how can you prove god's non existance?

andrewgor
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how can you prove god's non existance?

So i have a question, if you forget relegion, bible, ten commandment and all that none sense, how can you prove that god doesnt exist?


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Quite simply, you can't.

Quite simply, you can't. That question is the same as asking someone to disprove that lawn gnomes don't come to life and rape the pink flamingos when you're asleep. A negative can't be proven.


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Exactly! so for all we know,

Exactly! so for all we know, there could be a god out there.


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There are an infinite number

There are an infinite number of possible universe scenarios.  That hardly proves God exists.  If it does, then there are a lot of screwed up things in existence. 

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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You can't. Surprised?

You can't.

Surprised? Don't be. It doesn't mean the theists win.

Here are a couple of concepts you need to be familiar with:

Positive Definition: This is simply a definition that includes a description of what a thing is. A list of things that something isn't is not a definition.

Think of it this way. If I tell you that I have something in my vision, and it is not an elephant, can you tell me what it is? No. In fact, if I listed a billion things that it was not, you still would not know what it is.

There's a trick to this... some might say, If I have a box with a penny and a pencil in it, and I tell you I'm thinking of something in the box, and it is not a penny, then you know it's a pencil. That sounds like a negative definition but it's not. I have given you a universe of discourse. In other words, I've given you a set of positive definitions to choose from, and eliminated one of them, leaving you with only one positive definition.

Ok. Now that you understand negative definitions, one more concept...

Burden of Proof: This is a simple way of saying that if you claim something, it is up to you to prove that it exists. Nobody else has any burden to disprove what you have claimed. The best way to illustrate this is to think of what things would be like if it were not true. Suppose you have to disprove the nonexistence of something. Anything. First, it can't be done. If you had an infinite amount of time, and the means to traverse the entire universe, you could not prove the nonexistence of something, because there would be no way to prove that it was not always someplace different from your location, out of your sight. Second, if you have to disprove one thing, there's no reason why you wouldn't have to disprove EVERYTHING! This of course, can't be done because you can't even name everything, and even if you could, there would be a new thing created, which would be "Your knowledge of everything" which you would then have to disprove!

In short, disproof is nonsense.

Ok, now that you understand that the claimant is responsible for proving his position, and that the only meaningful definition is a positive one, you should be able to see that a claimant is only someone who claims that something with a positive definition exists.

What is it that atheists claim exists?

That's right! They don't claim that anything exists!

Who claims that something exists?

That's right again! Theists!

Ok, so now you understand that atheists have absolutely nothing to prove, right?

(picture me holding my breath for the inevitable theist response: Yeah, but you claim that god doesn't exist.. now you have to prove it... When this happens, I'm just going to sigh and put my head through a sheet rock wall.)

 

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andrewgor wrote: Exactly!

andrewgor wrote:
Exactly! so for all we know, there could be a god out there.

Can one prove that God isn't just playing a big joke on Christians?  Maybe God is going to damn all Christians to hell, send Muslims to heaven, and reincarnate atheists.   You can prove me wrong.


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andrewgor wrote: Exactly!

andrewgor wrote:
Exactly! so for all we know, there could be a god out there.

And until such time as there is empirical proof, the possibility deserves as much attention as the possibility of three headed cat-people from the plant Flarg who make the fizzies in my beer.

 

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andrewgor wrote: Exactly!

andrewgor wrote:
Exactly! so for all we know, there could be a god out there.

 Likewise for all we know the lawn gnomes DO come to life and rape pink flamingos. The probability, however, is so extremely unlikely that it's not even worth considering that it's real. Likewise the probability that there's an invisible sky daddy who spanks us for eternity for simply not believing he exists is so unlikely that it's not worth considering; yet people are willing to kill over their absurd view of reality.


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andrewgor wrote: So i have

andrewgor wrote:
So i have a question, if you forget relegion, bible, ten commandment and all that none sense, how can you prove that god doesnt exist?

God the creator = impossible.
Matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed.

God the loving = impossible.
Life sucks, then you die. Which also sucks.

God the allknowing granting freewill = impossible.
The terms are exclusive to themselves, incapable of coexisting.

What's left?

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AnointedHeathen

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Quite simply, you can't. That question is the same as asking someone to disprove that lawn gnomes don't come to life and rape the pink flamingos when you're asleep. A negative can't be proven.

This is only true with inductive claims. 

We can rule out a claim deductively. We make categorical universal negative declarations all the time.

If a claim is internally inconsistent, then we can call it false.

We can also state that a claim is incoherent. If this is the case, then the claim is meaningless. 

 

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Hambydammit wrote:You

Hambydammit wrote:

You can't.

Yes you can.

The 'you can't prove a negative' is a myth spread about the internet. It's false.

Carrier even wrote something on it:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/theory.html 

There are only limits to inducitve rule outs... but we can rule out a claim deductively. If a claim is contradictory, then it is false. I don't need to scour the universe to know that 2+2=5 is false.

Also, if a claim is incoherent, then it is meaningless.

 

In addition, those who argue "Ah, you can't rule out my claim conclusively, so it must be true!" are committing the fallacy of arguing from inductive uncertainty. Others call it the "negative proof fallacy" : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_proof

 

 

 

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I've been under the

[superfluous]


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todangst wrote: If a claim

todangst wrote:

If a claim is internally inconsistent, then we can call it false.

We can also state that a claim is incoherent. If this is the case, then the claim is meaningless.

I should point out that while I couldn't possibly disagree with this, I prefer to sit back and wait for a coherent positive definition. I find that the disproof argument backfires with theists, because if you haven't gotten their signed, sealed, bible-sworn affadavit to the "Complete and Incontrovertibly True Positive Definition of God" they will just waffle between conflated terms for the duration of the argument.

