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Argument From Causality?


LGMR
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The other day, I was driving and flipping through the radio and a christian apologetics show was on. So I listened for a minute, my mom thought "it made a lot of sense". I don't bother saying anything. The xian was saying that by abandoning the Aristotelian view of "final causes" that science can't work. :twitch: His argument was that, for example, a match. When you strike it, it lights, therefor there "must" be something in the materials (Sulfur, phosphorus, etc.) that causes them to light. He was trying to say that something must cause sulfur to ignite, that's not in, say, ground wheat. So he went from that, to saying a god must have set the rules for causality (what materials do what.), and hence must be the final cause. So if science doesn't assume god, it can't work...

 

And, yeah. I think it was pretty dumb, because it makes too many assumptions. It's basically saying "we don't understand it fully yet, so god must have done it." right? I guess you could boil it down farther (As this is what he was trying to get at.) is that many atheists don't see life as having an inherent purpose, and with out that, science couldn't work, and there would be no laws of physics, or causality. Or something. What exactly are the best responses to this? Is there a formal name for these kinds of arguments?

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My understanding is that wheat can self-ignite under certain conditions.

 

Wheat mill run pellets: http://www.tis-gdv.de/tis_e/ware/futter/pellets/weizenpr/weizenpr.htm

 

Arguing that something is and therefor it was made such to begging the question. Just because something is the way it is doesn't prove that something was made to be what it is.

 

A rock is hard, therefore is was made hard? Water is wet, therefore water was made for the purpose of being wet?

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In my estimation, we may speak rigorously of function in nature, and this is demonstrated most readily in organisms. For instance, our heart likely has many functions. But we suspect its primary function is to pump blood. That is its purpose within the organism. This is consistent with a certain limited notion of final cause.

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I was diagnosed as autistic in the third grade back in the early 70's. Over my life I have learned basic rhetoric, some small talk, to know when someone is being sarcastic and to be sarcastic and humorous in what I have been told a corny way. I still miss it sometimes and become my normal super literal self.

 

After 45 years, I have never understood people thinking in this way. It's stupid to me and makes no sense. Typically I do not talk to people who do this, kind of refusing to. It's non-logic used to fill the mind of people who really can't reason. I find it irritating. Do others as well?

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It's just yet another way to say "we don't know everything therefore gawd". And by morontheist standards, because the wording used here is new (is it?), the entire thing is new. :Hmm:

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It's trying to superimpose an intent behind natural processes. By comparing matches and natural processes is even wrong because matches are manufactured, natural processes are not, and can even be chaotic. Christians nitpick what they want to believe, specifically they nitpick what they want from Aristotle and incorporate it into their own beliefs, somehow claiming it to be "Christian".

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The other day, I was driving and flipping through the radio and a christian apologetics show was on. So I listened for a minute, my mom thought "it made a lot of sense". I don't bother saying anything. The xian was saying that by abandoning the Aristotelian view of "final causes" that science can't work. :twitch: His argument was that, for example, a match. When you strike it, it lights, therefor there "must" be something in the materials (Sulfur, phosphorus, etc.) that causes them to light. He was trying to say that something must cause sulfur to ignite, that's not in, say, ground wheat. So he went from that, to saying a god must have set the rules for causality (what materials do what.), and hence must be the final cause. So if science doesn't assume god, it can't work...

 

And, yeah. I think it was pretty dumb, because it makes too many assumptions. It's basically saying "we don't understand it fully yet, so god must have done it." right? I guess you could boil it down farther (As this is what he was trying to get at.) is that many atheists don't see life as having an inherent purpose, and with out that, science couldn't work, and there would be no laws of physics, or causality. Or something. What exactly are the best responses to this? Is there a formal name for these kinds of arguments?

 

The argument being made here is an obvious logical fallacy, called "Appeal to consequences" or sometimes called "the argument from final consequences". The argument concludes that if a premise is desirable then it must be true. In this instance it is used as follows, "Materials exist that meet the needs of humans; therefore those material must exist and/or are designed to be used by humans." If this line of reasoning was logical then the following statement would also be logical, "I can hit someone over the head with a bible and injury them; therefore the bible must exist for this purpose." There must be something in the bible that causes this, that is not in say, a feather.

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