Why I left atheism and people like you

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Why I left atheism and people like you

 Let me first start off by saying that I have no desire to be part of this group. I'm simply posting this to state something important.

 Reading the posts that you people put here every day has reminded me of why I left atheism.

 Let me put it to you simply: you're bullies. You people enjoy ridiculing, and accusing anyone of having faith or belief delusional. Let me give you ll a reality check. A true atheist does not bully, or call people who have beliefs names. A true atheist, which you people are not, shows respect to those who have faith or dogma. They can disagree, but to attack them just shows how vile you people are as human beings. As a psychology major, let me give you some words of advice: attacking believers the way you do just shows that you yourselves are uncomfortable of your beliefs. You attack people who believe because deep down, you have a little belief, but don't want to admit it. That's probably the same for the people the people that you look up to (i.e. Sam Harris).

 Let me give you a few points:

-None of you have pr oven that God doesn't exist. You may have been successful in finding major flaws in the God of faith, but none of you, no matter how much you say it, has pr oven that God does not exist.

-Believing in God isn't the problem, religion is. I do agree with all of you that religion is a corruption element of the human psyche. Religion keeps people from being able to have an open mind. God, however, is not bad. Believing in God is a fun and exciting prospect. Science has not found all the answers, so saying their is no God just shows that you have ignorance.

-The "Four Horsemen," or the four most notorious atheists in the world, have not pr oven that God does not exist. The only thing they have succeeded in doing is proving how corrupt religion. You can choir about them all you like, but they have no evidence that their is no God.

-Atheists need faith. You can deny that fact all you like (God, I sound like you people now), but it's true. You need faith that science will find all of the answers.

-Science does not have all of the answers, and has, believe it or not, not been able to prove a lot things. I have heard scientists ADMIT that they have seen things that they were never able to define.

-There is not evidence that God has any interest in, or any connection to religion. Religion is nothing more than an opinion on what God is to a group of people. Not only that, but not every religion in the world believes in a monotheistic called God. For example, Buddhism has atheistic elements.

-The bible, or the babble as you people like to put it, is not a bad book. I have see the bible give countless amounts of joy and comfort to people, especially in time of death.

-There is no evidence that the soul does not exist. Again, science has not yet found all of the answers. Science still has not yet figured out all of the mysteries regarding the human brain.

-Dawkins, who I greatly respect for his intelligence (I am planning on reading The Selfish Gene), has not proven that their no God. In fact, I have heard Dawkins many times say that the question of the EXISTENCE of a God is a scientific question (relating back to what I said before about there being no evidence of God having any connection to religion).Oh, I do believe in evolution by the way.

-You have no proof that their is no afterlife. You can say that there isn't all you like, but you know just as well as I do that you have no proof.

-Putting all of your hope in science is a very blind thing to do. Having spiritually in your life is a healthy and great thing to have. Believing in the unknown and the supernatural makes life more exciting and interesting. 

 Based on these statements, I, in my opinion, feel that you people are wasting your time. You can say there isn't a God all you like, but at the end of the day, you know just as well as I do that you have no proof.

 I left atheism for the simple reason that I was tired of being around people who were so closed minded. You say that theists are closed minded, but when I really look at the big picture I feel that atheists, especially strong ones (which I imagine that most of you are) fall under the same category.

 I'm happy I had the ability to do what Flew did, and do a 360 on my beliefs. Now that I left atheism, I finally realize just how miserable I was.

 I don't care what you people think of me. You can call me a moron, delusional, or idiot all you want. Enjoy the rest of your lives. Hopefully, you take what I've said into consideration. P.S. Please delete my account. I have no desire knowing I'm connected to this site in anyway.

 

 

 

 


Nordmann
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I'm still not with you.

I'm still not with you. Forgive my obvious comprehension problems and go easy with the smarminess, please. However my point about people with delusions affecting their ability to recognise reality is a serious one, and I am not sure that attempting to aver that no proof is really proof is going to help them much. Your link brought me to a website which pointed out that one should be selective when applying the term in connection with scientific theory, but does that mean one can never apply it in any context and still be correct to do so? Have we in "proof" a word of no semantic use except to overstate suspicion? If so, how have we ever trusted our senses sufficiently to expand our knowledge?

 

In short, are you saying that all proof is simply partial proof at best? How do we know this, if so?

 

If nothing can ever be proven, can anything truly be known at all?

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croath wrote:FreeHugMachine

croath wrote:

FreeHugMachine wrote:

- You can't prove a negative... which is essentially what you are asking for in most of your points (God/afterlife)

 

This isn't true.  Consider the following:

1.  The library is not open Sundays

2.  Today is Sunday

3.  Therefore, the library is not open

This isn't a negative proposition, you're referring to a singular easily identifiable entity when you refer to "The Library", thus the library in question has a positive identity. A negative proposition would be of the form:

No Library opens on Sundays.

Now we're referring to something without a positive identity, to prove this you must eliminate this possibility from the entire category "Library" for every element which exists in it. It's a fools pursuit just like trying to prove: No God exists, in which you've taken on the burden of verifying that every type of God ever imagined or imaginable does not exist. 

 

 

 

Croath wrote:

 

In mathematics, there are proofs to show a negative claim.  For example, you can prove that there is no rational number whose square is 2.