With the "You give me a definition, then prove it" approach, there's really not that much to do but twiddle your thumbs until such a time as they offer both a definition AND proof.

 

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The burden is not on those

The burden is not on those to prove the non-existence of god. The burden is on those to prove the existence of God.

"Why would God send his only son to die an agonizing death to redeem an insignificant bit of carbon?"-Victor J. Stenger.


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okay, so what you guys are

okay, so what you guys are saying is that, as long as i can't prove the existance of god, he doesnt exist.

so i have another question, where did the universe come from?


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todangst wrote: Yes you

todangst wrote:

Yes you can.

The 'you can't prove a negative' is a myth spread about the internet. It's false.

Yeah. Again, I understand this, and couldn't possibly disagree. However, if you say to me, "Disprove God." I'll say, I can't, because I don't know what it is. If you then give me a contradictory definition, I'll disprove it. You've seen as much or more than me how far into the quantum physics ether theists will go to prove that their contradictory definitions aren't really contradictory because of this or that conflation of terms that proves they don't understand either quantum physics or basic logic.

It's just much simpler to wait them out and demand proof of their position, because even if their position wasn't contradictory, they still can't offer any proof, and their claim is still not worth considering.

 

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andrewgor wrote: okay, so

andrewgor wrote:

okay, so what you guys are saying is that, as long as i can't prove the existance of god, he doesnt exist.

so i have another question, where did the universe come from?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

ow... my side hurts.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be rude. Really, I don't. I know you're pretty new here, so I should cut you some slack. It's just that we've all been waiting for you to say that.

So, where did the universe come from?

I dunno.

Neither do you.

Any other questions?

 

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andrewgor wrote: okay, so

andrewgor wrote:
okay, so what you guys are saying is that, as long as i can't prove the existance of god, he doesnt exist.

No.

What we are saying is that you have no rational grounds for your belief.

 

Quote:
 

so i have another question, where did the universe come from?

Now, as per the theist script for all internet posting, you'll begin to form your argument from ignorance, based on your own ignorance of cosmology. 

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:
todangst wrote:

Yes you can.

The 'you can't prove a negative' is a myth spread about the internet. It's false.

Yeah. Again, I understand this, and couldn't possibly disagree. However, if you say to me, "Disprove God." I'll say, I can't, because I don't know what it is.

That much is true....  No one can actually make a reference to the supernatural, so you have to uncover which anthropomorphic conceptualization of 'god' they hold to...

However, those who do make the attempt to refer to the supernatural will contradict themselves, hence we can refute such claims deductively.

Quote:
 

If you then give me a contradictory definition, I'll disprove it.

I see you're already ahead of me.

Quote:
 

You've seen as much or more than me how far into the quantum physics ether theists will go to prove that their contradictory definitions aren't really contradictory because of this or that conflation of terms that proves they don't understand either quantum physics or basic logic.

It's just much simpler to wait them out and demand proof of their position, because even if their position wasn't contradictory, they still can't offer any proof, and their claim is still not worth considering. 

Agreed.  

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Oops, I forgot... We're not

Oops, I forgot...

We're not saying that if you can't prove he doesn't exist, that he doesn't exist.  We're saying that if there's no evidence, his existence is exactly as likely as everything else for which there is no evidence.  (Pretty damn slim)

Furthermore, we're saying that we're not going to bother disproving something for which there's no evidence.  The lack of evidence makes that kind of supurfluous, wouldn't you say?

 Oh, and while I'm at it...

Todangst makes a very good point.  Things that are contradictory don't exist, so if you want to come back with Pascal's Wager and say that believing in the Christian god is safe, so why don't we do it despite lack of proof, first I'll laugh at you again, then I'll say that I can disprove him because his definition is incoherent and contradictory, and therefore he does not exist.

 

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:
andrewgor wrote:

okay, so what you guys are saying is that, as long as i can't prove the existance of god, he doesnt exist.

so i have another question, where did the universe come from?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

ow... my side hurts.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be rude. Really, I don't. I know you're pretty new here, so I should cut you some slack. It's just that we've all been waiting for you to say that.

So, where did the universe come from?

I dunno.

Neither do you.

Any other questions?

 

This is what I'm trying to get at, nobody knows where the universe have come from. so is it possible that somebody created the universe? it could be. you see, I'm not trying to prove anything or make you prove something to me, we dont know where the universe has come from, the answer may be too huge for us to comprehend but it could have been created by someone, no?

it's the doubt im trying to communicate, the posibilities, nobody knows for sure, and noone can prove hundred percent one way or another, so does it really come down to a matter of opinion?


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andrewgor

andrewgor wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:
andrewgor wrote:

okay, so what you guys are saying is that, as long as i can't prove the existance of god, he doesnt exist.

so i have another question, where did the universe come from?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

ow... my side hurts.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be rude. Really, I don't. I know you're pretty new here, so I should cut you some slack. It's just that we've all been waiting for you to say that.

So, where did the universe come from?

I dunno.

Neither do you.

Any other questions?

 

This is what I'm trying to get at, nobody knows where the universe have come from. so is it possible that somebody created the universe? it could be. you see, I'm not trying to prove anything or make you prove something to me, we dont know where the universe has come from, the answer may be too huge for us to comprehend but it could have been created by someone, no?

The problem with this statement is that even were the universe created by an individual or collective of individuals, there is still no requirement for said individual(s) to be other than natural. Assuming a super-natural god is irrational.

andrewgor wrote:

it's the doubt im trying to communicate, the posibilities, nobody knows for sure, and noone can prove hundred percent one way or another, so does it really come down to a matter of opinion?

