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Author Topic:   I Know That God Does Not Exist
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 226 of 2312 (676420)
10-22-2012 4:03 PM
Reply to: Message 224 by ringo
10-22-2012 3:54 PM


Re: The Northwest Passage
Data can only be aberrant if there is a framework for it to deviate from.

Irrelevant. See the words that you ignored from the same post.


“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.”
- Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

“A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.” – Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of
variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the
outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." Barash, David 1995.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 224 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 3:54 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 228 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 4:08 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 227 of 2312 (676422)
10-22-2012 4:05 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by ringo
10-22-2012 3:47 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
There you go again, defining God out of existence. If elephants are defined as "large herbivores that live in Africa" then the one in your living room doesn't count - but it doesn't cease to exist either.

I didn;t define "god," ringo. Others did. You're the one burdened by the term, not I - if we're discussing whether "gods" exist, we must only be considering that subset of phenomenon that, if observed, would recognizably be a "god."

But please, respond to the rest of the words of my posts.


“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.”
- Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

“A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.” – Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of
variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the
outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." Barash, David 1995.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 221 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 3:47 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 229 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 4:12 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17665
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 228 of 2312 (676423)
10-22-2012 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 226 by Rahvin
10-22-2012 4:03 PM


Re: The Northwest Passage
Rahvin writes:

ringo writes:

Data can only be aberrant if there is a framework for it to deviate from.


Irrelevant.

On the contrary, it's thoroughly relevant. All knowledge builds on previous knowledge. There is no such thing as a discovery in a vacuum. The idea exists before the discovery. (Not all ideas become discoveries, of course.)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 226 by Rahvin, posted 10-22-2012 4:03 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 230 by Tangle, posted 10-22-2012 4:41 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17665
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 229 of 2312 (676424)
10-22-2012 4:12 PM
Reply to: Message 227 by Rahvin
10-22-2012 4:05 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Rahvin writes:

... if we're discussing whether "gods" exist, we must only be considering that subset of phenomenon that, if observed, would recognizably be a "god."


But we have to find it before we can decide whether it's a god or not. While we're looking for possible gods, we shouldn't have overly specific notions about what one will look like.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 227 by Rahvin, posted 10-22-2012 4:05 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7199
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 230 of 2312 (676428)
10-22-2012 4:41 PM
Reply to: Message 228 by ringo
10-22-2012 4:08 PM


Re: The Northwest Passage
ringo writes:

On the contrary, it's thoroughly relevant. All knowledge builds on previous knowledge. There is no such thing as a discovery in a vacuum. The idea exists before the discovery. (Not all ideas become discoveries, of course.)

Are you sure? It seems to me that we stumble across most things, then try to explain them. The Higgs was just a perfect example of exactly the opposite. The bacteria seems more likely to be some guy playing with a new toy, and it's enemy penicillin was a happy accident.

Let's face it we do both, explore and explain and deduce and prove.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 228 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 4:08 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 231 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 4:45 PM Tangle has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17665
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 231 of 2312 (676429)
10-22-2012 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 230 by Tangle
10-22-2012 4:41 PM


Re: The Northwest Passage
Tangle writes:

It seems to me that we stumble across most things, then try to explain them.


How do we explain them except in the context of what is already known?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 230 by Tangle, posted 10-22-2012 4:41 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 232 by Tangle, posted 10-22-2012 5:22 PM ringo has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7199
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 232 of 2312 (676435)
10-22-2012 5:22 PM
Reply to: Message 231 by ringo
10-22-2012 4:45 PM


Re: The Northwest Passage
ringo writes:

How do we explain them except in the context of what is already known?

If we already knew how to explain it, it wouldn't be either new or requiring explanation.

Knowledge is additive, of course, but some things break a paradigm and change everything - ToE is one, quantum theory is another. A discovery of a genuine, nickel plated god would be another.

The thing is, the god hypothesis isn't exactly new is it? The entire planet has been looking for this thing since the dawn of humanity with nothing to show for it but human corruption and wishful thinking.

