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Author Topic:   I Know That God Does Not Exist
Stile
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Posts: 2896
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


(5)
Message 1 of 377 (675373)
10-10-2012 2:27 PM


I've re-read a few old threads and sometimes atheists are referred to as people who believe that no gods exist. This is generally met with a reply that atheists simply "don't believe in God."

I, however, would like to take another approach to the statement.
I would like to attempt a defense for the position that I know that God does not exist.
I don't believe God doesn't exist, I don't have faith that God doesn't exist, I don't simply have a lack of belief in God. I know that God doesn't exist. And I think that my basis is rational.

  • How do we "know" things?
    We first start with the assumption that it is possible for us to know anything about the existance we find ourselves in.
    We then take what data we can find and analyze it.

  • How do we "know" negative statements about the existance of things?
    Example: "I know that Sharkfin soup does not exist on McDonald's menu."
    This is a clear example. Obviously the way we know this is to look at McDonald's menu to see if Sharkfin soup is available. If it is is not there, this statement is correct. If it is there, the statement is false.

    Example: "I know that Santa Claus does not exist."
    This is more like the "I know that God does not exist" claim. But, again, the idea is the same as the previous example. We look for where the thing is supposed to be (North Pole? Chimneys during Christmas Eve night?) and see if the thing is there or not. In the case of a 'being', we are also able to check to see if certain things are done that this being is supposed to do (do presents appear underneath Christmas trees or in stockings hung on the fireplace mantle?)

  • But how do we *"know"* for sure-sure's and absolute truth's sake?
    We don't.
    But this is not a problem with "knowing" anything. We can't really ever *"know"* anything, even positive things.
    I drove to work today, it would be extremely rational and reasonable for me to say "I know my car is in the parking lot." Of course I don't
    *"know"* that as it could have been stolen. But saying so is still rational and reasonable. It is rational and reasonable because it is based upon the data I have found and analyzed. In obtaining new data (say, walking outside and noticing my car is missing), it is rational and reasonable to update my position.

  • Therefore, I know that God does not exist.
    I, and many other people, have looked for where God is proposed to exist for almost the entirety of human history. It is possible that "God's existance" is the most looked for thing ever. But no data has ever been obtained that indicates God's existance. We have also analyzed some of the things God has been proposed to have done (world-wide flood, bringing happiness/peace). And, again, the data results are no different than if God does not exist at all.
    Therefore, after obtaining the data and analyzing it, my position is that I know that God does not exist.



    Oh, and Faith and Belief forum is where I was thinking, but I don't find it too important

    Edited by Stile, : Forgot a very important "I know" in the line "it would be extremely rational and reasonable for me to say "I know my car is in the parking lot." Well, it's very important to me, anyway...

    Edited by Stile, : Added the forum I think the thread should be in. And this is a lot of edits. You know who makes a lot of edits? Editors. People think Editors are smart, right?

    Edited by Stile, : Just some structure.


    Replies to this message:
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     Message 62 by TrueCreation, posted 10-12-2012 11:08 AM Stile has responded
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    Message 2 of 377 (675375)
    10-10-2012 5:09 PM


    Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
    Thread copied here from the I Know That God Does Not Exist thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
        
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 9430
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
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    Message 3 of 377 (675377)
    10-10-2012 5:30 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
    10-10-2012 2:27 PM


    Rationality and Reasonableness.
    Hi Stile! You are one of my favorite opponents, since we rarely agree and yet are so polite to each other!

    Stile writes:

    How do we "know" things?
    We first start with the assumption that it is possible for us to know anything about the existance we find ourselves in.
    We then take what data we can find and analyze it.

    So by the definition of knowing, what you mean is that through all logic, rationality, and reasonableness you know that God does not exist...right? If so, I am inclined to agree with you. My only comment would be that just because one guy knows something does not lead to the logical presupposition that everyone knows it.
    Stile writes:

    I don't believe God doesn't exist, I don't have faith that God doesn't exist, I don't simply have a lack of belief in God. I know that God doesn't exist. And I think that my basis is rational.

    Again, Ive no reason to doubt your position. I cannot counter it with the idea that I know that God exists. All I can say is that I believe that God exists.
    Stile writes:

    Example: "I know that Santa Claus does not exist."
    This is more like the "I know that God does not exist" claim. But, again, the idea is the same as the previous example. We look for where the thing is supposed to be (North Pole? Chimneys during Christmas Eve night?) and see if the thing is there or not. In the case of a 'being', we are also able to check to see if certain things are done that this being is supposed to do (do presents appear underneath Christmas trees or in stockings hung on the fireplace mantle?)

