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Author Topic:   Can science refute the "god hypothesis" beyond all reasonable doubt?
Agobot
Member (Idle past 3694 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 301 of 310 (491631)
12-18-2008 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 296 by kjsimons
12-18-2008 9:37 AM


Re: Happy, happy, happy
kjsimons writes:

Well yes, and it's also been shown that ignorant/less informed people are also happier. Coincidence, I don't think so.

The point is - you can't tell who are more ignorant, atheists or theists. As a matter of fact, i'd say that the current level of scientific knowledge slightly tips the scales towards the conclusion that atheists are the ignorant/less informed(generally speaking, no particular religion in mind).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 296 by kjsimons, posted 12-18-2008 9:37 AM kjsimons has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 304 by kjsimons, posted 12-19-2008 9:43 AM Agobot has not yet responded

    
Agobot
Member (Idle past 3694 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 302 of 310 (491634)
12-18-2008 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 299 by Stile
12-18-2008 11:41 AM


Re: Only I get to say what my argument is
Stile writes:

All you have to do is be able to show that it is a part of reality.

Personal testimony is sometimes a good-enough way to show that something is a part of reality.

In here lies the rub. The "outside" reality that is generally taken for granted in the Western world is not supported by the Special Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. There is an underlying reality and science has been reaching this reality through physics for some time now. This reality is called Consciousness and it is the essence of everything -- everything in the known universe.
Immanuel Kant has the correct descrption of what we are - we are "the thing-in-itself". This is very hard to picture but this is how the whole universe is structured - it's also a "thing-in-itself", and it's growing.
And since Einstein was the father of SR and one of the fathers of QM, he had the earliest knowledge that this reality was ultimatelly an illusion(He was always ahead of his time).

Take this from the bright side - our ultimate essense is probably immortal.

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 299 by Stile, posted 12-18-2008 11:41 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 303 of 310 (491674)
12-19-2008 9:36 AM
Reply to: Message 300 by Blue Jay
12-18-2008 11:45 AM


Re: Reasonable Doubt?
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Is this always true?

On what basis do we conclude that herds of buffalo do not inhabit NY City if not absence of evidence? How confident are we of the conclusion that herds of buffalo do not in fact roam NY city based on the abswence of any evidence that they do?

On what basis do we conclude that the Earth does not have two moons rather than one?

With regard to God absence of any evidence is arguably just as conclusive.

The main difference, to my mind, is to what extent individuals are willing to convince themselves that an all powerful, eternal, supreme creator of everything wishes to obscure or selectively reveal his existence. Once we start accepting a being who is hiding his existence, selectively revealing himself to the chosen few or deliberately testing our faith in him then the doors to delusion are wide open. At that point any perecived evidence can be interpreted to support ones preconceived notion that such a being exists. Equally any lack of evidence can be dismissed as irrelevent.

There are numerous instances where absence of evidence is in fact validly taken as evidence of absence. The question is should this apply to God. Unsurprisingly I would say yes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 300 by Blue Jay, posted 12-18-2008 11:45 AM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 305 by Blue Jay, posted 12-19-2008 1:02 PM Straggler has responded

  
kjsimons
Member
Posts: 667
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 304 of 310 (491675)
12-19-2008 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 301 by Agobot
12-18-2008 3:29 PM


Re: Happy, happy, happy
Hands down it's the theists all the way! Heck most religious people are extremely ignorant of even their own religion, it's pathetic.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 301 by Agobot, posted 12-18-2008 3:29 PM Agobot has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 305 of 310 (491686)
12-19-2008 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 303 by Straggler
12-19-2008 9:36 AM


Re: Reasonable Doubt?
Hi, Straggler.

Straggler writes:

Bluejay writes:

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Is this always true?

It's one of those things that's technically true, but that, on a practical basis, can be ignored when you're talking about a whole herd of buffalo. ;)

Obviously, the rules are somewhat different when you're looking for someting secretive and elusive (like a single mosquito or an immaterial God) than when you're looking for something blatant and big (like a hurricane or a herd of buffalo). It would also depend on the magnitude of the area you're searching.

Exactly where God should fit on the spectrum is anybody's guess.

