Monday, December 31, 2012


    Carneades dispenses, in effect, with all teleological arguments- from reason, to design, fine-tuning and probability, noting that they beg the question of desired outcomes. I call this Carneades' atelic argument. Each has other flaws.
    Alvin Plantinga errs with the argument from reason also in that he claims that God had to make it possible for our faculties to find the truth, and so that brains that evolved needed more than natural selection to find the truth. Selection makes for the best as possible adaptations,ever imperfect. That is why we can err in finding the truth. Would he also allege that the Devil possibly, as he claims possibly for natural dangers, causes us to err?
   By trial and error, we learn to trust and - mistrust our facilities, Why, we even need instruments to aid in finding the truth It takes inter-subjectivity to find the objectivity of science. Thus, the truth  needs no divine directives!
   The argument to design depends on the conflating of natural with anthropogenic objects. Yes, we can infer design from watches but not from rocks and organisms.  Rocks depend on the wind and rain to become special as sights. Organisms come about due to natural selection, the non-planning, anti-chance agent of evolution and other evolutionary factors, stepwise. Selection works with randomness- random only in the sense of benefiting things. God did not indirectly cause the meteoroid to help cause the demise of the dinosaurs, the cooling-off period and the flowering plants that helped us to evolve.
    And Aquinas' analogy to design with the archer and the arrow is backwards: his archer would put the bulls-eye around the object after it lands instead of the arrow landing on it! That would be backwards causation, the future before the past, the event before the cause, negating time. And no need would exist for experiments, because of the previous,desired outcomes, ever being the same!^
   The parameters required for our form of life could have been different to cause other forms of life. No reason exists for any tuning them. Theists have the matter backwards: we evolved due to natural selection, not He chose it to cause us to evolve no more than Douglas Adams' puddle argument in which the puddle is awed that it was directed for her to come about when no, a pot hole came about and rain fell.
     And the probability argument also fails, because in Nature the improbable is the possible!Again, natural selection portrays how.
     Carneades notes that Chrysippus begs the question in his analogy of comparing natural matters with builders and buildings; whence my name for the argument derives.
     Carneades notes three levels of probability,but I fault the first two. The highest rests on  sufficient evidence for us to act but not as objective truth. I add that that does  make for objective truth,albeit tentatively. As David Hume and William Kingdon Clifford exhort: go by the best evidence. The level of evidence depends on the nature of the matter.

     As God is infinite- omnipresent, He cannot move and thus is limited,not infinite! How can He be the most virtuous when He fears nothing and suffers not at all, and thus cannot act from bravery as a virtue and as He cannot suffer, He cannot be virtuous and perfect [ David Ramsay Steele proffers an alternative: He can neither be virtuous nor vicious, and so cannot be a person as we know persons!] and thus, cannot exist.
    Carneades notes that the Epicureans and the Stoics describe God in such  a away that He is vacuous and thus cannot exist. For these three arguments, I call him the first ignostic/igtheist.
   And also against the Stoics, he holds that Providence is not so providential for humanity, whether intentionally or unintentionally, God would be responsible for evil.
    He  also faults the Stoics for using the argument from common consent for God:universal belief is not necessarily true.
^ Paul B.Weisz  " The Science of Biology"

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