It does when that opinion is responsible for public policy and extremism.

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Ok. Just to prove to you

Ok. Just to prove to you that I've got a heart of gold, and am just feeling a little spunky today, I'll give you the short and the long answer.

Short answer: Argument from Ignorance. Go home.

Since you made the argument in the first place, you obviously don't understand why it's flawed, and why it's an argument from ignorance, so I'll give you the long version, too.

Quote:
This is what I'm trying to get at, nobody knows where the universe have come from. so is it possible that somebody created the universe? it could be.

Ok, first, nobody knows where the universe came from with certainty, but cosmologists have some pretty damn good ideas. They didn't just guess at them, either. Have you ever considered how incredibly accurate astronomy is? The Cassini spacecraft that just went into orbit around Saturn had to travel not just the 750(ish) million miles to Saturn, but it had to make two gravity boost passes around Venus, which is in entirely the other direction. Once it made it through space, using the gravity of Earth and Venus in precisely the correct way so as to arrive at Saturn going precisely the right speed at precisely the right trajectory so that it could go IN BETWEEN two of Saturns rings, it burned its rockets for 90-something minutes so as to achieve a perfect orbit around Saturn, and went BACK THROUGH the rings in the process.

Now, when you consider that this thing is the size of a car, and we have the precision to do all that, you understand just how accurate our understanding of physics is.

But that's only the beginning. Because we understand astrophysics that well, we are able to look at galaxies trillions of light years away, and tell their size to within a few percentage points margin of error.

Forgive the Carl Sagan impersonation, but it's important. The point is, scientists have been working this stuff out for a long time, and they've shown results. Fantastic results that could only be possible if they are correct in their observations. Can you imagine how staggeringly unlikely it is that we've managed to put satellites in orbit around multiple planets if our scientists don't know what they're doing?

Ok... so when a scientist says, "I've been doing these calculations, and it looks like the universe is expanding. In fact, it looks like it's expanding from a centerpoint, and the only way this is possible is if it was once contained in this centerpoint, yada yada yada BIG BANG" we've got pretty damn good reason to believe it's a plausible theory.

When another scientist talks about vacuum fluctuations being a possible explanation for "something from nothing" we have good math to back it up.

Ok... still with me?

Let's have a look at your possible explanation of the universe.

You've got how many degrees in astrophysics? None, I'm guessing. So, you can't rely on that for your expertise. How much have you studied physics, even? What about Calculus? Have you ever looked at Saturn through a telescope? Point is, you don't really have much of a leg to stand on to promote a theory of the beginning of the universe.

I'm not trying to make you feel bad, here. I am not an astrophysicist, either. Ok, what about philosophy? Have you read Descartes? What about Hume? Aristotle? Could you do a ten minute presentation on the ontology of syllogism? This is something more people are familiar with, but since you've asked the question in the post, I'm guessing you're not very familiar with a lot of philosophical ideas.

Have you ever tried to work out a positive ontology for the word "supernatural"?

Ok. Keep in mind, I'm not trying to make you feel bad. I'm just pointing out that the answers to most of these questions are probably no. Bottom line: You do not posess the knowledge necessary to make an educated guess as to the nature of existence or the origin of the universe. You are ignorant of them. Don't be offended. There are lots of things I'm ignorant of, and it doesn't mean I'm an ignorant person, just that I don't know everything.

Yet... you ARE positing the existence of a being that defies scientists! By what authority? What rationale do you have? The answer is that you don't have any rationale or authority to do so, but you do so anyway.

In short, this is your argument:

Despite the fact that there are many scientists who have devoted their lives to the study of cosmology, and who are ultimately more qualified than me to form a theory explaining the origin of the universe, I am ignorant of the origin of the universe. Therefore, I will propose something without a definition, believe in its existence, and furthermore, will model my life after my beliefs since it cannot be proven false.

Kind of silly, no?

 

It's called "Argument from ignorance."

 

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I can see your point, I'm

I can see your point, I'm obviously not qualified to present an educated opinion about the origins of the universe, although I've read Stephen Hawkings books and know a little bit about the Big Bang and the expanding universe. But I can ask the questions, no?

The Big Bang theory, as far as i remember says that the whole universe was once a very compressed tiny dot, all the matter and energy packed into a very small space, then something happened (we dont know what) that released those stuff and so the universe was born. correct me if im wrong here, still the questions remains, where did those stuff come from in the first place? how and why were they compressed so tight? what kind of force could have made the compression? what triggered the BANG and why?

sceince does not have an answer to these questions.

there could be a perfectly logical and scientific reason to all of them, but we dont know, that's the point im trying to make, science does not prove one way or another the existance of a supernatural being behind the creation of the universe.

my personal opinion is that the answer to these questions is just too much for human mind to grasp at this time, maybe some distant time in the future we'll reach the brain capicity to be able to sort it out purely based on scientific facts but for the time being, and for all we know, there could be some kind of god responsible for creation of the universe, no?


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andrewgor wrote: I can see

andrewgor wrote:
I can see your point, I'm obviously not qualified to present an educated opinion about the origins of the universe, although I've read Stephen Hawkings books and know a little bit about the Big Bang and the expanding universe. But I can ask the questions, no? The Big Bang theory, as far as i remember says that the whole universe was once a very compressed tiny dot, all the matter and energy packed into a very small space, then something happened (we dont know what) that released those stuff and so the universe was born. correct me if im wrong here, still the questions remains, where did those stuff come from in the first place? how and why were they compressed so tight? what kind of force could have made the compression? what triggered the BANG and why? sceince does not have an answer to these questions. there could be a perfectly logical and scientific reason to all of them, but we dont know, that's the point im trying to make,  

True, but there are conjectures:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/common_cosmological_misconceptions

 If you've read Hawkings, you'll like Brian Greene and likely other cosmologists as well, take a look...

