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Author Topic:   The persistent question of evidence (RAZD and subbie only)
subbie
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 31 of 42 (607479)
03-04-2011 12:44 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by RAZD
03-02-2011 10:19 PM


Re: Closing
Curiously, I have no need to prove or disprove your claim: you made it not me.

Amusingly, it turns out that you aren't actually making any claim at all about gods, so there's really nothing to prove or disprove.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2011 10:19 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 03-05-2011 6:01 PM subbie has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19100
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 32 of 42 (607657)
03-05-2011 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by subbie
03-04-2011 12:44 AM


Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
Hi subbie,

Amusingly, it turns out that you aren't actually making any claim at all about gods, ...

I thought that was relatively obvious in the original post: Who needs to supply evidence, when, and why. (Message 1):

quote:
Is there any evidence for the supernatural?

Curiously, I have not made any claims that supernatural entities do exist, so why you keep asking me this is rather amusing.

However, I personally am not aware of an objective empirical valid evidence that would be likely sufficient to show that supernatural entities exist.

In addition I personally am not aware of an objective empirical valid evidence that would be likely sufficient to show that supernatural entities do not exist.


Rather that what I would argue for is:

quote:
Being open-minded, I consider both existence and non-existence positions possibilities.

Being skeptical, I see no reason to accept that either position is sufficiently demonstrated, however I do consider the possible non-existing position to be weaker than the possible existing position.

The proper logical conclusion based on evidence and the "rules" of logic is agnostic. I have discussed this previously on several threads, including

(scale of belief from (1) absolute theist to (7) absolute atheist)

(4) is the position that logic supports: the default position when there is a lack of validated evidence is that no conclusion can be reached -- we don't know, can't know, which is true.

(3) is the position of someone that recognizes that (4) is the logical position, but is of the opinion that god/s may exist.

(5) is the position of someone that recognizes that (4) is the logical position, but is of the opinion that god/s may NOT exist.

(2) & (6) are people that think their position is based on something more than their opinion, and they need to provide evidence to substantiate that claim.

(1) & (7) are people that think their position is fact, not opinion, and they need to provide evidence to substantiate that claim.

I am a (3) - weak theist, or agnostic theist.


Your position seems to me to be more ignostic (a term that Onifre introduced me to) than atheist, due to your asking for a definition first before proceeding:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignosticism

quote:
Ignosticism, or igtheism, is the theological position that every other theological position (including agnosticism) assumes too much about the concept of God and many other theological concepts. The word "ignosticism" was coined by Sherwin Wine, a rabbi and a founding figure in Humanistic Judaism.

It can be defined as encompassing two related views about the existence of God:

  1. The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of god can be meaningfully discussed. Furthermore, if that definition is unfalsifiable, the ignostic takes the theological noncognitivist position that the question of the existence of God (per that definition) is meaningless. In this case, the concept of God is not considered meaningless; the term "God" is considered meaningless.
  2. The second view is synonymous with theological noncognitivism, and skips the step of first asking "What is meant by 'God'?" before proclaiming the original question "Does God exist?" as meaningless.

Some philosophers have seen ignosticism as a variation of agnosticism or atheism,[1] while others have considered it to be distinct. An ignostic maintains that they cannot even say whether he/she is a theist or an atheist until a sufficient definition of theism is put forth.

Ignosticism and theological noncognitivism(*) are generally synonymous,[2] but the relationship of ignosticism to other nontheistic views is less clear. While Paul Kurtz finds the view to be compatible with both weak atheism and agnosticism,[3] other philosophers consider ignosticism to be distinct.


... and thus an ignostic would be a (4) or (5) on the previous belief scale, and - according to the logical analysis I have provided in Closing (Message 28) - does not need to provide objective evidence to justify that position.

This would also fit my definition of "Open-minded Skepticism" (which I personally prefer to "agnostic") and my feeling that god/s cannot really be defined, so I may be a "theistic ignostic" instead. ... I may need to change that chart ... again ... :D

...

It occurs to me that, rather than discussing the need for evidence to support a position that gods do not exist, where the terms "supernatural" and "god/s" cannot be defined, it might be of better value to discuss the decision making process in general terms first, and why some people seem to make a decision without the definitions or sufficient evidence: would you agree that it is silly to claim that {X} does not exist without either a definition of what {X} is or any evidence that it does not exist (as how could that ever be determined except by assumption of the conclusion)?

