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Only Zeus-Believers have the Zeus-Sense: The Plantinga Argument for God


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Showing 1-25 of 131 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 May 2013 00:02:53 BDT
Henry James says:
Emilnent philosopher A Plantinga has just written a book where he argues that
God-Believers have a "God-sense" that gives them evidence for God that is just as reliable as Sight-sense is in providing evidence that a tree is in front of you.
And that Un-believers lack this God-sense, sort of like a blind person lacking the sight sense.
Do you buy this?
Is it any different from saying that some people have a "Zeus-Sense," or that some people have a "Ghost-Sense," and that the rest of us lack it?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 06:32:00 BDT
Kleist says:
Is this his book 'Where the Conflict Really Lies' Henry?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 07:47:21 BDT
C. A. Small says:
God non-sense might be more correct.

But on the whole this just leads me to believe that my views on philosophers are true. It is navel gazing, and not a lot more, but beats getting a real job no doubt.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 08:54:42 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 May 2013 08:55:20 BDT
TomC says:
He "argues" this? So he has an argument? Along with this proposition, he has a body of evidence, and builds a structured logical sequence of steps, leading to a final unavoidable conclusion? Wonderful!

Errr .... what is it?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 10:19:28 BDT
Kleist says:
This is my problem. That is why I asked for the book title. I have read Plantinga in the past. And though I usually disagree entirely with his position, and usually with his way of doing things, he is nevertheless a very subtle and intelligent thinker. Usually he advances extremely logical arguments and is reasoning is tight. He is an extremely competent logician and epistemologist.

My problem therefore is that we might be in danger here of setting up a straw man because we haven't really got Plantinga's argument. This should be avoided, since it can only reinforce the impression that atheists do not really listen to theist arguments but simply ridicule them.

Posted on 4 May 2013 10:20:06 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Having just dug a long and deep trench by hand - I might be thinking that philosophy is a good career choice!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 10:22:12 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 May 2013 10:22:59 BDT
Kleist says:
Might I suggest
Spear & Jackson - Elements Digging Spade

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 10:24:42 BDT
C. A. Small says:
When I said "by hand", in my hand was a marvellous spade, what was not in my hands was a more marvellous mini-digger!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 10:25:32 BDT
Drew Jones says:
If his arguments and logic is tight where is it you disagree with him and his way of doing things. When ever I have read Plantinga, and it's only his theology I've read he has a presupposition all stance and so everything is circular. I disagree with his way of doing things because his logic isn't tight and he grants himself more assumptions than a decent thinker should. As a 'sophisticated' theologian I would only commend his writing and presentation skills.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 10:30:22 BDT
Heretic says:
Not sure about this one. There were certainly times when a belief in God would of helped me a great deal, usually around the time of a bereavement. There were times when I wanted more than anything to believe in God but it just isn't in me.

SWH

Posted on 4 May 2013 10:30:26 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Am I the only one on here who doesn't read these philosophers?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 10:35:39 BDT
Heretic says:
Philosophy is very heavy going. The nearest I can get to comprehension of them is to read someone-else's take on it.

Having said that there are some that I read and do get something from, even if it is only how some of them put words together.

