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Author Topic:   Circular reasoning
Pauline
Member (Idle past 1815 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 1 of 142 (569176)
07-20-2010 3:08 PM


Glad to see the board back and running.

Alright, the circular reasoning fallacy is a familiar old friend. How many times have we not heard evolutionists accuse creationists of the circular reasoning fallacy when talking about the Bible's authority or even the Doctrine of inspiration, for instance. But here's the deal: I argue that it is impossible to ascribe ultimate authority to someone/something without said someone/something declaring itself the ultimate authority. People of most commonly held worldviews, whether knowingly or unknowingly, declare one single thing/person to be the ultimate authority. For instance, Christians declare God to the ultimate authority; Rationalists declare reason to be the ultimate authority, Some but not all atheists declare science to be the ultimate authority. No matter what the object may be, one cannot ascribe ultimate authority to it unless the object itself categorically declares itself 'I am the ultimate authority'. Everybody who believes in an ultimate authority follows circular reasoning. Prepare to answer this, those of you who hold science as the ultimate authority.

If looked at from a broader perspective, one of the ways in which the two worldviews: Christian and Atheistic, differ is that the former requires an ultimate authority namely God (Basis: God self-confesses to be so), while the latter, from what I know, does not require the concept of a single ultimate authority although certain atheists place science under this category. So, for those of you who do count science as the ultimate authority: why is that? For those atheists who don't, why is it not?

In light of this, it seems to me that this 'circular reasoning logical fallacy' though certainly valuable intrinsically, is being misused by atheists as a ad-hominem tool on most atheist-christian debate arenas for neither is it well thought out by them nor is it applicable to a Christian worldview.

Thanks.

Edited by Pauline, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
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AdminPD
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Message 2 of 142 (569851)
07-24-2010 4:19 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Circular reasoning thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 3 of 142 (569856)
07-24-2010 8:56 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Pauline
07-20-2010 3:08 PM


Hi, Pauline.

Pauline writes:

But here's the deal: I argue that it is impossible to ascribe ultimate authority to someone/something without said someone/something declaring itself the ultimate authority.

So, I can't call someone an authority unless they call themselves an authority?

Is that what you’re saying?

-----

Pauline writes:

For instance, Christians declare God to the ultimate authority; Rationalists declare reason to be the ultimate authority, Some but not all atheists declare science to be the ultimate authority.

In the rationalist and atheist approaches, the <u>conclusion</u> is not “reason” or “science.” So, since the premise and the conclusion are not the same, this is not circular reasoning.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Pauline, posted 07-20-2010 3:08 PM Pauline has not yet responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 4 of 142 (569858)
07-24-2010 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Pauline
07-20-2010 3:08 PM


Questioning authority
Pauline writes:
I argue that it is impossible to ascribe ultimate authority to someone/something without said someone/something declaring itself the ultimate authority.

Then that should rule out your use of the Bible as an authority. When did you become an atheist? ;)

Pauline writes:
People of most commonly held worldviews, whether knowingly or unknowingly, declare one single thing/person to be the ultimate authority.

Not so.

Pauline writes:
For instance, Christians declare God to the ultimate authority;

They may say that. But they are really declaring their favored theologians as the authority. If it were as easy as making God the authority, and settling issues by asking God and getting an answer, then we would not have so many disagreements between different Christian denominations and sects.

Pauline writes:
Rationalists declare reason to be the ultimate authority

I don't think that's correct. I think they point to reason and evidence, not to reason alone.

I'm not sure why you don't see it, but pointing to reason and evidence as the ultimate authority is just a metaphoric way of speaking. People who say that are denying that there is an ultimate authority, and are saying that they will use their own reason and evidence rather than rely on any authority.

Pauline writes:
Some but not all atheists declare science to be the ultimate authority.

Most would look to science as a source of evidence, but not as an authority. Science itself is full of people disagreeing with one another, trying to disprove the claims of one another. That does not look at all like what one might expect of an authority.

Pauline writes:
No matter what the object may be, one cannot ascribe ultimate authority to it unless the object itself categorically declares itself 'I am the ultimate authority'.

If some entity declares itself the ultimate authority, you should run away as fast as you can. For, surely that entity is evil.

