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Author Topic:   Faith vs Skepticism - Why faith?
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1909
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 466 of 533 (537183)
11-27-2009 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 463 by Rrhain
11-27-2009 3:11 AM


Rrhain asks:
quote:I DONT KNOW.

What don't you know? What are you talking about? That is not a facetious question. How can you claim that you don't know about something if you are unable to tell us what it is?

If we will find evidence of the supernatural...an Ace in the deck, so to speak.

(Sorry, forgot to address that question.)


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 463 by Rrhain, posted 11-27-2009 3:11 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 468 by RAZD, posted 11-27-2009 2:04 PM xongsmith has not yet responded
 Message 472 by Rrhain, posted 11-27-2009 7:49 PM xongsmith has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20156
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 467 of 533 (537190)
11-27-2009 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 464 by Briterican
11-27-2009 11:27 AM


Re: The third level of logical evaluations of the positions
Hi again, Briterican,

But "possibility" carries with it an element of probability.

No, for the simple reason that it does not judge the relative possibility as probability does. When you do probability calculations they are based on all the possibilities: when you throw a di the numbers 1 through 6 are all possible, and when you throw only one, equally probable. When you throw two di the numbers 2 through 12 are all possible, with several combinations making different numbers, as in there are 6 possibilities of getting a 7 total but only one possibility of getting a 2 or a 12 total, and this means that the probability of getting a 7 is greater than getting a 2 or a 12, even though each possible combination has the same possibility.

Probability is based on possibilities and makes a judgment on likelihood, possibility makes no judgment of likelihood.

If something is possibly true, then it is also possibly false, with no means to judge which is more likely. A coin in the air is possibly heads and possibly tails, and no way to judge which is more likely until it actually lands.

In the same vein of thought, I consider the probability that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe as being infinitesimally small, though I have no basis on which I can flatly announce that probability to be zero. Therefore, I find it unrealistic to come to the conclusion that there is a 50% probabillty that he exists and a 50% probability that he doesn't - i.e. the two possiblities (FSM exists / FSM does not exist) are NOT on equal footing. I consider the probability that the FSM does NOT exist to be dramatically greater than the probability that he does exist.

In other words you have used your personal opinion to judge the probability of one possibility relative to another. This is the inevitable position of claiming something not supported by logic.

As pointed out in Message 462 making a judgment of "infinitesimally small" probability results in a contradictory position from the structure of the argument:

quote:
This leads us to the final pair:

  • person F: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows X is not true, therefore it is logical to consider it is highly probable that X is true, and
  • person G: there is no objective empirical evidence that shows X is true, therefore it is logical to consider it is highly probable that X is not true,

In these cases, "F" is modeled on the "2" category of theistic agnostic (Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. 'I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there'), claiming that god/s are highly probable to be true due to the lack of contradicting evidence, and "G" is modeled on the "6" category of atheistic agnostic (Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. 'I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.') claiming that god/s are highly probable to be not-true.

Going through the little exercise of analyzing the logical structure of the argument should bring us to a final conclusion regarding what positions are logical, and what positions are not logical, based on an absence of contradictory empirical or objective evidence.

The astute observer will have already figured out that there is a contradiction between "F" and "G" positions, as one rules out the other in the same way that "A" rules out "B" and vice versa:

A high probability that X is true ≠ a high probability that X is not true.

Thus we end up with:

"A" = "1" = logically invalid argument
"B" = "7" = logically invalid argument
"C" = "4" = logically valid argument
"D" = "3" = logically valid argument
"E" = "5" = logically valid argument
"F" = "2" = logically invalid argument
"G" = "6" = logically invalid argument

The form of your argument is invalid, so the conclusion does not follow from the premises. It may be true, but it is not shown to be a logical conclusion.

The only way around this problem, is to show that there is objective empirical evidence that shows one position or the other is invalid, evidence that contradicts the opposing position. This would involve showing that one of the premises is false.

For the theist, this means providing actual evidence that god/s in fact exist, contradicting the atheist "5" premise that there is no evidence contradicting the atheist position -- or realizing that a "3" position is all that can be supported by the logic and available evidence.