 

To prove that there is no rational number (p/q) you can square to find 2 we use proof by contradiction. First you positively identify a rational number, then you show that it is illogical for that rational number to equal 2 as follows:

1. assume sqrt(2)=p/q

sqrt(2)=p/q

2. Square both sides

2= p^2/q^2

3. commute

2q^2 = p^2 ---> implies that p^2 = 2k where k = q^2 and is an integer

4. take q in terms of p^2=2k

p^2 = (2k)^2 = 4k^2 = 2*(q^2)

5. conclude that if sqrt(2) = p/q then p and q are both even numbers.

If p and q are both even numbers then they have a common factor of 2.

The numerator and denominator of our original rational number does not have common factors (or we would have cancelled them) so our conclusion is a contradiction and our original assumption cannot be true.

Notice that we proceed from a positive identity and eliminate it. If we were to proceed from a negative proposition : ie there are no rational numbers which square to equal 2 - then to prove it we would need to check the entire set Q (proven to be infinite) square every element and verify that none square to 2.

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"Proving a negative" is only

"Proving a negative" is only possible when dealing with a scenario in which we know the potential answers to the question. We know, because we invented the system, that if the library is not open then it is closed. We know that if we go somewhere on the planet, we can see that because there is something else there, there can't also be a city. In these examples there aren't really a negative and a positive answer, there are two positive ones.

This doesn't work for "there is no god" because there is nothing positive being put forth by that statement that we could test. If I go the library and see it's open it can't be closed. If I go to location X and find a forest, there can't be a city there.

Now then: If I....do what...and find what...there is no god? Without something positive to look at, there is absolutely no way to determine the truthfullness of this claim.


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Nordmann wrote:In short, are

Nordmann wrote:

In short, are you saying that all proof is simply partial proof at best? How do we know this, if so?

We're running a risk of going off the topic of my original post, so I'll just swing this back.  I already have said enough for you to know that I'm not saying this.  I said in mathematics and logic we can get proofs.  In science, we get well tested and demonstrated theories or facts, but not proofs.

It's just the way we've defined the word proof.  It refers to those things for which there can be no doubt, no mistake.  If there is the possibility of error, or if it turns out you were wrong, then you never had a proof in the first place.


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Quote:If there is the

Quote:

If there is the possibility of error, or if it turns out you were wrong, then you never had a proof in the first place.

 

I agree with that of course. It is after all why the theists' assertions are doomed to remain just that.

 

But is it not true that science also accommodates proofs? I admit the term might sometimes be misapplied but is it wrong in every case? If I mix blue and yellow pigment to test the assumption that I get green is that not a proof when it occurs?

 

Sorry for the derailment. For what it's worth I checked your original post and found this:

 

Quote:

This isn't true.  Consider the following:

1.  The library is not open Sundays

2.  Today is Sunday

3.  Therefore, the library is not open

 

Apparently this was meant to be an example of a negative claim which can be proven, yet no negative claim is made. You have positively averred there is such a thing as a library. You have positively averred that it has a status of being closed, and you have positively averred that this status occurs on a day which is positively Sunday. Just because you couched "closed" as "not open" does not make that which has to be proven a negative. A status is a status, I'm positive of that!

 

Incidentally averring that today is Sunday is not contributing to a proof in any case. To actually prove that the library is closed one would have to test that theory through observation, even on Sunday. So your 3. above is a little premature. But at least it is a provable hypothesis, as you aver, just not exactly the hypothesis you claimed it was and not provable in the manner you suggested.

 

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croath
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Eloise wrote:This isn't a

Eloise wrote:

This isn't a negative proposition, you're referring to a singular easily identifiable entity when you refer to "The Library", thus the library in question has a positive identity. A negative proposition would be of the form:

No Library opens on Sundays.

You're making assumptions that are unwarranted.  The maxim doesn't specify what precisely "a negative" is.  For example, a negative might simply mean the negation of a proposition.  It might mean the denial that a particular class of things exists.  Either way, it is a false claim.  I wasn't the one who wrote the ill-specified maxim, I'm just reading it how it is written.

Your example of a "negative proposition" is equally capable of having evidence to establish it or refute it.  We find but one library that is open on a Sunday, and we know it is false.  If we do a survey of a representative sample of libraries, and find they are all closed Sunday, we can be reasonably confident that this negative proposition is true.  If we check every library we know, then we will have a very high degree of confidence.  Remembering, of course, that with empirical evidence we don't have proofs.

Far from providing an objection to my claim, you have simply showed that under a more precise interpretation of the word "negative", the maxim still fails.

Quote:
It's a fools pursuit just like trying to prove: No God exists, in which you've taken on the burden of verifying that every type of God ever imagined or imaginable does not exist.

Far from needing to evaluate every library, for empirical confidence we can evaluate a subset and form a belief which we then hold with confidence commensurate to the strength of the evidence.

There are at least a couple of errors in your last quoted claim.  First of all, the atheist does not need to "prove" that God does not exist.  He merely needs to give sufficient evidence or reasons that persuades us it is more rational to think God doesn't exist.  In other words, it must outweigh the reasons we have for thinking God does exist.

Second, there are plenty of ways to go about that task, and there have been plenty attempts to do so, including the problem of evil, arguments from scale, "look and see", etc.  Plenty more reasons I can think of that an atheist would try to give positive reasons and evidence to think God does not exist.  These are far more accessible than the absurd task of refuting individually each conception of God that's ever been imagined.

