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Arguments Against the Human Imagination, Don't read If you're an Atheist or alike.

There's not much discussion here on the matter, anyway I'll spit out my ideas.

I
believe, or rather I know that god exists, based on a very simple fact;
The human is nothing more than what already it is, in other words
you're a limited being. If I ask you to imagine a non-existent color; a
new color, you wouldn't be able to, all your attempts will be completely
limited by all the colors that already exist, even if you bring up a
new name, the color itself already exists on the spectrum, it's already
there in the universe. All of this means you cannot imagine anything
outside the universe, anything that doesn't already exist; everything
you can imagine already exists, or partially exists as parts. Which begs
the next idea; what if I said I can imagine a planet made of gum?
You'll be correct, you can imagine a planet made of gum, but the clue
here is that what you imagined here already exists; a planet and a gum,
all you had to do is relate the two things, and you got a new "thing",
still you're unable to make up a new concept, a new "thing" that you
could imagine outside what already exists.

If you've understood
this so far, you'll be able to see that what we imagine are things that
already exist in certain condition or place, but they do exist and all
we do is create new ways of thinking about them, meaning; a planet
actually exist and it's a real thing, and so the gum. But a planet made
of gum, doesn't really exist, we've never experienced it, we can never
be sure until we find a real one.

You see, the Imagination is limited by simple and real things that exist.

My argument is as follows:

God;
if we define him as The first in the sense that he is the first to
exist, we could argue it is not a new idea the imagination created (remember humans are only able to imagine what already exists) but a
real thing we've known by existing thousands of years. In other words; all humans know god
exists, since all humans understand what God is by the definition we
established earlier. In a way or another the definition exists across all cultures.

The problem is when we started adding other
definitions and ideas to the word god; that's when it becomes like the
planet of gum, since it starts to lose its essential elements in the new
ideas and becomes a lot more than one simple true concept; like the gum
thing add to planet, the planet is the same, but it is now made of gum
meaning its no longer a simple idea which is why we imagine it in the
first place, so that it is no longer a true thing.

And so does
God, when we add to it more ideas; like being more than one true god, it
complicates the concept more, which means we can never be sure of it
until we actually experience it.

I hope this makes sense, and you
could understand it. I haven't been able to argue against this, but I
hope someone is capable to. The only way to argue against this is by
redefining god to something else, which I see helpless since almost all
religions see God as the first to exist; meaning there's a common
understanding of it across all humanity. And most of the religions add
to that definition he is the creator of everything, which I decided to
not include to simplify the argument and be consistent with the method
I'm using.


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Reply by sam_nella

posted

i'm not exactly an atheist, but i also think that your argumentation has a few things to critique. the big flaw is that the argument kinda strays away from the internal logic that it develops - particularly when defining god. you wrote :


« if we define him as The first in the sense that he is the first to exist, we could argue it is not a new idea the imagination created (remember humans are only able to imagine what already exists) but a real thing we've known by existing thousands of years [emphasis added]. In other words; all humans know god exists, since all humans understand what God is by the definition we established earlier. »

the issue here is one of reification (i.e. misidentifying an abstraction or conception as something concrete) : your argument is seeking to prove the existence of god definitionally - by working through the logic of humanity's relationship to god via. abstraction - on the basis that a definition that someone has of something corresponds 1-to-1 with the content of that thing

take the example of an atom : it exists independently of human observation - it is a concrete reality. over the course of human history, once we actually discovered the atom, humanity has thrown a couple shots at defining an atom in its own terms. our first definition of the atom (the Dalton model) postulated that atoms were indivisible structures that resembled billiard balls. this was a legitimate definition, but it did not correspond to what an atom materially is (we found later that atoms are in fact divisible and do not resemble billiard balls).

definitions are extremely useful when trying to outline the distinct and essential parameters of an object, idea or phenomenon, but definitions - by nature of being human interpretations - are abstractions. an assigned definition is not the same thing as the material phenomenon being defined : it can closely correspond to it, but because it is an abstraction and not something concrete, it cannot, ipso facto, be identical to the actual phenomenon


bearing this in mind, the first part of the citation above,

« if we define him as The first in the sense that he is the first to exist, we could argue it is not a new idea the imagination created, »

doesn't really line up with everything else that you had written up to then. you're absolutely correct in stating that humans are limited creatures with limited imaginations, but you wrinkle over the fact that the notions of 'first,' 'being' and 'exist' have absolutely existed in the human imagination for as long as we've been able to philosophise. through the very method that you've set up, this definition of god absolutely could have been invented because these concepts already existed to humans (in fact you demonstrate how humans can invent abstractions that don't concretely exist through your thought experiment with the planet made of gum).

the second part of your main argument,

« but a real thing we've known by existing thousands of years, »

then falls into that trap of reification. it is also slightly ahistorical given that humans - as with most things - did not always have a conception of religion. 

the third part of your main argument, 

« In other words; all humans know god exists, since all humans understand what God is by the definition we established earlier. »

is flawed insofar as
1. not all humans believe in a god (atheists exist) ;
2. not all theistic humans believe in only one god (polytheists exist) ;
3. not all theistic humans have this definition of god (e.g. Buddhists don't believe in an original act of creation)


i hope that this helped illustrate a few holes in the argumentation - you implied at the end that you hoped that someone could make some form of counter argument, so i hope i provided at least something satisfactory ^^ 
i think a good source to counter this counter-argument would be proving that god exists concretely and not just in abstraction - this could start by looking to concrete phenomena and not just limiting yourself to definitional logic.


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Reply by Gilbert Galvin

posted
updated

I like your response, It is very interesting, I agree with it to an extent, It has a lot of things to unwrap a lot of details, might respond to it someday in detail in the future.

Thanks a lot.

My current ideas are:

The reification problem comes from a very different perspective, that I see unreliable (for real life its more or less an idea just to argument), since the idea of my argument is basically "if we know its because its there". yet I think it has some truth in it, which is why I'm now will dedicate my spare time to study some logic. just to catch a more precise understanding of it and how it works.

The notions of 'first,' and 'exist' are a very good catch, I've always wondered if this is valid; Is there a start to everything?

This is the catch that will make a redefinition of the concept of god. Where did god has started in the human experience? And how? What is a God? What if we encounter the idea that god is undefinable? In other words, unimaginable?

Thanks for your response, it's a very good one.


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