What is atheism's falsifiability?

Holy_Spirit_is_...
Theist
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: 2007-03-08
User is offlineOffline
What is atheism's falsifiability?

As I hope we can all agree, it is meaningless to hold something true if the belief is unfalsifiable.  Certainly we have all heard of the following example: "I believe that the inside of a watermelon is blue, until it is cut into, at which time it appears red, as a watermelon ought to."  This belief is not falsifiable because it isn't necessarily true, but it can never be proven false. As soon as the observer opens up the fuit to observe its color, it is too late and is no longer blue.

Identically, belief in an absolute negative is not falsifiable. Meaning, I cannot soundly believe it to be true with any degree of credibility that something absolutely not exist, unless I can observe the enitirity of the space in question simultaneously. If I can observe the space's entirity, but not simultaneously, then the assurance becomes a question of probability, and hence cannot be true absolutely. 

Example: I can believe and determine it true that no white apple with purple polka dots exists in my luch pail because I can observe the inside's entirity simultaneously to determine it so.  But I cannot determine it true that no white apple with purple polka dots exists in the universe, simply because I cannot observe the entire universe simultaneously. If one were able to do so, then he would be omniscient.  Only a diluted person would propose that he be omniscient, agreed? If indeed he were, then the quest for God will have been concluded. So then to take it a step further, back up, and insert the word "God" for "white apple with purple polka dots".

This brings me to my point. Except that a man be omniscient, can he rationally believe it true that God somewhere within the universe, or without, not exist? This, however, is a belief in an absolute negative. If you as a rational thinker understand and accept this, then the philosophy of atheism crumbles to agnosticism, and soft agnosticism at that (id est that one can be unsure of the existence of God, but he cannot be certain that nothing can be known of Him). For to believe that nothing can be known of God is indeed in itself something that is claimed to be known, and so the belief collapses under its own assertion.

So to the person, whom atheism still claims in spite of the previous paragraph, I ask what is the falsifiability of atheism? What possibility of evidence could demonstrate atheism false, without which the belief in atheism is a mere belief in an absolute negative, and therefore has no bearing? Except for omniscience that is...


Vessel
Vessel's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

As I hope we can all agree, it is meaningless to hold something true if the belief is unfalsifiable. Certainly we have all heard of the following example: "I believe that the inside of a watermelon is blue, until it is cut into, at which time it appears red, as a watermelon ought to." This belief is not falsifiable because it isn't necessarily true, but it can never be proven false. As soon as the observer opens up the fuit to observe its color, it is too late and is no longer blue.

Identically, belief in an absolute negative is not falsifiable. Meaning, I cannot soundly believe it to be true with any degree of credibility that something absolutely not exist, unless I can observe the enitirity of the space in question simultaneously. If I can observe the space's entirity, but not simultaneously, then the assurance becomes a question of probability, and hence cannot be true absolutely.

Example: I can believe and determine it true that no white apple with purple polka dots exists in my luch pail because I can observe the inside's entirity simultaneously to determine it so. But I cannot determine it true that no white apple with purple polka dots exists in the universe, simply because I cannot observe the entire universe simultaneously. If one were able to do so, then he would be omniscient. Only a diluted person would propose that he be omniscient, agreed? If indeed he were, then the quest for God will have been concluded. So then to take it a step further, back up, and insert the word "God" for "white apple with purple polka dots".

This brings me to my point. Except that a man be omniscient, can he rationally believe it true that God somewhere within the universe, or without, not exist? This, however, is a belief in an absolute negative. If you as a rational thinker understand and accept this, then the philosophy of atheism crumbles to agnosticism, and soft agnosticism at that (es ist that one can be unsure of the existence of God, but he cannot be certain that nothing can be known of Him). For to believe that nothing can be known of God is indeed in itself something that is claimed to be known, and so the belief collapses under its own assertion.

So to the person, whom atheism still claims in spite of the previous paragraph, I ask what is the falsifiability of atheism? What possibility of evidence could demonstrate atheism false, without which the belief in atheism is a mere belief in an absolute negative, and therefore has no bearing? Except for omniscience that is...

You seem to be equating belief and knowledge. One need not be omniscient to believe there is no god anymore than they need to be omniscient to believe there are no unicorns. To state that one knows there are no unicorns is another matter, at least to say one knows it as absolute truth. luckily, absolute truth is not something we need (nor are even capable of acheiving as human beings) to use reason and reach rational conclusions to form justified beliefs.

But, since you seem to think one should not hold unfalsifiable beliefs, what is the falsifiability of theism? If an entity is all powerful then no set of circumstances is impossible nor should be unexpected given its existence.   

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


Vessel
Vessel's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
I should also add all one

I should also add all one need do to falsify atheism is to prove a God exists, so it is falsifiable. Theism on the other hand is not for the reason I stated in my previous reply and because of the fact that it is impossible to prove that something does not exist. Strong atheism may be unprovable, but theism is what is unfalsifiable.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

As I hope we can all agree, it is meaningless to hold something true if the belief is unfalsifiable. Certainly we have all heard of the following example: "I believe that the inside of a watermelon is blue, until it is cut into, at which time it appears red, as a watermelon ought to." This belief is not falsifiable because it isn't necessarily true, but it can never be proven false. As soon as the observer opens up the fuit to observe its color, it is too late and is no longer blue.

Identically, belief in an absolute negative is not falsifiable. Meaning, I cannot soundly believe it to be true with any degree of credibility that something absolutely not exist, unless I can observe the enitirity of the space in question simultaneously. If I can observe the space's entirity, but not simultaneously, then the assurance becomes a question of probability, and hence cannot be true absolutely.

Example: I can believe and determine it true that no white apple with purple polka dots exists in my luch pail because I can observe the inside's entirity simultaneously to determine it so. But I cannot determine it true that no white apple with purple polka dots exists in the universe, simply because I cannot observe the entire universe simultaneously. If one were able to do so, then he would be omniscient. Only a diluted person would propose that he be omniscient, agreed? If indeed he were, then the quest for God will have been concluded. So then to take it a step further, back up, and insert the word "God" for "white apple with purple polka dots".

This brings me to my point. Except that a man be omniscient, can he rationally believe it true that God somewhere within the universe, or without, not exist? This, however, is a belief in an absolute negative. If you as a rational thinker understand and accept this, then the philosophy of atheism crumbles to agnosticism, and soft agnosticism at that (es ist that one can be unsure of the existence of God, but he cannot be certain that nothing can be known of Him). For to believe that nothing can be known of God is indeed in itself something that is claimed to be known, and so the belief collapses under its own assertion.

So to the person, whom atheism still claims in spite of the previous paragraph, I ask what is the falsifiability of atheism? What possibility of evidence could demonstrate atheism false, without which the belief in atheism is a mere belief in an absolute negative, and therefore has no bearing? Except for omniscience that is...

I do have to give you credit, this is the first time I have seen this type of  new packaging on the same old, "Pay no attention to the mythology behind the curtian".

"Thor makes lighting"

Scientific method(independant of my atheism, proves, "Positive and negitive charges in the atmosphere cause lighting".

We do know what causes lighting and THAT is testable and falsifable.

You are simply trying to repackage, "You cant prove that god doesnt exist".

See if you can spot the pattern in the following.....

"God exists, now prove that he doesnt exist".

"Allah exists, now prove that he does not exist"

"Vishnu exists, now prove that he does not exist"

"Yahwey exists, now prove that he does not exist"

"Isis exists, now prove that she does not exist".

Do you see the pattern? 

Unfortunatly for you I see through your smoke screen and distraction away from your magical claims. Atheism is a position. SCIENTIFIC METHOD is a different issue.

With science, WE, both the atheist and theist, can test and falsify claims. We know, for example that Allah DOES NOT pick the sex of a baby, but because of the study of genetics, WE, BOTH YOU AND I, know that the XY cromisome are the determining factor.

Nice try, trying to confuse a position of lack of belief with the seperate issue of scientific method.

You just dont want us saying, "Ghosts dont knock up girls and human flesh does not survive rigor mortis after 3 days". Not my fault you cant poney up with any fasifiable evedence to substantiate your magical hocus pocus claims. All you have is "POOF,God did it". And this post is a mere attempt on your part to distract us, unfortunatly for you, we are not fooled by it.

I do have to give you credit for repackaging the empty box. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
You're shifting the burden

You're shifting the burden of proof.


Holy_Spirit_is_...
Theist
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: 2007-03-08
User is offlineOffline
I thought members of this site were rational...

Vessel, thank you for your prompt response, but I did write my previous post understanding the difference between knowledge and belief.  Please re-read it and you will discover that I had included words like "meaningless" [belief], or "rationally", or "true[th]." The point is that an atheist believes in the non-existence of God, but he cannot know that God not exist.

Vessel, your second post further solidifies a lack of philisophical ingenuity by offering the simplistic yet lackluster rhetoric, "prove a God exists." This clearly misses the point. I am not asking for proof of theism, rather the falsifiability of atheism. These two are not the same statement logically. As for your request for falsifiability of theism, I must admit that is entirely too large a chunk to bite off at once; rather I give you the falsibiability of Christianity: 1 Corinthians 15:17. Given the biblical and extra-biblical documentation of the historical person Jesus, demonstrate that He did not resurrect from the dead.

Brian37, I thank you for your complement, but must ask why you began your post with a red herring. I am looking for a reply to my post, and I mentioned nothing about Thor.  Also understand that i am by no means making the claim that atheism is not unfalsibiable therefore we shall let theism reign!  I am taking this one step at a time.