Likewise, for the atheist, this means providing actual evidence that god/s do not in fact exist, contradicting the theist "3" premise that there is no evidence contradicting the theist position -- or realizing that a "5" position is all that can be supported by the logic and available evidence.

This is why anyone claiming a "6" position or higher needs to provide evidence substantiating their opinion, or they fall into the pseudoskeptic category of claiming a negative without logical support or empirical objective evidence.

Replace FSM in the above argument with whatever flavour of God you like, and (in my opinion) the argument still holds true.

All this is doing is saying "the names have been changed to protect the innocent" -- and playing the name changing game, does not alter the fact that you are talking about a single god, or set of gods, that created the universe, and thus this part is mundanely true for any name chosen, however we are still left with possibility (A) god/s created the universe, and possibility (2) god/s did not create the universe.

Now in the original post that caught my eye in How do I deal with a creationist family member?, your Message 65, you claimed:

I tried to explain why this was a fallacy, why these two conclusions are not on equal footing, and in the process I (ill-advisedly) put forward the idea that my "disbelief" was more firmly founded in logic and reason than their "belief".

If you are arguing a "6G" or a "7B" atheist position against a "1A" or a "2F" theistic position, then you both have equally bad logical foundations.

If you are arguing a "5E" atheistic agnostic position against a "1A" or a "2F" theistic position, then you are correct.

If you are arguing a "5E" atheistic agnostic position against a "3D" theistic agnostic position, then you both have equally solid logical foundations.

If you are arguing a "6G" or a "7B" atheist position against a "3D" theistic agnostic position, then you both have a worse logical foundation.

For the record, I'm a "3D" - deistic agnostic.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : added end

Edited by RAZD, : No reason given.

Edited by RAZD, : coin in the air

Edited by RAZD, : 3D


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 464 by Briterican, posted 11-27-2009 11:27 AM Briterican has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 469 by Briterican, posted 11-27-2009 2:55 PM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 20156
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 468 of 533 (537194)
11-27-2009 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 466 by xongsmith
11-27-2009 11:51 AM


Hi xongsmith, thanks for trying to sort Rrhain out.

If we will find evidence of the supernatural...an Ace in the deck, so to speak.

And the "coelacanth ace" in the whole of time is still the deist god that clapped the universe into existence in the time before time, said "surprise me," and left it to develop all on its lone.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 466 by xongsmith, posted 11-27-2009 11:51 AM xongsmith has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 470 by onifre, posted 11-27-2009 4:05 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
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Briterican
Member (Idle past 2235 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 469 of 533 (537204)
11-27-2009 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 467 by RAZD
11-27-2009 1:26 PM


Re: The third level of logical evaluations of the positions
RAZD writes:

The form of your argument is invalid, so the conclusion does not follow from the premises. It may be true, but it is not shown to be a logical conclusion.

The only way around this problem, is to show that there is objective empirical evidence that shows one position or the other is invalid, evidence that contradicts the opposing position. This would involve showing that one of the premises is false.

Rrhain writes:

...you have conveniently ignored the most salient point:

Briterican writes:

there is a substantial amount of empirical evidence that points towards a universe that moves forward on fixed laws that do not require a controlling agency

You have based your argument on a premise that there is no evidence when the reality of the situation is that there are literally mountains of evidence.

It is this evidence that sways me to a 6 on Dawkins's scale, which you've criticised as flawed but nonetheless referenced often.

RAZD writes:


Briterican writes:

Therefore, I find it unrealistic to come to the conclusion that there is a 50% probabillty that he exists and a 50% probability that he doesn't - i.e. the two possiblities (FSM exists / FSM does not exist) are NOT on equal footing. I consider the probability that the FSM does NOT exist to be dramatically greater than the probability that he does exist.

In other words you have used your personal opinion to judge the probability of one possibility relative to another. This is the inevitable position of claiming something not supported by logic.

There is no personal opinion involved. I base my probability estimate on two things:


  • The available evidence from the fields of cosmology and biology support a universe that moves forward on fixed laws without intervention from a controlling agent.