I still cannot understand why you think your OP is about circular reasoning.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 142 (569867)
07-24-2010 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Pauline
07-20-2010 3:08 PM


I argue that it is impossible to ascribe ultimate authority to someone/something without said someone/something declaring itself the ultimate authority.

Perhaps necessary (though you don't make a case why), but not sufficient.

The circular reasoning accusation is made because creationists offer the Bible's claim to its own authority as the sole evidence of its authority.

No matter what the object may be, one cannot ascribe ultimate authority to it unless the object itself categorically declares itself 'I am the ultimate authority'.

Why?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Pauline, posted 07-20-2010 3:08 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 6 of 142 (569869)
07-24-2010 11:52 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Pauline
07-20-2010 3:08 PM


Ultimate authority?
Pauline writes:

But here's the deal: I argue that it is impossible to ascribe ultimate authority to someone/something without said someone/something declaring itself the ultimate authority.

HUH?

So because Zeus declares himself the ultimate authority Zeus is the ultimate authority?

Pauline writes:

For instance, Christians declare God to the ultimate authority; Rationalists declare reason to be the ultimate authority, Some but not all atheists declare science to be the ultimate authority.

HUH?

I'm sorry but all I see in your post is word salad.

When you talk about some "Ultimate Authority" it really would help if you specified what subject the judgment is being made.

For example, when considering whether or not there was some Noach Flood the ultimate authority is science. When considering evolution, the ultimate authority is science.

Of course, those are not an atheist-Christian issue, they are issues of fact. To claim that God is the ultimate authority on whether or not there was a flood like the ones described in the Noah fable is just silly. To claim that some anthology of anthologies written thousands of years ago is the ultimate authority on how the diversity of life we see around us is simply silly.

Now if you want to discuss the Christian concept of judgment related to salvation, then it is reasonable to claim that God is the ultimate authority on whether someone is saved or not.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
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subbie
Member (Idle past 40 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


(1)
Message 7 of 142 (569873)
07-24-2010 12:32 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Pauline
07-20-2010 3:08 PM


Science is not an ultimate authority
Rationalists declare reason to be the ultimate authority, Some but not all atheists declare science to be the ultimate authority.

You've got this all wrong. Reason and science are not authorities. They are processes that people use to arrive at reliable answers to questions about the real world. Although we often use the words figuratively -- science tells us that the world is 4.5 billion years old -- that's simply a short cut way of saying that scientists, using the scientific method, conclude based on the evidence we have at this time that the world is 4.5 billion years old.

An ultimate authority is a source you turn to for answers you don't question. This is the exact opposite of science, and what scientists do. There are no answers scientists don't question. The scientific method can be divided into two different stages. One involved hypothesis building and the other involves hypothesis challenging. The fastest way for a scientist to make a name for himself is to discredit an existing, widely accepted theory.

Science is a method, not an authority.

Edited by subbie, : Subtitle


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. -- Thomas Jefferson

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate


This message is a reply to:
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Pauline
Member (Idle past 1815 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 8 of 142 (569885)
07-24-2010 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by crashfrog
07-24-2010 11:13 AM


Bluejay writes:

Hi, Pauline.

Pauline writes:

But here's the deal: I argue that it is impossible to ascribe ultimate authority to someone/something without said someone/something declaring itself the ultimate authority.

So, I can't call someone an authority unless they call themselves an authority?

Is that what you’re saying?

No.

We are not talking about any and all authorities, only THE ultimate authority, assuming there is one for argument's purposes. If we believe X to be the ultimate authority, it CANNOT be on the basis of Y saying that X is the ultimate authority. I think it is obvious why not. I will say it anyway. If Y is the supposed evidence for X being the ultimate authority, then X no longer is a candidate for ultimate authority, Y takes its place. An ultimate authority cannot be declared so on the basis of other sources. First and foremost, it has to command/demand ultimate authority and THEN, other sources can only affirm what it has already declared. But, what other sources collectively declare to be the ultimate authority is definitely not qualified to be one since it depends on those sources for its authentication.

nwr writes:

quote:
I argue that it is impossible to ascribe ultimate authority to someone/something without said someone/something declaring itself the ultimate authority.

