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What is Theism Reducible to?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Fooloso4 » December 17th, 2018, 1:25 pm

@Belindi

It just occurred to me that I am not sure whether Spinoza's God/Nature is an ordered or self ordering universe.

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Belindi » December 17th, 2018, 1:44 pm

Fooloso4, by "ordered" and "self ordering" do you mean what (I think it was Dawkins. may have been Dennett) called the difference between a blueprint(ordered) and a recipe(self ordering)?

If Spinoza's cosmos is not ordered like a blueprint then the Jews of Amsterdam had good reason throw him out, Judaism is a religion of the Book and they could not afford to be too liberal even in Amsterdam.
The history of God includes that God is a moving icon that had entered a liberal world view at that time and place. Maybe the constant attribute of God is hope.

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Fooloso4 » December 17th, 2018, 4:50 pm

Belindi:
Fooloso4, by "ordered" and "self ordering" do you mean what (I think it was Dawkins. may have been Dennett) called the difference between a blueprint(ordered) and a recipe(self ordering).
I think both are examples of a top down order. A recipe is followed. When the recipe is sufficiently precise and followed the results will be consistent.

Evolution is the best example we have of large scale self or bottom up ordering. There is no plan or recipe that is followed that leads to the development of particular species. Self ordering seems to occur at the molecular level but we don’t yet know much about it.

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Belindi » December 18th, 2018, 8:46 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 4:50 pm
Belindi:
Fooloso4, by "ordered" and "self ordering" do you mean what (I think it was Dawkins. may have been Dennett) called the difference between a blueprint(ordered) and a recipe(self ordering).
I think both are examples of a top down order. A recipe is followed. When the recipe is sufficiently precise and followed the results will be consistent.

Evolution is the best example we have of large scale self or bottom up ordering. There is no plan or recipe that is followed that leads to the development of particular species. Self ordering seems to occur at the molecular level but we don’t yet know much about it.
Evolution by natural selection and a recipe for a home baked loaf both depend for their evolution on the successful completion of the previous stage. This is a bottom-up process. If the dough fails to rise there will still be something edible.

Whereas a blueprint for the steering mechanism/front axle of a modern car must include every precise detail from the inception of the design.If a component is omitted the car will not be viable at all. The usual traditional or authoritarian notion about God is like a blueprint.

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Fooloso4 » December 18th, 2018, 10:23 am

Belindi:
Evolution by natural selection and a recipe for a home baked loaf both depend for their evolution on the successful completion of the previous stage.
But the recipe exists before the bread is baked. The baker follows the recipe. Perhaps it is closer to the development of a recipe - the yeast will not rise in the presence of salt and so the next iteration adds the salt with the flour, the results are different with cold and warm fermentation and so the recipe with cold fermentation survives because the bread develops a more complex flavor, or, the warm fermentation survives because cold fermentation takes too much time.

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Belindi » December 18th, 2018, 8:10 pm

Fooloso4, if a baker falls asleep at a critical juncture of the bread making processthere will still remain something edible after each and every stage. Similarly if God is a process there is a version of God which, at least roughly, fits the moral needs of each society.

Conversely, the car will not be viable if some component is faulty and this is why the car blueprint must be followed at every stage. In the unlikely event that some careless mechanic made a chassis which was suited only for adapting to horse- drawn vehicle that prototype would not be financially viable. The top- down God must be followed according to the letter of the Book; letter of the Book=blueprint.

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by LuckyR » December 19th, 2018, 5:34 pm

Belindi wrote:
December 18th, 2018, 8:46 am
Fooloso4 wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 4:50 pm
Belindi:



I think both are examples of a top down order. A recipe is followed. When the recipe is sufficiently precise and followed the results will be consistent.

Evolution is the best example we have of large scale self or bottom up ordering. There is no plan or recipe that is followed that leads to the development of particular species. Self ordering seems to occur at the molecular level but we don’t yet know much about it.
Evolution by natural selection and a recipe for a home baked loaf both depend for their evolution on the successful completion of the previous stage. This is a bottom-up process. If the dough fails to rise there will still be something edible.

Whereas a blueprint for the steering mechanism/front axle of a modern car must include every precise detail from the inception of the design.If a component is omitted the car will not be viable at all. The usual traditional or authoritarian notion about God is like a blueprint.
True, but it is possible that the mechanism a god could use to create humans is what is called evolution.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Belindi » December 20th, 2018, 9:03 am

Me:
The usual traditional or authoritarian notion about God is like a blueprint.
Lucky;
True, but it is possible that the mechanism a god could use to create humans is what is called evolution.
Me:
But Dawkins described evolution by natural selection as "climbing mount improbable". While one might claim that God intended and planned it all like a blueprint, there is no need to add on the hypothesis that God did it; for natural selection works naturally.
A brilliant book celebrating improbability as the engine that drives life, by the acclaimed author of The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker.

The human eye is so complex and works so precisely that surely, one might believe, its current shape and function must be the product of design. How could such an intricate object have come about by chance? Tackling this subject—in writing that the New York Times called "a masterpiece"—Richard Dawkins builds a carefully reasoned and lovingly illustrated argument for evolutionary adaptation as the mechanism for life on earth.