Further please subdue your patronizing interjections. That is neither rational nor called for. Of course I see the pattern in your strawman argument, but i am not contending, "God exists, now prove that he doesnt exist." I contend that "atheism is not falsifiable and therefore is not rational; now show me otherwise."  Is that asking too much of a rational apologist of atheism?

I see also that you closed your post by putting words in my mouth, another "no-no" as it were in debate. Please demonstrate some self control so as to keep from convincing me that I have brought pearls to a stiff-necked group of irrationalists.  Is that fair enough?

Magilum, am I shifting the burden of proof by asking what can falsify your belief? Perhaps had i asked for you to prove that no God exist, but not with my original request.  Right? In no way is this a shift in the burden of proof.


Vessel
Vessel's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

Vessel, thank you for your prompt response, but I did write my previous post understanding the difference between knowledge and belief. Please re-read it and you will discover that I had included words like "meaningless" [belief], or "rationally", or "true[th]." The point is that an atheist believes in the non-existence of God, but he cannot know that God not exist.

I re-read your post. Yes atheists, at least strong atheists like myself, believe that god does not exist even though they can not know such a thing with absolute certainty. Pretty much nothing can be proven with absolute certainty so why should this be a problem. Being rational does not require one only believe what they can know with absolute certainty. Please drop the condescending tone of your posts as there is nothing in them that merits such a tone.

Quote:
Vessel, your second post further solidifies a lack of philisophical ingenuity by offering the simplistic yet lackluster rhetoric, "prove a God exists."

I didn't ask you to prove a god exists. i stated that atheism could be falisified by proving a god exists, so it is falsifiable. Therefor your contention that atheism is unfalsifiable is false. 

Quote:
This clearly misses the point. I am not asking for proof of theism, rather the falsifiability of atheism.

Which is what I addressed. 

Quote:
These two are not the same statement logically. As for your request for falsifiability of theism, I must admit that is entirely too large a chunk to bite off at once; rather I give you the falsibiability of Christianity: 1 Corinthians 15:17. Given the biblical and extra-biblical documentation of the historical person Jesus, demonstrate that He did not resurrect from the dead.

Even if Jesus did not rise from the dead this would not falsify the statement that the Christian god exists. Maybe the Christian god just wanted people to believe Jesus rose from the dead and so made people think such a thing was true. As I said, any all powerful god is unfalsifiable. Lets put it this way. For any X such that given X all states of affairs are possible, no specific state of affairs can  disprove X. X is unfalsifiable.  


“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


daretoknow
Superfan
daretoknow's picture
Posts: 114
Joined: 2007-12-09
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:
So to the person, whom atheism still claims in spite of the previous paragraph, I ask what is the falsifiability of atheism?

You could....prove that god exists. Ya thats where it's falsifiable. You didn't notice the elephant in the room? The answer to that was so obvious I almost couldn't believe that you were asking it.

Edit. didn't read the whole thread before I posted. sorry 

Thats cute.


Holy_Spirit_is_...
Theist
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: 2007-03-08
User is offlineOffline
So you admit that hard

So you admit that hard atheism and hard agnosticism are about as rational as a belief in the blue watermelon? I do not wish you to forsake your ability to think and become a Christian; I want that you not run head-long into something that is not falsibiable.  If you think both theism and atheism are unfalsibiable, then both can be true.  Therefore one need only move to another area of evidence.

Try design for example.  How does a person, who considers an ultimate designer nonexistent, account for design found in symbioses, cell structure, physical constants, physical laws, et al? Anyone can find four stones, one stacked on the next in an open field, and determine with a high degree of probability that its cause was intelligent.  But can he then look at nature in all of its grandeur in astronimically higher degrees of complexity and design and logically deny a designer, accrediting that which he sees to mere happenstance?


Holy_Spirit_is_...
Theist
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: 2007-03-08
User is offlineOffline
I digress

I apologize all, my previous post was an unnecessary tanget.  I digress.

 Let me instead take a simple poll: What would it take for you to believe that God exists? List each requirement as you see fit.


Vessel
Vessel's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

So you admit that hard atheism and hard agnosticism are about as rational as a belief in the blue watermelon? I do not wish you to forsake your ability to think and become a Christian; I want that you not run head-long into something that is not falsibiable. If you think both theism and atheism are unfalsibiable, then both can be true. Therefore one need only move to another area of evidence.

Atheism is falsifiable, as I have shown and you ignore. Were one to produce a god, then atheism would be falsified. You can't honestly be having that much trouble understanding this, can you?  

Quote:
Try design for example. How does a person, who considers an ultimate designer nonexistent, account for design found in symbioses, cell structure, physical constants, physical laws, et al?

 So you see design in nautre? If you think nature looks designed, what are you contrasting designed things against? 

Quote:
Anyone can find four stones, one stacked on the next in an open field, and determine with a high degree of probability that its cause was intelligent.

Because we already know people exist and that they sometimes stack stones. We certainly couldn't infer that some otherwise unevidenced entity exists simply because we found four stones sitting atop one another. 

Quote:
But can he then look at nature in all of its grandeur in astronimically higher degrees of complexity and design and logically deny a designer, accrediting that which he sees to mere happenstance?

So nature looks more designed than what we design? Then how do we determine what is designed since we have nothing that is not designed against which to compare it?

 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


Holy_Spirit_is_...
Theist
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: 2007-03-08
User is offlineOffline
Quote: VesselEven if Jesus

Quote: Vessel   Even if Jesus did not rise from the dead this would not falsify the statement that the Christian god exists.

Remember what i said about falsifiability of theism: it is far too great a bite to take at once, therefore I gave you the falsifiability of Christianity...

See, Christians hold that a sinful nature keeps him from God, but God loves him and wants to have a personal relationship with him.  The human did the crime of sin, and the just consequences of it are death, but this would kind of defeat the goal of happily-ever-after with God. So in an unprecedented act of mercy and grace, God interceded and took the form and constraints of a man and was born in this world to pay for the sin of the human, which man himself was not able to pay. If Jesus were crucified, then the possibility of redemption is there, but what good is a dead savior? Who will plead your case before God? But, if He is risen from the dead, then the sin has been paid for, and Jesus will offer His sacrifice before God on Judgement Day. This is why Paul says in 1 Cor 15:17 that if Jesus did not raise again, then we are still dead in our sin, thus falsifying Christianity at its very core. 


HC Grindon
High Level DonorModerator
Posts: 198
Joined: 2007-05-11
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

Magilum, am I shifting the burden of proof by asking what can falsify your belief? Perhaps had i asked for you to prove that no God exist, but not with my original request. Right? In no way is this a shift in the burden of proof.

Say you find me on the street and I have lost my memory. I have no idea what the concept of "god" or "gods" means. How in the world could my absence of knowledge be falsifiable?

You then inform me of this notion of "god" and I choose not to believe you. I am now aware of the "god concept" but do not accept it. You then ask me how my lack of belief in the god concept is falsifiable, i.e. how do I show that ("no god"=true) = false, which equates to (god=false)=true. This translated back to English means you are asking me to show that my lack of belief in god (god=false) is true.

You sir, have indeed shifted the burden of proof.

[edit] p.s. I L...L...Lo...Lovvve your a..av...av...avatar! 


Vessel
Vessel's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

I apologize all, my previous post was an unnecessary tanget. I digress.

Let me instead take a simple poll: What would it take for you to believe that God exists? List each requirement as you see fit.

Evidence that leads me to reasonably conclude that a god exists. It is the same requirement I have for believing anything exists. Since I don't believe a god does exist, I don't believe there is any evidence that will lead me to believe a god exists. But, if I were to encounter such evidence then, of course, I would have to adjust what I believe.

We are going to run into the same problem here that I mention in theism's unfalsifiability. If, given god, any state of affairs is possible it becomes very difficult to prove a god exists. It makes it such that no specific evidence can lead to a god, so it makes the burden of proof difficult to acheive, for me.

There is really no point in asking people to list out evidences as people don't actually sit around and say "I would believe X if Y" for any specific existence. This is not how we come by beliefs. People believe things when the evidence supports belief in that thing to a sufficient degree to convince them of the proposition  "x exists"'s or "X is true"'s truth.

What if I were to say that the letters "I am god. I exist" written in the sky would be sufficient. Then, come to find out, there exists a new technology that is a much better explanation of how those words ended up being written in the sky. So, what I thought would be sufficient evidence ends up not being sufficient evidence. This is the problem with these type of hypotheticals. Until the evidence is actual and meets one's burden to form a belief, it is rather pointless to conjecture as to what would be sufficient evidence.     

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
1. You are unfamiliar with

There are several problems with your argument:

1. You are unfamiliar with the dichotomous nature of atheism and with the argument from ignorance fallacy.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US ZH-CN X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

The argumentum ad ignoratium or the argument from ignorance, is surely the most oft-abused and most poorly understood fallacy in the whole of debate, which is most odd, considering it is extremely simple.

The fallacy is double edged:

X is true because it has not been proved false

X is false because it has not been proved true


To wit:

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

The rhetorical request for example to disprove God commits the positive version of the argumentum ad ignoratium. The fact that God cannot be disproved is irrelevant. Positive proof of X does not depend on X not having been falsified. Otherwise, any proposition could be defended on grounds that it has hitherto not been falsified! There is no such thing as a burden of disproof.

The misuse of the argument from ignorance is indicated heavily when one argues regarding atheism. Most theists do not understand that atheism is inherently dichotomous, meaning there are two schools of thought. The first is mutually compatible with agnosticism, hence called agnostic or weak atheism. The position:

-There is no evidence for God. This absence of evidence does not mean that God does not exists. However, it does mean that there is no reason to suppose God exists, and the default position is simply to not believe it is true (versus to believe it is not true) It is an admission of not knowing, but retaining that there is no reason to suppose the existence of the entity in question (God). This is different from agnosticism, however, since the latter is an epistemological position which argues that knowledge on the matter is impossible.