Then that should rule out your use of the Bible as an authority. When did you become an atheist? ;)

I know this is a light-hearted comment and that is fine, but just for clarity's sake, the Bible does declare God to be the ultimate authority for everyone.

Not so.

Oh yes.

quote:
quote:
For instance, Christians declare God to the ultimate authority;

They may say that. But they are really declaring their favored theologians as the authority. If it were as easy as making God the authority, and settling issues by asking God and getting an answer, then we would not have so many disagreements between different Christian denominations and sects.


Those are interpretational differences. The question of who is the ultimate authority and what he/she says are not the same.

I don't think that's correct. I think they point to reason and evidence, not to reason alone.

I'm not sure why you don't see it, but pointing to reason and evidence as the ultimate authority is just a metaphoric way of speaking. People who say that are denying that there is an ultimate authority, and are saying that they will use their own reason and evidence rather than rely on any authority.

How come you don't count reason as an authority? Being an authority is not limited to being a person alone. If you ask a rationalist why he thinks reason is the authority, he will give you a rational explanation for why. He will never say, "well, because science says so, or because God says so, or because [something] says so" This precisely is my point. An ultimate authority is an ultimate authority because it says it is and not because some other sources say it is. If you ask a person who thinks science is the ultimate authority why that is so, he will give you a scientific explanation. He will never say, "Well, because reason says so, or because God says so". It is because science says so.

Most would look to science as a source of evidence, but not as an authority. Science itself is full of people disagreeing with one another, trying to disprove the claims of one another. That does not look at all like what one might expect of an authority.

Most look to science as a source of evidence that is the final authority. They hardly take into consideration that science is a trial and error process of discovering facts and often gives us wrong results.

If some entity declares itself the ultimate authority, you should run away as fast as you can. For, surely that entity is evil.

So God, by this logic, is evil then. I thought ya'll had thought this through, but apparently you haven't.

I still cannot understand why you think your OP is about circular reasoning.

I don't know why something so simple is hard to understand for you. The argument is: If X is understood to be the ultimate authority, it is ONLY on the basis of X saying so and NOT on the basis of other sources saying so (other sources may certainly further affirm it). This IS circular reasoning. But it is not fallacious. For those of us whose worldview does include an ultimate authority, we understand this. It is those who do not understand the concept of an ultimate authority (or rather, are uncomfortable with it), that fail to see this.

crashfrog writes:

quote:
I argue that it is impossible to ascribe ultimate authority to someone/something without said someone/something declaring itself the ultimate authority.

Perhaps necessary (though you don't make a case why), but not sufficient.

The circular reasoning accusation is made because creationists offer the Bible's claim to its own authority as the sole evidence of its authority.

Of all the responses I have received so far, this is the only fair and sensible one. Crashfrog has understood the point of discussion quite well.

I have already made my made my case for why it is necessary, but I will make it again:

It is necessary for X to declare itself ultimate authority if it is one rather than other sources declaring, because an ultimate authority if there is one, need not have to DEPEND upon other sources for its authentication. However, its claim can certainly be further corroborated by other sources.

No sane person would count God as the ultimate authority because science says so, or because Buddha says so, or because Thor says so. It is because God Himself says so. Now, can external sources further affirm the claim? Certainly.

Case understood?

Pauline writes:

No matter what the object may be, one cannot ascribe ultimate authority to it unless the object itself categorically declares itself 'I am the ultimate authority'.

Why?

Because, if the object does not itself declare ultimate authority, and depends upon external sources to declare that, then it no longer is a suitable candidate because it is depending on other sources/authorities for its authentication.

jar writes:

HUH?

So because Zeus declares himself the ultimate authority Zeus is the ultimate authority?

Let's take the example jar has provided:

Is Zeus the ultimate authority? Answer: We don't care. We only care about HOW people arrive at the answer to such questions.

And the way they come up with their answer is based solely on whether or not Zeus himself claims ultimate authority. This is my point. Is this circular reasoning? Yes. Is it wrong? No. Should the case be further examined? Definitely.

When you talk about some "Ultimate Authority" it really would help if you specified what subject the judgment is being made.

Why? There is absolutely no need to specify the judgement being made. An ultimate authority, assuming one exists, is ultimate irrespective of the judgement in question... be it the flood, be it the diversity of life..be it anything.

