Re: Logic and God
[quote author=“l_johan_k”]Philosophy is not my cup of tea…
In a discussion with a creationist he said that…
#Logical laws prove the existence of God
#Logical laws disprove the naturalistic worldview
I’m not a philosopher, so how do I respond to that?
In my experience, few religious people truly understand the methods, concepts and required standards of logical argument. One only needs to read so-called ‘proofs’ of the existence of God by (supposedly learned and intelligent) theologicans - the best their kind can offer up as ‘intellectuals’, one supposes - to see that they haven’t actually got the faintest idea how to argue logically.
I was once on a forum where this guy - who was probably a theology student - published (with evident pride/arrogance) an argument he had constructed which claimed to prove the existence of God from first principles. He simply used a few known facts about the universe and cosmology (in order to give his arguments the appearance of scientific respectability, one assumes) and then extrapolated these using what he believed to be sound logical inference in order to reach the inevitable (to him) conclusion ‘And therefore God exists!’.
It was almost trivially easy to pull his arguments apart.
This partly involved pointing out that a number of the premises and assumptions he was quietly slipping into his arguments were nothing more than unfounded beliefs that derived from his pre-existing religiosity. In other words, he was using his a priori belief in God and his divine attributes (the sheer hubris of assuming that one could know such things in the first place was quite astonishing) in order to prove that God must exist!
The remainder of the job simply required pointing out that he didn’t know how to derive a sound logical consequence from previous logical consequences, that he misunderstood and confused the relationship between cause and effect, that he was omitting alternative deductions without any justification simply because they didn’t support the conclusion he was trying to reach or conflicted with one of his unsupported premises, and that he clearly didn’t understand the science he was trying to use to support his arguments.
It was really quite pathetic. And very sad. Because it made me realize how religious people tie themselves in intellectual knots whenever they try to justify their unjustifiable beliefs, while simultaneously convincing themselves that their arguments are perfectly rigorous just because they are sprinkled with impressive-sounding liturgical waffle.
Theological arguments are all about the triumph of style over substance, form over content, and they will only ever convince those who already want to be convinced.
(If you think it might be instructive for me to publish the aforementioned critique here, I’ll happily do so, though it is somewhat long…)