    In the case of God, we don't really have a consensus on what this Being is supposed to do, nor where He/She/It resides. Thus, I would argue that the claim is more difficult than the Santa Claus one. Besides, some would argue that if the idea of Santa Claus classically defined exists in their hearts and minds, Santa Claus does in fact exist at their house...living through them, no doubt. Again, it is but a belief and a belief put into practice, however.
    Stile writes:

    But how do we *"know"* for sure-sure's and absolute truth's sake? We don't. But this is not a problem with "knowing" anything.

    And again, this is where I can't challenge your logic.

    My only question is this: Is it possible that some people know differently than other people, or must we assign everyone a demand to adhere to the evidence apart from their own subjective musings?


    This message is a reply to:
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    1.61803
    Member
    Posts: 2687
    From: Lone Star State USA
    Joined: 02-19-2004
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    Message 4 of 377 (675378)
    10-10-2012 5:42 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
    10-10-2012 2:27 PM


    I know that God does not exist.

    Is this not a fallacious argument from ignorance and incredulity?

    Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence.

    Granted the idea of tea pots orbiting the sun or spaghetti monsters existing are as valid as God existing. A common side step is to say that indeed God does not exist. Some theist contend God simply is, rather than exist.

    A undifferentiated, manifested reality of being itself. Is one way it was explained to me. I do not know that God does not exist.


    "You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

    This message is a reply to:
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    subbie
    Member (Idle past 149 days)
    Posts: 3508
    Joined: 02-26-2006


    (3)
    Message 5 of 377 (675381)
    10-10-2012 7:02 PM
    Reply to: Message 4 by 1.61803
    10-10-2012 5:42 PM


    Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence.

    Well of course it does. What it does not mean is proof of absence. That's because there are levels of evidence. Finding the fingerprints of someone at the scene of a crime is evidence that they were present, but it's not proof. Perhaps there's some other way to account for the fingerprints being there besides the person being there. But the point is that the presence of fingerprints does not need to definitively prove that the person was there to be evidence that they were there.

    Similarly, the absence of evidence is evidence that someone or something is absent. There may be an alternative explanation for the absence of evidence that would account for the someone or something being there without leaving evidence, but that does not mean that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.


    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

    Howling about evidence is a conversation stopper, and it never stops to think if the claim could possibly be true -- foreveryoung


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    PaulK
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    Message 6 of 377 (675391)
    10-11-2012 1:20 AM
    Reply to: Message 4 by 1.61803
    10-10-2012 5:42 PM


    quote:

    Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence.

    I think you need a bit more discussion on that point.

    Ask yourself, is the absence of evidence for an elephant in your living room evidence that an elephant is not present in your living room ?


    This message is a reply to:
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    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 9430
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 2.0


    Message 7 of 377 (675392)
    10-11-2012 1:29 AM
    Reply to: Message 5 by subbie
    10-10-2012 7:02 PM


    Absense Of Evidence
    Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence.
    ...
    subbie writes:

    What it does not mean is proof of absence. That's because there are levels of evidence. Finding the fingerprints of someone at the scene of a crime is evidence that they were present, but it's not proof. Perhaps there's some other way to account for the fingerprints being there besides the person being there. But the point is that the presence of fingerprints does not need to definitively prove that the person was there to be evidence that they were there.

    The only sort of subjective evidence that I can see supporting the possibility of a Deity is personal experiences and changed lives. I don't however, expect that to be counted as public evidence, but rather rationale for private and personal belief.

    Again, in this subject...as discussed in a science forum, I have no argument with Stiles theory as to why God does not exist. On a personal level, I have my own standards, however.

    Edited by Phat, :


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    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 9430
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 2.0


    Message 8 of 377 (675393)
    10-11-2012 1:36 AM
    Reply to: Message 6 by PaulK
    10-11-2012 1:20 AM


    Seeing Is Believing
    PaulK writes:

    Ask yourself, is the absence of evidence for an elephant in your living room evidence that an elephant is not present in your living room ?

    From what I know of Elephants, I most definitely agree that absence of evidence...not to mention presence...is all that I need to conclude that no elephant is in my living room.

    Of course, I dont expect a Deity to be visible to begin with, so my criteria for evidence of such a presence would revolve around beliefs, feelings, and bias. Logically, there is no verifiable nor recordable evidence for a Deity or any supernatural entity in my living room.

    And yet I believe that He is there. Belief is all that I have. I have no knowledge apart from subjective experience.


