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Messages - Dominik

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Philosophy / Re: Classical Theism Discord
« on: May 26, 2023, 06:06:18 am »

Philosophy / Classical Theism Discord
« on: May 15, 2023, 11:11:09 am »
Come join me, I'd enjoy discussing with you again

I'll regularly update the Link so you can still join me

Philosophy / Re: New online classical theism community
« on: February 02, 2023, 09:50:18 am »
If you return, make sure to post a new one, or shoot me a mail

Philosophy / Re: New online classical theism community
« on: January 10, 2023, 02:59:22 pm »
Send me a new link

Philosophy / Re: Teleology in Nature
« on: December 01, 2020, 06:12:16 am »
CLT, do you think the fifth way doesn't work? Why? I like these teleological arguments, although I have a tendency with supplementing them with the PSR

Philosophy / PSR and the Gap Problem
« on: May 19, 2020, 11:05:37 am »
What is a quick interference from the PSR to the fact that the foundation is intelligent?

Philosophy / Necessary indeterminate matter?
« on: May 19, 2020, 05:37:45 am »
That matter itself is contingent is pretty much a given, absurdities lurk when denied.

My question is though if the atheist can avoid Spinozism through claiming that fundamental matter has necessarily indetermined causes? In other words would indeterminancy provide contingency?

And more importantly, and this is the objection I would give, could we even expect indeterminate causes? It seems like if we asserted the necessity of the matter and its properties, positing indeterminancy would come close to a contradiction.

Philosophy / Re: A list of arguments for atheism
« on: May 05, 2020, 05:48:29 pm »

1:26:05 is when Koons starts on the Problem of Evil.

Philosophy / Re: A list of arguments for atheism
« on: May 05, 2020, 05:34:49 pm »

If you say that some theodicy is true, do you mean that for the evil to occur God must have some reason we ourselves recognize as moral reason? IOW given that we both accept the PSR, there is always a reason for the contingent occurence, but I think we differ on when that condition is satisfied. Take the example of a kid having cancer.

Why the kid has cancer can be explained by pointing at the cell cycle at which a tumor suppressor has mutated which led to the development of cancerous cells.

This is sufficient, but do you think that there lacks an explanation? How is that happening and why didn't God intervene? I agree in the first case, but I assume that it could be collapsed into the explanation above. I disagree in the second case though. I think the search for such a theodicy is misguided (“Plagues on both your houses“ to quote Davies on Mackie and Swinburne) and won't provide insight. Even in the cases where God intervenes I would apply the reason here in the same way in which if it is asked why God actualized a particular wirld instead of another. Rob Koons had a great interview a few days ago in which he also talked about the Problem of Evil. I will give a link and a time stamp later, I very much agree with him.

With that said I recognize that there are classical theists who disagree with me, e.g. Pruss, Rasmussen and Dougherty. I don't reject their solutions out of hand. In fact I have great sympathy to Doughertys animal theodicy. But I think starting from the assumption that God has any particular moral obligation, be it even only analogically comparable to usit, is the wrong approach.

Philosophy / Re: A list of arguments for atheism
« on: May 01, 2020, 06:55:41 pm »
Time is rare today, I will continue in due time. Meanwhile I will link to Davies book so that it is more clear what he is talking about:

Philosophy / Re: A list of arguments for atheism
« on: April 29, 2020, 11:46:54 am »
Rasmussen was really impressive in the dialogue. Not only have I never heard of the geometrical argument for a necessary beimg before, but he also forced Leon to embrace a position where Mackie rolls around in his grave. And iIrc he argues for the foundational mind without once violating the Principal of Material Causality he conceded for the sake of argument (creatio ex nihilo just became ex deo).

Atno, do you agree that evil is a privation of goodness? Or, to formulate it like Rasmussen, that goodness is always more foundational and evil “builts“ upon it? If you agree as much I think we can find a middle ground. I must also recognize that Davies' non-theodicist position has often not been communicated that well. While I have neither time nor space to do him justice, consider what Maimonides wrote in his “Guide for the Perplexed“. After establishing Gods aseity, self-sufficiency and immutability, Maimonides directly draws from the fact of creation to the Goodness of God, despite obviously recognizing all the evil, because God couldn't benefit from it. Doing something for its own sake is what we could call benevolence. Maimonides is an adherent of full apophatic theology, so I think he'd agree with me that Gods goodness isn't human goodness. I don't support your view that God needs good moral reasons, if that is to mean in terms of moral standards that we also adhere to. The PoE is no problem for supernaturalism and, pace you, no problem for certain kinds of theism. Maimonides himself argues that creation is mirroring Gods perfection and that humanity is a neglectible factor.
What I mean to suggest is that this view is a good retreat. Davies isn't concerned with those evidential arguments from Rowe or others, Feser neither, due to their rejection of such a view on Gods goodness.
I still think though that theodicies can provide valuable insights. I also think that they help explaining certain kinds of evil. So I'd encourage everyone to proceed, since it is always preferable to have a justification that we can understand. What I like about the classical answer though is that it enables us to even turn the table.