Personally, I'm entirely happy to rule out any and all the Gods we've so far invented, but leave open, as an outside possibility, the chance that one day a thoroughly disinterested god will be found playing dominos with himself in another dimension. (You can't rule it out can you?)


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 231 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 4:45 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 237 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-23-2012 9:39 AM Tangle has not yet responded
 Message 347 by ringo, posted 03-11-2014 1:10 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 2052 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


(3)
Message 233 of 2312 (676448)
10-22-2012 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 223 by ringo
10-22-2012 3:51 PM


Re: Absence of Certainty - Likelihood Only Option
Ringo writes:

Straggler writes:

Do you know that the Sun will rise tomorrow?


No.

Unless you await each morning with a sense of trepidation, then you are equivocating with the word 'know' again.
Please re-read the opening post.

"There is no great invention, from fire to flying, which has not been hailed as an insult to some god." J. B. S. Haldane

This message is a reply to:
 Message 223 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 3:51 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 7199
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 234 of 2312 (676464)
10-23-2012 3:27 AM
Reply to: Message 223 by ringo
10-22-2012 3:51 PM


Re: Absence of Certainty - Likelihood Only Option
ringo writes:


Straggler writes:
Do you know that the Sun will rise tomorrow?
Ringo writes
No.

This kind of nonsense is quite easily resolved.

Will you bet me $1,000 that the sun won't come up tomorrow? I'll happily take ANY odds you like.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 223 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 3:51 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 345 by ringo, posted 03-11-2014 1:03 PM Tangle has not yet responded

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


(1)
Message 235 of 2312 (676471)
10-23-2012 8:00 AM
Reply to: Message 223 by ringo
10-22-2012 3:51 PM


Re: Absence of Certainty - Likelihood Only Option
Straggler writes:

Do you know that the Sun will rise tomorrow?

Ringo writes:

No.

Then the standard you are applying to the term 'knowledge' is pretty silly.

Ringo writes:

I think it's pretty likely that the sun will rise tomorrow but I can't demonstrate it.

Well you could get up before dawn and watch out of the window.

Ringo writes:

I know how to bake a cake. I can demonstrate to you that I know.

You can competently follow the procedure for baking a cake and short of all the laws of chemistry mysteriously changing you will end up with a cake.

But you can't know with absolute certainty that the laws of chemistry won't suddenly change.

So your cake baking example is not really any different to the Sun rising example. Both are likely to the point of knowledge, both can be repeatedly demonstrated to occur but neither warrants certainty in some absolutist philosophical sense.

But if you read the OP Stile quite clearly defines what he means by knowledge and (unsurprisingly) both cake baking and the Sun rising qualify.

It is you who is idiotically equivocating the term "knowledge".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 223 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 3:51 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 344 by ringo, posted 03-11-2014 1:00 PM Straggler has not yet responded

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


Message 236 of 2312 (676472)
10-23-2012 8:06 AM
Reply to: Message 225 by ringo
10-22-2012 3:59 PM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Ringo writes:

What's the difference between something that "genuinely isn't natural" and something that we don't have a natural explanation for yet?

The difference is between that which is genuinely supernatural and that which is mistakenly believed to be so.

Humans have a long history of mistakenly concluding that things are supernatural when in fact they aren't. We've invented supernatural beings to explain all sorts of phenomena which on closer examination have turned out to be entirely natural.

Ringo writes:

I'm concluding that gods might be something that we can't explain yet.

Then you are talking about non-supernatural gods. Given that gods are, by any common definition, supernatural beings this is just oxy-moronic nonsense on your part.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 225 by ringo, posted 10-22-2012 3:59 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13371
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 237 of 2312 (676485)
10-23-2012 9:39 AM
Reply to: Message 232 by Tangle
10-22-2012 5:22 PM


Re: The Northwest Passage
Tangle writes:

The thing is, the god hypothesis isn't exactly new is it? The entire planet has been looking for this thing since the dawn of humanity with nothing to show for it but human corruption and wishful thinking.

