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Fallacy Of Using Prophecy As Evidence For God.


Asimov
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So...recently talking about prophecy and since in this discussion we're not actually allowed to mention that God does not exist without my opponent flipping out I decided to give in and argue about it...as many may notice, I don't enjoy talking about biblical inerrancy.

 

So...my opponent mentioned that fulfilled prophecy was one of the biggest reasons for conversion. I think it's a crock of shit. I'll point this out in the logical proof.

 

To say that prophecy shows that God exists is affirming the consequent.

 

If God exists, then prophecy is true, (we must make this assertion because prophecy is dependant upon God, and not the other way around).

 

Prophecy is true.

 

Therefore God exists.

 

As we can see the logical fallacy has formed.

 

Let's take an extreme example that would be the same fallacy:

 

If I live in Vancouver, then I live in BC.

I live in BC

Therefore I live in Vancouver.

 

Clearly not true since I could live in Prince George, or Kamloops...etc.

 

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To say that prophecy shows that God exists is affirming the consequent.
So a scientific theory that predicts a result should be ignored even if the result turns out right?

 

I agree that prophecy does not prove God. It merely yields more evidence of possibility just as a predicted result in science does.

If God exists, then prophecy is true, (we must make this assertion because prophecy is dependant upon God, and not the other way around).
This is an independent statement from the prophecy concern and is and independent assertion.

 

Prophecy is true.

 

Therefore God (probably) exists.

 

As we can see the logical fallacy has formed.

No, I don't see the fallacy...?

 

If I live in Vancouver, then I live in BC.

I live in BC

Therefore I live in Vancouver.

This fallacy has nothing to do with the original example. This is a set-subset concern not a consequence concern.

 

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

 

The argument that the SCC tends to make is detailed as;

 

1) Prophecy comes from God.

2) No one could tell prophecy if there was no God.

3) Prophecies from the Bible have shown to be accurate.

4) Because prophecies have been accurately made, there must have been a God.

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So a scientific theory that predicts a result should be ignored even if the result turns out right?

 

You're muddying the issue, a scientific theory doesn't state as absolute certainty that this is so. Some Christians, OTOH, do.

 

It merely yields more evidence of possibility just as a predicted result in science does.

 

No it doesn't, there's no correlation between any prophecy and the existence of God.

 

This is an independent statement from the prophecy concern and is and independent assertion.

 

No it isn't.

 

No, I don't see the fallacy...?

 

Well when you edit what I say of course you don't, asshole.

 

This fallacy has nothing to do with the original example. This is a set-subset concern not a consequence concern.

 

It would be the same thing if I stated:

 

If Ssel is human, then he is mortal.

 

Ssel is mortal.

 

Therefore Ssel is human.

 

The same fallacy.

 

The argument that the SCC tends to make is detailed as;

 

1) Prophecy comes from God.

2) No one could tell prophecy if there was no God.

3) Prophecies from the Bible have shown to be accurate.

4) Because prophecies have been accurately made, there must have been a God.

 

Well I don't fucking care what the SCC makes, you're diverting the thread into something completely off topic.

 

So...my opponent mentioned that fulfilled prophecy was one of the biggest reasons for conversion. I think it's a crock of shit. I'll point this out in the logical proof.

 

In context, my entire thread was about a conversation with ONE guy...

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I agree with Asimov. Prophecy is common with many cultures around the world. Saying God is the reason for prophecy is only acknowledging one of those cultures. Which is like saying,

"The existence of a ghost proves Shintoism is true. Obviously this person was "Spirited Away". It doesn't work that way. Which makes Ssel and the "Other Guys" arguments null and void.

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Saying God is the reason for prophecy is only acknowledging one of those cultures. Which is like saying,

"The existence of a ghost proves Shintoism is true. Obviously this person was "Spirited Away". It doesn't work that way. Which makes Ssel and the "Other Guys" arguments null and void.

Trying to hold back my temptation to laugh and shake my head at what appears to be such absolute non-sense, I instead prefer to ask of more detail of this form of rationale.