This would modify the graphic in Message 30 to:


question:
Does {X} exist?
|
is {X} defined? ----------> no
| |
yes <-------- can you define it?
| |
is there sufficient valid |
information available to decide? |
| | |
yes no <------
| |
decide based is a
on empirical decision
valid evidence necessary?
(A) / \
yes no ... but ...
/ | |
decide why make a
based on decide decision
inadequate at this anyway
evidence time? based on
= guess = wait opinion
(B) (C) (D)

Would you agree that without a definition of {X} and without evidence pro or con for the existence of {X}, that (C) is the logical position? that (D) is irrational?

Enjoy.


(*) -- Where the link to "theological noncognitivism" in the wiki article goes to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theological_noncognitivism

quote:
Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language, and specifically words like "god", are not cognitively meaningful. It is sometimes considered to be synonymous with Ignosticism.

Theological noncognitivism can be argued in different ways, depending on one's theory of meaning. Michael Martin, writing from a verificationist perspective, concludes that religious language is meaningless because it is not verifiable.[1][2]

George H. Smith uses an attribute-based approach in an attempt to prove that there is no concept for the term "God": he argues that there are no meaningful attributes, only negatively defined or relational attributes, making the term meaningless.

Another way of expressing theological noncognitivism is, for any sentence S, S is cognitively meaningless if and only if S expresses an unthinkable proposition or S does not express a proposition.[original research?] The sentence X is a four-sided triangle that exists outside of space and time, cannot be seen or measured and it actively hates blue spheres is an example of an unthinkable proposition.


Note, this would mean that the proverbial Immaterial Pink Unicorn (IPU) so loved by some atheists is really a meaningless term, and therefor it does not justify any further thought on the matter.

This is not really an argument that god/s etc do not exist, per se, but that they cannot be understood in any meaningful way that can be discussed, pro or con.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by subbie, posted 03-04-2011 12:44 AM subbie has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by subbie, posted 03-05-2011 7:26 PM RAZD has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 33 of 42 (607669)
03-05-2011 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by RAZD
03-05-2011 6:01 PM


Re: Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
Would you agree that without a definition of {X} and without evidence pro or con for the existence of {X}, that (C) is the logical position? that (D) is irrational?

Probably, but orienteering was never my strong suit. Where I think you and I depart is about what constitutes evidence pro or con.

I suppose my position can be loosely summarized as follows:

Most (if not all) definitions of "god" include a supernatural component. There has never been any repeatable, objective evidence of any supernatural phenomenon, and all repeatable, objective observations are consistent with a non-supernatural universe. Therefore, all evidence supports the conclusion that there are no supernatural forces operating in the universe.

This position is always subject to modification should new evidence come to light.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 03-05-2011 6:01 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by RAZD, posted 03-06-2011 4:44 PM subbie has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19100
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 34 of 42 (607757)
03-06-2011 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by subbie
03-05-2011 7:26 PM


Re: Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
Hi again subbie,

I suppose my position can be loosely summarized as follows:

Most (if not all) definitions of "god" include a supernatural component. There has never been any repeatable, objective evidence of any supernatural phenomenon, and all repeatable, objective observations are consistent with a non-supernatural universe. Therefore, all evidence supports the conclusion that there are no supernatural forces operating in the universe.

Can you tell me what "natural laws\forces" would be in a created universe?

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : clrty


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by subbie, posted 03-05-2011 7:26 PM subbie has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by subbie, posted 03-06-2011 5:33 PM RAZD has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 35 of 42 (607759)
03-06-2011 5:33 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by RAZD
03-06-2011 4:44 PM


Re: Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
Can you tell me what "natural laws\forces" would be in a created universe?

Probably not, certainly not if you can't tell me anything about the nature of the supposed creator, or the purpose of creating the universe.

I do hope you're not planning a god of the gaps argument here.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by RAZD, posted 03-06-2011 4:44 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by RAZD, posted 03-06-2011 8:29 PM subbie has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19100
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 36 of 42 (607784)
03-06-2011 8:29 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by subbie
03-06-2011 5:33 PM


Re: Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
Hi subbie,

Probably not, certainly not if you can't tell me anything about the nature of the supposed creator, or the purpose of creating the universe.

Just raising the question on how one would distinguish a created universe from a not created universe.

