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Author Topic:   I Know That God Does Not Exist
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 31 of 2312 (675456)
10-11-2012 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Stile
10-11-2012 12:34 PM


Catholic Scientist writes:

How are you determining the difference between God not existing and those propositions being wrong about God?


By checking all the propositions, then it doesn't matter if the propositions are correct or not, any correct ones will be checked.
If all propositions are wrong, and no correct propositions exist... then there is no data to evaluate and no claim exists.

So, you're not differentiating between a God and peoples propositions about a God. That is, you're only testing people's propositions and not actually testing a God.

What data have you found and analyzed that wasn't just something that someone imagined about God?

None. That's why it's rational to state "I know that God doesn't exist."

But you've defined knowing as finding and analyzing data. If you're only analzying peoples' propositions about a God then you're only knowing that their propositions are wrong.

I suppose it could be rational for you to have become convinced that the concept that you invoke with the word God does not exist, and therefore know that it doesn't. But I don't think that tells us much about whether God really exists or not.

Now... which God are you talking about?

The one that would be there if it was real. You would still have the erroneous propositions that you've discarded all the while never actually determining anything about the God.

Is there any being(s) that is a "higher power" than humans that they could cause them to believe that a God exists?

"Is there...?" No. This is what I mean when I say I know that God doesn't exist.
"Can there be...?" Sure.
If we tested the sun being pulled across the sky and found there actually is a chariot doing so - I would be wrong.
If we tested for a world-wide flood and found there was one consistent with the biblical story - I would be wrong.
If we tested prayer groups and those that were prayed for consistently did fare better than those that did not - I would be wrong.
If we tested blood coming from statues and actually found real blood being produced from stone - I would be wrong.
If we tested the levels of happiness/peace from those that worship God vs. atheists and found that they consistently fare better - I would be wrong.

You are free to develop more tests, even.

Well I was thinking along the lines of sufficiently advanced aliens that helped primitive man become civilized and then became deified. There could be a purely natural "god" that the propositions stem from that you'd be unduly rejecting, imho.

Rational expansion of our knowledge begins with the data we have and moves from there.

But your data is limited to peoples' propositions.

It is irrational to expand our knowledge beginning with an idea that does not have any data indicating that it could possibly be there.
Such an irrational expansion may possibly lead to new knowledge (it's happened before). But it doesn't change what we know until actual data is found and analyzed. Therefore, before new data is found, it remains irrational and therefore is not a rational argument for the statement "I know that God does not exist" which is rationally based on the data we do have.

I'm not following this. It sounds like your saying that an alternative is irrational, therefore your claim is rational. But that doesn't seem logical to me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Stile, posted 10-11-2012 12:34 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Stile, posted 10-11-2012 2:26 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17673
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 32 of 2312 (675457)
10-11-2012 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Stile
10-11-2012 1:29 PM


Re: Neener
Stile writes:

Can you suggest a better way to "know" things?


It's always better to "know" things based on positive evidence rather than lack of evidence.

Stile writes:

You have no problem saying "I know that the Loch Ness monster does not exist."


I do have a problem with that actually. I think the likelihood of the Loch Ness monster existing is much higher than the likelihood of fairies or gods existing - simply because there are no unnatural attributes required.

Edited by ringo, : Xpelling.


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 33 of 2312 (675458)
10-11-2012 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Straggler
10-11-2012 12:22 PM


Either that or you literally have not the foggiest idea as to what it is you believe in…….

I think that's closer to it


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 Message 25 by Straggler, posted 10-11-2012 12:22 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Straggler, posted 10-11-2012 2:38 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7218
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 34 of 2312 (675459)
10-11-2012 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
10-10-2012 2:27 PM


But also, many religious believers claim to believe through personal revelation. They say that they have a personal relationship with their god and it's real, not imagined. They say that they just KNOW it to be true and that IS evidence.

I explain that as delusional and/or wishful thinking, but they claim that because they know it to be true, that is evidence enough.

I imagine that Jar's belief (above) falls into the "I just know" category.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 10-10-2012 2:27 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
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Stile
Member
Posts: 3863
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 35 of 2312 (675460)
10-11-2012 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by jar
10-11-2012 1:38 PM


Irrational is not useless or even negative
jar writes:

I happen to believe otherwise but certainly realize that my beliefs are unreasonable, irrational and illogical.

I think that irrational ideas have a very important place in life. Even a small place in the expansion of knowledge (it has the possibility to lead curiosity into areas where rationality may not venture). I just don't think they have a place in saying whether or not we "know" things. I tend to assume that when someone brings up knowing something that they are talking as rationally as possible.


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subbie
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 36 of 2312 (675463)
10-11-2012 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by ringo
10-11-2012 1:51 PM


Re: Neener
It's always better to "know" things based on positive evidence rather than lack of evidence.

