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Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 20, 2021 at 12:52 pm)Klorophyll Wrote: God is generally presented as a first cause. If the theist manages to establish the existence of God as a first cause, it's moronic to ask "who created God?" after that. There is no special pleading in this case.

Since no theist has ever managed to establish God as a first cause, it remains special pleading in this case.
I'm not anti-Christian. I'm anti-stupid.
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 21, 2021 at 12:20 pm)Mister Agenda Wrote:
(October 20, 2021 at 12:52 pm)Klorophyll Wrote: God is generally presented as a first cause. If the theist manages to establish the existence of God as a first cause, it's moronic to ask "who created God?" after that. There is no special pleading in this case.

Since no theist has ever managed to establish God as a first cause, it remains special pleading in this case.

You are of course invited to participate on the serious thread, Thomism: Then and Now. Given your likely modern approach to causality such an objection seems valid but in truth its kind of a non-sequitur since the Prime Mover and similar demonstrations rest on Aristotelean metaphysical understanding of cause.
<insert profound quote here>
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 21, 2021 at 1:17 pm)Neo-Scholastic Wrote: Given your likely modern approach to causality such an objection seems valid but in truth its kind of a non-sequitur since the Prime Mover and similar demonstrations rest on Aristotelean metaphysical understanding of cause.

The whole conversation about prime mover is a non sequitur because it's supposed to be about the comparison of peanut butter and god.
teachings of the Bible are so muddled and self-contradictory that it was possible for Christians to happily burn heretics alive for five long centuries. It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas). Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated the wholesale murder of heretics, apostates, Jews, and witches. - Sam Harris, "Letter To A Christian Nation"
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 21, 2021 at 1:17 pm)Neo-Scholastic Wrote:
(October 21, 2021 at 12:20 pm)Mister Agenda Wrote: Since no theist has ever managed to establish God as a first cause, it remains special pleading in this case.

You are of course invited to participate on the serious thread, Thomism: Then and Now. Given your likely modern approach to causality such an objection seems valid but in truth its kind of a non-sequitur since the Prime Mover and similar demonstrations rest on Aristotelean metaphysical understanding of cause.

What would Aristotle say about the spontaneous transitions of electrons in bounded atomic or molecular orbits?
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 21, 2021 at 1:46 pm)Jehanne Wrote:
(October 21, 2021 at 1:17 pm)Neo-Scholastic Wrote: You are of course invited to participate on the serious thread, Thomism: Then and Now. Given your likely modern approach to causality such an objection seems valid but in truth its kind of a non-sequitur since the Prime Mover and similar demonstrations rest on Aristotelean metaphysical understanding of cause.

What would Aristotle say about the spontaneous transitions of electrons in bounded atomic or molecular orbits?

Maybe he'd say that was due to "formal" causes. The particular shape (or more precisely "form") of the electron causes specific interactions with specific things. Of course, Aristotle's observations were far too rudimentary to have picked up on quantum subtleties. It took scientists a couple centuries to apprehend these things even after Newton.
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 21, 2021 at 1:59 pm)vulcanlogician Wrote:
(October 21, 2021 at 1:46 pm)Jehanne Wrote: What would Aristotle say about the spontaneous transitions of electrons in bounded atomic or molecular orbits?

Maybe he'd say that was due to "formal" causes. The particular shape (or more precisely "form") of the electron causes specific interactions with specific things. Of course, Aristotle's observations were far too rudimentary to have picked up on quantum subtleties. It took scientists a couple centuries to apprehend these things even after Newton.

In other words, "woo-woo".
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 21, 2021 at 2:52 pm)Jehanne Wrote:
(October 21, 2021 at 1:59 pm)vulcanlogician Wrote: Maybe he'd say that was due to "formal" causes. The particular shape (or more precisely "form") of the electron causes specific interactions with specific things. Of course, Aristotle's observations were far too rudimentary to have picked up on quantum subtleties. It took scientists a couple centuries to apprehend these things even after Newton.

In other words, "woo-woo".

Not really woo-woo. Just an ancient, less refined attempt to make sense of the world. 

To me, woo-woo means figuring some kind of otherworldly/magical cause into an explanation. Aristotle doesn't do this. A "formal" cause, to Aristotle is the shape of the thing. For example, the permeable structure of a cell membrane (the way it allows water to pass through it) is a "formal" explanation for osmosis.
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 21, 2021 at 2:52 pm)Jehanne Wrote:
(October 21, 2021 at 1:59 pm)vulcanlogician Wrote: Maybe he'd say that was due to "formal" causes. The particular shape (or more precisely "form") of the electron causes specific interactions with specific things. Of course, Aristotle's observations were far too rudimentary to have picked up on quantum subtleties. It took scientists a couple centuries to apprehend these things even after Newton.

In other words, "woo-woo".

So your opinion is that unless someone, even someone as brilliant as Aristotle, explains everything in the professional nomenclature of quantum electrodynamics their contributions to human knowledge can be safely ignored. Got it. Perhaps you could humor me by sharing a layman friendly explanation of why you might think a particular physical fact undermines the metaphysical claims of Aristotle.