As I see it, the created universe would be complete, with all the laws\forces that would govern how everything behaves, they would be what we see as "natural laws\forces" in the world\universe around us, because that is how the universe was made. A well made universe would not need any tinkering.

In this sense, everything would be done by "supernatural laws\forces" and what we interpret as the "natural laws\forces" is just our explanation for how it was done.

So when you say:

There has never been any repeatable, objective evidence of any supernatural phenomenon, and all repeatable, objective observations are consistent with a non-supernatural universe.

... it is that it is consistent with how the world\universe was made, whether natural or supernatural.

In other words, without a basis for comparing a created universe with a not created universe we cannot say that it is one and not the other.

The atheist says that science investigates and finds natural laws that explain how the universe formed. With no god/s interfering and tinkering with things, they should behave\remain a constant explanation (upgraded as more information becomes available).

The deist says that science investigates and finds natural laws that explain how the universe was made. With god/s not interfering and tinkering with things, they should behave\remain a constant explanation (upgraded as more information becomes available).

Whether or not you see supernatural laws\forces, may be a matter of perspective.

I do hope you're not planning a god of the gaps argument here.

Not really ... more of a scientific method approach to god/s:

  1. What would we see if god/s were real?
  2. What would we see if god/s were not real?
  3. How can we tell one from the other?

But I also don't see any big negative issue with what is normally disparaged as "god of the gaps", as I look at it as an approach that is consistent with the scientific method: try various hypothesis and discard what is falsified.

As long as one approaches it with open-minded skepticism, as a personal quest, and willingly discards falsified concepts, rather than clinging fiercely to strongly held beliefs, I personally don't see any problem.

This relates, again, back to the issue of why would anyone need to frame a conclusion on something where there is insufficient information one way or the other, especially when it is not a life-or-death question.

  • Is ignostic the best position (can't make up mind without definition)?
  • Is agnostic the best position (can't make up mind without evidence)?
  • Or is there some reason for reaching a decision?

There is an old "Non-Sequitur" cartoon that I wish I had saved
http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/

It showed a corner with two tables around the corner from each other

One had a banner ...  "ALL YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED" 

The other had a banner  "ALL YOUR ANSWERS QUESTIONED" 

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by subbie, posted 03-06-2011 5:33 PM subbie has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by subbie, posted 03-06-2011 9:52 PM RAZD has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 37 of 42 (607789)
03-06-2011 9:52 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by RAZD
03-06-2011 8:29 PM


Re: Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
As I see it, the created universe would be complete, with all the laws\forces that would govern how everything behaves, they would be what we see as "natural laws\forces" in the world\universe around us, because that is how the universe was made. A well made universe would not need any tinkering.

This, of course, is nothing more than your personal opinion about how universes ought to be, with no evidence to support it. Perhaps you should question your own answer.

But I also don't see any big negative issue with what is normally disparaged as "god of the gaps", as I look at it as an approach that is consistent with the scientific method: try various hypothesis and discard what is falsified.

Then you don't understand the "god of the gaps" position. It assumes that a god is responsible for any phenomenon we don't understand, and takes things that we don't understand as evidence of the existence of a god. This seems to be what you are doing; assuming that the existence of an ordered universe is evidence that a god is responsible for the order.

This relates, again, back to the issue of why would anyone need to frame a conclusion on something where there is insufficient information one way or the other, especially when it is not a life-or-death question.

I have concluded that the complete lack of any reliable evidence for the existence of any gods is a sufficient basis for concluding that there are no gods. I must, as a practical matter, admit the possibility that one or more gods exist but do not affect our universe in any observable manner. However, since there is no evidence of any gods affecting our universe in any observable manner, I simply see no reason to postulate their existence, any more than I see a reason to postulate the existence of Russell's teapot.

This relates, again, back to the issue of why would anyone need to frame a conclusion on something where there is insufficient information one way or the other, especially when it is not a life-or-death question.

Perhaps that question is better addressed to those who claim to have absolutely no doubt that gods do exist.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by RAZD, posted 03-06-2011 8:29 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by RAZD, posted 03-07-2011 11:51 AM subbie has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19100
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 38 of 42 (607833)
03-07-2011 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by subbie
03-06-2011 9:52 PM


Re: Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
Hi subbie, thanks.

