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


Message 271 of 2312 (676666)
10-24-2012 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 269 by ringo
10-24-2012 3:37 PM


Re: A good foundation
"I haven't seen any evidence that points to God, so it seems pretty unlikely that He exists - but I don't know for sure."

I see no functional distinction between this statement and "I know that God does not exist."

Of course, I'm using the same definition of "knowledge" that Straggler et al are using.


“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 269 by ringo, posted 10-24-2012 3:37 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 273 by ringo, posted 10-24-2012 3:56 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 272 of 2312 (676667)
10-24-2012 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by Rahvin
10-24-2012 3:09 PM


It's funny how you just go on assuming that people in the past had access to the same evidence that we have today.

I'm not assuming that at all

A few hundred years ago, people would tell you that they "know" the Earth to be flat -

Right, and they were wrong. And it was a stupid usage of the word "know". They shouldn't have said they knew it, because they didn't, because it ain't flat.

because they weren't even aware of any evidence to the contrary, it was the accepted wisdom of the time (ie, it was "established," as you like to use the term), and if you just look at the lay of the land from anything other than extreme altitude, it looks overall pretty flat.

I wouldn't say that those things established the Earth as flat.

For many years it was "established" that phlogiston was responsible for combustion. Any educated person would have told you so, and would have said that this is "known."

Really? I don't think so.

So too with "established knowledge" - you use the term to describe theoretical models that are well-supported by evidence and are accepted by the greater scientific community...

...but any scientist worth a dozen neurons will tell you that even "established" theories are tentative pending new evidence or the falsification/alteration of existing evidence.

I don't see a lot of scientists going around saying that they know their theory is correct.

Newtonian gravity turned out to be pretty wrong even though it gives "close enough" answers at the right scales, and was considered "established knowledge" for a long time...

...right up until Einstein came and changed everything by fundamentally altering some basic assumptions about reality.

Yeah, I prolly would've said I knew Newton was right. I think the math working would have made me think it was established. I doubt I'd say that I knew that mass attracts itself though. But anyways, if I did, and then I found out I was wrong, then I'd be in the same position: that was a stupid way to use the word "know".

quote:
Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody "knew" that the earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody "knew" that the earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you "knew" that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll "know" tomorrow. ~ Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), Men in Black

Its stupid to say that we know that humans are alone on this planet. That hasn't been established.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 267 by Rahvin, posted 10-24-2012 3:09 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17646
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 273 of 2312 (676669)
10-24-2012 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 271 by Rahvin
10-24-2012 3:43 PM


Re: A good foundation
Rahvin writes:

Of course, I'm using the same definition of "knowledge" that Straggler et al are using.


It's also the same definition that fundies use when they say they "know" God exists and they "know" what He's thinking.

I'm suggesting that we should hold our own knowledge to a higher standard.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 271 by Rahvin, posted 10-24-2012 3:43 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 276 by Straggler, posted 10-24-2012 4:47 PM ringo has responded

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


(1)
Message 274 of 2312 (676674)
10-24-2012 4:34 PM
Reply to: Message 266 by New Cat's Eye
10-24-2012 2:22 PM


Ask a Newtonian physicist about his ability to measure the position and momentum of a particle and he will tell you his ability to do so is limited only by the accuracy of his measuring instruments.

But Heisenberg will tell him he is wrong.

Ask a Newtonian physicist about time and he will tell you it is absolute and that this has been verified by every one of the most accurate time measuring devices he has ever encountered.

But Einstein will tell him he is completely wrong.

These are not "tweaks". These are opposing and mutually exclusive knowledge of what the scientific facts are.

CS writes:

The word "know" is better reserved for things that have been established.

In what sense was absolute time not established?

CS writes:

. Its just dumb to say that people knew something that is false.

It's the height of arrogance to claim that what you know cannot possibly be wrong.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 266 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-24-2012 2:22 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 277 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-24-2012 5:03 PM Straggler has not yet responded

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


Message 275 of 2312 (676675)
10-24-2012 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 269 by ringo
10-24-2012 3:37 PM


Knowing
Ringo writes:

"I haven't seen any evidence that points to God, so it seems pretty unlikely that He exists - but I don't know for sure."