But it's not my job to tell people here how to be persuasive atheists.

Croath wrote:

Notice that we proceed from a positive identity and eliminate it. If we were to proceed from a negative proposition : ie there are no rational numbers which square to equal 2 - then to prove it we would need to check the entire set Q (proven to be infinite) square every element and verify that none square to 2.

Thankyou for sharing the proof, but I was already aware of it.  I fail to see why assuming the "positive" claim, and deriving a contradiction which proves the negative claim, is an objection to anything I have said.  It is, in fact, a beautiful example of how you can sometimes easily prove a negative claim.  My question then would be, what is your point?

My argument against this maxim has only grown stronger after your post, not weaker.  I can now add to the refutation another interpretation of the word "negative" for which the maxim fails, even though my original post was sufficient.  You have also illuminated other readers on one method of proving a negative - primarily, by assuming the positive claim, and deriving a contradiction.


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Going to bed after this

Going to bed after this reply, I think.

Nordmann wrote:

But is it not true that science also accommodates proofs? I admit the term might sometimes be misapplied but is it wrong in every case? If I mix blue and yellow pigment to test the assumption that I get green is that not a proof when it occurs?

 

This would be called evidence, not proof.  Though it's certainly what we would classify as very strong evidence!

 

Nordmann wrote:

Apparently this was meant to be an example of a negative claim which can be proven, yet no negative claim is made.

As in my last post, there is more than one way to interpret the ill-written maxim.  The way I did it in my original post was to say it means the negation of a proposition.  In this case, the proposition is:  The library is open Sundays.  The negative claim is, It is not the case that the library is open Sundays.  In logical form, the proposition might be P, and the negative claim is ~P.

That's just one way we might interpret the word "negative" in the maxim.  For another, see my previous post.

Quote:

Incidentally averring that today is Sunday is not contributing to a proof in any case...

It was only the outline of the kinds of negative claims we daily demonstrate, and an empirical one at that. Another example might be the claim I make to my wife, "There is no milk in the fridge".  She asks me why I say that, and I inform her that five minutes ago I used the last of it.  Of course, there's entirely possible scenarios where I'm wrong, but I have a high degree of certainty.  Certainly this negative claim is well established - but again, we don't have proofs of empirical claims.

On the flip side, the claim that there is no rational number whose square is 2, has a proof.  It is deductively certain, we cannot be mistaken about it.

As you can hopefully see, I'm being charitable in replacing the word "proof" with "demonstrate" in the original maxim ( "You can't prove a negative" ), to allow for empirical claims.  Otherwise the maxim is even more obviously wrong, just by virtue of this one mathematical proof.


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croath wrote:Your example of

croath wrote:

Your example of a "negative proposition" is equally capable of having evidence to establish it or refute it.  We find but one library that is open on a Sunday, and we know it is false.  If we do a survey of a representative sample of libraries, and find they are all closed Sunday, we can be reasonably confident that this negative proposition is true.  If we check every library we know, then we will have a very high degree of confidence.  Remembering, of course, that with empirical evidence we don't have proofs.

Ah! Rather like we've looked all over, but never found any evidence for a god, so our confidence in this negative proposition is fairly high. I see what you mean.

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croath wrote:Eloise

croath wrote:

Eloise wrote:

This isn't a negative proposition, you're referring to a singular easily identifiable entity when you refer to "The Library", thus the library in question has a positive identity. A negative proposition would be of the form:

No Library opens on Sundays.

You're making assumptions that are unwarranted.  The maxim doesn't specify what precisely "a negative" is.  For example, a negative might simply mean the negation of a proposition.  It might mean the denial that a particular class of things exists.  Either way, it is a false claim.  I wasn't the one who wrote the ill-specified maxim, I'm just reading it how it is written.

Ok, I'll cop that. Hugs said "negative claim" not "universally negative proposition" but, even so, his statement wasn't as completely ambiguous as you're claiming either. Hugs did specify that he was referring to the OP's challenges to prove: "There's No God" and "There's No Afterlife" - these are obviously universal negations.

croath wrote:

Your example of a "negative proposition" is equally capable of having evidence to establish it or refute it.  We find but one library that is open on a Sunday, and we know it is false.  If we do a survey of a representative sample of libraries, and find they are all closed Sunday, we can be reasonably confident that this negative proposition is true.  If we check every library we know, then we will have a very high degree of confidence.  Remembering, of course, that with empirical evidence we don't have proofs.

Yes, it is possible to find evidence in support of a universal negative, but, a collection of evidence is not a proof, it's just a collection of evidence. You can infer from evidence that something is true, but your inference may contain false assumptions. These assumptions cannot be exhaustively checked for a universally negative proposition. t to exhaustively check assumptions on some set of universals is equal to (Number of assumptions*Number of elements in the set*time required for each operation). You can't simplify that equation any further to reduce it's complexity.

If you specify a positive definition for some subset or representative sample of the universal and logically eliminate that possibility, then you have proved a universal positive, not a universal negative. You have proven the nature of x finite set of assumptions has y finite set of elements associated with it, and you have identified a z element belonging to a set which intersects x to produce phi (the empty set).

These are all positive propositions which provide evidence of the negation. We can call this a proof in maths because our assumptions are axiomatic. The set of assumptions x and the existence of y elements are bound up with each other, you don't need to check the assumptions because anything not fitting to that assumption is definitionally not belonging to that class.

