1. Standard memberYuga
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    03 May '07 22:401 edit
    Is philosophical reasoning regarding God meaningless?

    I ask this because:

    1) I do not see how people can accurately claim a connection with the supernatural if we consider all tangible aspects of the universe part of the natural world.

    2) There is insufficient scientific and historical evidence to indicate that the God mentioned by the major monotheistic religions actually exists.

    Thus, is it feasible for anybody, whether philosophers, scientists, theists or atheists, to make theories regarding the supernatural? Are all theories regarding the existence of a supernatural entity utterly unverifiable with no viable supportive reasoning?

    More generally, is philosophical reasoning ever more practical than scientific reasoning? Kant implies that “no metaphysical axiom can be proven to be necessary.” (1)

    Then why should people care about philosophy? I presume that meaning is a human construct, but if scientific reasoning is more viable than philosophical reasoning, then scientific reasoning would concordantly be more meaningful.

    Philosophy, as with science, may be applicable in all fields. Perhaps I am confused on the purpose of philosophy and how its purpose differs from that of science.

    I suppose people primarily exploit science for monetary gain and philosophy for metaphysical or unscientific (?) discussion.

    Philosophical reasoning is “related to the rational investigation of the principles and truths of being, knowledge or conduct. (2)

    Whereas scientific reasoning refers to the methodology used to acquire “systemized knowledge derived through experimentation, observation, and study.” (3)


    (1) http://users.aristotle.net/~diogenes/intellec.htm
    (2)http://lib.ucr.edu/depts/acquisitions/YBP%20NSP%20GLOSSARY%20EXTERNAL%20revised6-02.php
    (3) www.carm.org/evolution/evoterms.htm
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    03 May '07 23:56
    Originally posted by Yuga
    Is philosophical reasoning regarding God meaningless?

    I ask this because:

    1) I do not see how people can accurately claim a connection with the supernatural if we consider all tangible aspects of the universe part of the natural world.

    2) There is insufficient scientific and historical evidence to indicate that the God mentioned by the major monothei ...[text shortened]... tions/YBP%20NSP%20GLOSSARY%20EXTERNAL%20revised6-02.php
    (3) www.carm.org/evolution/evoterms.htm
    All philosophical reasoning regarding God is meaningless.

    All knowledge of God comes from God. Therefor, any attempt to know God apart from God is meaningless.
  3. Donationkirksey957
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    04 May '07 01:02
    Originally posted by josephw
    All philosophical reasoning regarding God is meaningless.

    All knowledge of God comes from God. Therefor, any attempt to know God apart from God is meaningless.
    So God cannot use philosophical reasoning?
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    04 May '07 01:35
    Originally posted by Yuga
    Is philosophical reasoning regarding God meaningless?

    I ask this because:

    1) I do not see how people can accurately claim a connection with the supernatural if we consider all tangible aspects of the universe part of the natural world.

    2) There is insufficient scientific and historical evidence to indicate that the God mentioned by the major monothei ...[text shortened]... tions/YBP%20NSP%20GLOSSARY%20EXTERNAL%20revised6-02.php
    (3) www.carm.org/evolution/evoterms.htm
    Yes and no. I say that if God exists his intellectual capacity far exceeds our own. What may appear illogical to us may in fact be logical on God's level. I compare it to a 2 year old attempting to understand why it is that the parent spanks them for running out into the street. There is no reasoning with the 2 year old in regards to why this is not a good idea so spanking reminds the child not to pursue an action they cannot fully fathom in terms of its consequences. They understand the pain associated with the spanking but not the reason behind the spanking. Yet there are things intellectually they can grasp about you at that stage of development. One such concept is the concept that they percieve if the parent loves them or not. They can tell love from abuse in terms of how spankings are handed out.

    It reminds me of Proverbs chapter 3 where the reader is encouraged to lean not unto your own understanding but rather to lean on God and his word instead. It does not say, however, to forsake your understanding, rather, it merely says not to raise your own understanding above the one who has the greater understanding.
  5. Subscribersonhouse
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    04 May '07 02:20
    Originally posted by whodey
    Yes and no. I say that if God exists his intellectual capacity far exceeds our own. What may appear illogical to us may in fact be logical on God's level. I compare it to a 2 year old attempting to understand why it is that the parent spanks them for running out into the street. There is no reasoning with the 2 year old in regards to why this is not a goo ...[text shortened]... erely says not to raise your own understanding above the one who has the greater understanding.
    We always get back to that part about god and HIS word. You have to believe the word is from god. So you are already outside the argument.
  6. Donationbbarr
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    04 May '07 02:28
    Originally posted by josephw
    All philosophical reasoning regarding God is meaningless.

    All knowledge of God comes from God. Therefor, any attempt to know God apart from God is meaningless.
    This is already a substantial philosophical thesis. Can you give any reasons for thinking that this thesis is true?
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    04 May '07 02:29
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    We always get back to that part about god and HIS word. You have to believe the word is from god. So you are already outside the argument.
    Well if you believe the "Word" it says that in the beginning the Word was with God and the Word was God. It then goes onto say that Christ was God's word incarnate. Christ then led a life in which he continuously quoted the "Word". So by telling me that you do not wish to discuss the "Word" is like telling me you do not wish to discuss God.
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    04 May '07 02:33
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    So God cannot use philosophical reasoning?
    What can't God do? Isn't philosophy an invention of man? Isn't philosophy a tool man uses to rationalize his (mans) existence?
    I'm constantly amazed in this forum at posters insistence in ascribing to God human qualities and attributes.
    God isn't like man. If we are to know God then we must approach God on his terms or we fall into the trap of the devil.