Swap "very" for "pretty", add in the evidence strongly favouring gods as made-up rather than real entities and change "sure" for "absolutely certain" and that is exactly what I am saying when I use the term "know".

I haven't seen any evidence that points to God and I have seen a great deal of evidence that implies God is a product of human invention so it seems very unlikely that He exists - but I don't know for absolutely certain.

I haven't seen any evidence that points to the Sun failing to rise tomorrow, so it seems pretty unlikely that it won't - but I don't know for absolutely certain.

I haven't seen anything to indicate that the laws of chemistry pertaining to cake baking are about to fundamentally change overnight so it seems very unlikely that my known procedure for baking cakes will result in a lasagne tomorrow - but I don't know this for absolutely certain.

In short - I know God doesn't exist. I know the Sun will rise tomorrow. I know how to bake a cake.

My knowledge is tentative (i.e. uncertain) and potentially fallible. But still I know these things.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 269 by ringo, posted 10-24-2012 3:37 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 339 by ringo, posted 03-11-2014 12:30 PM Straggler has not yet responded

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


Message 276 of 2312 (676676)
10-24-2012 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 273 by ringo
10-24-2012 3:56 PM


Re: A good foundation
But the standard you are applying results in nonsenical drivel.

You don't know the Sun will rise tomorrow and you only know how to bake the cakes created in the past but don't know how to bake a cake in the future.

It's ridiculous and, in terms of practical communication, unworkable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 273 by ringo, posted 10-24-2012 3:56 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 279 by ringo, posted 10-25-2012 11:56 AM Straggler has not yet responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 277 of 2312 (676679)
10-24-2012 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 274 by Straggler
10-24-2012 4:34 PM


Ask a Newtonian physicist about his ability to measure the position and momentum of a particle and he will tell you his ability to do so is limited only by the accuracy of his measuring instruments.
But Heisenberg will tell him he is wrong.

Ask a Newtonian physicist about time and he will tell you it is absolute and that this has been verified by every one of the most accurate time measuring devices he has ever encountered.

But Einstein will tell him he is completely wrong.

These are not "tweaks". These are opposing and mutually exclusive knowledge of what the scientific facts are.

I don't see a lot of scientists going around saying that they know their scientific facts aren't wrong.

In what sense was absolute time not established?

I dunno, how was it established?

It's the height of arrogance to claim that what you know cannot possibly be wrong.

I agree, I wouldn't claim that either.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 274 by Straggler, posted 10-24-2012 4:34 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
TrueCreation
Inactive Member


Message 278 of 2312 (676681)
10-24-2012 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 258 by Straggler
10-24-2012 12:51 PM


Re: Rational Swans
quote:
Why is it that when confronted with what should be an un-contentious example that we can all agree upon as something which is almost certainly non-existent theists feel the need to start throwing terms like “absurd” around?
What is or is not absurd is entirely subjective. I may well find your concept of god absurd. So let’s put aside assertions of what is absurd and what isn’t.

Absurdity isn't entirely subjective inasmuch as it is simply another way of saying that the proposition is at odds with reasonable inference, to say the least.

quote:

I am trying to establish a baseline. I am trying to see if we can both agree that we know that the immaterial unicorn in question doesn’t exist.

Do you agree that we can know this? Or do you claim that we cannot know this?



We can both agree that the immaterial unicorn in question does not exist. But I won't agree that that this inference is to be classified as knowledge. I am just not willing to claim that unknowable things become knowable just because they are obviously contrived, lacking evidence, or suffering from any other sort of epistemic retardation. To my mind, this additional inference to pseudoknowledge does nothing except endanger more reasonable pursuits into the unknown (by whatever means of philosophical investigation) by devaluing what it means to "know".