True. However, Stile has investigated and found no evidence where such evidence would be expected to be. That is in fact some positive evidence.

How else would you suggest we come to conclusions about the existence or nonexistence about beings that in fact do not exist? Or do you maintain that we should stay in a constant state of agnosticism about any and all entities that do not exist?

Edited by subbie, : Tyop

Edited by subbie, : Doh!


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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 Message 32 by ringo, posted 10-11-2012 1:51 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by ringo, posted 10-11-2012 4:10 PM subbie has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3863
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(1)
Message 37 of 2312 (675466)
10-11-2012 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by New Cat's Eye
10-11-2012 1:49 PM


Catholic Scientist writes:

That is, you're only testing people's propositions and not actually testing a God.

I am testing all propositions.
If we cannot even propose that God exists, then doesn't that make the statement "I know that God does not exist" even stronger?

But you've defined knowing as finding and analyzing data. If you're only analzying peoples' propositions about a God then you're only knowing that their propositions are wrong.

Do you know another way of knowing things? How else can we know something unless we find and analyze data about it? Feel free to attack my position at the base with the definition of "knowing"... that's why I included the definition in my post. Not as an assumption that we have to accept, but as something that should be tested if you have a better idea.

If there is nothing about God that can be tested or verified, we cannot even propose that He exists. We're just making things up. Why should making things up have the ability to cause doubt on things we know from the data we actually have collected?

The one (God) that would be there if it was real.

Is this similar to imagining the one piece of evidence that would destroy evolution if that piece of evidence was real?

I mean that seriously:

Talking about God
We can imagine the possibility of a God-yet-to-be-detected, but there is no data indicating that such a possibility might exist.
Should this thought really have any rational impact on the saying "I know God does not exist" which is based on the body of knowledge we have collected about Gods and human minds and imagination throughout history?

Talking about Evolution
We can imagine the possibility of "a piece of evidence that would destroy evolution"-yet-to-be-detected, but there is no data indicating that such a possibility might exist.
Should this thought really have any rational impact on the saying "I know that a 'piece of evidence that would destroy evolution' does not exist" which is based on the body of knowledge we have collected about Gods and human minds and imagination throughout history?

Just because we can phrase a what-if scenario, do you really think it should bear any weght against the things we actually do know?

Again, with both sayings, I agree that they may not be absolutely-true... but such absolute truth may not be possible for us to ever discover, and such a caveat already exists within everything we ever say that we "know." Everything we know is always "based on the data we have" such that future data may very well focus us in other directions. However, we do not allow such as-yet-undiscovered-future-data to effect the things we do know based on the data we do have. If we did, we would never learn anything else ever again. Because we would have to also lend credence to the possiblity that "the next piece of data we learn will kill us all" and other such nonsense and irrationality.

I'm not following this. It sounds like your saying that an alternative is irrational, therefore your claim is rational. But that doesn't seem logical to me.

I tried to provide an example in Message 28. Maybe that will help?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-11-2012 1:49 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-11-2012 4:14 PM Stile has responded

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


Message 38 of 2312 (675470)
10-11-2012 2:38 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by New Cat's Eye
10-11-2012 1:52 PM


Straggler writes:

Either that or you literally have not the foggiest idea as to what it is you believe in…….

CS writes:

I think that's closer to it

Well with all due respect I don't believe you.

I think you and most other theists have a pretty consistent albeit vague idea of what they believe in.

It's something along the lines of a conscious intelligent being who is inherently unable to be investigated or understood by any material means and whose intellect and abilities are so super-human as to be effectively incomprehensible to us necessarily limited mere mortals. This being is generally deemed to be the creator of the universe (and anything else which might exist).

Sure - The details will fluctuate. But that's the core idea. That's the sort of thing we are talking about here.

Am I wrong?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-11-2012 1:52 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

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 Message 47 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-11-2012 4:17 PM Straggler has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3863
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(2)
Message 39 of 2312 (675471)
10-11-2012 2:40 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Tangle
10-11-2012 1:54 PM


Tangle writes:

They say that they just KNOW it to be true and that IS evidence.

Yes, people can say a lot of things. That's why I provided a definition of "knowing" in the beginning.
I'm open to that definition being challenged, of course. But not simply by saying it's wrong for no reason.

I explain that as delusional and/or wishful thinking, but they claim that because they know it to be true, that is evidence enough.

I just explain it as them not understanding what "knowing" means, or should mean. A simple semantic confusion that has led them down a path into larger confusion.

If we use my definition of knowing, then it is obvious that these people are simply wrong. They don't know, and it isn't evidence.
If we use their definition of "knowing" (because it feels right... because it happened to me... because I don't think I was under a delusion... because I've heard of similar things... etc) we would be forced to include a whole whack of other things that would then also be "known" that wouldn't make any sense (like the idea that the world is flat - some people feel that is true; and also round at the same time - other people feel that is true).