This is different from the strong atheist position:

-God does not exist. I am quite certain of this. I can disprove God. And many strong atheists have indeed formulated arguments against God.

 Some people insist that being that absolute knowledge is necessary to make an absolute negative claim, atheism is not tenable. However, this is a problematic assertion for several reasons:

a) Weak atheism does not make an absolute negative claim

b) Strong atheism formulates a deductive argument against the existence of God, whereas falsification pertains to contingent induction.

Weak atheism therefore makes no claims, merely denying those of their opposition, rejecting theistic a priori and a posteriori arguments for God, adopting a position of non-belief versus disbelief. In other words, weak atheism does not constitute a positive statement (strong atheism saying that a certain thing does not exist is). But strong atheistic claims are validated by deductive argument. Furthermore, absolute strong atheism is exceedingly rare, because absolute proof of anything beyond the existence of your own self is impossible anyway. Strong atheism merely consists of a contigent truth claim made by virtue of human epistemic faculties. It is a non sequitur to argue that this requires omniscience (the claim is not inductive, so this would be an irrelevant point. Arguing that absolute knowledge is necessary for weak atheism constitutes an argumentum ad ignorantium, since that is the equivalent of saying that a statement is true on grounds that it has not been proven false.

This leads me to my next point:

 You are unfamiliar with falsification

Falsification is a criterion of the demarcation problem in philosophy of science. Popper (I trust you have read Popper. After all, you are arguing about falsification) argued that inductive claims were unreliable, because from a possible pool of objective facts. Therefore, one should attempt to find the sine qua non which disproves positive inductive claims. Such as finding a black swan to disprove he statement "all swans are white". In order to falsify weak atheism, it would simply entail one find the sine qua non for God. Very simple.Weak atheists do not believe this sine qua non has ever been found. I argued extensively against such claims to have found it by theists, and argued against the Popperian rejection of naturalism in the process. I argued that such claims were arguments from ignorance and needed to be properly addressed in a piece on induction and falsification (taken from a piece I wrote):

I wrote:

Normal 0 false false false EN-US ZH-CN X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

When faced with conundrum, it defeats the purpose of inquiry to turn to ad hocism. We normally think there are two ways of reasoning, inductive and deductive. Deductive is “top-down” and involves a priori reasoning, whilst inductive is bottom up and involves a posteriori reasoning. But there is a third way, called abductive reasoning, which has repeatedly been abused by theists.

Abductive reasoning is the task of choosing out of a set of hypotheses where we don’t have enough information to move one of them to theory status. It is very important in science, but as you have probably guessed already, is little more than a plug-in for experiment-based inquiry. Abduction relies on which hypothesis would best explain the phenomenon in question. Since theism seems wedded to the idea that the God concept is essentially a panacea to unexplained phenomenon, naturally, they would think they have a firm handle on abductive reasoning. But “best explanation” does not mean “explanation which covers the most bases simultaneously”. This is called appeal to ad hocism, it requires one vastly stretch the available pool of facts. Consider a zealous Popperian and a strong empiricist who have travelled through Europe seeing white swans wherever they go, and the two of them head for Australia where they find astonished, a black swan. The Popperian would simply say that they have discovered a fact that has indeed proven the hypothesis of all swans being white false, whilst the strong empiricist might say the following:

-All Swans are white except for this one, because it is a “mutation”

-Someone spray-painted the Swan black as a joke

-I’m hallucinating

These explanations are a lot “simpler” than the existence of black swans, since the latter postulates that there are two distinct groups of different swans, which is invoking a more complex proposition than “all swans are white”. But Occam’s Razor does not say “the simplest is usually correct”, it says “that which requires the least unsubstantiated proposition is usually correct”, and the way to spot ad hoc is that it has a vast affinity towards unsubstantiated proposition. Now, all a posteriori arguments for God take the following form:

X

If ~Y, ~X

Y

Basically, some phenomenon (X) is observed, and X cannot occur without Y, therefore Y exists. This is called reverse proof, or proof of impossibility of the contrary. It has interesting applications for the topic under discussion, and demonstrates that theism requires one to greatly stretch the capacity for abductive reasoning to the point where we just abandon the pretense of “reasoning” at all and cross into the fray of ad hocism. Or, rather, to return to the previous analogy:

Black Swans are observed

Black Swans can only be explained by that a white swan was spray-painted as a joke

Therefore, this black swan is, in fact, a spray-painted white swan

We can see the ad hoc is in P2 in this case. So, theism generally abuses the Razor and abductive reasoning by wielding it in such a manner that “whatever can explain the most phenomenon simultaneously wins”. This is not how abductive reasoning works. It would be rather nice to postulate this omnipotent superbeing as a simultaneous one solution to the metaphysical questions already raised, but abductive reasoning has more criterion than just “how few explanations are needed”. Furthermore, I cannot defend this proposition, as theists do, by appealing to ad hoc, as we saw with the Pick-and-mix nature of theology where phenomenon which we know are wholly empirical thence a posteriori to Metaphysical questions are being invoked as answers to metaphysical questions, either that, or they just employ a rhetorical tautology like “higher being”. Both are eviscerated by properly understanding how abductive reasoning works.

Obviously, firstly I wish to point out that whatever we are employing abductive reasoning on, theism takes that and runs with it and ends up with propositions which have absolutely no relation to what we started out with. It’s astonishing. Abductive reasoning (the method being used in every a posteriori argument for God) . I hope, firstly, that we understand that abductive reasoning is indeed being employed here. We are indeed choosing a proposition for which we have no empirical evidence whatsoever, which makes it little more than a hypothesis. Rather, we are making a posteriori observations and then saying “Is this the best explanation” not from actual direct evidence of the explanation itself, but rather from how many solutions it can hold down at once. This is what makes it different, from, say, science, which requires that the explanation be treated with the same rigour as the observation of the phenomenon which caused us to cast the explanation. Newton’s Inverse Square Law was not created because we needed something to describe gravity’s relation to mass of bodies, and that we rather liked the words “Inverse” and “Square”, rather it was because the law itself was empirically derived from data. In the case of the theistic proposition, this is not the case, at absolute best, with abductive reasoning (a very limited tool), the very best we could ever do is establish that it may be a reasonable hypothesis to conclude that there is some sort of conscious intelligence behind observed phenomenon X. To keep rolling from there to link to propositions regarding God and the Devil and the Afterlife and Jesus etc, is quite simply to gleefully abandon the pretense of rational inquiry in favor of storytelling).

Normal 0 false false false EN-US ZH-CN X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Normal 0 false false false EN-US ZH-CN X-NONE Induction versus Falsification, and using abductive reasoning to choose between sticking with induction or opting for the falsification by means of employing the falsification criteria. Or, to put it another way: When the evidence contradicts the theory, do we throw out the theory or the evidence? This depends on whether the “evidence” we have gathered is actually valid “evidence” and the criteria upon which we judge this. The falsification criteria, when not faced with a direct “objective fact” necessitate several things which the God proposition does not stand up to. Not all inductive propositions are valid, but not all falsifications of inductive propositions are valid. This is where so many people trip up. This does not mean that the inductive proposition is valid, but it can be retained. Consider a scenario where we find a black swan that is indeed a spray-painted white span. We can conclude that the falsification in this case is invalid, but that per se is not valid grounds to hold that our induction (all swans are white) is a valid induction (that would be ad logicam). Basically, the point I am trying to stress is that the relationship between induction and falsification is complex.

Now, in my example with the swans, the ad hoc was being made by the inductionist to defend against the falsification of his propositions, but ad hocs can also be made by the Popperian. Returning to the issue at hand, if we consider the swan analogy again, suppose we, Europeans who have always seen only white swans, come across our first and only ever encountered Black swan. Being that we have no data whatsoever except that we have this hitherto unexplained phenomenon of the Black swan before us, it is time to apply abductive reasoning. That is the point of this type of reasoning, to help filter explanations when we have no direct empirical evidence to work with to narrow down to a coherent set of propositions which we may work with and from thence proceed. We might consider the various explanations on offer, from the Popperian that they have indeed found proof that not all swans are white, whilst the strong inductionist might appeal to ad hoc, such as that “all swans are white except that one, that one is a lone “mutation”. This proposition, of course, has no evidence per se, but is employed as an ad hocism to sweep the observation under the rug based on the a priori conviction of the inductionist.

We normally associate ad hocism with induction, trying to force the evidence to fit the pre-existing theory when in fact the evidence entails that the pre-existing theory be thrown out. But the Popperian can just as easily fall into the trap of forcing the empericial evidence to fit his theory (that his falsification constitutes a valid objective fact which disproves the induction at hand).

Either way, we can conclude that within any system, there will be a certain domain of empirical facts upon which we can draw. We can infer propositions form these, but there must be a valid link between the empirical fact and the proposition. The antecedent to a working inference is coherence and direct relationship to the empirical fact, and then we must take into account the degree to which the empirical evidence could be molded to suit other propositions.

