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Author Topic:   Proof for God's Non-existance?
Modulous
Member (Idle past 213 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 46 of 317 (420639)
09-08-2007 8:33 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Jon
09-08-2007 8:13 PM


So, which one is it? Do you 'negatively-believe in yes-God' or do you 'positively-believe in no-God'?

I affirm the nonexistence of God in the same sense I affirm the nonexistence of Santa.

I disbelieve that God exists in the same sense that I disbelieve that Santa exists.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


No - I don't believe a cosmic Jewish zombie can make me live forever if I eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that I accept him as my master, so he can then remove an evil force from my soul that is present in all of humanity because a dirt/rib woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree about 6,000 years ago just after the universe was created. Why should I?
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Modulous
Member (Idle past 213 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 47 of 317 (420640)
09-08-2007 8:36 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Jon
09-08-2007 7:42 PM


The santa connection
I am not interested in your excuses, arguments to ignorance, or comparisons of God to Santa, or Buffy.

Just so there is no confusion - I did not compare God to Santa or Buffy. I was comparing my beliefs in those three proposed entities for explanatory purposes.


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 Message 44 by Jon, posted 09-08-2007 7:42 PM Jon has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 48 of 317 (420642)
09-08-2007 8:42 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Jon
09-08-2007 7:26 PM


Re: A - theos (negative God) = there is no God
no Atheist has yet successfully answered the challenge of 'positive-evidence for no-God.'

Well, that's because the exact argument is going to depend on which god one is discussing. To show the non-existence of something, one has to point out particular phenomena that one sees or does not see, and which phenomena are relevant is going to depend on the attributes one assigns to the particular god. For instance, I have already given an explanation why I think that a disinterested creator who doesn't interact with its creation doesn't exist.

If you want, I can even formulate the argument in syllogistic form. However, I suspect that you aren't going to agree with the premises. But that is going to be the problem with any argument that anyone comes up with; almost every argument I've seen that disproves god has premises that I find problematic -- and I'm an atheist.

On the other hand, maybe you're looking for a single proof against any and all gods. But how is such a thing possible? Unless we are specific enough to be able to decide the attributes of this alleged god, how can anyone formulate any kind of proof? Basically, some people keep their god so vague that what we are supposed to disprove is a statement like, "Someone did something somewhere at some time." How can such a vague statement be disproven?


I could tell you what I've read about evolution, the big-bang, super-universes, quantum foam, and all that stuff. Eventually you'd ask a question I can't answer, then I'd have to go look it up. Even If I had the time for that shit, in the end you'd ask a question science hasn't answered yet. So let's save time and skip ahead to "I don't know." -- jhuger
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subbie
Member (Idle past 68 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 49 of 317 (420647)
09-08-2007 9:39 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Jon
09-08-2007 6:35 PM


Shifting goalposts
But, having no proof for either yes-existence, or no-existence, wouldn't the most honest position be that you cannot really know?

By that standard, you are not a theist.

There is no way for anyone to know to a 100% certainty that there is or is not a god. Those who profess to be atheists must acknowledge, if they are being honest, the possibility that a god does exist somewhere in the universe that we cannot know about. And, those who profess to be theists must acknowledge, if they are being honest, the possibility that the being that they believe to be god could be a complete figment of their imagination, or perhaps an alien life form that has fooled them.

Of course, this isn't what normal people mean when they talk about theism, atheism or agnosticism. They talk about belief, not 100% certain knowledge. Any reasonable person, if they give the matter a modicum of thought, understands that in matters of faith, people come to the conclusions that they do based on a level of evidence that they are comfortable with, but that level is nowhere near absolute certainty.

This distinction is one that I have seen religion pushers use to try to convince atheists that atheism is an irrational position. Since it's impossible to know everything, the argument goes, one can never be certain that there is no god. But, since by definition one can never be certain about anything in matters of faith, it's rather disingenuous to claim that a lack of complete certainty somehow undermines the legitimacy of atheism.


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Jon, posted 09-08-2007 6:35 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 50 of 317 (420667)
09-08-2007 11:37 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by subbie
09-08-2007 9:39 PM


Re: Shifting goalposts
By that standard, you are not a theist.

I know; I'm not a theist. What is your point?

OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
Take comments concerning this warning to the Moderation Thread.
AdminPD

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


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Doddy
Member (Idle past 4018 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 51 of 317 (420678)
09-09-2007 12:34 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Fosdick
09-08-2007 10:51 AM


Re: the atheist challenge
Hoot Mon writes:

Mr Jack writes:

Negatives are no harder or easier to prove than anything else (and, in fact, the very statement "you can't prove a negative" is self-refuting, if you can't prove a negative how could you prove it?).