For example, when considering whether or not there was some Noach Flood the ultimate authority is science. When considering evolution, the ultimate authority is science...Now if you want to discuss the Christian concept of judgment related to salvation, then it is reasonable to claim that God is the ultimate authority on whether someone is saved or not.

Do you not see that you are contradicting yourself? How can there be two "ultimate authorities"? Isn't that a contradiction of the word "ultimate"?

To claim that God is the ultimate authority on whether or not there was a flood like the ones described in the Noah fable is just silly. To claim that some anthology of anthologies written thousands of years ago is the ultimate authority on how the diversity of life we see around us is simply silly.

Then, to claim that God saves people from hell is also equally silly.

subbie writes:

Reason and science are not authorities. They are processes that people use to arrive at reliable answers to questions about the real world. Although we often use the words figuratively -- science tells us that the world is 4.5 billion years old -- that's simply a short cut way of saying that scientists, using the scientific method, conclude based on the evidence we have at this time that the world is 4.5 billion years old.

Yes they are. People do treat them that way. Your explanation is a distraction from the topic of discussion. I am well aware that science is a method. That doesn't disqualify it from being called an authority.

An ultimate authority is a source you turn to for answers you don't question.

IOW, God is for dummies? That was a polished way of putting way, but the essence is pretty stupid no matter how polished the syntax.

Science is a method, not an authority

You are assuming that methods cannot be authorities.

You are ignoring that many in your own group do not follow this claim.

Edited by Pauline, : No reason given.

Edited by Pauline, : No reason given.

Edited by Pauline, : No reason given.

Edited by Pauline, : No reason given.

Edited by Pauline, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by crashfrog, posted 07-24-2010 11:13 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by jar, posted 07-24-2010 3:11 PM Pauline has responded
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 9 of 142 (569890)
07-24-2010 3:11 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Pauline
07-24-2010 2:45 PM


Pauline writes:

jar writes:

When you talk about some "Ultimate Authority" it really would help if you specified what subject the judgment is being made.

Why? There is absolutely no need to specify the judgement being made. An ultimate authority, assuming one exists, is ultimate irrespective of the judgement in question... be it the flood, be it the diversity of life..be it anything.

Why?

Why not judge each incidence using the best methods available?

Pauline writes:

jar writes:

For example, when considering whether or not there was some Noach Flood the ultimate authority is science. When considering evolution, the ultimate authority is science...Now if you want to discuss the Christian concept of judgment related to salvation, then it is reasonable to claim that God is the ultimate authority on whether someone is saved or not.

Do you not see that you are contradicting yourself? How can there be two "ultimate authorities"? Isn't that a contradiction of the word "ultimate"?

Nope. It is simply acknowledging reality.

Pauline writes:

jar writes:

To claim that God is the ultimate authority on whether or not there was a flood like the ones described in the Noah fable is just silly. To claim that some anthology of anthologies written thousands of years ago is the ultimate authority on how the diversity of life we see around us is simply silly.

Then, to claim that God saves people from hell is also equally silly.

Huh?

Now granted no one alive has a clue whether or not there is an afterlife or if anyone is saved, but, if there is an afterlife as imagined by the Christian religion, then the question of who is saved and who is not saved is determined by God as the ultimate authority for that issue.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Pauline, posted 07-24-2010 2:45 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
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Pauline
Member (Idle past 1815 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 10 of 142 (569891)
07-24-2010 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
07-24-2010 3:11 PM


Why?

Why not judge each incidence using the best methods available?

So use God for judging matters of spirituality and science for judging matters of fact and reality? What if the are at disagreement with each other? Then, surely you look for who is the ultimate authority if there is one, yes? This is of course if you treat God like He wants to be treated, not like just another spiritual guru.

Jar writes:

jar writes:

For example, when considering whether or not there was some Noach Flood the ultimate authority is science. When considering evolution, the ultimate authority is science...Now if you want to discuss the Christian concept of judgment related to salvation, then it is reasonable to claim that God is the ultimate authority on whether someone is saved or not.

Pauline writes:

Do you not see that you are contradicting yourself? How can there be two "ultimate authorities"? Isn't that a contradiction of the word "ultimate"?