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:
andrewgor wrote:

okay, so what you guys are saying is that, as long as i can't prove the existance of god, he doesnt exist.

so i have another question, where did the universe come from?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

ow... my side hurts.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be rude. Really, I don't. I know you're pretty new here, so I should cut you some slack. It's just that we've all been waiting for you to say that.

So, where did the universe come from?

I dunno.

Neither do you.

Any other questions?

 

It's kind of like the punchline of an old joke, huh? Smiling 

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Removing the religious

Removing the religious context, how does the question of a deity remain? Can one reasonably say that they've never become aware of the basic premise of one religion or another?
If you removed the religious exposition, and left it entirely up to evidence, you would have at the least no reason to suppose any such thing exists. At the most, you would have evidence of singular supernatural phenomena, or more likely natural physiological phenomena.
Without the religious exposition to contradict the experience, why shouldn't we suppose that the schizophrenic, whose internal dialog urges him toward paranoid acts of violence, isn't hearing "god" as he claims?
Proof of a singular phenomena is silent on matters of religiously-described deities, and you haven't even got that. There is only the "god of the gaps."


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Quote: I can see your

Quote:
I can see your point, I'm obviously not qualified to present an educated opinion about the origins of the universe, although I've read Stephen Hawkings books and know a little bit about the Big Bang and the expanding universe. But I can ask the questions, no?

Yes, you can ask questions! Of course! But, to be considered rational, you shouldn't just make stuff up because you want an answer NOW DAMMIT! See what I mean? This is what religion is. It's an answer right now. Religion as cosmology is nothing more than the manifestation of impatience and fear. (Shit, that's a good line. I think I'm going to quote myself!)

Quote:
where did those stuff come from in the first place? how and why were they compressed so tight? what kind of force could have made the compression? what triggered the BANG and why?

Again, great questions. Simple answer: We don't know, but we have some ideas, put forward by the people who know the most about it. I'm not qualified to explain them to you, so I'll let you do your own reading.

Quote:
sceince does not have an answer to these questions.

Here's the crux of the matter. Remember impatience and fear? What makes you think religion has any answers? Do you know how many creation myths there are? Why, just Christianity's is an amalgam of dozens (at least) of older stories. The Babalonian myth has a great dragon being split open by one of her own descendants. There are many Eastern myths that most of us have never heard, but they still involve the fantastical. In Japan, some traditions hold that humans came down from heaven as spirits in great trees. You should check out the architecture of pagodas and ask yourself why there's a great big tree trunk in the center, and not a finished piece of wood.

I'm rambling a bit, but the point is, every religion that's ever tried to explain creation has come up with something fantastical and "supernatural." You happily dismiss thousands of these stories as mythology, but then cling to the idea that maybe one of the religions today, or maybe a religion that hasn't even been invented, has finally figured it out through "divine revelation." Heh. Have you ever considered how looney that sounds?

Quote:
there could be a perfectly logical and scientific reason to all of them, but we dont know,

And considering that science is batting 100%, I think it's safe to say there IS a perfectly logical and scientific reason. In other words, can you think of ANYTHING that religion has contributed that is verifiably true that science cannot explain? You can't, because there isn't anything. As far as verifiable truth goes, here's the scoreboard:

Science: A Hundred Million or so

Religion: Zero.

What possible rational reason could you have for not only postulating the existence of a supernatural(sic!) explanation for the universe, based on the fact that NOTHING has ever been explained supernaturally, and furthermore, the word supernatural(sic!) itself is nonsense! If it's not natural, it's nothing.

Quote:
science does not prove one way or another the existance of a supernatural being behind the creation of the universe.

True, because science cannot be bothered by talk of things that are necessarily incoherent.

Again, if you don't understand yet that there is no such thing as supernatural, and can't be, go back and re-read the page I just linked. Read it as many times as you need to until you understand that if a thing exists, it is natural. If it is natural, it falls under the purveyance of science.

Quote:
my personal opinion is that the answer to these questions is just too much for human mind to grasp at this time, maybe some distant time in the future we'll reach the brain capicity to be able to sort it out purely based on scientific facts

I intentionally cut your sentence off, because so far, this sentence is very thoughtful and rational. I'm not so sure it's that far distant, considering we're already getting close to figuring out dark matter/energy, but that's neither here nor there. Point being, it makes good sense to assume that one day, scientists will be able to figure it out.

Quote:
but for the time being, and for all we know, there could be some kind of god responsible for creation of the universe, no?

And then you go off the deep end.

1) There could NOT be a supernatural god, because the word supernatural is incoherent. If something exists, it is natural, by its very existence.

2) If it is natural, it can be defined. If it can be defined, that definition can be tested. This is science.

3) If an intelligence created the universe, then scientists will have to explain how intelligence existed before matter and energy, and judging by everything we know about existence, this is lunacy.

Let me go back and make my quotable statement again:

Religion as cosmology is nothing more than the manifestation of impatience and fear.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote: but for the time

Quote:
but for the time being, and for all we know, there could be some kind of god responsible for creation of the universe, no?

I just reread my answers, and realized I forgot to say something. Do you realize that what you're saying here is nothing more than:

"Since science doesn't have all the answers yet, I'm going to believe something unscientific."

Does this not exemplify impatience??

Why not promote science!?

Why propogate a religion that has never contributed one scientific fact through revelation? Why not help the rest of us out and promote a world where we try to figure this stuff out?!?!?!

This is what is so dangerous about religion. It breeds complacency and indifference by offering pat answers to questions that require immense amounts of effort to answer!

Ugh.

Now I'm pissed.