This, of course, is nothing more than your personal opinion about how universes ought to be, with no evidence to support it. Perhaps you should question your own answer.

Amusingly, I do. However it is not personal opinion, it is a logical deduction:

If god/s created the universe
then we should see either the hand of god actively manipulating things
or we should see laws\forces put in place so that manipulation is not necessary

We do not see the hand of god actively manipulating things
Therefore, if god/s exist and created the universe, they would have put laws\forces in place to guide the behavior of all things in the universe.

Then you don't understand the "god of the gaps" position. It assumes that a god is responsible for any phenomenon we don't understand, and takes things that we don't understand as evidence of the existence of a god. This seems to be what you are doing; assuming that the existence of an ordered universe is evidence that a god is responsible for the order.

Really? or are you just trying to cram my position into your preconclusion? How does the position that science explains how things work by "natural laws\forces" -- which were put in place by god/s at the formation of the universe -- use god to explain things we do not know?

I have concluded that the complete lack of any reliable evidence for the existence of any gods is a sufficient basis for concluding that there are no gods.

In other words you make the logical fallacy conclusion that the absence of evidence is evidence for absence.

This, of course, is nothing more than your personal opinion about how universes ought to be, with no evidence to support it.

Perhaps you'd like to discuss why Coelacanths cannot exist because evidence of their existence was missing for some 65 million years ... did they spontaneously re-evolve?

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : evidence


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by subbie, posted 03-06-2011 9:52 PM subbie has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by subbie, posted 03-07-2011 6:36 PM RAZD has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


(2)
Message 39 of 42 (607910)
03-07-2011 6:36 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by RAZD
03-07-2011 11:51 AM


Re: Another alternative course of discussion - why make a decision?
Amusingly, I do. However it is not personal opinion, it is a logical deduction:

Really? Let's see.

If god/s created the universe
then we should see either the hand of god actively manipulating things
or we should see laws\forces put in place so that manipulation is not necessary.

Nope, nothing logical there, simply assumptions. You chided me earlier in this thread because you thought I was assuming things about gods, and here you are actually making assumptions about a god.

What evidence do you have to support your claim that there would be laws/forces in place if god/s created the universe?

Really? or are you just trying to cram my position into your preconclusion?

No, I'm trying to tell you what the rest of the world means by "the god of the gaps." You are of course free to ascribe to it any other meaning you wish, but in the interests of clarity, I would ask you to define what you think it means.

How does the position that science explains how things work by "natural laws\forces" -- which were put in place by god/s at the formation of the universe -- use god to explain things we do not know?

It assumes that god/s put the laws in place.

In other words you make the logical fallacy conclusion that the absence of evidence is evidence for absence.

The fact that you don't understand the difference between evidence and proof does not mean that the difference is not there.

You might recall that earlier in this thread established a general definition of "evidence."

quote:
Fact X is evidence is support of hypothesis Y if the existence of X makes Y more probable than it would be without. The converse, obviously, would be that fact X is evidence against hypothesis Y if the existence of X makes Y less probable than it would be without. Evidence does not need to conclusively establish or invalidate a hypothesis by itself to be evidence in support of or against a hypothesis.

It seems clear to me that if one looks for some object or entity where one would expect it to be and fails to find it, that makes it more likely that the object or entity does not exist. As you point out, it's possible that further search could reveal the existence of the entity. That, of course, is precisely why I reserve the right to change my position if new evidence comes to light.

If you disagree that not finding something where it's expected to be makes it more likely that it doesn't exist, you need to explain why.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by RAZD, posted 03-07-2011 11:51 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by RAZD, posted 03-13-2011 1:18 PM subbie has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19100
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 40 of 42 (608755)
03-13-2011 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by subbie
03-07-2011 6:36 PM


assumptions and logical arguments
Hi subbie,

If god/s created the universe
then we should see either the hand of god actively manipulating things
or we should see laws\forces put in place so that manipulation is not necessary.

Nope, nothing logical there, simply assumptions.

Okay, I'll see if I can make it a little plainer:

If god/s created the universe
then we should either be able to (A) detect them or (B) not detect them ...

  1. If we ARE able to detect them
    then we would see\detect the hand of god/s actively manipulating things (ie acting\being supernatural)

  2. If we are NOT able to detect them
    then we would NOT see\detect the hand of god/s actively manipulating\doing things: everything would appear to operate by "natural laws\forces".