I imagine that Jar's belief (above) falls into the "I just know" category.

I don't think jar would say he "knows" his beliefs are true. In fact, I think he may have specifically stated otherwise?
I really don't have a problem with beliefs when they are understood to be beliefs and not "things we know."


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subbie
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 40 of 2312 (675476)
10-11-2012 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Stile
10-11-2012 2:40 PM


If we use their definition of "knowing" (because it feels right... because it happened to me... because I don't think I was under a delusion... because I've heard of similar things... etc) we would be forced to include a whole whack of other things that would then also be "known" that wouldn't make any sense (like the idea that the world is flat - some people feel that is true; and also round at the same time - other people feel that is true).

Not only that, but many vast collections of multiple beliefs that are all mutually contradictory.


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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Stile, posted 10-11-2012 2:40 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3863
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(2)
Message 41 of 2312 (675481)
10-11-2012 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Son Goku
10-11-2012 3:01 AM


Re: God
Son Goku writes:

I would say I know all specific gods worshipped by any culture do not exist.

This is what I was thinking about when I started this thread.

The existence of an abstract creator God is a more difficult question

It most certainly is, as I'm finding out rather quickly. I'm having a go at expanding my reasoning in order to incorporate this. I'm not sure if it's doing well or not. Seems to hinge on the definition of what 'knowing something' is. Which makes me think the argument is weak. However, the definition of 'knowing something' could be a very important definition.
Without that, how do I know if I know anything at all?
This makes me feel that having a good, strict definition of 'knowing something' is very important and that makes me feel like the argument is actually kinda strong. If you value having a good base for such things, anyway.
Perhaps the argument doesn't hinge on the definition of 'knowing something' and it hinges more on the priority of rationality and epistemology in your life. Maybe a high priority of those things would simply require a strict definition of 'knowing something'...

We'll see how it goes. It's fun either way


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Son Goku, posted 10-11-2012 3:01 AM Son Goku has not yet responded

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 446 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(2)
Message 42 of 2312 (675486)
10-11-2012 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
10-10-2012 2:27 PM


I've used a similar line before, though I make it a conditional, something like:

If I can say I know there is no Santa Claus
If I can say I know there are no fairies
If I can say I know there are no secret CIA bases on the moon controlling our thoughts
Then I say I know there is no God.


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 Message 1 by Stile, posted 10-10-2012 2:27 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Stile, posted 10-12-2012 8:14 AM Modulous has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 43 of 2312 (675489)
10-11-2012 4:01 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by New Cat's Eye
10-11-2012 10:50 AM


What about being able to see to the other side of the room unblocked by any elephants, and that the floor is still holding up, and that the room still smells like the candle from yesterday, and that you can still hear the TV from the other room.

All that stuff is an absence of evidence, though - the absence of evidence that elephants are obstructing your view of the room, absence of evidence that the floor is not intact, absence of evidence that the room smells like elephant shit, and so on.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-11-2012 10:50 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 2312 (675490)
10-11-2012 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by crashfrog
10-11-2012 4:01 PM


What about being able to see to the other side of the room unblocked by any elephants, and that the floor is still holding up, and that the room still smells like the candle from yesterday, and that you can still hear the TV from the other room.

All that stuff is an absence of evidence, though - the absence of evidence that elephants are obstructing your view of the room, absence of evidence that the floor is not intact, absence of evidence that the room smells like elephant shit, and so on.

I guess if you want to try to turn it into an absense of evidence then you can look at it that way. But its positive evidence nonetheless.

The room smelling like the apple candle is what: absence of evidence of it smelling like elephant shit, absence of evidence of it smelling like cheese, absence of evidence of it smelling like gasoline, absence of evidence of it smelling like... whatever else you care to throw in there.

But, it is the presence of evidence of it smelling like apples too.

Is the rate of acceleration due to gravity 9.8 m/s/s because of the lack of evidence of it being 9.7, or 9.9, or any other number? Or is it because we have evidence that it is, in fact, 9.8?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by crashfrog, posted 10-11-2012 4:01 PM crashfrog has responded

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ringo
Member
Posts: 17673
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 45 of 2312 (675491)
10-11-2012 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by subbie
10-11-2012 2:11 PM


Re: Neener
subbie writes:

Stile has investigated and found no evidence where such evidence would be expected to be.


That could be because his expectations are unrealistic. If he expects to find an elephant in his living room and doesn't, it may be premature to conclude that elephants don't exist. He may need to broaden his scope.

subbie writes:

Or do you maintain that we should stay in a constant state of agnosticism about any and all entities that do not exist?


Yes.

I think we should maintain a healthy state of agnosticism about things that do exist too.


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 Message 36 by subbie, posted 10-11-2012 2:11 PM subbie has responded

Replies to this message:
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