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Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

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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GaryLouisSmith
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by GaryLouisSmith » August 16th, 2019, 12:19 am

Consul, I highly recommend this book by Peter Hylton - https://www.amazon.com/Propositions-Fun ... way&sr=8-6 . I see he also has other books on analytic philosophy, but they are too pricey for me and I can only buy Kindle books here in Nepal.

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Consul
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Consul » August 16th, 2019, 12:20 am

GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 12:00 am
De gustibus non est disputandum.
Not true, because aesthetic taste is open to dispute. Anyway: De veritate est disputandum!
GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 12:00 am
As for Frege, he divorced Sinn from Bedeutung. I think he was wrong.
Frege's distinction is the one between meaning and reference [*, which is a standard distinction in contemporary linguistics. There's an analogous distinction between the intension and the extension of a concept. Intensional contentfulness is compatible with extensional emptiness. That is, the extension of a meaningful concept can be the empty set.

[* The German noun "Bedeutung" means "meaning", but Frege meant "reference" by it.]
GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 12:00 am
And there is no nexus of "falling under".
Fregean concepts are like universals, so the falling-under relation is exemplification or instantiation.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

GaryLouisSmith
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by GaryLouisSmith » August 16th, 2019, 12:27 am

Consul wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 12:20 am
GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 12:00 am
De gustibus non est disputandum.
Not true, because aesthetic taste is open to dispute. Anyway: De veritate est disputandum!
GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 12:00 am
As for Frege, he divorced Sinn from Bedeutung. I think he was wrong.
Frege's distinction is the one between meaning and reference [*, which is a standard distinction in contemporary linguistics. There's an analogous distinction between the intension and the extension of a concept. Intensional contentfulness is compatible with extensional emptiness. That is, the extension of a meaningful concept can be the empty set.

[* The German noun "Bedeutung" means "meaning", but Frege meant "reference" by it.]
GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 12:00 am
And there is no nexus of "falling under".
Fregean concepts are like universals, so the falling-under relation is exemplification or instantiation.
Philosophy, IMO, is not about truth, but about taste. Anyway, I think there is only Bedeutung, no Sinn. I am not a fan of linguistics. The meaning of a sentence is its referent.

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Consul
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Consul » August 16th, 2019, 12:53 am

GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 12:27 am
Philosophy, IMO, is not about truth, but about taste.
I see a difference between philosophy and art.
GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 12:27 am
Anyway, I think there is only Bedeutung, no Sinn. I am not a fan of linguistics. The meaning of a sentence is its referent.
Frege thought that the referent of a (declarative) sentence is a truth-value (and as such a simple abstract object): either das Wahre (the True) or das Falsche (the False). He regarded (declarative) sentences as proper names of the True or the False. Others think that (declarative) sentences refer to states of affairs. But understanding a sentence is solely a matter of its meaning (the meaning of its linguistic components), and you can understand it without knowing whether it refers to an actual state of affairs or fact or not. Meaning is independent of and irreducible to reference, especially as the latter is determined by the former.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by GaryLouisSmith » August 16th, 2019, 1:18 am

I am still trying to figure out the relation between art and philosophy. And between art and religion. What do you think of Dadaism? And its descendant conceptual art? And conceptual poetry? https://monoskop.org/images/3/3c/Dworki ... riting.pdf

Here's more of my messy writing on the topic - https://tapaticmadness.wordpress.com/2018/05/03/belief/

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Consul
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Consul » August 16th, 2019, 3:08 am

GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 1:18 am
What do you think of Dadaism?
I love it and its liberating anarchistic power.
GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 1:18 am
And its descendant conceptual art?
I like it too.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Belindi » August 16th, 2019, 6:01 am

GaryLouisSmith wrote:
There are no such things as concepts, which are only in the mind and must be tested against reality to see if they exist or not.
But concepts are not in the mind only; concepts are physically in the brain-mind.

Your lifetime of experiences of vivid sensations must always be lacking in completeness. The same for all people. You probably have neither time nor opportunity to appreciate the lively beauty of brain-mind as neuroscientists know it.
Your subjective perspective is both necessary and valuable however there are other perspectives besides yours.
If you are to evaluate perspectives i.e. concepts and reactions, you need a criterion to do it with. You have a criterion maybe. I don't know if your criterion is quantity of feeling, or alternatively if it's beauty i.e. quality of feeling.
A young male is beautiful only if his muscles are quite toned and he is sufficiently nourished. Wouldn't you agree? Beauty must be defined naturalistically or not at all.

If I want to define some particular sensational beauty it could not be a universal but would have to be a particular, definitive paradigm case of beauty. And there is not even one of those that does not relate to contexts. The context is cultural.However paradigms of beauty are at least potentially multicultural, therefore it's possible that there is universal quality of beauty.

I repeat, how do you differentiate between your own sensations and beauty? A poet can and does define beauty. So does a scientist by implication of truth standards.