Hiddenness is in a similar field.

I have to read Drapers paper on the a priori much more likelihood of source physicalism than theism , but I fear that this is more a topic for the philosophy of mind.

Anyone got something to add on mind-brain dependence or evolution? Not that I think the latter works in any way without teleology, but I'd still be interested in insights for reasons as to why God might have used it.

Philosophy / Re: A list of arguments for atheism
« on: April 28, 2020, 04:20:24 pm »
Goodness and Evil are notoriously difficult to define. I have a PDF of Oderbergs new book if someone is interested.

Philosophy / Re: A list of arguments for atheism
« on: April 28, 2020, 07:16:08 am »
Jeremy made another good point. The falsehood of materialism is more certain than Gods existence. We should grant that, since nothing, not even God is as close to us like introspective data, which entails the falsehood of materialism, that we are libertarianly free, have bodily autonomy (falsehood of determinism and epiphenomenalism), have intentionality (pace physicalists like Michael Tye) and that we are really distinguished from our body.

To define naturalism lets adopt their definition:

1. Conservative Naturalism: ontological physicalists like Dennett, Rosenberg, Papineau and Maitzen
2. Moderate Naturalism: allows abstract objects like platonic forms of math or morality (Quine, Wielenberg)
3. Liberal Naturalism: everything up to non-theism, which allows for dualism (Chalmers, Huemer, Burge, Strawson) of some sort, dispositions, certain forms of Aristotelianism (Mumford, Foot, Nagel)

There are views though in the third category that collapse into theism through Morelands argument from consciousness. Nagels views perhaps collapse into the fifth way. Pruss has made an argument that Powers ontology+S5 entails a necessary being.
A note to the second category: Wielenberg assumes objective morality as a brute fact independent of grounding. The question is also how wether the second category collapses into the first (Quine was an eliminativist and I believe reductionism a la Kim collapses into it).

A key point is wether intentionality can be reduced to powers or dispositions of material objects. Nagel recognizes that, as did Armstrong. If the mental property of aboutness is really there and cannot be reduced, then we arrive at a foundational mind.

Defining Naturalism is notoriously difficult and the concrete definitions I came across are self-refuting or indetermined, e.g. if one says that one believes in what future physics discovers. Van Fraassen polemically responded “So you don't know what you believe in?“. I'm also unsure if the idea of brute, independent, ungrounded (platonic) morality is even a coherent one.

Anything to add?

Philosophy / Re: A list of arguments for atheism
« on: April 28, 2020, 06:41:20 am »
Changing plans: I tried it with argument per argument, but it doesn't work that way, it just a) takes too long and b) in answering I'm making references and answers to other papers on the list. Further more, as Jeremy observed, most arguments are bad. For example, I will copy it here in due time, I have taken on argument 20 “The argument from the philosophy of nature“, assuming that given its name ot would be worthwhile, but it turns out that he attacks the normal churchgoer on tge street, ID, and dismisses the scholastics as “academic theism“, being completely oblivious to the fact at how great their influence in the catholic, eastern, anglican and as an example of the protestants, Presbyterian tradition was. Fundamentalist bible thumpers aren't really a counter example, especially since sophisticated tradition are the interesting parts. Its like me attacking Loftus and claiming Oppy has been defeated.

Anyway let's categoriue the arguments, which should make it easier for all:

1. Evil and Divine Hiddenness

The first is self-explanatory. It can be turned on its head if the atheist himself accepts objective good and evil (e.g. Huemer, Wielenberg), other than that it is a question of the intrinsic coherence of theism. Fun note: In its rejection I think David Bentley Hart is even more radical than Brian Davies. As to Hiddenness, although Schellenberg wants it to be distinguished because, other than the PoE, it is only a problem if God did exist, I still put them together for several reasons. 1) It could be defeated by the same theodicy as the PoE, 2) given a rejection of the idea that God has a moral obligation toward us, it vanishes, 3) I don't think that the differences between the problems go beyond a different pastoral response.
In both cases there are good an bad papers here. For the former we should read the work of Rowe and Smith or Trakakis. For the latter Schellenberg himself. I refuse to read anything where the author is Stephen Law or Maitzen. A bad version of the hiddenness argument can be found as (I think) the last argument from the (late) development of monotheistic beliefs in evolutionary history. I think most of the hiddenness problems can be evaded by adopting inclusivism or universalism, as the real evil would only be if exclusivism were true. Molinist theodicies (Craig) are implausible.

