to making things sound, let's make mention of quantum. In classical logic, if A is either B or C, then A is B or A is C. In quantum, if A is either B or C, A is B and C, and "A is B or A is C" is false.

Does this invalidate classical logic, or is there a way to use classical logic to explain the apparent discrepancy with quantum? For one, quantum here is a model: it posits that things can be two things simultaneously, conveniently only until observed, though. It's a model to make things work, it may not be true after all. So "quantum logic", as far as I see it, is not itself a sound argument. It's inductive, not deductive. There's evidence that suggests a conclusion but one can think that a different conclusion might come from it if the evidence was being looked at wrong.

The same holds true with the Einstein model of time. Perceptions of time may change with speed, but is it time itself that is changing which causes the perception of time to change directly, or can perception of time change without time itself changing? I posit that perception of time can, indeed, change, without time itself changing. If that is true, then at best the idea that time itself changes because perception of time changes is inductive, and not deductive, I think?

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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09-18-2013, 05:33 PM (This post was last modified: 09-18-2013 05:41 PM by legend.)
Post: #7
RE: Philosophical proofs of God
(09-18-2013 04:14 PM)shiverleaf15 Wrote:  Okay I'll use the word "argument".

Cool Smile

(09-18-2013 04:14 PM)shiverleaf15 Wrote:  Even if time is accepted as relative, it is viewed as part of the very fabric of the universe. I'm wondering how your statement falsifies the argument I presented. I'm not saying you're wrong: I want to see, though, your logical procession developed here, it doesn't appear clear to me.

The issue ends up being insidious. It's not just that there is no such thing as absolute simultaneity, it's that it's indicative that the entire perspective of the argument is wrong and we should be very careful about any premises regarding this nature until their validated. It's the kind of problem that runs in all of these kinds of arguments (like the cosmological one).

So in this case, the issue is how time and space ends up being strangely intertwined makes for conclusions they didn't consider. For instance, The Hartle-Hawking state (which describes the origin of the universe) does not require some "external" cause because the notion of time would have no sense for the "origin" of the universe. It would just be. Now I'm not saying the Hartle-Hawking state is true. There are lots of other possibilities, and I even think an "external" cause of some sort may be possible too. The point though, is that the argument's assumptions about the nature of time lead it to draw false conclusions and it's this kind of reason why all these arguments for God are bad. They assume premises that they simply are in no position to assume as true.

(09-18-2013 04:14 PM)shiverleaf15 Wrote:  When it comes to making things sound, let's make mention of quantum. In classical logic, if A is either B or C, then A is B or A is C. In quantum, if A is either B or C, A is B and C, and "A is B or A is C" is false.

Does this invalidate classical logic, or is there a way to use classical logic to explain the apparent discrepancy with quantum? For one, quantum here is a model: it posits that things can be two things simultaneously, conveniently only until observed, though. It's a model to make things work, it may not be true after all. So "quantum logic", as far as I see it, is not itself a sound argument. It's inductive, not deductive. There's evidence that suggests a conclusion but one can think that a different conclusion might come from it if the evidence was being looked at wrong.

QM does not simply posit that systems can be partially in multiple states. It's well established that they are; the wave function and it's decohere/collapse properties is a very real thing that is extremely well observed in experiments like the double slit experiment where you get a single particle interacting with itself. Are there interpretations about what it means that the wave function is true? Sure (there are many in fact), but the wave function is a real thing, not just a posited construct.

That aside, no system of logic is ever "true or false." Quantum mechanics does not invalidate classical logic, but nor is classical logical more valid. Formal systems are whatever we've defined them to be and no system of logic is more "true" than another. And that's the crux of the rationalists problem. We can sit here and invent any number of different formal systems, each equally "good" and the universe is either described by them or describable by another. There is no way to know.




(09-18-2013 04:14 PM)shiverleaf15 Wrote:  The same holds true with the Einstein model of time. Perceptions of time may change with speed, but is it time itself that is changing which causes the perception of time to change directly, or can perception of time change without time itself changing? I posit that perception of time can, indeed, change, without time itself changing. If that is true, then at best the idea that time itself changes because perception of time changes is inductive, and not deductive, I think?


No, time is what changes. The issue is that the speed of light is constant from any reference and this has nothing to do with human perception. GPS systems, for instance, have to account for the relativity of time (due both to differences in the gravity field where the satellites are and the relative moving speed of satellites) in order to work or they give wildly incorrect answers.

To be clear, there is still surely things to learn and the details of what we know will probably change (in fact, I was just reading an article about how space-time may simply be emergent from more fundamental properties), but the what changes have to be consistent with what we have, much like how relativity had to be consistent with newtonian findings, so these issues are not merely perceiving time as being relative; whatever time is, it is relative.