    I'm really a nice person, and not at all like I think I must sound like sometimes. 😳
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    04 May '07 02:42
    Originally posted by josephw
    What can't God do? Isn't philosophy an invention of man? Isn't philosophy a tool man uses to rationalize his (mans) existence?
    I'm constantly amazed in this forum at posters insistence in ascribing to God human qualities and attributes.
    God isn't like man. If we are to know God then we must approach God on his terms or we fall into the trap of the devil.

    I'm really a nice person, and not at all like I think I must sound like sometimes. 😳
    I completely disagree with you most of the time JW, but with respect to this I absolutely concur. This is a constant (and probably natural) tendency - our anthropomorphising of concepts and phenomena around us.
    I don't believe in a God.
    But my understanding of the notion of God is for the most part something completely unhuman.
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    04 May '07 02:48
    Originally posted by bbarr
    This is already a substantial philosophical thesis. Can you give any reasons for thinking that this thesis is true?
    I'm a bit confused! Do you mean that because God is omniscient, and that all knowledge proceeds from him, I should think there is another source of knowledge?

    I'm using the word knowledge in place of the word reason here because I think they are synonymous.
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    04 May '07 02:54
    Originally posted by amannion
    I completely disagree with you most of the time JW, but with respect to this I absolutely concur. This is a constant (and probably natural) tendency - our anthropomorphising of concepts and phenomena around us.
    I don't believe in a God.
    But my understanding of the notion of God is for the most part something completely unhuman.
    And even though we often disagree, I always found you to be rational about your views.

    God is God, and man is man. If there is a God, then we would be totally dependant on him for whatever we may know about him.
  12. Melbourne, Australia
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    04 May '07 03:02
    Originally posted by josephw
    And even though we often disagree, I always found you to be rational about your views.

    God is God, and man is man. If there is a God, then we would be totally dependant on him for whatever we may know about him.
    Perhaps, although I like to think we humans are pretty ingenious. Unless a God deliberately prevented us from finding out about it, I would guess that humans can find ways.
    Perhaps they already have ...
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    04 May '07 15:10
    Originally posted by josephw
    I'm constantly amazed in this forum at posters insistence in ascribing to God human qualities and attributes.
    God isn't like man. If we are to know God then we must approach God on his terms or we fall into the trap of the devil.
    Aren´t we supposed to be made in God´s own image?
  14. weedhopper
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    26 Oct '07 04:10
    Reasoning is thinking--and one cannot have too much of that going on.
  15. Hmmm . . .
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    26 Oct '07 05:041 edit
    Originally posted by Yuga
    Is philosophical reasoning regarding God meaningless?

    I ask this because:

    1) I do not see how people can accurately claim a connection with the supernatural if we consider all tangible aspects of the universe part of the natural world.

    2) There is insufficient scientific and historical evidence to indicate that the God mentioned by the major monothei ...[text shortened]... tions/YBP%20NSP%20GLOSSARY%20EXTERNAL%20revised6-02.php
    (3) www.carm.org/evolution/evoterms.htm
    1) I do not see how people can accurately claim a connection with the supernatural if we consider all tangible aspects of the universe part of the natural world.

    I would say that this itself is a foundational metaphysical position. (Happens to be mine, since I find no epistemic warrant for introducing a supernatural category.)

    More generally, is philosophical reasoning ever more practical than scientific reasoning? Kant implies that “no metaphysical axiom can be proven to be necessary.” (1)

    Then why should people care about philosophy? I presume that meaning is a human construct, but if scientific reasoning is more viable than philosophical reasoning, then scientific reasoning would concordantly be more meaningful.


    Not all philosophy is about metaphysics. There is also epistemology, for example. There is moral philosophy. And there is philosophy of science. For example, exactly how do scientists reason about empirical observations? What standards of verifiability/falsifiability are epistemically sound?

    Those of us who are not scientists still think, and wrestle with questions about our basic existential condition, and how to live that out.

    A personal example of interface between philosophy and science: As a Zen Buddhist, I take a non-dualistic view of things: ultimately all phenomena are manifestations of the whole—the one-without-a-second, the all-without-another, the totality that has no edge; Brahman, the Tao, etc. However, I also asked my physicist friend, serigado, if such a view made sense in light of the possibility of manifold universes. His answer was, “Yes.” Had his answer been “No”, it would not have devastated my general Zen outlook, but might have altered how I tend to express it.

    I am not a philosopher, but my thinking has been informed by philosophers: from Wittgenstein to Camus, from Lao Tzu to the rishis of the Upanishads, from Lin Chi to D.T. Suzuki . . .

    EDIT:

    Since I happen to think that an awful lot of God-talk falls into the category of “bewitching ourselves with our own language” (which Wittgenstein thought was the basic philosophical predicament), one can certainly apply philosophical argument to questions of theism. I’m satisfied if I can learn not to bewitch my own mind with my own thinking—to quit making maya in my own mind.
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