Sunday, March 18, 2018

Evidence Part 7: What is claimed and not claimed

In the previous part we covered existence. Let's take a break and go over some things, because the following posts will be different in nature.

So far I have talked about basically two of the arguments - existence and contingency. That is "something exists" and "things are dependent on other things." Each of those claims, as demonstrated, becomes an argument for the existence of "God." But in each case all we have "proved" is that there is one thing upon which the universe depends for its existence. We call that thing "God" by definition, but what is it? Could it be simply a force, rather than a person? Well, perhaps force is the wrong term, because for there to be a force we have to have pre-existing laws etc. But could this "God" be a concept? Some would claim that concepts only exist if there is a mind to contemplate them. So is God pure mind?

We haven't gotten to the nature and attributes of God yet, merely the existence. I will be going into more proofs in future posts, and they will include constraints on the nature and attributes of God, but for now let's just say that by using logic and reason we can come to the conclusion that something we call God exists, without saying "what is God like?"

One of the arguments atheists use is "there are many religions, and they can't all be right, therefore why follow one that has only a 1 in N chance of being right?" However, it's not a random choice of what religion to pick, or what religion is true. Furthermore, two religions can be right on all the points on which they agree. It's only on points where they disagree that either one is wrong or both are wrong. The goal is to find out which religion is provably wrong and look at the remaining ones. Among the ones which are not provably false we then need to look at differences and see which of those are supported by evidence.

For instance, one of the things that popped out of our reasoning is that there is ONE God. Right away we have trimmed down our list of religions to six: Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Bahá'í. All other world religions, to my knowledge teach that God is not one thing. So I would claim that only those six have the possibility of being true, the others being false by contradicting reason.

It is a given that no religion has "complete" understanding of God, since a created being is not capable of comprehending everything (but maybe that claim is getting ahead of myself). It could also be true that no religion has a completely correct understanding of God. They could be correct on ninety nine points but misunderstand God on point one hundred. But even that doesn't support the atheist claims that there is no God, or that there is no evidence for God. Even if every popular religion is provably false, there is provably a God (which I guess would mean deists are the most correct because they acknowledge the existence of God but make no further claims). However, there are further claims we can safely make in reasoning about God.

The reason why I stopped to ponder this in the middle of my "proofs" is that the arguments to come all point to the nature of God. In other words, up to now, God could just be a concept or a mind or whatever you want to call it, but in the next arguments we see that God doesn't just exist, God has to have certain properties.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Self Interest

I'm fed up! The latest trope that keeps getting trotted out is that "at least liberals care about kids getting shot." By implication, and sometimes explicitly, others do not. Those others are called out as conservatives/gun owners/pro lifers.

But let's get past the rhetoric and think about it. What do gun owners, et. al. have to "gain" by kids getting shot? Nothing less than the loss of their rights. Now you can accuse gun owners of a lot, but being so selfless that they would act in the interests of liberals against their own rights is not one of them.

On the other hand, who stands to gain from kids getting shot? Now the glib answer of liberals would be the NRA. And it is true, NRA membership took a jump recently. But that isn't a result of kids getting shot - it is a defense against attacks by liberals. Likewise gun sales (especially AR-15 sales) are probably up (I didn't check, this is speculation). But again, it is not because of kids getting shot, but because of attacks against gun owners by liberals. In other words the NRA and gun companies don't benefit from mass shootings, they benefit from liberal attacks. If the liberals really wanted to reduce the power of the mythical gun lobby all they'd have to do is stop attacking gun rights.

No, the real answer to who stands to gain from kids getting shot is the liberals themselves. Who scored massive political gains from the recent massacre? Liberals. Who had bill already written and ready to go to a vote within days of the event? Who had professionally designed web sites ready to be activated, "grass roots" campaigns, letter writing and phone campaigns all ready to go? Liberals.

How long does it take a company to roll out a new web site nationally. How long does it take to get a political campaign running? How long does it take to organize events in all 50 states? How long does it take to get a boycott campaign going? How long does it take to write a bill and bring it to the point of a vote? Quora says 267 days, on average, and that's after it is written, which can take quite a while.

Face it, there is no way this kind of effort was done in a few days and by school kids and even their parents. This was a coordinated effort with a lot of funding and work that had been done beforehand. The liberals were just waiting for kids to be shot so they could move forward and achieve their goals. And not just any kids... couldn't be one where an NRA member was the good guy, or lower income kids, had to be upper middle class white kids because that gets people interested. Did they care about kids getting shot? You betcha - without that they would not have been able to get their way.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Opposite Ageism

Another story from the Opposite Files. For newcomers, the opposite files are my record of double standards and hypocrisy. You can click on the link to see the whole list - and more are being added all the time.