 

Could you please explain, very slowly and carefully the exact reasoning that you are trying to point out here? SLOWLY because to me it appears as total non-sense, but I am willing to examine it carefully if you are willing to very slowly, step by step (maybe even half steps) explain how this is not pure insanity. ...?

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No, I don't see the fallacy...?

 

Well when you edit what I say of course you don't, asshole.

If you weren't such a dumbfuck, I wouldn't have to. I asked for explanation and you merely repeat your assertions which appear totally irrelevant to your own OP.

 

You said that you were going to explain the logic. I see no explanation and only irrelvant attempts of logic. I explained why they are irrelevant. So where is your explanation?

 

If your intent was to merely say that you had an argument with some guy, then ok, why did you say it in a discussion forum?

 

I ask for explanation and offer explanation but all I keep seeing is emotionalistic bullshit.

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No it doesn't, there's no correlation between any prophecy and the existence of God.

That is not quite correct. There is a one-way correlation, namely that if BibleGod exists, prophecy is valid.

 

Your point remains, however - the argument from Bible prophecy does affirm the consequent.

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Could you explain (civilly) how that a correct prophecy would not yield evidence (not total proof) that a God was involved?

 

I see this as the same as science making a prediction that turns out correct and thus accepting that their theory was more probably correct merely due to the evidence of making accurate predictions.

 

And also exactly how you perceive the coinage "affirm the consequent" being relevant.

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Hmm...

 

If BibleGod exists, then prophecy = true.

Prophecy = true, therefore Biblegod exists.

 

That's what Asimov said, and anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have spotted that there are other "gods" to put in there.

 

For instance... If Allah exists, then prophecy = true. If Zeus exists, then prophecy = true. If Odin exists...

You get the idea.

 

 

Ssel obviously spotted that little problem, one which caused the argument to be the fallacy of affirming the consequent, since he altered it when he quoted it to...

 

If BibleGod exists, then prophecy = true.

Prophecy = true, therefore Biblegod possibly exists.

 

Not only did he spot it, but he corrected it to remove it... then he stated that he couldn't see it!

 

 

 

Ssel... you're a dumbfuck if you think we wouldn't spot that little bit of dishonesty.

 

Could you explain (civilly) how that a correct prophecy would not yield evidence (not total proof) that a God was involved?

 

I see this as the same as science making a prediction that turns out correct and thus accepting that their theory was more probably correct merely due to the evidence of making accurate predictions.

Prophecy is prediction... so a scientific prediction, one without god at all, coming true would be an example of a correct prophecy that would not yield evidence that a god was involved...

 

The only difference being, scientific predictions aren't made using supernatural information.

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Could you explain (civilly) how that a correct prophecy would not yield evidence (not total proof) that a God was involved?

 

I see this as the same as science making a prediction that turns out correct and thus accepting that their theory was more probably correct merely due to the evidence of making accurate predictions.

 

And also exactly how you perceive the coinage "affirm the consequent" being relevant.

 

I agree that you could perhaps argue that it is a form of induction instead of deduction. The problem is that most people treat it as absolute proof. Of course you have to show that a prophecy even ocured in the first place. Nostradamus is a good example of this, I don't really take all of his prophesies seriously because they are so vauge that you can posit his ideas onto many different things. Besides, if a prophecy is vauge then whats the point, if you can only tell what it was predecting after the fact then it doesn't do you any good.

 

Not to mention that the whole idea of Prophecy destorys the concept of free will, since the future must be totally unchanging for it to work. Otherwise Prophecies are nothing more than educated guesses.

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Of course you have to show that a prophecy even ocured in the first place. Nostradamus is a good example of this, I don't really take all of his prophesies seriously because they are so vauge that you can posit his ideas onto many different things. Besides, if a prophecy is vauge then whats the point, if you can only tell what it was predicting after the fact then it doesn't do you any good.
I agree with this. The question was one about "logic".

 

Many people also proclaim that science must be absolutely right simply because they accurately predicted something. This is not a reflection on the source, but on the irrationality of all people.