SWH

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 10:36:47 BDT
C. A. Small says:
When I was a kid (just after Christmas and just before my 5th birthday) my Dad died. I was given "the your father is in heaven" crap from the local vicar (otherwise a thoroughly kindly and decent man), and my mum derived some solace from her faith (c of e). I swallowed it for a time, but when I realised what a bunch of crap it is the sense of betrayal that I had been lied to, and anger was hard to deal with. This trite crap that people get told about heaven and the dead being with god, and even more so the parasites who feed off the misery of bereavement (mediums) should end. It is lies and nothing more. The mourning for my dad, and the anger at the lies, made my adolescence ( rarely fun anyway) hell.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 10:37:26 BDT
C. A. Small says:
I prefer Winnie the Pooh and Terry Pratchett!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 10:39:11 BDT
Drew Jones says:
I've too often learnt learnt something from a philosopher to think philosophy totally useless, it just suffers the same problem as art; it has no mechanism to, and little interest in, distinguish the good from those taking you for a ride. Both are self-indulgent by nature and so gaining attention itself is often the a worthy enough end point - good or bad, right or wrong. That attracts and allows for supercilious obfuscation, controversy for the sake of it and oddballs.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 11:02:04 BDT
Kleist says:
Draw.
It is his premises I usually disagree with. I don't like his way of doing things because I don't think that one can work exclusively with deductive argumentation in relation to the way the world is but need empirical input. Given his premises, I have found his argument's to be hard to fault on logical grounds alone.
The argument as presented in the OP does not strike me as characteristic of his work. But it is a long time since I read Plantinga.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 11:05:23 BDT
Kleist says:
It also attract those who are not oddballs, not prone to supercilious obfuscation and have no interest in controversy for the sake of it.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 11:06:08 BDT
i'm not at all surprised. at some point the argument for knowledge that god exists (other than holy books and miracles) seems to come down to personal experience so addressing that is only reasonable. it looks like, from what you've said, that he is proposing a sixth sense and i can only wonder at what convoluted argument he requires to justify that but i am currently reading a book looking at the psychology of religion and from what i've read so far (only up to chapter 5) it does seem reasonable that we predispose ourselves subconsciously from very early on to be susceptible to religious belief. in this view the 'sense' would be very real but not of the same type as our other 5 senses as it works on the sub conscious level. also instead of some people not having/lacking this 'sense' i think the psychological argument is that some people replace it with other things but i've yet to get to that chapter.

Posted on 4 May 2013 11:19:08 BDT
Heretic says:
richard says: "i'm not at all surprised. at some point the argument for knowledge that god exists (other than holy books and miracles) seems to come down to personal experience"

Remember that the only access people had to those holy books until mass literacy was an imperative for the government was through a priest that may not of understood it themselves. With mass literacy came the explosion in the number of denomination, as much an accusation aimed at the priesthood that kept them in darkness, they suddenly had access to all the magic stories they needed.

SWH

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 11:21:47 BDT
Bellatori says:
You should read philosophers. They are highly entertaining and it is always educational to see how it is possible to argue black is white. Particularly when they start to use formal logic. They try and gull you into accepting initial propositions and next thing you know they own your trousers!

Godel was a brilliant logician. Probably one of the cleverest men of this type there has ever been. He produced a new form of symbolic logic to argue philosophical propositional questions and then proved by logic that God exists. I think it was Bertrand Russell who commented that it was easier to think he was wrong than to prove it. I am simply not clever enough to understand either the proof or those things about the proof that make it unsound (if it is!) but, like a great painting, I look at it and think "Wow, I wish I could have done that!"

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 11:38:20 BDT
Heretic,

sorry i can't get the gist of what you're saying.

i think with Christianity that for most of it's existence followers have had to be content with having the bible read to them in snippets, unless they could read Latin and had access to a bible, at the Sunday service.

but what i was trying to say is that some people look at the bible and say it is the work of god and therefore proof that god exists and some people look at the unexplained (or things with which they do not accept the given explanation) and say that it is proof of the existence of god. (holy books and miracles)

apart from those things we seem to have personal experience although for completeness i guess we should also include blind acceptance, and i think that's going to be a 'sense' that god exists. a sense that the person believes to be personal experience. when someone says that they have felt god talking to them or god being within them or helping them they are 'sensing' god as a personal experience.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 11:42:57 BDT
Drew Jones says:
I totally agree, that's what I started with. Art has some very talented participants too.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 11:43:14 BDT
Kleist says:
Bellatori,
It's certainly true that these logicists have a tendency to disappear up their own modus ponens. I suppose Russell and Whitehead's monumental three volume 'Principia Mathematica' is the best example. Nearly 2000 pages devoted to proving that 1+1=2. I love telling students this and watching their faces. They still didn't manage it, Gödel put a dampener on that too.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 11:48:43 BDT
Kleist says:
I suppose the important difference is that philosophers uses argument, logic and reason (Or, at least, most do. And those who don't usually give reasons why not) whereas art has no such constraint. On the other hand it is certainly true that there are more things dreamt of in philosophy than there are in heaven and earth.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 11:58:13 BDT
Heretic says:
richard says: "Heretic, sorry i can't get the gist of what you're saying. "

I guess it comes down to this, until the arrival of mass literacy the only access people had with the bible was the magic stories told by the priest.

After mass literacy people dispensed with the priests because they could read their own magic stories into whatever they read (the bible included), the number of denominations expanded to match the number of different magic stories.

SWH
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  131
Initial post:  4 May 2013
Latest post:  5 May 2013

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