Re: Debunk All Religiosity Equally (D.A.R.E.) --> Gibberish

From: BigBooster (
Date: Wed Jul 11 2001 - 17:21:12 MDT

 From another list:-

Libertarian Author's definition:
God. A being recognizable as human or humanoid but
with a vastly broader experience, capabilities, knowledge,
field of volitional choice than is possible for human beings
as we understand the biology and psychology of that species;
an emergent consciousness of some aspect of existence
other than life as we know it; immortal (not only without end
but possibly without beginning) and possibly indestructible;
possibly capable of volitional action apart from the space-time
continuum as we experience it; possibly the designer and
first cause of our world as we know it, particularly ourselves.

The fact that anyone can provide a string of words to "define"
words like "phlogiston" and "ooblegoob" does not, in my
opinion, raise the words above the level of gibberish.

"God. A being recognizable..."
How do you perform this recognition? Have you done so?

Libertarian Author:
Yeah. I met him. Now what are you gonna say, bigshot?

This may be a flippant response. If it's a serious response,
then I think many, including myself, would doubt it's
veracity. It's also possible that it's a serious response
and you believe it to be true, but you were seeing
"faces in the clouds" as suggested in 'Faces in the
Clouds: A New Theory of Religion' by Stewart Guthrie

The problem with the above "definition" can be summarized
with, "What are you talking about?" What evidence do you have
for "vastly broader experience, capabilities, knowledge, field of
volitional choice than is possible for human beings?" If
someone hypothesizes the existence of "phlogiston," you
would ask him what evidence he has for his hypothesis, or
what would be explained by it that isn't now explained. What
are you talking about when you say "first cause?" Your
"definition" seems like gibberish to me.

Libertarian Author:
I will refrain from turning your debating tactics on you and
suggesting that your disbelief is psychologically motivated
by some to be discovered fear.

What "disbelief" have I expressed? My point is that when someone
uses words like "god," etc., I ask, "What are you talking about?"
All I've heard in response has been gibberish to me. Nothing has
been said to me in these respects that warrants either belief or
disbelief. If someone says to me, "Ooblegoob truxyon magder."
nothing has been said that warrants either belief or disbelief.

There is a basic human error called "hypostatization" -- it's a
semantic and ontological error of assuming that because some
humans use a particular word (or phrase) that the word has (or
might have) a referent; in other words, the error of assuming that
because people use a word, it stands for or refers to something.

Mr. K:
Other than the fact that I HAVE met and discoursed with both
Atheists and Theists with coherent definitions of God, I agree
with the rest of your argument.

There is an element in your argument, a presumption
if you will, that one cannot present a coherent definition
of certain postulations.

No. That's not my position. What I've been saying is
that the word "god" is gibberish to me because I know
of no evidence for it having any referent, and when I
ask people to tell me what they're talking about when
they use the word "god," they've so far responded with
what turns out (sometimes after further questioning)
to be gibberish to me.

I don't exclude the possibility that some day someone
will respond with something other than gibberish.

So, let's put it to another test. Provide some "coherent
definitions of God." Maybe you'll surprise me by providing
logical and rational responses when I question the words
(particularly what referents they might have) you use in
your "definitions."

Libertarian Author:
I gave you a clear definition of God. I've written nine
books, have been published by magazines ranging
from the Economist, National Review, the New York
Times, Reader's Digest, and libertarian publications
ranging from Murray Rothbard's Libertarian Forum to
Liberty, New Libertarian, and Reason and won awards
for my writing. I've made a special study of epistemology.
I daresay I'm in a better position to define gibberish than
you are and in case you haven't noticed, by calling the
definition I gave you gibberish you just called me an idiot.

No. You may be a genius at aspects of epistemology, and a
remarkably skilled, competent, and successful author, however
it's unlikely that your knowledge and understanding are perfect
in all other areas, maybe such as ontology, semantics, and
logic (maybe only when you get emotional). I most definitely
did not call you an idiot, and I never will. That is not my style.
Because of all the potential sources of human error, some
of which I haven't mentioned yet, no matter how brilliant we
are in some areas and at certain times, we (at least humans
I've been in contact with) are still prone to at least the occasional
error in other areas and at other times.

The fact that a brilliant man occasionally errs, definitely does
not warrant calling him an idiot and I would never do so.

Mr. K:
*Sigh* O.K., let's test that counterclaim. Here's what I consider
a coherent definition of "god" actually in common use among a
certain, reasonably large, group of people*: a reasoning (or, if you
prefer, thinking) entity superior in intelligence and physical power
to any and all existing human beings.

Please explain to me how that definition is either incoherent or

Suppose we use Einstein's intelligence as a unit of "one Einstein"
and Schwarzenegger's physical power as a unit of "one
Schwarzenegger." Suppose a few of us were to develop the
technology to enhance our intelligence and power, and transform
ourselves into transhumans or posthumans with 10 Einsteins
and 10 Schwarzeneggers. We would be "gods," satisfying your
coherent definition.

We could speculate how to do this: a portable supercomputer
hooked to our brains, appendages powered by a "portable
power pack" added to our arms and legs that effectively make
us physically much more powerful.

You have indeed responded with a definition of "god"
that is coherent and not gibberish.

Frederick Mann

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:44 MDT