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Author Topic:   I Know That God Does Not Exist
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 246 of 2095 (676514)
10-23-2012 1:32 PM
Reply to: Message 245 by Straggler
10-23-2012 1:20 PM


Re: A good foundation
Straggler writes:

How can you demonstrate that your knowledge of how to bake a cake is correct before the fact of baking the cake in question?


That's what I'm saying; you can't have knowledge (as I define it) before the fact. You can only have knowledge of a fait accompli.

I can say I believe the sun will come up tomorrow and I believe I can bake a cake. After the sun comes up I can say I know the sun came up. After I have baked a cake I can say I know how to bake a cake.

I can say that I know x did not exist in the places I looked at the time I was looking. I can not claim to "know" any more than that about the existence of x.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 245 by Straggler, posted 10-23-2012 1:20 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 247 by Straggler, posted 10-23-2012 1:37 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 249 of 2095 (676518)
10-23-2012 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 248 by Stile
10-23-2012 1:41 PM


Re: A good foundation
Stile writes:

I think that saying such a thing is part of the general use of the idea for "knowing things" in the general population.


That's exactly why I prefer a tighter definition. We have a tighter definition than the general population for "theory". Why not for "knowledge" too?

Stile writes:

I think that the lack of the sun "not rising" on everyday-we-have-accumulated-data-for-such-a-thing is enough indication from our data set in order for us to conclude that "I know the sun will rise tomorrow."


I would say, more precisely, that the data suggests that it is very likely that the sun will rise tomorrow. I have a high level of confidence that the sun will rise tomorrow.

Stile writes:

But if we're at your house, and we just came home from the grocery store, and planned to bake tomorrow morning, I would find it very strange if you said "I do not know if I can bake a cake tomorrow."


I'd say that I plan to bake a cake tomorrow and I have a fairly high level of confidence in my abilty to do so.

Stile writes:

I find it confusing to discuss an unidentified idea for which there is no indication it could even possibly be valid.


So you fnd it confusing to discuss God. If I was interviewing you for the job of God-finder, that wouldn't give me much confidence in your ability to do the job.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 248 by Stile, posted 10-23-2012 1:41 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 250 by Stile, posted 10-23-2012 2:23 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 252 of 2095 (676523)
10-23-2012 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 250 by Stile
10-23-2012 2:23 PM


Re: A good foundation
Stile writes:

And I would say that I understand you, however I would wonder why you speak so strangely and just don't say that "you know" such things like everybody else does.


For the same reason that I don't say evolution is "just a theory" like everybody else does - because it's a watered-down version of what the term should mean.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 250 by Stile, posted 10-23-2012 2:23 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 255 by Straggler, posted 10-23-2012 5:42 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 269 of 2095 (676664)
10-24-2012 3:37 PM
Reply to: Message 255 by Straggler
10-23-2012 5:42 PM


Re: A good foundation
Straggler writes:

Why should the term "know" be used in the way you suggest?

What is wrong with an epistemological stance that recognises the role of tentativity and fallibilism in knowledge and knowledge acquisition?


I do recognize the role of tentativity and fallibilism. Tentativity means that we can give up an idea if it is proven to be wrong. It doesn't mean that we jump to conclusions prematurely.

One more time, it has nothing whatsoever to do with absolutism. It has to do with staying tentative until we can make an informed conclusion, not saying we "know" something when we haven't bothered to look at the evidence yet.

Precise language should be important to science-minded people. They should be the first ones to say, "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."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 255 by Straggler, posted 10-23-2012 5:42 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 271 by Rahvin, posted 10-24-2012 3:43 PM ringo has responded
 Message 275 by Straggler, posted 10-24-2012 4:43 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 273 of 2095 (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

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 279 of 2095 (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

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 303 of 2095 (677531)
10-30-2012 12:04 PM


Loose definitions produce loose "knowledge".
  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 337 of 2095 (721696)
03-11-2014 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Stile
10-15-2012 12:02 PM


Re: Do you know
Somehow I missed responding to this.

Stile writes:

What rationally makes you think God could exist somewhere else in the universe?


Possibility is always the default position. If there are no elephants in my back yard, is it possible that there are elephants somewhere else in the universe? Yes.

Stile writes:

ringo writes:

It isn't just mathematics.I also know how to bake a cake. I know how to operate a table saw. I know how an airplane flies - to the extent that I could build one. I know how to get to France.


But... you can't. You're arguing that you cannot know these things.
I'm the one arguing that we can know these things because we do not have to acknowledge irrational possibilities.

I am certainly not arguing that we can not know what we do know.