Say wha?

—HM

Read my sig.


Help to inform the public - contribute to the EvoWiki today!

What do you mean "You can't prove a negative"? Have you searched the whole universe for proofs of a negative statement? No? How do you know that they don't exist then?!


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 317 (420684)
09-09-2007 12:48 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Jon
09-08-2007 6:34 PM


Re: the atheist challenge
But that is only to say that there is 'negative-evidence of yes-God', which is not necessarily the same as 'positive-evidence of no-God.'

Of course it is. If a lack of positive evidence where there should be some isn't negative evidence, how would you ever know when to go buy more beer?

Walk me through how you prove that there's no beer in your fridge without, say, tearing the milk cartons open to have a look inside, and I'll show you how you arrived at a reasonable conclusion of nonexistence (specifically, the nonexistence of beer in your fridge) from essentially imperfect evidence.

You do it every day for the most mundane things. It's hardly unreasonable to do the same for God.


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 Message 38 by Jon, posted 09-08-2007 6:34 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
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subbie
Member (Idle past 68 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 53 of 317 (420695)
09-09-2007 1:22 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by Jon
09-08-2007 11:37 PM


Re: Shifting goalposts
My point would be the rest of what I said in that post.

OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
Take comments concerning this warning to the Moderation Thread.
AdminPD

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Jon, posted 09-08-2007 11:37 PM Jon has not yet responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 54 of 317 (420706)
09-09-2007 3:09 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by crashfrog
09-09-2007 12:48 AM


Re: the atheist challenge
Walk me through how you prove that there's no beer in your fridge...

I do not try to +prove that there is no-beer. Instead, I see if I am able to +prove yes-beer. If not, then I know I have a -situation of yes-beer. See, the matter here is not 'beer', it's the situation of possessing beer; which changes things. When I look into my fridge for beer, I do not say 'do I +have no-beer?' I say, 'do I +have yes-beer?' If I see no evidence of yes-beer, then I say: 'gosh, I -have yes-beer.' (if I'm feeling particularly honest, anyway). I remedy matters by creating +situation of yes-beer, not by trying to create -situation of no-beer.

Now, explain to me how that same logic gets you to +declare no-God?

Gracias,
Jon

Edited by Jon, : Word emphasis added.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 55 of 317 (420709)
09-09-2007 3:25 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by Jon
09-09-2007 3:09 AM


Re: the atheist challenge
Now, explain to me how that same logic gets you to +declare no-God?

God is defined as everywhere, so "anywhere" is an appropriate place to look for God. Let's stick with the refrigerator, for now.

When I look into my fridge for beer God, I do not say 'do I +have no-beer God?' I say, 'do I +have yes-beer God?' If I see no evidence of yes-beer God, then I say: 'gosh, I -have yes-beer God.' (if I'm feeling particularly honest, anyway).

If God isn't in my refrigerator, he's not anywhere - because he's been defined as being everywhere. Not, "everywhere but Crash's refrigerator." Of course, you can do the same experiment anywhere - anywhere you look, there's no God where there's supposed to be one.

I remedy matters by creating +situation of yes-beer, not by trying to create -situation of no-beer.

I usually just go to the store and get some beer, but that's because I understand the rule of double negation: ~(~A) = A. Creating the positive existence of beer in your fridge is identical to eliminating the lack of beer in your fridge, as Onslow understands in the British sitcom "Keeping Up Appearances" when he complains "I'm sitting here, completely surrounded by no beer!"


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 Message 54 by Jon, posted 09-09-2007 3:09 AM Jon has not yet responded

purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1566 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 56 of 317 (420721)
09-09-2007 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by Jon
09-08-2007 7:42 PM


Evidence Any Good
Message 1: Atheists would say there is no-God. And to the Theist they would inquire on his proof that there is-God. But I would like to wonder if Atheists can walk their own walk, practice what they preach. I would like any Atheists to post their proof of God's non-existence in this thread. Then, we can evaluate each piece of evidence just like for Theists, and determine if the evidence is any good or not.

You asked atheists to post their proof of God's non-existence and then their evidence would be evaluated.

Crash has provided his evidence twice, but no one has evaluated that evidence yet. Message 34 and Message 55.

Crash writes:

If God as defined as all-present, then finding even one place where there is no God proves that there's no God anywhere.

If God isn't in my refrigerator, he's not anywhere - because he's been defined as being everywhere. Not, "everywhere but Crash's refrigerator." Of course, you can do the same experiment anywhere - anywhere you look, there's no God where there's supposed to be one.

kongstad also posted in Message 16.