Not to mention that the whole idea of Prophecy destorys the concept of free will, since the future must be totally unchanging for it to work. Otherwise Prophecies are nothing more than educated guesses.
This one I would argue with. But the appearance of conflict between free will and destiny is much like the appearance of conflict between science and religion. It is only a conflict in appearance, not in reality.
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Define the term "prophecy".

 

BTW -

 

I prophesize the sun will rise on January 7th, 2006

I prophesize there will be several earthquakes somewhere in the world in 2006.

I prophesize there will be violence and deaths in the middle east in 2006.

I prophesize there will be more discussion on this topic.

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Define the term "prophecy".

 

...I prophesize there will be more discussion on this topic.

Tempted to deflate this prophecy ...grin. :)

 

Prophecy - Prediction. Using a formula which might be even as simple as asking someone else, to predict future events. The specific word generally refers to Spiritual predictions which are truly "wholly considerate of all things" making them from the "Holy Spirit" or "God"

 

Such predictions are considered as more important merely because they are supposed to be the result of a total consideration of all of reality. This would give them a quality of exact correctness if they truly had that quality.

 

The argument is whether they are really so totally considerate. Some are, some aren't, from my perspective.

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Define the term "prophecy".

 

...I prophesize there will be more discussion on this topic.

Tempted to deflate this prophecy ...grin. :)

 

Prophecy - Prediction. Using a formula which might be even as simple as asking someone else, to predict future events. The specific word generally refers to Spiritual predictions which are truly "wholly considerate of all things" making them from the "Holy Spirit" or "God"

 

Such predictions are considered as more important merely because they are supposed to be the result of a total consideration of all of reality. This would give them a quality of exact correctness if they truly had that quality.

 

The argument is whether they are really so totally considerate. Some are, some aren't, from my perspective.

 

Well look at Mr. Redefine everything.

 

proph·e·cy Audio pronunciation of "prophecy" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (prf-s)

n. pl. proph·e·cies (-sz)

 

1.

1. An inspired utterance of a prophet, viewed as a revelation of divine will.

2. A prediction of the future, made under divine inspiration.

3. Such an inspired message or prediction transmitted orally or in writing.

 

I prefer to go with dictionaries, because we can look at the definitions in the context of what they apply to.

 

As I said, prophecies are dependant upon God existing. To use them as a proof FOR God's existence is fallacious.

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proph·e·cy Audio pronunciation of "prophecy" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (prf-s)

n. pl. proph·e·cies (-sz)

 

1.

1. An inspired utterance of a prophet, viewed as a revelation of divine will.

2. A prediction of the future, made under divine inspiration.

3. Such an inspired message or prediction transmitted orally or in writing.

 

I prefer to go with dictionaries, because we can look at the definitions in the context of what they apply to.

 

As I said, prophecies are dependant upon God existing. To use them as a proof FOR God's existence is fallacious.

[/b]

And how does this vary from what I stated?

 

And more importantly, do you SEE the word "God" anywhere in that definition? So again, I ask, "how is it that a prophecy necessarily has anything to do with the pre-acceptance of God?"

 

"divine inspiration" does NOT equate to God.

 

But even if it did, the Bible is claiming that their predictions are God inspired prophecies.

 

You are the one actually redefining things so as to make it appear irrationally tautological when you have merely twisted the meanings in a tautry way so as to make it appear so.

 

This is today's common mentality - Accuse your opponent of what you are doing so that in their defensiveness, your guilt is over looked.

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And how does this vary from what I stated?

 

And more importantly, do you SEE the word "God" anywhere in that definition? So again, I ask, "how is it that a prophecy necessarily has anything to do with the pre-acceptance of God?"

 

Once again, Ssel....we are looking at that definition as it applies to CHRISTIANITY. What the fuck do you think "divine will" is in regards to CHRISTIANITY?

 

"divine inspiration" does NOT equate to God.

 

CHRISTIANITY.

 

But even if it did, the Bible is claiming that their predictions are God inspired prophecies.

 

YES.

You are the one actually redefining things so as to make it appear irrationally tautological when you have merely twisted the meanings in a tautry way so as to make it appear so.

 

:Doh: Where am I doing that, Ssel?

 

Prophecy: 1. An inspired utterance of a prophet, viewed as a revelation of divine will.

