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


Message 106 of 2312 (675796)
10-16-2012 1:13 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by TrueCreation
10-15-2012 7:38 PM


Re: Ideas and Data
A statement of fact is not necessarily true or supported by evidence. It is simply a proposal that something is true and can be either falsifiable or unfalsifiable.

Wait, what? If it ain't true then how's it a statement of fact?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by TrueCreation, posted 10-15-2012 7:38 PM TrueCreation has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-16-2012 1:18 AM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 109 by TrueCreation, posted 10-16-2012 3:16 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13387
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 107 of 2312 (675798)
10-16-2012 1:18 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by New Cat's Eye
10-16-2012 1:13 AM


Re: Ideas and Data
Wait, what? If it ain't true then how's it a statement of fact?

Maybe be cause it is pending. It ain't yet false neither.

Perhaps we should call it a statement of proposed fact.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-16-2012 1:13 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-16-2012 1:21 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 108 of 2312 (675800)
10-16-2012 1:21 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by Thugpreacha
10-16-2012 1:18 AM


Re: Ideas and Data
Oh, like "claiming" a fact rather than stating one?

'Cause that seems different...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-16-2012 1:18 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
TrueCreation
Inactive Member


Message 109 of 2312 (675802)
10-16-2012 3:16 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by New Cat's Eye
10-16-2012 1:13 AM


Re: Ideas and Data
quote:
Wait, what? If it ain't true then how's it a statement of fact?

Because a statement of fact merely classifies what the statement implies, and what it implies is that something is the case in reality. This is just the convention I have used.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-16-2012 1:13 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by Straggler, posted 10-16-2012 9:14 AM TrueCreation has not yet responded
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 110 of 2312 (675808)
10-16-2012 9:14 AM
Reply to: Message 109 by TrueCreation
10-16-2012 3:16 AM


Re: Ideas and Data
Stating something as a fact and it being an actual fact are two different things.

'You are a buffalo' is an example of something being stated as a fact. But given that you are a human-being and not a buffalo it would be ridiculous to describe the statement 'You are a buffalo' as a fact.

TC writes:

This is just the convention I have used.

It is not a helpful convention. I suggest you drop it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by TrueCreation, posted 10-16-2012 3:16 AM TrueCreation has not yet responded

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


Message 111 of 2312 (675809)
10-16-2012 9:23 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by TrueCreation
10-15-2012 7:38 PM


Equivocation on "knowing things"
...but because it is unnecessary for the hypothesis that god exists (a statement of fact) is true...

Maybe this is where the trouble is.
I agree with you that "having evidencial support that God does exist (like God revealing Himself to humanity)" is unnecessary for the hypothesis that God exists to be true. But, we must point out here that you've equivocated on the word "true" in this sense.
This is not "knowing that something is true."
This is "absolutely true in the true-est sense of the word." Or, as I identified in the first post, knowing something "for sure-sure's and absolute truth's sake:"

quote:
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.
Message 1

If you are going to insist that we must know something "for sure-sure's and absolute truth's sake" before we can say that we know it... then we cannot say that we know anything at all and you have removed the usage of "knowing things" from human ability. Which, in turn, means that you don't actually know that the argument you've just used is even valid... And, since you don't seem to be saying that we should stop using the word "know" entirely... then you are equivocating and using two different definitions where they best benefit your argument.

The way I've set things up... it most certainly IS necessary for there to be evidencial support for God's existance before you can use the statement of fact that "I know God exists." If we stop equivocating and use a single definition for the word "know," you either have to accept this, or stop using the word "know" for anything else.

If you want to redefine and use terms in such a way that it removes a very common word from english dictionaries... that's up to you.
But I've defined my terms and they make sense, and if we stick to those definitions and requirements, then "I know that God does not exist" is simply a rational conclusion.

Edited by Stile, : Edits are not fun. They make me feel less manly. Like I've failed at life.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by TrueCreation, posted 10-15-2012 7:38 PM TrueCreation has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by Straggler, posted 10-16-2012 9:32 AM Stile has responded
 Message 121 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-16-2012 1:36 PM Stile has responded
 Message 161 by TrueCreation, posted 10-18-2012 12:29 AM Stile has responded

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


Message 112 of 2312 (675810)
10-16-2012 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 111 by Stile
10-16-2012 9:23 AM


Re: Equivocation on "knowing things"
I think those objecting to your statement in this thread (i.e. "I Know That God Does Not Exist") need to give a concrete example of something that they do consider to be genuinely 'known'.