The reason you can't do this with real world objects is because there isn't a set of assumptions indefinitely bound to the whole set this way in real world objects. For example, as long as Sundays exist you cannot define libraries as services which never open on Sunday because you cannot exhaust the set of Sundays.

And you cannot disprove a class whose elements are the subjects of person's imaginations because you cannot exhaust the set of person's imaginations.

And so forth is the practical case with universal negatives.

 

croath wrote:

Quote:
It's a fools pursuit just like trying to prove: No God exists, in which you've taken on the burden of verifying that every type of God ever imagined or imaginable does not exist.

Far from needing to evaluate every library, for empirical confidence we can evaluate a subset and form a belief which we then hold with confidence commensurate to the strength of the evidence.

But that's not proof. You cannot redefine proof, as the OP clearly intended it, as enough evidence to hold a belief because she clearly asked for absolute logical certainty. Hugs was perfectly correct in stating that this could not be provided.

 

croath wrote:

There are at least a couple of errors in your last quoted claim.  First of all, the atheist does not need to "prove" that God does not exist.  He merely needs to give sufficient evidence or reasons that persuades us it is more rational to think God doesn't exist.  In other words, it must outweigh the reasons we have for thinking God does exist.

Of course we can. But this is not proof of a universal negative. The conclusion No God exists, does not follow from doing this. You know it's not a proof so what relevance does it have to the subject of proving universally negative propositions like the ones in the OP?

 

 

Croath wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Notice that we proceed from a positive identity and eliminate it. If we were to proceed from a negative proposition : ie there are no rational numbers which square to equal 2 - then to prove it we would need to check the entire set Q (proven to be infinite) square every element and verify that none square to 2.

Thankyou for sharing the proof, but I was already aware of it.  I fail to see why assuming the "positive" claim, and deriving a contradiction which proves the negative claim, is an objection to anything I have said.

As I pointed out above, it proves a positive because that's all you can do, you can't prove a negative, you can't prove a universal negative, all you can do is demonstrate that Y precisely defined positive identity has X limitations which intersect set Z to produce phi. Or in other words, Z elements are not in X where at least X is completely positively defined.  Y is always the case for X is not proved here and cannot be assumed unless Y is always the case for X by definition, this is true of number sets because it's axiomatic for number sets, for real world objects it's assumed pragmatically because exhaustive proof is out of the question.

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Eloise wrote:Ok, I'll cop

Eloise wrote:

Ok, I'll cop that. Hugs said "negative claim" not "universally negative proposition" but, even so, his statement wasn't as completely ambiguous as you're claiming either. Hugs did specify that he was referring to the OP's challenges to prove: "There's No God" and "There's No Afterlife" - these are obviously universal negations.

It's very graceful of you to accept my point, I respect that.

I think that in this last post, there is the one mistake woven through all your responses.  It is a point I'd hoped I'd already established earlier, but it may have escaped your notice (as sometimes happens in discussions).

You are saying that the op meant only that "You cannot prove a universally negative proposition", as you have defined those terms.  My response earlier was that this is a trivial claim, since you cannot prove any empirical claim.  In any given scenario, we can establish possible (though unlikely) conditions in which we were mistaken about what we thought we demonstrated.  So, if we restrict our statement to the realm of empirical enquiry, then the statement "You cannoy prove anything" is true, and implies the statement "You cannot prove a universally negative proposition".

I was being charitable by assuming by "proof", the OP meant "evidence".  Otherwise, his statement is banal, and doesn't achieve what he wants it to.

This is why I avoided using the word "proof" in my previous post, though you thought I should be to represent the OP's statement.  I was trying to avoid his mistake.


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croath wrote:FreeHugMachine

croath wrote:

FreeHugMachine wrote:

- You can't prove a negative... which is essentially what you are asking for in most of your points (God/afterlife)

 

This isn't true.  Consider the following:

1.  The library is not open Sundays

2.  Today is Sunday

3.  Therefore, the library is not open

 

There are plenty of ways to give both evidence and arguments to support a negative claim.  Perhaps you will go to the library and see, or look up its open and closed times on the internet.

 

In mathematics, there are proofs to show a negative claim.  For example, you can prove that there is no rational number whose square is 2.

 

Just believing a negative claim (eg, that God does not exist) does not absolve you of your responsibility to have reasons for your belief.  Such a maxim ("you can't prove a negative" ) is popular amongst atheists, but false - you ought to re-evaluate any beliefs or arguments that you've formed over the years that depend on this maxim.

"I can fart a Lamborghini out of my ass" and by proxy of naked assertion because you have never seen me do such, I must have by default.

Virgins don't get knocked up by disimbodied beings. If someone claims otherwise, it is up to them to prove they can.

You falsely equate all claims as being equal. DNA is not a matter of equality, it is a matter of fact. Show me one ghost, spirit, god or boogieman who has ever subjected itself to a cheek swab for DNA.

It would be as probible as a Pink Unicorn subjecting itself to a DNA swab.

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Eloise wrote:As I pointed

Eloise wrote:

As I pointed out above, it proves a positive because that's all you can do, you can't prove a negative, you can't prove a universal negative, all you can do is demonstrate that Y precisely defined positive identity has X limitations which intersect set Z to produce phi. Or in other words, Z elements are not in X where at least X is completely positively defined.  Y is always the case for X is not proved here and cannot be assumed unless Y is always the case for X by definition, this is true of number sets because it's axiomatic for number sets, for real world objects it's assumed pragmatically because exhaustive proof is out of the question.