That said, our discovery of the relativity of time was of course found inductively. That's my point. You cannot simply derive this stuff deductively. A universe could just as easily not have a relative time. We can imagine models where it is absolute. Turns out, our universe is not absolute in time though and there was no way we could know until we investigated inductively the properties of our universe.
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09-18-2013, 05:53 PM (This post was last modified: 09-18-2013 06:18 PM by shiverleaf15.)
Post: #8
RE: Philosophical proofs of God
legend Wrote:So in this case, the issue is how time and space ends up being strangely intertwined makes for conclusions they didn't consider. For instance, The Hartle-Hawking state (which describes the origin of the universe) does not require some "external" cause because the notion of time would have no sense for the "origin" of the universe. It would just be. Now I'm not saying the Hartle-Hawking state is true. There are lots of other possibilities, and I even think an "external" cause of some sort may be possible too. The point though, is that the argument's assumptions about the nature of time lead it to draw false conclusions and it's this kind of reason why all these arguments for God are bad. They assume premises that they simply are in no position to assume as true.

I think one problem we need to address is that if the Prime Mover lies outside of time, even if the universe has a beginning as in modern physics' belief, the universe doesn't have a point in time where it was "caused" to exist as if implying time before that.

Rather, think of it like the Prime Mover, being outside time, ever-causing the universe with all its changes within. It's not that he caused the beginning of it, but rather the entirety from beginning to end was caused at the same time.

The way I see it, suggesting merely that the universe with all its cause-and-effect ultimately had a beginning which only "began" as an effect to a cause creates a deity that claims special pleading. The Prime Mover in the Argument from Change I have brought up arises instead by necessity of definition and the logic of the argument itself.

If the Prime Mover caused the universe to exist, he could not have caused it at a certain point before which he did not cause it to exist: firstly, that would not work because he's unchanging, and this would be a change, secondly, change would require time, and the Prime Mover is outside of time. He's ever-causing the universe to exist, time included within said universe. He always was ever-causing it to exist, he always will be ever-causing it to exist, because there is no time and no change to the Prime Mover. Rather, the universe itself includes time within it, and space, and change within it.

So we must be very careful here. I am not suggesting that we regress via cause and effect back to an "original cause" for which we would make special pleading that it simply exists without previous cause, conveniently for the argument. This is the thing some Christians will say and one I myself find flawed argumentation.

This is different though. If change requires time to be defined, and if change always occurs with previous cause, and if instances of change change into different instances of change, then change as the idea rather than as an instance of the idea (type vs. token differentiation) itself, because it changes, can only do this if there is an external factor playing in. It must lie outside time and therefore itself be unchanging not by special pleading, but by very definition. If it is "nothing", then change shouldn't exist. But it does: so it's not "nothing", it's the Prime Mover. That's how the argument goes.
I don't know if this works, but:

Consider a sphere on top of a piece of paper. The point where the sphere and paper touch is the universe, including time within it. Suppose that the point was larger than a 0D point for argument's sake (so it's not a perfect sphere), such that the impression of the sphere on the paper is a little tiny circle. Consider vertical axis time and horizontal axis space, and horizontal lines across the circle represent times with specific instances of organization, like time A with organization A or time B with organization B.

Now since time is within the circle and not outside it, it is meaningless to really think of the sphere as touching the paper "forever", but for all terms and purposes, from the point of view of anyone living within the circle as 1D creatures within a spatially-one-dimensional universe that expands then shrinks (instances of said 1D universe would be represented by the horizontal lines across the circle and its inhabitants would be small line segments within the line), their circle space-time universe exists because the sphere is "always" causing the entirety of it, in the sense that, removing the sphere (if it were possible) would remove the little circle also, and would imply change, implying time, and this simply can't be, since the sphere lies outside time. If the sphere did not exist, the little circle shouldn't exist either. The fact it does, implies the existence of the sphere. Calling it a sphere versus a cylinder or some other shape is really not what matters, and is just illustrative license here, the point is that the circle can only exist if the object is in contact with the paper, and it can't just "begin" touching it or "end" touching it, because there is no time. If it is touching the paper, it was ever-contacting the paper, hence the universe was ever-caused by it in its entirety, time included within said "universe".
May I add, the analogy probably only goes so far. Some will say: well what is the paper, then? But then, the circle isn't on the paper or on the sphere specifically, it's what appears when the two contact each other, it's not particular to either.

Perhaps this implies the need for two Prime Movers in eternal contact?

Then it starts sounding like the Brane Collision theory of how the universe began...which might be expected considering the extra dimensions that are (I think?) beyond time.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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09-18-2013, 08:39 PM
Post: #9
RE: Philosophical proofs of God
I think the issue here is that there is no necessity for something to be "external" to the universe; there doesn't have to be a sphere at all and the notion of timelessness can be well defined without it. That's what the Hartle-Hawking state kind of gets at. The properties of the universe itself may be sufficient and explain time and non-time simultaneously.

Now is that the case? Is the universe's properties fully self-sufficient? I don't know, there are alternatives where it's not; where there is something external. Based on the analogy you gave, you might be interested in reading up on Braneworld cosmology and the cyclic model, which posits our space-time as the intersection of two high-dimensional manifolds which has the feel of something external, depending on your point of view. But the point is that we do not have to posit something external at all and how we find the truth (or get closer to it) will be provided by inductive analysis of the universe; it's not something we can prove a priori.
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09-30-2013, 07:32 AM
Post: #10
RE: Philosophical proofs of God
There are no valid (Third party accessible) proofs for the existence of God
There are no valid proofs of the non-existence of God
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