The skeptical Turn of mind

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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Re: The skeptical Turn of mind

Post by Metacrock » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:58 pm

Antimatter wrote:Hi Meta, forgive me for quoting you out of order:
Metacrock wrote:In my view a rational warrant is "close enough for government work." atheists make it sound like they just can't believe something short of total absolute proof. But they do believe things short of that, almost everything they believe is short of that. ... this idea of proving things with mathematical certainty is just bunk. the only things you can prove with mathematical certainty is mathematics.
Which atheists would those be? Atheism itself is not based on absolute proof! Speaking for myself, I accept atheism because I find it to be the most plausible explanation that most successfully explains the experience and observations I've made in my life. I don't claim to know everything, nor do I claim to have absolute mathematical proof.

I get that impression from many of them. Hans, grog, that maynard guy.

No empirical study of a social sciences nature really proves anything in the math sense. They came up with double blinds and personality tests and measurement statistical scales because they don't have mathematical certainty in social sciences. But those studies are closer to the proof you speak of in your field than they are to merely rational warrant. However, what they prove is not that God exists, or that God is behind the experiences. but that the experiences are real and they have real effects. To draw from that the inference that this is God behind it is to once again move into the rational warrant realm.
I just replied to your a priori thread, so I'm struck with the same confusion here. You argue that social sciences do not provide evidence that god exists or that god engenders religious experience, but then you want to infer that they do. I could provide several conter-examples to your inference, such as the ability of drugs, trances, ritual, or strongly held belief to induce psychological experiences, many of which are arbitrarily chosen by researchers or contradictory to your theistic view.
No I infur that God's existence is rationally warranted and that is close enough for proof to make a leap of faith, not that they do prove it.
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Re: The skeptical Turn of mind

Post by LACanuck » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:08 pm

Hey Meta,

I'm not sure if I've seen you comment on the fact that the non-existance of God is also rationally warranted. Or Plantinga's comments on theistic belief being rationally warranted only if God does exist. I'd be interested in your viewpoint.

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Re: The skeptical Turn of mind

Post by Metacrock » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:46 pm

LACanuck wrote:Hey Meta,

I'm not sure if I've seen you comment on the fact that the non-existance of God is also rationally warranted. Or Plantinga's comments on theistic belief being rationally warranted only if God does exist. I'd be interested in your viewpoint.

yes atheist assumptions can be rationally warranted. it's all a matter of which view is the most likely or the most self consistent perhaps. I don't agree with the Plantinga statement. I didn't' know he said that. I don't see how it could be properly basic if that's the idea.
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Re: The skeptical Turn of mind

Post by LACanuck » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:59 am

From Plantinga 2000: 191
The upshot is that the question of the rationality of the belief that God exists cannot be separated from the question of whether that belief is true

Sennett's analysis of this argument (Sennett 2003) includes the observation that Plantinga argues that theistic belief is very likely warranted and properly basic, but only if theism is in fact true. This means that believers are in no position to argue that their belief in God is warrant basic unless they can adduce reasons, arguments or evidence for the existance of God.

If I'm not mistaken, the point is that the warrant cannot, on it's face, be properly basic.

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Re: The skeptical Turn of mind

Post by Metacrock » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:50 pm

LACanuck wrote:From Plantinga 2000: 191
The upshot is that the question of the rationality of the belief that God exists cannot be separated from the question of whether that belief is true

Sennett's analysis of this argument (Sennett 2003) includes the observation that Plantinga argues that theistic belief is very likely warranted and properly basic, but only if theism is in fact true. This means that believers are in no position to argue that their belief in God is warrant basic unless they can adduce reasons, arguments or evidence for the existance of God.

If I'm not mistaken, the point is that the warrant cannot, on it's face, be properly basic.

(1) properly basic means you don't have to prove it absoltuely, but there is prmia facie justification.

(2) justification means there's a reason to believe it, even though is' not necessarily proven beyond all doubt.

(3) any argument that serves as ratioanl warrant for belief is a prori a reaso;n to beieve, they are one the same because belief is the point. I can't be rationally warranted unless the warrant is a reason to accept it, that's the point of warranting anything.

(4) but the upshot is it doesn't have to be proven beyond all doubt, you only have to meet the prmia facie burden.
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Re: The skeptical Turn of mind

Post by KR Wordgazer » Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:35 pm

LACanuck wrote:From Plantinga 2000: 191
The upshot is that the question of the rationality of the belief that God exists cannot be separated from the question of whether that belief is true

Sennett's analysis of this argument (Sennett 2003) includes the observation that Plantinga argues that theistic belief is very likely warranted and properly basic, but only if theism is in fact true. This means that believers are in no position to argue that their belief in God is warrant basic unless they can adduce reasons, arguments or evidence for the existance of God.