Can you tell me which "natural laws\forces" would exist that would NOT be "put in place" and would NOT be under the control of god/s that created the universe?

I note that in Message 35 you replied:

Can you tell me what "natural laws\forces" would be in a created universe?

Probably not, certainly not if you can't tell me anything about the nature of the supposed creator, or the purpose of creating the universe.

As I stated in Message 36

As I see it, the created universe would be complete, with all the laws\forces that would govern how everything behaves, they would be what we see as "natural laws\forces" in the world\universe around us, because that is how the universe was made. A well made universe would not need any tinkering.

Whatever "laws\forces" exist within the created universe would be ones used ("put in place") by god/s for the created universe. In a created universe, what "laws\forces" you detect would be there as a result of the creation, and they explain how god/s made\make it work, without "see(ing)\detect(ing) the hand of god/s actively manipulating\doing things" ... they appear to be "natural laws\forces" because the hand of god/s is, by premise (B), NOT detected.

You chided me earlier in this thread because you thought I was assuming things about gods, and here you are actually making assumptions about a god.
...
It assumes that god/s put the laws in place.

Yes, the argument assumes that god/s created the universe, that IS the stipulated premise, and then follows that to the logical conclusion.

Are you saying that whatever is created just happens to operate by some previously existing external "natural laws\forces" that somehow exist now within the created universe and that the god/s would be\are absolutely powerless to control, change or modify them to make their creation function?

Can you tell me what "natural laws\forces" would be in a created universe?

Probably not, certainly not if you can't tell me anything about the nature of the supposed creator, or the purpose of creating the universe.

Can you list one?



You might recall that earlier in this thread established a general definition of "evidence."

quote:
Fact X is evidence is support of hypothesis Y if the existence of X makes Y more probable than it would be without. The converse, obviously, would be that fact X is evidence against hypothesis Y if the existence of X makes Y less probable than it would be without. Evidence does not need to conclusively establish or invalidate a hypothesis by itself to be evidence in support of or against a hypothesis.

It seems clear to me that if one looks for some object or entity where one would expect it to be and fails to find it, that makes it more likely that the object or entity does not exist. As you point out, it's possible that further search could reveal the existence of the entity. That, of course, is precisely why I reserve the right to change my position if new evidence comes to light.

If you disagree that not finding something where it's expected to be makes it more likely that it doesn't exist, you need to explain why.

Again, we tried that with the Coelacanths, looking for evidence where we thought it would be, and found no evidence of their existence for a 65 million year period, and then they were only found when people looked in a different place.

You assume that:

  1. that you know where to look,
  2. that you know how to detect god/s,
  3. that you have actually investigated a substantial majority of possible places, and
  4. that no evidence has ever been found by anyone at any time.

I note that in Message 22 you replied:

• If the only means of communication between humans (or any intelligent organism, we don't have to be the "chosen" species) is via religious experiences, where the experience occurs within the mind, then can you suggest some means to test whether this is actually happening or being imagined?

Can we test for imagination versus actual religious experiences?

Nothing comes immediately to mind.

RAZD in reply from msg 23 writes:

I have been unable to develop a reasonable test either, for this or for a number of similar situations:

  • in many religions there are beliefs involving god/s appearing as humans or animals for any number of reasons,
  • many eastern religions believe in enlightenment, which involves a level of understanding universal truths,
  • many religions claim that prayers are means to communicate with god/s, and
  • there are religions (like the Australian Aborigninal's) that believe in dreamtime experiences.

That's four additional ways that various religions have claimed to have a source of knowledge about supernatural beings\entities\etc. -- without actually seeing\experiencing them directly.

It seems to me that if you can't tell whether those experiences are real or imaginary, then you cannot assume that all investigations have come up completely and unequivocally empty-handed. I would agree that they have not been "proven" or validated, but that this does not mean they are invalid or that they should be ignored.

It seems to me that you are assuming that you know a lot more than the actual evidence shows, and that you have not provided any reasonable evidence to show that this implied knowledge is based on anything but your personal assumptions.

Fact X is evidence is support of hypothesis Y if the existence of X makes Y more probable than it would be without.
...
If you disagree that not finding something where it's expected to be makes it more likely that it doesn't exist, you need to explain why.