So when some people say "god created the world in 7 days" and you look and find that the world was not created in 7 days, you have evidence to contradict their god.

So there are two issues to evaluate.

Several posts have also asked for definition or qualities of the God for which you wish their proof and what you consider existence to be.

Message 12 - All I'm saying is that once one has a hypothesis, including a description of the attributes of the theoretical entities involved in the hypothesis, and then one can predict what should be observed in the real world if the hypothesis is an accurate description of reality and the theoretical entities exist.

Message 13 - But here's the thing - when you say "God", what do you mean, exactly?

Message 17 - I would add only the following question: "Which God?"

Message 27 - Jon, maybe your issue is rooted in the meaning of the term "existence," or in its inverse "non-existence." Can you differentiate between these terms? What kind of existence or non-existence are you talking about? I'll admit that God has literary existence, but so does Santa, Tinker Bell, and the Great Pumpkin.

Message 33 - You have to tell us what kind of god(s) you want us to disprove before we can even begin to give a responsive answer.

Message 48 - Well, that's because the exact argument is going to depend on which god one is discussing. To show the non-existence of something, one has to point out particular phenomena that one sees or does not see, and which phenomena are relevant is going to depend on the attributes one assigns to the particular god.

Although I may have missed it, I have yet to see this information provided for the atheists.

At some point theists are going to have to provide specifics.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 57 of 317 (420733)
09-09-2007 10:38 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Chiroptera
09-08-2007 6:47 PM


Re: Ignorantium young skywalker
Basically correct; to be more precise, an argument is a set of statements called premises and a statement called a conclusion; an argument is valid if the conclusion is true whenever all the premises are true; and the rules of logic gives a procedure to determine whether the argument is valid or not.

I assume you are teaching Kuresu this, as I was merely correcting him? Thanks for that more thorough explanation to him.

Your example is valid, I agree, but the implicative premise is not proven. One has to prove that if God exists, then certain evidence follows.

Properties a, b, and c give rise to phenomena x, y, and z.

If, and only if properties a, b and c give rise to phenomena x, y and z, THEN NOT x, y and z = NOT a, b and c.

While the construct is formally valid, I made the point that abscence of evidence CAN be evidence of abscence IF one expects certain evidence.

So I don't have any problem with the form of that syllogism, but humans can not say what would evidence God's/gods' existence with any certainty.

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 58 of 317 (420744)
09-09-2007 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by mike the wiz
09-09-2007 10:38 AM


Re: Ignorantium young skywalker
...humans can not say what would evidence God's/gods' existence with any certainty.

Well, humans can't say what would be evidence for anything's existence with any certainty. But this doesn't prevent humans from coming to conclusions that allow us live our normal daily lives. At least, as crashfrog points out, until we start involving god.

And, in fact, humans do say what would be evidence for their God's existence with certainty, whether they admit it or not.

It is true that if the concept of god is vague enough, then the statement "god exists" is just like the statement "someone did something somewhere at some time." Something that vague is pretty hard to disprove, but I think that this type of statement is pretty uninteresting.

But we aren't discussing whether or not there might be some kind of entity who might have done something or other or maybe didn't do anything at all. We are conversing with people like Buzsaw and Rob who have definite ideas of what god is. And then there is the problem. Whenever anyone comes up with a reason that their particular god doesn't exist, the true believers just make up a reason to get out of the problem. The reasons themselves are not necessarily testable and usually don't follow from the rest of their religion's tenets (unless it was thought of some time ago -- and then it becomes a tenet itself) -- this is ad hoc reasoning. By refusing to really commit to any particulars (beyond "I believe what I believe, and that's that!"), one can come up with any explanation for any reasonable objection whatsoever.

And so, that is the problem with saying,

humans can not say what would evidence God's/gods' existence with any certainty.

It is really just a way of preemptively starting with the ad hoc fallacy before the opponent has a chance to open her mouth.


I could tell you what I've read about evolution, the big-bang, super-universes, quantum foam, and all that stuff. Eventually you'd ask a question I can't answer, then I'd have to go look it up. Even If I had the time for that shit, in the end you'd ask a question science hasn't answered yet. So let's save time and skip ahead to "I don't know." -- jhuger
This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by mike the wiz, posted 09-09-2007 10:38 AM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by mike the wiz, posted 09-09-2007 1:34 PM Chiroptera has responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 59 of 317 (420758)
09-09-2007 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Jon
09-08-2007 7:26 PM


A second reply to the same post.
Atheist has yet successfully answered the challenge of 'positive-evidence for no-God.'

Huh. What would be "positive evidence" for no-anything? I can't think of anyway that anything has been "disproved" except by being somewhat precise about what it is that one is "disproving", and then pointing out that evidence that should exist if that something existed in fact doesn't exist.