Because any knowledge can be questioned by invoking evidenceless-unfalsifiable-philosophical possibilities of the sort many are putting forward as some sort of counter-argument here.

As you have pointed out, if we are to take into account such things we cannot actually know anything at all and knowledge becomes a redundant word.

That doesn't seem a very effective approach to epistemology.....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by Stile, posted 10-16-2012 9:23 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by Stile, posted 10-16-2012 10:14 AM Straggler has not yet responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 113 of 2312 (675812)
10-16-2012 10:00 AM
Reply to: Message 109 by TrueCreation
10-16-2012 3:16 AM


Re: Ideas and Data
Because a statement of fact merely classifies what the statement implies,

No, a "statement of fact" is stating something that is factual. Its not just a claim or proposal about the veracity of the statement.

and what it implies is that something is the case in reality. This is just the convention I have used.

Well its unconventional and confusing, but whatever, I can work with it.

So back to this:

Unless one can show that (1) if god exists it is of a certain type, and (2) that this type of god can be confirmed or disconfirmed/falsified by some observation of nature, it cannot be said that one 'knows' god does not exist, inasmuch as 'knowledge' involves a demonstration of truth.

I agree that it is possible to conceive of things that are not in our data set that may (if they exist) overturn some of the things we "think we know" from within our data set.
But to take these conceivable ideas that may or may not even exist themselves... and say that they should have an effect on a rational conclusion that is based on our collective data set... that is what seems ridiculous to me.

If there is nothing within our collective data set that doesn't even indicate that "something" may exist outside of our data set... I find it silly to consider that such a "something" should have the power to overturn rational statements of knowledge that do come from a rational analysis of the data we do have.

I don't see the problem with acknowledging that some statements of fact are unfalsifiable.

How are you even addressing what he's saying? Sure, you can claim something is true even though its unfalsifiable. But what does that have to do with unevidenced possibilities not having an effect on evidenced conclusions?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by TrueCreation, posted 10-16-2012 3:16 AM TrueCreation has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 162 by TrueCreation, posted 10-18-2012 12:45 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

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


(2)
Message 114 of 2312 (675813)
10-16-2012 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 112 by Straggler
10-16-2012 9:32 AM


To infinity, and beyond
Straggler writes:

I think those objecting to your statement in this thread (i.e. "I Know That God Does Not Exist") need to give a concrete example of something that they do consider to be genuinely 'known'.

That would make sense to me, but the issue isn't that things aren't making sense to me... it's that they are not making sense to those who object. I take it as a personal challenge to try and defend my positions on other people's terms... whatever those are, if it's at all possible.

On top of the actual banter, I find it interesting to note why the discussion is important to me. I am trying very hard to keep definitions straight and follow rational logic in this argument because I find epistemology and rationality to be high priorities. If someone else has other, higher priorities... perhaps something like their personal relationship with a certain God... then keeping semantics rigid for the purpose of discussion becomes less pressing.

And, strangely enough, the more people bring up "counterarguments" that clearly do not align with the definitions provided upfront... the more confidence I gain that those definitions are actually a good foundation for the resulting conclusion. Their objections are actually counter-productive.

With that said, I certainly do welcome a discussion about why my definitions may not be valid. I would hope to learn a better, more useful definition that I could take away from this discussion and use in other aspects of my life as well. But I did try pretty hard to use definitions that make sense, and also align with the way the terms are mostly used in basic conversation as well.

I chose the title "I know that God does not exist" for a reason.
I knew full well that such a phrase evokes a certain equivocation on the idea of "knowing things." The entire point of this thread was to discuss that equivocation. Most of the time we talk about knowing things in the sense that it's from the data we currently have available to us. However, when we say "I know that God does not exist," people won't blink an eye if they can understand the context of "from the data we currently have available to us." It's only if we switch contexts into knowing things in the "for sure-sure's and absolute truth" sense. Sometimes they don't switch context and actually think that "the data we have" somehow does show that God actually exists... these can be interesting discussions as well. But, for the most part, people seem to just swap context.