  • There is no recorded evidence of the existence of the FSM or any evidence to support the contention that he created the universe last Thursday (again, substitute the god(s) of your choice).


I don't think I'm arguing with your mathematics, and I agree that possibility makes no judgment of likelihood. If your argument addresses only possibility, and not probabilty, then I suspect your maths follow. But I don't believe you can apply this sort of binary logic to the ideas of theist/atheist/agnostic.

RAZD writes:

If something is possibly true, then it is also possibly false, with no means to judge which is more likely. A coin in the air is possibly heads and possibly tails, and no way to judge which is more likely until it actually lands.

I am woefully underequipped to argue with you on the level of mathematics, but I feel as though probability theory is being left out altogether in the discussion, whereas it makes sense to me for it to play a prominent role.

There is a possibilty that God exists. That leads you to the conclusion that there are only two possible states: True and False. You therefore aver that these two possible states are equally likely. It is the coin flipping argument above. If, however, I had empirical evidence that the coin had a minor flaw resulting in an imbalance causing it to land on heads more often than tails, it would be logical for me to bet on heads. I could still lose, but probability would be on my side. It is in this way that scientific evidence (from the fields of cosmology and biology) has tipped the balance so that someone arguing from a position of skepticism does so on a firmer foundation than those arguing from a position of faith.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 467 by RAZD, posted 11-27-2009 1:26 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 479 by RAZD, posted 11-28-2009 6:32 PM Briterican has responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 1237 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 470 of 533 (537213)
11-27-2009 4:05 PM
Reply to: Message 468 by RAZD
11-27-2009 2:04 PM


And the "coelacanth ace" in the whole of time is still the deist god that clapped the universe into existence in the time before time, said "surprise me," and left it to develop all on its lone.

Can you explain how that concept is grounded in some kind of evidence, and not total speculation on your part void of absolutely any kind evidence?

When the diety clapped, did it clap its "hands"?

When it said "surprise me," who was it talking to and did it speak in English?

Finally, who clapped the diety into existence, or does it not need a first cause?

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 468 by RAZD, posted 11-27-2009 2:04 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 159 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 471 of 533 (537233)
11-27-2009 7:47 PM
Reply to: Message 465 by xongsmith
11-27-2009 11:43 AM


xongsmith responds to me:

quote:
No. He claims the Model is incomplete because it is incomplete.

Ahem. What do you think "incomplete" means? It means that there is something missing. I have decided to call this something that is missing "chocolate sprinkles."

quote:
Do you honestly think the current scientific Model of the Universe and Everything is complete?

No, but not because I have evidence that it is, as such. Instead, I think so because I don't think we're clever enough to have figured it out and our process can never know if we have managed to do it. Observational processes never let you proclaim absolute truth. The best it can hope for is to claim that it is consistent with all known observations.

quote:
Why have the LHC looking for the Higgs boson?

I know that the Higgs is often nicknamed the "god particle," but somehow I don't think that's what RAZD means when he refers to "god."

In essence, RAZD is simply playing an elaborate game of "god of the gaps." This is part of the "evidence" he claims doesn't exist: Every single time we've gone investigating, we have found physical reasons for phenomena. So where is his evidence that this time is going to be any different? Null hypothesis remains valid until evidence comes along to discredit it.

quote:
You could also bring in Occam's Razor

Occam's Razor is a philosophical position. The Null Hypothesis is an actual mathematical process.

quote:
The Model by necessity makes simplifications in order to get to tractable mathematics

Irrelevant. It is because of the model that we have the very computer you're typing on.

Newtonian physics is wrong. At every level, every speed, every answer that it gives is wrong. However, given the objects and speeds we typically find ourselves working with, the difference between the answer it gives and the "real" answer is so small that you would need outrageously sensitive equipment in order to detect it.

So yes, we make assumptions, but even with those assumptions we get something that actually works. And when we find those assumptions don't work, we change them with the new observations in order to get a model that works.

So far, we haven't found the chocolate sprinkles doing anything let alone existing.

quote:
How can RAZD's one sprinkle be ruled out when we already have to allow for scads of other weird sprinkles.