 

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It might be possible to

It might be possible to disprove an idea of god, but it has to be defined and contradictory by definition. Really all you have to do with that is point out the contradictory part.


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As I was reading this

As I was reading this thread thru there were so many things I wanted to say, but then almost everything I had come up with was subsequently said by much more qualified people.  I'm not a scientist, theologist, or even college graduate so I deal mostly in rationality and common sense.  So I want to address the one thing no one else did, and that is that there could in fact be a "creator" of the universe.  Yeah, I guess since we can't prove it then it is possible, but it's NOT possible that the god of the bible is true, as was shown in many posts previous to mine.

But, if there was a being so large to be able to create the universe, why on earth would  you assume he even knows you exist let alone cares if you believe in him?  Considering the size of the universe, the creator would have to be so enormous that it would be physically impossible for him to even be aware life happened on this planet and would have no clue what was going on.  Life on earth would have been an accident and byproduct of the creation itself, not the reason for it.  We know that must be true because if the earth was the reason for creation, all we would need would be the earth, sun, and moon, nothing else.  All the other stars and planets, comets, asteroids don't help life on this planet, they're more likely to end life on this planet.

I look at it this way.  I have billions of blood cells in my body.  I give them life, food, oxygen, and death.  I am, in essence, their "God". but I could care less what they believed in, and I highly doubt they are aware of my existence, even if they were capable of intelligence and self awareness.  I don't know their individual names, what they're doing, or thinking, or wanting.  They exist solely because I do, and I exist solely because they do.

Now if blood cells were intelligent self aware beings they would still not be able to tell they were inside a human body.  They are very limited in what they would be able to see, and therefor could only guess at what their world really was.  They are just way too small to see the scope of my body, just like I'm too big to see an individual blood cell without a microscope.  Even when I can see them, I still can't communicate with them, hear their thoughts, or tell if they are worshiping me.  The same would be true of any being large enough to see the entire universe.

So in the end, it doesn't really matter if there is a god, it has no bearing on life, and that's all we are.


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andrewgor wrote: This is

andrewgor wrote:
This is what I'm trying to get at, nobody knows where the universe have come from. so is it possible that somebody created the universe? it could be.

Think of it like this, either the universe is infinite and has no beginning or it has a beginning. If it has a beginning (like the big bang) then what that means that time began. To ask where the universe came from is like asking "what came before time?".
You see the problem here?
If you ask what happened before the beginning then you're stating that there was a time before the beginning - so it's clearly not the beginning. So if the universe had a beginning then that was the beginning. If not then the universe is and has always been.

I'm not sure how you would go about fitting a creator into all of this.


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Arletta wrote: As I was

Arletta wrote:

As I was reading this thread thru there were so many things I wanted to say, but then almost everything I had come up with was subsequently said by much more qualified people.  I'm not a scientist, theologist, or even college graduate so I deal mostly in rationality and common sense.  So I want to address the one thing no one else did, and that is that there could in fact be a "creator" of the universe.  Yeah, I guess since we can't prove it then it is possible, but it's NOT possible that the god of the bible is true, as was shown in many posts previous to mine.

But, if there was a being so large to be able to create the universe, why on earth would  you assume he even knows you exist let alone cares if you believe in him?  Considering the size of the universe, the creator would have to be so enormous that it would be physically impossible for him to even be aware life happened on this planet and would have no clue what was going on.  Life on earth would have been an accident and byproduct of the creation itself, not the reason for it.  We know that must be true because if the earth was the reason for creation, all we would need would be the earth, sun, and moon, nothing else.  All the other stars and planets, comets, asteroids don't help life on this planet, they're more likely to end life on this planet.

I look at it this way.  I have billions of blood cells in my body.  I give them life, food, oxygen, and death.  I am, in essence, their "God". but I could care less what they believed in, and I highly doubt they are aware of my existence, even if they were capable of intelligence and self awareness.  I don't know their individual names, what they're doing, or thinking, or wanting.  They exist solely because I do, and I exist solely because they do.

Now if blood cells were intelligent self aware beings they would still not be able to tell they were inside a human body.  They are very limited in what they would be able to see, and therefor could only guess at what their world really was.  They are just way too small to see the scope of my body, just like I'm too big to see an individual blood cell without a microscope.  Even when I can see them, I still can't communicate with them, hear their thoughts, or tell if they are worshiping me.  The same would be true of any being large enough to see the entire universe.

So in the end, it doesn't really matter if there is a god, it has no bearing on life, and that's all we are.

 

Arletta that message should be put in a Atheist Hall Of Fame, if there is such a thing. While reading though the thread I also had the same thoughts as you did floating around my head just waiting to be assembled together.

Let me also add that if there was an "intelligence" that had to start the Big Bang, it would have been destroyed by the enormous power of the explosion itself...

 

Slimm,

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"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


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andrewgor wrote: So i have

andrewgor wrote:
So i have a question, if you forget relegion, bible, ten commandment and all that none sense, how can you prove that god doesnt exist?

When you adjust to reality by throwing away everything to do with religion, and you still think there's a "high power"...Your actually unknowingly jumping to a whole new topic of their being a "creator"(not saying one exist), and not a personal "god" who you have to worship.

But with out religion what's the whole motif for the question to begin with, besides the mere act of feelings which we logically know have nothing to do with the Truth?

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"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


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andrewgor wrote: So i have

andrewgor wrote:
So i have a question, if you forget relegion, bible, ten commandment and all that none sense, how can you prove that god doesnt exist?

If we had a nickle.

See if you can spot the pattern:

"How do you know David Copperfield cant saw a woman in half?"

"How do you know ouji boards dont work?"

"How do you know vampires are not real"

"How do you know Allah isnt real?"