Missed this in my first reading of your post.  I don't see why you think that the proof is not of a negative claim.  It is a universal negative claim, and it is proven.  If we were to write that in logical form, it would be something like:

∀x(Nx->~Sx)

Where N is "is a rational number", and S is "square is two".  In English you would it read like this: For all x, if that x is a rational number, then its square is not 2.

This is a universal negative, and is proven. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/618120/universal-negative-proposition

 

 


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JillSwift wrote:She explains

JillSwift wrote:

She explains it a bit in her sig. You should look through her posts, her arguments about reality and her deistic/pantheistic views are fascinating.

Maybe I missed the boat on this, but Pantheism and, to a lesser extent, Panentheism seem to relabel existence as God. Does Panentheism include some form of supernatural consciousness? Any comments Eloise?

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JillSwift wrote:She explains

Stupid intertubes! I knew I shouldn't have pushed it again...


 


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spike.barnett wrote:Maybe I

spike.barnett wrote:

Maybe I missed the boat on this, but Pantheism and, to a lesser extent, Panentheism seem to relabel existence as God. Does Panentheism include some form of supernatural consciousness? Any comments Eloise?

 

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/17550

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

spike.barnett wrote:

Maybe I missed the boat on this, but Pantheism and, to a lesser extent, Panentheism seem to relabel existence as God. Does Panentheism include some form of supernatural consciousness? Any comments Eloise?

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/17550

Eloise, are you a Pantheist or Panentheist? You seem to be using the terms interchangeably. I'm a little confused by the usage in the linked thread.

 

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croath wrote:Eloise wrote:As

croath wrote:

Eloise wrote:

As I pointed out above, it proves a positive because that's all you can do, you can't prove a negative, you can't prove a universal negative, all you can do is demonstrate that Y precisely defined positive identity has X limitations which intersect set Z to produce phi. Or in other words, Z elements are not in X where at least X is completely positively defined.  Y is always the case for X is not proved here and cannot be assumed unless Y is always the case for X by definition, this is true of number sets because it's axiomatic for number sets, for real world objects it's assumed pragmatically because exhaustive proof is out of the question.

Missed this in my first reading of your post.  I don't see why you think that the proof is not of a negative claim.

Well, reductio ad absurdum is an indirect proof. In the practical sense any proof of a universal negative will be done by an indirect method. Proving something indirectly means just that, you have proven something from which the negative can be inferred with a significant amount of certainty. In the case of the proof that sqrt2 is irrational, as I said earlier, we halt the distribution of one variable, the set Q, take a representative of it to represent the other variable sqrt2, then we take a fairly general look at the distribution of sqrt2 written as an element of Q. Our degree of certainty in inferring that a quotient defining sqrt2 falls outside Q is a consequence of how exhaustive our definition of Q is for the purposes of the inference. For real world objects and questions definitions as exhaustive as those in math are really quite impracticable, so saying "you can't prove a universal negative" is generally right on those grounds.

A good many philosophers will agree with you rather than agree with me on this saying for example ~'No Bachelors are Married' is the self-contradicting term "married bachelors", from which we can infer that the first proposition is true. Given the limits to which we have distributed the anchoring term "bachelors" the intersection of married and bachelors is empty, but exhaustively testing the assumptions of that distribution limit is still impracticable so we concede to the inference as we concede to the limited practicability of exhaustively defining bachelors.

 

croath wrote:

 It is a universal negative claim, and it is proven.  If we were to write that in logical form, it would be something like:

∀x(Nx->~Sx)

Where N is "is a rational number", and S is "square is two".  In English you would it read like this: For all x, if that x is a rational number, then its square is not 2.

This is a universal negative, and is proven. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/618120/universal-negative-proposition

Yeah, I would say the proof is conceded, but lets not get into a long unresolvable over the limits of logic and the problem of universals. We were discussing a comment made by someone in response to the charge:- "you have not proved there is No God". That person argued it wasn't possible to do so and I think it was the right answer.

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spike.barnett

spike.barnett wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

spike.barnett wrote:

Maybe I missed the boat on this, but Pantheism and, to a lesser extent, Panentheism seem to relabel existence as God. Does Panentheism include some form of supernatural consciousness? Any comments Eloise?

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/17550

Eloise, are you a Pantheist or Panentheist? You seem to be using the terms interchangeably. I'm a little confused by the usage in the linked thread.

 

I identify Panentheist where panentheism defines all in God/ God in all.

According to me a Panentheist is basically a Pantheist with a different concept regarding the nature of the universe. We both think the universe and god are one thing but what we conceive of when we think universe, is generally, not the same thing.

A pantheist, for example, does not conceive of a universe wherein every infinitessimal part and the whole are indistinct. To a pantheist the whole universe is god and the assumption is that the whole universe is the very large everything we perceive around us thus God is distinct from the smallest fraction of the universe. 

For a Pantheist the concept of God as all-powerful follows from this definition of the universe being large and distinct from pieces making it up. Pantheism conceives a powerful God as an extension of a determining relationship by the massive causal influences of a large universe on the small and insignificant objects occupying it.

