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A good basic introduction to an Aristotelian proof for the existence of God.-- Edward Feser


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Showing 1-25 of 133 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jul 2013 17:01:07 BDT
Tom M says:
http://vimeo.com/60979789

A link to the video.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2013 17:25:12 BDT
O.Binladen says:
Why not hand it over to a news company? It seems an odd place to break such earth shattering news. I'll keep an eye on the headlines anyway, just in case it's not the same spurious collection of nonsense theism has been spewing out for the last 2 to 3 thousand years.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2013 17:31:53 BDT
But we did this in the first year and its still not very good.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2013 17:54:01 BDT
Drew Jones says:
'Tom' did it in the first year too - and it was as good as he got.

Posted on 14 Jul 2013 18:19:02 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 4 Aug 2013 11:57:37 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2013 22:02:38 BDT
Gödel was a fine logician, probably one of the best we have ever known. Mad as a bucket of frogs, but brilliant. I'm not convinced that he was a great philosopher though. Russell's intuitions were probably in the right place.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2013 22:39:47 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 4 Aug 2013 11:57:47 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2013 22:45:01 BDT
DB says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 14 Jul 2013 22:49:32 BDT
Ian says:
I clicked the link expecting to see proof that God exists and it said:

"Sorry
We're having a little trouble. Come back in a few minutes."

An all-powerful god would never say that sort of thing. I'm very disappointed in Him.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2013 23:02:14 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 4 Aug 2013 11:57:52 BDT]

Posted on 16 Jul 2013 05:48:57 BDT
Tom M says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 06:58:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jul 2013 07:09:20 BDT
Drew Jones says:
"Odd too to seek guidance from Russell who at different times denied the existence of the universe, himself, and finally .. causality itself.. "
That's a lie and we know it.

"until something 'caused' him to reverse this."
He didn't reverse it, your perpetuated error was explained to you... by materialists!

"Actuallly Feser credits him along with Frege for pointing out just how little can be known about anything by studying physical things qua physical."
Just imagine a world where every scientist and engineer stopped. No new medical insights. No more technology or the solutions to the problems technology brings. Food levels would level off as populations continue to increase. Feser wouldn't be able to maintain his blog.

Now imagine the world if philosophers and theologians stopped. What would that look like? How long would it take to notice?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 07:15:39 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 24 Jul 2013 10:09:14 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 09:12:08 BDT
Drew Jones says:
It would be an interesting discussion on the forum in general and that's the best you can hope for from a post from 'Tom'.

I'm sure we'd notice sooner or later if philosophers never got out of bed but theologians could give up tomorrow and society would progress as it always has. Even the laity would have trouble noticing because they don't believe because theologians came up with a clever argument anyway, they liked those *after* they started believing. That's why I find the conceit behind the courtier's reply so ridiculous.

I find 'Tom's' irritation that people are sceptical of his metaphysical claims and beliefs understandable given his fundamentalism but don't at all get how he doesn't see that his rage at materialism itself has gone too far. He doesn't doubt the existence of matter and energy, he understands that his computer, house, car, gold clubs etc. all come from studying the physical. He needs to remember that he is annoyed we don't agree with agree with his transcendental ideas, not that he disagrees with our shared physical existence.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 10:20:53 BDT
Tom is not irritated about the fact that people don't agree with his metaphysics. He's frustrated because people don't see what a clever person he is. He wants people to be impressed by his rhetoric the way he is impressed by Feser's.

He doesn't understand that people can see straightaway that he is just regurgitating half baked ideas from his idols without fully understanding them or subjecting them to serious critical scrutiny. I expect even Feser saw this and found it a little embarrassing, because despite being something of a third-rate philosopher you don't get a PhD simply for calling people names and saying how right Aristotle was.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 10:50:03 BDT
Drew Jones says:
"Tom is not irritated about the fact that people don't agree with his metaphysics. He's frustrated because people don't see what a clever person he is. He wants people to be impressed by his rhetoric the way he is impressed by Feser's."
I'd say he's all three.

"He doesn't understand that people can see straightaway that he is just regurgitating half baked ideas from his idols without fully understanding them or subjecting them to serious critical scrutiny."
I agree with the first part but not the second. There is nothing in their ideas to grasp, it really is trying to define and promote the non-existent over and above the existent. 'Tom' understands the things these guys say as well as anybody could, where he fails is where they fail; employing the arguments doesn't work because they a fatuous ideas with no substance. Feser, Rizzi or Spizter are good at dressing up the nothing they promote, the buzzwords come to them easy. Try as he mite, 'Tom' is a little poorer at it and so they work a little less. Paul Davidson has a padding pool of rhetoric he can dip into (and go back to ad infinitum). DB is utterly hopeless so doesn't even bother putting this stuff into her own words. The transcendent rests on the speakers supercilious nature and the audiences inability to call them on in.