"How do you know Vishnu isnt real?"

"How do you know Scientologists are wrong?"

"How do you know that Yawhey isnt real"

"How do you know I cant fart a Lamborginni out of my butt" LITTERALLY?

Do you see the pattern?

The fallacy you are committing is assuming that merely claiming something is good enough to accept it as fact. If we were to do that everytime someone claimed something then the claims above would be fact as well.

The point is that you would not buy someone else's claim of their deity if they said that to you. "How do you know Allah isnt real?"

You dont buy every claim people make, just because they claim it and neither do we. 

You are under no obligation to provide evidence for your claim of deity, but WE are under no obligation to buy what you sell merely because you claim it. You dont do that with other deity claims. The only difference is that we say "Show me the money" to one more claim than you do.

When you understand why you reject all other deity claims besides yours, then maybe you'll understand why we reject yours as well. The only difference between you and me is that I reject one more deity than you do.

 

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Basically, andrewgor, I

Basically, andrewgor, I think what everyone is saying is that a being that could be described as 'godly' may potentially exist or have existed once, but in the same sense that it's possible that acorns are actually fossilised sunbeams. But it's not until there is discovered some kind of evidence that points toward either of these claims as a possibility that they become legitimate theories.

You can't claim that god exists purely philosophically, saying "anything is possible, so god could exist." It's pointless.


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Arletta wrote: I look at

Arletta wrote:

I look at it this way. I have billions of blood cells in my body. I give them life, food, oxygen, and death. I am, in essence, their "God". but I could care less what they believed in, and I highly doubt they are aware of my existence, even if they were capable of intelligence and self awareness. I don't know their individual names, what they're doing, or thinking, or wanting. They exist solely because I do, and I exist solely because they do.

After reading this, Billy, cell #345912B of Arletta's pancreas,  suddenly lost the joie de vivre he was so well-known for, and drowned himself in an insulin resevoir.

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


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Slimm wrote: But with out

Slimm wrote:

But with out religion what's the whole motif for the question to begin with?

To know!


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andrewgor wrote: Slimm

andrewgor wrote:
Slimm wrote:

But with out religion what's the whole motif for the question to begin with?

To know!

Yeah I can feel you on that one, We'll just let that be the reason...

Slimm,

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"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


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"How can you prove God's

"How can you prove God's non-existance?" 

 I started reading this thread, and there's a lot of stuff.  Logicians, what are your official answer(s) to this question?  I tried to think about how anyone can prove that, but it seems impossible if the definition of "God" is not contradictory; at most, we can only counter-argue existing arguments why God exists, but that will only prove that those specific arguments don't work.

Do you guys think I'm correct, and if not, what am I overseeing?

"If I don't think something can be explained conventionally, it must be magic. And magic comes from God!" -everyday religious person


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Quote: I started reading

Quote:
I started reading this thread, and there's a lot of stuff. Logicians, what are your official answer(s) to this question? I tried to think about how anyone can prove that, but it seems impossible if the definition of "God" is not contradictory; at most, we can only counter-argue existing arguments why God exists, but that will only prove that those specific arguments don't work.

Do you guys think I'm correct, and if not, what am I overseeing?

First, if it's contradictory, it cannot exist. That's all the proof you need. The law of non-contradiction is a foundation of thought and logic. Period.

You are overlooking something that I posted early in this thread. Simply put, there is no need to disprove god. In logic, it is necessarily, fundamentally true that the claimant is responsible for proving his claim. Where a lot of people go wrong is in thinking that the claim of god's nonexistence is a claim in the logical sense. It is not. If I claim something, I am specifically claiming the positive definition of something that exists.

The way logic works is that the claimant makes a claim, then backs it up with a proof. At this point, the proof can be examined for faulty logic. If a fallacy is found, the claim is invalid. It is then up to the claimant to either rework the proof so that his claim can be validated, or to give up on the claim.

The fact is that EVERY SINGLE PROOF OF GOD has at least one logical fallacy.

Therefore, it is not up to the atheist to further validate their own position -- namely that there is no proof for god. It is up to the theist to either abandon the claim that god exists, or come up with a proof that is not fallacious.

 

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Hambydammit, I think you

Hambydammit, I think you may have misunderstood my point.

Yes, as I've already noted in my original post, a contradictory definition would immediately close the argument.

Yes, the burden of proof is on the claimant/positive. However, assigning responsibility and expectation to one side of a debate does not necessarily mean we can't approach the negative logically. Of course, being able to approach negatives logically doesn't necessarily give it anymore credibility. In fact, discounting claims, whether they be positive or negative, involves logic. My point is that we CAN approach the negative logically; sure, given a debate setting, it's not our burden, but for purely intellectual musing, let's examine it:

Hambydammit wrote:
First, if it's contradictory, it cannot exist. That's all the proof you need. The law of non-contradiction is a foundation of thought and logic. Period.

This is old news. Eye-wink

Hambydammit wrote:
You are overlooking something that I posted early in this thread. Simply put, there is no need to disprove god.

I don't think the original poster of this thread was asking whether you think there is a need. Eye-wink I want to entertain his inquiry as I think it will nonetheless produce interesting findings. Is the inquiry needless and silly? Maybe, but that is a totally different topic I think.

Hambydammit wrote:
In logic, it is necessarily, fundamentally true that the claimant is responsible for proving his claim.

Yes, the ol' "the burden of proof rests on the positive" bit, which I also generally agree with, but...well, see below...

Hambydammit wrote:
Where a lot of people go wrong is in thinking that the claim of god's nonexistence is a claim in the logical sense. It is not. If I claim something, I am specifically claiming the positive definition of something that exists.