I see this concept as a relic of severely weakened assumptions about how the universe works. The perception of a universe in motion, underlying the laws of Netwonian mechanics leads directly to the prediction that the greatest mass exerts the greatest force. But we know also, since, of immense forces carried in a universe which relative to Newtonian motion, doesn't move at all and is for intensive purposes, massless.

I see the Pantheistic concept that the greatest power must necessarily constitute the greatest mass, as merely a concession to an idea with a long history of influence over our politics. It doesn't come from the stories about God, those stories describe an entity whose power is exerted through the smallest and most insignificant of things.

So if "God", then Panentheism, which is essentially Pantheism sans a troubled assumption regarding the nature of potency.

This is one major distinction I make between the two, there's more, but I will suppose thats enough to be going on with for now. I hope, at least, I have given you some idea why I identify one way but essentially define them as the same. The difference between them is not a difference between Gods but a difference between universes.

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spike.barnett

spike.barnett wrote:

JillSwift wrote:

She explains it a bit in her sig. You should look through her posts, her arguments about reality and her deistic/pantheistic views are fascinating.

Maybe I missed the boat on this, but Pantheism and, to a lesser extent, Panentheism seem to relabel existence as God. Does Panentheism include some form of supernatural consciousness? Any comments Eloise?

BOTH are merely newer attempts to repackage the "gap answer" and are no more credible than pink unicorns.

 

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Eloise wrote:For real world

Eloise wrote:

For real world objects and questions definitions as exhaustive as those in math are really quite impracticable, so saying "you can't prove a universal negative" is generally right on those grounds...[snip]... We were discussing a comment made by someone in response to the charge:- "you have not proved there is No God". That person argued it wasn't possible to do so and I think it was the right answer.

I agree with you that such an approach as we did for the mathematical proof is impracticle in the world of matter and energy.  We have seen that if we interpret the word "proof" strictly, then it is false since we have some proofs of a universal negative.

However, I think you make a mistake when you apply these mathematical arguments to the real world, and show how they are impractical - I think it is irrelevant to my argument to show them impractical.  You have aptly shown that a proof of a universal negative in the real world is not possible.  But I would say that a proof of any claim about the world of matter and energy is impossible.  As I mentioned earlier, I agree with the claim "you can't prove a universal negative" if we take it to be about empirical claims.  But I would also say that the claim, "you can't prove anything" is also true when restricted to that domain of things.

So, we must interpret the phrase as being something like, "you can't give evidence for a universal negative", to avoid the statement being trivial and irrelevant to all discussions.  But interpreted in this way, I think it is still false.  I can think of various ways, as I've listed in earlier posts, that you can give evidence in support of a universal negative.  I even think that you can give such evidence for the universal negative claim, "there is no God".  It seems to me that no matter which way you cut this phrase, it's useless.

In the one interpretation it turns out to be true (a strict reading of the word 'prove', as related to the physical world), it is true trivially, and so is the phrase "you can't prove anything".  In fact, the statement "you can't prove anything" implies that "you can't prove a universal negative".  I'm pretty sure the OP didn't want to claim that you can't prove anything.  He just wanted to deny that he has any duty to give reasons specifically for his disbelief in God.


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You can even prove that

You can even prove that there are statements that are unprovable, or undecidable, even within mathematics - lookup Goedel's Theorem.

The more general the statement, the more logical traps you can fall into.

So it is true you have to be careful with such statements as 'you can't prove a negative', or even a 'universal negative'. You really have to take into account the relevant details of the claim being made.

 

 

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Looks like there actually

Looks like there actually are Atheists that do believe in "Original Sin", or they didn't see your updated thread.

This is amusing!


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Resistance is futile.

Resistance is futile.


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The original post was filled

The original post was filled with so much flawed logic that I frankly dont have the time, or the inclination to respond... other than to say this about his claim that we are "Bullies".

Hardly. With few exceptions we are a group defending ourselves against the real bullies...

I hope that if there ever comes a day when I stop posting on a particular internet messageboard, should my life be so devoid of anything interesting that I feel compelled to announce my departure with an inane rationalization, that someone close would euthenize me.


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Eloise wrote:I identify

Eloise wrote:

I identify Panentheist where panentheism defines all in God/ God in all.

Thank you for answering my queries, but there are a few details I'm still fuzzy on.

Does the Panentheistic God purposefully intervene in the world? Does it help along things that fit it's whims and hinder things that do not? Does it have a sort of consciousness?

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Get a room you two.   

Get a room you two.

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Get a

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Get a room you two.

 

 

 

Que? Are you talking to me Cpt?

 


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Hehe, I mean the discussion

Hehe, I mean the discussion between you and spike should get it's own thread.

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Hehe, I

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Hehe, I mean the discussion between you and spike should get it's own thread.

 

Strangely enough, I knew that. I must be getting used to your shorthand.

I suppose I had better start it then...

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ToLookBeyond wrote: Let me

ToLookBeyond wrote:

 Let me first start off by saying that I have no desire to be part of this group. I'm simply posting this to state something important.

 Reading the posts that you people put here every day has reminded me of why I left atheism.

 Let me put it to you simply: you're bullies. You people enjoy ridiculing, and accusing anyone of having faith or belief delusional. Let me give you ll a reality check. A true atheist does not bully, or call people who have beliefs names. A true atheist, which you people are not, shows respect to those who have faith or dogma. They can disagree, but to attack them just shows how vile you people are as human beings. As a psychology major, let me give you some words of advice: attacking believers the way you do just shows that you yourselves are uncomfortable of your beliefs. You attack people who believe because deep down, you have a little belief, but don't want to admit it. That's probably the same for the people the people that you look up to (i.e. Sam Harris).