2. A prediction of the future, made under divine inspiration.

3. Such an inspired message or prediction transmitted orally or in writing.

 

Anything Divine as it applies to CHRISTIANITY is through God.

 

This is today's common mentality - Accuse your opponent of what you are doing so that in their defensiveness, your guilt is over looked.

 

Or you can just overlook the semantics of the issue and realise that you're arguing something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

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proph·e·cy Audio pronunciation of "prophecy" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (prf-s)

n. pl. proph·e·cies (-sz)

 

1.

1. An inspired utterance of a prophet, viewed as a revelation of divine will.

2. A prediction of the future, made under divine inspiration.

3. Such an inspired message or prediction transmitted orally or in writing.

 

I prefer to go with dictionaries, because we can look at the definitions in the context of what they apply to.

 

As I said, prophecies are dependant upon God existing. To use them as a proof FOR God's existence is fallacious.

[/b]

And how does this vary from what I stated?

 

And more importantly, do you SEE the word "God" anywhere in that definition? So again, I ask, "how is it that a prophecy necessarily has anything to do with the pre-acceptance of God?"

 

"divine inspiration" does NOT equate to God.

di·vine ( P ) Pronunciation Key (d-vn)

adj. di·vin·er, di·vin·est

 

Having the nature of or being a deity.

Of, relating to, emanating from, or being the expression of a deity: sought divine guidance through meditation.

Being in the service or worship of a deity; sacred.

Superhuman; godlike.

 

Supremely good or beautiful; magnificent: a divine performance of the concerto.

Extremely pleasant; delightful: had a divine time at the ball.

Heavenly; perfect.

Clear enough? No, thought not...

de·i·ty ( P ) Pronunciation Key (d-t, d-)

n. pl. de·i·ties

A god or goddess.

 

The essential nature or condition of being a god; divinity.

Deity God. Used with the.

Clear enough now?

 

 

Divine insperation is from a God or Goddess, no matter what you want to re-define it to mean.

You are the one actually redefining things so as to make it appear irrationally tautological when you have merely twisted the meanings in a tautry way so as to make it appear so.

 

This is today's common mentality - Accuse your opponent of what you are doing so that in their defensiveness, your guilt is over looked.

And you have just been caught red-fucking-handed doing just that!

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Of course you have to show that a prophecy even ocured in the first place. Nostradamus is a good example of this, I don't really take all of his prophesies seriously because they are so vauge that you can posit his ideas onto many different things. Besides, if a prophecy is vauge then whats the point, if you can only tell what it was predicting after the fact then it doesn't do you any good.
I agree with this. The question was one about "logic".

 

Many people also proclaim that science must be absolutely right simply because they accurately predicted something. This is not a reflection on the source, but on the irrationality of all people.

Not to mention that the whole idea of Prophecy destorys the concept of free will, since the future must be totally unchanging for it to work. Otherwise Prophecies are nothing more than educated guesses.
This one I would argue with. But the appearance of conflict between free will and destiny is much like the appearance of conflict between science and religion. It is only a conflict in appearance, not in reality.

 

 

Yeah, but as with Nostradamus I would argue that most of the prophecy in the bible is also just as vauge, I can't see that there have been any prophecies fulfiled that couldn't just be explained by random chance. The main difference I see between most fundies who try to use inductive logic to argue that prophecy proves God, and scientists who use inductive logic is one of statistics.

 

You see scientists are aware of the limits of inductive logic, so they don't just do one experiment when they want to test something...they do hundreds. However, in the case of many christians, they dig around in the bible, ignoring all the prophets who got it wrong until they run into one that came true. They use this as proof of prophecy, instead of testing many times and seeing what the responces are over all.

 

If you study 100 prophesies and 99 are false then sugests that prophecy is useless. How many scientists would contiue to believe in a therory if 99 out of 100 experiments failed to produce results that supported it?

 

As far as free will. It is imposible for God to both give us free will and withhold it from us at the same time. You can claim that it is a conflict only in appearance if you want....but then logic has flown out the window. I agree that logic has its limits, but for you to claim to obey the rules of logic and then throw it out the window at the drop of a hat is silly.