"Can such a rite be performed except as something sexual? No. Concentration. Penetration. Possession. In the Forms. Another Place." (GLS)

You can't possess If you 'succeed' in possessing you have enslaved which defeats your aim. Sensation as beauty is a dynamic process despite how we wish we could fix the butterfly forever.

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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by GaryLouisSmith » August 16th, 2019, 6:23 am

Belindi wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 6:01 am
GaryLouisSmith wrote:
There are no such things as concepts, which are only in the mind and must be tested against reality to see if they exist or not.
But concepts are not in the mind only; concepts are physically in the brain-mind.

Your lifetime of experiences of vivid sensations must always be lacking in completeness. The same for all people. You probably have neither time nor opportunity to appreciate the lively beauty of brain-mind as neuroscientists know it.
Your subjective perspective is both necessary and valuable however there are other perspectives besides yours.
If you are to evaluate perspectives i.e. concepts and reactions, you need a criterion to do it with. You have a criterion maybe. I don't know if your criterion is quantity of feeling, or alternatively if it's beauty i.e. quality of feeling.
A young male is beautiful only if his muscles are quite toned and he is sufficiently nourished. Wouldn't you agree? Beauty must be defined naturalistically or not at all.

If I want to define some particular sensational beauty it could not be a universal but would have to be a particular, definitive paradigm case of beauty. And there is not even one of those that does not relate to contexts. The context is cultural.However paradigms of beauty are at least potentially multicultural, therefore it's possible that there is universal quality of beauty.

I repeat, how do you differentiate between your own sensations and beauty? A poet can and does define beauty. So does a scientist by implication of truth standards.

"Can such a rite be performed except as something sexual? No. Concentration. Penetration. Possession. In the Forms. Another Place." (GLS)

You can't possess If you 'succeed' in possessing you have enslaved which defeats your aim. Sensation as beauty is a dynamic process despite how we wish we could fix the butterfly forever.
Beauty cannot be defined. Neither can the Good or Truth or Reality or Justice or Taste or any of the other BIG ideas that govern our lives. We all see them where we may and that's the end of it. You will see them here and I will see them there. There will be no agreement. I am not looking to convince you that my idea of where Beauty is found is correct. I just write what I see and maybe someone else will see the same. That's all.

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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Belindi » August 16th, 2019, 12:07 pm

I had written:
You can't possess. If you 'succeed' in possessing you have enslaved which defeats your aim. Sensation as beauty is a dynamic process despite how we wish we could fix the butterfly forever.
As I sort of said above, I agree with you beauty can't be defined. What we can do is communicate beauty from person to person. Some objects can communicate beauty from person to person and some artists can make objects that communicate beauty from person to person. I include beautiful performances with 'objects'.

There have to be a components of truth and freedom from authority in it for an object to be beautiful. Even those artists who make art to earn their bread are not liars if they include those components.

Simple sensations can't be beautiful as those are neither true nor false. A beautiful tree does not dwell on its own perfection.

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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Consul » August 16th, 2019, 1:22 pm

GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 6:23 am
Beauty cannot be defined.
Philosophers have a lot to say about it: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/beauty/
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Felix » August 16th, 2019, 3:07 pm

GaryLouisSmith: Beauty cannot be defined.
You're amusing, you proclaim your definition of beauty and then announce that it cannot be defined.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Greta » August 16th, 2019, 5:29 pm

Consul wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 9:54 pm
Greta wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 6:28 pm
So I'm interested in looking beyond the easy division of of "life" and "non life" because there's many entities whose sophistication lies between that division. Viruses, prions, stars, planets, crystals, organic molecules.
The first two are borderline cases of living things; but the other four definitely aren't, since they are definitely non-living things. Of course, for instance, the sun is a dynamic physicochemical system, but it's a nonbiological system.
Why not use reason rather than repeat factoids at me that I have probably known for longer than you have been alive? Each time you play gatekeeper, you just play a game a labels. Feynman makes clear the relationship between labels and understanding - none.

Reality does not neatly parse between "living" and "nonliving" but it exists in varying states of dynamism on a range of continua.

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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by GaryLouisSmith » August 16th, 2019, 6:05 pm

Felix wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 3:07 pm
GaryLouisSmith: Beauty cannot be defined.
You're amusing, you proclaim your definition of beauty and then announce that it cannot be defined.
Show me where I defined beauty. As far as I tell all I did was show where it has appeared to me. Others will certainly see it somewhere else.

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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by GaryLouisSmith » August 16th, 2019, 6:12 pm

Consul wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 1:22 pm
GaryLouisSmith wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 6:23 am
Beauty cannot be defined.
Philosophers have a lot to say about it: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/beauty/
I as a philosopher speak of beauty all the time. I say it is a simple existing thing that cannot be captured or contained in a definition. And as with all simple existents it is uncontrollable. It is incorrigible. It comes and goes when it wants and where it wants. We bend our knee to it; it does not bow to us. The most a human being can do is point to where it has appeared to him. Then it vanishes without a trace. The perfect crime.

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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Greta » August 16th, 2019, 6:48 pm

Gary, the same can be said of flatulence.

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