This is a no true scotsman fallacy. The ONLY thing that makes someone an atheist is that they do not believe in god. Anything else they do has no bearing on whether they are an atheist.

It is important to distinguish atheism from anti-theism. Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, et al, do not criticise religion because they are atheists, rather they criticise religion because they are anti-theism. What you appear to be saying is that no true atheist can be anti-theism. Why not? Why is it that to be a 'real' atheist you must respect the religious beliefs of others?

Our 'attacking' religion often has little to do with our atheism, indeed, you can be anti-theism and NOT be an atheist (e.g. you can be a deist). In other cases, atheists do not attack a religious doctrine because they are atheists, rather they attack it because they feel that doctrine is wrong in of itself, regardless of their opinion on god, for example, the Catholic Churches stance on contraception.

 
Quote:
Let me give you a few points:

-None of you have pr oven that God doesn't exist. You may have been successful in finding major flaws in the God of faith, but none of you, no matter how much you say it, has pr oven that God does not exist.

This is shifting the burden of proof. Atheism is justified on the inability of anyone to prove that a god does in fact exist. Since no god has been proven to exist, the justified position is to abstain from belief in a god, which is atheism, and since this potion does not positively claim that a god definitely does not exist, the atheist incurs no burden.

 

Quote:
-Believing in God isn't the problem, religion is. I do agree with all of you that religion is a corruption element of the human psyche. Religion keeps people from being able to have an open mind. God, however, is not bad. Believing in God is a fun and exciting prospect. Science has not found all the answers, so saying their is no God just shows that you have ignorance.

This is an argument from ignorance/incredulity. Our hitherto lack of knowledge is not an argument god the existence of god.

Also, who exactly is saying there is no god? Atheists may deny a particular god exists, based on the claims made about that god (e.g. if a god is shown to be contradictory, then one is justified to deny its existence), but very few atheists will deny the existence of any god out right. What you seem to be arguing for here is deism... the belief in an undefined, first cause that has since played no role in human activity. I expect few atheists to have a problem with deism, since deists are not the ones trying to thrust their beliefs onto society, after all, the god of deism plays no role in society and thus offers no support or justification for the deist to spread their beliefs. I suspect the only problem the atheist and secularist will have with a deist is if they argue that religion should not be criticised (are you appear to be doing).

 

Quote:
-The "Four Horsemen," or the four most notorious atheists in the world, have not pr oven that God does not exist. The only thing they have succeeded in doing is proving how corrupt religion. You can choir about them all you like, but they have no evidence that their is no God.

You're shifting the burden of proof again! Neither of the "Four Horsemen" say that does definitely does not exist, so they do not have to prove anything. To justify their position all they have demonstrate (and they do) is that there is no reason or evidence to believe in a god. 

 

Quote:
-Atheists need faith. You can deny that fact all you like (God, I sound like you people now), but it's true. You need faith that science will find all of the answers.

Since faith is defined as holding a belief without evidence, the atheist requires nothing of the sort. Nothing about the atheist position rests on faith.

The atheist does not place its faith in science, rather the atheist acknowledges the methodology and prior achievements of science and therefore acknowledge that future knowledge will almost certainly derive from scientific inquiry. Their trust in science is not faith-based, far from it, it is a trust supported by a wealth of evidence and justification.

Perhaps you can give us a better reason to think that an atheist needs to hold a belief without evidence?

 

Quote:
-Science does not have all of the answers, and has, believe it or not, not been able to prove a lot things. I have heard scientists ADMIT that they have seen things that they were never able to define.

Why exactly is honesty a bad thing? Why is a scientist announcing that they do not knowing something a bad thing. I guess you're used to the religious arrogance of claiming knowledge even when they have no idea?

You're absolutely right... there is a lot that we do not yet know, yet your telling this to us as if this is news! No one here pretends science understand everything. Ironically your own comments refute your own suggestion... you speak to us as if we think science knows everything, and then to present a scientist who is perfectly willing to say that we do not know everything.

 

Quote:
-There is not evidence that God has any interest in, or any connection to religion. Religion is nothing more than an opinion on what God is to a group of people. Not only that, but not every religion in the world believes in a monotheistic called God. For example, Buddhism has atheistic elements.

Oh I agree, religion is man made. Obviously you reject religion, and so presumably also revelation. How then do you know a god exists? On what basis do you believe in a god?

 

Quote:
-The bible, or the babble as you people like to put it, is not a bad book. I have see the bible give countless amounts of joy and comfort to people, especially in time of death.

 

The bible is packed with some of the most immoral things ever written. The fact a few pearls of wisdom can be found can be found in it (which are typically not unique to it, by the way) doesn't change this, nor does that fact some people get joy and comfort from it; it still does not make its content true.

 

Quote:
-There is no evidence that the soul does not exist. Again, science has not yet found all of the answers. Science still has not yet figured out all of the mysteries regarding the human brain.

Shifting the burden of proof again!

Until you, or anyone else for that matter, has evidence that a soul does exist, the most rational position is to withhold belief in their existence. The fact there is still lots to know about the human condition and about the universe is not an argument for the existence of souls.