Fact is, I don't know what Aristotle might have said, but IMHO it is arrogant to dismiss any response he might have given as woo. Aristotle was a serious thinker for his time. Had the problem been current for him, I am sure he could have given a reasoned and informed reply.*

*A bit of a sensitivity for me. I think the great thinkers of the ancient world (both East and West) get far less respect on AF than they deserve.
<insert profound quote here>
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 21, 2021 at 3:18 pm)Neo-Scholastic Wrote:
(October 21, 2021 at 2:52 pm)Jehanne Wrote: In other words, "woo-woo".

So your opinion is that unless someone, even someone as brilliant as Aristotle, explains everything in the professional nomenclature of quantum electrodynamics their contributions to human knowledge can be safely ignored. Got it. Perhaps you could humor me by sharing a layman friendly explanation of why you might think a particular physical fact undermines the metaphysical claims of Aristotle.

Fact is, I don't know what Aristotle might have said, but IMHO it is arrogant to dismiss any response he might have given as woo. Aristotle was a serious thinker for his time. Had the problem been current for him, I am sure he could have given a reasoned and informed reply.*

*A bit of a sensitivity for me. I think the great thinkers of the ancient world (both East and West) get far less respect on AF than they deserve.

Aristotle was a brilliant thinker, but, scholarship has moved beyond him. I do not consider him to be some "authority" whom one could or should appeal to. I realize that view may have been common prior to the Enlightenment.
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
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RE: Atheism and the existence of peanut butter
(October 21, 2021 at 1:17 pm)Neo-Scholastic Wrote:
(October 21, 2021 at 12:20 pm)Mister Agenda Wrote: Since no theist has ever managed to establish God as a first cause, it remains special pleading in this case.

You are of course invited to participate on the serious thread, Thomism: Then and Now. Given your likely modern approach to causality such an objection seems valid but in truth its kind of a non-sequitur since the Prime Mover and similar demonstrations rest on Aristotelean metaphysical understanding of cause.

And so all we need to do is show the Aristotle was wrong about this, as he was in so many other things. Since Ari's notion of causality is based on his ideas of physics, the obvious fact that his physics was badly wrong at least puts his notions of causality into question.

Yes, we use the *modern* approach because the ancient approach was found to be insufficient and wrong in so many particulars. Perhaps the analysis of Hume would be a better starting point? or maybe we could even enter the 20th century and consider the actual discoveries of science that bring the whole notion of causality into question?

(October 21, 2021 at 3:18 pm)Neo-Scholastic Wrote:
(October 21, 2021 at 2:52 pm)Jehanne Wrote: In other words, "woo-woo".

So your opinion is that unless someone, even someone as brilliant as Aristotle, explains everything in the professional nomenclature of quantum electrodynamics their contributions to human knowledge can be safely ignored. Got it. Perhaps you could humor me by sharing a layman friendly explanation of why you might think a particular physical fact undermines the metaphysical claims of Aristotle.

Aristotle was brilliant *for his time*. But that was over 2000 years ago and we have learned a few things since then. For example, that motion doesn't require a force. And that heavy things fall at the same rate as light things. And that comets are not atmospheric phenomena. I can continue, but the fact that Aristotle was very early in the process means he got a LOT of things flat-out wrong. He may well have been *less* wrong than Plato, but he was still wrong in a great many things.

Quote:Fact is, I don't know what Aristotle might have said, but IMHO it is arrogant to dismiss any response he might have given as woo. Aristotle was a serious thinker for his time. Had the problem been current for him, I am sure he could have given a reasoned and informed reply.*

*A bit of a sensitivity for me. I think the great thinkers of the ancient world (both East and West) get far less respect on AF than they deserve.

And it is quite possible that Aristotle's replay would be something along the line of 'you know what, I was wrong in my previous conclusions'. if he had the advantage of the knowledge we have gained since his time, I am sure that someone as bright as Aristotle would have come to different conclusions.

For example, we no longer consider the shape of something to be a 'cause' for that thing. But Aristotle's 'formal cause' was little more than what we would call its shape (his notion of space was also quite different from ours, including the notion of vacuums were impossible. yes, even in the modern sense of the term).

So, no, you don't know what Aristotle would say if he was alive today. But it would certainly be a LOT different than what he said 2000 years ago.

As for the pre-modern scholars. They were the ones who shoulders we now stand upon. Their observations, mistakes, advances, and errors were those of people from their time. They were often brilliantly wrong. They deserve respect because they advanced our understanding, not because they had the final say.

Newton, for example, is well-respected, as is Al-Haytham. But Newton's observations and theories about light *supplanted* those of Al-Haytham. And Newton's were supplanted by those of later physicists (the wave theory of light, then the E&M theory, then the quantum theory). That someone of the past is to be respected does NOT mean that their word should be taken as the last one by any means.
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