This message is a reply to:
 Message 258 by Straggler, posted 10-24-2012 12:51 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17646
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 279 of 2312 (676813)
10-25-2012 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 276 by Straggler
10-24-2012 4:47 PM


Re: A good foundation
Straggler writes:

You don't know the Sun will rise tomorrow and you only know how to bake the cakes created in the past but don't know how to bake a cake in the future.


I can predict that the sun will rise tomorrow. My knowledge of past events gives me a high degree of confidence in that prediction. The results of an experiment are never "known" until the experiment is done. Beforehand, they can only be predicted.

Straggler writes:

It's ridiculous and, in terms of practical communication, unworkable.


On the contrary, it's how scientists communicate. The sloppy terminology that you advocate is a tool of obfuscation, not communication.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 276 by Straggler, posted 10-24-2012 4:47 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3863
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 280 of 2312 (677033)
10-26-2012 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 257 by New Cat's Eye
10-24-2012 12:14 PM


Re: A good foundation
Catholic Scientis writes:

You'd say that people knew the Earth was flat... and that's just a load of horseshit

I don't see a problem with saying that.
I don't think that "knowing something" implies that it is absolutely true.
I think that "knowing something" simply implies that an analysis of the data at hand has been done, and this is the result. That is, more than "just a guess."

I mean, right now I would say "People in the 1800's knew that doctor's cannot grow lost limbs back."
Is this a "load of horseshit?"
It's certainly possible (maybe even likely?) that if the species continues to develop as fast as it has been medically and scientifically for the next 1000 years... that doctor's will be able to grow lost limbs back.
If that happens, you're saying that this statement suddenly becomes silly to say? Isn't that what people in the 1800's knew about medical abilities? Regardless of what happens in the future?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 257 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-24-2012 12:14 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 281 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-26-2012 12:18 PM Stile has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 281 of 2312 (677039)
10-26-2012 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 280 by Stile
10-26-2012 12:08 PM


Re: A good foundation
Catholic Scientis writes:

You'd say that people knew the Earth was flat... and that's just a load of horseshit


I don't see a problem with saying that.
I don't think that "knowing something" implies that it is absolutely true.
I think that "knowing something" simply implies that an analysis of the data at hand has been done, and this is the result. That is, more than "just a guess."

I see people thinking the Earth was flat as being "just a guess" as opposed to a result of an analysis of the data. But maybe I'm just ignorant of the data that they did have that suggested that the Earth was flat. I'm having trouble imagining much data for that because the Earth is not flat. How would they go about establishing a flat Earth?

I mean, right now I would say "People in the 1800's knew that doctor's cannot grow lost limbs back."
Is this a "load of horseshit?"
It's certainly possible (maybe even likely?) that if the species continues to develop as fast as it has been medically and scientifically for the next 1000 years... that doctor's will be able to grow lost limbs back.
If that happens, you're saying that this statement suddenly becomes silly to say? Isn't that what people in the 1800's knew about medical abilities? Regardless of what happens in the future

I would say that people in the 1800's knew that doctors could not grow limbs back, but I wouldn't say that the knew that doctors in the future would be unable to grow limbs back.

I just don't think its good to push the definition of knowledge into including ignorance instead of reserving it for when ignorance is removed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 280 by Stile, posted 10-26-2012 12:08 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 283 by Stile, posted 10-26-2012 12:40 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3863
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 282 of 2312 (677040)
10-26-2012 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 253 by TrueCreation
10-23-2012 2:43 PM


Re: Rational Swans
If we cannot agree on a simple example, we're never going to agree on the subject of Gods.
Let's just stick to that and see if we can work anything out.

TrueCreation writes:

I don't understand how you cannot see the absurdity of maintaining your position in the wake of an example like this. It is not remotely irrational to propose that "maybe black swans exist" unless you have unstated premises such as "A necessary characteristic of Swan-ness is being the color white" or that the premise that "we understand the evolution of swans" is equivalent to saying that "we understand the evolution of swans sufficient to claim that there can be no black swans". Your supposedly rational statement that "I know that all swans are white and that black swans do not exist" is absurd. Science would be incompetent drunkards if it were valid. I think that this shows precisely how epistemologically bankrupt your original claim is.