Jar writes:

Nope. It is simply acknowledging reality.

I'm sorry you don't see the inherent contradiction.

Huh?

Now granted no one alive has a clue whether or not there is an afterlife or if anyone is saved, but, if there is an afterlife as imagined by the Christian religion, then the question of who is saved and who is not saved is determined by God as the ultimate authority for that issue.

If you count my OP as word salad, then let me let you know that this is theology salad. May I point out why?

1. The Christian faith does not "imagine" an afterlife. it states that there is one. (Not 'there must be', but 'there is')

2. The Christian faith counts God as the ultimate authority for everything single conceivable issue...and not only matters of spirituality and afterlife.

Edited by Pauline, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by jar, posted 07-24-2010 3:11 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 11 of 142 (569893)
07-24-2010 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Pauline
07-24-2010 2:45 PM


Pauline writes:
Those are interpretational differences.

In that case, I will make my cat the ultimate authority - just as long as I get to interpret it however I want.

Don't you see that playing the "interpretation" game makes a mockery of the whole idea of "ultimate authority"?

Pauline writes:
How come you don't count reason as an authority?

Reason is a method, not an agent that one can consult.

Pauline writes:
..., the Bible does declare God to be the ultimate authority for everyone.

If God gave us free will, that made each of us our own ultimate authority.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Pauline
Member (Idle past 1815 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 12 of 142 (569894)
07-24-2010 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by nwr
07-24-2010 3:33 PM


nwr writes:

In that case, I will make my cat the ultimate authority - just as long as I get to interpret it however I want.

Don't you see that playing the "interpretation" game makes a mockery of the whole idea of "ultimate authority"?....If God gave us free will, that made each of us our own ultimate authority.

I don't see why you are trying to distract us from the tone of this discussion. I prefer you do not.

If you want to discuss this, since this is specifically about the Christian God, open a different thread.

BTW, that last statement is BS.

Reason is a method, not an agent that one can consult.

I am well aware of that and you are dodging the question. Reason, though a non-personal entity, is looked at by a LOT of atheists and rationalists as the ultimate authority when it comes to finding answers to questions. And this precisely on the basis of their own reasoning. <---This is circular reasoning. Even those rationalists who either overtly or covertly claim reason to be THE final authority when it comes to finding answers to questions use circular reasoning. They might look to evidence as further corroboration but the original claim that reason is the final authority is surely and solely based on circular reasoning.


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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 13 of 142 (569895)
07-24-2010 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Pauline
07-24-2010 3:30 PM


Pauline writes:

jar writes:

Why?

Why not judge each incidence using the best methods available?

So use God for judging matters of spirituality and science for judging matters of fact and reality? What if the are at disagreement with each other? Then, surely you look for who is the ultimate authority if there is one, yes? This is of course if you treat God like He wants to be treated, not like just another spiritual guru.

When there is a disagreement you look at the evidence, you do not look to authority.

Pauline writes:

jar writes:

Huh?

Now granted no one alive has a clue whether or not there is an afterlife or if anyone is saved, but, if there is an afterlife as imagined by the Christian religion, then the question of who is saved and who is not saved is determined by God as the ultimate authority for that issue.

If you count my OP as word salad, then let me let you know that this is theology salad. May I point out why?

1. The Christian faith does not "imagine" an afterlife. it states that there is one. (Not 'there must be', but 'there is')

2. The Christian faith counts God as the ultimate authority for everything single conceivable issue...and not only matters of spirituality and afterlife.

I'm sorry but that is simply not true. Do you know anything about Christianity?

Christianity makes no such claims. Have you ever even read the basics?

Consider the Nicene Creed. It lists beliefs.

Christians, and I am a Christian, believe that there is an afterlife, but is simply a belief.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Pauline, posted 07-24-2010 3:30 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Pauline, posted 07-24-2010 4:39 PM jar has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 40 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 14 of 142 (569897)
07-24-2010 4:01 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Pauline
07-24-2010 2:45 PM


People do treat them that way. Your explanation is a distraction from the topic of discussion. I am well aware that science is a method. That doesn't disqualify it from being called an authority.