But let me explain why I don't believe in god. It's about as close to a "proof" as anything in the real world can be "proven" to exist or not exist.

If a being created the universe, including space and time, then that being has to be independent of space and time. Since it (allegedly) created the laws of nature, it would not be subject to them. Now, the minds and personalities of humans beings are due to the physical structure of their brains operating according to the laws of nature (I will deal with the objections of those who believe in "souls" a bit later). Therefore, such a being would not have a "personality" as we would understand it. It would be totally beyond our understanding -- it's motives would be incomprehensible, and so its actions would be indistinguishable from either "random noise" or another of the regular laws of nature. In short, such a being would not be a being at all -- this would not be a deity who is a conscious, thinking entity who takes actions based on motivations. Perhaps we could talk about an impersonal force like the tao, but not a god as most people understand the term.

So why would a being who is independent of the laws of nature have a personality that is, on some level, analogous to personalities based on material brains operating according to the laws of nature? The only thing that makes sense to me is that the being created the universe in such a way that the laws of nature would allow and produce material beings with personalities analogous to itself -- in other words, the being created the universe with us (as sentient beings) in mind.

This implies that this god is interested in us. In that case, I would expect some sort of interaction with us, on a level that would be unambiguous. In the case that this being created "souls" especially for humans, then this indicates that this being really is interested in us to the point of actively intervening to create us (as sentients) directly. So, I would expect a little more evidence of this being existing rather than the apparent ravings of what seem to be nutcakes. I mean, if this being is really interested in humanity, why would it limit its interaction with humans by having lunatics mediate?

The problem is even more severe in the case where this being is concerned about humans enough to have set up eternal pleasure palaces for a particular few and eternal torments for others. I would really think that such a being would especially make sure that we understand what it takes to avoid the eternal torment -- I would think that a creator of the universe and judge of eternal souls could do better than, say, incorporate the warning in a book that was compiled over several centuries and that not only was internally inconsistent but factually inaccurate as well.


I could tell you what I've read about evolution, the big-bang, super-universes, quantum foam, and all that stuff. Eventually you'd ask a question I can't answer, then I'd have to go look it up. Even If I had the time for that shit, in the end you'd ask a question science hasn't answered yet. So let's save time and skip ahead to "I don't know." -- jhuger
This message is a reply to:
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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 60 of 317 (420761)
09-09-2007 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Chiroptera
09-09-2007 11:39 AM


Re: Ignorantium young skywalker
It is really just a way of preemptively starting with the ad hoc fallacy before the opponent has a chance to open her mouth.

I admitt that might be the case for some but basically I only say that people don't know what would evidence God because as far as I can see, it is genuine problem.

The fact is that God is too hard because by definition he is the creator who transcends the universe. So there's problem number one - we can never say that he created anything. So what can evidence him? Nothing created. This is why I am a proponent of epistemology and logic, rather than science, because truth-value itself is a neglected entity.

There is no fair criteria. Truth is essential to logic. Truth, validity, soundness.

In reality, humans have a torch in the dark called science. It brings light to truth - but some of us haven't forgotten about the places it couldn't reach.

We have many interpretations of scripture, as I am told of frequently. Many!

So as a logical construct, you're left with something tenuous such as;

" If said God exists, then if this particular theology is right, and if Sheila's interpretation is true, then X, which contradicts it's existence."

Well, humans can't say what would be evidence for anything's existence with any certainty

Through deductive reasoning, there is sufficiency in conditional implications, and as you know, heavy induction gives a good probability, without a paradigm shift. All you have to do is prove the consequent MUST follow from the antecedant. That happens a lot. It's simply harder to do when it comes to hypothetical supernatural entities. THAT is the only problem I have with it.

If you do think you have evidence against Jesus' existence - do you want me to just accept that?

In the case of "God", in all honesty, I do not know what would evidence him. Not only is he unfalsifiable, he can not be confirmed, as there are only impossible standards divulged, in order to rig the game. Or atleast, that is all I have witnessed thus far.

Such as, "if God comes down in all his might, takes part in all my experiments then leaves, then that would evidence him."

Many people argue like that, and expect that that is fair when infact that in itself isn't sound, because you make up anything you want, in order to make sure God doesn't exist.

Another example is evolution. Creationists come up with impossible examples, so that evolution can not be confirmed, OR, they seek to qualify a falsification. i.e. if we find a living fossil, then evolution didn't happen.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Chiroptera, posted 09-09-2007 11:39 AM Chiroptera has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Chiroptera, posted 09-09-2007 2:35 PM mike the wiz has responded

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