Invariably we find that propositions about God don’t stand up to this. There is no link whatsoever between the inference and the fact in question. The inference requires us to stretch our imaginations and postulate explanations which generally get eviscerated by proper methodology, for reasons I have already outlined. Some of them are postulated because they solve so many things simultaneously, rather like the inductionist dismissal of falsificative criteria on grounds that “I’m hallucinating”. This simply shows mangling of Occam’s Razor beyond belief, which has several more criterion than how many leaks in a ship one can plug simultaneously, because when we start discovering underlying problems with the solution, as those I have already pointed out, then we cannot appeal to ad hocism to prevent the solution from being falsified, as this is trying to force the evidence to fit the a priori. Don’t get me wrong, discovering something contradictory does not immediately invalidate the a priori theory because we first need to consider the validity of the evidence in question. If I find a swan which has quite clearly been spray-painted, and my test confirms this, then I have not found valid evidence against the a priori of “all swans are white”. On the other hand, that does not mean that all swans are white, as that is ad logicam.

  Normal 0 false false false EN-US ZH-CN X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} The consideration of ad hocisms and the abuse of appeal to ad hocism in the debate. Ad hocisms do not constitute valid proofs. Also, appeal to ad hocism indicates an inability to prove one’s own propositions. Ad hoc propositions cannot be defended on the necessity of a solution, that is an appeal to ignorance, the same error found in Einstein’s Cosmological Constant. In abductive reasoning, it is generally unacceptable to consider the merits of propositions solely on grounds to their opposing counterparts as opposed to considering them independently, the principle failing of Design, to take one example. This usually constitutes bifurcation, but even if it doesn’t, solutions need to be judged by their own merits in relation to empirical observations. If all of my solutions to a certain problem are ad hoc and useless, then there is little point in “choosing” the “best” proposition using abductive reasoning. On the other hand, if a proposition is ad hoc, it shouldn’t even be considered in the pool of explanations, because the explanation was not derived from any actual evidence, but from the desire to keep one’s a priori conviction.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


Holy_Spirit_is_...
Theist
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: 2007-03-08
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Atheism is

Quote: Atheism is falsifiable, as I have shown and you ignore. Were one to produce a god, then atheism would be falsified. You can't honestly be having that much trouble understanding this, can you?

I could readily ask of you the same question.  Try applying your answer to the polka dotted apple. If a polka dotted apple not be found, does it mean that none exist? Of course not. So what convinces you that God necessarily not exist?

Quote: Then how do we determine what is designed since we have nothing that is not designed against which to compare it?

Do we have nothing to which we can compare design, an opposite as it were? I contend that explosions, and unharnessed energy are sourses of chaos, the opposite of design. Try this: -2<-1<1<2 therefore, a bomb is less designed than unharnessed sun light which is less designed than four stacked stones which is less designed than a cell.  What are you missing for a comparison? What other conclusion can be drawn from this analogy than that nature shows a high degree of design, and therefore must have a designer?

HC Grindon, (god=false)=true is not the same as how can ((god=false)=true)=false. I have not shifted proof. I have asked you to justify a truth claim to an absolute negative, which is a philosophical absurdity.


Vessel
Vessel's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

Quote: Vessel Even if Jesus did not rise from the dead this would not falsify the statement that the Christian god exists.

Remember what i said about falsifiability of theism: it is far too great a bite to take at once, therefore I gave you the falsifiability of Christianity...

Yes. That is what Iwas replying to. 

Quote:
See, Christians hold that a sinful nature keeps him from God, but God loves him and wants to have a personal relationship with him. The human did the crime of sin, and the just consequences of it are death, but this would kind of defeat the goal of happily-ever-after with God. So in an unprecedented act of mercy and grace, God interceded and took the form and constraints of a man and was born in this world to pay for the sin of the human, which man himself was not able to pay. If Jesus were crucified, then the possibility of redemption is there, but what good is a dead savior? Who will plead your case before God? But, if He is risen from the dead, then the sin has been paid for, and Jesus will offer His sacrifice before God on Judgement Day. This is why Paul says in 1 Cor 15:17 that if Jesus did not raise again, then we are still dead in our sin, thus falsifying Christianity at its very core.

That is falsifying the doctrine of Christianity but not the existence of the Christian god. If there is an actual god that is the referent of the word 'god' when used by Christians, this would be the Christian god whether or not the doctrinal beliefs of the Christian religion were true or false.

Let's say that there exists a god who is in every way identical to the Christian god except that he simply used his omnipotence to convince people the Christ story actually happened because he thought it was an important thing for people to believe, as opposed to it actually happening. Would this show that the entity Christians referred to when they used the term god did not actually exist, or would it simply show that their doctrine was not entirely accurate? Be careful how you answer this as if you confine the Christian god to fitting exactly to doctrine to establish actual existence you are going to end upin a very difficult philosophical spot.   

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:
Magilum, am I shifting the burden of proof by asking what can falsify your belief? Perhaps had i asked for you to prove that no God exist, but not with my original request.  Right?

LOL, when you put it that way, the claim of not being able to falsify strong atheism is equivalent to saying there is no, nor will there ever be, any evidence for god.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:
In no way is this a shift in the burden of proof.

On the contrary, it absolutely is, unless you would have specified strong atheism, which you had not. Your garden variety weak or agnostic atheism doesn't make a positive claim. If your claim is that omniscience is the criteria necessary for dismissing concepts without properties, well, what is there to dismiss?


Vessel
Vessel's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

Quote: Atheism is falsifiable, as I have shown and you ignore. Were one to produce a god, then atheism would be falsified. You can't honestly be having that much trouble understanding this, can you?

I could readily ask of you the same question. Try applying your answer to the polka dotted apple. If a polka dotted apple not be found, does it mean that none exist? Of course not. So what convinces you that God necessarily not exist?

You were supposed to be showing that atheism is unfalsifiable. Let's use your polka dot apple example. Let's say I am an a-polka-dot-appleist . That is I have a belief polka dot apples do not exist. Is my a-polka-dot-appleism unfalsifiable? Of course not. All one need do is show me a polka dot apple and my a-polka-dot-appleism will be falsified. The calim that a-polka-dot-appleism and atheism are unfalsifiable is false. From your own analogy even.

 

Quote:
Do we have nothing to which we can compare design, an opposite as it were? I contend that explosions, and unharnessed energy are sourses of chaos, the opposite of design.

Did god not design all matter and energy? In a designed existence how could there be chaos? If there is no chaos then how do you infer design?

Quote:
Try this: -2<-1<1<2 therefore, a bomb is less designed than unharnessed sun light which is less designed than four stacked stones which is less designed than a cell.

What? What is less designed or more designed? Designed is designed. Do you mean complex? Complexity and design are not synonymous.  

Quote:
What are you missing for a comparison? What other conclusion can be drawn from this analogy than that nature shows a high degree of design, and therefore must have a designer?

 That design is a human concept that refers to things made by humans, and that as animals who find patterns as a means to understand our environment it is easy for us to mistaken analogize between things we design and the patterns by which we group natural things.


“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


Holy_Spirit_is_...
Theist
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: 2007-03-08
User is offlineOffline
I do hope that you are not

I do hope that you are not offended, but I found reading your post, littered with glimpses from philosophy 101 and Latin, chloroform to my eyes.  It is rather possible to condense the length of your essay down immensly, but in reply I ask you quite simply, are you defending the truth of the negative absolute? Or are you not so proud so as to digress to agnosticism?

Hard atheism is irrational, and soft atheism is agnosticism. Hard agnosticism is irrational, but soft agnosticism is neutral, avoiding the dichotomy of atheism.  Namely it claims,"I don't know if a God exists, but it is possible, and if he does exist, then it is not impossible to know something about him." What then, I shall ask once more, would it take to believe that God exist? I can start you off, and leave the rest to you all:

1. He would have to appear, making himself visible.

But let's say some guy walks up to you and says, "Hi, I'm God." Certainly that would not suffice.  What other criteria should be mandated?


d4rkph03nix
d4rkph03nix's picture
Posts: 31
Joined: 2007-09-17
User is offlineOffline
I find this frustrating

I find this frustrating because you seem to be ignoring an entire group of atheists or lumping them in where they dont fit. DeludedGod did a nice job of explaining the difference between weak and strong atheists and you seem to have not read his post or simply ignored it. The fact is that a weak atheist doesnt have a positive claim of no god and so your entire arguement does not apply to what I think may be the larger group of atheists. If your arguement only even begins to make sense in the light of strong atheism (and I'm not saying it does, only that it very clearly fails immeadiatly against weak atheism) then perhaps you should state from the outset that it's intended towards strong atheists.


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Quote: are you defending

Double Post

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

[...] Hard atheism is irrational, and soft atheism is agnosticism. Hard agnosticism is irrational, but soft agnosticism is neutral, avoiding the dichotomy of atheism.  Namely it claims,"I don't know if a God exists, but it is possible, and if he does exist, then it is not impossible to know something about him."

First of all, you're begging the question in reference to a singular or particular god figure. Second, agnosticism is atheistic. If you don't know, or don't think knowing is possible, and you don't choose to believe in spite of this, you're not a theist: atheist.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:
What then, I shall ask once more, would it take to believe that God exist? I can start you off, and leave the rest to you all:

1. He would have to appear, making himself visible.

But let's say some guy walks up to you and says, "Hi, I'm God." Certainly that would not suffice.  What other criteria should be mandated?

It's a stupid question with undefined values. How can a concept without properties, and existence, be evaluated? It's not a thing, and it's not even a coherent concept. It's meaningless to me.


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Quote: are you defending

Double Post

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Quote: are you defending

Quote:

are you defending the truth of the negative absolute?

You obviously did not read it, because I dedicated an entire paragraph to this topic.

Do you normally do this, or is this just a one-off thing?

Quote:

 Hard atheism is irrational

Untrue. Many strong atheists have formed deductive arguments against God. However, since I dedicated three paragraphs to that issue, you could address that instead of begging the question by assuming the same proposition that is under discussion to prove it as true.