 

If you can present a "logical" argument for how the future can be predetermined without taking away free will, then by all means present it, otherwise you must admit that not all of your beliefs are based on logic.

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Where am I doing that, Ssel?
The Bible claims, "This man is a prophet of God." But you full well know that it is saying that "This man is devinely inspired by God and thus can foretell the future."

 

The only significance is that he can "foretell to future"

 

But this part is being left out so as to discuss merely that he was declared a prophet of God. By leaving out the significance, the issue appears as merely a tautological declaration of presumption.

 

"Because he was declared a prophet, the assumption was made that God existed."

 

But that was not what was done. What was done was more in lines with;

 

"Because we believe in God and we believe that this man is a prophet of that God, then his PREDICTIONS will be important."

 

Your arguments are leaving out the predictions element so as to focus on a tautological statement of the word "prophet" requiring that God exists. Then claiming that the Bible is tautologically tricking the public.

 

I say, no, you are tricking the public by leaving out the obvious significance (prediction) so as to bend focus on something meaningless then blaming the Bible for that meaninglessness.

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The Bible claims, "This man is a prophet of God." But you full well know that it is saying that "This man is devinely inspired by God and thus can foretell the future."

 

The only significance is that he can "foretell to future"

 

But this part is being left out so as to discuss merely that he was declared a prophet of God. By leaving out the significance, the issue appears as merely a tautological declaration of presumption.

 

"Because he was declared a prophet, the assumption was made that God existed."

 

But that was not what was done. What was done was more in lines with;

 

"Because we believe in God and we believe that this man is a prophet of that God, then his PREDICTIONS will be important."

 

Your arguments are leaving out the predictions element so as to focus on a tautological statement of the word "prophet" requiring that God exists. Then claiming that the Bible is tautologically tricking the public.

 

I say, no, you are tricking the public by leaving out the obvious significance (prediction) so as to bend focus on something meaningless then blaming the Bible for that meaninglessness.

 

Yes, Ssel...I'm tricking the public... :Hmm:

 

There you go again with more dishonest accusations, changing the argument and redefining what is being said.

 

You add in things to fit with what you THINK they are saying...NOT with what is ACTUALLY BEING SAID!

 

Again, allow me to go over with what is being said. We know the definition of prophecy, and apply it to Christianity.

 

A Christian, hoping to bait unbelievers into accepting what they say point out the amazing prophecies that were made that were fulfilled, thus proving that God exists.

 

Since a prophecy, by definition - AS IT APPLIES TO CHRISTIANITY - requires that God exists, it is not a proof of God's existence, and a logical fallacy.

 

 

What is NOT being said is:

 

"Because we believe in God and we believe that this man is a prophet of that God, then his PREDICTIONS will be important."

 

This is what YOU are saying, which is entirely irrelevant to the issue at hand.

 

:vent:love_your_job.gif

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Could you explain (civilly) how that a correct prophecy would not yield evidence (not total proof) that a God was involved?

Supernatural entities have no empirical referents. From our perspective a supernatural event occurs without an observable proximate cause. A veridical prophecy might be God's doing or it might be Satan using reverse psychology. There is no way to empirically determine the prophecy's source, so people end up attributing it to whatever their pre-existing biases suggest.

 

By the by, you can remind me to be civil as soon as I start being uncivil. kthx.

I see this as the same as science making a prediction that turns out correct and thus accepting that their theory was more probably correct merely due to the evidence of making accurate predictions.

Do you really not see the giant elephant in the middle of the room that is empiricism? It is difficult for me to accept that you are this naive about the philosophy of science.

And also exactly how you perceive the coinage "affirm the consequent" being relevant.

It is as Asimov said:

 

If P, then Q.

Q, therefore P.

 

is a logical fallacy. What is the barrier to understanding here?

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"How many scientists would contiue to believe in a therory if 99 out of 100 experiments failed to produce results that supported it?"

 

 

Only the suckers if you're talking molecular biology.

 

 

On the other hand, I think Edison tried a couple of thousand materials before he got around to tungsten for a durable filament.

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