So, why does this phrase seem to cause people's context of the idea of "knowing things" to switch?

If we're being honest, we must admit (regardless of rightly or wrongly) that the general population does switch context into an absolute-truth-sense when discussing this phrase. So, in the sense that dictionary terms are descriptive and not proscriptive, we must admit that this can be explained as "the general way the term is used", and in that sense is "kind of okay." I just don't like that a general rule would include a special case. Others don't seem to mind. Why is that? Obviously other people have a higher priority than using rational, non-confusing definitions for words.

I think that it's because of the popularity of the God-idea that exists within our culture.

If God wasn't so socially popular to believe in, everyone would treat the idea that "I know God does not exist" the same as "I know Santa Claus does not exist." They would treat it as the mundane, "duh," basically useless statement of fact that it actually is.

But, because of the popularity of theism in our culture, almost everyone switches over to this absolute-truth-sense context of "knowing things" without even thinking about it. Personally, I find it amazing that so many folks can flip-flop definitions of words like this in their heads. I think it would be naive of me to think that I am impervious to such wide-spread human behaviour.

So... what are the things that I switch context about without skipping a beat?
Is it possible for me to even identify such things? Or would I require an external source to turn on such a light-bulb?

These are the extensions of the discussion that I find extremely interesting. But I'm basically a selfish prick at heart, so go figure!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by Straggler, posted 10-16-2012 9:32 AM Straggler has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by Son Goku, posted 10-16-2012 10:50 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1153
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005


(2)
Message 115 of 2312 (675818)
10-16-2012 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by Stile
10-16-2012 10:14 AM


Re: To infinity, and beyond
Stile writes:

So... what are the things that I switch context about without skipping a beat?
Is it possible for me to even identify such things? Or would I require an external source to turn on such a light-bulb?


I don't know about you Stile, but I can give an example from my line of work. Often when discussing physics with my colleagues I will occasionally say "virtual particles" are not real.

The reason I say this is because they are not. Virtual particles do not exist. This is not in some wishy-washy sense that "nothing exists" or some garbage like that. Electrons for example do exist. Virtual particles are just mathematical tools.

However often it is much easier and more useful to think of physical processes in terms of these fictional objects rather than the real dynamics. However since you think in terms of these objects all the time, you naturally become used to them and it can be a bit odd to find out they don't actually exist.

For that reason I often find that some physicists will switch to this "true truth" and "absolute knowledge" type stuff to defend their intuition. I think most human beings will do this when they find out a foundational concept of their mental framework is false or just a metaphor rather than being actually true. So perhaps you could try to think of something like that. That's how I found out my "Gods".*

*Although actual God wasn't one of them, I've been an atheist my whole life.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by Stile, posted 10-16-2012 10:14 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17679
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 116 of 2312 (675826)
10-16-2012 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by Straggler
10-15-2012 2:42 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Straggler writes:

Can you give an example of something you think we can legitimately describe as "known"....?


I did. How to bake a cake is known. How to get to France is known. The experiments are repeatable.

Why can't we limit what is "known" to what actually is known instead of speculating that what is not known yet will never be known?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by Straggler, posted 10-15-2012 2:42 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by Straggler, posted 10-16-2012 12:46 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17679
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 117 of 2312 (675829)
10-16-2012 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by Stile
10-15-2012 3:00 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Stile writes:

I'm not asking for a lot, I'm not saying you have to produce God... just produce anything that even rationally points towards God.


Step outside tonight and look at the third star from the left. It's thirty-nine boolagazillion light-years away. Some day, if and when we develop the capability to study the planets orbiting around it, we might find God on the far side watching a really big big-screen TV.

That's the same position we were in with regard to the Northwest Passage in the 1600s - and your great-great ancestor was claiming that he knew the Northwest Passage didn't exist.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Stile, posted 10-15-2012 3:00 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by Stile, posted 10-16-2012 1:26 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17679
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 118 of 2312 (675830)
10-16-2012 12:22 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by Tangle
10-14-2012 6:59 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Tangle writes:

My parameters were marked, the question was whether there where snakes in my garden, not the world or cosmos.