Quote:

 I do hope that you are not offended, but I found reading your post, littered with glimpses from philosophy 101 and Latin, chloroform to my eyes.

I don't care. You started the debate, brought up an issue I've gone through numerous times, and took something that was refined over going over that issue numerous times. You started a post about falsification, but it is obvious that you have never read Popper's Open Society and Its Enemies.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


d4rkph03nix
d4rkph03nix's picture
Posts: 31
Joined: 2007-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Weak atheism is not

Weak atheism is not agnosticism. This has been covered in another thread but I'll repeat it for you.  Atheism= lack of belief in a god/gods. Agosticism= lack of knowledge. Agnostic atheist = one who does not know if there is a god and chooses not to believe in the absence of evidence. The lack of belief is still there it just isn't a positive claim as it is for strong atheists who claim to know that there is no god. I identify as an agnostic atheist because I don't claim to know for certain that there is not and can not be a god but I choose not to believe until such time as I see a valid reason to believe.


Holy_Spirit_is_...
Theist
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: 2007-03-08
User is offlineOffline
Let me put it this

Let me put it this way:

Atheism:

Soft or hard

-Hard is irrational since it requires omniscience, so it is eliminated.

-Soft atheism is ultimately agnosticim, or atheistic agnosticism, if you please.

Soft or hard

-Hard is irrational (because it cannot be know that nothing can be known about God), so it is eliminated.

So thus far I have included all non theists, and logically brought them to soft atheistic agnosticism (ie, existence of God unknown, but possible to know somthing about Him).

From here comes the question, what would it take to believe that God exists? The answers are generally the same:

1. He must appear, making himself visible.

2. He must perform supernatural feats, miracles.

3. He must be able to read minds.

4. He must know and prescribe purpose.

5. He must have a firm grip on reality.

6. He must be able to create life.

7. He must claim to be God.

The list can go on, but these are some possible answers.  The point is, all historical evidence points to only one man that fulfilled every single criterion. Ultimately you have to make the choice to accept Him or reject him.

If you reject Him then you are dismissing strong inductive evidence.

Biblical Christian doctine builds on if you accept Him.


d4rkph03nix
d4rkph03nix's picture
Posts: 31
Joined: 2007-09-17
User is offlineOffline
You are missing the very

You are missing the very important point that agnosticism deals with knowledge and atheism deals with belief. They aren't even dealing with the same question so you can't just say " weak atheism is just agnosticism". That is false. Theists can be (one might say necessarily are) agnostic as well. That doesn't make an agnostic theist and an agnostic atheist the same. Please try paying attention to the fact that  weak atheist and agnostic are NOT interchangable and do not mean the same thing. That is why some of us clarify by using BOTH to describe ourselves.

 


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Quote: -Hard is irrational

Quote:

-Hard is irrational (because it cannot be know that nothing can be known about God), so it is eliminated.

I have already refuted this point.

Quote:

 If you reject Him then you are dismissing strong inductive evidence.

Cute. Do you know what the word inductive means?

This is tortorous. Try addressing your interlocutors.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


d4rkph03nix
d4rkph03nix's picture
Posts: 31
Joined: 2007-09-17
User is offlineOffline
And now we're on to the " my

And now we're on to the " my god is the right god because he fulfills my criteria of what god is and all other god stories that do were made up" bs again. No point in pursuing this course.


HC Grindon
High Level DonorModerator
Posts: 198
Joined: 2007-05-11
User is offlineOffline
HolySpirit wrote: HC

HolySpirit wrote:
HC Grindon, (god=false)=true is not the same as how can ((god=false)=true)=false.

Let's try this again. My original equation:

("no god"=true)=false

which you reduced to:

((god=false)=true)=false

HolySpirit wrote:

I have not shifted proof. I have asked you to justify a truth claim to an absolute negative, which is a philosophical absurdity.

Exactly, since ultimately, we seek what is true, which means the equation should be expressed in the form of what is true, not what is false:

not(((god=false)=true)=false)

=

((god=true)=false)=true

or, reversing your reduction method:

("god"=false)=true

or

"god does not exist"=true

and finally back to English, and the question you are really asking me:

"Prove to me that 'god does not exist'."

 

Again, you are simply packaging the burden of proof shift in your "justify a truth claim to an absolute negative" wrapper.

 


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

Let me put it this way:

Atheism:

Soft or hard

-Hard is irrational since it requires omniscience, so it is eliminated.

-Soft atheism is ultimately agnosticim, or atheistic agnosticism, if you please.

Or you could, y'know, agree on a term like "agnostic atheism" rather than trying to engineer it to emphasize agnosticism to get that little bit of colloquial "maybe" out of it. Which is a misrepresentation of agnosticism, BTW.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

Soft or hard

-Hard is irrational (because it cannot be know that nothing can be known about God), so it is eliminated.

This is equivalent to saying that nothing is known, as mentioned previously.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

So thus far I have included all non theists, and logically brought them to soft atheistic agnosticism (ie, existence of God unknown, but possible to know somthing about Him).

No, you've made your god synonymous with nothing.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

From here comes the question, what would it take to believe that God exists? The answers are generally the same:

Why ask a question you plan to answer yourself?

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

1. He must appear, making himself visible.

2. He must perform supernatural feats, miracles.

3. He must be able to read minds.

4. He must know and prescribe purpose.

5. He must have a firm grip on reality.

6. He must be able to create life.

7. He must claim to be God.

These all beg the question.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

The list can go on, but these are some possible answers.  The point is, all historical evidence points to only one man that fulfilled every single criterion.

Those criteria are arbitrary, and your supposed history is limited to one source.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:
Ultimately you have to make the choice to accept Him or reject him.

If you reject Him then you are dismissing strong inductive evidence.

Biblical Christian doctine builds on if you accept Him.

Sigh... begging the question, again.


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2036
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
    I will put it this

    I will put it this way....there is no evidence for any god to date, and as such my non belief still stands as my default position. I have seen no evidence that the bible is true, that any of the descriptions of god is true, none of the acts that are attributed to god are true and so far there has been zero evidence for god outside of you have to have faith and I believe therefore it is true. Until there is evidence that YOUR version of god or any version of god (which may or may not be your version of god) then I stand by my atheistic view of no GODS. This maybe a hard view, however it can be falsifiable by oh i don't know....giving proper evidence of god.

    This same arguement that an invisible magical tea pot that listens and responds to the tea pot believers that worship and pray to it, however this tea pot cannot be detected by any means, but since you cannot disprove it, you cannot state that there is no magical invisible tea pot some where. So yeah this is the arguement that your making.

Now of course this is as ridiculous as people that believe in a god that cares what they think, how they live their lives, answers their prayers and listens to their problems and wants their salvation...oh and you have to have faith for this god(s) as there is no evidence for such said god(s) except for a holy book(s) written by man. Outside of that there is no direct evidence that such said god(s) exist. So my strong atheisim remains because there is no evidence to the contrary.


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Note that I never said it

Note that I never said it was not possible to form inductive or deductive arguments against God. I've constructed a thesis of over 100 pages, which is yet unfinished, but contains, among others, several key points:

1. Supervenience (the necessity of certain beings and properties to generate higher-order beings and properties and the associated relationship, such as that, for example, atoms can exist without human society, but not human society without atoms). The conclusion which I still retain, to this day, is that such principles necessarily eviscerate the concept of a conscious, intelligent being with control over the physical world yet without constituting a physical being itself).

2. Monism (The concept in philosophy of mind and neuroscience that the mind, the source of a conscious, intelligent being, does not have a component of a non-physical ontology, so eviscerating the assertion that such a being could be intelligent)

3. Ex Nihilo (the coherency of the theistic suggestion that an eternally existing being is ontologically separate from the physical universe, such that because it was the entity that created the universe in the first place). My eventual resolution was that the theistic assertion pertaining to the creation of a separate ontology of physical beings and things, of which this being is not of the same substance with, is an impossible contradiction, and is an assertion that requires the propagation of ex nihilo creation by God, which is impossible. I also used this suggestion to propagate the idea within ontology that existence of some form, bare-order properties of being, are uncaused.

4. Infinity (the coherency or lack thereof of suggesting the actual infinite nature of this being while at the same time maintaining that it was an entity and being unto itself, with providence and control, hence ontologically discrete from other discrete beings such as the physical universe) (the conclusion which I still retain in this matter is that there is an internal contradiction between the two)

5. Bare-order property (the question of what substance or property describes a discrete conscious being and agent if it is asserted that such a being has no physical body, and what bundles of properties constituted this being). I eventually resolved that no description was being given, and that the theistic assertion was not giving any ontological properties describing precisely of what this entity is comprised, hence the theistic school of thought is overly vague regarding the assertion that some "intelligent agent" exists, and this is not acceptable in proper philosophical discourse. During this process, I also argued for the philosophical school called Reism, which I still hold to.

6. Universe of discourse (The necessity of descriptors of property of an ontology, ie, that the theistic assertion regarding "supernaturalism" was/is untenable because it is ruled from a universe of discourse, and is defined solely by virtue of negation to the physical. If I can prove this (and I did) it strengthens the idea of #5. My resolution is that I still hold to this today.

7. Causality (The coherency of arguing that God is an immutable, unchanging being with the suggestion that it is a conscious agent with a mind with thoughts that acts upon whims and has causal powers over the physical universe). I worked on this one for quite some time. I eventually argued there was an internal contradiction present in the doctrine.