As I argued before, I think the absence of evidence is sufficient to rule out the widespread usage of God as an explanatory hypothesis for natural phenomena. But, His non-existence is a different question, and would require the proven absence of a whole lot more evidence, I think. :D


-Bluejay

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 303 by Straggler, posted 12-19-2008 9:36 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 308 by Straggler, posted 01-25-2009 6:43 PM Blue Jay has responded

  
Agobot
Member (Idle past 3694 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 306 of 310 (491860)
12-23-2008 4:28 AM
Reply to: Message 285 by onifre
12-17-2008 1:03 PM


Re: Reasonable thinking is not the same as reasonable doubt
onifre writes:

I was trying DMT(Dimethyltryptamine ), I had an out of body experience where I could literally look back at myself and view myself as if it was reality. I mean absolutely no difference than me staring at my laptop right now. Reality as anyone would describe it. I was however, able to levitate off the ground and go around me sitting in a chair, remember as if it were reality, and I walked around the house I was in, which was my first time in that house and yet I knew where to go throughout the house. When I came to I was able to describe the house perfectly, we were writing everything down, in detail.

Since then I have had a few dreams where I've been able to do the same thing. Twice was in a hotel and I stilll knew where to go when I walked. No drugs. Total 5 times, including the DMT experience.

Hi onifre,

I took this quote from another thread, as the original thread is now closed. I just wanted to say that i kind of believe you, what you felt is dubbed OBE(out of body experience) and if i wasn't dissuaded not to try it, i'd be now sharing my personal experiences myself(I am a family man and a friend warned me of the possibility that i might go nuts - maybe one day...). The net is literally flooded with similar stories like yours on LSD, DMT, mushrooms and meditation and i am one of those who are aware that the body and consciousness are not one and the same. Moreso, it's not the body that's fundamental but consciousness. I have no explanation how this works - how consciousness paints reality, and it may never get explained, but i am increasingly feeling like giving some of those substances a try.

I am with Roger Penrose on this - I think it will be centuries before people come up with a full theory of everything. And i believe any theory of everything that doesn't include consciousness will be a theory of almost everything(just a theory of unification of the fundamental forces). As he says:

"Understanding is something that requires awareness. If you believe consciousness is some kind of a feature of a brain activity which is probing what nature is, we have to have a revolution in physics first (before we can fully understand it)."

http://www.indianexpress.com/oldstory.php?storyid=16533

Consciousness is still lying somewhere between "very poorly understood" and "totally unknowable". I believe it's totally foreign to human body, and in the end it will consciousness that will explain how the elementary particles that form the universe and exist under certain conditions but not in others in something that's not really something which we call spacetime, are able to "see" and be aware of what they are. It's mind-boggling and radical but that's what Einstein brought us at the beginning of the previous century by destroying our orderly and predictable Newtonian world with his theory of relativity and QM. I wached on Discovery that after he finished his General Relativity, he said something to the effect of - "Excuse me Newton, I am sorry"(I am translating this from Bulgarian, this may not be the accurate word for word - Einstein had always admired Newton).

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.

Edited by Agobot, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 285 by onifre, posted 12-17-2008 1:03 PM onifre has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 307 by Ambercab, posted 01-25-2009 10:57 AM Agobot has not yet responded

    
Ambercab
Inactive Junior Member


Message 307 of 310 (495955)
01-25-2009 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 306 by Agobot
12-23-2008 4:28 AM


Re: Reasonable thinking is not the same as reasonable doubt
I think Penrose is wrong - we're making good progress in understanding the underlying mechanisms for what we now call consciousness. We may have to give up using the word though, because it is so ill-defined.

You don't need drugs to get an out-of-body experience.
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=real-outof-body-experiences
http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=the-lab-route-to-out-of-body-experi

While on the SciAm site, the following article is interesting (focus on the research results rather than the author's views, which are endearingly atheistic). It hints that science may refute the god hypothesis indirectly by unconsciously nibbling away the foundations.
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=never-say-die


There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made - Richard Feynman
This message is a reply to:
 Message 306 by Agobot, posted 12-23-2008 4:28 AM Agobot has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 308 of 310 (496006)
01-25-2009 6:43 PM
Reply to: Message 305 by Blue Jay
12-19-2008 1:02 PM


Re: Reasonable Doubt?
Obviously, the rules are somewhat different when you're looking for someting secretive and elusive (like a single mosquito or an immaterial God) than when you're looking for something blatant and big (like a hurricane or a herd of buffalo). It would also depend on the magnitude of the area you're searching.

Exactly where God should fit on the spectrum is anybody's guess.

Surely an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent creator of everything, immaterial or otherwise, is about as big as it gets? Dwarfing herds of buffalo and far from in the category of detecting a single mosquito?

Especially if we add in that this being is seeking a personal relationship with each and everyone of us.

As for the claim that this being is intentionally secretive, elusive or selective in any way - Well as I said before:

Straggler writes:

Once we start accepting a being who is hiding his existence, selectively revealing himself to the chosen few or deliberately testing our faith in him then the doors to delusion are wide open. At that point any perecived evidence can be interpreted to support ones preconceived notion that such a being exists. Equally any lack of evidence can be dismissed as irrelevent.