I don't necessarily agree. The whole "the burden of proof rests on the positive" bit is just an observation of the proper dynamic of how people convince others - the positive (the speaker) speaks to the negative (the listener). The "burden of proof" bit does NOT illustrate how a negative claim is "illogical." Negative claims CAN be illogical though if they are incoherent of contradictory in of themselves. Here, I present a hypothetical situation where the negative claim, "How can you prove God's non-existence," is NOT contradictory (by imagining that the definition of "God" is NOT contradictory) and where we agree that the claim in of itself is coherent. Given this hypothetical situation, I think the claim, which just happens to be negative, can indeed be approached logically.

Hambydammit wrote:
The way logic works is that the claimant makes a claim, then backs it up with a proof. At this point, the proof can be examined for faulty logic. If a fallacy is found, the claim is invalid. It is then up to the claimant to either rework the proof so that his claim can be validated, or to give up on the claim.

Interestingly, this is also the same path I would have taken if I had to answer the aforementioned hypothetical negative claim. As I said in my original post, "at most, we can only counter-argue existing arguments why God exists, but that will only prove that those specific arguments don't work." Of course, only being able to disprove existing arguments, thus still leaving the possibility that we just haven't yet found an argument, doesn't prove either way whether god exists or not. Silly? Maybe, but this is how I logically explain why it is silly lol.

Hambydammit wrote:
The fact is that EVERY SINGLE PROOF OF GOD has at least one logical fallacy.

I haven't been able to review every single proof, but given my vast sampling in my comprehensive experience ("comprehensive" as in me once being a Christian and a Christian leader and Sunday school teacher at a Christian church), I would say that this is a "reasonably" extrapolated conjecture.

Hambydammit wrote:
Therefore, it is not up to the atheist to further validate their own position -- namely that there is no proof for god. It is up to the theist to either abandon the claim that god exists, or come up with a proof that is not fallacious.

Yes, but here, the original poster is asking us a question, and instead of discounting the question, I'd like to approach it head on. Smiling

 


 

I guess my real question then is: If the definition of "God" is sound, would you agree that it is impossible to prove His non-existence (just as much as it is impossible to prove His existence)?

 

Note that I added the parenthetical disclaimer ONLY to emphasize to foreseeable detractors that this does NOT in anyway suggest that God exist.

 

P.S. Hambydammit, do you know how we check our private messages? I'm a newbie here and I'm not used to this kind of messageboard format. Sad

"If I don't think something can be explained conventionally, it must be magic. And magic comes from God!" -everyday religious person


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Okay, I wrote a lot more

Okay, I wrote a lot more than I wanted to, so let me recap:

 

I agree that it's impossible to prove God's non-existence, but NOT because I think negatives are not provable or are not fit for logical examination (because I think they are on both accounts, given that the claim is not contradictory or incoherent*), but simply because this negative currently demands humanly impossible means to prove (as opposed to other simpler negatives where we can use accessible technology or even simple logic to prove). One could theoretically create a device or figure out a way to know whether God exists, but we currently don't have such options.

The irony is that we all used different examination methods, some sound and some dubious, but we still all converged upon the same conclusion lol.

 

* I was told that the definition of "God" is in fact contradictory and incoherent, so if that is in fact true, then there isn't even a need to create such a device.

"If I don't think something can be explained conventionally, it must be magic. And magic comes from God!" -everyday religious person


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Sodium Pentothal

Sodium Pentothal wrote:

P.S. Hambydammit, do you know how we check our private messages? I'm a newbie here and I'm not used to this kind of messageboard format. Sad

I'm not Hambydammit, but I can answer your question.

There are a series of links on the left side of your screen, right under the "donations" area.  Right between "My buddy list" and "my subscriptions" is a link for "my inbox".  Click on the link that that will take you to your Private Messages (PM). 

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Susan wrote: Sodium

Susan wrote:
Sodium Pentothal wrote:

P.S. Hambydammit, do you know how we check our private messages? I'm a newbie here and I'm not used to this kind of messageboard format. Sad

I'm not Hambydammit, but I can answer your question.

There are a series of links on the left side of your screen, right under the "donations" area. Right between "My buddy list" and "my subscriptions" is a link for "my inbox". Click on the link that that will take you to your Private Messages (PM).

Thanks!

 

Do I get like a pop-up notifier window informing that I have a new private message each time or do I just have to keep an eye on the inbox on the left side menu?

"If I don't think something can be explained conventionally, it must be magic. And magic comes from God!" -everyday religious person


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You have to keep an eye on

You have to keep an eye on it.

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Vastet wrote: You have to

Vastet wrote:
You have to keep an eye on it.

There's also a selection in your account/profile to have an email sent when you get a PM. 

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OK, SP. I wrote a nice

OK, SP. I wrote a nice long reply to your summary last night and forgot the #1 rule: Copy to Clipboard before hitting Post. So, maybe now I can write a summary of my rebuttal to your summary.

Quote:
I agree that it's impossible to prove God's non-existence, but NOT because I think negatives are not provable or are not fit for logical examination (because I think they are on both accounts, given that the claim is not contradictory or incoherent*)

I think you're confusing scientific proof with logical proof. In science, we work with degrees of probability, and we can say that there is a very high degree of probability that a thing does not exist. In syllogistic logic, we prove things that do exist. This is done with 100% certainty in the same way that algebra can state with 100% certainty that for the equation (x*y>0) that either x&y are both positive or negative. The truth value of the information plugged into logic can be the purveyance of science, and subject to uncertainty, but syllogisms work with 100% certainty, and in logic, there simply is no such thing as a burden of disproof. Period. Fin. Fini. Fine.

Quote:
but simply because this negative currently demands humanly impossible means to prove (as opposed to other simpler negatives where we can use accessible technology or even simple logic to prove).