If I'm not mistaken, the point is that the warrant cannot, on it's face, be properly basic.
Am I missing something here? This seems to me to be saying exactly nothing. All of Metacrock's God arguments are "reasons, arguments or evidence for the existence of God." The question of whether or not it is true is what atheists and theists continually go around and around about. Atheists present their own "reasons, arguments and evidence" for the opposite viewpoint. Neither one is conclusive or indisputable, which is why we are still having this discussion. One could (and should) just as well say that the rationality of a lack of belief in God cannot be separated from the question of whether the belief that there is no God is true.

Which position is true is what the debate is about, and both sides have reasons, arguments and evidence for their position. So what's the point of making this "whether that belief is true" argument?
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Re: The skeptical Turn of mind

Post by LACanuck » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:51 pm

Metacrock wrote:(1) properly basic means you don't have to prove it absoltuely, but there is prmia facie justification.

(2) justification means there's a reason to believe it, even though is' not necessarily proven beyond all doubt.

(3) any argument that serves as ratioanl warrant for belief is a prori a reaso;n to beieve, they are one the same because belief is the point. I can't be rationally warranted unless the warrant is a reason to accept it, that's the point of warranting anything.

(4) but the upshot is it doesn't have to be proven beyond all doubt, you only have to meet the prmia facie burden.
It seems like you missed Plantinga's point. This is not about the definition of property basic or prima facie burden. He is saying that belief is rationally warranted if and only if God exists. if God doesn't exist, then there is no rational warrant for belief.

And KR's point is well taken with the observation that the opposite is true. Atheism is only rationally warranted if God does not exist.

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Re: The skeptical Turn of mind

Post by LACanuck » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:58 pm

KR Wordgazer wrote:Am I missing something here? This seems to me to be saying exactly nothing.
Actually, the point is that when Meta talks about belief being rationally warranted, he is really assuming the existance of God. If there is no God, then there is no rational warrant.

The triger to my post was this comment from Meta.
Metacrock wrote:No I infur that God's existence is rationally warranted and that is close enough for proof to make a leap of faith, not that they do prove it.
Plantinga is saying that this statement is incorrect. You cannot infer that God's existance is rationally warranted. The best you can say is that belief is rationally warranted if God exists. There is no way to get from the second statement to the inference that Meta is making. So having belief as a rational warrant is not close enough to a proof. It's actually circular, since it depends on the premise (the existance of God) that it's trying to prove.

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Re: The skeptical Turn of mind

Post by Metacrock » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:45 pm

LACanuck wrote:
KR Wordgazer wrote:Am I missing something here? This seems to me to be saying exactly nothing.
Actually, the point is that when Meta talks about belief being rationally warranted, he is really assuming the existance of God. If there is no God, then there is no rational warrant.

not exactly. I'm assuming a rational reason to believe in God. I know I believein God and I know I have good reasons to. nothing I can do about that. I do not have to abanon my belief to argue for it. arguments are not experiments.

The triger to my post was this comment from Meta.
Metacrock wrote:No I infur that God's existence is rationally warranted and that is close enough for proof to make a leap of faith, not that they do prove it.
Plantinga is saying that this statement is incorrect. You cannot infer that God's existance is rationally warranted. The best you can say is that belief is rationally warranted if God exists. There is no way to get from the second statement to the inference that Meta is making. So having belief as a rational warrant is not close enough to a proof. It's actually circular, since it depends on the premise (the existance of God) that it's trying to prove.[/quote]


I think you are misunderstanding Plantinga. quote him, not me. show me where he says that. quote the passage. that's illogical.

there absoltuly nothing illogical about what I said. I have ratioanl warrant to believe I do not need to prove it. that's totally valid reasoning.


example of proper basicality. my head hurts. I take aspirin my head stops hurting. I assume "Ok I had a head ache." Now I might have a brain tumor. But it doesn't keep hurting. It doesn't come back any time soon, it's not sever so I have no reason to assume it's a brain tumor I have a good reason to believe it's just a head ache. but I can't prove it I didn't have a cat scan.

you come along and say "you are persuppossing a head ache and not a brain turmor." well yea, but that doesn't mean it's not justified to assume so.
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Re: The skeptical Turn of mind

Post by LACanuck » Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:40 am

From Warranted Christian Belief, Plantinga, 2000 pg 191
And this dependence of the question on warrant or rationality on the truth or falsehood of theism leads to a very interesting conclusion. If the warrant enjoyed by belief in God is related in this way to the truth of belief, then the question whether theistic belief has warrant is not, after all, independent of the question of whether theistic belief is true
I believe this is the quote you were asking about. And I'm pretty sure that I'm not misunderstanding the point, which is that belief in theism is only rationally warranted if theism is true. And if Plantinga is correct, then the conclusions that I made regarding the circularity of belief would hold.

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