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    Son Goku
    Member
    Posts: 1069
    From: Ireland
    Joined: 07-16-2005


    (4)
    Message 9 of 377 (675397)
    10-11-2012 3:01 AM


    God
    Well I think without a doubt that there is strong evidence against the existence of most deities commonly believed in. So although one could still support a general Platonic "lives outside time" god with a reasonable argument, I think the case against specific gods is simply too strong and so I would say I know Yahweh, Zeus, e.t.c. do not exist.

    For Yahweh for instance, his personality is typical of the gods of Semite cultures of the period, he literally uses stock phrases that occur among other Semite gods such as the Babylonian gods. e.g. "Was it not I who X,Y...."

    His opinions and values reflect those of a Bronze age Semite culture.

    He is described as taking part in events which we know did not occur historically or performed feats for which there is explicit evidence they did not occur (stopping the Sun).

    Ultimately the case that he exists is no stronger than the case for Enlil.

    I would say I know all specific gods worshipped by any culture do not exist. The existence of an abstract creator God is a more difficult question, but I find that people often defend the existence of the abstract God in arguments, while personally believing in one of the specific human ones.


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    Tangle
    Member
    Posts: 4766
    From: UK
    Joined: 10-07-2011
    Member Rating: 4.1


    Message 10 of 377 (675401)
    10-11-2012 4:10 AM
    Reply to: Message 8 by Phat
    10-11-2012 1:36 AM


    Re: Seeing Is Believing
    Phat writes:

    Of course, I dont expect a Deity to be visible to begin with....

    I think you need to question this more. Why do we meekly accecpt that a Deity needs to be invisible? The answer is, of course obvious; because of the absence of a visible deity.

    Qute isn't it?


    Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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    Straggler
    Member
    Posts: 10196
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 11 of 377 (675416)
    10-11-2012 8:53 AM
    Reply to: Message 4 by 1.61803
    10-10-2012 5:42 PM


    Numbers writes:

    A common side step is to say that indeed God does not exist. Some theist contend God simply is, rather than exist.

    I'm sure in their mind there is a difference.... But I doubt they can coherently state what that difference is to themselves never-mind anyone else.

    Numbers writes:

    A undifferentiated, manifested reality of being itself.

    And this is just a word kebab. Some skewered verbiage wrapped up in a sentence.


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    crashfrog
    Inactive Member


    Message 12 of 377 (675417)
    10-11-2012 9:04 AM
    Reply to: Message 4 by 1.61803
    10-10-2012 5:42 PM


    Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence.

    Absence of evidence is always evidence of absence, because that's how we detect absence - by the lack of evidence.

    Trust me, there's no evidence whatsoever for the proposition that a herd of elephants is not stampeding through your living room besides the complete lack of evidence that they are.

    Granted the idea of tea pots orbiting the sun or spaghetti monsters existing are as valid as God existing.

    Right, but it's clearly nonsense to take the two positions - "there is a tea pot orbiting the Sun" and "there is not a tea pot orbiting the Sun" - and suggest that they are both equally supported by the lack of any evidence for tea pots in orbit of the Sun. (Well, I guess all the tea pots on Earth technically orbit the Sun, but you know what we mean.)


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    crashfrog
    Inactive Member


    Message 13 of 377 (675418)
    10-11-2012 9:08 AM
    Reply to: Message 9 by Son Goku
    10-11-2012 3:01 AM


    Re: God
    So although one could still support a general Platonic "lives outside time" god with a reasonable argument

    Eh. You could support the possibility of such a figure, but to claim anything about it, including its existence, would be to claim knowledge that you've just said that you cannot by definition have.

    Anything at all could happen outside of the universe. I mean, anything. We can't know anything about it so it's just the realm of imagination.


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    1.61803
    Member
    Posts: 2687
    From: Lone Star State USA
    Joined: 02-19-2004
    Member Rating: 4.1


    Message 14 of 377 (675422)
    10-11-2012 9:38 AM


    Hi all.

    The premise that "I know God does not exist." is a flawed fallacious argument from ignorance and incredulity.

    Saying that I can accept and agree that there are good reasons to believe tea pots orbiting the sun or God does not exist.

    Edited by 1.61803, : No reason given.


    "You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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    Straggler
    Member
    Posts: 10196
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 15 of 377 (675423)
    10-11-2012 9:42 AM
    Reply to: Message 14 by 1.61803
    10-11-2012 9:38 AM


    Knowledge
    Can you tell us something you do know? Something based on evidence rather than deductive definitions.

    Do you think 'scientific knowledge' is possible? Or is the notion oxymoronic in your view?


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