8. Termination (Self-refuting arguments that rely on special pleading fallacies to bolster the thesis that existence of God is valid by the assignation of ad hoc special characteristics that refute the premise of the argument that establishes them. The Cosmological Argument is especially guilty). My current stand on this is that there is an internal contradiction present in arguments that operate in a similar fashion.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:
He did not resurrect from the dead.

My eyes must defy me because every version of the bible I have read talks about his assention into heaven. Dont worry, I am already aware of this dodge to. "His body didnt rise, his spirit did" (YAWN) Define "spirit" and prove that "spirits" exist.

Quote:
Brian37, I thank you for your complement, but must ask why you began your post with a red herring. I am looking for a reply to my post, and I mentioned nothing about Thor.

Where did I say you mentioned Thor. I am telling you that the magical claims of Jesus, including the absurd "assention" story (body or spirit, take your pick) are in the same mythological catigory of Thor, something you fail to consider. This "you cant prove it doesnt" argument is a distraction away from your lack of evidence for the god you believe. 

Further more even if we would conceed(which we dont) but for the sake of argument ONLY, that a human named Jesus existed, it wouldnt prove that he could magically change water into wine, or magically walk on water or magically spit in someone's eye to cure blindness. It wouldnt  prove that disimbodied being knocked up Mary.

We see Superman flying around New York City in movies, but you dont believe that Superman is anything but an actor and YOU KNOW humans cant really fly like that. 

Quote:
Further please subdue your patronizing interjections. That is neither rational nor called for.

Patronizing is making hocus pokus claims expecting people to swallow it without question. Unless you can demonstrate HOW god got Marry pregnant|(much less that your god exists in the first place), I suggest you look at that claim yourself insted of swallowing it blindly. For your sake, not mine.

Did it ever occure to you that the writers of the bible were human and the stories they wrote were lies? You assume human behavior POOF magically went away when it comes to the origin of your religion. I see it for what it is, a well marketed work of fiction.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

But can he then look at nature in all of its grandeur in astronimically higher degrees of complexity and design and logically deny a designer, accrediting that which he sees to mere happenstance?

Lets examine this claim of "design". Are you willing to be consistant and atribute the good and the bad to your God. If baby human's are designed, then so is cancer and ecoli and tsunamis and tornados and hurricains.

What about babies born with downs syndrome? Is that desigend too? 

What about God's design? That cockroaches outnumber humans, have been on the planet longer and will probibly outlast the human species? What about the fact that eagles have better eysight than humans? What about the needless nipples on men? Is this the efficiancy of God in his "design"?

 No need for a magical puppiteer or man with a red pitchfork to explain the obvious. Why should it frighten you that there is no magic to life?  

And what about God's design of the universe? Meteors have hit this planet and will so again. With all the comets around it is also a posibility that a comet could hit earth too. Not to mention exploding stars could send energy waves that would in a blink of an eye fry this planet. 

Is this the "perfect home" your sky daddy designed? That would be like a parent putting a baby in a crib with an asbestos blanket surounded by broken glass and razor blades.

Here comes the cherry picking............... 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
And now for my favorite

And now for my favorite talk on how good the "design" is...

 

 


Holy_Spirit_is_...
Theist
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: 2007-03-08
User is offlineOffline
My heart cries out, but it goes unheard

No Brian37, this is not a perfect world; what we see in this world is a wreck compared to its initial condition.  Would you blame Ford for bad design if you get in a wreck with your Ranger? Of course not.  Similarly, this universe was created perfectly, with one conditional: man had free will.  See without free will, love cannot exist, but God, who is love desires to have a love relationship with His creation gave man free will. But man chose to ignore God's command in His compassion, relying on his own limited understanding, and blew it.  Man ushered sin into the world and suffering, evil, and catastrophes all stem from the rebelious nature of sin.

So, ultimately, God will destroy His creation infected with this cancerous sin, but in His love, has offered a way of salvation from that day, and ample time for all to accept Him that will. God does not want to force you to accept Him because that defeats the purpose--love cannot be forced and still be called love--rather He wants you to use your own free will to accept Him. If you reject Him, then He will be grieved, but you must pay for your own sinful nature since you did not accept His Son's death as a substitute, and He will fairly judge you and all who have sin will not be saved.

Although the Bible passes the three tests of textual criticism with flying colors, proving itself reliable, man's free will can still reject it.  This is how God offers His love to everyone without being forceful or overbearing.  But there will come a day that God's wrath will overflow, and that day is commonly refered to as Judgement Day. 

But if a man has eyes that refuse to see and ears that refuse to hear, then what more can be said to him?

The wars and rumors of wars have already been fulfilled by WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Cold War, etc.  The tragedies resulting from weather have certainly been fulfilled, at least in part thus far.  Israel has already been reestablished.  Hatred and persecution for Christians is steadily increasing.  False prophets have emerged (resulting in scores of heretical doctrines). These are all biblical prophecies which have been fulfilled.  Next are the rising of a world order, the rebuilding of the Jewish temple and 42 months of peace in Israel.  Once the message of Christianity reaches every person on earth, the end will come. Just as you can know that summer is coming when you see the trees bud, Jesus compared, so you can be certain that the end is near.

I hope that each of you does a fair deal of research before deciding to ignore Christianity as a fairy tale, but the Bible also explains that the path to death and destruction is broad, but the way to life is narrow, and few find it.  I love each and every one of you and pray that you would examine all things carefully to make sure that they are true, never believing something without clear justification for it.  I assume many of you wish that I would do the same, but the fact is that I have studied for some three years now, virtually non-stop, and have come to startling conclusions of my own.  I do not hold this faith because of my parents or friends or environment.  In fact it is mostly in solitude that I discover the most amazing evidences.  But unfortuneately, I cannot just transfer years of studying and knowledge to another person in the limits of an HTML textbox.  You have to make the decision yourself, aside from any hypocritical stereotypes you have regarding "Christians." The answers are in Christ, and his Bible, not in "Christians" necessarily. This will be a constant embarassment, that the greatest evidence for Christianity is its Christians, butalso the greatest evidence against Christianity is its Christians. 

I would love to give you all of the reasons that I have come to this conclusion, but you disect and explain away those things which present even the least hint of confrontation.  What good would it do if I wrote volumes to you? Namely, what good is information that falls on ears that don't intend to hear and eyes that don't intend to see?

It is so clear why the Bible gives the beatitudes (cf. Mat. 5:3-10) because it is these who are most apt to accept Christ. Others think they have it all figured out and see Christ and His message as foolishness (cf. 1 Cor. 2:14).

So I have said much...but now you will certainly tear me to shreds with those doctrines and presuppositions that have already consumed you beyond repair.  For that I am sorry, but remember that you were informed when you yourself find out what comes after this life, or you can continue to convince yourself that there is nothing after life...what a shock that will be.

In Christ's love, just a Christian,

Jared


HC Grindon
High Level DonorModerator
Posts: 198
Joined: 2007-05-11
User is offlineOffline
And so another piece of

And so another piece of Creationist "Logic" has worked it's way through the meat grinder of rationality and real logic, emerging as nothing more than Ground Revelation wrapped in the cellophane of "faith".

We appreciate you shopping at the Rational Response Supermarket, [Apu Voice] thank you, come again![\Apu Voice] 


Vessel
Vessel's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

So I have said much...but now you will certainly tear me to shreds with those doctrines and presuppositions that have already consumed you beyond repair. For that I am sorry, but remember that you were informed when you yourself find out what comes after this life, or you can continue to convince yourself that there is nothing after life...what a shock that will be.

In Christ's love, just a Christian,

Jared

Thanks for trying.

I hope you stop living for the next life, which will never come, and start living for this one before it is too late and you have wasted the only life you have. I also hope you will eventually come to see the danger of holding to dogmatic beliefs, and do not end up adding to humanity's problems by becoming one of those who believes that your god wants to hurry up with that whole armageddon thing and needs a little help from his earthly homies in bringing on the destruction. I also hope you are one who will help work to overcome the problems in the world instead of wasting time in prayer.

Anyway, with reason, just a human being

Vessel 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

[blah blah blah ad hoc] So I have said much...but now you will certainly tear me to shreds with those doctrines and presuppositions that have already consumed you beyond repair.  For that I am sorry, but remember that you were informed when you yourself find out what comes after this life, or you can continue to convince yourself that there is nothing after life...what a shock that will be.

In Christ's love, just a Christian,

Jared

- Threats -- check

- Spite -- check

- Insincere "love" -- check

Ah, Christianity. What a waste of human energy.


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2036
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

No Brian37, this is not a perfect world; what we see in this world is a wreck compared to its initial condition. Would you blame Ford for bad design if you get in a wreck with your Ranger? Of course not. Similarly, this universe was created perfectly, with one conditional: man had free will. See without free will, love cannot exist, but God, who is love desires to have a love relationship with His creation gave man free will. But man chose to ignore God's command in His compassion, relying on his own limited understanding, and blew it. Man ushered sin into the world and suffering, evil, and catastrophes all stem from the rebelious nature of sin.

 Ok...I am going to be really honest here....you....are stupid, why do i say this, your statement above shows your ignorance and lack of knowledge. Where at what given time in history was the world or universe perfect......there has been chaos from the get go. Lots and lots of chaos, and guess what it continues today, at no point in time where humans perfect (see the story of adam and eve that is a metaphor to explain our "sin" it really didn't happen at all it is a load of shit). If you like, about 4.6 billion years ago the earth was formed, now it wasn't created by your god at all. It was formed naturally, there is a huge scientific explaination how it all formed go do some research. after a few million years....life began (how we don't know exactly yet but scientists and others rational people that don't use god did it explaination are trying to answer that as we speak)......there was still chaos going on the earth......a few billion years later the dinosaurs came and they reined for a few 100 million years (still compared today it was chaotic) eventually most of the dinosaurs died off and mammals and smaller lizards survived, still not the greatest place for humans, we still have to forage for food, and the threat of predators that would love to eat us lingers.