Personally, I'm entirely happy to rule out any and all the Gods we've so far invented, but leave open, as an outside possibility, the chance that one day a thoroughly disinterested god will be found playing dominos with himself in another dimension. (You can't rule it out can you?)

In my opinion,and for the sake of science, if we cant rule one of them out we cant rule any of them out...but maybe we can have a tournament and reduce them down to the Final Four or something.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 232 by Tangle, posted 10-22-2012 5:22 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3863
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


(2)
Message 238 of 2312 (676491)
10-23-2012 10:37 AM
Reply to: Message 188 by ringo
10-20-2012 2:31 PM


A good foundation
All your replies seem to indicate different definitions for "knowing things" or for "God," without specifying what those definitions are or why you think it's a good idea to use them.

I have defined my terms and defended them, and restricted myself to using those terms as best I know how. I understand that if you disagree with such things than this argument doesn't make much sense. Such is the way of *any and all* arguments.

If you want to use other definitions, that's fine. But if you don't define them so that others can understand what you mean, and you don't defend them so that others can judge if they are acceptable or not, and you don't restrict yourself to the usage you've set up... then I can understand the confusion everyone has in trying to communicate with you on this topic.

I would suggest that in order to move past the confusion... and since you do not agree with the definitions that I have provided... then you can provide new definitions for "knowing things" and "God" in order to discuss the ideas in the way you think is best.

If you simply continue to disagree with my defintions as too restrictive without providing specific alternatives and showing how they are a better fit for everyday life as well as this particular idea, then there is no way to move the discussion forward, and there is no sense in continuing on this philosophical teeter-totter.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 188 by ringo, posted 10-20-2012 2:31 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 240 by ringo, posted 10-23-2012 12:11 PM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3863
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


(2)
Message 239 of 2312 (676499)
10-23-2012 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 196 by TrueCreation
10-22-2012 8:31 AM


Rational Swans
TrueCreation writes:

I think the mistake is that you are conflating an epistemic or methodological irrationality with an ontological irrationality. That god is unconstrained by nature or observation only tells us that we cannot necessarily use nature or observations to understand god.

I understand what God being unconstrained by nature tells us.
I agree that such a God would not be contradictory (or irrational) in itself.
What I'm talking about is that proposing the idea for such a God is not based on any information we have on hand (our "data set"). In this way, I find the proposal of the idea to be irrational (and therefore justifiably discarded as irrelevant).

We have never encountered anything that is unconstrained by nature or observation.
We have had many ideas proposed for things being unconstrained by nature or observation before (claims of magic or miracles, roman/greek gods...), but they have turned out to not exist upon further investigation (so far, for all the ones we've been able to check).

These are things I think are important when we want to seriously consider if something is rational or not.
In seriously considering if quantum mechanics is rational, we can look at the strange ideas it proposes... but we can also see a direct link from the data we do have that indicates the possibility of such strange ideas.
I have not heard of any direct link from the data we have that would indicate God being unconstrained by nature or observation is a possibility.

I think this is an important difference, and one that should require indication. This is what I'm calling splitting between irrational and rational.

Nevertheless, the real problem is, what do you do when it is supposed that god is a supernatural entity? Why does this make god irrational?

I'm not trying to say that this makes God irrational. I'm trying to say that the proposal of this idea is irrational because there is no indication from the data we do have to lead us towards this idea.

Example:
Let say we live in an area where only white swans exist. We study the swans, we understand the evolution of the swans. But all the ones we study and understand are always white.

  • I'm saying that given this scenario, it is irrational to propose the idea that "maybe black swans exist."
  • I'm saying that given this scenario, it is irrational to propose the idea that "maybe blue swans exist."
  • I'm saying that given this scenario, it is irrational to propose the idea that "maybe plaid swans exist."
  • I'm saying that given this scenario, it is rational to say "I know that all swans are white and that black swans do not exist."
  • I'm saying that given this scenario, it is rational to say "I know that all swans are white and that blue swans do not exist."
  • I'm saying that given this scenario, it is rational to say "I know that all swans are white and that plaid swans do not exist."

