Saturday, February 11, 2012

Taking It Back

In my last blog, I said I'd move on to the topic of debate, but I'm not going to. I have to tackle an argument previously presented by explaining the logic behind it. I previously made the statement, "There is no proof that God or "god" does not exist." I also mentioned that this statement is invalid. Here's the idea behind that:

The process of making this statement follows the conclusions and premises:

There is no proof that God exists.
If there is no proof that something exists, then it must exist.

Therefore, God exists.

This argument should be obviously invalid. I think what makes it obvious is the "then it must exist" part. Most people can see the problem when it's broken down like this. Another way to put it:

There is no proof that God exists.
If you cannot prove to me that something does not exist, then you cannot logically deprave me of that belief.

Therefore, because there is no proof that God does not exist, then I am free to accept this as truth.

This is not quite as invalid, but does not show an argument for God alone. If you are willing to believe that lack of proof of something deems its credibility, then any basic premise of science becomes invalid. Our entire belief in science and reason is based on logic and proof. Without that, it all becomes invalid.

This isn't so much as a reason to refute this argument as it is a rule for establishing a basis of accepting what CAN be true. Without this rule, we can replace God with any silly thing we want. And in that case, there's no limit to what we can claim as true. We need restrictions here, so we have to validate possibilities by evidence. This is the whole idea of not having to prove a negative.

If for something to not exist, you have to provide truth, then you cannot reasonably argue your point versus anyone. This doesn't mean you're necessarily wrong, but it does mean that you can't enter a debate about proofs. You're not within the guidelines of what is acceptable for proofing. And if that's your stance, stop reading this blog. Also, do not enter debates opposing anyone else's beliefs. You have no basis for argument.

Anyway, I'm drinking and may have to rewrite this to make sure it isn't gibberish when I'm sober later, so I'll just sum up the point and call this a blog. The argument that God exists because there is no proof of the lack of his existence is an invalid argument because it doesn't follow any guidelines that allow us to establish a basis of debate. It violates the reason for accepting even our most basic laws of science.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Crash Logic for Test Dummies

Okay, from the first part of this task, we've examined my credentials and reasons for posting this blog. We've also had a good look at defining Atheistic views on "god" and I've asserted my point that there is lack of proof that god does not exist. Now, here's where things get tricky because we now have to take a crash-course on Logic. And for those that are a step ahead of me, I realize the fallacy of saying that there's lack of proof of something being not, so it must be. In fact, that's the perfect statement to examine to explain why that argument does not work. But keep in mind, I suggested there may be "proof" that "god" can exist.

First of all, we have to consider the premises. In Logic, you can only build conclusions by establishing premises.  A premise is simply a statement that is considered true by all involved. A premise must be a non-debatable statement or you have to form further premises to support the original.

Here's an example:

I exist.

This is a premise. We're going to assume it's completely true. We're not validating it, just accepting it as a truth. With this singular premise, we can do nothing but restate the premise. I exist. That's all we know. Without other premises, we can draw no conclusions or inferences at all.

Something made me.

This is a second premise. This is neither a validation or conclusion from the first premise (though we could arrange for that to work out). The simple matter is that this second premise must also simply be accepted as true. On its own, all we can say is that something made me. We can't even really say I exist if we don't have the other premise. We'd have to establish that there is a definition for existence before we can say that. And without the other premise, we lack even the definition of existence. But with the other premise, we accept the definition of existence and we can now say I exist.

So what do we do with this? Simple, we put them together and draw a conclusion.

I exist.
Something made me.

What conclusion can we draw? We could say that I exist because something made me, but we're lacking some other premises to truly validate that conclusion. What we CAN say is that I exist AND something made me. We can also say that something makes things that exist. We have the fact that I do exist. And we have the fact that something made me. So something must be capable of making at least one thing that exists - in this case, me.

Now for an awful argument. We're going to add a premise.

Something more powerful than myself made me.

Now, I really want to use this as a premise, but someone might try to think of a way to say that this isn't necessarily true, so I'm going to use logic to validate this premise. So, this premise is now a conclusion and I have to come up with supporting premises to validate it.

Mothers giving birth is an act of nature.
Nature is more powerful than myself.
My mother gave birth to me.

All three of those are pretty hard to argue with. Unless you just want to be an ass. So, to get to the conclusion I want to use as a premise. Since I was birthed by my mother, an act of nature, and nature is more powerful than myself, something more powerful than myself must have made me. So now we have:

I exist.
Something more powerful than myself made me.

And then we add to this:

God exists.

For the purpose of this point, we're just going to accept that part as a valid and true premise. So now, we're going to draw a conclusion:

I exist.
Something more powerful than myself made me.
God exists.

Conclusion: God is more powerful than myself, so God must have made me. Or furthermore, God exists because God made me.

This conclusion is wrong. You cannot have a conclusion as a premise. Nor is there any premise for linking the existence of God to being the something that made me. Even with all the premises being accepted as true, we know there are forces, such as the afore-mentioned nature, that are more powerful than myself that can also make me.

Why am I talking about this silliness? It seems like common sense. But this is the standard argument people will commonly use to prove the existence of God.

Something awesomely powerful must have made this.
God is something awesomely powerful.

Therefore, God made this.