Because the new ones are based upon implications of the rainbow sprinkles we already have.

quote:
In the case of RAZD's chocolate sprinkle, I'm not sure that it will ever be possible to find empirical objective evidence of something that happened down in the Planck moments of creation

Perhaps. But what's the difference between that and nothingness itself? Again, if god can do it, why can't the universe?

quote:
Now, in the case of some currently observing omniscient god in the sky as yet undescribed, we have the Mean Time Between Coelacanthic Aces probability calculations to make such a thing extremely unlikely

If it is undescribed, how can we possibly assign a probability to it?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 465 by xongsmith, posted 11-27-2009 11:43 AM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 476 by xongsmith, posted 11-28-2009 11:40 AM Rrhain has responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 159 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 472 of 533 (537234)
11-27-2009 7:49 PM
Reply to: Message 466 by xongsmith
11-27-2009 11:51 AM


xongsmith responds to me:

quote:
quote:
What don't you know? What are you talking about? That is not a facetious question. How can you claim that you don't know about something if you are unable to tell us what it is?

If we will find evidence of the supernatural...an Ace in the deck, so to speak.


That doesn't answer the question. What do you mean by "supernatural"? All you've done is replace one undefined term with another.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 466 by xongsmith, posted 11-27-2009 11:51 AM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 474 by xongsmith, posted 11-28-2009 11:18 AM Rrhain has responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 159 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 473 of 533 (537237)
11-27-2009 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 468 by RAZD
11-27-2009 2:04 PM


RAZD writes:

quote:
And the "coelacanth ace" in the whole of time is still the deist god

Huh? You don't see any evidentiary difference between an undefined term that has never been observed and a living creature we have a fossil record of? That the scenario of an extant creature might have been lost track of is identical to the scenario of an entity that has never been observed has been hiding all this time?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 468 by RAZD, posted 11-27-2009 2:04 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 477 by xongsmith, posted 11-28-2009 11:48 AM Rrhain has responded

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1909
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 4.8


(1)
Message 474 of 533 (537409)
11-28-2009 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 472 by Rrhain
11-27-2009 7:49 PM


Rrhain asks:
What do you mean by "supernatural"? All you've done is replace one undefined term with another.

Okay then - let's use your term: chocolate sprinkles

Surely you are familiar with what that term means.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 472 by Rrhain, posted 11-27-2009 7:49 PM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 475 by onifre, posted 11-28-2009 11:32 AM xongsmith has responded
 Message 509 by Rrhain, posted 11-30-2009 10:53 PM xongsmith has responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 1237 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 475 of 533 (537413)
11-28-2009 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 474 by xongsmith
11-28-2009 11:18 AM


Hi xong,

Rrhain writes:

What do you mean by "supernatural"? All you've done is replace one undefined term with another.

xong writes:

Okay then - let's use your term: chocolate sprinkles

Surely you are familiar with what that term means.

I think you miss the point ... no matter what you decide to call it, it's still a meaningless term.

Supernatural, god, outside the universe, before time - these are all words that replace gaps, they mean nothing, and they answer much less.

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 474 by xongsmith, posted 11-28-2009 11:18 AM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 478 by xongsmith, posted 11-28-2009 11:59 AM onifre has not yet responded

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1909
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 4.8


(1)
Message 476 of 533 (537417)
11-28-2009 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 471 by Rrhain
11-27-2009 7:47 PM


Rrhain gives us this:
What do you think "incomplete" means? It means that there is something missing. I have decided to call this something that is missing "chocolate sprinkles."

Then what are these:

Because the new ones are based upon implications of the rainbow sprinkles we already have.

I think I would view the incompleteness of the Model as not just chocolate sprinkles or rainbow sprinkles - but any kind of sprinkles, including those that turn out to be legit expansions of the Model.

For example, before General Relativity there used to be a bunch of sprinkles, because the Model at that time did not have an explanation for Mercury's orbit or starlight deflection by gravity or any number of other things that GR explained. GR was incorporated into the Model, expanding it's scope.