The metaphor of Mount Improbable represents the combination of perfection and improbability that is epitomized in the seemingly "designed" complexity of living things. Dawkins skillfully guides the reader on a breathtaking journey through the mountain's passes and up its many peaks to demonstrate that following the improbable path to perfection takes time. Evocative illustrations accompany Dawkins's eloquent descriptions of extraordinary adaptations such as the teeming populations of figs, the intricate silken world of spiders, and the evolution of wings on the bodies of flightless animals. And through it all runs the thread of DNA, the molecule of life, responsible for its own destiny on an unending pilgrimage through time.

Climbing Mount Improbable is a book of great impact and skill, written by the most prominent Darwinian of our age.

(norton books)

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by LuckyR » December 20th, 2018, 3:04 pm

Belindi wrote:
December 20th, 2018, 9:03 am
Me:
The usual traditional or authoritarian notion about God is like a blueprint.
Lucky;
True, but it is possible that the mechanism a god could use to create humans is what is called evolution.
Me:
But Dawkins described evolution by natural selection as "climbing mount improbable". While one might claim that God intended and planned it all like a blueprint, there is no need to add on the hypothesis that God did it; for natural selection works naturally.
A brilliant book celebrating improbability as the engine that drives life, by the acclaimed author of The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker.

The human eye is so complex and works so precisely that surely, one might believe, its current shape and function must be the product of design. How could such an intricate object have come about by chance? Tackling this subject—in writing that the New York Times called "a masterpiece"—Richard Dawkins builds a carefully reasoned and lovingly illustrated argument for evolutionary adaptation as the mechanism for life on earth.

The metaphor of Mount Improbable represents the combination of perfection and improbability that is epitomized in the seemingly "designed" complexity of living things. Dawkins skillfully guides the reader on a breathtaking journey through the mountain's passes and up its many peaks to demonstrate that following the improbable path to perfection takes time. Evocative illustrations accompany Dawkins's eloquent descriptions of extraordinary adaptations such as the teeming populations of figs, the intricate silken world of spiders, and the evolution of wings on the bodies of flightless animals. And through it all runs the thread of DNA, the molecule of life, responsible for its own destiny on an unending pilgrimage through time.

Climbing Mount Improbable is a book of great impact and skill, written by the most prominent Darwinian of our age.

(norton books)
Very true. My tangential point was that the proof of evolution is not a disproof of theism. Actually that is a bit of a word game, since gods exist in the realm of faith, not of facts/proofs/logic.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Belindi » December 20th, 2018, 8:45 pm

Lucky wrote:
My tangential point was that the proof of evolution is not a disproof of theism. Actually that is a bit of a word game, since gods exist in the realm of faith, not of facts/proofs/logic
I take your point. However I think that for some people gods exist not in the world of faith but of poetry and myth.

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by LuckyR » December 20th, 2018, 11:21 pm

Belindi wrote:
December 20th, 2018, 8:45 pm
Lucky wrote:
My tangential point was that the proof of evolution is not a disproof of theism. Actually that is a bit of a word game, since gods exist in the realm of faith, not of facts/proofs/logic
I take your point. However I think that for some people gods exist not in the world of faith but of poetry and myth.
It depends on how many you mean by "some". I agree there is a small but measurable number who fall into that category. But the majority of the self described religious that I know would take offense at the use of the term myth.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Mark1955 » December 21st, 2018, 8:25 am

Belindi wrote:
December 10th, 2018, 3:03 pm
Mark1955 wrote:
December 10th, 2018, 12:54 pm

The question is why are we so much happier believing there's an unknowable reason that just accepting **** happens.
Isn't it because of the mental pain of our unquenchable existential angst?
I suspect it's because our brain is a problem solver and it needs a solution. The three hardest words for anyone to say "I don't know".
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Belindi » December 21st, 2018, 10:23 am

LuckyR wrote:
December 20th, 2018, 11:21 pm
Belindi wrote:
December 20th, 2018, 8:45 pm
Lucky wrote:



I take your point. However I think that for some people gods exist not in the world of faith but of poetry and myth.
It depends on how many you mean by "some". I agree there is a small but measurable number who fall into that category. But the majority of the self described religious that I know would take offense at the use of the term myth.
Quite right Lucky. I am sorry that religious persons are frequently edgy and narrow minded.

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Belindi » December 21st, 2018, 10:27 am

Mark1955 wrote:
December 21st, 2018, 8:25 am
Belindi wrote:
December 10th, 2018, 3:03 pm


Isn't it because of the mental pain of our unquenchable existential angst?
I suspect it's because our brain is a problem solver and it needs a solution. The three hardest words for anyone to say "I don't know".
Yes, and existential angst happens when a sincere person is free to make up her own mind how to think and act without reference to traditional or religious authorities.

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Re: What is Theism Reducible to?

Post by Mark1955 » December 21st, 2018, 5:48 pm

LuckyR wrote:
December 20th, 2018, 3:04 pm
gods exist in the realm of faith, not of facts/proofs/logic.
If only most of the religious people saw it that way. I've often been told that the holy book is not just facts it is the only source of facts.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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