Jeremy, I know that you are familiar with the mystics literature, do you think those insights are helpful? If so, please share them.

I am currently reading Michael Reas book on Hiddenness. Others have recommended the book of essays edited by Eleonore Stump “Hidden Divinity“. PM me for the PDF.

2. Selfsufficiency of nature/plausibility on available data

Pretty selfexplanatory. To quote Vallicella:“ Suppose Naturalism was completely unproblematic. You could answer in a satisfactory manner every question as a naturalist, then there would be [in spite of theistic arguments, religious, mystic and paranormal experiences] very little reason to go beyond it.“
An example of this objection is Oppys “The best argument against God“. Another one was a trivial point by Draper that a priori naturalism were more probable than theism due to a broader picture and fewer assumptions (theism here being much more specific than just “supernaturalism“). Another argument by Draper was that e.g. humanity is too unimpressive for theism, which gives evidence for naturalism. We should make a list as to what evidence would be evidence for either side.

3. Causal closure, mind-brain dependence, explanatory power in comparison, morality (Wielenberg, Maitzen)

Subcategory of 2 deserving a separate response. The last are arguments by Maitzen, that ordinary morality implies atheism and Wielenberg who argues for the absurdity of life were Christianity true.

4. Impossibility, incoherence of theism

E.g. incoherence in the attributes.

Even the best have have some brainfarts. Argument 10 by Schellenberg that free will would be more expected on atheism due to the failure of the free will theodicy. At some point we have seriously entered sophistry.

Anyway, like I said, this will certainly take a while, but I would be happy if you would help me, since I think we will all benefit. And while I agree with Jeremy that most arguments are utter garbage (Argument 20!, 46, 47), it is at least an exhaustive list with some worthwhile resources. It certainly shows that the case for atheism is way less diverse. I think this will be fun.

Philosophy / Re: A list of arguments for atheism
« on: April 25, 2020, 06:51:25 am »
It is important to some arguments, especially when alternative metaphysics are concerned, which is almost always the case when alternatives to theism are provided. That Aristotelianism entails Theism is rarely doubted and if it fits the scientific model best, as Cundy argues, then it is a strong case against arguments which doubt said metaphysics.

Philosophy / Re: A list of arguments for atheism
« on: April 22, 2020, 11:12:16 pm »
I'll just do it here. Maybe it helps getting some people back into the forum.

Philosophy / A list of arguments for atheism
« on: April 22, 2020, 07:17:42 am »

I will explore, adress and evaluate the arguments in this list, though many in comjunct and not separate since 50+% of those, as far as I can see are variations on the Problem of Evil and while I think they offer defeaters for most theodicies if they were taken on their own, I don't see how they affect classical theism as such (in thr spirit of Brian Davies etc.).
Some arguments need to be adressed though and looked at in which way they raise the probability of naturalism and whether they favor it over theism.
I wpuld appreciate help and comments, especially since sometimes I will add another link about criticisms of theistic arguments. This is probably the fullest list of atheistic arguments out there. Engagement should prove fruitful and enhance philosophical knowledge.

Joe, what makes you so fond of Searle? I recommend Chalmers, too, as well as Joshua Rasmussen.

Philosophy / Re: Backmann's No Time for Powers
« on: April 08, 2020, 03:38:38 am »
The apparent inconsistency is due to a strange understanding of both the block universe in question, as well as of the powers account. Backmann follows Friebe in arguing that powers require both bringing about/into existence, as well as existential dependence, and wants to argue that these are inconsistent with eternalism. But on further inspection we can see that this apparent inconsistency is resting upon assumptions about eternalism and the “bringing about“ that neither are entailed by their respective analyses nor by the assumptions of Aristotelians.

We first need to make clear that eternalism/block universe does not equal to a Parmedian block. It is only the latter that is inconsistent with both physics and every day experience. A normal four-dimensionalism championed by e.g. Pruss, Dougherty, Cundy and Rea acknowledges passage of time in the subjective mind of the observer within the universe, while following physics that for the observer outside the universe, all times are equally real. The Parmedian block is Spinozist in nature, a weakness the Four-dimenoinalist doesn't have. This is crucial, because it shows why the inconsistency just isn't there.