"I expect even Feser saw this and found it a little embarrassing, because despite being something of a third-rate philosopher you don't get a PhD simply for calling people names and saying how right Aristotle was."
That's not how you get a PhD but I doubt you can exploit your religious comrades and tell them "little can be known about anything by studying physical things qua physical" doing the things that earned you your PhD!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 12:45:05 BDT
You may well be right Drew. To pass an informed and fully educated judgement on Feser and chums would require more study than mortality and the abundance of great thinkers makes prudent. But to recognise Tom's emptiness requires very little effort.

I must say though that the times I have had to deal with such authors, and I'm far from an expert, their flair and polish (however bereft of substance they may be) makes Tom look like a rather inept wannabe.

Posted on 16 Jul 2013 17:12:04 BDT
G. Heron says:
An interesting talk, there is much I disagreed with mainly they way he kept saying 'we have seen that...' about some point
when really he had just stated it rather than demonstrated it was true. I notice that in showing that god has all the attributes of the first cause the word 'good' is used in a manner far removed from its day to day moral meaning.

Posted on 16 Jul 2013 19:51:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jul 2013 19:58:46 BDT
1. Feser is trapped in the Aristotelian origins of this proof. Aristotle did not believe in a creator God; rather, his Unmoved Mover was simply the efficient cause of the motions in the universe. Feser fails to prove that the efficient cause needs to be anything outside of this world, let alone anything that resembles the Christian God.

2. In order to conform to the actual world, Feser cannot insist that the relation between cause and effect is asymmetrical, that one thing changes another without being changed in turn. Lacking an asymmetrical relationship the notion of an infinite regress of movers is much more problematic. (but see 3).

Even his so called hierarchical causes (which are not causes as we understand the term but relations of dependency) need not be asymmetrical in the way he insists that they must. Certainly the example of a coffee cup held up by a table, held up by the floor held up by ......Has a kind of intuitive appeal, until we picture it on the round earth and then we might wonder why coffee cups in New Zealand do not fall into the sky. Here he is talking about relations of dependency and there is no way of knowing what these relations of dependency are, despite how we might construe them, until we investigate empirically. Nor, as I say, need we assume asymmetry, as he does.

3. Even if a infinite regress were to happen, it would not be absurd. Even Aquinas didn't see anything absurd about this.

4. Even if the argument did establish the possibility of a mover which is not moved, the argument only shows that movement can only originate in a being who is not moved in that particular manner, but does not have to be unchanging in all respects. (A fire can't be potentially and actually hot in order to make wood burn, but just because it is unmoved regarding temperature, there's no reason to think it might not be moved regarding location). Thus it doesn't achieve what it is supposed to.

5. All of this already supposes that the notion of 'cause' be equated with the notion of power or relation of dependency. Our knowledge of causes is not derived from a metaphysical insight into the workings of the universe, but from an empirical observation of constant conjunction and hypothetical testing (which is always fallible). To move from the empirical observation of causal connections to the notion of an actualising power is a metaphysical leap over a transcendental abyss. Or it is to equate our way of knowing things to the things themselves.

6. Try reading Kant's Antinomies of Pure Reason, he saw these gaping holes centuries ago. Or read Anthony Kenny (much nearer to Tom's creed) he says similar things about Aquinas.

(Odd how Tom often talks about Antony Flew but never seems to say much about the much more learned and brilliant Aquinas and Aristotle scholar Anthony Kenny. I will leave it to the reader to find out why).

Edit: I'll give you a clue: It certainly isn't because he is friends with that 'imbicile' Dawkins.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 21:01:34 BDT
O.Binladen says:
Wouldn't you be better off with a short pithy headline on a sandwich board in the high street? Woe is me, the end of the world is nigh, that kind of thing, or repent, the end of the world is at hand. I'm sure you'd be happier, probably get more attention, and we could save a little bandwidth.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 21:04:06 BDT
Mrs. F. Shaw says:
Not to mention forum space. Paul is under the delusion that people actually read this opinionated dross.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 21:06:35 BDT
O.Binladen says:
Very true AW, for someone claiming to have all the answers, including proof of the existence of a deity, Tom M seems implausibly angry about something. Most people would be in a state of ecstasy, perhaps at some level he knows his sound-bites are more full of holes than a colander.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 21:09:50 BDT
O.Binladen says:
One more delusion he's suffering from then, I've had him on ignore for weeks, as I can't be bothered to scroll past his indefeasibly long, tedious, and repetitive drivel.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 21:16:59 BDT
Mrs. F. Shaw says:
LOL I thought you said calendar.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 21:50:38 BDT
O.Binladen says:
Predictive text on my phone has caused me one or two blushes to be sure, but this time I was posting from my laptop.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  133
Initial post:  14 Jul 2013
Latest post:  7 Apr 2014

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