Discuss Proof of God
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Socratic Method is one of the oldest and most respected forms of productive debate. There are many unproductive methods. All of which should be avoided. Socratic method is a very old and respected means to quickly and definitively resolve difficult issues by adhering to rules of conversation which are carefully designed to keep the discussion on track and drive it toward rapid and unreserved conclusion. Conclusion is reached when after carefully selecting questions designed to spotlight an affirmation's error, no one involved in the conversation is any longer willing to dispute the rationality of the affirmation.
Wikipedia on Socratic Method
In this way, conclusion is forced upon those who remain in disagreement, but have no rational reason for their disagreement. One remaining in disagreement is forced to admit "I still disagree, but fail to provide a reason for my disagreement which others perceive as rational." The irrationality of his or her position becomes obvious to those involved in the conversation.
For this reason Socratic Method is very unpopular with politicians who often desire to remain uncommitted on some issues.
How do I comment in Socratic Method if I disagree?
Do not pose an alternate position or attempt to show that there is a better way to handle the issue. This is the error most make in debate. Nothing ever ends up resolved because both sides continue supporting their respective and opposing views and neither view is refuted. Neither party has any reason to concede. Neither party finds it intellectually embarrassing to continue supporting their original position.
First, make sure you disagree. An argument is not won with fancy words, but by discovering the winning side before choosing your position. Is your position winnable? If not, accept it and change your mind, otherwise Socratic Method will reveal your irrationality to others. Once you've answered that, list the assumptions upon which the affirmed statement rests, and which if shown to be false, make the affirmed statement's error obvious to others.
Restate that assumption in language and terminology which make the affirmation's reliance upon the assumption obvious and ask those affirming if they agree with the assumption.
If the assumption is specious, wait to point out the assumption's flaw in your second question after those affirming answer their agreement with the assumption. Post "Considering that you agree with that particular assumption, do you also agree with its obviously erroneous implication, thus.....?
If you have difficulty finding an erroneous assumption or an error of conclusion implied by assumptions made in the affirmation, double check that you still disagree. You may find, to your surprise that you agreed with the statement all along. You just didn't think about it carefully enough at first.
Dr. Steven Hawking claims proof God can not exist. And he characterized Aristarchos of Samos, who wrote the oldest discovered documentation of calculations of the moon and sun's distance from earth and who suggested that stars are distant suns like our own as a shabbily dressed ancient who scratched at the sand with sticks.
In the documentary Special "Curiosity" Steven Hawking proved God can not exist.
For those who have seen it, does anyone remember Dr. Hawking's definition of the God? He didn't give one. Only in his ending comments, the ones in which he concludes the impossibility of God's existence, does he imply a definition. This is the only definition provided.
The Dr. provides an excellent explanation of the laws of physics in layman's terms. Their immutability, their stability, their everlasting presence are explained the best I have ever heard. I agree with his presentation of the laws of physics without exception. He finally winds up on his own principle discovery. The very same which gained him world wide recognition. That a black hole is a single subatomic particle and in the gravitational influence of which time does not exist. A black hole is eternity. There are many eternities.
I understand his affinity for this particular subject. It is his legacy to scientific discovery. In the moment of the Big Bang, the entirety of the universe existed as a single black hole. Time began to count when that black hole exploded becoming the entire universe. Before that moment there was no before that moment. Time itself did not count, did not move. There was no time before the Big Bang. No time and no where. Eternity and nothing existed as the same thing.
The Dr. poses that as such there was no time and no where for a God which could create the universe to have existed. In that expression, Dr. Hawking defines God as a creature, not the Creator. Dr. Hawking's god is one who is constrained by the laws of physics. Hawking's god must live within the confines of the laws of the universe. Such a god could not have existed for it had no time and no place in which to exist. In this he is undeniably correct.
As such he spent the entire hour successfully arguing against a god which I agree does not exist, for my God is not constrained by the laws of physics. He is the author of the immutable laws of physics and by which He brought the universe into exquisite existence. He existed with out cause and ordered the creation according to His opinion of beauty, order and usefulness.
The Dr. does not address why the laws of physics are immutable nor why they existed prior to and without place and time in the first place nor even if they existed before the universe unfolded from that black hole. Under circumstances where nothing exists, not even nothingness, what could have existed that led to the generation of eternity? He only used his notoriety to promote the notion that any god which is constrained by the laws of physics could not exist. And in that he is correct. He also explains the origin of all matter and energy as a consequence of the laws of physics, but does not address, even in the slightest degree, the origin of the laws of physics.
The subject of first cause, its necessaryness or its unnecessaryness are not germane to this discussion of the validity of Hawking's god, but is a very interesting subject in and of itself. I welcome discussing it.
I was also disturbed by the Dr's portrayal of Aristarchos of Samos. Aristarchos lived 300BC and authored the first known estimate of the distance between the earth and the moon and the sun. As well, Aristarchus suggested that stars are other suns, unimaginably distant from us. The Dr. portrayed Aristarchus as a no account, shabbily dressed primitive scribbling the orbits of the earth and moon in the sand with knurled wooden sticks.
Aristarchus of Samos was a well respected scientist of his time. He could not have been otherwise to have had access to valuable resources such as two thousand years of carefully made Babylonian records of lunar phases, as scrolls and written records were expensive to keep in his time. Aristarchos did have access and used these to infer the distance to the sun by trigonometry and statistical error correction methodology. Aristarchos was also the target of politically motivated accusations. Only respected figures draw such attention. We don't find two thousand year old records positive or negative of no account street urchins.
He understood the limitations of his observations and provided a range for the possible distance. The true distance falls within the range he proposed. He and his contemporaries, were well respected. The 15th century, Christopher Columbus was laughed at not because he claimed the earth was round, but because he contested Eratosthenes' of Cyrene, 200BC estimate of the earth's diameter. Columbus was wrong, Eratosthenes was correct to within one percent.
Columbus actually thought the earth was much smaller than it truly is, making a sea voyage to Asia possible. Lucky for him America lay between. Dr. Hawking might consider learning from Columbus' mistake. New knowledge is exciting. Knowing how to know is esential. "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth."
Learn how to learn.
There exist methods which can resolve all resolvable tasks by first determining resolvability, then the information needed for resolution, then resolution if resolvable and if the information both exists and is obtainable. There simply are not unanswerable questions as most people like to believe there are merely to hide their own ignorance.
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