The powers account require substance causation, so bringing about a change is due to the intrinsic powers of particular substances. Lets say that we have at time 1 the fact 1 that I'm lying in bed (T1F1). At time 2 we get fact 2 (T2F2), that I got up. Prima facie this is okay with an Aristotelian, we can admit that both times are equally real and their separate highlightedness is due to the subjective observer. Backmann wants to argue though that this lacks the “bringing about“ and the existential dependence the powers modality requires. This is wrong though. Because even if T1F1 and T2F2 are equally real and at most ordered in a before-after relation, this doesn't mean that they lack the connectedness for bringing about and dependence. The fact that I got up at T2 is due to the fact that I had the potency already at T1 but actualized it at T2. The event is still contingent, and this is all we need. Just because it is eternally true that I chose to actualize said potential at T2 doesn't entail that it is necessary, nor does it entail that it was not libertarianly free. T2F2 could have been different, it would just have been eternally true that I rather have turned around than getting up, thus altering T2F2 to T2F2*. This would entail the nonexistence of the former, while the original entailed the nonexistence of the latter. Thus as can be seen we have both saved existential dependence, while pointing out the contingency of eternally true events saves “bringing about“. It had to be pointed out that eternalism doesn't mean parmedian and that equally real events don't just by the fact of being equally real loose the interconnectedness between the other timeslices. The analysis of time won't help in determining the right account of causation, as these have nothing to say about the crucial connectedness between those slices/events, which are exclusively interesting for causation.

Vallicella once mentioned mystics literature where the validity of ones expereinces can be examined according to the tradition. I am interested in such books with examples and testimonies. Any recommendations?

Philosophy / Re: The Necessity of Creation, Revisited
« on: February 16, 2020, 11:38:16 am »

your argument assumes that creation has to have happened, the big bang is in every possible world. Let´s drop for this argument the idea of counterfactuals in God, since that is concerned with contingent knowledge in God.

Here is an argument against the idea of creation following from God necessarily, which User Brandon has posted in the thread on Aquinas and the Necessity of Creation:

I'm guessing, though, that your implicit argument is something like

(1) 'God exists' is necessary
(2) In God, existence and will are identical.
(3) Therefore 'God wills' is necessary (from (1) and (2))
(4) Therefore 'God wills X' is necessary for any X you might choose. (from (2))

Which, if so, fails regardless of the account of identity; 'God wills' and 'God wills X' are not generally intersubstitutable descriptions -- the former is a description of God, and the latter is a description of God and X. From 'It is necessary that God wills' to 'It is necessary that God wills such-and-such' is an equivocation; intransitive and transitive 'wills' are not synonymous. To get from (3) to (4) you would have to assume that if it is necessary that God wills, what God wills is necessarily willed by Him. But this is the very point in dispute.

A similar point has been made by Tomaszewski on the idea of creation following necessarily, because God is identical to his will and he exists necessarily. ´The following argument is of the same structure, but shows the invalidity of said argument and why the modal collapse objection fails:

1) Necessarily, 8 > 7.
2) The # of planets in our solar system is 8.
3) Necessarily, the # of planets in our solar system is greater than 7.

So I don´t claim that we can understand how God could create freely, heck we don´t even really have an idea how it is that WE are free. But the argument leads to absurdities and hence we should accept that it is false. I also understand the idea of God creating nothing at all only insofar as there is not potential in God that creation fulfills.

Philosophy / Re: Why should I accept natural law theory?
« on: February 16, 2020, 08:48:59 am »
1. Goodness is convertible with being (Things have to be fully actualized according to their nature to be fully good)
2. Objective goodness exists.
3. In a non-natural law environment objective goodness is arrived at best if we follow our conscience.
4. But our conscience is not a universal guide. People disagree about what is intuitively good.
5. Because of 4, 3 is not a good guide to arrive at 2.
6. Hence we should accept 1 to arrive at 2.
7. Therefor we should accept natural law.

The weakness in natural law might be that we don´t fully know the essence of a thing or all the goals of a particular faculty. But for example when we run with the example of abortíon it is only 1 that leaves us with direct arguments from nature why it should be considered an immoral act. It is also only 1 that gives direct arguments as to why the life is to be considered more important than the choice. Arguing from objective morality to the other side, I don´t see how that is possible without invoking abstract rules that lack an intelligible foundation.
Natural law is not perfect, but I think it is what provides the best basis from which ethics can be developed.

Philosophy / Re: The Necessity of Creation, Revisited
« on: February 13, 2020, 08:48:39 am »
I´ll take that as a yes. But thanks anyway for explaining the name.

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