    Now, given the data set in the example and given the definitions of the words I have explained (and also think align with how most people use the words in everyday language...) I still think that all rational/irrational statements above are correct/valid.

    Now, lets take into account the following information:

    1. You and I know that black swans do, in fact, exist.
    2. I do not absolutely know if blue swans exist (personally, I've never heard of them, I have yet to attempt a googling, and I do not understand what makes black swans black... that is, I don't know if there are any known restrictions on the colour shift).
    3. I do not absolutely know if plaid swans exist.

    I would then alter the following statements to be:

  • (I would remove the black swan statements, as they are clearly false)

  • It is now rational to propose the idea that "maybe blue swans exist."
    -That is, I understand that swans are not restricted to being white only. There can be black swans. Why not other colours? Blue, especially, is rather close to black. It is possible that upon investigation there is some restriction in the swans' DNA that causes either white or black but nothing else... in which case I would have to revise this statment again. But here, with the data I do have, this is "rational" as I use the term.

  • It is still irrational to propose the idea that "maybe plaid swans exist."
    -Going to one colour is one thing, all of a sudden considering multiple colours in a specific pattern would require some sort of indication from the data set before it became "rational."

  • It is now irrational to say "I know that all swans are white and that blue swans do not exist."
  • It is still rational to say "I know that all swans are white and that plaid swans do not exist."
    (-same reasoning as above)

    This is how I'm trying to use the terms. If we take this same usage and apply it consistently to the proposed idea of God being unconstrained by nature or observation... then I must find such a thing irrational because there is no indication of such an idea from our data set.

    If I were to accept that such an idea of God was rational, and valid... then I could no longer say that "I know plaid swans do not exist."
    I find such a defintion to be unusable and not to align with the way I think of "knowing things" in everyday life.


  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 196 by TrueCreation, posted 10-22-2012 8:31 AM TrueCreation has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 253 by TrueCreation, posted 10-23-2012 2:43 PM Stile has responded

      
    ringo
    Member
    Posts: 17665
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005
    Member Rating: 3.2


    Message 240 of 2312 (676500)
    10-23-2012 12:11 PM
    Reply to: Message 238 by Stile
    10-23-2012 10:37 AM


    Re: A good foundation
    Stile writes:

    I would suggest that in order to move past the confusion... and since you do not agree with the definitions that I have provided... then you can provide new definitions for "knowing things" and "God" in order to discuss the ideas in the way you think is best.


    I have.

    I have said that knowledge can be demonstrated - e.g. the knowledge of how to bake a cake. The sun coming up tomorrow can not be demonstrated before the fact and therefore is not knowledge until after the fact. The notion that we have looked "everywhere" for God an not found Him is far too sweeping a generalization to be demonstrable.

    I have also said that "God" is a possible entity with powers that are not yet understood.

    Columbus didn't "know" that he could reach Asia by sailing westward. He believed it. His belief was wrong for two reasons: first because there was an unexpected obstacle - the Americas - and second because he didn't have the technology to sail that far non-stop. (As it turned out, Magellan's expedition succeeded in circumnavigating the world because the obstacle provided a place for them to re-provision - i.e. two wrongs cancelled each other out.)

    Similarly, you don`t "know" that God doesn't exist - unless you define God as something that you haven`t found yet. You believe that God doesn't exist. There's a gray area between belief and knowledge and our disagreement is over the shade of gray.

    I prefer to keep my gray as clean as possible.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 238 by Stile, posted 10-23-2012 10:37 AM Stile has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 241 by Panda, posted 10-23-2012 12:24 PM ringo has responded
     Message 245 by Straggler, posted 10-23-2012 1:20 PM ringo has responded
     Message 248 by Stile, posted 10-23-2012 1:41 PM ringo has responded

      
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