Now if you read that in the literal sense of A=B and B=C, this is technically true. But, we have to examine the real premises of actual life.

Something awesomely powerful must have made me.
God is something awesomely powerful.
The Sun is something awesomely powerful.
Nature is something awesomely powerful.
Hurricanes are something awesomely powerful.
Trains are something awesomely powerful.

Now, we're placing a lot of truths in there and we can now conclude that either God, the Sun, nature, hurricanes, or a train made me.

You commonly see this argument used in the form of, "Wow, that is so awesome! Only God could make that!" This is completely invalid because we have so many other premises that can account for the making of said awesome thing.

So, we now understand that you need to examine the premises that are held true by everyone, you cannot use your conclusion as a premise, and you can only draw a conclusion from the established premises.

And I'm starting to realize that this blog is going to be an ongoing thing. There's just too much to account for just to begin the argument of theism versus atheism. So, next blog I think will tackle proper debating techniques. Two huge blogs in one day is enough for me for now.

Selling the Drama

So, for anyone who reads my other blog, My Life and Ice Cream, you might have noticed my original posts about this whole topic. I decided to change this whole thing over to a separate blog because I realized what a huge undertaking this actually is after posting two long blogs in one night without ever even getting to the beginning of my point. And I also want to have this collected in a separate area. I'm not sure how long the 100 Proof Jesus thing is going to go on, but I feel like it's going to detract from my daily ranting and make things too serious. If you're just tuning in to this one, you can find my other blog here:

Okay, so this blog is going to be a pretty huge undertaking. Let me start by saying this is neither a proof for or against religion. It's just a breakdown of arguments used by both sides of the coin. It's also an educational trip on proper debating/arguing and my own opinion of theism and atheism. I am not an expert in any field.

To begin with, I'm going to cite my own credentials for stating the following quagmire of crap. First of all, I'm finishing up my junior year in Mechanical Engineering. This means I've studied many of the principle laws by which our current concept of physics is based. This is an important factor in debating with Atheism. Secondly, I've had at least one course in Logic in which I excelled. This doesn't really account for much, but it will come into play. Third, I sit around and do a LOT of thinking. That's probably the most important thing - actually using your brain and arguing with yourself until you develop an acute case of schizophrenia.

So, to begin the discussion, let's examine my reason for bringing it up. Over the past decade, I've observed a change within the Atheist movement. It's becoming more widely accepted and people aren't afraid to say they don't believe in a superior being. Don't worry, if you're an Atheist, I'm going to come back to explaining the actual Atheist view in proper detail. For now, let's keep it simple and just say Atheists don't believe in a higher power. Now, about the Atheist movement. Since we've broken down the walls of calling people stupid for asserting logic to their religious beliefs (for the most part), Atheists are more free to be outspoken about their beliefs.

Yes, beliefs. Don't start that crap about "Atheists don't have beliefs! That's the whole point!" That's a fairly assinine argument I've heard a lot. You believe in science, logic, etc. You have beliefs because a belief is just simply something someone accepts as true. If you can't follow that point, please stop reading here and now. And please do not reproduce.

Now, I'm going to dispel one thought on where someone might go with this. Despite that Atheism is based on a set of beliefs (that of logic and science), it is NOT a religion. In fact, you can look up the Merriam-Webster definition and see that it is, in fact, an antonym of religion.

Back to the point. Over the past several years, I've noticed that it's becoming commonplace for Atheists to pick on theists. Call it a role reversal. What bothers me about this is that because it's easy for logic and reason to defy many traditional beliefs, people are easily ridiculed for holding traditional religious ideas. The further assertion of Atheism is that there is no god or gods. This assertion is a bad argument because there's no proof that there is no higher power. Just stay with me on this, I know how cliche that sounds. What happens is that theists convert to atheism because it is easily defended, but more importantly, they don't risk ridicule. This converting is what I've witnessed a lot of lately. I call it bandwagon Atheism. Furthermore, the common assertion I see from the Atheist movement is that theists are ignorant and nothing short of delusional. Which is why I think many people convert. Not because they actually think through the logical argument for and against with proper knowledge, but simply for avoiding ridicule. So, as a theist, I'm a bit irked by this attitude. And I see it everywhere these days. It's nothing short of shoving Atheist beliefs down my throat everywhere I go. So, that's why I'm taking on this blog.

As I said, I need to go back and explain what Atheism actually is. This is VERY important to understand for the purpose of this blog. First of all, Atheism is not to claim that a "god" does not exist. It is to simply claim that the concept of such a being is so highly improbable that they choose not to believe in it. If I said that invisible unicorns exist, you would call bullshit. But they're invisible. YOU can't see them, but they exist! You simply regard the prospect as ridiculously unbelievable (because there's no evidence whatsoever and everything you know about reality tells you it's retarded). This is a good example of the Atheistic view of what theists consider a god. So, Atheists cannot PROVE that there is no "god", but the idea is so far outside the realm of reality that they find it ridiculously improbable. In the same sense that you realize that if I properly define invisible unicorns so that they only exist to people who believe in them, Atheists cannot perceive of a god. There's just no credible evidence. Or is there?

So the debate begins. I think I'll make that a second part to this blog. This thing is already a challenge to read through. So, maybe later tonight, I'll post part two. Possibly next week. I have to be out of town tomorrow after classes.