Again. Apples and oranges. It will never be logically possible to demand a burden of disproof. We may attain enough scientific knowledge, however, to prove exactly how the universe was formed, and it might logically rule out even a natural, coherent "god."

Quote:
One could theoretically create a device or figure out a way to know whether God exists, but we currently don't have such options.

Science.

Quote:
The irony is that we all used different examination methods, some sound and some dubious, but we still all converged upon the same conclusion lol.

Yep. I think you're getting it all correct, you're just not saying it properly.

Quote:
* I was told that the definition of "God" is in fact contradictory and incoherent, so if that is in fact true, then there isn't even a need to create such a device.

"God" can be one of three things:

1) Supernatural entity - All definitions of this sort are incoherent, and there is no need to invoke science. It disproves itself.

2) Natural entity - Science could test for this entity. It would have a positive definition, and would have limits. If such a thing exists, there is no evidence for it at present, and the logical thing to do is assume it either doesn't exist, or doesn't interact with anything we can see. In either case, it's pretty much irrelevant for any religious discussion.

3) Pantheistic - Also useless for religious discussion, as it is simply a mystical sounding redefinition of the definable universe.

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:
OK, SP. I wrote a nice long reply to your summary last night and forgot the #1 rule: Copy to Clipboard before hitting Post. So, maybe now I can write a summary of my rebuttal to your summary.

Haha, it's happened to me far too many times. I've gotten pretty good about copying & pasting my long posts onto Wordpad now. Usually.

Hambydammit wrote:
Quote:
I agree that it's impossible to prove God's non-existence, but NOT because I think negatives are not provable or are not fit for logical examination (because I think they are on both accounts, given that the claim is not contradictory or incoherent*)

I think you're confusing scientific proof with logical proof. In science, we work with degrees of probability, and we can say that there is a very high degree of probability that a thing does not exist. In syllogistic logic, we prove things that do exist. This is done with 100% certainty in the same way that algebra can state with 100% certainty that for the equation (x*y>0) that either x&y are both positive or negative. The truth value of the information plugged into logic can be the purveyance of science, and subject to uncertainty, but syllogisms work with 100% certainty, and in logic, there simply is no such thing as a burden of disproof. Period. Fin. Fini. Fine.

Actually, that's what I'm trying to say - I think ALL negatives can be investigated syllogistically/logically. Just because a particular negative is obviously unprovable doesn't mean it can't be approached logically (if that's what you're trying to say). And as I've tried to explain my posts, burden of proof/disproof has no relationship whether a claim can be approached logically (maybe better if I used the word, "investigate," instead of "approach" ); all burden of proof/disproof does is assign who has the responsibilty to do the convincing...another way to look at it is that the burden of proof/disproof reminds us who the positive is and who the negative is. At the risk of belaboring my point, the negative can be syllogistically/logically disproven just to prove/remind that the burden of proof isn't on the negative but on the positive.

Hambydammit wrote:
Quote:
but simply because this negative currently demands humanly impossible means to prove (as opposed to other simpler negatives where we can use accessible technology or even simple logic to prove).

Again. Apples and oranges. It will never be logically possible to demand a burden of disproof. We may attain enough scientific knowledge, however, to prove exactly how the universe was formed, and it might logically rule out even a natural, coherent "god."

For this specific negative, it happens to be "logically [impossible] to demand a burden of disproof." However, I think you may be missing my point. If you read the first passage you quoted, note how I was ONLY saying that the impossibility to prove God's non-existence should not be attributed to the fact that negatives are unprovable or unfit for logical examination; later, I explain that this should be attributed to the simple fact that it's just a currently humanly impossible task. I make this distinction because negatives being unprovable is not a universal truth; additionally, negatives being fit for logical examination is a universal truth.

Hambydammit wrote:
Quote:
* I was told that the definition of "God" is in fact contradictory and incoherent, so if that is in fact true, then there isn't even a need to create such a device.

"God" can be one of three things:

1) Supernatural entity - All definitions of this sort are incoherent, and there is no need to invoke science. It disproves itself.

2) Natural entity - Science could test for this entity. It would have a positive definition, and would have limits. If such a thing exists, there is no evidence for it at present, and the logical thing to do is assume it either doesn't exist, or doesn't interact with anything we can see. In either case, it's pretty much irrelevant for any religious discussion.

3) Pantheistic - Also useless for religious discussion, as it is simply a mystical sounding redefinition of the definable universe.

I like this (Smiling), as it shows how the IDEA of "god" (as opposed to "god" himself) can be possible through naturalization, but unfortunately, the "god" at hand here is a supernatural kind; naturalizing "god" would change the definition, thus this natural "god" is no longer "god." Additionally, I haven't looked into why supernaturality epistemologically voids "god," but I really like todangst's explanation of how at least the Christian god is internally contradictory, so even if we could somehow naturalize the Christian god without betraying its definition, the Christian god is already epistemologically doomed (i.e. by cause of internal contradiction).

"If I don't think something can be explained conventionally, it must be magic. And magic comes from God!" -everyday religious person


Vastet
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Susan wrote: Vastet

Susan wrote:

Vastet wrote:
You have to keep an eye on it.

There's also a selection in your account/profile to have an email sent when you get a PM. 

I was going to mention that, but I figured it would generally take more effort to go into your email account to see if you've had a PM than simply opening the site and looking at the side bar. Sticking out tongue

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


andrewgor
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I just read the entire

I just read the entire thread from the beginning. It seems to me that what everyone is so concerened about is the hard facts of science and nothing else. To that end I have nothing more to contribute but let me leave you with a quote,

"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited"

-Albert Einstein