    Forward a few million years or about 400,000 years ago....modern man (basically our ancestors that looked alot like us but with more hair and less skills) shows up, this is still far from ideal conditions, i mean predators are still wanting to kill us for food, we haven't mastered farming exactly and civilization doesn't really comes around for a few 100 thousand years. Now about 6000 thousand years ago give or take a few 100 years.....civilization starts, we start having cities of thousands, temples are erected to the gods, rudimentary calendars and writings start to appear, we have mastered how to make tools and farming, now still we are chaotic per se, we fight each other, we have nature against us...oh and those few million years nature was a bitch then as she is now....and the last 400,000 years for modern man....nature...complete bitch at times. So where and at what time was this perfect time, no chaos everything ladi da??? Please do share...because at this point your looking stupid.

Best regards

 Erick M.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7522
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Q. What is atheisms

Q. What is atheisms falisifiability?

A. Theism isn't falisified.

That's as close as you'll get.

 

holy spiriti is wrote:

Only a diluted person would propose that he be omniscient, agreed? 

Kelly said she isn't omniscient, but she is diluted, she claims to have above 80% water content in her system.  She also said she's proud to be diluted versus what all theists are: deluded.

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Fish
Posts: 315
Joined: 2007-05-31
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

No Brian37, this is not a perfect world . . .

That post had nothing to do with his original argument, nor did it in any way address the objections to it.

I guess that's not really surprising though, since it was an untenable position to start with.


daretoknow
Superfan
daretoknow's picture
Posts: 114
Joined: 2007-12-09
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

No Brian37, this is not a perfect world; what we see in this world is a wreck compared to its initial condition. Would you blame Ford for bad design if you get in a wreck with your Ranger? Of course not. Similarly, this universe was created perfectly, with one conditional: man had free will. See without free will, love cannot exist, but God, who is love desires to have a love relationship with His creation gave man free will. But man chose to ignore God's command in His compassion, relying on his own limited understanding, and blew it. Man ushered sin into the world and suffering, evil, and catastrophes all stem from the rebelious nature of sin.

So, ultimately, God will destroy His creation infected with this cancerous sin, but in His love, has offered a way of salvation from that day, and ample time for all to accept Him that will. God does not want to force you to accept Him because that defeats the purpose--love cannot be forced and still be called love--rather He wants you to use your own free will to accept Him. If you reject Him, then He will be grieved, but you must pay for your own sinful nature since you did not accept His Son's death as a substitute, and He will fairly judge you and all who have sin will not be saved.

Although the Bible passes the three tests of textual criticism with flying colors, proving itself reliable, man's free will can still reject it. This is how God offers His love to everyone without being forceful or overbearing. But there will come a day that God's wrath will overflow, and that day is commonly refered to as Judgement Day.

But if a man has eyes that refuse to see and ears that refuse to hear, then what more can be said to him?

The wars and rumors of wars have already been fulfilled by WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Cold War, etc. The tragedies resulting from weather have certainly been fulfilled, at least in part thus far. Israel has already been reestablished. Hatred and persecution for Christians is steadily increasing. False prophets have emerged (resulting in scores of heretical doctrines). These are all biblical prophecies which have been fulfilled. Next are the rising of a world order, the rebuilding of the Jewish temple and 42 months of peace in Israel. Once the message of Christianity reaches every person on earth, the end will come. Just as you can know that summer is coming when you see the trees bud, Jesus compared, so you can be certain that the end is near.

I hope that each of you does a fair deal of research before deciding to ignore Christianity as a fairy tale, but the Bible also explains that the path to death and destruction is broad, but the way to life is narrow, and few find it. I love each and every one of you and pray that you would examine all things carefully to make sure that they are true, never believing something without clear justification for it. I assume many of you wish that I would do the same, but the fact is that I have studied for some three years now, virtually non-stop, and have come to startling conclusions of my own. I do not hold this faith because of my parents or friends or environment. In fact it is mostly in solitude that I discover the most amazing evidences. But unfortuneately, I cannot just transfer years of studying and knowledge to another person in the limits of an HTML textbox. You have to make the decision yourself, aside from any hypocritical stereotypes you have regarding "Christians." The answers are in Christ, and his Bible, not in "Christians" necessarily. This will be a constant embarassment, that the greatest evidence for Christianity is its Christians, butalso the greatest evidence against Christianity is its Christians.

I would love to give you all of the reasons that I have come to this conclusion, but you disect and explain away those things which present even the least hint of confrontation. What good would it do if I wrote volumes to you? Namely, what good is information that falls on ears that don't intend to hear and eyes that don't intend to see?

It is so clear why the Bible gives the beatitudes (cf. Mat. 5:3-10) because it is these who are most apt to accept Christ. Others think they have it all figured out and see Christ and His message as foolishness (cf. 1 Cor. 2:14).

So I have said much...but now you will certainly tear me to shreds with those doctrines and presuppositions that have already consumed you beyond repair. For that I am sorry, but remember that you were informed when you yourself find out what comes after this life, or you can continue to convince yourself that there is nothing after life...what a shock that will be.

In Christ's love, just a Christian,

Jared

ahhhhhhh. Your consequentialist fear mongering, spiced with fallacy and topped with some worthless, but tasty, love really hit the spot. Thanks buddy.

Thats cute.


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
What a steamy pile you


What a steamy pile you just put out there Jered.

I would absolutly blame Ford, if they diliberatly knowing before hand they sold me a car with defective breaks. That is a huge differance than my bad driving causing an accedent.

You are an idiot, so you are saying because you get hungry and need to eat, you wouldnt blame a cook for getting ecoli or bochelism because they didnt cook your food enough, or didnt wash their hands? 

Life is imperfect and so is the universe, so what would that say about the manufacturer?

1. If as you claim, a magical manufacturer exists, then the only thing I would call it is inept and incompetent and I wouldnt buy any car from it.

2.OR Occham's Razor, The reality is simple, SHIT HAPPENS, and you dont need a magical man in a white robe in the sky or a man in a red leotard to exlpain either the things in life that benifit us, or the things that can harm us. Why does that frighten you so much? 

Do you really believe that all the billions and trillions of googles upon googles of atoms in the universe are somehow magically manipulated? 

Do you believe that a man with a pitchfork can rearange the neurons in your brain and get you to do naughty things? 

I hope for your sake you shred that lie and wake up.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


HC Grindon
High Level DonorModerator
Posts: 198
Joined: 2007-05-11
User is offlineOffline
daretoknow

daretoknow wrote:

ahhhhhhh. Your consequentialist fear mongering, spiced with fallacy and topped with some worthless, but tasty, love really hit the spot. Thanks buddy.

Ah very nice-a!  A very palettable culinary metaphor to wrap up my "Creationist Logic" meat-grinding prep metaphor.  Bon appetite!

Wink


FulltimeDefendent
Scientist
FulltimeDefendent's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: 2007-10-02
User is offlineOffline
What it would take for me to believe that God existed.

In Response, A Serious Reflection: What it would take for me to believe that God existed, conducted in two thought experiments.

 

I assume you mean God in the most abstract sense, and not the God of the Old or New Testaments, or any other specific Deity that has ever been worshiped on Earth. If this is the case, then I assume you would include under the category of "God," say, a hypothetical extra-terrestrial with abilities so far beyond humanity that he, she, or it might appear God-like to us. I, however, would not call such an entity God, there being no proof of its connection with any deity dreamed of by humanity. Now, suppose this creature has the ability to read minds and take on any form. Suppose it has visited Earth. Suppose that it has taken the forms of Quetzalcoatl and the God of the Old Testament and Jesus and Buddha and Thor and Baal and Tezcatlipoca (coolest invisible friend ever!) and Artemis and Jupiter. This would not make it a God, in the sense of a creator. Rather, it most likely to be a creature produced by evolution on another world. I must state, however, that such an evolution is highly unlikely, as we all know, evolution doesn't produce perfect organisms. No matter how exotically different life on other planets may or not be, it is HIGHLY IMPROBABLE that we are likely to discover anything remotely resembling anything we've dreamed up on Earth.  Now this is a rational argument,  and a rational argument can be made against it that it is possible. But you cannot argue that it is probable, even moderately. I am not about to call something God simply because it is more physically powerful than myself or any other human being. Chimpanzees have 5-6 times the upper body strength of a full grown man. Tardigrades, tiny animals possibly related to the arthropods, can survive in almost any environment, even a total vacuum like space, but they're not deities, nor would this hypothetical creature be deity by virtue of its own existence. Human beings invented gods. I would not get down on my knees to worship a god-like alien for this reason: however god-like it may be, it is not a god. It is an immensely advanced alien life form, and I would want to know what selection pressures and confluences of evolutionary forces produced such a creature? And I'd bet you any improbably god-like alien, if such things do exist, would probably be an atheist, having all the powers of a god and not actually being one.