Rrhain:

If it is undescribed, how can we possibly assign a probability to it?

We are not assigning a probability to that, we are noting that we havent observed it in all known history. We are assigning a probability to the chances of observing it - call it a chocolate sprinkle, if you will. We've turned over 83 gazillion cards and the Mean Time Between Observed Chocolate Sprinkles must be extremely large, large enough at this point to conclude that a Dawkins Level of 6.0d is starting to look good. It isnt any one instance of Absence of Evidence, it's the sample size of all such instances.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 471 by Rrhain, posted 11-27-2009 7:47 PM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 510 by Rrhain, posted 11-30-2009 11:23 PM xongsmith has responded

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1909
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 477 of 533 (537420)
11-28-2009 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 473 by Rrhain
11-27-2009 8:01 PM


Rrhain objecting to the term "coelacanthic Ace":
Huh? You don't see any evidentiary difference between an undefined term that has never been observed and a living creature we have a fossil record of? That the scenario of an extant creature might have been lost track of is identical to the scenario of an entity that has never been observed has been hiding all this time?

Okay, sorry. I knew there might some nuance taken wrong.

Let's just call it a Chocolate Sprinkle Ace.

It just doesnt have the other cool menacing nuance of swimming deep in the dark sea, lurking there, hidden from us, until some fisherman accidently hoists one aboard. So be it.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 473 by Rrhain, posted 11-27-2009 8:01 PM Rrhain has responded

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xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1909
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 478 of 533 (537421)
11-28-2009 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 475 by onifre
11-28-2009 11:32 AM


chocolate sprinkles
Hi Oni
I think you miss the point ... no matter what you decide to call it, it's still a meaningless term.

Rrhain decided to call that part of the Model that would defined as "missing" to be termed chocolate sprinkles.

If we need more details, I guess Rrhain will have to supply them. I dont need the details right away. I think we can proceed a little bit further before they need to be described in detail. Then there are those Rainbow Sprinkles he brought up as well.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 475 by onifre, posted 11-28-2009 11:32 AM onifre has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20156
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 479 of 533 (537452)
11-28-2009 6:32 PM
Reply to: Message 469 by Briterican
11-27-2009 2:55 PM


Re: The third level of logical evaluations of the positions
Hi Briterican, sorry to take so long getting back,

It is this evidence that sways me to a 6 on Dawkins's scale, which you've criticised as flawed but nonetheless referenced often.

Yes, it is flawed because it refers to probabilities that cannot be calculated, only assumed, as a measurement. What you see when such "probabilities" are used, is that they are made up, with no relationship the impossibility of making such a calculation without including a lot of a priori assumptions. It's opinion, not math.

Likewise, we see atheists time and again argue that there is "literally mountains of evidence" for their position, and yet when asked to present it, somehow cannot manage to find any that really relates to the question of whether god/s exist or not.

There is no personal opinion involved. I base my probability estimate on two things:

  • The available evidence from the fields of cosmology and biology support a universe that moves forward on fixed laws without intervention from a controlling agent.
  • There is no recorded evidence of the existence of the FSM or any evidence to support the contention that he created the universe last Thursday (again, substitute the god(s) of your choice).

And yet these are your opinions, and not facts, not sound logical conclusions that inevitably follow from true premises.

For instance, your first problem is that any estimate is an opinion, so your "probability estimate" is your personal opinion that the two items listed are factual statements, backed by evidence and sound logic.

Second, you have somehow assumed that any god/s that created the universe have somehow left the natural laws untouched to occur on their own, when the logical conclusion is that if god/s created the universe, then they also put in place the "fixed laws" that control how it behaves, this being in fact one of their ways to control the universe. In this respect the existence of "fixed laws" is evidence of creation to the theist, who assumes god/s, as it is to you/etc., who have assumed no-god/s, and is not evidence that god/s cannot exist. This is the problem Rrhain has with his model - he cannot explain why it exists the way it does, only how it works, and how it works is just possibly due to god/s making it work - he cannot eliminate this possibility, and therefore his arguement is insufficient. In essence, you have assumed a lack of god/s input to the "fixed laws" that then justifies your opinion for a lack of god/s input to the "fixed laws" being evidence of a lack of god/s -- a begging the question logical fallacy.