Stile writes:

What if we discover something in the future that shows you that what you thought was "baking a cake" actually was not?


You have it backwards. There are things we don't know, such as whether a god exists. There are things we do know, such as how to bake a cake. We can undo ignorance by discovering a god but we can't undo knowledge by unknowing something. We can change knowledge, such as the shape of the earth, but we can't unexist the earth.

Stile writes:

ringo writes:

At what point on that continuum do you decide that you "know" something?


As soon as you have the data.

The problem with knowing a negative, such as "there is no God", is that there is never enough data.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Stile, posted 10-15-2012 12:02 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 340 by Stile, posted 03-11-2014 12:35 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 339 of 2095 (721698)
03-11-2014 12:30 PM
Reply to: Message 275 by Straggler
10-24-2012 4:43 PM


Re: Knowing
Straggler writes:

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".


With all that swapping and changing and word-salad tossing, nobody will "know" what the hell you're talking about. When you're pretty sure of something, why not just admit you're pretty sure?

Straggler writes:

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


You know positives. You don't know negatives.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 275 by Straggler, posted 10-24-2012 4:43 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 341 of 2095 (721700)
03-11-2014 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 247 by Straggler
10-23-2012 1:37 PM


Re: A good foundation
Straggler writes:

So you can't demonstrate that you know how to bake a cake until after the fact of baking it any more I can demonstrate the rising of the Sun until after it has risen.

So your distinction is, by your own terms, a false one.


No, the distinction is clear. Knowing how to do something is not the same as predicting a future event based on past events. George has never been late for work before so you can predict that George will be on time tomorrow but you don't know he will be on time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 247 by Straggler, posted 10-23-2012 1:37 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 342 of 2095 (721702)
03-11-2014 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 340 by Stile
03-11-2014 12:35 PM


Re: Not dealing with absolutes
Stile writes:

The problem with never knowing a negative, such as "there is no monster under my bed" is that you can't get out of bed.


You're extrapolating incorrectly. You do have (or can get) enough evidence to know that there is no monster under the bed. You do not have anything like that amount of evidence for the non-existence of God.

Stile writes:

I know that God does not exist based on following the evidence.

I've just dropped the "based on following the evidence" part... because in everyday life, this is generally assumed in the way everyone uses the word "know."


Yes, that is a common misuse of the word. I'm arguing against that misuse.

Theists don't know that there is a God, even if they say they do. You don't know that there isn't a God, even if you say you do.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 340 by Stile, posted 03-11-2014 12:35 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 362 by Stile, posted 03-12-2014 12:32 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 343 of 2095 (721703)
03-11-2014 12:50 PM
Reply to: Message 236 by Straggler
10-23-2012 8:06 AM


Re: Snakes may be in the pudding
Straggler writes:

Humans have a long history of mistakenly concluding that things are supernatural when in fact they aren't.


Sure. What does that have to do with whether or not there is anything supernatural?

Straggler writes:

Then you are talking about non-supernatural gods.


Indeed I am talking about the possibility of something on a continuum between what we know and the "common definition" of gods that you insist on. If you want to "know" that gods don't exist by defining them out of existence, go ahead.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 236 by Straggler, posted 10-23-2012 8:06 AM Straggler has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 344 of 2095 (721704)
03-11-2014 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 235 by Straggler
10-23-2012 8:00 AM


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

Straggler writes:

ringo writes:


Do you know that the Sun will rise tomorrow?


No.

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

Swap "rigorous" for "silly".

Straggler writes:

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


You're confusing laws of nature with events dependent on those laws. The laws of chemistry won't change and the law of gravity won't change but the earth might be struck by an asteroid and change its rate of rotation.

Straggler writes:

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


Swap "politely" for "idiotically" and "explaining" for "equivocating".
This message is a reply to:
 Message 235 by Straggler, posted 10-23-2012 8:00 AM Straggler has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 345 of 2095 (721706)
03-11-2014 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 234 by Tangle
10-23-2012 3:27 AM


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

Will you bet me $1,000 that the sun won't come up tomorrow?


People bet on things every day. Are you saying they "know" which number will come up?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 234 by Tangle, posted 10-23-2012 3:27 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17142
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 346 of 2095 (721707)
03-11-2014 1:07 PM
Reply to: Message 233 by Panda
10-22-2012 6:34 PM


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

Unless you await each morning with a sense of trepidation, then you are equivocating with the word 'know' again.


On the contrary, you're equivocating "know" with "expect".

I expect the sun to come up tomorrow. I also expect a foolish response to this post but I don't "know" I will get one.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 233 by Panda, posted 10-22-2012 6:34 PM Panda has not yet responded

  
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