Another thought experiment: Most scientists are aware of the theory that a massive flooding event occurred during the late paleolithic/early neolithic, around 10,000 BCE. Now suppose that the ruins of 10-odd thousand year old large sea-going vessel was discovered in a desert. Might we reasonably conclude that the story of Noah's ark might have had some basis in reality? Certainly, but look at the Trobriand Islands: there are tribes there that ritually imitate the military airplanes they saw for the first time during the naval campaigns of World War II. They saw these things as powerful, and did the human thing: imitated them (for the benefit of the theist poster I will not go into Meme Theory Lecture Mode). It does NOT mean that reality has a basis in scripture. To conclude from the hypothesis of a rational explanation for the prevalence of flood myths in virtually all cultures, that a specific deity sent his only hybrid son to die for you and me, is irrational conclusion because their is no plausible connection. The only plausible connection is that living cultures have probably preserved this memory through myth. And a large ocean going vessel in 10,000 BCE? We don't have proof that people were building ark-sized vessels at the time, but the possibility hasn't been ruled out. Considering that smaller boats are very old, probably older than agriculture, it is certainly not impossible. However, it does not mean that there is a God.

 

Now modify this experiment. Along with the remains of the boat are fossilized animals. However, the experts conclude that the boat and the animals come from different time periods. You would be the second to question their methods. They themselves would do it first, and would publish the results before you ever heard about it. Would you immediately start questioning their method, or your wishful thinking? I am going to make an informed guess that you are the type of person who thinks: If 12,000 year old boat with animal fossils, THEN JESUS! This is a logical fallacy.

Modify the experiment again: the animal fossils are contemporary with the boat, and the recession of the flood event. But, the animals are pretty dull: typical shepherd's or farmer's stock, many males and many females and only the two or three species that were probably the economic focus of the ship-builder's life. This is STILL not an argument to take anything in the Bible literally. Even this would not mean that the entirety of scripture is the literal truth.

You see, scripture is informed by reality, but it does not inform reality. The hypothetical shipbuilder is NOT automatically Noah, or Utnapishtim for that matter. He is simply a very industrious neolithic individual, who went a great deal to protect his economic interests.

The scientific method is not flawless, but it is self-correcting in its continuous application. So what would make me believe in the existence of deities or a deity?

SCIENTIFIC PROOF.

 

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
deludedgod wrote:Quote:-Hard

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

-Hard is irrational (because it cannot be know that nothing can be known about God), so it is eliminated.

I have already refuted this point.

Quote:

 If you reject Him then you are dismissing strong inductive evidence.

Cute. Do you know what the word inductive means?

This is tortorous. Try addressing your interlocutors.

 

He obviously can't do so, hence the obtusenss in his replies.

 

Thanks for your post

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
deludedgod wrote:Note that I

deludedgod wrote:

Note that I never said it was not possible to form inductive or deductive arguments against God. I've constructed a thesis of over 100 pages, which is yet unfinished, but contains, among others, several key points:

1. Supervenience (the necessity of certain beings and properties to generate higher-order beings and properties and the associated relationship, such as that, for example, atoms can exist without human society, but not human society without atoms). The conclusion which I still retain, to this day, is that such principles necessarily eviscerate the concept of a conscious, intelligent being with control over the physical world yet without constituting a physical being itself).

Agreed. To speak meaningfully of any of those terms: conscious, intelliget, even 'being' requires terms with ontological status which in turn requires speaking of entities, i.e. substance/matter.

Quote:

2. Monism (The concept in philosophy of mind and neuroscience that the mind, the source of a conscious, intelligent being, does not have a component of a non-physical ontology, so eviscerating the assertion that such a being could be intelligent)

Non physical ontology = incoherence.  Dualism is dead both in science and serious philosophy.

 

Quote:

 

3. Ex Nihilo (the coherency of the theistic suggestion that an eternally existing being is ontologically separate from the physical universe, such that because it was the entity that created the universe in the first place). My eventual resolution was that the theistic assertion pertaining to the creation of a separate ontology of physical beings and things, of which this being is not of the same substance with, is an impossible contradiction, and is an assertion that requires the propagation of ex nihilo creation by God, which is impossible. I also used this suggestion to propagate the idea within ontology that existence of some form, bare-order properties of being, are uncaused.

True ex nihilo would require no cause, no pre-existing entity at all.... 

 

Quote:

4. Infinity (the coherency or lack thereof of suggesting the actual infinite nature of this being while at the same time maintaining that it was an entity and being unto itself, with providence and control, hence ontologically discrete from other discrete beings such as the physical universe) (the conclusion which I still retain in this matter is that there is an internal contradiction between the two)

Readily agreed - to exist is to exist as something, to have attributes... another word for attributes is 'limits'  - unlimited limits is of course, gibberish, but this is precisely what infinite characteristics would be....

Quote:

5. Bare-order property (the question of what substance or property describes a discrete conscious being and agent if it is asserted that such a being has no physical body, and what bundles of properties constituted this being). I eventually resolved that no description was being given, and that the theistic assertion was not giving any ontological properties describing precisely of what this entity is comprised, hence the theistic school of thought is overly vague regarding the assertion that some "intelligent agent" exists, and this is not acceptable in proper philosophical discourse. During this process, I also argued for the philosophical school called Reism, which I still hold to.

Again, I couldn't agree more... theists not only steal from naturalism, they do so unconsciously.

Quote:

6. Universe of discourse (The necessity of descriptors of property of an ontology, ie, that the theistic assertion regarding "supernaturalism" was/is untenable because it is ruled from a universe of discourse, and is defined solely by virtue of negation to the physical. If I can prove this (and I did) it strengthens the idea of #5. My resolution is that I still hold to this today.

our arguments are identical here.

Quote:

7. Causality (The coherency of arguing that God is an immutable, unchanging being with the suggestion that it is a conscious agent with a mind with thoughts that acts upon whims and has causal powers over the physical universe). I worked on this one for quite some time. I eventually argued there was an internal contradiction present in the doctrine.

I also add to this the contradiction of speaking of supernatural causality... causality is part of nature, the supernatural would be acausal, magical, effects without causes.

 

Quote:

8. Termination (Self-refuting arguments that rely on special pleading fallacies to bolster the thesis that existence of God is valid by the assignation of ad hoc special characteristics that refute the premise of the argument that establishes them. The Cosmological Argument is especially guilty). My current stand on this is that there is an internal contradiction present in arguments that operate in a similar fashion.

 

 

Love your review, and I find it interesting that your theist interlocuter just couldn't find the time to respond....

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


Tanath
Tanath's picture
Posts: 70
Joined: 2008-02-13
User is offlineOffline
Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

As I hope we can all agree, it is meaningless to hold something true if the belief is unfalsifiable.

I wouldn't say it's meaningless. Holding an unfalsifiable belief is a possible state of existence. As beliefs inform your actions, it is also not irrelevant to practical concerns.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

Certainly we have all heard of the following example: "I believe that the inside of a watermelon is blue, until it is cut into, at which time it appears red, as a watermelon ought to." This belief is not falsifiable because it isn't necessarily true, but it can never be proven false. As soon as the observer opens up the fuit to observe its color, it is too late and is no longer blue.

That belief most certainly is falsifiable. For one, colour is a property of light. If there is no light inside the watermelon, then it has no colour. I can take this one step further. Perhaps you might argue that you're talking about a property of the watermelon that changes what colour it is when the watermelon is observed. This is basically the argument you meant/wanted to make, I think. Well, you're still wrong. This sort of behaviour actually occurrs at quantum scales, and is detectable by experiment. You might try Googling the double-slit experiment, for instance.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

Identically, belief in an absolute negative is not falsifiable. Meaning, I cannot soundly believe it to be true with any degree of credibility that something absolutely not exist, unless I can observe the enitirity of the space in question simultaneously. If I can observe the space's entirity, but not simultaneously, then the assurance becomes a question of probability, and hence cannot be true absolutely.

False. You can prove a negative, and omniscience is not required. Seems this misconception is extremely prevalent, but ask any logician, and they will tell you otherwise. Let me give you an example: There are no absolute truths.

The statement itself is a negative, and it is provably false, as it contradicts itself by being a claim of absolute truth. So it is necessarily true that there are absolute truths.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

Example: I can believe and determine it true that no white apple with purple polka dots exists in my luch pail because I can observe the inside's entirity simultaneously to determine it so. But I cannot determine it true that no white apple with purple polka dots exists in the universe, simply because I cannot observe the entire universe simultaneously. If one were able to do so, then he would be omniscient. Only a diluted person would propose that he be omniscient, agreed? If indeed he were, then the quest for God will have been concluded. So then to take it a step further, back up, and insert the word "God" for "white apple with purple polka dots".

That's fine for apples, but what about undetectable flying pink elephants, square circles, and creator gods? I've yet to see a coherent/valid, and useful definition of god, in terms of explaining existence. I'm inclined to think it's not possible.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome wrote:

This brings me to my point. Except that a man be omniscient, can he rationally believe it true that God somewhere within the universe, or without, not exist? This, however, is a belief in an absolute negative. If you as a rational thinker understand and accept this, then the philosophy of atheism crumbles to agnosticism, and soft agnosticism at that (id est that one can be unsure of the existence of God, but he cannot be certain that nothing can be known of Him). For to believe that nothing can be known of God is indeed in itself something that is claimed to be known, and so the belief collapses under its own assertion.

So to the person, whom atheism still claims in spite of the previous paragraph, I ask what is the falsifiability of atheism? What possibility of evidence could demonstrate atheism false, without which the belief in atheism is a mere belief in an absolute negative, and therefore has no bearing? Except for omniscience that is...

You are correct that if god (or anything for that matter) were to exist that the assertion that nothing could be known about it is necessarily false. But you haven't followed that line of reasoning far enough. If something exists, then something about it can be known. This means there is necessarily some sort of evidence, or it doesn't exist. To argue that the existence of god is unprovable even in principle is to argue god out of existence.

----
Faith is not a virtue.