Third, your last "evidence" is the old argument that "the absence of evidence is evidence of absence," which is also a logical fallacy, one of hasty generalization, or of assuming that because all A is B that all B is A, when there is no evidence that A=B, the only condition where the conclusion can be made (ie you need to know everything first).

I don't think I'm arguing with your mathematics, and I agree that possibility makes no judgment of likelihood. If your argument addresses only possibility, and not probabilty, then I suspect your maths follow. But I don't believe you can apply this sort of binary logic to the ideas of theist/atheist/agnostic.

What is pointed out, by evaluating the structure of the arguments, is that as soon as you say that X is more likely than notX, that you have created a situation that is contradicted by the form of the statements. We can replace X with Y = notX and end up with the contraditory conclusion that notX is more likely than X, and this cannot be true if X is more likely than notX. This inherent contradiction shows that the logical structure is invalid when probability\liklihood statements are included.

It is only when you do not make a judgment about one being more likely\probable\etc than the other that you avoid the contradiction that shows the argument is logically invalid.

There is a possibilty that God exists. That leads you to the conclusion that there are only two possible states: True and False. You therefore aver that these two possible states are equally likely.

No, I say that the probability is not known, and cannot be known, so all you can say is that each are possible.

It is the coin flipping argument above. If, however, I had empirical evidence that the coin had a minor flaw resulting in an imbalance causing it to land on heads more often than tails, it would be logical for me to bet on heads. I could still lose, but probability would be on my side. It is in this way that scientific evidence (from the fields of cosmology and biology) has tipped the balance so that someone arguing from a position of skepticism does so on a firmer foundation than those arguing from a position of faith.

Agreed, if you had evidence.

As we have seen that "literally mountains of evidence" melts away every time we talk about evidence that god/s do not, or cannot, exist, and that the "scientific evidence (from the fields of cosmology and biology)" etc etc is not a predictor of god/s not being responsible for the "fixed laws" that cause all that evidence to be as it is.

You are stuck with basing your opinion on your opinion of reality, and not on logical conclusions that inevitably follow from premises in a valid construction, a construction that results in a true conclusion if the premises are true. Only positions 4C, 3D and 5E have valid constructions, and they only allow the possibility that they are true, with no judgment of likelihood or probability. The most logical position is still the agnostic position, 4C, because it specifically recognizes that each are possibilities.

Enjoy.

ps - using terms like FSM, IPU, Last Thursdayism, etc. don't bother me, I just find it somewhat childish, like schoolyard mockery.

Edited by RAZD, : /


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Rebel American Zen Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 469 by Briterican, posted 11-27-2009 2:55 PM Briterican has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 480 by Teapots&unicorns, posted 11-28-2009 6:45 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 481 by xongsmith, posted 11-28-2009 9:01 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 504 by Briterican, posted 11-30-2009 1:36 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 513 by Rrhain, posted 11-30-2009 11:51 PM RAZD has responded

Teapots&unicorns
Member (Idle past 3174 days)
Posts: 178
Joined: 06-23-2009


Message 480 of 533 (537456)
11-28-2009 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 479 by RAZD
11-28-2009 6:32 PM


Re: The third level of logical evaluations of the positions
Hi RAZD,

As we have seen that "literally mountains of evidence" melts away every time we talk about evidence that god/s do not, or cannot, exist, and that the "scientific evidence (from the fields of cosmology and biology)" etc etc is not a predictor of god/s not being responsible for the "fixed laws" that cause all that evidence to be as it is.

You're right, it doesn't prove that God(s) don't exist. However, it does disprove one notion of God, and as there are a potentially infinite number of conceivable God(s), it seems we atheists have our work cut out for us!

At least we all agree on the christian god

T&U


“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
- Stephen Roberts

“I'm a polyatheist - there are many gods I don't believe in”
- Dan Foutes

"In the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has widely been considered as a bad move."
- Douglas Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 479 by RAZD, posted 11-28-2009 6:32 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

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