So you're not just moving the goalposts; you're widening the goal to the point that kicking the ball in a vaguely easterly direction scores a goal. But your example becomes irrelevant to the topic.

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 Message 92 by Tangle, posted 10-14-2012 6:59 PM Tangle has not yet responded

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


Message 119 of 2312 (675834)
10-16-2012 12:46 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by ringo
10-16-2012 12:05 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Ringo writes:

The operative phrase there is "every feasible effort".

Straggler writes:

Isn't that all we ever have? Can you give an example of something you think we can legitimately describe as "known"....?

Ringo writes:

I did. How to bake a cake is known. How to get to France is known. The experiments are repeatable.

And everytime we have repeated them we have got the same result. But how do you know that some unexpected anomolous result isn't around the corner? How do you know that when you attempt to bake a cake tomorrow you won't end up pulling a lasagne out of the oven because the laws of chemistry are suddenly different in some very specific way?

This is the equivalent response to your examples that the invisible snakes and gods that have yet to reveal themselves are to Stile's and Tangle's examples.

Ringo writes:

Why can't we limit what is "known" to what actually is known instead of speculating that what is not known yet will never be known?

Because it is always philosophically possible that some anomolous result is around the corner waiting to blow away everything we think we know. Beyond accepting that all knowledge is tentative and fallible I see no reason to actually deny that we can know things because of this.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by ringo, posted 10-16-2012 12:05 PM ringo has responded

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


Message 120 of 2312 (675840)
10-16-2012 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by ringo
10-16-2012 12:17 PM


The Northwest Passage
That's the same position we were in with regard to the Northwest Passage in the 1600s - and your great-great ancestor was claiming that he knew the Northwest Passage didn't exist.

Let me try to go through this and give you my thoughts.

The Northwest Passage Background (for anyone who doesn't know Canadian geography)
Northern Canada is a bunch of islands in the arctic. At one time it was believed that there was no way to get a boat through from east to west (about the 1800's and before). This was problematic for trade routes. At a later time, it was discovered (and mapped out in the early 1900's) that you actually could navigate a boat around the islands/ice and get to the otherside via a boat on water only (no land portaging or locks required). This travel pathway through the northern Canadian area is called the Northwest Passage

Again, what I'm saying depends on data sets. I can't say exactly what the data set of any specific group of people during any specific time was, but I can give you some examples:

Overall Data Set: There's water on the west side, water on the east side, lots of islands and ice and land and stuff in the middle.
Rational Indications of possible pathways for the Northwest Passage:
1. There is water on both sides, East and West, so it could be possible that the water may connect (it has done so in other island areas).
2. There is ice flow invloved. From experience they would know that sometimes ice flow is passable, but sometimes it is not.

1600's Data Set: Let's include some facts of some people trying to boat through and failing. Let's say they've tried every route they could, and thought they had covered everything.
I think it is rational for them to say "The Northwest Passage does not exist."
Do you think otherwise?
-Perhaps this was false and the "correct" route wasn't discovered until the 1900's.
-But, perhaps this was even true... maybe during the times of the 1600's the ice over the area was more widespread than it is now and at that time the Northwest Passage (NWP) didn't actually exist. Maybe.
-My point is that whether or not the NWP was real... the statement of their knowledge should rationally be taken to be a statement of their knowledge. That is, since they could not find it, and they did look everywhere they could (according to this example) they then "knew that it didn't exist." If you really think this should rationally be otherwise, do you think you could explain how?

Alternate Data Set: They've tried to boat through, and failed. They didn't try all routes, but tried some of the ones they found most promising.
Now, I do not think it is rational for them to say "The Northwest Passage does not exist." Because there are obvious rational indications that they could be wrong. Some of those waterways could make it through, some might not.
Again, regardless of whether or not the ice blocked the way during the 1600's or not... the statement of their knowledge is simply a statement of their knowledge.

Now, lets take your statement of "Some day, if and when we develop the capability to study the planets orbiting around it, we might find God on the far side watching a really big big-screen TV".

What is there from within our data set that could rationally indicate that God could exist on another planet. Regardless of how far away from Earth it actually is. What is it about planets that we have learned that indicates that God might exist on one?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by ringo, posted 10-16-2012 12:17 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 125 by ringo, posted 10-16-2012 2:44 PM Stile has responded

  
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