People may treat it that way, and it may be called that, but those are mistakes. Science is not an authority in the sense that you are using the word. You wrote to jar:

Do you not see that you are contradicting yourself? How can there be two "ultimate authorities"? Isn't that a contradiction of the word "ultimate"?

This further demonstrates that science is not an "ultimate authority" as you mean it. The scientific method does not provide an answer to everything. Science is limited to observable phenomenon in the real world. There are a multitude of questions that science doesn't even try to answer: what is moral? what is beauty? what is justice? Science ignores these questions, so obviously it cannot be an "ultimate authority" as you use the phrase.

IOW, God is for dummies? That was a polished way of putting way, but the essence is pretty stupid no matter how polished the syntax.

Project much, sweetie?

If you disagree with my description that an ultimate authority is one whose answers you don't question, it would be much more constructive for you to explain why, rather than dismiss it as stupid. However, perhaps you're not interested in being constructive. If that's the case, please let me know and I'll stop wasting my time.

You are ignoring that many in your own group do not follow this claim.

I'd guess that everyone in "[my] own group" agree with me in what I said.

Of one thing I am certain, nobody in "[my] own group" thinks that any scientific finding is an ultimate conclusion. Every scientific conclusion is tentative, pending the discovery of new evidence or an new theory that better explains the existing evidence. What you need to do is explain how anything that is tentative can be an "ultimate authority."


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. -- Thomas Jefferson

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Pauline, posted 07-24-2010 2:45 PM Pauline has not yet responded

  
Pauline
Member (Idle past 1815 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 15 of 142 (569905)
07-24-2010 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by jar
07-24-2010 3:50 PM


When there is a disagreement you look at the evidence, you do not look to authority.

The authority you are looking to in this case is evidence! Which makes it your ultimate authority.

I'm sorry but that is simply not true. Do you know anything about Christianity?

Christianity makes no such claims. Have you ever even read the basics?

Sorry. You should've mentioned to me at the beginning that we were talking about *your* version of Christianity. Which, I have no incentive to talk about that. If you want to talk about the Bible's version- the true version- then that's okay.

Consider the Nicene Creed. It lists beliefs.

Christians, and I am a Christian, believe that there is an afterlife, but is simply a belief.

Why not consider the Bible? Is it too authoritative of a source? I see.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

subbie writes:

Science is not an authority in the sense that you are using the word.....

The scientific method does not provide an answer to everything. Science is limited to observable phenomenon in the real world. There are a multitude of questions that science doesn't even try to answer: what is moral? what is beauty? what is justice? Science ignores these questions, so obviously it cannot be an "ultimate authority" as you use the phrase.

Which is the sense that an ultimate authority is ultimate for *every* issue in question. Certainly, as you agree, science cannot be considered an authority over realms it does not posses.For instance, spirituality, souls, morality etc.

You yourself have demolished the case for science being an ultimate authority. Perhaps you have done with a little too fast. For if you do not have answer for why you look for 'evidence' -very much a scientific term- for God's (a non-physical being) existence, you will perhaps regret it.

If you disagree with my description that an ultimate authority is one whose answers you don't question, it would be much more constructive for you to explain why, rather than dismiss it as stupid.

That's like saying a tap is something you get water from. That hardly describes a tap. A more apt description would be, a tap is a regulated outlet usually for fluids.

Your 'definition' is not wrong. But it is not apt or accurate. An ultimate authority has all answers and must be right every single time.

Both of us agree that science does not fit this description. For those atheists that do make this fallacious claim, my point is, they use circular reasoning to make it.

I'd guess that everyone in "[my] own group" agree with me in what I said.

Of one thing I am certain, nobody in "[my] own group" thinks that any scientific finding is an ultimate conclusion. Every scientific conclusion is tentative, pending the discovery of new evidence or an new theory that better explains the existing evidence. What you need to do is explain how anything that is tentative can be an "ultimate authority."

There exist atheists and rationalists outside EvC who treat science and reason (respectively) as ultimate authorities. If you met some of them, you would know what I'm talking about. Why, contrary to what you believe, there might be people on here too that think that. We would know if we took a poll.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by jar, posted 07-24-2010 3:50 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by subbie, posted 07-24-2010 4:52 PM Pauline has responded
 Message 17 by jar, posted 07-24-2010 5:10 PM Pauline has not yet responded

    
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