Notice that in this particular case you do not have any real evidence\argument that your (X) is actually an established FACT, that exists unchangeable, rather that it is an hypothesis that is assumed by you to be true. Thus we see in this case that your conclusion is also your assumed premise: this is begging the question or circular reasoning.

In addition, you are making assumptions that you know enough to judge the probability or likelihood of (Y), based on your opinions, biases and world-view, not on evidence. Without objective empirical evidence to support this position it is logically invalid (see Message 28 purple area, specifically in regard to 6 & likelihood).

What is more likely: that god/s do not exist or that we don't know?

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : end

Edited by RAZD, : clrty


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by subbie, posted 03-07-2011 6:36 PM subbie has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by subbie, posted 03-19-2011 4:47 PM RAZD has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


(1)
Message 41 of 42 (609414)
03-19-2011 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by RAZD
03-13-2011 1:18 PM


Re: assumptions and logical arguments
Since you seemed to completely miss the point, I'll repeat it, and not mix it up with anything else.

You cannot conclude anything about how a created universe would operate without making assumptions about the creator, its methods or its purposes. Thus, it simply does not follow, without other ancillary assumptions, that

RAZD writes:

Whatever "laws\forces" exist within the created universe would be ones used ("put in place") by god/s for the created universe.

RAZD writes:

Are you saying that whatever is created just happens to operate by some previously existing external "natural laws\forces" that somehow exist now within the created universe and that the god/s would be\are absolutely powerless to control, change or modify them to make their creation function?

I'm not saying anything about what a creator might make or what it might be like, because I don't think it's possible to do that without assuming things about the creator.

You are making tacit assumptions about a created universe so that your conception of what a creator would produce is consistent with what we see. If you do not see the error in this process, it's beyond my ability to explain it to you.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by RAZD, posted 03-13-2011 1:18 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by RAZD, posted 05-13-2011 6:45 PM subbie has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19100
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 42 of 42 (615515)
05-13-2011 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by subbie
03-19-2011 4:47 PM


Re: assumptions and logical arguments
Hi subbie,

I've been busy with new (<1) business, newly bought old (1861) house and old (91) family ... so it's been a while since I had time for this forum.

You are making tacit assumptions about a created universe so that your conception of what a creator would produce is consistent with what we see. If you do not see the error in this process, it's beyond my ability to explain it to you.

I repeat, yes, I am consciously proposing that the premise that god/z create/d everything in the universe means that god/z create/d everything in the universe. This - taken to the utmost logical conclusion - includes creating all the "natural laws" that we see as explanations for HOW things are as they are.

(*)It is a logical conclusion of a creator god/z concept.

For instance if we assume for the sake of argument that the premise that god/z created the universe is true, but that gravity is a natural law that exists independent of god/z, then there are aspects of the universe that god/z did not create, which contradicts the premise of the creator god/z.

As we have specifically taken the premise that god/z created the universe is true for the sake of the argument, then we must conclude that gravity is part of that creation.(/*)

This is NOT to support my concept -- I don't need that, nor am I defending my personal position in this debate.

The purpose of proposing this premise is to show you that you cannot assume that our understanding of HOW things work via what are called "natural laws" do not rule out the possibility that those laws are HOW god/z made\make the world\universe the way they are.

This is in opposition to the conscious premise that no god/z create/d anything means that no god/s create anything in the universe. This - taken to the utmost logical conclusion - includes NOT creating the "natural laws" that we see as explanations for HOW things are as they are.

I'm not saying anything about what a creator might make or what it might be like, because I don't think it's possible to do that without assuming things about the creator.

The point being that if you cannot distinguish a created universe from a non-created universe from the evidence within the universe, including the "natural laws" for HOW things are as they are, then the logical conclusion is that we don't know if it is a created universe or not, and thus that we don't know whether god/z exist or not, and thus that the logical position is necessarily that we don't know -- we don't have enough information to know, enough knowledge to distinguish one from the other.

The agnostic position holds that neither pro nor con are sufficiently demonstrated to make a valid logical conclusion.

The open-minded skeptic position holds that either is possible, but neither is sufficiently supported by objective empirical evidence on which to base a valid logical conclusion.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : HOW

Edited by RAZD, : time

Edited by RAZD, : (*)(/*)


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by subbie, posted 03-19-2011 4:47 PM subbie has not yet responded

  
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