There is no unstated premise such as "a necessary characteristic of Swan-ness is being the colour white."
This isn't preventing black swans as much as it isn't preventing plaid swans.

However, if we have studied swans all over the world, and we have never seen or heard of a black swan... you really think it's absurd to say: "I know that all swans are white and that black swans do not exist?" Why?

I assume you think it's equally absurd to say "I know that all swans are white or black and that plaid swans do not exist?" Why?

It is not remotely irrational to propose that "maybe black swans exist"

Yes, it is. As irrational as it is to propose that "maybe plaid swans exist" such that we can no longer say "I know that plaid swans do not exist."

Can you explain to me how such a statement about black swans could be rational based upon the example?
If all the swans we've ever heard of or seen are always white... how is it rational to propose that "maybe black swans exist?"
I fully admit that it can be an idea. But how is it possibly rational? Especially scientifically... how would you test it? Wouldn't you just watch the birth of swans for a while? And if they all, always, came out white... wouldn't you say that the proposal is falsified and therefore invalid?

I'm saying that these tests have already been done (in the example we've studied swans and only ever seen white swans).

I think the proposal would be rational if we just saw some white swans today for the first time. But if we've studies them... for years... and white swans always gave birth to white swans... and we never saw or heard of any black swans... how are you describing the proposal as rational? How else could you scientifically test it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 253 by TrueCreation, posted 10-23-2012 2:43 PM TrueCreation has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 289 by TrueCreation, posted 10-29-2012 7:41 AM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3863
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 283 of 2312 (677042)
10-26-2012 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 281 by New Cat's Eye
10-26-2012 12:18 PM


Re: A good foundation
Catholic Scientist writes:

I see people thinking the Earth was flat as being "just a guess" as opposed to a result of an analysis of the data. But maybe I'm just ignorant of the data that they did have that suggested that the Earth was flat. I'm having trouble imagining much data for that because the Earth is not flat. How would they go about establishing a flat Earth?

Perhaps the flat Earth is simply a bad example.
I was just assuming that they had data that did indicate the Earth was flat for them (maybe by not travelling very far, thinking it was a fact that there was an "edge of the world"... that sort of thing).

But you do seem to agree with the other example?

I would say that people in the 1800's knew that doctors could not grow limbs back, but I wouldn't say that they knew that doctors in the future would be unable to grow limbs back.

This is all I'm saying.

I'm saying that today I know that God does not exist.
I wouldn't say that I know God is never going to exist in the future.

I also say that I know the sun will rise tomorrow.
But I wouldn't say that I know there will never be a day where the sun doesn't rise.

There is an inherent acknowledgement of possible-wrongness included in anything anyone says they "know."
All they mean is that it's their best result obtained from the data they have available to them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 281 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-26-2012 12:18 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3123
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 284 of 2312 (677214)
10-27-2012 11:09 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by 1.61803
10-10-2012 5:42 PM



Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence.

While that is often true, that is not ALWAYS true. It all depends.

If you find the absence of an apple in a specific drawer, it is strong evidecne there is no apple in that drawer.

There is strong evidence there is an absence of the Loch Ness monster in Loch Ness.

So, no, it is not always true that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by 1.61803, posted 10-10-2012 5:42 PM 1.61803 has acknowledged this reply

  
Connie Muller
Junior Member (Idle past 2504 days)
Posts: 2
From: Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Joined: 10-28-2012


Message 285 of 2312 (677229)
10-28-2012 9:17 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
10-10-2012 2:27 PM


I suppose it also depends on what your definition of God is.

I see two Gods in essence of understanding.

1. God the creator of all things. Different religions have different takes on this, including atheists.

2. The most mentions of God in the bible, and even other religions. While most assume that the mentions of God refer to the creator God, there is the very definite possibility that it merely refers to a more superior being or race or species.

I believe there is evidence of lastmentioned. Very visible evidence. The most recent post on my website gives detail - Giants in Greece.


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

Replies to this message:
 Message 296 by Stile, posted 10-29-2012 3:20 PM Connie Muller has not yet responded

  
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