Which is more likely - Selective subjective interpretation and personal delusion on the part of irrational and imperfect human believers or the existence of an all powerful and perfect but rather shy being?

As I argued before, I think the absence of evidence is sufficient to rule out the widespread usage of God as an explanatory hypothesis for natural phenomena.

Widespread?

This would seem to leave the door ajar enough for Godly intervention to be claimed sometimes by those inclined to believe whilst not enough to allow anything to be conclusively verified or refuted such that this belief can be fully challenged. An example of exactly what I meant in my quoted paragraph above.

But, His non-existence is a different question, and would require the proven absence of a whole lot more evidence, I think.

In the case of a purely deistic god (in which case whether one believes in them or not is more philosophical than theological) I would somewhat agree.

But generally speaking the Christian God seems to be attributed with a far more interventionalist, and thus detectable, approach to his Godly ways.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 305 by Blue Jay, posted 12-19-2008 1:02 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 309 by Blue Jay, posted 01-25-2009 7:44 PM Straggler has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 309 of 310 (496019)
01-25-2009 7:44 PM
Reply to: Message 308 by Straggler
01-25-2009 6:43 PM


Re: Reasonable Doubt?
Holy cow, Straggler!

I’d forgotten all about this thread.

Straggler writes:

Bluejay writes:

As I argued before, I think the absence of evidence is sufficient to rule out the widespread usage of God as an explanatory hypothesis for natural phenomena.

Widespread?

This would seem to leave the door ajar enough for Godly intervention to be claimed sometimes by those inclined to believe whilst not enough to allow anything to be conclusively verified or refuted such that his belief can be fully challenged. An example of exactly what I meant in my quoted paragraph above.

Fine. Take out “widespread.” It was just me being overly cautious about my arguments (as always), anyway.

-----

Straggler writes:

Which is more likely - Selective subjective interpretation and personal delusion on the part of irrational and imperfect human believers or the existence of an all powerful and perfect but rather shy being?

I agree that religion is more likely just somebody’s dream for happiness running away into collective delusions of grandeur than an actual, adequate description of any God that might have created this universe.

But, if “likelihood” is all you want, your thread is boring. :P

-----

Straggler writes:

But generally speaking the Christian God seems to be attributed with a far more interventionalist, and thus detectable, approach to his Godly ways.

It’s a good thing I’m just a stereotype, then, isn’t it? Otherwise “generally” might not apply to me. :D

You know I'm not going to complain if you say most religious beliefs are delusional and erroneous. But, I think that using this to relegate all religious beliefs to the loony dustbin is a composition fallacy: there may be some truth to some religious belief somewhere, so I'd prefer to remain overly cautious and shrug my shoulders, instead of committing to a specific belief (I've already had bad experiences with that, if you remember).


-Bluejay/Mantis/Thylacosmilus

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 308 by Straggler, posted 01-25-2009 6:43 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 310 by Straggler, posted 01-27-2009 2:34 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 310 of 310 (496213)
01-27-2009 2:34 AM
Reply to: Message 309 by Blue Jay
01-25-2009 7:44 PM


Re: Reasonable Doubt?
Holy cow, Straggler!
I’d forgotten all about this thread.

Somebody posted to it recently and I saw that I had not replied to your post. I felt duty bound to comment......

Bluejay writes:

But, if “likelihood” is all you want, your thread is boring. :p

:laugh: :laugh: Well said. I concede.

Straggler writes:

But generally speaking the Christian God seems to be attributed with a far more interventionalist, and thus detectable, approach to his Godly ways.

It’s a good thing I’m just a stereotype, then, isn’t it? Otherwise “generally” might not apply to me. :D

:laugh: :laugh: Well said again.

You know I'm not going to complain if you say most religious beliefs are delusional and erroneous. But, I think that using this to relegate all religious beliefs to the loony dustbin is a composition fallacy: there may be some truth to some religious belief somewhere, so I'd prefer to remain overly cautious and shrug my shoulders, instead of committing to a specific belief (I've already had bad experiences with that, if you remember).

Can science refute the God hypothesis beyond all reasonable doubt? That was the question initially posed.
Proof is neither the aim nor possibility of science.
Likelihood (as boring as that is:p) is the best we can hope for.
On that basis I conclude God (esp the conventional Christian God) to be unlikely enough to have been effectively refuted.
You consider the possibility of a less interventionalist God to still be possible enough to remain a hypothesis.

Fair enough.

If people didn't have different perspectives on what is essentially the same position (regarding the facts such as they are) then life really would be boring.

Take it easy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 309 by Blue Jay, posted 01-25-2009 7:44 PM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
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