Before we start looking for souls we must first define exactly what it is we a we looking for; this entails providing an ontology for souls and an empirical basis for inquiring about them. What do souls do? Are they supernatural? If they are supernatural, how can we know anything about them, and how can they interact with the natural world? If they are natural, then how do they interact with this (still unproven) supernatural 'world' and what would be 'magical' about them?

 

Quote:
-Dawkins, who I greatly respect for his intelligence (I am planning on reading The Selfish Gene), has not proven that their no God. In fact, I have heard Dawkins many times say that the question of the EXISTENCE of a God is a scientific question (relating back to what I said before about there being no evidence of God having any connection to religion).Oh, I do believe in evolution by the way.

Dawkins does not completely deny the existence of a god, so he does not need to prove that no god exists.

Your post is largely one big fallacy of shifting the burden of proof.

 

Quote:
-You have no proof that their is no afterlife. You can say that there isn't all you like, but you know just as well as I do that you have no proof.

Another shifting the burden of proof fallacy! We do not say there is definitely no afterlife, rather we just say there is little reason to believe in one, so we do not need to disprove the idea of an afterlife. I would add however that it is likely that an afterlife rests on dualism (the idea that consciousness/the mind/our identity is distinct from our physical brains), however we can confidently reject the idea of dualism, which does put a dent into the notion of an afterlife, nevertheless, we still to not claim to know what happens after we die.

 

Quote:
-Putting all of your hope in science is a very blind thing to do. Having spiritually in your life is a healthy and great thing to have. Believing in the unknown and the supernatural makes life more exciting and interesting.

Who is putting all their hope in science? Hope in what? If you're speaking of hope in a better way of life or in curing diseases, then I most certainly do put my hope in science, since it is most likely through science that these things will be realised? You really need to be a bit more specific.

As for spirituality... you need to divorce spirituality, religion, god and faith-based thinking from each other. Many atheists can be very spiritual in their own way. Being spiritual does not entail they we must accept things on insufficient evidence, so don't mistake our criticism of religion, or our unwillingness to believe anything, as our not being spiritual. Spirituality =/= faith-based thinking.

Can you explain why believing in the "unknown" (whatever that is) and the "supernatural" (whatever that is too) is a good thing? Why is believing in things without evidence a good thing that we should all aspire to?

 

Quote:
Based on these statements, I, in my opinion, feel that you people are wasting your time. You can say there isn't a God all you like, but at the end of the day, you know just as well as I do that you have no proof.

Please stop shifting the burden of proof.

 

Quote:
I left atheism for the simple reason that I was tired of being around people who were so closed minded. You say that theists are closed minded, but when I really look at the big picture I feel that atheists, especially strong ones (which I imagine that most of you are) fall under the same category.

No! Very few of us are strong atheists. You really need to understand who your are speaking to before you start throwing around claims about what we all believe.

Calling atheists closed minded is really just theist projection. Can you tell us how exactly are atheists closed minded? Our inability to believe anything does not make us closed minded.

Assuming you were actually an atheist (I suspect you were an implicit atheist), you obviously did not turn to theism or deism by choice (since belief isn't a matter of choice), rather I most likely turn to theism/deism because you found the position convincing, so I find it highly unlikely that the supposed attitude of atheist made you accept belief in god.

 

Quote:
P.S. Please delete my account. I have no desire knowing I'm connected to this site in anyway.

Really, why bother posting you are just going to demand your account be deleted?!

 

 

 

 

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Eloise wrote:Cpt_pineapple

Eloise wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Hehe, I mean the discussion between you and spike should get it's own thread.

 

Strangely enough, I knew that. I must be getting used to your shorthand.

I suppose I had better start it then...

Heh... I suppose I'd better find it then...

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spike.barnett wrote:Eloise

spike.barnett wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Hehe, I mean the discussion between you and spike should get it's own thread.

 

Strangely enough, I knew that. I must be getting used to your shorthand.

I suppose I had better start it then...

Heh... I suppose I'd better find it then...

 

oops sorry spike, I forgot, I didn't make it hard to find though, I hope.

(actually, I forgot because I was splitting my concentration between the forum and experimenting with the integration (cuberoot(x))squared).artcan((cuberoot(x))squared)dx... I probably shouldn't have.)

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ToLookBeyond wrote:As a

ToLookBeyond wrote:

As a psychology major, let me give you some words of advice: attacking believers the way you do just shows that you yourselves are uncomfortable of your beliefs. You attack people who believe because deep down, you have a little belief, but don't want to admit it.

 

As a licenced Psychologist let me give you this word of advice: any observed behavior in and of itself can only sugest to some extend (how much depending of course on the behaviour and its observable recurrence) the mental state and/or condition of an individual which, if it's something you strive to asses, requires a deeper and more elavorate process that may include actual clinical interviews if not the application of a battery of tests.

ToLookBeyond wrote:
That's probably the same for the people the people that you look up to (i.e. Sam Harris).

You're assuming we look up to anyone and, if one would be so quick, it could be concluded that this little gem says more about you than anyone else. 

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albedo_00 wrote:You're

albedo_00 wrote:

You're assuming we look up to anyone and, if one would be so quick, it could be concluded that this little gem says more about you than anyone else. 

In your line of work, do you ever get sick of projection, or would that be like getting sick of air? It seems so ubiquitous in normal conversation that the clinical setting must present far more opportunities.

 

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